Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."


19. Chapter 18

The sun rose not long after the battle at the Career camp. We were all tired and depresses, we had known going to the Career camp was a risk, but we just didn't think Harrison.... He was only 13 and now he's gone. I can't get the image of the rats ripping him and Ruby apart, it makes me want to break down and cry, but I know I have to stay strong for Eris who has just now stopped crying.

It's daytime, but since we were up all night we decide to rest. Eris insists on taking watch and I don't argue with her, she needs time to herself. I crawl into the sleeping bag and Ronan crawls in after me, he could have slept in the spare sleeping bag since there is no one to occpy it, but he doesn't and I'm glad. I ask myself everyday if I love Ronan and everyday I deny it, even though I know its true, but admiting it would only bring me more pain.

As I lay there in Ronan's arms I think about the remaining tributes. There's Terra, Zale, Me, Eris, Ronan, and... It takes me a minute to think of the person, but then I remember, it's either the girl from 8, Rhine, or the boy from 11, Crant. We still don't know who Ronan killed. Who ever is left must be really smart to have survived this long without allies. That means there are only six of us left. Normally they do a feature on the final 8, but now they'll have to do the final six, since there were ten of us only three hours ago. There are only five people between me and home, but one of them is my best friend and the other, well I can't admit it.

I fall asleep and I dream of those three months between Lyra's death and the reaping.

I stand near the wood burning stove in the kitchen an Xanthe sits at the table. I remember this day, though; I really don't want to relive it. My dad stumbles into the kitchen with a bottle of whiskey; he's a mess, his hair sticks up wildly, his clothes are torn and stained, and he reeks. Xanthe stands up to take the bottle away from her, but he pushes her away and takes a long swig from the bottle.

"You God damn drunk!" Xanthe screams at him, "You act like you're the only one who's on pain, you forget that we lost her too."

My dad leans into her face and her nose crinkles at his stench, "You two don't have the right to mourn her. It's your fault she died," he growls.

"You weren't even there when she died. You left her alone," she spits an his hand makes contact with her face. She stumbles backwards shocked and he raises his hand to hit her again. I step between them.

"Avea, move! This is between me an your sister," he says still looking at Xanthe, but I hold my ground.

"Fine. If that's how it's going to be," his hands make contact with my shoulders and I fall to the ground hitting my head on the table on the way down. Everything is rimmed in black and my head throbs. Xanthe screams and my dad stumbles back in horror at what he's just done. I hear foot steps run out of the house, but I'm to disoriented to even wonder what's happening. A few minutes later my sister comes back with and apothecary and I black out.

I wake up my heart racing and touch the back of my head, but there is no injury. That was the only time my dad had ever hit any of us, but it makes me wonder if my home is worth going back to. It's mid-day and the sun is high in the sky, Eris sits at her post her eyes red from crying. I get out of the sleeping bag and sit next to her. I don't say anything I just let her lean her head on my shoulder. She cries into my shoulder soaking my jacket. We don't talk, we just sit there and enjoy the silence. Just being with Eris comforts me, I've only ever been close to Selene in this way, I can honestly say that Eris is one of my best friends.

Ronan wakes up an hour or so later and immediatley notices the crying Eris. He sits on the other side of her and puts his arm around her to comfort her. We have plenty of food and nothing better to do so we spend the rest of day at our camp. Eris eventually stops crying, so we all just kick back and relax.

"Your hair looks like a bird made a nest in it," Eris says with a smile and I self conciously touch my head, "here let me fix it." Eris pulls my hair out of the sloppy ponytail I've been putting it in and begins brushing out my hair with her fingers. She starts at the crown of my head and begins braiding it adding strands as she goes. When she's done my hair is in a tight hairstyle that Eris calls a "French Braid".

"Looking good," Ronan says with a wink and I smile at him. We haven't had any time alone since the day Eris discovered the Career camp, but I'm dying to.

Eris notices the winks and smiles and says, "I think I'll go for a walk."

I don't like the idea of Eris going out alone, but she has her sword and is perfectly capable of defending herself, " Be safe," I tell her.

She nods, "Of course."

Eris leaves and Ronan and I are alone. Ronan pulls me to him and kisses me. It's a long kiss and iit fills me with a sense of euphoria, but I pull away.

"You know this is going to end poorly," I tell him.

He looks into my eyes and holds my hands, "I know, it's just that I'm going to die in a few days and I want to spend them with you."

My face pales, "Don't say that."

He smiles at me and runs a hand over my hair, "I already know you're going to be the Victor, everyone in the arena knows it."

"I-" I start to say when he kisses me again. I know I shouldn't be kissing him, but we both probably only have a few days left and I want to spend mine with him. He digs his hands into my hair and a few strands fall out of the braid. I wrap my arms around him and hold onto him like he might disappear into thin air. I know now that I really do love him, though; some part of me still fights it. We kiss for a moment longer and then we simply sit there, his arm around me and my head on his shoulder.

"I love you," he whispers in my ear.

"I love you too," I whisper back and he holds me closer both of us smiling.

Eris returns from her walk and raises her eyebrows at my messy braid causing me to blush. She doesn't say anything thankfully. We have another 2 to 3 hours before dark, so we set up camp, go though our supplies and eat. We eat a rabbit and even have a few crackers and dry fruit. The rabbit is a bit hard, since it's almost two days old, but still good, while the dried fruit and crackers are of course Capital quality. I think about Ronan the entire time.

The sun sets over the horizon, so we wait for the faces to appear in the sky. First Ruby, who looks normal compared to what she looked like when she died, then Julius, followed by Harrison, and finally the girl from 8, Rhine. That leaves 6 of us: Terra, Zale, Avea, Eris, Ronan, and Crant.

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