They decided to come home early, forgoing dinner at some restaurant to pick up pizza at the mom and pop shop near Gale’s apartment after the movie.
“I love pizza,” Madge sighed as she unlocked the door and walked in to the apartment, the lights already on.
“I know,” Gale chuckled, following her to the kitchen after closing and locking the door. “I remember the first time I met you. I’ve never seen someone eat pizza that fast before.”
Madge shushed him, smacking him playfully as he set the pizzas down while she brought the plates and cans of soda to the table. Their first meeting was at a softball tournament their high school hosted and participated in. After the game, Katniss introduced the pair to each other as the girls were munching on, or in Madge’s case inhaling, pizza from the snack bar. She thought Gale was a brave guy to hang around after that.
The couple sat at the table, Gale grimacing at Madge’s pineapple and ham slice causing her to plop a small piece of pineapple onto his plate. She giggled as he made an outraged face before he flicked it back at her and took a bite of his pepperoni slice. They remained silent, content to enjoy their food, when Madge noticed that Gale was frowning.
“What is it?”
He placed his index finger to his lips, signaling her to be quiet, as he strained to hear what he thought he heard seconds before.
“Do you hear the music?” he whispered, rising up from the table.
“No,” she whispered back, mimicking his movements. “Am I supposed to?”
Gale didn’t answer. Madge watched as his head tilted slightly, holding her breath as though that would help him determine if he was actually hearing music. Suddenly, Gale abruptly turned around, stepped into the hallway and made his way toward the bedrooms, muttering one word: Rory.
Madge shot his retreating back a look of confusion.
It didn’t make any sense for Gale to restrict Rory from playing music in the spare bedroom when he stayed over. Sure things were a little awkward even though it had been a few months after Rory walked in on the couple. At least now he could look Madge in the eye without blushing. Gale made good on his promise to get Rory a bell. He got him a cat collar with a bell attached to it since he was “so damn quiet”. Rory was able to shorten the strap to fit his wrist rather than have it around his neck and made sure to have it on whenever he was in the same vicinity as the couple.
Madge made her way across to the living room and spotted the collar on the coffee table. She picked it up before poking her head into the hallway to see Gale waiting for her with his arms crossed in front of the door that separated them from whatever Rory was doing. She hurried to him and made sure to clasp the bell so it didn’t ring, the only sound in the apartment was, in fact, Rory’s music.
“He’s playing music in there,” Gale fiercely whispered, jabbing his thumb toward the door.
“So? You play music all the time.”
“He has the door shut. He knew we’d be out for a few hours. Why close the door?”
Madge contemplated this while Gale waited. She opened her mouth to respond—
The couple shared a look. It sounded pretty obvious what Rory was up to if the feminine sigh was anything to go by. Gale was ready to open the door, but Madge moved slightly in front of him.
“Don’t barge in there!”
“He’s having sex,” Gale gritted. “Besides, he’s walked in on us many times. Why not do the same to him?”
“He didn’t do it on purpose,” she said quietly, gripping his arm that was attached to the door. “You’ll embarrased whoever he’s with!”
After a few moments of bickering, Madge turned to face the door and began to push back against Gale to get him to let go of the handle. Gale, determined to open the door, managed to get his right arm around her waist to lift her up and placed her down beside him. As he opened the door and entered, she was able to jump on his back.
“I told you not to, Gale Hawthorne!”
“Oh my god!”
Madge looked up, dropping the cat collar on the floor to stare at the couple on the bed. Rory was behind Prim, giving her a shoulder massage while listening to a music channel on the T.V. fully clothed.
“Oh,” Gale murmured, bending his knees to let Madge down.
“Um. What are you guys doing?” Rory asked, standing up from the bed, a blushing Prim following suit.
Madge shrugged helplessly. “You know—”
“We thought you two were having sex,” Gale interupted.
Rory spluttered, while Prim looked unimpressed. “Really Gale?”
“Hey you got a place to yourselves, things can happen,” he replied, putting his hands up in mock surrender.
“Well that’s not happening now. Thanks to you,” Prim stated, crossing her arms and giving Gale a scowl so eerily similar to her sister, Katniss, that he looked down shame-faced. Madge was impressed.
“Alright! Well, there’s pizza in the kitchen if anyone’s interested—”
Rory was the first to leave the room, avoiding eye contact as usual. Gale followed after picking up the cat collar, shaking it slightly. Madge sat on the bed, patting the spot next to her. Prim sighed before joining her.
“No, no, no. It’s okay. Don’t apologize.” She wrapped an arm around the younger girl. “I mean, you’re both adults in a relationship and as long as you use protection, what can I say?”
“You’re right,” Prim replied, pausing. “You won’t tell Katniss?”
Madge hestitated. “No, maybe you should.”
“Even though we didn’t have sex, she’ll kill Rory.”
“Yeah, probably,” Madge replied, tugging Prim up. “Might as well get some pizza and let him enjoy his last meal!”