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May 29, 2020 3:11 PM
may the odds be ever in your favor
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"My life's in your hands, and yours is too. You could change your mind at any time. What more can I give you?"

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Everything. She does not say that and just stares down at him.

"You're not afraid for yourself," she says instead. "And you don't know me..."

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"Don't pay a lot of attention to Victor gossip, huh? I've got a brother. A twin. You remind me of him, a bit. I volunteered in his place, four years ago, but there's nothing stopping him from being reaped again." Except for his compliance.

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This makes her let go of his throat. She can hear his pain, feel it. His entire being screams out to her.

"I just want this to end. I'm living in a nightmare and I can't wake up."

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"There is no waking up from this nightmare. The only way out is through, to the next one, and then the next one, and then," he closes his eyes. "Then, maybe someday, we'll be ready to try to break the cycle."

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... Calla flops down on the ground next to him.

"No maybe. If I'm going to do this... it can't be for nothing. I'll go into the Games. I will win. I've been training for this my entire life. I'll win and your twin will be safe and - I'm sorry. I just get so angry. It won't happen again."

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He snorts, "What, beating me up? I don't mind it. Better you take it out on me than some capitolite or another." 

He pauses, slowly sitting up to look down at her from her side.

"You'll win, and I'll introduce you to some people who feel the same way."

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"Figured they all would have died during that - 'skirmish' a few years ago."

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"Mm. They could only kill the ones they knew about," is all he says to that. 

He looks her over, sighs. "Guess the stylists will be pouting at me, after all," he says, "Come on, let's go get cleaned up." He pushes himself to his feet a bit unsteadily, reaching out to offer her his hand. 

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"It's not like I didn't have bruises from before the fight. You just can't see them. You'll be fine." She takes his hand and stands.

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"Training for this your whole life, huh. Still, the en-suite bathrooms have a small stock of a cream that heals bruises if you catch them soon enough. Let me help?" 

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"Does it matter? They don't bother me, I'm used to it, and they're apparently are going to be healed when we get to the capital."

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"Well, alright, if you really don't care," he says reluctantly, "The prep teams tend to be a bit gossipy, but you're probably going to end up being pegged as a fighter anyway, so it won't really hurt anything."

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"Though... we should get you cleaned up, at the very least."

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He lifts a hand to dab at his lip, which split at some point during the fight. 

"Hm, the ones on my face, at least. I'm a mentor, I can choose to wear a turtleneck if I want to." 

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She... does kinda like the look for them, though.

"Something to remember me by?"

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"Hopefully you'll give me more to remember you by than that," he says, tone totally innocent. He glances down, noting that he's still holding her hand, and lets go as he turns to move towards the hall leading to the bedrooms.

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The most innocent. She follows behind him, her hand tingling slightly from his touch. Weird.

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They leave the common/dining room and go down a short hall lined with doors on the left-hand side. His door is the third-to-last, and opens as he taps a sensor on the wall to the right of it. 

The bedrooms are not as extravagant as the common room, containing just the capitol-quality bed and side tables. Jem pays them little mind as he moves towards the door to his en-suite.

"Yours should look pretty much the same," he comments as he enters, "Sink, toilet, shower with the ridiculous number of soaps. And," he kneels down in front of the sink, pushing on the front of the cabinet to open the compartment underneath, "Emergency cosmetics and med-kit," he says, pulling the latter out and quickly locating the bruise cream inside. 

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"I'm pretty sure this bathroom is worth more than my entire neighborhood." She pauses. "Which - yeah, figures."

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He huffs a laugh, "Yeah." He sets the pack on the counter, picking up the bruise cream and weighing it in his hand for a moment, "This little tub of cream costs about enough to feed a family of four for a year, in some of the Districts," he admits. "You... can't really think like that," he adds, "It'll drive you crazy, trying to estimate how much everything around you costs."

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"Mostly I'm wondering how to get this stuff off the train and into district three so they can make use of it."

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"Not impossible, though it's a bit late for it now. We're probably getting close to the border with nine at this point. For later - well, it's not easy to slip things past the Capitol's monitoring, but you can do it sometimes if you're careful. They keep an eye on what the Victors order, though. We're supposed to be envied and even hated by our districts, not a source of relief. You need a good excuse for medical supplies."

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"Guess having a reputation for fighting could help there a lot." She takes the cream from him. "Let me help."

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"It could, yeah." He smiles, "Thanks. Just on the bruises," he motions at his cheekbone and jaw, "The lip will need something else."

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