They linger in the meadow after Haymitch leaves.

Hazy yellow sunshine glints off the barbed wire of the fence and Gale is electric, his fingers in hers livewires sizzling her skin. Madge breathes in the woody smell of the trees and the damp earth of last night's rainfall and that's it then. They've committed and as Haymitch said, there's no backing out now. They're going to war.

It's...it's a lot, a lot a lot, and her stomach crunches up in terror. Had she made the right choice? Can she really change anything? Save anyone? It's hard to breathe, but then it always is isn't it? With the Capitol pressing down on them, it always will be. She'd never thought she'd win the Hunger Games, but she did, and she'd done it with Gale. They'd come home together. If they could do that, they can do this. They have to.

"I can't believe it," he says and awe shakes his voice. "We're really doing it, really fighting back."

Madge nods and there's a thrill in her too at the thought. She's terrified, she's going to be until this is over, but she's excited too. Gale's always been a revolutionary and maybe, she has too.

"It doesn't seem real," she admits and it doesn't. Any moment now she'll wake up and this will be a dream. Panem's never going to change, they'll never be free. Except, except maybe this time, they will be. Gale grins at her with such boyish eagerness it makes him shine.

"It is real and we're going to win," he says and there's no worry in him. He's all confidence and certainty, blazing so bright with it he could be the sun. She smiles too and it's a little wonky, but she's not him. She'll never be able to shake her caution, her wariness, but that's a good thing. They'll need that to carry them through this, just like they'll need his passion and conviction. They're stronger together than they ever could be apart.

"Six months," she says and Gale pulls her in close.

"Six months," he echoes and rests his forehead against hers. "And then the real game begins."

And we're going to win it