Anonymous asked you: Request? Please? It’s just an idea. Gale realizes that him and Madge could afford a place in town. (for whatever reason) and doesn’t know how he feels about it. He always thought he’d start his new family in seam but now, he doesn’t want to be a townie. Madge comforts him.
Gale lets out a deep sigh, staring down at the notebook on the table. His scratchy handwriting is tragic compared to her elegant loops, but the numbers are right, and the message is clear. He taps the end of his pen on the paper and chews the inside of his cheek.
“What’s wrong?” Madge’s voice rings out. He glances up through his bangs – he really needs a haircut – and offers a quick smile. Nothing. But she knows better than that, of course she does. She’s his wife; she knows everything about Gale from his fake laugh all the way to his forced smiles. “Gale,” Madge sighs and crosses the room to him.
It doesn’t take her long. The floorboards groan underneath her feet. They live in the Seam. An old house probably rotting somewhere just waiting to cave in. The ceiling leaks, the pipes creak. Hardly cost a thing, considering the last family that lived here all died and the home belonged to the government then.
“Nothing,” Gale actually says this time. His voice is heavy. Madge loops her fingers around him and lowers her chin to his shoulder from behind. She stares down at the book he’s left open, her blue eyes narrowing as they work to figure out why he’s upset. “Madge,” he tries.
Her voice catches in her throat. “Is that how much money we have?” she breathes.
Hesitantly, Gale tips his head forward. He feels her suck in sharply and he tries his hardest not to move. They’re rolling in money. At least, as much money as they possibly can. With two adults who work fulltime jobs, Gale in the mines and Madge at the school, they’ve saved up more than he ever thought possible.
They can afford a house in town. He knows it. And now, she knows it too.
marauderism asked you: gadge prompt because gadge is my drug: being one of the most handsome (haha) top-ranking officers of the mockingjay militia, gale has become the focal point for invasive reporters and gossip rags, what happens when they serve a special report on his oh so steamy relationship with one madge undersee… but wait, don’t they hate each other?idk what i did but i hope you like it??? happy birthday honey!
Without even a second thought Gale shoves her against the wall. He rests himself on his arm above her, pinning her against the bricks. Gale lowers his face down to hers letting his voice drop as he speaks.
“I swear to fucking God, Undersee,” he growls. Madge can see the fire in his eyes, the intense hatred he has for her burning deep within. “Say it again and I—”
“You’ll what?” she laughs. Her voice doesn’t waver. Gale doesn’t scare her. His threats are empty. “Flee the District? You’ve already done that once, Gale, that’s why you’re here in 2.” She lifts her hand to rest on his chest, pressing him only slightly so he doesn’t come a step closer. “You’re a coward,” she spits out. “You’re too afraid to talk to anyone, especially me. To form a real relationship with someone who cares. You’re too scared to face the truth that your District, your real District, needs you so you hide out here like some sort of—”
Madge is cut off by the sudden flash of a camera.
“You don’t get it,” he growls at her. Gale paces the small closet in front of her, careful to avoid the lump of Madge Undersee on the ground. “This place is a glorified mine shaft. People are acting as though District 13 is safe but I know better than that.”
Madge sits quietly and listens to him rant. They’re supposed to be in Reflection right now but Gale is never any good at that, and Madge hates silence more than she hates the sight of an open flame. She lets him vent.
“I feel like I’m fucking suffocating,” he continues, throwing his hands into the air. “Like there’s no space anywhere and—”
“We’re in a closet,” Madge cuts him off gently. He freezes in his step and turns down to look at her, his face filled with disbelief. “Perhaps a larger room would suit you.”
Gale snorts and then groans, dropping down to the spot next to her. “That was unnecessary,” he tells her. Her shoulders lift slightly. Even in the closet he feels too far away from her, not that she’d ever admit it. She likes the small spaces. “You were never in the mines, Undersee,” Gale murmurs. He drags his hands through his hair and shakes his head. “It was terrifying. And now it’s a never ending fear just… just thumping in the back of my head all dammed day.”
“Hey,” Madge quiets him, sliding out her hand and capturing his. Gale halts at the contact, his eyes diverting to stare at their link. “We’re okay here.” Gale doesn’t move for a while, he just stares at their hands. “At least it’s better than 12, right?”
“Yeah,” he finally exhales. Gale twists his hand in hers and laces their fingers before lifting his gaze.
“And be grateful you get to go to the surface with Katniss to hunt,” Madge sighs. She drops her head backwards against a shelf and hits a box of pencils. “I don’t even want to think about the last time I saw sunlight.” She can still remember it, really. The fading white light as the roof of 13 closed, the elevator descending slowly. “Or breathe fresh air.”
“I don’t think we’ve ever gotten to breathe fresh air,” Gale mutters. At that Mage laughs, and Gale’s mouth curves slightly upward. Gale suddenly feels sour, his stomach turning inside him. “You’re right, I shouldn’t be complaining.”
“No, it’s not that,” Madge protests. He’s allowed to complain. She likes listening to him rant, listening to the rise and fall of his voice.
“It’s exactly that,” Gale shrugs. The mayor’s daughter isn’t so privileged anymore, with the loss of both her parents alongside the rest of her District, and he’s beginning to think she never really was. “You’re right. We’re okay here.”
Gale makes sure to bring her back a flower from next time he’s above ground.
marauderism asked you: gadge prompt because it’s all the rage right now: ever since katniss and peeta moved to 12 and basically became recluse, the public eye has shifted their attention to gale and madge’s fledgling relationship…
Madge is beginning to feel like a teenager again with all the sneaking around she’s been doing.
She supposes it’s not her fault, or Gale’s really, but she’s already so tired of it. She’s gone from receiving less than zero attention from anyone in her District to the entirety of Panem wanting to know what she’s doing.
Ever since Katniss and Peeta moved back to 12 and hid themselves away from the world, Gale has become the next hot topic. What he’s wearing. Where he’s going. What he’s driving. Who he’s seeing.
And currently, Madge is included on that list.
Anonymous asked you: Hi, how about for a prompt.. Post Mockingjay and in district 2, Gale finds out the girl that his friend has been crushing on (or they can be dating) is Madge. Gale until then didn’t even know she was alive. Whether or not Gale and Madge end up together is up to you.
There are only two reasons Gale agreed to his friend’s request. The first is that they survived the war together and he can’t say that about many people. The second is that he has to go to the office in question anyway, and he doesn’t suppose it would hurt putting in a nice word for his friend.
“She’s the spunky blonde,” his friend, Max, had said. “Works the front desk. All you need to do is ask for me. She’ll call my office and I’ll wait a bit before saying you can come back. You can just talk me up in the meantime, you know.”
“Sure,” Gale nodded. “Just don’t take forever. Your list of specialties is low.”
And now here Gale is, marching into Max’s office building in the middle of the day to drop off some papers for some project he’s part of.
Anonymous asked you: I wonder if you’re accepting prompt for your Gadge short stories… but just in case you do… can you write something about where Gale and Madge already happily married but somehow Madge still feel insecure about Gale’s feeling to Katniss.
It’s their one year anniversary and he’s late.
Madge sighs, straightening her posture the best she can. She was taught from a very young age that being upset gives no excuse to slouch. So she sits tall in her seat, staring down at the menu in front of her.
“Excuse me, Miss,” a gentle voice rings out. Madge lifts her gaze. “You’re going to have to order soon or we’re obligated to give your table away.”
Madge feels a piece inside of her crumbling. “Of course,” she nods. That’s only fair. Her eyes dart toward the clock on the wall. “Ten more minutes?”
Madge shuddered and backed away from her blinds, trying to force the images of her District from her head. Bloody. Beaten. Burning flags. The Capitol was crushing them. That much was obvious.
A knock on the backdoor sent a shiver down her spine. Madge rushed to the door as quickly as she could, finding Gale Hawthorne on the other side. His hands void of berries. His face filled with concern.
“It’s happening,” he told her. Madge stepped outside and let the door click behind her. “At least I think so.” He hesitated, pulling his hand through his hair. “Is this the right move?” The miners were all set up. Ready to storm the Justice Hall. Ready to revolt. “Should we do this?”
No, Madge thought. She chewed her lip. “You’re the one that said people needed to be brave enough to start a revolution,” she whispered. “Don’t turn into a coward now, Gale Hawthorne.”
His lips quirked upward, almost a smile. Gale hardly smiled. But then he bent down, pressing his mouth to hers gently. Madge was shocked, almost pulled away before melting into his kiss. He clutched at her cheeks and kept her close.
Electricity shot between them. Down the street in town people were screaming and yelling. People were always yelling these days. They didn’t pay any attention. Gale allowed himself to get lost in Madge Undersee.
When they parted he pushed her hair from her face. “I don’t…” she started.
“If I’m brave enough to join a revolution I should be brave enough to do that,” he murmured. “Should’ve done it a long time ago.”
Gale hesitantly stepped away, watching the blonde curl her fingers through her hair. If all went to hell at least he could say he wasn’t a coward after all.
“Katniss thinks I need to leave,” Gale grunts. His eyes don’t even lift to hers. “She thinks they’re going to kill me.”
“They wouldn’t,” Madge blurts out. She shifts on her feet and casts an uneasy glance over her shoulder before stepping all the way out onto the porch. “And you can’t.”
“If Snow is threatening my life I don’t have much of a choice,” he snaps. He has his family to think about. His siblings, his mother. Madge pulls her door shut and it clicks. “Is what she saying true?”
“That the Districts,” Gale starts carefully, “that they’re rebelling.” Madge chews on her bottom lip and drops his gaze again. “I knew it,” he murmurs.
Gale steps backwards off of the Undersee’s porch and shakes his head, starting toward the fence. Things are changing. They talk about it in the mines. Whisper about it in the Hob. But it’s happening. It’s actually happening.
“Gale,” Madge rushes forward, grabbing his arm and causing him to halt. “You need to be rational, you need to think before you-“
“Before I get myself killed?” he growls. Madge drops her hand. “Time isn’t on my side, Undersee, I can’t just wait around.”
She hesitates. “Just be safe, okay?”
Gale pauses again, staring at her with narrowed eyes. “You too.”
He watches with narrowed eyes as the small ball of fuzz stalks across his living room carpet. Somewhere on the floor Madge is holding up one of her ribbons, dangling it in front of the creature and cooing as though it’s a child.
“For the love of God, Madge,” Gale mutters, crossing his arms, “it’s a cat, not an infant.”
Madge sticks out her tongue at him and returns to the kitten, laughing as the black and white animal attacks the ribbon.
“If you hate cats so much then why did you get him for me?” she asks. Madge drops the ribbon and reaches down, petting the kitten right between his ears. Almost instantly he falls to the floor and purrs, causing Madge to laugh again. “You could have left him in the shop and I never would’ve known.”
Gale groans as Madge tickles the kitten’s belly, causing the thing to sprawl out into a heap.
“I don’t hate cats I just—”
“Are lacking in attention and wish I would pay more to you, rather than Spot?”
He frowns. “You named the dammed thing Spot?”
“He has spots,” Madge notes. “Nice subject change, might I add.” Gale bites back another groan and drops his head backwards, dragging his hands through his hair. Madge scoops the kitten into her hands and makes her way to the couch. “Here. Bond.”
Madge deposits the tiny squirming thing on Gale’s lap and takes the open spot on the other end of the couch. He looks down at the speckled beast and watches as he nudges Gale’s hand, begging to be petted like Madge had just done.
Gale can’t help but scratch the little guy between his ears, receiving a purr in appreciation.
“I don’t hate cats,” Gale says again, looking up toward Madge who is studying the pair of them with a smile. “And I knew that you wanted one, hence the cat.”
“He’s not so bad,” Madge tells him. The kitten on Gale’s lap nuzzles into his shirt and curls into a ball on his stomach. “See? He already likes you. Took him less time than me.”
“Hilarious,” Gale frowns at her as she giggles. Madge shifts across the couch and curls into his side much like the kitten has. “So you like him then?” Gale murmurs.
“Yes,” Madge says with a yawn. Gale bends down and presses his lips to her forehead. “I’d watch out if I were you though,” she warns him. “You might have some competition.”
Gale rolls his eyes. “What? This fleabag?”
“This fleabag,” Madge grumbles, “has plenty of sharp teeth and daggers as nails. So be careful.” Just then, the kitten sneezes. “He’s a monster,” she teases.
Madge’s engaged to Gale Hawthorne but it appears as though he can’t even remember her name.
“What’s gotten into you, Undersee?” He waves his hand toward her and frowns. “You alright?”
“Madge,” she blurts out.
She’s put up with it long enough. The entirety of their relationship he’s called her Undersee. At first it was bitter, harsh remarks. Eventually it molded into flirting teases. Then something of a relationship, and now… now what?
Madge paces toward him. “My name is Madge.”
Gale’s eyebrows furrow and he frowns. “I know that,” he says. Again his hand extends but this time he attempts to link it with hers. She pulls away.
“Then call me Madge,” she says. They’re engaged for crying out loud. No longer teenagers. No longer dating. Engaged. “Like you mean it.”
For a moment he pauses, but then Gale’s smirking. “Madge,” he murmurs, “you’re acting ridiculous.”
Somehow he manages to get lace his fingers with hers. Despite his hold she’s still angry.
“We’re getting married in two weeks, Gale, and I’ve barely ever heard you say my name.” In fact, she’s starting to think that he hates it.
This time he really frowns, shaking his head. “That’s not true.” Madge opens her mouth to protest but he cuts her off. “Your name is beautiful. But you’ll always have time to be Madge.”
“You’ll only be Undersee for two more weeks,” he whispers. “Madge, you’ll always be Undersee until you’re not.” Gale bends down and kisses her gently. “Because then you’ll be Hawthorne.”
She lets the nickname stay.
Every relationship is a time bomb.
His relationship with her ends in a fit of yelling. Madge calls him names that her mother would be ashamed even come out of her mouth. Gale picks out all her flaws just to spite her.
“I hate your tangled mess,” he growls. Her hair is anything but messy. “And your crooked teeth.” She has the most beautiful smile in District 12. “I hate all the money you have and how you flaunt it.” She’d never show off her wealth.
“You’re a man whore,” she snaps. He’s only ever had eyes for her. “You don’t care one bit about anyone but yourself.” Gale is the most selfless person she’s ever met. “I hate you!”
But she doesn’t.
“Good,” he hisses, “just like you should. I’m the dirt underneath your feet, Undersee. Wouldn’t want to drag me in, your maid would have to sweep me out!”
She slaps him. The pain tingles in his cheek and wraps around his heart. Madge Undersee would never hurt a fly and she’s just slapped him.
“Take it back,” she pleads. Her fingers clutch at his shirt. “Gale, you didn’t mean that.”
He shoves her hands away and takes a step back. “You hit me.”
“You’re treating me like I’m a snob!” she cries. Madge takes a step toward him but again he retreats. “Gale I didn’t—I was so angry that you said that, you know I’d never—”
“But you did,” he grunts. “Christ, Madge,” he throws his hands up, “and I deserved it!” Gale turns toward her but refuses to move any closer. “This is why we can’t—this is why I have to go.”
“Gale,” she tries again. “C’mon, we… we fight all the time, we—”
“It’s not right,” he shakes his head. “We can’t do this anymore.” Gale balls his hands into fists to keep himself from pulling her toward him.
“But I love you,” she whispers. He jerks his head into a no and steps away. “Don’t you walk away from me!” But he does. “Gale Hawthorne!” She runs at him and hits him again. Shoves him away. “Fine! Go!” So he leaves, pretending he can’t hear her cries fading behind him.
Every relationship is a time bomb, but the real bombs that fall that night and take her away are so much worse.
Living together was a necessity. They were both broke after the war ended and needed to save some money. And moving to District 2 was a necessity. Neither could face their ruined District or those back in 12.
But going to the bar together was a choice. And the drinking was a choice.
“We don’t have enough money for this, Undersee,” Gale scolded her playfully as Madge sipped at her cocktail.
“I didn’t pay for it,” she told him. “That nice man over there bought it for me.”
Gale lifted an eyebrow as Madge giggled, tossing her golden hair over her shoulder. “How’d you manage that?”
“Told him it was my birthday,” she grinned. Gale tugged the glass out of her hand and tipped the alcohol down his throat. “Hey,” Madge stuck out her bottom lip and frowned. “That was mine.”
“It’s your birthday, Blondie,” Gale said loudly. “I’m sure someone can buy you a drink.”
Madge opened her mouth to protest but instantly others were shouting out their cheers. Drinks on me! Happy birthday, Princess! Here, have another! By the time the night was over Madge was so drunk she was hiccupping, and Gale could barely walk in a straight line.
“Gale, Gale, Gale,” Madge giggled as he backed her into the corner of the elevator. “Yoooou never put the lid back on the toothpaste!”
His fingers sloppily twirled through her curls, and he fell forward as the elevator shifted. It was an old building. The elevator was rickety. “On purpose, kid.”
“Don’t kid me,” she jabbed his chest. “I am only two years younger than you!” Gale propped himself on his forearm and hovered over her. “Or do the dishes or the laundry I alwaays do your laundry!”
“Willingly,” he smirked. Gale swayed as the elevator settled on their floor. “We’re here,” he reached down and grabbed her wrist. “C’mon, Undersee.”
They fiddled with the key for a few minutes before finally cracking it open. Madge stumbled into the apartment and tugged Gale along with her, laughing as he steadied himself on her hips.
“You never call me Madge,” she joked as the door slammed shut. She tripped backwards on the couch and Gale went with her. “Call me Madge,” she demanded.
The slurred state of her voice somehow sounded a bit more intoxicating than ever before. Gale grinned. “Madge,” he whispered.
She fidgeted under him and laughed loudly. “You’re squishing me!”
“I didn’t get you a birthday present,” Gale huffed, trying to shift off of her.
Again she laughed, “It’s not really my birthday! You know that!” Gale shrugged and rolled off of her, falling onto the floor with a thud. “Ugh, go to bed,” she told him, throwing her head back on the couch. Gale propped himself up on his elbow and looked toward her. “Why ya lookin’ at me like that, Hawthorne?”
“Whens really your birthday?” he asked her.
“It’s in July.” Madge shook her head. “Stop lookin’ at me funny!”
“You’re pretty, Undersee.”
“You’re drunk,” she laughed. And then laughed harder. “Me too. Go to bed.”
He chuckled and pulled his free hand through his hair. “Come with me.”
“Drunk, drunk, drunk,” Madge repeated. “Absolutely not!”
“I’ll just hold you,” he said, nodding his head. “That’s all I swear. Lemme hold you, Madge. You’re so pretty.”
Madge rolled her eyes with a laugh and somehow forced herself to her feet. She held out her hand and managed to get Gale on his feet too. Again he was swaying, using her hips to steady himself. He dropped his head down into her hair.
“Smell good, too, like fancy shampoo,” he added. Madge giggled as his lips grazed her skin. “Madge,” Gale hummed. She led him to his room. “How do you put up with me? I’m such a bum.”
“You’re my bum,” she teased.
“No, your bum is right here,” he reached down and pinched her rear.
“Oh!” Madge jumped and laughed, turning the two of them so Gale ended up falling on his mattress. “Go, to, bed! You are entirely too drunk!”
But Gale had a grip on her and she somehow ended up next to him. Before she could wiggle her way out Gale slipped his arms around her and pressed her body to his.
“I get it, I get it,” Gale whispered. “Go to bed.”
“You’re drunk,” Madge repeated tiredly, though still wearing a soft smile.
“And it’s your birthday,” he purred. His lips found her shoulder and he pressed a quick kiss to her skin. Maybe in the morning he’d tell her how much of a necessity she really was.
Just like every Tuesday, Gale shows up five minutes before Madge does to Quell training. It’s a routine. So Peeta is expecting it by now.
The hunter kicks off his shoes as he enters the house, clearly stressed from his long day at the mines. Peeta supposes he should be a bit gentler with Gale because of it, but he’s not going to cave now. He’s been rehearsing this speech all day.
“Gale,” Peeta’s voice booms. The person in question freezes, cocking his head a bit to look at the blonde. “I need to talk to you.”
“Alright,” Gale tips his head. One of his eyebrows is raised. He shrugs off his jacket. “About what?”
By the look on his face Peeta’s sure Gale is preparing himself for some sort of Katniss speech. But when Peeta answers “Madge,” a look of panic flickers over Gale’s features.
“What about her?”
“I know you like her,” Peeta says. He takes a step closer. Peeta wants to watch Gale quake in fear but the miner would never do that in front of him. “And I swear to God if you hurt her I’ll wring your neck.”
Gale rolls his eyes and hangs his jacket on a hook before stalking past Peeta and into the living room. “Katniss here?”
“She’s outside with Haymitch,” Peeta answers, following him closely. “Gale, I’m serious. Madge is basically my sister.”
“What could you possibly be serious about, Mellark?” Gale scowls at the boy in front of him. “Where’s your proof?”
“In your face,” Peeta answers. He hates that his leg makes him limp a bit. He wants to be intimidating. “In the way that you always wait until Madge is done so you can walk home with her. Or how your eyes always follow her.” Gale drops himself down to the couch and avoids Peeta’s gaze. “How when sometimes she’ll say things and you have to make an effort not to smile.”
“So what?” Gale mutters. “She’s the mayor’s kid. There’s nothing there.”
“Oh, there’s something there,” Peeta continues. “And I’m just telling you now that if it evolves into something you can’t control I’ll beat you senseless.”
Peeta doesn’t add the fact that he won a Hunger Games and is training to go into another. He thinks Gale is smart enough to understand what Peeta’s capable of.
“It’s not going to evolve into anything,” Gale grunts. “Didn’t you hear me? She’s the mayor’s kid. She’s a hell of a lot better than I am and can do better than me. She’s smart and sneaky and,” Gale pauses. “There’s nothing there,” he says again. “Madge’s too good for me.”
Madge’s voice suddenly rings out from behind the both of them. “I think that’s for me to decide, don’t you?” she asks.
Gale leaps to his feet and spins around to see her. His face is so pale he could be considered a town kid at this point. “Madge,” he chokes out. “I—I can… you hear all that?”
Madge shrugs off her jacket but keeps her eyes on Gale. “Most of it,” she nods. Gale stumbles over his own two feet to reach her and Peeta relaxes backwards on the couch, giving them their privacy. Madge’s voices drops. “You think I’m sneaky?”
Gale laughs nervously. “How else would we get all these Capitol papers?” he murmurs. In their shadow reflected on the floor Peeta watches Madge reach for his hand.
Thank God for such a predictable routine.
Being invited over to the Hawthorne’s to dye Easter eggs was a bit of a surprise for Madge, but not an unwelcome one. She hadn’t dyed eggs in years, especially with her father being as busy as he is and her mother on bed rest most of the time.
Now she sits around a giant table, cups of colored dye scattered randomly. Rory keeps trying to write crude messages on his eggs in white crayon so they don’t show up until after they’re dyed and Posy keeps threatening to tell on him.
“It’s Easter!” the little girl cries, slamming down her pink crayon and glaring at her brother. “You have to write nice things!”
“Like ‘Hoppy Easter’,” Vick says happily. He holds up his egg to show Madge. “Right?”
“Right, Vick,” Madge laughs, reaching over and ruffling his hair. The boy giggles as he drops his egg into the yellow dye and then reaches for another.
“Gale!” Posy calls. “We’re running out of eggs!”
Gale enters a few seconds later with another carton of hard boiled eggs. “I made extra,” he says. Gale lowers himself to the seat next to Madge and pops open the top. He reaches in and grabs an egg before handing it to Madge. “Here, take one.”
Madge accepts the egg and bites down on her bottom lip to stop from smiling. She loves watching Gale around his family, his normal brooding demeanor dissolves entirely and he becomes almost sweet.
After selecting a blue crayon and drawing a bunny, Madge drops the egg into the pink dye. Posy continues to draw random designs with her various crayons as she hums some sort of spring-like tune.
Madge turns to Gale and watches him writing something on one of his own eggs with the white crayon. “Better not be anything crude,” she says, lifting an eyebrow. “Rory has that covered.”
Rory laughs from across the table and waggles his eyebrows.
“Not at all, Undersee,” Gale shoots back, finishing his message. Gale drops the egg into the blue dye and turns back to her. “I happen to like Easter very much.”
Madge reaches for another egg and lifts an eyebrow. “That so?”
“Mmm,” Gale nods and passes her the white crayon. “Easter means spring. Spring means everything coming back to life. It means second chances. Fresh starts.”
Again Madge finds herself biting down on her lip to suppress her smile. She likes hearing him talk like this.
A few minutes pass and an abundance of more designs are created. Madge writes her name beautifully and goes to dunk it into the blue dye when she realizes there’s still an egg in there.
“Oh, Gale,” she frowns. “You’re hogging the blue!”
“Take it out, then,” he shrugs. “It’s been in long enough.”
Madge fishes for the egg holder and pulls his Easter egg out from the mug. She takes it carefully between her fingers and goes to lower it into the egg carton when the message on it catches her eye.
Her cheeks are instantly turning pink as she lifts her eyes up to his. Gale sits back with a smug look on his face, his arms are lazily crossed over his chest.
Before she can answer Madge drops her egg into the blue and goes to reach for another egg on which she plans to write her response. “Better luck next year,” Gale hums, showing her the empty carton. “We’re all out.”
Madge drums her fingers on her knee and tries her hardest to hold his gaze. She can’t fight the smile. “Well how am I supposed to accept your offer, then?” she asks.
Gale lifts his shoulders slightly before reaching out. He tilts her chin upward. “A simple yes will suffice,” he murmurs.
“Then, yes,” she nods. A grin takes hold of his features.
Gale presses his lips quickly to hers, ignoring the laughter echoing from his siblings. “Happy Easter, Undersee.”
“Will you kiss me?”
There was so much in that question alone. Gale hadn’t kissed anyone in a very long time, especially not a tribute. After he won the 72nd Games all those years ago the only kissing he did was for money, and he didn’t quite count that.
But there Madge Undersee stood, her golden hair blowing in the wind on the roof of the Training Center and her cheeks tinted a bright pink. The mayor’s daughter unrightfully reaped at the ripe old age of 18. A setup.
“That’s probably not a good idea,” Gale finally grunted out.
He would have loved to kiss her. He would have loved to press his lips to hers and taste the strawberries he sold to her all those years ago. But it was wrong. He was her mentor. She was a tribute.
Her features fell. Blue eyes filling with shame and pale cheeks turning a shade or two darker.
“I didn’t mean anything by it,” Madge whispered. “I… I’ve never been kissed.” Gale’s heart twisted in his chest. He knew what was coming next. “If I’m going to die I… I just…” Madge sighed and pushed herself away from the edge of the roof. “Never mind.”
Gale gripped her wrist, “Wait.”
And she did. Madge paused in her step and blinked the tears from her eyes, turning back to face him.
“You’re not going to die,” he said sternly. The thought of someone so innocent like her, someone so pure dying just didn’t sit well in his stomach. Madge didn’t meet his gaze. “It’s not that I don’t want to kiss you,” he finally told her.
“It was a stupid question,” Madge murmured. Gale couldn’t recall any other time in which her voice sounded so garbled. “The Games are tomorrow,” she announced, finally returning to the proud daughter of a District mayor. She held herself high. “I should get some sleep.”
Before she could march away Gale swung her around. She was confused by his actions, evident by the look on her face, but when his lips met hers she melted just as he did.
Gale was an expert on these sorts of things, having been thrown into the same business as Finnick Odair, but kissing Madge felt like an entirely new experience. She was shy, her kisses nervous. It made him all the more hungry for her touch.
He had been starved for human contact, real human contact, and she was so insanely sweet it drove him up the wall. Before he lost himself in the fact that this wasn’t for anyone’s enjoyment but his and hers, Gale pulled away.
Madge was breathless, her cheeks still strawberry red. Her fingers had somehow ended up tangled with his belt loops. Despite himself, Gale smiled.
“Thank you,” Madge forced out. Gale pressed his lips to hers again quickly. “I really should—I should go.”
“You’re brave,” Gale suddenly told her. His hands cradled her cheeks. “Bravest tribute I’ve ever had.” She blinked a few times before dropping her gaze. “And smart,” he continued. “You’re not going to die, Madge.”
Slowly her fingers unlatched themselves and she stepped away. His hands fell. “Goodnight, Gale,” she had said, tipping her head in his direction.
He hesitated, knowing it meant so much more than that. “Goodnight, Madge.”