They had a life, they had family, they had reasons to win the Games that were not pride, they just wanted to forget their surroundings and live in the beautiful world they created.
Lets start from the beginning.
They met at the age of twelve. At the Career Academy. He was just the arrogant boy that couldn't be defeated. And she was known for being the feared knife thrower than never ever missed.
They hated each other because nobody knew which one of them was the best trainee. So they fought each other to define it once and for all. But the fight never seemed to end. The two of them were brilliant. Really brilliant. So, before they actually killed each other, they were stopped and taken to the hospital.
Eventually, the Victors or judges decided that the girl deserved the title more than the boy because of her intelligence. She had been studying her opponent since they both started to fight and used his own techniques against him besides great reflexes and boy-like strength.
He accepted it and congratulated her.
She gave him a small smile which he returned. Then he started asking about her skills origin's. And the conversation lasted hours changing lots of subjects.
That's how they became friends.
Once, at the age of thirteen, he saw her talking to a boy in the knife station. Something broke inside of him then. He just couldn't see his 99% antisocial training partner talking to someone who wasn't himself.
The boy just wanted to learn how to throw a knife and she answered him to ask a trainer, not her. That's when her training partner saved her and asked the new boy what did he want and showed him the office with hate.
He found her laughing for the first time since he knew her when he returned.
He had always asked why but she only answered that he would eventually know.
That's how he realized he liked her.
At the age of fourteen, he took her to the lake for her birthday. He never told her he liked her and still she somehow knew. And even then, they never wanted to talk about it.
He wanted to give her his affection as birthday present but as he couldn't, he thought of giving her something memorable.
So he took her and sat on a big rock for hours talking about stupid things they forgot the morning after. They laughed and enjoyed themselves.
And then, he told her to shut up and close her eyes. She did, wandering what he wanted to show her. So when he authorized her to open her eyes again, she fell in love. The sun was setting, painting the water of the lake in orange. Making the trees cooper and the mountains golden.
She hugged him for what it seemed hours and he hugged her back. But suddenly, they fell into the water. They were laughing while getting on their feet again.
They walked back to the village in an embrace to keep their body heat: hand in hand, wrapped in the same jacket, still smiling.
That's how they fell in love.
They were madly in love at the age of fifteen.
They shared their first kiss and their first time.
And they thought that they were the happiest people on earth.
But that was nothing compared to the moment they found out she was pregnant with their child. Not even three quarters of their happiness. And yet, nothing compared to the first time they held their little baby boy.
They remembered every single moment that little baby made the feel the happiest couple in the world. The first time he noticed her girlfriend's almost unnoticeable little baby bump that assured that a miracle was actually real, the first time he moved inside of her, when the baby turned with it's head down, the moment her water broke, announcing them there was no going back, that their child was on his/her way, ready to make them officially parents.
Nothing, nothing ever, compared to when they held him right after he was out.
Nothing could compare to the first time she saw him, identically to his father: pale skin, thin lips, same nose, same hands, same beautiful blonde hair.
Nothing could compare to the emotions he felt when his son first opened his eyes: dark, shiny green. Just like the pine trees, just like his mother's.
And they both cried in joy while watching their own flesh and blood falling asleep.
That's how they created their only weakness besides each other.
And for three years they forgot about everything. They forgot about school, about their relatives, about training, and most importantly, about The Hunger Games.
They didn't care about anything that wasn't each other and their beautiful son.
Until the reaping for the 74th Hunger Games.
She was reaped and because of being known for the best skills in the whole district, nobody volunteered. Everyone knew about her son and yet nobody cared.
So he volunteered to go with her, to protect her, to assure that his son would grow up with a mother, because out of the two, she was in his opinion more important to the child than himself.
They both cried while saying goodbye to their three-year-old son.
And so they cried on the inside even in the arena.
–Cato! –she screamed for his help even when she knew that no matter what they both did, she was not going to see another dawn ever –Cato! –she just wanted the beautiful eyes of the man she loved to be the last thing she ever saw
–Clove! –he answered, already running to the cornucopia, to the feast, to Thresh and to his only love
And in less than ten minutes, he was there, holding her in his arms, crying with her, staring at her eyes and hair and skin and lips and… just staring at her.
–Clove, don't leave me. Don't you dare leave. I need you. Titanium needs you! You can't leave him without his mother. Stay with me. Stay for him. Stay with us!
–Tell… Titanium… that I love him… Always will… –she could barely formulate –I love you, Cato.
And then she stopped breathing. Her body became limp and cold.
That's how Titanium lost his mother.
Five days later, Cato was attacked by mutts. They tore him apart for hours and his Capitol armor didn't let him die. He just wanted to see Clove again. But in that moment, Life was stronger than Death. He just wanted Life to surrender.
He screamed how sorry he was and how ill the Capitol people were.
They had taken the life of million of teenagers whose families needed them.
So when Katniss Everdeen decided to end his suffering with her last arrow, he begged.
That's how they were reunited
The only thing they wanted and couldn't do? They could never showed their son that beautiful sunset by the lake where their love became real.