*MOCKINGJAY SPOILERS AHEAD*

Author's Note: I finally finished Mockingjay today. Amidst all the things that happened (a lot of bad and some good) the one that hurt the most was the storyline with Gale. So I was inspired to write something that sheds a little light (hopefully) on what he was thinking during his last encounter with Katniss, right before Snow's execution. It is very short (seriously, this A/N is probably longer) and to the point and it is a product of my insomnia. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it. I thank you in advance for reading (and reviewing!). It really does mean a lot to me!

Disclaimer: I own a ridiculous amount of shoes and old, tattered books. I do not, however, own The Hunger Games or these characters. Suzanne Collins has that honor.


She will always see me as the murderer of Prim.

Even though we both know it was Coin and not I who gave the command, it doesn't matter. The connection between her sister's death and me will always gnaw at her mind, constant like the nightmares I heard her have in Tigris' cellar.

She asks me if it was my bomb and after assuring her I don't know I ask her if it matters. Of course not. No matter how hard she tries to see me as the boy she met in the woods so many years ago she will always see me as the creator of what engulfed her sister in flames.

Her silence confirms it. It is the only goodbye I need from her.

Finally, it is time to step out of her life forever. Lingering would only make life more complicated for her than it already will be. I can foresee the numerous demons she will be fighting for the rest of her life already.

I should say goodbye. But doing so will only make our eminent separation more real. This way I can delude myself into thinking that maybe someday she could bare to look at me.

My mind briefly recalls our last meeting before Katniss left for the arena, back when our lives held a bit of normalcy, back when we had nothing but one another, back when the fire was just catching, before it burned us to the ground.

"Don't let them starve!" she cried out to me, clinging to my hand .

"I won't! You know I won't! Katniss, remember I-"

Love you.

It was true then, it is true now as I desperately try to memorize her face and commit it to memory, and it will be true for as long as I live. I know it.

Instead, I tell her my only chance with her was killed by that bomb, too. My goodbye is my surrender. "Shoot straight, okay?" I manage to tell her, touching her cheek, one of the few patches of skin left from her old self.

So once again I leave Katniss-my Catnip- without saying everything I ought.

Katniss, remember I love you.