A/N: For all those Clato fans out there, I feel ya' man. Also, first Hunger Games fic. Saw the movie today, it rekindled my love of the Career Tributes. So I reread somethings, remembered a long lost love for Clato, and wrote this.

Warning: Sex implied, not written down. Some language, some violence, lots of getting off on things you shouldn't get off on.

Pairing: Cato/Clove (Clato)


The Truth Is, You Should Lie With Me

Cato's sure that he wants to stab her the moment he sees her. Not kill her, but cause her a little bit of pain at least. She's walking around, a holier-than-thou scowl planted on her, admittedly, pretty face. Maybe that's why, he likes pretty, angry things. They're the most fun to aggravate, to put back into their place. It certainly has a lot to do with why Trate walks up to her, taunting her for that scowl.

"Little girls," he says cockily while her fingers twitch at something around her left hip, "shouldn't make faces that-"

There's certainly more to his taunt, but that's all he manages to get out before she reaches up and puts her slender knife between his ribcage. It isn't enough to kill him, and judging by her taut smirk she'd done that intentionally. It's a lesson, one to be absorbed by everyone around. The message, however, is unclear until she speaks gruffly while pulling the blade from between Trate's ribs after he'd keeled to the side.

"Don't talk to me," she growls. She cleans the blade off on his pant-leg, kicking him solidly in the stomach for good measure before hoping over his trembling form and walking right past Cato. Most people crowd around Trate, checking to see how deep the wound is and if it's treatable; but Cato turns just enough to catch the sadistic glint in her eyes, licking her lips hungrily. He can't help but think that, if she wants blood, he could happily show her what her own blood looks like.

Soon, he realizes that he doesn't communicate with her the way that normal people do. He's okay with that, but he also realizes that it will take her a while to get used to the idea of talking to someone without stabbing them. She's horribly anti-social, he kind of understands it. He doesn't like people either, but it's important to make them like you. He wonders, if maybe, she's just one of those people that takes a while to warm up to you, but are disgustingly loyal once you get through to them. He hopes not, those types of people irritate him.

He figures the best way to test her would have to be the training room. It's fun to watch her practice with her knives, the almost loving way that she handles them. She sometimes traces her fingertip across the flat of the blade and gives a satisfied smile. He likes to think that she has special engravings on each knife, so she knows which one she'd used to injure someone, and that she'll recount the stories before practicing. It's mainly because he does the same thing with his swords, and maybe he'll be a little less crazy if he isn't he only one doing it. He's so tempted to just watch, observe and take notes, but he feels that this isn't going to get him anywhere quickly enough.

He walks over to her casually, letting her toss her knife and hit the target dead center, where the skull would be, before he tries talking to her. "You're good at that," he says, figuring that complimenting her was the best way to avoid getting stabbed.

She doesn't flinch, she just scowls as if she'd already known he was there. "Thanks," she says, more softly than the last time he'd heard her spoke.

He can't help but provoke her, "But you're tiny, and you're probably shit with hand-to-hand combat, or a real blade."

She turns around sharply, her hair following her motion like a whip. Her dark blue eyes are narrowed, her mouth pulled back into a more vicious version of the scowl she favors, "You're strong, and you're talented, I'll give you that. But you're not clever, and you're shit with control. You'll kill easily, but you'll lose your temper so quickly, and your movements rely so much on brute strength; that it won't take more than a second to kill you."

He grabs her by both arms, shoving her into the knife rack. There's no flinch of pain when a few blades scrape across her skin, though there's no doubt in his mind that this is the first time someone has successfully gained the upper hand on her in a while. She merely smirks at him this time, opening her mouth to taunt him again.

He decides to drop her, "I don't have time to play with children," he spits. But as he walks away he knows her dark eyes are trained on him, and he can't help but feel pleased with this outcome, even underneath all the anger.

~what you looking at, "my reflection"; this not the way we procreate~

It's slowly become a habit to watch her. The way she always keeps her throwing arm ready, hand steadied near her knife, her eyes constantly searching around the room, and her ears twitching as she strains to hear what's going on around her. The one thing he could say he likes about her is the way she's always looking for excuses to attack people. Other than that, he can't help but wonder how she'd retaliate if he used his size against her, pinned her to a wall. Pointed the tip of a sharp sword to her throat. Maybe he'll end up using a dull blade, something to make it a little harder to cut her.

He does like watching her attack people. Sometimes she'll get bored of waiting and she'll simply pick targets at random. He'd almost been one of them, but she 'missed' and went for the boy next to him instead. Cato knows that if she wanted to hit him, she would have done it. It seems odd that she would intentionally change targets when she could have easily lodged a knife in his back while he'd been distracted. After his friend, Thisbe, falls to the ground, Cato turns towards Clove with his eyebrows raised. She smirks at him, a finger put to her lips, and she motions for him to pull the knife out of Thisbe's back. He bends forward, tugging it out gruffly. It isn't one of hers, that much he can tell by the all-too-straightened blade.

He raises his eyebrows again, and holds it up for her. This is the first time he's actually gotten her to laugh. She sneers at the knife, pulling her thin black jacket back, showing him the knives she has sheathed inside. They're infinitely superior to the one in Cato's hand. He frowns, she points towards an empty spot in her collection, then to Thisbe, and then to the knife. It clicks in his mind, and he cleans the knife off using Thisbe's jacket, pulling the cloth of the younger boy's shirt up to reveal a delicate but lethal knife strapped to his torso. She trots over, her step so light and so careful it almost looks like she's dancing. She pulls her knife way from Thisbe with ease, spits on him, and yanks the 'replacement' Thisbe had left, out of Cato's hand. She uses the replacement knife to carve her name in cursive just under Thisbe's ribcage, holding him still with a smirk, her lips twitching with delight every-time he squeals. Cato watches silently, more than certain that this is the only time she feels something akin to happiness.

She pulls her own blade out to make another mark, before deciding that Thisbe isn't worth it, but not before Cato catches a glimpse of the name on the blade. Viola. He wonders what the significance is, and catches her arm before she has the chance to walk away.

"What's your name, exactly?"

She sneers and he allows her to yank her arm free of his grasp after she spits out, "Clove," as a reply.

~give me something else, an affection; swollen suffering fantasy of hate~

It isn't until she's thirteen, and he's fourteen, that he really notices her. As in the beginnings of the careful curve her thin waist, her lithe frame, her angular hips, the defined legs. She's still too young to really be interesting, but she's more interesting than most girls his age. It probably has something to do with her habit of threatening to cut the more delicate parts off of any of the boys who asked her out. He's amused by her violent nature, but he isn't amused by her in the least. There are bits of her that he can stomach, but on the whole he usually ends up picturing her on a bed, or sometimes the ground, not pleading for mercy, but more like fighting to win back some sort of control. He doesn't like the idea of her being weak, if he's going to hurt her, she better put up a damn fight.

He thinks he might be getting ahead of himself. Still, it's fun to think about Clove pinned, bloodied, and bruised; trying and failing to regain the upper hand. In the back of his mind he knows that it wouldn't be nearly as easy as he pictures it, but he tends to ignore that. She seems to be getting more vicious by the day, and he isn't sure he's against this fact.

He does finally approach her, after God knows how long since the last attempt, sometime near sunset before the Reaping this year. They hadn't volunteered, in their District you have to wait until you're sixteen, at least, to volunteer. She's been staring at the sky, watching the setting sun, and it's gory canvass, with a glint of admiration in her eyes. He walks up next to her, quietly. She scowls at his presence, but manages to ignore it.

"What're you looking at, Clove?" He sneers, the condescending tone making her twitch angrily. He nearly gives a satisfied smirk at her little lapse of control, "Well?"

Her mouth pulls into a tight line, and she nods at the sky, "That."

"What about it?" does smirk this time, while her mouth twitches before reassembling into the hard line again.

"The way it sets, it looks like it's bleeding," her final say on the subject before her mouth shuts tight, and not even pulling her head back by her scalp tightening pony-tail will get a response out of her. Cato sighs, letting go and watching the way her head slowly moves back into it's natural place and she rolls her shoulders and neck because he'd managed to put a crick in it. He's satisfied that he'd caused a little bit of damage, but it doesn't feel like it's enough when he shoves his hands in his pockets and walks away.

~you're a pretty face, you should like me~

Age fifteen he gets a knife pressed to his throat as Clove shoves him against a wall and snarls at him. Her dress is stained with the red wine he purposefully spilled on it, and in the building he's pressed against, the people inside are blissfully unaware that Clove's threatening to cut him.

"What the fuck was that for," she seethes.

He smirks at her, feeling strangely at ease with the way she's poised against him. It might be the way she looks like an innocent young girl, a terrifyingly misleading ruse.

"It was an accident," he goads, enjoying the way her lips curl back angrily and she growls at him, low in her throat.

"Was it now?" her voice is low, dangerously calm, and fuck if he doesn't love the way it seems to teeter on the precipice of a fresh wound. Really, he's just looking for an excuse to leave a scar on her thigh; a mark so thoroughly his that it wouldn't need his name next to it for her to look down and think about this night with a searing hatred. She's still relatively unmatched at this time, but so is he and they're equally determined to be the downfall of the other's arrogance.

He nods and tilts his head back tauntingly, not even flinching when she presses the knife so tightly that it almost draws blood. He'd been anticipating it so much that he actually feels disappointed when it relents, and she curves it down to his collarbone instead. His breathing hitches a little bit, but he corrects himself and stares at her defiantly, daring her to continue. She doesn't disappoint, and with a sadistic smirk she makes an intricate, elegant letter C with the tip of her knife, and he catches a flash of the name on the blade. Viola. She smirks at him, licking the blood off the tip of the knife before putting it back into it's sheath. He watches her walk away with an extra sway to her hips, and laughs while he dabs the blood away from his new wound. She's clever enough to leave her mark in a public area with a private message; a little note between the two of them.

The next day he catches her stroking the blade of her knife, and when he catches the name Viola he smirks and trots over. He doesn't attempt to snatch it from her, simply pins her hand above her head and traps her against the wall, his knee presses into her stomach with her arm across it. He growls, and she gives him a tiny smirk while he clenches his hand around her wrist and nearly cuts off the circulation.

"You really like that knife, don't you?"

She allows her mouth to twitch into a smile, albeit tiny and condescending, "You should feel honored; you're the first person she cut."

Her voice is light, teasing, almost playful. He hates it, so he decides to latch his teeth onto her neck, which he'll later say was for Enobaria, since she's watching the training room for that day. He bites down hard, until he can taste blood and only relents when her wrist twitches under his grip, and nearly wrenches free. He lets go, smirking at the disdainful curl of her lips and the way her hand twitches almost violently with the urge to attack him. He smears the blood on her neck into an arc from the wound to the mole under her ear, and licks the line of blood from his teeth. It's bitter and warm, and when he finally does drop her she tackles him to the ground and makes her first graceless, brutal cut on his body. From his hipbone all the way to his belly button.

She's still shaking with anger when she brushes herself up to leave, but he grabs onto her ankle and pulls her back down; punching her in the rib and watching with a sense of satisfaction when she hisses in pain and curls a little from the blow. He doesn't think it'll leave more than a bruise, but he figures the impression will be lasting enough.

~i wanna get used by you, 'cuz i'm full of hate; just excite me~

She's not something to trifle with, he's learned this much of the years. Still, he can't help but watch the click of her teeth, and the way she dances from boy-to-boy whenever his eyes are trained on her. It's not that she likes them, or even does anything with them; she just likes Cato to know that she has options. He knows her game, he does the same fucking thing after all. It isn't until she decides to up the ante that he really thinks about what they're doing.

It's slow at first, just a warning knife tossed in his direction. Usually it's one she's picked up randomly, but one day she nails him in the back of the leg with Viola and he decides to retaliate. He has this sword, Carmen, that he's been saving for a special occasion. He figures that Clove'll do, and picks her up by her throat. She smiles around the little gasps for breath, and he can't help but like the fact that she enjoys this a little more than he does. She locks her legs around his waist, attempting to dig the heel of her shoe into his spine so he'll let go. He tightens his grip around her throat and watches in fascination as she groans and tilts her head back. He presses the tip of Carmen to her throat, and grins sadistically.

"I figured I owed you a virgin blade, since you spent Viola's first time on me."

She seems a little surprised that he remembered the name of the knife, but he wonders why in hells name she thought he could forget. He loosens his grip enough for her to let out a harsh laugh.

"You sure about that, blondie?" she grits out between a volatile smirk and her clenched teeth.

He relishes in every jerk of her hips, twitch of her pinned hand, and grunt spit between her teeth as he makes a jagged, less elegant C right on her collarbone. She refuses to relent and cry out in pain, and he likes that she can handle it. For good measure he jabs his knee into her stomach and bruises the wrist she doesn't use for throwing. He lets her down, and instead of slumping to the floor she leans against the wall and manages to stay steady. He holds her stare, wondering what she plans on doing. She just smirks and brings a slender finger to her open cut, wiping a swath of blood and smearing it across Cato's lower lip. He licks his lips as she shoulders past him with that damn smirk planted across her face.

It's become more of a dance, with her trotting up, circling him, spitting insults until he slams her against the wall. Or he just smirks at her, touches her knives; the little things he knows will set her off indefinitely. It doesn't escalate past cuts, bruises, broken bones; until she turns fifteen and they're on a brief term of equal ground age wise. His sixteenth birthday is looming close, but she's just reached the fresh age of fifteen and he's determined to make her remember this birthday.

It starts with her teasing him over the other girls in their district, and the way they play him like a fool to lure him into bed. Of course she knows he couldn't give two shits about them if he tried, but he knows she likes the way her comments irk him, make him grit his teeth. He's letting her get away with this in public, because right now everyone's celebrating the day the infamous Clove has turned fifteen.

When the room starts to clear, Cato grabs her by the wrist and drags her towards his house. She screams at him a little bit, manages to kick him in the ribs, punch him in the jaw, and nearly takes a chunk out of his neck before they're halfway there. He shuts her up by picking her up with ease, shoving her against the wall, placing his hand around her throat.

He whispers in her ear in a gravely, strained voice that makes her groan; "Are you a woman yet?"

She shivers involuntarily, and he pulls back enough to watch her lick her lips, set into that devious smirk of hers. "So what if I am?" she taunts.

He doesn't like that one bit, and uses his knee to hold her up on the wall while he leans back enough to jerk her jacket down and off her body, pushing the hem of her shirt up to ribcage. There's several scars from Carmen, a couple of fading bruises, and some permanent marks from lasting bruises. Seeing his handiwork splayed across her like it's an art portfolio makes him smirk, and he traces a few of the mars on her otherwise flawless flesh slowly.

"You've got my name written all over you, it's only appropriate that I take your virginity too."

She sneers at him, her sharp little nails clawing at his chest through the thin fabric of his tee-shirt. "You're a piece of shit sometimes, Cato, you know that? I've got as much, if not more, on you and I sure as shit don't get your virginity."

He quirks an eyebrow, leaning in to murmur in her ear, "So you are a virgin," he smirks and flicks her cheek in order to watch her scowl again.

She surprises him by locking her legs around his hips, drawing him closer and grinding against him because she just had to fucking know he's already hard. He hates when she decides to surprise him. She smirks coyly, "Wouldn't you like to know," she whispers in his ear, licking the shell of it and making him shiver this time.

When he leans in for a kiss, it isn't sweet, or gentle in any way. It's violent, a clash of teeth and tongue. The way he forces her to tilt her head back, hand still around her throat, and her hand inching down from his chest to the hem of his pants. He pulls back for a breath and Clove latches onto the hallow his neck, biting hard. He knew she'd be a biter.

Her hand is almost slipping past the hem of his jeans and he grits his teeth and hisses while she bites the sweet spot on his neck and then smirks at him, grinding herself against him.

"Your place or mine," she whispers, biting his ear for good measure. He nearly punches her, and they almost fall over on the way back to his house they're so entangled in biting, scratching, sucking blood and leaving bruising fingerprints everywhere they can possibly reach.

~i wanna get bruised by you~

It's less of a game, more of a challenge. A constant fight for control, dominance, superiority over the other. There's always teeth and blood and maybe Cato likes it a little more than he should. It's an odd thought, and an even odder feeling when he wakes up in the morning to Clove tugging her girlish pink panties over her hips. Another thing he didn't like about her, she just has to look so fucking innocent even though he knows damn well she isn't.

It might be just because today's the reaping, and she'd decided to congratulate him the night before on being old enough to volunteer if he felt like doing so. His response had been clawing her inner thigh open and tying her to the bed post by her wrist. She'd managed to get loose while he was in the middle of making neat little cuts on her hips and pinned him to the bed by his waist. He's sure that the crescent moon indents of his own hips are still bleeding.

She's getting ready to tug on her outfit for the special day, a frilly pink dress that doesn't reflect her personality at all. He reaches over and stops her, grabbing her arm and dragging her to the dresser. She doesn't attempt to tug her arm out of his grasp, instead she simply smirks. He digs through her drawer until he finds a matching set of lacy black underwear, and forces it into her arms.

"Change out of that girly shit, and wear that."

She smirks at him but complies, "Someone's confident that he'll have something to celebrate after the Reaping."

He smirks back, snapping the elastic band of her underwear and pinching her hip, "I wonder who."

Everyone knows that when the boy is called, Cato's going to be one of the many volunteers. They also know that he's going to beat out the other volunteers and fight for his rightful spot as victor. However, the 74th Hunger Games has Clove being called as the first Tribute, and every girl in the audience is too afraid of her unmatched skill to volunteer. No one knows who the boy would be, because Cato is the only one to volunteer this year, no one else feels like matching Clove. His first thought when he steps on the stage beside Clove is that he doesn't want anyone else to spill her blood. She's his kill, if she has to be anyone's, and judging by the smirk on her face she's thinking along the same lines about him.

After the Reaping, the mandatory goodbyes, the congratulations, Cato finds Clove waiting in his bedroom on the train. She's smirking, like she always is, and he's tempted to tear that pink dress right off of her and mutilate it beyond recognition before he leaves bite marks all across her neck and chest. She doesn't give him the satisfaction, instead undoing the back of the dress and letting it fall to the ground in a pool around her ankles. He lunges for her, tackling her to the bed and nipping at her neck while her legs wrap around his waist and her arms wrap around his neck.

"The next dress should be red," he seethes.

~the murder that marks you everyday~

Brutus tells him that he can't let the people know that he fucks Clove. Brutus says that if anyone knew, they'd want Clove and Cato to play a love story. Cato agrees that things are better off without them pretending to trip all over each other; and it's not like he and Clove were publicly involved back in District 2. Still, Brutus makes him cover up the scars with make-up, because Cato refuses to get rid of them. Not that Clove would mind, she's always got Viola handy these days and she just loves a fresh canvas.

He decides to pay a visit to Clove's bedroom, sitting down next to her on the fluffy mattress while she flips through the channels on the television without a trace of interest on her face. She's still wearing the underwear from the Reaping, she's always preferred underwear to pajama's. She looks up at him warily, and he half expects her to lodge a knife in the wall near his head instead of outright telling him to leave. She surprises him instead, which he still fucking hates, and shrugs at him. He sits with her on the bed, and decides to surprise her this time.

"I'm not sure I want to be the one to kill you."

She looks over at him, and curls over so that her knees are pressed into her chest, "Does that mean you want me to live, or you just like our little game too much to end it?"

He shrugs, "Both, maybe. I like being the only one to cut you, bruise you, but I don't wan't you dead yet. Still, if anyone gets to kill you, I think it should be me."

She smirks at him, "I'll remember that when I have you at knife point."

Her angle for the interview is sarcastically sweet and funny. Unoriginal, but fitting. He really hates how well she slips into character, the mask of a troubled but otherwise innocent girl. He bets the Capitol loves it.

~the stain on your soul won't wash away~

When training starts with the other Tributes, he can't help but let Glimmer latch onto him. It's mainly because she's stupid, girly, frail despite her supposed strength. He likes her curves, the seductive smile she dons for everyone she sets her eyes on. He especially likes the way Clove glares at her right before tossing daggers into a target.

Maybe he's projecting a little bit of his misdirected anger at the current situation when he pins Glimmer into a wall, and fucks her so hard that she isn't really able to walk afterwards. He's a little disappointed with the event itself, she didn't really claw, or bite; she just rolled her eyes back and let him do as he pleased. He left after he made her cum, still hard, and wondering why he bothered in the first place. It wasn't enough for her apparently, as she still follows him around, hangs off of him, snaps jealously at Clove whenever the shorter girl drags Cato away. He tries it again a few days later, just because he's not sure Clove caught on the first time.

He stumbles back into their apartment at two in the morning, reeking of Glimmer's perfume, letting his pants hang off of his hips half undone, and wearing a smirk. Clove greets him in the doorway, and doesn't let him get one word in before she pins him against the wall and roughly cups his face so that her sharp little nails dig into his jaw.

"Was she any good," Clove seethes from between her teeth.

Cato laughs, hooking his hand around her waist and spinning them around so fast that Clove looses her footing, allowing him to slam her back into the wall so hard she actually lets out a hiss of pain. She's still glaring at him, and her hands end up on his chest, nails digging in as she claws down. He leans forward, and when her hands reach the hem of his jeans he forces her shorts down and grinds her against him while he bites down onto her neck. He's picking her up before she's really caught up to him, throwing her onto the bed before she can punch him in the side. He hovers over her, pinning her wrists down with one hand, keeping her legs locked under him, his free hand slithering up her shirt.

She glares at him, "Well, was she?"

He flicks a taut nipple from under her tank-top, "Boring."

The revelation causes her to smirk at him, catching his neck in her teeth and growling at him, "I'm not surprised."

~we spit on the cross just like we're trained~

Glimmer tries to figure out how to get Cato back under her snare, and he lets her think that she stands a chance. Clove still glares daggers, but now that Cato's got a blonde playmate every night she likes to leave little reminders all over his skin.

She brings Viola out one night and carves her name into his hip, just above his boxers. He doesn't mind so much, and flips her over in the bed. He wrestles the knife from her grip, and for the first time she actually screeches at him. He pins her down, straddling her and holding her steady as he writes his own name shakily just above the line of her pink panties. She tries to squirm away, openly kicking and screaming for the first time. He silences her by holding her mouth shut, and then, getting bored with that, letting his hand slide down to clench around her throat. She relaxes under that, arching up and groaning when his grip tightens.

He smirks at her, delighted, "You're fucking twisted." She just licks her lips and thrusts her hips up, and grinds into him.

He gets up, and runs to his closet. He can hear her grumbling in the background, but he's determined to bring an old friend into this. He pulls out Carmen and brings hops onto bed wielding her while he stays on his knees. Clove laughs and sits up, before getting onto all fours and crawling over to him. He presses the tip of Carmen into Clove's throat, directing her to get up. She's on her knees, still half his height. He presses forward even more, until she's laying on the bed.

He smirks at her, "Remember this?"

He trails the tip of the blade down her body, using it to pull down her panties a little bit. She shivers under the steel, and he sees the evil glint in her eyes. He presses enough to just prick her, before trailing back up to her throat and keeping Carmen pressed there as he hovers over her and lets his lips run over hers. Her chest is heaving, eyes dilated from excitement. He carefully puts Carmen aside, and practically tears her panties off with his teeth.

~we scowl and screw away the pain~

They stop fucking a few nights before the Games. Maybe they want a sense of purity before they're sent off to slaughter, or something akin to that. In reality it's more likely that they're bracing themselves for the moment they have to turn their backs on one another, come face to face with the day they've been anticipating since they were young. In Cato's mind, there's no doubt that he'll have to kill Clove, he's not sure he minds that. He knows though, that he's not going to let anyone wound her too badly while they're still allied, because he doesn't want to ruin the moment of their final showdown with someone else's handiwork on her. He knows it's the same for her, she wants to be the first and last person to ruin him.

It's the day before the Games that they meet again, and though they should be getting a good nights sleep he stays up a little late training, and she's busy sharpening Viola when he returns. He knows that she's going to miss that blade in the arena, but he figures the game makers will put it in a pack for her at some point. She's on the couch in the living-room, and he figures they may as well start there before working their way around the apartment. She's wearing the underwear from the Reaping day, just for him. He can't contain his little grin as he tackles her on the couch.

~all i want is to see through you~

He can tell she's itching to get her hands on the backpack full of knives in the Cornucopia. She's licking her lips, hands twitching by her side as readies to lunge forward. He smirks, leaning forward, sweating in anticipation. He really wants to go for Lover Boy first, but he has a feeling that the girl, Katniss, is going to run for it. Clove was actually the one to bring it up, and that they'd probably need Lover Boy to find her. He doesn't really care, there's plenty of fresh meat around. Still, as he watches Clove practically wetting herself over the knives, he can't help but feel that old urge to pin her down.

The Games start, and they all run for the weapons. The massacre starts before anyone really has a chance to figure out what's going on. He ends up stabbing one of the kids from District 5, and Clove throws a dagger into the kid with the fucked up foot from District 9, making him spit blood in Katniss' face. Cato laughs as Katniss runs away stunned, and he finds himself holding his breath when Clove sets her sights on the Girl on Fire. Katniss manages to block using the pack she wrangled from the boy, and scrambles away. Clove obviously wants to go after her, but instead she turns around and smirks at Cato. He knows that she wants to be the one to take Katniss down, he figures he should let her.

Even when, later on they've got Katniss in the tree, and Glimmer and Clove tell Cato to bring her down. He knows that if he got her off that branch he'd have to hand her over to Clove. Lover Boy suggests they wait her out, and it seems like a good idea. They stay up fairly late, Glimmer hanging onto him like lost puppy while Clove pointedly ignores the two and toys with her knives. Cato catches her eye sometime when Glimmer pouts and pretends to sleep, and the two share a knowing smirk. She readjusts the collar on her shirt, letting the jagged C show as if it's a medal. He does the same, and when Glimmer 'wakes up' and asks how he got that he shrugs at her and says that it's none of her damn business, because really, even though she's hot she irritates him.

The next day, when Katniss drops the tracker jacker nest on them, and Glimmer calls for help, Cato leaves her on the ground and lets Clove take his hand as they run away. He's surprised that he doesn't feel guilty at all, just relieved that Clove was the one who grabbed him, because she had the good sense to find the river and use the leaves on the wounds.

~if only you were alive, i could trust you~

"Cato! Cato! Cato!"

He hears her screaming while he runs towards her, thinking about how just hours before they found out they could both win. He'd been happy, in his own way, because it meant they could keep this up just a little bit longer.

"Cato!"

He grits his teeth, thinking about how he should have just gone in with her. It would have been fun to watch her play with Katniss, that had been his first thought, but now he's wondering if he's going to be able to make it in time.

When he gets there, Thresh has already crushed the rock against her skull, and Cato lets out a surprisingly pained cry of her name as he lunges for her fallen body. He cradles her in his arms, the glint in her eyes already subsiding, all the things in her expression that made her Clove already gone. She's beyond reach, breathing still, but she's not the girl who came into the arena with him; who cut people for talking to her; who was the first blood on Carmen. He's certain he's nearly crying just a little bit when he starts begging her to just stay with him. There's no recognition in her eyes when she sees him, just a faint reminder of who she used to be. He can see clearly now, that they're a midnight blue, and he's certain that if he lives through this they'll be flashing in his nightmares.

He curls over her small frame, not letting the cameras see the tears that fall onto her face before he wipes them off on her jacket and lets his fingers brush the C on her collarbone one last time before he takes off after Thresh.


A/N: I love The Hunger Games, but I also hate them because some epic characters died. I'd write about Foxface too, but I need more time to work her out. I like Cato and Clove as semi-sadistic and very much into blood. I don't know why though. It's sort of their thing.