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."

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22. Chapter 21

My laughter echoes through the woods and for a moment I'm certain I've gone mad, but it doesn't really matter what state of mind I'm in if I'm going to die. I can feel Ronan's eyes watching my fit of madness, the way I laugh at no one, the years that pour onto my cheeks despite my laughter. This seems to go on for hours and I only stop when it becomes painful to breath.

"You about done?" Ronan asks carefully.

I want to laugh again, but my stomach hurts like hell, so I simply reply, "I guess so."

"Good because you need some sleep," he reminds me.

I shake my head, "No, I'll take first watch."

He doesn't argue with me and slides into the warmth of the sleeping bag. The moon is already high in the sky and it dribbles liquid light over the forest softening the harsh environment. Somewhere in the woods an owl hoots, a tree rustles, a tribute sleeps. But, none of that is my concern right now, my only concern is getting Ronan out of the arena alive. I've considered the repercussions of my action, the effect it will have on my family, my sister in particular, and I think that it will be okay. Whenever Ronan goes on his victory tour I'll make sure he talks to my sister, convinces her that she can move on; then there is Vivien, Selene, and my father, they all promised to make sure nothing happens to Xanthe and I expect them to uphold that promise long after I'm gone.

The night passes in silence and I allow Ronan to sleep well into the day not really caring if I get sleep. When he wakes up his eyes peel open revealing th blue eyes that once reminded me so much of my sister's, they're the reason I first decided to trust him. The sun indicates that it's around 10 in the morning, though; I'm not so sure time is relevant in the arena.

"You let me sleep too late, you should have woken me up," he tells me as he sits up.

"You needed sleep and I wasn't tired," I reply in a monotone voice.

"Avea, you need to stop thinking about Eris. There is nothing you can do to bring her back and she's want you to stay strong and keep fighting," he says with his hand on my shoulder.

"This isn't about Eris, at least not completely," I say simply.

He looks concerned when he asks, "Then, what is it about?"

I struggle to look into his sky blue eyes as I answer, "The games, the victor, the end."

I thought I'd be the one to look away, but instead he does, "I don't know why your so concerned with that, we all know you're going to win."

"I wouldn't be so certain of that," I tell him.

"Avea, don't think like that. There is no one left who can take you out anyways."

"Zale can," I remind him, "and I don't really intend on being the Victor."

"First of all you are stronger than Zale, maybe not physically but mentally. And who do you intend on being the Victor?" he asks cautiously.

"You," I answer with certainty.

He shakes his head, "You know that I won't let you die."

"You don't have much say in the matter," I remind him.

"Damn it! Avea, you are not going to die. I'll take the fall before you do," he looks aggitated.

"I guess we'll so who is right and who is wrong," I murmur mournfully.

"I guess so."

Ronan and I don't argue anymore, we both know who ever wins will know who was right and who was wrong. The rest of the day passes in silence, no cannons fire, no screams echo through the forest. As night sets over the arena no faces appear in the sky. The Capital will be thirsty for a blood spill, this peace won't last.

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