I want to go home.

That's the one thought on his mind right now. The doctors keep poking and prodding at him, asking him questions and running tests. They seem to be amazed at his ability to recover from the hijacking. They've told him several times how nobody else has ever pulled back to the point of being able to decipher real from false. He doesn't care.

I want to go home.

Home…back to District 12 where everything started, back to the only two people in the world who might understand him…he wants to go find them. He has heard people talking; he knows Haymitch took Katniss home. He's ready to follow them. The Capitol with its rushing citizens and tall buildings press in on him from every side. There's no room to breathe, no place to think. He's tried sitting on the roof, but that just earns him a long lecture on safety and responsibility since the old safeguards have not yet been repaired.

I want to go home.

To him, home is not a place anymore, not a building or a district, but people. He can live anywhere as long as the right people are there. He needs them more than food, more than drink…he would think he needed them more than oxygen itself if it were possible. It's funny, he misses his father and his brothers; sometimes he even misses his mother. They are not the cause of the gaping hole in his heart though; he might miss them, but he doesn't need them. He needs the one he loves and the one who shelters them.

I want to go home.

Katniss…the hijacking almost tarnished everything he felt for her, but in the end it failed. He had a crush on her since their first days in school. Even beyond the false memories of the hijacking, he can see the dark-haired little singer. Beyond that he watched as she kept her family alive and together after her father's death. The crush, the budding admiration would have fallen before the venom, but the Games came first. The Games, the tour, the Quarter Quell…too many memories built up, too many moments he could lock into his heart. He lost the key for a time, but the memories could not be wiped away. In Katniss, he could find a place to belong.

I want to go home.

Haymitch…he knows the older man is still sheltering both of them. Haymitch took Katniss away, protected her from the ones who wanted to use her, remake her. He doesn't blame his mentor for leaving him behind. It was necessary…they both needed space to heal, to find some distance from the crippling memories brought by Snow and Coin and the needless waste of life. Haymitch could only watch over one of them for now, and he would choose her every time. The man might be a drunk, broken and beyond repair, but that only made him the perfect protector for the shattered pair.

I want to go home.

He has finally convinced the doctors to let him go. Effie helps him get to the train and Doctor Aurelius gives him a message for Katniss. He promises to call, to continue his therapy. At last they are gone and he watches the Capitol fade in the distance. He sits on the train, observing the scenery fly past the window. It is all a blur of blue and green and brown. He may have to wait until he gets back to 12 to see any orange or red or yellow. All the flames have left him…they are waiting somewhere ahead, wherever home is now. He doesn't really care where as long as he can find them.

I want to go home.

When the train pulls into 12, he steps off and stares around him. Nothing looks right; nothing looks familiar. His hands tremble as he feels himself getting lost in the changes. Suddenly a voice calls him back…a familiar voice. He looks around and finds one of the two people who mean "home" to him waiting at the edge of the platform. Haymitch puts a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze before helping him get to his house. Not his home, not yet…he only has half of the equation filled out. It will not be home until he finds her.

I want to go home.

Haymitch and Greasy Sue have told him about her. She doesn't eat right or sleep well. She's not hunting or even living right now. She just ghosts through her house like a shadow without a light. They are afraid for her. He doesn't go to see her, not right off. He has to think. She's lost; she doesn't know where home is yet. For her, home was her sister, her friend, her mentor and him…he knows that much. Her sister is gone, lost to the fire…maybe even to the bombs her friend helped create. While he cannot give her back those she lost, maybe he can help her remember. He goes into the woods and finds the right bushes.

I want to go home.

He took the first step on the final road to home when he planted the bushes beside her house. The road had strange curves, rises and falls as they shared meals, worked on their memory book, and watch others return to 12. He bakes, she hunts, and Haymitch lurks on the periphery, guarding them in his own unique way. The two of them grow towards one another, finding each other once more. She strengthens him when the flashbacks hit him. He comforts her when the nightmares chase her down. She begins to believe in life again. He begins to dream of a dark haired girl with blue eyes and a brown eyed boy with blond hair. She is his fire; he is her renewal.

"You love me. Real or not real?"

"Real."

I am home.