Fandom: The Hunger Games
Characters: Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, 2nd person POV
Word Count: 391
Summary: At first, you only see her in the light of love.
At first, you only see her in the light of love. There’s her beauty, of course, though you know she has no concept of how people see her. Her competence and cleverness have always been a draw as well—you watch her hands at school, sometimes, and marvel at everything you know they can do, from shooting a bow to brushing her sister’s hair to flipping through the pages of a school book.
Of course, you’ve never seen her shoot a bow before The Hunger Games, but you’ve eaten enough of her squirrels to know she’s good at it.
In the arena, that haze of love persists. She’s your savior, your nurse, the love of your life—though the life obviously feels like it’s horribly short. Her hands keep you alive, keep you fed, sooth away the pain. Her cleverness hides you away, gets you the medicine you need, allows you to survive the Games that should have killed you.
It isn’t until the day before you arrive back home that the haze burns away. You’ve been in love with Katniss, yes. But you realize in that one dreadful moment that you don’t know her. You’ve survived the most dreadful thing in your country, but you never really looked at her, in her.
You see a girl who can and will and has done anything in order to survive, to stay alive. In her cleverness you see the dark cloud of ruthlessness, cunning, and manipulation. Perhaps later you’ll be grateful that she has kept you alive despite all odds. Perhaps later, you’ll be able to understand that not everything she has done was meant to fool her.
Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire. Stand too close and you get burned.
You feel the sting and hot tightness in your chest, and your mind reminds you of the fire from the arena. It hurts that bad.
You’re in love with a complete stranger.
Her hand is warm in yours. Outside waits your family, the community you grew up in. You should be excited.
Why is it, then, all you can see is the confused hurt flashing in Katniss’ eyes as you turned away? Why is it that all you want to do is let go of her hand and run, yet the idea of letting go is just as terrifying?
You never saw her for real before this. You never saw the potential for pain.
You never saw how hard it would be.
A/N: Written for somigliana. Once again I highly recommend this book by Suzanne Collins to everyone. Forgive the randomness of this and the un-betaed quality of it.