Beetee looked at the lightning tree in awe, while I glanced at anything but.

"Minimal charring." He marvelled as he readjusted his glasses from the walk up. "It's an impressive conductor, now let's get started."

As Finnick and Peeta helped Beetee wrap the tree in the large wire, Katniss pulled me out of my muffled thoughts to stare at more multicolored leaves. She had put her hand on my shoulder so gently that I thought she assumed I would crumble into dust as I tried not to pry into those around me, or the subtle scream in my ears.

Johanna was watching the wire wrap around the tree; her eyes followed Beetee as he ran around it so excitedly that she began to smile. There was some comfort in watching the coil wrap around the tree until I couldn't see the root or the trunk anymore, a strange sense that we were finally doing something right.

"Typically a lightning strike contains five billion joules of energy. We don't want to be anywhere in the vicinity when it hits." Beetee informed us all as he took one proud step back.

He skillfully worked with the wire until it was set below the small dust of leaves and roots; the coil was given to Johanna when he had enough of it right as he caught her just trailing the end of it with her eyes. I hadn't been watching the leaves like I should of been, but when I looked at Katniss she hadn't either.

"The girls will take the wire- uncoil it carefully. Make sure the entire coil is in the water. You understand? Once it's done, head to the tree in the 2 o'clock sector. We'll meet up there." Beetee spat information at us like it was filled with small parts of his own brain.

"I should go with them." Peeta interjected.

"No." He rejected almost as soon as the idea came up. "You need to be here to guard me and the tree."

"No, I need to go with her." Peeta argued. He rose his voice towards the older man, that was the first time I had seen even a morsel of anger on the boy's face, but it was paired with his usual caring worry too. On anyone else it would of been off putting for anger to be mixed with actual kindness, but on Peeta it reminded me of the feeling I got when I first saw home. They were both constants, but one was right in front of me without a shade of doubt.

"There are two careers out there, I need two guards." The man from Three replied calmly. He looked exactly like a teacher then- a teacher that was scoulding his favourite student.

"Actually." I jumped in, still half filled with air instead of noise. Katniss and Peeta seemed surprised that I had spoken up for them; the two from 12 turned to look at me expectantly and I suddenly lost the will to speak. I cleared my throat anyway. "I killed Brutus, there's only Enobaria left."

"And what about Alec?" Beetee retorted. They didn't notice the visible step I took backward, or the small heart attack that came over me as I actual thought about whether he would team up with them so quickly. Why wouldn't he? There was no reason for him to be on my side anymore.

"Finnick can protect you just fine on his own." Peeta tried.

"Yeah why can't Finnick, Johanna and Lorna stay with you. Peeta and I can take the coil." Katniss interjected the fight- nobody showed a morsel of surprise.

"You agreed to keep me safe until midnight, correct?" Beetee deadpanned at the couple who had created a whole new argument in my mental absence and somehow lost it already. That was it's own skill, even if winning a fight against Beetee seemed almost impossible.

𝐒𝐏𝐀𝐑𝐊𝐒 ❦ The Hunger GamesWhere stories live. Discover now