Disclaimer: Discworld and its inhabitants do not belong to me, they belong to Terry Pratchett.
Authorís Notes: Once again this story is dedicated to Jinxster who read it and told me where I screwed up and cheered me on. I am declaring her my muse, for without her I would never have written any Discworld fics. So she gets all the credit, *g* and I get all the blame. If anyone else wants to use her as their muse they will have to fight me off first. =) I wrote this fic to cheer her up since she did say that my previous fic made her sad. Sowwe. I hope you all enjoy it.
Commander Vimes paced the floor of his office furiously puffing away at one of his cigars.
It had been twelve hours since the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork was last seen alive and well.
A note demanding ten million dollars had arrived at his office door by pigeon just five hours ago. He would have been chasing the bastards if Carrot hadn't pointed out that he would get his information quicker if he just waited at the Guardhouse to hear if any of the lads searching the city found any glimpse of Vetinari.
A crash below had him running out of the room and down the stairs before the last cloud of cigar smoke had the chance to dissipate.
"Sir!" Captain Carrot called at sight of Vimes barreling into the room.
"What's the news, Captain?" Vimes growled.
"Angua has a trail; she's right outside sir. It came right by here so I thought you might like to come along sir." Carrot was left staring at the blur that had been Vimes as the Commander ran out of the room out and into the street.
Carrot considered running after him but instead had orders sent out to the rest of the search teams to return. He also had Cheri, Detritus and Dorfl follow Vimes as fast as they could.
Vimes panted to a stop as Angua froze and stared into a brightly lit room.
"Is he in there?" Vimes asked breathlessly.
Angua barked once. Vimes was about to crash into the room when he felt the jaws of a very powerful predator close onto his belt. Vimes looked down at Angua eyes and sighed, "Alright, I'll wait for back-up."
Vimes grumbled mentally, Carrot has been spending too much time telling Angua that he worries over me.
As Cheri and Dorfl stopped next to him, with Detritus not far behind, Vimes indicated that they move in.
Vimes was getting paranoid. The whole building was too quiet. Where were all the kidnappers?
Cheri followed his movements tightly gripping her axe.
Vimes peered into the brightest room and there was the Patrician.
"Sir," Vimes called in relief. He didn't appear to be hurt.
"Vivi!" Vetinari called happily from the chair he was tightly roped to.
Vimes froze. 'Vivi' rang through his head.
"Are you here to save me, Vivi?" Vetinari beamed joyfully at the still frozen Commander. "I'm soooo happy to see you." Then he giggled.
Vimes turned as slowly as a glacier towards Cheri who was looking about the room and conveniently missed his burning gaze.
Cheri said helpfully, "I think he's been drugged, sir."
Vimes gritted his teeth. "I can see that. Find out what the bloody hell they slipped into him."
Vimes walked cautiously up to the Patrician who just smiled at him. Vimes had to fight the urge to run away. Never before had he seen Lord Vetinari look so happy. He was beaming with a huge smile on his face. Vimes knelt by Vetinari's side and began to untie the thick, coarse ropes but this simple task was made difficult by Vetinari's wiggles and giggles.
"That tickles!" Vetinari laughed, and wiggled some more to get Vimes' fingers on him.
Vimes finally managed to loosen Vetinari's arms and instead of trying to help, the Patrician yanked off Vimes' helmet and began to pat him on the head.
"Vivi!" The drugged Vetinari exclaimed, "You have the softest hair."
Vimes looked down uncomfortably and finished untying the rest of the ropes. Vetinari kept his hands on Vimes head and moved his fingers through the hair that was getting long enough to curl his fingers into.
Vimes looked up to find Vetinari's normally cool gray eyes burning with a complicated cocktail of emotions.
Vimes looked gratefully towards Cheri as the dwarf raised an empty pink bottle.
"I think this is it."
Vimes got away from Vetinari's hands, ignoring his moue of unhappy protest.
"What is it, Cheri?" Vimes looked at the bottle. He was feeling very curious over what kind of drug could have possibly reduced the Patrician to such a state.
"Lalahahala juice, sir." Cheri sniffed the bottle.
"What the bloody hell is Lalahahala juice?"
"It's a juice made by the Lalahahala tree, sir. It's very rare. It only gives off a few small green and pink spotted fruits every other year. The juice at its most potent form has to be fermented for 7 years." Cheri licked the very tip of the bottle and giggled once. "I think this is about 135.8 proof."
Vimes sneaked a glance back at Vetinari, who was rubbing his legs and pouting, before rapidly looking away. With dread clenching his stomach he asked, "How long do the affects of this juice last?"
Cheri looked at the bottle again to avoid seeing the horror that she just knew would spring onto the Commander's face. "About seven to nine hours, sir."
"Seven to nine hours!" Vimes shouted in disbelief.
"Depending on how much they gave him for the last dose, sir."
Vimes rubbed his face and groaned. Behind him came a mild cry and a soft thump.
"Vivi!" Vetinari exclaimed. "I can't feel my legs."
Vimes turned back to look at the woebegone expression on Vetinari's face.
Vetinari held out his arms and demanded, "Carry me."
Cheri giggled, and got out of the room when Vimes glared at her. She called, "I'll go and get Captain Carrot."
Vimes walked over to Vetinari and looked down. It was times like these that he really needed a drink.
"My Lord, I can't carry you."
"Yes you can, Vivi! You can do anything." Vetinari beamed trust and exultation and raised his arms towards Vimes.
Vimes shook his head. Talking to Vetinari and getting him to understand was driving him stark raving bonkers.
"No, I can't. You're too tall for me to pick up." Vimes added,"Sir."
Vetinari sulked and crossed his arms.
Vimes sighed. "I can't carry you up, but you could lean against me until you get the feeling back in your legs."
Vetinari perked right up. "That's perfect, Vivi! I knew you'd think of something. You're so smart."
Sam Vimes fervently wished that the Lalahahala juice also clouded memory. He hated to think what the Patrician would do to him once he got his memory back. He reached down and pulled Vetinari up.
Vetinari smiled sunnily and wrapped his arms around Vimes' waist.
Commander Vimes began swearing in his head.
Just then Carrot and Angua walked in.
Vetinari leaned his head on Vimes and said in his hyper happy voice, "You're hard!"
Vimes flushed and pushed Vetinari off his armoured shoulder.
Angua choked and hid behind Carrot at the mortified expression on Vimes' face.
Vimes was really glad to see them. "Carrot, I want you and Angua to take the Patrician back to the Palace."
"I don't want to go back to the palace." Vetinari pouted. "I want to stay with Vivi."
Carrot looked at Vimes and said, "That would actually be a good idea, sir. If they got him once at the Palace, his kidnappers could get him again. It would be safer if he stayed at some other location until we can find out who got him out in the first place."
Vimes clenched his eyes closed as Vetinari cheered and thought, I'm going to die.
"Fine," Vimes said resignedly. "I'll take him home and drop him off with Sybil. She's used to taking care of dangerous creatures. Call Detritus and Dorfl and tell them to bring my sedan chair. I want no one to know where he is but if anyone asks let them know that he is safe and under the protection of the Watch."
Vimes tried to ignore Vetinari's cuddling up against him.
He looked at Carrot and Angua, "I need you two to try to find the kidnappers. And who paid them to kidnap the Patrician." They nodded and Vimes called after them. "And don't forget to keep me informed."
Vimes waited, growing more and more harassed as the seconds ticked by and Detritus and Dorfl still hadn't arrived yet. Having Havelock Vetinari hanging onto him like he was his fluffy powder blue anti-Bogeyman blanket was quickly fraying his nerves.
This had to be the worst day he'd had in a very long time.
A hard knock that left dents on the door visible even from the other side sounded.
"Come in, Detritus."
"Mister Vimes? How'd you know it was me, sir?" Detritus wrinkled his rocky face in trollish bafflement.
"Never mind that. Where's the chair?" Vimes peered around Detritus' wall-like body to catch a glimpse of that bloody chair.
"Right here, sir."
"Thank the gods. Stand aside Sergeant," Vimes said, and using Detritus as a wall he was able to get the Patrician into the chair without anyone else seeing him.
Vimes had barely entered the sedan chair when Detritus and Dorfl picked it up. The unexpected motion sent him sprawling face first into Vetinari's lap.
"Hmm, Vivi, that feels good." Vetinari's hand caressed the back of Vimes' neck.
Vimes scrambled away from Vetinari and crammed himself into a corner and as far away from the Patrician as he could get.
Vetinari pouted again. "Ahh. Come back, Vivi. I won't bite."
This is going to be a very long ride, Vimes thought.
The second that the chair stopped Vimes climbed out and joined the Watchmen on the reassuring cobblestones. He tried to ignore the calls for 'Vivi' coming from inside.
Gods! It was safer on the streets than in that chair.
Getting Vetinari into the house was done quickly but not too quietly, considering that Vetinari kept insisting on having his Vivi with him.
Vimes stomped in and tried to get his face to return to its normal colour.
He sighed with relief when he saw Sybil hovering over Vetinari. She seemed to have everything in hand so he turned to leave.
"Vivi," Vetinari wailed. "Come back!"
Vimes paused at the door and threw his wife a pleading glance.
Lady Sybil looked firmly at him. "Sam, you can't leave Havelock alone in this condition."
"But, dear," Vimes pleaded. "He's got you to help him. And anyway he is only drugged."
Lady Sybil shook her head, "No he doesn't have me to help him. I have a competition to go to now that I can't miss. Anyway you are the one that he wants. So stop being such a softy and get back in here and do your duty. Guard the Patrician."
Vimes slumped against the doorframe. That was just playing dirty. Sybil knew that appealing to his sense of duty always worked.
"Vivi?" Vetinari asked with a pleading tone.
Lady Sybil, Duchess of Ankh-Morpork, swept past her husband and as she left gave him a reassuring pat on the back.
Once she had left Vimes found himself being hugged by one Patrician of Ankh-Morpork who kept mumbling 'Vivi' over and over again.
Vimes thought, I really need a drink.
He peeled Vetinari off him and walked towards the kitchen. Maybe getting something to eat would make everything look clearer.
He stepped in and looked around for Willikins before remembering that today most of the staff had asked for the day off. Vimes swore under his breath as the full enormity of that fact hit him.
He was alone with the Patrician with no one to save him. The Commander of the Watch, Duke of Ankh-Morpork wanted to whimper; he was alone with a drugged Lord Havelock Vetinari.
Vimes started as he felt Vetinari close behind him.
"Vivi," Vetinari whispered in Vimes' ear. "Take off that armour."
Vimes tried to avoid Vetinari's long fingers, but Vetinari was too fast. The armour fell with a harsh clang onto the floor. Vimes jumped as Vetinari's fingers hovered over his belt and trouser fastenings. Vimes clamped tight hands onto Vetinari's wrist, stopping him cold.
"Stop it, Sir," Vimes said, frowning at Vetinari who just giggled at him.
"Don't want to." Vetinari dipped down enough to rub his cheek against Vimes' own. "You feel really good, Vivi."
Vimes gulped and tried to push Vetinari away. "Sir! You aren't in your correct mind, sir! You need to get some sleep."
Vetinari blinked and stepped back then grinned with evil innocence. "Lead the way to the bed, Vivi!"
Vimes turned red at the lascivious shine in Vetinari's eyes.
He stumbled away, yelping at the pinch to his posterior. Vimes spun around to see Vetinari humming and looking at the pictures on the wall.
Vimes cautiously turned back and led the Patrician with the happy fingers to the Overtly Blue Room.
Vetinari crossed his arms and pouted. "No! No, Vivi. I wont get into that bed unless you join me."
Vimes backed off, panicking. "I can't do that, sir. I'm married!"
Vetinari smiled sharply as he reminded Vimes, "But your own wife told you to take care of me, Vivi."
"I don't think this is what she meant, sir," Vimes said, as he continued backing away from Vetinari.
Vetinari smiled once more and tackled Vimes onto the bed.
Lord Vetinari was suddenly awake. He opened his eyes; puzzled over why he was in a room decorated with entirely too many shades of blue and why was he on a bed that wasn't his own? And why was someone else in the bed with him? Whoever it was really had to learn to stay on his or her own side. It was a he, Vetinari thought, unless the arm around my waist is from a very muscled and hairy woman.
Vetinari raised himself on an elbow and turned his head over to see a naked Samuel Vimes snoring away next to him.
Vetinari blinked. He closed his eyes to the count of ten, and opened them again. The vision of Vimes lying on his side next to him with an arm draped over his body and Vimes' legs tangled with his own didnt vanish. The memories of the previous hours sprang clear with a nasty glee as Vetinari lay back down and moaned silently into his pillow.
He looked back at Vimes' peaceful expression and decided he would deal with everything later. It was quiet at the moment and too early in the morning to break the silence with shouts.
So he curled into his Vivi and went back to sleep.