AN: And now, part deux! Okay, so thank you for R&Ring and I hope this will go beyond your expectations. Hopefully. We see Gale in a different sort of way (several different ways, actually).
En avant, mes lecteurs!
"Well, this puts a bit of a damper in our plans, doesn't it?"
It was hailing. We should've expected this kind of weather in November, but I suppose we overlooked it in the midst of everything else. Everyone was out of the cathedral but they were staying underneath the huge awning, slipping on coats and jackets. But no one was risking the crazy hail. A concussion would be memorable for everyone, except the person with it possibly.
Dri pushed through the crowd and appeared beside Gale and me, "I think you two could've done a much better job preparing your wedding. How are we going to get to the reception hall, doctor?"
I rolled my eyes at her. "Hold your sarcasm, we'll figure out a way. Besides, Gale and I didn't even actually plan to attend the reception ourselves."
"What? Are you kidding me?" she exclaimed.
Gale shook his head. "No. We'd come, do the toast, start the party, and leave."
"And you didn't think anyone would notice that the bride and groom are gone?"
"So you notice we're gone," I said. "Congratulations! You found Waldo. Trophies are over there; please enjoy the food. We don't have tracking devices on us, you know."
Dri shook her head in frustration and went back into the crowd. I leaned against Gale and tried to ignore all the yells and complaints happening behind us. Whether we were going to attend the reception or not, we still needed a way out of there. It was supposed to be hailing all day. I sighed.
"You know what," Gale said. "I have an idea."
"Anything," I replied.
He took off his jacket and placed it over my shoulders. Great, I thought, now you're acting chivalrous. Suddenly, he bent down and picked me up. I yelped in surprise and everyone immediately quieted down and turned their attention to the show we were putting on.
Gale started walking down the steps and my hands clung tightly to his shirt. Heights were not my friend and never had been. I felt the hail hit the coat, but it never once hit me. I wound my arms around his neck and pulled myself closer to him, praying I wouldn't fall.
"You're crazy," I whispered worriedly to him.
"Crazy for you, yes, I'd agree," he replied.
We reached the car and he used one of his arms to open the door. We both got inside the dark vehicle and away from the dangers of the District 2 weather as Gale shut the door and kissed me.
"Day and night, I stay by your bedside, with the dimness of one light. Sweet, sweet dove, small and fragile, deserving of all my love…"
She was adorable. She had dark, raven black hair and sparkling grey eyes. I hadn't left the hospital since she was born. I stayed by her every single night. She looked absolutely peaceful when she was asleep and she was as healthy as she could be. We still hadn't named her yet.
The door to the hospital nursery opened and Gale walked in with a big tray of food from the cafeteria. It was late at night and the only food we'd both had all day was a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. The hospital didn't want to release her so I was going nowhere. Gale set the tray on a small table between our seats and I grabbed a cheese bun and dragged a Styrofoam bowl closer to me.
"Mm, lamb stew," I muttered.
"And," Gale said, holding up a bagel and a knife covered in cheese. "Goat cheese."
I smiled and dipped a plastic spoon into the white bowl. I took a bit of the lamb stew and rice. "We still haven't named her yet, you know."
"What do you want to name her?" Gale asked.
"I don't know. Something normal, I guess."
"We'll come around to it."
We ate for a few more minutes in silence when it suddenly came to me. I set down my spoon and stood up, exclaiming, "I got it! Violet! How about Violet?"
Gale looked down at the small, sleeping body and smiled. "Violet Hawthorne. It sounds quite nice."
I sat down again and smiled widely. "Violet Hawthorne does sound pretty good."
"And what sounds better is Adrianna Hawthorne."
I blushed and gently kicked his foot under the table. "I suppose it does."
"It's been five years. Five years since I opened up my eyes."
"And thank God for that. You'd be a nervous wreck without me."
"I'd be nothing without you."
I slammed my book down on the coffee table and stood up harshly. I wasn't going to sit around any longer. I grabbed coat from the couch and put it on while heading for the door. Gale stopped me just short of the doorknob.
"Just, calm down Addy," he said as he rested his hands on my shoulders. "Take a deep breath."
"I have taken many deep breaths," I replied angrily. "She hasn't even bothered to call, I'm worried out of my mind!"
I stomped into the dining room and threw my coat at one of the chairs as I sat down roughly. I slammed my elbows on the table and buried my face in my hands. Violet was fifteen and we had decided amongst the three of us that we'd let her have time with friends a maximum of two hours after school. It had been six and a half hours since school had ended.
"I'm tired, Gale," I said quietly, "What if she's dead? What if she's drunk? What if she's done something extremely stupid? I keep telling myself she'll call but I'm done! I can't stand sitting here trying to relax when I don't even know where she is!"
I felt his comforting arms behind me immediately. His body was warm against mine but it only relaxed me slightly. I sighed. I heard a knock and looked up to see Talia and Nathan. Talia was thirteen and Nathan was ten. I couldn't imagine having to go through that again with those two.
"Why are you two out of bed, it's late," Gale said, resting a hand on the chair I was sitting in.
Talia shrugged. "I have no bedtime. I'm thirteen."
"Go to bed, Talia. It's a school night."
Talia sighed overdramatically. "Fine."
She waltzed out of the dining room and Nathan followed obediently behind her.
I knew then that I was going to have two problems very different from the problem I was in right now.
Suddenly, the phone rang. I sprang up to get it, but Gale was quicker. He put a finger up to his mouth and answered the phone on speaker.
"Hello?" he said.
"Dad?" Violet's voice was muffled and I could hear yelling and music in the background. "Are you there?"
"Yes, I'm here Violet, what is it? Where are you, we're worried sick."
"I—I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't think it was a big deal," she chocked out. "C—can you pick me up? Please dad."
He sighed. "Where are you?"
"I'm at Lea's," I could tell she was crying by this point. "Please dad. I'm so sorry. Please…"
"We'll be right there, just hang on."
"No, no. Not mom. She'll kill me."
"She won't kill you. We're both here for you. Neither one of us will kill you."
"Okay. Please come."
"We're coming. Bye, sweetheart."
Gale hung up the phone and I immediately grabbed my coat and car keys.
"Come on, my daughter's crying somewhere. I'm not going to waste any time getting there."
He grabbed the keys from my hands. "I'll drive, you'll kill all of District 2."
Thank God Gale drove quickly. I might've killed him if he actually followed driving laws. On the way there, however, I did some thinking. How could I have let this happen? It never happened with me or Gale or anyone really. I felt like a failure. This wasn't right. And I couldn't imagine what sort of trouble she got in if she was crying. Violet never cried.
But then again, thinking back to District 12 and when I was a teenager, I didn't really have the option to do any of the things Violet could. In that moment, I just wanted to find her and hug her and never let her out of my sight again.
Finally, we got to her friend's house. It was trashed and loud music and yelling could be heard from inside the house. There were a few people outside demolishing the place even more. But sitting on the sidewalk with her face hidden in her knees was Violet. Her long dark hair covered her face completely. All I could see were her hands resting on her knees.
I got out of the car as quickly as I could and hugged her. She looked up and hugged me back, burying her face in my coat. She was crying so much. I couldn't be upset with her, not then. I helped her up and she went and hugged Gale also.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"Let's just get you home. I was more worried than upset, anyway," I replied.
"I'll never do it again, you can keep me locked in the house forever."
"Uh, excuse me."
We all looked up to see a boy from the party standing there. I recognized him from the few times I managed to pick Violet up. He was two grades ahead I believed. As soon as Violet saw him, she buried her face deeper into Gale's coat. In that moment, we realized something was wrong.
He held up a small, clear bag filled with a familiar pill. "She left this."
"Morphling," I replied. "Inventive."
He put his arms up. "Druggies aren't really my type."
I lunged at him and grabbed his shirt collar, slamming him against the tree behind him. The anger I had then was so very familiar to the one I had when I was seventeen in the Capitol. It was almost a flashback. I snatched the bag of morphing from his hands and held it up in front of his face.
"Seems about enough to kill someone," I said. "Poisoning a teenage boy wouldn't be the worst thing I've done in my life."
"You're crazy," he spat.
"What else do I need to know?" I yelled. "What else have you tried doing to her?"
He remained silent.
I smiled. "No problem. You can tell it to him."
I dragged him over to Gale and took Violet in the car.
"Stay in here, all right? You'll be fine."
I closed the door to the car and locked it securely. I walked up and stood beside Gale.
"So," Gale started. "You want to tell us the truth now?"
"Oh yeah, sure," he boy started. "She's not a druggie, but she sure is a wildcat."
I slapped him. "I said the truth."
"Fine. You want to know the truth? The little bitch won't even do a favour for—"
This time it was Gale that punched him. He fell to the ground with a loud thud. He was groaning and trying to get up. Gale was about to drag him back up so he could punch him again, but I put a hand on his shoulder.
"Leave it, you don't want to get involved," I said. "You're probably his father's boss anyway."
Gale walked away and entered the car. I went in beside him and we drove home. I would turn my head every minute or so to make sure Violet was all right. Except for the fact that she was still crying, she looked fine. The car was a deathly quiet. Gale had always been the calmer one out of the two of us. I'd never seen him act out like that since the war. He stayed silent all night.
I realized then exactly how much Gale cared about his daughter. He would risk everything for her.
"Should I be scared?" I asked from the living room.
"What?" Gale yelled from the kitchen.
"I said: should I be scared? You've been in there for three hours!"
"Can't I do something special for our twenty-fifth anniversary?"
"Your wife's in here, not in there!"
"I'm almost done!"
I returned to my book and leaned back on the couch. However, I wasn't really paying attention to the book. I was thinking again. In retrospect, thinking never got me in any trouble. Quite the contrary, actually.
I was thinking about Violet. She had taken a more political route when choosing her career. She was already twenty years old (unbelievably; I would never accept that I was growing old) and she was a missionary in District 11. She called everyday (thank goodness) and sent home little souvenirs and pictures to let us know of her progress.
I was thinking about Talia. Predictably, she had been a completely different problem. Unlike Violet, she followed no one's rules. Half the school is going to that side of the town? She would go to the other side. And what was more was that everybody would follow her. She had a sort of charisma and confidence that she could probably use to take over the world.
Thankfully, she was only becoming a teacher. The moment she got accepted into school, she was all I'm-eighteen-and-I-don't-need-parents-so-I'm-moving-out.
Lastly, I was thinking about Nathan. He was fifteen, which meant he was currently starting the scary stage of "teenhood" (parenthood for us). Surprisingly, he was quiet. Very often kept to himself and his books. He never really had problems with anyone. I had a feeling he was going to be the next doctor in the family.
The door to the living room swung open and Gale walked in with two bowls. He passed one to me and then he sat. Lamb stew with rice. I figured as much. It was my favourite meal, but only he would take three hours to make it.
"So I've been thinking," I started. "Violet, Talia, and Nathan haven't been to District 12."
"Well, Violet's coming home for the summer and Nathan and Talia don't have school then. I think it would be good for them."
"Let's just hope Violet's 'surprise' doesn't get in the way."
"I could only imagine what her surprise will be."
"Well, anyways, it might be good to get back in the forests."
"Don't break your back, old man," I laughed.
"That makes you old too, you know!"
"Yeah, well, we're both old. So what. You know you're old when two of your kids have already moved out."
"But… I'm still a year younger than you!"
We laughed and Gale hugged me close to him. Things had been so peaceful. Even the times when everything was wild and turbulent, it was only between the five of us. Arguments between the Hawthornes were much calmer than a rebellion, believe it or not. Everything seemed to have fallen into place perfectly.
And I couldn't be any happier.
So? So? Is it good? Amazing? LEAVE IT IN A REVIEW!
-How do you like Addy?
-Which of the Hawthorne kids is your favourite?
-Is overprotective-daddy-Gale a good or bad Gale?
Au revoir, we will meet again!