This epilogue is in third person POV.
Disclaimer: I don't own Divergent.
August 7th: Epilogue
Summer in Rome is not as glamorous as it would sound. It's hot, sticky, and humid, and Tris keeps fanning at her face with a random stack of papers she found in her purse. Tobias strolls next to her, sweat also beading down his forehead as he takes a giant lick from his gelato.
Today is the couple's last day in Europe, they fly back to Chicago tomorrow. Tris and Tobias have spent most of their time in Europe in Prague, which Tris misses dearly right now because the weather was never this heinous. Prague summers are amazing, averaging at 70 degrees fahrenheit and cooling down perfectly in the evenings.
The first few weeks in Prague were spent with the young couple exploring around their hotel, walking through Old Town Square nearly everyday, having amazing food at the farmers market, and sightseeing through old cathedrals, castles, and churches. Tris has probably taken over a million photos that she's sent home by now. At nights they would often go to the National Theatre, cruise along the Vltava, or look at the city view from the top of the Petrin tower. Oh, there was also lots and lots of love making. But Tris and Tobias were definitely careful to use protection.
Staying in Prague also allowed Tris to get to know Tobias's family much better. She absolutely adores Tiffany's eldest son, Jasper, whom she has found a kindred spirit in after they started having breakfast together because Tobias always sleeps in far too late. She has even cracked Allison's shell a little bit. Tobias's new step sister is shy and reserved, but after a couple shopping trips with Tris they have found a few things to bond over. Now, Tris considers her a new sister of her own, which is nice because she's never had an older sister figure to look up to before.
Peter has been as creepy as ever, though, always making little comments and cornering Tris when she's alone. She's tried not to let it get to her so far, and usually Peter isn't forceful or intimidating. Maybe she should tell Tobias, but she feels that she has nothing to even tell. Peter knows he makes Tris's skin crawl, and that's probably the appeal of his antics to him. When they're around Tobias, however, he is perfectly pleasant and normal towards her.
Marcus and Tiffany have been delightful, though. Tris feels happy that she's gotten to know Tobias's father and stepmother the way he knows her own parents, and she feels even more happy that they seem to like her. She also loves the rest of Tobias's family. She's met his two elder cousins on his father's side, Tyler and William, and his father's brother Michael and his wife Lucy. Overall, the Eaton's are a nice clan to be around. A little more reserved than the Prior's, but Tris can appreciate their solace and politeness.
It all doesn't stop her from missing home. She tries to text her parents when she can, using whatsapp since her phone isn't on an international plan. She skypes everyone back home at least twice a week, and Oliver frequently steals their mother's phone to sneak calls out to her as well. Sometimes her heart clenches when she hears her mom raving about Anna growing up, or something funny Milo did, or the movie they all caught last weekend. It's not that she's not happy here with Tobias, but her family still weighs heavily on her mind. She wishes they could all be here with her sometimes, but for the most part, she's come to enjoy this newfound independence.
Being in Europe has shown her that she can really do it, being on her own. And she likes it. She loves traveling, she loves exploring, and she loves the sense of self she gets from doing all these things on her own or with Tobias. There's so much of the world to see, so many places to go, and so many new things to explore, and Tris wants to do it all now.
After spending their time in Prague, they all packed up and started heading South, touring other European cities. The first place they stopped at was Vienna for a few days. Tris absolutely adored the opera and visiting Schönbrunn Palace. After their time in Vienna they went to Munich. Germany was the country that Tris had been most excited to see, and it did not disappoint. She took hundreds of pictures at the English Garden, Olympiapark, and Munich Residenz. Their final stop before Rome was Venice. Italy's Adriatic coast treated Tris and the Eaton's well. They stayed in a Villa near the sea, and spent a few days enjoying the gorgeous coast. Tris had honestly never felt as much peace than during her time in Venice, she left for Rome in a brand new state of mind, feeling like she was ready to take on anything.
Now they've been in Rome for 3 days, and they're leaving tomorrow. Tris is sad to let it all go. Europe is a dream. And being here with Tobias is a dream. She glances over at him with a look of fondness, he's taking another lick from his gelato- they stopped at a gelato shop before they hopped on the bus here.
"What are you staring at?" He asks her, glancing over to his girlfriend with a bemused smirk.
"Your drastic handsomeness, here under the Italian sun. You know, I think you're glowing."
Tobias chortles, using his free hand to grab Tris's, "That's my girl. Always unrealistic with the compliments."
Tris sighs to herself. If only that statement were an adjective. Summer in Europe has done nothing to dwindle Tobias's attractiveness, in fact, it has only enhanced it. His skin now has a permanent bronze tan, and somehow, Tris doesn't know how… but he never sunburns. Not even during their time at the beach in Venice.
True to his earlier words before they embarked on their trip, he did let his dad cut his hair when they'd arrived in Prague. Though now it's pretty grown out again, and he also hasn't been shaving frequently so he has quite a bit of stubble trailing around his face. Tris doesn't mind, though, it honestly just adds to the whole appeal of him. Plus, the stubble isn't an unwelcome feeling between her legs…
"Come on, let's take a selfie. My parents are gonna kill me if I don't get any good pictures on our last day."
Tris's parents haven't been overbearing or anything while she's been away. She thinks that they text her the normal amount, and she does miss them terribly anyway.
Tris takes a few selfies with Tobias, holding her phone out while he poses with his gelato. Then Tobias takes the phone from her and takes a few candids of her as they walk.
He's so enamored with her. This entire trip, she's come even more out her shell. He's never seen her smile more, or seem more content than she has in Europe with him. Honestly, at first he was a little bit worried that she would hate it, or be incredibly homesick, and begin to resent him for dragging her here. But his girlfriend has been nothing short of joyful and buoyant. He can tell she misses her family at times, which is expected, but she never seemed to want to leave, or as if she regretted accompanying Tobias.
It's been a dream, a fantasy vacation to be in his own paradise with Tris. Of course, he's excited to go back tomorrow, to see the Prior's and his friends again. Zeke and Shauna, especially. They've been sending him lots of baby photos of Ruby Lynn, and they've skyped a few times this summer. He's going to have fun going back and seeing their new family, and helping out as well, since it has actually been decided that come the school year, he's going to be moving into their apartment in their spare bedroom, as Marcus and Tiffany are moving to Prague full time.
The only other option was moving with them, and that wasn't super appealing. Tris did offer up a chance to stay at her home for the school year, but given how many siblings she has there isn't a spare bedroom available for him, and he's not sure how down Andrew and Natalie would be with them being roomies, so he reached out to Zeke, who was excited as ever to welcome Tobias into their apartment. Of course, Tobias also checked with Shauna to make sure he wasn't imposing, and she assured him that she would be happy to have him move in as well. He arranged it with his dad, and by the end of next week he will have moved in and will be paying his fair share of rent. It won't be the most conventional senior year experience, but it should be an adventure.
As excited as he is to go back home and start on this new journey, he's going to miss his time spent with Tris. The way she's bonded with his family, and assimilated herself perfectly into the whole dynamic with Tiffany and her children truly has Tobias amazed with her. It's even made the transition easier and less awkward for him as well. He's not typically a social butterfly, so seeing Tris so ready to make friends with his new family has also relaxed him into the process. Now, he's really happy with how things have turned out for himself and his father. Compared to where they were at a year ago… Tobias can't believe how much better his life is now.
He stares at Tris in awe as he snaps photo after photo. Her white dress with ruffle sleeves floats behind her as she spins around, smiling shyly for the camera. Her blonde hair has gotten even more wavy and tangled this summer, it's now close to elbow length and is wild as ever, the golden hues illuminated by the sun. Her grey blue eyes twinkle with mischief as she steps toward him and grabs the phone from his hand, "Okay, that's enough." A rosy blush tints her cheeks, and Tobias thinks it's the most endearing thing ever.
She walks a couple steps ahead of him as she scrolls through the photos they took, picking out some to send to her parents. He allows his eyes to scan her toned and tan legs that her dress does nothing to hide. They're even accentuated by the strappy wedge shoes she wears. God, she really is something. I can't believe she still wants me.
Tris favorites the photos she likes to send to her parents once she's back on wifi, and then turns back to Tobias with a smile. She's about to open her mouth to ask him how long it takes one person to finish their gelato, when she hears what has been her least favorite voice these past few weeks.
"Hey guys!" Peter Hayes strolls arrogantly towards them, with his head tossed back a little as he adjusts his black sunglasses on his face. Why they were so unfortunate to run into him during their last spontaneous outing in Rome, Tris has no idea. Is he stalking them? She honestly wouldn't put it past him.
"Peter, hey!" Tobias lifts his arm to wave. Tris has the displeasure of watching her boyfriend and Peter clap hands with one another and slap each other on the back.
"Having a final day out on the town?" Peter asks, his head turning in Tris's direction. Tris can't tell exactly what he's looking at, because his sunglasses are so darkly tinted, but she can just imagine his eyes running up and down her body in the slimy way they do. She crosses her arms self consciously and shifts her weight between her feet, only offering him a thin smile.
"Uh, yeah. We're headed over to Vatican City to do some sightseeing. Our flight is tonight, so we'll probably be back at the hotel this afternoon and finalize our packing." Please don't invite him along, please don't invite him along, Tris thinks to herself. To her relief, Tobias does not.
"We'll all be sorry to see you go. It was a really fun few weeks with both of you. Especially you, Tris. Who knew you'd be such a… riveting addition to the family."
Tris wrinkles her nose, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Tobias just laughs, though, throwing an arm around her shoulders. "Yeah, yeah, we'll miss you too man. What are you up to?"
"Ah, just meeting Jasper at the bus stop, then we're gonna head back to the hotel for some lunch."
"Alright, well we'll catch you there later this afternoon. See you, man!" Thank God that's over, Tris thinks as Tobias leads her away.
"You okay?" Tobias asks her.
"Well, you didn't even say a word to him the entire time, and you had this look on your face like you just drank bad milk."
"I didn't mean it like that, Tris. You're always the most beautiful girl to me, you just… looked off."
"Uh, yeah, I just think… The heat is getting to me. We'd better get into some shade soon."
"Alright," Tobias answers, though he's not entirely convinced.
"And I think we should use our extra week back in Illinois before school to brush up on SAT prep and start on our college decisions," Tris adds, as they stroll through St. Peter's Square together.
"We already studied quite a bit in Prague, if I'm not mistaken," Tobias teases, thinking of the mornings when Tris would refuse to go out unless they reviewed a section together. It was a little bit annoying, but in the end, it's made him more confident to take the test this fall, and he knows Tris pushed him to study because she wants him to do well.
Tobias is planning on playing lacrosse in college, so most of his decisions will be banking on recruitment, but it never hurts to do well on standardized tests. Tris is also always good at improving his marks, too. She practically saved his grade in Chemistry last year, amongst other things she saved him from too.
"And we definitely need to brush up because it's been a couple weeks since then. Hopefully you have some free time at Zeke's place for study dates."
"Yeah, I think I could fit that in my schedule," Tobias muses, chuckling as Tris nudges him in the ribs.
"You're cool with this whole Zeke thing, though, right?" Tobias asks her, glancing over to her.
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?" Tris's brows knit together.
"I don't know, I just want to make sure you're feeling good about me moving into a friend's place… I don't think it'll interfere with how much time I spend with you and your family. But it will definitely be a change."
"Yes. A change I am totally open and excited about, mostly because it means you don't have to move to Europe. But also because I think it'll be good with you, to be with your good friends, especially since you won't have them at school anymore."
Tobias smiles, leaning in to press a kiss in her hair. "I love you. All of this… reassurance from you has me so ready to take on anything."
Tris smiles, linking her hand through his as she takes in the beautiful sights of Vatican City around them. In this moment, everything is absolutely perfect. The future is a little uncertain, but she feels prepared to head into it, as well as to leave the past behind, even it will make her heart ache a little bit.
"We've both grown a lot this summer," she tells Tobias. "Fallen more in love, found out new things about ourselves… And now… we're taking on the future. I'm sad for all of this to go, but I'm more happy it happened. And I'm excited to see everyone again. Zeke, Shauna, the baby, my mom, my dad, Christina, et cetera."
"You scared?" Tobias turns fully towards her, taking her face in his hands.
"No," Tris says with full honesty. "I'm… ready. For all of this. With you."
He scrunches his nose up, "Same."
"I love you," she whispers.
"I love you more," he answers back, closing the distance between them, and fitting his mouth to hers.
They kiss there, under the sun in Vatican City, both having full confidence that wherever they go, as long as they have each other, they'll be alright.
That was the official end of Comfort Crowd. Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey, it means a lot. I'm officially on spring break now, so I'm going to try to have the sequel up later this week, as well as an update of Million Dollar Bills. Keep an eye out for both of those, if you are interested, as well as take a look at my profile for a sneak peak at the sequel and title!