A/N: I apologize for the delay folks but a lot gets explained in this chapter so please forgive me?
Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games.
"Damn Katniss, what did you do?"
"Shut up and drive Johanna!"
"Katniss, what's happening?"
"Everything's going to be alright Prim, I promise."
"Why's Peeta sleeping?"
"Because he's tired, that's all."
Peeta squeezed his eyes shut tighter and groaned, immediately noticing the constant throbbing at the back the of his head. His skull felt like it was vibrating, his bones weighing him down like they were made of lead. He couldn't move his arms, out of exhaustion or restriction, he wasn't sure.
"Shit, he's waking up," a voice-slightly distorted-said.
"Pass the cloroform," another voice ordered.
"You said he was sleeping because he was tired, maybe he's not tired anymore."
"No, Prim, you don't understand," the second voice soothed. "He's . . . uh . . . not well. He has to sleep for a couple more hours. It's important." Not well? What was she talking about? Peeta tried to recall what had happened, why he was lying on his side with a blistering headache, but he couldn't. He vaguely remembered suffocating, rumaging, something hitting his head . . . Katniss had cloroformed him!
He tried to push himself to sit up but someone threw themself ontop of him and pinned him down with surprising strength. "Ah, Johanna, quickly! He's trying to get up!"
"Katniss!" A high pitched voice shrieked. "Get off him!"
"Prim! Hush up!" Peeta, realizing that the person ontop of him was obviously Katniss, tried to speak, to tell her to get off him. His throat was dry from the long sleep and he could barely utter a single syllable. "Johanna, hurry up!"
"I'm fucking driving dumbass! Give me a second!"
"HANDS ON THE WHEEL JOHANNA!"
"Here!" A metal box suddenly hit his knee, another sharp pain to join the steady throb at the back of his head. Peeta forced his eyes open, finding himself in complete darkness. He could just make out a form leaning over him and grabbing the metal box. "The coloform is in there!"
"Katniss, what's cloroform?"
"Prim, please, bear with me."
Cloroform? Cloroform? She was going to cloroform him again?!
"Damn it, I hope this does him no harm . . . they say the fumes can be deadly," Katniss muttered. Deadly?! Peeta turned his head, trying to find her again, only to bump straight into the tissue. The smell of chemicals invaded his senses and he tried to hold his breath, his eyes searching desperately for her. Her eyes came out of the darkness, two smokey grey orbs in the deafening dark. Eyes full of pain and sadness and mystery. The colour darkened when she locked eyes with him and the grey disappeared, as if she'd closed them.
The darkness then intensified and he was unconscious again.
"I'm not even going to ask where you got a strait jacket from."
Peeta blinked, unsure of whether he was fully awake yet or not. When his vision cleared, he found himself staring at a bunch of sand. His face was pressed against the ground, only one eye able to take in the world around him. Grains of sand were lodging into the eye he couldn't see out of and stung like hell. He still couldn't move his arms but his bones didn't feel as heavy this time around.
"Damn Kat, that kid has one fine ass. Why didn't you stick to the dom life, huh? You could have gotten some brilliant hours out of the president of purity over there."
"That's not my life anymore and you know it. And stop oggling him, he doesn't deserve a freak like you. Or your eyes, you disgusting perv."
"Your fault for putting him down on the floor with his ass in the air. Jee, what's flew up your nose?"
Peeta groaned, doing a swift inventory and noting that he was on the floor (a floor covered with sand) and was indeed lying with his backside in the air, his knees slightly propped up against the ground. He struggled to push himself up since his arms were incapacitated and grunted with the effort, hoping he wasn't making a show of himself while trying to get up.
"Oh shit, he's awake."
"Peeta, here, hold on." Two hands took his arms and gently pulled him up so he was kneeling upright. Katniss was kneeling in front of him, brushing her hand across his cheek to get rid of all the sand on the side of his face. "I'm so sorry about everything. About the cloroform and the strait jacket and-"
"Strait jacket?" Peeta croaked. He looked down at himself and realized with horror that Katniss had put him in a strait jacket. "Why have you put me in a strait jacket?!"
"I couldn't risk you trying to leave," Katniss explained.
"It used to belong to me." Johanna suddenly appeared behind Katniss, a wolfish grin on her face. "Just don't ask where it came from."
"Why are you doing this?" Peeta asked Katniss, trying not to concentrate on what Johanna had just said about the jacket. "Why go through all the trouble? Where are we?"
"To answer the second question first: We're in an abandoned cabin outside District 7. As for the first question second . . . I told you. He's found me and he's going to try and kill everyone close to me," Katniss explained. "He's done it before and he's going to do it again. The only people close to me are my friends, Prim and yourself. I had to get you out of District 12."
His mind still foggy, Peeta frowned. "I don't understand," he said.
"No, I didn't think you would," Katniss muttered, her hand still cupping his face.
"Just tell him Kat," Johanna said. "He's a smart kid. He'll get it."
Katniss shook her head. "It's alright for you Johanna. You were part of it. You don't know him, you don't get to decide what he can or can't get. He'll hate me. I don't want anymore people to hate me because of this."
"Damn it, Katniss, it is not a like-a-bility contest! This is life or death here! Do you understand me? This isn't a game! You have to tell him what's going on so he knows how to protect himself and where this goddamn man is most likely to show up!" Johanna yelled.
"You think I don't know that?!" Katniss snapped back.
"I know fully well that you know that but sometimes you need reminding!" Johanna said. "You knew what you were risking when you came here! You knew that there was always a chance he'd show up again, you knew that you couldn't afford to get close to anyone else but you just had to go ahead and cling to the weakest body you could find!"
"Shut up and let me talk to him!" Katniss yelled. She looked at Johanna icily. "Alone."
Johanna shrugged. "Whatever," she said, turning and walking away. She made sure to slam the door shut when she left.
Katniss turned back around and shook her head. "I'm sorry about her," she said. "She doesn't have an off switch."
"Katniss," Peeta said. "Please tell me what's going on."
She sighed and curled her knees up to her chest. "I was born in District 12 but my family moved to 7 when I was a baby. My dad worked in the forests, cutting down the trees. When I was eleven there was a fire . . . it burned down nearly half of the forest, thousands of people dead. My dad was one of them."
Peeta looked down, feeling guilty for never having thought to ask her about her dad. "I'm sorry," he said.
Katniss shook her head. "You don't have to be. I got over my father's death a long time ago. The point is that when he died, my mother shut down. She wouldn't do anything. She wouldn't provide for Prim or myself, she wouldn't look after us, she was like a ghost. She couldn't live without our dad.
"I took over as head of the house, sneaking out into the forests and hunting with whatever materials I could salvage. I mean, I wasn't going to sit and let Prim die now, was I? But it wasn't good enough. We were slowly dying, all three of us. We'd become one of those people who'd be found dead and be passed off as people who died of natural causes rather than starvation."
"So what did you do?" Peeta asked.
"I was out late one night when I ran into a worker of Cornelious Snow, the infamous drug dealer who had inter-district connections. He wanted to . . . rape me. The fucker was pretty damn close too. The only way I could save myself was to promise to work for him. To distribute his drugs out to his cilents. Snow paid me, of course. I was able to provide for Prim and my mother perfectly until . . . I fucked up.
"I told one of Snow's most popular cilents to inject Fever into his arm with H20 instead of saline. It killed him and it was my fault. I thought I'd maybe gotten away with it until, a week later . . ." Katniss closed her eyes and took a shaky breath. "They got my mother. I came home one day and she was just sitting there, in her armchair, eyes locked open but no pulse. She was dead. They tried to get Johanna too because she was my best friend. We had to get out before they got Prim . . .
"I didn't tell Prim where we were going or where our mother had gone, I just told her we were moving back to 12. We had to walk through the forests and fend for ourselves for weeks. That's where we met Gale and Finnick and Annie and Blight . . . that's how we all became close. They were living in this very cabin and took us in to give us shelter for the night. Then we got to 12 the next day.
"Madge Undersee took Prim and myself in for month so we could get ourselves settled. She eventually learnt of my history and somehow found us schooling and housing quicker after that. I think she became afraid of me."
That must have been why Madge had warned him off Katniss that day at school. Because she knew what she had done in District 7, the lengths she went to to see that her family survived. Even if she could only keep Prim alive in the end. Everything was beginning to make sense.
"I saw you, you know," Katniss said. "When I left Madge's house for the last time. You were in your mother's car, right? That's why I wanted to sit beside you in registration class. Because . . . I don't know what it was, really. You striked me as something different, I suppose. And when I discovered you were a goodie goodie, I couldn't stay away. After spending my life living out hell itself full of evil men and women, I just couldn't resist sticking to someone so pure and kind and nice."
"Ssh," Katniss said, putting her finger on his lips to silence him. "I'm not finished. I wasn't supposed to get attatched to anyone here because I may have been forced to leave at any moment because I knew he was going to find me. Eventually. But I couldn't let you go . . . I tried to detatch myself. Drugging you in the club and trying to convince you that we almost had sex. I tried to scare you away but it never worked. I couldn't bring myself to let you go.
"And now he's found me. He knows where I am and he knows how important you are to me. If I didn't take you with me, you would have ended up like my mother. And I can't bear the thought of that, even hypothetically. So I don't give a damn if you want to go home, I don't give a damn if you don't want me, I want you Mellark and I'm not letting you go so get used to the bloody strait jacket because I'm not risking your leaving."
"Katniss, I won't leave you," Peeta said. Because now he knew it was true. He couldn't even think about leaving Katniss, not now. Not now that he knew that she felt the same way for him that he did for her. "I promise."
"Te amo, Peeta Mellark," Katniss whispered, staring at the ground shyly.
Peeta raised his eyebrows. "Did you just speak spanish?" he asked her.
Katniss smirked. "Por supuesto, cuchara, lo aprendí de usted," she said. She weaved a hand into his hair and brushed it back out of his eyes. "Of course, I prefer it when it's you speaking it. I don't have the natural flare that you do . . . ¿Me quieres de vuelta?"
Peeta nodded. "Si."
Katniss smiled and leaned forward, softly pressing her lips against his. Her lips were soft and warm, the taste of strawberries still lingering from her lip balm. She pulled back and pressed their foreheads together. "You taste like cinamon," she murmered.
"You taste like strawberries," Peeta murmered back.
Katniss laughed breathily. She eskimo kissed him and cupped his face in her hands. "He isn't taking you from me, I'm not gonna let him."
Wanting desperately to hold her in his arms, Peeta asked, "Can you take the jacket off?" he asked. "Now that you know I'm not going anywhere?"
Katniss sat back and smirked. "I quite like you this way. Maybe it's the old dominatrix in me or something, I don't know. You, my friend, look very appetizing." Peeta fought back a blush, trying to hide his embarrassment. This made Katniss' smile widen. "Aw, there's still the little virgin in there somewhere. I love that guy, he's so cute." She patted his head and smiled. "I'm kidding, give me a second." She crawled around behind him and started working on the straps of the jacket. After a moment, she paused. "You promise you won't leave?"
Katniss continued working on the straps, statisfied that he wasn't going to make a run for it. "Don't you think it's strange," she said, "that I know the man who is out to get me would kill you to get to me and yet I don't even know that much about you?"
"I could say the same about you," Peeta replied. "What's your favourite colour?"
Katniss chuckled. "Green," she answered. "Yours?"
She snorted. "Orange?" she said in disbelief.
"Not . . . vibrant orange. More muted, like sunset," Peeta answered.
Katniss closed her eyes, envisioning the streaks of red and yellow mixed together to form the orange that burns the sky every sunset. "I see it," she said. "Got any pet peeves?"
"People who crack their knuckles and hypocrites," Peeta said. "You?"
"When people call boobs tits," Katniss stated matter of factly. "It's just so . . . crude and vulgur, you know? It's like-" she lowered her voice to a gruff growl-"'hey baby, can I squeeze your tits', I mean, come on, it's disgusting!"
Peeta pulled a face. "Yeah, I can see how some wouldn't like that."
"God, how the hell do you get these straps open?" Katniss complained. "Johanna! Get in here!"
Moments later, Johanna entered with a grin on her face. "Prim's fine, she's by the lake. Finnick's keeping an eye on her, he arrived sometime last night. So, what do you need? More straps for loverboy? I've got some in the trunk of the car?"
"You're a revolting woman Mason," Katniss muttered. "Just come here and help me get him out of this."
"Are you sure he won't do a runner?" Johanna said, eyeing Peeta apprehensively. He couldn't meet her eyes, locking his gaze on the sandy ground instead.
"I'm positive, just help me," Katniss said.
While the girls tugged on the merciless straps of the strait jacket, something came together in Peeta's mind. People were dying-most of them girls-after winning the Hunger Games on Radio CS. Katniss had to defend her family in the only way she felt she could, stopping herself from getting violated at the same time. Which meant for working for a man called Cornelious Snow. The Hunger Games was hosted by radio CS.
Radio Cornelious Snow.
A/N: I was wondering if anyone actually noticed the fact that Radio CS meant Cornelious Snow? Did you? You all noticed the people dying because of the Hunger Games and all of them being girls but no one seemed to mention the CS thing and I thought that was the most obvious! Still, I hope you enjoyed it!
The spanish probably isn't accurate, trust google translate (:
Please R&R! :D