AN: Another one shot from Everlark Week. When I saw the prompt for Katniss and Peeta's last day, I didn't think I could come up with a single scene. Then Groundhog's Day started playing on AMC and I took it from there.

I'll Follow the Sun

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

She's coaxed from slumber by unknown sources. Light filters brightly through the window, and she estimates that it's probably mid morning by now.

"No nightmares," he says.

She's startled. She'd thought he'd still been asleep.

"What's that?" she says.

"No nightmares," he repeats.

She feels herself flush. "No, none," she says. It's the first time she's slept so well since the Victory Tour, but she doesn't say as much.

Their breakfast is waiting on a cart beside the small dining table in her room. She rarely uses it, but she's grateful she won't have to face Haymitch or Effie or the others. She's not quite ready for that yet.

The redheaded Avox girl approaches her with a crisp white note card, written in Effie's perfect cursive and Katniss opens it cautiously, never a fan of news.

"What does it say?" asks Peeta.

"Training is canceled for the day," she says absently.

"Really?" he says, and snatches the card from her, to read it for himself. "Do you know what that means? We have the whole day to ourselves."

It's one day in only a handful that they have remaining, and her immanent death lurks like a cloud that swallows the first beams of sunlight. Suddenly she's lost her appetite and doesn't feel like doing much at all. Tomorrow night the interviews will take place, and the following morning they'll be ejected from a glass tube to meet their death sentence.

She thinks of Rue's angelic face. How it looked as if she were only sleeping peacefully, while protected in the calm of the meadow. She thinks of Cecelia from 8, and the small children that clung desperately to her waist during her reaping, unaware that they'd never see their mother again.

It makes her feel awful, watching Peeta, as he curiously inspects the breakfast spread. They've been treating it like a joke, these Games. Making friends with the other tributes and taunting the game makers as if it were only their lives on the line. They've been so selfish, broken so many rules because they can, while others have been faithful to the order of things, only to be made to suffer.

"What would you like to do?" Peeta asks, sensing the shift in her mood.

"Not much of anything," she says. She hasn't bothered getting out of bed, even though he's sitting at the table now, filling his plate. "What's the point, really?"

He replaces the serving spoon back in its dish and abandons his breakfast to sit by her. "Would you like me to stay with you?"

She wants to tell him no, but she's not done being selfish. She only nods, and he spends the rest of the afternoon sitting in the chair by the window, sketching on a pad of paper he's ordered earlier, while she lies helplessly on the overstuffed mattress, staring at the ceiling.

Soon the light grows dim and fills the room with a soft orange glow. "Hey Katniss," Peeta calls from the window.

She's rolled onto her side with her back to him, staring at a blank wall.

"Katniss?" he repeats, carefully this time. The orange glow fades away and the sun sets. Peeta slips into bed wordlessly beside her.

Her eyes are still focused on the wall, a canvas for abstract shadows cast from the moonlight. She makes out the profile of the Mutt wearing Rue's token before the nightmares take her.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

Morning comes too soon. The sun filters through the window the same as it did the morning before.

"No nightmares," Peeta says.

She's annoyed when he says it. It seems too cute, like a special greeting known only to them.

"Why would you say that?" she snaps. "I had plenty."

"I'm sorry," he says. "You didn't sleep like it. You seemed calm."

She feels guilty for getting angry with him. "Sorry, it's just, you said the same thing yesterday morning," she sighs. "I had slept better then."

"What do you mean by that?" Peeta asks. His eyes narrow in confusion, and there's a flash of hurt he can't hide. "You'd rather sleep alone?"

She doesn't understand what he's talking about and is about to tell him as much when the redheaded Avox girl hands her a crisp white note card with Effie's perfect cursive.

She reads the note and frowns. "Is this some kind of joke?" she asks.

"What?" Peeta says, sounding concerned. He takes the card and reads it. "They must be really upset with us, canceling our prep for the day."

"Not that," she says, and snatches the card back from him so that she can read it again. "They canceled prep yesterday. Today we have interviews. Don't you remember?"

"Yesterday we had private sessions," he says, his tone even. "Today we have prep, and tomorrow we have interviews. It's just like last year."

"No," she says, more adamantly this time. "This all happened yesterday. Effie and Haymitch sent us this same note and we spent the whole day up here."

"Maybe it was a dream," he suggests. It seemed too real to be a dream, but she doesn't fight it. She should feel lucky to have another day. "We have the whole day to ourselves, what would you like to do?"

She stares at the breakfast cart, and swears that the fruit platter is identical to the one from yesterday. "You decide," she says absently. "I'm going to take a bath first."

She soaks in the tub through the afternoon until the water turns cold and her fingers swell to twice their size.

She would be able tell if it were a dream. Everything would glow, or appear blurry, as if being watched through a smudged window. She can tell when she's in a nightmare. She becomes paralyzed and things morph and meld into new fears. But this? It couldn't have been a dream. It was too real to be.

She's not going to take any chances, and notes every detail of the room. Counts all the tiles on the wall, listens carefully when each drop of water drips from the faucet, and sends an echo that bounces from wall to wall. If she can remember these things, she'll know she isn't dreaming.

Peeta taps on the door a few times. "Are you sure you're all right?" he asks.

She tells him she'll be out soon, but makes no effort to move.

When the sun begins to set, she wraps herself in a plush robe and climbs into the window that sits above the tub. The glass is frosted, but she can still make out the swirls of orange that tangle with the Capitol skyline. She falls asleep in the sill.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

Katniss wakes with the sun. She's dressed in her nightgown and lying in her own bed. Peeta must have fetched her from the window, she decides, or she wondered to bed on her own accord.

"No nightmares," he says, startling her from her thoughts.

"What day is today?" she asks.

Peeta chuckles and stretches out the arm that she isn't laying on. "Charm school," he says, his voice groggy.

On cue, the redheaded Avox girl appears with a crisp white note card with Effie's perfect script. Katniss doesn't even bother reading it.

"What does it say?" asks Peeta.

She clutches onto the card so tightly that it crumples in her fist. She moves to the closet to retrieve a robe. "I have to see Haymitch," she says.

She hurries down the hallway and bangs on Haymitch's door, not relenting until it opens.

"Hey, hey, calm down, sweetheart," he says, rubbing painfully at his eyes, not used to these hours of daylight. "Did you not get the message? I thought it pretty clearly stated to leave me alone."

"Something's happened," she says. "I keep living this day over and over, and nobody seems to notice but me."

"Congratulations," he says, but his words are hallow. "Once again you've found a way to cheat death."

It doesn't feel that way, but she knows if she wants comfort, Haymitch isn't the place to find it. She considers going back to her bedroom and telling Peeta, but instead she finds herself wondering around the apartment. She finds the closet that the Avoxes use to store their supplies, and wraps herself in a fitted bed sheet she's pulled from the shelf.

She spends the rest of the day staring at the band of light that peers from beneath the door as it turns from white to yellow to orange, until she is left in only darkness.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

She wakes up in her bed again with Peeta beside her. There must be a trick for breaking the cycle, and her brain wracks over all the possibilities.

The arena. She realizes. The Games have begun and nothing around her is real.

She sneaks out of bed, certain not to disturb Peeta. She has to find a way to prove that the days are being controlled by the game makers, but if everything around her is a projection, how can she create a constant?

She picks up a knife from the dining table and lifts the hem of her nightgown. She's the only thing in this world that is real, and she'll have to leave a reminder. She cuts a small 'X' on the inside of her thigh. The blade stings and causes her to hiss, but continues to dig until blood drips down her leg. If it's there in the morning, she'll know. She'll be able to beat them at their games.

She hides under the blankets and pretends to sleep for the rest of the day, periodically checking to make sure that the 'X' is still there.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

She's in her bed and it's morning. She scrambles to rip the blankets from her lap so she can lift her skirt. Her fingers can only find smooth, untainted skin as they run up her thigh. The 'X' is gone.

She looks at Peeta, who is still sleeping. She considers waking him, but thinks better of it. Instead she searches every corner of the room for cameras.

Marking herself didn't prove anything, she reasons, because the game makers probably fixed her in her sleep. They're punishing her for something. She has to figure out what that is.

Her eyes land on Peeta again.

The Games never ended. They'll never end. Not until one of them is dead. After the stunt she pulled during the private sessions, they're testing her. Ensuring that she'll never be defiant again.

She has to kill Peeta.

He's just a projection, she tells herself. If he were real he'd remember all the days before, but he doesn't. She moves to the dining table to retrieve the knife she used yesterday… or today… she doesn't know how to quantify it.

She searches for the cameras, the same way she did when she held those berries in her hand. The blade catches the light from the sun and glistens as she lifts it in the air. She doesn't plunge it into Peeta, she never could, instead the knife pierces her stomach.

She repeats the gesture several times until she collapses to the floor. The pain feels real, the blood is warm and sticky between her fingers.

Peeta appears beside her, frantically, trying to cover her wounds as he begs to understand what she's done.

"You're free," she tells him. She starts to lose focus, but she swears she sees the beautiful orange glow of a sunset, even though the sun is still high in the sky.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

She wonders if this is what it's like to be dead.

She feels warm. She wasn't expecting that.

The Capitol sheets are a sterile white. It makes no sense for a place that turns everything gaudy, to use such plane looking sheets. She tents the linen over her face and smells cinnamon and dill.

"No nightmares," she hears Peeta say.

Her nightgown is a pristine yellow silk and there is not a thread out of place, or a drop of blood in sight.

She throws back the blankets and wraps herself around him, not letting go for the rest of the day. He urges her to look at the sunset, but she only presses her nose to his neck to breathe in the fresh scent of cinnamon and dill.

She doesn't feel trapped in a nightmare, she has a chance to live out every day that will be stolen from her, and she'll live those days with him.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

Katniss's head rises and falls with each of Peeta's steady breaths. She opens her eyes carefully to inspect her surroundings. She's in her nightgown, and Peeta in the white tee shirt he wears every night to bed. The breakfast cart is waiting at the foot of the bed, just as before, and the fruit platter is dotted with the same sweet cherries that used to seem unique to the spread.

Nothing has changed from the morning before, or the morning before that, or the morning before that…she's lost count of the mornings.

"No nightmares," she says, before Peeta has the chance.

"Seemed that way," he says, and he smiles, content.

She shifts on the bed so that she's sitting on her knees. "What would you like to do today?" she asks.

"First I figured I'd let Effie teach me how to sit up straight," he says, sitting up so that he's resting on his elbows. "Then I thought I'd listen to Haymitch grumble incoherently about those Capitol sons of bitches, and the things they'd like to hear me say."

"Let's skip it," she decides, knowing that at any second a redheaded Avox will appear to deliver notice of its cancellation. "What's the worst they can do to us?"

"Okay," he says with a grin that hides how tragic her words are. "What did you have in mind?"

"I want to bake," she says.

They sneak into the kitchen on the basement floor, next to the training center. Nobody questions their presence, in fact some of the pastry chefs gather around their work space to watch Peeta teach. He makes cheese buns and prepares a batch with bits of apples especially for her. They nibble on them in the training center well after nightfall.

She learns something new every day. One day she spends with Cinna, learning the craft she hadn't bothered with for the Victory Tour. He brings half the garments from his studio up to her room, and for once, she dresses him with glittery slacks and ridiculously puffy blouses.

On another day, she fashions a bow with the leg from a dining chair and a string from a harp. She and Peeta sit on the floor and spend the afternoon spearing fruit and breakfast pastries for target practice.

Another day, she sits with Effie and asks her about her childhood. Effie is confused at first, and relates every memory to a moment from the Games. Eventually – and with much coaxing – Katniss learns that Effie's favorite gift from her childhood was a pink bicycle that had a basket on the handles and that she absolutely hated cats. It's not much, but she feels closer to her.

Haymitch doesn't speak much on the day she spends with him, and neither does she. Everything between them has already been said and there's no need to hash them out again. The shades are drawn so the room is dark, and she doesn't even notice that the day has ended. "It'll be worth it," he tells her when she stands to leave.

Every morning she wakes in Peeta's arms, and each time she grows more and more curious of him. At first they only talk. He tells her stories of scars that have long been erased. She describes the lake she used to swim in with her father. She's known him for only a year, and they've only grown close recently. There's so much about him that she's yet to learn, and she wants to fill in all the details.

They never talk about the future though, there's no point in fooling themselves.

"If you knew you'd only have one day left, how would you spend it?" she asks late one afternoon, her back to the window as the sun sets.

He's quiet for a while, because in a way, that day is today — for him at least. "A picnic on the roof," he says and she quietly takes note.

Talking is nice, but on some days, she wants to feel closer to him. They're lying in bed and he's describing a frog that he and his brothers had caught and tried to keep as a pet when she kisses him for the first time. They've shared a few kisses without an audience in the past, but this is the first one that captures the flutter in her stomach that she's only felt in the cave. Every day ends with a kiss and soon every morning.

Soon, she wants to know more than his lips, and she traces every contour of his chest with her fingers, drawing them to memory. He's describing the rules to a game the merchant kids used to play in the meadow, when her finger accidentally traces the waistband of his sweatpants. His voice hitches, and his cheeks immediately flush. He picks up the conversation again, trying to seem unaffected, but her eyes can't be drawn away from the shallow bulge that twitches in his lap. She feels impossibly warm and needs to excuse herself for a glass of cold water.

One day she gets carried away in her curiosity, and she strips away every layer of clothing —with little protest, until they're naked and staring.

"Katniss," he breathes, but she swallows his words with a kiss, before he can convince her that it's wrong.

She'll never have another chance to share in this kind of love, or lust, she still isn't sure. She only knows that whatever this feeling is, it's the kind that makes a person go mad or leaves a nation in turmoil. Her body yearns for his touch. Aches for a sensation she's never known. She won't have this body for much longer, she may as well use it properly.

Her touches are hesitant at first, and she watches Peeta with careful eyes. He quickly loses his resolve, and suddenly his hands are everywhere at once. His fingers tangle with her hair, clutch at her breast, satiate the buzzing that's been nested between her legs.

She cries out his name when he sinks into her, and they move with urgency, as if they were being chased by death itself.

They spend the rest of the day exploring one another, capturing every memory with each caress and kiss. As the sun sets, he's moving above her, the burnt orange light reflecting in the beautiful blue of his eyes. When she dies, she decides, this is the image she will hold onto.

"It's a shame you'll never really love me," he says, and the moment turns bittersweet before she can fix it. Words form on her tongue but are never spoken.

The sun beats her to the horizon and everything turns dark.

Ever have one of those days you wish you could live over?

She lays with her head in his lap. The sun is warm on her skin from where they sit on the roof of the training center.

"I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever," he tells her.

She closes her eyes and smiles, because she knows the feeling well, has lived it for months it seems. "Okay," she says.

"Then you'll allow it?" he asks hesitantly.

"I'll allow it," she says. She closes her eyes and waits for sleep to return her to the beginning of this day. They will spend it exactly this way again, she decides.

When she wakes up, she's still on the roof, resting on Peeta's lap. He points at the sky. "I didn't think you'd want to miss it," he says.

As she watches the sun set over the Capitol, the colors vibrant and real, she knows that tomorrow will be a new day. That there's something different from the days before.

She never quite pinpoints it as she follows the sun to the horizon.

In the morning she awakens to her prep team fussing over her. Peeta apologizes as he climbs from the bed to leave her. She catches his hand as he passes and squeezes it. He smiles, unaware of the lifetime he's missed.

She smiles too, because he'll live that life tomorrow, and the day after that, it will just be without her.

She'll be with the sun.