I do not own sweeney todd. I would change so much if I did.
I apologize in advance for the angst and sadness.
She had always wanted to go to the seaside.
That much he remembered. Though he hadn't paid much attention to her ramblings, that was one thing he had retained.
Not that it was the only thing. Why, just a few days ago, he had been walking down the street past the flowers, and he had heard her faint voice: "Gillyflowers maybe, 'stead of daisies..."
He had stopped to buy a large bouquet of each. He had placed them in vases around the building. No doubt he would soon forget why they were there.
After all, these recollections were becoming few an far between. He no longer heard the slam of her rolling pin on dough every time he passed the door to her shop. He no longer saw her reflection behind him in the cracked mirror. He no longer felt her hot breath on his neck as he tossed and turned at night, unable to sleep for thoughts of her.
He dreaded the day he would not longer remember her warm brown eyes, her burgundy red curls, her whisper in his ear to wait. After all, those memories were all he had left. He no longer remembered Benjamin Barker's life (had that been his name?). Lucy was but a vague blur of pale skin and yellow hair, Johanna but the cry of an infant. He barely remembered his revenge. Had he stabbed the judge violently in the neck, or had it been one clean slice? Had there been a lot of blood? He couldn't remember. But he remembered her.
How ironic, really. He had never paid attention to her when she was alive. When she was gone, he had tried his hardest to forget her. And now he was clinging desperately to every fragment of memory. And how odd those fragments were. A gentle lullaby he had listened to but not really heard. The deep blue of her dress when they had gone for a picnic. Her smile. The smile that she wore whenever he paid her the slightest bit of attention. The smile that greeted him every morning in her shop. She smile she wore when he danced with her... why had she smiled? She had smiled as he had pulled her to him for one last waltz before she had met her unfortunate end in a blaze of fire and smoke and screaming. She had known, he had seen the acceptance in her wide eyes, she had known what he was doing. She hadn't tried to escape. She had smiled. Smiled and stepped into his arms, into the arms of death.
He suspected that he would never know why she had smiled; he had never really understood her. But he did know one thing.
She had always wanted to go to the seaside.
And so he took her. He took all that was left of her, at least. For the first time in months, he had descended into the bake-house. He had walked past the now-rotting remains of his last victims, past the bones of his first victims. He had gathered the ashes from the incinerator into a jar. Then he had walked up to his barbershop.
All he had wanted from there were his friends. He didn't know why they mattered, but he remembered that they were important. He picked one up. The cold metal grew warm in his hand as he remembered something. It was a memory of her, as usual.
He held the blade against her throat, feeling her pulse. A drop of blood trickled down her neck, between her breasts. She had been forced to take a seat in the chair she had called 'dear old Albert's' without a hint of grief for her dead husband. He spoke in a sing-song voice, taunting her. 'We all deserve to die...'
He had pulled himself out of the vivid memory. He traced the blade with his index finger. It drew blood. He felt nothing.
He had looked up at the cracked mirror and seen a stranger in the glass.
Perhaps he was only bringing what was left of himself, as well.
Now he stood on a dock overlooking the vast blue-gray sea. He pulled out the small jar of gray dust and ash and placed it on the ground beside him. He looked up at the black sky full of stars.
Yes, he had come at midnight. He hadn't wanted people around him, chattering incessantly, jostling him as they rushed about on their meaningless errands.
She would have found this amusing. She would have teased him. He could hear her voice now. "Couldn't come on a nice sunny day, could ya, Mr. T? Had to come in the middle of the night? Suits your personality, ya know. All dark and such like." He smiled slightly at the thought.
He looked beside him at the jar of ashes- but it was gone.
She was there in its place.
She looked just like she always had in life: petite frame, pale skin, wide chocolate brown eyes, dark red hair the color of blood. She wore a simple gown of some silver fabric that swirled around her like waves. She smiled up at him, and this time he knew why.
He smiled back. His face muscles were stiff from disuse; he hadn't smiled in years. He reached to hold her face in his hand, half-expecting to be met with some sort of cold mist; an illusion. But his gentle hand met warm flesh, and she reached up to hold his hand to her cheek. They moved closer, their foreheads meeting.
"You're here." He murmured.
"I always have been, love." She whispered back.
"But you're... gone." He couldn't bring himself to say she was dead. "And I'm alive... aren't I?"
"Life is for the alive, my dear." She reminded him. He smirked a bit at that. "Are you really alive?"
"I don't know anymore." He admitted. "I don't feel alive; I don't feel much of anything, usually."
She moved even closer, if that was possible.
"Do you feel anything now?" She breathed, her lips millimeters from his own.
And he closed the gap.
Their kiss was deep and full of emotion. He didn't even know what emotion it was, it had been so long since he had felt anything. He decided that whatever it was, he liked it.
They broke apart anywhere from seconds to years later; he couldn't tell. He kept his eyes closed as they separated slowly.
When he opened his eyes, there was nothing there.
Nothing but the jar of ashes.
This is where she lives, he realized. She had always wanted to go to the seaside, and that's where she had been all this time. Waiting for him. Waiting until they could be reunited once more.
He opened the jar and let the sea breeze carry the ashes down to the waves, watching as they swirled in the wind and water.
But they weren't reunited, he realized, not yet.
He let the wind carry him down to the waves too. As the light and shadows all faded to black, a figure emerged. One he immediately recognized.
It was her. She took his hand and walked with him out of the darkness.
When the last shadows faded, they were by the sea again. This time, together. This time, forever. This time it wasn't just what was left of them: this time they were complete.
Agh! I cried a little writing this. At least they got a happy ish ending! Kind of? Anyway, I got really sad thinking about Sweeney scattering Nellie's ashes by the sea and had to share the angst with you all. I'm a terrible person.