Hello! How are you? good I hope. This is a modern day AU story. In this story, Katniss is a well-trained (well taken care of) dancer and Peeta lives a hard life in a bad neighborhood with his drug-addicted mother who sells her self to feed her drug. She gives no care to her children. So, he is forced to take care of his younger brother, Rye. It seems switched, and it is a bit, but their backgrounds are different. SO...its not really a switch lives thing.

Alright, enough with me.

ENJOY! review please!

He ran across the lawn, the old mans spew of curses following him, the jangle of his bottle. The familiar sirens echoed through the poor neighborhood, causing neighbors to turn on their lights in the middle of the night to see whats the ruckus. More some ignore it, knowing its Mellark.

When he gets to a far enough distance, he stops. His braces his hands on his knees, taking in air, to cease his labored breath. His lungs let out a cough or two in protest as he begins his journey furthermore.

When he makes it to the back alley, he walks up to the beaten door, nearly of his hinges – like the owner of the apartment. He knocks rapidly, checking the alley both ways so he isn't seen. I mean, everyone would question why an eighteen – year – old boy would be stopping in on old Haymitch in the middle of the night.

The old man opens the door with a frown on his face – obviously irritated.

"What'da want, boy?" He questions. Haymitch knows why Peeta's there. He just usually asks for the amusement of the flustered Peeta. He understands why Peeta is doing this, usually dropping hints to him to stop, but its never gets caught on. When the first night Peeta came knocking at his door, he was merely fifteen. He looked lost, clutching a piece of notebook paper in his pale fist, exclaiming that his friend sent him. Haymitch took pity on the boy, and give him what he wanted.

Peeta scoffs, "You know exactly what I want Haymitch," Haymitch nods and puts up his index finger as if saying, one second. Haymitch disappears into his house. Peeta can hear the familiar sounds of an irritated Haymitch, the pounding of pots, and the breaking of glass.

Haymitch appears out of no where, handing the cheap bottle of alcohol. Peeta snatches it hurriedly, putting it in his coat. Haymitch gestures with his fingers to hand over what he gets in the deal. Peeta sighs and digs into his old jeans pocket and takes a crumpled dollars and puts it in Haymitchs awaiting hand.

Haymitch stares at the money and snorts, "Boy, I thought we had a deal, cheap for the good," he says pointedly.

Peeta stares wide-eyed at him for a moment before clearing his throat, "I only found money in the house, no alcohol. So I took the money,"

Haymitch nods, and stares right in Peeta's blue orbs, "Not again,"

Which they both know is a lie.

Peeta scurries back to where he is from hurriedly, looking around once or twice. When he reaches the tin roof, cracked window, broken downed house, he goes in silently. When he closes the door, the creak of the rusted hinges stops his mother from what she's doing. Her eyes goes wide and she stuffs the drug in her bra, and clears her throat.

"Where were you?" she asks, hoarsely.

Peeta's eyes narrow at his mother, "I was getting notes for school," he lies smoothly.

His mother nods, her eyes drifting to the side door, "Well," she coughs, "Why don't you go to bed?" she tells him. He nods, and walks to the door that's missing a handle, and goes inside.

When he enters the room, he peeps through the little cut out hole he made when he was eight years old, wanting to see what his mother was doing late at night, why it smelled. He stares through it and sees how his mother check to see if he's in, and digs through her bra and takes out the drug, and resumes. Peeta sighs and turns his back to the door. Instead, he focuses on his younger brother, Rye. Rye, only the mere age of ten, already experiencing problems with his family. Every since Dad died.

Peeta recalls the memory.

Peeta picks up a young seven – year – old Rye from school. Rye smiles up at his brother.

"Are we going to the wall today?" the innocent boy asks. The wall is an underground railroad that was abandoned within the years due to no use of it. Young artists and just the young crowd go down there to meet, smoke, drink and paint. With the occasional inhale. Highly illegal. Peeta took Rye there last night since their father wasn't home, at the bakery trying to make money for the family, and who knows were their mother was. Peeta looks down to his brothers form and shakes his head, "You are never going back, bro," Peeta says. Rye frowns, but doesn't question further. Peeta's relieved.

They make their way across the school yard, Rye kicking stones and Peeta listening to an old – barely working – scratchy pink Ipod Shuffle that his father was lucky enough to find in a pawn shop for fifty dollars.

Once they reach home, they shed their school clothes and backpack. "Rye get'cha homework done, okay?" Rye nods and takes out the crumbled math sheet with a few adding and subtracting problems. Rye looks up at his brother, "Peet, would you help?" Peeta nods and sits down next to his brother. He was in the process of showing him how to carry the one when there is a pounding on the door. Peeta shoots out of his seat and grabs the hidden stake knife under the cushion seat, thinking its one of his mother's friends.

"We don't have the money, she isn't even here!" Peeta yells through the door, peeking around the front windows to see who's causing the knocking.

"Its me! Thom! Quick!" Thom exclaims. Thom? Why would he be here? Peeta asks himself. Thom is the neighborhood watch man. He only does it because he knows how bad the neighborhood can get, and has daughters.

Peeta opens the door, and looks at Thom questioningly, "Thom? What are you –" He loses his thought when Thom utters the word out of breath,"Wheaton,"

Peeta comes back to his memory when he hears voices outside his and his brothers room. He hears a male voice, and his mothers hoarse – from – drugs voice. He looks through the peep hole.

"You ready?" a gruff voice asks. He hears some shuffling and then a sigh.

"Yes," his mother says, "But, let me tell them I'm leaving," the man must nod because his mother proceeds to their bedroom door. Peeta quickly plops down on the bed, which jostles Rye, resulting into him waking up.

"Wha – " Rye questions, rubbing his sleepy eyes, but is cut off by the door opening.

Their mother clears her throat, "Boys, I'm going to be out tonight, don't expect me." Peeta only narrows his eyes at the woman, his mother, who is dressed in a short pink dress – looking more like a nightgown, with red lips and made up hair.

Rye whimpers, "Mommy," he pleads, running up to their mother and clutching her waist. "Don't leave again," Peeta's eyes narrow more as the word sticks out. Again.

Their mother pats down Rye's unruly mess of curls awkwardly and kisses his forehead, with no love at all – leaving a red lip mark. "I have to," she says. When they hear the male voice clear his throat, obviously indicating to hurry up, Rye doesn't relent.

Their mother sighs, "Come on," she says to Rye, irritated. When he doesn't relent again, she doesn't hesitant. The smack of a palm hitting the smooth surface of Rye cheek radiates through the room. Their mother roughly pulls Rye off of her, and clutches his head roughly so her blue eyes meet his. Peeta gets up off the bed to intervene, when his mother spins Rye around, in a head lock, with her hand posed to smack him. A clear warning.

She pushes Rye off of her, and says with disgust dripping from her words, "I'm leaving, I won't be back for awhile, don't expect me," And with that she leaves with the familiar click of her heels. Rye bursts into tears, holding onto his cheek. Peeta runs and picks up his younger brother and holds him to his chest.

"I won't ever let that monster touch you again," he tells him.

Rye only nods.

Katniss lifts her leg up to her head and holds it there. She looks over at her mother for approval.

The woman gets up and stalks over to the young lady. She pinches her back, "Posture," she reminds harshly.

Katniss straightens and lets out a breath.

Her mother comes around and grabs her leg with force, Katniss winces, "This is straight," she says and then crooks Katniss' leg, "This is not straight, learn the difference." Katniss only nods and stretches her leg even further, ignoring the searing pain of her muscles.

"If you don't do this right Katniss, you won't win!" Her mother screeches. Katniss' mom sits down in the stiff chair – just like her – and plays back the music.


Katniss runs the dance again, gracefully letting out her limbs, softly twirling her hips in a spin, all the while keeping a smile plastered on her face.

She turns away from the mirror, and her mother to do a tendu, when she see's it.

A young male, around eighteen – years – old stares through the small window on the back wall. He's curly blonde, the occasional curls falling into his eyes – his eyes.

His eyes are shining and twinkling, the definition of beautiful. They are like two little oceans, expressing the beauty of the pull and back motion it makes. It is just simply, beautiful.

She notices the half drunken bottle of liquor in his hand as he stares through the window, the small tattoo written on his wrist, and one on his forearm, but he's to far away to read what it says.

She barely hears the screeching of her mother she's so captivated.

"Hey you! Hey stop it!" her mother screams.

The boys eyes drift over to her mothers and she runs outside with a broom. He looks back once more at Katniss before running away, bottle of liquor in hand.

Her mother comes back in, sighing heavily. She points her lean finger at Katniss.

"Don't ever get involved in one of those boys, you hear me?" she tells her, almost threateningly.

Katniss only nods.

The sound of a bottle smacking against the pristine wood makes Haymitch wake from his nap.

"Do ya mind, girlie?" Haymitch grumbles at Effie.

Effie only rolls her eyes and flips her bottle – blonde hair over her shoulder. "Someone – a kid nonetheless – Is at your door," she tells him before plumping down on one of the chairs surrounding the table Haymitch was inhabiting, and picks up a vogue magazine. Haymitch growls in annoyance, before getting up and making his way to the door.

He opens the door and is met with the one and only, Peeta Mellark.

"What can I do ya, son, haven't I already given ya supply?" Haymitch questions, taking a gulp of the golden liquid. Peeta looks longingly at the bottle.

He looks a bit dazed, pretty out of it. His hair is messed up, sticking up in odd angles. He looks like he has been rolling in dirt. His eyes out of focus. A burst of emotion flows through him, concern.

"You didn't smoke anything did ya boy?" Haymitch sighs. Peeta shakes his head, but smiles a bit off the rocker.

"Nope," Peeta says. Then he starts laughing, uncontrollably. His whole body shakes to the movement of his bellows. He wipes away some tears that have escaped his eyes. Haymitch looks at him with a raised eyebrow in question. He is very drunk.

He finally composes himself, "I got chased by some woman by a broom though," he chuckles some more.

"Why?" Haymitch asks with a sigh. This is wasting some nice drinking time.

"I was staring at her daughter," he says with a smile. "I couldn't stop though, she was beautiful. Long dark hair in a bun on top of her head, with a nice little bow. Eyes as gray as steel. Legs long – I mean she was a ballerina – but still beautiful. Her cupid bow lips, perfectly kissable. Smooth curves. She was just beautiful." Peeta says, a wistful look on his face.

Haymitch now laughs, "Boy, you've gone soft."

Peeta's face hardens, "Just gimme a drink Haymitch, and I need to stay over, mom might come home so Rye's at a friends."

"Whatever you say, boy," Haymitch sighs, going into his house. When he realizes that Peeta isn't following, he turns back to him.

"You coming?" He questions.

Peeta only nods.

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