Peeta POV's from Chapters 18 – 19…a little insight into what was going on with Peeta during this time, plus a little bonus of what happened when they woke up the morning after their first time…

Dedicated to yourpeetaisshowing for reasons that he knows…

I've said it before and I'll say it again – Gale Hawthorne is one intimidating mother fucker.

Since Katniss and I have started these 'I love you because…' exchanges I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something for her that is both meaningful and practical. You know, something she can carry with her at all times that reminds her of the way I feel about her. At first I was going to get her a necklace, but she never wears jewelry and I would hate to make it seem like I didn't know her. Eventually I just decided to do something in tribute to her father. I will never get to meet the man, and it just seems right to do something that both honors him and lets her know how deeply I feel for her.

Visiting Gale seemed like such a great idea at the time, that is until I got here and find myself face-to-face with him again. His fiancé is really nice though, and she keeps trying to fill the awkward gaps in the conversation. Gale sits beside her as she prattles on about some of the stories she has heard about Gale and Katniss over the years. His arms are crossed and he wears an expression on his face that is familiar because it looks so much like Katniss when she is trying to figure someone out.

"Did you know that Gale had to have surgery on his arm because Katniss convinced him to jump from the roof onto the trampoline?" she laughs whole heartedly and wipes at her eyes. "Oh my gosh, can you imagine having two kids like that?"

Gale uncrosses his arms and wraps one around his fiancé, squeezing her close to his side, "Well, let's just hope they take after you and not me or Aunt Katniss." He smiles lightly, "Speaking of Katniss…what is it that your wanting? I don't think I quite understood on the phone."

"I'd like your help picking out a gift for Katniss, if you don't mind?" That was easy to get out, but why do I have a feeling Gale isn't going to make the rest of the conversation easy on me?

Madge clasps her hands together in front of her, "Of course!" she exclaims. "Oh Peeta, what a wonderful surprise this will be."

"Why?" No surprise here, Gale is going to be a dick.

I clear my throat and run my hand through my hair, "Uh, well I wanted to get her something that would remind her of her dad, but also show her how much I love her."

He smirks at me, "Is that so?"

"Gale!" Madge whacks him hard on the arm. "Quit making this so tough on him, it's a lovely idea. Just wonderful. What did you have in mind?"

I take a deep breath and it takes everything in me not to roll my eyes at Gale, "Some type of pendant or bracelet that she can wear. I want to get her dad's initials put on it, but I don't actually know them or what type of symbol would be appropriate." It's harder to admit to him that I don't know her dad's initials than it should be because Gale doesn't make any effort to make me feel better about it. Madge scurries off and we are left staring at one another, then I start babbling to fill the silence, "Uh…I…well, a Dalmatian or a fire fighter helmet seems a bit kitschy…"

"Gale?" Madge's voice cuts me off before I yammer on like an idiot. "Can I show him this?" In her hand she holds a worn scrapbook, the front photo is of two dark-headed men who resemble Gale and Katniss – presumably their fathers.

She stands in front of him and he nods his response before she hands me the book. This feels private, special, something I can't delve into without his assent. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah. If you're serious about knowing Katniss, then you need to know about what happened after our dad's…" his voice breaks a little bit, "well, after they died."

The first page of the book is the photo that peeps through the cut-out in the front cover, below it in unsteady scrawl are the ranks, names, birth dates, death dates, and a copy of a prayer meant specifically for firefighters. "She and I made that memory book as a means of never forgetting. It took a while and there are still some things missing, but it was all us. When they died it was bad for my family, but in many ways worse for Catnip's. I've worked hard to take care of them. I expect you to do the same."

Slowly, I make my way through the book. There are memories written and pictures pasted. It's enough to bring tears to my eyes a few times – she lost her dad and I nearly lost my brother, but in many ways she is so much stronger than I. I notice the same symbol throughout the book; it is on fire trucks and the fire fighters wear it on their uniforms, and when I finish I ask Gale what it is.

It's a Maltese cross- it is strong, beautiful, steady, and it personifies Katniss.

Status epilepticus…yes, that's right going on about 20 minutes now…okay, yes thank you sir, see you soon.

Bubby has been doing so well lately. It's been at least forty days since his last epileptic episode – or well, it had been. His state is ever changing though, he will never be completely free of seizures or trials like this, but when we get long stretches without an episode it's easy to forget. The drive to the facility is a short one, and when I arrive at the facility I can tell that Stephanie, Bubby's long-time nurse, has been waiting for me.

The look on her face isn't reassuring, her lips are set in a tight line and she just appears tense, "If you're here it must mean it's over at least?" I ask as I approach her and she just confirms with a simple shake of her head that my brother is no longer in the throes of unremittent convulsions.

"It's been awhile since he's had one this bad, Peeta. His orders are for Ativan, we pushed that but right before it finally stopped I was ready to page the on-call about getting something intravenous." She reaches out to squeeze my hand and manages a smile. I know this smile. I have one of my own – it isn't taught in nursing school, but we all pick it up quick enough. Even though it is meant to reassure me, it really just tells me I should be worried because Stephanie is concerned. "He's stable. Vitals being monitored because both his temperature and blood pressure spiked." The trauma Bubby sustained left lesions on his brain that have altered the way the neurotransmitters fire, blocking and rerouting vital connections, because of this he has full blown tonic clonic seizures. The only blessing being that he loses consciousness when they are happening.

We walk in silence down the hall to Bubby's room and I pause at the door, it's decorated with photos of Bubby and B-U-B-B-Y spelled out in cartoonish letters. No one calls him by his legal name, not even the staff here because he is so adamant about not having any reminders of her around him. "Postictal?" I don't know why I asked, it's a given that he will still be adjusting from the altered consciousness of the seizure. That doesn't make it any easier though, walking into a room with my recovering brother who most likely won't know who I am.

Bubby is in bed. He's asleep so I sit in the chair closet to his bedside and watch as Stephanie checks his vitals. His chest is heaving slightly and before I have a chance to ask what his respirations are, she tells me. It goes like this as she checks his vitals, out of courtesy she informs me what they are. Sometimes I wonder if this would be easier if I weren't a nurse. If I didn't realize how serious and precarious Bubby's condition is. It doesn't really matter though, because I would have figured it out even if I was a baker like my dad or an accountant like my brother – when you love someone you make it your duty to know what they are up against.

It could be hours before he wakes and when he does he'll be nauseous, and his head and body will be hurting. It's possible he will be angry even, this happens sometimes – mood swings that make him seem like a completely different person.

I'll be here though.

For the first time though, I don't want to do this alone because I know that I don't have to.

If I called would Katniss come?

Would she sit with me so I didn't have to do this alone anymore?

I think she would, and that's enough for me.

It's obvious that Bubby has made an impression on her, but really all she has seen is a healthy Bubby. There was that thing with the nightmare and she handled that better than I could have ever hoped for, but for the time being I think it is best to keep her in the dark. It used to just be about protecting Bubby and myself from getting hurt. Now it is different though, I want to protect Katniss - if only for a little while longer - from the harsh reality of what Bubby's circumstances really are.

We are so close to the end of our little separation, too. Just a few more days, and tomorrow is when she will get the necklace. I don't want to ruin that. I'll see her soon enough.


The heat from Katniss snuggled up beside me is the best thing to wake up to. I feel content, relaxed, and happy. Her back is exposed to me, skin smooth and incredibly soft tempting me to reach out and run a finger from the base of her neck, down her spine, and to the curved slope of her ass. Her skin pebbles in the wake of my fingertip, but she does not stir. I push the hair back from her face and trace her brow, her jaw line, the shell of her inner ear before brushing the hair from her face and kissing her softly on the tip of her nose. It's still incredibly early so I curl back into her and allow the feeling of being genuinely happy to lull me back to sleep.

This time when I wake, I realize that Katniss is awake, too – she is tracing lazy patterns on my skin. It feels good, soft, and calming as her fingertips flutter across my chest and down the line of my arm. Sleep still has a tight hold on me, and her careful ministrations make it hard for me to completely wake up so I find myself drifting in and out of consciousness. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I am aware of her gentle exploration of my skin as she maps my torso with her hands. It feels calming, and I want to lose myself in this tranquil state so I don't bother trying to wake up.


A pulling, tickling sensation fully wakes me. I take a deep breath and feel as Katniss skims the tips of her fingers over me and then lightly tugs again. A slow heat spreads, easing out and starting with my…my eyes fly open. Katniss is propped up on one elbow with her teeth worrying her bottom lip, she is squirming slightly and squeezing her thighs together, a tell-tale sign that she is aroused. Her lovely grey eyes are slightly hooded and focused underneath the blanket where she is most definitely playing with my balls.

Katniss cups them fully, palming them with a gentle touch before giving them another light tug. Unsurprisingly, I groan as a fucking amazing stretching sensation tingles all the way up my shaft and back behind my balls. "Find something you like, sweetheart," I manage to rasp out, effectively catching Katniss's attention who turns to face me.

Her hand immediately stills and she suddenly yanks it out from under the covers, laughing lightly, almost nervously, "Sorry, I was checking you out and I got a bit fixated." She is still naked, and as she hovers beside me I find myself unable to tear my eyes away from her nipples. Katniss has a fantastic skin tone, creamy olive and dotted with freckles, but her nipples were a surprise for me. The first time we saw each other naked, she had been shocked to realize that my pubes were darker than the hair on my head. While I was pleasantly surprised to realize that her nipples were not really pink like I had expected.

"Feel free to continue," I arch my eyebrow at her and cover her hand with mine pushing it back down to where it was previously, squeezing lightly before pulling away to let her know that I am completely okay with her touching me there – or anywhere really. When Katniss squeezes them lightly, I feel myself start to harden, and I reach up and cover one of her breasts in with my hand matching the movements of her hand with mine.

Katniss leans towards me, "I've been up, brushed my teeth and I put a mint on my pillow for you. You know for sex reasons I was hoping you wouldn't get out of bed." Her eyes slide over and mine follow noticing the red and white disc on the pillow beside me. As soon as the mint in my mouth she is kissing me, her hand sliding from my balls up over my shaft as her tongue darts into my mouth. "You like this, don't you?" She breathes in my ear, playing at being coy as if my breathing and rapidly hardening dick wasn't a clue as to how much I loved her hands on me.

I nod as I reach over and tweak one of her nipples between my fingertips. She exhales shakily at my touch, and I feel a smile spread over my features as the nub stiffens between my fingertips.

She's fucking perfect. There is no way that I could possibly recreate the gorgeous pink flush of her cheeks and lovely cinnamon pink of her nipples with paint. I try to sit up so I can pull the hardened peak into my mouth, but she shakes her head at me shifting lower on the bed and pulling the blanket back.

Katniss slides down onto her stomach and slips my semi hard cock into her mouth with a low hum. Taking it all the way in sucking lightly and running her tongue around the ridge, "Fuck, Katniss, god your mouth feels so good."

Her hand wraps around the base of my cock as she works me in and out of her mouth. Katniss doesn't stop until I am completely hard from her attentions. She rests her head on my hip bone and bites her lip, glancing from beneath her eyelashes, "I love you." Her voice is low as she bites her bottom lip with a slight smirk, and it is possibly the most arousing thing that I have ever seen.

"Oh, and I love you," I try to respond but instead my response is a mere push of breath from my lungs, because Katniss is already back working me with her mouth. She's teasing me with her tongue - it is the sweetest type of torture.

The feeling of her tracing up and down the sensitive skin of my cock with the tip of her tongue does nothing but drive me crazy. I want more of her…

more of her tongue…

her hot, wet mouth…

her nipples between my fingers and in my mouth.

I want to be buried deep inside her and feel her clenching around me as her wetness pools at the base of my shaft. Katniss smiles up at me coyly, her nose wrinkled in mock disdain, "You taste latexy from last night."

"Oh, do I?" She starts to move to a sitting position, and it unsettles me. I thought I was getting ready to get a wake-up call in the form of a blow job. "Is there something wrong with that?" I could tell her that she tasted like latex when I went down on her in the shower last night after we made love.

Her eyes drop and a lovely blush spreads over her cheeks, "Not really…It's just you should taste like me." Katniss raises her eyes to mine, bites down on her bottom lip and throws a leg over my waist, straddling me and pinning me to the bed. Her hips rock back and forth as she moves over the top of me, coating my cock with the silky fluid slipping from between her legs. I sit up and reach for her, but she pushes me back down with an exaggerated sigh, "I don't think so." My mouth drops open to protest, when she shifts her hips and starts rubbing over the top of me again, "You came without me last night, Mellark. I'm going to be greedy and take mine first this morning."

"Sounds like a plan, need any help with that?" I reach up to squeeze her tits tightly and capture the nipples before rolling them. Katniss lets out a breathy gasp as she jerks her hips faster over my length before rising up on her knees.

Her hand grasps me tightly, "I'm going to have to borrow this." Katniss states before aligning the tip of my cock at her entrance easing the head in slowly. She is so fucking wet and it feels ridiculous as I feel her walls flutter open to receive me. "You feel so good," she gasps as she seats herself completely on top of me and I am entirely inside of her.

My hands clench her hip bones tightly, she hasn't started moving yet so I push back on them slightly in hopes that she will start to rock back and forth. "Condom?" I question, hoping that this isn't a fluke and that I'm going to get to experience this sensation some more.

Katniss covers my hands with hers and lifts herself up, almost completely off of me, before dropping back down, "I just wanted to see how this felt." She asserts before rising up again, this time completely off of me. She hops off the bed and runs down the hall before reappearing with a condom in hand, "I wasn't fucking around Mellark, I'm taking mine first." That was just about the cruelest tease she could have possibly pulled and I fall back on the bed, trying to ignore her and give her a taste of her own medicine.

It doesn't work though when I feel her grasp my cock in her hands. I help her roll the condom down over me, the fact that my skin is sticky with her actually makes the process more difficult, and I have trouble getting the damn thing straightened out. I'm shocked when she mounts me backwards, with her knees resting on the bed and her hands on my thighs. "Hey I want to see you!" I assert playfully, smacking of her ass.

"Oh you will." She teases back at me while guiding me to her center where she slides down over the top of me, "Feel free to spank me at any time you want, too." Katniss quips with a groan as she seats herself fully on my cock again. The angle is slightly different, tighter almost, and when she leans forward coming off me just a little before falling back down again I realize that I can see everything. I mean everything – the way her body grips mine tightly, the bright red flush of her folds, and my cock dripping with her want.

With my hands I grab her ass and hold her cheeks so that I have a full view of every time she moves over the top of me. It's fucking insane watching as my cock comes into view and then disappears inside of her again. She shifts forward some and the depth in which she is taking me is shallower, but it is obvious this was intentional because she starts moaning my name and I can feel the muscles of her legs trembling. Katniss starts rocking back and forth, never fully coming down on me, and obviously exploiting the angle and depth she is controlling to get what she needs. Even though this position isn't exactly what I need to come it feels great, but the view and command that Katniss is expressing over her own body are almost enough to make me come.

She's really wet, so much so that I can feel it where we are joined and slick against her thighs as she moves over me. Her tempo has become erratic and she is whining as she writhes on top of me. I know when she comes because she sits up fully jutting her hips forward as her walls clench around me, pulling my cock deep inside her. Katniss slumps over and I slip out of her. I'm not sure how to proceed. She has just fucked herself thoroughly and used my cock to do so.

What is etiquette here?

I'm still rock hard and would like to come, but how do I know she is still into it?

So, I tap her lightly on the shoulder, "Um, Katniss?"

"Peeta, oh god I'm sorry I was just riding that out and then I was spent." She scoots closer to me and reaches for me. I roll on top of her and settle myself between her legs.

"Is this okay? Or…"

One of her hands grasps my ass tightly while the other moves between us to guide me to her. With a tilt of her hips we are connected, and with a push from mine I am fully enveloped in her. My eyes shut at the feeling of being surrounded by her and I make it my goal to see if we can come together this time around.

Author's Notes:

Stay tuned for the final chapter of First Speech!

This concludes the outtakes from the actual chapters of First Speech that I have planned. However, I plan to post drabbles from the FS universe that I have posted on tumblr and any additional one-shots in this story thread so if you have enjoyed them then make sure to stay subscribed! It's going to be hard to completely leave this universe behind and I have few fun one-shot/drabbles planned.

Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think! Also a big thank you to Wildharp for his beta work and friendship!