I don't own this.
My cry comes too late to stop the beautiful boy with the bread from putting the nightlock in his mouth. I leap forward, dropping my bow in an attempt to wrench his mouth open and force him to spit out the poison.
I am too late.
Peeta chokes once, coughing as the berry juice drips from his mouth. He has taken more than a lethal dose, cramming all of the berries from my pocket into his mouth. Somehow, he has slipped them from my pocket.
Peeta reaches out and touches my face one, reverently tracing the curve of my cheek while his other hand grabs my shoulder to break his fall, and I can't help it, I'm sobbing. We collapse together, and I cradle his head in my lap as my tears drop to his face.
"Katniss-" he gasps, trying desperately to say something, "I lo- I love-"
But before he can finish his declaration, he gasps one more time, and the light fades from his eyes.
I am incoherent. I am screaming. In the distance, I hear the cannon boom.
I am in misery.
I will not let go of his body. They will not separate me from him.
I hear helicopters coming from above; voices are being amplified, but I am still crying. I cannot hear them, nor do I want to. All I want is Peeta back, but his lifeless eyes from beneath his bloodstained blonde hair are all I can see.
Something sharp hits my neck, and my world fades to black.
When I arrive back in District Twelve, I step off of the train. I look out at the crowds, my eyes dull and my face blank. Without waving, without smiling, I turn and walk away from the people chanting my name. I do not deserve their praise. I run to my house, I shut the door, I lock myself away.
Gale pounds on the door, trying to rouse me from the anguish I live with. I refuse him. I barricade the door. I refuse my mother, I even refuse Prim.
I cannot face them.
I will not.
A month has passes since I became the winner of the Seventy-Fourth Annual Hunger Games. Things return to "normal." I am rich. I live in a house, not a shack. I have my own room in a house with servants. I share my wealth with the district. Gale and I go hunting.
But nothing is normal.
Gale tries to make it better. He tries to talk with me, though I do not let him in. He tries to make me forget Peeta, but he can't.
I have not returned yet. My mind is still in the arena. I cannot bring myself to the present.
And Gale knows. He tries again to talk to me as we eat our lunch.
"Catnip, you can't blame yourself." He has said this many times. I don't listen.
"Yes," I say, no life in my voice, "I can."
"No, you can't."
"Yes," my voice rising in volume, "I can. It is my fault. Peeta is dead because of me. A beautiful, good, kind-hearted boy lost his life because of me. Rue lost her life because of me. Cato lost his life because of me." By now, I am savage in my words and tone. "Gale, it is all my fault!" I am yelling now. Gale flinches back at my words about Peeta.
I stand up and walk to the edge of the cliff, looking out at the panoramic view of the mountains and the valleys. I look down, the drop is dizzying.
"Gale, I just want to stop pretending."
"Katniss," his voice trails off in a warning. He stands and takes a step toward me.
I turn and look at him; my arms cross over my chest and a tear leaks from my eye. I know what I have to do.
"Tell Prim that I love her. Tell my mom that I'm sorry." I step backwards and fall as Gale lunges toward me, yelling my name. But he is too late; I am free falling and tumbling through space.
I count the seconds until I feel the impact.
The last thought I ever have is of Peeta.
So, it's kinda depressing, I know. But personally, I think that this is how the series should have ended. I did not like the second two books, so I made my own ending. I think the series would have been more poignant had it ended like this.
Tell me what you think in the reviews. It's a one-shot.
Peace and love,