Thanks for all the great reviews! But I'm really sad to say that this is the last chapter of the story. :( I might write another version, where they both live with more actual Clato. (I know, I didn't put a lot in this story) Still deciding on that, so let me know what you think. Anyway, I hope you like reading the last part of the story, as bittersweet as it was for me to write.
That morning, I wake up, still curled into his arm and extract myself from it before he wakes up. I'd feel stupid if he caught me. I eat and then carefully put my knives into my jacket. Most days in the arena, I don't care about my hair, but today I pull it back tightly, out of neccessity, rather than vanity. I don't want my hair flying my face today.
I wake up Cato saying, "Ready?" He nods and eats the leftover squirrel from the night before. We head for the forest that skirts the Cornucopia field. No one else is in sight. The Cornucopia is still empty. "Remember the plan?" he asks. "Of course, I do. I came up with it", I scoff. "Carve her up good. And just...be careful, okay?" That was unexpected.
But as he says it, I realize I don't want to lose him either. Not just because I don't want to be alone in the arena, I could handle that. In fact, I do better on my own. But just because I don't want to lose him. I dismiss those thoughts from my head instantly though. Those kinds of things aren't going to help me concentrate.
Still, I say, "You too". He moves off to a different surveillance spot and I keep watching through the trees. A metal table rises up through a slot in the ground. Four backpacks rest on it with the numbers 2, 5, 11, and 12. And there's District 5, actually racing out of the Cornucopia, grabbing her backpack and running off into the woods.
I hear Cato racing after her through the woods and then I see her. Katniss running in to grab her own backpack off the table. I send a knife whistling through the air, which she hears coming and deflects with her bow. Glimmer's bow. Stolen off her body. That only enrages me more and the next knife I throw cuts a deep gash in her forehead. Even so, she manages to shoot an arrow that would have hit my head, if I hadn't deflected it, causing it to hit my arm.
But I keep going after her, pushing her over and onto the ground. "Where's your boyfriend, District 12? Still hanging on?" I goad her. "He's out there right now. Hunting Cato", she smirks. "Peeta!"
I punch her throat, cutting off her voice, but her words make me look around for a moment. I don't want to be caught off guard by Lover Boy. No one appears. "Liar", I laugh. "He's nearly dead. Cato knows where he cut him. You've probably got him strapped up in a tree somewhere while you try to keep his heart going. What's in that pretty little backpack?" I ask, eyeing the tiny pouch she's holding with the 12 on it.
"Medicine for Lover Boy? Too bad he'll never get it". I open my jacket, displaying the many knives that I stashed there earlier. I grab a small one, about the size of a butter knife. But this has wickedly sharp edge, with a slight point on the end.
I push her down to the ground again, pinning her place as she desperately tries to get away. I'm far stronger though. "I promised Cato that if he let me have you I'd give the audience a good show". And suddenly I want so badly to hear her scream. To hear her pay for Four and Glimmer and Marvel.
She tries hard to move out of my grasp, but my hold on her is like iron. "Forget it, Twelve. We're going to kill you. Just like we did with..what's her name? That pathetic litle ally of yours. The one who hopped around in trees? Rue?" Her eyes flash with rage and pain and I know I've hit on something that hurts her. "Well, first Rue, than you, and I think we'll just let nature take care of Lover Boy. How does that sound?"
I hold her face in place as I survey it. "Now where to start?" I wipe the blood from the knife wound I gave her earlier. She tries to bite at my hand, but I hold her back by her hair, pushing her back. "I think, we'll start with your mouth, hmm?" I trace the outline of her lips with the blade of the knife, laughing as I see her expression.
"Yes, I don't think you're going to have much use for them anymore. Want to blow Lover Boy one last kiss?" She spits sticky saliva and blood across my cheek. I wipe it off, and say, "Fine. Let's get started". I make a small cut along the side of her mouth, tiny drops of blood falling from it when something yanks me back.
I scream as I'm dropped down hard on the grass. "What'd you do to that little girl? You kill her?" Thresh asks menacingly. Though it hardly matters now, it appeared I was right to fear the wheatfields. I crawl backward quickly, saying, "No! No, it wasn't me!" "I heard you say her name. I heard you. You kill her? You cut her up like you were going to cut up this girl here?"
"No!" I say. I take notice of the huge stone in his even larger hands. "Cato! CATO!" I scream as loudly as I possibly can. But it doesn't make a difference. The stone collides with my head and I fall down to the grass, silently.
The pain explodes in my head, like a small brain sized bomb going off. It's a strange feeling, this being suspended between life and death. Unable to get up and keep walking, but not quite dead yet. Like the moments right before you fall asleep, unmoving, unfocused, but still conscious.
"Clove!" I can hear him in the distance, his voice distorted, like I'm hearing it from underwater. I couldn't say what dredged up the memory, but I remember Cato saying, "Just be careful". I wasn't. It's ironic, in a way, being killed, not for one of the many deaths I did cause, but for one I didn't. And then he's there, crouched over me, spear still in one hand.
"Clove! Clove, come on, just hang on! We're going to win, we're going to be victors together!" But we're not. I know we're not, and I can accept that. Winning and not winning. It doesn't seem to matter now. "It's okay. You can still win. You can win for me", I whisper, matter-of-factly.
I don't wish for things to be different. I don't panic. I simply let the drowsiness I feel take over, and start to close my eyes. I can hear him still, "Clove, I-" For a moment I want to hang on, to have life left for just one more second, so I can hear what he says. But death isn't something you can tell to wait.
And I fall asleep to the sound of a cannon.