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05 October 2011 @ 10:59 pm
THG Fic: Five, Ten, Fifteen (3/3)  
Title: Five, Ten, Fifteen (3/3)
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. After fifteen years.
Author Notes: Thank you to all who've been reading this! Special thanks to coffeesuperhero for being my accountabilibuddy and making sure I finish what I start.

Part I: FIVE
Part II: TEN


I couldn't even really say when it started.

I hadn't sung in years, not really. But one day, I was in the yard, pulling up weeds from the melon patch when I started humming a tune, something light without any structure.

Later, Peeta nearly choked on his breakfast when I shuffled into the kitchen singing the catchy chorus of one of the new songs coming over the Panem radio that Greasy Sae liked to listen to sometimes.

Pretty soon, I was doing it all the time, humming or singing something or other around the house. It made Peeta grin in a way that made him seem younger, even with that scruffy beard he'd gotten into the habit of wearing (I liked it, even though I asked him every day to shave it). Sometimes, he'd try to join me, and it almost always ended with the two of us on the floor gasping with laughter at just how off key he was and at the ridiculous lyrics we'd make up for the bits of songs we didn't remember.

Haymitch caught us at this once and mentioned brusquely that we were crazy to be behaving like that while sober. And to stay away from his geese. Peeta responded by singing a verse in his honor and I blew him a kiss. Haymitch's responding glare had us laughing even harder.

The other thing that had started were the dreams. I'd had "dreams" before, things that were mostly bright colors and ethereal shapes with soft sounds replacing the nightmares that had hadn't actually stopped entirely but had simply become less frequent. But now, I was starting to really dream.

Mostly, I dreamt of the past; of my father and the lake, the quiet calm of hunting alone, my mother's hands as she combed my hair. I dreamt of Lady and of Prim giggling with Buttercup in her lap. I also dreamt of things that had never happened; of five year old Peeta helping me make mud pies, of Madge's wedding dress, of Cinna and Portia designing the layout of my garden. I dreamt of teaching Rue to swim out in the lake, just as my father had taught me. We laughed and giggled and she held me tight, smiling like someone far older while she told me that it was all okay to admit what I want.

Dr. Aurelius tells me that sometimes dreams are a way for our subconscious to talk to us, a way to work things out. Maybe this was a sign that I was finally ready to see what was good about life, ready to move forward into something not defined by the past.

But the question was: what did I really want?

I had been thinking about it for days now, to the point of complete distraction. I'm standing in the kitchen when look over at Peeta, who is carefully tasting the sauce that he's making, wincing a bit before looking around for something else to add to it. He pauses when he catches me staring, glancing at the half-sliced carrot in my hands. His face grows curious as I continue to stare. "Katniss?"

"Ask me again," I hear myself say.

He's frozen in place, not a single readable thing going across his face.

I know what I want now. I can't say that I'm that surprised when I realize that it's what I've wanted for a long time.

I feel a smile begin to form. "You asked me once, when I wasn't ready," I say, discarding the carrot and cutting knife on the counter and stepping closer to him. I place my hand on his chest where I can feel his heartbeat quickening. "Ask me again now."

He lets out a strangled sound, something between a laugh and a cry but his face is absolutely beaming. He's ecstatic. I'm finally catching up.

He kisses me, hard, everything else in the world is forgotten as he presses me up against the counter. I laugh a bit, the feeling of giddiness rising up inside me and for once I don't feel the need to push it down. He's kissing his way down my body, light and playful until he's kneeling before me, both of his hands on either side of my hips and his forehead pressed against my abdomen like he'd done once almost ten year ago.

I run my fingers through his hair, smoothing down the mess of curls as he looks up at me. "Aren't you going to actually ask?" I tease him, giving him the best scowl of indignation I can muster around the grin that just won't leave my face.

He schools his face into complete seriousness and clears his throat. "Katniss Everdeen." His voice actually catches in his throat for a moment, and I can feel the lump forming in mine.

"Will you marry me?"

Peeta always did know how to say the exact thing that I was least expecting.

We'd been living together for fifteen years and never once in all that time had he ever actually mentioned marriage. After the farce that that had happened with the Capitol and his hijacking, I had always assumed that we'd come to an understanding that engagements and formal ceremonies weren't for us. We belonged to each other. It was never a question.

"W-what?" I hear myself stutter once I can actually form words again.

"It's something I've asked you before," he explains from his position before me, his eyes intense. "You weren't ready then. Hell, I wasn't ready then either and it was all wrong. So...I'm asking you again, now. Will you marry me, Katniss?"

I understand what he means. If we're going to do this...if we're going to start a family, it's going to be right.

I kneel down with him, taking his hands and holding his eyes with mine. "Peeta Mellark, I want be your wife. I want to have your children. I will love you for as long as I'm still breathing. I will always be with you."

Sometimes, I have a way with words too.

He's crushing me to him now and I'm holding onto him just as tightly. From this moment forward, we're starting anew, everything we do will serve a purpose. We're going to change our lives completely and permenantly and for once it's completely under our control.

We're going to do this right.

Suddenly, Peeta pulls back and holds me at arms length, peering into my face. "Wait, Katniss. You said...children. As in...more than one." He bites his lip like he does when he's unsure. "Real or not real?"

I feel my heart lighten because for the first time in a long time, I can give him hope. "Real."

The days are starting to get longer.


Current Mood: draineddrained
ez_as_pi on October 6th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm all warm and fuzzy inside. They went through so much and get too have a this future.

I love that he surprised her with his question :)
Lex: [Actor] Marilyn fedoraamaliak on October 6th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I'm just grinning like a fool at this story. I really enjoyed writing it. I'm also a little bit fixated with the idea of Peeta's scruffy look. Something about it seems sexy. ;)
I also really wanted to show that for them yo have children would not have been an easy thing since it took 15 years to get there. I really hope that I was able show that here.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting especially since you are one of my favorite writers.
ez_as_pi on October 6th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
Scruffy is good!
Danny: marilyn sitdannybailey on October 6th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh! This was so lovely! I think this might be my one of my favorite post-series fics. Your characterizations are so wonderfully on target. Your dialogue was great, and the tone was sweet without being sappy. Oooh, I'm so glad you posted this to loavesofbread (that's where I came from, btw). :) My only tiny little con-crit is that there were a few grammatical/typo errors that were distracting. Of course, you could easily fix that by an extra careful read through so it's not even a big deal. Awesome job! I'll definitely look for more of your writing.

Edited at 2011-10-06 08:49 pm (UTC)
Lex: [HG] Not impressedamaliak on October 7th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
THANK YOU FOR READING!! I'm SO flattered since this is my first HG fic.

And you're absolutely right about the typos. I just...REALLY suck about using a beta. And catching my own mistakes. Thank you for calling me out on it. One day, I will be more responsible. XD

I really wanted this story to just be a bit of a companion piece to the epilogue, something that fleshed out that part of their lives. I really wanted to make this more about Katniss' struggle, but at the same time I thought it was important that Peeta wouldn't come off as some kind of push over. I tried to balance his patience and understanding with a little bit of frustration on his part as well. And the fact that he always seems to have an ace up his sleeve.

Anyway, thanks for commenting. :)

( m e l o d y )mellowdee on October 7th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
This story.

My heart.

The way it makes me yearn for more.

But it feels like just enough.

The way their love is.

Part 2 though. That end where Peeta found her. GAH. THAT WAS SO HEARTBREAKING YET SO THEM. They break my heart. In the best way ever.

Loved this series. Wonderful.
Lex: [HG] Not impressedamaliak on October 7th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
awwww, you're so sweet!

And yes, I wanted everyone to remember that Peeta's got his own issues to work through and Katniss just disappearing is like his worst nightmare come true. Poor Peeta bread.

Thanks so much for reading & commenting!

Angie: hp: phenomenalxxx_angelin_xxx on October 7th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
Absolutely perfect! The ending is so happy and cheerful. It gives everyone hope:D

Amazing writing! You should write more Hunger Games stories (you've mentioned this was your first, right?) I think your writing style is perfect for such stories:D
Lex: [Actors] Marilyn gazes outamaliak on October 8th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
OMG thank you so much!!

I really am thinking about writing more for the fandom, but I have to find the story that I want to tell.

Seriously, thank you.

Elizabethelizpeace on October 11th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
So touching, so moving. Thank you for these snippets into Peeta and Katniss's relationship blooming.
Molliyourgravity on October 15th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! Very touching, very well done. I wasn't a fan of the end of Mockingjay because of all the time Collins skipped over. Your fic fits nicely inside the canon while adding some sweet moments for these two. :)
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Katniss and Peetasabaceanbabe on January 28th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
Oh, man! This whole thing, all three parts, is just beautiful. I love the progression of it and that sweet little twist at the end. I was as surprised as Katniss when Peeta asked her to marry him, rather than asking her about kids. And then when he pulled back and asked "real or not real" at the plurality of her answer, I might have gotten a little misty eyed. Maybe.

Thank you so much for reopening this and for writing it in the first place.
Lex: [HG] Not impressedamaliak on January 28th, 2012 06:39 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it!!!
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.
downbythebay_4downbythebay_4 on February 22nd, 2012 05:07 am (UTC)
Yipee! So wonderful. Brava.
sorozataddiktsorozataddikt on March 26th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
it hurts so good and the happiness at the end, *melts into poodle*