(A/N – I do not own The Hunger Games or the characters in any way; all rights are reserved to Suzanne Collins.)
I sit patiently in the stylists' box with Effie by my side. I can see the anticipation and concern in her eyes. Not even my closest friend knows what I have done. Portia is sat next to me, and although I gave her an idea of colour scheme, I did not tell her my actual intentions. The cheers, gasps and shocked shrieks from the crowds below us are drowned out by the sound of rushing blood in my ears. I know I have done something beyond my control. I know I have made myself a target. But what else will I be able to do?
I have no experience or weapons. I would be useless in battle. Instead, I sit there, expressionless as Katniss looks up to the stylists' box, her eyes finding mine. I smile at her, whether she's seen it or not is fifty-fifty, but being up here, a smile's the best I can offer. I nod my head to show my encouragement further and I see her shoulders fall as she looks back to Caesar Flickerman.
"So, Katniss, obviously this is a very emotional time for everyone. Is there anything you'd like to say?" I scowl, slightly, annoyed about how senseless Caesar can be.
But unlike me, Katniss smiles, the corners of her lips curving upwards. "Only sorry that I'm so sorry you won't be at my wedding... but I'm glad you at least get to see me in my dress" – Katniss shoots me a polite look and carries on – "isn't it just... the most beautiful thing?" A crushing weight seems to have suffocated me and I feel myself tearing up at the admiration she has towards my work. No, Katniss, I think. You haven't seen the best bit, yet. I put my thumbs up but she's up already and now my heart's pounding even louder in my ears as the dress bursts into synthetic flames and her face turns from adoration to what I can only describe as shock.
Effie gasps and grasps my arms with her spare hand, dropping the binoculars from her other hand. Portia's eyes are wide in the screen behind Katniss as she twirls and the Cameras focus steadily on me. I don't take in the fact my face is on the screens, but somehow I'm smiling and waving at the gawping audience.
I can't help but chuckle a little at Katniss' expression as Caesar tries to get things going again. "Feathers. You're like a bird," he breathes in amazement.
Katniss nods, her mouth still agape. Her eyes are concentrated on me and I regain composure. I can't let her see my fear.
"A Mockingjay, I think," She counters, her sleeves reflecting that of a Mockingjay's wings. "It's the bird on the pin I wear as a token."
Portia breathes out steadily and throws me a look and I know she know I intended this dress to be so much more than an interview dress. Recognition flickers across Caesar's face and I know he's thinking the same; everyone is!
Still with a barely noticeable frown, Caesar pushes on with a fair amount of verve in his voice. "Well, hats off to your stylist. I don't think anyone can argue that that's the most spectacular thing we've ever seen in an interview." – Caesar points to the stylists' balcony and smiles widely in amazement – "Cinna, I think you'd better take a bow." And although I hate the attention this design has drawn to me I am also proud that I have at least done something for my Mockingjay. I stand up, albeit awkwardly and bow slightly in response to the deafening cheers from down below. The buzzer signalling Katniss' three minutes of "interview time" goes off, barely audible against the buzzing crowd in the auditorium.
I take my seat again and breathe a sigh of relief for Katniss. My dress worked, and she looked stunning. The message was out.
~ XOX ~
The hovercraft seems to be a suffocating room, designed to torture both Katniss and I.
"Katniss, eat," I urge, gently, offering her a cracker which of course, she refuses. I sigh, leaning back into my chair and cross a leg over the other. "At least drink, girl on fire," I whisper in faint amusement as I offer her a water bottle which finally, she takes.
I don't know why I'm asking her these things if she does not wish to comply. After all, both Katniss and I have no appetite for anything. But I am her friend and companion, a person I promised she could entrust with her heart. And although it may not be in my best interest, I will help her to the very end. Even after I'm... gone.
The thought hits me suddenly and I clear my throat to hide my apprehension towards the upcoming moments.
The hovercraft lands in silence, much like the moments spent between Katniss and I. I escort her to the waiting rooms and help her into her arena attire.
"What do you think?"
I frown, annoyed at the material they've chosen for the tributes' arena outfit. "It will offer little in the way of protection," I mutter, "especially from cold or water."
Katniss frowns, too and asks whether it will help against the sun.
"Possibly," I answer carefully. "If it's been treated." I make sure to accent the "if" heavily, letting her know it may not even keep her safe from the source of all energy. She nods and turns around, but I stop, turning her back around. "I nearly forgot this," I confess. Taking the delicate token from my chest pocket, I clip it onto her.
"My dress was fantastic last night," she whispers, her eyes glassy and I know I'm reflecting her.
"I thought you might like it," I whisper back, my throat painfully tight with emotion. Leading her to the sofa, I sit next to her, making sure she's drinking before the terrible voice of Claudius Templesmith announces it's time.
Katniss squeezes my hand extremely tightly and the fear she's only let me see shines in her brown eyes. I zip her jumpsuit up securely and make sure everything's the best it can be for her.
"Remember, girl on fire," I breath, placing two hands on her shoulders. "I'm still betting on you."
Without hesitation I place a kiss on her forehead and tears are threatening to spill, but I hold them back. I will not upset her now.
"Thank you," she mouths as the glass cylinder closes around her.
I nod and smile, a small chuckle leaving me as she lifts her chin, anticipating my next instruction. The platform underneath her feet does not rise and a cold sweat breaks out on my forehead and down my back. I shake my head because I don't know what's going on, either.
The door suddenly opens from behind me and I can hear as well as tell by their reflections in the glass that these people have come for me. Three peacekeepers, all armed have come for me. I feel the hatred rise within me.
Why have they done this now?
And I know why. So they can destroy The Girl on Fire.
My arms are roughly tugged behind me and I'm cuffed, another peacekeeper hits me full force in the temple and I fall to my knees, dizzy for a moment as I try to catch Katniss' wailing form. I expect them to remove me like I am, after all, I'm not going anywhere, but Snow's never played fair, and this is no different.
With metal studded gloves, the peacekeepers keep hitting me, mainly my face. My flesh is torn jaggedly from the metal and blood runs scarlet over me. Katniss' silent screams aren't being heard and I wish I could comfort her that it wasn't her fault, but I can't and I never will, because I will never see her again. I will take her place and I will cheat her death.
Because I, Cinna, would happily die if it meant paying the price for helping Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire.
A/N – I always imagined what it would be like in Cinna's P.O.V.
Anyways, I really enjoyed writing this in his view because it offers so many more feelings. If you enjoyed this, Please Review!
Thanks, Katie1995. :)