Hey, guys! Here's a one-shot that I hope you'll like. The style was inspired by a fanfiction of NCIS, called He Would Have Said It Then. So thanks for the thoughts, indiaga.
Also! I have revised it: so please read, enjoy, and review this time...
Without further ado, let's plunge into the world of Tobias and his thoughts...
It begins with a jump. A leap of faith that leads to the catastrophic beauty of their stories. A net, then a hand, pulling her out of the black rope that held their worlds securely together, knit in a packet of falls and trust.
A name. Short, and new; of a new start and rebirth. It reminds him of his own renewal, when a name of a number was birthed and his fears defined him. He is so utterly taken by her breathlessness as she takes his hand out of the other hands and steps down; and so awed by the way her eyes took him in. Perhaps it is fate, fate that brings their hands together, he thinks later, that she chose him. And so, he decides to stay, intrigued by the girl whose gray, solemnly silent clothes transform a fierce black.
A fight, guns, and fists. He walks away, dizzy and sick of the psychotic practices the Dauntless calls "bravery," angry at Eric, disgusted by Max's weakness and the traitorous character of Erudite; but it is what it is. Both of them have chosen this path, and it is this path that they will walk. He so desperately desires to protect her, to protect them both; and yet he has not one iota why she captured his attention.
A crack in the glass. As she wakes, fear grips his every side; and all he can think of is Amar, himself, and her. The second stage wipes out people like her, people like them; and he knows what draws him toward her.
At first, it was that she was a Stiff, that he respected her, honored her higher than he ranked himself. It was the way she carried herself in response to the arrogant, empty insults thrown at her by Peter; and the way she showed her love for her friends-people she barely knew-by risking her life and glaring at the glint of the knives. It was the way she was strong and her eyes were of a blue flame; of icy oceans and glaciers of selflessness.
Now, he knows it is the unspoken word that murders and slaughters, and pushes those who utter it into the chasm, swarmed by the waves and foamy waters and cracked by the jagged rocks.
A scream near the chasm. With it, jealousy and cowardice reek the railings, and as she dangles over like an animal clinging for life, he loses himself in the works of his father. He deserves it, he thought, and his groans and screams mean absolutely nothing to him, because he almost took her away from him. A guttural sound comes from the direction of the railing, and it is her; and she wakes him out of his rage, unroots the evil and the bad out of him.
And he carries her away, and he knows that it's not him that's saving her-it's her that saved him; stopped him from becoming a monster that he was not. Then, all he fears is irritance and frustration when she shows concern for his hands, his hands, when she is bruised and sore and they almost took her life away that night. And still, she is beautiful and piercing and brave and selfless and everything he is not and cannot be.
Then still after, they breathe the same air and share the same breaths at the funeral, a ridiculous, sickening sight that remembers him for bravery that did not exist because he was far too much of a coward to come forward and live and grit his teeth and pay for his sins. He asked for forgiveness, and when it was not rewarded, he could not live any longer.
It disgusts both of them, but burdens one of them as they stay together and touch each other; but do not cross the line between mysterious and open, between student and instructor to friends. And he tells her that fear is a drug that awakens her but delivers everyone else on a silver plate to a king of sedation.
An odyssey through his fears. He decides to show them to her, decides that he can't live without telling her everything by the way her eyes observe him and question everything the Dauntless give her, no matter the risk. He decides it's her, her that will save him from his fears, that will change them and therefore, change him. It's her. There's no other way.
So when he finds them jumping to their death, huddled underneath the metal box, as he looks away to kill the woman he doesn't know; he is relieved that she is saving him, that she is getting them through the landscape. The hardest part is revealing himself to her-but isn't it what he came here to do? So as the panic sets in, and he braces himself for the blow-it never comes.
She is staring his father down, arm up and belt wrapped around, and he sees her wince, but she fights back. And so that is what he does: he steps in front of her, ready to swing his fist and connect to his father's jaw, to fight against all the Marcuses there are in the world, and the anger and rage that he would hurt her overcomes, and the fear dissipates.
They are gone. All that is left is her and him, and he would have it stay this way until the end of the world: as they walk to the edge of the chasm, as they kiss on the rocks. His fears become his joy.
An awakening. Another one. This time, it has devoured him wholly, the monsters that originated from a needle, perhaps from the broken walls and the locked closet and the whip-it's hard to tell the difference at times, and this is no different than the blurred lines of reality and dream when coming out of a simulation.
And he nearly kills her, and is utterly confused by how and why-who could mistake the blonde hair and piercing blue flame that accompanies her? The scent of her bravery and stiff behavior? But she has changed so much, and she has changed him. Because as always, it is her who pulls him out of the deceiving realm of blurred reality, it is her who saves him from himself.
And it is ridiculous how she does it: that she sacrifices her own life without knowing whether or not it would save them. Because she is full of love. Time after time, her selfless bravery amazes him, and as he sobs and shakes over her and presses his lips to hers, he has never been more convinced that she is the best person he has ever known.
A nightmare. Maybe more that she hasn't told him, but she comes to him for this one, and he is more than happy to console her. She lost her parents, her friends, and her innocence. She has seen death face to face and her lover almost killed her, he thinks. He owes her this, and what is better than having his own consolation: that she is alive, in his arms?
He realizes, the natural man part of him, that she wears only a shirt covering her thighs, and that she is beautiful. He puts his arm around her, and she is warm and small and beautiful. It breaks him when she breaks, the knowledge that someone as strong as her could break makes him break himself. He can't handle her tears, cannot imagine a world where she is weak and the world is still revolving.
And so, he squeezes her into his chest and whispers that if anything, they're alright, that maybe nothing else is, but they are; and that is all that matters to him. He lost his family a long time ago. He has nothing to lose but her.
A needle. Another one. This time, it's both of them who have to spill the truth and the hard "honesty" they reluctantly let out. Did it truly set them free? Only burdens weigh both of them down now, as he admits that it was her who led him to stay, and it was him who is the real coward. But her secrets are worse. And he wonders what she has hidden from him, what else she does not trust him with, when he trusted her with his fears and his mother and his father and his secrets.
But that isn't true, is it? He never told her what he has forced out just minutes ago. He has never told her about his mother's plan for him, for the factionless, for the Erudite, for their whole world. And so doubt swallows them up.
A pocket knife. He had worried about her before, when she refused to shoot in Amity, but now his doubt and relentless protests to her going anywhere with the trauma of this metal weapon that fires cylinder pieces of lead peaks to a high measure of anger.
Armed with a pocket knife. Against Eric. Traitorous bastard. How could she? It's not brave, it's not selfless-it's idiotic and stupid and ridiculous. When he tells her this, they fight and shout, and they are damaged.
The doubt buries them deeper in anger, confusion, grief, and guilt. They do not know what the next move is, and yet they move together.
A pleading, a beg. He begs her not to go, touches her and kisses her and wants her so badly not to go and also utterly wants her. As their lips slide and their mouths work against each other, him with his pleads, her with her rebuttals; they are in sync though they are arguing and drowning in doubt. This time, he is determined to snap her out of it, to bring her out of her nightmares.
But when you've slaughtered to survive and you are alone and you do not know where your brother is, whether he is alive or not, and you do not know who your parents were, how can you survive? After all this, he still believes she is invincible, that she can survive anything; but he does not want to hurt her. He knows what it's like to live with restraints and he knows that love is free will.
He loves her. Truly, though he does not know what it is, he does.
A lion's den. He follows her to death, to torture, to pain. He would have, had there not been a plan, still followed her. It is then he decides that he will always follow her. And when he confesses his discipleship towards her, they both cry that night, because they both know they will die, and that they will die together.
Damn their self-sacrificial natures, damn the Erudite, damn Caleb and his traitorous actions, damn it all, it all, it all.
If anything will happen, it will happen to them both. Tris and Tobias, Four and Six, or nothing more. One cannot hang in the balance. There must be two or nothing.
A bathtub. He was mortified. There is no describing the depth of his fear, the shivers down his spine, the bile rising in his stomach when he saw her; pale and death reeking from her closed eyelids-and yet it is Peter who saves them both. Peter-a pitiful coward throwing himself to the winning side. He is the modern version of Dauntless, yet shows no signs of bravery.
Now, he isn't scared. Tris Prior is alive, and he reminds himself of this truth as the water slips through their fingers, as soap lathers their hands and feet, as their lips touch and they pronounce their devotion to each other. It's a beautiful sight, he thinks, and he will never let go. She is warm and alive, and together, they prevail.
A betrayal. Somewhere along love and savior, she chooses savior; and the rough, coarse anger simply runs like a cool river on a hot day. His father. She chose truth over love, action for truth over peace; and he realizes as he tries to understand her logic in this after her monologue at him that it is an oxymoron: that she is willing to lie to get to the truth.
In this web, can anyone survive the thicket of words and lies and science and emotions? It's hard to tell; but when he decides to trust her out of love, he realizes that they're both the higher person. Her, because she is willing to sacrifice what love she's found for the world, at her expense; him, because he is willing to trust her blindly, to take a leap of faith because of love.
It's the first time he sees how much she is to him. It is the first time he sees how much he will take for her. So in return, he asks her to trust him.
A date. Their first, to be exact. Mirroring their iconic wheel, they climb on top of a metal structure, and discuss what needs to be discussed and understand what must be understood. Pocket knives and lying, and sacrificing, being stupid, and his father.
And as they kiss, as their hands slip, and their lips touch and taste each others of lemon fizz and longing, they know everything is forgiven. They are a clean slate, and yet their love is deep though everything is erased. The air is cold, and a winter is coming. But they know they can survive anything with each other.
A test. It involves more needles, but he has to know. They both have to know. They are riddled with confusion over this reality, because this world is not theirs. Theirs was much simpler, with categories and black and white truths and lies; and yet the world beyond the fence was full of disasters and wars more vicious than the entrapment of violence in Jeanine's mind.
And they are special. What does special mean; what is "special"? Another category, or one that stands on its own? If there are others, does that not make them a faction in itself? Why are they set apart?
He thinks all of these as the needle goes in, as the brown-haired, mousy boy taps at his computer, as the picture flashes on the screen; then he is lost. He is lost in anger, in confusion, in his world between reality and fiction; and he does not understand why and how and his father and mother. He is damaged. He lost his identity that separated him from pity and from conformation to the world.
He is damaged.
He was never special.
He is damaged.
An explosion. A beautiful, long brown haired girl, but not attractive to him. She led him down this path, this confirmation that he is damaged, this journey that brought him more enemies than friends; more damage than control.
Guilt swallows him up, controls him. Smiling, joking, laughing playing; his teeth a beacon of light in the darkened world, that still shone as Marlene fell from the roof. He holds his young friend higher than himself, and regards him as a better person.
He decides that Uriah is not damaged, he is sleeping; that he is still alive, which he is.
That word again-damaged. He wonders why he did this, and he finds the answer in his parents. His father, who beat him and thought he was doing good. His mother, who left him and thought she was doing good.
He believed in good, and it is then he sees how human Jeanine and the "GPs" and the Erudite and Max are: they believed in what they were doing, and that is why they didn't stop.
One does not do bad out of the evil in their heart, but for the good in it.
An argument. He yells, and she cries, and they both walk away feeling devastated, lost. More and more confusion pile up, and more and more choices must be made.
In the end, they apologize, and they realize something as they, once again, press their lips together, comfort each other: that one needs the other, that they choose each other and decide that they love each other and will always choose each other.
It is beautiful, and though the guilt still presses into him, she does as well. She is beautiful, with her piercing blue eyes of fire and her lips and her musk and her aura. She is brave and serving, and he longs to achieve the courage she holds in her fingers.
She is there for him; he is there for her. He could not have asked for any different.
A night. It is moans and sheets and kisses and whispers of love. It is the first time and the not the first night.
They might die tomorrow.
They might have died anyday, they realize, and miss this.
Sleep encases them in its private barrier of crinkled bedsheets, and crinkled eyes, and the next day they smile so much their friends know. Perhaps not her brother who is presumably preoccupied with the thought of death, but if he did know, who knows what might have happened?
It is private and affirming of their love; that no matter what obstacles and betrayals and hurdles they must cross, they cross it together.
And it is love.
But then it all goes downhill.
A name, fight, crack, scream, odyssey, awakening, nightmare, needle, pocket knife, pleading, lion's den, bathtub, betrayal, date, test, explosion, argument, and a night. It all leads to this.
Thanks for reading...
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