This is my first attempt at writing FanFiction! Please let me know what you think of the's nice to get feedback. :)

Author's Note: When I was reading the first Hunger Games book, I was really intrigued with Katniss and Gale's relationship and how much they had to rely on each other while living in District 12. We didn't really get to see that much interaction between them in the first two books and it made me wonder about what would have happened if the two of them had gotten thrown into The Hunger Games together. How would their backstory affect the decisions they would make and who would be the victor of the Games?

disclaimer: I do not own any part of The Hunger Games or its characters. I just really enjoy reading and writing about them.

Chapter 1

It was always like this the day before the reaping. The tension and apprehension of the students were so thick; you could cut them with a knife. There were no questions about why they were in the dilapidated auditorium; they already knew why they were here. Any student in this room was an eligible candidate for the 74th Hunger Games. It was standard procedures for them to be gathered up to discuss Reaping protocol, and to remind them to act with the highest decorum. All of Panem would be watching and the last thing District 12 wanted was negative attention to be broadcast around the nation. A Peacekeeper in a stark white uniform stood behind a podium reading the rules, going over tesserae and how to volunteer as a tribute.

Katniss Everdeen slouched in her seat, pulling at some red threads on the almost threadbare armrest. This was her 4th time hearing the mundane speech. There were really only two important things that mattered to her about the reaping: show up and don't have your name called. She started thinking about how many times her name was cast into the bowl this year: 20. The number was higher than she cared for it to be, but without the tesserae, she wouldn't be here at all. Still, her number could have been a lot worse.

She thought about her friend, Gale Hawthorne, who recently told her that his count was at 42. She looked around the auditorium, searching for his face. She looked to her left, but all she found was Peeta Mellark staring at her. Every now and then, her eyes would catch his gaze. She wondered what went on inside that head of his. She looked to the right and found Gale, about 10 rows behind her, sitting with the rest of his grade. Their eyes met and Gale impersonated being bored to death, his head leaning backwards with his mouth gaping open. This caused her to smile, and she even had to stifle a giggle. A teacher gave her a reprimanding look and she sat forward in her seat. Her mind drifted again, so much so, that she didn't even hear when they were dismissed.

Katniss remained in her seat, not realizing that it was over. Gale sat a row behind her, leaning on the seat next to her and broke the silence.

"So, you ready for the big day tomorrow?" he asked resting his chin on his crossed arms.

"Gale!" Katniss exhaled as she jumped. "I didn't see you there."

"Obviously. They dismissed us a few minutes ago."

"Just had a lot of things on my mind."

"Prim." he said. He knew how much Katniss worried about her. "Katniss, stop worrying. It's her first year…her name won't be called."

"You don't know that."

"Her name will be on one slip out of thousands. If there is anyone you should be worried about it's me…42, remember?" Gale said raising his eyebrows.

"Well lucky for you, this is the last year you have to worry about the reaping."

"Not lucky if they call my name. Come on, let's get out of here." he said taking her hand. She stood up with him and they exited the school.

The schoolyard was still bustling with students, trying to spend the last few moments with their friends before reaping day was upon them. Katniss saw Prim sitting with a group of friends on the grass. She decided to leave her there and walk home with Gale. As she walked past a group of the merchant kids, she noticed Peeta staring at her yet again. She always wanted to confront him about the staring but had always been embarrassed. Her mind always went back to that day of the rain and the bread. Today was definitely not the day. She had to get home to her mother, whom she knew would be torn up about both of her daughters being eligible for the reaping this year. Maybe tomorrow she would ask him.

Katniss and Gale started walking down the street toward the Seam. They didn't talk until they were outside of the town square.

"We're still hunting tomorrow, right?" Gale asked.

"Yes, but earlier…we can't be late for the reaping."

"Seven a.m. Well, this is my stop." Gale said as they reached his house. Katniss said 'bye' and continued to her house. When she entered her house, it appeared empty. When inside, she could hear her mother weeping from her room. Katniss hated when her mother was like this. It always made her feel so uncomfortable. Still, it was better than all those years ago when her mother shut herself off from the world after her father's death. To this day, she still hasn't seemed to be able to cope well with it. Prim walked into the house a moment later. Katniss started making dinner while Prim sat down at the table.

"Do I have to do my homework?" she pouted.

"Yes, Prim. It's important." Katniss replied, sounding more like her mother than her sister.

"It won't even matter if it's done if I get called at the reaping." She persisted.

Katniss stopped what she was doing and sat across from her at the table.

"They aren't going to call you Prim. It's your first year."

"It's happened before."

"Well it won't this year. " Katniss said standing up and returning to her duties.

That night at dinner, Katniss, Prim and her mother ate in silence. The reaping was the only thing on their minds and none of them wanted to talk about it. Katniss went straight to bed afterwards, so she wouldn't oversleep and miss her hunting expedition with Gale. From the next room over, she could hear Prim weeping and her mother trying to comfort her. Katniss looked out of her window from her bed and managed to find a star through the foliage of the forest.

"Please, let it be anyone but her." she wished as tears fell silently down her face.