Hey, you guys, I'm back! I know, I've abandoned this story since APRIL! I'm sorry! But Anthony has arrived! I know that in the movie the Johanna scene came before the market, but this works better for me! Please read it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Sweeney Todd or any of the characters in it, or the lyrics to Green Finch and Linnet Bird. Deal! Oh! But I shall own his razors! And whoever does Mrs. Lovett's hair!
I stashed my bag in one of the many thick decorative shrubs along the gate of the Turpin House Garden. I picked up my notebook and headed to the gate. I grinned, noting that the Judge had yet to replace the lock on the garden gate. It was locked sure enough, but that was easily remedied. I jiggled the lock three times and kicked the edge of the gate twice before the padlock snapped open and the dead-bolt on the other side slid free.
I entered the overly lush garden. It always made me feel like I was in a jungle. I strolled to where I knew Johanna's window was and started to climb the trellis. The roses had begun to climb up the trellis and I had to climb carefully to avoid stabbing my palms on the thorns as I climbed toward Johanna's windowsill. I always felt odd here on the windowsill, feeling very visible but knowing that I couldn't be seen because of the hedges, though the main part of Johanna's window was plainly visible. I tapped on the window three times and waited for her to appear.
A few months back, whilst talking to Lucy, I decided that I would try to revitalize my promise to take care of Johanna since no one else could. I had figured out a way to get into the garden and Johanna and I had grown very close. I would write poems for her and she would put them to music. That was what I envied her for, and nothing else. I liked my hair, though, being chocolate and not gold it would have much fewer admirers, and I adored my eyes, so blue was not a color I desired. Oh, but to sing like Johanna! I didn't have a bad voice and it was pleasing to the ear despite my near-cockney accent (yet another horrid trait inherited from my mother). But Johanna had been taught music. She could play piano, and read music, or set any words to music. I had her there, though. She was at a loss for words. Last time we met we had conspired to write a song that described her and so I had written a poem that was Johanna and her plight completely and totally.
Johanna opened the window and smiled at me.
"Rose!" I winced at the name, still unused to it. Johanna was the only person, until quite recently, to whom I had revealed my real first name. My last name, as far as she was concerned, was Fletcher.
"Rose, how nice to see you again. Do you want to come in?" She always asked, good natured and polite. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were bright with excitement, she knew why I had come. I shook my head no. I had never entered the Turpin house and had no intention to.
"Johanna, I brought it." I grinned, waving my notebook in the air. Her smile lighted up even brighter, something that amazed me she could do still, trapped in this house as she was.
"Let me see!" She begged, casting off her lady-like politeness. I tore out the sheet of paper in my notebook that the poem was written on. I handed it to her. She took it gently like it was some holy script, she'd always thought too much of my writing, and bent her head to study it closer, causing her golden hair to fall in front of her face.
I tucked the golden locks behind her ear, and she cast me a grateful glance. It helped to have a friend around for her, and having Johanna around was finally giving me the feeling of having a little sister I'd always hoped for from her. Finally she finished looking it over and looked up at me, her eyes shining.
"This is... perfect, Rose. It describes me perfectly." Inwardly I breathed a major sigh of relief. I had been afraid that she would be offended by the words. I'd taken some creative liberties and used a lot of metaphors. Foolishly, I'd also feared that Johanna wouldn't have understood it. The girl wasn't so naïve, she knew the situation she was in. She was, in fact, despite her wealth and apparent position, a caged bird.
I wanted to hug her and tell her all this, and to tell my adopted younger sister about Derek, but instead I merely said, "Go ahead and pair that with the pretty song you wrote last week. I wrote it with the music in mind." I grinned and waited for her to begin.
Johanna cleared her throat and was about to start when she paled.
"Oh, Rose, there are so many people out there, what if they hear me?"
Johanna was fantastic at singing, but horribly shy. I felt bad for her. As soon as she caught sight of the couples strolling down the sidewalk and the carriages rolling down the cobblestones she paled, her eyes grew wide, her cheeks flushed, and her knees quaked. I placed a hand on her shoulder comfortingly.
"Don't worry, no one can hear you from down there." It was only half a lie. No one could hear us speak from down there, especially Johanna's soft voice. But as quiet as Johanna was when speaking, her singing voice was so clear that it would be heard from the ground even through a closed window. "Besides, look, the streets are clearing out."
It was true, the only ones left on the street were a lost looking sailor attempting to read a map of the city on a bench across the street and a beggar woman. Lucy! What was she doing here, by the Judge's house? Here, of all places! Of course, to watch her daughter! But, this was too dangerous. Though, as long as the bloody judge didn't come out and recognize her...
"Go ahead, Johanna, sing! You know you can do it, and I'll be right 'ere with you." She smiled and I moved to adjust my position on the windowsill. My hands slipped as I moved though, and I slid down the trellis, scraping my palms against the wood. I winced as thorns on the roses stabbed my already raw palms. I let out a little yelp as I tightly gripped a vine thick with thorns to stop my fall. I was halfway down the trellis.
"Rose! Are you all right?" Johanna called down to me, a concerned look on her face.
"I'm fine, Johanna. You go ahead and sing, I'll be right down here. Ow!" I winced as I accidentally dug the thorns deeper into my palms. I lifted one hand from the trellis and gasped at the damage the roses had done. Who would have thought that something so beautiful could cause so much pain? A single drop of blood landed on one of the roses, dripping down the petals, matching the red perfectly. Once I could no longer see it, I forced myself to climb just a few feet up to escape the roses, but remained out of sight on the trellis. I smiled encouragingly to Johanna. She grinned back, took a deep breath, and began to sing our song.
"Green Finch and linnet bird,
How is it you sing?
How can you jubilate?
Sitting in cages, never taking wing!
Outside the sky waits,
just beyond the bars.
How can you remain
staring at the rain,
maddened by the stars?
How is it you sing- anything?
How is it you sing?"
Johanna sighed and took a moment to breathe and look out on the street before her. She looked up and her eyes locked with the sailor on the street. He was looking up at her in complete awe. I half expected Johanna to become enraged with me that I lied and someone had heard. But she was enthralled by the sailor's appearance. She seemed to want to explain her plight to him, so she continued, to my surprise.
"My cage has many rooms
damask and dark.
Nothing there sings, not even my lark.
Larks never will, you know,
when they're captive.
Teach me to be more adaptive.
"Green Finch and linnet bird,
teach me how to sing!"
She gazed longingly first at the sailor, then up at the sky, then back again.
"If I cannot fly...
Let me sing..."
The boy on the ground smiled and Johanna looked gratefully at me. "Thanks, Rose." She closed the window and retreated into her luxurious cage.
I untangled myself from the roses and carefully climbed down the trellis, staining the whitewashed wood red with blood. I sighed and left the garden, turning to run straight for my apartment to get first aid, and ran right into the sailor.
"Sorry." I mumbled, trying to hide my hands.
"Excuse me, Miss?" The boy asked.
I turned and realized that the sailor could not have been a day over 18.
"Um, do you know how to get to this address?" He showed me an address written in a notebook. "My mother moved since I last returned home, and I've not been successful in finding it.."
I peered at the address and sighed.
"You're on the wrong side of town, for certain. If you've got money on you take a carriage." I looked at his expression and decided that another option was definitely necessary. "It'll be a long walk, but head down this street take a right, then a left, and keep going till you see... well, once the orphans in the street aren't there anymore."
Unconsciously I pointed in the direction and he paled at the sight of the blood.
"Sorry! Fell on a... on something sharp. Just head that way." I withdrew my hand and clutched it to my chest protectively.
"Oh, my name is Anthony, by the way, Miss."
"Cayden Fletcher, nice to meet you, Anthony." Anthony didn't press for details.
"Isn't London wonderful?" Anthony asked, his voice full of awe as he looked around at the towers and turrets around him. "It's been so long since I've seen it... I have sailed the world, beheld its wonders, from the Dardanelles to the mountains of Peru." He whispered. "But there's no place like London!"
"No, there's no place like London!" I smirked, glaring at the ground. I kicked a rock venomously. Suddenly Anthony exploded with anger beside me.
"What is it with you people and hating London?! First Mr. Todd, now you! What is this world coming to? London is a wonderful place! I've always loved it..." He took a deep breath and looked up at me. "Sorry. I shouldn't have done that, but why do you hate London so much?"
"You are lucky. Fate has been good to you. You will learn..." I sighed and looked at him. "I have seen too much cruelty on these streets for my lifetime."
"Like what?" Anthony asked skeptically.
"Lets start off by saying that there was a girl named Rose. Also a baker, her mother, and her husband, though he died before this story started, really." I paused.
"Anyone else?" Anthony's attention was fully on me.
"A barber. A barber by the name of Benjamin barker, and his wife, Lucy. They're important too."
"There was a barber and his wife, and they were good to Rose. A proper artist with a knife, treated her like 'is own, and they were good to her. And they were virtuous. And they were... happy. Somethin' kin to a sin on Fleet Street." I added in a murmur, but Anthony caught it and paled.
"What happened?" He asked it like a child listening to a suspenseful bedtime story might. At this point he was sitting on the bench looking up at me and I joined him on the hard wooden slats.
"A Judge thought that he deserved the wife. So he ruined their good life. And the barber was sent away! Then there was nothing but to wait and she should fall, so kind, so good, so lost and oh so innocent!"
"Did she fall?"
"No. And that is what ruined her. What she would not give the Judge decided to take." Luckily Anthony wasn't so naïve that I needed to explain further. "Johanna would be her daughter."
"What about the girl? Rose, you said?"
"Ah, yes. Her."
"There was this child you see, cute little thing, silly little nit, had a chance to be so happy. Poor thing. There was her mum, yeh see. Angry at the girl, blamed her for all her misery. Poor thing. Ah, but there was worse yet to come, poor thing.
Her mother calls her downstairs one night, poor thing, poor thing. Said, 'Come see the stars tonight.' Poor thing, poor thing. Of course, when she goes out, poor thing, poor thing, its raining like mad with no stars. Her mother just yells, poor dear, poor thing. She knows not what's happenin', poor thing, she wonders what its all about.
She'd find out, all right, that her mum's not so nice. She pushed her into the street, poor thing, and tried to leave her behind. She wasn't no match for such craft, you see, so she lay there to die in the streets, poor thing. Poor soul, poor thing."
I found that tears had clouded my vision. I turned away so Anthony wouldn't see them and tried to keep my voice from cracking.
"Her mother left her there without a single glance back. Left an innocent five year-old in the gutter. A five year-old who loved her Mum more than anything else in the world..."
"And her mother, Cayden? Did she feel sorry for what she did to Rose?" Anthony was trapped in the story. So easy he was to enchant.
"Ah, that was many years ago." I tried and failed miserably to keep my voice from cracking. "I doubt if anyone would know..."
Anthony and I stood up and stared out at the Judge's house in silence for a while before Anthony gathered his things.
"Well, I suppose I should be on my way, thank you for the directions and the story, Miss Cayden. But, she was beautiful, and her voice..."
I knew he was talking about Johanna. Who else? Every young man who passed this way was enchanted by her. Why not? She was amazing. I just nodded and smiled. I had to admit, I envied Johanna a little bit for all her suitors, no one had ever shown an interest in me... Well, except Derek, earlier today, but I had scared him off, I'm sure.
The sailor started to turn away when the door to the Judge's mansion opened and the Judge beckoned him inside. "You! Sailor! Come in here, boy."
I sighed: he was doomed. Lucy and I had seen it all before. They went in hopeful and came out covered in blood. I felt bad for Anthony. He was so sweet and kind and had such an idealist's view of the world, not unlike Derek (though Derek, being a constable, was a full twenty-five years old). He was so naïve he just was attracted to Johanna and now he was going to get beaten for it.
For most of the suitors who walked in there I just walked away without a second thought. I should have done that here and almost did, when I remembered how much he seemed to care about Rose in the story. My life. Anthony was different. So I turned around and waited near the back of the house for my chance to strike like the idiot that I was. A self-righteous idiot! But, if that was so, why didn't I leave?
I almost left five times before the Beadle tossed Anthony onto the street, his face bloody and his eyes wide and frightened. The Beadle looked up sharply in my direction and I shrunk back further behind the crate that might once have contained food, maybe transported chickens, either way, it was now on the rubbish heap.
The Beadle brought the cane down on Anthony with a sharp crack. Anthony yelped and tried to get up only to be brought back down with another crack. The Beadle kept hitting Anthony, a sick expression that said he enjoyed it on his face. The Judge walked up behind him and grinned. The Beadle stopped with the cane and the Judge tossed Anthony's bag roughly onto his back. They smirked contemptuously as he rolled over onto his stomach and spat blood onto the concrete.
"And don't come back!" The Judge smiled along with the Beadle. They were enjoying his pain! I couldn't stand it!
"What the hell do you think you're doing? He never did a thing to you!" I stepped out of my hiding place, not really thinking things through.
The Beadle grinned. " I suggest you clear the area, Miss. Things might get a little rough and we don't want your pretty little face all bloodied up."
The Judge chimed in. "Step back and let us finish our work here, Miss. Just pretend you never saw a thing."
I stepped between them and the injured sailor. "As much as I would like to forget your repulsive faces and the violence I've seen here, I can't do that." I grinned at the shocked expressions on their faces. Then the Judge glowered.
"Move aside." He growled.
His eyes bored into mine and I nearly moved. I looked behind me to where Anthony lay, looking up at me. I wasn't moving, not until Anthony was far away. "Make me."
The Judge narrowed his eyes for a moment then dismissed me with a wave of his hand. "Beadle, deal with this riffraff. I need to speak with Johanna." I paled. Everyone knew that the Judge eventually planned to marry his pretty ward, but she was only sixteen for God's sake!
He turned to leave and I gripped the edge of his sleeve, pulling him back. "Leave Johanna alone."
He pushed me back. "Get off of me, you brat. What goes on between me and Johanna is my business." He started to head down the hall. I didn't think, I just knew that Anthony and Johanna didn't deserve what they were getting.
I launched myself at him, bowling him over. I clawed at his face and forgot about my bloodied hands. Soon his face was covered in blood, some of which was his own (I had fairly sharp nails). This time I had the upper hand. Appalled at the blood on my hands and the viciousness with which I attacked him he didn't move. I clutched his throat in my hands, my knee jammed into his chest.
He looked away from my bloodied hands long enough to catch my eyes. He was shocked at them and his eyes widened.
"You!" He hissed. "That bitch Cayden Fletcher who attacked me at the market!"
"The one and only." I smiled, I guess it wasn't everyday that a girl with chocolate curls and strange eyes attacked you, so I suppose it was something worth remembering.
"Beadle, restrain her!" I dug my knee into his stomach before the Beadle roughly pulled me off of his master. I kicked at him, and he was surprisingly strong for such a short man.
He tossed me onto the street beside Anthony, who'd just started to get up. He brought the cane down on me once and had lifted it to strike again when I kicked at his feet, knocking him off balance. I struck out at him once more before grabbing Anthony's hand and pulling him away from the house and back to the main street.
"Are- are you all right, Miss Fletcher." Anthony asked once we'd finally stopped.
I quickly checked myself over. "It's Cayden. And nothing appears to be broken, just a little black and blue... and a bit of red, too, I suppose. How about you?"
"I'm fine." Anthony panted. "But Johanna, she's in danger, isn't she?"
"Well, yes..." I sighed. "Look, Anthony, how about you meet me here tomorrow at noon. However, it's a long walk from your mum's place. Might I suggest you get your own apartment for the time being and visit your mother later?" Anthony nodded.
"That would be a good idea. Thanks, Cayden. Are you going to help?"
"Definitely. Johanna is like my little sister, and I made a promise to her parents and myself. I'm getting her out of there."
"Thank you, Cayden, thank you!" He shook my hand up and down ecstatically.
Great. Now I'd just gotten Anthony into all of this. Now I had to get Anthony an apartment somewhere for cheap. And I had to get back home soon, I was starting to feel a little faint. I cast my glance out into the street in despair and my eyes landed on a familiar figure with dark hair and bright green eyes in a constable's uniform.
"Constable Fleet! Please, Constable!" I called, waving my bloodied hand.
"Rose?" He asked quietly. He looked up and called across the street. "What can I help you with, Miss Cayden Fletcher?" He regarded me coolly, avoiding my gaze. He sighed and looked up, planning to give me an icy glare for ditching him earlier. His eyes widened as he took in the blood encrusting Anthony and I. "Miss Fletcher, what happened?"
"We had a run-in with the law." I spat the last word and gestured to the Judge's house. "Derek," I whispered. "I'm sorry for earlier, but I had to talk to Johanna, Judge Turpin's ward-"
"I know who she is."
"I need you to help get Anthony an apartment, cheap, near here. Please?" I begged.
"Tell you what. Anthony, the apartment complex that I stay in is renting, real cheap. It's on Linnet Street."
"I know where that is!" Anthony said excitedly.
"Good. Here's an extra key to my apartment. Go on in and wash yourself up before you ask the landlord for your own apartment. He doesn't take kindly to bloody residents." He tossed Anthony a key to his apartment and wrapped one arm around my shoulder and took one of my bloody hands in his. "I'm going to walk Miss Fletcher home, she looks rather pale."
Anthony nodded and headed off in the direction of Linnet Street whilst we strolled towards Fleet Street. I rested my head on his shoulder, and I realized how tired I was.
"Rose? Are you sure you're all right?" I nodded and replied.
"Just tired. And in desperate need of a bath and some first aid."
He nodded and we walked home in silence. I started walking up the steps to my room when I turned around and called out to Derek.
"Derek!" He turned. "Thanks. Really." He flashed a bright smile and turned towards his home. I went inside and headed to the washroom. My eyes were still a bright green, though I could swear there was something different about them. Whatever. All things considered it had still been a good day. But as I thought about it I paled even more, if that was possible (my complexion was milk-white, again, inherited from my mother) though whether from my thoughts or blood loss I didn't know. But me, Anthony, Johanna, and Derek were all caught in this web. We were trying to escape from this web of wrongs woven by the Judge fifteen years ago in his sending away Benjamin Barker and ruining the lives of Lucy and perhaps Johanna. We were in too deep to turn back.
So? What do you think? Yeah, Rose is violent, but it's for a good cause! And, yes, I seem to enjoy causing her pain. Deal with it. Just so you know... All of Rose's things that are like the songs in the movie can sort of be set to the music if you have no life and decided to try. For No Place Like London, she gets Sweeney's part only MUCH higher. Poor thing just treat her like her mother. Anthony sings his song about Johanna on the way to Derek's apartment complex. Please review! Toby!
Toby: We allow anonomys reviews!
Me: It's anonymous, Toby.
Toby: It's not my fault you didn't give me a script!
Me: Anyway, Toby's right and flames are welcome, too, because I need something to roast my marshmallows with. I expect everyone to review this who views it! Every time you don't review the Beadle hits Anthony with his cane! So review!