Katniss and Peeta stood together nervously. The quarter quell reapings had finally arrived. As the train sped past different landscapes both had their eyes glued to the television.
"Are you afraid?" Peeta's question seemed to break Katniss out of a trance.
"No, not really," she lied.
Peeta sighed. He was used to Katniss being strong and stubborn but sometimes he thought she just acted foolish. "We should watch the reapings." She continued turning her face back toward the t.v. Peeta nodded, he wasn't in the mood for talking either he had to make note of all the victors chosen.
From district one came a tall dark black haired girl with a devious smirk on her face. Peeta knew in an instant to be wary of her, not only was she a career but she enjoyed the kill. The man from district one looked similar to her so that they could be related but Peeta with his artists eyes saw that they were not, now that he looked closer they were nothing alike. Then why did they say on camera that the two victors were brother and sister? District two has a blond boy volunteer at the same time as a tall muscular man Peeta recalled was named Brutus. Peeta didn't recognize the boy, who couldn't possibly be a victor, he was the same age as him and Katniss! This was getting stranger and stranger. Also from district two came a slightly unattractive woman with a sour expression Peeta couldn't fully remember her name but he knew it started with an E.
District three had two people called up, a man named Beetee and a woman named Wires. He had to try and remember what they did to win the games, but it didn't work he would just have to watch the previous hunger games later. District four had some more attraction to it if Peeta wanted to be funny. Both of the reapings from four pulled out two attractive victors. Finnick a bronze haired, tall, and slightly muscular young man, and a young woman named Annie who had in Peetas opinion gorgeous hair, but Katniss was always the most beautiful person to him. Then there was a volunteer who stepped forward for Annie who at that moment was beyond hysterics. Her replacement was short with extremely curly red hair and bright green eyes. Now Peeta was defiantly sure he had never seen her before in any of the hunger games. And same as the boy in two she was too young to be a victor.
District five and six passed quickly. District seven is where Peeta started to pay attention again. There was a woman Johanna Mason who was very crafty when it comes to killing people, he remembered having to watch that hunger games as she tricked everyone into thinking she was weak and helpless. The other tribute from seven was tall with very dark hair and bright blue eyes. Peeta couldn't help but remember the girl from one, the resemblance was too close not to notice. eight, nine, and ten were your typical victors except for one woman who made Peeta's heart ache. She left behind three little girls all of them crying and holding on to her with all of their little might. Then there was eleven where a large man named Chaff was chosen.
At this point Effie had stopped watching with them and Haymitch had managed to find himself some type of alcohol. Then they reached the reapings from twelve where Peeta watched Katniss get reaped while Effie tried to make it seem as if there was a choice. Then Haymitch's name was called and Peeta saw himself volunteer, not to save his drunken mentor but to take care of Katniss to the best of his ability. He couldn't however make sense out of one thing that happened during the reapings. The younger victors that shouldn't have been there, that shouldn't have been victors. Who were they? Why were they in the reapings? Why were they taking the place of victors? Peeta didn't understand but he would wait until tomorrow to find out. Tonight he would be helping Katniss through another nightmare while he kept his own trapped inside.
Jace was nervous and he hated it.
He was never nervous, always on top of things. So why is it that when he is separated from the rest of the group he feels utterly hopeless? Isabelle's gone, although he didn't mind that much she could be a real witch when drunk. Alec and Magnus were gone, but if they were together Jace supposed they would be all right. Magnus could make himself fit in anywhere. And Simon… well Jace didn't really care at all for the bloodsucker except respect him, just a little bit for his morality.
No, none of that really bothered him much. What made him so anxious, what made him so on edge was that Clary was gone. Clary who he was very much in love with was not with him and he had no idea where she was. Come to think of it he had no idea where he was. All he knew was there was a train and people were being picked from a bowl to get on that train. Opportunity beckoned. He had to find Clary and being on that train might be the only way. Jace remembered the people he passed looking at him strangely. It's not as if they hadn't seen another person before! He had looked for familiar faces and landmarks but was completely lost.
Now he was on his way to a thing called the Hunger Games in a place called the Capitol by everyone else around him. So Jace just sat waiting for something to happen when an 80-year-old man came into the room where Jace was.
"Hello young man. I swear the victors keep getting younger and younger! Either that or I'm getting really old. Anyway, son I'm gonna be your mentor no ands ifs or buts. You're gonna straighten yourself out and get real results this time no wishy washy perp like we had last year got it!" the wizened old man was gone and replaced with a fierce army general persona. Jace wondered what he could possibly be going on about, unless these games were really important.
"Now!" the old man started up again "We are going to watch the reapings to see what you're up against. Fierce players all the victors and only one comes out and that will be you. Eggface might stand a chance but I see you got the killer instinct. Now turn on the T.V.!"
Jace followed the mans instructions hoping he wouldn't get beaten to a pulp by this surprisingly intimidating old man. The television comes on and Jace immediately sees Isabelle. Isabelle! Where is she? What is she doing there? What is going on? He didn't pay attention to himself he was there. They announced names and District numbers.
"I'm definitely not in Kansas anymore," he muttered under his breath.
"What was that?" Old man general as Jace had come to think of him growled.
"Nothing," Jace replied quickly wanting to focus back on the television. Wait! Red hair! Green eyes! Outstandingly beautiful! It was Clary! But wait who was that beside her the one that was whispering so close to her ear. Jace growled that man had no reason to talk to her, especially one so, so; Jace couldn't stand the thought of someone being more good looking than him so he settled for the only insult he could come up with, tall. He was way too tall, extremely tall, the tallest person Jace had ever seen, but that wasn't true Jace had see many people taller than this guy but it made him happy that he could find one thing to be considered a flaw in this otherwise perfect copy of himself.
After he saw Clary the other district tributes went by in a blur. He focused momentarily on their names so he could repeat them back to Old Man General if he asked, but he never did. The last district came up and Jace couldn't help but stare.
The two tributes from twelve just stuck out in his mind especially the young man who was around his own age. Jace couldn't help but recognize the look the boy, Peeta; he thought his name was, gave the girl tribute. It was one Jace had seen over and over again. It was the look Luke gave Jocelyn, that Magnus gave Alec, or that he gave Clary. It was a look of unconditional love and Jace was mesmerized by it.
Whatever these games were it must make people desperately want to be with the people they loved, at least those were Jace's thoughts as the train continued onward toward the Capitol where the games were to take place. Jace was ready because anything that would get him back to Clary was worth it.
And so begins our tale...
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