So I cant believe that this story is ending! This started just as a one-shot in Katniss Can Fend For Herself. I just wanted to give Katniss and Cato some sexual tension but they ended up getting a lot more! I had no idea that it would get so popular!
I want to thank everyone who reviewed, followed, and favorited. Thank you for putting up with all of the stupid spelling mistakes and short chapters! I honestly would not have written this unless you guys hadn't been pushing me the way you did. So thank you so much!
And if you like this story and my writing, please check out my other stories. I don't think I will be writing a third continuation to this story, but I might write more Hunger Games storys in the future.
Okay I'm rambling. Thank you and enjoy!
Noelle was not nearly as good of a shot as her mother. It seemed that no one in Panem was. But through either determination will or plain stubbornness, she would wade out into the tall crabgrass every Sunday morning and shoot at the tattered targets in the backyard. Sometimes Peeta would come outside and sit in the grass next to her and laugh at her, chewing on his breakfast.
Despite her mother's pleading, their second child was named Peeta. He was a sneaky child who would often steal his father's clothes and hide them in random placed throughout the house in order to make him late for work. Being late was never a problem for him though. He would pat his sons head and race him all over the house to find his missing shirts and shoes, pretending he would get in trouble, although everyone knew he wouldn't.
Peeta did not come out that cold morning, leaving Noelle outside with her bow alone. She was bundled up in an old jacket of her mother's that fell on her small frame like a blanket. She took a few practice shots at the closer targets, feeling the bow stretch taught in her small hands.
Noelle was still a child, merely twelve years old. Her father and mother lived in the outskirts of town, away from the Capitol. Even though, sometimes the Capitol would come out more often than not to see them. President Finnick would visit often, bringing sweets to the kids. They did not know the pain of hunger as their mother often had in her youth. They did not know the fear of the games, or of their government. They were carefree, the way children should be.
A doe wandered into Noelle's line of fire and she lowered the bow. The doe looked up and then bounded away, back into the woods in which it came from. Many animals were seen in their small village. Often times, the residents could hear the mockingjay's singing their sweet tunes in the distance. Few people would raise their heads high and listen to the songs that set them free years ago.
Though the government was new, and the rebellion was still fresh in everyone's minds, life was different. There was no more hunger or poverty. There was no fear, or oppression.
Noelle took it all for granted. She had never lived in a world without these things. She was born into the promise of peace and safety. Somewhere deep down, she had the mixed blood of her father and her mother, which gave her an instinct for survival. She was a fighter, even when she had nothing to fight for.
She shot more arrows at the farther targets, hitting a few near the center. The steady thwap of the arrows against the wood calmed her, like it did her mother. They were very similar.
"You are always out here in the mornings." Katniss called to her from the back porch. "Come walk with me."
Katniss had aged well. She was a woman and a mother. She was proud and had an air of maturity and care wherever she went. She had her long hair in a braid down her back, her signature look. She held a steaming cup of coffee in her hands as she walked to her daughter in the cold.
"Ick." Noelle came to her mother's side, barley tall enough to reach her breast. "I can't believe you can stand to drink that."
"I hated it too when I was you age." She put an arm around her daughter's shoulders.
Noelle was silent as they wandered through their yard and onto to the dirt in the front. They walked down the streets together. Not everything had changed in the rebellion. Still, in the outskirts of 12, where the bomb had hit, there was no pavement. They had barely gotten telephone lines and running water to the homes in the past year or so.
"Where are we going?" Noelle looked up to her mother. She saw her breath come out in little puffs against the chill air. Her nose was pink, as well as her mother's.
"Do you know what today is?" Katniss looked down at her.
"A week before my 13th birthday?" She smiled up at her mother.
"Yes, and the anniversary of a friend's death." Noelle looked ahead, this was news to her. She knew of the rebellion and the part her mother played, but Prim's name had not been uttered in their house in front of the kids.
"Who?" Katniss took time before replying.
"My sister. She died when she was your age. Some days you remind me so much of her." Noelle thought to herself about this new information. She never knew that her mother had a sister, let alone one who died a week before her birthday.
They stopped at the plaque in the center of town, erected when Noelle was just eight months old. In reality, it was new. But it seemed ancient to her, she had grown up playing around it. She had never read it.
To the martyr.
Katniss stared down at it, reading the bronze words over and over again in her head. Prim was a martyr, giving everything up for her cause. In many ways, she was the real hero. The unsung hero.
They walked back home to find Cato on the front step waiting for them. His hair was pushed back and he smiled when he saw his wife and daughter returning from their morning trek.
"Good morning dear, doe." He nodded to each of them. "Pete is up and whining because apparently someone told him that we were going to the Capitol today."
"Oh! I haven't been in so long!" Noelle tugged at her mother's sleeve. "Can we go? Please?" Her mother rolled her eyes.
"Well I said that I needed to drop off some papers to Cinna, he asked if he could go with." Katniss shrugged. She kissed Cato on the cheek.
"Fine." Cato ushered them inside and shut the door after them. "Go get dressed you two."
Peeta, who was jumping up and down on the couch, raced his sister upstairs. They tripped over each other and laughed while climbing over each other.
"Good morning too darling." Katniss wrapped her arms around Cato, putting her coffee mug down.
"Mhmm, how is everything? It is, after all, today." He made a habit these years to not mention Prim's name of the nature of her death.
"Good." He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close. "Noelle and I went to the plaque. I told her."
"That's good." He swayed his hips with hers.
He kissed her softly.
"I love you." She smiled, pulling away as she heard the kids running down the stairs.
"Forever and always."