Be quiet, please you’re going to draw attention to us.
I’m looking for information and I was told I could find it here. Uh, Liz Forbes sent me to go get it.
Who are you? What information? Liz Forbes is my mom.
Just pretend like you didn’t see me okay? I was never here.
"Yes well, perhaps you should pay attention to where you’re going."
"I’m not sure why you’re acting like I just ruined your whole day by accidentally walking into you, but okay."
Perhaps if Caroline had seen her during the Erudite attack she would feel differently. She’d screamed, yelling for her parents through the crowd, and received a solid hit from the sticks some Dauntless carried. Still, lips bleeding and heart exploding, she searched for her parents. She was sure that anyone born in Dauntless would have wanted more than the safety of their Mother’s presence. She hadn’t been brave that day, but she would be next time.
Being round up like cattle, held at gun point with no explanation; well, really awful didn’t begin to cover her experience.
"I don’t want to defend myself," she folded her arms around herself, uncomfortable in the presence of a stranger, of a Dauntless citizen. "I want to defend my faction. If Dauntless abandons us, we have no way to protect ourselves. My friends, my family, everything I know would stand frozen at the end of a barrel and be destroyed."
She didn’t know what had gotten into her, perhaps it was just Caroline pretending she could possibly understand what it felt like to be helpless.
"Listen, defending yourself or defending your faction, it makes no difference to me who you’re doing this for. The point is, I think it’s great. And I’ll even help you learn, if you want." Caroline knew it was risky offering this to a complete stranger. But this was important to her, and it was clearly important to this girl. Something told her that it was worth the risk to help her. "What’s your name anyway? You go to school with me, don’t you?"
Is there a reason you’re following me?
I just… Never mind.
"How dare you? Just who do you think you are!”
"Uh rude much? I was just looking for my mom."
A small smile formed on Kira’s lips, Caroline’s excitement was contagious. If she was being honest with herself, Kira was excited to. She often fantasized about going back to the day of the attack and facing the Dauntless, defending her friends and family from them. Of course, in her daydreams she defeated them single-handed, but those where just details.
She had to ask. Dauntless had no reason to help Abnegation, the two factions were notoriously different and they rarely intermingled by choice. She’d settled with the idea that Allison would help her, but only because she thought of her as different from her faction. It was possible that Caroline was different as well, but a llifetime of negative experiences with Dauntless (granted her experiences were very limited before Unity) made her skeptical of such possibilities.
"Because," she began, talking a couple steps closer to Kira. "You went through something really awful. And it makes sense that you’d want to know how to defend yourself if it happened again." Caroline shrugged. She knew factions had different ideas about things and different rules, but there was no reason why someone who was willing to learn to fight, shouldn’t be able to. "Everyone should be able to feel safe in this city. Not just the Dauntless. I think you’re really brave for doing this. And that’s why I’m not going to rat you out."
Stiles wasn’t quite so sure what made him laugh so much about the image of Caroline rummaging through the donation bins for a decent enough item of blue clothing, but it did. He could picture the look of disgust and her squeamishness at having to sort through clothes that she had no clue where they had been. Strong and agile of a fighter as she had grown up to be, she was still very much a clean freak that didn’t like touching questionable things. “And you still took it. I feel like I’m looking at a whole different Caroline.” He said in a fake serious tone, his expression breaking out into a grin when she mentioned being back. As much trouble as she would get in for sneaking into Erudite, he was glad that she had decided that this wasn’t a one off thing. “Yeah do that, not from your closet though alright? Dress up Stiles may have been fun when we were younger but not anymore.” He said in all seriousness, giving her a stern look to know he wasn’t joking around, only to be betrayed by the smile that broke across his expression.
Then again he couldn’t help it, with how much more busy he was sure his father had become, Stiles had figured he might have returned to his old habits of eating all that unhealthy crap that used to eat. Stiles had only became all health-freak on his father when he collapsed because of his blood pressure. It was only because of the freaked out look on Stiles’ face when he woke up that he agreed to his son’s heavy monitoring, so he was glad to hear that his father was keeping that up. “Thanks for keeping an eye on him Care, it means a lot.” It was times when he really missed them, his father, Caroline, even her mother, that he regretted transferring to Erudite. He knew it was the right thing for him to do, but he still missed them all the same. Even if he wasn’t entirely cut out for the Dauntless lifestyle.
"Well the festival worked better than anyone could have ever guessed, and we all survived a year of high school without anybody killing each other." Stiles pursed his lips in thought and let out a heavy sigh, "It’ll be slow, but it could work. And then we’ll be able to see each other whenever we want without having to sneak into each others bedrooms at night. You’ll see." He grinned back at her, almost believing the words himself. Stiles shrugged and tilted his head slightly, "Any really. I was gonna go over to the Red Eye later and ask Sophie if she would consider me, but it’s a long shot."
Caroline shuddered. “I guess it just proves how desperate I was to see you. I’d rather wear disgusting, questionable items of clothing than go without seeing you for that long again.” Caroline smiled at him teasingly, enjoying the banter. It was one of her favourite things about being friends with Stiles. The amount of sass and sarcasm between the two of them always made her mood better. “But I have this gorgeous black dress that would make your butt look amazing,” she joked, laughing when he couldn’t keep his serious expression.
"You’re right. We just have to stay positive, I guess." Caroline sat up, glancing at the clock quickly. She knew she had to be back at Dauntless in the next couple of hours if she wanted to get there before anyone woke up. She wondered what would happen if she just didn’t go back. "Not that I mind sneaking into your bedroom at night. It does give me a bit of a rush," she smiled, knowing how typically Dauntless she sounded saying that.
"You want to work at a bar?" she asked, finding that interesting. She couldn’t see it happening, but if Stiles wanted a change of scenery, that was certainly one place he could get that. "Well good luck, I guess."
I’m sure the other factions could say the same about you. Probably do.
Don’t know why they would. I look good.