Title: ‘Till They Come
Pairing: Katniss/Gale (and Katniss/Peeta, in retrospect)
Prompt: I am yours ‘till they come
Type: MJ AU - Peeta and the revolution die
Warning(s): MJ spoilers
Word Count: 770
It’s been two days since Gale and the others carried Peeta’s body back from the Capitol. They’re all ready talking about what our next move should be, strategizing the taking of the other Districts, planning Snow’s death. I’m only half-listening to them anymore, my mind reeling with images of what they could have done to him, of what he’d be like if he were alive right now. I can hardly breathe, hardly think. My blood is pounding in my ears and my heart is beating in my throat. I can’t hear anything but the rushing of life through my body, and I can’t think of anything but Peeta’s lifeless body lying in a pit here in District 13, where no one will come to mourn him but me.
“Katniss?” Gale whispers gently, shaking my arm to bring me to my senses. “Are you here?”
“Yeah, I’m here,” I snap. “I’m fine,” I continue, less forcefully.
“No one expects you to be fine, Catnip,” he responds softly, comfortingly. “But we do need you present.”
“What for?” I growl, turning toward the window. “He’s gone, Gale,” I breathe, unable to look back into the room as a tear streaks down my face. “All I was fighting for . . . is gone. And it’s my fault.”
He wraps his arms around me, pressing his body into my back and resting his chin on the top of my head. “It’s not your fault,” he whispers into my hair. “Snow did this to him, not you.”
I feel safe, like I haven’t felt since Peeta held me on the train. “I can’t do this anymore, Gale,” I whisper back, another tear forming a trail down my cheek. “Not without him.”
“Is he really all you were fighting for?” Gale asks quietly.
“What do you mean?”
“When you agreed to be the Mockingjay, you did it to save him, and I understand that. But you did it for other people too, didn’t you?”
“The other victors the Capitol was holding, yes.”
“I mean Prim.”
“She’s thirteen. Her name will be in those bowls for the next five years. And how is Snow going to punish you now that the Quarter Quell is over?”
“. . .Rig it so she’s chosen,” I whisper, allowing myself to think about just how unsafe Prim really is for the first time since I volunteered for her
“Exactly,” Gale whispers. I can hear the horror in his voice, and it matches mine.
“Okay, I’ll keep fighting, for as long as I can,” I murmur, fear clenching my heart and making it difficult to stand. I’m thankful for Gale’s supporting figure behind me, and I can feel myself melting into his embrace.
Gale’s genius, if violent, plan for taking the Nut, and therefore District 2 . . . didn’t work. It was as if they knew it was coming. Gale suspected a mole, but it didn’t really matter all that much anymore – only a few of us managed to make it back to District 13 alive, so the chances of one of them being the mole were few and far between.
“They’ll be here any time, you know,” Gale sighs, reaching out to me.
I plunge into his arms, and I wrap mine around his strong shoulders. “At least you’re with me,” I murmur into his chest.
“Always,” he replies, planting a light kiss in the top of my head and running his fingers through the loose hair at the end of my braid. My mind races back to the nights with Peeta – on the train, in the arena – and to the nights we would have had if the Quarter Quell hadn’t gone so horribly wrong. But I force this out of my thoughts, concentrating on Gale’s arms around me, on his body against mine, and on how we’d come to this point in the first place.
My best friend, my savior, my family’s protector and provider – Gale had never done anything but help me. I wish I’d realized this sooner. I wish I’d seen how much he loves me before I was thrust into the arms of another boy on national television. And I wish I’d realized that I love him too before it was too late to act on it.
As if he’s reading my mind, like he always could, he slips a hand below my chin and lifts my face to his. His lips met mine, and for the first time I don’t hesitate or try to pull away. Instead, I kiss back. And I don’t stop, even when they door shatters inward. . . .