A/N: So you followed the instructions from last chapter's bottom Authors Note. Congrats. Now onto the story!
Well, none of us had dinner together. Fan-freaking-tastic. Thanks to our abilities to hold grudges, this is exactly how my dinner went:
I scrambled to the kitchen, gathered as much food as a tray could hold, and rushed back to my room before anyone saw me. If Haymitch or Nico would have been there…who knows what would've happened. As I ate I stared at a wall. I stared at a blank wall.
I swear, it was like I was in a trance. I guess thinking about something too hard can make you….what's the word? Let loose the grip on reality? I immediately think: Oh, Annabeth. Her and her fancy sayings. But I guess it's kind of true.
I was thinking about the fight in the elevator with Haymitch and Nico. And the whole time I had a feeling. You know that feeling when you know you need to apologize, but you don't want to. I feel like if I apologize, they'll win. I've always been like this. I try to persuade myself deep down that I'm right.
But this time I couldn't.
It's been two hours since dinner. For some reason, it's completely quiet throughout the hall. Usually, someone will be watching television or chatting in the dining room. Not this time.
But the best part of all of this is that I'll probably never speak to Haymitch again. Tomorrow's the start of the Games. Yay.
I finally force myself to get up and take a look in the mirror. My father always told me to do it as a kid whenever I got into an argument. Too many questions went through my mind: Have I really been rude and whiny? Did I take it too far this time? Will those two even forgive me?
Nico probably wouldn't forgive me. For Hades' sake, he's most likely going to try to kill me in that Arena. And he's got Marceline on his side. Great…
I slam my hands against the mirror and rest my head on it. "I'm so screwed," I mutter to myself.
Eventually, I hear my breathing getting slower. My eyes get heavier and heavier. I barely make it to bed before I fall asleep.
"Do you hear me? Katie-kat, can you hear me? Hey! Plantasaurus! Of course, she won't even wake up."
"Dude, this isn't some fairy tale. Your 'princess' isn't gonna wake up from deep slumber."
"Oh, yeah? Watch this…"
I scream and bolt up as I get completely drenched in water. I shake my head a few times to drain the liquid from my hair and start panting. It must've been a nightmare…
I keep my eyes shut since I taste the salt from the water. I've had some bad experiences with salt water in my eyes. Wait…there's no ocean anywhere near this place.
Pushing that thought from my head, I try to find the blanket so I could pull it over my head and go back to sleep.
Too bad the blanket was gone.
I quickly open my eyes to see two of the most annoying boys in the world right in front of me, kneeling down and smiling. I can't help but scream in shock.
"Ha ha, see? I told you!" Travis exclaims happily.
"What are you two doing here?" I ask angrily.
The Stolls exchange looks before Connor explains.
"So…we saw your interview…" he says awkwardly.
"You sucked," they both reply in unison.
Coming from anyone else, I would've felt horrible. But from the Stolls it was different. They were constantly making fun of me. Even if Travis is my boyfriend, we still act like best friends. We constantly try to make fun of each other, but we'll always have each other's back.
I lean forward. "Like you could do any better at an interview!"
Connor says, "If you would've taken Haymitch's advice—"
I cross my arms and narrow my eyes. "Off topic. So how am I talking to you? Did I finally lose my marbles?"
"You have marbles?" Travis asks excitedly. "Can I borrow them? I have a collection!"
Sarcasm or not, I still smacked him across the face. He rubs his cheek but I can tell from his expression that it didn't hurt.
"We found a communicator thingy-majiggy in the Big House," Connor says. "And we figured out how to work it pretty quick. It takes you into peoples' dreams! So we went into Percy's dream where he was making out with Annabeth then scared Clarisse and—"
I sigh loudly. Connor knows by the signal that he is off topic. Again.
He clears his throat and continues. "So then Travis wanted to visit your dream because he loves you so much and longs for you to be back with him! He wants to ride off into the sunset with you where he-"
Travis glares at him. I don't know what Connor was about to say, but he got punched by his brother.
"Ow! Anyway, we found you asleep in your dream! And here we are…" Connor gestured to the scenery behind him.
I immediately recognize the forest where we play Capture the Flag. I can see some of the bark ripped from a couple trees, which were from Clarisse's anger issues. Small clothes were tied around trees that marked the out-of-bounds area. I can't help but smile.
"See? She's happy to see me." Travis whispers to Connor.
"I'm not smiling because of you!" I protested. Okay, so maybe I was smiling a little bit because he was here… "But the forest. I don't think I've even realized it was this beautiful at night."
"Ugh, women," he mutters.
The stars are shining brightly and contrast to the midnight sky. There's only a slight wind, but I still shiver since I'm only wearing pajamas. My heartbeat is finally at a steady rate because of the whole waking-up-to-water surprise.
It's peaceful, though I know it won't last.
"Camp's a mess," Connor blurts out. He isn't using his 'joking tone' either. I know he's completely serious.
"Yeah," He stares into the woods. "Your friends have been really depressed. So have your half-siblings.
"The plants are dying all around camp. Nobody is taking care of them. The only thing we do is stay in our cabins or go to class. No one plays volleyball anymore. Sometimes campers don't even go to dinner. Hell, sometimes Travis doesn't go to dinner. We really miss you, Katie."
"Oh, gods. Don't even get me started on how much people miss Nico. The girls from the Aphrodite cabin? Yeah, they made signs. They hold them up in front of the tv whenever Nico comes on," Connor laughs. "I'm not sure they know he can't see through the tv."
"Who does everyone miss more: Nico or me?"
Travis sighs. "Katie, don't start that. You know everyone at camp misses both of you," He looks like he's telling the truth. For once, I see the sorrow in his eyes.
I feel guilty all of the sudden. Stupid Hermes' kids. They can persuade anyone with their words. I hate it when Travis uses it against me.
"Okay. Sorry I brought it up," I apologize.
Travis puts a hand on my shoulder. "Just stop comparing yourself. Please? For me?" he smiles and slightly tilts his head. Connor does the same.
I roll my eyes. "Fine. And are you going to be cheering me on?"
"We'll make sure to be the loudest," they both promise.
I laugh and hug them. "You two should probably get going before you land yourself in some trouble."
"Pshh. We do that every single freaking day." Connor replies.
"Whatever. Now leave so I can wake up."
Connor nods and proceeds to leave but Travis hesitates. He stares at me for a moment and says, "I love you. Beat the crap out of those guys for me."
I jolt out of bed and quickly put on some clothes. I'm going to be late again! I rush and brush my teeth and hair, then dash down the hallway.
I look down and curse. "I'm still in my slippers."
I know I'll get a whole new outfit so I keep running.
Cinna is waiting for me at the elevator. "Come on, you slept in late. Nico's already getting ready!"
The elevator goes lower than it's supposed to.
"Um, Cinna? Where are we going?" I ask.
"Underground. We'll be below the arena until it's time."
After the elevator ride, we enter a long hallway. I mean, a really long hallway. I'm sure the guards must walk this twice a day to get as buff as they are. We step into a plain room. It's not fancy or decorative like the others. There's only stone walls and some basic needs for preparation. A nurse comes in and places a "tracker" in my arm. Good to know they'll always be watching me.
Cinna decides to put my hair in a simple ponytail, the way I've always had it. He dresses me in a uniform similar to the one I wore in the Training Center. I have polished black boots and skintight socks so I'm ready for any biome. He puts my slippers on the table.
"These will be waiting for you when you get back," he smiles. "Remember to find water and make shelter. And anything can be used as a weapon."
I nod. "Okay. But I don't know if—""
Cinna and I both look up to the sound of a crackling voice. "Step on the metal plate and get ready to begin, tributes."
I feel as if my hands have turned to ice. Shivers run down my back and my breathing gets faster. This is it…
Cinna lays a comforting hand on my back and nudges me toward the plate. Immediately, I turn from his grasp and run.
I can't do this, a panicked voice screams in my head as I dash for the iron door. I'm not going to die here.
I hear Cinna yelling at me to stop and that everything is going to be okay, but even he knows it's a lie.
I slam into the door and fortunately, it opens. I sped up as I run down the hallway and alarms start to blare. It's so loud that my ears are practically burning.
I realize two guards are chasing me. I still keep going.
This hallway seems so endless. So many twists and turns that it makes me dizzy.
My body can't keep running forever. I lean against the wall for a second to let the guards catch up a bit then continue to run.
But I knew I wouldn't escape.
I finally found a closed door, the one that I had originally came through to get here. I almost reach it before it opens and three guards pin me down.
I scream and kick as the drag me back down through the hallway "Let me go! I can't do this! Please!"
One guard is muttering into a walkie-talkie as he follows. Within seconds I end up right where I started. They get closer to the clear tube that leads to the arena. I still kick in protest, but the toss me in and close it shut.
I turn to see Cinna behind the guards. I pound on the tube and scream for him.
"8, 7, 6,"
The metal plate starts to rise and I get lifted into the arena.
Once I'm in, all the tributes are staring at me as I try to break out of the tube. I realize that I'm in a tundra. I give up trying to run and look around.
The cornucopia is in the middle of all of us, loaded with the items we need for survival.
I can't find Nico anywhere. He's got to be somewhere…did he escape?
"1," The announcer says. "Let the Half-Blood games begin!"
A/N: Please inspire me with your reviews. Hopefully I'll start to update more since the action has started.
If you're on a lot and want to beta this story (that means pre-viewing each chapter!) then PM me. Thanks for reading this chapter!