I wake up to the sound of vomit hitting the toilet bowl, which was not the nicest thing to wake up to. I takes me half a second to realise that the bed is empty next to me, and it was in fact Peeta throwing up. I jump out of bed and run in to the bathroom.
"Peeta?" I knock on the door. "Are you alright?" What a stupid question that was, but in reality I really wasn't sure what else to do. I was used to Haymitch vomiting his guts out after a particularly heavy alcohol binge, but Peeta hasn't been drinking as far as I knew. He doesn't like the taste. So it must be something else, something worse. My stomach twists in worry as I hear him wretch again.
"Peeta, I'm coming in." I say as I twist the door knob and see his figure huddled next to the toilet.
"Katniss? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you. Just go back to bed, I'm fine." Peeta croaks in an effort to sound normal before gripping the toilet again. I hesitantly put my hand on his back to rub small, soothing circles.
"You're obviously not fine. Tell me what's wrong." I say, my tone a little harsher than intended. He was not fooling me.
"I think- I think I've caught something. You should go, I don't want you catching it."
"My immune system is ridiculously strong, don't worry about me. You're the one puking up the dinner I spent hours preparing." I say in an attempt to lighten the situation.
"Sorry." He apologises and closes his tired eyes. Why was he apologising?
"Don't apologise." I told him and pressed my palm against his sweaty forehead. It was hot, nowhere near as hot as when I cared for him as he was dying in the cave during the first Games, but still above average. I shake off the unwanted memories that threatened to invade my mind. He leans in to my cool palm and breathes slowly and deeply for a few minutes before opening his eyes with a flutter of golden lashes.
"Better?" I ask.
"A little." He attempts a smile and slowly gets to his feet. I grab a bucket in case we have a replay of this later on and help him back in to bed. He soon falls asleep and I can't help but check his forehead every few minutes before I finally give in and close my eyes, letting sleep consume me.
When I wake again, something hits me. Literally. I spring up to see Peeta moaning and thrashing around in his sleep, a rare occasion as Peeta usually sleeps like a log. Or a dead bear. Both are accurate representations.
"Peeta!" I shake his shoulder to wake him. His eyes snap open before contorting in to a scowl. A moan escapes his lips and he grips his stomach. He's still sick.
"Your stomach's still hurting?" It was an obvious question with an obvious answer. He nods. "Do you feel like throwing up?" He shakes his head.
"Just hurts." he murmurs, sounding like a young boy. I feel utterly helpless, which is not something I like feeling. I think back to when Prim was sick, how she liked it when I rubbed circles on her stomach. The thought of Prim hits me like a train and I grit my teeth, feeling the familiar sting in my eyes. Now was not the time to break down, Peeta needed me.
"Lie on your back, Peeta." I instruct him, lacking the soothing tone my mother has with her patients. He does as he is told, his eyes in a constant wincing expression. I snuggle up to his right side and lay my head on just above his shoulder, his right arm instinctively coming up to wrap around me. I lay my palm on his shirt covered stomach and begin slowly making circles with my thumb, then my fingers, and eventually my whole hand.
"Feels nice." he says, breath tickling my hair. I shift my head and reach up to kiss him on the chin. We lie there for a while, every now and then when the pain came back Peeta would guide my hand to spots he wanted me to soothe. Eventually he sighed.
"You've done this with me before. Real or not real?."
"You mean take care of you? Real. In the first games, you were very sick." I reply.
"I was hurt. By- by a sword. Who's sword?"
"Cato's. He cut you with his sword. And I found you, remember? You camouflaged in to the ground. I almost stepped on you. You said-"
"Here to finish me off Sweetheart? That's what I said. Real or not real?"
"Real." I smile and sit up. "You're getting better."
"Hey, I was enjoying that." He pulls my hand back on to his stomach, though looking proud of himself.
"Too bad, I have to go make some food. Haymitch is coming round for lunch." Peeta groans at the mention of food. "Just try and eat a little, I'll tell Haymitch you're not feeling well so you can stay in bed." I say, climbing off the bed.
"But I want you to stay here with meee." He whines, jutting out his bottom lip. I smile and feel grateful he's acting like Peeta again.
"Later. Haymitch will be here soon, try to sleep more." I say before getting in to the shower.
I pull my wet hair in to my usual braid and put on some comfortable clothes before getting to work on the lamb stew.
"I'm here." A voice came from behind me, and I turn to see Haymitch entering the kitchen. "Smells good, sweetheart. Where's lover boy?" He asks, taking a seat at the table. He looked surprisingly sober.
"He's in bed, ill." I told him as I poured Peeta a small bowl of stew.
"Is he now? That's different."
"Hmm. Could you take this in to him?" I ask, handing him Peetas bowl. He huffs but complies, trudging out of sight. I place our bowls on the table and pour some water, taking a seat. Haymitch returns shortly after with Peeta by his side. "Peeta what are you doing? Go back to bed." I say.
"I feel better." He smiles, his blue eyes lighting up behind the messy golden locks falling around his face. He's still wearing his pyjamas and slippers, but I let him join us as I was so happy he was feeling better. Haymitch unceremoniously drops Peeta's bowl on the table and sits down, digging in to his stew. I do the same. Peeta eats a few spoonfuls, but then stops and closes his eyes. Before I could ask what was wrong he gets up and runs to the sink, emptying the few bites of food he had just eaten down the drain. Haymitch grimaces and I go to Peeta's aid.
"Peeta, Peeta it's ok. Shh, shh. It's ok." I rub his back until he stops.
"I'm sorry." He gasps. I wish he would stop saying that.
"It's not your fault. Go get cleaned up, I'll be with you in a minute." He nods and walks towards our bathroom. I turn to Haymitch.
"It's alright, Greasy Sae will force me to come over again soon enough. You go take care of him." Haymitch says before I could open my mouth. He then scoops the serving bowl of stew and exits the house. I smile gratefully and make my way to the bedroom I share with Peeta.
"I hate feeling like this." Peeta gazes up at me from his spot on my lap. His wet hair is splayed across my legs from his shower. I brush the hair out of his face and he takes my hand, like in the cave in the first games, and kisses my palm gently. "Thank you for taking care of me. As much as you deny it, you do have healer blood in you." I scoff. He doesn't know how wrong he his.
"Not real." I tease and he smiles and sighs contentedly.
"Oh it's very real, I instantly feel better when you're around."
"Is that so? Well I guess I won't leave your side until you're better."
"Even then, stay with me." His eyes slowly start to close.
"Always." I tell him and he falls asleep in my lap.
I randomly wrote this story and I thought I'd publish it- I really hope you liked it! I have another few Hunger Games stories that I'll publish soon so feel free to subscribe.
Have a tumblr? Follow me! .com