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Speeds We Can Run At

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It took Katniss a while to notice the difference, because the jungle was so hot and humid already. The increasing thickness in the air barely registered. She was getting horribly thirsty again, and in front of her Finnick and Peeta were slowing down.

“We should stop for more water,” Peeta was saying, and Katniss didn’t register that he’d stopped walking until she almost ran into his back. She stared at the beads of sweat on the nape of his neck and found herself listing forward, wanting to press herself against his back.

“Sure,” Finnick said, and there was something off about his voice. Then as he went to sit on a tree root, he swayed and stumbled, and Katniss’s sense of alarm grew.

She went to crouch next to him, but ended up on her knees instead, leaning forward into Finnick’s personal space. “There’s something wrong with you.”

“There’s something wrong with all of us,” Finnick said, not looking at her. He was looking up at the sky, his neck exposed in a long line. “Don’t you feel it?”

Behind her, Peeta was getting out the spiel and moving to hammer it into a tree, but his movements were slow, halting, like he kept forgetting what he was doing. Katniss squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. “Feel what?”

“Katniss.” She’d never heard Finnick’s voice sound like that, and it made something sharp and electric go off in her groin. Katniss looked up, and realized that her hands were on Finnick’s legs, her fingers digging into his thighs. And instead of letting him go, she wanted his suit to be gone so that she could be gripping his skin instead.

Finnick’s fingers were on her neck, cupping her jaw, and he was staring at his hand like he didn’t know how it had gotten there. Part of Katniss was alarmed, or knew that she should be alarmed by having Finnick’s hand on her throat, probably about to choke her or try to break her neck, but most of her wanted him to keep going. Which wasn’t right, what the hell was she thinking--

That train of thought was interrupted by Finnick’s mouth very suddenly being on her mouth. His lips were hot and wet and he was pushing her backwards, his other hand coming up to cup her breast. Katniss shoved him off and pushed him back, slamming his back against the tree with her forearm over his throat. Her mouth was open to demand what the fuck he was thinking but instead she leaned in and kissed him again, her tongue moving into his mouth.

Finnick bit down on her bottom lip and Katniss wanted to scream, his teeth were the only thing that made her body feel like it wasn’t burning, but then his knee slammed up into her gut, knocking the wind out of her. They went backwards, tumbling away from the tree and onto the grass, and Katniss fought but Finnick still wound up on top of her, pinning her wrists and biting and sucking at her neck. Katniss knew that he must be feeling as out of control as she felt but it didn’t make her any less furious. She tried to buck Finnick off but he just rolled his hips against her, which felt amazing but didn’t make her want to claw his eyes out any less.

Finnick let go of one of her wrists to get at her suit, clawing at her collar like he was too focused on getting to her skin to remember how all of their suits unzipped at the back. Katniss took the opening and yanked at his hair until he yelled in pain, then shoved him off of her, flipping them with her knees bracing his hips until she was on top again, straddling him. When she leaned over she could feel his erection hard against her belly, and he was the one struggling now but she was hard to dislodge, her hand still pulling his hair while her teeth found his jaw. She wanted to have him and she didn’t care what he did--

Something was stopping her, strong hands on her shoulders pulling her off of Finnick and flinging her to the side. Katniss landed on her ass and snarled, she was ready to kill Peeta for this, but something in his voice got through and made her hesitate.

“Stop, stop both of you, this isn’t you!” Peeta was on his knees and looked hardly better off than she and Finnick did: his eyes were wild, he was panting and Katniss could see how hard he was through the suit. Normally a sight like that would mortify her and make her look away, but right now it just made Katniss feel more feverish than ever.

“There are chemicals in the air, there’s something making us--feel stuff,” Peeta said. He couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from Katniss’s breasts, and somehow that more than anything made it clear how wrong this all was--Peeta would normally never let himself do that.

Finnick pushed himself onto an elbow. He was staring at Peeta like he could see him naked already, and Katniss felt a surge of protectiveness. "Why would fucking each other be a part of the Games? It's hardly deadly."

Peeta laughed, a brittle sound that Katniss hated hearing from him. "It's meant to turn us into rapists. To make us feel betrayed and violated by each other and break up the alliances. Not to mention the way it will look to the audience." He met Katniss' eyes and she knew he was thinking of how people would react upon seeing her having sex with Finnick in front of her fiancé, the way it would permanently stain her image.

"I should have known not to underestimate the creativity of the Capitol." Finnick had crawled on his knees until he was behind Peeta, wrapping his arms around him. Peeta shuddered. “Why stop at determining who we’re allowed to be with when they can just outright take away our desire to say no?”
Katniss had to dig her hands into the ground to keep herself from going over to them. “Peeta, are you fighting it?” she said, hating the desperation in her voice. “How are you fighting it, tell us, please.

Peeta met her eyes miserably. “I’m not. And I--I don’t think I can.” He gasped as one of Finnick’s hands moved down, curving over his erection. “But we don’t have to do it their way, this doesn’t have to be humiliating or terrible if we just--if we do it together--”

“Yeah? You want to hold hands and sing kumbaya while I fuck you?” Finnick was actively jerking him off through the suit now, and there was something bitter and defeated in his eyes. Katniss wanted to drag Peeta out of his hands, except that she knew if she moved she would only be to try and force herself on him, just as Finnick was doing. “What’s the point in pretending we’re not still giving them what they want?”

Peeta gritted his teeth and grabbed the hand that was molesting him, holding it away from his body; it looked like it was taking all of his willpower not to let Finnick keep going. “No. It’s not giving them what they want if we use it to make us stronger.” He turned to the side and grabbed Finnick, kissing him open-mouthed. For a moment Finnick didn’t move, his body still rigid with tension, and then his shoulders slumped and he kissed back, pulling Peeta into an embrace.

It took Katniss by surprise, how much she liked the image they made. Heat pooled between her legs and she hated this, hated how out of control she felt, but she knew that Peeta was right: if this was happening to them either way, then fuck whatever President Snow wanted out of it; fuck one more attempt to hurt them.

She trusted Peeta. She didn’t trust Finnick, but she could let herself enjoy him.

“Katniss, please,” Peeta murmured, looking over at her again while Finnick was busy sucking on his neck. “Say something--if you don’t want this, if you can fight it then I’ll--I’ll stop somehow--”

Katniss shook her head. “I’m in.” She reached behind herself to unzip, shucking her suit and shimmying out of it. When she was done she glanced at Peeta and felt pettily smug for a moment, because his eyes were bulging out much more so than when Johanna had undressed in front of him.

Then she pushed herself up to her knees and looked up at the sky, angling herself to make sure her whole naked body could be seen by the cameras. She put her three fingers to her lips, then held her hand up high.

Finnick laughed. “Nicely done. Your cunt is so rebellious.”

Katniss surprised herself by laughing instead of getting angry. The desire was driving every other thought from her mind and it was too much not to join them. She let her arm drop and moved over to join them, helping Finnick to peel Peeta’s suit off his shoulders and down his chest. Peeta took a sharp intake of breath when Katniss grazed one of his nipples with her thumbnail, and she caught his next breath with her mouth.

It wasn’t like the other times she’d kissed him. The need to stay alive, to win the games was still there in the back of her mind (when was it not), but it was drowned out by the feel of her tongue against his teeth, his hands on her face and the pressure of his mouth, so much more insistent than he’d ever been before. When she touched his chest he was slick with sweat and she held onto him, spreading her fingers wide over his back and feeling better at every point their skin touched.

“Peeta, you’re the only one still wearing pants,” Finnick said. Peeta broke the kiss to laugh, his voice breathless and shaky, and when Katniss glanced at Finnick she realized that he must have stripped down while they were making out. He was naked and he was very erect. On some level Katniss was aware that she would find this awkward in any other circumstance, seeing Finnick Odair’s extremely hard cock touching his belly while he groped Peeta’s ass under the pretense of helping Peeta get his suit off. But she didn’t feel embarrassed; she felt like nothing could ever embarrass or shame her again, like there was no reason not to follow any impulse she had, and every impulse she had led her to reach over Peeta to wrap her hand around Finnick’s cock.

Finnick gasped a little, and Katniss felt smug again that she managed to surprise him. But he was definitely going for it, wrapping his hand around her hand and pushing into her fingers. Katniss looked up at his face and he almost had the same smirk that he always had, but not quite; there was a softness around his eyes, an understanding when he looked at her. He leaned forward and Katniss was expecting to be kissed again, as furiously and with as much teeth as when he did it first, but instead Finnick just brushed his lips over her jaw.

Neither of them were the kind to apologize. But Katniss knew that he was as sorry as she was for what they’d tried to do to each other before Peeta intervened, and she kissed Finnick on the cheek in turn. She hoped that Peeta was right, and that they could get through this without feeling shattered afterward.

Peeta huffed in her ear. “I can’t get this off with you on my lap,” he said, and Katniss obligingly moved off of him so that he could strip the rest of his suit off. Katniss felt like she was burning up and the only thing that might stop it was running her tongue over every inch of his body she could see, which she knew that that feeling was just the chemical spell she was under. She wondered if she would still find him so beautiful once this was over; she hoped so.

Finnick’s hands came up to cup and squeeze her breasts and it felt so ridiculously good it made her feel stupid. Katniss reached back to pull his head forward, clumsily kissing any part of his face and neck she could reach. Behind her she could feel his cock, slippery already and warm, nudging against the small of her back. Katniss was already parting her legs to urge him inside her when Peeta joined them, kissing his way down Katniss’s chest and spreading his hands over her thighs.

Katniss could hear the noises she was making and she knew she sounded embarrassing and weak but it didn’t matter. Peeta closed his mouth around one of her nipples at the same time that he pressed the heel of his hand against her groin and if everything up till now had been a hot feeling spreading through her, that was a jolt of pleasure slamming through her gut. Katniss yelled and fell against Peeta and it made them all tumble forward. Peeta made an ‘oomph’ sound when his back hit the ground and yes, this, this is what Katniss wanted, now she could spread out and press her body entirely against his.

“Make room,” Finnick was saying behind her, and Katniss glanced over to see him positioning himself in between Peeta’s legs. Her instinct was to clutch at his shoulders and not share with Finnick at all, but Peeta touched her shoulder, getting through to the savage part of her the Capitol was counting on, just as he always had.

“It’s okay,” he said, and he looked drugged and flushed and vulnerable, so vulnerable that it would have terrified Katniss if she weren’t just as drugged. She obligingly shifted so that she was next to Peeta rather than on top of him, and when she nodded at Finnick he smirked at her and then up at the cameras before sliding onto his stomach in one lithe movement.

Katniss stopped paying attention to him in order to kiss Peeta some more. She was exploring the roof of his mouth with her tongue when he jumped and leaned back. “What are you--?”

When Katniss looked down, she saw that Finnick was at eye level with Peeta’s dick and had sucked one of Peeta’s balls into his mouth; as Katniss stared, he let it slide out of his mouth with a pop and smiled as Peeta made a choked-off panting noise.

“You two can carry on,” he said, moving his tongue down lower on Peeta’s thigh. “I have my own agenda.”

Katniss couldn’t see what he was doing, could only see the top of Finnick’s head, but she felt it when Peeta arched and stammered next to her. When Peeta clutched at her, his fingers on her skin distracted her entirely and made her selfish again: the only thing on her mind was her own body. She grabbed Peeta’s wrist and dragged his hand lower and Peeta wasn’t shy about it--she immediately felt his two fingers slipping into her and then heard him groan.

“You’re so wet--oh my god--”

“It’s the chemicals, same as what they’re doing to you.” Katniss bit at his ear. She knew exactly how wet she was; the insides of her thighs were slippery.

Peeta laughed and brought up his thumb to rub at her clit, which was just as slippery and far more sensitive. Katniss’ hips jerked and she clutched at his shoulders for something to hold on to, burying her face in his neck because it felt too intense to meet his eyes. Her hips were moving without her permission to roll against the obscene pressure of his hand, and she’d never been aware of her own heartbeat, pounding in time with each throb of pleasure.

She came sooner than she wanted to. Warmth crested and broke over her body leaving her weak, slumped against Peeta’s side. She had hoped that climaxing would satiate the maddening drive but it was still dominant it broke through even the relaxed haze of her orgasm. She needed to come again, she was starving for it and the first one had only whet her appetite.

Peeta cried out and Katniss tensed with alarm, looking down at Finnick again. He seemed to be using his fingers now, and--

”Is he hurting you?” If he was Katniss would find the strength somehow to stop rutting herself against Peeta’s arm and go after Finnick, she’d stop this and fight him--

“No! No it feels good, just--different,” Peeta said in a strangled voice. Katniss narrowed her eyes at him. Would he even tell her if he was uncomfortable with this, or would he go with it for the sake of the alliance?

“Katniss,” Finnick said, and when he looked up at her his lips were wet and shiny. “Will you relax? I know what I’m doing and it’s not about pain.”

“As long as it’s what you want,” Katniss said, looking back at Peeta. He answered “ngrgh” and spread his thighs wider. Katniss felt curious despite herself, and leaned over to get a closer look at Finnick. His finger was in Peeta’s hole up to the first knuckle, his head tilted to the side. Katniss could see his tongue probing against Peeta’s reddened skin. As she was watching, Finnick pushed a second finger in, spreading Peeta wide enough to fit the tip of his tongue between his fingers, licking inside him.

She was feeling light-headed from the drug, not from watching Finnick do--that. Katniss determinedly looked away and back to Peeta’s face: his mouth was open, gasping and his eyes were practically rolling back in his head. He looked like he was enjoying himself very much.

She felt an irrational, embarrassing stab of jealousy that Finnick was the one making his face look like that, the one holding his attention. She reached down and wrapped her hand around Peeta’s cock, and it was surprising how natural it felt to have the length of it in her palm. She squeezed and moved her hand down and Peeta seemed to like that.

His cock was wet at the tip and when she touched him there his breath changed--Katniss liked listening to it, and the wetness made it easier to stroke him. With the hand that wasn’t pinned to his side by her body, Peeta touched her jaw and brought her face in to kiss her again. Now she could feel his breath stuttering against her lips, and it occurred to her to wonder how loud he might let himself be if they weren’t in the arena.

Except that she would never get to hear his sex noises outside the arena (would she even want to touch him like this if her mind weren’t being controlled by the arena right now?), because both of them wouldn’t be making it out alive. Katniss shut the door on that thought as quickly as she could, but the bitterness lingered at the edge of her mind.

Peeta seemed to like it when she touched him faster, and he groaned "Yes" into her ear when she made her hand less gentle. He was flushing all over, his chest all red and his nipples peaked; he arched his back up off the ground and Katniss felt his cock stiffen and then he was coming. She felt it pulse wet over her knuckles in the same rhythm that her own orgasm had throbbed through her, one-two-three beats like a loud heart or the shot of a cannon.

Then it was over and Peeta slumped back down to the ground. Peeta watched him experience the same realization she’d had after her orgasm: a split second of relaxation, followed immediately by disbelief that his body was still crying out for more, then frustration and helplessness. Katniss had his come all of her fingers but he was still rock hard and showed no sign of getting soft. Their eyes met and Katniss had nothing for him, nothing comforting she could possibly say because she felt the same, like her whole body felt tight as a bow--a bow kept endlessly taut, never allowed to release, until it snapped.

An ugly thought occurred to Katniss: what if they were wrong about this chemical spell not being lethal? What if the point of this was to make them keep going until their bodies just couldn’t keep going anymore? She could see that same fear in Peeta’s eyes, and if she had to go then she wanted to go out fighting, not like this, no matter how good it felt. And Peeta--what about Peeta, this was putting him in danger--

“Here we go,” Finnick said, breaking her train of thought. Katniss felt his hand brush her palm and looked down to realize that he was collecting Peeta’s come, sliding his fingers through where it had collected on Peeta’s belly. He was sitting up on his knees now, and Katniss watched as he touched himself with the hand covered in Peeta’s come, slicking himself up.

“Oh,” Peeta said, noticing Finnick’s actions as well. “Oh man.” He didn’t sound reluctant or afraid, but Katniss still felt alarm course through her. She struggled to sit up and was about to snap at Finnick when Peeta’s hand on her arm stopped her.

“It’s fine,” Peeta said, and before she could argue he continued, “Katniss, I want to taste you.”

Katniss blinked down at him. “What?”

“What he means is you should sit on his face,” Finnick said. Katniss gave him a glare but Finnick took no notice: he had Peeta’s hips tilted up and was gripping Peeta’s thigh with one hand and using his other hand to guide his cock into Peeta’s ass. Peeta gave a little gasp (from discomfort? pain? pleasure? she had no idea) as Finnick’s cock pushed inside him, and Katniss couldn’t tear her eyes away, it was--

Jesus, it was a turn-on. Katniss looked back at Peeta and he nodded at her. “Please.”

She swallowed and moved to straddle Peeta’s shoulders, feeling like she had become an entirely different person. Peeta’s hands came up to support her lower back and thighs, encouraging her to bring her cunt to his mouth. She was hesitant but then Peeta was lifting his head and pulling her down and she felt a long swipe of his tongue between the parted lips of her cunt. She was expecting it to feel similarly to his fingers but oh, his tongue was slick and warm and soft and it was unbelievable. Her hips were moving entirely without her permission, like they were being tugged forward by an invisible string, helpless to the shockwaves that Peeta’s tongue was sending through her.

She could feel Finnick’s breath on her shoulders. He was fucking Peeta just a few inches behind her, sometimes gasping, and Katniss really hoped that he wasn't hurting Peeta but it was difficult to remain concerned when Peeta was sucking on her clit.

"It's good that you're giving him something to do," Finnick said in her ear. "To get him through the initial discomfort." Then he sucked her earlobe into his mouth, which felt great but also gave Katniss the urge to punch him. She reached back and grabbed his hair, but tried to make it gentler than she'd done when they were first fighting.

"Just don't hurt him."

Peeta stopped licking her to lean his head back and look her in the eye. "I'm not that breakable."

That made Finnick laugh. Katniss jabbed her elbow back into his ribs, but he kept laughing. "Just let him eat you out. Please."

Katniss wanted to snipe back at him but then Peeta sucked on her clit and her retort came out in a strangled sort of gasp that she’d never heard from herself before. It felt even better when she pressed her hips down, rocking against his lips and his teeth. A small, drowned out part of her was worried about suffocating him somehow but every time her clit throbbed it subsumed any other concerns.

Peeta’s technique was getting sloppy, switching between licking and sucking and just letting her grind down against his lips. When she came for a second time it felt like it took everything she had; for a moment she worried that she had blacked out.

Then her vision came back and her body felt empty. She slid off of Peeta to the right and landed on her back, staring up at the bright blue dome of the arena. She was vaguely aware of Finnick and Peeta next to her, Finnick hitching one of Peeta’s legs up on his shoulder and using his other hand to jerk Peeta off. Katniss was vaguely impressed at Finnick’s ability to multi-task, but then he was older than they were--he had maybe done things like this before, maybe knew what he was doing.

Peeta seemed to like it, at any rate. His hands were clenched in the grass and dirt on the ground and his body rocked with every thrust. When he came his body went rigid and then completely loose; Finnick muttered “yes” and brought Peeta’s other leg up on his shoulder, bending his body almost in half and fucking him faster a few more times before he came, groaning through gritted teeth.

Katniss rolled away from them, onto her side. She felt an exhaustion so deep that the only comparable feeling was the way her body had felt after the first Games. She heard the noises they made behind her, two boys breathing heavily and kisses being exchanged. Then Finnick was slumped on the ground in front of her, his exhalations hitting her cheek. When Katniss glanced down she saw that he was still hard and felt a pang of sympathy; from the look on Finnick’s face, he didn’t have any energy left to take care of it.

Katniss scooted closer to Finnick and opened her legs, fitting his cock between her thighs to give him friction. Finnick snorted with laughter and rested his forehead against hers; she could feel Peeta fitting himself against her back, holding her the way he would when she needed him to get through the nightmares.

Finnick’s cock moved between her legs, barely brushing her cunt on each backstroke and Katniss realized with a spark of interest that she could let him go all the way inside her and see what that was like, maybe she could even come again from it, but thinking about that prospect was more exhausting than appealing. Perhaps the chemicals were wearing off, because she no longer felt like coming was a life-or-death priority.She was content to let Finnick work himself between her thighs, which were slick with his come and her come and maybe Peeta’s, too--soon it would be sticky but for now it was good.

Finnick grabbed her shoulder and squeezed when he came, the muscles in his forearm trembling. Peeta covered Finnick’s hand with his own and brushed his mouth against Katniss’ neck, her ear, her hair.

She could feel them getting as drowsy as she was; their limbs felt heavy on her shoulders. It was the easiest thing in the world to let everything drift away.

Katniss woke up panicked. Adrenaline and horror shot her to her feet and she stumbled over Finnick’s body, looking wildly around. How could she have let herself just fall asleep like that? They had all passed out, as blissfully peaceful as if they were sharing a bed in a home, rather than sitting ducks in the arena. Katniss thought about how easily someone could have come along and slit all their throats while they slept naked, and felt ill. How could she have been so stupid?

The sun was still high in the sky, which meant that hopefully they hadn’t slept for long, although who the hell knew--maybe the Gamemakers had extended the day just to disorient them further. Still, Katniss doubted that they would all still be alive if they had slept for more than an hour at the longest.

She pulled on her suit as quickly as she could (it was disgusting to get dressed without washing off all the caked come first, but she couldn’t spare time to be fussy) and kicked Finnick awake. He was on his feet as fast as she had been, already swinging at the space she had occupied moments before, and she recognized the horror in his eyes when he realized how vulnerable they’d made themselves, how lucky they’d been.

“We need to move,” Katniss said, reaching down to shake Peeta awake. “I don’t know how long we’ve been lying here.”

Finnick already had his trident in one hand, clumsily getting his suit back on with the other. Peeta woke just as fast as they had, and for a moment Katniss ached with a longing to let him sleep instead, to lie back down with him even if the adrenaline coursing through her would never let her fall back asleep. She shook her head to clear it and stood up, tossing Peeta his clothes.

“We can wash off at the beach and figure out what to do next,” Finnick said, his eyes searching the trees. Katniss slung her bow over her back and stood over Peeta as he pulled each pant leg back on, glancing up at her when he thought she wasn’t looking. She didn’t know if he was thinking about what they’d just done with each other, but she thought he might be. They couldn’t dwell on that, there was no space for it here. They had managed to ride out the chemical spell and not let it destabilize or destroy them, and that was good, that was a minor victory, but they had to forget about it now.

Finnick offered Peeta a hand to pull himself up, and then they were all dressed, weapons in hand and marching on.