do or die

i only picked the name octavia because i am the 100 trash ALSO i don't know what to put here because idk what this is about

xxo peace

NOT EDITED (v v v rough)

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octavia is swinging her legs rapidly, one at a time. it started slow and it's getting faster. she hops off of the counter and lands hard on her feet. the impact is good for her.

 

octavia's truth is that it's lex day. that she didn't kiss her mother goodbye and that alex drove her here and she cried the whole way and redid her makeup in the passenger seat mirror while he watched and that bentley wasn't going to cancel the show, not for opening night and not even if she died.

 

and that's octavia's other truth. that she could die. however, she is too close and too far to think about that just now. right now all she can think about is julian. because there he is. right now, right in front of her.

 

he is beautiful, of course, to her, and he smiles like the sunset, so quick you could almost miss it. "o," he says. "i didn't know you worked at lex."

 

octavia thinks about how he is calmer than alex, and shorter, and how his eyes are the prettiest eyes she has ever seen. "you must've seen the list," is all she says.

 

he tucks a little tuft of hair behind his ear. "well, until then anyway." his voice is quiet, much like himself. she is glad julian is here. at least, she thinks she is. she doesn't, of course, what julian to die.

 

there are people filling the room now. octavia isn't the only one, now. "octavia!" the voice is light and happy, for lex day. o recognizes it.

 

she smiles. her dimples show. "sarah," she says. they shake hands. both firm; octavia's with a solid green manicure, the other girl's with calluses.

 

sarah's grin falters, but only for a moment. "i'm sorry you're here. glad, but... sorry." sarah's father died on lex day. octavia remembers now.

 

o looks the girl in the eyes. "you too," she says. octavia may have different priorities, but at least she knows how to be sensitive. to act the part, but be believable. and believe it, if you can. octavia believes it. she lost her father too.

 

she can't think on that for too long. "sarah," says octavia. "this is julian. julian, sarah."

 

they murmur hellos. "he's hot," whispers sarah, when julian turns around. her eyes are evenly spaced, and wide. her mouth is small, proportionally.

 

octavia glances at her, as if unfazed. "he's my ex," she tells the girl. in truth, octavia cares more than she is willing to admit, especially since she hasn't seen julian in over a year. she wasn't into relationships then, and neither was he. that was it. there was no bad ending. octavia thinks she might care about him, at least. but something like that is dangerous on lex day. so octavia stops thinking.

 

sarah doesn't apologize like octavia would have expected. she only shrugs. her shoulders are broad. "well, he is," she says.

 

octavia doesn't know how to reply, so she doesn't. octavia is good at that: not talking when she doesn't need to. it's good for a lot of people.

 

sarah glances back at octavia, to see if she's paying attention. "i hope i don't die," she says, so softly that octavia almost doesn't hear.

 

octavia can't look at her. can't look at her, in case she dies. she could. "me too," o says. she doesn't know if she's talking about herself or sarah. she doesn't want anyone to die, really. and she wants alex. alex and her show. that's what o wants.

 

"don't be morbid," says julian, and octavia has forgotten about him already. "no one is going to die." he is steady, but not calming. sarah stiffens.

 

"tell that to my father," says sarah. she looks him dead in the eye. he winces, but only a little. octavia can only tell because she knows him. really, he seems unfazed.

 

but he opens his mouth. this is already probably a mistake, according to o. "lex is safer now," says julian evenly. "for everyone." he seems to believe it. seems to.

 

octavia realizes her leg is shaking. she didn't even notice. she tugs on her own blond curl. sarah turns away. "please," says julian. "i'm—" but she's gone. the crowd swallows her, and o thinks she may never see her or any of them again.

 

julian turns to octavia for reassurance. "i didn't know," he says. octavia can't help but wonder why he would try to convince her. octavia is trying not to be upset. or maybe she's not. she can't tell.

 

she looks at him. if anything, his eyes have gotten prettier. "i suppose you forgot that my father died too," she says to him. even, like he talks. octavia read once that people adopt the speech habits of the people that they're around.

 

the circles under his eyes grow a little darker, he complexion a little paler. she stops him before he can say something to fix it, or something to make it worse. she doesn't want to know which it'll be. "don't worry about it," she tells him. "it's behind us." and it is. octavia means it. "just," pause, "i have to find the commander now. i haven't checked it."

 

julian frowns. "let me come with you," he says. it's the most emotion that's come from him. less even, less sure.

 

"no," says octavia. "i'm fine on my own. thanks." her eyes are getting lighter again. her hair is soft. she feels is on her neck.

 

he is hesitant. there are worry lines on his forehead, and his eyes are crinkled. his cheeks are pink. maybe from the cold. maybe from worry. "okay," he says finally. "i'll... i'll see you soon."

 

octavia closes her eyes and breathes. she turns to face him, and makes her voice steady. "see you soon," she tells him. it is the second lie she's told today.

 

as octavia weaves through the crowd, she can't help but wonder who of these people will die. will she know them? will she care?

 

the truth that no one talks about is that even though lex is that even though 68% of it's staff year around are teenagers, only they make up only 23% of those that work on lex day. (octavia knows because they flash all kinds of numbers all over the news on ex day.) there are rumors that parents of lex kids blackmail lex into taking the place of their child. the rumors, octavia thinks, are probably true.

 

some say that lex purposely hires the elderly, to save the innocent. lex also kills people every year for money, so octavia doesn't entirely understand why this would be true.

 

other numbers that flash on october 11th have mostly to do with motives. lex kids are not seen as much more than numbers, by most people. they are such a small part of everyone. but still. how many are poor? how many are desperate? how many are run aways? how many are criminals? how many are crazy?

 

octavia thinks she is probably crazy. she does not know what the statistics put her down for. it doesn't matter much, either way.

 

the thing about lex is that 364 days out of the year, no one is harmed, or ever injured, or killed, or murdered. but on october 11th, everything changes. on october 11th, no one is safe.

 

most wouldn't take the risk. on lex day, you can't not show up or call in sick or break a leg. they would know if you did. no one is willing to take that chance anymore.

 

the thing about october 11th is that the odds are slim to none, and yet... and yet here is this room full of kids. a bigger room full of adults down the hall. all of these people are real, and all of them are here, and all of them could die.

 

the thing is that there's always someone lex happens to.

 

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