For President Snow's Winter Writing Challenge 2013 (Hunger Games Ultimate Contests).

Prompt: "I'll be Home for Christmas." Write about a pairing of your choice being reunited during the winter after one of them has been away for a long time. At least 200 words.

He had left their home after things got too much for him. There was too much white, too much blue, too much capital, and he wanted brown and black and the colors of the Seam.

So he left.

When she was sleeping in their bed, dead to the world, he was awake. He was very awake. He slipped from under her possessive and loving hand and left the house silently.

Under the stars, he traveled back to the Seam. Back to the forest.

There, he hunted. He ate. He ran. He slept. He shivered.

He lived.

But when that was all over, he decided that it was best to go back. After all, he did miss his girl. What if she had taken up with another man? His hair stood on end at the mere thought of it.

He only hoped that she had missed him as well. He only hoped that she had forgiven him.


Her hair had turned white. Her beautiful blonde hair had turned white.

Had she really aged so much in his absence?

But his panic soon passed as he approached her. Her hair was bleached by the sunlight's reflections.

"Where have you been?" she walked towards him and put her hand on her hips in indignation.

He looked at her with wide eyes—innocently, he hoped. Her brow was furrowed, and her mouth was set in frustration.

But most of all, she looked relieved.

He was enveloped in a huge hug and he made a sound of contentment.

"Don't ever do that again!" she scolded, the sound muffled by his body. "I worried about you all this morning! You could have frozen to death!"

He said nothing and nuzzled closer, as if to say, 'sleep with me tonight?'

"Let's get you some milk."

Buttercup purred in response. Yes, that would be a good idea.