The Capitol's Secret

In this little story, Peeta lost Katniss to Clove. Clove and Cato did, yes, die. But the Capitol never revealed this tiny little secret...they keep the tributes that are useful...alive.

CATCHIER TITLE COMING SOON!

PG-13 for gore, violence

Chapter 1

Awakening.

Clove was breathing. The soft, chilly air went through her lungs again. Her green eyes opened, showing her the wonders of sight. She flexed her fingers, longing for the warm handle of a knife to be in her hand.

The ceiling was pure white, so white it hurt her eyes after a long minute of staring at it. Where was she? What was this smell that infiltrated her lungs?

She flexed her arm and leg muscles. They ached, as if she hadn't moved for quite a while.

There were tubes inserted into her body, into big machines. The room was small, white, square. She was lying on a white cot that smelled like cleaning supplies.

She slowly tried to raise herself up off the bed, only to feel such pain that her whole body was paralysed. Her head. What is wrong with her head?

She carefully set her head back down on the fluffy pillow, wondering if she should shout and see who would come.

The back of her head pounds angrily the more she tries to think her way out of this mess. What if these people were going to torture her? Or worse-kill her?

Then, a rush of memories flood her head:

"Wanna blow loverboy one...last..kiss?" I ask, smirking a bit as I outline Katniss Everdeen's lips with my knife. She spits everything from her mouth into my face, and I angrily wiped it off, "Alright then...let's get started." I press my knife sharply against her throat before remembering my promise; if I got her- I'd make it good for the crowd. I smirk again, and slash the side of her cheek bone. It's nice and deep, and I hear her faintly cry out. It's so deep I see white behind all the red that gushes. I sigh, as if I'm so annoyed with her, "Oh, Katniss, you got blood on my pretty little knife." Katniss makes small noises as she fights to keep consciousness and her lips clamped shut, as if she knows that if opens her mouth I'd cut out her tongue. "You know, I don't think you're that talented with that bow and arrow. How did you possibly get an 11?" She opens her mouth, and I take my chance-I slice off the tip of her tongue. I know it hurts, because the tongue is connected very closely to the nerves. I grin widely, feeling superior. I had just enough time to slit her throat before I was lifted off my feet.

Clove shuddered, and remembered everything: She had been Reaped for the 74th Hunger Games. Cato, her best friend, had volunteered to protect her in the arena. She had been in an alliance with the tributes from 1, Cato, Peeta, and the girl from 4. She had killed Katniss Everdeen, but a few minutes later, she had died herself.

She let the memory take over again:

I screamed, and Thresh, the big tribute from 11, held me up, tightly, and yelled words that were drowned in my ears. The next thing I know, I'm screaming, "CATO! CATO!" and then, a big, huge rock is coming into contact with my skull.

So that's why her head hurt so bad.Thresh had killed her with a rock to her skull. She shuddered, wondering how she could possibly be alive now. That rock was big, and Thresh was strong.

The room is suddenly shaking. And getting fainter. Clove's heart beat fell into a slower pace, until it could hardly be called a heart beat...

Clove's POV from now on

"Clear!" Someone far away shouted. I was lying in a field of bright, blood-red flowers. My dress was black, the red from the flowers staining it. I sat up slowly, and felt my hair. It was in a tight pony tail on the top of my head, the way I liked it.

I looked around, but didn't see anything but red roses, dark woods, and a small, gray knapsack a few yards away. What was in the knapsack? I didn't care, because someone was walking towards me, with glowing hair and gorgeous blue eyes.

"Cato?" I breath out softly, standing gracefully and swiftly, and suddenly he's right in front of me, his speed a match for mine. He grips my hand and I grip his. His lips are slightly parted as he speaks softly, "You're here."

"Here? Where is here, Cato?" I ask, my voice powerful and sharp as razors. He smiles sadly, "Everything we want is here...I think it's...Heaven?"

I glance around, shaking my head slowly, "No..no...I was alive...I really was..in a white room...attached to a bunch of machines.."

Cato smiles sadly again, like I'm a scared child convinced their nightmare is real, "I had that dream too. It just happens so you can be reminded how you died, I think."

I let out a shaky breath, and wrap my arms around his torso, hope deflating. I don't like this place. It's so unreal.

"I am so glad I'm with you, Clove." Cato whispers into my hair and I pull back to look at him, my fingers clawed and digging into his back, "Why?" We'd never been more than best friends, of course I missed him, but he sounded like he meant..more. Okay, so maybe I liked him a bit more, but he was Cato, District 2's manwhore.

He leans back, forcing me to stare into his eyes, "I never got a chance to tell you in the arena...but...Clove, I've liked you ever since we met...when we were 7, on that playground, you know?"

"I remember." Is all I say, because I'm not so sure about the first part of his confession. Cato...liked me? In what kind of weird, messed up world would this happ-oh, it's Heaven. Anything can happen.

But then, just as Cato pulled me in for another hug, he is gone. I am in a world of white, once again. The bed underneath me is soft and plush. The beeping sound I hear comes from a monitor next to me.

Slowly, my vision clears. But it's not my old vision. It's enhanced. I can see every little mistake on the ceiling I stare up at. I can hear past the walls, into the next room, where someone is whimpering.

I feel myself sitting up, and it's so fast that it's as easy as twisting a neck. My head feels better, so better, in fact, that it feels as though nothing could penetrate it now.

Come at me, Thresh. I think darkly, and I'm standing. I look around the room. It's the same room I had for the train that took me to the Capitol when I was first Reaped.

I detach myself from the monitor, and breathe in. The faintest smell of blood and venom lingers in the air. Medicine fumes, too.

I cross the room swiftly to see out the window. Fields pass me quickly. Where are we going? The fields look like District 11, but then we're going past 11. We're into 10 now, where I can hear the animal's making noises, see the people controlling them...but then we're already in 9.

Where are we headed? The Capitol? My District?

I hear someone coming down the hall, to my room. I turn sharply, looking around the room quickly for a weapon. I can't find one, so I dash into the bathroom with such speed and agility I glance down at my feet to see if they had sneak shoes on or something.

They're just wearing normal, thin socks. The thin black socks I wore in the arena. I ignore the thoughts pressuring my head and find a razor in the shower. I rip back into the room, feeling as if I were faster than air.

I waited, my heart pounding, in front of the door. The smell, oh, the smell! Bloody flowers! What is this? I back up a bit, the stench almost gagging me. Who would ever wear that?

I watch, intrigued, razor still clutched in my hands, until the door opens. The white rose in the lapel. The puffy lips. And then I'm staring into the snake eyes of President Snow himself.

"Oh, Clove, you've finally awoken!"

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