Epilogue

Standing outside the main doors of my dormitory building, or now my former dormitory building, I wiped the perspiration off my forehead with the back of my hand and took a big gulp out of my bottle of water. Just a few more boxes to bring down and I would be officially moved out and headed to my new apartment across town. I smiled then as the door swung open and both Peeta and Gale lumbered out, their arms loaded with the remainder of my things. I helped them arrange my stuff in the back of the pick-up Gale had borrowed from a friend, and soon we were traveling down the road. Peeta and Gale both sat next to me, as I was sandwiched in between them in the front seat of the borrowed Ford pickup. Peeta squeezed my knee and smiled. I still couldn't believe all that we had been through in such a short time together.

After we came back from Spring Break, and finally talked things out, Peeta decided that he wouldn't be going back home for summer break this year either, although I'm not sure if that was even an option after the fight he had with his brother. As I stared out the window, I thought back to the night that he told me about his new plans for the future; the first night we were able to spend entirely together. We had lain with our heads on the pillows, facing each other; our noses so close they were almost touching. We had taken our final in our human sexuality class that day and had turned in the paper for our project. Afterwards, we had dinner to celebrate and Peeta had effectively kicked Cato out of his room for the night so we could be alone.

"Katniss?" Peeta asked in the dark as I pulled up the sheet between us to cover my bare shoulders, "Did you ever declare a major for next year?"

"Actually, yes," I replied, his question catching me off guard. "Believe it or not, I think I want to go into nursing. I've done a lot of the pre-reqs already...and I think it would make my mother proud. She always wanted to be a nurse."

Peeta nodded his head and told me that he thought that was a good decision and that he was proud of me for picking such a demanding field. We talked a little about the classes I would have to take next year and the two I was hoping to get into over the summer. After a little while, when he hadn't told me anything about himself, I decided to ask.

"What about you? Did you ever decide, Art or Culinary?"

"Yes, I did decide."

I waited for him to add more, but he didn't, so I huffed a little and he smiled, laughing softly in the dark.

"Well? Are you going to tell me or not?" I asked, exasperated.

"I'm going to major in Art, Katniss. I'm not going to go back home, at least for a while. I'm also decided that I'm giving all my ownership of the restaurant to my brother. I'm done with that."

"Peeta, no. You don't have to do that. Don't do that for me," I insisted, reaching out to touch his face."

"It's not for you," he insisted. "That's what I want. My mother would never accept my interest in art, or my brother, and that's what I really want to do. Although I'm not sure I would have ever had the guts to go for it if it wasn't for you. So thank you."

"You're welcome," I mumbled insincerely as he pulled me closer against his body, my own chest growing tight with emotion.

"But what about your dad? Is he angry with you?" I asked, pulling away slightly. I didn't have any guilt for Peeta's mother or his brother, who was making out exceptionally well for Peeta's decision, but his dad was actually pleasant and I knew he loved his son.

"No, dad's not mad. He said he wants me to happy. He may even come up and visit me..us."

Peeta pulled me close to him again, and all talk of the future was done, and least for a while.

I shook the thought of that night away as we pulled up to the Mockingjay Hill apartment complex and I followed Peeta out of the car. Gale was already standing at the bed of the truck ready to transplant all the boxes again.

"So what floor are you on?" He asked, walking over to the doorman and getting clearance to prop open the door.

"Thirteen."

Gale rolled his eyes and me and loaded filled his arms before heading over to the elevator. Peeta did the same and I told him I would meet him upstairs in a few minutes. I was going to wait down here for Madge and Johanna who, after much conversation, had both agreed to be my new roommates. Once everyone had arrived, we got the apartment together, as much as we could. Madge's dad had given us a living room suite as a house warming gift, but aside from our personal belongings and bedroom furniture, the rest of the space was empty.

Peeta offered to make everyone dinner, but Madge and Gale declined, saying they were going out, and Johanna had a date to get ready for. She had finally brightened up and dumped Cato and was now seeing a new guy named Finn. She even offered to bring him over to meet us, which told me he was much more than a one night stand.

"Hey, Katnisss?" Gale asked, taking Madge's hand as they strolled over to the door. "When is Prim coming to visit?"

"Three weeks," I reminded him before hugging him and thanking him for all his help moving.

Johanna burst of her new bedroom then, her long hair twisted sleekly up and dressed in a very sexy, but somehow sweet dress that looked nothing like her usually date attire. She told me not to wait up and instructed Peeta that if he did decide to cook to leave her a plate in the refrigerator. We both laughed , and make commits about how she would never change and then took a seat on the couch.

"So what do you want to do all alone in this big empty apartment?" Peeta asked, a gleam in his bright blue eyes.

"Oh, I can think of a few things, "I told him teasingly, "but first, how about a game?"