Disclaimer: Ok, here's the thing, I don't own anything except my characters and that's it. V and the rest of the gang belong to people who hopefully have better things to do than coming after a person who isn't making any money on this.

Author's note 1: Hey there, this is my first V for Vendetta story. It may or may not be my last. Depends on my muse really. Updates may be few and far in between since I'm working on 3 other stories right now, so bear with me. This story is set before the movie and before V meets Evey, but don't worry, this will not be my original character getting it on with V. That is my intent and if you see me heading towards the dark side, you have my permission to throw cold water on me and thoroughly beat me with a wet noodle.

Author's note 2: Brighton is about 50 miles south of London. For point of reference, a Good Toy is like a Game Boy but is a propaganda tool that uses games to help train the youth of the nation to be good little citizens. I made it up all on my own and it's mine, all mine. At any rate, on with the show.

A dark figure sits staring at one monitor screen out of several dozen watching the images broadcasted by the hidden camera in the house of a rather prominent military man. The figure doesn't move, his face hidden behind a grinning mask and though the only way to tell that he's alive is steady rise and fall of his chest, there is no doubt that he is staring intently at the monitor before him.

If the figure didn't already have enough reason to hate the man on the monitor, watching him beat his wife is enough to make his blood boil. He would wonder why the woman suffers in silence if he hadn't just finished going over the man's history again. It has taken him many years to reach this point, a lot of research was done and countless hours have gone into watching this one monitor, but now…now V knows everything he needs to know about Michael Oliver Jones.

The file on Jones is easy enough to read. Married to his Brighton born wife Georgia for nearly ten years and with twin eight year old boys, Jones has been making his way up the military ladder for over twenty years now. Singularly intent on his goal to get more power, Jones almost never takes time off for a holiday. The only anomaly to this is when he and his wife went to France for a month after the boys were born. V isn't sure why the fact that while on holiday the wife became ill with a throat infection that permanently damaged her vocal cords rendering her a mute bothers him, but he just shrugs it off and continues to watch his prey.

Tonight V will be one step closer in completing his vendetta and in a small way, this makes V happy. Happy to know that people like Jones will soon join their maker and will no longer be able to hurt innocent people. He will no longer be able to beat a woman whose only crime was making the wrong thing for dinner.

"Ya better get goin', woman, if ya don't want to get caught out after curfew," Michael growls as he puts his belt back on.

Trembling, Georgia gets to her feet and silently nods. She's had worse beatings, she reminds herself as she shakily makes her way to the bedroom. She takes a couple pain pills, finishes packing, picks up her bag, opting to carry it instead of slinging it over her shoulder and heads out. She whistles up the stairs for the boys and a moment later the thunder of two pairs of running feet can be heard. She starts to head for the door with the boys quickly catching up when she's intercepted by Michael.

"Have a good time at your sister's, honey," he says a bit too cheerily, giving her a hug and squeezing extra hard before turning to the boys. "Now, don't ya two be tormentin' your Aunt Ruth. Ya hear me?"

She refuses to give him the benefit of seeing her wince in pain and he goes to ruffles the hair of the boys.

"Sure thing, Dad," Philip answers with a devilish grin.

"Since when have we ever given Aunt Ruth any bother?" Charles jokingly asks.

"Since always, ya scamps," Michael laughs, though the laughter doesn't reach his eyes. "Ya better get goin'. Ya don't want the Fingermen givin' ya any hassle."

She nods, whistles to the boys again and then points towards the door. The twins are out the door in a heartbeat and she follows them out at a more sedate pace with Michael right behind her. She and the boys stow their luggage in the boot of the auto and the twins quickly climb into the back seat. Michael grabs her and gives her what to the casual observer would seem to be a passionate kiss. As soon as he releases her, she slides behind the wheel, starts the vehicle and pulls away from the curb while the boys wave goodbye to their father. As soon as they're around the corner, she lets out a quiet sigh of relief.

"You ok, Mum?" Philip asks, leaning forward to see her better.

She places her right thumb to her chest, spreading the fingers out and wiggling them, signing that she's 'fine' as she ignores the pain tearing across her back. She lies just like she takes the beatings: to protect them. There's no way she would let that monster lay one hand on them, even if it costs her her own life.

"If you say so, Mum," Philip replies, sitting back in his seat.

He looks at his brother and they share worried glances at each other. They know what's going on, but they know they're helpless to stop it. With one last glance at their mother, they pull out their Good Toys and begin to play. After about fifteen minutes of driving, she looks over into the passenger seat and lets out a sigh of frustration.

"What's the matter, Mum?" Charles asks when he sees they're getting in the right turn lane too early.

First she holds her left hand out and runs the pinky of her right hand over the wrist as if she were cutting the hand off. Then she mimes holding a bag handle in her hand.

"You forgot your handbag again, didn't you, Mum?" Philip teases.

She looks at the boy with a guilty smile and points to the tip of her nose with her finger tip. The boys laugh since it would be a shock if she hadn't forgotten the bloody thing. They head back home unaware that fate has other plans for them this evening.

It takes him about twenty-five minutes to reach his target's home, leaving his lair only after he was sure the others had left. As silent as smoke, he slips into the building and easily locates his target. Jones is lighting candles in the family room, already finishing in the bedroom and there's a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket next to the couch with a pair of flutes on the table nearby.

Perfect. Jones's lover can find the body and decide what to do with it. If nothing appears on the news by morning, V will simply make an anonymous phone call to alert the authorities.

The wife has been through enough, she doesn't need to find his stinking corpse when she returns on Sunday. And as an added bonus, she has the perfect alibi so that the Fingermen will have to leave her alone. No black bags for a woman who's had enough abuse in her life

Jones lights the last candle and turns around to see a Guy Fawks mask seemingly floating in mid air, causing him to drop the lighter he was using.

"Shit!" the man swears loudly as the shadows reshape themselves into a cloaked man. "Who the bloody hell are you?"

"The multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him…," V starts to quote, slowly stepping closer to his quarry.

"WHO THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU?" Jones repeats, yelling and taking a step back.

"…and fortune, on his damned quarrel, smiling, showed like a rebel's whore," V continues, ignoring the sound of a car pulling up out front and the engine cutting out.

"WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?" Jones shouts as he quickly backs towards a side table.

"But all's too weak, for brave Macbeth…well he deserves that name…," V purrs, throwing his cloak back over his shoulders and revealing the half dozen silver blades hanging from his side, so intent on his prey that a car door slamming shut never registers on his brain. "…disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution."

"ANSWER ME!"Jones screams as he fumbles with one of the drawers in the table he's backed into.

"Like valour's minion, carved out his passage…" V continues as he stalks closer, only pausing and glancing over his shoulder when he hears the front door open.

Georgia steps into the house, takes one look at the scene before her and gasps. Jones takes advantage of V's distraction and finally gets the drawer open. He pulls out a revolver and levels at the menacing figure before him.

"…till he faced the slave; which ne'er shook hands…," V resumes, turning his back once more on the woman. "…nor bade farewell to him."

In a move that defies logic and quite possibly physics, V disarms Jones in a blink of an eye. One of V's blades quivers in its spot in the wall and Jones clutches at his arm where the knife sliced him causing him to drop his weapon. V moves in, readying to make Jones last moments on Earth the most terrifying in his life.

So intent on his prey that he never sees the vase of flowers coming until it hits him square in the back. More startled than hurt, he turns back towards the woman whose face is a study in fear. He pulls another knife out of its sheath and her eyes get even wider than before. But instead of menacing the woman, he quickly turns back around and sticks the point under Jones's chin stopping the man from bending down to pick up his dropped weapon.

"Ah ah ah," V rumbles low in his throat, forcing Jones to straighten back up. "We shall have none of that."

"Who the bloody hell are you?" Jones hisses through his teeth as fear and hate wage war in his eyes.

"Perhaps I should jog your memory, Lieutenant," V quietly growls, getting face to mask with Jones.

"Lieutenant?" Jones huffs, standing a bit straighter. "I haven't been a lieutenant since…"

"Larkhill," V finishes for him with a snarl and watches with satisfaction as Jones figures it out, his eyes get to be about the size of dinner plates and the blood drains from his face.

"It's you," Jones says, his voice shaking with fear that's quickly headed towards panic. "But that's impossible. You can't be alive. There's no way you could have survived."

"Oh, trust me, I did survive and I am very much alive," V hisses darkly.

"Oh god, you're going to kill me, aren't you?" Jones asks on the verge of wetting himself.

"Oh, yes, I am," V purrs evilly, sounding very pleased.

A slight movement and noise catches V's attention and he turns around and catches the poker from the fireplace in his free hand, mere inches from his head. Georgia's eye get nearly as wide as her husband's with surprise as she stands there holding the other end of the poker. She gives it a tug and he easily yanks it out of her hand, confused by her actions.

Jones takes V's momentary distraction to grab his gun off of the floor and aim it at the shadowy figure before him. Before he can pull the trigger, the poker slams into his arm, sending his shot wild. The bullet ricochets off of the chrome trim of the fireplace as V's blade sheaths itself into Jones's heart.

Two cries of surprise and pain and two bodies hit the floor within seconds of each other. V looks down at Jones and sees a look of surprise permanently written across the dead man's face. Turning, he sees Georgia writhing on the floor, a pool of blood soaking into the light colored carpet as she bites her lip to keep from crying out again. He bends over to try and assess her wound and she suddenly reaches up and grabs the front of his cloak. He instinctively pulls back, dragging her with him and causing her to whimper.

"Is he dead?" she gasps.

"Yes," he automatically answers, startled beyond words as she looks up at him with pleading eyes.

"Kill me," she begs just before she lets go of him and lands on the floor panting.

If he still had hair anywhere on his head, his eyebrows would be merging with his hairline right about now. Not only is a woman who is supposed to be mute talking, but she's talking with an American accent.