Since this is our first fic in this section: fernazab is a joint account. We are not suffering from split-personality disorder. I'm Zab. And I'm Fern.

Fern gets all the credit for this fic. A few lines are mine, but that's it. Well, the truth is you pick up the slack and make it better.

Disclaimer: As you have probably already figured out, we do not own "The Hunger Games" series.

Enjoy!


Daddy has a small room where he paints. It is always locked when Daddy isn't in it. But sometimes, while Daddy is painting, the little boy and his older sister are allowed to come and go as they please. Other times Daddy will lock the door as he paints. The little boy thought his father looked angry when he did this.

Even when the little boy and girl were allowed in the room, they were never allowed to look under the sheet in the corner. Daddy didn't want anyone to see those paintings. That made no sense to the little boy. Daddy made such nice paintings. Why would he want to hide any of them? They were probably all just as nice as the one with the little blonde girl and the goat. That one made Mommy sad though. The little boy wished it didn't.

Today, Daddy left the door unlocked. The little boy snuck into the painting room. He would find out what was on those paintings in that corner. The boy pulled the sheet off.

What he saw confused him. His eyes had been met with a painting of a pair of bound hands holding something metallic. The little boy didn't know what was more baffling: why Daddy hid it, or why Daddy had bothered to paint it. The boy moved the painting aside.

Now he was facing a pack of vicious looking dogs. They looked scary, but not scary enough to hide. He flipped that painting aside as well.

Next, there was a sleeping dark-skinned girl surrounded by flowers. Why did Daddy want to hide this one? She looked peaceful. The boy pushed picture of the little girl aside.

The next sight frightened him. This painting contained two redheads, a man and a woman. The woman's head hung to the side, and her face was slack. The man looked like he was screaming in pain. Hastily, the boy flung the painting away.

This next picture made him stare. Somehow, it reminded him of Mommy. This woman was holding a drawn bow and arrow. She looked angry. Oddly, it looked as though Daddy wasn't sure if he wanted the painting to have taken place inside or outside.

Suddenly, the little boy stiffened as he heard his father's voice calling his name. The child turned around nervously. In the doorway stood Daddy. Hastily and guiltily, the boy tried with his body to hide the uncovered painting. However, Daddy didn't look angry. Daddy called the little boy's name again. The little boy found that his feet were very interesting. He noticed that Daddy was coming toward him. Again, his father said his name very gently. Daddy crouched down and put his hand on his little boy's shoulder.

"Come away," Daddy said tenderly.

The little boy looked at his father and then at the painting. "Who's that? She looks like Mommy."

His father gave him a pained smile. "Later, when you're older," he said. "Now, why don't you go play?"

"Okay," the little boy replied. He hugged his father and sprinted away.

As the boy left the room he could have sworn he heard his father say the words, "Not real."


Peeta began arranging his scattered paintings back into the pile with the rest of his self-therapy. He sighed. One day he'd have to explain why he had painted those gruesome pictures. The children will have a difficultly understanding that painting those horrors helped him cope with the nightmares. Even Katniss, who had suffered many of the same things, had trouble understanding why he did it. He had tried to explain how it somehow released some of his pain. But even with his legendary skill with words, he had failed. Luckily, she still understood that it was a need.

Speaking of Katniss, she was not going to be happy that their son saw some of those pictures. Peeta had forgotten to lock that door. He was going to have to grovel to his wife for forgiveness.


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