Bounding Through Time
A/N: I used "Lily's Theme" from Harry Potter for the first and last parts of this chapter. For the battle, I used a song called "Guren No Yumiya" by Linked Horizon. It's Japanese, but a great battle song. Just here to say that this will NOT be the last chapter of Frozen. I'm going to make a short AU where Os does win, and also an epilogue. Thanks for reading thus far, and enjoy!
A chest shakily moving up and down. Up and down. Up and down.
Brown, swooshy hair, slicked to his forehead with sweat.
Thick black glasses that were condensated in the corners from his warm tears in the cold air.
Usually-rosy cheeks, turning pale.
Blood pouring out of the wound on his stomach.
Navy eyes, which soon lost their speckles of gold and became empty.
That quivering smile that appeared on his face right toward the very end.
That's what I'm going to remember of Osmium Krietzer. And I already hate it.
Why can't I remember the laughter we shared? Why can't I remember the friendship we had, that I treasured next to my friendship with Reuben in my heart? Why can't I remember his kindness? His jokes? His sweet words? Why can't I remember those times he made me see that I'm worth so much more than just those pieces of me Reuben took with him when he died? Why can't I remember those things first?
But no. Those happy memories Os and I shared, they're buried under the visions of his dying body in my arms. Those images, of someone I held close slowly falling into an eternal sleep, they're pasted over the happier memories. And they always will be.
When I set my ally down in the snow, I take one last look at him before turning around and leaving the scene quickly. Two cannons shoot off, but I barely pay any attention to them.
Once I get back to base, and start to think about it, get into my own head, that's when I finally lose control of the tears that have been aching at my throat since I turned around and saw Os with a spear through his stomach. That's when I sit and let my tears flow.
I cry a good deal, for a long while, hot tears that refuse to stop. My thoughts soon wander away from Os, and to Reuben.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR!?" I yelled, smacking him with a pillow repeatedly.
"Marlowe, please hear me out!"
"YOU DUMBASS! YOU VOLUNTEERED! WHY!?"
His voice cracked, something fairly common with Reuben, but that time it was from tears. "I wanted to protect you!"
"YOU THINK I CAN'T FIGHT FOR MYSELF!?"
"You think I have anything else besides you to live for without you in that woodland hell we call home?"
"O-Of course you do." I dropped the pillow and sunk down into the seat next to him. "You have Annabelle."
"She's not my real sister. She'll get over it."
"I hate you." I can't even look over at him. "You never should've volunteered. Now if I want to win I'll have to lose you. And I don't know if I can do that. What do I tell her when I get home? She idolizes you."
"You tell her that I had a good reason."
"I don't lie."
"Then tell her this. Tell her that I volunteered because I'm in love with you. And I'd frankly rather die by the hands of some lunatic over a fire than lose you. You don't have to return my feelings. It's probably… Better if you don't. But that doesn't matter. You can hate me for all I care. But we're already here, and whether you like it or not I'm going to protect you from harm. Keep you safe. Make sure you win. No matter what."
I don't look over. "Good. Because right now I'm really upset with you."
"I won't be like this forever, it's just…" I groan, "I'm frustrated. I'll talk to you later." I got up and walked out, still fuming angry. I sat on the next car and kept my face comfortably buried in my hands until we were called for supper.
Dammit, why do I have to be thinking about that now!? Of all times, of all thoughts…
I shove it out of my head. I made up with Reuben. I accepted the fact that he was going to die for me. I wasn't happy about it, I was fuming angry about it, but it happened anyways.
He's gone now.
And now Os is gone too, and you could blame it on me too. Had I just been keeping better watch…
I don't like how this makes me feel. I feel out of control and helpless. As I sit here, tears pushing out of my eyes, I feel like I'm falling down an endless pit with nothing but darkness surrounding me each direction I look.
I don't like it, but what can I do? I've run out of options. There's nothing I can do about it now but endure the hardships and keep trucking along through this shit-storm. Os and Reuben didn't die for me to give up like a quitter. They died so I could live. And they need to be my reason to keep on living.
That thought doesn't make it hurt any less, though.
I cry until sunset, when I make a fire and eat some food. I keep my weapon close to my side and eat in silence. While I'm eating some of that really fatty but gross meat, the Captiol anthem starts to play. I look up, as much as I don't want to.
The stars just confirm the tragedy that my brain's been denying. It becomes much more real to me when I see that face up in the sky with that dumb music playing in the background. That Capitol anthem is just there to mock the dead, while the oblivious Capitolites think they're honoring the fallen. They think the President gives a crap about us.
In that split second I see Os's face, I try to memorize every feature, though my heart breaks to see how big he was smiling. Then, in the blink of an eye, Os is gone. Gone forever.
My stomach suddenly feels queasy and I tear my eyes away from Lanchester's image in the sky, back to the fire, where I stared into last night, too. This time, though, Os isn't there.
He'll never, ever be there.
That night, I lie awake. Listening to the sounds of nature. Listening to the cracking of the fire. I know I shouldn't be worried about sleep; what kind of finale would it be if Pomp just skipped over and killed me while I was sleeping? The Capitol wouldn't allow for such a thing to happen. It has to be intense, the Victor, whoever it may be, has to get scars.
But I can't make myself sleep. I stare up at the twinkling stars. The fake stars, but I try to let them comfort me like I used to be comforted by the real stars back home. It doesn't work nearly as well in this frozen wasteland.
Soon it starts to snow again, and soon my fire flickers and dies away. I shiver uncontrollably in the cold winter climate. I'm miserable, physically and emotionally, my leg's still not fully functional from that virus, and I really just want to go home, lock myself away, and never talk to anyone ever again.
I stare up at the artificial moon and artificial stars, artificial clouds disposing of artificial snow upon us. I feel the artificial wind and shiver.
After what feels like an eternity of lying awake uncomfortably, my body finally lets me go into a dark, thick, heavy sleep.
I wake up as the sun rises. My body is exhausted from so much crying and lying awake last night. I stare at the sky and all I want is to go back to sleep. Nothing seems out of the ordinary so far. I lay back down and close my eyes again.
The final battle can wait.
I wake up again and sit up, feeling slightly more energized. My heart is still heavy and I still have a battle with myself to get up and get to work. I sit up anyways and start a fire. I get a sponsor parachute. There is no note attached. I wonder if it's from my sponsor. Maybe it's not. It's a hatchet. I wonder how much it cost to get this hatchet. I eat breakfast by myself for the first time in a while. It's quiet. I would almost call it peaceful.
But there's no such thing as peace here.
Nothing exciting happens. I expect the time of the battle to be soon. Until then, all I can do is take care of myself as best as I can. I wonder when and how it will start. Finally, I get up and hunt. I find a couple rabbits and kill them for lunch.
Hunting is much easier when you only have one mouth to feed.
As the afternoon drags on, I find some more game. The wind picks up a little but not enough to blow my hood backward. I get more than I'll need. I hope the Games are over by tomorrow. I'm sure they will be. In 24 hours, I'll be out of here for good.
I wonder if I'll have a beating heart by then.
The wind picks up considerably more. Soon the bitter wind makes me cough every time I inhale. I can see my breath. My body shivers so violently it hurts. Little snowflakes and tiny hail uncomfortably hits my face.
My fire goes out, and somehow I know it'll be my last one.
I wonder why they'd want the final battle to be at night. I look up at the sky and try to find calmness in the colors that paint it as the sun sinks into the sky. Suddenly I realize the orange sun has been staying in one place for a very long time. The wind hurts my face and I can feel my hands going numb. My feet are long-gone. I hear a branch snap behind me.
It's time for the final battle to begin.
The wind whips my hood off each time I try to put it back on my head. My heart beats faster as I grab my hatchet and turn to face my opponent.
Pomp looks even crazier than he did the previous day, his green eyes shining with something I can't even put a name to. He's certainly not the same person he was a week ago. Then again, I'm not, either.
"Put your weapon up, skank," he barks, smiling and holding his scythe menacingly. He licks his lips and then charges at me. The clouds soon come in and darken things more than they already were.
Suddenly, we hear a crack. A loud crack. Screw twigs being stepped on, that sounded like someone crashing a tree down. Suddenly I see the thing that did the smashing walking towards us.
It's huge, close to three times as tall as Pomp, with thick white fur, and humanoid silhouette, and glowing red eyes. I recoil, dazed for a second in dumb shock.
"Y-Yeti! That's a yeti!" Pomp says, and as the being, monster, yeti charges towards us, Pomp runs for it. I soon run after him. I don't want to face the wrath of that thing, trust me. I stay close on Pomp's tail. If I separate from him, the Yeti will either go after him or me, and since I'm from the outer Districts, it'd probably be me. I have to make sure it keeps chasing him.
Part of me thinks it best to throw my hatchet, but I remember I only have one. I can't waste it. If I miss, I'll be weaponless and it'd all be over.
The footsteps of that monster shake the ground each time it steps, and I keep running. Suddenly I hear a huge crash and see a tree fly past both of us. The monster is slowed down by throwing things, but either of us could easily be hit by these things.
A large branch comes flying and knicks the side of his head. It's now or never.
I charge, as much as my lungs burn, my limbs ache, none of that can matter now. I think of Os, think of Reuben, and they help me go faster and faster until I catch up to where he's just getting up. I raise the hatchet when I'm suddenly hit square in the back with a flying branch, and get swept forward with so much force I hear a crack come from my own body. I slam into Pomp and we both get forcefully knocked over.
My body screams in pain. I feel like I'm suffocating slowly.
I think it's the end. My body cries out, tears sting my eyes, and with each second I have more and more trouble breathing.
No. No fucking way. No way this guy's not winning without a fight.
As miserable as I am, as much as it hurts, as much as my body rejects it, I keep fighting. More and more heavy obstacles are thrown at us, but both of us are able to avoid them. The yeti thing must give up because soon we hear its footsteps coming.
Pomp strikes me down the jacket with his scythe, sending a wave of jittering through my body. It's so cold and now I barely have anything to protect me. I keep fighting. I keep fighting until I hit him as hard as I can right in the side with my hatchet. I turn it around and smack him over the head.
Bleeding already from that wound, he collapses at his feet. The last trace of sanity disappears from his eyes and he jumps up. "I'd rather d-die by the hands of a fuckin' Yeti than by the hand of a squirrel Princess from District Seven!" he laughs a long and maniacally insane laugh before retreating. The Yeti picks him up and squeezes his midsection with an iron grip.
Pomp laughs loudly, the laughs soon start to gurgle and he truns a little purple. Blood gushes out of his head and runs down the side of his face, but he keeps laughing. I collapse to my knees, suddenly feeling dizzy and lightheaded, and shivering violently. I'm glad he surrendered, because I don't think I could even pick up the weapon again if I tried, my hands aren't working so well for me.
I hear a choking, gurgling noise come from Pomp before all noise stops from him. He died with a smile on, too, but in a much different way.
In the moment after that, I take deep, shaky breaths. The wind stops, the snow clears up, and the clouds disappear, leaving me with the beautiful red, orange, and pink sky. In that moment, I'm bounding through time, no stopping. Being reaped. Watching Reuben volunteer. Saying goodbye to the orphans. Yelling at Reuben. Watching the reapings. Our first dinner in the Capitol. Chariot rides. Training. Meeting Os. Interviews. The night before. The first day at the Arena. Reuben's face in the sky. Following the Careers. Reuniting with Os. Suffering the fever, limping because of it even now. Os dying in my arms. The battle. Pomp's laugh. His corpse.
My body feels like it's flying, falling, through darkness, time, memories.
I'm snapped out of it when I hear a loud, resounding cannon, and Pomp's corpse is dropped to the snow, smearing it with red.
My vision starts to go black. I still feel like I'm suffocating. I'm going to pass out soon I think.
I hear a fuzzy, blended together, "Everyone, your Victor of the 21st Hunger Games, Marlowe Glaiser!"
I see a blurry ladder in front of me, and I grab it.
That's the last thing I remember doing before passing out.