"It’s wrong," she tells him, but she doesn’t stop filling her bags with haphazardly folded clothing, the hangers still attached, her hands shaking.
He sits in an armchair, seemingly casual even wearing a suit she’s sure costs more than her mother’s mortgage, watching her movements, his eyes slightly narrowed, lips pursed, taking in every detail, until finally he’s up, crossing the space between them, taking her things back out so he can re-fold them, remove the hangers, smooth out every wrinkle, and return them to the suitcase he’d brought to her house early that morning, simply holding it out and telling her, “Only what you can’t replace.”
"Self-preservation is not wrong, neither is it selfish; it’s smart, especially when you’re in the middle of a war," he reminds her simply, discarding unnecessary clothes in favor of a thick photo album filled with friends and family that have long been lost, memories and names added to her mental list of those she’d loved and wouldn’t see again.
Caroline frowns, sitting on the edge of her bed, and watched him now, as he moves easily through her room, collecting what he deems fit and returning to her bag; not one to hold her tongue long, she finally demands, “Why me?”
He paused a long moment, giving it due consideration, before finally telling her, “Because in a world that’s doomed to darkness, you hold on to the brightest light you can find and hope that it will keep you from succumbing,” and his voice is so thick, so heavy, that she knows Elijah has lost many and he knows he will lose more.
She stands, meets him at her bag, and reaches for his hand, tangling their fingers and squeezing it tight between her own while the other helps to add to her bag, because maybe he can help her through the darkness too.