"If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely."
- Henri Ducard, Batman Begins

For the first time in a long time, V felt fear.

He wasn't afraid to die. No, he had planned this. Planned the meeting, planned his death. He knew he was too good for the government to find or to kill, even if Derek Almond had surprised him at the Delia Surridge's house. It wasn't pride. It was plain fact.

V was afraid he wouldn't make it in time.

Through the years since his escape, he had started scripting all of this. He had planned everything, from the deaths of all those who had worked at Larkhill to the destruction of Parliament Building and more. He had even planned to train a successor. He had not known who it would be, male or female, black or white or Asian, but he knew he would be able to find one. Evey Hammond was his choice.

But this — this he could not have planned. He knew he would die tonight in a confrontation with Finch. What he couldn't have planned was how he was injured, or where.

V had hoped it would be relatively minor. It would give him a chance to get to Eve, to tell her the things that she had to know.

He liked to think he had trained her well. Educated her, freed her from her prison — even if it had meant torturing her. He felt almost Wonka-like. She would understand everything said to her, even if he hadn't given her enough dots to connect: the train, the explosives, the flowers.

As he told her everything, V knew she would understand. He had taught her well. She would know what to do, she would understand why he did what he did.

Justice, ah, Justice. His sweet lover, his once-cherished ideal. He had abandoned her for Anarchy. Anarchy that would, again, lead to Justice, once Freedom was given. Because without Freedom there could be no Justice.

But he could not live forever. Someone had to guide the people. The man he once was, the man who had been sent to the Larkhill Resettlement Camp, was not enough. V, on the other hand, was. The public would never know who the real V was. They thought V was Fate. They thought V immortal.

So he would be.

This V would not mean Peace. He had become a bringer of Chaos, Chaos that would clear the way for the future Vs to bring freedom and peace back to England. This was his way of stepping down.

But Eve had to see what she had to do. He would not tell her, because she would not be convinced. But if he let her find out for herself, he was sure it would work.

She had to discover whose face lay behind the mask.

She had to become more than a person, just like he had.

She had to become the ideal.

"Give me a Viking funeral."

She would understand. He had taught her everything he knew, in a way. She would rise to claim her heritage.

Ave atque vale.

Hail and farewell.

Hail to the new V.

Farewell to the old.

Just like it should be.