Part one of a two-parter, perhaps three.
Takes place a year after the events of the novel/movie.
The streets were cold and dark. The orange glow from the streetlights didn't go far in the dense fog and Evey pulled her grey overcoat tighter around her small figure as she buried her nose deeper in the thick woollen scarf that encircled her neck. Her footsteps sounded, staccato off the bare walls that lined the streets. Even though the curfew was no longer in place, she was alone on the street. Old habits were hard to break, it seemed, and most people were home before eleven, safe in their rooms and their beds. A particularly strong gust of late October wind seemed to go straight through Evey's coat and she quickened her steps, not wanting to freeze before reaching home.
The key clicked in the lock and a sparse room was revealed. The jacket was thrown onto a chair as she passed through the space, not bothering to turn on the lights, she knew the way by memory, and there was precious little to clutter the path to the bedroom at the back of the apartment..
The hot shower did little to relax her, and she settled on the couch for another sleepless night as she pulled out a pile of papers taken from work, there was so much that still needed doing… Along with Dennis Finch, Evey had become the face of the new political movement, getting rid of the Norsefire dictatorship after its leaders had been killed not yet a year ago. It was a brilliant political union, Finch had the authority from his previous position with the Nose, and Evey represented the country's hero, the only person who had actually known him. Between them, they had won most of the population over, although there were always those who would opt for Norsefire, those for whom it had been a better life than otherwise. Norsefire still existed, its members were quite vocal in their disapprobation of the new government, but they hadn't caused as much trouble as had been expected in the beginning.
She had worked hard from day one, to create the new order, but it had taken its toll, and of late, she had felt more iconic than useful, she wasn't really needed anymore, which galled her. She was trotted out on ceremonial occasions sure enough, but she was just a symbol rather than anything useful.
The sun started showing through the un-covered window and Evey stared blankly at the wall. It wastime to go. She wasn't needed, everything was in place, and the country would be as fine as it ever could be. Exhaustion and depression died down for a moment, and the clarity of what she had realised took their place. It was time to go, she could leave and it would all be fine, she could finally rest.
Wonder overcame her mind as she left the flat, taking only the clothes she was wearing and not bothering to lock the door behind her, there was no point, she wouldn't be returning here.
She wandered the streets aimlessly, taking joy in her newfound freedom, she didn't know where she was headed, she just needed somewhere to stop and rest, away from the world. No-one seemed to recognise her and she was glad of it. With a faint smile, she realised she didn't look much like the Evey Hammond that appeared on TV anymore. That Evey was dressed and made up, she looked happy and inspired, eager to move the country forward. The Evey that wandered the streets that morning was thin and drawn, once bouncy champagne curls lying limp and pulled back into a low ponytail. If she could have seen herself from the outside, she would have said that she looked ill, but she barely spared herself a glance in the windows she passed by.
Her wanderings took her further from her flat and it was with surprise that she realised she recognised her surroundings. Looking around herselfproperly for the first time in hours, she saw that she had returned to the place that hid the Shadow Gallery. To go in or not to go in… she chewed on her bottom lip, unsure.
She turned away.
She would come again in five days, the fifth of November; it would be more fitting, that way. Turning her footsteps away, she remembered the last time she come here, a little less than a year ago, she had danced with V before he set off to complete his revenge. Oh, what a day it had been, what a terrible, wonderful day. The country had gained its freedom, but she had lost V. It had been the day her heart had broken.
The next five days were spent wandering the streets, sleeping in dark doorways down dark alleys, the night held no fear for her anymore. The small amount of money that had been in her pocket when she had left home went towards a sandwich and a bottle of water, she wasn't discomfited by this though, her body had gotten used to little sustenance in the previous months.
By the time the fifth of November arrived, Evey's mind was muzzy with exhaustion and her body was using all the energy it received to keep itself warm. She had avoided several search teams, no doubt organised by Dennis, she spared a thought for him, he must be worried, but it was hard to think properly about anything.
The door was unlatched, just as she'd left it a year ago, and it opened with a creak. She felt tears start in her eyes at the familiar smell that permeated the air, roses and dust. She was surprised that the roses had continued to grow without being tended, but in her weariness, the thought didn't set of alarm bells, just seemed right… of course they should still be alive. One arm wrapped around herself, she wiped her eyes with her free hand, and collapsed into the familiar couch, soaking into its warmth as a chill wracked her body, she hadn't been properly warm in days, although it felt much, much longer.
Tears falling freely now, she went to the video collection that V had loved so much and searched through it for his favourite. He had loved this film so much; she wanted to see it once more before…
She flicked the TV off regretfully once it had finished. For a moment she considered going to the kitchen, to find something to eat before remembering that anything in there would be long stale by now. It was a strange, she thought, as she walked quietly through the halls that made his home, she could almost feel his presence, as if he still lived here. It was a nice thought, and she almost smiled as she imagined both of them living here as ghosts. At least she'd get to see him again.
She was too distracted to look around properly, she glanced into the room she had stayed in while living here, nothing had moved, it looked exactly as it had the day she'd left.
A last regretful look at the suit of armour standing alone by the wall, a last longing look at the juke box, and she decided that it was time. She moved to where the roses grew. There they grew, as scarlet as heart's-blood, and shedding their perfume like a fountain, again she was surprised by their resilience.
Putting that thought out of her head, she reached for the secateurs that lay on a nearby sideboard, covered with dust, and chose a flower, snipping it off gently near the base of the stem. She paused, taken a moment by a fancy to weave herself a glarland of roses, but she dismissed it, she was worth no more than one.
Eyes downcast, she left the room and walked to a small inconspicuous doorway. She opened it, feeling an irrational moment of fear as she looked down the stone corridor and saw the plastic mannequin dressed as a guard, still leaning against the wall. She looked at him curiously as she passed, wondering how she'd ever believed he was real.
The cell was cold, but she didn't hesitate to strip out of her dirty clothes and pull on the brown tunic that still lay folded in the corner.
There, that was better.
She felt stronger then than she had in a long time, she wasn't afraid anymore, she would just fall asleep and never wake up. Folding her other clothes, she sat them neatly in a pile in the corner, a last whimsical desire to have everything perfect. With a sigh, she lay down on the cold floor, still holding the rose, and fell asleep.
Please let me know what you think.