This is going to be a collection of stand-alone but somewhat connected short one shots. I'll try to construct them in such a way that they describe twelve possible events (each taking place in a different month of the year) concerning Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Todd, beginning somewhere between "A Little Priest" and "The Final Scene" and leading to an alternate ending. Most of the story will be rated T to be safe, but one of the later chapters might be M rated.
My story "Miracles" is probably on hold for a while because it's too time consuming for me to write updates for that fic at the moment, but I hope that you'll enjoy this instead =)
Sweeney Todd's voice was somewhat hoarse from rare use when it broke the heavy silence of his room.
"Yes?" the baker asked, her hand already on the handle of the door. She had just placed a hot cup of soup on a table right next to him, hoping that the delicious smell of it would invite him to eat this time.
Although she had brought him meals three times a day for weeks now, he had never spoken to her before as she did so. Even a 'thank you' was something that he didn't bother himself with. He seemed to think that he didn't have to be grateful for her devotion to him because he hardly ate the breakfast, lunch or dinner that she always made for him anyway.
So that's why her heartbeat quickened in a combination of fear and anticipation when she walked towards him, eager to hear whatever he had to say.
"What's your first name?"
This shocked and seemingly offending word had been said before she realized that this was the best way to destroy Mr. Todd's apparent curiosity regarding her first name. His question was so unexpected however that she couldn't help herself. Besides, she felt that she did need some sort of confirmation of what he had just said. She was sure that she had heard him say those words, even though his voice had been soft, but this didn't necessarily mean that he had actually spoken them. Her fantasies and dreams tended to cloud her judgement and senses her at the most inappropriate moments.
"Nothing," Sweeney said, too quickly.
The barber was probably horrified by what he just had said, although it was a mystery to her why he had asked it in the first place – if he had done so. Mrs. Lovett however was a stubborn woman and the words that he just seemed to have mumbled were too promising just to be taken back like this.
"What did you say?" she asked carefully, standing as still as she could, as if the slightest movement would break the unexpected moment. It was not that she was capable of moving anyway now that it seemed that the barber had asked her for her first name.
"Your name," he said reluctantly, staring at the floor as if she wasn't even there. "Your first name."
"Eleanor," she said breathlessly when it was as clear as could be to her that she wasn't dreaming. It was hard to believe that he was actually asking her this, but she was rather sure now that her mind wasn't deceiving her.
"Eleanor," he said, repeating her name as if trying to taste the sound of it. The baker didn't know if such a thing was possible, but it certainly felt like it when the barber's voice caressed every syllable.
She shivered involuntarily, him pronouncing her first name being one of the most seductive things that she had ever heard. He doubtlessly had no idea what he was doing to her, let alone that he was aware of the fact that his voice sounded truly wonderful when he wasn't shouting threats to her or the world in general, or mumbling words of vengeance and hatred for Judge Turpin.
"Why do you want to know?" she asked, feeling a little more at ease and confident. She doubted that he would actually give an answer to that urgent question of hers, but she would never know if she didn't try. Besides, it was not that he would continue the intriguing conversation.
He looked up briefly, but cast his gaze down immediately as his eyes met her curious and hopeful ones.
"It suddenly seemed strange to me that I lived here for so long without knowing your first name."
She hadn't really thought about this; in fact, she had never been aware of the fact that Mr. Todd didn't even know her first name. He had known it in the past but he had clearly forgotten it. She wasn't offended though; the tormented man couldn't even really remember his late wife so she could hardly blame him for forgetting her first name. He had never used it in the old days anyway, even though she had often insisted that he did.
Sweeney didn't say more and just stared out of the large window of his tonsorial parlour instead, as if nothing had happened.
She wanted to say something, tell him that he could use her first name to address her like she had done numerous times in the past, but the barber didn't even seem to realize that she was still there – or that she had ever been there, that the short conversation had ever taken place to begin with.
The baker sensed that leaving him now was the best thing to do. It was hard to remember during rare moments like these, but he was a murder who could go from quiet and seemingly calm to furious and almost mad within mere seconds. Doing something that would displease him now was the least thing she wanted to do, both because of his and her own sake.
Taking in a deep breath of air, she went back outside, closing the door as carefully behind her as her slightly shaking hands allowed her.
Her name. Sweeney Todd had asked her for her first name and he had repeated it as if it was some sort of exotic curiosity.
To any other woman, it wouldn't have been much. In fact, even Mrs. Lovett doubted whether the barber would actually remember it the next time she'd bring him his meal – but he had asked.
Smiling broadly, the baker went back to the pie shop, not aware of the merciless wind that tugged at her clothing and the snowflakes that fell on her skin and hair.
The sound of Sweeney Todd saying her first name played in her head for the rest of the day.