~~A/N: This chapter is mainly Supernatural, the next one is Doctor Who. After that the reaping scenes will be over and the tributes will be on to training. Yay! (If there’s a specific person’s reaping you want me to write, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to fit it in somewhere in the story). Thanks!
P.S. I wasn’t sure whether to write the Winchester’s reaping or the Novak’s, so I wrote both. That’s why this chapter might be a bit longer. (And this “……..” means that I’m switching which scene I’m writing. It’ll make sense as you read).
Gabriel sank down further in his seat as Castiel came around the corner, rubbing his eyes with the palms of his hands and yawning.
“Another nightmare, Cassie?” Gabriel asked as his brother shuffled into the kitchen. Castiel nodded, turning to a cupboard with no door and pulling out a piece of bread.
Silence hung over them as Castiel ate his breakfast.
“You worried? About today?” Gabriel asked tentatively. Of course he was worried. Castiel had his name entered into the reaping more times than either of them would care to admit. Gabriel’s was in fewer, but still more than he’d like.
“Yes.” Came Castiel’s simple reply. Gabriel rolled his eyes. Anytime his brother was worried about something, he would shut everyone out so that no one could help him. It was the worst thing for your older brother to not tell you what’s wrong, not to let you help. But Gabriel had gotten used to it.
“Great talking to you.” He said sarcastically, sliding out of his chair and going to waste the majority of the day in bed with a book. \
After he had left, Castiel went outside. The fresh air helped him think, and today, he had a lot of thinking to do. The sky and clouds made everything look normal- for a second, Cas could almost pretend that it was. But it didn’t last long. Soon enough the weight of the impending doom that came with today was back on his shoulders, crushing him as if it weighed more than a ton. Today was the reaping for the 50th annual Hunger Games. The day that four, instead of two, tributes would be chosen to compete in the Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor, they’d say before picking the names of the children who would die in battle. And though both of the Novak’s hated to admit it, the odds definitely weren’t in their favor.
That’s the weight that had been hanging over Castiel for weeks. If Gabriel were picked, Castiel would volunteer for him without any hesitation. If Cas was picked, he’d hoped that would be that. Now he just had to pray that neither of their names would be drawn.
“Dean? You see dad yet?” Sam asked, knocking on the doorframe but walking in anyways. His older brother shook his head, still watching intently a necklace he was fiddling with in his hands. Sam could see that it was the amulet he had given him on his birthday few years ago. It was supposed to be good luck or something. Dean always seemed to ensure he had it with him, especially when he was nervous about something. Today, he had good reason to be.
“You alright?” Sam asked. Dean looked up at him, faking a smile that both of them could see through. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just…nervous, ya’ know?” Sam nodded, glad that he had said something. This was Sam’s fifth reaping, and Dean’s last. Of course they were anxious; Dean had almost made it through- he was almost illegible to be drawn as a tribute. But Sam still had a few years to go, and his name was in the bowl more than once or twice. Dean didn’t know that, though; Sam wasn’t ever planning on telling him either. District 12 was the outermost district, with the worst conditions. Dean had already convinced them to let him work in the mines a year before he would normally would have just to keep food on the table. Their dad also worked in the mines, but he had other jobs around town as well and was never around. So that left Sam at home alone, feeling like he should help, but not able to. So he signed up for tesserae, and got his names in the bowl a couple more times. It wasn’t a big deal for Sam, but Dean had stressed to him not to do anything like that. Dad and I can handle this, he had assured him the first time Sam had brought it up. Sure, part of him felt guilty for doing it anyway. But not as guilty as he would have felt not doing anything.
“Sam?” Sam snapped out of his thoughts, looking back up at his brother. “Yeah?”
“You won’t….volunteer for anyone, will you?” Dean asked, sliding the necklace over his head.
Sam shook his head, but hesitated before speaking what was an obvious lie. How could he know? Anything could happen on a day like today. “No. Of course not.” Even still, Dean breathed a small sigh of relief. “Good.”
“As long as you don’t, anyway.” He added, leaving the room before Dean could argue.
Gabriel and Castiel were lined up with their age group for the reaping; Gabriel, being sixteen, was towards the front, closer to the stage than Castiel and the other eighteen year olds.
The mayor got up on the stage, waving enthusiastically at the crowd who didn’t return any of the enthusiasm. He launched in to his usual speech, which both of the Novak’s tuned out- Gabriel wasn’t interested, and Castiel was too busy trying to ignore where he was; if he could forget the crowd around him, the mayor’s monotone speech, and the stinging on his finger, then maybe he could slow down his panicking heart.
The mayor left the stage, slumping when he got to the bottom and letting the smile on his face fall. A woman skipped up the steps, addressing the crowd with an overly enthusiastic “hello.” The entire district seemed to groan as the video started to play on three screens above the stage.
Castiel watched the screen without seeing it, willing time to go faster so that all of this would be over. But before he was ready, the video cut off and the woman smiled at them. “And may the odds be ever in your favor. Now, to pick our tributes.” She trotted over to the bowl on her left. Before sticking her hand in, she said the line that everyone had heard every reaping for their entire life. “Ladies first.” She grinned cheekily at her unamused audience, and reached into the bowl.
The first name: “Mikasa Ackerman.”
A girl with short black hair strode confidently down the pathway, mounting the steps to the stage without hesitation. She showed no signs of the fear, shock, or confusion that most tributes would when they stood in front of their district, who was relieved that they had been chosen instead of themselves.
The woman drew another piece of paper from the bowl. “Asuna Yuuki.” Castiel didn’t know the name, but he was certain that someone did. He was right. A boy broke from the group of eighteen year olds, running after Asuna, who was on her way to the stage. He caught her in a tight hug, not letting go until peacekeepers pulled him away. He yelled at them, trying to get back to the girl, but one of them pressed a gun against his back. Asuna was lead up to the stage, but now she looked worriedly after the boy as he was shoved back under the rope into the group with everyone else, but the peacekeepers stood by, guns ready.
The woman seemed to forget what had just happened, ignoring the girl who was near tears beside her, and walked over the other bowl. Castiel tensed, able to imagine with a painful clarity that every name in that bowl belonged to either him or his brother.
As she reached into the bowl, Gabriel could feel himself get dizzy. She smiled, and Gabriel could have sworn that she was smiling at him as she read the name. “Castiel Novak.”
No. No, this wasn’t happening. Gabriel felt the crowd turn towards his brother. He wanted to yell at them, tell them not to give his brother away, tell him that if they did he would kill them. But he couldn’t find any words. He was surprised when his legs didn’t give out and he was able to run after Cas, who had covered half of the distance to the stage.
“No! Cassie, please, don’t-“Gabriel cried even though there was nothing he could do, throwing his arms around his older brother.
“Gabriel, stop.” Castiel pushed him away, fighting the tears pricking his eyes. This wasn’t supposed to happen, not to them.
“I-I volunteer! Let me go instead of him, please!” He yelled, pushing away a uniform when they grabbed him, trying to pull him away from Castiel.
The woman at the front seemed shocked, but it didn’t last long. Nothing seemed to phase her.
“Gabriel, no. You can’t do this.” Castiel whispered, his voice broken.
“I think we have a volunteer!” The woman announced, sounding more than slightly entertained by the idea.
Gabriel shrugged the peacekeeper away from him, walking to the stage quickly. Castiel turned to the uniform behind him. “You can’t let him do this! I was picked, I want to go in.” He tried to calm down, hoping that they’d listen to him, but his voice betrayed every emotion he was feeling, coming out in a choked panic.
Gabriel was already on the stage. He said his name into the microphone, and a whole other weight settled in Castiel’s stomach. But a plan was already being formed, and as soon as the next name was called, Castiel ran up the steps of the stage.
“And your name?” She asked, although he was certain she knew.
“Dean, everything’ll be fine. It always is.” Sam said, nudging his brother with his elbow. Dean smiled up at him. “Yeah. I know.” It was honestly ridiculous how tall Sam was; even still, it was Dean who was two years older.
The Winchesters separated, going with their groups and standing in front of the stage. Dean twirled his necklace with his fingers, but it brought little comfort as the Mayor climbed the stairs and onto the stage. He said stuff. No one listened. Some lady with a bright green wig jumped onto the stage. The video started. They played it every year like someone might have forgotten. At the end of the video, you realize that it’s really the districts who are to blame for the Hunger Games. Not the Capitol, not at all. Why would it be their fault?
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
The Capitol woman made her way to the bowl with all the girl’s names. “Ladies first!”
She stuck her hand into the bowl, stirring the papers, then pulling out one.
A girl stepped out of the crowd, and Dean’s heart skipped a beat. Someone he knew…it wasn’t the first time someone he knew had been chosen- every time it happened, he felt like he was going to be called next.
Jo made her way to the stage, seeming extremely confident. Maybe she’ll win. Dean thought, honestly hoping that she would. He knew that Jo hunted outside of the gates, so she had a chance. Jo was one of his closest friends, not that that meant much. But he was already planning to visit her before she got onto the train, he was just hoping that it wouldn’t be goodbye. Why couldn’t it have been anyone else? Someone not close to him, maybe?
Another name was called, but it didn’t really matter. She didn’t seem to be competition for Jo, so Dean tried not to think about who she was.
“Now which of our fine young men will be representing your district this year?” the woman asked, receiving no answer, and bouncing over to the other bowl. Dean held his breath. If it didn’t happen this year, he would never be drawn as a tribute. And the odds that Sam would get picked-
“Sam Winchester.” The woman already had a paper in her hand, but Dean was sure he hadn’t heard correctly. But sure enough, Sam was being lead up to the stage. Everything seemed to freeze as Dean pushed through the crowd, ducking under a rope and running after his brother. His heart had stopped beating seconds ago, but now it was going full blast, masking the shouts from the peacekeepers running after him.
“I volunteer!” Dean could have sworn he’d screamed those words; his knees went weak, barely able to support him; but it didn’t seem like anyone had heard, so he yelled as loud as he could, not caring that his voice cracked in the middle. “I volunteer!”
The entire square fell into a silence. The woman on the stage looked at the crowd, like she wasn’t sure what to do. A peacekeeper pulled Dean after him, “leading” him to the stage.
Sam grabbed onto his brothers arm as he passed, eyes wide with panic and hands trembling.
“Don’t do this, Dean. Not for me, please,” Sam begged, trying to keep it together. Dean pulled his arm away, not wanting to see his brother cry for him. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to take it.
Dean was led in front of a mic. The woman with the Capitol hair smiled at him. “What’s your name, sweetheart?”
Dean knew he was going to die. And everyone would watch it like it was entertainment, all except for his brother. He couldn’t leave him, but what choice did he have? Everything seemed to flash before his eyes- Sam, eyes trained on a cracked television screen, rooting for his brother as he killed someone who didn’t deserve to die. Crying when the canon was shot; when his brother’s body was sent back home, in an unmarked wooden box once he got what he deserved.
No one good ever wins the games.
Dean shook out of his premonition when the woman nudged him. “Your name?”
“Dean Winchester.” Dean mumbled into the mic, not caring whether or not anyone understood him.
“And I bet Sam was your brother,” she said, a smile playing on her lips. Dean felt like he was going to throw up.
“Yes.” And you sadistic assholes are the reason I’m up here and the reason he’s going to have no one to look out for him. That was the only coherent thought Dean was able to put together.
Another name was called. But Sam already knew what he was going to do. He couldn’t let his brother go into the games alone. He wouldn’t be leaving much a life behind if he went, anyway. So Sam volunteered for the next boy, who looked extremely grateful, breaking down in tears. Sam ignored him, taking his place next to his brother on the stage. He forced himself out of this reality; he was doing everything on auto, answering the questions thrown at him by the woman without putting any thought into them. She seemed to enjoy this. Everyone in the Capitol probably did, too.
A/N: That chapter was painful to write. One more reaping scene, and then we’ll move on. I’m only planning on writing the visitations after the reaping in flashbacks, but they will probably be there. Thanks for reading, sorry for any feels. The next chapter is Doctor Who, sorry for the wait!