Lovers in a Dangerous Time
by FanficAllergy & RoseFyre


Chapter Ten: Sunday, Bloody Sunday


Last Time in Lovers in a Dangerous Time:

The point is driven home when Finnick says, "I know my words are dangerous, that they're going to cost people their lives. But I'm not saying these words because I'm safe or because the people I love are safe. They're not. My family, my loved ones, are fighting in this war. And you need to fight too. Because if you don't, it won't be someone else who pays the price. It will be you."

The screen fades to black and Fulvia turns to us. "So, what'd you think? Stirring, I know."

"I'm not sure that's the word I would use," Peeta says diplomatically."Oh, you're right! Why, inspiring is a much better word, don't you think?""Yes," I say, letting my anger come through. "Finnick's words are definitely inspiring. Why, they've inspired me to want to hit something.""Keep that anger handy! There are plans in the works that will give you plenty of opportunity to 'hit something.'"

But rather than the joy that sentiment would typically fill me with, instead I feel a trickle of dread.

Just what is going to come?


Trigger Warning: character death. Not the trio. Everyone else is fair game. That's all we're telling you.


As much as Thirteen claims that they value the family and want to promote a healthy bonding experience, there's still a war going on. We've already had to film a propo in District Twelve. Not to mention everyone seems to be using Katniss's medical room as a meeting place. The stresses and expectations are starting to take their toll on Katniss.

It's taking her longer to bounce back after Ash's birth. Probably because of everything that's being required of her. It's not right. And from the worried expressions I see on the nurses' faces when they think I can't see, it's having a detrimental effect on her health.

I hold a silent conversation with Peeta. Katniss is in danger, and Coin doesn't care. It's going to be up to us, me and him, to run interference. Give her the time she needs to recover. Comfort her. Protect her.

I can't lose her. I won't lose her. And if that means I have to beat that through the thick skulls of Thirteen's higher ups, I will.

Peeta and I aren't the only ones who are worried about Katniss's condition. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are too. They know what all of the various numbers on the machines and clipboards mean. But it doesn't take a medic to know Katniss isn't well. There's a grayish pallor to her olive skin, and she gets tired easily. She's even fallen asleep mid-sentence as her body just gives out.

It's frightening.

With Katniss out of commission, everyone else picks up the slack. Prim's watching Rain in the nursery as part of her medic training. Mrs. Everdeen's doing work up in our quarters. They've finally opened up the other half of the suite, so when Ash is released from the nursery, Rain will be able to get the sleep he needs without his little brother waking him up with his crying. I foresee a rotating schedule to sleep in the quiet room, even if it means sharing the place with the damned cats.

Speaking of, Prim decided it was a good idea for Ash to get to know his feline family, so she corralled all four cats and dragged them down to the Infirmary. Buttercup took one look at our screaming son and hightailed it out of there.

Smart cat.

One of the kittens, I don't remember the name, did the same. The other two cats, Dandelion and the other kitten, ignore the screaming to nuzzle our son, licking the corners of his mouth and chin where he spit up.

Gross, but at least it means I don't have to clean it up.

There's a knock on the doorframe to Katniss's room. It's Hayes, I can't remember his first name, shuffling from foot to foot, looking like he'd rather be anywhere other than here.

"What?" I ask, not even bothering to keep my annoyance out of my tone. Peeta and I have our own duties. We don't get much time with Katniss. It's Reflection. We're supposed to relax now. I don't want to be called somewhere else.

Hayes bites his lip. He looks like Vick used to when he'd done something Ma told him not to. "President Coin's called a meeting."

I miss Ashley. The guy is sarcastic and silent. Hayes, on the other hand, is young. Even though I know he's got to be at least three years older than me. The guy reminds me of a puppy. Eager to please, but may end up piddling himself out of excitement, nervousness, or what have you.

"Good for her," Katniss says, not even bothering to open her eyes.

"She wants the Mockingjays to be there."

Peeta raises an eyebrow. "All of us?"

He nods


The man's eyes just about jump out of their sockets in shock. "But-".

"I mean it. No. Coin's not getting all of us," I say, rising to my feet. "She'll have to make do with just one. Me."

Peeta brushes his hand against mine, a silent thanks. He's about as worn out at Katniss is. We all are.

Hayes opens his mouth, then shuts it with an audible click. Good boy. I stifle the urge to pet him between the ears.

I stride through the door and past him, then turn as I reach the end of the Infirmary. "Well, come on."

He hurries to catch up to me, consulting a computer on his wrist. "We need to make a stop first." He pauses. "If that's okay with you."

Anything to drag this out longer. But I don't say that. "Sure. Fine. Whatever. Where?"

"Yellow 32." At my blank look, he clarifies, "Twenty floors up. Viable transient barracks."

Considering the Infirmary and the nursery are on almost the lowest level and the quarters that they wanted to give us when we first moved here were on the 47th level, five levels up, that tells me Thirteen considers whoever we're visiting important but not so important that they get the "safer" quarters further down.

We walk in silence, or semi-silence. Hayes keeps trying to start a conversation with me, and I keep ignoring it. It's not the kid's fault. I just don't want to talk to anybody, and I'd rather save my diplomacy for someone who matters. And I don't feel like hurting our bodyguard's feelings. He can handle my silences. He might not be able to handle my sarcasm.

As we walk down the corridor to the barracks, I see an older man pacing the hallway. He keeps stopping in front of a door and raising his hand as if to knock, then dropping it. He repeats this action several times, and I can't help but put myself in his place with me standing outside Katniss's door the first few times, wanting to knock but being afraid of what would happen when I did.

As Hayes and I get nearer, the older man becomes recognizable. It's Finnick's father. Weird. Who would he have a crush on?

The older man's eyes widen when Hayes comes to a halt in front of the very door he's been pacing in front of.

My companion gives him a sympathetic look, then takes a deep breath, as if trying to steel himself for whatever lies within. Unconsciously, I mirror the expression. Whatever has these two men so nervous has got to be terrifying.

And I'm right.

The door slides open after Hayes's knock to reveal Peeta's mother blinking at us warily. "What do you want?" she asks, her voice a careful study of interested disinterest.

Now I definitely know where Peeta gets his ability to manipulate people from.

"Sorry to disturb your Reflection, ma'am. Is Soldier Paylor here?"

"You'll have to be more specific."

Hayes blinks. "What?"

Mrs. Mellark steps to the side to reveal both Taylor Paylor and her mother seated on the lower bunk of one of two bunk beds. The lower bunk of the other bunk bed is messy, like someone's been lying on it, and there's a datapad next to one of the pillows. Probably Mrs. Mellark's.

The two women look up as the three of us step into the room.

"Soldier Paylor?"

"Yes?" both women chorus.

"I mean… Taylor. The Victor. Not that I mean you any disrespect, ma'am, just that you're not who I've been sent to get."

"Don't worry about it, soldier. I'm not offended." The woman rises to her feet and stretches. She glances at the schedule printed on her wrist. "Reflection's almost over. It's back to training for me." She gives her daughter a quick hug, then steps out of the room.

Taylor smooths her coverall down and cocks her head to one side as she regards Hayes. "So… where are you taking me?"

"President Coin's called a meeting to discuss our next steps, in light of Odair's propo."

"Ah." She brushes her curly brown hair back. Her fingers play with the end of a curl. "I'm assuming there are consequences."

Hayes struggles for a moment, as if wrestling with himself about whether to tell the truth or not. Finally he settles on what I can only suspect is the truth, because he nods. "Yes. There are."

Her knuckles go white before she forcibly lets go of her hair. "I'm not surprised. Well, let's go." She glances at her roommate, my mother-in-law. "You going to be okay in here with him?" Her eyes flick to Mr. Odair, who's been standing quietly to one side the whole time.

"Him?" my mother-in-law says. Her voice is still carefully blank. "He's no threat. I'll be fine."


We step out and I can see Mrs. Paylor's fading back. We start down the hall in the same direction but stop only a few steps in. From above us comes a deep rumble. The kind of rumble that brings back nightmares of my father's death in the mines. The kind of rumble that spells death and destruction.

As before, I'm proven right. A heart stopping boom echoes through the corridor. Hot on its heels, the ground shakes and tilts throwing us all to the floor. Before I even open my mouth to catch my breath, klaxons blare into life and the whole hallway plunges into darkness.

From deep below, a loud hum starts and warm amber lights flicker to life. The deep rumble sounds again, this time closer, like a thunder clap, and Hayes is first to be shaken from our shock. "It's an attack!" He tugs at Taylor's hand. "We've got to get to safety!"

"Mother!" the girl cries out as she rises to her feet.

From the other end of the hall, the older Paylor hurries toward us. Her gait is uneven. Limping. Like she's been injured.

The whole world begins to shake and groan. The ceiling above me cracks, sending a spew of dust down onto my face. It wakes me up from my stupor. Without thinking about it, I run toward the older Paylor while Hayes rushes the younger one back into her quarters.

From the opening in the ceiling, a viscous yellow gas trickles in pooling on the floor like molasses. I've never seen anything like it, but I know whatever it is isn't good. I take a deep breath and hold it. For all I know, it could be poison.

When I get to Paylor, I grab her by the hand and sling her onto my back. My chest aches and burns from the lack of oxygen. I'll need to take a breath soon.

"I'm good! Go!" she says as I'm trying to get her settled.

I don't wait any longer. I run. Unable to hold out any longer, I gulp in a lungful of air. It burns at my throat like a fire. I can't warn Paylor not to breathe; that would require precious oxygen I need for running. As we run, I hear her panting in my ear. We pass through another stream of the mustard-colored gas, and Paylor dissolves into uncontrollable coughs. My heart pounds in my ears. My chest and throat burn. It takes all of my willpower and stubbornness to reach the only safe place available: Taylor's barracks.

One hundred feet.

Another breath.

Fifty feet.

Another breath.


My ability to hold my breath is gone, and I gulp at the tainted air like a gasping fish. But I've made it. We've made it.

We skid through the open door to find Mr. Odair sheltering Mrs. Mellark with his body. The place is a mess. What belongings the inhabitants have are strewn everywhere. One of the bunk beds has overturned while the other has pulled away from the wall. I slump to the floor to dissolve into a wracking cough; Mrs. Paylor slides off of my back her whole body convulsing as she tries to expel the gas and dust from her lungs.

Hayes does something to a panel near the door, and it slides shut just in time. The whole room shakes, throwing us all to the floor and sending the remaining bunk bed to the ground on top of the other in a loud screech of metal and concrete.

"Quick!" Hayes says as he repeatedly pushes a button on his wrist computer. "Wet a bunch of towels and shove them against the cracks in the door!"

I can't move. My entire focus is on the dry hacking cough ripping through my body. I manage to get it under control, but Mrs. Paylor doesn't have the same luck. Her cough is wet. Sticky. And it reminds me of late stage black lung.

Taylor hurries to obey his orders, grabbing a towel off a hook on the wall.

"Why?" Mrs. Mellark asks while pushing Mr. Odair off of her.

"Didn't you see? The gas." Hayes's eyes are wild, like he's one heartbeat away from complete panic. He abandons the computer - which clearly isn't doing what he wants it to do - to stare at us. "It's poison. It'll kill us all. But it's heavier than air, so if we can keep it from coming in underneath the door, we'll be fine."

No. We won't. But I don't say that aloud. Not just yet. I get to my feet and gather Mrs. Paylor in my arms. She needs medical attention. And frankly so do I. "What kind of poison?" I ask after I set Mrs. Paylor down on one of the mattresses. My voice is rougher than I'd like. I've inhaled some of the poison… I hope it's not enough to kill me. My eyes are drawn to the woman I rescued. I hope it's not enough to kill her.

"I… I… I don't know. I can't remember, I can't remember that part of my training. Why can't I remember that part of my training?"

Okay, that's not going to be useful. "What do you remember of your training?" I ask, forcing my voice to stay calm. If Hayes falls to pieces, we're all screwed. I know I'm imitating my husband, but if it works who cares?

"Um, um, that in case of a gas attack we are to retreat to a safe location, seal off any cracks, and await rescue." He struggles to remember what he's told, looking to me as if I know the answer. I don't. But I nod encouragingly anyway. "Yeah, that's right," he continues more sure of himself. "The ventilation system will be turned off to prevent the spread of the foreign contaminant. Once each sector is secured, airflow will resume as normal and rescue operations will commence."

That tells me almost nothing. "How long will it take for us to be rescued?" I already know he won't know the answer, but I need to keep Hayes talking. He's on the edge of hysteria and as the lone Thirteen native, he's the only one who has any inkling of what's going to happen.

Hayes blinks and looks around. "What level are we on? I can't remember."

A chorus of voices tell him.

"Okay, that's good." He nods frantically. "That's really good. We're in the high value recruit zone."

"High value recruits?" That comes from Mr. Odair.

"You know, the ones who can have babies. The fertile ones. The ones who are too valuable to lose in case of a bombing."

"I'm still fertile?" my mother-in-law asks, her voice rising. "But I'm over forty!"

"I guess? I'm not a medic." Hayes squirms.

I shift the line of questioning away from my mother-in-law's fertility - something I would have been happy never knowing - and back to something relevant. "So we're going to be rescued soon?"

He bites his lip again. "Well, as soon as the attack ends and they secure the nursery, the medical center, and the president."

There's another boom and a sifting of dust seeps from the walls. The miner in me wonders if the infrastructure can handle these attacks. Not like there's much of anything I can do about it now. I sit back and try to stay calm. Taylor just shoves another blanket under the door.

I look at the group, my eyes lingering on Mrs. Paylor. "Then I guess we'd better hope the attack is over soon."


The attack isn't over soon.

Bombs thud and pound down on us with a dizzying irregularity. So far, our makeshift barrier seems to be working, although with the amount of dust in the air and the amber emergency lights, there's no real way to tell.

It's been hours.

According to my father's pocketwatch it's been four hours.

The six of us have fallen into a numb silence, punctuated by Mrs. Paylor's wet hacking coughs. Hayes is curled up nearest to the door, occasionally speaking to the device on his wrist, calling for help, letting the outside world know our location. The only response he gets is static.

We're on our own.

I spend the time trying not to think about what all kids from Twelve would be thinking about. Air. Cave-ins are a fact of life in the Seam. Everybody knows somebody who died in the mines. Our math classes included how to calculate how much oxygen was left in the air based off of the size of the room. A number that changed depending on how many people were in there with you. It got to the point where most of us could do the math in our heads, or at least I could.

Seventeen hours. That's all we've got before we start dying.

My eyes flick to each inhabitant. That's assuming everyone stays calm and doesn't panic. We've already lost air from Mrs. Paylor's coughs. I've heard that sound before. She needs medical attention, and soon. Her lungs are filling up with fluid. I bet if I put my ear to her chest I'd hear crackling.

Part of me wishes she'd just hurry up and die. But a voice that sounds like Peeta chides me for my callousness.

My eyes meet Mrs. Mellark's, and I can tell she's figured out the same thing. I shake my head at her, warning her not to say anything.

Of course the damned fool woman doesn't listen. "We're going to die."

"You don't know that!" Taylor snaps.

"Shut your trap, you silly girl. I don't know if you can tell, but we're starting to run out of air."


I sigh. "No, she's right. We are. Without the ventilation system, we're running out of time." The air is getting thicker. Staler. Like when you cover your head with a blanket.

"What do you mean, running out of time?" Taylor's voice is small. "How much time do we have?"

"About seventeen hours."

"There's four oxygen masks in each compartment with two hours of air," Hayes chimes in. "Nineteen."

Mrs. Mellark shoots my bodyguard a withering look. "Your math is flawed. There's six of us and only four oxygen masks. That means two of us are going to die in seventeen hours." She pauses and looks around the room. "I nominate her first." She points to the coughing but unresponsive Mrs. Paylor.

"Don't you dare," Taylor says, her voice deathly quiet.

"Why?" My mother-in-law seems surprised by the girl's anger. "Unless she gets immediate medical attention, she's going to die anyway."

"You don't know that!"

"And I repeat, you are a silly little girl."

Taylor pulls herself to her feet, squaring her shoulders. "No. I'm a Hunger Games Victor. You come near my mother and I'll end you. I've killed before in order to survive, what makes you think you're safe?"

"You wouldn't dare… Not with all of these witnesses."

"I killed with all of Panem watching." Taylor takes a half-step forward. "What's four more?"

"Bambi," Mr. Odair says, placing a hand on her arm.

"Don't you 'Bambi' me."

"Bambi. The girl's scared. We all are. You don't need to take it out on her."

The girl in question slides back down to her knees and focuses on her mother seemingly content to let Mrs. Mellark be someone else's problem. I know how she feels.

My mother-in-law is not an easy woman. Worse, she's a stubborn one. "I'm not taking it out on anyone!"

"Yes you are." I cross my arms. "You're acting like a complete and utter bitch. And this is exactly what Peeta was talking about."

She freezes and stares at me as if I've just slapped her.

Knowing I've got nothing to lose, I decide to give her a piece of my mind. "I don't know how someone so sweet and loving as my Peeta was spawned from a harridan like you. He must have taken all of the kindness and goodness that you had when he came out of your body. If I had my way, you'd never see your grandkids. You'd never see Peeta. If I had my way, you would've died in District Twelve. At least then he could mourn you properly and get on with his life, rather than having this," I motion at her, "shoved into his face every time he turns around."

She opens and closes her mouth like a beached fish, but I refuse to let her get any words in edgewise.

"You are not a nice person. You are not a good person." I tell her, ignoring everyone else in the room. "You're cruel. You confuse callousness for pragmatism. You equate being honest with being mean." I pause for a moment to smirk at her from my place across the room. "How do you like how it feels?"

A few tears slip from her eyes to carve dusty tracks down her cheeks. "I don't have to listen to you."

I'm not surprised that my words don't seem to have any immediate effect. She's stubborn. Like another blond I know. But if she's anything like her son, my words will percolate in her brain. "You're right. You don't. But if you don't listen to me, I'll make sure you never see your grandchildren again." Kindness hasn't worked with her. It's time to show her the consequences of her actions."I can take a few weeks of sleepless nights if it means Peeta and Katniss don't have to be exposed to your poison. My family's happiness and wellbeing is my only concern, and as far as I'm concerned, you don't deserve to be called family."

My words hang in the air for a long moment.

Finally, Mrs. Mellark buries her head in Mr. Odair's shoulder, her thin frame shaking with the force of her sobs.

Finnick's father meets my eyes. "I think you've said enough."

I refuse to feel guilty or back down. My family's safety and happiness are the only things that matter. "I said what needed to be said."

"I'm sure you think you did." His eyes flick around the room. "But if things are as dire as you and Bambi say, I think we're better off saving our breath for more important things, like breathing."

He's got me there.


More time passes.




All of them resentment-filled silence punctuated only by Mrs. Paylor's body-wracking coughs.

I glance at my father's watch. Eight more hours of air. We've got water, courtesy of Thirteen's plumbing. But that's not the major concern.

The bombs stopped maybe an hour ago. At least I hope they stopped. I hope it's not a false flag tactic to lure us out of our safe places in order to start up all over again. I hope Peeta and Katniss are safe in the Infirmary. I hope our children are safe too. My brother, my sister-in-law. My other mother-in-law. Hell, I hope the cats are okay. Wouldn't that be a kick in the balls? Everything we did to keep Prim's stupid cat alive and he dies because Snow got the drop on us.

That'd suck.

With each breath, the air becomes thicker and thicker. I look at the lone pieces of furniture in the room, the bunk beds, and nudge Hayes with my foot. "We should put these upright. Get on top of them."

The man blinks at me. "What?"

"The air is going to be better the higher we go. We'll last longer."

"But isn't it too much effort?"

I shrug; he could be right. The math problems in school didn't account for boredom. "It's better than waiting around to die."

He runs a hand through his hair. "You've got a point."

It doesn't take us long to right one of the fallen bunk beds and stick two mattresses up on top. Without waiting for Mrs. Mellark to protest, I pick Mrs. Paylor up and stick her on it. Taylor clambers up beside her and lifts her mother's head into her lap. It can't be comfortable, but maybe the slight elevation will help.

I don't say it aloud, but personally I think my mother-in-law's right. Mrs. Paylor isn't going to make it. But that's one truth that doesn't need to be aired. Everyone knows it, even her daughter. The Victor just isn't able to admit it yet.

To distract myself from the dying woman, I have Hayes help me right the other bunk bed. I only stick one mattress on it; the one Mrs. Paylor was lying on isn't fit to be used.

I motion for Mrs. Mellark and Mr. Odair to get up on that one. Hayes climbs up next to them, leaving me to make a decision. Do I add my weight to the bed already holding three people, or do I climb up next to the dying woman? It's not an easy choice. Eventually I decide not to chance the laws of physics. I put myself down near Mrs. Paylor's feet. "So where are these oxygen masks?" I ask, glancing at the room. I don't see anywhere they could be.

Hayes looks around and takes a moment to reorient himself. "Should be in the bathroom under the sink."

I glance at my watch. "Are there masks in every room?"

"They're standard issue," he says with a nod. "All rooms contain a basic first aid kit, bottled water to provide for the inhabitants for up to three days, and the high value sections also have food for the same amount of time." He sounds like he's reciting something he learned in school. He probably is.

This is news to me. I bet it's just one more thing that was explained in the transient orientation sessions that we never got. It gives me hope for Prim and Rory. They're considered high value and they actually got some of the training, unlike Katniss, Peeta, and me. I come to a decision. "In two hours, you and me, Hayes, are going to open the door and go get more masks."

"Are you insane?" explodes from my mother-in-law.

While at the same time Hayes says, "I can't let you do that. You're too important."

"Fine. Then I'll go," Taylor says from the head of the bed.

An expression I can only call puppy love flits across Hayes's face before he gets it under control. "You can't go either," he tells her in a much gentler tone. "You're too important too."

I hear the "to me" louder than any bell.

"I'll go," Mr. Odair says.

"No!" Mrs. Mellark clutches his arm.

"Bambi, I'm the only one who makes sense to go. I'm old, I've lived a good life. I got to see my children and grandchild free." He flashes her the patented Odair grin that he passed on to Finnick. "Besides, I'm from Four. Everyone knows we can hold our breath longer than anyone else. Why, it'll be like diving for pearls back home."

"But I don't want you to go." Her voice is pleading, anxious. And for the first time, I begin to think Mr. Odair's crush isn't wholly without cause.

The man must think so too, because he cups her face between his hands and presses a long passionate kiss to her lips.


The three conscious people in the room all shudder. The last thing I want to see is my mother-in-law making out with Finnick Odair's father. I can't think of anything more disgusting. I turn my head.

No wait. I'm wrong. The sounds they're making are worse.

When they finally - thankfully - separate, he stares into her face and murmurs, "Hey. You've just given me something to live for." His thumbs stroke her cheeks. "No tears. I'll always come back for my girl."

"You know, we could take the masks we ha-" Hayes stops talking when his wrist communicator crackles to life. He scrambles down from the bed, moving toward the door.

I climb down after him.

"-elter in pla-" more static "-on their way. Current-" still more static "-ector 33."

Hayes waits until there's a pause in the broadcast before speaking into his wrist. He succinctly relays our position and location, including the request for medical to aid with a gas victim. When he finishes, the voice on the other end of the line tells him to switch to another channel, which he does. Once again, he speaks. "This is Alpha Bravo Niner. Send assistance A.S.A.P. to Yellow 32."

"Hayes? Is that you?" Bart Ashley's voice echoes through the room.


"Is Papa Bird with you?" His tone is anxious. Urgent.

Hayes's eyes flick over to me. "Affirmative. I have eyes on Papa Bird."

Papa Bird? Really? Five coin Katniss is Mama Bird.

"Oh thank fuck." Ashley's voice sounds alternatively weary and elated at the same time. "You weren't in the nest. Everyone, he wasn't in the nest!"

A loud cheer erupts through the speaker on Hayes's wrist.

"The nest? What the fuck is the nest?" The bird metaphors are getting seriously out of hand.

"Your quarters," Hayes tells me.

My stomach sinks. "What happened in my quarters?"

Hayes relays the question.

"Got bombed. It looks like it was targeted. Rescue crews found what's left of Nana Bird… um, Everdeen's mom, as well as what appears to be a couple of cats."

Aw shit. "What about the rest of my family?"

"Mama Bird and Daddy Bird are both fine, as are the chicks." I mentally give myself five coin while letting out a sigh of relief. My wife, husband, and children are safe. "So's the Little Duck. I don't know about the rest. As you might expect, things are a little chaotic down here."

He keeps using those silly code names and I don't know why. So I ask Hayes.

He looks at me and says, "It's protocol. We don't know if the enemy's listening in on our communications, so it's better they not know exactly where to find you."

Okay. That makes sense.

"Anything else you want to ask?" He seems anxious to move on to something else.

I shake my head.

Hayes turns back to his communicator. "I also have four viables." Hayes struggles for a moment. "Daddy Bird's mother. Shirtless's Father. And Mother and Daughter Paylor." He hesitates before saying each name. They must not have standard callsigns for the rest of our group. "Three are in stable condition. The older Paylor is seriously injured." He glances at me again. "Papa Bird could use a medical check too."

Ashley hums. "I'll add them to the lists." Then, after a moment, he adds, "Medic's with the rescue team."

Hayes nods sharply. His fingers tap against his communicator. "So what are you doing on the horn?" he asks, sounding like he's just trying to fill the silence.

"Didn't you know? Michelle's had her babies! Twins. A boy and a girl. I'm a daddy!" Ashley sounds so excited in this somber moment, I don't have the heart to take that away from him. I know how he feels and nothing, nothing, could temper my elation at becoming a father for the first time. "It was just my rotten luck they drafted me to act as base here in Medical!"

"Do you know when we'll be rescued?" Taylor's voice comes from the bunk bed. Her mother is still coughing, but the coughs are weaker than they were before and she's wheezing between each bout. It's not a good sign.

Hayes's shoulders give a little flinch. "I should have asked that first. I'll get on that." And he does.

"A team's been dispatched to your location." There's something in Ashley's voice. Something that wasn't there before.

Hayes hears it too, because he asks, "What aren't you telling me?"

"The first reports are starting to come in. This is gonna be a bad one. Lots of casualties." Ashley swears under his breath. "They took out two of the mess halls."

Mrs. Mellark gasps from behind me.

"Who's dead so far?" Hayes asks.

Ashley starts a dry recitation of names, "James, Chavez, Odair, Poindex-"

There's a cry of despair. A masculine cry. Mr. Odair. He chokes out, "Who?"

We all look at him with sympathy while Hayes asks, "Which Odair?"


Not Finnick. Not the one I know. But as my mother-in-law gathers a sobbing Mr. Odair into her arms, that knowledge is cold comfort. The man who was willing to risk his life to save mine just lost one of his children.

"How did James die?" Hayes's voice is stricken. I guess he knew the man. Better than I did anyway. It took me a minute to connect the name to Coin's officious aide.

"Doin' his job, protecting the President. Coin's in a bad way." There's a moment of silence. "Docs ain't sure she's gonna make it. A lot of people ain't gonna make it."

I don't know how I feel about Coin. I don't like the woman. But that doesn't mean I want to see her dead. There's only one person I want to see in the ground. Snow. I'm going to make Snow pay.

I'm going to take everything from him and then, when I've done that, I'm going to put an arrow right through his heart.


Written: 1/12/19
Revised: 1/19/19

The title of this chapter comes from the U2 song Sunday, Bloody Sunday, which is about an attack in Ireland, the Bogside Massacre in 1972.

Katniss is not doing well because she's had two pregnancies in less than a year. You couple that with her earlier malnutrition and the fact that Thirteen has been running her ragged, thus stressing her and her body, and you have the recipe for anemia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Add in that giving birth is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a human body and you have a recipe for disaster. There's a reason we have the "Damn it Katniss stop getting pregnant" tag.

We actually did the math that Gale did but to calculate how much time they have left. Technically they would die of carbon dioxide toxicity but Gale doesn't know that and doesn't need to know that. Dead is dead.

Speaking of dead…. Yeah… um… sorry…

Without Peeta to warn of the imminent attack, the Capitol got the drop on Thirteen. This is one way that the changes in the story were made worse because of the AU butterflies. We've known this chapter has been coming. We've hinted at it. Snow is a vindictive dictator who takes pleasure in causing pain and strife to his enemies. He bombed a hospital/refugee encampment. He bombed Twelve and Four (one empty district and one mostly loyal district). He always was going to attack Thirteen in its heart.

The gas used is chlorine gas. It's a deliberate callback to World War One. Its effects are also well known. FanficAllergy's grandfather fought in World War One and died of emphysema. While that was partially due to smoking, a good chunk of it was because he was exposed to chlorine gas.

Things that were randomized in this chapter:

- All of the deaths. And, uh, the ones we've shown so far? That's not all of them. More will be revealed next chapter. Current list: Mrs. Everdeen, Topsy James (Coin's aide), Frederic Odair (Finnick's twin brother), Chaff, one of the Poindexters (the tributes from Three's family), and the cats - Buttercup and one of the kittens (Marigold).

Sorry, Buttercup did not survive. We're sad about it too, but infant immortality is not a thing in Panem. We already proved that they're willing to kill literal infants in the 75th Games. Sorry, but the cats weren't safe either, considering they got no warning and were in the topmost level, and Prim wasn't able to go back for him.

Confirmed alive characters:

Gale, Peeta, Katniss, Rain, Ash, Prim, Bart Ashley, Michelle Harrison, Neil Hayes, Alma Coin (injured), Taylor Paylor, Mrs. Paylor (injured), Mrs. Mellark, Mr. Odair. Everyone'll find out next chapter.

Let us know what you think! Your reviews inspire us to write more. This is especially true with fic. Since we don't get paid for this. ^_^ To those who do review, you're the reason we haven't abandoned our fics. We love you.

Until next time! Thanks for reading!