HUGE THANKS TO BURTONIZED LADY HELLRAT FOR THE VERY KIND REVIEWS!
NEW CHAPTER! WOOP. SORRY IF IT'S GOING A BIT SLOW.
I swear, this story really does have a point to it. ;D
"Mr Todd! How is it I check 'is temperature again?"
"Oh no... Mr T, 'e's shiverin' again, but the blanket ain't workin'..."
"I swear, if he gets any warmer, he'd be burnin' alive!"
He only thought of Johanna- his little girl, one of the two bright and shining stars in his life. As his landlady rushed around trying to care for the boy, the barber muttered out remedies and tips, to which she sprang to without a moment's hesitation.
He was reminded of Lucy, how she would tend to Johanna 24 hours a day, never sharing the precious little babe. Benjamin would just smile, feeling proud of the motherly instinct that came so naturally to his wife.
Now as he watched Mrs Lovett sprinting around the building in a fit of worry, or rocking the feeble boy in the darker of times, he sat back and observed without much emotional investment to the situation.
He found it funny, seeing all the chaos, stress, and tears that were being played out in front of him. Like a dramatic theatrical play put out just for him.
The boy was sick, that was for sure. Whether Mrs Lovett would be able to nurse him back to full health or not, Sweeney didn't know. He wasn't quite sure he would be too sorry either. Maybe Mrs Lovett would finally understand the undying pain of losing a child.
Maybe she would stop trying to reassure him and cheer him up about things that were not going to be ok. She would understand that some things couldn't be forgotten, or forgiven.
So, despite all the reasons that the barber wanted the boy gone, there was one reason that he needed him to remain.
Surely Mrs Lovett would never care about the barbering lessons again if her boy was always in need. And if he died... Well, she wouldn't have any of the same energy or enthusiasm that he knew too well.
He needed the boy to recover. Or else watch his plans fall to ruin in front of him- something that had happened one too many times.
"Oh, thank goodness! Never thought you'd be able to keep it down. Maybe we're gettin' somewhere?"
Mrs Lovett smiled bigger than she had the past few days. Within about a week, Toby had gone from bad to worse. He refused food, and when she finally managed to catch him when he was half hungry, his stomach tossed it right back up. It wracked the baker horribly, knowing her boy was sick.
Seeing him like this effected everything she did- she was followed by worry where ever she went, dragging her step to a sad and slow waltz. Unless of course she was tending to her boy- in which she was alive with enthusiasm driven not by happiness, but terrible anxiety.
On that day when he finally was able to keep some food, she was showered with relief, and the smallest bit of hope.
"I'm sorry, ma'am. I wish this didn't have to happen."
Toby was seated on the couch in the parlor, wrapped in all the blankets the baker owned.
Most of what made him comfortable was not the blankets, but the guardian he had sitting beside him.
"Love, it ain't your fault for gettin' sick! You don't apologize for things like that!"
She smiled weakly and gently ran her fingers through his hair, knowing from newly granted experience that the feeling relaxed him greatly.
"Ma'am... I kinda gotta tell you somethin', though..."
She nodded, continuing to ruffle his choppy hair. "Go right ahead, dear."
"Wasn't too long ago, ma'am, that I had that arsenic...
And here 'tis now; my head feels numb, and I've never been so sick."
"I gotta tell you ma'am, them two things are connected in a way.
I really hoped I wouldn't have to live out this day-
The day in which I tell you 'bout what I had in mind-
Mrs Lovett studied the boy with the highest curiosity and wonder. What was he talking about? Was she finally going to find out about the arsenic? The vase?
Cause I really hoped this plan was gonna work out jus' fine."
"I hoped I wouldn't have to tell ya, and that you'd end up in bliss- but things haven't gone to plan, and well, my timing's amiss.
"If I'm never to recover, then my secret is this-"
She stopped stroking his hair, her whole body effected by the suspense he was suddenly causing her-
And Sweeney Todd came flying through the door.
Toby gasped, a forceful enough action to send shivers down his spine, sending a wave of chills through his body. Mrs Lovett was slightly upset by the omission of whatever he was going to tell her, but as soon as she saw him unsettled, she forgot about it and tucked the blankets around him as tightly as she could.
She looked up angrily at the barber. "What was it ya had to come down here botherin' us about?"
Sweeney growled. The boy's condition was effecting her mood, as he knew it only would. Or maybe it was because he knew already how defensive she was of Toby.
"Just came to get some gin."
Toby perked up surprisingly at the word. "Oh, but can I have some?"
Mrs Lovett beamed. It was the first time in days that he had willingly asked for food or drink. She didn't know if gin was the best medicine for him at the time, but he had asked for it, and that was a good enough reason for her.
"Go on Mr T, pour 'im some while you're at it."
He poured himself a glass, and then put the bottle away. The baker frowned. "Hey, I asked you for more! At least bring the bottle here!" She felt more frustration at his stubbornness than ever before.
"No. He's yours, not mine." The barber responded with the monotonous voice that irritated the baker beyond words. Especially when it was towards Toby.
She rose from her spot beside Toby on the couch. "Just stay here, love. I'm just going to talk some sense into Mr T." She walked over to him, looking him straight in his empty eyes.
"Pour him another glass. You're makin' me frustrated, Mr T. He's just a boy, and look at 'im! Can't he learn the lessons of life later?"
The barber inhabited a look that the baker found especially hard to read. Then, without another word, he grabbed the gin from the shelf he had shoved it on to, thrust it into the bakers hands, and headed back upstairs.
But before heading out the door, he turned around once-
"Just watch as he goes to the bottom of the pit with the rest of them."
And stalked back up the stairs into his eternal brooding place.
Nellie sighed a heavy sigh, weighed down with all the frustration that the barber had to cause her. She filled up a glass with the gin, and brought it over to the patient child.
"Toby... I'm sorry. Mr Todd, I'm sure he's just havin' a bad day."
"Don't gotta be sorry for things you can't help, ma'am". He gave his best smile, and then reaching for the glass, swigged it down.
Mrs Lovett grinned softly at the sight she once thought wasn't very appropriate for a 13 year old boy. But seeing him get back into his old habits flushed relief through her. She only hoped that things would get better.
Because surely they couldn't get worse?
He wasn't sorry.
He wasn't sorry for what he said, for how his pity for the boy was non existent. He was getting in the way of what Sweeney wanted, and in his mind, if something got in the way, the best way to get rid of it was to get rid of it for good.
But of course that would never do. Mrs Lovett would be distraught. She would never care about anything else.
And he didn't want to wait until she did begin caring again- he was getting rather impatient.
But he had to wait. Wait to see if the boy recovered, if things went back to normal. He had to remember-
All good things come to those who wait.