Ven's alarm clock was ringing and instead of making her want to get up it just angered her. She had just managed to fall asleep and now she had to get up. With a groan she rolled onto her side and shoved her face into Haymitch's shoulder.
"Make it shut up! I just fell asleep an hour ago." She whined, she heard him grunt before grabbing the clock and throwing it she jumped when she heard a shatter. Once again he had managed to throw their damn alarm clock out of the window and shatter the window in the process.
"Damn it Haymitch! I just got that window fixed yesterday!" Ven said with a tired and irritated glare. Haymitch slowly sat up himself with a confused and exhausted look on his face.
"Why was the alarm set anyway?" The look she gave him told him everything, Reaping Day. Their least favorite day but unfortunately there was nothing they could do about it. Ven slowly made her way out of their bed and pulled on her prosthetic leg before walking to the closet and pulling out a sea foam green long sleeve dress with a flounce style skirt and corset seam detailing at the bodice and skirt. It was wide at the shoulder with the neckline trimmed in ribbing. She pulled on the dress and Haymitch gently pulled her hair to the side as he zipped up the back and gave her shoulder a gentle kiss. It was their normal morning routine, at least their routine if they even bothered to get out of bed. Often she would just walk around in one of his button up shirts and socks not even bothering to look nice and he never complained.
"I hate Reaping Day." He said as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. Her eyes went to her flat stomach and her eyes began to water, she had yet to get pregnant but on Reaping Day she felt as if each of the children were called it was as if her own child was called. Since Charity and Vincent she refused to get close to her tributes but that didn't mean it didn't hurt each year when they were killed. As a mentor she always hoped for the best but expected the worst.
"Ven? Sweetheart don't cry, you know I hate it when you cry." Haymitch said with a sigh, she hated to cry just as much as he hated to see her cry so with a deep breath she wiped away her tears and put on her mask she wore for the people outside the walls of their home. She would be the brave victor without a care in the world, the strong woman who didn't still cry herself to sleep at night, or the woman who had to sleep with a light on at night. To the outside world she was Lavender Hartley, victor of the 69th Hunger Games, the ever popular singer who was in high demand at the parties in the Capitol. But inside their own little world she was Ven Abernathy, wife to Haymitch Abernathy. They were two more broken victors and two mentors who had long since given up on a victorious tribute. They were two more victors that were forever haunted by their games that were scared to be alone, yet even more scared to announce they were and had been together for the past few years. They were the husband and wife who had desperately been trying to have children but had no luck, yet at the same time were grateful they wouldn't have to fear their children being called to their deaths in the arena.
"Let's get this over with. I just want to get it over with." She said as she went to her dresser to pull out a pair of black tights and sat on the bed to pull them on. Haymitch finished getting dressed and handed her, her knee high black leather boots.
Even after all these years Ven hated the damn promotional video for the games, you'd think after seventy-four years they would have created a new video but it appeared to be the same damn one. Ven looked at the escort and frowned, she never thought she would miss Olympia but she did. Effie Trinket was even more bubbly than Olympia and seemed even more naïve and shallow in Ven's opinion. And she often spoke ill of the Seam kids, having been one herself she was rather protective of them.
"Now, let us begin!" Effie said with a big smile which made Ven's skin practically crawl. People from the Capitol had no idea how traumatizing the reaping really was, to them it was a source of entertainment not a death sentence.
"PRIMROSE EVERDEEN!" Ven was certain if she had been drinking something it would have been spit out, she knew that name. Prim was only twelve, and she was the little sister of Gale's friend Katniss. She quickly looked at Gale who looked as if it had been his own sister reaped instead. As the small girl made her way towards the stage a brunette girl from the sixteen year olds section shoved her way towards her sister.
"PRIM! PRIM!" The Peacekeepers made their way towards the older girl ready to drag her away. "STOP! NO! I VOULENTEER! I VOULENTEER AS TRIBUTE!" She screamed making a few people shuffle nervously. Gale had moved to grab the younger girl who was screaming for her sister when her older sister made her way towards the stage. This was a prime example of how destructive the games were to families, it tore them apart. She felt Haymitch brush his hand against hers in comfort, normally he would never do such a thing but with everyone's attention drawn to the sight before them they were safe to at least hold hands.
"What is your name dearie?" Effie asked with a bright smile, Ven looked at the girl with curiosity perhaps she had just enough fight in her to win. She volunteered for her sister, and she wanted nothing more than to get back to her sister. But it was all a game of chance, the odds of the Career Pack being top game were extremely high like every year before.
"Katniss Everdeen." Something told Ven that name would forever be burned into her mind. More so that the past tributes. She remembered every tribute she ever had to mentor; Charity Benson, Vincent Blake, Poppy Evans, Joshua Eaton, Edith Smith, Henry Teller, Millie Winston, Theodore Jackson, Beatrice Rooney and Marcus Prior. Ten tributes she failed to save, ten children who would never come home alive. Ten tributes who forever haunted her at every moment of her existence. She would be damned if she didn't try her best to get Katniss out of the games alive. But when the male tribute was called her heart nearly broke, Peeta Mellark was the baker's son and she adored the boy from afar. He was such a kind boy who couldn't hurt a fly and now he would have to be in the games.
Ven since day one as a mentor never bothered to ride with the tributes to the station and this year was no different. So instead she made her way to the station with Haymitch. It was one of the only times the two could be together in District 12 without becoming the latest targets for the district gossip.
"Do you think she is the one?" Ven asked quietly, recently there had been hushed talks about a rebellion but it was a possibility that many victors and a few Capitol citizens spoke in hushed tones. Haymitch had been more determined to spark the rebellion since the two had married. With the chance of them actually conceiving a child came the risk of their child or children if they were lucky enough to have multiple children, being reaped was fairly high. He didn't want to ever have to worry that his children could be reaped.
"Maybe, sadly I don't see the boy getting very far." He said with a sigh, he was used to tributes dying even if it never got any easier, he had grown to expect his tributes to die in the arena.
"I'll miss his beautiful icing flowers. I used to just watch him decorate the cupcakes." Every week she would buy two cupcakes, one for Haymitch and one for herself. She loved the bright colors the boy used they were inviting and pleasant in the dark and gloom mining district.
"But in a twisted way its best that his chances of survival are slim. At least they won't make him like Finnick." In a way Ven knew he was right, Peeta had features that people of Capitol desired without a doubt if he by some miracle survived he would be sold like Finnick and several other tributes.
"Doesn't make it any easier. Just promise me you won't forget we have two tributes. Even if she is a fighter we still have to give him a chance he could surprise us." She said with a sigh as she boarded the train. She made her way to her room and kicked off her heels before making her way to the dining car.
When the two tributes boarded she eyed them carefully, Peeta had tear stained cheeks and his eyes were still watery and Katniss had an angry look to her grey eyes but she could still see the fear buried deep in the stormy eyes. She was definitely a fighter, and she knew the girl could use a bow from what Gale often told her when he brought game he hunted.
When Haymitch made his way into the room she noticed his eyes were bloodshot meaning he had been crying again, he played it off by pretending he was drunk when in reality he hadn't touched a drop a liquor since they first started their relationship. But by playing the drunk he managed to keep off of Capitol's radar. Sure he bought white liquor from the Hob but he never drank it. He would give some to Chaff when they were in Capitol but usually he just poured it down the sink and left the empty bottles lying around the house to keep up the illusion. It was brilliant and it was proof that Haymitch was far from an idiot.
He gave her a brief wink which she smiled at from behind her hand. For years their tributes were clueless and even Effie had no idea they were together yet alone married. It was a game to them to see how long it took for friends to find out. Of course the only person who knew was Nova, she had made the mistake to walk in on them not realizing they were at least intimate. That had been a few months before they had gotten married. And when she told her best friend and former stylist that she was married to Haymitch the woman gave her a knowing smirk and whispered congrats. Augustus of course found out by keeping up his charade of being attracted to Ven. When finally Haymitch had growled at him to stop flirting with his wife. Augustus let out a bark of a laugh and told him he wasn't a threat in the slightest unless his wife happened to turn into his current boyfriend or Finnick Odair overnight which became a joke between the four of them after Haymitch got over the shock.
Ven had begun to zone out when she heard a thud and causing her to jump. Looking up she saw a knife between Haymitch's fingers, Katniss had a look that if it were possible for looks to kill Ven was pretty damn sure Haymitch would be dead at least ten times over. This girl was the perfect candidate for the rebellion, she was sure of it.
"Save that hatred for the arena. Trust me the angrier you are the easier it will be to do what you have to do." Ven said a she looked casually at her black polished nails pretending to be bored. When she was really observing her tributes calculating how to use their every skill in the arena and if they managed to survive the games how to use them in the rebellion. She felt somewhat regretful that she had to use her tributes as pawns but it was time that the games come to an end once and for all, she had to think about her future children that is if she ever had any of her own. Besides she was sick of watching children die for crimes that had supposedly been committed decades before any of them were even born.
As she took a sip of the tea Haymitch put in front of her she watched Peeta, he had been relatively silent during the whole exchange which often was not a good sign. Silent tributes often meant they weren't exactly fighters which meant odds of them being a bloodbath were higher. With a loud sigh she stood up and made her way to her cabin, she could already feel a migraine coming on.
Laying in her warm and fluffy bed she quietly counted to ten before she heard her door open and Haymitch slip into the cabin. He threw his vest onto a chair and slowly undid his shirt and belt before crawling into the bed next to her.
"Ven, sweetheart you need to relax a bit. I know it's hard but you know stressing causes you to have migraines." He whispered as he gently massaged her tense shoulders.
"I know, it's just that I'm tired of watching tributes die. Even if one of them lives the other won't. And what if they aren't the ones we are looking for? Then what?" She said with a loud sigh as she dragged her trembling hands down her face.
As Ven stepped off the train she noticed that Peeta had already gained attention and practically had the people at the train station ready to eat out of the palms of his hands. Katniss however had a stonier look on her face which was not helping her. Slowly making her way to the brunette girl she whispered in her ear.
"Smile, you have to at least pretend to like them. I know it's hard to pretend but if it helps you can picture them in your shoes right now, I know the thought of them panicking in the arena always helped me. Or picture Prim, safe at home with Gale watching over her." Katniss seemed a bit surprised at her suggestion and the fact that she mentioned not only Prim by name but Gale as well. It seemed people often forgot how she was friends with the boy after all these years. Or that she was observant she was able to learn more than people thought because she could silently observe and learn about people. No matter where you were if you were quiet and kept your distance people tended to think that meant you were ignorant to your surroundings but in reality it was the opposite.
Just like Ven noticed that this year not only had Nova stepped down as lead stylist but Augustus hadn't stepped up like he normally would have since he was the assistant stylist. This year it was a new unheard of stylist which peaked her interest thankfully Nova and Augustus made their way over to her to fill her in on who the new stylist was. He was a dark skinned man who like Nova didn't go over the top with his appearance, the only Capitol fashion she really saw that stood out was his gold eye liner. It popped more on his complexion than some of the other people she had seen desperately try to make the liner work for them.
"Remember I told you about a friend of mine named Cinna? That's him and like promised I stepped down because he found a way to get the flames to work without burning tributes. Wait until you see what he has in store for your tributes this year!" Ven smiled at her friend and laughed when she saw Augustus watching Peeta make his way to the makeover center.
"You might want to keep that one away from the people here, he is rather attractive and they would devour him. I know I would if I was single and he were ten years older." He said with his bark of a laugh.
"Oh hush and leave him alone! I don't want to hear that you scared more of my damn tributes Augustus!" She said as she playfully shoved her friend and made her way towards her own changing room. This year she was given a simpler outfit than previous years it was mostly greys and blacks but it was comfortable.
When she made her way towards the chariots she took note of each of the other tributes trying to determine who would be the biggest threat to her own tributes. As usual the boy from District 2 looked like a serious threat, the only other one that looked like a threat really was the boy from District 11. It seemed this year was another year of younger tributes, but she of course knew never to underestimate them. People had underestimated her and she had won her games. Out of reflex she found herself grabbing a bowl of the sugar cubes, she rather enjoyed the sweet taste and it calmed her nerves.
"More sugar cubes? If you aren't careful your teeth will rot away. Can't have the hummingbird's teeth rot away!" Came the smooth yet sultry voice of Finnick, she couldn't help but smile at the man as she threw a sugar cube at him and told him to hush as she offered him some, she had recently gotten him hooked on them.
"You better not take those damn sugar cubes away from her Fishboy. You know those are like morphling to her. And they tend to put her in a better mood, which means less of a headache for me." Haymitch said with a laugh as he walked up to join them, his eyes never leaving Katinss or Peeta.
"Ven thinks she found a winner. The girl, she has a certain spark about her. Best keep an eye on her no? Not to mention work on her people skills, she is seriously lacking in those." He continued as he casually wrapped an arm around Ven, as if to steady himself.
"We'll have to see won't we? Wouldn't it be nice if it was a winner?" He asked with a laugh while giving her a discreet wink knowing she was hinting rebellion again.
Five pages, I managed to write five pages in between the craziness of four upper level college courses. I hope you enjoy it and cut me some slack since I most likely won't be able to update for a while since I don't have much free time.