Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, own the Hunger Games. All characters and (lack of) plot in this oneshot belong to the esteemed Suzanne Collins.

"Peeta," I [Katniss] say lightly. "You said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?" -The Hunger Games.

Forever Started: Peeta's POV

I feel slightly confused, not sure myself after years of pining after you. My mind, usually not fast at all, goes into overdrive and flits to the million different things I feel like I can say to answer this one question.

When did forever start?

Didn't forever started when I threw you the bread—the burned bread I should have handed to you, not tossed at your feet? The same bread I should've made myself, so that my mother couldn't stop me from handing you a dozen of fresh loaves instead of two burned, ugly crusts?

Not quite, I think, because forever had started a long, long, time before that.

Oh, forever must've started when I first laid eyes on you, seeing you on our first day of school. Your hair had been in two braids instead of the single one slung over your shoulder now, and you had been wearing that sweet, red plaid dress I remembered so clearly and filled my memories. I remembered being completely lost as my father told me the story of him and your mother, a replica of your inevitable future with Gale when you return a victor to District 12.

Of course not. The only reason I remembered those details so clearly is what happened later that day.

And the answer to this question hits me like a bag of flour to the face, a realization to myself as much as anyone.

Forever started the moment you opened your mouth and closed your eyes. The second your sweet, clear, five-year-old voice burst out of your mouth and made the boring tones of the Valley Song a brilliant melody.

Forever started when I realized that even the birds stopped their song to listen to yours. When it struck me that it didn't matter that you were on a stool; not only was everyone gaping at you in wonder, the birds were giving you the same, repectful treatment as they did your father. The stool was your stage, your braids and dress your costume, and the Valley Song your act.

Forever started when I heard your heart sing, clearly and untainted for the first time, before it retreated behing your defensive mental walls.

Forever started so long ago that no girl after you mattered, so that, even to this moment, I am so in love with you that I have already signed my life off to save yours.

You tilt your head, neat braid hanging. You wear a smile for the cameras, but your bright gray eyes suggest that your mind is storming as you wait.

Now, you still look as breathtakingly beautiful as the five-year-old with the double braids and the red plaid dress.

So the story tumbles out, every part of this secret I have never told anyone, and I hope for a reaction.

Alright, I know Peeta didn't hesitate at all before answering this question. But I couldn't resist the temptation to write it into a sappy love story.

Thanks for reading, and if you thought it was okay, review! I take constructive criticism but not flames, thank you very much :)