When Clove's name is reaped all she can think is what a convenience since it was her turn to volunteer for the Games anyways.

And she knows she's being a little too confident but she's got a problem with pride and what else can she do?

Somewhere in her mind, she is acutely aware that she has been handed a death sentence.

But it's easy to push away, because for one, the thought is only in the back of her mind as she smiles at the camera, and for another, her dreams are coming true.

All the moments spent looking at the screen thinking, someday, that will be me, thinking I was made for this. The greed of being a Victor. The temptation of making her District proud.

So she ignores it. Even though she knows better.

⁂⁂⁂

When she's on the train alongside the male tribute, Cato, she observes everything about him.

The glint in his eye that clearly says I am going to win. The straight, calm gait. His slightly slouching posture, which indicates he has already looked at all the other tributes and thinks that he has the best chance.

Clove knows better.

She has done the math. She knows that her odds for winning are, strictly speaking, one in twenty-four and that's only about four percent. In the grand scheme of things, it isn't really a lot.

She doesn't rule any district out because there might be that one tribute who's got a plan, that one non-Career that has a little more experience for whatever reason, that one witty person who can run rings around them all for sheer brainpower.

Brains and brawn are equal in this game, she realizes. So Clove rules no one out because chance is unpredictable and she won't do chance.

And so, here she is, sizing him up, missing no detail, because she is going to take her four percent for all it's worth.

⁂⁂⁂

Standing on the silver plate, the feeling of being handed a death sentence registers somewhere in her thoughts.

Ignore it, she tells herself. Find a knife instead of worrying. Knife, knife, knife—

Clove knows that telling herself knife isn't going to make the thought go away.

She knows better than to ignore it. But she tries anyway.

Knife, knife, knife—

She can't ignore it any longer so instead she trains her gaze on Cato. She drinks in his appearance for the last peaceful time when she is not killing other people, she sees every detail, because sometime in the next few days she will likely be dead.

She sees the calm look on his face but the wild look in his eyes; the slight slouch of his spine but the overwhelming stiffness of his limbs.

Somewhere along the line of the pre-Games rituals, she has gone from thinking what an overconfident arse to maybe he's not that bad to I will have to ally with him sometime or another—might as well be polite to since when does he look that good? to no, Clove, you'll have to kill him in the end, you cannot fall in love.

But still, she has fallen in love. She doesn't know when exactly it happened, but it's horribly sad and maybe more star-crossed than Lover Boy and Fire Girl's romance. Because she will have to get to know him and ally with him and share food with him and then she will have to kill him in the end, she'll make sure of it.

She is going to take her four percent for all it's worth—isn't she?

Oh, yes, Clove has been handed a death sentence.

But now she finds the thought easy to push away because five, four, three, two, one

So she ignores it. Even though she knows better.

⁂⁂⁂

A/N: first hunger games fanfiction. i have been attacked by vicious plot bunnies and have finally gotten around to posting them.

i write about PJO too so look at my profile even though i'm shamelessly promoting myself. :)

-readersarethebestwriters