A/N: For the challenge on the Starvation forum. Much thanks to Rachel for beta-ing. Title comes from what I believe is a song sung in a Catholic mass (I'm Jewish, lulz). It's Latin and means 'give us peace', I know that much, and one of my dearest friends sings it in the most breathtaking way possible.
For Peeta Mellark, home had been holding her.
Especially after the nightmares, when she called for him, shaking with terror. Somehow, she always managed to smell like the forest—pine needles and sweet, smoky wood chips. He would smooth back her hair over and over again like he had in the arena the first time, and she would lean up against him, sighing.
There had been so few truly tender moments between the two of them before this, and he only wished he could erase all of her ghosts—hell, he would have gone back and made sure they had never happened to begin with. Because each time she had called his name, his heart broke just a little more.
For Peeta Mellark, home had been in her kisses.
How could he ever forget the first one, in that cave where everything had burned? In those kisses he had been unable to fully discern her feelings, but that didn't stop him. Didn't stop him from loving her, from hoping that she loved him, too, that they would make it out of the arena alive—at the very least, she would make it out of the arena alive.
And then there was the beach. He had lost track of time then, everything had slowed until his brain was a blissful blank of only her. Her hair, damaged from the jungle, her hands—she had forgotten herself, and both of them had roamed without control. After all that time, all that waiting, all the lies and back and forth and uncertainty, he knew. Knew that she had fallen back for real, and that in each of those kisses he had a little piece of her that no one else could take from him.
Or so he had thought.
For Peeta Mellark, home is now their marriage bed, as she sighs with pleasure and whispers his name in his ear. Sheets crumple in a post love-making daze; she leans against him and listens to the steady thump of his heartbeat while he traces small circles on her inner thigh.
She never asks for it, and neither does he. He just kisses her again and brings her back to the place they would forever share.
For Peeta Mellark, home is with Katniss Everdeen, and he wouldn't have it any other way.