Pay the Piper

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Hunger Games and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: After Katniss gets the medicine needed for him, Peeta punishes her

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the book; mentions of violence; slight AU – even before the spanking, the scene isn't exactly how it appears in the book

When Katniss woke up again, her head was aching – but not as much as it had when the knife had hit her. She could feel her head lying on something hard but not unyielding; and when she tilted it back, she realised that her head was lying on Peeta's uninjured leg.

Peeta was awake, and had been staring at the cave entrance – but clearly feeling Katniss's movement, he glanced down at her and gave a brief smile. "Hey."

Realising exactly what position she was in, Katniss quickly straightened up, and looked anxiously at Peeta. "You're all right?" she demanded, knowing that they had to put on a good show for the viewers, particularly since sponsors had sent the medicine to put Peeta to sleep. Without waiting for a reply from him, she quickly reached out to pull the material away from his wounded leg.

Not protesting the treatment, Peeta leaned back slightly and watched her carefully, before reaching out to lightly touch her forehead, where the cut had been bandaged. "I told you not to go," he said quietly, looking seriously at Katniss. "You could have been killed. When you came back, I thought you were going to die."

Katniss frowned and glanced away. "I didn't have a choice." There was no need for them both to die. Besides, if she hadn't done everything she could to save Peeta, the people watching from the Capitol would grow suspicious.

Her feelings were too conflicted for her to be able to work out how she felt about it.

"I didn't want you to risk yourself for me! Don't you understand?" Peeta demanded, sounding really frustrated.

Katniss frowned at him. "Well, it's happened now – and I'm not sorry I did it. Because at least it means you won't die. If I hadn't done anything, the infection would have killed you." She glanced at the cave entrance and then back at him. "One of the others – Clove – was killed by Thresh." He'd had the chance to kill her as well, but because of Rue, he'd let her live.

Showing gratitude in the only way he'd been able to... just like his district.

"She's the one who wounded you?" Peeta's fingertips lightly traced the bandage on Katniss's head. His eyes narrowed slightly in concern. "If you hadn't gone, you would be fine." He glanced briefly towards their supplies. "I'm sorry to say that, when I woke up, I ate quite a bit before I remembered that we still needed it... But there's still some left. You should eat something."

"I'm not hungry. I can wait until we're able to hunt again." Katniss was aware of how close Peeta was to her, and a part of her wanted him to kiss her – and not just because of the viewers. In fact, she leaned forward so that she could press her lips against his.

And Peeta grabbed her wrists and pulled her over his legs, positioning her so that she wasn't pressing on his wound.

Katniss gasped, and immediately started struggling – but she was shocked into stopping when Peeta landed a hard swat to the seat of her trousers. She wasn't given enough time to fully absorb the sting before he was continuing to smack her. "What are you doing?" she demanded.

"Letting you know exactly how unhappy I am with what you did." Peeta continued to swat Katniss, but after a few more, he pulled her trousers down to bare her bottom.

And when the smacks landed on her bare skin, Katniss couldn't help squealing. She began to struggle, but Peeta held her easily and firmly, wrapping one arm around her waist while the other hand continued to swat her bare bottom. A small part of her thought about how they were putting on such a show for the viewers, but that thought was lost in the pain from the spanking, and the fact that this was one thing in her life she didn't have any control over.

"I don't care what you thought you were doing – you still don't try to risk your life to save mine. I love you, Katniss. I have from the first moment I can remember seeing you."

And maybe it was all just a lie; something put on for the viewers. But right now, Katniss preferred the lie to the truth. As the hard spanking continued, she ducked her head and felt the tears fall. Eventually, she just lay still over Peeta's knees, shuddering a little as the pain in her bottom continued.

It took a few moments for Katniss to realise that the spanking was over, and that Peeta was lightly stroking her hair and back. "It's all right. It's all over now."

Katniss wiped a hand across her eyes and tried to stop crying. When Peeta gathered her into his arms, she returned the hug and tried to plan what they were going to do next while she leaned her head against his shoulder.

The End