AU: Peeta, Gale, and Katniss are best friends, and when Peeta gets reaped, Gale volunteers. Katniss volunteers in Prim’s place, to save her sister and to help Gale win.
“Welcome, welcome!” Effie’s voice rang through the speakers. I looked up from where I stood, catching a glimpse of her soft pink wig. “The time has come, to select one courageous young man and woman, for the honor of representing District 12 in the seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games. May the odds to be ever in your favor!” She paused to gaze over the crowd. “Gentlemen first!” She shuffled across the stage, and placed her hand inside the round, glass reaping bowl. She pulled out a small piece of paper, and made her way back to the microphone. She cleared her throat, and unfolded the piece of paper. “Peeta Mellark!”
I struggled to swallow. I felt my heart beat hard against my chest as I turned my head slightly, looking in Gale’s direction. I know what I have to do, Katniss. Gale’s lips read. I gave him a cut off nod, because I didn’t believe it. I focused on the stage, and I could only see the top of Peeta’s head as we walked slowly towards the stage. I turned back to Gale, but he was already gone and racing through the crowd. I plugged my ears, not wanting to hear Gale’s voice. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to breathe properly. “I volunteer as tribute!” Gale’s voice was muffled through my now throbbing hands. I couldn’t cry. Not here.
I placed my hands to my sides, and slowly lifted my head. Gale stood there on the stage. He was lost. Peeta stood there in the middle of the aisle, and wouldn’t move. A few Peacekeepers came and removed him from the spot. Effie rushed back to the glass bowl, and pulled out another piece of folded paper. I now thought about Prim. I remember the nightmare she had about being chosen. “You’re name is only in there once, Prim. They’re not going to pick you.” I remember telling her, before tucking her back into bed.
Effie clears her voice again, and unfolds the paper. “Primrose Everdeen!” Before I could think, my feet were running, and my hands were pushing through the crowd. “Prim!” I let out a strangled cry. I pushed myself into the aisle, only to be held back by Peacekeepers. “Prim!” They wouldn’t let me through. “I volunteer!” I shouted. The Peacekeepers released their grip from around my forearms, and I fell to the ground. I stood, quickly composing myself. “I volunteer as Tribute!” I know what I have to do, too, Gale. I thought. I can save my sister and help you win.