Hey! Thanks to daydreamer626 and cursed to curse (Anarchy Girl, you changed your pen name!) for reviewing! :) They're finally in District Eight! There's going to be some suggested and building romance from here on out. And yes, this is the point where some of you might guess what my huge twist to the story is.
Also, I have a new fanfic called Roads To Amity, about a Hunger Games OC from District Six, so check it out! It's kind of like A Deadly Spark. I miss writing about the Games themselves. But don't worry, I'm definitely not stopping on this story. :)
And there's some violence towards the end of the chapter. Just thought you should know, if that isn't your thing.
As I'm Drowning
Yes. I'm a tribute again. They lead Jake off to the Peacekeeper training center, but they make a stop for me. I immediately dub it the 'Remake Center'. And it's true. This time, they don't just pretty me up for the Capitol. This time, they tell me something that infuriates me. "You're going to have to alter your appearance a little," says a Peacekeeper. "A different natural hair color and eye color."
I nod -what else is there to do?- and choose to have my hair dyed a darker shade of brown, like Jake's, and my eyes turned from blue to dark brown, a little lighter than Jake's. The hair-dying is easy enough -who know that Peacekeepers have an inner prep team?- but they have to put me under and do some kind of Capitol-worthy surgery on my eyes.
When I wake up, I grab a mirror. My eyes throb with pain, but I don't care. I squint at my reflection. Dark brown hair. And I'm transfixed by my dark eyes. I'm a whole different person now. I can barely recognize myself. I think I've really lost myself now. I just lie there for a few hours, and then I'm escorted into into a fancy car to the 'Training Center', as I think of it in my Games mindset.
I stumble out of the car, marveling at the Peacekeeper Training Center. It's a huge building that looks to have a lot of rooms in it, probably where the Peacekeepers-in-training sleep. There's a huge field with a track around it outside. An obstacle course. Targets to shoot those complicated Peacekeeper guns at. My stomach clenches. It's the Training Center. I'm back. Here I am. I'm back in the Capitol, preparing for the arena.
A couple Peacekeepers escort me up to my bedroom. The halls are empty, since it's lunchtime. I feel so uncomfortable, but then one of the Peacekeepers opens the door. The walls are light green, with a large bed and furniture arranged around the room. "Everything you need is provided," he says gruffly. "You'll be sharing this room with Paylor." He hands me a piece of paper. Oh, shit, a schedule. "In an hour, you'll have to go to the field outside. Dress in some of these clothes." He gestures to the closed closet, the other being open. "You'll be issued weapons, of course." As he turns to leave, he adds, "And remember not to get on anyone's bad side."
I always get on someone's bad side, but I don't bother to point that out. I just want to find Jake. Oh, well. I pull off clothes, stripping and throwing them on the floor. I figure that the other clothes will be close to the ones that I just took off. Naked, I open the closet door, pulling out some clothes. But there's a face staring back at me. "Spark?" they say disbelievingly. It's Jake.
My face blushes bright red. I grab a sheet from the bed and wrap it around my body. Shit. It's white, and practically transparent. Oh, well, better than nothing. "Yeah," I say. He steps out of the closet. "They made me change my hair and eyes." I blush even more when I see Jake's eyes on my body. "And... why the fuck are you staring at me naked?" I ask.
He shrugs. "I'm not," he says lightly, looking up at the ceiling. Oh, shit, there's a camera. So they are watching us. He turns his back. I see that he's already wearing different clothes. "Here, you can change. I won't look." I can tell by the way that he turns his head to look at me, though, that he'd rather look than not. My face flushes, and I feel so... ugh. No falling in love! You've got to be a rebel! I remind myself.
But I drop the sheet to the floor, kicking it aside. "I really don't give a fuck if you see me naked, you already have," I say, shrugging. He turns around, his face flushing a little when he looks at me. I grab some clothes, letting my hair down. "There. Feel fucking free to rape me or whatever the fuck you want to do to me," I spit hostilely. Why the fuck am I so defensive and paranoid? Jake shakes his head, but I just pull on the clothes. The same thing I was wearing earlier, only cleaner. Ugh, this is going to make me sweat like hell.
"You know that I wouldn't do that," Jake says. "Well, you've got training in an hour. I've got training in ten minutes." He shrugs. "Guess they didn't want us together too much in public. I've got to leave now." I want to say, don't go, but there's something that keeps my mouth shut. He steps closer to me. I feel like I'm sweating so hard that it could fill the ocean. "May the odds be ever in your favor," he says, quieter. Then he leans forward and kisses me. On the lips. I feel myself shudder, and then I've got my arms wrapped around his body. Kissing him back. Feeling the warmth of his arms around me.
I feel finally sane. I feel sober for once. I feel safe again.
Then he pulls away. I'm so fucking confused, though. What did I just do? Why do I feel so happy that I can almost smile again? What's going on? So I just stand there, petrified, as he leaves. Then I sit down on the bed, my head in my hands. What the fuck... Jake Paylor just kissed me. And I kissed him back. My head starts spinning round and round.
I'm going crazy. That's it. I'm insane. I've finally realized it. I start laughing. No, really laughing. Actually laughing maniacally, but then tears start streaming down my face, and the laughs turn into half-sob, half-laugh. I have no idea of the time that's passing, but all I know is that the sobs die down, and the laughter goes away. Pretty soon, I look at the clock. "Shit!" I hiss, getting to my feet and running out the door, slamming it behind me. I'm late.
After running all the way down to the field, I'm dripping in sweat and panting like a dog. An actual Peacekeeper, not just one in training, scowls at me. "You're late, Reviz," he grunts, marking my name down on a clipboard. I stand there, not saying anything. "Well? You're late." He acts like it's the worst crime that could ever be committed, stepping closer to me and grabbing me by the collar. "What do you have to say for yourself?"
I shrug. They say not to be rebellious, to keep a low profile? Well, fuck that. "I don't give a fuck about being late," I say. I can't stop the grin that comes to my face. I don't care if I look insane. I am insane. I look like a thin scarecrow, made to wear the farmer's old clothes that hang off me like dried, brittle skin on a skeleton. I feel like... I never know anymore, do I?
I feel a slap across my face, and my cheek is stinging. "I'm not going to tolerate your profanity and careless attitude, Reviz," he growls, dragging me out to the track. "Now. Four laps. That's only two miles. Go." I just stand there. Two miles? Holy shit, I don't want to run two miles. Back in the days, I probably could, but now, I'm a complete wreck. There's no way I can hold out. "Go!" the Peacekeeper yells, shoving me onto the track and pushing me forward.
So I run. Or, actually, jog. I'm already losing energy around half a mile, and I collapse onto the track. The drugs have taken their toll on my body and transformed me into a ruin. I can't get up, but there's the Peacekeeper, pulling me to my feet and shoving me along, screaming for me to go. I stumble. I trip. I make it one mile. I walk the rest of the way, barely able to move. I'm huffing and puffing. I'm dying. My feet are barely moving.
Keep going, you stupid little bitch! I yell at myself. Keep going!
I collapse at the very end of the track, not getting off. I roll over, shakily pulling off my jacket, kicking off my boots, peeling off my sweaty socks, rolling up my pants to my knees. Everyone's staring at me, but I just wad up the jacket into a ball and rest my head on it like a pillow. I'm a little shaky, for some reason, and the world's blurry. I can't see straight. I can barely breathe.
The Peacekeeper pulls me to my feet. "You're staying behind for some extra training," he snarls, the muscles in his neck bulging. "Everyone but Reviz, you're dismissed." If I had any energy, I'd raise my arm to give them all the middle finger. But I can't move.
Once they're gone, he shoves me down on a bench. "You little slut," he seethes, his hands grabbing handfuls of my shirt. "Take off your clothes." I just lie there, numb. Am I just being paranoid, or... "Do it!" he commands, and I pull off all my clothes, my hands barely able to throw them aside. I'm trembling, terrified, as he gets out a few lengths of rope, tying my arms, wrists, legs, feet, and torso to the bench. The rope rubs up against my skin painfully. "Now, you're not going to move. You are not going to yell. You are not going to cry. You are going to keep your mouth shut."
I nod, and he gets out a whip. The fancy kind that only Peacekeepers get, to whip poor poachers and thieves in the town square. I start sweating as he raises the whip. "This is what happens to little rebellious bitches like you," he hisses, and the whip comes down on my stomach hard. It's swelling already. And he goes on like this, over and over, all over my body. Then he undoes the bindings -I'm too weak to run, and I'm bleeding everywhere- and flips me over, starting on the other side.
After a while, I'm apparently done. "There," he says. He pulls me clothes on for me. Shit... am I unconscious? I can't tell. I feel semi-conscious. There's blood staining all of my clothes. "Go back up to your room. Get some food if you like. Whatever. Be back tomorrow morning."
"Okay," I say shakily, and then I'm crying. Sobbing. The tears sting the cuts on my face, and I stagger back up to my room, leaving blood splattered on the walls and floor as I go. And I'm at the room, finally, and I open the door. Jake's sitting at the small table, eating. Upon seeing me, he stands up, his face going pale.
"Oh, God, Reviz," he mutters. "What the fuck did they do to you?"
And I don't care how stupid it is, but I fall onto him, his arms holding me up. "I fucking hate them!" I yell, sobbing. "I fucking hate them! I'm gonna die!" I end up sprawled on the bed, the cuts from every lash of the whip staining the covers. "Get me some drugs, dammit!" I moan, stumbling into the bathroom. Jake follows me. I strip off, throwing my clothes on the floor.
Jake kneels down and turns on the bath water. "Good thing we've got some fancy Capitol shit that they gave us," he says. "The advantages of being rebels-converted-Peacekeepers." He helps me into the bathtub, and I lay down. The water's turning bright red, and it stings my skin, although it's nice and cool. Jake grabs a towel and wipes the blood from the first cut, quickly applying some kind of cream. He does this over and over, pulling me out of the tub and onto the bathmat. I can actually feel the cuts getting better, sealing up. The Capitol doesn't know how lucky they are to have this stuff.
I think I'm falling asleep. "Jake?" I whisper hoarsely. Wait, why am I calling him by his first name? "Is this gonna scar?"
He shrugs. My vision is blurring even more, and I might be blacking out. Or am I? It's all fuzzy. "You'll have one more way to show that you're a rebel," he says, and then everything gets dark.
So. Sorry if this was awful, I've got writer's block. Anyone besides cursed to curse have an idea of what my plot twist will be? If you look close enough at this chapter -and maybe read through Mockingjay- you may see it. ;)