Finnick began wrapping his end of the wire around the thick tree trunk, watching unhappily as Katniss and Johanna disappeared with their end, running it down to the beach. He had an uncomfortable feeling, letting her out of his sight. How could he protect her if he was so far away? He had to trust Johanna to succeed and survive.

He was pacing restlessly, putting pressure on the self-inflicted wound on his forearm, when he noticed the wire went slack.

"No," he groaned, running after the girls. "Katniss! Katniss!"

Finnick charged through the trees, heedless of the easy target he was making. He had to find her; he could only hope Johanna had managed to remove their trackers and keep them safe.

"Katniss!"

Where was she? A cannon boomed back in the other direction and Finnick immediately turned back. HIs heart was pounding from more than just exertion when he reached the tree and saw Katniss, her arrow aimed at his heart.

"Katniss, please." He held his hands up, showing her that he didn't have a weapon, that he really was on her side.

Another cannon rocked the arena. He could read the confusion and uncertainty on her face as she hesitated. At the last second, she redirected her arrow to the sky and let it loose.

Finnick was blown off of his feet when the world exploded around them. Slowly, he drug himself over to Katniss' unconscious body and felt her weak pulse fluttering against his fingers.

Relief washed over him as the claw descended and plucked both of them from the arena. He only had a moment of consciousness to dread whose deaths the cannons had told.


"She did it." Haymitch's gruff voice woke Finnick to a fuzzy world full of pain.

His head was throbbing and it felt like his leg had been snapped in two, or maybe three.

"What happened? Did she make it?" Finnick croaked, his mouth dry as a bone.

"Yeah, she's here. Sedated though; wild thing that she is," Plutarch Heavensbe answered.

"Johanna?"

"Alive, but captured," Haymitch responded with a sigh. "Enobaria too."

Finnick closed his eyes, worried about what they were doing to his friend.

"Chaff?" he asked softly.

"Brutus got to him before I could."

"I assume that means he was the second cannon?"

Haymitch grunted, bobbed his head, and took a swig of alcohol.

"How's Katniss? Is she hurt?"

"Not badly; we had to mend a broken arm and she had a concussion, but the rest of her injuries were minor," the game maker answered.

"Are we out?"

"Be in District 13 in about an hour," Haymitch said.

"Let me go!" Katniss shouted from nearby.

Haymitch sighed and left to calm her...again.

"Damn kid," he grumbled on his way out.

Finnick sat up slowly, forcing the world to quit spinning. His feet touched the cold, metal floor, grounding him. Carefully, he stood and made his way towards Katniss.

"Hello Beautiful," he greeted her.

She turned her angry glare from Haymitch to him, but her jaw softened as she looked at him.

"Mission complete," she growled, "Now, let me go!"

Finnick's eyes traveled over her body, taking in the restraints. Confused, he moved forward automatically to free her, but Haymitch stopped him.

"She's not ready yet," Haymitch stated, holding his sore stomach from where she had attacked him earlier.

"I told you, I understand what's going on now. I promise I won't hurt you anymore."

"You hurt me? I don't think so, Sweetheart."

"Then what are you afraid of?"

"That you'll force me to hurt you."

"Are you sober enough to try?"

"That's it!" he roared, sending pains through Finnick's head. "I'll let you go. But if you hit me again, I'll show you just how sober I am."

Haymitch ripped the straps away and Katniss flew to her feet. The two of them stood glaring at each other from inches away.

Carefully, Finnick eased his body between them, gently guiding Katniss back several steps, while nudging Hayumitch's chest with his elbow.

"Guys-" he began, but got no further before they were both pushing in against him and yelling.

"You could have told me!" Katniss shouted.

"It was better for you not to know!" Haymitch argued back, pointing a finger in her face.

"How? How could that be better? I almost shot Finnick. Three times!"

"...Three?" Finnick asked quietly, not sure when the second time had been.

"Because it might not have worked! We may have never gotten out! We almost didn't," his voice lowered at the end as he fought to calm down.

"So, what? If it didn't work, then you were fine with me killing people who were only trying to help me? Damn it, Haymitch! It's my fault Johanna didn't get out! I ran from her because I thought she was going to cut my throat," Katniss' voice cracked with guilt.

"That makes it my fault the, doesn't it?" Haymitch reasoned softly. "I was just trying to protect you, Kid. You would have tried to save everyone if you had known. And that would've been the end of us all."

Finnick watched her sag as the fight went out of her.

"We're out. Now what? How do we get to Johanna?"

Haymitch sighed and shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. Not yet. First, we've got to officially join the rebellion in District 13. Then, we'll go from there."

Katniss frowned at Finnick, watching him carefully.

"He's right. As much as I don't like it, he's right," Finnick said softly, feeling disappointed with his hopelessness. "But we are getting her out."

She set her jaw and nodded. "What about everyone else? Prim? Gale? My mother? What will they do to our districts?"

Haymitch sighed heavily. "The districts are all revolting." But he didn't look at her when he answered.

"Haymitch, what happened? What'd they do to District 12?"

"Now's not the time to-"

"Tel me what they did," she demanded. "What happened to our district?"

"They blasted it. Full scale attack. District 12 is all but gone. But there are survivors, Katniss." He edged Finnick out of the way and held her by the shoulders. "Prim, your mom, Gale, and his family, they're all safe, they're in District 13, waiting for us."

"Don't lie to me, Haymitch," she snarled.

"I'm not, Sweetheart. They're there, alive and well. I heard Gale on the comm, myself. Threatening life and limb if you weren't okay."

She took a deep breath and stepped away from Haymitch to stare out of a small window. Finnick watched her silently for a while, hoping the throbbing in his head would stop soon. He knew the ache in his chest wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"Haymitch," he said softly, approaching the haggard-looking man. "What about Four? What about Annie?"

"There's a unit trying to get her now; we haven't heard back yet. Four's rebelling, but they're strong and an important district, they haven't been hit hard yet. Obviously, they don't know the extent of your involvement."

Finnick took a deep breath and sat on the edge of his chair. She would be okay; she had to.


A/N: Sorry I've been such a lazy writer with this one. It's ridiculous, I know. But you can thank your fellow readers for prompting me to write again through pm's and reviews, they've really helped with motivation. Thanks to everyone for hanging in there and reading!