Right, so this is the first thing for the Hunger Games I have ever written. I've been working on some one-shots about Finnick and Annie but this is the first thing I've actually posted.

This is for Emily, whose sixteenth birthday is today, and who's favourite tribute (and mine) at the moment is Marvel. So happy birthday, Em! I hope you enjoy this 3

Everyone has a story to tell.

Marvel's wasn't that interesting, in his own opinion. Born and bred in District One, an only child. Average grades at school, average report. An all-rounder – nothing that he was atrocious at, nothing that he excelled. In short, he was average.

He kicked a stone along the path as he walked through the town of District One, two brightly clad citizens passing by him arm in arm, jabbering away excitedly about one of their new broaches. "Capitol chic!" one of them exclaimed, and Marvel snorted. That probably meant it was a mistake, or nicked. Things produced for the Capitol didn't stay long in the Districts, that was for sure. Unless of course you'd come back from there in victory. The rules for you were completely different altogether.

There was a boom of music from the Plaza ahead and a firework exploded above him, illuminating the hazy pink clouds. He frowned up at it and rolled his eyes. Another Victor Party, probably. Every now and again they would overtake the Plaza, play ridiculously loud music and smoke strange Capitol drugs. Even now as he walked he could smell the abnormally sweet smoke in the air tickling the inside of his nose. Even the small amount that seeped into his lungs made him feel as if he had lifted three feet from the ground; he wondered how powerful it was to directly inhale. No wonder they always seemed so spaced out in the mornings after.

His mother always pitied them as she walked amongst them, shaking them awake and trying to prevent them from choking on their own vomit, but Marvel couldn't say the same. They had a story to tell. They were interesting people with interesting stories. They had things to tell Caesar Flickerman, they had people who knew their names. They were national treasures, and they had everything they wanted. They never wanted or needed for anything. How you could pity that, Marvel did not know.

In fact, he desired it. He had desired it since an early age, and had leapt at the chance to enrol at the academy, at the chance to bring victory and glory to his name. He wanted that opportunity far more than he wanted to spend the rest of his life working in some factory producing items for the Capitol to slobber over.

"Excuse me, it's Victors only," a cool voice alerted him, and Marvel left his reverie enough to acknowledge a blonde woman in a tight blue dress leaning against one of the Justice Building's pillars. He grinned, nodding, and she narrowed her eyes further. "Well? What are you doing? Go home, little boy."

"I'm not little," Marvel retorted half-heartedly, peering past her at the gathering crowd. Several had flute-like contraptions from which they inhaled great clouds of lilac smoke, the sickly sweet stench far stronger here. "I'm going to be here soon," he muttered to himself.

"That's wonderful," the blonde woman said, fluffing her hair up in a hand-held mirror and touching up her lipstick before storing it back in the bust of her dress. "Until then, this is off-limits. Come back once you've won the Games."

"Alright, alright, I'm going," Marvel snapped, looking up at her for the first time. "Enjoy your stinking party. Go get high as a kite."

"Watch your mouth, kid," she called after him, a smirk on her pale face as he shrugged and stalked off. One day he'd be there smoking from the flute things, drinking with the other victors, recalling moments of his incredibly brutal and yet famous Games and how wonderful he was at battling within them. One day he'd be nationally renowned, respected amongst the victors, adored by his family.

It never occurred to him that he couldn't recall her name.