Haymitch stepped over the shards with his usual grunt as the attendant cleaned it up. Effie tisked at him, a sour look on her face. This woman was utterly annoying, how could someone act so highly? I had to hold back a chuckle as Haymitch burped in front of her. She gasped and stood, moving to another chair farther away from him. It was hysterical. Effie caught the smirk on my face and glared, it was then that Katniss walked in.
Her eyes were slightly puffy, but not as much as would be expected, considering her small breakdown earlier. It only fired me up to make sure she made it home. I full as well realized that as soon as I entered these games my own life and welfare was moot. Katniss had to live, she just had to. Out of anyone I knew she deserved it the most. I would do anything to help her get home. Well almost anything. At the moment I couldn't help but reflect on my mother's last words to me, don't let the games change you.
Katniss moves across the room, towards me, stepping over the remaining pieces of glass. She looked at me questioningly and I shot a pointed look in Haymitch's direction. She followed it and nodded at in understanding. I pulled out the chair next to me for her scuffing it along the floor as loudly as I could, earning a very unhappy glare from Effie yet again. No sooner had Katniss taken her seat then Haymitch choked out "Well, well, well, it seems you to lovebirds are holding up well. They're normally screaming and crying for their mommies by now, aren't they Ef?"
Trinket let out another characteristic gasp before leaving the room. She paused shortly before the door to tell Katniss and me "Good luck with that mentor." She didn't fail to shoot me another glare before the door on the train car closed behind her with a little click. That was when Catnip flipped.
"We're not together." She almost screamed at the deplorable man, and I winced as she denied that kind of love towards me. She failed to catch it, but Haymitch gave a snicker letting me know that I didn't get away completely unscathed. "Maybe you should ask the big man over there what he thinks about that." He sneered, saying it only to spite me.
Katniss wheeled around to look at me, shocked. I didn't know what to say. After years of pining after her and defending her at every turn my secret was out just like that. And to be sold out by a stranger, I just sat there unsure of how to go about this. Within a month I will have met a certain death and she will only have memories of me. Do I want her to know I love her, and live the rest of her life in guilt over my death or even worse, do I want to let her think I had no feelings for her whatsoever? I was up against a wall with no way out.
It's strange though that Effie Trinket, of all people, came to my rescue, opening a hidden door in my fictitious corner. She chose that moment to come bursting into the room. "We have so much to talk about and so little time! I just spoke over the phone with your stylists and they have so much in store for you. Oh, I just know you're going to be the hit of the games!"
She continued to talk animatedly throughout dinner and I would just nod and listen, trying as I may not to focuse on Katniss. My efforts, however, were wasted as I could feel her eyes boring into me. My little Catnip wanted an answer as to if I loved her and at the moment, I still had no clue of what I was going to say. It was obvious that she was going to jump me as soon as we were alone so I left off for my room before she had the chance.
I made sure to excuse myself properly before standing, figuring that it might be good to be on Effie's good side. She did seem quite pleased with me when I asked in a polite manner, even offering me a small smile that sent terror through my heart. That woman sure looked creepy. All of my efforts were smashed as I stood. The chair squealed once again on the floor and the small smile turned into a piercing glare. I left the room hurriedly after that.
The attendant that had been in the room for the whole transpiring of events tried his best to give me a reassuring look. I silently thanked them and continued on my way. The train was quite grand, I couldn't help but think, compared to District 12. I entered the small compartment that was my room and place the pin Madge had given me on the table inside.
I felt a little sorry as I looked at the pin, thinking of Madge. At the time I had thought that she was crying for Katniss. They had been friends after all. But, thinking back on it now, I recognized that look that had been in her eyes. It was the look I had on my face when I thought of Catnip. Maybe, just maybe, she had feelings for me. Not to sound vain or anything, but her expression was full of the same grief I had felt when I knew that Katniss would die. Sighing, I can't help but think of what's in store.
Katniss, as stubborn as she is, is going to want answers. I still am at a loss of what to say. Do I deny it? Then any feelings she may have ever had for me would be crushed. Or if I confess my love will she accept me? My mind reeling, I fell asleep, completely unsure of what to do tomorrow.
Awakening the next morning to the shrill clicking of heels outside my door, I knew that Effie was up and about. I stood; sighing as I once again saw the pin on the table. I wonder how those at home are holding up. In years past the tribute's families would stay at home grieving, trying to prepare themselves for what they were about to see on television.
They seemed to not come out of their homes and were rarely seen in public. Their faces after the games would be dark and damaged, their memories tarnished forever. It was one thing to lose your child to disease or starvation, but it was a whole other to see them battle for their lives on television. Not that the others in district 12 had it well of either.
Starvation was so common it was downright atrocious. I can't even remember the last time I walked home from school without seeing an emaciated body in the streets. It was a horrible, yet common, way for people to perish in my home district.
I remember how close Katniss came to becoming one of those bodies in the street before pushing those thoughts completely from my mind. She wasn't ever going to have to worry for that anymore, not after I helped her to win the games. Then she would be living happily ever after in the Victor's Village, accompanied only by Haymitch. Hopefully she didn't kill him.
I pulled my own clothes on, ignoring those that had been put out for me. I wanted to be wearing things that reminded me of home before I was thrown into the madness of the pre-games. I found my hunting jacket lying on the floor and couldn't help but reminisce in the memories of the past. I thought of the time I heard my Catnip sing in the woods, it was so beautiful. Inhaling deeply, her scent that had long since been captured in the jacket overtook me. God, even her smell drove me to the ends of the earth and back.
At that moment the train came to a screeching halt, throwing me to the side. I heard a thump in the hallway, accompanied by a short squeal. Throwing open the door I found not just anyone, but the deplorable Effie Trinket. I reached down to pull her up when the train started up once again, and she fell back into my arms. Of course that had to be the exact same time Katniss opened her door.
Her eyes were slightly puffy, she must have been crying the night before. I pushed Effie away, but not before Katniss saw her there in my arms. She gave a little start, maybe even a small gasp before glaring at me and saying "It seems you found another girl to your liking." She ran away then, towards the dining car. I followed and found her there, standing in a defensive stance.
"It's not what you think." I barely managed to get out. She shot me another death glare, and shouted "Not what I think, huh, it seems to be exactly what I think! First not only do you act as if it's okay that we're both going to die and then you start fraternizing with the first piece of meat you see from the Capitol, oh no, it's not that at all!"
I know that yelling would be the most juvenile thing to do at the moment, but I can't help myself. "You think I would ever fraternize with Effie? What the hell Catnip? I love you, not her!" The words escaped my lips before I could stop them. It was out there now, I loved her and she knew. Katniss was ready to scream back at me, however her fierce expression died down as what I said took full effect. She looked at me carefully and I was truly at a loss. What she did next surprised us both.
Catnip came bounding up and kissed me. I blinked, dumbfounded. In surprise I failed to return the kiss and she started to back away. I regained my wits and pulled her back to me, putting all of my love into it. The entire time my insides were on fire. I was kissing her, less than a day then when I promised myself she could never know of my love. I was in utter bliss until we were both cut off from our passion by the gruff voice of our mentor.
"Now what do we have here?" Haymitch said with an annoying amount of charm. Despite myself, I blushed, but kept Katniss close by my side. "You two are exactly what we need this year. The start crossed lovers!" came the gleeful voice of Effie. She stepped out from her spot behind Haymitch; smile wide on her ugly face. I felt a scowl appear on my own. I never thought that someone could get under my skin this way, but I felt absolute hatred for her every word and action.
Effie caught my scowl and scolded me. "Now, now. We wouldn't want that beautifully handsome face of yours to get wrinkles no would we?" Wrinkles, really? Of all things to worry of at a time like this, when I am about to die. Who in their right mind would care about wrinkles? The loathing I feel towards her could no longer be capped off.
"Yes, it would be a shame, wouldn't it, if I happened to develop a wrinkle in the arena. It's not like I have anything else to be concerned with, would I? Aside from the fact that I'm about to die, wrinkles are at the top of my list. God forbid!" I was nearly shouting at the end. Everyone was shocked at the statement, including myself. I just hadn't been able to hold it back.
Effie looked appalled and made a weird chocking noise, it may have been her attempt at crying or something. She fled the room, continuing to make the creepy sob-like sound. I sighed and turned back to look at Katniss. She gave me a stern look and I knew that she was furious. "You shouldn't have said that. It hurt her feelings." She said, and I gaped. "What do you mean; she lives her life everyday never thinking of the consequences, or even what it would be like to be a terrified tribute." This answer didn't seem to be enough for my Catnip, as she pulled away from me and sat at the table to eat breakfast.
"Well good that you two little lovebirds got your first fight done and over with. Now save the smoochen' for in public, we need to milk the romance as much as we can." Haymitch belched as he finished the statement, alcohol breath burning my nose. It may have been uncalled for, but tensions were high and I couldn't help myself. My emotions were raw and frazzled today, it didn't seem like I could contain any of them. I jumped towards him and delivered a nice punch to the square of his jaw.
Haymitch took a swing at me too, but seeing as he was inebriated and myself sharp, I was able to dodge. I tensed for another attack when he burst out laughing. "Looks like I got a fighter this year, huh? What about you sweetheart? He said, looking at Katniss, "You got any tricks up those sleeves?" Catnip didn't look too pleased with the use of the word sweetheart being used to describe her, but stood anyways.
She picked a knife up of the table, at which Haymitch cocked an eyebrow. Throwing it at the wall she managed to lodge it right in between two of the wooden panels. I knew that she was good, but not that good. Luck had made her seem a lot better than she was.
Haymitch looked quite pleased with her little exhibition and stood back on one heel, sizing us up. "Attractive enough. Listen up you two, as long as you do what I tell you, I'll stay sober enough to help." Katniss went to say something, but he cut her off. "First piece of advice, let the stylists do anything they want, no buts." And with that he left the dining car, off to who-knows-where.
I looked down at Katniss, only to find her gazing up at me. "So..." I said, unsure of how to go about this. She cut me off by pulling me into a tight hug. "I love you too." My Catnip whispered quietly into my ear. I pulled back to look at her, only to see tears streaming down her face. Befuddled, I choked out "What's wrong?" in the gentlest voice I could. Her body racked with a few silent sobs before she addressed the elephant in the room.
"I finally have you Gale, but we're gonna die." She said, voice breaking. "Oh no, Catnip, you're gonna win don't worry about that." I tried to reassure her, no matter how futile it was, but her next question I had to leave unanswered as she asked, "What's going to happen to you Gale?" Pulling her into my chest once more, I said nothing. Then the train pulled into the station at the capitol and I was at last whisked away from my one and only love.
So again, like, don't like, it would be nice to know. All types of reviews are welcome, even if you choose only to yell at me.
I would like to thank all of you that have reviewed so far and am proud to announce that the story currently has just over 100 hits with 4 favorites, 6 alerts, and a mere 3 reviews. I know it may not be much, but it does give incentive to keep writing. About the 3 reviews I would like to thank those that did review and I hope this chapter didn't disappoint. If you feel I'm rushing things or whatever, let me know. I'll try to update once or twice a week, for now it just depends on how much time I have to write.
P.S.- Again all rights go to Ms. Collins.