Ch. 6

Katniss' hands shook as she poured me a cup of tea. She had just recently found Haymitch passed out drunk and wasn't able to wake him, even with her age old method of dumping water on him. She rushed to the bakery and showed up panting. I walked back with her, reassuring her that everything was going to be okay. Of course Haymitch woke a few hours later, his shirt damp. He was mad that we were just sitting there staring at him, but what else could we do? Katniss tried to give him some detoxifying mix her mother had up in the cupboard, but he refused. Saying, "I've suffered much worse," as he took a swig from his coffee that we all knew had white liquor in.

We left his house after cleaning his kitchen and making him promise that he'd call us before he went to sleep and when he woke up or else we would be right back over. The whole thing had shaken Katniss up pretty bad. I could only imagine what had run through her head. Him too? Could I keep anyone?

"Don't ever do that to me." She said across the table, her eyes focused on her cup of tea. Her hair was out of its normal braid, cascading down her shoulders.

"Katniss, I would never." I whisper back. The whole idea of drowning sorrows in some substance was appealing at times, but losing her, losing everything we've built up in these last few months was much scarier than my troubles now.

"I might. Who's to say I won't start drinking like him? Who's to say I'll ever get over all of this?" It'd been a few weeks since my episode. Katniss now called her mother weekly, and my pills were taken when they were supposed to be taken. Both of us had started to trust more than we ever had.

"Because I won't let you. Just like you won't let me. If you ever feel like that's what you have to do, come to me." She looks up to me now, her grey eyes locking with my blue. We stay like this for a while, if anyone were watching in the window I'm sure they would find it weird. But it was moments like these when I felt most content.

"Peeta, what if I'm not what you want?" I laugh with a dry humor. It was such a silly, unrealistic question.

"Katniss, you're all I've ever wanted. Even when I didn't know it, I did. The monster told me other wise, but I was still in there wanting you more than anything. Katniss I'll always want you. Yesterday, today, tomorrow." She slides her hand across the table, locking it with mine.

"Even when I'm like I am today." Scared, shell-shocked, lost in her own fears.

"Especially when you're like you are today." She stands, dropping her hand and moving to sit on my lap.

"I'm sorry for everything I ever did to you. Lying to you in the Games, ignoring you, abandoning you in Thirteen. I'm so sorry Peeta, you deserve so much more." She whispers.

And I answer back, "I'm sorry I ever hurt you." And then she's kissing me, differently than she ever has. Passion coursing through both of our veins. I question every kiss we've ever had before, if I had ever put this much into it.

"I'll never leave you." I whisper in between kisses.

I know she feels it because she doesn't stop, and we are like this in the dining room for a perfect eternity, melting into each other's hearts.

I don't know how it stops, or why it stops, but it does and soon enough I'm carrying her sleeping body up the stairs.

I couldn't find it in myself to sleep that night, too marveled by how breathtaking my night had been and how scary my morning had been. She looks so peaceful in her sleep, like nothing has ever plagued her life. You couldn't tell that she had lost her father, that she was forced to kill, that she lost her friends, her sister, that she was told she had to do it alone. You couldn't tell how damaged this girl was, and you also couldn't tell how much I cared for her.

She awoke well into the night, not because of nightmares, she reassured me, but because she wasn't tired anymore.

I had my arm wrapped around her and her head rested on my shoulder.

"Do you think we've reached that kinder tomorrow?" She whispers to me.

"I don't know, but I feel safe. I feel somewhat happy. I have you and the bakery, I can paint, and even though he scares us at times we have Haymitch. Things are hard, but I like the life I have." All the people that I've lost flash inside my head. I missed them, it was true, but life was okay.

"I never allowed myself to dream of a world like this. One without the Games. One where I didn't have to fear for the children I might have. In my mind it was nearly impossible. It has been hard, but right now, it feels like that kinder tomorrow." She turns her head and kisses my cheek before sitting up and just staring at me.

There's something there in her eyes that I've never seen before. A peace that I had just witnessed in her sleep. A victory over her suffering. I remember coming to her months ago, pleading with her to grow, and she had. She had grown with me. I could see the look in her eyes that I had always thought my eyes looked like when I looked at her. And I thought I must be crazy. I must be lying to myself. But no, that look was there.

And so I wander out into uncharted waters, "You love me, real or not real?"

She does not contemplate her answer, it seems like less than a second when she answers, "Real."

The End.

Might not've been expecting this to be the end, but I feel like now was the time to do it. It took so long for me to update because I had no clue what to write. I know I said there would be more than five chapters, and there was, but only one. Sorry if you were looking for a much longer story. I thought this is how I should end it.

This is also the end to my time at fanfiction, I have had such an amazing year writing about the story that holds my heart, but it's time to move on. And who knows maybe I'll have an idea and write it out, but for now, I'm done. ((I have an original story going on, maybe someday you'll see it in the book store and read it))

I want to thank all you amazing readers that have been with me for any amount of time. It has been an amazing ride and something I will never forget.

My one last final plea, Please REVIEW, just one last time, it would mean the absolute world to me, and if you want to talk to me PM me, I'll be sure to get back to you! REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! Thanks so much to all of you. ((my last sign off I might cry, oh goodness)) ~boywithbreadlover ((that might be the very last time I ever write that, and that is very sad to me...))