A/N: Yes, you read right; this really is a Sweeney Todd fanfic. I have only found ONE other fanfic about this musical anywhere on the internet, which makes me sad, because it is SUCH a great musical. I don't see why it doesn't have more fans, other than the fact that most people haven't heard of it. Anyway, this is for all of you who HAVE heard of it. Please, read and REVIEW! *pleads*

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Mrs. Nellie Lovett had forced back tears as she bolted the door to the baking house, locking poor young Toby inside. There was no time to think about what she was doing; Beadle Bamford was upstairs in the shop, and she was always careful to put business before anything else. With her lightning wit and persuasive tongue, she had talked the Beadle into going up to the second story with Mr. Todd to have a quick shave before he went to inspect the baking house.

Even now, the Beadle was upstairs, moments away from death as she tried desperately to drown out Toby's screams of terror with music from the harmonium and her vocal chords. Once again, hot tears stung painfully at her eyes as she thought of the boy, who had only minutes earlier rested his tousled head in her lap and told her that he would never let anyone harm her. She loved the way he always smiled that simple smile at her and referred to her as "mum"; it comforted her to know that someone cared about her that much. She had always wanted to be a mother, and, once upon a time, she might have made a very good one.

But that was long before the ways of the world had made themselves known to her and turned her into what she was now. A single, burning tear spilled down her cheek as she blindly continued to pound out chords on the harmonium, and she sang automatically, her thoughts anywhere but the song.

"Sweet Polly Plunkett lay in the grass, turned her eyes heavenward, sighing, "I am a lass who alas loves a lad who alas has a lass in Canterbury..."

The words seemed to mock her; she had once been a sweet, innocent girl. Pleasant parents, a moderately comfortable life....and those summers by the sea, the sea that she still longed for. Both her parents had died in a carriage accident when she was sixteen, the first major loss the pretty young red head experienced. She met and married a young butcher when she was seventeen, and although he wasn't very handsome, he was a good man, and good at what he did. He had taken her to London where he had opened up a shop, and for five years, they had lived and worked together in the moderately successful business.

Then, he had died. Murdered on the street for the pence in his pocket, leaving Nellie utterly alone in the world. Her rich aunt and uncle had passed away two years earlier, and she had no other relatives, not even any friends to turn to. A widow at twenty-two, she was forced to rent out the upstairs room, mostly to young sailors who were just passing through, and she had to lock her bedroom door at night just to keep the drunken men out.

A year after her husband's death, the Barker's had moved in. They were a handsome couple with a beautiful baby daughter, but Nellie took no notice of the baby or it's mother. Her eyes only saw Benjamin Barker, and the handsome young barber seemed to be the answer to all her prayers. He was everything she had ever dreamed of, and more. When he was exiled on that trumped-up charge, she had wept even more bitterly than the heartbroken Lucy, although she shed her tears in secret.

Fifteen years later, he had returned to her, and at first she had been overjoyed. Her white knight had finally returned, and after she informed him of his daughter's adoption and his wife's suicide, she was certain he would carry her away to the sea as he had done so often in her dreams. It took some time for him to warm to her, but before long, she knew that, even if he wasn't quite in love with her, he had at least grown a certain fondness for her. She could see it in the way he sometimes looked at her curvy figure, the way he half-smiled when she pressed up against him "accidently" as they passed on the narrow stairwell. If she could only distract him from his vengeful plot to murder the Judge, surely he would see how devoted she was to him!

It was with that train of thought, along with her enterprising, shrewd mind, that she had made the suggestion of "improving" the pies. It was a revolting concept, she knew, but it had the potential to distract him while bringnig in business at the same time. How could she resist the temptation? He had been delighted, much to her own delight, and he had kissed her lips and called her a genius. In his excitement, he had taken her to bed, and with each fervent kiss upon her neck, she could feel her plans of the future blossoming. Her future with him.

But he was gone when the morning came, and after that, he seldom left his work. Oh, there were those nights when they sat in the parlor, counting out money, when he half-listened to her dreams and plans, and he allowed her to kiss him, but the passion was gone from his lips. Customers kept coming, hers to eat and his to be eaten. She had started a cycle of murders that she was powerless to stop --

Her thoughts were broklen as she suddenly heard Toby scream "Mrs. Lovett!!" from downstairs; the Beadle must have gone down the shoot. Another tear dropped unbidden from her eye as she thought of the innocent boy she had brought into the cycle. Sweet, simple Tobias, as devoted to her as she was to Mr. Todd. Her hands stopped moving on the harmonium, dropping to rest limply in her lap, and she heard no more screams coming from the baking house.

In the stillness, she could hear Mr. Todd whistling upstairs as he cleaned and sharpened his bloodied razor. Ah, yes, he should be happy; the first of the two murders he had set out to do was complete. Wiping her hands across her cheeks to remove any trace of tears, Mrs. Lovett stood up, smiling grimly. There would be Beadle on the menu tomorrow