Notes: Written for kolms comment ficathon; prompt: "Finnick - outsiderpov, "President Snow used to sell me, my body that is." What is it like to live in the Capitol, and hear Finnick say those words. Either from one of his admirers, former 'lovers' or just someone from the Capitol watching the rebels take over the airwaves."
Warning: forced prostitution.
She fell in love with him when she was fifteen. Sixteen, really; the Games were very close to her birthday that year, which was good because it meant school was canceled and so her party could go on as long as she liked. Although she couldn't tear herself away from the TV for most of it, just in case something happened to him, but their were so many guests and her parents handled everything so well she doesn't think anyone noticed. Her parents really always have been amazing.
She got him for her eighteenth birthday. Her parents dragged her along to some fancy dinner party she didn't feel like she had a right to be at, no matter how high in society they were. And he was there. She remembers how she blushed when he dipped his finger in a pot of honey, licked it all off with a look. She remembers stammering over her words all evening, terrified of saying something that would reveal what a silly and shallow Capitol girl she was.
And then he asked for her phone number. She's always been spoiled.
A few weeks later, he took her out for her birthday; rented a room at the Hotel de Lune (people say that means "of moon," somehow, but she's never heard the word used anywhere else. And speaking another language is strictly forbidden). He took the most expensive one; the penthouse with the artificial moon and stars on the ceiling. You can barely see the moon, and never the stars in Capitol City. Too much light. He kissed her that night, and he made love to her, and maybe that was going too fast but not really because didn't he know how long she'd loved him? Didn't he have to? There was no reason for him too, she hadn't told him, but the romantic in her couldn't accept him not knowing. It didn't seem possible.
She knew from the beginning she wasn't the only one. That's what he does, earning and breaking hearts thoughtlessly, as if it was all he knew how to do. She never minded. She knew she was just a stupid Capitol girl, and there was no reason for him to think of her as any more or any less than his other lovers. She watched as he fluttered from soul to soul, bed to bed, and he was still the most beautiful man ever born. She was grateful to be allowed to touch him, just a little. It was pure, in a strange way; the pursuit of pleasure, with no other regards. And hadn't he earned it? Hadn't any victor?
When the third Quarter Quell occurred, she sobbed for days. It wasn't fair! He had earned his life, earned his happiness, and why would they take that away? Despite her anguish, she never considered calling him. She had no right. He had other people, he had people he actually did love. (He had Annie, whose name she heard him murmur in his sleep.) He'd most likely be very confused by a call from a Capitol girl who thinks he makes the sun rise each morning and set each evening. She said her goodbyes to him as he read that poem on live television. It wasn't for her, but it was beautiful nonetheless.
They told her the rebels were evil, and it was hard to comprehend anything else, but when she realised they most likely saved his life it became hard to comprehend that too.
She watches his broadcast with wide eyes and a growing sense of nausea. It wasn't pleasure he fluttered for after all, but just survival. In the few days before the Quarter Quell began, she comforted herself with the fact the Capitol had at least allowed him some happiness, for a decade or so. She was blinded by her feelings, and her need to see the world as just somehow – the man she loves more than anything on Earth has been suffering for so long, and it fills her with the sort of rage so all-encompassing, she didn't believe it existed outside of stories.
She realises her own culpability in all this. She was one of his lov– she was one of the people he had sex with, and she doesn't think it's because he saw through the "silly Capitol girl act" to the "real her." (The real her is a silly Capitol girl). She knows she didn't pay for him, but...
She's always been spoiled.
Blindly, she gropes for the phone, dials the number that's always been highest (even higher than his). "Papa?"
"August?" her father sounds surprised she would call. "Is something wrong?"
"...Did you just see the broadcast? The one the rebels hijacked?"
"With – Oh honey, honey!" If he was here he'd be pulling her to his embrace, stroking her hair and soothing her worries. "It's – it's propaganda by the rebels, that's all; I know the feelings you have for him, but–"
"What did you do?"
"Pardon? Oh – sweetheart, you don't actually think I would – try and be rational about this–"
"What did you do?" She wants to sound angry, but she just sounds shrill and hysterical with how her voice climbs when she's upset. Every inch a silly Capitol girl.
"Please calm down, this really isn't–"
"What did you do, Papa?"
There is a pause. Then Papa gives a long, resigned sigh, like she's six years old again and throwing a temper tantrum because they can only get fifteen birthday cakes instead of twenty for her party. "You're overreacting," he says. "You've been obsessed with that boy since you were a girl; I knew you couldn't be happy without him. Aren't you grateful? I've given you all you ever wanted."
All she ever wanted.
She hangs up the phone.
Hangs up the phone and runs to the kitchen, looks out the window to see the Peacekeepers on the ground, so far down from her apartment. They've been patrolling the streets for weeks now. Sometimes they're quartered in the houses around town, although they've tried to keep that to a minimum. No need to cause a panic.
She suddenly realises, if they asked, she couldn't let them in. If they asked, she would have no other choice than to run to the kitchen and grab a knife to plunge into one of their chests.
She frowns. Would that be rebellious thinking? The concept is bewildering, but she thinks of what he said the Capitol did to him and it all seems much clearer. Underneath the guilt and terror, is warm dewey feeling that he might actually be proud of her. She's never felt that before.
Not all I ever wanted, Papa.
It wouldn't do anything. It would only get her shot. But August is a romantic, an idealist; her twenty-sixth birthday is soon and she's as in love as ever.