But He's Just A Baker

I'm not sure what first drew my eye to him. Maybe it was his entrance to the Capitol, wearing a cape of flames. Maybe it was that he was always at the side of that brunette girl… What was her name? Oh, right, Katniss. Anyway, he was a boring individual next to all the other tributes who were either bigger than him, smarter looking than him, or just plain fiercer than him. He didn't look like he could hurt a fly.

We were standing in the training room, waiting for our signal to go find something to practice with. My hands were, as usual, itching to go try out the more lethal looking weapons, like the swords and maces. I had been trained to use them back home, and a little intimidation would definitely do me some good.

"Begin," said a skinny Capitol man. He had pure white hair, and I had to resist shaking my head as I walked towards the weapons. I might be from District 2 where things are easier (they're not kidding when they say we're the pets of the Capitol) but that doesn't mean these weird looking people are familiar to me. They look more like tropical birds that I saw in a book once than people.

"Excuse me," a voice said, interrupting my thoughts. I blinked in confusion and glanced to the side to see a blonde stocky boy walking away. Did he just… say excuse me? Who was this kid? I frowned and picked up a small sword, swinging it around a few times just to check it's weight, mind still on that boy. Were manners really his top priority right now? What a weirdo. I listened to the conversation he was now having with the Katniss girl, hoping to maybe learn something about them. They were seated at the table where you learned about plants and stuff. I was going to skip that lesson; I'd be able to claim all the food in the arena with the other Careers anyway.

"Oh, I know this one!" the blonde said eagerly, pointing at a green plant that looked exactly the same as all the others. "Those are chives, right?"

"Yes, good job," said the female instructor with a smile. "They're edible, too, so keep them in mind."

"We use them at home in the bakery sometimes," he admitted. "They add flavor to meals that are, well… gross."

The instructor laughed. "They're definitely good for that. Do you recognize this one?" She pointed to another green plant with yellow flowers. He shook his head.

"Tetterwort?" inquired Katniss after observing it for a moment. The instructor nodded enthusiastically.

"Do you know it's effects?" she asked. When neither replied, she continued on. "Chelidonium, as it's more scientifically know as, can be used to help heal small open wounds. I personally wouldn't advise using it in any situation though, since the entire plant is poisonous."

"Hear that Peeta? Don't eat this one," Katniss teased. Their relationship was just plain confusing. Peeta laughed good-naturedly.

I turned away from them then, already having spent far too much time listening when I was supposed to be training. Clove was eyeing me suspiciously, as though asking why I had stopped swinging the sword around and was standing there looking like a moron. I rolled my eyes, at both her and myself, and began sparring with an attendant.


At the end of the day, I was sitting in my provided bedroom and thinking over my strategy when I heard a knock on my door.

"Come on in, Cato is waiting for you," I called lazily with my usual cocky air. It was probably Clove trying to be seductive or something anyway. I glanced at the door expecting to see her in lacy lingerie and was shocked to see Peeta the bread boy walking into the room and closing the door behind him. I sat up, now extremely wary. Who had let him in here? I knew he wasn't allowed. If he was caught they'd likely punish him for it during the games. Send a pack of rabid hyenas after him or something.

"Hi," he said, and I noticed how nervous he sounded. My eyes narrowed. Was this some plot?

"Yeah, hi, kiss kiss, all that lovely greeting crap," I said, standing up beside the bed and making sure he could make no sudden movements that I could not see. "What do you want? You're not even allowed in here."

"You invited me in," he said with a shrug, glancing around the room. "This is fancier than my floor."

"Don't make me ask again, Baker boy."

He sighed. "I have a question. I passed it through my mentor to yours, and they agreed to let me in. I'm under video surveillance anyway." He looked around the room as though he could see the tiny hidden cameras. "No audio, but I can't hurt you, so calm down."

"What's your question?" I ask him, not distracted. How could I not be highly suspicious? I know nothing about this guy except that he bakes bread (whoop-de-freaking-do) and is from District 12. He could have some malicious plan going on inside that thick head.

"I want to be a part of the Careers," he stated boldly. I blinked. This was not what I was expecting. What made him think I would let him in, anyway? I look him up and down deliberately, raking over his built arms and torso. He's clearly strong, but how strong?

"Can you kill?" I asked bluntly. This is the most obvious question. If he can't get the guts, he's got no chance.

"Yeah," he said. "If I were outside of this mess, I wouldn't, but in that arena, it's my life on the line."

"What about your little girlfriend?" She was hanging off his arm awfully close, after all.

"Katniss is a good fighter, and she knows how to survive. Besides, she's my enemy too." He shrugged, but I saw the discomfort in the way he shifted his eyes to the side. I contemplate for a moment. Having him with the Careers could be an advantage. If he knew how to use his muscles, then I would rather have him on my team than go against him. At least I'd learn about him while I watched him kill others beside me. On the downside, he connected to people way too easily.

"Okay, let's make a deal," I said. "We'll wait until our scores come out tomorrow. If I nod to you in the arena on the podiums, you know we're good." There. That was a reasonable decision. See how worthy he is before accepting him in.

"Alright," he said, and I was surprised to see a small grin on his face. "See you there, then." With a small wave (What is up with this guy?) he left my room.

I sat slowly back down onto my bed. Who was Peeta really, anyway?


A/N: Hi everyone! Yes, I am into the Hunger Games. I read them a long time ago, but the release of the movie got me excited over them again. Especially over Cato, since I think he is a pretty awesome character. I'm not a big Peeta fan personally, but I guess he's not too bad when he's not with Katniss. (Don't get me wrong, I love Katniss, but obviously she doesn't fit in well in this kind of story!)

This chapter is short because it's the intro. I basically did this off the top of my head without any planning, but I'll try to turn it into something good. I've been itching to write one for the Hunger Games lately anyway.

Reviews tell me if a story is worth continuing or not, so please let me know! I accept anonymous reviews! Also they make my insides happy. You want my insides to be happy, right? RIGHT?

Thanks for reading!

-TFPW