Prompt: Pie

Word Count: 951

Just Not Now


"What are you doing?"

Peeta jumps and looks over the counter to see Katniss standing just inside the door of the bakery. He's more than a little surprised to see her there, because…well, she doesn't come here. It probably has something to do with her memories of his family, or maybe it's just that she's awful at baking.

"Making piecrusts," he answers, smiling. "Been walking around?" he asks.

Katniss nods and takes her coat off, hanging it on the rack he put next to the door. She shakes the snow out of her hair and crosses the kitchen to stand next to him.

He would hug her, but his hands are covered in flour, so he just smiles. "How is it out there?"

"Cold," she answers.

He frowns. Of course Katniss has always been a quiet person, but there are times, times like right now, where he can tell something is wrong, mostly because she's not talking. Or anything.

But having been married to her for three years and in love with her for 15 years before that, he knows the last way to cheer her up is to try and make her talk. She'd do it on her own.

So he just keeps working the piecrusts, and lets the silence curl around them for a few minutes.

"Can you teach me?" Katniss asks, suddenly. "To make pies."

He looks at her sideways. "You sure that's a good idea?" he teases. He thinks about the time he tried teaching her to make cookies, or the time she tried making bread. It was ridiculous—Katniss could cook literally anything, as long as an oven wasn't necessary. She'd even picked up the skill of cooking with a cast iron Dutch oven—something she'd bought for Peeta one day, just out of the blue. But apparently he couldn't cook unless he was baking. He thought they made a good pair.

She scowls at him. "You don't have to."

He grabs her wrist and pulls her close to him—he figures she'll be covered in flour in a minute, anyway—and kisses her nose. "I want to. C'mon."

She frowns at him, but tilts her head up to kiss his jaw anyway. "Okay."

So he shows her how to mix the ingredients and how to roll out the dough, doing his best to keep it simple, but as usual, she's hopeless.

"I haven't even tried baking it yet," she says, and she's got a twinkle in her eye. She shrugs. "I should quit while I'm ahead."

"You aren't ahead," Peeta points out, unable to resist taking the dig.

She rewards him with a scowl, but he can tell her heart isn't in it. "M'hungry. What can I take?"

"Cheese buns."

"Mmm," she says, rifling around in the stores behind him until she finds what she wants. "What kind of pie are you making? Anything savory?"

"Not immediately, but I was thinking a chicken potpie sounded nice."

"It does," she says. "Can you put plums in it?"

That's such an odd request that he turns around and stares at her. "What?"

"Plums," she says, raising an eyebrow. "You know I like them."

"In stew," he says, frowning. "With lamb."

"Please?"

He groans. "Of course."

She smiles at him, and rubs her stomach, as though she's anticipating the meal. "Good." Then she kisses him again. "I love you."

She doesn't say it often, but then, neither does he. But it means something, of course, so he reaches out, grabs her around the waist and kisses her again. "I love you, too."

She smiles against his mouth. "Good."

He lets her go back to eating her cheese bun then, and they stand in the bakery, comfortably silent.

He's comfortable, that is. When he turns around to check on Katniss, she's looking out the window, pensive, one hand resting on her stomach.

She must feel him look at her, though, because she turns to meet his eyes. Her hair is waist length again, even when braided. She fiddles with it, and says, "I'm scared."

"Of what?" he asks gently. She gets like this sometimes, he knows, but this seems…different somehow.

She keeps rubbing her stomach her eyes well up with tears. "I just…"

He hugs her close then, because she's shaking and he needs to fix it.

"You'll," she whispered. "I'm…"

He rubs her back gently. "What?"

"Pregnant," she mumbles, and suddenly she's sobbing into his shirt.

And yeah, he's overjoyed, but he keeps it to himself, because the last time Katniss acted like this, he had just died and come back to life in the Games, or maybe it was a time when he came out of a shiny moment. He's happy, but she's scared, and he knows why, of course. "It's safe now," he reminds her gently. "We're safe." He wants to tell her not to worry. He doesn't, because it won't work.

When she stops crying, he pulls her back to his workstation and asks her to help him make the chicken potpie. He won't push her into trying to be happy right now. He loves her too much.

But that night, when she tucks herself into bed next to him, curling as close as she can, he whispers, "You'll be the best mother ever. I promise."

She shudders but doesn't protest, doesn't speak.

Peeta doesn't fall asleep until Katniss' eyes close and her breath slows down. He traces her face and rubs her stomach, like she was earlier, and presses a kiss against her forehead, and allows himself to smile about the baby for the first time since she told him. One day, he thinks, he'll be able to smile about it with her around. Just not now.


Disclaimer: I don't own The Hunger Games.

A/N: I told y'all these wouldn't all be fluffy. It was only a matter of time before angst crept in. Anyway, this was written for the 25 Days of Ficmas (link on profile). Hope you enjoyed it!