I Am In The Dark Beside You
I am in the dark beside you
~Johanna, Sweeney Todd soundtrack
10 years later . . .
The sun shone high in the sky, streaming through the canopy of leaves. The tree leaned over the fence, like a collapsing tower, and sheltered the gravestone beneath. It's engraving was subtly illuminated by the sun's rays, the shadow hidden in the darkness surrounding it.
The young girl sat cross legged in front of the gravestone, her pale face solemn as she gazed at it. Her hands were intertwined, resting on her lap, and her dark hair tumbled over her shoulder.
In front of her was a bunch of flowers, bright sunflowers arranged in a green vase.
Green was, after all, her mother's favourite colour.
A photo had been placed in front of the grave, preserved in the frame that held it. Her mother's face beamed at her through the glass, her eyes shining and her cheeks tinged pink with excitement. She looked like she was laughing.
The girl smiled. She could remember her mother's laugh.
There weren't many things she could remember, as her mother passed away when she was only a year old, but there were certain things she couldn't forget.
Like the song her mother would sing each night to send her to sleep, or the musky scent of her favourite perfume, or the necklace she always wore. She was wearing it when she died.
A hand raised to her collarbone, where the necklace rested. Her father gave to her for her birthday, muttering that her mother would've wanted her to have it.
It had taken several years for her to come to grips with the death of her mother, despite being so young when it happened. Over the years, she collected photographs and her belongings, slowly piecing them together like a jigsaw. She visited all her mother's favourite places, like Camden Market or the pub, and spoke to all her friends.
Some had been more helpful than others.
Her best friends, Uncle Theo and Aunt Anna, were more than willing to share their memories with her. They kept her in fits of hysterics with some of the stories they shared, like the time her mother flashed at a police officer as they drove past.
Her grandmother, however, was more reluctant. The death of her daughter effected her greatly, and if it hadn't been for the support of her family, then she probably wouldn't have carried on.
Her sister - or half sister, depending on how you looked at it - gave as much information as she possibly could, forever apologising that she didn't know her mother very well.
Tim and Helena were the most helpful, as they'd known Niamh the longest (disregarding her mother, of course). They were like parents to her mother, and so became adoptive grandparents to her.
People said she looked like her mother, a compliment she accepted with great pride.
It was her smile, they said. She had a bright smile that could light up the room, just like Niamh's. Her eyes, as well, were the same colour, an awkward mix that wasn't quite blue nor was it quite green.
And her mannerisms.
She ran her hand through her hair a lot. She was a show off. She could even slip into an Irish accent with natural ease should she want to.
Sometimes, just sometimes, she caught her father staring at her with an odd expression. Every time she did, however, he simply looked away.
She never asked him why he stared at her like that.
She could hear foosteps behind her, slowly approaching her. She didn't need to look around to see who it was.
Slowly, she looked up.
"Hi, Dad," she said softly, grinning at him.
Sweeney Todd stood over his daughter, frowning. His eyes sought the photo of his dead wife.
"You should have waited for me at the school," he said quietly, though he wasn't really scolding her.
"Sorry," Robyn mumbled, standing up.
Though she was tall for an eleven year old, Robyn was dwarfed by her father's height. She glanced up at him, but he continued to stare at the photo.
Even as a child, Robyn never asked Sweeney questions about her mother's death.
She talked to her closest friends, Will and Vicky, about it once. "Do you think it hurt?" she'd asked them.
"She drove into a bloody building, Robyn, of course it hurt," Vicky had responded with a loud snort, rolling her eyes as she bit into a slice of pizza. That ended the conversation.
Silently, Robyn weaved her hand into Sweeney's.
"Are you alright?" she asked him quietly, looking up at him again. Slowly, he nodded.
"Are you?" He looked down at her, his eyes filled with genuine fatherly concern. Over the years, Sweeney had been the best father he possibly could, to both his daughters.
They stood in silence for a minute longer, their heads bowed in private mourning. It was a private, vulnerable moment for them both, in which they allowed themselves to be submerged in the hurt and pain they supressed in public. They shared the trait of refusing to show their emotions, but rather to hide behind a blank mask.
Finally, Robyn broke the silence.
With a small smile, Robyn squeezed Sweeney's hand.
"Let's go home."
I'm writing this letter to explain.
I love you. I love you more than anyone I have ever loved before. I had no idea I was capable of this sort of love until I had you, and I hope that you'll one day understand what I mean.
I've only ever wanted the best for you. I couldn't put you in danger, which was why I decided to place you in the care of your father.
Never think that I didn't want you, but I wanted you so, so much. I'll understand if you're angry, but please believe me when I say that it was all for you. Everything I did was for you, because I just love you so much.
I can't say anything more, so let me just remind you:
Robyn Johanna Todd, never forget that you are safe, you are loved and you are wanted. There is not one person in our family that would let anything harm you. We love you and we are always with you, even if you can't see us. No matter what, we love you. Especially me.
All my love,
Thank you filmgrl13, Sylverfire-Lilithe-Todd, babyvfan, xXFivexMinutesxToxMidnightXx and CadyD for reviewing. Thank you to everyone else that has supported me in this rewrite, whether that be through reviewing, favouriting or keeping track of this fic. I cannot tell you how appreciative I am.
I have no immediate plans to write an official sequel to In The Dark Beside You, but I may write related one shots in the near future. The Unbecoming of Lucy Moon is still on temporary hiatus, so I shall be focusing on A Child of the Revolution (Moulin Rouge) and Fallen Star (Avengers - Forget About The Sunshine has been removed and is undergoing a rewrite).
Once again, thank you everyone for the support.