Thank you, God, for everything.
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own the Hunger Games. Here's a little one-shot of just . . . I know, right?
Katniss had not thought that she would have visitors that morning. It was a rather pleasant surprise, though not entirely unheard of. Katniss always had a visitor during the day, whether it was Peeta (who practically lived with her) or Haymitch (who needed some company besides Effie, who was living with him) or Greasy Sae and her granddaughter (but it was highly unlikely, for Katniss had been up and about cooking for herself for the past couple of weeks. They barely came over anymore).
It was a pleasant, warm day outside, but Katniss hadn't wanted to go outside. She had planned, since Peeta said that he was meeting with ex-miners-who-turned-into-contruction-workers about the bakery he was planning to rebuild. Despite everything, Peeta still loved baking. As a matter of fact, it was almost a sort of therapy for him. Katniss thought it was good for him to do what he liked.
She, on occasion, went hunting outside the dead gate, which had been torn out. She would go by the creeks and wade, take down a squirrel, set a snare if she was bored. She was always silent.
But now, even though it was a lovely day, Katniss felt no desire to go outside. No one had come over today and so Katniss decided to be lazy. She was wearing a tank and shorts and made a batch of iced tea with mint and flopped onto the couch with the entire pitcher (save some for Peeta that was stored away) and strawberries. The strawberries reminded her of Madge. Madge had liked this warm days, and so she remembered the mayor's daughter as she ate them. She flipped on the TV and laid down and stuffed herself with strawberries and iced tea.
It was barely eleven, but she didn't care. She had just finished with her third cup of iced tea when she heard a knock on the door. She gulped what she had in her mouth and wiped her lips with her arm as she sat up. Manners, she heard in her head in Effie's voice. So much for manners, Katniss thought to herself as she went to the front window.
She moved back the curtains to see Effie Trinket on her doorstep. Her powdered wig was still in place, but for once, Effie was not wearing a mask of white makeup on her face.
Eyebrows raised at why she was dressed like that, Katniss let go of the curtain and went to the door.
She opened it slowly, revealing Effie, who clapped her hands at seeing Katniss.
"Katniss! My goodness, I haven't see you in ages!" Effie said excitedly, clasping her hands together. Effie had just arrived last week from the Capitol and had moved into Haymitch's house. She had gone crazy loading her stuff, so Haymitch had come over nearly every morning, complaining of never being able to get any peace. Katniss and Peeta had just smiled to each other, for they knew that Haymitch really didn't mind Effie moving in. She was just busy and Haymitch liked being lazy.
He went back every afternoon, though, for he knew that Effie would miss him if he didn't.
The ex-Capitol lady had been so busy with moving that she hadn't gone to see Katniss and Peeta yet, though she had tried. Now was just the first time she could get away. Katniss was figuring that since Haymitch hadn't shown up that his house was now livable again.
So she was here now. Katniss was able to get a better look at her. Her wig was still there (that was probably the only reason that Katniss could recognize her beside her voice), yes, but she now wore much less makeup. A little blush, a little blue eyeliner, some lipstick and blue eyeshadow. Her smile seemed easier now. Instead of the usual uptight Capitol dresses that she used to wear that required three Avoxes to help her get into, she wore a short pink skirt and a blue tank that had tasteful blue ruffle going down the front.
Her ears were pierced with pink and blue flowers and she wore bangled bracelets on her arms. Her shoes were golden sandals, but not too over the top. In her hands was a big, white box, with bits of tissue paper peeking out. Overall, not quite a district citizen, but not your normal what would have been Capitol style.
"Hey, Effie," Katniss said slowly, taking in the woman. She looked younger. "How-how are you?"
"Oh, I'm doing fine. I just finished moving in Haymitch's house!" She pointed to the house next door with several brown boxes scattered on the lawn.
"Congratulations. Haymitch has been telling Peeta and I all about it," Katniss said, a small smile on her face. It was nice to know, of course, that Effie was joining the three of them.
"Thank you! It's perfectly lovely" - "He has a housekeeper" - "oh, does he? She does a very good job! It took all week to arrange and pack in everything and I've haven't had a chance to visit you yet, so, here I am! I hope you don't mind!"
"No-no, I don't mind at all. I've just been here by myself. Do-do you want to come in?" Katniss asked, knowing that she was probably looking pretty bad at the moment, wearing only a tank and shorts. Her hair was in a braid with hair sticking out all over the place.
"Oh, that would be just fine." Effie held up the package in her hand and said, "I brought you a little something."
"You didn't have to-"
"Katniss, believe me," Effie's voice suddenly grew serious like it did when she heard about Katniss firing at the Gamemakers. "I HAD to."
Katniss had not seen Effie that serious in a while and merely said, "All right." She stepped back and held the door open. "Come on in."
Effie smiled again, only it seemed a little forced, as she glanced back at the box and then said, "Thank you," and walked in. Her walk was not as stiff as it had been, but she was still perfectly postured.
Katniss looked at her funnily for a moment before shrugging and slamming the door shut. She walked over and sank onto the sofa, on which Effie was already sitting on, straightening her skirts.
Katniss thought that they needed to do something in order for them to start talking. She spotted the drink and took the idea and ran with it. She nodded to the iced tea after a second and stood up.
"Let me get you a glass," she said as she walked over to the kitchen.
"Oh, that would be nice," Effie said brightly, a little loudly so that Katniss could hear her.
Katniss nodded, though Effie wasn't watching her. She retrieved a little glass, the dainty kind that Effie would adore, and then closed the cupboard door.
She was right. Effie squealed at the cuteness of the glass as Katniss poured in the tea.
"How adorable! Where did you get it?" she asked.
"Um," Katniss stumbled as she sat down, hands in her lap. "It just came with the house."
"Really? I haven't seen things like this since . . . ." Effie trailed off as she cleared her throat and set the cup into the table, not taking a sip. She sat up straighter (if she could, thought Katniss) and said in a serious voice, "Katniss, the real reason that I came was not to tell you about my moving in with Haymitch."
"Okay," Katniss said after a moment, wondering now why Effie had come.
Effie bit her perfect lip and a second later, said, "Well, you see, while I was packing to come here, I-I went over to the Training Center, to-to say goodbye."
"Um, okay," Katniss said slowly.
"Well," Effie continued, shifting in her seat, "I went over the Training Room and the penthouse and the stylists' suites-"
"Cinna and Portia," Katniss said automatically. Amazing, amazing Cinna and kind Portia. Two of the nicest people from the Capitol, dead. Dead. Dead.
"Yes, and I went looking around. I-I went into the drawing room in Cinna's apartment, where he designed dresses for you, and I saw a piece of paper sticking out of a drawer under the desk, and I went to check it out, and, well - this is what I found." Effie patted the white box she had set on the coffee table.
Katniss looked to it, wondering what Effie had found. Designs, supplies?
"What's in it?" the Girl on Fire wanted to know.
Effie looked at her for a moment before she gently went and placed the box gently onto Katniss's lap. She carefully stretched back into perfect posture and said, "Look inside."
Katniss, uncertain, looked at Effie a moment. Effie waved a hand, gesturing her to open the box.
And she did.
The top came off and the first thing that Katniss registered was tissue, lots of white and crinkly paper tissue. She threw it off and found more. She pulled the rest out and then stopped moving.
In the box was a shirt and pants. Katniss pulled them out and examined them, shirt first. It was a dark gray, almost the color of coal. On it was mockingjays, dozens of them. They were little gold imprints in the cloth, and they formed the letter K. All around them were flames. Katniss was startled upon seeing them for the first time, for they looked quite real. It didn't even seem to be synthetic like the stuff Cinna had used for her and Peeta's outfits for the Tribute Parade.
It was quite sweet. It wasn't considered awesome and it wouldn't make a crowd swoon; it was something practical in a way that it could be worn everyday. It was like Katniss. Sensible, but a little flashy, a little out there. Perfect for the Girl on Fire.
The pants were a dark gray as well, almost black, but had the same sort of flames eating away at the bottom of them where her feet would stick out.
"Oh my goodness, Cinna," Effie breathed. Katniss handed her the clothes to look at while she turned to the box.
It wasn't empty yet. Inside was a pair of comfortable sandals, coal colored sandals. There was also a little white box. Curious, Katniss took it into her hands and opened it slowly.
The first thing was earrings. The hooks were connected to little bows that were strung with arrows. They were dark black, and Katniss smiled as she examined them with her finger. They looked just like her old bow and arrow set.
Directly under the earrings was a necklace. Katniss suddenly felt a hitch in her throat when she saw that it was a locket. She took it out of the foam it was set in and opened the locket.
Inside was just a single picture. It had been delicately cut in half to fit in the frame, but it was still there. It was a picture that Effie had insisted be taken for publicity shots. It was a picture of Katniss with her stylist.
She looked down so that Effie would not see the tears welling up and noticed a small, folded piece of paper on her lap. She put the locket down, snapping it shut. She sniffed briefly before opening and reading the note.
A regular outfit for the Girl On Fire.
I'm betting on you.
Katniss now felt a tear trail down her cheek. The last gift from Cinna. The last. Dear Cinna.
Effie had evidently seen the tear and asked, "What's wrong?"
Katniss simply handed her the small box. Effie took it in one of her small hands and let out a gasp.
"Goodness, Cinna . . . ." she gasped.
She handed them back and said quietly, "You should put them on."
Katniss sat in quiet for a moment, looking at the clothes as though she wasn't really convinced that they were actually there.
"Katniss, they're a gift, from Cinna. Put them on," and for once, Effie seemed firm about something other than telling Haymitch to please put down that brandy and schedules.
Katniss looked at her, and Effie raised an eyebrow. Katniss then slowly nodded and taking the boxes in her hands, she headed upstairs to her bedroom.
The fabric felt very smooth and silky for being so practical. It was amazing that something like this survived the Rebellion. She looked at herself in the mirror while she put on the bow and arrow earrings. Her hair fell over her shoulder, encasing her face, which was looking set. Her grey eyes looked cold and her skin was rough. Her lips were parched and dry looking, but her dimples showed up, even when she didn't smile.
She quickly looked away and put the lid back on the big white box before heading downstairs.
She expected Effie to be by herself, but found Peeta sitting next to the ex-Capitol lady on the sofa. Home (he practically lived here) early, she saw.
Katniss came down the last two steps slowly, and made noise doing so, alerting her presence to Peeta and Effie.
"Oh, good, you put them on," Effie said excitedly, excusing herself to Peeta as she stood up and walked, posture perfect, over to Katniss.
Peeta followed her and was by her side as she exclaimed, "Katniss, you look amazing!"
"Thank you," Katniss said softly, looking down at her outfit. She looked back up to meet Peeta's eyes. Hands in his pockets, he took her in and said one word.
She nodded, and he made a small smile.
"You look beautiful in it," he said.
"Well, of course she does," Effie said gleefully. She crossed over and put an arm around Katniss. "You look good in anything Cinna make - made."
Katniss made a small smile at her mistake. Wearing Cinna's clothes did make it seem like he was still there in their presence.
Peeta smiled at her. "Cinna always did make things perfect for the Girl on Fire."
Katniss looked at the ground for a moment and said, "He said to me, before my first Games, that if he could, he'd bet on me."
She felt Peeta smile and say, "He would have. He always did believe in you, you know."
"I know," Katniss said, and she picked at the locket, and opened it to show Effie and Peeta the picture of her and Cinna. "He always did. He always will."
THERE YOU GO, MY LOVIES. CINNA. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE. WHY. WHY. Anyways, I hope you liked this little one-shot, and thank you for reading!