Hey! This isn't my first Fanfic by any means, but it is my first Hunger Games fic. I've put a lot of planning into this to make it the kind of romance that I would love to read. I hope you enjoy!
The following chapters detail my version of what may have happened between Katniss and Peeta in the period between the ending of Mockingjay and the Epilogue. I broke the 15 years up, some chapters will have just one year, and some will have several.
Rating: 'M' for Language, Lust and Lemons
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the 'Hunger Games' series or it's characters.
- Year One -
I haven't talked to her in quite a while, it seems like years, but it may have been just a few months or even just a few weeks. For some reason, even though I haven't been able to figure out exactly how I feel about her, it makes me nervous when I don't know where she is, or how she's doing. When she's not around time seems to move too quickly. Too many things may have happened to her in that time. I know it's stupid to think this way, after all, she is the Mockingjay. She can take care of herself. She doesn't need a baker's son to try and protect her.
But still, more than a few times in the last couple of months, or weeks, I've left my house in the middle of the night just to walk down the street to look up at her bedroom window. Just to make sure I see the faint glow that let's me know that she at least got up to turn the light on when the sun went down. It let's me know that she hasn't decided to give up yet, that she hasn't decided to leave. I do it more for my own peace of mind than really worrying about her.
This is what I tell myself.
For the last few months just making sure she still seems to be alive has been enough for me.
But two nights ago the glow wasn't there, and I've found several excuses to try and walk by her home today, just to see if it seemed like someone was moving inside. But the house was as silent as always. I've already decided that if the light isn't on after dark tonight, I'm kicking the damn door in. I can't take this not knowing.
I wait patiently by my kitchen window for sunset, sitting in a hard wooden chair Haymitch gave to me. I know these things I'm doing are crazy. But I honestly don't care. What else do I have left to do honestly? My family is gone, the bakery is gone, most of my friends are gone, and the ones who returned to District 12 quickly found out that I'm absolutely insane, and don't seem to want much to do with me.
Finally the sun drops below the horizon, I still wait a moment longer, giving her plenty of time to decide to turn the light on. I've heard from Haymitch that she doesn't sleep much. Last night I waited for several hours, hoping to have my mind set at ease, but the light never came on. When fatigue finally began to set in I allowed myself to return home, but the thoughts of what may have happened to her plagued me until dawn. I haven't slept in days.
I finally decide to head out. Rising from my chair by the window I feel a strange stiffness in my back. How long was I sitting there? I make my way out through my backyard. I creep around to the other side of Katniss' house where her bedroom window is located. The only thing that scares me more than not seeing her light on, is the thought of her catching me creeping around her backyard to check up on her. Katniss Everdeen is a terrifying anomaly.
I look up as soon as I'm within sight of her window, and a wave of relief rushes over me. Her light is on. She's still alive. She hasn't left. I don't need to break in.
I creep as silently as I can manage back to my house. Knowing that she's still breathing in the house next door gives me at least a chance of sleeping tonight. And I'm not going to waste it.
He thinks I don't notice him. Checking up on me, night after night. Some days I want to go shout at him, tell him to leave me alone. Some days I want to go out and ask him why he wants to check up on me, when he hates me so much. But most days I simply don't care.
I will be the first to admit that my life isn't much of a life. I feel hollow, empty, null. I do nothing. I try to think of nothing. When I'm awake I feel the sickening ache of having no one and wanting nothing, it quickly makes me tired. When I try to sleep the horrifying nightmares force me awake. It's a vicious cycle. I live in a constant daze. Not quite asleep, but not quite awake.
It's actually not that bad of a feeling.
I wonder if I should go down into the kitchen to pick at the food that Greasy Sae has undoubtedly left for me. I leave the door unlocked for her. She comes in, places food on the counter for me and then leaves. She stopped attempting to talk with me a long time ago. I stopped trying to be polite. If she comes into my room to say anything, I just ignore her. If she brings the food up to my room, I don't thank her. I'm beyond caring about pleasantries. Also, I'm sure she's being paid by district 13 or possibly someone back in the Capitol to leave the food. I certainly don't ask for it.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a whisper of my sane self, it tells me that I should probably eat soon. My sane self is constantly getting in the way of my dazed self.
I creep down the stairs and see a pot of soup and a small package of crackers on my kitchen counter. The soup has long since gone cold. I pick up one of the crackers and nibble on the corner, it tastes like ash in my mouth, but I continue to nibble regardless.
My thoughts return to Peeta. When we first returned to District 12, he made no attempt to speak to me. Then after a few weeks, I caught him planting Primrose bushes outside my home. I was furious. Even now when I think about it I get a bit angry. A lump rises in my throat when I think of Primroses... Prim. I shake my head, trying to physically rid my mind of the thought.
Peeta had only stopped by a few times after that. He came here saying he ran out of sugar, I ignored him. He came here saying he had extra firewood if I needed some, I ignored him. He came by asking if I had any squirrels he could buy off me, I ignored him.
Eventually he stopped coming by.
And I honestly don't think I mind. The daze is easier to keep intact without thoughts of Peeta Mellark.
- Year Two -
As Thom moves the last of my things from the wagon and into my new home. I take a quick peek down the street to my old home, but instead catch a glimpse of a small figure down the street standing still. Obviously looking in my direction.
My cheeks flare and I quickly duck my head and move into the house.
Maybe it wasn't necessary. Moving to the opposite end of the Victor's Village. I just couldn't take hearing him leave his home every morning. Hearing him converse with our old friends and neighbors on his front step.
My house is so quiet. I hear everything that happens next door. And I hear enough to know that Peeta is beginning to move on. He's getting his life back slowly. I suppose, as a person who was once his good friend, that I should be happy for him. And in a way I am. I'm happy that some of us can move on from the horrible things that have happened. A small part of me wishes I could join him, wishes that I could live and breath. But then the cold slinks over me and I fall back into my daze. I will not recover. I don't deserve to. Why live when Prim can't? When Finn can't?
So instead of envying Peeta, I simply decided to call Plutarch and see if he couldn't somehow get a hold of someone who would help move me to a different home on the block. One with less memories, less noise... less Peeta. Plutarch called Thom who agreed to help me move my few belongings into the new home down the road.
My thoughts quickly stop when I hear Thom greeting someone outside. A familiar voice hits my ears and I quickly duck down to hide myself from view of the window by the front door. But I cringe when I hear footsteps and watch as the doorknob next to my head turns and the door is quickly pushed open letting in a cold breeze of February air.
Two brilliant blue eyes lock on mine and I watch the corners of Peeta Mellark's mouth twitch into a small smile for a moment before I hear him say,
I'm unsure what to say or if I should say anything. I have used my voice a few times in the last year. Talking to Plutarch, giving Greasy Sae an occasional greeting when she happens to let herself into my home while I'm downstairs. My mother called one day and I told her that I was busy, but would call her soon. But in this moment my vocal chords don't seem to want to work.
"Is there anything else you needed help with Katniss?" I hear Thom call from the other side of the door.
My eyes haven't managed to leave Peeta's and he for some reason hasn't looked away yet either. I still can't find my voice. Several moments pass.
"Do you still need Thom?" Peeta asks quietly.
After a moment I manage to shake my head slowly. Peeta breaks eye contact with me long enough to shout to Thom,
"I think she's fine Thom."
I hear Thom shout something in return and after a few moments I hear the footsteps of the old black mare Thom owns pulling the wagon behind her.
Peeta steps the rest of the way into my new house, closing the door slowly behind him. I realize that I'm still sitting on the floor beneath the window, and manage to rise up to a standing position against the wall.
"Why did you move down here?" He asks me.
I finally find my voice, "I..." but then my mind fails me. What do I tell him?
"Did you move here because of me?" He leans back against my staircase and crosses his arms. He looks stern now, no traces of a smile on his lips.
I hesitate answering again. "I... thought it might be easier this way." I finally spit out.
For a few moments he just stands and searches my face, I suddenly feel horribly self conscious. The various scars burned into my flesh haven't completely disappeared. I haven't cut my hair since I returned to District 13 and suddenly can't remember when the last time I took a shower was. I don't know why I should care, Peeta isn't in love with me anymore, he doesn't care what I look like.
His sigh brings me out of my thoughts. It's long and drawn out and when he finally stops he looks down at the ground. Uncrossing his arms, he walks towards the door, opening it slowly. Before he walks out he locks eyes with me again.
"I don't understand why I feel the way I do Katniss. I'm still confused about what we had..." He pauses, "Or didn't have..." He frowns. I can almost see the gears turning in his mind. But I'm not sure what they're trying to work out. "But I can say that I miss you. And all this," He waves his arm around my house, "moving down the road just to avoid me." He dropped his hand to his side. "Wasn't necessary."
And with that, he closes the door behind him and I listen as the crunching of the snow beneath his boots disappears.
"He's been stopping by Haymitch's house almost every day since you moved ya'know."
I stop lacing my brand new shoe laces into my old boots to ask, "Who?"
"Oh who." Greasy Sae flaps her hand at me as if I've asked a ridiculous question. "Who else? Peeta of course." she says as she moves about my kitchen. Putting away the freshly washed dishes. Since I moved to the new house Sae has taken on the responsibilities of a housekeeper as well. No matter how many times I tell her thanks, but no thanks, she won't listen. She just keeps cleaning and cooking. Finally I give up and occasionally have actual conversations with her when she stops by.
"Oh." Is all I say.
"We also had a few more people return from 13." She looks over her shoulder to watch me hesitate a moment before threading the last lace into place. I know my mother isn't included. I also know Gale is enjoying his new position in the capitol. And they're the only two I would care about returning.
"Oh?" I say again. My conversation skills need some work.
"Yes, the Hartlet boys who lost their mother, Thom's brother and niece, Delly Cartwright, but I hear that's only temporary while her father builds her family a new home in 4." She's finished putting away the dishes now and begins to dry her hands to leave. "And even Effie Trinket has apparently decided to make one of the houses in the Victors Village her new home."
This catches my attention. "Which one?"
Greasy Sae smiles, apparently happy she said something that actually catches my interest. "Your old one actually."
I breathe a sigh of relief. Thank god she won't be by me. I don't think I could take her constant chatter and positive attitude.
"Where is Delly staying while she's in town?" I ask, remembering seeing the caved in roof of the Cartwright's former home.
"I hear her and her younger brother are going to be staying at Peeta's house for a while until a new temporary home can be put up on their land here in 12." She waves her hand as she collects her purse and empty basket. "They're old family friends you know. The Cartwright's and Mellark's." She peeks over her shoulder as she says this. I make sure to keep my facial expression looking bored. "But like I said, that shouldn't be for long, her father is building them a large house over in 4. Apparently he has a new business starting there." She finishes giving me the latest news around town and leaves with no goodbye.
As soon as the door closes I stop pretending to play with my boots.
I can't ignore the strange feeling that came into my chest when she mentioned Delly staying with Peeta.
I don't know this strange feeling, but I know that I don't like it.
Yet another reason to keep as far away from Peeta Mellark as I can.
We'll see how this chapter does before I post the next chapter! All reviews, questions, comments and criticism are welcome 3