Mrs. Lovett handed the box to Todd, who took it quickly. He opened the box and stared at the treasures inside.
"My friends," he breathed. "My faithful friends."
Mrs. Lovett seized the chance to prove herself to Todd the moment she saw it.
"Could've sold 'em, but I didn't. Kept 'opin' someday you'd come back."
Todd looked up, his ghostly eyes boring into Mrs. Lovett's. Todd squeezed his eyes shut, apparently deciding what to say.
"You know," he said with the air of someone who was saying something they shouldn't, "I didn't come back only for Lucy."
Mrs. Lovett turned even whiter that she already was, her eyes wide and her mouth gaping. "What?" she asked in a shaky voice. "You said you'd 'get your revenge' and all that. Obviously you care enough to want to 'unt down Judge Turpin!" Mrs. Lovett wasn't angry, but after nearly twenty years spent loving Benjamin Barker, she found it too good to be true.
"Of course, I wish to avenge Lucy," he began with an expression on his face that might have been the ghost of a smile, "but she's dead. I can't dwell on this. I have to move on – after Turpin's dead, of course," he added as an afterthought. "and there's only one woman I know that would take me as broken as I am."
"Ooh, Mr. Todd!" squealed Mrs. Lovett, nearly knocking Todd over as she assaulted him with a hug. "I'm so 'appy! I could eat you up, I really could!"
Todd hugged her back and then, sweetly as he could manage, asked her for a moment alone. She obliged and he was by himself, but not entirely alone.
"My friends," he said, taking from the box Mrs. Lovett had given him two razors made of chased silver. "I knew she'd fall for it, spending all those years obsessing over me, trying to take my attention away from Lucy. Well, I will avenge her – and there's no doubt now that Mrs. Lovett will do whatever I ask of her. But you, my friends, you will be my greatest asset in this mission."
Todd stood up and outstretched the arm holding the razors.
"At last," he said, reveling in the familiarity of the razor in his hand, "my arm is complete again!"
In the week that followed, Todd became increasingly irritable, spending the time between customers by pacing in front of the bay window, hoping and praying he'd see the judge coming toward his shop in need of a 'shave'. Mrs. Lovett visited him a few times per day, bringing with her some of what were probably the worst pies in all of London. After taking a bite of a particularly nasty pie, an idea came to Mrs. Lovett.
"Seems a downright shame," she said absently.
"Shame?" muttered Todd, equally as absent, as he was polishing his razors.
"Seems an awful waste. . . Such a nice plump frame the Judge 'as." Todd went on polishing his razors, paying little attention.
"Nor it can't be traced. Business needs a lift, there are debts to be erased. . . I mean," she continued, staring at all the passers-by on the road down below, "with the price of meat what it is, when you get it, if you get it. . ."
"Ah!" said Todd, catching on.
"Good, you got it," laughed Mrs. Lovett.
"Mrs. Lovett," cried Todd, spinning her around his shop, "what a charming notion, eminently practical, yet inappropriate as always! Mrs. Lovett, how I've lived without you all these years I'll never know!"
They sat down, winded, but filled with malicious delight.
"Never'd have thought you'd have it in you!" laughed Todd, and for the first time since he'd returned, Mrs. Lovett saw him smile.
From that point on, nearly every customer had their throat slit by Todd and was thrown into a pie after meticulous grinding to avoid any noticeable appendages. As time went on, Todd found himself thinking about Lucy and Johanna less and less and Mrs. Lovett more and more. Todd felt something he hadn't felt in nearly sixteen years. It was happiness, and perhaps a glimmer of something he didn't quite recognize – love. Whenever Mrs. Lovett was around, he felt himself smiling, if for no other reason than her presence. He had taken to helping her around the meat pie shop just to be nearer to her. Mrs. Lovett noticed this change and was thoroughly pleased by it. Todd hadn't completely given up avenging Lucy, but he no longer dwelled on it.
On one particularly interesting evening, Todd accompanied Mrs. Lovett to her bedroom, under the pretense of tightening a know on her armoire. It went from home improvement to a confession, with Mrs. Lovett and Todd lying on her bed next to each other, sharing things they'd hardly – if ever – shared before. Todd told her of his life since he'd been sent away from London. He had been banished to the Americas, but had made his escape when he met a young sailor named Anthony in Peru. Anthony, who had been heading to London himself, agreed to bring Todd with him, free of charge.
"There's no place like London," said Anthony as they pulled into port.
"No place like London," Todd repeated, his eyes narrowed at the corrupt city where the vermin of the world lived.
When they got off the boat, Anthony offered his hand to Todd, who ignored it. Anthony withdrew his hand.
"Will I see you again, Mr. Todd?" Anthony asked.
"You might find me if you like. 'Round Fleet Street, I wouldn't wonder."
"And then you came here," finished Mrs. Lovett.
"Then I came here," Todd confirmed, staring into her crystal-blue eyes.
Before he knew it, they were lost in each other, letting go like never before.
"I love you," breathed Todd into Mrs. Lovett's neck.
Mrs. Lovett sighed and drew Todd in closer.