AN: This is a story that launched in "Collections" from a prompt. Apparently, people liked it - so here's some more.
katniss/peeta – hunger games – mockingjay au; peeta rescued from the capitol, not hijacked but of having no recollection of katniss at all
hotpiexoxo (hotpiexoxo ficathon)
I'm not quite sure who she is, but she's looking at me as though she knows me. Like she can see into my soul.
It's unnerving, the way she stares at me.
I'm currently locked up in the psychotic ward of District 13's medical bay. They didn't have any other beds left in the trauma center so they put me here instead.
Okay, maybe they put me here because they suspect I'll flip off the edge and go batshit like Johanna did when we arrived and Haymitch tackled her, bottle in hand, to the floor of the entry room. I can't blame her; I wouldn't want to be wrapped up in those foul liquored arms any more than she did. She had every right to toss him loose and break his nose.
When they sent me here with my hands cuffed, I tried not to take it personally. None of them really knew what we'd been through in the Capitol and my memories were a little foggy themselves. But I'm trying to make sense of them now as I sit here strapped into this medical bed with this strange girl with dark skin peering at me through the glass.
I really wish she'd stop.
It's been a couple of days since my return and every so often she'll disappear from the view. I sleep then, comforted in the fact that I won't be watched. I'm tired of being watched. She's always there again when I wake up.
On the fifth day I see her scuttle away like the crabs I saw in District 4 as the door is pushed open and a young girl, barely older than 13, enters the room to check my vitals. She's given orders not to release my restraints.
"Hello Peeta, how are you?" She knows who I am. Who is this girl?
"I'm okay, I guess." There's no reason to be rude to her, she's not the one watching me all day.
"Good, that's very good. My name is Primrose and I'm going to check some things – is that alright?" Her voice is airy as her fingers flutter over my skin. I nod, flicking my eyes between this blonde haired child and the dark beauty in the window.
Oh, she's a beauty now? I check over my own mental state for a moment.
"Prim," I take liberties shorting her name because it feels right, "Do you...Do you know who she is?" My finger lifts and points towards the door where the girl outside immediately widens her eyes and disappears again. I try to mask my disappointment that she's gone, instead looking up to watch the changing expressions on the young girl's face.
"Oh," She gasps quietly, looking over her shoulder while her fingers brush over my IV. "You don't recognize her?"
Should I? I don't want to ask.
"No. I don't." My words are stiff and it feels wrong to admit it. We let the silence stretch out for a moment too long before Prim bids farewell and heads out the door. When it swings open, the girl who's been watching me is no longer there.
I miss her already.
She's back again two days later, her absence noticeable in my state of intolerable boredom. Haymitch has stopped by every now in then, prompting questions that get me nowhere. He asks about the Games, about the Capitol, about home, but none of it answers any of the questions I have for myself.
I feel like I'm missing something. I can see it in his eyes.
When she reappears in the window, I know she's not alone this time. Her eyes are puffy with bags underneath and it's easy to see that she's been missing sleep. Who is this mystery girl that watches?
When another face appears in the window, this one far more recognizable, I try not to scowl. Finnick Odair – what is he doing here? Why is he with her?
What's going on?
I don't know why but I'm jealous of him with this girl. I've made up such stories in my head, such imaginations that she's more to me than just a stranger, and now I think I'm even beginning to convince myself that she's everything I've made her out to be.
I try to contain my utter grief (the kind that doesn't make sense when you have absolutely no ground to stand on) when I watch him lean down and plant a kiss on the top of her head. I watch her small smile and I wish she would smile for me.
I really must have gone crazy.
"Who are you?" I shout it out loud today. I'm tired of watching and being watched. Tired of not knowing who she is and why she's here. Mostly I'm just tired of not knowing her. There's something in her eyes, the way she stands so calm and filled with sorrow, that draws me to her.
She startles almost immediately as though torn out of her dream. Her eyes look panicked and I can see the tears behind them that she refuses to let fall. I don't understand – did I cause her pain? She turns to leave and I call out again for her, my shout strangled in my lungs.
"Please don't!" Above the beeping of the machine strapped to my pulse I hear her back hit the door with a thump. She's still there but she's no longer watching. "Just tell me who you are, that's all I ask."
Another unfamiliar face fills the window then and it's angry. What did I do? It disappears for a moment before I see the figure through the glass lift up the girl and carry her off.
I feel like I've just lost something very important to me.
I feel the eyes before I wake. I can sense someone else is in the room with me. I don't want to wake up – I don't want to be punished again. I stay still, my eyes falsely shut with sleep as the machines continue their steady hum.
I can't pretend any more when I feel the fingers on my forehead, brushing against my skin and into my hair. I snap my eyes open and wrench my body upwards against the restraints holding my arms. The hand that was once on me is withdrawn with a snap and I look over to meet her haunting gaze.
I can't say a word. My mouth is dry. She's beautiful and heartbreaking and I wish I weren't restrained because all the stories in my head just make me want to pull her close and breathe a sigh of relief that she's here with me.
"Peeta," Her words are a whisper next to me. I watch her eyes glow in the light of the machines as the room remains dark.
"Have you come to kill me?" I feel vulnerable, strapped here to this bed as she lurks in the shadows. I can hear her inhale sharply at my words.
"You really have no idea who I am?" It sounds pained and I'm sure I'm not the only one in this room who feels their chest tightening with despair. I am probably the only one who doesn't know why, though.
"No. I want to, but I don't think I remember you. Should I?" When she nods sadly I wish I hadn't asked. I don't remember a lick of this girl from before my time in the Capitol and it's killing me. I want to know her. I need to.
She stands to leave and I feel my opportunity slipping through my fingers.
"I want to know who you are. I do." I try to make my words convey my desperation but they must fall short. She's still walking away from me. "Please, don't go. Stay." I'm begging but she doesn't turn around.
"It's probably best you don't remember me, Peeta Mellark. You're more likely to stay alive that way."
And then she's gone and I've never felt more alone in my life.
She doesn't come back again. When I'm released she's nowhere to be found and no one will tell me where she is. I'm starting to think she was just a ghost who came to see me home. That's what I have to keep telling myself anyways because the alternative – that I've lost something so precious – is just unbearable.
AN: I've broken this out as a stand alone because people apparently wanted more. I'm not sure the destination or the length, but I hope you enjoy reading it. It may or may not take a back seat until I wrap up Swingsets, so I apologize in advance!