So I've been reading a few fan-made Hunger Games stories and thought I'd give it a go myself! A lot of stories that I've read are pretty unromantic and very "lemony"! This is my take on what should have happened in the cave if Katniss and Peeta weren't so damn stubborn

Katniss' P.O.V:

Gasping, I bolted upright, frantically staring around in the expansive darkness. The all-consuming blackness of the cave was disorientating after the blinding brightness that I had been in only seconds before. It had seemed so real... Rue, screaming at me to run, to escape... the deadly whistle of the spear as it cleaved through the still shriek of warning that came too late... Tears sprung to my eyes as I remembered the all too vivid nightmare. Drenched in sweat, I tried to calm my pounding heart, drawing in deep lungfuls of stale air. A small sob broke the silence, startling me. Had that pitiful sound really come from me? "Katniss? Katniss, what's wrong? Is someone here?" Peeta's concerned voice from nearby was tinged with fear. As my eyes adjusted to the dimness, I could see Peeta frantically reaching for my bow and arrow, poising it at the imaginary intruder. "No, no Peeta, it's okay...I just had", my voice wavered as a wave of distress hit me. "Oh Katniss, sweetheart...". Peeta was at my side in a heartbeat, pulling me into his warm, broad chest. His strong arms cradled me, forming a protective cage. Sobs wracked my body, I couldn't explain it. The horror of the last few days crashed over me, the pain of losing Rue taking my breath away. I hated being vulnerable, exposing my feelings so openly, but the hot, salty tears continued to flow down my cheeks. Peeta crushed me to his chest all the while, stroking my hair and crooning in my ear. "It's gonna be okay Katniss, I promise. I won't let them hurt you...'s okay.." I willed my self to calm down. Embraced against him, I could hear Peeta's heartbeat and focused on that. The steady pounding of his heart soothed me and soon I could feel myself relax, the tension seeping from my body. I couldn't bring myself to look at Peeta, sure that I would see pity, maybe even disgust in his eyes, having witnessed my weakness. Here, enveloped in Peeta's comforting embrace, I felt safe, surprisingly calm after my sudden breakdown. I said a silence word of thanks for having him here, in this very moment. I could feel him shift slowly, checking to see if I had drifted off to sleep. It was, after all very comfortable and disconcertingly warm, lying here within his muscular arms. "Katniss..." he murmured, "are you awake?" I slowly turned my head up towards his voice, surprised by the closeness of his battle-scarred yet still handsome face. I nodded almost imperceptibly, sudden embarrassment flooding me. No one had ever seen me cry before, not since my father's death five years ago at least. Even then, I had shed only silent tears, burying the heart-wrenching grief deep within me. "I'm sorry", I whispered against his chest, "I don't know what happened..."."Hey, you don't need to explain yourself to me" he murmured, hugging me close.

I don't know how long we stayed like that, cuddled close in the dark confines of the cave. It seemed like he needed to hold me as much as I need him to hold me. Sleep itched at my eyes, but the dread of having another nightmare kept me from drifting off. Peeta had eventually drifted asleep, yet still held me protectively against his chest. Even in sleep, he acted as my protector, my saviour. Of course he had saved me once before, had saved my entire family when he had tossed me those burnt loaves of bread on that bitterly cold night. As I pondered this, I realised that he had saved me once again tonight, maybe not in such an obvious way, like with the gift of food, but by giving himself so fully to me. selflessly, calming my fears. I smiled to myself as I thought of this.. Peeta Mellark, my "hero".. He'd get a kick out of that if he knew. My hand rested on his broad chest, that rose and fell rhythmically with each breath. I suddenly felt very aware of his body, his very presence, his proximity to me. I contracted my hand against his unyielding chest, feeling the muscle and sheer strenght that lay beneath the ragged material of his t-shirt. The fact that he was asleep and unaware of my exploration thrilled me. I was shocked at myself, what was wrong with me tonight? "Don't get attached Katniss" I scolded myself, "neither of you can survive, no matter how much you..." I couldn't even say it to myself. The word. Why was I thinking like this? Was it the harsh environment that I found myself in, the constant threat of danger that was causing me to feel these emotions? I slowly moved myself away from Peeta's chest, to peer at his face. In sleep, he looked so peaceful, so untroubled. The furrow that was normally between his brow was gone. Even though his face was spattered wit dirt and blood, his face was still achingly handsome, ruggedly so, his strong jawline and broad cheekbones subtly expressing his masculinity. I longed to trace these features with my hands, explore them, drink them in before it was too late. I cautiously moved a quivering hand towards his face, still questioning why I was doing this. I placed my hand warily against his cheek, revelling in the marvel of his soft skin. Gazing at his face, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a feeling That was it, love. The word I couldn't fully comprenhend. Why hadn't I realised this sooner? That this, love, was what I was feeling for Peeta? Maybe I had been denying it, in an act of self-preservation. One of us had to die in the end. The weight of my words struck me, knocking the breath from my chest. I couldn't do it, take the life of this boy. This boy who time and time again had saved me, even if he hadn't known it. The thought of causing him pain felt like a knife twisting in my heart. I realised with a sense of finality that I would do anything to protect Peeta, to ensure that he returned to District 12. He deserved to live, his innate goodness was written across his gentle face. As these realisations came crashing over me, I knew why I was tracing his face so lovingly. I loved Peeta and I wanted him. I needed him, in a physically sense, as well as emotionally...

Without warning, Peeta suddenly grasped my hand that was caressing his face. He slowly opened his eyes and gazed at me questioningly, the hint of a smile playing on his lips. My breath caught in my throat. I tried to move my hand away, but he held it tightly, refusing to let go. I glanced away from his intense gaze, embarrassed. He slowly moved his hand and cupped it under chin, tilted my face towards his. My heart skipped a beat as I registered the smouldering look in his eyes. I felt a strange tightness deep inside me and knew what was about to happen...willed it to happen. Slowly, he lowered his face towards mine, never breaking eye contact. His lips were within an inch of my own, our hot breath mixing. The coil deep inside me twisted tightly as I closed the space between us… His lips were warm, and soft and firm at the same time. It was a heady mix and it clouded my brain. "Katniss…let me in" he murmured against my lips. "For once, just feel what you want to feel". I shuddered with pleasure, right there on the cave floor. And I parted my lips and let him in. He kept the kiss slow, and easy…almost lazy. Like he had all night. And I supposed we did. Could I imagine kissing him like this, all slow and lazy and hot, for hours? Yes, I realized, I absolutely could. In fact, my body was way past imagining, and begging me to make it happen.

I leaned into Peeta's kiss when he teased my tongue into his own mouth. Wrapping my hand around the back of his neck, I sighed when his long fingers slid into my hair. My entire body felt electrified at his touch, all tingly and hypersensitive. My fingers traced the edge of his T-shirt collar as his mouth left mine and trailed hot, wet kisses along my jaw. I dipped my fingers below his collar, brushing his warm skin, wondering what it would feel like to run my hands down his broad back. His broad naked back. Someone moaned. I was pretty sure it was me. I pulled back, sliding my hand from his neck and curling my fingers into my palm, and against the need to touch him. "Peeta". He lifted his lips from where they'd been making devastating headway toward the tender skin of my neck. But he stayed a breath away. "Katniss?" he asked questioningly, in a rather hoarse, lusty voice. Hearing his voice didn't help my resolve. "We're lying on the cave floor". "And?" "And the cameras…" He lifted his head and looked at me, amusement and desire both in his eyes. It was like a one-two punch directly to that ache inside me… "I know…it's not exactly, private is it?" he laughed nervously. "There's a sleeping bag…" I murmured into his ear, trailing off suggestively. My breath in his ear sent shivers down his entire body. The knowledge that I could elicit such reactions in Peeta thrilled me. He traced a finger along my cheek, causing me to tremble as a shaky breath slid from between my lips. "Katniss, are you sure? I don't want you…to do something you'll regret..." he whispered, sincerity in his voice. He moved away slightly from my body, somehow only serving to make the air between us even more erotically charged. It was my turn to cup his face in my hands. Gazing into his earnest eyes, the desire I saw there caused a ripple of almost unbearable yearning to race through my body. But it was the caring concern that touched my heart. If I said no to any more than this, he'd be a gentleman and not push me. But I didn't want to say no. It went against all my normal cautions, but with Peeta….it felt right. "No," I whispered. A fierce light almost engulfed his eyes the instant I uttered the word. My pulse thundered, my body already past needing any additional priming. "But-"

He was already moving to kiss me again, but he paused. "But?" "I want-"Now I felt self-conscious. But this was important, this step with him. It wasn't casual, not to me, and I had to tell him that, now. Before. "I want you, this…I feel like I can't think straight until we-" I laughed even as I flushed. "I know," he said, looking down sheepishly. "I feel the same way." He pushed my hair back with his fingertips, then framed my face with his big hands. "It's more than just this, it always has been Katniss…for me least." I trembled. "I know," I said, pulling him closer until our lips almost touched. "Me too". Then I kissed him, and this time there was something else there, woven in with the passion and the hunger. Something almost…reverent. I pulled at his T-shirt. "Take this off". I meant to ask more politely, but it came out as a sort of growl. Still kissing me, he trailed his hands down to my shoulders, then down my arms until my hands were in his. He placed them on the ragged hem of his T-shirt. Against my lips, he murmured, "You take it off". A shudder of pleasure went through me at the prospect of feeling his skin beneath my fingers. I was clumsy with my desire, and it took me several tries before I successfully tugged the cloth up above his smooth muscular chest. Of course, his kisses didn't help my equilibrium at all. I struggled to pull the fabric up over his shoulders, but it got all bunched up on his biceps, until he finally dragged it the rest of the way off. I pressed my hands to his chest, unable to resist direct contact with that wall of warm flesh.

He groaned and covered my hands with his. "Katniss." It was all he could manage, but he released my hands and let me trail them over his chest as I wished. Dear god, but he was stunning. His chest was hard, almost carved, his muscles all rigid and defined, no doubt from working long days, hauling sacks of flour at the bakery. I ran a long finger down the line bisecting his abs, when he finally shuddered and covered my hand, stopping my exploration just above the waistband of his jeans. "Fair is fair," he said shakily. Suddenly Peeta grabbed me around the waist and picked me up from the cave floor, pressing me against the cool, stone wall. He let my hand go, then lightly traced those long fingers along my waist, toying with the edges of my top. He slowly lifted the hem, forcing me to put my arms over my head so he could slip it off. I shivered and felt a twinge or two of insecurity, of course I had never been this intimate with, well anyone before. The thought disappeared on a gasp as his warm mouth closed over my nipple through the cotton bra I wore. My arms were still over her head, caught in the sleeves he still held as he dipped his head and took my other nipple. He groaned, or maybe it was me. All I knew was that my legs were not going to keep me upright much longer if he insisted on -Oh god. My knees buckled as he yanked off the top, then moved his hands down my arms, lowering them so he could slide my bra straps down over my shoulders, pulling the cotton down over my breasts, over my now fully hardened nipples. "Peeta," I rasped.

"The sleeping bag," I managed to moan. Peeta trailed his hand slowly down my waist, to my thigh, causing my eyes to roll back slightly in my head. He grasped my knee and hitched it up to his waist, prompting me to wrap both my legs around him. I could feel his hardness, even through his jeans. It only caused the ache between my legs to pulse more.

A storm had begun to rage outside, but the one inside me was the only one commanding my attention at the moment. That and the one in his blue eyes. It was still very dim in the cave but he found the sleeping bag with no problem. We were both panting, more with need than exertion, when he finally lowered himself onto it with me still in his arms…only to leave me there and quickly hop right back off again. Before I could question his sudden abandonment, he looked up and said "Jeans." "Oh. Right." So hurry up and get them off, I silently demanded. Then realized I was in my tracksuit bottoms as well and started to skim them down my hips. It gave me something to do instead of looking at him. Because all of a sudden looking at Peeta completely naked seemed too overwhelming, too personal, too- I peeked. Then didn't look away. The bottom half of him was as sculpted…and rigidly formed…as the top half. He was total perfection. And he was going to be all mine. My hands stilled on the drawstring of my pants embarrassment overwhelming me again. Peeta took a step closer to the sleeping bag. "Would you like it if I did it for you?" he asked uncertainly. His slight awkwardness and lack of confidence made him all the more irresistible to me. He kneeled onto the sleeping bag, ready for me. "If you feel unsure about it Katniss, you need to tell me." I couldn't explain my sudden shyness. It really made no sense, but he was so damn perfect… what if I didn't live up to his expectations? He bent down and put his hands over mine on the drawstrings. "I…I dream about you, Katniss. Your warm skin, your beautiful smile, how your curves would feel under my hands." He tugged at the string and my hands fell away. But as he slid them down my legs, his gaze stayed directly on mine. "But that's just part of it." He tossed away my pants and levered himself over me. "You are the most beautiful person inside Katniss, I've known that since the first day I saw you", he smiled with a lopsided grin. He lowered his weight onto mine and we both gasped, then moaned at the contact. Before I could react, he kissed me sweetly and softly, at odds with the position we were in. "It's all about you Katniss," he murmured against my lips, "it's always been about you." He nudged between my legs and my hips lifted to his as naturally as if I had indeed been made just for him. He slowly pushed inside me.

Peeta's P.O.V:

I shook, both with the impact the reality of my words had on me…and with the tight feel of her all around him, taking him in, so deeply, so surely. There was no going back, not with our bodies or anything else. I knew it, and looking down into her eyes as I began to move inside her, I saw she know it too. I should be scared, terrified even. We were in a fight for our very lives, at any moment we could be killed in any number of brutal ways. The thoughts of any harm coming to Katniss made my blood boil. I wouldn't let that happen; to my dying breath, I would keep this girl, the girl I loved so much, safe. She had to go home to her family, to Prim…and I was going to ensure that would happen. The alternative was too painful to contemplate. Her hips rose to find me, meeting my thrusts. She gripped my arms and wrapped herself completely around me, body, heart and soul. It was scary and even a bit terrifying … but only because it felt like home. There was no other way to describe it. I thrust deeper, growling as I gave myself completely over to the sensations that pulled me in a million different directions. She met me, thrust for thrust. "Peeta," she panted. "I know," I gasped, and kept saying it as we both climbed higher and higher. She was thrashing beneath me now, her cries wild and uninhibited, shoving me right to the brink. I wanted to tell her, somehow make her understand what I was feeling, but it was all a jumble of want and need and my body was taking control.

I gripped her head and took her mouth, kissing her with everything I had inside of me, stunned at the depth of it. It took all my power not to fall over the brink before she did, but I somehow did. The force of my climax shuddered through me. But I was rocked even further by the mystifying, yet certain knowledge that she was the one. Home would be wherever Katniss Everdeen was. Still trembling, I looked down into her face, pushing away the hair until she opened her eyes and looked at me. I opened my mouth to tell her, find the words to make her understand…and realized I couldn't. She wanted more, yes, but this was so overwhelming, I wasn't sure she was ready for it. Hell, I wasn't sure I was ready for it! If I tried to explain it all to her, she'd probably think I was insane and run screaming into the night. Major tactical error. No, I'd have to show her. Here in this cave. In the morning, the middle of the night…and all those times in between. Until she knew. Like I knew. "What?" Her voice was barely more than a rasp. I stroked my fingers down her cheek, feeling both satisfied and antsy with anticipation of what was to come. "What what?" I asked, still toying with her hair. She smiled, looking languorous and content. "That smile on your face. It's kinda…predatory." I grinned and kissed her. "Well, I'm feeling a bit…predatory." "Are you?" she laughed when I pretended to pounce on her neck, then sighed as I slid my mouth to that tender spot on her shoulder. "How can you…after what we…" The rest was lost on a low moan of pleasure as I moved to the plump side of her breast. "You're still—" She inhaled sharply as I pulled her nipple between my lips and suckled it. "I'm still," I said, moving my mouth across her stomach. "But you won't be." It amazed me how assured I felt, confident in the knowledge that, against all the odds, the beautiful, amazing girl, somehow felt the same way for me! Me, Peeta Mellark, the boy with the bread! I dipped my tongue into her and she bucked her hips hard off the ground. I moved my body to pin her down, grinned as I lost myself between her legs, pushing her right up to the edge…and then screaming right over it. I kissed my way back up her still-shuddering body and pulled her into my arms. She snuggled against my chest, curling a leg over mine and snaking her arm around my waist. I smiled in the darkness and pulled her closer. We would have to talk, but right now just feeling her falling asleep in my arms was amazing. The talking could wait. I tucked her head under my chin just as thunder shook the ground and lightning lit up the cave. She didn't even flinch. I let myself drift off to sleep, the hunger games and it's brutality a distant storm on the horizon.