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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10. Chapter 9

"GOOD MORNING!" my prep team screeches in my ear, I'm startled so much that I fall out of the bed and land on my stomach with a thump. Still in a state of shock, I clamber to my feet and examine my stomach for any bruises. Thankfully there are none.

"What was that for?" I ask rubbing my throbbing ear.

" We thought you'd want to see our smiling faces as soon as you got up," Tatiana says with the biggest grin I've ever seen on her face. You'd think she was joking about the whole wanting to see them as soon as I woke thing, but she wasn't.

"I'm really excited to see you guys, I just thought I might have a little time to myself first," which is true I am really excited to see my prep team, I'm excited about this whole day. I just need time to myself to reflect on what's going to happen in the coming days.

"Sorry dear, no time for that. We have lots to do!" Tatiana quips.

Cyprian punches in my shower settings and has me step in. The warm water instantly begins to revive my senses, before I was confused and groggy, but now I'm alert and ready for what ever's to come. By the time I step out of the shower I'm squeaky clean and alert. A blast of air dries me off and the push of a button sends a stream of air through my hair completely untangling it. I walk back into my room and my prep team gets to work.

Fabius massages a goo into my hair that takes away the majority of the fluff from my hair, but leaves it with plenty of volume. I've always thought it was weird that Fabius does my hair considering he doesn't have any. He adds light waves to my hair before braiding my hair to the side in a design that reminds me of a fishtail and adds a silver ribbon into the braid. The very front of my hair is left out of the braid and trimmed to few inches past chin length; this part of my hair looks like it might have escaped my braid in a storm and has a wind blown look to it.

My makeup is very similar to the makeup I had on at the opening ceremonies: silver eyeliner, facial highlighting, and a bit if gray eyeshadow. Tatiana says she's using less facial makeup because Junia wants to use my natural looks. People keep calling me beautiful and referring to my natural looks and it's strange; I never considered myself to be beautiful and I don't remember anyone in District 4 calling me beautiful, I guess the Capital has a different idea of beautiful or they care a lot more about looks. When I look in the mirror I see that the combination of silver eyeliner and gray eyeshadow makes my eyes illuminate almost like lightening during a storm. Of course! Jay said my outfit would be related to a storm which explains my wind blown braid and lightning eyes and now I can see that Cyprian is painting my finger and toe nails in the pattern of a storm at sea. I can barely contain my excitement, I love the idea of being compared to a storm. It fits the whole beautiful and fierce thing perfectly and is much better than lion, but that's mostly because Zale calls me Lion.

Once my prep team finishes they run out to get Junia. Junia steps into the room with my dress in a bag so that I can't see it. She slides it over my head and the first thing I notice is how light it is and not very tight either. I open my eyes and stare in wonder at myself. The top of the dress is strapless and clings to my curves, while the bottom half flows out as if it were caught in the wind. It stops at my knees in the front but continues all the way to the ground in the back even with my heels on, which are thankfully very similar to the ones on yesterday so I don't have to learn to walk in these ones too. The fabric of the dress alternates between shades of gray and silver giving the effect of a storm at sea. Before I was hoping to just look like a storm, but now I realize I am the storm.

I feel terrible for ever thinking Junia was stupid, so I give her a hug and say, "Thank you."

She smiles as she pulls out of the hug and replies, "Just be fierce for me, OK?" I nod and smile back.

We make our way to the elevators where Zale and his stylist, Philo, are already waiting. Zale wears a collared shirt made from the same material my dress is made of with a dark gray suit over, I hate to say it but he looks good. He eyes me over and gives me a smirk before getting in the elevator. The elevator zooms down and before we know it Zale and I are waiting with the other tributes to side of the stage.

I find my allies and we wait together. Eris is wearing a white dress that goes about half way down to her knees and makes her tan skin glow and her black hair pop. Harrison wears the suit version of Eris's dress though he doesn't look as good as Eris in the white. Mave wears a golden gown that I'm guessing is supposed to be the color of grain and Ronan.... When I look at Ronan I have to stop. His chocolate brown hair is pushed slightly to the right and his golden shirt brings the flecks of gold out of his bright blue eyes, he is by far the most attractive guy here maybe even the most attractive guy I've ever seen.

"You look good," Ronan says as I walk.

I smile and reply, "Thanks so do you." We make eye contact for a moment before we both look away.

Eris gives me a weird look but simply asks, "Is everyone clear on the plan for tomorrow."

We all nod. Our plan is to have Eris, Ronan,and I run up to the cornucopia and grab weapons and fend off attackers while Mave and Harrison grab as many supplies as possible since they move the quickest.

"Good," Eris nods.

We are told to get in our places, so I tell the others good luck and begin walking towards my spot. Ronan pulls me into a quick hug as I walk away and whispers,"You really look amazing. Good luck," and then he returns to his spot leaving me standing there blushing like an idiot.

While we are waiting in our spots I anxiously start tapping my foot and unfortunately Zale notices.

"Nervous?" he asks, " don't be, if you do something stupid you won't be alive long enough to be embarrassed."

"There's only one District 4 tribute here stupid enough to mess up their interview and it's not me," I shoot back. Zale scowls but can't retort since it's time to take our seats.

Caesar Flickerman, the interviewer and host for the Hunger Games, sits at the front of the stage; each year he dies his hair, eyebrows, and eyelids a different color and this year they're butter yellow making him look almost sickly. I'm in the 7th seat from my right between Zale and the District 3 boy, I think his name is Witt. The cameras turn toward Caesar and the interviews begin. Ruby from District 1 is up first, she goes for a lighthearted approach. The crowd loves her, but I personally think her interview made her look weak. Copper is cocky and makes sure everyone knows just how strong he is, that will play well with the sponsors. Julius tries to be funny but his interview is weak. Before Terra even stands up I can tell she's going for sexy; her dress is black, strapless, and barely covers her butt. Terra is not only one of the strongest fighters, but now she's a crowd favorite, she'll be one of my main opponents in the arena. The District 3 tributes go and then it's my turn. I try to walk as normally as I can to the front of the stage and sit across from Caesar.

"You look stunning tonight! Doesn't she?" Caesar asks the crowd and they cheer, I flash a bright smile at them and they go nuts.

"Thank you, Caesar," I reply sitting in the fierce position Felix taught me.

"Avea, people have been calling you Lion or Storm. Why do you think that is?" Caesar asks.

"People are calling me Lion and Storm because they know that's what I am. They know I'm strong! They know I'm fierce! They know I'm unstoppable!" I stand up and throw my fist into the air and the crowd responds with a deafening roar.

Caesar quiets down the crowd and says, "You certainly are fierce! And you look just like a storm tonight, hats off to your stylist," Junia stands up and takes a bow before Caesar continues, "Avea, do you have any siblings?"

I begin to panic, I can't tell them about Lyra, I won't. They have not right to know about her, it's their fault she's dead! I take a deep breath and think about Lyra watching over me, I'm ready. "I have an older named Xanthe and I had a twin sister named Lyra but she passed away recently," I begin shakily, "Our mom died when Lyra and I were young, so Xanthe did a lot to help raise us. I look up to her. And then Lyra was just one of those people that everyone loved, she was smart, beautiful, kind, and just amazing. We did everything together: work, school, we even played music together; I played the guitar and she sang. Losing her was like losing apart of myself. I had to watch her die and after that I vowed to her and myself to not let anyone suffer and I plan to uphold that even in the arena. I know she's watching over me and that she'll give me the strength to fight. The strength to win," I finish. The audience is mesmerized, most of them are crying.

Caesar wipes away a tear of his own and grabs my hand, "That was very emotional. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm sure she's watching over you," I nod, "Why don't you tell us about what you think your strengths in the arena will be?"

I'm grateful for the change in subject, so I bring out my fierceness and say, "I'm fierce, I'm determined, I'm strong, and I have allies I know I can count on."

"You must be determined to get an 11 in training, why don't you tell us about that."

"I can't tell you too much, but I can promise this it will be exciting and you won't see it coming," I say with a sly smile. The Gamemakers nod in agreement and the crowd murmurs excitedly. The buzzer goes off and I return to my seat.

It's Zale's turn and he walks up with a smug smile. Zale is charming and has the crowd fawning over him and his good looks, which makes me want to strangle him.

"Are there any enemies that you've made?" Caesar asks.

"I have a few special friends. It's going to be a quite a show when we get to the arena. You'll love it," Zale says. My stomach drops when he looks at me in my allies.

Zale's buzzer goes off and District 5 goes, but it their interviews leave no impression on me. Eris is up next, she looks stunning. She goes for sexy and pulls it off even better than Terra. I'm so glad she's my ally and not my enemy.

"Eris, do you think being from District 6 puts you at a disadvantage?" Caesar asks.

"Being from District 6 doesn't make me weak! It makes me strong and determined! I know how to keep going! You just wait and see," she says standing up and pounding her chest. 

 

Eris returns to her seat and Harrison walks up. The crowd is pulled back into tears as he talks about his little sister and brother he left at home, the ones he raised since they're orphans. The crowd is still crying even after the buzzer goes. I wipe away my own tears trying to get over the idea of his siblings being left alone. I don't even bother to listen to 7 and 8 and then Mave is up. With her long blonde hair and wide brown eyes she pulls off the simple girls from District 9 who is amazed by the Capital perfectly. She talks about how amazing everything has been and how amazing everyone here is. She has everyone falling in love with her as she compliments them. She walks back to her seat and Ronan walks up.

My heart thuds in my chest as he walks past me, I give him a thumbs up and he smiles at me. Like Zale he goes for charming, but he pulls it off way better. Everyone is fawning over him and one woman even faints.

"Ronan, we've noticed a bond growing between you, Mave, Eris, Harrison, and Avea. We don't see an alliance form like this often, care to explain."

"Mave, Harrison, Eris, and Avea are amazing people and I couldn't have asked for better allies. I know they'll have my back," he looks at each one of us and his eyes linger on me just a little longer than the others. My cheeks heat up a bit and I look away.

The only other tributes I notice are Crant and the girls from 12, I think Caesar calls her Aurora. I noticed Crant when I watched the reapings, but I didn't pay much attention to him during training. I'm afraid I should have now that I realize just how cunning he is. He's witty and clever, I have trouble just keeping up with what he's saying. Aurora gives off an air of arrogance and I have a bad feeling about her. I'll have to keep my eye out for these two in the arena.

The interviews end and everyone goes back to their rooms. I fall asleep almost immediately, but I wake a few hours later to find Lyra on the foot of my bed a curtain of moonlight falling on her beautiful features.

"Avea, I've missed you so much," she says.

"Lyra, oh God, where have you been? I've missed you," I gasp pulling her into a hug. A tear trickles down my cheek and falls on her back

She smiles, " Oh, Avea I'm not really hear, but I'm waiting for you. We'll be back together soon I promise," she touches my cheek gently.

"I can't leave, not yet. There are people who need me," I whisper.

"Don't worry. It's all going to be okay," she whispers back.

I try to tell her to that I can't leave, but I wake up for real this time and I can't fall back to sleep. I stand on the patio and wait for death to come to me.

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