A/N: I wrote this for fun. The prompt was dirty minded. Really, it's just a silly, trashy story with some stupid humor and a (possibly) exaggerated take on the fun of being dirty minded. A/U. Again this is towards the end of the rated T spectrum, almost an M.
Hell's teeth is courtesy of the amazing Medea Smyke.
(Special thanks to CR for putting up with me.)
Obviously, Suzanne Collins owns Gale, Katniss and Johanna's pants.
And reviews are always appreciated.
This wasn't how he wanted to get Katniss's pants.
No warm body in sight. That would be his luck, Gale thinks to himself as he walks down the grey hallways of District 13 clutching a predictably grey pair of military training pants.
He isn't sure if he should hold them at arm's length like he used to for one of Posy's rancid diapers, clutch them to his chest like a blackberry scented memento of the brilliant girl he's hopelessly smitten with or just carry them like standard-issue, detergent scented laundry.
That last option would probably get fewer eyebrows raised in his direction, but that's not what he decides. At a distance he holds the discarded clothing. No use getting too attached. Or reminiscing over missed opportunities: in the woods, on the hovercraft, even in the far stall of the District 13 shower.
Yes, there are definitely other ways he'd prefer to pants Katniss. Ideally, he'd tug them down in a fit of passion. It could be behind some bushes in the woods. Instead of turning to him and commenting on migratory geese and the buzz of honeybees, she'd be more inclined to talk about the birds and the bees and realize that their partnership could be more than hunting and gathering. "It's always been you," she'd say, overcome with desire. "I don't know why I didn't see it until now." She'd beg him; moan his name.
But since Sweet Cakes came along that wasn't happening. The pants were staying on in the figurative sense. Literally, she was apparently stripping them off during training.
Maybe the prep team thought the propos needed more sex appeal, or that Katniss would look more daring without pants? They never asked him to strip. And Crazy Bracelets Odair walks around without pants most of the time anyway. The ladies say he oozes sex appeal. Gale wouldn't actually know because he's a dude.
He can't really picture her walking all the way back to her apartment bottomless. He could, of course, but that's not like the Catnip he knew. She's so changed, he's not sure he knows her anymore. Not that he knew what she looked like without pants on anyway. She's certainly never forgotten them for a hunting trip, which is disappointing. But he's never suggested pants-optional hunting, which is also disappointing.
He raps on the apartment door, making sure to wipe all traces of those daydreams off of his perfectly chiseled camera-ready face.
A four-inch sliver of olive skin greets him. It's not nearly enough skin. "Gale?" Katniss doesn't sound thrilled to see him there. She sounds annoyed, like the Floury One had called her a muttation again. It doesn't seem like the way to win back the professed love of your life, but maybe Katniss likes to be called dirty names behind closed doors. It's on his To Do list to find out. Not that any man actually keeps a To Do list.
"You ummmm," he tries to get out 'left your pants, can I come in,' but instead says, "Can I come in your pants?"
The door slams loudly in his face and Gale pinches the bridge of his nose. That did not go as planned. Could it have been worse? Only if he actually had thrown a rancid diaper on her. Thank God Posy's out of that stage.
Gale knocks again.
"Gale Hawthorne, if you want to make inappropriate comments, I will string you up by one of your snares for the bears to get you," Katniss yells from the other side of the door.
Unfortunately, what Gale hears is "Gale Hawthorne, make your inappropriate comments. I will string you up and get my way with you."
Gale tries to think of crying babies and regain his composure.
"You left these at training," he grumbles to the grey door. "You really shouldn't leave your clothes laying around," he says more quietly. "What you and Bread Boy do during his 'therapy' sessions is none of my business," he mutters, wondering if in some way, he wants it to be his business. Or pleasure.
The door snaps open and Katniss scowls at him in the way that he so vividly remembers, her forehead rumpling and eyebrows arching. She looks like her mother when she does this, but because Gale values his eyeballs, appendages and other … err … useful attachments, he bites his lower lip to keep quiet as she lets him in.
Katniss yanks at the pants in such a fierce way, he can't help but hope there are other ways she channels that ferocious energy…. in seizing pants.
"These aren't my pants," she hisses with disdain in her eyes.
Hell's teeth, Gale thinks, trying not to come undone any more than seems appropriate. "The tag clearly says KE. Who else has those initials on our squad?" Gale points out the small white tag labeled in slanting black letters.
She inspects the tag, looking at Gale like he should be in that ward with Hands-to-Yourself Mellark and Cries-Too-Often Odair. He honestly thought they were hers. If they were anyone else's he would have left them there for the drill sergeant find and punish the owner with up-downs for 10 straight minutes. He'd like to see Katniss sweat, but that's not the kind of sweat he had in mind.
It's only then that he notices she's still in her training pants—mud covered knees and all. He tries not to think of activities that involves girls on their knees…. other than low crawls in a strictly training sense, of course.
"They're mine." Her eyes roll back, but not in the way Gale would like them to.
"But I'm not the one who left them lying around."
The phrase 'lying around' distracts Gale. After a long day of training, he'd like to lie around, especially with this feisty dark haired girl who obviously needs to blow off some steam.
"Johanna!" Katniss screeches.
A slim creature looks over from the tiny couch in the living area.
"Did you borrow my pants this morning?"
"Sure, she lets the roommate in her pants," Gale mutters under his breath.
"I dunno," she says blankly. "I wore pants. Didn't you ask me to do that?" Johanna looks up again. "Oh hello, gorgeous." She looks at him like he's freshly delivered vial of morphling ready to ravish her for the night.
She saunters over from the couch. When Gale scans down, he's stunned to see that the roommate is indeed missing a particular item of clothing. And from the waist down all she has on is a stringy contraption that looks more slingshot than undergarment.
Katniss glares at her roommate. "Do you ever wear pants?"
Johanna simpers. "As little as possible." There's mischief in her eyes and Gale wishes he saw that kind of mischief in Katniss's eyes more often. Okay, ever.
Johanna moves closer to Gale. "They get in the way," she mouths in his ear while trailing a finger down his chest. Gale's knees turn to jelly for a few seconds. But he's not weak, far from it. Quite the opposite, in fact. "What about you?" she purrs in his ear. He detects a hint of tongue.
When he doesn't say anything, she grabs the waistband of his pants. "Let me know if you need some help." Her fingers press the flesh of his stomach. Gale tries to stand up a little straighter. If that means her hands move a little further south, oh well.
"Katniss?" he strains, not quite knowing how to handle his longtime best friend's roommate. It's not so much an invitation for a third as a plea for intervention.
Is the roommate always this friendly? She's a victor. Maybe she's about to kill him and eat him. There hasn't been much meat in the District lately. Could be a mineral deficiency. No, his media-friendly mug is too important to the rebellion for Plutarch to ever allow that to happen.
He silently pleads to the cross girl. She stands with arms folded defiantly over her chest. Her chest. His eyes linger there for a few seconds. He's always liked that area.
He wonders if she's going to do something.
"Should I leave you two alone?" He remembers to look up at her face when she says this. She appears both uncomfortable and annoyed at the same time. "I could go visit my mother."
"Oh, I think you should stay," Johanna says in a tone that makes the hair on the back of Gale's muscular neck stand up.
Johanna pins him to the wall. "You're going to be a good boy. Aren't you?"
When you're between a terrifying temptress and a wall, what choice do you have? Gale closes his eyes. Hopefully he'll figure out what to do when he reopens them.
Johanna latches onto his mouth. This is no "nice to meet you" kiss on the cheek. It's a full on, bruise-causing, take-no-prisoners assault. Gale plays along, if for no other reason than he's scared stiff—stiff being the operative word—to turn her down and upset her. Johanna scares the pants off him—but that seems to be what she's going for, given the pull on his waistband.
He wonders whether this is District Seven's customary greeting or some kind of weird victor's ritual. Or maybe this girl's just thankful for the rescue from the Capitol. Yes, that's it. She's grateful.
"I don't think I've had a coal miner before," she sighs, her breath teasing his neck. For Gale it sounds a little too much like she's going to serve him up on a platter for a post workout snack.
"Rugged, I like that." She strokes the stubble his chin. "Kind of reminds me of the boys back home."
Gale wonders just how starved for manly attention this girl is. The shortage of virile men his age in the district has clearly affected her.
Johanna gives Gale an impish smile. And then as suddenly as she started, she stops and pulls away.
Gale wonders if he did something wrong. He wonders if it's his breath. The garlic stew they're serving around here does nothing for his game—and he's not referring to the four-legged variety.
"Katniss," Johanna calls.
"I'm leaving, I'm leaving," Katniss huffs, fingers strategically laced over her eyes. "I'll be across the hall."
For someone known across the country for practically being joined at the lip to a cake decorating fool, Gale forgot what a prude Katniss can be. That really needs to be remedied as soon as possible.
"Stay," Johanna demands.
"Ummmm." Katniss tenses and squeezes the door handle.
"But your cousin came all the way to see you," Jo smirks. "That would be rude."
Gale sees indecision in Katniss's face as she wavers, neither bursting out the door nor making a movement in the other direction. Maybe Johanna scares the pants off her too? He can only hope.
Johanna thrusts Gale over toward Katniss. Gale is now regrettably sandwiched between the girl whose quivers haunt his daydreams and the roommate he can still taste on his slightly chapped lips.
"Roommates share," Johanna baits him.
He's not sure what's supposed to happen next, but it seems like a fly by the seat of your pants kind of moment to him.
"Trust me. This will take your mind off Bread Boy," Johanna tells Katniss as she strokes Gale's chest.
Bread Boy, who? Gale thinks. This does work.
Katniss glowers. If Johanna was a guy, Gale thinks Johanna might have gotten the dreaded knee to the boys.
"You need to learn how to relax, have some fun," Johanna continues. "This will help." She smacks Gale on the ass.
He jumps, not because it hurts, but because getting goosed took him completely by surprise. But Katniss lets out a nervous laugh at the sight. Her hand, though, grips tight around the knob.
Johanna's smile would make the devil wary. She strokes a stray piece of Katniss's hair down her jaw line. Katniss turns a shade of red Gale's never seen before. He likes it.
Johanna takes that moment to strike, crushing into Katniss and kissing her like Gale's wanted to since that day they bumped heads when they both tried to cut the same rabbit down from the snare line. It should be him, of course, but something in him can't bring himself to break them up. After all, Katniss didn't intervene when Johanna jumped him. And frankly it's hottest thing he's seen since leaving his trusty slag heap back in District 12. Obviously he's not including Forgot-My-Pants Odair.
When Johanna finally breaks suction, Katniss looks as confused as Gale has ever seen her. To Gale's disappointment, this doesn't seem to be part of their nightly routine.
But the scowl is gone. For the briefest moment.
And then so is the girl.
Katniss scampers across the hall and Gale is alone in the room with a girl he's barely exchanged hellos with—much less spit with—before today.
She crooks an eyebrow in a way that tells him Katniss's hasty exit may not have been entirely unexpected. She turns up the corner of her mouth, revealing a small dimple that makes her look like she's about to let out a wicked laugh.
"Where were we?" Jo asks like they have a standing Tuesday appointment. Or kneeling. Lying down even.
She hooks her fingers around his belt looks and tugs him closer and closer until she's practically grinding against him.
The look in her eyes is hungry. She's not asking. She's taking.
Gale swallows as he tries to size this one up. He could call her bluff. But it might be more fun not to.
She doesn't break her smoldering gaze while she bolts the door behind her. The metal thuds and it's obvious she wants to lock more than doors.
She's got Gale cornered, confined to her space.
Rather than let her have the upper hand, Gale reaches around to the small of her back, grabbing her closer still. Her shoulders connect with his chest, her knees press against his legs. He even thinks he can feel the jut of her ribcage on his stomach, the curve of her chest on his. Gale's surprised to find that he towers over her. She carries herself with a brazen swagger that makes a foot taller than she actually is. But nonetheless here she is, standing her ground, moving his hands lower, away from the relative safety of her back.
Gale has the distinct impression he's being used. But he doesn't think about that. He's learned not to think, just to act and he kisses her harder now. There's something urgent in her actions, a need to be closer to him.
Really, it just shows that she has good taste. He's been told by many a skirt that he's good-looking. It's not his fault a certain oblivious huntress doesn't recognize his animal magnetism. Unlike her other friends he's not confined to a wheelchair, doesn't cry at the mention of sea shells and doesn't have guards on hand every time he wants to frost up something pink and flowery. If Johanna is going to use somebody, it might as will be the tall, dark and handsome face of the resistance.
He's grateful too. How did she know exactly what he needed to relax after a bad day? Take his mind off the girl, the war, everything else.
Savagely, she tears off his shirt. He returns in kind, tugging at the hem of her uniform top. His hand brushes her stomach. He's always pleasantly surprised with how soft the skin on girls' stomachs are. He pulls. She pushes him. Slams him right onto the couch.
He's been waiting for a take-charge girl like her. She knows what she wants and she's not afraid to wear the pants … or not.
Jo straddles him, one thigh on each side of his hips. Gale gulps.
With girls in District 12, he knew what to expect. Town girls. Seam girls. They were all the same in their giggles, willingness. None of them were axe murderers more likely to bury a blunt metal object in his chest than plant a kiss on his jaw.
"Gale!" Katniss snaps loudly an inch in front of his nose. "Were you listening to a word I said?"
Gale opens his eyes, squints a few times trying to figure out what's going on. He's still standing by the door, not being manhandled on the couch. Katniss is stewing a few feet away. Johanna is pressed against him so tightly he thinks she might be trying to smother the wrinkles out of his clothes with her body heat.
"Johanna, off," Katniss commands like she might tell Buttercup to stop kneading the armrest of the Everdeens' old threadbare couch.
Jo throws her hands up and takes exactly one step back, daring Katniss to do something.
Gale shakes his head and comes back to reality.
"I was just going," he excuses himself and hastily retreats from the apartment.
Outside in the hall, he slumps against the wall and shudders. What just happened? She isn't Katniss, but another wild eyed, dark-haired girl with a history of arenas and a knack for ending up in certain wings of the hospital. And for half a second Gale is confused, ashamed. Then he remember it's dinnertime and starts to head off to the dining hall. Food calls.
"Too bad," Johanna peeks her head out of the door, calling after him. Gale momentarily forgets the lure of creamed beets.
"I do so love company." She throws him a suggestive wink. And while there's an unmistakable mischief in those brown eyes, there's also a hidden sadness. Loneliness.
"When's the last time anybody kissed you?" Gale wants to ask.
He steps closer to her.
Gale knows that act all too well—all about that anger.
He cups her elbow and looks at her. It's not his meet-me-at-the-slag-heap smile. It's one he gives to Katniss when it's just the two of them and the woods. It's the same smile he gives Posy when she presents him with a new crayon drawing of their family.
Something in Johanna seems to crumble. She's almost soft in that moment, a thin mass of bones. A girl nonetheless. Like all of the girls he used to distract himself from Katniss. But also unlike any girl he's ever met.
He wants to kiss the bruises fading down her arm and tell her he can help. But he doesn't know if he can.
Johanna rises up on her tiptoes, posture back in an instant. She pokes him on the nose. "I really thought we could have some fun," she tells him before slipping back inside.
Gale grins back at her. "I can only imagine."