Illusions That Confine Us

Chapter Twenty

The saddened wife of Sweeney Todd had been up all night. She had been so full of thoughts and aware of the fact that she was merely drowning in her own self pity, reminding herself dreadfully as her husband. She was just so succumbed with the idea and guilt that she had been selfish, for if she really loved him, she would let him go.

Mrs. Lovett had come to terms with the fact that he was just not happy with her. Like a caged bird that still sung, though it's owner knew that it would be much happier when set free.

She thought about getting up several times between the last few hours. She couldn't. Not even now as Sweeney stood in her doorway, watching her. She knew he was there, she was first aware of his presence when she heard the sound of his boots pause at her doorstep, which was wide open.

He'd been there the last fifteen minutes, watching and waiting for her to say something, perhaps come up with an excuse as to why she didn't have the courage to get up and face the reality that he was leaving. She also knew that he was just as surprised as she was when he awoke to find that she wasn't up and about, fussing to get him ready and to possibly try and get him to stay with her once more.

It was a strange sight, seeing a woman that was usually so lively, lying on her side and staring blankly at the wall. If Mr. Todd didn't know any better, he would have thought her to be dead, that is if it wasn't for her slow yet steady breathing movements.

Deciding that it was time for him to leave, Sweeney walked over to her and tucked a few stray curls behind her ear. "Goodbye, pet." He whispered to her, causing her eyes to close and fight the urge to cry.

With a sigh and a drop of his eyes to the floor, Sweeney realized that there really wasn't much left to say at all and that it would probably be best to just go.

He figured that Mrs. Lovett must have thought the same way, because when he walked back over to the door and proceeded upon leaving, she didn't follow.

Slowly and painfully, the day progressed. A heartbroken woman fought the urge to cry, a cat sensed his caretaker's distress, and a former barber wondered if he had made the right choice.

-

Mr. Todd had been hanging around the docks since the ship that he was supposed to be on left. He watched it set sail, and since then, he couldn't stop thinking.

The image of her lying so helplessly on her bed was sending him all of these mixed messages and urges to go back her.

Why couldn't he aboard the ship like he had been planning for weeks now?

Since when did the mere thought of sailing thousands of miles away from his wife make him feel sick to his stomach?

...Why was he walking in the direction back to their cottage?

After hours of thinking and minutes of walking, he made it on the threshold of the cottage. He thought about knocking, considering that if he just walked right in she would think him to be a burglar, then again she was probably asleep and he didn't want to wake her.

Quietly, he opened the door.

He was greeted by a pitch-black kitchen, the only light source coming from the moon's glow through the windowpane, followed by the persistent mew of Alfred.

The cat had apparently perched himself along the windowsill, and Sweeney watched the shadow of Alfred's tail twisting in it's silhouette along the wall, interupted when the tangerine feline looked up at him with yellow eyes and meowed.

If Sweeney didn't know any better, he would have thought the cat to have been waiting for him, as if he knew that he would be coming back…

Alfred meowed again and Sweeney grunted as he picked him up (the cat was quite large, you know).

As Sweeney made his way down the hall, he couldn't help but notice the flickering light on the opposite side of the wall. And when he reached his room, he paused in the doorway, dropping the cat down gently when he saw none other than his wife sleeping soundly in his bed.

Immediately upon being placed back onto the floor, Alfred made his way gracefully onto the desk where a single candle burned, lighting the room dimly.

Sweeney paid no attention, too captivated by his sleeping wife to notice. Even when Alfred started to dangerously circle the top of the desk, barley missing the flame with his tail.

After moments of unexplained staring, Mr. Todd turned from his wife to retreat to the parlor for the night, only to be stopped when the still-lit candle fell off of the desk.

Alfred hissed, having been he had just singed his tail and ran out of the room. The flames started to spread and Mr. Todd tried to put the fire out with the water left in the basin, but he was unsuccessful.

Throughout all of this, Mrs. Lovett still did not wake. And half-panicking, Sweeney picked her up and carried her across the room, trying desperately to avoid the rising flames.

He ran with her outside and down the slight slope that their cottage resided on and placed her down onto the cool sand. It was then she awoke.

"Mista T?" She asked, looking at him and then at her surroundings, gasping loudly when she noticed the fire rising up from behind the cottage. "The bloody house is on fire!"

"I know," he grumbled, "Where is that sodding cat?"

"Alfred?!" Mrs. Lovett exclaimed before sitting up, alarmed that her beloved Alfie could be in danger. She looked back at her startled husband worriedly.

Sweeney then told his wife to try and put the fire out the best she could, and fought his way back into the blazing inferno for the blasted cat.

There was no time for questions. If this was indeed a dream, it was sure a realistic one. The air was already starting to smell of smoke and ash…

Wasting no time, Mrs. Lovett got up from the sand and quickly went and grabbed the bucket that she used for collecting shells (she had luckily forgotten to take it back inside the last time she used it) and filled it up with sand and a bit of seawater. Running back up behind the house she threw it at the fire, repeating this process until she found it to be no use, the fire just kept growing.

She had just finished making her umpteenth trip back to the seashore to obtain some more water when it suddenly dawned on her that Sweeney still hadn't come out of their burning home after hurrying to find her cat.

Suddenly, she felt some drops of water fall onto her bare arms, and looking up, she saw that it was beginning to rain.

Right at that moment, Sweeney emerged from the remainder of the fire, carrying the troublesome cat Alfred in his arms.

It started to rain harder as her soot covered husband came nearer to her, carrying her incredibly filthy cat in his arms.

She dropped her bucket and immediately ran to him, too overwhelmed by her luck to notice that it was now pouring out.

The couple now stood before each other. Neither knew exactly what to do or say, but when the sky lit up and a loud roar of thunder rung through their ears, Mr. Todd grabbed his wife's wrist and ran with her (and Alfred) to a nearby fisherman's shed.

When they entered the tiny building, Alfred hopped out of Mr. Todd's arms and made himself comfortable on top of a pile of fishing nets.

Mrs. Lovett immediately turned to her husband and mouthed the words 'thank you' to him, seeing as how she couldn't think of anything else to say.

Sweeney leaned himself against the wall and slid to sit on the floor, exhausted from the day's events.

Mrs. Lovett knelt down beside him and caressed his cheek, causing him to turn his head and look into her eyes.

"Ya didn't miss ya ship, did ya?"

He shook his head and she smiled faintly, her heart melting.

"I know that I didn't say goodbye to ya this morning like I sh -"

He interrupted her quietly, "Maybe it's the best goodbyes that make you want to stay."

Though reluctant at first, Sweeney soon saw just how simple it would be to let his wife love him at last. Perhaps he would love her someday, but for now, she was content with him finally accepting the fact that she did.

After all, it's these illusions that confine us into thinking that what we desire is impossible, when it really isn't all that inevitable in the first place.

To be continued…


HOLY FOPPING **** I FINISHED!

There is so much that I would like to say…

I hope that these last few months have been kind to you. This is the longest I've gone without updating this story, which shows just how hard endings are for me to write. What's new with me you may ask?

Well, I played the "Rat Game" at an Emilie Autumn concert December third and Captain Maggot spit tea on me a few times. It was lovely 3

BTW, This isn't entirely the end! In fact, it's far from it! Oh joy :D

I thought about putting it all into one story, but everyone I asked liked the idea of splitting them up.

Which reminds me, I'd like to thank my wifey and baby momma/daddy Muffcake aka NeonBlaqk and Grapenut01!

You have no idea how much I've harassed them xD

& thanks so much to everyone that has read or reviewed or both!

You make me so happy! I love you!

--

'What If' Scenarios: Untitled

A different ending to 'Illusions That Confine Us'. Basically, one or two other endings that were considered for this story.

Pre-Sequel: Another Light

A series of five one-shots taking place around the course of four months.

Sequel: Sweetest Downfall

"We're not even married… or together -" He stressed out the word 'together' before continuing, "For more than six months and already you want to have a baby?!"

When a baby shows up on their doorstep, Mrs. Todd's only wish it to keep it.

Both coming soon to fanfiction.