Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Having come up with the idea for this fic months before writing it, the little V in my mind kept me up until 3 AM the night that I decided to start writing it, despite the fact that I had class the next morning at 8:30. It was at this point that I decided that I wanted to change the name of 'Whispers In the Dark.' The next day, sprawled out on my friend's floor, evading sleep at all costs, I was handed a Dove chocolate, the kind that has a saying on the inside of the wrapper. I have placed a photo of this magically little wrapper for all the world to see. There are no coincidences. 'Whisper in the dark.'

Nine days, three hours and… twenty-three minutes, according to Evey's alarm clock. It had been more than a week. Nine days, three hours and twenty-three minutes since V had touched her last. Since he had laid a single finger on her. She had been counting.

She couldn't sleep and had spent countless nights and hours staring at the red LCD of her alarm clock. She tried convincing herself days ago that it really wasn't worth losing sleep over, but that was a lie.

What happened? Things had been so perfect but… Something had gone wrong. He had kissed her, had held her like a lover, and had taken it all back before she could catch her breath. After that, the mistletoe disappeared.

But things stayed the same. He was there with her, kind to her, even loving, affectionate. He read to her, played the piano for her, and let her cook with him. She'd fallen asleep curled up against him on more than one occasion. She'd held his naked hand as they watched the telly, slowing moving her way into his arms. Then it was gone: his affections, his attentions, his warmth and... his love.

What happened? What had she done? She had no doubt that she was to blame for the turnabout in their relationship, but try as she may, she simply could not recall doing anything wrong.

With a sigh, Evey rose from her bed. She grabbed her velvet robe and pulled it tightly around her, tying it at the waist. The blasted thing shielded her no more from the January winter than from its own heatless embrace. Her silk nightgown now did little more than provide cover as the cold from above permeated the halls of the Gallery. She shuddered as she stepped into the hall. A quick trip to the loo and then it was back to her toasty bedclothes.

She made haste with her business in the restroom and then crept sightlessly through the hall. She had grown so used to the trip back and forth that she no longer needed to turn the lights on to find her way.

Ping.

Evey stopped, hesitated. What was that? She turned slowly and glanced about, though she could see nothing in the darkness. She heard it again: the sound of a piano key reverberating through the alcoves of the Gallery, echoing back from every angle. She was immediately lost, the direction of the note and echo throwing her off. Which way is the piano? Which way is my room? "V?"

"Yes," replied a low voice, inches away from her.

Evey gasped and stumbled backward, nearly tripping over her own footing. She was rescued immediately by the warm, fleshy hand that gently grasped her wrist.

"V…" She whimpered, trying desperately to regain control of her senses and equilibrium.

"Yes," V said again, his bare thumb brushing the thin skin of her hand. She shuddered once more, not from the cold, but the heat: the pure heat of his touch.

"What are you doing?" she asked breathlessly as he tugged gently on her arm, pulling her to him. Her knees collided his, and she finally found herself again in the darkness. He was sitting on the piano bench, the piano behind him, and she now stood before him.

He was silent as his hand moved slowly up the skin of her forearm, beneath her sleeve. His other hand was at her waist, slowly untying the belt of her robe and slipping between the folds to brush the silk fabric over her tummy.

"V?" Evey could hardly breathe. "What-"

"Waiting." For you. How it had pained him to finally push her away; how much will power it took to keep her away! Oh, how very much he wanted her- Needed her. But he couldn't have that, no! He shouldn't need anyone, but he could no longer deny how he felt.

V's fingers tiptoed slowly down her middle, circling the dip of her navel. She sighed as he moved his hand around her hip, pulling her closer to him, to stand between his thighs. Her knees buckled, but his steady frame caught her, supporting her as she fell against him.

"Can you see me?"

"Yes," he groaned as her body sank against his, tightening his hold on her hip. "Only just so."

Their hearts pounded in unison as Evey's hand crept up his arm and shoulder to the nape of his neck. There was no wig… And she could feel his warm breath on her face. "You aren't wearing the mask are you?"

"No," he answered simply as he drew his other hand out of her sleeve. He slipped it inside her robe to grasp her other hip and then gently pulled her down to sit on his lap. "No, I'm not."

A moment of silence passed as they held each other, stealing one another's air. Whispers in the dark, the breath of one given willingly to the other as lips meet. Fervent, hungry. We've waited too long, these kisses told each other wordlessly. We need this.

Desperate hands tugged at clothing, caressed a bare thigh, a scarred cheek. Notes, keys haphazardly sounding through the artificial night. He panted, she sighed.

"Come to bed with me." The words were barely spoken between kisses, barely heard.

"I can't." His lips were on her neck. Her legs were wrapped around his middle. Delicate fingers smoothed down the dark brocade fabric over his chest. A feather light touch of a roughened, calloused hand lighted across the mound of her breast. She panted, he sighed.

"Please," Evey begged. He wants me… Doesn't he? Her hands collided with his belt buckle, undone in a moment. He jerked involuntary into the touch of her hand. Of course he does…

V moaned. "Oh, Eve... I can't. I- I can't." His hands stopped their tantalizing trek over her body, seizing hers before his trousers could be unbuttoned. He turned his lips from hers, already missing her taste, her caress.

He held her close, crushed her to him and lifted her up as he rose to his feet. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders as he carried her, lining his jaw with butterfly kisses. Of course he does.

V carried her through the darkness, nudging her bedroom door open with his foot. He lowered her carefully to the bed, following her down to take her lips again. Once more, her hands moved over his chest and his sides, down to his waist where she found that his belt had been refastened. "V? Stay…"

"I can't," he told her one final time, standing to his full height, gazing down at her sightlessly. You cannot imagine how deeply I long for you, my love. "We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have."

Then there was silence. He was gone. He said not a word, nor made a single sound, but Evey knew he was gone. She wiped a tear from her cheek and turned over to look at her alarm clock. Four minutes… Since he had touched her… She closed her eyes.

'We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have.' Publilius Syrus