I walk with her to the Pit, skimming one of my fingers against her palm.
"So…" she says. "Four fears."
"Four fears then; four fears now," I say, and I feel my heart still struggling to calm down. "They haven't changed, so I keep going in there, but…I still haven't made any progress."
"You can't be fearless, remember?" she asks me, echoing me. "Because you still care about things. About your life."
"I know." And I do. She's right.
I guide her over to a ledge that crosses the bottom of the chasm. It's hard to see if you're not looking, and that's one reason I like it. I found this ledge the fifth day I was in the compound, and I come here all the time when I need to get away. I've never seen anyone else here- and I've never shown this place to anyone either.
"You were going to tell me about your aptitude test results," she says.
"Ah." I say, scratching my neck. I've already given away a lot of secrets today. "Does it matter?"
"Yes. I want to know." Her answer is immediate.
"How demanding you are." I smile down at her. I still don't want to tell her I'm Divergent. It could put both of us at risk. I lead her over the rocks, down small ridges. The bottom of the chasm is slippery and rough, but still possible to navigate.
I eventually lead her to a flat dry rock, the same one I come to every time, and I throw my feet out so my legs hang off the cool stone. She positions herself on the rock next to me, and I unlace my fingers from hers. "My result was as expected," I say, after a moment. "Abnegation." I tell myself this isn't a complete lie. Amar was also the one to give me my aptitude test, the one to tell me I was Divergent. The one who input my test results as Abnegation.
"Oh." Her shoulders slump a bit. I know she feel alone. I wish I could tell her she's not. That I'm Divergent, and so is Uriah, and so was Amar. But I can't. I have to let her feel this way. At least for the time being. "But you chose Dauntless anyway?"
"Out of necessity."
"Why did I have to leave?"
I look away from her for a second.
"You had to get away from your dad," she says. "Is that why you don't want to be a Dauntless leader? Because you might have to see him again?"
I shrug a shoulder. "That, and I've always felt that I don't quite belong among the Dauntless. Not the way they are now, anyway." I relax my back a little. I don't usually talk to people like this- open. But somehow she makes it feel easy- natural.
"But you're… incredible," she says this, clears her throat, and looks up at me. I must admit I didn't see that coming at first. "I man, by Dauntless standards. Four fears is unheard of. How could you not belong here?"
I shrug both shoulders this time. I'm not proud. I almost laughed when people congratulated me on only having four fears. I've always thought of my fears this way: two of the most common fears in the universe, a sissy fear, and a childish fear- scared of my dad? An now, I'm older and stronger- but I feel like I'll never overcome it.
"I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different. All your life you've been training to forget yourself, so when you're in danger, it becomes your first instinct. I could belong in Abnegation just as easily." I've never told anyone that either.
She looks almost guilty for a minute. "Yeah, well," she says, "I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough, no matter how hard I tried."
:That's not entirely true." I smile- she doesn't know she's so strong, she doesn't know she's so smart, she doesn't know she's so selfless. I think not thinking your selfless and trying to be selfless is one of the highest forms of selflessness. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend, who hit my dad with a belt to protect me- that selfless girl, that's not you?"
The corners of her lips curve down. "You've been paying attention, haven't you?"
"I like to observe people." Well, I like to observe her, so it's partly true, and I'm curious. I just happen to be very curious about her.
"Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar."
A smile tugs at my mouth, but I don't respond yet. I move my hands to my sides, lining up one of my hands with one of hers. My fingers are cold on top of hers, and my heart skips a beat.
"Fine." I lean in close to her, and I realize I don't mind telling her. I realize I was wrong before. I will say it again, and I plan to- many times. I skim her face with my eyes, studying each feature, engraving it in my mind. "I watched you because I liked you." I now focus on her eyes, even though their imprint has been firmly in my mind for weeks. "And don't call me 'Four' okay? It's nice to hear my name again.
Her cheeks blush and I know she doesn't want to say it back, but that's okay. She pauses then and says shyly, "But you're older than I am…Tobias."
I stifle a laugh and turn it into a smile. "Yes, that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it ?"
She seems a little shocked I like her back, which I think is a little cute, but she starts to babble a little, and I hold back another laugh. "I'm not trying to be self- depreciating," she says, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty. I-"
My laugh cuts her off now- the laugh I couldn't contain. I kiss her temple, and I smell a whiff of her hair- coconut and fresh air. "Don't pretend," she says. "you know I'm not. I'm not ugly, but I am certainly not pretty."
I know she's not, she's right- but I don't care about that. "Fine. You're not pretty. So?" I kiss her cheek, and I didn't realize until now how much I longed for that. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart. You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus…" I become a little more serious. "You aren't giving me that look. Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." I definitely appreciate that. I don't want sympathy for my past.
"Well," she says. "You're not."
I look into her eyes. I brush her jawline with my fingertips and pull my lips to hers briefly- almost barely a touch. I smile a bit because she just looks back at me eyes wide, but smiling a little herself- though I realize she thinks she doesn't really know what to do. I lean in again, kissing her longer- happiness spreading through my body.
I pull away again, take her face in my hands, and pull her in again, kissing her harder, almost wishing I could tell her, 'yes that's fine," because she seems very unsure about it all. She puts an arm around me, fingers moving along my neck to my hair.
After a few minutes, I take her hand, smiling, to lead her back out of the chasm.
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