Summary: In the minimal light, I can just make out his shrug. “Maybe I missed the place,” he jokes, because I know there is no way he’d trade in his compartment with his new wife for this awful hospital. He continues. “Want to come?” Katniss and Finnick venture down to 13's kitchen in the middle of the night.
Warnings: Mockingjay spoilers.
Oneshot. Happy birthday to sabaceanbabe, who requested a fic exploring Katniss's and Finnick's friendship for her gift. I hope this is close to what you had in mind!
AO3 - FFN
The voice purrs my name, cutting through the darkness, though it doesn’t wait me up. I’m already awake, going over every last detail of my last conversation with Peeta relentlessly. Finnick’s voice is a welcome distraction.
“What are you doing?” I ask as he slinks across the room to the side of my hospital bed. “Visiting hours are over, you know.
“Annie was hungry, so I thought I’d head down to the kitchen and get something for her.”
“Did you get lost?”
In the minimal light, I can just make out his shrug. “Maybe I missed the place,” he jokes, because I know there is no way he’d trade in his compartment with his new wife for this awful hospital. He continues. “Want to come?”
It’s a bad idea, because if we’re caught taking more than our fair share, the same thing could happen to us that happened to my prep team. I shiver as I remember the state I found them in. The cramped positions. The stench of human waste. The huge drain in the center of the room they were kept in.... But even despite this, I agree. Maybe it’ll get my mind off things for a bit. I wouldn’t mind some milk, either.
As we pad down the hall, I glance over at Finnick. He seems like a completely different person than the Finnick from just before I took off for 2. He stands up taller, and a familiar swagger has shown up in his walk. Only there’s something different about it compared to all those times I saw him on TV before I was reaped, or even when I first met him before the Quell. Something that seems more genuine.
“How’s married life?” I ask.
Finnick’s face breaks into a huge grin. “Wonderful.” He actually sighs when he says it. And despite all that’s eating away at me, I have to bite my lip to keep back a laugh. Because never would I have imagined Finnick Odair to be this kind of person, the kind who gets mushy over his own marriage. It’s good to see it, though.
Now it’s Finnick’s turn to glance at me. “How about you, Mockingjay? How are you holding up?”
I grimace. “Don’t call me that.”
“Sorry,” he apologizes. “Not very well, huh?”
My silence is my answer.
Finnick continues. “Haymitch told me about your visit with Peeta the night of my wedding,” he says.
Again, I say nothing, mainly because I don’t know what I can say. I’m not ready to talk about that night with Peeta with anybody yet. It takes too much energy to explain, anyway. Fortunately, we reach the kitchen anyways, and we’re both distracted as Finnick punches in the passcode allowing us entrance.
“How did you know that?” I ask.
“People ignore you when they think you’re too mentally disoriented to pay attention,” he says. “I caught it when someone on kitchen staff didn’t bother hiding it from my view. Hungry?”
“No,” I say, watching as he swipes a few smaller pieces of bread and a little bit of fish. “I wouldn’t mind some milk, though.”
“Over there.” He points to a giant metal cooler across the way. I make my way over, finding where they keep the glasses, and pouring a cool glass of the white liquid.
“Better drink that before we go,” he says. “And clean it, so they won’t know we’re here.”
A thought occurs to me. “But what if they have security cameras set up in here?” After knowing how Snow watched me in the woods back home, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched constantly. Probably because I am.
“I guess we’ll find out,” he says. It reminds me of the way he dismissed Mags eating those nuts back in the arena, and again I have to wonder how he can be so lackadaisical about these things. But Finnick just watches me as I drink, leaning against a counter and popping a few bites of the bread into his mouth.
“How were things in 2?” he asks after a minute.
My eyes drop to the floor. I give a shrug. “You mean other than being shot?”
“Yeah,” he says. And though he doesn’t say more than that, I know what he’s really asking. The question is whether or not I want to answer it.
“I guess I’m just glad we secured 2 in the end.” It’s not the answer he’s looking for, but it’ll have to suffice.
“But you’re not thrilled about the way you did it,” he says.
I shake my head, still not making eye contact. “It was Gale’s idea.” Gale seemed to have a lot of ideas while we were in 2 I realize, remembering the way he accused Finnick and me of having something going on romantically. And for some reason, it’s this thought that makes me open up. I tell Finnick everything - about how I felt about Gale’s plan to crack the nut; the horror that ran through me that night. And then I even tell him about the part I’m too ashamed to admit.
“You kissed him.” There’s no emotion in his voice to suggest his opinion either way. I can’t tell if he’s repulsed by me or what.
“Yes. Well… I don’t really remember how it started,” I admit weakly, feeling more and more pathetic by the minute.
“And then what happened?”
I tell him about the conversation after, how Gale claimed kissing me was like kissing someone who was drunk. I don’t even omit the part where he claimed Finnick had his eye on me. To my surprise, Finnick just laughs. “What?” I ask.
“Just Gale’s misunderstanding,” he says. “Look, Katniss… it’s hard for people who have never been in the Games to understand. Maybe you were desperate when you kissed him, but you have to cut yourself some slack. You’ve been through a lot. We all have.”
Easy enough for him to say. He got Annie back when she was rescued from the Capitol. If we win this thing, they’re going to get to live their lives happily together. But Peeta… my mind stops itself before it can even complete the thought, and my stomach turns as the memory of my last conversation with Peeta reemerges. Still, something about Finnick’s words ring true, and for a moment I find myself longing for something. For a future like the one I dreamed about on the beach, with no war, no Games. One where I would be able to visit Finnick and Annie whenever I wanted, without district fences dividing us and keep us apart. Someone else is there, too, but again my mind won’t allow his face or name to surface. Then I quickly push the thought away, because what’s the use? What’s the use in wishing for something you know you’re never going to have? I have to remind myself that my plan is to be taken out when I finally kill Snow. There is no other future for me.
“Catch,” Finnick says, tearing me from my thoughts. He throws a piece of bread in my direction, and without giving it a second thought, I catch it with my mouth. Immediately, I think of the way Gale and I did the same thing, both on that last trip to 12 and that morning when I was reaped, so long ago. But I’m glad Finnick is the one doing it now.
“Come on,” he says as I rinse out my empty glass. “We’d better get back before we’re caught. Annie will be wondering where I am, anyways.”
We steal quietly out to the hallway without detection, then make our way back to the hospital in comfortable silence.