Two one shots within hours of each other? I think yes. Seriously though, I think my sleep deprivation is getting to me. Unlike most of my one shots, this one's meant to be more humorous and lighter, but I tried to keep it with the feel of the Games. Sorry if they're too OOC, writing Careers to be funny but yet staying in character isn't exactly my forte. Ah well, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games.
In District 2, there were three things that were known about me:
1.I have a twin who couldn't be more of a moron.
2. I am a little (in my opinion more than a little, but whatever) on the insane side, but that was okay because that meant I would win the Games when I got older.
3. Under no circumstances does anyone lay one scrawny finger on my knifes, unless they want said scrawny finger to get hacked off. Which I could easily comply to.
Apparently, this boy with the blond hair and cocky expression was not aware of Rule three. Probably two also, considering if he knew the assumed state of my mental health he would be no where near me.
"What exactly do you think you're doing?" I said in my best intimidating voice, arms crossed as I hovered behind him. There was my knife-one of my personal favorites, Delilah, all sharp and thin-lodged deep in the target, his hand grasping the hilt. This cretin had an obvious death wish. When he looked up at me I smirked on the inside: Cato Retan, District 2 heart throb and jerk face extraordinaire, only son of past victor and destined to dominate in the Games when he volunteered. Of course, he would most likely never get the chance if he did not step away and wrench his slimy grasp from Delilah right now.
"Just admiring your aim," he said casually, as if we were two friends having a pleasant conversation over afternoon tea. "I must say, not bad for a little girl," he smirked. Not the first time, I cursed my freakishly short size for a nine year old, which wasn't helped by the fact that this kid was a freaking tower. I mean, someone put a brick on his head or something! His hand still was on Delilah. We officially had a Situation.
"Not bad?" I hissed, glaring at him. Not bad? Not bad? ! I had the best aim in my age division by far, probably the best in the district! This imbecile had no right to suggest that I was even slightly mediocre! "I'd like to see you do better," I sneered, guesturing around to the surrounding targets and the gleaming knives that had hit dead center in all of them. There was Lucas, Katrina, Sebastian, Monty, Bippy, Nathaniel, Le-
"Oh, but dear little Clove, that's the thing," he purred, and I could see the wheels turning in his head. That's the way we Careers worked: there was always a catch. Always. Without fail. Always something to help us out, something on the side to put us one step ahead. "You see, I myself am rather skilled in sword fighting if I do say so myself-"
"Modest too, what a dreamboat," I muttered as he glared at me. I looked up at him, blinking my eyes innocently.
"If you're done now-" hey, don't use that tone with me you dirty knife grabber-" as I was saying, my skill is with a sword. Sadly, my ability when it comes to knifes are mediocre at best," he paused, a pained expression on his face. It was clearly hard for him to admit he was anything but amazing at something. But not as hard as it'll be when he realizes he can't even use a sword anymore when I slice off his hand for not letting go of my knife.
"But, it appears that this seems to be your area of expertise," he said delicately. I shrugged.
"You could say that. Although we'll never know if you don't remove your hand now," I replied, imagining how much of his arm I should cut off. Up to wrist? Elbow? Shoulder? Or one finger at a time until he begs for mercy?
"It also appears that you do not have an ally," ah, here we go. The reason for him putting his right arm in mortal peril. An alliance. District 2's version of friendship, which was an alien term to us. Friends? What was that? No, we were Careers: strong and ruthless, bred for the Games.
"Because I do not want nor need one. Now, if you'll ever so polietly take your grubby little fingers off of Delilah before I am forced to amputate your arm, I think it would be in the best interest for both of us," he looked confused for a second.
"Delilah?" he followed my pointed stare to the knife, then looked back at me.
"You name your weaponry?" I sneered. "Well, aren't you just the little residential psycho," he said, not being able to fully prevent the mix of admiration from seeping into his tone.
"I can't be certain considering I missed my fair share of etiquette lessons, but if I can recall, insulting someone is not exactly the way to go about trying to form an alliance with them," I raised an eyebrow. He snorted.
"Got a little smart mouth too," he muttered, more to himself than me. We stood like that for a few seconds until I grew irritated with our current predicament (mother always said I didn't have enough patience) and reached over, grabbed Monty, and held it under his throat.
"Give me Delilah. Now," I hissed as he kept his amused expression. It pained me to see someone else, especially someone with such brute force, removing Delilah from the target. He yanked her harshly out, little pieces of cork fluttering to the ground. He hadn't gone through the required process of congratulating oneself and said knife on a job well done, then gently sliding it out. But then again, he hadn't thrown her. All he had done was get his slimy little germs all over her.
I snatched the knife from his hand, not removing Monty from his throat.
"Want to take a step back?" he asked. I pressed harder, watching as a thin line of blood appeared on his skin.
"Not really," I admitted, causing him to sigh.
"I tire of this game. Can we not sit and carry on a conversation like two civilized beings, or must we behave like such feral beasts?" he said dramatically. I blinked.
"Since when did you stop becoming brainless wonder boy and become a Capital poet?" I questioned, but I stepped back anyways, a knife in both hands.
"That's better," he subconsciously rubbed his neck. I admired the way the faint red smeared and disappeared, the blood never to seep back into his veins. Good. Maybe now he'd learned his lesson and wouldn't grab my knives anymore, or we'd be forced to repeat this process over again with much more severe consequences.
I turned to go and gather my knives, but he stopped me. "Wait!" he called. I slowly turned back around, one arched eyebrow, going for intimidating but achieving on the edge of a psychotic break. Eh, about the same.
"Yes?" I said slowly. He held out a hand and at first my heart jumped for joy-for once, someone was actually asking me to slice a dire part of their anatomy off! Oh happy day!-but I quickly realized he probably wanted me to shake it. He had said something about us acting like "two civilized beings" and all that.
"Allies?" I paused, pursing my lips. Allies with this all-brawn-no-brains puppet? No way. But then again, he was rather skilled, and I could use someone like him: big and strong enough to scare off the competition before I flung a knife into their back. Besides, he was the only person I could stand to be within five feet of for more than a minute without throttling him. True, I did have many visions of throttling him (and stabbing him and slicing him and tying him to a brick before dropping him in a deep deep well) but the point was I refrained from actually going through with it, which said something.
"Sure," I shrugged, noting how when I held out my own hand it was dwarfed in comparison. "But I won't hesitate to put a knife in your back," I added quickly. He smirked.
"Dear Clove, do you think I would even consider being allies with someone even a tad less creepy or sneaky as you?" he suddenly yanked me towards him, bending his head down next to my ear. "Besides," he whispered, "same goes for you,".
"I can't believe you have the nerve to grab my knife. Again!" he looked up and laughed as I marched over to him. He slid it out of the target (seemed he'd at least picked up not how to be a complete neanderthal with it) and handed it to me, looking at me as I wiped the handle off on my shirt.
"What's this one's name?" he asked, amused.
"Knife 43," he tilted his head like a dog, confused. I heaved a sigh. "I choose not to get too attached when we only have such a short time together," I sniffed delicately as he rolled his eyes.
We stood there in silence for a few minutes, taking in the empty training room. He cleared his throat.
"We're going Clove. Tomorrow. It's finally here," even though he tried to keep up an excited front, he couldn't hide the bit of disappointment from me.
"Cato. Look at me," I closed my eyes for a second and took a deep breathe, then looked back at the boy who was closer than family to me. "Look, I didn't plan on getting reaped this year. But it happened, and there's nothing we can do about it," I awkwardly stared down at my shoes. "Besides, we'll be fine. I mean, just imagine: we'll take out the Capital's precious District 12, and then it'll be perfect from then. We'll be fine," I lied easily.
"Yeah, we will," he replied, just as eager to pretend everything was just fine and dandy. "Well, it's getting late. Better go get some sleep. Night," I grabbed his arm as he turned to walk away.
"Hey, we will be fine," I put a little more force into it this time, causing him to give a twisted little smile. "And Cato, good luck," I quickly kissed him on the cheek-what demon had momentarily possessed my brain?-and sauntered past him.
"Happy Hunger Games!" I called over my shoulder, expecting to look back and see him standing there with a bewildered expression. What I did not expect was for him to pick me up, toss me over his shoulder (honestly, this height-to-height ratio we had going on was severely unfair and had been going on for far too long) and throw me down on one of the training mats. I gave a very un-Clove like squeal as his booming laugh sounded above me. I bounced slightly in the air as he landed on top of me, held up by his arms so as not to break every bone in my body the day before I go into the Arena.
"And may the odds be ever in your favor," he whispered in my ear.
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