First Hunger Games fanfiction. Hope you like it:)


"So are you ready for tomorrow?" I ask him.

"I guess. Are you?" he asks.

"Do I have a choice?"

We both laugh.

I'm sitting on the bed in my room in District Two. Cato is sitting in the chair at my desk. He's my best friend and he's going to volunteer tomorrow at the Reaping. He's been training for this after he lost two brothers in the Games. I don't know if he wants to, but he has to. When he doesn't volunteer his father whips him according to his age. So if he didn't volunteer at twelve he would be whipped twelve times. And he's never whipped in the same spot. His dad changes places every year. Since he's seventeen he's been whipped on his back, legs, arms, stomach, and chest. His dad is running out of places.

"Cato, just promise me one thing."

"What's that?"

"Come back. I wouldn't know how to carry on if you didn't-"And suddenly the tears are flowing. I don't mean for them too but they do.

"Hey. Clove. I'll come back. Don't worry about me. Whatever you see on that screen, no matter how gruesome, brutal, and bloody it may be, just know I'm doing that to survive. To come home."

"Promise?"

"Promise." He says wrapping me in a tight embrace.

"Clove it's ten o clock. The Reaping is tomorrow morning at ten. You need to get some sleep."

I climb under the covers and Cato tucks me in. He turns to walk out but I catch his wrist.

"Cato, I'm scared."

"Of what?"

"What if I'm picked? I don't have any older siblings that would volunteer for me."

"You won't get picked. There are a lot of teenagers in District Two. Odds are you won't get picked."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive."

"Cato, will you stay with me tonight?"

"Clove I have a family that probably wants me there tonight since I'll be in the Capitol tomorrow night."

"Okay. Goodnight Cato."

"Goodnight Clove."

After Cato's gone I nestle under the covers and try to block out the world. It helps a little but my sleep is filled with nightmares of losing Cato. Every way you can imagine. It feels like it's been only a few minutes when I hear:

"Clove? Clove? Clove, wake up. Clove?"

"I'm up."

"Clove?"

"I said I'm-Cato? What are you doing here? It's the middle of the night."

He flips the light on. And that's when I see the extent of his injuries. Black eye, bloody nose, and a busted lip.

"Did your father do this to you?"

"Clove, I want you to come with me right now."

"Why?"

"Just do it."

"No. I want an explanation."

"Fine. We'll do this the hard way."

He scoops me up like a groom does his bride.

"Cato. Put. Me. Down."

"Clove, listen to me. When we walk out of here I want you to shut your eyes. Don't open them until I say."

"Why? Cato, what the heck is going on?"

"Ready?"

"I guess."

"Okay. Shut your eyes."

I close my eyes tight and after a minute or two I feel the cool, crisp night air hit my body.

Why are we outside? Why did he tell me to close my eyes? What's going on?

He walks some more. And I'm being lowered onto something soft. When he finally tells me I can open my eyes I am sitting in the middle of his bed.

"Cato. What is going on?"

"Clove, just get some rest."

"Cato?" No response. "Cato?"

I lay back onto the bed and somehow I find sleep.

When I open my eyes, Cato is changing into his reaping clothes. Simple khaki pants and green polo. When he changes shirts and I see his bare back, I whistle.

He jumps. "Jeez Clove. You could warn me next time. I almost had a heart attack."

I laugh. "So why am I here?"

"No time for questions. We have thirty minutes until the Reaping. You need to get dressed."

"I don't have any clothes here."

"Don't worry I went back to your house and grabbed this."

He holds up a simple black dress that comes down to just above my knees.

"Okay. What about make-up?"

"Don't worry, you look better without it."

I get out of bed and step into the dress. I brush my hair and put on the black flats that Cato brought over with the dress.

Twenty minutes.

If we're going to make it in time we need to leave now. And we do.

We get to the Square with minutes to spare. The mayor welcomes us to the Reaping and reads the Treaty of Treason. I've heard it for four Reapings. I basically have it memorized. Our escort, Milliscent Poutry, always starts with the girls.

"Clove Hemmingway."

Me. That's me. How on Earth could it be me? My name one was one in thousands. Thousands. My feet shuffle forward. Not because they want to but because they have to. I look at Cato. His face is a mix of anger, sadness, and pain.

She crosses the stage to the boy's bowl.

"Harlan Bradshaw."

"I volunteer." The voice is unmistakable. Cato.

"District Two; I give you your tributes for the 74th Hunger Games: Cato Lamerson and Clove Hemmingway."

We are marched to the Justice Building but apparently neither of us has any visitors. What about my parents? Are they too hurt to see me? And his parents? Aren't they proud of him? Anyway. We get on the Tribute Train that is waiting for us. We are shown to our private rooms and told that lunch is in an hour. Cato's room is right across from mine.

I spend a few minutes looking around my room and bathroom when I decide to grab a snack. I didn't eat breakfast so I'm kinda hungry. On my way to get a snack I see Cato out on the balcony that is at the end of the train car. I walk out there to him.

"I'm sure your dad is proud of you."

Tears spill out of his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Cato." I hug him. He hugs me back and lifts me off the ground. He's about 6'3". I'm only 5'3". He buries his head in my hair. "I didn't mean to upset you." He sets me on the ground.

"I'm not worried about my dad, I'm worried about you."

"Cato, I'll be fine. I haven't exactly trained my whole life for this but I've been to the Training Center a couple times and I'm pretty handy with a knife."

"I know. I've watched you a couple of times."

"Okay. Then what's the problem?"

"If one of us win that means the other's death. Clove, I can't kill you."

"And I can't kill you either."

Brutus, one of our mentors, comes by and announces its lunch time. No one really talks during lunch. We just eat what comes our way. The recap of the Reapings will be shown at 4:00. That gives me enough time to take a nap or something.

I decide to take a shower and nap. The water is like silk flowing over my body. I dry off and find a big t-shirt in one of the drawers. I crawl under the covers with my hair still wet and fall asleep. I'm woken up by Cato who tells me that the Reapings are about to be televised. Really? Have I slept that long?

District One comes up with some nice tributes. Both volunteers. Glimmer and Marvel. Then there's our District. Cato volunteers for Harlan and no one volunteers for me. Districts Three, Four and Five go by with only the girl from Five that peaks my interest. Districts Six-Ten don't come up with much but District Eleven pulls a monstrous boy and a small twelve year-old girl. District Twelve actually had some action this year, a girl named Katniss volunteered for her sister and then a boy named Peeta is chosen. No one volunteers for him. Supper is served but I don't eat much and then we are sent to bed. As soon as I close my eyes I know there is no possible way I'm going to sleep anytime soon. I slip out and walk across the hall to Cato's room. I knock.

"Cato? You asleep?"

"Nah. You can come in."

I open the door and walk across the room to sit on the bed with him.

"So, what do you think of the other tributes?"

"I don't want to talk about the tributes. Not tonight."

"Okay. I'm gonna go back to my room then."

"No, Clove stay here."

"Why?"

"Because you are the only piece of home that I have left."

"Alright, I'll stay."

"Good."

I crawl into bed next to him. I turn to face him. And suddenly he presses his lips against mine. And I don't pull away until he does.

"I'm sorry, Clove. I don't know what came over me."

"It's fine." And this time it's me who makes the first move.

He winces in pain.

"I'm sorry. I forgot about your lip. Speaking of, what happened?"

"What this? Oh nothing. I fell."

"Uh huh. Tell me the truth."

"Okay. Last night I was lying in bed after I left your house. I wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon so I went for a run. As I was coming back home I noticed your house lights were on, which was strange because I turned them all of when I left. So I ducked my head in to say hi to your parents or you or whoever was up when I heard something metal hit the floor. All I know is I punched someone and someone went outside the back door after getting a few good this on me as you can tell by my face."

"Oh. Well who was it?"

"Who?"

"The people in my house. Did you see them before they ran out?"

"No. I didn't get a good look at them."

"So, you brought me over to your house to keep me safe?"

"Yes. And so you wouldn't have to wake up to find your dead parents."


Surprise! Actually it probably wasn't. Yall probably knew it all along. Review, review,review...pweaseeeee:)

-Lauren