Chapter 12

Katniss walked though her forest feeling completely at ease. She didn't think about her problems in that moment. Right there, in the middle of her forest, there was no Peeta, no Gale, and certainly no Chris. The only people she felt was herself and her dad. She wondered for a minute if the arena was targeting her now, tracking her.

She realized then how much she didn't care if it was. She didn't really have any kind of future that seemed easy. It was always going to be hard. If they defeated the capitol she would be helping restore power and creating systems for the rest of her life. It was a doomed life style that she now was forced to contribute to. Chuckling, she thought about calling it "The Curse of The Mocking Jay"

Water trickled down a stream next to Katniss. Katniss decided to just walk around to find Peeta. She figured he would still be confused, and she could now kind of explain how the game would be working…

At the same time Katniss was searching, Peeta was beginning to worry. He had now walked around finding berries and gingerly trying them. He began to wonder if there even were more people in the arena. 'I can't hunt animals! I barely remember how to tie a snare. Those games were so long ago!' Peeta began pacing and building his shelter. It didn't seem like the sun was really moving anyways. Peeta just wanted to do something useful.

A rustle of leaves stopped Katniss. She was really hoping to turn around and find a deer or something. She was getting hungry. For safety reasons she reached back and loaded her bow. Nothing could cover her excitement that she gained when she had turned. There stood a 6'2 blond. "Chris?" Katniss's heart thumped a bit faster. She smiled wide, he returned the favor. Lowering her bow, Katniss flew herself into his arms. It took him a second to return the hug. She found it a bit awkward but she ignored it.

"How did Alivor capture you?" Katniss asked him as they walked down the creek side. "Capture me? I'm lucky to be here." Katniss remembered the honor that used to be of the Hunger Games. Wasn't that basically over? "How did you know this was even here? Alivor was just testing it…" Chris smirked. "I have my ways."

The sun was finally beginning to set. "Do you have a place set up or are you still going to attempt to sleep in trees?" Katniss looked around the side of Chris and saw a treeless space that could work for sleeping. "How about there?" The two agreed upon stay the night there. Katniss conjured up two sleeping bags, using the trick she had learned earlier that day.

As the two lay there, Katniss decided they needed to create their plan of action. "So we find Peeta tomorrow." she offered. Chris took a minute to process that. "I guess so." after talking to him for a while now she was starting to notice the awkwardness he was putting off. "What's your problem?" she asked. Chris answered while staring completely strait into the sky, "Nothing."

Katniss was no idiot. There was something wrong. 'Is Chris going to betray me in my sleep?' That simple though was not going to allow her any sleep… Chris suddenly sat up; Katniss jumped a little. She began reaching her hand out for her bow, panicking when she couldn't find it. "Chris, what's wrong?" she kept calm.

"You're not going to find it." He stated. Katniss quickly figured he was referring to her bow. "Why not?" she stalled. "Alivor decides when you need it and when you do not."

The comfort she felt in the beginning of the day was suddenly seeping away. Katniss slowly began unzipping her sleeping bag. She tried her best at not making a sound. "He must tell the future then." She mused. Chris smiled along with her, "No, Just mine."

Launching himself out of the bushes was easy; hitting Chris just right was not. Peeta threw himself forward, swinging his long tree branch right at Chris's neck. Peeta saw Katniss's face when Chris shimmered. Being slightly pro at this was a good thing. Chris was now lying on his side. Peeta sat himself on Chris while scratching at his neck.

"Peeta, what the hell are you doing?" Katniss yelled, but kept her distance. Finally, Peeta found the hold he was looking for. Yanking a piece of flesh upwards, Chris's image shimmered before completely going out. Left behind was mangy hunk of petroleum jelly.

"He wasn't real Katniss." Peeta threw the hunk to the floor with a splat. A million questions were now flying through Katniss's head, "How did you?" Peeta laughed. "I met them today too; first Haymitch's drone, and then yours." He continued with his information, "I believe they pop up when you're getting too close to possible allies. It's kind of a fluke in Alivor's plan because if we meet a tribute without having a drone first, then we know who we can't trust. We know just to kill them, and move on."

This information began to make Katniss question things, "How would we know if the tribute we meet is a drone, or a real person." Peeta smiled again, "I thought that at first too. That's when I went to kiss you, er… well the drone you, and felt its neck. The right side has a little ridge, and is freezing cold." Katniss sat a minute in thought. "That's not going to be easy to test." Peeta looked right at her, "It's not going to be easy, but we can do it together."

In that moment, Katniss's heart melted. He had saved her. "Thank you, Peeta. I wouldn't have made it much longer if you wouldn't have solved that the way you have." Peeta blushed a little, "You would have got it sooner or later…" Katniss laughed, "No, I would have been beaten to a pulp by the time I figured Chris was fake."

Before Katniss forgot, she explained her time in captivity, and the arena. She gave Peeta very detailed descriptions of how to work the system. Peeta successfully created his bakery (which did look a little odd being in the middle of the forest.) with just using his mind. The sun rose, and their day's plans consisted of just basics. Collecting water, and food, and of course, figuring out who to find next. Neither Katniss nor Peeta wanted to admit it, but they both weren't sure who to trust. Could they even trust each other?

Author's Note: Please do not make me explain why I've been gone. Just know it hasn't been a good few months… thank you, Loves! R&R as always. (;