Chapter 46

1.9K 50 19

*sorry for the lack of gif I'm really rushing to just copy and paste this and then I have to leave my house! Enjoy it anyway! :)*

I love you...

A faint twinkling sound stirs me and when I open my eyes, I'm standing barefoot on a beach. As soon as I see it, I know where I am; home, back in District 4 - back with the crashing waves and endless soft sand and clear blue sky above me. Salty sea air surrounds me and seems to envelop me in a familiar embrace. The summer sun radiates heat and warms my bare arms and feet as I hear the noise again, soft, sweet. I look in front of me and see further along the beach a little girl in a white dress, her soft brown curls falling down her back and a little red bow placed delicately in her hair.

"Anna!" a familiar voice calls out and I look up to see
him there a few yards away; my Finnick, only when he was young. And then everything clicks in my mind.

The little girl - me - looks up and laughs. "Finnick!" she cries and races towards him, colliding with his body in a tight hug. The pair begin laughing uncontrollably.

I remember that day. Clearly. It was the day Finnick and I borrowed my father's boat and took it out into the sea. We didn't dare go very far out, out of pure fear we'd capsize and drown, despite being excellent swimmers. We'd spent the whole day sailing back and forth, talking, laughing, joking. I feel tears begin to prickle behind my eyes and everything becomes blurred. What I'd give to be back that age, back in that moment on that perfect day.

I look back to young Finnick and myself and see us walking hand in hand towards the city, to my house. In a moment of desperation, I reach a hand out and call out to them, but no sound escapes my mouth. I try to step forward but my feet are lodged in the sand.

And then I begin to sink, down, down, down, the whole image of me and Finnick distorting as I fall into the sand, the level rising up until it covers my head and I can't breathe.

I'm sinking...sinking...sinking.



My eyes shoot open and I sit up straight, gasping for air with a strangled cry. Someone's hands are on my shoulders instantly pushing me back down and saying something to me, but I can't see anything other than blurred outlines and no words register in my head.

"Down!" Is the only word I seem to understand and I slide back down into what appears to be a bed - how did I get here?

My chest rises and falls rapidly as I try to catch my breath, closing my eyes as I do to steady myself. The last thing I remember I was seeing Finnick before being stuck in my memory - probably in a dreamlike state of unconsciousness.

When my breathing regulates, I slowly open my eyes and find I'm back in that white room - the same white room I woke up in when I was taken by the Capitol. Before I panic, there's a body in front of me, sitting on the bed and it takes me a second to realize that it's Haymitch.

He places his hands gently on my shoulders and looks at me wearily. "Vivianna, can you hear me?" I merely nod, too confused and disorientated to talk. "Good. How do you feel?"

The question throws me. How do I feel? Confused? Bewildered? Pain - pain is something that is slowly seeping into my bones and I can feel the whole of my left side is in bandages - how did that happen? And then there's Finnick; where is he? Where are Katniss and Peeta? Is Snow still alive? Where am I? How did Haymitch get here?

Before I know it, my eyes have welled up and are spilling over the edge so Haymitch scoots closer and wraps his arms around me, pulling my head softly onto his shoulder where I begin to sob for everything. I'm just so exhausted and overwhelmed by all of these feelings and emotions...and then seeing Haymitch again. I didn't even know if I ever would see him again when we left 13. And I missed him, believe it or not.

When I pull back, he looks at me with a sad smile. "It's over, I suppose, Anna,"

"Over?" my own voice sounds foreign, coming out raspy and dry.

Haymitch takes a deep breath and looks out of the big windows on my left, squinting a little at the bright light. "There was an explosion in front of Snow's gates. Children were killed; countless young children just...murdered. Prim among them. The people quickly turned on Snow. Including Peacekeepers. They swarmed his house, took over, and then Coin's people captured Snow. The war is over."

I frown. "Snow's dead?"

"Not quite. He's being held here until a trial."

"Then the war is not over," I say grimly. I straighten up, wincing at the pain. "What happened to me?"

"What do you remember?" Haymitch asks me.

"I- I remember water - everywhere. And those things, I don't even know what they were. And Finnick and we were...climbing. And he was above me but-I can't remember- I don't know what happened next!" I say slowly, but quickly becoming wary. Where is Finnick?

"From what I was told - you'll have to talk to Katniss or Gale - Katniss blew up the tunnel. You two were unconscious. They pulled you outta there while it was all fire bombed up but you were in a bad way - the pair of you. They evaced you out."

"And Finnick?"

"Anna..." Haymitch's expression softens, his mouth curving into a sympathetic frown.

I begin shake my head viciously. "No...No Haymitch-he can't be-no! He can't be de-"

"He's alive, Anna," Haymitch speaks over me and I stop mid sentence, looking at him confused. "Just. He's in hospital - a makeshift one - here."

"Can I see him?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"No one can see him."

I stand from the bed I was put in and immediately my legs buckle and I crash to the floor. Haymitch quickly tries to help me up but I wave him off. I grip a hand on the window ledge and begin to pull myself up. "Please...do tell me why the fuck I can't see my husband?" I say through gritted teeth.

"Coin's orders..." Haymitch says wearily and I let out a bitter laugh. "Not until he's awake. I'm sorry Anna - it's not my fault but you can't go in and see him."

I steadily begin to walk towards the door, ignoring the pain in my body screaming at me to rest. "Just watch me."

When I step out of the bedroom, leaving Haymitch behind, I find that I still remember the way in this maze of a house. I begin to step down the grand staircase but catch sight of someone. I start and back up before I calm my beating heart; I was looking in a mirror. When I look harder, I find that yes, it is me, but I do not look anything like my old self. My shorter hair has grown slightly again, but is currently a mess of burned off ends, matted with blood and tangled and unruly. My eyes are dark and tired. My cheekbones are more hollow now and I look malnourished. Again.

Once again, Snow has reduced me to a frail wisp of a human being; through torture, through war. When will it end?

I grimace, and continue on.

I wander around the grand house, expecting to see Coin's people milling around, talking tactics and plans, but it's virtually empty save for a few guards. They all look at me wearily, as though they doubt I should be up and about (which is increasingly likely) but ignore me. I ask one of them where the hospital is and he points down a corridor.

The marble floor is cold on my bare feet as I step closer to the grand closed doors. "Finnick is alive. Finnick is alive." I whisper to myself, trying to hold on to that fact. Trying to ground myself.

When I step through the door, I almost faint; the smell of blood is overwhelming and attacks me so much I back up a little. A man - a doctor - appears in front of me, placing a hand on my arm gently but I step away from him.

"Miss Everly-"

"Odair." I say hoarsely. "My name is Odair."

The man looks at me for a little while then bows his head. "Of course, I'm Dr. Aurelius, the head doctor here. Mrs Odair, you should be in bed, resting."

"I need to see him." I look past the man's shoulders to see beds filled with injured people, but none of them are Finnick.

"I'm afraid that's not possible," Dr. Aurelius smiles sadly. "President Coin-"

"I don't give a damn what she said," I look him in the eye. Perhaps he can see the maniac inside of me. Or a desperate woman. Whatever it takes. "Let. Me. See. Him."

Dr. Aurelius looks behind me, at a white curtain pulled around a bed before turning back to me. "All right."

I don't waste a moment before hurrying past him and flinging back the curtain. Tears that I hadn't even noticed forming begin to cascade down my cheeks as I see Finnick's body on the bed. Most of his limbs and torso have been covered in bandages, now soaked red from blood. His bronze hair is wild, falling in messy and matted curls around a head wound.

I step forward carefully and sit on the edge of the bed. I take one of his hands in mine and place the other on his right cheek, stroking softly. "Finnick..." I breathe out, so quietly no one would hear me, let alone my unconscious husband. "Wake up for me, my love. Come back to me. I-I need you."

The amount of tears increase and my words catch in my throat as I struggle not to sob. I turn my head to the doctor. He takes the hint and mumbles a few words before closing the curtain again and leaving us.

I look down at Finnick again and suddenly I'm filled with hate; Snow did this. Snow tore us apart too many times and every time there has been collateral damage. But this is by far the worst. This is the real torture - not the months I spent in that cell being interrogated. This is the real torture of war; the undecided future; the not knowing whether your loved ones will live or die and not being able to talk to them just one last time. Yesterday - or however long ago it was - Finnick and I were alive together, as one. But now I don't even know if he will survive. Or if I will survive. Snow is still here, but I imagine that will change soon enough. Snow has taken my mother, my father, my life, my sanity, my integrity...but he will not take my husband.

He will no longer control my family...my future family.

I sit for a while, by Finnick's side, holding his hand, stroking my thumb across his cheek, his hair, his hand just wishing that he would wake up. But I know how badly the mutts hurt him, hurt us.

"He still manages to look handsome even when unconscious," a voice behind me startles me and I whip my head back to find Effie Trinket standing wistfully by the curtain. I didn't even hear her heeled footsteps on the floor.

"Effie," I sigh in relief. She smiles at me and steps over to stand by my shoulder.

"It's good to see you, Vivianna, you scared Haymitch and me for a moment there," she tells me. "We didn't know if you'd come back alive."

I half smile then look down at Finnick. "Maybe I did, but he hasn't just yet."

Effie places a gentle hand on my shoulder. "He will, Anna. I promise."

I brush back a stray piece of hair from his forehead and sigh. "He looks so peaceful, Effie. I miss him,"

"I know," she whispers back to me quietly. "I know you do. But for now, it's time to get you camera ready."

I frown and look back at her, studying the dark rings under her eyes and newly formed frown lines on her forehead. "Ready? For what?"

She swallows hard. "Snow's execution."

I follow behind Effie silently as she escorts me back to my room through the maze of corridors. When I step inside, Flavius and Octavia are waiting for me with their beauty tools and masses of material and bleary eyed smiles. They both rush forward and embrace me in a tight hug, practically squeezing what little life I had left in me out. I return their excitement with a weak smile and sit down on the small stool brought in and placed in front of a full length mirror. Effie excuses herself and leaves us to it.

It feels almost normal to have my hair and makeup done whilst listening to their chatter; the war apparently didn't change them too much. Although they are still animated and happy to see me, there is an nervous edge to their voices. The execution will change everything definitely.

"And you're done!" Octavia beams and steps aside for me to see myself in the mirror. It's different to what I saw earlier; the dark circles under my eyes were erased for the most part, my skin now looked healthy and glowing somehow instead of dull and pale as before and now my eyes were a glittering gold. I felt too formal for an execution.

Once Octavia and Flavius left me to work on Katniss wherever she was, I spent a long time changing into . They'd chosen something practical and comfortable yet still a little bit glamorous. I expect Katniss will be wearing her Mockingjay outfit, and rightly so. After I'd changed, I sit down on the bed.

There's a knock on the door and it opens to reveal Haymitch. He comes and sits next to me. "So I heard you broke into the hospital."

"I had to," I deftly reply.

"I know, sweetheart. It's almost time," he tells me.

I breathe in deeply then grimace. "You've been drinking again,"

"Well, tell me something I don't know," he jokes and I roll my eyes.

"You could have at least showered, Haymitch," I chastise him, standing and turning to face him. "You smell awful."

He looks offended. "I did!" he protests.

I crinkle my nose. "Then there's no hope for you."

Haymitch grins and stands up, too, opening the door. "There's the Vivianna I know and love."

I smile a little. "At least part of me," I simply say and walk out of the door, letting Haymitch lead the way to the execution.

~

I twirl my wedding band around my finger nervously. Haymitch and I were ushered into a room where we sat down with seemingly the other remaining victors: Peeta, Johanna, Beetee and Enobaria (surprisingly) - all of them wearing boring grey uniforms of 13's rebels. I slip into the spare seat next to Johanna and she takes my hand in solace. In a way, I'm glad Johanna couldn't fight; at least it's one more person I still have with me - whether Finnick makes it or not.

There's silence until the door opens again and in walks Katniss, looking confused. "What's this?" she asks.

"We're not sure," Haymitch is the one to answer. "It appears to be a gathering of the remaining victors."

"We're all that's left?" she almost sounds surprised. I'm not.

"The price of celebrity," says Beetee. "We were targeted from both sides. The Capitol killed the victors they suspected of being rebels. The rebels killed those thought to be allied with the Capitol."

Johanna scowls at Enobaria. "So what's she doing here?" I squeeze her hand lightly to calm her.

"She is protected under what we call the Mockingjay Deal," says Coin as she enters behind Katniss. "Wherein Katniss Everdeen agreed to support the rebels in exchange for captured victors' immunity. Katniss has upheld her side of the bargain, and so shall we."

Enobaria smiles at Johanna. "Don't look so smug," says Johanna. "We'll kill you anyway." I roll my eyes.

"Sit down, please, Katniss," instructs Coin, closing the door.

She takes a seat between Haymitch and Beetee, carefully placing a white rose on the table that makes me frown. As usual, Coin gets right to the point. "I've asked you here to settle a debate. Today we will execute Snow. In the previous weeks, hundreds of his accomplices in the oppression of Panem have been tried and now await their own deaths. However, the suffering in the districts has been so extreme that these measures appear insufficient to the victims. In fact, many are calling for a complete annihilation of those who held Capitol citizenship. However, in the interest of maintaining a sustainable population, we cannot afford this."

I share a curious glance with Haymitch and he shrugs slightly.

"So, an alternative has been placed on the table. Since my colleagues and I can come to no consensus, it has been agreed that we will let the victors decide. A majority of four will approve the plan. No one may abstain from the vote," says Coin. "What has been proposed is that in lieu of eliminating the entire Capitol population, we have a final, symbolic Hunger Games, using the children directly related to those who held the most power."

All seven of us turn to her.

"What?" Johanna asks.

"We hold another Hunger Games using Capitol children," says Coin, deadpan. The idea makes my stomach twist and churn and I suddenly feel nauseous.

"Are you joking?" Peeta sounds like his normal self, when he asks her incredulously.

"No. I should also tell you that if we do hold the Games, it will be known it was done with your approval, although the individual breakdown of your votes will be kept secret for your own security," Coin tells us.

"Was this Plutarch's idea?" queries Haymitch.

"It was mine," says Coin.

"Then you're insane," I mumble.

"It seemed to balance the need for vengeance with the least loss of life. You may cast your votes."

"No!" bursts out Peeta immediately. "I vote no, of course! We can't have another Hunger Games!"

"Why not?" Johanna retorts. "It seems very fair to me. Snow even has a granddaughter. I vote yes."

"So do I," says Enobaria, almost indifferently. "Let them have a taste of their own medicine."

"This is why we rebelled! Remember?" Peeta looks at the rest of us. "Vivianna?"

"I vote no with Peeta," I say firmly. "So would Finnick if he were here."

"But he isn't, because Snow's mutts have almost killed him," Johanna reminds her.

"You don't have to remind me, thank you," I remove my hand from hers and throw her a half glare. I turn back to Coin. "No. Definitely not."

"No," says Beetee slowly. "It would set a bad precedent. We have to stop viewing one another as enemies. At this point, unity is essential for our survival. No."

"We're down to Katniss and Haymitch," says Coin.

Katniss is quiet for a while. "I vote yes...for Prim."

"Haymitch, it's up to you," Coin states.

A furious Peeta hammers Haymitch with the atrocity he could become party to, but I can see Haymitch watching me and then his eyes go to Katniss. "I'm with the Mockingjay," he says and I cast him a disappointed look. He avoids looking at me.

"Excellent. That carries the vote," says Coin clearly pleased. "Now we really must take our places for the execution."

As she passes Katniss, she hold up the glass with the rose. "Can you see that Snow's wearing this? Just over his heart?"

Coin smiles. "Of course. And I'll make sure he knows about the Games."

"Thank you," Katniss replies.

And then people sweep into the room and surround us. The last touch of powder, the instructions from Plutarch as we're all lead out into the City Circle. The Circle runs over, spills people down the side streets. The others take their places outside. Guards. Officials. Rebel leaders. Victors. I stand in between Peeta and Beetee, too annoyed with Johanna and Haymitch's votes to stand with them for the moment.

The crowd erupts into a massive cheer as Coin appears on the balcony above. Then another round of cheer as Katniss steps out into the cold winter sunlight. She walks to her position, accompanied by the deafening roar of the crowd. She turns so we can all see her in profile, and then she waits.

When they march Snow out the door, the audience goes insane. They secure his hands behind a post, which is unnecessary. He's not going anywhere. There's nowhere to go; nowhere left to run anymore. This is not the roomy stage before the Training Center but the narrow terrace in front of the president's mansion.

I can see Katniss' concentration and watch as she reaches back and grasps the lone arrow. She position it and aims at the snake before her. He coughs and a bloody dribble runs down his chin. His tongue flicks over his puffy lips. I search his eyes for the slightest sign of anything, fear, remorse, anger - hoping that there's some human in him, some form of integrity deep down inside. But there's only the same look of amusement that seems permanently etched on his face. I clench my fists tightly together, hating - despising - this man for everything he did to me.

I'm almost excited for the moment his life leaves his body.

But the point of Katniss' arrow shifts upward. She releases the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead.

The crowd gasps.  

Reunited // Finnick OdairRead this story for FREE!