Dasha (dashakay) wrote in secretprobation,
Dasha
dashakay
secretprobation

Light Across the Water: Fic and Mix

Fandom: The Hunger Games
Rating:PG-13
Pairing: Katniss/Finnick
Spoilers: Through Mockingjay. Alternate universe.
Word Count: 5,497
Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me and no copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks: To weasleytook for awesome beta action.
Notes: Written for cashewdani for .

When Jane was a little girl, her grandmother told her the legend of Philo and Melia. They were walking together on the beach, just at sunset.

"Many, many years ago, there was a young couple named Philo and Melia. They were very much in love," her grandmother said, stopping to enjoy the sight of the sky streaked with purple and pink. "They planned to marry in the summer, a big wedding with all the village there to celebrate. Philo was a strong and handsome man, a great fisherman. Melia was beautiful, with golden hair and eyes as blue as the deep ocean. She also was the most talented net weaver in the village."

Her grandmother started walking again. She was well into her eighties by this point and limped painfully from arthritis. "One cold winter morning, Melia went out in her family's boat to check her lobster pots. It was freezing cold, but the skies were clear and there was no wind. Well, she hadn't been gone but an hour when the skies darkened as black as ink and a fearsome wind blew. The sea, which had been smooth as glass earlier, turned angry. Those who were alive then said the waves were at least twelve feet high."

The breath caught in Jane's throat. "What happened to Melia?"

"She never came back to shore. Days later, bits of her broken boat washed up on the beach but her body was never found. Poor Philo almost went mad with grief. He didn't eat, didn't sleep. He walked around the village every day, crying out Melia's name."

"Oh, poor Philo," Jane breathed. She squeezed her grandmother's hand. She remembered when a hurricane brought down her uncle's boat at sea and how her aunt cried for weeks.

"One night, Philo could stand it no longer. While the rest of his family was sleeping, he crept out of the house and went down to the dock. He took the runabout and piloted it out to sea."

"Why would he do that?"

"He went to look for Melia."

"Did he find her?" Jane asked.

Her grandmother shook her head. "Philo never came back. His family organized search parties but Philo was never found, nor was his boat. He just disappeared somewhere out there on the ocean. But sometimes, at night, if you look really hard at the water, you can see the light on Philo's boat. Some say he didn't really die. He's still on the waves, looking for his love."

Jane squinted at the water. It was almost full dark now and there was no moon. "I can't see anything."

"Maybe someday you will," her grandmother said.

For years, Jane made a point of looking for Philo's boat but she never saw a thing. Eventually, older and wiser, she stopped looking.

*

On the day the baby turns one month old, Jane finds Finnick in the bathroom. He's sitting at the edge of the tub with his arms limply resting on his thighs. Dark blood drips from his wrists and pools on the white porcelain tiles.

Jane almost drops poor Thea. "Finnick, what have you done?" she hears herself gasp.

Her son turns his beautiful green eyes to her and they're completely blank. Finnick is gone.

*

Finnick spends a few days in the hospital and then he's sent to a fancy clinic in the Capitol. "This place is the best," Dr. Davidson assures her in the hospital waiting room. "It's where all the big Capitol stars go when they have breakdowns. It's more like a resort than a mental hospital. A hero like Finnick deserves nothing less."

It's hard for Jane to see her son as a hero of the Revolution when he's lying in a hospital bed, gauze wrapped around his wrists, staring at the wall for days on end. Unmoving, never speaking.

*

Thea is a happy baby most of the time. She has no idea that her mother bled to death giving birth to her or that her father tried to kill himself and is now thousands of miles away in a mental hospital. Thea only cries when she's wet or hungry and spends most of her time placidly smiling at everything and waving her chubby fists, just like her father did as a baby. Jane loves Thea for her innocence. She knows nothing about the ugliness of life. Thea's needs are so simple—formula, a clean diaper, a raspberry blown on her fat little belly.

Thea looks like both Finnick and Annie. Her eyes turn from newborn blue to the same pale green as her father's. Her rosebud mouth belongs to Annie. Light curls are beginning to sprout all over her head. When she laughs, she sounds like Finnick did as an infant.

Her daughter Merren comes by one night soon after Finnick is transported to the Capitol. "Jay and I have been talking," she says. "We could take Thea, raise her as one of our own."

"No," Jane says. Thea is draped over her shoulder and Jane rubs circles on her back. "I don't think that would be a good idea."

Merren sighs. "Mom, we can give Thea what she needs—two loving parents, a brother and a sister. Stability and a real family life."

"She's not yours, Merren. She's Finnick's daughter and he'll be back soon. Thea is all he has left." Jane lifts her chin.

Merren lays her hand on Jane's. "Do you ever think...think he'll really be the same? After all he's been through?"

"I have to," Jane says firmly. "I have to, for Thea's sake."

*

Something strange happens. One night, Jane is washing dishes after Thea has been put down to bed. She pauses for a minute and looks out the window, which overlooks the water. She spots a small, bright light out on the ocean. It's moving rapidly back and forth, back and forth, too quickly to be the lights on a boat.

Jane turns off the kitchen bulb so she can see better, but as soon as she does this, the light disappears.

Every night after that she sees the mysterious light out on the water from her kitchen window.

Could it be Philo, looking for his Melia? Jane wonders and laughs at her foolishness.

*

The hospital releases Finnick after seven weeks. "There's not a whole lot we can do for him here," says some Capitol doctor on the telephone. "He hasn't responded to the medication or to the electroconvulsive therapy."

"What if he tries to kill himself again?" Jane asks.

"I don't think he's any danger to himself anymore. What Finnick needs now is the familiarity of home and the love of his family."

Just in case, Jane hides all the knives and razor blades and locks the medication away. She throws out all of Finnick's belts.

Finnick's train arrives at midday. Jane is waiting for him on the platform with Thea in the baby carriage. "Daddy's coming home today!" Jane says brightly to the baby.

Thea gurgles but doesn't look impressed.

A white-clad attendant leads Finnick from the train onto the platform. Jane gasps. Her beautiful boy is thin, much too thin, and his skin is a sickly shade of gray. He walks slowly, a shuffling sort of walk. Finnick looks like he's aged ten years in seven weeks.

"Finnick!" Jane cries and throws her arms around her son. Finnick hugs her back but only weakly.

"Thea has missed you," she says.

Finnick looks down at his daughter squirming in her carriage. "Who's Thea?" he says, blinking in confusion.

*

Every morning, Jane wakes to the sound of Thea's wails of hunger. She scoops the baby up, changes her and sets to making a bottle for her. She sings to Thea while she does this, old songs about brave fleets leaving port to fish and mermaids frolicking in the calm waters of lagoons.

It's so different raising a baby now than when Jane was young. Marten was still saving for his own boat and crewing for his older brother. Money was tight with three hungry children to feed and in the winter their small house was often cold because they couldn't afford fuel for the heater. Jane took in mending and, at times, worked the night shift at the cannery.

Now the three of them live in Finnick's big Victor's Village house. Each month Finnick receives a generous sum of money from the government. Once upon a time, his monthly remittance was because he was a Hunger Games victor. Now it's because he's officially a Hero of the Revolution. There's plenty of money for food, for fuel, for pretty baby clothes, although there's not much available in the stores that have reopened. District Four is still rebuilding after the war but every day there are small improvements to be seen as Jane pushes Thea in her stroller down Main Street. Bombed-out shops are torn down and there seem to be construction workers everywhere. Jane's son Erick is one of them. Right now, it pays better to be on a building crew than to fish.

Finnick wakes late every morning. Jane always knows he's up when she hears his heavy, cautious tread on the stairway.

Sometimes he says good morning to Jane and Jane knows that will be a pretty good day. But most of the time he says nothing, just sits down at the kitchen table, staring at nothing at all. Jane serves him a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of tea. It seems to take Finnick hours to finish his breakfast. His spoon gets caught in midair and Jane has to nudge him to get him going again.

She wonders where his mind is. She hopes it's somewhere beautiful.

Each morning she gives him four pills. Two are round and white, one is round and blue, and one is pink and oblong. It's what the Capitol doctors prescribed.

After breakfast, Finnick walks down to the point overlooking the harbor. Jane can see it from the window over the kitchen sink. She often watches him walk down the path to the point, weaving a little from the pills Jane doles out to him each morning. There's a bench underneath a tree on the point. Finnick sits on the bench and there he stays for the whole day, staring at the boats in the harbor, the waves, the clouds moving across the sky.

He does this every day. He sits on his bench, hardly moving, until the sun sets. Then he makes his deliberate way home again. Jane feeds him a bowl of stew and some bread. Again, it takes him a long time to finish his meal. Finnick is usually lost in some private universe of his own. Sometimes he smiles or laughs and Jane wishes she could know what amuses him.

After dinner, Finnick sits in the wingback chair that once belonged to his father and stares at the flames on the hearth.

Once in a while Jane will settle Thea into Finnick's lap, hoping that his daughter will trigger something, anything, in him. But he usually stares at Thea in mild surprise, as if the baby dropped into his lap from outer space.

"This is your baby, Finnick," Jane always says. "Her name is Thea."

Finnick furrows his brow. "How did I get a baby?"

Jane knows better than to mention Annie's name. The one time she did, Finnick spent the next two days curled up in bed in a fetal position.

Each night Finnick gets one blue pill and one white one. He swallows them obediently and shuffles off to bed.

*

She tries to always be gentle and kind to Finnick. He's seen and done things that Jane can only imagine in her nightmares. He somehow survived two Hunger Games and the Revolution. His wife died in his arms before the doctor could get to the house. And then there's what President Snow did to him, although Jane doesn't like to think of her beautiful son being used like that.

But sometimes she loses her patience. "Snap out of it!" she shouts at him one day. "You have a daughter to care for. She needs her father!"

Finnick barely blinks.

Jane misses Annie. Annie was lost to her own gentle madness a lot of the time, but she always knew how to handle Finnick's moods. Jane is sure that Annie would be able to help him through this but Jane feels helpless. Nothing she does seems to help. Nothing at all.

*

Summer is coming. Jane opens all the windows and the house fills with the scent of the sea and flowers growing in the garden. On sunny afternoons she takes Thea out to the backyard and sets her on blanket. Thea is sitting up now and she giggles every time she sees a bird or a squirrel.

One June afternoon there's a knock at the front door. Jane settles Thea on her hip and goes to answer it.

Standing on the stoop is a girl who looks strangely familiar, although Jane can't quite place her. "Hello," Jane says.

"Hello, Mrs. Odair. I'm Katniss Everdeen, a friend of Finnick's."

Of course! Jane can't believe she didn't see it right away. She's never met Katniss before, although she certainly has seen her on television a thousand times. Katniss, Finnick's fellow Victor, the Mockingjay. But Katniss doesn't quite look like the girl on TV. She's a lot smaller and slighter. Somehow, she looks both younger and older than her broadcast image. Katniss is wearing a wrinkled pair of olive green trousers and a black t-shirt, a backpack hanging from one shoulder, a long braid down her back. Jane notices that Katniss' arms are strangely scarred, the skin an uneven patchwork of pink and tan. There are dark circles under her gray eyes.

Jane greets her and ushers Katniss inside the house.

"I came to see Finnick. I heard he's in a bad way," says Katniss.

Jane nods. "He was in the hospital. He hasn't been the same since Annie..." She lets her voice trail off.

"Where is he?"

"He's down at the point," Jane says. "Would you like me to take you to him?"

Jane puts Thea in the baby sling and they go out the back door and down the path through the trees.

"So, this is Finnick's baby?" Katniss asks, glancing at Thea in the sling.

Jane nods. "Her name is Thea."

They reach the point. The view is spectacular there, a sweep of the bay and the harbor. There's a lot for Finnick to look at here—huge cargo vessels maneuvering in and out, small family-owned fishing boats unloading the day's catch, the odd sailboat or two.

Finnick doesn't turn his head at the sound of their footsteps. "Finnick, I brought a visitor for you!" Jane calls out, her voice full of false cheer.

He still doesn't turn around. Katniss walks around the bench and faces him. "Finnick, it's Katniss," she says, her voice husky.

For a moment, some sort of light seems to come into Finnick's eyes. "Katniss?" he whispers. "Is it really you?"

Katniss sinks to her knees and Jane could swear she spots tears in her eyes. "It's me, Finnick. It's me." Katniss buries her head in Finnick's lap and Jane watches as Finnick twines his fingers in her dark hair.

*

Katniss helps Jane chop vegetables for dinner. "Do you mind if I stay a while?" Katniss asks.

"Of course not. This is the first time in a long time I've seen Finnick react like that." Jane hands Katniss a bunch of carrots to cut up.

"I think...I think that Finnick knows that I understand. I was there. At least for most of it. At a certain point, there's just so much your mind can take."

"You seem to have turned out all right."

Katniss gives her an unreadable look. "That's what you think."

"I'm sorry," Jane mumbles and turns her attention to the cabbage she's shredding.

*

After dinner they gather around the fire and listen to the news on the radio. While the days are warm, the nights are still a bit chilly. Jane is crocheting a blanket for Thea. Katniss sits next to Jane on the couch. As usual, Finnick sits in his chair, stares at the fire and doesn't say anything.

Jane scoops up Thea, who is busily shaking a set of plastic keys that once belonged to Merren. She wipes away a thread of drool hanging from the baby's fat chin. "Would you like to hold her?" she asks Katniss.

Katniss stiffens. "I'm—"

"Oh, come on," Jane interrupts and hands Thea over. As soon as Thea is in Katniss' arms, she turns bright red and begins wailing.

Jane takes Thea back and, almost immediately, the baby stops crying and snuggles into her grandmother's chest.

"I'm not much good with babies," Katniss says through gritted teeth.

"I'm sure you're wonderful. Thea just needs to get to know you."

Katniss absently plays with her braid. "My sister was amazing with babies. She could get the fussiest baby to calm down right away. She would have been the best mother."

"What happened to her?" Jane asks. She dimly remembers something tragic. Jane lays her hand on Katniss' arm and feels the girl flinch.

"She died," Katniss says in a flat voice. "No, Prim was killed. Murdered by our side."

"I'm so sorry." Jane feels terrible for even raising the subject.

"Yeah, so am I." Katniss gets up and leaves the room. Jane hears the creaking of the stairs as Katniss walks upstairs to the guest room.

*

Everything is different and yet still the same. Jane wakes with the baby but Katniss is usually already up and the coffee is made. The two of them listen to the morning news in the kitchen while Jane spoons applesauce and rice cereal into Thea's mouth.

Eventually, Finnick shuffles down the stairs and Jane feeds him his oatmeal. But when he drifts off and forgets to eat, Katniss pokes him in the arm. "Eat your cereal, Buster," she orders and sometimes he actually does.

When Finnick wanders down to the point, Katniss follows him like a loyal beagle. He sits down on the bench and she sits next to him. Together, they spend the day watching the boats in the harbor.

One afternoon, Jane glances out the window and finds that neither one of them is on the bench. Something close to panic wells up in her. She grabs Thea and almost runs down the path to the point, her heart racing.

From the point, she can see the beach below. Off in the distance, she can see two people walking in the sand. It's Finnick and Katniss. Somehow Katniss got him off his bench.

*

Jane wakes to the sound of screams, terrible howling screams. She jumps out of bed and runs to Finnick's room, only to see him peacefully curled on his side.

The screams are coming from across the hall. Jane taps on the door of the guest room. "Katniss? It's me, Jane. Are you all right?" She opens the door a crack.

In the dark, she can just barely make out Katniss, sitting up in bed. "I'm fine," Katniss says, sounding breathless.

"Are you sure?"

"Just a nightmare. It's nothing. Go back to bed."

Jane gets back in bed but she can't fall back asleep. They're both broken, she thinks. Once they were both so strong, but Finnick and Katniss are now like marble statues that cracked into hundreds of pieces. They've been painstakingly glued together but the slightest nudge and they'll fall apart all over again.

She sneaks downstairs and goes out on the back porch. Across the water she can see the light of Philo's boat.

*

Finnick is nodding out over his bowl of cod chowder.

"This has to stop," Katniss says.

"What's that?" Jane asks.

"All this medication. It's turned him into a zombie."

"This is what his psychiatrists prescribed. He needs it."

"I'm not sure about that." Katniss' jaw is set.

"Katniss, he tried to kill himself. It took more than thirty stitches to close up his wrists. I had to clean up the blood all over the bathroom." Jane has to struggle not to shout.

Finnick examines the pink scars on his wrists, as if they hold the key to secret knowledge.

"I understand. I really do. I was just like him. After Peeta was killed I wanted to die, too." Her voice goes up nearly an octave. "After Prim, I really wanted to. And after I killed Coin, I tried to."

"So what happened? What saved you?"

"Who says I'm saved? I'm barely hanging on myself. But after all that, I was given all sorts of drugs. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills, even morphling. I was in such a haze that I hardly knew my own name. Finally, my mother got me to cut down on them and she gave me all kinds of herbs. It helped a lot. But you know what I think helps the most?"

"What's that?" Jane hands Finnick a slice of bread.

"Dealing with it. A lot of horrible things have happened to me and to Finnick. Practically everyone I've ever loved is dead. I had to do some things I find hard to live with. But life does go on. I just have to have faith that it'll get better eventually."

Jane nods. "You really think we should cut him off, just like that?"

"No, I think my mother should come see Finnick. She's kind of a traditional healer. Let's see what she says."

At this point, doctor's advice or not, Jane is willing to try just about anything if it'll help Finnick.

*

Katniss' mother comes a few days later from District 6, where she's working in a clinic. She's a slight woman with a soft face but her daughter's steely eyes. She gives Finnick a brief exam. "Too many drugs," she pronounces. "He should stay on the antidepressant but at half the current dose. Everything else, wean him off." She writes down instructions for gradually cutting out the drugs and leaves an herbal tea that Finnick is to drink three times a day.

Within a few days, Finnick can no longer sleep. He takes to wandering the house in the middle of the night. Jane can hardly sleep herself, knowing that he's roaming around and could find a way to hurt himself. Her son has always been too smart for his own good.

"This is too much," Jane complains at breakfast. Between Finnick and Thea, she only got about three hours of sleep.

"It'll pass," says Katniss, spreading crabapple jam on her toast. "I did the same thing for a while until everything got out of my system."

The creaking of the stairs announces that Finnick is up. He walks to the table. "Good morning," Jane says.

"Good morning," Finnick says and he almost sounds like a human being.

Jane hands him his customary bowl of oatmeal. Finnick glances down at it and wrinkles his nose. "I'm sick of oatmeal. Are there any eggs?"

Jane has to fight back tears. "Yes, we have a few. Fried or scrambled?"

Finnick has returned to the depths of his brain. He plays with his spoon and hums to himself. Jane decides on scrambled eggs and watches over him to make sure he drinks his medicinal tea.

*

It's what Jane's parents used to call the "dog days" of summer. Impossibly hot and humid. Every afternoon Thea splashes in a large plastic basin that stands in for a kiddy pool. If it's really hot, Jane dips her feet in to cool off.

Sometimes Katniss and Finnick sit at the point. Sometimes they walk on the beach. And once in a while they walk into town. One of the shops has started selling real ice cream and Katniss buys him fudge bars.

Jane watches them down at the point from the window. From her vantage point, it seems as if Finnick and Katniss are actually having a conversation.

"What do you two talk about?" she asks Katniss later, as they sit on the back porch, drinking iced mint tea.

Katniss shrugs. "I don't know. I talk a lot and he listens. I try to talk about good times—my childhood, a few good times we had together. Sometimes he talks back, sometimes he doesn't."

That night at dinner, Finnick looks at Thea sitting in her high chair and points at her. "Who's that?"

"That's Thea," Jane says, for the millionth time.

Katniss rolls her eyes at him. "We've been over this a ton. Thea's your daughter, Finnick."

His green eyes widen. "My daughter? Is she yours, too?"

"Hardly," Katniss laughs. "She's yours and Annie's."

Jane stiffens at the mention of Annie's name but Finnick just nods. "She looks like Annie," he says.

"She looks like both of you," Katniss says.

Finnick tilts his head. "Yeah, she does." He sticks his tongue out at Thea and she stares in wonder at the strange man who lives in her house but has never really talked to her or looked at her.

*

Jane has just fallen asleep when voices wake her. She grabs her bathrobe and creeps out into the dim hallway, wondering whose turn it is to have a nightmare tonight. But the noises are coming from downstairs.

She steps carefully on the creaky stairs and pauses on the first landing. She hears Katniss' voice, high and sounding angry. "Finnick, I'm not telling you to get over it. I'm never going to get over it. I'm not the same person I was when I was sixteen, before the Games. Some part of me will always be damaged after all of this. But you have to talk about it with me if you want it to get better."

"I don't want it to get better," he says.

"You want to spend the rest of your life here, doing nothing? You really want that? That's no kind of life. Thea's growing up and you barely notice her. Meanwhile, Panem is being rebuilt. We could be part of it, eventually."

"I can't do it without Annie."

Jane hears Katniss' exasperated sigh. "Then you should have done the job right when you slashed your wrists. Let your mother and your family mourn you properly instead of floating through each day like a ghost."

Finnick says something Jane can't catch.

"No, Annie would not want this for you. She'd want you to love your kid, be a real father to her. Annie would want you to have a real life. But you just have to try. Try to get out of bed each morning and function like a real person. It doesn't mean that you're not going to be sad, or miss her or feel like hell. But you have to give it a chance."

"I know, I know," he says.

"Just try," Katniss repeats.

"I'll try. I really will."

Jane feels guilty eavesdropping like this so she creeps back up the stairs as quietly as she can.

*

They all go down to the beach for a picnic. It's a warm day, but not punishingly hot, and there's a light breeze. Thea crawls on the blanket and everyone constantly has to stop her from stuffing fistfuls of sand in her mouth.

Jane sets out cheese sandwiches and tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. Katniss rubs sun cream on her scarred arms and chest while Finnick attempts to create a sand castle.

After lunch, Katniss stands up and offers her hand to Finnick. "Come on, why don't you teach me to swim?"

"You know how to swim. I saw you in the Arena."

"I can sort of doggy-paddle but I don't know how to really swim. Teach me a real stroke. You've been swimming since you were born."

"Before he was born," Jane says, brushing sand off Thea's romper. "I swam a lot when I was pregnant with him."

"See?" Katniss says. "You're the perfect teacher."

Finnick rises, blinking in the sun. "Okay," he says. Katniss grabs his hand and they run into the waves.

From the blanket, Jane watches them in the water, darting in the waves like porpoises. It reminds her of when the children were small, still too young to help their father on his boat, and how she took them to the beach almost every day in the summer. Finnick especially loved the beach and cried when they had to leave.

Jane bends her head to Thea. "Someday your daddy will teach you to swim," she says to the baby, who merely stuffs more sand in her mouth in response.

*

The sound of Katniss screaming wakes Jane from a sound sleep. Jane merely rolls over in bed. This happens every few nights and Katniss has made it crystal clear that she doesn't want any help.

She hears a door squeak open and footsteps on the wooden floorboards. Jane would know that tread anywhere. It's Finnick's. She gets out of bed and slowly opens her bedroom door.

Down the hall, the door to Katniss' room is open. Jane creeps up to the door. She can't see much in the dark but she can hear Finnick's voice from just inside the room.

"Katniss," he says in a soft voice. "It's Finnick. You okay?"

"Go away," Katniss says, her voice almost a growl.

"I'm not going away until I know you're okay."

"I'm okay, okay?"

"No, you're not. Come here," Finnick says and the bedroom door closes.

*

Thea's birthday is in January. Jane bakes a chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting. There was an ice storm the night before and Jane frets that they won't make it for the party but the door opens promptly at six o' clock.

Jane rushes to hug Finnick and Katniss. Both of them look a lot better. They've both gained some much-needed weight and there's something of the old roguish sparkle in Finnick's eyes. She can't believe how much bigger Thea is, even though she's only been gone for two months. Her hair has darkened a few shades and she's starting to look like a little girl, not a baby.

"Watch this, Mom," Finnick says and lowers Thea to the floor. Thea toddles four steps and then falls to her diaper-padded butt. Jane claps for Thea, who displays two new teeth in a smile.

"I was worried the train wouldn't be able to run," Jane says to Katniss in the kitchen. She takes the cake out of the fridge.

"So was I," Katniss says.

Jane touches her arm. "Is everything all right? How has Finnick been lately?"

Katniss shrugs. "Some days are better than others but he's getting better every day. Did he tell you he got a job?"

"He doesn't tell me much of anything. My talkative son has become downright laconic. What kind of a job is it?"

"He's teaching swimming to some of the refugee kids in the Capitol. Just part-time but he likes it. I think it's good for him to have somewhere to go and something to do."

"How are you doing?"

"Not bad. I don't think I want to live in the Capitol forever, though. It's too big, too crowded. I can't hunt there. But school starts next week. I'm kind of nervous but I also can't wait. I never thought I'd get to go to university."

Jane exhales. "So it's all right, then."

"Yeah, I think we'll be okay."

"I have a question for you, Katniss."

"Shoot."

Jane hesitates for a second. She's wanted to know this ever since Katniss and Finnick announced they were moving to the Capitol. "Do you love him?"

Katniss smiles. She has a lovely smile, although Jane rarely gets to see it. "I love him, Jane."

"Good," Jane says, pretending to be gruff. "Because if ever you break his heart..."

"Like I would," Katniss says, rolling her eyes.

Jane puts a red candle in the cake and lights it with a kitchen match. She carries it out to the dining room, where Finnick sits with Thea on his lap. Merren and her husband and children and Erik and his wife and kids are there, too, and the dining room is noisy in a joyful way.

They all sing "Happy Birthday" to Thea, who looks alarmed at all the noise and attention. Katniss sits down next to Finnick and takes his hand. He kisses her cheek.

Finnick turns to Thea. "Can you blow out the candle?"

Thea, predictably, has no idea what to do. "Make a wish!" calls out Jane and they all blow the candle out together.

But Jane doesn't make a wish. Hers has already come true.

*

That night, as everyone else sleeps, Jane sneaks out to the back porch and searches for Philo's light. She can't see anything out there, just the stars in the sky and the cold winter ocean.

She never sees his light again. Maybe Philo finally found his Melia.

END





1. Bat for Lashes - Daniel

And as my heart ran round
My dreams pulled me from the ground
Forever to search for the flame
For home again


2. Beck - Lost Cause

Your sorry eyes, they cut through bone
They make it hard to leave you alone
Leave you here wearing your wounds
Waving your guns at somebody new


3. Swan Lake - Widow's Walk

And in the light of what was there
It's been said they heard me bid you - "Come on!"

On your way down Widow's Walk...


4. Payolas - Eyes of a Stranger

Can I touch you to see if you're real?
Cause in nothing there's something I feel
And my heart takes it straight
Or it'll break down again
In your lips I sense a danger
You've got the eyes of a stranger


5. Imogen Heap - Clear the Area

Low light,
Mercury morning
No need to stay as it's always nothing
But your eyes tell a whole other story
And I feel the weight of the world


6. Carpark North - Transparent & Glasslike

Do not smile
Do not sing
Close your eyes
And go to bed


7. Dessa featuring Matthew Santos - The Chaconne

I don't suppose you'd tell the truth
So I won't ask you anymore
All the things that we do
To pass the time between the wars


8. Japan - Ghosts

Just when I think I'm winning
When I've broken every door
The ghosts of my life
Blow wilder than before
Just when I thought I could not be stopped
When my chance came to be king
The ghosts of my life
Blew wilder than the wind


9. Deas Vail - Shoreline

The shoreline calls the sea
For simple words and company
But words go on and on
Til they collide and all is gone.

I dive into the deep
Into the sea inside of me
To find another song
To find a place where I belong


10. Starsailor - Tell Me It's Not Over

What a place to seal your fate
A deserted car park
Not even a date
Please don't tell me it’s too late
If you love someone
Don't throw it all away


11. Lydia - One More Day

Stay up late so you're sure
Sure that I wont stray too far,
But surely that got too hard
Love is not for me,
I promise
One more day, just one more


12. Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land

Up to my knees now, do I wait? Do I dive?
The sea has seen my like before though it's my first and perhaps last time
Let's call me a baptist, call this the drowning of the past


13. Stars - One More Night

Try as he might he's unable to speak
He grabs her by the hair, he strokes her on the cheek
The bed is unmade like everything is
Dark little heaven at the top of the stairs
Take me like that, ruin it all
Then build it again by the light in the hall
He drops to his knees says please my love, please
I'll kill who you hate, take off that dress, you won't freeze


14. Beth Orton - Daybreaker

We, we burn our boats each new year
Silently watching the flames and the old life disappear
We're burning new sunrise into yesterday's skies
An ashen fingerprint melts into the sea


15. Andain - Beautiful Things

I forgot that I might see,
So many beautful things
I forgot that I might need,
to find out what life could bring


Download mix here.
Tags: fandom: the hunger games, fanmix, pairing: katniss/finnick, year: 2010
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