Warnings: mentions of pain torture, jabberjays, mean Capitol
Summary: The Capitol controlled everything, even the hate between you and a certain Finnick Odair. Or so they thought. When you get trapped in the Jabberjays section, you were so sure nothing would affect you. You were terribly wrong.
Word Count: 1678
You wielded your bo before locking it into place on your back. You got separated from Finnick while fighting at the Cornucopia. You had to find Finnick. You were sure that Finnick survived the bloodbath, but you needed to find him as soon as possible. Even though the audience believed that you and Finnick were rivals, you didn’t care. You were getting out of the arena and away from the Capitol, anyway.
Keeping your eyes peeled, you trekked through the jungle environment. So far, there wasn’t anything suspicious. You didn’t dare eat the tempting nuts, go near the lake surrounding the Cornucopia, or shout for Finnick. you played with the bracelet on your wrist, trying to concentrate.
Something moved. You heard the rustle of leaves. You placed your hand on your bo, prepared for anything unexpected.
You stopped in your tracks. That was your mother’s voice. But, your mother was dead. You tilted your head in confusion before resuming your defensive stance.
Your father’s voice. You blinked and shook your head. He was dead, too. You were only in the game for a couple of hours. You knew you weren’t going crazy from sleep deprivation, dehydration, or starvation. You scoffed. The Capitol was trying to play tricks on you. “Not gonna work!” you shouted. “Everyone I care about’s gone,” you stated, walking through the jungle.
“(Y/n)! Help! Please!”
You froze. “Finnick?” you whispered. You shook your head. It couldn’t be him. He was with Katniss, like planned. He couldn’t be anywhere near you. It wasn’t possible.
Your heart crumbled. “Finnick! Finnick! Where are you?” You ripped through the trees. You whipped out your bow. “Finnick!”
“(Y/n)! Help me! Please! (Y/n)!”
Your eyes watered. What was happening to him? Finnick was always so brave. He would never wail like this. Not if something truly horrible was happening. What was the Capitol doing to him? What cruel thing were they doing this time? You had to get to him. You had to help him. You couldn’t go on in this game without him.
“Finnick!” The screams emanated from that area. You spun around. “Finnick!” you cried. “Where are you? Please!”
“(Y/n)! (Y/n)!” Pain was laced throughout his cries. His pleads speared you right through your heart. Where was he?
You pressed your hands to your head. It hurt! It pained you! You took deep breaths. You had to do something. You had to find a way to get to Finnick. Did the Capitol camouflage him somehow? Maybe he was higher in the trees. “Finnick! I’m coming for you!”
You searched the trees.
“(Y/n)! Help me! (Y/n)! Please!”
Your heart pounded against your chest. A weight crushed your lungs. Your head spun in circles. Everything was green. Green. Green. Green.
Black? Something black caught your eyes. No, wait. It was dark blue. “Finnick?”
The spot flew. It flew towards you! The bird opened its beak. “(Y/n)!”
You screamed and ducked down. Finnick’s cries continued to bombard your ears. you sprung back up. This bird. It was the source of Finnick’s cries. It made you scream his name. It made you scared.
You hated it.
Before the wretched bird could scream its awful cry, you slammed your bo against its head. Your breathing was labored. You shut your eyes and looked away. It was only then that you realized what these monsters were. Jabberjays. Experiments of the Capitols trained to repeat what they’ve heard.
They heard Finnick’s screams. They’ve been with Finnick. He was suffering!
A multitude of Finnick’s shrill screams rang through the air again.
You whipped your head around. A flock of birds swooped down from the trees and headed straight towards you.
You did the only thing you could do. You ran. You pumped your legs as hard as you could.
“(Y/n)! Help me!”
You shook your head. His cries sounded so real. You could picture Finnick in pain. You could see him reaching for you. You could see him pleading for you to come. It was too much to bare. You covered your ears. Tears streamed down your face. You kept on running.
You ran straight into a wall. You couldn’t see it. It was like glass. A force field. “No,” you whispered. You punched the force field. Nothing. You took out your bo and hit it. Nothing. You unsheathed your knife and struck the wall once again. Nothing.
The abominations came at you, surrounding you and engulfing you in its storm.
“(Y/n)! Help me! Help!”
You covered your ears and sunk to the ground. Where was Finnick? He had to be in the arena. What monster did they unleash? What torture were they putting him through? How could they be so cruel?
“Stop it!” you pleaded. “Stop hurting him! Please!”
The torture just grew. Finnick’s screams seemed to grow louder. It clanged about in your heart and head. He was somewhere suffering. And you couldn’t get to him. No matter what you did, Finnick would be suffering without you by his side. The screams of your name echoed, sounding so painful.
You didn’t even realize that the birds had fled. A trident had flown through the air and scared off the Jabberjays.
Someone touched your shoulder. “(Y/n)?”
You sprung up and took out your bo. “Get away from me!” you screamed.
You observed your targets. They looked like tributes. Katniss. Peeta. One looked exactly like Finnick.
It was a trick! It had to be. Finnick was somewhere screaming his head off. This thing was just another illusion by the Capitol. This experiment was just going to trick you. Lead you into some sort of trap. Maybe even kill you. You couldn’t have that happen. You needed to find the real Finnick.
The Finnick copy stepped towards you. “Hey, (y/n), it’s ok. You’re safe now.”
You scowled. “That’s what the Capitol wants me to think,” you sneered.
“Hey, we trust each other, don’t we?”
Its voice sounded just like his. It was so soft and gentle and alluring. But you weren’t going to fall for it. “No. We don’t.”
The thing blinked. “(Y/n),” it purred. “It’s me. I’m Finnick.” It stepped towards you.
You held your bo so that the pointed end rested on its chest. “And how the hell do I know that?”
The Katniss fake strung an arrow.
You threatened, “Don’t test me, you mutt.”
“Hey,” Finnick-fake started, bringing your attention back to him. “(Y/n), I’ll prove it to you. I’m real.”
You just stared at him.
It took your silence as a go-ahead. “You won the 67th Hunger Games at the age of fifteen. I was your mentor.” The counterfeit Finnick laughed, pointing at your charm bracelet. “That bracelet’s nice.”
You slightly pushed your bo forward. It wasn’t enough to harm the mutt, but it was enough to warn it. “Anyone could figure that out. The Capitol knows all of that.”
“Ah, but they don’t know one about you.”
“And what is this one thing?”
It smiled ever so slightly. “You told everyone that bracelet was made by Mags. You lied. I gave that promise to you.”
You gulped. You and Finnick had agreed to never tell anyone about the two of you. Before you were reaped, Finnick and you were the best of friends. You jumped forward when his name was called at his Reaping. You were interviewed when the Games was nearing its end. You were the first to congratulate him when he came back home.
The Capitol hated that. The Capitol didn’t like the idea of their District 4 sex symbol being tied down.
All footage of you was cut from the viewings. However, it didn’t stop Finnick from bringing you on camera. He invited you to his house when paparazzi was there. He mentioned you in every interview. He didn’t want to lose you as a best friend.
The Capitol fought back. That’s when you were reaped.
After you won, Finnick and you admitted your love for each other in private. However, the two of you knew it wouldn’t please the Capitol. Not wanting to take the risk, Finnick and you agreed never to be seen on camera together, never mention each other in interviews, never even talk to each other at home. In order to make people believe it, Finnick and you staged an argument that played on television for years. You scheduled secret meetings in different places at different times, successfully keeping the Capitol off your trail.
“We have to stop doing this,” you had muttered once against Finnick’s lips.
“You want to stop kissing?”
You had laughed and stared into his eyes. “Finnick, how is this going to work?”
Finnick had sighed. “We will be together one day. I promise.”
It wasn’t enough proof for you. You had stared at the ground.
“Hey, I got you something.” Finnick had slipped something cool on your wrist.
You had looked at your wrist and smiled sadly. “A charm bracelet?”
“A promise.” He had lifted your hand and gently kissed your knuckles. “I will always love you, (Y/n).”
This mutt was not a mutt. It was Finnick, the one who loved you, the one you loved you. It was your best friend. You dropped your weapon and smiled. “Finnick,” you whispered.
The young man beamed and took you in his arms. He threaded his fingers through your hair. The Victor sighed as relief took over his body. He hadn’t held you so close in so long. With so many cameras around, he never had the chance to.
You hugged him close to you. “I thought- I thought you were… You were screaming for me,” you exasperated. It filled you with joy being back in Finnick’s arms. You smiled widely. you could finally hug him, even if the Capitol was watching.
Finnick chuckled a little before tightening his grip on you. “I missed you. So much.”
You smiled. “Me, too. I missed you, too.”
Hey guys! I had way too much fun with this one…. Sorry if it’s really confusing. One thing led to another and then it became a complicated and convoluted plot.
So! I hope you don’t hate it! Have a great night guys! Hope to talk to you again soon!
Okay, I’m really excited for this reread, I just hope I can stay on schedule! :)
Best thing: Katniss’s bold, unsentimental statements (drowning the cat, entrails, shooting the lynx, and how she describes her father’s death). I think asserting this grim level of detachment in her thoughts is what helps her maintain the unflinching determination to keep her family alive that we all so admire. This characterization is what instantly hooked me way-back-when, and it still grabs me now.
Worst thing: Katniss and Gale’s disagreement in the woods. Katniss regularly longs to return to her forest and the simple happiness she and Gale shared there, but we hardly ever get to see it. Already, they are irritated, snapping at each other, and Katniss is feeling frustrated about Gale’s whole outlook. In the aftermath of watching their connection dissolve in Mockingjay: Part II, I’m ready to read about these happier times between them, but we’re not getting it here. :/
Things that were new/forgotten: Katniss tucks her braid into a cap when she goes hunting! I have never seen this portrayed in fanart, or drawn her that way myself, so I had to do a quick doodle to remedy that. The idea of Katniss in a cap seems kind of endearing to me.
Also, District citizens betting on the reaping - Katniss talks about people who have numbed themselves to the proceedings placing bets on which children will be reaped. The way the Capitol bets on tributes is portrayed as horrific in both the books and the first movie, but I forgot that the Districts are guilty of this as well. Though it’s on a smaller scale, is it almost worse, since they’re betting on and against people they know?
Favorite Quote: Katniss describing Prim’s face as “fresh as a raindrop.” All her pride and tenderness for Prim is right there, in four lovely words.
Best thing: The entire bread scene (of course). I especially liked the description of how entranced Katniss was by the bakey’s warm glow before she checked the trash bins. Also the way SC incorporates steadfastness in the language that surrounds Peeta from the beginning: “he climbs steadily,” “His [hands] are as solid and warm as those loaves of bread,” etc.
Worst thing: Imagining Peeta with a black eye that has swollen shut. :(
Thing that was new/forgotten: I thought Katniss tried to sell Prim’s baby clothes at the Hob, but she’s too afraid to go there, at first. Instead, she brings them to the “pubic market” in the town square, which is also mentioned in Chapter One. I totally forgot this existed, but it seems like it could be a wonderful setting for some fanfics/drabbles (hint hint hint hint)!
Favorite Quote:“I stand there unmoving while they take part in the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Silence. Which says we do not agree. We do not condone. All of this is wrong.” BAM. Go D12!