Disclaimer: I don't own V for Vendetta or any of the characters therein. But this is what makes fanfiction so wonderful.

Evey Hammond had never thought of herself as irrational. The driving force of her being had always been survival, linked to the fear she had learned in her youth. All of her actions stemmed from this ever-present fear, this desperate struggle for survival. Evey lived in a constant state of fear, fear that often bubbled to the surface and left her huddled in her tiny apartment, shaking with dry, body wracking sobs. But though it drove her to panic (and close to the brink of insanity on more than one occasion), she had always done what would most ensure further living. From this stemmed her convictions of rationality. This is what she had always known of herself, her ever present companion.

Not since that night, however. The careful plotting and planning and squirreling away of resources that had kept her alive since her parents' death, her release from the Juvenile Reclamation Project, and the thought processes that had gone along with it had vanished, evanescing into thin air. All because V had waltzed into her life and shaken the foundations of its careful ordering to her core. She knew with a certainty that under normal circumstances she would have never followed him to see the destruction of the Old Bailey, or maced that detective, or done any of the foolish, irrational things she had done in the past several days. It terrified Evey as much as it angered her that he could evoke such reactions from her.

What was more, she didn't understand it.

In a way she resented him for sending her into such turmoil. To be fair, she was certainly not ungrateful for being rescued from the Fingermen. Nor did she resent being helped again, from the BTN tower. Sometimes she did not think she even resented her confinement, charming and amiable confinement that it was.

And that must have been what unsettled her so.

It was madness; she now found herself inexplicably tied to a man who was undeniably mad, a pawn in his mad cause, and now trapped, in what could only be described as a cross between an expansive underground lair and an art gallery. She knew that this was destroying her future, her ever-precious chance of survival, but in rare moments like these, she wasn't sure how much she really cared. In her more insightful moments (doubtless brought on by the comparative safety and comfort in the Shadow Gallery), she thought that perhaps her obsession with living was preventing her from doing just that. But then the old terrors would reassert themselves, and she would retreat back into her fragile mental shelter, the fear she needed as much as she hated. Here was offered a way out of that self-induced trap, a gloved hand reaching out to her from her place of unhappy safety, her dark and cold but hidden rabbit hole.

How apt, she thought, staring up at where the stone walls joined with the ceiling in the dimly lit room. It's the rabbit's choice I'm being offered. Even when she most wanted only to survive, to be completely safe, there were moments when she felt that she was considering a horrible sort of betrayal. He had saved her life more than once, and had been unfailingly kind, and she was considering repaying him with lies and deceit, fleeing from his world of open eyes and shedding fear. When does the bad outweigh the good? she thought to herself wearily, rubbing at her eyes. A clock chimed somewhere; it was very late, two in the morning. She was still up, out in a sitting room, sprawled ungracefully on a loveseat while V sat nearby, reading in an armchair, looking unobtrusive and inscrutable as always. She had long since put her book down and retreated into her own thoughts, and while she was certain he had noticed (for he seemed to miss nothing), he had said nothing.

The advantage he had was quite unfair, she decided. He always seemed to know when she watched him, whether he acknowledged her gaze or not, but she could never be certain he was looking at her. It was not something she had grown accustomed to. Will I ever? And even more unsettling than the mask itself came another thought. Do I want to? She searched for the answer in the shape of his face- rather, the mask's, though the mask truly was his face to her now- eyebrows, the exaggerated lines and haunting smile. That smile could convey a surprising range of emotions, like the smiling mask that wept, the old symbols of comedy and theatre. It sometimes frightened her. V sometimes frightened her.

It was the unpredictability that bothered her the most. She could not see his face to judge his emotions, no matter how expressive and alive the mask seemed most of the time. But in moments like now, where the only movement came from the idle, almost leisurely turning of the pages of his book, it seemed eerie, unreal. She could not tell where the charming, intellectual, and eloquent V ended and "Codename V", the terrorist, the man who murdered and manipulated coldly without--though the turn of phrase had little meaning when she had never seen the mask blink-- so much as batting an eyelash. One moment he was very human, capable of embarrassment and sweetness and other such human emotions; and the next he was…inexorable, deadly, and driven to the point of fearsomeness. A force of nature, untouchable by mere mortals but capable of rending their lives apart.

But even with all this, there was something undeniably amazing about him. The fear she felt was surely a part of it, but also was the unswerving belief of his convictions, the complete impassioned commitment. His peculiar manner of speaking which would only have annoyed in another person was intriguing. Sometimes it seemed as though there was a question mark hanging in the air when he spoke, an unsettling but no less charming quirk of personality. And above all was the sense he exuded of being truly alive, a reckless vitality that was entrancing to be around.

It was this dichotomy that made her choice so difficult; that destroyed her rationale for leaving in one moment and built it up the next. How could she choose, when she was not even certain of the ground beneath her feet? Again her eyes fell to his face, as though drawn there by some force she didn't understand, too complicated to be expressed in a way she could understand. Allure, she thought, though most of her insisted stubbornly that the word didn't apply. As though summoned by her thoughts. V tilted his head ever so slightly, perhaps only at something he was reading, but the dim light caught the mask so that it appeared poised, about to speak, but also shadowed, as though to withdraw into itself. It whispered in the language of sight of uncertainty and contradiction. Speak or stay silent. Stay or go.

The choice.