Chapter Eight

The car journey was horrendous. Apparently the Katniss girl had called shotgun, which was some sort of unbreakable contract meaning she got to ride in the front of Fin's friends car, leaving Johanna sat in the back between Gale and Finnick. Gale didn't seem to be causing too much bother, turning a little red every time their bare legs brushed accidentally. Fin on the other hand patted his knee invitingly whenever she tried to squirm into a more comfortable position.

"You know there's no problem pulling over if you want a more… comfortable seat?" Fin whispered in her ear.

"Thanks but your friend looks more comfortable," Johanna replied, turning her head so their lips were mere millimeters apart. She realized a second too late that everyone else in the car (even the driver who was now stuck at traffic lights) had turned to watch, Katniss and Gale sharing a raised eyebrow and the driver looking like he wasn't quite sure he believed what was happening in the back of his car.

"You know they now want to know which one you mean?" Fin teased, his playfully smile leading to her zapping his side with her fingers causing him to squirm.

"I meant Katniss you perverts," Jo sighed heavily.

"You know that invitations open too," Katniss offered with a cheeky wink for Jo.

"Take the invitation," Fin half begged.

"What are you hoping for here Fin? Me to straddle her in a strangers car?" she questioned.

"Hey my names Peeta, see not a stranger anymore. Wanna take the offer now?" Peeta teased from the front of the car, ignoring the hooting car behind him since he'd been too distracted by the conversation taking place to remember that green light means move.

"I feel like I need some more personal information before I can class you as not a stranger," Jo answered, leaning forward between the front seats. Turning back around quickly as Finnick began laughing behind her. "What?"

"Says the queen of mystery herself," Fin pointed out.

"Just because I'm not willing to answer the questions you ask doesn't make me queen," Jo shot back.

"I like this one Fin, can we keep her?" Katniss added in from the front seat.

"I don't know, she's kinda getting on my tits," Fin answered.

"Actually I think the problem is she won't let you get on her tits," Gale added in, it was the first time he'd contributed to the conversation and Jo found his input to be her favorite so far. She rewarded his comment with a laugh and a smile towards him, which he missed as he returned his attention to the scenery outside.

"Peeta watch the road!" Katniss shrieked as Peeta drifted dangerously onto the other side of the road. She reached her hand out to the steering wheel, accidentally placing it on top of his hand and holding it there a second too long before awkwardly retracting her hand away again without looking at him. Peeta coughed once and then went back to giving the road all of his concentration. Johanna shot Finnick a look that was met with a "don't ask about it" eye roll in return.

"Looking forward to being out of the house for a change?" Katniss turned to Johanna. "We hear Finny's had you locked up there for months now."

"You think Fin could keep me locked up?" Johanna laughed accidentally, forgetting that Fin probably hadn't been completely honest with how the pair met.

"Fair point," Katniss smiled in reply.

"JoJo's just worried she'll burn with that Irish skin," Fin joked.

"So how much further is it to this secret lakehouse where the laws of drinking don't apply?" Jo asked, ignoring Fin completely.

"It's not just the laws of drinking that don't apply," Fin responded, naturally picking up on the part of the statement that Johanna didn't care either way about. She answered him with an elbow to the ribs. She found herself unable to communicate with him in any other way most of the time.

"Not too far, maybe another five minutes," Peeta answered her actual question which she was thankful for. She wasn't sure how much longer she could put up with being smooshed between Gale and Finnick.

"Thanks," she replied sinking against the car seat fully and sighing slightly. She had planned a relaxing day, struggling over google translate and reading the book Mags had offered her, which she now remembered she'd forgotten to take with her, instead she was going to have to put up with Fin. Admittedly his friends didn't seem too bad.

"Who else is at the lake today?" Katniss asked Finnick, seeming to think that he'd know.

"Cato's heading up, not sure who with, to bring the stuff-"

"What stuff?" Johanna asked.

"Stuff," Finnick answered sharply. Johanna had never heard him speak so defensively and decided to drop it until later.

"You know he'll probably bring Glimmer and that group right?" Katniss pointed out, sounding like they weren't exactly best of friends.

"The cheerleaders you mean?" Peeta asked and Katniss shot him a dirty look. Johanna got the feeling there was some kind of history between her and the cheerleaders that ran deeper than some petty jealousy.

"I had a few more imaginative names but I guess you could call them that," Katniss replied and Gale chuckled quietly beside Johanna.

"Are Charlie and Roco heading up?" Finnick asked Peeta directly, clearly wanting to move away from the topic of the cheerleaders.

"Nah Roco has started moving his stuff up to Georgia and Charlie is off meeting Bristels parents in New York. We have the place to ourselves," Peeta informed him excitedly.

"Not bad Mellark," Finnick complemented.

"Is Annie coming?" Katniss asked him more precisely.

"I didn't ask her, it's not really her scene," Finnick answered.

"Or it's not the scene you imagine her in?" Katniss questioned.

"Nah you know how she feels about these kind of things," Finnick shrugged her off.

"Plus her and Madge are off shopping today anyway," Gale added and Johanna turned to him.

"How did you know that Gale?" Finnick asked, almost worried that Gale knew more about Annie than he did.

"Madge told me yesterday. Apparently Miss. Morphling has given them a list of crazy ridiculous things they need for art and it'll take them most of the weekend to find half of it," Gale answered, and Finnick seemed to relax slightly and Jo couldn't help but wonder why.

"Yeah I have a feeling Mr. Morphling gave us the same list. Pretty sure they're higher than you guys half the time," Peeta huffed angrily.

"Gotta get the creativity flowing somehow," Finnick offered as way of explanation. "Not everyone's as naturally talented as you with their hands," he added cheekily. Peeta simply responded by letting his chair slide back and collide with Fins already crushed legs.

"My bad dude," Peeta said as way of fake apology before pulling the chair forward again but Finnick rubbed his legs with a smile anyway.

"So what's going on with you and Madge anyways Galey Waley?" Fin asked, deciding he'd tormented Peeta enough for now.

"Well we both have these things called mouths and sometimes we talk with them," Gale answered sarcastically.

"So what do you do with them when you're not talking?" Fin asked grinning in a way that would put the Cheshire cat to shame.

"Will you hit him for me?" Gale asked Johanna, who was snapped out of her own world for a second.

"I'll wait 'til I can get my hands on a heavy object," she promised him.

"I like having her on my side," Gale smirked at Finnick.

"Actually I think you'll find she's in the middle, no side taken," Fin responded. As if making up her mind Johanna shifted over towards Gale, leaning against his side and he moved his arm around her shoulders casually and enjoyed the fake offence on Finnick's face.

"You were saying?" Johanna smiled sweetly at him.

"Just that I don't like you very much," Finnick answered.

"I think I'll get over it especially when your friends are so comfy," as if to emphasize the point she snuggled against Gale further.

"I've changed my mind," Katniss declared. "I love this one we're definitely keeping her!"

"Kat you're meant to be on my side!" Fin complained.

"I'm sorry Fin but anyone who can get you to make you make the pouty face is not expendable to us," she shrugged as an apology.

"We're here," Peeta declared pulling the gear stick up just as Finnick muttered "I need to find new friends."

"Is that everything?" Katniss asked, clearly the organized one of the group, as the boys finished setting out the deck chairs. Johanna had to admire the house as her and Katniss had headed inside to set the drinks and snacks up, although the drinks had seemed to be more important than the chips and dips that were available.

"Everything we could find," Peeta answered chirpily, clearly happy to be done with driving for the day, while taking a beer from Katniss.

"Do you guys have anything say… non-alcoholic?" Johanna called down from the porch. She rolled her eyes slightly when Finnicks sarcastic comment died in his throat. She wasn't sure she was going to forgive Katniss for saying that she'd be fine in just the black bikini top and denim shorts.

"Water," Peeta finally recommended.

"Sounds like I'm in for a fun afternoon then," Johanna sighed and turned to head back into the house. Her journey to the kitchen was cut short when she bumped into a rather solid object she assumed to be a wall until it started moving.

"You ok there?" Gale asked and Johanna took a second to recover from the fact he was shirtless. Sure she had no problem with Finnick being shirtless, or even being shirtless around Finnick but there was something different about the silent boy that left her feeling… well different when he was slightly undressed around her.

"Yeah just getting some water," she answered, trying to look past him and into the kitchen.

"I'll come grab a beer," he offered and then turned to lead her to the kitchen she already knew the location of. She scrambled around in a few random cupboards in search of a glass.

"Looking for this?" Gale asked holding a glass out for her.

"Umm, yeah thanks," she answered, taking the glass from him and walking over to the sink.

"So how come you're not drinking?" Gale asked.

"Mags asked me to keep an eye on Finnick, I get the feeling if I start drinking then he might not let me stop and then I won't be the most capable babysitter," Johanna answered filling up her glass as she spoke.

"It's sweet you care so much about him," Gale offered and Johanna furrowed her eyebrows at him.

"You guys all seem to care about him," she pointed out, feeling slightly like Gale was implying something or digging for information that wasn't there.

"Yeah but it's not very often that a girl he winds up in the hospital with still looks after him months later," Gale answered sounding almost like he was apologizing at the same time.

"Is it a regular occurrence?" Johanna asked.

"Weirdly more common than most people expect," Gale smiled at her. "I'm just saying it's nice that someone's looking out for him for Mags. She seems to really value your help."

"Well thanks I guess," she said as way of reply, not really sure what else to say to the boy leaning awkwardly against the counter like he was waiting for her to say something else. "Should we head out?" she asked, not sure what else to say.

"Yeah sure, after you," he held his arm out to indicate towards the door and she walked slowly, placing each foot as she would do if she was preparing for an attack. Something about the boy unsettled her and she would find out what it was.

Reemerging outside she noticed the presence of a tall blonde boy leaning on Katniss' shoulder in a way that Peeta seemed overly disapproving of. He looked up to see Gale and Johanna on the porch and whispered something in Katniss' ear to which she shook her head and laughed slightly making something in Johanna's stomach tighten uncomfortably.

"Good to see you finally got some action Gale boy," the blonde boy shouted. Johanna had already decided this one was not to be liked.

"Careful Cato this one's a ninja," Finnick warned.

"I never knew ninjas were so hot underneath the mask," Cato hinted and one side of his mouth curled up in approval. Johanna seriously regretted listening to both Mags and Katniss for a moment.

"Finnick is he staying?" Johanna huffed a little, making it clear that she didn't approve of his presence.

"If you continue to make the pouty face then he's simply not expendable," Finnick shot back and Johanna debated if she could be bothered returning to the kitchen to get another glass of water if she threw the one in her hands over Finnick.

"Well fun as this is I believe we have some business to do Finny boy," Cato stepped away from Katniss slightly making Peeta visibly relax.

"We do indeed," Finnick answered pulling his wallet out of his shorts as Cato pulled a bag from his own.

"What kind of business?" Johanna asked, not sure she wanted to believe what her mind thought was going on.

"What do you think?" Gale asked from slightly behind her.

"Oh hell no! You are not getting high Finnick O'dair!" Johanna demanded.

"You're right. We're getting high," he corrected her.

"All of you?" Johanna questioned.

"Sorry all of us but Peeta since he's driving," Finnick corrected himself.

"Sure but hanging around you guys while you're getting high won't do him any damage?" Johanna questioned like they were a bunch of idiots, which in her mind they all were now anyway.

"It'll be fine," Finnick insisted.

"No it will not Finnick. How are we meant to get home?" she asked, crossing her arms over her torso to cover some of the skin left exposed by her bikini top as Cato continued to eye her up and down throughout the conversation.

"I can take you home," Cato offered seductively.

"I am not speaking to you. Finnick answer the question," she demanded.

"We can crash here for the night," Peeta offered.

"See there you go. Problem solved," Finnick answered Johanna sounding like he was fed up of this conversation already.

"In that case mind if we join you guys here later?" Cato asked, now moving his eyes from Johanna to Finnick, even though the house belonged to Peeta.

"Who's 'we'?" Katniss questioned.

"Me, Marvel, Clove, Enobria, Cashmere you know the usual's," Cato shrugged. Johanna wasn't sure how much that relaxed Katniss but something about her seemed almost relieved.

"Yeah just bring some booze," Peeta chipped in and then turned to head back inside, causing Johanna and Gale to move out of his way on the porch.

"See you later then boys and girls," Cato waved as he walked off and Finnick and Katniss began to walk back in again.

"You aren't seriously getting high," Johanna grabbed him as he headed past as Gale and Katniss headed inside.

"Course I am, and I think you should join us," he recommended and Johanna rolled her eyes at him as he headed back inside. Truth was she knew what she was like when she was high, and there was no way she was letting Finnick or anyone else see that side of her.

Author's Note: Hey yo guys! I hope you're all doing well and still enjoying the story. What do you think of their time at the lake so far? And what kind of shenanigans do you think they'll be getting up to at the party tonight? Please leave feedback as always guys! And for the guest who asked my twitter is Boydie93 and I'll try and keep you updated on what's going on and will be more than happy to answer any questions you have via twitter :).

-R