Hi All; Here it is the:
I am cautiously nervous and hope you have enjoyed the journey as much I did. When I started writing this fic, I did it with this in mind. I hope you all enjoy and please review, Let me know what you think.
Thank you for all of your reviews and support it mean the world to me.
A special thanks to Daisy3D with out you I do not think this would have been possible. Thanks Daisy3D you have been a fantastic Beta.
PS...I do not own the Hunger Games...
It took several months for Katniss and Peeta to be able to go home. Many things occurred between the moment of freedom and the present. They were asked to stay for a bit to help reassure the nation things were going to be alright. Plutarch and Cressida helped them film a number of propaganda short films. They were public service announcements that helped the districts and the Capitol relize they were one people.
The short documentary style films were a favorite amongst the citizens. When they finished their duties Peeta stole Katniss away without anyone noticing onto the train. During their time in the Capitol they had grown closer. It was no secret they were in love, even though they tried to keep their relationship private. Either way it was good to be home. Peeta and Katniss spotted Haymitch at the platform as the train pulled in. Peeta held Katniss from behind.
"Are you okay?" Katniss asked as she tried to prepare herself to face the crowds.
"Yeah" Peeta nodded. His mother was one of the few casualties in their District. She was trampled when the minors led by Gale and Madge rebelled when they saw Katniss kill Snow on the prompter. Amazingly some of the Peacekeepers in District Twelve rebelled alongside the people. Only a few fought for the Capitol.
"I know she was mean but she was your mother."
Peeta sighed "I do miss her and I am saddened by her death. But I am glad my dad and my brothers are okay."
Katniss smiled and leaned into Peeta's arms.
"I think the bakery is going to be different now, without her."
"I hope so."
"I just hope Rye is much better behaved" Peeta kidded.
Katniss said incredulously as she turned around in Peetas arms to better look at him, her Boy with the Bread, "The skirt chaser Rye Mellark?"
Peeta chuckled pulling her closer. "I can't wait for my family to meet you."
They were silent as the train stopped moving.
"Do you think they will leave us alone?" Katniss fretted.
"Well President Paylor promised they would. The only thing that we have promised to do is the dedication of Rue's and Thresh's plaque's in District Eleven next year."
Katniss groaned as she put her head on his shoulders.
"Everything is going to be alright. We will do it together."
Katniss nodded. "Peeta, what about my mom and you know?"
"We just have to convince your mom to let me stay over ever night and we will be fine." They had taken to sleeping in the same bed at night to ward off the nightmares.
"My mom will kill you." Katniss chuckled. It was wonderful waking up in Peeta's arms everyday.
"Well it is at least worth a try, besides I think I can out run her now with my new leg." Peeta winked.
Katniss shook her head "You say Rye is bad but he does not hold a candle to you Peeta Mellark. You are the worst flirt."
"I know but you love me." Peeta sincerely said.
"This is true."
They could feel the train settle into the station as its engines were shut down.
Peeta placed a peck on her lips. "Thank you though for asking about my mom."
"I would do anything for you Peeta" She breathed into his lips before she gave him small repeated kisses on the lips. Katniss knew her mother was not going to like how close they had gotten, but they had not done anything. Peeta wanted to wait until they married.
Peeta kissed her forehead. He did not know how Katniss knew what she did but he was glad they did it together. Katniss predictions about Alma Coin were correct. Everyone distrusted her simply because they did not see her presence in the rebellion. Her rigid stoic personality did not come off well in the eyes of the public. That woman did indeed try to take over the fledgling government but she was quickly dismissed and arrested. In an act of good will she was returned to back to her District.
However, shortly after she arrived in Thirteen, it was discovered Coin tried to suppress her own people who wanted to live above ground within their sister Districts. They rebelled against her and she was brought to justice. In the end free elections were held. Paylor from District Eight won in a landslide.
The Games were disbanded and the arenas torn down. The government was restructuring itself for the better. Representatives from each District were elected to go to the Capitol to help with uniting and building a better Paenm. In District Twelve Gale and Madge were selected. Now it was time for others to lead.
Peeta could not wait to start his life with Katniss by his side. Katniss was hailed as a hero and all she asked for was to be simply left alone in her beloved district. This simple girl was the woman he loved.
They were given a house in the Victors Village to share. Their families were presented with houses in the Victors Village. Gale and Madge were engaged to be married and were going to be their neighbors because of there they were District Representatives. Gale wanted one for his family and it was granted it. They were all going to be neighbors with Haymitch. Peeta mused the Victors Village was going to be an interesting place to live.
"I don't want to forget" Peeta uttered as they stood side by side.
Katniss understood what he meant. It was not the Games he wanted to remember, it was their time together, their camaraderie, and the closeness they shared that he did not want to forget "Neither do I."
Peeta looked to Katniss "Together."
"Always….together" Katniss announced as the doors of the train station opened the roar of the crowd nearly drowned out her words.
Haymitch came forward with a small petite blond by his side.
Both Peeta and Katniss looked at each other wondering who this woman was.
"You are finally here, although you are late by seven minutes. Yet that is neither here nor there. Today is going to be a big, big day!"
"EFFIE?" Both questioned at the same time.
Effie looked at both of them "It is my new look. It is called rebellion."
"Frankly I think this is her best look." Haymitch said with a straight face.
"You are such a dear" Effie cupped Haymitch's chin. She was tired of losing children year after year. A long time ago Effie came to realization she was a slave of Snow's regime. Having been around the two Victors who managed to liberate the nation was so wonderful and inspiring.
"Effie you look wonderful" Peeta gushed.
"Such a polite young man" Effie smiled at Peeta affectionately. Her ever critical eyes scanned the platform. At that moment she caught sight of the Mayor, there were still a few things she saw that were not perfect. The Mayor was playing fast and loose with her and Effie did not appreciate it. Nothing in Effie's opinion was too good for her two prized children. "Pardon me I must confer with the Mayor."
Effie placed an affectional kiss on Haymitch's face.
Haymitch shook his head as he watched Effie walk away. "That woman drives me to drink."
Both Peeta and Katniss had a revolted face like children who caught their parents doing something overtly gross and affectionate.
"What?" Haymitch groused challenging them to say something.
"Nothing" Peeta and Katniss both answered shaking their heads.
At that moment the Mayor began speaking. He was giving the introduction and a brief speech about their brave actions.
Haymitch took that opportunity to step close to Katniss. He leaned over and whispered in her ear "So Sweetheart, this is why you were willing to endure another round in Beetee's crazy transporter?"
Katniss gasped whipping her head around "Haymitch? How…"
"Sweetheart you have to act normal." Haymitch warned.
Katniss forced herself to look forward. She wanted to scowl badly. Her face contorted into a half smirk half scowl. From the corner of her eye she saw Peeta was not paying attention to her. He was engrossed to what the Mayor was saying to the crowd. "What happened?"
"Five seconds after you left I convinced Beetee to let me take a ride on that crazy machine. I knew you were going to need my help." Haymitch looked over the crowd.
"What about Gale?" Katniss was concerned the Gale of that time would want to bring her back.
"I told Gale not to bring us back because there was no way of telling what we might be engaged in. I did not know Coin ordered not to bring you back this time."
"That's not a surprise." Katniss muttered under her breath.
"Can they bring us back?" Katniss panicked momentarily.
"I asked Beetee for a hypothetical synopsis of what you were doing. He said it did not matter the machine would never work again after he was finished with it."
Katniss understood Beetee was going to break the machine. Through closed teeth she asked "How long have you been here?"
"Since you before you were reaped" Haymitch squinted into the afternoon sun. "That was some kiss you planted on the Kid there after he lost the Wrestling Championship."
The Mayor's booming voice announced "Now the moment you have all been waiting for..."
Katniss could not even address Haymitch. She blinked several times she had so many thoughts but could not act on them because Effie gently pushed her toward. Between the information Haymitch dropped on her and the crowd gathered Katniss froze. Peeta squeezed her hand. Katniss swallowed suddenly as her face turned red. She loathed public speaking.
Peeta looked to Katniss he could see she was panicking. He squeezed her hand then leaned in "Are you alright?"
"I hate crowds..."
"Allow me to handle it" Peeta said as he stepped forward.
Katniss listened. He gave a wonderful speech about the price of freedom and breaking down old prejudices to be able to move forward. He told the District but as well as the nation how they as a united people had the opportunity to build a better Panem. He hoped that they could wisely segue into a peaceful prosperous future.
The crowd erupted into a thunderous applause.
Peeta smiled as gave her the microphone. She stood there for a second then blurted out. "I could never make the same speech Peeta did."
The crowd laughed.
"I just wanted to thank the Districts for banning together. We will never have to see in our life time another child like Rue die. We will never have to feel the dread of another reaping." Katniss looked down "What Peeta said was true if we could somehow band together in the name of all that is good in this world, we will have ever lasting peace. Thank you."
Peeta held her hand and she turned her face into his neck. Tears for Rue escaped her eyes. Once more she could not save her. But she knew never again would another child suffer the reaping or the Games.
Later that evening she sat on her stoop. Her family and all of their neighbors were milling out on the lawns talking. They were cooking and were going to have a meal together outside. In attendance some of the Victors they had gotten to know during their time in the Capitol.
Her silver eyes took in Cressida and Johanna flirting with Rye. Castor and Pollux were signing to each other as they communicated with Daisy. Plutarch was speaking with Gale's mom. Beetee was conversing to Graham Mellark. Madge was laughing at something Finnick said as Annie held on to his arm. The oldest Victor Mags was sitting with Prim as they spoke to Bing, Peeta's father. A soft smile entered Katniss lips. She had done it she had saved so many.
"Hey Catnip" Gale said sauntering up to her.
"Hey Gale or should I say District Liaison Hawthorne," Katniss said smiling at her hunting partner and best friend.
Gale flushed "Stop."
"How does it feel to know that you are going to the Capitol?"
"I am scared though, Madge tells me I shouldn't be, they are just brightly colored people who are scared just like me." Gale said.
"Madge is right. Listen to me Gale you are smarter than what you give yourself credit for. You can do this. The people of the District would not have chosen you if they did not have a vote of confidence in you."
"Thanks Catnip" Gale nodded the looked into her eyes. "So you and Mellark huh?"
Katniss blushed prettily "Yeah."
"He's good for you, he protected you in front of national T.V." Gale recalled how Peeta Mellark with the one bad leg grabbed a man heavier than him and tossed him over the balcony with great ease.
"He is, he has always protected me Gale since I was a kid." Katniss softly spoke thinking of the bread.
"How come I did not know this?" Gale was puzzled.
"We were too busy trying to survive. I mean look at Madge until I pointed it out you were in the dark about her." Katniss said.
"True, but you and Mellark, how did I manage to not notice it?" Gale thought he knew Katniss well but apparently girls were a lot more trickery than he thought.
"I told you once, if you knew the inner workings of a girl's mind, you would go running for the hills." Katniss said stretching out her legs.
Gale conceded. He looked to her to judge her mood. He had one more question in mind. "How the hell did you manage to pull this off?"
"With a great Mentor" Haymitch said with a deep guzzle of his flask.
Gale watched Haymitch Abernathy drunkenly sit next to Katniss.
"I mean I was shocked when the word came down after little Rue died from the miners that were going to revolt. We were told to wait for a signal. Personally I thought it wouldn't happen that they were only rumors. Then you did it Catnip, you killed Snow in front of everyone and then they showed the other districts rebelling. We just started to fight. You know I never thought we would see the day. I mean even Darius joined us."
Haymitch stayed quiet.
"I was tired just like everyone else. Snow had to die and the best time to do it was at the coronation. Peeta and I well we…"
"We are a team," Peeta came out of the house to lean down and give an affectionate kiss on her cheek. He had a tray of meat he was going to cook.
"You have an opportunity Gale, to show clemency and the pluck our District is now known for." Katniss said looking over his shoulder at Madge who was hitting Rye on the shoulder no doubt from some inappropriate thing he said. They were one of the reasons why Katniss took the risk she did.
"Hey Gale, want to help me man the grill." Peeta said sensing that Haymitch and Katniss needed to speak.
Haymitch waited until the two guys were gone before Katniss opened up.
"So anything you want to tell me Haymitch?"
"I couldn't let you do this alone." Haymitch gave her the flask.
Katniss looked at him incredulously. "Really?"
"Its orange juice, District Thirteen cured me. Besides there is no longer a reason for me to be drunk, we are at peace, and Effie hates the stuff."
"That is just so gross." Katniss balanced at the thought of Haymitch and Effie together.
"This old boy's got a lot of life in him left. Besides Effie has had a thing for me for years. She likes bad boys." Haymitch laughed at the sight of the girl looking slightly green.
"That is not funny"
"Oh yes it is Sweetheart, I do like Effie a lot and maybe we will adopt."
Katniss then felt contrite. Haymitch had the right to happiness too. "I guess you can." She bit her lip "How did you convince Beetee to let you go through the machine."
"After you left I turned to Beetee and looked at him, and told him it was my turn. He did not make a fuss about it. He told me it was only logical for me to go in with you. Your friend there tried to stop me."
Katniss smiled. Gale was just as protective over the people he loved as she was. "What about the whole Coin thing."
"I made Gale promise not to bring us back."
"I am sure he tried arguing with you." Katniss nodded.
"He did, but I got him to tell me that Coin agreed to let you go because she did not want you back. I think the kid was going to off Coin after you left. He did not want to be involved with someone who didn't have a problem with killing one of their own members."
It was a lot to take in. She could not imagine what that future held for her. Both sat there for a long time simply enjoying the freedom.
Katniss shook her head "So you have been quietly waiting all this time."
"I couldn't tell you, I had to let you go through it all." Haymitch took another swig. "I kept on telling myself to remember who my enemies were."
"That's why you knew on the roof to go with my plan. You were setting it up in the elevator." Katniss shook her head. "No wonder Snow hated you."
"Yeah, I used their technology against them."
"What were you doing this whole time if you were not passed out drunk?"
"I was waiting for you." Haymitch said. "I even saw you make a not so subtle play for the Boy."
"I can't believe you saw that! I thought no one was there."
"Correction you were so involved sucking face with Bread Boy that you didn't see Rye's shock and awe."
Katniss turned red; she buried her face in her hands.
"My question is, what did you do to the kid to who cheated?" Haymitch wanted to know. He saw the kid lying on the floor.
"Oh I kicked him in the nuts and threatened with my knife." Katniss shrugged.
"Good to know to never to hurt the Boy." Haymitch said nodding.
Katniss scowled then said "How did you convince everyone to follow the plan?"
"Let me tell you convincing Plutarch and Beetee was the easy part. The rebels like Paylor were ready. They began to rebel from the moment of the reaping. They were silently sabotaging the Peacekeepers weapons and modes of transportation. It was Johanna and Finnick who gave me the hardest time. They did not commit until they saw you in the arena, Johanna was struck by your use of the bow. The way you took care of little Rue convinced Finnick." Haymitch swallowed thickly.
"I couldn't save her." Katniss became emotional.
"I understand Sweetheart, she was the spark. Little Rue is what is what set the Districts on fire." Haymitch kindly spoke.
"Haymitch I wanted to, but I could not think of a way to save her. I knew no matter how fast I ran Marvel would get to her quicker than I could." Katniss thought about her Games no matter how many times she tried, there were things she could not change, Rue ended up dying every single time.
"Seeing your humanity toward Rue caused much of the resentment towards Snow Capitol to boil over. Your show of kindness has never been seen in any of the Games. It fired up the rebels and in one night the plans for freedom took root. By the time you killed Snow, the Peacekeepers were immobilized in the Districts. They were caught of guard. Your simple plan was easily expedited and Effie helped."
"Effie was a surprise. That woman organized the entire attack down to the last second. I couldn't do it with out her."
Katniss shook her head. "Do you get headaches from traveling?"
"Yep but they go away. You just have to stay hydrated kid." Haymitch warned as he lifted up his flask.
"I am glad you are here" Katniss stood looking at her family.
"So am I Sweetheart so I am."
Katniss walked up to Peeta who was affectionately arguing with Gale about how best to the grill meat.
"Boys step aside" Greasy Sea said as she muscled her way in and took the tray from Peeta. She began lying to flanks of meat on the surface.
"But Sea we can do this" Peeta announced.
"Yeah you should be sitting down enjoying the afternoon."
Greasy Sea held up the long grilling fork and aimed it at both Gale and Peeta "Get going, go find your girls and show them a good time. Let these babies to me." Greasy Sea said nodding as she crackled a laugh.
Madge came and drew Gale away from the grill.
Katniss followed Madge's example. She took Peeta's hand and led him away.
"We could have done it you know." Peeta said as they walked amongst the crowd.
"I know, but Greasy Sea said you were to find me and have some fun, especially as my mom is busy with Posey at the moment." Katniss said as they walked in silence. Eventually her head came to rest on his shoulder and his arm wound its way around her middle.
Peeta waited until they were partially hidden before he said "So you here to finish me off Sweetheart?"
Katniss laughed as Peeta turned her around to face him. He brought her to close to him. The palms of her hands were rested on his chest, her face tipped up to look at him. He could see each of the silver flecks in her eyes.
Somewhere some one began to play music. Peeta and Katniss began to gently move to the music. Katniss put her head on his shoulder her hands wound around his neck as they swayed. They could smell the meat grilling, the soft sounds of the crickets and the occasional laughter of one of their loved ones in the backgrounds.
Peeta heard her sigh of contentment. "So now that we are free, Katniss Everdeen will you now consider getting married one day?"
"Depends on who is asking?" With joy she gazed up into his face.
"Well a devastatingly handsome Boy with the Bread."
Katniss swallowed as Peeta's face came close to hers "I will allow it."
"Allow it huh?" Peeta question right before his kiss stole her response. A small groan escaped her mouth as his tongue sought entrance into her mouth. They kissed until Peeta lifted his head.
In a high pitched voice Katniss uttered "Definitely will allow it."
Peeta grinned feeling like the cat that just ran away with the bottle of milk.
Katniss did allow it to happen. They married when they turned twenty. They honeymooned in district four and much to Peeta's embarrassment when they arrived back to Peeta's house Rye had a group of his drunken friends serenade them bawdy songs. The years seemed to quickly pass.
Ten years later District Twelve had changed. People were better off. Something's like the weather were still the same. The weather was bad outside. Snow fell from the sky to the earth it was the beginning of a bad snow storm.
Katniss stood looking out over the window of her bedroom recalling all the things that led her to this moment as she gently rubbed her stomach. She could not believe how quickly ten years had past. The baby in her stomach moved. The one thing she never thought she would do she did. Katniss agreed to have children with Peeta.
She was in her ninth month and was due to give birth at any moment. She worriedly stared out the window as the snow fall increased. "Daddy will be home soon."
"Sweetheart" Haymitch called out from the back stairs, the ones that led to the kitchen.
Haymitch walked up the stairs "Are you decent?"
"Yes Haymitch" Katniss chuckled.
In the years since the rebellion happened Haymitch learned never to walk in unannounced. Their family grew and settled all over Panem. Graham and his wife headed to District Three where they wanted their children to grow up. Rye moved to Seven initially with Johanna but they decided they were better friends. Surprisingly Rye opened up his own Mellark's Bakery. He had yet to marry. Johanna actually found some young Capitol born man who kept her happy. Haymitch was still Haymitch.
"Just stopped by to check up on you, make sure you haven't suffered any of those hicks things again."
Katniss grinned as she rubbed her belly. Two days ago she experienced her first Braxton Hicks false contraction. She was lucky her mother was only a few doors down when it happened. Lilly came back when she heard Katniss was pregnant. Their mom moved District Four when Prim went away to medical school. The warm ocean air was good for Lilly. Prim moved back when she finished her education and became their local doctor. Katniss grinned their mom was driving Prim mad. "Everything is calm. Where is Effie?"
"Effie is at home pacing in the kitchen at this very moment. She is on the phone with Plutarch, developing Homemaking with Hazelle Hawthorne." Effie and Haymitch now had geese which everyone hated but loved at the same time.
"How are they going to handle security now that Gale is President?" Gale and Madge married and now Gale was President. He was elected when Paylor stepped down after eight years in office.
"That's what they were discussing." Haymitch said looking out of the window. "It's picking up."
"Bread boy should be home soon?" Haymitch questioned, he would be happier once the Kid came home.
"Yeah, he called he left a little early because of the weather." Peeta ran the Bakery with his father who was excited about becoming a Grandfather.
It was then they saw Peeta walking toward the house. Katniss wobbled away quickly. Haymitch was surprised at how swiftly she moved for a girl who was about to drop a kid at any moment. He caught up with her at the stairs. They were coming down the stairs as Peeta was closing the door.
"Hey" Peeta said watching Haymitch help Katniss walk down the stairs.
"Hi" Katniss brightly said coming toward him.
Peeta had barely enough time to take off his coat when Katniss wrapped her arms around his neck and placed a kiss there. Peeta did the same. The baby bump was squished but he needed to see her.
Haymitch watched the scene and silently walked outside to his house. All was right in the universe. His weathered face slowly transformed into a smile. When he arrived he found Effie waiting for him with a cup of tea.
"Well did you tell them?"
"No." Haymitch brushed off the snow of his coat before he hung it and took off his boots. He sat down at the kitchen table with Effie. The cup was decidedly too girly for his taste but he knew happy wife, happy life.
Effie raised an eyebrow at the man she followed through hell and back. "Why not?"
"Because I do not think Katniss needs to know that we are from the future." Haymitch pointed out.
"But Haymitch, you only told her half the truth." Effie said.
"Effie she doesn't need to know the whole truth." Haymitch said drinking the tea.
Effie paused. "But doesn't she deserve the truth."
At Effie's look he shook his head. "She deserves her truth Effie."
"I just wish…" Years after the rebellion was over Effie had stumbled on the original military manual and subsequent testing for the machine. She and Haymitch knew what they were doing when they decided to go back in time. She wanted to be able to talk about it someone else.
"I do not think it is necessary to tell her that what should have happened was Prim dying because of a bomb Gale helped designed with Beetee."
Effie pursed her lips.
"Effie, do you really think she needs to know that Finnick died at the hands of some mutts as she and the star squad went through the grinder and back? That she killed that despot Coin, then was forced through a trial while mentally incapacitated. Or that it took the boy and her over twenty years to heal enough to have the family they have now."
Effie looked at Haymitch.
"Something's are better left as they are. The fact that we accidentally were transported back here before the reaping of the 73rd Games is a mute point." Haymitch sat back in his chair.
It was very hard to watch things happen and wait until the moment when he could lead Beetee to the machine. Haymitch was lucky his idea that Katniss would figure out how to change things worked. Though he admitted, he was genuinely scared out of his mind when Beetee and his team couldn't get Katniss back. None of Effie's findings ever recorded anything like that happening.
Effie looked at Haymitch. "I wish you could have told me what you were planning."
"I am sorry Effie, but it was all spur of the moment stuff. That girl saved us all by Killing Snow when she did."
Effie put her hand on top of his. "You are right Haymitch some things are best kept secret."
Haymitch wisely looked at Effie and stated. "Yeah cause' every one deserves a redo in time."