On Sleepless Roads.

"The death of the Mockingjay destroyed much more than just a fledgling rebellion. AU."


My thoughts of what would have happened to my favourite characters had Katniss gotten her wish and died in the quell saving Peeta.



They've restrained him. Four thick leather ties that secure each his arms and legs to the bed. His hand is broken. But then, so is Haymitch's face. Through the muggy haze of the sedatives streaming through his veins, Peeta Mellark considers this a fair compromise. He struggles to keep his eyes open considering the many needles they've stuck him with, but he accomplishes it. They've got her, the phrase circles his mind, pecking at his brain like a vulture of despair . They've got her. They've got her they've got her they've got her they'vegotherthey'vegother...

When his eyes open again, he is dead. Dead and in heaven because that's where angels live. Like the one staring down at him right now. But no, it's no angel. Or maybe she is. Peeta has often thought so. Primrose Everdeen smiles at him, soft little fingers like butterfly kisses brushing hair from his eyes. A sharp fluorescent light shines directly behind her head, ringing that golden hair like a halo.

They are not in District 12.

"Prim." He manages to choke out with vocal cords still ragged from screaming at Haymitch. Questions and words fused together as he speaks, forming a wall of incoherency. "How- how are you- where ar- I don't- They, they took- I tried, God, I couldn't get to her- Katniss I couldn't..." He doesn't release he's shaking and struggling against his bonds until Prim, sweet angelic Prim is shushing him in calming tones and telling him it's all going to be alright.

If it were anyone else telling him that right now, he'd ring their fucking neck.

But it's not. It's this selfless little girl. Who, by rights should be out for his blood. Not holding a cup of water up to his parched lips. He finishes the thing in three gulps, and with wetness dripping down his chin and onto his shirt Peeta is - for the first time in three days- able to form a coherent sentence.

"What... what happened?"

Taking a deep breath, she tells him. All of it. Her whole frame trembles, her blue eyes liquefied by unshed tears by the end of it.

There's silence then, thick silence as he absorbs all of it. 500, that's all that escaped. Less then a fifth of the population. "And no-one from town...?" The question is unspecific and left open. But what he's really asking is if his family is dead. Peeta knows the answer already, he just needs to hear it.

"Only one." Prim takes a shuddering breath. "Madge."



The woman in question is slight, elderly and almost translucent in her paleness and is colourless in both appearance and personality. Refugee 547, formally Margaret Ann Undersee of the recently made non-existent district twelve and now patient 24 of ward 6, has been told that this description can fit almost every native to miraculously existent District 13.

The woman, Annis Weatherword a nurse here in the ward, with large eyes that shine with sympathy and wrinkled hands that trembled as she holds the mirror up to Patient 547's face. As far as Annis knows, this is the first time the girl has seen her reflection. A pity too, the woman thinks to herself as the one good eye set against the porcelain skin on the undamaged side stares unblinkingly at it's reflection, she would have been a pretty one. Beautiful perhaps to the right eye, with a nice hairstyle, pretty dress. Handsome polished man on her arm...

"Thank you, " Patient 546 whispered without inflection, the corner tipped down on the undamaged part of her mouth. "I'd like to be alone now. If you don't mind."

Annis takes her time reapplying the bandages, gently smoothing tendrils of blonde hair away from the wounds. "Are you sure dear? I could sit awhile if you-"

"No." Madge overrides in a sharp raspy voice. And then amends herself. "No...thank you."

Nurse Weatherword leaves without a sound, bustling her way from the room. The automatic door shuts with a hydrologic hiss behind her, but not before she catches a glimpse of the mirror hurling past, and the smash and shatter as it breaks into a thousand peices against the wall.

Annis makes a note to tell the maintenance crew about it.


Peeta nods. Trying to find it inside himself to be happy that Madge is alive. That at least someone from his childhood survived. Right now, it's hard to feel anything other then hatred. Dull, pulsing hatred.

"There was no time to warn any of the others." Primrose elaborates, more for her own benefit then his. "Gale was barely able to get us all out."

To hear of Gale's survival doesn't surprise Peeta. The guy is a born survivor. Not that he really knows Gale, because there was never or ever will be a point where the two of them will be anything remotely resembling friendly. But he's predictable... just like she – was - in some ways. In a lot of ways. Like Katniss. And at this point, Peeta hates him for it. He forces himself to ask the next question;

"And how is he then? Gale I mean."

"Well," Primrose, who is no idiot and knows how touchy this subject is, answers cautiously, "He was discharged yesterday from the medical wing. He's going to make a full recovery."

Of course he is.

Peeta says nothing.

"And," The thirteen year older continues, "He's waiting outside to speak to you." She surveys him with those troubled knowing eyes that, in contrast to her face seem a thousand years old. "I can tell him to go away," She offers kindly, "if you don't feel up to it."


The image of tiny Prim facing up to Gale, in all his 6 foot tall, kill-you-with-my-bare-hands-while-probably-stealing-your-girlfriend glory is something Peeta would pay good money to see. She'd kick his ass.

"No," He eventually decides, steeling himself for whatever confrontation awaits. Hoping at least, that Hawthorne brought a knife and plans to make his death as painful and agonising as possible. "Let him in."

Prim gives him a worried look, but dutifully pads to the door, disappears through it for a moment and returns seconds later flanked by Gale Hawthorne. His arm in a sling, his face dark with the beginnings of a beard, hair unkempt. Eyes as quick, bright and deadly as ever.

"You don't have to stay, Duck." He tells Prim with the kind of familiarity that comes with having watched someone practically grow up. She looks at him like he's just grown a second head.

"No, Prim." Peeta adds, because, there is no way in hell Prim is going to witness this. "He's right. I'd prefer it if you'd just give us a few seconds alone."

Her eyes narrow at the both of them. "I'll be just outside. If you upset him," The words are directed at Gale, who looks down at her with such a dogged 'who me' look, it's actually almost comical. "I'll tell Hazelle.."

Hawthorne makes a gravely peculiar sound in his throat. One that, after a moments befuddlement, Peeta recognises as a laugh.

"I'll behave little duck, I swear it." Gale replies then just a shade too sincerely. She gives him a suspicious look, but nevertheless backs out of the door.

"No knife." Peeta observes aloud after the door clicks shut. Genuinely surprised. "Come to strangle s then?"

"Thought about it." Gale returns, eyeing him critically. Mellark looks like death warmed up, and whatever the hell is going on behind those – tormented is the only word for it - eyes far surpasses anything he, Gale could have done done. Physically or otherwise. Not that he didn't think about it. At length."But I figure that's what you'd want." And not what she'd want are the unspoken words.

"So you're going to let me stew in my own despair and misery." Peeta whistles low. "Didn't think you had it in you, for cruelty like that." He notes how Gale's one good hand makes a fist, his knuckles turning white. It is somewhat satisfying for Peeta to know that there is at least one person nearly miserable as he is. Nearly.

"Yeah, well I guess it shows that you know fuck all about me then, doesn't it." The worlds are all but snarled, and he can tell the guy is trying hard to keep it under control. Good.

"What are you here for then?" Peeta hurls back, feeling at somewhat a disadvantage because the guy is over six feel tall and he's tied to a fucking bed. "Come to tell me how it's my fault. How they've got her because I was too weak, to stupid to save her like I promised." The words are sneered, and Peeta knows he's dangerously close to going right off the deep end now. But what does it matter? Katniss is dead. Or as good as. Death for her, at this moment would be a mercy he'd give his soul for. "How you would have been so much better for her, if only I'd died in the first games. How happy she would have been with you." He laughs bitterly, "You can't possibly tell me anything that I don't already know. There's not a phrase, not a word or an action you can do to make me feel worse. I love her." The last words are cracked and broken and at this moment, count for nothing.

No one else knows this fact better than the person Peeta is currently uttering them too.

"And I didn't?" Gale growls back, harsh and as serious as a knife to the throat. "Don't think for one fucking second that you loved her more than-" He takes a sharp breath through his nose, Peeta has to admire the will power the guy must be using not to bash his brain outs. Will power, Peeta will freely admit, he wouldn't have previously given Gale credit for. "-But that's not why I'm here. And I'm refuse to wallow in self pity with you right now. Look, I need you to talk to the president here. They're talking about calling off the rebellion."

The last sentiment, from the way he says it is supposed to rouse some sort of indignation or disbelief or in fact, any other emotion other than complete indifference. Which is what Peeta is feeling right now. "Let them." he scoffs, actually astounded that Gale would think something like that matters at a moment like now. "I could care less about any rebellion. They used us," He stresses so the idiot will get it, "They used her.."

For a brief moment, with the look he gives him, Peeta thinks Gale might actually strangle him. It's a welcomed thought.

"Are you that fucking thick?" He snaps, slamming his hand on Peeta's bedside table, knocking off and shattering a glass. "They wanted Katniss out of the arena not you. She's their mockingjay. Their symbol." His words have a desperate tinge to them. "As long as they want a rebellion they're going to need her."

"She'd dead." Peeta croaks, he nearly throws up getting the words out. Saying it makes it a tangible fact. Makes it reality.

"She's not. Not until I see it, she's not." There's so much certainty in the words that Peeta's head snaps up. Hope curls in his stomach. She's Katniss Everdeen. He reminds himself, recalling his own mother's words. She's a survivor that one. "I need you to talk to them. Convince them to go get her. They have people in the capitol, they got you and the great Finnick fucking Odair of all people out, they can get her. They have too."

He makes it sound so brainlessly easy. Just a stroll into the capitol, a matter of knocking on a door and asking Snow to please let Katniss come out and play. "Just like that then?" Peeta shoots back, "Why don't you do it if it's so simple?"

"Because I can't." Gale doesn't quite- or can't meet his eye now. And the way he speaks, it sounds as though he's having his teeth pulled. But with an added element of self-loathing that could be mirrored in Peeta's own reflection. "I'm-" His fist clenches. "I'm not good with words. Not like you. You could- you have to convince them."

And so this is it. The last ditch plan. It's pathetic really, and there are so many if's involved, if he manages to convince the officials of 13, if they have any people left in the capitol, if they even know where she is, if she's alive...and then, if they get her back. In what state will she be in?

But there's hope there. A tenuous thread of hope so fragile it could snap at any moment. But it's still there..

"I'll do it." Peeta replies, licking dry lips and tugging on the damn restraints. "I'll do it right now. Just get me the hell out of here." And then looks up at the light 'snick' of the switchblade that Gale seems to be produce from thin air.

"So you did bring a knife then."

Gale's expression is almost wolfish. "Always come prepared." He explains, holding the blade unsettlingly close to Peeta's face. "Now, hold still."

a/n: Short about Katniss being dead. There wasn't enough serious Peeta&Gale talk in MJ imo, which is why I wrote this short. Nothing really. I may add too it, I don't know.


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