Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm just borrowing for non-profit purposes, but I'll return everything, I promise.

Author's Notes: After I posted my first Sweeney Todd story, Beauty, I was asked by smashing to write a one-shot Todd/Lovett, and I being so very flattered (and review happy) decided why not. Personally I think Beauty is better, but that's me and you the reader can make your own decision. I had more trouble getting into Mrs. Lovett's head than Turpin's. I wonder what that says about me - Actually I think my problem is that, while I read both, I work more with slash than het.

This isn't a sequel, but it exists in the same universe as Beauty, so let's say it's the second in a series (a series of two :P) which I will call the Appreciation Series.

For smashing:

Dream

Mr. Todd prowled about in the room upstairs, and Mrs. Lovett, down in the bakehouse, imagined she could hear the tread of his steps as he worked on stripping and rebuilding the barber's chair. A vision had come to Mr. Todd, and he had grasped it with a single-minded intensity; for such a dreamer was Mr. Todd. Not a very practical man, but that was why he needed her, a good practical woman to keep him in line. Without her Mr. Todd would surely get lost in his dreaming and never get anything properly done.

A particularly loud 'clank' filtered down through the brick of the bakehouse, and Mrs. Lovett paused in her own work to look up and smile at the cleverness of her Mr. Todd. In no time at all, he would have a right proper delivery system set up, and Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies would have plenty of fresh supplies. Business would be booming in no time, and once Mr. Todd got his Judge, they could move on to other things; the sea perhaps. She planned to make a special pie for Mr. Todd, when Judge topped the menu.

Mrs. Lovett laid down her hatchet on the table in front of her, the old wood gleaming and slick with a fresh varnish of red. The light from the fire, which burned hungrily in the stove, alternately shadowed and sparked along the rivulets and puddles forming around the table. Mrs. Lovett loaded her fresh batch of carvings into a basket sealed with a wax lining, and then carried the meat to the grinder. Already the basement room began to fill with the smell of roasting flesh; the first batch of Pirelli pies would be ready soon.

Mrs. Lovett wiped her forehead along the length of her sleeve, mindful of the powdery flower and sticky fluid clinging to her. She looked down at her nails and wondered if the stains would come out; she ran a respectable pie shop after all, it wouldn't do to have blood under her nails. Dead flesh stayed in the basement, and pies went upstairs. Customers didn't want to think about what went into their pies, of which Mrs. Lovett approved heartily. In hard times such as these, one shouldn't bother themselves about what and where the filling came from; only be glad there was filling to be had. One just had to be willing to make and take certain economies.

In a shadowed corner of the bakehouse, a bucket of water sat. Mrs. Lovett dipped her hands beneath the glassy surface, and watched as the ripples of the broken surface distorted her reflection. Her eyes stared back at her from within a watery cloud of red, and she thought of Mr. Todd, pale and beautiful against the splattering of Pirelli's blood. She had always thought Mr. Barker a beautiful man, but her Mr. Todd was a vision all his own; and her Mr. Todd he was. No room for that pretty and poor thing Lucy here; no practical woman was she. Two unpractical people together would only come to trouble, as surely her Mr. Todd now understood. Lucy had claimed the light and lovely Mr. Barker, but the dark and deeply beautiful Mr. Todd belonged to Mrs. Lovett. Her beautiful dreamer, Mr. Todd, no one else could possibly appreciate him properly.

Mrs. Lovett lifted the water bucket, and threw it across the work table. The water ran red down into the sewer drain. Broom in hand, Mrs. Lovett swept the remaining puddles of questionable contents down to the rats and creatures of the under-city. Behind her the stove crackled and popped. The heat swirled around the hem of her dress and seeped under to tease her ankles. The aroma of browning pastry wafted out under the smell of meat.

"How are the pies?" asked the rough voice of Mr. Todd from within the shadowed stairway.

"Should be ready about now," she said. Mr. Todd moved so that the firelight partially lit his face. One dark eye stared out of the shadows like an ember nestled in the remnants of a dead fire. His gaze did not meet hers, but instead swept across the room resting on the grinder, the stove, and finally the pile of bones waiting to be thrown into the fire.

"So very practical, love," said Mr. Todd with a slight grin that lifted the corner of his mouth. Mrs. Lovett smiled, so happy that he got it. Her dreaming Mr. Todd needed a good practical woman.

"Go and have a seat upstairs, Mr. Todd, and I'll bring you a nice fresh pie," Mrs. Lovett said. She would take good care of her beautiful Mr. Todd; better than Lucy ever took care of Mr. Barker, and when Judge topped the menu, a special pie she would make for her Mr. Todd.

End

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Solaras