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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18. Chapter 18

TOBIAS

We sit around a table deep inside the bunker. Tris leans her head on my shoulder, her eyes closed but her hand still twitching in my palm. "I vote we just storm in there and shoot them. They've had too many chances to right this and still they only do wrong- we should just march in, get them before they even know what hit them," Someone on the other side of the table says, slamming his hand on the tough wooden surface.

"No, I vote we let them see us, give them a trial and shoot them anyway!" A woman adds, her fist colliding with the wood with an even louder bang than the other.

It's no good. I know what they've done, and the evil connected with the name Eaton follows me like a bad smell. "Hey," I whisper, nudging Tris' head with my shoulder. "Come on." She sways on her feet as I stand up, the room spinning around me as tiredness grows inside me like a tree, the roots reaching out through my veins and taking over every inch of my body.

"Where are you going?" Christina shouts over everybody else, shining her torch onto our faces in the dim room.

"We're tired- both of us. We can't make any sort of decision and we don't know what you've been planning anyway. We trust you to come up with something good." She nods and points to the door behind her.

"Through there. The first six rooms are taken but there's more around the corner. I think room 9 has a double bed." She smiles, turning back to the group as I pull open the door and start marching past the rooms.

Tris pushes open the door to room 9 and falls onto the bed, crawling to the pillow and letting her face fall onto the soft fabric. I follow, curling next to her and pulling the duvet over both of our bodies. "What's wrong?" Tris whispers, her face close to mine. Her hand finds my hip and slides under my shirt, crawling along the black tattoos that ink my skin.

"I can't sit in there and listen to them discussing how they're going to carry out my parent's deaths." I murmur in return, my lips pressed against the soft skin of her forehead. I curl my body protectively around her, my arms finding her hips and holding her to my body. My legs tangle with hers beneath the duvet and we push each other's shoes from our feet, wiggling our toes together as our sneakers fall to the floor with a dull thump.

"It's difficult, I know. We can't let them live, because they're just so evil. The only good to ever come from them is you." She pushes her lips against mine and our mouths smile together, a blush blooming over my cheeks in the darkness as she lifts my shirt completely from my body.

"Oh, I'm far from good." I mutter into her mouth, only breaking contact for the brief second it takes to remove her shirt. Our bare skin clashes as we wriggle from our jeans, our legs tangling beneath the sheets. "I love you." My voice is a whisper, a gasp, a pant as our lips collide again and again and her hands run over my bare body and I stroke her soft skin. My hands find the bandages on her stomach and the cotton taped to her shoulder, my lips tracing the injuries below as my gasping breaths run over her soft skin.

Eventually we fall asleep, our limbs tangled beneath the sheets as our chests rise and fall in perfect synchrony. When I wake, I lie there in the darkness with my head turned towards her on the pillow. I watch her sleeping through half-closed lids, her perfect face more relaxed than I have ever seen it. For a moment everything is perfect, but then she begins to scream.

I snap upright, moving to put my weight over her trembling body. Matthew and Christina run into the room with wide, scared eyes, and Christina takes her arm while Matthew holds down her kicking feet. She sobs in our grip, screaming as her eyes take in images we can't see.

"Wake her up?" Christina shouts above the noise, her eyes desperately searching my face. Tears drip from Tris' eyes and run onto the pillow as I shake her shoulders, desperately repeating her name in her ear, but her eyes do not clear.

"Tris!" I shake her gently, begging her to wake up. "Please!" My lungs tighten, my breaths refusing to come as she screams and sobs.

She finally wakes, looking around the room with wild and tear-stained eyes. Her arms encase her trembling body as she rolls onto her side, tucking her knees to her chest and burying her face in the pillow. "I think we need to move quickly." Matthew whispers from the end of the bed, his hand pressed nervously to the mattress.

I nod in agreement, looking up at Christina. "We'll get dressed." She nods, then turns to leave with Matthew trawling in her wake.

"It's okay, Tris. It was just a nightmare." I murmur, stroking her wet cheeks with my thumb. "If you get up, we can get on with their plan. We can be safe."

"Plan?" She croaks as she moves her head to stare up at me. Her cheeks and eyes are red, her damp hair plastered to her forehead. "We always plan, it never goes right. We plan, we get there…"

"All hell breaks loose, I know." I lean over her and pull her clothes from the floor, helping her to pull the shirt over her head.

"We plan, we get there- and people die, Tobias."

"Death is a part of life, Tris." I assure her, pulling her to my body. She wraps her arms around my shoulders, burying her face in my collar. "People die. It's a sucky thing we just tend to do, okay?"

She nods, but sniffs away more tears. "I'm just sick of it. I'm tired of running, of fighting. I just want a normal life, you know?"

"I know." It hurts inside, to know that my Tris, who has always been so strong, seems to be so hurt. I push her away from me, pulling my shirt over my head and wiping away the last of her tears with a swipe of my thumb. "Why don't you tell me about those dreams?"

*
TRIS

"The nightmares come thick and fast, like the simulations back in Initiation." I choke, taking a gulp of something warm and strong that burns my throat. "The crows haunt me, the wall of water drowning me and pushing me under. I'm burnt on a stake while the other initiates and Marcus and Evelyn and Caleb and my parents laugh, I drown in an ocean of blood and have to shoot Tobias." I look down into my glass, swirling the golden liquid around as I try and push the image of his cold, dead eyes from my mind. "It's not just the familiar fears I have to face- there's more. Tobias falls from the Ferris wheel and I can't catch him. Last night…" I turn to Tobias, ignoring Christina and Matthew's concerned faces. "You fell. You were on the ground, barely alive, and Marcus was there. You'd just fallen from right at the top of the wheel and he was beating you… and I screamed for him to stop but he just kept going."

Tobias frowns, his forehead crinkling between his eyebrows, and he takes my hand across the table. My eyes burn with tiredness, and I choke back the last of my drink. I feel a little better inside, warmer and slightly fuzzy, but the darkness of my dream is like a shadow in the back of my mind.

"It's okay. We're going to stop him from hurting anybody ever again." One of the other guys from the Bureau says as he sits next to Tobias, a steaming cup of coffee clutched in his hands.

Tobias bristles, his hand tightening on mine for just a second before his face flattens into a smile. "Yeah, we'll stop them. Marcus- and Evelyn too."

Christina and Matthew lead the other four Bureau members from the room to put the finishing touches to their plan, and I look up at Tobias. "You're not going to let them die, are you?"

He sighs, letting go of my hand and burying his face in his palms. "I can't kill them. They're my parents." His eyes close in defeat as he runs his fingers through his hair. "And yet I want to see them pay for everything they've done. To both of us, but to everyone else too."

I nod and get to my feet, feeling drained but awake. "We'll see what the plan is." My voice is a whisper as I walk around the table, moving to sit in his lap. His hair tickles my wrists as I tuck my hands behind his head, resting my face against his shoulder. "If you don't like it, we'll go along with it for as long as you are comfortable, then we'll bail and do our own thing." I lean up, kissing his jaw. The stubble on his chin is sharp against my lips, but it makes me feel alive. "And if you don't want them to die, then we'll think of something. They are human, after all."

He laughs, leaning down to kiss my forehead. "No, they're definitely monsters. It's the two of us who are human."

"Are you two lovebirds ready to be briefed?" Christina calls through the door, and I unwrap myself from Tobias' grip.

"Come on, Four."

"After you, Six." He smiles, and I lace my fingers with his as we walk from the dining room.

We end up in the small meeting room that forms the entrance to the bunker. Tobias and I sit on one edge of the table, with Christina and Matthew opposite. Two other bureau members sit with us- while two are not even here.

"We'll be split into two teams- Christina, Tobias, Tris and I on Team A, with Helen, and Gavin on Team B. We'll also have a Team C, consisting of Michael and Jill. Team A will move first, as we have all the people with fundamental knowledge of the layout of the Merciless Mart and what each room is now used for. Our job is to split into two sub-teams- Tobias and Christina in one with Tris and myself on the other. We'll then track down Evelyn and Marcus and bring them to the meeting hall."

Everyone nods along, and for now it seems to make sense. "Team B will work through the city, using stealth and their anonymity to track down all and any members of the enemy party. They'll need to be taken up to the meeting room, where we will convene at fifteen-hundred hours. The first pair back to the meeting hall will serve as guards to keep everyone inside the room. Team C will then deploy the memory serum, resetting the whole of the city's population."

"That won't work." I object, grabbing my mug of tea off the table. It warms my cold hands as I lean forward, Tobias behind me. "We can't track down everybody in the city, especially not with just two people. It'll be easier to send a pair of people back to the bureau to obtain the vaccination against the memory serum, to ensure that we keep our memories."

"Maybe we don't want to remember." Christina's eyes flash red, her face traced with lines of pain and grief. "Maybe I want to forget."

"Well, some of us want to remember. There are things that have shaped us as people! As much as there's things I want to forget, Will's death, for one, there are people and experiences in my life that I can't just erase. You're willing to forget them? Will and Cara? You want me to forget my whole family, erase my life?" Somehow I'm on my feet, my mug steaming on the table between my hands.

"It won't erase your life, Tris. It'll reset you, and us, the same as the others. Erase memories of the factions, alter your perception of right and wrong…" Matthew insists, but I shake my head, biting my lip.

"I want a choice."

"The people in the city don't have a choice." Christina slams her fist onto the desk. "It's just fair that we all make that sacrifice. It's all about equality, all of this, and by knowing things that they don't…"

"Sure, the factions were a dumb idea. The idea of the Divergent, of somebody who possesses the qualities valued by each of the factions… it was just stupid. In an ideal world, everybody would be honest and selfless and brave and peaceful and smart." I look down at Tobias, thinking about the tattoos that cover his back. "Equality isn't about not knowing, or knowing the same thing as other people. It's about possessing the qualities to make you a good person."

"You think you're a good person?" Christina shrieks, high pitched. "Think about how many people you've killed, the amount of people who have sacrificed themselves for you."

"I can never not think about them, Christina." I fall to my seat, closing my eyes. "You think I can just forget how the light left Will's eyes? You think it doesn't bother me that Cara gave her life because of the mistake we all made in coming here? What about my parents? Caleb?" She looks away when I open my eyes, but I fix my gaze on her and continue to speak. "You've lost people too, I get that. You've lost Will and Cara, you've lost your family too. I get that, I really do. But it's better to feel the pain than to forget it completely, right? As it stands, they died for a reason. If you forget, they died for nothing. No matter how painful it is, you have to remember. For them."

She shakes her head, but her eyes are wet with tears when she looks back into my pleading face.

"Fine," Matthew says, his face drawn. "But you'll have to do it. It'll have to be you that goes back to the Bureau, to either stop the others from setting off the bomb or to get the vaccination to protect the rest of us." I nod and get to my feet. Tobias follows, but Matthew shakes his head. "If you're going, you go it alone."

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