Sweeney Todd's eyes opened forcefully and he stared into the light of the newly born morning, something hovering at the edge of his brain. Why was he awake, right now, in this moment?
He sat up, blinking hard, the lost memory coming closer. There seemed to be a scent in the air, one he hadn't smelled in so long...one he hadn't thought he wanted to smell again...
He climbed out of bed and crossed to the center of the room, breathing in that scent. It was a comforting smell, the smell of roses and springtime and...meat?
"You!" Sweeney whirled, searching for her, knowing she must be somewhere here, knowing he must track her down or risk letting all that horrible, beautiful pain free. "Mrs—Mrs. Lovett..."
But the smell was already fading, leaving him, and he sinks down to the floor. She isn't here. Why on Earth did he hope she was?
Then, a very large object came crashing through his window.
Sweeney rose, pulling his razor from a bedside table, but the thing was scrambling to its feet, raising its hands in a gesture of surrender. Sweeney moved closer, and then realized who the person was and dropped his razor.
The little boy had gotten taller, and he had been well-treated. His ribs were no longer visible, and his hair was brushed smooth and shining. His cheeks were no longer hollowed, and his face was clean. But no other kid in London had that cheeky grin of a smile.
"Hello, Mr. Todd," he said. A faint spread of pink bloomed on his cheeks. "Um, I'll be heading out now."
Sweeney gripped his shoulders, dragging the boy towards him. "Why did you come back, boy?" He paused, then asked in a lower, ashamed voice, "She's not here, is she?"
Tobias shook his head, looking terrified. "N-No, Mr. Todd." His voice took on a braver, stronger tone. "But she's why I'm here."
Sweeney squeezed his shoulders even tighter. "Did she—did she ask for me? Tell me, Tobias!"
"No, sir. But she's sick without you, sir. She hasn't been right since you disappeared." Toby made a little gasping noise. "Please, sir, I can't breathe."
Sweeney, who had been accidentally choking him, let him go and he toppled to the floor. "Since I disappeared?"
Toby nodded. "Please. I know—I know that we all promised to keep to our own paths, but—after she did so much for me, I can't just let her die. She needs you, Mr. Todd. You're all that can help her now."
Sweeney turned away from him. He had waken thinking about her. He still needed her too, desperately. But some scars run too deep. "Tell me about her."
"Excuse me?" Sweeney turned to look at him. Toby, who was climbing to his feet, slipped back down to the floor.
"You have to come and see her, Mr. Todd." Toby swallowed, then glanced at his palm. "If you really want to help her, you have to do it yourself."
"Did you write that speech beforehand, or are you making it up on the spot?"
Toby held up his hand. "I wrote it down. But I thought of it all myself." He paled. "Please don't kill me. If I'm dead, nobody will help her."
Sweeney sighed. "Take me to her, Tobias."
Toby climbed to his feet. "Mr. Todd?"
"What do you want?"
Sweeney nodded. Toby grabbed his wrist. "I'll take you to her."