Pregnant Hayffie - a prompt send from a lovely anon! Seeing as I don't like babies that much, this was more difficult to write for me, hence why there is a little more focus on more of a back-story. I hope you like it though!
"Haymitch!" came a whine through the doorway. "Haymitch, my feet hurt!"
Of course they did. If it wasn't her back aching it was her head, or her feet. And of course, because it was all his fault that she was in so much pain, he had to try to make things better for her. Yeah, because she was complaining so much during the conception.
"Of course!" he called back in what he thought was a pretty good attempt at a cheerful voice. "Anything for you, sweetheart."
"Could we please drop the sarcasm?" she asked as he came into the room, a bowl of ice in his hands. Effie was spread out on the sofa, her head resting on a pillow with her feet up on a soft stool in front of her. "Ah, ice! I don't why I've been having these cravings for ice," she added as she took the bowl from his hands and stuffed the chips into her mouth.
"That'll only give you a numb tongue and sore head," he warned, letting his fingers stroke the top of her head. She closed her eyes at his touch and a smile appeared on her face.
"I love it when you stroke my hair," she murmured, as if already in a trance.
He smiled as her eyes closed. "I know, sweetheart."
He took the bowl from her now limp hands – it was amazing how she could so easily relax completely with just the stroke of her hair – and set it on the stool.
"How's the baby today?" Haymitch asked quietly, perching on the edge of the sofa, his hand still entwining into her light brown hair. He didn't want to pull her from her trance, not when she got so little peace this far into the pregnancy.
"Mmm… kicking a bit," she whispered, moving her head slightly to fit his hand better. With her eyes still closed, she found his free hand next to hers and pulled it slowly to her round belly. He slid her shirt away from her smooth skin and lightly traced her bump. "He's got strong feet."
"Or she," he replied softly, flattening his palm against her warm skin. "How're your feet?"
"Sore," she mumbled, her hand going limp. If anyone took a look at Effie five years ago, running about everywhere in her ten inch heels, shrieking about one thing or another, you'd never be able to tell that just by stroking her hair, you could relax her so much. She was practically asleep.
He wished he could do something for her feet, but she hated them being touched so much, probably just because she was so ticklish. So instead he just carried on as he was, sitting close to her with one hand in her hair, the other on her bump. She murmured his name a few times, letting him know she wasn't quite asleep, and each time she did, he couldn't help but smile a little.
During the battle for the Capitol, Effie had been caught in an explosion that shook the President's mansion, her being in its prison block and all, and a piece of shrapnel had been lodged in her lower stomach. It was lucky Haymitch had reached her in time – she was the first he saved that day – else she probably would have bled to death in that rotting cell, but the medics he managed to take her to had her sewed up pretty quickly. The only damage they feared had been done to her body was the elimination of any chance she had to have children, what with the way the shrapnel had gone into her. Her mind was the one thing Haymitch worried most about. After the war, he was just about holding things together. He hadn't killed anyone personally in the fighting – he'd refused to go in with a weapon in his hands, instead taking a guard with him – and in his mind, that was enough for him. Sure, some could blame dozens, maybe hundreds of deaths on him, but he knew in his heart of hearts he had killed no one. Not this time. And so his mind remained as broken as it had been before – no more, no less. Effie had suffered the most out of the two of them. During her captivity in the Capitol she had been tortured in a number of creative ways – acid injected directly into her veins, molten lead being dripped onto her skin in intricate patterns, the video of Portia and her team being replayed again and again on all four walls of her cell, to name but a few – and although her body healed in time, her mind had been altered.
It had taken months, years, for Haymitch to begin to heal her. He insisted, after her first few months of living in the Capitol again did her no good, that she moved out to Twelve. At least there, she had Peeta, Katniss and Haymitch to look out for her. Her entire family had been wiped out during the war, by the Capitol, by the rebels – neither she nor Haymitch knew.
So she found a new normality with Haymitch and Peeta and Katniss. In them she found a new family. And in him, she found new hope. He was surprised when he himself found the exact same thing in her.
Because of the complications that Effie had suffered, they never dreamt that she would conceive, let alone go full-term, and the medics in Twelve were as stunned as the couple were. They hadn't been in a serious relationship when it happened, either – well, a relationship at all, really. Sure, they were in love, but they weren't exactly ready to commit. But the moment they saw the image of their child in the doctors' clinic, it just clicked.
Of course they were supposed to be together. Of course it was this way – they had known each other for ten, fifteen years – it was always going to end up this way.
And although Haymitch was getting on in years – 46 was pretty old for a new dad – Effie was still only in her mid-thirties, and with her brilliant organisational skills and his increasingly calming influence (not to mention Katniss and Peeta living just next door) combined with the fact that neither of them had to work, they figured they could do it.
Eight and a half months down the line, they had come to terms with it. Not just the baby news, but the knowledge that for the rest of their lives, they were tied together. Not that this was exactly a surprise to them anyway. It had got to the stage where Haymitch couldn't live without her; Effie hadn't even imaged living without him. Baby or no baby, their lives were too entwined to leave now.
"Do you want a boy or girl?" Haymitch asked after a quiet ten minutes, keeping his voice low. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him.
"Either," she replied, looking completely peaceful. "You?"
"A girl, I think." His hand came away from her hair and down to her cheek. She smiled, turning her face into it and kissing his palm. "So I can love her the way I saw my father love my sister." Of course, he didn't remember much of them anymore, but one thing stood out – they had such a strong bond between them, it was like no other he had seen. His father adored his sister. He had never really had that relationship with anyone. It looked nice.
"But a boy you could teach how to throw things," she said with a smile. "And how to fix the roof that you refuse to."
Suddenly she gasped, sitting up a little.
"What is it, what's wrong?" Haymitch asked, feeling a little panicked. Was it time for the baby? No, it couldn't be! The doctor said it wasn't due for another two weeks! "Do I need to grab the emergency kit? Is the baby coming?"
"Haymitch, relax!" Effie laughed, realising how odd that sounded. Usually it was him calming her, not the other way around. She held his hand to her stomach, guiding it to where the baby had begun kicking her again. "See? He's kicking."
"Or her," he added, not really thinking about what he was saying. His mind was already on the miracle that was under his hands. It was incredible to think that they both survived the war. Just. And not only had they managed to build a life after the end of the world as they knew it, they also made a child.
Effie watched as his eyes widened a little more at each kick. To begin with, she knew he was scared of this. Terrified. The memories of children being slaughtered before their very eyes haunted both of them on bad nights, memories that are not easily banished. He wasn't scared of having a baby – he was scared of losing a child. But as the months went by, they didn't exactly put that fear behind them, more they started to fight that fear with logic. District Twelve now had a steady medicine business that was accessible for all, so there should be no medical worries (not really) and the Hunger Games no longer existed. Although this logic worked in the daylight, logic often dissolved into the night. No matter. What they had to focus on, day or night, was the real baby that was growing inside of her.
Who would have thought, from looking at them now, that the bitter old mentor and uptight flouncy escort from all those years ago would have actually been able to put aside their differences, give up old habits, and just live a normal life together?
Haymitch tore his eyes away from her belly and looked into her eyes.
"What?" she asked, half-laughing. "Why are you looking at me like that, darling?"
"Effie, you're the mother of my child. I used to hate your guts, and now you're carrying my only child! What happened there, eh, sweetheart?"
"I guess you never could resist the charms of a Capitol queen," she said jokingly and rested her hand on his cheek.
He grinned and knelt on the floor beside her, his face close to hers. "That's not exactly how I saw you, sweetheart."
"Yes, I had noticed."
"That doesn't matter now though."
"Yeah. Because I love you now."
"I always loved you, Haymitch."
"I know. I kinda loved you all along too. Don't tell anyone though, I've got my reputation to keep up – with Peeta and Katniss, you know," he insisted, a twinkle in his eye.
"Oh shut up a kiss me."
"How rude," he murmured with a chuckle, leaning in to press his lips against hers.
Thanks to the anon who sent this request, I hope you enjoyed reading it!