AN: So this is a songfic (one-shot) that just randomly popped into my mind while I was sitting in the car. I'm just strange that way: go forever without writing and all of the sudden stuff pops up. The story is going to go along to the song "The A Team" by Ed Sheeran. I've taken some of the words out of their original context but it still comes out rather well. Please review at the end and let me know what you thought, as well as any other songfic suggestions! I do much better with sad ones :)

Changes from the Hunger Games plot: There are no games, Peeta has not expressed his interest in Katniss. All else will be revealed in the writing.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Lyrics (will be in italics) for "The A Team" belong to Ed Sheeran, and characters/setting belongs to Suzanne Collins.

WARNING: Character death, violence, and adult situations present. You have been warned.

Katniss POV

White lips, pale face
Breathing in snowflakes
Burnt lungs, sour taste

Light's gone, day's end
Struggling to pay rent
Long nights, strange men

I walked home after another long night with the head peacekeeper, Cray. He was a vile man no matter which standards you went by. It was well known what he did to the poor women of district 12, and I had always avoided him at all costs. When I was able to hunt with Gale, it was easy to keep from turning into one of those desperate women. However, after Gale had been forced to work in the mines after his 18th birthday, things slowly started to change for my family and I as well.

For the first months- the spring- I was alright on my own, still catching about the same amount as Gale and I had been able to haul in together thanks to the traps Gale had shown me how to reset. But slowly, the snares began to break and I was unable to fix them, and then the winter drew in which caused the game to dwindle down to nothing. Finally, I wound up back where I had been before the baker's boy had thrown me the bread.

And so, I had been left desperate for a way to feed Prim and my mother. I was barely shooting enough in the forest to be able to keep up with the basic necessities like clothing and just enough food that we wouldn't starve to death- well except maybe me. As Prim's ribs became more prominent and help didn't show in any form, I took to the streets.

Fate had reclaimed me from when I had escaped so many years ago.

I've been selling my body to the rich men of the district for nearly two years now. Cray pays the best out of all of them, but he's by far the most vile. He never fails to cover myself or any other unfortunate soul in bruises, and even cuts on some occasions.

I'm able to bring in just enough to keep Prim and my mother well fed and decently clothed as long as I stick to my schedule which is every Sunday and Thursday evening. Every once in a while I'll go out on a Saturday night as well if there's a big holiday or a birthday coming up.

My body clearly shows the abuse that I suffer- that I've allowed myself to suffer. I always eat smaller portions than I give to Prim and mother. Partly because the men find it to be more attractive when I'm too skinny, and partly so I don't have to go out extra days or go to Cray more often in order to afford enough food.

The falling snowflakes melt quickly and harmlessly on my pale skin, soothing the new bruise that I've acquired from Cray tonight. He'd drunk too much again and forgotten his rule of not 'ruining the view' as he said. For that, he'd paid me a little extra- it'd be just enough to buy Prim a cookie from the bakery. Tomorrow was the day that my father had been dead for 10 years already and it was always a hard day for her. She'd probably share the cookie with mom- whatever she offered me I wouldn't dare to take.

I finally walked into the house and stripped from my 'good' dress, changing into my torn pajamas. The clock on the wall read 3 am which meant I'd have to be up in another 3 hours to get Prim's cookie before she awoke. The moment my head touched the pillow, I was in another world.

And they say
She's in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream

My body forced me awake late today- it was nearly 7 by the time that I jumped out of bed. Rushing quietly around the house, I threw my day clothes on and carefully transferred some of the money from the dress to my pants pocket and headed to the bakery. My feet crunched softly on the black tinted snow. Nothing stayed clean for very long here.

The streets were quiet- the men and women who worked in the mines had to be there by 6 and the rest of the town rarely awoke before 8 except for myself, the store owners, and a few ambitious people. I took the moment to pretend that the past two years had never happened- that I was happy and healthy without a care in the world. Only in these quiet moments could I do so.

A bell rang harmlessly as I walked into the bakery, announcing my arrival. I was in luck today: the youngest boy was working the counter today as opposed to his witch of a mother. Whenever she was working she'd refuse to take my money: I was just a Seam slut with dirty money to her. With how she acted towards me, you would think that my fate was contagious.

Peeta, however, smiled when he saw me walk in the door. "Hello Katniss!" he called. It was funny how he always seemed genuinely happy to see me. Perhaps it was because he had saved me all of those years ago.

"Hi Peeta," I said back softly. My throat was sore from holding back my cries last night as usual, making it impossible to speak very loudly. It worked in my favor anyways- the witch couldn't possibly hear me if she wasn't too close to me.

"What can I get for you today?" Sometimes I couldn't help but wonder if he knew just what I spent my nights doing before I could go to the bakery. If he knew I don't think that he would be as kind as he always acted towards me. After all, who would want to be nice to somebody like me? Dirty, used, and broken as I was.

I scanned the cases quickly before my eyes settled on the perfect cookie: it was frosted in a light purple with a pretty yellow primrose carefully constructed on top of it. "One of those please," I asked quickly.

He told me the price and as he bagged the cookie I took out the extra money that I had made last night, counting it out carefully. As I handed over the money and took the wrapped cookie from him, our fingers touched. I quickly withdrew my hand, embarrassed and ran from the store, clutching the bag tightly. Had I been observant, I would have noticed that the price he had charged me was less than what was actually owed to me and that he had not withdrawn his own hand at the touch.

He didn't understand what I went through, nobody did. They never would understand my life.

Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us

It's Thursday evening already: time to put on the old dress once more. The bruise on my face has faded so it's barely visible by now: I won't be docked pay for the imperfection now. Claude is very picky about the faces of the girls that he's with as well as their hands. Any cuts or bruises in these areas mean a pay deduction: something that I cannot afford since I spent the extra from Cray on Prim's cookie.

As I walk through the town, head down, I can hear the townspeople talking about me. They all talk about me- they're all no good. Some guess at how long I've been so despicable. Some are close- guessing around my 18th birthday, while others say I've been doing it since I was thirteen. The worst of them sneer at me and as how I could enjoy it, and maybe one of them have pity on their face. It's rare to see that but I don't care, I don't want anybody's pity. I just want to survive and keep Prim alive.

I don't know how much longer I can continue to get Claude's max payment. He's been making snide comments lately about how I don't look as pretty as I did when he first bought my body from me. It's not surprising really, 2 years in this occupation changes a person a lot. It's taken a toll on my body bit by bit, but with the long drain on my emotional sanity it's been getting progressively worse. I can't take any pay cuts though- I need all of the money I can get.

He'll be worse than usual if he'll overlook my pale appearance and give me the full amount. That's okay though, his worse still isn't as bad as Cray. I don't think that anybody could match Cray's cruelty.

The moment I step foot on Claude's back porch it swings open and I walk in quickly so that the neighbors don't see me. He's picky about that too- he's said that he doesn't want his neighbors to know that he uses the Seam sluts for his pleasure. I think it's probably because he holds out hope that he'll get somebody with status to marry him.

Personally, I think that's just a dream of his. Who would want to marry a fat, balding man that was overly hairy everywhere else and was just barely able to keep enough to afford his house in the merchant part of town and his dirty pleasures such as myself and his alcohol.

The neighbors haven't seen me: a bonus for me. With as close as the neighbor's house is, many of the other girls aren't careful enough not to be seen. Claude looks at me from head to toe with his squinty eyes: looking at the goods as he'd say. Apparently he's pleased with what he says today as he nods, signaling I'll be receiving my usual pay. The cold must have made it so that I don't look quite so pale. I'll have to remember that from now on.

He points up the stairs, signaling that I should go up to his bedroom while he finishes the glass of wine that I saw sitting on his table. I'm used to this by now and head up the stairs to the room at the end of the hall.

His sheets need to be changed so I quickly strip the bed and put the new sheets on: another part of the routine. After throwing the dirty ones down the laundry chute, I sit carefully on the edge of the bed and take my shoes off, setting them on the designated mat.

Claude takes longer than usual tonight: he isn't up for another half an hour. When he does come up, he's complaining that he pays me more than he should and that we Seam sluts are getting paid for something we 'enjoy' and that it isn't fair.

He couldn't be more wrong but I wisely keep my mouth shut. He strips me quickly and roughly as usual, and then sets to work getting his money's worth from my body. My mind tucks itself into its safe haven- the one thing that I'm free to do during these times.

Cause we're just under the upperhand
And go mad for a couple grams
And she don't wanna go outside tonight

I spend the next day in bed: Prim is going to do the shopping today and my body's too sore from Claude's treatment to do much walking today. He paid me extra though, so I can afford to take a day to heal. Prim is not as good about bargaining for the items we need though she's continuously getting better at it.

Nobody stops by as usual: Gale's in the mines and nobody else cares enough to visit. Very few people, Seam included, would dare to be seen with me.

I allow myself the luxury of dipping in and out of sleep, dreaming of better times and a world where my family was well off. I know that it's just a dream though, and that is all that it will ever be.

In the moments that I'm awake, I can't help but wonder how much longer my body can hold out. Many Sunday's my body becomes so tense with what I know is coming that I can't eat anything because I know it'll come right back up.

If I can just last one more month, Prim will be old enough to start working for the seamstress. She'd taken a liking to her and told her that when she turned 15 she could start working for her. Then I'll be able to sell my body less often at least until I can find another job which, combined with Prims, will allow me to stop allowing others to have control over my body.

Half of the time I think that even this is only wishful thinking and that my body is going to give out on me before then.

And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It's too cold outside
For angels to fly
Angels to fly

Sunday comes, bringing a blizzard with it. Cray will pay me a ridiculously low amount next week if I don't show up today. With this in mind, I put on my dress and my thin coat once again and head out into the blowing snow.

It's too cold out here today, I can't see more than a few inches in front of me and my thin legs struggle to get through the large snow drifts that have been forming in the last few hours. Despite everything against me, I make it to Cray's doorstep and stand there for a good 10 minutes before he realizes that I'm there.

He lets me in and gives a disapproving glance at my coat but doesn't comment on it as he usually would. He's surprised that I showed up tonight: no other one of his call girls would do so in this weather. They don't have as much depending on them as I do. They aren't as desperate.

Even in the safe place in my mind I can feel the horrors that he does to my body tonight. My only solace is that it means he'll probably pay extra. In this winter's weather, I'll need it. Perhaps it'll be enough to buy Prim a heavier coat. A girl can dream at least, right?

Cray shoos me from the house at 3 am tonight: the latest yet. The snow has let up some but the drifts have built up so much that they're nearly up to my waist in some spots. By the time I make it safely into my house it's nearly 5 am. The last thought before I collapse in my bed is that I'll be visiting the bakery later than usual tomorrow.

Ripped gloves, raincoat
Tried to swim and stay afloat
Dry house, wet clothes

Loose change, bank notes
Weary-eyed, dry throat
Call girl, no phone

By the time Prim is able to rouse me from my deep sleep its nearly noon. Despite her feeble attempts, I decline the last of the bread that we have, telling her that she and mother should eat the rest of it for lunch while I get the food for the week. She caves just as I knew she would.

I gingerly pull on the heaviest clothes that I own before throwing on my coat and heading out into the light. Most of the drifts have paths over or through them where others have ventured out, making the going much easier on my sore body. I still fall plenty though, meaning my pant legs are soaked with melting snow by the time I make it to the bakery.

Very few people are around today, the merchants are well enough off that they can afford not to come here every day, and many of the Seam aren't well enough off to afford what the bakery sells. I wait patiently as I watch Peeta serve the other person that is in there, avoiding the dirty looks that are shot my way by said customer.

When the sour woman finally leaves I quietly ask Peeta for two loaves of bread. He stares at me for just a moment too long before turning to grab what I've asked for. I quickly look down but this causes me to see my reflection in the glass display cases.

No wonder he stared and the woman shot me looks: I look like a mess. I pull up the collar of my shirt to hide the bruise that mars my neck though at this point I think it's probably pointless.

Peeta holds that bag with the bread, seeming reluctant to give it to me just yet although I hold the money in my hand, ready to hand it over. I pray he doesn't say anything, but of course this prayer isn't heeded.

"Katniss, what happened to you?" he asks softly. I train my eyes on the ground, refusing to look at him. "Katniss?" he calls again softly at my refusal to look at him. "Please look at me." Shocked at his use of the word please, I look up. Big mistake.

His blue eyes bore into my murky grey ones, pleading with me to tell him what it is that happened. "You wouldn't understand," I say finally. And he wouldn't, of course he couldn't. He's never been in my situation, and neither has anyone in his family. They're merchants; they don't mix with the Seam so they don't know anybody like me.

"Try me," he challenges, refusing to break his stare. Traitorous tears leak from the corners of my eyes as I struggle to rein in my emotions.

"It's nothing," I choke out. I can't tell him- everything about him screams pure. I can't taint him with the knowledge of what my life is.

And they say
She's in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us

He stares for a moment more, judging me. "Wait here," he says and sets the bread down, disappearing into the back room. I consider walking out the door, but he's back before I can act on it. He has a heavy coat slung over his arm and his eldest brother walks out behind him. His brothers face is one of boredom, he could care less that I'm there. Peeta grabs the bread I asked for then heads for the side door of the bakery. "Come on Katniss," he says, motioning for me to follow.

Head down, I do as he says. After giving everything for so long, I know better than to disobey a man: it never ends well. Peeta trudges through the snow, clearing a path unwittingly for me so that I don't have to struggle through the snow. He sits down on a bench just out of view of the bakery window and holds the coat out to me, which I of course don't take.

Frustrated, Peeta carefully drapes the coat across my shoulders though I weakly protest. How did I not notice he was already wearing a heavy coat of his own?

"Talk to me please," he pleads with me. "I'll do my best to understand." I hesitate a few more minutes and he continues to coax me, plead with me until finally I cave.

I tell him everything that's happened since that moment that he threw me the bread. From the successful hunting to its ultimate failure, from the beginning of my fate up to the moment we're currently in.

He's silent through it all, taking it in or judging me, I don't know which. I fall silent, waiting for him to do something- dreading it really. Finally, he speaks.

"I'm so sorry Katniss," he says finally. "If I had known I would have helped…" I stand abruptly and let the coat fall from my shoulders.

"I don't want your pity Peeta. I don't need your help. I don't need anybody's help." I turn and take off, pushing my way through snow drifts towards home, ignoring Peeta as he calls for me. The words don't register with me: I just have to get away.

Only once I'm safely home do I realize that I haven't brought the bread home. I won't be eating tonight- there isn't enough to spare since I failed to take the bread with me when I ran.

I slip past Prim and my mother into the bedroom, changing into dry clothes before curling up in the corner of the bed. I stare blankly at the wall, berating myself. Why had I told the only person that hadn't whispered about me? Why had I told the only person that was consistently nice to me? I wondered if I'd ever be able to make myself step into the bakery again.

Cause we're just under the upperhand
And go mad for a couple grams
But she don't wanna go outside tonight

Sometime later, my mind registers the sound of a knock on the door. Startled, I look over from the spot on the wall I've been staring at for an immeasurable amount of time. Who could possibly be here?

I stand from the bed despite the stiffness that has crawled into my joints which causes me to wonder just how long I've been sitting there. When I get into the front room, I freeze at the person that is standing just inside the front door next to Prim. Peeta looks sadly back at me.

"Let me talk to you Katniss…please" he tacks on as Prim looks at me curiously. She doesn't understand why Peeta is here, nor why he's so upset. She doesn't know what I do those nights. As far as she's concerned the money is coming from me hunting.

"Fine," I say and spin around and walk back into the bedroom. He follows, shutting the door softly behind him.

"I'm going to help you Katniss," he says as soon as I sit down in the corner. "I will find a way to help you, I promise you that. It may take me a while. It's not out of pity either. I…I like you Katniss. If I didn't I wouldn't have thrown you that bread so long ago. You are going to let me help you. If not for yourself, then for Prim." He stops and watches me, looking for my response.

I know I won't be able to argue with him since he's hit on my weak spot. "Only for Prim," I finally reply. "Nothing more."

He smiles so widely that I have to wonder what is going through that head of his. "Here," he says as he hands me the bread that I had asked for earlier. "Don't worry about the price, my mother won't know." He pauses for a moment. "From now on, I'll leave a couple loaves of the old bread in my yard- where you were that night. Don't argue please," he adds as he sees my getting ready to argue with him. "If it doesn't go to you it goes to the pigs, and half of the time there's too much for the pigs anyways."

I sigh, unable to argue with his logic. "Okay…..thank you" I finally reply.

He nods, a small smile still on his face. "I'll find a way to get you out of this Katniss, I promise," he says just before he turns and heads out the door. I just sit there, wondering what the hell just happened.

And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland
Or sells love to another man
It's too cold outside
For angels to fly

With Peeta sticking true to his word, I'm able to save up money over the next few months. With the return of the warmer weather hunting also helps me to bring in more money. I don't stop returning to Cray and Claude though: not yet. Not until I can find another job and know that my family will be well cared for.

Prim's working for the seamstress now and she's content enough with it though she'd much rather help my mother with the healing that needs to be done. But healing doesn't bring in enough money so she works without complaint.

Something's wrong with my body though I refuse to admit it: not to Peeta, my mother, or Prim. They don't seem to notice that I'm not putting weight back on despite the fact that we have enough food to get by will nearly full stomachs on a daily basis.

Truth is, my body won't keep enough food down, not while I still do this. I don't question it, I just keep trudging. I have to get enough so that mother, Prim and I will be set for quite a while. Enough so that I can get through the winter without having to do the despicable work for Cray and Claude.

It's Sunday morning today, so I head over to the bakery to gather the bread from the tree. Peeta's waiting for me there this morning. "Hi Peeta," I say with a small smile. He usually isn't by the tree so I'm wary that he's there to give me bad news. But he has a slight smile on his face, so perhaps it's good news?"

"I know how to get you out of it Katniss," he says excitedly. He doesn't go beyond that so I give him a look, silently telling him to get on with it.

He takes a nervous breath before he finally spits it out. "I want to marry you Katniss. I know you aren't going to believe me but I think I love you, and I want to be able to take care of you. Legally what's mine will be yours, and that means it'll be Prim's and your mothers too. I can take care of you Katniss."

Blackness meets my eyelids as I pass out.

When I come to, I'm in a soft bed. Confused, I bolt upright though the pain that shoots through my head makes me regret it instantly. Peeta's worried blue eyes meet my own confused ones instantly.

"Are you okay?" he asks. I must be in the bakery, I think idly as I struggle to work through my memories.

"I'm fine. What time is it?" I ask worriedly as I wonder how long I've been out.

"Almost 5," he replies.

"Shit!" I bolt out of the bed and head for the door.

"Where are you going?" he asks as he steadies me carefully as I have another dizzy spell.

"Home…I have to…I have to work." I reply quickly though I regret it.

"Katniss let me take care of you," he pleads with me. "Please don't go, we can do this Katniss."

"Not right now we can't," I say back sadly. "We can't just get married instantly Peeta, you know that. I need to have enough to take care of my family in the meantime…just until we can really figure this out. Please understand."

He looks sad but reluctantly allows me to go. He follows me as I make my way down the stairs, careful to look out for his mother as it seems he brought me in to his room above the bakery. "You won't be doing this much longer Katniss," he calls after me. "We'll talk about this tomorrow," he adds as I grab the bread from the tree.

On impulse, I run back to him and wrap my arms around him in a hug. "Thank you Peeta…Thank you." With that I turn and run for home.

An angel will die
Covered in white
Closed eye
And hoping for a better life
This time, we'll fade out tonight
Straight down the line

I make it to Cray's house on time again tonight. As soon as I step into the house I know that something is off. There's a blank look in his eyes tonight- one that causes a jolt of terror to run through me. Something isn't right in his head and I'm not quite sure what.

I go about the beginning of the routine as normal and as he starts I go into my safe place, only this time it won't last. He's the worst that he's ever been and pain rips through my body, keeping me from staying in that safe spot in my mind.

I cry out at a pain in my stomach and he pushes me from the bed, a crack sounding through the room as I hit the hard floor.

"Get out," he bellows, barely giving me time to get my clothes on before paying me a meager amount and slapping me across the face for not moving quickly enough. I ignore the pain in my body and run from the house.

I don't go far before I realize that something is very wrong. The bakery is closer than my home is so I head there, hoping Peeta can help me somehow…contact my mother for me. I step through the door and he immediately runs to me as he sees the pain on my face, ignoring the others in the bakery.

"Get my mother…please," is all I manage to get out before I once again slip into a black abyss.

-Third Person POV-

And they say
She's in the Class A Team
Stuck in her daydream
Been this way since 18
But lately her face seems
Slowly sinking, wasting
Crumbling like pastries
They scream
The worst things in life come free to us

Katniss's mother was unable to figure out what exactly had happened inside of her when she finally arrived at the bakery. Katniss slipped back into consciousness once about an hour after her mother and Prim arrived at the bakery. She was able to hold on long enough to tell her mother where she had stored the money she had saved up, long enough to tell Prim that she loved her and that Peeta would take care of her.

Before she slipped away from the world she knew, she told Peeta that she was sorry. She thanked him for everything that he had done for her in the last few months, for saving her all of those years ago, and just for being there for her.

Katniss gave her all to care for Prim and her mother, even though in the end it costed her life. Had she been able to go to a real doctor before she had reached the point of death, she could have been cured.

Ultimately, Katniss slipped from the world without being able to have that happy place she envisioned that last night: the one where she was married to Peeta and they didn't go a day where they were hungry, when Prim grew into a beautiful and successful young woman, where she had a whole, happy family once again.

And we're all under the upperhand
Go mad for a couple grams
And we don't wanna go outside tonight
And in a pipe we fly to the Motherland
Or sell love to another man
It's too cold outside
For angels to fly

Katniss did what she set out to do: enough had been saved up the Prim never had to go to the means which her sister had to care for her. She worked under the seamstress for a few years before she was able to quit to help her mother improve the healing business she had. With that, she was able to save many lives. The girls who went to Cray in desperation, she treated for free.

Katniss's mother snapped out of her long running depression and did small jobs around town as well as working hard to improve her healing capabilities. 5 years after Katniss's death, she was able to heal a girl who had the same problem her daughter had died of.

Peeta continued to help Prim and her mother as he had promised Katniss. Though he never married, he went on to take over the bakery and gave out free cookies to any of the hungry children that came near the bakery. 4 years after Katniss's death, he took in a child whom was left orphaned after birth: he named her after Katniss. He vowed that she would never know the pains that her namesake suffered.

And she never did.

Angels to fly
To fly, fly
For angels to fly, to fly, to fly
For angels to die

AN: I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, and as I said I'm open to more song suggestions for more oneshots! Please take the time to review, thanks for reading! :)