I wake to the sound of Finnick yelling my eyes instantly snapping open.
"Move the fog is poison," he yells as he passes me to grab Mags and swing her onto his back.
Peeta's there instantly helping me to my feet and we start to run blindly into the darkness. I steal a moment to look over my shoulder and see the fog rolling thick and fast at us, a wall of doom that seems inescapable. I don't look back again, knowing that catching my foot in the wrong place could be deadly.
As we run Peeta grabs my hand and swings me to the side, and it's only then that I realise the fog isn't just coming from behind but to the side of us as well. My mind scattered by that thought I catch my foot on a root and fall, instinctively rolling so that I don't land on my stomach but I feel my ankle twist at that moment I know this is it, I won't be able to run on the foot and that fog is moving in to fast.
Peeta stops at my side and reaches for me, but I can see the fine tremor in his arms and I know that shock and his heart stopping has left him damaged and he won't be able to pick me up.
"Run Peeta, please just run," I plead even as he drops to his knees next to me shaking his head.
"I'm not leaving you Katniss," he says as he reaches out to caress my cheek and turns in the direction Finnick is moving, "Finnick I can't carry her," he yells and I look over his shoulder to where the fog is fast approaching.
He reaches us quickly and drops down as well, his eyes going to my ankle that's still caught in the root. When he looks up his eyes are pained and I can see what's waring in his mind, but before I can tell him to just run and leave us Mags slips from his back. She circles around him her smile soft and serene and before any of us can say a word she clutches his cheeks in both his hands, places a soft kiss to his lips and with that turns and heads to the fog.
"Mags!" Finnick screeches reaching for her but she's already slipped into the fog and then the cannon's sounding and we all know we'll never see her soft face again.
"Finnick please," Peeta begs and with a thick swallow to try and collect himself Finnick turns to me and I can see his eyes hardening.
Climbing to his feet he easily hefts me into his arms tucking me against his body. I circle his neck with my arms locking myself to him as much as possible and then we're moving again. I always knew Finnick was strong, but to feel his arms around me, feel his steady breathing leaves me a little in awe. He obviously didn't let his time in the Capitol soften him and at that moment I totally appreciate everything he's done to keep in shape.
"To the left," Peeta yells and I lift my head to see the fog closing in on the right and Finnick unfortunately just isn't fast enough and the fog climbs along my back and across Finnick's arm where he holds me.
A scream rips from my lips and Finnick grunts, but his stride doesn't slow and his grip doesn't loosen. I can see the beach in the distance now, the fake moonlight glittering off the water, but it seems so far away. A goal that we will never reach in time before the fog reaches us. I feel a searing across the back of my arm then and Finnick lets out a yell in time to one ripped from Peeta. I cling to Finnick tucking my head against his shoulder too scared to watch anymore and wish desperately that it was Peeta's arms around me. I can feel my body starting the shake with the beginnings of shock and I know this isn't good, that it definitely can't be good for the baby either.
Just then the ground tips and Finnick grunts thickly as he ground beneath his feet gives way and we tumble down an embankment. In the chaos he loses his grip on me and I tumble free taking the brunt of the hit on my left side. I yell as I fall tumbling over and over and all I can think about is the fog and that any hit to my stomach could mean the death of my child. When the world finally rights itself I'm looking up at the fog as it gets closer to the edge of the embankment we just slipped down. Sliding down it has given us a few precious seconds advance, but it will do us no good.
To my right Finnick is out cold, blisters across his back and neck letting me know he was hit pretty hard by the fog and I'm sure he must have hit his head on the way down. To my left Peeta has managed to pull himself to his knees, his eyes on me but it's not going to do either of us any good. So I reach for him, wanting to at least be touching him when our time comes, but I can't keep my eyes from following the progress of the fog.
I watch as it crawls closer and I can feel my heart beating heavily in my chest. I know it's been no more than two or three seconds since we landed at the bottom of the embankment but time has slowed to that crawl that happens so often in deadly moments. Just as I feel Peeta's fingers snag around mine though a miracle seems to happen. To fog is barely a foot from us now, but instead of over taking us, it seems to hit an invisible wall and crawl up it before eventually dissipating all together and I can barely believe my eyes, it's so strange to me that I simply sit and stare at the nothingness before a bubble of laughter escapes my throat. Relief floods my body and I turn to Peeta who's grinning at me as he crawls forward.
In a wash though the adrenaline leaves my body and I feel every scrape and bruise from the fall, and every single burn and blister that now peppers my skin. I can't help the whimper that escapes my lips and I roll onto my right side, the only part of me that doesn't feel completely and utterly battered. I lay there and let my body throb as my mind tries hard to calm my breathing and assess what's damaged and what's just hurting.
"Katniss over here the water helps," Peeta's voice sinks into my mind and I look up to see him kneeling at the edge of a pool of water.
Climbing to my knees as best I can I move up next to him and dip my burnt hand into the water following Peeta. A hiss escapes my lips as the pain of the burn reignites, but then it sooths down again and I can breathe around it. Carefully I drag myself forwards into the water a pain sound escaping my lips as my burnt skin first comes into contact with it but I push passed it until it starts to numb again and I scrub my hands over the skin I can reach feeling the poison leaving my pours.
Peeta' quickly next to me his body shaking slightly as he scrubs his own burns and then helps me with the places I can't quiet reach. We lounge for a moment in the wonderful feeling before we both climb from the pool and as carefully as we can, we pull Finnick into the water. The pain wakes him and he thrashes for a moment until he realises that he's safe and the both of us mean him no harm.
"Katniss," he hisses as his eyes lock with mine.
"Shhh it's alright, we're alight," I whisper back as soothingly as possible as I scrub my hand over his neck trying to get as much of the fog off as possible.
Finnick soon gets the picture and starts helping us scrub off his skin and soon enough all three of us are simply sat in the pool the water reaching our chins.
"What was that?" Peeta asks but all Finnick and I can do is shake our heads in response.
We have as much idea as Peeta does, and that's absolutely nothing. I'm just glad that for whatever reason it stopped when it did, or three more cannons would have sounded out.
Moving carefully Peeta slips besides me so that he can wrap his arms around me, his hands coming to rest against my stomach gently under the water. I can't help when I let my head drop back against his shoulder, letting the pain wash over me as the water laps at my body.
"Let me get you some proper water," he whispers into my ear and I nod as he detangles himself and climbs from the pool.
Finnick moves up beside me then as I watch Peeta move to the closest tree.
"Are you alright?" he asks his voice soft and laced with concern.
I nod and desperately want to ask if he's alright, but I can see the pain plain on his face and it's not from the fog. I'm now indebted to Mags and I'll never be able to pay her back, but I make a silent vow that if I have anything to do with it Finnick will come out of this alive.
It's then that a sound reaches my ear and has me turning my attention back to the forest around us. For a moment I think I've imagined it until Finnick sits up more alert his own eyes scanning the greenery around us. Finnick spots it first his body going still as he nods and I turn to find some kind of monkey baring its teeth at me. As the first one hisses another appears and another, until soon the little pool of water we are sat in is practically surrounded.
"Peeta," I whisper out realising he hasn't seen them yet, and he lifts his head in time for one to gnash his teeth at him.
Not taking his eyes of the surrounding monkeys he slips back into the water and looks over at me and then out behind my shoulder. I turn and I can see the beach, not far, but far enough that we might not reach it if we are attack.
"Run Katniss, you need to get there fast," I know what he's thinking, he doesn't know how much more my body can take and it definitely won't be able to take a blow from an animal like that.
I hesitate as he looks at me but my decision is made for me when one of the monkeys becomes bold and launches itself at me. Instantly Finnick is there knocking the creature away from me and he hisses one word in my face that galvanises me.
"Run!" I'm moving before either of them can say anything else.
I reach the other edge of the pool and haul myself up as chaos breaks out behind me but I don't turn, knowing that if I hesitate it could be the difference in my life. I don't have any weapons and I know something like that could rip me limb from limb and then beat the rest of me with them. My chest is tight as I run and I know I'm reaching the point where my body is going to collapse soon but the screeching behind me spurs me on, I don't have time to collapse. The water is glittering silvery bright in front of me and I lock my eyes on it preying I reach it in time.
Just as I think I'm home free though I feel something grab my back and I fall screaming as I land on my back and look up to see a terrible face looming over me. The creature roars into my face, spittle dripping from its sharp teeth and I can do nothing but brace myself for the pain that's about to come. I close my eyes just as it lunges but the pain doesn't come and when my eyes fly open its to lock onto Peeta as he reaches for me. Helping me to my feet we both run for the beach sliding into the sand and turning to the sound of more of those creatures. To our right Finnick bursts from the trees, turning to face his attacker, but none of them seem to want to come onto the sand and for a moment we simply look at each other before they turn and melt back into the forest. We've survived another arena obstacle it seems.