I have to stop doing this. Seriously. But Clove won't leave me alone...
This comes from me messing with a scene that never made it into my old story, 'Love is a Battlefield', so my Cato and Clove haven't changed. However this is literally the first time I've written something that isn't in the first person, so don't judge me too harshly...
Make Me Wanna Die
As soon as she finishes eating what she doesn't really want of the too-rich Capitol food, she leaves the table without excusing herself. Nobody in the Training Centre, either this one or the one back home, runs as fast as her, so she's closing the door on her ridiculous escort's protests, her mentors and the second day of training in mere seconds. She wishes she could shut out the Capitol as well, but how can she when the outside wall is made entirely of glass and the panoramic view of the place seems to go on forever?
She scowls and turns her back, but it makes no difference because her mind can still see the image, the endless pastel-coloured buildings and neon-coloured people. She takes the knife she stole off the dinner table from where she'd hidden it, tucked deep in the lining of one of the curtains that are never drawn.
The Avoxes didn't find the knife, neither did anyone else. She's surprised. So much for the all-seeing eye of the Capitol. But maybe they knew and just didn't care. It's not like she could hurt one of the other tributes before the arena and get away with it. They probably knew but didn't want to waste their time.
Either way, she carves her initials into the wall and wonders how long it will take someone to notice that.
She feels slightly better then. For only a second. It isn't enough. After the reaping, it could never be enough. The destruction of the only world she's ever known is all that could be enough now. Realistically, the end of the Hunger Games is the only thing that could allow them both to live. And sometimes she fails to fight the feeling that living without him wouldn't be living at all.
"Selene's pissed off," he says as he calmly strides into the room without knocking.
"Good," she replies. She'd heard his footsteps but she didn't look up. She knew it was him. She always knows. "I don't care."
She turns to look at him and he looks right back at her. The terrified anger she won't admit to feeling shows on her face so clearly he can't even pretend not to see it. He wouldn't want to pretend. If she wasn't angry at something or someone then she wouldn't be her. And what does he care when it's never him she's mad at.
"You've still got that knife then," he observes, speaking like he knew that all along as he edges further into the room without looking away from her even once.
"Get out," she says, and she knows he's thinking she's going to start smashing furniture like she did yesterday. "You can't be here now."
"This is my room."
"Then go to mine."
He shakes his head but doesn't answer. She stands in the corner of the room by the window, watching, always watching with those eyes that have ever stopped people from underestimating her back home. When they first see her, the Victors and the visitors from the Capitol, they don't believe the stories and the rumours. They think she's too small, too weak to do any serious damage to anyone, and that what's said about her is just Vikus' idea of a sick joke.
But then they look into those silver-grey eyes and they know the truth. They see the darkness she's capable of when she wants to be. Besides, he'd argue with anyone who says she's physically weak anyway. He's spent the past six years of his life learning otherwise and has the scars to prove it.
"I can't keep doing this," she says, and though she hates the feeble note in her voice, she wouldn't take it back even if she could. What she said is true, and she's never lied to him.
He storms towards her, because that's the way they do things. Why talk when you can fight? Fighting's a better way of communicating, for them anyway. It makes more sense, and they've long since stopped asking why.
She sees what he's doing before he even moves, and she knows she should stop him, that they can't fight each other here because they're both tributes. In the same Hunger Games. Like she could ever forget.
But she doesn't. Instead she ducks down and dodges away, whirling around behind him and jumping on his back because she knows it's the only way she has a chance of bringing him down. He laughs despite the blade pressed against his throat and reels back into the wall so hard that the pictures lining it all rattle on their hooks.
The impact knocks her breath from her body, but it isn't the first time. She's disappointed when she considers how it might be the last.
"It'll take more than that," she growls, dropping down to a crouch and knocking his legs from under him before he can react as she tries to fight the feeling she has that he isn't really trying. He'd truly see her furious if she knew he was deliberately letting her win.
A split second later she's sitting on his chest, her knees pushed into the front of his shoulders so he can't move. He concentrates on the sharpness of her bones as they dig painfully into him, because doing that helps him forget where they are. And he knows as well as she does that this time they're fighting to forget, just like they were when Peony died. But he can tell simply by looking in her eyes that she's trying to decide if he's letting her win even as she holds her knife to his throat.
"I didn't think being on top was your thing, Nightlock," he says, and she suddenly thinks he looks younger than his years instead of ages older.
He smirks up at her despite the blood trailing into his eye from a cut on his brow she must have given him even though she doesn't remember.
"This is fighting, not…anything else," she snaps back, trying to disguise the hint of uncertainty in her voice which only ever appears when she's talking about that to him.
"Didn't think there was a difference with you," he replies, deliberately leaning up slightly so her knife breaks the surface of his skin.
"You know there's a difference," she says, wondering what she looks like through his eyes when she's like this, when she's torn between wanting him and wanting out of this death sentence in any way she can. "You made the difference."
Then she brings the knife down and cuts the top of his shirt open. Talking like that is too much like talking about feelings, and that's probably the only thing they've never done since the day she met him when she was twelve and he thirteen.
She makes two more cuts, two more marks to add to the countless ones that already cover his olive skin. One is curved and the other straight but with a little flick back towards the other one at the bottom, both together and right over his heart. He doesn't react, doesn't even flinch. She'd be disappointed if he did.
"So you never forget who owns you," she says smugly, shuffling back onto his stomach until he grasps her narrow hips with bruising force and pulls her forwards again.
He leans up without letting her go, knowing his hands will leave imprints and pressing even harder because of it. He smirks when he sees the marks she made. At first they look almost random, but when he looks more closely they form letters. CJ. Clove Jacia.
She meets his eyes in silent challenge, and she isn't surprised when he lifts her up, flipping them over so she's abruptly the one underneath him. He pulls the knife from her tiny hand, knowing the whole time that it's only because she lets him and that if he'd been anyone else then she'd have used it by now. When he raises it up, he eyes her with careful consideration.
She closes her eyes and the room fades until she can only feel his weight above her. The image of the neon and sickly-sweet pastel Capitol fades to the familiar grey, black and red of home. It crosses her mind that he is home. Then she decides she's starting to sound like Lover Boy and bites the inside of her lip so hard it bleeds. It doesn't distract her from the one who knows her better than she knows herself for long.
She just wishes he wasn't here with her, and half wonders if she'd go back in time and change it so she never met him if she could.
"Don't," he says, pushing her dark hair back from her face just roughly enough so she doesn't snarl in protest at his supposed tenderness. "Whatever you're thinking, don't. Look at me."
She tries to keep her eyes closed, but she can't. She tries and tries, but she can't. Just like always, he's her only failure.
And if she's honest with herself then she wouldn't change a thing.
I had everything
Opportunities for eternity
And I could belong to the night
Your eyes, your eyes
I can see in your eyes, your eyes
You make me wanna die
(Title and song by The Pretty Reckless, just because it fits)