|don't be afraid of the dark
Author: phix27 PM
Cato thinks he likes her because she's dangerous, but he's not sure. He thinks he likes her because she presents a challenge, but not enough of one that he couldn't kill her. A Cato/Clove fanfic. rated M for violence.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Cato & Clove - Words: 1,388 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 5 - Published: 04-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7986097
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Cato thinks he likes her because she's dangerous, but he's not sure. He thinks he likes her because she presents a challenge, but not enough of one that he couldn't kill her. She's like a little bee, a bit worrying but not something to be overly concerned with. He's not worried about her, but for her. Because hell, she's just so small.
Sure, she's deadly with a knife. A bit scary with her accuracy but… but she's not a threat. She never had been. He'd known her since she was little and whenever he looks at her, all he sees is that little girl whose face lights up when she sees flowers. Oh yeah, he'd known her weaknesses, even back then. He was the one to toughen her up after all.
He was only 6, and she was only 4, but even then he watched her. He liked her freckles, he thought they looked like spots of blood but lighter, better. They made her look strong, despite the fact that, if asked to describe her, he'd say that she was like a fey child, all weak.
So he gave her a bunch of flowers, already a bit trampled from where he'd stepped on them while picking them. After seeing her eyes light up like that, he almost hated to do it, but he'd always been a bit sadistic. So he crushed the flowers below his feet, stomping them into the ground, and laughed as she began to cry. He hopes that's why she hated him. But he didn't hate her. Even when she broke his arm that one time, well, even then he laughed at her.
"Is that the best you've got?" he spat in her face, even as his arm was screaming in agony. Then he pushed her down and broke her fingers under the heel of his shoe. Just to remind her. Just to remind her that he liked her.
When her name was called, well, he wouldn't lie. A flash of lightening, both hot and cold, went through his veins. This was his year to volunteer, his year to win. She still had a couple years so why (why why why why no please anyone why) was she going up onto that stage with her little smirk that twisted the right side of her mouth but only turned up on the left? How dare she how dare she steal his glory and take his right and how dare she make him want to die, just for her?
It was the last feeling, he thinks, that makes him volunteer anyway, though he refuses to acknowledge it. So he stands on that stage next to her, with his heart pounding with something that feels like adrenaline but more like fear, if he's honest, and looks into those dark little eyes.
When they get on the train, she headbutts him, splitting his lip. Their escort breaks them apart, telling them to save it for the games, but after he leaves, Cato twists her arm behind her back until she squirms away, just for the simple pleasure of causing her pain. Or having her near, but those are the same feelings, in all honesty.
That night she crawls into his bed and he doesn't have the heart to push her away, so he doesn't. For once, he lets her get close. He wraps his arms around her tiny frame, knowing in the light of day, this will all be forgotten, and feels her little chest rise and fall against him. It's in the dark, with the light of the moon shining off her hair that's down for once and not in braids, that he kisses her, split lip and all. She licks away the blood when it begins to bleed again.
She's so tiny, so so tiny. He thinks that hurts with the sponsors, as they think she can't possibly win. But they don't know just how ruthless she is, and he thinks maybe she could win this. Maybe, if he wasn't in the games this year. And that makes him hurt a bit, but he doesn't let it show. Instead he hurts her, by breaking her thumb. They heal it quickly, but he still likes the satisfying sound of her bone cracking beneath his hands.
When they talk to Caesar, he can't help but stare. He's never seen her in a dress before, and there's something about it that's breathtaking. For the first time, he thinks her freckles look cuter than like spatters of blood, and she almost takes his breath away. He almost misses it when that girl from twelve twirls, he's so busy staring at Clove. God, but he hates her.
The night before the games she crawls into bed with him again, and once more he can't push her away. He curls around her protectively and Cato wonders what it would be like, for one crazy moment, if there was no games, no death on the line for one of them (no, for her) and they could lie in bed forever and ever, together, with her freckles standing out on her skin like small brown diamonds instead of blood. He kisses her to get rid of these thoughts. It works pretty well.
They were always going to be allies, it was expected. So he grabs her, and takes his weapons, grabbing a spare knife for her, just in case. The boy and girl from 1 team up with them, as well as lover boy, and Cato thinks that's fine, though a flash of annoyance goes through him when the boy flirts with Clove. He flirts with Glimmer in retaliation. The vapid twit laughs at everything he says. She'll be easy to kill.
As a matter of fact, it doesn't come down to that. The girl from twelve proves to be a bigger threat then he thought, and he decides to watch out for her. Slowly their numbers dwindle until it's just him and her, and hell, it'd always been like that anyway. Why should the games be different? He keeps her close, even though he knows she can keep herself safe.
Cato keeps her even closer after the announcement. In those moments before sleep claims him, he entertains thoughts of marriage and babies who would win the games and a small girl in a wedding dress and- he stops those thoughts when he wakes up, knowing that to voice them would be deadly. It's most certainly a trap.
She's the one who decides to go get what they need, since he's the one who needs it. He's not sure why that affects him so deeply, just that it makes his heart beat faster and his palms get sweaty. He nods because God, the sickness that afflicted him since that girl dropped the nest on him makes him weak, much weaker than he ever let her know, though he thinks she does. For some reason, she smooths his hair away from his face and smiles at him, that same smile he saw with the flowers.
He's resting when he hears her scream. At first, he thinks she's just fighting, and closes his eyes once more, confident she'll win. She has to. But then something changes, and his eyes snap open with a clarity he hadn't felt since the start.
It's the broken way it's said that makes him stand, though he's shaking and tired. It's the desperation in her voice that makes him attempt a stumbling run. He'd be easy pickings for anyone who ran by, but he doesn't care because Clove is all he can think about. His heart beats with something that feels like adrenaline but more like fear, and when he finally gets to her, the cannon has already sounded. Cato allows himself a single sob, a single moment to curl around her body. Her freckles stand out starkly against her skin, little blood splatters. It's that that finally breaks him.
He doesn't want to win anymore.