Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games

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48. Unable

     On the day the tributes were sent off to the arena, Emily felt better. She finally came down into the lobby to watch the games, not even getting the chance to say goodbye to the kids. And to be honest, she felt pretty okay about it. She didn't know them and didn't get much of a chance to actually know more of their strengths and weaknesses to give them any helpful advice. Not like she could, she won out of sheer luck. Emily was even too foggy-minded to pay much attention to their interviews the night before. She fell in and out of sleep when District Five came around, so Emily would not have been any help in the slightest.

     After Emily took a long shower and gussied up as much as she could to hide the fact she still felt like crap, she went down to the lobby where all the aristocrat Capitolites and mentors stayed when the Games played out to drink and throw in their bets. Even when she had been awake for an hour she was already tired and wanted to go back to bed.  Emily still  was still achy from the fever; she felt weird and numb. When an Avox approached her direction, the redhead requested they bring her medicine to calm the soreness and some water before going off to a loveseat, away from the Capitolites swarming the bar and throwing their bet money at people.

     Weirdos.

     The Avox came back with her things and Emily drained down the water with her pills in two gulps.  For the time being, just relax and heal a bit more.

     Emily had slept through the very beginning of the Games, missing the countdown and the tributes scrambling around the Cornucopia. Eight of the tributes were killed off already, both of Emily’s tributes were still alive, somehow. The only other tributes from the same district that were still was District 4, but Emily didn’t see a fighting chance with the girl. What was her name? Annie Cresta or something?

     The redhead looked around the many screens for her tributes when an Avox came around and put another glass of water in front of her and took the empty glass. "Wow, thought Phox had killed you or something," Gryffon greeted, making Emily jump before he dropped down to sit beside her.

     The redhead sighed, pressed her hand over her heart, and took in a deep breath. "No, just been suffering a fever for three days," she answered and looked back up at the screen in front of them. "Did you at least get in trouble?" she asked.

     It was already lousy that she got yelled at by Phox for being stupid enough to go screw Gryffon of all people. Phox didn’t really care for Gryffon either, detesting his company just as much as he detested Emily’s. She was pretty sure Phox hated everybody except Gryffon’s mentor, Annabelle. He was often seen with her during the Games, much like a majority of the victors that come to the mentor for the Games. There seemed to be an unusual habit of victors forming a one-on-one friendship, hardly seen with a third party or more.

     He raised a brow at her answer as he sank back in the couch, his arm stretching over the top of it. At her question, though, Gryffon rolled his eyes. "She's Annabelle. She bitches when I breathe in a way she doesn't like. Getting in trouble with hers like being scolded by an older sister."

     So he was basically in the same boat as her.

     He shrugged again and cocked his head somewhat at her "So . . . If Phox DIDN’T kill you, then . . . How the fuck'd you get sick suddenly?"

     Emily shrugged at his question and looked down at her fingers twiddling together in her lap. "You saw my Games. Probably heard that I get sick often," she answered. Vague as it was, she just didn't want to talk about how weak her body was.

     "But out of nowhere? No one gets sick out of nowhere," Gryffon insisted. His finger tapped lightly against the back of the couch, a weird habit that Emily hadn’t quite picked up on the reason just yet.

     "Well I do," she rolled her eyes. It was common for her to get sick out of nowhere. The stress got her in the Games, maybe it was the wolf meat. Overall, she always got sick without warning.

     "Especially after getting screwed for the first time in like, ten years," he added casually, rolling his eyes.

     Oh my god, what the hell!

     Emily turned her head away from him as she crossed her arms. Her face turned pink with anger, embarrassment, and annoyance. Did he HAVE to say that? And when there were people around them!? Sure, it was loud and no one paid them no mind, but what if some creepy member of the tabloid overheard? "Maybe I stressed over that fact and my body shut down," Emily scoffed at him. It could be because of that, but that quickly?

     "Damn," Gryffon half-scoffed, half-laughed. "Stress of what?" he asked, incredulous sounding. "Of a decision you made? That you didn't even remember? Pointless source of stress, if you ask me." He shrugged and leaned his head back a little before letting out a slight sigh. "Plus, it's no big deal, anyway. Pretty stupid reason for your body to shut down."

     "Yes," was her answer. Enough to irritate him more, and she knew she had the power to annoy the hell out of him. Yes, she stressed over the fact that it was her decision. Yes, it was because she didn't remember. Just an overall yes. "And I didn't ask you. No one did," she let out a sigh, ran her hand through her hair, and looked up toward the screen for her tributes. "If you cared so much you could have come up to visit too," Emily rolled her eyes at him.

     "I didn't ask if you did?" Gryffon scoffed. "Opinions don't need to be asked for." Gryffon followed her eyes to the screen, then back toward her, irritated and amused smirk in place. "I don't really care, nor do I think you're all that worthy of a visit." There was a pause for a moment while Emily kept her eyes on the screens, but she could feel him looking at her. "Your little boyfriend bothered?"

     Emily rolled her eyes at Gryffon, staying quiet and leaving him in the dark when she found one of her tributes on one of the screens. The girl was still running without a pack and Emily could just guess that she'd be dead within three days of she didn't have the supplies for water. Emily kept ignoring the man when he spoke to her and let out a sigh as her eyes looked for the boy.

     The redhead took in a deep breath from her nostrils and answered: "He went to check on me and apologized for his district partner's behavior. That's about it," she shrugged without looking to him. She didn't even deny the title but the redhead didn't feel like putting in the effort to say they weren't together. It was already enough of a chore to say that she and Gryffon weren't friends.

     "Well isn't he charming, apologizing for someone who wasn't exactly wrong," Gryffon rolled his eyes with his words as he sank back in his seat more. His eyes followed the tributes on the screen blankly and uninterested. He couldn't care less about that year's Games. "That alllll you did?" he asked smugly, glancing back at her with a quirked eyebrow.

     Emily slowly turned her head toward his direction with narrowed eyes with no amusement whatsoever. His smugness was the last thing she wanted and Emily could only bet he knew that all too well. "That's aaaaaaall we did . . ." she answered back with a roll of her eyes and turned back to watch the District Four kids. "As you said last time, we had a very 'uninteresting' date."

     “You are rather uninteresting people,” Gryffon chided as soon as the words finishing leaving her mouth. “Well, you seem to become one around him, anyway. Otherwise, you’re a TAD bit more interesting,” he added in an amused and hinting lilt, rolling his eyes upward before looking back at the screens.

     The redhead rolled her eyes at him. Wow, both insulted her and complimented her in a breath. How kind and rude of him. She crossed her arms over her chest and kept on watching all while the man fidget beside her. What was his problem now?

     After some silence between the two, with nothing but the annoying chattering behind them, Gryffon asked: “You didn’t even check, though? Like, it couldn’t’ve been something aside or alongside a fever?”

     Emily furrowed her brows at the man and looked up at him in question. "What are you getting at this time?" she sighed in annoyance, his vagueness not making his company any less tense.

     He muttered something under his breath only to roll his eyes again and look down at her, his glare condescending and annoyed. “You’re dense, aren’t you?” 

     Emily raised a brow at him, challenging him to either say it again or explain his insult. His own damn fault being vague anyway, SHE should be the one mad at him.

     “Here, sweetheart, lemme break it down for you. You were JUST fucked,” Emily shot him a look before she turned her head away as her cheeks blushed pink with her lips pursed. He didn’t have to say it so loud! He continued, “And I know I don’t know how many fucking days it takes to—oh I don’t know—maybe assume you’re pregnant, but I’d LOVE to know if that might’ve been the case. If you checked. Or aren’t even worried about it. I dunno.”

     Once Gryffon finished, all she could do was darkly laugh. He was actually worried about that? But then it struck her that he had to be worried because they didn't—Emily snapped her head back toward him. Gryffon didn't even have the common decency to use protection!? Yeah, she was drunk and all but he didn’t think it would be smart to use a damn condom for a one night stand!?

     Emily was about to snarl at him, but she huffed and looked away. Not like anything was going to happen anyway. Emily couldn’t scold him, nothing would happen. Their one night stand wouldn’t result in an accident and there was just no point in verbalizing it.

     "I'm not worried . . . and neither should you . . ." she said and crossed her arms over her chest again.

     He rolled his eyes and sank back into the couch, settling for glaring at the empty space of the ceiling above the screens projecting the Games. "No? You'd be happy 'bout it? Wow, fucking desperate," he growled, but with no seriousness. He was annoyed; her answers were as vague as his own except she had nothing for him to build upon. That was the best and worst thing she could do to him and Emily just didn’t feel like being smug about her little power. "Why shouldn't I be?"

     Emily didn't snap at him for what he said. And she couldn't blame him. Yeah, to him it sounded like she wouldn't mind having a child of his from having sex the one time. But that wasn't the case. She DEFINITELY did not want a child of his. Emily kept her eyes on the screen, her body felt stiff and frozen like a statue. Her hands clasped around her arms, her eyes dimmed what little spark it had from the start of the day due to her illness, and pursed her lips for a moment.

     "Because I can't get pregnant . . ." the redhead finally answered. "I'm not able to . . ." Her tone sounded strained, emotionless, void of any feelings. She HAD to. Or else she'd just break down again. And Emily couldn't afford to show any water works in front of him again, let alone the Capitolites taking up most of the room.

     Gryffon scoffed at her comment and took a couple of seconds to glance toward the closest Capitolite, surprisingly minding their own business. "Can't get pregnant? And the shit about wanting two of the little demons was just some wishful thinking?" The question was harsh and amused, pointed and accusing of her just making excuses.

     Emily lowered her head, her eyes fell on her arms while her thumbs rubbed circles until the spots felt numb under her skin. She should have known than to tell him anything. To say anything worth an emotion. "It has come to that after Snow came to visit me . . . you can do the math . . ." Emily finally said after a long pause, raised her head back at the screens and crossed one leg over the other.

     Gryffon pursed his lips and thought for a few moments, giving Emily the freedom to watch the Games without him asking her questions or growling at her like he normally did. But she somehow couldn’t bring herself to get invested in the Games. What her mind thought of was the man’s reaction. Or lack of. She didn’t expect him to be sympathetic of the situation, he clearly wouldn’t give two shits since it wasn’t her problem. it was her problem to deal with alone.

     "Better for you, then," he shrugged. Emily’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, for himself it was better. He knew she wanted children. Everyone knew she did, she even said it during the Games when Liam was alive. And only the victors knew the consequences of kids after winning wasn't worth it. Without more than a monotone in his voice and a smirk on his features, he added, "That's great. No baby trouble."

     Emily kept herself from lowering her head from feeling so down. Sure. No baby troubles. No having to wake up every half an hour into the night to soothe them. No having to do her laundry every time one threw up on her. No having to . . . get new toys to play with or shop for clothes that would keep them warm. Or watching them take their first steps, or even create a chance for them to have a happy healthy life. One they wouldn’t dread early on in life the way she had . . . She didn't have to worry about the responsibility of children.

     "Yet, why do I feel so lousy . . .?" she questioned; more to herself than to the man beside her.

     Gryffon kept quiet and kept his eyes on the wall, on the screen, the image of a few kids running from a mutt. The 4 kids were doing all right, apparently more detached from the other Careers as they hadn’t really come together as part of the alliance; that wasn’t really his problem though, it was Trace’s and Finnick’s.

     He blinked down then he could only roll his eyes once more. “I don’t KNOW, why do you feel so lousy?” Gryffon asked, his tone dripping with sarcasm as if the answer were obvious.

     She didn't even show a sign that she listened. Her eyes remained on the screen, her presence was still, like she was absent. "Like . . . great, I don't have to worry about reapings and fear having to watch them behind a screen hoping they'd live. That's great...." But Emily shrugged and shook her head. But it didn't feel great in the slightest and she didn't expect Gryffon to understand what emotional turmoil she had going on in her head. She didn't expect anyone to sympathize. "I guess I just don't like it when someone takes something away from me."

     She had a window of opportunity in her hands. And it slipped out of her mitts.

     Emily shook her head again and took in a deep breath through her nostrils. "Forget it. . . .” she sighed.

     "Oh you, poooor baby," Gryffon sneered, his eyes narrowing despite her comment on forgetting it. "You don't get to watch your child die in an arena because King Asshole took your ability to bear a kid away and you're upset because your pride was hurt?" he summarized with a highly amused lilt, his tone teetering between a growl and a laugh. He really didn't care about the sentimentality of it, but the way she worded it—it was just funny to him.

     She took in a shaky breath, keeping silent so she didn’t have to talk to him and listen to whatever hurtful comeback he could say to her. The redhead didn’t even know why she bothered. Gryffon knew yet another thing about her and Emily couldn’t even say she felt closer to him as a companion or whatever. She should have kept her mouth shut instead. Her green eyes went back to one of the screens and watched the bridge of the arena break and water rush toward the tributes. Emily seemed distracted the whole time while the arena submerged in water and her tributes washed away with the dangerously fast rushing water.

     That was basically it for her.

     Her job was done for the year.

     The redhead exhaled a breath and pushed herself off the couch and swerved around the couch. The Capitolites were going nuts, money was being thrown everywhere while their attention remained on the Games. Maybe she should stay home next year for the Games. Cecelia or Woof can take her place.

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