Hello all. To those that do stumble across it, welcome to my first story. I have been working on this for a short bit, but with the recent passing of the wonderfully talented Angela Lansbury, I thought that I would finally begin to put it up as a dedication to both her and the equally as talented late Stephen Sondheim. I hope that they both RIP and have reunited. Now read on, and hopefully, enjoy all.

Mrs. Lovett stood at the counter chopping up vegetables. Toby could only stare as the knife seemed to blur in front of him; eyes wide and mouth agape at the sheer speed of her cutting skills. "How d'ya do that without cuttin' your finger mum?"

She smiled and slid a small pile of diced vegetables in his direction. "Patience and practice make perfect love, remember that." Toby nodded and began to quickly toss the food into his mouth. "Now now darlin', don't wanna 'ave ya chokin' on these now." Toby stopped, offering her a small smile and a full-mouthed, 'I thwy um'. Mrs. Lovett rolled her eyes and let out a quiet chuckle. "Very charmin' dearie. She ruffled his hair and gave him a quick kiss on the forehead. "Now let's 'urry up, these pies ain't going to make themselves and it's almost time for the dinner rush."

Meanwhile, upstairs, Sweeney Todd was cleaning fresh blood off of his "friend". The sudden scream that invaded the silence that he was enjoying caused him to slip and he watched as precious rubies began to slither down his palm, looking like deep red snakes. He stormed to the window, rolling his eyes at the sight below him. Mrs. Lovett had her arms underneath Toby's, he screamed in hysterics as she swung him from table to table while they cleaned the tables outside. Of course they would be the cause of his sudden irritation and pain. He cursed under his breath, grabbed the cloth from his pocket and held it onto the gash.

Minutes passed and the cut was still bleeding profusely. He cursed again and gave in, fully knowing at this point that holding out any longer would require more than just a small cleaning. He hung his head and made his way down to the pie shop. Mrs. Lovett was giving her shop a last minute cleaning before opening for lunch. "Sorry, shop's closed but we'll be ope..." She raised an eyebrow when she that it was only Sweeney, coming down to her shop at time time wasn't normal for him. The man would almost never willingly come down without her virtually begging him; moreover, his shop was typically still going at this time. When she saw the blood soaked cloth however, her quiet curiosity turned into a gasp of worry. "My God, what's 'appened to ya?" Before he could say anything she seized his wrist and slowly pulled the cloth away.

The baker's face blanched at the sight of the cut. "Shit! I'm gonna try the best that I can love, but you may need stitches for this." She ran into her parlour and returned with more cloths, a bar of soap, and a bottle of alcohol. Toby came rushing into the shop but darted outside without a word at the sight of the barber's deeply bleeding hand. She found a basin and, filling it with water, brought it over to the table where the barber was sitting. She placed his hand in the water and he grit his teeth. "I know it ain't pleasant, but the bleeding should go down, just keep soaking it." He did as she said but it wasn't long before the water turned a deep red colour. She grabbed the soap and rubbing it on one of the cloths, began to dab at the cut with care. She could feel him tense under her touch and she bit her lower lip. "Think that Toby's run for a doctor, all this blood, you're likely gonna need stitches."

As she was speaking, the door swing open. "Did someone say stitches?" A portly and balding man entered the shop with a bag in hand, Toby stood behind him. "I'm Dr. Sellars, 'as there been any improvement?" Mrs. Lovett shook her head and turned her attention back to the barber. "Alright ma'am, he's gonna need that alcohol now. We're going to want 'im out, or at the very least, numb. We can't be running the risk of 'im moving and ruining the stitching." Sweeney grabbed the large bottle and took a few long swigs.

A couple of hours passed when Sweeney awoke and studied his surroundings; however, the pain in his head easily distracted him from this. He rested his head in his hands and let out a low and painful groan. Nellie came running into the parlour from her shop and held onto his wrist. "I sent Toby off to a friend's 'ouse so he wouldn't be botherin' ya. Don't be doing anythin' with that 'and love, I don't want ya ripping the doctor's stitching." She gave him a faint smile and moved the now nearly empty bottle in his direction "Ya know what they says dearie, 'air of the dog." Sweeney grunted but took it nevertheless.

He rose to a sitting position and drank deeply, never taking his eyes off of Mrs. Lovett. "May I ask you a question pet?" She simply nodded so he continued. He couldn't say exactly where this curiosity came from, normally he had very little to no interest in the baker. He considered that it must just be a combination of his former and currently returning inebriation. "How did you get here, here with Mr. Lovett and all? You know about myself as Lucy and I had just recently wed before we arrived, and prior to that there isn't much of any interest."

Mrs. Lovett found it impossible to hide her surprise from him at this point. She smiled inwardly, knowing fully that it was his current state that was the cause. "Well, it depends on how much you want to know. I could start from the beginning, there is much to be said for my older childhood. Or would ya rather just know about 'ow I met Albert and anythin' from there?" Oh she did hope that Sweeney would ask to know everything, anything to keep his current and most likely fleeting intrigue.

Sweeney shrugged and briefly turned his attention to the stitch work that the doctor had done. Mrs. Lovett put her hand over his palm gently and shook her head. He was like a child with them, always looking at them as if he didn't know what they were and he didn't know what was underneath. "How did you end up with Mr. Lovett? I could tell that the two of you didn't have a relationship like Lucy and I had. He looked to be a few decades older than you were, so was it an arranged marriage made by your family? Come to think of it actually, I don't recall you ever speaking of your family much in the past."

The baker rose and grabbed a glass, then sat down and poured the small bit of remaining gin for herself. "It was arranged, in a way. I suppose that you could say that Albert and I arranged our own marriage, though it didn't 'appen as it does with most couples. As for my family, I lost my mother when I was eight, and my father when I was nine. I was taken in by me Aunt Gertrude afterward." She took a sip and began to move the glass in a circular motion, watching as the liquid sloshed arout in the glass. "Things weren't all bad, my family didn't 'ave much money, but we was 'appy. Everything was nearly perfect during my early childhood. Then me mum died and… nothing was ever the same again." She faced him but her eyes seemed to look right past him, as if she were suddenly somewhere else entirely.