Author: aimmyarrowshigh
Illustrator: everybodysbadintentions
Fandom: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Story Title: "The Tiny Peeta Diaries; Or, Five Times Peeta Made People Say 'Dammit'!"
Summary: A series of events around District Twelve as seen through the eyes of five-year-old Peeta Mellark, the earnest and inquisitive son of the baker.
Notes: A side-shot for The Five Places Cinna Came From: District Twelve (The Girl with the Boy), but you do not NECESSARILY need to have read that to understand this. Although there is more bbPeeta being bb in it.
Character/Relationships: Peeta, some mentions of Cinna/OC and Mr. Mellark/Mrs. Everdeen.
Rating: PG (for the word "dammit," obviously.)
Warnings: None, really. I guess see the "rating," lol.
Wordcount: 1,500/7,000
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All characters, settings, and proprietary language are owned by the author of the work from which this is derived. This is Part 1/5; we're AIMING to get one Part posted every night for the next five days.

! THIS IS ACTUALLY NOT THE COMPLETE VERSION OF THE TINY PEETA DIARIES! READ THE FULL, ILLUSTRATED VERSION AT http{colon} {slash (slash)} aimmyarrowshigh [dot] livejournal [dot] com {slash} 72230 [dot] html !

The Tiny Peeta Diaries; Or, Five Times Peeta Made People Say 'Dammit'!

001. Nighttime
Peeta Mellark, freshly five years old, lay wide-awake in bed, shaking his knees and too excited to sleep. He had stayed awake to hear the big clock at the Justice Building chime midnight – it was his birthday today! – but nowhe was awake because of the looming knowledge of the treats waiting downstairs.

It was jam day at the Mellark Bakery, and Peeta wanted nothing more than rhubarb on rye.

Or maybe – maybe strawberry on wheat.

No! Maybe what he really wanted was grooseberry on three-grain. Grooseberry andstrawberry!

Peeta flopped over onto his belly and buried his face under his pillow, wishing it were morning. Across the bed, Lavash snored hugely. Peeta flopped over again and looked across the room to Barm's bed. He was sound asleep, too.

Peeta slowly, slowly slipped out of bed, his feet thumping on the creaky wooden floor. He tiptoed across the cramped bedroom and opened the door as quietly as he could. He peeped his head out of the room and looked up the hall to his parents' bedroom. Door shut.

Everyone was asleep.

He left the bedroom door open a crack just in case he needed a quick escape back into bed, and started down the hall. When he got to the heavy door to the bakery staircase, he checked over his shoulder again. Silence.

Except for Lavash's snoring down the hall.

He'd never tried to unlock the big deadbolts before, but he had seen it done a hundred times. He boosted himself up on the floor molding to reach and pulled at the lock until –


He pulled at the heavy door and bump bump bumped down the stairs on his rump so they didn't creak.

And then he was in the Mellark Bakery kitchen, all alone with the big flour bags and long nighttime shadows.

And the prize.

Fresh jam. Dozens of brightly colored jars of liquid sugar gold reflected the light from the Peacekeepers' streetlamps outside. They beckoned Peeta closer with the promises of deliciousness and joy and he couldn't wait anymore!He ran across the kitchen and dragged his little blue stepstool over to the array of jams and jellies in their tricky glass Ball jars. His eyes were wide as serving platters as he surveyed his options. Rhubarb, glowing pink and opaque; orange with bits of zest and bitter skin – he shouldn't touch that one, they could only buy oranges once each year; sweet-sour green grooseberry from the garden outside, where Peeta and Barm sat peeling the berries from their papery skins all afternoon; bright, ruby-red, freckled strawberry.


Peeta grabbed the first jar of strawberry jam and rummaged through the drawers for a butter knife. He fumbled with the jar until it opened with a pop!.

He stuck his eager hand into the jam, pulled out a slippery, quivering mess of strawberry pieces, and stuffed it in his mouth. Before he'd even begun to chew, he opened a jar of grooseberry and mashed some shimmering green jelly into his mouth, too.

Bread.He needed bread.

Peeta clambered down from his stepstool and looked across the kitchen towards the breadbox. He knew his way around the kitchen and he knew it was just his own bakery, but it looked different in the dark and everything seemed so far away. He trailed his hand along the side of the counter as he made his way across the busy room, and pulled himself up on the countertop so he could riffle through the treasurebox of stale bread.

Once he'd squeezed every loaf and decided that the challah braid seemed the softest, he looked down at the floor from his perch.

That was a mistake.

He'd never realized the counters were so high when he didn't have Barm around to lift him back down safely. Peeta sucked some jam off his arm pensively as he considered the risk of breaking his head.

Just then, there was a noise – a scraping at the front door.




Peeta skittered his legs up onto the counter – since he clearly would never be able to get down ever again, at least until Barm woke up – and he tumbled into the breadbox to hide as the front door to the bakery shushed open.

A broad form towered in the doorway, framed by the streetlight. Peeta peeked out from between his jammy fingers and tucked himself into a little ball between the week-old pumpernickel and a Pullman loaf so old and stale that Peeta thought maybe he could use it as a shield if he needed. The front door closed with an ominous thunk.

The robberpeacekeepermutt looked around the kitchen and Peeta buried his face in his knees. There was a spot on jam on his pants-leg and he chewed at it nervously as the beast lumbered across the kitchen in the dark, big hamhock-hands reaching blindly for the counter to feel his way towards the little boy hiding in the breadbox…

The lights flickered on in the kitchen and Peeta blinked, covering his eyes so his father wouldn't see him.

Or the mess he'd made.

Farll seemed preoccupied at the moment, smiling quietly down at a few tiny yellow flower blossoms, open wide even though it was night. He set the flowers down on the counter absently and then frowned as his hand came away covered in green jelly.

"Dammit," muttered Farll Mellark, "Why is this sticky? What's – " There was a pause as he inspected the smudge on his palm. "Jam?" He sighed. "Peeta, where are you?"

Peeta stayed hidden behind his hands. "I'm stuck."

Farll crouched down and looked under the table. "Where are you?"

Peeta sighed and rustled around so he could peek out at his dad. "I'm in the breadbox."

Farll covered his mouth with his hands so his boom of laughter wouldn't roll up the stairs and down to hall to wake his wife. "How did you get in there?"

"I thought you were a monster coming," Peeta explained sheepishly. "I hid."

"You thought I was a monster?" Farll's eyes were crinkled at the corners as he plucked Peeta out of the breadbox and set him down in a clean spot on the countertop. "Why aren't you sleeping, Peeta?"

"It's my birthday," Peeta explained, looking at his toes and wondering just how he'd gotten jam on his foot. He pulled it up to his face and examined it. "And jam day."

Farll ruffled Peeta's sticky blond curls. "Happy birthday, bub."

He retrieved Peeta's challah from where it had fallen and cut two thick slices, and slathered them both with a swirl of strawberry jam and grooseberry jelly. He handed one to Peeta and Peeta shoved a remarkable amount of it into one bite.

He grinned messily up at his father and watched him close the jamjars.

"Why 'oo 'oo 'have coe duss on're hannz?" he asked curiously around the jam.

"What?" Farll asked, his cheeks flushing below his thick blond beard as he put the opened jars into the chillbox.

Peeta swallowed laboriously. "Why do you have coal dust on your hands?"

Farll looked at the rings of black dust embedded under his fingernails and said dammitagain softly under his breath. "I went for a walk," he explained. "I guess I ended up in the Seam."

"You goed to the Seam?" Peeta asked curiously, taking another big bite of bread. "At night?"

"Went," corrected Farll, taking a seat on the counter beside his son. "I wentto the Seam."

"Why?" Peeta licked some stray jam from his foot.

"Oh, Peeta, that's gross," Farll admonished. "Here." He handed Peeta another half a slice of bread and jelly. "And that's all, you're going to get sick if you eat more."

"Thanks," Peeta said, muffled by toast. "Why did you went to the Seam?"

Farll looked out the window as though the answer lay outside the Bakery walls. "I had a delivery to make."

"Why didn't Lavash make it in the morning? And what are your flowers for?"

Farll's eyes shone. "Primrose." He cleared his throat. "They're primroses. I thought maybe you and Barm could try to make some from fondant tomorrow before they close for the afternoon." Farll Mellark looked down at his wide-eyed, jam-covered son. He patted Peeta's blond head again and pulled a chunk of strawberry free from his cowlick. "I went tonight because it's your birthday in the morning. And I wanted to do it myself now so that tomorrow, we could all spend the day together. As a family."

Peeta smiled. "That's nice." He yawned hugely.

Farll smiled back and looked out at the wreck that had been his kitchen only a few hours before. "Peeta," he sighed. "You are a mess-making machine."

There was no answer. Farll looked down at where Peeta had slumped over, the challah loaf as his pillow, sound asleep in a sugar coma. He sighed, and set to work cleaning the coal dust from beneath his fingernails and the jam from the counters to hide the night's transgressions from his wife come morning.