I miss you. I miss you so much it gets a little overwhelming sometimes. Some mornings I sit by the window in the kitchen, the one that looks out at sea. I can almost see you walking back home like you did on Sunday mornings after a few hours of fishing. Sometimes I start crying without even realizing it, and I don’t think I can do it any longer; living without you is so hard. But then our son finds me, his voice groggy, his eyes tired, his hair a mess. He looks just like you.
He always knows what to do to cheer me up. He climbs on my lap and hugs me. He tells me dumb jokes that are only funny because they’re so bad, just like yours. Sometimes he falls asleep again in my arms, and I realize you’re not completely gone because I still have him. He smells like you; he acts like you; he looks like you.
I miss you, Finn, even though it’s been six years since we lost you; I’ll never stop missing you.
It’s Christmas morning. On a day just like this one, five years ago I was sitting on a train from the Capitol anxiously waiting to see Annie after the doctors decided I was well enough to return home. It was Christmas Day and the only gift I wanted was to see my wife, but what I found was better than anything I could have ever asked for: my son.
I’ll admit it was all kind of overwhelming. Imagine waking up from a coma months after you nearly die only to come home to find out you’re a father. I was surprised to say the least. Though Annie would deny it, I really struggled at first. Parenthood is not as easy as you might think. Annie had had five months of practice, and I had missed it all. But I adjusted soon enough and Caspian, Annie and I were happy.
The three of us love Christmas so our house is decked from head to toe with decorations. I wake up earlier than Annie and Caspian to make breakfast (Christmas-themed of course). I also might have forgotten to wrap the presents but I’d deny it if Annie asked.
I’m probably more excited about Caspian’s Christmas present than he’ll be about it, but that’s the whole point of gift-giving (Annie disagrees).
I wrap my presents and cook at the same time, which I’d use to prove to Anne that I can indeed multi-task except then she’d just point out that I’m wrapping my presents on Christmas and I’d definitely lose that battle.
I place my presents under the tree and take the stairs two at a time. I go to Caspian’s room first. I sit on the edge of his bed and kiss his forehead. “Good morning, Cas.” He groans and pulls the covers over his head. Typical, he’s just like me. “Cas…”
“Dad, go away. I’m tired,” he mumbles.
“So I guess you don’t want to open your presents. That’s cool, I’ll just give ‘em back-”
“Presents?” He jumps out of bed and I catch his wrist before he can run downstairs and tear through my very carefully wrapped gifts. “Dad!” He whines.
“Breakfast first,” I laugh. “Come on, let’s wake Mommy.” His face lights up and he runs to our room. He’s on the bed, jumping up and down before I even walk in the room.
“Cas,” grumbles Annie. “Stay still.” He laughs and shakes his head. “Finn! Get your child under control.”
“My child?” I chuckle. “MY child?”
“Yeah. All of this,” she laughs as she tackles him to the bed, “he gets from you.”
“Are you calling me childish?” I gasp and jump on the bed with them. She smiles and rolls her eyes.
“Mommy, let me up! It’s Christmas!” He screams. I meet Annie’s eye and we start a tickle war, which as always, I lose when they gang up against me.
“You guys are not fair,” I protest from under the covers where I’m hiding.
“Uh huh. Come on, Finn. I’ll make breakfast.”
“No need!” I grin.
We eat our breakfast together and Caspian and I wolf down the pancakes anxious to exchange presents. “Children, please, calm down,” teases Annie.
When we’re finally done we go to the living room and sit on the floor by the tree. “Mommy first,” I say. Cas grabs his present, which I helped him make a few days before but it was entirely his idea. She unwraps the picture frame we both decorated with seashells and sea rocks we spent a good three hours collecting. The frame holds a picture of the three of us smiling at the beach. Annie chuckles and hugs him. “Thanks, baby,” she whispers and flashes me a smile.
I grin and hold mine out. She unwraps it and gasps. Right before Snow started selling me to the Capitol I gave Annie a silver locket for her birthday. It was shaped like a seashell and had a picture of the two of us. When the peacekeepers took Annie to the Capitol after the Quell, they took it from her and never gave it back. “Finnick… How did you get this back?”
“One of my friends from the Capitol, he was going through some old junk in the Presidential mansion, clearing it out and stuff, and he found this. He called me right away about it,” I say. She flings herself at me before I can react and so we both get knocked down to the floor.
“Oh, Finnick, I can’t believe you found it.” She sits up and hangs it around her neck. “Cas’ turn?” I nod.
Annie runs to the study and wheels back a bicycle. Cas is beside himself with excitement and he steers recklessly around our living room. “Daddy look! I can ride a bike!”
“Yeah, we might as well take off the training wheels already,” I laugh. “Can I go ride outside? Pleaseeeeee”
“After we’re done! I have something for you too, you know?” He perks up at the idea of another gift and dismounts the bike clumsily.
“What did you get me, Daddy?” I pick up my present and place it in his hands. He barely tugs at the paper and the whole thing falls off. “A fishing rod?”
“Well, I mean it’s no bike,” I say.
“I LOVE IT! Can we go fishing together, pleaseeeee?” Annie and laugh but we have to take the rod from him when he starts to get a little too excited.
“Okay, Daddy, your turn.” He picks up a small box and hands it to me. I open it to find a bracelet like the ones Annie loved to make. “Mommy taught me how.” He helps me tie it around my wrist and shows me one he’s wearing around his own. “See? Now we match.”
I ruffle his hair and kiss his cheek. “I love it.” Annie bites her lip and runs to the study again. She comes back and I frown.
“Please tell me that’s not what I think it is.” She hands me a very trident-shaped present and sighs. I tear off the paper and shake my head. “Annie,” I look at Caspian. “Why?”
“Finnick. When I got back from the arena you nagged me until I went swimming again. You know you love fishing with a trident. Don’t you want to teach Caspian how to use it in a few years like your father taught you?”
“Finn, it’s been five years, Love.” I sigh and roll my eyes.
“I’ll do it for Caspian. Because my father would have wanted him to learn.” She smiles and kisses my cheek. “Thank you, Annie.”
“Daddy, Daddy? Can we go fishing? And can we go ride my bike? Can you teach me how to use a trident? Mommy! Come fishing with us!” He screams and drags us outside. I laugh and roll my eyes. I pick up my fishing gear and Annie carries Caspian outside and we spend the rest of the day enjoying our Christmas presents.
the reason i have trust issues is that i got to see my otp get married and be happy and never let go of each other’s hands and then a little while later the other half of my otp gets his head ripped off you know what i’m saying
I wish you could come home. I hurt myself really badly playing near the cliffs yesterday. I had to get a bunch of stitches, but the doctor said I’d be able to go swimming again in no time. I wish you could have been here to hold my hand at the hospital.
I told Mommy I’d be fine if she waited outside because I could tell she didn’t want to see. Don’t get me wrong, Mommy is the best mommy ever but she doesn’t really like blood. When she saw my cut I could see it in her eyes. She was really quiet the whole time and when we got back home she tucked me in and went to her room. I couldn’t sleep so I wanted to stay in her room but I found her on the floor, crying.
I felt really sad when I saw her like that, but it happens sometimes. She tries to hide it, Daddy but I can always tell. I crawled next to her and she said your name. Maybe she thought I was you, or maybe she just wanted it to be you. I think we both wanted you there really bad.
When Mommy gets like that it scares me a little because I don’t know what to do. I sit next to her sometimes and just talk to her. Sometimes she gets better right away but sometimes it takes her a long time. I hate it. I wish she could stop being sad. It doesn’t happen a lot because I think Mommy is really strong, but when she gets upset it makes me really upset too. But Mommy is always strong for me, she has to be without you here, so I can take care of her sometimes too. I know that’s what you would want me to do, Daddy.
“There are millions of ways to describe the rather curious feeling of love. Some people explain the rush of warmth in their chest, some talk about the pure feeling of joy in their heart and some of their racing pulse that makes their skin blush. And I certainly know what they’re talking about. But I chose the smile to describe it all: the smile that lights her twinkling eyes up, the smile I feel creeping up on my features when she leans in to my chest, the same smile I can feel against my lips when I lean in to kiss her. The smile that perfectly describes the warmth in my chest, the pure feeling of joy in my heart and the racing pulse in my veins. All in all, love is indeed a mystery to me - but it’s a mystery I enjoy solving.”
The thick air was filled with screams; some of them human, some of them not. There were cries of warning, of pain, and then there were the inhuman screeches that made your ears ring and your heart pump with the need to survive, to hide. Your brain knew that you were in danger, really bad danger, and that you should get the hell out. And Finnick was in the middle of it.
He swung the trident in his hand, quickly spearing a mutant that was getting slightly too close to ripping off Katniss’ head; he pulled the trident out of the mutt’s chest with a strong yank, holding his breath upon smelling the reek of the creature’s blood. The air was humid, the smell one of the worst things Finnick had ever smelled - so bad, it made his throat burn when he took a deep breath to steady himself in the hurry of the battle that seemed, to him, an impossible one. He jumped awake from his desperate thoughts when Katniss released an explosive arrow, making three of the creatures hit the wall and then fall in the ankle-length water. Dead.
“We can’t win this,” Finnick breathed out, too quiet for anyone else to hear in the noise. “We can’t stay here.” He turned around just to nearly bump into another mutt screeching out its lungs right at his face. With a loud grunt Finnick hit the creature with the trident, making it nearly lose its balance: it was enough for him to kick its legs from under it. The water splashed, and Finnick wasted no time on bringing the trident down, right through the mutt’s back, impaling it; the creature’s life ended with a screech so loud it echoed from the walls.
He heard someone - probably Gale - fire their hand gun multiple times, followed by the continuous splashes of the bodies of the mutts falling into the water. Finnick saw Pollux climbing up the ladder, and he knew that it was their only chance; there was no winning in this battle. He saw Peeta scrambling up to his feet from the water, Katniss somewhere behind him, trying to take out as many of the mutts as she possibly could. Explosions after explosions, pained screams, screeches - Finnick had fallen nearly deaf to all of the noise he didn’t want to hear.
“Go, go, go!” Finnick could hear his own voice yell to Peeta, could see his own hand grabbing him and throwing him towards the ladder. The mutts just kept on coming from out of nowhere, and he could hear Gale’s gun firing of faster and faster, followed by the familiar splashes. It was like losing track of time and place at the same time, and it took him a while to realize that Gale’s gun had stopped firing; he had run to the ladder, gesturing for Finnick and Katniss to follow him.
“Katniss, go!” Finnick called out while bringing his trident down to a mutt crawling at his feet. Katniss’ eyes met his, but she didn’t say a word of protest: Finnick would be right after her. Of course he would.
Trying to buy Katniss as much time as possible, Finnick started moving even faster. Killing the creatures one by one, kicking them down and impaling them. The horrifying screeches left his ears ringing, but he kept on going; he swung his trident, throwing a lifeless body into the ankle-length water.
A shrilling scream made him turn around: it was Katniss. Halfway up the ladder, she was almost in safety - but there was a mutt clinging to her side, trying to pull her down from the slippery ladder. The girl was hanging on with her dear life, while still trying to shake off the mutt; neither one was giving up. Finnick didn’t give himself a second of consideration when he let go of his trident, throwing it in a deathly speed towards the mutt, impaling it. The mutt fell down into the water, and Finnick’s stomach dropped.
Trying to fight off the horrifying thought of nearing possible death, Finnick pulled out a knife from his side. With no hesitation, he slashed open one mutt’s throat, turned around and lunged it right through another one’s chest. Dark blood splashed on his hands. Kicking down one mutt and smashing its head against the metal railing, Finnick started running towards the ladder; he knew he wouldn’t survive with a knife in his hand and a dozen of mutts breathing into his neck.
Pain. Pain struck on his left shoulder, and with force driven by anger and the need for survival, Finnick lunged his knife through the mutt behind him. The creature had sunken its teeth into his shoulder, the pain now radiating all over his body. With a pained grunt, Finnick placed himself on the ladder and forced himself to climb. Ten steps left. Finnick saw Katniss peeking over the edge, her eyes filled with terror. Eight steps. The pain in his shoulder was getting worse by each step. Six steps left.
Strong arms wrapped around him, and his left arm gave in. Katniss’ voice shrieked out his name. His feet slipped off from the steps, and he was falling; falling, falling, falling. And then there was pain. The pain of him hitting the ground so hard he lost his breath, the pain of his shoulder. And when the first mutt sunk his teeth into him, it got a lot worse. The screeches got louder, more teeth sunk into him; biting into him, pulling off pieces of him while all he could do was scream. They were all around, nearly fighting each other for a chance to feast on his flesh. Finnick’s screams turned into loud pleads that he couldn’t control: “Katniss!”
Please. Please. Please do it. Please let me out of here, please make this easy.
When he opened his eyes, it was the sky he was looking at. The sunset had colored it the way he had seen it color it many times before, the different shades of pink playing around against the horizon that made his heart ache with homesickness. The mast of a boat unfolded against the setting sun, and he saw a silver parachute descend from pink sky he so much loved. He closed his eyes, hoping this was reality.
Mags’ laughter. It was soft, quiet, and when Finnick opened his eyes, she was there. Laughing, her gray hair blowing in the wind, her eyes twinkling with the joy that Finnick wanted so badly to be a part of; what made her so happy? Before he could figure out how to ask her, she was gone, fading away from his grasp into thin air. He could feel his fingers wrapping themselves around something, and he looked down to see his trident - the trident Beetee made for him - in his own grasp. His fingers tightened around it, then let it go; he wouldn’t need it anymore. The weapon fell from his grasp, but he never heard it meet the floor.
Annie. Her name was on his lips the moment he saw her step out from the darkness: she was wearing her wedding dress, left hand placed on her stomach, her red locks falling down her shoulders freely. So beautiful Finnick’s breath seemed to get caught into his throat. Her lips curved into a smile, her sea-green eyes lightening up with love; tears were swelling up in her eyes, but they didn’t spill over. I love you. I love you. Words died on his lips before he could force them out, but she understood.
Then the waves crashed over the rocks, and it was over.