Annick Crestdair - The Victory Tour

- Sequel - A few months have passed since the 70th hunger games. Annie's behaviour was accepted by the Capitol when she was crowned Victor, but how will she react to the Victory tour. This story follows Finnick doing everything he can to protect Annie and help her get through each day. Although there is one thing that is constantly playing on his mind. Is she getting BETTER or WORSE?


2. One day to go

I find myself feeling calmer than usual when I'm lying down ready to go to sleep. Then again it's not like I'm ready to go to sleep, I've been laying here for hours staring, just staring at the ceiling. I think over and over of what tomorrow will bring, I don't see myself as an easily afraid person although, with the possibility of Annie breaking down at the tour in one day I am terrified. She's getting better, she may not seem to be, but deep down I know that the girl I met on reaping day is close to returning. I'm afraid that going to the Capitol will stop her getting better but instead make her worse than she is. I turn over on my side and watch her sleeping. She didn't want me to leave so I stayed, she keeps saying I'm all she has, but I'm not, she has family and friends that care about her but she thinks she doesn't know them. The only people she thinks she knows are the ones that have died and somehow I fit into that category as I'm the one she spends all her time with. I smile when I look at her face, her face is the same as it always was, innocent, natural and beautiful. An odd red lock of hair hangs over her eye so I gently tuck it behind her ear but she doesn't move a muscle. Part of me wishes I knew what she was dreaming as I hope it's something calm and peaceful instead of a nightmare. She has had many nightmares since the games, although she's been ok recently but with the tour in one day who knows, they may come back to haunt her. She still wears the locket I gave her, that gives me some hope that she remembers our last night together before the games. I finally find myself drifting to sleep on that thought.

I wake early as the sun is still rising. I suddenly check if Annie is asleep and I am glad to see she is. I gently sit up so I don't wake her. I throw some clothes on that I find around her room that I have left over the past few weeks. I may as well move here as I spend most of my time here. I button up a white shirt I find, it's creased all over but that's the last thing I care about. I hear someone outside the door, I go out and see who it is. 'Finnick' she says and I see Mrs Cresta standing by the staircase. 'Morning, how are you feeling today?' I say. I look at her face, her eyes darkened by the grey streaks positioned beneath them, I assume from the stress and also due to the fact she has hardly any sleep. 'Fine but don't worry about me how is she?' She asks. I look back to the room to check she is still asleep. I am not surprised to see her still fast asleep as it's only been two minutes. 'Better, I think' I say. 'Not for long, the tour is tomorrow' she says. 'I know but she has to go, she has no choice' I say and she lowers her head although she knows Annie has to go, and she knows the tour will make her worse. 'Mrs Cresta, I want you to know that I won't leave her side, I will do all I can to help her' I say. 'I know Finnick, you've done so much I just wish I could help' she says, there's no way she could help Annie, she's too sad about the whole situation. Annie is all she has as her husband, Annie's father died a long time ago, but I haven't came round to asking when or how. 'You should get some rest' I say. She must have been up all night as she is clearly exhausted. 'I'll cook her some food and I need to wash the pots' she says. 'No, go to bed, lie down and sleep, I'll deal with all of that' I say and she thankfully follows what I say and goes through to her room.

After I have cleaned up downstairs, I take up a tray with some bread and a few things I think she might eat, I also take a glass of water. As she is still asleep I place the tray on a small table by the door. I realise I should probably clean up this room as we are going tomorrow. There are clothes everywhere and the odd glass half filled with water. I scoop up a pile of clothes that need to be washed. I lay out some clothes ready for her. After a little while she starts to wake up. 'Morning' I say, she smiles slightly, but not enough to convince me she is ok. She gets up and dresses into the clothes on the bed. 'Do you want to eat something?' I say in the hope she will. 'Im fine' she says quietly, her voice deep and croaky, I hope it is because she's just woken up. Partly I knew she would say that she doesn't want food. 'You need to Annie' I say. She looks down to the tray of food I brought her. 'Finnick I just don't want to' she says looking away from the food and her voice is now sad and effortless. 'Please, Annie, please try' I say. She must realise I'm dying for her to eat something as she lightly nods her head and picks up a piece of bread. 'Thank you' I say. She eventually eats half the bread roll and has a couple of sips of water. 'Do you want to get out of the house for a while?' I ask. She considers what I said for a while before saying 'I'll do whatever'. I'm not relieved by her answer, she can't stay in the house all the time. I was glad she agreed to go out yesterday as she usually prefers to just stay in the house and do nothing. 'We can take a walk to our beach' I say. 'Our beach' the name I call the sea and the sand, close to the outskirts of district four. It's the closest we can get to the outskirts as the Capitol keep fencing off more and more of our land, with electric fences warning any trespassers. I call it our beach as after the games that's where I took her most of the time. It's something about the area, the golden sunset with stripes of crimson, the daylight reflecting off the water making the light blue waves shine, but overall It's the best place for us because it is deserted, peaceful and calm, everything we need. Thinking of it only makes me want to be there with her, instead of waiting for her to make up her mind- as she stares at the wall blankly- I make the decision for us. 'Come on we are going' I say and take her hand and lead us downstairs and out the house.

I know we are there when the sea breeze hits me. No one, not one other person is here apart from the two of us, which is what makes it so perfect. Large trees cascade the edges of the beach, some of the green leaves are long enough to hit the top of the sand beneath our feet. I look at Annie and suddenly see a change to her face, her eyes light up to the sight of the sea. Loosening my hand she slowly but eagerly walks to the shallow beginning of the sea, until her feet touch the tips of the water. 'Finnick' she says her voice unusually placid, extending her arm and hand out to summon me to her. I am suddenly next to her, we fall to a sitting position in the sea. She leans in and lays her head on my chest and I wrap my left arm around her back, swishing my fingertips in the warm water. We stay there for a while. And a while longer. Eventually until the sun begins to set. 'Annie' I say looking at her and holding her hair back with my hand to see her face. She looks at me, her eyes are big and beautiful and give me their full attention. I don't want to ruin this time with her but I have to. 'Annie, there's no point trying to forget about it, the tour is tomorrow' I say dreading her response. She looks happy for a split second like she's excited, then she says 'it's ok I'll get to see Raff I feel like I...' She begins to say this before I know what I have to do. I have to tell her again that Raff is gone, that she will never see him ever again, that she's failing to remember his fate even thought that is what has made her the way she is now. I'm afraid of every word I'm about to say, but I say it anyway. I have no choice she has to be reminded he's dead otherwise she will never get better. 'Annie remember, Raff is gone, he's... He is dead' I say. Her eyes fill up and lines crease her forehead. 'No!' She screams, reaching her clasped hand to her mouth and gasps to try and swallow the pain and sadness. 'I know he's... he's gone... Finnick... Why?... w-why do I keep...forgetting' she says letting out another squeal and gasp. 'Whats... wrong with... Me? It's all my fault, it's all my fault, it's all my fault...' She says repeating herself out of panic. 'Annie look at me' I say acting as emotionally strong as is possible for me. I hold the side of her face with my hand, wiping away the tears that rapidly fall down her cheeks. She finally blinks and looks although she is still panicking, as her chest is moving up and down faster and faster. 'Annie this is not your fault ok? Raff's death had nothing to do with you and you couldn't have done anything. You just need to try and forget' I say, she looks to the ground and then covers her eyes. Then her ears, blocking out the voices from the event she is reminiscing. 'Stop! Stop! Please... STOP! Go away' she shouts between sobs and flinching as though she is witnessing his death all over again. Her back shakes as she fails to stop her loud panicked breathing. I find myself in the same position as usual. I have to sit and wait for her to realise she's not in the games. If I comfort her or touch her she will be even worse as it will make her flashback even more realistic. 'Raff I'm sorry... Raff! Raff No!' She screams into her palms. Seeing her this way again is tearing me apart. There's nothing I can do but, I should do something. 'Raff... Behind...NO!' She shouts again. After a short amount of time, which to me, felt like a lot longer, she stops screaming and has now pulled her legs up and is resting her face on her knees, lightly crying but still heavily breathing. 'Annie' I say. After about ten seconds she looks up. When I see her face again she looks so lost, confused and sad. When I think she is calm enough I simply say 'come here'. Without really listening to me she shuffles close to me and wraps her right arm around the middle of my back and slings her left arm across my chest and her hand clasps my neck. I hold her close to me and feel her shaking and lightly sobbing. 'Im going to look after you, no matter what. I promise' I say and through the corner of my eye I see another tear fall down her face and find myself trying to figure out if this will ever stop. I lay a kiss on her forehead and we remain locked together. Until tomorrow.

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