All recognizable characters and situations belong solely to the author the The Hunger Games. I've just borrowed them to play with.

Please no under 18! There is violence and sex!

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Katniss heard her sisters name called. She felt numb. Surely it was her mind playing tricks on her, a terrible hallucination but as she watched Prim shakily step forward she knew, her worst nightmare had come true.

"Prim!" She shouted fighting against the guards who would hold her back. "I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!" The guards let her go and she ran to her sister, pulling her into her arms. "Go Prim, get out of here, go find mum." She urged after a second.

"No." Prim cried, clinging to her.

"You have to." Katniss ordered fighting the urge to cry as well, she had to be strong, she wouldn't let them see her cry.

Gale hurried over, pulled the girl from her and carried her away to her mom, his expression stone but his eyes swimming with turmoil and sorrow.

Katniss walked slowly to the stage, her heart still racing in fear.

A name was called, a younger boy Katniss didn't know, she couldn't focus on anything but the blood rushing through her veins anyways.

Goodbye with her sister was hard as she promised Prim to try to win and made her mother swear not to disappear into her own grief again. It was Gale though, his promise to always take care of Prim that gave her some relief. He wouldn't let Prim starve; he'd make sure that she lived and her name didn't have to go in more times for extra food from them.

On the train she ignored the boy, talking to him, knowing him would only make it harder to kill him or even just watch him die. She was glad he wasn't as young as Prim but she hoped someone else took his life just the same. Haymitch was almost no help, telling her that she had to make people like her and then proceeding to continue drinking the entire trip. She was a loner, a hunter, she took care of Prim, it was all she knew, to survive, not making friends.

During training she practiced with the bows and watched the other tributes, some of them, like Rue, were so young. It broke her heart. It could have been Prim.

The tributes were strong and very well trained. Cato was their leader, at least it seemed so and he was strong, hard and deadly.

They watched her as she practiced with her bow so she moved on to life skills, setting traps, starting fires, camouflage, plants. Still she felt eyes on her. It unnerved her a little but she knew she needed to get as much out of this training as possible, for Prim.

"You're good with a bow." His voice started her.

"I'm ok." She glared back at him only making him smile at her.

"I'm Cato."

Katniss nodded, "From, two. A tribute."

"And you're Katniss, the girl on fire, from twelve."

Katniss fought the urge to roll her eyes at him as she glared, "Did you want something?"

"Hand to hand, you're a mess, come practice with me a bit, in the arena you'll want to get to a bow and get the hell away, kill from afar as much as you can but defending your self hand to hand could still be needed." He nodded to the mats, "Come on."

Katniss hesitated before following him over. He gave her a few instructions as they sparred.

"Why are you helping me?" She asked panting as he tossed her on the ground again.

Cato shrugged and yanked her to her feet, "Allies?" He asked, meeting her eyes.

"I thought all the careers joined together."

Cato shrugged, "We'll work together until everyone else is out and then turn on each other. My hope is Marvel or Glimmer will take out Clove, if not, you have to, she's aces with knives but a bow out ranges them, hit her from far. In the end I'm betting on it being you and I."


Cato shrugged, "Allies?" He asked squeezing her hand a little.

Katniss hesitated, swallowing against a dry throat, before nodding and squeezing his hand back, "Allies."

Cato nodded, "I'll tell the others I was scoping out how easy it was to kill you and trying to gain your trust so it will be easier to kill you in the arena." He let go of her hand and walked away.

Katniss watched him as he rejoined the other careers before turning to another station.

The time went by quickly though she did nothing but train, eat and sleep.

She hoped she'd make it past the first ten minutes, maybe even the first day but despite the eleven she'd gotten after shooting the apple in the pigs mouth she was worried. Haymitch had looked at her with some respect after that story, shooting at the apple, but his only advice to her was get away from the cornucopia as fast as she could. Her only ally, her only friend in the capitol was Cinna and she was grateful he was there as she stepped onto the platform. The girl on fire, who promised her sister to try to live.

Immediately her eyes focused on a bow. That was what she needed. The cornucopia was always a bloodbath, she knew that from watching prior Games, but she needed that bow.

As soon as the signal went off she ran straight for the bow. The battle was insane and right before she reached it she was attacked from behind, tackled to the ground, she tried to fight off a tribute from five using what she remembered from Cato's brief lesson, he got the best of her though and had her around the throat. Katniss struggled to breath, darkness teasing the edges of her vision but a second later he was thrown off her. She watched as Cato snapped his neck, tossing him to the side. Her eyes met his blue ones.

"Run. East. I'll find you." He told her handing over her bow.

She wasn't sure she could trust him, was pretty sure she shouldn't but she took the weapon and ran picking up a bright yellow pack as she went. Inside the pack was rope, a knife, a water bottle, iodine drops and a small container of pain killers.

Katniss ran as far as she could before getting her bearings and trying to make a plan, she knew she needed to find water and food.

She shot a rabbit and cooked it, eating some of the meat as she searched for water. By nightfall she had found a small brook. After a drink Katniss climbed a tree and tied herself to it. She was freezing but she knew lighting a fire was a bad idea. Her fears proved true when another tribute lit one not far and was killed by the careers minutes later. Cato was with them.

She shivered and listened to the deaths, counting those left and noted who'd survived. Day one and only eleven lived.

In the morning she crossed paths with Cato at the stream. He held a hand up to his mouth and motioned her to the woods. Cautiously she nodded and followed him.

He leaned down to whisper in her ear, "There's a cave down stream. You can hide there tonight, keep moving and stay alive. I'm leading them west, they think we'll be tracking you." West was up stream and away from the river which ran from the South West, curving to go east.

"Why?" She whispered back.

"Allies remember. Kill who you can from far off, we'll take care of most of them so don't take any risks. Just, stay alive."


"For Primrose." Was his answer as he stepped away and moved into the woods as one of the others called his name.

Katniss stood in stunned silence for a moment after he disappeared and then she took off.

Several days passed, each one bringing with it the face of another dead tribute until the only ones left were the careers, Thresh, Rue, the boy from three and Foxface. Katniss kept moving, she stumbled on Rue, the little girl had a spear in her chest and was choking on her own blood.

Katniss pulled her into her arms, feeling sobs welling in her chest, the little girl had shadowed her in training, she was only Prim's age. "It's ok Rue, you'll be ok." Katniss tried to comfort the little girl, pulling her into her arms.

"Can you sing?" Rue pushed out.

"Sing?" Katniss forced a smile even as tears streamed down her face, "I can sing." She sniffled and began to hum and then sing a song she used to do for Prim. After only a line, Mockingjays joined her.

When the song finished Rue was gone. Sobbing Katniss closed the little girl's eyes and held her. Unable to just leave the body she gathered nearby flowers and tucked them around the child. Tears still fell freely down her cheeks as she kissed Rue's forehead, "I'm sorry Rue." She whispered wiping at the tears she stood and faced where she thought a camera might be. Slowly she lifted three fingers to her lips and then raised her hand, for Rue and for district eleven.

That night she sobbed for Rue as the little girls face appeared in the sky. She traced the Mockingjay pin from Prim and swore again, "I'm trying Prim." Noises in the bush had her tensing and almost stopping breathing, praying they wouldn't notice her shaking with cold above.

It was the careers. Katniss watched as they built a fire and settled down for the night. Cato lay down on his back, his sword still in his right hand, ready even in sleep. Clove took first watch. Glimmer moved to Cato and curled on her side against him, near the fire while Marvel took a sleeping bag.

Katniss wasn't sure where the feeling came from as she watched Glimmer laying there touching Cato but she didn't like it and refused to even think that it was jealousy but her fingers itched to notch an arrow and drive it into the beautiful blond.

Clove and Marvel swapped places in the night but other than that and the chattering of her own teeth, the night was quiet around Katniss. In the morning they picked up quickly at the sound of a canon. Katniss scurried down and ran in the opposite direction, soon they'd turn on each other. Soon Cato would find her and they'd work to take the others out, unless it was a trick, was he getting her trust him to kill her? He had been laying with Glimmer.

Katniss shook her head. That had nothing to do with anything. It couldn't, only one could live. They were all going to die, there were no partnerships getting through this thing. There could be only one victor. She looped around to head back to the cave Cato had directed her to; it was at least protected from the elements so she might get some sleep. A plan further encouraged when the rain started.

The next day as she was hunting a career found her. A knife lodging into a tree beside her, the snap of a twig warning her to move or it would have been in her back.

Cato attacked Clove, shoving her hard and grabbing Katniss's hand, running with her through the woods. He stumbled as a knife sliced into his back but didn't fall. They just kept running.

Hours later in the cave Katniss did what she could to nurse the wound, removing the knife and even giving him some of her very precious pain killer.

"We killed the boy from three this morning." He told her. "Luckily someone took out the little girl from eleven so we don't have to. There's just Thresh and the other Careers now."

Katniss nodded, "Do you think Marvel will go after Thresh."

Cato nodded, "Before me, yes."

"What about Glimmer?" She hoped the bitterness didn't show in her voice.

Cato shrugged, "She's smart but not overly quick and Clove is fast with those knives, she's also vicious so my bet is on Clove, unless Marvel does it himself. He'll want Clove with him after Thresh. I'd rather we be faced with Glimmer in the end, I can take out Marvel and your bow could get Clove but between us Glimmer will be easiest to kill."

"Then what?"

Cato shrugged, "Then it's over."

"You mean we kill each other and its over."

"Yeah." Cato nodded looking away. "We should rest." He pulled a sleeping bag from his pack.

"Is that Marvel's?"

Cato shrugged, "It's mine, I usually sleep on it though, being stuck in one is to dangerous if we need to be fast. We should be safe enough here to use one and its dropping quick tonight."

Katniss nodded, "The rain's started again, no one will get up that bank to the cave if its this slippery, I just need to pull in the rope I used."

Cato nodded and pulled some damp bread and veggies out of his pack. When Katniss returned from pulling back the rope and hiding the entrance a bit more she pulled meat out of the spot she'd hid her last kill in.

Cato looked impressed as they shared the meal. "I haven't had meat in days." He admitted sucking on the bones. She handed him her portion and rechecked his wound. The knife had gone pretty deep and he needed more than the painkillers. She gave him one more since it was all she had to give him. She had only one left and he'd need that in the morning.

Cato tried to reject the pill but she insisted so he took it with a grateful smile and climbed into the sleeping bag, holding it open for her to join him.

Katniss hesitated but crawled into his sleeping back with him, she was just to cold. Instantly the heat from his large body wrapped around her as he pulled her tightly into his arms.

"Why?" She whispered the question again.

"Why what?" His breath teased her neck as he whispered back.

"Why are you helping me?"

"I told you."

"Prim." She whispered, "You said for Prim."

"You volunteered for her." Katniss nodded, "It's the bravest thing I've ever seen anyone do."

"She'd have died."

"I might have been the one to kill her." Cato agreed.

A shiver went through Katniss, "Are you going to kill me?"

"I'm going to send you home to her." He whispered, his lips placing a kiss on her neck so light she wasn't sure she hadn't imagined it.


"For my sister."

"I don't understand."

"You need to get home to protect Prim."

"What about you, your sister?"

"She's dead." His voice was blunt and emotionless but it was as though she could feel the pain in him.


"Training." Was his curt reply, "Sleep."

Katniss sighed and closed her eyes, surprised at how readily her body relaxed into his.

Behind her eyes she saw Rue transform into Prim and then into a little girl with sightless blue eyes, blonde hair the color of honey in the summer sun and Cato's nose, each girl stared at her, lying prone with a large bloody hole in her chest and President Snow laughing over their bodies, displaying them like trophies in the capitol.

She jerked awake and found Cato shaking her.

"Is someone here?" She whispered into the darkness.

"You were having a nightmare." He whispered back, "Are you ok?"

Katniss nodded and felt his arms tighten around her, "We'll get you back to Prim." He comforted her.

"Cato?" She whispered.

"Girl on fire?" He whispered back.

"Thank you." She felt his lips brush her neck gently again.


Obediently Katniss closed her eyes and sleep claimed her again. This time in the dreams Cato was there, an arrow in his heart, a bow in her hands as President Snow grinned and Cesar Flickerman congratulated her while the Capitol people clapped and cheered. All around her, the lifeless little girls and licking up Cato's body were flames as President Snow laughed.

Katniss jerked awake again, the cave was still dark, "What time is it?"

"It has to be day but its still so dark." Cato whispered back, "I can still hear the rain."

They unzipped the bag and checked the opening of the cave. Dark clouds and heavy rain obscured anything over a couple feet away, below them the stream was raging like a river, the tide line much higher than it had been.

Cato pulled her back into the cave and lit them a fire with his last match. Katniss insisted he take the last pain pill as she dressed his wound.

"What now?" Katniss asked him with a frown.

Cato shrugged, "Catch up on more sleep I guess."

Katniss nodded and provided more food to eat before they settled back into the bag.

"Do you have anyone back home?" He asked after a few moments of quiet.

"Just Prim and my mom. You?"

"I have my father, may he rot in hell one day. We weren't encouraged to build personal relationships until after the games so there was no woman. I knew about your sister from the reaping but I meant a boyfriend."

"No." Katniss whispered, "Gale was my best friend, he'll take care of Prim for me though. Make sure she doesn't starve. He promised me and this was his last year, so he's safe now."

"You'll make sure she doesn't starve." He whispered back.

"Do you really think I can make it home?"

"Between us? Yes."

"Why?" She turned in his arms to look at him, leaving her splayed over his chest and hovering only inches from his face.

"For Prim." He whispered lifting his head to brush her lips gently.

Shocked it took Katniss a moment to respond but as soon as she did his arms moved around her body pulling her tighter to him and his tongue pushed gently along the seam of her mouth. Katniss opened and when his tongue touched hers she moaned.

His hands roamed over her body and even up under her shirt while she clutched his shirt at his shoulders and kissed him passionately until the need to breathe pulled them apart.

His blue eyes had gone from the blue of the sky to the deep side of the lake in lust as they lay there panting and staring into each other's eyes.

"Katniss." He whispered.

She cut him off by pressing her lips to his again and then burying her face in his neck. After a little bit they drifted into sleep.

This time when they woke up the tiniest line of sun was coming into the cave.

They gathered up their things, "What's the plan?" Katniss looked to Cato and he walked to her, pulling her into his arms for a passionate kiss that had her moaning into him.

"The plan is to go after Clove or Glimmer. Hopefully Marvel's gone after Thresh, there's still the other girl as well."

"Foxface." Katniss nodded.

"Come on." Cato led the way out of the cave. They slipped into the river, the water icy and the current quick but Cato grabbed her by the back pack and hauled her to shore before pushing himself out of the water.

They lay panting and cold in the sun for a few minutes.

"Do you hear that?" Katniss frowned.

"A parachute." Cato jumped up and found the delivery.

"What's in it?" Katniss cuddled near him.

Cato opened it and read the note before handing it to her.

I'm impressed you're still alive. Stay that way ~ H

Katniss rolled her eyes at it and turned back to Cato, "Well?"

Cato blushed, "Medicine."

"For your leg." Katniss grinned. "Here, let me put it on, we should redress it from the mud and water." Cato nodded and handed her the tub. "What else is in there?" She frowned at him having seen the edge of something. Cato didn't meet her eyes, "What?" She demanded.

"Latex." He huffed.

"Latex?" Katniss frowned, "Like gloves."

"Sort of."

"Maybe I'm not supposed to touch this stuff directly." She frowned at the jar.

"Not that kind of glove."


Cato rolled his eyes at her and lifted a brow, "latex condoms."

Katniss blushed bright red, "Oh." Then she growled and faced the woods, "You perve Haymitch!"

Cato burst out laughing, "Come on." He tossed the container, "We should keep moving."

"We should clean and dress that wound." Katniss argued.

"You'll want me wounded in the end." He played up the ignorance of the audience to his whispered plan to let her win.

"Let's worry about the end at the end." Katniss met his eyes sadly.

Cato nodded and let her lead him to a fallen log and put medicine on the wound after cleaning it from their bottled water. She pulled off her jacket and tore her shirt, revealing her tone stomach and using the material as a bandage since the old one was ruined.

Kneeling between his legs she looked up into his eyes and heard him groan, "Does it hurt?"

Cato shook his head, "Not my leg. Just hurry up and let's get moving."

"What?" She frowned at him, "Are you hurt some where else."

"No. Are you done?" He demanded.

Katniss frowned at him, "Cato?"

"I'm eighteen, about to die and I have a beautiful woman kneeling at my feet Katniss, I promise you whatever perve thoughts Haymitch had in sending those comdoms I've had worse the last two days with you in my arms and right now it's almost painful so please, get the fuck up and let's get moving or murder will be the least of my sins in these Games."

Katniss stared at him in shock a few minutes and Cato was a little nervous she was going to smack him instead she launched up, her arms wrapping around his neck as her lips crashed to his. Cato reacted instantly his arms going around her to hold her to him and support her bottom as he moved her to straddle him.

Katniss gasped at the large bulge tenting his cargo pants as it aligned with her. She rocked in his lap making him groan and the hand on her lower back push forward, urging her to keep rocking as they kissed. A scream sounded as a poorly thrown knife lodged into Katniss's left arm where it was wrapped around Cato. Cato rolled them off the log and covered her with his body cursing and kissing her quickly.

"Stay low." He ordered grabbing his sword as he jumped up. "Glimmer." He nodded at the girl.

"I'm prettier than her." Glimmer hissed.

Cato smirked lifting a brow, "Not really no."

Glimmer screeched as another female laughed. "Hello Cato. I take it Girl on Fire is with you?"

"Clove." He nodded at his district mate. "I was really hoping they'd have killed you for me."

"No such luck." She shrugged.

"Can you kill me?" He asked meeting her eyes.

Clove seemed to waver, but her eyes hardened as she gripped a knife, "Yes." She hissed.

"Did you play all of us Cato?" Glimmer growled.

"I never played you." Cato smirked at her, "I just let you believe you were playing me."

Glimmer glared at him, "Bastard."

Cato chuckled, "Unfortunately not, though daddy dearest probably wishes it to."

"Cato." Clove's voice was gentle.

"Fuck off Clove." He growled at her.

Glimmer fingered a knife; "Throw it." Cato smirked at her, "Your aim sucks and you'll be left defenseless."

Glimmer glowered at him. "That bow should have been mine. You let her take it, didn't you?!"

Cato smirked, "Just figuring it out? She's been my ally since the day she was reaped."

"Cato?" Clove hesitated, searching his face.

Cato didn't look away from Glimmer, "It's a shame all you really are is a pretty face, and not that pretty of one either because no one will remember you in years to come."

Glimmer shrieked and launched herself at him. Katniss had an arrow strung instantly but the girl dropped, a knife lodged in the side of her neck from Clove before she could release it.

Katniss met Clove's eyes aiming the arrow at the girl as a cannon went off. "Who is left?"

Clove shrugged, "I didn't hear canons if there were any over the storm."

"Marvel went after Thresh?" Cato demanded.

"Thresh killed him." I got a knife in him but with the rain it was hard to see, or grip, I don't think it killed him."

"So Thresh and Foxface, may be out there still."

"Do we find them or kill each other is the only question." Clove looked between them.

"I'm still hoping not to be the one to kill you." Cato replied with a shrug.

"Same." Clove admitted with a sigh.

"Go." Katniss motioned to the woods with the bow.

Clove looked at her and then nodded, backing away. She and Cato stood perfectly still, listening for her retreat before finally taking off them selves.

"Let's get to the Cornucopia." Cato suggested, we have shelter and supplies there.

Katniss nodded and let him lead the way. It was several hours hike and they were both tired when they reached their destination.

Cato pulled out the sleeping back but unzipped it and used a knife to tear the end so they could use it as a blanket instead of being zipped inside. He spooned her, their weapons in easy reach on their side.

"What was that between you and Clove."

"My baby sister isn't the only one I lost." He whispered.

"Tell me."

Cato's arms tightened around her a moment. "I had a brother too. Being ten minutes older, I was given the honor of training for the games and he was sent to training to be a peacekeeper. He and Clove fell in love and he wanted her to back out of training and let another girl volunteer, when they found out she was pregnant Clove wanted it too."

"What happened?"

"Clove's father killed him, she spent a month recovering from the poison that killed the baby and was told if she didn't come, he'd kill her. We've trained together all this year. I'm not sure if it was better or worse for us to be together after it but we volunteered. I think part of her thought I'd kill her for his death, that part of her wanted me to but he loved her and I'd never hurt someone he loved."

"Do neither of you actually want to win?" Katniss whispered.

"We want to live Katniss and we've both fought to survive here but we've accepted we might not make it out, that at least one of us wont and if anyone should win, it's you."

"Clove's tried to kill us."

"You, yes. She wasn't aiming for me when she hit me last time, I just got in her path to you."


"I want you to win."

Katniss sighed and leaned into his back more, "I don't understand you."

"I know." He whispered back kissing her neck. Katniss moaned feeling as he grew against her ass. She rocked her hips back a little and his hands slid under her shirt as he teased her. Then one hand slipped under her waistline and into her panties.

"Cato?" She questioned, biting her lip against the moan.

"Shh." He whispered and kissed just behind her ear.

His questing fingers moved over her mound and cupped her, his middle finger dipping between the folds as he drew his hand back, just the slightest so the pad of his finger was against a spot the sent electricity through her veins. She bit back more moans as he rubbed slow circles on the spot. When her hips began rocking back into his, her body demanding more his hand slipped down, moving away from the bundle of nerves to her dripping core. Carefully he pressed a finger into her opening.

"Lift your leg so its over mine." He instructed, his voice low and gravelly.

Her thighs had clamped shut when she felt the tip of his finger probing at her entrance but she complied with his order, lifting her leg and moving it back so it dropped over his behind her.

His finger pushed into her again and she moaned as he began to pump slowly and rhythmically in and out, his palm cupping her mound and rubbing against that magic spot with each move of his wrist. He pushed in a second finger and curled them as he pumped making her moans louder as she arched into him panting. When he slid in a third finger and massaged the spot inside her that seemed to match the one outside she felt her body clamp down on him and start to shake, liquid flooded out of her as jolts of pleasure shot through her entire body.

Cato groaned, into her neck.

"Cato." Her voice was high even in a whisper.

"I want you." He groaned, "So badly."

"Yes." She hissed, "Yes."


"Please, Cato, make love to me." She urged.

Cato turned her in his arms and kissed her deeply before pulling away, "Are you sure?"

Katniss nodded, she might not be sure if she gave herself time to think about it but she wanted him, more than anything and there was nothing in the universe at that moment than the two of them.

Cato kissed her deeply as her legs wrapped around his hips but he had to pull away as she pulled his shirt up to explore his bare skin. Lifting himself to kneel between her legs he pulled his shirt over his head and felt her tiny cool hands tracing his muscles, making them contract and creating shivers through him.

He lifted her shirt off and then her sports bra before descending to kiss, lick and suck gently on her skin, occasionally letting his teeth gently graze her.

Heat was building quickly in her and she pulled his mouth to hers for another demanding kiss. Cato slid down her body under the sleeping bag they were using as a blanket, kissing along her bare skin, down her sternum, to her belly button where his tongue swirled into it and down pulling her pants as he kissed along one bare leg and up the other. She felt his tongue swipe along her slit and yelped but his hands at her hips held her down as he went about kissing her in her most intimate spot. The thought would have made her blush but now it only caused her to buck and moan and beg him for more. When he sucked the bundle of pleasure nerves into his mouth she felt her body tighten, and moisture flood out of her as her body prepared to tumble off the pleasureable electric cliff he'd sent her off with his fingers. Before it happened though he began to kiss back up her body until their lips met.

When he pulled away this time, their eyes met, "I love you Katniss." He whispered.

Katniss nodded as a tear escaped, "I love you Cato."

Slowly he pushed into her, their eyes holding. Katniss felt her body stretching painfully around him, "Just do it Cato, please." She urged him.

He nodded, his eyes not leaving hers as he pushed through her barrier and seated himself quickly. Her eyes finally broke contact with his as they shut reflexively when she gasped in pain. Cato held still, running his hand over her face gently and murmuring to her.

"I'm sorry Kat. I'm sorry. You are so beautiful. So brave and strong. I love you. More than anything. I'm so sorry." He leaned down and kissed her gently, when he pulled away her eyes blinked open to meet his again.

"I'm ok Cato." She assured him with a gentle smile, "I'm ok." She repeated as she tested the feel of him by rocking a little.

Cato moaned, she was a hot, tight, wet fist around him and he had to bite down on his control not to thrust into her wildly and explode inside her as his body urged him to.

Instead, he slowly began to move in and out of her, their eyes held, until she began to moan and urge him for more. Her short nails digging into his hips snapped the last thread of his control and he pulled almost out before slamming into her again and again.

"Kat." He growled in her ear.

Katniss moaned as his thrusts became more erratic and rough. Cato felt his balls draw up and tighten and he leaned down to kiss her as her muscles contracted around him, she was so close, he just needed one more minute… "Cato." She called out his name as she reached the pinnacle of that cliff and her muscles contracted. It was to much and he burst inside her. He felt her muscles clamp down with the first jet of his come and reveled that just feeling him sent her over the edge. "Cato." She was panting his name as he thrust a few more times, emptying into her convulsing body.

"Katniss." He groaned collapsing on top of her. He'd worry he was crushing her but her arms and legs clung to him, holding him to her. "Katniss." He repeated kissing the crook of her neck.

"Cato." She sighed in response. He kissed her gently exploring her mouth before finally pulling away and lying beside her.

"I love you Kat." He told her again, pulling her into his arms.

"I love you." She told him snuggling into his chest and trying to fight back tears while he stroked her back.

When she woke up he was dressed and sitting with his back to the cornucopia wall.

"Cato?" She whispered.

"Just keeping watch. All's been quiet. Sleep some more." He whispered.

Katniss sat up and immediately yanked the material up to cover her exposed chest.

Cato shot her an amused look before getting up and grabbing her clothes, bringing them to her, he leaned down and kissed her gently, "How do you feel?"

"Ok." She smiled sadly at him.

Cato nodded and stepped away to let her dress; sitting back in the spot he was when she woke up.

Katniss moved to sit beside him, leaning into his side. Immediately his free arm went around her.

"Do you hear that?" She whispered after a few minutes.

Cato nodded, "I think the end is coming."

Katniss bit back tears and straightened her chin. "I love you."

Cato let go of his sword and used the hand to tilt her chin to him and meet his eyes. "Go home to your sister, get married, be happy."


"I love you Kat." He kissed her and then pulled away standing and pulling her to her feet. "Come on, that sound is getting a little to close, we should climb up top, get a better advantage."

"Cato?" She frowned at him as he handed her the bow.

Cato shook his head and led her outside, he boosted her up but before he could follow Thresh yanked him back down. Cato had put the sword down to boost her. It was hand to hand as she notched an arrow into place but the two men were wrestling and she was terrified of hitting Cato.

They struggled nearer to the trees and Katniss screamed jumping down and running to them, she saw the knife Thresh grabbed from his lower back and watched as it was buried in Cato's gut. "CATO!"

She felt herself tackled to the ground and held back as Cato bled around the hand clutching his gut.

"Stop!" Clove shook her.

"No." Katniss fought her off, "Cato!"

Clove forced the crying girl to look at her, "Do you want to have to do it." She hissed.

"Let go!" Katniss kept fighting her.

Clove hit her, snapping her back to reality, "Think Katniss." She hissed shaking her. "He had to die. You have to go home. You have to live."

"No." Katniss struggled weakly, sobbing.

"For Prim." Clove whispered hugging her, "You promised Prim."

Katniss nodded, wiping at the tears. Yanked her arm up as they heard a female scream and saw Foxface out of the woods.

Clove yanked Katniss to her feet, "Go, get up the cornucopia!" She shoved the girl grabbing a knife out of her belt and throwing it, hitting Thresh in the eye. A canon shot rang out confirming the kill. Clove hadn't waited to see the hit, she'd already run as some kind of beast crashed out of the woods.

Katniss screamed, "Clove!"

Clove ran from the creatures but didn't come to Katniss, instead she tackled Foxface who was trying to climb up to safety.

"Clove!" Katniss shouted again aiming arrows at the beasts but they had no effect.

She watched as Foxface used Clove's own knife to slit the girl's throat and then try to scamper up. Katniss collapsed onto her knees with a scream as the canon sounded.

She saw the beasts pausing and then moving off, back towards the woods and turned to look for Foxface confused at the sound of a second canon shot. The girl had slipped on the blood from Clove and bludgeoned herself on the cornucopia. Movement caught her eye and Katniss realized Cato was still alive; there had been no canon for him.

She slid off the structure and ran to him. He was choking up blood as she pulled him into her arms. She could see his guts spilling out.

"Cato." She sobbed over him.

"Love you Kat."

"I love you." She sobbed into his body. "I love you so much Cato. Please don't leave me, please."

"Have to." He choked out.


"Live Kat, for Prim, for me. Live and be happy again. Promise."

"Cato." She sobbed, leaning down to kiss him. When she pulled back it was to the shot of a canon. She held his body to her, collapsed on his chest and sobbed as she was announced the winner of the seventy fourth Hunger Games.

The sound of hovercrafts pulled her up off of his body, "I promise." She swore as she kissed him a last time, gently closing his eyes.

It was Cinna who gently pried her away from Cato. She turned into his chest and cried as the hovercraft took them back to the Capitol.

Katniss felt numb as she was silently prepped but Cinna's team. She didn't speak as he did her hair and makeup and then dressed her pinning her mockingjay on her left breast.

She was then led out to the final interview.

"Welcome Katniss Everdeen! Girl on Fire!" She heard her name called and walked out onto the stage amid the shouts and cheers.

"Katniss?" She felt him take her hand, pulling her attention to him.

She met his eyes and he repeated the question she clearly hadn't heard, he smiled warmly at her, "Now that it's over and you've won, what are you thinking."

"Prim." The first word she'd spoken since Cinna had pulled her from Cato's corpse. "I want to see Prim."

"Ah yes." Cesar smiled at her, "Of course. The reason you volunteered. I'm sure she is very proud."

Katniss nodded, it hadn't been a question so she didn't feel the need to say anything.

"We were all very surprised by the development with District Two's Tribute Cato, it's a first in the games for two tributes to fall in love and tributes from very different Districts! This must be very hard for you."

Katniss just nodded, fighting back tears, "I miss him."

"Yes." Cesar faked sympathy as he patted her hand, "It must have been very hard for you, star-crossed lovers given a brief moment of love through the games, imagine, you might never have met him if you hadn't volunteered!" Katniss nodded and wiped a tear that escaped, trying to mentally strengthen herself and not just start screaming. "You are a Tribute full of firsts though." He was back to smiling, "The first from twelve to volunteer, the first to fall in love during the games, the first to win without a single kill!" He laughed, "Tell us, how did you manage that one?"

Katniss shrugged, "I was just trying to survive."

"And survive you did!" Cesar laughed. "The first winner from district twelve in fifty years, Ladies and Gentlemen, Katniss Everdeen! The Girl on Fire!" the crowd roared and cheered.

Katniss felt numb as he stood from his chair, pulling her to her feet with him. He kissed her hand and let her walk off the stage.

Effie was abuzz with happiness but Haymitch was silent except to had her a glass of drink before disappearing to his own room.

She stayed in her own room for the entire journey only coming out when they pulled into twelve.

In the main building Haymitch gave her a grim smile, "I'm sorry."

Katniss wasn't sure what he was apologizing for, that she'd gone through it? That he hadn't helped her? Or maybe that she survived. She thought she was sorry for that to.

The entire village was gathered in the square, cheering for her. It was one voice that rose above though, "KATNISS!" The shriek came from her right and she turned as she saw Gale let go of Prim before her sister flew to her.

Katniss dropped to her knees and hugged Prim, both girls crying. Distantly she could hear someone speaking about her joyous return. Katniss stood and hugged her mother. Prim held tightly to her hand.

She was exhausted when they settled into their new house but she couldn't sleep. When the sun rose she slipped on her old hunting gear and slipped away.

Gale found her in the woods. "Hey Catnip." He smiled sadly at her.

"Gale." She met his dark eyes.

"You ok?"

Katniss shook her head as the tears came. Gale pulled her into his arms and held her while she finally let it all out in soul cleansing sobs. When finally she quieted he pulled a little away, dried away her tears and kissed her forehead, "I'm sorry Katniss."

"I hate them Gale." Katniss exclaimed and with it came anger. "I hate them!" She hissed. "This has to end!"

"I know." He hugged her again. "I know." He whispered again, rubbing soothing circles into her back while she clung to him.

They stayed like that a long time before silently pulling apart and going about hunting. She gave everything to Gale, she didn't need to hunt to feed her family anymore.

It was on the way out of the Hob he spoke again, "I start with the coal diggers Monday."


"I have to." He sighed.

"I'll keep hunting. It'll be ok."

"No, not on your own, not when you don't need to."

"I do though Gale. I think I do." She met his eyes, "Please, don't leave me in that house, nothing but memories."

He searched her eyes for a long time before giving a slow nod, "Be careful Catnip." Katniss nodded. "Prim still needs you." He added for good measure.

Katniss sighed but nodded, "I'll still see you?" She asked as they reached the point they normally separated to go home.

"All the time." Gale promised, pulling her into a hug and kissing her forehead as he pulled away. "Go home to Prim."

Katniss nodded and hurried back to her new home, to her sister. The faces of Cato, Clove and Rue dancing behind her eyelids and threatening to choke her.

She'd won the Hunger Games. She'd survived. At least, part of her had.