A/N: Hi everyone! This is the first chapter of Rise Above. once I post the second chapter I will be deleting it started with a spill, since this is the rewrite of that fic. As of right now, I have no uploading schedule. The updates may have weeks between them but don't assume that the fic is abandoned or on hold unless I tell you that it is. (which hopefully will not happen for any reason) I hope you enjoy Rise Above!

Chapter 1

Tris' POV

I opened the door to Coffee Spree, my favorite coffee shop. On days like today when I needed a good creative environment to work in, Coffee Spree was always my first choice. The cozy shop had warm lighting that softly illuminated the back wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and tables scattered throughout the store. I had an inkling that Coffee Spree was also a book store, due to all the stacks of books littered throughout the place, though I didn't have any proof to support my theory.

My goal for today was to work on a tattoo design for a client of mine. With that in mind, I continued into the store and made my way directly to the counter where I ordered my usual, an oatmilk latte and a blueberry muffin.

Christina, one of the baristas at Coffee Spree, was bubbly as ever when she took my order. She's nice enough, though I've never become friends with her. Or acquaintances really, considering we had never made it past small talk. It's nothing against her, I don't have any friends in the city. Or at all.

After getting my order I sat at a small table that rested against the wall of bookshelves and got out my iPad to begin my drawing process.

Despite the cozy environment, Coffee Spree was a fairly popular shop so I wasn't surprised when all the tables surrounding me filled up. I preferred it when it was like that actually. When everything became so busy I faded into the background. Just another person in a sea of so many faces that even the kind barista behind the counter forgot I was there.

That may be why I was so surprised to find a handsome stranger standing in front of my table. I suppose I had lost myself so fully in my focus that I hadn't noticed him until he cleared his throat.

"Excuse me, sorry to interrupt but do you mind if I sit here? All the other tables are taken." A quick glance around Coffee Spree told me he was correct so I said, "Of course!" with a polite smile. He thanked me and quickly sat down before he pulled out his laptop and began typing.

I let my eyes rake over the man for a moment. His deep-set eyes, a dark blue color, were gazing intently at his laptop screen. His hair was short and dark, he had a slight tan and his long eyelashes met his furrowed eyebrows. His lips were full and chapped, and he rubbed at the small scar on his chin. The man's facial expression was one of hard concentration, so I looked away before he could notice my attention.

I took a sip of my latte, my muffin was long gone by then and focused myself back on the work at hand. As I lost myself in my art, I let every sketch and line I drew soothe me into a perfectly calm state. This was what I loved most about my job. The relief I felt when able to turn my brain off and draw.

No more than an hour after the handsome man joined my table, he closed his laptop with a quiet sigh and paused a moment as if just noticing something.

"Are you an artist?" His words seemed a bit hesitant as if he didn't want to ask.

"Yeah, I work at Insanity Ink," I told him while I slowly dragged my gaze from my nearly finished sketch. Insanity was a fairly popular tattoo shop in the area, and I could see the recognition in his eyes, though his facial expression gave nothing away.

"Oh cool! I've been thinking of getting another tattoo." His words were forced like he regretted starting that conversation in the first place. Or he was just really awful at small talk. I had thought that I had perfected the art of small talk as it was my main form of communication, though that interaction seemed to have proved me very wrong.

"I'm Four, by the way."

"Tris." I nodded and debated for a moment if I should let that painfully awkward encounter continue any longer, before conceding so as to not seem rude. "What were you thinking about getting?" Four's face hardened for a brief moment, before smoothing back into that same Icy neutrality it had previously been. The switch was so quick I barely registered it.

"A tree on my back." I nodded once again and we let the awkward silence fill the air between us. Four sighed and pushed back from the table before he collected his belongings, offered a polite, "It was nice to meet you." and walked out.

I sat there for a minute and let the encounter sink in before I focused back on adding the finishing touches to that drawing.

Four's POV

I had been thinking about getting a tattoo of the tree I used to sit under after school to procrastinate going home during my childhood, I had never been in much of a rush to get it done because that would mean revealing my scars to someone - something I've never done before. My past had been my biggest secret for my entire life and although I knew I wouldn't need to divulge any details to get the tattoo, I was in no hurry to lay the physical evidence of my history bare. And yet, despite all of my reasonings for not getting that tattoo sooner, I found myself drawn to Insanity Ink and the pretty blonde, Tris, who I knew worked inside.

I'd like to pretend that it took more than a pretty face and terribly awkward conversation to convince me to lay my scars bare for her, though my actions clearly proved that notion wrong as I stepped through the front door and into the lobby of Insanity.

I had been to Insanity Ink once before with my best friend, Zeke, and his little brother, Uriah, who at the time was getting his first tattoo. That was 5 years ago.

I approached the counter where a woman with dark, angular eyes and straight black hair stood. I vaguely recognized her as Tori, the woman who did Uriah's tattoo.

"Hi, I'd like to schedule a consultation with Tris," my words felt stiff when I spoke them, and she gave me a curt nod before she walked off without a word.

I tapped my fingers against the wooden counter that displayed the word, "Tattoo," in big letters on its side. The place had a very vintage feel with old, framed drawings and photos hung on every wall and the style of the tiled flooring that rested under my feet. There was a small gate that was attached to the counter to separate the lobby from the back rooms.

This was a mistake, wasn't it? I felt like a creep, showing up to a woman's place of work, unannounced after only meeting her once. And she had clearly only told me where she worked to continue the painfully awkward small talk I had instigated. I could only imagine how she would interpret that.

I took a deep breath and steeled my expression back into my usual mask of cool neutrality, from which it had slipped during my spiral into panicked thoughts. I could hear the soft footsteps approaching from where I stood in the lobby.

Tris appeared in front of me, Tori nowhere to be seen, and said, "So I hear you're looking for a consultation." Her eyes widened for a moment as she said it as if she had just recognized me. I nodded once and attempted a polite smile, though I was pretty sure it came off as more of a grimace.

"I have twenty minutes now, or I could book you at 2:00 pm on Friday." Four days away.

"Now works."

I was already dreading this.