Home Comer's Choice

A.N- Hi people, it's Lost in Believing. This is my two friend's account, but she wanted me to post her fanfic. It is a one shot.

This is Leigh's fanfic.

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Katniss felt horrible on the rest of the way back to the twelfth district. Home. But the feeling of relief was subdued by her confusion and guilt. When Haymitch had said 'He's already there' he HADN'T meant that Peeta already understood their dangerous position, he had meant that Peeta really felt that way about her. It gnawed at her insides to know that she had hurt Peeta, Peeta, whom had helped her get out of the Games alive. Peeta, whom she had nursed back to health and risked her life for.

But she just didn't feel that way.

When Katniss arrived home, the cameras had been hovering over her constantly. There was a big feast, of course, this was what? The second time the twelfth district had had a winner, and two at that!

She had felt relieved when Gale had sot her out. He had caught her eye from across the main square, partly because she had been looking for him. She excused herself from the feast and slipped away, losing the cameras. Privacy, at last.

Katniss found Gale behind one of the tallest buildings in the district, it was secluded as much as possible considering the publicity this event was getting. They were alone.

"Gale." She choked out, and they embraced. She pulled back to see a bewildered expression on his face. The Katniss he knew wasn't like that.

"Katniss… I've missed you so much." He greeted her, putting a strand of her hair behind her ear. He had changed, his face had a more drawn look to it. Because of her? She hoped not.

She smiled, as a camera man came and walked in on them. Katniss felt a panicked expression cross her face, but her back was to the camera, she composed herself, she knew what this looked like.

"I missed you too, no one can fall out of a tree like you can, Gale." She joked in a friendly way. She turned her head as she punched his shoulder and caught sight of the camera man. Though she had heard his approach, she acted surprised to see him. "Uh, hello…" Katniss turned to face the intruder head on. She composed her face to look friendly and open. Making sure to look as innocent as possible.

After introducing Gale to the camera man, she returned to the feast, more lively than before. She was home, and she had been welcomed by those who meant everything to her. But Peeta was subdued.

*****

Late at night, after her family settled back into their routine, from before the Reaping, Katniss went to sleep. It felt good to sleep in her own bed at last, but soon her family would be moving into one of the houses reserved for Champions. Their dinner had been mostly herbs, and Katniss was glad to see the chicken Gale had supplied. She would make it up to him, somehow.

She rolled over onto her side, unable to sleep for joy of being home. The moonlight slanted through the window onto Prim's bed, illuminating the sleeping body of her sister's hideous cat. Katniss smiled, then silently got out of bed and went over to the window.

She gazed out into her old home, glad to be home, when she noticed a movement underneath the flower box on the window sill. She stiffened, then relaxed when she saw who it was.

Gale.

Slipping into her old coat, Katniss snuck outside, and greeted Gale with a half-hearted threat. "Tell me one good reason why I should let you on my property…" Gale's warm smile silenced her. She walked up to him, and he held out his hand.

She took it, and he led her away from her house, across the street. "Katniss." He sighed, seemingly relieved that she was still there. "I need to figure something."

Her heart sunk. She wasn't ready to answer this question. "Shoot" she breathed.

Gale continued, watching her expression. "Peeta, I didn't know that-"

"Me neither." Katniss cut him off. "I am confused by it, I thought it was all a sharade, to get sponsors, then to get away from the capitol, but…"

Gale spoke again."Yes, I was worried about what their reactions would be, but still….. you feel the same? Or WAS it just a charade?"

"I-I don't know. I brought it up with him on the train, how we wouldn't need to continue pretending, but he wasn't pretending. He actually felt-feels that way." Katniss shook her head, her eyes wide, trying to make sense of her predicament.

Gale thought for a little while. Then he responded. "So you didn't feel like that?"

Katniss shook her head, "I'm still trying to figure out what I feel for him….. and I'm worried…" She stopped herself, she had said too much.

"Worried?"

"Worried about how you would feel." She grimaced, awaiting Gale's reply.

Gale just smirked, and then looked thoughtful. Katniss's eyes dropped to his hands, how strong and capable. Gale was a strong person. And Katniss hoped he wouldn't think her weak for feeling so confused.

Katniss felt Gales hands on her cheeks, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.

What? Katniss was confused at first, but then noticed how comfortable she felt. She lost herself in the kiss and she kissed back.

She almost didn't notice Peeta approaching from behind.

She almost didn't hear his sharp intake of breath, and then his step backward.

Gale broke away from the kiss, and Katniss turned to look at her fellow champion. Peeta's face was almost unrecognizable in his hurt.

"Peeta, you don't have any claim-" Gale began, getting angry.

Katniss cut him off. "Peeta, I know this hurts you, but I just don't feel the same towards you. Please understand." She looked up at Peeta, pleading with her eyes.

Peeta's face fell, more recognizable now, but still enough to almost break Katniss's heart. "I will never understand Katniss, but I hope you know what you're doing." He backed away, then turned and ran. Katniss looked on with hopelessness in her eyes.

Gale ran his hand down her arm, then hugged her, and murmured comforts to her.

Katniss closed her eyes and breathed into Gale's chest, HER Gale.

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