Beep. Beep. Beep.
I open my eyes, squinting against the harsh whiteness of the room. Puzzled, I gaze around, trying to figure out what happened. I glance to my right, where the beeping sound is, almost blaring in my ears. I suddenly remember everything; it all comes back to me in a flood of memories.
Standing on top of the Cornucopia, Cato grasping Rue in a headlock, suddenly crumpling to the ground with his arm dangling off the edge, the Clove-mutt dragging him off, the horrible sounds of flesh tearing, bones crunching, Rue and I announced the winners of the Games, a hovercraft flying down to get us, a Capitol woman sticking a needle into my arm, making me pass out…
Adjusted to the light, my eyes fully open, and I take it all in. I'm in a Capitol hospital-type room. Then I realize that the beeping sound has stopped; the room is eerily quiet. I sit up fast, then, banging my wrists against something, I flop back down. I look down to find that my wrists have been tied down to the bed. I sigh, wanting to check on Rue. Is she okay? What did they do to her? I start to worry, thinking about what might have happened, until the door bursts open, disrupting my thoughts, and a woman dressed in white comes in.
"Oh, good, you're awake!" she exclaims, rushing over to me. "You know, everyone is talking about what happened during the Games. Two tributes winning? I just can't believe it! And for so long, it's always been one…"
"Rue!" I interrupt, my voice raspy from lack of use.
The woman looks at me blankly for a moment, then nods. She starts to ramble again. "Don't worry about her, she's fine. Haven't you've been listening to me? What have the Gamemakers been thinking, letting two win?" She pauses, taking a breath.
"Can I see her?" I ask impatiently, using my head to point to where my hands are tied.
She shakes her head. "No, you're still not recovered from your injuries. You've been unconscious for about four days and only now you just woke up. We had to tie your hands to the bed because you were thrashing around during your sleep. Oh, and we repaired your ear. It was pretty busted up, but we got it fixed!"
So that was why the beeping sounded so loud. I don't know what to say so I just nod my head. She murmurs to herself again about the Games while I fight to stay awake. My eyelids are drooping. The lady notices this and decides to leave the room. My body gives in, falling into another bout of sleep.
When I wake up again, a shadow looms over me.
"Nice to see you again sweetheart."
I look up at Haymitch, not sure if he's saying those words with sarcasm or not. I can't read his expression, but at least he seems to be sober. That's a first.
I blurt out the words without even thinking about them first. "You couldn't give him the medicine?!"
Haymitch chuckles darkly. "She finally wakes up and first thing she says isn't even a greeting."
I glare at him with murder in my eyes. He decides to ignore that.
"Sweetheart, I tried. I asked everybody that I could. But I just couldn't get it." Haymitch shakes his head sadly. "That's usually something the Capitol would have if they had a feast."
A feast. I didn't even think about that, truthfully. Some years they have one, other times not. Apparently the Capitol didn't think we needed one this time.
I just lay in my bed silently, waiting for Haymitch to continue speaking. He doesn't, and I know this wasn't what he came here to talk about.
"Why did you come here?" The words come out ruder than I intended them to.
Haymitch takes a breath before talking. "Look, comparing both of you, I thought you would have a better chance at winning. I focused on you-mostly. Peeta was okay when he joined the Careers," I flinch at his name, "so I didn't have to worry about him much, though I have to say, I thought it skeptical of those Careers to let him in their group. Anyway, when that District Two boy gave him that cut, I thought it was over for him. When you found him, I thought maybe there was hope. I tried to help him, but, well, like I said, I couldn't get enough sponsors. Oh, they believed the whole star-crossed lovers thing, but not enough to help him. Thus, the best I could do was soup."
I want to yell, scream, argue with him about the "best he could do". Surely he could've gotten something better, right? But I don't, I can't. The words stick in my throat, refusing to come out.
"It wasn't Seneca Crane's idea, about the "two tributes can win" proposal." He suddenly says. "Enobaria convinced him to do it."
I stare at Haymitch in shock. "Who?" I ask. I have no clue as to whom he's talking about.
"Enobaria. She was one of District Two's mentors. Apparently she thought that both of their tributes were too good enough to lose. I'll bet she trained both of them herself."
"Oh." I can't think of anything else to say, since I'm still a little surprised.
"Well, once they died, the Gamemakers were going to dispose that new rule change. But it was Chaff and I who convinced them to keep it." Haymitch tells me.
Why is he telling me this? My mentor just randomly comes in here, only to tell me some lie about trying to save Peeta and this news of how the rule change was enforced. Haymitch looks at me expectantly and I know he's waiting for me to speak. I say what he wants me to say: "How?" and, "Who's Chaff?"
"He's my drinking buddy; mentor for Eleven. We used to hang around during past years of the Games. But we were completely sober this year. I knew you had potential. And Rue, your little ally, turned out to have it too. We argued that they had already changed the rule, they couldn't just change it back. Of course, they didn't give in that easily. It took a few days, but everyone admired your friendship and sisterly relationship."
Those words, "sisterly relationship", hit me hard. For the first time since I woke up, I think of Prim. How she and my mother feel about me winning the Games. Rue and my promise to both of them was what kept me going. And I suddenly feel the urge to leap out of my hospital bed and run back to District 12 to see them. I know I can't do that though, so I just sit there, waiting.
Haymitch silently walks back toward the door. I want to yell at him to come back, to not just leave when he turns around. "I just thought you should know." With that, he turns back again and leaves my room.
"Tell me Katniss, what went through your mind when Marvel was about to throw his spear?" Caesar Flickerman asks me.
Rue and I are doing our interview with him like all the victors do. I glance down at my yellow dress, then at Rue in her light blue dress before answering.
"I had to kill him before he hurt Rue." I say truthfully. The crowd murmurs thoughtfully.
"Ah, yes, friends are very important, don't you think?" Caesar replies. People laugh at his comment. He turns to Rue. "Rue," he begins. "Why did you want Katniss as an ally?"
"She amazed me from the very beginning. I saw what she could do during training, but I was too scared to form an alliance. She seemed like one of the only tributes that I'd like to be friends with." Rue answers.
"That's very sweet." Caesar smiles. "Oh, we're out of time. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the victors of the 74th Hunger Games!"
The crowd claps as Rue and I stand up from our chairs and hold hands. They're still clapping as we walk off the stage. Guards come up on either side of us and guide us through the hall and lead us outside. Below, there are more people gathered than there were in the interview. President Snow is standing on the podium and next to him, on two tables, are two crowns.
A microphone is set up and President Snow taps into it. It makes its screeching sound, making everyone fall silent.
"I'd like all your undivided attention." he announces. "This is a very, very special year. There have been two victors. Districts of Panem, for the 74th Hunger Games, I present to you, Katniss Everdeen and Rue Bloomingfield, your victors!"
He walks over to one of the crowns, picks it up, and walks back to Rue. He gently places it on top of her head. Then President Snow goes over to the other crown and places it on my head. He steps aside, and the crowd cheers. Once again, I drop my left hand, and Rue puts her right in mine. Exchanging a look and smiling, we hold our hands up to the crowd, and they roar with excitement.
I lean down and whisper in her ear. "We'll be going back to our own districts now. Next year, we'll go on tour. I won't see you again until that. I'll always remember you Rue."
She looks at me with tears welling up in her eyes. "I know," she murmurs. "And I'll always remember you too Katniss."
A/N: I know I said this was supposed to be up in the beginning of the month, but things got crazy and I was super busy with soccer camp and practices every day. Then I sprained my foot, but its okay now.
I tried ending the story as close to the book and movie as possible with a few add-ons. Since my book is stuck at my grandpa's house, I couldn't use that as a reference as much as I did with the movie since I watched it two days ago. I think I remember Katniss being in a hospital in the book, but if it didn't happen, then that's okay too. I like the way I ended this and I hope you guys did too.
I want to say thank you to everyone who's been following this story since it all began about a half a year ago, and is still with me. And I want to thank everyone who's reviewed, alerted, and favorited this story. It means a lot to me :) And over 4,600 hits?! You guys are awesome!