How It Should Have Been - Tobias' POV
As I walk through the doors of the Bureau, the first thing that I notice is that Tris isn't here. I spot Cara and ask her,
"Where is Tris?"
All she says is,
"I'm sorry, Four."
That's all it takes; I instantly understand.
Tris went instead of Caleb.
Of course she would, she was too selfless not to.
Beside me, Christina falls to the floor and starts crying, and I feel tears threatening my eyes, but I will myself not to cry.
Not here at least. I know that I will cry; I'd be crazy not to. The love of my life, the only person I ever felt truly alive with, is dead.
Pictures of Tris fill my mind; when I saw her grey form fall into the net, when she ate her first hamburger, her eyes when I picked her first for Capture the Flag, when she climbed the Ferris Wheel. When I threw knives at her head, when I showed her my fear landscape and when I kissed her at the bottom of the Chasm. I pull myself back to the present and try to process everything.
Cara helps Christina up and leads us down a hallway to what I presume to be the Morgue, when suddenly, Caleb comes running up to us.
I clench my fists, thinking that Tris should be here, not Caleb. Then he says,
"It's Tris. She woke up. She's alive."
As soon as the words have left his mouth, my spirits start to lift. As calmly as I can, I ask him,
"Where is she? Can we go see her?"
Caleb doesn't answer; instead he motions for us to follow him.
We follow Caleb, walking at a brisk pace towards the hospital.
Christina and I walk silently side by side, whilst Caleb and Cara talk about something that I don't understand.
When we reach the hospital, Caleb walks away from us up to a woman at the front desk, and soon we are being led to Tris' room by a doctor.
"Here we are. I'll just see how she is doing and give her some medication. You can just sit down over there while you wait."
The doctor says, and walks into Tris' room. I don't think I can wait any longer to see Tris, but I have no other choice, so I go sit by myself in the corner, not wanting to be disturbed whilst I wait for the doctor to tell us how she is.
After what seems like hours, the doctor walks out.
"Can we see her now?"
I ask, trying to sound calm, although I'm not sure if it works.
"I'm afraid not. Tris is currently in surgery, as she received multiple bullet wounds. One in the stomach, and one to the head. To be honest with you, it's a miracle that she didn't die straight away, or bleed out slowly."
The doctor says, and I ask him the question that's itching away at me.
"Who shot her?"
The doctor calmly says,
"David shot her."
I was expecting it to be him, but I am still surprised, but that is overridden by my anger. The doctor must sense that I am angry, because he says,
"Don't worry; he has been locked up in a jail cell while the Bureau determines what to do with him."
With that, he walks away, leaving us alone. I go back to my spot in the corner and silently wait for Tris to come back from surgery.
A while later, Caleb comes over. I'm still angry at him for letting Tris go into the Weapons Lab, but part of me is happy that Tris' one true family member is still alive, even if he is a traitor.
"Hey, Four. I know that you are mad at me for letting Tris go, and I don't blame you. I wanted to go, to make it up to her, and everyone in the city that I have wronged, but Tris wouldn't let me go. I just want you to know that I don't expect you to ever forgive me. To be honest, I don't want you to forgive me, because everything I have ever done has harmed either you or Tris, and I made your lives hell. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I'm happy that Tris has got someone like you to take care of her."
As he finishes, he walks away, leaving by myself again.
After what seems like hours of waiting, a doctor comes out of Tris' room.
"I'm sorry, but you can only go in one at a time. Who's first?"
Everyone looks at me, so I walk into the room, preparing myself for the worst.
As I walk in, I notice that Tris is still asleep. I drag the plastic chair that was by the wall over to her bedside and sit down. There are tubes going into her hand, and a mask is covering her mouth to help her breathe. Her head has a bandage around it, protecting the wound from the bullet. I hold her hand and say,
"I am so sorry, Tris. I should have been here to protect you."
As I say that, a tear drops from my eye onto her face. I wipe it off and continue, saying,
"If you had died, I wouldn't be able to continue to live. My whole world revolves around you, and I don't want to ever have to experience anything like this ever again."
I can't continue without crying, so I just look at her face, still beautiful after all that she's been through. After a couple of minutes I walk out, letting the others see Tris for themselves.
As I walk out of the room, I say to everyone in my instructor voice,
"She's asleep, and I'd like it to stay that way. You wake her up and you have to deal with me. Got it?"
Everyone nods their heads, so I sit down in my corner again. Caleb walks into Tris' room next.
When he comes out, his eyes are red and puffy. He quickly says goodbye to everyone and leaves. Next, Christina walks in to see Tris. When she walks out, her makeup is all ruined from crying. She comes and sits down next to me as Cara walks in and says
"You love her a lot, don't you?"
I reply by saying,
"Yeah, I do."
Unexpectedly, Christina says,
"I always saw you as scary and mean, and I didn't know what Tris saw in you. But now, I get it. You care about her a lot, and you guys have mutual respect for each other. You're like partners; you've always got each other's backs, while also loving each other at the same time. The way that you look at each other, it's like there's no one else worth looking at."
As she finishes I say,
"That's because there isn't."
After that, we wait in silence until Cara comes out.
Minutes later when Cara comes out and they say goodbye, I go back into Tris' room. I sit in the chair and watch Tris as she sleeps, her chest rising and falling as she breathes. When she sleeps, her face is so relaxed, like there isn't a worry in the world. After a while, I fall asleep to the sounds of her even breaths.
When I wake up, Tris is still asleep, so I head down to the cafeteria to go get breakfast for the both of us, knowing that Tris will be just as hungry as me and she probably won't like the food they provide at the hospital. I grab two muffins and a piece of cake to share with Tris.
While I walk back to Tris, I think about what Christina said last night. I didn't realise that Christina paid that much attention, if any, to what Tris and I do. I don't know why, although it's probably because she's Tris' best friend and wants to protect her.
When I walk into Tris' room, she's awake. Good, I didn't want to wake her.
"Good morning, Tris."
I say as I kiss her softly on the lips.
"Good morning, Tobias."
Tris responds, her voice weaker than it normally is, but not as weak as it should be considering that she almost died less than 24 hours ago.
"I got you a muffin, if you want it."
I say, trying to sound nonchalant.
"I would rather a muffin than the weird mushy food they tried to feed me a few minutes ago."
She says, cringing at the memory of the food.
"Good. Also, you're very lucky, because I'm going to share the cake with you."
I say to her, trying to emphasize how rare it is for me to share my cake.
"Really? What did I do to deserve this great honour?"
She says laughing, wincing from the pain. I walk over to her and give her the muffin and sit down.
"How are you feeling?"
I ask her. It's a valid question, given the recent events, some of which would have been too much too handle for any normal person. But Tris isn't normal; she's tough when she is meant to be weak. It's truly amazing.
"I've been better, but I've also been worse, so I'm okay, I guess."
Tris almost sounds sad when she says this, probably remembering everything that she had to endure when we were prisoners at Erudite. It reminds me of just how much we've both been through in these last couple of months, and I remember how it felt to see Tris look so defeated. It's not a pleasant reminder.
"Does it hurt anywhere?"
I ask, knowing that even if Tris was in pain, she wouldn't tell me because she won't want me to worry about her. It shows just how deep her Abnegation instincts are rooted in her.
"Not really. I think the pain medications are still wearing off."
She says, and even though I don't have an aptitude for Candor, I know she's lying, but I let it go.
"Please don't do it again."
I say pausing, to collect my thoughts.
"Don't sacrifice yourself. I thought that I lost you yesterday; everyone did. I didn't know what to do, because my life starts and ends with you, Tris. So don't sacrifice yourself anymore. If not for yourself, then for me."
As I finish, my eyes get teary, and I let myself cry. I've been holding in my emotions in for far too long, so I let a few tears roll down my cheek before I recompose myself.
"Hey, Tobias. Look at me."
I look up to Tris, and she continues.
"I won't sacrifice myself anymore. I promise. But I knew that Caleb wouldn't have been able to do it, and he wasn't sacrificing himself for the right reasons. Guards were coming, and I knew that I had a better chance than anyone to succeed, which was the most important thing at the time. I don't really remember much after that, other than the fact that I pressed the button. I guess that after that I was unconscious. I wasn't sacrificing myself, either. I didn't want to do die. I was determined to get back to you, and I think that thinking about you is what helped me survive, to be honest."
After she finishes I say,
"And that is why I am going to share my cake with you."
Tris smiles, and starts to eat her muffin.
After we both finish eating, I go to see when the doctor will let Tris go home. He says that they will run some tests to see if she is fit to come home today, and if she is all good to go, then I just have to sign some papers and we can go.
After the doctor says that Tris can go, it's lunch time.
"Come on Tobias, I want to leave already."
Tris says, tapping her foot impatiently.
"Ok, ok, let's go."
I say as I take her hand and help her walk to the apartment we are staying in for the time being.
It's a slow walk, but pleasurable nonetheless, because I am with Tris, the love of my life. I never really fully appreciated having Tris around me during the war, even though I could have lost her at any moment, but now I do. I fully appreciate every breath of air we share as we make our way to the apartment that is ours temporarily.
After we put Tris' stuff back in the apartment we are staying in, we walk over to the cafeteria for Lunch. Neither of us is particularly hungry, but Tris wanted to go see everybody, and I know that Uriah woke from his, just as they were about to pull the plug on his life support.
I wanted to visit Uriah while he was in his coma, but I could never bring myself to do it. It makes me a coward, but I don't care. I don't really think that Zeke or his Mom would have wanted me visiting him anyway.
When we get to the cafeteria, I lead Tris to our usual table. Everyone is too engrossed in their conversations to notice Tris, so we sit down and start to eat.
Soon after we begin eating, Uriah, who was betting Zeke that he could eat more cake than Zeke could, noticed Tris and I and says,
"Hey Tris, Four."
Uriah looks and sounds like his usual self, which is good. He doesn't look at me like I'm a coward either, which is comforting. I don't know what I'll do if Uriah doesn't forgive me.
It's awkward to talk to him because I still feel guilty for what I did, even though Uriah didn't die.
Tris tries to ease the tension, by saying,
"So you finally woke up, huh?"
"I ain't no Pansycake, of course I woke up."
Uriah says, smiling.
By now everyone at the table had paused their conversations to greet Tris and I, although mainly Tris. Everyone gets up and hugs her, saying that it was good that she's alive.
Zeke comes and sits next to me and says,
"Uriah and I forgive you. He's alive, so there's no point in holding a grudge. Also, it's good to see that Tris pulled through."
It is nice to have my friends back. I didn't realise just how much I needed them until they were gone.
"Thanks, Zeke. It's good to have Uriah back. If Tris hadn't made it, I don't know what I'd do."
I say. It's one of the most truthful things I've ever said to him.
"Man, you really are in love, aren't you?" Zeke says playfully, in the only way that Zeke can. Amar comes over to our table, and addresses our whole table when he says,
Like when I was in initiation, everyone stops their conversations and turn to face Amar straight away.
"Alright. Since the city's memory has been reset, we can go back to the city without any problems. For those of you who want to come with George and I back to the city, we will meet tomorrow after breakfast, at the front of the Bureau."
After Amar goes, we all start talking about who is going back to the city. Everyone decides that they want to return to Chicago, so after lunch, Tris and I return to the apartment we are staying in, and we pack our bags with what little possessions we own.
When we get to our apartment, I caress Tris' cheek and kiss her on the lips passionately. We stay like this for a few minutes, before pausing for air.
"I love you, Tris."
I say, realising that I haven't said that often enough.
"I love you too, Tobias."
Tris says to me, and we head into the apartment to pack.
We pack all of our stuff into one bag.
"Christina would be ashamed that we can fit all of our belongings in one bag."
Tris says as she flops down onto the bed, clearly exhausted.
I laugh and say,
"Yes she would, but I find it quite efficient. Honestly, I don't know how she can possibly need all of that stuff."
I say as I lie down beside Tris on the bed. I'm exhausted too, so I pull Tris into my arms and slowly drift into a dreamless sleep.
I wake up with a start when I hear Tris tossing and turning next to me. She's murmuring things in her sleep, so I can only assume that it is a bad dream.
"Hey, Tris. Wake up. It's just a dream."
I say, trying to wake her up. I have to shake her a few times before she wakes up. She jolts awake, clearly disoriented.
As I pull Tris back into my arms I say,
"Shh, it's ok. It was just a dream. Do you want to talk about it?"
Tris just shakes her head and cries into my chest as she slowly calms down and goes back to sleep. Once I am sure that she's asleep, I fall back asleep, knowing that Tris is okay, for now, at least.
When I wake up, Tris isn't in the bed. I start to get worried, but then I hear the bathroom door open, and when I turn to look, I see Tris walking over to me.
"I didn't know where you were, and I was getting worried."
I say, trying to sound like I wasn't as worried as I was just a moment ago.
"I was in the shower, if I was leaving the apartment I'd let you know."
She reassures me, and then kisses me softly on the lips and pulls back.
"Go get ready. I'm starved and I don't want to wait too long, so if you aren't quick, I might have to leave without you, and make Uriah eat all of the cake at the cafeteria."
As soon as Tris finishes speaking, I run to the bathroom, and have the quickest shower of my life.
When I'm done, Tris is already gone. I start sprinting to the cafeteria. Uriah will not eat my cake!
When I get there, Uriah isn't even there. It's just Amar and Tris.
"You didn't even wait. I took two minutes. You couldn't even wait that long?"
I ask, to which she replies,
"You never asked how long I'd wait for, because you didn't want Uriah to eat all of the cake, and also, it is much more fun this way."
Amar starts laughing and says,
"Four, I think you'd better go get cake now if you want any. There's not much left."
I look over to the table where the cake is and see that Amar is right; there's only one piece left. I take the last piece, but a little girl walks up and looks at me sadly, so I give her my piece and walk back to our table.
Tris says, as she pokes me in the ribs playfully. At that moment, all of our friends come and sit down at the table with us.
We sit in silence for a few moments before Zeke asks me,
"What's wrong, Four?"
Before I can answer, Tris explains.
"He gave the last piece of cake to a little girl, and now he's sad."
Everyone sitting at the table erupts into laughter, and the people sat on the tables around us look at us weirdly, as if we are crazy.
"I guess it's ok. I won't have to wait too long and I'll be able to have some cake back at the Dauntless compound."
Zeke looks to Amar and asks,
"Amar, would the memory serum make all of the Dauntless chefs forget how to make cake?"
Uriah also turns to face Amar, his face the most serious-looking that I've ever seen. Amar laughs and says,
"No, they'll know how to make cake."
Everyone continues to eat their breakfast, making sure to eat a full breakfast for the trip ahead, because we don't exactly know how long the trip will be.
After everyone finishes breakfast, we all agree to go get our belongings and meet out the front of the Bureau. Everyone except Tris and I have been staying in the dorms, so we split off from the rest of the group and go to our apartment.
When we get into our apartment, I go into the bedroom to get our bag and I'm about to walk out of the room when Tris starts making the bed, which confuses me.
"Tris, what are you doing?"
She replies, saying,
"I'm making the bed. It's the Abnegation in me; I won't be able to leave unless this bed is made, so you can either watch me, or help me."
With a sly smile on my face, I say,
"I'd much rather watch you for two reasons. One, I don't have to do anything, and two, I get to look at you, which is very, very interesting."
Tris blushes and continues to make the bed silently, and a few minutes later, she's done. I take her hand, and we walk out of the apartment and towards the front of the Bureau.
When we reach the front of the Bureau, everybody is already waiting for us.
"What took you guys so long?"
Christina asks Tris, wiggling her eyebrows, which makes Tris blush.
"Making the bed."
I say, laughing.
Christina looks at both of us weirdly until Amar starts talking. Everyone's gaze averts to Amar as he talks.
"Okay, everybody listen up! Now that everyone is here and accounted for, Four and I are going to steal one of the Bureau's cars. Everyone else, stay here and George will debrief you on what is going to happen."
After Amar finishes, I hug Tris and whisper in her ear,
"I'll see you soon. I love you."
"I love you too. Try not to get caught."
Tris whispers back, her breath sending shivers down my spine.
"I'm stealing a car, Tris. I've done much more dangerous things, I'll be fine."
I give her a quick kiss on the lips before walking over to where Amar is.
"Alright Amar, let's get this over with so I can be reunited with my cake."
I say, unsure of whether Amar will get my attempt at a joke. We start walking away from the group as Amar says,
"Finally, you're getting a sense of humor. I thought the day would never come. You know, you've changed a lot since I… left. I used to watch you and some of the others from the Control Room for a while. I stopped after I was sure that the others forgot about me, but you – you never did. I could tell. The reason you trained initiates, I knew that you didn't want to, but you did it to honor me. I appreciate that."
I'm a little shocked by what Amar is telling me, but I guess that I'd rather have Amar watch me than total strangers.
"You're right; I didn't want to train the initiates. But I'm glad that I did. I never would have met Tris otherwise."
I can't help but smile at the thought of Tris.
There is a moment of silence before Amar replies.
"You two are right for each other. I hoped that you'd find someone who you could trust and who would make you happy. You and Tris, together, are unstoppable, really. You two are both so strong, and together you make each other stronger. That's all I'm going to say."
Having Amar's approval makes me happy. I've always looked up to Amar, and that was why it was so hard when I thought that he had died.
We keep walking for about five minutes until we turn a corner, and see the truck we are going to use to get back to the city.
"You know how to do anything with an engine, Four?"
As Amar asks me this, I realise that I know absolutely nothing about cars. It embarrasses me more than I'd care to admit.
"I was hoping you'd say that, because I need you to cover me in case of trouble. I think you can handle that, Four."
We both laugh, knowing that no one here except for Amar would be able to beat me in a fight.
"Alright, I'm going to get the truck started. When I do, you run back to the others and help them get in. Got it?"
Amar asks me, and I answer with a simple,
A couple minutes later, I hear the roar of an engine, and take that as my cue to start running back to the group. I sprint as fast as I can, and within a minute, I am back by Tris' side. She looks very worried, and I realise that they didn't know what was going to happen, so I speak up and start to explain.
"It's ok, nothing happened. Amar is driving the truck over now."
As if on cue, Amar arrives and ushers us to get in. I help Zeke, Uriah, Hana, and Tris into the back of the truck and get in, sitting next to Tris. I pull Tris onto my lap, snaking my arms around her, and kiss her on the neck.
"I love you, Tris."
"I love you too, Tobias."
Soon after we start our journey back to Chicago, my claustrophobia kicks in, and I know that it is going to be a horrible ride.
I hold on to Tris even tighter, but I don't say anything about it. She has enough going on right now as it is, without taking care of me in the process.
Tris catches on even without me telling her, and tries to comfort me.
"It's ok, Tobias. It's going to be ok. Just distract yourself."
To distract myself, I watch as Tris snuggles up into my chest and tries to sleep.
She manages to get twenty minutes of sleep before she starts shaking in her sleep, presumably having a nightmare. I hold her tighter against me and whisper her name to wake her up.
Tris opens her eyes and looks at me, then buries her head into my chest as she cries. I rub my hand up and down her back in an attempt to soothe her, although I'm not sure how well it works as she continues to cry into my shirt.
Eventually she calms down and says to me, "Thanks for waking me up. I was having a dream that... that-"
I butt in. "Tris, you don't have to tell me."
Tris then completely surprises me by saying, "I have something to tell you." She takes my hand in hers and runs her fingers along my palm, smiling.
"I think I want to marry you, but I'm waiting until I'm sure to tell you, though."
I know where this is going.
"That's sensible of you," I say, smiling too. "We should find some paper so you can make a list or a chart or something."
I feel her laughter against my chest, her hand trailing up my arm.
"Maybe I'm already sure," she says, "and I just don't want to frighten you."
I laugh a little. "Then you should know better."
"Fine," she says, "then will you marry me, Tobias?"
"Yes, Tris, I will marry you." I kiss her on the lips with more passion than ever before, and she responds, kissing me back with everything she's got.
"I love you, Tris."
"I love you too, Tobias."
Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, everyone. We can't escape that damage.
But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.
I mend Tris, and she mends me.