“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”
“You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.”
“So it's you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans.”
“My nightmares are usually about losing you. I'm okay once I realize you're here.”
“Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress.
"Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say.
"It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks.
"Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say.
"Not if I keep looking at you," he says.”
“I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.”
“I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don't hurt anyone but myself.”
“We had to save you because you're the mockingjay, Katniss," says Plutarch. "While you live, the revolution lives.”
“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”
“We star-crossed lovers of District 12, who suffered so much and enjoyed so little the rewards of our victory, do not seek our fans' favor, grace them with our smiles, or catch their kisses. We are unforgiving.
And I love it. Getting to be myself at last.”
“I don't want you forgetting how different our circumstaces are. If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life." Peeta says. "I would never be happy again. It's different for you. I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living."
"No one really needs me," he says, and there's no selfpity in his voice. It's true his family doesn't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handfull of friends. But they will get on.... I realise only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
"I do," I say. "I need you.”
“So I only say, "So what should we do with our last few days?"
"I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you," Peeta replies.”
“I'm so sorry," I whisper. I lean forward and kiss him.
His eyelashes flutter and he looks at me through a haze of opiates. "Hey, Catnip."
"Hey, Gale," I say.
"Thought you'd be gone by now," He says.
My choices are simple. I can die like a quarry in the woods or I can die here beside Gale. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay right here and cause all kinds of trouble."
"Me, too," Gale says. He just manages a smile before the drugs pull him back under.”
“I guess this is a bad time to mention I hung a dummy and painted Seneca Crane's name on it...”
“Katniss," Gale says softly.
I recognize that voice. It's the same one he uses to approach wounded animals before he delivers a deathblow. I Instinctively raise my hand to block his words but he catches it and holds on tightly.
Don't," I whisper.
But Gale is not one to keep secrets from me.
Katniss, There is no District Twelve.”
“That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I'm free to act as desperately as I wish.”
“So that's who Finnick loves, I think. Not his string of fancy lovers in the Capitol. But a poor, mad girl back home. ”
“But I have to confess, I'm glad you two had at least a few months of happiness together."
I'm not glad," says Peeta. "I wish we had waited until the whole thing was done officially."
This takes even Caesar aback. "Surely even a brief time is better than no time?"
Maybe I'd think that, too, Caesar," says Peeta bitterly, "If it weren't for the baby.”
“I can only form one clear thought.
This is no place for a girl on fire.”
“I swear if you cry, I'll kill you here and now.'
Cinna just smiles. 'Had a damp morning?'
'You could wring me out.' I reply”
“Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don't want to miss any of them.”
“I know my own reasons for keeping Peeta alive. He's my friend, and this is my way to defy the Capitol, to subvert its terrible Games. But if I had no real ties to him, what would make me want to save him, to choose him over myself? Certainly he is brave, but we have all been brave enough to survive a Games. There is that quality of goodness that's hard to overlook, but stil... and then I think of it, what Peeta can do so much better than the rest of us. He can use words. He obliterated the rest of the field at both interviews. And maybe it's because of that underlying goodness that he can move a crowd--no, a country--to his side with the turn of a simple sentence.
I remember thinking that was the gift the leader of our revolution should have. Has Haymitch convinced the others of this? That Peeta's tongue would have far greater power against the Capitol than any physical strength the rest of us could claim? I don't know. It still seems like a really long leap for some of the tributes. I mean, we're talking about Johanna Mason here. But what other explanation can there be for their decided efforts to keep him alive?”
“He tilts his forehead down to rest against mine and pulls me closer. His skin, his whole being radiates heat from being so near the fire, and I close my eyes, soaking in his warmth. I breathe in the smell of snow-dampened leather and smoke and apples, the smell of all those wintry days we shared before the Games. I don't try to move away. Why should I anyway? His voice drops to a whisper. "I love you." That's why.”
“I can hear President Snow's voice in my head. 'On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the capital, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.”
“But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she'll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the Mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.”
“Great. Now I have to go back and tell Haymitch I want an eighty-year-old and Nuts and Volts for my allies. He'll love that.”
“When Peeta holds out his arms, I walk straight into them. It's the first time since they announced the Quarter Quell that he's offered me any sort of affection. He's been more like a very demanding trainer, always pushing, always insisting Haymitch and I run faster, eat more, know our enemy better. Lovers? Forget about that. He abandoned any pretense of even being my friend. I wrap my arms tightly around his neck before he can order me to do push-ups or something. Instead he pulls me in close and buries his face in my hair. Warmth radiates from the spot where his lips just touch my neck, slowly spreading through the rest of me. It feels so good, so impossibly good, that I know I will not be the first to let go.
And why should I?”
“Isn't it strange that I know you'd risk your life to save mine... but I don't know what your favorite color is?”
“Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire, you have provided a spark that, left unattended, may grow to an inferno that destroys Panem," he says.”
“When you're in the arena...you just remember who the enemy is"
“It means we're on your side." That's what Bonnie said. I have people on my side? What side? Am I unwittingly the face of the hoped-for rebellion? Has the mockingjay on my pin become a symbol of resistance? If so, my side's not doing too well.”
“Want a sugar cube? [...] They're supposed to be for the horses, but who cares? They've got years to eat sugar, whereas you and I . . . well, if we see something sweet we better grab it quick. [...] You're absolutely terrifying me in that get-up. What happened to the pretty little-girl dresses?”
“Then i get it, what it means. At least, for me. District 12 only has three existing victors to choose from. Two male. One female...
I am going back into the arena.”
“Peeta rinses the pearl off in the water and hands it to me. “For you.” I hold it out on my palm and examine its iridescent surface in the sunlight. Yes, I will keep it. For the few remaining hours of my life I will keep it close. This last gift from Peeta. The only one I can really accept. Perhaps it will give me strength in the final moments.”
“The beauty of this idea is that my decision to keep Peeta alive at the expense of my own life is itself an act of defiance. A refusal to play the Hunger Games by the Capitol's rules. My private agenda dovetails completely with my public one. And if I really could save Peeta... in terms of a revolution, this would be ideal. Because I will be more valuable dead. They can turn me into some kind of martyr for the cause and paint my face on banners, and it will do more to rally people than anything I could do if I was living. But Peeta would be more valuable alive, and tragic, because he will be able to turn his pain into words that will transform people.”
“The hatred I feel for him, for the phantom girl, for everything, is so real and immediate it chokes me. Gale is mine. I am his. Anything else is unthinkable. Why did it take him being whipped within an inch of his life to see it?”
“What do I mean when I say I love Gale? I don't know. I did kiss him last night, in a moment when my emotions were running so high. But I'm sure he doesn't remember it. Does he? I hope not. If he does, everything will just get more complicated and I really can't think about kissing when I've got a rebellion to incite.”
“You would think after all the hours I’d spent with Gale– watching him talk and laugh and frown– that I would know all there was to know about his lips. But I hadn’t imagined how warm they would feel pressed against my own. Or how those hands [...] could entrap me… I vaguely remember my fingers, curled tightly closed, resting on his chest.”
“You know, I think this is the first time we've ever done anything normal together.”
“They can't hurt me. I'm not like the rest of you. There's no one left I love.”