AU: Gale takes the fall for Finnick in the Capitol. Peeta’s POV
Before Katniss could stop him, he’s pushing her into my arms and slipping something into my hand. I fold my fingers around whatever it is as I try to keep my hold on Katniss, “take care of her,” he says in a low voice. His hand softly caresses her cheek for a moment as he then jumps into the tunnel, to save Finnick, someone he hardly knows. Katniss is now screaming at the top of her lungs, begging for him to come back, but he is long gone. Finnick crawls out of the tunnel with half of his arm missing and although his wounds are deep, they aren’t fatal. The mutts have gone silent, along with Gale’s screams. Katniss breaks free from my arms and runs into the tunnel to tend to Gale. I let her go knowing that the mutts are gone, but I follow after her. I know what she is about to see will break her into more pieces then anything to do with this rebellion has. When I finally reach her she’s sobbing on Gale’s chest and squeezing his hand. The pool of blood underneath him makes me aware that there is no saving him. Take care of her, I repeat in my head. I open my hand to see what Gale gave me. A bracelet designed to look like a snare. Gale Hawthorne, the bravest man I’ve ever known, gave his life to save someone he hardly knew, and left the girl he loved in my hands. He really is a soldier.
Peeta’s hijacking from Darius’ POV.
I wish I still had a voice; I wish I could tell him that he has a friend here. They tie Peeta down to a chair and inject him with something that makes him scream and thrash and cry. I can tell he tries not to. When he’s weak and scared, they sit him in front of the large screen and play images of Katniss, one after another. A woman stands in the corner of the room and reads out events that never happened; horrible things that show Katniss as a murderer, a thief, a mutt. I can see the moment when he starts to believe; the precise second when love gives way to suspicion. I want to move from the corner of the room and clutch at his hand and tell him that I love her too; a different way than he does, but still love. And she’ll sit in our hearts whether the Capitol likes it or not. That night, I sneak out of my quarters and find an old magazine in the trash. There are pictures of Katniss in that awful wedding dress they wanted her to wear, and so I tear one out. When they send me in to take Peeta his food, I slip the picture under his plate. Something to hold on to. A piece of Katniss he can use to pull himself back. I know the Capitol can see what I’ve done, because the next morning they’re dragging me out of my bed and down into the cells. Death doesn’t come quick enough.
Katniss & Peeta- We’ll find better days