AKA “Fic I’m Not Writing,” because good lord there’s enough fic I _am_ writing already. I was thinking about this on my long car ride this morning and figured I might as well share in case other people are curious. Credit goes to seta_suzume, sabaceanbabe, and trovia for having massive influence on how I think about Finnick and the rest of the District Four characters. And apologies to seta_suzume for stealing her D4 OCs and transforming them somewhat to fit my purposes, I didn't think you'd mind too much ^^
Finnick volunteers. The kid they call is sixteen, trains with Finnick, and Finnick always beats him at Games School, knows if that kid goes in he won’t be able to win. Finnick regularly beats a lot of the older kids, he’s big for his age and he’s quick and he loves training. He was thinking about volunteering in a few years anyway, so when nobody else volunteers, Finnick thinks “why not now?”
This is probably all the information you need to determine he’s a pretty cocky kid. And he goes into the Arena confident he can win, is young enough to actually believe what Mags says—that nothing you do in the Games counts. It’s all about the technical parts in his head: how do I get food, get weapons, get people to do what I want. And he has two older brothers who pick on him, and his parents are overworked and indifferent, so he’s used to manipulating older kids. The Career Pack’s not much different. The Pack splits early that year, he tears his way through everyone with his trident and comes out basically in one piece. He’s a little jumpy, and sad about the kids he’d gotten to know, but he’s more or less okay.
Things get tricky when he comes home to Four. His family moves with him to the Village, they’d lived just down from the main town so it wasn’t that far. But Finnick starts going “this is my house, I can make the rules.” Because he’s heard that from his dad before, but now it’s _his_ house, and his brothers have to listen to what _he_ says, and well, he sort of knows better than to push it with his parents, but he definitely doesn’t listen when they try to tell him what to do. He helps out on his dad’s fishing boat most days, because otherwise he gets bored. He flat refuses to go back to school, or to Games training after the first time he tries and it’s just—awkward, because he’s still 14 so it’s not like he can boss around the older kids, but he’s a Victor now and he doesn’t want to hang around the younger ones—and I doubt training in Four starts more than a couple years before Reaping age, so there aren’t too many kids younger than him anyway.
It’s becoming an untenable situation already, and then he goes on Tour. And he dodges most of the survivors’ guilt, but still—it’s exhausting, and he doesn’t understand the ways people are looking at him, and in the Capitol, Snow tells him what a good Victor he is, and how important it is to do what he’s told, and makes vague hints about how much the Capitol is looking forward to seeing him at the next Games. (“I don’t think Mags will let me mentor yet, Mr. President.” “Oh, but you should come anyway. It’ll be fun.”)
And not long after that Finnick’s parents talk to Mags and say “look, this isn’t working for anyone, we have to think of our other kids, we’re moving back home, please keep him out of trouble if you can.” Finnick claims he doesn’t care, doesn’t want them around anyway, it’s better having the whole house to himself. And more or less convinces himself of that, although he sleeps at Mags’ place for the first couple of weeks. Because Mags asks him to, and he doesn’t want her to worry. NO REALLY.
Since he can’t go work with his dad, he won’t go to school or to Games School, he basically attaches himself to different Victors and gets them to teach him stuff, entertain him, whatever. He’s used to going for runs in the morning, but Theo shows him his workout routine and Finnick starts adding things to it, playing around. There’s a sort of obstacle course/jungle gym setup at the end of the peninsula the Village is set on, with pullup bars and ropes to climb and such like, and sometimes he spars with other Victors, just for fun. A lot of the older Victors go fishing sometimes, and Finnick will tag along, and Mags does a lot of old-timey DIY stuff she teaches Finnick. She also teaches him how to cook, which he doesn’t mind, and how to bake, which he loves, and that becomes his “unofficial” Talent. He starts bringing baked goods around to all the other Victors and gives lots to Odysseus to take to Games School.
He goes to the Capitol with Mags and whoever else is mentoring for the 66th Games and does a lot of ridiculous publicity things, and is sold for the first time. Snow tells him it’s a way to pay back the sponsors who helped him survive. Mags takes him out somewhere she’s pretty sure isn’t bugged and tells him it’s wrong for Snow to make him do it, but she can’t stop it. And she explains what happens to people who say no.
Finnick’s got older brothers, it’s not like he doesn’t know what sex is, he’s been a little curious but he never did more than kiss girls before the Arena, and afterwards, well, everything’s just weird and awkward. And he doesn’t understand what the guy’s asking him to do, and it hurts, and feels dirty, but he remembers Mags saying what happens if he doesn’t do it, and Snow saying how important it is for Finnick to be a good Victor, so he doesn’t say anything. He goes to the Capitol again at the Victory Tour, and is sold again—these are secret, since he’s underage, and it’s ~very exclusive~ and Finnick hates it but he has to do his job as a Victor (aaaaand everything is terrible).
During and after the 67th Games, when he’s sixteen, this starts being a more regular occurrence, he gets called into the Capitol for “special occasions” like Snow’s Birthday, or New Year’s, or “because someone influential is having a party.” His Capitol life is becoming more and more chaotic, and he reacts by becoming a bit of a control freak at home. Wakes up at the same time, does the same workout every day, goes and bothers Mags until lunchtime, goes fishing on a regular rotation with the other Victors and a guy from town Tyde introduced him to, eats dinner, goes swimming again, sleeps. Mags always saves little chores for him when he comes back, because the first few days he won’t stop moving, always needs to have something to do. Eventually he’ll settle a bit and his morning visits can be just relaxing and talking or watching TV or reading or whatever, and that’s when she knows he’s leveled out a bit.
And then Annie wins, and that’s the fic I am apparently writing, so I’ll leave this there.