Okay, another chapter. I hope that you guys like this one... This is set a year after District 13's victory

ps: try reading this while listening to the song When She Cries by Restless Heart ( that song inspired me to write this one)

Haymitch's POV

After the incident with the absinthe Effie's been acting really strange. She rarely looks at me in the eye anymore and she would sometimes smile at me for no apparent reason. Well, at least she looks a lot happier compared to when she first moved here in District 12. She's rarely upset anymore, it would seem as though she wasn't tortured in the first place. I'm glad that she's starting to move on.

District 12 is going to have a celebration today, it was something about winning the rebellion I think. It kind of sucked because I was required to attend and I rather stay home and have a couple of beers. Yes, a couple only. Effie is really supportive, I'm starting to recover from my alcohol addiction, which is really good I guess but it takes all of my free-will for me not to drink an entire barrel of liquor.

I wore a simple dress shirt, a blue tie and a black coat. There are cocktails there; maybe I can have a few of those- it is better than nothing I suppose. I walked out of the door then I headed to the town square. The whole place was decorated and set up; there was this huge screen in front of what used to be the justice building, a huge buffet table sits in a corner and there were several round tables that was decorated with white table cloths and flower vases. I spotted Peeta, Katniss and Effie sitting in the table by the corner. Peeta waved his hand to me and I walked towards them.

"Wow Haymitch, I didn't expect you to show up. I thought you would have drank yourself silly by now." he grinned.

"Whatever you say kid... I was required to show up remember?" I told him.

"Yeah, but you're a little late. The program is finished." Katniss pointed out.

"I meant to do that sweetheart. Who wants to sit here and watch people giving out lengthy speeches and such about the rebellion..." I smirked. Yeah, I know it's important to honor that day and blah blah blah stuff like that but it is just so darn boring.

"Well, at least he showed up. C'mon let's get us some food. I'm starving!" Peeta then led Katniss to the buffet leaving me and Effie alone in the table.

She hasn't spoken a word since I got here; I was sort of expecting her to lecture me on tardiness and stuff like that but she remains quiet. She just kept tracing the patterns on the silverware placed down before her. The skin on her neck rose and fell in perfect coordination with her breathing and I noticed small wet droplets on the table cloth- she was sobbing.

"Effie? Is everything okay?" I clasped her hands against mine and gave her a comforting gaze.

She kept her eyes down as she shuffled uncomfortably in her sit. She mouthed a yes but I refuse to believe her. There is definitely something wrong.

"Effie please, I can help. Tell me what's wrong." I squeezed her hands. She looked up to meet my gaze then she nodded silently.

"I-I'm s-sorry, it's bad manners to cry at such a joyous occasion but I just remembered the Ca-Capitol's..." she whispered. Poor Effie, she always managed to hide all of the pain underneath a mask of happiness but sometimes it's just too much. I got up and led her away from the party. We walked around the almost-empty district hand in hand.

We stopped at a nearby park. We sat down on a bench. She managed to calm down a little bit but it is obvious that she's still crying. I handed her my clean handkerchief and she whispered a thanks.

"You know, they say that walking can be very therapeutic. It can clear one's mind..." she stated.

"Well, I hope that our little stroll helped."

"It did." She nodded and gave me a sad smile. She looked so beautiful. Her hair falls perfectly into round gentle golden curls upon her shoulders, and her eyes glimmered against the moonlight. Oh man Effie is making me so poetic! Why is that?

"I-I think I'm r-ready t-to t-tell you the whole story..."She said in between sobs. I nodded then I placed an arm around her and held her close. She snuggled against me then she started to narrate her story.

"I watched the force field in the arena explode from my television. I knew that they were going to arrest me... I began packing my things, for my escape but I was too late a-and t-they caught me!" She starts to sob once again. I patted her on the back and whispered that it's okay. A few moments later she calmed down and she started narrating again.

"T-they t-tortured me: electrocution, flogging, mind-altering, watching others die... you name it..." I felt her tighten her hold on my shirt. I wrapped my arms around her and rocked her soothingly. I just want her to feel better.

She continued to narrate the gruesome details of her torture. She told me that she wished to die. It hurts me that this happened to her. I badly want a drink of some strong stuff right now-just to forget the graphic details of Effie's torture but that's a bad move; she needs me right now.

"I-I'm r-really s-sorry for pulling you out of the party Haymitch..." She whispered as she buried her head against my shirt and continued to sob uncontrollably. I can feel my shirt get soaked by her warm tears.

"It's fine, really. That party was no fun anyways." I assured her.

"Your the best Haymitch..." Me? The best? I'm just trying to help.

I loosened my hold of her then I gently directed her head to face me. I brushed a few stray strands of hair from her face then I wiped away the remaining tears with my thumb. My heart stopped, she looked absolutely stunning.

I never felt so over-protective towards a person before. I need to keep her happy and safe, even more so than the family that I lost years ago. I just want to hold her like this for the rest of my life. I don't want her to drift away from me. I think I love her. I just want to hold her in my arms till the end of time. I don't want to let go; I don't want her to drift away.

But what does she think of me? I am just a drunk who insults her; maybe that's why I've been trying so hard to sober up. I want to be worthy of her. Who am I kidding? She will never love me. It's a miracle that she's willing to be friends and that's good enough for me. I'll continue this charade, she'll comfort me and help me with my alcohol problem while I comfort her and help her adjust to District 12 while showing no signs of actually wanting to be more than friends. It's mutual I guess... I just want to make her happy...

No, they are not a couple yet in this one. I plan on taking it slow (I still have no idea myself on the outcome of this story- I'm just making it up as I go)

I'm not sure but I think Haymitch is a little out of character here. Anyways please tell me what you guys think of this one; your reviews are much appreciated.

Sorry about some grammatically incorrect statements (for the whole story, not just this one) even my brother told me that my grammar stinks. English isn't really my native language but that's really no excuse...

Anyways, thank you for reading :D