Disclaimer: Discworld belongs to Terry Pratchett.
Author's Notes: This is story is blamed - *cough* I mean, dedicated to a good friend of mine who goes by Jinxster at FF.net, who not only encouraged me to take a stab at writing Discworld slash but was also willing to Beta the work. *waves* Hi!
Vetinari stood silent and cold in the dungeons of the Palace.
Ankh-Morpork had fallen. Its people captured by the Klatchians. Even now, a week after the attack, parts of the city still burned. Even all the rats had left.
Today was the day of his execution. His plans had failed. It wasn't until he had been captured that he realized where the flaw had been. Sir Samuel Vimes of the City Watch had been the weakness.
It would have been so easy. All Vimes had to do was follow his copper instincts and chase the Klatchians out of Ankh-Morpork and to Klatch and the problem would have been solved.
But no! For some reason, that Vetinari could not understand, Vimes had chosen to stay in the city to defend it. He let himself become a soldier!
Vetinari clinked the chains absentmindedly testing for weaknesses.
Havelock Vetinari, former Patrician of the former city of Ankh-Morpork, was also mad at himself. He had not realized how much of his plan had depended on how Vimes reacted to the situation. He had never trusted anyone as much as he apparently trusted and relied upon Vimes. A part of Vetinari's mind warned of danger in this line of thinking and so moved on to another topic.
He had been thrown into the same cell that he had occupied during that incident with the dragon. But he hadn't closed the locks on the door to keep out his captors this time.
Vetinari slumped against a convenient wall. There was no point in it. The city was lost. Too many of its people killed.
Even all the Watchmen were dead. Vimes was dead.
Vetinari paled grey with shock. For seven days he had avoided thinking those words.
Vimes was dead.
"No." Vetinari shook his head in denial. "He's a stubborn bastard. He can't be dead."
Unfortunately he knew that was a lie. The curse of having a logical mind was that he couldn't lie to himself for long. He knew Vimes was dead.
Vetinari wanted to shed tears. The grief was so deep within him that a little of the liquid welled in his eyes, but he was also too controlled. Even locked up and alone in a prison cell was not enough privacy for him to release his emotions.
Vimes had been the only one who had ever broken the strong walls of his heart to pull out some smidgen of feeling. A lot had been irritation, but some had had also been amusement, even happiness.
Those where the only ones he allowed himself to feel in public, but when he was in his personal quarters and attempting to sleep for a couple of hours then would the secret feelings pour out. The possessiveness, the jealousy over Lady Sybil and Captain Carrot gain of importance in Vimes life when he should have been the only one, desire to have Vimes in his bed and the love he had for the man's passion, rage, caring and absolutely beautiful stubborn insistence in believing there was some good in everyone. Even though he had always told everyone that he was a suspicious bastard. Now he was dead, and all the passion had left with him.
Vetinari's lifted his head in barely suppressed startlement. He had sunk too far into his thoughts and was shaken out of them by noise of various sandaled feet walking towards his cell.
Vetinari rose to his feet and walked to the opposite wall. He touched seven specific stones in a complex pattern, and then stomped once on a certain lump on the floor.
There, that was all he could do now.
"So many guards, Prince Cadram, do you really think they are necessary?" Vetinari asked coolly at the sight of more than fifty guards armed to the teeth.
At the abortive move by one of the guards to grab his arm Vetinari continued, "I can walk for myself."
The poor guard, was left silently screaming behind and clutching his shattered arm, and the rest of the guards followed Vetinari at a respectful distance.
As the guards nervously skittered about the striding figure of the Patrician, very faintly in the background came the whirling sounds of clockwork. And if you had put your ear to the floor of the former Patrician's cells, you would have also heard the faintest sounds of a ticking clock.
"Any last words." The Prince asked with a cruel smile on his face.
Vetinari let his emotional armour hold him calm. It would not do to let this petty animal get the best of him. He didn't answer, and instead let his mouth curl a little at the corners.
The Prince snarled, "Kill him."
Havelock Vetinari stood calmly before the wall and didn't even let loose a sound as the storm of arrows hurtled into his vulnerable skin.
The only sound was the soft sigh of over a thousand people in the crowd. They knew that the mighty city of Ankh-Morpork had lost the only chance it would have had to once again be free.
Vetinari opened his eyes and turned to look at the Palace. He ignored the fleshy container that had once been his body for a far more interesting sight.
One, two, three…
And with that the Palace exploded out and up. Billows of fire shot to the sky. With that signal, other buildings in the city began to follow the excellent example provided by the former Palace, conveniently taking out large numbers of the invaders.
All except the Library of course. That building had it's own defences and means of dealing with interlopers. The books needed to be fed after all.
A voice behind Vetinari coughed, "Are you ready to go."
Vetinari frowned. That voice sounded very familiar. Eyes widening, Vetinari spun around in shock to stare at the soul of Samuel Vimes, former Commander of the Watch.
"Vimes," Vetinari whispered. "What are you doing here?"
Vimes saluted, "My lord. I thought you knew. I am, or rather was, called Vetinari's Terrier. And a dog always follows his master."
A tall robed figure, holding a long, sharp scythe asked Vimes. "DO YOU NEED ANYTHING ELSE?"
"No. And thanks for the ride." Vimes smiled cheerfully at the morphological representation of Death.
Death nodded and walked off towards the city. He had a job to do.
Vetinari watched Death vanish from his view before forcing himself to shift his gaze to Vimes.
"I wasn't expecting to see you here, Sir Samuel," Vetinari intoned. He noticed that Vimes looked years younger, and happier. A sense of déjà vu struck Vetinari. Vimes looked just as he had all those years ago when Vetinari had first caught sight of him, and the first time Vetinari had fallen in love with him.
Vimes looked a little embarrassed, "I couldn't let you die alone, sir."
Vimes' face grew grave, and stony. "I know what it is like to die alone, and open your eyes to just Death standing by your shoulder, sir. I didn't want you going through the same thing. I've had the equivalent of months to think about my actions and I also came here to apologize. I should have gone after 71-hour Ahmed but I let Lord Rust get to me."
Vetinari shook his head, "It doesn't matter anymore. There is nothing we can do about it."
Still not really believing that Vimes was really in front of him Vetinari reached out and grasped Vimes' arm. Both of them froze as a fat blue spark shot from the area were their souls where touching. A feeling of peace and utter joy filled them both. It was like each had found the other half of their soul. Their perfect counterpart.
Vetinari cautiously let go. He cleared his nonexistent throat, some habits were just too hard to break, and said. "Thank you. I think that the time for formalities have passed, Commander. Please, call me Havelock."
Vimes nodded, "Call me Sam."
"Tell me Sam, do you believe in reincarnation?" Vetinari asked as their spirits began to fade from this part of the astral plane.
"Do you, Havelock?" Vimes' voice was hopeful and happy.
"Yes, Sam. I do."
"Then so do I."