All days were bad days now that Finnick was gone.
Gone. Gone. Gone.
In the hours, days and weeks that had immediately followed her husband's death Annie had remained silent. She didn't want to talk. If she spoke someone would ask her about Finnick and she knew that if she said it out loud it would start to become real and that couldn't happen. Because he wasn't dead.
She was sure of it.
She returned home to District Four after the Capital had fallen. She took to spending all of her time down on the shaky wooden dock where they'd once sat together. Memories swirled around her like the ocean and she lay against the wood and stared at the stars.
This was the dock where they had first kissed. It was after her victory tour all those years ago. She had been shaken – tormented still by the horrific memories of what she had seen in the arena but she was healing. He was making her better.
They didn't get snow in the winter in District Four but it had been colder than usual that night and when she had shivered Finnick had put his arm around her. She leant against him and had allowed herself to be comforted in how solid and warm he was. Above them the stars glimmered against the calm ocean.
He looked down into her eyes and she knew that he was about to kiss her so she kissed him first. Selfishly, she wanted to be the one to start things between them. When she told him this, much later, he'd laughed and kissed her cheek reminding her that he was the one who asked her to marry him. She'd certainly started it but he'd finished it. They would have an eternity together.
His lips had been warm and comforting, softer than she'd imagined. He'd twisted one hand in her hair and she'd responded by caressing his jaw with her fingers revelling in the feel of the stubble there. Kissing Finnick made her feel like she was floating on her back in the ocean on a warm day. Weightless and like anything was possible.
Their wedding day had been the happiest day of her life. The Underground had thrown a party and there had been dancing, cake and a beautiful dress but Annie didn't care. She would've married Finnick in a cave. Or behind an overturned boat. Or in the rain. As long as he was there she didn't care.
They promised themselves to each other and as they placed the fishing net over their shoulders, the traditional wedding symbol of District Four, she noticed a tear slip out of Finnick's eye. Just one mind you. She'd kissed it off his cheek before anyone else could see. That was her tear.
She'd only ever seen Finnick cry five times before that. She could count them all on one hand if she wanted to.
The night she had emerged from the arena. The Capitol doctors had tried to examine her but Finnick told them they could wait. No one in the Capitol said no to Finnick Odair. He had pushed his way past them and wrapped his arms around her. She hadn't known him well then but all the same she'd buried her head in his shoulder and sobbed. After all she had seen it felt good to be held again.
The second time had been when he finally broke down and told her what they had done to him in the Capitol. It was coming up to the one year anniversary of her games and Finnick would be leaving for the Capitol soon. She began relapsing. Quickly returning to the robot she had been straight after her games. Finnick had brought her down to this very dock and told her how they sold his body. She'd cried too and held him. He was a person not a commodity. How could they do this to him? To anyone? He explained to her that when he returned to the Capitol for the games he would have to do these things otherwise they would hurt the people that he loved. He'd looked meaningfully at her when he said this and she knew exactly what he was sacrificing. She would stay strong for him.
The third occasion was when they found out that one of them would have to go back to the arena. Annie had never thought of it as a possibility. Victors never went back. That was the rule. She had made him cry that night. She'd run off. Hidden under the dock she now sat on. When he'd come to find her she wouldn't speak. Couldn't speak. Finnick might have to go back. Mags might have to go back. She might have to go back. Whatever chance Finnick would have stood in the games her and Mags would not. Mags was strong in a different sort of way to Finnick but Annie lacked either of their strengths.
When Mags and Finnick both were reaped she felt as though someone was reaching into her chest and slowly and excruciatingly cutting her heart out. They couldn't both go. She might not always be in full control of her faculties but she knew what that meant. Only one of them could come back to her at the best. At the best? When was the survival of only one out of two of her loved ones the best?
Annie didn't see Finnick cry the fourth time but she knew he did. When Mags kissed him and walked into the poisonous fog Annie had broken down. Mags had loved both of them like they were her children. She'd loved and cared for them unlike their own parents had. That night while Peeta and Katniss had taken the first watch Annie had watched Finnick crawl into their makeshift shelter. The camera had chosen to continue showing the star-crossed lovers and Annie for one was glad. Finnick deserved to grieve in private.
The fifth time passed in a blur. Annie had jumped into his arms the second she had seen him in the Capital. Everything had been right in her world at that moment in time as she leaned her forehead against his and stared deep into his eyes. She imagined they were home in District Four lying on the smooth sand of the beach counting the stars.
Now she'd never seen him cry again. With neither joy nor sorrow.
Inside her she felt something move and reached a hand down to stroke the sizable bump that resided under her dress. She smiled sadly and pictured Finnick's reaction if she could have told him about the baby. He would have grinned, laughed and picked her up and swirled her around. He would've kissed her and promised that everything would be perfect for their child. This would be a perfect world without the Capitol to ruin everything. Their child would not have to live in danger of being reaped.
She'd have to care for the child on her own now and she wasn't sure if that was possible. How could she face day after day without him? Without him by her side to keep her centred and strong?
Above her the stars twinkled on the ocean and she smiled at how the glow they cast on the dark ocean reminded her of the way Finnick's eyes used to twinkle when he smiled. She could be strong. She could be strong for Finnick. Strong for their baby.
Annie opened her mouth and spoke the first words she had spoken since her husband's death. Her voice croaked – rusty with misuse and she looked away from the sky and down towards the precious person growing inside her.
"I love you."
She imagined Finnick somewhere above them smiling down at her and their child and she knew that they would be okay. It wasn't too late to create a perfect world for their child.
So… What did you think? This was my first attempt at writing Finnick/Annie and I wanted to see if I could do them justice. Let me know what you think. Slán. :P