The sky is a saturated hue of azure, dotted with the occasional cloud as Violet takes in their new home. Lavender is growing in one corner of the cottage, giving the sepia tones of the home a strange, vibrant appearance. There's a degraded shed a few feet from the side of the cottage, and though her hair is absent of a ribbon, the inventor can already feel the gears whirring in her head, thinking of ways to renovate this into home.
As Violet and Isadora link hands, Violet can smell the sea breeze, the thick scent of brine permeating the air. The cottage is beside a cliff because Isadora wanted the view, but there's no beach after the precipice. Violet has seen enough beaches for a lifetime.
"It's beautiful," she breathes, her voice tender as if she might shatter this happily ever after if she spoke too harshly.
"We're so lucky," Isadora says, perhaps a little ironically considering the lives they've lived outside of this tiny abode. But this is their home now—this is their world.
During their first week there, they receive a two letters: one from Klaus, Sunny, and Beatrice, and one from Duncan and Quigley. They both have generic well-wishes and how are yous and Isadora responds equally as dully. She hopes to herself that they wouldn't write back, really, because she secretly wants out from the world, wants to create her own private universe with Violet.
Violet writes back more enthusiastically; she mentions to Isadora her concern about abandoning Klaus and Sunny, but they've both come to terms with the fact that their brothers are now adults and could take care of themselves. It's taken a lot to lift the guilt of being not enough off of Violet's shoulders, but when she sees Sunny reading a book with Klaus peacefully, when she sees Beatrice laugh at her adoptive family's antics, she knows they're there. She feels safe finally, feels that she's fulfilled her promise. Now she can live for herself, live for Violet Baudelaire, not the girl her parents wanted her to be.
By the time the emerald leaves on the willow tree outside begin to paint themselves bronze, the cottage looks lived in. The bookshelves are full of engineering textbooks, poetry books, and various novels sent by Klaus. The fridge, built lovingly by Violet, is stocked with all Violet and Isadora's favourite foods, and is slowly filling up with homegrown produce planted during the summer. The paths surrounding the hideaway now find themselves frequently covered in pairs of footprints, and the air is often filled with laughter as the girls find themselves and each other. Slowly, this and you are starting to become synonymous with home.
Violet, Isadora, and their siblings have started to write letters to each other on the first of every month, and it's a system which lets them stay in touch with those they love while keeping the separated atmosphere there, allowing an entire galaxy to be spun around their fingers and through every room in the cottage.
This September, Sunny has mailed them a recipe for pumpkin pie she devised by herself, and out of pure pride for her little sister, Violet walks all the miles to the nearest supermarket in order to buy the ingredients. When she returns, Isadora looks at Violet as if she's a descended goddess.
They spend the entire day baking, scrapping their first bake because they put too much flour in the pastry and it keeps cracking every time they try to form it into a pie. They don't regret the extra flour though, because some falls onto Violet's lips and Isadora kisses it off. They're right in front of the kitchen window, where anyone can see, and yet nobody can. That's one of the reasons Violet loves the cottage so much—she can do anything she wants with Isadora, anywhere, and nobody will see or hear. Part of her still wants to shout her love for Isadora from the rooftops, to kiss her in front of a crowd of millions. But she knows that her choice is hers and that she needn't feel guilt for it; her love for Isadora belongs to her and her alone. Some things just aren't for sharing.
They end up baking well into evening and have pumpkin pie for dinner, only because neither of them can be bothered to cook a proper dinner. It ends up being delicious anyway, and they remind themselves to thank Sunny for the recipe later. Violet falls asleep with the taste of Isadora and pumpkin on her lips, and the pride of a thousand suns for her baby sister.
Isadora's a sweaty mess as she awakes, screaming and crying and kicking. Violet wakes up immediately, and she doesn't question Isadora. The nightmares are growing less and less frequent, but they still happen, and the girls have stopped being embarrassed about them. Violet tells Isadora to breathe, and she does, and she holds on to Violet because fuck, she needs Violet like she needs air.
Neither of them have much luck going back to sleep that night, so Violet suggests they go for a walk instead. Isadora thinks to herself, this is what love feels like. Love is going for midnight walks in your pyjamas, and love is preferring the galaxy beside you over the one above you. She thinks she might cry with how much she fucking loves Violet, might explode with the light of a supernova from how much she feels towards the girl standing next to her, with her.
Isadora ends up having an idea to avoid getting frozen by the bitter sea breeze they've grown to love over the past few months. They lie down, allowing the air to dance above them, whipping through trees and brushing the grass, but leaving Violet and Isadora mostly unscathed. Isadora casts her mind back to having astronomy classes, pointing out the different stars and constellations, but she's really just thinking about the star on Earth. After pointing out a star that Isadora couldn't remember herself, Violet begins to make up silly constellations herself, and Isadora feels the same overwhelming love she did back in their bedroom. They laugh and make up stories about a "dog" in the sky, and somehow the conversation leads to speculation about adopting a real, earthly dog. They finally manage to sleep when the cold morning light pierces the sky and their heads are filled with maybes and some days.
Now the willow outside has no leaves, and it's far too cold for midnight stargazing. Because of the age of the cottage, the heating is terrible, and Violet and Isadora usually wear coats indoors and sleep with another blanket Beatrice knitted for them.
Despite the biting cold, Violet still finds herself spending her days in the uninsulated shed outside; the walls are now complete, and she's installed a lightbulb inside so that she can see. Deciding to work on something relevant to their current situation, she starts planning a project to heat up the cottage in the winter months. After all, firewood costs money and they only have one hearth, on the ground floor.
Isadora, meanwhile, has finished writing a small book of poetry and is trying to get it published. Right now, they're living off of their respective family fortunes, which would probably have them set for life, but they still wanted a stable income. Isadora begins to attempt prose as well, and comments to Violet that it's not so different from poetry. She begins to plot a novel, rambling about her characters to Violet, and the novel becomes unofficially both of theirs, because the characters in Violet's head are just as real as those in Isadora's. Though Violet isn't very interested in the writing process, she does occasionally express an idea for a character arc or suggests a change to one of the plot points. It's both of theirs' brainchild, and it ends up being the subject of many late-night conversations.
For Hanukkah, Violet and Isadora end up returning to their families for the meal Sunny has prepared for all of them. It's strange and jarring to see their siblings again after so long, but it's a good feeling. Violet thinks she might cry when she sees that Beatrice is learning to read and write, and again when she tastes Sunny's cooking. Klaus helps Isadora to review her novel so far, and they feel like one big family as laughter and music settle into the atmosphere.
By the time everyone parts ways, Violet and Isadora are smiling the kind of smile they usually reserve for each other.
As February comes around, Violet's central heating project comes to a close and they stop wearing coats indoors. Violet would have heated a thousand more cottages just to see the beautiful, million-watt smile that graced Isadora's face when she saw what Violet had done. Isadora was probably prouder of Violet's achievements than Violet herself.
They spend Valentine's Day working on their separate projects, but the calm coexistence they have feels far more romantic than any cliché, overdone gesture.
Days blur into nights, and before they know it, the world around them is green again, mingled with the bright yellow of daffodils. This is Isadora's favourite season, and she remarks that it's somehow more beautiful than when they first arrived here in summer. For a short while, Isadora's notebook is filled with speak of flowers and new life and vibrant colours. Violet thinks that Isadora's love for spring is adorable.
They plant a new batch of fruit and vegetables, busying themselves with enjoying nature. The newfound time they spend together, outside, gives them whole new ways to say I love you. Not that they need to; the crinkle of Isadora's dark eyes says it all, the sunlight catching on Violet's smile, all the new ways they learn to speak.
Isadora used to think that falling in love was some stupid cliché in romance novels, that people just turned into idiots when they fell "in love". She wonders how she could have ever been so wrong. Perhaps it's one of those things you have to see to believe—or, in this case, experience to believe.
The daffodils begin to shrivel up as Isadora writes the final word in her novel. Violet reads it immediately, letting her partner sleep as she checks over any mistakes. When she can hardly keep her eyes open herself, she mails the manuscript to Klaus because he's got a far better literary eye than herself.
Violet is so, so proud, and she wonders how a girl like Isadora would ever choose her over everyone—anyone—else. Then she corrects herself; Isadora found Violet. She never chose her; she just loved her. Violet thinks she loves Isadora too.
Before she lets sleep overwhelm her, though, she quietly slips out of the door. A conversation had under hushed tones and cold stars has never escaped her mind, and she can't think of anything better for someone who writes entire novels just for her.
When Isadora wakes up that morning, she finds that their family of two has increased to a family of three. The extra money from the novel might come in handy, because dog food is pretty expensive.