a/n: This is a random idea that came to me today during class and i decided to run with it. it's set in present-day so it's totally a/u. hope ya'll like it! this is loosely based off of Sarah Dessen's Keeping the Moon, though it'll be different. thank you "Searching for a Shooting Star" for reminding me!
**sorry for the extra emails, the second chapter is not ready yet i just had to correct something on this and had to reupload it!
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they belong 100% to the freaking amazing suzanne collins!
On the other side of a street I knew
Stood a girl that looked like you
I guess thats deja vuBut I thought this can't be true
Cause you moved to west L.A or New York or Santa Fe
Or where ever to get away from me
"Can you help me, Katniss?" Prim asked, her bright blue eyes staring at the duffel bag in front of her, a pile of shirts, colorful and bright sitting next to it. "I don't think I can fit anymore clothes in here." She said, struggling to close the bag as it was.
Katniss eyed her own duffel bag and the few shirts she'd tossed in it, all of them black and gray.
Packing was never too difficult for her; her wardrobe mainly consisted of jeans and t-shirts. And only just a few at that, compared to her baby sister.
"Bring those here" Katniss told her, nodding towards Prim's surplus of clothes.
She picked her pile of clothes up, clumsily dropping a few on the floor as she made her way from her own bed to Katniss', spreading them across her older sister's bed.
Katniss bent to the floor, picking up the clothes that had jumped ship during Prim's trek across their room and folded them, setting them next to the pile that Prim had just began to re-fold.
"You know, Katniss, we're going to Uncle Haymitch's house for a whole three months. I think you're going to need more clothes than that." Prim said, peeking into Katniss' bag, picking at the small pile of clothes Katniss had stuffed into the vinyl, beaten up bag.
Katniss smiled, the kind only her little sister could get out of her on most days, as she tucked Prim's pink shirt into her skirt, patting the front of her skirt down. Prim was twelve, only four years Katniss' junior, but was Katniss' baby sister. She was innocent, and wholesome, and beautiful. "Don't worry, little duck. If I run out of my own, I'll just borrow some of your shirts."
Prim giggled, a dimple in her left cheek deepening as she showed her teeth. "Then maybe you'll wear some color! All you ever wear are boring colors!"
Katniss rolled her eyes, folding Prim's clothes as she packed them in her own bag.
She heard her door open, her mother's footsteps softly thudding until Katniss felt the mattress shift as the older lady took a seat on the mattress, adjacent to the duffel bag.
Katniss concentrated on the bag in front of her, folding and packing the rest of Prim's clothes as Prim padded towards their mother, climbing the bed to sit behind her.
With her small hands, little Prim gathered their mother's blonde hair, brushing out the knots before she separated her hair into three sections, beginning to twist the blonde strands into a beautiful French braid. It always made her mother look more like her mother. Before everything happened. Before he left.
Katniss picked up another shirt, scrunching up her face as she took in the sequenced pink article of clothing. It was one of Prim's favorites, and it was clearly something Katniss could never imagine herself wearing. She'd leave the sequences and the pink to her little sister.
She felt her mother's hand cover her own, and she dropped the shirt she'd folded back onto the bed, her fingers reacting to the touch. She sighed, picking up the shirt again before glancing at her mother.
Prim and her mother looked alike; they both had electric blue eyes and hair so blonde it almost looked white in the sun. Katniss, on the other hand, with her dull gray eyes and sheening black her, had taken her looks from her father.
She slowly, begrudgingly lifted her eyes to her mother's sunken ones, her body rigid with irritation already.
"Have you finished packing?" Her mother asked, her voice raw and low the way it almost always was now.
Prim pulled a rubber band around the bottom of their mother's braid, setting it to the front before wrapping her arms around their mother's bony arms. "I don't want to go without you, mom." She complained, her voice laced with a sad whine.
Their mother patted Prim's hands gingerly, before turning to Katniss, repeating her words.
Katniss nodded her head, avoiding her mother's eyes. "Yes. But I still don't see why we have to go—"
Her mother shook her head wearily, as if she was already tired from the few words she'd shared in their conversation. "I've already told you, Katniss. I'm taking on extra shifts at the hospital, and I'm going to be helping with the new hospital they're building in New Orleans so I'll be travelling a bit and it's just better this way, if you're at Uncle Haymitch's. He'll take care of you guys."
"I can take care of us. I can take care of Prim and I." Katniss retorted. I have been since dad died, anyway, she thought, but bit back her words.
Her mother just shook her head and Prim slumped behind her, sprawling herself across Katniss' bed. "This is not up for discussion, Katniss. You two are spending the summer at Haymitch's, and that is it." She cocked her head to the clock, "And we should get going. Your train should be leaving in about thirty minutes."
She lifted herself off the bed, her quiet steps leading her out the door as Katniss let out an aggravated sigh and Prim walked back to her side of the room, picking her shoes off the floor.
It hadn't always been this way, her relationship with her mother hadn't always been this strained.
Her mother had been a lively woman, had been chatty and happy in many ways like Prim. But her father's death had all but killed her mother as well.
Memories from before are still vivid in Katniss' mind; innumerable Sundays spent at the lake with her father. He'd taught her how to fish, how to canoe, how to truly appreciate the world of nature around them. They would spend hours in the middle of the water, their small boat gently rocking with the waves as the two sat quietly, back to back, fishing rods in hand. They'd wait until the sun was dipping deep into the horizon, the sky a perfect shade of orange as they'd drive home from the lake, her father singing loudly to the tunes blaring from his old, noisy radio.
Her mother would always save her prettiest dresses for Sundays, and when the two got home from the river, her eyes would light up as her father drove into the gravelly drive way, her lips finding his as soon as he stepped into the house.
And as her father carved the fish, her mother would prepare the rest of their dinner. They would talk, laugh, sing as they spent their favorite moments of the week together, and Katniss would help Prim bathe before dinner.
Before, her mother was a woman of words, a woman known for her laughs that were too loud and smiles that were radiant and plenty. She was a part-time nurse at the hospital, always home before her daughter and husband. Now, her mother was just a hollow, empty woman who worked longer and longer hours until she was almost never home at all.
The car accident two years ago hadn't taken just one person from her life; it had stolen both of her parents from her.
"I don't want to go." Katniss said, finally voicing what she held back from her mother for weeks now. She stomped her foot ineffectively, her frown deepening as she heard both Gale and Prim let out snorts of laughter.
"Well, I would appreciate if you didn't take your anger out on good ol' Betsy." He said, a wry smile on his face as he patted the dashboard of his car.
She shot him the dirtiest look she could muster and slumped deeper into her seat, her shoulders drooping low.
She heard Gale sigh as his eyes softened, "It won't be so bad." He said, resting his hand on her thigh. "It's only three months, you'll be home before you know it. And if it really is that bad, just call me. Cedar Point is only a two hour drive from here; I'll come pick you up. We'll hide you and Prim in the attic until your mom comes back."
He cocked his head towards his rearview mirror, a playful smile on his rugged face, "How does that sound Prim? You don't mind hiding out in the attic, do you?"
Katniss heard her sister giggle, "Nope! Plus, I can even hide under Posy's bed!"
Gale laughed, turning his attention back to Katniss. "See, there's our plan. If it sucks out there at Cedar Point, you can come right back here."
She allowed a small smile as he stalled the car, shifting the gear into park before pulling the keys out of the ignition.
"So, we're here." He said quietly, giving her knee a small squeeze before opening his door, hopping out of his truck.
Katniss reached for Prim's hand as Gale reached into the trunk of his truck, hauling the two vinyl duffle bags onto his shoulder before placing his hand to the small of Katniss' back, leading her to the train platform.
The train whistled, warning her to board it before it left without her, and she was tempted to run the other way, back home.
Gale pulled her into his arms, and she leaned into him, his familiar, musky scent enveloping her.
"I'll miss you." He whispered into her ear, his breathe tickling her ears.
"Me too, Gale." She said, stepping away from him before clutching Prim's hand again.
She walked to her seat, Prim in tow and slumped into the uncomfortable plastic. She waved at Gale from the window, mustering a weak, small smile as the train whistled loudly once more before pulling away.
She closed her eyes, a lump forming in the back of her throat, her head knocking loudly against the plastic of her seat and she felt Prim squeeze her fingers in her warm hand. "It'll be okay, Katniss. As long as we're together, we'll be okay."
And her words were so sweet, so soft, so Prim, that she almost believed them. Almost.
Exactly two hours and fifteen minutes later, Katniss and Prim are the only two to step off the train.
Katniss stood on the platform, her hand clutching Prim's, their luggage sitting at their feet. She squinted her eyes, scanning the almost empty platform for the uncle she hadn't seen in two years, as small beads of sweat formed on her forehead. It was hot, and the sun was too bright on her face, though she could hear the waves of the beach nearby.
There was no Haymitch, although that didn't come as much of a surprise to her or Prim. They're uncle was known to be a lethargic, lazy person who drank most of his life away. And when he wasn't drinking, he was holed up in his home, writing.
Her uncle had had a short run of success; ten years ago, after writing and trashing countless novels, Haymitch had finally found a publisher who liked his work enough, who had agreed to publish his novel. And whilst working with his editor late into the night, fixing his book and sharing a few laughs, he fell in love with her.
No one could blame him; She was beautiful, with long blonde hair and green eyes that reminded Katniss of the marsh that surrounded the lake. She had a small nose that fit her face just right, and always had a smattering of freckles on her cheeks. She was sweet, her voice like sugar, and she was smart, always having a way with words in a way her uncle, the writer, did not.
Her name was Maysilee Donner, and in almost every one's opinion, she was far too good for her egotistical, messy uncle.
And it wasn't too long before she realized that as well, because just months after they'd tied the knot in a small, beach wedding, he found her kissing her latest author – Seneca Crane.
And from there, it went downhill for her uncle.
He'd taken a strong liking to alcohol, and swore he could not find a way to cure his writer's block though she'd once heard her mother whisper to her father that she wasn't sure he was ever sober enough to really know.
She hadn't seen him much since then, only catching a glance of him at her father's funeral. Although, in truth, that whole event was just a blur of tears to her.
Her eyes scanned the pavement, noting only two other people who stood on the platform aside from Prim and her.
She first took in the old lady who sat on the lone bench, her graying hair messily tied up in a bun. She wore a tie-dyed shirt and sat quietly, absorbed in the book she held in her hands.
She shifted her gaze to the boy standing on the other end. He had short, curly blonde hair and wore a pair of faded jeans and a bright blue shirt that almost hurt her eyes. He lifted his gaze towards her, and she realized the bright blue of his shirt matched perfectly with the blue of his eyes.
His eyes registered in recognition, and he waved his hand in the air, a warm, easy smile gracing his lips.
"Katniss? Prim?" He shouted across the platform, his voice friendly as though he'd known the two of them his whole life.
She looked at him wearily, tightening her grip on Prim's fingers protectively.
She didn't know who he was, but he seemed to know them.
She nodded her head slightly and he took it as a signal to introduce himself, moving towards them.
As he neared them, Katniss noticed the splattering of paint on him. And he smelled sweet and warm, reminding her vaguely of cupcakes.
He stuck his hand out, his shake too friendly in a way that irritated her, before shaking Prim's.
"Haymitch sent me to pick you guys up," he said, his voice still too cheery and jovial to be normal and Katniss was sure he was high, probably a pot-head.
He pointed his eyes towards their bags, "These yours?"
"Yes, but you don't have to get them, we'll manage." Prim said, reaching for her bag.
He beat her to it, easily lifting both bags in his hand before patting his hand endearingly on Prim's head with his free hand, an easy smile on his face, "Don't worry, I got them."
"So, how was the train ride?" Peeta asked, putting their luggage into the trunk of his car before opening the door for both Prim and Katniss.
He put his keys in to the ignition, starting up his car before pulling out into an empty intersection. It wasn't too long before the ocean was in view. It was, after all, what Cedar Point was known for.
"Good." Katniss said, leaving it at that. She'd never been good at small-talk.
"It wasn't too bad," Prim said, keeping up the conversation with Peeta as Katniss fell quiet in the passenger seat.
The lingering smell of paint hit her nose as she glanced back at Prim, who was eyeing the art supplies covering the seat next to her.
"Sorry about all that," Peeta said, looking at Prim through the rearview mirror. "I was going to clean up for you guys but I just ran out of time."
Prim shook her head, "Don't worry about it. Do you paint?" She asked, her voice curious, almost as friendly as Peeta's. Though, Katniss wasn't sure anyone sane could reach that level of friendliness.
He nodded his head, his blonde curls bouncing just a tiny bit. "I do! Do you, Prim?"
Prim shook her head, "No, but I have always wanted to. I just never knew where to begin or what to do with the paints."
He smiled at her, his lips permanently stretched upwards it seemed. "Why don't you join me sometime? I paint all the time! Well, when I'm not working."
Prim nodded her head excitedly, "I'd love to!"
"You're more than welcome to join us, Katniss." Peeta said, looking at her and she just nodded back, unsure of what to say.
She didn't paint. She fished. She hunted. She set up snares.
A silence fell over the car and Peeta reached for the radio, playing a song. He hummed along with it, and for a millisecond, she was reminded of her father.
She shook her head, staring out the window as small houses came into view. In between each tiny, colorful house, a strip of the water could be seen. Small boats bobbed along the waves,
He stalled the car in front of a off-white, big house, the paint chipping off in parts near the windows. It had a southern looking red porch, the paint on the wood fading, wrapping around the house in the front, a rusty bike leaned up against the railing.
There were bushes below the porch, messy and out of control, in need of grooming. But of course, that is what one would expect of Haymitch Abernathy's home.
She clambered out of the car, and noticed that Peeta had opened Prim's door for her and was heading towards her. He stopped when he realized she'd let herself out, and turned back to the trunk, lifting their two bags.
"Haymitch is expecting you guys, he is so excited about you two coming!" Peeta said, his blue eyes even brighter in the sun.
"Sure he is." Katniss muttered under her breath, wearily eyeing the house.
She felt something move around her feet and looked down, a small shriek involuntarily escaping her lips as she found an ugly, orange cat sniffing at her torn, beat up converses.
The tom-cat looked up at her, his eyes mean and hard, and he let out a hiss as she realized she was stepping on the edge of his tail.
She jumped off, backing away from the hideous thing and hit the front bumper of Peeta's car.
"Oh, I'm sorry, are you scared of cats?" He asked, his eyes concerned.
She shook her head, supremely embarrassed by her outrageous behavior. It was just a cat; she had killed animals much larger than this small feline.
"No," she breathed. "He just caught me by surprise."
He nodded at her, a smile in his eyes as he opened his mouth to speak, but shut it again as Prim squealed in delight.
"Oh my God! He is so cute! Is he yours, Peeta?" Prim asked eagerly, rocking on her heels as she pet the orange ball of fur.
Katniss sighed. This was typical. Every animal they'd ever encountered automatically found a disliking towards Katniss, but cuddled up to Prim immediately. This was no different, Katniss realized, as the cat purred, leaning into Prim's touch.
Peeta squatted next to her, rubbing the cat's head affectionately. "No, he's not mine, exactly. He's a stray, but he mostly keeps around here, so I give him some food sometimes. I've named him Buttercup."
"Awww, Buttercup." Prim cooed, her fingers grazing the feline's orange fur.
"Boy? Is that you?" A gruff voice came from inside the house, and the screen door opened.
Haymitch shielded his face with his fingers, his disdain for the too-bright sun evident in his face.
"Yes, sir. The train was right on time." He said, walking up the short steps to the front door, nodding at Haymitch.
"I'll take these inside for you" Peeta said, smiling for the umpteenth time before heading inside.
Haymitch looked at Katniss, and then Prim, before nodding at the both of them. "Hello."
"Hi, Uncle Haymitch!" Prim said sweetly, wrapping her tiny arms around his waist. He patted her back awkwardly before she let go.
Katniss lingered behind her, taking in the appearance of her uncle. He was wearing a gray shirt, a long dark stain running down the front half. He wore jeans, a small hole forming at his knee, the bottoms frayed. His breathe reeked of alcohol, though she couldn't be too sure if he was drunk or not.
"Uncle Haymitch." Katniss said simply, nodding her head at him again.
He nodded back, before mumbling something under his breathe, opening the door for the both of them to enter his house.
"Thanks for letting us stay with you this summer." Prim said again, trying to find a solution to the awkward silence that hung over the three of them.
He nodded, mumbling something again.
Well, Katniss thought, that was one thing they had in common. Neither one of them could really keep up any sort of conversation.
He slurred a string of words under his breathe, the only one Katniss could really understand was 'Peeta' before heading into a room, shutting the door behind him.
Peeta peeked out from the kitchen, "I put your guys' bags in your room," he said, "would you like me to show the way?"
"Yes, please!" Prim exploded, glad to have someone who was better at conversation than Haymitch and Katniss.
The two of them bantered with each other happily, looking as long-lost friend as Katniss tuned them out, taking in the surroundings.
The house smelled funny; like bread and flour and sweets, she thought. But there was a distinctive smell of alcohol mixed in, too, and it burned her nostrils.
The house was scarcely furnished. The living room just held a couch with fading upholstery and a Television box. There was a rug under the couch, covering the wooden floors. As she padded down the halls, following Peeta and Prim, she noticed the bare, white walls. It almost looked like the house was vacant.
Peeta opened a door, "This is your guys' room."
There was a large bed in the center of the room, their two duffel bags sitting in the middle of the mattress. There was a small window on the corner, a table on the other corner, a chest of drawers in between the two.
"I'll leave you guys to it," Peeta said, smiling generously once more before shutting the door behind him.
"He's really nice," Prim said a moment after the door had closed shut, sitting on the bed. "Do you think he lives with Haymitch?"
Katniss shrugged, not knowing the answer to the latter. "Not sure" she said simply, though truly, she thought he was a bit irritating. No one needed to smile that much.
She unpacked her clothes, laughing a bit as Prim messily pushed her clothes in a drawer, struggling as she forced it shut.
"Why don't you fit some in the other drawers, little bunny?" Katniss asked, pulling out an empty drawer for her baby sister.
Prim looked at her as though the idea hadn't occurred to her, and Katniss helped her neatly fold her clothes into the drawer.
Prim headed down the stairs as Katniss headed to the shower, scrubbing herself cleaning. Travelling always made her feel dirty, almost as though she'd walked her journey rather than sitting in a relatively clean train car.
Stepping out of the shower, she pulled on a pair of jeans a black shirt. She brushed her hair, twisting it back into a braid before trudging down the stairs, the smell of something delicious reeling her in.
She walked to the kitchen, finding Peeta and Prim engaged in a conversation, an extra plate set next to Prim.
"We were gonna wait for you, but you took too long to shower and I got hungry." Prim said, her mouth turned upwards and Katniss smiled back at her, taking a seat next to her.
She took a spoonful of the stew in front of her, her mouth watering at just the smell.
Prim and Peeta easily resumed their conversation, something about the different kinds of paints he used.
She took another spoonful and wondered if this is what her summer would be like – sitting in a strange house with her strange uncle, listening to this strange boy and her precious little sister talk about anything and everything.
Oh but that one night
Was more than just right
I didn't leave you cause I was all through
Oh I was overwhelmed and in fact scared as hell
Because I really fell for you
a/n: please, please, pleasee review! each and every review you guys send my way makes my day! this chapter is a little bit on the shorter side but i was so inspired to write this story this morning that i ended up plotting and writing up this chapter in one day so, yes, the next chapter will hopefully be better and longer!
hope you guys liked it! let me know what you think!