Here it is, my third Sweenett multi chapter fanfic! As always, I hope that you will like it =D
In this story, the relationship between Nellie and Albert Lovett is probably described differently than what you have in mind, but this is just one of my interpretations. There's an entire background story to this, taking place in the old days between Nellie, Benjamin and Albert. There'll be some hints of that in this story and maybe I'll write the story of the old days as a prequel once.
But first things first. The chapters of this story will be short, but there'll be quite a lot of chapters and I'll try to update every three or four days. This story is t-rated in the beginning, but some of the last few chapters will probably be m-rated.
Given all the facts of circumstance
I did not believe that a romance
Would show itself in all this dark and blue
That's the only place I ever knew
Miracle - Ilse De Lange
"This can't be true," Mrs. Lovett muttered to herself. "This can't be bloody true."
But the calendar in front of her was not lying. It was exactly ten weeks ago that she had encircled a few days on the yellowing paper, and there had been no marks since then. Ten weeks.
The baker collapsed on a couch in her parlor, a protective hand over her stomach, just in case. She closed her eyes, wondering how this was possible. Yes, Albert and she had slept together, but that had been only once, she argued with herself. Only once, but that was two months ago, not long before her husband had died and Sweeney Todd had arrived. How one's life can change within mere months…
And how one's family can change. Only a while ago she had nothing but a dying husband. Now the love of her life had come back; not to her, but at least he had returned. Since a few days ago she was taking care of the young boy that was all alone in the world now thanks to Mr. Todd's dangerous nature and his dislike for blackmail. And knowing the barber's dislike for her, she had feared that Toby would be the closest to a child of her own she'd ever have. But now, she suddenly wasn't so sure about that anymore.
"Damn," she whispered, for once glad that no one in the empty parlor could hear her. "I'm going to have to tell him, just in case…"
It was very tempting not to say anything to Mr. Todd, but if her suspicions were correct, he would find it out sooner or later anyway. Not that he actually looked at her, but even he was doubtlessly going to notice if her belly started to expand significantly during the coming seven months. This would inhibit her ability to work long days as she did now, and what would the customers say? Most of them had known how her husband's body had failed him during the last part of his life and no one would probably believe that he actually was the cause for her trouble.
"Albert, you bloody bastard," the usually calm and overly-kind woman hissed, "how could you do this?!"
She didn't want to think of how she herself was to blame for her current situation.
The baker beat her fist against the couch in frustration and cursed as the other hand intuitively remained lying on her belly.
She could not believe it. But her body wasn't lying, was it? Even yesterday, when she had scrutinized her body in a mirror in the hope of finding the reason that Mr. Todd didn't like her, she had found quite a few things that she didn't like about herself and that the barber probably hated, but none of them had to do with the size of her belly. She was just as skinny as she had always been. That meant that there was nothing inside of her body that shouldn't be there, or did it?
Truth to be told, Mrs. Lovett didn't know anything about babies. She had been very fond of little Johanna Barker, but Lucy monopolized her daughter and Nellie's own mother had kicked her out of the house before she had shared that kind of trivial information with her daughter.
"Well, little one," she whispered, more gently now, while she petted her stomach, "if you are there indeed, you won't get the same treatment, even though you're not exactly supposed to be there."
She stressed the last part of her words while pointing accusingly at her belly with the other hand, but the gesture missed conviction. She didn't want her suspicions about her situation to be true, but at the same time… it was her dream to end up with Sweeney Todd and a few children in a house by the sea. She did care a lot for Toby, she loved him if he were her own son which he, in fact, wasn't. But this child, if it were actually there… at least a part of her dream would come true.
Mrs. Lovett made herself more comfortable on the couch, thinking thoroughly. She had been feeling different the past few weeks, but she had blamed Mr. Todd's sudden arrival and the endless flow of emotion that followed within her for that. But what if it wasn't only Sweeney's unexpected presence that caused the inner turmoil of hormones? In a way, it all made sense. So much sense in fact, that there was no room for doubt anymore.
Slowly, the baker stood up and began pacing through the room, muttering quietly. More and more it dawned on her that, unless there was something very wrong with her body, it wouldn't be too long before Toby wasn't the only child in her house anymore.
Deciding that there was no use fooling herself any longer, she headed for Mr. Todd's barbershop, climbing the stairs to his room more carefully than she usually did.
"You can better help me with this, little thing," she said quietly while she made her way upstairs. "I can't deal with that man all by myself."
For a few seconds, she lingered right before the door, hesitating. The foresight of confronting the barber scared her, because she knew very well that he wouldn't be pleased, not at all. But there was nothing she could do about it anymore. And even if she could change her situation, she was suddenly rather sure that she didn't want to.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door of the tonsorial parlor (there was no reason to anger him before she was even inside, after all) and entered quickly, before she lost her courage.
Sweeney was standing near the huge window, staring outside and seemingly (or actually, she was never sure of that) unaware of her presence.
"Mr. Todd," she said, walking over to him. She positioned her between him and the window, blocking his view so she would hopefully capture his attention.
She hadn't thought of how to tell him exactly, but judging his current lack of interest, a direct approach seemed to be the easiest and least embarrassing choice.