AN from Mk: This is a roleplay between my friend Ren and I, and I will be writing for Annie. We'll be switching this story over to our joint account, diafchildren, soon. We just wanted to put out a teaser, and see if anyone was at all interested. Leave us a review to tell us if you love it or not, and if you'd like to see more! (:
AN from Ren: ^ Effie, much? Hello! I am the voice of Finnick and Leeter. This is a roleplay between Mk and I, yada yada yada. You know the shtick. We plan to span this roleplay from these Games to Mockingjay. Yeah ambitious, I know - I'm getting a headache thinking about it. Read it, rate it, love it (or diaf), and please refer to our other user for future postings.
She had never liked this day, even before her name had been put into the reaping bowls with all the other girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen. She had somehow been able to understand that this day, once a year, was never a good day – even if the sun was shining and the sea was calm. She didn't have any brothers or sisters, but she could see the way that parents would hold onto all their children that fell in the appropriate ages to be reaped until they got to the center of town. Sometimes, the boy would come back, but not the girl. Sometimes the girl would come back, but not the boy. And sometimes, sometimes neither of them came back. It wasn't a good day, not even if the sun was shining and the sea was calm, because there was a chance that that boy and that girl might never come home again. Though, in her family, it was her parents who had been chosen to leave and never come back again. Annie frowned, knitting her eyebrows close together as she brushed her hair out in front of the mirror, trying to push away thoughts that she didn't want to be reminded of. They stayed anyways, making themselves comfortable in the space of her mind.
Her parents had died when she was younger in a fishing accident. She hadn't understood what it meant at the time, but she had to go live with her aunt and uncle. And whenever she would ask for her parents, tears would make her aunt's eyes gleam brilliantly as her aunt picked her up and set her on her lap, giving her a long hug, rubbing her back in circles while she murmured calm nice things after saying that her parents had gone somewhere she couldn't follow. She hadn't understood at first, but as she grew older she realized they hadn't just left District Four; they had left the world behind, not just her.
The loss of her parents was Annie's first brush with death. The second came when she was twelve, and her name was entered into the reaping bowl. She wasn't chosen, but the girl she had been standing beside had been. While the other girl walked up to the stage, Annie couldn't help but indulge in the collective sigh of relief coming from the rest of the girls who hadn't been chosen, and no one volunteered.
This happened year after year. In the morning, her aunt would make a big breakfast for them all to share. An omelet for them all to share, filled with vegetables and cheese, bacon and sausages, the seaweed bread that was native to their district would be toasted, and fresh butter would be spread across the top. There would be fruit salad, juice, tea, and coffee. It had become a tradition each year after her name had been put into the reaping. Her aunt had always wanted to make sure that if this was going to be her last meal at home with them that it would be a good one that they could all remember. They would talk about anything other than the reaping, laughing at jokes, and pretending that today could be a good day, even if it never was. Even if she wasn't picked, someone else's family would've lost their child, and on the day that someone loses a child, no one is supposed to be happy.
She had woken up with the sun as it rose, the rays seeping into her room from the open window. She left it open constantly, unless there was a storm coming. The sound of the sea soothed her. The waves splashing against the shore was calming. Even when the storms were around, she would sit at her closed window, and look out at the churning waters, willing the storm to end faster so she could return to the sea. It called to her. It was where she belonged; though no matter how much time she spent outside, or in the water, her skin still stayed as pale as cream.
But that morning there was no time to go out to the water, not the morning of the reaping. She had spared a longing glance out her window before hurrying to go take her bath. Once she was clean, she dressed in her nicer clothes and tied a ribbon around her hair. Today she was in a long white dress, a smart buttoned white coat with three quarter sleeves and scalloped lace at the hems. She had finished brushing out all the tangles from her hair, and pulled the top half, except for her bangs, behind her head, which she then tied back with a ribbon the same green as her eyes, the same green as the sea. She slid into her heeled shoes, and added a light gloss on her lips. There. She was ready, and just in time as her aunt called her down for breakfast.
It was delicious, as it always was. They talked about her uncle's fishing business, what she was studying in school and how her grades were, and her aunt shared the local gossip and they would all have a good laugh together as they ate the spread before them. For a moment, Annie had actually forgotten why she was dressed up, she had forgotten about what day it was, and how she might not come home in a few hours. For that moment, everything was blissful. She had a full stomach, and a family that loved her as if she were their own. And then reality came crashing back down as her uncle said that they should get going, or else they might be late. Right. Today was reaping day. Today was the day a girl or boy she might know would be taken from the District and brought to the Capitol for the Hunger Games. Today was not a good day, even if it had started off feeling like one.
They all walked to the center of town together, where a beautiful stage had been built, where two large bowls filled with paper slips that had the names of the girls and boys on them. Her own name was entered seven times this year, as she had turned seventeen only a few months ago. Still, that was nothing compared to some of the girls and boys she knew from the poorer areas of the District, who had to sign up for tessarae in order to feed their families. She was lucky in that sense, that her aunt and uncle were well off, and she never had to worry about when she would have her next meal. But even though they were well off, she did still enjoy going out into the ocean and fishing for their dinner every now and then.
Being herded towards the rest of the girls the appropriate age into the waiting area for the girls, Annie waved to her best friend who was already in the boys section. He waved back, a smile on his face. And she smiled back in return, able to forget again for half a moment that she was at the reaping, just happy to see her friend.
But then there she was, Jayline Lackey, stepping out onto the stage in her Capitol attire, her hair dyed green to match the sea. The mentors were already out sitting on the stage – they must have made their appearance before she had arrived. The escort welcomed everyone to the reaping of District Four for the Seventieth Hunger Games, and said that this was all so terribly exciting! Annie couldn't help rolling her eyes at Jayline's enthusiasm. Let's see how excited she would feel if her name was placed in the bowls. She's from the Capitol, and the people in the Capitol are exempt from participating in the Hunger Games. No, the people of the Capitol instead get to make bets on who is going to win. They do also sponsor the tributes though, so she can't exactly hold too much against them. But her thought are interrupted by Jayline speaking again.
"Well, let's get to it folks! Boys first this year!" She exclaims, as it had been the girl chosen first last year and she does so love to keep things as fair as possible. She opens to the lid to the boy's large bowl and sticks her hand in, turning her face away and fishing for a piece of paper. She pulls one out and reads the name, "Congratulations Leeter Jacqrell – you're our chosen tribute for the boys this year!"
She turns paler than she normally is, begging with her eyes for anyone else to volunteer for him, not Leeter, not her best friend! But no one does, and he walks up to the stage with his head held high, a tight lipped smile on his face as he waves to the crowd. He his eyes find hers, and as he is moved aside he mouths 'sorry'. She already lost her parents. Now she has to lose her best friend too? The tears stung her eyes while Jayline walked over to the girls bowl and opened the lid. Her arm went in much like it had for the boys, fishing around for a moment before choosing a slip of paper and opening it up.
"Congratulations Annie Cresta – you're our chosen tribute for the girls for the seventieth Hunger Games! Come on up and join Leeter and I on the stage!" Jayline exclaims joyfully, as look horrified washes over her own features for a moment. Annie Cresta. Annie Cresta – that was her name! And everyone was looking at her, expecting her to start walking up to the stage, to stand up there with her best friend and wave everyone goodbye because no one was volunteering for her.
"Come on Annie – come right on up here you lucky girl!" Jayline says, and Annie forced herself to start working, shaking her head a little and making her lips turn up into a smile when she would rather be doing anything but smiling, pretending to be happy that she was chosen for the Hunger Games.
She made it up to the stage, and stood beside Leeter, their eyes showing only each other the sadness they felt for a second before turning back to smile at the crowd. Leeter hadn't been trained since birth for the games, and neither had she. But at least if one of them had to go, they could go with each other instead of some stranger who was genuinely excited for the bloodbath to come.
"Well there you have it, the tributes of District Four ladies and gentlemen – Leeter Jacqurell and Annie Cresta! Let's hear it for them!" And the crowd erupts with smiles, cheers, laughter, whoops and applause; everyone was overjoyed that it was the two of them, and not someone they cared about.
"You have the loveliest skin, Mrs. Corvak." Finnick purred from beside the woman, his finger drawing circles on the nude back. Her smoke streamed from her cigarette in ribbons, sitting promptly on a long ornate silver holder where the skin could not discolor her synthetically lavender fingers. Mrs. Corvak passed a side-eye to the man, seemingly taken by the compliment and specifically who it came from. The two were strewn upon a gargantuan gilded bed, tangled in fine sheets where their naked bodies were cast in candy colors from the city view beside them. It seemed that a wall of the apartment had been dedicated to glass, providing the most breathtaking view of the metropolis beyond delicately drawn curtains. The colors were bright and evasive, but the apartment itself lay in dead silence save for Mrs. Corvak's smoky exhales and soft sighs. Finnick smiled up to the woman, on his back whereas she sat with her knee propped and elbow rested upon it.
"Is that another one of your wonderful lines, Mr. Odair?" The woman replied, watching as the tribute legend stroked a pure white ringlet from her eyes, tucking it behind her ear. With an amused smile she stroked his bronze hair out of those lovely sea-green eyes, turning onto her stomach beside him.
"Oh no, Cecily." He shook his head as if the idea itself were terrible, his eyes searching hers in the semi-darkness. The room stood still for a moment, so much so that Finnick could almost hear the laughter of the Capitol people on the streets. No doubt they would not be near the end of their glorified evening yet. There were still more bars to drink themselves in a stupor in, more food to purge and consume again, more clubs to dance away their gluttony. Exhaustion wasn't an option; as soon as the crack of dawn might break, it would be as simple as setting a tiny blue pill on their tongues and to then start all over again.
"Thoughts?" Mrs. Corvak murmured in a breath of a tone, it was oddly fragile and drew Finnick back to where he was and for what purpose. "You were saying…" She offered, and Finnick chuckled at his moment of absence, pressing a hand against his forehead.
"Yes." He remembered, "I was commenting on how lovely your skin was, wasn't I? You'll have to excuse me I'm a bit-"
"Would I have some part in how disoriented you are?" She asked suddenly, a twinge of confidence and shock raising a few octaves in her voice as she interrupted him. The woman pushed up on her hands to hover over him, her lips twitching in a jovial grin. "Have I exhausted the Finnick Odair?"
Finnick bore his teeth in a smile as he looked upon her, his brows raised. But in fact Cecily Corvak had nothing to do with where his mind was, and generally speaking her performance was subpar at best. Nonetheless, he smiled, letting the deluded Capitol woman believe whatever it was that would eventual get him what he needed. "I'm afraid so." He began, "In fact, Mrs. Corvak-"
"Oh please, I do love it when you call me Cecily."
"Cecily." He corrected himself, "In fact, Cecily, I think you were absolutely astounding. I can't think of any woman who has made me feel quite…like this before." Mrs. Corvak flushed as she bore into Finnick's face, her eyes desperately searching him for truths. A truth, that Finnick knew Mr. Corvak rarely provided for his attention starved wife. Yes Cecily Corvak, once the greatest stylist of her Hunger Games days, now succumbed to the waste-bin of Capitol society – marriage. She was something of a Hunger Games legend ever since her styling debut in the second annual Quarter Quell. From what he could remember of the 50th Hunger Games, was that, that was the year the tributes from District Five's grand chariot entrance had provided the idea that bigger is better and less is by far more. Being that their respected District was head of DNA splicing, the stylists had concocted a serum that turned them into living chameleons. With every pass of the chariot their naked flesh would adapt to the colors of a sign, building, even a horde of synthetically altered Capitol women. It was the year that District Five received the leading amount of sponsors and parachutes. Not that, that mattered, it was also the year that District Twelve's Haymitch Abnerathy pulled the wool over the Capitol's eyes and arose victorious. Regardless, Cecily Corvak had proven herself a valuable stylist and with every year she supplied splendid costumes to the likes of the Career districts. The attention she received garnered a response from her future husband Aloysius Corvak – and as it stood, he was this year's Head Gamemaker of the 70th Hunger Games.
"But, you don't know that do you?" Finnick asked, sitting up on his elbows so that his lips were barely grazing hers. His fingers combed through her hair, curling into a knot against the back of her head. His lips flickered a momentary smile before it faded, his face set in stone as he spoke, "I should go." Cecily's eyes widened in shock, watching the man stand from the bed.
"What? No, please, stay longer." The woman scooted herself to the edge of the bed as Finnick drew his black pants over his bare bottom. She poised herself on her knees, her arms wound around his abdomen as her lips pressed against the dip in his back. "I'll do anything." She continued, but Finnick sighed. "I-I…" Her eyes searched his flesh, thinking for a solution. "I-I'll give you anything you desire, buy you anything you need, tell you anything you want to hear." Finally it seemed the man registered her words, his posture straightening. Finnick peeled her arms off from around him, turning around to see the desperate middle-aged woman.
"Tell me anything?" He repeated. Cecily nodded furiously, her hands lying abandoned on her lap. Finnick crouched before the woman on the edge of the bed. His hand hovered over her cheek without touching the flesh, his expression reminiscent of the cat that caught the canary. In a last ditch effort, Cecily took his hand and planted it on her cheek, no longer able to take his excruciating teasing. Finnick's eyes dropped to eye her lips, his own lips barely moving as he murmured so softly, "Would you tell me your secrets?"
The energy in front of the Justice Building hung like smoke in the air, the vibrations coaxed from one side of the corralled teenagers to the other, crashing into their relatives that stood quivering behind the rope divider. In some way they were much like the waves that crashed and pulled beside them. When one end would silence, the other would begin in a nervous chatter, and vice versa.
It was hard for Finnick to just sit there, in his high-arched chair on the stage, looking out upon the sea of others, some friends. He was only a year older than the cut off age of eighteen, but he was still expected to mentor a tribute, regardless of age. The previous four years had been difficult to mentor, and most of the time Finnick found Mags taking over the reins. He couldn't help but feel that his lack of involvement in the past games had led to the ultimate death of District Four tributes. He wasn't alone in this thought; most of his District regarded his existence the same as any Capitol person. To them he just floundered about the Capitol, selling his looks to garner riches – really they weren't wrong. No, this was the year he would bring his District Four tribute home. He couldn't have more blood on his hands, it was bad publicity.
Finnick drew his hand against his forehead, nursing a headache, when a flash of light caught his eyes. The cameras were relentless and constant in his new life, but when he spotted them he lifted his hand in a sporty wave and flashed his most brilliant smile, before pocketing his hands in an almost aloof manner. To his immediate right sat Mags, and to his standing left was Jayline Lackey. Finnick couldn't say he hadn't seen her before.
The standard procedure went as followed. Mayor Quoy provided the usual speech. The story of how District Thirteen fought the Capitol and ultimately provided the future that stood to this day. The bloodbath of the Hunger Games was a reminder that we, the people, are not all powerful, we are weak, and when it comes to challenging the Capitol, we will die.
Finnick's eyes drew up to spot an elderly woman in the crowd. She was short and could barely stand hunched over her cane – but still she did. Her wrinkled hand came up and patted against her own chin, reminding Finnick to keep his chin up. He winked back to her, but what he hadn't noticed were that the names were already drawn and his motion came in direct path of the female tribute. His brow rose in interest and his eyes followed her, uncomfortably unwavering, as she came to stand beside Jayline. When the town erupted in cheers, and then settled back down, and the ending ceremony speech was delivered, he stood, taking her shoulders in his hands before she could be taken by the Peacekeepers. His fingers curled over the fabric of her dress against her shoulder, tugging her back slightly so that he could whisper in her ear, "Smile and look pretty for the cameras, Annie."