A/N: The Final Chapter, at long last! I've had to give up my tea obsession, ahem, but hopefully you all won't. Happy reading!
EminentlyPractical: Don't worry, your Lucy-bashing is safe with me. I haven't really come across a Swucy worshipper in a while. So Lucy Bamford is very fitting =D Wow, I certainly feel loved now that I'm being stalked like Sweeney (he he, kidding, but it's great to know!) By the time you read this you'll have another chapter of the Promise Price sitting in front of you, so nothing to worry about there ;) Even though this story ends, I have about two others in my head that will be uploaded in the weeks to come. Thanks for reading ;)
It'sOnlyForever.x: Sigh, what should we do with Mrs Lovett? Tie her up, and make her watch dozens of cheesy Hollywood films on how to win a guy? No, that'll probably have the reverse effect....=D
linalove: Yep and Mr T is going to have another temper tantrum, poor thing! ;) Thanks for reading!
SakuraKatana: You're not repeating yourself, but somehow I probably have/am. The jabberwocky part scared me! I'd like to watch it again or buy it to watch the Red Queen's scenes. Um!
AngelofDarkness1605: Suitcase hunting, what fun! (I am being genuine there - I LOVE suitcases, if only for what they represent. Change. Excitement. I'll stop babbling now.) Thanks for taking the crazy story ride with me, as always. The storm has cleared, so I'm off for my walk.
F8WUZL8: I did the Judge-is-dead rhyme. Yes I do ;) Thankfully, Sweeney gets a dose of his own medicine for threatening to throw our beloved Mrs Lovett in the crazy house. Enjoy!
~Mrs Lovett's Un-wish~
"When you think about it," Mrs Lovett reasoned, as she observed her beloved Mr Todd pace up and down the brightly light quarter of Fleet Street, "wishes are a lot like dreams. That is ter say, I always dreamed we wos married in me dreams, and now we is, so therefore the conclusion I ought ter make is that we is both dreamin', wouldn't you agree, Mr T?"
To which Mr Todd replied darkly: "I never dream, Mrs Lovett."
"Well," the daft woman chatted on about doilies and tea-cups and rose-scented table clothes while they went to the butcher's to pick a pound of beef. "Make that two pounds o' beef," she said nodding to the butcher, "since Judge Bamford looks to 'ave quite an appetite. She was quite pleased to discover that she was about five kilos thinner as her young self, with bright, plump lips, dancing eyes and a lovely striped pink outfit.
"Stop admiring yourself in the mirror, Mrs Barker," he said chokingly, while the butcher smiled on. He leant into the baker's ear, and whispered: "we have a murder to hatch."
Five minutes later, the handsome young couple returned arm-in-arm to their stately house on the corner of Fleet Street. Fortunately, no one else on Fleet Street could guess the evil going on upstairs in young Benjamin's head (or rather, Sweeney's head in Benjamin's body, as Mrs Lovett had sharply corrected him). If they had, they would have turned rapidly from the calm, contended mask of Ben's gleaming youthful face, and headed straight for the hills.
"I'll throttle him with my bare hands," said Sweeney, yanking the doorknob clean off their house.
"Sweeney, love, if we wanted ter kill 'im, I could just poison his stew. Why go ter all the trouble o' gettin' yer 'ands dirty?"
"Because it makes me feel alive!" he shrieked back at her, losing it for the first time in public.
Before he could go on about the satisfaction gained from slicing open Bamford's innards with any sharp implement he could get his hands on, the imposing entrance doors to the Judge's house opened, and there stood the very man, squat and grinning like an over-fed rat, arms open wide in what could only be interpreted as mock-generosity.
"Come in, neighbours, friends, companions!"
Mrs Lovett lifted a brow, and swiftly corrected it, remembering that she was supposed to embody a woman who was young, coquettish, and significantly less street-wise. "Thank you Mr Bamford," she smiled prettily, dangling the bag of wafting (but as yet uncooked) meat in his general direction.
"Have the servant collect it," Bamford said with his nose upturned, passing an appraising look up and down and around young Eleanor Lovett.
In some men, Sweeney realised with a barely repressed sneer, behaviour, as well as looks, rarely alters. "I'll wish him out of his perversion and gluttony," he whispered to Mrs Lovett.
Telling the truth is very often useless to very few and damaging to a great deal, so his newly wedded wife decided not to remind him that he had used up all his wishes. She did have one final wish left, but he was too absorbed in attempting to burn Bamford to ashes with one withering glance to consider the very reason they were in this pickle in the first place. "Curse magic teabags," Mrs Lovett tutted to herself, "they never bring you wot you want – not proper-like. If this was a good wish, or a good dream, Lucy would be dead."
And in the fashion of all good nightmares, Lucy Bamford was indeed, quite alive. "I'm expecting," was the first thing that popped out of Bamford's better half when they were all seated at the table, poking at smoked salmon and turkey breast and lamb cutlets and whatever other animals the voracious Bamford had sacrificed for his, ahem, their dinner.
"Wot you gonna call it then," Nellie said distastefully, "Beadle?"
"Geoffrey Thomas Archibald," Lucy replied seriously, placing a hand over her swollen stomach.
Sweeney leapt to his feet. "That," he said, pointing to her stomach, "is an abomination. It will grow up to be the spawn of the earth, and eat and snort itself into an early grave, just like its father. You should have married me. I wish you would marry me," he finished, hoping the magic teabag would do its magic.
She blinked, and did the first thing natural to an expectant mother. Mrs Bamford threw back her seat, and dove under the table for protection.
"I wasn't expecting this," said Bamford, and instinctively reached for his snuff box filled with the comforting white powder he was accustomed to sniffing in crisis, as well as dinner times, lunch times, and morning and before-bed-times.
"I wish," Mrs Lovett said, squeezing her eyes shut tight, "to un-wish all the wishes we ever made until this wish so that we'll be back in the year 1846, when Judge Turpin is still alive an' kicking, but after Signor Pirelli kicked the bucket, so ter speak, an' that forever more everyone I ever come across 'as ter do as I say, if I decide ter boss 'em around, especially Mr T, because he has an awful temper mind, an' although he won't like it at first, I'm sure that eventually when push comes ter shove he'll come round an' find it in 'is heart ter love me, since of course Lucy will still be the ole beggar woman, and Judge Turpin accidentally takes a trip down that Elevator to Hell, and Bamford the disgustin' grot he's always been, an' –"
Sweeney was for once so completely flabbergasted that he couldn't speak a word. He was flummoxed with rage. How was it that a woman as infuriatingly ignorant as Mrs Lovett could make a wish so utterly perfect as to be, well, perfect?
The trick, it seemed, was to not take a breath the entire time you made the wish. It was unfair – Mrs Lovett had scarcely taken a breath since he had returned from the colony. Except, that is, to sing.
The barber did the only thing he was able in the present situation. He picked the nearest hot cross bun from the dinner table, and lobbed it toward her open mouth. "Put a sock in it!"
"I shall be seeing you two out," said Bamford coldly, nodding to two henchmen lurking in the corridor.
"No need," shouted the baker over the loud gust that had suddenly blown through the library door and shook the entire foundations of the dining room.
"It's an earthquake!" shrieked Lucy, holding onto the ends of the table.
"Is that all you 'ave ter say, you silly woman?" Mrs Lovett scolded the blonde woman, unable to comprehend that she wouldn't at least have attempted to make eyes at Benjamin Barker from across the table.
"It's the wish!" Sweeney bellowed, as the wind tore everything to darkness, and clouded their vision.
They were back.
Back in oblivion. Back in hell.
"Back in paradise," Mrs Lovett said dreamily, turning circles round her familiar shop. "What a nice, cosy place it'll be ter live, when you've fixed it up."
"Me?" Sweeney went to seize her wrists, white with rage. He had only ever asked for happiness, not for this circus-parade of trick after hopeless trick! He picked up a spare pair of red-and-pick sock folded on the kitchen table, and flung them across the room. The socks collided with the cabinet, causing half the china plates to shatter to the ground.
"Don't you look at me like that, Mr T," she scolded warningly. "It ain't my fault I figured out the perfect wish. Now, while you're at it, you can pick up my socks. Over there, that's it. In the corner. And then get the broom, an' sweep up the mess you just made. Careless git. And while you're up, my dearest love, 'ow about you fetch me a cup of tea. Easy does it."
Sweeney Todd, the once fierce barber of Fleet Street, had no choice but to oblige.