Author's Note: This is my attempt at a full-length Haymitch x Katniss story that takes place right after Katniss returns to District 12 and it's being rebuilt, pretty much compliant with all canon before that. The chapters will be short but I'm going to try to make a lot. I might not get to update that often because of school, but I'll try because I love writing this pairing. Let me know what you think of the style; I personally don't like the way the Hunger Games are written, but I feel compelled to write fanfics in the same style of the original work. Anyways, I really like reviews (hint, hint), but don't bother reviewing if you're just going to say, "OMG THIS PAIRING IS SO GROSS HOW COULD YOU EVEN SHIP THIS OMG!" Also, here's a disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games (obviously). Lastly, if you want to see the Haymitch x Katniss fanmixes I make, go to francescafarmer(dot)tumblr(dot)com/tagged/fanmix. That will take you to a page full of all of the fanmixes I've made; there are a couple Haymitch x Katniss ones in there already, but I plan on making more. Click on the ".zip" to download. Thank you, and sorry for such a long note!
My Unintended: Chapter 1
There's only one word to describe the way I feel as my new life in District 12 begins.
Empty because Prim's gone, though the whole thing still feels surreal. Empty because my mother's off in District 4; I knew she would disappear again if something bad happened. Empty because I've pushed away the one boy who truly loved me.
I don't know why I thought we could make our relationship work. Everything was so complicated between us that thinking about it made my head ache and something in my stomach burn and I'd collapse onto the ground of my home, crying as memories of the Games and his brainwashing and the rebellion resurfaced. I never knew what I wanted. I still don't. But our relationship isn't so complicated anymore. Why? Because we don't have one. I haven't talked to him in weeks, despite the fact that we're neighbors. I'm relieved that he's finally stopped trying. Maybe he can meet a girl who deserves him. Delly Cartwright, maybe. I don't care. I try not to care. I shouldn't care.
District 12 was rebuilt so that I live in an isolated section with only three buildings: my house, Peeta's bakery - he sleeps on the second floor and works on the first, and Haymitch's house. It's not so much respect that causes us to get our own area; it's fear. Everyone knows us as the leaders of the rebellion, the mentally unstable killers, the root of so much violence.
They should be scared.
I can't count the number of times I wake up screaming and crying. At first, I missed Peeta being there to hold me. But then I realize that it's not Peeta I miss. It's just the thought of someone being there. It makes me feel so selfish that I vow to fight off my nightmares myself. I try sleep syrup. It works, but only a little. Still, I up my dosage every few weeks in order to maintain its small effect. It's better than nothing.
Some days I go hunting, but not nearly as much as I used to. There's no one left to hunt for. Buttercup eats bugs and mice. I don't eat much of anything. Most of the time, I lie in my bed and think. It tortures me, but I don't have the motivation to do anything else.
The days turn into weeks turn into months. Nothing is changing. Nothing is happening. It's the same day a million times. I cry less, which is an improvement. Greasy Sae stops by sometimes with soup and I eat it just to humor her. But she can tell I'm getting thinner and she purses her lips at me with a displeased look on her face that almost makes me want to start eating enough to sustain my body again. Almost.
It's been almost four months since I've moved back to 12. I haven't heard from my mother or Gale. I'm taking two bottles of sleep syrup a night just to guarantee myself four or five hours of uninterrupted rest. I haven't looked at myself in the mirror but I can feel my bones threatening to poke out from under my skin.
Good. I deserve it. If I die, it still doesn't make up for all of the lives that were lost because of my actions. My existence.
And tonight, I think it's happening. My death.
I chug three bottles of sleep syrup and shut my eyes. But I can't sleep. As I open my eyes, I realize that everything's jet black. I feel dizzy even though I'm lying down. I feel a sick swirling in my stomach and a thudding on my head, like a club on a pendulum. Pain explodes spasmodically all over me and I'm sure that this is the end, a kinder one than I deserve.
Somewhere in between my seizures, I start to scream. I can't help it. I see red spots and bombs and Finnick's head and a spear soaring into Rue's body and the Tracker Jackers descending onto Glimmer and the wound in Peeta's leg and white lizards and a bleeding mouth and an arrow in a president's body and ferocious hounds and a girl turned into a torch. Over and over again, like the propos recorded for the rebellion and played and cut and compiled, overriding the Capitol's broadcast, terrorizing the watchers…
"What's going on?" I can hear someone yell, though it sounds muffled and distant. "You okay, sweetheart?"
I know that voice. I'm sure I know it. But it floats beyond my mind's grasp. I can't think. I'm dying. Let me die, I want to say. Let me be with Prim. Rue. Finnick. Madge. Let me go.
Someone grabs me and pick me up. I want them to leave me alone yet I can't help but feel safe and comforted in their strong, firm embrace. And I'm moving, and I feel so heavy, like lead, and I just want to disintegrate into dust and fly off in the wind and settle into the forest and the lake and the meadow.
My eyes are open, but I'm not seeing, so I shut them. The voice asks me if I can hear him. I try to nod my head but it's too painful to move. I move my lips, too tired to speak. He sets me down and I feel something warm inside me, a burning liquid. I try to spit it out, but more just floods in, dribbling down my shirt. It scalds my chest. I just want everything to end. Why is this happening?
I'm filled with a burning sensation now. Everywhere. I hear frantic scurrying around me. I can sense the energy in the air. A blanket wraps itself around me. A pillow finds its way behind my head. Nutrients sneak down my throat. I'm conflicted. I don't deserve them, any of them. But it feels nice.
And then I fade away, but in a different way than I had been previously hoping. A new way.
For the first time since I can remember, I fall into a comfortable, deep, and completely dreamless slumber.