Author's Note: This is my first attempt at writing a V for Vendetta fanfic. I honestly don't know where this is headed or how it'll sound, so just bear with me. lol! I'm pretty much making up this story as I go along, something of which I usually don't do when writing fanfics (and other stories for that matter). After seeing the movie, I really wanted to write a V fanfic, but it was really hard to work up a plot that actually made sense and fit in with the movie storyline. Truthfully, I'm working toward it being a romance story because I love the romance between V and Evey. I'm not that great at writing romance, but I'm going to try anyway.

And this fanfic is based on the movie and takes place sometime during Evey's stay in the Shadow Gallery (before V shaves her head). If something seems out of place or not in line with the movie, then I apologize ahead of time. I've only seen the movie and haven't read the comics, so what I didn't know from seeing the movie I learned from reading articles about the V comics on Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: I am only a fan and do not own anything of V for Vendetta!! All characters, names and anything else pertaining to V for Vendetta are owned and copyrighted by their rightful owners (Warner Brothers, Vertigo/DC Comics, David Lloyd, Alan Moore and whoever else). The only thing I own is the fanfic itself and any fan-made characters that were created by me exclusively for the story. This fanfic and any of my other fanfics may not be copied, altered, edited or posted elsewhere without my permission. For those of you who may speak another language please feel free to translate my story into your native language for better understanding and your personal enjoyment ONLY, or to show to a friend that may not speak English.

Rated PG – Possibly mild violence and action in future chapters

Evey Hammond lay awake in the bed that was graciously provided for her by V. The mysterious man that had saved her life and she his brought her into his home, which he referred to as 'The Shadow Gallery', in order to protect her. This she understood. But what was she to do now that she was in the lair of a so-called 'terrorist'? It was a bit unnerving, but yet at the same time she felt that she could trust V, and somehow she knew he wouldn't harm her. If he had plans of harming her, wouldn't he have done it by now? Despite his rather unusual habits, personality and way of dress, V was surprisingly charming, sweet and kind. It was hard for her to believe he was the same person who, after saving her life, blew up the Old Bailey in front of her while playing the last part of Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture' as if it was part of a major celebration. And she had a very hard time believing he was the same person who had strapped dynamite to himself and charged into and took over the TV station where she worked. Trying to piece everything together that had happened was hard and trying to understand it was confusing. She had helped V to escape capture during the chaos at the TV station. But why had she done it?

The underground house that V called home was quiet this time of night. However, the silence was suddenly interrupted by the faint sound of booted footsteps in the distance as they echoed off the walls of the huge rooms. V was, apparently, trying to find something to do to entertain himself after finding that sleep wouldn't come. There was the sound of restless fingers being run over the piano keys and then silence again. The girl didn't know where V's bedroom was, but she soon heard the footsteps resume, come nearer to where her room was and then slowly fade. Evey rolled over and sighed. Sleep wasn't going to come to her either. She wondered how many restless and sleepless nights V spent roaming the halls of his fortress. Then again, V never slept at nights. She learned that little fact right away. So there was no wonder that he was up and walking around at this hour. It must be lonely not having anyone at all to trust and talk to and your only companion a jukebox; one man living alone in his underground home with his secrets, sorrows and… plans.

The girl had to admit that the place was quite homey, at least for it being underground. In fact it resembled some ancient castle; a castle that held the secrets of its master tight from the outside world. Its stone floors and huge rooms were comfortable despite their cold appearance. And the fact that there was actually electricity and running water was a surprise and treat. It was true, the Shadow Gallery had every comfort of a regular house, which made Evey wonder why she hadn't thought of living underground and away from the humdrum life above.

Feeling insomnia coming on, Evey got out of bed, threw on a robe she found laying at the foot of her bed and flipped on the lamp that was setting among the books. The books! Evey gazed around her at the many enormous piles of books that were stacked around her bed. It wasn't the first time she had seen them. In fact she noticed them almost immediately a few minutes after she was brought there. However, this was the first time she actually paid any notice to them. Not only were there piles of books, but there were also rows of them setting along the stone shelves that were fashioned into the walls. Books were stuffed under the bed and a wooden, glass door bookshelf sat amongst the piles. There were probably more books in that one room alone than there were in a public library. Evey gasped and stood speechless at the unbelievable sight before moving forward a few steps.

"I wonder if he's got them alphabetized." She chuckled to herself as she reached to pick up an old copy of one of Shakespeare's plays. Moving to one of the bigger, more mesmerizing piles in the back, Evey was afraid to grab any books from this part of the room. One book and the whole lot would probably come toppling down, burying whoever was unfortunate enough to be in the way.

"Getting to that sought after one on the bottom must be something to behold." She again spoke to herself. Sighing, the girl walked toward the door. She stopped and listened a few minutes, and not hearing any sounds coming from beyond it, she slowly pushed. The place was quiet; in fact it was a little too quiet for comfort. Evey wondered where V had gone to.

Wandering out into the open a little more, Evey turned to her right and proceeded to follow the stone wall until coming into the central room. Here she leisurely crossed over to the art gallery, softly running her hand over the top of the piano as she did so. There wasn't anything special she aimed to do so she soon found herself quietly roaming around and peering at all of the many elegant framed paintings, statues, furniture and other novelties that V had collected over the years. She picked up a small statue to examine it more closely.

"Looking for anything in particular?"

Evey, almost dropping the statue she held, quickly turned to see V sitting on the sofa behind her in the TV room, his left arm resting across the back. She was startled by the appearance, especially since she thought V had left and gone elsewhere. Apparently he had been lying down on the sofa and she didn't see him.

"Um, no." She swallowed, not knowing what to expect from V. "I couldn't sleep."

V nodded with understanding. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you."

"No, that's alright." Evey chuckled before setting the statue down and slowly walking in V's direction.

"You didn't frighten me. You just kinda startled me. I didn't know anyone else was in here."

"Can I get you something? To drink or eat, perhaps?"

"No, I'm fine." Evey smiled. "But thanks anyway."

V's mask always showed a smile, but Evey could feel that the face, the real face, behind that mask was smiling in return right now. And somehow she knew deep down that she would never see it.

"Care to watch a movie with me?" V asked, hopefully, interrupting Evey's thoughts.

Evey smiled again. She couldn't very well resist V's invitation, but at the same time she could feel sleep finally coming on.

"At this hour?" Evey yawned.

"I don't sleep at nights and you can't sleep, so why not?" V answered.

V had a point. Evey agreed to watch a movie with V, but she couldn't guarantee him that she would stay awake through all of it. He understood and placed in an old movie of which Evey had never heard of or seen. The two of them sat on the couch and intently watched the show without so much as a sound between them, but Evey could feel her eyes growing heavy with each moment. Not too long into the movie, her head drooped to the side, comfortably supported by V's shoulder, and she was fast asleep. Feeling Evey's head, V turned to see what had actually leaned against him. Seeing that Evey was asleep, he gently moved her head to where it would be resting in his lap and then, softly reaching over the side of the couch's arm, picked up a throw from the floor and placed it over the young girl.

For a few minutes, V's attention was distracted from the movie as he sat and stared at the sleeping Evey. Ever so gently he placed his gloved hand on her hair and ran it down the length of it. Sighing, he finally brought his attention back to the flickering screen in front of him. He would never admit that a tear had trickled down his cheek.

Evey awoke and peered up at the tall ceiling above her. The TV's screen was black and the lights in this part of the Shadow Gallery were turned out, except for a few little accent lights that were meant for decorative purpose. And V was no longer seated beside her. Instead she was comfortably stretched out on the couch with the throw covering her. She didn't know how long she had been sleeping, but figured it was several hours at the most. But that's not what bothered her. She again heard what had awakened her. It was a scream and it came from somewhere within the Gallery's many corridors and rooms. It wasn't just any scream; it was a scream of terror and of pain. What was even more startling is that the voice sounded like V's. In fact Evey knew it was. They were the only two who lived there. The scream was muffled and far away, but she could still hear it clearly as it echoed off the walls. Hearing it sent chills down her spine.

The girl threw off her cover and frantically ran in the direction she thought it had come from and then stopped to listen. The Shadow Gallery could be confusing sometimes. There were some places that Evey hadn't been to, and these were hidden behind huge doors much like the one that sheltered her own room. What lay behind them was something she didn't know, but she figured there were hallways and more rooms like the ones seen in the main part of the Gallery. The door she stopped in front of; she had never been down this way before and wasn't sure if she should proceed. V was very touchy and peculiar about things and she wasn't sure if he would appreciate her wandering around in places of his house that may be private. Yet, he could be in real trouble. Why else would he be screaming like that? Evey continued to listen to see if she could, again, hear the screams, but the only thing she heard was silence. Perhaps it was normal for V. After all, she knew very little about this masked man aside from what he had already told and revealed to her.

After a few minutes a door slam was heard and then footsteps followed. Evey quickly ran back to the TV room and took her place beside the couch before turning in the direction she had come from. V was coming her way. She could hear his boots as they made their usual tapping sound on the stone floor. She braced herself as they came closer, not really knowing what she would see next. Would V be without his mask? Part of her wanted him to be wearing it, but the other part almost wished he would show up not wearing it so she could see the true man that filled the other side of it.

While Evey was busy letting the questions and thoughts consume her weary mind, V sleepily appeared in the central room. His clothes were a wrinkled and sweaty mess and his dark brown wig was strewn and in a state of disarray. Obviously he had spent a restless night sleeping in his clothes and parts of his costume. At that very moment his gloved hand was busily fingering his hair, not helping the looks of it any.

Evey stood and stared curiously at the fatigued figure of V. Apparently catching sight of Evey for the first time since he entered, V quickly smoothed down his hair and tried doing the same to his hopeless clothes before stepping forward.

"You fell asleep during the movie." V started. "After it was over I couldn't bring myself to wake you so I left you to sleep there on the couch."

Evey nodded.

"Is there something wrong?" V searched Evey's troubled face.

"Were you screaming just now?" she asked rather hoarsely, forcing the words out of her mouth.

V stood silently for a few minutes as if deciding whether or not he should answer her question. He sighed and stepped further into the TV room.

"I had a nightmare." He softly answered while restlessly walking up to the display shelves setting behind the couch. "I had hoped you were still asleep and didn't hear. Normally I don't sleep at nights, but I was reading and dozed off."

"Do you have them often?" Evey twisted the sleeve of her robe. "I mean, I don't mean to pry into your business. It's just that I thought you were in real pain. The screams… and… all."

V turned his painted, false face towards Evey and looked at her for some time as if studying her. His stare soon made the girl feel a bit uncomfortable so she turned and seated herself on the couch.

"Yes, I have them often." V sighed again. "Too often."

"I take it that's why you spend a great deal of time just wandering around here."

"Usually." V lifted his head towards the ceiling. "Oh, the tormenting nightmares of the past! It's like reliving a torment you wish to forget. In my dreams I'm back at Larkhill. I can always feel the hunger and the filthiness of the room where they held me. But that isn't the worst of it. The tortures and the experiments also repeat themselves as if they happened yesterday. The agonizing pain! The monstrous, inhumane acts! It always seems so real until I wake up, gasping for breath, and am highly relieved to find myself in my own bed here in the Shadow Gallery."

V turned towards Evey, who had been listening with interest and pity, and threw out his hands to her.

"Please, forgive me. I doubt that you wanted to hear about my problems." He apologized in his usual elegant and cavalier voice.

"Your nightmares," Evey softly whispered. "Are they always of what happened to you? What they did to you?"

"Yes," V's voice went low. "Sometimes it's hard for your mind to let go of tragic events that may have happened at one time in your life. The pain may be over, but you have the scars left behind to always remind you."

"It must have been so horrible."

"Words can not describe it, Evey. And words definitely can not describe the torment and pain I had to endure."

"I'm sorry." Evey softly said.

V lowered his head again and stared in the young girl's direction, his mask, oddly enough, seemed to show the tender smile that was probably on his true face.

"You must be famished." V said in a sweet voice, changing the subject. "How does breakfast sound?"

"Sounds good." Evey grinned.

"Good!" V turned. "I'll fix you some more of those egg baskets you love."

"What time is it?" Evey asked, preparing to follow after V.

"About to strike six." V answered, not even bothering to look behind him.

V walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator's door. Evey slowly trudged in and started to sit in one of the chairs placed around the table, but stopped. She didn't feel right about sitting down to breakfast while being dressed in her night clothes and robe. Slowly she turned to exit the kitchen area.

"I'll be right back." She said. V turned around just in time to see a glance of her before she disappeared.

When Evey returned to the kitchen, V was finished with fixing her breakfast. Seeing that Evey had stepped into the room, V quickly reached for his gloves and placed them back on his horribly disfigured hands, thinking, and hoping, that his guest hadn't noticed. But Evey did notice. Not wanting to cause V any discomfort, she remained quiet this time. She seated herself down at the table and finished arranging her hair the way she wanted while V placed a plate of steaming egg in a basket in front of her before turning and tending to the clean up. She eyed him as he quietly ran a wet dishrag over the stove and placed the dirty dishes in the sink.

"Aren't you going to eat?" Evey curiously asked, taking a bite of her breakfast.

"I'll eat later." He replied without turning towards her. "I'm not that hungry. Besides, I prefer to eat alone."

"I hope I'm not intruding on your privacy by being here."

"Not at all." V tossed his dishrag into the sink and prepared to take his apron off. "Don't even think such a thing. If that was the case I wouldn't have brought you here. In fact, I am honored to have you in my home. You have no idea how lonely it gets here."

Evey's lips curled into a smile.

After breakfast, Evey didn't see any more of V for the rest of the day. He simply told her that he was going to rest and then disappeared to another part of the Gallery… the area he had been in when she heard him screaming.