Hate to Love You

Chapter 5:

Goodbye, Katniss...

Peeta Pov:

Pain...that's all I can feel...

I've camouflaged myself in order to hide from possible predators like the Careers. My mind shifts to Katniss. I know she loved me...the look on her face after Cato stabbed me, she still cares.

'But if she loved you...she would've found you by now, she would've come looking days ago,' I think trying to understand what Katniss' motive really is.

The way he chased after her...calling her Katniss and not "firegirl" made me think that there was something else going on between the two of them.

I balled up my fists thinking that could be true...why else wouldn't she have come looking?

My chest starts to tighten and I find it difficult to breathe.

In the end...I wasn't able to protect Katniss, I'll have to watch from the sidelines, no matter how much I want to intervene...to help...I know I have to sit and wait it out, she has to make her own mistakes...and hopefully she'll realize that Cato is the worst mistake for her, and return to loving me.

Before I knew it tears were flowing out of my eyes like a waterfall.

If there is one thing I learned from expressing my feelings for her is that I shouldn't ever tell anybody anything...because once I do, it's hard to let go and I continue to hold on to something that's not there...

If only she knew...

District 12

Prim POV:

"Mom? What's wrong with Gale? Is he going to be okay?" I may only be twelve, but I know Gale, he's been around for some time. I basically grew up grew up with his brother Rory.

My mom kneels down eye level for me.

"Oh Prim," she runs her hand through my blonde hair, so much like her own.

I know she doesn't want to tell me, she thinks she can get out of it by treating me like a kid.

"Mom, I asked what's wrong with Gale." she looks me deep in my blue eyes and I stare back, I'm not backing out of this one.

"Right. Gale's going through a tough time with Katniss being at the games, especially now since her and the district two tribute seem to be in love." She tells me.

"He tried to kill himself, didn't he?" I ask looking down at my feet. I want nothing more than for her to smile and tell me it's not true...

"Yes. He nearly did." she says to me, pulling me close to her.

"Katniss-" I start but was cut off by my mother.

"When Katniss comes back she cannot find out...Gale asked that she didn't, he said it was better that way."

My eyes widened in shock. "But...Katniss and Gale tell each other everything..." I say a tear falls down my cheek.

"I know...but it's Gale's wishes." she smiles reassuringly at me.

Arena

Katniss POV:

Cato...

I think I love him, but I'm not sure...I've never been in love before...

Prim

The only person I'm certain I love...I made a promise to her and now I have fallen in love with my sworn enemy.

I think I do love him. I remember that night in the tracker jacker tree when he kissed me...for just a split second I remember thinking that I was going to die for Cato, because life without him would be too hard, but that meant not keeping my promise to Prim so I pushed the thought from my mind.

Now watching him in the cave the three of us found...he looks like an angel sleeping it's as if he forgot we were in the Hunger Games...

It has been his turn to keep watch hours ago, but I decided to let him sleep because I knew that as soon as he woke, his peaceful features would be replaced with a harder...more monstrous expression.

I look down close to my stomach.

Rue is sound asleep too, right in between the both of us. Ha. It's funny, I never wanted kids because of the whole Hunger Games, but with Rue in between us and Cato and I sleeping on both sides of her as if we are protecting her, it seems like we're really close to a family...a real family.

My eyes start to close and I smile thinking how peaceful we all must look right now.

But of course we're in the Hunger Games and nothing can ever stay peaceful...not even for us...

"Clove...I found footprints!" I hear the Marvel yell to Clove, they're close.

"Cato! Wake up, grab Rue, we have to move!" I whisper to him.

He wakes up immediately and as I said earlier, his face is anything but peaceful now.

"I'll get my bow. Just take Rue!" I say to him in a voice full of panic.

By this time though, Rue had already awakened.

"Rue, the careers are close, I need you to do whatever I say as soon as I say it okay?"

even though she looks scared she still nods her head.

"Katniss you and Rue make a run for it, I'll take care of them." Cato says grabbing his sword.

I nod and grab my bow.

Rue and I hold hands preparing for are run.

"Be careful Cato...and remember I-" He cuts me off by kissing me briefly on the lips.

He pulls away, telling me to go and he'd find us later.

He tells Rue goodbye and flashes a smile at us before I turned and darted out of the cave.

The light from outside was almost blinding, but still we kept running. We've been running for a while it seems. I knew I could outrun the Careers if they were chasing us, but Rue would have the problem because her legs are much smaller. She can jump from tree to tree though. I think. I look over my shoulder for any pursuers.

There is no one chasing us so I stop and pull Rue aside.

"Rue, I'm going to go back to Cato. I want you to climb that tree and stay there until I get back, don't come down until you know it's me. We can do the Mockingjay whistle. I'll whistle when it's safe to come down, okay? " I kneel down to her once I see her scared face.

"Hey, It's going to be fine. Take this, so you know I'll come back for you." I hold out my gold Mockingjay pin in the palm of my hand.

"Okay..." she hesitantly reaches out and takes the gold pin, which makes me smile.

"Don't worry, I'll see you for supper." I pull her in and place a soft kiss on her forehead much like I do with Prim.

I watch her dart up the tree before I take off running back to the cave where I left Cato.

I'm halfway back to the cave when I hear the last thing I ever wanted to hear.

Rue screaming my name.

"Katniss! Katniss help!"

I ran quickly, as fast as I've ran in my entire life.

Please don't be too late...Please. Is all I kept thinking while I was running.

Once I finally find her...I swear my heart stops.

There she is, her beautiful small frame lying in the meadow.

Everything seems so peaceful...

I run over.

"Rue?" I call.

She coughs in response.

That's when I see it...two knives stuck in her, one in her chest the other in her stomach.

I start to panic and drop on my knees

"Rue! Please don't die...You can't..." I realize my words are probably coming as muffled sobs.
I analyze her wounds, the knives are too deep. If I took them out now she would suffer even more.

"K—Katniss?" She says softly. I almost didn't hear her.

"Rue...I'm sorry, please please forgive me..." I say.

Rue, even in this position is still smiling, it might be forced but I'd never know either way.

She coughs again.

She's trying to say something.

"sshh.."

But she shakes her head.

"Kat—Katniss...you have to win." I notice her hand is in mine and she puts my Mockingjay pin back in my hand. I cry harder.

"Can you sing?"

I nod, "Of course..."

Rue smiles as I began to sing.

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when you awake, the sun will rise.

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, A moonbeam ray, Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

"Katniss...It doesn't hurt anymore..." She whispers and that's the last time I hear her voice before her eyes turn lifeless and her hand goes limp in mine.

I kiss her forehead for the last time.

'BOOM' the cannon fires signaling Rue's official death.

I look down and let the tears fall, landing on Rue's face making it seem as if she had been crying too.

I pull the knives out of her body carefully and zip up her jacket, hiding her wounds.

She really does look peaceful as if she was sleeping.

When she told me it doesn't hurt anymore I hope it was true...god I do.

I throw the knives in the tree on the other side of the meadow, and scream.

If the capitol wants us to kill each other that's what they'll get...but at least I know even when the whole world turns into shit, I didn't let it take me down with it.

With a look of determination on my face I began to pull out flowers of all sorts of colors and plant them next to Rue.

I look at her once last time before I turn around facing where I know the camera is hidden.

I place three fingers to my lips and raise it high towards the camera.

It's the perfect act of defiance and I know it.

For district 11. I'm acknowledging them personally.

Katniss Pov: hours later...

It's nightfall and there still is no sign of Cato, but his face didn't appear on the anthem...maybe he's still chasing the careers. Clove...I never actually hated someone more...it was her who killed Rue and I know it.

Marvel's face did appear in the sky that night which means Cato did find at least one of them.

I hear a parachute coming down...it's from the sponsors.

When I open the container attached to the parachute it was a loaf of bread and toasted into the bread it had two simple letters.

P.M. I look at the letters and immediately I know what Haymitch wants me to do...he wants me to find Peeta.

Peeta POV:

It's another day gone by and still no one has found me...I'm not sure if I'm happy that I am still alive or upset because the love of my life hasn't found me yet.

What's that? I hear a noise...like footsteps.

Good. Hopefully someone has come to put me out of my misery...

"Peeta?!" It's her...Katniss...

I hear her stepping out of the water.

"You here to finish me off sweetheart?" I say.

"Peeta? Where are you?"

She looks around and takes a step forward.

"Well don't step on me..." I smirk.

She jumps back.

I open my eyes and look to find her beautiful gray eyes looking down at me.

"Peeta..." she whispers.

Once I'm out of my camouflage, Katniss start's examining my leg.

Katniss POV:

"I guess all those hours decorating cakes paid off." Peeta smiles.

"Yes, frosting. The final defense of the dying."

"You're not going to die," I tell him firmly. "Says who?"

"Says me," I tell him.

His eyes open. "Nice of you to find what's left of me."

I pull out my water bottle and give him a drink. "Where did Cato cut you?" I ask.

"Left leg. Up high," he answers.

"Let's get you in the stream, wash you off so I can see what kind of wounds you've got," I say.

"Lean down a minute first," he says. "Need to tell you something." I lean over and put my good ear to his lips, which tickle as he whispers.

"Remember, we're madly in love, so it's all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it." I jerk my head back but end up laughing.

"Thanks, I'll keep it in mind." I can't possibly tell him about Cato and I...not now...

Luckily, he stops talking and I'm able to push him to a few feet to the river.

"You must be hungry." I try to give him some fruit.

"Not really. It's funny, I haven't been hungry for days," says Peeta. He wrinkles his nose at it and turns away. That's when I know how sick he is.

"Peeta, we need to get some food in you," I insist.

"It'll just come right back up," he says. The best I can do is to get him to eat a few bits of dried apple. "Thanks. I'm much better, really. Can I sleep now, Katniss?" he asks.

"Soon," I promise. "I need to look at your leg first."

Trying to be as gentle as I can, I remove his boots, his socks, and then very slowly inch his pants off of him. I can see the tear Cato's sword made in the fabric over his thigh, but it in no way prepares me for what lies underneath. The deep inflamed gash oozing both blood and pus. The swelling of the leg. And worst of all, the smell of festering flesh. I want to run away. Disappear into the woods like I did that day they brought the burn victim to our house. Go and hunt while my mother and Prim attend to what I have neither the skill nor the courage to face. But there's no one here but me. I try to capture the calm demeanor my mother assumes when handling particularly bad cases.

"Pretty awful, huh?" says Peeta. He's watching me closely.

"So-so." I shrug like it's no big deal. "You should see some of the people they bring my mother from the mines." I refrain from saying how I usually clear out of the house whenever she's treating anything worse than a cold. Come to think of it, I don't even much like to be around coughing. "First thing is to clean it well." I've left on Peeta's undershorts because they're not in bad shape and I don't want to pull them over the swollen thigh and, all right, maybe the idea of him being naked makes me uncomfortable. That's another thing about my mother and Prim. Nakedness has no effect on them, gives them no cause for embarrassment. Ironically, at this point in the Games, my little sister would be of far more use to Peeta than I am. I scoot my square of plastic under him so I can wash down the rest of him.

With each bottle I pour over him, the worse the wound looks. The rest of his lower body has fared pretty well, just one tracker jacker sting and a few small burns that I treat quickly. But the gash on his leg . . . what on earth can I do for that?

"Why don't we give it some air and then . . ." I trail off.

"And then you'll patch it up?" says Peeta. He looks almost sorry for me, as if he knows how lost I am.

"That's right," I say. "In the meantime, you eat these." I put a few dried pear halves in his hand and go back in the stream to wash the rest of his clothes. When they're flattened out and drying, I examine the contents of the first-aid kit. It's pretty basic stuff. Bandages, fever pills, medicine to calm stomachs. Nothing of the caliber I'll need to treat Peeta.

"We're going to have to experiment some," I admit. I know the tracker jacker leaves draw out infection, so I start with those.

Within minutes of pressing the handful of chewed-up green stuff into the wound, pus begins

running down the side of his leg. I tell myself this is a good thing and bite the inside of my cheek hard because my breakfast is threatening to make a reappearance.

"Katniss?" Peeta says. I meet his eyes, knowing my face must be some shade of green. He mouths the words. "How about that kiss?"

I burst out laughing because the whole thing is so revolting I can't stand it.

"Something wrong?" he asks a little too innocently.

"Peeta...I-"

"Attention tributes. There will be a feast tomorrow at dawn at the Cornucopia...each of you needs something, and we want to be...generous hosts...tomorrow at dawn." The voice on the speaker cuts off and me and Peeta look at each other.

"It has to be your medicine." I say.

Peeta doesn't say anything. So I swallow hard and continue to clean the pus out of his wound, then I helped him up and told him to put all of his weight on me so we can find the cave Cato, Rue and I were once in.

The area is empty so it is safe to go inside. It's hard going back in here...this was the last place I was with Rue before she...before she died.

I decide not to focus on that and focus on getting Peeta's medicine.

"If I leave now...i should be at the cornucopia by dawn." I tell Peeta.

"No. I can't let you go.." he say's and I actually feel myself getting annoyed.

"Peeta I'm going..." I saw reaching for my bow. Peeta grabs my hand.

"You would do it for me...wouldn't you?" Peeta looks defeated.

"Why are you doing this?" he asks me shaking his head.

Then I lean in and kiss him...

I don't know why I did it...I just did. It wasn't a long kiss like the ones I shared with Cato but a much softer more friendlier kiss.

It lasted a second before I pulled away. "I'm going Peeta..."

He's still dumbfounded from the kiss so he doesn't object.

Cato POV:

Damn Clove! She had Marvel separate me from Katniss and Rue and now...Rue...Rue's gone...

I've been searching forever for Katniss...I hope I'll reunite with her tomorrow at the feast.

I've been weakened tremendously though, Clove threw a knife right at my bicep, it wasn't in deep so I just pulled it out. And wrapped it in bandages. It still hurts like hell though.

I decide I'm already close enough to the cornucopia so I can take this time to rest...

Next day Dawn, cornucopia:

I'm waiting in the bushes for any sign of Katniss. I see the redhead district 5 run out.

She is in and out at the speed of light. No one even noticed her.

Then I see her...Katniss.

Oh shit! Clove! She thew a knife and it scraped the top of her forehead.

"Clove!" Katniss screamed dropping her bow and charging at Clove.

They roll on the ground, at first Katniss is on top and she punched Clove in the face.

Then Clove rolls over so that she is on top of Katniss and then she takes out a knife and holds it to Katniss' neck.

Now it's time to intervene
"Aww...little firegirl still upset over me killing Rue?" I hear Clove say.

She killed Rue!

I see nothing else but red. I charge at Clove and pull her off of Katniss.

She looks startled by my appearance.

"You killed Rue?!" I scream at her shaking her violently. She shakes her head.

"I heard you...you can't run away now Clove."

I muster up all of the remaining strength I had with my good arm and I slammed her head into the side of the steel cornucopia. The canon sounds.

Clove is dead.

There are only five of us left. Thresh, the district 5 girl, Katniss, Loverboy, and myself.

"Katniss...I.."

"Don't. I'm not mad." She says.

"There are only five of us left..." I say looking down at my feet.

"I know..." she sounded sad.

"Katniss...I'm going to finish off Thresh. Meet me back here by nightfall." I give her a quick kiss and hug her tightly...this may be the last time I get to hug her.

"Okay. Be careful Cato."

"Don't worry...he won't get rid of me easy..." I flash my cocky smirk and she smiles in return.

"So see you at nightfall..." I smile and kiss her one last time.

"I'll see you then..." she says after we pull away from our kiss.

She turn and begins running away and I do the same but only in the opposite direction.

Katniss POV:

Once I arrived back, Peeta was sound asleep.

"Peeta. I have your medicine." he jots awake at the sound of my voice.

"Katniss...what happened to your forehead? You're bleeding!"

"I'm fine...what's more important is that you have your medicine for your leg."

I take it out of the bag and pull of the small container of ointment.

I rub it carefully on Peeta's leg.

"It feels a lot better now..." he says.

"Now it's your turn." he take the the remaining ointment and rubs it on my forehead.

We lock eyes. I smile sadly. Maybe...if there were no games...no starving...and I never met Cato...maybe we would've been together for real. Just maybe...

An hour later:

Me and Peeta were now finding food to eat...he scares everything away before he even gets close because of his loud footsteps. So, I sent him to find fruit or edible plants.

I was just about to shoot a rabbit when I heard a canon.

I look around for Peeta and find a bunch of Nightlock berries by his jacket.

I panic.

"Peeta?!" No answer. I run.

"Peeta!" I bump into something and I relax... it's Peeta.

I realize he has nightlock in his hands.

"I heard the cannon! That's a nightlock Peeta, you'll be dead in a minute!" I snatch them out his hand.

"You scared me to death...damn you!" I give him a hug. I'm just glad he's alive. I don't need another persons blood on my hands.

I look and see foxface dead on the ground with nightlock berries in her hand.

I take a bunch of the berries without Peeta noticing.

"I didn't even know she was following me..." Peeta says.

I nod. "Yes, she was clever."

We walk away from her body in order to give the capitol time to clean out her body.

As we walk I notice it getting darker, and I imagine that the Gamemakers turning down the light just in time for the grand finale...

"Katniss what time is it?" he asks looking around at the now dark sky.

"Barely after noon. The gamemakers must be trying to end this now."

BOOM!

I jump and pray that it was not Cato. I look up in the sky and see Thresh's face.

"Only three of us left now..." I sound unhappy because I am, but I can't help but feel glad that Cato didn't die.

Howling...they're sending the mutts! Peeta heard it too because we both start running.

One mutt jumps out of the trees and tackles Peeta.

I don't hesitate. I shoot the mutt directly in the head. It dissolved into the ground.

I ran towards Peeta to help him up.

"Peeta we have to run to the cornucopia!" I scream.

There are more mutts headed our way from behind us, so he and I both start running.

It's hard to see in the dark...I kept running into things, but luckily I could see the tree enough to know where to run to avoid them.

When we arrived at the cornucopia, Peeta helped me climb on first.

I turn around to help him up. He's halfway there and then his hand slips. I grab hold of him.

"Peeta! Pull yourself up I can't...I can't..." I look at one of the mutts.

Rue. The mutt has her eyes...the capitol used her eyes!

There's a difference though...the mutt's eyes were malicious...so unlike Rue's bright, soft eyes.

I feel Peeta's hand slipping. "No! Peeta!" I scream.

Before he could fall another pain of hands grab his hands much stronger hands.

Cato.

He tried to pull him up...but his right arm started bleeding through the bandages.

He held on to him...come on Cato, just a little more. Cato's arm is making him wince. I try to help him but my strength is useless.

"Just let go, Cato..." Peeta says. My eyes widened, after everything we've been through...he wants to give up.

"No Peeta!" I scream.

"Katniss...there's only one winner...and either way...it has to be one of you...I'm not fit to be their victor."

"Cato, let go!" Peeta yells, but Cato doesn't listen...he's still trying to pull him up.

He locks eyes with me, and mouths the words. "Goodbye, Katniss..." then he yanks his arm free of Cato's grasp falling to the mutts. The fall seemed like it happened in slow motion as I screamed and he fell to the mutts who piled up on him and continuously bit him like a horde of zombies.

"Shoot me! Please!" I hear Peeta's plea. My face is tear streaked. Cato comes over and put his hand on my shoulder. "End it...he wants you to." he whispers in my ear.

Peeta's screams continue as the mutts devour him.

I nod, load my arrow and shoot.

Right in the chest.

BOOM! Peeta's dead. Peeta's dead and it's all my fault.

The darkness fades away and the mutts disappear. No part of Peeta's body is left.

Nothing.

I stood there, looking at the spot in which he had died, crying and not moving.

"End it..." Cato tells me again. "They have to have there victor...and it's going to be you."

"No. They don't." I throw my bow down and and walk over to him...pulling out the nightlock berries.

Cato POV:

"No. They don't." she walks over to me pulling out berries.

Nightlock!

"Katniss no! You have to win this!"

"Trust me." she says and looks me in the eyes and I'm not looking at the same eyes I fell in love with...her eyes almost look dead...she's been through so much...I want to be there for her...forever...and if the only way to accomplish that is through death, then I'll do it.

"Together?" I ask.

"Together." she confirms.

She puts a handful of berries in my hand.

"one.." I say I look at her hair and I want to touch it again. I reach out and touch her beautiful soft brown hair.

"Two..." She says and then she leans in and kisses me when she pulls away I smile.

"I love you, Katniss..."

she looks at me likes she's going to cry.

"I love you too...Cato."

I close my eyes trying to make her voice the last thing I remember.

"Three..." we both say at once.

We both raise our arms and put the berries in our mouths.

"WAIT! STOP!" I spit out the berries and so does Katniss.

"Ladies and gentlemen my I present the winners of the 74th annual Hunger Games! Cato Anderson and Katniss Everdeen!"

We did it...we did it. We won. I look at Katniss once more before the hovercraft comes down and forces us to go our separate ways for our prep teams to fix us up and make us presentable for the interviews in a few days...

Author's note:

I wanted to thank everyone who reviewed this story. I know this chapter was crap. But it's not the end so it will get better. I made the games end here because I simply didn't have an interest to drag them on. I did borrow some of Suzanne Collins work from the book to help with describing Peeta's leg and Katniss' emotions toward it. The reason why It took so long to update is because of the fact that HIGH SCHOOL KILLS YOUR B RRAIN! YOU CAN'T WRITE WHAT YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT BECAUSE IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CURRICULUM. ALL THE ESSAY'S, STARDARDIZED TESTING, HOMEWORK, IT'S LIKE THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO BE CREATIVE WITH ANYTHING! Lol.