This was cut out of chapter 79 because I felt that it had no place in a story that is essentially Mags-centric. It's not essential to the plot, but it's what resulted of my musings on how you prepare a fifteen-year-old to become a well-adjusted high-end prostitute with precious few rights.

Year 66, February, 6 months after Finnick's victory.

Finnick couldn't tear his gaze off the fortress city as it faded into the distance. They would stop in Four first, to have Mags come with him on the Victory Tour. They'd won.

He repeated it like a mantra. They'd won.

It sounded so incredible, and yet so hollow with the train so silent. Donna was in the other wagon with the stylist, Lawrence, the prep teams and the camera crew. He was alone with Glynn and she had yet to start a conversation.

They'd won. Glynn was there, for the Victory Tour. Plutarch had convinced Snow, that he should name administrators for the various Districts, that Glynn had the most experience, that she'd proven her worth.

It would have been hilarious, had Eirene's specter not cast a shadow over everything good.

"She'll be sent to the sea today, the hovercraft left at dawn," Glynn suddenly said.

Finnick's jaw clenched. "Good." Eirene belonged in Four.

A hand on his shoulder made him turn away from the window. Glynn's hazel eyes pierced into his. Finnick awkwardly recoiled, his instincts telling him to be wary of the woman. She's from Creneis, his mind said, but his every sense said Capitol. She's Mags' friend, he knew, and yet she looked younger than Lorelei, she's a rebel, but Snow had still seen fit to put her in charge during the Victory Tour, so what had she done, to prove her loyalty?

"Finnick, I'm going to teach you about people. Capitol people," Glynn said, handing him a pen and a stack of blank paper. "Things I can't expect Mags to teach you."

Finnick's eyes widened. "You'll teach me to flirt?" He blurted. It had been on his mind even more than usual ever since he'd set foot back in the Capitol. Eirene's suicide had delayed everything, but he could hear the clock ticking.

"It'll keep your mind off things." Finnick knew she meant the Tour. He desperately needed a distraction. The only alternative was drugs. "Don't worry, you won't see me naked," Glynn added with a wink. "When you're more savvy we'll stick you to a girl closer to your age."

Now Finnick was red to the roots. He wanted to banter back, Glynn was seventy-six, even Capitol-pretty she looked older than his mother, it should be easy, but he just didn't feel enough in control to dare.

"We'll also get you a guy."

Finnick blanched. He looked around, instinctively, craving help. They were alone of course.

"Finn, we're going to screw you up." Glynn said, and now she looked so very serious, so very unlike the Capitolites he saw at parties, that Finnick snapped to attention. This was the woman Mags trusted above all in the Capitol. He had to trust her too."We're going to deprogram you so they can't break you."

A surge of hope pierced through the fear. Really, there was a way out?

"Finn, I'll show you that sex can be nothing more than a physical chore. That might be a problem in your future genuine relationships, but if you meet the right girl, you'll work past it with her."

Finnick snorted, he couldn't help it. She was worried about his 'future genuine relationships'? When he could be sold to guys all year long?

Glynn sighed. "Finnick, you're going to have to see sex with a woman in the same way as dancing with one. Same with a man. You need to divorce sex and intimacy. First, you need to understand, that when people buy you, it's not you they want. They don't care about who you are, and what you did. They don't even care that much about your handsome body. They care that you have a pricetag, that you confer them social status."

Finnick frowned in distress, struggling to wrap his mind around the concept. Social status. He wasn't sure he got that. "Not personal. Okay, so that helps?" He said tentatively.

"It's a game. You'll lie, Finn, because they don't care if they're seeing the real you, no matter what they say. Secondly, you're in charge. Even with a man, you're in charge. Even if they don't know it. They can't touch you. Your body yes, but not the you that matters."

In charge. It tasted glorious on his tongue and she sounded so sure. How he wanted to believe. "You're going to repeat this all to Mags, aren't you?"

"Not if she threatens me with a knife," Glynn said, her hazel eyes serious.

In charge. How could he be, among these people he couldn't say no to? "I'm handsome," Finnick said matter-of-factly. "And I can't hurt them. Wouldn't an ugly rich woman who never managed to get a guy take out all her hate of men on me? What about the sponsor who got humiliated because they bet on the wrong tribute? The man or woman who just hates district people and wants them broken? Why would anyone spend all that money just for some regular sex?"

He could handle straightforward sex with a cheerful willing woman. It couldn't be that hard. On good days, he thought he'd manage it with a cheerful and gentle man. It was the rest he was afraid of. The drama, the politics, the part where they could want to hurt him.

Glynn smiled, looking impressed as her eyes burned into his. "You're a clever boy, Finnick Odair, maybe even as clever as your great-aunt. Why would someone in their right mind buy a victor?" She airily said. "It's exorbitantly expensive, but you see, it's not anonymous. It's about power, not over you, but over everyone who cannot afford you, or maybe over the districts, or like you said, over men. Buyers come in three types. The very rich and socially conscious, the people who want a friend to feel indebted and who pool in to gift them a victor, or the very rich with a lot of issues."

"Will I see them more than once? Are there rules?"

"Some yes. If I think of Cashmere, and never has anyone been as popular as her," Glynn stressed, "she has two regular clients, a half-dozen more she has seen twice and twenty or so, including a few women, whom she has seen once. And handful didn't even demand sex, they just wanted to be seen in a fancy restaurant with her and let people imagine what had happened later. A law was passed that forbids two or more buyers from sharing a victor during a time slot." A dangerous light entered Glynn's eyes. "A video leaked somehow and people found that immoral."

Finnick blinked. He thought he was going to be sick. Cashmere, she'd been so fierce, and yes, achingly beautiful, but how could you think of that when you'd seen her filthy with other people's blood? When you'd seen her scream and claw her way through an arena that never ended, descending into madness as the days turned into weeks. If anything, Finnick wanted to hug her, to tell her it was over, even if she now was nineteen and would probably slap him.

Something in Glynn's toneā€¦ "You leaked that video," he said hoarsely.

"We totally leaked that video," Glynn said with a tight little smile. "Small victories," she whispered. Her face darkened. "It wasn't Eirene."

Finnick flinched. He hadn't known Eirene that well, she was always so busy and professional, but he missed her. He wished he had more to remember her by than that horrible note. And he wished he could be glad, that it hadn't been her, but it meant someone alive, somewhere had to live with that. "Cashmere?" He whispered.

"No, Scythia," Glynn said dully. "She hasn't been bought after that. Capitolites like an illusion of purity. That's how Mags and Plutarch got Cecelia out, more subtly."

Scythia. The young victor from Nine concealed behind a black veil. The victor no one saw anymore. Finnick shuddered, panic bringing tears to his eyes. He couldn't become like that. Not ever.

He squared his jaw, adrenaline sharpening his senses. "So how will you deprogram me?" He demanded. This had to work.

"Have you ever had a girlfriend? A crush? How do you picture physical relationships?"

Finnick soon realized Glynn would make him talk. She picked at his brain, dissected his thoughts, ripped away his conceptions of romanticism. She didn't talk of love, she talked of power. She talked of lust. She didn't blink or blush and talked to him like an instructor. She stripped human nature to its most selfish, impulse-driven form.

"That's enough for now." Glynn said after what seemed an eternity but had only been two hours. "This afternoon I'll show you pictures of Capitolites, and I'll teach you to see, from their clothes and attitudes, what kind of people they are."

Finnick nodded. He didn't dare ask, if they'd talk about sex again. His head was pounding, and his wrist ached from frantic writing. He'd have to read through the notes and burn them, they were much too incriminating, but he needed to study them, again, and ask questions. Lots of questions.

"After more talks like this, I'll be fine?"

"You'll start to stop seeing them as human," Glynn promised.

She looked proud. Hard and proud. Finnick bit his tongue, but he couldn't silence the voices in his mind. That's what they do, pick and choose who gets to be human. It's wrong!

Glynn tilted his chin towards her, the fierce compassion in her eyes chasing away some of Finnick's anguish. At least she understood. "You're a good person, Finn. We all wear masks. Masks can be removed. You won't be hurting anyone. There's no collateral damage. You'll be saving yourself. And imagine how happy Mags will be, when she'll see the Capitol's traps close around you and you emerge with barely a scratch."

That stopped Finnick.

A smile, radiant and fierce, slowly graced his lips. For the last six months, he'd felt like a shadow of himself, hiding in plain sight from the Capitol's gaze, trapped in his house, isolated from his friends, abandoned by his parents, and helpless to prevent any of it. Now, he finally felt certain again. For the first time since he had left the arena, he felt like he could win this.