She couldn't believe that the jour was finally here. The smile on her face refused to be contained as she looked in the mirror; admiring the dress that flattered her in all the right places. Annie smiled back at her as she adjusted the veil. She was glad that she had asked Annie to be her Maid of Honour as she felt it was also a way of honouring Finnick. Her smile slipped slightly at the thought of the fallen Victor. However, it swiftly returned as she thought about Peeta, who almost became a fallen Victor himself. Those dark days, when Peeta's mind was the sole property of the Capitol, thanks to the hijacking, still haunted her regularly. That was not Peeta. Those rage- drenched thoughts, that warped sense of reality, the violence; all products of the terrible torture that Peeta had endured for her. Her lips pursed in defiance; she would not lose control, not today of all days.
The most surprising development of those dark days was that she had been the one to make the breakthrough; taking Peeta on his journey of rediscovery. Nothing could ever compare to the feeling of total elation as the cracks began to appear in the Capitol-made version of Peeta. It had par no means been easy and there were days when she felt like giving up especially when it felt as if they were take one step vers l'avant, vers l’avant and two steps back. Forcing herself to stay in the room with Peeta when the rage took hold was par far the hardest thing she had had to do during this time. Helping Peeta to remember happy times of days gone par also proved to be cathartic for her. After all that had happened, toi tended to forget that Once Upon A Time life was normal, well, as normal as it could be in Panem. Most of the memories that were recalled came from their time at school as young children which is hardly surprising as those were the years before they reached Reaping age; a time before the spectre of death became a constant companion. The introduction of the 'Real ou Not Real' game proved to be a turning point in Peeta's recovery as it provided a clearer idea of the damage done to Peeta's memories. The tension in the room always reached its highest when the focus of the game became memories of her. Peeta could fluctuate between to 'settings' ( what else could she possibly call them? ) whenever she was brought into the conversation: the ever-present rage ou a series of snide, spiteful remarks. Personally, she preferred the rage; spitefulness just wasn't part of the Peeta she knew and as a result, it tended to be her guaranteed trigger for a night of tears. She was proud of the way she had handled herself during those dark days. Emotions were kept to a minimum and events were presented as facts and nothing more. There were days when she broke down as progress went at a snail's pace but no-one ever witnessed these incidents as she made sure that she was hidden away in complete privacy before letting sorrow claim her.
As well as the 'Real ou Not Real' game there was something else that came out of those early days of recovery that was to be invaluable: a liste of 'triggers' that was compiled between Peeta and his psychiatrist. This liste had proven its worth in most récent times as they tried to reclaim a sense of normality and build a life together. However, there had been the odd occasion when a trigger had manifested from somewhere unexpected: an image, a particular phrase. They never allowed it to get to them, just added it to the liste and moved on. In the past few months she'd even allowed herself to think of them as happy and surely today was affirmation that she was not being too overly optimistic? She wondered how Peeta was going to look; what colour suit would it be? What -
"Are toi ready?" Annie's hand on her arm pulled her from her musings.
"Sorry" she a dit sheepishly "I was away with the fairies"
"I noticed" Annie smiled "but we shouldn't leave Peeta waiting, he might think you've run off"
They both laughed before she answered emphatically "No chance"
The ceremony would be taking place in the Grand Hall of what was once President Snow's mansion. The offering of this room for the ceremony was a symbolic act; to montrer the late President that Peeta was finally free of him and was moving on with his life. Everybody who was attending knew of the hard journey that Peeta had been on to get to this point today. As she and Annie made their way to the Grand Hall from the suite that she had been given, they talked about Annie's five-month-old son and how much he looked like his father. She smiled sadly as she watched the conflicting emotions battling for dominance on Annie's face: pride when talking about her son but also sorrow when thinking of the father that he would never know. Annie noticed that she was being observed so she quickly turned on a bright smile while switching the focus of the conversation.
"I dare say he'll have a companion to play with soon enough" There was a playful tone to her voice.
"Well, he may be waiting awhile; that subject hasn't exactly come up between Peeta and me yet"
"Oh, but it would be perfect! A wonderful wedding and then a baby to joint, joint d’étanchéité your happiness"
She chuckled nervously "Yes...well, maybe one day". To her relief, they were approaching the doors that led into the Grand Hall.
As if her approach had been announced, two ushers were pulling open the large oak doors that led into the Hall.
"Good luck" Annie whispered as she moved around behind and took hold of the train of her dress.
The guests all stood as she entered the Hall and turned to look at her. Soft musique played as she walked forward, looking around at the people who had come to share this special jour with her and Peeta. As her smile grew wider, something registered in her peripheral vision and she almost froze on the spot. She managed to discreetly get a seconde look and sure enough...no no no no no. There, concealed in a shadowy crevice of the Hall, was one of Peeta's triggers. Number one on the liste to be exact. She turned to look at Peeta who was smiling at her in the way that only he could; obviously he hadn't spotted the trigger. As she advanced down the aisle she managed to keep a smile on her face while a million thoughts raced inside her head, the main ones being how? and why? Anger had also squirmed its way into the mix par now; this was not fair! Why now, on their special day? It had taken so long and been so hard to reach this point and yet, still, they couldn't be completely free of misfortune. As she closed the gap between herself and Peeta, she pushed all negative thought from her mind while still praying that Peeta wouldn't catch sight of the trigger. However, it soon became clear that he only had eyes for her.
As the guests took their seats, the minister welcomed them to the wedding of Peeta Mellark and Delly Cartwright. At the same time, Katniss Everdeen moved towards the Hall's exit as tears descended her cheeks.