A/N: I don't own anything but Pirelli's magic teabag!
~The Magic Teabag~
Sweeney had never liked that kettle very much. It was black and rusty and heavy to begin with, and it always whistled, even when it wasn't boiling. Belting Pirelli over the head with it had been the highlight of its life since he'd first borrowed it from Mrs Lovett's kitchen. It was one less item she could bring up and hassle him with.
Now she was rifling through the dead man's pockets.
"Oh well, waste not, want not."
He saw her stuff Pirelli's burgundy coin purse down her corset.
"Oops, almost forgot the other pocket," she hissed, sticking her hand down his left pocket. "Hallo, wot's this then?"
"Throw it away," Sweeney said, wrinkling his nose distastefully at the smelly old teabag dangling from Mrs Lovett's floury fingers.
"Mr T," she lectured, snatching the teabag away and plopping it in the kettle on the stove, "you just gave a man a one way trip to hell, an' now you're gettin' the jitters over one measly teabag? Heaven 'elp me mister I'll never understand you!"
A hissing whistle erupted over the stove.
"I don't like clowns," Sweeney said, grabbing the kettle off the hot plate.
"Wot clowns?" Mrs Lovett followed her dream husband to the door. "Oh, them clowns."
Two powdered red nosed clowns in orange wigs were juggling in the middle of Fleet Street. A sizeable crowd had sprung up.
Sweeney shut the door firmly before the act could fully commence. "Tea, Mrs Lovett," the barber ordered.
Nellie blushed. She'd forgotten the tea. "Wait there," she said in a fluster, yanking the door open and bursting down the stairs. "Forgot the flamin' cups!"
She flew back seconds later with two stone brown mugs in both hands, bounding half-way up the stairs. By the time she'd reached the top, Mrs Lovett was exhausted.
Sweeney held the door halfway open for her and had already snatched a cup and begun to pour the tea. "You drink first," he said maliciously.
It was her idea to use Pirelli's filthy old teabag. He did not relish the thought of drinking putrid tea, but as he'd been reminded at least fifty times that day, they were fresh out of tea.
"Bottoms up." The baker shrugged, shut her eyes and downed the tea. "Strong stuff," she spluttered, wincing and smacking her hand against her chest.
"You don't appear dead," he frowned, unable to decide if that was good or bad.
"No," Mrs Lovett agreed, flopping back in Sweeney's barber chair. "I tell you wot though, Mr T. I'm wiped. Lord knows I wish I had an elevator to climb up all them stairs."
The moment the words left the woman's mouth, an earth-shattering rumble shook Sweeney's barber shop. The mirror fell flat and shattered into tiny pieces on the floor. All Mr Todd's personal items flew off the desk, and barber and baker went sliding across the floorboards toward Sweeney's deadly barber chair.
"The sky's fallin' down!" Mrs Lovett shrieked, flying into the barber's arms and clinging tightly to his leather jacket.
"Bull's wool," Mr T snapped, shoving her aside. He stormed over to the door and nearly ripped it off its hinges. "Mrs Lovett!" he roared.
She staggered outside to the staircase balcony. "Well I'll be…"
They were no longer standing on a staircase. Directly in front of them stood a beautiful old elevator with brass gates and iron fencing sculpted into vine leaves.
"Per'aps we're hallucinatin'," Mrs Lovett suggested.
The barber snorted. "I didn't drink any…"
Their eyes locked in horror.
"The tea!" Sweeney rushed back into the shop and stared at the half-empty kettle for a few moments. "You wished for an elevator," he calculated, "and it came true. Give me the spare cup!" he bellowed.
Mrs Lovett passed it to him silently. "I 'ope you know wot you're doin' love," she sighed.
"Silence." Sweeney poured the rest of the kettle's contents into the cup, and drained the dregs.
The baker watched him anxiously as the liquid worked its way down his throat. He didn't even flinch.
"They used to make us drink sea water back in the colony," Mr Todd explained.
"Now what?" Mrs Lovett said nervously, her eyes dancing full of promise. She already had her next wished planned out, and the wish after that…
"Don't say another word," Sweeney said darkly. He took her in suddenly, grabbed her arm and sat her back into the barber chair roughly. "Or I'll pull the lever, got it?"
She nodded dumbly. Tears leaked from her eyes. She knew what he was going to wish before he even said the words.
The barber closed his eyes, and pursed his lips. "I wish I had Lucy and Johanna back," he whispered, pressing the empty teacup to his chest.
* * *
To be continued...