A/N: So, I got a sudden inspiration to write epilogue number two. It's basically how Clove and Cato and maybe some other people feel about all the important events in their life. Also, Carner looks just like Cato just with dark hair and the girls look just like Clove except with blue eyes. Just to give you a picture. And I think this is the longest thing I've ever written and I wrote it in like two days non-stop. I just kept going... This started out out as just like the stuff a Clove was scared of and then more ideas came to me and wrote it. I need a life.
Whoever said marriage was a good idea was an idiot. Clove realised that a little late. She stood in front of a full length mirror in a stupid wedding dress with a stupid veil and her hair curled stupidly. She felt stupid.
Did she love Cato?
Hell yeah she did! There wasn't a doubt in her mind that she did. When she finally said yes to marrying Cato, she was so happy and so was he. They were beyond happy.
Did she hate wedding planning?
Hell yeah she did! They wanted a small wedding with less then twenty people and a bunch of hotdogs in someone's backyard. Then Cato's mother decided that her son had to have a huge wedding with a bunch of people they had met less than twice and chicken and steak and things Clove hated.
Now look at her. She was miserable on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life.
Then there was a knock at the door of her dressing room and Clove let her head fall into her hands. She was almost certain it was her almost-mother-in-law coming to yell at her for taking so long. That woman was the only downside of marrying Cato.
The Marvel and Thresh came banging on her door. They told her they kinda ruined their wedding by telling the guests the they had already gone of their honeymoon, ("sorry, they thought the wedding was yesterday. Silly, silly, Cato and Clove.") but everything was still fine. They have a backyard and a barbecue of hotdogs on standby.
They didn't have to tell Clove twice before she ran out the door into Thresh's car.
Now Clove stood in Peeta's backyard, the sun was shinning and someone was barbecuing hotdogs in the background and the only people there were only about twenty people there, but at the moment, Clove didn't even care.
She was marrying Cato.
Her hands were clasped in his and Marvel was going on about all the marriage stuff, but Clove didn't care. She was marrying Cato. No matter how long they had been together she didn't think this would actually happen.
She ginned as Cato said his vows. He seemed so confident and knew exactly what to say, but that was Cato. He was always like that.
She stumbled through her own vows. She knew this would happen and wrote a cue card, a cue card it took her almost six moths to write because she needed it to be perfect, but that was sitting on the desk of her dressing room. Eventually she found the right words to say ("you know what, forget this. Cato, you know I love you more then I love myself. You know me better then anyone in this world and I could never leave you or stop loving you no matter how much I tried. I love you, Cato, and I will until the end of time.")
She basically jumped into Cato's arms when Marvel said that they were now husband and wife. She could tell Cato was just as giddy as she was when he bent over and kissed her.
She was pregnant.
Cato's kid was growing inside her uterus and she wanted to freak out. But she couldn't freak out. She was in the ladies' room while Cato was preparing for the biggest fight of his life. If she freaked out then everyone would know and pester her about baby things and what it was like being married to the Cato Hadley and what it was like to have the most National wins and medals and all the other shit that she doesn't care about at the moment.
There was a bang on the door. "Y'know lady, there's a line out here!" Someone yelled and Clove pulled up her pants, wrapping the positive pregnancy test in toilet paper before shoving it into her pocket.
She had told Cato her period was late, knowing how happy the news that there was a possibility he was going to be a dad would make him. They had stopped at a pharmacy in some town before reaching Las Vegas and bought a few pregnancy tests and Cato had made her promise not to take a test until they were in their hotel room, but Clove was to scared to wait.
She got a few looks when she exited the stall. She washed her hands and quickly left the bathroom, trying to avoid every fan of her husband or herself. She sat down in her seat outside of the cage her husband would be fighting in. She couldn't wait for this fight to be over with so she could freak out with Cato in the privacy of her hotel room.
Brutus sat next to her as the fans stood up and cheered and Cato and his competitor (some middle aged man named Chaff. He only had one arm so his competitors never thought he would be much competition, but he kicked ass with his feet, literally) entered the ring.
The UFC fight started quickly and Chaff came out swinging. Cato expertly dodged. Chaff had the same technique as Clove and he had been sparing his wife for a little over ten years, he knew how to take him down. After a few kicks, Cato grabbed Chaff's leg, twisting it so the older man lost his footing and fell on the ground. Cato held him down for a few seconds and round two began.
This time, Chaff let Cato make the first move. Cato went for the head, knowing Chaff would duck and go for his stomach. That's what he did and Cato blocked his fist with his knee, taking the advantage and then punching Chaff in the face a few times before letting the man stagger backwards. Chaff went in for a kick and Cato blocked it, not noticing the other man's fist before it made contact with his face. They kept at it, punching and kicking until the bell sounded, signalling the end of the second round.
When the third round started, both men were bleeding. Chaff's nose looked to be broken and the right side of Cato's face was swelling. When the whistle sounded for the third round, Cato pounced. Arms and legs flew through the air and the sound of skin on skin would have made anyone but a crowed of fighters gag. With one last punch, Cato through his hand back and hit Chaff in the cheek, effectively knocking him out.
The cheers grew as Cato's hand was lifted above his head and he was crowned victorious. Brutus grabbed Clove's hand and pulled her into the ring where Cato engulfed her in his large arms. Clove smiled and told him whispered (well, shouted over the crowd, but she knew no one heard her but him) exactly what he had wanted to hear for years.
"You're really..." Cato trailed off, his grin so wide and infectious he even had Clove smiling. She nodded and Cato spun her around, whooping and laughing. He was so happy that he almost convinced Clove that they could be happier than she ever believed possible.
Her eyes fell closed as her body relaxed and she fell back against the strong chest of her husband. Her child's cries filled the room and she barely makes out the voice of one of the nurses telling her it was a boy and she could hear Cato's voice in her ear telling her how beautiful he is.
But she was only filled with panic and fear and felt completely lost.
Cato's hands let go of her hands and wrapped around her now slim waist, almost like he was pulling her closer to him, if that was even possible. She felt a warm, squirming, bundle of blankets be placed into her arms and the panic and fear grew.
She didn't even know that was even possible.
She was that scared.
The baby had stopped crying and the room was almost deadly silent. She was almost certain all the nurses had left the room and left the small, semi-dysfunctional-at-the-moment-family alone. All Clove could hear was Cato, her husband and the one person she could trust with anything and knew all her fears and dreams, whispering in her ear about how beautiful he is and how he could tell he was going to be a kick ass fighter.
But she was to scared to open her eyes and look at her son.
She knew if she opened her eyes she could never tear herself away from her baby. He would become her weakness and she already had enough of those. She didn't want anyone to hurt her little boy that she had learned to love while carrying him over the past nine months. Her mother was still alive and had already hurt Cato. The last thing she needed was for her to know about her hidden treasure.
She wanted too look- no, needed- to look at her son.
She let her eyes open, clinging to her husbands coaxing words for support. Her grey eyes fell onto her baby boy and the air escaped her lungs. He was so beautiful. He looked like his father with his nose and ears and lips and his icy blue eyes starting up at her like he knew about the fear she was feeling, just like his father's. The on,y her she could see in him was the patch of midnight black hair on his head and his arms flying around in the air. She had always been a batter fighter than Cato. No matter what he claimed.
"Isn't he beautiful, Clover?" Cato asked her while their son's hand wrapped around his father's finger and he waved it in the air like a prize.
"More beautiful than I could have ever imagined" she whispered back, her eyes unable to leave the ones of her baby. She didn't know how much love she could have for one person, let along two. And she didn't know she could ever be this happy.
And there was another crack in her wall.
"Daddy, where is Uncle B?" Cachet asked as she walked down the stairs early one morning. She did the same thing she did everyday: woke up to see her favourite uncle and play with him until it was time to go to pre-school, but this morning was different.
She ran into Brutus's room to see the bed empty. The sheets were changed and the comforter was tucked in, she had never seen his bed that way. The room also smaller weird, not of the gym but of something else. He was almost always in it since he moved into their home from the hospital less than a month before.
Then she ran down the stairs, passed her brother who was trying to urge Callie to move from his doorway. His chubby five year old legs weren't long enough to step over the fat, old dog. She came to the kitchen where her mother and father sat at the table.
Both their eyes were bloodshot and Clove's face was buried in her husband's shoulder, something she only did when she cried. Tears were running freely down Cato's cheeks and fear gripped his daughter's insides.
"Daddy, where is Uncle B?" She asked, climbing into her father's lap. Cato took a deep breath, his hands were shaking as they ran up and down her back.
"Sweetie, do you remember when Uncle Brutus was in the hospital and the doctors told us he was very, very sick?" Her father's voice was quiet and didn't sound as cheerful as it usually did. She nodded and her own blue eyes filled with tears. She knew something was wrong. "Well, Uncle Brutus had cancer and it' serially hard to get better from and last night..." He stopped. He couldn't sob in front of his daughter, especially not now when she needed him. "He died."
"But who' stoping to call me Little B and give me candy and play with me when no one else can and teach me to do mixed martial arts. He promised me he would teach me." Somewhere in her sentence she had started sobbing into her father's shirt.
She felt her mother's hand on her back as well now. Clove's hand was on top of Cato's as well, trying to give them both comfort. "It's ok, baby. Your Uncle B is in a better place now and he will always be with you. With all of us."
"Oh, Cassia. You look absolutely beautiful" Cato told his daughter as she stood in front of him in her wedding dress. Her black hair was pulled into a bun at the top of her head and her blue eyes popped against her light skin. "Don't tell your mom, but you look more beautiful than she did on out wedding day."
Cassia laughed and hugged her father. "Thank you, daddy" she said as her uncle Marvel stuck his head in through the door and told them it was time to get the show on the road.
They separated and Cassia looped her arm through her father's. "I don't know if I can let my little girl go" he said.
"I'll always be your little girl, dad. I'll just be your married little girl" Cassia said. The music started and the pair walked down the isle towards her soon to be husband.
In Cato's opinion, they walked much to fast down that isle. It reminded him of when he carried her into their home for the first time when she was just a baby and held her hand on her first day of school. He heard her whisper to him something along the lines of, "it's ok, dad" before she slipped her arm from Cato's.
Cato lifted her veil slightly to place a kiss on her cheek before giving her away, forever. He sat down in the front row next to Clove. He felt his wife for thirty-six years slip her hand into his and ask him, "you ok?"
She looked at the woman he had loved for more than half his life. Her hair was slightly grey and looked so much older, but he could see the closed sixteen year old girl that he fell in love with. Just looking at her made him feel a hindered times better. "I am now."
Clove held her granddaughter in her arms as her parents slept. She could already tell she had her mother's looks, but the freckles sprinkled across her cheeks were definitely hers. She had her dark hair and the stunning, icy blue eyes of her father and grandfather.
Carner and his wife had named her Avery Clove Hadley and Clove was honoured, of coarse. "She looks like Carner did when he was born" Cato commented, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. She agreed, reminded of the day so many years ago when she was holding her baby for the first time. Now her little baby boy was a father.
"It feels like just the other day he was born and now we're grandparents. It's so hard to believe."
Cato gave a small groan and let his head fall agains his wife's. "You're making me feel so old."
"You are old."
"So are you."
"By like nine months."
"Oh, cry me a river."
Cato chuckled as the baby started squirming in the arms of her grandmother. "Looks like it grandpa time" he grinned and took the baby from Clove. Clove leaned her head against the shoulder of the love of her life, watching little Avery sleep.
Clove only thought of how good her life had been since she met Cato. He had taught her how to love and how to confide in others and how to let people in. He had given her three perfectly wonderful children and the life she thought only existed in movies.
After seventy years of marriage, Clove laid down next to Cato in bed. Her finger's intertwined with his and he pulled her head onto his chest, kissing her forehead before telling her he loved her before closing his eyes.
"I love you too" Clove said and kissed his cheek and laid her head back down. She listed as Cato's heart slow down and then stop. She didn't panic, not even when she slowly felt the warmth that comforted her for so many years fade away. She simply took a deep breath and thought, I guess now is a good time to go and joined her husband in Heaven.
He welcomed her with open arms, saying something along the lines of "didn't I just see you?" and she laughed, just like she always did. Even though their story was done, doesn't mean their life together was. On the contrary, it wasn't close to over.
Clove was glad her walls came crashing down all those years ago and gave her the wonderful life she had.
A/N: ok, I'm crying again. Like, I don't know where that ending came from. I don't know where that whole thing came from but I'm glad I wrote it. I feel this is a much better epilogue than the first one. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writhing it. Thanks again to all the people who stuck with this until the end (and the semi continuation) and thank you for making this story such a success. :)