|Finnick Odair (changingtide) wrote in the100,|
@ 2016-02-19 23:46:00
|Entry tags:||finnick odair, katniss everdeen|
Who: Finnick Odair and Katniss Everdeen
When: Backdated to Feb. 15
Where: Their room
What: Finnick and Katniss discuss how attraction works
Tempting as it was, Katniss didn’t often spend an entire day in bed. It was a holiday for lovers, though, and staying in bed made her two interests - avoiding the pink and roses and glitter, and celebrating with Peeta - dovetail perfectly. By the time morning came around again, she was a little restless, eager to get out to her hunting grounds. She woke earlier than Peeta, kissed his forehead, and then dressed and went out into the woods.
It was cold outside still, but she could feel the barest hints of spring beginning to come. It would be here in full in another month or so, maybe. The chill air was fresh, at least, and it was nice to be out from under the mountain. So much of her life was down there, and she’d gotten more used to it, but she would never be entirely comfortable with being underground.
She made her usual stop at the kitchens to drop off her day’s haul, and then headed back to her unit. There were still remnants of Valentine’s Day around, and she kept her scarf up over her nose to make sure she didn’t catch a whiff of any roses. When she opened the door, she found Finnick on the other side, and finally lowered her scarf.
“Hey,” she said, setting down her bag and bow. She sat down on the couch and stretched out her legs. “I haven’t seen you in a day or so.”
He and Annie had never needed any special holiday to celebrate each other and being in love. He liked to think they would have acted like this no matter where they were or what world they had met in, but Finnick suspected that having to work so hard at being together had really made them even more certain of their love for one another. They had withstood a lot to be together.
And, Finnick was starting to figure out, they had always been more on the side of amorous -- especially here, where they didn’t have to worry about who was watching them touch.
So, Finnick had given Annie the footrub she had so desired -- and then continued trying to keep up with the ideas she had formulated. They spent most of the day in bed as well.
He had sleepily left the bedroom to retrieve some water and see what he could do about bringing breakfast to Annie in bed when Katniss came in. Of course she had already been hunting.
“Because a certain someone and Peeta have been in bed for a day or so,” Finnick teased her wryly.
“Mmhm,” Katniss said, with a small but genuine and unashamed smile. “Avoiding this holiday by staying in bed is a pretty decent way of celebrating it, apparently.”
She lifted her hands to undo her braid, and tilted her head at him as she ran her fingers lazily through her hair. He looked lazy and tousled, as if he’d had his own share of holiday festivities, though she doubted he’d bothered with the pink and red and glitter, either. “What did I miss? Or did you stay in bed, too?”
“Annie and I would never do anything so irresponsible as to spend a few hours with each other, basking in each other’s company,” Finnick teased dryly.
Really, it had been nice -- especially after everything that had happened when he’d gotten accidentally magicked. It still sat uneasily with him that he had mistaken her for Savera Aldjoy of all people. But what had scared him had been all the what ifs -- and in the end, he’d made peace with the fact that none of those things had happened precisely because they did know each other so well. She’d noticed he’d been acting off and knew all the ways to bring back to himself.
“I’ll make sure to congratulate Peeta when he gets up,” Finnick tacked on because he knew that Katniss would want him to do no such thing.
Katniss laughed, and relaxed further into the couch. “Of course. That would be horribly irresponsible of you.”
It kind of was irresponsible, really, but then, what she’d had in common with Finnick was that they’d never cared. Nothing mattered more than the well-being and safety of the people they loved. Well, irresponsible was the wrong word for that. It was just that their responsibilities to their loved ones came first, before everything.
She didn’t argue when he said he’d congratulate Peeta. A small smile hovered at the corner of her mouth for a moment, but that was the only indication that she’d heard him. Instead, she patted the seat on the couch next to her. “Come here.”
Finnick was horribly amused when she didn’t say anything back about congratulating Peeta. He must have done well then. Finnick bit his tongue for the time being. Really, he only teased them because he was happy for them -- because they seemed to find some sort of happiness here together.
“You’re not going to hit me, are you?” Finnick quipped as he went to sit down next to her.
“No,” Katniss said, amused. “Well… probably not.”
She scooted towards him just a little when he sat down, until their shoulders touched. It was an almost instinctive, unconscious movement: it was the way she’d always sat next to Gale, on their rock, in their woods. Her friendship with Finnick had gotten nearly as intimate, even if they didn’t know each other’s minds as well. They knew each other’s hearts, instead.
“It’s a weird holiday,” she said, absently. “Love is weird. Sex is even weirder.”
Finnick settled down next to her, and when she scooted a little closer to him, he wrapped one arm around her shoulders. It was weird all the time they had been able to spend together. Weird, but nice. For a long time, Johanna had been the closest thing he’d had to a real friend (which she still was), but they’d been limited by how long they were able to spend together. They’d survived the Capitol together, seen each other at their worst, but they’d never gone through the minutiae of day-to-day interactions like he and Katniss had started to do here.
“You sound like Jo,” Finnick teased gently. “And I would hope that sex still isn’t that weird for you after all this.” Love, though -- that he wouldn’t deny. After all, he would have never been one to guess that he and Annie would have worked out the way they had. He hadn’t looked at her twice when she had been Reaped. But she had seen something in him -- something that he had thought was long dead, and been able to coax it back into being.
“Yeah, well,” Katniss said blithely. “Occasionally Johanna has a good point.”
It was vaguely uncomfortable to have his arm around her shoulders while they were talking about this, but not enough to make her move away. It did make her a little more reluctant to answer him honestly, though. No, it wasn’t weird anymore, not while it was happening; outside of the bedroom, though, when she actually thought about it, it still seemed strange. All the more absurd for how how normal everyone thought it was and how desirable it was even to her.
But she didn’t say any of that. Instead, without really thinking it through, she said, “You know, a while ago, I wanted to ask you a question. But I don’t want you to take it the wrong way.”
Finnick couldn’t help but laugh as she geared up to ask him a question. He had no idea what she was going to ask -- and he didn’t know if he should be worried that she was introducing the question when she was usually so blunt.
He leaned back on the arm of the couch so that he could see her better, relinquishing his hold on her for the time being.
“All right,” he said. “Now you’ve got me intrigued. What’s this question?”
Katniss knew what she wanted to ask, but she didn’t know which words to use. This had never been her forte. She’d gotten less embarrassed about talking about uncomfortable things, but that didn’t mean she knew how to express herself properly.
“You and Annie joke about, you know, liking Peeta’s arms or whatever,” she said, after a moment’s hesitation. “Is that… how it is for you and her, that there are things you like about other people - not specifically him, but people other than the two of you - that you might feel something when you see them, an attraction to them, even if it’s not nearly the same thing as what you feel for her?”
As the words were coming out of her mouth, they felt jumbled and nonsensical and she had no idea whether he’d be able to make any sense of them. She didn’t know how to explain it any better, though, so she waited to see if he had understood any of it. She didn’t know what she was hoping he’d say, either: that he and Annie were both like Peeta, who were attracted to other people but still more in love with each other, or that one or both of them were both like her, who felt nothing like that for anyone except Peeta, so it was all entirely a joke to them. Neither answer was right or wrong, really, and either one of them would kind of reassure her in its own way.
Finnick grew more serious as she launched into her rambling explanation of what she was trying to ask. He was a bit surprised by her choice of topic -- and a little more surprised that she was even bringing it up with him. He suspected that she was trying to figure something out for herself -- wasn’t genuinely curious about how he categorized his own attraction to other people, but it was still a little overwhelming to try and sort through what his answer was to this.
In essence: Was he attracted to other people besides Annie? He supposed, yes, he noticed physical attractiveness in other people -- how could he not? So much of his life had been determined by how attractive he was. But he was never remotely interested in sleeping with anyone besides Annie. How could he be? He’d been given to all sorts of people, been through everything sexual experience in the book. And what it came down to now was that Annie knew him, loved, cared for him. And yes, they managed to have sex in spite of everything that had been done to him, but if the sex had been taken out of it, he still would have wanted to spend every day of his life with her. The sex was just a handy way of physically expressing to her how he felt about her -- and that wasn’t something that was true for any of the other dozens of people he had slept with.
“I’m a bit skewed when it comes to things like that, Katniss,” Finnick admitted quietly but ruefully. He tapped his hand lightly against the edge of the couch. “What’s bothering you?”
That was a fair answer, and probably one that Katniss should have expected. She felt a little bit bad that she hadn’t considered the way his experiences might have affected the way he felt. She realized she’d made the assumption that he hadn’t been attracted to his clients, because that would only make it even worse. But he was obviously still able to feel love and attraction to other people, or at least to Annie, so…
“Yeah,” she said. “Sorry. It’s just… I guess I’m skewed differently than other people, too, even though I haven’t… been through anything like what you have.” She took a deep breath. “I’ve never felt… anything like that… for anyone but Peeta. But he’s noticed other people, even if he doesn’t want them the same way he wants me. I guess I just wanted to know if you understood… either one of those perspectives, because I’m still trying to figure them out.”
Finnick listened quietly as Katniss talked and got to the heart of the matter. He still wasn’t sure if she was bothered by the fact that she seemed to skew differently or that Peeta was noticing other people -- or even a little bit of both.
“I can tell you that, for me, I only look at Annie, but that’s because of so much of what I feel for her is emotional and based on what we’ve been through together,” Finnick told her gently. “The trust I have in her is absolute. She knows me better than I know myself. I would love her even if the sex side of things didn’t work out -- and it kind of happily does, I guess. But because of everything I’ve been through, just sex doesn’t matter to me. There aren’t people I see that I would want to have sex with, because I need that emotional side to be there now. I need it to be there first.”
He shrugged a little.
“I think it’s good to understand yourself if it helps you in your relationship, but I think everyone’s going to be a little different too. So if you don’t match up, or Peeta doesn’t match up, with what you’re hearing other people say, I wouldn’t worry about it. Unless whatever it is something that’s actually affecting your relationship.”
He leaned in and tugged at a strand of hair that had come from her loosened braid.
“At least, that’s what my two cents,” he said ruefully. “For what it’s worth.”
Katniss couldn’t decide whether that meant Finnick was more like her, who never saw anyone and wanted them, or more like Peeta, only he’d stopped looking because of everything he’d been through. Was it possible that Katniss’s experiences had made her this way, too? She’d never given it much thought before she had been thrown into the arena with Peeta. She’d dismissed everything so quickly before then, the idea of Gale as more than a hunting partner, the idea of anything with anyone because it had just seemed so stupid, dangerous, and unimportant. But maybe she thought that because of her father’s death. Because she’d seen how much love could hurt, so early on.
It had only given her more to think about, not less. She just wanted to go back to feeling sure of herself. His last bit of advice was solid, at least. She should probably just accept that it was something she’d never understand, but that it didn’t matter, because Peeta loved her, and she loved him.
“It’s not affecting us,” she said, eventually. Leaning her head on Finnick’s shoulder, she closed her eyes. “We’re fine.”
Finnick leaned his head gently on top of hers when she leaned into him. He didn’t know if he had helped at all, but he had hoped he had, at least a little. He’d never had the luxury of thinking about sexuality. And now considering it, after everything, it really was a little overwhelming. But what he had said to her really did apply to him and Annie. Despite their odds, they worked. And Finnick was content to just be grateful for that and not look too hard at it.
“Good,” Finnick murmured. “Because you’d break my heart if my toast babies weren’t getting on.”
Despite herself, Katniss snorted. “What are we, your children?”
She knew what he meant, though. He was invested in their happiness, and that was a sentiment she appreciated. One that was mutual, too. After a moment, she said, reassuringly, “He’s stuck with me through two arenas, a hijacking, and a rebellion, not to mention all the other ways I’ve managed to hurt him. If he’s thought other girls are pretty all that time, it’s obviously not the same. So there’s no point in worrying about it.”
She paused, and then, “Are you and Annie okay?”
“Yes,” Finnick answered immediately. “You are absolutely our children.” Katniss and Peeta weren’t even remotely that much younger than him or Annie -- but, as he’d told her in the past, he did feel like he had to look out for them a little bit. He knew it went beyond just having been told to protect them in the arena. He’d learned to care about them somewhere along the way,
“Yes. Why do you ask?” He was a little surprised by the question. If anything, he suspected that he and Annie were rather boring compared to some of the people here. They were steadfast in their resilience for each other. He had never taken her for granted, but in a world that had been so chaotic for them, they had become fixed points for each other.
“We’re not,” Katniss said, elbowing him in the ribs. It was an affectionate sentiment, she knew, but it was also ridiculous. “I’m your sister. Remember?”
In spite of herself, she was still smiling, although she did her best to cover it. She let out a breath that was supposed to sound huffy and annoyed, but it didn’t quite work for her. She did sober a little bit, though, when he turned the question back around on her. “Because, last time we talked, there was some… magic stuff. And… Annie thanked me for looking after you while she wasn’t here.”
“You’re my sister, and you’re our children,” Finnick corrected teasingly. When she elbowed him in the ribs, he reached down to pinch her in the side.
But the joy was short-lived, especially with the comment she made next. He grew sober as well. He had been so caught up in everything that had happened that he had almost forgotten what he’d told Annie when Katniss had forgotten some of her memories. He didn’t like having it brought up again. It was one thing to tell Annie, but he and Katniss seemed to have landed on some unspoken agreement not to discuss what had almost happened.
“I told her the night you’d lost some of your memories,” Finnick said, faltering.
“Finnick,” Katniss said wryly, “I think you’re a little bit confused about how siblings and children work.”
But she let it go, and wrapped her arm briefly around his middle to give him a little squeeze. She hadn’t wanted to make him unhappy, but between those two things - the two conversations she’d had with Finnick and Annie, separately - she’d been wondering about them, and since they’d been on the subject…
Well, it didn’t matter. Magic, Annie’s absence, they’d both hurt, but they were all still here. “It’s fine,” she said, quietly. “I just wanted to make sure my brother and sister-in-law were happy.”
Finnick wrapped his arms back around her to squeeze her in return. He felt a quiet pang of regret -- he tried not to think too much about everything that happened back home. Knowing he would never grow old with Annie and knowing he would never really see their son grow up was a pain he couldn’t avoid. But, in this moment, he also felt regret that the only time he really had with Katniss and Peeta was here and now. Everything back home was strained and temporary. He’d spent more time with Katniss here than he even would before he died in the war. Their friendship had probably blossomed here more than it had there.
He pressed a soft kiss to the top of her head.
“We’re happy,” he reassured her. “Don’t worry about us.”
It was amazing, really, what a good place all of them were in right now. It scared her sometimes, when Katniss really thought about it, because all it would take was one disaster or disappearance for them to be heartbroken again.
Peeta would break her heart the most. But losing Finnick would hurt, too, and if Annie left, her heart would break for him. But there was nothing she could do to prevent that, except to hang on to what they had with all of her strength of will and hope that it was enough. She kept her arm around Finnick’s waist for a moment, her head still resting against his shoulder.
“We don’t have anything to worry about, then.”