Convergent

Con-ver-gent, adjective: Coming closer together.
They say that something as simple as a flutter of a butterfly's wings can change the course of history. What if Tris never took over Caleb's mission? What if the mission failed? What if Caleb was the one to die? An alternative (extended) ending to Allegiant, obviously with some spoilers.

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3. Chapter 3

Tobias is pale, his mouth open in shock. His raised hands tremble with anger or possibly just fear as Marcus stands before us. The blank look on the older man's face makes it clear that he doesn't recognise either of us, and my heart twists and squirms inside my chest. I could shoot him now, take him down so we can drive into the city and right all the wrongs we made, but that wouldn't solve anything. Instead, I press the door release buttons and against the protests of Cara and Tobias, step from the bus. "Marcus."

"Marcus?" He looks repulsed at the mention of the name, like the word is strange to him, like it doesn't belong.

"That's your name." I try and keep my voice quiet and level but loud enough to reach him as I shuffle along the front of the bus, my empty hands outstretched in a gesture of peace. "Marcus Eaton."

"What are you doing here? Who are you?"

"That boy in that bus- he's called Tobias. I'm Beatrice- Tris. We're here to help."

He lowers his gun, straightening his shoulders and putting his hands on his hips. "Is that so?" I nod, risking a glance back at Tobias as his father smiles in my direction. "And what, may I ask, do you think you can help with?"

"I think it would help us to help you if you told us the kind of thing you need help with." Cara appears beside me, wringing her hands in front of her as she casts nervous glances back at the people in the bus. "Start by letting us know about the problems you are facing here in the city."

Marcus smiles a sinister smile with a glint of malice in his eyes. "Oh, no problems. I think I've got everything under control here." His fingers stroke the handle of his gun, his eyes narrowing as his lips form a grin. There are plenty of problems in the city, I can see them in the lines in his face- but his solutions are echoed in the gun, his lifeline.

"Then perhaps you can guide us to the city- and we can help you from there." He shakes his head, his gaze turning back to the bus. Time slows as he lifts his arm, squinting down the length of his gun as he aims it at the windscreen. A scream escapes my mouth, high pitched and grief-stricken, as the bullet flies forwards. It strikes the glass, which shatters into a thousand pieces and falls onto the ground like sharp snow. My eyes search the wreck for Tobias, who falls to the floor as the last of the glass clatters to the ground.

"Tobias!" My heart races as I duck back through the door and up the steps, past the shattered window and onto the floor, next to Tobias. His face is covered in tiny cuts, his eyes half open against the black carpet beside the seat. I'm shaking as my eyes search his body, searching for the entry point of the bullet. Come on…

"Tris. Don't worry." He whispers from the floor, his dark blue eyes half open against the blood trickling down his face. "He didn't get me, find out what he wants."

"Okay… Okay…" I nod rapidly, wiping the tears from my face as I push myself upright, staggering back down the steps and facing Marcus.

"You think I forgot? Like the rest of them?" Cara looks at him in horror, her fists trembling with rage at her sides. "I'm a good actor, aren't I?"

"You monster!" I draw my gun from my pocket, holding it out from my body and pointing it at Marcus' chest. Memories of the fear landscape flutter to the fore of my mind, the beat of his belt pounding down on my back stinging like fire. "You remember then? Everything you did?"

His smile tells me he does, and that he's not sorry. "I rule now, Beatrice. This city is mine."

My finger finds the trigger, but Cara is standing right beside me. I can't kill Tobias' father like I killed Will, and if he still has his memory- perhaps there are others too, others who remember. Others who we need to eliminate.

"It's not yours. It will never be yours. And you dare to kill your own son?" I think back to Tobias on the bus, who will be able to hear all of this as it unfolds.

"How else can I rule? You're just a girl- both of you, you're weak. Two girls and a bus of brain-dead outsiders? You've got no chance. With Tobias, you had power… but now- you're mine."

My blood freezes in my veins, ice flooding through my hands and my heart as I look up at him through my eyelashes. "You wouldn't dare." I mutter, but he's raised his gun again, pointing it at Cara.

"Perhaps I should eliminate the brains, too. With just you and your little friends left…" His finger twitches on the trigger and I dive forwards, my arms grabbing his wrists and pushing them over his head as we hit the ground, the air rushing from his lungs.

Each of my knees digs into the crumbled tarmac beside his waist, my hands desperately clawing at the gun to free it from his grip. It finally comes loose and I throw it at Cara, shifting one knee so I'm half-standing over him, my leg hovering over his crotch. "Try me."

He smiles beneath me, the familiar evil glint entering his eyes once more. It sends a shiver down my spine, chilling my bones as Cara approaches with the handgun. She kneels and holds it against his forehead, her thin face twisting into a smile as she realises the power we hold over the old Abnegation leader. "Get up." I snarl, putting pressure where it hurts before pushing myself to my feet, pulling him with me.

I drag him onto the bus and up the steps, past Tobias, still on the carpeted floor. Marcus doesn't even glance at his son's body, spitting onto the Dauntless symbol printed on the back of his neck as he passes and slides into the cracked leather driver's seat. Cara slides into the bench-seat behind him, pressing the gun to the back of his neck as the people from the compound gasp in shock. I stand in front of Tobias, looking out over the rest of the bus, and clap my hands until they fall silent.

The engine roars to life beneath us, filling the hush of the bus with a low rumble. Wind howls past the seats, whipping my hair around my face as I kneel on the floor beside Tobias, my hand clutching his as Marcus drives forwards, swerving around fallen lamp-posts and rubble lying across the road. We drive past the old Abnegation sector and Tobias's hand twitches beneath my palm, his fingertips catching at my wrist. His eyes are still closed, but I know he is listening intently, ready to jump up and act at a moment's notice. For now, he is dead. He is invisible.

Whispers fill the bus as we draw to a stop in the town, the wind of movement calming around our heads as Marcus applies the brakes. The engine cuts out and we're left there, awkwardly waiting for the next move to be made. It's then that I realise that it's me- it's my job to guide these people…

But I fear that they will soon be as corrupted as Marcus, as all our old friends. I fear that we are too late to save our people; that these workers who we barely know will die at the hands of Marcus and his cohorts in the city. My fingers ache as I straighten them, withdrawing them from Tobias' grip and pushing myself to my feet. I cough and the whispers patter out, leaving only the low hiss of the wind catching on the few fragments of glass left in the windshield to fill my ears.

"Please, go about your missions as they were assigned to you. Group A- set up a care and education centre in the old Candor headquarters- you know where that is? Good. Group B- you're on finding children and taking them to the centre, while Group C is finding adults. Group D is on security. You have already been armed and taught how to shoot, but you need to hold yourself back unless violence is absolutely required." I'm surprised at how steady my voice sounds as I stop talking, taking in once more the silent hush of forty listening ears. "Move out."

A man and a woman who were sitting at the back of the bus stand up and swing open the double doors behind them. The back half of the bus files off that way, silently jumping to the ground and forming hushed groups behind the bus while the front half step past me and down the steps, onto the cracked street below. I stand beside Tobias, protecting his curled hands from being crushed by the stampede of eager helpers. Unease settles in my stomach like a ticking time bomb- how many of these people will leave this city alive? I know that if Marcus has anything to do with it, it won't be many.

"What shall we do with our friend here?" Cara asks, cocking her head as she shifts the gun on Marcus' head, drawing a line up the back of his skull and around the side, so that the barrel is pressed to his temple. She smiles, but her heart isn't in it. She's seen enough death, we all have, and she doesn't yet know that Tobias is still alive. For all she knows, it's just the two of us…

"Oh…" I try and put some emotion into my voice as I talk, thinking about the real grief that I would be feeling if I had truly lost Tobias and letting it swim to the surface, overflowing from my eyes and my lips so my voice cracks and my cheeks become stained with tears. "I don't know. Find somewhere to lock him up, find someone to guard him…" My gaze falls to Tobias' still face. He's too good at lying frozen, curled in on himself like the bullet hit his chest. How many times has he done this in the past? Hidden from his father by staying still and silent, not daring to move for fear of more pain?

"There's one other person who didn't experience the effects of the memory serum, you know. All this destruction is just as much her fault as it is mine." I look up at Marcus, my vision blurry with stinging tears. My chest heaves, my breaths coming in agonising pants as I step up to him.

"Who?"

"I'll never tell you." He smiles, cunning.

There's only one more person in this city who would have known about the impending doom- Tobias told her. Evelyn. "Oh, but I already know. Cara, after we've dealt with our little friend, perhaps we should hunt down his ex-wife." She nods, but the gun slips from Marcus' head and he flips around, grabbing Cara's wrist and sinking his teeth into her flesh. A scream echoes through the bus, high-pitched and ringing in my ears. He lets go of her hand and forms a fist, swinging into her chin and sending her flying. She sprawls limp across the seat, and Marcus grabs her gun from the floor, pointing it at my forehead. I feel Tobias tense behind me as Marcus steps sideways, his feet crunching in the broken glass on the floor.

The gun clicks as Marcus pulls gently on the trigger, the bullet sliding into position, ready to fire- but the safety is still on. I lunge and grab at what little hair remains on Marcus's head, but he's already leapt sideways. He rolls on the road outside and gets to his feet, sprinting away into the dusty darkness as I withdraw my gun from my pocket- but he's too far away.

"Is he gone?" The whisper sounds from the floor, a finger trailing the bare skin on my ankle.

"Yeah, for now." I bend down and run my fingers along his forehead, ruffling his hair as he opens his eyes and smiles at me.

"What do you think of my acting?"

I lean closer to him and press my lips against his cheek. "Terrifyingly believable."

Cara moans from over my shoulder and Tobias snaps upright, his cheek red with blood. "Tobias, you're bleeding." I point out, my hand gingerly touching the sticky skin on his neck.

"So are you." He points to my palms, spiked with shards of glass and dotted with smears of blood. Touché.

"Tris…?" Cara mumbles, and I push myself to my knees. We're vulnerable here, out in the open. Marcus knows are location, and could bring back an army of insurgents at any moment.

Her jaw is swollen and her eyes unfocussed as she struggles to push herself upright, smearing blood on the cracked window behind her head as she leans forwards, her face in her hands. "You okay?" She nods silently and I sit beside her, pressing my leg against hers as I hold my stinging hands out in front of me, the gun dangling from my finger. "Cover us?" I throw the gun to Tobias and he nods, wiping the blood off on his trousers and flicking the safety off.

My hands burn as I stumble past Tobias and start digging through the bus, fumbling in all the little storage spaces until I find what I'm searching for. "Here." I place the sticky green box in my lap as I sit down, flicking open the catch and digging through the contents. "Aspirin and an instant-ice pack." I press them into Cara's hands and she smiles gratefully, holding the ice to her scalp as she dry-swallows the pills. "Sorry we don't have any water." She grimaces and shakes her head, biting her lips as the bitter white rounds slide painfully down her throat.

I find an antiseptic wipe in the box and struggle with the packaging until Tobias comes over, flicking on the safety of my gun and tucking it into his belt. "Shh, don't worry," He says as he sees my eyes widen in alarm. "I'm quick, remember? Here, let me help."

His breath tickles my chin as he pushes his forehead against mine, tearing open the wipe and running it gently over my hands. My lips sear with pain as I bite them against the movement of the glass in my flesh, ignoring the dots of blood as they reappear to stain my skin. When at last my hands are white again instead of red, and Tobias has worked most of the glass free with a pair of tweezers, and my skin is swathed in clean white bandages, I try to do his face. "No, we don't have the time." He murmurs, casting a quick glance around before he turns to Cara.

"You ready to go?"

She nods and pushes herself up, swaying on the spot for a second before she manages to regain her balance. Tobias nods and creeps up the length of the bus, dropping through the double doors and helping both me and Cara to find the floor.

"I can't stay with you." He says, holding onto my wrists instead of my hands. "Marcus thinks I'm dead. If I can keep it that way, it'll be for the better."

"No. Don't leave me." I know I sound pathetic, but back there for that split second I realised what it would be like to lose him all over again. "Please."

He gives Cara a look and steps closer to me, his forehead against mine. His breath is warm on my lips, tickling my cheeks as he closes the distance between us with a kiss. "I'll see you soon."

The hurt in his eyes as he steps away and drops his hand from mine is real. He doesn't want to leave, but with him here our mission is sure to fail. "Okay." The gun is cold and heavy when he presses it back into my hand, but I know he won't let me go without it. "I love you."

When he smiles, it is the saddest smile I have ever seen on his lips. He knows that his promise to come back could go wrong, could be shot down dead by Marcus or Evelyn or any of the others- but that my words are the truest words I could say. "I love you too, Tris."

I close my eyes and absorb his words as he walks away, and by the time I open them again, he is gone.

"Come on." Cara drops the icepack from her head and rubs her cold hand against her thigh. "We have a city to save."

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