Wounded Angel 1
Author Note: This story is a request from RockGuitarGoddess This is my version of what would have happened if Katniss was the lone Victor of the 74th Annual Hunger Games, and how it would affected the rest of the trilogy. Please read and review, and enjoy!
Carefully, I put the tips of my boots on the outside of the cave. The forest looms in the distance, giving promise to the supplies Peeta and I both desperately needed in order to survive. Something other than my first instinct tells me to stay inside of the cave, to protect him when he has no possible way of defending himself against the Careers if they found our hideout, especially when they're targeting us. But my first instinct overrules that feeling, simply because if I stay with him, we'll both die.
I move on hunter's feet through the thickening underbrush until the area where the Cornocopia is located is in view, then crouch lowly. All eyes are searching around, cautious to dare venturing out; those who are left are all desperate to win. A few leaves tremble before Foxface emerges, dashing quickly and lightly to the area where the promising bags are set up. In one quick motion, she's grabbed the pack with a 5 pinned to the front and re-hidden herself back in the woods.
Even though she moved remarkably fast, nothing stirred from the underbrush, which can only mean the Careers aren't here.
Taking a deep, silent breath, I begin to inch out into the clearing. There will be no protection other than my bow and what few arrows I've got left once I'm out, which means I will have to fight for my life if I'm attacked. By the looks of it, only Clove, Cato, Foxface, and Thresh are remaining, but there's no doubt all of them want to kill Peeta and I.
I'm their biggest target and threat, though, which means my odds of winning decreased rapidly, even without me stepping into open-range.
Nothing moves or rustles as I continue inching forward; it's now or never. I make a blind lunge toward the bag with a 12 on the front, slinging the bow more securely across my back as I run. It seems like the world freezes as I grab one strap, yanking the supplies into my grasp and spinning on my heels, bolting away. My heart hammers furiously as I finally slow down once back in the underbrush, both hands clutching the bag as if I'd never let go.
"Thank God…" my voice is a ragged whisper as I begin opening it up, the rest of the world fading for a seemingly pleasant moment in time.
My hand freezes from where I was beginning to pull out the first supply for inspection. My vision clouds instantly as my heart hits the base of my stomach; I rapidly stuff whatever I was pulling out back inside the pack and take off in the direction I can, not minding the noise I'm making. As I burst into the area, my hand gripping my bow until my knuckles are white, I know immediately I'm too late.
Clove is pulling a blood-soaked knife from a lifeless corpse she dragged out of the cave we'd taken shelter in before, grinning madly as Cato turns in my direction. Both of them look pleased at their handiwork, the look in both of their eyes taunting me with the fact that I was supposed to be their next kill.
Having no other choice, I take off in the opposite direction.
As I run away as fast as my body will allow in my condition, all I can picture is his face when he threw the burnt bread out to me. He'd saved my life once, and I wasn't able to return the favor at all. Because I'd abandoned him when he needed me, he'd lost his life. There are footsteps thundering behind me, but I block them out with the piercing, hounding pain of adrenaline cutting through my heart and head. Peeta's own mother claimed that I would be District Twelve's first winner in over twenty years, and as much as I was resenting it now, I knew that I had no choice but to win now.
Not only for Prim, but for Peeta's sake.
I'm lying stomach-down between two grooves of a couple of trees just outside of the Cornocopia's clearing. Clove and Cato have been victorious over Thresh, even though I'd heard them talking about how it wasn't very easy, even when their combined strength. He was Rue's District partner; I'll be avenging him as well. The Capital people will be impatient at this point, which means the last battle in pending. Subconsciously, I wonder if Foxface realizes this as well while I pull out one of my precious arrows, notching it carefully on the taunt string of my bow. I've been laying here nearly all day, waiting for the moment when they realize they'll have to refill their water supply sooner or later.
Sure enough, Clove looks to Cato just as I'm finishing notching my weapon, "We have to drink something before dehydration sets in, you know."
"Did you notice any streams nearby?" he asks in response, looking over from where he was polishing off his sword with the back of his hand. Blood clots unpluck themselves from the metal, falling into the grass, which seems to satisfy his sick, inhuman hunger for the kill.
"No," she rises anyway, two knifes in each hand, "I'll start looking; don't let District Five or Twelve get away."
"I'm not," the tightness in his voice tells me clearly he'll be turning on her after at least the next kill, and that he wants to cut her throat even sooner.
If she does, though, she ignores it as she heads in the opposite direction. Silently, I begin a countdown from ten mentally, slowly sitting up with each number until I'm at five, the string pulled back already.
Cato has finished cleaning his sword and is now getting back to his feet, searching the trees for any sign of movement.
Subtly, I move the tip of my arrow, setting it to aim directly at his temple.
His eyes suddenly fall to the tree he seemed to have overlooked as my fingers stiffen from holding back the very thing that can kill him.
When his eyes find me, they immediately lock on mine; they're brown and full of instant rage.
My hesitation ends as soon as the arrow cuts through the hair with a zip. He opens his mouth, as if to scream, just as the tip is embedding itself in his skull, the momentum almost knocking him over as it pierced through the skin and bone. The cannon echoes just as I'm jumping down from where I'd perched, hitting the ground feet-first. I'm on the move again, pulling out another arrow and fumbling to notch it just as Clove returns to the clearing, eyes wide and face twisted into hate.
Our eyes lock for a brief second before she's charging at me, arm hurling a knife in my direction. I'm her target, and she hasn't missed her target this entire Game.
But neither have I.
Just as the blade is piercing into my abdomen, the arrow is piercing through her hair. Gritting my teeth in agony, a shooting pain bursting through my nerves and almost blinding me, I feel my form hitting the ground. The thump my weight makes is lightweight; my immune system won't be able to keep me alive now. My world goes dark as two cannon echo in the distance, a voice crackling to live to announce my apparently victory.
I slip away before I can hear it.
Blobs of yellows, dark purples, and dark green cloud my vision. My hands reach up instinctively to cover my face from the muffled voices that appear to be trapped in the back of my mind, a couple of my fingers fumbling for something to hold. They find a soft, smooth hand with a pulse; I jerk away, rolling to my side and covering my head. I feel exposed in more ways than one; I'm naked and laying on something cold and hard. Light struggles to pierce my eyes through my clamped lids as the voices come more into focus, still not making any sense but at a louder volume.
Prim's voice whispers in my air; I reach to wrap my arms around her and find at set of broader, more masculine shoulders. A scream emits itself from my throat as I bolt to sit up, eyes still shut as my being swerved. Several pairs of hands grab me from each side, causing more screaming to free itself from my chest. I'm covering with my folded, shut legs covering my chest, my face lowering into my knees. Tears are streaming from my eyelids as I just keep screaming, my throat becoming raw and my muscles aching from being bent so long.
A rough, firm hand suddenly finds my shoulder, making tense before I hear his voice; it's the only voice I want to hear for now.