"For the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the rebellion, to remind all those foolish enough to stand against the Capitol that they bring death to those they love as well. Each Tribute when selected will have to choose a companion of reaping age and the opposite sex to join them in the Arena."
"Well, Ms. Everdeen, is this who you want as a partner?"
I wipe my eyes and look out to see who it is, and when I do, I’m ashamed to admit that for a second I’m thankful. Because if anyone in District 12 could save me, it’s him. Then I remember all the people whose lives already depend on him, and I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. “Gale… no…” It’s little more than a whimper.
He softly smiles at me with the weight of the world in his eyes. I’ve seen that look in my mother’s eyes when she’s done all she can and isn’t sure if someone will survive. I know he understands what he is doing, his slight nods tell me it’s okay and to go ahead. But I still can’t. I turn around and look at my sister. She has the same look as Gale, and wordlessly mouths, “It’s okay.”
How can she possibly think this is okay? She wants me to pick Gale, who provides for his entire family, and is her best friend. That’s when the obvious answer hits me: he’s doing this for her. I look at him and I can see his determination, which makes me hate my indecision. I give in and do the most horrible thing I’ve ever done.
"I choose Gale Hawthorne."
Okay, this is pretty much my fanfic-appreciation week in a nutshell, just because this story has a special place in my heart. If you feel like reading a big, epic & fun AU story with plenty of interesting original characters, and pretty even self-sacrifice opportunities for Peeta and Gale, check this out.