A/N: This is an idea I had after reading THG and seeing the movie. What if Katniss was lying when she told Peeta it was all an act? How would that change their relationship, the Games, and Panem? This is an experiment to see how people like it. I will probably write at least a few chapters before I decide whether or not to continue.
For those of you who also read my "Chuck" fan fics, I will update those in time. I have sat down to write, and end up staring at a blank document for hours. I just haven't been inspired in a while, I guess.
Anyways, please enjoy this story and let me know if you like it! Thanks!
Two weeks. Two miserable, lonely, unbearable weeks. It's been fourteen days since we got home from winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games, and fourteen days since I lied to Peeta and told him it was all an act.
Because honestly, it wasn't.
At first, sure, it was mostly an act. I had been so wary of him since the beginning, always questioning his motives. It didn't help that the first time I saw him after the bloodbath, he was with the Careers hunting me down. It took me a little while, but I finally figured out that he was actually protecting me, willing to lay down his life to people he knew could kill him easily in order to save mine. It was this realization that made my feelings towards him change.
That's why, when the rule change that two district partners could be co-Victors was announced, I immediately ran and searched frantically for him. I had stayed away before that, unwilling and refusing to be faced with the possibility of fighting him to the death, even though now I know he would have first killed himself.
When I eventually found him, it was just as I told Caesar Flickerman, I felt like the happiest girl in the world. My Peeta was holding on, he was alive. I was determined then to get us both out of that arena alive at all costs. I just never thought far enough ahead to what would happen when we got home.
Then our time in the cave happened. I kissed him – my first kiss. I felt something deep inside me during that kiss, a feeling both unfamiliar but exhilarating. Peeta kept our spirits up, joking and telling stories even though he was knocking on death's door. The real turning point for me was when he told me, in great detail, the story of the first time he ever saw me, when we were five. The fact that he remembered that much detail, and described me like he was in awe, endeared me to him like never before. I didn't know what the feeling was, but I never wanted it to stop.
I remember when Cato had him in a headlock on top of the Cornucopia I felt like my world was crumbling and my heart was shattering. We were so incredibly close to going home. Cato was right – if I had tried to shoot him in the head, Peeta would go down with him. Thank god for Peeta and his quick thinking, as well as my aim.
Then came the moment they revoked the rule change. Peeta instantly told me to kill him – told me I had to go home and live on, that the Capitol needed their Victor. I threw down my bow in disgust, refusing to live in a world without him. It was unfathomable to me. That's why I pulled out those Nightlock berries. Not to defy the Capitol, not to prove a point. I pulled them out simply because I knew I would be unable and unwilling to live while Peeta laid dead at my feet.
I honestly don't know what I was thinking lying to Peeta when we pulled back into District 12. I had been thinking the whole train-ride home about everything, and had convinced myself both of us would be better off this way. I had never wanted any of those normal relationship things, never wanted to marry or have kids. I knew Peeta was one of those people that had a vision for their lives, and that included marrying and a family. Instead of talking to him, I made the decision for him. I've regretted it since the words spilled out of my mouth. I stood there and watched his heart shatter along with mine, saw the deep hurt in his eyes. I wanted to take it all back, but I didn't know how. I thought he could never forgive me.
I've been depressed ever since that day. I've barely left my room in my new house in Victor's Village. Prim and my mom try to get me to get up and do things, but I refuse and turn in my bed to face the wall. Gale came around the first few days, and I heard him downstairs asking my mom if I wanted to go hunting. She gently shooed him out the door. He hasn't tried since. I sometimes see Peeta out the window, walking through the village, looking just as depressed as me. Sometimes he glances towards my house, and I cower down, praying he didn't see what I mess I'd become. What have I done to this innocent, sweet boy, who wanted to give me the world? Why did I let my insecurity and crippling fear ruin something before it even had a chance? Every time I see him, my heart tells me to sprint out the door and into his arms. Beg for forgiveness. Grovel. Plead. Anything to get him to look at me the way he did in that cave. My head prevents me from moving an inch. It convinces me he wants nothing to do with me – that I've ruined any chance of reconciliation. I have to accept my new life. I have to accept that I'll always be alone. Nobody wants to be with a traumatized girl who has murdered, even if it was to save my own life and Peeta's. Why would he? Sure, we've been through the same Games together, but Peeta is a handsome, charming, sweet boy. He could get any girl in the District he wanted. These are the thoughts I have been thinking, trying to convince myself of.
Thing is, I don't really think it's working.
I can only think of him. The feeling of his lips on mine. The rush when he smiled at me so wide it threatened to overtake his face. The confusion my feelings for him brought, and the joy my realization that I actually had romantic feelings for him caused me. The look in his eyes when I lied to him on the train tracks and the grief it brought me, knowing I was hurting him so much. What he must think of me now. Oh god, what have I done?
I roll out of bed and trudge down the stairs, finding my mom and Prim in the living room. They are surprised to see me. I haven't left my room except to use the bathroom in over a week.
"Katniss!" Prim yells, running to embrace me. I'm weak from my inactivity and she almost bowls me over.
"Hi little duck," I lovingly whisper, hugging her back with my limited strength. "Hi mom," I say to my mother.
"Hello Katniss," she politely replies. Our relationship is different now that I'm back. She seems to be around more, not staring off as much.
Prim and I release each other, and I go sit down on the couch. My mom is across the room in a chair, and Prim plops down next to me.
"Can I ask you guys a question?" I ask after a moment of silence.
"Of course," my mom says. Prim nods.
I think for a minute on how to phrase what I'm about to ask. Eventually I just spill it all out.
"When we got back from the games, I lied to Peeta," I quickly say. They both gasp and motion for me to continue. "I told him our relationship during the Games was all an act. It wasn't."
"What do you mean?" Prim asks.
"Do you have feelings for him?" My mom adds.
"I'm not sure," I honestly reply. "I know I've never felt this way about anyone before in my life. I can't stop thinking about him – about our time in the cave, about what we talked about, about when we…..kissed," I said the last part shyly, aware I was talking to my mother and twelve year old sister.
"Well, do you like him?" My mom bluntly asks. "I mean do you like as more than a friend, more than someone you just casually see and spend time with?"
"Yes," I immediately reply.
"So why did you lie to him?" Prim asks.
"I've never wanted a relationship before," I explain. "I was afraid we'd both get hurt, that I wouldn't be capable of giving him what he wants. I didn't know what to do. I was terrified of him getting to know me and then he'd realize he didn't want to be with me. I was terrified that I wouldn't know what to do in a relationship. I was terrified that he'd hurt me."
"Do you really think he'd hurt you?" My mom asks gently.
"No," I reply instantly.
They both sigh.
"What should I do?" I ask frantically.
"Well what do you want, Katniss?" Prim asks.
"Peeta," I say simply.
"So go get him," my mom adds.
"You don't understand! I hurt him so much. I lied to his face. I crushed his hopes. He thought we were real, and I told him I used him to get home alive. I've already broke his heart and I never even had a chance to have it. How could he ever forgive me?" I am worked up now, tears falling down my cheeks. Prim scoots over and wraps her arms around me, providing human comfort I've been avoiding for two weeks.
"Katniss, if everything that boy said to you and did for you during the Games was the truth, there is not a chance that he wouldn't forgive you. You just need to give him the opportunity. Tell him what happened. He'll understand. If he really feels about you the way he claims, there's no way it won't work out," my mom says.
"Really?" I quietly ask.
"Really," they both say.
"But Katniss, you are making yourself miserable for a stupid, stupid reason," Prim points out. I'm forced to agree with her. "Get over it, and go get him." Wow, I have a wise little sister.
Before I even know what I'm doing, I'm off the couch and halfway to the front door when they call out to me.
"What?" I yell.
"You should probably go change," Prim says with a smile. I look down at myself, at the clothes I've been wearing for almost two weeks, and nod.
I go upstairs, take a quick shower, braid my hair back, and put on clean jeans and a simple t-shirt. I lace my boots up quickly, and soon I'm running down the stairs.
I call a quick goodbye over my shoulder, and I hear two 'good lucks' from the living room. It gives me hope that I can succeed.
I'm halfway to Peeta's, which in Victor's Village isn't very far, before I realize I have no idea what I'm going to say to him. I shrug, knowing it'll come to me. Hoping I can say the right things and set this right. Praying that he hasn't moved on.
I walk up the front steps, and see a few lights on in the house. Good, I think he's home.
Taking a deep breath, I push down all my fears and reticence and knock on the front door with purpose.
Ten seconds later, it swings open and we're face to face for the first time since I broke his heart.