Because She Came Here With Me— Dancing Barefoot

Author: Howlynn
Realm: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Story Title: Because she came here with me – Every day
Summary: The door is locked and Katniss and Gale are alone
Character/Relationships: Haymitch/Katniss

I Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Because she came here with me chapter 7

Chapter 7 – dancing barefoot

Katniss didn't meet Haymitch's eyes as she stepped through the door and actually heard a lock engage. She winced. Not meeting Gale's eyes, she stood three inches from the door, silent and unmoving. She peeked at Gale and found him standing at the window, turned away from her. His hands were shoved in his pockets and his posture was stiff. He was nervous.

"I never thought you would…agree to this. I'm surprised," Gale said without turning.

"I'm not sure agree would be the right word," Katniss replied softly.

He turned, momentarily confused. "You're here?"

She nodded meeting his eyes for a split second then lowly whispered, "Yes."

He took a calming breath and crossed to her, stopping about a foot away. "I'm glad you came."

"Are you?" Katniss spoke to the floor.

Gale reached out and tilted her chin, wanting her to look at him. "So we are doing this?"

She glanced away, "It seems we are."

He blushed and snorted, "You are as enthusiastic as ever?"

Katniss shrugs and holds it, "It's…just weird. I mean…Locked in a room to cheat on a man I am supposed to marry tomorrow. I've never been with anyone else. Just scared."

"You've never been afraid of anything in your life. Certainly not me. I would never hurt you."

"Not true. You have hurt me." Her eyes glared at his chest.

Gale stood there silently. "I never meant to. I will always love you and …anything you want…I'll do anything to fix us. Anything. Katniss."

"Even this?" she asks softly.

There are tears in his eyes as he answers, "Yes." He takes a step forward and kisses her.

It was wonderful and exciting and Katniss nearly lost her mind at the taste of Gale. She was surprised at how quickly her body reacted when she had been so opposed to this idea. It was so easy to let it take over that it actually required a lot of effort to back off and look up at him and say something coherent. "Look that was…but, tell me. Do You think this will fix anything?"

He sighed, trying to even his own breath, eyes lidded with want. "No. It fixes nothing unless you say it will somehow. I don't see…but…"

"We need to talk." Katniss smiles at him.

"We aren't very good at that anymore."

"We never were. I just thought you read my mind," she admits.

"I thought so too, once." Gale gives her a wink and nods toward two enormous wingback chairs in front of a cold fireplace. They take their seats, facing each other and neither knows what to say but it is not as uncomfortable as when she entered.

"I wonder if they…" Katniss begins then drops the thought.

He shrugged. "Nothing we can do about that," he says meeting her eyes.

"So you and she…do this?" Katniss dropped her eyes and picked at her knee.

"What? No."

"But you agreed? Why?"

"Katniss. I have never cheated on her. I wouldn't in any other circumstances." His brows crease and his hands clap between his knees.

"But you would in these? How do you feel about her and Haymitch…right now?" Katniss probed.

He sighed. "Sick ok? It's killing me. But Jo wants this and you do. I will deal with it. It isn't like I haven't thought about you for years. It isn't like a huge punishment. I don't think it will solve a damned thing and I am sure it's a trap of some sort. Okay? But, it's there. Always has been and I do see their point. They would rather … it happen this way than let it destroy us one day."

"You don't want this."

He lowered his face in his hands in frustration. "I. I do partly, selfishly…curiosity…wanting to claim something stolen from me. Yes. I do. If it helps you, I do. I see their reasoning and I don't blame them at all. I mean this is all different for them. It's as casual as dinner to them. They really do solve their crises this way. She's told me things, Katniss. I don't know what he has shared with you but I understand what the two of them went through and I have to give her this. And we have to solve us too. So. I'm here. Short of bleeding out and never meeting my child, I'll do anything that you think will help get us back…or maybe just forward. I don't know. I'm not the injured party here. You are."

She smirks, and says softly, "You took a whipping for me once?"

He swallows and clears his throat, "Yes, even that. If that 's what you want."

Her eyes widen as she realizes exactly what he's said. He walks to a wardrobe and opens the door. She isn't sure what he is doing and keeps trying to see if she has misinterpreted what he said. He tosses something in her lap and she sucks in her breath and stares at it. A black coil of vicious looking leather snakes down onto the floor. Her heart pounds in revulsion, as she finally recovers.

She looks toward Gale and he had removed his shirt and has braced himself between the bed posts, head down and unable to control the shaking and trembling spasms of his muscles as he prepares himself.

"Gale…" she begins and has no idea what to say. She bends and picks up the whip and walks toward him.

"I'll likely pass out at about ten if you break the skin. If you go much beyond thirty You will have to get me some medical attention. If the shock doesn't get me the blood loss will. She warned me…so just get on with it. "Gale blurts.

"Is this…"

"It's fine. Just … hurry up."

"Do you like this?" Katniss asked in such a childish voice he turns to her and nearly laughs.

"God no. I told you anything," he said angrily.

"You think I want to punish you. That I want to hurt you? God, you must think I'm a monster." Katniss throws the whip at him and goes to the door, banging on it and demanding exit.

"Katniss, wait…"He says suddenly at her side. "I thought you suggested…"

Katniss glares at him, "I meant you had already been punished…not that."

His face goes blank then he started laughing, "Oh for Snow's sake…Katniss…I. I'm sorry…"

"Yeah, very funny."

"No, I am so relieved. I mean standing there all I could think about was 'please don't let me wet my pants this time.' I think I was so terrified that when you said it…I just blanked and I am just so relieved…" he turned her and the honest look in his face begged her to stop pounding on the door.

Katniss lowered her fist. "I still have nightmares about it. About you. How could you…"

He shook his head, "I am more afraid of that than anything. Jo said…you would zero in on my greatest weakness. That you would want to take me apart and probably break me. Said you'd been with Haymitch and he'd probably have taught you. Said I needed to face it, like her and the water. I just…" he shrugged and his voice died.

"You thought I would hurt you?" Katniss threw back her head and laughed. "Haymitch is almost too careful with me, you idiot. God…I freak out over the tiniest thing. We don't…I don't…Who are you? The Gale I imagined all these years …that! I am pretty sure, now, that this is a huge waste of time."

"I don't want it to be. I am trying here? Stop making me guess. What do you want?" He stood beside her, eyes blazing and face darkening.

Katniss froze. "I don't know."

"Great. Well, when you figure it out, let me know. I'll be over here in my chair, waiting." He walks away and flops in the chair, back to her. "I don't think you are a monster," he adds sulkily.

Katniss stands with her hand on the door for ten minutes before finally speaking, "I thought you were once. For a long time actually. A monster."

"I know. You still do," he replied calmly.

She crosses the room and sits in the empty chair. She shakes her head, "No. I think you are just broken, like me?"

"Probably more. It wasn't you who killed her. That was me." His hand shook as his chest began to heave and he tried to stop them, hide them and control himself, but there was no stopping his sobs this time. Gale seemed to collapse against the force of his emotion and a wail issued from him so close to madness that Katniss automatically climbed into his lap and took him in her arms. It wasn't long before they both sobbed against each other as if it had all happened yesterday.

When finally they wore themselves out, blew noses and dried each other's cheeks, Katniss whispered hoarsely, "I didn't know you ever cried for her."

He looked up at her, face wrecked in emotion, "I didn't. I never had the right to."

"I forgive you." Katniss finally said and it felt true and like a stake had been removed from her heart. "I'm sorry it took so long. I should have never blamed you."

"I should have come back."

"Maybe. It doesn't matter. It might have been worse, I don't know." She pets his face and smiles. "But the important part is…we got here."

This time he kisses her and she kisses back as if they both found treasure. For a while he just holds her and they are quiet.



"I'm starving."

"Me too?" She answers baffled. It had been a long time since she'd actually wanted to eat.

Dear guest - Really? That festival you are seeking is on the Pleasure to Burn story - thanks for your input and colorful willingness to explain my story to me before reading the whole thing - funny - 'would never' is a powerful phrase - and by the way a Festival would require many more than four people - four is only quartet - four people on a golf course is not a festival. I considered changing my story for you but decided to write it the way I'd planned. An orgy is mulitiple people in the same room. That doesn't fit in my story. Perhaps when you get older your stomach will be a bit less wobbly and you will be a bit more open minded about using that sort of language while in the same review saying the concept is disgusting when you are the only one suggesting most of those concepts.

To my other reviewers - thank you so much. I am happy you are enjoying it. I don't write much HG FF any more - but I do intend to finish these.