Author's note: So I've been promising missyfits on twitter that I'd write her a Finnick/Gale fic for over a year, and I felt like writing today so I wrote this. I think it might be PWP. Sorry if it's PWP? Also, this is unbeta'd, but I did read it through once. Also, this is a slashy story, so if you don't like boys smooching (among other things) look away now.
He's walking the halls again, focusing on his feet and the dim circles of fluorescent light he comes across every few steps. It's all about avoiding something he has no hope of avoiding because it's inside him.
Finnick can charm anybody, even when he's half crazy, maybe even whole crazy, and the guard in the hospital ward is no exception. Even with the ridiculous amount of training these people get in District 13. The young man had even told Finnick where nightwatch guards would most likely be stationed, as to avoid them, so Finnick can walk, shuffle, think about not thinking.
It's late, Finnick knows that, despite the lack of windows. Nighttime is something he can feel in his bones, the moon shining high in the sky trying its best to be the sun. The sun is his friend, an old companion burning, scalding the sorrow from him as though his horrible memories were liquid and they can evaporate like steam rolling off a rock. The moon is another story. The moon gives off just enough light to stir up dark thoughts, bring them to the surface, but only enough so that he stews in them. That's why night is for sleeping, the day for living. Too bad Finnick has difficulty resting in either.
Trying to remember the exact color of Annie's eyes, Finnick stops walking, leans against the wall. The dull yellow light in the hallway makes it hard to remember any color that isn't fake, so he ducks into a stairwell, lets the door click shut behind him. There's a light in here, too, but Finnick doesn't hesitate to stretch up high, loosen the bulb so that it goes dark. He slides to the floor, knees to his chest, presses the heels of his hands against his eyes until he sees gold and white spots explode in his vision. He opens his lids again and the weight of his stolen love feels like a stone in his chest, crushing his lungs when he remembers her eyes. How they were kind of brown but not exactly. How no matter how many times Finnick told her she shouldn't look straight at the sun, she would, and from the side there would be these flecks of green and yellow and hazel. Finnick would grab her face, hands splayed on her cheeks and she would look straight into him and he would close her eyes with the pads of his thumbs because if he loved her any more he would fall apart.
He knows there's that place she goes, in her head, that place where she's safe and loved and things are beautiful and there's always light, light, light. He hopes she's there now. He wishes he could be there with her.
The door opens and Finnick curls in on himself, trying to make himself small, but whoever it is trips over his feet anyway. They hit the floor with a loud slap against the linoleum, a barely there sound of surprise drowned by the sound of the fall.
Finnick giggles and thinks he really must be whole crazy.
"Finnick?" the body says, and Finnick should recognize the voice and kind of does, only he can't think now, not with the cloud of sad things still lingering.
"Who's there?" Finnick requests.
"Gale." He sits up but doesn't get off the floor.
"Oh," he answers. Strange that Gale would know Finnick from a laugh, maybe the size of his feet. The thought makes Finnick giggle again. Laughter and tears have always been nearly synonymous for him.
"What are you doing?" Gale asks.
"Sitting in a dark stairwell, obviously." Finnick can almost hear Gale roll his eyes as a short laugh hisses through his teeth. Finnick almost asks him to leave, leave him to be alone and miserable, but instead he says, "Sit in the dark with me?" because he needs to do some not thinking, and Gale might be good for idle chatter. Probably not, but still. He might as well try.
Gale is just really quiet and still for a moment, and Finnick realizes he has probably become one of those people who no one wants to hang around because he'd temporarily gone off the deep end; he's one of those people who only makes other people feel awkward. It isn't until just now he thinks it's awful to be that guy. He starts to say nevermind when Gale says sure and scoots over next to him, leans his head against the wall.
"So..." Finnick turns his head in Gale's direction and tries to make out his face in the dark. The only light sneaks in under the door, floods in through a small glass pane, but only just. After a moment, he makes out the lines of his profile, the square of his jaw.
"So," Gale offers in reply.
"What are you doing? Did you forget your schedule states you're supposed to be sleeping right now?" Finnick means it to be sarcastic but it comes out more mocking. Gale's jaw clenches and he swallows.
"They can't dictate my life," Gale snaps, and Finnick must've stepped on a nerve. Or maybe everything when there's war steps on some kind of nerve.
Maybe he should just be that crazy guy.
"Hey, hey," Finnick starts, "I'm not saying they can. Just asking what's got you up and about."
Gale visibly relaxes. "Can't sleep."
Normal Finnick would make a joke. Normal Finnick would point out how obvious Gale's statement is, but this is hurt, sad, half-maybe-whole-crazy Finnick, and he just nods and says, "Same here."
"Annie?" Gale asks, looking in Finnick's general direction, his eyebrows drawn together.
The sound of her name in such a foreign voice brings the reality of her absence even more into the light; Finnick shouldn't be here and Annie there. People shouldn't be used as leverage. People shouldn't be maimed and murdered and forever emotionally dismembered for the sake of politics. Annie is the sun and sky and water and sandcastles, and the rest of Finnick's days should be filled with nothing but.
Finnick wants to hurt Gale back, so he only answers with, "Katniss?" and he sees Gale's face wilt. For a second, he feels a sick satisfaction, but immediately regrets it. He wants company, though, company in his misery. With so much suffering everywhere it shouldn't be so hard to find, but Finnick feels alone more often than not. He doesn't know why he felt like encouraging more heartache, even if it's always existed to begin with. "Sorry."
"No," says Gale, "no, it's okay. It's true." And Gale looks to his hands again, the fingers of his right hand interwoven with his left. Finnick thinks maybe no one holds Gale's hand, so he has to hold his own. The thought hurts Finnick, because there has never been a shortage of people lining up to touch him, hold him, kiss him, even if it was all fake, empty.
Sometimes Finnick thinks back on the years he's spent as Snow's possession, given freely to whoever had the most to offer, and he doesn't exactly regret things. No use in regret. He thinks of all the bodies he's been pressed against, all the slurred love given to him in the dark of night, the smell of alcohol on his pillow, the sheen of sweat not belonging to him covering his body. He thinks of it and decides it's better than nothing. Because those times, in the dark, he could see Annie's face, hear her voice, and he wasn't alone. It wasn't bad.
But it wasn't as good as it could've been. Should have been.
"You know what, Finnick?" Gale blurts, the words quick and sharp as though he needs to spit them out. "Sometimes I think you and I have a lot in common."
Finnick snorts, thinking he and Gale couldn't be more different. He's all brooding seriousness, winter to Finnick's summer. "How do you figure that?"
"We're both waiting on people." Finnick turns his whole body towards Gale, puts his elbows on his knees and rests his chin in his hands.
"We're in a war. There are a lot of people waiting," Finnick counters.
"I know. I usually end up thinking it's stupid. But then I think it's not because you know she's alive. Most people don't. But then I think it's stupid again when I know Annie loves you back." Gale seems to grow frustrated with what he's trying to say, throwing his hands in the air.
"She loves you, Gale. She just loves - "
"Peeta, too," Gales interrupts. "I know."
Finnick takes a deep breath, thinks maybe he should go ahead and shatter Gale's heart now, get it over with. Because now, in the dark of night, Finnick is suffocating and he needs a life preserver.
Maybe he just needs someone to drown with him.
Gale knows anyway; Finnick is sure.
"I was actually going to say she loves Peeta more."
Gale's reaction isn't what Finnick expects. He puts his face in his hands and goes completely still. The stillness stretches on until Finnick sees Gale's shoulders shaking. And Finnick doesn't want Gale to cry, doesn't think he can handle anyone crying, so he reaches out and puts a hand on Gale's back. Gale looks up and Finnick sees he is laughing.
It seems Finnick isn't the only one who laughs at inappropriate times.
Finally, Gale stops, rubs his eyes. "You don't think I know that? You're kind of an asshole, huh? I thought you were supposed to be charismatic."
"Being an asshole has its own kind of charm." Gale smiles, lips tight, and Finnick tries to return it. It makes his face feel all funny, like it kind of hurts because it's something he just doesn't do much in 13. "If you know then why are you still waiting?" Finnick asks.
"Because there's nothing else I can do." And then Finnick understands. Gale is as helpless as Finnick. Maybe they do have that in common.
Finnick pats his pockets because his hands are too idle. He wants to find his rope, to knot and unknot until everything is numb, but he can't find it. You'd think he'd make use of his pockets since he's actually allowed to wear something other than that stupid hospital gown now. He starts to feel a little panicky and his breathing speeds. Gale reaches out and stills Finnick's frantic movements.
"Hang on a sec," Gale says, brow furrowed and eyes wide. He looks away from Finnick like he's afraid to and unzips his regulation outfit to reveal a simple white shirt. Gale looks down at it a moment before pulling up the bottom hem and ripping it. He shrugs off the gray top so that he can reach around himself completely, separating a long strip from the bottom.
"Here," says Gale, tossing the strip to Finnick.
"Thanks." Finnick immediately begins tying a series of knots in the cloth. He smiles at Gale again, this time it feels a little more normal. "You know, I could've just gone back for my rope."
"Uh, yeah." Gale chuckles and maybe his cheeks flame a bit - it's hard to tell with so little light - and he has the sense to look abashed. "I, uh, didn't want to see you panic, so I panicked." And he smiles back at Finnick, a full smile with lips moved apart wide. Finnick wonders how Gale's kept his teeth so white when he's known nothing but poverty; they glow starkly against his face. Finnick leans in to him, as though a genuine smile could provide physical warmth, maybe heat up the grief in his mind and heart and take it out like the sun can.
Finnick decides in that moment that he's going to kiss Gale, because he's Finnick Odair and that's what Finnick Odair does. He chases heartache with sex and rewards genuine smiles with kisses. It's just the sex usually comes first, which, when Finnick thinks on it, is really all kinds of fucked up and backwards. This time, he wants to do it right, because this time, he's doing it because he wants to, needs to. He wants something that's not sad or angry or hurt. He wants something to blur out thoughts of loss and blood and torture and murder. Something tells him Gale was out, walking the halls, hoping for the exact same thing.
So Finnick moves in and presses his lips to Gale's before the other man can even see him coming. Gale opens his mouth to protest, but Finnick simply uses Gale's parted lips as an invitation to lick into his mouth, tongue tracing those white, white teeth, smoothing over Gale's sharp tongue. And it only takes a little coaxing before Gale shrugs his shoulders and begins kissing back.
It doesn't surprise Finnick when Gale tries to control it all, pressing Finnick into the floor, climbing on top of him, pressing down with his hips. The way Gale kisses, insistent, hard and fast, is overwhelming to Finnick; it's like Gale's fear and uncertainty are the flavor of his lips and Finnick doesn't want that. He wants Gale to feel better too.
Finnick pushes Gale's shoulders, gently rolls him to the side until Finnick is sitting on Gale's hips. Gale looks confused, quirks an eyebrow. Finnick stares at his mouth, all swollen and shiny in the low light, lips parted and breathing hot and heavy. "Let me," Finnick whispers, and he realizes he is panting just as heavily as Gale. He grinds down, circles his hips and groans when he feels how hard Gale is. It's been awhile since he's had a man, and right now it's exactly what he needs, exactly what it will take to keep from thinking of her. Hard plains the exact opposite of soft curves.
Gale's lips are curved like cupid's bow and Finnick reaches down to trace the line. Gale puckers his lips and kisses Finnick's thumb before his tongue sneaks past his lips, before he opens his mouth and Finnick closes his eyes when his finger is enclosed in hotwetheat. Finnick extracts his thumb and moves to Gale's shirt, and since it's already ruined, he rips it open. His hands immediately trace Gale's pectorals, a moistened finger running across a nipple. Finnick leans down and licks across Gale's chest, backing away only to blow across the wet strip he left. Gale moans and grips Finnick's hips, cants upwards. Finnick has always been encouraged by sounds, spurred forward, easily drunk off the pleasure of others, so he moves down, down, down until he is at Gale's waist.
It's easy to get Gale's pants off, because Finnick's intentions are obvious and Gale is chanting yesyesgodyes and soon Finnick swallows Gale's cock until it hits the back of his throat. His tongue is magic - Finnick knows it - so he works the underside of Gale's dick as he begins moving up and down. And Gale is thrusting up, hands in Finnick's hair, fucking into Finnick's mouth like he has no control, like he just wants to be buried to the hilt in Finnick's hot mouth. Which he does. Which he says out loud.
Finnick had always pegged Gale as the strong and silent type. He was so, so wrong.
Gale is ridiculously close, cock growing even harder in Finnick's mouth, so he squeezes Gale, tight, at the base of his stiffness so he won't come and Gale grunts and throws an arm over his eyes. Finnick, even in the barely there light, sees fingerprints on Gale's hips from where he has had to hold him steady, broken, red capillaries blossoming over the silver white skin. He runs the tips of his fingers across the spots, his hands seeming so dark against the winter-silver color of Gale's unexposed hips. Gale shivers.
Finnick moves up Gale's body, removes his arm from his face and meets Gale's gaze. The light catches the other man's eyes in such a way there are these green flecks amidst the sea of gray, and Finnick can't help but think of the ocean on a stormy day, points of light sneaking through clouds making spots greenbluegray, and he misses home so profoundly, he decides he needs to fuck Gale right now, right away. He needs to fuck him so hard the only thing he'll miss after is how tight Gale is. Because Finnick knows Gale has never been fucked by anyone.
The kiss he gives Gale probably tastes just as scared and desperate as Gale's did only a few moments before, but Finnick knows Gale is beyond caring. Again, Finnick moves down Gale's body, a kiss to his nipple, a tongue around his naval, a tease of teeth against his hip. What Gale doesn't anticipate is how Finnick keeps going until he is peppering kisses on the inside of Gale's thighs and moving closer and closer and closer until Gale feels something pressing against his hole. He jumps and squeezes together his thighs. Finnick looks up at him, leans his head against Gale's leg.
"Let me?" he says again, this time a question. Gale gets this look on his face like he's about to say no, like the idea is a little revolting, but it clears. Because he wants this too. He just didn't know it would be about letting go. Finnick knows, and soon will Gale, it's what he needs.
Gale nods and Finnick nudges apart Gale's thighs with his nose. He gently pushes his knees back as his lips travel upwards until he licks across Gale's entrance. Gale makes a sound, a sound like he doesn't want to admit how good it feels. Finnick puts three fingers in his mouth, circles them with his tongue until they are slick. He presses one into Gale's opening, feels the muscles clench down around him and almost groans when he thinks of how tight and hot Gale will be when Finnick is inside him. Without thought, he moves his hips against Gale's leg and both men moan in tandem. Finnick moves his finger around, finding that spot inside Gale without much effort. Now, Gale makes a sound, a strangled cry full of want and want and want, so Finnick presses again, this time moving in to lick at Gale's hole as he moves another finger inside.
And Gale bears down on Finnick's fingers and probably doesn't even realize he's pulled his knees to his chest so that Finnick has better access to his ass. He probably doesn't even realize he is mewling like a kitten. Gale does, however, have enough sense to look down at Finnick and growl, "Why are your clothes still on?" which Finnick quickly goes to correct, Gale whimpering when Finnick removes his fingers. So he helps Finnick with his clothes, pulls Finnick on top of him and latches onto his neck, delivers bruising kisses across his shoulders, his chest, bucking upwards with his hips as though if he doesn't come he'll disintegrate.
Finnick might be content to come this way, his cock matched against Gale's and sliding easily in the saliva and sweat and precome. But Gale starts moaning fuckmefuckmefuckme and Finnick wants to oblige, has never been one not to. So he sits back on his haunches, wraps Gale's legs around his waist and lines up, starts sliding in, slow and easy until Gale growls out justfuckme.
Maybe, Finnick thinks, he's taking advantage of Gale. Maybe Gale is taking advantage of him.
Finnick does fuck Gale, hard and fast, the sound of skin on skin only making him harder and faster. Gale's face scrunches up in pain at first, and Finnick can't blame him, so he changes the angle of his hips, swivels around until Gale lets out a surprised ohohohrightthere and Finnick pounds into that spot over and over until they are both seeing stars. Finnick reaches between them to grasp Gale's erection and pumps. Gale rises to his elbows and looks down to where their bodies are joined, to Finnick's long-fingered, masculine hand pumping his cock and he closes his eyes just before he comes in heated spurts.
Glad he can let go, Finnick concentrates on Gale's body holding him in a tight, intimate embrace, pleasure clenching around his cock, and he thrusts a few final times, thighs pressing close against Gale's ass, and he comes, long and loud.
They're both breathing hard, the flesh of Gale's torso moving like a wave, like a rolling ocean and Finnick thinks of the water. He thinks of how when he was a kid everyone told him the ocean was inside of him, a part of him. He remembers wondering if his blood were blue-green or his insides were scaled like a fish. He wondered if a person could hear the ocean by putting their ear to his naval, just like a sea shell.
He's seen plenty of his own blood since, and he knows now it's red just like everyone else's.
Now, he wishes he could remember what it felt like to have crazy dreams, thoughts. Now, he wishes his skin were made of fish scales and his fingers were fins and he could swim away, do simple, fish things.
But then there wouldn't be Annie.
And right now, there wouldn't be Gale.
Finnick pulls away from Gale's body, lies down prone next to him. The cool floor is a balm to his exerted flesh and he closes his eyes. What he doesn't expect is for Gale to curl into his side, place a soft kiss under his ear before using Finnick's stomach as a pillow.
They are quiet as their breathing continues to levelize. Finnick reaches down to run a hand through Gale's hair. It's comforting. It helps.
"I can hear the ocean through your belly button," Gale says, a laugh rumbling through his chest and warming Finnick's stomach, his heart, even if it's just a little.
"The ocean is a part of me," Finnick replies.
They could be friends, maybe, even if it's just for tonight.
Maybe no one is taking advantage of anyone.