Deadly Decisions~ Cato
I yelped as I ran alongside Katniss Everdeen, my chosen District Tribute from 12 as we were chased by the Careers. I knew they weren't aloud to kill me but they still scared the shit out of me. My leg had been injured earlier when I tried to jump into the river with Katniss only to slip on the rocks and hit a ledge as I fell.
The pain slowed me down considerably and Katniss, bless her heart, wouldn't leave me behind, even when I told her to run. I groaned as I tripped over a tree root and fell into the dirt, reaching for my leg. "Jupiter!" Katniss exclaimed, turning back to me. "No! Go, they're not aloud to kill me, I'll be fine. Get up a tree, now!" I ordered shoving her away as she knelt to help me, one of my hands clenched around my bleeding leg.
The girl gave me a pained look but quickly shot away into the brush. I tried to pull myself up only to collapse in pain, holding my leg as I rolled onto my back, hearing the Careers burst from the bushes a few feet away.
"Which is that?" Glimmer asked. "It's the Scout." Marvel replied as they circled me. "Forget her. We aren't aloud to kill her." Cato muttered, poking at me with the flat part of his sword. I yelped when he nudged my hurt leg and the others all smirked. "Let's have some fun with her then if we can't kill her." Marvel suggested before something landed in the bushes. I heard them growl before Cato spoke. "You, get her up and follow us." he barked before the Careers took off after Katniss.
I whimpered as Katniss' partner, Peeta leaned over me. "Can you stand?" he asked. "You think I would be on the ground if I could?" I bit back angrily, still holding my leg. "Here, let me help, wrap your arms around mine and I'll pull you up." he offered, holding out an arm. I didn't hesitate to do so and felt him surprisingly lift me to my feet, quickly wrapping my arm around his shoulders and helping me walk.
We reached the Careers just in time to see Cato fall from the tree. I winced and shook my head as Glimmer shot an arrow at Katniss, only to miss by about a foot. "May be you should throw the sword." Katniss jeered. I hid a smirk as Peeta helped me sit down, my back against a tree. "Let's just wait her out, she has to come down sometime for water and food." he offered. "Fine." Cato growled, glaring at Peeta before moving to gather some wood and rocks for a fire.
I watched silently as Marvel struggled to light the fire before speaking up. "Strike a rock against the sword blade." the group glared at me and I shrugged. "It'll create sparks, sparks make fire." I mumbled, looking away from them and slightly adjusting my leg that Peeta had propped up on a pile of rocks, cushioned by my jacket and bag. I saw the group quietly talk amongst themselves before trying my suggestion, getting a flame on the first try.
As they all settled down for the night I turned my eyes to the sky. "Hey. Scout. Why aren't you terrified of us?" Marvel asked, attracting my attention. I gave him a look. "I'm wary, not scared." I replied simply. Glimmer glared at me as she got up and stalked over, grabbing my hair and yanking my head back. "Oh really? How about now?" she asked, yanking my hair tighter.
I simply gave her a blank stare and she yanked harder, hitting my leg causing me to let out a hiss, only for a knife to fly past her face, grazing her cheek. "Enough Glimmer." Clove growled, twirling another knife as the blonde released my hair. "What was that for?" Glimmer shrieked at Clove, holding her cheek. "Can't you see she's the Scout that chose to support Cato? Not just 12? She's wearing both our district symbols." Clove growled, glaring at the other girl. Glimmer simply huffed and walked back to her spot.
I hissed softly as I readjusted my leg, Peeta helping me before Cato sat down next to me, Peeta quickly making himself scarce at one look from the large teen. "Why?" Cato asked, not looking at me and simply examining his new sword. I shrugged, knowing what he meant. "You…amused me." I replied.
"No Scout has ever taken on two different Tributes because they 'amuse them'." Cato muttered distastefully, giving me a look. "You remind me of myself. Lost in what everyone expects of them." I replied with finality. "You know only one can win." Cato growled. "Yes. I also know that I have to turn on one of you in the final two." I replied, looking up at Katniss sadly. "And what will you do if you can't?" he asked.
"I have the option of taking one out with me. No Scout has used that option so its almost forgotten, but I will use it if I have too." I replied, looking up at the stars. I felt Cato press something into my hand before standing an going back to his spot. I quietly looked down to see a gold wolf pin that I had slipped his Stylist to Mark him as my Tribute.
I smiled softly before sticking the pin into my pocket and listening to the Careers talk, drifting into an uncommon peace. The quiet peace was only broken when I heard the chime of a gift moving closer, floating toward me only to get stuck on a branch above my head. I growled in annoyance and moved to get up only for a knife to slice through the thin strings, sending the box down onto my lap.
I nodded to Clove in thanks before opening the box to find a vial of glowing pink liquid and a note card beside it. 'Drink up, darling. -E' the note read. I rolled my eyes and smiled before looking at Clove. "Pass me a squirrel?" I asked. The girl nodded and tossed a stick to me, a whole squirrel skewered on it.
I quietly ate and tossed the stick onto the pile for the fire, downing the small vial that strangely tasted of strawberry and cherry. As it settled in my stomach I felt a buzz move through my body, collecting at my leg and numbing the pain.
The next morning I was first to wake and I quietly stood, my leg completely healed. I silently picked up my bag and left the camp, stopping beside a sleeping Cato and gingerly pinning the wolf pin back on his jacket before leaving.
Almost as soon as I left the camp I heard a crash and a loud buzzing sound as the Careers began screaming in pain. My eyes widened and I took off, knowing exactly what the sound was, Tracker-Jackers. I silently hid out close to the Cornucopia for the next few days, keeping an eye on Cato and his group, seeing him fiddling with the pin more than I could count, causing me to smile. That was the last peace we got in the arena before everything hit the fan.
I gasped and covered my mouth as I watched Clove fall from Thresh's hands, her skull caved in from being slammed against the metal Cornucopia. I felt rage fill my body and I quickly tore out of my hiding place and ran after Thresh, stopping only to grab Cloves knife set that had fallen next to her and closing her eyes. I tracked Thresh through the wheat field, ready to kill him before I was suddenly tackled by a much larger body. I grunted as I struggled with my attacker before I realized it was Cato and he realized it was me. "Jupiter?" he asked in surprise. I quickly covered his mouth and put a finger to my mouth. "Thresh. He's hiding in the wheat." I breathed.
Cato nodded and we silently stood and began tracking the male again. Once we found him and Cato dealt with him, leaving himself with a bloody mouth, the sky suddenly grew dark. "Oh no." I whispered, remembering the Crane had talked about a Grand Finale. "Cato we have to go." I whispered. "What?" he grunted, leaning on me. "We have to get to the Cornucopia. Hurry." I replied quickly leading him through the bloody wheat and back to the meadow, pushing him up onto the metal building. I quickly followed and laid down, panting.
After Peeta and Katniss both joined us and Cato grabbed Peeta, taunting Katniss I quickly stepped in as she went to release her arrow. "Stop!" I ordered, causing the three Tributes to freeze, even the Mutts growing silent to listen to me. "I call upon the Scout Law. As a Scout I have the opportunity to take 1 single Tribute out of the ones I have chosen to Sponsor. I chose Katniss and Cato from Districts 2 and 12 because I saw great potential in you both. Now I must choose between you both." I quietly looked at the two as they stared at me, Cato relaxing his grip on Peeta but not letting him go.
"Release him Cato." I told the boy softly. Cato simply stared at me, slowly letting his arm fall. "I choose Cato Hadley." I voiced before the tracker in his arm released a knock out serum, causing him to drop. I quietly turned to Katniss and nodded to her as two tubes lowered myself and Cato down through the Cornucopia. After being taken from the arena Cato and I were moved to the infirmary where Cato was treated for his wounds and his tracker was removed while I was treated for dehydration and a couple scratches.
After being released I silently moved to Cato's room, dismissing the nurse, and sat down, seeing him awake and glaring at the ceiling and I knew I needed to explain why I chose him. "You know, I swore off love when my family died, I swore I would never get close to anyone ever again. But guess what?" I asked, looking at him to see his eyes still locked on the ceiling. "I met you and the first thing I thought was 'this assholes going to ruin my plans'. So I chose you as one of my Tributes. Not because you were the biggest or the strongest or even because you amuse me. I chose you because I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you." I explained.
Cato simply seemed to ignore me so I quietly stood and leaned over, pressing a kiss to his cheek before leaving the room. I sat silently that night behind the Stage as I watched Katniss and Peeta spit out some believable lie about not being able to live without one and I smiled quietly to myself when I saw that Katniss was still wearing the pin I had given her.
When they came off I gave them a smile before I was called onstage with Cato, who had entered the room but kept his distance from me until we walked onto the stage. I smiled and waved to everyone like I had done many times before as we sat down. "Well, well, well, Scout Jupiter, I know that we were all surprised when we learned that you had picked two Tributes, but I don't think any of us saw you coming out with Cato." Caesar voiced as he smiled at us.
"Mind telling us why you chose Cato here?" he asked, leaning closer to me. "Well Caesar, I chose Cato because I knew that Katniss and Peeta wouldn't allow each other to die. Even though Katniss and I grew close during the Games I just couldn't stand by and let her kill him." I replied. "Do I sense a personal reason behind your choice?" Caesar asked, wriggling his eyebrows with a laugh.
I laughed gently and smiled back. "That's for you to decide for yourself, Caesar, Cato already knows my reason." I replied with a wink. "Ooh, cheeky. And what about you Cato? How did you feel when Jupiter selected you?" Caesar asked.
Cato simply looked at the man before looking at me, his gaze softening. "When she first chose me as her Tribute I felt honored and a bit shocked. I was honored to be chosen but I was shocked that the Scout who I considered the most beautiful had chosen me. And then when I met her, I knew that I would do everything in my power to win. Just for her because when our eyes met for the first time and I first heard her voice, I knew." Cato replied, never looking away from me. "I knew I was in love with her." he finished in a whisper.
I heard the crowd awe and I stared at him for a moment in shock before I smiled and reached over to grasp his hand. "And you, Jupiter? Are you happy with your choice?" Caesar asked. I smiled, looking at him and nodded. "It was a deadly decision but I wouldn't change it for the world." I replied as we all stood up and Cato pulled me close as we waved to the crowd before walking off the stage to start our new lives.