He would never admit it, of course, but he really likes the way that she smiles.

It has to be a real smile, mind you. Not one of the fake, I-really-wish-that-you-would-shut-your-mouth-now type smiles that she gives to the people he sees her speaking to on the street (merchants, mostly, or maybe occasionally a worker from the Seam who comes to work in town, but never a miner) in order to make them think that she might be paying attention to a word that they're saying. Gale only likes real, genuine smiles, the I'm-so-happy-that-joy-is-leaking-out-of-my-mouth type that he sees her throw at Katniss or Peeta or maybe even Prim, when the time is right.

Because those smiles are, when he's truthful with himself, really gorgeous and they brighten every thing up. Forget electricity. He thinks that it might be possible to light up the whole of District Twelve with just one of Madge Undersee's grins.

Madge has never smiled at Gale. The one that she gave him on Reaping Day (after she said she wanted to look nice for the Capitol) wasn't even half as good as a real smile. And really, why would she smile at him? They don't know each other well. They haven't had several pleasant conversations. They are only linked by a mutual friend. She's the mayor's daughter, who will probably be the mayor one day herself, and he is Gale Hawthorne, a coal miner. Nothing will ever exist between them that is worth smiling about.

Now, Mrs. Everdeen is looking into the cardboard boxes stacked high on a shelf, looking for the box with the medicine that will numb Gale's pain once again. She doesn't know that he's awake, and she's chatting with Prim somewhere nearby.

"I honestly don't know why she would risk traveling in that much snow to bring this for Gale, but I have to say, it's a blessing that she did," the older woman is saying. "Aha. Here it is. I think that this is the last one we'll have to give him, Prim. The fever's almost gone."

There's a sharp pain in his tattered back as something enters his flesh, then a wave of numb spreads through him. He's loosing grips on the world in seconds, walking the thin line of dreams and reality. He wonders who the she is that brought the medicine for him, in the instant before he really does loose himself to the medication. He wonders if it's Madge, but that would obviously never happen. Why would a girl like her risk a blizzard to give a box of medicine to a boy who she won't even smile for? She wouldn't, that's why.

Gale's dream while he floats on his cloud of morphling isn't about hunting. It's not about work, or his father, or even Katniss.

It's about a world where he's the person who makes Madge Undersee smile.


My first Hunger Games fanfic! So, what do you think?

Oh, and by the way, I own nothing.