It took everything Nibs had to restrain himself from giving her any instruction or assistance. As cold and callous as he might come across, he rarely saw anything glorious in the death of people, especially those who were young and strong. His father choosing to die made sense to him, he was a reasonable decision for a Dauntless to undertake rather than being sent out to be one of the factionless. He could understand that.
The death of a girl who was not much younger than him and who seemed so intent on the idea of living past this, that was something he would not understand. But she wouldn’t learn anything if he helped her, not before she learned to help herself. A girl who had come this far, who knew the risks (of course she did, the Erudite didn’t make any moves that they didn’t think through first), would not fall because of a lack of willpower. Something had propelled her here, she just needed to learn how to control that. He moved forward within the train, ready to grab her in case she began to fall and could not help herself, but then it started.
There it was, there was the fight that she needed in order to make it here. It was weak, suppressed by a lifetime of being told that mental intelligence is superior to that of the body, but it was still there.
Moving over to the door, Nibs grasped her hand and helped pull her the rest of the way into the train, not wanting to aggravate her ribs anymore than they already had been. Breathing out a heavy sigh of relief, he said nothing for a few moments, wanting to let her collect herself before saying anything else. “That was good.” He settled on finally, looking at the redhead with a bit more respect than he previously had. “You fought through it, and you’re fast. We can work with that.”
For a moment, Maggie thought Nibs was just going to let her fall.
It wasn’t based on any aspect of his character. Sure, he’d been a bit rude at the beginning but it was by no means vicious. She just merely assumed that helping others was never an option in Dauntless. That was beaten into her head much like the blows she received during the matches — no one could help you but yourself. So, to have him reach out a hand and help pull her completely on board, she was shocked. But more than that, she was thankful. There was a part of her who actually thought she was going to lose her grip and fall. That she was going to die.
As she landed on her feet inside of the train, Maggie ducked down for a moment to catch her breath and calm her panicking thoughts. Without even meaning to, her arm wrapped around her middle, trying to ignore the pain that slowly made its return from her ribs. But it was damn hard to. Today, yesterday, the day before… They were never going to heal properly if she kept exerting herself. But exerting herself was the only way she was going to make it over the red line.
His compliment caught her by surprise, if her expression was anything to go by. At the same time, she couldn’t help but let a small, pleased smile cross her face. It was the first compliment she’d received since switching over and Maggie almost forgot how nice it felt to just be told that she wasn’t a complete failure. “Thanks.” For the compliment, for making sure she didn’t fall. She couldn’t pinpoint but she was entirely grateful. Still keeping her arms wrapped around her middle, she glanced out of the train window for a brief second before a soft laugh escaped her lips. It was probably the first moment of joy she’d had in a while and it came out of nowhere. But after realizing that she’d nearly died and with only a few hours of sleep, the adrenaline was getting to her head, causing her to feel incredibly giddy. But she deserved it; she made the jump. Maggie shook her head, unable to explain her sudden case of hysterical giggles. ”That was— Wow.”
Simply put, Nibs loved the train.
The adrenaline he got from it was something that simply couldn’t be replicated. Some Dauntless loved the rush of a new tattoo, some loved the thrill of a fight, but for Nibs it was always running and jumping onto the train. He loved the sensation that he got when he ran more so than any other fight he could have in Dauntless. He understood the risks but usually, he didn’t really care.
Self-preservation was key and everyone who couldn’t catch the train… well, that was their misfortune. Nibs didn’t spend time mourning. If you lived too firmly in the past, you didn’t experience the present, and running for that train was one hell of a moment that people shouldn’t miss just because they were scared. Even better than seeing how quickly Maggie could move, it would make her more inclined to trust her instincts. Facts and figures didn’t help in this situation, it was all about knowing your body and knowing how to control your movements.
That couldn’t be taught, it had to be experienced.
He didn’t check to see if she was behind him, already knowing that she would follow. She was either too committed or too stubborn to back out now. He finally turned to look at her once they reached the tracks, inclining his head in the direction of the train as it began to whir past them as if to tell her that now was the time to start running. A grin came to his face as she took off, quickly following after her and looking for an open door to jump into. Running past her, Nibs finally jumped into an open door, turning once he landed to look out to see if she was catching up.
Why was he smiling? This wasn’t funny. This was awful and downright scary and borderline mental. How could the Dauntless ever think of this as something fun? Despite all of the panicking questions raising up in her mind, Maggie still ran with every bit of her. She had to unless she wanted to end up dead on the ground or mangled up beyond belief on the tracks. Those images alone were enough to bring a queasy sensation to her stomach. Don’t think. Just go.
The running wasn’t the hard part. Maggie was accustomed to waking up in the morning and taking a jog to clear her head back before the ceremony. Granted, this type of running was full-fledged sprinting but her stamina was one thing she could depend on when her strength wasn’t enough. Her eyes widened a bit as the edge of the building came into sight. Her heart lurched, watching as Nibs swiftly jumped and landed within the open door. Maggie was about to follow suit.
But then, her mind screamed ‘stop!' and she stumbled to halt herself before her body could go over the edge.
She knew it was a bad move as soon as she hesitated, flinching as the loud roar of the train came back into sight. Cursing under her breath, Maggie turned immediately to backtrack her steps, rushing forward to fling herself from the edge of the building. Her hand gripped the door railing, wincing as the impact slammed against her ribs, her body still hanging on the outside of the train. For a moment, she felt her hand slip and she swore she was going to plummet. But the redhead gripped tighter, gritting her teeth as she struggled to force herself completely on board the whizzing train.
Nibs was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t ask the inevitable question, it meant that she was starting to learn. You didn’t question Dauntless and not anticipate a beating for it- not this early in your training. It didn’t even necessarily have to be from the person that you insulted, but one would be coming. It was just a matter of time. As animalistic as the other factions thought they were, they could be calculating as well. You had to be when you were the only defense society had from a danger that no one could quite predict.
Nodding as she gave him her name, Nibs accepted it easily. If it was her given name or not, it didn’t matter. The past did not matter in Dauntless unless you brought it with you. Nibs almost envied that- there was no where that he could hide his past except from the new initiates. He had no regrets about joining Dauntless but there was something redemptive about the idea that you could leave and never look back if you joined another faction.
Granted, Nibs would never leave. He was Dauntless through and through, there was no chance of him ever wanting the unknown over what he had.
"If you could do five hundred of each, I’d say go ahead. But I give it a little under a hundred before you pass out and that’s valuable time wasted getting you back on your feet." Nibs appraised the girl, his eyes trailing over her before nodding. If she was fast, he could work with that. After all, that was how Nibs became so good at what he did. Strength was something many Dauntless had, but speed… That was a valuable attribute. "We’re catching the train." Nibs said it bluntly before he started heading over to the area where the train would be coming. He needed to see her run, then he would know what to do with her.
Maggie couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when Nibs told her she wouldn’t be doing push ups or sit-ups. Her very first day of training had involved doing three sets of a hundred and like he predicted, she’d barely made it through one set. She wasn’t an unhealthy person. She was raised on the importance of eating vegetables and exercising regularly and avoiding junk food back in Erudite. But it was clear that wasn’t enough compared to extensive exercising Dauntless members went through. At a startling 5”3 and a little over 100 pounds, she was tiny and had a lot to make up for.
But then he mentioned the train and she paled instantaneously. Almost immediately, she thought back on ceremony day. She remembered how the Dauntless born laughed, already on board, as they waited for the initiates to catch up. Maggie was fine in that aspect but she’d never forget a a poor Amity transfer who hesitated for too long and ended falling off the thirty feet building. It was sickening and despite the whooshing of the train, she still heard the godawful thud at the bottom.
"Uh, the train… Right." She added on lamely, barely saving herself from questioning whether this was a good idea as she followed him. To be honest, she thought it was a downright terrible and reckless idea. Especially with only two people. But that only meant that he’d probably think it was a good one.
Her eyes squinted at the sight of the sun but that was soon out of her mind when she recognized the train whirring by. Maggie glanced over at Nibs, as if waiting on instructions. But after receiving nothing but a stare, she realized that she was on her own like this. Great. She was going to die. Clearing her throat, her eyes remained on the train as she began to run after it.
X&Y // Coldplay
i dive in at the deep
and she becomes my best friend
i wanna love you but i don’t know if i can