Author's note: This will be about Katniss and Peeta as they work to have their family. I'm not yet sure how many chapters this will be. I hope you like it! The title comes from a line in Run Daddy Run by Miranda Lambert and Pistol Annies on the Hunger Games movie soundtrack, "I've been gathering the pieces of all these shattered hearts."
Feel free to review and let me know what you think.
A Hunger Games Fanfiction
By Danielle Cheri
"Peeta!" Katniss screamed as she sat up. She panted.
Peeta sat up beside her. "Hey." He said gently, putting his arms around her. "It's just a dream, sweetheart."
She turned and put her head on his shoulder. "It feels like they're getting worse." She breathed. "I was back there. Back in the Games. Clove, Cato, Marvel, all of them. And you." She sat back breathed a large sigh as she wiped her face. "You let them take me and torture me. And you just stood there. You let them hurt me. And I kept begging for your help and you did nothing." She got up out of the bed.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm not getting back to sleep anytime soon." She left the room.
Peeta followed a few seconds later. "I'll make you some tea." He pushed her gently into a chair and walked over to the stove.
"You're limping." She observed.
"I always limp."
"More than usual."
He put the kettle on the stove and then sat down beside her. He picked up her hand and kissed it. "My leg's bothering me a little."
"Anything I can do?"
"I don't think so. But I've had the same prosthesis since they pulled me out. Maybe I need an upgrade or something." He kissed her hand again. "It's been making some noise. Clicking and squeaking."
"We'd have to go to the Capitol if you want quality."
"Are you up for that?" he asked softly.
"I'm fine. I can avoid my mother."
"You really shouldn't."
"No, I shouldn't. But we always fight when we're together."
"You're both still so hurt…"
She lifted her hand and ran it through his hair. "I know you don't understand it, Peeta, but she's let me down so many times."
"Mine did, too." He stood up and started pulling out cups and gathering the rest of the tea things. "I'd give anything to have her back, though." He admitted softly.
Katniss walked over behind him and wrapped her arms around him. She dropped her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry."
He rested his hands on top of hers and leaned back. "We're so messed up, Katniss. Maybe you're right about the baby."
"You know I am." She turned her head and kissed his neck. "But that doesn't matter. You want to be a father and I owe it to you to try."
"You don't owe me anything, sweetheart. You've saved me so many times. In so many ways." He turned and leaned his forehead against hers. "I would be nothing without you."
"And I would be nothing without you."
"You love me. Real or not real?"
She smiled, "Real." She kissed him softly. "Very real." She looked around him. "You didn't put the tea in the water yet, have you?"
"Not yet. Why?"
She stepped back and slipped her hand in his. She pulled him back toward their room. "I have a sudden urge to go back to bed."
"Oh?" He asked.
She said nothing else. As soon as her feet stepped over the threshold of their room, she started shedding her clothes.
Peeta followed suit, hopping a little on his good leg and he struggled out of his pants. He pulled Katniss close and kissed her softly. His hands moved slowly over her back.
Katniss blinked, looking deeply into his eyes. "I'm so scared. Every time is so frightening."
"I know." His voice shook. "We can use all the precautions. We don't have to try tonight."
"No, I…" She stepped away and pulled him with her to the bed. "I promised you we'd try."
He sat down and started messing with his false leg. "Would it bother you if I took this thing off?"
"Why would it bother me? You go without it all the time." She reached over and helped him remove it. "And maybe I have some weird fetish." She smiled and kissed him softly and pushed him back on the bed. "I like you better without the leg."
"Not real." He said with a smile. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her down on top of him. "You love everything about me." He moved his hands over her smooth skin. "Real or not real?"
"Real." She said softly, kissing him and moving her hand slowly down his chest. "Very, very real."
Katniss walked in through the front door. She sat her bow and quiver down against the wall and then walked further into the house. "Peeta?"
"In the kitchen." He called.
She smelled tea and fresh bread as she walked in. She shared a kiss with her husband beside the stove as he worked on making scrambled eggs.
"Have a good hunt?" He asked.
She lifted the bag. "A few squirrels. Couple different birds. I saw a deer, but thought better of it." She smiled and put the bag down beside the back door. "How does that leg feel this morning?"
"My leg is fine. Just like the last few mornings when you've asked." He turned around and sat the pan of eggs on the table. "There's another part of me that could use you attention." He teased.
She chuckled. "You're so much different these days."
"Well, sweetheart, sometimes I just feel like life is too short to be serious. You're serious enough for the two of us. And all this lovemaking over the last few weeks—" He stopped suddenly. His hands shook as he gripped the plate of bread. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
Katniss stood uncertainly, watching him. She knew if she tried to say something, it could only make things worse. So she waited and watched and he eventually relaxed. She walked over and took the plate gently from his hands.
Peeta swallowed and let out a long breath. "I'm fine." He said softly. He opened his eyes slowly. "You aren't a threat to me. Real or not real?"
"Real." She said softly.
"And I won't hurt you." He looked around him, remembering all he'd been doing. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be." She pulled out a chair and helped him to sit. "Eat something." She leaned down and kissed his cheek softly.
He stiffened at the brush of her lips against his skin.
It shouldn't hurt her. But it still did. Just before she had gone out to hunt, his body had melted at the touch of her lips. How would they ever have the family Peeta wanted when they both ran so hot and cold?
They ate in silence. Katniss watched him critically. Peeta kept his head down.
"Stop it, Katniss." He stood up suddenly.
"Stop what?" She looked down at her plate guiltily.
"You're waiting for me to attack you." He started clearing the table.
"Maybe I am." She was growing angry now.
"And you're thinking about what we'll tell our kids when it happens and they see."
"I'm contemplating something along the lines of, 'Don't worry, Daddy just wants to rip Mother's throat out. But it's all right, kids, he'll never really do it. Maybe.'" She shot up from the table and stalked off to the other room.
She heard a plate clatter to the floor and Peeta mutter something. Then she heard him stomping after her.
"I'm better." He said desperately from the doorway.
Katniss looked up at him. "Excuse me?"
He walked over and sat down beside her on the sofa. "I'm so much better."
"You still want to kill me. Real or not real?"
He bit his lip and looked past her. He was quiet for a long time. He finally said softly, "Not real."
She shot up from the sofa. "That's a lie."
"It's not a lie, sweetheart." He said just above a whisper. "I don't want to kill you. I never wanted you dead. Snow did. He did terrible things to all of us." He shook his head. "But there's no more Snow."
"Just your lingering desire to kill me every so often." She walked toward the door.
"Where are you going?" he asked almost frantically.
"I just need to be outside. The walls are closing in." She slammed the door shut behind her.
She walked out into the forest and found the spot between the rocks where she used to meet Gale. How she wished she could just go back to those days. She was barely surviving, but at least she was almost happy and knew what was what. She never wanted to have a family with Gale, but it never mattered. She had her family.
She had Prim.
She put her face in her hands. She breathed and listened to the sounds of the forest. A bird sang in a tree nearby. A squirrel scurried through the brush. A twig snapped.
Katniss shot up into a defensive crouch. Why hadn't she brought her bow?
"Whoa." Peeta said softly, putting his hands out. "It's just me."
"Is it really?" She said, even as she sat back down.
He sat beside her.
After a long silence, she said, "I'm sorry. It's just always so uncertain. That's why I go back and forth with this. We can go for days and everything is fine. And then the universe seems to realize that something's wrong and I have a nightmare and you feel like killing me…" She shook her head.
"You haven't had a nightmare in weeks."
"I know." She slipped her hand into his and gently squeezed it. She struggled with herself before finally saying, "I've been trying to ignore this."
"Ignore what, Katniss?"
She looked at him. "You love me. Real or not real?"
"Real." He said, looking back at her in confusion.
"You understand why this is hard for me. Real or not real?"
"Real." He said, starting to understand.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. "I know, sweetheart." He kissed her. "I know. We'll get ourselves used to the idea. We've got a few months, right?"
"Yeah, about seven of them." She said softly against his chest.
"Yeah." She sat back. "We should get you to the Capitol sooner rather than later. I don't want to make that trip..." She stuck her hands out in front of her stomach in an exaggeration of a pregnant belly.
He chuckled. He put his hand on her stomach. "I can't wait to see you like that." He kissed her neck. He kissed a line up to just under her ear.
She moved away. "Don't do that here." She said softly.
He nodded. "Let's get home, then." He struggled to stand.
Katniss stood and helped him.
There was an odd popping sound. "I'm really going to need to get this fixed."
"Lean on me." She said, wrapping her arm around his waist.
They made slow progress back to their house, Peeta's leg popping and clicking the entire way.