Crossover with The Time Traveler's Wife (novel), but V4V dominant. Basically, I took the premise of TTTW and used it as a convenient plot foundation because heck, it seemed fun. If unfamiliar with TTTW, all you need to know is the male protagonist has the unfortunate tendency of jumping back and forth in time, out of his control and in random places. I twisted certain points like V being able to control it to an extent, ending up in the same place always and so forth.
Warnings of V being rather Henry and sap coming in great OOC oodles. Set in MOVIEVERSE, or what's left of it.
January 24, 2026. (Evey is 25, V has 3 hours till the Fifth)
V: I am running my fate through my head again when it happens. The extra gelignite dissipates from my hands and I'm naked in my cell again, cursing. This time I'm pressed between the makeshift bed and table; it takes a while to squeeze out of, hardly comfortable.
It must be the stress; I hadn't planned on traveling tonight. Impatience makes me pace the room as I shove on the pants and doublet, neatly folded in a corner. I pick one of the lighter masks to wear, non-metal, on a whim. Even though I know I won't miss any crucial catalysts on my schedule and everything's been in place for weeks now, I still can't help feeling I'm needed back on the day I've devoted twenty years to.
Fortune's Fool! Of all days. What if Evey finally comes—
Evey! Is it too much to hope? My pulse races as I whirl round to grab the calendar off the desk, each day carefully marked off as per nighttime ritual. Glance at the clock and logbook, a rapid calculation. Where was I? My last log noted the day Evey finally set herself free, nearly three weeks ago.
After her imprisonment. Not before. Despair swallows my legs from under me, I have to sit on the bed. Of course. Of course. It woud be. Why couldn't I have gone further back? Or maybe far ahead enough, one of those rare, fleeting cameos in the future where Evey is always glad to see me. Even through her tears.
For a moment I am tempted to time-jump back further, never a good idea when already dimensionally misplaced. Evey would be able to tempt even a devil to repent. But no, I will need my strength tonight— a few months later, the Fifth—and this will already drain me badly enough when I get back.
I waver, stretched between two longings. O call back yesterday, bid time return. But it has been nearly eight long months since I've last seen her, since she has looked at me with her new eyes. Since I've been near her, her beauty and light blinding enough to burn--
I can barely breathe. Missing Evey is like an illness, sometimes. Perhaps I am sick, after all these years. Another reason to die; ideas are not meant to be sick.
I open the door quietly, carefully look out. The corridor is empty; from the larger part of the Gallery, I can hear the jukebox caressing a song and the light is spilling orange glow into the corridor. Evey. I can't remember where I am tonight, I don't recall being told to get out of the way.
When I get to the Gallery main, it is empty. 'Evey,' I call softly, afraid to startle her. No answer. Her bedroom door is open, declaring an empty room. I am starting to grow anxious; surely I haven't forgotten the date? 2nd Feburary, wasn't it? She hadn't left till then.
Let me see just once before I die. Gods, goddesses, art, fate, mistress. Anyone. Give me another coincidence. Give me a memory of Evey. Let me touch her again, just once.
I am turning back to search the rooms when a sound behind me makes me spin around. Evey, steam from her bath still curling around her legs, steps from the bathroom with only a towel twisted around her.
'V!' Her eyes are wide with shock. For a moment, she seems to be torn between darting back into the safety of the bathroom or shooting across to her bedroom only a few feet away. Then, a flare of defiant embarrassment colours her cheeks and there is a blur of pale skin and bleached towel before the door slams shut.
Bedroom door. Apparently her blush does spread deeper beyond her neck, too. I take a while to steady myself—shock from seeing her again, or is it euphoria?—and move carefully back to the main room. There, by the jukebox. It should hold me steady. I stare at the song selections and strain to hear her approach. Cry me a River plays on distractingly, I flick it off.
Finally, the door click open. Footsteps, slow and uncertain. I turn.
'I thought you went out.' Evey stands like an accusation, arms folded. It aches to look at her. 'You said you'll be back late.'
'I did,' I say apologetically. I take a step from the jukebox, she takes a step back. 'I'm not of this time.'
'Oh.' She pauses, anger robbed of its target. A hint of a blush still in her cheeks. I have missed her, bad enough that her every movement steals my breath, like breathing art. Delicately-boned. 'You rarely come see me. Where are you from?'
Oh what the hell. 'The fourth.'
'The Fourth? God! Aren't you cutting it a little close?'
'I didn't intend to come,' I admit. 'I confess I forgot to keep control.'
Evey raises an eyebrow. 'Well, I don't know where you are now,' she says grudgingly. 'If it helps, this is only the second time you've gone out since I was released.'
Second time? I must be out procuring supplies now. From tomorrow morning, Evey will refuse to meet my eyes for two days and I won't go out again for nearly two weeks for fear of somehow offending her by, I had guessed wildly, leaving her alone. I should have known better; maybe I'm going to anger her somehow, right now. Veritum dies aperit. Not now.
'I came back for you this time,' I say slowly, and immediately I know it is true. Eight months of thinking only of explosives and Evey, a constant longing.
She looks wary, brown eyes mistrustful. 'Why? Aren't you going to go help yourself kill more people?'
'Not this time--'
'And you say it's accidental, and now it's for me?' A hard edge to her voice. 'You're lying.'
There are shards in my throat, making it hard to breathe again. 'No,' I manage. 'No more lies. The cause of my accidence was thinking of you. Things have escalated to a rather… tense situation in the future. I forgot myself.'
'Oh.' Evey looks thrown off now, as if disorientated. Unlike my present counterpart in this time, I don't have the luxury of time to veil certain truths for art. I've missed her. Delight suddenly feels a great deal like heartache.
I stretch out a hand, as if a prelude to waltz. Not really caring anymore, there's very future left for me to risk. 'I don't have much time,' I say deliberately, and I mean it in every sense. I can feel the faint ringing in the back of my head starting, like the echo of a bell toll.
Evey looks shaken, but she stays still. Take a chance. I continue, 'When I get back, it'll only be a few hours before England is born again. Your revolution, my finale.'
Hear me well, Evey. I want desperately for her to understand.
'Your revolution,' she corrects, eyes flashing. Her small fists are curled; she wants to fight. I can see enough uncertainty in her eyes to know that she hears well enough, only she refuses to understand. 'We are merely the sleepers, remember? Only you play Morpheus--'
'Please, Evey,' I interrupt tiredly. Hand still outstretched. A last request. 'I don't have much time.'
For a heartbeat, there is a terrifying certainty that she is going to turn away, that I had translated her body language to suit my longing all along, but then her hesitation passes and Evey stumbles as she launches herself at me. I catch her, lifting her up, pulling her closer to me in instinctive desperation. Her legs wrap themselves around my waist in terrible familiarity, shorn head buried in my neck.
We hold each other close and listen to our breathing like heartbeats in the dark.
It is cruel, of course. To play on her emotions like this, when she is still so vulnerable. Unfair, doubtless, to use my mortality like a dagger to her throat, playing her gratitude against the romanticism of a dying man's last words. The unkindest cut of all, perhaps. Now I will never be forgiven: either she will forgive me for awakening her with the interrogation, or she will forgive me for doing this. Never both.
It is also hard to care about that, right now.
'You swear you're V from the Fifth?' Her voice is muffled.
I nod. Voice stolen. Eyes closed, willing my body to remember this moment. Even through death; it will be a stolen gem of heaven in the hell I am condemned to. May Evey never know how much I love her.
'And in a few hours, you might…' She trails off, hesitating. Her arms tighten around my neck.
'If things go as planned, then almost assuredly.'
She is silent for a while. 'You don't have to, you know,' comes her subdued voice, at last.
A small sigh escapes me. In my arms, Evey is so light as to be unsettling. She smells of her shampoo, her skin still soft and moist from her shower. I carefully touch the mask's lips on her bowed head and imagine what it would be like, to kiss her. To hold her without gloves and a mask. To be loved back.
Evey looks up at the touch. She is very close. 'The voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses,' I murmur, wonderingly. 'Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.'
'Don't go,' she says suddenly. Her brown eyes are urgent. 'Don't leave yet.'
'I'll try.' The ringing was becoming more insistent now; I could stay longer, but I don't want to use up any more strength than I have to. Already I am nearly dizzy from cocktail of emotions, from touching her after so long; it'll be harder to focus on the right arteries, later.
'I'll be back before dawn, anyway,' I try to assure her. 'After accosting several gentleman on the way home and outfitted with fresh supplies. I believe I made you pancakes in the morning.'
Which you didn't eat, I add silently. Evey looks unconvinced. She pulls back slowly, remembering herself; I take care not to hold her too tight.
'I still don't like you very much,' she says, unenthusiastically. 'Don't think I've let go so easy.'
'Just because you're right doesn't mean you're sane.'
'You arrogant bastard.'
I flinch. She seems to have grasped the idea of delayed consequences fairly quickly, too: she'll only have to deal with the effect of her honesty later, when the future catches up. Actually, in this case, never. Clever girl.
Evey has been surveying my reactions carefully; her mouth twists, as if a small satisfaction was found. Her hands slide down from my neck to my chest, almost carelessly. I am leaning forward before I can catch myself, already drugged by touch.
'What am I doing, in the future?' Her voice sounds low and honeyed, lulling hypnosis through the buzzing in my head. Rendering death and forever with each breathing. 'Don't tell me I'm helping you mix chemicals.'
'I can't tell you things,' I remind her thickly. Evey, goddess and woman. Evey. 'It's better if…'
A small noise of impatience. 'Well, it's already happened. I thought you said the future can't be changed, anyway?'
True. Or something. She is so close, and it has been so long. 'You left,' I murmur at last. 'For good. This is the last time I'm seeing you. This is likely the last time you'll be seeing this me, too.'
'I left?' The startled wonder in her voice shakes me. Then, thoughtfully, 'Yes. I suppose that's a good idea. I can't stay like this.'
'Of course,' I say dully. Polite and horrified. The irony nearly makes me laugh, a breaking rumble in my chest. I breathe her in one last time, stop myself from wanting to put a gloved hand over her eyes and kissing her one last time, and then let go. Enough.
'I'm going soon.' Gently. Words like blood drawn; she'll never know. 'You should get down.'
The absence of her warmth leaves a crevasse between us. My head is buzzing so badly I can barely see.
'V?' I focus on her hand in mine, an anchor to this timeline. 'You aren't really going to die, are you?'
Her quietness gives voice to her doubt and I have to smile. Despite it all. Because of it all. It is not so bad, after all, the way I die. I have seen helped the fight happen, seen the wounds. It is an oddly poignant sight, watching yourself stagger off with more holes than flesh to pull the lever and give life to a new country.
'A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor,' I quip. 'We are all dying, Evey.'
I can't feel her hand now, I should let go. But hope is a terrible thing, and it may be futile, but I have to try at least. 'Evey, listen,' I say urgently. 'Before you leave, I will say something about dancing. I will ask you to come again. Tell me no.'
A breath, quickly drawn. 'Why?'
'Would you really come?' I catch my breath, foolishly, but the silence is answer enough. 'Exactly. If I had a choice, Evey, if I could change the past— I would do it all over again. Interrogate you all over again. Fall in love with you all over again. There's no need for you to say yes. There are limits to gratitude.'
The silence now sounds like the aftershock of a blow. But no more lies. This is the last time I see her, no consequences. The poor fool that is me in this time will endure several more days of her avoiding my eyes, and then she will leave. Journey's end in lovers' meeting, but there hides a lie in the Bard's words. Is it cruel of me to love her, after all I've done? Yes. All these years and I have to keep from shaking because of a mere woman. Perhaps it will help her to let go, by not forgiving me for loving her.
The silent roar comes, like a bubble of air about to burst in my ears—
'—don't want to see you again,' Evey's voice comes dimly, as if underwater, 'I want to tell you--'
-- and it bursts. A shockwave juddering: I am gone.
November 4, 2026. (Evey is 26, V has 2 hours till the Fifth)
V: I am back again, shivering and naked in my cell. I check the calendar and clock, just in case. Fourth. November. Only two hours to go now. I am missing her already. My chest aches. She will never come now.
I dress quickly, taking the folded clothes from the desk, picking the heaviest of the metal masks. The gloves I choose are ones that have been specially prepared for this day, a pyre gift to myself. Thick tailored cloth for maximum sensitivity and protection, a light chain mail around the crucial accuracy of the wrist. I pull a similar set from the cupboard and lay them out on the bed. Then I leave a note on desk—
It is the Fifth. Plan has followed through accordingly. Take the back way.
From 2024, I will disappear shortly after planting a bomb and reappear here, dazed at the sudden lack of control, just lasting enough time to expire a couple of Creedy's men. The outcome of the fight is no issue, a blinding relief, but as for the train lever…
Evey had still said yes, of course: the future cannot be changed, but now at least, there was no lingering uncertainty. No need to strain every nerve for her presence, no terrible ache, no hollow hope…
My body feels drained, the familiar effect from the sudden lack of iron. Hopefully my trip won't be the death of me. I hadn't factored in time-traveling in all my years of planning. I hadn't factored in Evey. The lever must be pulled at the precise time.
I toss my old gloves into the smaller grey cell beside mine as I leave. Evey's cell.
'And so I wash my hands of this blood,' I intone without thinking. The corridor echoes my voice, mocking. Some spots are damned to stay.
I pack the forgotten gelignite, check every detail for the last time. Turn off the jukebox for the last time. Then I go to her room, put my head in my hands and relive the moments. Every breath, every touch. Twenty years for moments scattered throughout time like fireflies, preciously collected. One last time.
It will be a good death.
Epilogue of sorts, in this time.
November 4, 2026. (Evey is 26, V has 58 minutes till the Fifth)
You say you're lonely
You cried the long night through--
Well, you can cry me a river—
Cry me a river--
Turn the corner. The walls like lifelines.
I cried a river over you—
There, the jukebox. She is here. Evey is here.
'I missed this song,' she says. Her eyes are more guarded when she turns. More frank. She has grown, more than I've ever dreamed.
And she knows, now. And I am afraid, now. I should have left her there, one year ago.
'You came back.' Just three words.
'I said I would.' Her eyes are unreadable. 'That was arrogant of you, to predict me.'
'Ah.' I move closer, stop. Can't go on. 'I apologize.' I can barely bring myself to look at her.
Just three words.
--told me love was too plebeian--
A step closer. Longing thick as regret, sweet as joy.
--told me you were through with me—
'Do you want to dance with me?'
A pause. She is timeless.
-- I cried a river over you.
Quotes used, might have missed a few:
1. O, I am Fortune's Fool! - Shakespeare
2. O call back yesterday, bid time return - Shakespeare
3. Veritum dies aperit (time reveals all truths)
4. The voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses/ Nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands.- e.e.cummings
5. Rendering death and forever with each breathing –e.e.cummings
6. A punishment to some, to some a gift, and to many a favor- Seneca
7. The unkindest cut of all - Shakespeare
8. Journey's end in lovers' meeting - Shakespeare
9. I wash my hands of this blood - Pilot
10. Out, damned spot! –Shakespeare
11. Cry me a River—A. Hamilton