Alecca didn't need to lead me to the people waiting.
I knew where it was because I had the moment I said goodbye to my father imprinted on my brain. I had known it would hurt, but it was like a completely different blow this time because I was leaving, not being taken away.
It felt weird to think that the only thing that had really changed with us all was that Alecca and Future were together.
Otherwise we were the same.
Sesame was away from Alecca, working in the war and wondering how her friend was doing.
Loco was just as drunk as before.
And I was without Oaklea.
Noticing that her boyfriend was tense, Future wrapped her hand around Alecca's and let out a weak smile for his sake. She was trying to calm him down and get him to stop babying me, but I doubted she would get her way, even if he did do almost everything she told him to.
And it wouldn't matter anyway.
He brought me back to District Thirteen, and he knew that I couldn't do anything.
But he wanted to make sure that I wouldn't.
And, when I got to the door that would lead me to where my family was waiting, I felt my heart skip a beat.
"Peeta," I whispered as I ran into his arms, and my best friend of almost all time wrapped me up in his arms and hugged me tightly.
We had been friends for almost as long as I could remember. He had first announced his crush on Katniss to me, and he had first come to me to tell me about how the entire Arena was fake. And he had been the first person I told about my feelings for Oaklea.
Peeta and I told each other everything, which is why it had felt so weird to be apart from him for so long.
"Thank God you're alright," Peeta put his hands on my shoulders and looked down at me.
I wasn't sure what he saw.
The little girl with bright he became friends with in town.
One of his closest friends.
The girl who everyone thought would marry her brother and give the Mallarks the long-awaited daughter they all wanted.
The tribute for District Twelve in the 75th Hunger Games.
Or the idiot who got hurt in the war.
I wasn't sure, but I knew that I still saw him as the handsome baker's son I had become friends with so long ago.
"Everyone missed you, Drew. I'm pretty sure that Katniss even missed your face around here."
I doubted that but smiled in acceptance to the compliment.
"I missed you guys, too."
"Come on, Annalisa has been dying to see you, and Lillian wants to talk to you," Peeta laced his fingers through mine and started pulling me off.
Lillian was my new sister-in-law of a few months. She and my older brother Jonah had been friends since they were kids, and he had been in love with her since before I was born. They started dating about a year ago, and my brother had just been waiting and waiting for the perfect time to propose. And, when that didn't come, he proposed because he was afraid they would die and didn't want to die without proposing. Then Annalisa was scared to death I would die in the army, so they had the wedding the day before I left.
I was happy for my brother and for Lillian, but I didn't see what they would have to tell me.
Peeta smiled as we entered the area where everyone was waiting.
Before I could even take account of who was there, I was tackled by a hug.
"Oh my God! Oh my God! You're alive! I think you grew taller how are you feeling? How is the cut? Will there be a scar? You have no idea how worried we were when we heard, Drew. You almost yourself killed, Drew! Killed!"
"I missed you, too, Annalisa," I smiled at my older sister, trying to wriggle out of her tight grasp.
"Annalisa, you're crushing her."
"Shut up, Jonah."
Annalisa let me go, and I had to admit that it was great to see her, even if I'm pretty sure she broke my rib.
I looked to my older brother and he smiled down at me like I was that little baby that my parents introduced him to. I loved my brother, and I absolutely loved seeing him this happy…
"Hey, Shortie," my older brother wrapped me up in a hug, and I smiled as I took a deep breath of the signature Jonah smell, a mixture of Lillian's perfume and the smell of a pharmacy. As a kid, I kept trying to figure out what the smell was, but I gave up after a while and named it the Jonah Smell.
"Hey, Big Foot."
Jonah ruffled my hair, and I forced myself out of his grasp to look at his wife.
"So what's the big news?"
Jonah and Lillian smiled at each other, and Jonah took her hand with a smile for her to tell me.
"I'm pregnant," Lillian set her hand over her stomach, and I gasped.
"I found out two days ago," Lillian smiled wide, almost glowing, "You're going to be an aunt!"
"Congratulations," I hugged my sister-in law, and she laughed with happiness as she hugged me.
"Since you're alive, it looks like we can name the baby anything instead of Drew."
I nudged my older brother.
"Let's not be mean about her being alive."
I felt my eyes water.
I spun around and almost crushed my father in a tight hug.
"Daddy," I whispered, and he closed his eyes as he hugged me.
I bit my tongue as I began to wonder how much I must have worried.
He still saw me as that, and, for the first time since I was ten years old, I didn't have a problem with that.
"Are you alright?" he asked, and I nodded.
"Just a little scar," I lied.
I felt like I was either about to puke or pass out, but I wasn't about to tell him that.
"The Strong One," my father smiled proudly, his eyes full of relief that I was alright.
"Yeah, The Strong One," I nodded, and this time I knew I was about to puke.
I promised myself I wouldn't tell him.
I wouldn't tell him that night in District Seven and definitely not the next morning when President Snow tracked me down. I wouldn't tell him anything…
I wanted him to think that I was just a star on location, filming all day and being protected all night.
"There are some people who wantto see you," my dad smiled, and he pointed to the edge of the room, where Skye was walking in with a baby on her hip and Robin was being overprotective of both girls.
"Drew!" Skye smiled, and she handed Taylor to Robin before running to me and tackling me in a hug, almost knocking me over.
"Skye, oh my God! You look amazing? Are you sure you just had a baby?"
"See! Drew knows how to compliment, Robin," Skye put her hands on her hips, and Robin tried not to laugh.
I raised my eyebrows at the two of them, and Skye looked down and blushed.
"Oh my God," I smiled.
"It's not like you and Oaklea or anything. But, you know…" Skye smiled as she looked back to Robin playing with Taylor, "I think we have something."
"It finally happened," I laughed, "How?"
"Well Robin was always around for Taylor, you know. He just loves that little baby," Skye smiled wider, "And it just happened. Drew, I am so happy. I really am. I mean, I miss Oakie and Taylor, but Robin… Robin is just… so…"
Skye blushed when she realized she was daydreaming.
"Mind if I cut in?"
I smiled as I looked at Robin.
I had always known that he was the father-type. But it was amazing to see him in action.
"Hey, Robby," I gave him a small hug, careful not to disturb the baby in his arms.
"Say hey to your godmother, Taylor," Skye smiled, and the baby's blue eyes stared at me.
I have had this written for a while, but I had block on what to write with Oaklea. I am doing to work on this. Sorry it took so long.