I'm sorry it's been a few days, but my laptop's falling apart. And I mean that literally – the screen won't hold itself up anymore so as we speak it's leaning up against a pile of pillows. It's cracked in, like, a gazillion different places. I'm not sure how much it will be to get it fixed, but it'll be soooo worth it, haha.
Anyway, enjoy :)
Peeta finds Erik a job as a nighttime security guard. It's all kept on the down-low – nobody knows that he isn't married except Darius and Erik's family. Darius doesn't question Peeta's actions. In fact, I think Darius is happy with Peeta's decision. Nobody likes to see a sixteen year old boy killed because he didn't marry.
I'm nearly three months along now. We decided that it was time to inform our families and the Capitol Kingdom about our pregnancy. I don't really want to – Prim is going to be so disappointed in me. I am only sixteen. I won't even be seventeen by the time the baby shows up. We'll tell my mother and Prim first, then Peeta's family, and finally the Capitol Kingdom.
We invite my mother and Prim over for dinner so we can tell them. I'm not excited about it. In fact, I'm terrified. But I know I have to do it. And they knew that Peeta and I would be getting pregnant, and soon. Right? I mean, they knew the situation we were in. They knew we had no other option. Right?
They arrive while Peeta's still cooking. Prim greets us enthusiastically and my mother's eyes look cloudy. This is the first time they'll have dinner in our quarters – normally, we go to theirs. But Peeta always cooks and Peeta's cooking puts everyone in a good mood. I'd imagine that our news will upset everyone, though. I'm not showing too much; in fact, it looks like I've just put on a few pounds. Which, technically, I have.
"How was school, Prim?" Peeta asks. Everyone under sixteen had gone back to school last week. She rolls her eyes.
"It was school," she shrugged. "I can't wait until I'm sixteen and out of that place." Unfortunately for her, she still has three years and two months until she's sixteen.
"Don't say that," I tell her. "Married life isn't that great."
"Excuse me?" Peeta teases. "What are you trying to say?"
"Uh-oh," Prim says. "Trouble in paradise."
"We're just teasing, Prim," I say.
"Yeah," Peeta says. "Any special guy in your life right now?"
Prim blushes. "No," she says. "I'm only twelve."
"Almost thirteen," I correct. "And you've had a thing going on with Rory Hawthorne your entire life."
"Have not!" Prim argues. "He's just a friend, I told you that."
"Yeah, just because you tell me something doesn't mean I'll believe you," I say. "I know you better than anyone. You like him."
"Just like you always liked Peeta, huh?" Prim teases.
"No, I just thought he was cute," I correct. "But so did every girl in the Kingdom."
"She loved me, Prim," Peeta teases. "She absolutely loved me. She told me so herself."
"You know, it's moments like these when I want to throw both of you out a window," I huff. "I didn't say that. For God's sakes."
"We're just teasing, Katniss," he laughs. "You take everything so seriously."
"She's always been serious," my mother says, pitching in to the conversation for the first time. "Even when she was little."
We all don't really know how to reply. "That doesn't surprise me at all," Peeta eventually says. "She doesn't take jokes well."
"She never has," Mom replies. "Even when my husband used to tease her, she'd get very upset." That is the first time she'd talked about Dad since he'd passed away. I'm so taken aback by her comment that I drop my fork.
"Huh," Peeta says.
"There must be a reason you invited us here," she says. "You always come to our quarters."
"Yeah, I was wondering that, too," Prim says.
Oh, shit. It's game time.
"Well, Katniss and I have some news," Peeta says nervously. "Katniss and I . . . are . . . um . . ."
"I'm pregnant," I say quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.
My mother and Prim sit in silence for a moment. "You're pregnant?" Prim says after at least a minute of excruciating silence.
I nod. "We had no other choice, you guys know that," I say softly.
"But Katniss–" Prim starts, but my mother interrupts her.
"A baby is a blessing," she says. "I'm not that hungry. Prim, walk me back to our quarters."
Prim looks to me and Peeta angrily before following my mother out the door. "We'll talk later," she snaps when she pulls it closed.
Peeta looks at me for a long moment. "That didn't go half as bad as I thought it would," he says finally. "I thought Prim was going to castrate me."
I laugh. "She looked pretty angry," I say. "She'll definitely be back to yell at us."
"But your mother," Peeta says. "She actually mentioned your dad. And she said the baby was a blessing."
"She hasn't talked about my dad since he died," I say. "I can't even . . . she's improved so much since I married you."
"I tend to have that effect on people," he teases, standing up and beginning to clear the table.
And before I know it, we're on another train to the Capitol Kingdom for another interview with Caesar Flickerman. This one's about the baby, not our marriage. Peeta's outraged – he says he can't remember any other Royal couples having to go to the Capitol Kingdom for a pregnancy interview. I don't think it's a huge deal; not that I want to return to the Capitol Kingdom. But we're making Snow happy, which keeps me safe, which keeps Peeta safe, which keeps the baby safe. And keeping my family safe has always been top priority for me.
Haymitch and Effie are with us again and they argue almost nonstop. The first argument is about how much food Haymitch consumes, the second is about Effie's hair, and the third is about whom fell in love with whom first. Haymitch insists he fell in love first and Effie insists that they both fell in love at the same time. Watching them argue is much more fun than watching TV, in my opinion.
When they finish the third argument, it's a draw. We'll arrive in the Capitol in about eighteen hours. They decide that the four of us need to bond, so we're going to watch some television together.
"Haymitch, let's watch this," Effie says. The 'this' she's referring to is the Shopping Network.
"Absolutely not," Haymitch scoffs. He turns on the news.
"Oh, please, nobody cares about the news," Effie snaps, reaching for the remote. He pulls it away and she falls over on his lap, her wig almost falling right of her head.
"This is why you shouldn't wear wigs," he says, shaking his head. "Now you look like a clown."
"I don't know why I married you," she says, pushing herself off his lap and smacking his arm. "You're so mean to me."
"I'm mean to you?" he says. "I'm mean to you? I'm married to you! That's the nicest thing anyone could ever do for someone like yourself."
"Katniss, this is a perfect example of how not to let a man talk to you," Effie huffs. "At least Peeta's a sweetheart."
"I am a sweetheart, sweetheart," Haymitch says mockingly, focusing more on the TV than the actual argument.
"Oh please, you don't even have a heart," Effie says.
"I do so!" Haymitch shouts. "You don't have a heart!"
"Yes, I do!" she shouts.
"This is ridiculous!" Peeta says. "You two are married, can't you just get along?"
"I bet you and Katniss argue," Effie says. "All married couples do."
"Not as much as you," I mutter.
"You guys love each other but you come to blows about everything," Peeta says. "Can't you just agree to disagree?"
"I can, but she surely can't," Haymitch says.
"No, I can but you can't!" Effie says. "Do you even listen to yourself, Haymitch?"
"Oh, my God," Peeta mumbles, grabbing my hand and pulling me to our sleeping car. "They're very irritating."
"They're like a comedy act," I point out.
"A very annoying comedy act," he says.
"King and Queen Mellark, back with us again!" Caesar Flickerman begins as Peeta and I sit down in a couch across from him. "It hasn't been long, has it?"
"About four months, five months," Peeta says. "How've you been?"
"I've been splendid!" Caesar says. "How have you been?"
"We've been great," Peeta says.
"Now, I have to ask," Caesar says. "How far along, Katniss?"
"Three and a half months," I say. The crowd shrieks. Caesar smiles widely.
"You guys didn't really have to try at all, did you?" he laughs.
"It took about a month," Peeta says.
"I bet you enjoyed that, didn't you?" Caesar says, raising his eyebrows suggestively. I blush immediately and bring my hands to my face to hide my embarrassment. Peeta just laughs.
"I'm sure your families are elated to hear this fine news," Caesar says. "How did they take it?"
"My father and mother were delighted," Peeta says, his voice slightly constricted. His father had been delighted; his mother had hit Peeta so hard across the face that he almost fell over. "My brothers were very happy to hear, also."
"Your brothers are the kings to 5 and 6, right?" he asks.
"Yes, Daved runs Kingdom 6 and Mikal runs Kingdom 5," Peeta says.
"Katniss, I know you have a little sister," Caesar says. "How did she take the news of your pregnancy?"
"She was very happy," I lie. In fact, Prim had come over the day after we'd told her and screamed at us for at least ten minutes. We'd tried to speak with her since, but she wouldn't hear us out. "She can't wait to be an aunt. In fact, if it's a girl, she wants us to name it Prim."
Caesar laughs. "If it's a boy, you'll be naming it Caesar, right?"
"Of course, what else would we name it?" Peeta replies and the crowd goes berserk with laughter.
"Have you thought about names at all?" Caesar asks.
"Not much," I reply. "We haven't really discussed any yet." And this was true – Peeta and I hadn't spoken of any names at all.
"Well, what are your thoughts?" Caesar asks. "I'm sure all our friends here will keep them secret." The crowd laughs.
"I like the name Lily, for a girl," Peeta says. "But I also like the name Lea for a girl."
"I like both of those," I say. "I like the name Nathaniel. For a boy."
"Nathaniel's a very kingly name, too," Peeta says. "King Nathaniel Mellark. Very dignified."
"I agree," Caesar says. "I'm still disappointed it won't be Caesar, though."
"That'll be our second kid, I promise," Peeta teases.
"I think you're lying to me," Caesar says. "But that's okay, I have a son named Caesar already."
"Do you?" Peeta asks.
"I do, he's fourteen," Caesar says. "Just a couple years younger than you two. God, I just can't get over how adorable you two really are! Your baby is going to be perfect!"
"Nobody's perfect," Peeta points out.
"It will be perfect," Caesar says. "No question about it."
"Yeah, Peeta, no question about it," I tease. Peeta smiles at me and leans forward to kiss my forehead. Peeta's father had told us to be very affectionate with each other, and so far, we'd failed at doing so. The crowd sighs communally. I scoot a bit closer to him on the couch. His arm was already around my shoulders, but he grabs my hand with his free one.
"Katniss, what was it like to date the Prince of 12, knowing that you probably wouldn't get to marry him?" Caesar asks. "I've been kicking myself for not asking you that question last time."
Think on the fly, Katniss, I tell myself.
"Well, I didn't expect our relationship to go anywhere when he first asked me out," I stutter. "And when it did, I just . . . I loved him and didn't focus on the fact that the Reaping was coming."
"What would it have been like to marry another girl, Peeta?" Caesar asks.
"I can't even imagine how horrible my life would be," he says. "You know, being a Prince, I knew that the girl I'd marry probably wouldn't love me for me, but for what my last name was. But Katniss really does love me for who I am."
"And who is he, Katniss?" Caesar asks.
"He's the sweetest, kindest, most amazing person I've ever known," I say softly. God, that was cheesy, I think to myself as the crowd sighs. Peeta smiles and I can't tell if it's because he's happy about what I said or trying not to laugh because of the insane amount of cheese in that last sentence. But Peeta's always been cheesy. And I guess he's rubbing off a bit on me.
"That's all the time we have, unfortunately," Caesar says. "But I'm so excited to have you back on the show after you have the baby!"
We'll be back on the show?