A/n: Wow, thank you all who reviewed or followed/favourited! Your reviews and PM's make my day. Thank you!
This chapter starts in Peeta's POV, then switches to Katniss's for a page or two, and then back to Peeta. I don't like switching POVs too much in one chapter, so this will be rare. Usually, I try to keep it in one POV each chapter.
Flashbacks are in italics.
Okay, so here's chapter two! Enjoy!
I do not own The Hunger Games.
"Finnick, stop staring at her ass," I smack my best friend's arm. His eyes linger on the girl's butt in the regulated orange booty shorts of Hooters. Of course Finnick picked Hooters..
He lazily drags his eyes away from the girl, and back to me. He gulps down some of his beer, and gives me a sorry-but-not-sorry look. "It should be illegal for a girl's ass to look that good."
"Yeah, okay, Finn." I roll my eyes and pick up a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wing. I take a bite, then set it back down on the plate as my mouth burns. "Shit, those are hot."
Finnick barks a laugh and shakes his head. "C'mon, Peet! Suck it up."
I down the rest of my beer, and the burning subsides leaving a tingly feeling on my tongue. "Whatever." I mumble.
"So, have you talked Katniss since the coffee non-date?" Finnick waggles his eyebrows, and my cheeks heat up. He's been bugging me since he walked in on me practicing what I'd say to Katniss if I saw her again. "All that mirror practice wasn't put to use? Peeta-" He stops talking when the girl with 'illegally' fine ass comes to fill our beer mugs.
"More beer, gentlemen?" She asks with a sly smile. She knows what she's doing.
I nod, but Finnick clears his throat, and the girl turns to him. "Ah, now I have a better view of your eyes.. You're eyes are beautiful." He winks.
"Thank you..." she trails off, silently asking for his name.
"Finnick Odair." he says with a grin, "And you are?"
She says, "Rachel."
"Well, Rachel, may I ask, do you know a good eye doctor?" Finnick asks with his charming, white-toothed smile. I cover my mouth with my hand to keep from snorting. Oh God, not this one... "Because there must be something wrong with my eyes.. I can't take them off of you."
Rachel grabs our mugs, and says, "I don't. But you might want to get that checked out, Finnick." And she turns away, leaving Finnick speechless. I burst out into laughter.
"Shut up, Peeta!" Finnick whines.
I clutch my stomach from laughing, and after when I calm down, I look up at his flushed, confused face. "First time the amazing Finnick Odair has not charmed his way into a girl's pants."
"At least I had the guts to try!" Finnick retorts. "You saw the girl you've been madly in love with for – what, nine years now? - and you were too much of a pussy to make a move! So, if I were you, I'd shove that smirk up your ass."
I run a hand through my hair and glare at him. "That is totally different, you asshole. She broke my heart-"
"Pussy," Finnick fake coughs.
"You know what," I say and stand up from the booth. "I'm gonna go talk to her." I drop a fifty dollar bill on the table. "There. I paid for your beers, and please be nice to this Rachel girl."
Finnick smirks. "I'm always nice to my ladies."
I roll my eyes and walk out of the restaurant/bar.
"Peeta? Peeta Mellark?" Madge's eyes widen. "No.. way! You guys were like crazy for each other in Junior and Senior year.."
Madge and I were best friends since the eighth grade. When I left town after graduation, I didn't even tell her about it. But she had found out what happened from her father. He was in the Legislative Assembly, and had heard about my father's sickness through others. She managed to figure out that my family had gone off to Virginia, and attended the same university as me. At first I tried to distance myself from her, but when my father passed, I broke down and she was there. When we finished schooling, and got our teaching degrees, my mother passed too. So, Madge, Prim and I moved back here, North Carolina, just last year. Prim's still studying to be a doctor, and shares an apartment with her friend, Rue.
"I know..." I say and get up from the floor to make popcorn.
"Have you told him why?" She asks referring to why I broke up with him all those years ago. She follows me into my small kitchen, and I don't meet her eyes. "Katniss, you're not being fair to him. Or yourself. You just left him wondering all these years! I started talking to Gale recently... He was telling me about how Finnick told him that Peeta was a wreck after Grad."
I set the microwave for 2 minutes, and turn back to her. "Madge, that was like six years ago. I'm sure he's over it."
"You guys were crazy in love with one another. I'm a believer in love that never dies." Madge looks through my cupboards for a bowl, and pulls one out. She hands it to me, and I pull out the hot bag of popcorn and pour it in the bowl.
We return to our spots on the living room floor, since my couch has yet to arrive. "You know, I miss those days in the eighth grade when you barely talked. Those were good days." I smirk.
"Oh, shut up." She rolls her eyes with a grin.
I grab a handful of popcorn and have my red pen in the other hand. I look down at the creative writing assignments I assigned my new Junior class a few days ago. It was just a short paper about themselves, so I could get to know them better.
"So," I say casually while circling a misspelled word. "When did you and Gale start talking?" In high school, I always thought Gale would ask out Madge, but he never did, though it was clear they both liked each other. And then Graduation came, I left, Madge left, so nothing ever happened.
I sneak a look from the paper to Madge, and her cheeks are red. "I had a picture on Instagram of me and my father at that Project Build A Shelter thing, and I was wearing our old school sweatshirt. He had commented saying "hey, we're matching" and on his news feed was a picture of him wearing the same one."
"So, you're saying an old high school sweatshirt reignited the spark?" I ask with a raised eyebrow. She blushes more, and I laugh.
She throws some popcorn at me. "Shut it, Everdeen. I don't need you mocking me." She looks down at her phone and then stands up. "I should get going though. It's past nine, and we have work tomorrow."
I follow her to the door, and she grabs her purse, then slips on her flip flops. She runs her hand through her hair, and looks in the mirror by my door. I raise my eyebrows and stifle a laugh.
"Tell Gale I said hi," I say with a smirk. I open the door, and then her eyes widen. "What-" I turn around, and my breath hitches when I see who's there.
"Peeta?" Madge and I say. His hand is raised, like he was about to knock, so he slowly lowers it.
"Madge?" She runs up and tackles him into a hug. "Whoa,"
She pulls away and looks him over. "Peeta! Oh my God, I've missed you!"
He chuckles and she does too. They almost look like siblings; they're straight golden hair, sharp blue eyes, slightly tan skin.
"I'd love to catch up, but I've got to go." She slides past him and smiles. "We'll catch up soon, alright? Okay, see you guys later!" I watch her quickly retreat down the hall, and just before she disappears down the stairway, she winks at me.
"Peeta, hey." I breathe out. I step aside and gesture inside. "Want to come in? There's plenty of floor."
Peeta nervously rubs his neck and shrugs. "Uh, yeah.. Sure?"
She leads me into the couch-less living room, and we both sit against the wall. I eye the papers on the ground, and Katniss neatly stacks them, moving them out of the way. It's quiet, neither of us wanting to speak, whether or not we know what to say. But I start to think about how we first met.
"Alright class, I'll be giving your seating plan today. Your table partner will be your lab partner for the rest of the semester." Mr. Lewis, the chemistry teacher, says. He starts calling names, but I don't listen because I keep sneaking peeks at Katniss Everdeen. I've had a fascination, or crush, if you will, on her since the day I saw her picking dandelions at recess in the second grade- "Mellark!"
"Huh?" I snap out of my dreams. Chuckles are heard throughout the class, and a few of my buddies shove my shoulder from nearby.
Mr. Lewis points to the table at the back. "You may go to your assigned spot." I walk from the front to the back table, and plop down on a stool. "Katniss, you're next to Mellark."
My heart nearly bursts out of my chest while she walks over to the table. Her wavy, brown hair is out of its usual braid and tied up in a ponytail with her bangs at the side. She's wearing a simple grey hoodie, dark skinny jeans, and I will myself to look away. But as I do, her grey eyes catch my blue, and we hold our stare for a moment, then I quickly look down with hot cheeks.
Katniss sits down beside me, and I'm very conscious of the faint smell of vanilla. Everything about her consumes me; her smell, how close she is to me...
"Alright, class. Lets get started!" Mr. Lewis says from the whiteboard. I blink a few times, and realize that everyone has been seated in the midst of my thoughts. There aren't many kids in this class, about 15 maybe. Chemistry is an optional course. "So, lets review about Polyatomic bonds, shall we?"
Mr. Lewis begins drawing different models on the board, the differences between Ionic, Covalent, and Polyatomic. I zone out and begin sketching some random park in my notebook.
"My God, this so boring." A girl loudly whispers from the front of the room, making me zone back into the lesson.
From the corner of my eye, Katniss snorts, and then quickly covers her mouth with her fist. She quietly chuckles, and I turn to her. "Are you alright?" I whisper. Holy shit, I just spoke to Katniss Everdeen.
She turns to me, and my heart beats loudly. "Yeah. But that girl is stupid."
"Well, yeah." I say trying to sound calm. Glimmer, the girl who'd just whispered loudly, was not known to be the sharpest pencil in the pack.
"It's chemistry, it's not supposed to be fun. And God is a myth." She explains quietly.
I turn to her with surprise. "Why do you say that?"
"C'mon, if God was real, there wouldn't be famines with kids dying, wouldn't be wars.. the world would be good."
I stare at her; her grey eyes calculating and bright, her smile soft and gentle. And I'm a goner.
"That's an interesting perspective." I whisper dumbfounded. This girl.. Katniss is quite something. "Maybe you just have to look for the good."
She raises her eyebrows and shakes hear head. "I'm starting to doubt that there is any good in this world."
"You're just looking in all the wrong places." I say boldly. Oh jeez, I'm talking to Katniss...
"And where do you suggest I look?" She asks with a shy, yet challenging smirk.
I muster up all my courage and shrug nonchalantly. "Well, if you want to be really precise, there's always good at locker 239 just before lunch. Except on Wednesdays and Fridays, the good can be found in the art room."
"Is that so?" she asks while turning back to face the front, a small grin on her lips. I nod and see her watch me from the corner of her eyes. "Now that's an interesting perspective."
A wide smile stretches across my face and I turn back to doodling, though my mind is on the girl next to me.
That day, Wednesday, I was in the art room at lunch, painting. She ended up coming, and was amazed by my paintings. Every Wednesday and Friday she came, we talked, laughed and got to know each other. And that's how we started...
"Remember that one time when we snuck into the teacher's lounge and stole pizza?" I ask breaking the silence.
Katniss looks to the side at me, and laughs. "Yeah! And then the principal chased us down the hall, so we hid in the Janitor's closet for forty minutes,"
"Wasn't that the same day when we snuck back into your house past curfew?" I ask with a chuckle, remembering that day.
"Oh my gosh, yes! That was how you broke your arm. 'Cause my... dad came into the room, and you climbed out the window, fell and broke your arm." Her eyes light up at the memory, but I notice the way she hesitates when talking about her dad.
I press my fist to my mouth to stop my laughter, but we both start laughing. "The stuff we did back then.." Memories of our first date, first kiss, first time, come to mind.
"We were pretty crazy." She says quietly.
"Crazy in love-" I cover my mouth, and shake my head. "Sorry... That- Uh, slipped out."
I chance a glance at her, and we hold each other's gaze. Her grey eyes are just a little less bright, still calculating though. Her nose is still has the small freckles that I loved..love.
"We were that, too." She finally says after a minute.
I still am, I almost say.
"Katniss?" I ask, and she nods for me to continue. "I've missed you." I breathe out.
She looks down at the floor. "Um, I've missed you, too.."
"So, still see the good in the world?"
She shrugs and shakes her head. "No. Not since I was eighteen."
Eighteen... We were eighteen. Then she broke up with me, and left.
"You're looking in the wrong places again." I tell her while I stand up from the floor. She follows me, and we stop just by her door. I open it, and though I don't want to ever let Katniss out of my sight again, I have to go since I have work tomorrow. "Room 615 is a good place to look."
"Is that so?" She asks, and then her face contorts and she laughs quietly.
I feel a smile stretch across my lips. "You said that when we first met."
"You remember that?"
I go to brush a strand of lose hair behind her ear, but I quickly stop myself and stuff my hand in my pocket. I give her a lopsided grin, and she bites down on her bottom lip.
"I remember everything about you."
A/n: And there is chapter 2!
We'll learn more about Katniss's father later on, probably chapter five.
Did you guys see what I did there? With the conversation that they had when they first met, and how there was a very similar one near the end when the re-met. ;)
I hope you liked the bits of Madge and Finnick I added in this story. I was kinda thinking about having a Finnick and Madge relationship. Just for something different. I know it seems as though Gale and Madge are together right now but... What do you all think? I really want to do that. (they obviously aren't the main couple. They're just for background plot.)
Review or PM me your thoughts!