Fandom: Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games Series - All Media Types
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Annie Cresta/Finnick Odair
Characters: Annie Cresta, Finnick Odair
Additional Tags: Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, (just because it's Finnick), Canon Compliant, EXCEPT CANON IS TERRIBLE, so actually, canon-divergent Finnick-survives AU
Annie doesn't want Finnick Odair, heartthrob.
He's not sure he's got anything else to give her.
She's sure that's not true.
The first time they have sex, it’s terrible.
That’s not entirely true: Finnick Odair is of course very good at sex.
Annie is still reeling from Mags’ stroke, her anchor ripped away in a storm leaving her adrift on the waves. She goes over to Finnick’s house, and they go to bed, and she curls close against him and he kisses her, and all of that is perfectly normal until he slides lower, trailing kisses all the way down until his tongue slides into her, and then his fingers, and his tongue flicks against her clit and it’s good, her mind goes gloriously blank and she shudders and arches against him and gasps as she comes, and then he’s kissing his way back up, and his mouth is on hers and his dick slides wetly inside her and oh, oh, it’s good.
Until she comes, again, clenching around him and as if it was a switch flipped he comes too, his weight still perfectly balanced on his forearms and his mouth still on hers, biting her lip and moaning into her. He extracts himself, lying next to her, and she turns toward him and freezes. He’s smiling, seductive, and his eyes are wide and faraway, and her blood goes cold. She sits up, abrupt, glances at him, grabs the towel hanging nearby. “I have to go,” she says, and he flinches, and she should stay and explain and take care of him but she’s—she can’t, not yet.
She half-runs down the rocks to the thin strip of beach, drops her towel and dives in. Mags was worried, after her Games, that Annie would be scared of the water, the ocean, because she could’ve drowned.
Annie never saw it that way. She killed three people in the Games, a kid in the bloodbath with a long knife, and two later on with the harpoons she pulled from the Cornucopia. But after her district partner’s head stared up at her from the ground she couldn’t stomach killing anyone else, hid away hoping nobody’d find her, and that’s not how Fours win the Games. The flood saved her, and sure, it saved her by damn near killing her, but she’s here anyway.
Tonight she swims hard, out past the breakers to where the swell buoys her up, and she dives down, down, down till her lungs burn, comes up gasping for the air that knifes clean into her lungs, tastes salt and sea and home and lets herself be furious at Finnick for performing for her, at the Capitol for making him do that, at Mags for letting it happen, at herself for being too selfish to notice, and she stays there, treading water, floating on her back, swimming a few lengths every now and again to stay near the Village. When she’s calm enough to control herself she swims back in, racing the waves onto the sand, wraps her towel around her and goes back up to Finnick’s house.
He’s still in bed, and he’s pulled his boxers up around his hips but he’s just curled up on the bed, the sheet pooled on the floor where they left it, and he’s facing the door so he sees her come in, looks sad and confused and scared and young. He’s a year older than she is and usually it seems like more, but curled up small with those eyes he looks like he’s a teenager.
Annie pulls on a baggy T-shirt and sweatpants, sits on the edge of the bed, runs her fingers through his hair, and takes a deep breath.
He speaks before she can. “I’m sorry,” he says quiet. “I thought you were enjoying it.” His voice is flat and taut with a kind of fear she knows she doesn’t understand. She bites her tongue, hard, doesn’t let her hand hesitate, scratching gently at his scalp.
“That’s not the problem, Finn,” she says, keeping her voice soft while she screams inside her head.
“Then—“ Finnick’s confused, scared eyes are really just too much and Annie looks away, out the windows towards the surf.
“I don’t want you to perform for me,” Annie says, and she can’t help the sharpness that leaks in.
Finnick pulls in tighter, till his knees are almost to his chest. “I don’t know how not to,” he says, so quiet she can barely hear him.
“Then we’re not doing this,” Annie says, firm.
“No,” Annie says.
Finnick reaches up, tugs at her arm, and Annie lays down, curled around him, their noses inches apart. “I want you, Finn,” she says, and this close she has to pick one of his eyes to look at, and his flick back and forth between hers, quick. “Not some Capitol heartthrob act.”
“It’s not…” his voice trails off.
“It is an act, Finnick, don’t pretend I can’t tell.”
Her hand’s rubbing up and down his arm, and she feels the tension holding him far too still. “I don’t know what else I can do for you,” Finnick says, bitter. “I’m not good for anything else.”
She actually punches him, hard enough he blinks and pulls away, but when he looks back at her he looks a little more like himself.
“You’re a good cook,” she says mildly. “You can make me chocolate-coconut cookies.”
He rolls his eyes. “That’s…not…important.” He sounds like the words are being carved out of him with a fish knife.
“You let me whale on you last time I had a bad nightmare,” she says, and that gives him pause, probably because a couple of the bruises are just barely healed. “You take me out on the boat and give me back massages and tell funny stories and sing off-key in the shower. You keep me here and now when my mind tells me I’m somewhere else. You do a lot of things and all of them are important. Even the baking. Maybe especially the baking,” she adds, winking. “Chocolate coconut cookies are extremely important.
Finnick gives her a flat look. The kind that says he knows she’s trying to cheer him up and while he’d rather not admit it, it’s more-or-less working.
She thinks for a second, then leans forward and kisses him. He pushes into it, hungry, and she pulls away for a second. “See, and that’s not a performance, is it?”
He stretches out now, tugs at her arm again, and she settles herself on one elbow, watching his face. “No,” he says, sulky, and she leans forward again, while he fists his hands in her hair and tugs, kisses her like it’s as vital as breathing, runs his hands up and down her back, down her hips, across her stomach. He keeps his eyes open when he kisses her, pulls away to trace fingers along her jaw. It’s careful, awkward even, and Annie loves it because that’s how she knows it’s real.
It’s a long time before they try again. And then one morning they wake up together, on a hot summer day. The kind of day when the heat presses down like a blanket and they stay in bed with the breeze blowing through the window because moving seems like too much work. And Finnick’s kissing her and watching while her fingers move between her legs, and his face is flushed and she can feel his erection pressing against her leg, insistent. And as she finishes he kisses her, bites her lip just hard enough to hurt, and whispers “Please.” Her body feels so alive, humming with sensation, and just the word makes her breath choke off in her throat. She turns toward him, pressing his shoulders gently against the bed, and straddles his waist. He’s watching her with wide eyes, a little scared but fully present, and when she lowers herself onto him his mouth falls open and he gasps. His hands come up to her hips, trace the curve of her waist, her breasts, the line of her collarbone. She bends down to kiss him, moves against him and grins when his breath hitches. She starts moving quicker, watching, watching, and his eyes stay clear and bright and his hands never stop moving, and as she shudders, clenching around him and arching her head back, he gives a sharp gasp and squeezes his eyes tight closed, and she feels him come, shaking. Annie stays perfectly still, waiting until he opens his eyes and looks at her—and there’s terror there, and shame, but it’s not as strong as the—awe, there’s no other word for it, and he reaches up with careful hands and cups her face, pulls her down to kiss, soft, almost chaste. She shifts, releasing him, curls with her head against his racing heart. “Thank you,” Finnick whispers, his breath ruffling her hair, and Annie hums.
It doesn’t happen often. When Finnick comes back from the Capitol, he’s too antsy to sleep in the same bed, if he manages to sleep at all. He stays in motion, as though nothing can catch up with him if he runs far enough, dives deep enough, spends enough time in Theo’s homemade gym-playground working himself to exhaustion.
She waits for him to come over, exhausted and hollow-eyed, to crawl into her hammock and pass out, to slide in next to her on the couch while she knots nets and nuzzle into her hair. To kiss her, eventually, eyes wide open, to nap with his head in her lap and eventually to follow her to bed. Finnick asks her, again and again, if she isn’t disappointed, isn’t missing out, and she says no every time and means it. Sure, it feels good, feeling him inside her. But lots of things feel good. Racing each other out past the breakers and riding the waves back. Falling asleep on the beach, waking up sweaty and sandy and diving back in. Lazy mornings tangled together in bed, half-sleeping and nuzzling each other like kittens. Sitting on the counter while Finnick bakes, licking the spoons and cleaning out the bowl with her fingers, Finnick licking batter off her nose. Sitting against him, her fingers on her clit and his nose in her hair and his hands ghosting over her thighs, tracing patterns on her stomach, reaching with her free hand to grab his when she comes.
But on their wedding night, Finnick is determined. After their first dance, he whispers in her ear, “Please,” their own special code, and when she raises her eyebrows his grin is so self-satisfied and full of mischief she pulls away and laughs. And at the end of the evening, when Plutarch and his cameras are long gone, they slip away into their shared compartment and Finnick pulls her down onto the bed with him. She gasps, unsure suddenly, their balance shifting again like it has so many times before. It’s always like this, her straddling his hips, but this time it’s because Annie can’t imagine lying still with someone else so close on top of her, and when Finnick helps her out of her dress there are healing scars across her back, when she slides his pants off there are strange fading burn marks from Gamesmaker lightning streaking up his legs, and there’s no window, no sea breeze, no color except for the clothes they shed. They both move slow, careful and hesitant, and when Annie guides him into her he whispers “I love you, Annie,” and she whispers back “I love you, Finnick,” and tears spring to her eyes because they said it, out loud, earlier today, in front of hundreds of people, but here is where it matters. Here, locked together and insistently vulnerable, and she bends down and kisses Finnick until she has to come up gasping. “I love you,” he says, louder, firmer, and she says it back, and Finnick grins at her once before looking up at the ceiling and yelling “I love Annie Cresta!” in a voice so loud it rings in the small compartment. Annie laughs out loud, and then Finnick’s hips buck underneath her and her breath catches, and then she stops thinking for once and comes gasping with her head thrown back and Finnick’s shout ringing in her ears.
When she finds out she’s pregnant her first reaction is terror. It’s too soon, they’re not done yet, they’re so close but it’s not finished. Finnick’s training for a war and she’s working as a nurse and they’re spending every second together but there’s only one night it could have happened—and maybe it was meant to be. She tells Finnick after lights-out, in the dim grey of the emergency light under the door. Whispers in his ear, actually, “I’m pregnant.”
Finnick sits bolt upright and she’s afraid she’s scared him until she catches a flash of white from his teeth where he’s grinning. “Diocito lindo,” he says—Mags’ phrase—“Annie, that’s—that’s amazing!”
His excitement is contagious and for now Annie sets aside her fears and sits up to hug him. They fumble their way in the dark until their lips meet, and then Finnick’s hand comes up to her belly where somehow their child is quietly growing. “A baby,” he says, soft and awed. “Annie, I can’t believe it!”
“Wedding-night babies are lucky,” Annie says, leaning back against the wall and waiting for Finnick to follow. “And this one’s gonna be born in a free Panem.” Her voice trembles on the last, it’s becoming surer every day but Annie knows better than to tempt fate.
Finnick is silent, reaches out to take her hand. “Sure is,” he says, steady. He tugs gently on her hand until she turns her head into his chest. His arm wraps around her, fingers brushing her stomach. “In District Four, so we can baptize him in the ocean right away.” Annie closes her eyes, dreams of water, and horizons, and everything she misses so much about the world outside these barren walls.
“How d’you know it’ll be a boy?” Annie asks, drowsily.
Finnick chuckles, the warm sound vibrating his chest against her ear. “I don’t,” he says, amazed. “Doesn’t matter, they’ll be born in Four and baptized in the ocean and they’ll never, ever, be a Victor.”
Annie smiles. Finnick strokes her hair, and her eyes start sliding closed. “Tell me a story,” she mumbles, the way she does when one or the other of them can’t sleep. “Tell me about our baby.”
“Once upon a time,” Finnick says, “There were two people who were so in love they almost couldn’t stand it…”
Annie closes her eyes, and lets his voice carry her to sleep.