Author: aimmyarrowshigh
Fandom: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Story Title: "Five Places Cinna Came From"
Summary: Cinna did not come from the Capitol. Five paths he took out of the Districts, and why he set a nation on fire.
Character/Relationships: (Specific to each section; listed on those pages.) OVERALL - Cinna/Finnick, Finnick/Annie, Katniss/Peeta. Johanna. Haymitch. Beetee. Mags. President Snow.
Rating: M
Warnings: There are very separate, very specific trigger warnings on each District's story, so please read those if you have concerns.
Wordcount: (total) 86,000
Disclaimer: I only own the original characters and concepts. All settings and proprietary language are owned by the author of the work from which this is derived.
Notes: Originally written for panemetfabulae for sihaya09. She wanted "Finnick POV pre-canon, AUs where different people died in/survived Mockingjay, or Johanna POV on how she won her games," so here are four pre-canon Finnicks and a How Johanna Won Her Games. :) I really hope you enjoy it! I would never have managed to finish this without poppypickle, badguys, electrumqueen, puella_nerdii, glycerineclown, lovepollution, skellerbvvt, and rurone.

THE STORY IS POSTED IN ITS ENTIRETY ON LIVEJOURNAL. For FFn, I will be posting it as a series of five one-shots over the next few days.

Author: aimmyarrowshigh
Fandom: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Story Title: "Five Places Cinna Came From: District Four (The Girl in the Water)"
Character/Relationships: Cinna, Finnick, Annie, Mags, Cinna/Finnick, Finnick/Annie, Finnick/others.
Rating: M
Warnings: Spoilers for all three books (although as long as you know what Finnick does for a living and who Annie is, you're probably okay on Mockingjay). Violence, forced sexual slavery, emotional/sexual abuse, bad language, character death, underage sexual contact, hard drug use, natural disaster/catastrophe, mental illness. All of the usual feel-good content of Collins' Hunger Games world!
Major trigger warnings: Underage sexual contact, mental illness, hard drug use.
Wordcount: 86,000
Disclaimer: I only own the original characters and concepts. All settings and proprietary language are owned by the author of the work from which this is derived.

Five Places Cinna Came From
District Four: The Girl in the Water

001. District Four

The sun scorched the dry, red-brick brown dirt of the square and everyone's bare feet were shifting, trying to keep a little cooler. Everyone from District Four was uncomfortable on dry land. Leathery, golden-tan hands shaded green eyes all around the square, violent light overhead casting no shadows. The entire populace of District Four inhaled as one, wistful, as a sea-salt fresh breeze rolled in across the water, just cool enough and gentle-sweet to rustle the reddish-brown hair at the nape of everyone's necks. And then like a kiss, the breeze was gone and the heat was back, oppressive and ominous. The sun cast everything into two planes of color: gold-and-white, black-and-green. It was stark.

It was the Reaping.

Up on stage, the Capitol representative, with her jewel-inset third eye, sweated. The smallest children in the crowd hid behind their mothers' and fathers' bare, tan legs as they peered up at her in fear. They may have been safe from the Reaping for a few years yet, but the sight of her inhuman fashion sense, the great diamond-and-opal monstrosity set into her forehead just beneath the blade-sharp widow's peak, glinting off the painful sunlight like a cyclops' lidless eyeball; her fuchsia skin speckled with purpled ridges where the scarwork of two years ago – a fashion gone wrong and gone out– was beginning to show through; the odd way her clothing covered every inch of her skin save her face, and then even barely. Compared to all of the warm, familiar skin in the crowd, she barely looked human at all.

Out in the throng, tensions were high and so thick in the air that it was piquant with salt-sweat and worry. In the center of the crush, penned in with the rest of the candidates for the Hunger Games, Cinna Healy pressed his face into the bony hollow between his best friend's shoulder blades.

Finnick Odair sighed and reached behind him to lay a comforting hand on Cinna's side. Cinna was skinny and small and had long, delicate fingers and long, delicate eyelashes and an upturned mouth that couldn't be fierce if he tried.

Cinna also had a father who had withheld five hundred pearls from the Capitol shipments and disappeared a month before. Cinna had reason to worry at this Reaping. His thin hands came up around Finnick's waist and clutched at him like he could crawl inside and disappear.

"Heyo," Finnick said, almost laughing a little at Cinna's desperation just because the only other choice was to cry, "It'll be okay."

Across the sandy square, the girls' pen was full of tanned, sweaty, leggy girls in pale dresses all barefooted and clutching each other the way Cinna clung to Finnick. And just outside their pen, crouched down on her haunches and swirling her pale fingers through a tide pool, was Annie Cresta.

She should have been in the pen with the rest of the twelve-year-olds, her face white with terror and her hair neatly braided. Instead, Annie Cresta was bright and radiant like the inside of a conch – all pale and pink and smooth with the sea – and her brown hair was flying free in the breeze as she picked up a starfish, gentle, gentle, and shrieked a happy giggle.

Annie Cresta just wasn't right.

The year before, Cinna and Finnick were out on the water in a throwaway dinghy, just sailing to sail and feel like men and eat salty sandwiches and – well, and be alive.

The sky was clear and fever-bright and so blue it almost hurt to look up into it – like Finnick's eyes, not that Cinna really thought Finnick ever needed to know that – but the water was murky, yellow and gelled over with hundreds of jellyfish, dead and dying. Their filament bodies writhed and foamed against each other, sparkling and smoothing.

Cinna kept his drawing book with him, bound in rough eelskin, and squinted against the hard afternoon sun as he drew – the jellyfish with their tanglelegs and silver parachute bodies, the ramshackle row houses on the shore with lace curtains in the windows like broken teeth, the long soft curve of Finnick's side as he lay with his head on the side of the boat, shading his eyes from the sun's glare with his forearm as he stared down into the roiling water.

It was burning high noon when –

"Heyo," Finnick said, sitting up fast. "The water's red."

"It's prob'ly the jellies," Cinna said, shrugging and sketching Finnick's face in five sharp lines. Brow, left eye, right eye, mouth, jaw.

"No," Finnick argued, getting up to his knees and looking far over the side of the boat. "Under the jellies. The water's red."

Cinna looked over the side and the boat rocked far over with both of their weights pressed up against the starboard. Beneath the undulating cellophane jellies, the water burned bloody red, and below that, deep, a small white shape twisted.

"What is that?" Cinna asked, poking into the water with the end of his charcoal.

Annie Cresta's dark, bedraggled head and billowing white dress like a huge jellyfish around her tentacle legs broke through the clear-furling foam and she floated limp, a broken starfish.

As long as they got their seafood and roe and pearls, the Capitol didn't much care what went on out in the wide vessels of District Four. District Eleven had their songs, District Three had their codes, District Four had its stories. They were ancient seafaring stories, chanteys and epic poems that the oldest, milky-eyed and bearded men aboard the boats swore up and down were once the pillars of understanding of the world. Cinna didn't know about that, but the way their voices swelled and fell as they told the stories could have convinced him.

Finnick liked the man who controlled the seas, Poseidon, who could speak to the seahorses. Bull, the old crabtrapper with only eight fingers and seven toes, said that Poseidon was not a man, he was a god, and that a god was a man taller than all the rest and smarter than all the rest and stronger than all the rest, who could hear any secret whispered hope of the soul and had the power to fix any problem.

As far as Cinna was concerned, that made Finnick a god.

There were goddesses also – the most beautiful, ethereal, terrifying women. Gray-eyed Athena, who sprung out of a man's head; jealous Hera, who sent crabs after the hero Hercules; sad Persephone, trapped half the year in a lake of fire where there was no water as far as the eye could see and no warm sand, no seaweed and no fish, and she made the ocean run low in her sadness.

But there was also Aphrodite, who was Cinna's favorite, because she was beautiful and born of the foam on the sea.

Cinna dropped his charcoal into the water and pressed his knuckles to his mouth.

Finnick tore his hands through his hair. "Annie! Annie Cresta! Swim, Annie!"

Annie looked over to the boat with huge, empty eyes. Finnick reached out. "Swim, Annie!"

Annie pushed timidly through the water like she'd never seen it before in her life. Her white dress billowed up and down around her pale legs and she lifted a blue jellyfish, examining it curiously.

Finnick cursed under his breath while Cinna sat motionless, useless in panic, gnawing his knuckles raw. "Annie! No! Swim!"

"Finnick Odair?" Annie asked in a little voice, looking somewhere southeast of Finnick's shoulders.

"Yes." Finnick's voice broke. "Annie, we're in the boat. Just… swim."

Annie's face broke into a devastating smile and she set the Man O' War gently back into the water. "Okay, Finnick Odair."

And she started to swim.

When Annie reached the side of the boat, she seemed to forget what she was doing and just smiled, moving to keep on swimming, floating atop the foam in her white dress like Aphrodite. Finnick reached down over the starboard side and grasped Annie's pale arm. "Cinna, help me!"

Cinna swallowed and reached out for Annie's arm, but when he wrapped his fingers around her wrist –

"Annie, Annie, shhhh – shhh, Annie, it's just Cinna," Finnick said as Cinna flailed backwards, pressing his fingers to his mouth again. Annie sagged against Finnick's grasp, sinking into the red ocean. "No, Annie, please – Cinna is good, just keep swimming." Finnick turned to Cinna. "It's okay, see? She just has a jelly burn on her wrist there. Come help me."

So Cinna crawled back over and grasped Annie Cresta by the elbow and helped Finnick Odair haul her into the boat. As soon as she was out of the water, her white dress dyed pink by the red ocean, the jellyfish drifted, filling her space in the water like she'd never been there.

They lay Annie out on the bottom of the dinghy and Finnick rested her head on his lap, pulling seaweed and tentacles from her hair and combing his fingers through it. Cinna crouched in the stern, picking with shaking hands through the injury kit for the salve for jelly burns.

"Annie," Finnick asked, turning her head so she'd spit out the seawater. "How did you get here?"

"I swam."

Finnick's face broke.

It was a long time before he spoke again and they just drifted, three kids in a boat.

"Annie," Finnick tried again. "What happened in the water today? Why were you swimming alone?"

Annie looked up, right into the sun. "I wasn't. I was swimming with my momma. And then the hammerhead fish came."

Finnick looked to Cinna in distress. The hammerhead fish were a legend; everyone knew that – nothing so ugly and so terrible could possibly exist unless it was a muttation, and there were no muttations in District Four's ocean.

Annie stood up in the prow on her spindly, burned legs and started twirling, rocking the boat far over and Cinna scrambled for the oars while Finnick scrambled for Annie. "The hammerhead fish came, the hammerhead fish came," she sang, twirling and twirling.

"Annie," Finnick said firmly, pulling her back down. "Annie, where is your momma?"

Annie held out the skirt of her ruined dress, the red fading into pale brown. "The hammerhead fish came." Then she smiled and reached over the side of the boat. She pulled up a starfish, a little yellow one with wriggling legs, and held it in her palm. "I like starfish."

Senilia Cresta never came back from wherever she floated in the sea, and the story of the hammerhead fish was embroidered just a little more every time it was told after. Annie Cresta just wasn't right after. First there was the pity, all of the pickled fish and salty seaweed bread left on the Crestas' doorstep. Oh, Annie. Oh, Cyrus.

Then came the dark rumors – Senilia had been an unpopular woman, a Victor whose family had all died in a storm a few months after her Games, and that turned her hard. She had been kind to Cyrus and tolerated Mags, but no one saw affection between her and her daughter before that day out on the water. She had never been bad to Annie; Cinna knew. Annie had never come to school with bruises and the standard excuse of jelly burns or tripping on the storm grate, like a lot of the other kids who lived up the shoreline. But Senilia Cresta had always floated in silence like a broken ship's skeleton sticking out of the sharp rocks at Kraken Cove: beautiful but wearing away above the surface, and jagged wreckage beneath. Cinna had never envied Annie having to live with her mother. A few months after the incident in the water, someone started whispering that maybe Annie Cresta killed Senilia, out there on that water, she just wasn't right, but he knew that wasn't true. Annie Cresta could never kill anyone. And Senilia Cresta wasn't just anyone – she was the Victor of the 46TH Hunger Games.

But sure enough, Annie never quite came back from the red water. Sometimes Cinna wondered whether her scream when he grabbed her arm that day was the sound of some part of her soul being ripped from her body.

District Four was a superstitious district, full of ghost-old chanteys and legends and secrets, and most of them lived in the sea.

"I hope Annie's not called," Finnick muttered, just loud enough for Cinna – still clinging to his back – to hear. Jealousy and fear burned low and hot in Cinna's belly, and he was a boy on fire.

But of course, Annie Cresta, mad little Annie with her starfish and her soft songs, was not called. A big girl, Coral Flynn, was called instead, and she had the bulging calves of a trap-trawler and the wide biceps of a Career.

And then, the boys.

And of course Cinna Healy was reaped that year. Everyone knows that.

And of course, Finnick Odair volunteered in his place.

Everyone knows that, too.

When Finnick took the stage, there was a loud hush over the crowd – as there always was when someone volunteered, and Cinna was crying with his knuckles pressed against his mouth – and a loud, happy shriek made everyone jump and look over to the tide pool. Annie Cresta held a big, ugly blue starfish in her cupped palms and grinned beatifically up to Finnick on the stage, holding it out like a parting gift.

In the Justice Hall, Cinna just laid his head on Finnick's knees and cried.

"I'm gonna come back," Finnick said, oddly calm. He wove his fingers into Cinna's dark hair the same way he had Annie's on the boat that day. "Don't you fret. I'm gonna come back."

But Cinna didn't believe it.

Late that night, after the rest of District Four was holed away, pretending to be asleep even though Coral Flynn and Finnick Odair were leaving and never coming back, and again, again, they had sent their own children away to die and no one did anything, no one did anything, Cinna sat alone at the end of the long pier, the one that stretched so far out that even on a clear day, you couldn't see its drop from the shore.

He tucked his knees up to his chest and watched the moon jellies phosphoresce.

A wet, slimy, moving thing landed on his shoulder and Cinna flinched, looking up –

Annie Cresta knelt beside him, stroking the red starfish she'd set on his skin. She smiled at him with big, blank eyes. "I think people should wear starfish. When is Finnick coming back?"

And Cinna touched Annie Cresta's jaw gently, peeled the starfish from his skin, kissed her forehead hard, and ran home to his sketchbooks.

And he drew.

He drew Finnick in a costume of starfish, their legs netted together like they were alive and giving him armor; he drew Finnick in the rough hooked skin of the sharks and Annie's hammerhead fish; he watched the Opening Ceremonies and drew District Seven in curling three-pronged poisonous leaves and District Three in towering headdresses of coiled metal.

When Finnick got his trident, Cinna filled a sketchbook with drawings of Finnick as Poseidon.

Timid but proud, Cinna wandered his way over to the Cresta house for the first time, intent to find Annie and show her his drawings because they seemed like something she might like. Her house was set back further into the shade then most, and the sand up to her door was damp and cold.

She and her father didn't live in the Victor's Village – her mother had always hated that house – and Cyrus Cresta's cod trawler barely paid the rent on this pink-painted lean-to. The weatherbeaten front door hung open. Cinna pushed his way in and wandered across the wet wood floor on the balls of his feet.

The house was empty. The remains of a slice of green seaweed bread spread thick with gummy red roe sat on a chipped blue china plate on the table.

Cinna wandered out the back door and saw –


Annie Cresta lay face-down in the openwork rope weave of a hammock strung up between two gnarled trees. She didn't move at all, and the breeze barely tickled at her hair.

"Annie Cresta, what are you doing?"

"I'm floating," Annie said in a hollow shell voice. "Just floating."

Cinna walked over to the hammock and sat down, tipping her but not toppling. "Swim, Annie Cresta. Swim."

Annie stayed dead like a log.

"I have pictures of Finnick," Cinna offered, fanning the pages of his sketchbook. "Swim for him, Annie. Swim for me."

Annie rolled over. "I saw pictures of Finnick. He was Poseidon and the water was red. I ran away because the hammerhead fish were coming. They were coming for Finnick."

Cinna touched her tangled hair. "They didn't get him, Annie."

Annie sat up. "I like starfish." She started singing a little song of nonsense words, miming the story of the starfish on the pylon that everyone learned as a baby – up rose the tide and washed the starfish out; out came the sun and out ran the tide, and the itsy-bitsy starfish was happy when he died– and her eyes blanked out again.

Cinna sighed and opened his sketchpad, drawing Annie pictures upon pictures of starfish and Finnick. "I know."

Twenty-two long days later, Finnick caught a huge boy from District Two in his net. He smiled angelically to the cameras and shook his bronze hair out of his eyes and made the District Four sign for good luck – a three-pronged cross over his chest. Then he drew back his golden trident and with a flash of sunlight, the big boy was dead and Finnick was the youngest-ever champion of the Hunger Games. The sandy square of District Four was humid with the beginning of rain season, but it erupted in cheers for the Odair boy.

Cinna wasn't there.

Cinna was in Annie Cresta's damp kitchen with his the raw skin of his fingers between his teeth to muffle himself, crying with his head on his knees. Finnick was really coming back.

Annie gently pet Cinna's hair like he was one of her starfish. "It's okay, Cinna. Please stop crying. I don't like it."

Cinna looked up. "You know who I am?"

Annie smiled below her big, blank eyes. "You help me. You helped Finnick save me when the hammerhead fish came. Finnick Odair is coming back and you won't be sad anymore. You draw me starfish and pretty dresses. I like starfish."

And then she was gone again, singing the song about itsy-bitsy starfish: happy when they die.

The rain was fierce and howling when the black Capitol train pulled into District Four and Finnick disembarked. Cinna stood hunched against the wind in his flapping black eelskin poncho. Most of the District would have been there, but the season was really underway and it wasn't safe for the children or the elderly to be out, and the tide and the waves were washing the stinging jellies far, far up the beach. Only Finnick's mother, a few of the hardy old-timers who'd won big on Finnick's victory, and Cinna had braved the squall.

Mags, old Mags, stepped down first and then Finnick –

He still clutched that trident. He was taller and leaner, and he looked all at once ten years older and five years younger than he had when he left six weeks before. He wore an iridescent blue-green jacket that didn't even have closures down the front, just pearl epaulets on the shoulders, and gold pants that matched his trident. It was lavish. It was garish. Cinna hated it. The tiny line of brown-bronze hair that used to snake down from Finnick's navel into his swimming shorts was gone.

Finnick's mother engulfed him in a hug like Cinna had never seen before and would never see again, and Finnick still clutched the trident at his side.

Then Finnick was standing in front of him, getting soaked in that ridiculous iridescent jacket with pearl epaulets. His eyes looked through him like Annie's; a tide pool drying out.

"Heyo," Cinna whispered.

Finnick threw his arms around Cinna's shoulders and held him tightly enough that Cinna couldn't breathe. Still, Finnick clutched the trident at his side. He pressed his mouth into the side of Cinna's face. Something was different in Finnick, and it scared Cinna – this wasn't just a jelly burn; this was something cut wrong and deep and poisoned to the bone.

"I believe Annie now," he said, his voice rasping out of a rubbed-raw throat. "The hammerhead fish came."

Cinna nodded and held Finnick tighter. "I believe you."

The next morning, Finnick Odair was standing in Cinna's kitchen, clutching a trident in one hand and a slice of seaweed bread spread with black roe in the other.

"I missed this," Finnick said with relish, lifting the bread and roe. He smiled, and it made Cinna smile back, but the grin was – it was wrong. Too many teeth. Before Finnick left, his smile was this mischievously shy thing, higher on one side than the other like he was afraid to be caught grinning. He'd had a tiny little gap between his two front teeth then. It was gone now.

"Didn't they have good food in the Capitol?" Cinna asked, eating a spoon of roe right from its jar even though his mother always flicked his ear for that.

Finnick shrugged. "It's okay. It's all just sweet." He stuffed the rest of the bread in his mouth. "Can I have more?"

Cinna looked to the heel of bread that was left. It was a Friday. There wouldn't be any bread until Monday, when he could get his tesserae, but – well, Finnick deserved the rewards from the Healy rations more than Cinna did, didn't he? It was only a weekend, Cinna could do without.


Finnick smiled all wrong again and took the last of the bread and ate it greedily. "They won't let me have bread."

"Who won't let you have bread?" Cinna asked, laughing. "That's ridiculous, no bread."

"They said bread makes me look fat," Finnick explained, his mouth full. "I have to look good. For the sponsors. So they said I can't have bread."

Cinna touched Finnick's arm. "But it's over. You don't need to do anything for the sponsors anymore."

Finnick's eyes shut down. "Oh… you – you're right, the – I don't need to do anything for the sponsors." Then he smiled again. "I like bread. Where's Annie?"

A stone sank in Cinna's stomach.

"C'mon, she's at her house," Cinna said, sighing and thinking maybe there were a few lemaranjas left on the tree out back that he could eat on their way. "In the hammock out back."

Finnick nodded and followed him quietly, the trident just barely cocked at his side like he was expecting an attack. It was still raining too hard for most people to be out; there would be no heroes' welcomes in District Four, not during hurricane season. Cinna paused a few times to pick up white shells that had washed far up shore.

"What are you doing?" Finnick asked finally, watching Cinna shake wet sand from a shining abalone, only a little chipped.

"Annie likes shells," Cinna said, and shrugged. "I always try to bring her something when I go over. She's just not right."

Finnick's brow furrowed and he bent to pull up a sand dollar. "Annie's fine. She just changed."

The pier creaked in the wind and Finnick jumped, the trident flashing and Cinna was suddenly overly aware that the shining golden prongs had killed eight children, ripped holes in them and made their insides bleed out, and Finnick, his Finnick, this Finnick who had come back to District Four, had smiled while he made them die. His blue-green eyes were shifting and alive again like they hadn't been since he promised Cinna he would come back.

Cinna backed away, chewing on his knuckles and staring at Finnick, at the long lines of Finnick's body and how they seemed to grow smoothly into the trident as though it were a part of him, a limb that had always been there but that Cinna had never noticed before Finnick went to the Capitol and came back.

The tension in Finnick's muscles drained and his head fell forward as he breathed, the trident falling slack at the end of his arm. Cinna stared at the knobble at the base of Finnick's neck and the way his bronze hair dusted it and the rain melted around it in little rivulets. Finnick had killed people. Eight. Finnick had killed eight people and smiled; happy when they died.

"It was just the pier," Cinna said finally, still staring, now at his hips. "This wind…"

"Yeah," Finnick rasped. "Yeah, the wind."

"Are you alright?"

Finnick nodded and straightened. "Yeah. I'm fine." He bent again to collect Annie's sand dollar. "Let's go."

Their trudge up the shoreline to the Crestas' pink lean-to was slower now, fighting against a howling wind and Finnick's obsessive need to examine every piece of shell or glass or weathered old wood that he saw up on the beach now. He picked up a hollow, crisp starfish and smiled.

"Annie doesn't like the dead ones," Cinna muttered, wrapping his arms around himself. "She only likes them when they're moving."

Finnick's lips moved like he was trying to form a word that never quite came out. He nodded and dropped the dead thing back into the sand.

"She'll like that bit of blue glass," Cinna said gently. He smiled to Finnick, encouraging him. "She strings them up on old fishing twine and has them hanging around her room."

Finnick's smile was thin, but at least it didn't have so many teeth this time. It was broken, but not wrong. "I bet you loved that."

Cinna gave him a lighthearted shrug. "I do like pretty things. Can't help it."

"Must be why you're friends with me," Finnick said, stooping down to sift through the heavy sand for a big, broken bit of striped nautilus shell. It had a big chip out of the horn, but its spiral was perfect. Finnick rubbed it thoughtfully, shaking out the sand.

Cinna frowned. "No."

"I'm prettier now," Finnick offered, but Cinna wondered if Finnick really cared who – if anyone – was listening. "They take you out of the Districts and they fatten you up, then send you to training and slim you down. And then the prep team burns all the hair off you and they make you new skin. And I got off easy. They gave Coral new lips and new breasts and both of the tributes from Nine got new hair. Everyone else got more than me. They just did my teeth and the hair."

"Well, that's good, isn't it?" Cinna asked, starting to walk up the beach again and hoping Finnick would follow. "You got to come home looking like yourself."

"Do I?" Finnick asked. He pinched one of his cheeks. Finnick's body was lean as ever, his bones just a shade too long and his hands and feet a size too big, and all smooth swimmer's muscles and the angles of District Four breeding and poverty. "They remake you after the Games. Take off all the scars, feed you and put drugs in you. Do I look like me?"

No, Cinna thought. Your smile is all wrong and your calluses are gone and they drained the sea out of your eyes.

"Yes," Cinna said.

Finnick nodded and jogged up the beach to pass Cinna by a few steps, and Cinna's heart felt lighter. But then Finnick just crouched down to lift a piece of waterlogged black wood with some kind of insignia still painted on it –red and white stripes and the crisp corner of something blue with a white star on it; must've been old, those colors weren't allowed in signage now – out of the beach.

"Annie will like this," he said confidently, showing it to Cinna.

Cinna nodded and pointed to the pink house up the beach. The door was open as usual. "We're almost there."

Annie was in the kitchen today, sitting on the table and staring out the window at the rain. A plate of pale green, flecked bread and a jar of big orange salmon roe sat beside her on the table. She held a spoon in her mouth.

Cinna knocked gently on the doorframe. "Annie? It's Cinna… and Finnick."

Annie looked over her shoulder, dropped the spoon, and whooped, taking a flying leap off the table towards them. Finnick's hand tightened around the trident and Cinna steeled himself to catch Annie and get her away from him, this boy who used to be Finnick Odair, but Annie just bounced on the balls of her feet in front of him.

"Hi, Finnick!" she chirped. "Cinna drew me lots of pictures of you, so it was hardly like you were gone at all. But you were, weren't you, but now you're back. I like your trident. It makes you look like Poseidon."

Finnick nodded and his grip loosened. He looked down at Annie's wild rumple of hair and then over her shoulder, back to the table and the window streaming with rain just beyond. "Can I have some bread?"

Annie nodded. She touched his hand where it wrapped around the shaft of the golden trident and gently, gently pried his fingers loose. The weapon fell to the hard-packed floor with a thud. "I baked it myself. Cinna was here, he drew a picture of it. Didn't you, Cinna?"

Cinna stood off to the side and nodded, wondering how he could have missed Annie's watchfulness all this time. He'd been so sure that she was a seashell herself, fragile and empty, and he'd kept her company just to be around the sound of someone breathing. It wasn't that she'd been silent, exactly, and it wasn't that he'd thought she'd become slow after that day in the red ocean, but she had never said so much to him. It was just like she'd still been gone, out there in the water, and it took seeing Finnick again to bring her back.

Annie's little fingers curled around two of Cinna's and two of Finnick's and she led them over to the table, fussing over them and wringing out their wet hair and bringing over two chipped plates and two spoons. She chattered away at Finnick, who stared at the bread like it was a lifeline even though he was easily the best-fed of the three kids, but it wasn't like the empty, cold sing-song she'd used with Cinna. She told Finnick about the drawings of all the tide pool creatures that Cinna had made for her, and about how she'd finally seen a by-the-wind-sailor, such a nice blue, had he ever seen one?

"No," Finnick said, his mouth full of bread. "You see lots of things other people don't, Annie."

Annie smiled. "I'm the only one looking." Then her smile melted. She reached out and put her thin hands into Finnick's messy bronze hair, petting him as though he were a kitten. She scrambled up onto the table and perched right in front of Finnick's plate. "When are you going back?"

Finnick straightened and swallowed his lump of bread. "How did you – " he interrupted himself with a shake of the head. Annie giggled as the motion moved her arms along with it. Finnick picked at the crackled green crust on his plate. "In two weeks."

"What?" Cinna asked. "Why – why? The Victory tour isn't for months!"

Finnick rubbed one of his eyebrows thoughtfully. He worked one of his earlobes between two fingers. He'd never had these habits before the Games, and Cinna tried to remember if Finnick had been stabbed there.

"I'll tell you later." He met Cinna's eyes. "I promise."

Annie smiled at them. She kept on petting Finnick's hair like the world wasn't falling apart at the seams.

Annie normally wandered through life in a happy daze, painting her own world all in pearls and tide pools and calm-sea blue to keep away the nightmares about hammerhead fish that didn't exist but attacked from the deep. Cinna had spent every day for the last six weeks with the girl, and she'd never been so presentas she was now, hovering on the table in a pale yellow dress with her hands in Finnick's hair and a smile on her lips. Her eyes weren't blank when she smiled at him today.

"Oh, Cinna!" she cooed finally, "You brought me shells!"

Cinna hoped that Finnick had a very good reason to leave them again so soon.

Growing up, the Odair shanty had shared a wall with the Healy home, and Cinna had spent as much time in the bedroom Finnick shared with two younger brothers and three older cousins as he'd spent in his own room next door. He would tuck up in Finnick's narrow bed, trying to stay far to his own side, but somehow in the night things would turn around and the two boys ended up sharing the pillow. Cinna always woke before Finnick and just lay there, holding his breath, pretending that this was really his life. Finnick had this patchwork quilt that got a little bigger every few months as he outgrew his clothes and they became more squares. It was familiar and warm and smelled like the sea, and Cinna loved it.

But this was a new room, empty and clean, in the Victor's Village. The bed was new and had a headboard and footboard, and all of the brothers and cousins had rooms down the hall. Rain lashed the window outside as Finnick ran his hands over the golden trident before propping it up beside the door to stand guard against intruders.

"What do you think of the house?" Cinna asked, standing in the middle of the big room with his hands in his pockets.

Finnick shrugged and sat down on the edge of the enormous new bed. The quilt didn't even reach its edges. "S'okay. Come sit."

Cinna scratched the back of his ankle with one foot before going over to Finnick and sitting beside him. "It's a really nice house, Finnick. I've never seen anything like it."

"It's really small compared to the houses in the Capitol," Finnick said. "I saw one house that had hundreds of electric lights hanging from the ceiling in every room, and a glass staircase up to four whole floors of empty rooms. And every room was painted a different color and had furniture in it and the floors were made of stone."

Cinna was impressed. "When did you go to a house in the Capitol?"

Finnick wrapped his arms around his knees.

"You don't touch me anymore," Finnick observed softly. He looked smaller now, more like himself, sitting on his old patchwork quilt. He looked up at Cinna's eyes and Cinna was taken by the dark undercurrent in Finnick's sea eyes, something cold and sinking.

"No," Cinna agreed. "I guess not."

"Why?" Finnick asked.

Cinna floundered. "I don't know. You never – I didn't even think about it, I guess."

Finnick knotted his fingers together in his lap. "Are you afraid of me?"

Cinna swallowed. "I don't know."

Finnick crawled across the patchwork quilt as hurricane rain lashed the windows behind him. He put his hands on Cinna's knees and leaned up close to him. "Please don't be afraid of me."

Cinna nodded, but didn't touch him back. Finnick leaned in and ran the side of his nose along Cinna's, a warm nuzzle, and pressed his mouth to Cinna's lips.

Cinna reared back. "Heyo – what – what – "

"Kiss me," Finnick demanded, leaning up close again. Cinna pulled back further and Finnick leaned in, chasing him up the length of the big bed. "Kiss me. I need you to kiss me."

"N – I – stop it, Finnick!" Cinna begged, pushing at his shoulders. His entire face burned hot, his eyes blurring. "You're making fun of me!"

"I'm not making fun," Finnick said desperately, sliding his hands up Cinna's arms. "I needyou to kiss me, Cinna, please. I pick you. Please, Cinna, just – I – I need you to – "

"I need to go home," Cinna whispered, furiously pushing the heels of his hands into his eyes. "I need to go home and you need to – you need to stay away from me and Annie. I amafraid of you now."

Finnick's palm hit the wall. "No, Cinna! Stop! Please don't leave, please! Fragum, Cinna, listen to me! Listen to me!"

Cinna had never been the braver of the two boys. Six weeks ago, he'd used Finnick as a shield from the world of the Reaping, pressing his face into the hollow between Finnick's shoulders to hide his nervous tears.

But now he stopped, and he thumbed at his eyes, and he turned back to Finnick to let him talk. The Victor crouched on his knees, every tanned limb tuned tight, trembling, his shoulder blades protruding like dorsal fins – sharp and warning. His hair was wild from Annie's fingers and his eyes were wet and bright and frantic.

"President Snow sold me to a man," Finnick whispered, his voice so small that Cinna could scarcely hear him.

"What are you talking about?" Cinna's eyes narrowed. He crossed his arms over his chest. "He sold you like – like a servant? Like you have to move to the Capitol and work for some man?"

"No." Finnick's cheekbones burned red. "He sold me, my vir– me. He sold me to a man to help pay for next year's Games."

Cinna shook his head vehemently, flabbergasted. "He can't do that. That's illegal. You're not of age, why would anyone even – "

"They don't care in the Capitol," Finnick muttered miserably. "I don't think they care about anything. And it's not illegal if Snow does it."

"So you have to be like – you can't – he can't do that," Cinna repeated. He shrugged inside the embrace of his own arms. "Don't go. You don't have to go."

"No!" Finnick was across the room quickly enough that Cinna knew, if any small grain of sand in the universe were different, he could be dead at Finnick's hand before he even realized that the other boy was there. "You don't understand!" Finnick roared, pulling at him. "They're going to reap you again! They're going to reap you every year until you're dead or eighteen unless I – just do this, Cinna." He dug his fingers into Cinna's hips. "Just fragum do this for me! Please."

Cinna shook his head and took a step back, as far as Finnick's grip would let him retreat. "You don't actually want me. I'm not going to… do that to you."

Finnick's eyes burned. There was none of the smiling, roguish boy who'd speared that big District Two tribute with his trident, and there was nothing left of the soft-lined, sunkissed boy who Cinna clung to as they waited for the Reaping. "And you think anyonein the Capitol will think like that? Do you think one single person in the Capitol is going to consider what I want?"

Cinna stuffed his hands into his pockets. He looked down. "I'll just go to the Games next year, Finnick. It's okay. Thank you for my extra year."

Finnick's knees buckled and he sat down hard on the floor, half-dragging Cinna with him because still, his grip hadn't abated. He buried his face in the side of Cinna's shoulder and cried, ugly, wet, shaking-silent sobs. Of everything he had seen, all the smiles Finnick wore as he killed people, his tears were the most frightening that Cinna thought Finnick had ever looked.

His hands loosened from Cinna's collar and started shaking, and Cinna – in a panic – handed Finnick a scrap string of halyard. He held Finnick's hands and guided them into Carrick bend, loop – pass the end over the bitter end; standing end below, thread and under load. Undo. Again: loop – pass the end over the bitter end; standing end below, thread and under load. Undo. Slowly, loop by loop, Finnick stopped crying.

"You can't go to the Games, Cinna," he whispered, still knotting his rope. "I killed eight peopleso you wouldn't have to go to the Games. I'm going to the Capitol to keep you out of them. You can't – I mean it's not that you're weak – "

"No, I am," Cinna assured him, pulling tight another underload. "You can say it."

Finnick looked up at him. "Help me out, Cinna. Please."

Cinna's eyes closed and he gingerly took his hands back. "Finnick… I really, really appreciate what you're trying to do. But if the Capitol wants to kill me, then – I don't think you doing this will stop them. You're just giving them more leverage."

"I don't have a choice," Finnick hissed. "The only choice I have is you. Now. Before I have to go."

Cinna's jaw tightened. "I don't – "

"Don't even say that you don't want to," Finnick said, his voice hard. "I know, Cinna. I've always known. We all know."

"That's why I can't!" Cinna exploded. "Finnick, this is – for you, this is the choice between terrible and tragedy. But for me – I can't – I don't want to be the lesser of two evils. I would rather die in the Games. Just let them Reap me."

Finnick grabbed Cinna's face between his palms, not gently, and kissed him, hard. "No."

He pressed his forehead against Cinna's and looked at him so close that their features blurred together. "If I weren't being sent back to the Capitol, then… no, you wouldn't be my first choice. Or probably any choice. But if I weren't being sent to the Capitol, it would probably be because you were dead. And if I don't go, you're dead anyway. We already killed eight people. I'm not going to kill you, too." He kissed Cinna again. "You are a choice that I already made, Cinna.Okay?"

Cinna Healy closed his eyes and broke his own heart. "Okay."

Finnick wrapped his fingers around Cinna's wrist. "Thank you."

Cinna didn't trust himself to answer, so just nodded and bit his lip until Finnick reached up and thumbed at it, smiling encouragingly.

He'd smiled when he killed all the others, too.

Cinna had imagined this moment a thousand times already, ever since he realized that sex existed in the world. His sketchbooks were full of Finnick in states of undress – both drawn from life, out on the beach, in the water, on their little skiff – and with his artist's eye, he knew every line and contour of Finnick's body.

Or he had, before the Hunger Games. Before he was broken down into parts and pieces and rebuilt on the Capitol potters' wheels without the gap in his teeth or the crook in his smile. Finnick used to have calluses on his hands from ropes and fishhooks and a wicked scar on his calf from being hooked in a lobster trap when they were nine. It was gone now, just like that thin line of hair that Cinna had always envied and desperately wanted to touch. He could feel scars underFinnick's skin and it was like a punch in the chest, like being able to feel that the real Finnick was still there underneath everything that happened but to reach him again, he would have to be peeled raw.

Cinna couldn't close his eyes, so he knew the whole time that Finnick never opened his own. He never wanted to know whose lips Finnick pretended to be kissing or who Finnick was imagining when Cinna's tongue traced over vertebrae like medals. Finnick's new skin was warm and rosy and Cinna wanted to taste the ocean in Finnick, salt and depth and mystery and their past together and everything they'd always shared, but the Capitol had flushed all of District Four out of Finnick and instead he just tasted hollow.

Still, he was a fourteen-year-old boy, and the rush of pride he got from watching hisfingers make Finnick hard and the dazed-absent shadow of Finnick's tongue wetting dry lips and the single, tiny, breathy sound Finnick rewarded him with when Cinna made him come with two crooked fingers inside him made it something irreplaceable.

It wasn't how Cinna had always wanted it. He had always pictured sunshine and soft waves and seawater or a tiny bed in a ramshackle shanty, not hurricane season howling outside the real glass windowpanes of a huge, empty, echoing house. But still, he could never deny that it was something he'd always wanted.

"Again," Finnick croaked after, pushing Cinna down to the mattress. "More. I want it all to be you. It has to all be you."

Cinna nodded and swallowed and held Finnick tight. "Okay. It's okay."

The sheets were wet by the time Finnick let Cinna collapse, boneless, onto the pillows. Both of their mouths were limned in red, like they were both wearing garish Capitol makeup, and Cinna would have laughed at the crazy angles of Finnick's hair if he weren't so exhausted that all he could do was press his own face into the pillow that was soaked in Finnick and go to sleep.

The soft muslin finally smelled like salt and the sea.

When Finnick came back from the Capitol, it was months later and Annie's thirteenth birthday had passed without a word. Cinna was there, and he gave her a pretty pink-and-white conch horn that made her eyes shine like mirrors when she held it to her ear, and a drawing of Finnick fishing, the muscles in his shoulders taut as he reeled in a golden net. She let him kiss her on the forehead before she squirmed away from him. When it came to Cinna, she was always pulling away.

When Finnick was really back, hurricane season was over and there was a white jellyfish bloom drifting offshore, littering the beach with empty transparent bodies. Cinna was nervous to see him and he wore his best pair of black pants and actually brushed his hair.

Finnick obviously hadn't. He was taller and his shoulders broader. The remnants of last night's glitter clung to his shoulders and chest. He held his head high, but the thin skin beneath his eyes was dark and smeared like bruises.

He held the trident in front of his chest like a shield.

Mags followed him off the train, her gnarled hand tucked into his hair. She smiled at Cinna and clapped him on the shoulder. "You look after him, now."

"I will, ma'am," Cinna said, still a little afraid of Mags. The old woman kissed Finnick's face where she could reach – just under his jaw – and started off down the sand towards the Victor's Village. Finnick reached up and patted down his hair where her fingers had mussed it.

He didn't shy away from Cinna. He didn't toy with the trident or avert his gaze. But he didn't throw his arms around his friend and press his face into Cinna's ear and breathe in District Four, the way he once had. "Hey."

Cinna thumbed his own knuckles, feeling the calluses and dry skin there. "Heyo." He paused. "Do you want to go see Annie?"

Finnick nodded. "I would like that."

"It was her birthday while you were gone," Cinna said, tucking his hands into his pockets as they began to trudge up the beach. "She missed you."

"I got her something," Finnick said, looking at his feet. "Or, I guess I have something for her."

Cinna was surprised at how much it made his heart feel sour. "Really?"

Finnick didn't look at him. "Yeah, I – it's a necklace. It's really nice, too. It's got diamonds on it."

"I don't think she's ever seen a diamond before," Cinna said, petulant and bitter and kicking up sand between his toes. "I gave her a picture of you. And a shell. It made her smile."

Finnick's mouth twitched. "Well, I have to give the stupid fragum necklace to someone, okay, and Mags didn't want it and I can't – I don't – I can't give it to my mom or Aunt Pearl and Eireann's too little."

Cinna exhaled in a loud gust. "So it's a necklace someone – "

"Leave it alone," Finnick said sharply. "I'm giving it to Annie, and you're not going to tell her anything about it. It's pretty. She likes pretty things." He looked out towards the ocean. "She can take it apart and string it up with her blue glass for all I care."

Cinna looked out at the sails billowing on the water.

"You were gone a long time."

"Cinna… drop it."

So Cinna was quiet, looking at the deflated bodies of the jellyfish drying out on the beach, and pointedly ignoring the deflated body that walked in his wake.

Annie was actually on her front porch today, waiting for them and bouncing on her heels, wearing the blue dress she wore for Reapings and holidays: threadbare at her hips and with one seaweed-thin strap loose and falling down over her shoulder. Her hair was a rumpled mess of knots around her face.

When Finnick gave her that necklace, her eyes came alive.

She threw her arms around his waist and Finnick stiffened in her arms, one hand curling into a claw like he'd forgotten that she took his golden trident away when he walked through the door. Annie liked to leave him defenseless, Cinna noticed. Maybe she could see the hammerhead fish in him now, too.

Finnick was only home for four months, long enough to renew his tan and callus his fingers and feet, before he pulled Cinna into bed again, begging, before another trip to the Capitol.

"You never even – " Cinna burst out, throwing Finnick's hands away from his belt and shaking his head, trying to find the words, "You didn't even hug me when you came back! You nevertouch me anymore, you're like – you're some cold Capitol thing now; I don't even want you!"

Finnick wrapped his arms around Cinna's knees and pressed the side of his face against Cinna's thigh. "Please, Cinna. It still hurts."

The next time Cinna saw Finnick after that night was on the huge videoscreen in the District Four square, mentoring their old rowing competitor, Sal Daly, and wearing a tiny gold net around his hips, pupils rolling like waves breaking against the pier. There was glitter all over his chest and a crown of twisted gold, like fronds of kelp, tangled in his hair. He grinned so wide and so white that Cinna could see all of his molars, his old District Four teeth gone and his new Capitol teeth grown back in their place.

Sal Daly died at the Cornucopia. Finnick Odair was nowhere to be found for comment.

Cinna tore three pages out of his sketchpad and fed them to the sea: Finnick in that tangled golden crown, the single-moment flash that Finnick had opened his eyes when they were tangled up in sheets and fixed Cinna with pupils blown wide, Finnick's gentle hands braiding strands of Annie's messy hair at her kitchen table. He watched the waves swallow them, their bellies folding in and going under like capsizing ships. When the tide ran out, Cinna trudged up the beach to Annie's house.

She was in her bedroom when he finally found her. He'd let himself in and called for her all over the house and backyard, even run down to the beach to look for her lost in the water again, before he heard her scuffling around and singing up in her room. She was standing on a chair, tinkling the strings of blue glass that hung from her ceiling like tentacles.

Cinna knocked on her doorframe and Annie actually looked over, her smile soft and bright.

"Hi, Cinna."

Cinna smiled and sat on the edge of her tiny, creaky bed. He looked around at all the strings of hanging glass. "Annie, where did you put that necklace?"

Annie smiled and clambered down from the chair. She sat on the tiny bed and pulled Cinna's sketchbook into her lap, flipping through pages and stopping to coo over his sketches of the white-winged boats on the wharf or the shrieking babies being dunked in the surf to learn to swim.

"I buried it in the yard," Annie said, turning the sketchbook upside-down to see at a new angle. "It was ugly. It made Finnick's eyes sad." Then she smiled and asked, "Can I draw you in your book?"

Cinna laughed and felt his cheeks color. "What?"

Annie's eyes shone. "You always draw everything except yourself. You should have pictures of you, too. And I can see you. I want to draw you."

Cinna shook his head and handed Annie a stick of charcoal. "You're always a surprise, Annie Cresta. I never know what to expect from you."

Annie smiled and pushed her thumb into Cinna's dimple. "Stay still. I'm not as good at drawing as you."

That was a lie, Cinna thought, twenty minutes later as he stared in shock at the perfect lines on his page. Somehow in watching him draw all those days, Annie had learned how to copy his movements, his style, Annie had taken in everything Cinna knew about drawing and reproduced it flawlessly in a photo-perfect sketch of his face. The angles were right. The shadows were right. She drew him shy and soft, with a tiny frown between his eyes, and Cinna wondered if that's how he really looked around her all the time.

"That's really beautiful, Annie."

Annie didn't look up, but splayed her free hand over his mouth. "Stay still. I'm not done yet." Annie kept drawing, trailing the kohl around and around on the page, shooting off in zigzags and curlicues, adding sparks and stars.

"What's that?" Cinna asked, forgetting to stay still.

"Ideas," Annie said absently as she shaded a star around Cinna's eye.


Annie nodded. "You always draw Finnick with his trident and you draw me swimming. You should have your ideas."

Cinna leaned over and kissed Annie hard on the forehead. She mewled and batted in the air in his direction, like she could push the kiss back into his mouth. She frowned disapprovingly at Cinna and turned back to her drawing. She shaded his lips in dark.

"Finnick will like this," Annie said, sounding pleased. "We can mail it to him so he remembers us."

They will reap you every year until you're dead or eighteen.

You are a choice I already made.

"Oh, Annie," Cinna hedged, "Finnick remembers us. I'm not sure we can – "

Her eyes flickered and doused. She started humming again, her charcoal drawling in soft, unsteady lines. Cinna plucked it from her fingers.

"Okay, Annie, Annie – heyo, I'll take it and mail it to Finnick. I promise."

Annie smiled and stood up on her bed, brushing a tentacle of broken blue glass to hear it chime. Cinna closed the sketchpad and tucked it into his bag.

"Come on, Annie," he said, holding out his hand to help her jump down. "Let's go down to the beach."

Annie scrambled down on her own.

Cinna didn't draw for once as they sat on the beach. Annie knelt at the edge of the tidepools, picking up creatures and singing, and Cinna sat up the beach a few yards, where the sand was sunbaked and hot, and tilted his head back, eyes closed, to let the light paint pictures on his eyelids. He thought about what Annie said: Finnick had his trident, and Cinna had his ideas. If Annie noticed that, and if Annie had learned to draw, then Cinna could only wonder what else Annie Cresta knew.

Cinna jumped when Annie shrieked down by the shore and the memory of Annie trapped under all that water crashed over him and he was on his feet before he could think –

Annie looked up at him with great big mooneyes, holding a tiny red starfish on the tip of one finger. "Look!"

Cinna exhaled, his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.

Annie smiled down at the tiny thing like it was the new sun. "Cinna, when are you gonna mail the picture to Finnick?"

Cinna closed his eyes again as he started back up the beach to his little peace. "I'll do it tonight, Annie. I promise."

Annie asked him five more times before he deposited her back in her kitchen in front of a loaf of green bread and a jar of orange roe and left her house, shutting the door behind him. He did not stop in the square on his way back to his own ramshackle row house. And he never would mail that drawing to the Capitol. Finnick didn't need for them to know there was anyone else they could threaten. Especially not someone like Annie, whose heart broke for starfish left dry by low tide.

Five and a half months later, Finnick stumbled off the train, tripping over his own feet and laughing while Mags tutted furiously behind him. He whooped and flung his arms around Cinna's shoulders, hanging his weight like lead. Finnick's skin was hot and damp and reeked of elderflower and newroses and jasmine. He left streaks of glitter on Cinna's brown, smooth arms.

Cinna peeled Finnick away. All that was left of the ocean in Finnick was the tiny ring of bled-out flat green around his alien pupils. Black shark eyes.

"Heyyyy, Cinna," Finnick slurred, grinning at him. "Long time no see…"

Cinna pulled back. "Yeah."

Finnick laughed and whirled on an unsteady heel to grab Mags and kiss her face. "Thanks for the help, Magsie Pie."

Mags raised one wrinkled eyebrow. "If you were anyone else, Finnick Odair…"

Finnick smiled. "You'd gut me with your hooks?"

Mags' face hardened. Cinna remembered with a jolt that he'd seen Mags do that once, on an old video reel of highlights from past Hunger Games. It was how she'd won. Caught a girl from District Eight on a big spiny hook, and made her insides fall out.

She turned to Cinna. "Take care of him. Just… try."

Mags hobbled off down the shore, leaning on her cane, and Finnick blew kisses after kisses at her retreating back.

Cinna frowned at him. "That wasn't very nice, Finnick. Mentioning her Games like that."

"She's a murderer," Finnick said, shrugging. "I'm a murderer. She's a murderer. I can take it. She should, too. We're bad people, me and Mags. She just pretends that she's not."

Cinna sighed. "You aren't bad, Finnick. You're good."

Finnick just stumbled and pitched over over into the soft sand. He laughed, picking up a handful. "This is hard to walk on! Let's go see Annie. Mad Annie. Mad, mad Annie."

Cinna crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm not taking you anywhere near her if you're going to act like this. Annie thinks the world of you, Finnick."

Finnick flopped onto his back and stared up at the sky. "I should have left her in the ocean. The world is terrible. So if she thinks the world of me, then I'm terrible, too."

"You don't mean that."

"I do," Finnick said, and his voice was hollow where it floated up from the ground. "I wish the hammerhead fish would eat us all. Then we could start over."

Cinna kicked sand at Finnick. "Get up. Snap out of it. Go dunk your head in the water and sober up. Annie wants to see you, not a ball of candycaine."

Finnick snorted a giggle, but crawled to his knees and did what Cinna asked, toddling his unsteady way down to the shoreline. He stuck his head under the water for a long time, but came up looking a little clearer. His legs seemed to hold him better, anyway, when he trudged back up the beach.

"Are you good?" Cinna asked, still scowling.

Finnick nodded, abashed. His eyes still glittered black. "Annie?"

Cinna shook his head.

Cinna pushed Finnick's head into the lapping ocean twice more on their way to the Crestas' shack, trying to get him to sober up and stop singing Annie's songs and be Finnickagain for her. Finnick stumbled on a piece of driftwood caught in the sand outside Annie's house and he fell hard onto his ass into the sand, and the jarring thump of it seemed to spook him, making him skittish and mumblydrunk again with his eyes big and fearful like moons.

Cinna softened and held out his hand – at a distance, just offering. "Come on. We're almost there."

Finnick looked up at him. "Cinna?"

Cinna sighed. "Yup. Come on, Annie could see us from the window."

Then Finnick rubbed his hands over his face and started laughing again, the fear all gone, pushed down somewhere deep. "Cinna… Cinna!" he whispered urgently, giggles trapped in his voice. "Cinna… we've had sex."

Cinna kneaded his eyes with the knuckles of one hand and shook his head, turning and starting to march up the beach. "Yeah. Look, whenever you're able to remember what's going on, Annie's house is that pink one – "

"Cinna!" Finnick called from down the beach, still sitting in the sand amidst the dead starfish and rotting wood, "Cinna!"

Cinna turned.

Finnick smirked with his matte black eyes. "You like it when I do – " He stuck out his tongue and drew circles in the air.

Cinna covered his face with both hands and stomped up the wet-creaky steps of Annie's house. She sat in the window like a cat, all curled up warm and small. She looked up at Cinna with wide, sympathetic eyes.

"What's wrong with Finnick?" Then she just shook her head and clucked her tongue, unfolding her paper wings and scrambling down from the window. The strap of her blue dress dripped off one soft, tan shoulder. "I'm going to bring him some bread."

"Annie, I don't – "

"Bread makes him feel better," Annie said firmly, heading into the kitchen without looking at Cinna. "It makes him come back. He always comes back when he wants bread."

So Cinna stood in the window, shaded by Annie's fraying lace curtains, and watched as she slipped down the beach and settled down in the sand beside Finnick. She said something, her lips making quick-fleeting pink shapes, and she smoothed her hand through Finnick's wild hair. The breeze ruffled at her skirt, pushing it up one thin, brown thigh, and Cinna felt his stomach tighten as he watched Finnick's black eyes follow. Annie said something else, the edges of her mouth turned down, and Finnick looked surprised for a moment before nodding.

Annie handed him some bread.

Finnick turned the pale green slice over and over in his hands, studying it. He tore off a fleck of crust and tossed it down the sand for the gulls.

Annie put her hand on Finnick's wrist. A gale blew in off the sea and blurred them at the edges, tossing up Annie's hair and threadbare blue skirt and Finnick's bronze tangles and Cinna watched from the window as Annie crawled two steps closer to Finnick and stilled his hands. She put her little hands on his face and made him look up at her, and she frowned as she looked at the black of his eyes. She closed his lids with her thumbs and said something, tongue clicking over her teeth.

Finnick shook his head. And he started eating the bread.

Small white-crested waves washed up on the beach, and Annie Cresta tipped her head to rest her ear against Finnick's shoulder, like she was trying to hear the ocean inside him still.

Cinna stared at them from the window, and sketched out the shape of their silhouette against the afternoon in sharp-angled lines.

When Annie delivered Finnick back to Cinna on her doorstep, his eyes held more green but his hands shook and his knees trembled, just a little, like now he remembered how to stand – but he really didn't want to have that responsibility.

"Finnick loved my drawing," Annie reported, like Finnick wasn't standing there listening to her lie.

"Yup," Finnick said, an oil-easy smile spreading over his face and Cinna heard that awful laugh in the back of his throat that spelled that Finnick wasn't quite sober, still, not really, and hadn't been in a long time. "Loved it."

Annie brightened like the sun and pet Finnick's hair. "See you tomorrow. Bye, Cinna."

The two boys started off down the beach, the trident dragging a line between them in the sand. Finnick reached across it and wrapped his hand around Cinna's smooth forearm.

"Come home with me," he asked.

Cinna looked at the shell of green around Finnick's black eyes. "Okay."

The house in Victor's Village still smelled like fresh paint and clean wood, even after a year. Finnick's bedroom still echoed with emptiness and Cinna felt out of place, missing their old townhome and the tiny bedroom with a greasy window and tiny bed tucked tight between Perce and Breidon. The loss felt like a whole being, tucked up inside Cinna's chest, a parasite breathing the air out of his lungs.

Finnick draped his arms around Cinna from behind, the heat of his mouth against the back of Cinna's shoulder. He opened his hands and revealed the two pebble-sized crystals in his palm. They were multifaceted like they'd been cut by a jeweler and they reflected a soft purple glisten from the light overhead.

"What is it?" Cinna asked, looking down at the things. "More diamonds someone gave you?"

Finnick laughed, low and rich and throaty, beside his ear. "Yeah. Diamonds." He paused. "You want one?"

Cinna shrugged and Finnick tightened his arms around his shoulders. "What would I do with a diamond?"

Finnick laughed again – "They're not really diamonds, Cinna. You swallow them. Then nothing hurts."

Cinna stood a little straighter and shook his head. "No – I – no, Finnick. And you should get rid of them. There are little kids in the house. Remember? All your cousins? And have you even said hello to them yet?"

Finnick made an impatient noise. "Come on, Cinna. You're wound so tight. Just let it go. Where's the Cinna I remember, huh?" He pushed a huge, hot hand over Cinna's chest. "You used to love touching me. You were so much fun. What happened to you, huh?"

Cinna frowned. "Annie happened. The Hunger Games happened. This happened to you, Finnick. That's what happened."

Finnick scraped his teeth against Cinna's ear and Cinna shivered at the feeling of his tongue. "Wouldn't it be nice to pretend for a little while that it didn't? That none of it ever happened? That it's still just you and me, out on that boat? Sunshine. Heat. We could be so warm."

Cinna bit his lip.


Finnick patted Cinna on the side of his hip. "Good man." He finally unwound himself from Cinna's back and stood in front of him, holding out one of the gently-phosphorescent lavender glass crystal.

"I'm nervous," Cinna blurted, feeling a blush flare into his face as he looked down at the gem. He chanced a flick of his eyes up to Finnick's face and an almost-hysterical giggle welled up in his chest, and he really felt like everything was the way it used to be, when Finnick made him swim all the way out and touch the buoys for the first time, or steal a honeycomb candy from the rations store, or when Finnick laid his hand on Cinna's side and said, heyo, it'll be okayand it never really was okay again.

Finnick thumbed at Cinna's lip and slipped the crystal into his mouth.

"Don't chew it," he warned, linking his fingers into Cinna's. "Just let it dissolve under your tongue."

Cinna had expected it to be bitter, but it was somehow even sweeter than sugar – a violent, curdling sort of sweet – and he tried not to grimace as Finnick squeezed his fingers and slipped the second crystal under his own tongue.

"How long does it take?" Cinna asked, forcing himself to swallow the saccharine.

Finnick stepped closer and wrapped his arms around Cinna's waist, sliding his hands down, down under the waist of Cinna's pants. "Not long."

And then Finnick kissed him and it didn't take long at all, or it did, but Cinna didn't notice; things seemed to grow new legs all around them, little, tickling ones like so many tentacles, the air waving them like tensile strings that brushed up against all of Cinna's skin. Finnick's tongue in his mouth was too much, too sweet, and Finnick's hands on his skin weren't enough, too hot, not hot enough. Colors shifted and flickered around them as Finnick got down on his knees and slid off Cinna's shorts and Cinna stared, amazed, at the fire-orange glow around Finnick's face and the thumping purple flames licking up the walls in long, spreading strands.

He pushed his hands through Finnick's hair when Finnick took him into his mouth, and deeper, into his throat, and Cinna couldn't feel anything except his hands and his cock all tied up in Finnick and fire and violet.

It was the first time Finnick kept his eyes open when they were together, and vaguely, somewhere floating up off the top of his brain, Cinna wondered what Finnick was really seeing.

Finnick's hands slid up Cinna's legs and onto him and into him and Cinna felt like they detached and made more hands, little copies of Finnick's hot hands all over him, crawling around where Finnick's paws had touched and leaving little footprints like the gulls hopping around on the beach, little scars that would live on his skin – unlike Finnick's, where all the scars hid underneath. He tingled and throbbed.

He came and Finnick swallowed around him and Cinna's knees felt weak, but when he buckled the world tilted with him in a shine of purplegraygreen and Finnick caught him with a wild laugh and pushed him down onto the bed.

"More," Finnick gasped, trailing his tongue – too hot, too too hot – over Cinna's neck. "More, always more. It has to be you. It all has to be you."

"Okay," Cinna whispered, watching the colors change behind Finnick's eyes. "Okay."

Finnick set him on fire.

The next morning, Cinna woke with a pounding headache and the bed cold beside him. He wrenched an eye open and was blinded by Finnick's eclipse, the harsh morning sunlight breaking bright around the dark-finned silhouette of Finnick's crumpled shoulders.

Finnick turned. His face was pinched and his knuckles white where he clutched a mug of dark tea.

"How long have I been back?" Finnick asked, his voice raspy and sounding used.

Cinna dug the heel of his hand into his eye to try to stop the pounding in his head. "Yesterday."

Finnick nodded and looked down at the tea. His face shimmered in the morning sunlight and Cinna thought it was horrific if he was still so high, but then he realized – Finnick had been crying.

"What was that stuff, Finnick?" Cinna asked, rolling onto his back and holding the patchwork quilt tight around him, armor up to his chest.

Finnick shook his head. "I don't know. They just call it crystals."

Cinna blinked at his friend. "Are you on morphling, too?"

Finnick hiccupped a sad laugh. "I wish. That's the only drug they won't give me. 'No needles, Finnick! No bruises! You have to look good!'"

Cinna remembered when it used to be that Finnick couldn't eat bread for them.

He remembered when that seemed like the worst legacy they could have left him.

After a whirlwind week, Finnick was gone again, booked as the entertainment (he said bitterly) for a party at President Snow's manor.

"That's the price I get to pay for being legal and alive," Finnick said, vials of pink powder and softly-glowing crystals jingling in his bag as he ran into Cinna halfway between the shoreline and the square. Cinna looked down the sand and saw Annie flapping her hands at the water, and was glad that it seemed Finnick remembered to say goodbye to her this time. "Welcome to Panem."

"I'm sorry," Cinna whispered. "I'm sorry you felt like you had to Volunteer for me. If I had known what – "

Finnick looked up sharply and wrapped his arms around Cinna's shoulders in a tight hug. "Even if I'd known, I still would have done it. I need you around, right? And Annie needs you. Take care of yourself and take care of her."

Cinna pressed his face into Finnick's shoulder. "You know, Mags told me last week to take care of you."

Finnick laughed and clapped Cinna on the back. "Sounds like Mags. What'dja say?"

Cinna pulled back and looked hard into Finnick's eyes. They were finally green again, full of the sea and Annie's green bread, but they both knew it wouldn't last much longer. "I said I'd try. And I will, Finnick. I'll find a way."

Finnick smiled sadly, appreciatively, in a way that made Cinna profoundly aware of how well he knew Finnick's mouth and how guilty that made him feel. Like he was a Capitol pawn, too, playing into this breakdown of Finnick Odair, the Victor who shouldn't have won because he did it for love and not hate.

"Don't hold your breath," Finnick said, not at all sad. "I've gotta go. I don't know when I'll be back, so if I'm not around for the Reaping, keep an eye on Annie for me, okay? And… you should let her draw you again. But smiling this time."

Cinna pressed his face into the curve of Finnick's shoulder again and nodded, squeezing his ribs tight before Finnick turned, took up his bag full of drugs, and went back to the train bent for the Capitol. Cinna watched as he disappeared up the beach, then turned the other way and went down, towards the shore and the wild blue tide pool where he saw Annie dancing on the sand.

Annie bounced up and down on her heels, swinging her skirt in her hands and singing. When she looked to Cinna, her eyes were so full they shone.

Cinna grinned at her. "What's got you so happy?"

Annie spun happily, around and around, until finally Cinna caught her around the waist and made her look up at him.

"Finnick loves me," she sang, her voice overflowing with laughter. "He kissedme."

Cinna tried his hardest to keep the smile on his face as he looked into Annie Cresta's innocent, sparkling eyes. "Really? He kissed you?"

Annie nodded, her tangles of hair catching the sunlight. Cinna noticed that for the first time, tiny braids were sprinkled amongst the knots. Cinna recognized the steady hand that coiled those braids.

Annie beamed.

"He kissed me right here," she said, pointing to her forehead. Her cheeks flushed pink and she bounced on her heels again in Cinna's arms. "Finnick loves me!"

Cinna thought of how many times in his life he had kissed Annie's forehead, and how many times Finnick had kissed his mouth, and Finnick all alone on that train heading into the Capitol just to keep him safe, and the way Finnick kept those vials of powders and pills hidden in the bottom of his pillowcase now and thought no one knew. He thought of that day out on the red water, and how Finnick pulled Annie aboard their boat. He thought of the way Finnick always brought Annie bits of blue glass and diamonds.

Cinna hugged Annie, and she squirmed until he let her free. "I'm sure he does."

Annie wrapped her arms around herself and Cinna wondered why his hugs weren't enough, that she had to embrace herself. She whirled around again and he realized that he'd always known the answer, anyway. He wasn't Finnick.

Then Annie laid her palms against Cinna's face and turned his head down to look into her eyes. "He loves you, too. It's just different."

Cinna smiled sadly and Annie smiled back, pushing her thumb into one of his dimples. "Did Finnick tell you to say that?"

"No." Annie looked troubled. "Why would he do that?"

Cinna stepped back and shook his head. "No reason." He dug his toes into the perpetually wet sand outside the Crestas' front door. "Did you want to go down to the tide pools today?"

Annie shook her head. "I want to go out on your boat. Remember that time you and me and Finnick were out on your boat? There were so many jellyfish that day, remember? That was the biggest bloom I've ever seen. Have you ever seen more jellyfish? Can we go out on your boat?"

Cinna stared at her. "Finnick won't be there. He's gone, remember? He's in the Capitol?"

Annie's face fell for a moment and her eyes glossed over, but then she brightened and fingered one of the tiny ropework braids tangled in her hair. "I know. But you can draw pictures of the things we see and then we can tell him about it when he comes back. He'll come back. Finnick loves me, and he always comes back."

The night before the Reaping the year Cinna turned nineteen, he found Finnick standing on the beach, letting the warm water lick at his ankles. Empty glass vials and powder compacts littered the shoreline around him, just bobbing and waiting to be washed out to sea. Finnick looked smaller and younger than he had in five years, wrapped in a bulky sweater that Cinna recognized as Annie's signature distracted, fanciful hand. The wind tugged at Finnick's wild bronze hair, and it struck Cinna anew just how beautiful a man he was.

A foghorn sounded, far, far away.

"Are you going to the Capitol tonight, then?" Cinna asked, digging his toes into the sand.

"No," Finnick said, looking out towards the sea. He wrapped the sleeves of the long sweater tighter around his wrists. "I'm not going. You're too old for the Reaping now. I'm not going back to the Capitol ever again. Mags can mentor without me."

Cinna smiled sadly and nodded, looking out at the white-crested waves. "You're free."

Finnick was quiet for a long time, playing with the loose hems of his sweater, watching the water. Cinna stood off to the side, sketchbook in hand, drawing a dress of crystal bubbles on one page, a headdress shaped like a silver lobster on another. He drew Annie smiling serene and strong in a crown of starfish, and drew Finnick in this moment, wearing long pants and a threadbare sweater, hunched against himself and looking young and lost as the ocean licked at his feet.

The next morning, District Four gathered for the Reaping. Finnick pasted on his Capitol smile and left his starched white shirt, shot through with threads of gold, open against his brown chest and his small gold shorts hung low on his strong hips. He held the trident at his side as he winked and blew kisses to the crowd. Cinna stood at the back with the adults, glad that he was finally out of the pens.

First, the boy's name: Brennan Spirula. Cinna didn't know him. He looked to be fifteen, but wide – probably a Trainer. Mags would have an easy time with him. Sulla should paint him in wet browns and corals; make him look rough like sharkskin. He would wear pointed dorsal fins well. Finnick smiled at the boy and it was all wrong, too many teeth, and then there were two sharks onstage.

Cinna looked to the pen of girls all pressed together like a woven net of sweaty arms and shaking knees, and then, just behind them, as every year, poking her way through a tide pool –

"Annie Cresta!"

A ripple of hushed horror swelled through the crowd, crashing up against the pen of girls. Annie Cresta? The girl just wasn't right. Annie Cresta? Don't you remember when her momma disappeared? Oh, Annie. Oh, Annie.Cinna pressed his knuckles to his mouth.

Finnick's Capitol grin fell and he looked as though someone had speared him in the stomach this time and he was bleeding out on camera. Annie kept poking through her tide pool, lifting out hermit crabs, humming softly to herself. A Peacekeeper came over and grabbed her arm, hard, and Annie cried out, surprised, as he dragged her up to the stage. Oh, Annie, oh, Annie.

Her face brightened when she saw Finnick and she waved happily. Finnick's face paled to gray. And Cinna tasted blood where his hand pressed to his mouth.

Annie reached out for Finnick as the Peacekeepers dragged her into the Justice Building to sit and await her goodbyes, but Finnick was already gone, leaping off the stage and disappearing pell-mell across the sand like a madman. Cinna rubbed the blood away from his fingers on the side of his black pants and went to Annie in the prim waiting room. She was curled up in a tiny ball on the corner of the too-opulent sofa, her hands over her ears and that blasted strap of her old blue Reaping dress still falling off one shoulder.

Alamela, the Capitol official who had kept the inset third eye and finally managed to mellow old those old decorative scars with a bleached-white skin graft, looked despondent. "She won't stop singing that song!"

Cinna sat down just behind the little knot that was Annie Cresta and tentatively put his hand on her back. He listened closely.

Up rose the tide and washed the starfish out; out came the sun and out ran the tide, and the itsy-bitsy starfish was happy when he died.

"Annie," Cinna said softly, "Annie, will you come out please?"

She shook her head into her knees and sang louder.

"Annie, do you know what's happening?"

Her words faltered. Cinna rubbed her back until she twitched his hand away.

"The hammerhead fish are coming," Annie whispered, barely audible. "But Finnick always comes for me. The itsy-bitsy starfish…"

Cinna looked up at Alamela. "Can you send Finnick in? He's the – he's the only one who can really… he knows how to bring her back when she's like this."

Alamela wrung her hands. "We can't find him. He and Mags are both missing and the rest of the Victors refuse to mentor… that," she said, gesturing at Annie as though she were already a rotting carcass, washed up on the beach.

Cinna chanced a kiss to the back of Annie's head. "I'm going to get Finnick. You swim, Annie Cresta. You swimuntil he gets you."

As he pressed past Alamela Pilate in the scalloped doorway of the District Four Justice Building, Cinna Healy stood tall and held his chin high.

"Ms. Pilate," he said, "I suppose I should tell you that I will be coming along with the rest of the District Four team to the Capitol. I'll get you a book of materials as application to be apprentice Designer by tomorrow morning."

He would petition to put Annie in the dress of crystal bubbles –

Somehow, she always floated.

Cinna ran down the shoreline and up the path to the Victor's Village. Shattered glass littered the walkway like ever-winking eyes, and Cinna heard the crashing splinter of wood when he was still yards down the beach.

Perce and Eireann huddled on Mags' porch next door, trying to console the frantic gaggle of littlest Odairs to no avail. Mags had a toddler in each arm and looked livid.

"You go tell him he's scared these young'uns about to death," she hissed to Cinna, and he blanched and ducked into the house in Victor's Village with jagged broken windows like wounds.

The front door hung awkwardly on its hinges.

The delicate curtains were all slashed.

Cinna recognized the three-tined handiwork of a trident.

Splinters of wood, shards of pottery, and blades of glass covered the floor. The telephones and videoscreen had been ripped from the walls and smashed open, bleeding out their guts of green and red wires. The furniture was in shambles.

Cinna heard an inhuman roar from upstairs and took the steps first two, then three at a time. Feathers clung to every surface of the upstairs hall, cilia clinging to broken skeletons of beds and empty muslin organs that had once been mattresses and pillows.

A destroyed patchwork quilt came hurtling out of the last bedroom down the hall and Cinna clutched it like a shield.

"Finnick," he called, his throat dry, "It's Cinna. I'm coming in."

Finnick crouched, wild-eyed and heaving, in the middle of the trashed floor. His shirt, his stupid gold shirt, still hung open over his chest and Cinna could see the bruises blooming, like Finnick had broken all that furniture with his body. In one hand, he clutched a golden trident.

In the other he cradled a tiny, black gunmetal spider.

"It's a bug," he said, his voice so calm it echoed hollow. He looked up and through Cinna. "Fourth one I've found. They bugged the house. That's why all the Victors have to move. They bug the houses."

Cinna clutched the tattered old quilt and nodded.

Finnick's face twisted into a grotesque battle mask and he roared again, smashing the bug under his foot. He stabbed it with the tines of his trident, jabbing dents into the wooden floor over and over and over.

"That's how they knew about Annie!" His voice was broken. "That's how they know about you and Perce and Eireann and that's how they knew I wasn't going to the Capitol last night. Fragum," Finnick spat, the trident whirling to take out the mirror on the wall. Cinna cowered, trying to protect his face from flying glass. "What have I ever done to them? I've done everything they wanted me to do, I gave them everything. I killed people for them and I let them – I was their perfect little whore and – I DID FUCKING EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DONE TO PROTECT YOU AND ANNIE!" Finnick roared, and the sharp Capitol curse made Cinna flinch. "Fucking everything."

He threw the trident and its tines buried deep into the wall, its shaft twanging like a tuning fork.

Cinna barely reached Finnick in time to catch him when he collapsed.

"I can't do this," Finnick whispered, choking on his own breath. "I can't give them Annie, too."

Cinna nodded and let Finnick's dead weight drag them both to the debris-strewn rubble of the floor. "I'm coming with you," he said, surprised by how steady his voice sounded. "To the Capitol. We can help Annie win."

Finnick looked up at Cinna in a mask of utter, poetic despair. "There is no way, Cinna. There is no way she can win."

Cinna cradled the broken boy in his arms. He gently handed Finnick a short length of fishing line, and Finnick tied his knots savagely, as though it were the rope that had finally beaten him, and not the noose of the Capitol. "She beat the hammerhead fish once, Finnick. For you. She can do it again." He paused. "Is there anything you can – "

"Do?" Finnick finished, laughing a dry, cracked laugh. Tears ran down his face and he didn't even seem to notice. He pulled a knot so tightly that the twine broke in his fingers. "I'll put in some calls."

Cinna held him a while longer, smoothing down Finnick's flyaway hair and feeling him shake. Outside the broken windows, the rain season began.

They were silent on the train, Finnick, Mags, Cinna, and Annie. Alamela kept away from them, a little afraid of babbling Annie with her haunting singsong, and kept Brendan away, too, like it was something contagious and poisoning.

Cinna sat with his forehead against the window of the train. It was the first time he'd ever ridden one, and the motion made him feel a little sick, chugging along faster and faster over dry land. They could still see the ocean, glittering and throwing light in blinding stripes, dotted with shadowed slices of sails. Mags sat beside him, knobbly arthritic hands shaking as she tugged at a sharp bone hook. Cinna could tell she wasn't looking at the ocean – she was staring at the little spindle of a girl wrapped around Finnick across the way.

Cinna couldn't understand how Finnick and Annie bore facing backwards on the train – he was sick enough facing forwards – but maybe, just maybe, it was because they both wanted to see District Four the way it was for a last time. The lace of white foam on the tips of waves. How the sand was a brown so dark it was almost violet down far on the shore. The wide mouth of a curve on one of Annie's tide pools, white shells like crooked teeth at its lips. Crescent-shaped fins cutting high out of the water –

Cinna sat shock straight and stared at the dark shapes in the water below those fins.

Long, torpedo-shaped bodies.

Wide, notched heads.

"Look," Annie said, her fingertips smudging the clean Capitol glass, "Hammerhead fish."