Hi guys!

First off can I thank you all for your lovely reviews and follows. I never thought I'd get one review let alone 32! Thank you all soo much!

Anyways here is chapter 8

Chapter 8

I'm sat at the kitchen table with Prim. She's sat opposite me sipping hot chocolate and eating a blueberry muffin. I keep waiting for the flames to devour her. To show me what I had done. I keep waiting for Prim to start screaming "It's your fault!"

But she never does. Instead we talk together, about everything and anything. I hate talking about girly things, clothes, and boys, anything else really. But today I do. Grateful that I have some time with my sister.

"It wasn't your fault" she whispers, as if in a trance "I'm with Dad now. I'm happy, I wish I was still with you though. But I still am in another way. As long as you keep me alive I will stay alive. Don't ignore Mum for me, please. I know you two don't have the best relationship but mend it. She needs you Katniss. You need her too, even if you don't want to admit it. You know why she didn't come back, it wasn't because she no longer cared. Go to her.

"I love you Katniss."

But still she never leaves.

My eye lids flutter open. I don't scream, I am not sweating, I had a nice dream for once. A nice dream that taught me a lesson. It isn't fair what I have done to my Mother. What she did wasn't fair to us either but I have learnt for myself now. Death of the ones we love breaks us. If I had children and if Peeta died?

The thought is so unbearable that I try and keep that thought brief. I would try and be there for my children but I would be broken. I have a new understanding of that and I promise myself I will try and see my Mother soon. But about the Capitol. A different kettle of fish, completely.

Then there was Prim. A happy Prim. A Prim with no scars. Laughing and I know I will keep that memory with me forever, as well as the countless others us two have shared.

For once the thought of her does not make me cry. I was right last night. I have made peace with her death… kind of.

I can tell by Peetas breathing that he is awake so I turn my head up to look up at him. As soon as he sees I am awake he flips me onto my back and kisses me.

It takes me a few seconds to get my bearings, I only woke up about a minute ago and I am still in a state of unconsciousness. But as soon as I do I immediately return the kiss, deepening it slightly, I run my fingers through Peetas blonde locks and judging by his moan I am doing well.

Go me!

When we finally break away, breathing heavily and return to our original position of my head resting on Peetas chest – shirtless chest to be precise, according to him the room is too hot? Not that I'm complaining, – his arms wrapped around me protectively that I finally speak.

"What was that for?" I ask smiling.

"A nice morning kiss I think?" Peeta replies and I can feel his chest move as he chuckles.

"You call that a morning kiss?" I ask trying to sound accusing or something but by the grin that's threatening to split my face in half I am not really doing too well.

"Yup" Peeta replies, grinning as much as I am.

"Well, if that's a morning kiss, what's a full make out session?" I ask him.

"You wanna find out?" Peeta asks, and despite my only newly confessed love for Peeta I really couldn't care less if he did.

What? Was I really just thinking that? What the hell is wrong with me? Take it slowly, that's always been my motto. Do what you need to do to survive, this is slightly overwhelming.

Still doesn't take away my previous thought of actually agreeing to Peetas request.

Oh Katniss…

But Peeta knows I am not ready for anything like that and is more than happy to just hold me not even kiss me if I don't want him too – not that I'm saying I don't want him to kiss me as I do, – not push me into doing anything I don't want to.

That's one of the many reasons I love him. And I defiantly don't know what I would do if he wasn't like that.

I look up at Peeta again and now I am fully awake I notice the dark circles around his eyes.

"How long did you sleep for?" I ask him.

"Long enough," he replies, but his face and mood tell me otherwise.

"You didn't sleep." I accuse him "Why?"

"I did!" he tries to defend himself but I'm not having any of it.

"Why Peeta" my voice softer this time "Please tell me, I'm worried about you."

"I couldn't" he replies "Too many thoughts about stuff"

I know as soon as he says it he's talking about the Capitol.

"You should have woken me" I tell him tracing patterns with my hand over his bare skin "I would have helped you."

"You need sleep" Peeta says but then realises the irony behind his word choice.

"Exactly my point," I tell him "I wouldn't have minded, I wake you up all the time with my nightmares and you never wake me up."

"I don't need to, I wake up and you're beside me wrapped around me. Snoring your head off most of the time. That's all the help I need."

" . " I tell him not missing a beat "But if it helps I was thinking of seeing Haymitch today, just to ask him about it all." I add, sounding a lot nicer.

"You do." Peeta says "and good idea, I was thinking of the same thing."

"Great minds think alike" I say disregarding the whole snoring conversation. I don't snore, Peetas just saying that to wind me up. And he'll carry on doing it until he knows I have won. I know him too well.

"Exactly, and we haven't seen him for about a week. We need to make sure the old man's still alive." Peeta agrees and I nod, a slightly sheepish look on my face. Peeta doesn't know about mine and Haymitchs argument…yet.

"What's wrong?" Peeta asks picking up on my turn in behaviour.

"I kind of went to see him the other day," I admit.

"Still breathing then?" Peeta asks as if nothing's wrong but I know he knows something's wrong. He knows me too well as well.

"Haymitch had a big go at me about you. Told me to sort my brain out and tell you I love you because I do I just don't want to admit it. Then he brought Prim into it so I got angry with him, stormed out of the house and slammed the door. I haven't spoken to him since." I blurt out, each word running into the other.

"Well I have a lot to owe him then" Peeta says staring out of the crack in the curtains, "we should get up."

"We should do doesn't mean I want to" I say sincerely.

We spent the rest of the morning in bed. Just in bed can I add.

It's the middle of the afternoon when me and Peeta finally make our way over to Haymitchs house. We didn't even get out of bed until noon.

New record!

As I walk across to Haymitchs house, Peetas fingers intertwined with my own I feel a sense of contentment. I will never truly be able to heal after the war but I think I am doing well.

With people you love and people who love you surrounding you, you can do anything you wish.

We reach Haymitchs house, not even bothering to knock, Peeta kicks the door open and we get ready for the stench.

"He's outdone himself" I say "This place reeks!"

"You're right there, what the hell has he been doing?"

We reach the kitchen table to find Haymitch slumped over it, a bottle in one hand – empty of course – a knife in the other and a mountain of vomit surrounding him.

"Lovely" I say slightly exasperated. I hop over to the window and throw it open whilst Peeta busies himself filling a pitcher of water.

"You would think his living standards would have improved after the war wouldn't you?" Peeta asks, but more for himself than anyone else.

I answer him anyway "Would of" I say and Peeta laughs.

He throws the icy water over Haymitchs head and jumps back beside me, well slightly in front of me as if Haymitch is going to throw the knife at me.

I think we figured out Haymitch is totally incapable of handling a knife whilst we were training for the quell.

Still an overprotective Peeta is sweet.

"What the hell!" Haymitch screams "Oh, it's only you."

Typical greeting then Haymitch.

"Good afternoon to you too." I mutter but then Haymitch notices our linked hands.

"What's this then?" he asks "Sweetheart over here listen to my advice?"

"I didn't listen to you. I thought about it and came to a mature decision all by myself." I say with an air of superiority.

"Sure" Haymitch mumbles sarcastically but then changes the subject knowing if he doesn't I will bash his skull in.

I wonder how many of you know that I actually do mean that.

"What do I have the pleasure of you two today then" he asks but something in his bloodshot eyes tells me he already knows.

"Plutarch rang" Peeta says

"I know" Haymitch answers "What you gonna do about it then?"

"That's why we came to you" I say "We thought you might…" but Haymitch cuts me off.

"Still be up for the mentor thing. Yeah, yeah I know," he says waving his hand "Not much we can do though to be honest."

"Why not?" Peeta asks "I'm not about to go back to their little game. I've had enough of that already. We fought for our freedom. We deserve it."

It's times like these when I remember how good Peeta is with words and how lame I am in comparison…ah well.

"Look, do I look like I like it either?" Haymitch asks us irritated "I have to go as well."

"I just want to live a normal life," I mutter and it's true, is it really that much to ask for after all I've done. Just a normal life?

"You can't sweetheart," Haymitch says and am I imagining it or do I hear some sympathy in his voice? "You're the one who gave them hope, they love you. But if you go to the Capitol and do the interview, make them know that you don't want to be in the spotlight. The districts might understand. The Capitol… a different game. But the districts will respect your choice. They know how you feel. You are the same as all of them, but you will never be able to fully get rid of your celebrity status. None of us will."

I know he's right, as much as it pains me to say that, but maybe he is right, maybe the districts will respect us… somehow.

"You mean if we go. We can stop it?" Peeta asks cautiously as if it's too good to be true.

"No, not completely" Haymitch says "But to a certain degree yes. Plutarch will be the real difficulty."

"I'll get round him," I say mischievously and I have no doubt I will. I can be very ruthless and persuasive if I want to!

"No doubt you will sweetheart," Haymitch chuckles "He won't know what's hit him."

We all laugh and right then I realise we are all family. None of us blood related but all bonded by love and our colliding pasts. But blood doesn't matter in a family. It's the love and bond you have that makes it a real family. You could have the exact same blood, be someone's daughter but loathe the other person. That's not a family.

But the trust we have makes us one. We saved each other's lives countless times sometimes putting ourselves at risk.

Yeah, we're a family.

Me and Peeta say our goodbyes and begin to walk outside but I am struck with a thought. An amazing thought. One that could stop the trip.

"Haymitch?" I ask cautiously.

"What is it sweetheart?" he asks without even turning around and something in his posture tells me he already knows what I'm going to ask him. Is he psychic or something?

"I'm confined to District 12" I say and Peeta looks at me and Haymitch hopefully "I'm not allowed out of the District."

"Plutarch will have sorted that out. Probably one of the first things he did."

"Sorry to burst your bubble." He adds un-necessarily

I huff in exasperation "Just thought it was worth asking" I say whilst walking out of the door. Peeta trailing behind me. "Wishful thinking I guess."

When we are outside Peeta turns to me. "We'll be fine" he tries to convince me "We can put on a good show."

I laugh a good laugh. "That we will, we can explain everything. Make Plutarch sorry he ever sent us there. We don't have to act anymore or be cautious about anything."

"That is true" Peeta agrees "That is true. We can have a right ball. Accuse the Capitol of everything."

"They will be sorry." I say making sure Peeta knows the full extent of my threat.

"If you even say half of what I think you're going to say they will not let you on another programme for the rest of your life."

"Then lets' hope I say it all!" I laugh.

And we set off back towards the house.

Haha, great interaction with Haymitch. I can just imagine that happening!

I haven't finished the next chapter yet but so far it is a bit of a filler chapter before they go to the Capitol!

The whole Capitol thing will probably start in Chapter 10! :D

As usual I will try and update during the week, it depends on homework.

Thanks again for all your reviews! Keep them coming ;)

NormyMellark99

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