I have always been different. Perhaps in a positive way, perhaps not.I know the most probable answer, and yet I simply couldn't bring myself to care. Being different is a loose term- one that holds very little meaning, yet nevertheless the truth. I know this, as do the people around me, as I have nearly all my life. Nothing would be done, though, and that I know too. As long as I know the width of a blade, the pressure necessary to send it soaring to a target, the most lethal spots to target- with that knowledge, I know, nothing will ever be done.
I had been simply six years of age when my parents enrolled me in District Two's Academy of the Elite. Even then, within the very youngest and least experienced class, I had been different. They were all seven or eight years old, and to put it simply, approaching puberty at an alarming rate. We weren't allowed to use weapons that year, so hand to hand combat was a necessary skill. I was swift, but being small can only get you so far. Without brute strength, the older children made sure my first year was hell.
And, again, my second year.
By my forth year, very little had changed, proportionatly.I was, perhaps, three inches taller than I had been the very first day I set foot in the academy. They, if anything, probably outpowered me even more so. Some of the boys were already nearly a foot taller than me. It was all fine when we were practicing alone, but once I was called over to the mat, I always knew that I would leave hours later with bruises and cuts. And, just like that, I would. I was supposed to be in a weapons class that year, but the trainers rescheduled me before I could even see inside of the room. The head trainer said that it was for my own good, that I simply wasn't ready. I was made to train with the year under what I had originally been it- a class my own age.
The crowd change was definitley for the better. Half way through the year, I made a friend named Shay. Shay was different, two. Even in the rough, sadistic, district, she still managed to be very sweet. At that point, I was ten years old and bitter that I had eight years left at the ridiculous academy. Even though I had virtually no chance of being told to volunteer, my combat skills and size were enough to keep me far from the top of their list, it was mandatory for all citizens of District Two to attend the academy until they were ninteen. Shay was bigger than me with blonde hair and blue eyes, with no cares in the world. She wasn't bullied during fights like I had been, rather, outside of the fights she was completely ignored. That was why we were good together. Neither of us were really skilled at fighting, but we took it upon ourselves to practice with eachother.
It was actually great fun, making life just a little more bearable. Her optimism was rubbing off on me, even though I still was a bitter, sarcastic, girl. Shay didn't take offense to anything I would absent mindedly say, though. She would laugh and shake her head, smiling all the while. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but is almost seemed like we were made to be best friends. She brightened up my day and I- well, I wasn't exactly sure what she got that was so great, but she seemed to like my company as much as I liked hers.
To say I was happy when I reached my schedule for my fifth year would be stretching the truth pretty damn thin. I was moving up with the class I had been with during my fourth year to the weapons area. I would be training with Shay, my best and only friend, but that didn't help much. The weapons area was where all of the older kids were. I had yet to meet any of them as of yet, but if the kids who made my life Hell were to be foreshadowing, I knew I should start praying for a miracle.
Knifes, as I would find out, have always been my miracle. They are smooth, metalic, small- just like me. The way they soar through the air- its almost like and extension of oneself. Knives are fearless, they're immortal. Knifes can kill, or be destroyed. With knifes, it really is that simple.
Unfortunantley, my very first encounter with deadly metal in the Academy was not with a knife. A blade, of sorts, but hardly a knife. It was my very first fight including weapons, on my very first day in the area. I hadn't so much as the chance to even touch one of the weapons before my new trainer, Jadie, called me over. The invitation had come as a surprise, as my old trainer had hardly paid any attention to me. Looking back, I suppose it was a good thing. After all, her lowly thoughts of me had allowed Shay and I to stay to our own devices.
Well, most of the time.
"Good luck." Shay giggled, pushing me gently in the trainers direction.
"Thanks." I huffed, "Hopefully the Dragon won't kill me."
Walking away, I heard Shay trying to muffle her laughter. It didn't work out so well, though, and sounded more like demented hiccups. The thought made me smirk as I approached Jadie. "Hi, I'm-"
"I know exactly who you are, Clover-"
Suprising even myself, I heard my self correcting the trainer. "Clove."
The look on her face told me that she hadn't expected me to correct her. That, or she was really Hell bent on the ridiculous name of Clover. I couldn't be so sure. Her eyes went wide, staring at mine. I couldn't bring myself to back down from the gaze, and I held it for as long as she did. When she finally looked away, a small smirk tugged at the corners of my lips. Never before had a trainer paid so much attention to me, even if it wasn't much. At least it was something- positive or negative, it was most definitley something. "Right." She said quickly with a nod. She crossed her arms, peering down at me."Well, I see that it is your first day to the Section Advance. We wish to welcome you...Formally." A large smile lit up her features. The smile wasn't exactly comforting- it was sick, almost like that of a Victor. I began to feel my weight steadying more toward my heels, almost as if I was trying to get away but couldn't.
I didn't know what she meant, I couldn't even be sure if I was supposed to know. All I could muster was a simple, pathetic to even my own ears, "Thank you." In response, she simply laughed. It wasn't out of good humor, that was obvious enough. It was almost taunting, with a rough irony about it. The sound brought back memories of my dad, chuckling as my mother lay tossed on the floor. The thought was unwelcome, a supressed nightmare. The very fact that it reminded me of such visciousness was enough to scare me.
"Right, right." She dismissed the thought as she began to calm down, waving her hand as if it was just a bad joke. The gesture made me swallow, hard. "Right, well, as a welcome- I found it only fitting that you get a chance of a lifetime."
I blinked. "A wha-"
Jadie didn't allow me the time to ask questions before she continued. "A fight." Her voice rose almost theatrically, and without taking my eyes off of her, I knew she no longer had only my attention.
"Well, you of course, Clover, dear." She continued to ramble proudly for a few moments, but all I could see was her lips moving. The sound seemed so distant, so far away. All I could think to do was hang on her words. I couldn't fight. No, it wasn't even as if I was mediocre and had some sort of title to live up to. No, that wasn't it at all. I literally couldn't. My practice with Shay didn't even come close to being considered adequate training. Everyone knew I couldn't fight.
I was small, and as much as I hated -and by hated, more similarly loathed- to admit it, I was helpless. A damn pebble could probably shatter my bones.
I was brought out of my thoughts by a sudden abrupt stop of Jadie's lips. She must have finished speaking, I reasoned. When she looked at me expectantly, I felt all of the air leave my body in one single word. "What?"
My confusion, or perhaps Jadie's facial response, caused the room to be taken by a fit of laughter. My cheeks reddened at the sound- I had been right, everybody had been paying attention to Jadie. Jadie didn't answer, but as soon as the laughter died down, I heard a voice that made me turn around. "What, my name too much for you?" The taunting question had came from an unfamiliar boy with blonde hair and green eyes. He looked big, although his features made me guess him to be around fourteen or fifteen. It took me a moment to realize what that meant before my jaw dropped.
This has to be a joke, I thought, before turning back to Jadie. "Are you- I, I mean...Is this some sort of-"
"Spit it out, Ms. Clover."
Before I could come up with anything, I heard the irritating voice behind me once more. "Ah, don't blame her, Jadie. I naturally have that effect." I turned my head just in time to see him wink at me. The room was filled with laughs again, yet it now felt more personal.
My fear for whatever they had planned simply couldn't outweigh the hatred the older guy enflamed in me. So, without any thought, I whipped out one of my own natural responses, "Naturally?" I scoffed."Yeah, if the effect you're talkin' about is wanting to make people spit because of you is what you meant. I want to puke just lookin' at you, mission clear."
The room became rather silent, and the guys face actually seemed to literally turn red. Not pink from embarressment, but as I noticed the sword he was holding tightly in his hand, I realized a few different possibilities. My eyes dropped to the floor, not exactly sure what I had just gotten myself in to.
It was rather silent for what felt like hours until he seethed. "You and me, Clover."
I was motioned over to a large blue mat by Jadie, and almost immediatley people gathered around. I saw Shay behind the guy, standing directly across from me with wide eyes. I gulped, looking away from Shay. I was pretty sure that we both- along with every single other person in that room- knew that I was completely, amd utterly, explained the rules, but they seemed to be pretty simple. Don't kill, and don't step off the mat. It seemed pretty easy.
He had been the one to pounce first. It wasn't nearly immediate, but only after I was sure to establish that I was quite content with my corner of the mat. He swung out at me with his left arm, and due to a factor I couldn't be sure of, I was able to duck to the left and avoid his touch. I walked lightly, on the balls of my feet, ducking once more. The third time he reached for me, however, Iwasn't so lucky. I wasn't exactly sure what he did, but within seconds I was pinned underneathe him. I squirmed, hating the feeling of him being on top of me. It was completely infuriatiating, and although I knew the chances were virtually zero of me winning, I couldn't help but feel it should have been the other way around. I tried to kick my legs, keeping one shoulder above the mat at an angle, but his legs were on either side of me. His strong arms imprisoned my wrists, leaving little room for me to do anything.
The room was filled with loud and obnoxious cheers from the very people I hated the most, and I knew who they were all for. It was obvious, after all. Despite the obvious adoration of him and annoyance towards my very existence, the most obvious sign was the solid name-chanting. Cato. The name didn't even sound vaguely familiar, but it wasn't very surprising.
I looked up a Cato, feeling the strain as I focused on keeping my shoulder above the mat. His face looked furious. If it was towards me still not being out, or what I said earlier, I could not be sure.
I was positive the fury was based on me, but the reasoning was completely debatable. For a small moment, I saw his eyes flicker to mine. Feeling his arms loosen just a bit, I used all the energy I could muster to throw my head action caused him to fumble and me to crawl from underneathe him. I didn't get but a few feet away before he grabbed my ankle. I tried to pull away from him, attempting to shake him off, but found it to be completely futile. I felt him move to my right before he twisted my ankle, practically flying on top of me again. My eyes went wide when, unlike before, I felt something cold press against my side. "Guess the time's out, Clover." He whispered loudly in to my ear as I tried to wiggle away from him. I felt a throbbing pain at my side that caused me to cry out, and as he shifted, it moved down to my hip. He grinned on top of me as moisture began to form at the corner of my eyes, the pain almost unbearable. He sliiped his hand roughly to my waist, the sensation so painful that I let out a loud sob.
He brought his hand back up, covered in a red substance. It was blood. My body shook- it was my blood. Cato stared at the blood on his hand before forcing his pinky to draw something roughly on my face, using my blood. I began to feel weaker, my body falling flat against the mat. The last thing I saw before I lost consiousness was Cato's face, staring at me oddly.
A.N. Okay, so I know I've been starting quite a few roleplays lately. However, I realized, I have yet to do a Clato Fanfic. I've done Clove stories, and ones with Cato, but they've always been seperate. So, I thought it was time I did one on them together. Of course, it is slightly AU, but that's what I love about it. Anyways, reviews would be appreciated.