Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games or any of the characters from the book; I am only writing this story for fun.
A/N: I had so much fun writing EOTF that I decided to do another story. The best part of writing was the correspondence back and forth with the readers so if you have ideas, suggestions, criticism, etc...please send it my way because I would love to hear from you and REVIEWS, of course!
Background: Everything happened as it did in the books. We don't know any more of Gale/Madge history other than what the books relayed. The only thing I'm changing is that Prim and Finnick are still alive. I'm not sure they'll play a major role in this story, but I just don't see the point in killing them off so they are both alive. Gale assumes it was his bomb that ended the war and killed innocent children and medics (just not Prim).
Reference Dates: Gale's birthday: April 24th, 56; Madge's birthday: September 10th, 58; Posy's birthday: August 7th, 70; Reaping Day (Katniss/Peeta's first games): July 4th, 74; Rebellion won on: February 2, 76. Present Day: June 1st, 85.
Summary: The question Collins left up to our imagination in The Hunger Games Trilogy is…Were Gale and Madge meant to be? If yes, what were they meant to be – strangers, enemies, indifferent to each other, misunderstood, friends, admirers or more. A Post MJ story about what Gale and Madge were meant to be!
Fully covered in dirt, Madge sighed as she moved her hair out of her face, frustrated that it kept escaping the ponytail she'd tied several times. Who knew that the leaders had old books buried, not destroyed before the first rebellion? She'd dispersed several of her teams around the Districts to uncover old library sights. This one, in District Eight, had found many books preserved nicely under several layers of dirt and forest ground. They called her to help with such a large recovery of books from the times of the Americas.
Madge uncovered a large book with colored pictures, titled, "Football Players of the 1900's." It's about time I took a little break anyway…with that thought she sat down on the ground and wiped her hands. The petite blonde thumbed through the book about the sport, football. Some of the kids in schools were starting to play this sport, but she didn't know much about it. It was a large book with a page dedicated to each player. As she thumbed through the book, suddenly a name caught her eyes and she smiled.
Madge picked up her phone to send a texted message to the most contacted number in her contacts list. In the last few years, the government had made the Capitol's advanced technology available and affordable to everyone in the nation. Cellular phones were now common even among children.
Madge used her phone to send the message: Trivia fact of the day: Gale Gilbert played football professionally in the United States in the 1900's.
Madge smiled at the reply that came back immediately: Was he any good? What position did he play?
Madge sent back: I think so…quarterback. What's that?
The reply made her smile once again: You could call him the captain of the team, of course. Did you need to ask – just look at his first name – just from that you should've guessed he was a leader? Still there?
Madge replied: Of course, you would know, Mr. Know-it-all about everything. Yes, still in Eight! You?
Madge sighed as she read Gale's latest reply: You had any doubts? That hurt. Still in Eleven. Call you in a bit.
When Madge finally made it back to her hotel, she collapsed in a warm, scented bath thinking of her days back in District Twelve. Life was harsher but simpler back then; of course, she was just a teenager. She had her parents who took care of her and everything for her. Now she was all alone. You still have Paylor and the Hawthornes, she reminded herself.
In District Twelve, the carefree blonde didn't have the pressures of a stressful career, she still had her parents and she didn't have a broken heart. No, don't think about Archtur. Madge often wondered if she would ever get over Archtur, it certainly didn't seem like it would ever happen. Even now, two years since she had even seen him, tears sprung to her eyes just at the thought of him…just at the thought of the time spent with him.
In District Twelve, Madge had led a very sheltered life; she hardly had any friends. In fact, Katniss and Peeta were her only friends; everyone else resented her for being the rich, spoiled princess of the District, especially Gale. She had never dated anyone and true to form of a sheltered teenage girl, young Madge had often fantasized about kissing the rule-breaking, hot, bad-boy of the District - Gale. She had wondered what it would feel like to be held in those strong, muscular arms.
Thinking of Gale brought a smile to her face. Ten years ago, she would've given up everything she had just for Gale to talk to her politely – just to notice her once. Oh, what she wouldn't have given for a date – or a trip to the slag heap – with Gale?
The ring of her cell phone interrupted Madge from her memories of simpler times. One look at the Caller ID on the phone's screen immediately turned her irritation at the disturbance into a bright smile. Even in an already warm bath, heat seeped into her body as she felt all tension draining away just at the sight of her best friend's name. He was the only person she wanted to talk to now.
"Hey," she answered.
"Hey right back at you. You're not still at the dig site are you?" Gale asked in a warm, deep voice.
"No, I'm happily relaxing in the bathtub with a glass of wine."
"So you're fantasizing about me while naked in a bathtub?" Gale asked her suggestively.
"I was not fantasizing about you!" she huffed at Gale. I should've never admitted my teenage fantasies to Gale; he'll never let me live those down.
"Of course you weren't. Does this help? Pretty dress!" he said to her similarly to the way he had said it to her back in District 12, eleven years ago.
"Oh my God, you're such a flirt. Do you ever stop?" Madge asked him to distract him.
"But that's part of my charm," he said, thoroughly distracted.
"Your charm, Mister, doesn't work on me. I'm no longer seventeen years old," she teased.
"Madge!" Gale groaned. "You and Katniss are the only two women in the entire nation that are not affected by my charms. Even Ma and Posy still give in to it."
"That's because Katniss and I are the only two sensible women left in the nation; this is how you know we're your true friends. But if you need a boost to your ego, we can video chat with Nona and you can watch her swoon just by talking directly to her," Madge teased again.
Gale and Madge talked on the phone for over an hour. They joked, found out about each other's day…they talked about anything and everything on their mind. They didn't try to coordinate their schedules or make any plans to meet. They both had stressful jobs that required them to travel all over Panem. Gale and Madge were often away from District Two, but they had the unspoken promise…they'll just see each other when they see each other.
When Madge declared her bath water felt icy cold, they finally hung up. Gale grinned setting his phone aside. As he loosened his tie and unbuttoned his coat, the young Chief General of the Army couldn't help but shake his head at the hour of entertainment that Madge provided on the phone. Gale crashed on the sofa as he took the coat completely off his broad shoulders. Today had been an excruciatingly difficult day and he couldn't wait to get back to his room, but he held off his tiredness to talk to her. And now that he'd talked to Madge, he could allow the tiredness to take over his body. It usually hit him the same - the emptiness and loneliness - after leaving her. Her stories of her work and the people working for her had been a constant source of entertainment for him for the last six months. And to think I once arrogantly told her she held the most boring position in the nation.
In just the last six months, Madge had changed him. He was happier; he was calmer and a lot less arrogant.
Gale closed his eyes as he thought back to that first dinner he had with Madge, in District Two. When he made fun of her job, Madge had been instantly angry and she'd let him know exactly how angry she was. More than her words, her cheeks had flared red and the anger in her eyes reminded him of the blue flame of burning coal. The girl across the table from him intrigued him, she was a clear contrast to the girl he remembered with pristine dresses from District Twelve who hid all her emotions behind a fake smile. He didn't pay much attention to Madge in District Twelve, but even he could tell her ever-present smiles were fake.
Gale had never said it out loud, but he knew Madge understood how proud he was of her and all her achievements. Like him, she too had a hand in shaping the New Panem, as their nation was now called. Gale's only saving grace, that night at dinner, had been his promise to help her buy the apartment she wanted in District Two.
Being the newly appointed Chief Historian, Madge had a lot of resources at her fingertips; she had researched everything before even arriving in District Two, another way she was the total opposite of him. Madge made good money so she could afford the apartment she wanted easily. But, District Two had become so over populated that the most sought after buildings had nominated Board of Directors to interview and ensure only the most successful bought into those buildings. Madge had wanted to buy a small apartment in one of those highly sought after buildings on the East side of the District Park.
Gale closed his eyes, as his head fell back on the sofa, with thoughts of morning coffees on her balcony facing the park. At that first dinner, Madge had told him she couldn't get anyone from the board to return her calls and that was where Gale could help. Ironically, he was the Board President of the building and he couldn't think of a better person who could buy that apartment. Madge had hugged him tightly, all anger forgotten and a friendship was born that night.
A/N: What do you think, should I continue?