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Disclaimer: All Discworld characters belong to Terry Pratchett.  I own nothing.  I’m just inspired to write stuff he isn’t likely to.  No disrespect is intended.

Author’s note: This is the first story in the Carrot/Vimes slash series.  It isn’t strictly necessary to read them in order, as each fic is a complete story in itself.  However, for the sake of continuity it’s probably best to read them that way.

~

A Night to Remember
by Badge177

Carrot sat, hunched over his desk, his brow furrowed with concentration.  He had almost finished writing his letter home.

...and, what a sight it was to see (he wrote).  After months of detectoring, we finally caught up with Jack ‘Cat flap’ McNally and arrested him, and, it was mostly due to Commander Vimes’ hard work and determination.  Commander Vimes, who, I have often spoken to you about, is a very good copper, and, also a very good freind.  We look out for each other, and, I really like him...

Carrot’s pencil went automatically to his mouth, where it would be chewed half to death before it returned to the page.  He stared at the last sentence he had written, his mind filling once more with images of his superior officer.

Yes, I do like him, he thought, I like him a lot...

Carrot found himself thinking more and more about Vimes lately.  In fact, he hardly ever left his thoughts.  When was the first time he’d started to see him differently?  He couldn't remember.  But then, who could remember the moment when a friend stopped being a friend and became something more?  Maybe it was just something Vimes had said, or a look he had given him, but he’d suddenly realized he had feelings for the man.

He’d been confused at first, unsure of what it was he felt, exactly.  He knew it wasn’t just feelings of comradeship because he didn’t feel the same way about the others.  Just being alone in the same room with Vimes was enough to give him butterflies in his stomach; that was more than mere comradeship, he knew.  And he liked being with Vimes, often finding himself wanting to spend more and more time with him, especially when it was just the two of them together, he loved the feeling of having him all to himself.

And lately, he found himself wanting to get closer still...

-o0o-

All good coppers look out for each other; it was just something they did, and Vimes had taken a special interest in Carrot because, while he could handle himself physically, there was a genuine innocence and naivety about him that Vimes felt could be dangerous in a city like Ankh-Morpork.

It was typical of Vimes to feel protective towards him, although he would deny it, of course.  It wouldn’t do for people to think he was soft.  He had an image to keep up.  That image helped him do his job.  People didn’t waste his time half as much if he looked like he was in a bad mood already.  But beneath that image, there was another side to him, a side he kept well hidden, a softer, gentler side and a caring, protective nature.

Maybe that's what Carrot had picked up on.  He certainly sensed that Vimes paid him special attention, and that he liked him immensely.  Which was true, he did.  Everyone liked Carrot; you couldn’t help it.  But it was never anything more than that.  Vimes was a happily married man; the thought of someone else, much less another man, hadn’t even entered his head.

Of course, Carrot didn’t know that...

-o0o-

Lady Sybil buttoned up her coat, and with a few deft movements of her comb, expertly did her hair.  “Now, are you quite sure you won’t come along tonight, Sam?  I’m sure the other ladies would be pleased to see you.”  She was attending a meeting at the Sunshine Sanctuary, and she was late, already.

“I’d love to, dear,” Vimes lied.  “But Carrot’s asked me over tonight.  Said he had something important he wanted to talk about.”

“Oh?” said Sybil.  “And it can’t wait until the morning?”

“Don’t think so,” said Vimes, glad of the excuse to avoid the meeting.  “Anyway, he said he didn’t want to talk about it at the office, he said it was private.”  He thought about that for a moment.  “It’s probably just girl trouble,” he said.  “I expect he needs a bit of advice.”

Sybil smiled.  “Well, I can’t think of a better man to advise him,” she said, kissing his cheek.  “Now, I really must dash.  I promise I won’t be late.”

When Sybil had gone, Vimes began wondering what Carrot might want to talk about.  It was personal, he’d said, and he couldn’t discuss it with anyone else.  Well, it was no good trying to guess, knowing Carrot it could be anything.  He grabbed his coat and headed for the door.  I’ll find out soon enough... he thought.

-o0o-

Vimes arrived at Carrot’s lodgings and knocked on the door.

Carrot jumped up, suddenly realizing his stomach was churning.  He hesitated slightly before opening the door.

“Hello, lad,” said Vimes.  “Not late, am I?”

“Er, no, sir.  Come in.”

“Well, then,” said Vimes, as he entered.  “What’s so important that it can’t wait until tomorrow, then, eh?”

Carrot swallowed nervously.  “Um, please, sir, won’t you sit down?”

There was only one chair.  Vimes assumed Carrot would sit there, so he sat on the bed. 

So did Carrot.

Vimes smiled, and tried to act as if that was perfectly normal.

“I, um, I don’t know where to start, really, sir...” Carrot began.

“Well, let’s see if I can help you out,” said Vimes.  “What’s it to do with, work maybe?”

“Relationships, sir,” Carrot suddenly blurted out.

“Oh...”

“Sir, what would you do if you really, really liked someone, and they didn’t know, and you weren’t sure how they would react if you told them?”  Carrot paused, for breath.

Vimes opened his mouth to speak.

“Sir, there’s someone close to me that I care about, deeply.”  Carrot went on.  “Someone I work with...”

Vimes smiled.  “It’s okay, lad.  I think I know who you’re talking about.”

“You do?” said Carrot, relaxing visibly.

“Carrot,” said Vimes,  “I may be a lot of things, but blind isn’t one of them.”

“Then you think it’s okay?” said Carrot.  “To tell this person I’ve fallen in love with them?”  He was watching Vimes intently.

Vimes looked over his large, innocent face; he thought long and hard before answering.  “Carrot,” he said.  “Love is a precious thing.  Some people will go through their entire lives, never knowing the joy of loving someone and being loved in return.  If you think you’ve found a chance of happiness, lad, then I suggest you grab it with both hands.”

Carrot thought his heart would overflow.  “Oh, sir,” he said.  “I knew you’d understand.”

“Besides,” Vimes added.  “I’m sure Angua feels the same way about you.”

“I’m sure she does, sir,” said Carrot.  “But it’s not Angua I’m talking about, it’s you.  I’m in love with you.

Vimes stared at him, woodenly.

“It feels like I’ve always been in love with you, sir,” said Carrot, reaching out to touch his cheek.

Vimes leaned away.

“It’s okay, sir,” said Carrot.  “It took me a little while to feel comfortable with it.  I expect it’ll be the same for you.”

“The same for…” Vimes looked bemused.  “Carrot, what are you talking about?”

“Oh, sir, I’ve longed to tell you how much I love you, and now I know you feel the same way—”

“Carrot!  I didn’t say that!”

“But you do like me, sir?”

“Well, of course I do, Carrot, but... well, it’s hardly the same thing, is it?”

Carrot's wounded expression caused Vimes to regret his words immediately.  Carrot had trusted him enough to open his heart to him, and effectively, he’d just thrown it straight back in his face.  Large blue eyes were watching Vimes dejectedly; he had an awful feeling Carrot was about to cry. 

“Oh, Carrot...” said Vimes gently, touching his arm.  “It’s all right, lad, there’s nothing wrong with what you’ve just told me.  It’s just that...”

“Just that... what?”

“Well, I know men can sometimes feel that way about each other, and that’s fine, I don’t have a problem with that.  It’s just that, well, I have Sybil and—”

“But you can still have Sybil, sir,” said Carrot.  “What’s wrong with two people loving you, at the same time?”

There’s nothing wrong with that, at all, thought Vimes.  Except that one of them is a man...

“Sir, I can’t go on working with you feeling the way I do,” said Carrot.  “It’s tearing me apart.”  A large tear formed and rolled slowly down his cheek.

Vimes couldn’t bear it.  He held out his arms and Carrot fell into them, crying softly into his shoulder.

“It’s all right, lad,” said Vimes, as gently as he could.  He felt awkward holding Carrot in his arms, but surprisingly, he didn’t feel uncomfortable.

“I feel such a fool, sir,” said Carrot, raising his head to look at him again.  “I only wanted you to love me back.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”  He sniffed miserably.  “What am I supposed to do with all this love inside, when there’s nowhere for it to go?”

Ye gods, thought Vimes.  This lad’s got enough love inside him for the whole of the damn Disc, and here he is, aiming it all at me.  How in the hells do you react to that?

Another large tear formed and rolled slowly down Carrot's cheek.  Without thinking, Vimes reached up and brushed it away gently with his thumb.  Then, realizing what he’d just done, he held his hand there for a moment. 

Carrot reached up and covered Vimes’ hand with his own.  He held it lovingly against his cheek, and closed his eyes.

Vimes just watched him, not having the heart to pull it away.

Carrot opened his eyes and smiled at him.  It was a gentle smile; a smile so full of love that it stabbed straight at Vimes’ heart.

They sat looking at one another; neither one spoke; no words seemed necessary.

Carrot moved his head towards him, tentatively, and then stopped.

Vimes was watching him; he hadn’t moved.

Carrot continued, until their lips were just inches apart.  And then he kissed him, a soft; light, brushing of his lips.

Vimes didn’t respond, but he didn’t pull away either.

Carrot drew his head back slowly, and looked up into Vimes’ wide, grey eyes.  He held his breath, waiting for Vimes’ reaction.

Vimes appeared to have stopped breathing.

So did Carrot.

They sat looking at one another, for what seemed like an eternity.

Then Vimes suddenly blinked, and in a voice that was low and shaking slightly said, “Um… d-do you think we might just try that again?”

Carrot beamed.

He leaned forward and kissed Vimes again, cupping his cheek with an enormous hand.

This time Vimes responded; nervously at first, like a boy kissing a girl for the first time.  A million thoughts were racing through his mind, not least of which was: Dear gods, I’m sat here kissing a man, and yet somehow it feels like the most natural thing in the world...

Carrot drew his head back slowly and let the hand that cupped Vimes’ cheek fall to the neck of his shirt.  He kept his eyes on Vimes as he began to undo the top button; and then another, and another.

Vimes swallowed, unsure of what he should do.  He knew the sensible thing to do was to tell him to stop, but he was finding it difficult for some reason.  More confusingly, he wasn’t sure whether it was because he was afraid of upsetting Carrot, or whether it was because he didn’t want him to stop.

Carrot pulled Vimes’ shirt out from his breeches and undid the remaining buttons, then he slipped the shirt off Vimes’ shoulders.  Surprisingly, Vimes lifted his own arms out of the sleeves.

He sat there bare-chested, looking at Carrot almost shyly.

Carrot reached out and ran his fingers through the small area of dark hair on Vimes’ chest, tugging at it gently.  Then he explored his chest a little further, tracing his fingertips over the contours of his muscles, occasionally brushing a nipple, but not lingering there.

Vimes closed his eyes.  Oh, gods, he thought.  Please tell me this isn't wrong...

Suddenly Carrot stopped and removed his own shirt, and they both sat, bare-chested, facing each other on the edge of the bed.

Vimes opened his eyes.  “Carrot,” he whispered.  “I-I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“I know that,” said Carrot, reaching out, caressing Vimes’ bare shoulder.  “Neither have I if it makes you feel any better.”

“Oh...”

They smiled at one other.

Vimes looked surprisingly vulnerable sitting there half-naked, not at all how he looked in his armour and chain mail.  Carrot had a sudden, irresistible urge to hug him.

“I-I’m not really sure how to... you know,” Vimes went on.

“Just do whatever comes naturally,” said Carrot, his fingertips tracing along Vimes’ arm now.  “Just like you would if you were with a woman.”

“Oh...” said Vimes again.  “That seems pretty logical, doesn’t it?”  He smiled; it was a shy, almost cheeky smile this time.

Carrot melted.

He leaned forward and kissed Vimes again; it was a long, soft, lingering kiss that Vimes responded to easily, reaching out and caressing Carrot’s arm as he kissed him.  Carrot leaned into him and gently manoeuvred him back onto the bed.

Vimes gasped as their chests touched, the unfamiliar sensation of Carrot’s bare skin against his own sending a shiver down his spine.

Carrot sat back and looked down at him.  Vimes’ head had fallen back and his eyes were closed, he was moaning softly.  Carrot smiled, he’d never seen his commander looking so adorable.  He bent down and kissed him again, tracing the fine line of soft hair down over Vimes’ navel to the top of his breeches, where he began to undo the first button...

Vimes suddenly murmured something, breaking the kiss.

“It’s okay...” said Carrot.  “We don’t have to...  Not if you don’t want to.”

“I-I’m not sure what I want, Carrot,” said Vimes, suddenly confused.

“I’ll stop whenever you want,” said Carrot.  “You know that.”

Vimes nodded.  “I-I know...” 

Carrot waited for a moment and then continued, attentively watching Vimes’ face, looking for his reaction.

Vimes closed his eyes and allowed Carrot to undo the remaining buttons.  He stayed like that while Carrot removed his breeches, as if the act of keeping his eyes closed would hide the fact that he was naked.

He gasped as Carrot’s hand touched him intimately.

Not waiting to find out whether it was a gasp of pleasure or protest, Carrot covered Vimes’ mouth with his own and kissed him deeply.  Vimes clawed at the bedcovering, moaning loudly.  Suddenly, his hands shot up; not as Carrot first thought, to prevent his intimate caresses; but to hold on to Carrot’s head as he kissed him.

Vimes was returning his kiss, and although his moans were muffled, there was no doubt in Carrot’s mind they were moans of pleasure.  It told him all he needed to know.  Suddenly he broke the kiss and trailed his tongue down over Vimes’ throat, and then to his chest, licking and nibbling a nipple.

Vimes groaned and arched his back, hanging on to Carrot’s head as his tongue lashed him, mercilessly.

Carrot continued downwards, until his roving tongue finally joined the hand that was still closed around the very centre of Vimes’ being.

Without hesitation, he enclosed Vimes completely, his mouth moving slowly and purposefully along Vimes' entire length.

Vimes’ eyes flew open.  He tried to speak, but his words came out as nothing more than incoherent groans.

Carrot continued relentlessly, not letting up until Vimes finally closed his eyes and cried out, no longer able to hold back the orgasm that completely engulfed him.

Vimes opened his eyes; he was vaguely aware of Carrot moving up to lie down beside him.

They lay there, looking up at the ceiling.  Vimes was still struggling for breath.

“Carrot...” he managed, finally.  “Where in the name of the gods did you learn to do that?”

“It just seemed like the natural thing to do, really,” said Carrot innocently, turning to face him.  He grinned, and then added, “You know... logical.”

Vimes grinned back.  “Do that sort of thing with the women, then, do you?”

Carrot laughed.

Vimes laughed too, and moved over to lay his head on Carrot’s chest.  He draped an arm across him lazily.

Carrot lay back with one hand behind his head.

They stayed like that for a while, neither one feeling the need to speak.

Vimes began thinking about what had just happened here.  It had felt so strange; no, not strange, just... different.  But at the same time, it had felt so natural.  And now here he was, lying in the afterglow, with someone who not only wasn’t Sybil, but wasn’t even another woman...

Carrot suddenly spoke, shaking him from his thoughts.  “I could stay here like this all night, sir,” he said.

Vimes smiled to himself, amused by the fact that after what they had just done, the daft bugger was still calling him ‘sir.’

“So could I,” said Vimes, slowly starting to get up.  “But Sybil will be home soon, and if I’m late she’ll start asking questions, and what would you like me to tell her, eh?”

Carrot laughed.

“No, I’ll have to go,” said Vimes, adding, “I just hope she’s not in one of her rampant moods tonight, otherwise between the pair of you, you’re going to wear me out!”  This time they both laughed.

Vimes dressed, and got ready to leave.  He paused before opening the door, and turned to look at Carrot, feeling he should say something before he walked away.

Carrot seemed to sense what he was thinking, and said simply, “It’s okay, sir.  Goodnight.”

-o0o-

Vimes stepped out into the cold night air.  He shoved his hands deep into his pockets in an effort to keep out the cold.  He looked up at the night sky and took a deep breath; immediately wished he hadn’t, and then began the long walk home.

As he walked, he began thinking about the situation in which he suddenly found himself; he hadn’t been expecting this when he'd left home earlier this evening.

He knew relationships like this weren’t unheard of; they weren’t even that unusual now he came to think about it.  But he’d never expected to find himself in one.  Hells, he hadn’t expected to find himself in any kind of extramarital relationship, never mind one with another man.  And everything had happened so fast.  Yesterday, he and Carrot had been the best of friends, and now they were... what, exactly?

He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, and carried on walking. 

Carrot was in love with him.

He tried to get his head around that idea.  He’d always had trouble accepting the fact that Sybil was in love with him; the idea of Carrot being in love with him as well was... well, it was a bit puzzling, actually.

It puzzled him further that until tonight he hadn’t actually realized how fond he was of Carrot.

Oh, he’d always liked him; he liked him immensely.  But up until now, he’d always thought of it as more of a soft spot, really, nothing more.  Carrot was a likable person; it was easy to... like him.

He stopped.

Maybe that was why it didn’t seem wrong...

After all, how could it possibly be wrong to care for someone?  The fact that they were both men didn’t matter, did it?  Not if they both felt the same way?

Something Carrot had said earlier suddenly came back to him... 

“...What’s wrong with two people loving you, at the same time?”

He smiled.

“Nothing at all, Carrot,” he said into the night.  “Nothing at all...”

-o0o-

The End.

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