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In Sickness and In Health

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---five years after Mockingjay---

Katniss hurries through the frigid winter weather, the cold wind biting her cheeks and nipping at her already red tinted nose. Snowflakes fall onto her hair, glittering against the dark braided strands that fall over her shoulder. Her black boots dive into the inch deep snow as she walks towards her home, the socks that cover her feet dampening as the snow seeps inside. Her bloodshot eyes squint through the falling snow, trying to find her way through the crowds of people hurrying home from work or shopping. 

As she pushes the front door open, the sudden warmth envelops her shivering frame and she lets out a comfortable sigh once she's inside, the door closing, blocking out the cold. Rubbing her goose bump covered arms in an attempt to heat them, Katniss kicks her snowy boots off, leaving them strewn across the carpet, and she pulls the wool socks off with them, dropping them on the floor. She's taking off her jacket and hanging it up when Katniss recognizes her husband's blue winter coat hanging in it's rightful spot on the coat rack, and her eyebrows furrow in confusion. 

He's not supposed to be home till later, working at the bakery until late as he had told her over breakfast earlier that morning. But maybe he'd came home early due to the sudden snow storm that had started an hour ago. Katniss had been out hunting when the clouds rolled in and the first snowflakes started to rain down. At first, she hadn't thought anything of it and continued to follow the rabbit tracks. But then the wind picked up and the snow started getting heavier, the tracks disappearing before her eyes, and she had turned back to get home. 

With a frown tugging at her lips, Katniss steps further into the house, her bare feet padding against the cool wooden floors and as her toes curl, she makes a mental note to go put another pair of wool socks on. She turns into the living room and finds her husband's sleeping frame laid across the couch, a blanket pulled up to his chest. He's breathing with his mouth open and his nose is tinged a light shade of red. Her grey eyes look away from her husband and down to the floor where crumpled tissues are sitting in a messy pile. 

Her frown deepens and she moves to sit beside his hips on a space of the couch where his body isn't occupying. She pulls the blanket up a higher under his chin then presses the back of her head to his cheek then his forehead. He's warm, really warm. At her soft touch, Peeta stirs and Katniss retracts her hand, setting it on the other side of his body, and smiles when his blue eyes blink open. They flicker around the living room for a minute, his features etched into confusion, but when they land on hers, he relaxes into the couch. 

"Hey," Katniss says quietly. "Thought you were working late?" 

Peeta lifts a hand to rub his crusty eye. "I don't feel well." 

Well, that part is obvious, Katniss thinks, but worry still surges through her and the skin between her eyebrows is pinching as she asks if he's taken his temperature yet. When he closes his eyes as fatigue takes over and his head almost unnoticeable shakes, Katniss announces she'll be right back before practically running to the staircase and bounding up the stairs. She pushes the door to their bedroom open and grabs Peeta's pillow off the bed then grabs a dark navy blue sweater out of the dresser drawer since he's in a T-shirt (it gets hot in the bakery) but before she heads back downstairs, Katniss enters the bathroom and grabs the thermometer out of the medicine cabinet. 

She walks back into the living room to find Peeta sitting up, blowing his nose into a tissue and when he's done, he drops it to the ground beside the other ones but she keeps quiet, unsanitary things not her number one priority at the moment. He lays back down with a miserable grown and Katniss hates to do it, but she asks him to sit back up. When he doesn't show any sign of hearing her, she snakes her unoccupied arm behind his back and lifts him into a sitting position as Peeta whines out her name. 

"I'm sorry," she mutters, "but I brought you a pillow and a sweater." Peeta's half lidded eyes meet hers as Katniss places the pillow behind them then pulls the warm sweater over his blond head, helping him pull his arms through the sleeves. Katniss tugs the hem down to his hips and pats his leg. "There. Now, set this under your tongue." She hands him the thermometer. 

"Katniss," he whines but does as she says, laying back down, a pout on his face.

Biting down a laugh, Katniss switches her gaze over to the clock hanging on the wall beside the doorway to the kitchen, watching the ticking hands. When one minute passes, she reaches over and pulls the thermometer out of his mouth, peering down at the red line and the small black numbers. Her eyes widen. 102. 1 Fahrenheit. 

"What is it?" Peeta asks, his voice hoarse. 

Katniss just smiles. "Nothing to worry about. Are you hungry?" 

"Yeah, but my throat hurts," he tells her, pulling the blanket up high. 

"Soup?" she asks, already standing up and when he hums in response, Katniss takes that as a yes so she quickly closes the curtains, darkness enveloping the living room, then heads into the kitchen as Peeta falls back into a light sleep. Katniss doesn't cook, Peeta usually makes their meals, so she pulls out a cookbook from deep inside a cabinet that she's probably only used a couple times, and blows the collected dust off the cover. 

Flipping through the pages, Katniss stops on one with a recipe for chicken noodle soup, something her mother had always said seemed to help with colds and soothe sore throats. Her finger travels along the words printed in black ink and as she reads, Katniss collects all the ingredients from around the kitchen, placing them all on the counter beside the stove where a pot of boiling water sits. 

As Katniss is pouring the noodles into the pot of hot water, the phone hanging against the wall to her right rings and she quickly answers it, not wanting to disturb Peeta. With a soft voice, barely above a whisper, Katniss answers, "Hello?" 

"Katniss!" A familiar voice exclaims. 

"Mom?" Creases appear on her forehead. "Is everything okay?" 

Her mom laughs on the other end. "Yes, I'm just checking in." 

"You never- okay." Katniss shakes her head to clear her thoughts. "How are you?" 

While her mom talks away about how her life in District Four is, Katniss holds the phone between her forehead and cheek as she cuts up a couple carrots. She lets out a few halfhearted uh-huh's, mhm's, and oh's as her mom tells her all the stories that occur at the hospital she currently works at and how Prim would have loved to work there as her apprentice and at that, a pain jolts through Katniss' chest. 

"Yeah," Katniss says with a breathy laugh. "She would have loved that." 

Her mom instantly agrees. "Enough about me. How are you, Katniss?" 

"Well," she replies, dropping the cut up carrots into the pot, silently hoping that she's making this the right way so she doesn't have to travel out into that storm to buy a can of soup. "Peeta brought up kids again a couple weeks ago." 

"And?" Katniss can't help but sense the eagerness in her mom's voice. 

Katniss hesitates, biting down on her lip. "I'm...thinking about it." 

"You are?" Her mom sounds shocked. 

She nods even though she knows her mom can't see her. "Yeah. But... I don't know." 

Her mom lets out a patient sigh. "Take time to think it through. You're still young." 

Katniss manages to crack a smile. "True." 

"Anyways, how is Peeta?" 

Katniss peers around the corner into the living room where Peeta's passed out cold on the couch, a tissue clutched in his fist. "He isn't feeling well." Her lips purse together as she turns back to the task in front of her, unwrapping a broth flavored cube and dropping it into the pot with all the other ingredients. It lands in the water with a plop. 

"Does he have a cold?" Her mom asks, sounding genuinely worried. 

"I'm not sure," Katniss admits, setting a cover over the pot. "He's got a high fever." 

There's a bit of rustling and static on the other end and Katniss thinks her mom has hung up until the line crackles and her mom's asking her for all Peeta's symptoms. Katniss tries her best to explain all of what little she knows since Peeta's been in and out of sleep since she's gotten home, not talking much in the short minutes he was awake. Her mother hums and she hears a sound of soft scratching, and Katniss assumes her mom is writing this all down. A couple minutes later, Katniss is leaning against the counter, keeping an eye on the soup, holding the phone against her ear as she waits for her mom to give a diagnosis. 

Finally, her mom speaks up, "sounds like the flu, Katniss." 

"The flu?" As the words escape her mouth, nausea bubbles up in her throat. Many people in district twelve have suffered from the illness known as the flu. Fever, chills, body aches, everything. Some people recover, but most have passed away from it due to the lack of food intake and the fact their district doesn't have the proper medication. "Will he be okay?" 

"H-he should be," her mom hesitates. "As long as he gets the proper treatment." 

"Treatment?" Katniss grows irritated. Doesn't her mom remember that twelve doesn't have a lot of medication? "What's the treatment?" 

"Okay, it's herbs you put in drinks, not so much a medication." 

"How the hell am I supposed to get herbs in the dead of winter?" Katniss snaps. 

"Ask the doctors there if they have sage and rosemary." 

"Mom, it's winter. No one is going to have-" 

"Katniss," her mom interrupts, her voice stern. "They will have it." 

Katniss pinches the bridge of her nose, eyes closing. "Okay, fine. I'll go ask them." 

"Good. Now, I've got to go. Tell Peeta I hope he gets well soon." 

"I will. Bye, Mom," Katniss says before hanging up the phone, setting it back on the receiver. She stands there for a moment, replaying the conversation between her and her mom within her mind. Sage and Rosemary. The doctors will have it. A humorless laugh bubbles up her throat but she swallows it down. A cough from the living room snaps her out of her thoughts, reminding her what's important, and she switches the stove from high to low before heading to the doorway and slipping on her boots and zipping up her coat. 

The storm has not gotten better, Katniss notices as she steps out into the cold air, her eyes already freeing open and her cheeks turning red, her nose numbing. She wraps her arms around herself, pulling the coat tighter around her, as she tracks through the thick snow in the direction of the small infirmary deeper into the district. Katniss tries to look through the whiteness swirling around her and she realizes no one else is outside except her, everyone had gone home and is safely inside with the warmth of the furnace or fire place. 

Katniss can see the faint outline of the infirmary through the falling snow and she picks up her pace, almost running, and she bursts through the doors closing her eyes as the heat hugs her body. Someone's calling her name but it's muffled through the ringing of her ears but she has a sense she's worrying people as she stands in the doorway, stiff and eyes closed. Blinking her watery eyes open, Katniss glances around and finds a doctor standing right in front of her, eyebrows knit and lips tugged down. 

"Are you alright?" the doctor, whose name tag reads Allegra, repeats. 

"Um yes," Katniss says, a bit distracted. "I was wondering if you have any sage or rosemary?" 

Allegra coils back slightly, raising an eyebrow. "For?" 

"My husband is sick," Katniss tells her, not in the mood for an interrogation. 

"Oh." Allegra relaxes. "Yes, we do. Just wait right here." 

Katniss nods, watching as Allegra swivels around and saunters behind a curtain, out of sight. She looks around the infirmary as she waits, rocking on the balls of her feet, and she notices not many of the beds are occupied, only a couple, which is good. Other than the clinking of metal tools and the occasional cough or sniffle. A couple minutes pass in a breeze until Allegra appears holding a disposable container with Rosemary and Sage plants safely tucked inside. 

"Thank you," Katniss says gratefully, taking the container out of her hands as she explains how to use the plants as a medication that actually works. When she's done, Allegra tells Katniss to be careful out in the storm then bids her a farewell. Katniss waves on her way out and tucks the container in her jacket as she breaks out into a run. She's just about to walk onto the first step to the doorway when he foot slips on a patch of ice and she falls, splitting her lip open but she doesn't care as she gets right back up and walks inside. 

Something's wrong though, she notices, as she shuts the door behind her and sets the container of plants on the table beside the door. Katniss kicks her boots off, and thankfully her socks are still dry, and walks deeper into the house, peering into the living room where a vacant couch sits, blankets thrown astray. Where's Peeta? Alarm rushes through her but her lips only form his name before she hears him from upstairs: 

"Katniss!?" his voice is hoarse and frantic. "Where are you?" 

"Peeta!" She calls out, walking toward the staircase where Peeta appears and once his blue eyes meet her grey ones, his shoulders collapse and he limps down the stairs. Her arms are barely open when Peeta crashes into her, his fingers digging into her back as he hugs her tight, his face burying into the crook of her neck. "Hey, hey, hey," she says, "what's wrong?" 

His voice wavers as he speaks, "I-I was sleeping and I had a nightmare where you- where you... and then I woke up and you weren't- you weren't there and-" 

"I'm here now," Katniss mutters comfortingly, running her fingers through his blond strands as her other arm holds his shaking shoulders. He sniffles against her shoulder and takes a step away to wipe his nose against his sleeve and her nose scrunches in distaste. 

 "I'm sorry I freaked out like that," Peeta apologizes before coughing repeatedly into the crook of his elbow. 

"Okay," Katniss says and grabs his arm, gently pulling him back into the living room where she helps him lay down on the couch. He watches her with half-lidded eyes as she grabs the blanket off the ground and covers him up, squeezing his shoulder as she stands but he catches her arm before she can so much as take a step away from him. "What?" she asks softly as she turns back around to face him. 

Peeta swallows thickly and he winces, probably from a soar throat. "Lay with me?" 

"I have soup ready in the kitchen." Katniss jabs her thumbs behind her shoulder in the direction of the kitchen where the pot of soup was still sitting on the stove keeping warm. 

"I'm not hungry," he says and tugs on her arm. "Stay with me?" 

"Always, but first I have to turn the stove off okay?" She twists her arm out of his grasp and swivels around to the kitchen where she turns the knob 'off' and moves the pot filled with homemade chicken noodle soup to a different burner.

 When she returns into the living room, Peeta is half asleep but when she climbs over him, he holds the blanket up so she can slip in beside him. Katniss snuggles up beside him, intertwining their legs and she rests her head on his chest as his arms wrap around her body. At the moment, she doesn't care if she gets sick, they have enough herbs for the both of them. 

The herbs! 

Katniss sits up, rolling her eyes when Peeta whines out her name and curls his fingers around her wrist to keep her in place. "If you don't want to get better, that's on you." She gives him a pointed look and his grip loosens. "But I highly suggest you take the medicine I walked all the way across the district in a snow storm for." 

"That's where you were?" Peeta asks. 

"Yes," she replies as she climbs over him again, standing to walk into the kitchen where she begins brewing a cup of tea. As that's warming up in the microwave, Katniss wraps up the pot of now cold soup and slides it into the fridge. The microwave beeps, signaling the water is warmed up and she takes the cup out and sets the green tea bag in it along with some rosemary leaves. A minute passes before the clear liquid takes on the color the tea bag releases and when it does fully color, Katniss brings it carefully over to Peeta in the living room. 

Peeta meets her eyes from across the room and sits up. "Where's the medicine?" He accepts the cup, muttering her a thanks before blowing the steam away and taking a sip, wincing as it increases the burning in his throat, but then relaxes when it starts to soothe it. 

"In the tea," Katniss tells him as she sits beside him, laying her head on his shoulder. 

"Oh, that's smart," Peeta comments after he swallows another sip of tea. He leans back against his pillow as Katniss turns on the TV and tries to find something to watch that they haven't already seen. They both settle for some TV show rerun from years ago that they'd both enjoyed when they'd came across it a year ago. 

As the sun begins to set and the moon starts to rise, their living room darkens from the lack of sunlight beaming through the windows. Once Peeta's cup is drained over the course of a couple minutes, they snuggle up on the couch with the blankets tugged up high, the only light and sound coming from their TV that they put all their attention into. Soon, as the fatigue and exhaustion takes them over and they fall into a dreamless sleep. 

When Katniss blinks her eyes open there's absolutely no light coming through the windows, only the TV illuminating the dark living room. She yawns and rubs at her eyes before prying herself out of Peeta's strong arms that are wrapped around her waist, moving carefully over Peeta who's sleeping with his mouth open, a bit of drool on the corner of his mouth. When both of her feet are planted on the ground, Katniss wipes it away with the corner of the blanket before heading into the kitchen where she heats up a bowl of soup as her stomach grumbles. 

Opening the microwave before it beeps, Katniss grabs the steaming bowl and stirs it around subconsciously with a spoon as she watches Peeta's frame, the flickering light from the TV making him seem ghost like- not that his paled skin helped that matter- from her spot in the kitchen. She watches as he turns onto his side, facing the back of the couch, and his arms hug his pillow as he begins to cough in his sleep. 

She looks away and at the clock on the wall across from her, reading 10:23 p.m and her eyes widen because they'd been asleep for a good few hours. Then she frowns as she realizes Peeta still hasn't eaten, and she doesn't know how much he'd eaten before she'd gotten home. Setting her bowl down on the counter, Katniss proceeds to heat up another bowl of soup for Peeta because no matter how sick he is, he needs to eat. 

Again, Katniss stops the microwave before it beeps and takes the soup out. She eats her own as she waits for his to cool down and when there's no longer steam rising from the bowl, Katniss sets her empty one in the sink and brings Peeta's into the living room. On her way, she grabs a bottle of water from the fridge and a folded up coffee table leaning against the staircase and sets it up beside Peeta, placing the bowl on the surface and the water beside that. 

"Peeta," she whispers as she sits beside his legs and shakes his shoulder lightly. Guilt washes over her because he looks so relaxed and unharmed while sleeping but she pushes it away as she remembers he probably hasn't eaten since breakfast which he barely even nibbled. He doesn't stir so she shakes his shoulder again, repeating his name but louder. 

This time, Peeta flips around and his eyes slowly open, squinting through the dim flickering light of the TV. "Hm?" he hums, reaching a fist up to rub his red rimmed eyes. 

"I heated you up some soup," Katniss tells him softly, her fingers tips brushing against his warm forehead lightly as she moves his hair away from his eyes. She then presses the back of her hand to his forehead, pursing his lips when she realizes he hasn't gotten any better, but quite possible worse. "You need to eat." Pulling her hand away, Katniss helps him sit up behind the portable coffee table. "I also got you water. Do you need anything else?" 

He shakes his head. "No. I'm not really hungry though." 

Frowning, Katniss asks, "When is the last time you've eaten?" 

"This morning," is his answer as he sips some broth from the spoon, shuddering as the warmth travels through his soar throat and down his body. 

Katniss pulls the blanket over his shoulders. "Then you definitely need to eat." 

He doesn't reply, just does what she says and takes another sip of the broth, purposefully straying away from the noodles and chopped vegetables. Katniss makes a mental note that tomorrow when he gets hungry to only heat the broth and leave the solid foods out. As she watches him closely, Katniss notices how he thickly swallows each spoonful and she wonders if they have any throat medicine in the cabinet. 

Announcing she'll be right back, Katniss stands and strides into the kitchen and opens the cabinet that holds all the medicine they might have. She digs through the bottles full of either pills and liquids. She finds honey flavored throat lozenges that she finds disgusting but maybe Peeta likes them. Grabbing the bag, she shuts the cabinet and heads back into the kitchen, pulling the zip lock open and grabbing one out as she sits back down on her spot beside Peeta on the couch. 

"I found something that will help your throat." Katniss hands him the still wrapped cough drop and he thanks her as he starts to unwrap it, plopping it into his mouth. At first, his face scrunches up in disgust and she swallows down a laugh, but quite frankly, she agrees with him. But after a couple minutes, the creases on his forehead relaxes and he moves to lay back down. "Don't choke," she tells him as she collects his empty bowl and spoon, bringing them back to the kitchen, setting them in the sink. 

When she's back in the living room, Peeta is half asleep but shivering and before his eyes close all the way and his breathing evens out, Katniss asks if he wants to take a shower which he responds with a shake of his head. He just holds his arms out to her and she lays down beside him, wrapping her arms around his middle, laying her head on his chest, closing her eyes as he twirls her braid around his fingers. 

She's about to doze off when Peeta sneezes. "Bless you." 

"Thanks," Peeta responds quietly. 

A few minutes of comfortable silence pass before she leans up on her elbows and suggest they head up for bed since they're both about ready to fall asleep anyway. Peeta nods in agreement so she stands and helps him up after turning the TV off. Their house is enveloped in entire darkness and it takes a few moments for their eyes to adjust. She grabs his pillow and they make their way to the staircase, Katniss helping him slowly walk up the stairs as he leans most his weight on her and she starts to worry when his breathing becomes more rapid. 

"You okay?" she asks once they're at the top of the stairs and she pushes their bedroom door open, turning the light on so they don't run into anything on their way to the bed. Peeta nods, catching his breath, and he lays down on his side of the bed, slipping underneath the covers after she gives him his pillow and closes his eyes. 

Once Katniss grabs sweatpants out of one of her dresser drawers and exchanges her jeans for the more comfortable clothing, she shut the lights off and crawls into bed beside Peeta, slipping beneath the warm covers. Katniss wouldn't admit it to anyone who asks, but she's actually the cuddly one in the relationship, so she curls up close to Peeta, throwing an arm over his middle and he does the same, appreciating the extra warmth. 

"Thank you, for taking care of me," Peeta whispers to her.

"Of course," she responds and leans forward to press her lips to his feverishly warm ones, not really caring if she gets sick. Katniss would rather them be sick together just to get the flu out of their house, than to get it herself a week later and repeat the circle. 

After she pulls away, the sound of the wind howling outside their bedroom window and the warmth of the blankets and each other's company, they let the sleepy haze come over them and they fall into a, thankfully, dreamless sleep. 


Katniss wakes a couple hours later to the unpleasant sound of retching coming from the bathroom inside the bedroom she shares with her husband Peeta. Speaking of Peeta, he'd fallen ill the day prior and Katniss' hopes of him getting better dissipate as she slides out of bed, her bare feet padding against the wooden floors as she saunters over to the bathroom. 

Pushing the door open slowly, her heart nearly drops to her stomach as she sees Peeta dry heaving into the toilet, his blond hair falling into his face, blue eyes closed from pain. His back muscles tighten as he lets out another retch. 

"Oh, Peeta," she whispers and kneels down beside him, running the palm of her hand over the smooth skin of his back while the other hand continuously brushes the hair out of his face. A tear escapes his eye as blood dribbles into the water and the anxiousness she's been sporting since coming home to him passed out on the couch yesterday increases. "That's not good," she mutters to herself as Peeta rests his forehead against the basin. 

"I- I'm okay," he whispers weakly and Katniss doesn't have the heart to laugh. 

"Are you okay? Do you want to go back to bed?" Katniss asks. 

Peeta hums. "Bed sounds nice." 

Getting back onto her feet, Katniss helps Peeta stand, waiting a couple seconds in case his stomach decides to betray him once again, but once the coast is clear they slowly make their way back into the bedroom. Katniss helps him lay down, covering him back up with the warm blanket and presses a kiss to his sweaty forehead before excusing herself to go call her mother. 

She runs down the steps, almost tripping over her own feet and toppling the rest of the way, and when she's inside the kitchen, she dials her mom's number into the house phone. Katniss holds it up to her ear, tapping her foot against the ground and biting her lip. As the phone rings, waiting for the other line to pick up, she finds herself glancing up to the staircase every now and then, waiting for the sound of Peeta getting sick again to travel throughout the house, but thankfully all she hears is silence. 

"Hello?" her mother's soft voice wafts through the phone and into Katniss' ear. 

"Hey, Mom." 

"Oh, Katniss! How's Peeta?" 

Katniss glances upstairs. "He got sick . Threw up blood. Is that a bad thing?" 

There's nothing but silence which does not help Katniss' nerves. For all she knows her husband could be dying and there's nothing she can do about it. The nervous butterflies seem to be tearing up her insides and she kind of feels like she's going to puke but fortunately her mother's voice kicks in a few seconds later, "Has he drank anything lately?" 

"Some water last night but not much," she answers, recalling the night before. 

"He's probably just dehydrated," her mom tells her and a sigh escapes Katniss' body at her comforting words. So Peeta isn't dying. "His throat is dry so when he got sick earlier, the pressure caused him to bleed. It's pretty normal but still keep a look out for it, okay? If it gets worse I would take him to a doctor." 

"Okay, thank you," Katniss says gratefully, fingering the collar of her shirt. "When can he eat?" 

Her mom hums in thought. "I'd try water first and if that sits well then give him a few crackers." 

"Thanks again, Mom. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?" 

"Okay. Bye, Katniss." 

"Bye." She pulls the phone away and hangs it back up on the receiver before grabbing a small cup out of one of the many cabinets lining the upper walls of the kitchen, and fills it half way with water. She's smart enough to know not to give a person who had just thrown up too much water. Shutting the faucet off, Katniss hurries back up the stairs and into her and Peeta's room where he's laying on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. "Hey." 

Peeta glances at her. "The room is spinning." 

Katniss furrows her eyebrows. "I brought you water." 

"Eh, I'm good for now." His nose scrunches up. "I just want to sleep." 

"Of course." She sets the cup down on the bedside table before sitting down next to him on the bed and feeling his forehead with the back of her hand. She pulls it away with a frown. "Do you want me to get you anything? More blankets? A sweater? Socks? A heat pad?" 

He closes his eyes as he leans into her touch when her hand slides from his forehead down to his soft cheek, and his lips twitch upwards as her thumbs caresses the skin beneath his eye. "I want you to lay down with me." Peeta curls his hands around her wrist and tugs her down and she willingly curls up into his side, not caring that he's probably infecting her with whatever sickness his body is hosting but she could care less right now. 

The moonlight seeps through where the curtains meets in front of the windows, shining down on their two still frames, and Katniss trails her eyes up to his face. The white light of outside illuminates his pale skin and his hair seems to shimmer. His lips are parted slightly, something he doesn't normally do (she guesses it's the stuffed nose) and he's breathing deeply and evenly, and she knows he's already asleep with his arm around her. Katniss adjusts her head so it rests on his chest, right above his strongly beating heart, a reminder that he's okay and just has a small little flu. 

With the soft moonlight shining throughout the room and the sound of his steady heartbeat, Katniss is lulled back into a dreamless sleeps with hopes of a better, healthier tomorrow. 


The next time she wakes up, sunlight is brightening the room in a yellow hue and Katniss is flipped onto her stomach, face buried in her pillow in which she's hugging. She yawns and stretches out her limbs before turning around to Peeta's side of the bed and she smiles, reaching out to squeeze his hand resting against the white sheets. 

He's sitting against the headboard, slowly sipping the now warm water out of the cup she'd gotten for him the night prior. Feeling her soft touch, Peeta looks down at her with those shining blue eyes she's fallen in love with and they sparkle as he smiles behind the rim of the cup, squeezing her hand in return. 

"How are you feeling?" Katniss asks softly. 

Peeta shrugs, lowering the cup from his mouth. "Better but not one hundred percent." 

"Did you get sick anymore throughout the night?" 

"Fortunately, no." 

"That's good," she says as she sits up and presses the back of her hand to his forehead. Beads of sweat are near his hairline and she guesses it's from the extra blankets he'd grabbed when she'd fallen asleep and the sweater he'd thrown on, but he doesn't feel warm. "Your fever broke." 

After setting the cup down on the bedside table, Peeta slides back down into a laying position and wraps his arms around her waist, burying his face into her side and Katniss smiles fondly as she runs her fingers through the messy, blond strands of hair. 

Her smile widens a few minutes later when he mumbles against her shirt that he's hungry and subtly mentions he'd like a couple pieces of toast. Katniss gladly heads downstairs into their kitchen to butter him some toast, happy that his appetite is slowly coming back. He eats the first slice no problem but can't make it through the second one before falling asleep against her, but Katniss can't keep the smile off her face. 

He may not be one hundred percent better but progress it progress, right?