During a night that was seemingly just as relatively normal as any other, Mr. Todd was woken abruptly when someone opened the door of his room. Without any sign of warning and without even attempting to be quiet in spite of the rather unconventional time, a person burst into his part of Mrs. Lovett's house.
Quickly, Sweeney got out of bed, reaching for the two razors that were always lying beneath his pillow when he slept. Soundlessly, he retreated to the darkest corner of the room, an unfolded razor in his hand, ready to kill whoever it was that tried to enter the room without his permission. Whatever unlawful plan this person had in mind, he was ready for the most unpleasant surprise of his life and would unfortunately never even have the chance to complain about it – not in this life, anyway.
To Mr. Todd's shock, it wasn't a robber or even a policeman who entered the tonsorial parlor that so few had left alive. It even wasn't a 'he', like he had initially thought. No, the person who had interrupted one of his rare hours of sleep was none other than Mrs. Lovett. However, it was not really the baker who he was familiar with. A few beams of moonlight illuminated her from behind, making it both easy for him to recognize her and to notice that she walked slower and with much less grace than she usually did.
This wouldn't have captured Sweeney's attention if it hadn't been for the way she was holding her arms straight in front of her body, as if she was blind and needed to feel the space in front of her with her hands to prevent herself from walking into things.
Mr. Todd stared at his landlady with bewilderment. For once, he had no idea what to do and wasn't sure he should interfere in the first place. His eyes widened further as the woman immediately walked towards the bed in which he had been sleeping until mere seconds ago.
Sweeney watched as the woman run her hands over the still warm blankets that covered his bed. She seemed to be looking for something and as she made a sound of disapproval, or perhaps even disappointment, he realized that she might be looking for him.
"Mrs. Lovett?" he asked, wondering what was wrong with the woman and how he could bring her back to her normal state. Not that he liked her usual self, but it was at least not as strange and somewhat terrifying as her current behavior suggested.
In spite of her strange and absent behavior, she did react to his voice. She turned her head immediately when she heard it and moved into his direction abruptly right after he had spoken.
He watched the baker intently as she walked towards him, her steps slow but even, her hands still stretched in front of her body. Even when she was right in front of him, she didn't acknowledge his presence and just continued walking even though she already was so close to him.
"Mrs. Lovett!" he hissed loudly, when her hands were only inches away from him.
But once again, she didn't slow down. In fact, there was nothing that indicated that she had actually heard him calling her name, let alone was aware of the urgency of his words.
As she approached him, moonlight illuminated her face for the first time. To his horror, he saw that her eyes were closed, and she thus could not see where she was going. He didn't dare speculate what it was then that made her find her way into his room. He did know however that it seemed that he wasn't only dealing with Mrs. Lovett, the insufferable woman he was forced to live with during the day, but with a sleepwalking Mrs. Lovett, who seemed to be determined to torment him that night.
"Mrs. Lovett!" he repeated, his voice angrier and louder than before. "Stop this!"
But once more, she didn't visibly react. She just continued walking, as if there was plenty of space ahead of her instead of an agitated demon barber and a hard wall right behind him.
Realizing that she would probably walk straight into him if he didn't do anything, he stepped away quickly, getting out of her way at the very last moment.
Somehow, he had expected her to stop moving once he was gone. But to his utter horror, she still didn't cease her steps. The baker collided with the wall at the same speed as she had had all this time, producing a sickening sound of flesh against stone if she did so. If it hadn't been for the situation, Mr. Todd would've been amused by it. But even now that she had obviously injured herself, her eyes didn't open, nor was there anything that indicated that she was feeling any pain. Even the hardened demon barber was rather sure that he wouldn't be able to keep a blank face like that if he had just walked into something as hard as a wall made out of stone. But this woman was apparently so unstoppable that even something as unmoving as a wall in her path didn't wake her up.
Even as he was trying to find out how to escape from the woman this time, she turned around in his direction, and approached him once more. Horrified, he stepped away once more, razors falling from his suddenly limb hands, only to see how she remained following him without even opening her eyes for the shortest moment.
Sensing that he wouldn't be able to get rid of the woman as long as they were in the same room, he fled through the door that she had never bothered to close behind her. He cast a quick glance over his shoulder, hardly surprised that she was walking behind him.
As he was standing on the threshold for a short moment, wondering what to do next exactly, he got an idea. A wall alone wasn't enough to stop her from stalking him, but a wall and a door might be able to accomplish that.
As quietly as he could, not wanting her to know until the last possible moment what his intentions were, he closed the door to the barber shop behind him. He had hoped to find a key in the hole so he could lock it, but unfortunately it wasn't there. There was a nagging voice in the back of his head telling him that Mrs. Lovett probably had known that he would attempt to do something like this, and that she had taken the key to prevent him to be able to do so. But he wasn't discouraged easily and right after he had closed the door carefully behind him, hoping with his entire being that the obstacle would be enough to keep the mad baker away from him, he rushed downstairs, just in case.
For a moment, nothing happened. However, before he could sigh with relief, a loud thud was heard and the door opened somewhat, a dark but petite silhouette appearing on the threshold, arms still stretched in front of her. Even though it was clear that the door had only opened because she had walked against it and there were some droplets of blood on her knuckles that glistered in the pale light of the moon, Mrs. Lovett obviously wasn't aware of the fact she had just collided with something very hard for the second time within a minute.
This was far from over yet and, hoping to hide himself from her before she was downstairs, Sweeney sneaked into the pie shop. Usually he would've been angry with his landlady for leaving the door to it open like she had, very angry indeed for she was making it just a bit too easy for people to accidentally find out about their not so respectable business this way. But now he was grateful that he could get into the shop so easily. It was large and there was plenty of space to hide or, better, ambush the woman. Sweeney was more than willing to give her a taste of her own medicine - if only he knew how to. Some more observation of the strange phenomena that the sleepwalking Mrs. Lovett turned out to be, was clearly no unnecessary luxury.
He made his way into the pie shop with as little sound as he could. It began to dawn on him that perhaps this situation was even more difficult than he had originally thought it to be. The fact that Mrs. Lovett hadn't woken up from her rather restless and active sleep after having moved against such painful objects twice, suggested that it was perhaps harder to simply ambush her and intimidate her until she left him alone than he had initially hoped. Perhaps, running – fleeing – away from her would be a wiser thing, if only an easier and perhaps even safer way to handle this situation, even though his dignity wasn't too pleased with it.
But no matter how much he tried, moving without a sound in the parlor was much harder than doing so in the penal colony where he had been forced to live for fifteen years. At least, there hadn't been treacherously squeaking floor planks and pieces of furniture standing in the most illogical places, nor were there all those vases filled with flowers that could be touched accidentally, sending them crashing on the floor by the slightest mistake. Even though he moved with all the care he could muster, he heard his own progressing through the room and he cringed inwardly every time when he heard another creak or felt that he almost walked against another purposeless decoration.
Mrs. Lovett of course knew her way around in the room much better than he did and with all the noise he was making, even if it wasn't on purpose, it was easy for her to follow him soundlessly. If it hadn't been for the few beams of moonlight that illuminated the parlor through the still open curtains, he wouldn't have been able to find out where she was exactly at all.
Unfortunately, she was easily able to drive him forward into the house, even though he had every intention of escaping it now that he had found out that her parlor didn't offer the strategic advantages that he had hoped.
But at that moment, he realized something. Of course, he was making sounds in his futile attempts to get away from the baker, but was it really possible that she could hear it with those ears of hers that never had to deal with anything except for all the noise that was produced in the city and came out of her own, never closed mouth? No, Sweeney thought, it was impossible for her to hear the little sound he was making to the extent that it would make it possible for her to follow him the way she was doing now. There simply had to be another reasons.
And then, he knew. Or at least, he was rather sure that he did. He was aware, vaguely, of her bizarre, so called feelings for him. But no matter how annoying and wrong they were, they were the possible explanation for this situation. It seemed to him that all this was just a crazy act of hers, an attempt to get closer to him this way, knowing that she normally wouldn't get away with it something like this at all.
He smiled triumphantly, feeling that he had exposed the cunning baker. He had to admit, she had made him believe for a moment that she was really sleepwalking. But now that he knew what she was doing, he would stop her, as he was very tired of this game of hers that he did not want to play.
He was sure that she would open her eyes whenever he wasn't too close to her to see this and had only pretended to be hurt when she collided with the boundaries of his barber shop earlier. The easiest way to end this madness was to simply approach her, tell her that he was aware of her pathetic attempt to get his attention, and crash her into a wall for real if she wouldn't admit immediately what she was doing. But no; she had made him look like a fool, now it was his turn. He would not expose her; he would force her to give up her act herself.
Grinning wickedly, he went to the middle of the room and grabbed a chair that he had almost collided with earlier, making sure to make quite some noise this time. He placed the chair right between Mrs. Lovett and himself, knowing that she would have to take the shortest way to him like she had done since the moment she had barged into his room; if she wouldn't want to stop the ridiculous act, she would have to tumble over it. Now of course, the chair alone wouldn't be so much of an obstacle; if she was willing to pretend to be hurt earlier, she wouldn't be afraid to do so now. But what if he wouldn't only force her to get 'hurt' in order to continue her act, but destroy one of her favorite objects as well?
His lips still lifted in something like an uncharacteristic smile as he took the baker's favorite vase and placed it on the seat of the chair, then rushed back to the other side of the room in such a way that the chair and the vase were right between the still approaching Mrs. Lovett and himself. He couldn't really see her because of the darkness and that was a good thing now, for he wouldn't notice if she'd opened her eyes quickly to peek and she knew it. He was sure that she would open her eyes briefly now, see what he had done, and conclude that her pathetic and foolish attempt to get closer to him wasn't worth the vase that had cost, according to her, a small fortune.
She approached him exactly the way he had expected, but to his shock, she didn't walk around the chair after all, but stumbled over it, causing the vase and the flowers in it to fall on the floor, the water that it had contained soaking the wooden planks and the old carpet that partly covered them. The baker didn't even blink and the barber began to panic as he realized that it seemed an awful lot like this wasn't an act after all.
Blindly, he moved further into the house, away from the sleepwalking or maybe just crazy woman, using his arms now as well to make sure that he wouldn't run into things the way Mrs. Lovett had done.
At the end of the hallway he found himself in, there was only one other room. Not having somewhere else to go, he rushed into it, not bothering to close the door because he hoped to escape the room through another door or perhaps even a window as soon as he could.
The single candle that was standing on a small table in the room was rather helpful and it was a relief to see some light after he had been chased by the crazy baker through the dark house, until he realized that there was no other door, and that the few windows that the room contained were too small to climb through. And, as if that wasn't bad enough yet, it turned out to be not just a room: the bed and the dress that was casually hanging over the headboard made it awkwardly clear that this was Mrs. Lovett's bedroom.
Desperate to get out of that particular area of the house, he turned around, back to the door, but Mrs. Lovett was already blocking his one and only way out. She approached him, still in that strange, uncharacteristic way, and Mr. Todd intuitively felt that he couldn't escape her this time. He would have to defend himself against the madness that possessed the petite baker in her sleep.
Biting his lip in a moment of unfamiliar nervousness, he reached for the razor on his belt. He didn't intend to kill her, but perhaps, the feeling of the cold metal and a few drops of blood would bring her back to the normal world.
His eager fingers however met nothing but empty space instead of his beloved razor and he realized that he had left them behind accidentally when he had left his own room in such a hurry.
In the second that he considered his options and didn't find a single one that would properly save him from this situation, Mrs. Lovett crossed the last distance between the two of them.
He closed his in order not to see whatever was to come, not knowing what would happen once he was within her reach, only that he wouldn't like it.
When her outstretched hands touched his chest, she didn't fully collide with him like he had partly expected her to do. Instead, she did something even worse. She stopped walking, only set one more step until she was right in front of him and their feet, both without shoes, were touching.
There was a light pressure against his chest and when he dared open his eyes again, he found himself embraced by the baker. Judging from the way she was still at last, he presumed that this was the reason that she had chased him through her entire house.
Her entire frame relaxed visibly, as if she was finally fully asleep again, and if he wouldn't have wrapped his arms around her waist intuitively, he was rather sure that she would've fallen onto the floor.
It seemed that the baker was happy now with the situation, even though she was sleeping now while she was still standing, even though she needed his very reluctant support to do so. It was tempting to see what would happen if he would let go off her, but if she would fall indeed, the chance that she would get injured and wouldn't be able to work the following day, was just a bit too large for his liking.
But yet, he hadn't accepted the turn of events. Removing one of his arms from her, he reached for her hands that were clasped behind his back, and tried to pry them apart so he could release himself from her. Her fingers however were entwined so tightly that it was impossible to break free from her. Even his numerous attempts to push her away from him failed. She simply held to him too tightly, almost as if she was clinging to him.
The woman still seemed to be perfectly happy to stand like that, in spite of his attempts to break free from her, but Mr. Todd wasn't comfortable at all. Except for the obvious reason, which was of course the fact that Nellie Lovett was holding him, he preferred to rest at night, preferably in an actual bed.
Sweeney growled with annoyance when it dawned on him that if he was going to be in a bed that night, it was not going to be his own and, even worse, he would not be alone. He had to chose between standing like this until Mrs. Lovett woke up in her natural way, or he would have to try to get over to the baker's bed and spend the night there, with her right next to him.
Since she was horribly close to him already anyway and he was getting quite desperate to rest, the latter seemed to be the best option, no matter how much he didn't like it.
He turned his body around while he remained at the same spot, finding out that the baker followed him blindly in her sleep. Hoping that she would remain doing so, he stepped back, towards the bed. Once again, Mrs. Lovett followed him, never allowing any distance to come between them. Sweeney wasn't sure whether that was a good or a bad thing, but he had other things to worry about.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and immediately, she settled herself right next to him, arms wrapped around his neck and her head resting on his shoulder.
Bracing himself inwardly for what was about to come, he lay himself down on the bed, stretching his body and folding his arms behind his head. The baker ended up being sprawled out on top of him, her arms wrapped around his torso and her head resting on his chest. He shivered with horror because of the sight and feeling of this. How ironic it was that something this embarrassing had to happen to him after all that he had been through already.
The first thing that he would do in the morning after having pushed his landlady off him once she was awake again, was to make sure that this was never going to happen again, even if this meant that he would have to tie her to her own bed every night that was to come.
However, Sweeney slowly relaxed when he realized that he couldn't improve the situation for the time being. Mrs. Lovett seemed to feel this difference as well, for she shifted her weight and rearranged the position of her body in her sleep. Initially, Mr. Todd cringed when her legs ended up on either side of his waist and she buried her head in the crook of his neck.
But as she remained lying still after that and a small smile appeared on her face, and there was nothing left of her usual cheerful and energetic behavior that he found so insufferable, the barber relaxed at last. The gentle movement of her body, caused by her slow and even breathing, turned out to have a rather pleasant and calming influence on him.
He sighed contentedly as the warmth of her body spread to his usually cold limbs, and he embraced the frame of the baker awkwardly, if only to make sure that she wouldn't move away from him.
Yes, he thought before he fell asleep himself, he certainly had to talk with the baker about her strange tendency to sleepwalk the way she had done that night, especially because he had become involved. But the conversation suddenly didn't seem so urgent anymore, and the moment that she would wake up, didn't seem as far away now as it had been a few minutes ago.
However, for the time being, Sweeney Todd was quite happy to lie in the comfortable bed with the sleeping baker in his arms.