A/N: I always wondered if anything could overshadow my obsession with POTC. It seems as though something finally has.
Excuse the title – I'm terrible with titles.
Nearly a year had passed yet Evey found that the pain hadn't lessened. On the contrary, she found herself numbed by it.
It being V's death. His grandiose departure from this world.
She marvelled at the sarcasm her own thoughts carried.
Often, Evey cursed him for leaving her. Often, she resigned herself to cry silent tears in the confines of the single bedroom on her lonely flat. Much of the time, she grieved, and yet that was getting better. As long as she didn't think about it.
That was getting difficult nowadays.
She didn't want to realize it, but it had nearly been a year since V's death. A year since she'd held him in her arms as he took his final breaths.
That is the most beautiful thing you could have ever given me...
His voice still haunted her thoughts. His face plagued her dreams.
She'd moved forward, but not on. She found herself dwelling in the past.
Several days after the fifth, the fragile remnants of the government had lifted its censorship ban and curfew. Only then had Evey felt safe venturing through the streets. She had marvelled at London's transformation – the groups of people walking the streets without fear. With smiles on their faces!
Evey had been so distracted by this that she had nearly walked past the place without taking any notice.
It was a bookstore, newly opened, its sign still glistening with wet paint. It could be blamed fully on V that she was such a bookworm. His Shadow Gallery had provided an endless amount authors and titles for her to read, and she had enjoyed curling up on the couch and reading. She still did.
The shop caught her eye, so Evey had strolled in and asked for a job up front. She'd gotten it.
Now she was earning a comfortable income and living nicely. Then again, living nicely wasn't the same as living happily. No, Evey lived in caution. She had changed her name, not wanting the risk of being detected. Someone out there might still be holding a grudge and Evey didn't want to be on the receiving end now that V was gone.
So now, she was Evey Jones - nondescript and quite ordinary.
Always, she watched the government with one eye while going about her life. She had watched as it had lay stunned after the fifth, still reeling from the blows that took Chancellor Sutler from this world. It had gotten back up and shook itself off, and then proceeded to tread on eggshells around the people. It wanted to please. It feared that V was still out there, and that there was more of the same type of man. The type of man who was unwilling to let his government become a dictatorship.
It was never revealed that V was dead. It was assumed that he was still out there, lying low, watching England's progress from the shadows.
Evey supposed that was her job, so she did so.
After the fifth, she'd met several times with Finch. He had hinted that he knew more about V's past and that she might be curious. She'd struggled with herself for a while, wanting to know more about V but not wanting to know anything he wouldn't have told her himself. She gave in, however, asking Finch to tell her everything he knew about V. And he had.
Finch had also given her Dr. Surrige's journal from her time working at Larkhill. Evey hadn't wanted to read it at first. She found herself fearing the content inside, but again curiosity got the better of her. Now, her dried tears mark the pages of the journal. Now Evey knew everything. Most everything, that is. She still didn't know why V had to leave her. She had confided in him her deepest feelings, had begged with him...and then he was gone.
It took her several weeks before she could force herself to enter the abandoned Shadow Gallery. The emptiness of the place despite its rooms crammed full of artefacts, books and paintings both amazed and saddened her. She had spent the night, sleeping in V's bed – a room she'd never been in before – smelling the scent on his pillow and revelling in the softness of his mattress. She'd then realized that she had to do something with the massive amounts of 'acquired' items that V had collected.
Thus, it had been partly because of her that the British Museum had been reopened, having been closed and boarded up since Sutler came to power. All of V's possessions had gone to the museum in a display that all of London could enjoy. Just as V would have intended, she knew. She hoped.
The one thing she had refused to give up was the jukebox. As the Gallery had been emptied, Evey had the jukebox taken to her flat.
Now, the fifth was approaching with a speed that Evey couldn't quite comprehend and couldn't adjust to. How the year had dragged on yet sped by in a muddled mess of repetitiveness. Once a holiday gone by with little or no notice, the fifth had become a full-blown celebration. The entire city would be out past midnight, watching the fireworks that would be fired off London Bridge over the Thames. It had all been planned out for months now. Evey didn't know if she could join the crowd, yet the V costume taunted her from its hidden place beneath her bed. She would be provided full anonymity, marching with the thousands of others decked out in full V garb.
She'd been invited out to a pub with some of her coworkers, yet all she felt like doing on the fifth was curling up on her couch and watching the fireworks on the television. Or she would watch the Count of Monte Cristo, or play some songs on V's jukebox (now stationed in her living area and looking terribly out of place), and dance with herself as the clock struck twelve. Or perhaps, she would go to bed early and welcome the dreams of V that plagued her nights more often than not.
Recently, Evey had been waking up in the middle of the night shivering beneath the thin covers on her bed. She was convinced that she had closed her window before she went to bed, yet it always managed to work itself open. She was sometimes relieved because wakefulness released her from the chains of her dreams - dancing with V, kissing V, and finally V dying in her arms.
Evey would close the window and settle back down into her bed, the sheets already cool.