"Ok, I suggest-"

Peeta was cut short by Haymitch as he looked at Katniss; he knew more than well enough that she was the one that needed convincing, not Peeta.

"You're not the problem." Haymitch dismissed.

"No," Katniss said bluntly. In her mind -which she considered to be sounder than the half-drunk ally she had picked up along the way- the idea that she could win without allies was completely reasonable; it would only make her weak. Her mind was stuck on Rue and what that small girl had done to her, what she had to accept after someone who was so much better than her was killed so violently.

No, she couldn't do that again.

"Look, you're starting at a disadvantage, most of these people have been friends for years." Haymitch tried to reason with the Girl on Fire. He ran one hand through his slightly greasy blonde hair as he leaned back; he hadn't had a shower in a few days which meant that ultimately the foul stench of alcohol was beginning to become his signature fragrance.

"That just puts us higher on their kill list." Katniss countered.

Haymitch sighed.

"Do it your own way, but I know these people, you go it alone their first move is going to be to hunt you down. Both of you."

"Katniss come on." Peeta tried to reason with Katniss. He knew the outcome if he didn't try; death would find both of them quicker than the train they were currently on.

"How can any of us even trust each other?"

By now Katniss was tired and defeated by the whole idea of what was to come, but she was too smart to give in to her urge to simply sit back and let the others figure out a plan. All her life it had just been her and who she saw as family. Trust was something earned through years, not days in a small training area because somebody told you that they wouldn't cut your head off as soon as you got close to them. She couldn't see how everything could change so fast.

"It's not about trust, it's about staying alive." The mentor grunted.

Haymitch walked back up to the screen with the same little sway in his step and pressed a few buttons, immediately making the footage from the reapings come up on the screen. The image was frozen on a picture of a typically District One blonde girl and a mousy boy that had large muscles and a scowl on his face. They were so painfully basic for that District and the two seem to wear it with pride.

"Cashmere and Gloss, brother and sister, District One. Won back to back games, Capitol favourites, lots of sponsors. They will be lethal."

It surprised Katniss how quickly the older man went into his 'work mode' and began to tell them about the competition. Perhaps he was trying to prove a point with how strong the two were together with their hands clasped, but she still expected a bigger fight, perhaps a list with all the people she had to kill. Instead, he just let them watch as he ran through the tapes he had been given only an hour before.

The screen flickered onto a new set of tributes quickly. Cashmere moulded into a leaner brown-haired girl sporting fangs that resembled the teeth that the enhanced mutts where given; next to her was an even larger man. The picture wasn't frozen like before, this time it moved as the woman bared her teeth for the audience of District Two to see.

"The other half of the Career pack, Brutus and Enobaria." Haymitch glanced at the darker skinned girl as she opened her mouth wider.

"What's with her teeth?" Katniss muttered.

She seemed to show them with pride, it made a small tingle go down Peeta's spine out of pure, unfiltered fear. She didn't look human to him. She had turned herself into an animal.

𝐒𝐏𝐀𝐑𝐊𝐒 ❦ The Hunger GamesWhere stories live. Discover now