Regardless of being married to other people, Lt. Katniss Everdeen and Captain Peeta Mellark are undeniably connected. Even in the midst of a war that’s managed to decimate the human population to a mere 50,000 and sent the Colonial Fleet fleeing from the enemy in search of the fabled 13th colony known as Earth, they still manage to find their way to one another.
Katniss and Peeta, in the style of Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace and Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama, from Battlestar Galactica.
This is wrong.
They both know that it’s wrong. It’s been wrong for the past however many weeks it’s been since they started it. But they keep finding reasons that makes it seem more right than anything else.
They have a history. Everyone knows this. They knew what made each other tick even before the attacks. Long before the attacks, really, but that’s something that they don’t acknowledge. It was hard enough with just the ghost of his brother between the two of them.
Now, they have Delly and Gale to think about.
Delly, who’s held a torch for Peeta Mellark for almost as long as he’s been aboard Galactica. Who pushed poor Thom to the side as soon as Peeta had started to look her way. Delly, who said she wanted nothing more than to be with him as long as he’d let her. Or, as she’d said to him the day that he’d proposed, at least until Katniss Everdeen walked back into his life.
She knows what goes on between her husband and the hot headed lieutenant that acts first (usually with her fists) and thinks later. He sometimes wonders if his wife stays out of convenience now. Being married to the Admiral’s son certainly has its perks and there are times when he thinks her loyalties lie more with his father than with the son that can never seem to gain his approval.
And then there’s Gale. He doesn’t understand the back story of hurt and hope and hatred that surrounds Katniss and her superior officer. He wasn’t there to see the pain that they’ve gone through together; both prior to and during the start of the war. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be out there, fighting the enemy, drenched with sweat and muscles aching from having to pull more g’s than the metal bird you’re in can handle, on bingo fuel to top it off. He’s yet to witness one of their knockdown, dragout fights that usually end in bloodshed on both of their accounts and the curtains of their bunks being drawn tight afterward, hoping to mask the sounds of relief that their hands have to bring them.
He loves his wife, but he doesn’t understand her. He doesn’t understand the silver ring that she wears on her thumb and how it was once a promise to another man. He doesn’t understand the reason that she never talks about her mother, or the way that she mourns the loss of a father that she’s not sure she ever really knew to begin with. He doesn’t understand the way that there are some days that she just wants to hurt someone, and how it might as well be him.
No one really understands Katniss Everdeen. Not the way that Peeta Mellark does.
He tells her this as he pushes her standard, military-issued sports bra over the top of her breast and takes its peak into his mouth. His words are muffled, but she lets out a laugh that’s more of a moan as his teeth close down over her nipple. She yanks his hair hard, bringing his face up to her own.
They’re both still exhausted from their last CAP rotation and in desperate need of a shower, but the salt of the skin along his jaw tastes like ambrosia on her tongue and makes her feel just as drunk. The cool metal of the hatch of the CAG’s office causes her skin to break out in goosebumps, and he can’t have that. Soon he has her laid out over the expanse of small couch that he’s been sleeping on lately. (Anything to avoid the way that Delly’s eyes glare accusations at him when he returns to their quarters in the middle of the night.)
The sleeves of his flight suit that have been tied around his waist are soon unknotted. She has her hand down his pants and wrapped around him within seconds, and he moans into her mouth. Neither has the energy to undress fully, and untying their boots would only prove to be a hassle at this point. She hooks her foot in the material that sags between his thighs and pushes it down. The hairs on his legs gets caught up somehow and he pulls his face away just long enough to narrow his eyes.
"Frak, Katniss. Be careful."
She rolls her eyes underneath him and ignores his request completely. She’s never been gentle. Why should he expect to her suddenly start now?
He has her pinned and she winces a little at the bite of his wedding band as it digs into her bicep. It pinches the skin there and she drags her teeth along the column of his throat, bucking her hips up to meet his.
Their dogtags clink together and the sound distracts her for a second; makes her think of another night and the way that the cool air had chilled both of their bodies. He had literally shouted his love for her to the heavens. Even coaxed her to do the same. When she woke up the next morning, lying beside him with the jacket of his duty blues spread out beneath her, she had panicked. She pushed herself off the hard sand and made her way, bleary-eyed and heart in her throat, back to the settlement. She had picked Gale’s sorry, drunken ass off the ground and married him less than hour later.
He pushes into her and when his fingers lock around her upper arm again, there’s another pinch that brings her back to the present. She lets out a growl.
"I really hate that frakking thing," she says once his ear is positioned by her lips. His teeth stop worrying at her collar bone, and a look of something akin to anger flashes in his eyes. His grip on her arm only tightens and his pace quickens as he moves inside her. "Can’t you at least take it off while were doing… this?"
She waves her hand out in front of her, motioning to where they’re connected. His jaw clenches and he swallows hard before glancing down at his hand.
Katniss follows his eyes and sees the way that his fingers are splayed, as wide as possible, over the area of her skin that’s been stained black with ink for months now. His palm covers the majority of the tattoo, but the edges of the feathered wing peeks out from between his fingers. His thumb pushes into the center of the open circle, and she can picture her husband’s arm, aligning with her own, circles overlapping to complete the full effect of wings, spread and ready for flight.
When she glances back up at Peeta’s face, the look of betrayal is still there. It’s hidden deep behind his eyes, but there nonetheless. His movements are more hurried now, their ryhthm off and too much space between them.
She doesn’t allow herself to feel much these days, but right now, she hates herself just a little more than usual.
"Why should I when I have to see this every frakking time I look at you, Katniss."
He finishes with one final, harsh thrust and pushes himself out of her and off the couch. She barely has her underwear back on when he starts to spin the handle on the on the hatch. He’s pissed, but no one beats Katniss Everdeen when it comes to being angry. She waits until she’s standing, her flight suit pulled up and his hand on the side of the door, before she spits out her words.
"I’m not the only one here that’s married to someone else, Peeta."
There’s a sneer on his face that’s impossible to miss, but she refuses to let him see how it effects her.
"Yeah, but I’m not the one who ran."
Less than two minutes later, when the sirens go off and the call to the battle stations sounds, her head is still in her hands. Her chest aches and her eyes burn with unshed tears, but she stands and shakes it off.
Because she’s Katniss Frakk’n Everdeen, and she always stands to fight.
Because she doesn’t know how to do anything else.
Title comes from a term on the show that indicates no success in general.