|The Baker's Son: A Hunger Games Story
Author: nikerek PM
Part One of The Hunger Games Trilogy from the view point of Peeta Mellark. "The shame I felt for not doing more that day crept back as I did nothing but watch her give herself to the "Games". I look to her knowing that I have my chance to make it up to her."Rated: Fiction K - English - Adventure/Drama - Peeta M. & Katniss E. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,165 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 10-21-12 - Published: 09-29-12 - id: 8566340
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Avoxes enter, bringing our meal in numerous
courses. I catch Effie observing us, whenever I can turn my attention away from
the most delicious food I've ever eaten. I know most in District 12 think the
shop owners live so luxuriously, but my father kept us humble. I actually enjoy
the taste of squirrel.
"At least you two have decent manners," I hear Effie chime. "The pair last year
ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset
I try to forgive her since she's lived a whole other life, but I grin as
Katniss starts eating with her hands. She wipes her hands on the tablecloth and
Effie's eyes grow narrow with distaste as she stops eating entirely. There's so
much fire in Katniss; she probably won't even need help in the arena. I go back
to eating myself sick, knowing that my meals are numbered.
I swallow my last bite of food and lean back in my chair. My stomach feels so
swollen. I glance over at Katniss who looks like she's barely holding on to
everything she ate. It's upsetting to see how thin she is. She looks as though
this is the first decent meal in her entire life. It makes me wish that I'd
given her more bread. She's so proud though, would she even have taken it? She
took the bread once, but I don't think that she even remembers.
Sometimes, she'll look at me in a way that makes me think she does remember,
but I know I'm just being hopeful that maybe she thinks of me too. It's dumb, I
know. Especially now. But I still get that knot in my stomach when I see her,
like I did when I saw her for the first time.
It was then that I found out my father loved her mother. I can tell he still
loves her, the way I'll always love Katniss. It's probably why my mother's so
miserable and resentful of me. She's not as cruel with my brothers, and she
wasn't so willing to yell or hit me until after she found out. Then she used
our last few minutes together to take one final swing; I would have rather it
I find myself following Katniss into another train compartment with a
comfortable couch and a cushioned chair facing a television. I sit in the chair
while Effie and Katniss sit on the couch. We spend the rest of our time
watching the other districts' reapings. I'm sad for everyone but Districts 1
and 2, where they pride themselves on competing in the Hunger Games. Most of
all, I'm horrified for District 11, who's losing a 12 year old child, no bigger
than Katniss' sister Prim, to the Capitol's sick idea of remembrance. I'm hot
with rage; I hope it doesn't show. The last thing I need to do is start voicing
my opinions. What good would it do anyway? They've already sent me to my death.
Our reaping is last since they're shown in numerical order. I don't want to
watch, but I'd rather stay here with Katniss than hide in my room. I've already
lived through it once.
"Your mentor has a lot to learn about presentation. A lot about televised
behavior." Effie scoffs at the television.
It pulls me from the spiraling mood I'm in and I laugh. "He was drunk. He's
drunk every year."
"Every day," Katniss says, and I smile at the smirk creeping across Katniss'
I should've told her long ago that I loved her. The proximity of this train is
making it harder to keep in when she's so close all the time.
Effie hisses at us, "Yes. How odd you two find it amusing. You know your mentor
is your lifeline to the world in these Games. The one who advises you, lines up
your sponsors, and dictates the presentation of any gifts. Haymitch can well be
the difference between your life and your death!"
As if on cue, Haymitch stumbles in, no more sober than before he went to bed "I
miss supper?" Then he loses whatever was in his stomach on the carpet and
blacks out in it.
"So laugh away!" Effie shrills as she practically hops away.
I can't help but stare at Haymitch, lying in his own bile. I feel my face turn
to a scowl. No wonder District 12 has never had a victor since him. He's not
helping us by being a belligerent drunk, only making it easier for us to die
for the Capitol's entertainment.
Katniss and I move at the same time toward Haymitch, lifting him off the
ground. His eye lids flutter as we get him on his feet. "I tripped?" He
slurs. "Smells bad." He tries to wipe his face, but only ends up smearing the
vomit on his mouth.
"Let's get you back to your room. Clean you up a bit." I try to tell him
soothingly. Now isn't the time to scold him, not when he's barely conscious.
Katniss helps me practically carry him to his rooms. We can't just leave him on
the clean bedspread, so we get him into the shower and turn the water on. He's
blacked out again.
I don't want Katniss to have to deal with cleaning up a drunken fool. I tell
her "It's okay. I'll take it from here." She looks relieved. I don't blame her.
She offers to get an Avox to help me. The last thing we needs is more people
from the Capitol watching him fall apart. They know enough, they've done
enough. "No. I don't want them," I tell her.
As soon as she leaves, I begin removing his clothes that smell of alcohol,
sweat, and vomit. I commend myself for not throwing up myself over this. I
scrub his face and body and even wash his hair. This is more than he deserves,
but maybe it'll be enough of a gesture to make him realize that we're worth
sobering up for.
I lift Haymitch's clean body out of the tub, hoping he doesn't vomit again. I
cover him in a robe and carry him to his bed. I put the blankets over him. "I
wish you'd remember this," I say with disgust as I leave his room.
I take a shower myself, trying to wash away the stress of the last hour. It
doesn't help. I dry myself off and immediately take to bed. The plush comforter
is soft and warm against my skin. I think of Katniss in the next room. The
closest I've come to her is shaking her hand, and I realize that it was just
enough to break me. I think of all those days after school where I just watched
her. I could have talked to her, gotten close to her. I picture her outside of
school, wisps of hair loose from her braid, flickering against her olive skin
in the breeze.
I drift into a tortured sleep, haunted by images of her dying in the arena.