Disclaimer: Err, no crap I'm not Suzanne Collins! :P

This is set before the Games start, but after the chariots and the initial training session. REVIEW!


Ab Initio

Chapter 1

In the Training Area, Katniss is alone.

Katniss trailed her fingers longingly over the finely crafted bow, as they itched to feel the heavy weight of the wood in her hands. It wouldn't hurt to just fire one of those perfectly streamline arrows, would it? After all, everyone had left, and she wouldn't be revealing her talent. Besides, her mind argued, wouldn't it be better if I had a little practice with a bow similar to the one I will be using when the Game makers score me? More practice…higher score…more sponsors…get out alive – for Prim.

That was all the encouragement it took, and next she knew, she had gripped the arch of the bow, revelling in the reluctant bend as she tested it in her hands. She surveyed the feast of arrows, laid out for her delectation, and took her time selecting the perfect arrow. Naturally, they were all manufactured essentially the same, but one had a slightly crooked feather, perhaps from previous use…this tip had been blunted – one too many dummy hits…this one had a little notch, a tiny gouge, really, but she dropped it and moved on…and…aha!

She loaded the arrow, and felt a frisson of excitement shimmer through her veins as she faced the pockmarked dummy. Inhaling slowly as she drew back her arm, she closed her eyes, and could almost feel the heat of Gale as he stood behind her, like it was any other Sunday poaching session. Her breath left her in a whoosh as she fired, and even after she heard it thud, she did not open her eyes.

Somehow, she felt like if she opened her eyes, she'd dispel the familiar warmth of Gale, even though she knew it was only her imagination.

Besides, she knew she had hit a –

"Bullseye. Impres-"

Surprised and off balance, she whirled around to punch her assailant, and found her arm gripped in a dead lock, any remaining breath leaving her when a muscled forearm had her body flattened against the living heat of…Cato? Was it? From District 2.

"-sive, Fire girl." He finished off his sentence. His nose brushed hers' as his breath fanned across her lips. In a remote part of her brain she now registered that she should have known Gale's body heat hadn't been part of her imagination. The region of functioning brain telling her to run away was being largely ignored by her body. Somehow, she stayed rooted to the spot, staring into the glacial blue of his eyes, heart thumping and all but sprawled on his chest. A spark lit in her. Some irrational part in her wanted to live these last few days, enjoy life before the Capitol dumped her into the heart of some twisted massacre game they had planned.

And right now, all she could see was a pair of soft lips, perfectly biteable in the way only a man's could be. Right now, she felt enveloped by warmth, and right now...somehow…she felt safe.

And then he was uncoiling from his stooped position to his full height, a towering head above her, his lips set in a cruel smirk. He still held her, his arms now no longer saving her, but rather forcing her to remain teetering off balance, at a funny angle away from him. A little like that wedding photo of Mom and Dad, he had held her bent at the waist in his arms. Katniss had found it romantic, and some silly part in her hoped that maybe…maybe one day a boy she truly loved might hold her so intimately. Ironic now, that someone who most definitely wanted her dead was now fulfilling her wishes – minus the love.

His icy eyes continued to bore into her, and she wasn't fooled where another girl would be swooning in the arms of this gorgeous guy.

This was power play, pure and simple, and he was telling her he had her at his mercy, in every way. Damn him for noticing she had reacted to his masculine sexuality. His superior position was saying I will kill you in a heartbeat, and don't you forget it. Satisfied his message had been read and understood, he slowly set her back on her feet.

She felt the control flow back to her. That thread that had held her under his…his…magic, snapped, and all she could feel was her resentment at being played for a fool.

Her slap echoed through the cold, steel room, even as some part of her watched remotely in horror, moaning something like oh, Katniss, what have you done? You've practically begged the Career tribute to put you at number one on the enemy list. She shakily backed a step as he slowly turned to face her.

A droplet of blood gleamed at his mouth. "Bitch," he snarled at her.

She gripped her bow tighter, as if the unloaded weapon would help. "Thanks." She tried for bravado, for sarcasm, but the tremor betrayed her. It's illegal, you can't kill me now was brimming at her lips, about to spill forth, when his lips turned up into a deadly smile.

"I like bitches."

Oh shit.


Ah, so what happens next? You'll see :)

This is my first Hunger Games fan fiction, so REVIEW if you think I should continue – I'm not playing coy, I promise, but with so many awesome fics out there, I'm truly uncertain whether I should continue.

Also, please do check out my Harry Potter fic with a rather unusual pairing also. What can I say? I love 'em weirdo fics :P

Thank you, and see you (maybe) next chapter – I'll see what those reviews say!

Natalily~