Short, because I should be studying and if I don't post something, the urge to write will never go away.

-------

Evey tries to leave V a few days later. Really, she does. It's just that…

She wakes up and V is gone. Even through the walls, she can feel his absence, gaping like a tear in space, as if presence can be a tangible thing. Just like that, simple as faith. She slips out of the bed covers, feeling strangely rattled. It feels treacherously like anxiety.

To calm herself down, she takes a bath. Tries to, anyway. It is the fourth almost-bath she's taken since her succession of water intimacies under V's monstrous precision, and the memories are enough to freeze the water over. Instead, she sits on the edge of the tub and feels the mist swirling up to her face, flushing her cheeks and outstretched arm with moist tendrils. My hair, Evey thinks absently, would've been damp by now.

It is an oddly surprising thought, as if she'd forgotten of its absence. Evey's hand comes up of its own accord to feel across her scalp tentatively. It is strange how she doesn't feel more naked like this, but of course, that's the point, isn't it? To give her the best shield he knows by stripping her bare to the world. When there is no flight, the only alternative is…

Evey often wonders— if she'd given him up, how would he have killed her? Death by drowning? Her hand flinches in the water by reflex, panicking ripples. No, he would have been merciful, she's sure. Would have probably considered it a mercy killing, given intimately with sudden dart of steel in her cell, rapid as a snake's tongue and catching her exhausted and unaware. Would have probably held her after her heart had stilled under his hilt, would have held her close in grief and anger and despair. Grieving and unwillingly loving and without regret. And it would have been mercy killing too, Evey thinks bitterly, because by giving him up…

If she'd given him up, Evey wonders, how would it have killed him?

Evey leans over the tub of steaming water for the longest time. By the time she gives up, there is barely any mist rising and the lady in the mirror stares at her while she towel-bathes herself. There is a plethora of faint yellow bruising patterning across her skin; it is as if the wounds of her whole life are suddenly revealing themselves all at once.

When she leans over to turn off the lights, she catches a glimpse of a question in her reflection's eyes- Death by love?- and is shaken.

'I'm leaving,' Evey thinks aloud, angrily. There is a startled flash from the mirror before the lights flick off.

On a whim, she leaves the jukebox on before she leaves. A compromise. From the lift, Evey catches a thread of it—something on love and rivers and tears—and is nearly disorientated by a sudden strike of déjà vu. She could have done something like this, in another life, she's sure. Could have waited... till he...

Her heart squeezes, painfully. A blind push of the button, the lift doors close-- she is gone.