Blood and Ashes

A pregnant Katniss is forced to fight in the Quater Quell with Haymitch. Who will survive in the war to overthrow the Capitol? Disclaimer: I, unfortunately, do not own the Hunger Games, or any of the characters in this fanfiction. All rights go to Suzanne Collins.
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12. The Forcefield

I wake up on the grass mat in the hut, I can hear the others whispering outside;

"I have a plan," says Beetee.

"Oh?" asks Johanna.

"I propose that just before midnight when the lightning strikes the tree, we run the wire from the tree itself, all the way down into the salt water. The beach will still be damp from the ten o'clock wave and anyone touching any of those surfaces will be electrocuted." Beetee answers quietly.

"I say we try it," says Finnick. Haymitch grunts in approval and I fall asleep again.

Later, Johanna comes to wake me up and check on me. I still don't know why she is helping me when she appeared to loathe me so much beforehand. It seems that the worst of the bleeding is over, but without medicine, (which must have cost the sponsors an astronomical amount and was a gift I will not receive again) the cramping continues. Thankfully, it's not as bad as it was, but still painful.

"How are you feeling?" she asks.

"I'm ok."

"I think we should go and clean you up now." She says. I just nod. I'm still bleeding and the moss is only so absorbent. She helps me to stand up and I walk to the water with her assistance.

"Johanna," I say, looking at her, "why are you helping me?" She pulls me against her, as if to embrace me, then whispers in my ear quickly. "I've been through this too," she says quietly, "It'll get better, I promise." Stunned into silence, I wade deeper into the water and scrub myself clean. While Haymitch and Finnick go to get some more water, I use some moss to soak up the blood.

When they get back, we all sit on the beach and Finnick seems to be avoiding my eyes. Ignoring him, I begin to speak. "I heard your plan, Beetee," I say. He nods and smiles at me kindly, pity in his eyes.

"I think we should do it tonight," I say, almost to myself. What have I got to lose?

"No.," says Haymitch firmly. "That's not happening. Peeta can't lose you as well." For some reason, this rubs me the wrong way and I glare at him, trying to mask the anguish, evident in my eyes.

"I'm fine," I insist, "Really." Finnick looks at me doubtfully. My hand is on my stomach, trying to rub the pain away. I pull it away and clench my hands into tight fists, digging them into the sand. I take a deep breath. "Ok," I say, defeated. They are right. The ache is still bad enough that I can't concentrate at times.

"You can come with me," says Johanna. "We'll take the wire."

"No," protests Haymitch. "She's not strong enough yet."

"It can't exactly wait," I exclaim. "I'm going and that's that." I stand up, only to be proven wrong when the pain hits again. I press my fist against my stomach and squeeze my eyes shut, willing the pain to stop. I turn away and walk back to the hut. I lean against the tree trunk and sip some water. Haymitch comes to find me.

"Hey," he says.

"Hi," I sigh, wiping my eyes.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart."

I look away. "I wanted this baby," I say suddenly.

"I know," he says sadly "The boy will be heartbroken." My eyes well up at the thought. Peeta's child. Our baby is gone. Haymitch pulls me into a tight hug and only releases me when I groan in pain. He rubs my back until it goes away.

The next day, Haymitch agrees to let me go with Johanna, but only if he comes with me while Finnick and Wiress go with Beetee to the tree. We set off and as we reach the jungle, I feel a flutter inside me. I inhale sharply and my hands go to my abdomen. They look at me, concerned, but I ignore them and carry on walking. I must be either imagining things.

About ten minutes later, I offer to take the coil. Both our hands are touching the metal cylinder when there's a slight vibration. Then, the wire springs up and tangles around our wrists. Johanna and I share a look; someone not far away just cut the wire and will subsequently be on us at any moment.

As my fingers close on the feathers of an arrow, the metal cylinder smashes into my head. Suddenly, I am lying on my back on the ground under some bushes. There is a crushing pain in my left temple and I struggle to make the two moons floating above me into one. I see Johanna crouching next to me, pinning my wrists down.

There's a stab in my left forearm. Johanna is digging the point of her knife into my flesh, twisting it around. The pain is excruciating. Warmth runs down my wrist and I feel blood pooling in my hand.

I try to jerk away, but she shoves me down roughly. "Stay down," she hisses. I hear heavy footsteps coming towards us. "Leave her," says Brutus, "She's as good as dead."

Am I? I drift in and out of consciousness, trying to make sense of the situation. Johanna has ended the alliance; that much is obvious.

I drag myself to my feet, glad of the trees for support. Without warning, a sharp pain hits my stomach, accompanying the throbbing of my head and the sting of my wrist. I lean forwards and vomit into the bushes. Trembling and drenched in sweat, I assess my physical condition; my arm is bleeding heavily and there is a huge lump on my head. I wrap some moss around my wrist and I force myself to walk. I have to find Haymitch.

I hear a cannon blast. Startled, I trip and become entangled in Finnick's net. Wait, no. This is wire. Beetee's wire. Desperately, I try to untangle myself: the lightning could strike at any moment. I walk along, keeping the wire to my right. "Haymitch?" I call over and over.

I hear a moan answer me from the ground. I whip around to find a figure lying beside me. Beetee! I kneel beside him, causing the world to make another alarming shift. He doesn't appear to be hurt, excluding a gash on his arm. I squint up at the sky and realise we are only a few paces away from a forcefield. What did he do? Drive his knife into it. Surely he would know better than that.

I look down to see his knife, wrapped tightly in the wire. Was this his backup plan? To electrocute us all? The moss on my arm is completely soaked. I am so light headed and in pain that I know I'll black out in a matter of minutes.

Forcing myself to focus, I see Beetee's knife with clear eyes. I pull of the wire and secure it on an arrow. Raising my bow to the sky, I see the wavering patch that makes the force field visible. I aim. The arrow disappears into the night sky, along with the golden thread.

Pain overcomes me and I fall to my knees, clutching my stomach. My arm is now bleeding freely and the world is going dark. Suddenly, white light fills the dome as the arrow finds its mark. I am thrown backwards, my body useless and my eyes frozen wide. My eyes strain to capture one last image of beauty to take with me. Right before the explosions begin, I find a star.

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