[4- Azure: Fear Overwhelms]
Anger and fear are two very different and yet similar things. Fear can lead to anger, and anger is often a mechanism to hide away the fear, but they are both uncontrollable feelings that burn and burn until nothing but destruction and ruin lies in its wake.
I hate fear. I hate the feeling, and I hate how weak it makes me feel. It's not something that I associate myself with, and I can't think about anything else while the feeling surrounds me, rushes over me, and overwhelms all my cognitive abilities until I'm rendered useless and pathetic.
That is not something I am, and that is not something I want to become. Unfortunately, that is not a wish that Dauntless respects and upholds. They don't step across my boundaries and peacefully declare that my territories now belong to them; Dauntless invades my grounds in an ambush I should have expected but did not in the end and now I am, for the sake of the word, completely screwed.
To get things straight and to the point, I would start with the statement "I do not scare easily." I am not the kind of person who runs away screaming at the sight of something remotely frightening. I do not turn green in the face and proceed to throw up all over the floor. I do not shut my eyes to the horror while waiting for it to pass.
Unfortunately, that statement is completely wrong.
To outsiders, the declaration "Azure doesn't scare easily" appears absolutely true. Azure isn't scared of things. Azure is rarely frightened. Azure never shows her fear — but that's it! That's the hidden premise they're missing! Their deductions are all wrong because of this simple hidden premise.
Their premises and conclusion go like this:
1. People show signs of distress when they are frightened.
2. Azure does not show signs of distress during things that she admits are fears.
3. Therefore Azure does not scare easily.
All the fallacies and issues in their deductive reasoning make me cringe. Maybe I should have transferred to Erudite instead to avoid all this.
While I seem like I am the epitome of calm on the outside, my brain is stuttering along with my racing heartbeat; it's a recipe for disaster or at least a very fatal crash. I believe they call it paralysis. Fear renders me useless.
My landscape starts like this:
I am in my room back at the Amity compound, and I am standing in front of my mother's bedroom. I turn the doorknob slowly and tentatively like I am about to enter a sacrosanct place. Instead of turning around and declaring a respect for privacy, I push forward.
When I step in, the scenery swirls around me and I am standing on the precipice of a cliff. Far below me, jagged stones are scattered in a messy arrangement at the bottom. If I fall, I will surely die. I begin to assess my surroundings, my heart beating quickly because death is imminent if I make one wrong move. It's like I'm standing atop some kind of jetty rising from the depths of the water and sure enough when I look down again the dark blue masses swirl around far below.
There's no escape, and I am a lone figure standing atop a rock landing. My heart beats faster against the cages of my ribs and the confines of flesh and blood and dry skin. I don't know what to do, and I don't know where to go from here. I can jump — not that there would be a very likely chance of survival, but it would be escape from this pedestal I've been placed on.
My hands get sweaty, and I stand there immobile. I must have an appearance of utter calm upon my face, but the constricting of my chest says otherwise. I breathe in and out, trying to think through the muddle of thoughts that fear has tossed my thinking into.
That's what fear is like. The thinking process is like a train, and once fear gets thrown into the equation, everything turns murky and slow and blurred together all at once. The train conductor is given a clear set of instructions: take this path, take that path, and turn here. Once fear is introduced, it's like throwing all the information all at once in scrambled order hoping that someone else will clean up your mess for you. That's when bad decisions are made, or in my case, no decision at all.
So I stand there in a stalemate for who knows how long until the surroundings fade away so quickly that I'm startled and I jerk up from the seat. Four stands beside me, his eyebrows scrunched in what looks like mild concern. "You were in your fear landscape for almost an hour. I had to pull you out because you weren't doing anything and there was little change in your situation."
I nod, swallowing the fear that threatens to rise and overwhelm my system leaving me in an inert state. Four continues watching me like he thinks I'm going to respond. Finally, he says, "You need to work on controlling your fear."
I nod again, but I don't state my immediate thoughts. How can I control my fear? It's become a physical thing over time: sterile liquid called a serum placed into a syringe to insert in your body so it rushes through your blood veins and chokes your heart. Fear has become poisonous, and I do not want that thing near me ever again. I do not want those icy tendrils wrapping around my lungs and my heart and my brain and squeezing it until inertia takes over my body and mind.
Four cannot read minds, but he must be very good at discerning my emotions. He looks at the ground and lets out something between a sigh and an exhale before looking back at me with serious blue eyes. I stare, fascinated by the colour. I can only imagine how dark they get in dim lighting. There's a patch of light blue on his left iris, right next to the corner of his eye. Our base colours are the same, but the small differences create a gaping chasm, and I am wonderstruck by them.
What was it that I heard some Erudite students discussing while we were all still in the Upper Levels of school? A typical human cell is made up of only twenty-three chromosomes, yet it's the little mutations and changes that make an astronomical difference from our skin, to our eyes, to the shape of our lips, and to the length of our fingers. Genetically, we are more or less ninety-nine percent identical. Yet we can be so different, and this continues to astound me every day.
"Azure," he begins almost tentatively like he's about to tell me that I have a life-threatening disease and will be dead within twenty-four hours. "You want to stay in Dauntless," he says, leaving the statement in the air and allowing me to accept or deny it.
"Yes," I say, my voice coming out raspy. I clear my throat a few times and then repeat my answer.
He nods carefully, keeping eye contact. "Then you will need to improve. You can't stand around and hope that your fears will miraculously go away. They won't unless you make them go away. Use the skills you learned in the first stage of initiation. Use your brain. Use whatever will help you. You have to understand that you can't freeze up."
I nod. He gives me one last look to get his message through before I leave the room.
Four is different, I conclude. For a person in a position of power, he is nothing like Eric or Max, and it relieves me. Though I feign indifference, Eric and Max do not make me comfortable.
When I get to the dorms, I lie down on my bed, curling up into myself and trying to wash the cold feeling that the serum has left in me. It's poison — almost impossible to rinse away from your system. The remnants will always linger in my bloodstream, and the thought makes me shudder.
There's a difference between fear and anger. Anger is a weapon to wield. Fear is a weapon used against you.
Peter brings in a crowd about an hour later. When I hear the sounds of people coming into the dormitory, I quickly lie prone on the bed, pushing the covers over myself and closing my eyes. There is no need for people to catch me in a position that alerts them of my weaknesses and faults. The thought that a few may think that I'm weak stirs a dull Anger inside of me. It's a little refreshing to feel that familiar presence.
Drew enthusiastically reads sections of an article about Abnegation published by Erudite out loud. I don't care much for the feud between them, but I find myself eavesdropping when they mention Tris. Molly's laugh borders hysterics when she is mentioned in the article, proud of her momentary cleverness to feed lies to the Erudite reporter that Christina had yelled at a few nights ago. Peter gives a rude commentary that leaves Molly breathless with laughter.
I open my eyes and sit up on the bed, watching them. Molly smiles at Peter and he smiles back, and something twists in my stomach. If I didn't know who they were, I would think them to be in love from their almost tender smiles. My chest clenches slightly at the thought before disappearing into indifference. Other Dauntless-born and transfer listen to Drew's reading with amusement, indifference, or anger clear in their expressions. "Oh wait, here she comes," Peter says, cutting Drew off midsentence and looking away from Molly to snatch the article from Drew's hands.
I look at the entrance to see Tris walk in, her expression a little startled at the amount of people, and then suspicious, and finally angry.
The article falsely depicts Abnegation in a negative light accompanied by lies about Tris and her family. I can see why she is angry, and the Anger stirs on her behalf but is otherwise passive.
When he holds the paper high above her head to mock her height and size, she doesn't jump up to grab it. Instead, she stomps on his instep, and I can see him gritting his teeth to stifle his groan. She attempts to attack Molly, but Will holds her back, pulling her out of the dormitory and into the hallway, slamming the door shut behind them. Christina and Al look at each other before following them out.
Peter laughs weakly, surreptitiously trying easing the pain Tris caused his foot. Our eyes meet for a brief moment before I avert them and head outside with them.
In all honesty, I don't know where I stand with anyone at all. Since leaving Amity, I have been more of a lone person on the fringes making her way around groups that will best suit her intentions. Not that I had many friends before leaving Amity, but Dauntless feels lonelier than expected. When I transferred, I thought everyone was going to be like me: messed-up, odd, and alone on the inside. If it was harder to integrate myself in the Amity community, it's impossible at Dauntless. Everybody has their own separate group, and I'm still hanging on to the edges.
When I join the four of them, they seem slightly surprised but welcome me. "It's my turn to get a tattoo," Christina tells me. "Want to come with us?"
Tris agrees to come nonverbally, smoothing her hair out and taking calming breaths. "Sure," I say, rising my intonation to a typical higher pitched cheery sound of an Amity girl. "That sounds good."
I leave my fears back in the dormitory with the others.
I've watched the movies, and I noticed they changed things (obviously). The cinematography was nice overall, and I liked the theme of reflections=divergent. Anyways, they took out the butter knife scene, which made me a little sad, and my friend commented that the removal of this scene made Peter a "loveable douche instead of a guy with actual problems".
I also figured out what I want to do with this fic. I don't want it to end up like 50K+ words, so I might do some skimming over unlike these last chapters. And this is going to be less of a plot fic and more of a character study fic. (Surprisingly, I find it easier to write in the voice of Peter than my OC) Since the plot of the trilogy is really the overall plot of this fic, I will be focusing more on Azure/Peter. ALSO, to people who've read the Allegiant, you all know what happened to all the characters. I have plans of extending this fic a little further past Allegiant into post-series. That might be a quarter of the fic or two chapters. (or maybe an entire sequel?! lol, I hope not) It's still up in the air.
Also, I want to write angst. Not the fluffy misunderstanding angst, but more the 'love is not enough' *cue the Lana song: and the road gets tough, I don't know why* kind of angst. I usually don't write that because that stuff is the epitome of painful and heartwrenching, but I want to do some of that later on in this fic. You can thank the season finale of SPN and Destiel feels for that.
A guest mentioned that Tris is in Abnegation and not Amity. I know that, but I'm unsure where I've depicted Tris from Amity. I've always written her from Abnegation, so I don't know if I made a mistake or the guest misplaced the identity between Tris and Azure.
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This will probably be the last update for this month because I have exams, presentations, and a whole lot of other stuff going on. Whoever said high school was all about prom is LYING especially if you're in the IB program (aka university in high school). That is the definition of torture.