Chapter One


Gale was tired.

But he's more annoyed, at the moment.

Who knew pretending to not notice the freaks could be so…so…well, tiring?!

The Capitol reporters had been hounding him since most people directed them to him when asked about Katniss Everdeen. 'Hostile' didn't seem to have an effect on them. No matter how hard he tried to discourage their approach, these weirdly accented creatures were unfazed. They want the juicy details of his and Katniss' relationship at whatever cost.

Or maybe they were just that insensitive. Must be, they lived in Capitol.

They were down to eight (or seven, he forgot) kids when the reporters were deployed to the remaining tributes' districts to conduct interviews. He had to clench his fist, hard, to keep himself from socking the woman who interviewed Prim the first time.

"Your sister's so brave, aren't you glad she found love, even in the games? Do you think they'll be able to kill each other?Isn't it romantic? If you didn't get pick then, Peeta would never have told Katniss his love! Such tragedy!"

"How do you think she would kill Cato or Clove? Or Thresh? If they didn't finish her off, first! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Prim just smiled throughout the interview. And when they finished with her and her mother, they advanced to him. The people parted to make way for them and he greeted the freaks with a glare.

" So you're Gale Hawthorne? You're very good looking and tall and built!" she fan herself and wink at him, "Are you sure you're just Katniss' friend?"

He looked at the obviously-trying-hard-to-look-young lady and said, "Yes."

He was tempted to say that his feelings for Katniss were more than friendly. He wanted to announce it, just like Peeta did and he's sure it would've made big news in the Capitol. But he didn't.

Knowing how it would affect Katniss' chances in the Games, he simply told them they were cousins. With their similar colouring (gray eyes, dark hair), they could be. Only, they didn't buy it entirely. They still kept turning up on their doorstep, wanting to have an interview with her 'cousins'. His one to two-word answers must have fascinated them. He wondered if they even have a brain in their skull or maybe they had it injected with neon paint. He wouldn't be surprised if they did.

How good it must be, to be able to afford some silliness in life?

What a bunch of privileged turd!

Give them blood and in return they'll give you food. Or something that look a lot like food.

He rarely hunted anymore, making his promise to Katniss harder to keep. He can't just rely on tesserae! How will he feed two families without going to the woods? His only source of income and majority of their food, had been taken away with the freaks' arrival!

Capitol, Keeping the Districts Hungry for 74 Years! And Counting!

Not if I can help it, he thought.

They were here for three days already. Even at school, they didn't relent. They must think they're pretty clever, hiding from him and following him.

Yes, they stayed away from his actual classes but his hunter instict told him they weren't that far from him. Every corner he glanced, he saw their attempt at hiding, which laughable under normal circumstances. There were three and their bright clothes stood out from the sea of drabness, one of them even attempted to hide behind a boy. He's very skinny in gray shirt and she's porky, wearing a yellow coat. It's infuriating!

They really wanted a reaction from him, huh?

There's some rule change, which he didn't buy, about having two winners if they were from the same district. So now, Katniss and Peeta were reunited, holed up in some pretty cozy cave. Mellark's must in heaven. Maybe not, he's in bad shape, Gale doubts he'll survive. She made herself vulnerable by teaming with him. He knew she knows that but knowing that she knew made him uncomfortable. The very thing that would made the reporters' day, the uncomfortable cousin. Or whatever.

After his classes, he made his way home. With the reporters on his tail.

"Won't they give it a rest, already?" he muttered as he looked away from the person behind a tree, hiding, with his bright orange hat showing, "There wasn't even a story here!"

After a few blocks into the Seam, he decided to lose them. It easier because there were more houses and alleys to lost them into. Without another thought, he ran.


AN: This is going to be an alternating POV between Madge and Gale.