|Work For It
Author: LankySundown PM
Haymitch keeps his liquor up way too high; supposedly so he has to "work for it." Then why is Katniss the one on the countertop?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Haymitch A. & Katniss E. - Words: 2,713 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 45 - Follows: 10 - Published: 06-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8212177
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games. That'd be Suzanne Collins. Jealous.
Work For It
"Why do you even keep it up this high?"
I'm standing on Haymitch's counter, reaching for a bottle of dark liquid that promises to be dangerously high-proof even by Hob standards.
His brow creases slightly under his mess of blond hair as he answers, "So I have to work for it." He leans against the opposite end of the counter, eyeing me. "Extra time to stop myself maybe. And shit, get down before you hurt yourself, sweetheart."
I brushed off his last comment, knowing that having survived the Games, he should know I'm fully capable of standing on a countertop when slightly inebriated.
"Work for it?" I ask. "You're having me work for it for you," But I don't really care that I'm grabbing his alcohol for him as I turn around and plunk myself down on his counter. Twisting open the bottle, I take a deep drink to reward myself for my efforts. My face screws up at the aftertaste, and I wipe my mouth on my sleeve. No matter how I try, I can't get used to the idea of drinking. Not like Haymitch. And not after I'd been so opposed to his alcoholism since before even meeting the drunken bastard. But then there were those nights when I just couldn't handle the memories of the children killing each other, their blood spattering throughout my vision, their screams. Hunting human beings was far different than hunting animals. It haunted you. No one ever told you that, especially not before the Games. Haymitch, though despicable, seemed to have an antidote.
We were already steadily drunk, having finished off another bottle in the living room earlier, but Haymitch wobbled over, making a swipe for the bottle. I pulled it out of his reach.
"Hey," I said warningly. "I got it down. That means I get to reap the benefits." I cringe internally at my word choice, reap, but Haymitch seems desensitized to it.
"Bullshit, it's my liquor," he protests. He does back down though. Maybe he thinks he's drunk enough for the night, I think, but then he turns and picks up a bottle of Hob-quality wine from the glass-polluted table, as if hoping to glean the last few drops from it. Oh. I forgot. Haymitch can never be drunk enough. After little avail with his bottle, he begins to watch jealously as I take generous pulls from mine. The empty wine bottle is idly hanging between his first and middle fingers; his arms are crossed as he leans there, thumbing the rim.
With the heady, warm feeling of alcohol beginning to pool in my stomach and send its vapors to my brain, I began swinging my feet, getting antsy. Haymitch was still looking at me like that, and I noticed a steely gray, steelier than usual, sneak into his irises. I wondered if it was an effect of the alcohol or if they were getting all turbulent for some other reason.
I'd always appreciated my mentor's eyes. Seam gray, just like mine. Unlike Peeta's blue ones, they directed basic emotion with a deadpan; cool and calculating, always ready to strike. They were the kind of eyes I could trust, and maybe that's why I tolerated Haymitch's antics all throughout the Games. Why I still tolerate him. Maybe even why I'm constantly intruding on him for company. Because he just gets me.
"Enough with the kicking, sweetheart, you're going to give me a migrane," Haymitch says finally. "And give me my bottle."
"No," I protest as he steps closer, pulling the bottle tightly to my chest and turning my shoulder to him like a greedy child. Which I am.
I put my nose in the air. "If you want some, you're gonna have to work for it."
He barks out a laugh at that.
"Work for it?" he repeats cynically, leaning forward and clamping a hand onto the edge of the counter on either side of me. "And what am I gonna have to do to work for it?"
And suddenly, it's as if I can't breathe. I consider him, those gray Seam eyes less than a foot from mine. Time seems to stand still. And then my heartbeat starts accelerating at this one thought, this crazy, stupid, probably very-drunk thought that, now that I'm thinking it, I can't seem to stop…
His lips. My eyes find them and suddenly, I'm kissing my mentor, barely registering when I dropped the bottle and pulled him towards me with one hand behind his head, paying no attention to the crash as the handle collides with the ground. My other arm reaches out and clings to his rumpled shirt, pulling him towards me, and immediately Haymitch is responding, moving closer still in this muddled reality. I have to tilt my head up to kiss him properly, but I don't mind, I actually kind of like it, and he's pulling me to him, hands at my hips, bending over so I don't have to kiss so far, when he stops.
Just like that.
I open my eyes at the lack of contact, confused, and find him looking into my eyes with an apparent pain in his own.
"Katniss," he says, sighing, if Haymitch could sigh. "You don't want this."
His voice was controlled. He was right. I knew I shouldn't want this… but I do. And I was never big on words, so I dismiss having to explain something I couldn't even pin down in thoughts.
"Shut up," I say, and pull him in for another kiss. But he doesn't respond.
I pull away this time, frustrated.
"It shouldn't be like this," he admitted. He wouldn't look me in the eye, and I couldn't know, had no indicator to what he was feeling. And I was mad.
"What should it be like, then, huh?" My hands are fisted in his shirt, but I attempt to punch him backwards anyway. "Can you tell me that? Nothing is ever how it should be in this world, kids shouldn't be expected to kill other kids in some crazy death match just to prove somebody's more powerful than them but they do, Haymitch, we do, and so no. I won't stop. Because the Quell is days away and we both know I have to save Peeta even though I'm not in love with him, I'm not in love with anyone, and you're right, I may not know what the hell I want, but I need this."
"This," he asks hollowly. I know he's thinking about my long line of broken hearts when he asks me that. Kissing and telling, kissing and leaving. But he would never be the kind to want me to stay, anyway. I feel a small twinge in my gut as that thought passes through my mind, but I ignore it and answer Haymitch, to clarify.
That gets him to look at me. His gaze bores deep into my eyes, and his hand reaches lightly up to my cheek. My mouth barely has time to twitch a secret smile before his mouth is upon mine, his hands in my hair, his body pressing up against mine as I wrap my legs around his waist and grin wildly into his kiss. He takes this as invitation to explore my mouth with his tongue, and I find it soaking with Hob wine and some other black market alcohol. I can't bring myself to be offended, because it tastes good, it tastes like something distinctly Haymitch, and I don't stop smiling until his grip around me tightens and I give a short gasp, my eyes fluttering open for just a moment and I'm clawing my hands into his waist, up his back. There's something so much better about kissing Haymitch than I'd ever thought. This wasn't soft and expectant like Peeta. This wasn't hard and confusing like Gale. This was something soaked in alcohol and lit on fire. It was needy; greedy; but, above all, it was necessary.
A surge exploding in my stomach, I rise up off Haymitch's counter, affecting the man's precarious drunk balance and he has to take a step back in response. I go with it, propelling off the counter and into him, running us up against the wall as my form melts into his, my lips finding his again and nipping hungrily at them. He pushes right back, the stubble on his chin scraping my face as I pause for breath before going back for more, his tongue pushing into my mouth, his hand at the small of my back forcing it closer to his body. His hips lift off the wall and a tremendous wave of lust washes over me as I run my hands through his hair, around his neck and down his shoulders to his chest. I take his strained grunt as permission and I start fumbling with the buttons on his shirt as fast as I can, which makes my accuracy horrendous.
"Slow down, sweetheart, you'll rip my shirt." His hot fingers play with my hair as his nose skims up and down my throat.
"I don't care," I whisper back, grinning maliciously at him before grabbing his shirt on either side and giving a hard yank. Buttonsgo flying across the wooden floor and I can't help but stare at Haymitch's exposed torso. His chest is covered with a thin layer of curly blond hair, his abdomen is marred with scars. His Games, I think, and then I feel his fingers at my chin, pulling my gaze up.
"My face is up here, sweetheart." His voice is gravelly and I can't tell if it's simply because he's here, like this, with me, or if it's because he's suddenly bared some broken piece of himself to me and doesn't know how I'll take it. Somehow, this last thought comforts me. I feel a surge of something somewhere below my stomach that's decidedly slower and more like melted honey than lust, and I raise myself up to meet his lips. "You're beautiful," I mutter, and I'm not sure if he's heard or if he's pretending he hasn't as his hands move over my shoulders and under my jacket, sliding it down my arms with a caress of his big, rough hands. I peel off my shirt in response, not waiting for any reaction as I know my body is old news to Haymitch. But when I look up at him, he's looking back at me, and the both of us just stand there. For me, at least, I'm finally realizing how real this has just gotten. Because Haymitch is looking at me differently now.
Slowly, I move my hand to my belt.
Before I can get it started, Haymitch's hand flies to his own, and he's unclasping it with one hand, latching onto me with the other, his mouth at my neck as he pushes me towards the living room, both of us fumbling to be free of our clothing, stumbling from the backwards tread or the alcohol, I can't tell.
My pants are off by the time I fall back onto the couch in a poof of the cushions, right where this night started. Where all of the nights at Haymitch's start. But I don't have time to think about it, to analyze what I might be doing as Haymitch and I are clawing at each other, and he reaches a hand behind me to unclasp my bra, and I wiggle out of it before pulling him closer to me. He's straddling me on the couch and soon there are two pairs of underwear lying on the floor and Haymitch is rubbing me there, and I'm gasping with pleasure as I wait for release, screwing up my eyebrows and begging for it, for him, to please, please, just do it already. So he positions himself above me and I'm shaking, wanting him so, so bad. Leaning down to kiss me, he gives me a strained look, as if he can foresee regret, and whispers in my ear, "Last chance, sweetheart."
"Haymitch," I say his name like a swear word, albeit a bit gaspy, and that's all the permission he needs. He enters me quickly, and I groan at his length, letting the feel of him fill my senses. After a few sloppy thrusts, we get a rhythm going, and faster, faster, he pumps into me and soon I can hear his heavy breathing as an overtone to the slapping of flesh, the thumping of the cushions, and my hips are reeling, begging for a release, when…
Warmth. As the waves of pleasure wrack my body, I cling to him for dear life, my mentor, the man with the bottle, the only one who gets me. He leans his head down to kiss my lips once, tenderly, before collapsing on top of me. As I find myself catching my breath, I place a hand on the back of his neck, shifting the sweaty strands of dark hair around as I nuzzle into him, kissing his neck, his jaw for good measure. I take deep breaths of his scent, trying to memorize it, this could be one of the last times I ever see the bastard. A sob starts to build in my chest, and I convulse under the weight of it.
Haymitch opens his eyes. Brushes the sticky hairs from my temple. His eyes. They're asking me what's wrong.
"It's just – this might be the last –"
"No," he stops me. "I'm not letting you die in that arena." He speaks with such reverence I almost believe him. Except this is the Hunger Games we're talking about. The odds were sort of in my favor once, and I doubted I should be so lucky a second time. Surely he knows that.
But when he keeps talking, whispers, "I wouldn't survive it if you did," my heart nearly breaks. Because maybe it's true. Here is this broken man, who has seen almost fifty of his tributes lose their lives in the Capitol's Games. He'd managed to get both me and Peeta out alive. That was something to live for. But now he is going to lose us again. Hopefully just me, if I had anything to do with it.
"You can't pick me again," I warned, invisible tears choking my speech. "I want – "
"Sweetheart," he hushes me. "I picked you a long time ago."
And as we fall asleep tangled together on his couch that night, I try not to think about what he's saying; I try not to think about the Quell, or about what my family will have to go through again, or about what all of this is going to look like in the morning. Because with my head nuzzled into his shoulder, his arms around me, his deep breathing playing off my ear, I feel safe. I feel happy. And, for once, I feel that maybe something good has come out of these Games. Because tonight, tonight was worth it. And maybe I haven't earned it, but I've worked too damn hard at existing, existing for the ones I love, the ones I'm indebted to, that maybe, just maybe, I've earned some small portion of this. Because one thing is for sure: I certainly worked for it.
AN: Sorry if this is a little rough, I just finished and proof read it all late last night. But I wanted to get it out here! My first real NSFW fanfic, so this is uncharted territory for meh. Review with sniping comments so I can improve myself? :)