A/n: This was an idea I had after reading She's a real lady by Das Lieblingsfach. I realised there aren't too many Turpin fics out there, probably for the same reason there's no Swucy. Don't worry, this fic will be eventual Sweenett, but not until after the Judge and Sweeney really mess with Nellie's head first. This is going to be pretty dark, so if you want fluff look elsewhere. I'm going to be alternating between Sweeney, Mrs Lovett and the Judge's P.O.V's.
It was all gone to hell. Sweeney had so carefully planned it, so carefully – but Mrs Lovett had ruined it all.
The Judge was safe in the city somewhere – and he would never come again.
He would never come again. And Sweeney had almost had him!
On the streets, Sweeney saw the faces of dead men. Dead men, everywhere he walked. Dead, or soon to be dead.
He grimaced at the sight of a woman and babe as he passed another corner. Sweeney gripped his razors close. Even in the puddles on the ground, he saw the Judge's throat, and his own razors slashing it wide. He had been so close!
The crowd kept surging forward.
But he, one strange, lonely man, stood looking back into the past.
Sweeney looked up, as if he were hearing Mrs Lovett's voice right in his ear.
He could still see her, standing beside him at the foot of the stairs below his barber shop.
"Mr Todd," she'd said, "how's about I give this starved gentleman a drink an' a pie, and leave you an' the Judge to attend to your business, ay?"
Sweeney had nodded, and their eyes had met.
It was an unspoken agreement: you deal with the judge, I'll handle the Beadle.
At their best, Sweeney reflected with another surge of anger, they had been fearsome partners.
"Madam," the Beadle had said, interjecting with a greasy smirk, "There's been an awful stench about these parts, and they say your pie house is to blame. And I've been the one appointed ta see that it stops. I ought to do my duty…before pleasure." He leered suggestively at Mrs Lovett.
"Sir," Sweeney interrupted, "no doubt you are a busy man. But Mrs Lovett would be truly indebted if you could sample one of her meat pies. After all, it has been said that you are an expert in culinary delights."
Mrs Lovett smiled knowingly, giving a slight, provocative curtsey.
"Sir," the Judge had said, frowning distastefully at Mrs Lovett, "there are far more pressing matters than pies. I won't ask you again – where has the ruffian got my Joanna?"
"Right this way, sir," Sweeney had pointed, directing him up the stairs.
"I will wait here." The Judge crossed his arms.
"Well then, if you'll just follow me, sir," Mrs Lovett had said, leading the Beadle into her shop. The door jangled behind them.
Outside, Sweeney and the Judge stood, staring each other down.
"As we speak, sir," Sweeney had whispered, "the sailor is locked up in the bowels of Mrs Lovett's pie shop. He will harm you no more."
The Judge had leaned closer. "And Joanna?"
"She is waiting for you. Up there." Sweeney had raised his eyes up to the tonsorial parlour.
That was all the Judge needed. He began to ascend the stairs, when Sweeney grabbed his arm. "Be gentle with her, sir. She feels quite repentant."
"To be sure," the Judge had replied, moistening his lips. "But what of my apparel? How should I...present myself to her?" He had looked himself over, brushing dust off his vest and testing his breath.
"Ah," Sweeney had answered, smiling with cold yes. "I know just the thing."
Sweeney drew a chair from Mrs Lovett's garden area and sat it beside the stairs. He'd whipped out a comb and some au de cologne. "Allow me to pamper you, sir. Pretty women cannot resist a freshly scented gentleman."
Perhaps Mrs Lovett was right, he'd considered. Waiting could be preciously sweet. It had taken ten minutes to convince the Judge he was handsome enough to go up to Joanna. Then he'd led the blind fool up the stairs, wounded him in the knees, and strapped him into the chair. Sweeney had had his razor around the man's throat, ready to slice it –
When someone below shrieked.
"Wait here," Sweeney had said to the Judge, locking the door behind him.
After that, everything had unravelled.
Sweeney closed his eyes, and opened them. A woman in a red dress passed him on the street, and he was reminded again.
Blood. Laughter. Flames. Sizzling. Shrieks.
And then he had left. That stinking hell was far behind him now.
As for Mrs Lovett – her body could rot in the depths of her bakehouse forever. He didn't care if they found the boy either. Sweeney had left them where he'd slaughtered them; Toby in the meat grinder, Mrs Lovett in the oven.
In fact, Sweeney wanted them to be found. He could have lingered, savoured their deaths, but waiting was never Sweeney's style.
That, he thought bitterly as he made his way down Fleet Street, was Mrs Lovett's style. She had waited fifteen years so that she could lie to him. How she had lied to him! From the moment he had stepped in her shop, Mrs Lovett had had designs in her head. Designs for him.
And all the while his Lucy, his poor, battered Lucy, had wandered the streets alone. And he had finished her life – slit her throat with the same hands that had held her on their wedding night.
Sweeney knew he was a demon. It was part of him now, the need to spill blood. But for the death of Lucy, he placed the blame squarely on Mrs Lovett's shoulders. Treacherous wench. Well, she could go on waiting now. Wait for the whole of London to come and gawk at her burnt corpse. And the boy, her helper, could be strung up and gawked at too. He was sure that's what the Judge would do, once the grisly scene was discovered.
"Watch where ya goin', ya clumsy lout!" An old woman cursed at him. Sweeney had turned the corner, knocking her into the gutter.
It was another grey London day, full of the same pathetic, undeserving souls. Sweeney sloshed through the puddly streets, his work boots covered with thick clumps of mud. It was a small setback, he told himself. The Judge might set out the whole city to hunt him down, but Sweeney would not be deterred. He would have his revenge.
He had exhausted all his chances. By the week out, every man and his dog would know his face. There was little he could do, Sweeney decided, but to hide. Across the street, he saw a man in a dark, heavy coat and umbrella. His beard was so thick it looked like a scarf from a distance. At once, Sweeney had the plan.
He would hide. Keep to the backstreets and alleyways. Steal what he needed, sleep where it was deserted, and kill anyone foolish enough to cross his path.
In time, he reasoned, they would forget him. Another scandal, another murder would take place, and they would leave him to be to wreak havoc as he pleased.
And there was only one person Sweeney wished to wreak havoc on.
There would come a time when the Beadle wouldn't always be around to guard him. When the police wouldn't be on his side. There would be a way, an opening into his house.
And with the greatest pleasure Sweeney had ever known, he would spill the swine's blood onto his satin bed sheets.
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Well? Let me know what you think. I've written the second chapter, so if you like it and review I'll post it up!