Title: Something Beautiful
Summary: *Mockingjay Spoilers*"Move along, I believe there's something beautiful to see. Move along, I believe there's something beautiful waiting for you and me. " Beauty helps them heal. Slowly. Steadily.
Author's Notes: Inspired by the song "Something Beautiful" by Great Big Sea, and part of the summary quotes the choru, to try to avoid spoilers. Feel free to look the song up; it really is beautiful, and oddly fitting. This is intended to be a series of short (likely under 500 words) one shots about the process of healing Peeta and Katniss undergo during/after the final book, because my happy writing skills are… rusty. Let's go with that, since it's more polite.
I've been avoiding reading post-Mockingjay stories while working on this piece, so if any of these one shots look strikingly familiar to another story, give me a shout so I can check it out (and feel a little guilty that somebody can type faster than I can. *laughs*)
My original intention was to write ten of these, posted every other day. I have 8 or so "planned" out, so I'm not sure how it will play out completely. If there are any ideas you'd like to see, let me know.
Disclaimer: The Hunger Games and all associated characters belong to Suzanne Collins. I'm just playing with them.
The sun had only just begun to rise when Katniss slipped out her front door and across the yards to Peeta's house. She knew he was awake; she had been watching the light in his kitchen window for over an hour. He had been quiet since the incident with the primroses; he came and went while she was out hunting, to drop off food. Like he didn't trust her to feed herself. And the galling part was that he was probably right. Katniss had been too scared to push him for anything else.
The doorknob of his side door was cool beneath her hands, and Katniss hesitated before turning it. It was unlocked, and the door swung open without a sound. She stepped inside and headed towards the kitchen at the end of the long hall. She crept silently, afraid to break the eerie stillness to the air.
When she came to the doorway, Katniss paused. His back was to her, and he seemed fixated on something on the table. She watched him for several moments, soaking in the scene. He moved through the kitchen with confidence. The rising sun had reached his window, filling the room with a warm orange light. His favourite colour. Peeta seemed to be decorating something, probably a cake- he paused from time to time to refill a piping bag with icing. It was… normal. For the first time in two years she could see Peeta without the spectre of the Games hanging over them.
For the first time in two years, they weren't in the Games.
She must have made some sound, because he turned and gave her a lazy smile. No surprise at her arrival. No fear. She never thought that would be something she'd need to be thankful for.
"You're up early," he observed.
"I saw your light…"
A barely perceptible shrug. "Couldn't sleep."
"Me either," she replied.
He moved away from the table slightly, and Katniss stepped closer to examine his work.
She gasped when she saw them. He had clearly been at work for hours- each cookie has been exquisitely decorated with a dandelion. Some are the unfurled stem and flower, like the earliest spring shoots. Some are the bright yellow of the summer, each petal distinct. Some are the autumn's seeded heads, blowing away in an imaginary wind. Each one was unique, so carefully crafted that she would have believed them to be real were it not for the bowl of icing beside him.
The cookies told her one thing, clear as day. The Boy with the Bread, broken but still him, wasn't going to be the first to let go. And she knew then that she couldn't do it either.
There was a smear of icing on his cheek. Katniss reached up to brush it off, and then smiled.
"Will you come over today?"