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26 March 2012 @ 11:35 am
Fic: Aftermath  
Title: Aftermath
Characters/Pairing: Haymitch/Effie
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Through Mockingjay. After the events, before the epilogue.
Summary: He goes to the Capitol just once to see it again. Somewhere along the way he ends up staying with Effie and becoming her damned planner.

He isn’t sure how, but somewhere along the way he becomes her damned planner.

He left his geese to visit the Capitol just to see it, to know, and somehow he ends up staying with Effie. Or what’s left of Effie. He always hated her bubbly personality in contrast to the sadistic death match they were taking part in. Now it’s as if all that death has caught up with her and inhabited her shell of a body, leaving only sorrow.

“Hey sweetheart,” he says, infusing the term with as much irony as he can manage. “How about dinner at 6? Punctuality is very important, or so I’m told.”

“What are you doing here?”

He doesn’t have much of an answer for that.

In the next few weeks he begins to fill her schedule more. She doesn’t seem to go out much anymore, except when he makes her. She doesn’t speak much either. He fills up her planner more and more, even if the tasks are simple errands most of the time. He finds himself telling her what she needs to do when and dragging her through her days.

After weeks of trying and weeks of no response, he begins to pack his bags to head back to District Twelve and his geese.

He’s surprised to hear a soft knock at his door.

“Haymitch,” Effie says, “it’s six o’clock on the dot. What are you doing? Don’t you have any idea how to be punctual?”

He blinks at her in confusion. “What?”

“Punctuality,” she says, punctuating each syllable. “Being on time. Filling a schedule properly. Come, come.”

It isn’t quite Effie, but it’s the closest he’s seen in weeks. At dinner she speaks of the latest makeup trends, but her heart isn’t in it. Then, quietly during dessert, “Are you going back?”

“Got geese to feed,” he replies stupidly. She nods.

He doesn’t know exactly what happened to Effie. That she joined the rebellion doesn’t surprise him, but he can’t imagine Effie Trinket being arrested and sent to jail. He can’t imagine what she saw in the process. Well, that’s not true. He’s seen death and destruction. What he can’t imagine is Effie dealing with it. She’s supposed to be the asinine, cheerful host so buried in her own ignorance not even the worst of the outside world can penetrate it.

He never thought he’d miss that. Or her. What the hell is he even doing here?

“I can’t stand it here,” she says quietly. Then, with more strength, “The trends are all wrong, you know. You can’t even find a decent makeup artist anymore and the wigs are simply ridiculous. What even is the point in toned-down eyelashes? I have those myself, thank you very much. I would simply not wear fake eyelashes if I wanted that! I want color and sparkle. I want more than this.”

He takes a swig of the alcohol he mostly hasn’t needed tonight. “Not sure you’re going to find that anywhere else either. District Twelve isn’t exactly high in fashion, if you recall.”

She purses her lips. “Nor manners. Honestly, Katniss when she first arrived in the Capitol… we may as well have received a barbarian.”

He snorts his amusement. “Can’t imagine what you thought of me if that’s what you thought of her.”

“Yes, well, you were already well rooted in the manner-less ways of District Twelve. Katniss at least could be taught.”

“And I’m just an old dog?”

She pauses, and something in the conversation shifts. “No,” she says, so quietly he barely hears. “I always knew what happened to you… after the second quarter quell. I find it hard to judge anyone after that. Bumbling drunk idiot or not.”

He downs as much of the alcohol as he can in one gulp which, it turns out, is the entire cup. “I find it easy to judge idiots who trounce around in makeup and dresses.”

Her eyes narrow. “I am not an idiot.”

“No, you’re not,” he agrees. Then, before she can process the compliment, “If you hate it so much, why are you here?”

“Where else would I go?” she asks. “I may be no good to anyone here, but I have nowhere else to go.”

“So come to District Twelve.”

“To raise geese?” she asks dryly.

“Or sell fashion… things,” he mutters. “Or annoy manners into everyone.”

“Haymitch, have you finally realized the importance of manners?”

“It’s like you don’t know me at all.”

She smiles at that. It doesn’t reach her eyes (nothing seems to anymore,) but he can’t help but feel like it’s the first pure victory he’s won in awhile.

She falters. “Do you suppose that I could – that I would be welcome in District Twelve?”

It’s a loaded question. No doubt most everyone knows who she is, and grudges are not things to be taken lightly. But she would have Katniss’s backing, and his, and that may just be enough.

He shrugs. “Who knows, maybe if you get manners into their skulls in time they won’t want to flay you alive. I hear that’s rude.”

She looks down at her hands. “I would need somewhere to stay at first.”

“You can sleep with the geese.”

Her head jerks up, her eyes wide with genuine surprise at the insult. “Haymitch! You-”

He rolls his eyes. “Relax. I have an extra bed.” Her features return to normal. He smirks. “I might even let you use it.”

Her already entirely too colorful cheeks turn scarlet at that. “Haymitch you’re not possibly implying that I – that we would – we couldn’t-”

He grins. “What’re you implying?”

That only makes the color in her cheeks deepen. “Nothing!” she squeaks, shakes her head. “When are you planning on leaving?”

“When you’re packed, I guess. So, a month?”

She scowls. “I’ll be ready to leave tomorrow.”

“Good. I’m sure the geese will be glad to have you. They don’t peck. Much.”

“It’s not the geese whose manners may be in question,” Effie replies.

Haymitch groans. “Never wanted to be a goose before.”

“One day I’ll teach you not to peck at all,” Effie declares. There’s a small spark in her eyes at the declaration. It’s barely anything at all, but it’s the first time he’s seen any sort of life in her. And he's pretty sure it’s because he’s just become her pet project. Fantastic.

She stands. “Come now, I saw how you were packing. You musn’t think that was a proper way to pack. I’ll show you how it’s done.”

He opens his mouth to argue with this ridiculous notion (it’s packing for God’s sake, just stuffing things into a suitcase. How can you do that wrong?)

“I do hope your home is clean,” she says, although the chatter now seems to not be directed towards him at all. “I suppose I can pitch in and help with that. How novel!”

The sound of his groan is drowned out by her incessant chatter.
Miss Stacy: hunger gamesarysani on March 26th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
NNNNNNGGGGHHH. I love this. I don't quite know when I fell in love with them - maybe it was in CF when we found out Haymitch's backstory and the implication Effie has been with 12 for awhile. I can't remember. At any rate, I love this pairing and you made it LOVELY with their banter and Haymitch's, whether he likes it or not, tendency to take lost causes under his wing.

Effie and the geese. The thought just makes me giggle.
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the banter, and the image of Effie and the geese - possibly trying to herd them, amuses me quite a bit as well. :)
onceuponapillow on March 26th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
I really liked that. Haymitch going back to check and trying to get her back in motion was touching. And I loved him inviting her back to District 12. It was a nice glimpse at what could have been. Their little digs at each other were very amusing.
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)
forever and ever you'll stay in my heartcapitol_barbie on March 27th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
they're one of my new favorite pairings and i loved their dynamic here. really IC!
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you thought it was IC! Thanks! :)
Moldy :): Animals - Birds - Owl1moldycookies on March 27th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)



Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
Apologies, fellow person!

I didn't see it until the movies, and then proceeded to retroactively ship it with a burning passion, lol.
danielle: katniss everdeenacupofinsanity on March 27th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
Oh my god, this is so cute. gjdfjdfklghd ALL MY HAYMITCH/EFFIE FEELS.
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
Hee, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! :)
Caitriona_3: Haymitchcaitriona_3 on March 27th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this quite a bit. I never actually saw them as a pairing, but now you've stuck it in my brain. I'm not sure whether to say thank you or sigh....oh well, I can always use another pairing to read!

Anyway...this was cute and a nice way to bring Effie back into the story.
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
I didn't see it either, until the movie. Then I proceeded to fill it in retroactively and had to ship Effie off with him in the end. I always hated what happened to her. I mean, story writing-wise I understand it and even like it, but I love Effie and wish she got more than dead eyes in the end. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
Baby Mamagreenfish on March 27th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Your voices are spot-on, I could read the conversations aloud in their voices (not that I would DO THAT) and it would sound perfectly correct. Loved it! I know this is probably a one-shot but I would so love to read of the adventures of Effie in District 12. Ha!!
Aly: {HG} Haymitchtenacious_err on March 28th, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you! That's the best compliment I can get. Haha, it probably is a one shot but I admit the image of Effie trying to herd the geese (they'd be far too disorganized for her liking, I think,) is a rather amusing one I may try to delve into later. :) Thanks again!
Baby Mamagreenfish on March 28th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
Well, if you do a second part, post it on Mockingjay so I can read it! ;)
valentine_elivalentine_eli on May 9th, 2012 08:50 am (UTC)
love it. wish there was much more fanfics about them out there.