Chapter 1- December 12th, 2019 10:04 PM

Nothing interesting happens in Panem. Nothing. One time we had a beached whale and the whole community came and shoved it back into the frigid waters of the Pacific. Nothing has happened since. We are a small town in the state of Alaska, on the edge of the coast, too far north for anyone to want to come to. I work in the police department and am focused on becoming a detective. My roommate, Peeta, has similar goals to me. Because of this, they put us as partners on cases together often; I typically end up doing all the questionable cases though, because he has something to come back to, his girlfriend, Katniss. I don't mind because she makes him happy. My other roommate, Gale, has a girlfriend too, a loudmouthed smart-ass one named Johanna. The five of us grew up here, went to college close by and all moved back. Not going to be a shock when none of us ever leave again. Nothing interesting happens.

Then I notice there is a crumpled heap on the side of the road. I flash my headlights, so if it's alive, it'll move. It doesn't. It's black and navy, probably a bag of some sort. I sigh and get out of my car and slam the door harder than necessary. I hate having to deal with the random crap people leave in the side of the road. Litter is useless. People who litter would probably say cars as disgusting as mine are useless, though. Having random paper products from various straw wrappers is apparently a sin.

I grab a flashlight and turn it on in the cold, crisp December night. The strong blue light is blinding, but it illuminates everything. There is a layer of stark white snow up to my knees. I think little of it when I see crimson spots. A wolf of some sort probably killed a rabbit. The heap on the side of the road is covered in a blanket, and a layer of sparkling ice.

I remove the blanket, it crunches in between my black leather gloves, and there is a girl. She has damp hair that looks like when it's dry; it is sort of a dark brown color. Her cheeks are flushed bright red from the cold, but the edges of her lips are starting to turn blue, as are the tips of her fingers. The crimson spots lead up to her. "Who could have done this to you?" The wounds in her leg didn't come from an animal. It's a long jagged gash, surrounded by copper colored dust that can only be rust. Her forehead is wounded similarly. Her cheeks are gaunt and I could count her ribs if I wanted.

The only other time I've seen an awful wound is when, while Peeta and I were chasing a minor burglar, the burglar jumped a fence by scaling the sides of a wood chipper. Peeta quickly followed. I didn't have time to tell him not to climb before he slipped, and his leg was caught. The criminal got away. I could hear Peeta's screams. Everyone in Panem could hear his screams. I had to tourniquet what little was left of his leg, if you could still call it that. It was a mound of pink flesh, ground finely mixed with white chips of bone. Tendons and ligaments were peering though. Katniss was part of the emergency response team that picked him up in the ambulance. After he was gone, I went behind a bush and vomited until there was nothing left for me to throw up. It's why he has a fake leg now. That day scared me more than anything else in the world. Looking down at this girl was thirty times worse.

I pick her up right away and place her in the backseat of my car. I feel her wrist, check her pulse –it's beating, just barely- turn on my lights, and drive as fast as I dare on the deadly icy roads.

I get further into town and see the twinkling lights of the Hospital come into view. I pick up my black walkie talkie radio and press the button. "Officer Odair coming in. I have an injured girl, near death, in my car. If I could please get assistance and an emergency team ready to respond it would be greatly appreciated. I am about to pull into the ambulance loading zone."

I hear some static from the radio and hear reassuring words. "Officer Odair, we hear you. This is Emergency Response Nurse Everdeen. We are going to send Doctor Cinna out with Nurse Hawthorne."

Katniss and Gale both work at the hospital. Katniss is an emergency response nurse and Gale is currently a nurse, though he is studying to become a doctor, and has been ever since he graduated. He didn't stay at college though because the rest of us were moving back to Panem.

I glimpse into my rearview and see the girl's quick and shallow breaths through her damp, thin blue t-shirt. I see her forehead and leg dyed crimson with blood. "Come on, stay with me."

I pull into the dock where Cinna and Gale are waiting with a gurney. I should've called an ambulance, but any more time lapsed and that girl would have certainly frozen to death. The three of us get her crumpled, broken body onto the gray blue gurney and I watch as they push her into a room where she is sure to be taken care of. I go outside and vomit. I vomit until there is nothing left in my stomach. The sight, the smell, the screaming, the lack of. I became a cop because I thought I wouldn't have to deal with this. Gale could muster the courage to face these torturous scenarios. I feel a hand on my back and they start rubbing in circles. Once I am certainly done barfing, the hand leads me inside and pats me on the shoulder. "Don't worry, Fin. It'll be all right."

I shrug and turn to the hand. Katniss is there offering what little reassurance she can. The look in her storm cloud eyes pray for safety, but she saw what the girl looked like. She'd be lucky to last the night. "Yeah, whatever. This isn't what I needed."

Katniss shrugs. "Know what you mean. Want me to call Peeta? He's better at this sort of thing." She doesn't wait for me to respond. I simply go retire to a chair in the waiting room. Katniss soon joins me with a cup of hot chocolate, a dinner roll and a plaid green fleece blanket that is reserved for patients. She lays it across my shoulders. "Hey, they'll do everything they can. You can go ask her questions when they're done. You don't have to stay up and wait."

"Yeah I do." Katniss gives me a quizzical look. "It's- I just- I want to know if she's alright. If she is, I can sleep soundly and interview her when she's well but if she isn't…" I trail off and take a drink from my coco.

Katniss puts a hand on my knee. "Shouldn't blame yourself. She would've died for sure, if you didn't find her." We sit there in awkward silence for a few moments before we hear the door of the waiting room open. I glimpse up to see a messy pale blonde head. The sound of uneven footsteps confirms it's him. One light as a feather, the other is like metal, hitting concrete. My fault that happened. If I had unplugged that stupid wood chipper.

"Katniss told me you found a girl?" I say nothing. I just feel my heartbeat in my chest. I've never acted this way before. Why start now? "Is she hot?" I allow myself a small chuckle. Peeta can always dissolve tension.

"I'm sure she is. I didn't get a good look at her. I was too busy trying to save her life." Peeta nods and shrugs. "Guess I'll have a new case when we go in tomorrow." Peeta nods and rips off a piece of the dinner roll Katniss brought me and dunks it in my hot chocolate. I can see the bread soak up the brown coco and turn it an ugly shade of brown. "Dude, that's disgusting."

Peeta laughs. "That's what I said to you when you tried to put French fries in a milkshake. Come on, try it." I shrug and rip off a chunk and dip it in. It tastes, despite the appearance, pretty good.

"Thanks man."

"Anytime." We pass another half hour in silence. I'm silent. Katniss and Peeta are sneaking kisses in between Doctor Who commercials. Nerd love. Time passes slowly when one is waiting. Finally Gale walks out, running his hand through his dark brown hair.

"I'm sorry, Fin." I take a deep breath. She's dead. I knew it. I was too slow. "There is nothing we can do to fix your face."

I let out a breath. "You're an ass Gale Hawthorne."

Gale is smiling. "Just trying to lighten the somber mood in here. No one died, we're all good here."

I perk up. "Is she awake? Can I go talk to her?"

Gale holds me back. "Sorry dude, past visiting hours, and Doctor Cinna gave her some meds that will put her to sleep. That girl is past exhaustion." I slump back into the chair. "Hey, we can all go home now though. Peeta, you take Katniss home in the cop car and I'll take Finnick home in the Tundra. He's in no state to drive. We can have a guy's night at the house, if that's okay with you Katniss."

She lets out a laugh. "Yeah. Peeta, just drop me off at the station. Johanna got the late shift tonight too." Peeta laughs and they walk out the door.

I shrug the blanket off and leave it crumpled in the chair next to the cream colored hot coco mug I drank out of. We climb into the dark gray Tundra and drive off. I brace myself for a night of action movies.

A/N: Howdy! I've had this idea stuck in my head for a while now and finally have it to a point where I think it is ready to be put into words. I will still continue with my story Ugly but I will be keeping up with both. This story, if I keep is as I have planned out is going to be 16 plus chapters. I have currently planned out that much.

"When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun"

I love this quote from Romeo and Juliet and it inspired my name, Juliet's Shadow. I plan to incorporate it somewhere into my story, so keep an eye out for that ;)

I appreciate any support given to me and would like to dedicate this story to all of you lovely people who read it.

Please leave a review because it inspires me to write and update faster. Please and thank you :)

-Juliet's Shadow