Always and Forever

Kiss Before the Storm

It took us almost an hour to get back to camp. Gale was still unconscious by the time we arrived so the guys dropped him off at his shelter, leaving Madge to take care of him. I asked if she needed any help but she waved me off and said that she’d be fine. Peeta and I are now on our way back to our place where I can check out his small wound.

“Kat I’m fine, no need to get all freaked out over a little cut on my cheek.” Peeta tells me once we’re inside and I am searching through our meager supplies for anything medical.

“I know Peeta, but just this once let me take care of you.”

“Fine.” He replies, trying not to actually be enjoying the attention.

“Good.” I find a strip of old fabric from something, probably that old dress we found in the chest, and pour a little of the water from the bottle, wetting it slightly. I carefully dab it over the cut and Peeta winces a little but stays quiet.

“It’s not too bad.” I assure him. He just gives me a small smile and I continue wiping away the now dried blood.

“Well we don’t have any medicine to put on it to prevent infection so I guess we’ll just have to keep it clean.”

“It’s fine.” He says.

“I hope so.” My hand lingers on his cheek a little longer than needed but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I should get hurt more often just so that you’ll baby me.” Peeta chuckles and I just roll my eyes.

“Yeah, you do that Peeta, just nothing too serious since we don’t have any medication.”

“I’m kidding!” He says laughing.

“I know.” I reply and lean up against him. We both still have light scars on our arms and legs from our little accident in the president’s mansion almost four years ago. The spikes in the rope prison had sliced my skin all over and even with the medical technology I was still left with a few to remember what we had to go through to get our freedom.

“What are you thinking about?” Peeta asks quietly, stroking my hair.

“The price so many of us had to pay during the rebellion, for us to get the freedom we have today.” I tell him.

“We did go through a lot didn’t we?” He kisses me temple and pulls me closer to him.

“We sure did. But it was worth it, wasn’t it?” I ask, looking up into his eyes.

“Absolutely.” He replies, leaning down and kissing my lips. I in turn wrap both of my arms around his middle, hugging him tightly.

“Did you know that I love you more than anything?” Peeta whispers into my ear.

I smile, “Yeah, I think you’ve told me once or twice.”

“Well let me tell you again. Katniss Mellark I love you so much, more than anyone else I’ve loved or will ever love.” I squeeze him tight, “I love you too Peeta.” I’m not good with fancy words but I know that he knows how much I love him.

I check my watch, 1pm.

“Are you hungry yet?” I ask.

“Actually, yes I’m very hungry.” He replies. “How about we get something to eat then we can go for a little walk together. How does that sound?”

“Sounds perfect.” I reply and give him a soft kiss. Yeah we kiss a lot, but we're on our honeymoon so it should be expected right?

“Good.”

“You know we really should start providing our own food and stop relying on Finnick and Annie for meals.” Peeta muses on our way to the Odair’s for lunch.

“Yeah, you’re right. Maybe Finnick could teach one of us to fish or Gale and I hunt for everyone and they fish. We can go collect fruit every few days and have maybe one meal with everyone and the other two to ourselves.” I suggest, liking his idea already.

“Good idea. We can bring it up over lunch with the others.”

“Okay.” I reply with a smile and swing our linked hands back and forth in between us. A few minutes later we are sitting down in a circle just like usual and Annie is passing out a freshly caught fish, courtesy of Finnick, to each of us to cook over the fire. After a month of eating the same things with no real spices or anything, and no bread and desserts it really gets boring and the only reason we eat is to stay alive. For breakfast we have a banana or mango, for lunch usually a fish cooked over the fire, and for dinner a rabbit stew caught by either Gale or me. I guess you can’t really call it a stew since it was mostly bowled salt water with the meat and maybe a few herbs that I had been lucky to find in the woods.

Gale has made a remarkable recovery in the last few hours and I am surprised to see him here, alive and well. He’s still a little pale, but for just have gotten attacked by a tiger he looks amazing.

“…So we were thinking that maybe we start eating meals on our own except for maybe lunch we could do together.” Peeta is saying.

“You know Annie and I had actually been discussing this very topic earlier.” Finnick says. “I could still catch the same amount of fish and we’d just distribute them among us, and Kat and Gale can still hunt and we’ll divide that up to. The fruit everyone can just go and collect when needed.”

“I like it.” Gale announces. “That way we aren’t putting the preparation of the meals all on Annie, and we can also eat just as couples.” He puts his arm around Madge while saying this.

“Great, then it’s settled.” Peeta smiles and continues to rotate is fish over the bright embers.

“Should we have lunch together then?” Annie asks.

“Sure.” Peeta agrees.

“Oh and each of us could take turns hosting lunch at our own places!” Madge suggests.

“I like it!” Gale grins and kisses her cheek causing both cheeks to turn slightly pink.

“Uh, where’s Colette?” I ask, having only just now noticed her absence.

“She said she was feeling tired after the fight and decided to rest. She also said that she doesn’t want to have to rely on us for provisions so she’ll be taking care of her own meals.” Annie informs us.

“We could invite her to lunch though.” Madge proposes.

“Yeah, if she wants to.” Finnick agrees and begins cutting his now cooked fish into bite sized pieces.

“Catnip, you want to hunt this afternoon?” Gale asks between bites of fish.

“Sorry Gale, I’m busy this afternoon, but tomorrow we can.” I promise.

“Oh really. And what plans might you have?” He asks smirking.

“I’m spending the day with Peeta.” I announce.

“And what are the two of you doing in the next 8 hours of the day?”

“None of your business!” I say a little louder than necessary. “We don’t even know yet. Probably go for a walk and maybe hang out at the waterfall or something.” I tell him a little annoyed.

“Okay, okay!” He grins holding his hands up in mock defense. “Madge and I were going to spend the day alone together as well, I was only teasing.”

“Sure, whatever.” I grumble under my breath.

“So Finnick.” Peeta declares interrupting our little argument. “How do you and Annie plan on spending your afternoon?”

“Oh I don’t know.” Finnick stretches and places his plate on the ground. “What would you like to do Annie?” She shrugs, “I don’t know, take a nap?”

Finnick’s smile falters.

“What?! Being pregnant is very tiring!” She cries out defensively.

“I know, I was kidding.” Finnick smiles and gives her a kiss.

“Hey, not around the dinner table!” Gale makes a fake gagging sound, earning a glare from Madge.

“Just kidding.” He sobers and kisses Madge, this time right on the mouth. Her smile returns and Peeta and I just kind of sit there awkwardly watching the two couples.

“Actually Finnick. I take that back. We can nap later. I really want to go swimming.” Annie declares to her husband. Finnick’s face lights up, “Sounds fun!”

“I guess we’ll be going now.” Gale says and stands up, pulling Madge up a long with him. “We’ll see you all later or if not, tomorrow.” We wave to the couple and watch them make their way back to their shelter. I barely catch the beginning of their conversation before they get too far away.

“Do you think you could help me swim some more today?” I hear Madge ask.

“Are you sure you want to?” Gale puts his hand on her still relatively flat tummy protectively.

“Gale, I’m barely a month pregnant, besides a little swimming won’t hurt me a bit. I need to get some exercise.”

“Well in that case…” He doesn’t finish but swoops the smaller girl up into his arms and carries her back to their place.

“Guess we’ll be going too.” Peeta tells the other couple and helps me to my feet.

“Enjoy your afternoon!” Annie smiles and waves after us.

“You too!” I call over my shoulder and give her a little wave as well.

“You know we should add onto our shelter room and have a small kitchen like Finn and Annie have.” Peeta says as we make our way back home.

“I was thinking the same thing Peeta. Oh and that reminds me, I’ll need to get some food dishes from Annie if we’re going to be eating separately.”

“Oh right, and there is only one big iron pot for stews.”

“Eh, we’ll manage.” I give him a small smile and step inside to our home.

We both change into our swimsuits, putting our clothes over top until we actually swim.

“So, where do you want to go?” He asks once we’re all ready to go.

“How about we go for a walk around a part of the island that we’ve never explore before then we head back to the waterfall to refresh ourselves.” I suggest.

“I like it.” Peeta kisses my cheek then takes my hand in his and we begin our stroll down the beach in the opposite direction from where we fought the tiger yesterday.

In the four weeks that we’ve been on this island we have not even had one day of bad weather. It’s a wonder the streams and pools don’t dry up. A few days, sparsely separated, a few clouds rolled in and we hoped that it would rain, but they just flew on by, probably going to rain somewhere else.

“I miss the rain.” I muse, startling myself that I voiced my thoughts out loud.

“Yeah me too.”

“You know what?” I ask and Peeta looks at me, shaking his head with a smile.

“What?”

“I always wanted to get kissed in the rain. Which is strange for me because I never thought about kisses, I guess I though it’d be cool.” I tell him shyly.

“Well hopefully we can fix that problem soon.” He replies, giving my hand a quick squeeze.

“That’d be nice.” I sigh and we continue wandering down the beach. We didn’t even bother bringing our shoes, I guess that probably wasn’t very smart but we aren’t going back now.

“We really do get the best weather here don’t we?” I say.

“Yeah, we do. Not too hot, not cold, just perfect.” Peeta agrees.

“I still miss the rain though.”

He chuckles quietly to himself, “Me too Kat. There are a lot of things I miss. You really don’t think about all the things you have until you don’t anymore.”

“That’s for sure. But I never really did have much of anything until after the rebellion so I guess I’m more used to it.”

“We weren’t rich Kat.”

“Yeah but you had a warm home growing up, and enough to eat!” I object.

“I guess, but you get tired of stale bread for every meal after a while.”

“I’m sure! Didn’t you ever eat meat?” I ask in astonishment.

“Mostly only the stuff you used to sell to my Dad. The stuff at the butcher was too expensive for even some town folk.”

“Wow.” Is all I can get out.

“Come on, enough of this boring talk, let’s have some fun.” Peeta grins and before I can reply he picks me up, swinging me over his shoulder like a dead animal and then he takes off running.

“Put me down you big animal!” I yell through my laughter. I try pounding his back but it’s halfhearted at best. I end up giving up and decide to enjoy the somewhat bumpy ride.

“Where are we going?” I call a few minutes later when he still hasn’t put me down.

“Be patient, we’re almost there.” He calls back, his breath heavy and puffing as he runs. I huff and let myself hang limp, a few minutes later I yell again, “All the blood has gone to my head! If you don’t put me upright soon I’ll faint!”

“It’s okay, we’re here.” He replies setting me down gently while trying to catch his breath.

“Where is here?” I ask, looking around us. “Have you been here before?” Peeta smiles and shakes his head, “Nope, but I have good eyes and saw it whilst we were walking a few days ago.”

“Wow.” I breathe and take in our surroundings. Palm trees loaded with coconuts cover the land along with hibiscus flowers making the area full of colors. A small pool is in the middle of all of this and looks especially inviting.

“Pretty neat isn’t it?” I nod, unable to speak.

“Race you to the pool.”

I don’t have to be told twice, I take off at full speed, yanking my clothes off all the way. I get to the edge of the clear water and wait for Peeta to catch up.

“Is it safe?” I ask hesitantly.

“Only one way to find out.” Peeta grins and plunges into the water, getting completely submerged under the blue crystal water. His head pops back to the surface a few seconds later.

“Come on! It feels great!”

A grin comes over my features and closing my eyes I jump in, letting the water cover my whole body. I come back up a second later right in front of Peeta.

“Nice isn’t it?” I nod, “Wonderful.”

“It’s too bad it’s not closer.” He sighs.

“How about we not tell anyone about it, it could be our special spot.” I suggest.

“Like the waterfall was?” He smirks.

“Yeah, but I like this place better. Besides we can actually hear each other talk.”

“Yeah, I agree.” He smiles and gives me a kiss. The pool is quite small, not big enough to swim in. I’m guessing it is about 3 or 4 meters in diameter, just enough to move around freely.

“How’s your cheek?” I ask, gently touching his wound with my wet fingertips.

“Totally fine. I don’t feel a thing.” He assures me.

“Good.” I reply and wrap my arms around his neck. Peeta in turn snakes his arms around my bare waist, drawing me close to him.

“Let’s dance.” He whispers, his hot breath fanning on my neck.

“What?” I look up at him like he just asked an outrageous question.

“Dance.” He repeats.

“Here, now, in the water?”

“Sure, why not?”

I shrug. "I guess we could.” He smiles and his arms tighten around me. I rest my head on his chest and together we begin swaying around in the water. I can’t reach the bottom and Peeta barely can so he is literally carrying me. Me feet dangle below me as we slowly move around in circles; my eyes close and I just enjoy the present.

I sigh in contentment as Peeta begins leaving soft kisses down my neck and shoulder and back up to my ear then cheek and then I pull back and kiss his lips unable to take it anymore.

All of a sudden the sun is obscured from sight and it becomes a lot darker outside. Peeta and I pull apart slightly but my arms stay clasped around his neck and his around my waist.

“Looks like you’re going to get that kiss in the rain.” He smiles and I look up at the sky. Sure enough big, dark clouds are coming in closer and closer completely blocking out the light of the sun. It’s only a few minutes before the first raindrop falls and lands on my cheek.

"That was fast." I stare curiously upward.

“It’s raining!” Peeta exclaims as he kisses the spot on my cheek where the raindrop landed.

“And we’re already wet!” I reply, equally excited.

“Our clothes are going to get wet though.”

“Eh who cares?” I say close my eyes, enjoying the feeling of the raindrops falling onto my face and arms. When I open my eyes the rain is coming down in torrents. Peeta laughs and hugs me tighter, then he leans in, and so do I, and it’s like we’re about to have our first kiss all over again. I close my eyes in anticipation; I don’t have to wait long before his lips are on mine, wet and soft, tasting like rainwater.

The kiss doesn’t last long because we are both startled apart when a clap of thunder sounds and a streak of lightening follows a few seconds later.

“I think we’d better get back to camp before this gets any worse.” Peeta says reluctantly and I nod. We swim back to land and pull ourselves up. Grabbing our soaking wet clothes we link hands and begin running through the pouring rain back towards the camp.

We don’t make it far before the rain is coming down so hard that we can’t see more than a few feet in front of us.

“We need to find shelter somewhere!” Peeta calls through the swirling wind and rain.

“Yeah, but where?” I yell back, trying to shield my face with my clothes.

“Come on.” I don’t question him but just let myself get pulled along back the way we’d come. With all the trees around it is a little easier to see but not much. I have no idea where Peeta is taking us but I trust him and just hope that he knows what he’s doing. All my questions are answered soon when we come to a small cave.

“This should shelter us from the rain until it stops.” Peeta tells me, still having to practically yell to be heard.

I just nod and follow him inside. It isn’t really much of a cave, just a cleft in some big rocks, but it’ll have to do for now. The ‘cave’ is only about five feet wide but seems to go pretty far back. We both have to crawl inside since it is only about four feet high. I shiver once we’re inside and Peeta wraps me up in his arms after he lays our wet clothing on a nearby rock to dry. The ground is sand below us and the walls and ceiling are made up out of rock. I wish I had a flashlight or some kind of light source because it is quite dark inside.

“What do we do now?” I ask, trying to calm my chattering teeth.

Peeta hugs me tighter and replies, “Now, we wait.”


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