A/N: It's been awhile! I still own very little :)
Chapter Six: Coming to Terms
They had seemingly come out of nowhere. I hadn't heard a single footstep or branch crack that would have indicated their arrival. For a moment, I was convinced that we were in a dream. Certainly, it couldn't be true that men in white uniforms were holding my son in their grasp. I tried to sift through the many thoughts flooding through my head, but nothing that made sense could settle itself in.
"Take me. If Snow wants someone, then he wants me, not him," I spluttered before I even realized what I was saying.
One of the masked men looked at me from behind his shielded face and shook his head," We're under strict orders here."
"But he hasn't done anything wrong. You've been looking for-"
The man raised a finger to me," I've heard enough. Take the boy and clear out camp. We're under a time schedule here, men."
At that moment, all of my rational thought and senses went haywire. I tried to throw myself at the tent to prevent anything from happening, but I felt Ostro's grip preventing me from moving anywhere. I flailed against his arms holding me back, forgoing any sense that was within me. I don't know how long I fought to get to him, but it finally sunk in that this wasn't a dream and it was really happening. I had this moment of realization when they pulled him from the tent and his blue eyes flitted around, desperately searching for mine. When they met mine, he reached his hand out for me.
"Mom!" He cried, but before he could say anything else, they injected him with some sort of needle.
I gasped and felt an entirely new level of anger. I tried once more to jerk out of my brother's arms to no success. My heart became heavier at the sight of Obadiah falling unconscious onto the Peacekeeper's shoulder. My mouth dropped open as I found no words which were appropriate. The one thing I held most dear to me was being taken from me right before my eyes. I glared at their leader, holding his gaze and biting down on my lip to stop myself from saying anything. Just as they were heading out, Ostro spoke.
"This is your only business? To take a little boy who is of no use to the Capitol?" Ostro barked, demanding the man's attention.
The Peacekeeper turned to meet his gaze," I take orders from President Snow. If it were up to me, all your asses would be heading to Capitol right now, but he didn't want all of you. He wanted the kid and the kid is what he's going to get."
"I find it hard to believe that he has no interest in us," Ostro spat back.
The man stepped to him, "Better believe it. I wasn't told to take you anywhere. I'm following orders."
"We committed crimes against the Capitol; you have nothing against us?" He asked, trying to get us to be taken with him. I think he was trying to reunite us with Obadiah rather than allow him to be taken by himself. If he was to be taken, then we all should have been.
The man stood there silent for several moments before motioning behind him. One of the other Peacekeepers handed him a torch with fire burning at the end of it. The man looked at Ostro, indifferent for several moments before he inched the torch closer to the fabric. Finally, he touched it to it as flames engulfed the tent. As if it were nothing, he passed the torch behind him and gave a simple order," Set fire to the other tents and supplies you find."
He turned his attention back to Ostro," You reminded me of what I was supposed to do with you if you gave me problems. I suppose I should be thanking you, but you could have prevented that by simply complying."
I gulped, in awe once more as the tents went ablaze and the other Peacekeepers began to saunter out as if nothing were wrong. With a shrug of his shoulders, their leader turned on his heels and started to walk off, proud. Ostro was just as angry as I was at this point and while he was distracted, I was able to push myself out of his grasp.
"You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself," I called after the man as the flames around us rose.
"Are you speaking to me?" The man asked, looking over his shoulder at me.
"Yes, I am. And I'm telling you that taking a child from his mother is sickening. I don't care who's giving you those orders. I pray that Snow is not going to be taking out that child's parents mistakes on him," I growled at the man.
The man scoffed, shaking his head," Perhaps, the parents should have been wiser. If they were going to be such bold people, then they shouldn't have had children, hoping they would get out unscathed."
I couldn't say anything back to that because I haunted myself daily with that same thought. Every day, I reminded myself that it was my fault that Obadiah had to go through with this. Looking back, I should have said something back to that man. I shouldn't have stood there like an idiot with my mouth hanging open, but I did. He simply laughed at me and then continued into the night. I would have gone after that man, who was holding my unconscious son, but my weapons were within the tents that were burning to the ground as we spoke. That night, the Capitol had won. They came for one reason: to mess with us mentally. They achieved this with ease.
I wanted to chase after them and rip my child out of their hands, but I knew this wouldn't end well. The heat from the flames was starting to become overwhelming, but I couldn't have cared less. In fact, had someone not pulled me away from the sight, I probably would have stayed there.
We trudged on that night. I was numb. They may have been speaking to me at times, but there was nothing any of them could have said to me to make me feel anything else. All of us were in shell shock; no one saw this coming. In fact, I think many of us were more shaken by the fact that the Capitol knew where we were. How could they have known? And not to mention the fact that they didn't even take us. They took the most innocent one of us who was of little to no value to them. This whole time we had been keeping them in the back of our minds but they were still there, of course, but not an immediate threat. We never thought after the initial run-in that they would find us. Correction: we hoped they would never find us.
That night, we pushed on through the wide open fields. I don't know if Ostro actually knew where he was leading us, but I followed without much thought. We strolled on for hours into the night with the very little supplies we had left after their rade. By the time that we stopped, the moon was sitting low in the sky.
"We'll stay here for the time being. Before we move on any further, we need to figure out how this happened. We can't put Thirteen at risk of detection," Ostro said as we gathered around. The landscape was beginning to have hills and valleys. It was no longer a bare landscape, but rather a lush one. Some of the others may have said something, but my mind was not concerned about them. I silently moved away from the group to sit on the slope of one of the nearby hills. The grass beneath my feet was very thick and unlike anything I had ever seen. I gazed out over the rolling hills around us, searching for some sort of an answer in this beauteous sight. Almost as soon as I sat down, there was another voice behind me.
"You know it's not a good idea to stray away from the group right now," Steele spoke softly, taking a seat beside me.
I wrapped my arms around my legs and pulled them close to my chest," I don't want to be with the group right now."
He hesitated before speaking, "I-I'm so sorry."
"It's not even worth apologizing over. I can't even process what just happened," I whispered, shaking my head.
"I don't think any of us can-"
"But it's not as big a loss to rest of you. You see, Steele, that... that was my son. That was my child. I am supposed to take care of him and make sure nothing bad happens to him. I owe him that; I'm his mother. Not only that, but I lost the last connection that I had to my husband. I couldn't keep Seneca alive, but I tried to keep Obadiah safe, I really did. I really, really did. I knew from the beginning that having a kid was a mistake, but for a while I thought that I could actually take care of him. I thought he would be a way for me to keep Seneca alive. But now, now I know that my gut feeling was right and that we should never have had him. It isn't fair to him; it was too risky," I began rambling, I don't even think that my thoughts made sense, but my brain began spitting them out with this new listening ear.
At my most vulnerable moment, Steele reached out and placed his hand on my arm. It was only a gesture out of sympathy, but looking back, I should have never allowed him to touch me.
I met his eyes for a moment before tears began to fill my eyes. I shook my head and looked up to the sky, hoping for some answer written in the stars.
"This is not your fault," He said sternly, forcing me to look at him. "Do you understand? This is not you being a bad parent. This is Snow being an evil, tyrannical man. He didn't need Obadiah, but he simply took him because he could. He wants you to react like this, Savera. I know that I haven't known you for a very long time, but I could make a fairly confident guess that he knows you. He knows how you operate and he's playing off of your weakness right now."
I blinked several times and tried to regain composure," Who cares if he is- I still lost my child! I am supposed to-"
"Savera, you didn't lose him. Okay? There was nothing you could have done to prevent this from happening. You did what you were supposed to do as a parent. You left with Obadiah to get him away from the Capitol; You did that because you wanted the best for him. Snow planning to take him from you is Snow's problem, not yours."
"Then, what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel? Because right now, I feel lower than I ever have before," I answered, my voice rising.
Once again, I looked at his hand which slowly and carefully moved to my upper back. He patted me on the back softly before whispering, "Remember how this feels, but know that you're going to find him. Don't forget this pain, but don't let it hold you back when you're searching for him either. Let this fuel your reason for searching for him. Not the fact that Snow is evil, but the fact that you're his mother. You're the one who should be caring for him and no one else."
Most of the time, I wasn't someone who took advice well. In fact, I would rather give advice than listen to someone give me advice, but in that moment I was either too tired to say anything else or truly touched by what he had said. To this day, I still think his words were spoken very wisely and I couldn't have said that better. I looked into his eyes under the dying moonlight before realizing that he was right. I didn't have the time to sit around and mope over my loss; I had to start thinking of ways to get back to the Capitol. However, the evening was growing late and I had, at best, two hours of rest available. My eyes were growing very heavy and thinking seemed to be too much work at this point.
"Thank you," I whispered, barely audible. "For that."
He patted my back again and I remember him saying something else, but the fatigue was hitting me hard. I remember a yawn escaping my mouth, but my memory after that is very minimal. Sleep, however, did not come very restful. I found my dreams to be filled with horrible scenarios of Obadiah in Capitol custody. From what I was told, I woke up several times in the few hours I did sleep. I never realized where I was sleeping until morning, however. I don't remember ever actually laying down. In fact, I was so tired that I thought I had fallen asleep sitting upright on that hill. Embarrassment didn't even begin to describe how I felt that next morning when Ostro's voice awakened me and I found myself leaning against Steele. Apparently, I had fallen asleep on his shoulder.
I had never jumped up faster in all my life.
"We need to figure out how they found us. I know you just woke up, but you know the Capitol better than the rest of us. I expect you'll be best suited to start early on how this happened. I'm going to try to contact Thirteen," Ostro, who was standing at the top of this hill, looking down at me, spat out quickly before I could even rub the sleep from my eyes.
As rude as it was, I didn't even look at Steele; I couldn't. I simply nodded to Ostro before following him up the hill. Even though it wasn't a huge ordeal, I couldn't help but feel an immense amount of guilt for opening up to another person. Or rather, opening up to another man.
A/N: I am going to try to continue to update this story periodically. I hope that there is some sort of interest out there for it and there appears to be so this is for the few of you still invested in Savera and Obadiah and the others :)Please let me know what you think!