Always - A Hayffie Fanfiction

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  • Published: 13 Jun 2017
  • Updated: 13 Jun 2017
  • Status: Complete
A short fanfiction devoted to Haymitch and Effie.

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1. Always

Haymitch sat across from the sleeping girl. Or, the girl pretending to sleep to escape a conversation with him. He wanted to pull her upright, give her a good shake and tell her it was all going to be okay, but like with most things he has done in life, it probably wouldn’t end well.
Sighing deeply as he stood, Haymitch took a deep swig of his alcohol and left Katniss to be alone with her thoughts. He had plenty of his own to work through.
He staggered from the room and made his way for the control room. It was only a basic hovercraft so it wasn’t a complicated journey. Inside, he found a couple of crewmen who took one look at him before going back to their conversations. He was used to be ignored by this point so he didn’t bother demanding their attention. 
To the right of the control room, Haymitch found the door that led to a sparse room which only contained a bunk bed and a desk. Sometimes, depending on the length of the travel, the crew would take naps in shifts, just to keep them going. Haymitch contemplated having a nap, but though against it. He could only imagine how the crew would react if they found him kicking and screaming in his sleep. That was a humiliation for another day.
Instead, Haymitch made for the desk where he slumped into the seat and pulled the small connection gadget from his pocket. Rolling it around in his hands, Haymitch tried to figure out how to make the call that he felt he really needed to make. After a couple of various button presses, projected screen appeared and Haymitch watched and waited until Effie’s stressed face appears.
“No, no, no! You cannot have a pink vase in a purple room!”
Haymitch chuckled as he watched Effie talk over her shoulder to the poor girl who went scuttling from the room, vase in her hands. Effie turned back to the screen.
“Haymitch?” she asked in surprise before panic filled her eyes. “Is everything okay? Is Katniss-“
Haymitch raised her hand to silence her.
“The girl’s having a nap. We’re alright.”
Another girl entered the room, murmuring quietly to Effie. After a curt response, Effie left the room, taking the device with her.
“I don’t have a lot of time,” she warned him. “We’re preparing the presidential suite for Paylor.”
“I don’t mean to take up your time,” he said carefully, wanting to reach for the bottle of alcohol again, but decided against it. “I just wanted to ask you something.”
“Oh?” Effie’s eyes brightened. Over the years, Haymitch had come to know Effie loved answering questions. Even if she didn’t know the answer, she always had one to give, too.
“Before I left with the girl,” he spoke slowly, “I spoke to the therapist you ordered me to see.”
Effie tisked.
“I didn’t order you. The court did. If you want to be Katniss’ caregiver, it’s a necessary prerequisite.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Haymitch chuckled. “But I heard what you said to the judges.”
Even though her face was caked in makeup, Haymitch swore he could see her cheeks redden. This softened his heart in the only way Effie Trinket could.
“I’m not mad,” he said gentler. “I know that I need help. I know that you were trying to get that for me.”
“Haymitch, I-“
“Let me continue,” he requested, still keeping is voice gentle. “I went to my appointment with Doctor Jones and he asked me if I have a support network. He asked me if I’d build one.”
“Oh Haymitch,” Effie reached towards the screen as if to touch him. “You do have a support network. You have Katniss, you’ll have Peeta when he’s all patched up and sent back and… you have me.”
This was the reason for his call. Haymitch wanted to be sure that even after everything, Effie was still on his side. Over the last few days, he had been reflecting on how, whilst others had left over time, Effie had been his constant companion through it all.
“I guess,” he spoke after a moment, “that’s what I need to hold onto.”
“You’ve tried everything to mask the pain,” she told him softly, “but masking the pain doesn’t make it go away. It makes it fester. Instead of masking it… you need to embrace it.”
Haymitch raised his eyebrows in question.
“And how exactly do I do that, sweetheart?”
Effie’s cheeks reddened again, but she made herself speak evenly.
“Talk to me,” she met his eyes with an intensity that almost made Haymitch do a double take. “Talk to one of the kids. Just… talk. When you wake up in nightmares, call one of us and tell us about it. When you have flashbacks, call one of us and tell us what you saw. When you feel the pain, tell one of us. Tell all of us if you need to.”
“I don’t know how,” Haymitch confessed. “I guess it’s been so long since I’ve opened up about anything that I don’t know how to do it.”
“Then I’ll show you how,” Effie smiled softly. “Everyday, I’m going to call you, just to talk. And if for some reason I don’t, then you call me. We need each other, Haymitch. We all do. It’s the only way we’re going to survive.”
Haymitch’s heart warmed at the idea of being needed by Effie. And, hopefully, wanted.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” he smiled at her. “You always know the right things to say.”
“I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t,” she laughed and Haymitch chuckled with her,
After a moment, he confessed, “I wish you were here.”
“I do, too,” she murmured. “Maybe… maybe one day I can transfer to District 12. It’s just, for now, I’m needed here.”
“I understand,” he assured her. “But when you can… come back to me.”
They met each other’s gaze and after a slight pause, Effie murmured, 
“always”.    

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