Disclaimers: All the cool stuff probably belongs to Collins.

Pairings: I know people like to know what they're reading before they do so I'll just place a quick pairings note – as I currently see them progressing – Katniss/Peeta, implied Katniss/Gale, implied Rory/Prim, Madge/Gale eventually.. plus established cannon couples. Finnick/Annie etc.

#Story NOTE# This is basically a departure from the CF timeline, in that Katniss Gale&co do run away. This story begins around p221 and onward of CF. Any text that you recognise not to be mine © to their respective owners, particularly Suzanne Collins. Title to Dante, obviously. Basically all the characters I like will probably not die, regardless of their respective fates through the books. So, yeah, take that cannon! :]

All hope Abandon.

Or alternatively,

What Mockingjay would have been, if every character was a badass.


It's the way she looks at him, in all the vulnerability of half-sleep, syrup addled lids struggling to say open, that is the thing that breaks Peeta Mellarks resolve. "No," She tells him, in this small voice that is evermore potent because it does not sound like his Katniss at all. She pulls his hand to her cheek, one of the only times she has initiated any physical contact. As usual, the touch leaves his skin feeling sensitive and tingling. Her skin feels flush with fever and, he notes how those gey eyes, sharp usually, are dulled and glassy.

"I'd have told you." His Katniss mumbles in that voice again. Only, she's not really his. Sometimes in the lonley , the one he lives in that isn't his home, he doubts if she ever was.

And then there are times like these.

"Stay with me." A fragile prayer whispered into the darkness and then she is gone. Asleep. He stays for a while, just to make sure she has no nightmares. And then later, when they announce this years Quell, and it's that clawing fear again, because one thing Peeta Mellark knows, one indisputable fact as real as the grass and it's thousand shades of green, he cannot let Katniss Everdeen die.


As someone who worked twelve hour days, there is nothing more Gale Hawthorne appreciates then a solid four, five, maybe even six hours of sleep if he can get. Since the Quell announcement, night terrors have been frequent in the Hawthorne Household. So when some inconsiderable bastard starts trying to hammer down his front door at I'm-going-to-kill-you-with-my-bare-hands O'clock in the morning, Gale feels he is perfectly justified in answering the door with a punch in the face to whoever happens to be stupid enough to be standing there. Had there not been a five year old who similarly enjoys her sleep, he probably wouldn't have even bothered answering the door. Let them freeze, for all the care he could give. Unfortunately however, there is an especially cranky and very hard to get back to sleep five year old in the house, plus his mother. So he gets up before they are woken.

Dragging himself into an upright position renews the dull muscle cramps and backache that seems to plague him wherever he is these days. He throws on the first shirt he can find – a work uniform, outdated and worn by his father before Gale was probably born – and watches as Vick sleepily rolls into the warm groove his body has moulded onto the ancient mattress over the years. The little sneak takes most of the blanket with him, which, since Gale is in a complaining mood, will all be difficult to get back. In his sleep, the kid is like a boa constrictor. Carefully he steps around Rory's mattress at the foot of the bed, who stirs a little in his sleep and mummers something like sounds disturbingly like 'Prim'. Gale shakes his head, since Prim is far too young to think of anyone in the way Rory probably is starting to think about her. The kid is an early bloomer like that, sort of runs in the family.

The cold floorboards are like icy knives to his feet and the air condenses to clouds in front of his face. Seam paranoia rises up in his mind when the rattling of someone trying to jimmy their rusted front door lock open begins. In their right mind, no one around here would attempt to steal from them, but then people have been getting desperate these days. His hand reaches and encloses around the cinder ball bat, a stick of polished wood he had by chance come across in the woods years ago. Rory and Vick cherish the thing. Hefting it, he unlocks and throws the door open in one quick fluid movement, ready to crack skulls if need be. Or something like that, considering his already relatively lengthy criminal record, he'd rather not add homicide to the list.

And then he finds out who it is.

"Morning." Peeta Mellark chirps. Gale slowly places that bat back (though, he reconsiders the homicide rule a few times before he does so) and stares. Before the games, Gale had barely noticed the bakers youngest son but to connect him with his asshole brothers. During and after the games, he had tried to put Peeta Mellark out of his mind as much as possible. Unconsciously he takes this opportunity evaluates the guy, like he would to potential game. Mellark is strong, stocky and evidently someone who can hold his own. Broader in the shoulders then Gale is well groomed and cleaner looking too, Gale at least is glad to have the height advantage, which he takes the opportunity to use.

"It's early. So this better be important." Is all he replies.

"Yeah, sorry. " Mellark says, running a hand through his hand and brushing out a dusting of flour in the first place. Gale chooses to ignore this as evidence of someone who gets up earlier than he does to work. "I wouldn't be here unless it was important."

To that, Gale can't argue. But he sure as hell isn't going to let the guy into his house, stepping out and closing the door, which had previously revealed of a sliver of their sparsely furnished house, he crosses his arms and waits.

Mellarks mouth ups at one corner into something resembling a smile, something which Gale does not particularly appreciate. "Not much of a talker, are you?"

"To you, at the ass crack of dawn?" Is his stony reply. "No. Now, get on with it."

"Right." For a moment, Peeta's fingers knot and twist in front of him. "It's about Katniss.."

"Yeah," Gale replies. "And here I was thinking you wanted to chat about the price of cheesy buns-" What he leaves out here, is that never once in his life has he been actually able afford said cheesy buns "-What about her? Has something happened?" Again. He wants to add, but doesn't.

Mellark shakes his head, yet more flour settles on his shoulders. Or dandruff, as it is in Gale's mind.. "No," Peeta says sharper, a slight yet marked difference on his usual unruffled tone. "She's sleeping." His hands twist again, a nervous tick, Gale deduces. "Actually that's what I wanted to talk to you about..."


It takes Peeta several long minutes to get out everything he had rehearsed on that way down here. In his opinion, his argument is flawless, constructed perfectly. There is, of course, no way Gale can say no.

"So, really," He concludes, "It's all a matter of timing and-"

"Look, Peeta." Somewhere during the speech, Gales hand has gone up to repeated smooth the bridge of his nose as Peeta's own mother does, when she fakes migraines. Gale exhales a long, patient breath and his voice adopts the tone of an adult explaining something painfully obvious to a particularly dim toddler. "Obviously you love Katniss. I get it. She gets it. In fact, every single person in the entirely country gets it. But you are not going to get her to leave here willingly – trust me," He finishes flatly, "I've tried."

"I know." Peeta replies, and he does. But he also knows that, of the two of them, Katniss has not yet once willingly kissed him. He also is excruciatingly aware that Katniss&Gale work, have done for years, far better than Katniss&Peeta. This could possibly be because Katniss&Peeta usually results in one of them on their death bed. "I'm not going to try and persuade her."

Gale snorts and leans, still with crossed arms, on the doorframe. "Right, and what are you going do? Tie her up and drag her kicking and screaming?"

"I'm not so good with ropes." Peeta confesses, shaking his sleeve as a vial of clear liquid drops into his hand. A trick that may seem less impressive had it been made known that he practised on the way over. "This, on the other hand." He waggles the glass tube of morphing. "Mix it with a decent amount sleep syrup and she doesn't really have much say in the matter."

Thick eyebrows raise up, unbelieving. "You're going to drug her. And then you're going to kidnap her." He shakes his head. "Brilliant cheesy buns, a fucking genius plan. I'd ask you to let me know how it goes, but I'm probably going to get my answer when Katniss wants me to help stash your corpse. Goodnight." He goes to shut the door. Only, that's sort of hard to do when someone has jammed their fake leg into it. Like a child, Hawthorne slams the door against the leg for a few times as though to check that it's completely unbreakable. Which it is. Finest prosthetic the capitol has to offer.

Removing his leg, Peeta shrugs. He can see, despite the sneering and uninspiring attitude that Gale is beginning to see how serious he is. "Well, to be fair, she did do it to me first. And I won't be the one doing the kidnapping. You will."

"Right, she'll thank me for that one, I'm sure." Is his sarcastic reply, yet Peeta notes, his eyes - calculating seam eyes - like Katniss and Haymitch, linger on the vial. Eyes which lift to his own with a guarded expression. Hopefulness, Peeta thinks he can almost read in them. Almost. "You're not coming?" A shake of the head. Gale whistles lowly, "You know, don't you, what will happen afterwards, to you, I mean."

Peeta nods. Once you've been through the Hunger Games, you don't underestimate anyone's capacity for cruelty. Best case scenario, they kill him outright. Worst case... well, it will be worth it.

"Haymitch...?" Gale inquires

"Has no clue."

"Mrs E will take a lot of convincing. Especially behind Katniss's back."

"Already done it."

That surprises him. Peeta relinquishes his hold on the vial as Gale plucks it from his hands, turning it over. "What about the mayors daughter?" He queries, sharply. "Friends in high places usually are the first to get shot down." The vial disappears into his pocket so subtly it's barely noticeable.

"Obviously she knows all about this." He questions with an arch of his eyebrow.

A statement which admittedly, throws Peeta, who blinks and reconsidered his approach a little. He honestly hadn't come here expecting Gale to be overly clever. But then, the guy wouldn't be so close to Katniss if he wasn't – a thought which is painful and unwelcome so he pushes it away and instead forces out a laugh and brushes flour from his shoulders. "In all fairness, Madge can be pretty ruthless when she feels like it. And omnipotent, I swear. Prim and her should invest in some crystal balls and tarot cards. They'd make a fortune."

Madge knows what she's doing ... well, Peeta thinks, probably. The important thing to remember about Madge is that underneath her virginal facade of pink lace and white dresses lies a very intelligent and bored mind. Peeta counted himself lucky actually, that one of the things Madge liked to do with her ample free time was contemplate how one would go about escaping their lovely district. Forever. There had been some knots in her plan that had to work around. Plus the initial hurdle of them both trying to explain themselves without actually saying anything incriminating. Madge, he was surprised to note, knew a lot more than she let on. Nevertheless, a flash mob of 7, Madge had admitted would be somewhat tricky, considering she herself had calculated for two. Which two people she had had in mind Peeta had not been able to pry from her. Other than that, everything else had run surprisingly smoothly, if anything, the only problem was that he had found her plan disturbingly detailed.

"Just because a pretty girl bats her lashes in your direction and you go all weak at the knees doesn't make her all knowing." Gale replies, although more on reflex then anything, since his expression is distant and contemplative.

"I'm more a brunette kind of guy." Peeta says almost casually, since he figures at this point he can snipe back and Gale won't get his panties twisted. Predictably he is rewarded with a dark look for this comment. Overprotective, jealous and lethal. Hawthorne will make some unlucky girl very frustrated one day, Peeta thinks with genuine humour until a dry sticky taste works it way into his throat, when he realises that in order for that to happen, there must be a Mrs Gale Hawthorne. Most specifically a Mrs Katniss Hawthorne. The name makes his stomach convulse and again he pushes those thoughts away. Besides the 'pretty girl' comment did not slid past him, to Peeta's knowledge Madge, like Katniss, has never dated, unlike Katniss however, she has never so much as been romantically connected to anyone. Ever. Not that no one had tried, the Mayors daughter was considered somewhat of a prize amongst many of his peers. Personally, Peeta has operated under the assumption that she simply preferred bagels to baguette's, which was entirely her own business as far as he was concerned. Though it did explain her fierce loyalty to Katniss, the pin and even the morphling.

Either that, or Madge is just that repulsed by the male population in the district and happens to be a very generous girl.

Gale startles him out of this thought process, when he starts speaking. "Alright. Look, I'm not going to lie to you cheesy buns, I think you're out of your flour addled mind. But then, Catnip wouldn't feel whatever it is about you if you weren't." Sighing a little, Peeta watches how he straightens his shoulders and stands at his full height, a good few inches above his own. "If I'm to do this, my family goes with me. Safely," He stresses, "with me."

Peeta who had been prepared for this nods. "Obviously. There's a few details I still need to organise, and I'm sure you're going to need some time to convince your mother."

"Surprisingly, not that much." Gale replies frankly, scratching the back of his head, his posture loosening for the first time. Clearly more at home with talking treason than his feelings. "How long do we have?"

"At latest-" Peeta consults his watch for no reason at all. "-Tomorrow." He anticipates the rapid time frame of the plan would shock, and take yet some more convincing, but surprisingly Gale nods, as though this is what he had suspected.

"Makes sense." He says, opening his door only as wide as completely necessary to step back inside. The end of a threadbare, sagging couch is partially visible. "Got to move quick to get the jump on Katniss."

"And the rest of the country."

"The rest of the country isn't what we're going to have to be worrying most about-."

"Whosat?" A small voice interrupts him as a small sleepy girl with dark curls, a thin face and features that resemble Gales steps forward into the light of the open door. She rubs her eyes, and clutches a demented one legged teddy bear with mismatched buttons for eyes. Hawthorne turns, sighs and scoops up his shivering sister, who is in little but a thin nightdress. "Bad dreams again?" He murmurs softly in a tone entirely unlike the grouchy one he uses for everything else. She nods and clutches at his shirt, twisting it on his shoulders. Some part of Peeta predictably softens, since he knows Gale is probably the closes thing to a father this little girl has ever known. He can't imagine it, to be almost solely responsible for something so... fragile. And for the record, neither of Peeta's older brothers would ever speak to him like that. Shove him in the mud perhaps, a bucket of mouldy flour over the bathroom door, even. But that's because his brothers are asshole like that. Well, Rilee definitely.

Upon seeing him the girl buries her face further into Gale neck. Peeta tries at first to favour her with a smile, but the bear comes up for even more protection. Wide grey eyes peer over the somewhat damp chewed left ear.

They really get into that 'don't trust strangers' thing early in the seam don't they, Peeta thinks.

To break the ice, his hand slips into his pocket for the freshly made and iced cookies he had filched from the early morning morning batch. A snack he hadn't yet had time to eat. He hands over three. The pink one is quickly snatched up by a skinny arm which again retreats behind the teddy bear. A small, barely audible " 'Fank you." is mumbled between chomps.

"Don't mention it." Peeta replies, holding back a laugh, and then hands over two others to Gale. Who is looking mutinous. "Thank you, for that." He says, shifting the eating child in his arms, "She's probably going to make herself sick now."

"Sorry." Peeta says, shifting from foot to foot since sick children is a thought that does not occur to him often. "You have two brothers as well right?" He adds, to accompany the proffered cookies, since he can't exactly not give them up now. Sick children or no.

"Yeah." The paper cookie bag is snatched from his hand without a thank you.

"That's the man from T.V, Gale." The little girl whispers to her brother, which of course means that everyone within a two meter radius can hear.

"That right Posy," Her brother tells her, and then more forcibly, "And now it's time for him to go. Come find me when you're ready." Gale throws over his shoulder before kicking the door gently closed. Surprisingly, however, not before Posy can get in a goodbye wave, half eaten cookie in hand. Peeta grins.


(Taken from a variety of Capitol newspapers and gossip-magazines)

Mockingjay flies Coup

Newly crowned Victor, Katniss Everdeen and her extended family discovered missing late last night.

In the dawn hours of last night, 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen victor of the 75th and presumed tribute in the upcoming 3rd Quarter Quell, was discovered missing from her residence at 3 Victory Lane along with her immediate and extended family. Details about the escape remain hushed, however it is assumed that many will be questioned in relation to this disturbing disappearance. None the least of which, Everdeen's presumed counterpart and fellow victor, Peeta Mellark. When asked to explain this grave lax in district security under his leadership, Philip Undersee, current mayor of District 12 was unavailable for comment. This news arises admits troubling disturbances within many of the out laying districts.

More details, as well as descriptions of all wanted persons, and how Peeta Mellark's fragile heart is fairing after this latest betrayal can be found on page 3 & 4.


'Kissing Cousins'

The relationship between Katniss Everdeen and her cousin, fellow escapee Gale Hawthorne explored. Is everything how it seems? Inside sources reveal all. Find out now! Page 5.



In the aftermath of what is now being colloquially called the 'Mockingjay incident', disgraced former District 12 mayor Phillip Undersee was today convicted of high treason and multiple deliberate and wilful breaches of the District security Act. He is widely expected to be executed when the sentence it handed down later this week. His wife and daughter remain unavailable for comment.


Mellark still slated to participate in Quarter Quell.

Word from the presidential office confirms rumours that crowned victor of the 74th Hunger Games, Peeta Mellark will still participate in this years much anticipated Quell. Despite the fact that he is now without his partner, lover and fellow victor, he is still expected to appear as a the sole tribute to represent his recently disgraced district. Rumours circulate that this will not be the only penalty that Mellark will suffer as a result of his reported involvement in his lovers escape. Talk is rife at yet another unexpected twist, but officials in the know are keeping mum. A discussion on how this turn of events may effect betting averages, and how a guide on how to get the most out of your tribute can be found on page 8.


Mayor Sworn into office.

Early this morning, one of our reporters were present as the newly appointed Mayor of District 12 took his mayoral oath in front of the District 12 justice building. Endorsed by the President himself, many have high hopes that Romulus Thread, former Head Peacekeeper of 12, will be able to resurrect the coal district from the ashes of it's former disgrace. This news comes barely hours after the televised execution of his predecessor. Coverage of the entire event can be found in next weeks issue.



"Any last words, pretty?" The assistant asks around puffy magenta lips. He holds up the vicious looking pair of serrated pliers he had finished sterilising. The girl, prisoner #214782 , strapped to the table says nothing. But then, of course she doesn't. He doesn't expect her too. He tells her so, while stroking back some hair from her pale cheeks. She's the nicest looking one to come through in a while he thinks not for the first time, they did a little redhead a few years back but since then, mostly it has been district treason criminals. Hardy men, with words and swears and sometimes ones that spit at him and curse him with their eyes. The redhead ex-peacekeepers not long ago had been one of the worst. Taunts day in and day out, mean, nasty names. 'The soups cold, bug eyes.' or 'Hey, panty sniffer, want to tell me in which of the corners in here you want me to take a piss?'

The girls he always likes better, with their soft delicate throatal skin. Their screams are even plesenter on the ear if anyone were to ask his opinion of it. Which they don't. #214782 is one of his all time favourites. Delicate pale skin, soft hair the curls a little from the sweat and tears and grime, blue eyes that won't acknowledge him no matter if he pleads. If it were up to him he would keep her for himself, she has a nice face, expressive. After their mandatory years of sevices, Avox's he knows, are allowed to be purchased as domestic servants. It's costly, but certinaly a common enough practice.

Mostly, before they have the operation, all the prisoners do is scream and scratch and fight. It makes a nice change, he thinks, to have someone civil in the place for a change. He tells her this too, during the hours leading up to under anaesthesia, when he is charged with cleaning the utensils, he sits outside her cell. She says nothing of course, just listens as he talks. But now it's over, The Assistant has been ordered to prepare her for The Surgeon. Which he does of course, with lingering regret, but nothing, not even #214782 is worth incurring The Surgeons wrath.

Besides, he reasons, it's not as though #214782 is using her vocal chords to their full capacity at the moment. Stubborn girl. And the operation won't damage anything else, like her pretty hair or her nimble musician hands.

He registers a pang of sorrow nevertheless, as the anaesthetic needle punctures her skin. Of course, this feeling succumbs to a sharp pique of excitement when she murmurs something low, unintelligible, but distinctly audible. Instantly the Assistant leans forward, eager, more than usual to hear the last words. #214782 has become special to him. He had hoped to hear her voice, just once, before she was silence forever. She was truly remarkable. "Yes pretty?" He leans forward eagerly, closer normally than he would allow himself get to a prisoner since most of them are filth incubators. But this is his #214782, she wouldn't hurt him and she was very clean. "Speak lovely." He insists. The Assistant fancies she likes the pet names he gives her.

When she turns her head to voluntarily look at him for the first time, he can see that her eyes are actually green, not blue as he had surmised in the gloom of the prisoner cells. He can also see she is getting ready to say something, something profound probably, for #214782 is evidently an intelligent, sophisticated type of girl. It wasn't hard to sneak her file from the cabinets. He murmurs softly to her as he struggles again to become coherent under the influence of the anaesthesia. The bell to send her in to the theatre sounds somewhere in the dim preparation chamber, but the assistant lingers for a moment because she's going to speak, she's going to speak for him. The surgeon, he knows, will not appreciate the few moments wait, but it is a necessity. Unfamiliar is the feel of the rapid press of his heart, thudding against his ribcage, he leans closer, closer possibly than he has been to anyone in recent memory. "Yes pet?" He croons, revelling in the hint of verbena that still clings to her skin. "What is it my love?"

"Fuck you." She snarls, and spits directly in his face.

A/n: Well, I felt like I need a shower after writing that last bit. Delicate throatal skin, sexy. Just what everyone looks for in a potential... I don't know, stalker victim I guess.

But yeh, this is actually my attempt at something like a serious novel, I guess. I'm thinking that if I can improve my standard of writing a tad, I might just venture off into Original Fiction. I should probably warn you that this may be infrequently updated, since I guess the difference between this and my other HG story is that one is a little more fun/easier to put together. However, updates will hopefully monthly-ish.

Oh, and sorry for the newpapers things, just something I'd thought I'd try as an easy expositional aid. No journalist am I. And, yes, understand that it might be a little confusing at first, but then unanswered questions are the things that brings readers back so bare with me for a bit and I swear it will get better.

Oh, and Madge isn't gay. Obviously. And that will be the only f-bomb she drops.

Just wondering what everyone is think about the casting for HG: The movie? And, quietly wondering if anyone would be available to Beta this story for me? I suck at it, as you can probably see. Cheers. Thinking even, of making a seperate blog or some such for this, al-la shoebox project style, when a few more chapters are posted. If I did this, would any of you read it as opposed to here..?

#Kudos to anyone who spotted the x-men movieverse reference. ;] And to those who now will search for it.

- Is.