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Title: Three Times Gale Hawthorne Defended Katniss Everdeen (and three times he couldn't)
Author: audreyii_fic
Fandom: The Hunger Games
Rating: M
Characters: Gale, Katniss, and others
Genre: Romance/Angst
Warnings: Language, non-explicit sex, a touch of heartfail


Summary:
Gale always looks out for Katniss, even when she doesn't know it. Pre-Hunger Games through the beginning of Catching Fire. Canon-compliant.


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A/N: My first shot at a Hunger Games fic. Kindly bear in mind that I like aspects of the first book, lose interest in the second, and actively dislike the third; that being said, having issues with a series has never stopped me from writing.

This is not one of my cleaner efforts, but I needed to get it out of my head so I could get back to other obligations. Also I'm kind of obsessed with second person these days. Sorry.






Three Times Gale Hawthorne Defended Katniss Everdeen
(and three times he couldn't)





as sure as night is dark and day is light / i keep you on my mind both day and night
Live, "I Walk The Line"



i.


You knock on the back door of the blue house, and the sound echoes through the alley. "Don't say anything. Just watch."


She scowls at you. It reminds you of Vick when he's told to do his homework. Catnip is twelve but she's still young -- tough-as-nails, but young nonetheless. "They're my fish, Gale," she says, hefting the bag of game over her shoulder. Her squirrels hang from her belt; no reason to hide them when you're just slinking behind the houses. "I should get a say."


"Don't worry, he'll pay. This guy loves crappies." You still can't figure out how she managed to shoot them so perfectly; crappies are small and fast and she managed to take down eight with a bow. You've only ever managed to net them, and not many at that. You're not sure if you're impressed or jealous. Probably both. "Now stand back and let me handle it."


Katniss snorts like she thinks you're full of shit. You are. It took six months of trial and error to learn how to haggle properly and you still get a raw deal a lot of the time. But you've got the basic skills down, which is more than you can say for her; she's never even tried to sell before. This is the first time you've let her come with you, and only because you had the flu a week ago and realized that if you dropped dead Katniss would have to take over. You're not friends, not really, but you're partners now and she needs to know this stuff. And there's no reason for her to make all the same mistakes you made.


Besides, teaching is kind of fun.


It takes another long minute of waiting -- Katniss bounces on the balls of her feet -- but the door finally opens. The guy who loves crappies raises his bushy silver eyebrows. "I wasn't expecting you today," he says kindly.


"Wasn't expecting to have so much luck this morning." You keep your tone light and friendly, like you're delighted to be there -- this one responds well to pleasantries. To a certain extent you are delighted. You're about to make money. Most of your buyers pay in trade, which is fine, but coin is better. Coin means options. "We've got your favorite."


"We, huh?" The guy who loves crappies -- no, you don't know his name, and he doesn't know yours, it's better that way with the merchants -- glances at Katniss. She gives him a smile. It's completely fake, of course, but you told her to at least pretend to be pleasant when negotiating with certain customers and it seems she listened. Good girl. "Who's this?"


"She's tagging along," you answer quickly, not giving Katniss a chance to speak. (A smile was enough; a pleasant response would be asking too much.) "She might be the one selling sometimes."


"Ah." He scratches his chin. "I see. Well, let's look at the fish first, shall we?"


You nod to Katniss; she opens her sack and pulls out the string of crappies. They're fresh, clean, and still bright-scaled. The arrows somehow got every one of them through the eyes. Fucking amazing. Between her shooting and your trapping your families will always have a meal.


The guy inspects the fish for a long moment, turning them over a few times, then reaches into his pocket. "I'll give you five," he says, pulling out his wallet.


You open your mouth, ready to haggle -- then pause, too shocked to speak. Katniss makes the tiniest surprised noise. The fish are worth three. At most. And you should have had to argue him up to that.


"All right," you say hesitantly. Katniss hands over the string; the guy who loves crappies (and holy shit he must love them) gives you the ridiculous number of coins. "Thank you."


"You're very welcome," he says, voice still pleasant. "Now, how much for the rest?"


And he glances at Katniss again.


It takes you a half-second to understand -- is he looking at the squirrels? -- but then you get it. Fire flares hot in your chest and your hands automatically curl into fists. "Not for sale," you manage between gritted teeth.


"Twenty," the guy who loves crappies offers. Kind and friendly, like you're still talking about fish.


"No."


"Thirty."


Catnip's gray eyes widen and you're going to shake apart with rage. "I said no."


"Well, aren't you high and mighty all of the sudden." He's not quite so friendly now. He shifts his weight and there's a bulge in his pants. "Thirty-five. Final offer."


You're so angry that you can't even see straight, but your brain goes on auto-pilot. Thirty-five equals four bottles of oil, eight pounds of beans, eleven sacks of grain...


Doing the math is just a knee-jerk reaction.


You hate yourself anyway.


It takes you a moment to find your voice, but then you're snapping "Enjoy the fish" and pushing Katniss away from the blue house and down the alley. A few seconds later you hear the door slam behind you.


You turn a corner and have to actually stop to breathe, your lungs burning, everything burning. This stuff happens to people all the time but it's the first time it's happened to you. And even though the guy who loves crappies is middle-aged and soft around the middle, he's still big; if he'd grabbed her you probably wouldn't have been able to protect her. It would've been your fault, all your fault. You brought her here.


"Gale!" Katniss shoves your shoulder; she's freakishly strong for her size, and your back collides with the brick wall. "What the hell is wrong with you? Thirty-five? Why didn't you take it? Thirty-five!"


You stare at her blankly.


"Who the hell else is going to pay that much for squirrels?" she seethes.


You keep staring.


"Gale! Are you even listening to me?" Katniss is as angry as you've ever seen. (She's a slow burn, cold and aloof ninety-five percent of the time, but when she gets going she really gets going.) "How was that haggling?"


She has no idea.


God, she's so fucking young.


"It wasn't haggling," you hear yourself say slowly. "It was... the squirrels, they're for the baker. He gets first pick. Then Greasy Sae."


"They won't give us anything worth thirty-five!"


"It doesn't matter!" you shout. She looks surprised at your outburst and you can't decide if you want to hug her or shake her. "It doesn't matter," you repeat more quietly, trying to keep your temper under control. (She'd've been inside the house and you'd've been outside and you couldn't have done anything about it, you're fourteen, still skinny from your growth spurt, a Seam kid and a poacher to boot, no one would have helped you--) "Look, it's... business. Maybe this guy wants the squirrels today, but he won't want them next week. The baker, he always wants squirrels, he's been buying them for years and always trades well. We treat him fair, he treats us fair, and that's just... it's how it works." You're fully aware that you're not making much sense. "Listen, we're not selling to this guy anymore. Don't come back here, okay?"


She gapes like you've grown another head. "He paid five for fish and you don't want to trade? I can shoot tons of--"


"Please, Catnip." You're scarily close to begging. "Don't come back here. We'll find someone else to buy the crappies from now on, don't worry. I know what I'm doing. Trust me."


Katniss looks at you for another moment, studying your face. Then she nods once, reluctantly. She does trust you. It's new and catches you a little off-guard.


"Good. Okay. Let's go, lots to sell still. It's hot, don't want the meat to go bad. Just wait 'til we get to the Hob, the rabbit's'll go for..." You prattle on as the two of you walk and hope it's not too obvious that you're trying to calm your nerves. The whole thing has you so fucking rattled you can hardly keep your voice from shaking. But at least Katniss didn't understand what the guy who loves crappies really wanted. At least there's that.


Because you know that Catnip knows the math too. And if she understood what the guy who loves crappies really wanted she would think Thirty-five equals four bottles of oil, eight pounds of beans, eleven sacks of grain and walk right into the blue house without a second thought.




ii.


In the hall at school, one of the merchant kids -- big, older, and blonde like all the others -- stares at Katniss as she hoists her backpack. She's just starting to fill out and get a few curves on a steady diet of wild turkey. He smirks and you overhear him say, "Nice piece of ass. Think she'll take it against the wall like the other Seam sluts?"


You break his nose and your knuckle in the process.


You tell yourself you were defending all Seam girls with that one.


(When Katniss asks what happened -- she hadn't heard the bastard's comments -- you tell her he said something about Rory's lisp. She nods, because defense of family is something she understands. And during the month it takes your hand to heal she gets a lot better at setting traps.)




iii.


You're fully aware that you've got a temper problem. You can feel it solidifying as you get older, iron in your bones that stiffens your spine but might make it hard to bend one day. So when Darius tickles Catnip's face with her braid, you're not surprised that it makes you angry.


What surprises you is the reason why.


You want to dislike it because of the presumptuousness. The Peacekeeper touches the Seam girl because he thinks he has a right to do so, because working for the Capitol means he can take whatever he wants. Peacekeepers pull shit like that all the time and no one says a word. No one wants to make trouble. (You'd be happy to make trouble.) Peacekeepers are above things like asking a girl's permission before playing with her hair.


But Darius isn't like that and you know it. Darius is one of the good ones, maybe the only good one. He isn't much older than you and he works for the enemy -- which means you have to be careful -- but he's decent. He doesn't mean anything by offering Katniss a kiss.


Your eyes narrow anyway.


Out of nowhere, without warning, Catnip looks different. She's been your hunting partner for four years now. You know each movement of her body and each inflection of her voice. You've told her everything; all of your trapping tricks, all the best places to find berries, all the hate you harbor for the Capitol and all the worry you have for your future. You trust her the way you trust Rory and Vick. She's part of your family. Like your sister.


But now Darius is talking to her about kisses and you're suddenly aware that, no. Katniss Everdeen is not your sister.


And no one should be kissing Catnip but you.


You wait until she's gone to discuss trades with Greasy Sae before you grab Darius by the arm. "Don't," you say. Your voice is low and full of all the weight you've started carrying.


Darius blinks, then smiles. "Don't?" he asks innocently, like he doesn't know what you're talking about.


"Yeah. Don't." His amused look bothers you, so you add, "She's too young."


"She's sixteen, isn't she?"


"Fifteen," you correct him. Maybe fifteen isn't that young (you were fourteen when you first went to bed) but that's not the point. You're you and Catnip is Catnip. You know her. You know she doesn't think about things like this. Not yet.


She probably will soon, though.


"Too young," you reiterate.


Darius' smile grows. "Okay, Gale," he says indulgently. "You know I was only teasing anyway, right?"


Your eyes go back to Katniss, watching as she haggles with Sae. You see her -- the curve of her waist, the length of her legs, the shine of her hair -- and something inside clicks into place. She's too young but that's okay. You've got time.


"Right," you say.


It's Catnip, and she's worth waiting for.




iv.


Your blood boils as you stand with the other boys of District 12 (boys in name only, you don't think of yourself that way anymore and haven't for a long time) and watch the mayor read the history of Panem. Watch, not listen -- if you listen you'll lose your temper and start raging the way you do in the woods.


You'll rage at the unfairness of it all. You'll rage at the Capitol for inventing these games, at every citizen in Panem for watching on TV, at every District who doesn't fight to stop it, at every family in the square for bringing their children to stand in herds for the slaughter.


You'll rage that Katniss Everdeen is on twenty slips.


You'll rage that Gale Hawthorne is on forty-two.


It would do no one any good.


The history reading ends and it's time for Haymitch Abernathy to make his annual fool of himself. He does. It's not as spectacular as last year when he threw up on stage, but he's repulsive enough to meet his own standards. It's reassuring in a weird way. There's comfort in ritual. Even barbaric ones.


The Capitol knows this.


You feel Katniss looking at you. She's wearing some blue dress you've never seen and she looks pretty, just like you suggested. Pretty but not quite herself and you think her hair should be let down and that you should be the one to do it. She's got the smallest smile on her face. You return it because it's just so fucking ridiculous, isn't it? And, again, if you don't smile, you're going to rage instead.


Then Effie Trinket's bright pink fingernails are digging through the bowl, and everyone has stopped breathing. Don't be Catnip. In a few years it'll be Don't be Posy, but for now you only have one girl to worry about at the reaping. You'll hate to see any of them go to their deaths but there is only one you think of now, only one you'll pray for to a God you don't believe exists. Don't be Catnip. Don't be Catnip. Catnip is yours.


Effie Trinket cuts through your thoughts.


"Primrose Everdeen."


Oh.


You know what's going to happen before anyone else does, but you're on the far side of the square and you don't get there fast enough. It's her you would have grabbed, Katniss you would have dragged away, Catnip you would have saved. But the words are said before you're even halfway there to clap a hand over her mouth.


"I volunteer!" Her voice is only a gasp but it carries through the crowd. "I volunteer as tribute!"


You want to shout a denial, except Prim does it first.


"No, Katniss! No!" Prim grabs at Catnip's dress. Your blood throbs with the girl's hysteria and everyone else's probably does too. "You can't!"


Katniss is ordering Prim to let go, and it's the right move, you know it is, you've seen the Games same as everyone else. If Katniss has a breakdown she'll be marked as prey. If Prim keeps screaming then Katniss will have a breakdown. So Prim has to stop screaming.


You wrap your arms behind the little girl and yank her free, lifting her off the ground as she kicks and claws. Katniss gives you a look that would seem stoic to anyone else but you can see both gratefulness and terror. You know Katniss Everdeen better than anyone. Katniss Everdeen is terrified.


"Up you go, Catnip," you say, like climbing the gallows is no big deal.


Your effort to sound reassuring is hampered by how your voice cracks.


Katniss' eyes go back to the girl thrashing in your arms. You have to get Prim away, so you start dragging her back to her mother -- and for such a little kid, she can put up one hell of a fight. The scratches on your arms go deep enough to draw blood, and Prim even manages to bite you on the shoulder. It's pointless, anyway; even if she wrested herself free and went running back, Katniss is on the stage now and she's a tribute. Can't be undone.


But you could go too.


Fight in the Games with her. Watch her back. Protect her, the way you've always tried to.


Yes.


Of course.


But.


Who will feed your families in the meantime?


Posy, already too thin, turning to skin and bones...


Your thoughts delay you. Your steps are slow. You're vaguely aware that the rest of the crowd might be quiet or that someone on the stage might be speaking, but you're not sure, Prim is screaming in your ears and drowning out almost everything else. You have to get through the sea of other potential tributes to carry the little girl to Mrs. Everdeen, whose eyes are dead. "Here!" you hiss, holding out Prim. "Take her!"


"Katniss!" Prim writhes the way Vick used to when he threw toddler tantrums. "Katniss!"


"Take her!" you say again to the unresponsive woman. She's shutting down. You want to slap her but you resist. Barely. "Hold her!"


Something seems to register, and Prim is pulled from you and enfolded into her mother's arms. The screaming continues, the vacant look continues, but Prim is out of your hands and not your responsibility anymore. You turn, still not sure if you can do it, if you can bring yourself to volunteer (they'll starve Mom Rory Vick Posy they'll starve without you) but you're going to open your mouth and try to say the words anyway.


But the mayor's already reading the Treaty of Treason. A merchant boy stands on the stage.


You're too late again.


Catnip is going to the Hunger Games, and she's going without you.




v.


The girl on fire.


You've never fucked a Seam girl before. It's always been blond Town girls -- bored princesses (and occasional housewives) who feel like slumming it for an afternoon. It felt good to leave dirty smudges on their clean clothes. Sex and spite go well together.


This one's hair is dark, and her eyes are closed so you can't see the gray. Maybe you wouldn't see anyway -- it's past midnight and the moon isn't shining into the alley. She had come with you happily (you'd seen her around a handful of times and she'd always batted her lashes) and hiked her skirt to her waist before you'd even lifted her up.


You're taking her against the wall.


The girl on fire.


Her cries don't block out the noises in your head ("She seems to be talking to herself -- if only our mics were powerful enough to hear her words!"). Her soft pants don't help the breath enter your lungs ("This might be the first tribute eliminated by smoke inhalation in fifteen years!"). Her warm lips catching your combination of moans and sobs don't make the pain in your chest stop ("You can see by our monitor that Everdeen's heartrate is now over two hundred beats a minute; we'll ask our medical panel about cardiac arrest after these messages!").


Since the moment you saw that shining silver bow on screen you knew Katniss would somehow get her hands on it. Katniss would take down every one of her opponents with a clean shot through the eye and she'd be home in a matter of days. You knew she'd be fine; a little battered, maybe, and a little messed up in the head, but nothing a combination of hunting and hugs from Prim couldn't fix.


Then her leg burst into flame. You've been watching every second of coverage but when Catnip started to scream you nearly broke the Everdeens' door off the hinges as you ran because you couldn't watch her die.


"The girl on fire certainly is on fire, isn't she?" Laughter.


There is nothing, nothing you can do right now, but one day you will kill because Katniss Everdeen burned.


The fury and the warm legs squeezing your waist make you pound harder and when you do the instinctive pleasure shuts down your brain. You just pulled this girl off the street, but you love her a little because for a few seconds -- just a few, just long enough to empty out deep inside where you shouldn't be because no one in the Seam can afford the medication -- you're not thinking of Catnip.


But only for a few seconds.


A week later (Katniss is alive after all and you've slept maybe a total of six hours) you see the girl in the Hob. The shake of her head is relieved. At least you won't have to marry her.


You never do learn her name.




vi.


You'd give anything to hate Peeta Mellark, but you can't quite bring yourself to do it. During the whole of the Hunger Games -- yes, even when he was curled up with Katniss, taking her kisses when you always thought you'd be the one to touch her lips first -- you really only felt sorry for him, because he was a dead man walking. If he didn't die in the arena he wouldn't live more than twenty-four hours after he returned to District 12. (You would have slit his throat yourself.)


Peeta Mellark only inspired pity until they curled together on that loveseat in front of the whole of Panem and you understood the "romance" wouldn't be ending. Right up until you saw how he looked at her and realized that hadn't been an act. Not for him. And not entirely for her.


But you can't hate him. He kept Catnip alive.


Being her "cousin", though... oh, that you can hate.


You avoid her for weeks. It's not hard -- you're in the mine instead of the forest now, you'll spend the rest of your life in the ground just like your father, you may as well already be dead -- but then one day she's just waiting at your old spot in her boots with her bow and her eyes full of tears. Her hair has been cut stylishly and her eyebrows are shaped. Her wrist is smooth and clear of the deep scar she got when she fell down the valley chasing an injured deer. If you thought she didn't look like herself at the Reaping it's nothing compared to now.


Then she sees you, and an instant later she's in your arms, making some sort of wrenching keening noise that rips into your chest. She's clean of scars and torn apart and you couldn't stop them from making her that way. You hold her hard against you so she can't see your face because as much as you trust her you still don't want her to see you cry.


You wait until the end of the day to kiss her. She's not too young now. Catnip might be older than you are. And you'll keep trying to defend her, but you watched her swallow those berries and her lips are under yours and you know she can defend herself too. Even from you.


"I had to do that," you say as you step away. Her eyes are wide. "At least once."


She isn't your sister and you're not her cousin.


You leave before she can respond.



the end.

Comments

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runsamrun
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
I've said this to you on Twitter already but, DAMN YOU, WOMAN. HOW ARE YOU SUCH A GOOD WRITER? FUCKKKK.

FUCK.

My comments on here are always incoherent, and this is no exception.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ha-ha! I made you like Gale!



Glad you liked ;)
callmeonetrack
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
My Incoherent Glee, Let Me Show It To You!
HOLY SHIT. This was phenomenal. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I feel very much the same way as you do about the series. THG awesome, Catching Fire meh, MJ ANGRY-MAKING. I shipped Kat/Gale from the beginning, but after Mockingjay not only didn't I care about them anymore, but I no longer liked Katniss much either.

This fic is amazing. Made me love them all over again. But especially and still: GALE <3 <3 <3

So amazing the way you captured the darkness beneath their society so well, and from a Seam perspective (as opposed to the usual prostitution of victors angle). Such an original and insightful take on things.

I love that you write Gale as a man (which he is) and not a completely woobifying boy too.

Doing the math! Katniss wanting to go into house if she'd done it too! Gale wanting to volunteer but losing his chance!

And during the month it takes your hand to heal she gets a lot better at setting traps

The casually cruel snippets from the broadcasts as he fucks the girl = brilliant. Then the kicker about the birth control (OF COURSE!) Gah!

Anyway, this was fantastic and I loved it. I hope you'll write more THG fic. (How do you feel about Gale/Johanna post-MJ, by the way? ;)
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audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
I like the occasional adorable Katniss/Peeta, too ;) When presented at a point in the story that makes sense to me, of course. (I'm a really big fan of My First Date with Katniss Everdeen, for example.) Glad this resonated for you :)
lunasol28
Mar. 24th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
You are going to make me ship this a little aren't you? You're going to drag me kicking and screaming but I'm going to end up shipping them a little bit aren't I? This is so not fair! You are an epic writer and your powers of persuasion are stronger than my will. I mean I already love Gale but to like Katniss/Gale as an actual romantic couple, to not just be aware of it and thinks its cute and that I can accept it, but to actually have legit shippy feelings for it. To want to write fic for it...I just I can't.

You are making me do this....



Cuz I'm like my boy. My beautiful boy how do you exist but only in the shadows? How is your narrative only blurry and grey at best? How just how? And why didn't you get her in the end? And why am I feeling this way about you and Katniss? I should not being feeling this way about you and Katniss! But I am because its just and you two...*sobs* I think you just made me ship them a bit. Like legit not one-sided but together and beautiful sort of way. I don't know what to do with myself right now.

And her innocence. My baby girl's innocence and how he knows that she'd do anything for her family and gah. And he's need to protect her and take care of her and the pregnancy scare with random girl. I can't right now...I just can't. This is what you have done to me.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
You are going to make me ship this a little aren't you?

Yes. Yes I am. I am a terrible person.


My beautiful boy how do you exist but only in the shadows? / I don't know what to do with myself right now.

Embrace the 'ship, sweetie. Embrace the ship.


I can't right now...I just can't. This is what you have done to me.

I AM THE PUPPET MASTER! BAH HA HA HA HA!

*cough*

Seriously, though, glad you liked ;) And glad it made you sniffly. The touch of heartfail was kinda important to the piece, so, yay, happy it worked.
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endeni
Mar. 24th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
Kindly bear in mind that I like aspects of the first book, lose interest in the second, and actively dislike the third - Eh. :D Boy, was the third one awful...
Also, guh. That was gorgeous. Your Gale breaks my heart... ♥

audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you :) A bit of heartfail in the afternoon, I suppose, yes?
aimmyarrowshigh
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
This is really, really lovely. I don't click on Gale-centric fic often, but I'm very glad that I read this. I love the ideas of the Seam, pre-canon.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you clicked through on this one! :) The ideas of Panem pre-canon are really what fascinates me about THG as a whole, which is why I tend to think more in Katniss/Gale terms most of the time. If I come across some good pre-THG (or even mid-THG) Peeta-fic, I'd love to read it. (Like My First Date With Katniss Everdeen, which I linked above.) There just doesn't seem to be that much.

Thanks for reading even though it's outside your usual area ;)
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(no subject) - audreyii_fic - Mar. 27th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
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sky_magenta
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
oh dear this is so heartbreakingly beautiful <3
you're really spot on with writing from Gale's viewpoint, to me he is one of the characters in this series that I find the hardest to really understand, so well done!

Edited at 2011-03-24 10:32 pm (UTC)
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad it resonated even though you find him hard to understand :) (I actually find Gale the easiest to comprehend; Peeta's the one I don't get!)
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alaria
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
I think the second person works just fine! What I think you manage so well here is to capture so much feelings and details in such a short story - that is amazing :)
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Whew. Glad the second person worked :) (Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Kind of a crapshoot.) And I think shorter stories are often a lot more effective at conveying character insight than longer ones, so I like writing them :D Happy you liked reading!
fragilesymphony
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
I don't read Gale fic often, and while I like Gale, I tend to go for Katniss/Peeta but oh. My heart is breaking for him here.

I love pre-canon Seam, the what could have/should have been, and I loved the anger and somewhat helplessness in Gale's voice here-- he can only protect her so much, and that's infuriating.

This is really, really lovely.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks :) Glad you tried it out even though it's not your thing.


I love pre-canon Seam, the what could have/should have been

That's by far what interests me most, too. That's why I tend to ship Gale/Katniss. That's also one of the reasons I lose interest during CF. The build and nature of Panem is what captures me. Revolution just isn't as engrossing.


I loved the anger and somewhat helplessness in Gale's voice here-- he can only protect her so much, and that's infuriating.

The boy came by his rage honestly, which is something I don't think is given enough credit for in MJ. (I also don't think Katniss gives it enough credit in MJ, which felt OOC to me, but that's a discussion for another day.) I think he might've had it hardest during the Hunger Games. At least Katniss and Peeta could do something. Their fates were, to some extent, in their own hands. They didn't have to just watch.


Anyway, yeah, glad you liked :)
sing_song_sung
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
This is kind of beyond perfect. From the beginning to the ending and everything in between.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you :D I'm kind of wishing I'd spent a little more time on it to make it cleaner, but I only had one day, so... meh. Glad it worked for you :)
obscurative
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
Haven't read the fic you recc'd me yet but I signed in and saw your fic posted and I had to read this first. And okay, you blew me away. I can't even form a coherent review, but so much of this broke my damn heart, especially that first part. It really shows you how fucked up the Games and the conditions at the Seam are and guh. Flawless, tbh, even if you wrote it in one day.
obscurative
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Also I think I kinda love Gale now.
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iceshade
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
When it comes down to it, I'm a Katniss/Peeta shipper, but I loved this. SO perfect, and very Gale.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :D Good to know this was palatable to Peeta peeps as well!
likexaxdove
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
DEAR GOD MY LOVE FOR THIS SHIP IS DEEP AND INTENSE.

First of all, this fic was gorgeous. You have a knack for writing 2nd person really really well. You also have a knack for pulling me in and then ripping my heart to shreds.

And if she understood what the guy who loves crappies really wanted she would think Thirty-five equals four bottles of oil, eight pounds of beans, eleven sacks of grain and walk right into the blue house without a second thought.

This line killed me because it's so true and totally something Katniss would do if it meant some extra cash in her pocket for her family. I also liked how throughout this fic you mentioned the role that sex plays in the Seam, which was never really talked about in the books. It was like Collins didn't want to mess with it, but reading your take on it makes me think. Was there child prostitution in the Seam? What about the number of rapes, or kids getting married because the girl got knocked up? I also liked how you pointed out the lack of birth control being distributed, and how that might compare to how different it might be in the richer, higher class districts. Thought provoking.

It's Catnip, and she's worth waiting for.

OH MY HEART. Gale&Catnip so precious I CAN'T.

The part where he's fucking the other girl in an attempt to forget about Katniss on the tv KILLED ME. I will always think about Gale and what he must have been going through when I read HG and to know that he was probably doing stuff like THIS is just...I'm dead right now. You have killed me.

But you can't hate him. He kept Catnip alive.

:'(

God I love Gale. WHY DO WE SHIP THE DOOMED SHIPS?????

Anyway. Loved this, as I love all your stuff. Hoping you write some Gale/Katniss sex? I could definitely use some of that.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
You also have a knack for pulling me in and then ripping my heart to shreds.

I type fic with Freddy Krueger claws.


I also liked how throughout this fic you mentioned the role that sex plays in the Seam, which was never really talked about in the books.

See the response to the second comment above for my ridiculously detailed thoughts on sex in THG. (For the record: If I was in the Hunger Games, my strategy would be to seduce other tributes. If they're close enough to fuck they're close enough to kill. Just saying.)


OH MY HEART. Gale&Catnip so precious I CAN'T.

*snorgles 'ship*


I will always think about Gale and what he must have been going through when I read HG and to know that he was probably doing stuff like THIS is just...I'm dead right now.

It hurt to write. During THG Gale really felt present at all times (Collins wrote that well) and it had to have been unimaginable for him. I feel like the fireball scene would have been the worst, because that's the moment when the Gamemakers are actively trying to murder her. I see a snapping point in there somewhere. Complete with angsty grudgefucking.


WHY DO WE SHIP THE DOOMED SHIPS?????

My therapist tells me I'm not comfortable being happy. I don't know what your excuse is.


Hoping you write some Gale/Katniss sex? I could definitely use some of that.

It's on the list if I can think of a plausible scenario. It'd probably have to go totally AU, wouldn't it? Hmm. I'll ponder on the backburner while I work on... uh... pretty much everything else. (*glances nervously at empty FotS word document*)

Glad you liked, I really hoped you would ;)
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solaryllis
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
LOVE THIS. You've realistically painted the gritty, harsh aspects of life in District 12 that are SO THERE but that Collins only kind of hinted at (I'm assuming to keep the books YA... although YIKES Mockingjay sure pushed that envelope).

I love protectiveness in the first segment and how he does the math and knows Katniss would do the math, too. And his anger felt so raw and real -- right there under everything, and intensified by feeling so powerless. Gale's one of the most interesting characters in the series to me and you did a wonderful job with the complexities of how his anger and protective/survival instincts intertwine.

The defending/not defending theme was brilliant and well done. And second person totally worked for this.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)


the gritty, harsh aspects of life in District 12 that are SO THERE but that Collins only kind of hinted at

It seems pretty clear to me that Collins intended for them all to be there, but she was surprisingly lighthanded with them. Too lighthanded, maybe. I mean, she wrote well enough for me to assume that this was the state of things in District 12 and Panem as a whole, but it was never flat out stated... I don't know. I'm typing this before I've had coffee.


(I'm assuming to keep the books YA... although YIKES Mockingjay sure pushed that envelope)

Don't get me started on the fact that we can show the most brutal, graphic, horrifying violence to teenagers... but have only the barest references to sex. (*grumbles about state of society*)


Gale's one of the most interesting characters in the series to me and you did a wonderful job with the complexities of how his anger and protective/survival instincts intertwine.

Thank you for that :D Gale's probably the most interesting for me, too; I think how he winds up where he does mentally over the course of the series makes total sense and is very sympathetic; it saddens me to see that he gets very little understanding from Katniss, Collins, or the readers by the end of MJ. (That being said, lots of stuff doesn't make sense to me in MJ. I digress.) Anyway, yeah. Put a man of action in a situation where he can't do a damn thing and watch what it does.

Glad the second person worked for you (always hit or miss on that) and I'm glad you liked :)
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audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D Glad the second person worked for you!
elle_blessing
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Gale was never my favorite character (but by no means my least favorite), but this really helped me see that maybe his words and actions had a lot more behind them than what Katniss, our narrator, might have noticed or picked up on. He feels so much more real to me now. Thank you :D

As always, your writing is lovely. Thanks for sharing!
audreyii_fic
Mar. 25th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks :D I was happy to share. The limitation of first person POV is that the reader is limited to that person's perspective; Katniss is a very literal sort of person, and she had a hard time reading or describing emotions in others. I think that's why we didn't get as much understanding of Gale. (I read between the lines and wound up here, in that that's pretty much how/why I write fic, but I can see how other people wouldn't.) Glad you enjoyed ;)
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audreyii_fic
Mar. 26th, 2011 12:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)


MJ didn't exactly leave the best taste in my mouth for Gale

It would for me too if I thought about MJ very much. I just... don't.


Peeta is perfect (too much so, sometimes)

You've hit on my problem with Peeta. (Post-THG, that is; I didn't think it was an issue in the first book.) Peeta is just so... flawless. Always so pure and good. I don't like that in a character and I especially don't like it in a romance. Perfection turns me away from a 'ship instantly. (That being said, I don't hate Peeta, which is actually a relief. The string of 'ships I've been through have almost always had me detesting one corner of the triangle.)


Glad you liked :) Can't wait to see your fic!
hatchi_90
Mar. 26th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
And again OMG!!! i love you and your brilliant writing! I may be the minority but i always preferred Gale over Peeta and this story made me love him even more! You portrayed him perfectly. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for him to watch Katniss in the Games and seeing her with another guy and than become her damn COUSIN for the audience of Panem.
So again amazing, amazing, AMAZING story!
audreyii_fic
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks :D I think Gale > Peeta fans *are* in the minority, but since we're Team Jacob we're kind of used to that sort of thing. (On the plus side, Peeta is no Edward. I like Peeta. In THG, anyway. Which is really the only one of the books I actively got into.) And yeah, I'm sort of endlessly obsessed with what it must have been like for Gale to watch the coverage while Katniss competed. I mean... Jesus Christ. Talk about agony.

Glad you liked :)
rainey_lane
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
O__O! Hunger Games? Really!

LMAO. I remember some time back having a brief discussion on the novels. A couple of quick thoughts. I am a Peeta person (seems like I am reading a lot of that as well). However, I don't remember much of the books. I devoured the trilogy in about 2 days. I really enjoyed HG and then was like eh, and blah! for the other 2. This really makes me want to go back and re-read the series. Now I remember not really caring for Gale and I am not even going to talk about what the later books did to Peeta. Seriously, though! Damn you. I am working on 3 hrs sleep (I have been for awhile), I have a stack of reports glaring at me to be written next to my laptop (hence me typing away on my desktop), I still need to review 3 chapters of FotS. I don't have time to re-read HG! Stop talking Gale! I don't need Sam to come gunning for my ass next. By the way how is that going? I sense distraction...don't make me get my devil's trap.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 26th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
O__O! Hunger Games? Really!

*sigh* Really. This has been percolating since Christmas and I finally wrote it a few days ago.


I am a Peeta person (seems like I am reading a lot of that as well).

I've got nothing against Peeta (in HG anyway). But Gale had me from Catnip. Also I kept hurting so much for him during HG -- I really felt his presence constantly -- that I was never able to actively ship Katniss/Peeta. But I wouldn't have been unhappy with it. (Again... in HG.)


I really enjoyed HG and then was like eh, and blah! for the other 2.

Me too. CF wound up going beyond my suspension of disbelief and then I just couldn't get into it anymore. Even though I loved the Gale bits. Can't help it.


Now I remember not really caring for Gale and I am not even going to talk about what the later books did to Peeta.

Give it another shot. And yes. Don't get me started on the later books and Peeta. He became so unrealistically perfect during CF that I just couldn't like him anymore, and the brainwash thing in MJ? I don't even know. *shakes head*


By the way how is that going? I sense distraction...don't make me get my devil's trap.

You sense right. Get out the devil's trap and see if you can get Gale off my ass. He's being so loud that I can't hear Sam and it's starting to seriously worry me.
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willow2883
Mar. 26th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Before I even start reading, I have to say I am so glad that I am apparently not the only one who is *cringes while using this term* Team Gale. When I read the end of the third book, it made me doubt things about myself. Why do I always choose the 'wrong' one? Jacob and now Gale. Also, I loved the 1st book, really liked the 2nd book and was bored to tears through most of the 3rd. That last book must (understandably) be really tough to pump out for authors.
We really, really, need to have that discussion about these books.
Okay, I'm heading back up and reading!
audreyii_fic
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Why do I always choose the 'wrong' one?

I blame society. And El Niño.
willow2883
Mar. 26th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
How do you do that? No, seriously, how do you do that?
I'd like to write a little Katniss/Gale sexing, if I can find an excuse to do so.
Oh please, please, please. This needs to be done and I would trust it in your hands.
Jacob is still keeping me busy
And I thank the lord daily for that. As much as I adore Gale and even Peeta, Jacob has kept me obsessed for the past 3 years and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
There was so little given away about Gale in this whole series and you really have to fill in the blanks yourself and how you filled those blanks in are so realistic and... satisfying.
And the points you make about the sex or lack thereof and how realistically it would have played an enormous part in the story as a whole, considering the poverty and brutality and especially in the games themselves as a bargaining chip.
Okay, I really just wanted to say I loved it. And that you made the character of Gale so rounded and filled him out and his perspectives felt dead-on.
I'm begging you to finish your novel, because that I would love to read. If you can flesh out Gale and even Katniss like this and I won't even go into what you do for the Twilight characters, I am dying to see what you can come up with when left to your own devices. Seriously. Plus, I kinda wanna tell people some day that I knew you when... :)
audreyii_fic
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
Oh please, please, please. This needs to be done and I would trust it in your hands.

I've got a WIP percolating, God help me. But there's FotS and Gale will just have to wait his fucking turn. So... we'll see in July.


There was so little given away about Gale in this whole series and you really have to fill in the blanks yourself and how you filled those blanks in are so realistic and... satisfying.

Thanks :D I've been hearing that a lot -- that there was so little given away about Gale in the books -- which makes me want to go back and read. I really only breezed through CF and MJ (and I'm not really inclined to reread), but I felt like Gale made *tons* of sense and had a lot revealed. But I'm wondering if I pulled arysani's Frog DNA act by accident. Maybe I just filled in the blanks without my ever realizing they were there. Anyway, Gale always made more sense to me than anyone else in the series. I don't entirely know why that is...


And that you made the character of Gale so rounded and filled him out and his perspectives felt dead-on.

:D


If you can flesh out Gale and even Katniss like this and I won't even go into what you do for the Twilight characters, I am dying to see what you can come up with when left to your own devices.

Aaaaahhhhhhhh. Well, there's the trick. I'm pretty talented at character interpretation; character creation is nowhere near my forte. So... yeaaaaaaaaaaaah. We'll see about that original stuff. (Seriously considering publishing a few .99 cent ebooks of short story erotica, though. Just 'cause it would be funny.)


Anyway, glad you liked :) Since it was my first non-Twific in four years, I had hoped it would go okay.
autumnrhythm30
Mar. 27th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
That was amazing! I never could decide who I wanted her with in the end. I was fine with how it ended in the book only because I needed her to choose for me. I liked Peeta AND Gale, so hard!

Do you think you'll continue this? It's fantastic and I'm really hoping to see more!
audreyii_fic
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! And yes, it was a relief in the books to actually have a love triangle where I genuinely felt for all parties involved. I definitely won't be continuing this particular piece -- it's definitely a standalone -- but I've got a WIP brewing on the backburner, I'll admit. I've got a few monster projects to finish first, but come summer I might be ready to undertake it. We'll see.

Glad you liked :D
lovelylytton
Mar. 27th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Here via a rec from aimmyarrowshigh
Gorgeous writing. I love the bit about him punching the other boy at school: it says so much about how Gale's mind works. Thank you for sharing!
audreyii_fic
Mar. 27th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Here via a rec from aimmyarrowshigh
Thank you! :) Gale seems like the type to throw a punch. Not get in fights, exactly, but lay someone out when necessary, yiu know?
burning_pile
Mar. 27th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I loved this. The second-person narration worked well and there were some great insights on lots of characters, not just Gale. I'll freely admit that I shipped Peeta/Katniss while reading the books, but the fanfic is slowly swaying me to shipping Gale/Katniss. It just makes so much sense. (Peeta will remain my favorite character, though.)

I never thought about it happening in the Seam, but you're right, child prostitution would definitely have gone on, and you're also right that had Katniss understood, she would have gone for it without a second thought.

Just ugh, heartrending and lovely. Thank you.
audreyii_fic
Mar. 31st, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked :) Particularly glad the second person worked for you. You never know with that.

From what I've noticed so far, the Gale/Katniss fic seems to be generally higher quality than the Peeta/Katniss fic. But I find this is almost always the case in endgame versus alternaships. I'll have to think on why that is.

The Seam would have been rough. There are reasons the books didn't go into it -- YA, for example, but also I think Katniss is a very "right here right now" person who doesn't see the big picture a lot of the time -- but it's very interesting to consider how it would have actually functioned.
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poppypickle
Mar. 30th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
I don't know how I managed to miss this because I LOVE FIC ABOUT GALE HAWTHORNE, but this is wonderful. Your characterization of Gale is so spot on and I love the inner look at his angst.

There is nothing, nothing you can do right now, but one day you will kill because Katniss Everdeen burned.

I got chills. Adding to my memories. <3
audreyii_fic
Mar. 31st, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Well, it's only been up for a few days, so you didn't really miss it ;) Glad you liked, though! Gale is interesting to play with, even though he makes me sad. Thanks for the love :D
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