A.N. Sooooo writing this because I needed it out of my system and I can't be bothered with my other two fics so here have Hunger Games and Sherlock! I have everything planned out for this except for clothing. If I miss anything out, I apologise. If I get it wrong, sorry.
I don't own either Sherlock or THG.
May I suggest listening to 'If it means a lot to you' by A Day To Remember when you're nearing the end of this? It's been my inspiration song through all of it and it's brilliant. Please give it a listen to!
Let the games begin!
It's normal for us now. Each district has to go through with it. Each year, two people between the ages of twelve and eighteen are picked to fight against both the other eleven districts and themselves in order to live. Those who live get all the glory and are able to live much better lives than those who aren't chosen. Each year, we watch those we love die in order to please the Capitol. I've watched it too many times now, and it's the most revolting thing you could possibly watch. I really don't know how those Capitol freaks can get so much enjoyment out of it. Then again, I don't particularly want to know, either.
It's the day before the reaping, and everyone in District Ten are on edge. It won't be an ordinary reaping. God, no, I only wish. Instead, it will be the mark of the one-hundredth Hunger Games, meaning it'll be a Quarter Quell, so no one knows what'll happen. We have no control over what the Capitol decides, and to be honest, I'm pretty worried about it. It'll be over the top, no doubt, just to strike more fear into our hearts. But I don't really have time to worry about it just yet. I can save that for later.
I'm John Watson, sixteen years old, and my sister, Harry, has just walked straight into our cow. I'd be worried if I didn't know she was drunk. Our cow is pretty used to it, too, so she mainly ignores it unless she gets hurt by it. I really wish Harry wouldn't drink like this. We don't have enough money as it is, and what little money we do have ends up spent on her drink. It's a good thing I've signed up for tesserae. We'd be dead if it weren't for that.
Harry's a year older than me, so her name has been entered six times. She's almost always drunk, but I know her reason this time. She's worried about the requirements for this year's Quarter Quell. Hell, we all are, but there's no need to get drunk at. . . I glance towards the sun, and then down at our shadows. Just about three in the afternoon, it looks like. God she's drunk early. Still can't blame her.
"John!" her voice rings out a bit too high pitched for my liking. Really drunk. She repeats my name a few more times before finally staggering her way over to me. I don't look up, since I'm too busy rinsing out a bucket, but she carries on anyway: "Johnny-boy, we're gunna survive this yea' too, righ'?"
I manage a small laugh somehow, even though this isn't a laughing matter. We haven't been picked so far, much to our surprise. We're not exactly the luckiest family in the district, but the odds have been in our favour every other time. "Of course we're not," I reply. I don't really sound too convincing, but Harry's none the wiser. She kneels down next to me, swaying due to the drink, and eventually getting her balance. With her head on my shoulder, I feel at ease, but I know that tomorrow we'll be separated by our age groups. I won't have any form of comfort there. I try to show no signs of worry around her, like I've done for a while. Courage was something I was born with. It was almost as if I had been trained by the military to stand up against enemies without even an ounce of fear.
"Well, Iwon' get picked, I know tha'," she states, and I prepare for the whole 'drunks-speak-sober-thoughts' thing that happens every year.
"Well, the odds are in your favour, after all, Harry. Not everyone's so lucky." That sounded slightly bitterer than I intended it to, but I don't take it back. Compared to me and the other unfortunate kids around here, she's got off lightly. She's never signed for tesserae, even for the year before I was eligible to be entered. We were struggling for food, so when I was finally of age, I signed up for all three of us. Now, at my current age, my name has been entered into the drawing a total of twenty times. There are others around here who are worse off, with thirty or forty, depending on their family size and age. The odds aren't exactly in our favour.
We say that quite a lot, now. It seems like the Capitol's motto or whatever. 'May the odds be ever in your favour!' Yeah. Right. It's never in anyone's favour. Last year, one of the twelve year olds got picked. Poor girl. She died in the first day, unfortunately. She was a bit on the weak side, and only managed to score a five in the ratings. She never signed up for tesserae, despite having a younger brother and two very sick parents to care for. It was gruesome, but we were forced to watch it.
Harry started poking at the ground, slightly bored of the conversation already, it seemed. I say the same thing to her each year, and I'm certain she's getting sick of it now. The announcer people say it, too. We can even mimic their voices perfectly now. "You'll probably ge' picked, 'ya know. Twenty isn't too good."
"I'm aware, Harry. Go home or something. We'll need to rest up, and we don't need you with a bloody hangover before the reaping." She'll probably pass out during the announcement, but I make sure not to tell her that. Finally she gives in, and with a grunt, she walks off home, bumping into all sorts of things, people included, along the way. I don't tell her she's going the wrong way, either.
I finish with the bucket, pleased with myself for even managing to do work today, and place it by the side of the old fence that really needs to be replaced. I brush myself off as I stand up. These are my most decent clothes, and Mum probably won't want them ruined. They'll probably be washed again, tonight, just for tomorrow. Harry'll be wearing her blouse and skirt, like she always does. As for me, it'll be the standard uniform-like white shirt with black trousers. Most wear clothes like that, in some way or another. There's really no point in us getting dressed for our deaths. It doesn't take long to get back home - seven minutes at most, if I'm being honest, but it might take Harry a good hour or so before she realises she's gone wrong - and when I get in, Mum's sitting down on the stool, staring blankly ahead of her. She'd be watching the television if we actually had it on. We all would, but we're trying to do as much as we can for our families today. She doesn't say anything, but she manages to give me a nod. That's good, at least.
By the time Harriet actually finds her way back, it's a few minutes before we're all required to watch the announcement for this year's Quarter Quell. She's completely out of it, but somehow stays awake for when it starts. Even Mum watches intently as the screen quickly flashes on in front of us all. President Snow stands there, talking about the past and how the Hunger Games were started, and blah blah blah. That man's been around for way too long. Surely he was, what, in his nineties now? It wouldn't surprise me if he was in his hundreds. I heard from Mum that he was also there for the seventy-fourth games, when those two from District twelve won. Shouldn't he be dead already? Well, I'm not really too interested in him, as it is, so I pay attention to the box he's handed instead. It's amazing how something so small can contain something life changing. We watch anxiously as he opens it and reads the words on the envelope.
"For the one-hundredth anniversary of the Hunger Games, to remind the people of each district of the past and the fact that anybody can be taken from their homes, the names of both males and females will be entered into the same drawing, allowing two of the same gender to be picked and offered as tributes."
I can't help blinking at the screen once it's over, and for a minute or two, it's painfully silent. The only sounds being that of the cows and the sheep and chickens outside in the cold. Not helping. At all. On the plus side, it wasn't too dramatic a decision. It meant there were less chances of being sent into the arena. I pray to God it's neither of us. Praying doesn't get us anywhere, though. We'll still lose someone from our area. That we guarantee. I just hope it's not someone we know.
Harry's the first to break the silence with a loud cheer. It's deafening. I don't even want to look at her because of it. I can't take my eyes from the screen anyway. Mum, on the other hand, is giving her a glare, but it's not doing much. She just walks straight to her room and judging by the rather large 'thump,' has probably collapsed on the floor instead of her bed. So much for the hopes of he being sober enough to survive tomorrow. I don't exchange words with Mum, either. There's really no point. It's the same each year, and we've run out of words to say. We can't even say 'you'll be fine' or 'good luck' or 'make sure to milk the cow tomorrow.' There may not be a tomorrow if we're picked. I take her hand and squeeze it reassuringly. We'll be fine. We're always fine.
We're Watsons. Nothing ever happens to us.
The only person to get any sleep last night was Harriet, and that's due to her being unconscious through most of it. She woke up once or twice, mainly to go and throw up, but otherwise she remained that way. I could hear Mum sobbing not so quietly to herself and ended up going to lay with her instead. She has every right to be worried, but I attempted to calm her down and she eventually dozed off, leaving me the only person wide awake. I suffer from nightmares so I don't sleep much in general, but I can usually get a few hours in. This time I didn't even close my eyes unless I blinked. Too busy mentally preparing myself for tomorrow for the odd chance that one of us does get picked. Crying isn't an option. Shaking doesn't happen. I feel like a machine. Machines don't have feelings. Machines don't cry. Then I realised machines don't get entered into reapings. If it wasn't for that thought, I'd have stayed at home and convinced myself I was a robot. No need to go to the centre today. Not when I'm a machine.
And yet I still get dressed in the clothes I wear for every reaping, tucking my shirt into my trousers wherever it popped out from. I was right about Harriet's clothes: white blouse, grey skirt that seems to have darkened due to dirt, plain black shoes, and her hair in a loose ponytail at the back. The girls always looked slightly different from each other. The guys all looked like they'd been brought up in the army, looking identical.
Mum hugged us both and for a moment, we didn't think she'd let go of us. Not that we minded, of course; if it was a choice between being killed by another tribute or being crushed to death by your mother's embrace, I know what I'd choose. Harry has a headache and I'm not too sure if she'll make it or not. She's a strong girl, but with the amount she drank yesterday, she's probably not over her hangover. Nevertheless, she composes herself for Mum, uttering words of comfort to her while trying to pull away from her grip. Mum just sobs, adjusting my sister's hair so that she has something else to focus on.
While we're walking to the centre, Harry grabs hold of my arm and turns me to face her. Every other teenager keeps walking.
"Look. Whatever happens, remember that you are a Watson. Nothing ever happens to us," she reminds me. She's not kidding, either. You can tell when Harry Watson is joking around and when she's serious about things. This was serious.
"Nothing ever happens to us," I agree with a small nod. We say that each year, too, and it's proven to be truthful each time. We walk the rest of the way gripping at each others hands right until we have our blood taken.
They still split us up by age groups despite the requirements of this year. I look around for Harry, but can't find her in her section. Too many kids blocking the way. When I do find her, she's talking to a girl next to her who seems to be in tears. I recognise that face. Clara? Clara's the girl Harriet's had a crush on for a while, and it was her sister who was picked last year. Still not over the death. Hardly her fault.
We stand there for a while before our announcer comes onto the stage, followed by our last two winners. Both of our past winners were male, and both weren't exactly the thinnest of men. The first wore something like a suit, which was odd in our district. We're not used to fine clothing, but this man could afford it. Shortish hair, slightly red, but not too obvious. Looked almost like he should be controlling some form of government or something. Oh, it's that man. He won the ninety-first game with ease. Holmes? Crumpet Holmes? Something like that. He'd managed to outsmart a lot of the tributes, and it was easy for him to be accepted into alliances. He never killed anyone, himself ("Too much leg work.") but he managed to turn the others on each other. He sat down on the far end of the platform, all official looking and whatever. I don't really like that man, myself. Never met him personally, but still.
The other wore glasses, had dark brown hair, and was slightly bigger than the Holmes. I can't remember him in the games, but he's a friend of Mum's and he was the one who sold us the cows. I've spoken to him a few times and he seems pretty decent. He doesn't snap at you or anything, and he's a pretty funny guy, but I have no idea how he managed to win his games. If it turns out he actually murdered everyone, I'd be worried. He doesn't seem like the type of guy, but the games change people. He sits next to the other winner. They look completely out of place.
The woman, apparently the head of this district, stands at the microphone and reads our history and all about Panem and why we're in this current situation. It doesn't take a genius to see that she's bored of reading the exact same thing, year after year after year. When it's over, she looks relieved that nothing too embarrassing happened during it, and gives the official looking guy a smile. He returns it, but it's quickly replaced with his concentrated look. I remember his actual name is Mycroft, now, and happens to be one of the most respected people in this district. He's on good terms with the woman who read her speech, and he's seen as some kind of figure of authority here. Harry's the one who called him 'Crumpet' when we watched him.
Another woman takes to the stage, quite a bit older than the previous. Grey-ish hair, kind looking face. She was from the Capitol, but she wasn't dressed to indicate it. She looked pretty normal, actually. The kind to offer tea and then comment afterwards on how she won't make a habit of it. Hudson was her last name, but we didn't know her first. We knew her as 'Mrs. Hudson,' and she didn't seem like she'd be telling us her proper name any time soon.
I try to catch Harry's eye again, but she's still consoling a weeping Clara. There's no one else for me to turn to and make light of the situation so I continue facing straight ahead, blanking out everything the lady is saying. For a moment I feel as though someone's watching me, so I turn back to Harry's section. Still not looking this way. As soon as I turn to see if it's anyone else, I notice a thin boy, black curly hair, one year older than me judging by the section he's in, staring at me. I don't know him. I've seen him once, yeah, but I've never spoken to him. The one time I saw him was when he was annoying a lady about her chicken, but I didn't stay around for the conversation. I find myself frowning at the boy, hoping he'll lose interest in me. Not that I'm interesting anyway. Before I can ask myself just whyhe'd be looking at me, the old lady's voice picks up a bit.
"And now for our tributes! Good luck, all of you, and may the odds be ever in your favour!"
She dipped her hand into the bowl in front of her and dug around for names. The tension was unbearable and nerves were running high. One girl in the twelve year old section fainted because she was too scared, but no one dared look at her. All eyes were focused on that bowl. That bowl held the fate of two teenagers. We focused on our futures. Life or death.
'Whatever happens, remember that you are a Watson. Nothing ever happens to us.'
"Sherlock Holmes!" she calls, her voice becoming much louder now that not a single person was talking. I looked around for whoever had just been called, and when the others parted, I find it was the boy who took an interest in me. I don't know him. I've never met him. And yet, I couldn't help but feel as though this had been set up. It hadn't, of course, but it was just that feeling. Of all the people, it had to have been the one who was watching me. I feel somewhat guilty, but yet again I don't show it. The Peacekeepers move in to collect the boy, but it's not really necessary. He doesn't seem to mind that he's chosen. I instantly hate him for it. I watch him walk up the steps to join Mrs. Hudson on the stage, and he looks bored.I clench my fists at my side. If I could move from this spot and hit him in those perfect cheekbones for taking this so. . . not seriously, then I would. In front of the Capitol and every district. Mrs. Hudson asks him to introduce himself, but he doesn't really need to. We know who he is now. Mycroft's brother. Two years running, the Holmes' have been chosen.
"Sherlock Holmes. You know everything else you need to so I won't bother explaining it to you idiots."
Great. He probably plans on insulting everyone to death. Mrs. Hudson reaches into the bowl a second time, mixing the slips of paper around. I can actually see Harry looking at me now. Nothing will happen to us. That's what her smile says. It's the same every year.
The slip of paper is opened, and the woman opens her mouth to speak. I don't hear the first time, because I'm too busy focusing on my growing rage over Sherlock's attitude. Then I find him staring at me again. Why was he doing that? God, it was weird. I feel more gazes on me now and hear a scream that sounds like Harriet's. Who's been chosen? Clara? She'd scream if it was her, maybe even volunteer if it was, but then I hear the loud 'JOHN' after it, and realise the odds are in Clara's favour.
But they're not in mine.
"John Watson? Be a dear and walk up here please!" It takes a while to process the information, but when it hits me, it takes a lot of courage to not cry or complain or barge my way past the Peacekeepers. I make myself into the robot I was last night. I don't care. Robots don't have emotions. Robots don't get picked for the Hunger Games.I walk up the steps, say my name, and shake hands with the competition. We don't say anything to each other. We don't talk. But we understand.
It's far too quiet for our liking. Apart from the sounds of Harriet crying, nothing can be heard. Both of us turn to the crowd of people, and we can tell this wasn't expected. No one volunteers for us. That's good. I'd feel worse if someone did. Better me than them.
Mrs. Hudson opens her mouth to speak once again but is interrupted by one of the adults in the wings. Was that singing? Was he singing? A simple 'la la la,' but it wasn't stopping. Another joined in, and another. It wasn't long before the whole of the district, including a rather emotional sister of mine, was singing 'la la la.' Everyone was singing it. It helped me a bit, and Mrs. Hudson managed a small smile, but it didn't change anything.
We're the tributes for the one-hundredth Hunger Games. One of us will die. Maybe we both will. The odds aren't in our favour. They never were.