Hey all -

Here is a one-shot set at/near the beginning of Mockingjay. There was a lot of Katniss being sedated and such and I wondered what her mother would say to her if she had the chance, especially with their relationship being so strained throughout the series. I always thought that at least in one sense - how she handles losing people - Katniss is very much like her mother.

So, I had the idea for this little one shot. Hope you enjoy and I would really love to hear what you think.

If you like this story, check out my other Hunger Games story, More Than Allies.

Thanks and enjoy!


My Mother's Daughter

My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. And I am nothing like my mother.

She is blonde, blue-eyed and fair. I bear the marks of the dark, dusky, grayness of the Seam.

She was beautiful once. I was born plain, Nature's way of preparing me for the hard life to come.

She's a healer. I have a hunter's killer instinct.

I am Seam, born and raised. She was a transplant. An interloper. The daughter of a Merchant, who was trapped in the poor, starving faction of District 12 all because she chose to love a man who left her way too soon.

I am rough, hardened. She is delicate and fragile.

That trait was never more evident than when my father died in a mine explosion when I was eleven years old. My mother, once full of smiles and hugs and gentle grace became gutted by grief. Paralyzed by despair. Crushed by the weight of loneliness.

It was for that reason a tender child was thrust into the cold, harsh world.

Where she learned the meaning of hunger. Where she was forced to put survival above all else. Where she grew up way too soon.

It was for that reason I thought my mother weak.

And it was for that reason I had dismissed her as having nothing left to offer me.

I did this, of course, when we lived in the Seam and I still had the illusion of calling my life my own. Now? Now, I'm a victor of the 74th Hunger Games. A contender in the abruptly abandoned Quarter Quell. A defeated, broken shell of my former self. Now, I'm the intended face of a rebellion I never wanted.

A star-crossed lover without her other half.

A starving girl in the rain without any hope.

A Mockingjay without its song.

I hear her voice making its way to me through the ever-present haze of sedatives. I attempt to shut her out, the way I've shut everyone out. But something about her soft, hesitant words tug at my consciousness and arrest my attention. Under the fog of indifference, I begin to listen.

"Prim misses you. I miss you. So does Gale. He says you'll be fine, but I can tell he's worried about you, too." She pats my arm reassuringly, her voice dropping to a whisper. "Oh, Katniss, my dear…"

Our district has been obliterated. People we knew, we cared about, are dead. There is a dangerous unrest across all of Panem. Peeta, my dandelion of hope in the desert of despair, is the Capitol's most prized captive. Or felled victim. And we are stuck in District 13, a sanctuary. A prison.

Yet, I can hear the smile creeping into her voice and I have no idea what could possibly be good about the current situation.

Until she speaks. And I know it isn't the present she's seeing. It's the past.

"You were always your father's daughter. Did you know that?"

Of course, I know. I've always known.

"Always so strong and determined, so vibrant. You even have his talent for singing. And that magical voice that could make the birds sing, back when you were light enough to take flight with them." A wistful sigh escapes her and I can see her face now as it once was. Gazing up at my father with such blind adoration in her eyes as his voice filled our home.

"When you were just a little girl, I used to watch you sleep, just like I am now. I tried so hard to find something of myself in you back then. But I couldn't. I couldn't because you were his. Always his." I felt her fingers run through my hair, smoothing out the knots caused by endless nights of fitful sleep. "Until now."

Until now? What the hell does that mean?

She pauses, gathering her thoughts. Trying to calm her shaking breath, she takes my limp hand between two warm ones.

"Katniss...I know, better than anyone, what you're going through."

Is that so? Have you ever been forced to kill someone else to survive? Have you had only a split second to decide if the person aiming a weapon at you is friend of foe? Or had the kindest, bravest boy stolen from you by a powerful, sinister man that wants nothing more than to make you suffer every agonizing second of the rest of your life?

And is succeeding spectacularly at getting his wish.

"Love is a strange, strange thing. It is simultaneously the most freeing, most isolating power on earth. When you're with that person, the one that completes you, that challenges you to be the best version of yourself, the entire world opens up and becomes this magical place full of hope and possibilities, even in the midst of hardship and squalor. But when you lose that person…when I lost that person…it felt as if I'd died with him."

"And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't pull myself out of the spiral of despair that I felt when I lost your father. I was so utterly alone. There was no one to help me because no one understood just how much I needed him." She pauses, her voice breaking with the pain of the past. "I know you blame me for pulling away, for shutting down, not being there for you and Prim. And you're right. I should have found the strength. I should have fought harder to be there for you. But...I couldn't. Just like you can't now."

No. No, the situations are completely different. This is nothing like you abandoning us. Nothing.

"You see, your father, he was my strength. He was my courage, my hope…"

Hope. Burned bread. Rule changes. Berries. Dandelions. Peeta.

"…and my deepest love. I turned my back on everything I knew, everyone I loved, my family, my friends..."

"Peeta has to survive. We have to do whatever it takes to save him. Peeta lives. Not me."

"...just to be with him. I was never very brave or strong on my own, Katniss. But with your father by my side, I believed in things that were supposed to be impossible. I believed I could be anyone. Do anything."

Snatches of impossible conversations about impossible things came back to me in a convoluted rush.

"I don't want to be a piece in their games."

"We could go home. We're the only team left."

"Trust me."

"Together?"

"Together."

"Stay with me."

"Always."

"Like being truly, blissfully happy in the Seam. When that explosion took him from us, I blamed myself. If I had done something differently—just held onto him a little longer, taken more time to pack his lunch or let him sleep a few minutes more—he might have arrived too late to be down in the mine that day. We would have still had him to sing to us, to dance with us. I would have had him…" Her shaking voice broke and trailed off to a whisper. "…to make me feel alive."

I should have never agreed to the alliance. Or demanded we break free of it sooner. I should have kissed Peeta more, longer, held his hand tighter, when we parted. I should have never left him with Finnick and Beetee…

"I won't even pretend to know or understand what you and Peeta have been through, how you truly feel about each other. Or how deeply those feelings run."

How can you when I don't understand myself?

"But I do know this, Katniss." The smile in her voice returns with a warm vengeance. "I watch the two of you together and I see a beautiful reflection from my past. The way he's always there supporting you. The way you respond to him. How in a moment of crisis, you instinctively cling to each other, refusing to let go. It's different from your father and me, and yet…so very much the same."

But…that would mean that I love Peeta the way you loved father, and…no, that can't be. I promised myself when you abandoned us that I would never let anyone destroy me like that. I would never let myself need someone that much…

"And it's for that reason that I know this separation from Peeta is slowly killing you. I know because I've been there. I know how you want to just shut everyone out, let the drugs take you under, ignore everything that's happened, forget that emptiness threatening to close in on you."

Yes, yes, that is what I want. Every day. Every hour.

Just to forget. His smile, his laugh. Those kind and soulful eyes. The strong arms that cradle me in safety. The way he knew just what to say to make everything in my spinning world right again. To forget just how much I miss him. Need him. Love…him…

"But you can't. You have to be strong just a little while longer because, because...don't you see? Never have the differences between us been so important, Katniss. For unlike me, you still have the hope of seeing Peeta again."

Do I? If only I could believe that…

"And if there's anything I've learned about that kind, selfless boy - watching him in the Games, seeing him sacrifice himself for you, never asking anything in return - I know he's fighting right now to get back. To you." Her grip on my hand tightened as the plea in her voice grew. "Katniss, please. Don't give up on him. Don't let him fight alone."

I don't want to. I won't. If only I could know he was still alive, that I could have him back again…

"And I know you won't." The soothing stroke of her fingers through my hair resumed. "You won't because there's another very important difference between us. You may have my depth of feeling, Katniss, but you also have your father's fire, his…survival instincts and fierce determination to forge your own way."

"So, do what I failed to do, my dear girl. Draw on that strength inside of you and fight your way back to us. Back to Prim and Gale and me. If you won't let us save you, at least save yourself. For Peeta's sake." Her voice dropped to a pleading whisper as a gentle finger brushed away a tear that had escaped my closed eyes. "He needs you, Katniss."

I need him, too. So, so much.

"We all do."

My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old.

I'm a victor of the 74th Hunger Games. A contender in the abruptly abandoned Quarter Quell. A defeated, broken shell of my former self. The intended face of a rebellion I never wanted.

A star-crossed lover without her other half.

A starving girl in the rain without any hope.

A Mockingjay without its song.

But all of that is about to change.

Because I will fight my way back. I will find my hope again. And somehow, someway, I will bring Peeta Mellark home.

Because I am my father's daughter.

And now, thanks to my mother, I know that I am her daughter too.

The End