A/N: Hello there, and welcome to my first V for Vendetta fanfic. I have a love hate relationship with the series, but these plot bunnies tend to annoy me to no end, so here this is. A mix of comic, movie-verse, and a few of my own ideas. I know these types of stories have probably been run into the ground, but I'll try my best to make something different and interesting. Also note that I'm American, and British terms aren't really my forte. I'll just try and keep the American slang out of this, and hopefully it'll be half believable.
Shall we begin?
Disclaimer: I do not own V for Vendetta
She'd never expected this, but truth be told, neither did he. Was it whim, or perhaps genuine interest that convinced him to bring her back to his home? She was one of the masses. A number. He could have left her there to be tortured until answers were extracted, and it wouldn't have mattered a bit. She did help him, regardless of how much help he really needed, so there was that.
It was only natural, he supposed, that she would be angry. He tried to explain, but she, in her state, had none of it. She apologized the next day, of course, but he hardly thought it was really heartfelt. V decided that was fine with him.
She didn't know what to do with herself in this new prison. 364 days to go, and Evey wondered how many options she really had. There wasn't much she'd explored, save her room and the bathroom. The short trip between them didn't provide much excitement. Since breakfast, she'd confined herself in her room, looking through the books that lined the walls.
Reading had never really been her thing. Sure, in school there were books they were told to read, and some had been mildly interesting, but reading wasn't something she found fun. The stacks piled to the ceiling provided titles she'd never heard of. Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gastby, East of Eden, The Joy of Sex…The Joy of Sex! She recoiled, color gracing her cheeks as her eyes lingered over the word. Sex. S. E. X. Looking over her shoulder, knowing no one was with her, but still not taking the chance, she reached out for the tome wedged between an innocent Dr. Seuss book and a dictionary. The cover made her blush more still as she took in the image of a man and woman almost completely naked. "God, what am I doing?" Evey whispered to herself as lifted the cover, wanting to see more, but feeling so wrong about it.
Something like this was never seen in public, hardly talked about, and most certainly never in her presence. The woman had simply never been exposed to these books, and while her purity was a thing of the past, she still found these images and words embarrassing.
A few pages were flipped and she was rewarded with more illustrations of the couple genuinely enjoying each other's company. "How was this book ever allowed?" The woman thought to herself as she greedily poured through the book. She began ignoring the words, and merely enjoyed the pictures. "Why would V of all people have something like this?" She realized then that she really didn't know anything about the masked man. She knew he was a terrorist, and she knew he enjoyed fireworks and holding young women hostage. She knew he liked art and books and stealing butter from Chancellor Sutler. Perhaps he enjoyed reading dirty books too…
The sound of heavy boots on stone made her snap the book shut and throw it behind a short stack of them. She breathed a sigh of relief when the sound led directly past her door. It was just V heading to the bathroom. Just V. Heading to the bathroom.
Evey shook her head at how jumpy she was acting. It was just a book. A book with dirty words and dirty pictures. She didn't want to admit the warmth in her loins was from such a thing. Best move on, she decided. No need to feel like this right now.
She pulled books down from perilously high stacks, one by one, and set them aside after giving them some consideration. She was surprised when she found a mirror behind a large group. Furthermore, it was attached to an entire vanity. In fact, these books were hiding a lot of furniture! Had that terrorist actually used this room to store his reading material?
Evey supposed if she had a guest bedroom she'd use it for storage too. It didn't really matter since she had rarely had guests in the past.
Moving books then became her cure for boredom, and she didn't miss the irony of it all. She figured laying low was the best option for her. He probably wouldn't mind if she moved a few books, right? At least she wasn't bothering him, right?
The woman didn't quite realize how many books there really were, packed away in that little room. Only one bookshelf, and it was already haphazardly crammed full. There was a short ledge along the wall that could double as a shelf. After a bit of moving around and re-stacking, Evey decided there would have to be a different approach to this madness. The big, bulky books were taking up far too much room, and the thinner ones were getting lost next to them. Maybe ordering them by height would be best. Perhaps the children's books would get a section of their own. Why did V even have children's books?
There came a time shortly thereafter when Evey couldn't ignore her need to relieve herself. So with a sigh of defeat she crept to her door and peeked out. No one to the left. No one to the right—even though it would have been a feat, since it was a dead end. The door across the hall was sealed tight, and the bathroom door just to the left of it was ajar. Perfect.
The wooden door creaked loudly as she quickly pulled it open and shut behind her. There was no lock. Why would V need a lock? She reasoned he lived alone. At least, she hadn't seen any other trapped damsels in distress. A lock would be silly. The shower tub was at her right, bone dry. A shower sounded so good to her right then. It felt like ages since she'd washed up. But then she would have to ask permission to use it, and permission to use the shampoo—was there shampoo? No. Did the man actually wash his hair? Just soap. With a sigh, Evey turned away from the disappointing bath and toward the toilet.
Business concluded, and hands washed, she once again wondered why the bathroom didn't have a mirror. Perhaps she should request one. And a brush. There was only one toothbrush as well, the ends were chewed to bits and frayed quite badly. There were some very bitey teeth behind that mask, Evey was certain. There seemed to be quite a lot of things she'd have to request of the masked man, among them some new clothes. He provided what he could, but she wondered if perhaps he would leave her to fend for herself. The costumes she found that hung from the various hooks and shoved in drawers were a bit too strange for her tastes.
The night before she didn't pry very much, but this was a new day. And new days were always wrought with adventure. The lone cabinet, standing tall before the toilet, beckoned her to open it. She listened for a moment to see if V was close, and in one swift motion pulled the doors open. Stacks of clean towels greeted her, in all sorts of colors and styles. It was odd to see something so bright in such a dreary place. It made sense, she supposed, he seemed to like gaudy aprons. Why not towels too?
Among the rest of the contents were bars of soap, stacks of toilet paper, a plunger, lotions, a tube of toothpaste, and some dental floss. It all seemed so…normal.
After closing the doors, and making sure nothing looked out of place, she left the bathroom to itself and made her way back to her room.
During that very short stretch she paused and looked to the other door. What did that door lead to? Perhaps just a peek. Just a peek and then she could return back to her room. Yes. Perfect. It was only a few steps away, she'd be able to make it back. So, taking a breath, Evey reached out and took the handle. Now or never.
To her surprise, it opened.
She was greeted by a washer and dryer, sitting side by side with stacks of neatly folded black clothing on a table. Above them were quite a lot of shelves stacked with odds and ends, but most notably, games. Board games. What were board games doing in a terrorist's home of all places? And furthermore, how could he actually play them with anyone? Evey's gaze lingered over a game titled RISK and tried to remember the last time she had actually played a board game.
The room was otherwise very normal to her. It had what a laundry room should have. Detergent, old dryer sheets crumpled in corners, dustpans and brooms. It seemed to double as a cleaning closet.
Evey didn't know whether to feel disappointed or relieved at the normality of it. What did she expect to find? Bombs? She quickly cleared the notion from her mind. That was the last thing she would want to find.
But what of those other two doors?
They were to the right of the bathroom, just waiting to be opened as well. She listened for telltale signs of V's boots, and when she heard nothing but the calming tune from the Wurlitzer, went for a door.
Her hand was on the ring, ready to pull when he spoke, "Evey?"
"Oh God!" She jumped back, as if scalded, and turned to face him. He was looking through the doorway that cut off her living space from the gallery, hands clasped in front of him. To her, he seemed to have been waiting. "You need to stop scaring me like that." She breathed
He cocked his head, "My apologies, Evey." He strode forward then, and she realized the heavy carpets he had laid out in the gallery did quite a job of masking his footsteps. That ended as he passed through the barrier and stopped in front of her. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"I was just…" She floundered for an explanation to her actions. Would he be angry? He never sounded angry, but one couldn't be too cautious. "Just…"
"Exploring your new prison?" He offered with a tilt of his mask. He meant it jokingly, but his humor was lost to her.
"I suppose…" She muttered, not daring to look into those dark slits that posed as his eyes, he cleared his throat before adding,
"Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage." He watched her as she lifted her head to view her surroundings, which were by all accounts, crafted entirely out of stone. Her quizzical look was not lost to him, "Shall I acquaint you with your new—albeit temporary—home?"
She was quiet for a moment before she nodded her head and let out a shy, "Yeah, alright."
He pointed out the laundry room, which she admitted seeing already. "I daresay I don't have much to wash yet." She said as she looked down at her nightclothes. V nodded silently, not missing her hint. During the short silence her eyes lingered over the handle of the door next to her, "What's through here?" She made to grab it again, but was stopped by his voice,
"That room is private." He told her firmly, gently. The woman glanced at him then backed away. She could only think of a storage room full of explosives again. With a small tilt of her head she gestured to the door next to it.
"Ah." He breathed, and twisted the handle. Curiously, Evey peered in, and was greeted by darkness and the slight stench of sweat and old socks. The masked man reached past her, along the wall, and flipped a switch. A gym. V had a gym.
She stepped in, admiring the different equipment. A horse, freeweights, stacks of padding, old sets of armor and some swords with fencing equipment…a total lack of mirrors. Evey had never been to a gym, but she'd seen them on tv. She'd seen them in movies. They always had mirrors.
"I'm afraid I can't do much about the stench." V spoke from the doorframe, "Seems to have seeped into the very stone."
Evey said nothing, merely took it in. What else was hiding down here?
He led her into the Gallery next, pointing out his favorite pieces of work as he went. She wondered how he could talk so excitedly about pictures. He wondered why she wasn't more interested in his one-of-a-kind, priceless paintings. "These are some of my favorite artifacts." He gestured to his wall of Egyptian reliefs and pottery. "Did you know, Evey, that the ancient Egyptians put internal organs in these?" He picked up the canopic jar with the head of Qebehsenuef and carefully, gingerly, rotated it toward her that she may hold it, "It is a canopic jar. This one in particular housed the intestines after death. The mummy would then—"
"Where does that door lead to?" Evey interrupted and pointed with her elbow. She clutched the jar of the falcon-headed God, and V quickly took it back. The woman had no respect for art—that much was certain. But how could he blame her, especially in the society she grew up in? For all he knew she'd never heard about Ancient Egypt in her life.
"That door leads outside." Something clicked within Evey right then. Outside. She saw the locks on the door, splayed about with the intent of keeping everything and anything out. Or in.
"Outside." She repeated.
"Beware, of course, of the multitude of traps you will undoubtedly find yourself coming across." He paused to admire the relief in the stone of an Egyptian woman. The ancients knew their craft very well, "Many of them are set to maim, disfigure, or otherwise, incapacitate the victim." She let out a small sound, he smirked behind the grinning visage of Guy Fawkes. He was lying, yes, but only to protect her. A lock would have to be installed, he supposed. One that prevented the door from opening unless it was unlocked with a key instead of a hinge. Living with a person was starting to seem like a bit of a chore suddenly.
Evey nodded at the masked man's words. "Right." She sighed and looked around. Her eyes trailed over pictures and statues, vases and tables, chairs and knick knacks. They finally landed on the kitchen, which was blocked partially from view by a screen. She had seen the kitchen already, but what of the door behind the drapes?
He saw her eyes linger, and the mask followed the gaze. "The pantry." He stated simply. "Have a look if you want." She decided she might as well. Tentatively she pulled the screen aside and stepped past he fridge, the oven, the table, and up to the door. It opened easily, with only a slight creak. The scent of a multitude of spices hit her all at once, causing her mouth to water. Was she really hungry? A string hung from the light, which she pulled. Dishware, spices, boxed food items, cook books, miscellaneous pots and pans were all assembled in an orderly fashion along the walls on shelves. It was rather cramped in there, but it smelled divine. She found herself wondering what lunch would consist of, but caught the words before they left her mouth. No need to press the subject.
But she couldn't help but remark, "It smells wonderful in here."
From the stove the masked man nodded, though she couldn't see, "I do enjoy the scent of spices and herbs, though I believe all of them at once can be a bit overbearing."
"I can only imagine how good meals must taste with stuff like this in it." She lifted a clear jar and tipped the lid. It was a rich, flowery scent. What a strange thing to have.
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." He muttered as the woman searched through his pantry, looking for things she'd never seen, never tried. She heard him speak and asked him what he said. "Not a thing." He replied
"I guess it was just my imagination." She knew it wasn't.
He wanted to show her his art. He wanted to show her his collection of songs and listen to them with her. He wanted to show her movies he'd found. He wanted to show her which books to read first so he could discuss them with her. He wanted to experience companionship. He wanted to experience people.
She wanted to leave. She wanted her life back. She wanted to wash herself of anything V related. She didn't want to be an accomplice anymore. She would gladly turn herself in. She just didn't want this life that was forced upon her. She didn't want any of it.
He could sense her detachment from the conversation as he explained one of his favorite paintings. The Arnolfini Portrait. She merely wondered why there was a door across the hallway covered by artworks. He sighed and turned from Mr. and Mrs. Arnolfini. "That door is also off limits."
"Ah." She looked around some more. Three doors she couldn't pass through. Silently she approached the piano, looking around at the paintings hung around the sitting room. Men, women, horses….and naked women at that. God, the man had no shame!
His breath caught in his throat when she leaned back on the piano. Oh, not the piano, it might scrape across the floor! She let up after a moments consideration of the suit of armor.
But what was that out of the corner of her eye? A television? That sounded pretty good right about then. Perhaps there was a show on that she could catch.
She glanced to him, then back at the tv, "You may watch anything you wish." He responded to the unasked question. That seemed kind. Perhaps this was slightly less a prison cell now. What captor would allow their prisoner to eat, roam, and watch the tv? But there was one more alcove that she had not yet seen fully. The entrance was adorned with drapes, as the red sitting room was, but within it only held a door, a couple statues and paintings, a small television, and a vanity with bright yellow lights surrounding the mirror.
"How odd." She thought to herself as she moved for the mirror. It was the only mirror she'd found in the place at all. As she approached she looked to her side—yet another mirror! A full length one at that. Maybe the masked man simply didn't have many mirrors in his possession. They were easy enough to find, though. She only needed one…
Like a moth to a flame she was drawn to the vanity, and before she knew what she was doing, she was seated before it. Behind her, Guy Fawkes smiled on. She looked down. A comb? To her left, a wig stand. A wig stand? Or perhaps for the mask? Surely he didn't wear a wig.
But he did wear a mask.
She caught her own reflection as she looked up again. Ah, that bruise was certainly big and purple now. Very unattractive. Her hand flew up to it, and no sooner did it, that a gloved hand took her own and gently pulled it away, "It should be left alone." He let her go very quickly, as if not wanting to touch her, "So it may heal."
She gave a nod. If only she hadn't maced that detective. If only she hadn't gone along with him the other night. If only.
"Are you hungry, Evey?" The masked man jarred her from her thoughts and she looked up at him via the mirror.
"Well, yes, actually."
"Come then. We shall scrounge up a feast fit for a king!" The man sure had an air of drama about him, that much was certain.
"I don't think I'm quite that hungry." She stood and looked over, "Ah, but V." The mask turned sharply, black hair whirling out on either side, "This door?"
"Off limits, I'm afraid."
"Ah." She couldn't help but wish to have a look. After all, things kept hidden were all the more desired.
"Come now, let us dine." He pulled her along by placing a gloved hand on her back. She reluctantly followed.
Lunch hadn't been what she expected. She expected the mask to eventually come off so that he might eat with her. "I'm afraid I must decline." He said with just a hint of remorse in his voice, "I shall eat later." She thought back to his hands and wondered if, perhaps, the fire had done a bit more damage than she had originally thought.
She was left alone until dinner, but she still wanted to see something else. Anything else. She needed to escape from this place. So far the only means of leaving was trapped and furthermore, locked. This wasn't going to be easy. Windows didn't exist. No grates to speak of. Nothing. He knocked and announced dinner while she was trying on some hats she found in her room. Playing dress up had only mildly amused her.
Dinner was similar to lunch. He sat before her as she ate, relatively silent until he thought of a quote or a book he enjoyed. She remained quiet, nibbling on a roast beef sandwich—leftovers from lunch. His cooking was good, she had decided earlier. Good. Not great. Perhaps the level of skill matched that of her own, which was fairly average. That was good enough for her. At least she was given food. It seemed more like she was staying over at someone's house for a short while, and not kept prisoner for an entire year.
An entire year.
Suddenly it seemed like quite a long time. And there seemed so little to do. A knot formed in her stomach as she ate. She felt sick.
"Evey?" She looked up at him for a moment before finding a spot on the stove to concentrate on instead, "Are you alright? Is there something I can get you?" Was that concern of all things she heard in his voice? A terrorist concerned over the well being of another?
"I'm fine." She lied, taking a sip of water, "I guess I ate too fast." Both of them knew she was eating ridiculously slow. She finished her dinner in silence, never realizing how loud chewing was to her own ear, and excused herself.
V sat there, perplexed. He had always imagined he would be having such lovely conversation if he'd ever dined with anyone. But this? This was not what he wanted. Sighing, he took her plate and dropped it in the sink. She was probably overwhelmed. That's all. He tried to reason that she was just not used to this change. Not used to the beauty of art, and lengthy conversation about it.
But what did young ladies enjoy talking about?
He found her apartment and acquired some clothing. It wasn't a simple task, as the police were not done with it yet. The lock was easily undone—her keys were in her purse, which he inspected as she cleaned up for the night. Perhaps it was low of him, but the lady did offhandedly request clothes, and he figured it was best to comply. He'd imagined her place to be small, undecorated. He had been correct. How could anyone live in such a boring, unstimulating place? It was a maddening thought.
He was in her kitchen. Nothing of interest here. She didn't even own an interestingly colored apron. The bedroom was down the tiny hall. A simple bed, a small vanity, a little dresser and a closet were contained within it. Clothes were his first priority, so to the dresser he strode, and from it extracted stacks of shirts, shorts, and some pants. V decided he might as well bring as much back as he could. Perhaps it would help her feel more at home.
Surprisingly, she had little. Much less than he. The masked man did quite enjoy dressing up. Maybe she didn't.
Then he opened it, the drawer that contained—well. He didn't want to stare at them, but there they were. The most colorless, boring undergarments the human world knew, and not a pattern in sight. They were in a mishmash with her socks, and in the light of things, V decided it best to just grab handfuls and throw them in the bag and leave it at that.
Clothing fully squared away, V contemplated the dress clothes in her closet for a moment before deeming the sack heavy enough. One or two dresses, perhaps. He could find her more.
Should he leave, then? He was compelled to explore her little flat. To see who this person called Evey really was. But then, there was just so little to see. Hardly any décor. Only a bit of makeup on her vanity and some posters. Ah, makeup. She'd need none of that. No one to impress at his abode. Her bathroom was simple—a little dirty. Toothpaste cluttered the sink and some marks were on the mirror. Mirror. Hm.
He grabbed her hairbrush, her shampoo—goodness knows he completely forgot about such things. He had no hair to wash!
He thought it best to leave quickly, though. No need to linger when there were fingermen about. If his guest needed anything else, he was sure she would ask.
She awoke to the sounds of the jukebox and blearily reached for the lamp switch. It wasn't easy for her to sleep in such darkness, nor in pure silence.
Right, right. Her body felt dirty. Her teeth felt nasty. Her hair had enough oil to fry a fish. Or two.
As she opened the door, she was greeted by a sack. "How odd." She thought. Upon further inspection of the contents, Evey was quite pleased to find clothes—her clothes. How did he—?
She flew to her purse—gone. Her keys were gone. That damn terrorist! How dare he rifle through her things!
She turned back to her clothes. Well, perhaps she'd forgive him for at least bringing her something to wear. God, he went to her house and rifled through her knickers—how embarrassing.
Her mood was brought back somewhat by the sight of a brand new toothbrush on the sink and a shampoo bottle on the edge of the tub. No conditioner. Well, it was something at least. Best not complain, he was considerate enough to get these things. She spied her hairbrush, and, ah, her stick of deodorant. She had to chuckle. At least she would finally smell decent. A shower was definitely in order—one of the most satisfying she'd ever had.
Richard Lovelace; To Althea, From Prison