I wrote this because Tris never got to celebrate coming first and getting into Dauntless. I wanted her to have some fun before she headed off to war. Hope you like it. Reviews would be appreciated since it's my first attempt.
Several times during the year they turn the dining hall into a big dance party. Coloured lights are hiding in the ceiling until they're needed and a sound system is hidden behind the walls. The biggest party of the year is the night the new initiates are welcomed into Dauntless. Zeke and I got here early to help set up. Tris told me she had something to do with Christina first, so she would meet me here. I finally see Will walk in, so I watch the door. Tris walks in. She's wearing a new dress, it's black and the neckline is square which perfectly frames the tattoos on her collarbone. She has makeup on and her hair has waves hidden throughout. So that's what she and Christina were up to. She looks so beautiful but I can tell she's feeling uncomfortable. Her dress is strapless but she keeps rubbing her arms, probably hoping fabric will appear. She stares up at the coloured lights which swivel and spin, sending blue, green and red light pulsating around the room.
The Celebration is in full swing so the dance floor is packed. She walks in at the perfect time because the Dauntless official anthem starts playing. I can feel the energy in the room rising as the song starts building. Will and Christina drag Tris into the middle of the floor. The music builds and builds and then everyone starts jumping in unison to the beat of the music. There's nothing like the feeling of being in the middle of hundreds of people all moving together, fists pumping in the air. I watch Tris, her eyes wild with excitement and remember how I felt the first time I experienced this.
Zeke hits me on the arm and I look over at him and smile. He has a serious look on his face and motions for me to look to my left. I see the guy we've nicknamed The Panther pacing back and forth watching the dance floor. He was in the initiation year above us and he got his nickname because he preys on the new initiates every year. He's hungrily got his eye on someone and I realize he's watching Tris. He starts to move into the crowd toward her. I quickly slip past him and reach Tris first. I spin her around and her eyes light up when she sees me. I kiss her squarely on the mouth and then shoot a look back at The Panther. He nods and backs away, already scanning the floor for another girl. I don't want him to look at Tris that way again. Ever.
The music is too loud to tell her how good she looks so I just take her hands and hold them out to her sides and smile. She beams back. The music starts building again. I squeeze her hands and yell, "Ready!" She squeezes back, and we start to jump in unison with all of Dauntless. The energy in the room is amazing. You can feel the electricity between everyone. This song ends and goes right into another beat thumping song. I was surprised to discover how much I loved dancing when I came to Dauntless. Lauren and Zeke always made me get out on the dance floor with them. Lauren practiced a few moves with me earlier tonight. She got it out of me that I liked Tris and I think she really wanted to help me. I wait for one more song to build up my nerve and then I put my arms on either side of Tris and sway my hips back and forth, then I grab her hands and raise them above our heads, our bodies touching and swaying to the music. I can tell by the way Christina is looking at us that I'm doing it right.
After about half an hour they play a slower song. Even though the song is slow, the bass and drums still pound so loud you can feel it in your bones. I have one arm wrapped around Tris's waist and I'm holding her hand in front of my chest. It feels so good to be able to finally be with her in public and not pretend. Tris starts squeezing my hand and I can feel her heartbeat racing but not in a good way. I look into her eyes which are a little wild with panic.
"Are you all right?" I ask. She shakes her head no. I lead her off the dance floor and head outside.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
"I don't know, I just started thinking about everything that's happened and it's….." She's getting a little out of breath, like she might start hyperventilating.
"Maybe we shouldn't have stayed so long," I say. I can see she's feeling overwhelmed by everything.
"No, I loved it. Really, I loved it so much. It just started to get…. I don't know how to explain it."
"I know," I say. I touch her arm.
"It's just such a relief that it's all over and I don't know….I just never imagined…."
"I know," I say again.
"Stop talking to me like that." She pulls her arm away.
"Like I'm a little kid who scraped her knee and you're trying to calm me down. 'There, there' Tris."
"I never said 'there, there' Tris. I said, 'I know.'"
"What's the difference?"
"I said 'I know', because I know the feeling of fear when you make the choice to leave your family, your whole faction and the only life you've ever known, only to find out that you might not actually have a place in the new faction you've chosen. And the fear that replaces it, the fear of being factionless is unimaginable. So you try your hardest and you learn to fight and you hope that somehow you'll scrape by and make the top ten. Then you have your deepest fears exposed for other people to watch and judge and they push you so hard you think you're going to crack wide open.
Then they finally make the announcement of who will be allowed to stay. And it's then that you discover that not only did you scrape by, you came in first. First! Even before other initiates who were brought up Dauntless. Then you go to the celebration and you are surrounded by more people than you've ever been around in your entire life, and you're listening to music so loud you think your ears are going to bleed and then everyone starts moving together in unison and the energy in the room is so alive it's electric.
Then you realize that all these people have gathered here, not out of obligation or duty, but because they want to celebrate with you because you have decided to join them and their way of life. It's then that you finally realize that you're safe, and that you will have a home. That this is who you really are and that you actually fit in, and maybe life will be okay after all and it hits you all at once and it's just too much."
Tris stares at me wide-eyed, tears glistening and starts to nod. I cradle her face in my hands. "So, Tris," I rub a tear that has fallen onto her cheek, "I know."