otp; dandelion in the spring

You watched the Quell.  You saw what I saw.  You saw that kiss.  You saw that goodbye.  You can pretend all you want that she doesn’t love him, if it makes you feel better - if it helps you sleep at night - but morning will come, the sun will rise, and she’ll love Peeta just as much waking up as she did going to bed.
—  Haymitch to Gale, Quarter Quells and Baby Shoes by riverknownshisname/peetasallhehasleft
6

No one really needs me,“ he says, and there’s no self pity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

"I do,” I say. “I need you.” he looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that’s no good, no good at all, because he’ll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I’ll just get confused. So before he can talk, i stop his lips with a kiss.

The way that both Katniss and Peeta’s voices break when they say Finnick’s name in the cellar breaks my heart because in all of this Finnick knew what they went through better than anyone else. He was separated from his love, reunited, and they had become allies, become friends, become family. So Finnick’s death hurts them both.

This is my favorite kiss in Catching Fire.  Period.  This kiss says so much.  She knows that they are splitting up and she can’t do anything about it without breaking the alliance, and even though she knows that, it also pains her deeply.  She pulls him into that kiss.  It’s a promise from her, she needs him, she doesn’t want to leave him, and she has every intention of coming back to him.

But it’s also what breaks my heart, because from Peeta’s point of view, he is terrified that something will happen to her, that someone will try to kill her and he can’t defend her.  He went back into that arena to ensure her survival, be her guardian (as it were), and to make sure she made it home.  And here she is, splitting up from him, when what they’re doing is so dangerous already.  In the book it says…

“I want to go with them as a guard,” Peeta says immediately.  After the moment with the pearl, I know he’s less wiling than ever to let me out of his sight. – (Catching Fire, pg. 369)

And then in Mockingjay…

I can’t believe you let him out of your sight that night,” says Haymitch.

I nod.  That’s it.  "I play it over and over again in my head.  What I could have done to keep him by my side without breaking the alliance.  But nothing comes to me.“ (Mockingjay, pg. 77)

That’s why this scene is so hard, and so beautiful, because no matter how much they love each other, they know this is what they have to do.  

Like it or not.

And they don’t.

(gif by the one and only, amazing seaquell that was gracious enough to let me use it.  Go follow her for more awesome gifs and heartbreaking gifsets!)

Probably one of the most underrated scenes in Mockingjay…

But it’s not until I get a phone call through to Haymitch that I understand.

“What are you trying to do? Provoke him into an attack?” he asks me.

“Of course not.  I just want him to leave me alone,” I say.

“Well, he can’t.  Not after what the Capitol put him through,” says Haymitch.  “Look, Coin may have sent him there hoping he’d kill you, but Peeta doesn’t know that.  He doesn’t understand what happened to him.  So you can’t blame him–”

“I don’t!” I say.

“You do!  You’re punishing him over and over for things that are out of his control.  Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a fully loaded weapon next to you round the clock.  But I think it’s time you flipped this little scenario around in your head.  If you’d been taken by the Capitol, and hijacked, and then tried to kill Peeta, is this the way he would be treating you?” demands Haymitch.

I fall silent.  It isn’t.  It isn’t how he would be treating me at all.  He would be trying to get me back at any cost.  Not shutting me out, abandoning me, greeting me with hostility at every turn.

“You and me, we made a deal to try to save him.  Remember?” Haymitch says.  When I don’t respond, he disconnects after a curt “Try and remember.”

~Mockingjay pgs. 268-269~

Why is it underrated?  I have no idea.  But Haymitch point blank, calls her out on her bullshit.  He tells her exactly what she’s been doing – is doing – to Peeta.  No one else could make her see that.  She was so mad at what happened to him that she took it all out on him.  For the first time she’s forced to see the situation from Peeta’s point of view, and it’s in this moment, that she decides to try to get Peeta back.  To do exactly what he would do for her.  Because she loves him.  From this point on all she ever does is talk him out of having someone kill him, gives him food, brushes his hair off his forehead, they have a cave flashback, and she kisses him.  For the first time in the story, Katniss is fighting for Peeta.

By fight for him what I mean is, she’s not fighting against him, she’s not fighting to protect him, she is fighting for him.  She is wrestling this Peeta for the old.  She’s going to do whatever she can to get as much of that Peeta back as possible, and slowly parts of that happen…but not until she makes this realization…

It’s a long shot, it’s suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of.  I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth.  His body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air.  My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his.  “Don’t let him take you from me.”

Peeta’s panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging in his head.  “No.  I don’t want to…”

I clench his hands to the point of pain.  “Stay with me.”

His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy.  “Always,” he murmurs.

~Mockingjay pg. 314~

And after that when they’re in that tiny cellar before Gale and Peeta have their conversation, she takes care of him.  “Because that’s what you and I do.  Protect each other."  And she does exactly that…

"I know what blood poisoning is, Katniss,” says Peeta.  “Even if my mother isn’t a healer.”

I’m jolted back in time, to another wound, another set of bandages.  “You said that same thing to me in the first Hunger Games.  Real or not real?”

“Real,” he says.

~Mockingjay pg. 321~

Parts of Peeta return to her, which is good, but it’s not until the end of the book that you realize that she loves Peeta not because he loves her – it took her a lot of work to get him to where he is in the Epilogue – it’s not because he loves her that she chooses him, it’s because in the end she loves Peeta.  She’s willing to live the rest of her life with a man who was hijacked to hate her, tried to kill her, and yet…

What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.  And only Peeta can give me that.

Don’t ever tell me she didn’t love Peeta.  Just don’t go there.

So Caryn (@papofglencoe) asked me what my thoughts were on the lack of dialogue towards the end of Mockingjay Part 2, and this is exactly what I said…

For me, I’m all about subtly, if someone loves you in the quiet moments, in the soft - often unspoken moments - when you’re not looking, that is so huge.  Loving someone openly is one thing, and it’s beautiful and glorious and wonderful, but to love someone when they aren’t looking, in spite of their flaws and the things they’ve done leading to that moment…is more beautiful than a lengthy dialogue.  Sure, it would have been nice, but the story is about Katniss, everyone else has their part, but these books are about her, they focus on her - her life, her choices, the person she loves - so like I’ve argued in favor of the “real” response I will argue in favor of the lack of dialogue.  To see the way that she looks at him, when (for the rest of the movies) she has always averted her eyes, looked elsewhere, and not actually looked at him…she does, her focus is him, not the rain pouring outside the door.  They were married in spirit, in bond, and in mutual deep respect and admiration for one another before they ever were legally.  She cared about him, she loved him, and perhaps that’s why I don’t hate the “real or not real” scene or the epilogue.  He doesn’t have to look at her, we know he loves her, so for the first time (ever really) we’re seeing her love him…in the quiet moments, in the looks, in the silence.  We see her love him in spite of the past, despite him having tried to kill her.   We see her love him.

Originally posted by allhailthehutch

youtube

Returning Home and There Are Much Worse Games To Play have the same theme.  Above, the former.  Below, the latter.

James Newton Howard is brilliant.  They survived the Games, they survived the war.  The music reflects that and shows that in the end, Katniss doesn’t just have Peeta and children, she has a home.  A home deep in the meadow.

Here is the place where I love you.

Originally posted by whataboutourlifes

Too much for my poor shipper heart to handle.

…this seems an odd strategy for Peeta Mellark because he’s a baker’s son. All those years of having enough to eat and hauling bread trays around have made him broad-shouldered and strong. It will take an awful lot of weeping to convince anyone to overlook him.
—  Basically the girls sayin’ “Peeta is fine as hell” aka The Hunger Games, pg. 41
Parts I wish had made it from script to Catching Fire, 1/?
  • Peeta: *is at the window, looking down into the streets*
  • Katniss: *sits apart, pensive, clutching a pillow*
  • Peeta: They're going crazy down there.
  • Katniss: They won't cancel. They can't.
  • Peeta: *feels her looking at him* What?
  • Katniss: We got married?
  • Peeta: Apparently.
  • Katniss: And I'm pregnant?
  • Peeta: You look great--
  • Katniss: --Peeta.
  • Peeta: Sorry. Once I got started, I couldn't stop.
  • Katniss: Next time, maybe a little heads up?
  • Peeta: I can do that.
A good partner: pays attention

Katniss: You have a remarkable memory.
Peeta: I remember everything about you. You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.
Katniss: I am now.
Peeta: Well, I don’t have much competition here.
Katniss: You don’t have much competition anywhere. [kisses him]

And then we get this conversation in Mockingjay…

Peeta:  Your favorite color…it’s green?
Katniss: That’s right.  And yours is orange.
Peeta: Orange?
Katniss: Not bright orange.  But soft.  Like a sunset.  At least, that’s what you told me once.
Peeta: Oh.  Thank you.
Katniss: You’re a painter.  You’re a baker.  You like to sleep with the windows open.  You never take sugar in your tea.  And you always double-knot your shoelaces. 

She started paying attention guys.  So when he needed her to remember for him…she knew the answers.

I know this would have happened anyway.
— 

Katniss Everdeen, Mockingjay

The thing I find most significant in this sentence - and I say this sentence in particular - since it gets skipped over in favor of the following commentary, the dandelion in the spring and such, is it’s importance on its own.

But it is so important, why?  Because she’s not talking about the feeling, she’s not talking about the hunger, she’s not even talking about the kiss.  She’s talking about being with Peeta.  This would have happened anyway.  From the beginning it was always going to be Peeta.  From the bread moment on, she kept track of him, saved his life, protected him, fought to get him back from his hijacked mind, and she chose him.  She did not settle for Peeta because he came back to 12.  This would have happened anyway.  They would have happened anyway.  Why?

That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred.  What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.

He’s not the boy with the bread anymore, he’s the dandelion in the spring, the bright yellow, rebirth, a promise of life, a future, every good thing.  Only Peeta.  It would have happened anyway.

From the moment she thought, “not him,” even if she didn’t know it then, he’d already won her heart years before that…because he saved her when no one else would.  And I think they spend the rest of their lives doing it for the other.  Her nightmares, his moments of clenching a chair.  Why?

So after, when he whispers, “You love me.  Real or not real?”

I tell him, “Real.”

It’s also important to note that in her commentary she doesn’t say she needs Peeta to survive…she needs everything he stands for, everything he is, everything she’s not.  She also says she doesn’t need Gale to survive.  So she spends the rest of her life with him, because she loves him, and…it would have happened anyway.