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Fun With V and Evey - Spaces by Vincent_Valentine

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Notes:
This is a one shot of the infamous 'Fun With V and Evey' series that I've been losing sleep over.
Its set fairly early in the movie continuity, soon after the BTN affair. Mostly junk I'm afraid, but since its my first fic I'm fairly happy with it.
FREEDOM! FOREVER! ENJOY!
Please rate/comment.

DISCLAIMER
I do not own anything of V for Vendetta. Its nice to dream but alas...
Fun With V and Evey Part I - Spaces
Down, beneath the cold Wintry streets of London, stood the Shadow Gallery, lair of the man known only as Codename V to the police, and just ‘V’ by Evey Hammond, his guest.
Evey was alone today, sitting patiently in the kitchen, waiting for the tea water to boil. Where had V gone to this time, she wondered, leafing through a tattered copy of Down With Skool. It was a rather silly book and she wondered why it had been banned in the first place.
The kettle whistled madly, announcing the preparations for tea making could begin in earnest. Evey set the book down and turned off the gas.
Then she heard it as the kettle’s whistle died down. A loud beeping; like an alarm going off somewhere in the Gallery.
She checked the alarm in the kitchen. Nothing. What could it be? She wondered. And took a cup from the cupboard, trying to decide on what to do next. She hadn’t been in the Gallery long and wondered where V had installed all the fire alarms.
‘Evey.’
‘Eeek!’ Evey jumped and dropped the cup, watching it fall and smash into a myriad tiny fragments.
‘V!’ Evey felt her heart thump madly ‘God! You startled me!’
V stood at the kitchen’s entrance, groomed and elegantly attired as usual. The porcelain mask smiled at Evey.
‘Come Evey’ V extended a hand to her ‘we must go, quickly.’
'Go?’ Evey wondered what V was talking about.
‘Please Evey.’ V insisted. The tone of his voice, although calm as usual, was tinged with a certain sense of urgency.
‘What is it?’ Evey let herself be swept into the study by V’s guiding hand.
‘All questions shall be answered’ V replied as he lifted the closest painting at hand and set it aside, partially revealing a door ‘suffice to say, we have less than five minutes left.’
‘For what?’
‘To live, of course.’ V replied, moving another painting aside and fully revealing the doorway.
‘What??!’ Evey’s eyes bulged.
V didn’t reply and opened the door. Evey had expected it to creak; instead it glided smoothly, giving off a light hiss, like a pressure door. V reached inside and flicked a switch close to the doorjamb.
‘Please’ V indicated for Evey to go first ‘it will be safe here.’
Evey stepped inside. This was a tiny room, walls painted white. There was a chair, some books, and nothing more. An air vent grille hummed just above her. V stepped inside and pulled the door behind him, turning a large lever attached to the door. The moment he did the door slammed shut with a thud and a panel of switches on the wall came alive.
‘We shall be here for a while,’ V spoke as he rechecked the door ‘please, help yourself to the chair.’
Evey didn’t sit down, wondering what this was all about.
‘Why ARE we here in the first place?’
‘Did you hear the alarm?’ V asked
‘Yes’ Evey recalled ‘I thought it might have been a fire but it wasn’t a fire alarm.’
‘That alarm sounds only when the Fingermen are conducting routine sanitation sweeps of the tunnels.’
'Sanitation?’ Even didn’t understand.
‘Gassing rats, my dear’ V offered ‘Can’t have rats in the tunnels now can we? How then can Norsefire keep everyone safe in their homes?’
‘Why would Fingermen bother with rats…?’
Evey’s words trailed off as she realised the meaning behind V’s words. Evey understood now. Rats; two legged rats that had fled down below the streets when life above had become too unbearable.
‘Gas?!’ Evey gasped and clapped her hands over her mouth.
‘We are quite safe here, I assure you.’ V spoke reassuringly ‘we have a direct supply of fresh air from the upper surface.’
‘They’re…’ she spoke horrified, unable to word her horror for the Fingermen’s callousness ‘they’re really doing that? I mean, using poison? Right now?’
‘Yes.’ V replied.
‘And there’s people down there in the tunnels, I mean, apart from us?’
‘Not anymore.’ V replied again.
‘Oh God!’ Evey covered her mouth in horror. She had to sit down.
To think that for years, under her very feet, people were being exterminated like vermin. Were there just lone people down here or just families? How many children were, right now, choking to death on some poisonous gas?
‘But…’ Evey thought ‘wouldn’t the gas kill people up above too?’
‘This is a heavy gas,’ V explained, seating cross-legged on the floor, next to the door ‘it does not last very long, does not rise very high and travels slowly, yet it kills almost instantly.’
‘How come you know so much about it?’ Evey asked suspiciously.
‘I was present when it was…tested.’ V explained, his voice growing cold ‘and yes, I can testify to its lethality.’
Evey felt nauseated, it was too horrible to think about it. What was worse, V seemed to be taking it rather calmly. Didn't he care?
‘How can you just sit there?’ Evey chided him ‘how can you?’
‘I have to’ V replied, the mask rising briefly ‘believe me, this is far less enjoyable for me than it is for you.’
‘Its cold’ Evey shivered a little and looked about ‘why is it so bare?’
‘My apologies’ V sympathised with Evey’s discomfort ‘Although I am glad to have installed it, I fear I have neglected this area of the Gallery for some time.’
Then he added as an after thought ‘A surprise clean up. Mr Creedy,’ he spoke the name with utter contempt ‘you must be rather preoccupied to commit so many resources into my demise. I am flattered.’
Evey didn’t understand why V had said what he did. How could he have been present when this evil poison had been tested on people? Had he had anything to do with it?
‘So what happens now?’ Evey asked ‘how long are we going to stay here?’
‘Until that little red light turns from festive red to peaceful green’ V indicated a light just above the switches on the wall ‘and not before.’
He looked down at the floor
‘And not before.’ He repeated softly.
Evey had the sudden impression of V shifting uncomfortably at the thought, but why?
Time passed slowly and they struck up a conversation, although Evey could not remember about what.
Gradually though, V began to fall more and more silent, until he stopped talking altogether and had retreated behind folded arms, away from Evey. Evey didn’t know what to make of this and felt V was trouble by something. She didn't dare enquire for fear of offending him.
For a moment she had the impression he was staring at her form behind the mask, but she pushed this thought aside, more worried about what was going on outside.
She stared at the red light, hard, willing it to change. Nothing. No matter how much she swore at it in her head, it refused to turn green. Then she noticed something odd about V.
At first it seemed to her it must have been her imagination but no, the movement became more and more pronounced. He was rocking.
'V?’ Evey asked concerned.
V didn’t reply at first, still rocking back and forth.
‘V?’ Evey asked again.
V stopped rocking and turner to her, the mask tilting slightly, as if he'd just realised he wasn't alone.
‘I am sorry Evey, I did not hear you the first time.’
‘Are you all right?’
‘No.’ V replied.
‘Its this place, isn’t it?’ Evey asked tentatively, remembering he’d began acting strange ever since the door had locked behind them.
‘Yes’ V replied, taking one hand to the mask in frustration ‘It…affects me. I would not be here willingly, but there was no time and no choice.’
‘You don’t like close places like this one, do you?’
‘No, I don’t.’ V replied and said no more.
She felt a brief tinge of triumph at the realisation that V found something unpleasant for a change.
Her triumph was short lived however as she began to feel guilty. He'd had enough time to flee when the alarm had first gone off, Evey thought, and looked to V, who remained still where he sat by the door, looking at Evey, past Evey, to the wall opposite.
Why had he come back?
The answer was obvious. It was because of her that he was here. He'd come back to save her.
Evey had allowed herself to imagine that V felt something more than caring for her. From the first day she'd arrived here, although brought against her will, she'd allowed this fantasy to grow until she'd began blushing when V was in the same room.
How childish! She'd thought. He was just being kind, generous to her in allowing this total stranger into his home, and she was fantasizing ridiculous notions. If V knew he'd probably laugh at her. She had to push this silly fantasy aside.
'Thank you for coming back for me.' Evey offered
V ignored her and the mask offered no clue as to whether he'd heard her at all.
Evey felt there was no more she could say and was somewhat relieved he’d at least stopped rocking.
That is, until V produced one of his daggers.
Evey watched V’s hands as he began to juggle it rather deftly, fearlessly. She was fascinated, admiring the fluency of movement, amazed that such a deadly instrument could be so beautiful in the right hands.
She hadn’t seen V produce it. To her eyes it had just appeared from thin air. But he wasn’t wearing the dagger belt she remembered from the alley.
Concealed weapons then, Evey reasoned. Very like him.
And just as it appeared the dagger was gone.
She watched him shift from the door to her left, leaning his back against the wall. He must be uncomfortable, she thought, feeling guilty for having taken the chair at V’s request. She rose, and pushing the chair aside to make room sat on the floor next to V but not too close so as not to invade his personal space. V said nothing, completely unaware of Evey’s movements. God, how long are we going to be here, Evey wondered.
‘”They sought it with thimbles”’ V began
‘What?’ Evey asked
‘”They sought it with care; they pursued it with forks and hope;”’
He continued, and began to rock again
‘”They threatened its life with a railway-share; they charmed it with smiles and soap.”’
And so he continued, reciting the rest of the poem from memory.
V, what are you feeling? Evey’s heart felt for V’s predicament. What are you seeing? Why are you so frightened?
She couldn’t imagine V frightened, not the V that had rescued her from the Fingermen and blown up the Bailey. He'd laughed then, madly perhaps, but fearessly.
She remembered something about people that were scared of different things. A doctor of something had explained it on the telly.
What was it? She couldn't quite remember. It was a fear of closed spaces. Castro something.
But it was more than that, wasn’t it?
It wasn’t fear; it was something else.
She couldn’t fathom V being afraid of a closed space. Not the man that had brazenly walked into the BTN foyer almost a week ago, wearing a vest of plastic explosives, ready to die for his ideals. Why then was he acting so oddly here?
This room!
She looked about at the bare walls, so clinical and devoid of life, so unlike the rest of the Gallery with its art and music. It had been painted and finished but abandoned. Kowing a little of V she figured he wasn't the type of man to leave something unfinished.
This place reminded him of something, something terrible he’d experienced and was coming back to haunt him. That’s why he’d neglected it for so long.
Evey’s full attention remained on V, who ignored her and continued his recitation.
The wall at her back was cold, stone cold. It reminded her of a funeral she’d been to once as a child. She had gone inside the crypt and touched the stone briefly, feeling how cold it’d been. She shivered at the memory and looked to V, wondering if he felt the cold too.
Was he recalling a funeral? Someone close dying? Some personal tragedy?
She knew hardly anything about the man and hadn’t the nerve to pry.
V had stopped rocking, stopped reciting, and was huddled against the wall, knees tucked in, masked face resting on folded arms. It was as if he was trying to deny he was here at all.
Please, please, please, Evey prayed in her heart. Please V; won’t you let me help you? What’s haunting you so much that it’s making you act like that?`
‘”All things that are, are ours. But we must care.’ V recited something different, his voice full of some emotion Evey didn’t understand ‘”For if we do not care, we do not exist….”’ He paused ‘”do not exist…”’
He looked up then, legs stretching elegantly, arms splayed out, and palms down, as if draining strength from the stone beneath
‘”…do not exist…”’ he repeated, as if he’d forgotten the rest.
He fell silent then, looking at the floor just before him as if seeking answers from the stone. Evey felt there was nothing she could do. She wanted to reach out to him, to hold him and let him know he wasn’t alone in this place. How would he react to her, to her touch? Would he thrust her away?
Would he scold her?
V leant forward, legs crossed, cradling the mask in his hands, elbows resting on his knees
"If we do not exist, then there is nothing but blind oblivion.’” He continued ‘”And even oblivion must end some day.”’ His words were almost tearful, full of sorrow and pain.
Evey watched his hands curl into fists, heard the leather gloves creak. The bangs of the wig had spilled forward so the she couldn’t even see the mask.
‘”Lord, will you not grant me just a little time? For the proper balance of things; to return what was given. For the sake of prisoners and the flight of birds?”’
Was he praying? Evey asked herself, feeling he heart go out to him when he'd said something about prisoners. Had he lost someone? had he been imprisoned before? She remembered her parents, being black bagged and dragged away.
Whatever the answer, she’d had enough of just witnessing V’s pain.
Whatever this place reminded him of, it was tearing him apart and she would not let him suffer so.
Without a word she carefully, tentatively, moved closer, and placed her arms around V’s shoulders, trying to comfort him through whatever dark nightmare he was having.
V said nothing, he didn’t struggle, didn’t chide her or scold her. Instead he gradually reclined into Evey’s embrace, relaxing, resting in her lap.
Funny, Evey thought as she looked to the mask, grinning away pleasanty at her. She’d never imagined this moment, never imagined V seeking solace from her.
The mask and wig concealed his features so well. Such secrecy, all she had to go by on a daily basis were body movement and tone of voice, none of which were available to her now.
For now it was enough that he was relaxed, hopefully asleep, and distracted from the nightmares in his mind. Looking down she could just see, through a gap between the mask and V’s high collared jacket, the briefest sliver of flesh. It too was scarred as far as she could tell.
It was so odd, to see him so vulnerable, but then again, under the mask, behind the charm, the knowledge, there was a man. A man that had been hurt, horribly, in ways Evey did not know and could not imagine. She remembered his hands, him mentioning something about a fire. Was the rest of him, his soul, his mind, just as scarred? What horrible chain of events had occurred to make him so?
She wondered if this immaculately tailored, dangerous man whom she now cradled gently, not knowing if he was asleep or awake, had had a family once.
She felt like crying, imagining what V might have gone through, comparing his loss to her own. She’d known him for such a short time. He could be charming, resourceful, violent and witty, with a stubborn streak about him, yet he was also mortal, and vulnerable.
They sat like that for some time, Evey forgetting all about the death awaiting them outside, forgetting all about the Fingermen and their cruel world above, concentrating on V’s relaxed breathing, the partial weight of his body. She blushed again, glad the mask was looking away from her.
‘”Long has paled that sunny sky;”’ V suddenly recited, so softly Evey thought he must be speaking in his sleep ‘”Echoes fade and memories die…”’
He shifted, so that the mask was staring up, into Evey’s face ‘”Still she haunts me, phantomwise, Alice, moving under skies, never seen by waking eyes.”’
She knew he was looking directly into her eyes
‘Hullo, my Alice’ he spoke softly, then realising where he was he added ‘Did I frighten you?’ somewhat shyly.
‘Feeling better?’ Evey asked, brushing a strand of hair from the mask.
‘A little.’ V replied.
‘I’m so glad.’ Evey touched the mask’s cheek ‘I’m so glad you’re back.’
‘I heard you calling’ V replied ‘thank you.’
‘But I didn’t…’Evey was about to say but stopped before the words left her lips.
‘I do not like this particular area of the Gallery,’ V offered ‘I am sorry you had to see me in such a state.’
He was about to rise
‘Don’t’ Evey stopped him gently ‘let’s stays like this for a moment.’
‘Why?’ V asked, his voice, all guarded curiosity.
‘Because…’ she couldn’t think of a reason to keep him here ‘just…because.’
‘Hmmm’ V offered, sounding more like his usual self ‘my dear Miss Hammond, do I detect romantic intentions forthcoming?’
‘What?!’ Evey felt herself blush fiercely.
‘Its quite safe now.’ V offered.
‘What?’
‘The light is green.’ V replied ‘it has been so for some time.’
‘How…?’ Evey turned around and could have sworn at it had V not been so close.
‘Please Evey,’ V asked ‘if you allow me to rise I can release us both from this place.’
Evey let him go, watched after him as he rose, admired V, a recovered V standing before her as magnificent as she remembered him. It was as if nothing had ever happened. Did he remember anything at all? Even if he did, she knew he'd never speak of it.
‘Allow me’ V extended his hand to her ‘freedom is at hand Milady.’
Evey took his hand and rose, standing next to V as he threw the door’s lever loose and opened the door.
‘Freedom!’ V exulted and allowed Evey to exit first.
‘Thank God’ Evey took a deep breath ‘its over.’
‘Yes’ V agreed ‘for now.’
Evey’s joy turned to gloom then, aware that time continued ticking away, unceasing, towards the November deadline.
Unable to think of anything else to say she saw V head towards the kitchen, and, remembering the broken tea cup, ran after him.
'Its all right, I can clean it up!' She offered to help. Too late, V had already swept the broken shards and disposed of them.
'I believe you've picked up enough broken pieces for today my dear Evey,' V offered 'and for that, I am grateful.'
Evey could think of nothing to say, feeling the eyes behind the mask looking into hers, questioning. Then, to her surprise, he reached out. Evey felt the gauntleted hand caress her cheek briefly, gently, as though unsure that she was real, and just as suddenly it was gone and V had retreated away from her.
'If you will excuse me.' V bowed briefly and departed before she could say anything else.
Evey took a hand to where V's glove had touched her face and looked after V as he disappeared into the study.
She stood there for some time, unmoving, memorising the moment, this moment. This moment when V had, although secretly, perhaps unwittingly, confessed his feelings for her.
Finis of part I
Excerpts from:
Lewis Carrol - Hunting of the Snark, Through the Looking Glass
Terry Pratchett - Reaper Man
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