Summary: Take me down to the Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty...
Spoilers/Warnings: This is an AU, but I'm going to say everything from the trilogy is fair game just in case. Also, there will be alcohol, drugs, and major sexy timez.
A/N: Spent most of my summer reading Everlark AUs, and of course this inspired my brabbits (you know how they love AUs...). So this is the idea I ultimately went with. Hope there's interest... :)
Katniss groaned into her pillow, squeezing it tighter against her chest. She didn't want to move, but the sun beating down on her back was becoming extremely uncomfortable.
She shifted her head to the side, glancing blearily at the old clock on her bedside table. '9:45' is showed. Katniss yawned, burying her face once again. 9:45 was too early for a...
"Shit!" Katniss sprung up so fast, the springs of her worn out mattress squeaked in protest. She fumbled around on the floor for a shirt, not caring what it was as long as it covered her bare chest.
"Shit, shit, shit!" She continued to chant as she rushed to get her messy hair up and her worn boots on her feet.
"Prim!" Katniss shouted, flying down the hall to her sister's room. "We gotta go! You're-"
She flung the door open to find the room messy, like hers, but frustratingly empty.
Katniss sped her jeep down the worn dirt path, the ocean whipping past on her right.
"I'm gonna kill her!" She bitched to the wind. Was it too much to ask for her sister to actually do as she promised? There had been hope early on that Primrose Everdeen would turn out to be the well-behaved one.
But it had started to change recently. With a father who was dead and a mother who had disappeared, the only person Prim had to look to as a role model was her big sister. And despite trying to shield Prim from her lifestyle, it was becoming shockingly clear to Katniss that her sister was following in her footsteps.
Turning the jeep abruptly to the left, onto a driveway grown over with foliage, Katniss didn't have too far to go before a beach house as well-kept as her own came into view.
She had barely slammed on the brakes and put the jeep into park before she was out and bounding up the questionable porch steps.
"Prim!" Katniss shouted as she flung open the screen door. She didn't care if the entire house was sleeping peacefully. She wanted her sister and she knew this was where she'd be. "Prim!"
A loud thump, followed by a groan, came from upstairs. A moment later, not Prim, but a bare-chested Gale Hawthorne appeared at the top of the stairs. He looked the farthest from awake a person possibly could. "Fuck, Catnip."
Katniss didn't bother to say anything to him, marching past the stairs, through the kitchen, and right into the sun-filled back room. As expected, there were a number of passed out teenagers piled around the worn-in furniture on the far side of the room. From the middle of the group, a distinctly blonde head stood out bright in the morning sun.
"Prim!" Katniss stepped up to the gaggle of kids, glaring at the top of her sister's head.
Primrose shifted. "Mmm, Katniss," She mumbled. "'is too early..."
The frown on Katniss' face morphed into a complete scowl. The little shit hadn't even bothered to open her eyes.
"I don't give a shit," She barged into the pile, ignoring the sounds of protest that erupted around her. "How early you think it is!"
Katniss yanked Prim up by the wrist, much to her sister's dismay.
"You are," She dragged her sister out of the sleeping blob of teenagers. "Not skipping school!"
Katniss left Prim swaying sleepily at the edge of the now watching group of her companions. She stomped to the wall, snatching up Prim's telltale sneakers.
She thrust them into Prim's hands as she moved back over to her.
Blue eyes glared at her. "You're embarrassing me."
"I don't give a shit." Katniss glared back. "Put your damn shoes on. We're leaving."
Prim looked like she wanted to snap something angry back, but chose to silently slip her sneakers on instead. When she had them on, Katniss pushed her in front and ushered her out of the room.
The pair found Gale standing in the kitchen. He gave Katniss a guilty look as she marched her sister past.
Katniss kept on marching, taking Prim right out of the house and into her jeep.
"At least you don't look hungover." Katniss grumbled, tossing the brush from her glove compartment at Prim.
"That's because I'm not!" Prim snapped at her. She angrily tried to pull the brush through her hair. "All of my stuff is still at their house." She mumbled in a less hostile tone.
Katniss reached behind her, never taking her eyes off the road. When her hand landed on what she wanted, she snatched it up and dropped it in Prim's lap.
"Not the important stuff."
Prim glowered down at her school backpack. "I don't know why you're being such a bitch about this."
"And I don't know why you have to be such a brat." Katniss shared a heated look with Prim. "This is school, Prim. We had a deal. I'd lay off some if you didn't fuck up with school."
Rolling her eyes, Prim looked out at the ocean rushing by. "School is shit..." She looked back at her sister. "You hardly went."
Katniss snorted, turning the jeep onto the road that led away from the beach and into the town. "And now I work at a hotel for minimum wage... not to mention the 'stuff'," She made a face as she spoke the word. "I do for Haymitch." Her grey eyes softened as she gave a quick glance to her sister. "I don't want you to have my life, Prim. You are too good for this."
Prim deflated some. "Yeah, I know you don't." She abandoned trying to tame her hair, tossing the brush to the floor. She pulled it up into a messy bun on the top of her head just as Katniss made the turn into her school's parking lot.
Slinging her backpack over her shoulder, Prim pulled herself out of the jeep without bothering to open the door.
"But I like your life..." Prim looked at Katniss with a smile, leaning over the door to plant a light kiss on her big sister's cheek.
"Think it's cool." She added with a shrug before pushing off the door and sprinting up the walkway towards the school.
Katniss sighed. "That's what terrifies me." She mumbled to herself.
She sat watching until Prim had walked through the front doors. Once Prim was out of sight, Katniss shifted into reverse. She started to back the jeep away from the school, but a quick glance in the mirror had her slamming on the brakes.
"Shit!" She cringed as the word escaped past her lips, loud enough for the white-haired woman blocking her exit to hear.
"Katniss Everdeen," Alma Coin, Principal of the high school, stated in the cool tone Katniss had always loathed. The scarily slender woman made her way around the side of the car her heels clicking on the pavement. "I see some things will never change."
"I've always been a creature of habit." Katniss offered with a sickly sweet smile, glancing up at Coin through her dark sunglasses.
Coin's answering smile was more like a grimace than anything else. "As I am well aware." She uncrossed her arms, leaning a hand on Katniss' door. "Why don't you let me see that pretty face of yours, so we can have a proper adult," Her lips twitched as if referring to Katniss as anything other than a poorly-behaved child was a task. "Conversation."
It took all of Katniss' willpower not to let the fake amusement spread across her lips die away. Where Prim had, thankfully, looked relatively well-rested despite her evening out, Katniss knew her own appearance was far from endearing.
"Now, Miss Everdeen."
Reluctantly, Katniss lowered the sunglasses from her face. She squinted up at Coin in the bright sunlight, facing the almost gleeful look the woman wore head on.
"Had a long night?"
Katniss smiled again. "Comes with my job."
"I see..." Alma leaned in closer to Katniss. "And how does your sister, who you clearly have a close relationship with, handle your late hours?"
Katniss' demeanor didn't falter, even as she could tell where the conversion was going.
"She didn't mind last night." Katniss shrugged. "She was at a sleepover." It wasn't a total lie...
Coin nodded and then gave her a look of faux curiosity. "A sleepover on a school night? Your mother is okay with this?"
The urge to scowl overwhelmed Katniss. The situation with her mother was the worst kept secret on the island. Everyone knew Katniss had been the one looking after Prim since she was fourteen. It was only through her working the system, and her connection with Haymitch Abernathy, that had kept Katniss from being 'properly' found out.
Of course Alma Coin had been pushing for something that would get Katniss caught. Something she couldn’t wiggle her way out of, that would get Prim put in a home. It was the very thing Katniss had been trying to avoid.
"I can't tell you my mom's reasoning for anything, Mrs. Coin." Katniss finally answered, shrugging again.
The look on Coin's face passed from its fake sweetness to one of mild contempt.
"If your sister shows up late one more time, I will have people out to that shack you call a home." She muttered menacingly in Katniss' ear. "You can only evade the system for so long, Miss Everdeen."
Katniss smiled sarcastically, replacing the sunglasses over her eyes. "I have to get to work now..."
Without waiting for another threat to fall from Coin's lips, Katniss threw the jeep into reverse once more. Coin almost fell on her face compensating for the loss of support as Katniss pulled away.
She stopped the car for just a moment longer, her lips twitching into a more genuine smile.
"You have a nice day, Mrs. Coin." She finished before pulling away.
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