A/N at end. There are slight Insurgent spoilers in this chapter. I do not own anything written or created by Veronica Roth.
I'll be your family now.
The sixth will be pure adoration.
Tris told me she loved me tonight. The words slipped out along a river of grief, water over a cliff, gone before they began. But then she said it again, she said it to me, her voice steady and her eyes clear.
She said it without fear. And so did I.
Now I lie next to her, in a room that I once considered a prison, and I feel free.
I look at Tris, and she looks at me. We are dirty and tired, our brains running on empty. We don't speak, and we don't sleep, too amazed that we are both still alive. My hand skims her hair. I can't stop touching her. I need to know that she is real, that she has survived.
Moonlight spills through the window, highlighting her body's angles – cheekbones, shoulders, elbows. Tris is all edges and hollows, sharpness and softness. Her skin glows silver. I trace my fingers over the three ravens on her collarbone, outlining each bird's flight. She places her hand over mine.
"Tobias," she says softly. Even in darkness, her eyes are still bright. "I want another one."
I brush a strand of hair off her cheek. "Another what?"
"Another raven. For the last member of my family. Someone I love."
She moves my hand to her chest, and presses it over her heart. "Right here," she whispers.
My fingers feel her warmth, the slight swell of her breast, her heart still beating, steady, alive. I touch my forehead to hers and breathe her in. She smells like sweat and soap and sadness. But as I lean in to kiss her, she smiles. My lips move against hers, slow, and sure, and safe, like we have all the time in the world to be together.
If only that were true.
I kiss the tip of her nose, and her eyelids grow heavy. "Where you go, I go," I say, as she curls into my chest. My breath stirs her hair. I feel her hand slip under the hem of my shirt, making sleepy circles over each tattoo on my back. I run my fingers down the knobs of her spine and pull her closer. She slips one of her legs between mine. Nothing will pull us apart.
"Sleep," I whisper, as her eyes slowly close.
I wake up right before sunrise, as weak, watery light tries to break through the clouds. It will be a grey day; the same color that surrounds me in my father's house. Tris is asleep, her body small and still. She is still wearing the white tank top and shorts she was given in Erudite, the clothing she was supposed to die in. She needs something new, to wear black again, to look Dauntless.
I slip into the dark living room, and head towards the door, in search of one of her friends.
I spin around and see Tori sitting at the table, her injured leg propped in a chair, her face barely visible in the shadows.
"Hey Tori. Can't sleep?"
"Nope. Ran out of pain meds yesterday," she gestures at her leg. "I guess we're going to have to invade Erudite to get some more."
"That's as good a reason as any." I smile at her.
She doesn't smile back. "How's Tris?"
"She's a survivor." I sit down next to her.
"She's more Dauntless than any of us."
I look on the table. Tori's been sketching again. She's filled the back of one of Evelyn's maps with drawings. A waterfall crashes into a pool, surrounded by twisted, evil-looking vines. Dozens of bony hands burst out of the ground, reaching up towards nothing. It looks a scene from someone's fear landscape – probably hers.
"You should have been Amity," I say, nodding towards the drawings. Tori frowns and flips the map over.
"No needles, no skin…gotta put the ink somewhere," she says, looking at her hands. Her nails are bitten raw.
"That's too bad, because I'm in the market for another tattoo," I say to her. "Guess I'll have to go to someone else."
"The hell you will," she says, looking up. Then she finally smiles. "I knew you'd be back. I've seen the way you look at her. You only get ink when you really care."
I give her a small smile. "Well, my back's full, so it will have to go here." I trace a circle on my chest, over my heart.
"It won't show," she says.
"Except to the only person that matters."
She grins and cracks her knuckles. "No needles around here, but how about a sketch? I'm thinking a big red heart…or some flowers…"
"Do you want me to throw up all over you?"
"Kidding, kidding." Suddenly, she turns serious, her eyes searching mine. "How does she make you feel?"
I look out the window at the street where I grew up - rows of houses, uniform and grey, once filled with people who never talked about their own feelings. Most of them are gone, and so is my reserve.
"She's…broken me open." I meet her gaze, for once hiding nothing. In the silence, a few birds start to sing.
Tori smiles and shakes her head.
"Now that is an achievement, Four, because you're a hard nut to crack," she says. The sun is up now, and I can see how tired she looks. There are new lines around her eyes.
She jerks her chin at me. "Get your shirt off."
I hesitate. This isn't an empty house; people will be waking up soon.
Tori raises her eyebrows. "What, only Tris can say that now?"
I groan as I tug my shirt over my head.
Tori grabs some markers off the table, and starts drawing on my chest. She bites her lip in concentration, and for the first time in days, I see the tension leave her eyes. For her, tattooing is a job, but the art behind it is a passion. Artists are brave too – there is freedom through expression.
"Right," she says, as she draws one last line, "Now all we need is a mirror…oh, yeah, this is an Abnegation house."
"There is one, it's just hidden." I lead her over to the hallway and slide back the panel. For a minute, I am nine years old again, sneaking glances at my reflection, daring my father's wrath, hoping for a different future.
I stare at Tori's drawing. On my back, the faction symbols are enclosed by circles – the choice that defines us, the ties that bind us. On my chest, a small raven rises up through that same circle, smashing it to bits. My Divergent heart, taking flight.
The bird has grey-blue eyes.
So that's it, Four's final tattoo (and one for Tris as well). This was hard to write, mostly because I wanted to give them a happy ending, but I wanted to write it right after that scene, and they would both know that the war could come between them at any moment. So it's sad too. This is what felt right. I like it, do you? Tell me what you think!
Thanks to 265, josiemausconn, bookfreakz, cindella204, WillowBee, Serenity2012, Prim12, virtualcupcakes99, emzydivey, Evelyn1003, voiceonfire, octobermarie, and trobiasforever for your reviews, you are the best. I am shy about messaging, so just want you to know that I read them and THANK YOU! Now back to my other story...stay tuned.