He made her eggs and that made her think of Gordon. Gordon in his kitchen, wiggling his eyebrows and teasing her.
'Beneath this wrinkled, pudgy exterior'...she couldn't remember the rest...something about faustian fetishes. It bothered her that she couldn't remember.
She could so clearly see that last look of terror before they dragged him away.
"He said it was beautiful." She said quietly. V turned from the stove to look at her. "Gordon." She explained. She looked back down at her plate. "When he showed me his Koran, I asked him, why keep it if he wasn't muslim. He said...he said it was beautiful." Her voice caught a little, so she filled her mouth with toast.
She spent the next few minutes eating very fast. She stopped to breathe when she felt his hand on her arm.
"You'll make yourself sick." He cautioned.
"I don't care." Evey said and slapped her fork on the table, hard. " I didn't even look at it!" She was nearly shouting. She stopped herself when he took his hand away.
"He said it was beautiful. They executed him for having it and I didn't even look at it." She put her hands in her lap and took a deep breath. She wasn't hungry any more.
"Evey..." His voice was gentle, thoughtful. She shut her eyes, briefly, against the sound of it. When she looked up he was watching her, head tilted. With sure fingers he removed his apron and turned off the stove. "Come with me."
She knew what it was when he lifted it out of the cupboard. It wasn't the same, but she knew...This book was small, made to fit in someone's hand. He gave it to her like it was alive. Fragile. Very old. She opened it carefully, surprised by the sheen of gold leaf on the pages. She didn't quite touch the script, passing her fingers over it.
"I can't read it." She admitted, looking up, startled to find him leaning so close.
"Nor can I." He copied her gesture, brushing gloved fingers lightly over the unfamiliar words. " But the inherent nature of an object is not helped or hindered by the ineptitude of its observers." She lowered the book and stared at him, raising her eyebrows. He put a hand at her back.
"This is beautiful." He said gently. "Understood or not."
She almost smiled, looking down at the softly shining pages.
"Yes, it is." She said, and something inside her loosened, relaxed. She shut the book, felt the shape of it, the heft of it in her hands.
"Keep it, if you like." V offered. His tone of voice seemed to imply he would say the same thing if presented the opportunity to give her Nelson's column, the stars in the sky, or perhaps his soul. For a breath of time Evey regarded him narrowly.
She looked down at the book. There couldn't be many of them left. It was tempting... No doubt that it would be safer where it was. If she was caught...it would be burned, surely. Just like her. She would hope they'd take the time to shoot her first.
She held it out to him.
"I can't." She told him, and meant it. A little of the life seemed to go out of him. He took it back, seemed to be about to say something. Changed his mind. He studied his boots for a moment.
"Of course." There was even an attempt at a laugh in his voice. As if they both were suddenly too stupid to see, as if it had meant nothing at all for him to offer.
She took a step back from him. The next step was easier. V pretended not to notice, turning to put the book back in it's place. She went back to the room with the red curtains and collected a few things into a bag.
She didn't know where she would go.
She didn't expect it mattered very much.
Before she left she took Valerie's letter from the table. V's letter. She almost kept it. Almost put it in her bag. But not quite.