Note: We never get any real background on Castor and Pollux, but I've read some other fics that put them in their early twenties (with the assumption that Pollux was a young teen when he was turned into an Avox). I'm going with that idea, so the boys are 20-21 here
The alarm sounded overhead and Pollux dropped his spoon on the table.
"This is a Code Red Alert…"
Pollux's eyes widened as he heard the robotic voice telling them to descend further into District 13.
Pollux jumped at the hand on his shoulder, but relaxed when he realized who it was. Castor.
"Come on, we gotta go," Castor held his hand out and Pollux took it, allowing his brother to pull him along.
The stairs were already crowded with people by the time they reached them, and Pollux kept a tight hold on his brother for fear of losing him. They moved quickly, descending down further and further.
Pollux had always hated these drills and he could feel a tightness of panic beginning in his chest.
Suddenly, there were several bangs overhead and water came raining down on them. People screamed as the shock wave that ran through the underground bunker sent people flying. Pollux fell backwards and landed on the step, Castor's hand being wrenched away.
People were moving around him now. Trying to get down the stairs faster and faster as they realized this wasn't a drill. This was real.
Pollux didn't move. He couldn't move. It felt like his chest was about to explode and he couldn't draw enough breath. The bangs from above and the screams around him only made it worse and he covered his ears desperately, squeezing his eyes shut.
Two hands on his shoulders and his eyes flew open. Castor! His own hands scrambled to find purchase on his brother's jumpsuit.
"It's okay, I got ya! Come on!" Castor held on to his brother even tighter. He wouldn't lose him here again.
They made it to Level 40 and Castor pulled his brother over to a bunk, sitting them both down and leaning against the wall. Cressida and Messalla were seated on the bunk opposite.
Cressida nodded her head in Pollux's direction, a silent 'he okay?'
Castor shook his head and she nodded in understanding.
Another bang shook the bunker, ceiling dust falling with it.
Pollux flinched violently and Castor pressed closer to his brother's side.
"It's gonna be okay," he said softly, "We're gonna be okay." He looked at his brother who was staring fearfully up at the ceiling and mentally cursed Snow and the Capitol for doing this to his brother. For making him feel scared and hopeless again.
"Hey, talk to me," Castor urged, "Tell me what you're thinking. Let's work through it."
They used to do this after Pollux first came home. He'd have terrible nightmares, flashbacks. Times when the panic completely took over. Castor was the only one who could get through to him. They learned to talk through it and deal with it together.
It took Pollux a moment to respond.
"Far down," he signed.
"Yeah, yeah, we are far down," Castor nodded, "And I know how much you hate it. I know it reminds you of the tunnels. But there's a big difference between then and now, you know what it is?"
Pollux looked at his brother and squeezed his hand.
"Exactly, we're together," Castor smiled, "And I'm not going to let anyone, or anything hurt you again, got it?"
Pollux nodded. He almost looked like he might even smile when the lights went out and Pollux's grip became a vice on Castor's hand.
Castor scrambled to turn on their lantern, as did everyone around them.
"It's okay," he placed it on the bed between them, "It's okay. It's just the lights."
"Just like the tunnels," Pollux signed, "If they weren't happy."
"What d'you mean?" Castor asked. Pollux rarely gave any details about his time in the tunnels. He'd shared some things, but Castor knew there were some things Pollux wouldn't share in an effort to protect him.
"If they weren't happy, or sometimes they were bored, they'd leave me in the dark," Pollux signed, "All night. It was dark. Cold. Scary."
Castor swore if he ever got his hands on the ones who had done this to his brother…
"Well, we've got lanterns and flashlights, so we won't be stuck in the dark," Castor said, "We've got blankets so we won't get cold. And it might still be scary, but I'm not leaving you alone, okay?"
Pollux nodded and lowered his head to rest on Castor's shoulder. Castor met Cressida's eyes and she smiled slightly. He smiled back and wrapped his arm around his brother's shoulders. They sat like that as they waited out the assault.
Castor's heart was racing. The drills were bad enough; the reality of an air strike was terrifying. But one look at his brother - who had spent five years underground without seeing daylight – Castor would put on a brave face for him.
The banging finally stopped. Everyone waited with bated breath to see if it would begin again, but ti really seemed to be finished.
Pollux looked up the ceiling, eyes now hopeful.
"Over?" he signed.
"I think so," Castor nodded, squeezing his shoulder comfortingly. They waited a bit longer and then Boggs came around.
"All Capitol ships are gone from our airspace," he told them and they breathed a sigh of relief.
"What now?" Messalla asked.
"Coin wants everyone to stay down here for the night," Boggs told them, "Just in case they come back. Some of us are gonna go up and check out the damage."
Pollux looked crestfallen at the idea of having to sleep down here.
"Someone's gonna come around with water and some rations," Boggs told them, "And I know this isn't ideal, but it should only be for tonight. We're perfectly safe down here."
He said this last part while looking at Pollux, and Castor couldn't help but be grateful that all these people accepted and understood his brother without question.
"Thanks Boggs," Castor said softly.
The older man nodded and moved on.
"It's just for one night," Castor said, "We'll go to sleep and before you know it we'll be back to higher ground."
"Together?" Pollux signed.
"Course," Castor nodded, "We'll be back out filming together in no time."
Pollux shook his head no.
"Stay together tonight?" he signed, looking hopeful, but nervous. Castor smiled gently before he reached up and removed the elastic from his brother's hair. He scooted closer to the end of the bunk and leaned back against the wall.
"Lie down," he instructed, tugging on Pollux's shoulder. Around them, everyone else was lying down and preparing to try and sleep.
Pollux laid down with his head in his brother's lap and Castor started running his hand through Pollux's hair.
"Go to sleep," he said gently, "I'm not going anywhere."
"Okay?" Pollux pointed at Castor.
"I'm good," he assured him, "So long as we're together, I'm good. Now, get close your eyes."
Pollux did as instructed and soon enough he actually managed to fall asleep, soothed by his brother's presence.
Castor leaned his back and closed his eyes. His neck would be sore in the morning, but that didn't matter right now. It's like he'd said, they were fine so long as they were together.
I love these two characters and can't wait to write more for them
Thanks for reading!