This is very heavily inspired by Pretty Far Away From A Fairy Tale, by But You Can Call Me Willow, which is a Doctor Who and Hunger Games crossover, in both writing style and (somewhat) in the plot.
This is a Hunger Games AU, in which Ana and Pharah are sisters, and Ana basically pulls a Katniss, volunteering for Pharah in order to keep her out of the arena. (And yes, all characters in this have had their ages scaled back.)
08/04/2016 Update: Fixed some grammar errors that I missed, and removed some lines I felt didn't fit the pacing of the story.
"Jack Morrison!" the green-haired Capitol escort announces, and he's trying to focus on everything except for the spot on the stage and his impending doom.
Including the dark-skinned girl who'd just volunteered.
Ana Amari is solidly nested in the chair across from him, watching the scenery whip by. It's just them, no other people in sight, not even any creepy Capitol people.
Jack has to admit that, after a while, the silence becomes fairly companionable.
Their stylist has to be insane. They've been dressing up District Seven as trees for the past forty years. Nobody's going to remember them like this.
Ana stands proud and tall in the chariot, despite her obvious distaste for her current clothing.
Jack tries to ignore how the other Districts' tributes are most likely laughing at them, and climbs in the chariot beside her.
Johanna and Blight mentor them.
After a lengthy breakfast of silence, Johanna snaps, "You're all fucking useless," and stomps off to her room.
Apart from a small mutter from Ana, none of the others comment on it.
He struggles to finish the final section of the climbing wall. Ana's been at the top for a good five minutes already.
She tries helping him out by pointing out good handholds, and he tries his best to politely decline the offer of help.
When she turns away, he uses the path she pointed out.
"You're both way too fucking friendly," Johanna says out of the blue, when they've returned after the first day of training.
"So should we just yell angrily at everyone?" Jack asks innocently. "Sounds dangerous."
The glare he's on the receiving end of could have killed the entire career pack. But Ana and Blight's laughter is worth it.
She meets up with him again, the next day, at the archery station. He's been solidly missing the target for the past half hour, and the droning voice of the trainer isn't helping at all.
Although he doesn't ask, she quietly gives him some tips.
He hits the center circle after ten minutes of renewed efforts.
Although a bit suspicious of why she's trying to help, he tunes out the trainer and listens to the sound of her voice.
Johanna was right, he realizes.
When he finally convinces her to take a break and eat lunch, they're approached by tall, dark and edgy from District Two, who asks them to join the Career pack.
What? The two of them, Careers?
He's about to say no thanks, go back to your creepy friends, but Ana sighs.
"You're sure you want us to join?"
Jack regrets going along with the decision immediately.
Did she have to drag me into this?
Ana and the guy from 4 have taken over the archery station, so he couldn't talk to her about it at that moment.
He'll ask her about it later.
"Are you sure about joining the Careers?" He whispers after finally managing to corner her away from the others.
Ana sighs. "No, I'm not. But I have a plan. Do you trust me?"
After a calculated pause to consider, he nods.
He half-heartedly accepts the tips on swordfighting from the brawny pair from One, the pink-haired lady and the giant with the scar over his eye.
He's still not entirely comfortable around either of them.
Johanna's livid when she hears. "Are you trying to get yourselves killed?"
They both work quietly at the fire-starting station. They've excused themselves from weapons training for the moment, as Ana's started that they need a break. Jack isn't an expert, but he thinks that she may have implied that they were in a relationship, so the pack leaves them alone for now.
She whispers her plan to him, and he cringes. "We're going to get ourselves killed."
"We're most likely going to die, anyway." She says flippantly, shrugging.
Hanzo, Aleksandra and Gabriel are so dedicated to the games that it makes Jack cringe and subconsciously lean away from them when they eat lunch on the third day. Gabriel and Amélie just sit silently, brooding or whatever the hell they do to be intimidating - he honestly doesn't know how they're so good at being scary.
Ana's clinging to her plan like it's her last grasp at life, and to be honest, Jack sees where she's coming from.
So he'll go along with it for now, no matter how suicidal it seems.
She gets an eight on her assessment, he gets a seven.
"I give up on you both," Johanna snaps on the night before interviews, stomping off and very audibly slamming the door behind her.
Ana slips away silently, leaving Jack and Blight silently staring at their food in distaste.
Jack finds her twenty minutes later, parked beside a window. Tears are visible on her face as she gazes out over the city.
He sits next to her, not demanding that she speak, but a silent question stretching between them anyways.
"There's people depending on me," she sobs. "I need to get back to Seven. I just-"
He hugs her, just wanting to stop her tears.
Listening to her interview, Jack hears her admit to the country what he'd known all along.
Her little sister. Fareeha. The one she'd volunteered for. She'd be all on her own if Ana died.
The pain in her voice makes it real, though.
He doesn't sleep that night.
They're lifted into an abandoned city.
"May the odds be ever in your favor."
He locks eyes with her, asking one final time if she's sure about her plan, and she nods.
They both run to the Cornucopia, meeting each other from their original spots of halfway around the circle from each other. He grabs a sword, and has his back to hers before he can compute anything else.
The duo from Two are slashing a deadly trail through the tributes slow enough or clueless enough to have stuck around. Hanzo from Four has grabbed the other bow and arrow and is shooting at anyone still within eyesight.
The two from Seven keep the other tributes away from the Cornucopia with their mere presence.
Having her watch his back is heartbreakingly familiar.
Aleksandra gets a gash in her arm, from the desperate boy from Twelve whom she'd tried to attack as he ran.
Although it makes him sick to do so, he bandages it properly for her.
The girl from Four. The boys from Six and Eight. Girls from Nine, Ten and Eleven. All dead in the initial bloodbath battle.
If he'd tried, he thinks, he could have prevented all of their deaths.
He's going to have trouble sleeping for the very short rest of his life.
They sit at the edge of the campfire's light that night, listening to the others chatter and laugh.
"So, what's the plan, then?" He whispers.
The stars glimmer tauntingly at him. They're free, and the two of them aren't.
As he witnesses the dark-skinned girl from Three's death, he wonders briefly if the Capitol is proud of them.
He doesn't sleep on the second night unless Ana's guarding his back, and vice versa.
The boy from Two, Gabriel, is quickly becoming Jack's idea of the devil.
They've found two solo tributes in the hours since they'd gotten up for that day, and he'd killed them both without hesitation.
Tonight, Ana mouths.
On the third night, dark clouds cover the sky and the buildings loom threateningly overhead. Gabriel and Amélie made some split-second decision to try to hunt down more tributes, and Jack and Ana are on guard duty.
Jack sneaks forward very carefully, and grabs both Hanzo's bow, and as many packs as he can efficiently carry.
They sneak away into the night, and he pretends not to hear her bow twang as she fires arrows back at the sleeping tributes.
It's despicable, but one of them has to get back.
Ten minutes of running later, they're still within earshot of Gabriel's roar of fury.
Five cannons have gone off since they left.
Three of those deaths, he knows, were Careers.
He tries to pretend that he's glad. After all, they're closer to getting home.
They've been hiding in a building for the past few days.
Although he doesn't say anything, he's been quietly getting used to her presence. He's starting to trust her.
He can only hope that she trusts him, too.
We could make it home, he finally allows himself to believe.
That very moment is when the earthquake starts.
He runs with her slung over one shoulder. He's heard a cannon in the past few moments, and he's hoping to god that it wasn't hers.
In the relatively unscathed ground floor of a dilapidated house, she finally wakes up.
As he'd been changing the bandages on the cut on her cheek.
He flushes red in embarrassment, and he hears her laughing quietly at his awkwardness.
And that's when it finally hits him like an entire house's worth of bricks.
He sits on guard, staring at the blackness of the night sky, when he hears footsteps. He immediately fears the worst.
He hides behind the doorway, the light of a single streetlamp illuminating the apparent alliance in a soft glow. They don't seem to have seen him, and the sound of the quintet's footfalls slowly fades from hearing.
He doesn't say a word.
In his nightmares, he hears a familiar voice, now transmuted into a devilish, cackling laugh.
He's startled out of his daydreams of home by her voice.
"Do you have anyone watching right now?"
No, I don't.
He knows he's found a good ally. They ration the food that they'd originally stolen from the Careers (what he'd managed to salvage from the collapsed building, anyway,) and they always watch each others' backs.
The injuries from the night of the earthquake quickly heal.
There hasn't been a cannon for the past two days.
They finally find a water source, a surprisingly clear river near the edge of the city. Ana asks him to watch for other tributes as she splashes some of the dirt and dried blood off of her face.
He splashes some water in her face, too.
Soon enough, they're both sopping wet and laughing their faces off, splashing blindly at each other as they try in vain to keep the water out of their faces.
It ends with her shoving him completely into the water.
He practically pouts, pushing his wet hair out of his face.
He'd never heard any sound as beautiful as her laugh was in that moment.
He's hoping that the sponsors are betting on them. With the action seemingly dying down, he needs every way to make sure that she stays alive.
For everything that Johanna may have said about the two of them, they're both excellent runners when they need to be.
They splash across the same river, the shouts of the two remaining Careers driving them forward. One of the two – Amélie, probably – throws a knife after them, and it sinks harmlessly into the water a few feet in front of them.
He can practically feel Gabriel's rage at the pair of them. It leaches into the very air around him, suffocating them as he gets closer.
They run into the forest at the opposite side of the river, quickly losing the pair in the thick foliage.
He hopes Ana hadn't noticed how he'd been running slightly behind her, in a desperate attempt to keep her safe, to keep any thrown weapon from hitting her.
They'd both gotten this far. He couldn't stand to lose her now.
You're not supposed to try to keep others safe in the arena, he thinks. It's supposed to be a fight to the death between scared teenagers. To save your own skin. You're not supposed to have allies, because in the end, they'll only get in the way of your own victory.
And there'd been a time where he'd would've fought, tooth and nail, to get out of this godforsaken place.
He doesn't know when that changed for him, but he'd bet that it was sometime after he'd met Ana.
Jack finally accepts that he won't be leaving the arena alive.
It's been a full four days since he'd first seen the pack of five when they manage to stumble into their camp, half-passed out from exhaustion. By the time it finally hits Jack, that it's actually a campsite, the dark-haired guy from Twelve is holding him at knifepoint.
"You shouldn't be here."
He's silently grateful that they were able to escape that situation without bloodshed.
"Are you okay?" She asks, later that day. He doesn't reply.
They find the dark-haired girl from Five, bleeding out under a bush. Ana sweeps over, trying to stop the bleeding from a massive gash on the girl's stomach, but Jack can tell that it's too late.
Instead, she uses the last of her energy to point back toward where the outer-district alliance's camp had used to be. "… Help them…?"
Ana, tears in her eyes, nods viciously.
The cannon sounds as they walk away.
Another cannon sounds as they run in that direction. Jack silently adds it to Gabriel's kill count.
The camp's in ruins, supplies tossed all over the camp carelessly.
There's another body, this time the one of the girl from Eight.
Jack could briefly remember her in her interview, talking her head off. She'd had so much energy.
"Do you remember what her name was?" He asks, and Ana shakes her head.
He hates everything. The grass, the river, the darkening sky.
The seductive girl, the one he'd once grudgingly teamed up with, who stands across the clearing from him. She has a knife aimed at his face.
But she hits Ana instead.
As Amélie's cannon goes off, he tells himself that it was self-defense.
Ana loses her right eye.
They travel back to the clearing that the Careers had once used as a camp, relieved to find it empty.
She waves off his concerns about her eye, she's done the best she can for it.
Contemplating their next move, they sit at what had once been the edge of the Careers' campfire's light, not saying anything.
He wants to say something. But he's afraid that she'd run away, or worse, kill him.
When he tries to go find the supplies they'd left behind in the collapsed building, he thinks he can see a glimpse of the last three of the Alliance.
He calls out to them. They don't answer.
What does the Capitol think of them, he wonders? Are they proud that they've managed to live this long? That they've managed to take several of their opponents down along the way?
Are they rooting for Ana Amari, the girl with the killer aim and the lost eye, who'd volunteered to keep her sister safe?
And are they rooting for Jack Morrison, the boy who'd fallen in love with her?
Footsteps rumble behind them as the pair run for their lives. Ana whips a knife out, slashing at a mutt that had nearly pounced on Jack.
He'd thank her, but he's out of breath.
As soon as the tributes see their last competitor, the mutts back off.
It's Gabriel, who somehow looks even more intimidating than usual, even if he's pale and shaking, with several bloody injuries on his body.
He's still holding a sword, and the look in his eyes is nothing short of homicidal psychopath.
Jack mentally prepares himself for his death. He isn't planning on getting out of this confrontation alive.
He sees Ana nod out of the corner of his eye, and he charges, sword in hand.
Ana takes a sword blow, a fatal one. One that was surely meant for him.
Jack shows no mercy for the boy from Two.
He begs, pleads. She can't die. Not now.
She just smiles. Or grimaces in pain. He can't tell.
Take care of my sister for me, Jack.
He nods, promises.
Her blood stains his hands.
And before she takes her final breath, he finally tells her.
When he gets back to District Seven, he immediately seeks out Ana's sister.
He sees a mirror image of Ana, that sadness and overprotectiveness, but smaller.
He introduces himself to her, hoping that she'll forgive him. For still being alive.
For not saving her sister.