After my Private Session, I was confused to where I was to go, so I headed back to my room, before seeing Haymitch standing outside my door, half-empty bottle of beer in one hand, the other propped uselessly against the handle. "Uh, Haymitch?" I ask, approaching warily.
"Peeta!" He exclaims. "I need to talk to you..."
"Okay..." I say, assisting him into my room, where he flops on the straight backed steel chair near the door. "What's up?" I ask, handing him a cup of water from a pitcher beside my bed.
"I know you love Katniss, Peeta." He says simply.
Fortuantly, my back is to him, so he doesn't see the look of utter stupidity that crosses me. Is it that obvious? I tried not to make it be so!
Composing myself, I turn to him with a small smile of lightheartedness. "Had to much to drink again?" I ask, biting my lip in an attempt to stop them shaking.
"Peeta...Let's cut all the fancy nonsense, okay? Be straight with me. Do you, or do you not, love Katniss Everdeen?" He grabs my arms, forcing me to turn and face him, and lets go.
The relief after this sentence is instantaneous, finally, someone apart from me and my father knows about it. I didn't know how he was going to react, but it was a pleasure not to keep it bottled inside me anymore.
He nods curtly, and says, "I'm glad you were honest. Now, I have a plan, that, with your consent, could quite possibly help Katniss live to see her family again. Are you in?"
"Yes." I say without hesitation. Whatever I could do that would help her.
With a smirk, he nods carefully. "Okay. First step, is to have private sessions, instead of both having it at the same time, so we can devise a game plan."
"..Won't she get suspicious?" I ask, but he shakes his head.
"I can tell, she doesn't approve of the whole friendship idealism that you two have, so, despite a couple of misgivings, it should be okay."
"Peeta, dinner!" I hear Effie sing, and call back, "Okay!"
Haymitch and I head down together, nod at Cinna and Portia, who are already seated, and load our plates with the finest the Capitol has to offer. Effie comes down, accompanied by a stressed, tearful Katniss, which makes me sit up immediately, earning an amused glance from Haymitch, which I return with a roll of my eyes.
Soon, the talk turns to the interviews, which I ignore, and watch Katniss until she feels my gaze and looks up at me. Aware that by talking to her would raise suspicion, I merely raise an eyebrow; an unspoken question. She shakes her head rapidly, and soon, Haymitch turns to both of us. "Enough small talk. Just how bad were you today?" He asks, rather pessimistically.
Seeing that Katniss was unwilling to talk, I jump in. "I don't think it matters. By the time I showed up, no one even bothered to look at me. They were singing some kind of drinking song, I think. So I threw around some heavy objects until they said I could go."
I see the semi-relief that enters Katniss' eyes, until Haymitch turns to her. "And you, sweetheart?"
Immediately, at the use of sweetheart, her face hardens. "I shot an arrow at the Gamemakers."
She did what? Was she crazy? That was openly declaring suicide! Yet, I couldn't help admiring her bravery.
The reactions from the table range from absolute horror from Effie, drunken anger from Haymitch, and shock from the stylists. "You what?" Effie exclaims, first to recover.
"I shot an arrow at them. Not directly at them." She explains how the Gamemakers were ignoring her, and Haymitch sighs.
"And what did they say?" Cinna asks, half closing his eyes.
"Nothing. Well I don't know. I walked out." She says, but I can see she is shaking.
"Without being dismissed?" Effie yelps, horror laden in her voice.
"I dismissed myself." She mutters sheepishly.
"Well that's that then." Haymitch says simply, buttering a roll.
After a lengthy discussion about Katniss' worry for her family, Haymitch and I reassure her, and I can see she visibly looks better.
We go to the sitting room to watch the scores, and I can feel Katniss' nervous energy from beside me, as it progresses.
Katniss and I look at each other nervously as District 12 is announced. My face appears, with a flashing 8 underneath. 8! 8! I got an 8? At least some of them must have been watching! A congratulatory cheer, and a few slaps on the back later, Katniss' face appears, with an 11 underneath.
Wow! I think. She must have really impressed them!
I miss an exchange between Haymitch and Katniss because of Portia congratulating me, telling me that she knew I would do good, when Katniss and I catch each others eyes. I shrug, and we hug, rather awkwardly.
"Guess they liked your fire." I whisper, and she smiles.
"Guess they liked you." She grins, and I laugh.
We head to our bedrooms, and I peel back the covers, not even bothering to changing and too tired to care.
I completely made up the names for the tributes who are un-named, I thought it would be interesting to see their scores! :D
Thanks to my reviewers! :D