The Mockingjay and the Albatross
Sequel to - Mockingjay and the Chameleon.
Author: Howlynn Realm: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins Story Title: The Mockingjay and the Albatross Summary: Katniss and Finnick end their affair. A last goodbye. Character/Relationships: Finnick Odair/ Katniss Everdeen, Haymitch Abernathy/ Katniss Everdeen
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author notes: Ahhh – thanks for the kind reviews.
Warning: This may be an addictive substance, please check with your personality profile before beginning the program. Not responsible for any feelings of feelings you may experience. Not responsible for dark smexy feelings or nightmares about Fanfic characters. Tears are not a bug -they are a feature. If you are easily offended - do not read past this point. Seriously -stop while you can.
(Warning – Language, sexual content, candid discussion of near death and suicide, You know - my typical mess)
( This is a scene I originally intended to include in MJC but cut.)
After Katniss is shot, everything changes for her and Finnick. They had to end the comfort they had found in each other while Katniss was destroyed with rejection. Finnick would soon be married, and she has returned to Haymitch – just like Finn intended by offering to help in the first place. He is dealing with it by avoiding her and after she sees the footage of him taking such a horrible risk to protect her, when he truly should have left her for dead – and the fact he told Haymitch of their affair – well she is a little too displeased not to have a chat. Can Finnick explain why he would tattle of their adventures to Haymitch?
Finnick avoided me. He had been shot as he carried me but when he'd fallen, he'd covered my body with his own, protecting me. Haymitch showed me the footage of him laying on the edge of the tarmac, trying to fend off those who were intent on killing me. Johanna had fought like a demon, protecting the two of us as she tried to drag us, inch buy inch, to safety. I owed him a piece of my mind for tattling about us to Haymitch, but I owed him a punch in the nose for acting so stupid and almost getting himself killed.
Finn was sneaky, but I was a hunter and my target couldn't avoid me for long. He liked to walk up on the surface in the afternoon, when the sun was hot and few district thirteen people were willing to brave the heat.
He didn't hear my approach, as he lay hidden in a vent shaft housing. He'd stripped off his uniform and was baking himself in the sun, trying to return his skin to its former tan glory. He is a pretty man. It is strange to me that something like that mattered so much to people, because what made Finnick Odair beautiful to me is the person he is inside.
I watch him for a moment, thinking of the fact that I had made love to him more than any man in my life so far, yet it did not sway my heart to more than friendship. I would die to protect him, but I would not die to keep him for myself, the way I would Haymitch.
I positioned myself above him, casually looking down at him in a threatening, aggressive way. I pulled an arrow silently and released it. I want to scare him a little, just for fun.
The impact noise startles him and he jumps as the arrow lands four inches from his head, impaling his canteen. He sat up, blinking and trying to understand where the danger came from. He'd moves too fast and winces in pain at the still bandaged injury he'd sustained saving my life.
I smile as I calmly speak. "You are not much of a soldier Finn. I could have been an enemy and you wouldn't have a chance. Your weapons are six steps away and you are not aware of your surrounding. Mistakes like that can cost you your pretty life."
He releases his breath in relief. "Katniss, what the hell are you doing?" He shouts in anger.
I hop down, hiding how the jump made my own side scream in pain. "Trying to decide if I should kiss you or kill you."
"Do I get a vote?" He asks with a shake of his head.
"Maybe. Depends on how you explain your inability to keep secrets and what you were thinking, trying to die to save a corpse." I glare at him with amusement.
He sighs, "What do you want me to say?"
"How could you tell on me? How could you betray me?"
He frowns. "I was trying to help."
"By bragging that you were banging me? To the one person I most wouldn't want to know about it."
"God no, Katniss. I was trying to understand how he could stand to lose you. I was trying to figure out what was going on in his head. If it weren't for Annie, I could have…" He stops speaking and just looks at me shaking his head.
"You could've what?"
His jaw sets with hard determination. "I could love you."
The impact of those words, soften my expression. I glance at him with sly amusement. "I already do love you Finn. I will forever, but I would never be in love with you. I think you're a great man and one of the kindest people I've ever met. But our hearts belong elsewhere, and it doesn't bleed over for me."
He smiles. "Exactly. So I wanted to fix it. I wanted to get the two of you on the same page."
"By telling him that you were hitting it?"
He blushes. "That isn't all I told him, Katniss."
"I am coming to the end of my patience. What did you tell him? When did this conversation take place and what did he say?"
He looks down. "Ok. Have a seat." He yanks my arrow out of the canteen and uses the new hole as a drinking spout. He hands me the useless arrow. The tip is bent. "You have too much confidence in your aim, Katniss. You would've felt bad if you'd killed me. My canteen never did anything to you."
I twirl the arrow and smile mysteriously. "I wasn't aiming for the canteen."
He sucks in his breath, looking at me in horror.
"I am kidding. I don't miss Finn. I know the quirks and flaws of each arrow and compensate. You were in no danger." I explain seriously.
"Still not funny." He leans back comfortably in the sun, taking a calming breath. "After we spoke on the roof I was sure you just needed a little help. Afterward, I was lost. I was terrified the next morning, that if I told you the truth, it would lead you to even greater frolics with your final intent. I was scared you'd be mad or I'd say the wrong thing. But you said yes."
I look at him and smile at this memory. I nod, "It was a good day. Doc."
He laughs and winks at me. "The longer we were together, the more terrified I became that you were going to find some way to give them what you thought they all wanted. Nobody was even questioning how dangerous you were. You know people ask to be removed from your squad. You scare people Katniss. You have no life preserving boundaries. I knew why. You searching for your martyr footage, was making you some kind of legend. I couldn't stand the thought of it. I intended to beg him to give you some small hope. I meant to find out why you were so damned disposable to him. I mean for all I knew he didn't care at all. I called him."
"Wish I had been around for that one." I laughed.
"He answered the phone and did not ask a single question." He looked at me eyes wide. "He said, 'I hear you are fucking her Odair and when you hurt her, I am going to kill you."
"He knew?" I whispered astounded.
"Never underestimate him, Katniss. I told him I wouldn't have time to hurt you. I told him that I would never touch you again if that was what he wanted. Told him the footage of your death could probably be delivered within hours if I dumped you right before a hostile contact." His head rolls and he looks at me.
I don't react and roll my finger telling him to continue.
He looks back at the sky, speaking calmly, "I ask him If I should just speed things along for him and slit your throat. I told him it'd be faster if I sabotaged your armor. I didn't like his answers much. He said you were responsible for yourself. I accused him of getting off watching his tributes die all those years and now he'd replaced them with his victor. I said things Katniss. I asked him if he would watch your death promo and use it like porn. " Finn's face reflects the anger he had felt that day.
"Holy crap. What did he say?"
Finnick stretches his face up at the sky and closes his eyes then smiles. "He called me some names and I called him some names and then, we discussed my growing addiction to something he was not smart enough to hold on to and he hung up on me."
"Had to have been Johanna. She hates him. I bet she told him." I theorize.
"If she did, it was out of love, not hate. She loves him and me and you, as a matter of fact." He looks at me amused that I didn't know that.
"I like her too, but if you tell her that, I would have to end you." I flick his ear hard and he howls with mock pain. "You're such a wimp. He never said a word to me. God you piss me off Finn."
He leans over and kisses me. I return it. "Just checking," He murmurs. "You aren't really going to kill me."
"I owe you my life you idiot. More than just for the bullet you took. I wasn't trying to get shot then you know. I was starting to be ok, thanks to you. So how did you guys go from that pissed off to he thought it was funny?"
"At the hospital. He came to thank me for trying to save you. They were losing you and he'd given up. He told me even if you survived, the swelling was killing you and they didn't have the facilities to help you. He wanted to know if I had been kind to you in our passions. I gave him some details meant to hurt his feeling honestly. His reaction was anything but what I expected. His eyes shone like he was hearing something sweet. He thanked me and that was when I got it. He was insane about you. Completely bonkers. As bad as you. You were thinking he wanted you to die and it looked like you had accomplished it. I asked him what he would do if you never woke."
I shivered at the thought this was all going on while I was flirting with not returning. I take his hand. "What did he say?"
Finnick dropped his eyes. "He pulled out a nightlock pill and smiled and said he was going with you."
"I can't see him that way." I say amazed.
"So, I told him I wanted him to know the truth. And I explained how you sometimes pretended I was him, and why we started and why we continued. I told him how he had destroyed you beyond my ability to help you with his foolish rejection. I told him that other than the footage he got of you seeking to die to please him, cutting you down from the shower was a waste of his time. I told him that he would've hurt you less if he raped you because making you love him, then throwing you to the wolves was a hard way to die. "
"Oh Finn…" I say deflated at his cruelty.
"I know it was a horrible thing to do, but who else could tell him. He did exactly what I thought he would. He finally believed. He lamented all the things he'd never said to you. He admitted to himself that he had no idea you felt the way you did. I told him to make it up to you. I told him how it had taken me months to get Annie back even a little. I told him how she had heard me even though they said she couldn't." Finn has tears welling in his eyes.
I look away, so not to embarrass him. I don't want to see his tears because my own are so close.
He reached in his pack and opened a tiny tin of oranges. He split them with me as a distraction while he continued. "When I got released a couple of days later I came to visit you. He had not left your side since he left my room. Your fever was down and they had told him to keep up whatever he was doing because you were fighting now and the chances were still small, but better than nothing. I came as often as I could. He would let me sit with you, so he could grab an hour or two of sleep. He made me promise to talk to you and hold your hand. Lots of people came Katniss, but he wouldn't even shower if I was not there. Nobody else was good enough, not your mother or Prim or even Gale. He didn't stop anyone from seeing you, but he world hover."
I frown thinking of how I had dreamed of him. I had memories of that time. I had been beside him much of that time. "It was like watching television through a tank of water. I couldn't find him sometimes, and it hurt to listen. I would put up with the horrible pain as long as I could to hear him. I kept waiting on him to leave. I knew once he left, I could let go of the pain. His voice. I can't explain what it does to me. I crave it Finn. Does that sound insane?"
He grins, "Not to me it doesn't. Annie brought him fresh cloths and cleaned up the apartment. She told him it should look nice when he brought you home. He blushed and told her not to be silly. But he spoke to your mother and she disapprovingly delivered your things to him."
We sit silently for a short time. I smile at the images he's given me. Haymitch was threatening to kill Finnick if he hurt me, yet he was unable to comprehend his own impact on me. "You know what's sort of funny?"
"That you haven't shot anything but my canteen and dinner will suffer tonight?" He complains.
"No, that he is so smart and yet, just as clueless as I am when it involves people loving him." I admit.
"I am glad you guys are ok. I can't imagine this place without either one of you." He slips his arm around me and I lean into him, liking his hot sun-baked skin against my cheek.
"Don't you ever put yourself in the middle of a mess like that again for me. I couldn't live if Annie lost you and it was my fault. He showed me the footage of you crawling on top of me." I grouched at him.
He shrugs. "Must have been instinct. Last thing I remember you were in my arms, looking at me trying to say something and then you went into convulsions and I fell. It hurt and I thought that my being clumsy just killed you. Then I was on the transport here. What do you remember?"
"I remember being really calm. I wanted a drink and I wanted his voice. I looked at the camera and said I loved him. He said he loved me too. As the pain grew, the sound faded. I hurt so much I couldn't even feel it all. You were coming at me and I could see you were screaming but it was all completely quiet. I kept trying to tell you it was ok and that …" I am too embarrassed to tell him all that went through my mind. "But I was more tired then I had ever been and I just hoped you knew."
"I knew baby. I knew. I just couldn't let you go. Couldn't let them have you. Even if there was no chance, I couldn't let them get you. I was afraid they would make things out of you." He has to whisper the last sentence and I feel him shudder with revulsion.
"I guess everything is over between us now. We have to go back to friends and make sure we don't let it get weird. I am going to miss you Finn, and I will always remember. I am grateful that we had that." I say trying so hard to sound casual, but feeling a loss I couldn't explain.
"Nobody ever knows when it's the last time. I couldn't help thinking it as I ran with you. Your blood was still in my hair when I woke and they wouldn't tell me if you were alive. I kept imagining you. It ached in me that I would never see you look like that again. Stupid thing to worry about at that moment, but I couldn't help…" he looks in my eyes, his head tilts at me in a questioning way. "Katniss. I'd like to tell you Good-bye."
I give him the smoldering look, he taught me. "If we do, it really is cheating. Are you going to tattle?"
He laughs. "That did it. Risk and shouldn't. You just took a sweet little candle and set the forest on fire. The danger makes me want to even more. He really might kill me you know…worth it to me. Last goodbye and forbidden fruit? Your call Katniss." The look of desire in his eyes is playful but unmistakable.
I cover his lips as my answer. He lays me back and we are both smiling at our terrible need to say farewell and celebrate that we are both still alive. "You know. He wouldn't really kill…"
"Shhh shhh shhht. Convince me afterwards. Not now. I have never purely just wanted someone so damned much." He gasps, as he franticly demands every inch of me.
I smile, remembering his lessons. "It's wrong Finn. We can't. Don't stop. If we get caught…"
He groans in pain at my words. "I don't think I can stop."
His need electrifies my own. I remember saying, "Anything you want Finn. I know it's the last time, so anything you want.." on purpose, but everything after that was like a mewling animal. I feared the sound of us echoing in the vent shaft would be heard clear down in the deep safety levels and still, I could not hold back. At that moment, I didn't care. I would not have stopped for a bomb.
If Bliss could be measured in sweat, we should be sprouting wings. His hair hung in dark rings as if he'd been swimming and mine was plastered to me like I had just been awakened with a bucket of water.
"Katniss. You know it's getting dark right," he eventually says.
"Oh crap!" I say popping up in alarm. "We look like…"
"I know. But either we face the music or we spend the night outside," he says.
"He will come looking," I say seriously.
"We could be camped at the entrance, so it looks like we just got locked out."
"You keep telling me not to underestimate him." I am frantically throwing my cloths on, heart pounding; the first pulsation of regret is swimming in my heart.
He is gathering our things and on impulse I hand him the bent arrow. "You ever need me. Send this too me. Anything Finn. Annie too," I say looking down, hoping he understands.
He accepts the arrow. "Friends for all time."
"I owe you my life Finn. Every moment is a gift from you. When I say anything. That's on the list. My life. For her too."
"Me too baby. If we don't hurry I may have to cash it in before midnight." He bends to me and gives me a last kiss.
I sigh happily. "No matter what. I am glad we did." I turn and shake my hair out as I jog to the door.
The Guards are just beginning to swing the door shut as I call out to them. I wave and call to them and we chat about my lousy luck with hunting today. They grin as I try to be cool and hold them up, giving Finn time to catch up. Something tells me we had an audience.
Finn strolls up as if he has all the time in the world. "Hi Katniss, have a good hunt?" he says as cool capitol Finn. The guards snicker.
"The best." I tease and the two guards can't hold it in any longer. They are losing all pretence that they don't know exactly what we have been doing. The elevator ride is uncomfortable with them staring openly and snickering.
Finnick puffs up in irritation and demands, "Is there something funny, gentlemen?"
"No Sir," they say together trying to wipe the smirk off their faces.
"Miss. Everdeen. I don't mean to intrude, but you do know your shirt is on wrong side out?" The shorter one says just as the elevator doors open.
I look down to see it is true. I look at Finn, mortified. Suddenly it's too funny not to laugh and we laugh way too loud at our own stupidity.
I sneak into our apartment quietly in the hopes that Haymitch might be napping. The room is empty. I breathe a sigh of relief at the site of the empty couch and know that he must be at the dining hall still. I enter and close the door. I spin at the movement behind me.
He towers over me smirking and calmly amused. His eyes narrow as he appraises my appearance, "Have a nice hunt, sweetheart?" His voice drips sarcasm. "Catch anything of note?"
There is no way he could know, so I play it cool and shrug. "No. Too hot I guess."
"Was it now?" He bends to kiss me then wrinkles his nose as if I smell and pulls away. "We still have time to catch the last sitting if you are hungry. But you might want to take a quick shower. Wash some of the fish off," He purrs darkly.
I look up at him. I scowl. "Are you saying I stink?" I ask innocently. I dump my stuff on the floor and yank my cloths off on the way to our still doorless bathroom.
I am just rinsing the shampoo out of my hair when he joins me. He smiles at me and I see what is on his mind. I tease him playfully and he devours me, watching my face intensely as he demands my submission to him. The fear that he suspects, adds a dimension to my own driving heat. He smiles as I shiver and twitch in his arms. He holds me, continuing his rhythm though my pleasure.
His mouth bends to my ear and he says through gritted teeth, "I don't own you, Sweetheart, and I never will. But I will make you mine. I am going to possess you in ways you don't understand."
My voice is heavy with fulfillment but I realize that he is saying more than words of simple passion. "You already do, Haymitch. You already have." I say back to him and he emits a low growl and he loses control of himself. We stand there locked together as the water grows cold. He has me clamped to him greedily. His fingers are curled in my hair tightly as if he doesn't want me to get away from him. Rather than feeling trapped by his actions, I refuse to let him go as well. "I'm sorry." I whisper finally.
His hard eyes lock onto my own. He studies me and then smiles. "Don't be." He kisses my forehead and slowly his death grip relaxes. "You're here now."