Summary: Based on If I Die Young by The Band Perry. (Kind of). AU. Seventeen-year-old Peeta Mellark thought his life was over when Katniss Everdeen was taken from him by a drunk driver, but when seventeen-year-old Katrina DeAguste, a troubled foster child, comes to stay with his family he finds life can go on. "You're so like her... Your eyes, how you braid your hair, how you take the cheese off your pizza and eat it last..." I look up at him, all of these behaviors new to me, ever since I woke up in the hospital, "If I didn't know better I'd think you were her, just... In a different body," we shared an awkward chuckle... Of course that was impossible.

I don't own The Hunger Games, or If I Die Young!

"I'm going for a run!" I shout up the stairs to my parent's room, tying my nike's tight and pulling my hoodie over my head.

"Kay, be safe, look both ways when you cross Main!" she tells me this every night, I run at night I'd never miss a car coming so I usually give it a short glance before charging across the busy street.

"I always do!" I lie stretching my short legs before throwing the front door open, it's a cool night for April, but it doesn't matter. I'll be sweating in no time. My father is coming up the walkway from his late shift at the hospital.

"Out for a run?" we do this almost every night, I leave as he comes. He pulls me into a tight hug, "I love you Kat, be safe," he kisses the top of my head and I'm off.

"I always am!" the first mile of my run is almost entirely uphill as I run into the center of Doylestown, the sleepy kind of boring suburb of Philadelphia my parents moved to when my mom found out she was pregnant with my sister. The whole town shut down usually at around eight but tonight was the first Saturday of the month, the whole town was in the midst of a Pub crawl.

Main street came quickly, I looked both ways as I approached the intersection, no headlights.

I saw a dark mass move towards me, a pick-up swirving with no headlights, I stood no chance.

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

I don't feel the impact, instead a rush as I'm thrown into the air, but I don't fall,instead I watch my body smash into the windshield, cracking it along the length of my body in spider web like cracks.

"Stop!" I yell the world seems to freeze as the truck's tires come to a screeching halt. Everyone stands still as I scream and shout, "Don't just stand there! Call nine one one!" I try to grab someone's shirt but my hand goes right through him, he shivers at my touch and turns to face me, staring though me.

I know this man, his blonde hair, blue eyes rimmed with tears. Peeta Mellark, my biology lab partner.

I feel something tug at my chest and finally notice the thread of gold light tethering me to my body.

"It's something isn't it?" a bubbly voice tells.

"What's happening, why can't I touch anyone, why can't they hear me?" I look around trying to find the voice.

"They can't feel you either… Well, unless you share a strong bond, you know parents, siblings, close friends, loves," out of the shadows pops a pixie like woman with cotton candy pink hair and a matching suit, "I'm Effie Trinket, your…" she pauses, "Escort…"

A crowd's gathered as the ambulance approaches. The driver gets out of his car, stumbling, I don't know him, I don't know the man who killed me, but I'll never forget his face.

"I can't be dead, I'm only seventeen!"

Effie rolls her eyes, clearly having to deal with this more than she wants. I look down as my tether begins to tarnish and fade, "You're not dead yet, that gold light on your heart is your tether, but you were thrown too far out... They'll try, but there is no coming back..." she sees my anger, my pain, my confusion and her eyes soften, "I know, and I know you were only here for a short while…"

"Are you god?" I inject.

"Oh my no, you'll find God isn't something you can put a face on, or even a tangible presence," I nod before I take in our surroundings, I hadn't noticed but we were now at the hospital, drug here by the tarnishing tether keeping my spirit attached to my body.

They have me hooked up to machines to keep me breathing, and alive long enough for my parents and sister to say their final goodbyes.

Brain dead… Prim would call me that when I'd go running in the winter, coming home my ears and nose numb, but my whole body on fire.

"I have to go back!" I yell at Effie trying to will myself into my body.

She stands stoic as I fall through the hospital bed after trying to lay inside my body. I stand up, standing through the bed and my dying body as she flips through pages of paper on her clip board, why a ghost would need a clip board is beyond me, "Well don't just stand there! You're my escort! Escort me back in my body!"

"There… There's nothing left for you in that body!" she snaps. I can't hear my mother and father talk, but my baby sister, my little Primrose's sobs brake the calm silence, as medical intervention fails at keeping me alive.

I look down at the tether once attached my spirit to my body, it falls to the floor with a loud clank as my heart gives out, no one tries to resuscitate me.

"I'm sorry Prim!" I sob, "Mom, dad… I should have listened!" I yell trying to hold them, they can't feel me, hear me or see me, "I should have looked both ways!" it seems stupid now, something they told me over and over again in my seventeen years.

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh well
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sky is bright the day of my funeral, the rain from the previous two days clearing filling the sky with a bright rainbow. Effie hasn't left my side since I was thrown from my body and I haven't left my family's side since. My mother and father are no longer talking, not for anger, but every time they speak the words. My mother pulls on a black dress sniffling before pulling out a box, "I was going to give her these..." she sobs pulling out a string of pearls. I walk up behind her having not left them since I died.

"I know Lillian..." my father rubs her arms, "You can give her them today, she'll love them..." she's overcome with sobs, "She's watching over us Lill..." he kisses her forehead, having stayed strong through out all of this.

I smile a little if they only knew.

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough time

Before I know it we're at my funeral, "She'd want us to be strong," Prim tells my parents, she looks so much older now, tired.

I float up to my casket, walking confusing and impossible as I find myself slipping though solid objects from time to time, it took me three hours to escape my basement my first night as ghost. Effie found this turn of events entertaining and laughed at me for the entire next day. She was like the annoying aunt that seemed to always say the wrong thing, but taught me how to levitate so I didn't get stuck in strange places, she says I'm still too tied to being in the mortal world that I over look the gifts of the spirit world. Whatever.

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

I run my fingers along my cold body, I can feel it but only just, Effie tells me this is the residual life energy… Whatever that means. I'm wearing the satin green dress I wore to homecoming…

"I was homecoming queen…" I tell my escort who's busy ogling my track coach, in my hands rest a single white rose, "Effie!" I snap, "This is my funeral shouldn't you… you know, be respectful, not eye banging Coach Abernathy?" she blushes.

"You can look like anything you want, just close your eyes and will it. It's one of the perks about… this," I look down at my body, the braided hair, silky green dress… before I know it I can feel the green fabric on my skin, I'm not in shoes, but I won't complain, it's not like I need them anyway.

My family stands at my casket, my grandparents sitting in the front row holding each other while my cousins, aunts and uncles just seem to stare blankly.

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough time

One by one my classmates file in, giving my parents their sympathy, walking straight through me as I stand at attention next to them. My best friend Madge Undersee, the mayor's daughter hugs Prim tightly, "I know!" she sobs as they sink to the ground.

The last person to come up is the boy who felt my touch moments after my spirit left my body, he takes my cold dead hand, tears streaking his strong face. I can feel it, as he laces his fingers between mine, warm and loving. I look at my translucent hand, "I- I can feel that!"

Effie comes to me, "Oh don't be silly, that only happens…" she pauses, "Hmm…" I don't press her too distracted by Peeta and the tingling in my hand.

And I'll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger,
I've never known the lovin' of a man,

But it sure felt nice when he was holdin' my hand,
There's a boy here in town, says he'll love me forever,
Who would have thought forever could be severed byThe sharp knife of a short life, well,
I've had just enough time

"I'll love you forever, Katniss. I'm sorry I never told you, never talked to you about anything other than cell division and how you set every track record at school," he sobs, squeezing my dead hand. I want to comfort him, feeling tears come to my eyes that will never be there. Instead I place my hand on his back, trying hard not to go through, he shivers again.

He CAN feel me.So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is doneA penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'

My mother and father can't bring themselves to speak, instead my Principal Snow makes a speech about how I was accepted to Yale, received one of the highest SAT scores in the school and always seemed to brighten up the halls. My choral instructor was next, Mister Cinna who could only say that when I sang the birds stopped to listen. When it's time to take me to the cemetery the boys from track and my father go to carry me to the herse. Too overcome by grief my father doubles over in pain.

Peeta steps up and takes his spot at the head of my coffin. I place my hand on his shoulder, "Thank you…" I cry he looks through me again. Maybe he can tell I'm there… Maybe it'll comfort him…

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love songUh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (oh, uh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save 'em for a time when you're really gonna need 'em, oh

I stand by my parents as they lower me to the ground, they seem calmer, at peace.The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough timeSo put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls

"It's time to go, Katniss," Effie tells me, "You can visit whenever, but for now we have a big big day ahead of us!" she chirps. I'm almost terrified at what she means but I take her hand, looking back once ore at my mourners.

They'll be ok, in time they'll be ok. Some day they'll find the peace I feel now.