I. am. sorry.

For Slim [Catching Firefiles]. Prompt chosen: "You may be gone, but you're never over." from "You're never over" by Eminem. Gale/Katniss.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own THG.

our absent days

He looks out in the distance, his eyes somber and brows furrowed. A sigh escapes his lips as he absentmindedly kicked a rock out of it's place.

It was late afternoon when Gale came to the woods. The place around him was empty and quiet, only the rustling of leaves being the only source of noise. He sits down on their rock, his elbows resting on his knees and his rough hands over his face.

Gale was wearing his usual, casual attire; A white cashmere sweater, a pair of jeans, and his brown hunting boots he used to wear every single day, as well as a plaid scarf. He looked up to see the vibrant hue of the leaves falling from the branches, gently landing on the soft ground. In some way, the leaves represented something important that was taken away from him. Trust, friendship, hope, love...Katniss. Even though he did help out greatly in the war, there were some costs he had to face.

That fateful day, when Prim died, it signified the end of Gale and Katniss. Their strong friendship, that trust they used to have for each other, his everlasting hope that maybe one day she'll love him back. Gone. She despises him and he understands why.

Looking at his bare hands, a memory flashes in his mind. The day Katniss got herself trapped in one of his snares. It was a few weeks after the two seam kids met each other in the woods, so Gale was teaching her how to make a basic snare. The one that would trap your foot, but not do any injury to it, of course. Or so he thought.

Gale remembered watching her tie the end of the rope at the edge of the snare. The technique he taught her could've been done better, but he had to remind himself constantly that it was Katniss' first time. Gale didn't really have much patience that day. He really didn't.

Once Katniss had finished her first ever snare, Gale remembered that she turned around, probably to look for something. He was going to tell her to set the snare back a few inches for space, but the tip of Katniss' boot had caught itself right in the snare. Gale recalled her swinging from the air, rapidly trying to hold on to something. He was about to help her down, when she suddenly fell down on top of him, her hand scraping against the rough bark of a wood stick. For a twelve year-old girl, Katniss was a good curser when it came down to that kind of stuff. Gale was just speechless that day, but managed a small, funny snort after he came home with two rabbits and a squirrel.

After the small recollection had passed, he chuckled and sighed, wishing that she was next to him right now. They would've laughed about it all day, rain or shine. It didn't matter, as long as they smile about it.

Gale hummed and stood up, deciding to go for a walk in the woods.

He came upon the old log, the one Katniss and him used to store their weapons in. His eyes scanned the log before looking inside of it, seeing their weapons still intact and there. A smile appeared on his lips as he took his own bow and arrows out of their hiding place. He stood up and trekked further into the woods, deciding to shoot a few squirrels for more of Greasy Sae's soup concoctions when he sees her later in the evening.

Another memory came into play: the day Katniss taught Gale how to use the bow.

He chuckled as he relived that day years ago, a week before the snare incident. At first, Gale didn't do a very good job at shooting a small animal that was right in front of him. The position of which the bow was in, was crooked and held at wrong angle. The furry creature just blinked as the arrows went flying in random directions, before heading back to the safety of it's home.

Gale shook his head and continued to walk further, the events still going on.

He also recalled Katniss practically almost yelling at him for not hitting the rabbit with an arrow, not caring whether it was in the stomach, legs, or gut. She told him that the rabbit was good game that had escaped from them, and he just laughed. That was the day Gale Hawthorne had ever received the longest and most loudest lecture given by a woman, in his life...and Katniss was 12, while he was 14.

Now that the memory has finished replaying, Gale came upon a small rocky cliff. There was no clearing whatsoever, and he watched the array of red, orange, and yellow fill the evening sunset. Swirls of pinks and purples and white intruded wonderfully with the breathtaking scene, the pine trees and evergreen trees in the background blending in harmoniously with everything. Nothing could compare to the beauty of nature in District 12's woods, not even the expensive gems and luscious fur products from District 1. Nope, not a single thing.

Gale stood there, all strong and brave. His hands on his hips, eyes overlooking the scenery. He had now realized that Katniss was better off with Peeta. She didn't need him anymore. She needed the boy with the bread, who always stayed by her side no matter what. The one who gave comfort to her every single night when he couldn't. The one who believed in peace and didn't have the raging fire she already had.

Gale smiled. All he wanted for Katniss was for her to be happy. And it did happen, but not the way he would've liked for it happen. Of course not.

He misses her, loves her, cares for her. But sometimes, it's better to stay away from that one person.

Gale sighs and looked at his stuff on the ground. The day was about to end as he grabbed two arrows from the quiver and a small piece of rope. Using the two arrows to make an 'X', he tied the arrows together, creating like a center-piece thing for decoration. Gale smiled and took out a few Catnip leaves from his pockets, placing them through any open gaps from the rope, inside. It was sort of like a way to add humor to it.

He placed the center-piece against a tree and hurried to grab his stuff. He looked at the object one more time and smiled, knowing that Katniss will find it one day in the future. He'll miss her, he really will. But it was for the best, and he accepts it.

Gale turns around and makes his way back to the fence, back to the station, back to District 2.

Katniss may be gone from his life, but for him, she will never be over.

No matter what.

Slim, I AM SO SORRY! :( Those prompts that you gave me were hard, I'll tell you that, but it was a challenge! :D And I like challenges! Anyways, I hope you enjoy this fic and again, I AM SORRY.

- Kay