I don't own The Hunger Games. I hope this is sad, because that's what I was going for. :(
My blood runs cold. I stop chasing the redheaded girl and turn on my heel, sprinting in the direction of the screams.
Hold on, Clove. Hold on. I'm coming. I promise.
Faster. Faster. No matter how much I speed up, it's never fast enough. I have to reach her. She's my whole life. Faster. Faster. Lungs burning, I race towards the Cornucopia. Faster. Faster. I have to reach her. I have to reach my everything and save her from harm, just like I promised her I would.
I'm coming, Clove. Keep holding on. For me. For us.
I see her lying on the ground and I am flooded with panic.
"Clove!" My voice is full of pain as I carry on my desperate charge towards her. It's like everything else around me has disappeared. Faster. Faster. All I can see is her and the blood-stained ground around her. Everything else is a blur. Faster. Faster. I repeat the words in my head. Maybe if I keep saying them, I can get there in time to save her. I skid to a halt next to her. I kneel on the ground and rest her poor dented head on my lap. I take her small hand in mine. She is too brave, too perfect, too dangerously delicate to die.
"Cato?" She whispers. Her voice is strained and I know that it is a hard task for her to even stay conscious. Her eyes slowly start to slip shut.
"Stay with me Clove." I plead. Her eyes snap back open. They are filled with fear. A single tear rolls down my cheek. I, Cato, the most feared person in District Two, have never cried. Holding a dying Clove in my arms caused something inside of me to snap and the tears fall.
"Cato…" She raises a shaky arm and rests her hand on my cheek.
"I'm here. I've got you, Clover." I lean down and kiss her on the forehead.
"It was Thresh…" Her hand falls from my face and lands in a pool of blood beside her that is not her own. Fire Girl. It's got to be hers. This is all my fault, I let her take the kill. It should have been me that got my skull smashed for torturing Fire Girl.
"I'll kill him." I make a promise to her dying form that I will keep, or die trying. More tears make their way down my face.
"I love you, Cato. I always have." Her voice grows more strained and quiet with each word.
"I love you too. Always. I swear." It's true. I have always loved Clove and I always will no matter what happens today. I think back to our first kiss, three years ago, and even bigger tears make their way down my now soaked cheeks.
Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. The noise of Clove's knives hitting the targets fills the almost silent training centre. Fourteen year old Cato and thirteen year old Clove remain are you the only two around at this time of night. Clove thinks that Cato is practicing sword drills. He isn't. He is watching Clove, enchanted by her movements and her raw beauty. Girls throw themselves at Cato, but he's never wanted any of them. The only one he wants is Clove. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see Cato watching her. She tries to ignore him, but she's secretly a little nervous. Clove's a future Career, nothing or no one has ever made her nervous before. But then there's Cato. Her best friend since she was six and he was seven. Clove would never tell anyone, but 'just friends' wasn't enough for her anymore. It drives her a little crazy every time another girl approaches Cato. They all want him badly. So does she.
"You can still do better, you know. There's always room for improvement." Cato smirks as she throws a fourth knife at a target.
"Yeah." With every word, Cato takes a large step towards Clove. By the tenth 'yeah' they were a fingers width away from each other.
"Yeah?" Clove asks. Cato presses his lips against hers. Clove is surprised at how soft they are as she kisses him back. When they pull away, gasping for air, Cato rests his forehead against Clove's.
"You'll be alright, Clove. Just stay with me, okay?" I am desperate for her to live. Without Clove, I am not Cato. I am an empty, emotionless killing machine that has never experienced love and never will. I wouldn't trade Clove for anyone.
"I'm dying, Cato." A tear streams down her pale face. I use my thumb to wipe it away.
"Shh. Don't say that." I turn my head up towards the sky. "She needs medicine! Please!" I scream. I sit there, holding the girl I love in my arms as she dies slowly. I am powerless. There is nothing I can do for the dent in her skull without some kind of Capitol medicine.
"Cato, there's no use." She mutters. I lean my head down again and kiss her on both cheeks before kissing her lips. She kisses me back, but it's weaker than usual.
"I love you. You have to stay with me, Clove! I need you!" I yell. Tears blind my vision.
"You'll win this for me. You'll live an amazing life without me. You've always wanted that one house in Victor's Village. The one on the corner, remember? You're going to meet a great girl that'll you'll love more than anything. Live well because I didn't, okay?" Clove's tears fall freely now and I know that if she had the energy, she'd be sobbing. She doesn't want to die.
"I could never live a life without you. We'll get that house on the corner, Clove. You're coming back with me, okay? I could never love anyone besides you." I place our entwined hands on her cheek. Her skin is cold, freezing in fact.
"Win for me, Cato." Her voice has grown so quiet that I can only just hear her.
"What? No, you're winning this too! I'm not going home without you!" I protest, furiously wiping a tear from my chin and pulling her even closer into my body.
"Just…Don't forget me. I love you." Her green eyes stop blinking, frozen open. A cannon fires. I let out a sound that is halfway between a sob and a scream as I close her eyes.
"No! No! Please, Enobaria! There's got to be some kind of medicine for this! I'm begging you!" I rise, only to sink back down to my knees again. "I love her! I LOVE HER!" I yell, as if it'll be enough to bring her back. I have never felt so vulnerably desperate in my life.
"I failed Clove." I whisper. "I said I'd protect you and I failed. I am so, so sorry." I stand up uneasily and step away from the body of the only girl I've ever loved.
"I'm coming for you Thresh." I promise. I unsheathe my sword as the hovercraft takes Clove away from me forever.
"You hear that? I'M COMING FOR YOU!" I scream like a madman and race of in the direction of Thresh.
Hold on, Clove. I'll avenge you. I promise. I love you.
Hold on, Cato. This will all be over soon. I promise. I love you too.