Last chapter, *Sniffles*
Hello everyone! Thanks for all the reviews, it makes me so happy to hear from you guys! Love you all (so hows your day going? I hope its good!)
It really inspires me to write from hearing from you guys!
I've decided I won't be doing a sequel any time soon, I'm sorry for that guys but I'm so busy with my other stories and stuffs.
Random disclaimer: Suzanne Collins Owns Hunger games. I am merely rewriting it as if Katniss were stronger along with Peeta.
Much bowing and cheering follows. My arm is about to fall off from waving when Caesar Flickerman finally bids the audience good night, reminding them to tune in tomorrow for the final interviews. As if they have a choice.
The sun is just peeking over the horizon when we straggle back to the twelfth floor of the Training Center. I think now I'll finally get a word alone with Peeta, but Haymitch sends him off with Portia to get something fitted for the interview and personally escorts me to my door.
"Why can't I talk to him?" I ask.
"Plenty of time for talk when we get home," says Haymitch. "Go to bed, you're on air at two."
Despite Haymitch's running interference, I'm determined to see Peeta privately.
I needed to explain my actions, I knew from the kiss he forgave me, but I would feel better.
His door was closed, but I heard him moving around inside. Good, he wasn't asleep yet. I knocked the door carefully and stepped back to wait nervously. He answered almost immediately, wearing the huge smile that I loved. "Hey Katniss."
"Hey Peeta, I'm not feeling too well. Do you mind if we go and get some air?"
Peeta understood immediately and grabbed my hand to lead me to the roof. I ignored the enjoyment I felt at his touch.
He shut the door behind us and pulled me to the railing, taking both my hands in his. I took a deep breath. "I'm so, so sorry Peeta. I wish you didn't have to see that. I need you to understand though, Haymitch sent me a message. He wanted a show. At first I didn't understand why, but I suppose I understood him more than I thought. The rule change, they wouldn't keep it unless I tortured Cato, I'm so, so sorry-"
He placed his finger on my lips, effectively ending my babbling. "I understand Katniss. Although I'm not ready to forgive you yet for drugging me," I smiled sheepishly when he mentioned the sleep syrup. "I can forgive you for everything else."
I didn't stop him when he pulled me into a hug, when he tilted my chin with his hand to kiss me. By the time we parted both of us were gasping for breath. "I'm so glad you forgive me Peeta."
He rocked back and forth with me in his arms, staring into my dull grey eyes. "I could never stay mad at you Katniss."
I sighed, it felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. There were still thing's to worry about though, the whole capitol does want us dead after all. "Katniss?" I hummed to signal I had heard him. "What else is wrong? You still look troubled."
Should I tell him? I don't want to put him in any more danger. "It's fine Peeta. I'm just tired."
He stared at me for a few more moments. "I don't believe that Katniss. Please tell me whats wrong? You know you can trust me."
"Not now Peeta. When we're back home."
He sighed but nodded slowly. "Promise?"
Peeta gave me one last kiss before we headed back inside. I quickly get back in bed and pretend to sleep until Effie Trinket comes to alert me to the start of another "big, big, big day!"
I have about five minutes to eat a bowl of hot grain and stew before the prep team descends. All I have to say is, "The crowd loved you!" and it's unnecessary to speak for the next couple of hours. When Cinna comes in, he shoos them out and dresses me in a white, gauzy dress and pink shoes. Then he personally adjusts my makeup until I seem to radiate a soft, rosy glow.
The interview takes place right down the hall in the sitting room. A space has been cleared and the love seat has been moved in and surrounded by vases of red and pink roses. There are only a handful of cameras to record the event. No live audience at least.
Caesar Flickerman gives me a warm hug when I. come in. "Congratulations, Katniss. How are you faring?"
"Fine. Nervous about the interview," I say.
"Don't be. We're going to have a fabulous time," he says, giving my cheek a reassuring pat.
"I'm not good at talking about myself," I say.
"Nothing you say will be wrong," he says.
And I think, Oh, Caesar, if only that were true. But actually, President Snow may be arranging some sort of "accident" for me as we speak.
Then Peeta's there looking handsome in red and white, pulling me off to the side. "I have to tell you how pretty you look Katniss." A faint red glow appeared on his cheeks.
I find myself giggling and blushing slightly as well. Oh, the effect Peeta has on me. "Thanks. You look very nice yourself."
"Now, don't worry about the interview Katniss. I'll be there okay?" How did he know I was nervous? I gulp before nodding.
We sit somewhat formally on the love seat, but Caesar says, "Oh, go ahead and curl up next to him if you want. It looked very sweet." So I tuck my feet up and Peeta pulls me in close to him.
Someone counts backward and just like that, we're being broadcast live to the entire country. Caesar Flickerman is wonderful, teasing, joking, getting choked up when the occasion presents itself. He and Peeta already have the rapport they established that night of the first interview, that easy banter, so I just smile a lot and try to speak as little as possible. I mean, I have to talk some, but as soon as I can I redirect the conversation back to Peeta.
Eventually though, Caesar begins to pose questions that insist on fuller answers. "Well, Peeta, we know, that it was love at first sight for you from what, age five?" Caesar says.
"From the moment I laid eyes on her," says Peeta.
"But, Katniss, what a ride for you. I think the real excitement for the audience was watching you fall for him. When did you realize you were in love with him?" asks Caesar.
"It was difficult for me, to open myself up for him. He was always there, protecting me. I suppose I always had loved him. But I began to admit it more when they announced the rule change." Loved. I felt an odd shiver run through me as I said the word. Yes, I did indeed love Peeta.
"Why do you think that was?" urges Caesar.
"Maybe. because for the first time. there was a chance I could keep him," I say.
Behind a cameraman, I see Haymitch give a sort of huff with relief and I know I've said the right thing. Caesar pulls out a handkerchief and has to take a moment because he's so moved. I can feel Peeta press his forehead into my temple and he asks, "So now that you've got me, what are you going to do with me?"
I turn in to him. "Put you somewhere you can't get hurt." And when he kisses me, people in the room actually sigh.
For Caesar, this is a natural place to segue into all the ways we did get hurt in the arena, from burns, to stings, to wounds.
"Katniss, I know you've had a shock, but I've got to ask. The moment when you got the knife, knowing that it was to be used to take care of Cato. What was going on in your mind. hm?" he says. I suppose that's how it went then, I recieved the knife, the message being that it was for Cato. No mention of the very tangible rule change.
I take a long pause before I answer, trying to collect my thoughts. It seems to call for a big, dramatic speech, but all I get out is one almost inaudible sentence. "I don't know, I just. couldn't bear the thought of. being without him."
"Peeta? Anything to add?" asks Caesar.
"No. I think that goes for both of us," he says.
Caesar signs off and it's over. Everyone's laughing and crying and hugging, but I'm still not sure until I reach Haymitch. "Okay?" I whisper.
"Perfect," he answers.
I go back to my room to collect a few things. They drive us through the streets in a car with blackened windows, and the train's waiting for us. We barely have time to say good-bye to Cinna and Portia, although we'll see them in a few months, when we tour the districts for a round of victory ceremonies.
The train begins moving and we're plunged into night until we clear the tunnel and I take my first free breath since the reaping. Effie is accompanying us back and Haymitch, too, of course. In my room, as I slowly, thoroughly wash the makeup from my face and put my hair in its braid, I begin transforming back into myself. Katniss Everdeen. A girl who lives in the Seam. Hunts in the woods. Trades in the Hob. I stare in the mirror as I try to remember who I am and who I am not. By the time I join the others, the pressure of Peeta's arm around my shoulders feels alien.
When the train makes a brief stop for fuel, we're allowed to go outside for some fresh air. There's no longer any need to guard us. Peeta and I walk down along the track, hand in hand, and I can't find anything to say now that we're alone. He stops to gather a bunch of wildflowers for me. When he presents them, I work hard to look pleased. Because he can't know that the pink-and-white flowers are the tops of wild onions and only remind me of the hours I've spent gathering them with Gale.
Gale. What will happen between us? He was just a brother, right? I had been lying to him. I realized now that he cared about me, in a non paternal way.
"What's wrong?" Peeta asks.
"Nothing," I answer. We continue walking, past the end of the train, out where even I'm fairly sure there are no cameras hidden in the scrubby bushes along the track. Still no words come.
Haymitch startles me when he lays a hand on my back. Even now, in the middle of nowhere, he keeps his voice down. "Great job, you two. Just keep it up in the district until the cameras are gone. We should be okay." I watch him head back to the train, avoiding Peeta's eyes.
"What's he mean?" Peeta asks me.
"It's the Capitol. They didn't like how I tortured Cato and the death of Foxface," I blurt out.
"What? What are you talking about?" he says.
"It seemed too rebellious. So, Haymitch has been coaching me through the last few days. So I didn't make it worse," I say.
"Coaching you? But not me," says Peeta.
"He knew you were smart enough to get it right," I say.
"I didn't know there was anything to get right," says Peeta. "So, what you're saying is, these last few days and then I guess. back in the arena. that was just some strategy you two worked out."
"No. I mean, I couldn't even talk to him in the arena, could I?" I stammer. He drops my hand and I take a step, as if to catch my balance.
"It was all for the Games," Peeta says. "How you acted."
My turn to be angry. I shoved my fists against his chest. "How could you think that Peeta? After everything we've been through! Of course I love you," I paused waiting for him to respond. When he didn't I grew angrier. "What is it then, you don't love me?"
He didn't speak, only tilt his head downwards.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. He didn't love me. The tears formed in my eyes before I even registered the pain, he didn't love me. Peeta saw this of course and began laughing.
Laughing at my misery.
In my weakened state he grabbed me by the shoulders, pulling me forward. And planting a kiss right on my lips.
I bit his lower lip and pushed him off me. "What was that Peeta!"
"You're and idiot Katniss. I will always love you. I love you more than life Katniss. Now be quiet." He pulled me back against him, placing another kiss on my lips.
This time I didn't bite back.
D'awwwwww. Cheesy ending I know, but hey.
So there you go guys, I hope you enjoyed reading my story, I certainly loved having you read it!
Thank you again to all my readers. As a thanks I'll be writing a chapter containing a reviewers scene. If you want in your review suggest a scene for me to re-write in Peeta's Pov.
Or anyone's POV.
Or just a scene to do...
Anyways, love you all!
(P.S Check out my other stories if you want :D)