The Hunger Games (A One Direction Fanfiction)

I make my way back to my room. I half expect to lay awake all night fretting, letting in all the emotions that have been strangely absent so far, but when I lie down, I’m out almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.

I’ve always been a surprisingly good sleeper. I wake easily, but I can stay in that twilight place between dreams and reality for as long as I want. In the morning, I choose to stay and try to relive all my happy memories of childhood.

In fact, I don’t even get out of bed until well past noon, when our train arrives at the Capitol. I feel sluggish, and slightly sick to my stomach with fear. This is it. I am now officially a tribute in the Hunger Games.

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3. Chapter 3

Ina's POV

After sunrise, I am immediately handed over to my stylist. Or, more accurately, my prep team. Apparently my stylist won’t see me until I am made presentable.

My prep team circles me, a flock of vultures with exfoliant and tweezers. One of them drips a layer of hot wax onto my leg, and I wince and dig my fingernails into my palm. I want to jerk away, but I know I have to be cooperative. Hannah had pulled me aside as we were getting off the train, “You won’t like what they do to you, but do not complain; you are about to go through a lot worse.”

“Thanks. That makes me feel so much better,” my reply had been heavy with sarcasm.

The prodding carries on, with my team scrubbing under my nails to get the layers of dirt out and making me yelp as they pull out the tangles in my hair. They brush my face with a shimmering white powder that makes my nose itch, but I manage to stifle a sneeze. 

My prep team finally deems me worthy of presentation, and allows me to put on a thin, white robe. I am then told to sit and wait for my stylist.

Ten minutes pass, and I am about to get up and begin pacing again when the door opens, and my stylist enters. He is ghostly pale, with electric blue and fuchsia hair, and wide tattoos around his eyes that look like butterfly wings. It looks wild and strange and beautiful. Of all the ridiculous Capitol fashion I have seen so far, this is by far my favorite. He holds his hand out for me to shake.

“My name is Avery.” his voice is soft and hoarse, with a slightly feminine touch. I can’t help but like him, even though I am bit uncomfortable with the idea of having a male stylist.

I clear my throat, suddenly nervous, “I’m Ina.”

Avery smiles at me, displaying two rows of gold plated teeth, “It’s very nice to meet you, Anya. How are you feeling?”

“A bit nervous, to be honest,” it feels good to say that, to get it out there that no, I am not okay. Although that is probably the biggest understatement of my entire life.

Avery smiles comfortingly.

“Well, that is to be expected.” he leans over and bops me on the nose, “But I guarantee that you will feel a little more confident when you see just how amazing you look in your costume for the opening ceremonies.” his warm tone becomes more business like, “Come up, get up! We have a lot of work to do!”

An hour later, I am in costume, in the closed area where the chariots are waiting. Frazer is already there, dressed similarly to me, and seeing him brings a tiny smile to my face. Our chariot is pulled by four pure-white horses. They look so angelic and majestic; it’s hard to believe that this is essentially a ride to our death. That thought is enough to wipe the silly smile off my face.

“Hey, why the long face, snowflake?” hearing Anya's pet name for me, added to the mountain of stress on my shoulders, makes me giggle in an alarmingly hysterical manner. Oh, I would give anything to be at home right now instead of this beautiful hellhole, surrounded by people who want to draw blood out of me.

Frazer looks amazing and otherworldly in his costume, a suit of ornate silver armor. If I look even half as imposing as him, no one will even dare to attack me in the arena. I doubt I do, though. I am of a tall height and although I am quite agile, I have no muscle mass, and I don’t think I could tip a scale and one hundred and twenty pounds.

My brief swoop of confidence is doused as Avery waves us up into the chariot. Frazer hops up, then leans down and gives me a boost. A strange look flickers over his face, and he doesn't let go of my hand.

Then we’re moving. The ride is a blur; my world has shrunk down to a fuzzy wall of screaming faces and Frazer's hand. I am holding on to him and digging my nails into his palm so tightly, I must be hurting him, but he doesn't complain. I’m glad; if he wanted me to let go, then I would probably have lost my balance and fallen right out of the moving chariot.

We pull up to the City Circle, and the president gives his speech. I don’t listen; I've heard it all before. Instead, I observe the other tributes. It is traditional to dress in something that reflects the flavor of the tributes’ District. As District One, who makes luxury items, Frazer and I are in ornate armor. I catch sight of the boy from Three, the one who caught my eye last night. He and his partner are wearing what looks like a mass of fine copper wire that has been twisted and braided into a beautiful pattern. He looks quite stunning, but he doesn't seem to care. He is staring strait ahead, his face expressionless with a hint of boredom. The pair from Eight, the little girl and boy whose profile strongly calls to mind a young boy from my District, are draped in enough cloth to sail a small ship. I have to stifle a giggle, because my nerves are getting to me and oh god, I am so scared right now. I tighten my grip on Frazer's hand, probably tearing his skin ever so slightly, and brace my other one against the wall of the chariot.

Frazer squeezes my hand, and I ease off, thinking that he wants me to let go.

“No, don’t.” he whispers. His long, blonde hair tickles my ear, and for a moment, I allow myself to pretend that it’s Anya. I wish she was here for me to hold on to instead of this near stranger. Then I catch myself. No, of course I don’t want Anya here, because that would mean that she would be going into the arena instead of me, and I would never wish that upon her.

Night falls, and the ceremony ends.

We make our way to the Training Center. A twelve-story building, and me and Frazer, as District One, are on the first floor.

Our apartments are large and grand. I’m almost afraid to touch anything for fear of ruining it. Everything is done in what I suppose are tasteful colors to the people of the Capitol, but they all seem too loud and clashy to me. It’s as though everything in the room is screaming for attention all at once.

Tina tells me to go and change into something into more comfortable. I stick my face under the to wash off some of the make up that Avery had insisted on slathering me with, and find a loose fitting shirt and pants in the closet. Feeling much more like myself, I go back to the main living area.

I find an extravagant meal is laid out for us. I have to laugh, because it smells so amazing, and I don’t even know the names for most of these dishes.           

I take a seat at the table with Frazer, Tina, Hannah, Dean, and both Frazer's and my stylists. Servers in white uniforms serve us drinks, but unlike on the train, I choose to pay attention rather than eat. My stomach still feels knotted up from nerves anyway, and this all looks very rich. I am not sure that I could keep it all down; I was barely able to last night.

Tina looks very happy and her voice is at a high squeal. 

“You both did wonderful. The overall reaction has been positive, although you haven’t done much to stick out.” she taps her fingers on the table, clearly deep in thought, “It definitely helps that you are both quite attractive. Now all you need to do is perform well in training and get a high enough score to get you noticed.”

I blush a little bit. Attractive. Back home, being pretty matters about as much as being able to say the alphabet backwards, but here, it was one of the most important qualities you could posses.

I can’t help but feel a little grateful towards Tina, no matter how much she annoys me. She really is trying her best to keep us alive.

We make small talk over the rest of the meal, and afterwards, we watch the replay of the opening ceremonies. The other tributes are an odd mix of foreboding and pitiful. I’m not sure which one I am, yet.

“The hand holding was a nice touch. It’s a good idea, presenting the two of you as a team.” Hannah studies us critically for a moment, but it is mainly directed at Frazer, “I assume that’s your plan?”

Frazer places his hand possessively on my shoulder, “Of course we are doing this together. Me and Ina are a team.”

I try to hide my surprise, but I feel sort of blind-sided. I don’t remember agreeing to team up in the area, but while part of me really wants to, another part is screaming to be careful. What if he is planning to betray me? Or, even worse, what if it comes down to just the two of us? I’m not sure I could kill some kid I didn't even know, let alone a boy that I have known since I was a child. On the other hand, Frazer could easily kill me with his bare hands. But then I remember what Anya had said, about wanting me to team up with him, and I make my choice, “Yes. We are doing this thing together.”

I notice than Hannah is looking at Frazer's hand. Her expression softens slightly. 

“It would not be a good idea to carry over any emotional ties you feel. You can’t win this game by playing with your heart.” she says this with a surprising amount of pain in her voice. I am surprised, because she spent most of her games running and hiding from everybody else. She played alone, and she dominated.

Playing with my head isn't a new concept to me, but for some reason, it weighs heavy on my mind, making me feel exhausted.

My sleep isn't nearly as settled as it was last night. Tomorrow, I will have to really face the other tributes for the first time, on equal ground, and I can’t help but feel afraid. And, although he doesn't show it, I'm sure Frazer is equally as afraid as I am.

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