Soli Deo gloria
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own the Hunger Games.
Haymitch stomps through the streets of District 12 and doesn't care about the looks people shoot at him. He doesn't care at all. He's sixteen and his world has gone down the drain since those stupid Games. Hell, it wasn't his fault that he was far more clever than the Capitol people thought he was. They thought that no one would use the force field around the arena to their advantage.
Not only did Haymitch use it to his advantage, he used it to win the Games.
And now so what if he won? The Capitol took everything that was near and dear to him. Mom, gone. Little brother Woody, gone. Girlfriend Alliana, gone. Dead. Because he had outwitted them.
And now he was expected to go on the Victory tour and mentor the next poor suckers to be delivered to death by the Capitol's hands.
Haymitch had always been a rather isolated person, but now it seems at though he's cut off from the world. He lives in a house by himself in Victor's Village. He has no friends and he's attempted to be no one's friend.
Nothing's been on TV except stupid Capitol broadcasting. The fridge is loaded but boring. He doesn't feel like cleaning his quickly deteriorating house. He tugs on a jacket and shoes (he likes walking around his house barefoot) and heads out into the streets of District 12. Albeit, the natural sunlight's harsh, but he got used to it as he stomps around.
Maysilee Donner, his ally in the Games, had discussed with him once (whispered in his ear, really. Cameras are everywhere in the Capitol), about something called the Hob, an illegal black market that was set up in an abandoned coal closet. She said that they sold a lot of things Peacekeepers didn't like, like illegally poached animals and the like.
Haymitch remembers that she said they sold spirits.
Haymitch had had his first taste of alcohol the first night on the train. It was spicy, and burned his throat, and he had put it down. Afterwards, he had an occasional cup at dinner, but not much.
Now Haymitch wanted liquor. He wanted that fire that burned and he wanted to forget about everything around him. About his family and Alliana being gone. Maysilee's premeditated death. The Games altogether.
He walks towards where he knows the abandoned coal supply warehouse is. It seems fairly deserted. It's tall and grey and old looking. It would be seemingly abandoned in the eyes of the Peacekeepers.
He enters in through a back door and suddenly every face is on him. Apparently, people are used to seeing the same people over and over and are surprised when a new face shows. Some hide their wares by covering them with canvas and others stare at him, waiting for him to move.
He puts his hands in his pockets and yells, "Hey, who here sells liquor? I need some."
A young woman raises her hand. Her only hand, Haymitch realizes. He nods and the whole of the Hob calms down and goes back to work when they realize that he only wants to buy.
Haymitch heads over to her stall. On the tiny square of ground are three small tables shoved together. Under them are boxes, some filled with bottles, some with mason jars. Some are filled with brown liquid while others are red or clear.
He looks to the seller, who says, "Name's Ripper."
"I know who you are. You won the Hunger Games this year," Ripper says as she wipes down the grey table with a dirty rag.
"Yeah. Sucks to be me right about now," Haymitch says as he grabs a nearby chair and pulls it up. He sits down and clasps his hands and narrows his eyes at the bottles.
"What're you looking for? Anything in particular?" Ripper asks.
"Anything strong, really strong," Haymitch replies, "price doesn't matter." His pockets are lined because of the Games. The only good thing that came out of it.
Ripper nods quickly and her one arm reaches down and grabs a bottle of clear liquid. He watches as she pours it into a shot glass and pushes it to him.
Haymitch nods appreciatively and holds the cup up in the air in a little toast before he downs the entire thing. His head comes back, coughing and hacking.
"First timer?" Ripper asks.
"Nah," Haymitch coughs before he gains his little dignity. He waves his hand and says, "Keep them coming."
Ripper nods and hands him another. Haymitch smiles and takes this down with less trouble. It floods down him; it's strong, harshly strong, and he loves it.
He enjoys his stay at the stall. Ripper combines some of the liquors and he drinks her experiments. After half an hour, his stomach starts to churn but he ignores it as he downs another shot.
Ten minutes later and on his eleventh shot, he makes a nasty noise before turning to a bucket Ripper has by the stall (for a reason), and vomits.
"You held it well, for a teen," Ripper says, somewhat admiringly. "Should have you know, though," she adds as she turns to another customer, "you're in for a hell of a headache."
"Thanks for the warning," Haymitch replied disgustedly as he sits up. He groans, his stomach still churning, and orders four bottles to take home.
He passes out at his house but manages to get his bottles in the fridge before he does. He wakes up a few hours later and vomits into the sink before he settles himself for a cup of liquor. He told himself that he'd feel better if he had some.
He doesn't, but he tells himself he'll be better.
After he runs out, he goes to the Hob and buys more. He now has his own special shot glass and a regular seat at Ripper's stall. He can often be seen sitting, slouching, over the counter, drinking the dregs out of his glass. He becomes a regular customer there but otherwise stays in his house.
He still liked being isolated, and liquor just made him stay even more isolated. Liquor was his only friend.
It's his only friend and comfort after year and year when his kids, the ones he mentors, go off and die in the arena. He can only sigh, shrug and go to his bottle.
He still has it when Katniss and Peeta are in the Games and come out. He still has it when the Quarter Quell comes about and Katniss runs over to his house. They both drink at his table and make out a plan before she runs, trying to hold in the puke.
Haymitch smirks and says, "Just can't hold her liquor," before he drains his glass of his only comfort, his precious liquor.
I don't normally write stuff like this but, hey, whatevs. Did I characterize Haymitch properly? Hope so.
I hope you liked it and please, review!