Welcome back, guys. ;)
Mr. Todd was awoken to the feeling of a hand on both his shoulder, and the crook of his arm. He was being shook. Without a single sound escaping his lips, he opened his eyes to see morning light leaking in from the window.
Johanna's yellow hair shined gold in the... Wait a second... Johanna?
His heart starting in his chest, he jumped backwards. It was unknown to him that he had practically squished Toby in the process of this, until he heard a groan from behind his back.
Johanna stood by the window, and upon hearing this, she turned to face Sweeney. "What's...?"
"Lad," The barber in question was trying to revive a winded Toby. "Are you alright?"
Toby hid his smirk well. "I... think I'm dying."
"Are you?" Any concern Sweeney had before for the situation was evidently lost. Dry humor replaced it. "Why did I even bother asking then?"
Toby sat up straight, grinning. "'Cause you'd never be able to live with yourself if you didn't."
Mr. Todd smiled lightly and ruffled the boy's hair. He looked up at Johanna, who was still peering at them with now a delicate smile of her own, turning on the spot as the hem of her nightgown swished around her ankles. When his humored eyes reached her's, she averted her gaze to continue staring out through the bright window that lit up the practically barren room.
In an instant, her schedule for the day was made out.
"I'm going to the hospital."
"Why?" Sweeney - now ignoring Toby - bolted to his feet. "Are you well?"
"I'm very well," Johanna responded, looking rather surprised at his immediate concern. "Do you not remember? Anthony's in. I need to go visit him. It is what I've been doing over the past few days."
Toby was still sitting, his fingers drumming the sofa cushion. "Why can't we go with you?"
Johanna's eyebrows rose thoughtfully as she crossed her arms over her chest. "You can, if you'd like." She looked up at Sweeney, her reluctant, twitching smile returning to her palid face. "Mr. Todd?"
Slowly, Sweeney nodded, and Toby jumped up from his seat with a smile.
With that, Johanna walked out of the room, talking over her shoulder as she went. "I'll only be a couple of moments. I need to change."
The barber staggered over to the window, staring after his daughter with a look akin to nothing short of sadness. It was enough to make Toby follow him, his usually challenging eyes now soft with sympathy.
"Mum would advise you to tell 'er in your own time," he stated, breaking the older man from his thoughts.
Sweeney idly glanced out the window, away from the boy. "Mrs. Lovett would say somethin' like that, wouldn't she?" It wasn't much of a question. Just a remark.
"Did she know Johanna at all?" Toby asked, curious.
"Yes," Mr. Todd replied, bitter. "I suppose you could say we were something of a sort of family." He didn't sound happy about this in the least.
"Oh." Toby leaned against the window pane, thinking. It surprised him to realize how involved their lives were; When Mrs. Lovett took him in, he only knew Mr. Todd as the bad tempered barber upstairs. Maybe he was, no matter the way you look at it. But regardless, the baker became like a mother to him. At one time, she was also a form of a mother to Johanna, whom Mr. Todd fathered for real at one point.
Toby never thought his life could intertwine with someone else's quite like that before, and he found it just the slightest bit miserable that it took so long for him to find out.
Asking his adoptive Mum more questions was the one thing he wished he could've done. Preferably about her history with Sweeney, and his family.
When Johanna came walking back in, she was in one of her older dresses. One of which she'd wear when she perched by her window day after day, trapped in Turpin's manor. She was fixing her yellow hair as she approached, her head dipped toward the floor as she did so. It was unknown to her how close she came seconds before she bumped right into the barber in front of her, who, in turn, looked startled at her abrupt appearance; He had focused for too long and hard outside the window, whilst Toby was watching the entire ordeal between them both with a highly amused look on his face.
She gasped, instinctively jumping back and clutching the boy in question's arm for support. With a brash grin, he shook her off of him, knowing all too well that there was no current threat in the household that she needed to be afraid of.
Instead of apologizing as her common sense was inwardly urging her to do, Johanna straightened up where she stood and finished fixing her hair the way she liked. She looked back up at the two, offering a polite smile to break the tension. "How would you say I look?"
"Like somethin' my friends in the workhouse would call a 'looker'," Toby responded smoothly, still grinning.
Despite the fact that Johanna chuckled at the young lad's humor, Sweeney wrinkled his nose and shot out a hand, shoving the eleven-year-old wise guy back by the shoulder. He then turned to face his daughter, eyeing her.
"I..." Johanna suddenly didn't feel very comfortable under his gaze. "I-I don't suppose you know what it is about me that Antony finds so..."
"Beautiful?" Mr. Todd prompted, arching a brow.
Squinting at her familiar face now, Sweeney lifted a single hand to smooth out the hair elegantly resting over her shoulder, ignoring her discomforted flinch in response.
"He doesn't deserve you."
Luke ran from alleyway entrance to alleyway entrance, peering in through the dim, narrow path that made it abnormally hard to decipher where the end of it was. When what he wanted to see finally caught his eye, he bounded in, no trace of hesitance to his gait.
"M'tellin' you," came Cory's confused voice. "'E just... stormed away."
"Who?" Luke chimed in, recongnizing his cousin's friend in a heartbeat.
Cory and the two other boys he was speaking to stood from the crates they were lounging upon against the brick wall, their fists clenched. When Cory saw who it was, he beamed.
"Luke! Why didn't you tell us y'were coming?"
"Patrick hasn't by now?" Luke muttered, walking up to shove the youngest boy away from the crate to steal his seat, no regret in his eyes afterwards.
"Pat's been rapped up in a ruddy new world of 'is own," Cory grumbled.
"Smitten with a bloody girl, m'sure."
"Shit," Luke slapped his forehead. "This will do no good."
"Why've you come, Luke?" Cory tilted his head. "Is something the matter?"
"A madman is on the loose," Luke replied, leaning in to speak nose-to-nose with the younger boy. "After me, no doubt. Patrick needs to snap outta it, if 'e's too far gone already."
"I'll try to get through to 'im, Luke," Cory promised, bitter, not looking at all very shocked by the older boy's news.
"I'm choosing to go with, Cory," Luke interjected. "No one can get through to him better than I. Right?"
"Right," Cory's voice faltered, glancing down at his lap awkwardly.
Luke sneered at him. "And what's the matter with you, Cory?"
"Nothing." Cory glared up at him, anger and worry two things apparent in his eyes.
"M-Mr... Todd? Mr. Todd!"
Toby jumped aside as a limping Anthony Hope rushed across the room to gawk in front of the barber. The sailor boy was more smartly dressed now; Obviously well enough to walk around the room. Clearly well enough to rap Sweeney up in a very unmasculine hug that even made Johanna cringe.
Grimacing, the Demon Barber broke free of Mr. Hope's grip - which was, really, impressively strong - and crossly sized up his son-in-law-to-be as he grudgingly straightened his vest; a recent habit of his.
Not noticing Mr. Todd's angry eyes on him, Anthony moved behind him to kiss Johanna, to which any whom knew Sweeney Todd well enough would be grateful to see his back was turned.
"This place looks boring," Toby remarked, having already gone from one side of Antony's bed to the other, twice.
"I'd encourage you never to injure yourself, then," Sweeney said plainly, stalking over to the window to look outside.
"It isn't all that bad," Anthony crossed the room and sat down on the mattress. "They told me I could walk about to my leasure. I even left the room, last night."
Johanna looked startled at this notion. "Why?"
"I saw a shadow outside," he shuddered. "Thought someone was breaking in."
Sweeney snorted, both in humor and scorning.
Johanna briefly looked over her shoulder at the man, a faint glare present. "It could happen, Mr. Todd." She looked back to Anthony, concerned. "Patrick told me there's plenty of dangers in Plymouth. I'll never believe it's anything compared to London."
"Fleet Street, preferably?" Sweeney grunted.
"Patrick?" Anthony broke in, inquiring. "Who is Patrick?"
"Oh," Johanna sighed, massaging her forehead with a hand. "An acquaintance of mine, s'all. Been keeping me company over the past few days, bless him."
"You've never spoken of him," Anthony stated, nonplussed.
"There was no need to," she soothed, brushing his long hair away from his palid face.
An awkward silence fell over the room, only broken by a loud thud which was caused from Toby knocking a book off the side table on accident.
"Come away from the bed," Sweeney grumbled, yanking the lad back by the shirt sleeve.
"Did they tell you when you'll be fit to leave, Antony?" Johanna asked softly, both her delicate hands on his left shoulder as she stood in front of his stooped figure.
"I will ask," Anthony replied, not quite looking at her this time around, but rather at the wall that the bed was leaned against, his eyes distant.
Sweeney eyed him; Was it just him, or was Anthony acting a touch out of character in comparison to moments before?
Though it practically mauled him on the inside, he stepped up beside Johanna, disgarding Toby behind him, to gently say, "May we have a word with him?"
Johanna blinked, then nodded, her brows pulled together. Mr. Todd could see the present suspicion in her eyes. Toby sheepishly shrugged in the barber's direction and grabbed Johanna's right hand, walking out of the room with her.
"Why are you not looking at that girl when she speaks to you?" Sweeney demanded scathingly, rounding on Anthony.
Honestly, what was he to expect from a nineteen-year-old sailor boy? Disinterest in a girl days after showing any interest in her in the first place?
Lamely, Anthony glanced up at Mr. Todd, not looking as fazed as usual by the barber's outburst seconds after Johanna and Toby walked out of earshot. "She never spoke of..."
"Patrick?" Sweeney prompted, brash.
"Why should she?"
With a pained grunt, Anthony stood up from the bed, standing a few inches taller than the barber. "We're to be married, Mr. Todd."
"Are you suggesting she's frivoling about with others behind your back?"
"I am saying no such thing!" Anthony exclaimed, sounding a little more like himself now as his voice heightened in pitch, his face exasperated. He leaned against the wall behind him with a sigh. "I am merely trying to figure why she can't tell me, is all, when everyone else seems to know very well."
Sweeney had no immediate reply to that. He shifted back, realizing just how close he had gotten in the process of yelling at the young man. This was all very different to hear Anthony speak in such a descriptive way that expressed so much dislike for something. Especially something that Johanna was doing.
"She would never," he murmured softly.
"What?" Anthony looked to him again.
"She would never want to be with anyone else, but you," Sweeney said more clearly, his words slow. Surprisingly, it didn't irk him to say it as much as he thought it would.
Anthony weakly smiled at him. He sat back down on the spot, staring down at his feet. "Something else confuses me more than that, Mr. Todd."
"And what is that?"
"Why you seem to care so much for us," Antony replied, curiously thoughtful now.
I don't. Sweeney bit back that hard reply. He allowed an audible breath as he patted the sailor on the shoulder. "You saved my life, Antony."
"Maybe I... wasn't clear enough." Anthony's head lifted a bit, still not looking directly at the barber. "You speak of Johanna as though you're responsible for what she does. Nearly how you seem to treat Toby."
Sweeney released a huff, bitter. "The way I treat Toby is nothing like the way I treat Johanna."
"Maybe not." Anthony finally looked up to meet his eyes now, his own narrowed a little. "But..."
Mr. Todd took advantage of the pause. "Has she ever spoken of her parents to you, Antony?"
Anthony blinked. "She... mentioned how she never met them."
"Ah." Sweeney averted his dark orbs to the window, sternly gazing at the cobblestone street beyond it. Before he could say anything else, Toby stuck his head into the room.
"Mr. Todd? What's keeping you?"
Sweeney and Anthony exchanged a look.
They'd discuss it soon. Not right then and there, but soon.
When I started this chapter, I didn't expect as much mild Sweeney/Anthony bonding as I actually put in. o.o Made me realize that they could've actually had a pretty valuable conversation with one another in the movie if they'd've just sat down and shot the shit. xD
I'd like to tell you to expect the next chapter sooner, but at this rate, I'm just not sure how soon. :/ The end of the year is my deadline. I'm definitely trying to end it before then. This story isn't going to be as long as DI. Just know that. Lol.
Review, if you will!