So I've put off working on this for too long, but here it is: my Hunger Games/Glee crossover. I know everyone is starting to write these but I've intentionally not read any of them; this is my own story and I thought of my plot before anyone jumped on this bandwagon. (I know, I'm such a hipster.)
Warning: Kurt and Blaine are both tributes and these Games take place way before Katniss and Peeta's. Which means that there is only one winner, and while there is definitely Klaine, this plot does not allow for a happy ending. But this doesn't mean it won't be a satisfying ending, so I hope that you'll stick around. This project is going to be one of epic, multichapter proportions and you won't be sorry.
Much thanks to my bestie, flirtykurty, who helps me with plot bunnies, head!canons, and betaing. Title taken from "Animal" by Ke$ha.
So with that being said, read, review, and enjoy!
Blaine's palms are sweating.
He knows they don't have a reason to. His family is one of the wealthiest in all of District 5, and even if he had to take out tesserae for his family like the less fortunate, the fact that it's his last year of eligibility, and his father's position as mayor would probably be cause to rig it so that Blaine has pretty much zero chance of being picked.
Well, that's what Blaine tells himself to keep his palms from sweating.
Poor frail, dainty, oh-so-OCD Emma Pillsbury's hand is taking forever in that flurry of papers, even longer than it should since she's trying to avoid touching as many of them as possible. Finally, two spring green-painted fingernails snatch a small strip of parchment and pull it out of the glass.
Time slows down momentarily as the paper is unfolded, and Blaine becomes hyper-aware of everything around him. His mother's frigid, bracing hand on his shoulder. His father's gaze from where he stands beside Emma on the stage of the Justice Building. The way the tag of his crisp olive button-down scratches at the back of his neck, the way their female tribute, Tina Cohen-Chang, trembles just slightly under everyone's eyes, the waves of paralyzing fear emanating from every single person in his immediate vicinity. Adrenaline is coursing through Blaine's veins, pumping terror freely throughout his entire body...
Until time speeds up to normal and Emma Pillsbury is calling out the name of the 24th Annual Hunger Game's male tribute for everyone to hear.
He can practically hear his father's internal, screaming horror, his mother's despair, his peers' pity as his legs walk him through the easily parting crowd. He treads up the stairs and all he can think to feel is embarrassed at how well he's dressed for such a savage occasion.
The crowd is clapping, Tina is reaching for his hand, his face is sporting a shaky smile but Blaine has tuned it all out.
He knows he's already dead.
The train is ornate, with plush red carpets lining the compartment halls and crystal chandeliers throwing light in bright rainbows across the walls. It's nothing Blaine isn't used to; he's been on precisely eighteen train rides to the Capital, once for every year his father is required to attend the annual Power District Convention. Blaine used to wonder why he couldn't just stay home with his mother, but he understands better now; his father wanted to show off his trophy wife and perfect son. He's lucky that he doesn't have to worry about the initial part of The Games; He's used to being shown off.
Well, after the next few weeks he won't have to worry about that anymore.
His parents are not under the same impression.
"Make us proud, son," said his father in a bracing voice.
"Come home safe, dear," said his mother airily.
He wonders if this is a typical goodbye for most tributes. It's probably because he's never felt particularly close to his parents, because he had glanced a few feet over and spotted Tina grasping onto her fiancé, Mike, for dear life, her parents at either side with tears streaming silently down their cheeks.
Blaine had looked away quickly. The scene made him uncomfortable in a way he didn't quite understand.
And now he's being led down the hall of the fanciest compartment yet, being separated from Tina as they are ushered into bedchambers across the way and down the hall from each other. He feels he's more reluctant to let go of her hand than she is of his; it's like she's the only connection he has to what he once knew.
The room is grand, with a plush maroon carpet and a golden down comforter on the bed. The bathroom is enormous, with knobs and dials in the shower even Blaine didn't have in his privileged household. Emma tells him quietly that they will eat dinner in an hour while they watch the replay of the District reapings, and shuts the door silently behind her.
The room is eerily quiet. Blaine figures it's because he hasn't had a time on his own for at least six hours.
He slowly makes his way over to the plush bed, leaving footprints in the thick carpet in his wake. He sits down, leans his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands.
Blaine can't wrap his head around it. He knows he should be scared and nervous and god damn terrified out of his wits, but all his numb mind can think of is what a scandal this will cause for his family: Head of District 5's Son Sent off to Slaughter. Of course, it would never be advertised like that because being chosen to be tribute in the Games is an honor, the highest honor but everyone knows the truth. No one in the world would have guessed Everett Anderson's own son, who everyone presumed to be the successor to the position of head of the District, would be marched off to his death. All anyone in District 5 will be wondering is just how much does power matter in the system? Could it be true that really no one is safe anymore? And all of it, all of the doubts, because of Blaine. The mayor's son.
Maybe the reason why this is the only thing Blaine can bring himself to think about is because that's the way he's been trained to think. Or maybe he knows that it's all his own parents will be thinking about. Losing a son? A trivial notion, compared to keeping up appearances to the public. As far as appearances are concerned, Everett and Marie Anderson are proud of their son for being selected to partake in such a momentous occasion.
The sad part is, Blaine's pretty sure his parents have convinced themselves that's the way they actually feel inside.
And so now Blaine realizes why he's maybe alright with dying. It's because no one is going to miss him.
Blaine wrenches himself from the bed and strips off his clothes robotically, heading for the shower. After drenching himself in minimal amounts of scents of bubbles and soaps, he dries off with a fluffy white terrycloth towel and wraps it around his waist for the trip over to the small but fruitful closet. With his mother's fashion instincts naturally kicking in, he automatically selects a casual white button-down and khaki slacks that make his eyes pop, plus a pair of shiny brown penny loafers. He finds a bottle of hair gel in the cupboard above the sink and, out of habit, cakes his hair down into it's usual neat and orderly part, just a few curls at the hairline breaking free.
He peeks out into the hallway, relieved to see that Tina is just emerging as well because now he won't have to find the dining compartment alone.
It's obvious she's been crying, despite the amount of makeup she's applied in an attempt to cover it up.
"R-r-ready to go?" she asks softly.
He looks her up and down, desperate for anything to steal the tremor away from her bottom lip. "Your dress is lovely," he tries.
She looks down, surprised, at the simple navy frock. "Thanks," she says, tone a bit brighter. She smiles at him, and he smiles back. Blaine hopes that they can be friends, at least for now.
At least until they're set free in a closed arena to kill each other.
"Come on," Tina says, hooking her fingers in his.
The dining compartment is near the front and decorated in the same manner as the rest of the train. Their party isn't big but Blaine and Tina are the last ones to arrive; Emma is already seated at the head of the table and District 5's only previous victor of the Games, April Rhodes, is to her left. April looks as though she was too impatient to wait for the other half of the party; she's already halfway into her second pre-dinner cocktail. Emma looks on in slight discomfort as April hiccups and twiddles her fingers in Blaine and Tina's direction.
Blaine isn't quite sure exactly how April Rhodes managed to win the 15th Hunger Games. It must not have been a standout round since it's not featured in the regular replays of famous Games, but he has to admit that he's curious as to how such a slovenly and not-all-there woman could beat out twenty-three other bloodthirsty tributes. Quite frankly, the only thing April seems to be thirsty for was alcohol.
"Hey kids," Emma says in an attempt to be cheerful. Blaine and Tina smile half-heartedly in return, and as if on cue a young Avox girl brings in several platters of food.
Blaine loads a modest amount of lamb stew, rice, potatoes, and steamed vegetables onto his place. This sort of meal is a typical one in his household, but looking over at Tina's wide-as-saucers eyes he can guess that the same cannot be said for her home.
"So my little chick-a-dees," April says, getting straight to the point in her tipsy twang. "How do you plan on getting out alive?"
I don't, Blaine thinks.
"Now now, April," Emma says in a nervous trill. "Let's not jump the gun here. There will be plenty of time to talk strategy in the next few days."
April shrugs good-naturedly but says nothing else. Blaine daintily forks some lamb into his mouth and steals a glance at Tina, who is all but shoveling food into her mouth. It's a relief it all gets into her mouth and not on her pristine dress.
Dinner passes by in mostly tense silence, the only interruptions being April cracking a drunken one-liner every now and then, but no one has the heart to even comment. Blaine is relieved when the Avox girl takes away their Tirimasu plates.
"Well it's about seven, let's venture to the television room, shall we?" Emma says softly, and the group ventures out of the dining compartment down the hall to a small living room with plush furniture and a big-screen television.
Blaine and Tina share the loveseat in the center of the room, April hits half of the lights and Emma switches on the TV before they take the chaises bordering the couch.
The replay begins with the Panem's national anthem with a short speech from President Sylvester. Blaine knows his father has met the President many times but Blaine himself has never had the "pleasure" to. If he's being honest with himself, Sue Sylvester gives Blaine the downright heeby-jeebies. She's the one who proposed the Hunger Games in the first place, and Blaine is positive that the only reason no one opposed was because they were more afraid of Sylvester's wrath than the monstrous idea of the Games themselves. And considering just how monstrous they were, that was saying something.
After the President's short and patriotic speech, every word of which Blaine believes Sylvester does not mean, the official replays of the District reapings begin, starting with District 12 and counting down.
The program starts with a bang, recounting a scandalous story of how the twelve-year-old female tribute's big brother volunteers to be her male counterpart. The Capital's commentary spins it so it appears that the brother, Noah Puckerman, volunteered to double the family's chances of winning. But looking closely at the tears in Noah's eyes, Blaine figures it's more to protect his little sister than anything else.
District 11's tributes strike Blaine as two average Jane and John Doe's, except Jane Doe (actually named Brittany, he notes) is either a little slow or simply stereotypically ditzy and her John Doe, Nick, has nice hair and a big smile that crinkles his eyes. Mercedes and Jeff are selected for District 10, the lanky blonde looking fragile in comparison to his big, dark, beautiful partner. This pattern continues in District 9, where small and meek Rory cowers behind a terrifying-looking Lauren.
Blaine watches the people, these tribute's faces, with a blank numbness that can only be described as indifferent. He's already sealed his fate, so as far as he's concerned the only sense in memorizing names to identities would be to guess who's most likely to kill him off and who would do it quickly as opposed to dragging it out. It doesn't take a lot of brainpower to figure out; people like Rory and Nick seem too nice to be the offensive type, Puck will only be looking out for his sister, and Lauren would probably throttle him if she got the chance.
He's imagining just how long it would take to suffocate under Lauren's clenched fist when the television volume suddenly brings him back to attention.
The proclamation comes from a gigantic young man in the crowd, his blue tee-shirt ill-fitting and his brown hair sticking out here and there. His face looks a bit dopey but the determination in his eyes is fierce.
"No he does not," rings out a clear voice.
The camera pans back, past disconcerted Peacekeepers to the stage where a slender, angelic form stands strong, porcelain chin held high. His white button-down is rumpled but tucked in neatly to his worn-out and faded skinnier-than skinny jeans, and his black boots are scuffed. One boot is half-way to climbing up on stage, but he's looking back at the young man in the crowd with a commanding ferocity. His icy blue eyes pierce the camera, even if he is not looking directly into it.
Blaine's numbness had defrosted, completely and immediately.
He lurches forward just slightly as the camera cuts back to the Peacekeepers, reacting at the loss of that perfect vision of a man. The Peacekeepers are looking from the large man in the crowd to the slender one clambering up on the stage.
"I- but- Kurt?" says the man in the crowd, looking disconcertingly like a hurt puppy.
"No, Finn," Kurt hisses. "Please excuse my step-brother," he says out loud, commanding the attention of the Peacekeepers, "He often speaks before he thinks. I accept my position as male tribute to District 8."
The camera switches one last time to Finn, who is being held on either side by a balding man in a cap with tears welling in his eyes and a plump, kind-looking woman who is sobbing silently.
And then the attention is back on Kurt, Kurt Hummel, they repeat, and his fellow tribute Quinn Fabray as the District Head raises their joined hands in the air.
Blaine is completely alive and thriving. It's as if his life force, once lost, is now back in full throttle, beating his heart harder than before and pumping his blood fast through his every vein. He can't explain it and won't even try to right now. Not that much has changed; he still knows for a fact that he is going to die but now he's convinced he won't go without a purpose, without something to fight for. But what he's fighting for won't be his own life.
It will be Kurt Hummel's.