Disclaimer: C'mon, now, did you guys really think I was Suzzane Collins? Nope. I don't own the HG! I do own an HP - my faithful laptop on which I write my fanfics :D
A/N: Yes, this is ANOTHER Team Nerds story, but from a slightly different angle! Hope you all enjoy! And if a certain author recognizes her name in the story, it's because I really enjoy your stuff! :D
"Wiress! Wiress, c'mon sweetie! You can work on your project later!" A woman's voice called down the hallway to a door where a small singing voice drifted from under the doorway. Inside the room, small hands finished twisting a wire around a piece of metal before the door to the small bedroom burst open.
"HURRY UP!" A fourteen year old girl called poking her head into the room. She had her dark brown hair French-braided and tied with a pink ribbon that matched her short-sleeved dress that had a ruffly collar, empire waist, and soft pleats in the skirt that came to her knees. "Can't you give it a rest, nerdling?" Her ten year old sister slowly focused her large eyes on her sister.
"But - Wendy - I just need to connect one wire." Wiress said looking at her small device on the worn wooden surface of the table the girls shared as a desk.
"C'mon!" Wendy pulled the chair. Wiress squealed as she was yanked off the chair from under her armpits. "And you're NOT wearing THAT!" Wendy ordered looking at Wiress' school uniform. Sighing, Wendy rummaged around in their closet and found a dress she had worn the previous year. "Get into this!"
"Wendy!" Wiress protested as Wendy tugged a dark green sleeveless dress that came mid-calf on Wiress. She handed Wiress a black short-sleeved sweater and buttoned the top button. "I'm not going into the reaping area!"
"No, but for ONCE you're NOT going to look like a big nerd in front of everyone!" Wendy huffed. Wendy enjoyed buying nice dresses from the second-hand store with her money she made working after school at one of the many factories. She was quite likeable at school, however, she was often overshadowed by her younger sister. Her teachers would whisper, 'I wish I could teach Wendy's little sister Wiress, but she's headed to The Academy.' Wiress would scour the old electronics manuals and physics books in the second-hand store while her sister looked at clothes.
"Wendy, you don't want to look like a nerd, not me." Wiress answered simply but truthfully.
"Let's just go, nerdling." Wendy muttered taking her younger sister's hand. Their parents were dressed in their nice clothing. They could afford several nice tops and a nice pair of pants or skirt as they were production managers in a factory. Middle management families didn't need to shop at the second-hand stores and had bigger apartments than Wendy and Wiress' family had, but they both knew to be grateful for what they had.
Wendy waved to the other teens from the middle school and Wiress looked at the factories dreaming of things to invent once she got old enough. "Nerdling - NERDLING!" Wendy hollered yanking on Wiress' hand as Wiress bent down to pick up a bent piece of metal. "You'll get us run over!" She hissed.
"Wendy Carpenter, don't call your sister that in public!" their father admonished. "Wiress, sweet-heart, we can stop at the surplus parts store if you need something for your project. We can't have any sharp objects of any kind in the Town Square today." Wiress nodded. She dropped the piece of metal but patted her pocket that had a small piece of steel wire. Wendy tugged on her charm bracelet her parents had given her at age twelve.
"Wendy, I'll see you soon." Wiress said.
"I'll see you soon, Wiress my sweet nerdling." Wendy said kissing her little sister on the cheek. She kissed her parents before going over to the fourteen year olds' section.
Wiress looked up as they showed a video recaping the history of the nation of Panem. She focused on the metal scaffolding holding the TV to the side of the Justice Building and tried to deconstruct how it was built. Soon it was time for the reaping to begin. "Now! District Three, aren't you excited to view your tributes?" Eustacia the escort squealed. She was wearing bright red from head to toe. Wiress looked at the many sequins and gems on her dress and heels. "Milly Williams!" She called. A girl stepped out of the fifteen year olds section. Wiress let out her breath knowing her sister would be ok for one more year. "Beetee Tesla!" Eustacia called. Wiress gasped. Oh no! She screamed in her head. Wiress closed her eyes and concentrated on the thought: Someone please volunteer! He's too smart to die! she had hoped the surging electrical impulses in her brain were felt by others around her. When she opened her eyes, eighteen year old Beetee Tesla was on the stage adjusting his glasses and looking out into the crowd. Wiress sighed dejectedly. The one mentor Curie Newton sized up her tributes as she chewed on her dentures.
Wiress dusted her small machine off one more time after setting it in front of her poster board for the 4th Avenue Primary School Science Fair. She explained her project to the teachers from the Engineering Academy as they passed by. They were amazed at how complex her little machine that acted like a four wheeling digging vehicle. "Very good, little lady." One of them said smiling. Wiress smiled back. "Tesla, come here!" He called. A skinny dark haired boy wearing glasses and an Engineering Academy V neck sweater over a white button up shirt and black pants came over. "Look what this little girl made!" Wiress explained her project again.
"Wow! What's your name?" The boy asked in awe looking at her project board and the machine she had built.
"Wiress Carpenter." Wiress said. The boy blushed realizing it was written on the top of her display board. "What's your name?"
"Beetee Tesla." The boy replied. "Have you got your letter from the Academy?" He asked. The little girl's large eyes got even bigger.
"That's not until next year." Wiress said. "I'm ten." She gave him a curious look. "How would you know if I had one?"
"Oh - well - keep working hard like this and you'll be in. No problem." Beetee said smiling. "Isn't that what you want?"
"I want to invent." Wiress said excitedly. The boy's eyes lit up behind his glasses.
"Me too!" He gushed. He pulled a piece of engineering graph paper out of his pocket. "I'm working on this -" Wiress studied it and pointed out some things. She talked with the Engineering Academy student for ten minutes.
"Tesla, you still have fifteen other project to see, son!" His instructor chuckled.
"Oh -" Wiress said reddening. "Did I - did I talk to him for too long?"
"Don't worry about it, little lady. You gave him some great ideas for his work. I heard you."
Later Wiress shook Beetee's hand as she accepted her first-place award. Wendy teased her for two weeks about Beetee being her first crush causing Wiress to snap one evening. "WENDY! DON'T TEASE ME!" She squealed, her face the color of eggplant at the dining room table. "Or else - Or else I'm going to electrify your brush so you can never ever brush your hair down straight ever again - and - and - you'll be SO UGLY! SO THERE!"
"Nerdling." Wendy had said simply smirking. "When you grow up, you'll marry him. Just you wait." Wiress kicked Wendy under the table a second before their parents assigned Wendy to dish duty and Wiress to dusting duty in the living room to end their skirmish. Later that evening, Wiress climbed on top of Wendy's covers and made her pinkie-swear to never tease her again about the matter until the next science fair. "Anything for you, little nerdling." Wendy said affectionately before ruffling Wiress's hair. "Now go to sleep." Wiress snuggled under the covers. "Wiress!" She yelped before looking two feet over from her bed to Wiress'.
"You didn't say in my bed." Wiress giggled, her large eyes gleaming mischeviously. Wendy groaned good-naturedly but let her sister sleep in her bed. The reaping was in a week, and she knew she had to treasure the next few days in case they were her last at home.
Wiress peeled away from her parents as the crowd forced enough enthusiasm to applaud for the new tributes. Her small feet pattered on the soot covered sidewalks as she stood in a small line of people waiting by the doors where the two tributes were being held to say their goodbyes to family and friends. She made a model of a gear with her wire as she waited for Beetee's family and teachers to say goodbye. "Two minutes." The peacekeeper said as he opened the door. Wiress hurried in. When she saw Beetee in a green shirt, dark grey slacks she screeched to a halt. She still thought he looked nice even though he was quite sad and nervous.
"Hi, Wiress." Beetee said quietly. He looked at the small girl who had tears trickling out of her large sad eyes.
"H - Hi." Wiress stammered feeling her face grow piping hot. "I - I - " She gulped.
"You want to tell me something?" Beetee asked gently grinning at the little girl.
"Beetee - you're too smart to die - please don't die - please come back and invent! Please!" She pleaded bouncing on her heels.
"I'll try, little lady." Beetee said smiling. "You'll be a pretty awesome inventor yourself."
"But - I - I want - I want you to be at the next science fair!" Wiress blurted out. Beetee smiled again.
"I do too." He said trying to keep the sadness out of his voice. "Hey, you never know what happens until you try. Remember?" Suddenly he felt small arms wrap around him. He suppressed a laugh as the small girl placed a quick tearstained kiss on his cheek.
"This is for you." Wiress said holding out the model of her wire. Beetee took it and smiled at her. "I - I love you, Beetee!" Wiress squeaked before running out of the room as fast as her small feet could take her.
"I knew you'd talk to him, nerdling!" Wendy chuckled as Wiress latched onto her while choking on her sobs. She buried her face into the pink fabric of Wendy's dress. "Hey, baby sis. You said it yourself. He's smart. He can make it."
"You - you shouldn't have heard!" Wiress said scowling and putting her hands on her hips.
"I didn't. I just figured that's what you would say. You're not the only person that figures stuff out, dear nerdling. C'mon." Wendy took her sister's hand and led her back to where their parents were waiting. Wendy would have to wait till after Beetee came home to tease Wiress. For reasons she couldn't explain, she knew Beetee would win.