beginning. accusation. restless. snowflake. haze. flame. formal. companion. move. silver. prepared. knowledge. denial. wind. order. thanks. look. summer. transformation. tremble.sunset. mad. thousand. outside. winter. diamond. letters. promise. simple. future.
Annie’s mad all right. Just not like they think she is.
Annie knows the rumors. Sees the speculation on TV even though Mags told her not to watch. Why she isn’t seen in the Capitol, why she doesn’t sponsor products or come out for appearances or even do interviews. Lost her mind, crazy, mad, insane. Someone to be pitied, a lost cause, a delicate china cup, slightly cracked.
She’s mad alright, furious, when some lady with a white coat and silver hair and fingernails and eyelashes and patterns etched into her skin pronounces her adorable, after a video surfaces of her and Finnick, walking along the boardwalk in town. His arm is around her shoulders, and she’s leaning against him, and she’s pretty sure it was the morning she woke up sure she was in the Arena and half-convinced the house was a dream, and Finnick took her out to town and narrated every absurd thing that was happening till she believed in reality again.
So fine, she’s crazy, but it’s none of their fucking business, and they never have video of Finnick running down the beach and swimming back and working out on the point until someone has to help him into the house and make him drink water so he won’t pass out. Finnick gets to be their perfect angel child and she knows, she knows that’s probably worse. Knows the poor crazy Annie stories keep her safe, here, keep her from having to do what Finnick does. Knows she couldn’t do it—wouldn’t manage not to snap and who knows whether that’d be curling in on herself and crying or lashing out and killing somebody.
Right now she’s guessing “kill somebody,” because she hasn’t quite registered what’s happening until Finnick’s voice cuts through the poison syrup from the goddamn screen.
“Annie!” Finnick calls out, and she realizes she’s thrown everything she can get her hands on at the TV, that the sound is garbled and the picture fractured, the room trashed and her chest heaving.
She spins to face him, snarls. “What do you want?”
His face settles into the kind of calm that’s an act, and she hates him right now because he can fucking pull off the act.
“Just wanted to make sure you’re okay,” he says, even and reasonable, and how come he gets to be reasonable?
“I’m fine,” she sneers, standing still as he comes toward her. He’s not being careful, just concerned, and she’ll show him to treat her like they do, like she’s fragile. As soon as he’s in range she lashes out and drives the ball of her foot into his knee, feels the kneecap shift and Finnick goes down.
She stands over him as he winces, glaring, and maybe later she’ll regret this, but right now she doesn’t, not one bit. Because now at least he’s not acting for her. He pulls his knee to his chest, grimacing, then raises his hands, palms open. Surrenders.
She steps back, lets him sit up, lean his back against the wall and poke at his knee. Stalks over to the chair in the corner and drops down into it.
They sit, facing off warily across the room like the half-wild kids they both are. Annie’s heart rate slows, and eventually she runs her hands through her hair and sighs.
“Sorry,” she says, reluctantly. “What’s the damage?”
Finnick shrugs. “’S’okay,” he says, gingerly straightening his leg. “Won’t be running for a while but I don’t think anything’s broken.”
Annie nods, and the silence stretches out again. His knee’s starting to swell.
She gets up, goes to the freezer and pulls out an ice pack. She throws it at his head, and he catches it. “Thanks,” he says.
“Don’t pull that bullshit around me next time and I won’t injure you,” Annie says, and the anger’s draining out a little but she’s still pissed and he’s still an idiot.
Finnick looks away. “Yeah,” he says, drawing out the word. “Sorry.”
He glances back at her with a wry smile. “Guess Mags’s the only one can get away with that,” he says, watching.
Annie takes the peace offering, snorts. “Yeah,” she admits. “Mentor superpower, I guess.”
Finnick snorts, half a laugh. “Guess so.”