Hi there, Hayffie fandom! :D I can't explain this story. It's going to be multi-chaptered, I know, and I think it's basically going to be about Haymitch and Effie's romance throughout the books. And a little before the books. Maybe. All I know is that I keep writing it during class and, god forbid I don't stop, because next week I have my end of year tests. And...the outcome of that doesn't look so hot... :I
As for my other Hayffie story, Giving In, thanks for all of your feedback on that! :D I'll hurry up with the second chapter and hopefully I'll have it up within the next two weeks! :)

I hope you enjoy this one though!

He hated the capitol. He hated its people and he hated what they stood for. They were ignorant people, raised by ignorant people. You would think that if they learned the truth and witnessed the evidence they wouldn't be so ignorant…but, instead, they deny the truth and laugh it off. They were adult children who wore multicolored wigs and pattern clashing clothes like Ugly Betty.

It was not different for the escorts. Every year, District Twelve got a new escort because of the stubborn mentor who scared them all away. It seemed like no escort could put up with the drunken, rude, obnoxious Haymitch. He would yell at them, mock them, ignore them, snap at them, anything to make them leave.

Until he met her.

It wasn't love at first sight. No, he hated her the moment he laid eyes on her. She was just another capitol girl, fake, ignorant, and shrill. Her wigs, wardrobe, and makeup were even more outlandish than the escorts the year before.

But the next year, she came back, leaving Haymitch wondering if he had done something wrong. Not in a moral sense, but more in a 'I thought I got on your nerves enough why are you still here' sense.

So he decided to try harder…but she kept coming back.

And on her third year, it happened.

It was the middle of the night and he had been shaken awake by his nightmares. Obviously, he thought, his drink intake for the day wasn't high enough. So he stumbled into the viewing room, trying to find the small bar that always sat in the far right hand corner. And that's when he saw her. Her skin was clear of its thick mask, the tear marks still fresh on her freckled, rosy cheeks. She had taken off her wig, the faint golden curls strewn around her. The TV was on, a list of dead tributes and their profiles scrolling past. Both of their tributes had already died he supposed, watching, watching their female flicker upon the screen. She had only turned twelve a day before the reaping and when she was picked, she didn't seem fazed. She had fallen for Effie's bright, positive personality and followed her around like a baby duck every chance she got. She never cried or looked upset, almost like she had accepted her fate, unlike the boy tribute who cried through every meal.

Right before she had left the arena, she had given Effie a necklace. It was woven with flowers and had random beads between them that were dulled, pastel colors. Right now, the necklace rested above her heart, her graceful, wacky nails free, hands clutching it tightly.

That night, his opinion of the woman softened. Forgetting his drink, he padded back to his room softly and grabbed a blanket. Once he was back in the cold, dark viewing room, he placed it on her, tucking in the sides.

"Goodnight, Sweetheart," He whispered, smiling softly as he saw the corners of her mouth lift ever so slightly.

That night, his nightmares weren't so gruesome.

Effie awoke quickly, realizing she wasn't in her bedroom. She noticed the necklace, still clutched in her hand, and slipped it over her head. The blanket that covered her body was exactly like the one in her bedroom…but it smelt different. Familiar.


She wrapped herself around the blanket again and briefly closed her eyes. Or, at least, she thought it was brief.

Hearing footsteps and thinking it was an Avox, she pulled the sweet smelling cover over her face to hide it.

"Oh, Princess, you awake?"

Her eyes shot open in the darkness.

'It's Haymitch! …when did he start calling me-'

"Princess, undo those darned blankets. You'll suffocate."

"I'd rather suffocate than let you see me without my makeup!" She hissed.

Haymitch actually winced.

"Ouch, that hurt, Sweetheart. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I've already seen you without your 'face' on." He snapped, instantly regretting it.

Effie glared into the covers.

"…'m sorry for snapping at you, Effie…but to be honest, I don't really understand why you wear that stuff in the first place." He apologized, speaking softly.

"Because it makes me beautiful! Without it-"

"Without it you're beautiful, Princess." Haymitch smirked.

The covers flew back, flying towards Haymitch's face. The two objects collided, sending Haymitch stumbling to the floor.

"Haymitch Abernathy, what did you say!" She shouted, unable to stop the blush that crept upon her cheeks.

"I said you're beautiful, Woman! Can't you take a compliment?" Haymitch exclaimed, shoving the blanket aside.

He looked at Effie, her face erupting in a bashful smile.

"You really think so?"

"Wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, Sweetheart." His smile was toothy.

That's how it was for a few years. He had suddenly seen her as a human being so he decided to treat her like one. They got closer, beginning to understand each other, even. He would speak about his games (after a lot of prying on her part) and she would speak about her childhood of manners, punctuality, and lady-likeness (after realizing he wouldn't be able to get her to shut up so he just decided to stop trying and actually listen). Their parted ways after each game was loathed. Haymitch didn't really need to drink as much with Effie around when the mere sight of her intoxicated him. And there was only one explanation to these feelings:

He had fallen for the escort.

He knew this was very, very bad considering that any year now she could be promoted to a higher district. She sure deserved it due to the fact that she could put up with him. So he only wished he could enjoy their time together for a little longer.

The 73rd Hunger Games. Their tributes had already died, few tears were shed and there was more disappointment than anything else.

So it was during that time that he decided to ask her.

"Hey, Effie, why do you stay?" Haymitch asked, keeping his eyes focused on the glass in his hand.

"What? Why? Do you want me to leave?" She asked, anger evident in her voice.

Haymitch's eyes widened.

"No, no, that's not what I meant. I meant, why do you keep coming back as District Twelve's escort? Usually we get a new escort every year-mostly thanks to me-but you keep coming back." He restated.

Effie sighed.

"What other reasons do I have for coming back other than you?" She looked at him, her bright blue eyes dulled because of the gruesome scene on the television screen.

"But why? I'm nothing but an old, mean drunk who annoys you to no end! There's absolutely nothing 'good' about me to stay for!" He waved his hands in desperation.

Effie smiled, grabbing Haymitch's hand tenderly.

"None of that matters. You put yourself down, but you actually have redeeming qualities. You're handsome, you're honest, you're clever when you're not drunk, and all the rude things you do have reasons. You drink because of the nightmares, you distance yourself because you're afraid you'll lose the ones you love, and you hate the capitol because of what they did to you." She spoke softly.

Haymitch could do nothing but stare and blink, watching as she spoke.

"I love you."

It was something that they had-he had- vowed never to say. Not when he really meant it. He didn't want Effie to get hurt…

But it couldn't be stopped now.

Haymitch leaned forward slowly, cupping Effie's cheek in his hand as he smiled.

"You've got some redeeming qualities yourself, Princess. You're beautiful, you're kind, you're understanding, you're eyes have got to be the prettiest things I have ever seen…Sweetheart, I honestly don't deserve you," He leaned in closer, their foreheads touching.

"And I'm pretty sure I love you more."

And that was all it took. Haymitch knew they could never go back to the way things were before.

Their lips touched softly at first, and Haymitch knew for certain that he would never go back, even if he could.

8I I hope it was alright and I hope you enjoyed it! Also, I hope Haymitch isn't too out of character. :P I like to think that around Effie he loses his gruff act. Just for her. :) Now, I'm off to get ready to kiss those Desperate Housewives goodbye! :( GIVE ME A BUCKET FOR ALL OF MY CREYS. TT_TT