This is just a oneshot. :) My last Clato oneshot was really sad and I felt bad after writing it, so I hope this one is less heavy. I don't own The Hunger Games. :(
Cato sighed as he threw his house key down on the wooden counter top. It was a special anniversary today. Five years ago, he had beat twenty three teenagers and won the 74th annual Hunger Games. Slowly, almost zombie like, he walked through his house in Victor's Village. He climbed the stairs and walked along the corridor. He stopped at the very end, in front of a white door. He reached for the black thread necklace he always wore and pulled it over his head. He pulled the key off of the necklace, unlocked the white door and clipped the key back onto his necklace before placing it around his neck again. He pushed the door open, flicked the light switch and stepped inside. Soft red light illuminated the framed photographs of her that hung on all four walls and the various knife displays. Five years ago Cato won The Hunger Games. He sighed again and walked over to the wall opposite him. The first framed picture was of him Clove when she was six and he was seven. They had their arms around each other's shoulders and were grinning grins so big that Cato was surprised that his face hadn't fallen off that day. The picture next to that one was of Clove on her first day of training when she was seven. She was wearing pink sweatpants and a pink t-shirt. She didn't look like a Career. She never had. But she was better than all the others in her age group.
"What do you think? Of course I'm not okay, Clove. You're dead." Cato spun around. Clove had died in the arena five years ago, but she lived on in his heart. On bad days, he would conjure her up in his mind. The image in his head seemed so real, so alive that it was impossible to believe that she was gone sometimes. It was like she was stood in the room with him, like a ghost.
"You tried your best, Cato. I just couldn't be saved." Most people would picture their deceased loved one in some kind of floaty white garment. Not Cato. He pictured Clove in her Capitol training clothes with a knife strapped to her thigh, because when Clove had entered the training room in the Capitol she had laughed like a school girl. She had loved that room. Cato swallowed the lump that formed in his throat.
"My best wasn't good enough though, was it? You still died when I could've saved you." Cato pointed out. Clove frowned at him.
"Don't think about what didn't happen. Think about what did." Clove's form stepped closer to him.
"You died. That's what happened." Cato growled, not sure where she was going with this.
"Everybody dies, Cato. I may not have had a very long life, but it was a good one. I had you, the best friend any girl could ask for and then you became my boyfriend. My parents loved me; I trained with my friends for years. I loved life, Cato. I'm glad I got the chance to live well." Clove smiled faintly. She could have fooled anyone else, but Cato knew better. Clove wanted to be alive more than anything.
"It's easy for you to say that, Clove. You don't have to live with the pain of losing the person you loved the most!" He kicked a table that held a selection of throwing knives and glanced up at a another framed picture. It was the same picture that had lit the night sky in the arena the day she died.
"Don't be sad. Be happy that I had a great life." She stepped closer again. He went to take her hand in his, but he couldn't touch her.
"Why can't I touch you?"
"Because I'm not actually here. You know that. I'm just a figment of your imagination, Cato. As soon as you let go, I'll never bother you again." Clove seemed wiser after her death but perhaps Cato was just imagining that, too.
"No. I don't want to you to go. Not again." Cato was aware that he sounded desperate, but he couldn't lose Clove again.
"You really think that imagining me here like this is helping with anything? If you let go, then you can move on. You don't have to forget me; just don't come into this room again." She said, not shouting but sounding firm like she knew it was best. It probably was. Cato glanced around the room. He had it built as soon as he got back from The Games. The walls were covered in pictures of Clove on her own, Clove and him as kids, Clove and him on dates and at their prom and pictures of Clove's favourite things. There were tables covered in throwing knives and her District token, a bracelet that Cato had given her, had been put in a see-through glass case.
"That's all it'll take to move on? Throw away the key or something?" He asked, doubtful.
"Yeah. That's all you have to do."
"I…Okay." He took a step towards her and held his hand up in the air with his palm facing her. She mirrored his position, and their hands would have been touching if it were possible. He took a deep breath.
"I'll never forget you. I love you, Clove."
"That's all I'm asking of you. Don't forget. I love you too." When the words were said she disappeared, leaving Cato alone in The Clove Room. He pulled the key from his neck and exited the room. He looked around one last time before closing the door and locking it. Then, he sprinted down the hallway and down the stairs. He opened the French doors that led to the backyard. The sun was shining, a perfect day for moving on and letting go. He walked over to the outside shed and retrieved a shovel. He stepped onto the grass and dug small hole. He kissed the key before placing it into the hole.
"Goodbye, Clove." He muttered as he filled in the hole.
Some days hurt more than others for Cato. But as time went on, the ache in his heart shrunk. Cato kept his promise. He never forgot Clove, the girl who had stolen his heart all those years ago. He kept on living a good life for Clove, knowing that she was watching him from somewhere above and that one day they would be reunited.