Fandom: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Story Title: "Jolly Sailors Bold"
Summary: When Finnick came home from his Games, he had riches - bloody gold for bloody deeds - and a trident. So he bought a boat, and he looked out over that horizon.
Character/Relationships: Finnick/Annie, Mags
Warnings: None, really. Sort of a demi-crossover(ish), AU(ish), crack(ish) thing, if that needs warning?
Notes: This is dumb. BY FAR my worst fic, so um, please don't judge me by it. Inspired in large part by puella_nerdii; I'm sorry I didn't do a better job...
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All characters, settings, and proprietary language are owned by the author of the work from which this is derived.
Jolly Sailors Bold
They didn't only tell myths of the gods and their heroes out on the boats when Finnick was a lad and tagging alongside his father. The men reeled in nets of big-eye tuna and wreckfish larger than the boy, and they got drunk on fermented molasses and lemaranja juice. They jousted each other with long swordfish snouts and Old Winch pretended to hang himself from the spars, ghastly and cross-eyed and half the stuff of young Finnick's nightmares.
And they told exciting stories that made young Finnick's eyes grow wide: cursed gold that made men into skeletons in the moonlight, able to walk on the ocean floor; monstrous Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman gathering those who died at sea and gambling for eternal servitude. The green flash at the edge of the horizon, and what might happen if you sailed over the side of the earth. Mermaids.
Finnick's father would take his hands and swing him up in the air, laughing, and Finnick perched on the trawler's prow like a little figurehead, and his voice rang out high and sweet over the liquor-laughter of the sailors and the crash of the water:
The king and his men
stole the queen from her bed
and bound her in her Bones.
The seas be ours
and by the powers
where we will well roam.
When Finnick came home from his Games, his father was gone and Old Winch was gone and he wasn't required – or wanted – to work out on any of the trawlers.
But he had riches. The Capitol sent him home with his first stipend as a purse of gold coins the size of oyster shells. Blood coins, earned for bloody deeds.
And he had a trident.
So he bought a boat, and looked out over that horizon.
Some men have died
and some are alive
and others sail on the sea.
Finnick bought a boat with tall masts and he carved a lopsided figurehead of an octopus-faced man and he hammered it to the bow with great gusto. He stripped a lemaranja tree of its fruit and pressed it into black bottles of juice to stock the galley shelves, and pallets of his mother's seaweed bread and sour yellow candy to fill his belly. He strung one of his heavy Panem dollars onto a thin rope around his neck.
Cursed gold, you know. Just in case.
He cobbled himself a tricorner hat and braided intricate millinery frippery for the sides, and he diligently practiced flipping it up his arm and onto his head in one rolling move. When he deemed himself ready, he sailed around the coast of the Victor's Village to the mainland and moored his boat at the far dock; shimmied down the mooring line and ran up the sand towards the citrus grove and the pink row houses and knocked insistently at a door.
"Anemone Cresta!" he cried, gesturing wildly, "Wouldst thou – thee – wouldst you be – I am endeavoring in the endeavor… of…" He slumped. "I need help making black sails for my ship."
Annie Cresta smiled up at wild-haired Finnick Odair, his snapping green eyes ringed in ashes like black kohl and a lopsided tricorner hat on his head. "Why black sails?"
"Because I'm a pirate now," Finnick said plainly, as though it should be obvious. "If you ever have seen a ship on the horizon what has black sails, it can be naught but a pirate's ship."
"Why are you talking like that?" Annie asked, stepping out of her front door and shading her eyes to look down the beach to Finnick's hulking shell of a boat.
"Because it's pirate talk!" Finnick hissed, jumping over the railing of her porch and landing on the soft sand at her feet. He knelt. "Would you be my first mate?" He blushed. "I mean on the boat. On the ship. I mean, would you be my pirate crew?"
Annie extended her hand for Finnick to kiss. "Aye. I be happy to be your pirate crew." Finnick stood and Annie grinned. Finnick plucked the feather from his hat and tucked it sweetly behind Annie's ear. "Let's go find something to sew black sails with."
We kindle and char, inflame and ignite
Drink up me hearties, yo ho
We burn up the city, we're really a fright
Drink up me hearties, yo ho!
Mags opened the door to find Finnick, dirt from the lemaranja grove smeared on his face so it looked like he had three-days' five-o'clock shadow, and Annie, a gull feather stuck in her braided tangles of hair. They both wore their linen trousers rolled up to the knee.
"Can we have one of your old tunics?" Finnick asked, rubbing a little dirt from his lip.
Mags looked from the two bedraggled, gleeful children on her doorstep to the towering wooden skeleton of a boat that was moored to the Victor's Village pier, Davy Jones' own face its figurehead. She remembered the stories of the pirate boy who traded his heart for one day on land with his lover every ten years, and she tried to hide her smile. "Why?"
"We need black sails for our pirate ship," Annie said, hopping lightly from one foot to the other. She had a string of Finnick's coins slung over her shoulder and around her waist like a weapons belt.
"You thought it was good manners to ask me in my own home if you could use my clothing as sails?" Mags asked, leaning heavily on her cane. She raised a sparse, gray eyebrow.
Finnick and Annie both looked abashed and glanced at each other helplessly.
"Without even asking me if I want to be on your pirate crew?" Mags finished, stepping into her house and beckoning them forward with one gnarled hand. "When I know more stories than anyone in the world?"
Finnick drew himself up tall. "Magdalena, would you do me the very great honor of being a member of my pirate crew, but not first mate, because I already gave that to Annie?"
Mags patted his cheek fondly. "I will proudly sail your colors, Captain Finnick Odair."
Mags turned to Annie and said, in a loud whisper: "We'll just mutiny when it's my turn to be first mate."
We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads
Drink up me hearties, yo ho
Aye, but we're loved by our mothers and dads!
Mags let out the rigging as Annie kept watch, and Finnick stood tall at the wheel.
"Which way are we going?" Annie called, her brown hair floating all around her pristine face. All around them, the ocean sky burned orange with blue stretching endless above and blue stretching endless below.
The red sun slipped below the horizon with a green flash.
"The world's end," declared Finnick decisively. "Hoist the colors!"
The black sails rose, gentle on the night breeze. Annie's hand slipped into Finnick's on the bridge. Mags' voice was strong and comforting as she sang from her perch and they set off across the open water – away from Panem, away from the Capitol, into myth and legend.
Never shall we die.