A/N: So I started writing this fanfic based on an idea I had a while ago. Its been nagging at my head for a while, and I finally got fed up and wrote the first chapter of it. I've kinda been half-assing my other fanfic "The Escape", and I feel seriously guilty about it, but I have serious writer's block when it comes to that story. I've wound such an intricate plot that I've ended up between a rock and a hard place when it comes to that story. Anyway, thats the reason I wrote this one, so I could possibly work my writer's block away. I expect this to be around ten to fifteen chapters long, but I'll write as many as I need to in order to work my way through the plot.

and this may be confusing, but im writing this in third person Ominescent. that basically means that i have insight to the characters feelings, but im not part of the story, just some all knowing being who is narrarating it.

Summary: Peeta Mellark could have any girl he wanted. He had the looks, the personality, the charm. But he knew his heart only belonged to one girl. Katniss Everdeen. His Best Friend. His huntress. The girl who was now dying. Modern day AU.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games

The boy walked along the deserted trail, kicking at the leaves in his path. The Pennsylvania Woods were beautiful at this time of year; flushed with beautiful shades of orange, the boy's favorite color. The boy didn't focus on his surroundings though. His hands were in his pockets, his head bend down slightly. He was in deep thought. There were many thoughts going through his head at this point. After all, he was a typical 18 year old boy. Whether it was remembering the scene in front of him so that he could paint it later, or thinking of different ways to experiment with the bread at his family's bakery, his mind was always full, close to overflowing. But at this point, only one thing was circulating through his head.

The girl.

The one girl he'd been in love with for almost twelve years now. It started as a small crush, a mere feeling of affection and wonder towards this girl whose voice could make the birds stop singing. His love for her started after the outdoor assembly in kindergarten, when the teacher asked if any of them knew the Valley Song. A hand shot straight up. A little girl with dark pigtails bounced up towards the front of the crowd. She smoothed out her checkered red dress, and began to sing.

Deep in the Meadow, Under the Willow

A bed of grass, a soft green pillow

Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes

And when again they open, the sun will rise

Here it's safe, here it's warm

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true

Here is the place where I love you.

The boy watched in awe, as the birds around them stopped singing. The girl's voice had a haunting, almost ethereal ring to it. As the beautiful notes washed over him, he felt something that he had never felt before.

A warm fluttering of the heart.

And from that moment, he knew that he wanted to get to know this girl. He tried to approach her the next day, but lost his nerve as soon as he'd taken more than five steps. He repeated this failed attempt several more times, each time with the same result. This continued until a week after the assembly, when he finally got the chance to talk to her.

The boy rounded the corner of the hallway that day, in a hurry to catch up to his older brothers as they left school. He was in such a hurry that he didn't pay attention to where he was going. He rounded the corner, only to smack headfirst into someone. He fell backwards, landing on his rear, his eyes closed in shock. He heard the other person fall backwards and hit the ground. He slowly opened his blue eyes, trying to figure out who bumped into him. His eyes widened as he realized who it was.

The girl was sitting on the ground in front of him, tears streaming out of her gray eyes. She was crying, and immediately, the boy was struck by a strong urge to comfort her. He then realized that he had caused her to cry by bumping into her and making her fall.

"Are you alright?" he asked her. She sniffled.

"M-my arm h-hurts," she said, tears still streaming down her face. The boy looked at the arm she was now cradling against her chest, and noticed a reddish spot on her forearm that was already starting to bruise. Her arm must have hit the wall when she fell. Guilt struck him in full force.

"I'm sorry," he said, holding out his hand to help her up. She took it with her good hand, her crying reduced to mere sniffling. She continued to cradle her hurt hand.

"Does it hurt a lot?" the boy asked, with all the curiosity of a five year old. She nodded her head. The boy stood there for a few minutes, not knowing what to do. Then, he got an idea.

"Can I see it?" he asked, holding out his hand. She reluctantly placed her injured hand in his. He looked at the bruised spot and kissed it. His father did this whenever he or his brothers got hurt, and he believed with all his heart that it would make the girl feel better.

"See, I kissed it. Now you should feel better," he said. The girl smiled.

"Thanks. My daddy does that all the time when I get hurt. It feels better now," she said adorably. She then thrust out her hand.

"My name's Katniss Everdeen, what's yours?"

"Peeta Mellark," the boy replied openly, giving her a goofy grin. One of his front teeth had fallen out recently, making his face look even goofier. She laughed.

"Wanna be friends?" she asked him. He nodded instantly, and ever since that day, the two were inseparable.

Years had passed since that day in Peeta's life. Many things had changed; many friends had come and gone. Peeta grew up, growing from the small chubby five year old boy to an eighteen year old man, strongly built from working at the bakery. He grew handsomer with each passing year, his blond hair messier, and his blue eyes livelier.

Katniss had also changed. She was no longer the young girl with the pigtails and plaid dress. She grew lither and more graceful. Her gray eyes still retained that beautiful look, and she now wore her hair in one braid down her back instead of two. She was now Katniss Everdeen, the huntress; the girl after his own heart.

Peeta remembered the day when Katniss first learned how to hunt. It was a year after they had both met, when they were six years old. Peeta was over at Katniss's house, having a play date. They were drawing pictures when Katniss's older brother barged into her room.

"Katniss, Dad wants to see you," her brother said.

"Why does he want to see me Gale?"

"It's a surprise," he said, smiling slightly. Gale was adopted by Katniss's parents before they had Katniss, so he's basically as close to an older brother as she could get. He absolutely loved Katniss and her little sister Prim, who was now close to two years old. Those two girls meant the world to him, and Peeta had a feeling that Gale would be willing to give his life to spare theirs.

Katniss bounded downstairs, with Peeta and Gale right behind her. Peeta remembered nearly tripping over the last step, and Gale catching him before he could face plant on the hard floor.

When Katniss got downstairs, her father was waiting for her with a smile on his face and his arms behind his back. Gale sneaked up behind Katniss and placed his hands on her eyes. Katniss squealed, but didn't struggle against Gale's grip. Peeta giggled.

Mr. Everdeen brought his hands in front of him, and in his arms was the most beautiful bow that Peeta had seen. It was crafted of a dark wood with light accents, and carved into it were the most beautiful and intricate patterns. Peeta sighed at the sight of the beautiful bow, a true work of art. Mr. Everdeen looked at him, and winked, bringing a finger to his lips to tell Peeta to keep quiet. Peeta placed a small chubby hand over his mouth and nodded. Gale slowly took his fingers away from Katniss's eyes, unable to keep the excited smile off his face. Peeta heard a small squeal as Katniss launched herself at her father.

"Thank you Daddy! Thank you Thank you Thank you!" she said excitedly. Her father chuckled.

"Well, you've been pestering me for weeks about not teaching you to hunt, so Gale and I thought we'd take you to the woods," her father said in his deep voice. Katniss grinned her little toothy grin, incomplete due to the recent loss of her two front teeth. They started walking out, and Peeta followed them, until Mr. Everdeen put a hand on his shoulder.

"Peeta, I want to give you something," Mr. Everdeen said, and from behind his back, he took out a parcel. Peeta looked at it curiously, without a single clue of what was inside of it. Mr. Everdeen unwrapped it, and inside was the most beautiful hunting knife Peeta had ever seen. It had intricate designs snaking down the hit, and right next to it was the most beautiful sheath. Peeta continued to stare at it in awe, until Mr. Everdeen spoke.

"If you want to, I can teach you how to hunt," he said. Peeta nodded his head rapidly, almost unable to contain his excitement. Mr. Everdeen chuckled and ruffled Peeta's honey blond hair. They went outside, where Gale was chasing Katniss, and she was squealing, trying to get away from him. Mr. Everdeen laughed and led all three of them to the woods.

Peeta chuckled, remembering this moment. The happiness on Katniss's face, the flutter he felt in his stomach when he saw her. He remembered it all. Memories passed through his head. Growing up with Katniss. Fifth grade graduation, middle school, the eighth grade dance, eighth grade graduation, the first day of freshman year, prom, and graduation. He remembered his growing love for her. He remembered all the memories about her, and continued smiling until he got to the memory of yesterday.

He remembered the call from Gale, who was now one of his best friends. How urgent and broken Gale sounded, how Peeta heard him cry for the first time, and over the phone at that. He remembered the heartbreaking news, the way his heart clenched when he heard it. He remembered crying himself to sleep that night, his sobs echoing through his apartment.

Peeta continued walking down the path, his golden hair glinting in the autumn sunlight. With his looks, he could have any girl he wanted. But he knew his heart belonged to only one girl.

His heart belonged to Katniss Everdeen.

His Huntress.

The girl that was now dying.

WOOT! And that was the first chapter. I'm going to write the next one soon, based on how much time I have, which isn't a lot. Between midterms coming up and sleeping at one in the morning everyday due to homework, the only time i really have to work on this is on the weekends.

So to clear things up, Peeta and Katniss live in District 12, Pennsylvania. They live in a moderatly small town. Peeta has two older brothers, who i will introduce later in this story. Also, Peeta's father and Katniss's mother were school friends, but they grew apart. Peeta's mother is also not as abusive, but she blatantly shows her distaste towards Peeta. There is no discrimination against seam people, and Katniss's father is still alive. Katniss's older adopted brother is Gale, and her little sister is Prim. I was getting really tired of the Peeta vs. Gale thing, so I eliminated it in my story, since that's not the thing which i want to focus on. Rory, Vick, and Posy will show up later, as will Madge. Rory, Vick, and Posy Hawthorne are not related to Gale in this story.

I would really appreciate reviews on how this story is going so far. You have no idea how much reveiws boost my confidence, and motivate me to update faster.

~Reaper