Author: Metafours PM
A continued version of Mockingjay's epilogue that is still in Katniss's point of view.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort - Katniss E. & Peeta M. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 12,464 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 01-02-13 - Published: 03-10-12 - id: 7913645
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Everyone went in their own directions. Gale is helping create bombs in District Two. Johanna is boarding a train back in Seven. My mom is helping Annie cope with her first pregnancy in Four. Her first child. Finnick's child. I know Finnick would be proud of Annie because I've been getting calls from my mother of her progress. Annie hasn't been mourning over Finnick's death as I thought she would. Finnick is watching her up there. Peeta and I buy a house near the Meadow. A graveyard. The only place where we can find peace. Because finding peace is hard these days.
When I step into the bakery, I focus on the bread and cakes and licking the frosting. Though it is a nice place to be, his bakery, with the sweet scent of bread and frosting leeching into the air, my mind cannot escape the day Peeta gave me hope. And I can't ever find a way to pay him back.
The woods are never an option for Peeta. Scared to death whenever an animal passes by. But when he has his flashbacks in the woods, he would sink down to his knees onto the earth, clutching a thick branch, and easily ripping it like paper. And when he catches me with a bow and arrow ready to kill game, his nightmares has fully convinced him that I'm attempting to kill him. His eyes filled with rage, I quickly climb up a tree. It helps. My disappearance for a few minutes neutralizes the fact that he was about to kill me. Then we're back to normal.
Peeta still has those moments where he hangs onto the back of the chair or clutching the edge of the table, fighting off the flashbacks the Capitol has drugged him into believing. The moments where I feel helpless. Unable to make those flashbacks cease to exist. But there are other moments where he persuades me to bring a new generation of Mellark children into the world. A world where the Capitol can't lay a finger on. Where they can jump around and be free without Peeta and I trying to protect them from the Peacekeepers, attempting to snatch them away, forcing them to work for the Capitol until their arms fall off their sockets or torture them.
I still have countless nights where I wake up screaming from the horrid nightmares of the Hunger Games we were forced to play. Some are fictitious, where even younger kids, way before their teens, are sent in. Some are the deaths of love ones. Daunting mutts. His lips are there to brush off the tears of my sister's death. His words are there to convince me that my nightmares are not real. That they are like some kind of mind muttation or a part of my brain that makes negatively rendered images of my past.
One night, I wake when I couldn't feel his warm breath brush against my cheek. He lay next to me, paralyzed, until my kisses and singing had eventually waded off his nightmares.
On another rainy night, the booming of the thunder kept us from sleeping, and he popped the subject he had been telling me, but I keep dodging, declining out of fear.
"I want kids, Katniss," he whispered as his fingers fiddled with my dark hair.
In the semidarkness, I found the scar on his cheek. My fingers traced on the scar. "I know you do."
"Why are we waiting, then?" he asked, his voice a little harsher than what I normally heard. "There are no more Games. Coin and Snow can't take them away from us. They can run around and be free without worrying about anything." Then his warm hand caressed the side of my face. "What are you afraid of, Katniss?" he asked in a soft voice.
I swallowed hard. Everything. I was afraid, petrified about what would happen to our child. But I didn't tell him that. Instead, I curled up and sunk my head into his chest. His arms wrapped around me to comfort me. I was not ready. My nightmares had created a barrier as hard as iron to not have any kids.
To have my kids in my nightmares. Not only I would be lashing and screaming, I would hold my head to the point where it feels like it will crush into a million pieces. And Peeta will never help me recover. Not even his comforting words or strong arms. His kisses won't do, either. Nothing can drain the nightmares from my mind.
Sure, everything is okay. No more Hunger Games. No more taking orders from Snow or Coin. No more war. But our minds have not, nor ever will, wipe the memories of the everlasting, living nightmares. The effect it had. Our many losses. What rose from the ashes is a better place for everyone.
But a thought hits me thinking about all of this. Maybe I won't lose the boy with the bread.
I found out when I'd been sticking my head in the toilet, pushing my breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the previous day into the bowl. My mom suggested that I must be pregnant, but I denied. My stomach has grown a small lump. By then, I was convinced I was carrying a small being inside me to be brought into the world. One of my worst nightmares that will come true.
Peeta never found out until about a month of vomiting. He came from the bakery, sending the sweet and savory aroma of bread and frosting everywhere. I was in the bedroom, flipping and reminiscing through the family book we've kept through all these years.
"Peeta," I whispered when he found me in the bedroom. I place the precious book on the blanket and kissed him. Then I smiled - a real smile – my eyes flooded with tears.
"Yes?" he asked with raised eyebrows. Because he has never seen me this way. Smiling and crying at the same time.
I took his hand, warm from a busy day of baking, and placed it on my stomach, where we felt a faint drum of the baby's heart.
I didn't say it. His eyes immediately lit up and his lips traveled everywhere on my face, starting from my cheeks to my lips to my forehead.
He took my face in his hands and pressed his lips against my forehead one last time. "You're really pregnant. Real or not real?"
His thumbs ran across my cheeks to wipe the tears streaking my face. My throat was already constricted, but I managed to choke out an answer. "Real."
I walk to Haymitch's new, small house near mine. I find him knocked out on the couch, hanging his left arm over the edge of the cushion, clutching a knife. I kick every beer bottle, dirty shirt, and moldy bits of food, pinching my nose and breathing through my mouth, as I make my way towards the sink. I fill a jug with cold water and pour it on his head, distancing myself from the couch. There's a grunt and he flips over, holding the blade in front of him. He quickly stands up, wiping his face with the cleanest part of the undershirt, until his eyes find me standing at the front door. It's the first spot I thought of for protection.
He points the tip of the blade at me. Then he raises his eyebrows. "What do you want, now?"
I slowly step back inside, forcing him to drop the knife. "I need to tell you something."
He impatiently waves at me to continue. "Well, go on."
"I'm pregnant," I say blankly.
It takes a split second for him to respond. First with wide eyes, then with kind words and a smile.
"I can't wait, sweetheart," he says with a big smile.
There are two of them. The eldest is the girl with my dark hair and Peeta's soft blue eyes. The youngest is the smaller boy with Peeta's blonde hair and my stormy gray eyes. He chases her, barely caught up with her in his toddler legs. Peeta and I watch from a bed of grass in the Meadow with his arms enveloping me, the crook of his chin resting on top of my head.
In retrospect, this isn't my worse time with Peeta. Our nightmares had come to life before our eyes. We've been thrown into the Hunger Games twice. Peeta changed under the Capitol's hands. I brought kids into the world.
But I know someday we will have to tell them. My famine when I was barely a teen. Why I took over feeding the family. Peeta's skills at frosting in the bakery. The death of our love ones. The bread that helped my family survive at the brink of death. The beating he accepted to help me. The dandelion that told me to not lose hope. To hang on. What the hunger Games are and why they existed and how we managed to survive. My nightmares that usually disrupt their sweet and silent slumbers. Or why the nightmares come. The reason why their father hangs onto the chair or table or sitting at a corner, wading off the lies and flashbacks the Capitol has permanently burned into his head. Why I was the symbol of rebellion and how I received that title. The people we lost on the way to get the nation to be the way it is now. The family book that is filled with smiling faces, their stories, and just everything we know about him or her.
This is just the beginning of a new life. But in realization, there are much worse games to play.