This is an idea I came up with at 1am last night.
I just started typing and this is where it led me. Give me your thoughts, if I should continue. But I would like to clear some things up before you read:
1. Katniss's father did not die.
2. Peeta's mother is not a bitch.
3. In this world, Gale Hawthorne is NOT in love with Katniss, nor will he ever be.
4. The time line may confuse some of you, but it is not corresponding with the original books. It is relating to the certain time period, which would make Katniss being born in 1995, making her seventeen in the "present".
"Could you pass the blue crayon please?"
Katniss Everdeen sneaked a peek at the boy in the red plaid button down shirt who sat across the table from her. He was concentrating very hard on the picture in front of him, but looked up into those pair of grey eyes and nodded. He picked up his pack of 64 crayons (with a sharpener in the back) and twisted his lips to the side in concentration.
"Bright blue or dark blue?" The question was simple, but Katniss's heart leapt into her chest at his response. Maybe because this was the first person to talk to her on the first day of school.
She chose bright blue, because that is the color of his eyes. She has never seen eyes that bright before in her entire life.
"You're nice, I like you."
Peeta Mellark felt himself blush a little bit, but he gave her the widest no-front-teeth smile he could muster up. They introduced themselves. "Best friends forever?"
Katniss mirrored his smile and nodded enthusiastically.
He dumped all sixty-four of his crayons in a plastic tray nearby to make it official.
"We're gonna play house," Katniss announced. "I'm gonna be the mom and you're gonna be the dad."
The two were in Katniss's living room, sitting on a blanket that was supposed to be their "pretend" house. Katniss picked up her sister, Prim's baby doll and continued, "And we have a baby girl named Isabelle and a dog named-
"Wait!" Peeta stops, holding on to Katniss's arm. "We have to get married first."
Within minutes, Katniss made her mother dress her up like the beautiful bride she was meant to be, complete with bright red lipstick and the whitest dress she owned. Katniss was wearing her own clothes, but wearing her mother's make-up and jewelry. The earrings she wore dropped down to her shoulders and her hair was let out of its usual two braids. Naturally, her hair is wavy and beautiful. At least, that's what Peeta thought.
Peeta was sporting one of Mr. Everdeen good coats. The coat was too big for him, but he wore it proud.
The ceremony consisted of exchanging "pretend" rings and walking down a "pretend" aisle. Katniss's parents laughed silently at their daughter and her best friend, knowing that one day this could very well happen.
When it came time to kiss, they covered their mouths, and kissed each other with their hands in the way. "I can't kiss you, you're a boy," Katniss stated.
The two best friends continued to play their game for the next hour, before Peeta decided he couldn't wait until they could play like that for real.
"Did you hear?" Madge Undersee whispered to Katniss in the cafeteria. Katniss hardly talks to Madge, so she's curious as to what she is talking about.
Katniss was a little confused as to why they were whispering, but she went along with it. "No, what's going on?"
"Peeta and Delly Cartwright are going out."
Katniss immediately felt like someone stabbed her in the gut. She had to hear about this from Madge, but not Peeta himself.
She was angry and confused. Mostly angry, though. Last night, Katniss and Peeta got into a fight and that doesn't happen often. He's her best friend, why would they fight? He kept noticing the development of other girls in their grade. She made a big deal about how disrespectful it was to talk about girls in that way, when really, she just flat out didn't like the fact that he was looking at other girls.
Madge called out after Katniss's retreating figure. Katniss was running, and she was running fast.
Her target was sitting on the lunch bench surrounded by many people. Peeta and Delly were holding hands. Katniss's eyes narrowed in on their hands during her brisk walk towards the group.
Gale Hawthorne noticed her first and nudged Peeta to look. He stood up and let go of Delly's hand to approach her. "Katniss, I have to talk to y-"
Katniss didn't even pay attention, too focused on her anger and the task she was about to perform.
Katniss finally reached the table full of Peeta's friends. She flung her small body over the table, punching Delly Cartwright square in the face, with a satisfying crunch of her nose.
It was the last day of eighth grade.
Peeta and Katniss have not talked in years. She made new friends throughout this past year, befriending Annie Cresta, Finnick Odair, and Madge Undersee. They had their own group that they were perfectly content with. Finnick is secretly in love with Annie and Annie is secretly in love with Finnick. Everyone knows it, except the two of them. Madge Undersee has always had a thing for Gale Hawthorne, but she knows he will probably never give her the time of day.
"What do you plan to do this summer?" Annie asks the group innocently during their last period class. History is the only class all four of them have similar and it's the last time they will not only see this classroom, but see this school ever again.
"I'm finally moving closer to town," Katniss smiled. She hated the fact that she lives on the outskirts of District 12. It's horrible, especially having to walk to school every day. She would rather walk than ride the horrible bus.
The school bell rang. Junior high was over.
Katniss walked out in front of the school with her friends while they waited on rides. Katniss decided to sit and keep them company until they all left, and then she would begin her walk home with her little sister, Prim. She scowled at all the pathetic sixth graders skipping and singing songs. Blond hair interfered with Katniss's peripheral vision. Her neck snapped in the direction of the source.
Peeta Mellark darted to a bench outside of the school, where all of his friends usually met up. He sat on the actual table and propped his legs on the seat. He was talking to Gale and Marvel, nodding enthusiastically when appropriate.
Their eyes met.
Invisible tension passed before Katniss smiled at him. Peeta nodded his head at her, returning the friendly smile. Three years of silence was broken that day. When Katniss's friends left, she made her way toward Peeta's group.
"Hey Peeta," she stood in front of him.
He squinted his eyes from the sun to put a face to that familiar voice. Marvel raised an eyebrow to Gale. In return, Gale shrugged. Gale is really the only one of Peeta's close friends who knows about Katniss and Peeta's previous close friendship. It's not that it was a secret, it just went unnoticed by many people in their grade. I'm sure if it was pointed out to some, they would recall the two sitting together at lunch when they were little.
"Hey," he swallowed, tightening his grip on his yearbook. This made his palms sweat.
Katniss smiled sweetly. "I hope you have a great summer." Just as fast as she came, she left, leaving Peeta with sweaty palms, a tightened stomach, and a confused Marvel.
Present - 2012
Katniss Everdeen swallows audibly as she approaches Mellark Family Bakery. It is a tall building because the upstairs is the home of the baker and his family. She must have stood on the street for hours, nervous as hell. Years ago, she would spend days over here without a care in the world. But, it was different then. There was no awkwardness between Katniss and the baker's son.
She huffed and walked through the door that had hung a "closed" sign behind it.
She had to remind herself that she is doing absolutely nothing wrong by being here. She is here for professional reasons and that is it. She needs a summer job and the baker was more than willing to offer her a job at the bakery. At first it was an offer, but after declining, he resorted to out-right begging. Katniss later realized that this is because Rye is moving out for college in District 9, she believes. He won't be here to run the bakery either, so the baker needs a last minute replacement from outside of the family, which has never happened before.
Stepping into the little shop, Katniss is brought back to years ago when Peeta and her would running amuck throughout the entire store, accidentally knocking over muffin racks and licking the frosting off decorated cakes. The two of them certainly gave the Mellark family a run for their money.
It's 6:57AM. The sun has barely risen over the only mountain in District 12.
She comes face to face with Mr. Mellark. "Katniss!" He bellows and gives her a hug. "Ready for your first day on the job?"
Katniss nodded and looked around nervously. She really hopes Peeta is not here. If anything, she wants to put off seeing him for a little bit. She is not sure if his father told him about her employment at the bakery. She slightly recalls the fact that Peeta has the ability to sleep all day, which calms her. Only a little, though.
The baker shows Katniss how to clock in and run the cash register. He doesn't show her how to bake because that job is usually reserved for him or Peeta, the only other baker in the house.
Mr. Mellark returns to the back to start making some daily loaves of bread. Katniss is able to deal with the first few customers and successfully works the cash register. She thought the day was going by very fast until she heard the faint sound of someone walking around upstairs. Last time she checked, Peeta's room is right above the bakery. The clock read 10:38AM and she smirked at her knowledge of how Peeta would sleep in.
She froze at the sound of someone running downstairs. Silently, she curses herself. Years ago, she was able to go up to him and start a conversation, even after their friendship had ended. She was never one to hold back on thoughts or be shy, but when it comes to the baker's son, it's an exception.
"Hey dad!" Peeta said, eagerly, still in the back and has not seen Katniss in the front yet.
"Morning son," his father answered, hauling something up on a higher shelf.
"Shouldn't you be manning the register?" Peeta asked, propping himself on a nearby table, clearly confused.
Katniss felt like crawling inside a hole and never coming out. She knew this was a mistake! She should have never taken this job. She could have found somewhere else to work, she could have asked Delly Cartwright's family for a job at their clothing store. She winced once she remember that Delly is a little scared of her since that dreadful day in fifth grade.
"Uh-" the baker stammered, "I hired someone," he mumbled.
Peeta wasted no time asking. He rocketed down from his seat and stood in front of the small window in the wall that opened up to the front of the bakery.
Katniss suddenly unfroze and whipped around to face the music. To her surprise, his face broke out in the goofiest smile she has ever seen on him. Her heart rate became irregular and the nape of her neck started to sweat a little, but she returned the smile. Peeta's bright blue eyes shined as he looked her over, wearing the cutest little Mellark's Bakery polo shirt and apron.
Katniss's regret towards taking the job suddenly started to melt away as she looked at Peeta.
Years of memories flooded back into both of their minds in a matter of seconds.
The baker cleared his throat, sending Katniss to greet the next customer that came through the door. Peeta, on the other hand, still fixated his gaze on Katniss, watching her work. He shook his head and laughed silently to himself, ignoring the knowing look his father was giving him. He retreated upstairs with the biggest shit-eating grin plastered on his face.