AN: No way! It can't be... an update? :O
So, some of you guys are either completely pissed off at me, or have completely forgotten about me. That's understandable. There are so many reasons I haven't updated, and I don't think you guys want to be bored with the details... well, if you do, just let me know :P
I'm not sure how many of you will still read this, since Catching Fire came out a few days ago (I'm actually reading it right now, it's pretty good). I'm going to continue this story nevertheless, since I'd feel like I was really letting everyone else (including myself) down.
By the way, I was surprised how much of this story reminds me of the actual sequel. At least they are drastically different, in more ways then one.
Well, enjoy the chapter... and please don't freak out at me in the reviews? I already feel REALLY bad for not updating earlier.
From the past chapters (in case you don't feel like rereading the whole thing)
Chapter 1: We discover that Prim and her mom have been taken by the Capitol.
Chapter 2: Madge rescues Peeta, Gale and Katniss from Thirteen, the muttation that is basically Cato who looks like Rue.
Chapter 3 & 4: "I am at the Mayor's house, in District 12. My mother and sister have been kidnapped, and taken to the Capitol, held as hostages. The Capitol wants me. Madge is not a shy, quiet, proper girl as I once thought she was… she is a fierce fighter that knows a lot more about what is happening than I do." Madge, Peeta, Gale and Katniss run to the Mayor's house, where they find out that Peeta had something implanted within his leg by the Capitol to cause him pain at their will. "Whether you like it or not, you are already involved. By standing up to the Capitol, you have given hope to the Rebels, as well as countless citizens of Panem. More and more people are joining our cause, and with every person that joins, the Capitol loses power that they hold over them. The Capitol knows this, so they took whatever possible hold they could have over you, in hope that you wouldn't sacrifice what you love for the good of Panem. They kidnapped your mother and sister, and made Peeta suffer. If the Capitol destroys you, they destroy the first hope that the Rebels and Districts have had in seventy-four years."
Chapter 5: We find out that Katniss is putting finding her family before sorting out her relationship with Peeta.
The next day starts out almost exactly as before, except that there is a thin layer of condensation on my window, instead of a clear view. I wipe off a small part with my sleeve, getting my brown shirt wet, and look outside. The sky is stormy grey, and it is slightly warm outside. There is going to be rain this afternoon.
I get changed, and the second that I reach the bottom of the stairs, a dark haired servant runs up to me, breathing heavily.
"Miss, the patient has woken up. He's been calling for you."
I look at her, surprised. "Peeta's awake already?"
"Yes. Can you please follow me?" she says, before hurrying off to a set of ornate wooden doors leading to a wing of the house that I've never been in.
I slowly follow, both reluctant to see him, and wanting ever so badly to. I had convinced myself yesterday that Peeta was not my priority; Prim and my mother was. Would seeing him tempt me to shift my views?
We walk up a flight of steps, and down another corridor. This one has a marble floor, with a forest green carpet running down the middle of it. The walls are covered in intricately woven tapestries of scenes of the woods. Among the many I walk past, I see a deer running through trees and bushes as well as a small grove in the middle of a forest with colourful wildflowers blooming. I feel oddly at ease in this hallway; it reminds me of the past hunting days in the woods.
Finally, the she halts in front of a white door, and knocks quietly.
"Come in!" says a low, male voice from inside.
She opens the door, and beckons for me to enter, then turns around and closes the door behind her.
I cautiously walk to the center of the room, where Peeta is laying on a large feather bed, his eyes closed. His chest rises and falls with every steady breath. He's covered by a colourful, woolen blanket. The white room we are in is wide, and simply furnished. Kneeling beside the bedside table, a handsome blond haired doctor removes his hand from Peeta's forehead.
"He is recovering quickly. In a few more days, he should be back to normal," the doctor says, while quietly walking out of the room, leaving Peeta and I alone.
Peeta's eyes slowly open, the once bright blue eyes appearing duller in his weakened state.
"Katniss," he whispers hoarsely.
"I'm here." I say… walking to the side of his bed, and sinking to my knees beside him.
He reaches his hand over, and I grasp is gently with my hand.
"How are you feeling?" I ask.
"Horrible." he answers back.
There is an awkward silence.
"I hate this place," Peeta whispers suddenly. Unexpectedly.
"Why?" I ask, confused. "Madge and her father have helped us so much, and their house is huge…"
"No! That's not what I mean," Peeta rambles. "I'm talking about how much I hate the world we live in right now. Before I got selected to compete in the games, I always thought; how can people kill others, knowing that they may have friends, family, a life like their own? Then when I went into the arena, I found out that … they didn't care. They didn't care at all. Even my own thoughts slowly slipped away during that time. I would have been willing to kill, willing to do anything… to protect you."
My face slowly flushes as I take in his words. I find myself drowning in his eyes, which seem to be suddenly lit by a fire, and pulling me in towards him. He grips my hand tighter, and wraps his other hand around my neck, gently, drawing me in the final inches until our lips connect, and I am enveloped in a feeling of bliss.
"I want to stay here forever," I think. Peeta's kiss is passionate, his lips seeming to hunger for mine. This is different from his kisses in the arena, much different. He seems to be searching for something, and I have no doubt what that is. I remembered how my comments from after the Games had stung him, how he found out that Haymitch had coached me about how to act around him. How I wasn't even sure myself afterwards, how much I was pretending, and how much I wasn't. Now, I have no doubts. There is no way, no way that the way that this feels right now could be me acting. I'm not in the ring anymore, and there are no cameras following our every move. I react to his touch with equal fervor. Then… I remember Prim. And my mother. They need to be rescued, and I am sitting here with Peeta?
"I can't," I whisper, pulling away from him. "I'm sorry." I close my eyes and sigh. When I open them, I am surprised, it is not a hurt look in his eyes, but an angry one.
"Why?" he asks. "I felt that! I know you felt it too."
I don't answer. I know I felt it, that spark that existed between us.
"I'm leaving soon. Once I have a plan. You can't come," I say, standing up.
I turn around to leave, but Peeta catches my hand once again in his.
"I'll follow you," he whispers fiercely. "If you leave without me, I will follow you. All the way to the Capitol."
Several days pass by slowly. I don't visit Peeta, although I hear from Madge that his leg had been replaced, and he can limp around a bit now. Everyone in the household seems to be giving me space to think… though it is not helping. I am no further along with my plans than I was on the first day. I am frustrated; I understand the urgency in making a move, any move. The ball is in my court, in this deadly game between me and the Capitol; and it is my turn to do something.
Finally, on the evening of the fifth day, Madge and Gale corner me while I am on my favourite chair in the house, a sturdy wooden chair with a soft, red velvet cushion, where I do most of my thinking. Coincidentally, it is right across the hall from Peeta's room. Madge is carrying a huge cardboard box in her arms, and Gale is holding onto… a portable table? The words that come out of Madge's mouth are what I have been thinking for the past few days.
"You have to do something."
"Gale and I came up with a plan."
"Wait… you aren't coming! I'm going by myself. I can't put you guys in danger like that!" I say.
Madge looks at me incredulously. "You weren't seriously planning on breaking into the Capitol and waltzing out with your mother and Prim by yourself, were you?"
"Well… something along those lines, yes," I say. Now I realize that they are right. What the hell am I thinking, that I can do this all by myself?
"Anyways, we have a plan that we think can work," Gale says. He unfolds the gray plastic table, and Madge turns the box over, spilling maps, pens, and sheets of paper hastily written on onto it.
"The first thing is, what we were thinking before won't work." Gale says. "We can't rescue your mother and Prim before inciting the Rebellion. We have to do it the other way around."
"NO!" I burst out. Prim and my mother could be killed, and we are starting the Rebellion first? The Rebellion has waited for so many years already, it could wait until I rescue my family.
"Wait, Katniss. I know what you're thinking," Gale says hastily. "Just listen to our plan first."
With difficulty, I hold my tongue. I can afford to listen to what they will say. It isn't like I have any idea what I'm going to do.
"So… the key is… Caesar Flickerman," Madge says.
"Yeah? What about him?" I ask, confused.
"He's a member of the Rebellion," Gale answers.
"But isn't he from the Capitol?"
"He is," Madge confirms. "He's on our side, though. Working undercover for years."
"What you have to do," Gale says, "is get to him. Tell him what's happening. He's in charge of all the television stuff. If you somehow get him to let you speak to Panem, and you tell everyone everything, everything about Peeta and his leg, and how the Capitol sent people after you, how the Capitol took Prim and your mom… that should start off the Rebellion."
"But… what if the Capitol kills Prim and my mother anyways? Out of revenge?" I ask. "There would be nothing stopping them, if the Rebellion has already started."
"Katniss," Gale says seriously. "I'm sorry, but there is no way that you can rescue them before we take over the Capitol. They're sure to be locked up and guarded really well. Too well. A few of us can't defeat the Capitol's best security guards."
"We'll just have to hope that the Capitol won't kill them," Madge adds. "unfortunately, there is nothing else we can do."
"There must be!" I protest feebly. Inside, I know that they're right. It's hard enough just to get into the Capitol. Rescuing Prim and my mother… that's another thing. Their plan would be nearly impossible… but compared to my nonexistent one, it is better than nothing.
"This isn't only about your family, Katniss," Madge says softly. "It's about everyone. Time is running out."
Suddenly, I hear the doorbell ring from downstairs. I peer over the railing. Then I stumble backwards in fear. Gale catches me and asks me frantically, "What did you see?"
"The Capitol's soldiers," I whisper. "They've found us."
Gale and Madge react quickly.
"Did you see any weapons on them? How many are there?" Madge asks.
"There are three," I say. "I didn't see any weapons."
Then we hear someone talking from downstairs.
"Excuse me, sir, the Capitol has reason to believe that there are four fugitives that broke into your house, and are hiding."
"What? That's preposterous." says a male voice, laughing. The Mayor. Then, he raises his voice a bit, shouting, "Go ahead. Search the house! I'm sure you won't find any four criminals hiding in secret tunnels or hiding spots!"
Tunnels! We could escape the same way we came in.
"Come on!" Gale whispers. "We have to leave now!"
Gale starts gathering the plans back into the box, and we start running down the hallway.
Then… I remember Peeta.
"Wait!" I whisper frantically. "They're going to be looking for Peeta as well! We can't leave him behind!"
"He's injured!" Madge whispers back. "He'll slow us down!"
"Please Gale!" I plead, grabbing onto his arm, and pulling him towards Peeta's door. He exchanges glances, and sighs, opening the door, and going in. He grabs Peeta, whose eyes are wide open in shock, and slings him over his shoulders as we run down the hallway. We follow Gale down an unfamiliar staircase, leading to a locked door.
"Take the key out of my left pocket!" he says hastily, and I do so, drawing out a large silver key, and unlocking the door.
A small flight of stairs are revealed. The stairs that lead down to the dimly lit room with crates that leads to the tunnel. We run to the rope ladder at the other end of the room, and I unlock the door at the top, after scrambling up. Peeta struggles up the ladder after me. Madge kicks a few boxes over, and lifts up four canvas backpacks with the tops of sleeping bags sticking up from the top. She tosses them one by one up to me. Gale helps Madge up the ladder, and follows right behind her.
We crawl back up the dark tunnel. We tie our backpacks onto our ankles, and drag them along behind us, since the ceiling of the tunnel is too low to carry them on our backs. We arrive at the pile of leaves at the end of the tunnel, and I look up to see the trapdoor. It feels good to stand up, even though this section of the tunnel is small. We untie our backpacks, and throw them onto our backs. Madge leads us up another rope ladder and we all crouch behind the bush in the darkness.
"Which way?" I ask.
"We have to go to the Seam," Gale says, "and out the fence into the woods. There's a train track there that leads to the Capitol."
"But… that'll take forever! I don't think we have enough supplies to last us that long," I protest.
"Here," Madge says, thrusting something at me. It's my mockingjay pin. I had left it, when we had first arrived at the Mayor's house in my dresser, and I haven't looked at it since.
"How's this supposed to help us?" I ask.
Madge takes the golden pin back, and then pries open a tiny compartment on the back, revealing a tiny button over a small piece of metal netting, smaller than my fingernail.
"It's a communication device," she whispers. "My dad got this planted into your pin after you arrived. We have Rebels in each district, and they will come through their fence to give you supplies if you ask. Tell them who you are, and they will help."
Suddenly, we hear rustling a few hundred feet ahead, across the road. We crouch down lower, and I hold my breath.
"Madge and I will go check that out," Gale mutters quietly. "You and Peeta stay here."
They take their backpacks off, and inch quietly out from the bush, and disappear down the road in the darkness. Suddenly, lights come on from where I was just looking. I gasp when I see Gale and Madge struggling, being held by Capitol soldiers.
"Where are they?" a rough voice demands. "Where are the victors?"
I am frozen in shock. Peeta looks at me, his eyes wide with horror.
"What should we do?" he whispers.
"We can't do anything," I say. "They'll see us if we move around too much."
I look around, and directly behind me, I see a tree with broad, low, leafy branches. Perfect.
"Follow me!" I say to Peeta. "We have to get up there."
I leave Madge and Gale's packs behind the bush, and cover them with leaves. I crawl around the trunk of the tree, carefully avoiding thick patches of crisp leaves, and glancing behind me to make sure that Peeta does the same. Quietly, I climb up, helping Peeta as best I can. I can't drag him to the top of the tree, so I stop just before halfway. From this hiding spot, I watch helplessly as Madge and Gale, now covered in blood, are dragged into a van, and driven away.
AN: Good? Could be a lot better? Tell me why in a review? (remember... no flames) :) If you spotted any grammar/spelling stuffs that could be fixed, let me know. How was the stuff between Peeta and Katniss? Did I overdo it? That's the first time I've attempted a romance-y type thing, so feedback or tips on that kind of stuff would help a lot. I'm not sure when the next time I can update is; school in Canada starts on Tuesday... and I'm pretty nervous for it (gee, guess what grade I'm going into? :P)
Plus... huge favour?
SukhiPukhi and I (for an English project back in June) made a Hunger Games movie trailer with our all female group, which I put on Youtube, and I'd like to get some feedback on that from someone besides my teacher and our classmates. If you have time, maybe some of you can watch it, rate it, and comment? Thanks :)
Copy and paste that into your browser, but get rid of the five *s :)
Thanks for all your support!(L)