Nellie Lovett hummed softly to herself as she climbed the wooden staircase to the barbershop, the breakfast tray balanced carefully in her small hands. Reaching the door, she crossed her fingers, knocking three times before calling out to him.
"Mr. T?" she said, "I made ya some breakfast love, can I come in?"
From behind the concealing door, Mr. Todd rolled his eyes.
"No" he snapped, not looking up from his precious razors.
The baker pouted a little, scowling at herself; had she really expected anything less? But Mrs. Lovett was a hard woman, and she was not easily deterred, not even by the threat of his precious 'friends'. What harm could it really do? So, foolishly, the widow opened the door and walked in, setting the food down on the dresser.
"There ya'are, love," she said, her voice unnaturally bright.
Sweeney scowled; if there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was Mrs. Lovett in the morning.
The small woman sighed; he probably hadn't heard her, or bothered to try listening- as usual.
The barber had heard her alright, but there was no way in hell he was going to give her the satisfaction of replying. He was sick of her cheerful attitude, not to mention her disgusting breakfasts...It was time he put this woman in her rightful place.
The woman sighed; he was playing with one of his razors again. She knew he didn't care that she was there, he ignored her presence almost as a habit, like breathing. But would he care if she stayed? Would he even notice?
Suddenly, Mr. Todd was on his feet, grinning maliciously as he moved towards her. His expression was almost terrifying as he approached; the evil glint in his eye was enough to frighten even the bravest of soldiers- and Mrs. Lovett was no soldier. He snickered as he drew closer...Oh, how he would enjoy this...
"Mr.T...?" she questioned, eyeing him warily.
"Dont'ya want ya breakfast...?" she said, trying, pointless as it was, to distract him. The gleam in his eye made her uneasy; it was something she knew always meant trouble.
And trouble was undoubtedly, exactly what she had coming.
Mr. Todd advance slowly, prolonging the baker's stress as she waited for him to reach her. She knew there was no point in trying to escape; he was closer to the door than she was, and twice as fast. Before she could even comprehend how it had happened, the baker was beneath his strong hands, held in a vice.
Mr. Todd took hold of the woman, pulling her into and unbreakable headlock as he whipped out his shining razor. Seeing the threat, the small woman struggled to free herself. Her actions, of course, were to no avail; Mr. Todd was just too strong. The barber grinned -frightening enough in itself-, as he pressed the razor to her neck; the woman wasn't irreplaceable. He could always find a new accomplice…He'd always liked Mrs. Mooney's pies better anyway- they had less cockroaches. But just mere seconds before he could slide the blade across her milk throat, the barbershop door creaked open.
"What's all this?" a tall, fair haired man demanded from his place in the doorway.
"Apologies, kind sir, excuse us. My wife," he started, nearly choking on the word, "tends to get a little out of line sometimes."
"Ahh, no matter," the blonde replied, shrugging and looking towards the chair, "women need to be dealt with sometimes. Now, how about a shave for me?"
"Certainly sir," Sweeney replied, releasing the baker, "I'll deal with you later," he seethed, pushing her out of the room.
"What can i do for you today, sir?" Sweeney then asked, his voice contrastingly kinder as he helped the man into the seat, "a stylish trimming of the hair? Soothing skin massage? Sit sir... sit!"
Mrs. Lovett took one last glance at the barber's charade, before storming her way down the stairs. What'd come over the silly man? She hadn't done anything to deserve such treatment!
It was near midnight before the barber could pull himself away from his dusty room to the warm, cosy interior of Mrs. Lovett's home- if one could call it that. The widow fiddled with her hair, gasping in surprise when she saw Mr. Todd's reflection in the mirror.
"Mr. T! What are ya doin' down 'ere!?" she said, breathlessly, turning to face him, "gave me poor 'eart a frigh'!"
The barber didn't reply, instead, he crept towards Mrs. Lovett, an all too familiar glint in his eye...
Oh bloody hell...she thought in irritation at his approach, bloody buggers getting' on me last nerve, 'e'll be the end of me…
The second she'd thought of is, she realized it was probably true; he would be the end of her, and by the looks of things, that end could be coming a whole lot too soon.
"Now Mr. T..." she tried to reason with him, "surely ones enough for today..."
"Do you think, Mrs. Lovett?" he hissed.
"Mmhmm..." she all but squeaked, trying to mask the anxiety that crept up inside her as he advanced.
The barber snickered, grinning in an almost frightening expression.
"Well then, my pet, you'd be wrong."
Reaching swiftly for his razor, he advanced on the widow, snickering as she backed away. She eyed him carefully, frightened; what had come over him lately? He was barking mad!
"Now love, surely there's no need for all this..." she trailed off as her back hit the wall. She felt the panic rise within her; she had no escape, nowhere to run, and Mr. Todd still approached, the frighteningly sharp glint in his eye ever present.
"What was this morning about, pet?" he spat, edging closer still "i told you not to come in."
"Had to-," she stuttered, obviously frightened by the unmistakable gleam in his eye, "had to give'ya breakfast.."
"You didn't leave" he seethed, light reflecting from his razor as he lifted it.
The baker stayed silent, wanting to speak, but knowing that doing so would probably be writing her own death warrant. The man realised this, snickering loudly before commanding her-
"I was jus 'curious 'bout 'ow you'd react if I stayed," Nellie answered honestly, trying to distract him. "No crime in that, now, is there?" she asked, he voice strangled with anxiety.
It was true she had been curious. She was too damn curious for her own good. She knew she was going to get in trouble for it someday, but she still couldn't resist. Hell, if he was going to kill her anyway, what was there to lose? She knew she'd pay for it, but she wanted to test him; she wanted to see how far he would bend.
Sweeney's eyes narrowed as he stared down at the baker standing so defiantly before him. This woman really was getting on his last nerve; did she want to die? Surely, the razor in his hand, the blood on his shirt, was a clear enough indication for her to back off.
"Curious, were we?" he growled as he crept forward, shoving her hard against the wall behind her, smirking at her helplessness.
"Curiosity killed the cat, Mrs. Lovett… All your time with Mrs. Mooney, I'd think you would've learnt something of that by now?"
Mrs. Lovett still didn't back off; Mr. Todd was so close now that she could feel his hot breath in her ear as he spoke, his cool razor still stroking up and down her neck slowly in anticipation, sending shivers down her spine.
Mr. Todd moved in closer still, but this time Mrs. Lovett let him. Her breathing became rushed as she felt his warm body pressing against hers, his other hand suddenly claiming her breast. Mr. Todd had assumed she'd be frightened by this bold action, but strangely she allowed it; he should've known she would.
Running his hand slowly down Mrs. Lovett's body, Sweeney's arm then worked its way around her waist, wrenching her in closer still, his face now only inches from hers; curiosity, it seemed, had gotten the better of him too.
"Well…go on, then," she finally whispered, "if yer gonna do it, might as well stop all this foolish chatter an' get on with it..."
Sweeney simply smiled; as much as he hated the woman, he couldn't help but admire her bravery.
The barber very nearly growled- was she serious? The how far would she go? How far would she let it go? He could feel her heart racing beneath his hand, her breathing heavy in anticipation. Very suddenly, as her eyes for once scorched his, he was lost. He was meant to be hurting her. He was meant to hate her. Then what the bloody hell was he doing?! Forget how far she'd go, how far would he go? He stepped back from her warm body-a torture in itself- and looked at her intensely. What was to say he couldn't do this? He wanted to, Lord only knows he wanted to, but looking at her again he felt a strong wave of disgust wash over him. It was so easy, she was so easy. Too easy. He could have spat at her, how many others had come through the doors before him? How many others had she feigned love for, only to get loving in return. The whore. Was this what she did, allowed anyone and everyone to take what she had? Slut. In the fifteen years he was gone, what had she done for an income? No prizes for guessing that one.
"Slut" he whispered, glaring at her with intense focus. She disgusted him, but he still, despite everything, craved her.
The baker was caught off guard; she hadn't been expecting refusal, from him of all people. His refusal stung her- she'd offered him everything, everything she had, and he still wouldn't take it! Fifteen years, fifteen years she'd spent, waiting for him, and for what? Blatant refusal? She little baker smiled wryly at him, reaching out her hand to run her finger along his strong jaw line; she didn't think so.
"Your slut, Mr. Todd"
And that was it. Self-control, rational thought, hate, contempt, disgust- gone. All gone. Thrown carelessly to the side as he stepped closer to her, lifting his precious friend to her pale neck once again. He caught her mouth in a violent, desperate kiss, his invisible armor disappearing. The baker smiled; well, it was better than being killed...
"Yours…" she whispered, trying to catch her breathe between lust-fired kisses.
In the time that followed, as rational thought left her entirely, the baker was sure of one thing- he'd be the end of her alright, but in the meantime, he'd be the beginning of something else entirely.