|This article, Nathan (Crippled Series), was written by Necterine411. Please do not edit this fan fiction without the author's permission.|
Nathan is the second chapter of Cripple. In this chapter Evi gets to know her District partner Nathan.
I’m woken up with a knock on my door. Thinking its Lucy, I call for the person to come in, only to see Nathan. He’s holding my crutches. I faintly remember Nathan wheeling me to my room after I tried some of the clear liquid in my drink. I reach my hand to my throbbing head and swear never to accept Vodka again. Apparently it’s not a brand of water. Nathan coughs and I wince as my head pain increases.
“What do you want?” I ask, annoyed.
“I brought you your crutches. Lexi also told me to give this pill to you once she found out about the alcohol. She’s pretty mad at Lucy though, she wouldn't shut up about how irresponsible Lucy is."
I take the pill and place it on my tongue, where it immediately dissolves. A couple seconds later my headache is gone and my stomach doesn’t feel as queasy. In fact, I’m starving. Smiling at me, Nathan hands me a crutch and helps me out of bed. For the first time in my life, I willingly let someone help me get up.
I’m walking with Nathan to the dining room, when one of my crutches is yanked out of my hand. I turn and see Lucy holding it.
“You can only have one token. You better get used to having one crutch.”
Lucy walks away in a daze after she speaks. She looks worse than she did yesterday; I wonder if she’s getting sick. I struggle to use one crutch; I’ve only ever used two crutches or a wheelchair to get around. Nathan looks at me for a little while to make sure I won’t fall before catching up with me. The dining room is quiet, besides Nathan and I only two other servers are in the room. After bringing us our plates, they leave too. I’m a little uncomfortable; I hate it when it gets too quiet. Thankfully Nathan speaks.
“Want to be allies? In the Games, I mean.”
So he’s already begun to think about the Games. I try to think of a better strategy for the Games, but fail. I don’t want to anger the person who could be my ally or enemy. But something tells me no, that I should refuse his offer and go off by my own. That there’s something off about Nathan’s smile; like there’s a certain glint in his eye. I push the thought away. Right now I want, I need, someone I can talk to, someone I can be friends, or at least allies with. So I look up and smile.
After breakfast Nathan and I wander around the train, talking. I learn that he was dropped off at the orphanage with his twin brother when he was a baby; but his brother died a month later. I can’t help feeling a little jealous of him. He doesn’t miss their voices or faces because he can’t remember them. He doesn’t have to see their faces right before they died, white as paper with a dazed look in the eye, every time he closes his eyes. I keep quiet though; only telling him that my parents died during a plague when I was eleven. He just listens to me as I explain how I managed to get a full time job and avoid the orphanage, even with my useless leg. He’s just about to tell me about the orphanage when Lexi runs up.
“Come, come, we’re almost at the Capitol. Let the citizens get a good look at you before the Chariot rides. Oh, and Lucy said to not punch anyone on your prep team. She knows from experience they’ll dress you in a hideous outfit if you do."
That explains why Lucy was dressed like a sack the year she won. I walk up to a train window and am astonished at the hordes of people that came to get a glimpse of me. It’s a little pathetic really; getting so excited over two District citizens. Behind me Nathan is hiding behind a potted plant. I motion for him to come over; but he shakes his head no. Smiling, I roll my eyes at him and go to drag him to the window. As I do Nathan grips my free arm tightly.
“Evi, I can’t. I’m too shy.”
“Come on Nathan, you can do it. I’ll be right here the whole time.”
Nathan looks up at me with his innocent eyes and my heart aches. I have to protect him, I just know it. Any doubts about me allying with him vanish as he takes my hand tightly and turns to face the window. Our train begins to slow, until we come to a complete stop. Still holding hands, Nathan and I exit the train with Lexi and Lucy following close behind. I can barely hear their bickering over all the screams from the crowd begging for Nathan and I to take picture with them, sign something, or answer a question. It’s overwhelming; I’m not used to so many people all looking at me and calling my name. Nathan looks over at me.
“Who’s shy now?” He teases, smiling up at me.
I smile back and together we make it to the hovercar that will take us to our prep teams. I realize that Nathan has barely coughed all day. Good, maybe he’s getting better. We board the hovercar with Lexi and Lucy and the door slides shut, muffling the ecstatic crowd. Lucy’s leaning her head against the hovercar’s sides. She takes a water bottle out of her bag and adds a tablet before taking a sip and sighing contentedly. Lexi purses her lips at her before turning to face us.
“Sorry dearies, we should have warned about what the crowd would be like, but SOMEBODY” Lexi glares at Lucy for a bit. “was too busy finding their pain medication; which, may I add, she doesn’t even need.”
Lucy mumbles something incoherent before starting to snore. I realize she’s fallen asleep. I raise my eyebrows and look at Nathan. He does the same. How are we ever going to have a chance in the Games with a druggie for a mentor? I tell myself that everything will be okay. Sure, Nathan’s only twelve, but he’s recovering from his cough and he’ll be helpful in the Games. I know Nathan’s my friend; I’ll be able to count on him. Hopefully, Nathan feels the same way about me. The Hovercar begins to descend and I take a deep breath. The chariot rides mark the first step towards the Games. A step I’ll never be ready to take; at least not alone. The hovercar lands and without saying anything Nathan and I hold hands. Together we’re unstoppable, unbreakable. With Nathan by my side I step forward.