V stood in the precise middle of the Shadow gallery, listening to the rain that was drumming on the pavement, far above his head. It was a stormy night, unusual even for November. The rain blew in gales, pounding everything with it's wrath. Perfect.
He had little over three hours before midnight, three hours before the fifth. Three.
A clap of thunder cracked overhead, and suddenly there was a new sound. A frantic yet weak pounding at his front door. It couldn't be... Only one person knew the entrance to the shadow gallery.
V ran with all haste to the door, unbolting it feverishly. The rain blew the door in almost on top of him, and that's when he saw her.
Evey Hammond was standing on the doorstep, shivering and half-conscious. But that wasn't the most shocking thing about her.
She was pregnant. Her rounded belly near full-term.
"P-please" She whispered, before falling forwards. V caught her easily, picking her up as though she weighed nothing more than a kitten. V strode to one of the many bedrooms, placing her on the soft covers with care.
"Oh Evey" He said, stroking her now grown-back hair. In the dim light, her face looked troubled, causing V's mind to wander. She was heavily pregnant, so whomever did this to her, consented or not, would be a father quite soon.
In the back of his mind, V wondered if he himself could be the father. There had been one night... Long ago. He shook the thought off as Evey began to stir.
"V-v" She whispered.
"I am here" He replied, his velvet voice soothing the pregnant woman's mind. He now noticed that Evey was weak, her cheeks glowing with the beginning of a fever.
"Please, I-I could think of nowhere else to have t-the baby. They're still hunting me, a-and I did promise to see you" She gasped, biting her lip in pain. So she was in labour.
"How close" V said, more of a statement than a question.
"Not l-long" Evey replied, gasping as another contraction hit her. V strode from the room, making his choice as he walked. He would have to help Evey, after all... He loved her. He gathered a pail of warm water and a few towels, returning to the room where Evey lay.
The last three hours until midnight ticked away slowly. Evey practically screaming in pain the whole way. In all his infinite knowledge, V knew next to nothing about the mysteries of human birth, so he was useless.
At a half hour until midnight, Evey's fever worsened, and still no baby. For the first time in his life, V felt afraid. Evey was dying.
It drew nearer to midnight, and V could feel panic rising up in his throat. He had a job to do, and was bound to it on his own life... No matter his feeling towards Evey, the... the world must come first.
"Hold on, I must attend to a matter, then I will be with you" He whispered in Evey's ear. She didn't seem to hear him as he left, walking down the long corridor to the subway tunnel. He had business to attend to.
Reaching the musty subway tunnel, he obliterated all of his earlier plan from his mind. All he had to do was set the train in motion. The rest could wait. The train, filled with explosives, would explode once under the parliament houses, thus freeing England. His plan with Creedy must be thrown aside, he could finish Creedy later. All the time he spent putting this together couldn't be wasted...
Somewhere up above him, Big Ben began to chime midnight. A scream of pain from Evey's direction could also be heard, and he cringed. Pulling down a small red lever on the train's control panel, V sighed in contentment. His work was done. England was as good as free.
Another of Evey's screams sounded, weaker this time. Without another look at his handiwork, V turned on his heel and ran back to the shadow gallery, and what awaited there.
Big Ben tolled its sixth chime as he swept into the bedroom where Evey was giving birth. V's heart wrenched as he saw how weak Evey was.
"V..." She whispered, her feverish eyes looking for him.
"I'm here" He replied, kneeling by her side and grasping her hand. The seventh chime sounded, and Evey shuddered. It wouldn't be long...
"Push" V breathed, unable to take his eyes away from the woman laboring in the bed next to him.
"I-I can't" Evey pleaded, tears beginning to work down her sweaty face. The eighth chime sounded.
"Evey, listen to me" V's velvet voice captivated Evey as it always did, and her eyes focused on the eye-holes in his mask. Nine.
"You survived all I did to you last year, you became unafraid. If you could prevail through that trial, this is just a bump in the road" Ten chimes.
"I'm s-so sorry!" Evey sobbed. "I-i'll never be able to tell you how much I owe to you, I can't s-show you t-that I-I love you" Eleven.
"I love you" V said, just as Evey's eyes fluttered shut.
The twelfth chime sounded, and amidst the explosions and the crescendo of Tschaikovsky's 1812 Overture, one small sound existed.
The cry of a newborn baby, born on exactly midnight, November fifth.
The fitting dawn to a new era.
The daughter of Evey Hammond.