Chapter 2

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Cato's POV

I woke up to Clove ripping the sheets off of my body. I groaned and my hands searched for the sheets.

"Get up. It's time to train," said Clove, cackling about my mood. I sighed and sat up in my bed. I forgot I had training today, I guess seeing Katniss would have to wait.

Clove walked out of the room and I heard her walk down the stairs. I looked at the clock on my bedside table and it read 7:00. That wasn't too bad, I have woken up earlier.

I sat up and yawned, I stretched my arms out to loosen them up, then I got up to get dressed. There was no point in me taking a shower since I was going to get hot and sweaty anyway. I would take one after training so I wouldn't smell bad when I saw Katniss.

I put on some loose pants that stopped right below my knees and a white tank top that I heard was called a wife-beater. I don't really understand that name because why would a shirt beat a wife? It just confused me. I brushed my teeth and brushed my hair so it spiked out in front. I smiled at the mirror, satisfied with my look. I then walked down the stairs to get some breakfast. Clove, Enobaria and Brutus sat at the kitchen table, eating.

"So you finally woke up," said Brutus, shoving a piece of toast in his mouth. I shrugged, knowing better than to say something back to him. I sat down next to Clove and began to serve myself the food that sat in the middle of the table.

"Cato, I need you to go give this to Haymitch for me," said Enobaria, she handed me a book that read 'Alcoholics, Ways to Improve.' My eyebrow raised but I put it in my lap and finished my breakfast.

"He's going to kill himself one day if he doesn't stop." Said Enobaria, making a comment about Haymitch.

"I'm going to go give this to Haymitch," I said, getting up from my spot after I finished my plate.

"Be back in 10 minutes, or you have to do double suicides," said Brutus, I groaned internally. Suicides are a type of running exercise that is very hard to do. "It should take a while to wake him up."

I put on my tennis shoes and stepped into the morning air. It was a bit chilly but I knew it would wear off as the sun rose. I walked over to Haymitch's house with the book in my hand. I looked up at the house to see that no lights were on and it didn't seem like anyone was inside. I knocked on the door and waited for a couple minutes to find that no one answered. I put my hand hesitantly on the door handle and turned it.

The door swung open and I looked inside. The house was a mess, there were bottles and trash everywhere and it smelled terrible. Some plates and other decorations were broken on the floor. I walked slowly in and looked around for Haymitch.

"Haymitch?" I called, walking deeper into the house. "Haymitch!"

When no one answered I thought that maybe he was upstairs but I turned my head to see him passed out at the kitchen table. I rolled my eyes at him and walked over to him.

"Wake up, Haymitch," I said, shaking his shoulder. When he didn't wake up, I decided that water would do the trick.

I went to the kitchen and filled up a bowl of ice cold water. I walked back to the table and dumped it all over Haymitch. He jumped up immediately and it was too late for me to notice that he had a knife in his hand. He waved it around wildly, slicing the air. He cut me once on the stomach but I backed away before he could do it again. He finally gained some sense and put the knife on the table. He looked at me, a confused look on his face.

"What do you want, kid?" he asked, still grumpy from the water.

"Enobaria wanted me to give this to you," I said, tossing the book on the table. He took one look at it and started laughing.

"That woman still thinks she can get me to stop, doesn't she?" he mused, smiling. "Sorry about the cut, by the way," he said, wiping water off his face.

"Its fine, it makes up for the water," I said, walking to the door. I put my hand on my stomach and lifted it and saw blood smeared on it. The blood seeped through my shirt, making a red blotch in the middle of the shirt. "Plus, I've had worse," I said, wiping the blood on my pants.

Haymitch gave me a sympathetic look, I don't really know why. Didn't he know that we trained for the Games?

"Well, bye. I have to go find Brutus," I said, walking out the door.

"See ya, kid," said Haymitch, running a hand through his growing hair.

I walked carelessly through Victor's Village; I must have looked crazy with a bleeding cut showing through my shirt. The bleeding was nearly stopped now so I didn't worry. I saw Clove and Brutus standing in the front yard of our house. I jogged over to them to find an impatient Clove and an annoyed Brutus.

"Finally," said Clove, throwing her knife into a tree planted in the front yard, it landed dead center in a hollow in the tree.

"Let's go," said Brutus, walking out of Victor's Village. Clove walked up to the tree and ripped the knife out of the hole. I walked behind Brutus.

We passed the various other Victor's houses and entered the town. District 12 in general disgusted me. It was dirty, poor and weak. Everything that District 2 wasn't. District 12 was filled with rats and thieves. At least that's what I was taught, but when I met Katniss, that didn't seem so true anymore. But I could see that the people here were starving and weak. They would do anything for a scrap of food. I turned my nose up at them and followed Brutus, Clove did the same.

Brutus led us to a meadow of some sort. It had flowers, butterflies and bugs in it. Someone had put a couple racks of weapons in the field for us to use.

"I want you to warm up by running around the field 10 times. No stopping," ordered Brutus.

Clove and I went off running, we knew the consequences if we didn't listen.

~o~0~o~

Halfway through the day, Brutus let us stop to have lunch. I was sweaty and tired but I couldn't let that show through.

When an Avox came over to me and Clove, she handed us 2 bagged lunches and we sat on the ground. I ripped my bag open and started shoving a sandwich down my throat. Clove took out her knife and started poking holes in the top violently. The Avox watched with wide eyes. I rolled my eyes.

"You don't need to be so violent Clove. It's your lunch, not your enemy," I said, licking my fingers.

She didn't answer but she ended the bag's 'life' by slicing it open. She took her sandwich out and cut that plastic bag open too. I rolled my eyes once more and turned my head to see Haymitch and Finnick walking towards us. I just stared at them while Haymitch motioned for Finnick to stay back while he walked over to Brutus. Finnick watched us with a mix of sympathy and disgust in his eyes, everything that he acted as for the camera and fans was now gone and he looked to be a regular 14 year old boy, except for some of his strange flinching and cautiousness.

"You're jealous, aren't you?" said Clove, watching me with a smirk on her face. I whipped my head around to face her, glaring.

"I'm not! He just annoys me," I said, taking a bite out of my raw vegetables.

"You're just jealous that he won the Games when he was 14 years old. And you have to wait until you're 18," said Clove, her smirk growing, knowing that she was right. And she was, I just wasn't going to admit it.

"He just annoys me because he thinks he's all high and mighty because he's got all the girls swooning over him, and you're one of them," I said, my mouth forming my own smirk. Clove's eyes widened and she turned pink.

"I do not swoon over him!" she objected, but I could hear it in her voice. She was a huge fan of Finnick and we both knew it.

"Uh-huh," I said, smiling. She rolled her eyes and grumbled unintelligibly.

We both turned our heads around to the sound of Haymitch and Brutus talking loudly. They weren't quite shouting but we could still hear them.

"You shouldn't be working them this hard. They are just kids! They deserve a break!" said Haymitch, waving his hands towards us.

"They are training for the Games and should be working this hard if they want to win," said Brutus, crossing his arms across his chest.

"Whatever. You go ahead and take their childhood away," grumbled Haymitch, stalking away from Brutus and Finnick followed him.

"Ok, let's begin some weapon training," said Brutus, his voice seeming a little uneasy since Haymitch talked to him.

"What did Haymitch want?" asked Clove, walking over to the knife rack; I walked over to the sword rack.

"He just wanted to take you guys around District 12 and show you everything. I personally think that there is nothing to see in this dirty district. It's worthless," said Brutus, he then ordered an Avox to go bring the dummies for us to use out. She ran to go get more Avoxes to help her I guess.

"Can we go tomorrow?" asked Clove, she could ask him stuff like that and not get punished or yelled at because Brutus was always sweet on Clove. She was probably his favorite student. I was probably his second favorite.

He stared at Clove, trying to make a decision. She stared back, making cute little wide eyes at him.

"Please, Brutus?" she pleaded.

"Fine, but you have to work extra hard the next day," said Brutus, groaning at her. The Avoxes had just set up the dummies in rows in front of us.

Clove smiled and threw a knife in the dummy in front of her and it hit it right in the heart.

Katniss' POV

I was walking down the streets with Prim looking in all of the shops for a gift for my parents. It was their anniversary next week and I wanted to have a present ready. We were exiting a shop that sold clothes with my money still in my pocket. We hadn't found anything yet so we headed to the next shop. But something caught my eye.

I saw a glimpse of the meadow in between the shops. I saw the head of the boy who I got into a fight with yesterday. My eyebrows crinkled and I walked closer to the gap between the shops to see if it was him. It was.

"Hey Prim, come with me," I said, grabbing her hand in mine. I led her through the gap between the shops and I stopped right before we stepped into the sunlight. "Stay here," I told her and let go of her hand.

I walked forward and saw that he seemed to be training with a sword. He was slicing the dummies heads off and it sort of frightened me. It reminded me of what he could have done to me if I hadn't pushed him off of me yesterday. I looked around him to see the brown haired girl throwing knives viciously into the dummies. My eyes widened as they hit the target each time. I noticed Brutus just standing there, watching them in approval.

I started to back up away from them in horror when the boy spotted me. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw me but softened when he saw me backing away.

"Wait!" he called, reaching his hand towards me. Luckily, Brutus or the brown haired girl didn't seem to notice. I turned away from him and ran back to Prim. I grabbed her hand quickly and pulled her out of the small alley.

"Come on, Prim," I said urgently when she fell behind. I needed to get her away from those monsters.

"Where are we going?" she asked, stumbling on her feet as we ran to the bakery.

"Away from the meadow," I said, opening the door to the bakery.

We entered and the door slowly shut behind us. I looked out the window and saw that the boy wasn't following me. I sighed and led Prim to the counter. A blonde boy with light blue eyes stood at the counter, watching us. I smiled at him and he smiled back but he seemed to be in a daze. He watched my face as I scanned the glass case where the baked goods sat.

"What do you want, Prim?" I asked her, reaching into my pocket to pull out some money. I think we could spare a dollar or two.

"That one," said Prim, pointing to a small cheese bun.

"We'll take one cheese bun, please," I said, smiling at the boy. He seemed to be my age. The boy didn't say anything, he just smiled and nodded, he seemed to be in a daze again.

"Are you ok?" I asked him, looking at him funny. "My mother's a healer; I can take you to her."

"No, no, I'm fine," he said, chuckling at me. "Here's your cheese bun. That will be 50 cents."

"Ok, here you go. Thanks," I said, handing the bag to Prim. I handed the boy the money and we sat down at a table near the front window.

"Thank you, Katniss," said Prim, taking a big bite out of the bun.

"You're welcome, Prim," I said, pulling a piece of the bun off and popping into my mouth.

We sat at the table for about 5 minutes. I would have been happy to just sit there forever if it meant I could continue eating that cheese bun. It was delicious. Some movement caught my eye outside of the bakery. I looked out the window and saw the boy. First, I scowled; he seemed to be looking for something, probably us. Then, I realized the danger we could be in.

"Come on, Prim. Let's go," I said, taking the trash where the cheese bun used to be and threw it in a trash can. I took her hand and led her to the door.

I looked out of the window again to see the boy facing away from us. I took this chance to leave the bakery. I opened the door slowly and poked my head out. The boy was still facing away from us; he was now talking to a man. I opened the door all the way and pulled Prim through it. I swiftly shut the door and took off at a run. Well, I tried to. Prim slipped on a rock and fell but I pulled her arm up and saved her.

"Ouch, Katniss!" she yelled, rubbing her arm. My eyes widened and I looked up to where the boy was and he was staring directly at us.

"Hurry, Prim," I said, pulling her behind me as I ran. I didn't technically run because Prim was slowing me down but I tried to. Picking her up wasn't an option; I wasn't strong enough for that.

"Wait, I just want to talk to you!" yelled the boy, running after us. I looked back and saw him catching up to us.

"In here, Prim," I said, pulling her into the gap between 2 shops. I stood in front of Prim, pushing her against the wall. I blocked her from anyone's view.

We stood in the small alley waiting for the boy to find us. We were both breathing heavily. I saw the figure of the boy stop in front of the alley. He turned his head and peered into it. We stayed in the shadows and didn't move. He walked into the alley, the sun still shining on him. We were still in the dark. I didn't notice before but he was sort of cute. His hair shined in the sunlight, he had deep blue eyes that were very pretty.

"I can see you, you know," he said, staying in the sunlight. His words snapped me out of my thoughts.

"What do you want?" I snapped, I had to remember that he could kill me, that he was the enemy, that he could kill Prim.

"Well, I just didn't want you to think that I was some crazy person after you saw me in the meadow," he said, saying it like it was obvious. I didn't answer him; I didn't know what else to say. "I'm not always like that, you know," he said, leaning against one of the shops.

"Why did you come to find me?" I asked, my stance in front of Prim relaxing a bit.

"Because I wanted to tell you that I'm not just some kid who can kill you with a sword. I wanted you to know that I'm more than that. That I won't hurt you," he answered, but I knew that there was something else that he wasn't telling me.

"I like him," said Prim, coming out behind me. She ran towards him and I reached out to stop her but pulled my hand back. He said he wouldn't hurt us, right? Prim ran up in front of him and into the sunlight. "I'm Prim. I'm Katniss' sister," she said, sort of puffing her chest out. My mouth curved into a smile and I chuckled.

"Hi, Prim. I'm Cato. I'm from District 2," he said, smiling at Prim. My eyes went to his face and it took my breath away. His smile left me in a daze.

"Katniss, are we going to get mommy and daddy's present?" asked Prim, turning to me. I forced my eyes away from Cato's face and to Prim's.

"Oh yeah! Thanks for reminding me, Prim," I said, walking towards her.

"Do you mind if I come? My training is over for the day," said Cato, looking hopefully at me.

"Yeah, can he come? Please, Katniss?" pleaded Prim, her wide eyes staring at me.

"Fine, he can come," I said, rolling my eyes at Prim but a smile had made its way to my face.

Prim skipped out into the street and I stepped out into the sunlight, following her. Cato kept pace next to me.

"Thanks," he said, putting his hands in his pockets. I looked at him, confused. "For giving me a second chance," he explained when he saw my confused expression.

I didn't answer him; I just stared at the ground thoughtfully. Could he be lying? We were just punching each other yesterday and now he was thanking me.

No, he wouldn't do that.