Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games.

The Cause of Destruction

Everyone thinks they know what made me the way I am. Everyone always thinks, Haymitch, he drinks because he won the Hunger Games, because he killed all those children. That's why he's broken. They're wrong. Every one of them.

It isn't the deaths I caused by my own hands that forced me into this never ending destructive spiral. Sure, they did traumatise me. I still get nightmares of the looks on their faces when I ended their lives that had only just begun. But is that why I drink? No. No it is not.

The reason for that happened after I won the games. It happened when I became a mentor for the other children that would be forced into the nightmare I had just escaped from. When I realised that I would never escape the games. And when I started to realise that maybe, just maybe, I would have been better off if I had died in that arena.

I still remember the first pair of tributes that I would be mentoring as clearly as if they were right in front of me. The girl, Beth, was seventeen, but she was a tiny thing. She had long dark brown hair and shockingly bright, blue eyes. Beth fainted from fright before she even made it to the stairs when her name was drawn at the Reaping. Then there was Nate. He was the opposite of Beth. He was a fighter. But he was also only twelve. He too had dark brown hair but instead of blue, he had brown eyes. Both were malnourished as all kids from the Seam are. I put all of my efforts into making sure one of those two came back. Tried as hard as I could to return them to their families. But my efforts didn't matter. Beth died within five minutes after the gong went. Nate died when he was ambushed by the Careers pack, day six. I don't think I've ever been the same since.

And it continued. Year after year I was forced to train and prepare children from my own district for their deaths. Each year I failed both of my tributes. Each year I failed their families. I couldn't face anyone in the district after I lost Beth and Nate, and as the death toll for District 12 rose, I retreated further and further into my own world. I tried less and less each year, until it got to the point where I didn't try at all. I locked myself away. Tried to escape my living nightmare with alcohol. And while it worked to some extent, it could never fully erase the trauma that the deaths of those innocent children had caused me.

Then I met Katniss and Peeta. Katniss, with her survival instincts and feisty nature. Peeta, with his strength and determination. They were a pair of fighters. They stood a chance.

Maybe this year, I could finally help save a tribute. Maybe this year…I could finally bring one back home.

A/N: Just a thought I had about what could've made Haymitch become an alcoholic.

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