Hello, all! A quick introduction. No, I don't own the characters. Yes, I'm tweaking the plot. But most important, I'm hoping this story will inspire you to write your own V/Evey fanfiction, because quite honestly, these are too beautiful of characters to let go stale! Rated T... well, because you never know.

V walked into the Shadow Gallery and took his pause. Odd, never before would he have taken the time to detect the different noises in his home, as he had them all committed to memory. But that was before "the guest."

She was a small thing, really. Didn't take up much space and with as shy as she was around… well, around what she deemed a masked murderer, it was no curiosity that she wasn't exactly at ease around him. Noting the steady rhythm of her breathing coming from down the corridor, V went about his usual routine of hanging up his hat, knives, and cape. The rain still clung to the black material, already forming puddles on the stone floor. Thinking a cup of tea would be the perfect thing for warming his soaked self, with the lights still off, he set about the kitchen.

In fact, he was so involved with musing over whether it was a chamomile or green tea sort of night that he was caught by complete surprise when he heard soft footsteps approaching from the corridor. He turned around with just enough time to see her round the corner. Of course, with her arms outstretched, bracing against the wall, she could not automatically see him, as it was still dark. V, however, could see her perfectly and the sight caused him immediate warmth in a way no tea could ever penetrate.

"V?"

"Ah, one moment, Mademoiselle."

In no more than a second, V was across the room and had flicked the lights on to stand an appropriate distance from her. He clasped his hands in front of him, not knowing what else to do with them.

"There! Now that you can see, you might permit me to ask what you are still doing up at such an hour? I must say I usually pride myself on being stealthy, but…"

"Oh no, it wasn't you. I just… I couldn't sleep and was going to make a cup of tea. That's when I heard something in the kitchen."

His eyes searched her face, though she could not see. The beginnings of dark circles under her eyes troubled him. Of course, he knew he had no choice when he brought her back to the Shadow Gallery, as his unwillingness to let her be tortured for his sake was classified under an emotion he was not yet willing to identify. But that did not mean she had to be unhappy while she stayed here.

Clapping his hands together, V gestured grandly back to the counter.

"Well! It seems you are in luck. The Shadow Gallery has such a fine selection of tea that even the Kings of Arabia would be pressed to compete. What is it you would like?"

Evey hesitated, looking from him to the boxes of tea he revealed with the opening of a cabinet door. Finally, she tentatively stepped forward so that she was directly in front of him, looking up at the teas, which were too high for her to reach. Unknowingly, V held his breath. Had it really been this long since she had been this close to him?

Without time to ponder the question, she suddenly turned to look at him with a tentative smile.

"I'd take some chamomile if you please. My mom used to give it to me before I went to sleep."

"Your mother was a smart woman with fine taste. Chamomile it shall be. If you wish to wait on the couch, I will bring it to you shortly."

As V turned his back to her and busied himself with putting on the kettle, he felt Evey pause.

"Actually, if you don't mind, I'll just stay in here with you."

V turned around in surprise to see she had floated toward the table with her hand on the back of a chair, as if seeking his permission. She was asking to stay. If only she knew what it meant to him.

"I am sorry to deny such fair and excellent a lady anything."

With a blush, Evey sat down as V prepared two mugs.

"As you like it," she softly said, but not so low as to not be heard by V's keen sense of hearing.

"Your knowledge of the Master continues to serve you well."

With a flourish, V turned off the now-whistling kettle and set a steaming mug in front of her while sitting across the table. He noticed her gaze fall curiously onto the mug he'd placed in front of himself but then register his guarded stare as she quickly looked down at her own mug. Stretching the moment for what it was worth, V decided to see if she would break the silence. She did not disappoint; he was finding she rarely did.

"Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Of course, Evey, ask what you will, but you must bear in mind that some answers may be hard to accept."

Evey's eyes flashed as she recognized he had anticipated her question, but she continued anyway.

"It's just… your clothing is wet and I know you must've been standing still for hours… well, don't you have an umbrella? Or a way to keep from getting soaked?"

There were a few seconds of complete silence until V let out a completely unexpected burst of laughter. Of all the things she could've asked, she was worried about his well-being. Not who he was preying on or why.

Avoiding politics already; this was one was sly indeed.

"Well, Evey, you'll find that keeping to rooftops can have its disadvantages. But I am willing to take lack of exposure from the heavens for being a predator of the skies any night."

Evey nodded, her eyes far away as she held the steaming mug in front of her, as if it were a source of comfort. After a few moments of silence as V was entranced with the possibilities of what could be going on behind her soft brown eyes, Evey suddenly jolted, returning her gaze to his mask.

"Well, thank you again for the tea."

She had already scooted her chair back and was backing toward her room.

Ah, so she was still nervous in his presence. V inwardly sighed until he noticed her gaze shift quickly from his mug and back to his mask.

Could it be? Could she really be that perceptive?

"You're most welcome," V said, with the usual tilt of his head as he quickly stood and gave a short bow in her direction.

She slipped from sight and V felt himself smiling. Sitting back down and lifting his mask to drink his tea, V forgot all about being the discomfort of being wet.

Thoughts? Questions? Critiques? Please, feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear from you :) (I would threaten to not upload the story if you don't review, but who am I kidding, I love these characters too much to not finish. I hope you feel the same!)