Author: sngsngsnyrslp PM
Madge is a free spirit who refuses to waste her time on the notion of love. Gale makes it his mission to change that.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Gale H. & Madge U. - Chapters: 21 - Words: 44,798 - Reviews: 112 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 81 - Updated: 02-25-13 - Published: 06-15-12 - id: 8219413
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Reaping time. Sorry Suzanne Collins I borrowed a few good one-liners.
Part of him felt stupid for assuming that Madge would have the same feelings for him that he had for her, or that he thought he could have if given the opportunity. But then the other half was really mad. Where did she get off rejecting him? She probably thought she was better than him. Too good for him. No one was too good for Gale Hawthorne. He was a great provider. Strong of character. Kind, loyal, honest, even funny sometimes.
Who was she? Just the mayor's gorgeous free-spirited daughter who took his breath away. Well, that gave her some credit, but no reason to treat him like trash. Well she hadn't exactly treated him like trash. She just hadn't made much of an effort to talk to him in the past few weeks.
But he had treated her like trash. Since the incident, he made sure to give her either a grimace or a snarky remark every single time he saw her.
After all, who did she think she was?
Every single time she reacted the same way. Maybe a sarcastic remark toward him, or worse yet, she smiled at him, with that damn smile that lit up her stupidly beautiful face and made him both regret and satisfied at the same time. Regretful that he hadn't said something a little less mean to make her smile and satisfied that he had made her smile nonetheless.
Today was the day of the Reaping, Rory's first Reaping and Gale was in no mood.
With Katniss by his side, he knocked on the mayor's door. A few seconds later, Madge appeared in her Reaping dress. For a few seconds she looked a bit flustered and stuck the pencil in her hand behind her ear.
Her hair was up in a pony tail, tied with a pink ribbon.
She moved to smooth down her white lace sleeveless dress. The flash of skin reminded him of the night they kissed. The night most of her skin had become known to him. How slick it had felt underneath his wet fingers.
"Pretty dress," he muttered underneath his breath, half-hoping that neither her nor Katniss had heard him.
She didn't miss a beat, automatically replying with "Well, if I end up going to the Capitol, I want to look nice, don't I?" winking at him and flashing him her best grin.
For a second, Gale just glared at her. She wasn't supposed to hear, and if she did, she wasn't supposed reply with that. Not some witty remark.
It had been genuine, but with that reply she couldn't know that. Or did she? Maybe she was getting back at him for being such a dick to her lately. Or maybe she knew she could get away with treating him like that because she knew he liked her. Knew that while she barely sent a glance his way, it was all he could do to not spend the entire class period staring at the back of her head? Could she see all that? Was she that perceptive? Gale didn't doubt that she was. It only served to bring up his defenses.
"You won't be going to the Capitol." He made it a point to keep calm, lest she get the better of his anger and win the argument. His thoughts tended to become nonsensical when his anger came into the equation. Secondly, he made it a point not to look her in her eye. Can't be distracted by her beauty. Not at a time like this, when he's making a point to her. You can't stand up a Hawthorne and expect not to face consequences. Instead, his gaze focused on the gold pin on her dress, which only helps to reinforce his prejudices against her class. "What can you have? Five entries? I had six when I was just twelve years old."
Katniss defends her, and he lessened his attack on her.
Though she didn't seem to notice. With repose, she reached into her pocket and handed Katniss the money for the strawberries and outstretches her hand to grab the strawberries. Madge's head turned to look at her friend, "Good luck, Katniss." Katniss replied back accordingly and the door closes behind the blonde merchant.
The next time he saw her, she was outside of the Justice Building. Her eyes flew toward his and before he could think of a snotty remark to send her way, her arms were around his stomach. Instinctively, his arms wrapped around her waist. Without a word from her, he could tell that she was giving him this hug more for his sake than her own and he appreciated it.
He appreciated everything about one goddamn embrace with Madge Undersee. The way her hands were rubbing his back soothingly, though he didn't deserve her compassion. Despite the circumstances, he couldn't help but smile when he pinpointed her scent of wildflowers though he was sure that wasn't the reasoning behind her nickname.
Wordlessly, she pulls away, taking with her her scent of wildflowers and comforting touch.
But not for long because she intertwined her fingers with his and soon he saw the Justice Building growing smaller and smaller in the distance until he found themselves outside the mayor's house. While studying her face, Gale makes an observation. An observation that someone who wasn't literally studying every single detail of her face wouldn't have noticed, but he wasn't that someone so he had. The moment she crossed the threshold to her home her entire face tensed up. Places where her face had been previously smooth and calm now bore deep lines and crevices.
In the foyer, she kicked off her sandals in no particular direction and soundlessly sat in front of the piano. It took her a moment to notice that Gale was still standing in the doorway. Without looking back, she patted the bench. Gale followed.
"What did you bring me here for?" Gale asked, looking over at the blonde sitting so closely to him that their thighs were touching.
She looked at him through her eyelashes. "Well you look like you need some distracting and there are only two things that I know work well in a pinch. The first is this and the second," she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively "seemed a bit presumptuous if I don't say so myself."
He laughed nervously, thinking about what the latter actually entailed. The thought of it alone made it hard to swallow. "What is this?" Gale asked motioning toward the handwritten sheet music strewn about the piano, anything to take his mind off of the latter.
"Some of it's written transpositions. Some pieces are too hard to just transpose offhand." She looked as if she was going to continue on, but stopped, realizing that Gale had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. "Some are harmonies I'm trying to work out and the rest are originals I'm trying not to throw away."
Slowly he touched his finger down onto one of the keys, the sound ringing through the entire house. "Throw away? Why would you throw those away?"
The edge of her mouth quirked up. "There are only bits and pieces of some of the songs that are worth saving, but I can't bring myself to throw them out. It's like throwing away a journal, throwing away a piece of yourself, a piece of your past."
"I wouldn't know," he replied smiling. "I don't keep a journal or write music."
She laughed. "You completely missed the point, Hawthorne." Her fingers pressed down on the piano keys, filling the room with life that could only come from Madge. "Sad?" A low note rang through the air. "Happy?" The note was high. "Wistful?" A few more notes. "Regretful?" More notes.
"I don't know much about music, Undersee. Maybe you could just play me your favorite song."
She gave him a sideways glance. "So sad it is."
And with that she began playing her favorite song.
Several different emotions flooded Gale's psyche. First, he was saddened by the music. The song was slow and reverberated through what felt like his entire being. What did she have to be so sad about? Her house was huge, big enough to fit five of his inside, probably with room to spare. She had no money problems. Absolutely nothing to be sad about. But then it hit him. Her house may have been big, but it was far from warm. It was lonely. Maybe she was lonely.
He wasn't used to this. Music had never made him feel like anything other than like dancing with a pretty girl. But Madge's music made him sad, but it also made him feel other conflicting emotions. Yes, he was sad that the Capitol had taken Katniss away from him to prove their stupid point that they were above the districts, that they could do whatever they wanted with no consequences. But he also felt like kissing the girl next to him, which felt incredibly wrong considering the fact that Katniss was going to be fighting for her life. And the look on her face wasn't making it any easier on him. It was similar to the one he had been enthralled by in the meadow while she was dancing, but it was so much better. Whereas now, compared to this look, the "meadow look" seemed forced. Maybe it was forced. Perhaps the whole man-eater persona Madge had was just a facade. Though it would take Gale a long time to figure out the truth.
For now he would focus on trying to figure out how to kiss her.
But she solved that problem for him.
After the song ended, she looked over at him through her thick eyelashes and didn't hesitate to lean into him, pressing her lips onto his.
And there it was again. The feeling of her soft full lips against his, like a breath of fresh air. Actually, more akin to the first breath of air for a drowning man.
Madge placed her hand on his chest, slowly pushing herself away from him.
She grinned, "That one was just because I wanted to."