A/N: So so sorry! Thanks to my reviewers, RubyRosette5, Noodlemantra, Mrs. Sweenett, SweeneyToddRules, Dark Elizabeth Nellie Lovett, the pumpkin king, SecretSparrowTodd, Carla and Violet. You make me happy.
The barber's head was spinning at such a pace that the room was blurring around him. All this time, he'd been trying to find his Ella and all the while she'd been just a flight of stairs away.
'Of course!' thought the barber. Now it all made sense. Why she'd been so kind to him, helped him, even ground up his victims for him and cooked them into her meat pies! She had been his best friend all along. He then realised that she had already told him.
I'm your friend too, Mr. Todd,
If you only knew, Mr. Todd,
Ooh, Mr. Todd, you're warm in my hand.
You've come home,
Always had a fondness for you.
The baker's words echoed through his ears, almost as if they were mocking him for being so stupid. He felt such a fool! Any man could have noticed, but he had started far away and dismissed what was right in front of his eyes. He made to leave quietly from the room to contemplate further, but tripped over the edge of a large throw and brought the contents of the chair it was laying on crashing to the floor, waking the baker abruptly from her sleep.
"Mr. T!" she cried, pulling the covers further up around her in an attempt to retain her modesty and composure. Neither worked, as Sweeney came tearing back across the room towards her. 'Oh no!' her mind screamed. 'He's going to kill me!' But she was surprised when he took a seat in the chair beside her bed, took her hand in his and met her gaze confidently.
"Hello, Ella." he stated simply, a slight smile creeping onto his face. Nellie let out a gasp, the hand not clasped by Sweeney flying to her mouth.
"How did you find out? How...?"
"The necklace." he answered, his hand instinctively going to the silver hanging around her pale neck.
"Of course the necklace." she sighed, her head drifting backwards to rest on the headboard, her eyes closing in anguish. Suddenly, they snapped open again, as if she was terrified to let the barber out of her sight. Suddenly, she sighed, her eyes filling with tears.
"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" she whispered, tears streaking down her pale cheeks. Sweeney was about to reply that she was a liar, that of course he would. They all deserved to die, after all. But then another thought struck him. Did she?
"No." The answer shocked him as he spoke it, but barely even a small percentage of the shock the baker wore on her face.
"Why not?" she asked, plainly confused by the barber's sudden mercy.
"Because you are my Ella. I would never harm you. I am so sorry that I wasn't there for you, El. I tried to help you, but I couldn't. I'm so sorry."
"It's alright, Sweeney, I accept that. I can't say that I quite understand, but I do accept it. Thank you."
"That's alright, Nell. I'll see you tomorrow morning, alright?"
"Um, Sweeney?" asked the woman, looking towards her old friend with slowly tearing eyes.
"Yes, Nellie?" he replied.
"Will you stay here with me tonight? It'll be worse if I'm alone." she confessed, her cheeks colouring slightly at the shame of asking a grown man to stay by her side so that her nightmares would not occur. Nevertheless, he pulled back the covers of the bed and slipped under them alongside his old friend. Subconciously, he wrapped his arms around the shaking woman and brought her head down to his chest. She smiled a little and soon she was peacefully fast asleep. Sweeney smiled as he watched the woman he had come to know so well sleep so peacefully. It was strangely conforting to him, he noticed, watching her sleep.
Maybe Benjamin wasn't so long gone after all.
A/N: I am so sorry that I've taken so long, I've had loads of homework and a couple of controlled assessments, so I've been snowed under really. Please review, you're all brilliant.