A/N: Apologies for the excessive wait. Been trying to work on the sequel piece to Private Club and just been getting stuck. However this little idea came to me at least to give it a write-up. It's short, and there's probably going to be a few more before I get the sequel piece where I'm happy with it, but enjoy.
"Don't tell me what to do, woman…" Haymitch just growled over at Effie, keeping his head rested on his folded arms on the table. Seventh… They had just had the interview yesterday with that girl's parents and her older brother going on about how she was going to be able to beat the odds. She had a boyfriend they had interviewed and talked about proposing when she came home. Good looking kid as far as that was concerned, but there was still a third of the competition left in the Arena and he was just doing his best to keep an eye on her at all hours.
So he had been sitting right there when the boy from District 1 found her and finally managed to stab her and just hold her there for the cameras to zoom in as the light left her eyes and then cut to his smirk… He had barely managed back to the 12th floor before passing out from the combination of liquor and sorrow that Chaff had helped try to build up and break down.
"You need to eat something." Even with the fifth already in him that morning he can still read that it's less of an order and more of a sad statement of facts. She cared for those kids almost as much as he did, but Effie has always been better about pushing on rather than dwelling. As usual she's also far too bright with the straight shoulder length lavender hair and buttercup yellow dress.
"I made it myself, so you better eat it."
The idea of Effie cooking is enough to get him to at least look up at the plate to see what she managed. "It's toast…"
"Yes, well the avox had quite enough to clean up after you and I didn't know what else you would eat." She frowned as he just picked up a piece and sniffed it before taking a small bite.
"Sure you didn't need the practice there, Dollface?" It wasn't bad, though it could use a little marmalade which wasn't on the table.
"I'll have you know that I am already a professional toaster."
Haymitch's eyes suddenly got wide as he started coughing and managed to get a napkin before Effie realized he was laughing. And even worse, he was showing absolutely no signs of stopping.
"I don't see what's so humorous about that… And I do wish you'd STOP laughing at me." Her behavior only seemed to be making it worse though before she finally just gave up and went to sit down with her cup of coffee at her usual seat and just wait him out.
It was just so damned hilarious though that there was still a smirk there when he looked back at her. "So… Professional Toaster?"
"My cooking skills are not for laughing at. Especially for something so simple."
"Oh it is not a comment on your cooking skills, Princess…" Effie just raised an eyebrow at him wordlessly. Clearly there was some deeper meaning here that she was far from getting. "See… The most important part of a wedding in District 12 is the Toasting."
"So I'm claiming to be some sort of serial bride?"
"Let me finish… So when you're a kid you don't really think of people really doing anything outside of marriage so it also get to be an insinuation of what happens on the wedding night. So basically when your parents are trying to play nice and calling a woman a Professional Toaster."
The look that passed Effie's face as she started to put it together was priceless while he tried to contain another snicker. "Clearly I need to tell the mayor what a Professional Toaster our Escort is…"
Even tipsy, he manages to dodge away fast enough to get to his room through her yelling about ruining her reputation and doing no such thing. Haymitch just sits on the floor, back against the door, chuckling and drinking out of his flask as she kept calling him every name she can think of under the sun.