Neither one of them was particularly skilled at their task. They'd never had cause to gain experience, a life of war hardly allowing time for loving explorations. In many ways, they were a mess of limbs, trying to figure out where one hand went while using the other, whose leg should wrap where, and what places were okay to kiss while others would get an echo of awkward laughter instead of a sensuous moan. Still, they were figuring it out together, making sense of the world as they made love.

His hand traced over her hip bone, down towards the sensitive area between her legs. She gave a small gasp, her nails digging gently into his skin. Real.

Her lips moved along his jaw line, feeling the light scratching of scruff that came from a day without shaving. She bit softly at the skin, moving her way to his ear, sucking gently. She shivered as his hands brushed over center. My name is Katniss Everdeen.

Feelings kept them grounded. They were overwhelming at times, enough so that Katniss could feel her hands shaking and her heart racing, but they were intense enough that there wasn't any way to mistaken them for an illusion. They kept them both in reality, a place they'd found so hard to stay in since the war had destroyed their minds in one way or another. Her skin felt on fire - no; it felt hot. Fire was painful. Fire spread and eventually couldn't be contained. It burned without mercy and took lives from the innocent. This heat was pleasurable, distinct and far from dangerous. This heat created life. It made her entire being feel at peace. Fire never brought peace.

She was warm. Warm and wet and most importantly real. He couldn't have invented such a pleasurable sensation. He couldn't make up the way she breathed into his ear, the way she felt when he was inside of her. His mind could create so many things, but this - this wasn't something that had been placed there. This was happening, really happening, and he could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He could feel sweat forming on his back. He could feel his stomach tightening as his hips moved against hers, as their bodies worked together like one solid machine. They hadn't always moved in such a rhythm together before, but this felt like some sort of dance they had both memorized a long time ago and only just had gotten to perform together.

Her fingers slid through his hair, gripping roughly to the light locks. Her arm wrapped around his torso, pulling his body against hers, trying to get even closer, if it was at all possible. Wrapped up in him like this, she could forget. She could forget the deaths that weighed on her shoulders. She could forget the people who would never get to see their loved ones again, people who would never get to hold them like she held him now. She clung to him, perhaps more desperately than need be, and she could feel the tears starting to roll down her cheeks. Tears of frustration, of relief, of pain, and of love. Tears that represented so many fears, so many emotions she had tried to keep at bay, but never managed to successfully.

Her name rolled of his tongue like music. It was a steady chant, occasionally replaced by a rough grunt, or a lengthy moan. He didn't know how this was supposed to end. He didn't know what it was building towards. It felt good, it felt too good, and he kept thinking maybe he should stop. Maybe he should pull back. It was too intense, it could break him again. He was fragile - she was even more so. The wrong thrust could shatter them both and he didn't know how they could pick up the pieces if they were both so far gone. But he couldn't pull away; he couldn't stop if he'd wanted to. They'd started something neither could just back away from. It was real. It was scary and it was fresh and new and everything was real.

When they reached the edge together, when they toppled off that cliff into a valley on unknown sensations that felt too much to handle, they didn't make a sound. They clung to one another, eyes shut tight, still as statues in a loving embrace. They held onto those feelings, to that moment, as long as either of them could, before finally he let out a groan. It echoed through the room, his body relaxing finally, and she followed suit soon after, a relieved sigh falling past her lips. He stayed on top of her for a moment, limbs tangled up in one another, hands clenched around each others, fingers entwined. Each tried to catch their breath, hearts beating fast and hardly matching in rhythm, but still she could feel his through his chest and he too could feel hers. It was with reluctancy that he finally pulled out of her, eyes shut, trying to catch his breath, holding her in his arms and simply being.

And those words feel so real, so raw, and so honest.

"You love me. Real or not real?"

"Real."