Notes: Written for kolms comment ficathon; prompt: "Careers; in the end we're still human."


Keit died in the bloodbath.

"What are our supplies?" Cato barks. Glimmer graces him with a benevolent smile, as she gently runs her finger over the tip of an arrow.

"Since you asked so nicely, I might as well tell you. I think we've done quite well, overall–"

"Get to the point, Glimmer," says Clove, glaring. Glimmer seems taken aback.

"Rude. Anyway, general supply situation: at least 15 cans of food, three bags of fruit, a box of beef jerky, canteens – all full, but I think we're gonna have to find a water source somewhere – some bandages, and the weapons. I do a good enough job, sweetie?"

Marvel very obviously rolls his eyes at Glimmer's pout, and Glove makes gestures of reaching to her knife. Cato quirks his mouth to the side, but nothing that could really be called a smile. "The weapons were more what I was interested in... sweetie."

"Fine then. Jeez." Glimmer casts a quick glance at the pile. "They don't give out so many of those. Two swords, a few knives, bow and arrow, some rope? Kinda debated putting that in the pile, but whatever – a club, and some metal thing I think is like a club but... metal."

"It's a wrench," says Clove, obviously infuriated.

"...Good to know."

Somewhere beyond all this stupid drama, Marvel notices her, sitting on her own. He comes over and asks in a hushed voice: "Are you injured?"

She blinks. "No."

"Good. If you were so early, some of them might think it appropriate to take advantage of the chance to wipe out another opponent."

iBut surely that would weaken the alliance,"/i she thinks, but then again if she were injured she'd only be slowing them down anyway.

"So come do something. Before Cato gets mad."

Marvel tries to grab her by the wrist, drag her to where Glimmer and Glove are arguing about the bow and arrow (iknives are totally your thing!/i vs. iany fool can use a knife, and you've never touched a bow and arrow before/i). She doesn't budge.

"Yona, don't be difficult–"

"What's going on over there?" Cato barks, making her jump. He storms over, sizing Marvel up. "No infighting, okay? It's too early in the game."

Marvel seems offended. "I was just trying to figure why she wasn't saying anything."

"Maybe she didn't have anything to say." iWhat are they even fighting about?/i she thinks, but thankfully Glimmer comes to her rescue.

"Okay boys, enough with the pissing contest; there aren't any walls nearby." Cato seems perplexed by the statement, as does Clove; District 2's are creepy like that, they're raised as killers but show pretty much zero familiarity with other... coarse parts of human nature.

"Cato," says Clove, sounding as irritated as ever. "We should scour the area. Figure out which way most of them would have gone before deploying our full strength."

He nods as though this makes sense. Glimmer immediately steps to follow them, but Clove stops her. "Don't. If too many of us go they'll overhear; they'll get spooked."

Wordlessly, the two each take a knife and go. Yona sighs. Marvel cocks his head at her.

"Are you sure you're alright?"

"Keit's dead," she says flatly.

Glimmer and Marvel share a worried look. "Uh... sorry?" Marvel offers.

Glimmer whacks him over the back of the head. Yona snorts. "Don't be. You didn't kill him."

"...Might have to take your word on that one."

Of course, Marvel doesn't know who he killed. She sure as hell doesn't. Luckily, she made sure to be watching when Keit died.

"Well, he did kind of sign up for it. We all did," Glimmer points out. It's Marvel's turn to hit her on the back of the head. "Ow!"

Keit signed up for it. Keit, who always said how he's prove himself, you'll see. Keit, who volunteered at just fifteen (a radically young age for District 4). Keit, who refused say goodbye to his family while leaving because he'd "only be coming back again."

(Keit, who always showed up at Physical Combat sessions with bruises from "extra training.")

"Yeah, you're right. I don't know why I'm like this, really!" She underscores it with a girlish giggle, which sounds even worse then when Glimmer does it. Oh wow. "Uh... I promise never to do that again?"

"Deal. The alliance isn't that strong," says Marvel.

"It's just..." Her eyes wander to Keit's body, lying next to that District 7 girl he skewered, just before the District 5 boy managed to sneak up on him. How could a 5'er...? admittedly, 4's are the worst of the careers, but still. Clove took out the boy who killed Keit almost immediately anyway. It was just so pointless.

"...He died. That quickly. And he should have – been here. Doesn't that frighten you...?"

Marvel and Glimmer share an awkward look. "...I guess," concludes Glimmer, shrugging. "I've never really thought about it before."

"Everyone dies," says Marvel. "He was just sooner than the rest of us. It was always a risk."

"Right." She feels guilty for her arrogance. All that time with Keit on the train, they both acted like they had plenty more time to live. Maybe, if they had been more cautious, he'd still be alive? But she's thinking in hypotheticals. Her mentor told her to cut that out.

"...Oookay," says Glimmer, sitting down beside her. "Anyway, I'm hungry."

Marvel whacks her on the arm. "Don't start eating until they get back, moron. You're causing enough problems already."

She rolls her eyes. "Uh, tell me when we agreed to let the 2's run our lives? 'Sides, it's like dinnertime right? We can just leave some food for them and it'll be fine."

Marvel just sighs and watches as Glimmer begins to open a can. Yona's eyes wander to where Keit lays.

They haven't come to pick him up yet, or the others. The bloodbath's pretty definitively over though; they heard the canons, so she doesn't know what they're waiting for. Keit doesn't look different to anyone else. He looks wounded, bloody, and well dead. He died scared, she remembers. A fleeting look of terror when he realised the 5 boy had a knife.

"Yo, Yona!"

She comes back and sees Glimmer waving a fork in front of her. Is this an improvised attack? She wonders, but then she realises that's stupid. "What is it?" she snaps, rather annoyed with being dragged away from her thoughts.

"Just thought you'd like something to eat, that's all. Yes? No?"

Yona blinks. "Oh. Er. Yes. Thank you."

She sounds so silly and shy. "No problem," says Glimmer, scooping some of the stew into her hands. Yona eats it gratefully, if not gracefully. "Marv?"

"I'll wait 'til the people with the big damn swords come back, thanks."

"Wimp."

"I'd hit you right now, but then you'd drop your food and that would be a waste."

Yona rolls her eyes at their bickering. In the distance, she can hear Clove snapping at Cato – guess Glimmer was right. She swallows hard as she looks at Keit's body.

It's not like she knew him that well. He was pretty quiet, and not that remarkable, and he was a couple of years below her so they didn't share many classes. But still, she had met him. She knew his name before they arrived in the Capitol. They agreed they'd stick together after they had to flee the Career alliance, and now she has no idea what she'll do then...

...If she gets that far.

That's the thing. Keit is dead. There was always a chance, said Marvel and he's right – there's always a chance. Marvel's waiting for Cato and Clove to get back, but they might not. Anyone, anyone can die at any moment – including her.