Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: The other day, I was rereading a part in the Hunger Games where Haymitch enters the room and proceeds to vomit all over the floor, and Effie just steps all over him. For some reason I thought, "Hey, they would make a fun couple!" Not that they really are a couple, but I think there could be potential, and rereading their parts in Catching Fire has certainly raised my eyebrows. I'm probably reading too much into it, but whatever. :D
I also saw that another author on this site, gethsemane342, posted an Effie/Haymitch story too. Yeah for the E/H love.
I think I'm going to tell this whole story from Effie's POV. I've pictured her as a very Type A personality, and she's kind of snotty.
The Odd Couple
I sit in the receiving room, right leg crossed over my left. My foot, clad in a beautiful shoe in a shade of blue that perfectly matches my wig and skirt suit, bobs up and down. It's moving in time with the calming strains playing over the office's speakers. On beat, naturally, but the motion reveals nervousness. Weakness. When I notice this, I still.
The door opens, and there appears a man in his forties. His name is Commodus Valentine. I know this because I've been researching this job for almost a year. He looks down at a stack of paper in his hands, then back at me, clearing his throat. "Floretta Emilia Trinket?"
I stand up, picking up my pale blue briefcase. "That's me," I chirp, demonstrating my tireless energy in the high pitch of my voice.
"Please, come in."
I follow him into his office. The room can only be described as opulent, covered in shades of crimson and gold. There are pictures of him along the walls with President Snow, and a few of the more popular Hunger Games winners. It's not that bad of an office, but I'm already visualizing it in a different set of colors—blues and grays—by the time I make my way over to the chair before his desk. Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself. It will be at least a decade before I would even be considered for this job. Most likely year 12 of my 20 year plan.
He's reaching across the desk to shake my hand, and I place my fingers in his, careful to apply the correct amount of pressure. Not too hard (I'm a lady) or too soft (I'm not a pushover).
I smile tightly as I sit down. "I prefer Effie," which he should know, since I clearly put that in my application. My name is…unfortunate. Out of all the wonderful Roman possibilities—the wives of emperors, goddesses—my parents had chosen a name that meant nothing more than 'little flower.' How was anyone supposed to take me seriously with a name like that?
"Alright, Effie…" He looks down again at my resume and the packet I had meticulously prepared. "This is most impressive. We've been following your progress over the past couple of years, and your mentors have spoken very highly of you."
I should hope so. "You're too kind, Mr. Valentine."
"Well, let's cut to the chase, shall we?"
I nod. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the spirals of my wig vibrating with my movements.
" There are two openings available," he says.
I know that too. One in District 4 and the other in District 12. And I'm quite certain which one I will be heading to. I've already purchased some heavy coats for District Four's unseasonable weather.
"You are by far our most qualified applicant, and I'm pleased to offer you the position as the Capitol's representative to District 12."
I can't help myself. I blink.
"Too happy for words I take it?" Valentine asks.
If he has any brains whatsoever, he knows what an insult this is. District 12? Full of ill-mannered boors and peasants. Only two victors in the entire span of the Hunger Games. The surviving one a drunken idiot.
I'm still too angry to speak, and he must know why, because he smiles almost apologetically. "I am not lying when I say you are the most qualified applicant. None of the others would be able to handle the District 12 job. If you do this, Effie, if you're patient, I guarantee that in a year, two at most, you'll be promoted to one of the better districts. Even District 1 if you like. And I plan on retiring eventually. Not now, mind you, but in the next five to eight years. I won't forget your sacrifice for the Capitol when I'm picking my successor."
Could I survive two years of District 12 if it meant getting my dream job before my current projections?
I look up and smile. "When can I start?"