permanently black and blue

.

.

verse: hunger games

rating: pg-13

character(s): Clove, Cato

summary: her arms are lined with bruises-—catoclove

a/n: not my characters, but my plot. title from song "bruises" by chairlift

.

.

.

.

Nobody can figure Clove out.

With her petite and agile demeanor, one would describe Clove as "cute" or "innocent". It's true that on the outside, Clove did not look very formidable. But it was on the inside that counts, right?

At school, she is a loner, always sitting alone at the lunch tables and at the back of the class. She is smart—this is known throughout the school, but she is never seen with anybody. She never speaks up in class.

In the training area, everything's different. Suddenly, little Clove isn't as innocent as she seemed to them before, as her knives slice through the air and hits the target every single time. She's dangerous. An enemy.

.

.

.

No one can miss the horrible sound she makes as she screams. That screeching, banshee noise that came out of her house that night stayed in everyone's mind.

It was not hard to guess what made her scream like that.

Her father had quite a reputation around the District. But no one suspected what he did to her, until that day.

All night, her screams and cries were heard. It was not her fault, the people said. But they did nothing to help her.

.

.

.

She limps the next morning. It isn't all too noticeable, but if you look closely, you can see her face gasping in slight pain. But she would glare at you if you stared.

People avoided her like the plague. They heard what happened, and they felt sorrow for her, but she was still that dangerous loner named Clove. Nothing changed.

When she leans down to get her books, her sleeve rides up slightly and her arm is stained with little black and blue bruises. They mar her perfect, lily-white skin, but it makes her look tough. It makes her look experienced.

They stare and stare until she glares at them, begging them to not pity her. They turn and ignore her, getting on with their lives as she stands there, alone with her arm of bruises.

.

.

.

The screams happen more and more frequently. Some days, she would come into school with a black eye swollen shut or a broken leg. Her green eyes pierce them like her knives—silently telling them not to say anything.

She's tragically beautiful, with her dark hair contrasting strongly with her pale, freckled skin and bright eyes. But this does nothing to help her troubles.

Her face is now in a permanent scowl. No one has seen her crack a smile in a long time.

She still throws knives accurately, even when she's in so much pain that all she wants to do is scream and scream. But she must appear strong.

.

.

.

It's almost relief that she feels (it's strange, training should have left her unfeeling) when she gets Reaped for the 74th Games. Unlike the others, she didn't care for her District. She did not feel pride when one of their tributes returned. She did not care for the games; they bored her.

It's almost too easy for her to win, except when a boy by the name of Cato volunteers. Her mouth twitches ever so slightly, suddenly nervous at his size. He was known to be big and strong in Training. She was almost scared.

It's okay. She's emotionless and graceful, while he is big but awkward and quick to anger. She can easily kill him.

But the way he looks at her leaves her unsettled.

.

.

.

They spend nights together in her bedroom in the Capitol. On night, however, he professes something and it leaves her confused. Why should he be feeling that way? She thought that everybody hated or pitied her.

She didn't know what she felt. Emotions, to her, were awkward and horrible and for adults or little children and she was neither.

Maybe his strategy was to seduce her, then use it against her and kill her. No, she would not let it happen.

But she can't help the tiny bubbly feeling in the pit of her stomach.

.

.

.

She's dying, she decides. Her eyes are teary and everything is blurry. Clove can hear his voice of pure anguish and terror coming nearer. She feels a type of pain different from her father's tortures.

In their last moments together, he decides to comment on her bruises. Carefully, he pulls up her sleeve to reveal the bright colours that dotted her arm. They haven't faded.

Touching them gingerly, he says, "I never knew how severe it was."

She smiles slightly. "It was."

"Why didn't you tell anyone?"

"I didn't want their pity."

He looks at her very tenderly. "I've always liked you."

This surprises her. She'd always thought that the only feeling anybody ever had for her was indifference. To her own surprise, though, it doesn't disgust her and a thought blooms in her head that maybe, just maybe, that she might reciprocate the feeling.

"I'll kill him for you. When I get back."

She likes the reassurance. She likes the confidence he has that he will win, even though she knows he will not.

Darkness was spreading over them. She felt a tear on her cheek—was it his?—and then she closed her eyes.

And that was it.

.

.

.

a/n: please review! i know it sucks, but i needed to get out my feelings! if you love isabelle fuhrman, you are totally my best friend, kay?