Annie and I walk along the beach laughing about something I can't really remember.
Tai walks along a few steps behind us with his girlfriend. Gale is roughhousing in the water with two, young, twin boys that look an awfully lot like him.
They look at each other and pounce, bringing Gale down into the water with a splash.
"They look like him, but they are so much like you Jo." Annie says elbowing me in the gut.
I grunt and smile at her. "Unfortunately, Gale is so shocked by the shit they do, then he's shocked when I say I've done worse."
"Why? Has he not met you?"
"Sometimes I wonder." I say shaking my head with a laugh.
"Jo!" Rory says running up to me and sweeping me into his arms bridal style.
"Hello, yes I know you're a big boy and can pick people up now, but it's unnecessary, put me down." I say mockingly.
He pouts and puts me down, shoving me into a head lock instead.
"I've gotten out of worse Rory, don't test me."
He lets me go, backing away in fear. I cock an eyebrow. "Where's Vick?"
"With his wife and Mom," He says pointing further down the beach where a grey haired Hazelle sits beside a blonde bombshell and her son Vick. "Allison is annoying me again."
"Be polite, she's a very nice woman if you actually get to know her." Annie says rolling her eyes.
"Fuck that, let's go mess with her." I say jogging with Rory over to the two. "Hey Vicky," I say rubbing my knuckles into his scalp forcefully.
"I'm a grown man and you still feel the need to do that?" He says pushing me away.
"I don't feel jack shit, it's a must."
He rolls his eyes, putting a protective arm around his wife, who is now glaring at me.
"How's it going Ali?" I ask giving her a very fake smile.
"Very well, and you?"
"Fan fucking tastic," I say giving Hazelle an awkward one armed hug. "The boys are getting into lots of trouble, as per usual."
"I don't know where they get it, Gale was never like that." Hazelle says sending an amused smile at me.
"I was ten times worse." I say laughing.
"Mom!" Xavier says running up to me. "Mom, Ed bit me! Who knows what diseases I might get from him?"
"Nothing too terrible I'm sure." I say chuckling. "Let me know if you start foaming at the mouth."
"Will do," He says seriously and running off to play with his brother and father.
"They take me so seriously." I say chuckling.
"You think they'd learn by now." Rory says slinging an arm around Annie affectionately.
"Poor kids, do they pick up your sarcasm every now and again?" Annie says shrugging off his arm. "I'm too old for you, kid."
"I can't cuddle with my second mother every now and again?"
"No, you're creepy." I say laughing. "Yes, sometimes they do pick it up and it's adorable."
Tai finally arrives with his girlfriend. "Hey, this is Nikki." He says introducing her with a dazzling smile so much like Finnick's. "Nikki, I suggest you sit by Mom, Jo is definitely someone to wean yourself on."
"Nah, there's more room right by me." I say patting the sand beside me and winking.
Nikki looks at Finnick, I mean, Tai nervously and then sits beside me. I sling an arm around her tense shoulders. Gale jogs up dripping wet. "Cheating on me eh?"
"I can't help it, look; a younger woman is stealing your wife. You shoulda seen it coming." I say sarcastically making Nikki blush deeply.
Tai squeezes us apart and sits between me and Nikki. "I'd rather take the pain than let her suffer you Jo."
I flick his ear. "I was just having fun."
Gale laughs and sits next to his brother and mother. "Good luck Tai, now she has reason to harass you."
"Have fun," Annie says wiping sand from her hands. "You're my son, I love you, but it's Jo, and you kinda deserved it."
I ruffle his hair with both hands. "That's right," I sing creepily.
"So tempted to just leave," Tai says sighing.
"Don't leave me with her!" Nikki says speaking for the first time and glancing, horrified, at me.
"Aw, sweetie, I won't kill you. Just make you wish Tai was dead." I say winking. "You know, 'cause he ran like a little girl in the Hunger Games."
"Not all girls run from the Hunger Games." Annie says rolling her eyes. "You didn't."
"I never said which direction said metaphorical girl was running." I say smirking.
The group falls silent with me occasionally touching Tai in some annoying fashion. While putting sand in his hair and ears I think about the family I have now.
I look around me with a smile. The twins are wrestling in the sand while the water crashes on them. Ed has his brother in a head lock, and in seconds Xavier gets Ed on the ground in an arm bar.
That's my boys.
I swear, right after winning the Games, I never thought I'd live to get married, have kids, or so much as have a night without seeing a damn Manticore. Now, I barely have nightmares ever, and my children are always in trouble like I was, my husband is amazing, I do what I've done all my life, I build shit.
Annie lives alone now and Hazelle lives down the street, alone. Rory is a bachelor living in District Six, what he does there is still a mystery to me. Vick is married to a woman we all hate, surprise, and they live in District Three. Tai is around nineteen or so, he's a deep sea fisherman and his girlfriend is studying to be a school teacher.
Teachers and I get along so well.
Gale works a boring office job now, I make fun of him for it, but he doesn't seem to mind it much.
I'm still amazed how wonderful my life is now. It got dark for a long time there. If it weren't for the Hawthorne's I would most definitely be dead to suicide.
I glance down at my wrist. Our scars have faded some, but they'll never heal. I trace the one that nearly killed me, the last one, when Gale had saved my life. He had stopped my suicide attempts, my cutting.
The scar from the gun is still pretty visible, but I wear it with pride. Not even a bullet can stop me from doing amazing things.
I'm not about to go swimming in the ocean with Tai, but I'm not terrified of the water anymore. That scar has faded too.
Other than the occasional broken finger from hammering, I don't get hurt nearly as often as I used to. I never drink either. Gale could drink, but he supports me, so he refuses wine at the dinner parties he forces me to, occasionally, and when his friends go to the bar, he's their voluntary sobriety cover.
Our president sucks now, he actually forced all of the Victors that voted yes for the Capitol Hunger Games into mentoring. It's every year, so I do still have that wound opening up again. But with Gale, the boys, my family, I can handle it.
"What are you thinking about?" Annie asks laying her head on my shoulder.
"Life, it's great."
"Not what you'd have said awhile ago."
"No, but I'm saying it now." I say standing up and stretching. I move to sit next to Nikki, who's cuddling with Tai. "How's it going?"
She looks at me in fear. "P-Pretty good, h-how are you?"
"Pretty fucking fantastic, is numb nuts here treating you right?"
A/N I did not expect the epilogue to go that quickly. But now, it's over. I'm done. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? HOLY CRAP! You guys are fantastic! I love you guys sooooooo much! I've already gotten a review about how sad y'all are about the end. But I don't think y'all realize Jo has become a part of me. Writing this, all of them, all of my own characters, Jo especially, have become so real to me. I have to remember when talking to people about the Hunger Games that Gale and Jo don't actually get together. It's kind of sad and maybe a little pathetic, but I'm going to miss Jo, and all of these little scenes I have in my head that I didn't write down are going to drive me wild. Maybe I'll write them in a collection of one shots. MAYBE. But I am sooo taking a break from Fanfiction. This story, while long and everything I love, I'm done with it. I'm proud of myself for writing all of this, and I'm proud of YOU for sticking with me. For reading even when I didn't update, and not complaining when I updated like sixteen chapters in a day and blowing up your inbox. For reviewing and giving me support, a reason to procrastinate homework, and a reason to avoid that creepy guy that won't leave me alone. I'm proud of you guys for loving Jo as much as I have, and for making me laugh with your reviews. I'm proud of you guys. So for this chapter, instead of reviewing what you thought of this chapter, would you please review what you thought of the ENTIRE STORY? Do you accept this challenge? I love you guys, and remember! May the odds be ever in your favor. I will now respond to anybody reviewing the Epilogue so long as it's not anonymous. THANK YOU ALL!