She had always been a strange child.
When he saw her that evening, his heart nearly stopped. She looked so pretty; so… so… so beautiful. She was wearing a blue dress—aqua, he mused—that seemed to fit her perfectly. It only went down to her mid-thigh, but unlike the District 1 girl—Gleam, or something—it wasn't at all tacky. The dress fit her body perfectly. It wasn't too tight, or too loose. Though Thresh doubted her stylist's judgment during the parade, his faith in them was completely restored.
She was undoubtedly the most attractive girl in the whole room.
The feeling in his stomach was a lot stronger than it had been before, but he didn't complain. In a way, it felt kind of nice. When she looked at him though, it felt like a shot of electricity shooting up his spine, shocking him into stillness. His eyes stayed on her for the rest of the night, only leaving when her name was called. He nearly had a heart attack.
He hadn't even known her name until then!
"District 5, Finch Adair, come on up here!" Caesar Flickerman called her up, a large smile plastered on his face. His dyed, blue hair began to fall into his eyes, but he didn't bother to brush it away. Slowly, Finch stepped on to the stage, ignoring the booming in her chest, and the shouts coming from below her. She had never been a very nervous girl, but she was in front of all of Panem now. She had a pretty good reason to be nervous.
"Hello, Caesar," She breathed, folding her legs gently together. He practically gushed at her manners. "Oh, Finch, darling! You look absolutely stunning! Let me tell you, blue is your color, too!" Finch let out a short, airy laugh. The audience was practically doubling over, however. "Thank you, Caesar." He grinned. "Of course, dear."
"You're the only tribute whose score was the same as their District," Caesar smiled, referring to her '5' training score. "Was that your plan all along?" Finch giggled, shaking her head. "No," She said, rewetting her lips. "I just... did the best that I could. It's merely a coincidence that I got a five." Her host smiled, before slowly looking around. He leaned forward, staring into her eyes intensely. "So, tell me, darling... do you think you can win?" She smiled.
"I do." Caesar seemed taken aback, not quite used to Districts outside of 1, 2, and 4 being so confident. "Anything got you worried?" For a moment, Finch hesitated. "I'd really like to not have to kill anyone." The blue-haired man smiled, resting back against his chair. "That's gonna be tough," She nodded, but didn't seem at all worried. "Killing is sort of a large part of the Games, isn't it?" The corners of her lips pulled up. "I'll figure out a way to get over it."
Just as the last word left her mouth, the bell sounded. Caesar grasped her hand gently in his own, shaking it like he did all of the other tributes. "Good luck, District 5 tribute, Finch Adair!" The crowd cheered for her; shouting her name with excitement; with hope that she would win, or at least make it long enough to be considered impressive.
She hoped the same.
Eleven tributes later, Thresh was licking his lips in anticipation. It was going to be his turn soon, and it would have been a lie to say he was looking forward to it. He hated being in crowds; being around so many people; even being watched by people. In just a few moments, he was going to be watched by millions of people. Millions. His hands were beginning to sweat.
She was still there, watching him with her head tilted gently to the side. It confused her slightly, watching him shake like a leaf. He always seemed to brave; so fearless. When the Careers glared at him, he acted as if they didn't even exist. When Cato, or something, tried to start a fight with Thresh over his score, he simply raised an eyebrow. Death didn't scare him, but being the center of attention apparently did. She almost smiled.
"District 11, Thresh Brune, come on up here!" Sucking in a shaky breath, he put on his mask, and walked out. Almost instantly, the entire room filled with applause; with screams and shouts of his name. Caesar ushered him to the chair beside him, grasping his hand when he sat down.
"Nice to meet you, Thresh," He smiled, hoping for the same in return. However, he was let down. "Hello," The giant said smoothly, glancing over the audience with impassive eyes. Though his heart was racing faster than it ever had before, he couldn't let them know that. He had to act tough. No, he corrected himself; he had to be tough, not just pretend.
"Your score was very impressive!" Caesar smiled. "A 10 is practically unheard of, yet you're one of three to get one this year! How do you feel about that?" He glanced over to the blue-haired man. "… It was to be expected," Was all he said, perfectly playing the mysterious role his mentors had told him to.
Caesar suddenly grinned wickedly. "So I'm sure such a dashing young man such as yourself must have a girl back home." The host looked to the crowd. "Am I right, folks?" They instantly erupted in cheers, yet some of the girls looked slightly put off. In his mind, Thresh wanted to look to her; to Finch. But he didn't. He knew that that would have been the last thing she wanted, and the last thing he wanted to do was make her unhappy.
"No…" He shook his head. "… But there is a girl I'm interested in." Unconsciously, his eyes slowly trailed to the girl backstage. Thankfully, she, as well as the cameras, seemed to miss it. Once he realized what he was doing, he snapped his eyes back over to Caesar. Caesar smiled knowingly, before shaking his head. "A girl from your District?"
Thresh smiled. "… No," As soon as the word left his lips, the bell rung. The blue-haired man and the audience aww'd, but Caesar was still grinning. When he grasped Thresh's hand, he whispered, "Good luck winning her over. She seems like a hard nut to crack." Thresh flushed, before nodding and walking off of the stage.
"District 11, everybody! Thresh Brune!"
Later that night, Finch found herself on the roof, breathing in the smog-filled, city air. She didn't mind it too much, though. She was used to it, where she came from. District 5 was all about power, after all. There was dozens of power plants just in the section where she and her family lived. It was a little scary sometimes, walking onto the street to see wires lying in the streets, still sparking with electricity, but she had gotten used to that, too.
She licked her lips, leaning her upper body over the roof. Her nose pressed against the force field, stopping her from falling off. She sighed, slowly leaning back. They gave knives to the tributes when they ate, but they wouldn't get rid of the damned barrier? It didn't make much sense to her.
Suddenly, the door to the roof slammed open. Kneeling down, Finch hid away from them. As soon as she realized who it was, however, she grinned and slid back up. "Thresh," She breathed his name, and he smiled back at her. "What're you doing up here, little girl?" He asked her, the nickname rolling off of his lips playfully. She bristled, almost like a cat, or… perhaps a fox. "I'm just as old as you, I'm sure." He chuckled. "I'm 18."
Finch sucked in a breath, her eyes narrowing slightly in pity. Just one more year, and he would have been completely free from the Reaping. Why in the world did they have to pick him now? Shaking her head, she scattered those thoughts from her head. Thresh was her… acquaintance, yes, but they couldn't be friends. Only one of them could win the Games, and she didn't want to make bonds with someone, especially if there was a chance that they were going to die.
But… what if they could just be allies for a little while? Not too long; just long enough for the numbers of the other tributes to drop down. If they waited until there were about… say, six or seven other people left, then there was no way that either one of them would have to kill the other.
"Thresh, let's be allies." She suddenly blurted, catching him slightly by surprise. He stared at her for a few moments, before slowly nodded. "… I thought you wanted to be by yourself." She licked her lips. "I did," She whispered. "But I've been thinking, and… and well, if we can just stay together until the numbers die down—" She smirked humorlessly. "Excuse the pun—then we can branch off from each other when there are only a few others left."
Thresh stared at her for a few moments longer, silently processing the pros and cons. Truthfully, however, he had already been meaning to ask her. She was definitely one of the best allies to have in the Games, and he knew that he had to snatch her up before anyone else did, though she probably wouldn't be asking anyone else. Finally, he grinned and nodded.
And that was how their relationship began.