Chapter Two

Not for the first time today, I felt underdressed. I thought I did fine when I slipped on the loose green top, jeans shorts, and black flats I'd picked out for this. But as I stood next to a tall blonde wearing a very sparkly red dress and silver heels, I felt like a dump. I suddenly remembered a boy from school, Cinna, who had an impeccable taste in fashion and an almost unhealthy obsession with fire. Last I heard, he was in New York, starting his own fashion line (Cinder, who would've thought?).

"Houseguests." My mind came back to the present as I heard Caesar Flickerman addressing us. "Take a moment to look at the people around you." We all complied, some of us with smiles on our faces, some with mild curiosity. The guy behind me was scowling and had a tough look about him. "For the next three months, these people will be your housemates. Over these coming months, the person next to you could become your next best friend while the person behind you may very well put a knife in your back." I made eye contact with Blondie behind me. The look he shot my way made my skin crawl and I quickly looked away. "You will be competing with each other for the opportunity to win half a million dollars. Once you enter the door behind you, you will not leave the house until you have either been evicted or you are the winner. I will now call the first three people who will enter the house."

My heart started rapidly beating and I could feel butterflies in my stomach as I waited. It seemed to take forever before he said anything else.

"Rue, Michael, Glimmer. You may now go into the Big Brother house," Caesar's voice rang out. Slightly disappointed, I kept myself from looking around as the overly-dressed girl (I'm going to take a wild guess and say she's Glimmer) next to me bent down, grabbed her bright pink suitcase, and walked through the door behind us. Before the door could even close, I could hear the echoes of a high-pitched, excited scream. I tried to roll my eyes discreetly, but I still heard a chuckle from someone a couple people down.

Caesar gave them about thirty seconds before he called the next group.

"Cato, Clove, Thresh. You may now go into the Big Brother house.

I heard rustling behind me and assumed Blondie just got called. I mentally pinged him as Cato. Fitting.

Another thirty seconds. "Jena, Marvel, Joline. You may now enter the Big Brother house."

This was it, down to the last two. I'm finally going in. I could barely contain my excitement.

"And finally, Melina and Katniss. You may now join your housemates in the Big Brother house."

I grabbed my bag, trying not to let how excited I was to show through.

Melina, a girl with red hair and a face like a fox, got to the door before me and was holding it open. Once I was through, the door clanged shut and I was facing a short hallway with another door at the end.

Despite my attempts to quash it, the excitement bubbled over and I was suddenly racing Melina to the door, hoping to be the first through.

I was faster than her and reached the door first, a second before she got there. I opened it wide and looked around me in wonder as I took a step inside.

The Big Brother house has a different theme each year. This year looked to be the forest. Green and brown were the dominant colors, with splashes of blue and orange making an appearance, which I knew, somehow, was symbolizing the sunset. It made me think of my best friend from all those years ago. The orange of the sunset was his favorite color.

To my right was the living room. The walls were adorned with the images of trees. The plush chairs and couches arranged in a semicircle were a deep forest green while the two at the curve of the circle were a chocolate brown.

The dining room and kitchen were to my left. Instead of the green of the forest, this area was decorated with the colors of the sunset. The soft orange made my heart ache; I knew he would love this if he were here.

The other houseguests were racing around, looking at all the different rooms, claiming beds, and introducing themselves to each other. Before I realized it, my feet were speedily taking me past the living room and through the short hallway into the rooms past it. The beds in the first room were already claimed, a solid black duffel placed on each bed the only evidence of the claim.

There was another door in front of me and I pushed through the other houseguests to go through it. Only two beds in here were unclaimed. The one right next to the door was covered in a thick light-blue comforter while the other one was on the far end of the room against the wall, covered in a forest green comforter. As I walked over to the green bed, I snuck a glance at the blue bed, mentally calculating. Caesar only called three groups of three and one group of two. That means there are only eleven people currently in the house. The numbers each year are always changing. Usually there are fourteen houseguests, but if there's only eleven right now and one empty bed, there's going to be twelve this year. This just means that there is one more person we don't know about yet.

Great. It's hardly the first day and already there's going to be a twist.

"Hi," a voice said timidly behind me. I turned around to see a girl with very curly brown hair and dark skin standing there. She was older than Prim, but she reminded me of her somehow. "I'm Rue," she said, holding out her hand.

"Katniss," I replied, shaking her hand and giving her a small smile.

We started walking out of the room. Based on the level of noise, I'd estimate that the other houseguests are in the kitchen, probably getting their glass of champagne.

"Have you noticed that there are only eleven people in the house?" Rue asked me quietly.

I smirked and looked around, finding a camera pointing right at us. I leaned in to whisper to her, "I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed." She nodded.

A few minutes later, Rue and I had our glasses of champagne and all of us were seated on the couches and chairs in the living room. This was tradition in the Big Brother house. Every year, on the first night, everybody sits in the living room and introduce themselves properly to the other houseguests.

Somehow, I ended up in one of the brown chairs at the curve of the circle. I really hoped this was going to be the only time I was in these chairs this summer.

The introductions were quick and I forgot the names almost as soon as they were said. My thinking was correct with the two blondies; their names were Cato and Glimmer. However, I'm not entirely sure that's something to be proud of, having figured that out…

Right as we were finishing introducing ourselves, the T.V. screen high on the wall we were facing came on and Caesar's face was looking back at us.

"Hello Houseguests," Caesar greeted cheerily, the corners of his blue eyes crinkling as he smiled widely.

"Hi Caesar," we all chorused, a few of the girls giggling. A bit too much champagne, I guess. I met Rue's gaze and we both rolled our eyes at each other, grinning. I turned my attention back to Caesar as he began talking again.

"Now that you have settled in and introduced yourselves, it's time for the games to begin." I felt my heart begin to race, as tonight was the first Head of Household competition. Now, I didn't necessarily want to become HoH, not yet anyway, but I was excited to see what the competition was.

"However," Caesar abruptly said and I immediately felt my heart sink. Oh no… "It is not Big Brother without a twist, and this summer is no exception."

Groans filled the air at this announcement, intermingled with indignant shouts of, "What?" Despite my suspicions earlier, I couldn't help but feel the same way; twists in this game were almost never a good thing for the houseguests.

Caesar continued speaking despite the commotion he stirred in the house.

"Some of you may have noticed that there are only eleven houseguests in the room." There were some murmurs of agreement while I saw a couple people (ahem. Glimmer) turning around and counting everyone present with a perplexed expression. I caught Rue's gaze in my direction and I raised my eyebrows at her. She smiled and nodded once before turning back to Caesar. I was kind of surprised at how well I could silently communicate with Rue after having just met her. It's just like how Prim and I communicate sometimes.

"There happens to be one more person you have not yet gotten to meet. However, one of you already knows them, but you have not seen them in a few years." A face immediately came to mind with those words and I begrudgingly felt a very small, very tiny sliver of hope sprout in my chest. But I quickly dashed it; there was no way he could be on this show. "There is only one rule you are to follow when you see them: you are not allowed to reveal your relationship with each other to the other houseguests. When you hear this sound," he paused and a sound very much like a cannon blast sounded through the house. "Then you can reveal yourselves to the other houseguests. If you succeed, both of you will gain $1,000 when you leave the house." And with that, the screen turned black and Caesar's face had disappeared.

We barely had time to react to Caesar's news when a tall figure stepped around the corner and into sight. One look at his beautiful blue eyes and I suddenly felt my heart constrict and lodge itself in my throat; I felt the prick of tears in my eyes and the sudden racing of my heart. It took all I had not to launch myself from this chair and into his arms. I wasn't allowed to after all, not if I wanted that money. Even if I didn't make it to the end, that thousand dollars, as much as I hated the circumstances that I was required to conform to to gain it, would go into a fund for Prim's schooling.

Because the last person I expected to ever see again, much less in the Big Brother house with me, and my once best friend, who I haven't seen or talked to in six years, just walked into view and back into my life.

Peeta Mellark is now a Big Brother contestant. And I can't even talk to him.


A/N Ok, I felt I should probably explain a couple of things.

For those of you who do not watch Big Brother (gasp blasphemy!), the Head of Household competition, or HoH, is a competition held about every week and a half. Whoever wins the competition becomes HoH and they move into the Penthouse upstairs. Their job as HoH is primarily to put two people on the chopping block and at the end of the week, the houseguests have a vote on who they want to evict out of the house. Whoever has the most votes is immediately evicted from the house. There is also the Power of Veto. Before evictions, the HoH, the two nominations on the block, and three other houseguests compete to win the Power of Veto. The PoV can either take someone off the block, forcing the HoH to put someone else up in their place, or leave the nominations how it is. If one of the nominations gets PoV, they can take themselves off the block. And last but not least: the Have-Nots. The Have-Nots are a small group of people each week who have to eat a disgusting-looking food called slop and usually something that America has voted on. That is all they are allowed to eat for the week. They also have to sleep on really uncomfortable beds for the week. After their week is done and the new group of Have-Nots have been chosen, they can go back to eating regular food and sleep in their own comfortable beds.

So, this is a Hunger Games meets Big Brother house story and I expect you have noticed that there are a few names you don't recognize. This is true, but those characters are in the Hunger Games. Joline I have as the girl from District 8 that Peeta had to go back and "finish off." Jena is the girl from District 4, and Michael is the boy from District 3 (I expect you guys have figured out who Melina is, right? ;)). I needed 12 houseguests and wanted to have the tributes from the 74th Games in this and there weren't enough without these guys.

I'm going to try to update every Tuesday and Thursday, but if there isn't an update one of those two days, try to expect it within the next 36 hours; my summer has been really crazy since school got out and band camp is starting in a few weeks so updates could be a bit sporadic.

Anyway, happy reading! And may the odds be ever in your favor. ;)