When she toddled in, Haymitch almost choked on his spiked coffee.
"What. The. Hell." He said aloud.
"Oh dear! Don't you just LOVE it?" Effie asks.
"Why in the Sam hell is my daughter dressed up as a... a rat?" he asks the woman in front of him.
"It's a panda. And it's Halloween did you forget?"she questions. He shakes his head.
"How could I? And what are you princess? A clown?" he jokes. She slaps his arm.
"I'm Capitol Couture. Bringing it back. What are you going to be?" she asks. Haymitch smiles.
"I'll be... Haymitch Abernathy, district drunk and rebel leader." He says, bumping hips with her as he passes. She places her perfectly manicured hands on his chest and clucks her tongue. In her towering heels, Effie reaches his 6'1. But take them off and she barely hits 5'2.
"Oh come on honey."
"Uh no honey." He says back. He picks up the small panda and rests her on his hips.
"You and mommy have fun and bring daddy back the candy." He says, kissing her cheek. The fine year old giggles.
"Hey dad, can I borrow the car?" a male voice suddenly says.
"No, what for anyway Mick?" Haymitch asks.
"Oh you know...mmmlestifhjff." He mutters.
"Speak up kid." Haymitch says.
"A male stripper club." the 8 year old days blushing.
"Oh, is your boyfriend taking you?" Effie asks. The dark haired blue eyed boy nods.
"Not no but hell No. He's 8!" Haymitch says.
"What are you talking about? He's 18." Effie asks. Haymitch rolls his grey eyes and looks down at his daughter. Suddenly, she's not 5. She's 15. Large wide set grey eyes and long auburn hair.
"You should let him go dad." Haymitch screams, trips back and begins to fall.
"Ahhhhhhhh!" Haymitch yells into the pillow.
"Honey! Wake up!"
"They're growing up too fast Effs. Too fast!" he screams.
"Mommy, daddy are you okay?" comes a soft voice. And there they are. Mickey holds his favorite blanket on hand, and Marigold clutches her baby doll.
"Yeah sweetie."Effie assures. Haymitch sits up and opens his arms. Mari reacts first, rushing into the human pillow. Mick climbs in after her. They snuggle up to their parents, and Effie brushes Haymitch's hair from his face.
"They're still young Haymitch. They're not growing up for awhile now." She says. He nods, and gives her a quick kiss.
"I don't want them to ever grow up. Not like I had to. Not like Kat and Peeta has too. And certainly not like Prim had too. Please kids, stay young forever." He mutters mostly to himself.
"I can't promise you that, but I can promise they'll always be ours."