Friday, February 15, 2013

Life Lessons 17: Stars

A/N: I don't like this one at all. I really don't. I don't know what it is, and it seems cheesy and weird. I just didn't know what to do with this theme. Hopefully it's not too horrible...

Peeta wasn't entirely sure what made him decide that they needed to have a "guy's night." He'd seen something similar on TV and thought it was a good idea. Plus, it gave Katniss and Dani the opportunity to spend some quality time together as well. It wasn't anything fancy. He had decided to just take Nickel to the new movie theater that had opened in town to see some movie. On a whim, he'd decided to invite Haymitch along, since he was practically a member of the family as well. Besides, there wasn't another shipment of alcohol for a week, and a grumpy Haymitch was doing everything he could to occupy himself.

After the movie, they decided to stop by the meadow for a little while and watch the sunset. Haymitch was grumbling on about this being a "girly" activity, but Nickel was always thrilled to spend time in the meadow. They found themselves staying even after the sunset. As the first stars began to appear in the sky, Peeta would point out different constellations and other things of interest.

There hadn't been much interest in stargazing while the Games had been happening, but astronomy (and, especially in the Capitol, astrology) had become a somewhat popular hobby in recent years. Apparently, it had always been a little popular in the Capitol where there were several large planetariums where citizens could enjoy the night sky without leaving the glaring lights of the city. Now, citizens from across Panem were starting to pick up the hobby as well. Peeta had only learned a few things, but he found the concept of the universe fascinating. It was something he remembered briefly discussing in school, but it wasn't until after the rebellion that he learned people had actually went up into space in the years before the disasters that destroyed North America. After the disasters, it hadn't been as important as rebuilding civilization, and humanity's fascination with the universe had kind of died except for the small group that liked to stargaze occassionally. Things were changing now though, and many people wanted to attempt to visit space again. Peeta thought that was being a little crazy, but it was fascinating nonetheless.

"That star right there," Peeta pointed, "is the brightest one in the sky. It's called Sirius or the Dog Star."

"The Dog Star?" Nickel questioned.

"It's in a constellation that's supposed to look like a dog." Peeta tried to trace the outline in the sky, but it was a bit difficult and he wasn't even entirely sure if was pointing to the right stars.

"And that there is the North Star. It's the star that's almost directly over the north pole. People used it as a guide to know what direction they were going on ships and long journeys back in the days before technology."

They stayed there for several hours, just looking into the sky. Even Haymitch seemed to become interested after a while. It wasn't until Nickel fell asleep that Peeta realized they should be heading home. Nickel didn't protest as he didn't have the energy to even try. He did, however, ask, "Dad, can we come back tomorrow night and look at the stars again? Maybe Mom and Dani can come." Peeta smiled and assured his son that they would come back soon.

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