If you ever need me to tag anything as a trigger warning for you please just let me know I will tag whatever it is without hesitation.
"So what do you remember?"
“You. In the rain,” he says softly. “Digging in our trash bins. Burning the bread. My mother hitting me. Taking the bread out for the pig but then giving it to you instead.”
“That’s it. That’s what happened,” I say. “The next day, after school, I wanted to thank you. But I didn’t know how.”
“We were outside at the end of the day. I tried to catch your eye. You looked away. And then… for some reason, I think you picked a dandelion.”
I nod. He does remember. I have never spoken about that moment aloud.
“I must have loved you a lot.”
“You did.” My voice catches and I pretend to cough.
I just keep wishing I could think of a way to show them that they don’t own me. If I’m gonna die, I wanna still be me.
I search his eyes for any sign of hurt, any reflection of the agony of torture.
There is nothing.
It’s a long shot, it’s suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of. I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth. His whole body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air. My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his. “Don’t let him take you from me.”
Peeta’s panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging his head. “No. I don’t want to…”
I clench his hands to the point of pain. "Stay with me."
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. “Always,” he murmurs.