You Know I'll Be There (Hunger Games Fanfic)

You Know I'll Be There (Hunger Games Fanfic)

I just finished the first book of the Hunger Games, and I'm totally obsessed with Peeta! I'm so excited to see the movie, but I really want to just write a story, because that's just how I roll ;D

Chapter 1

There's a Victor

District 12 has a victor. It's been years since we have had a victor, and the last was, Haymitch. A shiver ran down my spine as I thought of the drunken man, who had some how managed to keep both of our tributes alive. The star-crossed lovers. Watching the games had been brutal, and I was glad to be an only child.

It's jusy my father and I in the Seam, all alone to take care of ourselves. He works in the mines, and of course it worries me, but how else are we suppose to feed ourselves? I mean, I do hunt in the woods, but I dont go to far, escpecially when I see the other man, Gale I believe his name is. And the tribute, Katniss, who has made it back to our district. Alive.

And her lover, Peeta. Oh Peeta. He was the real reason why I watched the games. I saw him in school once in awhile as we were in the same year, but nothing else. I was the girl that went unnoticed. Poor little Ryder Lyace. All alone in the world while her father breaks his back trying to get enough money to feed us both.

Stealing away from my home, I hurred to a hole in the fence, listening to make sure that the elctricity was still down. The victors were coming home later this day, and the district was in a flurry to get everything ready. No one would notice poor little me missing.

Sliding under the fence easily, since I was so thin and frail from hunger, I hurried into the safety of the forest. This was the only place where I felt like myself, where I felt safe. Hurrying to my tree, I scaled it easily, finding my usual food and hand holds. I was atleast thirty feet in the air when I stopped, pulling my bow from a branch and wrapping the quiver of arrows around my body. I may not be as good a shot as Katniss Everdeen, but I can kill.

Moving around to the opposite side of the tree, I sit, and watch out over the district as flurries of people hang posters and clean the coal dust from places that would normally never be touched. The families of the victors have been congratulated many times over, and I feel jealous.

I lost a brother, the greatest brother anyone could ask for, to the Games. It's because of the Games that my family is falling apart. My mother couldn't take the loss, and refused to eat until she died of starvation, leaving my father and I to cope with not one but two deaths.

Feeling anger, I listen closely to my surroundings, surveying the ground. I nocked an arrow, pulling my arm to my cheek, and let an arrow fly loose, striking a rabbit through the eye, just as I have seen Katniss Everdeen do. I smile slightly to myself at the kill, and begin climbing down when I freeze at the sound of footfalls.

"Katniss? Is that you?" a man says, stopping by my kill. "I know someone is here, and I won't hurt you. You can trust me." the man says, looking around. He seems calm enough, and isn't armed, so I hop down from my low branch behind him, not making a sound.

"I'm right here." I call to him, and he turned, startled.

"Your kill?" he asked, pointing towards the rabbit. I nodded my head, and moved to pick it up, watching his movements. He made no move to attack me, so I relaxed a little, but did not bring my guard down.

Tieing a string around the neck of the rabbit, I tie it to a loop o my pants, and turn back to the man, who seems familiar to me.

"Gale Hawthorne?" I asked, cocking my head to the side and furrowing my eyebrows. I had never seen him so close. His dark hair and blue eyes were more vivid now that I could see them properly, and not from being suspended thirty feet in the air.

"And may I be honored with your name?" he asked, taking a step towards me.

"Ryder Lyace." I tell him, and understanding dawns on his face.

"I am so sorry about your brother. And your mother also." he says, stepping towards me again. I look away, not letting him see weakness. Crying dosen't help you survive.

"Thank you." I say monotonously.

"That was a clean kill, and I've been looking for a new hunting partner." Gale counters, changing the subject.

"I could never be as good a hunter as Katniss Everdeen. I have watched you hunt many times, and know I do not stack up." I told him, meeting his gaze again.

"Watched us? How?" he asked, walking towards me again, raising an eyebrow. I point up, and he looks to the trees.

"I have hideouts everwhere. You would be surprised how easy it is to watch people from thirty feet in the air." I tell him, and he laughs, a good, whole, hearty laugh. A kind of laugh I have not heard in such a long time, and it makes me want to laugh along with it.

"Will you show me?" he asked, smiling at me. Could I show him? Could I let him in on my secrets? Could he understand me? I guess I would find out.

"Only if you'll give me some hunting and gathering tips." I told him, pointing at him. He holds his hands up in defense, laughing a little, and still smiling.

"And only if you'll be my new hunting partner. Katniss won't be needing one anymore, and it get's kinda lonely out here." he says, and I nod eagerly. It would be nice for one, not to have to be alone so much, to have someone to lean on, to depend on.

"Deal." I tell him, sticking out my hand. He encases it with his and shakes firmly, holding on tightly for a couple of moments before letting go. "I hope you can climb." I tell him, and then turn back around to my tree.

I am scaling the tree as easy as ever, and glance down a few times to see Gale struggling. He'll learn with time, but for now, he could use all the help he can get. I decide to stop at a lower fork in the tree, where branches from this tree and the one next to it lace together to from almost a bench.

Waiting patiently, he finally made it and sits next to me. "This isn't as high as I thought." he commented, looking around.

"This is just one of many stops, and the lowest of them all. The next one is about twenty feet up." I told him, and he looks up, letting out a huff of breath.

"Looks like I need to start climbing more." he comments, and a laugh, a real laugh, escapes from my mouth. I am so shocked by this that I clamp a hand over my mouth. "It's okay to laugh, Ry." he says, using a nickname I hav not heard before, but do like the sound of.

"It's been so long." I tell him, and he nods in understanding.

"Why don't we get down, and I can show you some techniques on the ground." he says, and I nodded, grabbing onto one of the branches and swinging lightly before landing silently on the ground. Gale follows, crashing into a few branches on his way down, but nothing to bad.

"You'll get better at it, it just takes practice." I tell him with a small grin, and he smiles back. Leading me through the forest, he points out different places where he sets snares, what kind of berries and plants were safe to eat, the kinds that were good for different illness's or wounds. It's a lot to take in, but I believe that I understand most of it.

"We should probably be heading back. I'm sure our tributes will be home soon." he says, and I nod as we make our way through the woods to the fence. "Will you come with me?" he asks, and I look at him, confused.

"Where?" I ask, looking around curiously.

"To the ceremony, will you come with me." he specifies, holding out his hand. I look down at it, then back at him, and so forth, not sure what to do.

"Alright." I tell him with a shy smile. It has been so long since there has been a ceremony for the victors, and I wasn't sure I was even going, but I was glad to be going now. Because I wasn't alone.

Gale and I made our way into the cheering crowd, just as the tributes make their way onto the stage. I stare, mesmorized at our tributes, the winners of the Hunger Games, and can't help but be curious, what it must feel like to come out victorious. I watch in envy as they are showered with gifts, and are given their lifetime of peace and freedom in the victor homes.

I wish to leave, the jealousy of an easy life becoming over whelming, and the rabbit hanging from my hip feeling as if it weighs a thousand pounds. The only thing keeping me where I am is Gale's hand wrapped tightly around mine. It is a strange feeling, him holding my hand, but the warmth it seems to spread through me roots me in place, makes me feel special.

I continuing watching the stage as the interviews and gifts and everything continue, and am relieve as the tributes are led away to their new homes, where they are safe, and never hungry, never tired, never sore, never sick. I feel ready to run home, to wait till my father comes home, to be alone again, to forget today ever happened, when Gale squeezes my hnd and pulls me through the dispersing crowd.

"Where are we going?" I asked as I am pulled along behind him.

"We're saying hello to an old friend." he says with a smile on his face, glanicng back at me, but that dosen't help my confusion.

My confusion is taken away as we enter the area to the victors homes. "Katniss Everdeen? Your taking me to see a winner." I ask him, standing my ground.

"Yes, she is my friend, and she would love to meet you. I'm sure of it." he tells me, trying to pull me along.

"I don't wish to meet her." I tell him, turning away.

"Why not?" he asks, now the one that is confused.

"Why did she survive and my brother didn't?" I asked, sounding like a child as my lower lip began to quiver. "Why did Haymitch decide to help them, but he let my brother die? Why should I worship her like she's some kind of God when it could've been my brother.?" I ask, the question flowing now as my forever dry eyes become wet with tears.

"Ry, it's not like that," Gale tries to explain. "I'm sorry your brother didn't make it. I'm sorry Haymitch didn't help, but it's not Katniss's fault he didn't survive. And I don't expect you to treat her like a God. You don't even have to talk to her. I just dont want to be alone, so please, just come with me." he asked, his eyes sincere as he walked back towards me, taking my hand once again.

I nod to him, and he pulls me up to one of the houses that has a light on inside. He knocks swiftly, and I hear footsteps with my hunting trained ears. I see a flash of blonde hair through a window, and the door is being opened.

"Hello Peeta. Congratulagtions." Gale says kindly, though his eyes seem to be saying something different. I feel the need to pull my hand from his, and Gale's eyes flash to our hands as they seperate.

"Thank you, Gale. Who is this?" he asks suddenly, looking at me.

"Ryder Lyace. She's a good friend of mine." Gale says, and for some reaon I feel uncomfortable.

"Would you guys like to come in? I"m just getting settled. It's quite large for my taste." Peeta Mellark offers, opening the door widely, inviting us in.

"I'm actually looking for Katniss-" Gale starts, and Peeta cuts him off.

"She's in the next house over. Ryder, would you like to come in?" he asks, adressing me specifically. I looked up, shocked to have him looking right at me, waiting for a response.

"Alright." I tell him quietly, leaving Gale to find Katniss, and myself to maybe make a new friend. Peeta closes the door soon after Gale leaes the front stoop, and steps in front of me.

"This way." he says, smiling. I follow him through the enourmous and expensive house, looking around in awe. It was the most amazing place I had ever been. "Please, sit." he asks, motioning to the couch sitting against one wall in one of the rooms of the living quarters. I notice no other chairs of a sort around, and find him seating himself next to me. I can't help but feel butterflies as he is so close.

"Congratulations on your win. You must be so happy to be alive with Katniss." I tell him, trying to start conversation.

"Well thanks. And don't tell anyone," he begins, leaning forward "but it was all an act. I don't really love her." he says in almost a whisper, and I look at him, shocked.

"Wha-but-how?" I asked, confused, my eyebrows furrowed, deep in thought.

"It's just what we had to do to survive." he said, looking deep into my eyes. I couldn't convince myself to turn from his mesmerizing blue eyes, and I found myself starring. Shaking my head, I looked away, only for a moment, before looking back.

"But please, I would rather not talk about what just happened to me. Tell me about yourself." he says, leaning back and placing his arms on the back of the red velvety couch.

"Um, I'm 16, in your year at school." I tell him, pausing to see if any recognition crosses his face. Nothing. "I live with my father in the Seam. My brother was the tribute last year, and he died. My mother quickly killed herself with starvation after." I said, glancing over at Peeta. His eyebrows were pulled together, and I could see how sorry he felt for me on his face. "My father works in the mines, and I am left alone to fend for food and whatever else we need. It's just me." I tell him, and he lays a comforting hand on top of mine.

"Your not alone anymore. If you ever need somehwere to stay, someone to talk to, or if your just hungry, please, don't be afraid to come by. I'm sure it'll get quite lonely being here alone, and I would love some company." he says, smiling, and I can't help but smile back at him.

He is so kind, and nice, and charming. I wish I could stay around him forever. He makes me feel like a real person, like I belong, like I matter, and I had only just met him.

Let's hope I don't mess this up.

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