"What was that about?" Four murmured to Maddie. "I'll explain later," she replied in a clipped voice before turning to face me. "John, I assume you have a way out?" I nod, checking my watch. It's been eight hours since I left. It took me about an hour to get here, about six to get everything situated and them out and such, and Maddie took another hour in the simulation. I know she was Divergent, so it automatically took her a shorter amount of time than most... How long did others take? Five hours or something? "Yes, there's a car waiting for us just outside of Erudite. After that, it's about an hour's drive back to base. So if we could get going, I would love if we could be back in a third of the time I promised Beta," I informed them. Maddie nodded. "Okay. But we should bring them," she said, nodding to Bailey and Diggie. We all looked at her in disbelief. "Why!?" "Prisoners of War. And I don't want her giving out anymore orders, anyway," she explained, pursing her lips. I shrugged. "Okay. I'll get Bailey. Four, you get Diggie. Let's go," I ordered.
I hugged James for an indefinite amount of time. He opened himself up to me. It felt only right that I should open myself up to him. "I lost basically everything and everyone in the War," I started, my voice scratchy from disuse. "My District was blown up, my parents and best friends dead, my own sanity broken, my memories manipulated. It was like everything was a nightmare, from the moment my name was first drawn. I wasn't even fourteen, yet already I had blood on my hands. And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, we got put in again. I destroyed people's families, just so I could save my own. How selfish is that?" I chuckled bitterly. "Did you know I had a brother? I wasn't the oldest. He died, along with my mentors, my parents, and Hazil in that War. I had even thought... for a while... I thought that John was dead. He was my partner in the first Games and I thought he had died in there for over a year. Sometimes... Sometimes I still get the hallucinations. I was actually cleared from the mental half of initiation because the doctor didn't want to risk them acting up. They're, um, easier to deal with when... when John's there." I didn't tell him everything... I couldn't tell him everything.... But already it felt like a little of the weight on my shoulders had lifted. "And... I guess I sort of understand what you mean by.... not being able to feel. I just.... have the... opposite." "What do you mean?" James prompted softly. I shrugged. "I feel too much. The guilt and remorse is doubled. The fear tripled. Sometimes it feels overpowering." "And the joy?" he questioned, almost to himself. "They're like dandelion wishes. Given my whole heart, yet gone with the slightest breeze." I wipe at the tears I hadn't realized had formed before pulling back from the hug and mustering up a small, if not a bit weary, smile. "But I always try to take the dandelions with the most seeds," I finish. He returns the empty smile. I sigh a little. "We were all young, James. Most of us still are. But it doesn't matter whether we're sixteen or sixty: we're all still affected by what happens to us. It's just what makes us human. But talking always helps. And I'm glad you can talk to me. Even if I'm not the most responsive person sometimes," I joke weakly. The smile gets a little less emptier. An idea strikes me and I go to a drawer and open it up. I turn around and give James the Rosary that I had taken out. "What's this?" he puzzles, looking bemused. The Rosary had burgundy clay beads strung over a black cord with a crucifix at the end carved from rosewood. "This Rosary was my great-great-grandmother's birthday present when she was five years old. Her father had made it himself to give to her. She lived till she was, oh, a hundred and three and didn't give it to my great-grandmother 'til she was ninety. My great-grandmother died five years later at seventy five and just barely had time to give it to her only daughter, who gave it to my mother, who locked it up. I found it while looking through the carnage of 11. Now, somehow it's come back to me again and again and again after all this time. And you have done the same. So I want you to have it," I explain. He immediately tries to give it back. "No- Beta- I- I can'-" "Oh, yes, you can. I don't care that you aren't religious. Now, one day you'll need this. Whether it's a memento to remember me by or something to hold on to when there is nothing else or something to give to someone else who's struggling. And it's a gift, so take it," I press on, placing it in his hand and curling his fingers over it. "Thank you, Beta," he whispers, looking down on his hand. I kiss his forehead. "Thank you, James. You gave me something to hold on to when there was nothing else," I whisper back before standing up and going to the control room where Grace and Blake should be.
(Mods, please let this through, it is ALL F A K E)
(Oh, and, guys, I was reading the epilogues and some POVs of the first DCHG Rp and apparently Grace has a metal arm??? And John's a doctor with two younger siblings? And James had a cousin-brother-thing named Auggie??? Like: ??? Where has my memory gone??? (XD XD XD))