She looked down at his sleeping form. He was feverish, sweating, drops glistening on his forehead. Was this right? Surely this must be better than being out in the cold night air where he'd freeze to death - or be discovered. She pulled against the wall of the cave, pulling her hood over her face. In the shadows, with her face obscure, she could think. She could forget about the cameras watching, recording every move she made. She could forget her mother and sister sitting at home watching their tv set. She could forget where she was ... what a horrible mess she was in.
Peeta moaned and cried out. She leaned forward, touching his face, wiping the sweat away. She wiped her now damp fingers on her pants leg, still watching him, still ... wishing.
His eyes flew open. Bright blue eyes, clear and sharp with fever.
"Katniss!" He was delirious. She looked at him, not knowing what to do. "Hush," she said, trying to sooth him. "Go back to sleep, Peeta."
His eyes still watched her - so wide, so worried.
"Katniss!" he said again, urgently, and took her hand. He squeezed it weakly. She squeezed back, gently.
"Hush, Peeta." she said again. She leaned over him, hesitantly and kissed his burning, feverish lips. Isn't this how a girl would comfort her sick boyfriend? she thought. More kisses brings more from Haymitch ...
He watched her, delirium still dancing in his eyes. Slowly, carefully, he lay back, and fell into a fitful slumber.
Tears pooled at the corners of her eyes. She wiped them away, angrily, then sat back again, prying his clammy fingers off of her other hand, and laying his gently back by his side.
In her mind she felt herself detaching, looking at the situation through cold, unfeeling eyes. She licked her lips, cooling them, wiping away the burn that still clung to her lips. Wouldn't it be better if he died? No more pain. She glanced towards his leg, towards the bandage she knew was covering a festering wound that wouldn't heal, no matter what she did. He was dying even now. She could see it, just looking at his face. He was growing paler as the night wore on, despite the fever raging in his veins. She reached out her hand and trailed her thumb down his jaw. One arrow. That's all it would take. One arrow, and he'd feel no more pain. As if in response to her thoughts, he moaned again. "Katniss," he whispered in his sleep, urgently. She fingered the arrow near her leg, then looked back to him. She leaned over him and kissed him, one last time.
She heard a thud and the sound of paper crackling in the wind. A gleam of silver. They were saved.
Bile filled her mouth, bile tasting of regret and relief. What had she almost done? Carefully, frantically she opened the package and jammed the needle into his arm.