Is fate on their side? The odds certainly are not. Katniss and Gale are forced into the 74th annual Hunger Games knowing that there can only be one victor. Can rules be changed or is this their end? Plenty of twists ensured.
Hey this is my first Hunger Games fic and I'm really excited! I've had this idea floating around in my head ever since I first read the books (yes, I know it's been done before!). Hopefully this story will end up taking a few interesting twists, though! It'll be mostly in Katniss' POV, but I might change it up every so often, such as in this first chapter! Enjoy and be sure to review what you think.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
I roll my neck slowly, listening for each click of bone, doing anything to take my mind of the nausea building in my throat. Today is reaping day. The most dreaded day of the year. My fingers twitch by my sides and I know fighting to keep still is pointless. I always fidget when I'm nervous.
The District Twelve escort takes the stage emerging from the doors of the Justice Building and taps the microphone. Like every year she looks terrifying and out of place. The noise of her claw-like nails hitting the microphone echoes, revibrating from the speakers situated all over the square and my stomach lurches. The clip of Panem's history plays and as it ends, the screen goes black. Effie Trinket begins.
"Ladies and Gentleman, the time has come for us to select one courageous young man and woman to represent District Twelve in the 74th annual Hunger Games!"
She glides to the left bowl.
"Ladies first, of course," she chimes.
Her hand childishly swirls through the bowl stopping to pluck one name. District Twelve is silent as she makes her way back to the microphone. She unfolds each corner of the paper slowly, purposely, building suspense.
My heart thuds when I hear the name, for a second assuming the worst. But I've misheard. It's not Katniss but her tiny sister who doesn't even look old enough to be getting reaped.
Heads turn to face the small shaking twelve year old as peacekeepers appear at her sides and grip her arms. They make a start towards the stage when an urgent voice rings out through the crowd.
"I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!"
Katniss pushes through the crowd, screaming again.
My heart pounds harder. This can't be happening.
All around people begin to whisper, only making me dizzier.
"Is that Katniss Everdeen?"
"That's her sister!"
I watch the horrible scene unfold before my eyes. Katniss reaches her sister and hugs her to her chest, shielding her from harm. She's screaming again that she volunteers and her sister's sobs are racking through the square.
"No! Katniss, no! You can't go!" her strangled cries are louder than Effie Trinket who is desperately trying to regain the situation.
The peacekeepers confused for a second, stand motionless, before they get the point. A mass of white figures pulls the two sisters apart, leading Katniss up the stairs and leaving her sister behind. A boy pushes through the crowd and bends down to scoop her up. She thrashes against him wailing for Katniss to come back, he's trying to calm her down but she continues to cry and he carries her back like that, towards where her mother must be.
"Now that's the spirit of the Games!" exclaims Effie when Katniss has reached her. The cameras zoom up on their separate faces, displaying them across various screens in the square. Effie ridiculous and Katniss blank.
"What's your name, dear?"
"Katniss Everdeen," her voice is steely and hard, her eyes glassy.
"Well, I bet my buttons that was your sister. Don't want her to steal all the glory, do we now?"
Katniss doesn't respond.
"And now for the boys!" continues Effie, unfazed.
Suddenly I want it to be me. I want to get picked as tribute. To protect Katniss, keep her safe, to do something instead of just chucking a loaf of burnt bread to a dying girl! But just as quickly as the thought comes, it goes. Katniss wouldn't want me to protect her; she'd want someone like her boyfriend. He'd do a better job than me anyway. I find his bulky figure again, parting the crowds to get Primrose to her mother.
I turn back to Effie just in time to see her pick a name from the bowl on the right, as she is about to pull it out, it slips from her fingers. Just like that, someone is safe. Her hand plunges back in and grabs a different slip.
Back at the microphone she unfolds the small paper, clears her throat and announces-
The figure I was watching before stops dead in his tracks. The tiny girl wailing in his arms stops for a second and hiccups shocked. He takes a moment to place her gently on the ground and turn around. Slowly he begins the long walk towards the stage, his head held high and jaw locked.
"Well! A round of applause for our two lovely tributes; Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorn!" Effie exclaims.
Nobody claps and nobody cheers. We take a silent stand. Then we're all lifting three fingers to our mouths and raising our hands. My heart pangs as I follow suit. It's an old District Twelve gesture of respect and admiration, as well as a sign of goodbye to a loved one.
On stage Katniss looks in shock. Her mouth is slightly ajar, lips trembling. Her previous cool demeanour changed into one of fright. Effie brightly asks them to shake hands and I watch as instead Gale steps forward and pulls her hand into his, holding it.
That's when Haymitch Abernathy appears, completely drunk and overly late. He stumbles onto the stage a bottle still in his hand and exclaims "I like these two. They've got spunk!" he motions towards their hands before flailing and falling face first onto the floor.
As masses of people begin to escape the Square, my parents appear at my sides. My mother quickly pats my elbow and my father pulls me towards him for an embrace. In his eyes I see sympathy; he knew about Katniss.
"It'll be alright, Peeta." he adds quietly "She's a clever girl."
"Maybe District Twelve will finally have a victor this year!" asserts my mother catching his words "Those seam kids are survivors!"
I nod sombrely turning away "Yeah, maybe."
My mother already over it, begins talking about the bakeries profits with Darren and Mercer, but my father stays at my side.
"You could go see her, you know. What about those cookies you iced yesterday? She'd like them."
I swallow hard and shake my head "It's not my place."
My father nods and we start making our way back home and I know that between us, the topic of Katniss Everdeen will never come up again.