Hello there! I just want to say that I love both Annie/Finnick and Johanna/Finnick. And that I'm thinking of expanding something like this into a complete story about the complications of Finnick and Johanna's friendship and Finnick and Annie's relationship and how it fits into the novels, as well as maybe changing a few things up in Mockingjay. Let me know if you think that's a good idea.
Disclaimer: I don't own squat.
Please enjoy and review! :)
It has to be close to midnight and Johanna Mason still can't fall asleep. She has been rolling over back and forth for two hours, since District Thirteen's mandatory lights out. Johanna wants to believe that the reason she can't sleep is because she is nervous for her exam tomorrow that determines if she will be able to go to the Capitol and fight, but she isn't sure if that's what it is, and, besides, Johanna Mason does not get nervous.
Aggravated, Johanna flips to her back and stares at the ceiling above her. She sighs and rests her hands across her stomach, eyes wide open. Maybe sleep will be impossible tonight, she decides. Johanna squints in the darkness to look at the clock hanging above the door, as is the standard in nearly all District Thirteen rooms. 12:03. Great.
Johanna sighs and then groans. How is she supposed to pass the test tomorrow if she won't be rested? She had never been good at keeping up with her sleep, but Johanna had been trying to remedy that since she got rescued and put in District Thirteen. Surely she would be fine tomorrow.
It just wouldn't be fair if Finnick got to go to the Capitol without her. She deserves to kill Snow just as much as he does. Her entire family was killed because she didn't suck up like Finnick did, not to mention the months of torture she endured! Johanna wants nothing more than vengeance. And maybe she could kill some Peacekeepers for Annie's sake, too. Heaven knows Finnick would want everything to go perfect for Annie's perfect life.
Johanna knows she shouldn't be angry with Finnick for choosing Annie over her. Who wouldn't? Nobody likes Johanna, and Finnick and Annie had grown up together. But still, there was so much that Johanna and Finnick had gone through together that Annie wouldn't understand. How could she ever understand? Johanna had made sure that Annie would never have to, per Finnick's—and Snow's, of all people—request.
"You, too?" calls Katniss Everdeen's voice softly, startling Johanna.
Johanna rolls her eyes. She cannot stand this girl. "Yeah," she replies.
"Are you nervous?" asks the Mockingjay.
Cursing in her head, Johanna replies, "No."
"What's wrong?" asks Katniss.
Johanna is on the brink of telling her, when she thinks of the consequences and the actions that caused this—this anger and hatred and love, or maybe just strong friendship.
It's on her Victory Tour that Johanna Mason really meets Finnick Odair. She had been introduced to him briefly that day outside of President Snow's office when she decided her—and her family's—fate. If only he had warned her about what would happen if she refused Snow's offer, none of this would have happened! Her family would still be alive and Johanna wouldn't be suicidal.
But when Johanna becomes face to face with the wonderful Finnick Odair in his own district's Justice Building, she is floored by how attractive he can really be. When she met him before, he seemed frazzled and hurt, but now he's dressed in a tux (complete with a bow tie) and looks at home in front of the cameras.
"Nice to meet you, Miss Mason," Finnick says with a wink.
Smiling like an idiot (It's just for the cameras, Johanna lies to herself), she says, "The pleasure is mine, Mr. Odair."
"Please," he says, holding up his hand, "Call me Finnick."
Giving a half a giggle, forgetting that she has a reputation of being a fearless warrior to uphold, Johanna smiles and says, "Okay," completely forgetting that she should tell him to call her by her first name in return. She looks to her left and sees her District Seven escort, Amadeus Penn, jerk his head toward the table: a rude invitation to dinner.
Having already given her standard speech to the people of District Four, the official celebratory dinner was the only thing left to finish in this district before moving on. Johanna takes her place at the end of the long table, her beautiful blue ball gown tucked carefully beneath her. Wonderful smelling seafood sits on the table in front of her, and Johanna can hardly wait to dig in. She hadn't had much time to eat all day, what with all the preparations for this moment, so Johanna is absolutely starving—well, by Capitol standards.
The food is just as good as she could have imagined. Having never had seafood before, Johanna feasts until she thinks she will burst, and laughs at the fact that her prep team looks like they want to throw up by the way they keep stuffing their faces without their usual means of re-eating.
But then comes the worst part: the dancing.
In the wealthier districts, a party is held for the high-ranking officials and wealthy citizens and victors, so the orchestra is conducted and the dancing begins. Johanna stands off awkwardly to the side, praying that no creepy drunks come and ask her to dance. She hates how pretty she feels for once in this blue dress.
"Care for a dance?" comes a low voice from behind her.
Johanna cringes, feeling his head next to her ear. She turns and faces the stranger, mentally preparing herself to make a quick getaway to the powder room and through a window, but then realizes that it's only Finnick Odair, trying to act seductive. Feeling like she needs to make up for her earlier actions, Johanna smirks and says, "I'm not one for dancing. But go ahead; enjoy yourself."
"I'm not much of a dancer either. But I think I'll go for a walk on the beach. You're welcome to join me."
Think of an excuse, Johanna, she tells herself. "I really don't want to get sand and water in my dress. It's quite lovely." Good, Johanna, that was almost rude and sarcastic.
Finnick shrugs, and begins heading toward the door leading to the beach.
Groaning to herself and rolling her eyes, Johanna begins to follow after him, and calls, "Actually, I really don't care about the dress. I might as well come." She can feel him smirking to himself.
The sky is pitch black; the only lights come from the Justice Building's ballroom and the stars in the sky. Johanna has never seen the ocean and she's instantly amazed. It sounds so wonderful; she wants to dive right in. Smiling a little to herself, Johanna takes off her shoes and feels the sand between her toes. It's warm from the day's hot sun, but not uncomfortably so.
"Let's walk this way," Finnick says, heading down the beach, away from the party.
"Won't they miss you?" asks Johanna, following him and struggling to keep up with his long strides, not to mention that she's not used to walking in sand.
Finnick laughs to himself. "I think the real question is if they'll miss you."
"Oh, please," Johanna says, finally catching up to him and looking in his eyes as they walk. "I'm just this year's victor. You're Finnick Odair—Panem's resident celebrity crush and sex god."
He winces. "I hate when people call me that."
Johanna could slap herself for that. She hates thinking about what could have happened to her if she had accepted Snow's proposal; that's nothing compared to what Finnick's been through. "I'm sorry," she says softly.
Finnick shrugs indifferently. "I should be used to it by now. I just don't like talking about it. None of us do. That's one thing you'll have to get used to. No one shares their secrets. Everyone knows what's going on, but you don't bring it up. It's too painful."
"I see." Finnick plops down on the sand to face the ocean and Johanna sits next to him. There are houses behind them, most likely a fisherman's village. She sighs. "I guess I'll have a lot to learn."
"Don't worry about it," Finnick says, half-smiling at her. "You'll always have me as a friend to guide you through."
Johanna pauses and stares at him for a minute. How can he already call her a friend? They've only been talking for less than ten minutes! Is he really so lonely that he is willing to rely on her for this? Or maybe he just senses how lonely she is. And Johanna can't hate herself for wanting him to be her friend. Finnick Odair is a better friend than having no friends, as she's always had. "Won't you be busy with the other victors?"
"Nah," Finnick says, staring off into the darkness. "There are cliques of Victors and they'll understand if I'm showing you the ropes. Maybe we can go out with them, too. They're an odd bunch but they're like family."
"Don't you have family of your own?" Johanna asks, slightly saddened because hers is gone.
Finnick looks over his shoulder. "That was my family's house before we moved into the Victor's Village. So yeah, I have a family. But I think they're more interested in my fame than I am."
"That's better than no family," Johanna says, hugging her knees.
A door from the house next to the Odair's opens and a porch light comes on. "Get down!" Finnick hisses and pushes Johanna over into the sand.
"Go on, Whiskers!" a young voice says, followed by the cry of a cat being forced to do something it doesn't want to. The door closes and the light is turned out.
"What was that for?" asks Johanna bitterly, shoving Finnick off her and sitting up.
He rubs his shoulder where she smacked him. "That's my old neighbor, Annie Cresta. She's really obnoxious. Her older brother was my brother's best friend and even though she's two years younger than me, she thought she should be my best friend. Well, until her brother went to the Games and…yeah."
Johanna laughs out loud. "Finnick Odair—afraid of a little girl!"
"No!" he replies, laughing, pushing her into the sand.
She gasps dramatically. "How dare you? You'll get it now, Finnick Odair! Fear the wrath of District Seven!"
"Oh, please," he says with a smile. "I'm a Career—I can take you!"
"Yeah!" The two run into the water, not caring about their fancy attire anymore. They splash around a little, getting pretty wet and ruining their clothes. The fight continues until Finnick picks Johanna up and exclaims, "Do you give in, Miss Mason? Or do you wish to be dropped into the ocean?"
"I shall take my chances with the fish!" she cries dramatically, not expecting him to actually drop her.
When Finnick offers her a hand to pull her up after being completely soaked, she pulls him down under the water. When they both surface, laughing, Finnick says, "I should've known you would pull something like that."
"Yeah, you should've!" Johanna says. The two stand in the waist-high water, closer than normal friends stand, but not realizing it. "What are they going to say when we go back, soaking wet?"
"Who cares?" exclaims Finnick. After a brief moment of hesitation, Finnick softly continues, "I like you, Johanna. We're going to have fun in the Capitol."
"I like you, too, Finnick," she says with an easy smile.
Finnick brushes a piece of hair off her forehead and the last thing she sees before his lips touch hers are the beautiful color of his sea green eyes and she knows that she wants to see that color forever.
"What's wrong?" asks Katniss.
Johanna is on the brink of telling her, when she thinks of the consequences and the actions that caused this—this anger and hatred and love, or maybe just strong friendship. But as soon as she thinks she might be able to trust Katniss with this secret, Johanna figures she can't ever really trust anyone.
She rolls over to face the wall.