Here you go! A little Marvel/Foxface in your face. I didn’t make it fluffy, because no.
That was it. The mighty Cato had spoken. Well; bellowed would be a more appropriate word, seeing as all Marvel had done was pluck a new spear from the pile of communal supplies and the monster of District 2 had launched into a violent tirade that occupied all of fifteen minutes. Marvel, weapon in hand, had considered fighting back, and had looked to Clove for assistance - but she cast him a weary glare and a disdainful shake of her head. Cato was not to be challenged: he was too far gone to care about any life but his own.
So, Marvel tossed his spear to the ground, and stormed to the edge of their camp where their vicious pyramid was situated without its guard.
But instead of solitude… He found her.
A girl. That girl, the one from Five. Papery thin, and just as gaunt, with curtains of stringy red hair obscuring her wide eyes from view. Beneath her furrowed brow they darted frantically between Marvel, who stood mortified, and the pyramid of supplies. It wasn’t until a few moments later that Marvel realized that the girl was standing remarkably close to their hoarding pile… And she still had her legs.
His eyes swept the ground; not a single mine had been overturned, and, as far he could see, she’d not left even so much as a boot print. It was if she hadn’t even been there at all - but she was there, and she was as rigid as he was, most probably anticipating a grisly end for having been caught. But the mines were supposed to deliver that blow… And why hadn’t they? This girl was planted solidly in the midst of a miniature minefield, yet she was unscathed.
How many times had she done it? How much had she stole from them? They’d been well-established for days…. That gave her startling opportunity to pilfer from them. But not one of them had ever noticed evidence of a foreign presence in their camp, and, judging by how meticulously this girl had placed her feet between one patch of earth and the next… She knew what she was doing.
Marvel shook the thought from his head, reaching to his shoulder. Damn - he’d left his spears back at camp. And if he left this girl unattended, she’d be gone in a breath… Or he’d find himself with a knife between his eyes. Fleetingly, he contemplated calling for Clove, or Cato… But Cato was in such a horrific mood that he’d set off every explosive with a single syllable, and Clove… Well, she would just consider him weak for not finishing the girl off himself.
So Marvel advanced.
The redhead had nowhere to go, and she knew it. Her gaze desperately scanned the ground for an alternative path out of the minefield as Marvel blocked her sole escape route off, but to no avail. Lightly, he trod the path to the centre of the hazardous maze, closing the gap between them as the girl grew ever more panicked. She took the remaining few steps to the base of the pyramid, pressing her back against them, as Marvel placed his foot just five feet from where the girl was trapped. He was much larger, faster, more durable than she was; killing her wouldn’t be more than a slight tightening of his fist as it crushed her throat, or a sickening series of cracks rippling up her neck, and a mild crick in his elbow the next morning. By all accounts, this girl was just an easy picking to add to his belt of kills.
Only… She ceased to seem quite that way when Cato’s voice, stiff and daunting, barked at him to return for his shift of manual labour from over the other side of the supply pile.
Marvel froze, casting a wearied eye in Cato’s direction. The shaking girl subtly followed his glare, before it snapped back to her; although, something was seemingly lost about it now. In fact, his addled train of thought was completely lost as it was… For as the menacing self-appointed leader of their alliance had made to summon him, that familiar feeling washed over Marvel. It was cold, tingly, and choking; it tangled around is heartstrings like a spindly web, crawling from his chest cavity to consume every inch of him in a painful, chilling embrace. With a shallow breath, Marvel recognized his fear, and saw it mirrored in the pallid face of his latest kill.
He was as much a startled rabbit as she was; they were both entangled in a mercilessly complex snare. He was here, under the command of a hideous and irrational tyrant, knowing full well that his death could come as quickly (or slowly) as the burly boy from District 2 saw fit, and he was powerless to stop it. Whereas she had traversed the Game presumably on her own, had navigated the mines safely and singularly, and had been cornered in this hideous iron jaw for her troubles. Marvel saw in those paling yellow eyes of hers the same glaze that appeared over Clove’s whenever Cato grew angry, and that he felt over his own whenever it dawned on him that he wasn’t emerging from this arena alive. They were both as paralysed as each other by pure, unadulterated terror and hopelessness.
Marvel lunged forward. The girl calmly let her eyes flutter closed. His hand closed around a small metal tub half way up the supply pyramid; as soon as he had snatched it up, he had pressed it to the Five Girl’s chest.
She stood for a moment, face serene, body quaking. She had let herself indulge in a sharp gasp of a breath as Marvel had come into contact with her, as though it would be her last. But as her hand slowly trailed up her side, brushing against Marvel’s, she realized that she had a few more left to take.
Her eyes snapped open; they were smouldering, desperate, and untrusting. Marvel tried desperately and silently to sate her confusion, pleading with her, pressing the container into her hand. Her fingers curled around it, and he drew his hands away. Cautiously, she opened it.
The tub contained three or so handfuls of blueberries. He was giving her food. Food that belonged to his alliance - or, more rightfully, to Cato. Marvel knew that everything in this clearing, and even to the furthest reaches of the arena, belonged to Cato; he claimed what he wanted, wasted what he didn’t, in his vicious tirade that would bring him sour and undue victory. But this girl… She was a survivor. A real opponent. And Marvel would sooner see himself skinned for defiance, for secretly allying himself with the worthy, than continuing to follow the orders of a boy who had long since descended into madness.
She quickly snapped the lid back on as Cato hollered again; was it just them, or was he closer? Marvel readjusted his footing, allowing for the girl to wriggle free. She took a hesitant step forward; he leaned back further to let her past, urging for her to hurry. For one more fleeting moment, their gazes met; Cato threw his weight around in the distance as Marvel forcefully pressed his hand to the girl’s shoulder, willing her to go before she was captured… Tortured for her crime. She nodded understandingly, and, before she slipped away out of the minefield, she let her cold, spindly fingers rest on his cheek as a silent word of thanks.
And later, as she traverses through the forest and came across his body in the undergrowth, the red-haired girl removes the arrow curled tightly in his fingers, wipes the blood from his neck, and drops a few remaining blueberries into his hand. She has no need for them, really.