A Johanna/Beetee story, because lately I just can't get enough of them. I don't know what it is about them, but I think they'd be an awesome pairing. They complete each other :)
English isn't my first language, and I suck at grammar, so I know there are a few mistakes here and there... ignore them if you can.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins does.
Johanna Mason was used to being alone.
Really, being lonely was nothing new for her.
Sometimes she actually loved the solitude from the world, from the extremely annoying and stupid people in it, and was happy that people feared her so much and didn't get near her.
But sometimes, every once in a while, the feeling of loneliness became too big and dominating, so much that it actually depressed her.
Her. Johanna Mason. The vicious girl who didn't need anyone and was content enough to just have her axe with her.
Maybe it was because every human needed some company every once in a while. But she was Johanna freaking Mason. She was above normal humans. She was greater, better.
Yet, she just prayed to have someone next to her when she had nightmares or was feeling depressed. The nightmares were getting worse and worse, she found it hard to tell sometimes if her nightmares were actually real or made by her imagination.
Johanna Mason was very much human, after all. She was weak and scared and pathetic like other humans.
And she hated it.
Waking up early in the morning, Johanna growled and shifted in her bed uneasily, not opening her eyes still. She enjoyed the comfort of the bed, how warm it was under her huge blankets. She didn't want to open her eyes and get back to the real world. Not that the world she created in her dreams, or, more accurately, nightmares, was much better. But real life still sucked.
She opened her eyes finally and stretched her sore arms. She turned on the lights in her room and closed her eyes again, not used to the bright light coming from her lamp. When she got used to it she rolled out of bed and walked downstairs to her living room.
She made herself some breakfast, even though it was already noon, then sat down in the comfort sofa in her huge living room and looked at her ginormous TV.
She hated her house. She hated everything about it. She hated how big and happy and expensive it was.
It made her feel even lonelier than she already felt.
It was the house she got after she won her Games, and it was a constant reminder to what she had to do and how she had to kill in order to get it. Of course, killing people wasn't all that bad, actually. It didn't give her any pleasure, but it didn't make her feel sick or bad with herself. When she killed, she just felt like she wasn't even there, committing the crime. Just watching from the side in disinterest, waiting for it to be over.
It just didn't bother her all that much.
She ate her breakfast silently, and again hated the silence. She wasn't a silent person normally, so having to sit in silence with no one to yell at was… unnerving.
And then the phone rang, and Johanna actually jumped from her place in the sofa, eager to hear a voice that wasn't her own.
Of course, she didn't immediately answer the phone and let it ring a while longer, because, really, showing her eagerness to whoever was calling her was pathetic.
In the end she picked up the phone and answered it. "What?" She barked to the caller, feeling happy to finally be able to be annoyed at someone.
"J-Johanna?" An unfamiliar voice said, apparently terrified of her. She rolled her eyes. What a pathetic git. "I – I'm calling to inform you t-that the Reaping for the last Hunger Games will be in a week –"
"And?" Johanna said impatiently, loving how intimidated he was by her. And she wasn't even in front of him.
"Th-the victors… the living victors of previous Hunger Games are required… well, not required, asked, to – they're asked to come to the Capitol and watch the Games there."
"Ahh… well, a… a payback, I guess. You don't have to come!" He added almost immediately, almost like he wanted her not to come. Maybe he was supposed to be there, too.
Johanna smirked. "Oh, I know I don't have to come. When do I need to be there?"
And so, five days later, she got to her private train that will lead her to the Capitol and sat in one of the stiff chairs in there. She was the only living victor from District Seven, now that Blight died, and so she was the only one to come from District Seven.
The ride was long, the scared looks she got from the people serving her on the train annoyed her, and it was just a rather painful, quiet ride.
She was quite relieved to get to the Capitol after a full day of staying in the train.
One of the helpers that were with her on the train led her to a medium-sized house, where she and the other victors will be for the next month or so.
She had a room for herself, obviously, and she threw her luggage at the corner of the room, then walked to the comfy living room at the first floor. There were only four floors in this buildings, it wasn't as big as the other buildings in the Capitol, probably because there weren't a lot of living victors left. She could see a few of the morphlings in the corner of the living room, the drug-addicts victors, staring at the distance with goofy, stupid smiles on their faces. Even now, that the Games were finally behind them, they still couldn't help but take the precious drug that helped them to forget. Johanna was always tempted to take the drug too, be stupid and leave her problems behind, but she was too strong to rely on a drug to help her forget everything that she's been through.
She sat in the big sofa, ignoring the giggles of some of the morphlings in the corner, and waited. For what, she didn't know. Just for something to happen, to keep her out of her boredom and depression.
An hour later, someone familiar walked into the room. Only, there was something different about her. Her belly was big. But there was still that blank expression on her face, that sad, desperate look in her eyes, those shaky hands.
Johanna looked at her silently as Annie sat down in a green couch next to the sofa Johanna was sitting on. Annie didn't notice her. She didn't look at her. She simply looked at the morphlings, who were still giggling uncontrollably. It was a bit unnerving, really.
Another few minutes passed silently, and Johanna started to feel as if in any moment now she would go crazy.
And then, when she was just about to lose her mind completely from the horrible boredom, a tall, nerdy guy walked into the room.
Johanna immediately smiled. Thank God, someone to snap at.
"Wow, Volts, I had no idea that you were actually capable of going out of that geeks-cave of yours that you call home."
Beetee looked at her for a few moments and didn't answer. He walked to the other side of the room, as far away from her as possible, and sat down on a stiff chair.
And Johanna didn't like it one bit.
"What, not up for a chat?" She asked, leaning a bit forward in her seat and looking at the geek who looked at her with a blank expression on his face. "Or were you alone for such a long time that you forgot how to speak?"
Beetee still looked at her with a blank expression, like her words didn't bother him all that much, but he finally said something back. "Actually, I think you were alone for a much longer time than I was."
Johanna frowned at that. "What do you mean by that?"
Beetee just shrugged. "Nothing. It was merely an observation."
"I'm not lonely," Johanna said flatly.
"Really?" Beetee actually looked surprised. "I would've been if I were you."
He was annoying Johanna way too much. "I'm not like you though."
Beetee nodded his head thoughtfully. "No, I guess we are quite different. Still, a person needs to spend at least six hours a day socializing to have a happy life."
"I don't need a happy life," Johanna said simply.
"Okay," Was all Beetee said in response.
And damn it if it wasn't maddening, Johanna thought to herself darkly as she stared at the annoying Volts. He was right, she was lonelier than he was, at least he had a few family members left, but still. He didn't have the right to tell her that.
The fact that he said it to her didn't hurt her. But the way he said it to her without trying to hurt her did. Because the fact that he said it without any intention to hurt her made what he said more real. He wasn't trying to annoy her; he was actually curious about her.
What a brainless geek.
Two days later it was time for the Reaping. The whole thing was just so totally random. There were just so many citizens in the Capitol, a lot of them between the ages of 12 to 18, and they didn't have districts so the whole thing was just plain awkward. The Reaping bowls were huge, and in them were the names of all the 12 to 18 years old citizens from the Capitol. A guy, who was the escort of District One for the past ten years, was chosen to pick the slips of papers. He picked them one by one, first from the girls' reaping bowl, then from the guys'. The first two teenagers who were chosen would be from "District One", the next two would be from "District Two", and so on and so on until there'll be 24 tributes. Volunteers weren't allowed, but that didn't matter – no one wanted to volunteer.
The only thing that wasn't random was one girl whose name was picked out of the girls' reaping bowl. The granddaughter of Snow. Johanna snorted when she saw the girl walking up the stage, shaking terribly.
She deserves it for having a brainless grandfather.
Most of the teenagers were small and colorful and terrified. Pathetic little creatures. Of course, they never had to fear of being in the Hunger Games, so after watching it all their life, they know what's waiting for them there and that only one of them is going to survive.
Living a life of comfort and luxury in the Capitol apparently had its disadvantage. They weren't prepared for it.
It's going to be a very boring game, Johanna concluded to herself as Enobaria turned off the TV.
"They're all a bunch of pathetic little kids," Enobaria complained to no one in particular. "No one would want to kill anyone, even if it means the other's survival. Boring! This game is never going to end."
A few days later, Johanna walked to the training center. The opening ceremonies already happened, and it was weird. It still all happened in the Capitol, but people from the districts, and people from the Capitol who still loved the Games no matter what, all filled the streets and cheered and booed the different tributes.
Johanna threw tomatoes at some of the more unfortunate ones.
It was fun.
She and the other victors all had the privilege of seeing the tributes in the training room. Johanna decided that it's too boring in her room in the small building, and that watching helpless kids crying for their mommies in a training room is far more entertaining, so she decided to go and check the tributes out.
Of course, they all sucked.
She stood there, smirking and mocking them from her place above them for almost a full hour without getting bored, when she felt the presence of someone else to her right. She turned to look at the person who oh-so-stupidly decided to stand next to her, and saw that it was the scrawny, pale Beetee.
"Hello Johanna," He greeted her. She in response closed her eyes and turned to look at the stupid kids in the training room again.
"It seems like they have no idea what they're doing," Beetee commented as he watched the tributes of the final Hunger Games. "They run around like headless chickens, not knowing where to turn, blindly hoping for someone to give them directions."
"I know. It's awesome."
Beetee looked at her but didn't say a thing.
"They deserve it," Johanna said after a few moments of silence.
"They're just kids," Beetee said gently.
"So were we when we had to compete in those Games," Johanna replied. "Those kids, unlike us, sat comfortably at their homes and watched us killing each other. They deserve it."
"They grew up thinking it's okay. They saw those Games since they were born. I don't think they realized how wrong those Games were."
"Just shows how brainless they are."
Beetee, again, decided not to say a thing in reply.
"I hope they all die," Johanna said simply after a few minutes. "All of them. No winner, just losers. The Capitol doesn't deserve a winner. They should all feel the loss. We're in charge now."
Beetee was still quiet.
Johanna was getting annoyed with Beetee's silence. "What? Don't you have an opinion about it?"
Beetee still looked at the tributes in the training room. "I think that our hatred for the Capitol blinded us all, made us look at the citizens of the Capitol as a whole instead of individuals. Not all of them are bad. Most of them just grew up in a place that taught them that The Hunger Games is okay, that it's just a sport, that since the people competing there aren't from there it's okay to see them die. It's mostly brain washing. Those kids… they did nothing to harm us."
"They did nothing to help us, either," Johanna said stiffly.
Beetee just shrugged his shoulders. "I don't think there was much they could do about it. By continuing the Games, we're just as bad as them."
"They were the ones who started it," Johanna said, annoyed.
"And we're the ones who finished it," Beetee replied simply, still watching the tributes.
Johanna, unhappy with the conversation, turned around and was about to walk out of the room, but before she reached the door she turned around to face Beetee again. "Just because the war is finished, don't think I'm just going to forgive and forget. The Capitol killed my family. Tore me apart. Made my life a living hell. Made me kill, turned me into a murderer. So stop acting like they're some angels who were under some bad influence when they grew up. No matter where you live or how you grow, killing people is not right."
Beetee looked at her without blinking for a really long time. "I'm sorry," He said finally, actually sounding like he's meaning it.
Johanna just narrowed her eyes at him. "I don't need you to feel sorry for me."
She turned around and walked out of the room, leaving Beetee to watch the tributes by himself.
The Games started, and the bloodbath was the worst bloodbath ever seen on the Hunger Games before. Only two kids died. Most of the kids just fled the scene, grabbing something near them and escaping the scene.
Pathetic, but expected. They were Capitol children, after all.
The audience grew pretty bored with this pathetic Games, since most of the kids avoided the other kids, and the Gamemakers had to launch a lot of mutts at the stupid tributes to at least kill them.
Even with the mutts it was boring.
For Johanna, it felt like the kids weren't in too much pain. Only two of them made a kill, and they died by mutts shortly after. The kids weren't suffering the consequences of killing another human being. They don't know how it feels to know you took away someone else's life. They have no idea, and this Games weren't a big enough punishment.
And she hated it.
So, instead of watching the Games, she decided to drink. Because drinking made everything better, made the world look less complex, made the people look less stupid. Alcohol erased the brain of coherent thoughts, and that was just what Johanna needed.
So she took one of the strongest drinks in the bar close to the building they were staying at and sat down in the kitchen. No one was there. They were either sleeping or watching the Games. Most of them were sleeping though. It was four o'clock in the morning. There wasn't much to watch anyway.
So it kinda surprised her when she heard someone entering to the kitchen.
Volts, of course.
She saw him way too much in those last few days.
"The boy from Three died," He said simply and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.
"Good," Johanna replied, drinking her bottle of alcohol.
"What is that?" Beetee asked, gesturing at the bottle in Johanna's hands.
"Ever tasted it?"
Beetee shook his head.
Johanna, feeling generous because of the alcohol, handed him the bottle. He looked at it for a few seconds before shaking his head.
"Wimp," Johanna said flatly and drank some more of the Whisky.
"Why would people want to drink this thing?" Beetee sounded interested.
Johanna shrugged her shoulders. "Alcohol makes everything better. Makes everyone happier."
"I prefer to be unhappy and in control of myself than happy and without any control of my mind and actions."
"Well, then you're an idiot."
A silence followed that line.
"My family didn't die," Beetee said suddenly.
Johanna frowned. "Yay for you."
"No, I mean, Snow didn't kill them," Beetee said quickly. "They abandoned me. Left me behind."
Johanna, as much as she didn't want to, was curious. "Why?"
"They were ashamed of me. My Dad… well, he taught me everything I know about electricity. And when he saw me using it to kill other kids… he was ashamed. He and my Mom. She couldn't look at me for months. One day they just left. I haven't seen them since then. I'm pretty sure they're dead."
He said it all in a very flat tone, which bothered Johanna.
"Do you miss them?" Not that she cared. She was Johanna Mason, the uncaring bitch. Why would she care about Volts?
Beetee just shrugged his shoulders. "Sometimes. We were never that close. But sometimes I think about what would've happened if there were no Games, if we lived in a better place."
Johanna took another sip of her drink. "And?"
Beetee looked right into her eyes, which unnerved her a bit. "And… nothing. I don't know what to think. A happy future was never an option. Thinking of a happy future is being delusional."
Johanna raised an eyebrow and then handed him the whisky again. "Sure you don't want a sip?"
Beetee actually smiled a little, but shook his head again. He then walked to the door, saying a soft, "Goodnight," to Johanna, who looked at him as he went.
Johanna bit her lower lip and took another sip of her drink, which tasted awful but made her feel more relaxed, made her thoughts less complicated, but also made her crave for attention and some comfort.
And that's how she found herself standing outside of Beetee's room a few hours later.
After knocking a few times, Beetee opened the door. It was obvious he just came out of bed. His graying hair was disheveled, he didn't wear his huge glasses, and he looked sleepy.
Alcohol taking over her, Johanna closed the distance between her and Beetee and pressed her lips to his.
It was probably the shock that made him open his mouth, but Johanna took advantage of it and stuck her tongue into his mouth, needing to feel close to someone, needing to feel someone next to her, because mostly she felt like she was alone. She was mostly alone.
It took Beetee a few seconds to realize what was happening, but when he did, he kissed her back. He kissed her less urgently, but just as hungry for the touch as she was.
Johanna immediately took his shirt off, closed the door behind them and helped him unclasped her bra, then led him to his bed, happy with the feeling of intimacy.
Beetee was the only person in her life that stayed there for her, that never left her. And she tried to make him go. She tested him over and over again, taunted him, laughed at him, mocked him, and just waited for him to break, to run away from her like everyone else.
He never did.
Maybe he needed her as much as she needed him – not that she would ever admit that she needed him – maybe he felt the need to stay with her because they were both alone, facing a cruel world by themselves. Who knows. The important thing was that he stayed. He never walked away from her, and he understood her.
And that was more than Johanna ever hoped for.
Yep. So, my first Johanna/Beetee story.
When I imagine Beetee, I think of Gary Oldman, not the guy that they cast as Beetee in the movie... first casting that I didn't like.
Hope you liked it, I enjoyed writing it, leave a review and... have a lovely day :)