Author's Note: My first "V" fic...and more than likely my last. Hope you like it anyway, though.

oOo

The tunnels were quiet. The sort of eerie quiet that seemed to bring the silence to such a crescendo that Evey very nearly felt she should shield her ears from the deafening racket.

She stood near to numbness staring over the body of the man she knew as "V". His body had expired in her arms only moments ago and she had managed to pull him onto the makeshift funeral pyre that would be the ultimate statement in this revolution that would begin in only a matter of moments.

She turned her head away for only a moment to see the lever that would direct the train beneath Parliament. Turning back she gazed upon V and, in a moment of nonsensical whimsy, hoped that he would like the lush, red roses that she had carefully and lovingly placed around him. The roses that he had placed such nurturing care in memoriam to an individual intent on not allowing others to break her spirit for such a crime as being only herself, very much herself.

To outsiders it would possibly seem out of place, but knowing him as well as she was able to know him, it did not seem so odd that he should take special care in the nurturing of a living thing. More than that, he nurtured privately to commemorate not only a person, but an idea, a perspective.

Looking upon the mask he wore, Evey couldn't help wondering once again what the real V might look like. Despite his past words, Evey found her hands quickly reaching towards that mask, but stopped short, her fingertips gently poised just over the whimsically painted face.

That mask.

The smirking visage set permanently with brushed paints upon the white canvas. Evey's mind conjured all their moments together in a series of scenes as if her own life was flashing before her eyes. Even though she'd never seen his real face beneath that mask, no matter what he said, that mask seemed to develop the corresponding emotion to his tone.

Evey felt her own lips pull into a smile when she remembered the very first time she'd met him.

"Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask"

In his more jovial moments, if they could be called that, the mask was no longer smirking, but with a tilt of the head, was genuinely smiling. "Oh, I merely played my part," he'd said in that beautiful voice of velvet.

In his more serious moments, the mask pulled with the weight of his somber tone lurking somewhere within the bottomless, dark eyes.

"People shouldn't be afraid of the governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

The smile had lost its smirk, seeming to set itself into as much of grim line that could be allowed as if to attempt to fully convey his controlled passion and valiant conviction.

When his smooth voice became downcast the mask seemed to mirror an equally grave expression. As he had begged her to believe his remorse in torturing her, the elegant curve of the mask's eyebrows seemed to rise in a form of a plea for her understanding.

"…nor will you ever understand how hard it was for me to do what I did! Every day I wanted to end it…"

As he lay dying, the mask's expression also seemed to lose life. Even now, the painted face held nothing within it other than the paints that had created it.

She slowly withdrew her hands.

There was no "real" V beyond that mask. What she now gazed upon and had always seen was the real V. To unmask him now would be the ultimate in dishonor and absolute disrespect to the man that he was and the man that she knew.

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici

(By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.)