Hey, this oneshot is based off of a picture I saw on Facebook. :) Katniss is 40 in this. I hope you enjoy it, and I don't own The Hunger Games.
It's been a while, hasn't it? I haven't spoken to you since…Well, you know. I heard that you got a fancy job in District Two. I honestly hope that you're enjoying yourself there. I really do. I'm only managing to write this letter now because the pain has finally numbed. It's still there, but it's more like a broken limb than a slit to the throat. I know it wasn't your fault. But that didn't make it any easier. Anyway, I'd like to see you again. You're still my best friend, I don't care if I haven't seen you in years. I saved you and you saved me. It wasn't our fault that we couldn't save her. You were such an important part of my life for five years and I miss you. I have so much to tell you, so much to remember with you. I want to tell you about your godchildren. That is, if you'll except them as being your godchildren. Every time I look into my son's eyes I think of the Seam. And then I think of you. I'll give you three guesses as to what his middle name is. Never mind, I'll just tell you. It's Gale. I hope his inner fire burns as bright as yours. I'm rambling again, aren't I? The point of this letter is that I want you to know that it's been far too long. I miss you and I want to see you. I'm hoping that my old best friend is still inside you somewhere. Come and visit me sometime and we can go to all our old favourite places. The woods. That old ridge. The lake. The Hob, which has been re-built. And to be honest, Gale…Greasy Sae doesn't have long left. If You see her again, it'll remind her of the old days. And if I see you, it'll remind me. I'm not saying you have to drop everything and just arrive. I'm sure you have a family now and I'm sure you're busy. But come back one day, okay? I've been daydreaming about our reunion since I was twenty five.
I miss you,
Katniss slid the letter that she had written three years ago but never had the courage to send into the front pocket of her suitcase.
"Mommy, why have you packed a bag?"
Katniss turned to see her four year old son stood in the bedroom doorway, sucking his thumb. She walked over to him and scooped him up, resting him on her hip.
"I'm going on a trip." She smiled, running her hand through his curly blonde hair.
"Is daddy going?" He asked, blinking his grey eyes at her.
"No, daddy's going to stay and look after you. Mommy's going on her own." Katniss said, zipping up her suitcase with one hand. She pulled it off of the bed and started to carry it downstairs.
"Are you going to see Auntie Prim's big stone?" He asked. Katniss tapped him on the nose and smiled sadly.
"No. I go to see Auntie Prim's big stone on Sundays, remember? I'm going to District Two." She said.
"It's…A long way from here." Katniss sighed.
"Can I come?" The toddler asked, shoving his thumb in his mouth again.
"No, I'm sorry sweetheart. I need you to stay here and help your daddy make cakes!" Katniss said, setting him down in his highchair in the kitchen.
"Katniss?" Peeta's voice filled her ears. It had a twinge of confusion in it. She turned around to look him in the eyes. He was holding their seven year old daughter's ballet shoes and the pain and confusion was clear on his face.
"I'm going to District Two. I'll be back in a week." She explained. The pain evaporated, but the confusion was still there.
"Why? I thought-"
"I'm ready. I'm ready to see him again. I have to do this, he was such a big part of my life for so long." Katniss said.
"Okay. I understand. For a moment there, I thought you were running out on me." Peeta said, smiling slightly.
"Never." Katniss smiled back, but it didn't reach her eyes.
"You better get going then, if you want to catch the next train." Peeta stepped forward and pecked her on the cheek. Katniss then bent down and kissed her son on the head.
"Tell our daughter that I'm visiting Effie, or Annie." Katniss said, picking up her suitcase.
"Okay. I'll see you in a week." Peeta smiled. Katniss waved before stepping outside into the cool early morning breeze. Peeta pushed the door shut and Katniss started the twenty minute trek to the train station.
It was six o'clock in the evening when she exited the train in District Two. She had been on the cramped train for eight hours, and stretching her legs felt amazing. She carried her suitcase down a path that led to the town square. The square was huge and was lined with statues of each tribute that had never come back to their District. Katniss swallowed a lump that formed in her throat when she glanced at the statues of Cato and Clove. Their faces had haunted her nightmares for years. She pulled a piece of paper put of her pocket and glanced at the address that she had quickly scribbled down. Katniss had called Annie, who had called Johanna Mason, who had called Plutarch Heavensbee, who had called President Paylor. Paylor had Hazelle's District Two address in the system and had given it to Plutarch, who had given it Johanna, who had given it Annie, who had in turn given it to Katniss. When she found herself at the door, she took a deep breath. She was about to find out where Gale lived. Then she would see her best friend for the first time in decades. The nerves were building inside of her as he knocked on the door. An old woman opened it and of course, Katniss recognized her as Hazelle.
"Katniss? Katniss Everdeen? Well, I don't believe my old eyes!" Hazelle smiled brightly.
"Hello, Hazelle. It's been a while. How are Rory, Vick and Posy?" Katniss asked, smiling back.
"Well, Rory's been working as a doctor. It seems to me that spending all of his time with your Prim paid off for him in the end. It took him a while to get back on his feet again. She was his best friend." Hazelle glanced at Katniss, waiting for her reaction.
"A doctor? It's what she would have wanted. And she would have hated for him to mope." Katniss smiled brightly. It seemed that even after her death, Prim was still helping people.
"I agree. Vick's actually a chef, as ironic as that may seem seeing as he grew up in the Seam where starving to death was as common as a cold. And Posy doesn't actually live in District Two anymore. She lived here until she was twenty five, but she's twenty eight now. That makes her the youngest female District Representative ever." Hazelle said, the pride evident in her smile.
"Posy is Two's District Rep? That's great!" Katniss exclaimed.
"It is, isn't it? Now, I know you didn't just come here to talk about Posy. And I'm pretty sure you haven't brought me a squirrel, either." Hazelle laughed.
"You're right, I haven't." Katniss agreed. "I've come to ask you where Gale is."
"Oh, my dearie. You had better come inside."
She's going to tell me that he hates me. That he never wants to see me again. Katniss thought to herself as Hazelle poured her a glass of water and set it just in front of her on the table. She then sat down opposite Katniss and took her hands in her own. Katniss noticed the scars from years of washing clothes in the winter that would probably never fade.
"He hates me, doesn't he? He never wants to see me again." She blurted.
"No, no, dearie. It's not that." Hazelle said hesitantly.
"Then what is it? Because if he has a new family, I'm okay with that. I have my own. I'd like him to meet them." She replied.
"Katniss…Gale never moved to District Two with me and his siblings. He never got a job on television. That was all a lie because nobody wanted you to know the truth. Sweetie…Gale never lived past nineteen. He never truly saw the end of the rebellion. He died during your trial, trying to break you out of that terrible room." Hazelle said softly. Katniss' whole body went numb. She slowly started sinking out of her seat, her gaze not leaving the glass of water until she was lying on floor.
"Katniss, my dear? Are you okay?" Hazelle asked, looking worried. Of course I'm not okay! She wanted to scream. I've been wondering about how he is for years and now I come here only to find out that my best friend is dead! But they were not the words that came out of her mouth.
"My name isn't Katniss. It's Catnip."
Aww. :( So the picture I saw on Facebook (it might have been Twitter, I can't remember) said 'I think Gale died and nobody wanted Katniss to know.'