Cato glared out the window of the speeding train, wondering why in the hell it was taking so long to get to the Capitol. He was itching to start training and to show the other tributes how strong and powerful he was. He pretty much had this game in the bag, and he couldn't wait to start intimidating his fellow tributes.
He had never been to the Capitol before, but he was sure it took less than an hour to get there. Two hours had passed already, and he was getting tired of listening to his chaperone's incessant chatter about the other contestants. If they didn't get there soon, he wouldn't be responsible for his actions. Cato eyed the plates on the mahogany table, noting that they would make excellent weapons. If he threw them hard enough, he wondered, could he actually behead his escort? Cato wasn't sure what would happen to him if he killed her, but her high pitched voice was starting to drive him insane… well, more insane than before, and if he claimed insanity, then he couldn't be held responsible for his actions, right?
"Hey, Cato, come check this little wench out!"
He turned at the sound of excitement in Clove's voice, wondering what could be so interesting to have actually piqued her interest. Cato had known Clove since they were young kids at the Academy, and he knew very few things excited her besides knives and well…that was about it. Cato couldn't count how many times she had cornered him during lunch at the Academy to talk about the newest knife she worked with that morning. It made his ears bleed every time, and he had to resist the urge to slam his head onto the table as hard as he could.
Cato wouldn't exactly consider her a friend, but she was definitely a fierce ally that he knew he could count on. It also didn't hurt that she had harbored a little crush on him since they had first met. Of course, she would die before admitting it to anyone, let alone him, but she was too easy to read. Girls and their nonsense feelings were all too predictable. Cato knew he could use her to his advantage when the time came, although he would wait until the last opportunity. Not only did she have his back, but it didn't exactly sound appealing to wander the Arena by himself. No one would mess with a pack of Careers (those tributes in the Districts closest to the Capitol who trained their entire lives to participate in the Hunger Games), and he knew he could take out anyone in hand to hand combat, but there was still safety in numbers. Even he wasn't egotistical enough to believe he could become Victor of the Games without an alliance with at least District 1 and 4.
Cato plopped unceremoniously onto the plush couch in between Clove and their escort, Adara, earning a glare from both as they scooted in opposite directions to make room for his large frame.
"What's so special about her?" he sneered, watching as the little blonde girl from District 12 walked lifelessly up to the podium. He almost felt bad for her, knowing that she'd be one of the first to die. If Clove was really that excited to kill a little girl who looked half starved and about as innocent as humanely possible, then he'd be sure to kill his fellow District partner at the first chance he got. He knew he was slightly twisted in the brain, especially when he got his hands on a sword, but that was just sick.
"Keep watching, idiot," Clove responded, unmoved by his usual surly attitude.
He glared at the side of her head, but turned to face the large screen on the wall. He watched silently as an older girl pushed through the crowd of 16 year olds girls and volunteered to become tribute in place of the little 12 year old girl. Cato raised an eyebrow. He could see why Clove was so enthralled by this Reaping. Very few people from the outlying Districts ever volunteered, though it was a common occurrence where they came from in District 2, as well as in Districts 1 and 4. He and Clove had trained their whole lives for this moment, stuffed with hearty foods and taught to viciously wield a weapon before they were 7 years old. In the other Districts where food is often hard to come by, the Games are more like a death sentence than an honor.
"Isn't this exciting!" Adara giggled, grabbing onto the edge of the couch like she was watching a fictional drama program and not something that was pretty much a real life death sentence. Cato couldn't even be bothered to reply.
Focusing back on the screen, Cato continued to watch the historic moment. The blonde girl, named after some silly flower, was being pulled away from the stage by an older boy, screaming what he assumed to be her sister's name.
Turning his attention to the volunteer, he noted that dark-haired girl looked nervous, certainly, but there was something else in her eyes. Cato leaned forward, completely entranced by her. The girl, whose name he learned to be Katniss, was clearly a fighter. He could see it in her eyes, in the way she carried herself. She stood stoically and defiantly next to the District 12 escort, another Capitol clone who wore too much makeup and so many colors that it burned his eyes.
He watched as she shook hands with the male District 12 tribute, some blonde kid who looked like a kicked puppy, before the screen was turned off.
"She'll be fun to kill, won't she, Cato?" Clove remarked arrogantly, turning to see his reaction on the whole event. "Though I doubt she'll survive the initial bloodbath, most of those in District 12 are the first to go."
"Don't underestimate your competition," Adara harshly reprimanded, shocking both of her tributes. "She didn't look as weak as the tributes from that District normally do, and with that attitude, Clove, you'll get yourself killed first. Imagine the honor that would bring your family."
"Whatever," Clove grumbled, not used to being told off by anyone, let alone a Capitol snob.
Cato laughed as he watched the younger girl sulk into the couch, gaining a little bit more appreciation for their escort. Perhaps he would keep her around after all. Not that he really had much choice, but he could always indulge himself in his fantasies.
With nothing left to focus his attention on, Cato made his way back to the window to think.
Prior to the Reaping, he was completely confident that he would do anything to win. He didn't have any family left, not after they abandoned him at the Academy after his younger sister had died. They blamed him, of course, the brutal monster who had killed his own sister, Citali. It took him years to realize it wasn't his fault that she died. Cato vowed to win the Hunger Games for his sister, the only person he knew he had ever loved and who had loved him unconditionally back. She was the star of his life, even after her death, and he wanted to prove to her that he was a good big brother. One she could be proud of, wherever she was.
But now he wasn't so sure of what he wanted anymore. This Katniss girl (another flower name…her parents clearly weren't original), had tossed a thorn into his plan. He chuckled out loud at his own joke, ignoring Clove's, "What so funny?"
She stirred something inside him, creating an array of feelings he had never felt before. Katniss Everdeen, with her dark brown hair, her long braid, and her piercing gray eyes had claimed him already, and he had never even met the damned girl. Cato knew he was being overdramatic, but he didn't care. His thoughts were his and his alone, so no need to lie to himself. Katniss would be his. His ally, his friend, his lover, all of it. He knew they wouldn't have much time together; after all, they would be fighting for their lives in less than a week. He didn't know what would happen in the Arena, but he would figure it out as time went on.
Cato knew one thing, though. He always got what he wanted, and he wanted Katniss Everdeen more than anything.
A/N: After seeing the Hunger Games movie, I fell in love with Alexander Ludwig's portrayal of Cato and became inspired to write a Cato/Katniss story.
I don't see Cato as heartless as he may have come across in the books, so I'm really looking to capture that in the future (though he will still be the violent/brutal killer we also know him to be). I just see him as a very dynamic character.
Not sure when the next chapter will be up. I have an final on Tuesday but I'll try to do it as soon as possible. Also, this will most likely be all Cato's POV and more about his sister will be discussed in future chapters in case you were wondering.
Read and review, I definitely am open to suggestions!