a/n:: yet another collection, i'm afraid, though this time for another fandom. it'll feature some rare pairings, since i don't necessarily ship mainstream pairings. suzanne collins owns the hunger games, the smiths own the title. please don't favorite without reviewing.
glimmer/boyfromdistrict10 - 1,507 words.
Glimmer hates them, truly she does.
Oh, those stupid romantic fools. Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen- what do they know of love? Love is not his dreamy stare, or her surprised blush. Love is not him remembering everything Katniss has ever done, (oh, please, that's nearly stalking; how on earth could that be romance?) nor is it the silly little girl's twirling in front of her designer's gentle smile. Love is not Peeta joining her and Marvel and Cato and Clove, only to protect his pathetic little girl from District 12- did he really think she wouldn't notice? She's been noticing everything since she was old enough to blink her eyes open. She notices his one-sided stares, and no, she thinks, this isn't love.
And she hates them for that, really, for filling the empty-headed people in the capitol with this idea, this awful, ridiculous notion that any similarly-aged people from the same district are madly in love.
She snorts, pushing aside a branch. Of all the people to believe that notion, she'd hardly expect Cato to fall for it as well. Clove, maybe, because she's just a little girl compared to the rest of the Careers. But not Cato- he's focused on the prize. He knows that there's nothing more important in these games than winning. Or at least, he used to. But now, he seems to hold on slightly longer when he's teaching Clove to swing an axe, and lord knows she's heard their whispered conversations to each other. They may think she can't hear him telling her that she'll be fine, that she'll make it out of the games, that her pet dog will still be alive when she goes home, but she's been noticing everything since she was old enough to blink her eyes open. She notices the way they let their barriers down around each other, and no, she thinks, this isn't love.
If it is love, neither of them will make it out of the game, because letting your guard down means you're going to leave an opening (and she sees her own district partner, Marvel, just waiting for the chance to kill Cato and move in on Clove himself).
No one survives the Games when they're in love, and she hates those who fail.
"Hello there, District Ten," she orders, drawing her bow and pointing an arrow in his direction. She smirks as he scrambles to face her direction; what a weakling. "Honestly, Ten, I don't see why the Capitol didn't kill you," she drawls, flipping her hair and leaning down in a way that puts her pulled-down-just-a-tad-too-low zipper right in his face. "Clearly you couldn't escape one of us if you tried."
"Actually," he says, looking at her face and seeming surprisingly calm despite the fact that she could rip him apart, "I have a system that I set up involving my pet fox."
"Pet fox?" she asks, inhaling sharply, forgetting to be arrogant and patronizing for a moment. She doesn't like the redheaded tribute from District 5, and if this boy has formed an alliance with her, she doesn't like it. She'll kill them both, of course, but she has a feeling that the mysterious girl's ghost will haunt her more than the others'.
But thankfully, as she whirls around at a broken branch, it's only a small animal with a bushy tail. It opens its mouth and bares its teeth, but she kills it quickly with an arrow. She doesn't bother shooting it, instead just shoving it through the beast's eye with neat hand-eye coordination. She turns around again, her arms folded triumphantly. "Brilliant system-" she starts to say smugly, but is greeted by a knife in her face. "Well, hello," she purrs, "you are capable of defending yourself."
"I try," he says, shrugging with the shoulder that isn't holding a lethal weapon, and for a second she's caught off guard. He is disarming, she decides, with his dark eyes; they don't come like that in District 1. But he is also terrified, she notes, for his hands are shaking, and the dagger does not seem to focus on any one place on her face.
"Not hard enough," she replies, knocking the dagger flying into a bush with one sharp motion. His eyes widen and she lets out a short, barking laugh. Did he honestly think he could beat her? "Really, you've got to try harder than that if you want to beat me, Ten."
He does not respond, instead pulling a knife out of thin air and plunging it into her foot. She lets out a small cry of pain- normally she'd be able to handle such a thing, but this, this is so unexpected, she can't help it. "See," he says, staring up at her with dark eyes, "now you're like me. Good luck killing people 'when you couldn't escape one of us if you tried.'"
Shrieking in anger, she selects an arrow from her quiver and plunges it into the middle of his back. He howls in pain and she smiles in satisfaction, the pain in her foot starting to fade into a comfortable numbness. "See here, Ten," she hisses, "I might have just killed you nicely, if you hadn't just done that, but I don't like people who think they have the right to hurt me." She breathes heavily, shoving him back and slamming his head into the ground. He moans, and she notes with satisfaction that his moan is slightly weaker than the normal sound from a male his size.
"I-" he starts, and it's a guttural sound that nearly sends guilt through her. "My name is Venya."
She snorts. "I don't particularly care."
He shakes his head. "I-I know." He coughs, and a bit of blood dribbles out. "It would be stupid if-" he coughs again, "-if you did." He frowns. "I just wanted to say it because-" his breath wheezes, "-then you'll know."
And just like that, he dies.
She zips her jacket back up to normal levels (she doesn't think she'll meet another male tribute on her way back to the others), slightly shaken. So she'll know his name? What on earth?- she kicks his dead body angrily. She hates him for being so weak, but for holding on so long. Honestly, a boy with a foot as maimed as that shouldn't have stayed around until the eighth day, and he most certainly shouldn't have stayed alive long enough to drop such an unsettling thought into her mind.
She can't get to sleep that night.
Aside from the bandage wrapped around her throbbing foot, there are many other discomforts in the camp. The ground is covered with rocks, the heat is a bit muggy, and there's a slight buzzing noise that probably comes from some odd Capitol item (she's seen Cato receive parachutes). Marvel is spending his watch sharpening his spear, and the noise is loud enough to wake up nearly anyone, so she's not sure how Clove and Cato are managing to sleep so heavily, curled up next to each other like a couple of rabbits.
Plus, there's the little problem of the last words of the boy from District 10's words randomly showing up in her mind- she doesn't care, dammit, so why can she hear his voice? She scratches her head; the buzz is getting louder- what has Cato got in his backpack, anyway? It's actually a bit soothing, to be honest, and it's enough of a distraction to banish his- Venya's- words from her mind and let her drift off to sleep.
Suddenly, there's pain, and she opens her eyes in shock, hating herself for falling asleep and letting herself be vulnerable and shit, where are Marvel and Cato and Clove, she knew she couldn't trust them. The pain stings, and she realizes that she hasn't identified the source of it yet. She looks around and yelps, because even if she's never seen them in person before, she knows what they are- tracker jackers. Her mother's told her that they were once used in torture techniques in the capitol, due to their painful stings and the fact that their venom can cause insanity.
She panics, batting them away, trying helplessly to whack them off with her bow- it's not working, dammit. She sees a break in he swarm and she jabs through it with an arrow, but suddenly it's not a break in the swarm anymore, it's the boy from Ten's muscled back, and there's blood dripping down, so much blood. She falters, and the insects take this opportunity to latch onto her arm. She screams.
Glimmer hates them, truly she does.
Oh, those stupid romantic fools. Glimmer and Venya- who are they to cause each other's deaths- two people meeting in the wood, only to stab with arrows and words, to the point where they cannot live any longer. She's been noticing everything since she was old enough to blink her eyes open. She notices the way the girl stares back at the boy's cold, dead, corpse as she walks away, and no, she thinks, this isn't love.
This is death.