Updated June 2, 2014
Notes: I was indeed very moved by Kioko's fic, so after I read it in an internet café I had to run back home and write this. I'm not sure if anyone can understand the expression 'join the club', so here's what it means: falling into the same situation or predicament someone else is in, as in joining his club. Kinda weird, eh? Sorry for that.
Disclaimers: Hunger Games is by Suzanne Collins. Some lines and ideas are Kioko's (I highly recommend reading but a walking shadow first) plus a thought from my friend's brother.
"Finnick, you're damn drunk."
Finnick Odair and Katniss Everdeen have nothing in common besides both being victors. From their reproductive devices down to their weapons of choice—nothing. That's what they thought.
"Katniss, you're shit drunk."
"No such thing, idiot."
"You're the idiot, idiot."
They both are.
Sometimes Katniss thinks it might've been an illusion, a horrible after effect of a tracker jacker attack. Except that, it wasn't so horrible, was it? The elated crowd, the overjoyed District 12, the hopelessly romantic Capitol gaggles, the food, the big fucking house. Even the nightmares—it hadn't been so horrible to take, together.
"Do you want to see Annie again, Finnick?"
"Not if she's a mass of mutilated meat with empty eye sockets and hanging guts."
Giving up was not exactly Katniss Everdeen's forte, no matter how hopeless the situation became. Not when she had gone that far—far enough that her father died and the Everdeens survived, far enough that Prim was reaped and she survived, far enough that Peeta's leg got hacked off and he survived.
Far enough that not only was Katniss a survivor, she had made the people around her survivors too.
She just took that faith a step too far.
"I'd still want to see Peeta, even like that."
And was a tad bit too far, when that helicopter picked a bleeding Peeta off the arena.
Katniss learns from her mistakes and she learns fast, and so she vowed to be as close to the fighting as it gets. The mockingjay will spread her broken wings and emerge from the smoldering ashes, breathing fire. Uprisings. Rebellion. Revolution.
They took Peeta away, but Katniss knew she'd get him back. When they overthrow the Capitol. When they win.
"I wish she were dead. I wish they were all dead and we were, too. It would be best."
"But, Finnick, they already are. We already are."
She was actually right this time, she thought as much as he stood in front of her. Completely unharmed, completely unscarred. Just like that, broken wings can fly. Just like that, her heart was whole again. It was all it took for her to throw her arms around him like he was going to turn to ashes and be blown away by the wind.
Perhaps it really was all a hallucination, she thought as much as he shoved her off him and explained himself.
"I have direct orders. Katniss Everdeen must be killed. Where is she?"
"Look at that, Finnick. Looks like Annie Cresta's not the only who changed."
"Annie Cresta's not the only one never, ever coming back."
Peeta Mellark will never come back to her. Katniss knew the moment he raised his gun to shoot her head off. Peeta Mellark died long ago, ages before Katniss Everdeen aimed her bow and used all the arrows she had to kill him.
Now Finnick and Katniss are shocked by how much they are like each other. Katniss Everdeen and Finnick Odair—young, brave, fragile things—faced and beat the same odds.
And made the same mistakes.
Because throwing their loved ones in the Games is not the only thing which could hurt them. It's not the only way the Capitol could prove that those who fly the highest fall the farthest. Those who wear the greatest armor shatter from their own armor's weight.
They forgot, Katniss and Finnick both.
"Join the club, Katniss. Join the club."