okay, i seriously can't remember who requested a follow-up to this (meant-to-be) one-shot, and for that i apologize, but i also wish to thank you. i have loved that idea and finally decided to act upon it. i haven't been writing lately, so there might be some scratches of mistakes lay amongst the words. for that, once again, i apologize. i try to make it natural- like it's actually meant to be continued - but it's not a promise. with that being said, enjoy my lovely readers.

the song preference: the civil wars- kingdom come.

.

there's a song blake used to hear, and now sings. it was from his father's. blake had hated his father when he was young. the old man was loud, and bitter and used to dragged blake everywhere with his rough hands and forced him to hear all about his hateful comments towards the capitol when what he was supposed to do was be quiet and not risk their lives and mom's. but blake never said anything to protest his father - he did once, and he got a slapped across his face that got swelled for over three days, and made mom cried when she first saw it.

blake didn't hear his dad sing often- but when he did, it was always the same tune, the same melody, the same song. he guessed that's why he remembered it. "run, run away. buy yourself another day," his dad sang when he's sharpening his pocket knife, and blake only listened. "run, run and hide. somewhere no one else could find."

maybe it's the message in the song that got blake to listen. the way his father's voice pleads in the song, as if sending him a code for him to break; if you get the chance, son- don't be afraid to run. but it's his father's harsh breaths and his hateful eyes that unconvinced blake a minute later. and now, recalling the day his father was taken away by the capitol (he guessed someone was finally brave enough to rat him over) and the train is taking him a mile away from his home after every hour passed- it's the only thing he could actually understand.

nellie's dry eyes are on him and he blinks back at her, not knowing whether to smile or caves in and finally cry. the train grumbles and something in his stomach flips in horror. she rests her head against the wall, "that song."

he looks up. she breathes out, "sing that song again."

he guesses he's not the only one who understands it.

and so he sings.

.

his mother was a quiet woman- very much different from his father, but he suspected it's because of the loss of her hand, but he never asked question. his mother was a beautiful woman, with light brown hair and clean skin. she stands with only one hand by her side; her left one was cut because of a tree accident, but he never found her imperfect in any way. except... her perspective on people.

for one, what does she see in his dad that got him to be married to her? blake knew his parents weren't married by force, so it must be love- or something else that continues to remain as a secret. his father was sloppy, his mother was none of that. his father was a mess, she was not. his father was somewhat evil in a minor way, she doesn't have a single speck of sin living in her rushing blood. but nonetheless, they managed to find a husband and wife in one another.

for another, his mother have always had a small admiration towards nellie. nellie was the daughter of good man sammy who died when he stumbled on his feet and fell into a steep ground and hit his head against a rock; he died on impact. he remembers good man sammy. he was a good man, with pale skin and squinty eyes, and was always jolly (he remembers wishing good man sammy was his dad instead of what he got) and he had three children with his wife. margot, nellie and rasmus.

margot was the prettiest among the children. her hair was long and wavy, stopped at the waist. her smile was large and her heart was even bigger. everyone liked margot, especially the boys. especially him. nellie- nellie is petite in size, and carries a scowl everywhere she goes. her fingers are cover in scars from the splinters of the woods and her heart weighs her with disappointment with every day she realizes the world she lives in is plain cruel. but when blake asks his mother about margot, all his mother said was-

"margot is a good girl." his mother smiles like she's remembering a good memory, "but sammy's second daughter - nellie- i think she's good too. better."

he never asks why, he never knows the reason behind her words.

"my mother likes you," he tells when they arrive the capitol that bright (horrifying) day. she turns and her brows furrow together slightly - it was a small change of expression, and he must be leaning soclose that he notices it - and there's a crowd of people watching over them and he tries to ignore the trembling nerves shaking underneath his epidermis. "that's a good thing, y'know. when we get back, we could get married. she won't mind."

"us?" she asks, the surprised in her voice is less than he thought.

"yes," he speaks. "us. and we could forget this day and have kids and grow old and die together. it's going to be a good life, i tell you."

"no," she says, there's familiar hate in her eyes when she spits her respond. "we're going to die."

he doesn't say anything because it's true. and then there's a pang of venom appears somewhere in his mind that says: if margot was here, she might go along with your plan to pretend. if only for a while. he doesn't realizes nellie was away for a minute only to come back with a permanent pen in her hand. she grabs his hand and he blinks back shockingly. slowly, shakily, in her care, she draws two horizontal lines on his ring finger- and repeats the same action with hers. with the same flat tone, she drawls, "we probably have to skip having children and growing old part, and die a little bit early. but, at least we'll be together and-"

"-happily married," he ends for her.

she lets go of his hand, with a single nod of agreement. "i'm sure your mom won't mind."

he thinks he's getting his mother's logic now.

.

nellie kisses and he feels like he's on the edge- dangerous. he thinks he likes it when she gives him this crooked grin under the moon-lit night in between their kisses, and the way she moves in rhythm with him while they touch each other everywhere, and the way her raven hair tangled up along his long fingers and the way she sighs when he kisses just a bit harder.

they go on forever and ever until the night is no longer night.

he thinks it's loneliness. he thinks it's desperation. he thinks it might even be love.

.

he's good with punches while she's more into knives. he thinks she might win this one. she might go home- broken, battered and almost killed. but alive in the end. but, he's also selfish in a way. he doesn't want to die. he doesn't want her to win. he wants to go home, where trees hide him from this awful truths and his mother's eyes awaits him at his house. but, he doesn't want to see nellie dies.

he couldn't picture her- lying there, on the ground, lifeless. not that same scowl on her face and that same tiredness smearing her breaths. a blade struck her heart and a pool of blood paints over her pale skin. he couldn't imagine it. he doesn't. or else, he's going to be sick.

"i think you're going to win," he says, despite his selfishness.

"no," she answers. "i don't kill people."

he thinks of his mother, and his muscles tense. "i think i might have to."

she looks at him, emotionless. "then win this thing."

there's a determination lies in her dark lens, and a strong sense when she bumps her fingers with his, and it's all for him- he guesses he's winning this thing.

.

the countdown begins, the cornucopia lies for them to take. he trembles, but swallows his fear. he won't show it- he won't die too early. he won't give those people a good show. he won't fail her.

he watches nellie- the same scowl on her face, and he thinks of home.

he won't fail her.

he won't.

.

"i do love you," he told her the night before.

she watched, her head tilted and her eyes stained with disbelief. "don't lie to me, idiot."

her stubbornness agitated him. "i do."

she's quiet then, looking outside the glass window that displayed the view of the capitol. he followed her gaze and stayed silent. the air was stiff, but he thought it's better that way. "tomorrow," she drawls, her voice sounded mocking. "the hunger games begin."

he flicked his eyes at her.

she continued, "and we're going to be as good as dead."

he laughed- they are.