Disclaimer: I don't own The Hunger Games.

A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry it's taken so long to update … like Katniss and Gale, I've had to learn that sometimes it's not a weakness to be sick. Even though I'm still not well, I finally felt well enough to write the closing for the story. I hope you enjoy!

It's another day and a half before Gale joins me in the forest again. I have to admit that I've missed him with me – his silent but noticeable presence seems to set me on the right beat and we have one of our best hauls ever the day he's back.

Over the weekend things slowly go back to normal. It's not until Monday morning that things take another turn.

I wake up early like always and my first clue that something is wrong comes from above my left eyebrow. There is a steady pulse right behind my eye. If it weren't for Gale waiting for me I might've laid back down and tried to sleep it off.

I force myself up and meet Gale in the woods a little while later. We greet each other and begin our usual trek through the dense trees. We don't say anything, much to my relief, even when I miss a shot on a fox.

The minute the arrow leaves my fingers I know it will be a miss. The arrow falls to the ground on the left of the small animal and it scampers into the brush. Gale turns to look at me. His eyebrows are raised and I can see the question in his eyes but all he does is wordlessly retrieve my arrow and we continue.

We finish our morning hunt and finish off in the Hob before going separate ways. By the time we part my headache has gained intensity and I can feel Greasy Sae's morning brew churning in my stomach.

It takes my mother one look at me for her to tell me to go back to bed. I want to protest but I know it will do no good and I'm feeling too horrible to do much anyways. I crawl into bed and fall into a restless sleep. I hear Prim leave for school, at some point my mother comes and gives me some sort of strong tea before tucking me in again.

The next time I come to is when I hear Gale's voice. He's talking with my mother and I've barely had time to sit up before he's knocking on the door.

"Come in."

He opens the door and comes and sits on the bed.

"Hey Catnip."

"Hey Gale."

The pressure in my head has become too much and I lie down again. Gale reaches over and tucks a piece of stray hair behind my ear.

"I knew something was wrong when you missed that fox this morning." His voice is gentle and filled with concern. I shrug.

"I'm glad your mother made you stay home. Although, according to her, you didn't even put up a fight this morning. Maybe that's the better clue as to how you're feeling."

"I'll be okay."

"I'm sorry about this."

"You have nothing to be sorry for."

"Sure I do. It's my fault you're sick."

"I'll be okay." I repeat. "I'm just glad you're better. It was hard watching you when you were so sick."

I see Gale's eyes shift uncomfortably before they meet mine again.

"I know the feeling."

"I hate being like this."

"I know but do you remember what you told me?"

"What part?"

At least that coaxes a smile to play on his serious lips.

"About having the strength to admit you need some rest. That it's not a weakness."

I nod.

"But you were right."

"About what?"

"That it's easier to say it when it's not you."

Gale actually laughs out loud at this, a sound I don't hear often. It makes me smile and it makes me feel infinitely better than whatever my mother gave me.

"You should check the traps." I say when we quiet down. Gale nods.

"I'll come back with trades, okay?"

I nod.

"You'd better not pull a me. I want you to be in one piece later on. No midnight runs to get your mother. Got it?"

"I promise."


Gale gets up and walks to the door.

"Sweet dreams, Catnip."

Thanks for reading There's Strength in Surrender! Any reviews are much appreciated =)