Sweeney Todd looked with an adoring gaze at the auburn haired woman who was sleeping in his arms, somewhat relieved that her body had surrendered to sleep at last. Even now that he slowly but surely was getting somewhat used to the passion that the petite woman was capable of and he had discovered the depth and the power of her love, both in the emotional and physical sense of the word, she still managed to overwhelm him.
He ran a hand over her sweat covered back, his limbs and back protesting as he did so, and remained lying close to her for a bit longer, giving the rhythm of his breathing and the beating of his heart the chance to slow down.
Twining his hand in the baker's hair, he kissed her neck gently. A slight smile graced his usually stern face when she made a soft noise of contentment in her sleep.
It was a strange thing, but lately he had grown to realize how little he knew of the woman he shared his life with these days. Of course, he knew the things about her that others did as well and during the past few weeks he had begun to get to know her physically in the most intimate way possible, but except for that... He was getting familiar with the body, not the woman that it belonged to.
Until a few days ago, he hadn't even known exactly what she meant to him. They had been nothing but a tenant and a landlady for a very long time, and even when he had returned to London and she had become his accomplice, there hadn't been a moment during which he had thought that there could be only a bit more than that between them.
But no matter how unlikely it seemed, they had become friends when they had begun living together in the small cottage that he had built himself, far away from London and by the sea that the baker had dreamed of. And during the months, so slowly but certainly that he hadn't been aware of it until he was lost already, there had grown something between them, something deep and strong, and they had become lovers. But even when they had crossed that boundary, there seemed to be more between them, something he had realized only very recently.
During a night, one very similar to the current one, it had dawned on him. Their kisses and caresses became more loving and meaningful than they had been already, and the trust and devotion that had grown between them had reached such a level, that it could be compared to only one other situation in his life, that too short period of time that he could hardly remember by now and of which he had been sure that he would never experience it again.
This was the exact reason that he couldn't tell her that she meant as much to him as his Lucy had done so many years ago. But even though he loved Eleanor the same way, he couldn't tell her, not as long as the last piece of his heart that the auburn haired woman hadn't conquered yet still reminded him of his Lucy every once in a while.
He knew that there would be a day that he could tell her, that he would be hers completely. He had learned one thing in life, and it was that you'd better take a chance if you were offered one. But even though he couldn't tell her, he could show her.
Sweeney got out of their bed, missing the warmth of her body immediately and being very aware of her quiet but clearly frustrated moan as he moved away from her.
He picked up a small box that he had hidden in his nightstand earlier that day. He opened it to make sure that the ring he had chosen was still there. He did so with making as little sound as he could; he didn't want to ruin the surprise and most of all, the moment was of such significance that he wanted it to go like he planned it to go. Perhaps it was ridiculous, but to him it did seem easier to ask her the same thing he had only meant to ask Lucy if he did so on his own terms.
The few candles that were burning in the bedroom illuminated the golden ring in the box. Satisfied by this, he placed the open box on the nightstand that stood next to her side of the bed. It would be the first thing that she'd see upon waking.
Even though it meant that he had to wait quite a few hours until she would see the ring and make a decision, Mr. Todd wasn't bothered by this. In fact, he was rather sure that he knew her answer already.
He blew out the candles, covering the large room in darkness. The bedroom was the last part of the cottage that was completed; they had recently created one big room by breaking down the wooden wall that had separated both rooms and had rearranged the furniture.
Sweeney wasn't completely familiar yet with the new interior of the room, but although he had to move back to the bed carefully to prevent himself from bumping into pieces of furniture, he had no trouble finding his way back to the sleeping woman once he was in the bed.
He pulled the blankets over their unclothed bodies and cuddled against her, brushing his lips against her warm skin once more.
Before Sweeney gradually fell asleep, the thought occurred to him once more that even though he didn't know Eleanor very well yet, he was more than eager to get to know her completely. If she would accept the ring that he offered her, and he was rather sure that she would, he had the rest of his life to do so.
As he held his future wife in his arms, Sweeney Todd was for once happy that things had turned out the way they had.
And that was the final chapter of this story! I hope you enjoyed it, if only because I did so much that I'm writing another fic like this one. The new story, which is both a Nellie/Ben and Sweeney/Nellie one, will be called Connected - keep an eye out for it! ;)