Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games, I'm just borrowing, but damn I wish I owned Josh Hutcherson! I am starting yet another fic. I can't help it. I hope you enjoy this.

Warning: This starts of a little dark. I do not condone self-harm, suicide or using people for sex. Ok, I know that sounds bad but really it's not.

Chapter 1: The Reaping

Today was the day of the reaping. I thought that I would feel nervous like I always used to. But things had changed since the last time. Everyone I had ever loved was dead and this year, I wanted to die. My plan was to volunteer at the reaping if my name wasn't called out. At least it would be a noble suicide. Hopefully I could save two lives in the process, the girl whose place I would take and the male tribute. I would protect him in the games as best I could and then knife myself or something if we were the last two to survive.

I wasn't always like this. I used to be...normal. The idea of death used to terrify me. Now it seems like the only way to make it stop. The pain. The loneliness. For so long I have wanted it to stop. I tried once. I took the knife in my kitchen and sliced across my wrist fast, hard and even, but that didn't work since Mrs Everdeen was the one to find me. Of all the people to find me, it would have to be the doctor of the district. She patched me up and all I could feel afterwards was shame. Shame that I tried taking my own life out of complete selfishness. My mother hadn't taught me to live like this.

"If you're going to make the effort do something at all, you should do it well," she would say. Of course she was talking about homework. Why even do it if it was going to be a half-assed attempt? That was her philosophy. And that's when the idea came to me - volunteering at the reaping. My death didn't have to be meaningless and one way or another, I would be reunited with my family.

Still, I thought I would feel nervous today. But I don't. I just feel the same numbness that I have felt for the last few months. Since after my entire family was burnt to a crisp, I realised that there was no point in crying, in grieving, in... feeling.

It feels good not to feel – if that makes sense.

As I walked to the town square, dressed in a simple white dress, I looked around at the other girls making their way there with their families. As always they looked terrified – the way I would have looked last year. I wanted to wrap my arms around the younger ones and tell them that it would be ok this year - that the odds would be in their favour. Because I was going to make those odds mine.

I filed into the aged 17 girls category in the town square along with the other girls my age. I refused to make eye contact with any of them in case I would find myself looking into the eyes of someone who used to be a friend at school. After I lost my family, I pushed my friends away. They tried to hold on to me for a while but I made it hard for them. Letting anyone in just seemed like an invitation for more pain. I wasn't about to let myself lose anyone else.

Soon enough the reaping began. Effie Trinket stood on the stage as she did year after year, waiting to pick the tributes names out of two giant glass bowls. Every year I would look at what she was wearing to distract myself from the fear I was feeling, this time it was so that I wouldn't look at the girls next to me. Fluorescent orange was this year's colour. Orange lips, orange eyes, orange hat, orange dress. It was laughable. How could she not see it?

I glanced at the other people up there with her. Haymitch Abernathy was there in a drunken state, oddly enough sitting on a chair and not falling over and vomiting. On either side of him were the last people in district 12 to ever win the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Our entire district worshipped them for finding a way to beat the game makers and to have them both survive the 74th games. Unfortunately they were better players then they were mentors because none of the following tributes in the next 8 years had won. I was hoping to change that. My plan, other than to get myself killed, was to help make sure that the male tribute of our district wins. Another life would be saved and hopefully the lives of others who were starving in district 12 when he won the award of food and other necessities for the district.

As Effie Trinket began her welcome speech I studied Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. I never really had much interaction with them and I wondered how they would react to my volunteering. Would they help me save the male tribute? Everdeen seemed like the bossy type while Mellark seemed gentle yet...cold. I watched as he reached over to steady Haymitch who was sliding off his chair. I couldn't help but notice the contours of his arm as he reached for his friend. Being a baker's son did him good. Having to lift all that flour is what did it, I'll bet.

By the time I lifted my focus off my soon to be mentor and back to Effie she had finished both her speech and the showing of the film that was meant to convince us all of the importance of the Games. I didn't realise I had been staring at Peeta Mellark for so long. Maybe when we got to the Capitol I could ask him to be my last screw before I die. What could I lose by asking?

Everyone held their breath as Effie crossed the stage to the glass bowl with the girls names in it. She stuck her perfectly manicured hand in and fished around for one slip of paper.

"And district 12's female tribute for the 83rd Hunger Games is... Holly Carter!" Effie exclaimed victoriously. So it was one of the Carter girls I would be replacing. The Carters were a big family. Apparently they didn't believe in using protection during sex, which resulted in 6 daughters. Why anyone would want to bring even one child into this world, I would never understand, let alone six.

"Come on up dear, don't be shy," giggled Effie as she motioned for the poor girl to come up on stage. Now was my moment and I still felt numb. I looked over to her mother who was trying not to cry. I felt a wave of envy vibrate through me. The bitch was lucky that her mother was alive to grieve for her. It was then that I knew for sure that I would follow through on my plan. It was now or never.

"No Holly don't!" I yelled as I ran forward to stop her. "My name is Ivy Grayhen and I volunteer as tribute!"

Please review! There will be a lot of Peeta/OC goodness!

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