I KNOW THAT IT'S SHORT. THAT'LL CHANGE.

...Alrighty, so... yeah. A Cinna fic. I decided that there was a shortage of them, especially considering what happened in Mockingjay. Seriously, I cried when I read that book.

Anyways. So this is about a bit of Cinna's background... it's why he has to channel his emotions through his work so that he only hurts himself, and it's why he decides that fire will be the element around which, frankly, the whole series revolves.

ALSO, he's not going to be his usually cheery self all the time... some parts of it, yes, but one of the categories is tragedy. I'm trying to illustrate here everything about him, especially that little bit of the dark fire of (as Katniss puts it) a 'complete madman' that he always hides.

OK, time to end this ridiculously long A/N and progress with my ridiculously short chapter. But first, I'm sad to say that I don't own HG or Cinna. If only, right? ;)

Exhausted, I lean back in my chair and run a hand through my short-cropped hair. It is getting towards dawn, and I know that in less than an hour's time, I will be collecting Katniss Everdeen to bring her to her second Hunger Games.

I close my eyes and press my fingertips against the lids. I can't bear that thought. The plan is to give Katniss a couple of strong allies and then take her out of the arena, but so much could go wrong in that time… the spark for the rebellion, and Katniss' own bright life and spirit… it could all be lost in one fell swoop.

I let out my breath in a sharp, angry huff. There is nothing I can do but try to be strong for her.

Nervous and restless, I rise quickly from my chair. Too quickly, as it turned out. Blinking through the sudden head rush, I stagger over to my bed and slipped my hand into my pillowcase. My fingers close around the large, leather-bound contained inside it.

I slide the sketchbook out gently and let it fall open on my knee. I begin flipping aimlessly through it, passing my hands tenderly over each and every page. I had finished the sketches in it a few weeks previously, but I had taken to looking through it whenever everything got to be too much for me.

Looking at my oh-so carefully crafted mockingjay uniform, picturing Katniss in it… it gave me a small flare of hope in my heart every time. I had poured everything I had into the sketchbook and into the uniform which it depicted, and- against my common sense- I'm hoping with every fiber of my being that I would live to see Katniss wear my creation.

Eventually, I reach the last page, which is blank. I look at the empty, creamy sheet, and I blink. I reach into my pocket and draw out a pencil. I place the tip on the page and hold still for a moment, listening to the sound of my own breathing. Then I begin to move the pencil slowly and unthinkingly across the paper. Little by little, I watch the shape of Katniss' mockingjay pin appear before me.

Finally, I lay down the pencil and look at my drawing until I can no longer see it through a rare sheen of helpless tears. There is just so much pain… it has collected in my heart, along with loss, fear, hopes, and dreams, until I now feel like I will spill over if I move to suddenly. My heart is burning now. It burns like fire….

...So I know it was short, but that's OK, right? It was just the intro; I'm pretty darn sure that they'll be longer in the future! And please, let me know anytime I slip up on this ridiculous present tense. :D