Okay… this idea is drastically overdone, but I wanted to anyway, so off we go. This is my first Sweeney Todd fanfiction and the second one I've done for a movie (I mainly write anime fanfics). But I am totally obsessed with Sweeney Todd and I was always just SO UPSET that he and Mrs. Lovett didn't get together in the end and go live by the sea like she wanted. I understand the whole symbolic aspect to it – like, he finally had his revenge and therefore was totally hollow, so his character kind of needed to die and all that jazz, but COME ON.
So, take a guess at how this is going to end.
"Toby, love, wake up!" Mrs. Lovett called from the kitchen as she dropped a scone onto a plate dusted with flour. Everything in her kitchen was dusted with flour. As she blew it off the top of the plate, she heard the boy call faintly that he'd be out in a moment.
She sighed an briefly held her head, pressing against her left temple as she tried to relieve the throbbing headache that had been plaguing her for the past two days and had grown considerably worse as of this morning. She hadn't been feeling quite up to par for the last few days now, but with all the work to be done she didn't dare take a moment's rest. Especially now that Mr. Todd's business was, much like her own, thriving. He would send on average, two of what Mrs. Lovett called "fresh supplies" a day, come down from the chute linking his barber shop to her bake house.
Toby stumbled into the kitchen, his hair askew the way he'd slept on it and his vest unbuttoned. "Morning, Mum," he said groggily amidst an enormous yawn.
Mrs. Lovett smiled affectionately at him. A godsend, that boy was. If he wasn't around to help her during the evenings, when her business was at its best, her bones surely would have dropped by now. "Morning, dear. Now, come on over here, you get yourself some breakfast. Lots to do today," she said breathily, arranging day-old blueberries from the market onto the plate next to the scone. "Hopeless, that man is," she said half-heartedly, casting her gaze towards the ceiling. She could never bring herself to fully criticize Mr. Todd. " I reckon Mr. T wouldn't eat a thing at all if I wasn't 'round to bring 'im his meals mornin', noon, and night." She pulled two cups from the shelf below the counter and passed one to Toby. His fingers brushed against hers as he took it.
Toby paused. "You're awful hot, Mum," he observed, looking slightly worried. He worried too much about her, Mrs. Lovett always said. "You feelin' alright?"
"It's fine, dear. Nothin' to be done, what with all the work to do 'round here." So it wasn't all in her head, like she'd thought. She did have a fever after all. She poured water from a jug into the cup she'd held onto and plopped it down on a tray next to the plate. A cloud of flour swirled into the air and she waved her hand through it. "All right, I've got to go get breakfast to Mr. T," she sighed. "For heaven's sake, dear, keep out o' the gin this mornin'."
"Right, Mum," Toby replied, seating himself and tucking into the scone like he hadn't seen food in days. The boy always ate like each meal was his last. And, Mrs. Lovett had to remind herself constantly, what with Mr. Todd and his business, each might very well be.
She picked up the tray and felt a tremble rack her body. The room spun. She let out a gasp and steadied herself.
"I'm quite alright, Toby, dear," she breathed. The room was still spinning. Her head was pounding violently. "Just a bit tired, is all." But it was more than that. Of course it was more than that. The headache was boring into her skull, making even her eyes hurt. She could feel the fever raging in her blood, spreading through her limbs like a poison. And she was tired. She felt weak enough to keel over.
But she couldn't rest. Mr. T would be sending fresh supplies down the chute soon as he began receiving customers. She had pies to make. Her business, suddenly popular, would have to be run. There were people in and out all day, soon as she turned the sign that read open over in her window. She had laundry to do. The blood in Mr. T's shirts would set something horrible if she didn't was them soon as he got them to her. She was the only one who could do any of that. Who else could?
She pushed open her front door and was inundated by the sheer noise in the square. All the hustle and bustle around her sent an explosion of pain from the unreachable center of her head to every corner of her skull. Her vision went blurry. Her knees buckling, she heard the sound of the tray clatter to the pavement and Toby's brief cry of shock before the sidewalk rose up to meet her, or maybe that was just her rapid descent to the ground, but she felt the impact brutally nonetheless and blacked out.
"Mum!" Toby yelped. She certainly hadn't looked her best this morning, but he'd never imagined she'd collapse like that. He clambered out from behind the table, rushing to Mrs. Lovett's side. "Mum?! Are you alright?! Mum?!" He tried tapping her shoulder and then lightly shaking her, but neither worked. She wasn't waking up. He attempted lifting her himself, but his scrawny arms couldn't hold her. He set her arms down gently, folding on over her chest, and thought for a horrible instant that she may be dead. Just as panic was beginning to settle, her body trembled, and he realized that while she wasn't dead, her condition may worsen if he didn't do something, and fast.
Frantic, he leapt over her limp body and thundered up the wooden steps that led to Mr. Todd's barber shop, taking them two at a time. "Mr. Todd!" he cried out urgently, bursting through the shop in a frenzy. "Mr. Todd!"
Sweeney Todd sat in his barber chair after an almost entirely sleepless night, per usual. He could never find ease in sleep, when nightmares of his Lucy plagued him and revenge was hot on his mind. He twirled a straight razor in his fingers, watching it glisten in the dim, hazy light of early London, his lucky friend in particular. He'd already sharpened his blades to perfection, and had only to wait for customers to arrive.
He glanced away from his blade and looked dangerously at Toby. The child was a regular nuisance to him, barely redeeming himself by running the occasional errand, and had interrupted Mr. Todd in the midst of plotting his revenge. "What, boy?"
"Mrs. Lovett – She's fallen down – unconscious – I can't lift her –!" Toby choked out, unable to form a coherent thought.
"Calm down, lad," Mr. Todd said, lifting himself out of his chair. He kept the blade in his hand, unfolded. He was in a particularly bad mood, brooding away on the judge, and how he would have welcomed slitting the boy's throat. He would have done it long ago, had Mrs. Lovett not favored the child so.
"It's Mrs. Lovett, Sir!" Toby gasped, finally clutching onto a complete sentence. "She's collapsed at the base of the stairs when she was comin' up to bring your breakfast and she looks bad and I can't lift her on me own! Please, Sir!" he begged. "She's burnin' up somethin' awful and I think she may be really ill!"
"No need to panic, boy," Mr. Todd said gruffly, folding the blade and sheathing it. It would not be seeing blood this morning, evidently. He thrust open the door, the bell jingling merrily, an ironic, irritating little noise. "Come on." He let the boy out first and shut the door behind them, following Toby down the stairs at a casual pace, though the boy leapt down them several at a time, nearly toppling down the stairs on one occasion. Mrs. Lovett lay unconscious at the base of the steps, and a curious crowd of bystanders had gathered to gawk at the unconscious woman. Mr. T growled in his throat. He despised the way people derived entertainment from something as unfortunate as this; an ill woman, laying unmoving. Truly the vermin of the world.
"Move aside," Sweeney said, waving the crowd away. Some departed; others remained. Those that stayed to witness the rest moved back enough for Mr. Todd to step down to the sidewalk and kneel down on one knee next to Mrs. Lovett.. He placed a hand on her pale shoulder an frowned. She was much too warm for the cool morning air. Sighing heavily, he rolled her body into him and slid his hands beneath her back and under her knees, lifting her up off the ground. She hung limp in his arms. "Fool of a woman," he muttered, carrying her into the shop and through the kitchen, back towards her bedroom.
He went in and set her down on her bed before turning to Toby, who had followed him to the door but had not proceeded into the room after him. "Don't just stand there, boy," he said, looking at Toby like the boy was daft. "Bring cold water and some clean rags, quickly."
Toby scurried off at once, glad for two reasons. He'd be of some help to his surrogate mother, for one, and he'd be out of Mr. Todd's sight for a while. The barber made him nervous.
Mr. Todd returned his attention to Mrs. Lovett. Slightly hesitant, he placed his hand over her forehead and withdrew it nearly immediately. She wasn't merely warm, she was burning up. Sweeney grit his teeth and hissed, "Damn it." If the woman who covered up his murders was out of commission, his slitting throats was being put on hold.
Sweeney slowly pulled a straight razor, his faithful friend, from its sheath, contemplating the idea slowly gaining merit in his mind. Long ago, as an apprentice, he'd learned skills other than the skills that dealt with hair. Things like crude dentistry… things like bleeding fevers. In recent years, that job had fallen primarily to doctors, to surgeons, of course, but he could do it. He could bleed her himself, if he really wanted to. He had a deadly deftness about him, when he held a razor, this was true; but he knew very well he could restrain himself. Countless times, he had let men go from his shop, men he knew would be missed, men he had not killed. It would be easy, surely, to draw the blade across her wrists, her shoulders, to elicit blood from the incisions. It would be easy to bleed her himself.
Something in his chest, a fierce desire, flared as he flicked open the razor, hearing the lovely metallic shink of silver. He imagined drawing it in a line across her pale skin, the crimson blood seeping out of the slits and dripping down her arms, dribbling down her fingers… how lovely it would be to watch the scarlet blood gushing from her pallid, slender neck…
Sweeney gasped and folded the blade, wrenching himself out of his bloody fantasy. Yes, very intelligent, he scolded himself furiously. What on earth are you thinking?! Murdering your accomplice?
Mr. Todd bit hard on his bottom lip, concentrating on the pain it elicited when he drew blood to erase any remnants of the fantasy, to wipe out the image of Mrs. Lovett's bloody neck. He slowly placed the blade back in its sheath and took a step away from the baker. He couldn't possibly bleed her himself. He wouldn't be able to stop. He'd accidentally kill her.
Toby burst back into the room, a bucket sloshing with water hanging from his arm and a fistful on clean rags clutched in one hand. Mr. Todd sauntered out past the boy, giving him instructions as he walked. "Now, you soak those rags and keep one on her forehead, cold as you possibly can, at all times. You understand me?"
"Yes, Sir," Toby nodded, dropping the rags into the bucket at once. "But where are you going?"
"Fetchin' the doctor. He'll fix her up right proper."
"Hurry, Sir," the boy pleaded, fishing out a rag and folding it, turning to Mrs. Lovett and laying it over her forehead as Mr. Todd strode out of the shop.
I'm re-watching Sweeney Todd even know, trying to get a proper feel for the characters. I'm trying to keep this fic as in-character as possible, but what can you do with fluff, you know? Especially when the characters are all so dark…
So, how am I doing? Does anyone want to know what happens to Mrs. Lovett? Drop me a couple reviews, hm? I do this sort of thing primarily for my own enjoyment, but I like to know there are people out there who actually care whether or not I get my chapters out in timely fashion.
"At last! …My arm is complete again!"