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Disclaimer: Hunger Games = not mine. Title borrowed from TSwift.
Summary: The tricky thing is yesterday we were just children playing soldiers and pretending, dreaming dreams with happy endings. Cato, through the games. 
AN: This is second person, as a warning, since I know some aren't a fan. I wrote this as a response to the way Cato was specifically played in the movie, but it doesn't really refer to anything specific in the movie that isn't already specific in the book. Also loosely based off of Taylor Swift's Eyes Open from the movie soundtrack. This is also probably the most violent thing I've ever written, but it's still probably less so than the actual books and movie. 

You’re calmer than you expected, at the reaping. You’ve spent the past week with the adrenaline pumping through your veins, rushing and twisting and propelling you forward as you pushed through your final evaluations. You’ve felt the intensity of anticipation fill you up to the very brim, so powerful and raw. Your life has built up to this moment—you’ve talked about it, pictured it, felt its inevitability wrap around you tight like an old security blanket. It’s bubbled inside of you, driven you forward.

But today, you’re calm. Your voice is steady and strong and sure, your head held high, your pace brisk but not eager—just like you practiced. You stand on the stage, and you look forward at the district that bore and raised you, and you are proud and ready and—most of all—sure.

This is the day you were born for.


There is a voice in the back of your head that whispers: you were wrong.

You weren’t born to volunteer—you were born for this: skin and bone and muscle weak beneath your hands, twisting and snapping and pulling and breaking at flick of your wrist. You were born for the forest beneath your feet and the sword in your hand and the quickening pulse of your prey as you approach. You were born for the screams and the blood that isn’t your own caked into the lines of your palms, spelling out all the reasons you were right to be sure.


You think--

You were born for this, too:

The way your chest tightens when the rules are changed, when two can win—the beautiful-cold power in the green of Clove’s eye as she hooks her fingers around your wrist and laughs, clear and sharp. The way she whispers well this should make the betting easy—it unfurls the feral anger pumping through your veins, and you think of winning, winning with this little thing, this girl, this lethal creature your district bore like you and raised like you to be sure like you and she is with you she is you together you could be magnificent--

    Clove, on the ground, spread out and skull caved to the side like the granite quarries back home. Blood down her face, her body, your fingertips as you root around to retrieve her knives. Your hand wrapped around hers, squeezing quick and light.

        The rain in heavy sheets soaking your skin so wet you can’t even feel it, the steady beat of your feet slapping against the mud as you run, as the anger takes its rightful place back in your blood.

              Eleven’s eyes on you even as he’s dying, as you’re killing. You don’t look away. Clove for the little girl, Eleven for Clove. You have as much of a right to stare. (you wonder who will take you and who will take them and who—no. you are sure sure sure.)

                    The beasts—the mutts. The running. The blood that’s yours mixed with the blood that isn’t.

You wrap your arm tight around Lover Boy’s neck like you were taught---like you were raised to—and you’re calmer than you expected.

This is the day you were born for.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
Love this (and the song that inspired it). The last line was particularly chilling, and I totally agree. But I'll just be over here in my little corner believing that Cato could totes be the bestest little rebel ever.
Apr. 27th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)

I think there's definitely a lot of like....implied anger and a little betrayal with Cato going on-- it's so interesting to me, because the Games were presumably what his whole life was about, and I think at the end, he's definitely realizing just how much of a pawn in them he is.
Apr. 27th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
Hi, Christina! (Caitlin here, haha.) I just saw this fic on themockingjay (read the books about two and a half months ago, finally, and have been obsessed ever since), and then saw it was you, and.... omg wow.

Anyway, onto the fic itself! I love this so much. I started to get really interested in Cato after that one little scene with him in the movie (which was actually one of my favorite additions), and you wrote this so beautifully. This was Cato to a T. And second person is a hard thing to pull off, but I think you did it really well.

I'll have to go stalk your other THG fics now.....
Apr. 27th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
omg Caitlin, I am blushing so hard right now, haha. I'm glad you liked it! This such a lovely surprise comment to get, lol.

I adored that scene with Cato, I very rarely see a movie addition I wish had been in the book, but that was definitely one. I have a lot of feelings about Cato and the careers in general, and that scene fit in with my feelings perfectly, haha. I'm glad you thought this fit! And I'm glad the second person worked for you, I love writing/reading it, but it always makes me nervous because I know how hit and miss it can be!

All my fic SHOULD be tagged here: http://tracingaladder.livejournal.com/tag/fandom%3A%20hunger%20games
May. 1st, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
This is a terrific glimpse into Cato's mind. It strikes me as spot-on, and I'll co-sign the compliments on how well you've pulled off the second-person voice. Really loved this!
May. 2nd, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
Thank you!!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )