For Love, Humanity, And All Things Worth Living For
A/N: Pretend that Katniss and Peeta are older, and that the Hunger Games only just re-started from the last quarter quell.
Summary: Katniss got Peeta back, they get married and have kids. Great. But what do you get when you find that the lovely couple couldn't stop Snow, and the Hunger Games rage on?
Easy. Ladies and Gentlemen, announcing the 76th annual Hunger Games.
I sat at the kitchen table with my family, which was made up of my mother, Katniss Mellark, my father, Peeta Mellark, my thirteen year old brother, Finnick Mellark, named after a dead victor from the quarter quell last year, and myself, Rose Mellark. I was named after my dead aunt, Primrose, whom my mother had held a very close bond with.
Everyone was sullen as we sat in my father's victor's house. (My grandmother lived in my mom's old victor's house, so we all moved in to dad's.) It was Reaping day, which only meant one thing.
Two more tributes would be entering the arena this year.
I've managed not to get picked three times, considering the fact that I was fifteen, and your name gets put in for the first time when you're twelve. My brother hasn't gotten picked yet either, but you never know who Effie will pick next.
I looked around the table. My mom's gray eyes looked dark and sunken today, like she had hardly gotten any sleep last night. My dad looked exhausted as well, though his eyes weren't the normal cheerful blue, but a dark, stormy blue that reminded me of sadness and fear.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. "Mom," I started carefully, trying to choose the right words.
"Yes, dear?" My mother smiled at me.
"W-what if I get..." I trailed off. My mother must have known what I meant, because the fake cheeriness she was trying to pull off instantly disappeared.
"We just can't afford to think like that." My mom whispered sullenly. My father got a grim, distant look on his face, as if remembering something unpleasant.
"You have to show the Capitol that you're not just a piece in their games." My dad said, looking stonily ahead, which happened to be out the window, and into the woods.
With that, I excused myself from the table quickly, to ensure no one would see my tears that were threatening to shed. I somehow knew today was going to be bad.
I could feel it.
"Rose, hurry up with your shower!" My mother pleaded. We had about an hour until the Reaping, and my mother still needed to help me get dressed up.
"I'm coming, mom!" I answered back, turning off the water and grabbing a towel, quickly tussling my hair with it in an attempt to remove all the access water. Then I wrapped the towel tightly under my shoulders and walked out of the bathroom to find my mom waiting for me patiently on my bed, with a beautiful white dress laid out next to her. The dress had a big satin black ribbon tied in a perfect bow right under the chest. The dress was about knee length, and was simple, yet elegant. There were black flats on the ground next to my bed.
"Do you like it?" My mother asked.
"No, I love it." I smiled. My mom turned around, and I quickly slipped the dress and flats on. It fit me perfectly. It was perfectly fitted above the bow, but below the ribbon it flowed graciously and beautifully.
"Mom," I called. She turned, and I twirled for her. She clapped her hands and smiled at me.
"Gorgeous." She exclaimed, walking over to me. She took my hair brush, and brushed my long blond hair -that reached the small of my back- until it shone. Because it was still wet, she took her fingers and wrapped a small strand of my hair around her middle and index finger. After a little, she let it go and it fell in perfect spirals. Mom continued the technique until all of my hair was in spirals, then added a little sticky goo that came out of a bottle that you sprayed on, and it made anything stick exactly how you put it until you washed it out. Finally, my mom pulled the from of my hair back with a white satin headband, and stepped back to take a look.
"Beautiful." I took this time to actually take in my mother's look. She was wearing a simple black dress with ruffles on the trimming, and black heels. Her black hair was swept back in a neat bun, with not a single piece of hair falling out. I was about to comment on her outfit when dad yelled up the stairs.
"Katniss, Rose, it's time."
"Coming, Peeta!" Then she turned back to me. "Ready?"
"No." I grinned. She grinned slightly back. We walked down the stairs hand in hand, to see the boys at the bottom. I have to say, my brother and father looked dashing.
My brother wore a simple pair of tan slacks and a white dress shirt that was tucked in, and brown shoes. My dad wore a pair of black slacks and a deep green dress shirt, with black shoes.
My dad grinned. "Well, don't you look pretty!" He exclaimed, grabbing my hand and twirling me around. I giggled.
"Daddy, stop it! I'm fifteen," I giggled. He sighed, poked me in the stomach -causing yet another wave of giggles to erupt-, then took mom's hand.
"Ready to go?" He asked.
"No." I answered again, while my brother just shrugged. With that, we started our walk down to the center of town.
After getting my blood pricked, I walked over to the section for fifteen year-old's, while Finnick went over to the thirteen year-old's. A woman I recognized as Effie Trinket waddled up on stage, looking odd as ever as she kept up with the latest Capitol fashion fads. Today, she wore a deep blue ultra tight skirt that was ruffled at the very top and a deep blue blazer of the same color. The shoulders, though, on this special blazer puffed out very large. She wore big, fake blue eyelashes and sparkly green lipstick, along with a pound of powder, making her look paler than snow.
"Hello!" She said with her slight British accent. No one answered her, as always. She cleared her throat awkwardly before continuing on.
"Now, it is time to pick yet another boy and girl tribute from District 12 for the 76th annual Hunger Games!" Effie announced. "As usual, ladies first!" She waddled over to the huge glass spheres, and stuck her hand in to the sea of name cards. She cautiously moved her hand around in the sphere before reaching in further, and plucking out a name card. Effie pulled it out, undid the tape, and read the name.
"Ooh! This is very interesting, very interesting indeed! It seems as we have a very special female tribute this year!" Effie exclaimed, giggling. Everyone was silent, waiting to hear who would have to go fight to the death this year. "This year's female tribute will be..." Everyone in the District leaned forward in anticipation.
Everyone turned to look at me. All my friends, all my enemies, everyone I knew turned to look at me. I only turned to look at mom. She looked just as aghast as I felt. I caught a glimpse of my father, and he looked utterly outraged and angered.
"Damn it!" He yelled, his blue eyes looking murderous. My mom started to cry silently. Dad took her in his arms and just held her.
"Rose? Rose? Where are you?" Effie said, looking around in the crowd. I walked out in to the aisle, where Peacekeepers took hold of my arms and lead me up to the stage. I was looking at my feet as Effie took my arm gently and led me up to the stage.
"Now, can we get a hand for our two most famous victor's daughter, Rose Mellark?" Effie asked, raising my arm. No one made a move. Effie acted as if she didn't notice.
"Time for the boy!" She said, waltzing over to the boy tribute sphere. She plunged her hand in, shuffled around the name cards a little, the pulled her hand out. She undid the tape yet again, the read the card.
"Jacob Phillips!" Oh no. Not him. Anyone but him.
Jacob Phillips. My worst, first, and only enemy. One of the many mean things he's done to me was, well, okay. He was extremely popular at our school, and he once found out who I had like when I was in fifth grade. He said it over the announcer, and I had to eat lunch in the hall for the rest of the year. Then, there was when he had the nerve to kiss me.
It was the beginning of sixth grade. I had found out he liked me, and he had just leaned over and kissed me when I went to accuse him of it. I broke away, and punched him in the jaw. I ran away before anything else could happen. He had dirty blond hair and green mysterious eyes that looked as if they held many secrets. Everyone watched, including me, as he made his way up to the stage, Peacekeepers surrounding him at every which way. When he finally got up to the stage, Effie didn't even bother asking for an applause. She just took both of our hands, raised them up in the air so the camera that was broadcasting live to the Capitol could see, then told us to shake hands.
"Come on you two, shake hands now!" We took each others hands, gripping them both tightly, and shook our hands stiffly up and down. I looked in his eyes, gray meeting green, knowing that this was it. This was the beginning of the end of my life.
"Great! Now, good luck, and may the odds be ever in you favor!"