This is my first Hunger Games fanfiction. I'm not going to ask you to be nice with your reviews, but I would greatly appreciate constructive criticism. Characters and such are owned by Suzanne Collins. Enjoy!


Chapter One

"My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am sixteen years old. And I live in District 12 –"

"Katniss," he interrupted me firmly. Dr. Snow was the head psychiatrist at Meadow Springs Mental Hospital. He was an older man, early sixties probably. His hair was a pure white, neatly slicked back, and had a beard connecting from his sideburns. He always wore this disgusting, musky cologne that reminded me of roses. I hated it. He would wear too much of it and it made me nauseous.

"Sorry." I mutter incoherently.

"Try it again." He was starting to get irritated at me. I could tell. Every time I meet with him, he always makes me recite this paragraph. He says that is the facts. That I need to learn in order to get better and get out of here. It bothers me though. I know it's not true. He doesn't know what's real. He thinks Panem is all in my mind. But I know it's real. Panem is real. District 12 is real. He doesn't know what he's saying.

I took an exasperated breath and began, "My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am sixteen years old. I live in Pennsylvania. I have a younger sister named Primrose and a mother." I trailed off after I saw a smile form on Dr. Snow's face. Plus, I didn't really remember the rest of the monologue.

"That's enough for today, Miss Everdeen. We'll work on it more next week." He closed the notepad that he's been jotting notes down in and set it on his desk. I simply nodded and headed for door. I wanted to get out of his office as quick as I could. His cologne was beginning to overpower me; I thought I was going to puke. I stumbled out the door and made way to the hallway that led to the girls' ward.

I made it right past the white double doors that separated the girls' ward from the boys'. The next thing I knew, I was skidding across the white lament floor.

"Sorry." a male voice mumbled to me. He was kind enough to help me to my feet and then apologized again. I shrugged and then made the mistake of looking him in the eyes.

My eyes widen, and terror takes over me. It was Peeta Mellark.

He frightens everyone at Meadow Springs. He's been here for as long as I have. Which is basically our whole life. Everyone tries to stay away from him. He's crazy. Well, I mean, we're all crazy here. But he's crazy. One time, in group therapy, he completely flipped out. Like, throwing chairs and screaming. The nurses had to restrain and sedate him. And we didn't see him for two weeks after that. The weirdest part, he started acting like this after something I said.

We were just discussing what was on our minds. I was talking about how the Dark Days in Panem and how the Capitol came up with the Hunger Games.

"Seventy-four years ago, the Districts rebelled against the Capitol. It almost destroyed Panem. The rebels fought hard, but they just couldn't succeed. The Capitol ended up bombing District 13. It's gone now, completely." I was rambling now. Everyone just groaned like they always do when I bring Panem up. But it's real, and they just don't see it. Peeta was looking down at his feet. He looked frustrated, or angry. I couldn't quite tell. It was like he was trying to hold something in. And Haymitch, the group therapist, was staring at me contently, watching me. He just nodded and I took that a signal to continue.

"And every year since the rebellion, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games. They select a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts to fight to the death. It's televised. Everyone is required to watch it." I looked down, picking at my nails. Haymitch was the only one listening to me. I glanced up and saw Peeta clenching and unclenching his fists. Then I mumbled, "And the Reaping Day is coming up. In August."

Peeta lost it then. Everyone jumped when he screamed and Haymitch nearly fell off his chair. Peeta was in a rage, he was having an episode. He picked up his chair and tossed it across the room. It looked like he was about to come after me, when Haymitch grabbed him and a bunch of nurses came in. He was thrashing and yelling in Haymitch's arms. They restrained him, sedated him and took him away. The session ended after that.

Peeta finally looked back at me, his pupils dilating in surprise. "Oh, Katniss. I wasn't watching where I was going. I'm sorry for knocking you over." There was softness in his voice. A softness I've never heard. It only terrified me more. I looked down as soon as his eyes made contact of me and noticed his fists clenching at his sides. I took a step backward as a precaution.

"It's alright, Peeta. I, uh, have to get back to the ward." I mumbled and stuttered out of nervousness. The sound of his voice, though the clenching of his fists…I just wanted to get as far from him as possible.

I don't think that was going to happen though. He took a step towards me, enclosing the space I was trying to make between him. Peeta was really started to scare me, he kept getting closer. I didn't like it. With every step he took forward, I stumbled backwards. Soon he had me pressed against the wall. He was trapping me. I glanced down at his fists again; his fingers were digging into his palm.

"Peeta…I really need to go. Uh, Effie will get worried…" he was just staring at me, his expression looked soft but his eyes were full of anger. This whole thing made me uncomfortable. I shut my eyes and District 12 came into view. I stayed there, escaping to District 12. I was safe there.

"Katniss," My eyes flew open when I heard my name whispered in to my ear. His bright blue eyes were staring in mine. My heart was racing and it was hard to control my breath. I tightly shut my eyes, hoping the meadow in 12 would come back. But it didn't, everything was black.

I don't know how long I stayed like this, trying to bring District 12 back. But when I opened my eyes again, Peeta was gone. I sighed out of relief. He's never done that before. I've barely ever talked to him before. I only ever see him during meals or group therapy. What was that confrontation all about?

"Katniss, honey, what on earth are you doing?" A voice called from down the hall. I turn to see who the voice belonged to. It was Cinna, a fairly flamboyant nurse from the girls' ward. Effie probably sent him to find me when I didn't show up on time. He makes his way to me and wraps his arm around my shoulder, leading me down the hallway. "C'mon babygirl, let's get you back. Effie is worried sick."

I keep my head down, watching the tiles of the floor pass by. I sink my fists into my cotton pants when I feel something in my pocket. A square, folded piece of paper. A note.