Hey, guys! I'm not going to do one of those 'pre-reaping' chapters, because those are boring for me to write, so, yeah. Here's the District One reaping. Both tributes were submitted by BecauseofKillianJones. Thanks double! ;) And thanks to everyone who submitted, favorited, followed, or reviewed. :)
And yes, I'm attempting to write this story in third person, past tense. Bear with me here if I make some mistakes. If you've read some of my other stories, you'll know that I'm a first person, present tense kind of writer. (Except for my other story, This Is Prim.) So let me know if there's any major errors. Hopefully these will be better reapings than in Burning Blood. Sorry that it's so short.
I'm overwhelmed with the response to this SYOT (it took FOREVER to get this many tributes for my other one). But there's still some open spots. All girl spots are taken, but the D3, D5, D10, and D11 guys are open, so feel free to submit!
The ornately decorated clock in Killian's bedroom read 6:02 in the morning -early, since District One's citizens usually were in the habit of sleeping late like in the Capitol-, but Bianca was wide awake. She had no idea how early morning sickness and all of that was supposed to start. Either way, she felt so damn sick that she either wanted to run for the bathroom and tell Kil that she had the flu for what seemed like the thousandth time. Her stomach churned, and after a few seconds of debating, she leaped out of bed and ran into the fancy bathroom that connected to the bedroom.
As soon as she slammed the door shut, hopefully not waking up Kil's parents in the process, she leaned over the sink and retched over and over, shaking and sweaty. Oh, Kil, she thought. I wonder what you'd say if you knew that I was pregnant with your child. But she couldn't let anyone know. Not her parents, who were still getting over the death of her brother, even though it was in the Games of three years ago. They'd think that Bianca would die too if she went into the Games while pregnant. They hoped so much to have another victor, like her father. They'd been forcing Bianca to train since she was little, and of course, they'd made Chris train, too.
But there wasn't training for what to do when you're doing great, good enough to hope for victory, when your district partner literally stabs you in the back. Chris could have used training for that.
And if she told anyone, anyone at all, she wouldn't have been able to train anymore. She couldn't even tell Kil. Besides, since it was technically reaping day, however early it was, she wouldn't be allowed to volunteer today if the trainers knew that she was pregnant. Well, maybe it would get her sponsors. That was Katniss Everdeen's strategy, right? And besides, Bianca was from District One, after all. Everyone loved District One.
She washed the vomit down the sink, wiping the sweat from her forehead. Leaning against the wall, she tried to compose herself. If Kil or anyone else knew that she was pregnant, then her whole future would be awful. So she was going to volunteer today. She had to. For Kil. For her parents. For her trainers. For her district. And for her unborn child.
There was a knock on the bathroom door, and Bianca, panicked, washed the last traces of vomit out of the sink. "Can I come in?" Kil asked in his usual arrogant manner. Bianca sighed in relief, glad that it wasn't Kil's parents, and unlocked the door.
Kil came in with that familiar grin that made Bianca smile back, despite all of her confused feelings. His black hair was messy as usual -a little messier, since he'd just rolled out of bed. His eyes looked like the blue ocean in pictures of District Four that Bianca had seen in her school textbooks about industry. "Hey, Bianca," he said, giving her a hug. "You look beautiful," he adds cockily.
Bianca had to laugh then. "It's six a.m. in the morning, Kil," she said with a grin that was half-real, half-false. Inside, she was miserable, but Kil could always make her smile.
"You still look beautiful," he reassured. Bianca, with her face buried into Kil's shoulder, felt safe for the first time since she'd found out that she was pregnant. "Well, since you're up, we might as well..." He gestured back at the bedroom.
Bianca giggled, but she shook her head. "No. It's reaping day," she said. Something like dread stirred in her. She wanted to volunteer, sure, and she was well trained for this, but she secretly hated the Capitol. "Let's just go back to sleep."
"Why are you up, anyway?" Kil asked, frowning a little. "Do you feel okay? I know you had the flu for a few weeks."
The flu. Another one of her excuses. "I'm fine, just had to go to the bathroom," she lied, and they went back into the bedroom, falling asleep quickly, trying to forget the reaping.
In the morning, Bianca tried to wake up before Kil. Not because she felt sick; she needed to go to her house and get her reaping outfit. But Kil was awake before her. "Hey, no need to go to your place," he said with a grin, pointing to an outfit laid out. "I got some clothes for you."
She smiled, happy tears springing to her eyes when she saw the dress and shoes. "Thanks," she said with a smile, going into the bathroom to change. When she came out, she was dressed in a beautiful blue dress -short, with a v-neck- and greek-style sandals. It looked great with her tanned skin, curly brown hair, and deep brown eyes. "Thank you so much, Kil," she said, hugging him.
His hands clasped a necklace behind her neck. She looked down, seeing the heart-shaped pendant. "When you're in the Games, this can be your district token," he said. "All right?"
"All right," she answered, unable to help smiling back.
In the Training Academy of District One, Kai hacked at a dummy with his sword. Some pre-reaping practice couldn't hurt. Once the dummy was in pieces, he laid down his sword. His girlfriend, Milah, clapped, grinning. Her straight black hair was in a loose braid over her shoulder, and Kai couldn't help but notice how pretty she looked. She was already in her reaping dress; gray, to match her eyes.
"Thank you, thank you," Kai said, giving Milah a hug. The rush that he always got from training, from tearing up dummies with his sword, was fading. "I've got to get back to my house. You know. Change into my reaping outfit. Hear my parents gush about how wonderful it is to have a son like me. Go to the reaping. Volunteer. Hear my family rant about how noble I am to volunteer and bring even more honor to District One."
Milah laughed. "I've got to go back home too, and meet my family," she said, giving him a goodbye hug and a kiss on the cheek that made his whole face feel hot. "Bye. I'll see you at the reaping." Kai nodded. And even as she became nothing but a person in the sea of people on the streets of District One, Kai stared after her, then left. Only, he took a different way. He was headed to his house.
When he got there, his family was waiting in the fancy living room, waiting on the couch, the picture-perfect portrait of District One life. His sister, Lilac, was in a pretty blue dress, with her thick, wavy blond hair braided back. His mother's black, curly hair -which he'd inherited, but kept short to hide the curls- was braided in the same style. His mother and father were in their best clothes, even though they obviously weren't part of the festivities.
"Hey," said Kai. "I'm going to put on my reaping clothes, all right? Then we can go." His father nodded, and Kai took the stairs two at a time up to his bedroom. After a long look at the many clothes in his large closet, he peeled off his sweaty training clothes and changed into a black v-neck shirt, gray jeans that were once blue, but had faded to gray, and a pair of boots. After a second admiring his reflection -wouldn't the Capitol love his muscles, that tanned skin, the generous height, the seductive blue eyes?- he ran back downstairs.
"Let's go," said Lilac, grinning. She planned to volunteer in a couple years, too, so this was important to her, to see her brother volunteering.
Once they got to the square -which was already packed- Kai went with the other eighteen-year-olds. He turned to see Milah, in the seventeen-year-olds' section, grinning at him. He smiled back and gave her a thumbs up. Then, after waiting through the ever-boring Treaty of Treason, he heard the chaperone call, "Time to see who our young lady is!"
She tottered in her high heels over to the girls' reaping ball and plucked out a slip after a few seconds. After clearing her throat, she read out, "Velvet Millson!"
"I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!" yelled a girl near him, knocking down the other would-be volunteers around her and running up to the stage. She stood next to the chaperone. Damn, she was pretty... but nowhere as beautiful as Milah.
"Your name?" asked the chaperone, undaunted, completely used to this.
"Bianca Maverick," the girl answered breathlessly, grinning out across the sea of faces. Good, not some wimp or slut for his district partner.
"Congratulations!" the chaperone trilled. All of District One applauded, even Kai, who was trying to prepare himself to run up to the stage and look strong and perfect and Career-like. Perfect to represent District One. "And now, for our male tribute!" She drew a name. "Silver Anderson-"
"I volunteer as tribute!" bellowed Kai, drowning out the calls of the boys are him as he pushed through the crowd, striding up to the stage. He took the steps two at a time, going right up to the microphone. "My name is Kai Gladius, and I plan to come back here as the victor of the 200th Hunger Games!" He winked, and a lot of the girls in the crowd squealed or looked faint.
"Wonderful, wonderful!" screeched the Capitol woman. She bared her mutated, surgically enhanced teeth in a smile. "Let's have a round of applause!"
Everyone in District One was clapping for him. Kai loved that feeling... but he loved seeing Milah clap the most.