Now I'm seven chapters and 15,000 words into my Sweeney AU, which is titled Music That Nobody Heard. I'm currently a chapter and a half away from "Pretty Women". It's narrated in turn by Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney, and Lucy.
Here is a drabble that I'm not so confident of. It's still interesting enough to post. Anthony has a real way with the ladies, don'tcha think?
The lantern swinging from the mast of the Bountiful is the only witness to the sailor that steals out of the cabin, walks to the rail. The sea is deceptively calm, rocking the ship but a little. The sailor draws his arms around himself and shivers. He wears only his undershirt and pants.
Soon, another joins him. "Come back in," he says, and reaches up to thread fingers in the first sailor's short, blonde hair. "Johanna, I didn't mean it. You'll catch cold, come back in."
Johanna turns away. "I'm Joseph, remember?"
"No one awake to hear us," the sailor says, and kisses her neck.
She starts crying. He takes her in his arms, and at first she pulls away, but then she collapses against him.
He strokes her hair again. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry…"
She presses her palms against his chest. "How could you? That horrid old woman—"
Her voice gets higher and more frantic with each word. "And the things the police report said—"
"What she did to my father—"
"Sshh!" he kisses her. "Not so loud."
She turns away. "And you—to say her name like you…" she turns to him, and gapes at his expression. "Did you?"
He gulps. "It's…I've got to explain."
She takes his wrist and removes his hand from her hair. "You'd better."
"I thought I'd never see you again, my love, I'd looked everywhere. I was about to jump into the Thames. She sat me down, gave me a meal, explained how it wasn't the end of the world. Only she knew I'd find you. So kind, motherly—"
Johanna leaned over the railing, looked up at the few stars that could be seen. "I'll leave when we get to Tibet. Find another ship. It'll be easier to avoid the warrants if we're apart."
He shakes his head. "I won't lose you again. I'm sorry I was stupid and she was there! You know the way I feel about you, that I'd never."
She sighs, turns to go. "We can talk about it later."
"I feel bad, even then I did," he says. "It's you. Johanna, always you. I got you away, didn't I? She was—a witch. Remember that in the papers? No one knew."
He takes off his jacket, puts it over her shoulders. She hugs it to her, shaking.
"For a second there, I thought I'd lost you."
They kiss. "I did too," he whispers. "I thought I'd lost me. But I found me in Fogg's Asylum, waiting."
She grins. "Get inside before you blow our cover, silly."
He nods. "This time it'll only your name. Promise."