Author's Note: Written for Fandom Stocking 2012.


Peeta hands her a small artisan loaf of bread - he's the artisan, of course, his hands are covered in tell-tale flour. It's pockmarked with seeds she recognizes from the plants that grow nearby, and she smiles at the recognition. She takes the loaf from his hands; it's still warm to the touch.

She breathes in deep. The smell of the bread mixes with Peeta's natural scent, as well as the aroma of the outdoors; it's a pleasing smell. And she breathes in again, clasping his hand inside hers and squeezing oh-so-tight. She can look out from where they sit, look out and see their world and what they have made of it.

This. This is what's real.

This is what freedom feels like - smells like - and she never wants to go back to how things were before. Not ever again.

-fini-