Always and Forever

Cocktails and Fist Fights

“So what do you think of everything so far?” Peeta asks, handing me some fruity cocktail drink laced with ice crystals.

We have been here at the party for a little less than an hour and I have to admit that I have had more fun than I expected to have. Probably most of the young couples on the cruise have congregated in this huge room with sparkly chandeliers and flashing disco balls. On a small stage at the head of the room. someone is currently singing and a guy is playing the guitar. Two long tables on either side of the room are filled with snacks and drinks leaving the middle for dancing.

“I like it.” I tell him and he smiles down at me. “I’m glad.” We each take small sips from our fancy drinks while watching the crowd curiously.

“By the way, where is everyone else?” I ask, my eyes combing the area for our friends.

“Well Madge and Gale are over in the corner dancing.” I look to where he is pointing and find that sure enough the two lovebirds are dancing slowly. Madge’s arms are locked securely around her husband’s neck and Gale has his big hands placed on her tiny waist. Madge’s head rests on his broad chest as they sway to the music.

"Finnick took Annie out on the deck for some fresh air a few minutes ago.” He adds.

“How do you know all of this?” I ask.

He chuckles, “I am very observant.” I laugh along with him and then all of a sudden Peeta is pulling me to the dance floor just as a new song begins to play.

“Peeta, I am a terrible dancer!” I argue, trying to pull him back to the food.

“Oh come on, I'm sure you’re wonderful.” He whispers.

“But I don’t want to dance!” He doesn’t answer but just takes my arms and places them around his neck just like Madge had done with Gale and in turn he places his own arms around my waist. I sigh but just relax into him and move my feet to the music, not really following any particular pattern.

“I wish that I could just freeze this moment and live in it forever.” I can barely hear him when he says this, his voice muffled in my hair.

“Me too Peeta.” I whisper back. He pulls back a little and at first I think that he doesn’t want to dance anymore but then he drops his head down to my and level closes in the distance between us. A shiver runs through my body when his lips touch mine and I moan quietly. One of my hands move up to tangle itself in his blond waves and the other behind his neck bringing him closer to me. I know that we are in the middle of the dance floor, with people all around but for the moment I don’t really care. I mean we are on our honeymoon for goodness sakes.

But of course we have to part at some point and almost as soon as his lips are no longer on mine I feel somewhat cold even though his arms are still around me.

“I’ll never tire of kissing you.” Peeta whispers huskily into my ear.
“You’re not so bad yourself.” I say jokingly. He chuckles quietly and we continue dancing while getting in the occasional kiss.

All of a sudden I notice something while glancing over Peeta’s shoulder and I immediately tense up. He of course notices this and tightens his grip on my waist.

“What is it?”

I stand on my tiptoes and look behind him again; this time I let go of Peeta but grab his hand and practically drag him to the doors.

“Katniss, what did you see?”

“I think I saw Cato and Colette standing over there, I just don’t want them to see us, and we should probably warn the others.”

“I won’t let them touch you, don’t worry honey.” He assures me. I nod and give him a small smile, then we walk over towards Madge and Gale. It takes a few seconds before we get their attention because they are just so engrossed in each other that they are oblivious to everything and everyone around them. Even after 3 years they still act like newlyweds. I find it a little gross but adorable at the same time.

“Can you come back in about five minutes?” Gale groans and says without even looking up.

“Cato and Colette are here!” I hiss at them. At those names they immediately break apart and look at us. Madge whimpers and sinks into Gale and he holds her tight.

“Where are they, I’d like to teach them a little lesson so they know not to touch my wife ever again.”

“Uh Gale, that is probably not the best idea right now.” Peeta warns him. He huffs somewhat loudly but seems to take Peeta’s advice, for now, and takes Madge’s arm.

“Come on, let’s get out of here.” Madge just shrugs and lets him lead her away.

“We need to tell Finn and Annie.” Peeta says and I nod. We walk hand-in-hand out to the main deck where a few couples are enjoying the night air. It doesn’t take long to find the duo, standing side by side leaning out over the railing, staring into the dark waves.

We come up behind them and Peeta taps Finnick on the shoulder, he immediately turns around and for a second I think that Peeta might get punched in the face.

“Oh, it’s you.” Annie turns around as well and her face lights up. “Did you guys need some fresh air too?”

I shake my head, “We think we saw Cato and Colette on the dance floor and just wanted to warn you two, Gale already took Madge back to their room.”

“Thanks for the heads up, but I think we’ll stay here for now, I’m sure they wouldn’t try something with all these people around.”

Peeta shrugs “Suit yourselves but call us if you fall into any trouble.”

“Sure dude, see you two later.” Then, just like that, they both turn their backs to us.

“Want to go back to the cabin?” Peeta asks.

“Sure, let’s go.”

“I’m really sorry Kat, I don’t want to have to leave early.”

“No! Don’t worry about it, it’s fine.” I say, trying not to act disappointed. Why did they have to ruin our fun night out?

“I am positive that there will be other parties like this since we’ll be here for two weeks.” He mentions encouragingly.

“Peeta, seriously it’s no big deal.”

“Okay, if you say so.” We continue walking the five minutes that it takes us to get back to our private cabin in silence. We are just rounding the corner when I hear a scuffle in our hallway then the sound of someone crying out in pain. I gasp when I see what is making the sounds.

Gale and Cato are in a full on fight, punches are flying and both of them have blood on their faces. I don't know how Cato arrived before us, he must have found a shortcut. I literally scream when I notice Madge lying on the ground, blood is seeping from a wound on the side of her head and she isn’t moving. Just then Colette jumps out from another hallway and climbs onto Gale’s back, knife in hand. Peeta pushes me towards Madge and hands me the key to our room.

“Get her into our cabin and take a look at her head wound!” I nod but then realize what he plans on doing, before I can say anything Peeta kisses me softly. “Gale needs some help, it’d probably be helpful if you called Finnick though, we might need some help, especially if they have weapons.” I nod again, a few tears escaping my eyes at the same time. I quickly dig my cell phone out of my small purse and dial Finnick’s number, praying for him to pick up; at the same time I hurry over to Madge and pick her up, holding the phone between my neck and ear. Finnick answers on the third ring, “Katniss, what is it?” Between sobs I explain to him everything that just happened.

“Okay I’ll be right there.” Then he hangs up; I grit my teeth and hurry over to my door. It takes a few tries before I get the key inserted correctly and hear the click indicating that it is unlocked, but I finally do and then I kick the door open with my foot. I gently place Madge on our bed and put the keys and phone on the dresser. Then I dash into the bathroom and grab a small towel to wrap around her head. I am no doctor so I really don’t know what to do about her wound except stop the blood flow so I’ll have to call the nurse when all this is over. Once Madge is situated I hurry back outside, closing the door behind me. Finnick has already arrived and Annie is coming towards me with a first aid kit.

“Can you check on Madge please?” I ask. She nods her blond head and holds up the kit. “I found this in our room and thought it’d come in handy.” I let her inside and then sprint over to the fight. They all have multiple wounds, some bleeding, some not, others from the knife and still others from fists. I am surprised that Cato and Colette are still holding out even against the three guys, but apparently they were quite prepared for something like this. Peeta catches me approaching and yells for me to stay out of it but I just keep coming, determined to help them. Just then Peeta lets out a cry of pain and I observe where the pain is coming from. Colette just dragged her knife along the inside of his arm and he now has about a foot long slice now flowing with dark red blood. I scream and lunge for her, getting a kick in the stomach in the process. Peeta keeps yelling, desperately telling me to go back to the room.

“I’m not leaving you again! I am going to help!” I say and land a kick with my heel in Colette’s jaw, I ended up ripping my dress down the leg but I’m not worried about that right now. Colette screams in pain and drops the knife, clutching her face and wiping the blood with her shirt. I quickly reach for the knife and snatch it up before Cato notices. He has Gale in a headlock so I take the knife and slice his arm; he releases my friend immediately, howling in agony.

“Thanks Catnip.”

“Anytime Gale.” Now both of our enemies are on the ground, holding their injuries and moaning in pain.

Suddenly Finnick exits his room with some rope slung over one arm, I hadn’t even noticed his absence during the struggle. Peeta holds Colette’s arms behind her back while Finnick ties them securely and Gale does the same with Gale.

“Now, what to do with you two.” Gale muses, rubbing his chin. His question is answered almost immediately when a group of about 5 guys in uniforms enter the hallway.

“Having trouble here?” One of them asks.

“Yes sir.” Finnick answers. “They attacked our friends here, the girl is unconscious right now.” The leader nods to his men and they come up to us pick the culprits up roughly by the arm.

“Yes, please send the nurse down to room 204.” One of the uniformed men repeats into a walkie-talkie. “Take them away.” The other men nod and guide Cato and his sister away.

“Are you all okay?” The captain asks. Gale nods, “Just a few flesh wounds that will heal in time, thank you for your help.”

“Don’t worry about it, it’s our job, I am just sorry this happened to you all.”

“Thank you.” I grunt, still hunched over a little from getting kicked in the stomach. Peeta hurries over to me and kisses me quickly on the forehead.

“I’m so glad you’re alright.” I then get a look at his face, it’s very pale and he starts to sway a little but I catch him before he falls, at the same time groaning under his weight.

“He’s lost a lot of blood.” Finnick says, who seems to be unscathed. “Need some help?” I nod and he puts his arm around Peeta and helps him to our room where he picks up Annie. I am left with Peeta and Madge lying on the bed. Madge is still asleep but her head is all patched up now, thanks to Annie’s first aid knowledge. A minute later Gale enters the room and hurries over to Madge, scooping her up in his arms. Without a word he walks right back out of the door to his own room.

I lay down on the bed beside Peeta who looks like he is about to pass out, then I realize that his arm is still wounded and blood is still seeping out. I grab another towel from the bathroom and tie it around his cut and just wait for the nurse to get here.

Peeta’s eyes are just beginning to close when she arrives with a large white medical bag. She doesn’t speak but gets right down to business; taking the towel off gently then dabbing the wound with an antiseptic, then sewing it up so that it can heal properly. I cover my face with my hands when she puts the needle through his skin, wincing right along with him. It only takes a few minutes, but when she is finished he has about 35 stitches running down his left arm. The nurse then winds some bandages around it and ties it in a knot when finished.

“Here, take these for the pain in your stomach.” She says quietly and hands me two pills and a glass of water. I swallow the medicine and lay back onto the soft pillows.

“Thank you very much.” She just smiles and begins packing up her bag.

“Um, would you mind going across the hall to room 206, some friends of mine were hurt as well.”

She nods, “Of course.” She lets herself out of the room and at last Peeta and I are alone. He has already fallen asleep so I stand up carefully and walk around to his side of the bed. I slip his shoes off, then his pants and dress shirt and cover him up with the blanket. Then I change into my own pajamas, brush my teeth and take off my little bit of makeup. Ten minutes later I am crawling into bed beside Peeta.

“Good Night.” I whisper even though he is already sleeping soundly. I place a kiss on his forehead and then his bandaged arm, then I rest my head on his chest and let the steady beating of his heart lull me to sleep.


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