I was fielding drabble requests on tumblr (absnow) and got a request for a "And Your Bird Can Sing" drabble. Since I tried to keep this one somewhat within the structure of canon, I wrote this as a quick epilogue. Hope you enjoy!
Katniss adjusted the seam of the empire waistline so that the skirt of her dress rested over the swell of her belly. She wound her chestnut curls around the palm of her hand, and took note of the fullness in her cheeks. At this stage in her first pregnancy, she did not look so bloated.
That was the only reason she had agreed to promote this new album on Caesar Flicerkman's Late Night Talk Show several weeks ago. Back then she was hardly showing, and if it was anything like carrying her daughter, she wouldn't have been showing for another two months.
"They're not going to ask, right?" she turned to Haymitch, who was dropping ice cubes into a crystal tumbler. He picked up a carafe with a golden liquid and filled his glass to the brim.
"They're not supposed to ask, it's on your blacklist," he said before carefully lifting his drink to his lips.
She turned back to the mirror and touched her hand to her round cheek. "It's going to be all over the media," she sighed. There were already a few magazines on the news stand with grainy pictures of her that circled her stomach and drew arrows with commentary about having the first shots of the newest "Toastbaby." Granted, Katniss wasn't even pregnant in those pictures, but once word got out, there was no quelling the rumors.
Especially appearing on broadcast television with a baby bump unwilling to be shielded by baggy clothing.
There was a knock at the door and a production assistant peeked his head into the Green Room. "Five minutes," he announced, before slipping out of the room.
Katniss carded her fingers through her hair, spreading out the curls so that they framed her face before she followed the assistant out towards the stage.
Her band was already waiting on stage, and she sang the song that she was scheduled to sing. When the applause faded and the stage lights went up over the part of the set with Caesar's desk and the other guests, Katniss reluctantly walked over to join him.
Caesar hugged her warmly, and Katniss kept her arms stiff, to maintain some amount of distance between him and the swell of her abdomen, covering the gesture by bending at her waist to kiss his cheek.
"It's always so wonderful to see you Katniss!" he said as she settled onto the sofa beside his desk. "Just the other day I was thinking about you, and how I was there when you were first discovered through that Mockingjay show. Do you remember that?"
Katniss laughed shyly and nodded.
"How long has it been since that? Fifteen years?"
"Fifteen years," she confirmed.
"And you didn't even win!" he exclaimed with another staged laugh.
"I didn't even win," she parroted.
"I couldn't even tell you," Katniss answered honestly. She was so caught up with the new record deal and things with Peeta, she hadn't followed the last few episodes of the show. It was canceled at the end of the season when many of their crew members, Caesar Flickerman included, left the studio for the Thirteenth District.
"I don't think anyone could." He leaned forward onto his elbows and rested his chin in his hands, his teeth so white that Katniss was blinded when they caught the studio lights. "So tell me, Katniss, I never get to see you anymore, how are things?"
Katniss wasn't sure what Caesar was talking about, she visited his show at least twice a year as per the terms of her contract. She smiled broadly though, and played along. "Things are good, wonderful even. My album is doing well." It was the last album of her record deal, and she was looking forward to her retirement.
"And how's that husband of yours?" Caesar asked, skating the fine line of appropriate topics that Haymitch had sent him. "I hear he made another movie."
"He did, he directed it," she said. She didn't like talking about Peeta in public, but she couldn't help but feel pride when she talked of him.
"And people seem to like this one."
"The award shows certainly do," she said. Peeta had been in and out of the spotlight over the last decade with varying success, but this was the first year he'd actually been up for any major awards, thrusting both of them into the spotlight at the same time for the first time since their original pairing. The amount of attention they drew had settled down considerably now that they were both over thirty, but it was still outside of Katniss's comfort zone, especially now that her daughter was old enough to notice cameras following them up the street, or recognize her parent's (usually unflattering or out of context) pictures on the cover of magazines.
"And how do you balance it all? The award shows and the appearances and the dance recitals... it must be exhausting."
Katniss looked at him pointedly, but shrugged off her annoyance. "It is," she said. "You just have to appreciate the little things. Those always find a way to balance out the more hectic moments."
"Well it's working, you look absolutely glowing," he said with a wink.
"Thank you," she said, slightly taken aback.
"Have you done something differently with your hair?" Katniss reflexively threaded her fingers through her hair in response and shook her head. "Hmm, you look different," he mused. "Well we've run out of time, I wish we had more time to talk," he said as the house band began to play. "Make sure you get some lunch, you look famished," he added, when the music was too loud for the audience to hear. "Congratulations," he added with a wink.
It weighed on her mind through the rest of the day. She had to attend a few record company events throughout the rest of the day and didn't get home until late in the evening, when the talk shows were beginning to play.
She noticed an assortment of flowers and wrapped gifts on the dinning room table, all wrapped in ivory and pastel colored paper, and she eyed them curiously on her way down the hallway. She stopped at her daughter's room first, to make sure that she was sleeping soundly. It wouldn't have been the first time Katniss had returned home after her bed time to find a little girl bouncing around the house with her father's enthusiastic encouragement. Tonight however, she was tucked beneath her blankets with only her nose and a mop of dark, wiry hair peeking out.
Katniss smiled warmly, and brushed the little girl's bangs from her forehead to press a kiss against her ashen skin.
When she reached her bedroom, the room was dark, save for the flashes of light that glowed from their television set. Peeta was sprawled across the mattress, his eyes so glassy as he watched, she could almost see the images on the screen reflected in them.
"Where'd the presents come from?" she asked as she began dressing for bed.
"The Flickerman Show," he said dully, adjusting the volume on the television. "To congratulate us on the baby. They were very apologetic about not being more accommodating to your condition while you were on set. They didn't know," he said dryly.
"That was the point," she said, tugging her nightgown over her head, her swollen breasts making it a difficult task. "How did they know?"
Peeta turned the volume up even further until she could recognize her voice, singing the song she had performed on the show. "It may have had to do with this," he said, nodding towards the screen.
Sure enough, there Katniss was, her arm cradled beneath her rounded abdomen, stroking it to the beat of the music as she sang. She hadn't even realized it, but she should have known. This baby always seemed to be active when she was singing, rolling and kicking to the music like he just wanted to dance along.
"He was doing somersaults I think," she sighed, slipping into bed beside him. She smoothed her hand over her bump with soft, soothing swirls. "He takes after you."
Peeta rolled over and covered her hand with his. "How's that?"
"He can't wait to get into the spotlight."
He kissed her nose. "And I thought you were going to call him your new biggest fan."
"That too," she mused, laughing when he smothered her with another kiss.