This is not a sequel to my Catching Fire secret scene but this takes that story as canon.

Anyway, this is my take on what happens as Peeta and Katniss grow back together-it's pretty much a lemon, y'all. That's all I write. Teen sex. It's embarrassing and sad.

Peeta is good with his hands.

I watch them as they knead dough, sketch the faces of people we have loved and lost, carefully decorate cookies for families as they return to District 12. He takes a gift basket of bread and cookies to every newly returning family. Only after he had several successful trips did I dare to go along, standing awkwardly off to the side, unsure if the returning residents will blame me for the loss of their homes and families. I'm always sure they will but Peeta believes they will be happy to see us. He's been right so far.

His face has a determined expression as he finishes the elaborately decorated cookies. It's the same expression he had when he showed me the locket during the Quarter Quell—an intense determination that led me to realize I wouldn't survive without him, led me to wrap my arms around him and kiss him quiet.

I turn away from him as I remember this, wondering what version of those events he remembers. What if I'm remembering it wrong? Does it even matter anymore?

I settle in the living room, needing some space. It's odd to long for a person who is in the same room but it happens all the time with Peeta lately. I don't intend to fall asleep but since nightmares keep me up half the night it's not that surprising when it happens.

It's Finnick this time. Over and over I fight to save him from the mutts as they hiss my name. I fail. They rip him to shreds. There's blood everywhere. I'm covered in it and pieces of his perfect face and body litter the streets as the dogs leave me and continue on, leaving me alive and running after Peeta and Gale. I wake up screaming and Peeta is there, his blue eyes calling me home.

He's holding my arms, quietly coaxing me to come back from the dark places but seeing him alive is a relief that doesn't quite make up for the horror of Finnick's gruesome death. I find myself sobbing in his arms—how many times will he have to put me back together before I stay that way?—feeling guilty to have survived the mutts again.

Peeta kisses my forehead and holds me close. I shift and he opens his arms, letting me move. He's sitting on the sofa and I slip onto his lap, straddling him so we're face to face. He raises his eyebrows but doesn't say anything as I wrap my arms around him and press myself as tightly to him as I can. What am I doing?

My heart is racing as his arms wrap around me and he buries his face in my hair and neck. I put my head down, pressing my forehead to his neck, suddenly feeling foolish. The last time we were in this position was during the Quarter Quell. But, just I had before I fell asleep, I want what we had just before the Quell. The closeness and warmth of his hips pressing into mine as he kissed me until I couldn't think of anything but the feel of him. I push down, pressing myself against his hips. He makes a sound and looks up, his eyes a mixture of confusion, longing and memory.

"We made love before the Quell. Real or not real?" He looks nervous, like he's sure he's made this one up.

"Real." I hope he's heard me because I'm not sure I said it out loud.

And then he's kissing me and I'm kissing him back and I don't know which one of us is sighing or making noises or whose hands are where. I just know I can't get enough of his mouth on mine or his hands on my skin.

Eventually, Peeta's hands reach up to hold my face and neck and I tense up before I can stop myself. He pulls back from me and stares at my face, looking stricken.

"I'm sorry, I-."

"No," he says, quietly. "I'm sorry. I hurt you and there's nothing I can do to take it back. No matter how many times I apologize I'm the one who set out to hurt you. And I did."

"Peeta…" I don't know what to say. How do I tell him that my fear isn't about him, it's about Snow and the Capitol? Hey, I know you were just a tool of the Capitol! Your torture was my fault. I failed you, which is the only reason you had a chance to fail me.

Instead I say, "Maybe you could replace the bad memories with new, gentler ones?"

I tip my head back, exposing my neck to him. I wait, sure I've lost him, but he entwines his hands in mine and leans forward, bringing his mouth to my neck. He breathes against my skin softly and then kisses my throat. His lips and tongue gently play against my throat, slowly kissing left and right, up and down, all along my neck. I'm whimpering and pressing against him until I can't take anymore and dip my head down. I look into Peeta's eyes and the intensity he brings to all those things he can do with his hands is still there but clouded with heat.

He kisses me again, this time slowly as if he has all the time in the world and intends to take it.

"I want you," I whisper, hearing desperation in my voice. We stumble, like Haymitch on one of his benders, twisting and turning to make our way to my bedroom.

I'm pulling at his clothes in the process of dragging him down onto the bed when he pulls back slightly and smiles at me. He looks handsome with swollen lips and disheveled hair.

"You look so beautiful and wild," he whispers as his hands entwine with mine again. The backs of my knees are against the bed and he eases me down. He leans over me, kissing me again. He's kissing my mouth and chin and then he's back to my neck. I can barely move because his hands are still entwined in mine. I can feel his erection through his pants, pressing against my thigh.

Finally his hands disentangle from mine and he reaches for my shirt, unbuttoning it slowly from the top, his mouth touching each new bit of exposed skin. My fingers go to his hair and I kiss the top of his head. I love you. The thought hits me hard, the emotions fierce. It is the first time I have felt an emotion other than sadness in as long as I can remember.

My shirt finally undone, he places kisses along my waist, at the edge of my pants. He pushes the shirt off my shoulders and his hands run over the soft material of my bra, teasing the covered peaks of my breasts. I gasp and Peeta looks up at my face as if he's surprised I'm still there. He kisses my mouth again as his hands work to unhook my bra. Impatient for his skin on mine I reach around and help him and he smiles against my mouth.

Peeta's mouth takes first one and then the other tight peak, suckling against me as my hips press up into his. I can't take much more and pull at his shirt, yanking it up over his head. I have to feel his skin. It's hot to the touch, muscles firm under his warm flesh.

I pull him up to my mouth and we're kissing again. He's working my pants down as I push his down. I want him to slip inside me as easily as he did that night before the Quarter Quell but it seems Peeta has other ideas. Once our pants are off I slip my legs around him but instead of slipping inside me he slides back down the length of my body, and starts kissing my hips and then my thighs. My insides are melting.

"Please, Peeta," I beg, grasping his shoulder. And then his tongue is trailing along the inside of my thigh and a sound I never knew I could make escapes me. I'm shaking and weak before I know what's happening. His fingers are brushing the tender flesh at the center of my body and his tongue quickly follows. My hips and back arch against his mouth and fingers and tension fills my body for a few moments before it breaks apart. I break apart, my eyes closed, a white light flashes behind my lids and I'm shaking and straining against him until my fingers are entwined in his hair, begging for him to stop because I can't take anymore.

He slowly pulls his mouth away, gently kissing his way down my wet thighs. I'm shaking and flushed and vaguely embarrassed for myself. But I also feel powerful. Like Peeta released something inside me that I hadn't known was there to be released.

Peeta watches my face as he slides back up my body. I'm breathing heavy and he must see the new look in my eyes because he pauses to look at my face before he kisses me and I taste myself on his lips.

I've felt like a hunter, a soldier, a sister, even a warrior but it wasn't until that moment that I felt like a woman, someone essentially feminine. I push him onto his back and straddle him. His erection lies nearly flat against his belly, hard and hot between us. I'm kissing him and his capable hands are touching me everywhere, setting off sparks as they move.

Peeta is a quick study, learning where to touch, how gently or how firm. It doesn't take him long to learn how to manipulate my flesh and leave me quivering from his touch. I want to please him like he pleases me. I reach down and touch him and he exhales, his stomach shakes and I know I'm on the right track. I dip my head down, eager to learn. I run my tongue along his shaft, from base to tip and his hips buck reflexively. I smile and then take the tip into my mouth, sucking gently on it. I don't get very far before he pulls me up.

I look at him shyly, "Did I do it wrong?"

"There's absolutely no way you could do that wrong, but I can't last very long even at the thought of you doing that so I stopped you because I really want to be inside you," he says, somewhat breathlessly.

"Have you thought of me doing that before?" I ask, smiling.

"Honestly? Yes. I think about you and sex with you a lot. Pretty much always have."

I lean in and kiss him again.

"Will you be inside me now?" I ask.

"Yes," he whispers. "Do you want to be on top of me?"

"Not yet," I say, settling onto my back.

He's looking at my face as he settles on top of me. I wrap my legs around his waist and he adjusts himself carefully.

"Do you think it will hurt this time?" I ask as his erection slips into position.

"I really hope not." With that he slides inside of me, a slow and careful motion.

It doesn't hurt like it did the first time. It's not as pleasurable as his mouth had been but it feels good to have him there, so close and big. His hands slide up and down my thighs as he builds a slow but steady rhythm.

"Your hands feel good," I say as my own reach down to touch his bottom.

"Everything about you feels good," he replies, showering compliments and kisses in equal measure. "You look beautiful." Kiss. "You feel so warm and soft and wet." Kiss. "You taste so good, Katniss." Kiss. "I want to make you feel like you did when my mouth was on you before." Kiss.

With each compliment and kiss the thrust of his hips become more demanding and I push my knees farther apart to give him access to every part of me.

He pauses and puts his weight on his elbows, watching me for a few moments as he thrusts into me steadily. It feels good now, better than I would have guessed. Shifting his weight to his left elbow he reaches down between us and finds the tight bundle of nerves at the apex of my legs that he kissed before. His hip thrusts in and out are met with the gentle motion of his thumb between my legs.

I moan loudly, and start to gasp for air.

"Yes," he whispers.

I strain against him, pressing up against both his cock and his hand. He leans down and kisses me but I'm too consumed with pleasure to form a proper kiss. He dips his head down then and kisses my neck as my cries grow louder and his thrusts go deeper. As soon as I convulse under him he removes his hand and thrusts wildly, fucking me with abandon. It causes a second wave and I'm pressing into him, saying an unintelligible string of words—Peeta, yes, fuck, mmmm.

And somehow moments later it ends and we're clinging to each other, sticky and warm but reluctant to let go. It takes just as long to let go as it did to get started but at some point he gets up and to get me some water and we end up kissing and holding each other for a long time.

It's later when we're lying in the dark that the guilty feeling that overcame before creeps back up on me.

"I'm sorry I failed you during the Quell. I can't believe I left you there with Beetee."

"I'm just as guilty of that," he says simply.

"I carried the pearl with me in District 13."

"What do you mean?"

"The pearl you gave me during the Quell. It was on me when the rebels picked me up. And I kept it with me all the time until the day the Capitol fell." And Prim died. "It was in the same pocket I kept the key to your handcuffs."

He looks at me with that quiet intensity again and asks, "You love me. Real or not real?"


He pulls me to him and we hold each other close, like we did so often in the days leading up to the Quarter Quell. And I know that my heart has loved him for much longer than my head has known. And that I'm not sure when it started—during the first Games? Or on the train, on that first night he entered my cabin and held me through the night? Or maybe it was when he gave part of our winnings to the District 11 families? When we made love in the hours before the second Games? Or was it when his heart stopped and I thought I really lost him?

"I love you, Katniss. Always."

It seems I barely remember a time when I haven't needed the boy with the bread. I couldn't survive without him.