Yet She's Mine
Fear-filled wide green eyes dart at him as he pushed the young man onto the blood-wet chair. Words stammered out of his mouth, but Sweeney didn't give him a chance. In the beginning, he hesitated when taking his victim's lives. Now there wasn't time for such hesitation.
Sweeney slit the pale throat.
A scream came from downstairs. Mrs. Lovett. Sweeney didn't bother sending the corpse down. Those green eyes still stared back at him. As life slowly drained out of the body.
Lucy had green eyes. Hadn't she?
As Sweeney moved towards his wife - his murdered wife - steps came through the door. Toby. Must be. He wasn't expecting anyone else. The shop was closed. Not another soul dared came to Fleet Street this time of the night.
Anthony threw open the door. His eyes grew wide, eyebrows shot up at the scene. Observing the blood Sweeney was covered in, nose wrinkling at the smell of Mrs. Lovett's burning carcass. He noticed the blood Sweeney spilled .
"Wh-where's Johanna?" he stuttered.
"Johanna?" He felt the word on his tongue. His daughter. Sweeney glanced at Lucy. Their daughter.
"Did she go . . . Did she go upstairs?"
Sweeney shook his head. He would have known if he saw Johanna. He was her father, he would have recognized her.
"She's in sailor clothes . . ." Anthony backed away. He glanced away. "Did you see anyone . . . ?"
She was disguised. As a man.
There was a man. The one he killed.
Anthony was already up the stairs. Sweeney reached out. To warn him. What lie could he tell? That someone broke in and killed her where she was? No.
It was silent. As he listened. Fire burned and cracked.
Was it a cry? Was it a scream?
The stairs creaked as Anthony came down. He carried a limp figure with blood falling down her neck. His Johanna. Sweeney neared him. Anthony's eyes were swimming with tears.
"What happened to her?"
Sweeney shook his head.
"We have to get her to the hospital!"
He shook his head again. "It's too late, son."
"No!" he screamed. Anthony cradled her head against his chest. "Johanna, come on." He ran towards the door.
"Anthony," Sweeney said, "She's dead."
He was shaking violently. Johanna's body wavered in his grasp. Sweeney leaned over, to take her. Anthony turned to prevent him.
Anthony shook his head. "No-no. She's not. She's no one's."
"Johanna is my daughter."
He looked at him. "What?"
Sweeney reached out, growing impatient. He wanted her. Even if he killed her. He wanted her. To hold her the way he did when she was a baby.
"I have to hide her from the judge."
Sweeney brushed his fingers along her arm. Her skin was so soft. So pale. Yellow hair fell from a cap. She was the way she'd imagined her. Glancing back at her, he noticed how much she looked like Lucy.
Anthony's knees betrayed him, throwing him in the ground. Johanna's limp arm smacked the ground. A terrible noise. Sweeney bent down. He pulled her into his lap. Next to Lucy. His girls. His family.
It was what he wanted for fifteen years. In prison, the days were long. At the beginning he imagined scenes of himself finding his family. Lucy always looked tired. Johanna was a bubbly little girl. Both so happy to see him again. Later years, he saw a more grown-up Johanna wearing a shy smile.
He never imagined kneeling by the corpses of his wife and daughter after murdering them.
"Barker." Sweeney didn't look at Anthony. "It's Barker."
There was a pause as Anthony absorbed the information. Eyes widened as it clicked for him. He was her father.
Only one of them were going to make it alive that night. Sweeney glanced back at Anthony. He needed the story. No one else would understand it. Before he died, he wanted to explain himself.
"My wife . . ." He gestured at the limp body beside him. "She was beautiful."
Anthony knew the story.
"I couldn't use my name. I chose Todd instead. But when I came, they were gone. The judge . . . he took my girls."
It was like being Benjamin Barker again. He let himself chatter. Prison destroyed that man. He learned to silence his tongue.
"She told me my Lucy was dead. I didn't know Johanna . . ."
"I loved her," Anthony said, "I loved-love Johanna."
For a brief moment, Sweeney looked at him.
Then at the razor.
He stood, carefully stepping around his wife and daughter. Anthony scooped Johanna back up holding her head to his chest. The way he looked at her, the tenderness of it all, was breathtaking. Sweeney took his razor and pulled his wife's carcass into his lap. He lifted the blade.
Sweeney slit his own throat.
Filled with emotion intense enough to numb, the two men poured over their lost soulmates.
The idea just popped into my head one day, so, uh, I wrote it. I would like to apologize. I love Johanna. Anthony is going to need so much therapy. Everyone is messed up.