The One Who Hung the Moon
Author's Note: I've wanted to write this for quite some time. In this story Katniss is a Native girl living on the Seam reservation, and Peeta will be the boy from town who has always loved her. Thought it would be fun to write a present day story of their love. If you read my other story this one will be much dirtier.
Sparks fly when popular boy Peeta finally makes a move on shy Native girl Katniss, the girl he has loved from a distance for years.
Chapter 1: A Wish in the Well
Buttercup stretched his paws across my face, waking me up. I opened an eye and glared at him as I swatted him over onto Prim's side of the bed. He hissed at me and then curled up happily on top of Prim's stomach, letting out a purr as she sleepily rubbed him behind his ear. The old mattress was so lumpy that it was always an effort to climb out of it but I managed, pulling open the dusty curtains covering the windows so that the tiny room filled with light.
"Control your cat." I said, though I smiled as she peeked at me from under the pile of blankets.
"You love him deep down inside." Prim said through a yawn. "Let me sleep."
"Fine, but you're helping me clean when you do get up." I quickly braided my long black hair down my back.
Prim let out a little noise of agreement and waved me away from her as she pulled the blankets further over her head. I walked out the door into our living area, shaking my head at the mess my mother left around everywhere. The door to her room of course is closed tightly, she had taken down the door on our bedroom the minute I developed breasts and hung a thick wool blanket over the door frame instead but she locked herself in her room most nights so I didn't see a point in trying to take away my privacy.
The house was my father's, his grandfather built it when he first got married. I would probably describe it as a tin roofed cabin if I had to explain our house to someone; it only had electricity in the living room and kitchen. My father had been great at many things, but updating our house to the 21st century wasn't one of those things.
I could hear my phone going off and I dug through the pile of laundry my mom had started to find it. The screen showed Madge's smiling face, so I answered as I grabbed an apple on the counter and walked out onto the porch. I sat down on one of the rocking chairs that looked out on the holler of the mountain we lived on; I could see my neighbors directly across the road out in their backyard filling a tub with water from a hose. There was a dog sleeping at the edge of the porch who let out a loud snore.
"Hey! What're you up to right now?" Madge asked.
"Just got up, why?"
"Well since you're not doing anything you should get over here. Delly just told me she's heading over so hurry up." She hung up before I could even respond to that, and I shoved my phone in my pocket.
Madge and I had known each other since kindergarten, she tried really hard for like five years to be my friend and now she's basically my best friend. My other best friend Gale was the complete opposite of her. The joke on the rez was that we were cousins since we looked and acted so alike, and honestly sometimes when I looked at him I couldn't help but wonder if we really were related.
I finished the apple on my walk down the road to Gale's house. I could hear his little sister screaming from the yard before I even could see the house, so I was prepared when she leapt up into my arms as soon as she saw me. I picked her up and tossed her into the air, catching her just before she touched the ground and ruffled her unruly black hair.
"Posy quit bothering her and finish your chores." Rory yelled from the porch, his arms crossed against his chest. "No Prim with you this morning?"
I laughed and shook my head at him. "Sorry no, she's back at home sleeping. Is Gale here?"
"No, you just missed him. He took the truck though, so I don't think you'll catch up with him."
I stared down the road that led up and around the mountain. If he took the truck it meant he was leaving the Seam and going into town for something, so there's no point trying to get a ride from a person who's already gone.
"Hey thanks Rory, I'll see you around." I said, sneakily tossing my apple core away. "I'll tell Prim that you asked about her."
Rory turned red at my words and waved his arms out in front of him frantically. "No way Katniss. No way!"
I laughed and ran back towards my house. Rory had been in love with my sister ever since they were toddlers, the whole Hawthorne family and mine had grown up together almost like kin. My father and Gale's had been best friends; they even died side by side. I pushed the thought of my father from my mind most days, once I allowed myself to think on him it spiraled downward fast so I had to stop myself anytime I'd start.
The ghost of my father haunted our land, our house, but I refused to let him haunt my mind. My mother was a mess after he died, quitting her job and living off of her per cap money which left it up to me to pick up the pieces of our family. Not that I had had anything else going on in my life anyway, I've always been more the quiet introverted type so my social life wasn't terribly affected by having to take care of Prim. Actually I liked it most of the time; she meant more to me than anything. Now that she was a teen though I couldn't really use her as an excuse for me to back out of plans.
I walked out past our house into the meadow in the valley next to our house. It was a small meadow; the mountains surrounded it on all sides, with tall bluegrass growing among wildflowers and honeysuckle. It was easy to understand why my father fought so hard to keep his ancestral land for us, I could feel all of the Everdeens who had come before me in this place. Birds called to each other across the holler, and there was a river that led down to the lake on the other side of the mountains.
I came to the gate that enclosed the meadow from our backyard and let out a loud whistle. Off to the far left side I saw a pair of ears perk up, a tail swish quickly, and then the familiar sounds of hooves trotting over to me.
"Hello Tashunke." I said, reaching out to rub the fuzzy grey nose of my father's horse.
Tashunke rubbed his muzzle against my hand affectionately, eyeing me up to see if I had brought anything for him to snack on. I shook my head at him as his nose bumped against my hip.
"Sorry buddy, I don't have anything." He snorted at me in protest as he flicked his tail back and forth.
My father had raised Tashunke from a wild colt, training him traditionally so that he was extremely attentive to his rider so long as his rider was attentive to him as well. He was so well trained we only used the saddle when he was very young and first learning to handle a rider. I ran my hand over the soft hair of his face and neck, his cream mane catching the breeze as I continued to run my hand along his back to let him know where I was moving to. He allowed me to swing up onto his back and waited for me to get settled in before gently moving out from the meadow at a slow pace.
The sound of his hooves on the gravel path echoed against the mountains, sending the noise right back to us again. The sun was high in the sky by now, it was almost noon. Madge was probably wondering what was taking me so long, she lived in town and often forgot that I didn't have a car of my own to get around in. So often I just had Gale drive me around in his beat up truck, most people just assumed it was mine to use.
Tashunke and I went up and over the mountain road; I waved to all of the people of the Seam on their front porches as we passed by house by house. As we came down from the mountains onto the main road into town I spotted Gale's pickup truck on the side of the road ahead of us. He jumped out of the driver's seat and headed over to me as we approached.
"Hey Catnip, perfect timing." He said, grinning up at me.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Stupid thing ran out of gas. I really need to get that fuel gauge fixed." He flashed a guilty smile as he said this.
I rolled my eyes at him as he sidled over to us with a plastic gas tank in hand from the bed of his truck. Gale swung on up behind me onto Tashunke's back, wrapping his one free hand around my waist. His arm was so long that it wrapped practically to the other side of my hip, I could feel him spread his palm flat against my stomach and give my belly a small rub as we began to move.
We rode into town, the gas station wasn't far from Madge's house so I headed straight over to drop Gale off. As we approached I could see there were several people from school hanging out in front of the station, and Gale's grip on me tightened as I had Tashunke walk right over to the edge of the parking lot.
There was a group of boys from school; all 3 of them were seniors like me, who had stopped talking to watch us approach. I recognized them, knew their names but had never talked to any of them. The tallest, a big brutal looking blond boy named Cato, elbowed the boy next to him, Marvel and said something that made the second boy laugh loudly. The other boy with them, a blond boy with a stocky build and piercing blue eyes named Peeta, frowned slightly at his friend's words, crossing his arms and staring intently at me. I knew him from going to school with him for so many years, but he had never uttered so much as a word to me and I could never read him.
Gale slid off onto the ground, setting the red gas tank down by the curb. He reached up and plucked me off Tashunke with ease, placing me gently down beside him with a smile and nodded to the boys watching us. Peeta still had his eyes trained on me, the scowl on his face confusing to me as I looked back at him. Gale followed my eyes and laughed, leading Tashunke over to a grassy patch next to the building.
"Hey, you want anything?" He asked.
"Sure, I'll come in with you." I said.
Once we were inside the gas station I walked over and grabbed an Ale81 from the case as Gale wandered by the tacky souvenirs next to the shelves of pickled foods. As I came around the corner of the aisle I walked straight into Peeta, making the bag of snacks and soda fall from his arms as my bottle shattered onto the floor.
"Oh I'm sorry." I said.
I bent down to pick up the soda, and my hand reached the bottle at the same time as his, making our fingers brush together. He pulled his hand back quickly, looking up at me with his eyes so wide it made me laugh.
"Way to go Mellark, knocking her over and scaring her all at the same time." Cato said, offering a hand out to me to pull me up.
"No, it was my fault. I ran into him." I said quickly, ignoring his hand and brushing myself off as I stood up.
Cato and Marvel smiled at me as Peeta stood, he gave me a strange look as if he was going to say something but couldn't get the words out.
"Are you ok?" Gale asked, coming over to see why I was surrounded by three guys.
"I'm fine, let's just get the gas for your truck and go." I said, spinning around and heading out the door.
As Gale followed me out of the station and to the gas pump I could hear Peeta's friends laughing and giving him a rough time. While Gale filled the red gas tank up I stood next to him, squinting into the sun.
"Why were you driving into town anyway?"
"Was on my way to visit Finnick, said he and Thresh were grilling out today."
"Must be nice, not having any stupid homework to worry about." I sighed.
"Hey don't worry about it, in a few weeks you'll have graduated and be done with all of that too." Gale said, giving me a warm smile.
Madge's ringtone came loudly from my pocket. Gale looked at my phone as I pulled it out and then waved his hand at me.
"Go on, get out of here. I've kept you to myself long enough. Thanks for the ride into town."
"Thanks Gale. I'll see you later." I said, giving him a quick hug.
I marched over to where Tashunke had settled in the grass, clicking for him to come over. He glanced over his shoulder at me with his large round black eyes before trotting to me and letting me climb up onto his back. I ran my fingers through his coarse mane, nudging him with my foot to get him to leave the comfortable shady patch of grass he'd been resting in. As I left the gas station parking lot and headed up the hill toward Madge's house I looked over my shoulder to find Peeta standing there watching me go.