Because seriously - who hasn't our friend Peeta been paired up with yet? Warning: This chapter may push the T rating.
Peeta Mellark stared at the Reaping stage in disbelief as Katniss Everdeen mounted the stage. Why her, he thought to himself. Why did it have to be her? Why would she volunteer?
Peeta had nursed an unrequited love for Katniss ever since he had heard her sing in class when they were five years old. That rainy day five years ago had only gone to intensify his crush. He had never summoned the courage to try to actually talk to her, though. Peeta was no coward, but the one thing any head-over-heels in love sixteen year old fears is rejection. If Katniss turned Peeta down, well, there would never be anyone else like her. And besides, it's not like anyone else would ever notice him. He was only the baker's son, after all. He wasn't like Gale, that player, who could have any girl on his arm at a moment's notice.
His silent anguish continued as Katniss announced her name, as the crowd gave her its silent salute to her sacrifice. He could hear Prim and Mrs. Everdeen crying in the background. And then Effie Trinket tripped up to the second Reaping ball, stuck her hand in, and withdrew another name.
What? No, no, please no.
But despite his silent protests, Peeta had no choice to walk up to the stage. He noticed that Katniss was refusing to look at him. He wondered if she too was thinking about that day in the rain so long ago. He doubted it. Except for that day, Katniss had never given any clue that she was aware of his existance. As Effie introduced him, he tried to catch Katniss's eye, hoping that he could somehow reassure her that he would never hurt her. Hurt Katniss? He would sooner cut off his own leg. At that moment, Peeta swore that he would do anything - anything - to make sure that Katniss would come back safely to her sister.
Effie Trinket looked him up and down. "Well hello, handsome," she said. "Aren't you just a muscley dish!" Katniss shot Effie a dirty look behind her back. Was she jealous? No, more likely Katniss was just upset that Effie was behaving so unprofessionally. Her eyes continued to roam all over Peeta's body, and he began to feel distinctly uncomfortable. Finally, to Peeta's great relief, she turned back to the crowd and asked for volunteers. This was all for show, of course. His brother wouldn't volunteer for him. What Katniss did was unheard of.
But suddenly, a voice echoed out from the crowd. "I volunteer!" A short, plump figure that Peeta could swear he had never seen before ran up to the stage, pigtails swinging. "I volunteer for Katniss!"
"No, I volunteer for Katniss!" came another voice, and another unfamiliar girl, this one tall and think with dyed black hair raced up and backhanded the first girl out of the way.
"No, I volunteer!"
Nearly a dozen, then twenty, then more than thirty girls raced out of the crowd. Peeta didn't recognize any of them, and looking over at Katniss, he could see that she had no idea who they were either. The thirty-odd girls tumbled up the steps, pushing and clawing, screeching and screaming, poking and bitchslapping one another until they were all crowded onto the stage.
Effie Trinket grabbed her microphone. "This is highly irregular!" she shouted. "The female tribute has already been decided! Katniss Everdeen-" And here she turned to pull the brave girl who had volunteered to save her sister to the forefront, only to find that Katniss had taken advantage of the situation to slip discretely off the stage and back into the crowd. Effie's pink wig looked liable to start on fire if the rage in her face was anything to go by.
"Fine!" she hissed. "Fine! You-" and here she grabbed a gleeful looking girl with sandy hair and blue eyes from the bunch. "You're the tribute! The rest of you get the hell off my stage!" The girls moaned and sobbed, but eventually they struggled off the Reaping stage, some sobbing on each other's shoulders. Effie pointed the microphone towards the new volunteer. "You! Girl! What's your name!"
"Hayley McGregor!" she squealed. "I'm fifteen years old, but I'm a senior in high school already! I like animals and hanging out with my-"
"Yes, that's nice, shut up now," said Effie.
Peeta's eyes stung with tears. He couldn't process the unfairness of it all. More than thirty volunteers, and they were all for Katniss. He was still going to the Hunger Games. Why couldn't there have been just one male volunteer? Why?
As if sensing his mood, Haymitch Abernathy stumbled over to him. "I like this one!" he announced as he swung an arm around Peeta and began caressing his nipple. "Lot's of...spunk! I like a boy with some spunk!" He then turned to Peeta and embraced him. "It's okay, kid," he said. "It's okay. Daddy Haymitch is going to make sure that you stay safe and sound." Peeta was unable to reply adequately, as the grip that Haymitch was maintaining on his groin was really quite excessive.
"Tributes, shake hands!" trilled Effie Trinket.
Peeta and Hayley turned to each other and shook hands. "Dont' worry, Peeta," said Hayley. "I've loved you forever, and I know that our love is real. That's how I know you'll do anything to protect me in the arena."
"Wha-? But, but," stammered Peeta. "But I love Katniss!"
"No, Peeta, our love is stronger than any force in Panem! That's why I got this necklace made. See? It says 'Mrs. Peeta Mellark' in tiny letters on a heart. That's how much I love you, Peeta. And after we win the Games together, we're totally going to do it. In the bakery."
Peeta's blush was visible even after he was ushered into the Justice Building.
The train was the most luxurious place Peeta had ever seen. Mahoghany tables, silver and china, lots of food. The only things that ruined it was Hayley's incessant chatter, and the way Haymitch's hand moved increasingly higher up his thigh. Despite firmly removing his mentor's roving hand, Haymitch didn't seem to take a hint.
"Spunky!" he said. "I like that! Spunky!"
Peeta turned to face Haymitch, desperately trying to come up with a change of subject. "So, um, you're supposed to give us advice," he said.
"You want advice?" asked Haymitch. He motioned towards where Hayley sat listing all her track and field awards and how her ex-boyfriend didn't appreciate her. "Make sure you take that bitch down first."
"That's...actually good advice," said Peeta just as Haymitch vomited all over the carpeting.
"Oh, ew!" said Hayley, wrinkling her nose in disgust."
"Haymitch, dear, why don't you go clean yourself up, I'll send someone along presently to assist you," said Effie. " And you Hayley, run along to your room and find something decent to wear. Then we can all meet back to watch the Reapings!"
Haymitch stumbled out of the room and Hayley likewise left, grumbling to herself.
Peeta turned to Effie. "So, Effie, what's the best way to try and get sponsors-" he began.
Effie stood up and ripped her blouse open, exposing her Double D purple dyed breasts. "Ravish me Peeta!" she shouted. "Take me anyway you want, just let me feel the hot love of your maleness!"
Peeta stumbled back. "Oh my god..."
"C'mon Peeta!" Effie screeched as she grabbed Peeta's hands and placed them on her breasts. "Make me your Capitol slut! You only have a week to live, so we're going to live like there's no tomorrow!"
"I, uh, I can't, um, I, I, I..." Peeta stuttered. "I'm going to go help Haymitch clean up!" he yelled and bolted from the carriage.
Peeta found Haymitch lying in the bathtub, the water running on his unconcious form. The pitiful sight of his mentor lying there, unable to wash the filth off of him moved him to take a wash cloth and begin mopping Haymitch down.
"Haymitch," he said as he scrubbed his hairy chest. "I don't know what's going on here."
"Oh, yeah boy, I like it when you do that," muttered Haymitch, his eyes still closed.
"Everyone here seems to want something from me."
"That's the spot, yeah right there, oh don't stop that!"
"They all look at me like I'm a piece of meat!"
"God, yes, boy, make Daddy Haymitch feel good! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!"
"And Effie and Hayley are behaving very strangely!"
"Faster! Faster! Don't stop! Oh yeah! OH YEEEEAAAAH!"
"Haymitch? Haymitch, can you even hear me?"
But Haymitch Abernathy was fast asleep.
Peeta stood on the roof of the training center, looking around furtively. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Cinna walking towards him.
"Cinna! Thank god. I was getting worried. What did you want to meet me up here for?"
Cinna swept Peeta into an embrace and kissed him full on the lips. "I believe in you Peeta," he said and kissed him again. "I believe you can win." He kissed him again. "I would bet on you if I could." Another kiss. "But just in case things don't go well, don't you want to make sure that you don't die a virgin?"
"Now Peeta," said Caeser Flickerman. Peeta looked out into the crowd nervously. He had managed to make it all the way through his interview, laughing and joking with Caeser. He felt more comfortable than he had since his name had been called at the Reaping. "Is there a special girl waiting for you at home?"
Peeta hardly had to hesitate on this question. He knew the answer and he knew that this was the time. He would never get another chance better than this. In fact, this might be the only chance he'd ever have left. "Yes, Caeser, there is," he said. He stood up and looked straight into the cameras. "Katniss Everdeen, I love you! I've loved you since we were five! You're all I have to live for and I'm coming back to you!"
A cry of astonishment and sympathy rose from the crowd, punctuated by Hayley standing and screaming. "He's lying! I'm the love of Peeta's life! I'm Mrs. Peeta Mellark!"
"No, I'm Mrs. Peeta Mellark!" came a voice from the crowd.
"I'm Mrs. Peeta Mellark!"
"Peeta Mellark is my life-partner and love of my life!" shouted Cinna from the front row.
"No, Peeta Mellark is my boy toy! He loves his Daddy Haymitch!"
"Peeta, make my lady parts tingle like you did after I saw your training score!" screamed Effie as she tore her shirt open for the fifth time that week.
"We love you Peeta!" shouted the Gamemakers from their private balcony.
The massive screens around the City Circle showed scenes from every district in Panem. All were in turmoil as thousands and thousands of people clammored and fought to prove that they, and only they, were in fact Mrs. Peeta Mellark. The only exception was in District 12, where Katniss Everdeen refused to make eye contact with the camera and slowly moved away from where she had been standing very close to Gale Hawthorwne. Gale, who's hair was distinctly ruffled, gave the camera a rude gesture.
Peeta huddled in his tent by the Cornucopia. His plan was thus far moving along nicely. He had infiltrated the Careers and was beginning to sow divisions among them. And as an additional plus, he hadn't seen Hayley McGregor since the bloodbath. The only factor he hadn't counted on was Cato. Peeta had lost track of the times he had caught the big blonde Career eying him, sizing him up. It was only a matter of time before Cato made his move.
As if on cue, the zipper of his tent quickly opened and Cato sidled in. He was looking at Peeta with a hungry gaze.
"Have you come to kill me?" asked Peeta. "Just make it quick."
"The moment I saw you I knew," said Cato in a husky voice. "I knew that my life had been missing something. And when I saw your deep blue eyes, the way you burned with flames at the Tribute Parade, as I watched you in the Training Center, sweaty and beaten but not broken, I knew I had to have you. I need to feel you next to me, feel that flame that I'm missing. I know that only one of us can live, but for this short time, let's be one, not two."
"Cato..." Peeta was at a loss for words. "What are you-"
"Shhh, quiet Peeta," said Cato as he undid his belt. "It's okay. I've trained for this all my life."
"What the hell is all the noise over there?" came Glimmer's voice from the girl's tent.
"Shut up!" roared Cato. "Peeta and I are about to consummate our deep, yearning love for one another!"
"I want in on this!" shouted Marvel
"Me too!" came Glimmer's voice. "Career orgy!"
There was a scuffle and the sound of running feet as Glimmer and Marvel tumbled into the suddenly overcrowded tent.
Clove came last. "I brought extra knives, just in case," she said.
"Attention, tributes, attention," came the voice of Claudius Templesmith. "The previous revision has been revoked. Further examination of the rules determines that there can be only one Victor. May the odds be ever in your favor!"
Hayley looked at Peeta. Peeta looked at Hayley.
"I would rather die than live without you, Peeta!" Hayley sobbed.
"Okay," said Peeta. "Here, you can use my knife."
"Why is this so unfair!"
"I dunno. Better hurry though. I want to get home now."
Hayley's eyes widened. There's only one we can do now," she said, pulling a handful of poisonous berries from her pocket. "We must commit joint suicide so we don't have to endure life apart from each other!" She poured some of the berries into Peeta's hands. "On three. One! Two! Three!"
And with that, Hayley downed her berries and looked at Peeta with sorrowful, lovestruck eyes before she toppled over, dead."
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the winner of the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Peeta Mellark!"
"Yeah!" shouted Peeta! "Take that bitches! I am never sleeping with anyone I don't want to ever again!"
"Well," said Peeta as he lay in bed and felt Seneca Crane's beard on one side and Finnick Odair's trident on the other. "I guess I was wrong."