A/N: Hey guys! I just had to get this idea down before I forgot it! :D :D
(Characters are OCC)
Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games or it's characters. Or Shakespeare's works either.
Chapter One: The new girl in town
The shrill ring of his alarm clock was what he woke up to. Peeta groaned and reached out blindly, not removing his face from where it was currently smushed against his pillow, to switch the criminal gadget off. His hand just missed the clock and sent it to the floor, still bleeping away. Knowing getting up is now ineviatable, Peeta pushed off the bed lazily, rubbing his eyes. He looked down at the annoying clock-which still didn't have the decencey to shut up-and scooped it up into his hand.
A sigh of relief escaped him as silence filled the room and he placed the clock back onto his bedside table, setting it for the same time tomorrow, knowing that it will be the exact same routine again the next morning. Peeta didn't mind that. Change wasn't his most favourite of things.
"Peeta!" His mother screeched up the stairs-breaking the silence and making him jump-"You better be up!"
"I'am mom!" Peeta called back.
"You better not be lying boy!" His mother replied. "Or I'll clip your ear!"
"I'm not lying!" he said back. He stood up and headed into the bathroom to get ready for school. Peeta's mother wasn't the most cherising person in the world, definetly not going to win any #1 mom awards any time soon. It could be worse . . . there's people out there with no mothers at all . . . that was a bad thing, right?
School wasn't the worst places to be during the week. It was better than staying at home 24/7. Then again, Peeta knew that most people didn't feel the same way and on many a number of occasions he'd been told he was a nerd so maybe that's why he didn't mind compulsory education too much. Although, being the only district in the entirety of Panem to have school uniforms was a tad irritating. Especially when the colours were criminal.
Staring at himself in the mirror, Peeta winced slightly at his reflection. Black and green were not the best colours for clothes at all. He attempted to fix his messy hair and sighed when a section at the back kept springing back up.
The door to the bedroom burst open and Peeta's brother Rye stumbled in, panting as if he'd just ran a marathon. "Mom's about to bust a nut Peet," he said. "We need to get out there before she loses her wig."
"It's not even that late," Peeta replied, confused. He smoothed back the springy part of his hair, sighing when it sprang back up.
"There's some deliveries that need done on the way there," Rye explained. Compared to his brother, Rye looked like he'd been dragged backwards through a hedge with his shirt untucked, tie loosened casually, and shoes covered in dirt. "And she's absoloutely convinced we won't make them all if we don't leave now."
"Can't Nann do it?" Their eldest brother-Nathan-was the only one of the three who didn't have a bread related name so-as punishment for such an injustice-both Peeta and Rye decided to call him Nann. Nathan left school a couple of years ago and now worked part time at the bakery.
Rye shook his head. "He's doing community service. Broke curfew last night and mom has him cleaning up the store room. Now come on, we need to go!"
It wasn't that the Mellark boys were afraid of their mother but they weren't partically fond of making her angry for . . . reasons. Peeta sighed and grabbed his backpack, following his brother out the door and down the stairs to where their mother stood impatiently at the door to the bakery, tapping her foot irritabely.
"What took you so long?" she snapped.
"Sorry mom," Peeta sighed, knowing it was best to not point out the fact that it was her fault he wasn't ready on time because she hadn't told him that they were doing some deliveries on the way to school.
"What am I going to do with you?" Mrs. Mellark sighed heavily. She opened the door and ficked her head through the doorway. "Both of you: out."
District 12 High School wasn't even that far from the Mellark bakery, in fact, it was literally down the road. Peeta and Rye had claimed on numerous occasions that they could walk (mostly to stay out of the road of their mom) but Mrs. Mellark said the same thing every single time.
"I'am not having my sons walking down the filthy Seam streets with all the other brats!"
Peeta didn't mind the Seam, or the people who lived in it, but most of the residents of the Merchant part of town were too far up themselves to think of the Seam kids as anything but people to look down their noses at. The children of the Seam always seem to have more fun. Merchant kids are expected to be polite, stay inside to work on learning the family business and never socialize with anyone apart from those close to them. Peeta wondered what it was like to be from the Seam. To be free to go out at night, to have friends, to not have the burden of taking over the family business hovering over your shoulders. Sometimes Peeta wished that was the life he had.
As his mother ushered Rye and himself into the car, Peeta spied Madge Undersee walking down her path with an unfamilar girl. Madge was the mayor's daughter and he'd occasionally say hello to her in passing but they didn't know each other too well. Madge was mostly quiet anyway. The girl beside Madge caught his attention the most. Her hair was tied in a messy braid but that was all Peeta could make out. His curiousity burning, he tried to see who it was, but his mother suddenly pulled the car off the curb and his face smashed into the glass window. Rye burst out laughing at him.
"Smooth move slick," he cackled as Peeta groaned in pain and pinched his nose.
"Shut up Rye," he snapped.
When he turned back to where he was staring, both girls were gone. Peeta sighed and slumped back into his seat as his mother drove past the Mayor's home.
Registration was the class Peeta tried the most to stay invisible. It was one of the things he did best but when he did occasionally capture the attention of the odd popular girl or jock it turned into an entire fifteen minutes of 'poke fun at the bread boy' before the bell rang.
For the past year, he had been working through numerous Shakespeare novels and he'd just begun 'The Taming of the Shrew,' the previous night. Sometimes even just deciding to read instead of using the free time to finish homework or chat to his non existant friends was enough of a reason to give the people in his class to decide to start of him. He didn't know why though. Reading was reading. Maybe their puny minds were still too primitive to understand that.
"Okay class, settle down," Mr. Abernathy snapped as he shuffled into the room. Peeta srunched up his nose as the man passed his desk reeking of alcohol but hid the disgust evident on his face by burying his nose further into the book. "We've got a new student today so be nice and don't give her any of your usual shit."
"Can I come in now?" A confident voice snapped outside the room.
"You were always allowed in sweetheart," Mr. Abernathy snapped back.
"I know," the voice replied. A tanned girl stepped into the room wearing a bright grin. "But I do love to make an entrance."
Peeta was immediately rapted. The girl's dark smoky eyes seemed to hynotise him as they flicked around the room, scanning the area. She was obviously a Seam girl with her caramel skin and dark brown hair which was tied into a braid that wrapped around her shoulder. Then it came to him, she must have been who was walking with Madge this morning. How odd. She didn't seem like the sort Madge would hang around with.
"This is Katniss Everdeen-"
"Sup," Katniss joked, jerking her chin up as she spoke.
Mr. Abernathy glared at her. Katniss made a face and zipped her lips. "And she's transferred from home education," he continued. "So, I say again, be nice."
Katniss unzipped her lips. "Or don't. Whatever. I don't care."
"Take a seat Katniss," Mr. Abernathy sighed.
"Oookaayyy," Katniss replied, scanning the room once more for a seat. Peeta thought she'd chose the one at the back but was internally alarmed as she plopped down on the seat beside him. She dropped her satchel heavily to the floor and kicked her feet up onto the desk.
Her uniform was altered to match her personality. The regulation green girl's skirt was hiked up her thighs and the white blouse was a size too small so the button at her bust looked like it was going to burst (Not that he was looking at her bust. Not at all.) Her black school cardigan was covered in different coloured badges and her tie was loose and small. The look was pulled off with leather combat boots on her feet. Peeta wondered how she could be comfortable walking around the school dressed like that. Especially with all the pervs that hung around.
Peeta tried to ignore the urge to stare at the beautiful girl and focused his eyes on the words on the page of the book. It was working just fine until a bony elbow nudged his arm.
"So, you know my name, what's yours?" Katniss asked, rocking back on her seat. Was she talking to him? She couldn't be . . . no-one spoke to him unless they were mocking him, especially not someone as beautiful as her. Her grey eyes stared at him ecxpectantly and he concluded that she was talking to him.
"Um, P-Peeta," he said, cursing himself as he stuttered. "Peeta M-Mellark."
"Okay, P-Peeta," Katniss grinned. "What'cha reading?"
"Ah, The taming of the Shrew."
"Oh! I know that! It's written by that english dude right? Who was born like a thousand years ago?" Katniss asked enthusiastically.
"Uh . . . yeah, sure," Peeta replied. It seemed to be the best she could do and it was better than some of the stuff other people thought it was.
"You've got to lend me that sometime," Katniss decided. She picked at one of the badges on her cardigan.
Peeta nodded and tried to go back to reading again. Katniss seemed like a nice girl and he sure as hell didn't want to be the reason she didn't make her way in the school just because she was caught talking to him. She still had a chance of climbing the social ladder. It was best that she just left him behind now before she got stuck at the bottom with him and bubbly Delly Cartwright. At least Delly had a poodle at home that liked her . . .
Katniss fashioned a paper airplace and sent it soaring through the class where it landed right in Mr. Abernathy's gel slicked hair. It was so greasy that the airplace sat upright and didn't fall out. The teacher didn't notice. Katniss sniggered. "Did you see that?" she chuckled.
"Uh-huh," Peeta replied, not looking up from the pages. "Bullseye."
There was a pause as Katniss scrutinized him. "I like you," she finally concluded. "You're funny." That pulled him up short. Was she joking? Being sarcastic? Setting him up for some joke? Well, he wasn't going to fall for it.
"Look, I know you're new and all that but you really don't want to be caught with me," Peeta explained to her quietly. "You'll lose any chances of a social life like that-" he clicked his fingers-"because I'm nothing and if you're nice to me, you'll be nothing too."
Katniss listened carefully, her blood red lips pursed. "So you're a loser?" she asked.
"You could say that, yes," Peeta answered. Katniss nodded.
"Don't worry," she smiled, scruffing his hair, wrecking the work he had done to tidy it that morning. She grinned, happy with the new hairstyle. "That won't be a problem."
A/N: So this is a work in progress. Please let me know what you think!
Please R&R! :D