Note: This was.. hard to write. I'm not much into writing torture or action, so I hope I did okay. I didn't want it to be really graphic either. So.. this is the last chapter. It's been a long kind of tough time writing it. I started it 01/07/2012. It took a little over a month to finish. As of this moment it has 29 reviews, 5173 views, 4 favorites, and 17 alerts. I want to thank all of you who gave this story a chance. It means a lot to me.
I have two requests for fics from the last two reviewers. One will be Peetas POV of the Bread and Dandelion moments. And the other will be some of the Tributes reactions to Peetas declaration during his interview. I'm not sure when they'll be written or finished, but be on the look out for it. :)
One more thing! I promise! If you've read this far – I started a Cato/Clove 100 prompt fic, the first chapter is up. I also have a Peeta/Katniss story in the works as well. It's a bit AU because Peeta's name is never called, but Katniss still wins the Games. And is inspired by Mockingjay after Finnick's interview "I'm left with Haymitch in the rubble, wondering if Finnick's fate would have one day been mine. Why not? Snow could have gotten a really good price for the girl on fire." Interested?
Twenty Two: Eyes Not Hers
District 2 Male: Cato
I pull on the body armor, and after doing so, stare long and hard at the extra set. It was supposed to be Clove's, but Clove is dead. I hadn't bothered taking Thresh's backpack, there was no point. It's going to be over soon, and he didn't have anything that I absolutely needed anyway.
There had been a moment there that I thought I would die, and by some backwater district 11 tribute , no less. He had been large and strong, but I had been stronger. And I had just as much a thirst for revenge as he did when he killed… it hurts to think about. I keep the anger close to my heart to eat the sorrow.
I run my fingertips over the fabric and remember the last time I touched her face, the blood that stained my hands. I told her I loved her, kissed her, and I wonder if she knew. I wonder if District 2 will have anything to say about it, or if they'll overlook the breaking of one of the rules since I won. And I'm going to win, if not for myself or District 2, which are large motivators, then I'll do it for her.
The fabric drops from my fingers as I sit up straighter at the sound of a disturbance far behind me. I grin. Have they come to find me? I grab up my spear and leave the pack. I only need myself and my sword now. I put all thoughts of anything other than victory away. They'll be time to think of it later.
I'm standing in position, when the first one clears the brush. I can feel my eyes widening and my jaw dropping a fraction. I wonder if it's the same reaction of anyone watching, but then they would've known this was coming, I'm sure of it.
It stands still, it's teeth bared as more come up beside it. And it's eyes are familiar, I've seen those eyes. I scan over the rest of them, paralyzed into inaction. And it registers in my mind.. they are the other Tributes. And they are going to kill me.
I turn on my heel, and run, and I can hear them following behind me. There's no thought of fighting or victory, just survival and it's more of an instinct than a thought, and somehow I know if I make it to the Cornucopia, I'll be safe.. or at least more safe.
I lose my spear somewhere along the way. I'm even more thankful for the bodysuit, it repels much of the harm the foliage would have done, though I catch a few smacks to the face by low tree limbs. They should have sent a mask as well. I run for what seems like a lifetime.
I burst out of the woods and onto the plain, and I see Katniss and Peeta, but I don't really care. My target is the Cornucopia now. I see her pull her arrow and shoot. It hits my chest, and I feel only a slight sting, but it falls to the side. They shift their stances, readying for a fight, but I run past them, not even bothering to slow down. They are the lesser of two evils.
I reach the cornucopia and start to climb, the adrenaline so high that I feel like my heart might beat out of my chest, and my lungs are on fire. I reach the top quickly and lay there, gagging and trying to bring in oxygen. I feel sick and dizzy, and if I had eaten anything today I'm sure I would have thrown up.
Almost all sound is a roaring in my ears, the beat of my heart, and the woosh of air through my mouth. Black spots dance in my vision but I can't afford to pass out. I double over, my eyes on the Mutts. One of them has her eyes. I have no strength in me to sob, but my words come out deformed and sound not quite like "Can they climb it?" like I wanted them too.
Katniss shouts at me and Peeta answers her. He understood. A moment later she shrieks and I know she's figured it out too and she explains it to Peeta who has always seemed a bit slow to me. Didn't he understand that we all knew it was a ruse. Or maybe he didn't understand that she just didn't love him. Either way, it's pathetic.
But then he asks, "You don't think… those could be their real eyes?" A shiver of disgust runs down my spine as my breathing starts to even out. I watch as a short time later the Mutts plan a new way to devour us. And it almost works too when one of them jumps and sinks it's teeth into Peeta's leg. I feel a moment of.. I don't know what to call the feeling actually. It's relief, and triumph, and then defeat as moments later he stabs the thing and Katniss pulls him up and toward me.
She must think I'm the lesser evil as well. It doesn't matter though, because all of us, we are all evil and we can all kill. My legs are a bit shaky when I stand, but I've been trained to work past any pain, to fight and to survive. The largest one, the one that I know is Thresh or was Thresh or represents Thresh (I hope it is the last, and that it is not is or was), jumps and I reach out and grab Peeta in a swift movement, my arms around his neck as I step closer to the edge. It would be easy to throw him over, but I want Katniss to see him die. It's a just revenge. Her arrows can't pierce my armor, and to shoot at my head is tricky, unless she just wanted to end Peeta's misery.
"Shoot me and he goes down with me," I say and she knows I'm right. His death would almost be a victory even if I do die. She'll have to live with the memory of it. That she caused it. I feel my lips stretch into a triumphant smile.
I feel something warm and wet trace my hand in the form of an x, and I know it's Peeta's fingers.. but what does it mean? And then I know what I it means and the smile falls from my lips, because I know what it means, and then an arrow is piercing my hand. While my mind has figured it out, my body betrays me and the pain causes me to release Peeta who in the next moment slams up against me. The blood on the gold is slick and I lose my footing and fall to the ground.
The breath is gone from my lungs again, and the mutts are upon me. I try not look into their faces, I don't want to see her eyes. I cover my face as best as I can, and try to rise to my knees. Their teeth slide against the mesh of my bodysuit, not quite piercing it, but I feel as if I'm a stake being tenderized. I know bruises must be forming beneath the armor.
I stand with a growl of my own, pulling out Clove's knife from my clothing. I wish I had my spear. I let out a howl of pain as one set of claws drags it way shallowly across the back of my neck and I lash out backwards, the knife leaving a spray of blood behind it.
There are twenty of them and only one of me. I kill off a few and I recognize some of them as the Tributes in whose death I've already taken a part of. I just have to get back to the side of the Cornucopia. I feel as if I am a mass of wounds, and my body is shaking. They never trained us for this. They never expected it. I am overpowered finally, one bites down on my hand, sinking teeth through my palm and I drop the knife. There's nowhere to go now, but down.
I beg and plead, but there's no humanity in their eyes. I try to shield my face again, but it doesn't matter. They gnaw and gnaw and I feel blood in the suit from the dull impact. I feel blood on my hands, my neck, my face. I am surrounded by blood.
"Please Clove, you know me. Please." I say to one with dark fur and green eyes. They are not her eyes, there is no recognition in them, nothing but animalistic rage. I think I am delirious due to my pain. I scream as she scrapes her claw against my cheek.
It goes on for hours and hours, until I can no longer speak, and I can only whimper and moan in pain. I beg in my mind for some higher power to end it. I don't care if I don't win. What is life after the Games anyway? I just want the pain to stop. I try at times to drag myself closer to the edge. Sometimes I make it a foot, other times I don't make it all before I'm pulled under the mass of Mutt again.
The sun has risen and I raise my eyes upward and see out of on eye that Katniss is looking over the edge. So they survived the night. I heard her yelling at times for Peeta to wake up, but I could really care less. I only care for the end now.
"Please. Please." I try to say past lips that are no longer really lips. "Please." She has her bow and arrow.
I shift my gaze to the Mutt's and it hurts to look, but I want her eyes to be the last I see.
And then finally the pain stops.
X x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
So my last request for this story: Please tell me what you thought. What POV did you like the most? Who would you have liked to see more of? This story will stay as Cato and Katniss as characgters for a couple days and then I'll be changing it to "other tributes" and changing the summary. Thanks again for all of those who have stuck with this story and for any who decide to read any more by me! 33