When the twenty-four year old first hears about the party, she's a little bit hesitant in going. It's not that she doesn't love Effie, because she loves that gentle woman with her entire heart. It's the simple fact that she's clogged with work and she's unsure if her boyfriends even want to go to the party. She knows that Finnick has been trying to get a contract with a bigger company and Peeta has been trying new recipes for the bakery.
But once she's mentioning it, the two of them are all for it. They're smiling bright and excited that a small break is coming for the three of them. Finnick instantly makes a reservation for the hotel where the party was being held and Katniss would be lying if she said that she wasn't excited herself. Peeta was excitedly rambling about dressing up and Finnick followed his lead. She sat on their queen sized bed as the two of them danced, goofing around and she can't help the laugh that leaves her mouth when Peeta almost slips from Finnick's grasp.
But now that she's here, she's absolutely regretting it.
The ballroom was beautiful and so many people were dancing around Effie, who was smiling so bright that crinkles permanently stained her face. She watches as Finnick dances with the younger girls, how Peeta chats with her parents and she's watching from afar.
This wasn't Katniss' scene at all.
The young woman would rather be home, watching shitty movies with both of them and mushed in the middle. That's the reason that Finnick made a single night reservation and the reason that they were going to enjoy the rest of their week at their house by themselves.
She's swaying along the song that's playing, catching how everybody's buzzing with happiness and although she's not in the middle of it... Katniss can feel the happiness puddle in her chest and she's happy. She's happy because Peeta's eyes crinkle when he laughs and Prim won't stop dancing with Rue, giggles leaving her mouth.
There's a smile on her face that eventually fades when Cato sits beside her. Effie was popular everywhere she went. She was a beautiful stylish that worked wonders everywhere she went. She had worked wonders when Katniss needed a gown for one of her formal meetings and she had worked wonders when her ex boyfriend needed a gown for his girlfriend.
"Katniss Everdeen." He says and she rolls her eyes into the back of her skull. Their breakup was messy to say the least. Cato had brought the memory of her late father and Katniss had spent the night in the station after busting his lip.
"Oh God, you must be really bored if you sat with me." She retorts, crossing her arms over her black dress and she's even flicks her curled hair to the side. She was absolutely stunning. Rue and Prim had helped her with the look. Not to mention that she was matching with her favorite boys. "Don't you have anywhere else to be? Anybody else to bother?"
"Bothering ex girlfriends is a hobby." Cato says, flashing a smile at her and she grumbles under her breath. "Plus, you could use the company."
She looks over at him, visibly annoyed. "A rat would make better company than you."
Cato snares at her words. "Don't forget that I had you wrapped around my finger, Everdeen."
Katniss is trying her best to shrug his words off. He wasn't lying. He did have her wrapped around his finger at some point. But then again, she was seventeen. Anybody that batted their eyelashes at Katniss had her wrapped around their finger. "Everybody makes mistakes, Cato."
When the blonde is standing up from the decorated chair, she's silently thanking the lord for that happening. Now Katniss could go back to enjoying her lovers having fun and her family twirling with each song.
Cato leans close to her ear, alarming her. "You could live a thousand lifetimes, Katniss Everdeen. But you would never deserve either of them."
That's what makes her stomach coil and her posture tense. He's leaving her alone, heading back to his family but he sends her a smile. He knows what he did, and he knows that it hurt her more than anything in the world.
The comment shouldn't hurt her. It shouldn't have. Cato and her broke up years ago. But it still hurt when somebody who you loved and trusted so deeply once, spewed those words about you. Especially knowing how insecure you were.
Finnick nor Peeta notice how tense she is. They don't notice how Cato can't stop laughing at how upset she looks and they don't notice how Katniss wants to run upstairs, strip from these clothes and hide from the world. There's bitterness in the back of her throat and she hates how she can't pretend that everything is okay.
She decides not to give Cato a show. So she reaches for the glass of wine that rests infront of her and she's chugging it down without a second thought. Katniss places it on top of the expensive table and without a second thought, she's making her way to her little sister. She unknowingly latches to her the entire night and pretends that those words don't echo in the back of her head.
Both of her boyfriends would find her through the crowd and at one point, they simply stopped. Every single time they looked, the girl was dancing with her sister. They had never seen her dance with such fever but they only mark it as trying to keep up with her younger sister. They're unknowing of the fact that Cato knows what he did and doesn't regret it.
The party eventually dies and soon they're grabbing their things from the hotel room. They had said their goodbyes, cleared the hotel room and were now driving home.
Finnick was the one driving home. Peeta was asleep in the backseat and Katniss is sitting on the passenger seat. She still wore the dress, but around her body was Finnick's suit. Her head's resting on the window and she's staring at the empty road ahead. The honey blonde knows that there's something eating her mind. But he also knows that she has no intention of talking about it. He can tell by the way that she's entirely curled into his suit and seeks warmth from it.
"I can't believe Peeta drank that much." He comments and that only makes her laugh. She looks over her shoulder and he has his head on the hotel pillow. Neither of them argued with the drunk man, only paying the front desk extra and settled him in. He was gone like a light. "He had a good time. i'm really glad that he saw his old friends."
Unlike Finnick, Peeta and Katniss were from a small town in Indiana. A place where trees were twice the population and nothing beside under-aged drinking was seen. The duo have been friends since they were younger, but they didn't link with each other romantically until landing in the same college that was miles away.
Finnick came into their romantic equation later on, but they've been together ever since. They've been together with no regrets. It was a bumpy ride, Katniss barely opening her heart to Peeta and having to add Finnick in there was hard. But she didn't regret it. Even if Cato's words bounce in the back of her head like ping pong balls.
"He did... Did you have a good time?" She questions and his hand reaches for her own. Their fingers link together and his hands are much softer than hers. He hums in content at the question.
"I had a great time. My boyfriend looked happy and my girlfriend looked beautiful. I really wished I had danced with her. She looked beautiful all night." Finnick says. The older male is planting a kiss on the back of her hand and she feels her throat go dry at his words. She had a tendency of running away when things got too rough.
"I just really miss Prim." The brunette says and he knows that she does. She wasn't lying, which made it easier. The girl was extremely co-dependent with her sister, even though she had moved away from Indiana years ago.
"I know... If you want, we can set up the guest room so she can spend the weekend. We asked for the entire week off, remember?" He reminds her and she had forgot all about that. But his words make her smile. Even if her mind can't stop screaming the same words over and over again.
"You could live a thousand lifetimes, Katniss Everdeen. But you would never deserve either of them."
When they get home, help Peeta take a shower and shower individually; Katniss sleeps on Peeta's side of the bed. Peeta's cuddled into Finnick's side and Katniss has her back to the both of them. She was usually the one in the middle, but she couldn't touch them. She couldn't think about anything else but the words that Cato said. She's on edge and she doesn't know how she even falls asleep without feeling the warmth of her lovers.
The dark-haired girl is the first one to wake up and she's the first to leave their comfortable apartment. Katniss brews coffee for Finnick, leaves pain killers for Peeta and she's leaving a note before heading out to work.
"Was called in today, emergency. I'll try to be back soon.
--- K "
Cinna knew how much she needed this break and how hard she worked. He wouldn't call her even if the entire company fell on his shoulders. But still, a distraction was needed and she wanted to clear her mind.
It was early as hell. Even on a regular day, she didn't have to be this early to her shift. She didn't. Katniss could slack off for weeks and Cinna wouldn't even bat an eye.
Not that she'd do that.
Her car is parked in the huge lot and her phone is buzzing. Her stomach drops and she knows it's one of the boys. Prim wouldn't text her this early. Not even her mom, who was working already in the hospital by this hour.
Peeta: Katniss... did you really have to go to work?
Peeta: We were supposed to have this week off... :(
Katniss didn't have to at all.
But the girl would wake up in the middle of the night, nightmares of her lovers leaving her and she’d inch further away from them. It felt like they were constant and at a point, she simply gave up on sleeping. The brunette knew she had to talk about it, she knew that she had to open that tiny door and let them in. She had to talk about her feelings.
Katniss lacked in that area, the whole talking about her feelings department. Finnick was great at it, he could talk about how much he loved them without a tremble of his voice and he’d have a grin on his face. Peeta could too. He’d get shy, cheeks red but he’d voice everything he felt.
She couldn’t. It’s like a clamp would attach itself to her throat and she couldn’t say a word. There’s a sigh leaving her mouth and she’s texting back.
Katniss: I know, I’m sorry.
Katniss: I’ll try to leave soon.
Katniss: I left coffee for Finnick and you.
He texts back instantly.
Peeta: Dinner tonight?
There's a text back, seconds after.
Peeta: I love you.
And she doesn't reply.
She's pulling back from the both of them.
With another sigh leaving her body, she's shoving her phone in her backpack and she's leaving her comfortable car. She tries to ignore the picture of Finnick and Peeta that's always resting by the gas monitor as she locks her door.
The sun is barely rising and she can't help but stare in awe at how pretty the sunrise is. It's barely rising and she can't help the awestruck expression on her face. It brings her comfort and it reminds her of Peeta. It reminds them of their first kiss. It reminds her of Finnick and how he favors going to the beach when the sun is setting. There's the familiar lump in her throat and she's instantly making her way to the exclusive building.
The exclusive building that has reflective panels and she's slowing her tracks down to study herself.
Katniss was an extremely insecure person. It wasn't easy to see at first, since she's rough and has a resting bitch face that has anybody running for the hills. But those that actually know her, those that take a moment to study her; it's nothing but obvious.
She's staring at herself, starting with intensity and she only starts with her physical appearance. She was a pretty standard looking girl. She had long black hair, light eyes and olive skin. She had an awful fashion sense that consisted of plain t-shirts and comfortable jeans. Finnick sometimes would joke about how he had to teach her how to dress, and although funny at times; right now it only made her cover her body with the jacket.
Her eyes are watering and she hates how Cato's right.
With a shake of her head, she's trying to shove her thoughts to the back and she makes her way inside the cold building. She greets the security guard and she's the first one in the office.
Katniss doesn't take her jacket off the entire day, the insecurity chewing her up but she still manages to do her job diligently.
The day, like always, is always busy. Katniss was a professional forester and everybody in the area would try to get in contact with her. She's thankful. The girl couldn't afford college, but still Cinna gave her a job and made her dreams come true. She was currently on her desk, sketching potential ideas and taking on the phone with too many professionals. She had been contacted to conserve an abandoned terrain and she wanted to do her job well done. But she knew what she was doing though, she always did. (At least when it came to her job.)
The morning passes quick, co-workers and interns slowly making clocking in. She doesn't notice though. Her backpack is slung over her chair and she's a little too focused by the blueprints infront of her. She's sketching potential routes to the beautiful nature passage and she almost doesn't hear the knock on her door.
"Miss Everdeen, Gale brought food." Rue, who happened to be one of her closest friends and one of the newest interns says. She catches the curly haired girl's eyes and she laughs softly at her words.
"Rue, it's okay to call me Katniss. You're family."
Rue smiles. She's been told this a thousand times before. "Sorry." She apologizes sheepishly."But Gale brought food and I wanted to let you know since Johanna texted you and you didn't answer."
She's avoiding her phone. She knows that Finnick probably texted her asking about why she left without saying goodbye.
"Thanks, I'll be down there in a bit… He didn't poison it did he?"
Rue laughs at her words. "Johanna would kill him without a second thought."
That makes her laugh once again. Rue had a relaxing aura around her. She could easily call her a sister and it didn't make either of them uncomfortable.
"I'll eat in a second, yeah?" She says, almost going to her work when Rue interrupts her.
"Didn't you ask for this whole week, Kat?"
She shrugs, feeling slightly sick for lying to Rue. "I missed work."
Rue hums, not pressing on the matter and she leaves the oldest of the two alone.
Hours pass and the food is now gone cold. The once warm smell of meat is now gone and she has to many pictures displayed on the table. She's trying to figure out what would make the forest comfortable for both the wildlife and those that would decide to visit to enjoy it's wonders. She doesn't realize that Rue left hours ago and that she's the only person in the office. The sun had set already and she has a small headache. She's so hyper-fixated in her job that she jumps when the office phone rings. She's unsure if to pick it up, her eyes glued to the pictures. She's so close to getting this perfect, but something tells her to pick up.
"Katniss Everdeen from Panem Agencies, how may I help you?" She says firmly, balancing the phone on her shoulder and she's scratching some of the options away. The greenery from the place was absolutely stunning. She couldn't believe that Cinna had given her this project. She'd be sure to thank him once she saw him.
"Katniss." A familiar voice says. It's Peeta. "Your phone died, didn't it?"
It didn't. She's heard it ring for hours. She simply chose to ignore it.
"Shit. I think. Is everything okay?" She says, distracted by the pictures infront of her. Out of the three of them, she was the most devoted to her workplace. It could be because she loved it a little too much, or because in her mind that was the only thing she was good at.
"It's almost time for dinner… are you coming?" He questions.
She looks over at the clock and it's nine thirty. She doesn't realize how she's been stomped with work. She hasn't moved from her spot in hours.
"I made your favorite."
"You could live a thousand lifetimes, Katniss Everdeen. But you would never deserve either of them."
There's bitterness in her tongue. "I'm on my way. Let me copy these papers and I'll be on my way. I promise."
"Katniss." Peeta stops her and she stops what she's doing. He knows what he's going to say.
Home is a place for peace. It was something Finnick had established when they moved in. So anything that was work related was strictly prohibited.
"I know. But this is big, Peeta. I'm almost done. I promise I'll hide the papers from Finnick. I won't snitch, if you don't." She says, forcing herself to be playful and Peeta laughs. He doesn't catch her forced smile.
She does copy the papers and soon, she's looking the office doors. She waves goodbye to the security guard and soon, she's on her way home. She's playing music a little too loud and she's trying not to think about Cato's words. She doesn't know why she cares so much about his words. They're just words.
But she knows it's true.
It doesn't take long for her to get home, her papers are shoved in her backpack and she's on time. it wasn't late yet so they all had a bit of time to shower. She's unlocking the door and she's instantly greeted by the smiling Peeta. He's wrapping his arms around her and giving her a warm welcome.
She can feel the warmth of his love and she feels warm. She feels at home.
He pulls back from her, planting a kiss on her forehead but his hands rest on her shoulders. "Finnick's washing his hands."
She doesn't say much, only nodding at his words. He's fixing the messy strands of her hair and she looks really tired. "How was work today?"
"It was okay. I'm really tired." She says with a small smile and she catches Finnick leaning on the wall. He's enjoying the moment between the both of them and she's sending him a small smile. He's making his way towards the two of them, wrapping them both in a gentle hug. He's kissing her head and mumbling.
"You should've said goodbye this morning." He says with a small pout on his lips and he's kissing her forehead. He's also kissing Peeta's before the smaller blonde untangles from them and goes to check on their food.
Finnick's holding her and she compares both of them in her head. Peeta is shorter than her, is barely a bit, but it's tender. His hugs come from the heart and it's cute when he buries his face in the crook of her neck. But Finnick's much taller than the both of them, her ear pressed to his chest and she can hear his heart-beating. Most of his clothes were robes on both of them and he loved it. She loved it too.
"You could live a thousand lifetimes and you would never deserve that boy. Either of them."
That makes her pull away from the hug and bring confusion to Finnick's eyes. He's confused at her actions and Peeta, whose watching it unfold, is too. She was acting normal seconds ago, and now her light eyes were far away. She looked in her head and she looked slightly nauseous.
"I'm sorry." She says, apologizing. Katniss forgets she's an open book sometimes. "I'm going to shower and I'll be back." She says awkwardly and she's dropping her backpack on the side of the sofa. She can feel their blue eyes on her and she only makes a turn to the bathroom. She doesn't want to be seen. She doesn't want them to find out about the insecurities that stick in her rib-cage and won't let her breath.
"Did you two argue?" Peeta questions, unsure of what's going on. She was okay with him. She didn't know why she entirely flipped when it came to Finnick.
He shakes her head. "Not at all."
The girl doesn't hear their exchange of words, already locked in the bathroom and she's staring at her body. She's bare to the eye and she's nitpicking every single thing she sees. She has scars all over her body, all for multiple reasons. She has a scar above her eyebrow, that goes upwards because of a hiking adventure with Gale. She has a scar on her shoulder, a small car crash accident and her least favorite of them all, is her thigh scar. It's product of the fire that took place and took the life of her old man. Peeta wouldn't mention them, knowing how touchy she'd get; but Finnick would occasionally brush her fingers on them. Letting her know that he loved her as a whole.
She's already tearing up and doesn't hesitate to get under the shower. Katniss is under the hot under and almost instantly, her skin is raw, her head hazy and she can't stop thinking about everything. She's thinking about herself as a person and she's thinking hard about both of her lovers. She wasn't going to break up with either of them, that would break her into bits; but it was obvious that she didn't fit in the picture.
Peeta was gentle. He was sweet. She was sure that in another life, they would've been together still. When Katniss would frown and keep a straight face, he'd nudge her and smile at those that came around. He was slightly naive at times, but everything he did was pure of heart. He was gentle with both her and Finnick. He'd stay home when any of them caught a cold and he'd be the one to surprise them with tiny things that reminded him of them. Katniss loved seeing how Finnick would smile, wrapping his arm around him and planting a gentle kiss on his lips.
Finnick was smart. He was smart, cunning and flirty. She remembers how both their cheeks busted in colors when Finnick confessed to being attracted to them. He was one of the prettiest boys she had ever seen and one of the smartest ones. The blonde didn't give himself enough credit, but he was extremely hardworking. He was also extremely romantic. He loved dinner dates and seeing the others dress up. He loved going to high end restaurants and drinking champagne made from the stars with the both of them. He was the missing piece in the puzzle. Both of them had her heart.
Yet when she thought of herself, she couldn't think of any positive traits. She was just there. Katniss Everdeen was guarded. She wasn't good with her words and she was bad at being romantic. Katniss' love language came in making sure both of them were okay, packing lunches for them, playing with their hair as they fell asleep and making the duo playlists that would never see the light of day. She unbraided her hair, letting her long hair fall past her shoulders and she's trying to let the warm water push her thoughts down the drain. But it doesn't work. It doesn't work because she can feel salt on her lips and she's crying.
She doesn't even realize that she had started crying. Katniss hated crying. She rarely did it and when she did it, it was mostly away from the world. That's why she's taking the moment and letting everything out of her system. She's holding herself in the shower while Cato's words simply replay in her head. She hates that after years together, she's crying over her insecurities. She should be over it. She should be over the fact that she'll always be less than them. But she's not and it fucking hurts.
The girl's in there for what feels for hours, but soon she's turning off the water. Her eyes are bloodshot red and she's wrapping the towel around her body. She tries her hardest to not make a mess of water as she makes her way to their shared room and she can hear the silverware against each other. It's obvious that the food is ready and that she came in the perfect time. There's talk between the two of them and they're waiting for her patiently.
She doesn't think much of what she's going to wear, grabbing one of her shirts and some shorts. The brunette never notices, always in her own head but she would never wear anything that belonged to her for bed. Finnick had mentioned it to Peeta once when she had fallen asleep earlier than them and soon, he noticed that too. So now that she was walking in the kitchen, steps dragged and loose hair down her back; It's obvious that something's wrong. Peeta and Finnick only exchange a glance.
She hates how her insecurities won't stop bubbling in her mind and she hates how she's aware at how they're looking at her. There's worry in both of their eyes and there she goes, being a bother to both of them once again. With a clear of her throat, she's trying to ignore their stares.
"I'm going to get something to drink and I'll sit with you guys." She says and her voice sounds awful. The break of her voice has her wincing and she absolutely sucks at hiding what's going through her head. She knows that they know something's going on. Her red nose is obvious, her eyes are swollen and her voice is absolutely shattered.
"Babe." Finnick says, instantly catching her sight. His eyes hold so much worry and she only looks away. She's swallowing the lump in her throat. She hates how she's acting cold with him. She hates how distant she's acting with Peeta. "Do you need help?" He asks.
The question is a hidden message for, "are you okay?" - But she's shaking him off. She's making her way to the fridge and looking through the drink selection. She's eyeing every single drink and she's hoping that earns her time to control her thoughts. There's a half empty bottle of white wine, an unopened bottle of red one and sparkling champagne. She reaches for both the white wine and the sparkling champagne. She can drink the rest of the white one and they could share the champagne. There was already water on the table anyways.
"You could live a thousand lifetimes and you would never deserve that boy. Either of them."
She doesn't know when she drops both bottles. All she knows is that she hates herself for it.
"Shit," She curses, but the others were already scattering from their chairs to help. "I'm sorry."
The girl feels like a child again. She feels clumsy, out of place and she feels like she's back to dating Cato. She's walking on eggshells again.
"Katniss, it's fine." Finnick starts, but she's shaking her head. She's obviously out of it. Her eyes are watering again.
"Katniss." Peeta says, trying to be gentle and she only snaps.
"I got it!" She yells at him. She's kneeling down and there's silence between the three of them. She's picking up the shards of glass, wine and champagne pooling on her feet and she doesn't even catch how she's visibly sobbing. Her heart aches and she doesn't even know why. The two of them are watching the scene unfold. They're frozen until the girl presses a shard too close to her skin. There's a rip of skin, there's blood and she's hissing. "Fuck."
"Katniss, stop." Finnick says and for once, she listens to him. She's letting go of the shards and there's on the floor. "Peeta, help her clean up. I can---"
"I can clean up by myself. It's fine. Keep having dinner." She says, standing from the floor and she doesn't let any of them get close to her. She's wiping her eyes with her clean hand and that's when it rubs Finnick the wrong way. He can be extremely patient or extremely impatient, and she couldn't blame him. She was distant, crying and wouldn't utter a word about what was going through her head.
"Katniss, what the hell is your problem?" Finnick snaps and if her emotions weren't so heightened, she would've flinched. "You've been avoiding us since the party."
"I wasn't avoiding you." She retorts, but she doesn't look at him. Katniss hasn't moved an inch. "I missed Prim."
"You're lying." Peeta says and that's when she looks up. "Your lip quivers when you lie."
Katniss just whispers, "Can't you just leave me alone?"
Finnick wants to say no. Peeta wants to say no. But it's obvious that this wasn't going anywhere. So they don't speak.
Katniss cleans her wounds, washes her feet and ends up going to bed. She's fast asleep when both of them join her. She's curled in a ball in the middle and it's obvious that whatever is bothering her; is eating her mind away. She doesn't feel it, but both of them kiss her forehead and soon fall asleep.
The next morning, she's trying to do the same thing than before. Katniss is hoping to brew coffee, make breakfast as an apology for last night and leave quietly for work. But instead, she's greeted by both of them sitting on the table. They're wide awake and she wonders when they woke up. She’s tried her best to be quiet while getting dressed.
She doesn’t utter a word. Not even a good morning. They’re watching her like hawks, hoping that something might come out of her mouth. An explanation as to why she’s pulling away from their touch, as to why she’s crying for no reason and as to why she’s whispering sorries in her sleep.
Her hair is in it’s signature braid and her hand is bandaged to it’s best extent. It’s hard to bandage your own hand. She would’ve asked Finnick to do it, the blonde was great at it. But they weren’t talking at the moment and she didn’t want to burden him with it.
The backpack is in it’s signature corner while she serves herself a glass of water. It’s hard to even hold the cup and she cursed under her breath. She doesn’t know if her wound hurts or the fact that they’re staring at her, waiting for some sort of explanation hurts.
With her glass of water in hand, she fills with courage and sits in the third chair. She’s looking at them, trying to puzzle out their thoughts but she knew. Finnick had a straight face and Peeta although serious, held worry.
“It was Cato.” She starts. They don’t expect her to speak and they don’t expect her to say his name. It’s obvious by the way how Finnick straightens his back and how Peeta furrows his eyebrows together. She’s circling the rim of the glass with her finger. She’s staring at the still water. “At the party.”
Cato wasn’t a topic she talked about. Finnick knew very little about him, only what they told him and Peeta wasn’t his biggest fan. He was arrogant and thrived off hurting others. It was only fair that she broke his lip when she did.
“I was watching you guys. I was happy.” She confesses and she looks up at them. For once, there’s a twinkle in her eye. It’s sincerity. “I don’t have to be in the middle of everything to enjoy it. Just seeing you two was worth it.”
“And he sat down beside me—” She starts and her voice trembles. That alone alarms Finnick and he’s instantly voicing his thoughts.
“Did he hurt you?” There’s anger in his tone and she shakes her head. He didn’t hurt her physically but her thoughts were stuck in replay and she absolutely hated it.
“He told me something.”
Peeta leans in.
“How I could live a thousand lifetimes and I would never ever, deserve the two of you.” The dark-haired girl repeats and it’s so bitter. It leaves her with acid on her tongue and she feels herself choke up. With a shaky breath, she’s branching out a little more.
"I know that." Katniss says and that alone surprises the both of them. They’re staring at her incredously and they can’t even believe what she’s saying. “I know that I could live a thousand lifetimes and I won’t ever be good enough... Does Cato really think I don’t think about that every single day?”
In their four years together, Katniss has never once voiced her thoughts and insecurities. She would swallow it with a smile and pretend that nothing bothered her. No, scratch that. They didn’t bother her. She bothered her. Every single one of her insecurities bothered her.
“I’m hard to deal with. I see that when somebody tries to get close to me and I automatically think that they want something from me. I don’t get along with people and I barely have any friends. I don’t even know how I even got you two to talk to me.” She says and her voice is shaky. “And I know that I’m not the prettiest. Because I’m not. You two could have anybody you want but you settled for plain old me.” Her words are blooming out of her mouth like flowers of insecurities that she’s showing to them after keeping it inside for so long. “It shouldn’t hurt me because it’s Cato... and who the hell cares what he has to say?”
“But I care.” She opens up once again. “He was my first boyfriend. He was there when all of those things happened to me. He was the first person to see me as I am and it’s going to hurt. Even if I know that he did it with those intentions.” She looks up at them and she’s proud of herself for not crying.
They’re angry, but she knows that they’re not angry with her. They’re angry that he undug that seed of insecurity that she planted and they’re watching the toxic flower play her like a puppet. She knows. They could read her easy at times, but she has her attributes too.
“That’s why I’ve been crying. That’s why I’ve been avoiding you. That’s why I’ve been burying myself in my work without a second thought. Because I don’t have to think. I don’t have to look at myself and know that I’m nothing.” She laughs bitterly and that last line is what has her eyes watering.
They wanted to talk. They wanted to comfort her. But they knew it wasn’t the time. She could see it in how she eyed her backpack and how she chugged the glass of water.
She’s standing tall and she has a smile on her face. It’s a sad one and it makes Peeta want to throw up. He hates seeing her so sad. They both hate seeing her so sad.
“Katniss.” Finnick calls and his voice is soft. It’s inviting but she’s shaking her head. She doesn’t want to be comforted right now. She wants to go to work and forget all about it.
“I have to go.” She says, the glass in it’s spot and she’s reaching for her backpack. “We can talk about it tonight. I’ll bring take out.”
“Okay.” Peeta says, dejected but he’s giving her a small smile. “Please have a good day.”
She nods at his words, waking a goodbye at both of them and Finnick doesn’t understand how he let her go like this. He wants to run after her and soothe those thoughts. Peeta can tell. He reaches for the tallest one’s hand, sending him a small smile.
“Let her think.”
“Think? She’s destroying her mind, Peeta.” He says, not happy with the way things were going. “All because of that asshole.”
In moments like these, Peeta was the dandelion of peace between the two of them. Finnick had never seen Katniss like this before and before the three of them dated, Katniss would have outbursts like this all the time. It could be about work, it could be about her parents and Peeta had learned that he had to wait until she was ready. He couldn’t force it.
Peeta only plants a kiss on his forehead. “Trust me on this... let’s go back to bed.”
And they do.
Katniss on the other hand, is standing infront of the preserve she had been working hard to treasure. It’s a two hour drive from her small apartment but this is what she lives for. There were trees as high as the sky and the air felt fresh. She felt free. She felt infinite. She could hear the birds and she knows that she did a job well done.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Cinna asks her, standing by her side with a smile and Katniss agrees. She’s feeling the same excitement she did when she got here, and she’s been here for two hours.
“It is. I’m glad you trusted me with this project.”
“Well, you never disappoint.”
“You could live a thousand lifetimes, Katniss Everdeen. But you would never deserve either of them."
She has a lump in her throat but she tries her best to swallow it down. She doesn’t want to cry. Especially in a beautiful place like this.
“This is all I’m good for.” She says and it sounds as sad as it feels. Cinna instantly rests his hand on her shoulder. It’s a comforting move and she knows that she’s going to start crying soon.
Cinna was the closest thing to a father figure she had. Haymitch came to mind too, but she wouldn’t talk about these things with him. He was more of an uncle than a dad. So when he’s sitting down on the bench, holding her hand in his own — She’s instantly tearing up.
“What’s been bothering you?” He questions.
“What? Nothing. Nothing. I’m just tired.” She lies and he shakes his head at her lie. It was a nice attempt though.
“You’re an awful liar, baby. Your lip quivers when you lie.” He says and that makes her laugh. It's a hollow laugh.
"Peeta said the same thing." She says and she’s watching the way the leaves fall on the ground. She catches how Squirels play on the tree branches and she really wishes she could live in this place forever.
Cinna's instantly worried after her words. "Did you two break up?"
Katniss shakes her head, wiping her newly brought tears with the back of her bandaged hand. "I'd fucking die. He’s my everything.”
"Did Finnick and you break up?"
“I hope not.” She says and that’s what makes her tears spew out of her eyes. She knew that Peeta and her were okay. But Katniss had snapped at Finnick more than once and she wasn’t sure if he felt the same about her anymore. Tears shake her entire body and Cinna's hugging her tight.
If it were somebody else, she would've pushed them away. But this was Cinna.
She's crying and she tries her best to explain to him. She's hiccuping but Cinna catches every word. He catches the comment that Cato made and noted the deep rooted insecurity in her being.
Katniss was barely in her late twenties and the girl had gone through so much. After her dad died, her mother went off the rails and she had to instantly got a job. She had to grow up a little too quick due to life being unfair to her and she did all of the protecting. And she's rough around the surface, but she's human and sometimes we all crash and fall.
"Katniss." He says, once she's a bit calm. Her nose is red and her eyes are absolutely swollen. She feels vulnearable.
"You have to talk with Peeta and Finnick."
Cinna shakes his head. “You dropped the Cato bomb and left them there. That doesn’t exactly count as talking. Talk to them like you’d talk to me. This isn’t difficult.” He says and he’s brushing her knuckles.
"But it’s not easy." Katniss retorts.
"Because I don't want them to think that I'm unhappy with them."
"But by running away from them, aren't you implying that you don't trust them?" He says and he’s completely floored her. Katniss is speechless. She didn’t even think about it like that. It hadn’t even crossed her mind.
After that small talk, she’s soon making her way home. She sped as far as she could and by the looks of it, nobody was home. Peeta had updated that he was at the bakery and Finnick posted about late minute paperwork. So, everything was playing out in her favor.
She knew that she promised Peeta takeout, but she’s feeling inspired. She misses her boys and she hates how she’s ruined two dinners straight. So after showering and googling recepies, she’s making dinner.
She’s was awful at cooking. Extremely. She finds herself mixing up the sugar with the salt more than once and the amount of time that she’s been close to cutting herself are insane.
But she figures it out.
It takes a hour and a half to prepare dinner. She had setted up the table for the three of them and even went as far to playing a movie in the background. (The movie ended up distracting her more than twice, but she wouldn’t tell anybody that.)
She can hear the chatter behind the door and Finnick is obviously making Peeta laugh. She hears the keys jingle and she doesn’t know why she’s so nervous. How does she even approach them?
The door clicks open and like she thought, they were holding hands and sharing their daily rendezvous. Once they catch sight of her, they grow quiet and she feels like shouldn’t have done all of this at all.
“Katniss, you’re home!” Peeta says and he’s so excited that it makes her heart warm. She wasn’t expecting the smile on his face. It makes one bloom on her own face.
"And you cooked." Finnick says, eyeing the food and he quirks an eyebrow. "Or did you order carry out?"
It's an olive branch. He's not forcing her to talk about it now but he wants her to know that he’s there for her.
"Ouch, you don't think I can cook, Odair?" She says and it’s small banter. She doesn’t know it but she’s puffing her cheeks and he’s clicking his tongue with a knowing smile on his face.
"I'm a hundred percent sure that you can't cook, Katniss Everdeen."
"Well, I'll prove you wrong." She says and for the first time in a few days, their girlfriend is back. “If you guys want, you can go wash your hands and we can eat.”
They do as they’re told and soon, they’re gathering around the dinner table. They’re all exchanging words and Katniss is a little too proud with her meal. She’s beaming happily as the other two talk and Peeta brushes his hand on her knee, a silent thank you, and soon he’s going back to his food.
He's pulling back, waiting on her cue.
"I'm going to get us drinks, do you guys want anything?" Katniss says and Peeta shakes his head instantly. He doesn’t want a repeat from the other night. Katniss was still wearing band-aids in her hands.
"We don't want the same thing that happened the other night to happen. I'll do it." Finnick says and she shakes her head. The two were on a slight edge and she could feel it.
"I got it. Trust me." She says, standing from the chair and she's making her way to the fridge. They're both eyeing her carefully.
"You could live a thousand lifetimes and you would never deserve that boy. Either of them."
Her hands tremble for a second and she reaches for the drinks. She had made fresh limonade for the three of them as a treat and she hates how Cato’s words are sucking the small happiness she’s feeling right now.
"We managed to save a reserve today." She says, trying to distract her mind. Finnick catches how her hand trembles and how she’s slowly calming herself down. There’s three glasses of lemonades for them and she’s distracted by the good news. “It was my biggest project. Cinna was really happy with me. I can’t to show you guys.”
"So this is a celebratory dinner?" Finnick asks and Katniss supposes she can disguise it as that. So, she nods as she serves the glasses on the table.
"Okay, so i won't complain about how dry the mashed potatoes are.” He jokes and that earns a laugh from Peeta. Katniss can’t help but smile too.
"I hate you." She laughs, softly, but it means no harm. It has no weight.
Dinner goes really well. Finnick talks about his day, Peeta does the same and for once she can’t hear the words that echoed early in her head. She’s making faces and making both of them laugh as always.
The girl opts to do the dishes but both of them are instantly complaining. They push her to shower and she’s the first one ready for bed. Her hand is bandaged, she’s in Finnick’s shirt and Peeta’s combing her hair. While she got dressed and carefully cared for her hand, he was combing her hair throughly.
“Your hair’s getting long.” He comments and he doesn’t remember the last time he combed her hair. They’re waiting for Finnick to join them so that they can go to bed. Katniss is full, ready for bed, but she won’t go to bed without talking to either of them. She wants them to know that she’s happy with them.
“I know, I have to get a haircut soon.”
Peeta laughs. “By get your haircut, do you mean cut your hair an inch and cry about it afterwards?”
She laughs. “Hey. Finnick does the same. Don’t come for me like that.”
There’s silence for a few seconds and Peeta grunts. Katniss, confused, turns to her boyfriend and he has a boyish smile on his face. It’s one of her favorite smiles. It’s when his eyes are twinkling and he’s embarassed.
“I forgot how to make a braid.”
She laughs at his words. “It’s okay, I can—”
“No, let me.” The third voice says and both of them are turning to the honey blonde. He’s wearing boxers only and he has a soft smile on his face. It’s an intimate smile between the three of them and Katniss is instantly nodding.
Finnick’s sitting beside Peeta and she feels the change of hands. Peeta’s clumsy hands are no longer to be found and it’s obvious that he knows what he’s doing. He’s brushing her hair gently and she’s staring into space. Her thoughts are interumpted when he plants a kiss on the back of her neck and shivers are sent down her spine.
“Forgive me, love.” He says gently and the petname has her heart spinning. “I didn’t mean to snap at you like I did. You didn’t deserve any of that.” His fingers are playing with her hair and she feels her long hair tugging into a braid. “I’m really sorry.”
"It’s okay, Finnick. I deserved it." She says and he doesn’t say anymore, which surprises her at first. But once the braid is swaying on her back, she’s turning around to face him. He looks slightly upset, feeling like he crossed a line but she reaches for his cheeks. Her calloused hands hold his soft cheeks tight.
“I’ll always forgive you.”
She lets go of his cheeks, to reach for both of their hands. She’s in the middle and both of them are looking straight at her. She has so much to say. It’s obvious.
“I’m sorry." She starts. There's silence from both parties. "I'm sorry that I exploded on you guys for the past few days. I've just been on edge. And sometimes I wish I was better with my feelings, because I never want to snap at you guys like that again... But I couldn’t control the tiny voice in my head. That jabbing insecurity. I don't talk about it, but I think about it a lot. About how you guys deserve better than me. You guys don't see it. I guess love makes you blind. But I don't see myself as you guys do. I started thinking about the way I slouch. I started thinking about how rough around the edges I am. How rough I am compared to you guys and it just struck a nerve. Am I really… not deserving of you two?" She questions and the thought of her voicing her feelings, has a crack in her voice and she's so nervous. She doesn't even catch that her eyes water. She's done so much crying today. She clears her throat. "I'm sorry for being stupid. I hate being so weak."
Peeta, faster in reacting that Finnick, only sends a soft smile. He has gentleness in his eyes and she knows he means well. “Katniss, talk to us. You’re our special girl. We care about you so much... I don’t care what Cato said. He’s a dumbass. Do you remember when he had those ugly bangs?”
She laughs, but sniffles.
“You don’t have to fight these battles alone anymore. Please know that. We’re here for you and we have insecurities too. Insecurities that you constantly tackle down and make us feel absolutely loved. Don’t think for a second that you’re alone, baby.” Peeta says and she’s tearing up. But this time they’re happy tears. She squeezes his hand in utter love.
"I called Cato." Finnick says and she looks over at him in surprise. He was often calm, so she genuinely didn’t expect that. Peeta brushes his hands over Finnick’s bare knee in comfort as he explains. “I told him that his little comment wasn’t appreciated. That next time I even heard he glanced at you, I’d make sure to be locked up for one night.”
Finnick was a calm person but when it came to those he loved the most, he would do anything for them. “Kat, I was frustrated. You're thinking you're weak for needing validation from those you love the most. You're thinking that you don't deserve a single ounce of happiness when you deserve that and more. I wake up every single morning wishing I could give you guys the stars and going to bed with a new brainstorm for that.”
It makes Peeta smile.
"And please stop saying we deserve better.” Finnick only pleads. “I don’t want whatever and I’m pretty sure that Peeta doesn’t want that either. You’re our moon. Our very cold moon. I might complain but I miss waking up in the middle of the night because your cold toes are pressed on my ankles.”
That earns a laugh from Peeta and Katniss only looks at her lap. She’s listening to them.
"Sometimes I feel like a burden too. But then, I wake up and Peeta made too many cupcakes. He’s offering me some and I don’t have the heart to say no, because both of you have frosting on your noses. I like when he has frosting on his nose and I like seeing you try every single one of them. I like when you’re trying do your makeup and look at us through the mirror. When we nod and tell you to keep going. I wouldn’t choose anybody but you two. I’m pretty sure you guys are my soulmates.”
Finnick’s grabbed the tiny olive brach and he’s passed it on to Peeta. They’re talking about their own insecurities and how much they care for her. She can’t help the gloss in her eyes.
"I remember how scared I was when this happened at first." Peeta starts, he never voiced it so it catches her by surprised. "I was used to loving one person, but two? That scared me. I was scared it’d be a disaster... But now that I have the both of you? God, I can't live without either of you... We all have insecurities, Katniss. But you have to let us in. And you have to talk to us. We can't make them go away… but we can talk about them together." Peeta finishes his tiny speech and she’s wiping the tiny tears that left her eyes.
There’s so many I love yous being shared and she still struggled with saying it. She loves them, oh so much. But there’s tiny tears and a thumping heart distracting her.
"Katniss, we love you. I love you so much." Finnick says and her attention is entirely his. He's tugging his hand from hers and he's leaning to kiss her forehead gently. He’s still unsure of what she might want. But when she catches his lips in a small kiss, he knows it’ll be okay.
Her cheeks are red after the kiss, but she still kisses Peeta with the same gentleness. She wants them to know that she loves them. She loves them more than anything.
They turn off the lights and spend the night stealing kisses from each other. There’s a slight playfulness from Katniss when Peeta and Finnick kiss because she wants to kiss them again and again. It’s new for them, but they’re all in a bubble of love. The words that Cato told her long gone and she’s enjoying love.
It’s three in the morning when Katniss is finally lulling into sleep. She’s fighting agaisnt sleep but so are the other two.
“You are my moon.” She says, grabbing a hold of Peeta’s hand and she’s looking over at Finnick. Whose losing the battle with sleep.
“And you are my sun.” She says, planting a soft kiss on his lips.
“And there’s nobody I love more than the two of you.”