Disclaimer: I do not own Divergent, the only things I own are the OCs.
I recently watched the Divergent movies again and reread the books, and then realized how much I loved them. So here's my first attempt at a Divergent fic. Please read and review and tell me what you like and don't like about it, I'd appreciate it!
Warning: There may be a Titanic reference :)
Faction before blood. As I awaited my Aptitude Test, that was all I could think about. What if I wasn't placed in my faction? What if I had to leave my mother, whose happiness relied on me? My foot started tapping furiously, and when I tried to stop I simply couldn't.
All my life I wasn't raised to be a rowdy person. I was taught to follow the rules- to look down upon deception, to stand out as one of the most well-behaved. I was smart, too. Well of course I was- I was in Erudite after all. Erudite, a faction for the educated people who would drive our small world's intelligence. But would I remain in Erudite, or perhaps find myself in Abnegation of all places?
No, I wouldn't. I wasn't that selfless. I was a proud and selfish person, which I was well aware of. There were countless things that I'd done for my mother and me which had hurt others. I couldn't count how many friendships I'd broken off due to rude comments towards her and I. Because I, the daughter of Jeanine Matthews, could not bear to be insulted.
Countless attempts at self-reassurance were unsuccessful. It took a sharp tap on my shoulder to snap me out of my mess of emotions. I looked up only to see my mother. Great, just great… I frowned, concerned.
"Is it legal for you to be controlling my simulation, Mother?"
Jeanine cracked a smile. Her face was so beautiful when she smiled widely, yet the occasion was rare. I was the only person who ever witnessed these grins regularly. She was so cold to everyone, but she made an exception for me. "I created the serum, I think I have a right to test my daughter. Come on back, Marianne."
I was all too aware of the teenagers from other factions likely staring at us, but all was well once we stepped into a hallway and a room. A single chair laid in the middle of the room, a narrow console about five feet away from it.
"Take a seat."
I found the chair extremely unpleasant. I couldn't help but groan. Jeanine's eyes met mine for a moment, and she gave me an annoyed look before continuing with her set up. About a minute later she removed a shot glass from the console and transferred a blue liquid into it.
"You know what to do, Marianne. Listen to the instructions. Think."
"Very helpful, Mom," I sarcastically laughed, but then cleared my throat. "I promise, I'll make you proud."
"You already have."
Rarely have I heard such a sentiment coming from my mother. She was such a focused person most of the time, her thoughts barely ever focused on me. But today was the exception. Today she could worry about me for twenty minutes or so and give her work a break. She brushed the golden curls from my forehead and planted a kiss. I then took the shot glass from her and braced myself for the situation to come.
I found myself in a room, empty but for me and two pedestals displaying cheese and a knife. I blinked, and Jeanine appeared behind them. "Choose." I frowned. Neither had any context to it, so I would have to see what they would be used for.
"What is this for, a food fight?" I scoffed. I probably shouldn't have made such a bad joke in such a serious situation, but it hopefully would provide me with an answer. This would probably rule out Dauntless, though. Humor is a well-known defense mechanism.
I stood my ground, frustrated. The system was frustrated too, I could tell because Jeanine suddenly disappeared.
A dog came rushing towards me, teeth bared, its fur mangled. This isn't real… I tried my best to remain calm, letting the dog take charge at me. It's not real.
I didn't close my eyes. As the dog neared my feet, I didn't budge. Out of nowhere, the once brutal dog became a puppy, wide-eyed and perky. It licked at my feet, so I carefully squatted down and pet it. I smiled, after all, I always had enjoyed dogs.
But I turned to see a little girl. She pointed at the puppy, and it turned, snarling. It took charge after her. I stood up, yelling at the girl to go away, but instead, it took her down and-
I blinked and the room disappeared. I was no longer inside. I stood on the bow of a ship at sunset, looking out at a never-ending ocean. Water pounded in my ears, the wind blowing my hair everywhere. I smiled yet I was confused. This was what the sea looked like. This is what it felt like to be truly free…
I turned to see a tall, rough man with a large scar over his right eyebrow. He snickered, crossing his arms. "What's a pretty girl like you doin' ou' 'ere?"
I scoffed, "What's a brute like you doing questioning my presence?"
"Hohoh, blondie 'ere's a spitfire, in't she? I can take care o' that," he began advancing toward me. However, his pace was slow, allowing time for me to think. If it's just a simulation, I could jump… My fingers grasped the metal rail. No, I need to participate. I want those results.
"Hey, is that an eagle?" I said suddenly, pointing to the sky behind the man. This gave me enough time to climb up onto the rail. What else could I do? I didn't have enough time to think. So naturally, I dived.
I broke the surface, but once I did so I was standing on land again. I'm on dry ground. What a relief. I was in the center of the city, a bus pulling up. The doors opened, and a man came out suddenly. He was elderly, his messy hair white. I could smell the urine from where I stood. He was a factionless, yet he held a paper up and was approaching me.
"Do you know this man?"
My eyes only briefly skimmed over the paper, yet I recognized the man almost immediately. I had no words for his name, but I believed he was a coworker of my mother's at some point. I took a deep breath. This man did not seem like one to trust.
"If I knew him, what would that mean to you?"
He grunted, "Do you know him or not?"
I frowned. "I do not, I'm sorry."
The man growled, "Yes you do, I can see the fear in your eyes."
"I do, are you happy?"
Everything went black. My vision came back again. Then it went away. Jeanine was frustrated with something. Maybe I could call out… if I did so would she hear?
"Mom, Mom what's wrong?"
She wouldn't be able to reply. I should've known better.
I opened my eyes, and I was back in the chair in the room. Jeanine's brow furrowed as she looked down at the tablet she held. She then looked up at me, lips parted as if she was going to speak, but I could see in her eyes that she didn't know what to say.
I was the one to speak. "What's wrong?"
Jeanine spoke plainly, though her eyes were wide. "You're Erudite." Her words did not sound firm. She didn't believe what she was saying.
"Mother, you don't need to lie. What are my results?"
"Erudite." She cleared her throat, looking down again. "There was a glitch in the system, but I resolved it."
"Mmm…" I nodded slowly, though my face didn't show any signs of joy. How could I be happy when the lie could have hit me in the face?
Jeanine put the tablet down and offered me a hug. "You're going to do well." Her voice was monotone as if she said that to every teenager who took the test. It wasn't warm, not motherly.
Sometimes the most frightening part of a hug is that you can't see the other person's face.
There was only a day in between the test and the Choosing Ceremony. A day to decide to stay or leave. I had no choice, really, but to stay. My mother needed me. Faction before blood was the same to me. I was Erudite, so it made sense if I stayed for my mother. It wouldn't be sensible to leave where I belonged. Yet Jeanine's strange reaction after the test worried me. There were no glitches in Jeanine's programming, it was far too perfected. Had Jeanine lied about my result?
What would there be to lie about, though? Me getting abnegation as my result? Even the thought of that was humorous. Jeanine should've known getting that result wouldn't sway me- I was far too stubborn and focused on school to go anywhere but Erudite.
But none of that mattered, I constantly reminded myself. I was choosing Erudite.
The next morning came. I was able to sleep in till eight, an hour later than usual. I'd hung up a blue and white pantsuit. We'd decided that I'd wear my hair in its natural curls, full and wavy. My mother had had a major say in my appearance, but I had to agree that it was a respectable outfit.
We left an hour later, walking at a quick pace through the city. The ceremony was at ten and Jeanine was required to be there half an hour before the event. The streets were lined with factionless, begging at our feet. I always hated walking through the city for this very reason, but Jeanine insisted on walking so that she could record observations about the factionless. This probably had something to do with the Abnegation who fed and clothed the factionless.
I walked close to my mother. When I was little I would grab onto her arm and hold tightly, afraid of the factionless. I had never really outgrown that fear. If a factionless man or woman grew too near for my liking, I practically would put myself on the curbside. Jeanine always seemed so annoyed when I did so, but she never would comment.
I was only afraid of three things. Bad grades, factionless, and my mother.
That morning my mother was not in a pleasant mood. She was dedicated to getting to the Hub on time. There was very little exchange between us, she was absorbed in her thoughts.
We approached the Hub and entered through the back. That's where everyone official entered. The Faction leaders were meeting in a backroom, and I found my way into the main hall. I joined the other Eurdite teens, sitting between a redhead (who I'd never really spoken to; she acted like she was above us all) and a brunette (her name was Bridget; she was extremely sweet but an airhead).
Bridget offered me a smile. "Good morning, Marianne."
"Good morning, Bridget. How is your day going?"
"I'm terrified," Bridget chose to cut straight to the point. "My parents are going to hate me for what I choose. But I can't see myself staying here, you know? I'm just not smart enough."
I nodded, with an understanding look. "That's a wise decision." I bit back the urge to agree with her. "We'll miss you."
"Thanks," Bridget smiled, though it could not mask her evident fear.
I looked towards the bowls. One for each faction. Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Soil, stone, glass, embers, and water. Our blood will soon penetrate each bowl, as has been countlessly done before. I was lost in thought when the redhead spoke in my direction.
"You nervous, Matthews?"
I turned, to look the redhead in the eyes. It was embarrassing that I did not know her name, but she was such a bitch that she'd probably transfer to Dauntless or Candor anyway. I'd just have to avoid using names.
"No, are you?"
The girl scoffed. "Of course not. I just figure you'd be, seeing that your mother is going to be extremely disappointed when you transfer to Amity."
My mouth was probably wide open. "Excuse me?" I was not in any way similar to those of Amity. It took everything I had for me to not give the girl a piece of my mind.
"You aren't denying it? Damn girl, I thought I was wrong about you and I am not."
Okay, the redhead wasn't the only one to have tormented me. It just came with being the daughter of a feared leader. People were jealous.
I rolled my eyes. "I am not choosing Amity. I can't say the same for you, though. Or are you choosing to be a Stiff?"
That set her off. She looked like she wanted to punch me, but my mother prevented her from doing so. Erudite had the responsibility of hosting the Choosing Ceremony this year, something my mother had failed to inform me of. Probably to ease my nerves. All of her words seemed so robotic, but they did year after year no matter what leader was speaking.
I was going to choose in the middle of the ceremony. The first boy to choose was a boy from Candor who looked especially smug as he let his hand bleed onto the glass. The first transfer was a girl from Dauntless into Amity, a choice which sparked many eyebrows to raise in confusion. The majority of transfers, though, were coming from Erudite and Abnegation. After transfers out of Erudite I'd glance up at my mother, and she looked all too displeased. The redhead was one of these people, into Candor. I guess she was painfully honest.
I was keeping a note of all of the Abnegation transfers; there had been at least ten so far. Most notable was the transfer of Tobias Eaton from Abnegation to Dauntless. He was the son of Marcus, one of the council members of Abnegation. There was one transfer from Abnegation into Erudite, but the kid got to the Erudite section and started trash-talking so annoyingly that Jeanine had a man throw him out.
Finally, my time had come. I walked onto the stage, my heart beating quickly. I was handed the knife. I was hesitant, but I sliced my skin open. It stung like a bitch, but I bit back the pain. I walked to the water and let my blood pour into the bowl. I didn't even hesitate.
There was polite applause from Erudite. When I went back, I was a bit disappointed about how quickly my moment had come and gone. But I was where I belonged. I knew that.
The rest of the Ceremony was dull. Abnegation had a total of fifteen transfers, just as my mother had predicted.
It was finally time to leave, and I joined the other initiates in the exit. I wouldn't get back to Jeanine and I's apartment until late, and I would have to be up at seven the next day. I kept to myself as I walked, preferring to not get into frustrating conversations with the other initiates.
About halfway through our trip, a boy started talking to me. He was a Dauntless transfer, but he spoke as if he'd been around intellectuals his entire life.
"You're Jeanine's daughter, correct?"
"Yes, I am," I nodded, smiling. I didn't like it when the first thing people brought up was my mother, but it was at least nice of them to know who I was.
"She's one scary lady," the boy laughed. "I bet you've seen way worse from her, though."
I laughed and nodded. "I have, but at least she's on top of me. My mother is very persistent."
The boy smiled, "What's your name? I hate to admit I can't remember."
"Great, Mary. I'm Adrian."
"I'm so sorry Adrian, but my biggest pet peeve is being called Mary."
Adrian bit his lip. "Sorry, sorry. Marianne, its a pleasure to meet you."
"And you. Are you excited to be in Erudite?"
Adrian nodded. "I'm so glad to finally be somewhere where I'm not ashamed of being a smart ass."
I grinned, "We don't exactly take pride in being smart asses, Adrian."
His smile disappeared. "So you're saying that I have to be civil?"
He laughed, "You don't think I know that? I'm teasing, Marianne. Lighten up a little."
I smiled, "Sorry, I'm just not used to 'funny business'." I put air-quotes around the end of the sentence. Adrian nodded.
"I've been around it all my life. To summarize, Dauntless is a faction of a-holes."
"You included, Adrian?"
He hesitated, "What do you think, Marianne?"
I smiled, "Well my first impression is probably especially biased, but you seem a young man of ill taste in tormenting a certain Marianne Matthews. Insufferable, a smart-ass, however, good looking."
"You think so?" Adrian raised an eyebrow. "Well, I think this Marianne Matthews girl is pretty beautiful herself. She needs to loosen up and stop acting like her mom's looking over her shoulder all the time. Too much of a goody goody."
"That sounds just about right. But maybe this Marianne has a side no one sees in her. Maybe she's only trying to please her mom-" I stopped myself. "We're almost to headquarters, then."
Adrian slipped his hands into his pockets. "Appears so. Is it fancy? I'm not exactly formally dressed."
I shook my head. "You'll be fine, Adrian. You're a transfer, they won't expect you to fit in at first. Stay by me for now and you'll be fine."
We entered the building and I could not help myself but look over at Adrian every few minutes. He was a tall boy of about six feet, athletic too. His curly brown hair fell onto his face and he was constantly moving it out of the way. He was tan but not too tan- just about right. His prominent green eyes were just the perfect finishing touch on a gorgeous face; so rich that I couldn't stop looking at them.
The officials were giving their speeches on the faction, but I was too focused on Adrian to listen to them. I could just talk to my mother and receive the same, if not better, explanation.
Soon the time came for the initiates to be split up. I cleared my throat. "Adrian, good luck. I hope to see you later."
He smiled, "I hope to see you too, blondie."
I rolled my eyes, smiling. "Get on your way, I don't want to see you getting kicked out on your first day."
"You too," he laughed, before following the group and waving goodbye.
I turned and saw the group leaders, frustrated that I was so distracted.
"Marianne, you may be Jeanine's kid but you can't be chasing boys around instead of paying attention. Come on," the group leader (a man named Colton- probably the most irrelevant man in all of Erudite) called after me. I nodded, mumbling an apology, and rejoined the group.
The initiation process for Erudite-born initiates consisted simply of study sessions and tests. They assumed we'd already been taught all the information.
I had been taught the information over and over again. Jeanine made a point of it to ensure my success in the Faction. I was all too prepared for the mass of tests which I'd be required to take, and Jeanine was to thank.
I'd decided on becoming a Reporter, a respectable and important decision which greatly affected my studies and home life. I was constantly reading the paper and making annotations. I'd written a great many articles and at fourteen I'd had two published. With a good argument, I'd somehow convinced Jeanine to not make me become a journalist.
I got home the first night of initiation, exhausted. Jeanine wasn't going to be getting home for an hour or so, so I crashed on the couch and read through my textbook.
An hour later, Jeanine opened the door, looking stressed. "Marianne, now that your initiation is beginning, I'd like you to focus on the sciences." She entered the kitchen and put the tea kettle on the stove. I was appalled.
"Mother, you have to be joking! We agreed that it was alright if I became a reporter! You said that you wanted to have an insider on the press!"
"Well, priorities change. I'm sorry, Marianne, but its whats best for the faction."
My mouth gaped open. I was speechless. "M- mom!"
Jeanine turned sharply, "If you know what's best for you, you'll follow my instruction."
No further conversation was exchanged between us until Jeanine poured us both a cup of tea.
"I heard from Colton that you've found… a distraction."
I rolled my eyes. Everything from Jeanine tonight was critical.
"I'm a sixteen-year-old female. There are bound to be plenty of distractions."
Jeanine sat down next to me and took a sip of her tea. "There shouldn't be. You need to focus on your initiation, not on teenage boys."
"You act like you were so clean as a teenager."
Jeanine nearly spilled her tea. "You little brat. Don't you know that I didn't have half of the study help that you've had? I struggled-struggled!-through the same initiation which you will glide through. My parents were too busy doing irrelevant studies on trees to make time for me, but I manage to juggle helping you and leading an entire faction and get criticized for it! So yes, maybe I was a troubled teenager, but I have people to blame for it! You have no one to blame but yourself."
I was so tense. I was so frustrated, so angry, but I had to hold it back. I couldn't explode on her.
"That's right, you have nothing to say. Get to bed, Marianne. Please."
I sighed, before getting up and walking out of the room. I peeked back at Jeanine, who sat on the couch alone with her tea. Her eyes were closed, and she breathed slowly. We didn't have a perfect relationship. I think it was because we were both far too stubborn and self-absorbed. But tonight, Jeanine looked neither of which. She legitimately looked like she was stressed.
What over, though? Our fight could not be quite that stressful. She had been worked up all day today. Had something gone wrong with the Aptitude tests? Even worse, had something gone wrong with mine?
And then it hit me. My test hadn't glitched. It had gone perfectly well until Jeanine, well, gave up. I stopped in the middle of my tracks. Holy shit. I'm Divergent.
This realization should've come sooner. I should've fucking-excuse my language-confronted Jeanine about the glitch. I was such an idiot. Did I even align with Erudite? Was I in fucking Abnegation? My thoughts were spiraling out of control. I lost all censors, all reason.
Consequently, I fainted.