Hey, quick authors note, this is my first fanfic story ever! I loved the Hunger Games series, and Katniss and Peeta's relationship and just wish it had been explored more thoroughly in Mockingjay. After reading so many of your amazing stories it inspired my to write this story. I starts at the end of Catching Fire/ Begging of Mockingjay. I plan for it to continue on to their life after the war. We'll see how it goes.
Anyways, happy reading!
"Katniss!" Peeta's voice fights its way through the haze brought on by the blood lost from the deep gash carved into my arm by Johanna. I try to search out for him but all I can hear is the fast footfall of two others – too fast for Peeta's pace. I scream out Peeta's name in hopes of catching the others attention, anything to protect Peeta. But it doesn't work, I can hear them and they're not moving in my direction – as well as I can in my state I try to follow the direction of Peeta's voice, ignoring my thundering footsteps alerting everyone else of my presence. I need to get to Peeta. He hollers out for me again and I scream his name, hoping somehow the louder I shout the closer it'll bring me to him.
As I tumble through the forest I'm suddenly knocked off my feet onto the floor, a large mass following after me – pinning me to the ground. I scream in panic, arms flailing pathetically in front of me trying to push the human like figure off me. "Katniss!" It calls to me, looking me in the eyes, it's then I realise it's Peeta – his familiar beautiful blue eyes searching me, darting between my panic stricken face and the blood gushing from my arm. "Katniss we need to get out of here." He gasps trying to catch his breath while clutching my arms and tugging me to my feet. I can't react, I'm stunned by the happy delirium that he's okay, I found him. Now we just need to outlive the others during the blood bath which was ensuing around us.
"Peeta," I breathed out slowly, cupping his face with my hands, he tries to move away – in a rush to get away from the scene, but I tug him to me pushing my lips firmly against his, warmth instantly radiating through my body. The hunger I felt at the beach returns to me and I deepen our kiss, never wanting it to end – wanting to stay in the world of just me and Peeta, no hunger games and no impending death. He mumbles something about needing to move but I just lower my head to his strong chest, his heart thumping wildly inside. "I'll never leave you again," I promise, tears streaking down my face before the whole world starts to lose clarity and slowly fades to black.
As I wake up it takes me a while to realise where I am, lying flat on my back staring at the blank ceiling in my small cabin back in district thirteen. Warm salty tears reach my mouth and I realise I've began crying. These dreams are much worse than the nightmares because they fill me with hope, which is torn apart as soon as I remember the truth. Peeta is dead. The capital took him during the rescue from the hunger games, and he hasn't been heard from since. A sudden ache erupts through my chest and I sit up angrily brushing the tears from my face. They took Peeta from me, and they would pay.
"Katniss, are you alright?" Prim asked from across the room, her delicate face screwed up slightly as she rubbed her eyes stirring from sleep. Without answering she knew my answer and quick moved across the room before clambering onto my bed and wrapping her arms around me. "Was it a bad dream?" She asked, looking up at me through her long eyelashes, she looked so young like this – yet her demeanour had aged so many years during the last few months. Sometimes I felt it was now her looking after me instead of the other way round.
"No," I shook my head, looking at the wall behind her as my eyes teared up again, "it was a good one." Prim frowned for a moment before recognition casted over her features, without need for explanation she pulled me closer. "It's gonna be okay Katniss, we'll be safe here." I nodded my head slightly to try and appease her, because it wasn't my safety that had been concerning me. After a few moments of us sitting holding each other mother began to stir and we moved apart slowly, ready to carry on with our normal everyday routines, which were always so mundane here in thirteen. I got up and ready for the day, checking my schedule on my arm – even though I knew I was unlikely to actually follow much of it. I missed the freedom from twelve, being able to go and hunt, spend time with people I loved, even just sitting starting at the hilly landscape that surrounded the district – instead of option of staring at walls here. Mother and Prim left earlier than me, going to work in the medical ward, but not long after I forced myself to leave the room – only to bump into a friendly face as I opened the door.
"Hey Catnip," he grinned, his smile managing to reach right across his face as he looked at me. I forced a small smile before greeting him.
"Gale, what are you doing here?" I asked, trying to keep my tone light as to not offend him.
"Well, actually I came to tell you to ignore your schedule; we've been given the day of because we're required for a meeting with Coin in a couple of hours. But I thought we could spend a bit on time together before that." Gale quickly took my hand and began dragging me down the hallway. I groaned inwardly thinking of the meeting later – what could Coin really want that was so important they'd cancel our entire days schedule. Did I really want to know? As we rounded a corner Gale quickly spun back on himself, catching me in front of his chest before pulling me towards him and sealing my lips with his own. I tried not to tense as he caught me off guard, and it often offended him if he felt I was resisting at all. "I've missed you," he breathed out as he moved away from me, a schoolboy grin creeping over his face.
"You saw me yesterday," I rolled my eyes at him before continuing down the hall, already knowing he would probably be taking me to the training centre, the one place that felt slightly like home with bows in our hands.
"Well sorry Catnip, can't I miss my girlfriend," he called to me as he jogged to catch me up at the end of the corridor. I tried not to cringe at the use of the word girlfriend. After I had got back from the quarter quell, Gale had spent a lot of time in and out the hospital trying to help me recover – without knowing that a lot of my pain was not physical, and something he would never be able to help with. Eventually I found he was getting much closer to me, and I began to feel hints that he wanted more than friendship again. This was confirmed a few months later when I found his lips on mine, I didn't resist. There had always been something between me and Gale, or there should have been – everyone had expected it and so I let it happen. I couldn't bear to break another boy's heart after all I had done to him and Peeta in the past. We had officially been 'together' for three months now, and although we never did anything more than light kisses, Gale didn't push it any further – scared that any more physical contact would scare me back into the emotional barricade I usually had up.
I spent the rest of the journey in silence, holding on to Gale's hand as we made our way through the many levels of district 13 to the training centre. We spent the afternoon practicing shooting and setting up snares – it almost felt as though we were back in twelve, without a care in the world except which squirrel we had our eyes on next. Only here there was no squirrels, no wind blowing through my hair, and no lake that I used to sit by with my father. Thinking of my woods tugged at my heart lightly but I let it slide, it was the first time in a long time in this district that I had felt free. Finally with a bow in my hand I had something else to focus on except the war and my pain. All too soon our meeting with Coin was upon us and we made our way to the Collective, a huge room used for meeting and our weekly Reflection, in which President Coin would make updates on the war efforts and any goings on in the district. Only when we arrived the room was only host to a small number of people. Of those I recognised were Haymitch and Plutarch, the five others were all soldiers in thirteen. I gave Haymitch a small nod, our encounters here had been brief since he had been so involved in many of the war efforts, for the meantime I had been ordered by the doctors to keep out of it due to my fragile mental state. Coin appeared a moment later before taking a seat in front of us all.
"Thank you all for coming, I have some urgent news concerning an update we have received from the Capital. This information if extremely confidential, hence why I have called only those necessary." She began, looking round the room slowly at us all. I wondered what the announcement could be considering those who had been called. "We have received news that there are several high profile members of the rebellion being held by Snow in the Capital. An undercover agent has informed me that he plans to use them in televised interviews with Caesar Flickerman in order to ruin the image of the rebels." People began muttering between themselves as Coin took a break from talking but I just frowned to myself, who could these high profile people be? "And so.." Coin continued, recapturing everyone's attention. "We are going to devise an operation to get these people out before any damage can be done to the cause. It will be a small operation, and a quick in and out to avoid arousing suspicion. Haymitch I want you to stay behind and be in control of command, Plutarch, I was thinking you can set up a small camera crew – very inconspicuous, to maybe get footage of the Capitols hostages, help fuel the fire. We need some good footage since Katniss still cannot go out into the field." She gave a pointed look in my direction, something passed across her face, almost annoyance. "Plus she is too closely affiliated with those in captive to be efficient at the job. So I suggest taking Gale with you, he's completed most his training and is high profile enough for people to recognise him." I stiffened, clutching onto Gale's hand – which didn't clutch back, he just stared blankly ahead. "And Boggs," she looked at one of the soldiers present, he was of a tall broad build and I felt I'd probably seen him around Coin before, "you are in charge of setting up a squadron; I need them ready for two days' time."
Two days, my throat closed up and I gave a small choking sound. All this had come so suddenly, and now Gale was being taken into danger on a mission that sounded positively suicidal to me. Everyone began to clear out the room whereas Gale stayed seated, slowly turning towards me.
"Katniss I'll be fine," he smiled weakly, taking my hands in his. "It's what I've been training for."
"I don't understand," I croaked after a few moments, "why do you have to go instead of me, why is this so important?" I gazed at him, he looked to be contemplating what to say before he sighed heavily, forcing himself to look me in the eye.
"Because Katniss, the high profile people they're on about… they're victors from the games."