Stay with me

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Effie's hair is blonde.

But not a overly bright bleached blonde, or a dark dirty blonde. No. It's a deep honey blonde, that falls just past her shoulder blades in long natural waves. And her eyes are green. Large and full of life, a bright shining green that would lighten any room. She has small, pink, bow shaped lips. That are sweet and plump and perfect. Her cheek bones are high and ears are small and nose is like a button. She is very petite, and fairly short without her large heels. She is cute, and pretty and beautiful, and hardly recognizable without all the so called Capitol glamour. She looks much nicer this way.

And this is the way she looks as she steps of the train, and into district 12.

It looks almost the same as the last time she was here. It's grey and dark and plain. It's her home now. She has no where else to go. A year after the rebellions end and she is still lost. The Capitol doesn't feel right now, it's lost the appeal to her that it once had. Its not her home anymore, but neither is here, and it never has been. Deep in her heart she knows that she doesn't belong here, and wonders why she even came here, but even deeper she knows exactly why she is here. And it has nothing to do with finding a new place to live. Or maybe, in a way, it does. But, as stated before, she has no where else to go.

The air is thick and heavy with smoke, causing her to cough wildly as she inhales a large mouthful. Her heart begins to beat faster as she walks towards victor's village with only one small suitcase in hand. A few things from her old life that she might need for this one.

Few random people mill around the town, paying no attention to the pretty young woman walking into Victor's Village. She steps out off the main road and faces the small part of town where the only people she knows here live. Looking out at the set of 12 houses in front of her, she realizes suddenly that she has no idea what to do now. For once, Effie Trinket has no plan.

She told no one she was coming, and no body even knows she is here. She stands, dumbfounded, at the edge of Victor's Village, without any clue of what to do next. Luckily for her, this is when Peeta finally spots her.

He has changed much, in the short year it has been since she has last seen him, but, granted, she has changed too. Polite as always, he gives her a sweet smile.

"Hello, do you need anything?" he asks her, and she can't help but smile at this, his voice nor manners have changed at all.

"Peeta." she breaths out, overcome with emotions, looking at the young boy whom she once mentored, the one she escorted what seems like years ago, who is so sweet and nice, whom she loves like a son. She hadn't noticed how much she missed them until now.

"Effie?" he asks, but apparently doesn't need anymore confirmation for her pulls her into a welcoming hug.

"Effie, what are you doing here?"

She sighs, her eyes flicker to his and she notices that without her heels, she is actually a free inches shorter than him, "Truthfully, I'm looking for a place to live."

"And you came here?" he asks surprise evident in his voice, raising an eyebrow at her.

"Um, yes?" she answers, but it comes out sounding like more of a question.

"Come." Peeta says, and turns to lead her in the direction of the house closest to them. Inside, it smells of flowers and fresh baked bread, and this is when she knows that it's the Mellark home. It's small but lovely, and seems to be very Peeta like.

"Katniss!" he calls into the hallway, and low and behold, Katniss Everdeen comes walking into the entryway. Effie's former tribute studies her for a second, contemplating, before her eyes widen and a look of recognition crosses her face.

"Effie." she breaths. Not a question or an answer. Just a statement.

"Effie." she repeats.

Effie swallows, tears coming to her eyes, unable to hide the joy of seeing the girl before her, "Katniss." and reaches toward to pull her into a soft, gentle hug.

"Thank you." Katniss whispers.

"Oh, sweetie, you are very welcome." Effie replies, smiling.

And she's happy. For once, she is happy, and this feeling floods trough her heat and causes if to swell. This is the first time she has felt like this in a long time, an it feels so good, to be with people you love, people who love you. Her whole family had been wiped out in the rebellion. Her parents, her older brother and younger sister. Even her beautiful niece, at only four, she wanted to be an escort when she grew up. Just like her aunt. But now, for the first time in a year, she is truly happy.

There is a slight thud coming from the open doorway, and a small groan. "Ouch, what's happening? Katniss!" says a deep, but very slightly slurred voice. Effie knows who it is without even turning around. She knows that voice, she has been thinking about it for over a year. The sound of it sends a stab of pain reverberating throughout her chest.

It's him.

Well, there goes the good feeling.

A small whimper escapes Effie's mouth, her heart cracking slightly. How could she have ever thought that she could be ready for this? She isn't ready, nor ever will be. In his drunken state, he probably doesn't even remember her name.

The small noise from her mouth causes him to acknowledge her for the first time. "Who's this?" he asks. Well, that confirms her suspicion.

When nobody answers, he walks up to her, and places a hand ruffly on her shoulder. With her back still to him she withers beneath the touch. He spins her around to face him.

"Haymitch." she says, his name feeling like the sweetest poison on her lips.

He squints at her, looking deeply into her eyes, drinking up the appearance of her face. He leans in close, so close that she can feel his breath on her cheeks, the moves away as his eyes widen in realization.

"Effie." he breaths, all of the previous slur has evaporated from his voice. Maybe his is not as drunk as she had thought.

Something flashes quickly is his dark eyes, a strong emotion, a flicker of pain, but is gone as fast as it came. The almost empty bottle drops from his hand, clanging harmlessly on the carpet, and Effie almost scolds him for bad manners, almost tells him to bend down and pick it up, but resists. That part of their lives is over. The tension in the air is thick, and neither Katniss nor Peeta say a word as he spins away from her and stalks out the dorr.

At the doorway, Haymitch pauses, his shoulders heave as he takes a large breath and turns around. His eyes find hers, and she mets his strong gaze, a deep grey to a bright green.

"You know Effie." he says, "You look so much prettier that way." he tells her, not a hint of drunk in his voice, his eyes sparkle, "You truly are beautiful." and with that, Haymitch turns and leaves the house. And for a moment, she almost calls after him. She almost yells, Stay!

Effie stares at the doorway where he was seconds ago, almost expecting him to burst back threw the door, half hoping he does, half hoping he doesn't. Her heart contracts in her chest, tears forming in her eyes, Effie sinks to the ground, and cries.

Effie can't sleep.

She is in a strange bed, in a house that does not belong to her, but to Katniss and Peeta. She is an emotional wreck, after seeing him.

A sob catches in her throat, he called her beautiful.

Silently, she climbs out of bed and walks carefully down the hallway, wanting not to wake her two former tributes. She walks through the house and slips, unnoticed, out the door.

Haymitch's house it directly across the small dirt road. Just a small walk away, a few quick paces to get to him. She pads over the hard street ground in her bare and now cold feet. Her hand hovers above the doorknob to his front door, unsure of her next actions. But with one last burst of courage, she takes the handle and thrusts the door open, walking inside like she owns the place.

It smells overwhelmingly of alcohol, which is no surprise at all. Her eyesight adjusts to the dark house, the only light coming from the moon shunting through the window. It is not a disgusting as she had expected, could still use some cleaning up, but not overly horrible. It is defiantly and undeniably his house. It's him.

His fearful yells break her out of her trance. She rushes up the stairs and follows the sound of his strangled screams, to find him tangled in the sheets of his bed, and waking from a nightmare. He suddenly bolts upwards into a sitting position, and Effie freezes, afraid that he has spotted her, but quickly relaxes when he lays back down, snuggling into the pillow. Tentatively, she enters his bedroom, tip toeing over discarded empty bottles and dirty clothes. Timidly, she sits down on the edge of his bed, the mattress creaking slightly under her small weight.

Haymitch looks very handsome in his sleep. All of the lines and wrinkles disappear as his face relaxes into a dream land. He looks younger, his face sweeter. Her looks more free, almost peaceful. She gently tucks a stray piece of hair back into place, and he stirs in his slumber, and Effie, afraid that she has woke him up, quickly springs up from her place on his bed. His mouth opens and he mumbles something softly, then again, a bit louder,


She almost calls back to him, Haymitch.

Her heart swells in her chest, because he is dreaming of her, as she has dreamt of him before. She reaches forward to caress his face again, then turns to go, her hand lingering by his. Suddenly and unexpectedly, his hand shoots out and grabs hers, pulling her into him. She loses her balance, and lands beside him on the blankets, almost laying on top of him. If her face wasn't next to his, she wouldn't have heard him whisper to her, in his half conscious state,


She shakes her head. No, no she can't stay. That will just make it hurt even more when she must go. She stands up, untangling herself from him, but he doesn't let go. This time she anticipates his yank, and lands nicely on the edge of the bed frame.

"Stay." he says again, voice pleading, "Stay with me."

So she does, giving in to her emotions, and the overpowering erg to sleep here, she complies. Effie climbs under the covers, and snuggled in next to him. She can feel the heat of his bare skin through her thin shirt, making her shiver. It feels so natural here. So comfortable. So right.

The last thing she is aware of is his strong, muscular arms snaking around her waist and pulling her close, before sleep takes over. There is nothing she wants more, then to stay here. Stay with him forever.


A/N: Hey, well thank you so very much for reading, I hope you liked it. There will be another chapter or two of this story, depending on what happens, and chapter 2 should be out in the next week.

If you could please take the time to review, I would appreciate it very much. Also, if you do favourite, I ask if you could review too. Thank you very much. REVIEW!