I'm running a SYOT, and there are still some places I need to fill if you want to check it out. :) I don't own The Hunger Games.
"Focus!" Clove snapped at Cato, who spun his sword around carelessly in his hand. "Do it again."
He lunged at Clove, who blocked with her own blade. Cato feigned a blow to her stomach, before swinging for her head. Clove ducked and jumped backwards, bringing her sword up at the same time. Cato dodged her attack and jabbed at her stomach, but Clove sidestepped. She grabbed Cato's wrist and twisted it until he dropped his blade.
"Come on Cato. You have to focus!" Clove sighed, kicking his sword back to him. They had been practicing for the tournament in the field outside Cato's house for two hours straight.
"Sorry." He shrugged, stretching his arms. "It's hard to focus when all you want to do is kiss your sparring partner."
"Want me to get Gus to practice against you?" Clove asked. She raised an eyebrow and pretended that her heart hadn't just melted a little.
"Ha. No." Cato said, flopping down onto the grass.
"Well not focusing in the tournament tomorrow will probably get you killed." Clove dropped her sword and sat down next to Cato.
"I'm not going to die." He said confidently.
"Arrogance is another thing that'll get you killed." Clove said, tugging at the grass by her feet.
"I'm not going to die, Clove." Cato said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
"You don't know that." Clove pointed out.
"I have something to fight for that none of the others have." Cato kissed her softly on the lips. "I have you."
"Gus has somebody from the village, too. I'm not really sure who." Clove admitted. "He's always been one to watch, but he wants to use his wish on her. He's going to be pretty unbeatable."
"Nobody's unbeatable." Cato sighed. They sat in silence for a few minutes until Cato asked,
"Clove? Why did you save Buck?"
"What kind of a question is that?" Clove asked, horrified that Cato would think that she wouldn't save his brother.
"It's just that…he's always been a bit of a dick to you, but you still saved his life." He explained.
"Anybody that tackles Marvel is a friend of mine." Clove grinned. "Plus, I couldn't exactly let your brother die."
"Because you love me." Cato smirked, squeezing her shoulders.
"No, because if he had died Trix wouldn't have a good role model. You're just a petty thief." Clove said, shoving Cato playfully.
"Yeah, there's that too."
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would personally like to welcome you all to the tournament of the valiant!" King Fuhrman yelled. He and his family were seated in a separate box than the rest of the crowd, overlooking the arena. Clove hated it. She would rather sit with the villagers- the attention was nauseating.
"Today, they are brave!" The king shouted to the crowds, who roared in agreement.
"They are strong! They are courageous! They are our warriors!" King Fuhrman's voice easily filled the arena, which Clove estimated could seat at least thirty thousand people. Travellers from all over Panem came to the city for the annual tournament. Clove loved being able to slip away so easily- there were too many people in the palace and her parents were too busy during tournament time to notice.
"Receiving the much deserved honour of fighting first is my own flesh and blood, Augustus Fuhrman!" The king announced. The crowd roared with approval, and Clove noticed for the first time that Gus wasn't siting with them. Their thrones were on opposite sides of the box and had been ever since they had both almost tumbled into the arena when they were younger and play fighting.
"Fighting against him will be…" The announcer took over the job of yelling to the crowd from King Fuhrman. Not Cato. Clove prayed. Please not Cato.
"Sir Julian of North Odesta!" The announcer said, and Clove mentally breathed a sigh of relief. Cato wasn't experienced enough to fight Gus yet, she had decided. They'd battle it out later on when he had beaten some Odesta and Panem knights. Maybe he'd even take down Marvel before someone else could.
"Clove, be a dear and check on Augustus. He's only got ten minutes before his fight." The queen smiled warmly at her daughter.
"Sure." Clove mumbled. She found Augustus in the armoury next to the arena, staring at his reflection in the mirror. Unlike Clove and her father, Gus's hair was light brown. It was longer than normal- he'd been training too much to get it cut. His eyes were a different shade of green, to Clove's. Hers were paler and only ever turned to Augustus's shade when she was angry. The girls in the village swooned whenever he rode by on his horse for inspection. Personally, Clove didn't get it. Then again, Gus was her brother and Clove had always had a thing for blonde boys.
"Hey." She said, sitting down next to him on the table. "Ten minutes till show times."
"I can't do this, Clo-Clo." Augustus sighed, running a hand through his hair. He was wearing a bronze breastplate, leather gloves and arm guards over his black breeches and cotton shirt. His helmet lay next to him.
"You haven't called me Clo-Clo in ages." Clove smiled softly. "What's wrong?"
"There's just so much pressure on me, you know? Not just from dad and the rest of kingdom but…From Aya." Augustus sighed again, as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders just by mentioning her name.
"Who's Aya?" Clove asked, but she already knew. She had overhead the yelling in the dining hall a few months ago.
"I met her six months ago, in the village. Most girls wink and wave at me when I ride through for inspections but she…She glared at me, like I was the bane of her existence. And for a while, I guess I was. I would annoy her when she was pegging out washing- she's a seamstress apprentice, by the way- but one day she invited me inside her house for a cup of tea. It was the smallest space I'd ever been in, but she was there so I didn't care. I've been in love with her ever since." Augustus' eyes looked as if they had been sewn shut, he hadn't opened them in so long.
"If I don't win this tournament, I don't get a wish. No wish means I can kiss goodbye to any shot I had at a future with Aya. I just can't handle this, Clove. I love her so much; I can't just lose her." The Crown Prince of Panem admitted.
"You'll win for sure, Gus." Clove said. "You had better go fight now."
"Thanks, Clo-Clo. You're the best." Augustus flashed her a grin before picking up his helmet and leaving.
What the hell do I do now? Clove thought to herself. It's his happiness or mine.
I really need the D5 male for my SYOT, hint hint, :)