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05 October 2011 @ 09:04 am
THG Fic: Five, Ten, Fifteen (2/3)  
Title: Five, Ten, Fifteen (2/3)
Author: amaliak
Fandom: The Hunger Games
Characters: Katniss Everdeen/Peeta Mellark
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: post-Mockingjay
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own these characters. Please give all your money love to Susanne Collins.
Summary: He begged her for years. It’s the only thing he’d ever really asked of her. Five years later.
Author’s Note: Thank you to all who read part 1! This is my first THG fic, so I appreciate your kindness.

part 1: FIVE


TEN

I knew it was a bad idea as soon as Delly had suggested it. But there was nothing to stop her from coming with her brood of three into our home, nothing to stop the sounds of games and laughter from bouncing off the walls. There was nothing to stop Delly for placing her 8 month old daughter into Peeta’s arms and for him to melt in a way that made me feel the tiniest bit envious.

There was a bit of panic that bubbled up when he looked over at me, excitement and wonder on his features (there still weren’t many small children in Twelve, not after the epidemic of three years ago) and my heart constricted for him.

He hadn’t brought it up again in nearly five years, but sometimes I could see it on the tip of his tongue, deep in his eyes when he’s hovered over me in the dark, when I catch him drawing sketches of faces that are both familiar and foreign.

My nightmares are ever the same, my constant tormentors that I can’t seem to shake. More often now, it’s my children in the arena, facing the Capitol children that I’d said should be there, a boy my gray eyes and Peeta’s blonde hair and a little girl that looked just like Prim. Sometimes they were surrounded by white roses and I’d wake up with the smell in my nostrils and the scream trapped in my throat.

Peeta would hold me as always and now I can actually talk to him about what I see, the things that haunt me (really, that haunted both of us). That’s probably why he never actually asked me again.

Until now. Now when there was a real and solid child in his arms, asleep and drooling on his shoulder. Delly is chattering on about how much better things are and how finally there seems to be a real calm around everyone in Panem. She’s gushing about the wonderful world that her kids can grow up in. I bite my tongue and smile politely. Peeta gives me a sidelong glance, reaching to squeeze my hand for a moment before adjusting the child in his arms. He doesn’t say anything either.

Delly goes home after a week and I take Peeta by the hand into our bedroom and do everything I can to make sure that he won’t want to talk tonight. Or the next night or the next. I know that he’s caught on to what I’m doing, but decides not to call me on it this time.

Of course, like many of my plans, this one backfires on me.

Because after ten years, I’ve learned to read him as well as he reads me.

He’s begging me again now, not just the subtle hints I’d get from him sometimes, but it’s in everything he does now: in the cheese buns he’ll bake for me, in the way he’ll hold my hips almost reverently, in the tone of his voice whenever he says the word “please”.

I stand in our home, the sounds of summer June bugs floating in the garden as the sun sets providing the soundtrack for my thoughts.

What am I going to do?

The sunlight is slipping away faster and faster, the orange glow of the sky compels me to move. With a sigh, I step out into the street, my feet taking me towards town where Peeta is at the bakery. He’s been helping the new baker and his apprentice with cakes, spending most of the day there, coming home with sugar in odd places I’ve been all to glad to discover. All too quickly, I’ve arrived, not bothering with the front door since at the bakery is closed by this hour and make my way inside through the unlocked backdoor.

I catch sight of him as I stand in the shadow of the doorway, getting the chance to observe him before he sees me. He’s crouching down in front of a three tiered marble cake, a bag of frosting in his hands, giving quiet instructions to the baker’s apprentice, a lanky fifteen year old that had come from Eleven. Peeta is demonstrating what he’s talking about and I can’t help but smile. He’s always had a way with words and the patience to teach others and I’m sure as anything that he’d be a wonderful father.

I start with the realization that he deserves to be a father. He deserves to have everything he could ever want.

Selfishly, I can’t do it. I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for this. I can’t give him what he wants.

I don’t know how, but I’m outside now, tears streaming down my face. The few passers-by that catch sight of me politely look away (they’ve all come to give me and the other Victors a fairly wide breadth of understanding about emotional breakdowns).

I can’t do this, this cannot be my life. I can’t be this despicable of a human being. The weight on my chest is unbearable and for the first time in years my instinct to run, just run and never look back is overwhelming.

My mind is reeling and my feet have taken me to the Meadow and the fence that I had often considered as the gate to freedom. But how can I be free when what I want to do is run away from myself? I still listen for the non-existent electric current before leaning against it, sobbing uncontrollably now.

My tears have dried by the time he found me, crumpled on the ground in the dark, completely drained of everything.

I saw panic in his eyes and I felt instantly guilty because he had no idea what was wrong or any idea how to fix it.

“Do not do that again,” he told me, this voice rough and pained. My head was fuzzy.

Run.

Peeta had kneeled beside me, his hands on my shoulders and I wanted to cling to him, to selfishly keep taking from his strength.

For his own good. Run.

“Stop it, Katniss,” he said then, giving me a slight shake, as if to snap me out of my thoughts. His voice was harder than I’d heard it in a long time. “Don’t you dare even think about leaving.”

He’d read my mind, as usual. Damn him.

“You deserve...” I began, my voice broken, but he quickly interrupted.

“How long will it take, Katniss?” he snapped, real anger and frustration on his features. “How long before you finally understand that I want you? That you’re all I’ve ever wanted, that I’ve been fighting for you ever since that first Reaping Day. That you’re the one thing I really do deserve to have.”

He shook me again for emphasis and I felt completely pathetic. His gaze softened a bit and he let out a heavy sigh before gathering me to his chest. I felt one of his tears trickle onto my face. “I told you,” he whispering into my hair. “I told you that life doesn’t mean anything without you.”

I let him lead me home, curled myself into him on our bed, my hand resting over the steady beat of his heart.

“I’ll stay with you,” I promise him quietly.

He holds me tighter.

It’s starting to get cold.

----

FIFTEEN

 
 
Current Mood: groggygroggy
 
 
 
Angie: hp: phenomenalxxx_angelin_xxx on October 5th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
This is getting even better. I liked the change in this chapter, how the topic of children comes back into focus.
What I like the best is the way Katniss understands what Peeta wants without him telling her; that shows a lot about theur relationship, I think.

And of course, the ending... Such amazing lines! Loved this, truly! <3
ez_as_pi: mocking jayez_as_pi on October 6th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Lovely reminder of Delly's cheerful/positivness.

The sunlight is slipping away faster and faster, the orange glow of the sky compels me to move.

Great description. Looking forward to the last part. :)