Hello hello to all the Gadger-Badgers out there! This is my very first Gadge story, written very hastily late last night. The writing is messy, the premise sounds meh, but I really hope that this story will write itself. I'm going in completely blind, and I hope you will join me!

Disclaimer: the world and the main characters belong to Suzanne Collins.

"That's what nettles me. It's the implication that there's something going on between Gale and Madge. And I don't like it."


Our senior class makes its way down to the courtyard for the first school assembly of the term. The first to fifth years are already there, restlessly talking amongst themselves and looking like they'd rather be in the classroom than sitting outdoors on this chilly autumn morning. As we make our way past them I spot Rory guffawing with his friends, who I have deemed too pretty to be boys, then flicking his eyes to Primrose Everdeen, who is chatting animatedly with a group of girls. He catches my smirk, but pretends not to have seen me as he tells the pretty boys what is probably an immature, semi-dirty joke that only first year boys find hilarious. They laugh of course, wild raucous laughter that causes Prim to turn and raise her eyebrow appraisingly. She looks so much like Katniss at that moment that I chuckle and shake my head. You've got much to learn about girls, Rory Hawthorne, especially if the girl is the beloved younger sister of Katniss Everdeen.

Thom waves me over and slaps my shoulder good-naturedly as I slump onto seat beside him. "How are you coping with Mrs Ogilby?" he asks in mock concern.

I shrug. "I just imagine telling her one day how good a kisser her daughter is."

Thom grins deviously, "Want me to tell her too?"

"Do you want to kill her?" My arm pays for my tongue when Thom punches me.

"I'm just saying!"

To tell the truth, Mrs Ogilby's daughter, Miranda Ogilby, is as much of a slut as much as Katniss Everdeen is a people person. She is a Merchant girl who dates boys, which is kind of expected of Merchant girls and even normal girls, Katniss being the exception. Thom dated Miranda in third year, and I couldn't give him crap about it because I grudgingly agreed that Miranda is one of the nicest-looking Merchant girls. She isn't giddy or too proper like the other girls either, which is why I asked her to go with me to the New Year's party this year.

Okay, that wasn't the only reason. The party was held in the town and I couldn't go unless I went with someone from there. But I still asked her didn't I? A Townie. THAT is brave. And hypocritical.

Thom is about to hit me with what he must think is the wittiest comeback of the whole morning, when Mrs Ogilby marches up and barks at us to be quiet, which only makes us both snicker.

We are silenced by the piercing screech of the microphone's feedback, pulling everyone's hands over their ears as they swear under their breaths. The principal, Mr Talon, taps the microphone again stupidly, and it squeaks and scrapes against our eardrums once more. What an idiot. And who wears a bowtie to school?

"He-hello. Good morning," he stammers, swallowing nervously before continuing, "Welcome back to a new term. I trust you all enjoyed the 73rd Hunger Games and the Victory Tour stop last week."

He goes on to praise the Gamemakers for a heart-stopping Hunger Games, how interesting the arena looked, and finally stating how proud we should all be for our tributes. I clench my jaw. Muscida Reymond and Harris Westaff were District 12's tributes for this year's Hunger Games. They were both from the Seam, and my mother knows Harris' parents. They should be here today, sitting with the rest of the school on uncomfortable metal chairs, complaining about the crazy amount of homework the teachers have given them even though it's only the second week of school. But they haven't been given the chance to.

Mr. Talon shields his eyes from the bright but useless sun and squints in our direction. "Ah, seniors!" he exclaims, waving to all of us. No one waves back. "Congratulations on making it this far! After this, school will be just as memory. Unfortunately, even I will become just a memory. Excited? I know I would be!" He concludes this inspiring pep talk by chortling to himself, and the microphone shrieks in response. There are a few giggles from the student body and I roll my eyes, unable to comprehend that this man has been entrusted with leading thousands of young people into adulthood.

After awkwardly recovering from the disapproval of his trusty microphone, our principal drones on with the speech he prepared in advance, and I tune out. My eyes scan the rows for a familiar dark braid and when I find it, I blink twice to make sure I am not dreaming up the scene in front of me. The normally hostile owner of the braid is actually sitting with another human being, and a blonde one at that. A Townie. A Townie with silky blonde waves that tumble just past her shoulders. I strain my neck to try and get a glimpse of her face. If her face matches her hair, she must be lovely.

Why haven't I seen her before?

My heart picks up its pace when the girl turns to her left, but I only catch sight of her nose. Her other features are obscured by her loose hair, which catches the sunlight as it shivers in the breeze. While I wouldn't be complaining all other times, at this moment I wish it were in a neat braid like Katniss'. It is a good nose though, I think before I catch myself.

When she faces the front again, I slump a little too hard onto the back of the chair. Thom eyes me weirdly and raises his eyebrows to ask what's going on. I shake my head and lock my eyes on the stage, where Mr. Talon is squirming as he tries to tell jokes that nobody is laughing at apart from a few polite teachers.

Later, I tell myself, later.


What do you think? Please review and let me know!

- Sera