Sometime during Evey Hamond's captivity within the Terrorist V's home, The Shadow Gallery…

Evey rushed away, running as fast as she could looking over her shoulder in fear. It was all over, nothing left but the fingermen. They chased after her shouting profanities, just quiet enough not to disturb the sleeping residents of London, yet just loud enough to strike fear into her heart. She swerved and turned one corner after another but they seemed to have no problem catching up to her. She breathed erratically as her feet pounded against the ground to propel her away. Finally, Evey dodged into a road, her last chance of escape. Suddenly bright lights burst into her eyes and she heard the horrible shrieking noise of tires skidding across the street. Evey only had time to scream, and then…

Waking up in a horrible state of fear Evey clutched her bed sheets for dear life as her heart pounded a mile a minute. Sweat pooled at the nape of her neck and she sat up quickly, still vaguely unsure of which world was reality. She pulled herself into a ball, sitting up against the headboard of her bed, trying to control her shaking. Evey breathed slowly and deeply to calm herself as she came back into reality. It is not real, it is not real, she affirmed to herself again, and again. But, her attempts felt futile, as her anxieties seemed to close in around her in the darkness.

With her adjusted owl eyes she looked around the room, everything was in its place as it was when she went to sleep. A thought entered her head but she quickly brushed it away, "Don't be silly." She said to herself in response. Evey mulled it over though, and without thinking stood from her bed and silently made her way out of her room and into the Shadow Gallery. Her feet stuck to the cold stone floor and around her shadows cast upon the floor.

Trying to be as silent and quick as possible she turned the corner and found herself outside of V's bedchamber door. She took a breath and raised her fist to knock on the door, but before her knuckles could come in contact the door gradually opened to reveal the ever-smiling face of V.

"Why, Hello." V remarked with a slightly perplexed tone. "To what do I owe this visitation at this time of night?"

Evey looked down at her feet, embarrassed for even leaving her room. She brushed a hair from her face out of nervous habit and looked up to meet V's gaze. "Uhh," She breathed as her gaze wandered to his shoulders, avoiding his stare.

"I, uh, had a nightmare about the fingermen," She said unsure, "It's quiet silly, I'll just be going now," Evey mumbled and turned to walk away. Mentally scolding herself for having such childish ideas. Before she could step away V reached out with a gloved hand and grasped her wrist. Frightened, Evey turned around swiftly with a confused look on her face.

"No, it's absolutely fine." He said lightly and opened the door to offer access to his room. Evey hesitantly made her way in, she had been here before but it looked so different with almost no lights on and books strewn half hazardously on tables, his bed, and the ground. V watched in interest as she took in her surroundings and wandered over to a painting. She stood there for a moment analyzing it's beauty, taking in the delicate brushstrokes and details only visible upon close inspection.

V easily found himself behind her, looking over her shoulder appreciating the art as well. "Beautiful, isn't it?" He hummed to Evey. She both nodded and confirmed, "Yes, it's wonderful."

Evey could feel V's presence behind her, it felt almost like a warm glow emanated around him. Ever since he saved her just being around V had made Evey feel comforted and secure. She may not have known much about her hero, but she intuitively knew he meant her no harm. "It's by Max Ernst, it's called 'Europe After the Rains'. "

For a moment V had forgotten that Evey had never learned who Max Ernst was as all of his works were categorized as objectionable materials. Based almost solely on Noresfire's disapproval the way that he lived his life.

"I'm sorry," Evey said sadly, looking down at her feet again. "I don't know who that is. But he must have been extremely talented."

V nodded in agreement, lost in thought for a moment and then dashed across the room. Evey turned around to see V standing in front of a bookcase with his head tilted and his hand reached out running over the spines of the books. He skimmed over 2 shelves before he found what he was looking for and brought it over to her.

"This," V stated very matter-of-factly and presented her with the book "Is the complete history of Mas Ernst his life, his work, his styles. Everything. Would you like to borrow it?"

Evey smiled and took the book in her hands. "Very much, thank you." Without thinking she sauntered over to his bed, flipping through the pages and almost sat down. Catching herself in mid-action she paused and looked to V for authorization. V stood across the room watching with his hands behind his back, rosy smirk still adorning his face, as always.

"Oh, my, do you mind?" Evey asked, blushing in embarrassment.

"Not at all." He responded and waited until she sat down on the edge of his bed to make his way over to her and sat down as well, looking over her shoulder. Evey hadn't stopped smiling since he had pulled out the book. "My goodness!" She mused looking over photographs and paintings, flipping through the pages.

They looked through the book effortlessly, V sometimes noting his favorite paintings. They both were smiling by the time Evey turned the last page revealing the back cover of the book, and turned to look into V's eyes from where she was sitting. He had been leaning over her and only now realized how close they had been. Evey smiled again and said a very heartfelt "Thank you. That was absolutely wonderful, V." He nodded in agreement and lifted a gloved hand to rest on her shoulder.

"Now, tell me about this nightmare you had. What happened?"

Evey frowned for a moment, but caught herself and replied, "Oh, it was nothing. I'm just a scaredy cat." She reached her hands into her lap and began to fidget. V didn't reply, he only tried in vain to search her eyes for the answer. She looked up again, "Really, it was just about the fingermen. Just silly. I know I'm safe now. It's just… sometimes the lines between dreams and reality are blurred for me."

V nodded understandingly, still trying to hold her gaze, unsure of what to say but sympathetic all the same.

"But V, you make me feel safe. I know, somehow, that when I'm with you I'll be okay."

"Of course. Never would I let harm befall you, Eve."

Evey smiled again and nodded, pushing the book off of her lap and turning herself bodily to face V, folding one leg under the other. She brushed her hair out of her face nervously again.

"Are you in danger," she asked questioningly "Doing what you do?"

"What is it you think I do?" V quickly retorted, turning his head slightly to the side with a questioning aire.

Evey felt a pang of regret for asking now, and she shifted uncomfortably before beginning to fidget again. "I don't know." She paused and thought for a moment, "You steal art from the office of objectionable materials and you steal food from the chancellor, but you aren't just a thief. You save naive young girls off of the street like a hero."

"These things are all true, Evey, but I do so much more." He replied, preparing himself for the questions this may lead to. Evey just sighed, "Well of course, that can't be all you do."

Slightly let down, but unfazed V began to delve into explaining the concepts of freedom, liberty, justice, and anarchy. His explanation sounded much like a story, languidly waltzing between histories and explanations. Evey began to understand what it meant to do what V did, more than just the consequences he faced. She listened in rapt attention, nodding at just the right moments, and asking questions when she needed clarification. The themes danced easily from V's mind to hers, until they ignited a fire in her heart that helped her come to understand the passion with which V spoke about these things. Minutes melted into hours as Evey became a student of the universe, coming to understand the answers to inner-questions she was previously not allowed to ask.

V took much pleasure in confirming his thoughts with another person, so long he had been alone, searching for answers in solitude. Evey's attention made him feel more than just real, but appreciated as well. It was strange and foreign to him, yet he hardly let that affect himself.

As the night wore on, the basic human need for sleep caught up with them and they found themselves yawning, and propping their heads up.

In the delirious hours before dawn, when sleep's gentle embrace pulled at their eyes they finally fell asleep. V for the first time sleeping at the foot of his bed, and Evey curled into a ball at the top of the bed, almost exactly where they had sat down so much earlier to read The History of Max Ernst.

Sometime between the rise of the sun and the awakening of our characters, their bodies and limbs seemed to have found each other pulled into an affectionate embrace. Evey rested her head between the broad shoulders of V, on his chest, to which she woke up hearing the soft thump thump, thump thump of V's heart. A gentle reminder of his humanity nestled too deeply within his body for outsiders to find. V found his arms encircled protectively around the body of our heroine, his masked face buried in her locks of hair, her body warm against his.

When hours later they awoke to find themselves in this arrangement, neither was too eager in allowing the other to know they had awoken. Without words, yet mutually they lay awake unmoving, savoring the seemingly unimportant bliss of a good night's sleep.

Evey lulled back to sleep by the slow constant beat of V's heart and his comforting smell which she breathed easily. She woke up later to find herself alone and a bit cold on top of the sheets and blankets of his bed as they had been that night. Realizing before she could get upset or scared or angry that V was in the kitchen, she pulled herself up and made her way to the kitchen.

In the other room, hearing the door creak open V quickly put his gloves back on before Evey entered and he offered her breakfast. Evey nodded and hesitated at the threshold of the kitchen before moving to the seat at the table and smiling at V.

The two easily conversed as she ate, almost neglecting how they had so recently found themselves that morning. After finishing Evey stood and closed the short distance between herself and V. With a warm smile on her face she reached her arms up around V's neck and bodily hugged him.

"You're a beautiful person, V. You really, truly are."