Hello Everyone! Long time, no see! So, this is a brief story (probably in four parts) about Gale and Madge. Enjoy! Please read and review!
When the name comes from the Reaping Ball, the message is clear. When Madge Undersee barely makes it out alive, the message is received.
No one is safe.
Gale watches every minute of the games. They were never close, he and Madge. They were acquaintances at the most. She always tried to smile at him, and he always tried to ignore her. She was Katniss' friend, the sweet, Saintly Madge Undersee. In truth, she almost sickened him. She wore white and read to children and smiled at him. It was enough to make him disregard her existence entirely.
But he doesn't. He avoids school. He holes himself in front of the flickering television set, cursing and huffing anxiously when the power goes out and cuts his viewing off. Violence crackles under the heat of his skin. He wishes he could beat something. But he doesn't. Because he can't. He stews and broods and can't seem to tear himself away. This is Madge Undersee. She may be a nuisance, but she is his nuisance. A smiling, saintly nuisance who pays him for out of season fruit.
He worries about her.
It starts at the parade for the damned. He has never liked the spectacle of chariots, where they drown themselves in paints and feathers and hope for attention. But he cannot tear his eyes away this year.
Every tribute has a defining trait, an adjective that makes them memorable. "The tribute from One, you know, the smart one." Or, "It's a shame about the girl from six. She was so sweet." Madge is sweet and smart, cunning and regal. But her team, her stylist and Effie and the drunk, chooses something else. When the eyes of the Capitol- no, the entire country- fall upon Madge at the parade, she is alluring. She is the embodiment of sex. The tributes are dressed as miners coming home from a day at work, but they look like no miners Gale has ever seen. Her hair is tousled; her skin is covered in shimmering coal dust and her body's secrets are kept by a nearly see-through Capitol Coal work suit. Her eyes are clouded by a dark coating of makeup; the blues hidden behind her eyelashes pop for they cameras. Her lips are red.
That is when Gale begins to worry. How can they take her seriously, he wonders, if she is prancing around like she's nothing?
But that is not the reason Gale should be worried.
His fear only gets worse when she interviews with Caesar. She does not flounce. She does not giggle. She does not flutter her eyelashes or pout her lips. She smolders. Madge is black fire. She is slow dancing across a bed of hot coals. Her eyes drag across the stage, hitting the crowds and the cameras with something unbridled. Gale is uncomfortable as she locks gaze with him through the clear screen. A heat from her eyes flushes his skin.
Where is the Madge Undersee who smiled at him every day? Where is the Saint? Where is the girl who bought his strawberries and jerked away any time their fingers so much as brushed? Surely, this is not the same woman. It can't be.
So, Gale worries about her some more. But for all the wrong reasons.
And then, the countdown ends, the cannons fire, and the Games begin. The worrying ends. And the dread begins. His body twitches with every move the characters on screen make. He cannot take it. With every tribute down, the bubbling under his skin lessens. He breathes a little easier. And when the end comes, and Madge is alone, Gale begins to worry again.
She looks so small.
But, Gale is worrying for the wrong reasons.
The Games are over. A victor has been crowned. She now belongs to the Capitol.
That is why Gale should be worried.