When he heard that girl from District Two say "Forget it, District Twelve. We're going to kill you. Just like we did your pathetic little ally… what was her name? The one who hopped around in the trees? Rue? Well, first Rue, then you, and then I think we'll just let nature take care of Lover Boy. How does that sound? Now, where to start?"
He's aware that the girl is about to kill District Twelve, Katniss, which would be a huge advantage for him as far as winning the games go, but the only thing that he can focus on were the words "kill" "ally" and "Rue".
They killed Rue. This dark haired girl from District Two, and the rest of the Careers. They killed her.
All this time he had figured that it had been a mistake, an accident, perhaps something that the Gamemakers had created, but he never thought of anyone being able to kill Rue.
She had been so delicate and so quick that he would have thought that it would have been impossible for anyone to catch her, let alone kill her.
For a second he thought about the few times she had smiled at him, the kindness that she had shown him and he was consumed with an absolutely uncontrollable rage. He's never felt like this before; this feeling is past anger.
This is the fury of a righteous killer.
Without thinking about it for more than two seconds he grabbed District Two by the torso and lifted her above the ground, and sees the fear mingled with surprise in her eyes. He flips her and brings her to the ground with a thud, unable to control himself. He's practically trembling but he has to keep in control. He has to know if it was for sure her before does anything else. If it isn't, whoever she says it is he'll kill her, and then find whoever it was that hurt Rue and kill them the exact way they killed Rue. That would be the only way he would ever get his vengeance as well as hers. He barely registers District Two's screams.
The roar that he admitted from his chest surprises even him. He's never heard himself like this before. "What'd you do to that little girl? You kill her?"
The District Two girl is scrambling backwards now, trying to get away from him, as if he's going to let that happen. "No! No, it wasn't me!"
"You said her name. I heard you. You kill her." It suddenly dawns on him that if she is sadistic enough to want to carve one tribute, what would stop her from doing her to another? He can see the scene in his mind's eye, Rue screaming for mercy while this girl simply continues until Rue is dead. His rage has peaked. "You cut her up like you were going to cut up this girl here?"
"No! No, I-" she sees for the first time the large rock that he had managed to fit in his pocket, one of the only weapons that he had used, and he can practically feel all of the panic coming off of her in waves. She knows what's going to happen just as well as she does. "Cato! Cato!"
"Clove!" he hears the boy from District Two answer, and now he finally learns her name. Clove, like what they put in bread.
He didn't want to know her name, she didn't deserve one. This seems to be the last straw and he brings the rock down on her head, and she doesn't bleed, but she has a dent as well as the beginning of a bruise on her forehead and he knows she's going to die. He can feel it.
And just like that his madman-like feelings end and he can feel the adrenaline leaving his body. It's over, and he doesn't know what to make of himself, but he's glad that it's done, glad that someone paid for Rue's death with their blood.
He whirled on Katniss, the girl with the eleven in training, who he had put in is mind as his one of his biggest competitors. "What'd she mean? About Rue being your ally?"
Katniss looks extremely frightened now too, and he realizes that she had been there the entire time. She had seen everything, and he realizes that he doesn't care. He wants to know if she had really helped Rue or not, because if she helped too…
"I-I-we teamed up. Blew up the supplies. I tried to save her, I did. But he got there first. District One," she says, her breathing coming in gasps as she begins back away from him too.
So it wasn't the District Two girl after all. This knowledge makes him feel slightly guilty, but he ignores the feeling. District Two would have died anyway, and she had probably helped him this boy, or she would have killed Rue herself, if she could ever have gotten to her.
"And you killed him?" he demands. He has to know this, he has to make sure that the real killer is dead, because if he isn't he's going to make sure that he will be.
"Yes. I killed him. And buried her in flowers," Katniss says, "And I sang her to sleep."
He can see the emotion on her face as she struggles to keep a clean face. She too loved Rue, it was obvious from the way she talked about her, the way the two of them teamed up. But he is confused. Sleep? Sleep isn't the same as dead, he would know that. "To sleep?"
"To death. I sang until she dead." Katniss pauses. "Your district… they sent me bread." She wipes her nose. "Do it fast, okay, Thresh?"
He's surprised that she knows his name. But he can't bring it to himself to kill her, this girl that loved Rue, this girl that helped her in more ways than he did. "Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl. You and me, we're even then," he tells her, because it's true. Katniss took care of Rue when he didn't, and he had owed her that much, but not after this. "No more owed. You understand?"
Katniss quickly nods, her face softening for a moment.
"Clove!" he can hear that boy from District Two's voice, and it was much nearer than before.
"You better run now, Fire Girl," he says as he grabs his two backpacks and goes. He doesn't have it in him to kill the boy too, and he has a feeling that the boy will be extremely happy to kill him after what he did to Clove.
As he pushes the grasses aside he begins to think of Rue and of everything that had been between them.
He cared for her more than anyone would have ever guessed.
He remembered her as the girl at the top of the trees at the orchard, that was who she would always be to him now. Since she was so small she had been at the top while he had always been the one that would lift the heavy crates of the goods that were being harvested. He was always assigned to her tree.
Rue would sing often, her voice high sweet and clear. She had one of the best voices in District Eleven, or so he thought. She would sing happy songs, sad songs, love songs, and working songs all in the same sweet tune.
She was also kind to everyone she ran into, no matter what. He had never seen her raise her voice to anyone, or get angry not even once. He was a boy that was used to people being unkind to him, he was, after all, Stupid Thresh, as they dubbed him because of his lack of understanding of school work and rough way with words, but she had even talked to him as if he was her friend.
Once, when they were both at a bonfire that signified the end of apple season, she had sat next to him on a bench, which had previously been unoccupied. Rue had smiled at him.
"Do you want some?" she had asked, and she held out a leg of groosling, which everyone knew was the best part, a delicacy really.
He had been unable to say the words that seemed so easy to speak in his head but never aloud. Not even to her, Rue, like the flowers that often grew in clumps in the meadow near his house.
It was the first time that anyone had ever offered to share any part of a groosling with him, because it was seen as a sign of affection or friendship to most.
She waited patiently for his answer, still smiling, until he finally just nodded and he took the leg and bit it. She practically glowed in response. "I'm Rue," she said. "And your Thresh," that was all she said to him before getting called over to a large group of girls that were her age, obviously friends. She had looked at him for a moment, her eyes going a bit sad, before retreating back to the other bench.
He wasn't sure that she remembered that night, but he certainly did.
When her name had been called before his in the reaping he felt like his heart was going to explode. Of course she was going to go and die, the people that he cared about always seemed to do that. She had seemed almost regal in that moment as she walked up those steps, noticeably trembling but also keeping a smooth face as she appraised the crowd.
He heard the sighs of sympathy for her family, she was the oldest of six children and she was the only one that could work. When his name was called along with hers he didn't know what to think.
People were probably glad to see him gone, while with Rue they would feel sympathy and sadness. It was an even enough trade.
He only knew one thing, though. He wouldn't be the one to kill her. He would harm himself before that happened.
He hadn't been able to talk to her on the way over to the Capitol, he had fumbled with words worse than ever once they were on the train, all of his emotions, his nervousness and anger for a while taking over even his affection for Rue.
He didn't speak the entire time except for the interview, where speaking was required, and even though he wanted to ask Rue for an alliance at the beginning, as she would have been a key asset in spying on others and getting an bird's eye view, he hadn't been able to form the words and get them out of his mouth.
And in the blink of an eye she was gone, and he hadn't seen her after that, not even once, aside from her face in the sky as they announced her death.
He was so busy thinking these thoughts that he hadn't heard Cato creep up on him, which had been a mistake, one that he knew now was deadly.
"Hey Thresh," Cato said, conversationally, as if they were going to team up, which he knew they weren't. Thresh had always been adept at reading emotions and he can feel the fury underneath Cato's cool demeanor.
He grunted in response and picked up his rock, the one that had killed Clove. "Oh no," Cato said still acting cool as if he knew the cameras were trained on him that very moment, which they probably were. "It's not going to happen for me like that."
Quickness had never been his strong suit, so when he saw that Cato had a knife he just barely was able to move out of the way fast enough. He had an endless amount of words to say to Cato, all of them on repeat in his brain, but as always they never came.
Words had come easy to him only one time, the time when he learned of Rue's death, and even that wasn't easy. It would be absolutely impossible for him to speak now, when he was fighting for the death here.
One of them was going to die here, he just wasn't sure which one.
He threw the rock at Cato, but the boy was far too agile for that to harm him at all, he simply sidestepped out of the way.
Cato wouldn't be able to tackle him, of that much he was certain, seeing as he had at least fifty pounds on him. But Cato had a knife, and probably more where that came from while he had nothing more than a few large rocks, and now one of those was gone.
"Gotcha," Cato said suddenly, and out of no where came a throwing knife that hit him in the stomach, and he could feel the blood raising up warm in his throat. "For Clove," Cato spit in his face. Then he simply walked away.
The last thing Thresh saw before he died was Rue in her gossamer gown with the wings that had worn to the interview, beckoning for him to follow her.
A/N: I'm sorry if this isn't the way Thresh died, but the book doesn't tell us and I can't find it anywhere, so I just imagined this. We know he did die though, so if you know something else happened to him please tell me, because I have no idea!