Title: When We Start Making Fires
Rated: R
I'm going in for the kill
I'm doing it for a thrill
Oh I'm hoping you'll understand
And not let go of my hand

AN: This is the first I've written for this pairing, and I'd really appreciate any and all feedback.

She wakes suddenly in the middle of the night (her last, although she does not know it), roused by an intense pressure on her midsection and hot, sour breath on her face.

There are three things she knows before she opens her eyes.

The first: It is Cato who holds her down. Years at home, followed by dayshoursminutes (lifetimes) in The Arena have made her almost as familiar with his body as she is with her own.

The second: He has both her arms pinned above her head, her wrists trapped easily by one of his much larger hands.

Third: There is a jagged, nasty blade pressed against her her throat.

When she opens her eyes, she's looking directly into his face. He's crouched astride her hips, a knee on either side of her ribcage. His eyes are wide, his breath erratic, and she knows that he is afraid (of what, she's not sure. Too many choices).

"You're not going to use that on me, you know." She's smirking (got to keep it up. Give them a show. Even if Cato's the only one watching right now).

"You don't know that." He snarls, pushes the knife closer. She can feel her skin tear. Not enough to cause permanent damage, but enough to draw blood. Damn.

"If you were going to kill me, you wouldn't have waited for me to wake up first. Besides, the rules changed. If you go home without me, because you slit my throat, you'll be ostracized. We both know it."

"Kind of like how we both know that the rule change is just a ploy? Only one of us comes out. Just one."

He's right. She knows he's right (everyone knows, except maybe those fools from Twelve, but it's a ploy designed for them so that makes sense). But even so...

"Still doesn't mean you'll kill me, Cato."

He hasn't moved the knife, but he hasn't pushed it any farther either. "Got blood on my hands, Clove." He's not scared anymore. She can't decide if that means she should be.

"Not mine." She says (not yet, she doesn't say).

He laughs and moves the knife.

"No. Not on my hands." And he drops his head to her throat, his mouth taking the place of the blade, and his tongue drags across her skin, licking up the blood he's spilled.

She understands. It is the same for her, after all. His blood is inside her, running through her, part of her as surely as hers is part of him.

They were born for this. To be hunters, predators. Raised to slaughter.

His mouth has moved from her throat to the crook of her neck. His lips pull at the skin, and she shivers. This is familiar too.

She moans, and when he finally lets go of her wrists she makes her move. Bucks her hips, and grabs his shoulders using his moment of surprise to roll them over.

He breathes her name, and she covers his mouth with her own, kissing him violently (the only way she knows how to do anything). She bites his lips, hard, until she tastes blood.

She glides one hand over his chest, down, down, down to where both of his already pull at the fastenings on their pants.

Her other hand is busy searching the ground, until she closes it over a smooth handle.

Cool air hits her as soon as Cato gets her clothes far enough out of the way. She waits, hand frozen on the ground.

He grips her hips (she has ten bruises that never quite fade, each the shape of one of his fingers. They've been there since she was fourteen, and she is certain that they will be there until she dies), he pulls her down not bothering to be gentle, and she cries out.

When her hips are flush with his, she pulls the knife off the ground.

"Clove! What are you-?"

She starts to move, rising and falling, pulling him deep.

"You might have to try to kill me, Cato. It might come to that. But don't you dare forget that I could kill you too."

She lays the blade flush against his chest, the point directly over his heart.

"I know. Clove. I know."

She wonders if they're on camera, then decides they're not. Sex isn't new to the Games. Love is new, but this isn't love.

She thinks, sometimes, that if it were love they could maybe survive.