Chapter 13: Supernova
I stared at the beeping machines that surround Haymitch's seemingly lifeless body. There are tubes and needles sticking out of nearly every part of his body. He looks like some sick science experiment gone wrong. His forehead is stitched in a jagged line from where he hit his head when he passed out.
I arch my back and feel the satisfying crack of my joints as I shift my weight. My back aches from the stiff hospital chair; I haven't left in three days. Peeta has been here too, but he's been busy with work and the baby. Besides, he's never been as close to Haymitch as I have. He doesn't fully understand.
I was the one to find him. Passed out and bleeding, I had called for help. So far, no one knew what had happened. From listening to doctors I had gleaned tiny bits of information. They were leaning towards some sort of stroke or aneurysm, but they had nothing definitive. Bottom line: It didn't look good.
I heard the swoosh of the automatic doors and a cool burst of air, "Miss Everdeen," coin's voice chilled my bones. It was wrong of her to be here. She had no business in this hospital room.
"Whatever it is, I'm not in the mood." I growled.
"Well if this district centered around your moods nothing would get done around here, would it?" I could practically see Coin's snakelike eyes narrowing. I refused to turn around and look at her. I just stared at Haymitch, he was what was important here.
"Do you really think this is appropriate?"
"I do, actually. I'm going to stop with the niceties now since you clearly have no intention of acting civil," I snorted in response. "You have a very important position here and as unfortunate as these events may be, they change nothing. You ship out in two days and you must be prepared. Training begins in an hour. You will attend."
She turned on her heel to stride out of the room, "Or what?" I challenged.
She froze, not bothering to turn around. "I think you know."
With that, Coin exited the room. A chill ran down my spine as I stared and I reached out and grabbed Haymitch's hand. It felt as cold and lifeless as a piece of marble. In the darkest corner of my mind a felt a thought bubble to the surface, but I crushed it back down before it had the opportunity to take over. I can't afford to think like that. I have a family now.
The bow fit snugly in my hands. Whether that was due to personalization technology or just my standard familiarity with the weapon, I didn't care. It felt nice to have something I knew under my control. Even better that it was something lethal.
I fired off three shots in quick succession, hitting the holograms dead on. I had loaded a fourth when someone grabbed my shoulder. I whipped around and leveled my arrow, finding myself face to face; or rather face to arrow point, with Peeta.
His hands shot up in surrender and his face went white, "Sorry, I should have learned by now not to do that," he said breathlessly.
"It's fine. What do you need?" We'd barely spoken since I had found Haymitch. He knew I wouldn't want to talk about it so when he was able to, he just came to the hospital room. There we sat in silence, listening to the machines force life into Haymitch.
"I was just surprised to see you here, I just wanted to check on you." His deep blue eyes leveled with my grey ones, trying to discern my mental state.
"Yeah well, I wasn't really given a choice. But I'm here, and I'm fine." I turned to go back to shooting, already sick of conversation, but Peeta grabbed my arm.
"What does that mean?"
"Oh the standard Coin visit. She's such a pleasant woman you know; she gets more creative with the threats nowadays. Why sit with my dying friend when I should be training for the war she put me in the middle of? Real pleasure every time I see her."
Peeta's body tenses and his eyes grow cold, "What did she say?" his tone is like ice.
"No specifics. Just the subtle implied 'I'll kill you and your family'. God I love district 13, almost as nice as the capitol."
"Can you cut the shit for 5 minutes and be serious?" Peeta is pissed. Good, he should be, "that's it, we're not going on this mission."
"Oh yeah, Peeta, that'll go over well. I'm sure Coin will be happy to let us go. She'll send us off with a smile and a gold sticker. Maybe she'll send us some flowers for the wedding, they'll probably be laced with arsenic, but hey we'll take what we can get, right?" I roll my eyes at him; he's so fucking idealistic it's ridiculous. Haymitch spoke out against her and look where it landed him, whoops there's that creeping little thought again. It's out now though and it's festering in my brain like a disease. Full-blown rage envelops me and if Peeta keeps pushing me he's going to get the worst of it.
"Well what else are we supposed to do?" He practically yells.
"We go off to war like the good little soldiers we are." I scowl and turn back to the shooting course. I can feel his eyes burning holes into my back, but I'm done with this conversation. I can't deal with this right now. Or ever, for that matter. When does it ever get easier?
I walk through the door of the apartment sweaty and disgruntled. I'm in bad need of a shower; the past three days in the hospital have not been kind to my personal hygiene.
Peeta isn't home and neither is Caelum. I feel a pang in my chest at this. Peeta probably took him for a walk to get him out of the apartment since I was such a bitch earlier. I've been a terrible mother lately, spending all my time with Haymitch. Not to mention that I would be gone for god only knows how long with the unit in just a few days.
I lie back on the bed and put my head in my hands. When did my life become so fucked? Prim doesn't talk to me, I'm being forced into war, I have a fucking fiancé and I'm an unwed teen mother. I'm clearly the success story of district twelve.
Well considering the fact the rest of them all got blown up, you kind of are. I let out a chuckle at this thought, it's sick, but then again so am I. The world is sick, so why not have a laugh? I'll most likely be dead soon anyway.
I know that's the end game to this war. I'm not dumb enough to think that Coin will allow me to stick around, I'm a threat to her empire. Once the war is over, the Mockingjay will become obsolete. I imagine she will slowly shift me out of the spotlight and then silence me for good. Or maybe I'll be killed in what looks like one final act of vengeance by Snow. I can only hope that Peeta and Caelum make it out.
I won't share these thoughts with Peeta; he will only worry. He doesn't understand that you can't prevent the inevitable, it's well, inevitable. Prolonging it will only make it worse and frankly, I'm willing to die if it means protecting my family.
A/n: sorry for the lack of updating. It's been crazy. I'm going to try to come back to this story so I hope you haven't all given up on me. Anyway, thanks and please leave a review!