Since she's making interesting comparisons, John is Clarice Starling, a roller pigeon, and Alice has to be Hannibal Lecter. She's obviously not as old and obviously not a cannibal — she doesn't think she'd find people all that tasty — but she is just as brilliant.
So is John.
She watches him roll — figuratively, of course — fighting against impossible odds, struggling so beautifully against himself and the world. Even against her.
She's only trying to help him. She's not trying to clip his wings or lock him in a cage like everyone else. Surely, John can see that they're not like everyone else. But John likes to pretend that he doesn't see that. He'll keep his superficial assessment, but deep inside that great big heart of his, he knows the truth.
That truth is not, "Alice, you have to leave." He says it with such finality, with such painful sincerity. It's a misplaced statement. Of course, she has to leave, but he should come with her. It's obvious that he wants to; she can see it in the way that he watches her, even now, with barely any space between them.
Tonight, however, he isn't coming along. Eventually, perhaps. Most likely when he's burned out, made empty by all of his obligations and the high demands of his own morality. It will be a tragic story, indeed, but that's the fate of brilliance. So Alice smiles and leans close while John stays ever so still, so certain that there are no happy endings for the likes of them.
"You are not a star, John," she whispers. "You shine so bright, and you'll fall while others make a wish at your passing."He almost smiles when she draws away. She lingers a beat longer, but he doesn't change his mind. He doesn't follow her. It's a pity.
But in the end, Alice doesn't look back either.