Sweeney Todd sat on a bench that faced the river Thames and stared at the children that were playing by the riverside. He had been there before, at the exact same spot, looking at a very similar scene. Little Johanna used to play here in the sand and water, either with her parents or with other girls.
But this had been many years ago and those days were gone forever. Benjamin Barker hadn't given the happiness and innocence that accompanied afternoons such as this a second thought. It was not that he took it for granted, but he just didn't know yet that life could be very, very different.
Now that he had struggled his way through such long and tormenting years, Sweeney Todd did know. The relative quietness of the playing children was the complete opposite of the only reality that he had known for a very long time. Although the pain and despair of it would never be forgotten, he was glad to be still alive, to be where he was now.
His attention was focused entirely on the young boy who was called Tommy by his friends. He wasn't as tall and strong as the other children of his age, but he was by far the most beautiful one – or at least, he certainly was in the barber's eyes.
Tommy was tan because of the many hours he spent playing outside, in the outskirts of London. It was a much better place for everyone, especially a child growing up, than the dirt and darkness of the more central parts of the City.
His hair was of a light color, but Sweeney knew that this only because of the sun that seemed to be shining so much more often and brighter these days. If the sunlight didn't influence the color of Tommy's hair, his shoulder-length locks were much darker – almost black.
The boy was now throwing mud into the water, trying to cast it further away than his friend. The other boy would probably win their game, but that wouldn't cease Mr. Todd's admiration of the child at all.
Tommy was called by his mother, but he didn't listen to her and pretended not to hear her. Sweeney was aware of the fact that the boy was much more interested in continuing his game than in going home to have dinner. Already knowing what was going to happen next, he couldn't help but be amused.
"Thomas Todd, get back here now," the boy's mother yelled, standing up from her seat next to the barber. "Otherwise there will be no dinner for you tonight!"
"And what are you laughing at?" she asked, as she focused her gaze on him, in a voice that suggested that she didn't know whether she should be offended by the lack of support or be amused as well.
"Eleanor," he said gently, in a much more serious voice, as he placed a hand on her arm. Her gaze softened immediately as he did so. "He's young now, but he won't be forever. He'll be grown up before we know it, and moments like this will be nothing but good memories then. He has to enjoy this life as long as he can – and so do we."
She nodded gravely and sat down next to him once more. He sensed that his words upset her; not because he openly supported Tommy's quest to remain playing as long as he could, but because she realized that he soon would outgrow such things.
"Come here," he said, wrapping his arm around his wife's shoulder and moving closer to her.
Not bothered by the adults and children that were surrounding them, he brushed his lips against hers and deepened the kiss as she sighed happily and twined her hand into his hair.
It kept mesmerizing him how she still reacted as if every kiss was their first. What was surprising him most however was that he too never grew tired of anything about the being of the former Mrs. Lovett.
"Dinner can wait," she said quietly, remaining her close position to her husband even as the kiss came to an end after several timeless minutes.
More than an hour later, when the sun begun to set, Sweeney and Nellie Todd were still sitting next to each other, holding hands as they watched their son play by the riverside.
Some random information about this story: Tommy is based on and named after an adorable kid that I met at the beach today. I wrote this fic while I was listening to a Bon Jovi concert that was going on basically next to the beach where I was at that moment.