Hello, Panem! This post I present a lovely piece that explores and puts a fresh twist on the classic idea: "What if Katniss couldn't volunteer?". Prim and Peeta go into the seventy-fourth Games together. A lot of things are the same, a lot of things are different. New adventures ensue! Reaping-goers, tributes and victors, I present:
Summary: "Volunteering is not allowed, dear." —How Prim and Peeta win the Hunger Games.Rating: T
Genres: Suspense, Tragedy
This somewhat-extended oneshot starts at a classic point for Hunger Games AU fics: the Reaping. In quick sections you're taken through a nice parallel of the books in the scenes leading up to the opening ceremonies. Hence enters "The Precious Little Girl Who Glowed" -- the equivalent of "The Girl on Fire" for Katniss. What's great about the style is that a lot of emotion is packed into little snippets, and the story doesn't drag with the very similar scenes. But I think my favorite, for the complete change in tribute dynamics, is the second training segment:
Usually, all the tributes keep to themselves, because ultimately, it's everyone versus everyone and who would want to make friends with the person that will eventually cut their throat? It makes the eventual killing more difficult.
But here's the thing.
It's impossible to hate Primrose Everdeen.
Somehow, she squeezes her way into everyone's hearts. Glimmer kisses Prim's cheek whenever she walks by and the two wear matching braids in their blonde hair. Cato lets Prim sit on his shoulders and the two stomp around like one gigantic monster, making everyone else laugh. Rue and Prim become best friends, walking with linked arms like two twelve-year-old girls who have so much more to live for.
Once you reach the Games, Prim seems to take the place of canon Peeta, and Peeta, Katinss'. Other canon elements are still present, helping you keep track of where you are in the Games and what's happening or likely coming up. But the suspense is kept up perfectly; you never exactly predict the twist put on the next event.
In this version of the book, you learn more of the other characters and really sympathize with how the Games affects everyone and their relationships with the other tributes. A lovely story that you'll want to read again and again.
That's the rec for this post -- have fun reading! Next time: Haymitch/Effie fics.