A/N this next chapter is very exciting. I should know. I wrote it. It's what you have all been waiting for...
And on that note, here is the chapter!
Disclaimer: I don't own Divergent. Veronica Roth does.
The next morning when I file into the dining room, I notice a small crowd in the corner, around a blackboard.
I nudge Paul. "What's going on?"
"Apparently are scores for the simulation are up."
"Scores? We were ranked?"
"I guess so. Unfortunately the whole world will see my miserable attempt."
I shuffle through the crowd, urgent whispers being tossed over my head. I begin to notice some of the initiates and other full members casting strange looks at me- some of awe, but some of suspicion.
Two initiates part for me at the front, and though I am shorter than both they seem to treat me as if I am important, or dangerous.
The ranks are calculated using the time it took to complete the simulation and the number of fears. And at the very top of the board...Is my name.
I stand, shell-shocked for a second. I ranked first. I had the best score.
I scan along the list, studying the eleven names. Susan has ranked an admirable second place, though the gap between her score and mine is large. She has twelve fears, to my six, and completed the simulation in thirty eight minutes, compared to my nine.
Paul has managed to snag eighth place, with sixteen fears and a time of fifty four minutes, behind most of the Abnegation born and the Candor transfer.
I read the statistics next to my name again, trying to comprehend them.
Beatrice Prior. Six fears. Nine minutes.
Maybe I really do belong in Dauntless, not Abnegation.
Today we have a meeting in the hall, about the options for our occupations in our new faction. As we take our seats in front of the stage, I notice that there are not just Abnegation in the room.
Standing by the door is a row of five Erudite leaders, flanked by a couple of Dauntless. One in particular catches my eye, a young man no more than eighteen, sporting dozens of piercings all over his face, which is twisted into a malicious scowl.
"Welcome to Abnegation, initiates." announces Marcus from the stage. "Or, should I say, members, now."
I cannot help but glare at Marcus now, searching him for a reason, a sign, something to show that he is the monster that Tobias described. And though I cannot see an evil glint in his eye, I do not doubt that Marcus did beat his son.
"There are many choices that you must make to lay out your new life, such as your occupation..."
I tune out Marcus' ramblings and eye the visitors at the door. They are not looking attentively at Marcus as everyone is doing, but scanning over the audience. The pierced Dauntless man catches my eye and smiles, the piercings stretching into gaping holes gruesomely.
He nudges the Erudite next to him and they both study me, along with the Erudite's clipboard, as if comparing me with a photo. I glare back at them defiantly, but a thought niggles at the back of my mind.
What if they can tell that I am Divergent? What if they know my simulation results, what if they suspect me?
The visitors abruptly exit the hall, and Marcus finishes up his speech.
"You will have the next few days to finalize your decisions about your new occupations and such. You are dismissed."
I shuffle out of bed and slink through the dormitory, careful not to disturb anyone. I rub the crinkles out of my clothes and tiptoe through the shadows, progressing through the corridors until I reach the balcony.
I am simultaneously hoping, dreading and not expecting Tobias to turn up. To my shock, I see his silhouette through the window against the moon. I stop for a second, pondering whether I should meet him, how he will react, what I will say, but something inside me forces my feet forward, and all too soon I am standing behind him, staring up at the now familiar moon.
"Because of your simulation."
I take a sharp breath. "What?"
"The answer to your question. About why...why I was acting like I was. It was because of your simulation."
"What about my simulation?" I ask, a little confused that he is actually talking to me.
"Everything. Especially...especially the last one."
Oh yes. How could I forget.
"You are so brave, Tris. So selfless. Too much so. I'm afraid, afraid that if ... If you care about me, then you will have even more... More to sacrifice yourself for. Just like in the simulation." He pauses for a second. "She told you to kill them. Any other person, under that kind of pressure, with no way out...they would crack. They would take the easy option, obey the demanding force. They would kill their family. But not you."
My mouth is drier than a sun baked desert. "What would you do, then?"
Tobias laughs humorlessly. "Oh, that's easy. I only have one family member left. And I would not hesitate to kill him, to cast his soul into hell where it belongs." he spits, with obvious distaste. "But you, you have real family. Family... That you would kill yourself to save. I don't want to be someone you care about, not if it means that you will put yourself in danger for me." He pauses. "Isn't it strange that the things that I like about you are just the things that keep me away."
I stand behind Tobias, breathing slowly, for I don't even know how long. But sometime in the silence I climb through the window and sit beside Tobias, both of us studying the crevices of the waxing crescent moon.
"It's too late, then," I mutter after an immeasurable length of time. "You'll just have to deal with the fact that I do care about you, even if it means that I might put myself in danger because of it. So, really, too little too late."
Tobias turns to me, his face crinkled, blue eyes soft and searching. "God, Tris. Smart, brave, selfless Tris." His fingers brush my cheek. "Why? I don't want you to put yourself in danger for me. I don't want to be a weight in your life. I don't want to be another person you would... Do that for. Why did you do it? Why did you kill yourself, rather than kill them?"
I look at him, gathering the words I need in my mind. "The same reason I stayed in Abnegation. Because I can't fathom a life without those I love, a life without people you care for and who care for you back is not a life at all. And I just couldn't bear it, I couldn't kill someone I love just to save my own life. I can't. Simple as that. I just can't." Tobias notes my change into the present tense with a softening of the eyes.
"Well, just don't put yourself in danger like that again. Please. At least, not for me." He fits his fingers under my chin and raises my face so his eyes meet mine.
"I can't promise that." I whisper, but I am already leaning closer.
"Then neither can I." I barely hear him mumble.
And before I can register that Tobias' hand is buried in my hair and my arms are around his neck, his lips are on mine.
And this moment feels so right, so needed, like we have both been waiting for so long. Just like that, the creature that has been trapped inside me for so so long, strains toward Tobias and I feel a ray of light in my soul, a sense of freedom. I feel like the freedom that I have long been yearning for is now so much closer, found not in Dauntless, but in the simple joy of finding someone that you would defy heaven and earth for. The moment is so simply perfect that I can't help but wish this night would go on forever.
Next second, a cacophony of agonized screams shatter the still night.
I am so, very sorry. As a fellow reader, I feel your pain. But this was the only way to end the chapter! :(
Anyway, please review and tell me what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcomed. I would love to know what you think about my twists on the Divergent world, and your thoughts on the Fourtris stuff.
Bye bye! -RA102