Disclaimer: I don't own The Hunger Games.
Summary: She haunts his dreams, a sickly ghost of her former self with tangled brown hair and dead, troubled eyes. PeetaKatniss, set after THG, oneshot
Uh, yeah. I'm not sure what this is, I just wanted to write a PeetaKatniss so bad and this is what happened. Anyway, I hope that y'all enjoy this little fic of mine. It was…very interesting to write. I would love to hear your opinions and everything on it! Thanks so much for reading!
Don't Look Now
Dreams never frightened him before.
They are just dreams, Peeta knows, and he finds himself far too rational to believe that any harm can come from just having a bad dream. He knows that they aren't real - they can't be real - and that helps him through the night.
That was before his Games.
All his dreams are of losing her now.
Sure, he could dream of the muttations, of losing everyone, of losing all the people he's ever known about, but none of that comes to him.
All of his nightmares involve her slipping through his fingers like water, like the very opposite of a Girl On Fire.
Some dreams, she's running. She always was the best at going unnoticed, after all. She's running, back in the Games, and he's trying to keep up, his heavy steps completely out of place in comparison to her smooth tread. He looks up just in time to see the spear pierce through her body.
Other dreams, she actually eats the berries and allows him to live - which is silly, because she wouldn't do anything like that, he now realizes, since all the romance was a lie to her to begin with. Nonetheless, in the dream he holds her as she convulses, his name the last thing on her berry-stained lips.
And yet others, the worst ones he finds, are the ones where he's just searching. Wandering about a barren landscape, calling out her name, tripping over creeping vines and searching roots, the fog as thick as the molasses coating on his favorite cookie.
She haunts his dreams as well. Most times, she looks sickly. Pale and gaunt, worse than she had been when he'd thrown her the bread. Bones stick out in places and her skin has a waxy yellow tint to it. Her eyes are dead and lifeless, her hair tangled in a mangled heap around her face, leaves and twigs sticking out of it at odd angles. She looks like a forest nymph in a way, but he can't even bring himself to think her beautiful when she looks like she'd love nothing more than to drive him into the grave with her.
But, oh he loves her.
He's silly, he knows. Most guys his age wouldn't think too much on one woman. They go through women like paper dolls, ripping off the arms and throwing them to the side as soon as a prettier model comes by. Peeta has never been that way, he knows. He knows he's different, more so than anyone else. Gale maybe understands, but then again, they have her in common.
And then there are the dreams.
He can't really differentiate between the two anymore.
Peeta recalls one particularly nice dream. She was over at the bakery and he was showing her how to cut the slices of bread into neat little shapes. Before he knew it she had taken the knife and slit her own throat. It had gone from a nice dream to horrifying in a matter of second, and Peeta felt that he was the one to blame. He's always the one to blame, it seems.
The dreamlike girl of the woods has hair the color of tree bark and eyes the color of a stormy sky. This is the one that he loves to remember. He loves to dream about her like this - healthy, beaming, glowing, in her own way. She smiles at him and laughs at his jokes. He's never heard her laugh, but he imagines that's how it would sound. Light and free, floating around his ears like a dove.
He likes to dream of holding her in his arms, of kissing the crown of her hair. He dreams of their kisses in-Game for the longest time, even though the very image of them brings back all the horrible feelings that he would just love to suppress.
His dreams now involve him holding her, except now her blood soaks through his shirt and her laugh turns into a gurgle as blood fills her lungs and pours out her mouth. The sound is so awful that Peeta can sometimes not even bring himself to get out of bed for minutes after waking, so pressed down with fear he is.
He wants things to go back to the way they were, so that he can dream of her unfettered with the frightening images that he constantly sees. Even if it meant him not knowing her, he would rather have the happy imagery than the constant nightmares.
He'd miss the things he does know about her now. How kind she is, behind all of that. Just how much she likes that lamb stew. How much she appreciates every little thing, even though she doesn't emote much.
So he's at an impasse with that.
He thinks of her fondly when he can, before sleep captures him, in hopes that those happy thoughts will translate into happy dreams. But the only things that greet him are the nightmares.
No matter what he does, he cannot save her.
In each nightmare, he tries his damnedest to save her. Peeta tries over and over again. Sometimes even throwing himself in front of the path of the weapon, other times, snatching the berries from her hands and eating them himself. But each and every time, she is the one to die, not him. The pain he inflicts on himself becomes her own and she dies in his place.
She dies in his place each and every time.
Peeta can never do anything to stop it.
He is only capable of doing one thing - whispering Katniss, Katniss, Katniss over and over until she dies in his arms.
Over and over and over.