Gale couldn’t help but roll his eyes at her stubborness. Not because of the fact that she wanted to go down to District 12 by herself; he could understand that. In fact, he was rather grateful for not having to be down there again with the damage still so fresh the smoke hadn’t even fully cleared just yet, though he’d gladly have supported her if she’d wished for him to do so. But watching her struggle to sit up despite her body telling her she should really stay in bed for a little while longer brought a smile to his face. Her habit of pushing her boundaries had its bad sides, but who was he to rein her in? She didn’t need someone to weigh her down. She needed someone to give her the nudge she needed to get where she wanted to be.
And so he slipped his arm under her shoulder and helped her sit up, supporting her until he was sure she could sit up by herself. His fingers danced idly across the bed sheets until they found her hands again and laced with hers.
“I know you don’t like hearing this, but you really need to rest a little more. I could ask for permission to visit Twelve? Not sure if they’ll listen to me, but it’s worth a shot.”
It was struggle and her head swam the moment she was sitting up, but she felt more in control now. Control was something that Katniss desperately clung to since it seemed everyone was fighting to take it away. Everyone except Gale. She gave him an appreciative smile, holding in the wince. “Well tell them if they say no, I’ll just steal a hovercraft myself,” she said with the hint of a smirk at her lame joke.
She took a moment to look over him. There were circles under his eyes and he seemed years older than when she last saw him. It was clear that what had happened weighed down heavily on him. “Are you alright?” The words were quiet as they left her. It was a question she had never asked him before. She never needed to. I truth, she wondered if anyone had ever asked him if he was alright. He was the strongest person she knew and no matter what injury he had, it never seemed to really affect him. This was different.
He cracked a smile at her and shook his head. Funny enough, he could even picture the scenario of her stealing a hoverplane herself, as it was just the type of thing she would do. Judging by the cheesy smirk on her face, she’d meant it as a joke, but it didn’t seem too far out of her line of habit.
When she asked him if he was okay, however, his smile shrunk a little. Was he, really? Truth be told, asking himself that question, he knew he should answer yes. The reason he looked so worn, so exhausted, was mainly because he’d been worried sick about his family, Katniss’ family, but most of all, Katniss herself. Life in District 13 wasn’t all that great, but they were safe here. Katniss was safe. And she looked to be on the healing path. So all and all, things were looking up for them.
"Yeah. Just haven’t slept awfully well. Nothing that can’t be remedied, right?"
The muscles around his jaw tightened. What happened in District 12 couldn’t be remedied, nor reversed. He knew it would keep him up in nights to come, when his younger siblings would lie awake, or even deep asleep and wallowing in their nightmares. It’d had a big impact on everyone, but the most important thing was that they were safe now. At least a huge part of his worries were gone or pushed to the background.
"You rest some. I’m not taking you out if there’s the risk of you hurting yourself ‘cause you’re not properly healed."