This is a small piece during Catching Fire, when Katniss and Peeta are up on the roof, in Peeta's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not in any way own The Hunger Games.
I watch as she practices her nets with the nature around us, her eyes filled with concentration. I take in all of her; the way her wavy hair fell over her shoulders and shone in the sunlight, how her nose crinkles and how she bites her lip in concentration. Her fingers work gracefully, and I am sure I have never seen something so beautiful in my life.
I had to draw her, to preserve this perfect being in front of me. To live my last days to the fullest. I reach behind me and grab the sketch pad and pencil I had brought up with me, keeping my eyes on her.
She looks up with a raised eyebrow, noticing how my gaze kept on her as I open to a blank page. "What are you doing?"
I smile at her, positioning my hand. "Sketching you." The blush that dusts her cheeks brings a smile to my face, and I chuckle as she tries to turn from me. "C'mon Katniss, I'm preserving memories." I feel like that was the wrong thing to say, considering our situation. I cringe, and she notices.
"…I guess." She turns slowly, silently giving me permission.
I smile softly, though I'm not feeling as good as before. That one comment is a reminder that I'm not coming back.
But I'll be damned if she doesn't, as well.
I shake my head to clear my head, trying to gain my good mood from minutes before. Eventually I get there. I glance back up at her and see her back at her net, though her eyes would quickly glance in my direction every now and again, most likely unnerved by my sketching. I chuckle quietly and shake my head, but say nothing.
I start outlining her form, already committing her to memory. Even though I don't really need to look back up at her to finish the picture, it's much nicer that way. An excuse to keep my eyes on her for as long as I want. I almost wish I could bring my sketchpad with me in the arena – it's a sense of comfort; a way to escape from reality.
I let my eyes roam over her, taking my time to search every small detail of her face. Drawing every small crinkle, and the small twinkle in her eyes when she is pleased with her work.
I never realized it was possible to love one person this much. Then again, I've had years of love to build upon.
I couldn't help but let my eyes linger on her lips, one impossibly white tooth – thanks to her prep team – unveiled where she was biting her lower lip.
The sketch seemed too quick, and now I had no reason to study her any longer, or more so no excuse. There was plenty of reason to study her.
I will make sure she will make it out of that arena, even if it's the last thing I do. I won't let the Capitol change me, turn me into one of their mutts, but I would for her. To keep her safe.
She'll have a wonderful life back in District 12, with her mother and Prim and…Gale, most likely. Despite her thoughts now, she'll get married and perhaps have children of her own; she would make an amazing mother, with the way she cares for Prim.
Just then, a thought comes to me.
Could I play on that in the interview? I mean, if they think she's pregnant, we're bound to get plenty of sponsors, perhaps even outrage at the Capitol. That would be nice. I think about running this idea past Katniss, but quickly think against it. I'll bring it up to Haymitch later.
"Can I see?"
I startle slightly at the sound of her voice, so caught up in my thoughts that I didn't even notice her come to sit next to me. I quickly regain my composure and smile sweetly. "Of course." I hold out the picture to her, my pencil stuck between my pinky and right ring finger.
Her eyes scan the picture, her face blank. I can feel myself become slightly nervous, hoping I haven't upset or offended her in any way.
Her eyes then meet mine, and she allows her lips to twitch at the corners. "It's very nice."
I give her a wide smile, grateful. The last time I had showed her a painting, she told me she hated it. I knew it wasn't my talents concerning it, but the pictures themselves. Of the hunger games.
It was a sort of therapy for me.
"Thanks." We sit in silence and I'm not sure if it's awkward or comfortable. I want to be comfortable with her these last few days, so I set down the pad and pencil and bring an arm around her shoulders, letting her decide the next move. I'm slightly, though pleasantly, surprised when she hesitantly lays her head in my lap. My arm had come off from her shoulders when she laid down, so I then choose to stroke her hair, mesmerized by how silky it feels.
She glanced up at me and asked what I was doing, so I nonchalantly told her I was practicing my knots. We both know this is false, but I think the feeling is as nice for her as it is for me.
We sit like this for a long time, perfectly content. In fact I'm so content, I wish I could stay this way forever. I glance down at the girl in my lap who is creating a crown of flowers and pretend we're back at home. My hands stop as I live in my small fantasy.
She looks up at me, her brow furrowed. "What?"
"I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever."
She looks contemplative, and I chastise myself, knowing she'll pull away. "Okay." Her eyes close contentedly once again.
I raise an eyebrow. That was something I didn't expect. I can't help the grin that comes, a slight elation filling my heart. "Then you'll allow it?"
She gives a slight nod. "I'll allow it."
I resume playing with her hair and see her drifting off, and I really do wish to freeze this moment. To just gaze at her with no fear, no regrets.
Safe and sound.
Hope you enjoyed it, and that I did Peeta justice! Love him.
Read and Review :)