AN: This one can go with 'Accusation.' It's one of the plots in my head.
"Are you ready?"
"Why don't you worry more about yourself?"
He laughs at her. "Just trying to help you out,"
"I don't need you to help me out. Just focus on the mission."
"I do focus on the mission. I'm not the one that decides to barrel out into the middle of the battlefield without so much as a single plan. That's why I'm in charge of the expedition."
"I know. So you've told me a hundred times. Let's just finish the reconnaissance and get this over with."
He knows why she wants to get back and he doesn't blame her. Prim is not faring well, not lately. She caught some type of flu which looks more akin to a disease than a bad case of a bug.
They survey the area just in time, heading back to their underground base as a large hovercraft appeared overhead, flying above them, ominously hanging in the sky. Katniss and Cato watch in silence as the large piece of destruction continues onward to the east.
"When do you think we'll be prepared to make our move?" she inquires after a long stretch of silence.
"Whenever our commanders believe we're ready to fight the Capitol."
"This is taking too long."
"You're not the only one impatient to get the invasion started. Remember that. But we need to plan things out—we can't just barge in."
"We barged in before,"
"And came out with twenty wounded and fifty dead out of the one-hundred who went on the last mission; the others were lucky that they escaped with their lives intact when we gathered them back for the base."
That was the last time anyone held such a large expedition. It had been a huge risk, sending one-hundred of the rebellion's soldiers into battle in terrain that was unfamiliar to the majority of them.
Katniss folds her arms, walking an arm's length from his side. She doesn't like being close to him, but they need to stay together, in case anything happened. They couldn't afford to lose anything. She doesn't like the silence but it allows them to hear so she doesn't say anything else.
She has been a part of the rebellion for four years now. During her time as a tribute in the Games, she managed to make it out alive, with Peeta as well. It was a relief to the whole of District 12; then the Quarter Quell occurred and it went downhill from there, straight into the maw of hell.
Katniss met Cato, the Victor before her, when she and all her loved ones were transported to the base of the rebel's headquarters. Her defiance against the Capitol had stirred the nation's embers of the war of the past, the Dark Days coming back full force in the minds of the leaders, especially Snow. She was considered valuable, thus kept.
She much preferred going out and doing things like this—it gave her a feeling of actually accomplishing something at the end of the day. She never liked feeling unprepared for anything.
Cato, to her surprise, had joined the rebellion cause, more out of the need to save his family, and also because he hated the Capitol too. It went deeper when she heard it all from another rebel. He had been a part of the cause much longer than either of them—even before becoming a Tribute. It would explain how he learned such skill at such a young age. His parents could afford to hide their tracks. He always seemed to be a favorite of the Capitol, so she never gave him much credit. She had still. Then she recalls seeing him snap the neck of a Capitol guard with deft swiftness, not even looking down to make sure the man was dead. He knew how to kill and she left that up to him.
She and he were always paired together for any scout mission. With his brutality and her stealth, they were considered one of the best pairs to do their jobs and do their jobs right.
It was a shame she hated him so much.
"Wait a minute," Cato says, holding up a hand.
Katniss halts, listening to the sound of empty wood. There's the snap of a twig and both turn in the direction of the noise.
Gale emerges from the forest, holding onto his weapon, stern in the shadowy light.
"What are you doing here?" barks Cato, hating to be disturbed from a mission.
"I was sent out to scope the terrain as well," answers Gale calmly, narrowing his eyes at the younger man. "The commander back at base thought you may need some help."
Cato snorts derisively, "I've been a part of this much longer than either of you,"
"We've had to battle to survive just like you," Gale bites out, "You've been pampered all your life."
"You call having to volunteer into the Games 'pampered?' You don't know anything about what I've had to do."
Katniss stares at the two of them, Cato and Gale both stiff. Gale does not intend to apologize and Cato doesn't expect him to. They've never liked each other, which causes much worry and dissension. Peeta doesn't like Cato either and can tolerate Gale well enough, however, unlike these two, Peeta can put aside whatever feelings and discomfort he may have and get the job done.
These two would be lucky not to squabble every single day.
Katniss motions for them to follow, gripping Gale by the arm and dragging him away.
He almost looks smug as she pulls him away.
Cato grimaces deeply, raising a brow.
She caught the look, and wasn't prepared for the feelings in her to wash over.
"Come on," she says, "We need to hurry back."
Cato comes up and continues to walk ahead, leaving Gale and she behind.