So this is something I'm just trying on for size. I'm not a huge Gale/Madge fan, but I don't like the idea of Madge dead and Gale's story just ended so I decided to fill in some of the blanks with this story. Tell me what you think. Criticism much appreciated =)
This takes place 6 months after Katniss shot Coin.
One month after Katniss shot Coin, I was offered a spot as a Commander. I excepted immediately. I had no idea what they wanted me to do or who I was working for. All I knew was that it wasn't the Capitol where the worst had already happened, so I went. The only reason for me to stay would be Katniss, but she hates me so I've lost all reason.
Katniss says she doesn't blame me for Prim's death, but I know she does. I know that the sight of me just brings back painful memories she'd rather not dig up. So I'm going to eliminate at least one source of pain for her, no matter the cost to myself.
It turns out my job is to train new recruits to serve as a police force. They also want me working with Beetee, who was also offered a job, working in weaponry. The hours are long, the job is hard but I don't complain for a single moment. The hard lifestyle suits me.
After the rebellion, District 2 took on its true role as a military base. I split my time between command and training our new peacekeepers, now called NUO, or National Union Officers. For three months we bickered over whether or not to keep the name "peacekeeper". We finally decided that the name was associated with the Capitol and all the horror it stood for. Coleri Jund, another Commander, came up with NUO, and by that time we were so sick of the topic we agreed with the suggestion.
Command is situated in the middle of District 2. It's a clean, white office which seems made of white lines. The uniformity is both comforting and unnerving. I try to spend as little time in it as I possibly can, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Like now.
The leader of NUO, Riemet Amatore, called a meeting so that we can discuss uniforms. A meeting he's failed to show up to. Shocker. I've put my vote in two months ago. Black pants. Black shirt. Black bulletproof vest over the black shirt. Black helmet. Black boots. Black weapons belt. But, as always, one of the Capitol assholes thought it was perfectly necessary to have hours worth of discussion over color, fabric, stitching and a million other useless details. Like usual, I spend the time doing the overload of paperwork that would otherwise continue to accumulate on my desk.
Sunday Nemasani, one of those "Capitol assholes", was just describing the exact shade of blue she wanted for the weapons belt when the door flew open. I whipped my head around to see Hidiris, one of my soldiers who I've affectionately nicknamed 19, burst through the door, red in the face.
"19," I say, my voice controlled. "You better have a good reason as to why you'd intrude on such an," I flash a glance at Sunday, "important meeting." I hear a few suppressed snickers.
"Commander Hawthorne," he says, saluting me. "I was told to get you immediately. Someone's come—"
"Say no more, 19," I say standing up. Anything to get me out of this time waster of a meeting. I follow him out the door, noticing the stiff set of his shoulders. He walks mechanically, his buzz cut head remaining comically straight. I smile, amused at how nervous I make my soldiers. He waits for me by the door, then falls into step beside me.
"So what's this about?" I ask him. He swallows, his adam's apple bobbing in his throat with the movement.
"I—I'm not really sure."
"Must be pretty important," I note. He says nothing, marching rigidly forward. I follow his lead through the maze of hallways and to General Amatore's office. Maybe he didn't just skip out on the meeting. I knock twice on his door.
"Come in," says the booming voice of authority. I walk in and immediately assume perfect posture as I salute him. "At ease, Commander." I let my hand fall, relaxing my stance only slightly. "Something has come up. Something pertaining to you, personally." My mind goes immediately to Katniss. I feel every muscle in my body tense as I file through all the things that could have possibly happened to her.
General Amatore stands and gestures for me to follow him. I turn briefly to 19.
"You're dismissed," I say. He salute's me and hurries away. I follow the General down a series of halls that are unfamiliar to me. He opens a door numbered 213 and walks through it. I follow him inside. It's a small bedroom complete with a dresser, lamp, barred window, and a bed. And on that bed sits Madge Undersee. My heart drops through my stomach.
"Madge," I say incredulously.
"Gale!" she says jumping up. The excitement playing in her eyes confuses me.
"You're supposed to be dead!" I say.
"You too." Her bright blue eyes scan me.
"But…how? They found your body."
"They said they tortured you to death."
"I see you two have a lot to discuss," General Amatore says. I inhale deeply, holding the breath in my chest then slowly letting it out. The turmoil in my mind quiets slightly. "I would like to remind you both that Madge is a prisoner here and that you, Commander, should treat her as one. And it would be good for Madge to remember her place as well." My eyebrows shoot up.
"Prisoner?" I ask.
"She was found sheltered in an enemy safe house. She's in custody for counts of conspiracy against New Panem and treason." Madge sighs heavily and sinks back into the bed. My eyes flash to the bars on the window. I clear my throat.
"I'll have guards posted outside at all hours of the day. You can bring any news to me personally, understood?"
"Understood, sir," I repeat. Madge makes a sound from her bed which sounds suspiciously like a snicker. I salute General Amatore as he leaves. I turn immediately to Madge.
"Prisoner?" I say again.
"Prisoner," she says quietly.
"Prisoner," I repeat, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the thought of sweet, quiet Madge as a prisoner of the law.
"We've been over this." I cock my head to the side.
"You've changed," I say accusingly.
"You too. The old Gale would never have succumbed to authority like you have."
"And the old Madge was quiet and sweet and nice, and you're…not." She rotates herself so that she's lying on the bed with her arm lying over her eyes. Her blonde hair spilling around her.
"It's been a hard few months."
"I bet," I say, my voice dripping with sarcasm. She turns so she's lying on her side her blue eyes brimming with tears. Her breath hitches in her throat. I stand there awkwardly, unsure what to do. I've never been comfortable with tears. Suddenly I remember her family, all dead. But if she's alive…
"Madge, what about your family? Are they—" Her voice breaks as she starts to sob. "I'm sorry," I mutter.
"It's—It's not your fault," she sobs. Her voice hitches in her throat. A wave of sympathy cascades through me. I take a few steps forward, wanting to make the tears stop. I tentatively touch her shoulder. Her tear stained eyes look up to meet mine. Her shoulder shakes under my callused hand. I grip her shoulder and pull her up. My other hand cups her soft cheek.
"Madge," I say calmly. "I'm sorry. I forgot about…I'm sorry."
"It's fine," she says. She takes a deep breath. I glance down at my hands on her and quickly snatch them away. I clear my throat. She stares down at her hands, knotted on her lap. The knuckles stand out white.
"I'd better go," I say, feeling uncomfortable. She looks up at me and her face breaks into a gentle grin. "What?" I ask.
"You're blushing," she says, a smile in her sad eyes.
"No, I'm not," I say, straightening up.
"Yes, you are."
"I'm a man. I don't blush." She flashes me a bright smile.
"Right," she says unconvincingly. I grumble under my breath and leave the room. "Wait!" she calls after me. I stop and pivot around. "Can you…never mind."
"Can I what?" I ask. Her face flushes a deep pink. "Now you're blushing," I say, turning half of my mouth up. The pink color turns red. She mumbles something under her breath. "What?"
"See me again," she says, almost inaudibly. I laugh lightly.
"Sure," I say, spinning around and leaving.
"'Bye!" she calls after me. I turn, walking backwards and wave briefly. Once I leave her holding cell I wave at the guards, 21 from my squad and another soldier, and head back to my quarters. I close the door behind he and fall backwards onto my bed with a groan.
And just when I'd thought I had everything under control…
This is a serious experiment, so tell me what you think. I know their all OOC, and I'm sorry about that. I'm trying to make them all post-war, so that the war has seriously changed them. Reviews, as always, are appreciated. =)