I was lying in bed the other night when this totally random wacky idea came into my head & I thought I'll just write it out & post it. Thought I'll try something light and different from what I usually write. Heh.

Disclaimer: If it belongs to me, I would be rich. I just enjoy playing around with the characters. :)


Chapter 1

"You can wake up now, Haymitch. The meeting's over."

Haymitch flinched as he felt Effie elbow him in his side. He stifled a yawn and looked around at the group of people making their way out of the conference room.

"Oh, thank heavens. I thought Plutarch was never going to stop talking. Have you realised that, Eff? I think the man likes to hear the sound of his own voice," Haymitch said, shaking his head as he bent down to pick the bottle of whiskey he had hidden under the table.

Effie gave him a disapproving look.

"I wonder why they sent you in the first place. It's not like you actively participate in this meeting. How could District 12 even send you of all people to represent them?"

He scratched his head as he held the door open for Effie. "No idea. 'Cause I participated in the Rebellion possibly?"

"Why'd you agree in the first place?" she asked, stuffing her papers in her large handbag. She looked up at him waiting for an answer, instead all she received was a lopsided grin from Haymitch.

Haymitch chuckled to himself as he imagined the look on Effie's face if he were let it slip that the reason he willingly attended the painfully tedious monthly meetings at the Capitol was just so he could get a chance to see her. He missed her terribly, not that he would ever tell her. He had grown accustomed to her presence from all the years they had spent working together and if he could see her every month even if it was only for a day or two, he was not going to let the chance pass him by. With all the things he could tease her with, the jibes he could make at her expense, the many ways he could annoy her, he wasn't going to give it up.

He had been going to these meetings for nearly two years now and in that space of two years, he had only made a suggestion once and it was promptly shot down by Plutarch Heavensbee and Effie Trinket. He was drunk when he suggested that District 12 could really use a bar with a wide array of liquor that could only be found in the Capitol, saving him the effort of having to lug back case after case of various spirits back to his home.

He endured these meetings because there was something he looked forward to at the end of it. He had made a bet with Effie on the last day they were together at the Capitol before he was scheduled to return to District 12 with Peeta and Katniss. Effie was sitting on one of the benches in the late President Snow's rose garden when Haymitch walked in and sat beside her. Her eyes were vacant and lifeless, and Haymitch felt something tug at his heartstrings. The Effie he knew wouldn't stop talking, she was full of life and nothing it seemed could take away the overabundance of energy in her. But that Effie was gone and in her place was a ghost that he almost didn't recognise.

"Hey, sweetheart."

Effie didn't answer, not even acknowledging his presence. Haymitch brought his bottle of vodka close to her face and moved it back and forth under her nose. As the noxious vapours rose and were inhaled, she blinked, the haze in her eyes slowly lifting.

"Manners, Haymitch. Has nobody ever told you how to behave properly?"

He smirked. That sounded a bit more like her.

"No, and I bet no matter what you do, you can't instil enough manners in me," he baited her. Her eyes narrowed slightly. If there was one thing Haymitch had learnt, it was that Effie Trinket hated it when someone told her that there was something that she could not achieve.

"Oh, I'm sure I would be able to," she replied dryly.

When he saw her three months from that day, the first time he stepped foot in the Capitol for those monthly meetings, Effie had cornered him at the end of the meeting to inform him that she would be teaching him some manners from that day forth. The tone in her voice brooked no argument and she had taken him to a small cafe at the corner of the street where she had slowly tried to teach him some proper etiquette. It made him mad but she was relentless. By the time Haymitch realised what was going on, it was already too late. Effie had turned him into her own personal project.

Haymitch smiled at a random memory of Effie asking him to sit straight instead of slouching in his seat. "I will tie a plank on your back if you don't listen to me and sit straight, Haymitch," she said as her finger trailed the menu in front of her. In response, with the cutlery in his hands, he made as much noise as possible as he ate his meal. Each time his spoon clang against his plate, he saw Effie flinch. He enjoyed needling her, the one thing he enjoyed above liquor.

"Oh, stop it, you insufferable man! And, you are using the wrong spoon, that's for the soup."

"Nobody gives a damn, Trinket," Haymitch said, chewing loudly on his food.

"Language!"

"I think you need to get laid," he declared tilting his chair back on its hind legs.

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me," he said, watching her face turn scarlet whether in anger or embarrassment, he wasn't sure.

"Is this... If you're trying to pick me up then rest assured, Mr. Abernathy you are doing it all wro-"

"Slow down there, sweetheart. Me? You're kidding right?" he said, laughing loudly. He promptly turned to the waiter who had come to pour them more wine and said, "Hey, what time does your shift end? You wanna take this woman home?"

"Haymitch!" she screeched, mortified.

"Live a little, Effie. You're always so uptight. I bet you've never played in the rain, or walked barefooted with the grass under your feet or lie down on fresh snow and made snow angels."

Effie paused. "Mother would never have allowed me. That is extremely uncouth."

"To you, maybe."

Effie's voice broke him out of his daydream and he hurried after her.

"Well, which restaurant today for my monthly lesson on manners?" he teased her, bowing a little as she brushed past him out the double doors.

"How about my apartment? Maybe a lesson on proper etiquette while visiting," she smirked.

"Whatever you say," he answered as they made their way to her small red car. The first time, Haymitch saw her car, he was surprised. He thought it would have been pink, but as he found out later on as she drove them to a small restaurant, pink wasn't her favourite colour.

"Here." Haymitch looked down on his hand as Effie pressed the key to her car into the palm of his hand.

"What do you want me to do with this, sweetheart?" he asked, dangling the key between his thumb and his index finger.

"Unlock the door, if you please. Can you drive today, Haymitch? I don't feel well; your barbarous behaviour in front of President Paylor earlier gave me a massive headache."

"No. I will not be driving. This is your car, you drive."

"Haymitch, I don't see what's the problem. It's just a short distance to my house, please just drive. It's not always that I asked you for a favour, and I am asking nicely. Please. I have a headache."

"No, sweetheart," he said with a note of finality.

Effie's eyes narrowed. "I'm asking you to drive the car, not carry it on your shoulder. The way you're acting it's like I'm asking you to move mountains. It's a simple request, it's not that difficult, we'll reach in 10 minutes so I don't see why –"

"I can't drive, Effie!" he abruptly interrupted her rant before she could go on any further.

"What do you mean you can't drive?"

"As in I don't know how!" he said, feeling extremely embarrassed.

"Oh. Oh, of course. I am extremely sorry. I wasn't aware," Effie looked down on her shoes meekly.

Haymitch nodded. He had never learned to drive. District 12 was a small district and a poor one. Nobody could afford something as extravagant as a car and nobody really needs it. They could walk to whichever part of District 12 they needed to go.

He saw the guilt the in Effie's eyes and when she looked up at him, he knew he was in trouble.

"I'll teach you how to drive. Right here, right now. I'll teach you."


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