AUTHOR'S NOTE: First Hunger Games fic.. Hope you guys like it. Let me know. I'm nervous about it.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing mentioned in this work is mine. NOTHING.
Even after all their disagreements, near death experiences, hijackings and anything else thrown in their way, they manage to find a way to love one another in a way that's perfectly imperfect. She still gets angry at him for little things, like being too considerate when she tends to think of only herself. But she's trying and he knows it.
She also knows when he's hurting or angry. It shows in his baking. They finally shared an official toasting. For days afterward, she would request toast and he'd happily comply. Then one night, she had a nightmare, despite being wrapped in his arms and he feels like he's losing it and runs. The bread the next morning is burnt. His mind is elsewhere and it hurts Katniss to know that even in Peeta's pain, she comes first. She eats every bite.
He still makes cheese buns for her whenever she wants them. Or even when she doesn't know she wants them. He likes to surprise her with them, as if it is all he can offer her when she's feeling sad. The food itself isn't the only thing she needs to sustain herself. Katniss needs Peeta. She hadn't always known it, but she does now and she plans on making it up to him every day for the rest of their lives.
The morning after they find out together that she is pregnant, the bread is a little undercooked. Still edible and still delicious, but Katniss is craving toast. His mind is elsewhere again, she notes as she chews the bread a little more than usual. She watches him in the kitchen, puttering over the stove and some stew that Greasy Sae taught him to make her. Something fulfilling and good for her and the baby. Besides Haymitch and her mother, she's the only one that knows about the impending bundle of joy headed their way. She can't recall the last time she's seen Peeta look this light and happy, aside from maybe their private toasting and the first time they really came together. She silently vows that she will do whatever it takes to keep him happy. Even have another child if that's what he wants.
She knows that the words Haymitch had muttered to her were true. She could live a thousand lives and still never ever deserve the love Peeta gives her unconditionally. Throughout it all, it's been there, pure and real. Sometimes, she thinks of him like a puppy, way too trusting and loving. But he chose to act that way with her and no one else. She thinks she may be the luckiest girl in the world. The Girl On Fire loves the Boy With the Bread and soon they will have a little someone to take care of. She knows he will be a great father and despite her reservations, he will make her into a great mother. No matter what happens, she won't tune her child out when she's sad. She won't let them fend for themselves. After all, Peeta is a force to be reckoned with, even when she doesn't want him to be. She cannot and will not shake him.
He turns from the stove then and smiles widely at her in a way that makes her heart ache pleasantly. If only he knew the love that showed in his eyes, the way that she wished her own would.. If he only knew that she would willingly live a thousand lives to try to deserve him. But she can't and she won't. Instead, she'll do everything she can to deserve him in this lifetime. Whatever follows, she can't stop it. But if she does live another lifetime, well, she'll fight for him in that one too.