Nellie Lovett coughed as she rubbed flour onto her palms and kneaded dough for bread. She was coated in the damned white powder. She heard the back door open and Sweeney's familiar footsteps stride through.
" 'Ello Mr. T. I was just making some - " she stopped mid-sentence as she felt his cold hands on her shoulders. He turned her toward him. She looked hesitantly into his eyes, never expecting what she saw. His gaze was filled with interest. . . in her? The baker would have pinched herself had she not been frozen to the spot. His mouth opened and he seemed to be trying to say something. He swallowed, still not able to choke out any words.
"I - " he began, stepping closer. Mrs. Lovett didn't need to hear any more. Her arms folded around his neck and their lips met, the resulting warm, wonderful feeling mutual between them. Sweeney Todd wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him, breathing in the scent of flour and musky perfume. Their kisses grew deeper, more lustful, as each clung to the other. Mrs. Lovett's back dug into the edge of the counter as she was pushed backward closer to the counter surface. But she hardly noticed. Her heart was soaring - she had never been happier. They straightened, their embrace tighter than ever. She wrapped a leg around him, shivering as his hand slid up to her hip. He lifted her gently to sit on the countertop, not ending the kiss. She leaned down over him, her wild hair covering his own tangled mane, filling the air around his head with the delicious scent of her. Sweeney's kisses moved along her jawline and down her neck. Nellie's chest heaved with passion in the moment and she held him tightly, delighting in doing what she'd wanted so very much to do with the barber since she first met him. Mrs. Lovett slid off the counter, her back slowly arching her pelvis into Sweeney. He breathed in sharply, clutching her tighter. Together they skimmed down the side of the counter and onto the floor, lips never separating, melded together like steel. Sweeney was on top of her now, his hand trailing down her chest. Mrs. Lovett felt a rush of triumph as she succeeded in unbuttoning his shirt, his hands now at work on the stays of her corset -
"Mrs. Lovett?" Lucy called. She nearly jumped when the baker, accompanied by Sweeney Todd, sprung up from behind the counter, looking sheepish. Lucy squinted suspiciously at Sweeney's unbuttoned shirt, Mrs. Lovett's tousled hair, and the lipstick smeared on both their mouths. "I apologize for interrupting. . . " Lucy forced out, stifling a smile as she turned and left the shop.
Sweeney and Nellie stood in awkward silence - the moment had been broken. Mrs. Lovett picked up her rolling pin to toy with it in her anxious hands. Finally she looked about to say something when the sound of a knock on wood cracked through the air. Nellie squeezed the rolling pin as she went to open the door.
"Would you be Mrs. Lovett?" A constable with a bushy mustache and squinty eyes stood outside her door, scrutinizing her tousled appearance.
"Yes," she replied carefully, wondering what he could possibly want. The constable stepped closer, leaning his elbow in the doorframe.
"You must have heard about the recent murders of Judge Turpin and the Beadle Bamford?" Mrs. Lovett nodded, feeling her heart beat faster as she predicted what he would say next.
"I have reason to believe the perpetrator of these murders was the barber Sweeney Todd. He resides with you?" Another curt nod was Nellie's response.
"May I ask him some questions?"
"Oh, he's not in at the moment - " Nellie's hasty excuse was cut off as Sweeney stepped around the corner in plain view of the doorway. Sweeney stopped short, but could not escape now - the constable had seen him. The constable glanced at Nellie reproachfully.
"I think I had better come in and see what this barber has to say for himself." The constable pushed Nellie aside and strode purposefully to Sweeney Todd who stood at the edge of the room, his face tense. Time seemed to slow for Mrs. Lovett, who stood in the doorway, knowing what would happen. Mr. Todd would go back to prison, the police would remove Lucy from Nellie's custody, that little house by the sea would be nothing more than a childish dream. . . No - Mrs. Lovett would win this time. Making her decision, she ran up behind the constable, smashing her rolling pin into the back of his head with all the force she could muster. A sickening crack echoed throughout the room as the wood connected with the constable's head and he tumbled to the floor, a trickle of blood leaking from his mouth. Mrs. Lovett stood wide-eyed, surprised at what she had just done, the rolling pin still clutched tightly within her fist. Sweeney looked down at the dead constable, then up at Mrs. Lovett.
"Nellie, what the hell - " he was interrupted by the baker, who shoved her rolling pin in his face to get his full attention.
"Mr. T, someone would've figured this out eventually - this man nearly did. Then where would you be? Back in prison!" Tears gathered in Mrs. Lovett's eyes for reasons she couldn't even comprehend. She kept her blurred vision fixed on the barber, even when the door creaked open and Lucy's audible gasp could be heard. Mrs. Lovett didn't give Lucy a chance to say anything.
"You have a choice now, Mr. Todd. I'm going to get far away from this miserable place and all the memories that come with it. You can come along if you drop this foolish act and start behaving like a true - "
Sweeney cut her off with a soft kiss, his eyes wide in amazement.
"Gentleman," Nellie sighed, the corners of her lips tilting up. Surely there would have been more kisses and such if Lucy hadn't softly cleared her throat just then.
"Umm. . . May I come too?" Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett glanced at each other. "Please! I promise to be very helpful!"
"Well, now that you know what goes on around 'ere, I suppose we have no choice but to take you with us," Nellie said with a smile.
"Just as long as you don't. . . kill anyone else - " Lucy was saved from further explaining by Nellie's chuckle and a small snort of laughter from Sweeney.
Times would be different now. Sweeney Todd didn't revert himself back to Benjamin Barker in that small instant - no, such an enormous change would take more time than that. But a heart can heal over time, and Sweeney's would.
Mrs. Lovett would have her dearest wish and the man she had loved for years. She would bake again, yes, but no human meat would go into the pies this time.
And as for Lucy, she still had much to learn, but she would play a valuable part in the lives of the Baker and the Barber - for they were getting on in years and having a child of their own was not the most sensical idea.
But they would care for Lucy as their own daughter and she too would heal.
This Lucy would not lie in ashes until she was good and ready to.