The TTE Finale
I don't own The Hunger Games. :( I'm going to try and make this chapter longer than all the others because I want to fit in the interview in this chapter. :)
"So, what did you want to ask me about?" Cato asked once we had gotten the unconscious Katrina settled inside the mouth of the Cornucopia with a wet cloth pressed to her forehead.
"Oh, just something that's been bothering me." I said, rubbing my arms nervously. I was sat down with my back against the wall of the Cornucopia.
"Yeah? Well in that case I'm all ears, Clovey." He smiled, sitting down next to me.
"That day in the park…Well on the way home, Johanna told me that you were one of those guys that went from girl to girl and didn't really give a shit about how they felt." I blurted.
"Like…A man whore?" He frowned.
"Yeah. She told me that you went from her to Cecilia to Glimmer. And I've been told that you've dated loads of girls. Enobaria, Cashmere, Foxface, Madge…Loads." I sighed, closing my eyes. It probably wasn't the best idea to bring this up in the middle of the arena.
"Does any of that bother you?" He asked.
"Well, no. I just wanted to hear your side of it all." I responded. I couldn't tell what he was thinking, his face was completely blank.
"It's true. I've been with a lot of girls and people judged me because of it. But Clove, I was with them before I met you. If I had known you from the start of Mockingjay High, who knows what kind of person I could've been?" He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and I rested my head on his shoulder.
"I don't mind that much. I mean, you only live once, right?" I said, smirking. Cato looked at me with horror.
"Clove Fuhrman, don't you dare go all 'YOLO' on me."
"I'll try not to." I laughed. Cato let out a small laugh as well, before taking one of my hands in his. We sat like that in silence for a while until we heard a familiar voice.
"Fuck. My head's throbbing like a bitch." Katrina sat up, clutching her head. I couldn't help but smile as I rolled my eyes. I rummaged through our medical supplies. I found what I was looking for and tossed her the small container of pills.
"Painkillers. Take two." She obediently popped two of the blue pills into her mouth, washing them down with some water.
"Attention contestants! Attention!" The voice of Claudius Templesmith, the tournament announcer, barrelled into our heads. We all ran outside to try and hear the announcement better.
"There will be a feast. It will start when the sky turns light tomorrow morning. As you probably know, there are ten of you left. There will be four packs available, each one containing an object that could win you and your school partner, or just you, this tournament. Thank you, and may the odds be ever in your favour!"
"Well, that sign off was incredibly…gay." (*) Cato said. Katrina thumped him on the shoulder, earning her a glare from me.
"There are eleven of us. If I split from you guys now, there'll be eight teams competing for a pack." Katrina shouldered her rucksack.
"Why should we just let you go? We could remove you now and save us the hassle later." Cato narrowed his eyes at her.
"Because I'll find the girl from School Eight. I'll get her, and then you'll be the only pair left."
"Deal." I said before Cato could say anything. He spun around to glare at me.
"Clove, think about this. She's a strong competitor. We should just take her out right now." He was stood facing me with his back to Katrina and the forest. I watched her as she jogged away, mace in hand.
"We can take her out later on. There's one of her and two of us. If she takes down the girl from Eight, we'll be the only pair. Nobody will be able to stop us." I reasoned. For someone who was so good with strategies, he was being pretty dumb about this.
"We can beat those two from Eight easily. If we were to take her out now, we won't have to worry about her." He turned away from me, sword drawn to remove Katrina from the tournament. She was long gone, hunting down the girl from School Eight.
"Where is she?"
"Gone. Hunting down the girl from Eight, I guess."
"I thought we'd agreed to leave the strategies to me and the sponsors to you?" He asked. He sounded kind of hurt, but I don't think anyone else would've picked up on it.
"We did. That wasn't strategy. That was common sense." I pointed out. I mentally slapped myself when I saw the look on his face. It was a mix of hurt and anger.
"So now you don't trust me and you think I'm stupid." Cato glared at me again before walking into the Cornucopia.
"Cato, I never said that!" I ran after him.
"But you implied it. Goodnight, Clove." He got in his sleeping bag and turned on his side so he was facing the wall. Sighing, I climbed into my own.
"Goodnight, Cato. I love you." I said, hoping for a reply that I knew wouldn't come. I heard a cannon go off as I was drifting off and smiled to myself. Katrina wasn't so bad.
"Wake up. The feast starts soon and we need to talk strategy. Unless, of course, you already have something planned out in that genius head of yours." Cato snapped, shaking my shoulder to wake me.
"Look, I'm sorry, okay? Can you just drop it now?" I sighed.
"You're really not helping yourself, Clove." He glared at me for what the felt like the hundredth time in two days.
"Just get over your stupid bruised ego and tell me the fucking plan!" I yelled. He was really starting to get on my nerves.
"Why? Why tell you the plan when you clearly don't trust me enough to make a good one? And you think I'm stupid man whore, anyway." He looked away from me, clearly pained by the words he thought I'd implied.
"I don't think any of those things, Cato. I trust you more than any of my friends, maybe even more than Lydia. I don't think you're a man whore, I just think you made a few bad choices and I knowthat you're not stupid. So stop obsessing over what I didn't say and start listening to what I am saying!" I poked him in the shoulder twice. Before I could poke him again he caught my hand in his and pulled me in for a kiss. I didn't hesitate in kissing him back.
"I'm sorry. I overreacted." Cato said when he pulled away. He gently stroked my hand and I smiled.
"It's okay." I said.
"No it isn't. I upset you, that's not okay. I just want you to know that I've changed. I'm not who I used to be and you can trust me."
"I know that. And I'll always trust you." I gave him a peck on the lips. "So, the plan?"
"Right. I was thinking, we get there first, grab a pack and hid near the packs. Anyone that tries to grab one will have to deal with us."
"That's a good idea." I smiled up at him and he smiled back.
"Yeah. Come on, let's go get in position." I followed Cato outside and we surveyed the area. For the first time, I noticed a thin grey rectangle in the ground.
"That must be where the table will appear from." I said, pointing at it. Cato nodded and hid inside the mouth of the cornucopia, shielded from view by large boxes of supplies I hid in a bush next to where the table would appear from, ready to grab a pack. A few minutes later I heard Cato whistling. I tried to ignore it, but after twenty minutes I snapped.
"Cato, shut up. You whistle like a dying cat." I whisper-shouted.
"Dying cats can't whistle."
"Just shh!" I rolled my eyes even though he couldn't hear me. About ten minutes later, he started whistling again.
"Cato!" I growled.
"Sorry, habit." Five minutes later, he started humming. I pulled a knife out of my belt and flung it at one of the boxes he was hid behind.
"Well, that was uncalled for." Before I could reply, the ground inside the rectangle opened up and the table, holding five identical packs, entered the arena the same way we had at the start of the tournament. Before the table had even stopped moving, I grabbed a pack and tossed it to Cato. He hid it inside one of the boxes before we went back to hiding.
The first contestant to try and take a pack was the girl from Nine. I let her get within four feet of the table before I threw a knife at her neck. A cannon fired and she disappeared. I decided not to retrieve my knife because it would give away my position. After a few more minutes of waiting, I decided it was okay to go and get it. As soon as I climbed out of the bushes, and arrow went whizzing past my face. I stumbled backwards slightly, dazed. I recovered and dived forwards, scooping up my knife and then standing again. My eyes scanned the first line of trees in the forest.
That was when they charged.
The girls from Seven and Ten and the boys from Eight and Twelve came sprinting out of the forest. The two girls were carrying knifes. The boy from Eight had a sword and the boy from Twelve had an axe. I could see a bow poking out from behind a tree. Denys.
"Shit." I heard Cato mutter. He jumped out from behind the boxes. "Guard the table; don't let anyone get to the packs!" I nodded in response as he ran up the sand, meeting the boy from Eight with his sword. The clashing noise their weapons made when they met rang around the trees. I was so busy watching their fight that I didn't even see the girl from School Ten running up next to me. She slammed into me and we went crashing onto the floor. We rolled around for a while, but eventually I pinned her down, my knees on her shoulders. I raised my knife.
"The armours strong, you know. But this knife can break a few bones." I sneered. I was just about to start on shoulder when an image of Joey and my mangled wrist appeared in my head.
"You're lucky you caught me in a good mood." I said, shaking the images from my head. I brought the knife down over her heart and she disappeared as her cannon sounded. She must have been a distraction, because then I caught sight of the girl from Seven sprinting away from the table with one of the packs in her hand. I threw a knife at her, hitting her square in the back. She disappeared, taking the pack with her. Smirking, I turned to face the boy from Twelve. I raised a knife and he tried to run, but I hit him in the back of the neck. He disappeared to the same place his school partner ended up in. I think they end up back in their school when they disappear. Cato finished off the boy from Eight and walked over to me, breathing hard.
"You okay?" He asked.
"I'm still here, aren't I?" I smirked.
"Don't get too cocky. Katrina and Denys are watching us from the trees, somewhere." Cato narrowed his eyes, scanning the line of trees for any sign for the contestants. An arrow seemed to appear from nowhere, heading straight for his throat. I pushed him down before it could make its mark.
"Don't thank me just yet." More arrows fired, one after the other. We ran around, desperately dodging them.
"We'll wait him out! He's got to run out at some point!" Cato yelled to me over the sound of whizzing arrows. I nodded and hit the ground, narrowly avoiding an arrow to the eye. I rolled and shot up to stand on my feet. Lying down would get me an arrow in the face. After a few more minutes of dodging arrows, I grew impatient.
"Cato, he's clearly got generous sponsors! We can't just keep dodging his arrows like this, we have to do something!"
"Okay. On the count of three, you run diagonally left into the forest and I'll run right. He can't shoot in both directions at once!" He yelled.
"One…" An arrow skimmed his ear.
"Two…" I jumped over a poorly shot arrow that would've hit my ankle.
"Three!" We both charged to the tree line. I went up and left at the same time Cato went up and right. Once we were in the forest, we had the safety of the trees. Denys wouldn't be able to get a clear shot of us. From where I was stood, I could see Cato sneaking up on him, sword drawn. Denys spun around at the last moment and knocked the sword out of Cato's hand with his bow. They started to take swings at each other and I almost snorted. Nobody could take Cato in a fist fight.
"Well, what do we have here? My old ally, I do believe." I turned around at the sound of Katrina's voice.
"Hello, Katrina." I smiled, trying not to give away the fact that I was desperately trying to think up a plan.
"You and Cato did a good job taking those five others out. Saved me the effort." She smirked and pulled her mace free from her belt.
"Oh I wouldn't want you to strain yourself for our last fight, Katrina." I smirked back, pulling out a knife that was almost the same length as Cato's sword.
"Course not." Our weapons made a screeching sound as they met. She slashed at me with her pointed mace and I stepped backwards easily.
"You'll have to try harder than that, Katrina." I smiled kind of evilly. She grunted and stabbed at me. This time, I jumped to the left and brought my knife hilt down on her temple. She collapsed on the ground, but she took a swing at my feet. I jumped and pinned her down on the sandy floor. I was just about to bring my knife down over her eye when she threw sand at me. It went in my eyes and mouth. I tried to get it out of my eyes and she took the opportunity to flip us over.
"I think I'll have some fun with this." She grinned and grabbed my wrist. I squeezed my eyes shut at the contact before opening them again. She spread my hand out.
"Correct me if I'm wrong Clove, but the hands are the only part of the body not protected by the body armour. Am I right? Of course I'm right." She let out an evil laugh and pulled a knife out of her belt. She slit my palm open and I hissed in pain. She laughed again.
"You're not good enough for the TTE. No wonder Johnny targeted you." She sneered. I froze, eyes widened.
"What did you just say?!" I hissed.
"My cousin, Johnny. He told me about you. I'm going to drag this whole thing out just for him. I'll snap bones you forget you even had."
"He won't remember you. I made sure of that." She dropped her knife, confused. I picked it up and drove it into her neck. She screamed before she disappeared and a cannon sounded. I stood, brushing the sand off of my back. Cato had Denys in a headlock and was trying to reach for his sword. I tossed him my knife and he caught it on one hand. He drove it into the armour around Denys' heart and he disappeared as his cannon fired. Cato stood up, stretched, and walked over to me.
"Ladies and Gentleman may I present to you the victors of the annual TTE, Cato Ludwig and Clove Fuhrman!" Claudius Templesmith yelled. We heard the roar of the New York audience and Cato grinned t me.
"We won, Clove." He went to take my hand but noticed the cut. "Shit, that's a deep cut. You might need stitches." He ripped off part of his shirt and wrapped it around my hand.
"Thanks." I smiled, happy to be going home. I missed Katniss and my parents. I even missed my crazy little sister.
"It should hold up until we get out of this place." He kissed me on the cheek.
"I'm glad I won with you, Cato."
"So, Clove. What are your feelings on this year's contestants for the TTE?" Caesar Flickerman asked me. Cato and I were sat on a couch on stage for our victor's interview. I was wearing a deep purple dress that reached my knees and was the same colour as Cato's tie. We had been asked way too many questions, but we only had a few minutes left.
"Well, Katrina was a great ally at first. I kind of hate her now." The audience chuckled as I held out my hand. It was bandaged, covering up the gash. It had taken ten stitches to seal the wound and the scar would last forever.
"I'm not surprised. What about you, Cato? Any thoughts?"
"Denys was a bastard." He grinned. The audience laughed again as he rubbed his black eye.
"Last question. Who is this 'Johnny' that Katrina mentioned, Clove?" Caesar asked. I froze. I couldn't talk about this on live television, it was way too painful.
"You don't have to answer that." Cato whispered in my ear. Caesar watched us for a few long seconds, waiting for an answer.
"Well…I guess that's all we have time for today. We'll be looking forward to next year's TTE! See you then, folks!"
"And we're off air!" One of the camera men shouted. I slipped out of my heels, pushed past Caesar and ran off of the stage.
*I have nothing against gay people. WOW long chapter, almost 3100 words including the authors note. I hope you enjoyed it and understand why I didn't have it all written yesterday, this is the longest chapter I've ever written. :)