A/N: I've been into Sweeney Todd for around half a year now, ever since I got re-obsessed with the musical Assassins. I have a complicated multi-chapter fic in the works, a retelling where the Judge blackmailed Lucy into marrying him and Pirelli moved in with Mrs. Lovett. But I've been writing drabbles in the normal universe for inspiration.
This one is AU in ways that should become clear. It has a couple musical-only clues in it but can be set in either world.
The Untroubled Sleep of the Angels
When he'd first called her "mum" she'd smacked him. Sure, she'd taught him begging. Sure, when she'd realized Johanna was gone from the house and the iron bars and wood carvings had slithered out the doors, letting the policemen slither in, she'd left to stay with him near the docks. But she was no one's mum now.
Still it helped to have someone who polished and sung nursery rhymes to his razor when she took a fellow to the alleyway for a few coins. That kept them from hurting her bad. On cold nights it was nice to have another body to curl up against, even if he imagined she was the witch. Lots of people called her one.
It'd worked out all right for the witch, after all, because the funny familiar man and her got to go up into the clouds with all of London watching, up up up tied to godstrings. She'd gone to see it, even if he hadn't. Good work that day. Lots of coins and a couple blokes.
"Sing me to sleep," was all he asked of her that night. She'd stroked his pretty white hair and they'd sung together until someone threw a bottle at the wall of the alley to shut them up.
"It's alright, lad," she'd said. "When you're ruined they try to get you to go away, it's alright."
You just keep on moving. Because they know they owe you, and eventually you can get enough to make it to the next day. To torment them all the more.