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Fire Within - A Hunger Games Fanfiction


Ledia

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I am a long time reader and first time poster of these forums. This is the first time several of the stories I've written for myself are being viewed by others so any comments criticsm or suggestions would be greatly appriciated.

Moving on, this is a Hunger Games fanfic taking place withing the first novel.

WARNING POSSIBLE mild SPOILERS BELOW

This fictional scene, in my mind, would take place after Katniss had obtained the medicine for Peeta. Possibly a day or two afterwards so her head wound isn't as "scary". This entire fic takes place in Peeta's point of view.

Without further ado, I present Fire Within (part 1 perhaps if you like it?!?!?)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I’m running through the woods with several sacks of flour over my shoulder. I’m extra careful not to rip the bags because Cato could easily follow the trail. In the distance I hear my mother calling,

agitated.

“Boy, you had better hurry up, do you want to win?”

I’m angry with her, because she knows I’m not coming home, but I quicken my pace anyways. I really don’t want her to hit me again. I don’t know how much more running I can take because of the thick swarm of bugs. Even though they look alarming I’m positive they won’t hurt me. I hear my mother calling again.

“Peeta...”

Only her voice seems strange, I stop running for a moment to try and sort things out.

“Wake up Peeta.”

Reality rushes to me as I regain consciousness and I’m met by the beautiful silver eyes of Katniss Everdeen.

“I’m sorry Peeta; I just can’t keep my eyes open.”

“Then sleep, I’ll keep watch.”

“Rouse me if you’re drifting off.”

She’s already deep inside the sleeping bag before she finishes the sentence. I can hear her slow rhythmic breathing in a few minutes signaling that she’s asleep. I glance outside and see that the rain is finally coming to a halt; it’s still drizzling but only slightly. I’ve already decided that I’m done sleeping for tonight so Katniss can get as much rest as possible. I pull myself into a sitting position and stretch; a sharp pain shoots through my leg. I stop moving and grimace until it passes, careful not to make much noise. To my dismay, the urge to sneeze is beginning to overtake me. I tense up, bracing myself against the wall. I’m pleased that I managed to completely stifle the three sneezes but I’m still afraid my quick jerky motion might have roused her. A quick glance confirms she’s still asleep. I hold my breath and begin to pull my good leg out, which is easy enough. The next leg’s difficult. Bending it at this angle is painful and I have to stop several times so I don’t grunt or nudge Katniss. Finally I’m out of the sleeping bag and I gently tuck the loose ends around the sleeping hunter. I take a few moments to admire her sleeping figure. She looks so peaceful without her trademark scowl, but she is just as beautiful. I’m glad to be out of the sleeping bag when the next sneeze comes on. I still stifle them but when I’m done my nose has begun to run.

I look around our cave for something suitable. The little pile of parachutes from all of Katniss’s gifts catches my eye. They’ll have to do. I crawl over and pull one of the parachutes from the pile and begin unknotting the strings. When I finish freeing the parachute, I take the grey piece of cloth and crawl as close to the mouth of the cave as I can without getting wet. I softly blow my nose into the parachute. A quick glance around my shoulder confirms I was far away enough not wake Katniss. My nose still tickles and I’m about to blow again but several forceful sneezes take a hold of me. I keep trying to relieve my congestion but it gets to the point where I can’t breathe through my nose at all. I curse mentally.

I knew if Katniss thought I was getting sick, she would go back to completely relying on herself. I remembered the exhausted girl that took care of me before she got the medicine. She wouldn’t sleep or eat well and took everything upon herself. Even though I was immensely grateful for her aid, having to watch her work so hard was unbearable. I refuse to be a burden for her anymore. She’s already done so much.

As if my body was arguing with me I suddenly begin shivering. I turn away from the entrance to steal a glance at Katniss. This just strengthens my decision. I turn back and continue to keep watch, my shivering won’t stop but I don’t mind. It’s difficult to quell the elated feeling in my chest at the sight of Katniss. I could die for her. I would have if this rule change hadn’t occurred.

Determined, I settle against the wall with my arms wrapped around me, prepared for a long night.

~*~*~*~

Hours have passed and the sun had just started to peek on the horizon. I’ve had to breathe through my mouth the entire night and now I’ve got a dry throat that tempts coughing. The rain stopped a while ago so I’m now sitting outside of our cave as to keep from disturbing Katniss. The first rays of sun break through the trees and I greedily soak up the little warmth they provide. I decide to start the day. I stand up and begin to pace in front of the cave trying to get the warmth and blood back in my legs. My wound still hurts but it’s an amazing improvement compared to a few days ago. I can’t stop myself from smiling. Katniss, the girl on fire, the girl of my dreams, saved me when I was on the brink of death. I look at her sleeping restlessly in the cave. I rack my brain thinking of things I could do for her. Breakfast is out of the question, but we still have a little of the feast Haymitch sent us. I thought about cleaning her weapons but I’d probably get stabbed if I try to take them from her grasp while she’s sleeping.

My throat begins to itch so I walk away from the cave to cough a few times. I’m worried she won’t let me go out hunting with her, not that I’m a hunter; but I could gather well enough. I’ve even considered trying my hand at fishing. I’m walking up to the river now and I catch a glimpse of myself in the water’s reflection. I frown. I look awful, much worse than I actually feel, maybe not that much worse but not reflective of my energy. I bend over by the river and splash my face. The cool water is such a relief to my raw nose. I even comb a little water through my hair, hoping it’ll improve my appearance. I’m about to head back when I see it, a silvery fish not three feet away. I quickly rack my brain for everything I learned at the fishing station before the games. No nets, no hooks... a spear! I pull my dagger out along with the string from the parachute and look around for a good length stick. Luckily there’s one near me and I begin to knot the two together keeping my eyes trailed on the fish. When my makeshift spear is completed I hobble over as quietly as possible. The fish must be blind, deaf or dead, because I’m able to walk right up to it in the river. I honestly believe its dead when it darts a few feet to the right and back again. I decide it’s now or never and throw the spear to best of my ability. After the water clears I give a cheer. A huge smile crosses my lips as I retrieve my fish from the water. I actually hit the guy in the eye! I can’t believe my luck. I walk back realizing I don’t what I’m going to do with the thing. Maybe I should cook it and add it to the breakfast of cold leftovers. I’m pondering if I should go out and find some berries to accompany the meal when I reach the cave. I quickly pull out the parachute to stifle a few sneezes before entering. I’m met with the beautiful eyes of Katniss, who’s currently staring daggers at me.

I frown.

“Where did you go? I thought you were keeping watch?”

The tone in her voice suggests that she was more worried than mad, but she’s staring at me as angrily as ever.

Immediately, I ask of her forgiveness.

“I’m sorry Katniss, I never went further than ten feet from the cave, honest. I did keep watch the whole night.”

“You could have stayed inside.”

It’s impossible not to hear the longing in her voice, I try hard not to smile but I’m grinning anyways.

“I felt like stretching but I didn’t want to disturb you.”

I can see she doesn’t trust the response, probably because I’m grinning.

“Then what’s that?”

I had completely forgotten about the fish in my hand, I’m grinning like an idiot when I tell her.

“Only the result of the great Peeta Mellark at work, a fine specimen speared through the eye!”

It’s obvious she doesn’t believe me until I walk over and show her.

“It’s dumb luck, there’s no way you did that purposely.”

“Haven’t I told you? I’ve spear fished for forty years! I just don’t feel at home without a spear in my hand and the water splashing my face.”

She’s smiling too, on the verge of laughing actually. I’m rambling on about the life of a middle aged fisherman and she’s asking questions, pretending she’s intrigued. We continue until we’re both laughing. I try to stop laughing, but I feel the itchy cough already. I decide just to get it over with. I turn away from Katniss and cough four or five times in the crook of my arm. Her laughing stops immediately.

“Are you alright?”

When I turn back, she’s studying my face. I realize she’s not going to ignore it, so I undermine it.

“I’m fine; my throat’s just a little dry. Are you hungry?”

Even though I’m smiling and leaning against the cave, inwardly I’m sitting on edge. She eyes me a little longer and finally seems satisfied with my answer.

“Starving, we’ll finish off the rest of the lamb stew.”

“Alright, what should we do with my aquatic bounty?”

I gesture to the fish and Katniss is already smiling again.

“You can string and toss it back in the water, so it keeps.”

I desperately rack my brain. String, string... nothing. I’m drawing a blank.

“Like a kite?”

This gets her laughing again. I smile regardless that she’s laughing at me. She takes the fish from me and explains as she works.

“You put the fish back in the water so it doesn’t rot before you’re ready to eat it.”

“Won’t it rot anyway after its dead?”

“Oh it’s not dead yet, see its gills?”

I’m horrified. But I quickly wipe the expression from my face. It’s not quick enough, however, because Katniss starts giggling again.

“I thought fish die when you take them out of the water?”

“They do eventually, some sooner than others, but most can stay out of the water for a little while. Untie your spear and hand me the string.”

I do as she tells me to. Once she has the string she pulls it through the fish’s gills, which are still moving. She knots the string afterwards and begins to exit the cave, I follow her closely, genuinely curious.

“You have to make sure you knot it tightly.”

We’re already back at the river as I watch her toss the fish in, all the while holding the other end of the string.

“Now you just secure this end, and the fish should keep till dinner.”

Sure enough the fish I had thought was dead was swimming as far as the string would let him. I watch Katniss knot the other end of the string around a nearby log. Once satisfied with her handiwork she turns to look at me.

“Go ahead and fill all of the pouches with water, I’ll go portion what’s left of our stew.”

“Alright.”

Katniss walks away and I pretend to be interested in the fish. I glance back a few times and allow myself a brief coughing fit when I’m sure she’s out of earshot. I go about getting the water and swallowing as much as I can. It does little to quell my sore throat but I’m relieved for the time being. I climb back to the cave with the purified water and smile at Katniss’s meticulous detail. The stew and rolls are split evenly to the crumb. It’s obvious she was barely able to wait for me to return because the moment I sit down she’s already eating. I set a water container next to her and do the same.

In between bites, Katniss drills me on how I’m recovering. I really don’t want to lie to her, so I try to respond with greater concern for her well being.

“Does it hurt when your sit still or only when you move?”

“Hardly at all when I’m still... is your hearing any better?”

Katniss snaps her fingers by her ear with a stout grimace glued on her face. It would be impossible to miss her frustration.

“I’m pretty sure I’m deaf in that ear.”

Katniss goes back to eating. I feel like I averted any issues when another wretched tickle finds my nose. I’m helpless to stop it and only have enough time to quickly turn away from Katniss and bury my face in my arm.

Katniss stops eating and carefully watches me sneeze two, three, four times; suspicion arising in her eyes. As soon as I finish I sniff, apologize, and go back to eating as if nothing happened.

“Sorry.”

“Peeta...”

“Yes?”

I look up, probably a little too quickly.

“What... Are you...”

“There’s nothing to worry about.”

I spoke too harshly. I knew it before I finished the sentence. Well so much for my plan. Before I have a chance to say anything else Katniss’s hand is against my forehead. Disappointment is written across her face.

“You’re a little warm.”

“I’m a hundred times better than before; I’m more than able to gather.”

“That’s not a good idea Peeta, you should stay here and.... and keep watch. So no one...”

“You’ve suffered a concussion; you should be the one resting. Let me...”

Just in the nick of time, my throat won’t stop itching. I try to clear my throat but I just end up coughing anyways. Katniss has already handed me water but I can’t catch a breath long enough to take a sip. I want to tell her it’s not as bad as it sounds but it’s obvious she’s immensely concerned. My coughing fit finally subsides enough so I can drink. It immediately soothes the ragged itch. My chest hurts and I cough a few more times before meeting her eyes. Was she livid? Frightened? Let down even? I couldn’t tell I was so overcome by self disappointment. I’m running out of options if I ever plan on Katniss relying on me for anything.

“You’re staying here while I hunt for us. You need to conserve your strength.”

Then it hits me. For once I decide to act before thinking. I stand up coolly and walk a little bit closer. I glance up to the ceiling of our cave just to make sure it’s high enough before proceeding. I bend at my knees like I’ve done so many times before, despite the pain I’m confident in my ability. Before she has a clue as to what’s occurring, I’ve hoisted Katniss’s sleight frame over my shoulder as if she was a sack of flour and am exiting the cave. She starts struggling and demands I put her down. I grip tighter, careful not to hurt her.

“What are you doing!? Let go! Peeta! Put me down now!”

I don’t know how much longer I can hold her so I make sure I walk to a soft, sandy area by the river.

Katniss somehow manages to squirm out from under my arms and lands on her feet, only to immediately push me away from her. The action takes me my surprise. I stumble backwards and fall, collapsing into the sand. Pain shoots through my leg, but it does little to stop my laughing at Katniss’s disheveled appearance. She looks so positively infuriated and disorientated it was impossible to cease laughing, even when I started to cough in between laughing so hard. I don’t break into a fit like earlier though, so I’m able to return Katniss’s grin when she finally smiles. I wouldn’t stop smiling if she hit me, but she doesn’t.

“Don’t ever do that again. Ever.”

She’s trying to sound stern but the smiling is contagious. She sits next to me in the sand.

“Did I frighten you?”

“Of course not! I just... I was uncomfortable!”

She quickly looked away. I wonder for a moment if I had seen her blush or if it was just the light.

“So what were you saying about ‘conserve my strength’?”

Her eyes widened slightly in realization as if she had completely forgotten she had just decided I was too incapable for anything productive. It’s obvious she’s thinking deeply before she answers me. With a little hesitation she finally responds.

“Fine, you can find food with me.”

I try my hardest not to look as excited as I feel. I put on my best serious face and nod. A smile still breaks through at the end. I don’t know if she had seen it or not before she goes on.

“But promise me if you feel bad, you’ll go back.”

“Of course.”

I’m already getting back on my feet. My leg is hurting, but I’m careful not to show it.

“And take the last fever pill too, before we leave.”

I’m standing and extending my hand to Katniss, who’s still sitting in the sand.

“Yes Ma’am.”

She takes my hand and this time it’s impossible to miss her blush a lovely shade of pink. I’m smiling again and my heart skips a beat when she smiles back.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

That's all for now.... but I have at least a dozen other fics on my computer ready to post. If this experimental post generates some feedback, I'll probably post more.

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I haven't read the Hunger Games, so I don't know how they are in the books, but I still thought this was very cute! I always find it especially cute when people apologize for sneezing. Great writing and super adorable relationship you have written!

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i've only read the first one so this was set perfectly for me -- super cute and very in character. i like reading from peeta's perspective , he has no guile.

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Oh yay! Sick sneezy Peeta! Can't wait for more!

BYE! :bleh:

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Ah! That's so cute! I miss Peeta! I haven't been able to finish off the series because I haven't had much time for it, and I'm technically supposed to be reading it with my friend, so so much separation is killing me! Excited for more, thank you!

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This is awesome! I'm so glad you decided to post it. I haven't read The Hunger Games or seen the movie, but I still really like reading the fics. Really, I absolutely love your style and the way you've constructed this. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your writing! :heart:

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Awww strong protective Peeta all sniffly.....*melts*

Perfect timing since I've just been reading the trilogy.

Keep it up Ledia, you've got them both down perfectly :)

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I love this! I think the guy who plays Peeta in the movie is so cute. An it's funny that I'm also writing a story about Peeta and Katniss :)

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This is adorable!! But could you spell out the sneezes next time? It makes it more fun and easier to imagine.

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