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After four years, we have decided to close down Sixth Station. The site has meant so much to many of us who spent countless hours into our game. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our game.

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» Choices, [solo]
Liana Sadler
 Posted: Apr 28 2014, 04:59 PM
[QUOTE]
83rd Games Victor
854
posts
28 Years
Female
5'4"
117 LBS
District Four
11-May 12 • 1365 Moneys

Ellie


"I don't care."

"Oh, darling, you don't mean that! It's your wedding, of course you want everything to be just perfect…now here, try this one again. What was this, Nyx, pineapple or vanilla almond?"

Lia skillfully dodged the forkful of wedding cake Drasteia aimed at her, without hearing what flavor it was. She had had enough cake to last a lifetime; Lia wasn't big on sweets to begin with, but she wanted absolutely nothing to do with the frilly, sparkly, crystalline sample cakes strewn all over her kitchen in their colorful boxes. They all tasted the same to her; they all looked the same, too, and she couldn't have cared less which one showed up at her wedding.

What she really wanted to know is if Flynn was being subjected to the same sort of wedding planning torture out in Seven. She had a sneaking suspicion that he had escaped the brunt of it, after their little press tour in the Capitol; otherwise, why would she have a million cakes all over her kitchen counters, when he could easily have tried half of them?

"Get that away from me!" she growled, glaring at Drasteia as the pink-haired woman nudged what appeared to be her top choice cake none-too-subtly towards Liana.

"I suppose we could take a break," her prep teamer sighed, clearly disappointed. "Don't want to risk your figure with a wedding coming up anyway, do we? Now, onto the flowers--"

Lia let out a load groan, as if to drown out any following information about flowers, but it didn't seem to faze the Capitolite at all; she was still prattling even when Lia ran out of breath.

"…said you wanted lilies, but I wonder if there won't be a more colorful alternative, seeing as how you'll be creeping up on summer by the time the wedding rolls around, and won't lilies read a little too 'early Spring wedding?' What about some nice white roses, with a deep blue accent--a sprig of green in the middle, maybe, to match your colors? Lucky blue and green go so well together--can you imagine trying to coordinate a wedding if they clashed? I've had nightmares just thinking about it, but the prep team from Seven has assured me that everything is going to go very nicely and--"

"Are we done yet?" Lia asked, dropping her head onto the table.

"Not even close," Nyx piped up, barely concealed glee in her voice. Lia lifted her head and glared at the silver-haired prep teamer, but there wasn't much else she could do about it; they had set themselves up in her house, and she was going to have to let them force her into wedding talk sooner or later. If she got it all done now, perhaps they'd leave her alone until it was time to actually put the dress on.

"Shall we look at invitations?" Drasteia asked hopefully, opening a big white box and sliding out a dozen different invitations on card stock that, to Liana, all looked exactly the same. It took approximately two seconds for her to decide she didn't care and to point to one, and then another forty-five minutes for Drasteia to wheedle and nudge and explain in very roundabout terms why exactly that was the wrong choice and to finally get to suggesting the 'best' one so that Lia could point to that one instead and be done with it.

"Break time," Lia insisted, shoving away from the table when Drasteia finally put away the invitations, happily marking the selected one with a little blue sticky note. She moved automatically to the counter and shoved half a dozen tiny cake boxes out of the way to clear a path to her coffee maker, which she started promptly. She leaned on the counter, watching the glorious caffeine drip bit by bit into the carafe while Drasteia droned on behind her.

"…most surprising is that you managed to keep it a secret as long as you did. I mean, just looking at the two of you, it's so obvious now--I mean, it should have been obvious before, shouldn't it have? I mean the two of you, you ought to have stuck out like sore thumbs, but I suppose none of us thought--"

Lia's ears perked up, and she turned to glance over her shoulder at the pink-haired women, her brow furrowing in consternation. "What d'you mean, sore thumbs?" she snapped.

Drasteia's hands fluttered nervously as she backtracked. "Oh, darling, I only meant one of us might have noticed, that's all. I mean, you and him--you don't exactly go right together, do you? And there you were, right under our noses, and--"

"We go together," Lia shot back, straightening up, the coffee forgotten for the moment. "Who says we don't?"

"No one, darling!" the pink-haired woman cried, hand to her heart dramatically. "No one at all! Of course you belong together, of course! We all see it, don't we, Nyx? Everybody sees it now, of course they do--I mean, it's just so obvious, like I said, how much you love each other, and it's just beautiful, such a beautiful story. Two souls, right next to each other all these years, hardly speaking a word--and now, a brilliant love story, and a wedding!"

Drasteia sniffed heartily, and Nyx rolled her eyes. Lia turned back to the coffee, glowering at the pot as if it were the machine's fault her prep team had lost its senses. Drasteia was just talking drama, Lia assured herself; there was nothing absurd about her marrying Flynn, outside of their ridiculous wedding. She still felt, sometimes, as if it were happening to someone else, not to her--not to them. She loved him, that she knew, but she still worried sometimes, usually at night, when sleep had a hard time taking hold of her, that they had made the wrong choice, trying to fend off all their problems by giving the Capitol what it wanted. Marriage, she reminded herself, was just a piece of paper and a party; nothing else had to change, not if they didn't want it to.

So why, she wondered as she poured herself a cup of coffee, did it feel like everything already had?

"I hate those invitations. I want different ones," she said spitefully as she sat back down at the table, sipping from her mug as she watched Drasteia's face fall, taking some comfort in the fact that if thing didn't go her way, they didn't go their way, either.

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Liana Sadler
 Posted: Apr 28 2014, 05:34 PM
[QUOTE]
83rd Games Victor
854
posts
28 Years
Female
5'4"
117 LBS
District Four
11-May 12 • 1365 Moneys

Ellie


"And this veil--"

"No veil," Lia grumbled, swatting at the veritable mosquito net Baldy was trying to position on her head. She ducked as he reached again, losing her balance on top of the narrow dress stool; Nyx caught her by her forearms and shoved her back upright, where she crossed her arms and glared into the mirror, only to be greeted by the equally stubborn glares of her prep team.

"Darling, the veil is tradition," Drasteia said, smoothing the skirt of the enormously puffy gown they had forced her into.

"I don't care," Lia shot back, this time stepping off the stool purposely. "I'm not wearing it. It's stupid. And I'm not wearing this thing, either."

"Darling, this gown was made specifically for--"

"If you don't unzip me, I'll cut it off."

Instantly, three pairs of hands were at her waist, and in ten seconds, Lia was stepping out of the dress and flopping onto her bed, crunching a wreath of fake roses beneath her, much to Baldy's despair.

"I'm not wearing some ridiculous shit like that," Lia declared, nodding at the immense dress she had just stepped out of; the skirt itself took up half her room, and the bodice was so heavily embroidered with jewels, it felt like she was wearing a suit of armor. "That's insane. If I have to wear a dress, I want a short one."

"Out of the question," Baldy declared, looking to Drasteia and Nyx for support. "The designers have all been told to make gowns, not cocktail dresses, and there's absolutely no precedent for a short gown."

"They've made me short dresses before," Lia countered.

"For parties," Baldy spat, enunciating the words and gesticulating with his hands, as if Liana were the stupidest person he had ever met. "For social events. For birthdays. Not for your wedding. They won't let it happen. We won't let it happen."

Liana rolled her eyes, but Drasteia and even Nyx were nodding. She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes at them, but even her signature glower did nothing to sway any of them; she had chosen a wedding to Flynn over a wedding to a stranger, knowing she might at least get to control the most important part of it. The dress, in the end, was less concerning than the man at the end of the aisle.

"Fine," she grumbled. "But nothing poofy. No f*cking fairy skirts. And no veil."

They exchanged glances between them, with raised eyebrows and a few muttered words Lia couldn't catch, but in the end, they all turned back towards her and Baldy declared, a little defeatedly, "You're the bride."

Lia pulled a face. "I'm not a bride," she said, pulling on the sweatpants she'd flung on the floor when they'd begun this fitting debacle.

"Well, you're not the groom," Baldy shot back with his signature sass.

"Speaking of whom," Drasteia piped up. "The jewelry designers have sent their samples. We need to choose his ring."

"Shouldn't he do that?" Lia asked, pulling her shirt over her head.

"No, darling," Drasteia replied with a giggle. "You choose his, he chooses yours. Like the engagement ring, but this time, he gets one, too. You'll have nothing to worry about on your end," she went on, reaching for Lia's hand the moment it was free. "After all, he did a fine job on this one, didn't he?"

Lia jerked her hand away before Drasteia could get too sentimental about her engagement ring which, in fact, the Capitol had chosen, not Flynn, though nobody knew that but Liana, Flynn, and whoever had, in fact, picked her the ring. "Shouldn't we pick them out together, so they're the same?" she suggested, mostly stalling for time; one more wedding task put off was just another one off her plate today.

"If you like, dear," Drasteia said, her lips pursed, as if she thought the very idea absolutely plebeian. Liana didn't know much about weddings or jewelry or any of that, but she had inherited her parents' rings upon their deaths, and she was fairly certain they were exactly the same: two little gold bands, one a little bigger for her father's finger, one dainty and thin, for her mother's bird-like hands.

"I'll take the four o'clock bus," Lia said, reaching for a duffel bag. She had needed a good excuse to get out of her house, and she hadn't seen Flynn since they'd come home from the Capitol; she missed him, and she was desperate to get away. His house, she was fairly certain, had not been turned into a wedding boutique, and that made it absolutely the most desirable place in the world.

"The bus to where?" Drasteia asked, puzzled.

"To Nine," Lia replied, as if it were obvious. "I can get a ride to Seven on a freight shipment from there. I'll be back in a week or so, probably."

"Oh no, darling," Drasteia said with a high-pitched laugh. "You can't go to Seven right now! Haven't you been paying attention to the news? It's dangerous there, love. Fights in the woods, people stealing weapons, just horrible sorts of crimes. They're on tight security at the moment."

Lia's hand froze halfway into her bag as she tilted her head curiously at her prep teamer. While she wanted to believe the woman was lying to keep her here, in wedding hell, she had to admit, those events sounded rather familiar. Hadn't she heard something about a bunch of stupid kids hacking at each other in Seven, hoping they could become Careers if they just bled enough? Yes, that sounded like something stupid teenagers would do. But it wasn't fair--they couldn't keep the district on lockdown because of some idiot kids, could they?

"Then he can come here," she said, tossing her bag on the floor. "I'll call him. It'll be easier to get out than in, and he could be here by tonight if he catches a truck now…"

But Drasteia was shaking her head woefully. "It's awfully hard going in and out of there just at the moment, dear," she explained gently. "Especially coming up to Four, instead of going down to one of the other, lower districts. No, we'll just have to make do--you and I can pick out some nice rings, and I'll relay the ideas to his team, who will run the ideas past your sweet fiancé, and then they'll send us his preferences, and we'll sort it all out that way. Easy enough. Now, shall we go look at some samples? There are some very modern designs…"

Lia flopped back on her bed, burrowing under her pillow so she couldn't hear as Drasteia prattled away, off down the hallway, so eager to get to the jewelry that she hadn't even noticed her charge wasn't following her. Lia's stomach twisted in disappointment; there was one bright spot at the end of this long, dark tunnel, and it was all the way in Seven, where, apparently, not even planning the wedding of the century could permit you special leave to save your fiancée from the Capitol invasion in her home.

Lia closed her eyes; maybe, if she slept long enough, she would wake up to find Flynn beside her and this whole long nightmare would be behind them.

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Liana Sadler
 Posted: Apr 28 2014, 06:28 PM
[QUOTE]
83rd Games Victor
854
posts
28 Years
Female
5'4"
117 LBS
District Four
11-May 12 • 1365 Moneys

Ellie


"…and you'll need to sign here, and then initial over here--"

"How many more of these are there?" Lia sighed as she scrawled her name onto what felt the the thousandth line marked with a red X.

"Oh, not too many. These are just the standard forms, necessary sorts of things to file so you can have your wedding in the Capitol, but the marriage will be recognized there and in both your home districts. They all have their own set of paperwork, you know, and marriages between Victors are always more complicated…"

Lia initialed again as Drasteia turned the page for her; this wasn't even the actual license, she was told--that, they would sign on the day, with witnesses. This, this immense document which required signatures and initials, dates, times, and witnesses of its own--this was just to acknowledge the fact that she would like to marry Flynn, she fully understood they were both Victors and would each retain their status during and--should things turn sour--after the marriage, that she waived their districts to recognize the fact that they were married…it all seemed so obvious, really, but as Drasteia had pointed out, she was making another person a permanent fixture in her life. That required a good deal of certainty, in order to sign all the papers.

"Done," she proclaimed, slapping her pen down on the table as she signed the very last page. Her feet were already twitching; she had been at this table long enough already today, sitting through confirmation of flower choices, fabric samples, linens for the reception, cake decorations, and now the endless document. Surely, the torture had to be over, at least for today.

"Not quire," chirped the pink-haired prep teamer as she smoothed the document down. She pulled another form from the envelope and set it in front of Liana, who groaned. "Just one more. This one's faster--it's the same everywhere, districts and Capitol, so you only have to fill it out once, and then we'll send the copies around."

"What's this one?"

"Name change," Drasteia said, picking the pen up and handing it to Liana again.

"But I'm not changing my name," she said, her face twisting in confusion.

Drasteia gave her a patient smile. "Your last name, dear," she explained. "Of course you'll take his last name, once you're married. That's what this is all about, isn't it? You'll be Mrs. Garland! But not without the proper paperwork, so see, you'll just fill in this spot here…"

Lia's hand was frozen, clutching the pen, her face screwed up in surprise. She had forgotten, in the flurry of everything else, that she would in fact be Mrs. Garland once this whole thing was said and done. Of course, that was sort of the point--but at the same time, just hearing it aloud, saying the name, thinking of herself as Mrs.…it made her feel old, and impossibly strange. Liana Garland, Mrs. Garland--that was not a name that belonged to her; it did not feel like hers, but like someone else's, someone who wore dresses in the kitchen, who did her hair every morning, who ran barefoot after a whole pack of dark-haired toddlers in a vast backyard. Lia couldn't picture herself doing any of these things--nor did she want to. Nor, she was sure, did Flynn expect her to, but in that moment, with him far away and this name change form in front of her and Drasteia yapping on next to her, it all seemed like a very bad idea.

"No," Lia said, dropping the pen on the table and shoving her chair away from the table. Drasteia glanced over at her, surprised, but Lia didn't miss a beat. "I'm not changing my name."

"But…Liana, dear," the pink-haired woman spluttered. "You'll be married. You'll want to share your husband's name, surely?"

"No," Lia insisted, her jaw clenched stubbornly. "That's why it's his. He can have his name, and I can have mine. We don't have to share everything, just because we're married."

Drasteia took a moment to absorb this and then tapped the blank name box on the form again, thoughtfully. "There are lots of ways to style yourself these days," she said tentatively. "Plenty of Victors have kept part of their name, in addition to taking a new one. You could be Sadler-Garland, if you wanted, or Garland-Sadler, if you preferred. It's up to you, dear. Whatever you want!"

"I want to keep my own name," Lia insisted, pushing the form away, and the pen with it.

"Have you discussed this with Flynn?" Drasteia asked pointedly, to which Lia's face fell into a scowl.

"I don't have to," she shot back, shoving away from the table. "We're done here."

It was the one decision, of all those she had had to make recently, of which she was absolutely sure. If Flynn loved Liana Sadler now, he would love Liana Sadler after they were married; she didn't have to change her name to prove anything to him, of all people. And even he could appreciate that proving that point had gotten her out of another hour or so of wedding nonsense; she grinned, as if she could feel his approval all the way from District Seven.

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Liana Sadler
 Posted: Apr 30 2014, 06:34 PM
[QUOTE]
83rd Games Victor
854
posts
28 Years
Female
5'4"
117 LBS
District Four
11-May 12 • 1365 Moneys

Ellie


Lia cracked the door of her bathroom open and glanced from side to side; there was no one in her bedroom for once, for the first time all day, it felt like, and she planned to take advantage. It was dark, at last, and she could at least use the sun's setting as an excuse to go to bed, even if that wasn't what she intended to do--it would get them out of her room, at least, if she insisted she was exhausted from the day's events. Which she was--but more mentally than physically.

It took, after all, a significant mental and emotional toll to sit unflinching on a makeup stool for hours and hours while a bunch of Capitolites applied, wiped, and reapplied makeup while constantly asking chirping inane questions. If Liana never heard the words "blushing" and "bride" again in her lifetime, it would be too soon.

She was thoroughly sick of all this wedding nonsense. It was weeks away, and yet, they were all on top alert, as if the thing might sneak up on them, or Lia and Flynn might decide they'd like to have it tomorrow, please, and everyone would have to jump at their whims. She supposed they could try that, if they wanted, but after all the preparations by her team and his and the various Capitol entities, this thing was hardly even theirs--if it had ever been in the first place. They had chosen to come out of hiding and let this whole mess rain down on them; Lia had to remind herself of that fact almost hourly at this point. It hadn't seemed like such a big deal, back then--a dress and a party, and when it was over, they could be together and it would all be easy, wasn't that what she had thought?

Sometimes, she wondered if it might have just been better to wed whoever they had picked for her, and keep this thing with Flynn for herself. Then, at least, she might have had something in her life that was hers, and hers alone.

She might at least have her 'beauty rest,' or so she thought as she sprang for her bedroom door, aiming to slam and lock it before anyone could ask what she was doing, but Drasteia was already in the doorway by the time Lia was halfway across the room.

"Oh good, you've washed your face!" the pink-haired woman chirped, ignoring Lia's distressed groan. "Here, let's just try this mud mask, it's supposed to work wonders on the--"

"No!" Lia snarled, ducking the smear of face mask that Drasteia aimed at her. "I'm not wearing that, I'm going to sleep."

"But darling--"

"Stop it!" Lia growled, backing away from her prep teamer. "Stop calling me darling. Stop talking to me. Stop putting things on my face. Just leave me alone, for f*ck's sake!"

Drasteia recoiled, as if Lia had slapped her, and, upon seeing Liana was not going to budge, heaved an overly dramatic sigh. "I suppose we can try the mask tomorrow night," she said regretfully. "But we're just running out of time, and we have to figure out what will work the best, and--"

"Out!" Lia insisted, and with another heavy sigh, the pink-haired woman left, closing the door with a soft click behind her, leaving Lia in silence, and glorious, glorious solitude.

Only, it wasn't terribly glorious, as it was only just dark outside, and she wasn't exactly tired. Even laying in bed, forcing her eyes closed, trying to calm her mind, she couldn't help but feel that sort of nagging worry, that turning in her stomach. Was this really happening, this wedding madness? Was it really going to come to pass? Was she going to put a dress on and walk down an aisle and dance at a stupid party and eat cake and be Mrs. Garland? The only good part about it was the part where she got to keep Flynn, and he wasn't even here--she hadn't even seen him since they had left the Capitol.

Her eyes flicked open, and she gazed longingly at the empty spot next to her in bed, as if staring long enough might make him materialize there and pull her into his arms. That, among other things, might make all this worth it, and yet, the longer she stared, the emptier and lonelier her bed felt.

Her prep team was still awake when she thundered down stairs, dragging her bag behind her.

"What are you doing?" Drasteia spluttered, standing up from the table, her mouth agape as she watched Lia pull on her jacket. "I thought you were sleeping!"

"I'm going to Flynn's, in Seven," Lia declared, in a way that made it clear there would be no debate about it.

"What?!" Drasteia shrieked, turning to Nyx and Baldy, who looked equally at a loss. "But darling, the wedding--"

"I'll be back before the goddamn wedding," Lia snapped as she made for the door. "Anyway, you can't have it without me. Pick out whatever you want, I don't care. Just don't call us. About anything."

"But--"

"Bye!" Lia called over her shoulder, and before she could hear the frantic response, she'd slammed the door and started running down the stairs. By the time her flabbergasted prep team had the wherewithal to make it to the front door, she would be halfway down the block--and half a world away.

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