My friend (the only one that I will allow to read anything that I have written who actually knows me in 'real life') made me post this, greatly against my better judgement - I am sure that I will regret it as it's nowhere near as good as A Fox's View (if that can be called good - probably not!), but I found the file on my laptop so thought I might as well. I wrote it about a month before Lysandra Redwood even existed, as after listening to the song 'I'll Remember You' by Sophie Zelmani, the idea just wouldn't go away.
I will now repeat what I said in the summary - if you haven't read 'A Fox's View', especially Chapter 2, then this will make no sense at all. I know that they are different to the point of being AU in this, but I have a very over-active imagination...
It is dawn when I wake, so used am I to having to get up for training. He should be used to it too, but I am not surprised when I turn and see that he is still asleep. I force my aching body to move and begin to swing my legs over the edge of the bed, moving as little as I can so I don't disturb him. We have already said goodbye, both to each other and to all of our plans, at least five times since the day of the reaping, since that day when, in a cruel twist of fate, my name was drawn from the reaping ball a year before I was due to volunteer. Each time our parting is more painful than the last, and I have no desire to go through it again. It is better that I go back to my own room, a room that I have barely seen since we arrived in the Capitol, and wait for my stylist to come to escort me to the arena.
I stop for a minute and watch him as he sleeps. Even now he looks tense, but I know that it is not because he fears the arena. Not in the normal sense anyway. What could he possibly have to fear? He has already defeated the strongest competition that our district had to offer and we both know that no district produces more formidable tributes than District 2. What he fears is the same thing that I fear. I fear what will happen when the twenty-two other tributes are dead, when the Gamemakers and the whole of Panem expect us to fight to the death.
He shifts slightly, moving so that his hand rests on his chest over his most recent scar, a vicious looking wound just above his heart. I remember the day that he got that wound and the person who gave it to him. Cassius. The arrogant fool who had thought he could win my heart away from Cato and had tried to take it by force when he realised he had no chance. He was the one who I had despised more than any other for years as a result, and I would cheerfully have killed him myself for that and so many other reasons if my lover had not got there first. Cato killed him for me as well as for himself, so I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the days on which he got all of his scars. I know his body better than I know my own, just as he does mine.
We shouldn't be together now, I tell myself, this is the Hunger Games and we are enemies. I know that I have to leave, but I cannot make my traitorous body get up and walk away. I have been drawn to him since the first time I saw him, back when he was an arrogant thirteen year old who looked a lot older than his years.
I had just turned twelve and was already deemed good enough to be sent for by the main Training Centre. For the duration of my short life I had understood that agreeing to enter that building meant that I agreed to be trained for the Hunger Games, the contest that strikes fear into the hearts of nearly everyone in all of Panem's districts, but I had been training for years already. I could put a knife through a cherry at one hundred paces and considered myself invincible even then. When this dark-haired and blue-eyed boy had tried to take what was mine I had no choice but to fight back. He hadn't been expecting a small girl, half his size then as I still am now, to stand up for herself against him, and the battle that we had through the halls and corridors of the Training Centre is still talked about now. Just as we both still bear the scars from when we were whipped as punishment too.
So today it begins. I have spent almost my entire childhood training for this moment, waited all of my life for my chance at glory, my chance to make a better life for myself. Who cares if I have to kill to get it? I certainly don't. There will be a Hunger Games for as long as the Capitol want there to be. If I don't kill the other tributes then somebody else will, and when they make it so pathetically easy, well, they are almost asking for it.
If only I could kill whatever it was that had made the piece of paper drawn from the reaping ball have my name written on it. We were going to rule the Training Centre, Cato and I. Together we could have made it so that every victor for the next hundred years came from District 2, starting of course with ourselves, the winners of the seventy-fourth and seventy-fifth Hunger Games. We would have had wealth and power beyond our wildest dreams and our district would have been second only to the Capitol, but now whichever one of us survives will have to try to do it alone. And for the first time in my life I begin to doubt myself. I don't think that I could do it without him. I wonder if he feels the same about me?
I have to stop thinking about this, there are twenty-two others that stand between me and what I dread the most, so I have to focus on the task ahead of me. As my mentor has told me on many occasions, repeating the words over and over again to make sure that they sink in, arrogance and complacency are more fearsome enemies to me than the other tributes, and the only way that I won't win is if I let them get the better of me. I know the only way that I can keep my focus is by getting away from the only person that I have ever loved. I rise to my feet and take a step in the direction of the door, but then find myself suddenly crashing back onto the bed as Cato grabs my already bruised wrist and pulls me back towards him. It looks like this will be goodbye number six.