Warning: This story contains an act of wavering consensual levels.

It's down to District Two, Five, Eleven, and Twelve, and Clove is tired of waiting. Cato's insisted that with so few tributes left, they'd do better to bide their time and wait for the Capitol to herd them all together for the final bloodbath. True enough, but she's bored and really just ready for it all to be over. They've made their own little makeshift hut, not at all concerned about any of the remaining tributes bothering them, for it'd be an instant death sentence for anyone who tries.

The days are getting hotter and the nights colder, as if the Gamemakers are trying to smoke them out. Actually, that is what they're doing, Clove realizes, but instead of inducing the desired effect, it's just making her apathetic and Cato restless. He keeps pacing around their campsite, muttering to himself and grunting every now and then; he wants something, and it's not until the next day that he finally clues her in.

"If it weren't for the games, y'know," is how he starts as he suddenly stops pacing and comes to sit next to her by their fire. She's been skinning their breakfast all morning and isn't much in the mood for chatting, but she can't even get herself to feel irritated. She just feels empty, and even that doesn't bother her because she's been void of emotion for a long time now, anyway.

Instead, she tries to decipher what this blonde, brute of a boy next to her means. He's left her with an incomplete thought, the ending dangling by itself in the middle of a forested nowhere. If it weren't for the games, y'know. If it weren't for the Games, she'd know a lot of things.

It isn't until he silently begins rubbing his bare hand up and down her arm with his haughty sneer that she gets it.


It's a natural part of the games, really; what do they expect, mixing a bunch of hormone-ridden teenagers staring death in the face together unsupervised? It's usually about this point that those in alliances begin to realize this might be the only chance to participate in the act that created their wretched existence. Typically the cameras cut away just as things start getting good, and Claudius gives the at-home audience a knowing wink. Teenagers will be teenagers, with or without food.

Of course, there's the scarier side to the games; sometimes that pent up frustration becomes too much to handle, and the already blood-thirsty tributes take what they want whether their victim is willing to give it or not. You don't see that part on television; that's more than the prissy Capitol crowd can handle. She's heard stories, though, and although she knows she can hold off Cato if need be, she's not entirely sure that he won't try if she refuses.

She thinks of this as a giant "fuck you" to the parents who begged her not to volunteer for the games this year, who cried and sobbed when she did anyway. The more they hate her, the easier it'll be for them to let her go. Without another word, she gives him a slight nod and before she can even blink, even process what she's agreed to, he's got her pinned on the ground underneath him, the rabbit intended for breakfast lost to the forest floor.

Cato handles his manhood much like he handles his sword: with ease and confidence. Something tells her she isn't his first, and if he makes it out of here alive, she won't be his last, either. He rolls the extremity in question between his hands a few times until it's ready, and then, giving her a sly smile, he enters her.

In retrospect, she isn't sure just what she was expecting, but it isn't the burning, terrible pain she feels inside of her. It feels like someone is taking one of her knifes and twisting it up inside her body; she feels like all the pain she's ever inflicted on anybody – from her first pet cat she skinned alive in anger when she was seven to the last tribute she killed – has been rolled into a giant ball and exploded inside her. It hurts it hurts it hurts oh god it hurts, and if this is what that mythical act of sex is – if this is what adults do for fun – she can't even imagine what it's like to die.

She wants to shove the blonde boy on top of her off, but it's too late. Cato's lost in his own world as he continues his rhythmic motion on her body, his eyes clenched shut. Instead, her pain-wracked brain wanders to District Twelve and their Girl on Fire with her Lover Boy; anything to forget, to escape. Oh, the irony of finally feeling full.

Clove bets Lover Boy would plan the most romantic evening for his Fire Girl before ever trying to make love to her. (What she's doing with Cato can only be called sex, and nothing more.) Even she can see that it's not a ploy, the whole Star-Crossed Lovers shit. Not for Peeta or Wheat or whatever the hell his name is.

There'd be flowers (he seems like he'd fall for that cliché shit) and candles, romantic music if he can get his hands on it. He'd work up to the event with sweet nothings in her ear and gentle kisses on her neck. Maybe they wouldn't even do the dirty deed, not the first time. He'd step down if she wasn't ready at the last second; she'd be free to stand on her metal plate as long as needed in their games.

She turns her rage from the boy still using her body to the female from District Twelve, the girl who doesn't deserve half of what she's been given. She should be dead, killed in the bloodbath, but somehow she's still out there, out-witting them, even killing a few of their numbers. She's making them look foolish and weak, and Clove has never been one to be content with weakness.

The girl's got the one thing you can't get through training or money –desirability, all thanks to her weakling district partner. She doesn't even appreciate it, doesn't even seem to care

In that moment, she vows she's going to personally kill the girl from District Twelve or die trying.

Clove can't decide which one sounds more desirable.

A/N: Complete for now, though I had originally planned for this story to go longer. It's my first M-rated fic, so please let me know if the rating is off.