Don't read this if you haven't read Mockingjay!
I copied the first paragraph from the book so you know where I want the story to start. I also changed it to past tense to fit this alternate-ending better. I titled it after Taylor Swift's song "Safe & Sound" from the Hunger Games soundtrack. I think it fits the story perfectly! :) I hope you enjoy it.
Sometimes the phone rang and rang and rang, but I didn't pick up. Haymitch never visited. I thought maybe he had changed his mind and left, although I suspected he was just drunk. No one came but Greasy Sae and her granddaughter. After months of solitary confinement, they seemed like a crowd.
I don't really know how long it took me to do something, but one day, I turned on the T.V. The sound felt so strange to me. It echoed in loudly in the big room and even louder in my head. But what I saw almost stopped my heart.
It was him. They were doing a feature on him and his time from three years ago until that day. I screamed and threw the remote at the screen, which shattered. I huddled up uncomfortably in the rocking chair. That night, I had nightmares of a blonde boy. He was chasing me, no doubt to kill me, but I ran and ran until I woke up.
I couldn't stand being in the same room as the television. Every time I looked at it the horrible images invaded my mind. I began to move around the house. Greasy Sae actually got me into the shower one day. I forgot how nice it was to be clean again.
After that, Greasy Sae made me cook my own food. She was there to supervise me; there were too many ways to accidentally hurt myself in the kitchen. Then I noticed she came by less and less. I also noticed that's because I didn't need her as much anymore.
It took months for her to visit only once a week. When she did come one day, I asked her something.
"Can I leave?" I expected her to look at me like the crazy person I knew I was. But she only nodded and told me District Seven needed a shop keeper.
I left the next day, riding the train for hours until I was surrounded by a dense forest. I was given a job at a clothing store. I was the manager and the sole employee. The tiny store was located in what was their equivalent to 12's Meadow. I lived in the apartment above the shop, and it became my life.
For five years I ordered stock, took inventory, and folded and hung clothes. It was my routine, and I didn't know any other way to be. Katniss Everdeen, the girl in the clothes store. That was my new title. The other title I want by so many years ago was just a faded memory.
I started writing. First, I wrote the single thought that was always on my mind. My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
That was all I wrote down for a long time. Then I started to change it. My name is Katniss Everdeen. I had a sister. I don't have a sister anymore.
Memories of Prim came rushing back to me. At first, I resisted them with all my strength. I thought they would bring back nightmares and pain. But they didn't, so I opened up to them. I remembered all the good things about her. Her laugh, her pretty hair, her bravery.
My writings turned into letters. Dear Prim, I miss you. I love you. Love, Katniss. After the letters were written, they couldn't be sent, so I burned them.
The letters transformed into something I looked forward to writing every day. I reminisced with my little sister. Dear Prim, remember the day of the reaping? You were scared, and I was scared. I was very sad, too. But I did what I had to do. I love you, Little Duck. Katniss.
Everything was normal for me. My letters got longer and longer until I got an idea. A book. I could write a book, just for Prim. It would start on the day everything went wrong. It was the day a twelve-year-old girl's name was pulled from a glass bowl.
In the beginning, I was afraid of reliving the painful memories. But I discovered bottling up the horror wasn't doing me any good. I had to tell someone about what happened. The book went from exclusively for Prim, to anyone who wanted to read it.
I finished it a year later, and I decided to publish it. District Seven had a free publishing company. Walking to it, it seemed, put me on edge, though. I never went there before because it was never part of my routine. I had turned into a creature of habit.
To get to the publishing building, I had to walk past a bakery. I stopped to admire the delicious-looking food in the window and debated whether or not to go in and buy something. My stomach made the decision, and I walked through the front door, inhaling the sweet scents.
"Katniss?" I could've fainted. I could've screamed. I could've exploded right there at the familiarity of that voice.
In the end, I didn't do any of the three things. I just froze. A beautiful man was behind the counter of the bake shop. He looked strong under the white apron he wore. I forced myself to look at his face. I started to cry.
It was him. Peeta. Last time I saw his face, he was chasing me down in a dream six years ago. But this Peeta didn't start chasing me. He had tears in his eyes as well as he stood there. I tensed all my muscles, waiting for the onslaught of horrid memories to come back. The deaths, the blood, the mutts, the war, they were all things I had endured and feared. But those memories didn't come. I felt… peaceful.
Images, good ones, came at me. A boy with a black eye and burnt bread. A dripping wet cave with that same boy's face in full view. Our double victory. "Stay with me." "Always." His hand on my stomach as he said, "You'll make a great mother one day."
I took a wobbly step forward. He did the same. The distance closed until we were just a few feet apart. After what seemed like an eternity of searching each other's eyes, he held out his hand for me to shake. And suddenly, his arms were around me as I let tears fall onto his shirt that smelled like sugar.
"Katniss," he repeated. "H- How are you doing?" I laughed halfheartedly into his shoulder.
"How does it look like I'm doing?" He chuckled slightly and held me tighter.
"You haven't changed a bit." I pulled back to wipe off my face and looked him in the eye.
"Actually, I have," I said. "But I'm better now."
That night, I let myself enjoy the luxury of his embrace while I slept. I let out a sigh, like it was my first breath in a very long time. I felt something I had never felt before. Safe, and happy.
A/N: I know it could be longer and I could develop their "new" relationship better, but I wanted to keep it a rather short oneshot. I originally wrote it for my sister, who hated the ending of Mockingjay. I agree with her. In the end, she sounded content, not happy. I hope I made it sound like she is at peace now. Please review! I would like to know what I can change. :)