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kath_synecdoche in synecdochewords

Feel Like a Fraud

Title: Feel Like A Fraud
Series: Little Poplin Paylor, President of Panem
Author: kath_synecdoche
Characters: Poplin Paylor, Tuck Wefts, Skein Danoft
Rating: M
Warnings: Sexual situations.
Summary: Poplin's life is all secrets, including her relationship with her best friend, Tuck. The most real thing of all is one of the most hidden.
A/N: Beta'd by the lovely penelopemuse. To be followed in the near future by a meta on homosexuality in Panem, inspired by her questions, and putting it into a broader perspective. Also my first time writing anything even slightly trending towards explicit.

Poplin kissed Tuck on the cheek, just before they went into the factory. They still lived with their parents - they weren't going to force a marriage when they were both just doing it for safety - but they lived just a few houses away from each other, so they always walked in to work together when they were working the same shift. They had always been the best of friends, and nothing could change that.

There were still rumours though. It was inevitable, in Eight. There were rumours about everything, and they spread fast and in abundance. Everyone still knew and talked about the Webbers, say, and it had been a good couple of years since the last of them, Eli, had followed his daughter and wife to the grave - and good riddance on that too. And they latched on to romantic attachments even more quickly than they did to bad news.

But Tuck and Poplin had been dating for almost four years now, so it hadn't needed to spread fast. Once they were out of school, that kind of length of time was almost unheard of without an engagement at the very least, and that made the rumours fly faster. Half of Eight was apparently convinced that she was incapable of carrying a child. The other half seemed to think she was pulling him around on a string because she was his superior and she could blackmail him if he didn't do what she said, though how a marriage would alleviate that, she had no idea. No one seemed to have hit the truth of the matter, but that didn't help - there was time, and they were creative. It made Poplin nervous, because it meant more pressure on them to move into more, and Poplin didn't want that.

But it was still protection. For as long as she was dating Tuck, it would be easier for them to communicate without people looking at them strangely or trying to eavesdrop. Their charade helped the rebellion, and that kept it going. It was safety for her too. No one would dare to touch her, not the others from Eight, not even the Peacekeepers. Tuck had a temper on him and not a soul in the District didn't know it.

She loved him, she did. But she didn't love him like that, not like they do for a marriage. And she knew she never would.

If they had been anything other than best friends for years it would have made her feel guilty any time they were together. As it was, she only felt like a fraud every time they kissed.


She walked home alone from the factory, her shift finishing later than Tuck's, as the supervisor shifts always did. But she didn't walk home, and instead wove her way through the heart of the District and past the warehouses to Skein's house.

She knocked on the door, three times softly, and then one time harder. She heard footsteps patting through the house, and reaching for the lock. "Poplin?" a voice asked softly through the door, confirming the answer that she already knew.

"It's me, Skein," she answered, voice just as soft, and the lock clicked, and the door opened, just enough for Poplin to get in. Skein closed and locked the door behind her, sealing it shut, before prying eyes might see her arrival.

Skein pulled Poplin's dark coat off of her shoulders, but before she could hang it away in her front cupboard, Poplin reached for her wrist and pulled her in for a kiss.

It was quick, and Skein pulled away, smiling, but scolding. "Someone could see!"

"They'll know soon enough if you leave my coat in the front cupboard," Poplin teased.

Skein giggled a little, and kissed Poplin again, just a peck. Coat still in hand, she tugged Poplin towards her room, closing and locking the door behind them.

Clothes peeled off, fingers gliding down each other's bodies, grins lighting up their faces when their hands elicited gasps and moans of pleasure. "I love you, I love you," Poplin whispered, as Skein left a pattern of kisses down her neck and shoulder.

Skein pulled up to whisper back, "I love you," before pulling into a deep kiss, tongues weaving a familiar pattern that was theirs and theirs alone.

When the kiss broke, Poplin whispered again, wonder in her voice, "You're the most real thing in my life, and I love you." Her hands slid down lower, finding the place between Skein's thighs and getting a gasp in return.


This is still just totally adorable. Poor Poplin and Skein... And I'm looking forward to your meta on homosexuality in Panem!
:D Poplin and Skein are so very OTP and precious and wonderful. Can't catch a break, but still happy together.

And yay! It's proving to be quite an interesting process, thinking about all of the aspects of it and finding textual support when there's virtually nothing. So I'm enjoying writing it when I'm not fighting with my laptop.