A/N: Okay, so I know I said I was done with Fanfiction but I couldn't seem to get a few lingering ideas out of my head so I started what was meant to be a one shot but it seems it'll be a little more than that. Not long enough to be a full on story or anything but longer than a one shot. Probably a handful of chapters at most. It picks up shortly after Madge awakens in 13 without memory of her past. Gale's desperate to win her love again but Tripp isn't sure he can just sit back and not fight for her this time. Some things will be similar to what you read in "My Everything" and some will be different. It's meant to be an alternate course of events to what transpired in "My Everything". POV's will be Madge, Gale and Tripp. At any rate, here's the first chapter, hope you enjoy!
My entire head is throbbing. With my eyes closed, I reach up and massage my temples a little. It doesn't help. I sigh and open my eyes. Gazing around the room, I feel the urge to close my eyes again but I don't. I just don't. Instead I force myself to take a deep breath and push myself to a sitting position. I'd been lying here, desperately trying to sleep but it's no use. The pounding in my head is relentless and my thoughts are racing through my mind from all different directions.
Think clearly Madge. Focus on just one thought at a time. I tell myself this. Whether it helps, I'm not certain. In the past 24 hours, I've woken up in a strange place, been informed that not only have I forgotten an entire year of my life, but I was a tribute in the games, was rescued from the arena and now living in District 13 which is apparently an underground district. The best part though? I mean, the real shocker? That I am married! To Gale Hawthorne of all people!
I was released from the Medical Center and an employee walked me up to the place I'll be living. It's called a unit. Sort of District 13's version of a house. Only it isn't a house. Really just a single bedroom and a very small bathroom. Undecorated. Plain and very concrete. No windows underground of course. That would all be something I could get used too if it weren't for one thing. Or person rather. I don't get to live here alone. I have to live here with Gale.
It was incredibly awkward last night. Gale Hawthorne and I are not, nor have we ever been, what I would consider friends. We barely know each other. Or at least that's the way I remember it to be. And apparently, I've got it all wrong. Last night, after some very awkward conversation about how it is we came to even speak to each other, much less become a couple, I'd gotten a headache and when he brought me my medicine, he'd reached out and stroked my cheek with his fingertips. I'd pulled back instantly, terrified he was about to kiss me. And his face just fell. I'd crushed his heart in one split second of an instant. I tried to cover up the tension by saying I felt like sleeping but the moment I'd said it, I regretted it. There was only one bed in our room. Thankfully, he was a gentleman and didn't try to sleep in the bed with me. He'd taken the floor and let me have the bed to myself. Thanks to the medicine, I'd fallen asleep fairly quickly. When I woke this morning, I heard the shower running and I took that as my opportunity to pretend to still be asleep. Last night was so incredibly uncomfortable between Gale and I that I just couldn't bare to face him again this morning. Not while my head is all foggy and confused. He'd hesiatated to leave with me still sleeping. I could tell by the way his footsteps paced across the floor. Ultimately, he'd left though.
And that leaves me sitting here in bed, trying to make sense of this all. I just can't seem to figure out how to do that. There's a piece of paper on the night table by the bed. Some sort of schedule for me I think. It says I'm supposed to go to the Medical Center today and meet with more doctors. And I'm running out of time before I'm supposed to be there. I let out another sigh and decide a bath might help get me going. In the small bathroom, I disappointingly find that there's only a shower stall, not a bathtub. And it comes with lukewarm water. I fight back tears and try to give myself a pep talk. It's okay Madge. You'll get your memory back soon and everything will make sense again. Or else I'll wake up from what is surely the strangest dream I've ever had. I don't get a leisurely shower though because this lukewarm water quickly becomes icy cold. I climb out and find a towel. It isn't soft and fluffy like the ones in my bathroom at home. Instead it's stiff and almost scratchy. I dry off quickly and only then does it hit me that I don't know where my clean clothes are. I wrap the towel around myself and tiptoe back into the bedroom. I'm just opening the dresser when the door to the unit opens. I startle and my head shoots up, finding Gale standing there, mouth open, staring at me.
"Turn around!" I shriek half out of embarrassment , half out of anger. Doesn't he have enough manners not to stare at me while I'm half naked?
"Sorry." He mutters as he quickly turns around.
I grab a folded pair of pants and a top from one of the drawers and then dart back into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me. I furiously pull on the ill fitting clothing. How embarrassing! I cannot believe he just saw me in nothing but this measly little towel! And now I'm going to have to come out of here and face him after that? No. No way am I doing that! I sit down on the floor and hug my knees to my chest. No use fighting the tears any longer. They slide down my cheeks and I don't think I've ever felt more lost and alone than I do right now.
After what feels like a good little while, there's a soft knock on the bathroom door. I don't respond. I'm too upset. Too embarrassed. It's altogether too awkward. But Gale doesn't take the hint. He knocks again, this time calling out my name.
"Madge? I'm sorry, I should have knocked before I came in. I just wanted to check on you, make sure you knew where you needed to go and all."
"I'm fine. Just fine!" I call back out through the door.
There's silence for a minute or two and I think he must be debating what to do next. "Well, um, I think you're supposed to go back down to the Medical Center. I…I can walk you down there if you want."
"No thank you. I can find it on my own." I reply. I know he's trying to be nice and I know he didn't mean to embarrass me but I just can't face him right this minute.
"Okay. I'll see you later I guess." He calls back to me. His voice is sad and I guess this must all be just as hard for him as it is for me. I don't want to make him sad but I just don't know him. I just don't. I don't say anything back to him. I just wait for the sound of the door closing behind him as he leaves.
After a few more minutes just for good measure, I finally pull myself from the floor and cautiously open the door. Empty room, thank goodness. I glance at the clock. Of course I'm already late. And to top it off, I honestly have no clue how to get to the Medical Center. I wasn't paying attention last night when I left there so I already know I'll have to ask someone for directions. Sure, the easiest, most sensible thing would've been for me to allow Gale to help me find my way down there but I just couldn't do it.
I put on my bravest face and head out into the hallway. It's mostly empty and I chew my lip, trying to decide which way to go. Left or right? Which way was it again that I came from? I know I'll need to get on the elevator, but which way was it? Left it is, I guess. At this point, I'm already late anyway so if I get lost, I doubt it'll even matter. I follow the winding hallway until it ends with a large door, unlike the other doors I've passed by. I push through the heavy door and realize that I've found the stairs. This will do, I think to myself as I begin making my way down them. I'm unsure of how many flights down I should go but I continue on just in case I find a directory board or perhaps someone to ask directions of. I've cleared three flights when I bump into someone. A lot of someones. Familiar someones.
"Oh, hello there dearie. You look a little lost. Perhaps I can help?" An official looking woman in gray asks me. She's holding a clipboard and has a trail of people following her. People from 12. Katniss, Peeta, The Krull family. Mrs. Hawthorne and Gale included. I feel my face redden in more embarrassment and I reply in a low voice.
"Thank you, I'm looking for the Medical Center."
"Yes, yes, of course you are. Let me get someone to show you." She says as she turns and before I can stop her she calls out for a volunteer to take me down to the Medical Center. If I wasn't already mortified, this ought to do it. Madge Undersee, helpless as always.
I see Gale step forward as if to volunteer but Tripp Krull beats him to the punch. "I'll show her. I was just there yesterday, know exactly where it is."
I relax a little because at least I know Tripp. I mean, I know him more than Gale anyway. His parents owned the Café in town so I've crossed paths with him regularly, though I wouldn't really call us friends. Acquaintances more so. But still, at least with Tripp it won't be awkward and he won't have just seen me in nothing but a bath towel.
"Wonderful, thank you. You can meet up with us again in the cafeteria afterwards." She tells Tripp as she turns and proceeds to continue leading her group on their tour. As they walk passed Tripp and I, I notice the pained look on Gale's face even though I try not to meet his gaze. I'll have to apologize to him later for how I acted this morning when he came in. I shouldn't have yelled and I shouldn't have slammed the bathroom door. Even if I was embarrassed, I shouldn't act like that.
"You don't have to walk me all the way there. Just point me in the right direction and I'm sure I can find it." I tell Tripp.
He smiles and shrugs. "I was bored with that tour anyway. Everything here looks the same to me so the tour gets old really fast." He tells me as he leads me down the stairs. "Have you ever seen so much concrete in all your life?" He jokes.
"I know. It's so cold and plain." I agree.
"So, how are you feeling?"
"Headaches but other than that, fine thank you."
"Getting settled in okay?"
I hesitate. "It's all a little much to take in sometimes. I mean, I haven't been here more than 2 days and with my head injury, my memory isn't working the way that it should and that makes things a little awkward."
"I can imagine. How much do you actually remember? I mean, if it's okay for me to ask."
"It's fine. Well, the last thing I remember is sometime during Katniss's games. After that, I've got nothing."
"Oh wow! Guess things are more than just a little awkward for you then." He says jokingly.
"You could say that, yes." I say with a little bit of a laugh. It feels natural talking like this with him. Maybe he and I had become better friends during the time I can't remember? I don't know.
"Well, hang in there. I'm sure it'll all come back to you soon enough." He reassures me.
"That would be more than fantastic. I think I'll have to round Gale up later and apologize. I haven't been very nice to him so far." I confess without even really thinking about it. Something about talking to Tripp just has me pouring it all out to him. I blush a little realizing I might be over sharing.
"Gale's crazy about you, it'll all be just fine, I'm sure of it."
"Sorry, I think I'm over sharing. It's just, I don't know why but it feels natural to talk to you." I apologize.
"Eh, don't worry about it. I know you can't remember it but you and I are actually pretty close friends. If we were back home it wouldn't have been unusual for you talk to me about whatever was on your mind." He shrugs as if my apology isn't necessary.
"We were?" I ask, smiling as the new bit of information.
"Yep. Well, this is your stop. Need me to wait around for you, make sure you can find your way back home?"
"Oh, thanks but I'm sure I can find my way. Just got a little turned around this morning."
"Alright then, I'll leave you to it. See ya around!" He calls out with a wave as he heads back the way we came.
I smile to myself. So I have a friend. Tripp Krull, the boy from the café is my friend. How about that? Friends weren't exactly something I remember myself having many of so it's kind of nice knowing that things changed for the better in that regard.
The woman at the front desk takes my name but seems to have some difficulty finding my appointment in her books. After several minutes and a phone call she looks up at me, smiles the fakest of smiles and sends me back to a room. Turns out the reason she couldn't find my appointment was because I gave her the wrong name. I told her I was Madge Undersee but the appointment was for Madge Hawthorne. Geez, I can't even remember my own name. This is ridiculous.
"Hello there Mrs. Hawthorne, we've been expecting you. Please, have a seat." A man with glasses greets me as he gestures towards a chair. Another man nods in my direction.
"I apologize for my tardiness, I'm a little out of sorts this morning. I hope I haven't kept you from other appointments." I apologize in best illusion voice.
"Not a problem. Let's get started, shall we?"
I nod and then listen as the two of them introduce themselves and explain in great detail all the plans they've laid out for my treatment and hopefully, my recovery. It's a little hard to keep it all straight but I think I get the overall gist of it. I'll have a full medical evaluation today followed by regular appointments with a doctor as well as a therapist. And there will be homework too. Assignments that they hope will spark my memories.
After our meeting, they take me over to the medic who completes a full medical exam. She tells me it's to establish my baselines, whatever that means. From there, she gives me a packet that has instructions for my first assignment and sends me on my merry way.
I manage to find my way back home without getting too terribly turned around. I'm hungry and I'm exhausted and my head is still throbbing. I'm not sure if I should go find the cafeteria or if I should try and take a nap or what. My schedule paper shows that I should be at lunch now and perhaps that means that there are only certain times of the day when meals are made available in 13? I sigh and decide that I need to suck it up and go eat. As much as a room full of strangers isn't appealing to me at the moment, the idea of food is. I'm starving.
I follow the crowds to the cafeteria and my hope is that I can slip in and out, unnoticed. No such luck though. As soon as I step off the elevator, I run straight into Gale. It's instantly uncomfortable. I need to apologize for this morning but I don't want to do so with an audience.
"Um, hi. Can I talk to you for a minute? Alone?" I ask as I suck in a deep breath.
"Yeah, of course you can. Come on." He tells me and heads for the empty stairwell. I follow, feeling guilty about the sadness I can see in his eyes.
Once we're in the stairwell, he turns to me and tries to start. "Listen, I'm really sorry for this morn…"
"No, wait. I want to apologize to you actually." I interrupt. "Seeing as that we're married, I know it must seem as if I over reacted this morning when you walked in as I was dressing and I'm sorry for the manner in which I handled the situation. I shouldn't have yelled or slammed the door the way that I did."
His face relaxes a little but the sadness still lingers in his eyes. "I know this is all overwhelming and I can't imagine how strange it all feels for you right now. I'll try and be more aware of what I'm doing and be more careful. I really am sorry for upsetting you."
"I wasn't thinking. I should've dressed in the bathroom. It was partly my own fault. I should be more careful too. I'm just not used to sharing my space I guess." I offer up a smile.
He smiles back but it still seems uneasy underneath it all. "Well, how about some lunch?"
"I'm starving actually." I confess. And we make our way back into the cafeteria.
I watch as she and Gale walk into the cafeteria together. They seem very uncomfortable. Stiff almost. This morning when I was showing Madge the way to the Medical Center, she'd seemed like her normal self, minus having a memory anyway. She talked to me just like she has the whole time we've been friends. She told me she was having a hard time settling in and I kinda got the feeling that mostly had to do with Gale. It's got to be hard. Waking up and finding out that you're married to someone. Especially when that someone is Gale Hawthorne and you're the Mayor's daughter.
From the miserable look on Gale's face this morning after he arrived late to Orientation, I have a feeling this must be doing a number on him too. Even now, seeing them together, they don't look happy. I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me is terribly sad for Madge. She must be so scared and feel really, really lost right now. But on the other hand, part of me feels a surge of hope over all this. I'm sure it's futile but I can't help but hope that maybe this is my chance. Madge will have to fall in love with Gale all over again and while there's a very real chance that will happen, there's also a chance that it won't. I mean, what if she just doesn't? What if this is the chance I never really got? I feel like an awful person even thinking such things but I just can't help it. I've loved her for so long. What if this is how fate wanted it to be? What if fate always planned it this way?
I made the mistake of talking to Marah about it. She's always known how I felt about Madge and she's never been a fan of my being sidelined as just a friend. When she heard that Madge didn't remember being with Gale, she jumped at the chance to try and help me win Madge over. It feels dishonest though. Dishonest to Madge and that's the last thing I'd want. Marah agreed to not act on anything and to stay out of it but I know her well enough to know that she won't do it. Not for long anyway.
So now I have this whole dilemma of what I should do. Do I tell Madge about my feelings for her? Remind her that she loves Gale and not me? Or do I use her whole memory loss as my chance to get a different ending for the two of us? Do I tell her how I feel and then let it play out however it may? Or would that just alienate her from even being my friend? I sigh and decide at the very least, Madge could use a friend right now. I grab my tray and head over to where they're sitting and plop myself down next to Madge. I don't let my eyes meet Gale's because I know he'll be shooting me looks.
"Hey guys, mind if I join you?" I ask, trying to sound upbeat and easygoing.
"Hi Tripp!" Madge greets me. Gale mumbles a hello.
"Man, this food is terrible! Talk about bland." I say, making conversation as I push my food around my plate. And it is true, this is the worst food I've ever had.
Madge laughs. "It certainly isn't Café worthy, is it?"
"No, it certainly isn't. I'd give anything to be able to get in that kitchen and cook myself a decent meal right now."
"I'd love to be able to cook! At least you have the ability should you ever get a chance to get in that kitchen." Madge jokes.
I glance over at Gale out of the corner of my eye. He's watching Madge and the look on his face just shows how sad he is about her memory loss. I look back at Madge, unsure if I should share with her that she does indeed know how to cook. Before I can speak up though, Gale beats me to the punch.
"Well, you're a decent cook yourself you know." Gale says suddenly. I'm surprised because I wasn't expecting him to tell her seeing as how I was the one that taught her.
"What? I can't cook! I can barely make a sandwich!" Madge says in confusion.
"Nope. Not anymore. You became quite the cook and you did a remarkable job of keeping me fed every night." He tells her with a grin. One of his flirtatious grins. He's marking his turf. Subtly letting me know he's gonna fight for her all over again. It angers me a bit and I think to myself, game on Hawthorne, game on.