"STOP!" I hear Rory cry as he crashes through the forest.
I'm too scared to move. My feet stay planted as the other three soldiers spin wildly around, trying to find the source of the voice within the woods, pointing their guns off into the trees.
Rory races out into the clearing and stands directly in front of me, protective. He throws his arms around his back, and his grip finds mine and holds my hand tightly.
"Don't touch her." He spits at the soldiers.
His voice sounds harsh and angry, but his soft yet tight hold on my hand couldn't be more revealing. He's absolutely terrified.
He stands, trembling, before me and I wrap both my hands around his and squeeze tight as he raises his voice once more, "Don't touch her."
But they don't seem to be moving. They simply stand there, eyes wide and mouths gaping as they stare at us both, incredulous. But they don't drop their guns.
A menacing voice calls out to us from the woods, and my heart stops as we all spin around, scared.
Gale stands glowering at the edge of the clearing, an arrow raised and ready, aimed at the head of the solider nearest me. "Don't you dare shoot," He hisses at them.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," the soldier lets his gun drop, and slowly unwraps the straps from around his neck. "Take it easy there tough guy, we're not going to do anything." He slowly places his gun on the ground and stands up, raising his hands above his head.
Gale watches this carefully, and then sets his sights on the other three, "Come on," he snarls, "Drop 'em boys."
The other soldiers stand for a moment, uncertain, but soon drop their guns as well, and stand together in the clearing, hands raised.
"Look, son" the head soldier calls. "We're not here to hurt you."
"The guns were just for fun then."
"Look kid, we're four guys with a hovercraft and guns, you're one guy from 12 with a bow and arrow. If we wanted to take your out we could've, right?" He shrugs.
Gale's eyes glower, but he doesn't drop the arrow, "I'm not a kid."
"No, I'm sure you're not. Look man," the soldier gestures to the Mockingjay emblazoned on his chest, "I'm pretty sure you know what this is, don't you?"
"More or less," Gale replies curtly.
The soldier begins to move slowly towards Gale, his hands still raised. "Now I've got a serious question for you. You guys seem awfully far from 12. Most of the citizens didn't make it 5 miles into the forest. How on earth did you get all the way out here?"
"We were told to get as far away as we could… that someone was going to come get us."
"And who told you that son?"
"What's it to you?"
"Just figuring out if you are who we think you are… So who told you?"
Gale's voice drops, "She didn't make it out."
The soldier nods to himself quietly. "So Madge Undersee sent you then."
I see Gale's back stiffen at the mention of her name, and he slowly lowers his bow to the ground.
"Yeah," he whispers in disbelief. "Yeah she did."
"Well then, Gale Hawthorne." The soldier offers out his hand. "We're the good guys."
I see Gale's expression turn from disbelief, to confusion, to frustration, to relief and back to sadness all in a flash.
"Glad you could make it," he sneers, offering his hand.
"We're certainly glad you could son. Now, is it just you three?"
And at that moment, all of the survivors in our group slowly emerge from the woods and enter the clearing, holding tight to one another's hands.
They emerge from the bushes, some climbing down from treetops, others coming up from rocks; some drenched in water from the creek. They emerge, hesitant, from their hiding spots.
"Not really." Gale replies.
The soldier nods, and signals to the other three to rally everyone up and bring them into the hovercraft. And then he walks over to Rory and I and kneels down, staring me right in the face.
"Sorry about that back there. Didn't think we'd actually find you, bit of a shock when you popped out of the bushes. You are certainly a smart young girl Miss Everdeen."
"Sometimes you have to be." I reply steadily, trying to hide the fear in my voice.
He nods solemnly and I raise my eyes to meet his.
His eyes shock me. A bright green colour that is smooth as water, but glistens like grass fresh with dew. They stand out from his smooth tan face and his jet-black hair.
His eyes meet mine, and for a moment I want to trust him; but I'm still so on edge that I don't think I can.
I don't have time to consider what my sister would do anymore as the soldier manages to convince Rory to leave my side for a precious moment so he can speak to me alone. Rory leaves me hesitantly, giving my hand one last squeeze before he walks over to his mother, Gale, Vick and Posy. The green eyes find mine stare deep into me as he speaks to me softly.
"So, Primrose Everdeen… How'd you know it was us?"
"Donner, on the side of your ship… Madge told me to remember the name." I reply, "and the pin. You have her Mockingjay on your ships too."
"Ahh," he nods. "You are smart. And brave too; what you did there, jumping into the clearing on your own, that was very brave. We'd almost given up hope that we'd ever find you."
"Have you been looking for that long?"
"Since the explosion. We waited for the Capitol hovercrafts to leave the airspace, and since we've been sending teams out all over the forest. We've managed to find some other survivors; but we knew we had to find you."
"Who's 'we'?" I ask, confused.
"Well," he sighs, standing up tall in front of me and offering his hand, "I am Captain Puck, and we are from District thirteen."
I step back in shock, and I almost feel my feet fall from under me.
Puck reaches out quickly, and steadies me by my wrists.
"I know," he says softly, gently patting my hand. "It's a lot to take in. But all that will be explained in time. In the meantime, we ought to get going. The Capitol crafts have been coming back regularly to sweep the area, they're keen to finish off anyone they find. We're lucky you weren't found yet."
Puck nods to me politely and rushes away to convene with the other members of District 13, and I'm only alone for a moment before Rory rushes up behind me and places his hands gently on my shoulders, steadying me.
"Prim? Is everything all right?" he whispers in my ear urgently, his arms slowly wrapping and tightening around my waist as he holds me to him safely.
He's all that's holding me up right now, but I still need to know more.
I slip out of Rory's embrace and race after Puck, not fully in control of my body. My feet fly out in front of my and my head feels light as I go over and over what's just happened in my head.
"Wait!" I cry, my voice cracking, and he stops suddenly, turning to face me.
I fall to my knees before him, not fully able to form the words yet, gasping and blubbering as I choke back the tears.
"Primrose?" he kneels down and cups my face, "Are you okay?"
I shake my head violently, the emotion brimming up inside me.
"Where is my sister?" I cry out, staring desperately into his deep green eyes.
"She's safe." He says steadily, his eyes not leaving mine. "She's back in 13 in the hospital."
In the hospital.
But I have to hold back the tears for just a moment longer, because I still need to know more.
"And Peeta?" I whisper.
Puck's eyes drop from mine, and he stares silently at the ground for a moment before he stands up again, his hand dropping from my cheek, walking away.
I can't think, I can't breathe.
My heart stops in my chest and a lump forms in my throat.
My mind wants to run wild and think of all that's happening to him right now, where he could be, what happened to him.
Peeta without his Katniss.
That's almost as terrifying as Katniss without her Peeta.
I shake the thoughts from my head and fill the empty space with blanks, refusing to let myself go there.
I couldn't handle it if I did.
Rory's arms find me again, and I find myself walking and being led slowly tin a mob that's making its way onto the hovercraft.
The bright fluorescent lights glare down at me from the ships interior, and it's all too much to take in at once. I crave the sunlight; the soft rays that hit you and make you feel warm and safe. I feel the sudden urge to race off into the trees again, stay in the sanctuary that's only begun to feel like home.
The tears begin to pour from my eyes, and the only thing holding me up is Rory's arms as we make our way up the into the ship.
"Her and him," a rough male voice calls out from behind us. "I need them."
I spin around, suddenly mobile again, and find a rough, callused, familiar finger pointing at my face and Gale's.
"I need them." Haymitch Abernathy repeats steadily, his dark, red-rimmed eyes staring right into mine. "Now."
And that's when everything goes black.
So then... That's that! Thank you all for reading and reviewing, and being so supportive as I work on quite possibly the biggest writing project I have completed thus far in my writing career. I've never really done anything of this magnitude before, and I appreciate you guys reading it and helping me on my way through, encouraging me and giving me feedback, it really does mean a lot to me. Please, let me know how you liked my story! I know I certainly loved writing from Prim's POV, and it's certainly something I want to continue, so I AM going to be writing Mockingjay from Prim's POV, or the 'continuation' of Run For Me. I'm going to take a couple of weeks off though to get my bearings with school again and do some other work, but you can expect something coming soon! In the meantime, you guys can probably expect a couple One shots (maybe one from Delly? Who knows), as I doubt I'll be able to stay away for that long. :)
Thank you all SO MUCH for reading, I hope you enjoyed my story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Read, review, respond, anything. Thanks so much guys, and I hope you enjoyed Run For Me.