Katniss awakens to Peeta nursing her back to health, having recovered from his injuries. Although she feels weak from her wounds, she tells Peeta what happened at the feast. She explained that Thresh let her go because he felt he owed her a debt for taking care of Rue. Peeta doesn’t seem to understand why he would save her, and she explains that it is like the bread he gave her as a kid. She felt it was a debt that she can never pay back. She asks Peeta why he helped her all those years ago, but Peeta replies that he she already knows why insinuating that he has cared about her for a long time.
They eat the last of their food while listening to the rain and speculate whether Cato has killed Thresh. Katniss starts to cry and wishes that she could go home. She apologizes to Peeta for knocking him out and he forgives her but seems upset still that she risked her life for him. Deciding to play up their romance in hopes of some food from their sponsors, Katniss kisses Peeta. As she is kissing him she realizes that she truly does care for him, and it is the first time she actually wants to kiss him again.
Still hungry and cold, the two decide to share a sleeping bag and get some sleep. As Peeta holds her she realizes that he has made her feel the safest she has felt since her father died. The next day the weather is so bad that they can’t leave the cave, despite their hunger. Katniss knows the best way to coax the sponsors is to be romantic with Peeta, so she asks him how long he has had a crush on her. He tells her that he has had feelings for her since the first day of school when she stood up in music class and sang the valley song.
His father had pointed out Katniss to Peeta and had told him that he had wanted to marry Katniss’ mother but she fell in love with a coal miner who sang so well that the birds would stop to listen. Peeta had been trying to talk to Katniss ever since that first day of school but was unsuccessful. He joked that she paid attention to him now because there was no competition here, to which she replied that he had no competition anywhere. Although their romance is supposed to be for the audience’s sake, Katniss is starting to suspect that it is real. They kiss again and hear a clunk outside their cave. It is food from Haymitch and the sponsors.
In this chapter, Katniss starts to realize that she really does have romantic feelings for Peeta and lets him get closer to her than he has before.