Title: The Flames Rose Higher
Warnings: See first chapter for warnings.
Notes: Thanks to anyone with the patience to still be reading this. Also, thanks to the people who favourited this story or put it on alert, and special thanks to imadinosauristicharrypotterfan, shellbell0944, Guest, other Guest and MysticMayhem2403 for reviewing!
Disclaimer: Suzanne Collins owns the Hunger Games trilogy. I am not Suzanne Collins.
The Flames Rose Higher
Chapter Nine – Cinna
In the weeks leading up to the talent segments, Cinna met Plutarch Heavensbee in an abandoned and surveillance-free warehouse on three separate occasions. The first time it was just the two of them, and Plutarch asked him a lot of unnecessary questions that he'd already asked several times in the past about where Cinna's loyalties laybefore finally relaxing and getting him caught up to speed on the plan.
"You really think this will work?" Cinna asked skeptically. "You think no one will notice hovercrafts appearing all over the country only for dozens of people to disappear immediately afterward? You think that won't get back to Snow, just because the people you're bringing to safety aren't as well-known as, say, Prim?"
"Well, we're not going to just land the hovercrafts right in front of the Justice Buildings in each district. You can always find somewhere discreet and out of the way that Snow doesn't know about if you walk far enough. As for people noticing their friends or neighbors are gone—that's what the talent segments are for," Plutarch explained. "Distractions. The camera crew makes its way through the districts over the course of about two weeks, stopping to interview popular victors—or the not so popular ones who happen to have interesting talents. Almost like a prelude to the Victory Tour. And where do they start this journey?"
"District 12," Cinna answered, wondering where this was going.
"District 12, with Peeta's paintings and, ah, Katniss's clothes. So what we need is for them to start the talent segments off with a bang. Capture the attention of everyone, even President Snow."
Cinna eyed the older man suspiciously. "And how, exactly, are they going to do that?"
He kept his reply vague—Oh, I'm working on it, don't worry, I'll figure it out—but the maniacal grin pulling at his lips gave him away. He already had a plan, and Cinna had a feeling Katniss was going to hate it.
The second time he rendezvoused with Plutarch Heavensbee in the warehouse—well, it was a different warehouse, but just as remote as the first one, the only real difference being that the new one smelled horribly like rotten eggs—they were joined by over a dozen people, some of whom Cinna recognized, many of whom he was very surprised to see.
"Cressida!" He kissed her on the cheek and then greeted the man standing beside her in the same way. "And Messalla. Didn't expect to see you two here."
"Didn't you?" Cressida asked, grinning slyly.
He didn't get a chance to answer her rhetorical question, because the next instant Plutarch swooped in and exclaimed, "Cressida will be the director of the camera crew for the talent segments, and Messalla will be her assistant. Those two—" He pointed at two identical, sandy-haired men standing on the far side of the room, one of whom was gesturing while the other watched intently. "—will be doing the actual filming."
"Castor and Pollux," Messalla identified. "They're twins, obviously. Pollux is an Avox."
Cinna winced in sympathy. President Snow had been holding that that punishment over his head ever since Katniss's Games. One wrong move, he'd said, which was partly why Haymitch's lie had been so believable. At one point Snow had even decided that a demonstration was necessary. Cinna rarely suffered from nightmares, but after that incident he'd been plagued by them for three weeks straight.
"We joined the rebellion quite some time ago," Cressida said, "but we couldn't really do anything useful until now. We need these talent segments to distract everyone, even President Snow, so Plutarch called in some favors and got us hired onto the camera crew."
"Because this way you'll get to edit the footage Pollux and Castor collect," Cinna said slowly. "You get to shape the final product. You control what the public will see. Brilliant!"
"Of course it is, it was my plan, after all," Plutarch said briskly. In a louder voice, he announced to the room in general, "All right, that's enough chitchat, time to get down to business."
Within seconds, everyone had quieted down and fixed their eyes on Plutarch, waiting to hear what he had to say.
"Now," he began, "as you all know, we will soon be transporting people across Panem to District Thirteen. You are all here today because you have to make a choice. You can either stay here in the Capitol and gather information for the rebellion, or you can come with me on the hovercraft when we initiate Phase 2 and we'll bring you to safety. I need all of you to choose now so we'll know how many people are coming and so we can decide how to get everyone to the hovercraft without being seen."
He turned to Cressida and Messalla. "We'd like the two of you, as well as Pollux and Castor, to come to District Thirteen. We'll need a decent camera crew."
Messalla shrugged and said, "Sure. Not like we'll be able to do much if we stay in the Capitol."
Cressida nodded her agreement. On the other side of the room, the sandy-haired twins looked at each other for a moment. Then Castor said, "Us too. We'll come."
"Excellent. Fulvia, you will of course be accompanying me." He smiled at the woman standing next to him. "But what about you, Portia?"
Startled, Cinna followed Plutarch's gaze until his eyes landed on his fellow stylist. She was watching him with a wry grin on her face. He hadn't noticed her when he'd first glanced around the room. How long had she been a part of the rebellion? Why hadn't he known?
"I'd like to stay," she said. "My father-in-law is pretty high up and he spills a lot of secrets when he's drunk. I'll be more useful here, given that you'll already have a stylist." She nodded at Cinna.
"What? No, no, I'd actually rather go to District Twelve or maybe Five," he said hurriedly.
"What good would that do?" Plutarch asked. "The people of District Twelve think you're one of Katniss's lovers. They won't listen to you. As for the people of District Five—to them, you're a traitor. You abandoned them for fame and fortune, for a glamorous life."
Cinna reeled back as if he'd been struck. "That's not why I—"
"Yes, we know that. They don't. Trust me; your presence will not encourage them to rise up against the Capitol. Come to District Thirteen. We need someone to create a look for Maple, something iconic that will inspire the people of the districts," Plutarch coaxed. He paused, then added, "Also, Katniss will kill me if I let you stay behind."
Of course Katniss would want me to go to District Thirteen, Cinna thought, fighting the urge to sigh in exasperation.
It wasn't her decision to make, and it certainly was Plutarch's, but unfortunately the older man was right. The only place Cinna could make a real difference was in District 13. Once the rebellion moved against him, President Snow would go after anyone he thought was part of it. Cinna would be pretty high on his list of suspects, so staying in the Capitol was definitely out of the question. And as for trying to help out in the districts—the people might love the clothes he made, but he knew, he'd always known, that he'd never really be one of them.
The third time, two days before he was to be shipped off to District 12, he arrived early and found Portia already there waiting for Plutarch. She looked up when Cinna entered and smiled at him in welcome.
He smiled back and said, "Didn't know you would be here. Anyone else coming?"
She shrugged. "No idea. Plutarch told me he wanted to talk about Peeta's wardrobe for the talent segments. I'm guessing he wanted to speak to you about Katniss's?"
"Yes, that's what he said. Apparently he has some plan to distract the Capitol and it involves Katniss and Peeta. He probably needs to make sure we dress them the way he wants," Cinna reasoned.
As it turned out, Cinna was right. Plutarch showed up at the agreed-upon time and then instructed the two stylists to give Katniss and Peeta a "—domestic sort of look, you know? Loving housewife and her devoted husband just home from work at the bakery. I'm talking collared dresses with polka-dots and handmade shirts with Peeta's initials embroidered on somewhere. Don't forget the matching aprons for when they make dinner together and old-fashioned jewellery that they can claim belonged to Peeta's grandmother, all right? And someone needs to make Prim look a few years younger so we can play up Katniss's nurturing side."
Portia's eyebrows climbed higher and higher as Plutarch went on, and Cinna had to admit he was rather skeptical as well. Loving housewife? Katniss? And her devoted husband? The one she'd cheated on with half the men in the Capitol? That would be a distraction for some people—it would rank somewhere up there with the possibility of the existence of aliens and alternate dimensions—but it wasn't going to fool Snow.
After Plutarch had bid them goodbye and slipped out the door, off to another meeting on the opposite end of the city, Cinna and Portia talked it over for a while and came to the conclusion that there must be something more to the plan that would make the domestic look believable.
When they'd exhausted that subject they stood in silence for a few minutes, Cinna debating whether or not he should say goodbye and leave. Instead he chose to ask a question that had been on his mind since he'd first seen her at the meeting with Cressida and all the others.
"Why didn't you tell me you'd joined the rebellion?"
Portia looked at him and said, "Well, I didn't know for sure that you were part of the rebellion—" he made a noise of disbelief, which she ignored in favor of plowing on, "—and it wasn't safe to give myself away unless I was one hundred percent sure."
"Fair enough," he allowed. He eyed her shrewdly. "But you were mostly sure, weren't you? And you were upset that I never told you."
"Upset, no. Annoyed, yes." At the look he gave her, she elaborated, "Plutarch told me that Haymitch approached you about joining the rebellion before the 74th Games were even over, but no one approached me until a few months ago. You know I've never agreed with the way the President runs things and that I've always wanted the Games to be abolished. You knew I wouldn't rat you out if you confided in me, you knew I'd gladly join an underground resistance if I was given the opportunity, but you never mentioned anything about it to me."
"Because you have so much more to lose," he reminded her. "Your husband, your father, your grandmother, your in-laws. And President Snow was suspicious of me from day one, but he was sure of your loyalty."
"Which is exactly why you should've asked me to join two years ago," she argued. "Because I was in a position where I could gather information without anyone suspecting me. I could've helped, but you never gave me a chance."
"You're my friend." Cinna shrugged his shoulders a little helplessly. "I was trying to keep you safe."
"Oh, I know, which is why I was always annoyed instead of angry. Because I knew you were trying to keep me safe. Just like Katniss is trying to keep you safe." Portia raised an eyebrow at him and said, clearly fighting back a smirk, "Perhaps that wasn't the best comparison. I doubt her motivation for trying to keep you safe is quite the same as yours was for trying to keep me safe."
"Thought you were a die-hard supporter of the star-crossed lovers," he said, and though he would never admit it, his tone was just the slightest bit sour.
"I was. I love Peeta, you know I do, and I want him to be happy, but I think a working romantic relationship between him and Katniss is a lost cause at this point." She nudged his shoulder with her own. "You're my friend, too, and you've been waiting for her long enough. I think it's time you got your happy ending."
The problem, of course, he thought to himself as the train pulled into District 12's station the morning the talent segments were to begin, being that getting his happy ending was a lot easier said than done. He didn't even know if Katniss genuinely wanted him; what he did know was that he was going to have to break her heart by telling her what the President had told him about Peeta. He also knew that soon enough, he was going to be safe in District 13 while Katniss was out here risking her life.
He decided his doubts and worries would have to wait. He had to do his part to help distract the Capitol, because right now there were people all across the districts discreetly packing away their things, their lives. There were families preparing to run. To essentially vanish from the face of the Earth. And if Cinna and the others didn't do their jobs properly, those disappearances would be noticed, and then all those people would be caught and slaughtered one by one.
So when it came time to prepare Katniss for her interviews, he followed Plutarch's guidelines. Having decided against the polka-dots the instant Plutarch had mentioned them, Cinna put Katniss in the blue dress she'd worn on the day of her Reaping. Combined with the white and red checkered apron he handed her, it gave her a distinctly housewife look. The main reason he'd chosen that particular dress was that he thought it might make the viewers see her in a more benevolent light. It might remind them of the girl they used to see whenever they looked at her, the girl who'd volunteered to die in her sister's place. He did her hair up the way her mother had indirectly taught him for the same reason: to make the viewers see a girl who belonged to District 12, who had been ripped from her home and forcibly taken to the Capitol. The only accessories he added to the outfit were a pair of silver earrings that looked about a thousand years old and, of course, Katniss's Mockingjay pin.
There'd been a brief period of time during the Quarter Quell where Cinna had felt the need to leave out the pin when dressing Katniss, fearing that it might spark more tension in the districts and anger President Snow to the point where he would harm Prim and Mrs. Everdeen. Eventually that fear had lessened and the pin had once again become Katniss's trademark. Her wearing it today wouldn't seem suspicious, because she always wore it. Nowadays it was a symbol of betrayal to the people of the districts, not rebellion. Cinna was hoping that would change soon enough, preferably without Snow realizing.
By the time Peeta knocked on the door to collect his wife, Katniss had finished scowling at herself in the mirror (the apron in particular received the full wrath of her glare) and was ready to play her part.
She flung herself over to the door, yanked it open and then threw her arms around her husband. As the star-crossed lovers greeted each other with adoring smiles and passionate kisses, Cinna darted a glance at his reflection to make sure his expression was the mixture of indulgence and amusement he was aiming for.
It was, which was a good thing because there was a camera right behind Peeta and it was doing a thorough sweep of Mrs. Everdeen's living room. Behind the camera was Pollux, and behind him was Castor, with his camera trained on Katniss and Peeta, and the rest of the crew. Cinna was careful not to acknowledge any of them as they stepped around the couple still embracing and fully entered the room.
Only when Katniss and Peeta pulled apart—and now that they had, Cinna could clearly see that his fellow stylist had also followed Plutarch's instructions, right down to the embroidered initials on the breast pocket of Peeta's clearly handwoven shirt—did Cressida introduce herself and Messalla. Cinna smiled at the newcomers politely as though he was meeting them for the first time, and they smiled back in the exact same way.
Once the introductions were over with, Cressida gave Katniss, Peeta and Cinna their directions. "Now, as this isn't going to be live, we can interview all three of you at once in order to save time. Mr. and Mrs. Mellark, if you'll come with me and… Cinna, was it?" she asked. Cinna wanted to laugh at how perfectly apologetic she looked, but instead he nodded. "Cinna, stay here with Messalla. And… Portia?" Portia nodded as well. "You might as well join them, I'm sure you also influenced Mrs. Mellark's sense of style a great deal, so Messalla will definitely have some questions for you."
Cinna avoided Katniss's eye as she and Peeta were ushered out of the house by their interviewer, Castor trailing behind them. It wouldn't do for either of them to burst into giggles right now.
"Well!" Messalla said when the door had closed. He took a seat in one of Mrs. Everdeen's armchairs and gestured at the couch opposite him. Cinna and Portia obediently sat down.
"Camera's rolling?" he checked with Pollux, who gave him a thumbs up. "Excellent. Let's get started, shall we?"
It was half past eleven by the time Katniss (sans apron) and the others returned. Cressida politely turned down Mrs. Everdeen's offer of lunch, explaining, "Peeta and Katniss already baked us some lovely carrot cake while we interviewed them. Besides, it's time for us to go. All of our equipment is set up in the Justice Building and we have to have these interviews edited and ready to go by six."
"You're timing is perfect," Peeta said. "My shift starts at noon. We can walk to the town square together."
"Can I come?" Prim asked eagerly. She scrambled to her feet, the movement dislodging the cat that had been curled up in her lap and sending him sprawling.
"Oh, sorry!" she told Buttercup who, perhaps merely on principle, hissed at Katniss like it was her fault before running off. Katniss stared after him with a smug smile on her face.
"Like a five year old, honestly, always trying to one up that cat…" Mrs. Everdeen muttered under her breath.
In the end, only Mrs. Everdeen and Portia stayed behind. It took the rest of them ten minutes to reach the square, where they said farewell to the camera crew, and another ten to reach the bakery, where Katniss kissed her husband goodbye as her mother-in-law scowled at them through the window, as per usual.
"Where to now?" Cinna asked the girls after the door had swung shut behind Peeta. "Back to your mother's house?"
"Let's not go back yet," said Prim. "The interviews aren't on 'til seven, we can't spend all that time cooped up at home."
"We could shop around for a while," Cinna suggested.
So they did. Katniss made a show of buying fabrics for the clothes she would supposedly make, Cinna bought Prim a flower to put in her hair, and Prim bought cat treats and a new collar for Buttercup, as he had chewed and scratched his old one to pieces. (As he had all the ones before it. Prim, Katniss had told Cinna over the phone nearly a year ago, had yet to realize that the reason Buttercup destroyed every collar he was given was that he hated them. Katniss had not, however, told Cinna that she had taken to encouraging the purchase of these collars.
"You really hate that cat, don't you?" Cinna muttered out of the corner of his mouth, fighting back a grin.
"I really, really do," Katniss whispered back and then said to Prim, louder and far more gleefully, "Why don't you get the one with the little jingling bell?")
Afterwards, they wandered about aimlessly. Cinna looked around him and realized that at some point they'd strolled right into what must've been the Seam. The sunken, hopeless faces of many of the people here reminded him of the kids he'd grown up with in the orphanage.
"Shouldn't we go back?" he asked.
The girls both stopped walking. Katniss frowned off into the distance, clearly deliberating. "No," she said finally. "Let's go to the old house."
"The old house?" Prim repeated, staring at her older sister. "Our old house? I thought—"
"It's quiet there. Peaceful."
Prim's eyes widened and she glanced at Cinna. He glanced back, equally uncertain.
But baffled though they were, when Katniss began walking again, they followed her all the same.
The Everdeens's old house was…small. Worn. And dusty—very dusty. It was a lot like the orphanage Cinna had grown up in, in that everything about the place screamed of poverty. The orphanage had been a lot bigger, of course, but with so many children living there it hadn't felt like it.
Katniss set her fabrics down on the wobbly kitchen table and then wandered into a room that Cinna assumed had once been her bedroom.
As they set their purchases down on the table with Katniss's, Prim whispered to Cinna, "None of us come here anymore. I mean, except for Buttercup, but I don't think Katniss has been back since before the wedding."
That explained why Prim had been so surprised that Katniss had wanted to come here today. Why had Katniss wanted to visit today of all days? Cinna thought of the look she'd given the woods beyond the Meadow just before they'd entered the house, the longing in her gaze so intense it almost seemed tangible, and he was glad an electrified fence stood in her way. Not that she would actually sneak into the woods even if she could—not now that she was so close to finally getting her family to safety.
Katniss reappeared just then, with a bag full of…what, exactly?
"My father's old jacket," Katniss said, evidently having noticed the wary look Cinna had cast at the bag. "I've been meaning to bring it home, but I—" wasn't ready to let go of this place, her eyes said, "kept forgetting."
"And now you've remembered," he said.
Prim glanced back and forth between them, then said abruptly, "I want to go play in the Meadow, for old time's sake. By myself," she added, when Katniss automatically took a step towards the door. "You should both sit down, I might be a while."
A second later she was gone, and there wasn't much else for Cinna and Katniss to do but take Prim's suggestion (order, if Cinna was being honest).
"Can I see it?" he asked without knowing why. Maybe just for something to say. "Your father's jacket?"
Katniss's eyes never left his as she turned the bag over and emptied its contents onto the table between them. Cinna broke the connection, turning his gaze away as he picked up the jacket and examined it. It was big—not very, but certainly too big for Katniss. Made of soft leather—well-made, at that.
"It's very nice," he said quietly, handing the jacket back to Katniss. She didn't put it back in the bag.
He didn't want to look at her. If he looked at her he'd have to confess what he'd learned about Peeta. So he looked at the table instead, and realized something else had fallen out of the bag.
"Are those my gloves?" he asked.
"Oh!" Katniss blinked. "I guess they are? Oh, I remember now. Yeah, they're yours. You left them with me. After the Victory Tour, I think? I tried to give them to Gale but he wouldn't take them."
"You tried to give them to Gale? The gloves I forgot?" He attempted to look as offended as possible.
"I thought you'd wanted me to have them," she protested. "You had at least five other pairs with you, I didn't think you'd care and— And you're winding me up."
Laughing, Cinna said, "Takes you a while sometimes, but you always get there in the end." He ignored her glare. "Of course I wanted you to have them; I never accidentally leave clothes behind. I would've left more, but I thought you'd have a hard enough time trying to get Gale to take the gloves, let alone a coat and a hat as well."
"Well, you were right. He wouldn't take the gloves. Thanks anyway."
He shrugged. "Least I could do."
They sat in silence for a while, until Cinna couldn't take it anymore and said, "Listen, there's something I have to tell you. It's about—" He couldn't finish. He couldn't do it, he couldn't break her heart like this. The house was more than likely bugged anyways, surely this wasn't the ideal time to tell her? Surely he could put it off for a little while longer.
Except that Snow wouldn't be angry if Katniss knew; he'd probably get some sort of sick satisfaction out of her pain.
Katniss looked at curiously for minute, perhaps wondering why he was for once tongue-tied, and then her face lit up with something that just a bit too uncertain to be comprehension.
"Is this about the talk you had with President Snow? Because Haymitch told me—"
"He told you about Peeta?" Cinna blurted, incredulous. The older man had seemed so against it.
"—about how he lied and how President Snow never threatened us, and I've been meaning to ask you if you—" She was talking extremely fast, uncharacteristically nervous, (was she fidgeting?) and so it took her a few seconds to process what he'd said. "Peeta? What about Peeta?"
"What have you been meaning to ask me?" Partly stalling for time, partly burning with curiosity. (She was fidgeting!)
"Never mind," she said impatiently. (And blushing!) "What about Peeta? What did President Snow tell you about Peeta?"
He took a deep breath, reached out and covered one of her hands, both of which were clutching her father's old jacket tightly enough to make her knuckles pale, with one of his own. "When you were in the hospital, you couldn't go to any…appointments."
"Yes," she said slowly, "I know."
"Well, President Snow— He didn't like that."
Katniss shot him a look that clearly said Get to the point now.
And he knew he finally had to. "Instead of giving your patrons a refund, he sent Peeta in your place."
There was long pause that seemed to last an eternity.
"In my place?" Katniss echoed at last in a mechanical voice. "To my appointments."
"In my place. He— Those men, they—"
"Yes." Cinna closed his eyes. "I'm sorry."
"He never said," Katniss whispered, and she sounded like she'd gone numb. "He never mentioned, all that time I was in the hospital, and he always had to leave before nine but I never thought—"
"He didn't want you to know," Cinna said, opening his eyes. The look on her face right now was ten times worse than he'd feared. "He wanted to spare you the pain. So he didn't tell you, and he made Haymitch promise not to tell you—"
"He should've told me anyway!" she burst out suddenly, pulling her hand out Cinna's grasp. Her other hand released its grip on the jacket. "How long have you known?"
"Since Davenport's Gala. There was no time to tell you then, and I couldn't do it over the phone."
He expected her to blow up at him, but she just nodded like she accepted his answer, her shoulders slumping, her head falling into her hands.
Cinna turned; Katniss raised her head. Prim was standing in the doorway, staring at her sister with a mixture of worry and alarm.
"You done?" The older girl pushed her chair back, seemingly unaware of the resulting scraping sound that made both of her companions cringe, and stood up, stuffing her father's jacket and, after a moment's hesitation, Cinna's gloves back into the bag, which she then slung over her shoulder. "Let's head back."
"Katniss," Cinna said, not moving from his seat.
"What," she snapped. "What?"
"What did you want to ask me? Before. You wanted to ask me something." That wasn't what he'd wanted to say, what he'd been meaning to say; it just seemed like the easiest thing to say. His curiosity had faded. Whatever she'd been meaning to ask, it hardly seemed to matter.
As if reading his thoughts, Katniss said, "Doesn't matter." She strode over to the door and gently pushed past Prim. "Let's go."
On the train ride home that evening, Cinna and Portia watched the interviews. Theirs was first. It wasn't particularly interesting, maybe because he already knew how it went, or maybe because he was so distracted.
Had he done the right thing, telling Katniss? Without doubt, she'd been better off not knowing, but that couldn't last forever. Had he been right about it hurting more in the long run? Or had Peeta and Haymitch been right about sparing her the pain for as long as possible?
Katniss and Peeta's interview managed to capture some of his attention, because he wanted to know what Plutarch had meant when he'd said he intended to have the two young victors start off the talent segments with a bang.
He noticed that it took place partly in the living room of Peeta's house (though officially the house belonged to both the star-crossed lovers, and Katniss slept there most nights to avoid arousing suspicion) with all the paintings and outfits, and partly in the kitchen, where Katniss and Peeta were indeed baking what looked to be a carrot cake (in their matching checkered aprons) as they took turns answering questions about their respective talents.
Prim popped up at one point; Cinna had obeyed the instructions he'd been given and dressed her like a little girl, but watching her on the screen looking and behaving like she was half her actual age while Katniss and Peeta basically babied and cooed at her made wonder: What on Earth had Plutarch told her? What was he playing at? First the domestic routine, and now this?
"We've all seen the outfit you're wearing today before," Cressida was saying now, "except for those earrings. Is there a story behind them?"
As Cinna watched, Katniss straightened up from where she'd been peering into the oven, looked over at her husband and smiled.
He smiled back and said, "They were my mother's. My father gave them to her for their very first anniversary, and his mother gave them to him, and her husband gave them to her… I think they go back at least six generations. After I proposed my mother gave them to me to give to Katniss for our first anniversary."
"I'll just bet she did," Portia snorted. She'd met Mrs. Mellark, after all.
"I don't think we've ever seen you wear them before now," Cressida observed. "Why the delay?"
Katniss laughed. "I've been so paranoid about losing them that they've been sitting in my bedside drawer gathering dust for months."
"We're deeply flattered that you consider this interview important enough to be their debut," Cressida teased.
Katniss and Peeta smiled at each other again.
"We got some very exciting news recently, so I decided it was finally time to break the earrings out," Katniss said, beaming so wide and so very, very fake. Not that anyone who didn't really know her could tell.
"Oh?" Cressida raised an eyebrow. "How exciting are we talking here?"
Peeta leaned back against the counter and drew his wife into his arms. "Don't listen to her, it was my idea to bring the earrings out of retirement. I told her, 'You might as well start wearing them now, they're not going to be yours for much longer!'"
Perplexed, their interviewer said, "Pardon?"
"Well, she'll only get to keep them for so long," Peeta said, and then he dropped a bomb that would definitely distract the Capitol and maybe even President Snow. "You know, what with the baby coming."
Author's Note: Yes, I am very unoriginal and I did just steal a fairly major twist from Catching Fire. In my defense, this story is actually about Cinna and Katniss's romance, not the rebellion. (Even though I'm not doing a very good job right now of focusing on the former. I just want Cinna to sort of have a life outside Katniss.)
And once again I took forever to update. At least this chapter's a long one? Also you might've noticed that I changed the summary; this is because the old summary didn't really fit the story (and made little to no sense whatsoever).
Next chapter might be the last, but depending on how long it gets I might split it into two chapters.
In response to imadinosauristicharrypotterfan's review: Any resemblance to the fic you read is unintentional. Everyone who writes for the Hunger Games trilogy uses the same source material, so similarities are inevitable. In the books, the safest place from Snow is District 13, and Plutarch brings people to District 13 in a hovercraft. So I figured anyone who needed to get to safety in this fic would be transported to District 13 in a hovercraft.