Disclaimer: The views expressed in this fanfiction do not necessarily reflect the views of Suzanne Collins or the fanfiction authors. But they (not Suzanne) had a lot of fun making them up. All reviews containing the term OOC will self-destruct. :D
Edit: Sorry about deleting the original post! Formatting errors and unhappy google document conversions galore!
Peeta's Honeymoon Survival Kit
"This little fishy went to market."
"This little fishy stayed home."
"This little fishy had roast beef."
"And this little fishy had none."
"And this little fishy went bloop bloop bloop..."
"Finnick!" Annie giggles in our dark Underground bedroom. "That's not my toe!"
"It isn't? Oh…my bad. How about this?"
More giggling. "N-no!"
*Beep* beep* beep*
Damn. I reach out blindly for the nightstand. The alarm clock smashes to the floor, giving one last half-hearted bleep before dying.
"Oops," I mumble. "Second broken clock this week. Say, that's a record."
"I'm turning on the light," Annie warns.
"Aw, just a few more minutes?" I beg.
"I wish we could, Finny, but you have to get up and go to work today."
It's a hard life, but someone's got to do it.
She turns on the lamps before I can wipe the pout off my face. But we both flinch under the florescence, so she doesn't see it.
Annie wraps the sheet around herself while I scrape myself off the mattress. I pull on the pajama pants that I swiped off the floor and begin my "smolder exercises" before a strenuous day of modeling for the rebel propaganda posters:
Finnick Odair Wants You…to beat the Jabberjays.
Victory Begins at Home…start a rock garden today.
"We'll pick up where we left off tonight," I promise, waggling my eyebrows as I follow her into the kitchen. "We'll find out where that other fish went right after I get home from work."
Annie frowns over the scrambled eggs she's preparing. "Tonight? We can't. You have Peeta's party later and I have Katniss's. Pass the cheese."
"Do we?" I snap my fingers as it comes back to me. I dig around the in fridge till I find the sliced yellow stuff they call cheese. "I still need to get him a gift."
Annie shakes her head. "Typical. I've had my gift ready for over a month."
"What did you get her?" I ask, handing her the cheese.
"It's a surprise."
This time I'm not quick enough to wipe the pout off my face. Annie sees it and waves the spatula at me.
"Don't worry. I ordered one for myself, so you'll see soon enough."
Pout, be gone.
After exercises and breakfast, I kiss Annie goodbye and head out a little early before my photo shoot on Level 3. My plan is to swing by Level 4 and grab a present for Peeta, which shouldn't take too long.
What would he want? Hmm. Perhaps it'd be easier to figure out what I'd want and then temper that with what I know of Peeta and Katniss's personalities.
Aha! I know just the thing!
While Level 4's more of a flea market than anything, there is a department store in the center. That's my best bet for finding this particular gift.
With a feeling of confidence in my success and my ability to make quick decisions, I enter the doors with a ready smile and stride down the aisles until I reach the end of the store. I don't see the section I'm looking for. Unalarmed by this, I greet the first store associate I meet.
"Excuse me, where do you keep your outdoor and sporting goods section?" I ask the man. He's wearing a smock with the store logo on it and stocking a shelf with hard hats (a popular item in the Underground).
"Sporting goods?" he grunts, scratching his salt and pepper head.
I attribute his surliness to not being a morning person. "You know, fishing and hunting equipment…baseball supplies?" I supply jovially.
"Listen, young man, I don't need you pulling my leg. I haven't had coffee yet." He rolls his eyes and resumes stocking. "Fishing equipment. Huh."
I stick my chest out a little, just to subtly suggest to this man that I'm to be taken seriously. My trident might communicate that better, but it's hardly subtle.
"Look, I need a net."
"Bah! Nets, indeed. Whoever heard of such a notion." He stomps off, cursing pranksters under his breath.
Okay. No nets in the Underground. Fabulous. There goes my first and only idea for Peeta's gift.
With less enthusiasm I trudge back the way I came, pondering my predicament and hoping to see some suggestions along the way. Maybe he would like a hard hat? Katniss's tastes are rather…earthy...after all.
I see a box of sugar cubes, which I snatch half-heartedly. It'll hardly have the same effect without the rest of the present.
Inspiration comes when I spot the ladies' unmentionable section. Aha! I veer left into the rows and rows of displays of cotton, lace, silk, and satin in every hue imaginable.
Past the panties. Past the robes. Past the…oooh. Lingerie.
My mind takes a mental detour for several long moments into a world of pink satins, jewel-toned sequins, and a myriad other delights.
Snap out of it, Odair. You have work to do! If only my legs would cooperate.
Note to self: Annie. Feathers. Later.
Right now: Focus.
Just a little longer, though. As soon as I figure out how this strappy thing works then I'll focus. At least that's the plan until I feel a sharp thwack on the back of my head. Ouch!
I turn around to see what hit me, rubbing the knot forming on the back of my head.
An owlish old woman with curlers peeking out from under a tattered kerchief glowers at me. Her purse, which is the size of a steamer trunk, swings back and forth on her sausagey arm.
"I beg your pardon," I stammer. "That hurt."
"Hmph." She stamps her foot. "Serves you right, pervert!"
Well, I never. I hold up my left hand for the old bat to see. "Madam, I am a married man."
She sniffs and hobbles off.
I tear myself away from the display of interesting night things. Past the brassieres. Past the stretchy material that smooshes people's flab into some kind of shape. Past the socks.
Aha! Nylons display. Flipping through racks of black, mocha, beige, pink, some with rosettes sewn on…
"Good god, man," I mutter to myself. They don't have anything in this hell hole. "Was this stocked by a prude?"
"Can I help you, sir?" A grumpy attendant asks from the opposite side of the rack. Her eyes send nuclear waves of disapproval at me. Really, the customer service here is terrible.
However, I'm not doing anything wrong, so I say, "I'm looking for fishnet. Gold, preferably."
"G-gold fishnet?" Well, now I know who stocked this display. If red is the color of embarrassment, this woman's purple cheeks are taking it to a whole new level.
"You put it succinctly."
"For whom?" she asks, looking me up and down. "And I doubt we have anything in your size."
I laugh at the mistake and try not to take offense at her rude insinuations about my body. If Sausage Arms and Curlers can fit into these clothes, you better believe I can as well.
"Oh, they're not for me."
The look of relief is as noticeable as the sigh she releases.
"They're for another man."
"Was that Finnick Odair being dragged out by security guards?" Rory gasps as we approach Level 4's department store. He should be in class today, but I'm initiating him instead into the world of male gift-giving.
Actually, I just need another man around for ideas since all of my fiancée's fail miserably. It's not her fault she's feminine.
We let the uniforms pass us by and roughly deposit the rabble-rouser into a pile of empty cardboard boxes waiting to be collected by the waste team. With an oomph! from the poor sucker, the boxes scatter and the guards return to the store.
"Couldn't be. Odair's like a heathen god to these people. They'd never toss him out of a store. Just some look-a-like, I guess," I mutter in reply as we both try to squeeze through the automatic door at the same time. I still have a solid foot on Rory, in terms of height, but he's broader. His shoulder digs into my ribs.
"Ouch, Gale, stop pushing," Rory grumbles.
"Outta my way, kid. Age before stupidity."
After a short scuffle in the doorway, we get through. I win. Rory rubs his bruised arms while I do a quick recon. I prefer to get in and out of this place as quickly and efficiently as possible. No meandering down every single aisle "just in case we need something" like I have to when Madge's dragging me around.
"Geez," he grouses. "What are we doing here, anyway?"
"Blame Madge. She's making me buy a gift for Peeta."
Rory rolls his eyes. "Girls."
"Yeah," I agree. They just don't understand that giving another guy a gift for nookie is sick and invasive. But I'd rather be accused of that than face Madge empty-handed. "Come on. First aisle to the right and straight on till Hardware."
"So, what do you want to get him?" Rory asks as we pass the stationary aisle. "How about a notebook? He can write poetry or something mushy and Mellarkish."
I grimace. "That is not behavior we wish to encourage, Rory. Odair's already trying to start a club."
"Uh, what are we trying to encourage?"
I have a lot to teach this kid. "In a few short days, Peeta's going to prove his manhood to Katniss. He doesn't want to fumble this. As men, it's our duty to equip him for success. But a wise man must be discerning. There's a lot of guff out there to wade through. For example, Madge suggested a monogrammed hip flask. Is that guff or a necessary article?"
"Guff." Rory snorts. "That's only useful if he wants to hang out with Haymitch on one of Katniss's cranky days."
"That's what I said." I pat Rory on the shoulder. He's an apt pupil. "A flask is totally impractical. If I'm spending money on Mellark, it's not going toward something he'll never use."
Rory scratches his shaggy head and frowns. "So what's he going to use, then?" He waves his hand around in vague directions. "To…uh…for…uh…you know…be the man or whatever?"
"Come and learn, young one." I steer Rory down an aisle. The overhead sign reads HARDWARE. We stop in front of a shelf and I wait for Rory to figure it out. His eyes shift back and forth down the displays, looking like a deer in headlights.
"Uh….you're going to...replace his air filters?" Rory says with a dopey, hopeful expression on his face.
"Not a bad idea," I encourage. Mellark probably doesn't know how to do that. "But no. Try Duct tape."
"Duct tape?" Rory asks, his eyes nearly crossing with confusion. "Why?"
I palm my forehead – it's really too obvious. "In case it falls off on their wedding night, Rory."
"Wha?" Rory's eyes pop out and he staggers backward into the other shelving unit, spilling boxes of lightbulbs onto the floor. "IT CAN FALL OFF?" He squeezes his knees together. "Oh god."
I shrug. "Probably. If he works it hard enough. I asked Mrs. Everdeen about it."
"Ew." Rory covers his mouth like he's about to puke. Poor kid's clearly disturbed. But hey, that's life. Better to go in prepared.
I grab a roll. It's of sufficient length. I figure, if Peeta's careful, he'll get good mileage out of it.
"Do you think one roll will be enough?" Rory gulps. "I mean…"
I wave the tape under Rory's nose. "This is just to get Peeta started after the wedding," I tell him. "According to the man code, we are not under any obligation to get him a lifetime's supply."
Rory nods sagely. Then he wrinkles his nose. "Is that all you're gonna get him?"
"You're right. That would be cheap." And I wouldn't want to risk Madge's displeasure. So, I grab some rope a few aisles down. Just in case.
"Won't that chafe?"
If it does, it's not my problem. Still, I try to answer the question. "If he ties it around-"
Rory holds one of his hands up, looking pained. "I change my mind. I don't want to know."
"Fair enough. Maybe when you're older," I say. "Now we need gift wrap. Any ideas?"
To be continued
Thanks for reading!
If you'd like to see Finnick's war posters visit Marvalous's DA gallery (just remember to put the real "dots" back in): http:/marvalous(dot)deviantart(dot)com/gallery/