Vivian lay in Finnick’s arms, choking and sobbing. She had no idea where her boundless emotions sprouted from, nor did she think she was capable of producing so many tears; but she hadn’t cried like this for a very long time.
As he patted Vivian’s shoulder, Finnick’s heart filled with self-blame. She must have been really scared to be bawling so violently… why didn’t I search for her sooner?
“Try to calm down, okay? Let’s find a way out of here. We have to deal with your injury first. Also, the temperatures here are too low. You might get hypothermia if we don’t get you out soon.”
A bright pink flushed across Vivian’s face. She felt embarrassed; she had never expected to cry so miserably in front of Finnick. She broke away from his embrace and wiped her tears. “My foot’s injured though, how do we get out now?”
Finnick suppressed the gut-wrenching pity that surged in him. He needed to be calm. He eyed the height of the pit’s walls and said, “Step on my shoulders. You should be able to get to the top. Then once you’re out, I’ll jump out of this pit by myself.”
“Okay,” Vivian nodded. They had to try, there was no other way.
“How’s your foot?” Finnick asked. He eyed her red and swollen foot warily. What if she gets hurt again?
Sensing great concern in his tone, Vivian’s face flushed pink. “It should be fine. This is the only way to get out.”
“Bear with it for now, okay?” Finnick petted Vivian’s head. He continued, “Climb onto my shoulders slowly. Be careful.”
Then Finnick crouched into position with his back facing her. At this, a tear trickled down Vivian’s cheek again. Even she had to admit that his sincere actions touched her completely.
Vivian stepped carefully onto Finnick’s shoulders. To steady herself, her hands pressed against the soil wall before her. “Okay, I’m on. You can slowly stand up now.”
At Vivian’s mark, Finnick stood cautiously. He didn’t want to risk making big movements that could cause Vivian to fall over.
They reached upwards, little by little until Vivian’s body made it halfway out of the pit. Vivian grabbed onto the weeds near the pit’s opening and gradually pulled herself out.
Below, Finnick was starting to feel uneasy. He asked, “Are you out yet, Vivian? Is your foot okay?”
“I’m fine. Can you get out by yourself?” Vivian responded. The pit was definitely not shallow. It made her worry if he could make it out on his own.
“I’ll be okay,” Finnick’s voice echoed from below. “You should stay away from the pit. I don’t want to bump into you when I land.”
Heeding Finnick’s words, Vivian darted farther from the pit.
Finnick picked up some branches at the bottom of the pit. Using their sharp ends, he carved out dents that were big enough for his feet to grab onto in the soil wall. He ran a couple of steps in place to prepare himself. Then he lunged at the two dents in the wall and climbed up with his feet on them.
“Are you okay?” Vivian asked. Her voice bubbled with joy when she saw Finnick climb out of the pit.
“I’m fine.” Finnick patted down his chest, dusting the soil off. He approached her with a gentle smile. His arms reached out to scoop her into a bridal carry.
“You don’t have to carry me,” Vivian said. She dodged his arms in a flash and continued. “I can walk just fine on my own.”
“Vivian,” Finnick sighed. He sounded hurt as if he felt dejected at Vivian’s avoidance.
“Your foot is badly swollen, and it’s getting darker. We have to get you back quickly so that we can deal with your injury. Imagine how long we’ll take if you waddle the whole way. What will we do if we get lost again and it’s completely dark out?”
Makes sense. Vivian couldn’t find a single reason to refute his logical explanation.
Seeing Vivian grow silent in defeat, Finnick stepped forward and scooped her into his arms. Then she subconsciously wrapped her hands around his neck.
When she finally realized how intimate her action was, Vivian’s arms recoiled. However, Finnick stopped her immediately. “Leave them there. It’ll help save some of my strength.”