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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1. Chapter 1

"I can't let you go, Caleb." My hand rests on his arm, my eyes finding his across the miles between our hearts. "Please." The fabric of the bag is stiff and cold under my fingers as they wrap around the strap, lifting it off his shoulder to swing it over mine. "Let me go instead. Tell Tobias I love him."

Caleb shakes his head and lets his eyes close against my pleading stare as he tugs the bag from my grip. "No, Tris. I've hurt you. I've done nothing but betray you since the choosing ceremony and I'm going to right all those wrongs. Mom and Dad gave their lives to protect you, and I'm not going to run off and let you throw that away just because you want to be the hero one last time."

I choke back a sob as my throat tightens, my hand still gripping the backpack full of explosives even as he pulls it back onto his shoulders. He can't do this.

"Please, Beatrice."

His eyes are wide and begging. Deep inside, I know he wants me to take the backpack and do this for him, to make the ultimate sacrifice and save him from death… But my mind shifts and I know I can't do it. I can't leave them, Christina and Tobias, after everything we've done and everything we've been through. I can't survive the death serum any more than Caleb, and it's him that's had all the training...

A line of guns faces us at one end of the corridor, a group of guards shifting their sights between each of us as we make our exchanges. I finger the gun at my waist, memories of Will's death forgotten as I withdraw it and hold it in my hand, the cool metal of the grip pressing into my palm.

My eyes hold Caleb's for the longest time, unblinking and taking in every inch of him as he wraps an arm around my shoulders and pulls me into him. "I'm sorry, Beatrice." His voice tickles my ear as he whispers his final words to me, his spare hand moving to his belt and withdrawing a short blade. He can't even bear to look me in the eye as he thrusts his arm forwards, driving the metal into my side.

Blood blossoms over my shirt as the pain sears through my body and I drop to my knees, my head light and heavy all at the same time. This wasn't part of the plan. Caleb…?

His face is pale and withdrawn as he glances at me, curled on the floor. A minute of hesitation is all it takes before the guards begin to fire, and he takes off down the white corridor and around the corner, heading to the weapons room as he gathers the overalls in his arms.

The sound of heavy pounding footsteps against white tile fills my ears, a low murmuring as one of the guards kneels beside my foggy head and puts his hand on my wrists. A sigh escapes his throat as he pulls my hands behind my back and fastens them with a plastic tie, a scream hissing through my teeth as the knife shifts in my flesh. A drop of blood slips down the hilt of the dagger and drips onto the floor, spreading out over the tile like a liquid red rose.

My vision blackens at the edges and I squeeze my eyes shut against the world, focussing on his hands against my back instead of the burning in my side, the heaviness of my head. His hands slip around my back and lift me up, his muscly arms cradling me as my body explodes in a starburst of pain.

The pain subsides, the blackness brightening to reveal a small white chamber. A cell.

I blink away the debris of sleep and wait for the fogginess of the drugs to subside before I tilt my spinning head, squinting at the door. White and set into the tiled wall, a re-enforced steel sheet with a single glass panel set in the top centre. I'm trapped, a prisoner.

A pair of eyes watch me from beyond the glass, as blue as the sculpture on his desk back in his father's house. Tobias.

My lips strain to form his name, but the creases on his face show only pity and disappointment. How could he still love me, after all I have done? How I betrayed him... I take a deep breath as I close my eyes against his glare, turning my head away from the door to face the opposite wall as a tear slips across my cheek. Be brave, Tris.

My shoulders shudder as a sob rattles my chest, and I force myself to breathe against the  searing pain in my side- and the dull ache that's settled itself in my heart. The agony in his shining sapphire eyes is etched into my memory, is there in the crescent-moon marks on my palms from my clenched fists.

By the time the tears have melted away, Tobias has gone. My fingers sting as I rub the salty tracks from my face, swinging my legs over the edge of the bed and pushing myself upright, wide awake once more. As I stand, my head pounds with dehydration and fatigue, sleep threatening to take over as I stumble to the narrow desk pushed against the wall. The wood is smooth against my fingers as I slide into the chair, gripping the edge of the table until the room stops spinning around me.

The water is cold and refreshing in the back of my throat, and I press the icy glass against my burning forehead, watching as a bead of condensation dribbles down the side of the jug and drips into a pool on the desk. What happened to Caleb? Did he manage to deploy the serum? My eyes move from the jug and lazily scan the room. No, he didn't succeed. If he had, I would surely have been released…

The door to my cell swings open and Christina steps into the room, a hulking black gun strapped to her back. She wears tight black combats and tough boots, and a stern expression on her brown face. Her eyes soften as they find me, her straight mouth crumpling as she abandons her duty, running forward and burying my face in her shoulder as her arms wrap themselves around my neck. A sob escapes her lips as she caresses my hair, her smile pressed against my cheek.

"You're alive." She gasps, pulling away but keeping hold of my shoulders with her fingers like I might just disappear. "You didn't…" Her face darkens as she remembers her duty, pulling a set of handcuffs from a pocket in her combats and fastening them around my wrists. "I'm sorry about Caleb." A whisper now, as she pushes herself off the concrete floor and helps me to my feet. "It's time for your trial- the dauntless way."

She marches me in silence down snaking white corridors with concrete floors. My battered shoes tread softly along the cold ground, the air prickling through my thermal shirt and grey joggers as the rattle of Christina's gun sends shivers up my spine. The lift is silent, the hum of electricity barely audible as we ascend from the prison, emerging in the atrium of the compound. I expect us to head towards the dining hall or another public space, but instead I'm guided around the fountain and down the corridor, past rubble and brick dust and into our dorm.

Tobias sits on one bed, Cara on the other. They stand as we enter, Cara glaring at me with burning eyes while Tobias only glances up at me, his arms wrapped tightly across his chest. My heart aches as I think about embracing him in my arms, holding his face with my hands and pressing my lips to his mouth- but everything has changed. I am a criminal, a traitor.

Christina pulls a chair from against the wall and puts it in the middle of the floor, and a groan of pain growls from my throat as I sit down, ready to face my judgement. I grit my teeth and keep my gaze focused on my friends, feeling the prickle of tears within my eyes. Tobias' eyes flicker with pity and longing, but then move away to focus on the carpet beneath his feet. He takes a deep breath and rolls his shoulders before he looks up, his eyes hardened as he trains them on me. The traitor.

My neck tingles as Cara rubs an antiseptic wipe over my skin, pushing a needle under my flesh and injecting a pale blue liquid. They stand and wait while the truth serum pulses through my veins. They know I can resist the effects- that I can choose to tell half-truths or avoid the question- but their eyes convey only trust, and I know I cannot lie to them again.

"Beatrice Prior. You are being held on suspicion of treasonous offenses against your pledged allegiances, culminating in the extensive loss of life and information throughout the city. You are required to speak only when an answer is required, and must respond with only the truth." Cara folds her arms in front of her chest, and steps in front of Christina and Tobias as I let my eyes drift upwards. Her face is stern, painful lines surrounding her eyes. "You were required to accompany Caleb throughout the compound, and assist in enabling him to reach the weapons lab. What happened after we left?"

I don't fight the words as they tumble from my tingling lips, bouncing off my tongue and rolling into the still and silent air. "We rehearsed the procedure. Matthew went over the codes and the method for releasing the memory serum, and we put together our kits and set off through the compound."

"What went wrong?" Christina butts in, earning a fiery glare from Cara. The serum answers for me, the words pouring from my mind even before Christina finishes speaking.

"Matthew had to head back to see to some technical issues." I begin, my voice trembling as images of our painful goodbyes rush through my mind. "I tried to take the backpack from Caleb, but he wouldn't let me take over the mission. He… he took his knife from his belt and stabbed me- that wasn't part of the plan- then he ran off down the corridor and the guards started shooting at him… and that's all I know." Cara sighs, running her fingers through her hair and sinking onto the bed.

"Did you see what happened to him? To Caleb?" I shake my head and she bites her lip. She knows the time is running out, that the serum will wear off soon- but I can see in her eyes that she doesn't have any more questions to ask me. "She's innocent, Tobias. It's not her fault."

His eyes flash with rage, but he shakes his head quickly and turns to Christina. They whisper together, and the pain in Christina's eyes burns bright as she watches me from over his shoulder. Finally, Tobias turns back towards me and nods at Cara, who steps forwards and unlocks the handcuffs, helping me to stand and letting me sit on the edge of my old bed. Tobias sits on the edge of the bed opposite, Cara and Christina flanking him on either side. I realise now- I am the enemy.

"Caleb failed, Tris." Christina speaks now, but the silence behind her voice is there. Nobody else has anything to say to me. "He got to just around the corner from the weapons lab before one of the guards managed to shoot him."

I can feel the serum wearing off now; the coolness of the chemicals departing my system as the chill of reality comes flooding back. "What happened to him?"

Tobias looks at me for the first time in minutes, his usually warm eyes cold with loss. "He's dead, Tris." The words hit me like a bus, the air rushing out of my lungs in a painful sigh. From the moment this plan was hatched, I knew he was going to die. When he let me go in that corridor, I knew that was the last moment I would see him… but I always hoped…

I had always hoped that his death would mean something.

Tobias must see the empty pain in my eyes, but he doesn't elaborate. "They managed to shoot him in the head." Cara adds, her hands clenched between her knees. "He died instantly." It's some comfort to know that my brother did not suffer, but I can't breathe. I'm alone- the final Prior… What's the point?

"And everyone else? If he died, that means…"

"They let it off. We couldn't stop them. The serum spread- not only over the compound but over the whole city."

"So…"

"We're the only ones that remember." Christina chokes, her eyes falling from my face and finding a spot on the floor. "Peter didn't inject himself with the anti-serum, so he's with them. In the city, I mean…"

But she's avoiding the subject. Like me, Christina has lost her family. Cara too, and Tobias. The four of us have never been so alone. The pain hits me like an axe, the realisation of how much everything has changed. My eyes burn as I push myself up and stumble to Christina, wrapping my arms around her and pulling her head into my shoulder, like she did to me not an hour before. Somehow, it's worse for them. My family is dead and gone- but their families are still alive… and will never remember them.

Tobias's eyes flicker up to mine and I stare back, trying to lessen the void between us by showing him that I understand. He holds my gaze while Christina lets out a sob against my chest, then reaches up with his hand. His skin is cold as he pulls me away from Christina, rubbing her back as he rests his hand on my shoulder and guides me from the room.

We duck together into the lounge next to the dormitory, the room with the sofa and the sheet where we shared our most intimate moment. My cheeks burn as I remember, and his quickly shifting eyes convey the same- but the gap between us is too big. The ache in my arms is unbearable as I fight the urge to pull him towards me and hold him tight, to let my lips collide against his in a kiss that I never thought I would experience again. It surprises me when he speaks, drawing me out of my imagination and waking me up, bringing me back to reality once more as his voice penetrates the walls of my mind.

"What now?" His voice is unsure, his speech weaker than I've ever heard. He trembles as he digs his hands into his pockets, looking up at me through half-closed eyes. "What happens next?"

I cough, and pain ripples up my side. A tiny yelp escapes me and he jumps forwards in alarm, and I hold my side gingerly as I look into his eyes. He steps up to me and presses his hands over mine, his eyes full of sympathy that I wish he didn't express. "What do you mean?"

"I don't know if I can trust you."

His hands fall away from my side as I turn to face the door, my eyes dampening under the strain of everything. "You know how I feel about you, Four." He flinches and wanders to the sofa, dropping down onto the crinkled white sheet. "You've lost them, I understand. If you want to lose me too, if you want to start all over again, to forget me and leave me behind… you can. I want you to be happy, and if clinging to your past makes you miserable… that's no way to live."

He sighs, leaning back into the sofa and turning his head to look at me. "Beatrice. I… I love you. I can't imagine what my life would be like without you. I've lost everyone- I can't bear to lose you too."

I turn to face him now, one hand still pressed against my side. The thick bandage underneath my shirt is warm to the touch, but the skin underneath pulls with a sharp ache with every breath. Letters tickle my tongue, but my lips refuse to craft them into words I can use. Instead, I step forwards and slide onto the sofa next to Tobias, our legs and then our arms touching as we sit awkwardly side-by-side.

The room is completely silent but for the sounds of our breaths and our steady beating hearts. After what seems like an age, his hand finds mine and our fingers twist together in my lap, his thumb rubbing gently on the back of my hand. "While we were away, I was so scared. I thought you'd do something dumb, like let Caleb live and sacrifice yourself instead."

"I almost did." My head slides sideways on along the back of the sofa, and settles itself on his shoulder. His muscles have dwindled over the past few months, and the bone digs into the side of my face. "Caleb stopped me. If he hadn't stabbed me, I probably would have done it myself. At least then you and Christina and Cara... you'd all still have your families."

The sheet crinkles as he shakes his head, squeezing my hand. "You did what you could do… It's better this way. There'll be no more fighting, no more factions. We can take control of the compound and only tell people what they need to know. This way we can make the world a better place, and I still have you. If you'd gone in there to try and stop everything, if you'd failed and died in the attempt… I'd have nobody." The words cut the final string that's holding me together and a tear trickles down my cheek, but Tobias catches it with his thumb before it splashes onto my shirt. "Hey, hey. What's wrong?"

I laugh, gurgling through my tears. "What's right?"

He laughs too, and suddenly, despite everything that's changed, it's almost like old times. His breath tickles my skin as he presses his forehead against mine, his free hand moving upwards to cup my face. I smile into his kiss as his lips brush against my skin, but the moment is over before it's even begun. No words pass between us, and the wound is too big to be healed by a bandage as temporary as a kiss, but the Tobias-shaped hole in my heart has healed enough for me to look him in the eye. "I love you."

"I love you too." He smiles, his eyes bright with all the happiness he's retained in his life despite everything he's lost. I can still feel his smile as he presses his lips against the top of my head, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear and rubbing the back of my hand with his thumb once more. "I love you too."

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