New ‘The Hunger Games’ still (x)
“I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”
It was far too hot to sleep and he woke to see Katniss already awake, sucking on a piece of the cacti. It frightened him to think what would have become of them if it weren’t for the cacti. Even in the early morning, the heat was almost unbearable but Peeta had never been good with the heat.
Peeta waved timidly and moved to sit next to Katniss. Things still weren’t quite right with them but they were getting better. To Peeta, Katniss’s friendship was better than nothing at all. The silence felt stilted, all around them the empty, desolate landscape made him feel like they were completely alone on an alien planet.
Peeta could tell Katniss was thinking of something, probably Prim, it showed in the way her shoulders drooped but her grip was strong on her bow. It was lucky she had the bow, it was the only weapon with distance between the three of them.
He searched his pockets for his own collected pieces of cacti, the heat was already sweltering and dehydration was a constant danger looming over them. “Do you remember the party at Snows? There had to have been about fifty different types of drink” the words blurted out of Peeta’s mouth before he knew what was happening. He had actually been dreaming about that night, but more specifically the dancing. “Under the circumstances, that was a fun night.” he looked down in his lap as he spoke.
Katniss offered a small smile as Peeta moved to sit next to her, and she nudged her quiver of arrows out of his way. She hadn’t been able to do much shooting as of late. Catching rabbits and lizards wasn’t really a talent made for an archer, and snares weren’t the easiest to set up without any trees. But, ultimately, she felt a lot safer having her weapon (though it wasn’t her weapon - that was safely hidden back in the Victors’ hotel) with her, and she knew Peeta and Haymitch still felt the same (though Haymitch still slept smugly with his knife).
It had been thirteen days, and Katniss began to fear losing her mind and humanity. This was only one of four tasks they had to complete, and they’d already gone two weeks in the first one, and without a single hope of sighting one of the lucky white flags.
Her mind began to wander to Peeta, the baker sitting beside her. How was he coping? How had he been? They hadn’t spoken much aside from professionally. Katniss had tried to keep her distance. Not because she wanted to, but because that’s what was better for him, and she and Haymitch (and Peeta must know as well, mustn’t he?) knew it for certain. She could live a thousand lives and never deserve him. Her distance is what would keep him happy, not the game she unintentionally played, the Game she had unwillingly been dragged into.
When he spoke, Katniss’ head turned slowly and she stared at him for a moment before a small smile found its way to her face. She laughed lightly and shook her head. “Thirteen days in the dry heat of an endless desert,” she said, looking back out to the open sand dunes, the sun just barely making it’s appearance. “And you’re remembering a party thrown by Elaine Snow.” She smiled and looked down. “I don’t think I spent a lot of time there, to be honest,” she said, and faced Peeta again. “I think between the amount of different drinks and Holden Weiss, I didn’t have much of a reason to stay besides you.”
Katniss sat cross legged, her back leaned against the large boulder they’d decided to take shelter behind. The air was brisk and the weather was dry - she couldn’t stop herself from licking her chapped lips, hoping in vain for some rain or water. She cradled a rounded piece of cactus (skinned of it’s bristles), inside of which was some of the hydrating liquid (it was too sweet to be water, but it seemed to quench your body’s thirst just as water would) that could be found in the cacti scattered around the arena. It had been a lucky catch: Peeta had spotted another (still nameless) victor filling up on it early on. While there were enough cacti around, they savored the juice, drinking it slow and making it last. They didn’t want to take any chances.
She felt slightly guilty for their current predicament. Katniss knew that if she hadn’t been so stubborn (though, she still thinks she was in the right), they could have been with other Victors, more protected. But they were alone, the only living Victors from District Twelve.
One of them a drunk, the others star-crossed-lovers with a recently tragic ending.
For a moment, Katniss’ mind went to Prim, and her stomach twisted. She bit her tongue. After everything that had happened to them, after her volunteering, after finally feeling safe, after being brought back to the Capitol… And she was gone. Primrose Everdeen would never again take another step on this Earth, learn about another herb, ask for another lullaby. It seemed impossible.
Katniss’ left hand had traveled to her shiny new bow (donated by Plutarch Heavensbee, with which the only contact she had was a note from him offering condolences about her sister) without her consent, and she gripped the handle.
..I walked to the edge of the Arena. And I.. I found a forcefield. I used it to my advantage. I won the Games. Snow didn’t like what I did. So I became the warning.
So you used the Capitol’s own trick against them, and they punished you for being smart? Er… Smarter than them, at least.
If… If you were the warning, what am I?