So…. I have no idea where this came from, it was originally meant to be a Cato/Clove with a little mention of Glimmer after I saw Cato and Glimmer lying together in the movie and then… this happened. So it's quite long and even though it seems to stretch on for like months, it really only happens over the space of a few days, maybe like a week I guess coz the games aren't that long. Despite the Random-y pairing I'm actually really proud of this ha-ha. So read and review, Thanks!
Title: Rather Hurt Then Feel Nothing At All.
Synopsis: "This isn't about you Marvel," she warns him. This could be anyone, we could be anyone./ Once upon a time there was a girl with emerald eyes.
Genre: Angst, Romance
Pairings: Clove/Marvel, Cato/Glimmer, mentions of former Cato/Clove
No one can find the rewind button girl,
So cradle your head in your hands.
[Fairy tales end where they do for a reason.]
There once was a girl with emerald eyes.
She is her mother's daughter.
Distant and aloof, beautiful and unattainable; desperately frightened of real emotions, (hearts are victims, never victors,) with a constant beat that runs through her veins telling her to never let anyone get too close.
And she can't shake it off. It's the example she was raised by, an unbreakable habit. Not me, she used to think stubbornly, never me. She watches her mother,
(Or her near lifeless body at the dining table,)
And makes a list, of all the mistakes she would not make as a mother. She commits them to memory.
Then she is sent to the academy and is taught how to kill, steal the life from other children. And suddenly her mother's lifeless form seems like her future.
There is a boy,
(It's nothing epic, ninety-nine per cent of all stories start with a boy.)
Once upon a time there was a girl with emerald eyes. She met a boy.
Cato is golden and blonde and tall and strong and perfect. Everyone tells her how fiercethey are together; how perfect. Perfection's all she's ever wanted, after all. They become allies, training for when they will finally enter the arena together. Sometimes, late at night when no one would ever notice and she will never admit, she has dreams, visions of their future in the arena when they are the final two left. Some show him killing her, swift and fast. The other ones, the worse ones, show her killing him; watching the life drain from his eyes as she feels her own soul leaving her body.
But then she's being weak, and that is the one thing she can never afford to be, not even for a moment. Clove has always had her rules and this one is the most important:
[In the arena, if you're weak for even a moment, you're dead.]
So she pushes her feelings back into the very back of her chest and doesn't give them another thought.
She's sixteen years old when she is sent to the capitol. Well, she sends her self really, determined to win and take the glory that she's always wanted. Or maybe she's running away. She isn't sure. She could like it here in the capitol, no one here really cares about anything at all. They don't care about me; she tells herself in the mirror, I don't care about me.
She smiles and schemes and aims and does whatever they want her to do to live outside of an arena. Because she has to win this, she has to. But there are other children here who look younger than her by decades; children barely old enough to be reaped and she wonders if she kills them, can she push that down to the back of her bruised and bleeding heart?
(You can't kill the man without becoming the monster.)
Once upon a time there was a girl with emerald eyes. She met a boy. She fell in love.
[No one ever told the princess she wasn't supposed to love the prince.]
She isn't stupid, to think that of her would a fatal mistake. But she picks up on things, like the way Cato looks at Glimmer. She understands it, really she does because Glimmer is pretty and golden and like the summer time. But that doesn't lessen the ache Clove feels in her chest when she looks over to see Glimmer stroking Cato's face. And she can feel it, all the emotion that she's kept secret starting to come up her throat like vile and she can't take it and she runs, taking only her knife,
(Because she can still kill, she can and she will until they're all gone and only she is left.)
She runs until she finds a clearing then throws her knife into the first moving thing she can spot before sinking to the ground.
The sound of footsteps makes her look up but she can't even bring herself to fight right now.
Clove looks down at her hands and Marvel walks into the clearing, "Clove."
"How long have you been sitting there?"
Clove shrugs too-skinny shoulders, the planes of her body stretching painfully and her skin crumbles off her body into dust and nothingness, "I don't know."
"Glimmer's a whore, that's her whole tactic; if he's weak enough to fall for that then he deserves to die earlier."
Clove thinks, No that isn't right, because you're the one who is weak, not Cato. Cato is just… he's Cato.
Marvel throws himself to the ground next to her, so close that his ankle grazes with hers. Normally Clove would hiss, push him away, and maybe even hold a knife to his throat. But she doesn't have the energy to fight it, not now; and she needs a friend.
(One that is not golden and blonde that is.)
Marvel knots his fingers in her hair and for a moment, Clove forgets about the games and her need to conquer and win. She forgets about his weakness and how eventually one of them will have to kill the other.
For a moment, they're both just sixteen. She's just a girl who's just had her heart broken, and he's just a boy who's there to stop her shattering like glass.
Clove never wanted anyone in the games to see her cry because it would give them all kinds of ammunition.
"This isn't about you Marvel," she warns him. This could be anyone, we could be anyone.
But right then he covers her lips with his and she feels the tears run down her face.
Marvel never mentions it.
That night Glimmer tiptoes over to rest within Clove's embrace, their cold bodies wrapped together and Clove shimmers and looks at the only girl who is her ally, her sister and the only one who will understand what she's feeling,
(Or not feeling,)
And presses their foreheads together.
"I'm sorry," Glimmer whispers, her beautiful, blue eyes wide with fright.
"It's okay, Marvel –" Clove settles, because Glimmer never set out to hurt her, it just happens sometimes, with the games the way they are.
"As much as possible."
The two girls lie in silence and say no more, but Clove reaches over and links her pinkie with Glimmer's.
It is almost enough.
The next morning Clove awakens to find Glimmer lying in Cato's arms and she runs away, but only to the edge of the Cornucopia.
Clove thinks this is what progress must feel like.
She tears the band aid off her heart, it's supposed to hurt less that way; and let's herself feel it all for a moment:
Her childhood and Cato's arms around her as he showed her how to throw a knife and the smiles that made her feel something close to anything in her heart.
This is letting go.
Well not really, but love is over rated.
So maybe there is a new boy, a fresh start. He's different, he's all hers. If she wanted to, maybe…
(It's nothing epic, she reminds herself, only one of you is going to make it out of here alive.)
Except, she forgets sometimes, like she's lying in his arms at night.
She forgets when he does things like make promises about tomorrow.
She remembers when he looks at her like she's about to shatter into a million pieces.
And maybe she is; or maybe she already has, and he's just being careful trying to scatter the pieces around.
He says I love you, and she wishes he hadn't.
This is nothing. In a few days one or both of them will be dead, nothing. This is nothing, just –
It's a rule she knows so well by now she doesn't even have to say it out loud.
"Love is over rated," she whispers to herself over and over.
He sweeps her off her feet one night, literally,
But this isn't, it can't be –
She can't lie to herself any longer when he slams her against the tree and kisses her while her heart flies away somewhere she cannot catch it.
Doesn't want to either.
"I love you," he whispers into her skin as he kisses her underneath the stars, a mantra of her body.
ILoveYou. ILoveYou. ILoveYou. ILoveYou. ILoveYou. ILoveYou.
"I Love you to," She whispers against his lips.
He kisses her and it feels like gravity.
When The Girl on Fire drops the Tracker Jacker nest onto them and they run to the lake; she doesn't not realise until hours later,
(After they have pulled out the stings from their skin. After they found Glimmer's battered and bloodied body. After Cato tore up everything in sight and raged and sobbed and screamed,)
She is still holding Marvel's hand.
For a moment it almost feels domestic.
But whatever, they're both only sixteen and it's not like they have a future. Because future for one of them means taking the others away.
When their food supply is destroyed she looks away from Marvel for just a moment to witness Cato's rage; his pure, unadulterated fury. When she looks back and realises he is gone she knows what it means.
"He's going to die," she whispers.
"Damn straight, they all will," Cato tells her, not realising what she means.
"No, Marvel. He's about to die," She informs him calmly.
Then suddenly she is screaming.
She hears the canon sounds and starts to run towards the sound, because maybe, just maybe, she can make it.
She was always taught to be better and it's running through her mind like a mantra now,
If you run faster.
If you had paid more attention.
If you were stronger.
But you aren't.
The voices taunt her.
Cato's arms lock around her, "Do you think I'm going to let you go there so Fire Girl can kill you to?"
Clove goes weak in his arms, "She'd only be finishing the job," she murmurs.
The heat wave burns through the arena after Marvel's death.
Clove kind of feels like she's burning with it; the days stretch on endlessly, with nothing for her to achieve. Most of the tributes are dead; Thresh and Katniss are the only real competition. Lover Boy and the little one from five will fade sooner or later. And then there is her and Cato.
She has nothing left to work toward. All her goals have disappeared, Marvel is gone, and her heart is gone to.
And Clove feels like she could float away; drift up into the sky and never come back.
That night Cato turns to her, "Clove, are you alright?"
Clove pauses, afraid to show her weakness to Cato,
(She was never afraid of Marvel, maybe that was her downfall,)
"I feel," She tries oh-so-hard to feel it again, "I don't feel."
Cato nudges her with his sword, but only hard enough to leave a slight scratch, clearly unsatisfied with this answer.
So Clove tells him, about how Marvel used to whisper in her ear about things not related to the games, how he'd stroke his finger over her collar bone as his way of letting her know he'd loved her, as much as a career ever could. Most importantly, about how before he'd betrayed them; how Lover Boy had talked to her about Marvel, and how'd he'd talked to her like she was a robot.
"Lover Boy is weak and stupid; he'll be dead by morning."
"But what if he's right? The only time I ever felt was with Marvel and now he's gone and what if," she pauses, afraid to voice her true concern out loud, "what if I've felt everything I'll ever feel and now I'm empty?"
"You're not empty Clove; you've got more heart than anyone else to ever come from District Two."
Clove tips her head back to look at the stars, at the spot where the faces of dead tributes was shown, where Marvel's face had been shown, "I just feel so, broken," she confesses.
"Well," Cato concedes, "That's a feeling."
When the game makers announce that two champions from the same district can win, she feels Cato's arms crush her mid-section, "We're going home," he whispers, "We're going home, both of us. Together. Like always. Like forever."
Like Glimmer and Marvel never even existed at all.
There is a fest and Clove goes while Cato hunts down Thresh. Clove is so broken, so empty without Marvel, she does not even think about using the fest as a way to hunt down the remaining tributes, so when she sees the little one from five dart forward she does not even reach for her knife.
Then there is Fire Girl.
And all at once, Clove feels something.
She also finally understands Cato, how he is so angry all the time, so destructive. Because Marvel is gone, dead and it hurts and she's broken and now she wants to break the Girl from Twelve.
She is a hurricane, a force of nature. Clove does not even feel human anymore, she simply wants to kill.
"You're pathetic little ally, what was her name again? Rue?"
Clove does not know why she is mentioning the child from eleven, twisted as she was even before entering the arena, even in training she did not want to be the one to kill the little mocking jay child.
But Marvel had done it; he had done it for Clove and gotten himself killed. For what. A pathetic child that they could have taken at any moment. So Clove hates the child from eleven with all her being because she is the sacrifice that lost her Marvel.
Clove goes in for the kill when she feels arms lock around her waist.
Thresh; the one Cato was supposed to stop.
Maybe Cato let him go as a way to ensure his individual win.
Not like Clove wanted a forever with him anyway.
Clove feels the blinding pain searing through her skull and then her entire body. She sees a million moments beneath her eyelids, of her childhood, of Cato, of The Capitol and of Marvel.
Linked pinkies with Glimmer and Marvel's whispers across her skin and the way his eyes had shined from the glint of her blades.
Clove used to think of death as a weakness, but now; she cannot complain. She has done terrible things in her life, in this arena. Living with no Marvel and only her memories of the horrors she committed seems like an unfortunate future anyway. Part of her hopes Cato wins,
(The other, innocent part of her roots for the lovers from twelve.)
There once was a girl with emerald eyes.
Cloves last thoughts are of a poem Marvel had whispered to her under the moonlight once.
Sometimes first love is a little like salvation,
(In you my salvation lies.)
Sometimes first love is a little like a parachute,
(I'll catch you when you fall.)
First love makes you brave enough to take the leap,
And let it catch you,
(Let someone catch you.)
Become and collide with me,
(Fall in love, lawlessly.)