A/N: This is my submission for day 2 promptsinpanem (on tumblr, if you haven't checked it out yet). Many of you may already know, but I was pretty big into the Dawson's Creek fandom back in the mid-2000's. So when one of the prompts was a crossover fic, I was ALL over that shit. I've always seen Peeta as a Pacey, and Katniss can be just as frustrating, yet relateable as Joey Potter, so naturally everyone sort of fell into place (albeit, Katniss doesn't talk NEARLY as much as the DC characters, so I had to do some work on that one. Anyway, you don't have to much about the show to follow (I hope) and I hope you enjoy!
I Don't Want to Wait
Katniss Everdeen was a girl that had always been in Peeta Mellark's orbit. They weren't technically friends, more like mutual acquaintances, through their friend Gale Hawthorne, but they were aware of one another's presence none the less.
Katniss wasn't the easiest personality to get along with. For many years she had been dubbed as the girl "from the wrong side of the creek" and this judgment had caused her personality to harden as a result. She resided in a rundown shack with her cousin Johanna Mason, young sister Primrose, and Johanna's live in boyfriend Thresh Bodie on the far edge of Capeside. The nicer neighborhood developments dare not touch this part of town, due to the unmanageable weeds that overgrew the lots and the swampy earth that seemed to be one good rainstorm away from collapsing into the creek.
It wasn't just the state of her home that lent to Katniss' reputation. The Everdeen family had been the talk of the town for years. Her father had passed away from cancer when she was a young girl, and her mother hadn't taken it well. She quickly got mixed up with drugs and alcohol in her grief, a somewhat manageable depression, until she was caught conspiring to traffic marijuana in excess of 10,000 pounds with her skeez of a boyfriend. This had stamped Mrs. Everdeen a one way ticket to the Pentonville Correctional Facility, and left Katniss with the burden of being a convict's daughter, an insurmountable deterrent for those in high school.
It had been Peeta's father, the town sheriff, who'd been tasked the responsibility of arresting Katniss's mother. An increasingly complex situation, as they had once been lovers in high school. And more importantly, a proven hindrance on the acquaintenceship (as Peeta had chosen to define it) that he and Katniss shared.
Puberty, as well, had played a decidingly important role in the adversary turn in their relationship. Katniss was a tomboy. She climbed trees, broke her arm riding a skateboard into the creek, and would shoot any rabbit square in the eye with her slingshot, no matter how cute or cuddly the rodent looked. Anything boys could do, she could do better. But as they grew older, her differences became apparent, and she grew resentful for it.
Peeta and Gale, however, had embraced her changes fully. At least Peeta had. Gale seemed just as oblivious as her sometimes when it came to the way the material of her sweater gradually stretched tighter across her chest. But Peeta noticed, and it made his mouth go dry just thinking about it. How Gale managed to share a bed with her every Saturday night without quite literally bursting at the seams was beyond Peeta's comprehension.
To put matters simply. Peeta had come to the understanding that he was attracted to Katniss Everdeen. But Katniss wasn't interested in boys in that way, and even if she were, she certainly wouldn't be interested in him. Peeta noticed the way she blushed when Gale spoke to her, or how she would pounce on the opportunity to spend weekends alone with him in the woods under the guise of "hunting." Gale and Katniss were an obvious inevitability to everyone in Capeside except to Gale and Katniss. A fact that Peeta silently brooded over for what seemed like years.
To deal with his typical teenage angst, Peeta used his words to facade the clench he felt in his stomach every time he saw Katniss beam at Gale. He would tease her about anything and everything. Some topics seemed to affect her more so than others, like sex, and sex, and well... sex, a subject matter that proved to be troublesome for him as well as their verbal sparring ignited a tension he had not foreseen.
Katniss was not overly verbose, but when she spoke, she held an acerbic and cutting wit that was unparalleled. And these cleverly worded diatribes were almost exclusively directed towards Peeta Mellark, to the extent that he fooled himself into thinking that through their banter, she too held a fondness for him.
That was until Madge Undersee moved back to Capeside to tend to her ailing aunt. An aunt who happened to live directly adjacent to the Hawthorne home.
Madge was a classic beauty, with soft delicate features, and beautiful green eyes. Everything about her screamed "girl" in a way that was almost cliché. She wore pretty sundresses, never left the house without makeup, and curled her golden, yellow hair, which bounced about her shoulders when she used her perfected pageant strut. All the boys noticed Madge Undersee, including Gale Hawthorne, who had never outwardly expressed his appreciation for the opposite sex in the past, much to Katniss's chagrin. Although she would never admit to it.
Gale was awkward around girls. He was a good looking guy, tall and lean, the kind of guy that girls immediately noticed. But to Gale, girls were a complete mystery. He only ever saw two colors, black and white, and the concept of subtext was like sign language to a blind person. He just didn't see it. That's why he and Katniss got along so well, because Katniss was brutally honest. There was no misinterpreting her opinions on a matter, except when it came to love and relationships, a concept she seemed so utterly terrified by, that she avoided the subject entirely.
When Madge returned to Capeside, after an eight year absence. She immediately drew the attention of Gale Hawthorne. And he quickly took to her as well.
With all of this in mind, Peeta Mellark shouldn't have been surprised when Katniss Everdeen appeared at his door. Her hair mostly unwoven from her braid and tucked securely behind her ear. She held up a brown paper bag, which she pressed into his hands before pushing past him and into his living room.
"For the human garbage disposal,"she said.
Peeta opened the bag to peer inside. They looked like french fries. Smelled like them too. Something was off though. "What's wrong with them? Did you mix the salt with the rat poison again?"
"No," she said, from where she had settled on the sofa. "A customer sent them back, said they were too cold." Katniss worked at the Ice House. A sea food shack down by the marina. It was owned by her cousin Johanna, and where Katniss had been indentured to servitude as a serving wench for as long as Peeta could remember.
"Too cold?" he mused. "Ah, the Everdeen special," he said with a wry grin.
"I was thinking the Peeta Mellark: Takes what he can get," she said coolly.
He flinched at her remark, but let the insult pass. Closing the front door behind him, he moved to sit beside her on the couch.
"At least I've had some," he said, before popping a cold french fry into his mouth.
She flashed her patented scowl, clearly unamused, but her sullenness didn't last for long, and her face softened.
"So what are you up to tonight?" she said.
"If this is your way of asking me out, then your courting techniques leave must to be desired."
"That's not what I meant," she said. She tucked her loose hair behind her ear and bit her lower lip as if purposely stalling. "You have a car, right?"
"I have access to a car, yes," he said carefully. He bit into another french fry and held out the bag for her.
She smiled at him sweetly. A half smirk that only lifted one corner of her lips. "Do you think you can access it tonight?"
"I'm sorry," he coughed loudly, thumping his fist against his chest to make a scene of it. "I seem to be choking on this string attached to my french fry."
Tossing the paper sack aside, he brushed the remnants of grease and salt onto his jeans. "Okay," he said. "I'll bite. Why do you need a car?"
"There's this classic film playing on the other side of Welfleet," she said.
"Classic film, huh? That's quite the trip for a girl that has the cultural palette of a stubborn toddler." Welfleet wasn't that far, but when most people in the town lived a stone's throw from where they were born and where they would most likely die, the twenty mile drive was a bit of a trip.
"I was invited by Gale and Madge," she said. Offhandedly. As if it weren't obvious that she were intruding. "It would be rude of me not to attend."
"And with what reluctant, albeit polite tone did they use to satisfy your imposition?"
"I did not impose," she argued. "What are you doing?"
Peeta moved back to the front door to latch the dead bolt. "Consider it a preemptive strike."
"Locked door? Clever," she rolled her eyes. "Maybe I'll just steal your keys."
"Please, ride the clutch to kingdom come and back," Peeta said. His rundown jeep, the kind with the faux wood paneling that they stopped producing in the early 90's, was many years past its prime. It started out the family car, the car he was driven home in from the hospital. When his eldest brother turned sixteen the car went to him, and then to his other brother, and finally, 200,000 miles later, it went to Peeta. "Your inexperience on a manual transmission may actually rid me of that rust bucket hand me down. You're not getting any farther than Chestnut Street though." He lived on Chestnut Street.
"Fine," she said, crossing her arms over her chest and slouching back against the couch. "I thought you were a better friend."
"I did too. That's why I decided to save you from humiliation."
"Not to me," she grunted. "To Gale."
Peeta placed his hands on his hips and scuffed his sock covered foot against the rug. "That's what you think you're doing?" he said. "Being a good friend? Katniss," he paused to take a deep breath before brazenly speaking the words: "You're jealous."
"I'm not jealous," she said, eyes narrowed to slits.
"You like Gale," he said. "I get it. We all get it."
Katniss's scowl softened and she drew her knees to her chest, resting her chin against them.
"It's not like I want to be the one kissing him, or holding his hand," she said, her eyes drawn to the floor as she spoke. "I just don't want her doing it."
Approaching her cautiously, Peeta sat beside her. "It's understandable. You're worried about losing your place," he said gently. "But someday you'll find someone too and you'll get it. That you can care about people in different ways. Love them even."
"Do you think they're sleeping together?" she said abruptly.
"Ostensibly? Yes," he said.
"I don't get it."
"Were you absent that day of science class?" he teased with a grin. "The anatomy is fairly simple and straight forward."
She rolled her eyes. "I know what sex is," she said. "I just don't see the appeal."
"Spoken like a true virgin," he said.
"Gale used to be the only other person I knew, who hadn't been abducted by these so called hormones."
"He was just better at hiding it," said Peeta. "Believe me, he's as rowdy and crass as the rest of us bottom dwellers."
She looked at him and frowned. "What so great about it?"
Peeta tried to maintain his confident facade, but could feel his cheeks flush as their banter navigated towards dangerous waters.
"You like kissing, yes?"
Her mouth slanted into a grin, as if recalling a fond memory. "It's nice, I guess."
"Well sex is nicer," he said offhandedly, his mind too focused on whom Katniss Everdeen had kissed and why it was so nice, to think of much else.
"So nice, you entered a casual sex pact with Glimmer Morgan?"
He flinched, before reluctantly turning to face her.
"I thought we weren't talking about that transgression anymore," he said.
"We're not," she said shortly.
"Because she and I, we never actually slept together."
"So you've said."
"Not even close."
"Nobody said you had to convince me."
But he felt like he had. When he had entered a no string sex pact with Glimmer Morgan, it was after his heart had been broken. During his sophomore year, while Katniss was as emotionally unavailable as ever, Peeta had taken to his childhood friend, Delly Cartwright. Delly was intelligent, well spoken, and probably the nicest, most genuine person he had ever encountered. Their love wasn't legendary, but it was comfortable. One built off of trust and respect.
Delly's perkiness and outgoing, friendly demeanor came courtesy of an antidepressant cocktail. Delly's older brother Tim, had died tragically in a car accident when she was a girl, an event that haunted her to the brink of insanity. After suffering a lapse at the end of their sophomore year, she had spent the summer at a mental facility to cool off. It was to help her find order and balance in her routine so that she could regain stability. And while Delly found that structure and purpose, she also found Mark, another patient with whom she found an entirely different type of comfort.
This revelation had left Peeta in quite the tailspin. He had thought he loved Katniss, but she was cold and disinterested in humoring a romance. He had thought he loved Delly, but she had cheated on him. At that point in his life, at the tender age of sixteen, Peeta Mellark was not interested in loving anymore.
But Peeta was an affectionate person, so the idea of companionship could not be completely ignored. He was sure his desire for physical comfort could be traced back to years of neglect. That if he spent twenty minutes sitting with a shrink, they'd diagnose him with a laundry list of ailments associated with a shitty childhood.
He was the youngest of three boys (or the final disappointment in an attempt for a little girl, as he liked to consider it) and his mother's open contempt towards him did nothing to ease his suspicions of being an unhappy little accident. Every parent had their own shaming techniques – spanking, timeout, to each their own. It didn't mean that Peeta likedit when his mother struck him with scolding metal spoons or locked him in a dark closet for hours on end. Or that he was far more used to that sort of attention, than the occasional hug or affectionate pat on the head.
The point was, Peeta lacked affection as a child, and overcompensated for it through his adolescence. He liked being touched, being needed, even if the physical connection was completely devoid of emotion. Able bodied and available, was his decided criteria after the debacle with Delly, and there was none more able and available than Glimmer Morgan.
A union that Katniss was naturally displeased with, seeing as Katniss was naturally displeased with everything.
"You just keep bringing it up, is all," Peeta said.
Katniss lifted her chin and shrugged her shoulder, as if it was a topic she couldn't be bothered with. "Wasn't my intention," she said.
"Sometimes it's about comfort," he said, feeling the need to defend himself. "We find it in different ways."
"But not with Glimmer."
"No," he said. "Not with Glimmer, no." He rested his elbows against his thighs, so that he could lean towards her with a sort of conspiratorial tone. "To be honest, even kissing her was kind of weird."
Katniss didn't seem surprised, and looked at him knowingly. "That's because you're too much of a romantic," she said. "You believe in true love, and soul mates."
"This from the girl who's trying to sabotage her best friend's relationship because she figuratively called dibs on his soul."
"That doesn't make me a romantic, " she said. "It makes me a cynic. It's a public service to all those who invest too much faith in mythical things."
"Because you're the expert on love?" Peeta questioned.
"Hasn't burned me yet," she said coolly.
"No need to be smug, Katniss," he said. He sat back against the cushion, slinging an arm over the back of the couch so that his body faced hers. "Clearly your discipline and self control is superior to all us lowly knuckle draggers. We'd grovel at your feet if we weren't imprisoned to a lifetime of experiencing genuine intimacy and sexual gratification. You, at least, can rest easily knowing that you're better than the rest of us."
"Bite me," she said, unamused.
"Tell me, if you're so cool and level headed, then why did you come rushing here with plans of seizing one of Gale's romantic conquests?"
"I'm a bit territorial," she reasoned.
"And are you territorial of me?"
"No," she said, eying him with playful contempt. "I'm stuck with you."
Peeta chuckled. "Must be a chore for you, with all the girls I attract."
"It's a burden, that's for sure."
He paused, completely aware of the possibility that she was flirting with him. He chose to approach the situation as if diffusing a bomb.
"I can be quite charming," he said. "Irresistible even, some would say. Not to you though."
"Nope," she said, but he didn't believe her.
"Do you really mean that?"
He couldn't determine the force that eased him towards her, but the space that separated them on the sofa seemed to shrink with each passing moment.
"Why wouldn't I?" she said, but again her incredulous tone was missing its biting edge.
"So it doesn't bother you?" he said, his voice growing husky. "Seeing me with other girls."
Her lips parted before she spoke and she bit her bottom lip to hide a threatening smile. "I worry for their sanity, yes."
"But you're never jealous."
"Hardly," she said, her cheeks becoming slightly flushed.
"Not even of Glimmer Morgan," he said, testing the waters.
"Why would I be jealous?" she snapped. "You said nothing happened."
His gaze fell to her lips, which were pouted ever so slightly, almost as if she wanted him to kiss her.
"But if something did," he said. "What would you have said?"
"I'd say she wasn't good enough for you." Her body seemed to lean towards his too, in anticipation.
"Because you'd rather me be with Delly," he said.
She frowned. "I never cared for Delly either."
"Like you don't care for Madge?" he asked, a smile tugging at his lips.
"No," she said and he frowned. "When Gale kisses Madge, it's different, I don't want her around, but that's it."
"And when I kiss another girl," he said. "What does it make you think?"
"That you could kiss me, if you wanted to," she said.
It was the way that she said it that caught him off guard. It wasn't her usual Katniss Everdeen sarcasm. The type of tone that would end with: "If my dignity were so minuscule it would be as laughable as your grade point average."
And it was not the tone his teachers would use to show their disapproval. "Sure Peeta, you could hand your paper in two weeks late, if you wanted to. You certainly won't be passing English if you did."
No. This was that noncommittal suggestion that Delly used to use when they were shopping. After he'd picked out one of his signature bold patterned button down shirts and she'd smile tightly and say: "You could get that shirt." Then she'd pick up some bland solid color polo with the little pretentious crocodile on the chest and say, "Or you could get this one, if you wanted to."
Except this wasn't some stupid shirt. This Katniss Everdeen. And she was asking him to kiss her.
He didn't hesitate, didn't give himself the chance to lose his courage, he seized her lips hungrily, in a way he'd never kissed a girl before. Her lips parted, inviting him eagerly, and soon, with a frantic shifting of limbs, he was hovering above her, the length of his body stretched across hers.
Her fingers were far too confident for a girl who acted so chaste as they stroked the side of his face before tangling with his hair. She clung to him with purpose, and he reciprocated, only breaking their kiss to nip across the line of her jaw and down her throat, where he pressed his tongue against her pulse point.
His body reacted quickly to her presence, heat pooling in his cheeks when he accidentally brushed his hardness against her. This only proved to invigorate her though, and she encouraged him by bucking her hips against him. A deep languid moan passed through her lips in the process, giving him the permission he needed to thrust himself roughly against her inner thigh. The only thing he could do to abate the urgency he felt to bury himself inside her.
Their kisses became less frequent as their hands moved to explore the other. Probing and stroking uncharted territory. She impatiently bunched his white tee shirt in her fists, the pads of her fingers grazing his heated skin as they eased away the fabric. His muscles knotted and twisted with desire beneath her touch, ached for it with each passing stroke.
Peeta slipped the thin strap of her tank top from her shoulder, chasing after the exposed skin with wet, hungry kisses. He was overwhelmed by the reality of Katniss Everdeen. He had dreamed of this encounter for years, most often in the moments before sleep, when he would touch himself furiously, shouting her name. But this wasn't a dream, or a wanton fantasy. This was real. It was happening. He now knew the taste of her olive skin, and the feel of her body when it writhed against him, and he greedily took it all in.
His mouth found her exposed breast, biting the tightened peak between his teeth, while he massaged the other soft mound through the material of her shirt. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do this," he murmured against her, and she arched towards him when his breath danced coolly across her sensitive skin.
She stripped him of his shirt and guided him between her parted legs. His lips found hers again, his arms trembling as he held himself above her. He wanted to remember this moment. To draw every slow, easy kiss to memory by painting the caverns of her mouth with every stroke of his tongue.
He became aware of her fingers, poised dangerously over the button of his jeans, and while every fiber of his body craved the reality, his mind was somehow winning the battle. He felt his jeans go slack as she unzipped them, and he covered her hand with his to still her before she could push them down his hips.
"Hey, hold up," he said breathlessly as he pulled away. "We've got to... we've got to slow down."
Katniss sat up onto her elbows, and his eyes darted towards her bare breast as it heaved with every labored breath. "What, why?" she said.
"I'm not going to sleep with you," he said. Hooking his thumb through the strap of her tank top to secure it over her shoulder.
"Why not?" she asked. "You've done it before."
"Yes," he agreed. He distanced himself to the opposite side of the couch, where he buttoned his jeans. "But you haven't. I don't want us to do something you'll regret."
"You've got a lot of nerve, you know that?" she said coldly and folded her arms across her chest. "What gives you the right to tell me how I should feel? Like I can't be trusted to make my own choices."
"Katniss," he said, his voice pained. "I want this to mean something, okay?"
"What makes you think it doesn't? You say you've noticed me," she said, and petulantly shrugged her shoulder. "Maybe I've noticed you too."
"You don't have to say that," he said, and swiped a hand through his mussed blond curls.
Peeta braced himself to be eviscerated by the rest of Katniss's inevitable tirade, but she was quiet for a long while. Her face suddenly gentle as she stared at her hands, folded in her lap.
"When my dad died – it was raining, you came and left bread at my door step." She worried her bottom lip between her teeth and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
He bowed his head and smiled sadly. He remembered how helpless he felt, seeing her sad, sunken eyes every day at school, while her father's health slowly deteriorated. One day she was at school, and the next she wasn't, and everyone in the town of Capeside knew why. Peeta couldn't think of anyway to comfort her. She certainly didn't want his company, that much was obvious, but he was determined to help her.
So one morning, he woke before the sunrise, dug up an old bread recipe his father used to make them every weekend, and prepared a loaf for the Everdeens. Typical of Peeta, he found a way to screw it up, and burnt the damn thing, nearly killing the family dog with smoke inhalation. His mother had struck him, with the rolling pin he had been using, as a punishment, and he remembered running to the Everdeens through the rain, his eyes swollen by his tears and the welt on his cheek.
The loaf was burnt and soggy and ruined, but he was determined to give it to her. To let her know that somebody was thinking of her. When he reached her doorstep, he hadn't the courage to knock, so he left it on the welcome mat. He couldn't help it though, and paused as he left, catching sight of her, peering out at him through the curtains.
"I've noticed you since that day," she said. "How your favorite color is orange. The way you double knot your shoelaces. How you never add sugar to your iced tea, even though it isn't sweetened. And then when we got older, I just assumed you hated me. You were always teasing me, and then you were off with Delly and Glimmer, and I hated it. It's stupid, I don't know what I was thinking," she said, shaking her head as she moved to stand.
Peeta didn't let her though, and he caught her in his arms, turning her so that he could kiss her again. His fingers unraveling what was left of her braid so that her hair fell in loose waves around her shoulders. He wanted to be consumed by her, to find and savor every part of her. His hands moved quickly and with urgency, everywhere and nowhere all at once. He palmed her breast until she gasped into his mouth. Down her flat abdomen. Stroked the length of her sun kissed thigh, waiting for her to open her legs to him.
She watched him with dark, hooded eyes, while her bottom lip worried between her teeth.
"Can I?" he asked, and her legs eased apart to grant him access. He rubbed his fingers against her, working up a rhythm before he pressed his palm flat against her through her jean shorts.
She lifted her hips to meet his touch, and he used his thumb to draw lazy circles around where he knew to be most sensitive. She whimpered, her legs opening wider to him and he pressed harder and with increasing speed. A satisfied grin tilting his lips as he watched her tremble beneath his touch.
He knew he was limited through the barrier of clothing, and moved to unbutton her shorts, pausing to look up at her with hesitant eyes before she gave him an approving nod. Removing her shorts and underwear, he discarded them on the floor beside the sofa, leaving Katniss nearly naked beneath him.
The implications seemed to hit her as his eyes admired her perfect form. Katniss was never one to be vulnerable, and to her, this type of exposure was the epitome of vulnerability. And in Katniss's way, she closed her thighs together tightly, and rolled to bury her face in the pillow beside her.
Peeta rested his chin on the tops of her knees. "We can stop," he said, running his gentle fingertips along her calves.
"No," she said abruptly, looking at him from behind the pillow. "Just... just give me a minute."
He kissed the top of her knee. "You're so beautiful," he whispered against her skin. She calmed to his words, and her legs slackened, gradually opening to him.
His eyes never left hers, dark blue drowning in a sea of lustful gray, as he hooked one knee over his shoulder, and drew himself back to settle between her thighs. He dragged his lips along the smooth skin, working from where her leg touched his shoulder until he met the apex. Her entire body tensed with anticipation, and he could hear her breath hitch in her throat when his mouth came within a breath of her entrance.
Katniss bucked her hips forward, begging for his touch, but he turned his face away abruptly to tend to her other leg.
"Peeta," she warned, her voice strangled as she reached out to tangle her fingers in his sloppy blond curls.
He grazed his teeth against her sensitive flesh, and looked up at her innocently. "Is there a problem."
"Peeta," she said again with a sense of urgency, and it was the sexiest thing he had ever heard.
"Where was I?" he said huskily.
He flicked his tongue over her clit, causing her entire body to shudder. He licked her again, gauging her reaction before teasing her with light nips, grinning against her when he felt her fingers scrape against his scalp. He hitched her leg higher over his shoulder so that her hips were tipped towards him and devoured her eagerly, lifting his dark eyes to watch her as his tongue made her quiver.
He felt her thighs tighten around him, knew she was getting close, and he dipped a finger inside of her, then two, feeling her walls clench around him with each thrust. Her body arched from the sofa to meet him when he pressed his tongue flat against her sensitive bundle of nerves, and with his other hand he reached up to grab her breast roughly, rolling her tightened nipple between his thumb and forefinger until the rolling of her hips subsided and she collapsed against the cushions with an uninhibited cry.
Her release crashed through him as well, and he brought her back down with slow easy strokes until her breathing became even.
"How was that?" he asked, placing a kiss on her inner thigh.
She threw back her head and grinned. "It was nice," she said, and she let out an exhausted, satiated sigh.
He bit her gently. "Nice?" he said incredulously.
"Nicer than kissing," she agreed.
"I'd hope to leave you with the impression of slightly more than nice," he said. He kissed her hip, then belly button, working up the fabric of her tank top until he was settled between her breasts.
\Okay," she said, her voice cut off by the gasp she let out when his mouth found one of her soft peaks.
"Then you'll allow it?" he murmured against her skin.
She wrapped her legs around the back of his thighs and urged him against her. "I'll allow it," she said.