Update: Soooooooo sorry it's been sooo long! I'v been really busy with my SYOTs, and school! But now that it's Spring Break, I'm going to write some more of Wilted Flowers! Let the Games begin!

Wilted Flowers

Chapter Eighteen

Another Awkward Moment

Prim's POV

It's time and I'm so not ready. Cinna tries to calm me down, but I keep pacing around the Launch Room, murmuring to myself. "I can't believe I let him get in the way," I say. Cinna grabs my shoulders and turns me around. I avoid looking into his eyes, because I don't want to see the pain. I've already have been reduced to tears by the prep team, and Effie, and my face is stained red. I can't afford to lose anymore fluids. Because I do not want to die of dehydration. That's the worst way to go. At least, that's what I've heard. Cinna lifts my chin, though, and forces me to look into his brown eyes. But I don't see any pain, no sadness or sorrow. Just determination.

I've always admired Cinna for that, for his determination. He doesn't say anything and neither do I. Then he pulls me into a hug so full of emotion and start crying then and there. Again. Cinna strokes my hair, and let's me cry. After a few minutes of crying, I pull away, and wipe my eyes. I look up at him. "I'm sorry," I say. "That was uncalled for," Cinna shakes his head.

"No it wasn't," he says simply. I just nod and sit down on the couch. Cinna sits next me and just holds my hand. Then a pleasant female voice, that I'm pretty sure is fake, is announcing for the tributes to ready themselves and enter the tubes. My heart starts racing, and my palms get sweaty. I look at Cinna, anxiety coursing through my veins. He puts his hands on my shoulders.

"You can do it," he says. No, I can't. He knows it too. But I just nod, and look down. Cinna kisses my forehead, and then I walk slowly towards the metal plate. I grasp his hand once more, and he looks into my eyes. I think I see a hint of sorrow in his eyes, but I can't tell. And it's too late, because the glass is lowering around me. I start breathing faster, and for a moment I want Peeta. But I let him go. Then I'm rising, and I catch one last glimpse of Cinna, and then I'm in the arena.

The outfit that I was dressed in was sturdy. A thick black jumpsuit, snow boots, a furry jacket that's thin but holds in body heat. And a pair of thin gloves. And now I know why I'm dressed so warmly. The arena is a barren wasteland, covering in a blanket of hard-packed snow. I'm already shivering, and I can tell some of the other tributes are too. I can see my breath, and my feet are already freezing. The Cornucopia sits in the middle of the plain. On one side of the arena is mountains, the other, woods. I don't look for Peeta, although I think he's looking for me, but I can't tell. All I'm focused on is the bright blue pack closest to me, and some sort of knife that's sitting right next to it.

I'm a fast runner. I may be small, but my legs can carry me far, if I try. I wait for the seconds to tick away, and when the gong goes off I sprint in towards the pack and retrieve it and the knife. But as I turn to go back to the woods I'm blocked by a monstrous female Career, who's intent is to kill me. She grabs for me, but I manage to duck underneath her. She grabs onto my arm, and I instinctively pull away, but something pops and my shoulders are in terrible pain. I see blinding lights and I struggle to stab the girl with my knife, but she somehow lets go, and I fall to the ground. I hear a scream, and then I feel strong, muscly arms picking me up and running away.

I try to jump out of the arms, but my shoulder hurts so bad, it's all I can do to kick my legs. My carrier doesn't make any noise. Then he or she stops running and gently sits me down on the ground. I try to open my eyes, but it's like they're clamped shut. The person swiftly removes the pack from my back, and takes the knife out of my hand.

No! NO! That's my weapon! Mine! I hear another set of feet and I swear to myself that the Careers have captured me, and are devising a way to kill right now. Only then I hear a voice, and it's not a Career's. It's Peeta. He sounds scared, anxious.

"Rue! I need your help," he says. Rue? What is she doing here? Why is she with us. And then I remember. We all three allied. But now I wished I hadn't. Because there is no way I can kill Rue. I can definitely kill Peeta if I had a mind to, because frankly, he's not on my list of good guys in this arena. But I don't have the energy to tell him that right now. I hear scuffling, and then soft, small hands grab onto my arm, and another warm hand grabs my hand, and they both yank. I hear another pop and then my eyes fly open in pain. I'm about to let out a scream, when two pairs of hands clamp my mouth shut. I just manage to moan, and tears fall from my eyes. I see Peeta's blond hair, and Rue's black. The trees above me are coated in beautiful ice crystals, and a very cold wind shakes the leaves, sending minuscule ice bits raining down on us.

Slowly, Peeta and Rue remove their hands. My shoulder still hurts, but not as bad. I see that Peeta and Rue have long cuts down their arms, and I can't help but worrying about infection. I sit up.

"I can fix those for you," I say. Rue and Peeta look at each other, and laugh. I glare at both of them. How rude. I grab my knife and pack and then start tromping on the frozen ground. I hear them catch up with me easily. Rue comes to stand beside me.

"Hey," she says. I ignore her. I hear screams, and whip around. Peeta's right next to me. "Keep walking, Prim." he says gruffly. I know the bloodbath must be going on, but hearing it makes it all the more real. I turn around and do keep walking. Rue taps my shoulder. I look at her. "So, you can fix our cuts?" she asks brightly. I smile, my anger washing away.

"Yeah. I just have to find the right herbs to make the medicines," I say. Rue giggles. I do too. I look behind and Peeta has his knife in his hand. He smiles at me. I just turn back around. I look at Rue.

"Did you get anything from the Cornucopia?" I ask. In answer, she pulls around a small pouch. She looks down as if ashamed. "It's not much," she says. I laugh. "You were brave to go in there," I say. She smiles. "Peeta has one, too," she says. I just nod. Eventually we all have to stop walking because we're getting cold. We all sit down next a big maple that offers some protection from the wind. I plop down next to Rue and Peeta sits across from us. I avoid his gaze. I throw my pack in front of me.

"I guess I'll go first," I say. I unzip the pack and pull out two pairs of gloves, sunglasses, two packs of beef strips, some water, and matches. And a blanket. I spread out the contents for the others to see. Rue's eyes widen when she sees the sunglasses.

"Oh, thank goodness for these!" she says, holding them up, examining them. I'm confused. They're just sunglasses. "What's so great about sunglasses?" I ask. Rue looks at me, and giggles. What? "These aren't sunglasses! They're night glasses," she says. My face lights up.

"Really? Cool!" I say. Rue unpacks next. Her small pouch holds a slingshot, a water skin, a bottle of iodine, and a pair of gloves. She slips on the gloves, and plays with the slingshot, happy to have one. Peeta hasn't said anything, but he looks satisfied with the supplies so far. His pack contains two packs of dried fruit, a pack of crackers, a first aid kit, a knife, a pair of gloves, a bottle of water, some matches, wire, night glasses, a blanket, and a bottle of something that I don't recognize.

"Must be medicine," he says, pulling on the gloves. We pack up the contents, except for the pack of dried fruit, in which we each eat a small amount. Then we spread out the blankets, and Peeta offers to take the first watch. We're cleverly concealed behind some brush and bushes, but you can never be too safe. I cuddle up next to Rue, and fall asleep.

A/N: It may be a bit rusty, but it was still fun to write! Please review? It would make me very happy! :)