“The point is that two of us are coming home from the Capitol. One mentor and one victor,” says Peeta. “Effie’s sending me recordings of all the living victors. We’re going to watch their Games and learn everything we can about how they fight. We’re going to put on weight and get strong. We’re going to start acting like Careers. And one of us is going to be victor again whether you two like it or not!” He sweeps out of the room, slamming the front door. Haymitch and I wince at the bang. “I don’t like self-righteous people,” I say. “What’s to like?” says Haymitch, who begins sucking the dregs out of the empty bottles. “You and me. That’s who he plans on coming home,” I say. “Well, then the joke’s on him,” says Haymitch.
“No problem,” Gale replies. “I wake up ten times a night anyway.” “To make sure Katniss is still here?” asks Peeta. “Something like that…” “That was funny, what Tigris said. About no one knowing what to do with her.” “Well, we never have.” “She loves you, you know,” says Peeta. “She as good as told me after they whipped you.” “Don’t believe it,” Gale answers. “The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell…well she never kissed me like that.” “It was just part of the show,” Peeta tells him, although there’s an edge of doubt in his voice. “No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that’s the only way to convince her you love her.” There’s a long pause. “I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games.. Protected her then.” “You couldn’t,” says Peeta. “She’d never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life.”