Gale first focused on comforting Katniss, but once she'd settled down, he couldn't stop the onslaught.
She's pregnant. Oh my god, she's pregnant. The thoughts raced through Gale's mind but he wasn't sure he made the connection. He was suddenly disconnected from reality. He held Katniss tightly as she cried into his chest and the words she's pregnant passed through his mind. But he didn't make the connection. It was like they meant nothing, and as Gale struggled to process the information, the only connection he was able to make was, well, this does explain her behavior.
But then, once Katniss had calmed down, Gale begins to make sense of his thoughts. The thought she pregnant finally connected with that means she's going to have a baby, and panic set it.
Gale's heart immediately began to race and he started to perspire. He forced himself to appear calm. Focus on Katniss, he told himself, focus one Katniss…she's pregnant…I have to be strong for her…she's going to have a baby…I have to take care of her….she's going to have a baby…we're going to have a baby…
But as he turned the thought in his mind, it got less and less scary. He and Katniss we're going to have a baby. Why was that so bad? We love each other…and lots of people their age have babies at this age in District 12…it really isn't as if they are too young. Of course, he realized, most of them don't have babies out in the woods….But better out here than in District Twelve, another thought countered. And Gale had to admit, that was true. His heart calmed as the thoughts sunk into his mind. This isn't so bad…we're going to have a baby, We love each other and this isn't so bad. In fact…
"Katniss," he said, taking her teary face in his hands and bringing close to his, "we're going to have a baby." There was light in Gale's voice and a smile on his lips, "we're going to have a baby!" And he kissed her.
But Katniss wasn't kissing him back. In fact, she quickly pushed him away. "What are you doing?" She sounded angry. Gale looked hurt. He didn't understand what the problem was.
"Katniss, this isn't such a bad thing!"
"Not such a bad thing!?" she roared, "I'm pregnant!"
"I know, Katniss, I know, but we love each other! Is having a baby so bad?"
"We're not having a baby, I'm pregnant! They are two different things!"
It took Gale a moment to process her words and understand the distinction she was making. "Katniss, what are you talking about?"
"Come on, Gale, don't be so naïve…." She got up and circled around him as she spoke. "It was a pretty common thing back in the district, what do you think the chances are out here?" The light was slowing coming on in Gale's eyes as he realized where she was going with this.
"Katniss…" he didn't want her to think this way.
"No, Gale, come on! How many did Hazelle even lose? One before you, and what was it, at least two in between you and Rory?"
Gale's heart sank as she said this. Her words singed, but he knew she was right. The oldest of his younger siblings was six years younger than him. That wasn't planned. Gale remembered his parents telling him he was going to have his first baby brother or sister. He was only two or three at the time and pressed his ear to his mother's belly. His parents told him that a baby was growing in there. And then his father told him some time later that there'd been a mistake and not to mention it around his mother. Gale didn't understand why at the time, but he later saw his mother crying and never mentioned it again. The second time the baby survived to be born. He remembered that her name was Chessie. His father brought him into a room where his mother was lying in a bed and holding the smallest person he'd ever seen. His dad told him that this was his baby sister and asked if he wanted to hold her. Gale climbed up into the bed with his mother and she gently put the baby in his arms. Gale kissed her on the forehead and told his parents that he thought he loved her. They both laughed at that and everyone seemed happy. But Gale never saw Chessie again and his mother wasn't happy again for a long time.
"Okay, Katniss, calm down." Gale slowly processed his thoughts. He knew Katniss did have a point, but he didn't want to think about that right now. He didn't want to plan for the worst, for now, for just a moment, he wanted to be happy. "Katniss, Katniss," he tried to reach for her, but she again pushed away. "Just calm down, okay? Let's not think of the worst possibilities right now, okay, let's just try to enjoy this.."
"Enjoy this!?" He voice cracked. "What's there to enjoy, Gale!?"
"That we could be a family!" Why was she acting this way? "That we could be happy and a family away from the clutches of the Capitol. There isn't some part of you that's happy about that!?"
"No!" Gale stepped back, legitimately hurt that she'd said this.
"What?" His eyes searched her face, trying to understand. "Katniss – "
"No! Gale, I don't want to talk about it! I don't want to dream with you! This isn't happening!"
"Okay, okay, Katniss," he reached for her again, clearly she wasn't ready to talk about this. He knew she never really wanted kids, maybe she needed time. And, Gale realized, she was the one who actually had to have the kids. If the pregnancy came to term, and as much as Gale didn't want to think about it, Katniss had a valid point there. Tears were streaming down her eyes, and Gale was upset to see her so upset. "Come here, calm down."
"Don't tell me to calm down!" She roared again.
"Katniss, it's okay, it'll be okay."
"No it won't, Gale!"
"Look, Katniss, I know you never wanted kids, but can you really feel this way about our baby?"
"That's not it!"
"Then what is it?
"Because, Gale, just because the baby survives…doesn't mean…" And she began to choke on her words. Tears poured off her cheeks, and Gale suddenly realized. It didn't mean that she'd survive. Loosing children was pretty common in Twelve, but losing mothers was almost just as much. Katniss knew this better than most, with her mother being a healer and all. She heard all the stories, of women in labor for hours, of children who made it, of mothers who didn't and vise versa. Gale didn't give Katniss the opportunity to push him away this time. He grabbed her and held her close to his chest. Tighter than he'd ever held her before. Katniss falls to her knees, sobbing. And Gale sinks with her. He doesn't know how to address these fears. Not for her, and not for himself.