Thanks to everyone who reviews the last chapter and this one will have more humour, mixed in with Cato's craziness, so I hope you enjoy. Please take the time to review and tell me what you thought! We're nearly done now… this chapter includes some weird Cato dreams, but besides that, it's Peeniss and we're wrapping up the games.
Cato stood outside a cathedral, staring into the fog.
He took a deep breath and looked around, but he was surrounded by a white fog. He couldn't see anything, besides himself. He stuck out from the landscape like he'd been added, freezing in his tux.
Then he remembered; he was getting married today. He rushed towards the doors, and groaned when they appeared to be locked.
"I don't approve, Cato." He whipped around to see Seneca Crane looking at him sternly.
"What?" He asked, licking his lips.
"Your relationship with this girl will kill you, Cato. I promised your parents that I'd protect you."
"But I love her," he said weakly.
Crane frowned. "There's no place for love in the Hunger Games."
"I'm at my wedding though," Cato mumbled.
"You are," he smiled. "Or… are you?"
"Let me through."
Seneca shrugged. "As you wish."
Cato moved closer. "She hasn't killed me!"
"She has, Cato. She's ruined you," he replied sadly, before turning around and walking away. Cato pushed the doors open and walked into the cathedral. Candles burnt by the walls and the ground was blanketed with the white fog.
Peeta Mellark came up, smiling at him. "Hey, Cato! Got here just in time. We were going to send a search party after you. Or," he grinned, "what's left of you."
Cato frowned. "What?"
Peeta took his arm and led him into the main room. When they entered Cato let out a strangled gasp. Everyone in the room was dead.
"Why are they here?" He choked, backing off as his guests rose.
Peeta smiled at him again. "They're your guests; you invited them; you and Glimmer that is. You took their lives and, well, here they are."
"Why are you here then?" Cato asked.
Mellark laughed, before turning to the guests. "I told you he was a smart one!"
The dead laughed and blood spat from their mouths. Cato, sickened, was forced along by Peeta, as they reached out and grasped his clothes.
"Remember me?" A tribute asked, clawing at his sleeve. "I'm the boy you murdered at the start. You've forgotten me."
"No," Cato insisted. "It was an accident-"
Thresh stood, his burnt skin sloughing down his face, the top missing from the blade, blood dribbling down.
"Was I an accident?"
"You killed Glimmer!" He cried.
"And what a loss that was to the world."
Cato made to charge him, but Peeta forced him to the altar. Music started and everyone rose as Glimmer appeared arm in arm with her father. Cato couldn't make out his features, and Glimmer's was covered with a veil, but he started to calm down. Glimmer was alive, everything was okay.
"Where's Katniss?" Cato asked Peeta. In response, Mellark laughed again.
"Why," he tried to keep his face straight, "you…, oh, you haven't killed her yet!" He continued to laugh like this was the funniest thing he could think of.
Cato turned as Glimmer stood next to him. On instinct, his hands moved to her veil, lifting it up, hoping to see her beautiful eyes.
He backed away in revulsion. Maggots crawled from her eyes, her grey skin stretched tightly over her face, her hair falling out in clumps. She was…
"Dead!" Peeta laughed.
Cato woke up screaming, scrambling away from Glimmer's body and Peter's laughter. He took a deep breath as he realised it was a dream, and laid back down, his heart pumping against his chest.
Leaves rustled by his side and he rose to his feet, sword in hand. A flash of red brought a smile back to his face.
"I don't know what sucks more," Peter sighed. "The fact that Cato and Thresh didn't kill each other, or that we've run out of food."
Katniss glared at him. "Come on… we've got to go hunting."
"Cool!" He leapt up happily, running to her side. "You must be a master!"
Katniss smiled to herself, before leading them both outside and turning to face Peter. She frowned.
"Is it just me, or is it… colder than it should be? Darker too?"
Peter nodded. "Yeah, Gamemakers are wrapping the games up. Only us, Cato and Gingernut stuck in this pot of happiness."
Katniss smiled, before reminding herself that she wasn't supposed to like Peeta.
"Right," she turned him to face him. "Hunting; this is how I did it. I'd get up really early, go down to town and wait outside the food shops, like the bakery."
Peter frowned. "When does a bow come into this?"
"I'm getting there," Katniss reassured him. "I'd wait for the shops to open, then I'd sneak in. While Gale distracts them, I'd steal some food. Gale was a good hunting partner, and we got lots of food."
"You stole it," Peeta clarified.
"We hunted!" Katniss insisted. "Anyway, the key is to go after the most pathetic targets, like those stupid Mellarks at the bakery!"
"That's where all the morning rolls went!" he exclaimed. "You're the reason I wasn't allowed any presents for my 9th birthday!"
"And as for the bow," Katniss continued, ignoring him completely, "I'd use it in case someone tried to be a hero…"
"You killed people!?" Peter asked, shocked.
"Not all the time," she shrugged. He tried to protest, but she waved her hands around in his face. "Hey, quit your whining Peter! It's Katniss time!" She shook her head at him. "Let's go hunting."
"Stealing," he muttered.
She hit him on the cheek. "No talking back! Now go and find me some food!"
"Yes, your highness," he scowled. "What will you be doing?"
She raised her bow. "Taking out Cato. Thinks he can get past me. You know, I hope he comes barrelling out of those trees right now, so I can shoot his stupid face off."
Peter's face showed what he thought of that, but he just shook his head and lumbered off into the trees. Katniss nodded happily, before trudging off into the forest to the forest. She hadn't been walking for 5 minutes before the cannon went off.
"Oh, shit," she muttered. If Peter was dead… he was the only one strong enough to fight Cato… she'd be dead if she was left alone!
"Peeeeeeeee-TA!" She cried, running through the trees. "Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-TAAAAA!"
She crashed through some trees and slammed into Foxface. She screamed at the top of her lungs and kicked out at Gingernut, throwing the tribute back against a tree. She made to attack again, but arms wrapped around her, lifting her off the ground.
"Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-TA! CATO'S GOT ME! SAVE MEEE!"
A hand went to her mouth before she was turned around to face… Peter.
"Shut up!" He hissed. "We don't need you screaming Cato down on us." He rubbed his brow as she moved away from him. "You got my name wrong," he told her wearily.
"Oh, sorry," she said sheepishly. "But I was attacked, yeah, attacked by Foxface."
"You weren't," Peter told her, pointing at the tribute behind her. "Gingernut just got dunked… in tea." Katniss stared at him. "Before being eaten," he added.
She nodded and turned to see the ex-tribute. Foxface was strung up from a tree, a clear message to District Shit. Cato was coming for them next.
"How could he do this?" Peter asked. "He was supposed to be… nice."
Katniss sighed. "Yeah, well, Glimmer's death drove him insane. We're all fucked now."
Peeta rubbed his jaw. "You know what this means now, don't you?"
"Yeah…," she replied. "It's just you against Cato."
Peter ignored the 'you'. "We can do it."
She raised her eyebrows. "Peter, you're leg… you claim you can't even run on it!"
Katniss turned back to Foxface. "I could have taken her."
"Sure," he agreed. "The dead don't usually fight back. Come on. Let's get our weapons and get ready for the final fight."
They trudged off back to their cave to collect their weapons and supplies. They had to stop multiple times to allow Peeta to 'rest' because of his leg.
"Come on!" Katniss cried eventually. "You've had five breaks! At this rate, we'll never get back to the cave!"
"Sorry," he grumbled, shoving some berries he'd collected in his mouth.
Katniss froze. "What did you just eat?"
"Why? Do you want some?"
She snatched them out of his hand and paled. "Peeta! This is NIGHTLOCK, you stupid…," she couldn't find the word to describe how much of an idiot he was.
"What's so bad about them?"
"Oh, I don't know," she replied sarcastically. "Besides the painful death, not much at all."
Peeta turned green, but he shook his head. "But I've been eating these since the start of the games!"
"How the- you know what, I don't care!" Katniss decided. "Just don't fuck this up for us!"
"My leg hurts," Peeta moaned.
Katniss held up a hand for him to shut up as she frowned at the sky. It was growing darker, and the temperature was definitely dropping. She heard howling from the woods.
"Wolves?" Peter asked.
"Or worse," Katniss breathed.
His face lit up, like he had been reminded of something. "Oh yeah, I've been meaning to tell you… about Glimmer-"
"Shut up," she scolded.
"Yeah, but this is-"
She pointed her bow at him. "Don't think I won't do it."
He gave her a 'bitch, please' face before drawing a zip across his mouth. Katniss' nerves were shot though as she scanned around them.
Suddenly, a huge weight went slamming into her, throwing her bow out of her hand. She hit the ground hard and tried to regain her senses. She glanced at the shape on top of her, expecting to see Cato. Instead she saw a wolf.
"PETER!" She cried, trying to push it away. Peter, that stupid baker, wrapped his arms around it and lifted it away, a big grin on his face.
"I got it, Katniss!" He said happily.
"Aw, why?" He asked. "He's such a cutie!"
"STAB IT! NOW! I COMMAND YOU!"
Peeta's reply was cut off as the wolf twisted and pushed him to the ground. Katniss could only watch in fear as Peter became lunch. The wolf quickly got bored of Peeta though and turned to Katniss.
"This, gentlemen," Seneca Crane crowned from the control room, "is the end of District Shit."
Woody watched with a very familiar Woody Harrelson look on his face, as Crane put together the final pieces of his games. Turning in disgust, Woody marched away from the building, back into a very conveniently placed bar. He shoved a kid off a stool and sunk into depressed mode, rolling up his sleeves and pulling of his suit jacket to make this even more apparent.
'Red Bull," he ordered. The barman gave it to him without a word (you never paid when you were depressed.) Effie sat next to him and ordered a Fosters. Woody glanced at her in annoyance. "This is a kid's story. We only just got this T rating."
Effie looked at him seriously, sipping at her Apple Juice. "What are you going to do, Woody?"
Woody looked up from his Red Bull, brushing apart the two parts of his hair etc etc. "What do you mean?"
She pursed her lips. "You know what I mean."
Woody stared at her. "Care to elaborate?"
Woody shook his head, looking baffled.
Effie glanced at the readers. "You know. Story-plot-line-X592BGD-Sub-Section-G-coded-as-Pro ject-End-the-Parody?"
Woody's eyes glinted dangerously. Or at least, as dangerously as was possible for Woody. "Then what are we waiting for?"
Peeta tried to clear his vision.
He didn't like what he saw when he did… the wolf was close to Katniss now, getting ready to pounce and take out her throat.
His vision constricted: Badass Mode… pending… Activated.
He surged to his feet and grabbed the wolf, throwing it around. It snarled at Peeta, the two circling. In a heartbeat, it charged, but Peter was ready, sliding under it and throwing it over his shoulder and onto the ground. From there, he beat it to death with his fists.
Katniss watched in awe as Peeta was awesome. She brushed her hair out of her face.
"Oh, Peter… that was," she took a deep breath, "Oh, Peter!" she swooned.
He glared at her. "You know, you suck!"
She frowned, yanked out of her fantasy. "What?"
He made an angry noise before bursting out in rap.
"You're so complicated
I must made an abrupt statement
I just hate it your lust faded
I'm suffocating cause you're choking me blue
You push me off the edge and now I'm broken in two
Well half of me decided not to recognize your lies
And the other half of me just wants a moment of truth
My emotions are through
Twisted like the chains of a park swing
Cause you're a puppeteer pulling on my heart strings
You're an alien mothership with a tractor beam
Pullin' me, tractin' me back into this catastrophe
I put Novocaine on my soul again
But still the pain hurts, let me clarify exactly how my brain works
I love you and I hate you
I love you but I hate you
I love you but I hate you
I wanna leave but I'll be back I'm sure,
You colossal bitch!"
Katniss looked confused. "I didn't know you felt this way."
"OH! I can't even-," he broke off and turned green, then blue, before taking a right at porridge road and ending with an pale grey.
"What are you looking at?" She scowled, turning to see what he was looking at.
Cato was tearing towards them. He was a state, with blood dripping down his face from the Mutts. Burns coated one side of his face and his clothes boasted dried blood and blackened parts, as if he'd been in some sort of fire. A single cut ran across the length of his face from some disk of some sort.
"CATO!" Katniss hid behind Peeta.
The tribute from District 2 didn't pay attention them, racing past and off into the forest.
The two tributes from District Shit laughed and high fived.
"We scared him off!"
"Thinks he can mess with us!"
"We're so awesome!"
"I could take two Cato's with a little Glimmer salad and I'd still be good!"
They both stopped as they heard howls in the woods and a Mutt made its way out of the underbrush.
"We can deal with that," Katniss said breezily.
Suddenly, tons of Mutts came out of the woods, hundreds. Anything to kill District Shit (I mean, seriously, them winning the games?)
"Run now?" Peter asked faithfully.
"Run," Katniss agreed before they took off into the woods after Cato. Somehow Katniss managed to catch up with Cato, who'd obviously been resting or something.
"How long?" She panted.
"Running? Three miles or so."
She was amazed, but just then she heard a cry and turned back. Peter was limping along behind them, his bad leg stopping him from running properly.
Cato frowned as he slowed down. "He's dead, I'm afraid."
Katniss turned to Cato. "Save him!"
"No," he replied. "Saves me having to kill you myself," he snarled, sounding exactly like Glimmer, before taking off into the forest.
"Help, oh, help," Peeta moaned, smiling from the attention. "I can't run very fast, oh, it hurts so much," he sniggered.
"Bye Peeta!" Katniss cried, before taking off.
Peter blinked. "She got my name wrong…" He frowned, before looking behind him and seeing the Mutts metres behind him.
"Oh, shit!" He cried, before running full speed. Katniss could only gape as Peter went flying past with a dust trail behind him.
Cato was almost to the Cornucopia when Peter went flying past him.
"Shit!" He exclaimed as Mellark took a running leap and made it to the top of the golden horn in one jump!
He looked back and waved them on. "Come on!"
Cato leapt up and started climbing.
Katniss was counting on Peeta helping her up, but she had to do it herself, which left her in a bad mood.
"Peter," she started, before seeing Cato and the baker.
Until then, she'd forgotten what Cato looked like; the huge tribute and that raw power. He wouldn't be holding back this time. His hands were wrapped around Peeta's throat as he slowly lowered him to the ground.
"HEY!" Katniss yelled.
Cato turned to face her and grinned, before letting Peter go. "You're the one I want," he murmured, limping towards her on a leg ripped up by Mutts.
Katniss tried to raise her bow, but Cato slammed his hands and pushed her onto her bottom ungracefully before bringing out a broken sword from his jacket.
Peter groaned, looking up from the ground and saw Katniss glaring at him.
"Are you going to let him treat me like that?" she asked indignantly.
Anger turned his vision to red and he charged Cato, grabbing his neck and headbutting him. They wrestled as Katniss tried to reach her bow again. She grasped it and leapt onto Cato's back, wrapping her arms around his neck.
He growled and caught Peter's next swing, before slamming a kick into him. Peter went flying back and Cato pulled Katniss over and slashed at her with his sword. She managed to roll away, but Cato lashed out with his foot and caught her on the side.
She cried out in pain, as the Career took advantage, raising his sword, but Peeta kicked it out of his hand as it came down and started swinging a volley of punches at him.
Cato tried to dodge, but one caught him and Peeta's strength forced him down.
"Cato! You have to listen-," Peter started, but the Career wasn't listening. He threw the baker over him and kicked him in the face to make sure he was down. He turned to Katniss but Peter tackled him to the floor.
Katniss, meanwhile, started opening fire at the Mutts, trying to stop them from reaching the fighting tributes. At such close range, she couldn't miss, killing stupid Rue Mutts and Marvel Mutts and anything that got near. She was feeling pretty good, truth be told.
She saw a Mutt with blonde hair and green eyes, and drew her bow back.
She jerked around just in time to see Cato fly into her, making her away whip off into the air.
"You're not touching her again!" He roared, pulling her off her feet and lifting her into the air.
"You're insane! That's not her!" Katniss cried out in frustration.
Cato made to throw her over the edge but Peeta came up again, throwing all of them over. Peter landed on top of Cato and drove his fists towards his face. Katniss looked up just in time to see Cato drive his knee into Peeta's side and throw him off. He turned to Katniss, who tried to attack him, but he caught her punch and threw her down. He grinned as she got closer to the edge, and closer to Glimmer's teeth.
His mouth moved silently as he willed her just a little bit more.
"Peter!" Katniss choked, but Cato was ready this time, turning to slam his shoulder into the baker. He hefted Everdeen and threw her into Peeta before looking around for his sword.
District Shit launched a combined assault, but Cato weaved around them, driving a foot into Katniss' stomach and driving Peter back.
Blinking to clear the black spots, she turned to find the fighting tributes. Cato held Peter in a headlock, cutting his air off. The baker clawed for air, trying to speak, but the Career held him a firm grip.
"Let him go," Katniss told him, reaching for her bow and aiming it at Cato's head.
The Career laughed, the sound ringing out across the field. "Come on, Katniss, we both now you can't shoot! You'll end up killing Peeta instead."
"You want to bet your life on that?"
"I do, actually," he replied, a manic glint in his eye. He looked behind him and whistled. "Quite a drop, and that's not counting the Mutts…," he turned back to Katniss. "Shoot me, and we both go down. That is," he twisted Peeta's neck slightly, "unless I get bored of the situation."
"What happened to you, Cato?" Katniss asked desperately.
He scowled. "You should know… you caused it."
"Glimmer's death wasn't my fault!"
"Don't say her name!" He roared. "Or else you'll lose Peeta a little quicker than you imagined."
Katniss was surprised to find she actually cared. "Please, give him some air! He's going to suffocate."
"You're right," Cato agreed. "He is. He's only got minutes of life left, and that's because I'm being generous."
Katniss drew her bow back and Cato pulled Peter up in front of him, his expression a mocking 'go on then'. "Go ahead, Everdeen," he grinned, "take your shot. Then I'll snap his neck and feed you to the Mutts." He sobered up. "I'm going to kill you, Katniss. I'm going to win for Glimmer."
"You're playing into their game…," Peter chocked out, to all their surprise. "You have a choice…"
"WRONG!" Cato tightened his grip. He laughed again. "New flash, Peeta; we're in the Hunger Games! I'm just playing by the rules they gave me…," his expression contorted. "Poetry… choices… it's all bullshit. There's only killing, that's the only thing anyone's wanted from me," he choked. "Even Glimmer. That's all they want. It's pathetic, really. My life… it's not even mine." He shook his head angrily. "I've got nothing left… besides this… one last kill."
Peter was trying to say something, but his finger was slowly tapping Cato's hand. Katniss saw this a split second before Cato. A flash of fear in his eyes and Katniss let her arrow fly.
Thanks for all the support as this story goes and please take the time to review quickly and tell what you thought of this chapter and Cato/Katniss/Peter's fate! Takes two seconds to review and I'll love you for it! .