I love you all :D
At the back of the town there was a large opening from the wall – they figured there used to be a path to the house when it was still used. They followed a barely visible path – the bush was less overgrown – until they reached the house.
It was more overgrown then Mrs. Lovett remembered.
From the roof, vines and plants weaved their way into the windows, more climbing up from the floor. It had a large deck, with wooden steps leading up to it.
"Well…we'd better get started," Mrs. Lovett said softly, walking forward. She cautiously stepped onto the wooden steps, praying they wouldn't break.
"I'll work on getting rid of the vines from the roof," Jess said, pulling out her knife from her belt.
"Alright, but be careful, it may not be too stable," Mrs. Lovett called and she nodded, testing out the banister before hoisting herself onto it.
Sweeney stayed where he was, staring at the mess that was now his house.
It felt wrong.
Mrs. Lovett's surprised noise caught his attention and he walked up the steps carefully, and entered the house. It opened to a large living room, where one lonely couch sat. The weeds and bushes hadn't manage to take the house completely – it was mostly from the windows where strangler vines had make their way in.
"They left some furniture," Mrs. Lovett commented, touching the material of the couch.
She continued further into the house, Sweeney following, reguarding the place in his own way. She stopped in the bedroom. There was a double mattress, in quite a good condition. She smiled and headed into the second bedroom – it had another single mattress. The third bedroom had a single matress, but it was grubby and broken. The bathroom was working, surprisingly, although the water came out brown. The kitchen was small, but already had counters.
"Yes, I'll think this'll do quite nicely," Mrs. Lovett was beaming, and Sweeney couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm and optimism.
"It looks like there are no leaks in the roof," Sweeney commented, checking the walls for mildew.
"At least that's one thing we don't have to worry about,"
Suddenly, with sounds from exertion from above, the vines that were coming in through the window were pulled up.
"Good job Rachel," Mrs. Lovett called and there was a muffled reply.
"I'll go end our stay at the hotel…we can stay here now. The mattresses will suffice until we can get some furniture in." Sweeney said softly, heading towards the door.
"And maybe you can ask around, see if anyone has any old furniture they don't need," Mrs. Lovett suggested.
There was a clattering from above and they saw Jess, hanging from the gutter.
"And they'd probably be willing to ship some in for you – maybe you should ask someone about it?" she said, before swinging back up to the roof.
"Yeah. I got it," Sweeney said.
"And one more thing love," Mrs. Lovett stopped him again, and he turned around with a growl. "Go ask around and see if anyone has anything to cut these pesky vines," she motioned at the growth around the clearing.
He nodded before hurrying away, trying not to get caught with their requests.
Mrs. Lovett sighed contentedly. This is what she'd always dreamed of. A house by the sea, comfy and cosy. Just her and him, with nobody nosy.
Of course, Jess was an unexpected, but she'd always put Toby in the picture anyway.
But still….she knew that Sweeney didn't see her the same way. Not in the same way when they were kids, and not in the same way since he found out about Lucy.
He wouldn't ever see her in the way that she saw him. He could never love her that much.
But he could love her.
He was capable of that, at least.
It wouldn't be constant and it would be subtle, but at least it was there.
She occasionally saw it in his eyes, when he smiled or laughed, even if he wouldn't admit it to himself.
She would break him.
His return interrupted her thoughts. She had been cleaning their yard, cutting away small vines and moving bushes with Jess's knife, while she was crawling around under the house.
"Some of our neighbors will bring around furniture they had been going to throw away." He said, dumping a few knives and cleavers on the ground at his feet. "Some bloke is going to bring around his handsaw and help us even out the clearing. The woman that lives next to the church offered to make some sheets and curtains for us,"
Mrs. Lovett let out a delighted squeak, running to Sweeney and wrapping her arms around him.
"Thank you love," she whispered. He seemed in a good mood, and she was willing to risk some things when he was feeling friendly.
He gave her a few moments, before pulling away.
"It's fine," he muttered, picking up one of the larger knives.
He headed back the way he came and started fixing the path to the town, making it wider and more accessible. When he had finished, he did the same for the back way, so they could reach the edge of the cliff. Mrs. Lovett continued widening the clearing as much as she could, while Jess continued to work under the house – clearing weeds and making sure the supports were secure.
The trio worked hard until the sun started to set. They were tired and wrecked, but a neighbor had been kind enough to provide lots of water and lunch for them.
"Well, I better get home now, come visit us some time," Isaac Elliot said, extending his hand to Sweeney, who shook it.
"Thanks for the help, it's greatly appreciated,"
"No worries, the place already looks amazing. I'll come by tomorrow and help out again, if you don't mind,"
"The more the merrier," Mrs. Lovett smiled, and Isaac grinned at her.
"Welcome to Launton," he said as he left.
Mrs. Lovett heaved a giant sigh when he was gone.
"That was a lot more effort than I thought," she huffed, glancing around. "But he's right, it already looks nice. I'm glad we're doing this,"
The sky was turning a pinky orange colour, and Sweeney smiled.
"Come on," he said softly, taking Mrs. Lovett's hand and calling Jess over.
He was in a good mood!
He led them to the edge of the cliff, where the sun was setting over the water. The sky was now a dark pink, blue and purple, all mixing into one.
"Whoa…" Jess breathed.
The air was crisp and fresh, the salty spray from the sea was refreshing after their long day.
This was their paradise, and their escape was over.
A/N: I wanted to do some soul-searching in this chapter, a bit of 'This is what it is, this is how it's gonna be, and we're content.' Hahha...did I fail? I hate soul-searching.
Edit: OH GOD, I comepletely forgot to mention the most important thing ever!
This is the last chapter.
Haha, it's okay. There's a sequel, but I decided to break it up because the next one isn't about escaping anymore :)