And now for Katniss :) Huge spoilers for The Hunger Games and a few for Catching Fire in this chapter. Be warned!
It had been two months, and if it hadn't been for the nightmares and memories making her life a living Hell, Katniss would have been bored. She lay awake one night, realizing that. Bored. She couldn't believe it. Hadn't she struggled just to feed her family for years? She had always had something to do, and she had always slept through the night, even with the occasional nightmare.
But now, her nights were filled with blood and pain and despair, so she only slept about twice a week. The rest of the time, she roamed the forest or lay in her bed, driving herself mad with memories and thoughts. Added to the fact that both her friends were still angry with her…
Prim was happy and well though. That was all that mattered.
But if she could forget the Games, erase the nightmares, and make everything right with Peeta and Gale… if she could stop worrying, then she would be bored.
Should I be thankful for my problems then? Katniss asked herself, bitter and sarcastic. Should I be grateful for what happened?
I wish I could just forget.
But I can never forget the Games. They're locked into my head.
Would I want to? If I had the chance, could I forget Rue? That seems so… wrong.
So I can't forget. I'll suffer to remember Rue and Thresh, Foxface and even Cato.
Once again, Cato's screams rose in her mind, and in the last few hours before sunrise, Katniss buried her head under her pillow and wept.
When the sun finally rose, she dressed quickly, grabbed her game bag (just in case), and left the house at a run. The forest, once her sanctuary and all that kept her alive, was a darker place now. Without Gale by her side, it seemed so… so… empty.
But it was better than the Capital's house in the Capital's world, playing the Capital's games (no pun intended). At least out here, she could breathe.
"I'll never forget them," Katniss said fiercely, surprising herself by speaking aloud. She had stopped walking suddenly, standing in the middle of the woods. Looking up at the sky, she screamed, "Do you hear me, Snow?! I'll never forget what you did to them!"
A sound. Someone stomping through the undergrowth.
Katniss whirled, bow in hand, an arrow already on the string. She took a deep breath. Gale? No, he would never walk so loudly. Peacekeepers? They don't go into the woods… unless someone followed me… If he heard me (and he must have), I'll be executed, probably, or turned into an Avox… Exhale.
The footsteps were closer now, and she could hear the soft murmur of voices. More than one. Whoever it was, she was ready.
A few more seconds as Katniss followed the voices to aim better, and then they were in view. They stopped moving, and for a tense, silent moment, they faced off.
And then, the man in the lead spoke.
"Well, hello there," the Doctor said. "Heard you shouting. I'm the Doctor, and you are?" Already trying to help.
The girl with the bow frowned, confused. "A doctor?" she asked. "Are you… are you from the Capital?" Frightened but strong.
"Am I from the Capital?" the Doctor repeated. "I'm not sure. Where's that?"
She frowned. "What do you…? I mean… Everyone knows the Capital." True confusion. More fear.
"Afraid I'm not from around here. New in town. What's your name?"
The girl hesitated. "Katniss," she said finally. "Katniss Everdeen. You don't recognize me?"
"No," the Doctor said. "Are you famous?" He didn't wait for an answer but stepped forward and tried to shake her hand, apparently forgetting about the projectile aimed at his head. "It's good to meet you, Katniss. I'm the Doctor, and this is Sherlock and John." He pointed to them each in turn. "They're not from around here either."
Katniss lowered her bow slightly, but she was still ready. "You're not from Panem?" she asked. Shocked, confused.
The three men gave her blank stares. "Panem," the Doctor repeated, experimenting with the word. "Is that where we are now?"
"Yes." She answered slowly, hesitantly. "Panem. Just outside of District 12. Where I live." She took a breath, obviously curious but not wanting to ask. "How can you just… not know about Panem? Or the Capital? That's all there is!"
The Doctor frowned. "What do you mean that's all there is?" he asked.
Katniss shrugged, lowering her bow more now. "That's it," she said. "There's no where else. If you're not from Panem, you don't exist."
Sherlock looked to John. His blogger was surprised and confused, obviously unsure what to make of the new information. The Doctor seemed to forget they were there.
"Can you tell me why?" he asked the confused girl. "What happened to everyone else?"
Katniss sighed and shook her head, finally putting the arrow away and slinging the bow over her shoulder. "I can't deal with this," she muttered. Tired, stressed… recently traumatized. "Look, doctor, I'm sorry, but I can't help you. You're insane, or you're trying to… trick me into revealing something. And I've got enough issues without—"
"Doctor," Sherlock interrupted. "This is getting decidedly dull. You may as well take me back to London if this is all you'll be doing."
John rolled his eyes. "Sherlock—"
The Doctor looked at him and groaned. "Dull?!" he repeated. "I should have left you behind! I give you another time, hundreds of years into the future, a time where all of humanity is wiped out but for one small country, and you're bored!"
Katniss was staring at him. Wary but interested. "Another time?" she repeated. "Are you saying that you're a time traveler?"
"Of course I am. Look, I'll show you." He smiled and pulled the TARDIS key from his pocket. Instead of just the normal key, it had a new addition. A… was that a remote? He pressed a button, and from somewhere just nearby, there came a short beeping sound.
"Doctor…" Sherlock said. "Did you install an alarm on the TARDIS?"
The Doctor grinned.
"Hang on," John said. "That sounded close. Have we been walking in circles?"
And stopped grinning. "Well… maybe, but that's not the point! Just… shut up." He turned to the girl. "Katniss, would you come with me? I'll show you something cool."
Katniss hesitated. "All right," she said after a long moment. "But be warned, I'll shoot you if I have to." She took an arrow from her quiver and put it to her bow.
The Doctor smiled, unfazed, and led the way through the woods to the TARDIS. Katniss followed warily, her steps sure in the obviously familiar forest. Sherlock and John came last, the former watching everything while the latter muttered under his breath about "bloody aliens."
End of chapter question: Did you cry when Rue died? (More accurately, did you cry for ten or fifteen minutes? :P)