I don't own The Hunger Games. :( This is just a oneshot that came to me when I was bored in class. :) I hope you enjoy it; I can't get enough of Clato oneshots so if you have ideas for any leave me a pm or review with a request. :)
When they were six years old, Cato and Clove began their training at the Career Academy. Clove found it difficult and tiring but worth it in the end. Cato found it the same. But they were winners, champions. It was clear from the very first day when Clove Fuhrman, tiny at six, showed courage that nobody else had by punching Cato Ludwig in the face.
"Call me short again and I'll do a lot worse than punch you!" She had hissed at him. Cato would have been a lot more afraid if she had not had a gap where one of her front teeth had fallen out.
"But you are!" He protested. She swung at him for the second time, but this time he had enough sense to jump backwards. She tried again, and this time he ducked.
"Stay still so I can hit you!" Clove whined.
"See you tomorrow, Clover." He slung his rucksack onto his shoulders and ran outside to find his parents, leaving Clove to sulk in the cloak room.
When they were nine, Cato and Clove finally became friends.
"This is stupid!" Clove yelled, and then screamed in frustration. She threw her wooden sword down on the ground.
"No, you are. It's really simple." Cato smiled. "Let me show you."
"Fine." Clove said after a moment's hesitation. "But I'm not stupid!"
"If you say so." Cato grinned and pointed at Clove's sword with his own. Sighing, she picked it up and Cato proceeded in showing her what to do.
"Thanks, Cato!" Clove smiled at him at the end of the session. She hugged him quickly before running off to find her parents. Cato smiled and put both of their swords away before wandering off to find his own family.
When they were twelve, Cato stood by and watched his friends bully Clove for months. The one day, he took a stand.
"That's enough." Cato said, stepping in front of his friend Ace as he taunted Clove.
"It's not enough until I say it's enough." He responded, shoving Cato. He took a step backwards, but was otherwise unfazed by the shove.
"Well, I'm saying it's enough. Clove's my friend, leave her alone." Cato narrowed his eyes at Ace. His friend was seething with anger and took a swing at Cato. He caught him in the jaw. Cato flung himself at Ace and they went tumbling to the floor, engaging in a full on fist fight.
"STOP!" Clove yelled, throwing a knife. It landed in between the two boys heads.
"You're an idiot." Clove said a few minutes later, pressing an icepack to Cato's jaw.
"You're welcome." He mumbled. Clove sighed and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
When they were fourteen, Clove tried to distant herself from Cato. It was too painful for her to be around him and his new girlfriend Ally.
"Clove, you haven't spoken to me in a month! What's wrong?" Cato had asked her when she walked into the training academy one morning.
"Nothing. I'm fine." She quickened her pace, walking over to the knife throwing station.
"That's crap. You're my best friend, talk to me!" He grabbed her wrist, spinning her round to face him. She pulled it out of his grip.
"I'm fine." She said firmly. She had done so much for Cato, but he would never see her the way she saw him. She decided that she would just have to learn to hear him talk about Ally and see them kissing in the corner of the training room.
"No you're not!"
"I am, honestly. I've just felt a bit…ill. All month. But I'm fine now, so tell me about your new girlfriend." She said, forcing a smile.
When they were fifteen, Clove hugged Cato as he cried into her hair.
"It's okay, Cato. She was proud of you. So, so proud." She whispered.
"I know, that Clove. But I still wish she was here, with the family." He mumbled into her dark hair. Cato's mother had passed away three weeks ago. He had been holding up well until now. He was living proof that even the strongest of people break down sometimes.
"Ally and I will help you through this." She felt him frown against the top of her head.
"Ally? No way. I'm not telling her about this."
"Why not? She's your girlfriend." Clove said, also frowning.
"Because right now she's probably off with the merchant's son. That one that sells fruit and shit like that. I'm dumping her sorry ass." Like a true friend Clove responded,
"When you feel better, I'll buy you some popcorn and you can watch me beat the crap out of her."
When Cato and Clove were seventeen, Cato volunteered for The Hunger Games. Second later, Clove was reaped.
"We'll get through this. We always get through things." Clove said, attempting to calm Cato down on the train to Capitol.
"Not this time, Clove. One of us is going to die. I may not be a smartass like you, but I'm sure it's bad when your best friend dies!" He yelled. Clove ignored the insult and sat down on his bed. She patted the spot next to her. Sighing, Cato sat down next to her and rested his head in his hands. She absentmindedly started stroking his hair.
"We'll be okay." She said softly. Then under her breath she added, "You'll come out alive." Clove had never been selfish, but there was one thing that she truly wanted above everything else. She wanted Cato to realise that the reason she put up with all the shit he gave her was because she loved him and would have done anything for him, including die in an arena so that he didn't have too.
A few days later, Cato held Clove in his arms as she died. For only the second time in his life, he let tears slip down his cheeks.
"Don't leave me, Clove. Please." He sounded pained and desperate.
"Cato…I'm dying." She responded, tears of her own dripping from her cheeks. Cato pulled her closer to him. He one arm supporting her on in his lap and his other hand was clutching hers.
"No! You were right Clove, we will get through this. I just need you to stay with me, okay?" He squeezed her hand even tighter. Clove reached her free hand up and brushed a few of his tears away with her thumb.
"Just…I love you, okay? I don't want to die without you knowing." She said, sighing quietly.
"I love you too." He said as the realization hit him. He was in love with Clove. He had been for a while now; he just hadn't admitted it to himself. If he had, would they even be in this situation?
"Cato, honesty please. Just because I'm practically a dead girl doesn't mean I can't handle the truth." A frown spread across her face.
"I honestly do. Everything you've done for me…Clove, when the whole world was against me, you were there. When my mother died and I felt like there was nothing good left in my life, you were there. When I threw myself into training and everybody else left me, you were there. You were always there, and I love you for that." He leaned down and kissed her on her ruined temple.
"Win for me." She whispered.
"Of course. You're perfect." He whispered back, kissing her destroyed temple again as her cannon fired. As Cato moved away from the body of the girl of he loved, only one thought crossed his mind. Their story will be untold. That was the end of it all.
And now he had someone to fight for.