DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Hunger Games or the film/novel Don't Say a Word. This story is for entertainment purposes only. I make no profit out of this and all of the characters, unless otherwise noted, belong to their respective owners, the great Suzanne Collins and Andrew Klavan.
Chapter 12: Magic Cape
"Yes, dead. That's why I was assigned to her."
Annie sat back in her chair and let go of the breath she didn't know she was holding in. This was way too much to take in. First, she learns that Katniss Everdeen didn't exist. Then she finds out that the girl has had seven different identities, and now she finds out that the girl is being followed.
This was all too unreal.
"This…" began Annie, "...this is just so surreal. It just can't be possible."
"But it's true."
Annie let out another loud sigh, "So you're saying that the reason Katniss, or Bristel, or Venia, or who ever the hell she is, has been hospitalized seven times because she's being followed. Cinna, do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?"
"I do. That's why when Cecilia turned into Posy; I started to do some research about her past. As you might know, nothing came up. It was like the people I work for just decided to make her a new person and completely erase the person she was before. Every time she tries to kill herself, they just send someone new to pick up the pieces by giving her a new name and shipping her off to whoever's willing to house an 'innocent girl'."
Annie closed Katniss' folder and looked up at the man. Rage suddenly filled her eyes. How can people who are supposed to help a troubled girl just pack her up and move her like yesterdays trash? Weren't they supposed to help her? Weren't they supposed to make her feel better?
No wonder she wouldn't look at anyone. No wonder she wouldn't talk. No wonder she wouldn't trust people near her, much less doctors. She was just waiting for somebody to come in and take her someplace else where she could go away from whoever was after her. Everything suddenly made sense to Annie as she looked at the snow globe that still rested on her desk.
"Mr. Cinna, how can you guys just ship her off someplace else with out the proper treatment and care?" asked Annie with anger evident in her voice, "How can you guys tell her to her face that she's going somewhere new where no one will get to her? How can you guys lie to her face and tell her that you guys care about her when you don't give a fuck about her!"
"Now wait just a minute!" exclaimed Cinna as he rose from his seat, "You think it's easy keeping tabs on all these foster kids? We have over 500,000 kids in the system, each with different problems and needs."
"That doesn't mean that you guys can just ship them off whenever you guys don't want to deal with them anymore!" yelled Annie as she too rose from her seat.
"Look, we have tried to do the best we can when it comes to kids like Katniss. You think its easy having to change her name and her location every time she tries to do something? You don't know what its like every time I get that phone call telling me that she's in the hospital again. You don't know what its like every time I come in to see her. If you think that it doesn't break my heart to see her in that bed, then you are wrong! I do care!"
Annie took a deep breath and met Cinna's eyes with her own. She could tell that what he said was sincere. But that, in no way, made up for what they fail to do, help her.
"Look, Dr. Cresta," he said, "We try to come up with the best possible solution for Katniss and right now, giving her a new identity and changing her location seems like the best one."
"But its not," She said more softly, "One day, she's going to wake up and she's going to kill her self. Tell me Cinna, whose fault will it be then? The doctors that failed to get her to open up, or the one's who kept moving her around?"
Cinna did nothing but look down at his hands.
Annie let out a small sigh and sat down again, "Cinna, we could argue all day long but right now, we have to focus on Katniss. You said you did some research. What else did you find out?"
Cinna nodded his head as he took a seat once again, "It was hard, but I was able to find the people she stayed with since she was Bonnie in Phoenix, Arizona."
"What did they tell you?"
Cinna shrugged his shoulders, "The same thing that all the people before them did. They told me that she was a nice quiet girl who was very smart and hardly ever got in trouble. But, that's not what troubles me."
Annie stared at Cinna, signaling him to continue.
"What troubles me is that they all told me the same thing about the events that happened before she tried to kill herself. She came home from school in a hurry and she got jumpy around people. She made sure all the curtains were closed by seven at night and she always looked around her when she was out in public. It was like paranoia started to take over her life. A week after the paranoia started, she tried to kill herself. Then, when the whole family came back from the hospital, they found that their house was broken into. But get this…nothing that belongs to the family got stolen. They're not even touched. But when they got to Katniss' room, they found that the whole place had been completely trashed."
Annie's eyes wanted to jump out of their sockets. This was the exact same story that Alyssum had told her a couple of days before. Why hadn't she thought anything of it?
Katniss' story was puzzling and mysterious. However, the more Annie listened to Cinna's story, the more Annie came to realize that Finnick was right, there was more to Katniss than meets the eye.
"What up man?" asked Gale as he held out his hand to make his manly handshake with Peeta.
Peeta did the 'handshake' with Gale and sat down on his couch. He had just gotten home from one of best/most interesting events of his life. Katniss had finally opened up to him.
After he had sung so horribly to her, Peeta had received the answers to every single question he had ever asked her. They talked about movies, books, TV shows, favorite places, and their favorite time of day. Peeta was positive that by the end of the day, her eyes, which haunted him wherever he went, were no longer lifeless and dull. No. He was convinced that while she began to open up, her eyes were slowly coming back to life and they started to regain their natural gray color. Her hair, which seemed stringy, was slowly regaining its natural curls and her face seemed to glow along with the rest of her olive skin every time she laughed or smiled.
He was really disappointed when Dr. Cresta knocked on the door's small window to signal that time was up and that he had to leave. However, nothing could take away the big smile off of his face after he promised her he'd be back the next day.
"So, how was work?" asked Gale as he grabbed the pillow that had fallen from under his encased leg.
Peeta leaned back on the couch and smiled, "Good…very good."
"Yea? And why's that? Did you get laid by some sexy nurse or something?" asked Gale as he wiggled his eyebrow suggestively.
"Why do you always think the reason someone's happy is because they got laid?"
Gale just rolled his eyes.
"Where's Prim at anyway?" asked Peeta as he looked around the living room.
Gale shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know. She was here a minute ago."
Peeta suddenly stood and looked around the room.
"Prim? Where are you?" asked Peeta as he looked into the kitchen, but saw no one there.
"Hmm, you're not in the kitchen…I wonder if you're upstairs." he said as he suddenly heard light footsteps run up the stairs.
A small smirk appeared on his face as he walked up the steps. While he was halfway up the stairs, he heard the sound of more running and the sound of a door shutting. When he finally reached the second level of his house, he looked left and walked towards his parent's bedroom.
"Now where on earth can my dear Primrose be?" he asked to no one in particular.
He stuck his head into his parents' room, knowing very well that she was not in there.
"She's not in mom and dad's room, and she's not in the bathroom either," he said after he stuck is head in the bathroom as well.
He walked towards her room and opened it to reveal an empty bedroom with toys all over the floor.
"She's not in her room."
He then walked over to the hall closet and cracked it open a bit. Just as he thought, there was no one there.
"And she's not in the closet either. Where on earth can she be?"
A smirk suddenly appeared on his lips as he heard small giggles coming from the inside of his room.
"Oh, no!" he yelled, "What am I going to do? How am I supposed to survive if I can't find her?" he exclaimed as he walked towards his closed bedroom door.
He opened the door and slowly walked into his room.
"I think I'm going to cry. My Primrose is lost forever and it's all my fault! Where could she be?"
A small smirk appeared on his face as he fell back on his bed.
"And to think," he continued, "I was just about to tell her that I was going to take her ice skating on Sunday. Now I guess I'll just have to take Gale, even if I'll have to roll him around the ice."
"No! Take me instead!" he suddenly heard.
He smiled as he turned towards the closet that Prim had just run out of. She stopped dead in her tracks once she saw him lying on his bed with both hands resting under his head.
"Peeta!" she yelled as she crossed both arms over her small body.
"Gotcha," he said before she stomped over to his bed and jumped on top of him.
He groaned in pain as small giggles escaped her small lips.
"You think this is funny?" he asked as he suddenly stood and picked her up. He draped her over his shoulders and walked out of his room.
"Put me down!" she yelled.
He laughed as he heard the pleas coming from her mouth. He walked into her room where he carefully threw her on the bed and started to tickle her.
"P-Peeta!" she said as she gasped for breath.
Laughter filled the whole room as he continued to tickle her. Tears threatened to escape her small eyes as she begged for him to stop.
"Say that Peeta is the best brother in the world." He said as he found her weak spot around her waist.
The young girl shook her head as she tried to suppress the laughter coming out of her mouth.
"Then I guess I'm just going to have to keep on tickling you."
"P-Peeta!" she exclaimed in between laughter.
She shook her head once again as he kept on tickling her.
"C'mon, say it."
Prim's stomach suddenly began to hurt from all the laughter.
"F-Fine!" she exclaimed as she finally decided that she couldn't take the tickling any longer, "P-Peeta is…the b-best b-brother…in the w-world!"
"What was that?" he asked as he continued to tickle her, "I didn't hear that."
"I said, PEETA IS THE BEST BROTHER IN THE WORLD!"
"Alright, alright," he said once his hands finally left her aching stomach, "you don't have to brag about it."
Prim suddenly jumped on top of her brother once again making him fall back on her bed. Laughter filled the room as she sat on top of her brothers stomach.
"Prim I c-cant b-breathe!"
He suddenly rolled her off of his body and sat up before she could do anything else.
Giggles escaped her lips as he looked down at her. He loved her laugh. It was pure, sweet, and innocent.
"Just like Katniss"
"Who's Katniss?" he heard the young girl ask.
"Umm…" he mumbled as he scratched the back of his head nervously. He hadn't realized that he said that out loud.
"Is she your girlfriend?"
Peeta almost choked on his own spit at the mention of the word girlfriend.
"Umm…s-she's a girl, who's a friend."
"Is she that blonde girl who wouldn't leave you alone?"
Peeta let a chuckle escape his lips at the mention of Delly. He suddenly remembered the very, very short time that he went out with Delly Cartwright, the self proclaimed drama queen of Panem High. He never considered her to be his girlfriend, although if you asked her, they were on their way to becoming engaged. He never even thought of them as being in a relationship either. I-mean, who decides to get 'hitched' after one date…if you could even call it that. He needed a date for his football banquet last year and he, being the procrastinator he was, waited till the last minute to ask someone. By the time the week of the banquet came, he found that almost every available, non idiotic girl was already taken.
He didn't really mind though. He figured that he could just go by himself or just skip it altogether. However, if it weren't for his supposed best friend Gale who made fun of his dateless male ego, he would have never asked Delly to go with him. He made a stupid bet with Gale in which he said that he would ask out the next girl who walked out the girl's bathroom, even if they were in the 'nerd/loser' hallway in school.
However, much to the dismay of Peeta and the amusement of Gale, Delly Cartwright just so happened to be the next girl to step out of that bathroom. Peeta had no choice but to ask her, since he was never one to back out of a bet.
He still remembered the squeals that never ceased to send shivers down his spine when he asked her. She immediately gave him a kiss on the cheek and ran to 'Go tell Madge'. The week after the banquet, Delly would stop by his house unannounced and continuously buy him presents…not that he minded. After all, it's not everyday a teenager gets a new diamond encrusted Rolex watch to go with his new expensive Iphone 5.
"No, it's not her."
Prim gave a sigh of relief, "Good, because her voice reminds me of Cruela Devil."
Peeta let a small laugh escape his lips.
"So, who is she?"
"Katniss," she said in a sort of 'duh' tone.
"S-She's…just a friend."
Prim arched her eyebrows, "She's not crazy is she?"
"Where would you get an idea like that?"
Prim shrugged her shoulders, "Gale always tells me how you work with crazy people that will attack me if I don't get him something to eat."
Peeta rolled his eyes, "Do me a favor—never listen to Gale. No 'crazy' person is going to get you. Remember, no one will ever hurt you as long as I'm around."
"I think you should be around more often."
Prim began to roll the sleeves from her pants up to her knees and revealed small cuts and a bruise that was slowly beginning to form.
"How did you get that?" asked her brother as he gently touched the skin around the bruise.
"I-I fell off the tree in the backyard."
He leaned down and placed a soft gentle kiss on the bruise.
"There is that better?"
Prim nodded her head.
"Now, you know that you're not supposed to be playing on that tree right?"
She nodded her head again, "I don't plan to climb that tree again. I don't want to get more purple circles on me anymore."
"Well, you're just going to have to be more careful."
"But it's not fair! You play football with Gale all the time and you don't get purple circles." she said as she crossed her arms around her chest.
Peeta gave her a small smirk, "Well, that's because you don't have my magic cape."
Prim scrunched her face in confusion, "What magic cape?"
"The one that protects me from everything. This cape is the reason I never get hurt."
"Can I see it?"
Peeta shook his head, "It's invisible."
A small frown appeared on her face.
"But you know what?"
Prim shook her head. Peeta lifted his hands in front of his neck and pretended to untie something. He then flung his arms around and pretended to take the cape off. Prim's eyes lit up as he put the invisible cape around her and tied it around her neck.
"I'm going to let you borrow it for a while," he said.
Prim offered him a huge smile before she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Thank you Peeta," she whispered.
He gave her a softy kiss on her forehead, "You welcome, and anytime Gale threatens you when you don't give him food, just take his crutches away and hide them in my room. He'll never be able to find them"
She gave a small giggle before she sat back on her bed and looked into his eyes, "So who's Katniss?"
"I told you she's just a friend."
"Y-Yea…almost like Gale."
"So, she's not your girlfriend?"
"No, she's not my girlfriend."
"Is she going to go ice skating with us?"
Peeta nervously scratched the back of his neck. His sister sure had a lot of questions for a six-year-old.
"Umm…I don't know Prim."
Peeta gave out a loud sigh, 'Yea, why not?'
Maybe an outing would be a good a thing for Katniss. After all, she had finally opened up, the least Dr. Cresta can do is let her go out somewhere. Plus, he had been itching to see Katniss out of those hospital clothes. He could only imagine how beautiful she looked without the light green pants and the elbow-length sleeved shirt.
"I don't know, but I'll tell you what. I'll ask if she can come, but I can't promise you anything."
Prim nodded her head.
"But you know what I do know for sure?"
She shook her head.
"I want ice cream, what about you?"
"Before dinner?" she gasped.
He gave her another smirk, "I won't tell if you won't."
She nodded her head as she suddenly stood up, "Last one out is a rotten egg!"
He laughed as he ran after her down the stairs and out the door. He caught up to her and picked her up by the waist and ran around the front yard and pretended to make her fly.
He finally put her down and bent down to meet her eyelevel, "Are you ready for some ice cream?"
Prim nodded her head excitingly.
"Did I hear the words ice and cream together?" asked Gale as he limped out of the house and headed towards the car.
Peeta rolled his eyes, "Sure Gale, just get in."
He went to grab his keys from the house and locked the door. He then got into the car and began to drive away from the house with Gale sitting next to him and Emily in the backseat.
However, while the two siblings were running around the front yard and Gale was limping out of the house, no one seemed to notice the black four door Sedan parked right across the street from the house. No one seemed to notice that after Peeta backed out of the driveway and began to drive down the street, the Sedan quickly started and followed them from a distance, always going unnoticed.
Once again, I apologize for the delay. I know there was no Everlark in this chapter, but I promise it will return soon.
Please don't forget to leave me some feedback. Both positive and constructive criticism is encouraged :)