we're all mad here.
finnick & annie
( saneinsanesane )
:: author's note: the OTP strikes again. booyahh.
written for the Starvation Forum's monthly prompt, "What's don't you understand? I won." still kind of unsure about it, so reviews are appreciated.
thanks to koalakoala for the beta :) ::
disclaimer: i don't own.

There is a boy, there is a girl, and there is a twisted, twisted world.

There is a boy, there is a girl, and for once the odds are in their favor.

They meet when he is nineteen and slowly starting to become a man and she is seventeen and still having trouble feeling comfortable in her own skin. He plays the part of mentor while she plays the part of tribute. She gasps when she sees him and he smirks.

And from then on, without even realizing it at first, they are Finnick&Annie, and they are inseparable. She only has a few days left to live, so she throws everything she has into their friendship, spilling all her hopes and dreams and fears. He has less to give than she does, but he gives it all to her too, and they are somewhere close to happy.

Then Annie leaves, and he closes off his heart for fear of it breaking.

But she comes back.

She comes back.

His heart spills open again, and he rushes to see her. He bursts into her room and stares open-mouthed, not quite believing what's in front of him.


( But, oh, little boy, don't you know? Annie is gone. )

There is a boy, and he doesn't understand.

There are days when Annie's close to normal, when she's able to laugh at his jokes and tease him, when her eyes are all firefirefire and her tongue is sharper than the center prong of his trident. He can hold her tightly and kiss her hair and whisper words of love into her ear, lips warm against her skin.

But then there are days when her laughs are maniacal and she does not recognize him, when her eyes are empty and her tongue is limp and unable to form proper words. He is afraid to hold her for fear that she might breakbreakbreak, and the only words that he whispers to her are ones of confusion, of whywhywhy, Annie, why, and she feels so cold in his arms.

On one of her worse days, he grips her arms to keep them from hitting him and buries his face in her shoulder, breathing heavily.

"I don't understand," he says plaintively as his lips press against her neck, desperately trying to bring her back to the real world and hopelessly trying to save her from the one he knows she can't escape.

She laughs through her tearless sobs and replies, "What don't you understand? I won." She shakes her head from side to side and moans pitifully. "I won. I won."

He still doesn't understand. But he lets it go. Maybe because he's a little crazy too.

Insanity is the prize for all winners of the Hunger Games.

There is a girl, and she is living a nightmare.

The Capitol is terrible. It's everything that she remembered and worse.

"Look into the camera," commands the man with the white lab coat and eyes like ice, "and tell Finnick Odair to come rescue you."

She stares into the lens. Her mouth says the words the Cold Man tells her to say but her eyes say the opposite.

Don't come, Finn, she pleads silently, eyes wide. Don't come.

There is a boy, and his sanity is slowly fading.

His fingers dance over coarseroughscratchy rope bits and manipulate them into gorgeous tangles and his eyes dart around nervously.

There is a girl, Katniss, and she wonders how someone so pathetic can still look so beautiful.

She is an interesting girl, Katniss. He decides to be her friend, because she's in the same position as he is. She's waiting for someone, too. A young man named Peeta. She won't ever admit that she loves him, but Finnick knows she does. He can see the look in his eyes mirrored in her stormy gray ones, and he just knows. They're more alike than either of them care to admit.

So they sit with each other while they wait, sides pressed together, his hands wandering to hers every once in a while to correct a knot she's working on. She'll shove his hands away and huff, irritated. He just smirks quietly to himself and continues on with his own knot.

Eventually Haymitch comes to get them, and they hurry up to the receiving area. He fights off painful flashbacks of the end of Annie's Games, of when he went to go see her after she'd been retrieved.

( this time's different this time's better this time she'll be okay )

His eyes scan the bustling crowd of people clad in gray. And he's afraid, so afraid, afraid that he's dreaming, or that Annie's actually dead and he's just forgotten, and it's his fault, all his fault—

"Finnick!" His head shoots up, searching, searching for the source of the call. "Finnick!"

He catches sight of her suddenly. He starts out slowly, setting one foot in front of the other at an almost dreamlike pace, but soon enough he's running, tripping over himself and shoving people aside because he has to get to her, and she's alive, really alive, and now he's reached her, and his arms are open and she's falling into them, and God, he's forgotten how right this feels. They collapse in on each other and fall against a wall. They both slide down, with her sitting in his lap, their arms locked tightly around each other. Her eyes squeeze closed as his lips cover every spare inch of her they can reach as he whispers words of relief. You're safe you're here you're alive you're not dead you're okay—

"I'm here now, Finn," she murmurs, fingers ghosting over his tensed shoulders and knotting in his hair, "I'm here. I'm back."

There is a boy, there is a girl, and they are getting their fairytale ending.

She's wearing a borrowed dress and he's wearing a borrowed suit, but it doesn't matter, because they belong to each other, and that's all they need.

He used to allow himself to dream that this day would come, sometimes. Before the Quell. On the days when she'd fall asleep on his couch after dinner, her hand still locked almost painfully over his. He'd brush her wind-tangled hair away from her face and press his lips to her forehead and imagine that they are like this all the time. That there are no Hunger Games, and Annie is still in full possession of her mind, and they'll be together forever&ever&ever, happily ever after, the end.

But the sun would eventually rise, the harshness of its light chasing away his storybook dreams, and reality would hit him like a slap in the face.

Sunlight can't reach him down here, in the lower levels of Thirteen.

He kisses her, tasting the salt water on her lips and sealing their promise.

Victory never tasted so sweet.

There is a boy, and he is leaving.

The girl cries and begs him not to, but the boy says he must. He's leaving to end this war, and when he comes back they can move into a house in District 4 and be one of those families that has wayway too many children. "And then we'll die old, together," he murmurs, his breath warm in her ear.


He pulls back, smiles. "Promise." He leans in closer, conspiratorially. "I've seen it. I know."

She nods slowly, tries to look happy (for him). He kisses her cheek. "I love you," he says, wrapping strong arms around her frail body. She presses her nose into the space between his neck and shoulder and sighs.

"I love you, too."

There is a girl, and she is waiting.

Sometimes it feels a little too much like how it felt in the Capitol, all of this hanging around and trying to be patient for him to come back. But things are different now, she reminds herself. He's coming back.

So she'll wait, because he promised her, and she thinks that she might wait forever, if she has to. Forever&ever.

( But she still wishes he would hurry up. )

There is a boy, and he's too young.

It really is true, he realizes. Your life does flash before your eyes.

He sees the fishing boat he used to work on. Smells the salt air. Feels a pang of fear when his name is drawn. The hollowness of his victory. The regret when he loses his virginity to a woman twice his age whose name he can't remember. Then he gets to the 65th Hunger Games.

There is more after that, but all he really sees is Annie Annie Annie.

I don't understand, he thinks, in this short instant. But it hits him as pitch blackness does. It's because I won.

( And even he knows he's dying too young, because all of it is over far too quickly. )

There is a girl, and there is a man with a kind face but very unkind words.

"I'm very sorry for your loss. He was a great man." He touches her arm. She flinches.

He promised.

There is a boy, and he has left a piece of himself with the girl.

This can't be right. It can't be.

She looks at the paper with the doctor's diagnosis and puts her hand to her temple. Her brain is telling her that she should be happy, but her heart is still screaming FinnickFinnickFinnick is gone, and it all just hurts, and this baby should not be here.

But months later, when she holds him in her arms and he looks right at her with stunning emerald irises, she's positive that this is good.

When the boy's boy is a man, he watches the girl (his mother) as she stares at an old picture. He comes up behind her and rests his head on her shoulder, placing a hand on each of her arms. "That's dad, right?"

She nods. "Yes."

"Do you miss him?"

She sighs and touches picture-Finnick's face with her fingertip. "So much."

He stares at the photograph of his father and sees a lot of himself. "Do... do you wish you'd never met him?"

She shakes her head slowly. "No."


She smiles, a slight little grin. "Why not?"

He looks confused. "I don't understand."

She purses her lips, sighs, and reaches for her son. "What don't you understand? Because of him, I won."

There is no boy. But there is a girl, and for once in her life, she has hope.