A/N: These are fragments of Cato's thoughts in regards to Glimmer, Clove, and the Games. I lean more towards the interpretation the movie gave us. Because, let's face it—Alexander Ludwig is a hot commodity. And a relationship as attractive as Leven and Alexander's shouldn't go to waste xD
The Other Games
"I volunteer as tribute."
These were the words I'd been preparing to say my entire life. It was something I'd rehearsed since I was ten years old, coming from a family line that made weaponry even before the Dark Days. What a relief it had been to them when my parents had me, their youngest child and only son. They wouldn't think to put one of my sisters in the Games. They wanted a Victor to come from their family, not a girl tribute that couldn't run as fast, throw as far or lift as much as a man could. No—if they were going to offer one of their children up for the games, they were going to do it right. The odds would be working in his favor in every way possible. He would be a man.
I smile, as I walk up to the steps and onto the stage. Because, after eighteen years of training and preparation, it was now my time to bring honor to my family and district.
I barely have ten minutes on the train before my mentor Enobaria is already rushing into the room with tapes of the day's reapings.
"Watch twelve last," is the only piece of advice I'm given. "Kill her the first chance you get."
And, as I start watching, I'm immediately overtaken by the first tribute I see. A girl, with long blonde hair and a strut to match, as she walks up to the platform and volunteers in place of a mousy-looking twelve year-old.
"What's your name, sweetheart?"
Glimmer. She says it with a smile, and she looks right into the camera lens, giving Panem a wink.
"Jesus," I mutter, barely able to contain a smile myself. The girl is piece, alright. She's tall and blonde and muscular and everything about her screams hot. But she's also a volunteer, meaning she's as lethal as they come. And strength was the thing I craved the most in a girl, the one thing every girl I'd ever gotten with lacked.
If a blonde bombshell was hot, then a blonde bombshell that could kill me in my sleep was hotter.
"Did you watch Twelve's footage?"
I'm sitting down to breakfast with Clove, shoveling food in my mouth. I nod. "Enobaria thinks the girl is someone to worry about."
Clove has a wicked grin on her face as she's sharpening one of her knives, not touching her food. "Please. She seems like a little bitch. If she can't handle her sister being reaped, how does she expect to handle the arena?"
I look Clove in the eye, and exchange a laugh with her. Because, like me, she gets it. She gets what the Games mean. They mean bringing honor and pride to your district and celebrating something you've trained for years.
I like Clove in that way. She'll understand better than any tribute why I have to kill her.
The opening ceremonies are where I see Glimmer for the first time.
I couldn't tell you what color dress she was wearing, only that from across the room, she was an absolute knockout. And I could tell she was looking right at me, with the same kind of look I was probably giving her. Curious. Scheming. Blatantly under a spell.
Clearly, she'd seen my tape. She knew who was. And like me, she knew I was her type.
"Cato." She's walked over to me, her hands on her hips. "Am I right?"
"And you're the girl from District One." Of course I know her name. It'd been ringing in my head since last night. But I pretend not to.
She extends her hand, and as I reach to shake it, she leans in close and whispers in my ear, "My name's Glimmer. But you already knew that, didn't you?"
I pull back. I can't look stunned. This girl—she was something else.
"Thanks, but it doesn't make any difference," I say. Time to play it the best way I know how. "I already know what I want."
We lock gazes for a second. Our hands are still intertwined, shaking.
She smirks, and I can barely suppress a shiver as it goes up my spine. "Likewise."
For a minute, I forget we're talking about the Games.
Those next days at the training center were the last chances I had to train, and to brush up on any skills I'd need in the weeks to come. I couldn't let myself be distracted. I had to stay focused, and keep my eye on the prize—which was victory.
I was focused alright, and I was as ruthless as ever. But in the quiet moments I had to myself, Glimmer would usually barge in and interrupt them.
Not that I minded.
"Bet you can't do this with a mace," she taunted one day. She picked one up, making a point to test the heaviness of it as she swung it around over her head a few times. She knocked over the dummy she was aiming for, and I watched it tumble to the ground.
Yeah, so maybe I was impressed.
"Maces aren't really my thing." I shrug, and as I watch her turn to me, even I can tell my indifference is forced. Here was a girl I wanted every bit of.
I grabbed a sword, turning to face her.
"Protocol says no fighting against other tributes," she singsongs. I don't see a single flash of fear in her eyes.
"C'mon. Let's see what you're made of."
I offer her a smile. I could afford a crack in my indifferent resolve.
As she grabs the hilt of her sword and swings, I can tell this is the wrong girl to pick a sword fight with. She was good—strong, even. Our weapons clash, and it's a good thing the other tributes are too preoccupied with their meals, because I don't want the others to see what I'm seeing. I don't want them to see the same strong, mesmerizing beauty. She was all mine.
Skilled as she is, I'm the better of the two, and before I know it I have her backed up into a corner. I knock the sword out of her hands and it clatters to the floor. My blade is right up against her neck.
"Well, I guess I've met my match," she breathes as I drop my weapon,
I lean in close to her and say, "Are you talking about your swordfighting? Because if you come after me like that in the arena, you'll be dead before you know it."
These were risky waters I was testing. But my judgment of Glimmer was right. She likes guys like me. She likes the strong, cocky types. She likes the challenge.
She places a finger on my chest. Her face is inches apart from mine. "But you wouldn't do that to me, Cato."
"Who says I wouldn't?"
"You might be a vicious, killing machine, but there's obviously another Game you're trying to win."
I barely know this girl, but I want her so badly I can almost feel my legs shaking under me. This—whatever it was—was undeniable. I didn't fall for girls, and I sure as hell wasn't falling for her. But this desire wasn't an easy kind. Glimmer would make me work for it.
I pull away and say coolly, "You're right. I have met my match."
And, next, we were in the Games.
I'm running headfirst into the Cornucopia, already knowing I'm going into it in an alliance with Clove, Glimmer and Marvel. I don't blink as I kill the boy from District 10, District 8 and District 6. The girl from District 7 goes down without any fight. I'm on top of my game—this is what I was born to do.
And, before I know it, the girl who I'm pointing my sword at is Glimmer.
"Easy there," she says, holding her hands up.
I relax. "It's you."
"Yeah. Watch where you swing that thing. You wouldn't want to lose an ally, would you?"
I pause, looking around. The other tributes have cleared out, and the cannon is going off like crazy. Easily half a dozen lie dead in front of me. Clove is to my right, and Marvel is to my left.
"Allies?" I ask.
Clove steps forward. Unlike Glimmer, she doesn't offer a smile. "Allies." I look to Marvel, and he nods.
And, suddenly, Glimmer has her bow drawn. I snap around, ready to pounce, ready to make the kill.
I'm facing the boy from District 12, and immediately, I'm lunging for the death. I'll end him and his star-crossed lover façade quickly.
"Don't!" he says. I stop short, and though he's trying to hide it, he's terrified. "Don't. I want to be allies."
The others stand ready, waiting for me to make a move, already unanimously picking me as their leader. I keep my sword drawn and steady, and only one thought keeps me from killing him on the spot. Katniss Everdeen. The only person that scored higher than you.
The girl he was supposedly in love with.
"Give me one reason why we should spare you."
"Because I can lead you to her." He's sweating like an animal. "I know her, I know her trademarks and everything. I know where to find her."
"Why would you want her dead?" Now Clove's stepping in, lowering her knife but still gripping it tightly in her hand. "I thought you two were in love."
You can tell by her tone that she's mocking him, and I decide to join.
"Yeah, Lover-boy, what would you want to kill your girlfriend for?"
"She's not my girlfriend." His lips are suddenly very thin. "And she doesn't want me."
Damn. The plea in his voice, the look on his face—I can't help but believe him.
Glimmer's lowering her bow, and Marvel put his spear down. Clove looks at me expectedly, waiting for a reaction.
The boy from Twelve says, "I'm not going to kill you. Jesus, just look at me, I couldn't if I tried. So, for what it's worth—allies?"
I sigh. I could kill him. I know that's what the others would want. But they don't understand. They don't understand that winning the Games means outsmarting everyone—especially a girl with an eleven.
"Okay, Lover-boy," I say as I lower my sword. "We'll let you tag along."
The first night goes by, and the feeling is euphoric. We're not just an alliance—we're a force. I learn soon enough just how handy Marvel is with his spear, and that Clove likes to play with her victims before she kills them. She kills ruthlessly and mercilessly, spilling as much blood as she can. It's almost too much, even for me. Peeta steps in here and there, but he keeps it quick, and always tries to revert the topic back to finding her.
It's Glimmer who's really handy with a knife. She doesn't drag her kills out as much as Clove does, but she sees the fun in it, unlike Peeta. She's vicious, but not too vicious—lethal, but not an untouchable. Not like Clove.
We're walking back to camp that first night. Without really realizing it, I have my arm around Glimmer, and as are walking in the moonlight, I would love to just take a minute and soak in just how well I've done. How I couldn't have my arm around a more beautiful girl.
As we lie down to sleep last night, I let myself take first watch. After a few hours, Glimmer wakes up, stretching out and emerging from her tent. She tries to suppress a shiver in the cold.
"What the hell are you doing?" I say.
"I can't sleep."
I snort. "What, are you scared?"
"No. Not even of you," she counters.
Again, another dazzling smile. Before I know it, I'm laughing.
"What?" she asks.
"All of the little comments . . . you don't realize how much you're getting to me, do you?"
"What are saying?" she asks, a little too innocently. "Please, don't tell me I'm being mean—your ego could use some deflation."
I turn to her. "You know exactly what you're doing, don't you? You're a pro with this stuff."
"You mean seducing boys and making them want me?" she sighs, putting her hand on my shoulder. "Honestly, Cato, you could be a little less obvious about it."
And, there it was. After days of flirting, it was finally out in the open.
"I don't think I'm being obvious at all. Otherwise you wouldn't be working this hard."
For a minute, she doesn't say anything. I know I've gotten her. I feel my hand twitch towards the knife I have beside me, and I'm ready to draw at any second. Provoking Glimmer wasn't a good idea. She could strike.
But she wasn't provoked. She leans in even closer and whispers, "Well, then let me know if it's working."
And, right when I thought she was going to kiss me, she pulls away, getting up and walking for the tent. No. I wouldn't have that. All she did was leave me wanting more. I pull her back, bringing her close to me and saying, "You're not going in there unless I come with you."
Oh, she knew why. She just wants to hear me say it.
And, with that, my resolve leaves me, because I can't stand it a second longer. "Because I want you. I want you so bad. And I can tell you want me to—you don't need to be such a tease about it."
And now, our lips are practically touching. "I'll stop if you do," she breathes she kisses me, full and square on the mouth. There's no resistance, no stopping it, only a flow of hunger and desire as I kiss her back. I knew this game very well—this was my favorite kind of game. And, from the looks of it, I could tell it was hers too. Because this—whatever it was—was more than innocent flirting, more than a chance of a one-night stand. This was fueled with all of the adrenaline of the Games. The possibility that either of us could die at any given minute, and the fact that in the end, only one of us could win. I didn't want to be the one to kill her, but someone had to.
So, in the time being—why not bang her senseless? After all, she'd met her match.
A/N: Ahhh, there. I don't know exactly what this was—it's all reading very Damon/Katherine-y from the Vampire Diaries to me—but I liiiiiiiike it! Just dysfunctional and angsty and flirty and badass enough.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this—getting this out of my head and onto paper was such a relief, I can't begin to tell you.
Now, shoo. Go review~