(pairng: Changmin/Yunho i.e. Homin)
~ Chapter 1 ~
“--This years annual, 74th Hunger Games, is pleased to announce, District 12's second tribute is.... Yunho Jung! Congratulations Mr. Jung!"
The wide square, filled to the brim with scrubbed clean children, and dusty, despairing adults, is silent as a grave. There’s a tangible hush as hundreds of boys and girls, men and woman, release a communal sigh of relief.
The multiple cameramen stationed around the open area, in elevated, strategically placed positions, follow the sea of eyes, as they focus on a young man in standing in the heart of his peers.
The towering screens stationed before the Justice Building focus on Mr. Jung, taller than most his age, with broad shoulders, and a thin waist. His legs are long, with thick, resilient thighs, visible even through the loose fated trousers.
The camera zooms in on his features, capturing the grey halo that highlights the greased coal-black hair, smoothed away from his lean face, revealing sable, cat-like shaped eyes and a distinguishing mark above the right edge of his trembling lips.
Yunho can’t stop shaking. It was foolish of him to think he’d be able to pass his final year as a possible tribute applicant so easily. His ‘odd’s’ in life, had never been in his favor. He glances up at the screens that reflect his terrified expression for all the districts viewing pleasure.
“... Mr. Jung? Mr. Yunho Jung, please come up to the main stage immediately."
Yunho looks towards the stage where a feathered, flamboyantly dressed 'man' holds a narrow strip of paper out to the voiceless crowd. His cheeks are painted in neon pink glitter, the lights from the stage reflecting off them as he grins in a nauseating manner.
He has to go.
Yunho swallows down the lump in his throat, and sets his jaw, not wanting to show his obvious fear to the rest of the children. He takes a step forward and almost trips, catching himself at the very last minute. His boots, scrubbed clean from the ever present grime, squeak, as he makes shoulders his way through the crowd. The other children part for him like a wave.
He can see death in their faces.
A few of the more familiar children nod at him. He nods back, stiffly. His chest tightens when a girl a year before him bursts into tears as he passes. In the back of his mind he can hear his mother’s weeps from behind the separated ranks. Her cries resonate in his heart.
He tilts his head down, not wanting to see the lack of innocence reflected back in the unchosen children’s faces, doesn't want to bare the jealousy or resent that out of all the carefully folded names in the fishbowl, his had to be picked.
Yunho’s eyes meet a Peacemaker’s, dressed in light, white armor that covers every inch of their skin, and tinted protective helmets conceal their faces, as they position themselves nearby. A few more of them gather around the perimeter.
They're herding me. Even though he can’t see their faces, he understands the purpose of their subtle movements. Can feel the breath of the batons at their hip on his back, the sting of a bullet driving into his heart.
Don’t even think about running from your fate.
He’d be lying if he said he wasn't intimidated.
Yunho tucks the front of his collared shirt into his belt, as he slips past the last row of children, coincidentally the youngest, only twelve years of age.
He tilts his head down, not wanting to see the lack of innocence reflected back tiny paled faces. Yunho thanks every god he's ever heard of that no one from the youngest ranks name had been drawn that year. He couldn't bare to watch those games, when that happened. Those nights he spent behind the shed, throwing up what little food rested in his stomach as the horrific screams tour through the thin video screen and into his soul.
His hands are shaking. Yunho balls them into fists, clenched tight until his palms sting, and wet beneath his nails.
There’s nothing he can do now.
Just as he reaches the first steps of the raised platform, he’s assaulted by a male body hurtling against his own, so abruptly he's almost thrown off his feet.
Yunho's hands come up defensively as his attacker wraps their long arms around his torso, but it's no use. He stares at the spread of startled faces watching them, likely reflecting his own expression. The boy tilts his head back just an inch and there, Yunho catches a second of red doe eyes, and long coffee lashes.
His mind clears. One of Yunho's shaking hands come up to rest on the boys waist, the other flattens the tangled locks at the base of the boys long neck. Changmin pulls him against his chest roughly at the contact.
“Yunho. No.” Changmin pleads. His voice hoarse with loss. Tears threaten to spill from Yunho's eyes at the force of each word. “No.”
“Changmin,” Yunho breathes.
Changmin shakes his head furiously; back half-shielding Yunho from the cameras. His long arms stiffen around the older boy as he buries into Yunho’s shoulder, breathing in deeply.
Yunho presses closer to do the same. He presses his lips against the other’s neck tightly, striving to imprint the scent of burning matchsticks and honeysuckle into his mind forever.
There’s a familiar march of heavy soles behind them, and Yunho peeks up from Changmin’s shoulder to see a pack of Peacemakers making their way to the embracing boys.
Changmin seems to notice as well, as he squeezes Yunho’s shoulders briefly, and pushes his back to look at him clearly.
His best friend looks handsome in his Reaping clothes.
Yunho can’t help but notice.
Changmin’s hair is also pulled out of his face, greased back so the thick locks shine, flattened to his head. While somewhat at odds with his adorable ‘monkey ears', as his mother calls them, it shows off the young man’s high, graceful, cheekbones, and perfectly shaped nose that sits considerably in the center of his face.
Yunho traces a delicate jawline with half-lidded eyes. Its looks even sharper than usual, without the usual dark locks hiding swallow cheeks. Yunho wishes with all his heart the boy gets enough food while he’s gone.
He won’t be able to bring him game anymore, after this.
“I won’t let you die.” Changmin seems to read his mind, or his eyes; they’ve always been able to do that. His gaze flits over Yunho’s shoulder briefly, before locking gazes with him. He looks deep into his eyes, a piercing resolve overshadowing a deep, clawing fear. “I’ll volun--”
They say it in unison. The letters curl on Yunho’s tongue, and chalk against his teeth. He reads Changmin’s thoughts from the resolution in his eyes, before his lips had even formed the response.
Their twin words are barely a murmur, but the in midst of the unearthly silence, they echo throughout the square.
The plumed, bright-colored escort at the microphone gives an exaggerated gasp in surprise. One that is, though muted, repeated throughout the audience.
“Changmin,” Yunho chokes, his mind is going crazy. This can’t be happening. He pushes away from the other’s embrace, “Don’t do this.”
Changmin ignores him. “I volunteer,” He repeats, louder. He throws back his head to stand straight, where he'd been bent over to accommodate the few centimeters between them.
The words ring clear this time.
Changmin straightens his slumped form to make himself taller, pushes his shoulders broader, and presses past Yunho in wide, halting strides towards the stage.
“Changmin, you can’t!” Yunho is begging now. He grabs at the other boy, but a pack of Peacekeepers tackle him and drag him back behind the boundary line
Changmin hesitates at his yell. Yunho can feel the horror creeping in his chest, freezing his thoughts, even thicker and colder than when his own name was called, as he realizes whats happening right before his eyes.
He watches Changmin’s Adams apple bob in his throat, his head turned just slightly so that he might catch Yunho in his peripheral vision. Changmin's knees lock and he lurches forward, forcing himself up the steps up to the platform to stand next to the District’s escort.
Yunho falls to his knees. The Peacekeepers' grip loosens on his arms, as if to further secure the defeat that seeps from him in waves.
Changmin clears his throat weakly, shaking like a child succumbing to starvation. He leans down to reach the microphone, the towering television screens catching the every last pixel of the nervous sweat that drips down his nose to the cracked cement below.
“I volunteer as tribute.”
a/n: Thank you for reading, I hope it was enjoyable :) (tho I know the first chapter isn't really a happy one ;/) ps. please note I've only seen THG movie so that's what the fic is based from.