My heart is racing. All I can hear is the thump, thump, thump loudly in my ears. Peeta's leg is bleeding badly, and he's pale from blood loss. Cato's ranting about how he's a killing machine, made for the purpose of bringing pride to District 2. The mutts try to scratch their way up to the top of the Cornucopia. There's only one way to end this. I lift up my bow to shoot at Cato, but he has Peeta in a headlock. "You kill me, and you kill lover-boy too, none of us will win this." Cato warns me. He's already given up on winning- he knows he can't, there's no way where he could win. He also knows that I won't kill Peeta. Both of us can go home because of the rule change. I won't go home without him. Peeta saved my life, and I owe it to him to save his. Blood from Cato's mouth dribbles down his chin. Peeta has become pale with his skin giving off an almost blueish tint, it's apparent that the smaller blond boy can't breathe. He shakily traces an X on Cato's hand. I aim the arrow at Cato's hand and shoot it, causing him to let go of Peeta, who throws Cato off the Cornucopia and into the pile of mutts. I hear the screams and groans of pain. I take an arrow and shoot it right above his eye to end the suffering. The cannon goes off and I grin at Peeta. "We can go home." I whisper, squeezing his hand.
We slide off the cornucopia, and we hear the beginning of an announcement. Attention! Attention tributes. There has been a revision regarding the previous rule change. That is now suspended. There can only be one winner. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor. I look at Peeta. His eyes reflect the same dread that are in mine. What now? Peeta sighs. "Do it. Shoot. You can go home, and they get their winner."
"No." I shake my head. "I'm not killing you."
"And I'm not killing you." Peeta argues stubbornly. "You're not making this very easy, Katniss." Before I can ask what he even means, Peeta kisses me on my cheek. "Please, just kill me. Or I'll kill myself."
I frown. "O-Okay." I give him a soft, lingering kiss, squeeze his hand, and shoot an arrow through his eye.
Claudius Templesmith's voice fills the arena, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the Victor of the 73rd Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen! Less than a minute later, a hovercraft is lifting me up, away from Peeta, Rue, and the two Careers I killed.
My mentor, Haymitch is waiting for me on board the hovercraft heading towards the Capitol. He says nothing to me, but the look in his eyes tells me he understands, and he gives me a hug. I start weeping again when the realization of what I've done hits me. "I-I killed him. Peeta." I curl up into a ball on the floor. He has to carry me off the hovercraft.
When I wake up, I'm in the hospital. All my burns and scratches are healed, and my ear has been reconstructed. Cinna's the first person who sees me. I don't truly feel like he's a Capitol citizen, he's too normal looking. My stylist gives me a half-hearted smile and kisses me on the cheek. "Flavius, Octavia and Venia will be here in a minute, to make you over." He doesn't add that I need to mentally prepare myself, but we both know that I need to. My prep team is a bunch of sweethearts, but they won't understand the pain I'm going through.
Less than a moment after Cinna walks out, I hear the familar clunk of high heels and various squeals of, "Katniss!" I'm engulfed in a group hug around my hospital bed. After they finish crying, they begin making me back to Beauty Base Zero. The blood is washed from under my nails and they are painted a pale pink, my hair is taken out of it's braid and my body hair - which has fortunately grown back - is waxed off again, to my dismay.
Once I'm bathed and toweled off, my prep team begins to chatter as they do my makeup and put me into the champagne colored dress Cinna's picked out for my post-games interview. They talk about how romantic it was when Peeta killed himself so I could live, how amazing my family's interviews were, and how excited they are for the victory tour. I want to yell, to scream, to break everything around me. I have to remind myself that they're Capitol citizens. It doesn't make them dumb, they just don't understand the pain that the districts face, the heartbreak, and the guilt. I have a understanding of why Haymitch drinks, and why some victors turn to Morphling.
Effie escorts me down to the interview. She is polite as bubbly always, but it's toned down. She's ecstatic that I won - maybe she'll get moved to a more respectable district - but she truly liked Peeta. "Breathe Katniss," she tells me, "They already love you."
Caesar welcomes me onstage. His hair and suit are still blue, but his skin looks like it's faded a bit from its baby blue shade I saw two weeks ago. I sit down on the plush white chair and cross my ankles. "So Katniss," he asks me, "How are you?" Scared. Confused. Heartbroken. Tired.
"Honestly Caesar," I tell him, "I'm kinda hungry." The audience laughs. I guess I still have it in me. "The lamb stew here is delicious." Caesar talks about how successful the games were, and they play my highlights- volunteering for Prim, my interview, getting distracted by Peeta in the beginning, escaping the fire, dropping the tracker jackers on the Careers, blowing up their food stash, burying Rue, the five days in the cave with Peeta, our makeout session (I blush at that) drugging him to get the medicine for his leg, running towards the Cornucopia, when I killed Cato and when Peeta killed himself.
Caesar asks me about my alliance with Rue. "Well, we both knew at one point, one of us would die, but I tried to push that to the back of our minds. When I passed out, I could have been killed easily, but she helped me get better. If she was in my district we definitely would have been friends."
Then, they show clips of the interviews. Prim talks about how she knows I'll win, Gale (who apparently is now my "cousin") talks about how I'm a fighter and I won't give up, Madge talks about how I was her closest friend and she's praying for me, my mother talks about how she needs me. It was all very sweet but I thought that Madge's was the most heartfelt. I never really thought of myself as having any friends, but thinking back, she really is my closest friend.
Finally, Caesar mentions Peeta. I only tear up a little bit, but I lose it when Caesar mentions how I almost died to save his life at the Feast. "Peeta saved my life when I was little. My father had died in a mine explosion and my mother was struggling to feed herself, me, and my sister. We were slowly starving to death. One day, I was sitting out in the rain, waiting to die, and Peeta tossed me a loaf of bread. He saved my life, and I finally got to repay him. But now he isn't here with me, he died for me. I don't know what to do without him." I didn't even make up the emotion, and I didn't lie one bit, like I did in the interview. Caesar gives me a small hug out of sympathy. Then, the interviews over and I'm free to go back up to my room in the training center. I take off my shoes (to Effie's dissaproval) and I'm about to look for Haymitch when the overwhelmingly strong scent of roses hits me.
A/N: In this universe, Katniss was in the 73rd Games. Do you like the way this is going, should I continue?
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