The waves make soft slapping noises against the boards of the boat as they cast off from the shore. The sun was just rising above the ocean when they left, but Finnick felt wide awake none the less. It took two hours to get out deep enough to bring in fish with their worn and tearing nets. Finnick was itching to leap overboard and swim along side the Rusty Queen. But somehow he managed to sit quietly on the deck for the two hours, mending an older net. His vacations were too few to risk them.

"Your knots are all wrong, little brother," a voice said from above him.

"I make the best nets in the whole district," he said, glaring up the silhouette of Siobhan Arker. She stood completely even, her legs spread apart to help balance against rolling of the ship. "And don't call me that. I'm fourteen. Besides, he hasn't married you yet. You aren't even related to me."

"Spoken like a true child," she said, laughing lightly. "How's that net? We're almost there."

He stood. Six years younger than her, he already stood a good eight inches above her, a fact which he was justly proud of. While most of the other boys his age were dwarfed by the long, lean girls of district four, he looked old enough to be eighteen.

"Can I steer for a bit?" he asked eagerly.

"Hell no," came the gruff reply from within the cabin of the ship.

Siobhan rolled her eyes. "We're not even a mile away, Neil. How far off course can he take us?"

"You can't say thing like that, Siobhan. He'll take it as a challenge. We'll never see land again."

"Ah, he'd turn us around by dinnertime," she laughed, teasing. "Besides, he knows how heartbroken all the girls back in Four will be if their Finnick disappears for good. I don't know if he could survive more than a week without somebody complementing his pretty face."

Finnick only smiled, winked, and handed her the net. He strolled over to the side of the boat and leaned out over the water. The spray misted onto his face, forcing him to squint.

The boat slowed after a few minutes. Neil turned off the boat and strolled out onto the deck. He wrapped his arms around Siobhan, looking out of the water. "See any fish?" he called out to Finnick.

Finnick turned back to them, grinning, then backflipped over the railing and into the water. He heard Siobhan laughing just before he hit the surf. He pushed himself deeper and deeper into the water, coming within a foot of the bottom before his air ran out and he allowed himself to rocket back to the surface.

"Get back up here, you loon," his brother groused. They had the same bronze hair and sea green eyes, but Neil's hair was shorter and he had a trim beard hugging his square jaw. Finnick spat a stream of water up towards him.

"Toss me a trident," he called. "There's tons of fish out here."

Neil grumbled, but Siobhan tossed him the long wooden stick and began to ready the nets. He paddled about, watching the water, keeping his strokes slow and smooth so as not to trouble the water too much. Suddenly his arm darted out and the trident came up, two fish wriggling on the ends. Siobhan began to clap, and he managed a strange sort of underwater bow, which only made her chuckle louder.

"Get back up here and give us a hand," Neil shouted, unimpressed. Finnick grinned and swam back to the boat.

They passed four happy hours out there, casting out the net and reeling it back in, again and again. The cooler slowly filled with fish.

Finally, Neil went back into the cabin to start the ship. Finnick followed him. "We had a good haul today," he said.

"Not enough," his brother replied. "By the time the Capitol takes its cut, we'll have barely twenty pounds left."

Finnick bit his lip. This was his brother's ship, not the Capitol's, but they were still on the Capitol payroll and still had a quota to reach in order to maintain their license. They could fill their quota and take home what was left to sell it, which left them in a better position than those working on Capitol ships, but only barely.

"You know," Finnick said, "it's not too late to sign up for the tessarae again."

"No," Neil said.

"It's only two more times, Neil."

"No. This is not a discussion, little brother," he said.

Finnick let out a long huff of air and headed back out onto the deck. Siobhan was leaning against the railing. There was a look in her eyes that told him she had heard every word of their conversation.

"It's because he loves you, you know," she said. "He can't stand the thought of anything happening to you."

"There are over a thousand names in the reaping every year," he said. "Two more of mine and we get grain and oil. That's enough to start to save the extra money we get, try and get some better nets or another boat or-"

"It isn't worth it," she said. "Putting you anywhere closer to the games isn't worth a few more nets. Besides," she said, gently bumping her hip against his, "I thought you said you made the best nets in the district."