Storm the World with Reckless Abandon
Finnick was just entering the living room when he heard it.
He froze in his tracks, for a second almost not recognizing who it was that was laughing so freely, before it registered in his head.
Annie was laughing.
He nearly lunged for the door that led to the outside porch.
Ever since Ichigo came barging into his life, Annie had been avoiding Finnick’s house like the plague, probably because she didn’t want to risk scaring off the newcomer with one of her hysterical fits that she sometimes falls into. She’s been getting slowly better over the years, but they both knew that she would never be fully sane after what she experienced during the games.
Sometimes she would stare off into space, seeing horrors Finnick was helpless in protecting her from because all of it already happened. Excluding Mags, he was the only one who was capable of pulling her out of those bouts of nothingness that emptied out her usually vibrant eyes, a dead man walking in every aspect.
He hated it. She never looked more like a corpse than those moments. He had nightmares that she would one day look like that permanently, like a pale drowned, animated body who’s only going through the motions in living.
So to say he was shocked to see Annie laughing with her hands covering her mouth, as if to snuff out the beautiful sound released from her, with Ichigo crookedly smirking at her with warmth Finnick has never even come close to seeing from him before was a vast understatement.
Though admittedly, Ichigo had been outright avoiding interacting with Finnick since the beginning of his stay. He was always observing him though, eyes narrowed and mouth curling downward as if he’s seeing something he doesn’t like the more he’s watching him.
But now, now he’s smirking off-handedly with a certain charm that Finnick hadn’t though Ichigo was capable of with how much the teen scowled.
Both looked up at the interruption and Annie immediately brightened when she saw him, sweet laughter wearing away to a small, heartfelt smile full of affection he didn’t deserve.
“Finnick!” she exclaimed happily before hugging him like there was no tomorrow. Finnick couldn’t help but grin broadly and hug her back, feeling like it’s been centuries since he’s held her in his arms. Sappy as it sounded, he’s missed her these past few days.
At the corner of the eye, Finnick saw Ichigo’s eyes widen with startlement before a thoughtful look morphed his face. It was the first time the teen looked at him without any antagonism and wow that sounded completely pathetic, even for him.
Annie let go and was still smiling. Finnick was pretty sure he was smiling back like a lovesick loon.
“Ichigo was just telling me stories about his friends from home.” Annie explained and Finnick’s eyebrows shot to the hairline at this while Ichigo rolled his eyes.
“She was curious.” Ichigo grumbled, though he didn’t sound truly irritated. His eyes were still gleaming with good humor.
“Oh?” Finnick plopped down on the porch next to the teen with Annie by his side, his curiosity piqued. Not once has Ichigo opened up to anyone or given any information about himself. From what rumor mills Finnick could discern, he even heard that Ichigo had managed to avoid the interrogation from the peacekeepers that were under Snow’s orders altogether. He was still dying to know how in the hell the teen managed that feet. “Do tell.”
Ichigo snorted but he surprisingly didn’t tell him to shove it.
Finnick took it as progress.
“Well, my best friend Rukia is a terrible drawer.” Ichigo started out, a tiny smirk playing on his lips. “And yeah, she keeps claiming it’s not true but, of course, it’s complete crap. I mean seriously, look at this!”
Ichigo took out a little note from the back pocket of his pants and flattened out the folds so they could see it clearly.
It was the strangest picture of a rabbit – or what he assumes is a rabbit, he honestly couldn’t tell – he’s ever seen in his life. The ears were beyond crooked and the face was crude to the point it looked constipated from the way its eyebrows were drawn. And for some strange reason, it had a gigantic cleaver like sword in its hand and was wearing black robes that looked off-putting on the creature.
Needless to say, it was the most hilarious thing Finnick’s seen in a while.
He burst out laughing and nearly fell off his seat as he did so, hand clutching onto the back of the bench to stabilize his position. Ichigo was full on smirking now with something close to satisfaction in his eyes but Finnick couldn’t pay full attention to that.
Good god, he couldn’t remember the last time he’s genuinely laughed himself to tears in hell, years.
“She’s-cough-certainly gifted.” Finnick managed to strangle out between his snickers.
Ichigo snorted. “Gifted my ass. She actually tried to draw a map for a little kid who was lost once and, well, the kid had commented how suckish her drawing skills were.”
“Oh-Oh no!” Annie’s eyes were twinkling with a different kind of madness, like she’s barely holding onto her composure from the sheer hilarity of Ichigo’s story, and it was absolutely breathtaking.
“Yeah, you could imagine how well she reacted to that.” Ichigo said dryly, and it suddenly struck Finnick what was happening right now.
Annie was talking to another human being that wasn’t him or Mags and she was acting perfectly fine. The surly, silent teen who hated him was looking at the love of his life like an actual person.
Not the poor, mad girl from District 4. Not the victorious tribute who had survived only by luck.
Just a kind young woman who was thoroughly enjoying the company of the new guest.
Finnick’s never seen Annie more vibrant and happy in all his time knowing her. He had only really gotten to know her after the games, and she had been a shattered shade of who she used to be by that time. Looking at her now, he could easily imagine the kind, radiant person she had been before the games snatched her sanity away.
And it was all because of the outsider that Finnick got to see this rare, precious side of her.
Now, while most would’ve been jealous at the idea that another man made the woman he loved happy, Finnick only felt a wave of gratitude towards the younger man who managed to bring out this Annie when he couldn’t.
“Well,” Finnick blinked, startled out of his reverie when Ichigo suddenly stood up, stretching his back as he did so. He glanced at Finnick, none of the previous hostility anywhere in his gaze, and cocked his head to inside. “Are we eating lunch or not? It’s half past one and I’m starved.”
Finnick couldn’t help but smile and shake his head at this, feeling more relaxed than he has in months. Even with the impending games and Snow still watching him like a hawk, he couldn’t help his good mood even if he tried.
“I’ll whip up something.” He offered, a well-natured, sincere grin slipping onto his face without permission. “I make a mean seafood pasta.”
Ichigo snorted at his words, but didn’t refute his offer. Annie smiled softly and grabbed Finnick’s hand as he led them towards the kitchen, away from the shady porch where good memories were made.
Notes: To be honest, I have no idea where this came from. I didn’t intend Annie to pop up until way later, but somehow, she snuck up on me. It was a lot of fun to write and I really have no idea if I didn’t go overboard with the feels. I’ve never focused on romance before but Finnick’s character is so intricate to how much he loves Annie that I really wanted to show how much she meant to him. Please tell me if I did an okay job and I hope you enjoy! Please comment and reblog and message me your thoughts!