As Clove arrived back with the others she first noticed that Cato was finally awake. He was alive. She couldn't decided whether to be disappointed or relieved. Marvel was tying bandage around his wounded arm. He tried sitting up but Glimmer kept pushing him back down. "Get your damn hands off me! We need to get that District 12 girl." Cato tried to force out every word with a clinched mouth due to the pain throbbing in his arm.
"And how are we going to do that? By falling out the tree on our asses like Glimmer?" Clove retorted. "Very funny scar face." Glimmer pointed to the cut left by Katniss's arrow on her cheek. Clove had nearly forgotten that Katniss had shot at her with the same bow and arrows she nicely gave to her. The blood on the cut was dried and caked from the evening heat but it still stung with pain. Pain from both the wound itself and the fact that it was made by Katniss.
Clove touched the cut on her cheek and rubbed it, it wasn't very deep nor was it as serious as the wound Katniss had given Cato. Marvel was now through wrapping Cato's arm up and examined his handy work. "Now I'm no medic, but I think I'm damn good at this." He turned to Clove who went to sit by Cato. "Hey Clove you want me to take care of that cut?" Clove shook her head at Marvel while trying to get Cato to talk to her.
Cato who laying wrapped up tight in his sleeping bag found it hard to get away from Clove since he couldn't move even if he wanted to. "Leave me alone Clove." Clove nodded her head and let him be.
Marvel softly grabbed Clove's arm when she walked passed him. "Hey he just needs time, soon this whole thing will blow over." Clove shook her head at the taller boy. "He doesn't trust me anymore, and I can't decide whether or not I should even stay with him in this alliance or go with Katniss."
Clove felt tears begin to break behind her eyes and quickly wiped them away before anyone saw them. I gotta get a grip, no one wants to see a career cry on national television. The Capitol won't sponsor weaklings in the hunger games. "Look from the way I see it whatever choice you decide on one of them is gonna get hurt either way or hurt even more." He's so right, dammit why does he have to be right all the damn time! Clove couldn't believe she was seeking Console from Marvel of all people. Clove looked at Marvel as if she was seeing him for the very first time then she gave him a punch on the arm.
"Ow, hell what was that for?" asked a hurt Marvel rubbing his arm. "Who died and made you my Jiminy Cricket?" "What are you talking about?" he asked. Clove rolled her brown eyes at the boy who suddenly lost his intelligence in less than a second. "You're telling me all about the consequences that my actions would create if I either choose the right or wrong choice right, like my inner conscious?" "But you're really telling me to just stay with Cato, because I've already hurt him enough." The girl looked to the boy in hopes of seeing him tell her she was correct.
Marvel thought about it for a moment then smiled down at her. "I was really just telling you that you should do the wrong thing, and go with Katniss. Or is going with her the right thing to do? Some good conscious I turned out to be huh?" smiled Marvel.
Clove's eyes widen as she couldn't believe that Marvel was the one pushing her to leave and be with Katniss. "You really think I should?" asked Clove. Marvel nodded his head. "Now would be a good time as any since Cato is unable to fight." The girl never took her eyes off the boy in front of her. "Later on tonight then I will leave, and will you cover for me?" Marvel smiled and nodded his head at Clove. It's really going to happen then, even though leaving with Katniss would now make me a target for Cato and the others, but at least we would have each other.
"Isn't he your partner, and isn't she his partner?" asked Peeta pointing at Marvel then at Cato. "Yeah? Why?" Glimmer asked . Glimmer was sitting by the stream with her hot feet in the cool water, and Peeta having a rope still tied around his neck which ended in Glimmer's hands he had no choice but to join her, with his feet soaking in the water as well.
"What do you think they are talking about? Maybe they're plotting something against you or him." Glimmer yanked the rope hard around Peeta's neck. The thick rope burned his soft flesh underneath it's roughness. Peeta grimaced from the searing pain left by the rope. "Mind your own business tribute and stay out of ours." warned Glimmer. But the girl never took her eyes off Clove and Marvel, and watched them with intent. Peeta just shrugged and laid back on the grass looking up into the direction Katniss was still in. At least she's safe for now.
By the time Clove and Marvel were done talking Cato had fallen asleep soundly under the shade of the trees he laid under. Noticing how peaceful he looked Clove nearly found herself backing out of her plan to leave with Katniss tonight. The knife-girl had already made up her mind, and she hoped that somehow Cato will find a way to forgive her. I can apologize and say sorry a million times to him if that would help, but I refuse to apologize for finally falling in love with someone who was making feel like a human and not a weapon.
"What were you two talking about?" asked Glimmer. Marvel sat down beside her playing with his spears. Peeta smirked listening to the girl question her partner. "Eh, you know just stuff like how nice the weather is today." Marvel shrugged. "Bullshit the weather is nice today its-" Glimmer pulled out a small yellow plastic thermometer out of her waist bag looking at it. "Its freaking 103 degrees right now how nice is that!"
Marvel rolled his eyes at his partner. ""Just let it go, its nothing for you to get all itchy over." Glimmer turned to glare at Clove, but found the girl staring off further into the forest where Katniss could easily be seen in her tree.
Peeta sat up and nudge Marvel on his arm. "Hey man, nature calls." Marvel quickly got up and lead the boy away behind some thick bushes happy that he was away from Glimmer finally.
Glimmer used this opportunity to go mess with Clove again. "Why don't you go talk to her or something? She's not going anywhere, anytime soon anyway you both have all the time in the world...well until we kill her." Glimmer smirked.
For the first time Clove didn't feel threaten or even remotely afraid of what Glimmer would do anymore. I'm finally leaving with Katniss tonight, and this bitch can't hold my feelings for her over my head anymore.
"You know what I think I will go talk to her care to join me?" Glimmer stood stunned looking at Clove. "You don't care if Cato wakes up and sees you talking to her?" Clove furrowed her eyebrows at the other girl. "No why should I, after all from his perspective it would only look like you and I were harassing her or something." "Fine then lets go chat with your girlfriend then."commanded Glimmer. The blonde-headed girl was already walking towards the girl in the tree when Clove looked back at her.
Katniss saw Clove and Glimmer approach her and got her bow and arrows ready to shoot again if she had to. The girl had been contemplating whether or not she should shoot the careers while they were off in their camp but decided against it in case they tried to turn on Peeta. He was still being lead by a rope around his neck this time with Marvel holding the end of it. Peeta, what have you gotten yourself into?
"Wow, do you mind lowering the bow please?" asked Clove approaching Katniss's tree. "I thought maybe you came to get a matching cut on your other cheek this time." Katniss glared down at Clove and kept her bow aimed on her and Glimmer.
"I wanted to check up on you and see how you were, and of course noisy Glimmer had to tag along." Glimmer pushed Clove out of the way. "Give me my weapons tree bitch." Katniss shot a arrow near the girl's feet. "Not a chance." snarled Katniss.
Glimmer let out a angry growl. "This is all your fault for giving her the bow now she thinks all power is in her hands." Clove smiled looking up at Katniss. "She kinda does though she is a expert with the bow after all." Clove turned to Glimmer smirking at her. "The bow and arrows was just being wasted with you, you're a fucking terrible shot, you couldn't even hit that little District 11 girl during the bloodbath at the Cornucopia."
"What the hell she was hopping through the trees so damn fast how could I?" Shouted Glimmer. Katniss narrowed her eyes at the District 1 girl when she heard she tried to shoot Rue with her bow. Katniss shot another arrow at Glimmer this time it managed to get caught in one of Glimmer's braids taking a thick clump of hair with it as it shoot straight into the trunk of a tree.
Glimmer screamed with bloody murder and ran to the arrow that had long,thick strands of her hair sticking to the tree. Clove watched Glimmer fuss and cry over her hair and she could easily see a small patch of baldness where her thick braid had hung down over.
Katniss used this distraction to climb down the tree and make a quick dash away from the careers.
Clove stood their laughing at Glimmer not noticing Marvel trying to get her attention. Only when she saw a silver blur fly pass her did she look up. One of Marvel's spears laid deep within a tree trunk barely missing it's fleeing target that was almost out of sight. Shit! I can't believe she actually made a run for it! How am I gonna explain this to Cato?
A loud whoosh landed near her feet and Clove saw that it was her supplies that Marvel had swung over from across the stream. Is he telling me to leave now? When Clove saw Cato getting up from his sleeping bag she quickly grabbed her things and fled into the forest following Katniss. Yeah, its time to leave alright.
Clove tried strapping up her knife vest as she ran at top speed and at the same time trying to keep her heavy backpack on her shoulders from falling off, but it was weighing her down and she was already growing tired. The girl slowed down deciding that she had put in enough distance between her and the others.
Trying to catch her breath Clove saw several leaves fall in front of her and looked up to see Katniss hopping all along the tree branches getting further away from her. "Hey fire girl!" Whether or not Katniss heard her the girl still kept leaping through the trees. Damn, she's really gonna make me do this huh?
Clove threw the backpack fully on her shoulders and began to climb up into big enough tree that could hold her weight. The knife-girl grabbed hold of the lowest branch to haul herself up it. The branch cracked and groaned but it didn't break or bend and she safely sat herself down ready to grab hold of the next one. Clove managed to make it towards the fourth branch on the tree, and she could still see Katniss in her sights. Making it to Katniss was what kept driving Clove to climb even more despite the heat, and how heavy she felt she kept climbing trying to join the other girl in her domain.
When Clove finally rested enough and reached for the next tree branch a loud crack filled her ears. Shit! The girl hit the forest floor so hard the wind was knocked out of her, and it felt like every bone in her body was broken. Clove groaned and tried to roll over looking up into the tree cover sky. Uh, too many damn trees in here, and I can't even feel my body anymore. Am I gonna die like this? I can't die from falling from a damn tree of all things. Clove's vision began to blur and she was slowly starting to loose consciousness, but despite feeling half awake and half dead to the world she thought she hearing the soft voice of an angel call her name from up above in the trees. Stop calling my name angel, I just want to sleep now.
Large brown eyes met Clove's own when she had finally awaken from unconsciousness."Katniss, she's awake now!" The little girl from District 11 was sitting by Clove eating berries and humming. "Do you want some?" Clove shook her head, but regretted it as she began to feel dizzy. "Where am I?" Rue tried to ease Clove to lay back down when she tried to get up. "Hey relax you're with me and Katniss, you're safe now." Clove laid down and looked around her. A cave? Is this the cave Katniss mentioned once before?
Katniss appeared in the doorway of the cave with a dead rabbit in her hands she gave Clove a look before walking over to a pot cooking over a small fire. "Thanks for watching her Rue, could you gather some more firewood please?" When Rue had left Katniss went over to sit by Clove with a cold wet rag. "You took quite a fall." Clove's eyes widened. "You knew I was following you, and trying to get your attention." Katniss shrugged as she began to pat the other girl's forehead to cool her off. "I didn't think you would have the gall to climb a tree you should just stick to throwing knives, and leave the tree climbing to me and Rue."
Clove finally found the strength to sit up and lean against the cave wall she watched Katniss skinning the rabbit she had caught. Katniss turned back to look at Clove and smiled at her. "I honestly didn't think you would ever choose me over them." Clove remained silent and looking down at her hands. Katniss stopped what she was doing and came closer to the district 2 girl. "I'm going to kiss you now okay?" Clove looked into Katniss's grey-bluish eyes wanting nothing more than to feel her soft lips against hers once more. "Okay."
When they're lips finally broke the distance between them Clove was laying back down with Katniss on top of her. Clove wrapped her arms around the other girl's waist before letting her hands roam around the girl's curvaceous butt cheeks and gave them both a good squeeze. Katniss moaned and brought herself deeper into Clove's warm mouth letting her tongue seek out the other's. They wrapped their tongue together in a soft caress leaving them both desperately wanting more.
Clove pulled away from Katniss wet lips and flushed face. "I know how wet you are right now, because I'm feeling the same way right now, but we need to stop the kid will be back soon." Katniss leaned down one more time for a kiss taking Clove's bottom lip in hers. "Don't worry we'll finish this later." Katniss said mischievously.
"Hey Katniss, I got plenty of firewood this time that's gonna last the whole night." Rue came back inside the cave her arms full of wood placing them beside the dwindling fire. "How far are we from the Cornucopia?" asked Clove. "Not far really but we are well hidden here so don't worry." said Katniss. "I wasn't worrying." Clove grumbled. Clove's thoughts went out to her now former alliance teammates wondering what was going on where they were. She knew the others were probably heading back to the Cornucopia and as soon as Cato was well enough he will be after them all in no time.
"We just need to keep our distance from them as long as we can." said Clove. Katniss and Rue looked at each other then at Clove. "Um...we have a plan, and it's the complete opposite of that." Rue said. Clove gave Katniss a questioning look wondering what this plan was. Katniss was cutting the rabbit meat up and throwing it into the black pot filled with hot boiling water. "Rue, and I are planning something to weaken the other careers." said Katniss. "Well what is it then?" Katniss frowned at Clove and shrugged her shoulders. "We don't know yet but we're still planning it all out." "What the hell, really?" Clove groaned at the two girls in front of her. Its good thing I decided to join Katniss when I did other wise her and this little girl wouldn't last for very long, but I'm still surprised they made it this far especially Rue.
Rue was now sitting by herself with her back turned to the others playing with something in her hands. Clove saw flashes of light jump across the dark walls of the cave. "What is she playing with over there?" Katniss turned to look at Rue. "Um...I think she's playing with your knives." "Oh hell no, hey little girl put those down they're not toys, and they're definitely not for you." Clove was up now making her way to Rue snatching her knives carefully out the little girl's hands. "Well can I at least try on your vest?" asked Rue. Clove glared at her before picking up her vest and placing the knife back into it's slot. "No you can't." Rue crossed her arms over her chest pouting. "You're mean I don't know how Katniss puts up with you." "Excuse me what did you say?" said Clove moving closer to Rue pulling a knife from her vest twirling it in her hands.
"Hey you guys dinner is almost ready." called Katniss who was setting up plastic bowls and cups around the fire. Clove sat by Katniss placing her knife back in her vest. "I told you we should have hidden those things." whispered Rue to Katniss. The District 12 watched Clove fiddle with her vest inspecting each and every knife. "Don't worry about her let's just eat okay?" Katniss handed Rue a bowl filled with steaming rabbit stew and made Clove a bowl as well before making hers last.
The three girls ate in silence and Clove couldn't help but feel awkward sitting with them feeling as if she didn't really belong here with them.
Loud barks and growling came from outside the cave followed by high-pitched screams. Katniss quickly put the fire out and grabbed her bow and arrows. Clove reached for a knife and crouched low beside the cave entrance. The entrance itself was low and well hidden behind the thick bushes that grew over it well out of view from a person, but for something else like a muttation it wouldn't be hard for the girls to be found by it.
Clove placed her finger on her mouth signaling for the other girls to stay quiet. Loud sniffing and the crunch of leaves being trampled on was coming even closer to the cave. The cannon sounded not a second after whoever it was that fell prey to the muttation obviously didn't make it , and now the mutt was making its way towards them.
Grasping her knife hard in her hands Clove knew what she was gonna have to do once she saw the large blood covered snout of the mutt from underneath the bushes. Katniss had her bow in position ready to send an arrow flying at the creature. Rue back herself away further in the cave hiding behind a rock with her slingshot out.
"Ahh!" Clove jumped on top of the mutt jabbing her knife in it's neck blood spewed out of the wound onto her face. The mutt yelped and tried bucking Clove off it's back snapping it's massive jaws at her. Katniss tried to get a good shot on the mutt, but it and Clove were moving all over the place and she didn't want to accidently hit her. Clove kept jabbing her knife in the mutt's neck and head, but it still kept up it's struggle. The District 2 girl was losing her grip around the mutt's neck and it could feel it. With one more buck the mutt slammed Clove back against the hard cave wall.
"Dammit!" Katniss shot an arrow at the mutt hitting it in it's eye. The mutt cried out in pain but soon recovered and began charging at Katniss. The girl tried to get a another arrow ready but her finger kept fumbling over them all. The growling mutt stood in front of her blood seeping from the stab wounds on it's neck and the arrow in it's eye.
Out of nowhere Rue shot a rock from her slingshot at the mutt, and it turned on her. Rue gasped as she watched the mutt make a great leap towards her with it's mouth gaping open full of sharp jagged teeth. Rue screamed closing her eyes expecting the mutt to rip her apart. She slowly opened her eyes looking down at the dying mutt that was twitching violently. Three knives and another arrow was sticking out lodge in it's throat.
Clove sat down on the cave floor breathing hard holding her bleeding arm. "Hey fire-girl, why did you hesitate like that?" Kantiss finally dropped her bow on the ground still shaken from the ordeal. "I didn't want to hit you." Clove closed her eyes and smiled. "Next time don't ever hesitate like that even if it's for my sake." Clove faced Rue who was still staring at the mutt. "You alright little-bit?" The little girl nodded her head quickly. "I'm fine."
Katniss stood up walking over to the dead mutt kicking it over to look at it's face. "It's Glimmer." called Katniss. Clove got this time joining the other girl by the dead creature. "This is Glimmer's mutt." Clove growled kicking the dead mutt over and over in the face that resembled Glimmer's."Great the four-legged bitch is dead now all there is left is the two legged one."
"Lets just get this mess cleared up and get some sleep." said Katniss pulling Clove back up on her feet. Clove helped clear up the mess throwing the mutt's stiffening body outside. "What are we gonna do about all the blood?" asked Clove. Katniss handed Clove a clean rag to wipe her hands and face with. "Nothing just let it dry, and we can sleep on the other side of the cave tonight." "Fine." The District 2 girl made her way to help Rue set up the sleeping bags. "Clove your arm it's bleeding!" cried Rue. "I'm fine it's just a cut now let's get some sleep." Rue looked back at Katniss who shook her head back at the girl.
Clove was already asleep but Katniss and Rue was still up. "Before she wakes up in the morning I'll take care of that cut of hers." said Katniss who was already getting her medical supplies out. "She acts like she doesn't want any help." said Rue. Katniss rolled her eyes looking at the sleeping form of Clove. "I think she's just trying to act tough in front of me, and I know that cut is bothering her."
Rue leaned her head on Katniss shoulder trying to find the comfort she needed to help her sleep. "That thing really scared me." Rue whispered. "I know it scared me too, but it's all over with so just sleep forget all about it." The little girl closed her eyes finally falling into the arms of slumber. Katniss however couldn't sleep the girl stared up through a small hole in the roof of the cave staring up at the stars.
A hovercraft appeared in the sky lighting up the darkness with face of fallen tributes. Two boys and one girl whom Katniss assumed was the girl that was killed by Glimmer's mutt faces were shown in the sky. Katniss scooted a little closer to Clove draping the girl's arm over her and holding on to it. She cherished the warmth that was given to her and feeling the other girl's grip on her tighten protectively Katniss found the comfort she herself needed to sleep, and for the first night since the games began she didn't have to sleep alone in the cold darkness of the arena.