Thanks for your patience! I know it's been awhile since I updated. I hope you all like Haymitch's progression. While he may not show his feelings all the time, I feel that the closer he gets with Katniss and the more he watches her lose in life, the more he grows to care for her.
Side note: I saw the Hunger Games movie last night. In my opinion, they did an amazing job. What was your opinion? Leave your thoughts on the movie and on this chapter in the reviews! Also, I don't have my copy of the book with me up here at school, so if I have made a mistake let me know so I can fix it!
Peeta in the Capitol
Had I been wrong? I didn't even know anymore.
Sure, I had been furious when I found out Coin sent Peeta to District 2. We all knew the reason she did it, although nobody voiced it out loud. Katniss and Coin had always had a shaky relationship, and she finally realized what a threat the Mockingjay was.
When I last spoke to Katniss had I been too harsh?
"You're punishing him over and over for things that are out of his control. Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't have a fully loaded weapon next to you round the clock. But I think it's time you flipped this little scenario around in your head. If you'd been taken by the Capitol, and hijacked, and then tried to kill Peeta, is this the way he would be treating you?"
I believe in what I said. Peeta would never alienate Katniss if the tables had been turned.
But had we all truly understood what state Peeta was in? Had we really comprehended how dangerous he was and what damage he could cause?
I watched the footage the Capitol kept replaying. We no longer had any contact with our Mockingjay or the rest of her team. I knew she was still alive merely because Snow himself was still alive, and Katniss would undoubtedly refuse to die until he was dead alongside her.
But had I been wrong to give her the idea to be gentle with Peeta? Was I somehow at fault?
I can't bear to watch the footage anymore. We had all seen it. Children lying everywhere, body parts flying in every direction.
Primrose Everdeen catching fire.
And I watched as her sister burned with her.
Katniss hadn't been close enough to save her sister, but I saw her body catch on fire. I watched as she screamed with her sister's name on her lips.
Our war. This was the end of it. Snow was surrounded. The Capitol was overrun. And yet, I couldn't get the image of the girl from the Seam screaming for the sister who had exploded in front of her eyes.
The medics were doing all that they could. I had gotten to her as fast as I was able, and even I was having trouble holding back the bile that threatened to rise up my throat. While most of her face was saved, chunks of her hair had burned away and her body was a mess. As the medics cut the torn remnants of her clothes away from her charred skin, I felt myself gag. Pieces of burnt flesh tore away as if they were scraps of tissue paper. The sizzling smell of burnt meat was clogging my throat.
She had wanted no part in this war for so long. And now she had lost everything. Her home, Peeta, her sister, her body, her mind. All gone.
A strange strangled noise escaped my throat, alerting a medic of my unwelcome presence.
I left without arguing. I was pathetic.
Katniss no longer speaks. The spark that set her aflame has figuratively burned away her voice as well.
I'll see her from time to time wandering through hallways, a faraway look in her eyes. Her skin is patchy and raw, and it hurts me to look at her. There is a permanent cut in my cheek where I bite back words that I want to say to her.
There are no words for this.
I wonder if she's even in there anymore. I don't know if I blame her.
Like I've said before. This war, these past two years, have taken everything away from her.
Peeta still lies in the burn unit. Apparently he had made it to the City Center. Once again he had gotten too close to the girl on fire, and caught fire as well.
I'm fairly certain they don't think it's safe to let him out on his own. The last footage they had seen of him was causing the death of so many rebels in Capitol. The last thing they wanted was for him to run into Katniss while she was in such a frail state.
My mind drifts back to the footage of the explosions without my permission. I see her grey eyes on the screen, a sign of someone from the Seam, wide open in agony.
I shut my eyes tightly, and give a harsh cough. I need a drink.
Whatever had broken her silence, whatever it was that she needed to ask me about but I had been too drunk to respond, I will never know.
I hadn't expected this, but here it was. It was practically delivered to us on a shining silver platter. The opportunity to force those who have tortured us for years to feel the pain we have. A final Hunger Games.
It was a moment I had thought about countless times: what I would do if I were presented with this opportunity. Hadn't I suffered enough? Shouldn't they feel what each district has felt for years? The helplessness of sending children off to fight in conditions they were most likely unprepared for. The pain of having to watch them slaughtered like animals on television. The guilt and shame in being unable to do anything about that. The horror in watching what the victors become after they leave the arena. The mourning families and friends. Over and over again. Was it wrong for me to whole-heartedly wish it on nameless children in this godforsaken place because of the injustice the cheered on year after year?
I could still feel the scars the Capitol had inflicted on me – some in plain sight, others buried beneath layers of emotional trauma. No matter how hard I scrubbed, no matter how much I drank to numb myself, it would never really go away.
My eyes focused on Katniss's hands, which were clenching and unclenching, still patchy and uneven. She'll be just as scarred as I am.
I barely registered what the others had said, but I heard her voice say softly but clearly, "I vote yes…for Prim."
We were so alike. I could almost smile at the thought. Perhaps our hearts were made of ice.
"I'm with the Mockingjay."
It felt almost like a sin to call her that. A title, forever shrouded in pain and suffering.
I watch Katniss, her eyes completely focused on the man who she has sworn to hate since the moment she entered the Hunger Games. Perhaps even before? I can't say I know for sure.
A weird feeling passes over me as I watch the Mockingjay stand on a spot so close to wear her sister went up in flames. I can barely see her face, but I know her brain is whizzing with some idea. I could practically see the wheels turning in her mind.
Whatever it was, her decision was made.
Suddenly Coin collapses over the balcony.
I watch as all hell breaks loose, and Katniss screams for Gale. Why? I could not say. The massive amount of people and guards that swallow everyone up forces me from my current position.
I'm her mentor. It has always been my job to watch out for her, to help her survive. It doesn't matter that we were out of the arena or District 13. As Cinna had said, "I turned her into the Mockingjay. I will stay with her, until the very end."