Mentions of rape in the second paragraph.
Forgiveness was almost unimaginable some days. But most days, especially in these days, it was clearer.
There were some people she couldn't forgive. It just couldn't be so. Even if she wanted to forgive them. Beadle Bamford, for one. He tormented her all her life. He tried to drag her away to who knew where. And then there was the more obvious: Judge Turpin. No one could blame her, surely. For who could forgive such a man? He was the cause of her mother poisoning herself. Her father was ripped away from his family because of him. If not to make matters worse, Turpin wanted to marry her. He would've raped her on their wedding night. She was certain. His eyes drooled with lust when he gazed upon her.
Johanna was certain before that she would never forgive Mr. Todd. Yet things seemed to change.
Little Lucy demanded all her time and energy. Everything was put to the side and Mr. Todd helped with what he could do.
He wanted a relationship with Johanna and she noticed that.
Turpin took her as a baby for reasons she didn't know today. Perhaps, he wanted her as a bride from the very start. Perhaps, there was an ounce of guilt in him after what he did to her mother. He confused her. Turpin never cared enough about her. Never took the time to know her as a person. She was his pretty little ward and no one else. She didn't believe she was meant to be anyone else.
Unlike Turpin, who stole her, Johanna was stolen from Mr. Todd. From Benjamin Barker. Were the two men the same? What was the difference?
She wanted to ask him whether he loved her or not. Yet she already had the answer. In the way he looked at her. Turpin never looked at her that way. It was strange. It was almost beautiful. There was a melancholy feeling to it. Nostalgic and yearning.
Mr. Todd killed. He murdered men, sweethearts and friends. He killed fathers waiting to go home to their daughters. He killed her mother. He killed his own wife.
Knowing that truth made her chest feel hollow.
But he didn't know, Johanna reminded herself. He didn't know the beggar was her mother. It was remarkable he recognized her at all.
And then the question became, did she love Mr. Todd?
"Don't worry, your father will be back before you know it," Johanna whispered to Little Lucy.
Sweeney felt like an intruder, a vulture intervening during a tender moment. He peeked through the door. Johanna's shoulders were hunched over from exhaustion. She was rocking Little Lucy slightly. Hardly able to move.
"He'll be here, I miss him. I miss him."
She sounded near tears.
She held the crying infant to her chest. Bumping her up and down slightly and patting her on the back. It wasn't working.
"He'll bring you the moon on a silver string, quickly to sleep then, my Jo, my jig . . ."
Her voice wavered. Even as it did, Lucy calmed her cries. Johanna continued through the verse, skipping a few of the lyrics into the next verse. Soon Lucy's eyes were closed. Johanna sighed and sniffled.
Sweeney wondered if a scene like this played out before in this room. With Lucy comforting baby Johanna with song. Both missing the man in their life so terribly.
"I love you," Johanna whispered to the baby.
She grimaced at Sweeney's voice. He recognized the motion and mumbled an apology or sorts.
"Sorry," Johanna whispered. Her words were barely audible.
"Do you need any help?"
"Well, she's asleep for now."
Sweeney looked her over. He could make out the lines under her eyes even in the dark. "You may need some help still."
Johanna opened her mouth to protest. She wasn't able to. Sweeney guided her to the bassinette where Johanna laid Lucy down. She nearly fell onto a chair. Sweeney helped her to the bed. After being granted permission, he removed her stockings and ran a hand through her hair. Yellow locks, just like Lucy.
"I love you," he murmured.
Johanna leaned back on him. She paused before saying anything.
"I think, I forgive you."
It was silent. Johanna barely comprehended it. Her eyelids were too heavy. Her limbs were too sore.
"Thank you, dear."
A beat. Sweeney helped her onto her pillow. He caressed her face. Johanna smiled at the action. It was nice to be caressed by someone. Sweeney stood. Turning back to the door. But she caught his wrist. He faced her.
"I love you too, Papa."
And he smiled. Her father knelt down again, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
They could get better. This was his assurance.
Wow. I wanted to get this up before I left, so I'll probably polish it up a little bit later on. But wow. I can't believe that I published this fic. It's my first (real) multi-chapter fic on here and this is kind of incredible to me. Thank you to everyone who favorited and reviewed. Special shout out to Musicwriter158 for being the sweetest thing a girl could ask for. Thank you so much for your support and kind words!
Thank you to everybody who gave this story a chance. This weird thing that popped into my brain. I can't believe I published this many words.
I doubt I'll return to this universe because I don't know what else to explore. I guess there's a hundred things I could look into, but I don't want to. I don't really like thinking about the future for this fic. I just know that Johanna will forgive Sweeney (almost) completely one day. I know that Anthony will continue being the sweetheart he is. I know that Mrs. Lovett will still feel rather jealous to see them as a family and want to create one of her own. And I hope she does with Toby. I just can't bring myself to write about it.
Sweeney and Johanna's relationship is one of my favorite things to write about. I know I'll continue writing "What ifs?" about them. I also adore Anthony and Johanna as a couple so I'll write more about them in the future.
A final thank you. I know this fandom is pretty much dead, but thank you to all the souls out there who even read the title of this fic.