Hi! I will keep this short and sweet. So sorry everyone that it has taken me so long to write this last chapter. I have issues letting go of things I love and I so love this story that I have been making excuses to myself why I can't finish it. But that's not fair to you guys so I apologize. Here is the last and final chapter.
"I dreamt about this once before" I whisper.
"Huh?" Peeta asks, coming back to reality.
"Shhh..." I say whispering even lower. Peeta gasps in surprise as he realizes what he almost did. He slowly turns his head towards the sleeping child who rests on his chest and confirms that he is still asleep. Then, slowly, he turns back to look at me.
"Sorry" he whispers as softly as he can and gives me a sheepish smile. I smile ever so softly back.
"Don't apologize to me. You'll have to take care of him if he wakes up. And he doesn't like to be woken up" I joke but trying to maintain a serious face. But he sees past it and smiles at me. And I can't help smiling stupidly back at him.
"What were you saying about a dream?" he asks remembering what I had originally said.
I shrug. "I don't remember" I lie and I don't know why. I can't help the instinct of protecting myself from my own words. Even after all these years I'm afraid of talking about my feelings, about things that I care about. I know there are no bugs listening in, no hidden cameras, yet I still have an unreasonable angst to hide everything about me, to let nothing out, to say nothing that could be used against me. But I remind myself- no one is taking anyone else you love away from you.
Prim jumps to mind.
I've cried myself out about it more times than I can remember but it still takes all my will to hold back the tears.
Like a mind reader Peeta patiently waits for me to organize my thoughts and feelings again and grab a hold of myself. He examines me carefully, as he has done so many times before, watching for the cue to come and hold me.
A sense of love and security envelops me as fast as it takes away the pain, and it dawns on me, like if it was the first time, just what a good person Peeta is.
I can't imagine that he is aware of just what a difference he makes- the power he has.
I look at him and smile and I see his relief.
"Come on, tell me" he says as he reaches out for my hand.
"I dreamt about this once... I think" I say.
"You have?" he asks, encouraging me to continue.
"Yeah... Well not technically dreamed... more like... imagined? I think?" I look at him to see if he is understanding me but he looks a little confused. I chuckle. He looks so adorable when he is confused. "Do you remember, back when the rebellion was in full force, and we got here to District 12 on a train and then I ran from you and Haymitch?"
"Yeah, don't remind me..." he says as a gloomy look takes over his face and I am sorry I said anything. I imagine how terrified they must have been... "I'm sorry, it's ok, please continue" he says with a reassuring smile.
"Well, right before the wolves almost got me? When I thought I was pregnant? I couldn't help it. It wasn't voluntary but I just had a sort of vision of what the future could have been like. And we were married and in love" I say looking down.
"So you've been planning this all along, haven't you?" he asks teasingly.
"Well... no. But I think unconsciously I was, after that moment" I say smiling.
"That's good enough for me" he pauses. "And did the reality live up to your expectations?" he then asks.
"It's better" I happily admit.
"I'm glad to hear it" he sweetly replies and kisses my hand.