Welcome to my Hunger Games Fusion AU for the 100. Yes, fusion as I'm too chicken to not acknowledge some THG canon characters (i.e Snow) while writing this. This is set six years before the events of the trilogy, so while some THG canon characters might be mentioned, Katniss has yet to use her Nightlock berry stunt to defy the Capitol.
Her lungs burn as her feet take her as far as they could. The arrows bouncing in her quiver as she tries to evade of the shouts of the other tributes behind her.
Of course, it would come to this. Clarke knew that her district partner, the tributes from One, and Four would make her a target since she didn't join their alliance. That they be out for her blood. Add her to their body count.
"Go this way!"
"I got her!"
Run faster, Clarke. Run faster, just as you were told if –
Cold sweat runs down her face as Clarke bolts up in bed. Drying heaving until she was able to control her breathing. Upon seeing the familiar surroundings of her room, relief set in that it was only an nightmare. She was in her home in District Two and not in an arena. It was the morning of the reaping.
And that realization was when horrified comprehension set in. Reaping Day. Of course, she would have an nightmare the night before the reaping. Not that she thought she wouldn't, of course. Nightmares were an thing for her, only in the past it never involved her.
The reason for the change was that this Reaping Day is not when where she and Wells could go to the library or go to the Rock to grab an burger and an milkshake or go to their one of their houses and do their annual impressions of Cornelia Vickers afterwards. This Reaping Day is the one where she'll "volunteer" for whoever gets picked from the girls' reaping ball.
For in an district like Two, viable contenders are selected from an pool of the best students of the year to replace the nominee. Clarke never understood why her district holds reapings in the first place if the nominees are not going to go to the arena anyway.
Perhaps the Capitol does not want the other districts to know that it has an hand in having the kids from Two trained for this since eight. Perhaps it was the same for One and Four, as the other districts except rarely produce a volunteer. Only in every few decades would an volunteer pop up from districts like Seven, Five, or Eight.
Clarke kicks off the covers of her bed and runs her hand through her hair as she leaves her room. The aroma of coffee and breakfast beckoning her to the kitchen. It was normal routine for her family to gather around the kitchen table and eat breakfast before she went off to school. Before her dad went to his job of engineering at the Nut and mom to the largest hospital in the Capitol.
Though Reaping Day wasn't one of those mornings. Especially on this particular one.
The kitchen projector played the morning news as the three of them sat around eating breakfast. Clarke washing down her chocolate chip pancakes with orange juice. Chocolate chip pancakes, her favorite breakfast.
It stung her that her dad thought to make them for her if it's her last morning here in Two.
The Odds are Always in Our Favor, were the words she'd hear in school; in the Ares Academy where they learned how to fight and survive in the arena. The motto of the Ares Academy itself. Taken from May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.
"Our odds are the same just as everyone else's," her dad would say to her. "Just because we're in Two, does not mean that our odds are greater than anyone else's."
She may be biased but she liked her dad's version better.
"You'll be able to survive this," he said to her this morning. The same words he gave her when she received the letter from the Ares Academy.
Clarke didn't tend to think low of her abilities. She tested outstanding in both combat and survival. Though she preferred archery over using any weapon with a blade and had an affinity to using plants and other materials for first aid and camouflage.
If her dad had faith in her, maybe she should too.
Bellamy checked himself in the mirror. Making sure to fasten the buttons on his cuffs to spare himself a lecture from Cornelia Vickers about presentation. To be honest, he could care less what the tribute escort for District Two thought.
"Ready, Bell?" called his sister from the living room. "We have to be in the Justice Building in ten minutes."
"Just making sure I look presentable," he said, scoffing at the last word as he left the bathroom. The reaping started at twenty after noon, but when you're one of the mentors, you can't afford to not be there before then. "Otherwise Cornelia is going to go on for a ten minute lecture on how I missed an button on one of my cuffs."
Octavia nods. "Capitol people and their obsession with etiquette," she mutters. "Well, I got my paperwork. Let's get go to the Justice Building, meet up with the other mentors, and get this over with."
Bellamy picked up the folder containing the information on his tribute before following his sister out of the door.
Before the Sixty-Third Hunger Games in which he emerged from the arena as the victor, Bellamy always hated Reaping Day. It always meant that an face or two that he saw at the Ares Academy would not return home. Though often it was the former.
On his first year as an mentor, when his sister Octavia was pre-selected to volunteer for the girl tribute, that was when Reaping Day bought an whole new level of terror. It was one thing to watch and see his peers go. It was another thing to make sure they had everything they needed to get out alive, knowing full well that chances are that he might have to watch one or two of them die when the typical alliance between One, Two, and Four turn on each other or watch them get torn apart by Mutts. It was hard even seeing one die on screen in front of him, but it was terrible if both tributes had their faces appear on the sky.
Oh, how he sometimes envied Haymitch Abernathy from Twelve from time to time. To be able to drink himself into oblivion and allow the Games to pass on through a drunken haze. However, if he waste away, the president would view him as without value and go after those who he cared about.
Even if he did not like the tributes he mentored, he still had the desire to bring at least one of them home. That there would be one family with an coffin delivered to them instead of two. As for not liking the tributes that he mentored, well, her information was on the folder he was carrying.
Clarke Griffin. Whose mother worked in an hospital in the Capitol. Who was the niece of the mayor whose wife was rumored to be born in the Capitol rather than District Two. The cousin of last year's victor.
"I hope you're happy that you, Diyoza, and I are stuck with your pretentious friend," he said to Octavia as they left the Victor's Village. "She's going to be a handful."
Probably one of those who thinks she knows things better than anyone else. Bellamy already saw her an few times when she been over, but that's the vibe he got from her in those times.
"Well, Bell, last time I knew, it's was your idea to be one of our mentors because McCreary practically wanted to call dibs on her," O noted.
Bellamy nodded, remembering with a grimace about Paxton McCreary's interest to mentor the tribute to be.
"She is definitely going to get an lot of sponsors," McCreary commented when they received the files on their future tributes. "Not many District Two girls have that District One look to them."
The lasciviousness in McCreary's tone and the way he glanced at Clarke's photo was enough for Bellamy to make sure that McCreary wouldn't be one of Clarke's mentors. Clarke Griffin was everything that Bellamy hated, yes. An privileged princess whose mother had Capitol ties, but he wouldn't allow her to be mentored by someone who had an creepy fixation for her.
And to top it all off, McCreary was as sociopathic as District Two victors can get. Bellamy always hated it when they showed reruns of the Forty-Eighth Hunger Games, and he always turned off the screen before it would show an then-eighteen year old McCreary torturing an tribute before killing them with his sword. Anyone who doesn't know any better would say that Brutus Mason and Paxton McCreary were the same brand, not realizing that Brutus wasn't into so much painfully torturing his competition.
McCreary didn't seem to mind that he was co-mentoring Dax Shepard, the shifty looking "volunteer" to be, alongside with Brutus Mason and Enobaria Bedford. Though he probably still wished he was able to keep dibs on Clarke. Whether Bellamy liked Clarke or not, he was going to make sure those two weren't alone when they were at the Capitol.
As they arrived at the Justice Building, Bellamy swallowed.
It would not be long before he and the other victors would be on one side of the stage as Mayor Russell Lightbourne did his speech on the Dark Days and as Cornelia Vickers would fumble her hand around the reaping balls to draw an name, which was pointless as they pre-selected the tributes to take their place. Their reaping was just an show to Panem to give the illusion of volunteers, and the same could be said for District One.
And one of those tributes this year was Clarke Griffin.
Someone help him.
"I'm sure checking the servers can wait," suggested Sinclair.
"Well, maybe I can't afford to wait," Raven pointed out before returning to her work on the wires before her. If it's my year where my name gets drawn, I can't afford to wait.
You're eighteen, an voice in her mind said. There is a chance you can survive your last reaping.
Sure, Raven should be hopeful. All those years of having her name more then once in the reaping ball passed by and it wasn't hers that hadn't been picked so far. As it was always just some other unfortunate person whose name was drawn.
However, just because it was her last year, it did not mean she would survive it like the last six years. To top it all off, her name was in the ball twenty-four times us to tesserae, though she was not the only girl in Three to have signed for tesserae.
"Hey." Sinclair puts his hand on her shoulder. "You're brilliant, but don't exert yourself just because you think you'll be called up. If you do, I'm going to be there to make sure you have everything you need to survive in the arena."
Raven nodded. If she did happen to be picked to be the female tribute for District Three, the outlook on her odds would be good. She could last long in the arena with him being her mentor, even if she was not as skilled as those Career tributes that One, Two, and Four produce every year.
Though she had seen kids that could have lasted long die during the initial bloodbath. Raven still shuddered when thinking about how the girl from Two sliced her neighbor's throat last year. And she had to relive it when that girl from Two made her stop here in the Victory Tour six months ago.
Raven would rather work with the servers all day, but she had to be in the square when the reaping starts at twelve thirty. An hour before then, Raven made the walk home to get dressed and ready.
There was no need to wait for her mother as she was probably already passed out from the alcohol that she purchased in the black market here in Three.
"No, Wells! I will not allow it!"
"I'm not letting you go to the arena with someone that might kill you without a second thought if it comes down to the two of you."
"Wells, if it comes down to the two of us, one of us has to kill the other. There's no way the president would allow two victors from the same district."
Clarke should have known that Wells would want to volunteer to be with her in the arena. Even if whoever got picked for the male nominee would want to slug him for taking away his opportunity to bring honor to District Two or some nonsense like that.
The last thing Clarke wanted was to be forced to kill her best friend in the arena. To have his blood on her hands.
The heat of the July sun beat down on them as they made it to the square. Chatter filling the atmosphere as children ate candies and cookies from the nearby shops.
"Hey, Cato, give that back!"
"You're going to have to run faster if you want to get it!"
Clarke stood back as two twelve-year-old boys ran in front of her. The blonde boy running with an bag of sweets while the other chased after him.
Not too far off were the giant screens posted at either side of the Justice Building. One side showing live footage of her district, the other being District One's Reaping. Clarke looked up at the latter screen to see an girl with ebony black hair step up to volunteer. If looks could kill, she'd just have her hazel eyes to pierce you with. She wouldn't need an knife or an sword.
Clarke looked away, wiping her sweaty hands on the red wine colored dress that she had picked out to wear for today. It was not as form fitting as the blood red number that her cousin Josie wore for last year, but what was the use of that type of dress if she was going to return back to Two in an casket?
She swallowed as she approached the desk. As the Peacekeeper checking her in takes an sample of her blood, recognition appears in her eyes after she sees her name. Ah, yes, the cousin of Josephine Lightbourne, the victor of the Sixty-Seventh Hunger Games. Panem's favorite daughter and cavalier. It did not help that Josie had her with her when the cameras were rolling during her return to Two, as Josie said, "Come on, people need to know I'm your cousin."
Relatives of victors are often more apt to be thrust in the arena, though Clarke was certain that her cousin parading her around the cameras probably increased her chances of being the one pre-selected to volunteer.
"It's going to be me," she tells Wells Jaha as they were tying knots during an class of Survival 101 three months back. "If the Blake siblings won back to back, they are going to see if two cousins can do it too."
"I wouldn't be sure about it," he said. "Of all the girls, they always pick the ones that love to throw knives, an ax, or use a sword. They don't go so much for archery."
Yes, but there were always exceptions to every rule, and Clarke supposed that she would be one of them. She wouldn't be an tribute in the same vein as Enobaria, whose teeth were sharpened by the Capitol after she tore out the boy from Four's throat with her teeth when he had her pinned down after disarming her of her sword; or Octavia Blake, who swung around her sword with grace and ruthlessness which garnered her the moniker "Red Queen" from the Capitol; or her own cousin who threw knives with extreme accuracy. Not like the other girls in her district that wielded some type of weapon with an blade. District Two had no use for archery.
Until now it seemed.
"Good luck, Miss Griffin," she said, as if she suspected that Clarke would volunteer. No, pre-selected to be an tribute, that was an better term. "Volunteer" was just fancy window dressing for it.
Clarke simply nods before following the seventeen-year-old girls to the second to last row. The anticipation and excitement was heavy in the air, though it seemed to also come from the Capitol spectators standing behind metal barriers. Only in a district which produces viable contenders Capitol citizens would bother to see the reaping in person.
She wished that they would at least dress normally here. Maybe they didn't know what normal was. Maybe dressing extravagant is their normal.
She craned around for any side of her parents after standing in place. It took some time before she saw them in the perimeter with the other citizens of District Two and away from the Capitol crowd here. Eventually, she locked eyes with her dad, who smiled and waved at her.
That excitement and anticipation from District Two citizens and Capitol spectators alike seems to hitch up when the doors to the Justice Building open. Uncle Russell Lightbourne filing out of the building with Aunt Simone behind him. Her black hair intertwined with pearls. She always struck Clarke as an little more Capitol then the rest of District Two. Though it was because she wasn't born in District Two in the first place.
Then came the parade of victors. Garnering cheers and applause from the crowd around Clarke. Visible in the front row between his sister and Enobaria Bedford was Bellamy Blake.
Freaking Capitol sell-out, Clarke scoffs in her mind as she glares at him. Bellamy Blake emerged as victor five years ago. He seemed to bask in the attention that the Capitol gave him and like Finnick Odair from Four, had a parade of lovers in his appearances. Though not as frequent as the former.
He was an ass too to an boot, and he never seemed to like her either when she would go to the Victor's Village to hang out with Octavia. As if he seemed to be on an moral high ground with being raised in the merchant class. Not that it bothered her.
"Welcome, citizens of District Two and to our Capitol guests, as we hold the reaping for the Sixty-Eighth Hunger Games!" announced Uncle Russell.
Clarke forced herself to clap in case the cameras were on her for when they focused on the spectators. She and Wells, who was standing with the seventeen-year-old boy's across from her, exchanged an glance as Uncle Russell read the usual speech about the origins of Panem, and the Dark Days leading up to District Thirteen's destruction. Therefore resulting in the creation of the Hunger Games.
He lists of the names of District Two's sixteen victors, with Josephine's name now being added to it.
"Now, would Cornelia Vickers do the honors," he declares, stepping aside so she could take the microphone.
Green wig glinting under the sun and wearing an blue dress that appeared like an deformed fish, Cornelia totters over to the microphone. Starting off with her signature, "Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor." As if Uncle Russell's speech was not enough, she puts on the usual film narrated by President Snow himself.
It's the same one every year and it's so monotonously boring that Clarke is nearly nodding off when it ends.
She goes over to the girls' reaping ball and takes her time moving her hand around the ball before pulling one out.
"Marble Grant!" she calls.
Clarke swallowed as she watched an fourteen year old girl with brown hair approach the stage. Displaying none of the paralyzing fear Clarke would see in girls her age in other districts. She knows that someone is going to take her place. That she's not going to risk going into the arena.
"Any volunteers?" asks Cornelia.
"I volunteer!" Clarke exclaims, trying to make it sound enthusiastic as impossible. Trying to not make it seem like she was reciting from an drilling manual.
The girls around her pat her encouraging on the shoulder and push her forward. And Clarke could feel the cameras on her as she makes it up to the stage. Marble skips away with an smile as Clarke takes her place.
"Ah, the cousin of Josephine Lightbourne?"
Of course, you knew that, Clarke thinks. You'd seen my face on the screen ever since she came home last year.
"I'm sure the odds will be in my favor this year," Clarke says out loud, making sure that she channeled her distaste of the situation and the Capitol as an proud veneer.
"Indeed they will," Cornelia beams. "Let's give an ovation to Clarke Griffin."
Once the thunderous applause from the audience subsides, Cornelia goes over to the boy's reaping ball.
The blond boy that was running with his friend's bag of candy from earlier strolls up the stage. Hands in his pockets, and it was like he was not trying to show his disappointment. Almost as if he did not want to be replaced by someone older. Clarke's confident that the instructors of the Academy are going to put him into consideration for the future as an possible contender. Sometimes those that get drawn in the reaping and get replaced are put into consideration for the games in the future.
As Cornelia asks for volunteers, Clarke looks directly at Wells. Please don't volunteer, please don't volunteer…
One of the things I got to say is this: Baby Cato!