Author's Note: Hello everyone! First off, I'd like to start by saying, thank you for picking this story to read and I hope I don't let you down.
Secondly, I think there are a few things you should know before you dive in. This story will not be lighthearted. In fact, I'm kind of purposely making it as dark as possible. This first chapter is mostly short stuff, setting it up for later on, but I thought a warning was in order. If you want a happy Peeta, bounding through a field of flowers in slow motion as he runs to Katniss while she's carrying bread in her arms, then you got the wrong story and I suggest you go back and pick out a different one. Cause you're not going to get it here. But if you take this little taste test and you like it, give it a read! It's multiple chapters, so it's going to be a good long one.
Thirdly, this story WILL be following the plot line of Mockingjay. Basically, it's from the point where Peeta gets to District 13 onward, ending possibly somewhere before the epilogue. I haven't set it out completely. But all this story basically is Peeta's healing process from his rescue from the Capitol on. However, in following Mockingjay, there will be points in this story where I will take word for word from the book, which leads me to my forth point.
I OWN NOTHING! I can't stress that enough. All the characters, places, events, they don't belong to me. They belong to Suzanne Collins. I just happen to be a fan who borrows her characters and stretches them out to their fullest potential, telling (what I believe to be) other character's thoughts and stories. In this case, it just happens to be Peeta. However, I would like to point out that plagiary, as illegal as it may be, is considered the highest form of flattery. Hopefully if Ms. Collins ever graced this story with her presence, she would feel the same way.
So, without further ado, I bring you my latest project, Delirium. Please comment & enjoy!
That's all they keep saying, repeating it over and over and over again. It's almost like it's on a recorder. It's her name or nothing. I swear, I can almost hear it through the walls around me, someone speaking it, hissing it, whispering it at all times of the day. Just trying to make its way in.
It just keeps beating against my eardrums, those two harsh syllables pounding one after another.
That disgusting, horrible name that I hate above everything else.
"JUST SHUT UP!"
My voice rings off the walls for a moment. Slowly, it dies off and leaves just a simple buzzing in the room, probably from the lights overhead or something monitoring me. I don't know which is worse, my old cell in the Capitol or this new place they have me in. The old cell, everything was dark and cold, only about half the size of the bakery. This room was, if possible, even smaller. The old cell had just had a door, a bed, a window that sometimes got some light, a toilet, and a small table. This one was nothing, but a door and pain of glass that covered a large section of a wall, probably with someone watching me on the other side. At least in the old cell, they weren't as obvious about it, just staring at me all day long. But even if that glass is tinted so I can't see their faces, I know they're still there.
But the worst part about this new place is the restraints. All day, all the time, I'm strapped down to this table or handcuffed or sedated. In fact, that's the only time I see people now a days, when a nurse or a doctor comes in to give me some kind of medicine to knock me out.
And the irony of it all is sickening. I'm the one who is locked up and strapped down to a table, while she is free to wander wherever she likes around this place. That's at least what one of the nurses said, talking to another one as they left the room. I'm treated like the danger. She's treated like she's a poor girl who just happens to be slightly unstable. I don't think they even realize that they have it backwards.
You see, I didn't know this for a long time either, but Katniss Everdeen…she's not what she appears to be. She is not just some girl from the Seam, poor, starving, and she's not a Victor either. The truth is she's something worse, the product of something horrible. There's no other way to describe it, no other way to put it into words.
She is a muttation, and not just any other muttation out there. She is worse. The regular muttations are bad enough, but her…it's a whole new level with her. Her face changes and twists and turns until it's almost completely unrecognizable. Her fingers slip into everything, poking and prodding, even piercing under the layers of my skin here and there. She can change her figure to suit the situation, blending into darkness and shadows to creep up on me in the night or even turning into fire, trying to burn me alive with her long, reaching, twisting fingers. I wake up from sleeping and hear her howls and screeches in the middle of the night, and when I go to look closer, her arms slip around me, her hands at my throat. Soon, I am pressed down and she's there, trying to push the last breaths out of my chest. And her arrows…they fly straight for my heart, stick me, and poison me with this horrible rotting feeling in my chest, a feeling that doesn't go away, just gets worse every time I see her, every time she's close.
She did all of this to me and yet I'm the one sedated and kept locked up in a room all hours of the day. When I try to explain myself, they don't even listen to me. They just shake their heads, write sometimes down, and stick me with more sedatives. Tell me, just where is the justice all of this? At least in the Capitol, you knew why they were doing things to you, you knew their reason. Here, none of what they do makes sense. It's complete insanity and would drive even the most stable person crazy.
I only have enough time to struggle against the straps on my wrists, reopening all the wounds I managed to pick up from the handcuffs in the Capitol when the door slides open, allowing a nurse and a doctor to step in. They both blend in with the walls, all in white, except their faces and nametags. Everything else is white. The nurse wheels a cart in and the doctor carries the standard clipboard. All of them have them, but it's only the really important doctors apparently that carry around mine or her's.
I catch a glimpse of the doctor's nametag. Dr. Lawson doesn't look too happy to be here, as he tucks a pen behind his ear and steps over to examine my wrist. He scuffs at me and shakes his head. "If you keep at this, Peeta, you're going to make it all worse that it has to be," he says.
"Well, maybe if you let me up, this wouldn't be as much of a problem," I snap back at him.
"You know we can't do that, Peeta. It's too dangerous, especially after what you did," he says, as he motions for the nurse to hang up some bag of fluid.
As the nurse slides a needle under my skin, my fists tighten up. "I should have finished the job," I mutter to myself bitterly.
I hear his sigh before I see his expression, but I know it's some form of disappointment. "And this is the reason we can't let you go. Violent tendencies are still there, meaning to do harm to Katniss Everdeen, harming yourself –"
And that is where I draw the line. "Harming myself? I am not harming myself! You're the ones that are doing the harm with these stupid straps and meds! I was perfectly fine when you brought me here, not trying to hurt myself in any way and I wasn't strapped down to a table then, was I?"
Dr. Lawson stops to consider this for a moment, before sighing again and shaking his head. He pulled his pen back into his hand and started to mark something down on his clipboard, before looking at me again. "We'll consider it, Peeta, but honestly with your attitude and your outbursts, you can't expect us to trust you on your own. You'll have to prove yourself. Either way, you're not getting free while we're in here right now, so you might as well quit struggling and let us do our check-up."
It's hard to stifle the groan welling up in my throat as I lay my head back and stare up at the ceiling. More needles, more fluids, more tubes, more monitors. It's almost never ending. They keep me stabilized with these needles, fluids, tubes, and monitors, but it's not actually living. It's sustaining and irritating for that matter. In fact, going on my short nerves, it's even more irritating when I see the nurse pull out a syringe.
"What are you giving me now? Something that makes me silent? Paralyzes me? Makes me sleep forever?" I ask.
"Nothing," Dr. Lawson answers. He holds his hand out and exchanges the nurse his clipboard for the syringe. "We're actually taking blood samples this time. The first ones were…inconclusive. We wanted to take another just to be sure, so we're going to run a few more." He reaches down and takes my arm, turning it over. Naturally, I hiss in pain. They only seem interested in taking blood from my bad arm. That strange lump may be gone, but that didn't mean it still didn't hurt. And of course, they needle goes into my skin right around the area where the lump had been. Still, I bite my lip and keep silent, trying my hardest to ignore the needle and the new hole it has made in my body. The samples are taken, and the tension is relaxed from my arm. "Your arm still hurts?" the doctor asks as the samples are bagged and exchanged.
"Yes. Especially when you're poking more holes in it," I answer back with a bit of a snap. "What are these tests going to be for?"
"Check your levels, mostly. It's nothing to be worried about, Peeta," he says, turning away from me. As I watch him take his clipboard back, I silently hope in the back of my head for a different doctor next time. This one, I don't like at all. He doesn't look at me, not once, at least not at my face, and he keeps saying my name as if that puts him on some sort of personal level with me. More and more, I hate this place and everyone in it.
The nurse puts the samples onto her tray, Dr. Lawson gets his clipboard back, and suddenly, they are both done, just like that, just like they changed the sheets on the bed and nothing more. They turn away from the bed and immediately, I try to sit up which is impossible with the strap across my chest, but I still manage to lift my head up. "Wait! Take these off me! Now!"
Dr. Lawson stops and glances back, sighing. "I told you, Peeta. We can't. Just spend a little more time calming down, and then we might give it a chance," the doctor says.
"You're leaving the room! I'm going to be by myself in here! There won't be anyone else! What will it matter if I'm strapped down or not?" I reply, pleading back with him. There has to be some sense, something here.
The doctor groans and shakes his head once more. "Not yet, Peeta. Give it time," he says, before turning and ushering the nurse out of the room. The door slides closed behind them, locking in place and that is it. I am alone all over again in this room, still stuck, still strapped down, and now I know for a fact that no one cares. Anyone walking in this room, anyone standing on the other side of the glass, they really do not care about me. Otherwise, they would do something for me.
Sighing, I let my head fall backwards against the bed, staring back up at the ceiling again. For a while, I try in vein to slip my hands out of the straps, cutting deeper into my wrists and ankles, but the more I do, the more it just feels pointless. Even if I do get out and tell them the truth, would they listen to me? They certainly are not now. Out of pure curiosity, I glance over at the large, tinted window, trying to study it and pick out a face, even just something similar to it, but all I see is someone who looks like me, lying on a bed, in nothing more than a paper gown. I don't look like a patient. I look like a prisoner with no rights left anymore. Then I remember. I did not have any to begin with.