Late at night, Will, Christina, and Tris look out over the chasm. They’ve gotten new tattoos to commemorate Al’s death. Tris got a symbol of Abnegation: a pair of hands. Tris accepts that Abnegation is an important part of her identity.
In the first third of the novel, Tris wasn’t sure where she belonged. In the middle third, she believed she belonged in Dauntless. Now, in the final third of the book, she begins to wonder if she belongs anywhere. Her uncertainty about her identity is reflected in her tattoos: she’s both Abnegation and Dauntless.
Tris notices a newspaper containing new stories attacking the Abnegation leadership. The Erudite leader is a woman named Jeanine, whom Will knows slightly. Will reports that Jeanine is an intelligent, perceptive woman. He implies that the city would be better if other factions—not just the Abnegation representatives—were allowed to lead. Tris notices that Will and Christina are closer than usual—they might even be attracted to each other.
Even Will, who knows full-well how easily the ideals of a faction can be corrupted to suit the leadership’s personal motives, is tempted to believe that Abnegation is corrupt. This reflects the fact that everyone in this novel—including and especially Tris—is hungry for power of some kind, and is naturally loyal to their original family or faction. Will, Tris, and their peers want to rise to the top of the rankings, just as Erudite wants the chance to run the city.
Tris decides to walk around by herself. Her friends go back to the dormitory, and Tris contemplates the chasm from which Al jumped. She turns, and finds Four standing nearby. Four invites Tris to come with him: he going to be testing the newest form of serum. Together, Four and Tris take the serum and go into the dark room: together, they’ll experience Four’s nightmares.
Tris and Four have a close friendship at this point in the novel, so Tris doesn’t think twice about spending time with Four after hours. Four’s trust for Tris is reflected in his decision to show her his secret fears.
As the serum sets in, Four and Tris find themselves at the top of a huge tower. Tris realizes that Four finds this terrifying. They jump from the tower, into a tiny room. Tris realizes this is Four’s other great fear: confinement. Tris tries to calm Four down by feeling his heartbeat. She jokes, “Most boys would enjoy being trapped in close quarters with a girl.” Four smiles weakly and tells Tris that these nightmares come from his childhood, when he was punished by being sent into a tiny closet.
Tris finds that she can joke about her sexuality—this would have been inconceivable for her, even a month ago. It’s a mark of Four’s tenderness and honesty that he reveals his weakness and fears to Tris: evidently, he trusts Tris to keep his secrets. In no small part, this is because Four also knows a big secret about Tris: that she’s Divergent.
Tris and Four see a woman, whom Four is supposed to shoot. Four manages to shoot the woman with Tris’s encouragement, and she disappears. Then they see a tall, thin man, wearing Abnegation clothing. Tris is surprised to find that she recognizes this man—it’s Marcus, her father’s friend. Marcus yells threateningly and waves a belt, whispering, “This is for your own good.” Tris realizes that Marcus’s son, Tobias, who joined Dauntless years ago, must be Four. Marcus multiplies into dozens of Marcuses, and “Tobias” stands in front of Tris, defending her. When he does so, all the Marcuses disappear.
Tris is surprised to realize that she understands some of Four’s fears, as she recognizes Marcus, another leader on her father’s government council in Abnegation. This is another reminder that Tris and Four have a lot in common: they even know some of the same people. It also explains why Four would have looked familiar to Natalie, and why Four picked up on Tris’s fear of “being touched” after nearly being thrown into the chasm.
The simulation ends. Tris realizes that Tobias has only four fears—hence his nickname. Tobias takes Tris’s hand and says that he has something else to show her.
Tobias has revealed an important part of himself to Tris, and this adds to the long list of things that Tris and Four have in common: a troubled past in Abnegation, a nickname, doubts about life in Dauntless, etc.