Where Is the Blood
Chapter Four

Buffy awoke feeling disoriented. The bed felt strange. Too soft, too warm... This wasn't her home. She sat up, looked around, and a great feeling of despair came over as she remembered where she was. The train. The very same one that always led the tributes to the Capitol. Buffy didn't want to die. Especially not in the games, for the entertainment of the Capitol. This was a stupid cause.

She half slipped out of bed, still groggy; she hadn't had nearly enough sleep. The few hours of sleep she had managed to get had hardly been peaceful. She kept trying to imagine what would be in store for them in the arena and that had carried over to her dreams. She took another shower, then dressed into some dark clothes of a soft, velvety material that felt strange against her skin when compared to the rough, worn cotton which she was used to. There were no clocks or windows in her room and she wondered what time it actually was. It felt like dawn - but she couldn't tell. She only knew it was early, because she wasn't being called. Surely they would arrive at the Capitol soon.

She slumped down on her bed and stared up at the ceiling. It wasn't anything like the plain, cracked, water stained ceiling in her house. It was brilliantly white and covered in intricate, mesmerizing swirls. She closed her eyes, and tried to imagine her home. But for some reason - perhaps her just her mood - she could not think of anything good. All she thought of was cold bath water and not enough food. From that point of view, the Capitol would be a lot better. But after those few weeks of luxury... she didn't want to think about it.

Another hour or so passed and she was jolted out of her reverie by a voice calling her. She hurried out of her room and walked back to the dining car, where Spike and Liam were already waiting. At the sight of the food piled high on the table, Buffy's stomach growled. She almost couldn't resist running to the table, but somehow she managed to walk calmly over and sit down before wolfing it all down ravenously.

"Don't look like you've had a lot of sleep," Spike said to her.

Buffy looked up from her food for a moment. "You don't look great yourself," she said. It was true. He looked as though he'd been awake all night and his face was red as if he'd been crying. Liam seemed calm, but Buffy couldn't know if that was really how he felt.

After a long while of them eating in silence, Liam finally spoke up. "Are you ever going to actually help us?" he asked. "Or are you just going to let us die?"

Spike didn't respond to his question at first. He reached for a piece of bacon and looked at it for minute. "This bacons not crispy enough. Who do I talk to about this?"

Buffy wasn't sure if he was being serious or just trying to ignore Liam.

"Answer me!" Liam shouted. Spike put the bacon down and looked at him.

"What exactly do you expect me to do?"

"You're our mentor. You're supposed to help us win." Liam said.

Spike raised an eyebrow. "You seem awful eager to start killing people."

"Can we stop being so confrontational here?" Buffy said. "Liam's right. We need to have at least a chance to come out alive and you're supposed to help us with that!"

Spike stared at her, an entirely different look in his face. He seemed almost to be proud of her. "You decided that's what you're going to do then? Survive?"

"What else can I do? Die?" Buffy said. "Because that's my only other option and it doesn't seem too appealing."

"Seconded," Liam said.

Spike looked at them, shifting his quickly like he was looking for some way to escape. "Right. Fine. I'll try to help you."He seemed reluctant to say it, but Buffy couldn't think why. What reason did he have not to try to save them?

But she put it out of her mind and focused on her food, trying to eat as much of everything she could before they had to go. They had never had food like this at home. They could hardly ever afford meat at all, let alone all this just for breakfast. She looked up at Liam, who was being just as greedy as her, and then at Spike. He was picking at his food, as if he was ill, but Buffy didn't think he was. Their eyes met for a moment and then she looked back down at her own food. She wondered if this had anything to do with the Games. She wondered, if she won, would she be the same as that? Would she dread having to mentor tributes year after year, who never lived? Maybe it would be better for her to just give up and die.

In a few minutes time, the scenery outside changed and Buffy could see the mountains. After the train went through them, they would be in the Capitol. Buffy closed her eyes, took a deep breath. Tried to stay calm. This was happening too fast. She didn't want to be there. She didn't ever want to set foot outside this train. But there was nothing she could do. The train was enveloped in darkness as they went through the tunnel under the mountain and then they emerged into the light, so bright it hurt her eyes. The train began to slow and Buffy got to her feet and walked to the window. The sight outside was dazzling to see. the colours seemed unreal, too bright, like a dream. Liam walked up and stood beside and the two of them forgot for a moment that they were coming here to die, they forgot that in a matter of weeks they would be trying to kill each other. They forgot everything except each other and the sight before them and for just that one moment, everything felt all right.

I actually updated. Wow. Bet no one was expecting that to happen. I certainly wasn't. Now I've got to start writing chapter six. I want to skip the bits at the Capitol and go straight to the arena, but I'm going to try and be faithful to how things happened in the book.