See-through Smiles (and Gold Dresses)

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When the Games start, Marvel joins the Career alliance to keep up with his persona, and for that, she sticks to the Career alliance too. The alliance is going fairly well, except for the day when a giant next of bees lands on them.

She jumps away in time (or that's what she thinks), and the girl from Four takes the worst. But she thinks she's okay.

Ahead of her is Marvel, but not Marvel; it's the Marvel that the Capitol created. And there's the Girl on Fire on the trees, and she is a giggling lovesick girl in a pretty dress again. She looks at herself and she's the girl Cashmere and the Hunger Games created, the one that flirts and giggles in see-through figure-hugging dresses, and everything is just blurry, so blurry. And to her she's already dead, the old Glimmer is already gone, and in her place there is a puppet. A puppet she must kill.

She'll be doing the puppet a favor by killing her, after all the puppet is just a puppet and surely the puppet doesn't want to stay alive. Arrow notched, bow released. The arrow hits the puppet in the heart, and everything goes black.

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Some of us were just meant to smile.

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This is what her mother tells her when she asks for Latin lessons and additional history classes. Her mother asks why she would stick such a beautiful face inside a stinky-smelling book. Glimmer tries to explain how she wants to know, how she wants to grow up and be a historian or something and do something good, and her mother laughs and says, Some girls were just meant to smile.

Glimmer has grown up in the richer side of District One, the side that has the most volunteering tributes for the Games. She rarely sees her father, and all she knows is that he is a rich multi-billionaire that pays all their bills. Her mother is a rare face as well, because she's oftentimes going to parties or vacations or helping her father in business matters. She's mostly raised by hired servants and Avoxes, and whenever her mother or father do visit, all they tell her is that she should spend more of her energies on her face than her brain.

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Eventually she just gives up. Everyone thinks she's just a pretty face—she'll give them what she wants. She'll flirt and nod and giggle and smile and flip her hair. Whatever. No matter what she does, they'll all look at her the same way anyways.

She forgets the books and her silly childhood dreams, and, because it's expected for rich pretty girls to train for the Games, she does exactly so. She does want to please her parents, and everyone else. When she volunteers for the Games in the place of some scrawny eighteen-year-old girl, her parents open up a bottle of champagne and already begin planning her party and how their life will be after she wins. Nothing about the chance that she may die, or that they want their baby to come back, or anything.

They wouldn't be too worried anyways, because if Glimmer doesn't survive the Games, there's Evely to bring the trophy home.

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At the time Glimmer volunteered, Evely was a mere fourteen years old.

Evely, her one younger sister that outshone her in every way possible. It was embarrassing that Evely was so talented at such a young age—stronger, faster, with better aim and agility and everything a Career could want. She's not quite as pretty as her yet, but it's only a matter of time before Evely catches up on that too. Whenever her parents are around, it's Evely that their eyes are on—as if Glimmer is invisible. It makes Glimmer green with envy that it's her younger sister that gets all the glory, but it's hard to hate Evely.

Theirs is a weird jealousy-love relationship. As talented as she was, Evely wasn't perfect. Glimmer knew how much her younger sister beat herself up with very little mistake. And she was only fourteen, fourteen, and Glimmer knew deep down that Evely was terrified of the Games. And, curse her softness, she had to win the Games for Evely. Because if she lost the Games, then Evely would be forced by their parents to enter the Games herself for sure.

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Some of us were just meant to smile.

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This is what her mentor for the Games tells her, a girl with a smile just as fake as hers and blonde hair and a teeny-tiny waist, a girl she's looked down pm all her life: Cashmere. Still young and naturally beautiful in her twenties, Cashmere is definitely one of the most popular female Victors. Except to Glimmer, who finds Cashmere an airheaded girl who has flirted and flounced and perfumed her way to the top.

(It's girls like Cashmere who give blondes and District One a bad name. As if they were all airheads.)

Cashmere who, at the time Glimmer met her, was wearing long purple false eyelashes and a boa to match, is the one who automatically chooses what Glimmer's angle should be and handpick the see-through gold dress and has all of Panem thinking that Glimmer is just a pretty face.

It begins in the train ride, when Cashmere takes one look at Glimmer, squeals—actually squeals—and decides that from now on, Cashmere is going to be one-hundred-percent in charge of mentoring Glimmer.

She hates Cashmere, but at the same time she admires Cashmere because she saw the way Cashmere brutally struck that spear through the boy's body in the final battle. Proof that Cashmere's more than just a sickeningly fake smile. What she wonders is why Cashmere never gives any sign of this to the Capital citizens.

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Some of us were just meant to smile.

They all think this.

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Except him.

Marvel, her District partner. She's seen him around in school but never paid any attention until now. After all, he was ordinary and, well, poor. And only now, when he's about to enter a game of death with her, does she notice him. Unlike the other boys, he doesn't just blush and flirt around her. He talks to her as if she's not Glimmer; she's just a girl.

It begins in the train ride, after Cashmere has coated her face with make-up and handed her a brand new dress to make a good first impression on the Capitol when they arrive. She's feeling disgusted and worthless and slightly nauseous, when Marvel comes up to her with a cup of water in one hand and a book in the other. He tells her that she looked better without the makeup. Which, to his surprise, she agrees to. She asks what book he's reading. It's a history book.

History. One topic that Glimmer has always been fascinated about. How did Panem come into existence, really? It can't possibly be that propaganda the Capitol always tells them. What were the Dark Days really like? And what about before, way before? Marvel shows her other books from way before, small books that he smuggled in his clothes onto the train, old myths and "fairly tales" about princesses and tiny winged beings that can't possibly be true—but they're still fascinating.

Glimmer had forgotten the ten-year-old little girl that had asked her mother for extra lessons, the little girl with hopes and dreams to become intelligent, the girl that had questioned the Capitol's motives, the girl that had screamed at the sight of the Hunger Games, instead of avidly noting strategies like she did now.

She had forgotten the little girl that had met Marvel at the library and played with him at the playground.

But Mavel hadn't.

Marvel reminds her. He reinforces her belief that the Capitol is feeding them propaganda. That the Hunger Games are wrong and should be ended. That she's more than a pretty face. Marvel, that poor boy with the grimy face and dirty hands, becomes the only person she can actually talk to.

So intelligent. So kind and thoughtful and handsome.

Too bad they're going into a game of death together in a few days.

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The angle Marvel goes for is a cocky, self-assured killer, and it's wrong; it's just so wrong.

Almost as wrong as her in three layers of makeup and a see-through gold dress.

After Glimmer washes off the three layers of makeup on her face and gets out of the gold dress, she's met by a very angry Cashmere. Apparently Cashmere is upset because District Twelve has stolen the show. Something very wrong. District Twelve is supposed to be there so that the Capitol can ridicule it and so that the Career Districts can give it a good beating. Instead District Twelve is showing up everybody. Cashmere's anger is quite comical, really, because for the first time that smile is off, and her face is all red. Not good for your skin tone, girl, she thinks inside her head, smirking.

"What's with the smirk?" Cashmere asks, growling, really, which causes Glimmer to smirk more. And Cashmere seems so angry that she might actually kill something. Interesting. Cashmere showing substance for once. Glimmer shrugs, not answering her mentor, and leaves.

Maybe Cashmere is livid, but what Glimmer really thinks is, Go District Twelve! She tells this to Marvel later in the short amount of time between dinner and lights-out.

Marvel laughs at the response and agrees to her. Then, suddenly getting serious, he says, "But Glimmer, if District Twelve wins then you die."

She's silent. The look in his eyes is so intense; it's almost scary. She thought she knew what she wanted, why she was here, but she quite doesn't anymore. She thinks of Evely, her younger sister, and how she has to win for her. She thinks of Peeta and his declaration of love, of the District Twelve girl, Katniss, volunteering for her little sister in a district where no one volunteers, and of Marvel.

She thought she knew what she wanted, why she was here, but she doesn't quite anymore.

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She replays the interview videos over and over again, and she watches the Girl on Fire become an airhead for the interviews, so different from the girl that volunteered for her younger sister, and she watches Lover Boy's declaration of love and wonders how much of it is real and how much of it is fake, how much of it is Capitol generated and how much of it has pure motives.

They're a puppet, they're all puppets, and it's just wrong. Marvel becoming a killing machine and she a pretty face, and Girl on Fire becoming an airhead for a while and Lover Boy becoming…

But maybe Lover Boy was genuine.

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When Katniss dumps the tracker jacker nest on her, she knows what she wants.

She loves living. She loves Evely. She may even love Marvel. But, in that short time before Katniss dumps the nest on her, their eyes meet—and call it intuition, call it insanity, but she knows that this girl is going to change the world someday. She, Glimmer, could never be brave or strong or good enough to break free from the puppet strings. But Katniss could.

She lets the nest drop on her.


Sorry if the first scene is confusing. Remember, Glimmer's under tracker jacker hallucinations so what she thinks happened isn't necessarily what really did happen.

For Angelica. Sorry about the shortness. Merry Christmas!