A/N: I'm writing this for some friends of mine with their characters, so if you recognize any one, they asked me to write them in. Also, this is my first Hunger Games piece, so please don't be mad if I got something wrong.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games in any way, shape, or form
The three of them walked together, holding hands tightly as they whispered in hushed voices. The girl with white hair felt saddened to leave them, joining the other children in the pen. A chattering girl, yellow haired and small, announced the name that rocked her world. Everything felt upside down, and the doomed one was practically her sister. And so, she volunteered and stood on the stage. When Reiyla asked her name, she stared at them, and responded quietly that it was Jenny Smith…
My beautiful dress lay abandoned on the floor, Quorra insisting that I should shower before going back to District Three. Knowing that she was right, I pushed away my feelings of fear and stepped inside of the tub. This time, the knobs and buttons were all labeled; an indulgence I supposed they only thought that Victors were fit for. I didn't need them really, twisting the knob until a steaming hot spray hit my body. It felt soothing, washing away the stray sparkles that remained in my hair, and a few that had worked their way onto my shoulder. I could have stayed like this for hours, my eyes closed as my troubles were slowly washed down the drain with the shimmering makeup. But I knew I couldn't; I had the weight of the world on my shoulders from now on, and someone would always expect something out of me. All of this, just because I managed to make myself do what I never thought I could. Surely, this shouldn't be celebrated, but in this situation, frowned upon.
Blueberry scented shampoo squirted into my hands, my fingers rubbing it into my soapy hair. Its scent reeked of its name, something I still found odd, since we had normal cleansing items back in District Three. Just enough to make sure our hair didn't matt and hang in our eyes, making programming the electronics for the Capitol a challenge. That's how we got most of the things actually; to benefit the Capitol, and to keep us living, if only barely. After I washed the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair, a lemon scented soap appeared at the mere press of a button. Once finished, all traces of the glamour and shine of the Capitol were gone, leaving just me, Caitlyn Smith from District Three.
Stepping out of the shower, the metal panel blasted hot air all over me, drying me and detangling my hair at once. It was pleasant, and I couldn't help but wonder if things like this would be in my home at Victors Village. There'd only be eight of us, leaving four empty houses for the next District Three Victors. I quite hoped that we'd win again next year, as I'd have to know, and possibly Mentor, those Tributes. Kristor and Kayt must have felt happy, knowing that they got to see at one of their first two, proving them to be successful. If I did have to Mentor next year, I hope that I'd at least get paired with one of them, since I actually know them better than the others.
Walking into my dressing room, I found a blue long sleeved shirt and black jeans already laid out for me. Smiling slightly, I pulled them on, sticking a pair of white socks on my feet, and lacing up the black sneakers. Glancing into the mirror, I looked even more like myself. In fact, I could easily see myself walking around District Three, delivering some parts to one of the main factories on my way to school. And what startled me even more so was that I still looked beautiful; the pretty girl Sheehan's outfits created was still here. It made me wonder if she had always been there, and I think that she was.
Soon, Reiyla led me into the steel elevators and pressed the button for the lowest floor. The atmosphere was certainly happy, and it only bubbled as my Mentors joined us. Kristor seemed to be grinning, looking proud and confident while Kayt seemed to have a satisfactory gaze. No matter how questionable they were, a bond had formed between all of us that I doubted anything could sever. This is what happened between Victors and for once, I didn't mind at all. Not even the assaults of cheering that occurred as we walked outside and then climbed into the train could ruin my mood in the slightest.
"We got a new model, Caitlyn," Reiyla said with a grin, sitting down at the dining table, "District Six just produced this puppy last week! We'll be back in District Three in record time!"
She motioned for me to sit down next to her, and I complied. Reiyla's hair was now a soft bronze color, with little moving gears weaved into it. Without asking, we all knew that it was symbolic of the District Three Victory, and how proud she was. An elegant feast was put down for us, a slightly familiar Avox being the one who served it. Smiling at me, I grinned back upon recalling that his name was Algernon; he had been with me on the train coming here. Even if I only saw him for about a day, I still wanted to know his story. I wanted to know what this sweet looking boy had done to anger the Capitol; though, I suppose it wasn't all too hard to push their buttons.
"How fortunate," Kayt commented, sitting across from us next to Kristor, their hands entwined together.
Kristor grinned slightly, and then reached forward for a drink. Almost instantly, a young Avox girl filled it for him to the brim. He nodded merely at her, and she retreated back into the corner. I couldn't help but look at her, and take in everything. Her hair was blonde, the color of falling snow, and her eyes were like ice. Oddly, she couldn't have been older than eleven, tiny and short in stature making even that hard to believe. The red tunic she wore looked like bloodshed, eerily reminding me of my most recent horrors. What had she done, I also wondered, what was her name? Doubting that I'd be allowed to ask, I nicknamed her Isis in my mind, after a myth my father had once told me. The name seemed to suit her, and I swear that she smiled at me a little right as I nicknamed her.
Filling up my plate with food, my stomach rumbled, alerting me to my Hunger. Reiyla frowned slightly upon seeing how much I had taken, yet I heeded her no mind. If I threw up, well, it's not my train. And in fact, it's the Capitol's train so I didn't see any reason to care. Perhaps it mattered to Reiyla; since I'm positive she'll be taking this train back to her home right after Kristor, Kayt, and I are dropped off in District Three. But couldn't she get an Avox to clean it up for her? Oh well…No point in pondering the insane notions of the Capitol citizens and such; the only result of that is a pounding headache from trying to comprehend them. Swallowing down some strangely spicy noodles, accompanied with chicken and an odd sauce, it warmed me just as much as the shower did.
"You'll be home soon," Reiyla pointed out, "Don't gorge yourself or you'll end up looking like Haymitch Abernathy at each District Twelve Reaping."
Remembering the way Reiyla had looked at the Mentor in question; I couldn't help but giggle slightly. I must have sounded like Kayt, but I didn't care right now. In fact, Kayt even joined in on the laughing as Reiyla's perfectly plucked eyebrow rose higher and higher until I could hardly believe it. Its odd yellow color made it blend into her skin, which had been distastefully, well in my opinion, dyed an almost identical color. How'd she have the time to change her clothing this much anyways? It didn't make any sense, since we left almost immediately after I got dressed in more comfortable clothing. I'd have to find out later, as her face was now turning a deep shade of red, causing her to quiver. Instantly, Kayt and Kristor ceased laughing, and I followed their example. Smiling slightly, Reiyla too calmed down and began sipping her drink like nothing had ever happened.
Just like Reiyla said, the journey back to District Three was significantly shorter. I gazed out the window, seeing the familiar trees and sloping hills in my home, a slight smile gracing my face. The quick journey was almost over, and I'd get to see Dad again. I'd get to see everyone again; I'd get to be home. Happiness radiated from me, rolling off in layers and affecting just everyone around me. Even Isis started to grin, playfully poking Algernon, who looked like he could be her older brother. I wondered if this could have been the case, though I wasn't all too sure if I would be allowed to ask them. Capitol people came up with some funny rules, things that I still couldn't quite understand.
The train came to a halt, the cheers already audible and the cheerers already visible. A majority of the District stood out there, welcoming home their newest Victor since Kristor had one. Grinning, I dashed over to the train door, only to be stopped by Reiyla. She stared at me, her eyes a bit sad yet filled with warmth, and enveloped me in a crushing embrace. Slightly surprised, I hugged back after a second, somehow feeling safe. I hadn't felt like this with someone other than Dad in about six years, and I doubted I ever would again. These curious people, Reiyla and Sheehan, had somehow wormed their way into my heart, and didn't leave holes; they mended them.
Pulling away, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Kristor stood there, his head only half a foot from the ceiling, and he nodded slightly at me. Kayt graced me with a smile, and I knew I wouldn't mind living near these two at all. In fact, I think it'd be quiet nice, and Dad should like them as well. An idea popped into my mind then, and I decided to invite Sarah Jane and the others to come live with us in Victor's Village. I've seen those houses every now and then, and I'm positive that they're just too big for Dad and I alone. At that word, I remembered what President Snow had said, and I shuddered, causing Reiyla to look at me questioningly.
"It's nothing," I whispered, pushing open the train doors.
Hopping out, light warmed my skin as I looked up at the sky for a fleeting second. It may have been the same one I saw in the Capitol, and in the arena, yet it felt different here. Here, in District Three, it felt safe and welcoming, instead of dark and menacing. Worries seemed to vanish, and I dropped my gaze to look at the crowd. Somewhere, a brown haired man was making his way towards me, desperate to see me once more. I tried to find him, wanting to see Dad as much as he wanted to see me.
And after about sixty seconds, I found him and sprinted as fast as I could towards him. He also ran towards me, scooping me up in a bone crushing hug as quickly as humanly possible. Dad smelt of pine trees, the very first thing I noticed as I clung to him tightly. Everything I had been holding in came out, the tears feeling hot and endless as they landed onto his coat. Neither one of us cared though, simply glad that we weren't alone anymore; President Snow was wrong, I decided, I wasn't alone. I had my father and my father had me, and that's all I could have wanted, if not more. I could feel Dad stroking my hair, murmuring soft and reassuring words as he began to walk towards our home. From the direction, I could tell that it wasn't the one in Victors Village, but the little house I grew up in.
"You did it, Lynnie," he whispered, "everything's going to be fine. I promise."
Nodding slightly, my eyes already began to feel puffy, even though my tears haven't ceased. I didn't stray my gaze from Dad, only seeing the little knickknacks in our home through the corner of my eye. I didn't want to live in Victor's Village, I realized, I wanted to live at home. And that huge and fancy house didn't meet that description at all, only the word being the same. Sarah Jane, Luke, and Maria could have that house if they wished, but I wanted nothing to do with it. I didn't want to be thought of as a monster, as a murderer of children. Simply, because that wasn't who I was; it didn't even come remotely close in my book.
"Nothing can come between us now," Dad added, wiping away my tears, "you're my baby girl…"
Only now did I stop crying, but only because I didn't think I could cry anymore. My tears had finally dried up, and with that came an understanding. In the Games, I didn't change, I merely grew up; I wasn't Dad's little girl anymore. Still, I hugged him tighter, not wanting to ever let go, because if I did…No, I didn't want to think about that. I didn't want to care about anything else, and so, I merely melted into Dad's warm embrace.
We sat in silence now, reminding me of when I was forced to say goodbye to him. Instead, there wouldn't be any more goodbyes like that happening again, or at least, that's how it was supposed to work. Our entire house was still, and neither of us took their eyes off of the other, not quite believing that they were really there. In the stillness, I felt as if I could feel the very Earth turning, signaling the passing of time as we revolved around the sun. And from looking into Dad's eyes, I knew that he could feel it to. Another thing, I suppose, to add to the list of things that made us Smiths special; that set us apart from the others. Because of this, we'd have to stick together, and try our hardest not to let go. Neither one of us wanted to be alone anymore, simply because it hurt too much.
And the best thing was that I'm not alone anymore. I'm finally and truly home, right where I belong.