stillplaying: (Default)
Katniss Everdeen ([personal profile] stillplaying) wrote2012-10-23 06:08 pm

9th Game


[She woke up to an empty bed, an empty bed and an empty house. That was not necessarily unusual. Some mornings, those following nights she'd usually be unable to sleep, she'd usually slip out to the woods. Those mornings would be spent checking or securing traps, harvesting for nuts and autumnal plants. And, of course, hunting. Losing herself in the thrill of the pursuit, of that sweet moment when her arrow sinks into her prey. It wasn't just her. Even without the events that were to come later, Peeta's dreams could be just as haunted and his sleep just as restless. What hunting did to soothe her nerves, baking did for him.

He'd be at the bakery. She was certain of it. Even if, the past week, they had barely left each other's side, making up for the three weeks lost while Peeta was unconscious. But honeymoons and vacations couldn't last forever. Today was as good a day as any to break it.

After a quick shower and brief breakfast, she heads towards the bakery. But the building is still empty for the day. Lights off, oven cold. There's no sign of him.

The sinking feeling in her stomach grows and grows as she searches the village. She checks all the stores, the restaurants and bars, even the welcome center and school. Nothing. There's nothing. If he'd gone any further, he would have left a note. Unlike her, Peeta's responsible. He knows how easily she worries.

Mid-morning, she conducts a second unsuccessful search of the bakery for signs of her boyfriend. If he had wandered away for supplies earlier, he'd be back now. Back for a full day's work. But there's nothing. There's nothing. She manages to get outside without crying. Manages to make it halfway back to the house before sinking to her knees behind the weapons shop. She leans back against the wall, fumbling in her jacket for her journal. Frantically, she searches it.

Nothing. No sign of him. He's gone.

After what seems like forever, when all the tears are done, she opens the journal again. Without a pen, she's left little choice but to speak. Her voice is a little shaky but otherwise devoid of emotion. Monotonous. Its too hard to feel right now.]


Peeta Mellark has returned to Panem. He's not here. I can't find him anywhere.

For those that knew him -- he'll live.

[There's a long pause. It's stupid to say, she thinks. But she remembers his arrival. Remembers how he thought this was the 75th Games. He was from her past, from a past with a horrible, horrible future to look forward to.

But he'll live. She has to cling to that. Even if he'll hate her, never love her like he did here. It was a love she didn't deserve. And a love that she'll never, ever have again.]

Rapunzel, the bakery is yours.


[She has to force herself up to her feet. There are other things she needs to do, belongings she ought to sort through. Somehow, she makes it back to House 43. The door is left open as she goes upstairs to his studio. Paintings. She should get rid of the paintings. The art gallery. Or something. But as soon as she sees the half-finished portrait of herself, of a girl that appears infinitely more beautiful than she's ever felt, she knows she can't stay.

The door is slammed shut to the room, Buttercup ignored as she runs down the stairs. She grabs a backpack and stuffs it with a bare minimum of clothing and provisions. Her quiver and bow are slung over her arm and she steps outside. She turns around to regard the house - the house once shared with the small girl from District Eleven and the boy from her own District, her everything. On afterthought, she locks the door.

And then she begins her trek in the western woods towards the treehouses by the Western Lake.]

[ooc: regarding action sections - feel free to catch her in any of the bolded areas!

Also -
WARNINGS for the Katniss and Clove thread. Please do not read if you have troubles with depressive and suicidal thought and violence and death.]
shenevermisses: (Biding time)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-24 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
[She's back in her clothes. Clothes she's picked out. Cato? Cato is never allowed to pick out clothes for her without help. Not ever.

...Still, she's kept the dress. It's a nice reminder.

She'll hang it up when they go back to the village.

Technically, both Careers are still at the camp. Clove is awake, spooning out some of the heated lamb stew for breakfast, dipping pieces of bread left over from the dinner last night to get what clings to her bowl. She's not starving. She can get more, but it's about savoring those bites, enjoying it.

As much as she can.

She didn't let it get to her yesterday. How could she? Cato was trying so hard to make everything right. She couldn't ruin it for him by thinking about how much of an impossibility this was. She wasn't really seventeen. She never would be. She had died at sixteen in the Seventy-Fourth Hunger Games.

...But it's nice to turn seventeen. Even if it doesn't really matter.]
shenevermisses: (Tribute)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 12:50 am (UTC)(link)
[Clove hears the approach.

She looks up, follows the sound, and sees the approaching girl. Cato's still asleep under the small shelter built, and she makes no move to wake up. She just sits where she is, setting aside her bowl.

It's not... entirely surprising that, today, at least, District Twelve lacks stealth. She wouldn't have any sense of herself if she'd lost Cato.

Clove just gives a nod, letting the other girl know she's been seen.]
shenevermisses: (Waiting)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 01:31 am (UTC)(link)

Why, indeed.

She's not used to words like "sympathy" or "empathy." She doesn't care about people, and people don't care about her. Yet, for all the hijacking she's undergone here, all the times her mind's been addled... Twelve's never taken advantage of it. She's never pressed or pried, but the presence she's offered has been... something.

It's like Mina, really. The District Four girl who died after the trackerjacker attack. How exactly she died is still hazy for Clove. She was too poisoned to be sure. Maybe Marvel or Cato killed her. Maybe Clove did. Maybe she did it to herself. Maybe it was an accident. Either way, she and Glimmer both died from that.

That's who Twelve reminds her of right now. The pack member she would have betrayed second to last. (Depending, of course. But close enough.)

Clove shrugs.]

There's too much. It'd go to waste.

[And even a Career doesn't let food go to waste. She's not from the Capitol.]
shenevermisses: (Not impressed)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
[It's hard to sit still. Maybe it's because she's too used to running. Away or at something, that doesn't matter. Clove is used to movement. That's part of why she's so on edge in this place. There's rarely anything that needs doing.

But, for now, she just looks at Katniss. Waiting.

All this way to ask "why." Not that she'd do any different. Probably. She'd either want an explanation or ignore it. Pretend it never happened. That was what she'd hoped Twelve would do. But, obviously not.]
shenevermisses: (Far away from here)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
So what?

[She can't explain it. She doesn't even understand it.

Maybe this place has finally done enough damage, hijacked her enough times. Maybe there's something wrong with her brain now.

But Twelve's part of the pack. Can't trust her, not when everything's on the line, but sometimes there can be something like goodwill. It's not. It's not like that. But it's close. Sort of.

Besides, even before Twelve, Lover Boy was in the pack. And... Well. That's what he'd asked her, wasn't it. Shortly after she'd shown up here. When the truce was being negotiated. Would you have died for him? Of course not. I would for her.

Love. Like the stories her grandmother told her. Unconditional, unwavering, selfless. It doesn't exist in Clove's world, but if it does in Twelve's... Well. She can leave a bowl of stew when she's alone.

No one should be alone here.]
shenevermisses: (Predator instincts)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
[She and Twelve manage a relative ease with one another in the forest. Their camps are closer than either of them like, she knows. Clove didn't know about Twelve's place in the trees when she made the first camp. Once that was established, though, she wasn't goiing to give Twelve the victory of moving this camp. So, they settled for the uneasy truce.

Now, the ppredator sense tells her something's wrong. Twelve has nothing to lose. She has no need to show caution. And Cato is asleep. One sharp word would rouse him, put the odds firmly in their favor, but that would risk spooking the other girl, upsetting this delicate balance they've gotten so used to.

Clove stands.

She gives a single jerk of her head, toward the trees. She doesn't care if her motive is obvious. She wnats Twelve away from Cato, alone with her. Plus it gives her movement, lets her stretch some. Without a word, Clove begins walkng.

After a few steps, she finally speaks again.]

You don't.
shenevermisses: (Survival)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-25 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
We're even.

[She dislikes gratitude. It is debt at its very core. She owes no one, and no one owes her. She will never barter hypothetical favors. Actions are exchanged immediately. Even with Cato.

She pulled the things from him, he made her food.

This birthday was the only slight hypothetical. When his came, she's reppay. Balance would be restored. No debt.

And what does she owe Twelve? Happiness. A blank memory, and Twelve had been beyond merciful. She could have told her everything, told her how little room for emotion and humanity she really had. But Twelve had let her be happy. Clover had been grateful for what help Katniss had offered; Clove was grateful for those moments of understanding peace.

A bowl of stew didn't settle that.

But she could pretend it did.

These woods are familiar by now, but Clove still looks up as she walks. She's never far from the Arena. Like checking for trackerjacker nests. And with Twelve, she's even closer. The pack used to pad through the forest, hunting. Someone at her back meant Clove was more careful than ever. That's why she continues to lead a path away from the camp. Because she trusts Twelve less than Mina but more than Glimmer.

A slight clearing makes Clove stop. Far enough away. She feels safe with this distance. They can talk without chancing Cato waking.

He won't worry. She likes to wander the woods, practice hunting or trapping or fishing. She has her knives, too. Her vest is only off when she sleeps. And she has her hunting knife at her hip. He won't worry; he'l just go home.]

We're even now.
shenevermisses: (Waiting)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-26 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
I don't. Now.

[Clove looks right at her. At the girl who killed Cato. The Girl who was on Fire. The girl from the outlying district who got an 11.

This is respect.

Because this girl is what Clove isn't. Has -- or had, but will have again -- what Clove won't.

Peeta Mellark is one of a kind. Not that she was ever interested. No. Cato's her type. But she'd gotten to know Lover Boy. That charm, the care. The heart. That was what a lot of tributes lacked, either from the time they went in or by the time they died, but even she knew that the boy from District Twelve was good. It had always made her uneasy, but there was something... admirable about it. Desirable, too, in a way. Enough to provoke just a streak of envy.

Not a dangerous one, though.]

We measure debts differently, Twelve. I was in yours. Now I'm not.

That simple.
shenevermisses: (Stand by me)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-26 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
[How could you possibly ever consider yourself in debt to me when I killed him?

The words have an odd, numbing effect. Because they remind her. She and Cato are playing their own game here. Living together, sex, even things like her birthday. They're as much act as reality, they both know what each other is, what they are. They are tributes from District Two, trained at the Academy to kill and good for little else. They would leave each other to die if threatened at all, kill each other if it came to that. What Twelve did with the berries never would have happened; they would have fought tooth and nail to win. They were not noble. There no love, not really.

So why should it matter at all? Twelve had killed Cato. She would have done the same thing.]


[As east as throwing a knife or weilding a mace. As easy as leacing behind a screaming pack member swarmed by trackerjackers. As easy as lying in wait for a trap to spring.


Clove never looked away, eyes locked on Katniss.]

Don't you get it, Twelve? [It was so obvious to her.] I'm not like you.

[She would never have volunteered for someone. She would never have protected a badly wounded ally. She would never have risked her life to save Cato. She would never have defied the Capitol.

That was the difference between Careers and not. Humanity. She didn't feel human. She knew what empathy and sympathy were, of course, but any experience feeling them was weak and very fleeting. She had never had any need for them, so her capacity for them was diminished, at best. She doubted it even amounted to that.

Which made her a good Career.

Which was all she was ever supposed to be.]

I don't care.

[Not about Cato dying. Not, her cool and even voice suggested, about even Cato himself.

She'd miss him... but this place was a Game like any other. Someday, it would be "kill or be killed." Someone else killing him would only mean she wouldn't have to do it.

So, she can't care.

She won't.

She doesn't.]
shenevermisses: (Argument)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-27 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
[Is it to her credit or disadvantage that she has to think about her her answer?

Clove isn't sure. She doesn't want to know, really, what the hesitation says about her and Cato.

They are in a Game. People have to die. If Twelve kills Cato, that just means she won't have to later. Her district partner. He's only that. But more, too. they'd promised to go to the Games together. He'd volunteered to keep that promise. Debt. They'd promised to have sex if they went to the Games. She'd been waiting for him after the parade. Even. She'd pulled stingers from him. Debt. He'd made sure she got her fill. Even. He'd held her and comforted her as she was dying. Debt. She'd been here to comfort him when he'd come. Even. They'd exchanged rings, essentially promising they would never marry, at least not happily. Yet, unknown to anyone but maybe their parents, they took their vow to the grave.

It's a sudden, unanswerable question, and it threatens Clove's blank appearance: Did they have us buried beside each other?

She has to fight to keep her voice even, to be a Career. But perhaps there's a shine to her eyes as a roll of thunder sounds in the distance.]

We have a truce.

Break it, and I will kill you.

[Her hand is already at her hip, in answer to the grip on the bow, touching -- but not yet grasping -- the hilt of her hunting knife.]
shenevermisses: (Warning glance)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-27 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
He'll live. You said you yourself. He lives, and the Games end.

[She said that. The first day Clove was here, Twelve told her that.

Now, it's Clove's calm that is staggering. Maybe it's the rain that starts to fall. Very light, just a few drops here and there. But they start the ripples, disturb the surface of her placidity. Now, her voice falters. She's almost angry. Or maybe she is angry, just masking it. Or trying to.]

He'll live.

And we'll all leave eventually.

You'll go back. And he'll be alive.

[Don't call me lucky.]
shenevermisses: (Heartless)


[personal profile] shenevermisses 2012-10-27 02:05 am (UTC)(link)
[Clove laughs.

It's a harsh, sharp sound. Something that verges on a sob.

Love. What does love matter? Love doesn't exist. Or, if it is, it dies. Hard, fast. Everything crumbles. Love dies before the gong sounds. Before the parade. Love dies the day you learn about the Hunger Games. The day you watch and understand your first one. You know then, if you're smart, that if you love someone, you or they will go into the Arena. One of you will die.

And even if you live, nothing will be the same.


He'll live.

[She wants to shout, but it won't come out. Her voice is quiet, something between rage and hurt.]

He'll be there. You'll go back. And he'll be there.

He'll be alive.

[She stares at Katniss, fingers slowly curling around the knife, holding it tight now. Now, the anger is rising. A slowly building rage. Because it's become angry or cry, and she will not let District Two see her cry.]

Don't you get that?

You don't need this place.


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