Making it into the District Four tournament should have been enough to let Alec feel like he was worth something, should have been enough to make his brothers have some kind of respect for him. To stand on that stage, in front of a crowd of what was probably hundreds—to stand on the same stage as the whole fucking gaggle of those damned Krigel's, that should have been enough. The second that he was chosen, his family should have been proud, should have stood in that crowd and cheered for him at the top of their lungs.
Instead, they hadn't even come to check on him in the medic tent after his fight was over. They'd watched India Krigel dig her trident into his stomach and barely batted an eye.
His brother had sent him a note a couple of days later. Pathetic, had been all it said, written in his brother's perfect scrawl.
He refused to be pathetic anymore.
He stands across the mat from Oliver, face drawn closed as thightly as he knows how to get it. He's always been too emotional, fallen prey to his own self-indulgence more times than he can count. In either of his hands he holds a knife, short and sharp, and he knows that most people would be terrified to face off against a trident, but the last time Alec had used one of those damned things it hadn't gone well for him.
Maybe that meant he should use nothing else until he mastered them, but that wasn't his style.
He'd rather use his speed.
He tuck and rolls, spinning over the soft mat until he comes up on his knee and then flicks his knife towards the other boy.
Post by bakabekkers on Mar 26, 2020 13:12:03 GMT -5
Oliver was seated on the floor, he had wormed his way into the tournament, and since has been making a name for himself. To Oliver, this was the ultimate way to gain sponsorship had he ever been reaped, or been bold enough to volunteer for somebody. Placing high promises sponsors, winning guarantees them.
"Oliver Gatt . . . Alec Rodero"
Oliver beamed. He had been sitting for so long his legs were achy and stiff from the last match he had. He got up and stretched them out. Oliver's family wasn't in attendance except for his father, who was already fiercely proud of what Oliver had managed to do in round one, it was almost a clean sweep. For a fifteen year old this was pretty impressive. Oliver had been used to this kind of violence his whole life, training to be able to take survive and thrive in an arena if he had to.
Oliver took his place across from Alec, sizing the boy up. From seeing him around Oliver knew he was seventeen. Oliver hadn't spotted the boys trident though, which he had used last round. He must have opted for a lighter weapon this round. Oliver was mildly disappointed, he had spotted a weakness within Alec, he wasn't using the trident as an arm, like you're supposed to, he seemed to be having trouble with it. Oliver knew he could exploit this, but the knives.. Oliver wasn't sure.
"Please stand in allegiance for the National Anthem" The voice boomed over the arena, and the crowd took their places standing, facing the big television screen, which replaced Oliver and Alec's faces with District 4's symbol. Loud drums sounded, and the anthem began. Oliver began to get giddy with excitement.
Once the anthem finished, Oliver took his stance, and looked over to his father. They exchanged nods, and the gong sounded, indicating the fight had just begun.
Alec took a dive, and ended up rolling over the soft mat. On his ascent upwards he whipped one of the knives at Oliver. It punctured Oliver's ear. The warmth of blood wasn't enough to distract Oliver, he was already on the move. He arched his legs, and using his dominant arm, he propelled his trident forward, striking the boy upon his thigh.
Alec spins to roll back away, grinning that his knife has met it's target. He knows that moves like that are sometimes frowned upon when they're just in training fights, but he can hear his teacher in the back of his head shouting at him in their private lessons: tributes won't hold back in the Games; you shouldn't either. But as he's rolling away, Oliver catches him on his right thigh. It's just a graze, but a thin line of blood splits his white linen pants.
It's a smaller crowd than it was at the last tournament, the one where India and he had gone toe to toe until there was nothing left but for Alec to stay down for just that bit too long, blood draining onto the mat.
These spectators are just as unkind.
He doesn't know what it is about him that makes everyone underestimate him, what it is about crowds that always make them cheer for his opponents, but when they cheer for Oliver it makes him want to grind his teeth. All the kid did was graze Alec's thigh with that trident.
He's never much understood Four's fascination with the weapon, never much had any interest in taking part in the fervor. "Pathetic,"he can't help but spit back at the other boy, unkind, a terrible mirror of what his own brother had said to him. He swallows, wills the red away from his vision. "You've gotta be faster on your feet, kid," he goes on, and as much as he's not trying to be condescending, he's not sure that will register with anyone. "Keep yourself light."
He cracks a grin again, and then spins, his own kind of dancing.
He digs his knife into the kids dominant arm, yanks it out just as fast and darts away.
Post by bakabekkers on Mar 26, 2020 17:02:48 GMT -5
Oliver had leaped backwards, his attack wasn't exactly what he wished for, but it was enough to do some damage. The crowd, however, was engulfed by Oliver striking Alec. It must be the age difference, the crowd always loves an underdog. Was Oliver the underdog? He didn't think so, he was an extremely proficient adversary for Alec.
Alec spat at him. Oliver locked eyes with the boy, and had an intense look about him. He didn't take trash talking all that well. He was taught to not feed into any of the bullshit people were bound to spit out during fights. It's all a ruse.
"You've got to be quicker on your feet, kid."
"Keep yourself light"
Alec was a great opponent. Oliver knew this, but Oliver was no fool, it wasn't until the knife pierced his arm, that he realized truly how formidable Alec was.
Oliver felt more blood dripping onto his forearm. He broke into a run, crouching, and breaking into a slide, thrusting the trident upward toward Alec.
Oliver's trident pierces Alec's left bicep. The slash releases a stream of blood, and upon pulling the trident out, Oliver hops away, trying to escape back to a longer range.
"How was that?" the words rolled off his tongue, the crowd loved it, and roared in approval. Oliver flashed a toothy smile, stamping the tridents butt end into the ground next to him, preparing for Alecs retaliation.
Oliver, bless him, seems to actually listen. "Aghhh," Alec groans out, gritting his teeth. When he'd said like that he hadn't expected him to literally mirror him, to dig his trident up and into Alec's own bicep, but he had to be grateful that it was at least his left arm and not his right. But just as quickly as Alec had groaned out in pain, he found himself laughing. A maniacal, horrible, terrible kind of laughter, ground out through gritted teeth through sheer force of hysterical will. "Yeah," he went on, shit-eating grin splitting his face. "Just like that."
In a strange sort of way, pride wound its way through Alec's chest, twisted around his heart and squeezed.
He had inspired that move.
How many times had Alec dreamed about that? How many nights had he spent up, staring at his ceiling, thinking about how badly he wanted to spend the rest of his life making sure that kids just like Oliver would be ready one day to step into the arena and come out alive? He wasn't sure that he could even begin to try and count them.
To see his dreams playing out here, standing in front of him with a trident in their hand—it made his heart swell even as blood dripped down his arm, hot and sticky. How was that? Oliver asked, his own little cocky grin starting to dance across his cheeks. "Nice to know you can listen," Alec replies, letting the kid get comfortable, settle into the crowd cheering for him. He watched on as Oliver hopped away, clearly trying to get the distance that his weapon was best for, and Alec let him, observing the way the other boys body moved, the way it held his weapon, where his center of gravity was and where leg he seemed to settle most of his weight on. But between on breath and the next, Alec was darting right back into his personal space, ducking for when he inevitably wielded the trident once more—he was foolish, really, to let it settle like that. Again, he slipped his skinny little knife into the place most wouldn't expect, held it tight against him and drew it into the space between Oliver's torso and his arm, running the blade through skin until it was deep in his veins. "But student isn't quite the master," he replied, grabbing the boy back the back of his neck, using his now bloodied hand to press a blade against his carotid. "Not yet." He held that place for a beat before stepping back, barely sparing the crowd a glance where they stood, fairly quiet. "Well played though," he said, wiping his blades against the thigh of his pants. "You ever wanna train together without the crowds, you let me know."
Post by bakabekkers on Mar 26, 2020 21:03:12 GMT -5
A deep gash on Oliver's arm had sealed it, the tournaments fight was over, but the real fight, for Oliver had just begun. Oliver had watched Alec get up, the crowd ghastly silent. No one cheered for the boy, who came out on top of the crowd favorite Oliver. "You ever wanna train together, without the crowds, let me know."
"You bet." Oliver had piped up. The crowd stood on edge.
"I know the tournaments over, but this fight...
The crowd took a gasp, and Oliver spoke once more. "That was a piss poor showing from me, quite frankly." Oliver knew his father was disappointed, and was beyond relieved that only he was there to witness Oliver fall the way he did. Oliver had gone through his rounds clean sweeping his opponents, hoping to place first. Placing first would mean guaranteed sponsors for him if he had gotten into the games in the first place.
"You got a lot left in you, I know it."
"I do too.." Oliver muttered. "Fuck the rules." He picked his trident up, twirling it around him and stamping it on the ground. "Prepare yourself, Alec." Oliver said valiantly. He accepted defeat in the tournament, but he wasn't ready to give up until he couldn't fight anymore.
Oliver sliced at Alec, slashing his chest. The crowd instantly took uproar, some angry that the fighting was continuing, some excited, this was Olivers chance to redeem himself
At first, Alec only half-realized what the kid was saying.
When he said that this fight wasn't over, he was ready to pipe back, say something about looking forward to finishing it sometime, say that he couldn't wait to train with the kid outside of this place. Alec, much as the District tended to let him into the tournaments, had never much been one for glory—the only people he had ever sought approval from where his brothers, and they hadn't seen fit to give him that in years, not since the moment he deicded he wanted to be a fighter instead of a businessman. Alec had burned everything that he had known, refused to be what the world told him to be, wanted more than anything to become a career trainer to make sure that he didn't have to watch peer after peer of his go into the Games just to die.
Alec hadn't been ready for Oliver to swing again. Fuck the rules, the kid said, and Alec's brows furrowed, knives still in his limp hands at his side. But then, prepare yourself, and the kid was slashing out at Alec again. He barely had time to react, to make sure that the tips of his trident didn't gouge out a mark across his chest that would scar. A thin sliver of red crossed his white shirt, and without thinking, just reacting, Alec grabbed the end of Oliver's trident, the place where the staff forked out into three, and yanked it, giving himself the leverage to swipe his own knife clear across Oliver's chest. "The rules are there for us," Alec hissed, letting go of Oliver's trident and dancing around the other boys shoulder. He'd have to spin around, and if Alec was lucky, i'd be clumsy and he could incapacitate him before he did something stupid again. "You arm needs a medic. Let this end."
Post by bakabekkers on Mar 27, 2020 15:27:13 GMT -5
Let this end.
The words rang through Oliver, and he pondered for a second, whether or not he actually wanted to let this go. But then he remembered the sponsors. The sponsors meant life or death for anybody in the late stages of the games, had Alec not realized this?
Oliver inched closer to Alec, close enough so that no one but Alec and Oliver could hear.
"Alec, don't you realize? This is being televised to everyone across Panem."
He did a fake jab to keep the crowd at bay
"Sponsors control your life in the later stages of the games, when you break away from the careers. They want a show. So im going to give them one."
Oliver felt the blood drip down his chest from Alec's knife. He peered down for a moment, dabbing his finger into the wound, and pulling out fresh blood on two fingers. He wiped it on his training pants.
Oliver swung the trident toward Alec, his attack was blocked. Oliver felt as if he couldn't land a single hit onto Alec, and his frustration was finally showing throughout his face.
"This is being televised," came Oliver's words, and instantly it just made Alec's stance soften, his heart fold for just a moment. He had to swallow, instantly so startlingly sad for the boy sharing the mat with him. You vastly overestimate how much the rest of the nation voluntarily tunes into these tournaments, Alec wanted to say to him. Maybe some in the Capitol, those with deep pockets and a heavy-set greed that knew no bounds, not even how wrong it was to watch kids kill each other for sport.
But how are you supposed to tell that to someone who had dedicated their entire like to sating that greed?
Because that's what all the careers did, all the kids that Alec was trying to desperately to be hired to train—they were trainined in bloodsport, trained in knowing how to end another human's life, trained in knowing what it was to stop something before it could even begin.
If there was one thing that he and his family agreed on, it was a needless sport.
Alec blocked the boys attack easily, and when he did it made his heart crest and fall, could see what it was doing to Oliver, crowd angry and shouting. "You can stop this," he said, and he thrust his knife, fake-clumsy, and as much as he knew that the kid was bleeding too much, he managed to block Alec's knife from meeting its supposed goal. "There will be another tournament," Alec went on, holding Oliver's gaze while the other boy held his knife in place, lodged between branches of his trident. If he twisted, his knife might snap, but it would also shove the trident away and he could sink his other knife into the Oliver's ribcage, end the match himself.
But he wanted Oliver to do it himself.
"You can win the next," he whispered. "This one is already lost."
R O D E R O.
Last Edit: Mar 28, 2020 20:29:44 GMT -5 by kaitlin
Post by bakabekkers on Mar 29, 2020 2:18:33 GMT -5
The knife came toward Oliver, he raised the blades of his trident and caught it. You could practically hear a pin drop inside of the arena. Nobody dared to breathe. The tension felt unreal. The tide of the fight was in Oliver's hands.
You can win the next one.
Oliver was staring intensely into Alec's eyes. He was unsure of what to do, battling with his inner monologue. The crowd, of course, wanted blood. The greedy people watching in the capitol wanted blood.
They always want blood.
Oliver swung his leg up, and threw a swift boot into Alec's chest, forcing them away from each other. Oliver knew what his father wanted him to do, and Oliver didn't want to let him down. He was considered a prospect for tournaments to come. Sure, he lost, but if he could just beat Alec down enough, to convince people that the whole match was a fluke..
Oliver made no attempt to end the match. He had one final attempt to make his mark. He was losing blood, and losing it fast.
Rounding the mat, he fell backward into a roll, and popped up on both feet. He hiked the trident up into a throwing position, and heaved it as hard as he could at Alec. He overestimated the throw, and it had a downward trajectory. The trident made light contact with Alec's leg, and made no impression upon the boy.
Oliver was defeated, there was a pool of blood underneath him, smeared across the mat as if it was a canvas. A sick painting of blood and sweat, smeared together in one masterpiece.
He knelt down, on one knee. He held his head high, for pride. He gestured for Alec to come to him.
"Do it, finish me." Oliver croaked. If he was going to go down, he wanted to be seen taking it like a man. He closed his eyes in anticipation, surely Alec was upset over the fact that Oliver had blatantly attacked him after their match had ended.
"What are you doing," Alec hisses as he watches Oliver wind up to strike again. "You're going to get yourself killed."
Alec tries to duck away from the thrown trident, but despite the clumsy execution, it still manages to make contact with his calf, and he hisses out a sharp breath as it slices through the skin and muscle there.
Sometimes, it's the smallest wounds that hurt the worst.
But maybe it hurts so much because of the sight in front of him when he refocuses his eyes, because of the image of a boy with no hope crumbling to his knees. Alec is already twisting towards him, knife at the ready in his good hand, blood dripping quickly down the sleeve of his left, leaving a little trail across the mat as Alec dives towards Oliver. As the boy speaks, Alec is already flicking out his knife, instinct taking over before he can think twice about whether or not he wants it to.
But he holds back, doesn't gouge his knife into the boy, and at the last moment flicks it upwards, cutting a line across Oliver's forehead, crimson now dripping over the brunette's eyebrow.
Slowly but surely, Alec is sure that it's the end of this boys fight, though the match should have ended long ago. The other boys eyes are closed, and Alec can feel his muscles relaxing already, and without a care in the world for how it looks to the cameras, how it looks to the crowd, how it's going to look to his family somewhere across the district, he drops both of his knives, takes Oliver into his hands and supports all of his weight that he can handle. His own arm aches so badly that he can almost feel his heart beat, blood pulsing through it and out of it from where Oliver gounged into him. "A medic!" Alec shouts. "He needs a fucking medic!"
He ducks his head, looks down at the boy in his arms.
"What were you thinking," he says under his breath. "Fuck," he breathes, "what were you thinking."
Alec was swooping in for what appeared to be his final attack, Oliver felt a sigh of relief. He felt it was better to be put down by your foe instead of given mercy, Oliver didn't want mercy. Oliver never wanted mercy. Mercy meant that your opponent thought you were weak, feeble, and thus they spared you. This wasn't life or death, but Oliver sure as heck would have scars that would most likely be permanent on his skin. That was okay, he didn't mind, scars gave stories. Stories to tell the ladies.
He peered up, and for a brief second saw Alec lighten up, you couldn't see it in his demeanor but you could feel it. It was as if something lifted Alec's heart up, and softened his eyes. The air changed. Oliver wasn't sure if the crowd could see it, but Oliver could.
The knife flicked out of Alec's hand, and Oliver fell backwards, the knife slashing above his eyebrow on his forehead. That'll need stitches. Oliver sunk down, and watched as Alec ran over to him. Oliver was losing blood pretty fast, so much so that he was half fading in and out. His jet black hair was mixed with sweat, his own blood, and Alec's blood, he presumed.
A medic! He needs a fucking medic!
Oliver began to wonder if his father had up and left the tournament, too ashamed of his own son. A quick glance in the direction that his father was previously in confirmed that. A stray tear fell across Oliver's face, mixing together to create a streaky line of blood and water.
What were you thinking.
Alec mumbled under his breath, Oliver figured it was a cuss word of some sort. In the midst of the chaos, all Oliver could squeak out was an "Im sorry". He was sorry, that part was true. He just wanted to impress his father. "My dad's gone, isn't he?" Oliver looked up at Alec. Perhaps they could be training partners, if Oliver made a bond with Alec and trained, he could have a real good shot at winning the games if he were to ever be reaped. The idea sounded fantastic to him.
"You're really good, Alec. Please, help get me ready for the day i'm in the games." Oliver wasn't quite ready to count himself out of the reaping yet, he had a long way to go, and a lot to learn if he was going to survive in the games. He was taken to the medical ward, where in just a matter of seconds the bleeding was gone and he was almost ready to get sent out.
"My apologies, hunny." The nurse spoke up. "The scar above your eyebrow is going to be permanent, the cut was so deep that we had to stitch it several times over, I hope you don't mind."
Oliver didn't mind. It made for a great tale, the tale of when Alec met his greatest foe, and perhaps his greatest ally yet.