How long did she spend out there on the rooftop? One hour? Ten? It was still dark when she turned away from the city, when she turned back to her captor, her tormentor, standing at the threshold. It was still dark, but it felt as though she'd spent her whole life up there. As if the weight of the last hour was so great it counterbalanced every other lesson she'd ever learned, every other moment she'd ever lived, every other person she'd ever loved.
He was watching her. She couldn't see any eyes but he was watching her like she filled up the whole world in front of him. Had he watched her, weeping in the dark all those nights? It seemed suddenly as though he must have, as though there couldn't have been any other choice for him. Seeing what he could make her. Watching what she would become, in spite of him. Feeling what she was making him. What had he sacrificed, she wondered, to become a piece of what he hated so much? What parts of himself did he have to kill? For her.
He was, she thought with a tiny shock, one of the best friends she'd ever had.
She'd eaten well, before they'd come to get her. Her final meal, she had thought. The food had weighed heavy on her stomach. It was odd, then, that as she walked towards him, her friend, her tormentor, she felt so...light. As if she could jump into the sky and fly away. Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.
He said nothing, but he seemed to brace himself against her approach. She wondered what she looked like to him. She wondered if he thought she might strike him. She considered it. She considered killing him. She considered throwing herself into his arms.
She stopped, at the threshold.
Reached out to him with a thin, wet hand. Touched his chest. He was human, underneath. She felt him catch his breath. She looked up at him, up to where eyes should be and felt the strength in her own hand. Then, silently, she moved past him. She didn't remember where the stairs were, could barely remember anything at all before the rooftop. The echo of that joy was still ringing in her ears, rumbling through her chest, making everything else seem faint and unreal.
She felt his hands, the warm leather gloves on her shoulders and something inside her gave way. Lightly, joyfully, Evey lifted up and took flight.