Chapter 1: Chosen as Tribute
District 12. The day of the announcement of the new players for the next Games.
Armitage Hux was the son of Brendol Hux, a Hunger Games Champion almost 30 years ago. He was the last one for a long time, so he was well respected in the poorer district. Armitage was his youngest son, and the one that Brendol never thought could have a chance in the Games. His other offspring were now married and moved out of the district. While Armitage was the last of Brendol’s several children, it was his eldest brother who solidified the Game’s brutality.
Armitage walked towards the town square to hear the results of who would be in the games. He kept thinking about his kind older brother, who died six years ago. His death was publicized, as he was impaled to death against a pine tree by several javelins. Blood leaked from his mouth as the career who hunted him showed him no mercy and made sure he was dead. His corpse, luckily, was recovered in one piece and was buried at home at Brendol’s request. It was the one thing he could get from the capital as a past Champion of the Games.
Brendol had become much colder since the day that his eldest son died. It was why all of his children moved out, and Armitage planned to as well. He sighed and walked to the center of town, crowded with young and old people. He looked up and listened for who was going to be in the Games this year.
Hux was on that list with many others, he was at the perfect age to compete in the Games. Of course, his father had made him train in his youth, just in case he would be chosen, but Brendol had never trained him like he did with his older siblings and deceased older brother. He was his favourite, and Hux was the only one to endure Brendol's training regimens after his death.
Hux didn’t really care about the Games; he didn’t want to go and win with many of the other people on his age. Even if it meant wealth and extra rations for his district, Hux was smart and he already knew his odds of winning were really low. Although, if he was chosen, he would definitely use everything he had to survive so he would at least to not die in one of the first days. That would be humiliating; he didn’t want to suffer an awful, public death as his brother had.
Finally, the names of the chosen were being announced and Hux could feel his heart hammering in his chest. He didn’t know if he wanted to hear his name or not. Not hearing his name would mean even more cruel training with a father who abused and hated him. And hearing his name would mean his incoming death.
The capitol spokesperson took the first name and Hux thought his heart was going to break his chest in any moment. “The champions of the district 2 will be...Armitage Hux and…” The woman announced and the ginger could see the people turning at him, some of them clapping with pride, others with pitty expressions knowing what he was about to face.
Hux couldn’t hear anything else, he just stood there, trying to breath and trying to hide the panic attack he was starting to suffer. He bit his lip and tried to look proud, but he was shaking internally. He didn't know which female from his district was also competing, but frankly, he could care less. His stomach was in knots and he tried his best not to faint in front of the others.
Hux didn't go home right away. He went to the outskirts of town with his father’s tablet. He had taken it earlier that day and he wanted to see how the competitors in the other districts were fairing. The districts’ chosen ones were decided numerically in reverse, so he was watching those from districts 9 and upward being selected through broadcast. The richer districts were now being chosen.
Hux watched some of those who were chosen cry, faint, or beg to not be in the games. So he had done well in front of others considering. District 2 was next, and right before the names were about to be read, one person raised their hand.
“I volunteer as a tribute.”
To everyone’s surprise, a man roughly Hux’s age with black hair and dark eyes stepped forward. He was in a Career training suit, indicating that he'd had trained himself to be a bloodthirsty fighter.
“Ben Solo, or shall I call you Kylo Ren? If that's what you please.”
A smile curled on the man’s lips, indicating that he wasn't hesitant at all. As he looked in the camera filming him, he looked like he could see into Hux’s soul from the tablet.
A shiver ran through Hux’s spine. Those eyes, that body, that attitude...that Kylo Ren was a deadly opponent. He could see the confident in his fierce eyes, he was fearless and that could be a very dangerous trait for himself, or well for his opponents depends on how well he would use it.
The giger watched the rest of the district opponents. There was a very young girl, Rey, he thought they said, that looked fragile but her eyes and her posse could tell Hux she was smart and ways stronger than she looked. She probably would use her weak appearance in her behalf. Hux was taking notes of every of them, it was important to have as much information as possible.
When the selections ended, he had two things clear in his mind. One, he was probably the weakest of all the participants, and two, Kylo Ren was going to be his key to the victory, or at least to the second position where he could die with dignity.
Hux sighed and thought quietly, he wouldn't mind dying by Kylo’s hands, but at the same time...he just wanted to know him. Hux hasn't felt a magnetic pull towards anyone before, but Kylo’s dangerous eyes were intoxicating. Hux noted that he had to meet this man before the Games began while they were practicing in front of judges.
Hux heard footsteps approaching. He stood and noticed that they were three neighborhoods boys. Troublemakers around here.
One made it clear what he wanted, “You're going to die anyway, so why not hand over that piece of technology? It'd make us a few extra bucks.” Hux was weak looking, but he wasn't a pushover. As each kid ran at him, fists bared, Hux dodged. He jumped away, holding the tablet with one hand as the kids tried to steal it. Hux didn't hurt them, but instead used the environment and tree branches scattered around them to subdue all three.
Then he walked towards his home to pack. He would be heading to the Capital tomorrow.
Hux arrives at the capital. However, he finds one person in particular almost impossible to read. He considers if he should ally himself with others, namely Kylo.
The Capital was overwhelming for Hux. As he and the shy, scared girl from his district were riding in a coach together to the headquarters, Hux noted how bright, lavish, and colorful everyone around him was. He was used to dressing simple, but those in the capital wore pops of color in their clothes, hair, and on their skin. They almost looked like clowns or mannequins in the distance.
As all the coaches arrived, Hux peaked out the window. The residents were talking and gossiping already, picking favorites. He could hear Kylo’s name among many of the women.
And he wasn’t surprised. Kylo didn’t have the typical beautiful face but he had a very appealing one that fitted perfectly with his very well formed body.
They were about to meet their trainer and they could start their training in the common training room. Hux wasn’t good at short distance fights, but he was really good with bow, never missed a shot. But he needed to put distance between himself and his opponents. That was going to be a problem once they were released in the arena, as everybody would be close to everybody else, so he hoped that partnering up with his female contestant from District 12 would be useful. Maybe as a bait and a sacrifice if she was weak, or maybe as a protection in short distance fights if she was strong.
One by one, the coaches stopped and the contestants exited. Kylo was in the coach for District 2, and he donned his full Career uniform. He wasn't accustomed to the crowds of people staring at him and cheering. Many people were already his fans, as he had volunteered to be in the Games.
Hux got out of his coach when announcers called them. He remembered his older brother’s advice: be likeable; he more that the capital residents liked you, the more likely they would send you supplies during the Games. Hux looked into the colorful crowd and smiled up at the people, and some of the women began calling him adorable and handsome.
It was not hard for him to pretend, it had never been. His Father taught him well, so he performed as well as he could for the crowd of people thought he was a very worthy opponent, full of confidence and fearless.
One by one, the tributes entered their training quarters. They followed the instructors, showing them their rooms, the food hall, and most importantly, the gym. Hux knew that he would need to present himself well if he wanted the people’s support.
It was at this time of instruction that Hux got a clear look at Kylo Ren. Unlike many of the others who had grown up in poverty or a regular household, Kylo was definitely trained well to be a Career. His muscles were prominent and his gaze was intimidating.
Hux also noticed two points of interest as he analyzed Kylo, much like his older brother used to tell him about. Hux found Kylo’s thighs and hands to be giveaways of what he had trained in. Unlike someone who used a bow and arrow or a long range weapon, Kylo’s thighs and glutes were muscular, indicating that he could definitely hold his own in a close range match and was used to squatting. His hands were also calloused around the base of the fingers, indicating holding some type of rigid knife or sword base.
Hux has been staring for so long, he almost missed the instructor telling them they could go eat and then rest for the night. And to be aware...they were always on camera.
The ginger wasn’t hungry. He was used to the very tiny food rations his father was feeding him with, mostly protein and vitamins bars, but he decided to go to the common dining room to keep learning his opponents. A certain food intolerance could play in his favour at some point, or he could check if there were already alliances between them.
Hux just grabbed an apple and sat in a corner pretending to watch the beautiful view through the window, but what he was doing was trying to overhear a conversation between a pair of the district 7, they seemed to be planning to make an alliance with Kylo Ren and his ignored partner. Hux couldn’t allow that, Kylo Ren has to be his, he needed to be quick.
“You look more like an spy than a fighter.” Hux heard from the right and turned his head. He had sensed someone approaching him, of course he did, but he never would have guessed it was Kylo Ren. A person on his size should have been sensed in a different way, should have louder footsteps. It seemed like that boy was trained to hide too. Also, he had been the only one to notice that he was spying his opponents. That was not good. The raven haired boy was even more dangerous than he figured.
Kylo looked Hux over and said quickly, “I’m guessing you're rather skilled at evasion and far range. Interesting.” A smirk tugged at his lips and he leaned in towards Hux, trying to intimidate him, “I look forward to seeing you out there.” He ended his sentence with a growl, a warning, before stepping away.
Being a career, Hux figured that Kylo could easily go solo, and with his skill set, he likely could. He had stealth, agility, ability to read others, and likely a very strong skill set. Hux bit his apple and stared him down the whole time. Then he continued to overhear others talking. Some spoke about alliances and others about their lives at home. It seems like Kylo wasn't talking at all, likely because he knew Hux was listening. If he wasn't worried about dying, Hux would be rather impressed.
The next morning, Hux awoke early to keep working on his mental and physical capacities on little to no sleep. He was planning to go to the mess hall, eat lightly like yesterday, and get ready to train. To his slight surprise, he wasn't the first one there. Kylo was sitting at a table, seemingly ready for him as he greeted, “Morning, redhead. Up early too, I see.”
Hux raised one of his eyebrows and tightened his lips in disapproval. Kylo Ren, the most powerful career in this Game, just called him redhead and Hux couldn’t distinguish if he was trying to make fun of him or to be friendly. Neither sounded good to Hux. Even his plan was to get Kylo as ally, it was suspicious the boy wanted to be friendly. Hux didn’t look like the rest of the careers, not even to his partner, so why would Kylo want to be friends with someone obviously way weaker than him?
“I’m glad to see you are not all muscles, and can distinguish colour. But my name is Hux, not redhead.” Hux grabbed an apple and a cup of coffee from the buffet counter and sat at the same table as Kylo, but far from him. He knew he had to start his plan,but he also knew he couldn’t be very obvious and he still needed to learn a bit more about his opponent.
Kylo spun a coin through his fingers, chuckling. He spoke softly, but make sure Hux could hear him, “Hux. Hmm, Hux, huh? That's a familiar name.” Kylo gave Hux a look of knowing. He changed the subject right as Hux caught on, “I should watch what I say, I can see that you enjoy spying on your peers.” He moved towards Hux, crawling on the long table towards him, dangerously but unintentionally sexy as well.
Hux didn't show Kylo that he intimidated him as he crawled towards him. Hux didn't like people getting close to him, but less when it was someone like Kylo. He wouldn't deny that he was exactly the type of man he liked.
Hux snorted. “We all do what we can to have a chance in the arena. Not everybody was gifted with a perfect body.” Hux slowly took a bite of hid apple, looking Kylo in the eyes.
Kylo chuckled lowly and said, “True. But I prefer the muscular type in a fight. Easy to cut down at close range, just a cut to one of the vital arteries in the body and they're gone within seconds. You though...you'll be harder to deal with.”
Kylo moved even closer, so that their faces were mere centimeters apart, “But I love a challenge. Don't disappoint me.” Kylo leaned forward rather quickly and bit Hux’s apple. Hux almost felt Kylo’s breath against his lip before Kylo pulled away. He was taunting him, but simultaneously flirting, which was confusing .
When Kylo pulled away, Hux realised he had stop breathing in that moment. His heart was beating hard and all his senses were in high alert, like Kylo was a beast that had been so close to devouring him and he just escaped from it. The ginger placed the apple on the table and stood up avoiding Kylo’s gaze. “I have nothing to prove to you, disappointing you is none of my business” Hux spoke sharp and left.
He walked as faster as he could to his room, he needed to breathe. Kylo Ren was dangerous, and just because he found him attractive, he had left his guard go down and allowed him to get that close. If this was the Games, Kylo could have stabbed him just then and Hux couldn’t have done anything but stare into his eyes. And Kylo knew it. Hux was sure Kylo was testing him, and he knew by then, he could get close enough to Hux to kill him.
In another hand, what have that been for? Praising him, talking to him like he was an equal opponent to someone as strong as Kylo. What did Kylo expect something from him and why? It didn’t make sense. Hux had always been good reading people, it was part of his strength, but for the first time, he had found himself lost. He couldn’t read Kylo Ren, so he simply accepted that shouldn’t get close to him in order to stay protected. He had to stay as far as possible from that beast with a handsome face.
Hux tries to avoid Kylo, but it seems like the more he tries, the less he can stay away. Instead, he makes a new ally and prepares for the start of the games.
Training hour approached and all tributes went to the huge gymnasium, stocked with equipment. Hux knew that this wasn't just training time, it was a casting call. The sponsors would be watching them. They would be rating their likelihood of survival.
Simultaneously, Hux heard some whispers going around from the coaches. He had stupidly forgotten that they were being watched on camera at all times. Of course they saw his encounter with Kylo in the hall, and there was talk about it. Hux had to push it out of his mind, as he had to analyze what the others in the gym were good at, so he could prepare to fight them.
He took one of the bows offered to the participants and turned on an enemies simulation where he would have to attack the dolls before he was attacked by the. Hux didn’t miss a single shot, all of them were shot in the head or the heart, and he wasn’t attacked a single time. Hux did his performance with a stoic face, trying to make the sponsors think he was calm, natural, and used to fighting, but he was really nervous inside. He knew he needed sponsors to sponsor him if he wanted to live.
The food won’t be a problem in the arena, he was used to food deprivation, but Hux had always had weak health, If he got sick or poisoned and he couldn’t get help, it could be a problem that could lead to his demise. Also he knew he could use the presents from the sponsors as trading materials to get other’s help, or even to bribe or lie to them. They could be used as traps too.
Hux breathed hard and walked to the next simulator. That one would show how fast and skilled with his senses he was. The machine would attack him and he would have to dodge the attacks, and he was very good at that. With the corner of his eye, he could see a very tall girl he remember that caught his attention because of his strong body the day they arrived to the facility. She was showing off her strength and it was really impressive. She even broke the machine she was fighting against. He couldn’t trust Kylo Ren, so counting on his help was a discarded idea, but maybe that girl…
Her name was Phasma, and she was several years his senior. She was skilled with both spears and throwing knives and could fight at a level similar to a career. She came from a medium-wealth district, 7 or 8 he recalled, and likely could be a good alliance member. Before Hux could think about anything else, he shot another arrow at the machine, when something hit his arrow.
Hux’s arrow bounced off the wall and flew up towards the sponsors. He looked up in dread as the arrow landed in the sponsor’s food platter on the upper level. The sponsors looked shocked and looked at Hux angrily. He could see Kylo out of the corner of his eyes mouthing the word ‘bow’ to him. Hux bowed, as though he meant to do that, which made the sponsors look shocked, but less angry. Some of them spoke in amazement, like they thought that Hux meant to show off his skills. Looking to the side, he could see a throwing knife near where his arrow was hit. He could only see that Phasma, Kylo, and two others in the room holding knives.
However, from Kylo’s mouthing earlier, he could guess that Kylo had done it. He was upset, but also shocked for two reasons. One is that he couldn’t see Kylo’s throwing skills, they happened so fast that Hux had no time to react. Secondly, even if Kylo had meant to make him look bad, some of the sponsors seemed rather impressed by Hux’s boldness. Again, this was like flirting with Kylo...dangerous.
Hux continued with his performance while trying to hide his anxiety, and he was good at it. He could have just lost all the sponsors trust in a second because of Kylo, but it seemed that the opposite happened, and he felt so confused.
The sponsors talked and watched them for a while. Hux tried to show elegance in his shots until the end. Kylo also showed off his skills by jumping gracefully as he threw his knives and caught them to continue fighting. Hux took note of his skills but he also looked at Phasma. He decided to approach Phasma as they would be leaving the gymnasium, and he needed to gain her favor.
“Hey!” Hux hurried to walk beside Phasma. “I watched you there and...you are really impressive. And that's hard to see around here...we are surrounded by idiots.” The ginger wouldn't have ever used those words, nor talked that way to talk to someone if he was at his home district, but he was good reading people and he was just imitating the way he had watched her express herself. She thought she was superior to the most of them, and well, she was right.
The girl turned to him and looked at his eyes for a moment, like she was checking the ginger's intentions. Then she relaxed and looked forward again while they walked. “Thanks. You are not bad yourself...shooting at one of the sponsors’ plate was a bold move...but a smart one…”
Hux felt his stomach contracting. It hadn't been his idea or his action ,and just thinking about Kylo made him feel dizzy; he still needed to rethink about Kylo Ren's intentions toward him. “Here, you can’t just hold yourself safely...you need risk. Risk is the only way to move forward.”
“Or to die,” she said with a smirk.
Hux could see he was doing well with her, so he smirked too. “Exactly, but isn't it a more interesting way to die?”.
Phasma chuckled and looked at him, smiling. “Indeed”. She was a brave girl, one who came to the Games to win or to die, and would risk everything for a chance. She probably was one of those kids dreaming with having the chance to be in the arena since she was a child, and Hux knew exactly how to deal with that to gain her favor.
The group of tributes sat in the hall to watch the sponsors’ review of them. Typically, they watched the results alone, however, the coordinators wanted to record each of their reactions. Hux sat near Phasma near the back, Kylo only one table away. They watched the others react to their low scores of 4 and 5. Every time that happened, a few would cry, realizing that people weren’t rooting for them to win. Some of the Careers got a rank of 7 or 8. Hux hadn’t seen himself yet, but Phasma’s came up next.
Phasma was ranked an 8, which was very high. Kylo’s was next, with a rating of 9, the highest yet. He smirked. Hux was shaking, knowing he hadn’t been seen yet. Had he been forgotten? Just then, he showed up last. A picture of his face showed up alongside his name, district and score: a nine.
Hux’s eyes widened. His score was higher than Phasma’s? His score was the same as Kylo’s?
The ginger had to do his best effort to not turn and look at Kylo. He just stayed still there with a neutral face like he knew he deserved that score. He looked at Phasma instead and smiled to her and nodded, congratulating her. She pat him on the back and told him how amazed she was. Only Hux and Kylo had gotten such high scores.
He wondered what Kylo would think about it. If he would be content with the score he got thanks to him or not. Hux didn't understand if he did it to help him or not after all. His heart was beating hard and he had so mixed feelings inside.
The tributes were supposed to stay for dinner and then be ready to practice again tomorrow. Then the Games would begin. However, after Phasma headed to get her food with many of the others, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Hux turned quickly and saw Kylo on his way towards the door. Hux got up and followed as nonchalantly as he could manage. His stomach was still in knots over it all.
Getting into the hall, Hux thought he lost track of Kylo. He heard an obvious stomp in one direction of the hall. He bit his lip, knowing that he should simply rejoin the other tributes and enjoy one of perhaps the last meals he would eat. But he followed.
The noises led Hux down a few unfamiliar halls. He arrived back in the sleeping quarters hall, confused before Kylo grabbed him from a crack of one of the doors and pulled him inside. Hux found himself shoved against a wall, wrists pinned, legs apart and pinned, staring Kylo Ren in the eye.
Kylo’s voice showed a hint of boasting as he asked, “Did you enjoy my little surprise earlier today?” His teeth were pearly white and sharp at the tips, like he was a shark. His eyes were dark and it looked like he was looking into Hux’s very soul. The door was likely locked. Hux was trapped in Kylo’s room against the wall.
Hux swallowed, but he did what he had learnt with Brendol best; to not show his fear or his anxiety. So the ginger looked at Kylo with piercing eyes. “I was wondering why you did it? Why would you want to help me? Or maybe it was a mistake you made?” He teased and smirked. “Maybe your brain is the only muscle not functioning well, huh?” Hux knew he was risking himself by trying to tease the best physical fighter of all of tributes, but he wouldn't let him intimidate him.
They were too near one another, Hux could feel his hot breath and the warmth of his massive perfect body, and he couldn't deny he was getting aroused. Kylo was his favourite type of man after all. No, Kylo was even better because despite his insults to the boy, he knew Kylo was intelligent. “Why did you lure me here? I can guess not to kill me, that would be stupid before the Games started.” Hux leaned his head closer to Kylo's, teasing him; this game could be played by two.
Kylo didn't answer him, strategically the smart thing to do. Instead, he toyed with something that Hux had kept hidden: his sexuality. “You're good at hiding your emotions, I'll tell you that. However, your sneaky glances and body reactions tell it all.” Kylo lowered his voice to a dangerous and sultry one, “You're attracted to me. And I think you look amazing. You're the opposite of me and I love that.”
Kylo’s legs were positioned in a way that Hux couldn't kick him and run. His knee was pressed just above Hux’s crotch, so he lowered it and grinded against Hux with his knee, making circles with it as he was pressed against his growing erection. He saw Hux’s struggle to not react, but it was easy to see he was enjoying the roughness.
“Perhaps we can call a truce, tonight. I want to ravish you. No tricks, no intel gathering, you have my oath.” Kylo pulled out a piece of intel he had gathered on Hux, “Our fathers can not control us here. While we're not in the Games, I want to enjoy myself and we should feel free for once.” He sounded more human as he said that, and less like a Career.
Hux gasped. It has been long since the last and only other time he had been touched like this, so his body was obviously reacting fast to the tease and he could feel his brain spinning and not being able to think clearly. His whole body was screaming and asking him for accept and just for once, he would listen to it instead listening to his mind. This could be his last chance, he could die tomorrow.
The ginger looked at Kylo with a threatening look and a smirk on his lips. “You are currently making me miss what could possibly be the last good meal of my life…” He got his lips closer to Kylo’s “...so you better make it worth it.” Hux clenched his teeth like it was true threat, and it probably was.
Kylo did not disappoint. He lifted Hux effortlessly and pressed him against the wall where their lips locked. Kylo tasted like cedarwood and musk while Hux tasted like fruit and cloves. Hux’s clothes were gone in seconds and Kylo assaulted his nipples when his chest was exposed.
Kylo lightly bit and sucked on them, being a little rough with them. Hux’s nipples turned bright petal pink once he finished with them. Kylo then made swift work of Hux’s leggings, and then his own. Their erections were pressed together, wet and hot. Under other circumstances, Kylo may have complimented Hux’s size, but right now, they just wanted each other.
Hux was trying to control his moans, he didn't want Kylo to flatter himself, but the truth was, he had never been touched like that. It was like the boy knew his weakest points, so as soon as they were both naked, Hux was already desperate for Kylo. He looked at the raven haired with eyes full of lust. “Fuck me, Kylo”, he asked, and sounded sweetest than he intended.
Within moments, Kylo was lubricating him and pushing inside of him. It was painful for a minute, but once Kylo thrusted and fucked Hux against the wall, Hux moaned out. His body was being pulled and pushed back and forth between Kylo and the wall, and he let his hands freely rake down Kylo’s pale back.
It was a new experience for Hux to feel someone dominating him, pleasuring him, thinking of just him. It was more than he imagined that sex could be. Brendol would've probably murdered Hux if he knew that he loved the feeling of being fucked by another man. But again, Brendol wasn't here. This could be Hux’s only chance, and he jumped at it. This was his body, and he had consented.
Hux could feel his climax close but he didn't want it to end. To feel the pleasure, the warm huge body over and inside of him. He felt cared for somehow and that he was wanted. He didn't want it to end. The ginger held tighter onto Kylo's back, digging his fingers on his skin, leaving red marks. “Kylo...ah…I'm close...Kylo…” Hux mumbled, feeling how his brain was getting blank because of the overwhelming pleasure. He didn't even realise he was moaning his opponent's name.
Kylo thrusted Hux against the wall to the sound of his own name. Hux’s fingers clawing into Kylo was one of his turn ons. Hux came with a shout, hugging Kylo like he would die without him. Less than a minute later, Kylo released inside of him, filling him up with his seed. Kylo thrusted several more times before pulling out and sliding down the wall, holding Hux.
The Games didn't feel real in that moment. For a moment, it felt like love. Sadly, both of them knew that it wasn't meant to be. Tomorrow would be the day that many of their peers would die, and they would likely be the ones to kill them.
Hux woke up sore the next morning. He remembered leaving Kylo’s room, and Kylo saying something to him that he couldn't remember. Today was the day. The day that they would step forth into the arena and the Games would begin. Hux eyed his Hunger Games tribute suit hanging in the closet. He had to get up and eat something before the Games started at noon sharp. Luckily, he had three hours to get ready.
His brain was still trying to process what happened last night. Moans, the warmth of Kylo’s body, his hands, his breath, his kisses, everything was spinning in his head and causing his heart beat faster. Hux read sex could create a connection between the participants on it, and maybe it was true, because then he felt even less ready to face Kylo than before. And the thought of Kylo fighting against him made him feel something similar to sad. Probably they shouldn’t have had sex, but it was their last chance, Hux’s last chance at least. He knew he wouldn’t die in the first round, but he also new he likely wouldn’t win the game and live.
The ginger took a shower and started getting dressed slowly, thinking how could he pact with Phasma to protect each other in the first battle, when all the careers were released and they had to run to get their weapons. What if she refuse? Should he ask Kylo? No, Kylo wasn’t an option, just having sex didn’t mean they could trust each other from now on. Maybe he helped Hux with the sponsors, just to get him to his bed and that was all.
Hux followed the other tributes to breakfast and then they all approached the hall with the tubes. They were going to enter the arena through them. He motioned at Phasma, several tubes away, and she seemed to understand their unspoken connection.Hux took a deep breath and entered the tube, which moved him to the arena.
Hux had to blink several times when they were in the Games Arena. The climate for this year’s games was a forest, the air was hot and muggy. There was a clearing right in front of them, a place called the cornucopia, filled with weapons and supplies. It was tempting, but Hux looked around quickly, noticing a few mystery backpacks scattered around further near the treeline. Hux decided quickly: being a far range fighter, he was best not going to the cornucopia and risking death. It was likely all the Careers, Kylo included, would be headed that way as they could hold their own, and Hux didn’t want to die on the first day.
The clock counted down loudly, and Hux was sweating with anticipation. 5-4-3-2-1-GO.
Hux teams up with Phasma and they try to survive, make their first kill, and establish their alliance.
Hux was motionless for the first few seconds. He watched as many of the tributes ran towards the cornucopia for their weapons. He also witnessed a few of the youngest, inexperienced tributes get bludgeoned or hacked to death within the first few seconds of the Games. Their blood painted the floor of the cornucopia. Hux counted three or four, but he knew there would be more casualties from going in the cornucopia.
Realizing that he had to move, Hux quickly turned on his heel and ran for the forest as fast as he could. He ran right for a mystery bag, one that he could carry with his smaller stature, and grabbed a hold of it before running into the forest with many of the other tributes. Hux remembered his brother telling him that the first few days of the Games were about strategy, not so much about killing. Hux had to get a viable weapon, a safe hiding spot to rest, and most importantly, clean water. Hux had watched other Hunger Games before, and he knew that the sponsors typically made water hard to get to.
Hux ran for what felt like ages. He listened as best as he could in the noisy forest. Then he stopped and quickly opened his pack. He found rope, a lighter, an empty water flask with a small metal item inside, and two knives. Hux already knew that having a bow in this pack was not likely due to its size, but having any type of knife was useful. They could be used as both close and far range weapons, and they could be used for survival. He quickly put the items back in the pack and slipped it on. Then he decided to climb one of the nearby trees. He wanted to get a look at where he was, and where Phasma and Kylo could be.
He thought he saw Phasma running to hide between some high bushes, she wasn't being chased so probably she wanted to check what she got and to make a plan. Hux wasn’t very far from her, probably he could approach her and they could go together for a while, at least until he could get a long range weapon. So he did that, he jumped down from the tree and approached her very carefully but didn't get very close to her; he didn't want her to think he was an attacker. And if she would decide to attack him, he would have plenty space between them to run away from her.
“Psst, Phasma, It's me, Hux”, he whispered and he saw the girl looking in every direction until she saw him and made him a signal with her hand for him to come closer.
“Stay quiet, someone was running behind me when I was coming here. I'm not sure they are gone or they were chasing me…” Phasma looked tensed. Then he realised she had blood in an arm, she had already been wounded.
“You got hit” Hux whispered. Part of him was surprised, but the Hunger Games were ruthless.
“Yes, that stupid girl...Rey, she got a bow. She shot me at close range.”
The ginger cursed aloud, he wanted and needed to get his hands on that bow. “Let me check on it, I am well instructed in emergency medical aids.” The girl just nodded still looking everywhere around her to be sure they were alone. Hux checked it and it wasn’t deep, she would be okay. He ripped a piece of his sleeve and wrapped the wound so it would stop bleeding and Phasma thanked him with a little smile.
Phasma opened her pack, showing him what she had, “My bag contains a first aid kit, some dried fruit rations, an awl, and a sleeping bag.” Hux thought about offering one of his knives to Phasma, but he hesitated. Phasma was skilled with knives after all, and giving her one could probably guarantee that she could kill him if things soured. However, she did have an awl, so she wasn’t defenseless. Besides, the awl could accomplish most of the tasks a knife could do, such as stabbing. Hux told her about the contents of his bag and she sighed, “Okay, so we need to worry about getting clean water. I think that there may be a spile in your water canteen...maybe that’s a hint as to where the water is. Shelter is priority though.”
Hux told Phasma, “We don’t need to do this yet, but I want to get that bow and arrow from Rey. There’s usually only one or two bows per Hunger Games, and that’s my specialty. I want to take her out.”
Phasma nodded, “Understood, but let’s worry about survival first. I want to make a shelter clearing first, then we can worry about the others.” They put their contents away and began wandering deeper into the forest as silently as possible. Hux looked up and saw images flashing of those mostly young or frail tributes who were already dead. There were 26 of them and Hux counted 9 faces of the deceased. That was almost 35% of the tributes gone already.
Phasma stopped Hux in the middle of their walk and pointed out, “You should store some of these. These look like typical raspberries, but they lack the typical fruit fuzz around it. Which means that these are replica berries, filled with poison.” She pulled a branch of them down and handed Hux a handful of them to put into his backpack. These could come in handy later on, either snuck into someone’s food or used on the tips of weapons.
Hux nodded and did as Phasma asked him to, storing the false raspberries. Phasma was really intelligent and strong and he wished he wouldn’t have to face her at all. “What are we going to do about the water?” He asked once he had all the raspberries he could store. “We need to find a river, or any water source, but...probably everybody have thought the same. Water is essential after all…”
Phasma motioned, “What’s inside your canteen? I’m guessing a spile.” Hux pulled the canteen out and opened the cap. A little metal contraption came out of it. Hux actually did know what it was; it was a spile, a little metal contraption typically used to gather sap from trees. However, it being inside a water canteen likely meant that the water was hidden in a similar way. Hux and Phasma began to tap on the trees, all were too solid. They continued to look for a clearing, along with tapping the trees.
Hux gasped when one of the smaller trees he tapped into with the spile began to spill, “I-I found it.” He quickly moved his canteen and began to gather water that was dripping from the tree.
Phasma smiled, “Great. But we need to drink from it slowly, make sure it isn’t poisoned.” After Hux closed his canteen, he felt something was wrong. Phasma tensed up too, holding a finger to her lips to remind Hux to be silent. Someone was nearby, and it had to be someone without experience, as they weren't hiding their footsteps.
Soon the guy was behind some bushes very close to the duo. It was a blonde tall guy that Hux thought wasn't a threat since, despite of his height and muscles, he was dumb so he wasn't using his qualities of stealth for his favor as he should. He was holding a spear, and Hux could see something like a dagger hanging on his belt. Stupid thing to do, to show your weapons that clearly to the opponents.
Hux knew that they had to kill him, because he was a threat to them. Not a big one, but every enemy was somehow dangerous to them as they could reveal their location or steal their supplies. So he looked at Phasma and indicated to her that he was about to charge, and if he would fail, that she should come and help him. Phasma pulled the awl from her belt but Hux put his backpack down and decided to not take it with him for this kill.
Everything Hux did had always a purpose and a plan. The purpose for this attack was to show Phasma he wasn't a pale, thin, hopeless boy without his bow, and that they were truly on equal ground. Hux’s plan was to approach the boy, steal the dagger from behind, and to kill him with it. Hux was silent like a cat and fast, so the boy wouldn't even see him coming until Hux was already on him.
So he did just that. He silently charged against the boy when his back was turned, grabbed the dagger easily from his belt since it wasn't even secured, and placed himself behind the blonde in a headlock. He didn't wait for any last word from his victim. He knew that boy was stronger than him, even if he didn't know how to use his strength, so the ginger didn't hesitate and cut into his throat easily.
Some blood drop splattered to his cheeks and the boy fell on his knees trying to breath and bleeding out. Hux looked at him with a stoic expression, nor impressed, nor affected by the scene. He knew where the body’s jugular veins were, and he made sure to cut deep enough to seaver at least one. Quickly, the boy's eyes lost its light, and he collapsed, dead. Hux cleaned the dagger on the dead body before taking the spear from his hand and tossing to Phasma. If the girl was impressed, she definitely didn't show it, but Hux was sure she was.
“You have a knife, you could have used it instead bothering taking his” Phasma spoke while examining the spear Hux handed her. It hadn’t been used, not once.
“Yes, but I also had to unarm him from the short distance weapon. If it wouldn't have worked, I would have had still my knife, but taking his was my first move choice”, the ginger explained cleaning the blood from his face with the edge of his sleeve.
Phasma smirked. “That's what I thought, smart maneuver”. She also commented on his weapons, “I notice that you’re preferring to use all the blade weapons at close range, not something far range like your bow. I also am aware that you don’t plan to give me any of those knives, correct.” Hux simply made eye contact and she smiled, “Wise choice. Since you don’t have your specialty weapon, it puts you at a disadvantage if you were to give my mine. No matter, spears are just as fun.”
Hux rummaged through the pack on the dead tribute’s body. He found an empty water bottle and more dried fruit rations. Phasma went to use the spile and collect water in the bottle for herself, and hux kept the fruit rations. For his first kill, he seemed alright. He felt a bit uneasy, but he remembered that if he hadn’t killed, he would be killed.
The night went off without issue. Hux used his rope and Phasma’s sleeping bag to pitch a tent for shelter. Hux used the knives to sharpen the wood that they could use for kindling. Once they had a small fire going, some dried food and water in their stomachs, they took turns sleeping for an hour at a time. The forest was nearly silent the entire night.
Hux awoke from Phasma shaking him just before dawn, “Did you hear that?” Her voice was very soft. She had put out the fire to prevent them from being tracked. Hux sat up groggily. He could hear something loud not too far away. It sounded like...a tree falling? The two looked at each other and Hux quickly grabbed and secured his knives and dagger to his belt. Phasma secured her awl and lifted her spear.
Hux leapt up and climbed the tree to a high branch. Once he was stable, he began jumping from tree branch to tree branch. Normally, Hux would be running away from the noise. However, he had a feeling that Kylo was behind it. So he kept moving as Phasma moved on foot.
A fight between 5 different tributes breaks down, and blood is spilt.
Almost a kilometer and a half from their campsite, Hux saw it. Two careers fighting, Kylo and someone else. Kylo had a scimitar-like blade, and the other had an axe. Hux had to scan the area quickly. He then noticed that there was a third person, Rey, in the treeline opposite from him. She had the bow and arrows he was looking for, but also appeared that she had a blowgun with some type of dart inside. She didn’t seem to notice Hux, as he was on a higher branch, but he could see her aiming a dart at one of the fighters.
Hux silently pulled out one of his knives, knowing he had to stop her from shooting Kylo, shooting him or Phasma, and that he had to get the bow and arrows off of her somehow.
He wouldn’t be able to jump and climb to her position fast and silently enough for her not to notice, and he didn’t have a long range weapon, so he had to try something risky. The ginger grabbed the dagger from his belt, measured its weight and checked its shape with his fingers, and in just a few seconds he knew the exact strength and angle he needed to throw it to Rey.
It was definitely a risky move, if he would fail, his position would be compromised and he could be shot easily. He needed that bow, and for some stupid reason he didn’t want her to hurt Kylo. Rey put the blowgun to her lips and Hux threw the dagger at the girl. It pierced on her side, like it was an arrow. Rey grunted of pain and let the blowgun fall down to the ground. Hux hadn’t seena dart fire, so he assumed that Kylo was safe. Now he needed to get his weapon.
The girl was trying to climb to another branch so she wouldn’t be attacked again, but she was moving sluggishly and was losing blood, so Hux lept at her before she could reach the higher branch.The ginger had the knife in one hand and grabbed her with the other, pinning the girl against the branch. They wrestled and despite how hurted Rey was, she was strong and was trying to separate the knife from her at the same time as pushing Hux, probably to make him fall down from the tree.
When Hux had the knife in position, he lunged. While he almost cut her throat, she made a movement with her head and hit the ginger on the forehead really hard. He was pushed back and fell on his back, and it was Rey that took the chance to take out a little knife she had in her belt and charged. Hux was fast coming back to a sitting position, so Rey’s attack only caused him a scratch on his neck. He was unable to stop her second attack, which was straight in the chest. Then he moved fast towards the right and stuck the knife on Rey’s temple with such a strength that she lost her footing and fell down to the ground.
Hux was breathing hard, and saw Rey falling from the tree. She would die from the fall if she wasn’t already dead from the knife when she would hit the ground. Hux couldn’t really tell how deep he could stick the weapon in her skull. With a grunt, he pulled Rey’s small blade out of his chest, which had been deep, but not too much so.
Hux knew he didn’t have time to recover, he had to go down fast and to take the bow and the arrows. When he was down, Phasma was beside Rey’s body covered on blood, she was checking her backpacks, and was taking the arrows from her.
Hux panicked for a moment. What if Phasma decided it was time to break their alliance and get rid of him?
“I almost got scared for you, she fought well”, the blonde girl said, handing the bow to Hux. He swallowed hard and wished Phasma didn’t notice his moment of panic. “She was strong...it’s a waste...but this is what this game is about, I’m afraid”. Phasma lowered her head and stayed silent for a moment before handing the arrows to Hux. “This is what this game is about” she repeated with a sad tone.
Hux armed himself properly, then noticed Kylo was still entranced in battle. He could see something sticking out of his shoulder. Dammit, Rey had shot Kylo with the blowgun before he was able to incapacitate her. The other Career pinned Kylo to the tree with his axe handle. Hux had a feeling that the dart was to blame. He quickly raised his bow and shot at the Career’s back, shifting their focus onto him instead. Kylo pushed the Career off of him and Phasma pulled out her spear. As Hux was about to fire another shot, his entire body tensed.
He turned to see...Rey was still alive. She had gotten her hand back on the blowgun and had shot him in the ankle with a dart. She then went limp, it was probably her last attempt to subdue them. Hux reached and yanked the dart out of his leg. He had to focus on taking out the Career first and foremost.
Phasma hurried to take the dart gun from Rey as she noticed Hux was shot. She also noticed her eyes were almost out of light; she was dying, almost dead, and yet she was able to shoot Hux; she was an incredible warrior. Phasma wished they would have met in another world under different circumstances, they perhaps would have been friends. The blonde was about to kill her with her spear but Rey died before it. Phasma saw her chest stopping moving and her eyes getting unfocused, dead.
Meanwhile, Hux tried to aim to the career who was attacking Kylo but it was hard, they were moving fast and he was afraid to shoot Kylo on accident. Also he was having some troubles to focus his sight, those darts were likely poisoned. He took a deep breath and remembered they night he spent with that wild raven haired boy, solidifying that he couldn’t let him die so he tensed the arc of the bow and shot. The arrow went straight the the back of the career’s head, and he fell on the ground dead. Hux felt like he had stopped breathing and now he could breathe again. Kylo was safe.
Kylo slid down the nearby tree, pulling the dart out of his shoulder. He wasn’t paying much attention to the dart during the fight, but he realized it was poisoned when he began to lose balance. He looked to Hux, who had also gotten shot somehow, but managed to save his life.
Phasma motioned, “Delivery.” The sponsors sent a care package down for group. Apparently they were very well liked within the capital, and no one wanted to see Kylo or Hux to perish from poisoning. Phasma opened the crate to tossed a bottle of antidote to both boys. They were both in needle form. Kylo easily stabbed his shoulder with the needle and injected himself with it, while Hux hesitated. As Phasma went to Hux’s side, Kylo kept his hand on his scimitar, ready to attack if anyone got too close to him again.
Phasm took the needle from Hux and injected him carefully. “Thank you”, the ginger said with a weak voice. It may have looked like he was afraid of the needle, but he wasn't. Of course it wasn't pleasant to inject yourself, but that wasn't the reason why he hesitated. He hesitated because he thought dying from poison didn't feel awful to him. For a moment it felt like an escape, he could leave the games right now peacefully. Hux didn't want to die, he wanted to get the poison out as fast as possible, but also...he didn't want kill Phasma, or to see her die, or to be killed by her or Kylo. Phasma has been nothing but kind to him, and Kylo...well, he couldn't take him out of his mind. So for a moment, he felt weak and wanted to finish that insane game already.
But no, he wouldn't, he had trained his whole life to survive and he couldn't be sentimental. Phasma spoke up, “The dark is coming, we three should find shelter...will you join us, Kylo Ren? At least for tonight? We all are wounded, we need rest and we will be safer if we are a group of three.” Hux said looking at Kylo and his heart immediately started beating harder at the idea of spending time with him.
Kylo looked at the two like he was reading their minds. “I'll come. But I'm going to be on high alert all night. I expect you'll do the same.” Kylo held his scimitar in one hand and using the tree to stand. It was strategic for him to go with Phasma and Hux, but he couldn't let his guard down. They could corner him and take him out if he was too comfortable.
Once he stood, Phasma also did. Both she and Kylo offered their hands to Hux. Kylo felt his heartbeat go just a little faster as Hux took his hand. He had to put their night together out of his mind, but he did actually like the ginger haired archer.
Phasma lead them towards the camp. All the while, Kylo walked behind her and Hux. Hux noticed that Kylo was looking up at the defeated tributes. Out of 26, there were 18 faces projected, meaning that there were only 8 tributes remaining. A 70% mortality rate, Hux realized. And this late in the game, being in a group was risky.
Kylo joins Hux and Phasma to the camp, where he gets time to sort out his feelings with Hux. Unfortunately, being in love doesn't mean that danger isn't around the corner. In fact, it's way closer than they expected.
Phasma started the fire after they arrived. Kylo put his weapon down and looked for nearby branches to add to it. Hux wanted to help, but Phasma told him to save his strength. Hux was actually feeling little hungry but he wanted to tend to his wound first. At this point, Hux was finally beginning to understand the depravity of his actions.
He'd watched the light drain from Rey’s eyes. He killed her, just like killed the boy who came too close to their campsite and the Career attacking Kylo. He had blood on his hands. Hux didn't know why it was setting in now, but he felt like he was slowly having a breakdown.
Kylo saw the ginger stopping bandaging his wounds, he seemed lost in his thoughts suddenly and he had a sad expression in his face, looking down at the floor. The raven haired boy hesitated, he knew they shouldn’t create any bonds with him, not beyond than the one he already seemed to feel for him.
Kylo cursed in his head, surrendered to his feelings, and kneeled in front of Hux, taking the bandages and continuing the work Hux was doing. The ginger looked at him both surprised and confusing, but Kylo spoke before he could say a word. “You can’t allow yourself to have a breakdown here, or you will get killed.” Kylo said trying to not sound too sharp or cold.
The ginger swallowed and lowered his head again. “I know...I just can’t stop thinking about that girl’s dead eyes. And I feel pathetic for it...but I can’t stop it…”, he said tightening his teeth.
Kylo grabbed Hux’s chin to force him to look into his eyes. “Listen, it is not pathetic, it is human to feel that way.” The ginger’s cheek turned pink, and so did Kylo’s when their eyes met, so Kylo set his chin free and both of them looked away. Their hearts were beating faster. “We all are here for the same reason, to survive so we can leave this place. And we all have commited our lives to train for this...what would you have done? Not fight her? To let her kill you? That wouldn’t be fair for you, neither for her. We are here to prove what we have been taught, and she proved it, you were just stronger than she was.” Kylo said softly finishing bandaging Hux’s wound. “She was ready to die as we all are, what we ask is to die with honor, and she did, because you gave everything you had to fight her to the end.”
Hux looked at Kylo impressed by his words, and he wanted to kiss him, to hug him so desperately, but he knew he shouldn’t. They were enemies and the capital was watching them. “You better kill me fast, because I will do my best to fight you with everything I have, though I’m not sure I can hurt you”, the ginger said softly, with a sad smirk in his face and looking at Kylo again.
The raven haired boy looked back at him, surprised to hear that as he thought he was the only one struggling with attachments. “I’m not sure I could hurt you either”, he answered softly and they kept looking into each other’s eyes for a moment before Phasma interrupted them.
“We should set turns to rest. I know none of you will kill me while I’m sleeping, you are not like that, and I’m not doing so either. I’m a woman of honor.” They quickly looked away and then at Phasma, pretending that moment they was sharing wasn’t happening when she appeared. But they didn’t realised, Kylo’s hand was still on Hux’s chest, and Hux had placed his on hand on Kylo’s while they talked without even thinking, and they were still holding each other’s hand.
Phasma rolled her eyes, “Settle down lover boys. We have a long night to go.” She didn’t comment further and lay down near the fire to sleep first. The boys looked at each other, feeling like they were once again by themselves. Kylo ran his hand down Hux’s chest and held Hux’s hand. He was letting himself get close to someone for the first time in his life, someone that he knew could kill him at any time. Hux was an even opponent, yet he was like him: gentle, wanting more than to die here. If this wasn’t the Hunger Games, Kylo would’ve asked Hux to be his boyfriend, though it’s be stupid to ask now.
Still, the words came out of his mouth unintentionally, “You know...I don’t want to die having never loved anyone. If you want, we could consider ourselves boyfriends. It can be just a title, it doesn’t have to mean anything.” Kylo bit his lip as soon as the words left his lips, cursing internally for showing Hux the side of him that wanted him.
Hux thought his heart was going to explode. Kylo was asking to be his boyfriend. He would probably had said no in any other situation, since his father would have never allowed him, no matter how much he liked the guy. But he was in a deadly situation, and he really liked Kylo. Hux was finally ready to admit it, so he didn’t see why he should deny this to himself anymore. The ginger grabbed Kylo’s tribute uniform and pulled him to him into a French kiss, making clear his answer.
He knew million of people would be watching them kissing, but Hux didn’t care; he just wanted to kiss those perfect lips. Hux’s arms slid to through Kylo’s arms to hold his neck, wrapping around it, almost begging him to not break the kiss. Hux had never felt his heart hammering in his chest for anyone else, and he never wanted to kiss anyone forever. But this was Kylo, and they knew that any kiss could be their last, so for once Hux did exactly what he wanted to do, not caring about anything else.
Kylo kissed Hux back almost aggressively, laying down with Hux on top of him. He ran his hands down Hux’s back, both in a sexy way and to make sure he was also unarmed. Hux stifled a moan at the feeling of Kylo rubbing his back. Phasma was mere feet from them, and they were definitely being recorded.
Kylo asked, “Will you remember me if you survive? Because I doubt I'll ever forget you if I do.” The two were pressed together and even though they were in a deadly situation, somehow it didn't matter. Kylo ran his hands through Hux’s hair as he kissed him again. Even if he was a Career, a brutal fighter, he still had the ability to love.
Hux looked at the raven haired boy with shy eyes. “Kylo, of course I would...you are not possible to forget, I would never forget you but...I think I will not survive, I’m not winning this game. But you definitely will…”, he said as he caressed Kylo’s cheek, tucking away a lock of black hair from his forehead so he could see his whole beautiful face. “I hope you don’t forget me”. Hux leaned down to kiss his lips again, and held on him tight, like it was do or die. He wanted to be as closer as possible to him while he was alive.
Hux could almost feel his father anger and shame at his actions, but he couldn’t care less at this point. The ginger knew that they couldn’t get too lost into their kiss because they could be attacked at any moment, but he couldn’t stop kissing Kylo; his lips, his taste, it was all intoxicating.
A rustling noise came from the overbrush. Kylo quickly moved to a more protective stance as two fully armed Careers broke through. His scimitar was in his hands within seconds. As he backed up, he tossed Hux his bow and arrows to arm himself. Phasma had awoken and grabbed the awl on her belt as she joined in the fight.
Hux immediately recognised them. They were district 9 career couple, the only other careers remaining other than Kylo. They were the only couple of careers that looked really coordinated, which made them even more dangerous. The girl, Luquia, was an excellent fighter, she was strong and she had really good reflexes. And the boy, David, was excellent and fast with every weapon. Hux wasn’t afraid about dying himself but about seeing Kylo or Phasma.
The boy was carrying a greatsword so he charged straight against Kylo while the girl attacked Phasma carrying little knifes between her fingers like they were claws. Hux ran out of the scene to find the right position he could shoot his arrows from, he couldn’t attack them from a close position, not effectively. But the pair of career were smart, they noticed Hux had a bow and that he went to take his position to shoot them, so they shielded themselves by forcing Kylo and Phasma to give their backs to Hux, so they couldn’t shoot them.
Their coordination was impressive, and soon they got close to each other and started attacked the both of them at the same time, like it was a dance they were dancing against their opponents. Hux finally could shoot and the arrow almost sunk in the girl’s arm but she moved just in time, so it only scratched her. The ginger grunted frustrated. But then, the boy kicked Phasma on her chest, making her fall down on her back. David’s got exposed to Hux, so he shot again. The boy moved fast, but he was hit on his side anyway and fell on one knee. Kylo tried to attack him, but Luquia used her knife claws to attack his back, so Kylo had to turn his attention to her.
Hux was rapidly running out of arrows, as he hadn't found any replacement ones. He wasn't great at hand to hand combat, but if he couldn't fight, he was just a sitting duck. Hux pulled one of his his hunting knives from his pocket, jumped off the tree, and ran at David from the rear, backing up Phasma. They had to be cautious, as David was known for his powerful attacks and round blade swings.
Kylo and Luquia were in locked in fierce combat. Kylo lacked the advantage, as he couldn't get near her with her knife claws pushing him back. The pain is his back grew, Luquia had cut him deeper than he anticipated he would. Kylo realized quickly that the only way he could beat her was to cut her fingers off, as she had such a tight grip on those knives. He began to push ever harder with his scimitar, causing Luquia to back up. He only needed her to get a little careless and he could cut off her fingers at the second knuckle.
Hux tried to approach him unnoticed, using the bushes around him. Of course, David noticed him easily and with a smirk on his face, he planted a foot on Phasma, who was still on the floor, trying to breath after the powerful kick on her chest. He pointed at her with his sword and used his other hand to throw some little knifes to Hux. The ginger was fast, so was David, so 2 of the knives were dodged but he couldn't see the third that sunk on his side. He suppressed a grunt, he was taught to not protest even when he was hurt and fell on one of his knees.
A scream from Luquia rang out when Kylo finally got the chance to cut her right hand fingers down to the knuckle, cutting out the weapons she was carrying too. David immediately turned where Luquia and Kylo were, and Hux could see clearly in his expression that they were lovers. The ginger smirked. He had found the weak point of the deadly couple of careers. They would just needed to kill one of them to get the other easily.
Hux lunged at David as he planned to move towards Luquia, burying his hunting knife into his back. David then tried to swing his sword at him, but Hux also foresaw that and dodged. He just had to keep the two apart, then they would be easier to ambush.
Kylo, in the meanwhile, pushed against Luquia, who tried to block with her left hand. Kylo was a hardened Career, and despite the fact that Luquia was clearly begging for mercy, he wasn’t about to show her any. He grabbed her right wrist, pulling hard and causing the bones to dislocate. She screamed, which alarmed David more and pulled his focus away from Hux and Phasma. Kylo moved fast and plunged his scimitar into her clavicle to pin her against the tree to prevent her from helping her lover.
However, before Hux would get the upper hand, David plunged his sword directly into Phasma’s chest so hard that it broke through her ribcage. Before Hux could react, David punched him off balance and ran for his lover. Kylo turned and raised his hands, used to hand-to-hand combat, and jumped at David.
Hux was violently thrown against a tree. He could feel his back and the back of his head pressing against it before he fell to the ground. All he could see was darkness for a moment and he could hear a constant whistle that disoriented him. Every bone in his back hurt, not even taking into account about how his head hurt, but he knew he he had to stand up. Hux knew that Phasma was badly injured. His sight returned, blurry and disoriented, but it did. So he brought himself up to his feet and walked to Phasma, who was still laying on the floor.
“Phasma! Are you…” Hux's mouth froze and his eyes widened when he saw the girl face. Her face was turning purple and blood was coming out of her mouth and nose. David shattered her sternum, rib cage, and more than likely punctured her lungs because she was choking on her blood. The ginger felt tears in his eyes, he knew there was no solution for her, not without an hospital.
“Hux...please…” She begged with a breathless voice. “Kill me. Kill...me.”
The ginger felt like his whole world was falling down. He was more or less ready to see his friend die, but not prepared to kill her himself. She protected him from the beginning, showing him loyalty that no one else had.
“Please.” She rasped one last time and tears started falling down Hux’s cheeks. He nodded, he knew it would be the best for Phasma. She was suffering and there was no solution for her survival in the Games.
So he took out one of his knives. “I’m sorry Phasma. I hope we ‘ll meet again in the next life, you have been a friend to me.” Hux raised his weapon and stabbed her sharply on her temple with all his strength so her death would be instant. She wouldn't feel any more pain. He sobbed, knowing he had killed her, closed her lifeless eyes, and turned to the reality when he heard David scream in pain when Kylo kicked him into the ground. But the guy stood up again.
He could see tears in David’s eyes. Luquia wasn't still dead but she was obviously dying pinned on that tree, and he knew that. This weakness his compromised him as Hux expected. However, the cost had been Phasma’s life. An eye for an eye.
Kylo was managining him, but Hux had to help him. David was strong enough to kill Kylo if he would make a mistake. But with the both of them, he'd be killed. Hux moves quickly and fetched some of his nearby arrows. His first order of business was Luquia, as she could still break away if she mustered the strength.
He raised his bow to shoot, but all he could think about was Phasma lying dead behind him. She promised that he'd have his back, yet he hadn't had hers. He didn't stop David from breaking her ribcage. He was too weak. That's all he could think of. Shaking his head, he raised his bow at Luquia, who weakly made eye contact with him.
Hux needs to act to make sure Luquia and David are taken out. Little does he know, there's an evil deeper than them in his presence.
Hux’s hands quivered, and the old memory of his dead brother tacked to the tree came to his mind. He told himself that this was different, that it was revenge and getting even for Phasma, but in his mind, he felt like he was a murderer. He would be just like his brother’s killer if he ended Luquia like this. She'd be hanging off the tree just like his brother had, like a gruesome trophy for the world to see.
Hux felt a panic attack coming, just like it had earlier that night when he remembered the faces of Rey, the young tribute, and the unnamed Career fighting Kylo. He was a killer, he ended their lives. However, just when it felt like he was going to breakdown, he remembered his brother.
‘Armie, it's not about senseless killing. It's about mercy and strategy. You need to kill who poses a threat to you and those you love. If you don't, they'll kill who you want to protect.’ Hux could hear his brother’s voice in his mind. His kind, soft voice. The voice of a man who didn't deserve to die, but also said that he held no grudges against those who would kill him.
Then Hux remembered Kylo. He remembered his firm words to him. “You can’t allow yourself to have a breakdown here, or you will get killed.” But then Hux’s mind imagined Kylo’s voice speaking directly at him, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die in a place like this? You have to want to live. I want to live. I want US to make it out of here!’
With that, Hux’s resolve returned. Still shaken but determined, Hux steadied his bow and aimed.
The last hint of life he saw in Luquia was a defiant expression looking through him before the arrow lodged into her temple, killing her instantly. Even in her last moments, she was a fearless fighter, it was impressive. Again, Hux wished to himself that they could’ve been friends outside of the Games.
David heard the arrow and turned quickly to see that Hux had killed his lover. The boy screamed her name loudly and the tears started falling through his face. As Hux expected, Luquia's death destabilized the great warrior. He could have dodged one of Kylo's attacks, but he was hitby a barrage of them from Kylo, falling onto the ground. The boy looked at Hux with an expression full of hate and grunted, hurrying and trying to get up and to kill who killed his lover. He would avenge her, had he not been in a fight with Kylo. Kylo kicked him in the stomach and the blonde boy gasped after losing his breath for a moment.
David wasn’t able to cope after what he just saw; he wouldn't be able to kill them both in his state. It was like part of his reflexes and strength died with Luquia, and Hux wondered if the same would happen to Kylo when he would die. He didn't want so, he wanted him to win, to live a better life after his victory.
“Finish him, Kylo”, he said to the raven haired boy, emotionless. This was war, and the concept of death was normal here. Kylo did so, punching at the boy until he stopped moving and was covered in his own blood. Kylo beat him to death, right next to Luquia.
Hux approached to tell Kylo that it was over, David was gone, and that’s when he noticed Kylo’s face. Hux was caught off guard by the wide grin spread across Kylo’s face. His eyes looked like the light left them, that he was no longer inhibited. Kylo’s arms were trembling as he kept punching David’s body, letting blood splash onto him.
Hux stepped back and let Kylo finish, caught off guard again as Kylo began laughing like he was happy. This- this was not how Kylo acted a few minutes ago. Hux then remembered his father saying something about Careers. They were trained to kill, to enjoy it, to cherish each murder. They could become desensitized and happy after killing. Hux realized that he had stopped the previous Career before Kylo could kill him, but this time, Kylo had killed David on his own, which likely activated his Career instinct.
Hux was frightened, but he had to talk sense back into Kylo. If he didn’t, he had a feeling Kylo might run and hunt the last few tributes remaining, including Hux himself.
Hux did want Kylo to win the games, and he knew that meant that he would have to kill him at some point, but he didn’t want Kylo to do it in this state. This state could break his mind forever and Hux just wanted Kylo to be happy, to someday forget about the games and have a regular life, or whatever kind of life he would want to have.
The ginger approached him and kneeling behind him, hugged him from his back. “Kylo, please, stop. It is over...we are safe, please…” Hux spoke with a soft, begging tone that he didn’t expect to use, but he was really desperate to stop seeing Kylo like that. It wasn’t his Kylo, it wasn’t him.
Kylo grabbed Hux’s arm and turned him over, landing him on his back. Kylo held his arms and sat on his chest with a mischievous grin still plastered on his face. Hux bit his lip and tried to conceal how afraid he actually was. Kylo could easily kill him like he had killed David: a long and painful death. Hux’s eyes leaked a few tears without control.
“Kylo, Kylo...listen to me. We’re safe...please don’t hurt anyone...don’t hurt me. I love you...I don’t want to die like this.” It was weird for Hux, feeling like he was begging for his life, despite knowing that Kylo would soon have to kill him. He just didn't want to die like this and have Kylo come back to his senses later, distraught. Hux suddenly remembered that others were watching them, and suddenly he began to panic. He didn’t want to die...even he would have to, his resolve suddenly became stronger than ever.
“KYLO!” Hux shouted at him and Hux thought he saw the light return to Kylo’s eyes. Before he could breathe in relief, Kylo let his wrists go and grabbed the remaining knife in Hux’s belt. The other two were in David’s back and Phasma’s skull, which meant that Hux was completely unarmed. Hux flinched as he watched Kylo hold the hilt of the knife with both hands and raise it up.
So...this would be how he died. Stabbed to death by the man who loved him. Hux used his arms to cover his eyes, preparing for the pain that he would fear when the knife would pierce his flesh. Moments later, he heard a grunt and felt something hot and wet splash onto his face. Hux trembled, fearing the barrage had begun, but quickly realized that he felt no pain. His body should have been feeling pain by now. He slowly moved his arms to see, and what he saw terrified him all the more.
Kylo had taken the blade of the knife to his own abdomen. He had attempted seppuku on himself, a version of suicide where the person kills themself by disemboweling or cutting open their stomach. Hux quickly realized that the blood on his face and arms were Kylo’s, and the knife was still lodged in his belly.
Kylo breathed hard and looked at Hux with a gentle smile, “I promised...I wanted...us to leave together...guess...it’ll be just you, huh?” He looked at Hux’s horrified face and said, “It was...the only way...to turn off...the Career instinct…” He coughed out blood, definitely having cut into his organs with the knife. Hux’s body ran cold with realization that Kylo was trying to kill himself so that Hux could live and win the Games.
After watching Phasma die, Hux is determined to not lose Kylo, doing whatever it takes to save his life and for them to live.
After a moment of terrifying shock, Hux grabbed Kylo’s hands with all his strength, stopping him from stabbing himself deeper or moving the knife so he couldn’t tear apart his stomach. “Stop!” he screamed with a desperate tone. “It was a promise! How dare you try to break it! I won’t…” tears started going through his cheeks out of control. “I won’t allow you to kill yourself, idiot! You can’t leave me here alone, for fuck sake!”.
He wanted to take the knife from Kylo’s hands although he wasn’t sure that removing the knife would be a good idea. Maybe it would bleed him out...but likely not, as he was bleeding out anyway. Hux had to stop the bleeding and stop Kylo from hurting himself worse. Using hidden strength he didn’t know he had, he finally removed the knife from Kylo’s wound and threw it away so he couldn’t reach for it. Then he grabbed the raven haired man and made him lay on the ground on his back.
“Stars...Kylo...how could you do this to me? I won’t...I won’t forgive you…” Hux spoke, looking around desperately for the first aid bag he and Phasma found. Hux wasn’t sure it would have something that would help him, but he couldn’t think in a negative way or he was going to break. He couldn’t lose him Kylo. The first aid bag maybe would have some plasma dust, it would stop at least the bleeding.
Hux finally happened upon the first aid kit and unzipped it. As luck would have it, there was plasma dust inside of it. He also grabbed the water canteen so he could flush out the injury. However, he looked around for something that could cause fire, as he knew that in this scenario, cauterizing wounds would be Kylo’s best chance for survival. He rummaged through Luquia’s belt and found a lighter with just a little bit of gasoline in it. It’d have to do.
Hux worked fast once he had all his items. He didn’t have any gloves, so he would definitely get blood all over his hands. But at this point, it didn’t matter. Hux reached inside Kylo’s wound and began holding his muscles and organs together with small clamps in the first aid kit as he held the lighter close to them. His own fingers were getting injured by the proximity to the flame, but he could see that the layers of tissue were cauterizing. He worked meticulously from the deepest injuries to the more shallow, skin-deep ones.
Once most of the wounds were closed and Hux’s fingers were numb from the heat, he opened his water canteen and flushed the blood away with it. The water cleaned the wound and showed Hux where there were still areas that needed to be sealed. Hux used the plasma dust and rubbed it into the wounds to create a temporary seal. Until they made it out of the games, this would have to do. Hux then took the large bandage from Phasma’s first aid kit. He wrapped Kylo’s stomach and made sure the wound was as clean as possible.
Kylo was unresponsive, so Hux sat back took a deep breath as he made sure his pulse was still going. His older brother had taught him basic first aid and about medical procedures, as that’s what he was interested in. Hux never thought he would have to use those skills, but he was grateful his brother bothered to teach him. Hux then saw that there with a small amount of plastic tubing in the first aid kit. Hux thought that Kylo was likely dehydrated from blood loss.
Hux walked over to the bloody knife Kylo used earlier. Wiping the blood off on his suit, something he would’ve found disgusting before the games, he took the knife and cut the tube to make two ends. He didn’t have saline, but he had water. Placing one end of the tube in the remaining canteen water and putting the other down Kylo’s throat, he sat and rested. He kept a hand on Kylo’s wrist to make sure his pulse stayed steady.
Kylo probably knew there was no way for them both to make it out of the games alive. He also didn’t want to hurt Hux. But going so far as to attempt suicide with Hux right beside him was horrifying. Then again, Hux had witnessed death many times already. He wiped a few tears from his eyes as he looked at Phasma, lying a few feet away. He wished he could’ve been stronger for her. He wished he could’ve been stronger to stop Kylo from trying to kill himself.
Hux looked up at the monitors and then his heart dropped. 24 of the 26 were deceased. That meant...only he and Kylo were alive. Everyone was dead. But...now what? Would the Gamemakers simply wait until Kylo died?
Hux curled up next to Kylo, who was coming back to consciousness. This was it. One of them would have to die, and Hux still wanted it to be him.
Hux heard Kylo ask as they lay together, “Why…? You could’ve won if you let me die. I wanted you to win and live.”
“How could I have let you die, Kylo?!” Hux asked, his tone was sharper than he intended, but a part of him was angry at Kylo for doing what he did. But he was also angry at the world for being cruel to them. For letting people kill each other without any other purpose than amusing the privileged people. “I didn’t give a shit about winning this Game, I wanted you to win. I was forced into this world, you enjoyed it, and it wasn’t my place to win. Also...how could you really think I would have just let you die, you idiot?” Tears started falling through his cheeks. “Isn’t clear that I have feelings for you? Didn’t you really realise, Kylo? I think it was pretty clear by now…”.
The ginger was angry and sad and frustrated. Nothing could have turned out worse. The person he loved would die, and he would be returned to a world where his father was surely to torture him for the rest of his life now he knew he liked men.
Kylo put his arms around him, and the world stood still for a moment. “If we both make it out of here, let's get married. Let's live in the capital city. Let's have a proper funeral for Phasma.” Hux was wallowing in despair, but Kylo was feeding him hope. As much hope as he could give him.
Hux sobbed, “We both can't win.”
Kylo said softly, “Why not? I think we both deserve it. We clearly earned the people's respect, we gave them the heroes they wanted to see.” Kylo was right. The Games were all about maintaining the image of the capital. The Gamemakers wanted a good story to follow their winner. Without Hux, Kylo’s story would've been meaningless. Without Kylo, Hux’s story would've been meaningless. Hux realized that if they both didn't win, the Capital wouldn't get their happy ending. Their power couple. The two that they had rooted for since the beginning.
Hux heard a light humming in the distance. A tune. Was this the victory tune? Looking up, there was a helicopter approaching them. There were some of the Gamemakers inside along with a few medics.
Kylo turned to Hux and said, “Told you we'd make it together.”
As the medics helped Kylo up into the cockpit, Hux pleaded with the Gamemakers. “Please, let me take Phasma. She deserves a proper burial. I won't leave without her!” Hux used his strength to pull the sword out of her ribcage. She was dead, but she was one of the closest friends that Hux had ever had. She deserved this.
The Gamemakers finally allowed Hux to take Phasma's body with him. She was zipped into a body bag before being loaded onto the helicopter. The doctors were already working on Kylo’s injury and Hux was asked to sit and put the belt on before they could leave the game area. The ginger couldn't believe that the Games were over and they were alive. He couldn't believe Kylo asked him to marry him in the middle of the Games, of course he would say yes. He knew his father wouldn't be happy, but he didnt care. The training and the hell with him was over.
When they arrived, Hux waited outside of the medical bay, not wanting to abandon Kylo, no matter how starving or how tired he was. He awaited there nervously, walking in circles until he was able to get in. Kylo was sleeping after the surgery he had to undertake, but Hux sat beside him and held his hand, resting his head on the cot and trying to be as close as possible to him.
They both had to show themselves to the Capital as the winners, but that would be once Kylo awoke. Right now, Hux held his hand and they rested. They were alive.
Chapter 9: Epilogue
Three days later, Hux and Kylo were wearing elaborate costumes and riding a chariot through the capital together. They were being cheered at by the civilians. Hux was in a flamboyant red suit with a bird wing collar, while Kylo was donned in all black, something that most Careers did if they won. They didn't smile overtly, but inside, they were both elated to have won together
Kylo turned to Hux, smiled at him, and took Hux’s hand. They raised their intertwined hands in the sky, showing the audience that they were indeed a couple now. They approached the stage at the center of town, where they would give a little interview together for all the districts to watch.
The two sat up on a stage with a crowd surrounding them. The announcer was smiling as the two took a seat. He began to ask them questions about themselves and their relationship.
“Everyone wants to know, Hux, how you were able to pull out vast medical knowledge from seemingly nowhere. Had you always known how to stop severe wounds? Was it because it was Kylo and no one else?”
Hux looked at his boyfriend smiling, he was holding his hand. And then he looked to the interviewer. “Well, I have been instructed in medical knowledge basics by my brother, but I think in this case, it was just pure instinct. The person I’m in love with was dying in front of my eyes and I had to save him somehow. That’s all I kept in my mind, so it worked with logic to do so,” the ginger shrugged and smiled to Kylo again.
“That’s very romantic!” the interviewer said with excitement and then looked at Kylo. “And tell us, Kylo, what happened through your mind when you decided to kill yourself so you would let your lover win and survive?”
Kylo squeezed Hux’s hand and said, “At that moment, I had two thoughts. I wanted Hux to win the game, and I didn't want to hurt him. I was close, but I had to stop my Career instincts, so I tried to kill myself to let him win. However, Hux is the type of person who won't settle for anything less. He wanted us to both win, so that's what he did.”
The interviewer grinned, “Amazing. You cared for each other so much that you wanted to sacrifice yourself for him.” Then he looked at his question script. “Hux, you also made a strange request that we often don't see in the Games. You requested Phasma to be flown back with you to be properly buried. Tell us more about why you chose to do that.”
Hux swallowed hard at the mention of Phasma and he lowered his head feeling sad about it. “I have never had friends growing up. Nobody had showed me that I could trust them until I met Phasma, and of course, Kylo,” he looked at his boyfriend with a soft smile. “Phasma was kind to me from the beginning, asking for nothing in return. She protected and helped me even though we were rivals in the games. She was a good person and an extraordinary woman, I think she deserves to be properly remembered,” the ginger explained very seriously. He would never cry in public, but he could feel the tears coming. Luckily, he knew very well how to control his emotions when he had to.
Kylo continued for Hux, “That is why we are going to bury her here in the Capital. We plan to move here together as well and start our lives together. She was a part of that, so she will be honored and remembered, as she should be.”
The interviewer’s eyes opened and he spoke, “Woah! Was that…? Was that a confession?! Are you going to stay here and live together?”
Kylo smiled and held Hux’s hand up, “He has a ring on his finger. I plan to marry Hux and live here with him for as long as we have left. He is the reason I lived, after all.” He turned to kiss Hux on the cheek, much to the happiness of the audience.
Hux blushed and smiled. He would have been terribly embarrassed to be kissed or even smile in public like he was doing then, but he didn’t care anymore, he couldn’t control it anymore. Kylo made him happy and his life was worthy again because the raven haired was with him, holding his hand and loving him, so he didn’t care about anything else than him anymore.
The ginger nodded. “We are engaged. It can sound hasty for some people but...I really feel like I have already known him for years and I already know, I don’t want to spend my life with anyone else but him” he looked at Kylo and smiled. “I love you, Kylo”. Kylo leaned in to kiss him. The whole world froze for a moment and Hux had never felt happier.
Whatever were to come next, he would have Kylo and Phasma’s spirit besides him.