This will be my last Hunger Games story. The inspiration for this fandom is gone, but I couldn't quit until I wrote this one last story. I hope you enjoy this. Thanks to Demigodwiththebread - my amazing beta who has stuck with me through all my horrible fics and made them better. (:
Disclaimer: Never have I ever been Suzanne Collins or will I ever be Suzanne Collins. Everything goes to her and the amazing Hunger Games and Catching Fire . . . and then that other book, Mockingjay.
You travel through the woods, with nothing but a squirrel to your name. You try to keep your head held high, though. Without your confidence to catch something, you'll find yourself not having anything. And you not having anything means that your little sister Prim won't have anything either. And that can't happen.
You're lost in your thoughts when you run into something hanging in the trees. You stumble backwards in shock, and it takes only a second to have your bow loaded and ready. You aim for the unknown, preparing for the kill, when you realize that your 'kill' is already dead.
You lower the bow and reach for the rabbit, only to have a voice call out to you. For a moment, you're surprised, then you're just a little embarrassed. A boy steps out and walks up to you. You try not to give too much away about yourself, but he manages to get your name. You defend yourself when he tells you that you're a thief, and he finds out that you can use a bow and arrow.
Already you have given too much information about yourself away to this boy, but after a while, you realize that's okay.
Because you learn some things about him too.
It's a great day for you, a day of celebration. You're excited and at the same time stumped. It's your sister's birthday, but you don't know what to give her. You're hunting when your friend Gale gets your attention and nods his head in the direction of one of the most beautiful creatures you have ever seen.
A moment later, two arrows are sticking out of the deer.
You both walk up to the animal and pull the arrows out. You smile up at your friend, and he smiles down at you, because of the great catch you both just made. You each take a side of the deer and hoist it into the air. You bring it into town and sell it to make money. Now maybe you can find a nice gift for Prim on her special day.
You come across a man who sells goats. 'The Goat Man' is what people like to call him. With him is the most innocent creature you have ever seen, and if it weren't for the big gash on its shoulder, it would be the most beautiful. It's precious, and you want it.
You haggle prices, and finally the goat is all yours. You even tie a ribbon around its neck.
When you get home, the smile on your sister's face is even more beautiful than the goat. She instantly falls in love with it, and it with her. It doesn't even matter that it has a huge hole in its shoulder. Your sister loves it.
And you love your sister.
Today might just be the worst day of your life.
You go out hunting early in the morning for food. You meet up with your best friend, crack a few jokes about the Games, and then it's off to hunting. You hunt until it's time to get ready for the Reaping. You're afraid, not for yourself, but for Gale and your sister. It's Prim's first time being eligible for the Games, and even though it's a slim chance, it's still a chance.
You wear one of your mother's old dresses. It's really quite beautiful. You've never seen anything so pretty, especially on you. You go down to the square and wait for them to choose the next victims.
Your fears for your sister weren't pointless. She gets called, and you feel like the world has stopped spinning. You rush forward, ignoring the surprised faces of the crowd, and you volunteer because nothing is going to make your sister compete.
But there's nothing you can do about yourself going into the games. The next Tribute is called and you feel like throwing up. Not him, anybody but him, but it is. It's the boy who saved you long ago.
The 'Boy With the Bread' and once more, you feel like you're losing your grip on reality.
You're glowing: brighter than the lights in the Capitol, brighter than you've ever shone before, brighter than even the sun.
You feel amazing, and powerful, and beautiful. You're engulfed in flames. Powerful flames that rise into the night sky. All eyes are on you and your fellow District partner. You could never have felt more like a star.
But you know it's all for the worst.
You're nervous. You don't think you've ever been this nervous in your life, but you are. You can't help but struggle with your image, because you don't really have one.
You try your best in your interview though. You have to; otherwise you will be one of the forgotten Tributes. You talk about your sister, and you feel like you're giving too much information away. You make it through, though; at least you hope you do.
Peeta goes up and impresses the crowd. He always was good with words. All eyes are on him as he talks about that 'special girl' of his.
Then all eyes are on you, and it takes you a moment to realize that you are that special girl.
You've never been so surprised in your life.
You sit there, holding the little girl's head in your lap. Tears leak down your face as the light fades from her eyes, and the notes fall from your lips. After a moment of the Mockingjay's song, a cannon breaks into the air. The little girl's cannon.
You lay her head down and cover her in flowers. She's never looked so peaceful. You say your silent goodbye and vow to win the games. Not for you, but for the little girl.
You open up to him, to Peeta. You tell him, finally, that he has no competition when it comes to your affection. You're not sure if you're lying, but you know it will make Haymitch happy, and the rest of Panem will be sighing at the romance that is blossoming between the two 'Star Crossed Lovers.'
You lean in and kiss him, and this time, you actually feel something.
The crowd cheers, but you've never felt so empty. You're worried about Peeta. So many questions bounce around in your head, and you feel like your brain is about to explode. You just want to lie down.
Lie down and forget everything.
For once, you feel like things might go back to normal.
You feel like maybe everything between Gale and you will be okay. You go back into your old routine of hunting and watching each other's backs. The vibe between you isn't as weak as it was when you came home.
You think that maybe your friendship is as strong as it was before you went into the Games.
Then he kisses you, and you realize that maybe things have changed.
You're not sure if you like the change or not.
You've never felt like a winner.
You're not quite sure that winning really is everything. You start to wonder if maybe you should have lost. Peeta hates you, Gale is keeping his distance, and there is a death threat from President Snow himself hanging over your head.
But you try to not let it get to you. You try to just keep your family happy.
You try, but you find yourself failing.
You go on the Victory Tour.
You try to get through it without as much pain as possible. You can only hope that you'll be able to get by without all the memories coming back. You want to keep them away, to never have to experience the horrors of the Games again.
But you know that's not possible.
You watch as he gets down on one knee.
The Capitol citizens are going wild with excitement, and it takes a lot of work to keep the smile plastered onto your face. You say yes to the ring Peeta offers you. You jump in his arms and look like it's the best day of your life.
But it's not.
It's far from it.
You want to run.
To run away from everything: the Games, the Capitol, the President, the Districts - everything. You've never been so set on running in your entire life. You try to get Gale to come with you, but he refuses. Then you ask Peeta, and you smile as he agrees.
Your smile quickly disappears as a sound is heard from the Square. Both Peeta and you rush over to the crowd. Peeta won't let you look, but you've always been stubborn. You know something bad is waiting for you in the middle of the Square.
You push your way through the crowd, ignoring the protests from the others, and come across the most horrific site. You rush forward and throw yourself in front of your best friend. A sharp pain slices across your cheek, but you stand your ground.
Pretty soon help comes, and you untie Gale from the whipping post. You and the others bring him to your mother, where she might just be able to save his life.
She patches him up, and you vow to never run, you vow to stay and fight.
And that's just what you plan on doing.
Shock and fear course through your body.
Snow smiles as he reads the Quell's new rule change. You don't think you've ever been so afraid. You try not to show it though, you just run out the door.
You run, and you don't look back.
You're going into the Games again.
You find some allies and try to keep Peeta protected. You end up making it through to the last handful of people – you've lost a lot on the way - but if Peeta's going to make it out, then the deaths have to occur.
Then Beetee comes up with a plan. A plan that might just save you all. You help him follow through with it, almost killing yourself in the process, but you did it.
You got out of the arena only to find that your home has been destroyed and the boy you were so set on saving is in the hands of the enemy.
You've never felt so alone.
Peeta's saved, but he's not your Peeta.
He's different, dangerous. You hate to see him like this: murderous and full of rage and hatred for you. The boy you have trusted since the Games is now untrustworthy. But you don't let that stop you from trying to search for his old self. You won't let anyone get in the way of you trying to save him, like you promised to do from the very beginning.
You don't give up, and you never will.
Things are different between the two of you: Gale and you. And it's not a good different.
You've never felt so far away from him. You hardly know each other now, and it kills you inside.
You don't want to lose him, you don't know what you'll do if you ever do lose him. You try not to think about it.
You have enough problems to worry about.
This is it. This is where you have to kill him.
You're on your way to Snow's mansion to capture your greatest enemy. It needs to be done in order to have this nightmare be over. You need to wake up, and his death will be the only thing that does it.
Disaster strikes, and you get separated from Gale. He gets pulled into the enemy's arms, but you don't have the guts to end his life. You can't, even if you promised him you would. They take him out of your sight, and you know it's too late.
You look to see Capitol children all huddled together and frightened. You don't know what to do as parachutes rain down. You stand in shock as they go off - bombs. Now screams fill the air. And you feel like crying, but you don't. You hold it in.
That is, until you see her. Prim - your sister.
You run to her, but it's too late. The rest of the bombs go off and your sister is caught in the explosion.
You feel like it was you who died instead of her.
Looking between you, you realize just how much has really changed.
All you can see when you look into his stormy grey eyes is her. You want to forgive him, to bring back the past before the Games, but you can't. Even if it wasn't his fault, you can't.
He gives you the last arrow of the Rebellion. You don't meet his eyes as he comes up to you. Then he walks out.
And that was the last time you ever saw him.
You aim the bow.
The crowd is silent as Snow lies there. You prepare to shoot, but instead, you lift the bow and hit the rightful target.
Coin falls to the ground and the crowd erupts into chaos. People grab at you, and you shout for Gale to kill you. He doesn't, just like you didn't kill him. You don't even know where he is, but you don't go down without a fight.
They take you away, and you know that it's over.
You're at home.
Or what was once home. Now it's just a place that carries bad memories. You have nowhere else to go, though.
Your mother is gone, Gale is gone, Peeta is gone, Prim is gone. Your soul is gone.
You act like a robot. You hardly eat or sleep. You go through the day as if it were night. You don't know how to live anymore, it's like your body just shut down. Everything feels like it is at an end.
Until you go outside.
You see him, Peeta. He's planting roses, but not just any kind of roses - primroses. You stand in shock for a while, before he looks at you, and you see a little bit of the old Peeta. You can't help but feel as if a part of you is alive again.
Maybe you can make it thought after all.
You watch as they play.
The kids you never thought you'd have. They dance and sing, not even knowing that where they play houses the dead. They dance on the graves, laughing and jumping. You smile at how happy they are.
You feel happy too.
You know that things will look up. You can only hope that your kids will never have to know about the Games, and those who died along with them. You don't want them to have to know about the Rebellion, and all the deaths that had occurred - like their aunt's.
You still miss her. You miss Finnick, and Cinna, and Portia. You miss Boggs and even Jackson. You miss all those who died. You miss Rue and even Thresh. You miss Gale and your mother - even though those two gave up on you like you gave up on them.
You miss everybody.
But even with the deaths, there is new hope. There is hope with new life and a new way of living.
And that is the reason you make it through the day. That's the reason why all those deaths weren't for nothing. It's the reason why someday, you might be able to forget about the nightmares because finally, you are no longer trapped.
Because finally, you have woken up.
And that my friends, is how I found my closure to this forum. I hope you enjoyed it, and don't forget to review and tell me what you thought.