EDIT: People were saying they couldn't read it, so I re-uploaded it. Hope it works.
I asked if I should scrap the fight. You all said: No. Quite angrily actually, so shame on me for even suggesting such a sacrilege. Mild swearing in this chapter, if you're offended don't read it ;) Special thanks to FredNeverDied for the help with this chapter, she gave me lots of good pointers and direction!
I'm having a nightmare. It must be a nightmare. But it's not like any others I've had. No, in this one it isn't my father dying, or Prim, not Peeta, even me. It's not a flashback from the Games. At first I don't even understand it. Peeta is yelling at me while I cower in a corner, huddled on the floor. It's hard to comprehend because he isn't hijacked, but the words coming out of his mouth would make it seem like he is.
"…I keep waiting, giving you chances to tell me, but you never do!"
I frown, confused. "Tell you what? Peeta, I don't understand."
"You act like you're the only one that's been through a lot! Did it ever occur to you that other people have been thrown into the Games? Other people have lost their families, other people have gotten hurt, it's not just you!"
Nothing makes sense. Nothing. All I know now is that he's starting to tick me off. "What the hell is your problem Peeta?"
"You're nothing but a bitch Katniss! A useless, cowardly, lying bitch!" His eyes aren't glazed over, his mind is completely his own. I don't understand, and the confusion only fuels my anger.
"Peeta! What. The. Hell. Is. Wrong?"
"I'm lying on my deathbed and you can't even tell me the damned truth. I've never been anything but honest with you, always been there for you when I can be, and you can't even tell me the truth. I wait and I wait, while you just sit there and tease. You really are a mutt Katniss." He turns to go and coughs suddenly. He wipes blood away from his mouth and tries to walk away from me, but stumbles. I reach out to help him, but I can't stand fast enough and he falls. The crash when he hits the ground sends chills down my spine.
Anger forgotten, trying not to cry, I crawl over to him and turn him over carefully. His face is covered in blood. Maybe it isn't a nightmare. The pain in his eyes is too real for this to be a nightmare. Peeta croaks out weakly, "The truth?"
His expression is too much to take, and I break down. I'm angry at myself for crying, angry with myself for that pain because I put it there, and angry with myself for not telling him the truth about how I feel. "Just hang on Peeta, you'll be okay. I'm going to get you help."
Peeta catches my hand as I stand, and the blood drains from his face quickly. In an instant he becomes as pale as a sheet. His eyes aren't focused, and I have to grip his hand to keep it from falling out of mine. He mumbles again, "Truth… Please." As I begin to answer though, his eyes close.
In desperation I grab his face between my hands, nearly screaming. "Peeta, don't you dare die on me! I swear I'll tell the truth if you just wake up, I swear! I'm sorry Peeta, just don't die. I'll get you help. I swear if you live I'll tell you the truth."
"Tell me the truth Katniss. I don't want help, I want the truth." In his eyes I still see anger, but pain and sorrow as well. Then suddenly, the pain overwhelms everything else and he convulses. I try to help him but what the hell do I know about these things? All I can tell is that he's fading, and fast.
I don't know how much time passes - time that I just sit there watching Peeta in desperation while he dies slowly – when Prim comes in, from where, I don't know. She's a healer, she can fix this. "Prim, oh Prim, thank goodness. Please, do something. Please Prim, he doesn't have much time."
Primrose kneels down next to Peeta, and it takes me a moment to realize that she's transparent. I reach a hand out tentatively and it passes through her, like smoke. I ask tentatively, "Prim?"
She looks at me with an expression I've never seen before. Disappointment. She mumbles, "I can't fix this Katniss. I'm just here to make his passing easier."
"Passing? What passing? He… He's not going with you, he's not dying. You're a healer Prim, you've never denied anyone help, can't you do something? Look at him, he's all pale and shaky… Prim, please!"
She swallows and takes Peeta's hand. I go to take his other, but my fingers pass through it the way they had with Prim. She swallows and says, "I can't help him. I can't fix what's wrong with him Katniss. Only you can, and you've decided time and time again that it wasn't worth it. Risking getting hurt wasn't worth his life." Prim takes a deep breath and stands. "He's gone Katniss. I'm sorry." Without another word, my sister turns and walks away. Refusing to believe, I check Peeta's pulse, tearing up again. Nothing, not a single beat.
Peeta Melark is dead.
I feel someone pulling at my arm, trying to drag me away from him, taking me away from Peeta while I cling to him desperately.
Slowly, he begins to fade. Everything around me fades. Someone is still pulling me away from his corpse, and I lash out angrily at them. No, I've killed Peeta, no one is taking me away from him now. Without looking, I scratch and hit at whoever is trying to drag me away.
Suddenly I hear cursing, and my surroundings change. Haymitch is sitting next to me in a hospital room, using his sleeve to stop the blood coming from his mouth where there's a loose tooth. He grumbles, "You sure pack a punch sweetheart."
Again, super huge thank you to FredNeverDied, who gave me the idea for Prim as well as some other help here. I know things have been hanging and lacking explanation, I promise it's coming in chapter 20! Speaking of which… Chapter 20 is kind of a big deal (to me at least) so I'm going to do shout outs next chapter. If you want a shout out please review! I don't want to miss anyone.