burn_with_us: (blue; pretty hair)
Katniss Everdeen ([personal profile] burn_with_us) wrote in [community profile] all_inclusive2016-02-21 03:39 pm

are we out of the woods

Running, running, running.

Katniss hasn't slept in days. The nightmares come and go but since Peeta left, she hasn't had the long stretches of relief that she'd had with him. The nightmares always come back. This run is particularly bad, as she hasn't slept more than a few hours in the last week. Her eyes are red-rimmed from tears and exhaustion and deep bruises beneath them show just how hard this has been on her. She's been trying to keep moving, to push herself to physical exhaustion so that the sleep she gets is dreamless. It doesn't work as well as she wants it to.

She's afraid of the doors but it isn't something she ever wants to admit out loud. She knows there's ones she can trust, ones that lead to safe places, but what if the doors change and she winds up in the Arena again? What if she winds up in the Capitol, instead, or in bombed out 12? The 12 of her dreams is never the one where she hunted with Gale or traded at The Hob. It's always the firebombed 12, the one where the walkways are paved with the bones of the people she couldn't save and where the air is scented with ashes and white roses.

Are we in the clear yet?

Today, she's working in the restaurant, bussing tables and taking orders and trying to keep afloat. Her mind is too tired to do the mental gymnastics her job requires and she drops two whole trays of glasses before the middle of her shift, glass slicing her palms as she picks it up. Still, she can't go to sleep. Sleep is where Snow can get her, where the mutts are after her, where the faces of all the people she's failed swim in front of her and scream at her in the harsh, metallic voices of jabberjays.

The buzz of the people dining starts to sound like Prim, like Peeta, like Rue. She can't take it any longer. Katniss runs, runs far back into a storage closet at the other end of the restaurant and hides. It's not her closet in 13 and it doesn't have piles and piles of smooth graphite pencils for her to break but it's good enough. It's quiet and it's dark and it's far away from everyone else.

[Feel free to have seen Katniss drop the glasses or if you're a canonmate, to know she's been having a hard time lately.]
71st_victor: (plot)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-02-24 04:28 am (UTC)(link)
Johanna raises her brow when she sees Katniss lose her mind in front of a crowd of people. Part of her enjoys the show, a sadistic little voice saying that at least it's not just her who's thoroughly and totally fucked up in the head, but then she remembers that they're supposed to stick together. So at least she's got a little guilt when it comes to that delight.

She sighs and finishes her meal, dabbing the corner of her lips with her napkin before she excuses herself gracefully to follow after Katniss, knocking heavily at the storage closet door. Five heavy knocks and then she leans her shoulder against it. "You know, this place may not be the Capitol, but I'm pretty sure if you keep breaking glassware, they're going to start holding it against you. There may be no crying over spilled milk, but spilled glass starts to add up."
71st_victor: (queen of seven)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-02-26 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
Johanna wanders in idly, taking her time sliding to the ground. "You should've let them," she says conversationally, like it's not a big deal what they're talking about. "Or you should've pretended to let them and made a good business selling them on the side. Sometimes, drugs aren't all bad, Katniss," she says, stretching out her toes slowly. "You seriously want to feel like this?"

"Don't be an idiot just to suffer."
71st_victor: (peaceful yet not)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-01 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
Johanna doesn't mean to mock Katniss when she laughs, but sometimes the girl makes it so pathetically easy. "You're never going to be normal again," Johanna says sharply. "None of us are ever going to be normal again, because we weren't lucky enough to be born in the Capitol and be complete idiots about the world around us. And even if we were, we're victors. It means we're fucked up," she says bitterly.

"That's the deal. You win, you live, and you're never normal again."
71st_victor: (superior)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-04 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
"Then you take a page from Haymitch," Johanna advises, stretching out her legs and peeking around. "Speaking of, you don't happen to have any alcohol kicking around here, do you? I could use something. It's been hours and I'm parched and starting to remember what Snow's face looks like when he kills the people I Love," she says bitterly.
71st_victor: (cat's eyes)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-05 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
"Or we could go back to mine," is Johanna's counter-argument, seeing as she's become very skilled in ferreting away alcohol in case of a worst case scenario that needs to be planned for. Or, really, just a boring night. "Don't worry. If anyone stares at you too long, I'll cut them down," she says sweetly.
71st_victor: (future's no good)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-06 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
"Just remember, if they ask you to pay for the glasses, you just stare them down and remember all the ways you can cut them into shreds," Johanna says, getting to her feet with some ease. "That always makes me feel so much better."
71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-08 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)

"District Seven taught me a lot about sharp edges before I even hit the arena," Johanna promises, because she might not have been taking her axe to people before the area, but she'd known how to wield it with skill. "What's got you so tense? You could probably cut glass with the tension boiling off you right now."

71st_victor: (plot)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-12 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
"You have a district partner," Johanna says calmly and evenly. "Most of us just had to watch ours get killed, but you knew how to play the game. I'm almost jealous, but then, no one would've believed me if I tried to pull the star crossed lovers act. I'm good," she admits. "Just not that good."

"Have you tried filling the void? There's plenty of attractive people here."
71st_victor: (future's no good)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-13 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
"No, maybe it wasn't with Peeta, but I'm telling you that you should get yourself something that lets you blow off some steam physically. Doesn't have to be sex. Maybe what gets you off is some good grappling. You with your arrow, him with a staff," she says with an arch of her brow. "And then just mourn Peeta after or whatever."

She has no idea what it's like to lose someone you love, not like that. This is all guessing games to Johanna.
71st_victor: (wicked)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-13 09:37 pm (UTC)(link)
"So that means if you find him again, you jump him and pin him down with your hips until he screams," she says matter-of-factly. "I could teach you some tricks," she promises, because even though she mainly uses sex as a weapon to disarm, she does know a thing or two.

"Besides, you could always go home, couldn't you? He's there, right?"
71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-14 05:19 pm (UTC)(link)

"Love is complicated and messed up, isn't it?" she points out, seeing as she's hardly ever seen victors be happy after all is said and done, so much as they grit their teeth and survive together. "Maybe you could try and drag him here," she offers. "I'd help. Between the two of us, this place would have to listen, wouldn't it?"

71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-15 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)

Johanna gives Katniss a look of disbelief, seeing as she keeps talking like she can save everyone and that's not the case. "You know, this place might be a nice distraction from the Capitol, but it can't be forever. And you can't just drag everyone here. At some point, you have to accept that you can't protect everyone."

71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-16 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)

"You're not a symbol," Johanna tiredly replies. "You're a person, the same as the rest of us. You're allowed to fail, you're allowed to care about what you want." She gives Katniss a side-eyed look. "You don't have to be a symbol all the time, all your life. Otherwise, you'll be miserable."

71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-17 03:41 pm (UTC)(link)

"They don't have their cameras on you here. Take advantage of that and go wild, do whatever wild things you want to," she insists, a flare of wickedness in her smile. "I'd like to see what you get up to when you're not breaking the system for a cause, but for yourself."

71st_victor: (Default)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-18 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)

"So now it's time for you to break the rules for you," she says, as if it's the simplest thing in the world. After all, she's so used to doing things for herself that she doesn't understand the concept of behaving.

71st_victor: (cat's eyes)

[personal profile] 71st_victor 2016-03-20 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
"Then do something else," Johanna notes, her patience running short. "Get naked in public, be disorderly, fuck someone you're not supposed to," she notes. "It would make me feel a lot better to see you not all pent up with stress. Imagine how you'll feel," she points out, as if that might be what saves Katniss' sanity.
themadgirl: (006)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-02-24 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Annie has never been a fan of the cafe. It's a far cry from Thirteen with its mess hall packed full of jangling silverware and raucous conversation, but it still never fails to make her feel exposed. She's been working on it awhile, a little at a time just like everything else—Coming down at times when there aren't so many people around, sitting with her back to the wall, and on and on. She's slowly getting there, but she has a feeling that on some level it will always make her a little anxious. It amazes her that Katniss can stand to work there.

Or, maybe she can't. The crash of glass jolts Annie back in her seat, and she looks up, her heart hammering and eyes wide, just in time to see Katniss flee. She has to take a moment to wrangle her instinctive panic, and then abandons her cup of tea to follow.

She raps once softly against the closed closet door and bends closer to speak nearer to the wood.

"Katniss? It's Annie. Can I come in?"
themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-06 03:11 am (UTC)(link)

Annie nods, knowing that feeling as well as anyone, and quietly slips through the door before pulling it soundly closed behind her. She picks her way around buckets and bottles of cleaner, and settles cross-legged on the floor next to Katniss.

"Sometimes I think that's the real trial," she softly says as she casts a glance around the room, eyes adjusting to the darkness. "Not the Games, not the arena, but after." She's wondered before if anyone ever tallied up how many victors ended up taking their own lives. It's got to be a lot more than the Capitol ever wanted them to know about.

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-15 11:03 pm (UTC)(link)

Annie's brow creases for a moment; she doesn't know who "her" means, but isn't sure it's that important. She gets the gist.

"Nobody's the same after." This doesn't necessarily need to be said, Annie knows. But sometimes she forgets, and maybe Katniss does, too. "One foot in front of the other is the only thing you can do. After, I kept waiting to be that person again, and eventually I realized that wasn't going to happen. I was doomed to be the mad girl forever. Finnick says that isn't true, but I know he's just trying to make me feel better. It gets easier, living with it, and I think I'm somebody else now, not the person from before or the mad girl, but she's still in there. Waiting." She plucks idly at the fabric of her skirt where it's bunched around her knees. "In some ways Tristan made it easier, but in some ways he made it so much worse." There are days even now when she is afraid to leave their room.

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-16 12:17 am (UTC)(link)

"I would never give up on him, he's my son," Annie quickly replied. "I just worry about him. Constantly. You'd think being here instead of Panem would help, but it doesn't, really."

She sighed, leaning her head back against the wall. "Finnick helps, when it gets bad. But thank you for the offer." She didn't want to say it aloud -- Was afraid speaking it might make it come true -- but she was constantly terrified, too, that one day Finnick simply wouldn't be there, like Peeta.

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-22 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)

Annie looks for a moment to where Katniss' hand rests against hers. "It's hard for everyone after," she says, and looks up again. "I just wasn't as good at hiding it. There were— There were other things happening, too." She wonders, then, if this Katniss, coming from when she did, even knows the truth about Finnick.

"I used to feel bad about it, used to think I was weak, but now I think maybe the way I reacted wasn't crazy at all."

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-22 11:40 pm (UTC)(link)

Annie opens her mouth to clarify, then thinks better of it. If she points out that she hasn't actualy, killed anyone, will that make Katniss less likely to talk to her? Will Katniss change her mind on how well Annie can relate to her? It can be so hard to know what Katniss might think or do, so she decides it's better to not take the chance, not just now. If it comes back to bite her later, so be it.

"I guess it doesn't really help much to think of it as the Capitol having killed all of those tributes," she says instead with a furrow of her brow. "Objectively, it should help, but it's easier said than done even if it is true."

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-23 12:48 am (UTC)(link)

Annie nods, looking to her lap. Before, she might not have known for certain, but now she feels sure she could say the same thing. For her son, for her husband — She'd do whatever was necessary, even if she didn't have Finnick or Katniss' experience.

"I don't think anyone would blame you for that," she said. "It was an impossible situation. It's been years and I still can't quite believe I made it out alive. I was so certain I'd die; everyone was." Even Finnick, who had held himself back until she came stumbling out of the arena and into his arms.

themadgirl: (Default)

[personal profile] themadgirl 2016-03-23 02:17 am (UTC)(link)

"I think the important thing is that we can eventually put ourselves back together," Annie says. In some ways, this probably makes them stronger, but in other ways... Well, as the two of them sitting in a storage closet shows, sometimes you just have to deal with the cracks.

"You don't have to be strong all of the time, Katniss. You've had to be strong for everyone for so long, but it's okay to be broken for a little while. I'm the last person who would judge you for that."