Characters: Toby, Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker (separated intentionally, Mrs. Lovett, Lucy
Rating: Ah.. Teen?
Warning: perhaps a bit of blood, but that's all.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sweeney Todd, movie or play, nor am I affiliated in any way with it.
Summary: Toby's mind-music and the final scene through his eyes (mostly)
Re-Edited as of April 5
The eerie strains of orchestral music swelled inside his mind. He rocked himself to the melody of it.
"Toby... Where are you, love?"
Her voice echoed sweetly through the lightless chamber like a discordant bell, and the hair on the back of Toby's neck stood on end. It was wrong - more wrong than the scrabbling of the rats about his feet - he could tell that their blood red eyes were studying him maliciously in the darkness, wondering how best to devour him...
Toby clawed absently at his arms.
"Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around..."
- And he almost wanted to go to her, soothe the desperation in her voice, but -
"Toby? Toby?" Todd's gruff voice; cold, unfeeling.
"Nothing's gonna harm you, darling — not while I'm around."
Horrid sweetness was her voice; poisoned honey and twisted desperation. He rocked back and forth, back and forth...
"Toby…" He sounded angry, and Toby's fingernails cut tiny crescents of red into his palms.
- Footsteps, music, strange. He wasn't inside his body anymore, the one with rats and worms, but floating about... Floating on the waves of music like he'd floated on the ocean once-
Minutes passed. Hours, months, days... Time, slow, unflinching. Perhaps it was only seconds, even. Toby grinned, his head falling to the side.
Joanna and Anthony, the judge. The beggar woman. Flashes, flashes, blood and dirt and laughter and the women from the streets who brought their men at night.
Her terrified shriek cut sharply through the air.
The rumbling footsteps of a man sprinting down the cavernous stairwell echoed through the room, and Toby clenched his eyes shut, wrapping his arms more tightly around himself as the Demon Man exploded through the thick doors of the bakehouse.
He seemed almost concerned for Mrs. Lovett, and the music didn't echo quite so loudly now, because perhaps... perhaps they would live by the sea after all, and he would swim in that sea as he swam now - Toby peeked through his fingers hopefully. A tiny smile, a laugh bubbling in his belly -
Until Todd saw her face.
The face of the beggar woman, shadows of her former pale-haired beauty beneath the grime of the streets and the harshness of insanity.
Her skin was pale, luminescent in the light of the flickering fire, even in death.
A furrow of rich ruby parted the swan-like throat, grotesquely marring the whiteness beneath, and the nearly gentle way it touched her skin seemed to mock the one clutching her lifeless husk.
He cradled her body to him, and Sweeney Todd was replaced for an instant with the young barber he'd been. His eyes were fixed on Lucy's face, expression twisted into abject horror.
"'Don't I know you?' she said…" he whispered, voice catching sharply, "You knew she lived." He turned to Mrs. Lovett, stygian eyes accusing.
"I was only thinking of you!" she pleaded, afraid as she'd never been of him.
"You lied to me," he replied simply, expressionless, not a flicker in his eyes.
And that deathly calm was somehow altogether more terrifying than his rage had ever been.
"No, no, not lied at all. No, I never lied," she replied quickly, “said she took the poison -she did - never said that she died. Poor thing, she lived…"
"Lucy…" he'd turned back to Lucy, anguished voice as broken as she was, "I've come home again." he crooned softly, unguarded face contorted into a bastardized version of Benjamin's innocence.
"…But it left her weak in the head, all she did for months was just lie there in bed—" she had to explain, had to make him see, had to show him that she was his salvation, but his eyes remained on her, the dead beggar, just as they always had.
Bile and rage rose sharply in her throat - who had taken him in, ragged and angry? She spoke more quickly, anger and desperation annihilating any common sense she had. One of these words would convince him, she just had to find the right one-
"Lucy…" His tone, husky and loving, tender as she hadn’t heard it in 15 years. Hatred and pain and horrible, violent fury shot through her, and she wanted to rip the body from his arms, and her mouth seemed detached from her mind-
"Should've been in hospital, wound up in Bedlam instead, poor thing!"
"Oh, my God…" His voice was gaining strength, the anguish reaching fever pitch, and her words were brimming over, flowing out now, unchecked -
"-Better you should think she was dead. Yes, I lied 'cos I love you! I'd be twice the wife she was! I love you! Could that thing have cared for you like me?" These words were dangerous, a consuming, torrential flood, but she couldn't make herself stop -
"Lucy… What have I done?!" Benjamin cried, voice echoing, and the music swelled, warm, metallic blood pooled in Toby’s mouth as his teeth punctured his lip–
Benjamin Barker was smothered, again.
Sweeney Todd took his place, an unholy gleam shining in the obsidian eyes. He took a step. "Mrs. Lovett - You're a bloody wonder -" He advanced on her, predatorial, teeth glinting, "- eminently practical and yet appropriate as always. As you've said repeatedly, there's little point in dwelling on the past." He smiled, and she ignored the thinly veiled cruelty of it, because she loved him with an unholy obsession -
"Do you mean it?..."
Their voices blended - a chorus of demons - Toby's heart was beating furiously -
"Now, come here, my love... not a thing to fear, my love,” he grinned at her, but his eyes were hollow, calculating.
"Everything I did I swear I thought was only for the best...believe me! Can we still be..."
"What's dead is dead." His hard baritone cut in and his face twisted into an ironic smirk.
"The history of the world, my pet—" It was nearly a growl and Toby floated higher, even as his frail body shook below.
"Oh, Mr. Todd, ooh, Mr Todd, leave it to me…" Her hands fluttered excitedly.
"- is learn forgiveness and try to forget!" He pulled her to him, grip vice-like, voice like velvet-covered steel.
"By the sea, Mr. Todd, we'll be comfy-cozy, by the sea, Mr. Todd, where there's no one nosy…" Her face was ecstatic; she couldn't believe her luck -
"And life is for the alive, my dear, so let's keep living it - !"
"Just keep living it," her voice melded with his, the song familiar –
"Really living it—!"
His grip on her body tightened, and pain edged into her mind, beautiful and blooming - the fire's heat on her back, closer, closer –
A single push -
Her eyes widened in shock, metallic shrieks ripping themselves from her throat as hellish flames consumed her body as they'd already ravaged her soul.
Sweeney Todd and Nellie Lovett died together.
Benjamin Barker knelt next to Lucy's limp form, pulling her into his lap, cradling her to him like a child, like a broken toy.
"There was a barber and his wife," his voice was pure and reverent consumed by grief, "and she was beautiful... A foolish barber and his wife, she was his reason and his life."
Toby's body picked up the stained razor and crept toward the kneeling man, face ashen, and he was floating on the ceiling, looking down, no longer a child, weapon outstretched-
"And she was beautiful..." he murmured into her hair, "and she was virtuous." He paused, the light scrape of his razor being carefully lifted from the gritty stone floor registering vaguely in his consciousness. "And he was—"
One single, unsullied slice, and the razor dropped from Toby's limp fingers, and he slammed back into himself.
Benjamin clutched his wife's body as his life drained out of him and his blood mixed with hers, dripping onto her cold face, obscuring her features.
-melancholic chords flooded around him as the world went black, and Toby was drowning, drowning, drowning in his sea of music.-