takes out sword* Sever my head. DO it. I'm sos soosososososososos sorry that I havent been uploading lately. Yell at me all you want. And this chapter is.. kinda a filler.. You'll get your money's worth soon. Again, My apologize for my procrastination skills. ALSO ON A SIDE NOTE. Do any of you chatzy? If so I have a chatzy link where me and my friend co writing this chatzy :D I'm Johanna and She's Enobaria. Pm me for the link! Neverless. On with it. It's really really short compared to my other chapters.

He's alive.
He's okay.
But that doesn't stop me from stumbling backwards, landing onto the twig ridden ground again.

Thump.

My body shudders from the impact, my lungs trying to collect some wisps of air as they squeeze tighter. My mind reels into a daze, unaware if what is in front of me is real or if it is merely an illusion created by the thundering pounding coursing through my body.
Cato is alright. That somewhat calms me, but my pulse picks itself up again as I see his perfectly chiseled body laying two meters from me, the tight charcoal shirt stretched tight across his heaving muscles. I see my district partner is out of breath too. Great.
A groan escapes my trembling lips, finally processing that Cato is okay. I am okay. The knives in my satchel are okay, and, if I wanted too, I could easily slit his throat right now. He is down, this is probably one of the only times I will have the advantage over him. But something stops me, My mind won't let me think about Cato dying. It perishes the thought.
I start to hack and cough, my chest rising higher and higher with every stifle and shudder.
"Clove?" I hear him croak, through a similar raspy film like I have. Cato gets up slowly, at a leisurely pace, craning his neck and stretching out his broad muscles.
I on the other hand, am still panting, my breath heavy on my face, as if it to lacks the strength to soar into the air and float away. So much for having the upper hand.
"Clove? Are you okay?" Cato now walks toward me, trying to shake off a limp in his stride. Leaves and sticks are attached to his skin-tight shirt, barely hanging onto the stretchy material as his body sways next to mine.
"Clove? Hello? I said are you ok?" I blink once, then again, making sure that the dots in my vision are fading away. Shaking my head slightly (causing my temples to throb) I pinch my eyebrows together in concentration and refuse to make eye contact with Cato. He will not assist me again.
"Okay fine, don't tell me, at least let me help you up," Cato husked, almost demanding me too accept his outstretched hand. But I don't. I simply shake my head once more.
"What! You can't talk now! Your tongue wasn't so hidden a minute or two ago!" I take a deep breath, patting my palms dry on the remainder of the pants while still laying on the soft crunchy earth. Then, I prop a hand behind me, struggling to place my legs to support my weight. Rage finally consumes me and takes over as I get the sudden burst of energy I need to stand.
I build myself up to look Cato straight in the eye, but not with the caring or forgiving stare I know he wants. In fact, it's more of a glare, filled with malice and hate. I'll make sure I end this now. He needs to know where I stand. We're either equal, or we're nothing.
"You know what Cato!" I spit, throwing my scratched up arms in the air in a way which I suppose could be perceived as defeat, but we both know it is a request for him to leave me alone. To stop treating me like a child. To stop coddling me. These are the games, love will only break me down, not make me stronger!
We're no star-crossed lovers from District 12. We've trained. Our literal strength is our strength, not any metaphorical, lovey-dovey bullshit. We're here to fight. Not to fall in love. I ignore the shallow whisper slurring in my head, telling me I don't want to give up on this. Saying I don't want to give up on whatever dysfunctional relationship we have right now. Cato has been as hard as diamond through the games, but he still seems to care. But for how long? I ask myself. I am, in the long run, just another obstacle .
I should have stabbed him twenty seconds ago when he was down.
"What?" Cato screams. I hear a deer in the distance start to run along with a few flocks of birds fly into the open sky. I wish I could run with them. But I can't. Before I can face anything else in the arena, I must face Cato.
"I'm not some robot! Not like you think I am! I'm not going to stand here and let you use me when it's convenient for you! … I'm not going to do it Cato. Not anymore..." My words at first came out harsh and rough, my mind forgetting to stop my heart from speaking for itself. Then, they become soft and crumbling, similarly to the walls that I have guarded me for years.
Propping myself up against a tree, I sigh, then start to drink my half empty water bottle dry. I shake it once, forcing the small cedar coloured pouch to squeeze a large sloshing of liquid out, and despite the fact it is only water, it feels thick and gelatinous in my hands. As I weigh it up, I barely notice it slip until I feel it lightly tap my foot.
"Crap." I mutter under my breath, very aware of Cato's eyes trailing and tracing my every movement. His eyes fix on my foot where the droplets landed, and I hiss. "It's not that interesting!" I snap, going to fill my palms with another dose of water, before realizing the original liquid has not left my hands.
Perplexed, I can do nought but stare. If it wasn't the water that hit my foot, what was it? That's when my eyes first catch the glimpse of a large, bulky, man-made container laying three feet away from me.
A long, silver parachute drapes across and rests on my foot, wrapping my boot in a sparkly coating. That's what I felt hit me. My first sponsor.
I praise my mentor for breaking the awkwardness. There could be rotten eggs in here for all I care now. At least it killed the mood.
I walk towards it, falling to my knees to rest my hand on the ribbed exterior, but I notice it won't budge. I set my empty pouch down, and tried again with both hands, then once more time, but the sleek bands of silver metal were not helpful, they clamped shut, as if they were made to piss my off. I bet this is Brutus' idea of a joke.
My fury begins to build again, and I'm ready to kick the damn thing across the arena (maybe it will hit a tribute in the head and prove itself useful?) when I feel Cato's thick hands stop my foot in mid-air, holding it nonchalantly as he grabs the handle of the gift and lifts it off the ground.
My heart starts to pound as my eyes blatantly follow him, as he stalks off and examines the box. You'd think they'd teach us how to open the freaking things, if we're going to get them. I wonder if anyone's actually been killed whilst trying to figure out how to break into their sponsorship parachutes? If anyone's ever been so distracted that they've simply forgotten to acknowledge the competition? For some of the idiots that enter these Games, that seems plausible.
Cato's face screws up in focus, his blond hair starting to become lighter in the weathering sun.
I feel stupid. Idiotic even. Two Careers can't even get open their parachute. Pathetic.
It isn't until he places the box on his calf, and slams down on it with his fist that it breaks open with a single click. It's like it's been taunting us, and it's finally given up and took pity. Great. Now I'm even getting the sympathy vote off of inanimate objects. Fabulous.
He passes me the slip of paper inside, that I know will be from our mentors. Our fingers brush and tingles rush through my veins. I brush it off. I must.
Holding the slip steadily up to the sun, I read the fine, smooth, printed letters.
"Have fun ~ E&B"
Have fun? That's it? No advice, not helpful comments? Just have fun? If I ever get out of this arena, I will punch them both. Even if it means a broken fist and bitten neck.
Disregarding the useless note with a flick of my wrist, my eyes flicked toward the hulking object that was in Cato's hands. It was defiantly a bottle of something, I could make out a pearly white texture inside, protected by thick looking plastic. In large, pristine, black letters, a single word stood out n the side. Bleach.
Bleach. Really?
Why in hell would Enobaria send me bleach? It's not exactly very helpful! What, I am going to have to clean something? Is she implying I need a bath. Cheeky bitch! Next time I see her, I'll get the bleach, and shove it up her...
"Us." Cato's voice cut though my ramblings. I hadn't realized I had been speaking out loud. Or, at least, I must have been mumbling.
"Fine," I snap back coolly. "Us."
But I still don't understand. Why bleach? And the little note 'have fun'? I mean, fun in the games is whacking idiots with a sword, or a knife, or hacking them with axes. Watching their blood spray everywhere in some kind of creepy gore-fest. Why would we need bleach for fun?
Then it hit me.
Literally and mentally. Cato placed the thick, heavy jug of bleach in my hands, causing my uneven footage to slip, and fall. My arms were extended, trying to balance the bleach and catch a hold on something, anything.
And anything meant Cato.
"Clove!" I heard his stark shout slice through the sylvan melody while ringing in my ears. My foot slipped farther as Cato's rough hands held me up, the heavy bottle resting awkwardly in-between us.
"I'm fine. Let me go" I remarked coolly as my emotions clashed together.
I'm angry. Angry at myself for allowing my feelings to brew. Angry at Cato for causing this... this... I didn't even have a word to describe it. My mind settled on the word uprising. Uprising fit well. My feelings should be bland and unwanted. I'm also very angry at him for many other things. Things that I wont say. Things that are better left right in the deepest, darkest part of my head.
Cato pushed me upwards towards him, trying to save me from falling as my feet slipped farther and farther. It's funny because he cares more about me then I do.
"Cato! Let. Me. Go." I grunt, trying to get out of his embrace, but still attempting to re-gain my footing. His body felt hot against mine, radiating warmth and emotions like a heater.
"Fine!" I hear him remark, feeling him letting my go. At first I think I'm balanced, so I step back cockily, only to hit my head against the cool slippery mud as my legs slide from under me. I was fine, until the bottle crushed down on my stomach, winding me completely.
My throat hacks up a cough, enough for Cato to cave into his soft side and bend down to pick me up. I stutter, shielding the sun in my eyes.
"Don't." I demand. Why I said that was more for my reasons than his. Infact, it's entirely fr my reasons. If he lifts me now, what was the point of the conversation prior? None, apart from wasting even more valuable arena time.
I see his blue eyes look down at me and his lips pout. "Clove..." His voice trailed as he notice I did nothing to allow him to help me. So, instead of getting me up, he kneels down, his face not an inch from mine. His hands cupped my cheeks, forcing me to look up at him. There was no escape, no where to hide. Fuck.
"Listen, Clove. I know you don't like me like I like you..".
"How do you know that Cato?" I interrupt without thinking. My minds gone on vacation again, it's still considering the whole bleach escapade, leaving my heart to deal with Cato. Bad decision.
Cato blinks, obviously confused.
"So, you do?" His eye brow arches dramatically as he adjusts his hands to either let me go or pull him closer to me.
My mind snaps back for a second and allows me to shake my head. Then, it goes walking again and leaves my body to deal with the consequences.
"Jesus Clove, is it that hard of a question! It's a yes no fucking answer!" He spit, letting me go once again. I watch as his face morphs to a wash of white, then flush to a bright scarlet red, before settling on an angry violet.
He stands up and begins to storm away, not very fast, but his fury is evident. Shoving the bleach bottle of my stomach, I stumble to my feet and lunge for Cato.
My voice comes out raspy and screechy as my hands fumble around him, my mind unaware of what I am doing. I think right now my mind and heart and working together to make one messed up lapse of judgment.
"Cato. No, I..." My sight starts to loose focus and my vision becomes spotted with white stars. My stomach begins to twist into a cramp and I can feel the beads of sweat trickle from my forehead down the bridge of my nose. I'm not sure what's wrong, but it makes me feel physically sick. Maybe it's what I'm about to say.
Just say it Carione. It's not like you're both going to be alive much longer.
"Yes Cato. I-I... I do."