Quick note before you read:
I tried as best as I could to keep the characterization provided in the books, but for some of the minor characters I had to make them OC because the books gave them little personality. Also, I had to dial down some of the more extreme qualities of some, like Cato and Clove's thirst for blood. The majority of the characters here are just out of college, so many of them have to be more mature to fit their age in this story. Also, I will switch points of view between some of the main characters.
Very likely that rating will change to M later on.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my ideas.
Pachelbel's Canon has always been one of my favorites. I've learned many pieces, understandable as I first sat at the piano as a four year old, stretching out my legs in vain as I tried to reach the pedals. I've mastered many works from many different eras, but few have had such an effect on me. So, when Cinna asked me to learn it for his wedding, I could hardly refuse.
Cinna is my oldest and dearest friend, and one of the only people I know who would allow a 22 year old to come play piano during the most important ceremony of his life. So, there was a lot of pressure. Not caused by Cinna of course. It's his fiancée, Portia, who I was concerned about. I haven't met her yet, but she's a teaching assistant at Harvard Law, in the process of becoming a professor there. Somehow I don't think she'd appreciate any kind of mishap during her wedding.
I set out the music and was finally about to start playing when I heard the door open. I rolled my eyes. It's usually only hard learning pieces I don't like, but even learning this is taking forever.
I turned around to see my brother, Marvel, walking through the doorway. He didn't seem to notice my presence, as he was distracted by his camera. He's been going out a lot lately, taking pictures of the beautiful city that is my new home. Well, his home. I've been in Virginia since I moved down there for college. I'll just be here for the next couple months to help plan the wedding. Marvel lives here in Boston, our hometown, as a second-year medical student at Harvard. I wouldn't mind moving back up here, though. I probably could, as I can take my work with me. As a writer, all I need is a laptop and my own thoughts.
He finally looks up, "Hey, Kat. You gotta see these."
I lift myself off the bench and make my way over to him. Even as a busy med student, Marvel always manages to make time for photography. As he should. He's great at it. He shows me some stills of the harbor, bustling with those coming in to enjoy the remainder of the summer in Boston.
"You should print some of these out for Haymitch," I suggest. Haymitch would appreciate them, as an enthusiast for the arts and an owner of a gallery. Of course, as the closest thing to a father figure Marvel and I have, he's going to appreciate any kind of art we give him.
"That reminds me," Marvel says, walking over to the kitchen counter. "I was going to take these to him later, but I have to go check on things down at the lab. Would you do it for me?" Of course he has to go work on his research project. Eh. I might as well go. Visiting Haymitch is always interesting.
I grab some chocolate along the way. I figure Haymitch needs a pick-me-up, since he was probably up most of the night with little Scorpius. I was in shock when I first found out Haymitch and Effie were going to be parents. I never thought I'd see the day when Haymitch willingly accepted complete responsibility for someone else. I guess it isn't that surprising; Effie can be very persuasive.
Haymitch's gallery isn't far from Marvel's apartment, so it wasn't that long of a walk. It's too early for there to be any customers, so I announce myself.
"Oh honey, I'm home!"
My outburst was met with silence. Strange. That's when I notice it. Leaning against Haymitch's desk is a painting I've never seen before. Which is unusual; I'm in here enough, so I usually recognize the art. It doesn't look like any artist I've seen before, either.
The painting is of a sunset. But describing it in just that one word seems unfair. Yes, it's a sunset on the horizon of the water, but it seems like so much more. Underneath the gentle orange and pink hues I can sense the care and thought put into the work. I run my fingers along the side of the canvas and look in the corner for the signature. P. Mellark. Never heard of him.
"Like what you see?" I'm snapped out of my daze by an unfamiliar voice. I look up, and my gray eyes meet a pair of sparkling blue eyes, almost hidden by wavy, blond bangs.
I nod. "It's nice."
The man in front of me smiles and sticks out his hand. "Peeta."
Ah. So that's P. Mellark. "Katniss." I take his hand. His hand is strong, but soft – if that's possible. I recognize the same gentleness from his painting.
"Ah! I see you've met Peeta" Haymitch comes out of his office. I suspiciously eye the cup in his hand. He rolled his eyes and showed me its contents.
"It's 8 in the morning, sweetheart. Not even I've hit that point yet." But I could tell he was getting there. He looked exhausted.
"Here." I hold out the prints. I felt the need to get out of there. I could feel Peeta's warm gaze on me, making my cheeks heat up. I looked up and our eyes locked.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. Awkward, yes, but it's a solid distraction. It was a new text message from Gale:
I rolled my eyes. The last time I saw him last night, he was flirting with a tall, slender blonde. His usual type. Now I was most likely going to get a play by play of whatever went down. Sometimes Gale forgets I'm not a guy and this isn't a competition. If it was, he'd win of course. But I don't see why he can't assert his masculinity around someone else, like Cato or Marvel.
I sent back some thoughtless reply and turn around to go. "Bye Haymitch and –"
But he beats me to it. Peeta smiles softly and waves, "Nice meeting you, Katniss."
Please tell me what you think! Feedback is much appreciated.
Chapter 2 should be up in a few days.