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Story [Hunger Games] Don't Pretend You Care - Haymitch and Effie, through the years

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by karebear214, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. karebear214

    karebear214 Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2002
    Title: Don't Pretend You Care
    Author: karebear
    Rating: T
    Characters: Effie, Haymitch
    Disclaimers (Hunger Games): The Hunger Games trilogy was written by and belongs to the brilliant Suzanne Collins. I'm just borrowing the characters and world for a short while.
    Summary: "Blame it on the alcohol." Haymitch and Effie through the years.
    Notes: Another one-shot built through "snapshots" over years (kinda like "Constancy"). I find this format really works for me.
    When Effie Trinket first meets Haymitch Abernathy, he is already an expert at drinking. Not the way her peers are, college students and fellows in the television business all. They drink to celebrate, to have fun. They drink because it makes them laugh, makes them more willing to put in long hours and late nights if they know a trip to the bar is in it for them at the end of the shift. They drink carefully mixed cocktails and artisan beers.

    Haymitch drinks whatever he can get his hands on, shares with no one, doesn't care who sees him, and doesn't laugh at all. He is twenty-one years old and has been more drunk than sober for five years.

    Effie only knows that her predecessor has warned her about him, recommended that she stay away from him at all times except when they are required to be on camera together.

    She doesn't care. She doesn't plan to be assigned to District 12 for very long.

    It is the 59th Annual Hunger Games, her fourth, when he actually speaks to her for the first time.

    "Drink?" he offers smoothly, holding out a wine glass, of all things. And she takes it.

    Well, they are at a Capitol dinner after all, on camera, and he's cleaned up and shaved and put on a sleek suit and tie that some stylist has tailored just for him. And he looks good, better than she wants to admit. He looks his age: twenty-five, the prime of his life. He looks a little bit like he might be glad to be alive after all.

    It doesn't last, of course. Only a few days later they're back to their usual awkward silence in the control booth, pretending not to share a guilty glance as their first tribute dies, barely clear of the Cornucopia.

    By the time 12's second tribute, the girl, is killed, the Games have been going for nearly a week, and Haymitch is so deep in the bottle that Effie is sure he wouldn't hear her even if she knew what to say.

    The next year, the 60th Games, people pay a lot of attention to Haymitch because it's been ten years since his Quarter Quell. He has to spend a lot more time on camera than usual, and that means she has to spend a lot more time than usual coaching him on how to behave, what not to say.

    "I thought I was supposed to be the mentor," he growls, and she just snaps that since he's been doing this for even longer than she has he might at least have figured out how to look competent.

    It's the closest she's ever come to blaming him for the deaths of 12's children, year after year, but she's bitter because it's starting to look like she's going to be stuck in the worst assignment ever for the rest of her life, and even worse, she cares that she has a "rest of her life" when what that life entails is standing there pretending to be happy while she picks the names of kids who won't.

    She's sure those kids might have a chance if he could stay sober for five minutes. If he could just pretend to care.

    It takes another three years before she allows herself to admit that she seeks him out, the one stable thing she can rely on to make it through the Games.

    She puts on makeup and practices maintaining shallow, bubbly composure, while what she's really waiting for are the bubbly drinks she'll share with him - champagne when the cameras are on them, the harder stuff when they're not.

    He's already beyond drunk, way over the line of "passably functional" he has to maintain for the Capitol watchers, when she finds him, the last night before the Games begin. She joins him silently and waits for h
  2. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    I haven't read the Hunger Games, but this was a really moving story. The snapshot format worked really well to show how the characters changed over time. I can't help but feel sorry for everyone involved.

    I didn't quite understand what was happening at the end (I guess I need to read the books) but I still found this to be a really powerful piece. Great work!
  3. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    I really like the snapshot format.

    I enjoy the way you show Effie and Haymitch's relationship throughout the years, with its ups and downs and the terribly sad but quite realistic ending. It's a shame it came to that, after what they went through together. Great viggie!
  4. FelsGoddess

    FelsGoddess Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 5, 2004
    Can't imagine how horrible that has to be to relive each year.

    and even worse, she cares that she has a "rest of her life" when what that life entails is standing there pretending to be happy while she picks the names of kids who won't.

    That sums up the people of Capitol's constant ignorance and ignoring well.

    It's the first time she's ever stopped to think where Haymitch Abernathy would be if he hadn't been Reaped all those years ago. He probably would have been in that mine.

    Huh, hadn't thought about that before.

    Wonderful look at their relationship.
  5. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    This was really great! They have such an interesting relationship. Even though Effie seemingly "has" so much in the Capitol, she really doesn't, does she? And Haymitch - poor, broken Haymitch. Perhaps at one time they could have been together. :(