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~No Sissies~

**
This is entirely unlike everything else I have ever written. It is, in fact, a songfic, because while I am writing I usually listen to music at the same time. It was only a matter of time.

The song it’s set to is “No Sissies” by Hawksley Workman. If you don’t know who Hawksley is, something is missing from your life and I feel most sorry for you. As for the fic, it’s an Angua thing. Because she’s cool.

As per usual, everything is owned by the exquisite Terry Pratchett, (well, not the song lyrics, but I went over that already) and nothing at all is owned by me. Except the fiery imagination that powers me on after days without proper sleep.

And that, I believe, is the end of the intro.

***

Angua sits in the bar. Igor, the bartender is serving drinks; now and then he comes and refills her glass. She’s off-duty but still she sticks to fruit juice. Later on, she has a date.

<You’re being so tough to me
Like a leather jacket
I know you’ll have no sissies
Baby you just wouldn’t hack it>

A bogeyman slides into the seat next to her. He’s new in town. You can tell he’s new in town by the way he smiles at Angua. She’s had a good day so far, so when she smiles back, she doesn’t show her teeth. Yet.

<Gotta be a strong man
To carry the beautiful burden of your love>

He slides slightly closer and rests his gnarled hand next to hers on the bar. She moves it away, in order to sip at her drink. The bogeyman doesn’t get the hint, and begins to slur suggestively.

“Hello, young lady. What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?”

Angua smiles again, to herself. “I come for the atmosphere.”

<No sissies get your love
No slackers get your love
No weaklings get your love
No suckers for your love
No actors for your love
No gangsters for your love*
No sissies get your love>

Igor and Angua share a grin, which goes right over the head of the short-statured bogeyman. The creature persists in his attempt, leaning closer to Angua. His moldy, suffocating stench drifts over; Angua can’t taste the sweetness of her fruit juice any longer. Now this guy is in trouble.

“Let me buy you a beer, darling.”

Angua glances over, peering at the bogeyman out of the corner of her delicately-lashed eyes. “Did you just call me ‘darling’?”

<You’re tougher than the police
When you pull me off the highway
I’m not moving up to speed
The slow way has always been my way>

“Hey, baby,” the monster continues, inhaling sensually, “I’ll call you whatever you like.”

Igor looks at Angua, trying to gauge how much blood is about to be shed. She gives him a reassuring glance, while at the same time baring her teeth, just slightly.

“Look, buddy,” she says her light growl, “What do your friends call you?”

“Mmrig,” he replies, drunkenness misinterpreting her tone.

“Well, Mmrig. If you don’t take your hand off of mine, they’ll be calling you -”

The bogeyman is saved as the doors to Biers slam open.

<Gotta be a fast man
To transport the beautiful pictures of your love>

Three men, dressed in black ski masks, holding large, impressive-looking crossbows, storm in. They must be new in town, because they wave the bows around in a threatening manner and shout at Igor: “HEY! THE MONEY! NOW!”

When Mmrig turns, Angua has vanished from the seat beside him.

<No sissies for your love
No suckers get your love
No weaklings for your love
No hookers for your love>

Igor slowly puts down the glass he is shifting grime upon, but instead of reaching for the register, he leans gently against the bar. He peers at the would-be thieves with a lopsided, relaxed grin, as though he is about to watch a show.

The robbers wave their bows a bit more, but when they fail to receive any response in the forking-over of cash department, one of them decides to get a bit more serious.

<No actors for your love
No gangsters for your love
No sissies get your love>

He fires a bolt into the ceiling, just as he is knocked down from behind by a fuzzy, blonde blur. There is a screech as the door is slammed back on its hinges, and a sharp cry as the crook bounces into the gutter. His two companions are dazed; they don’t realize what has just happened. A growl echoes from one corner, but as soon as one of the bows is swiveled in that direction, it disappears in the snap of a fierce set of jaws.

The thief, now sans crossbow, screams like a girl, spins a 360 towards the door, promptly knocks down his companion, gets up, and keeps running until he is out of earshot, bellowing all the way. The other crook crabwalks his way out at top speed once he notices the shapes of the shadows that now surround him.

<Shoot down your liquor baby
I promise I’m not crazy>

Igor, realizing the show is over, picks his glass back up and returns to polishing.

<No sissies get your love
No slackers get your love
No weaklings for your love
No suckers for your love>

Mmrig, looking slightly stunned, is shaken out of his daze when he hears the sound of armor being buckled. He glances over to see his prospect, daintily pulling bits of black cotton from her teeth.

“What are you?” he asks, displaying his rookie Morporkian status like a badge.

Angua grins at him earnestly for the first time. Her smile seems distinctly pointy.

<No actors for your love
No gangsters for your love
No sissies get your love>

The door opens again, and the light is blocked by a massive shadow that is two metres high and nearly half that wide. Captain Carrot ducks inside, a typically sheepish smile on his face.

“Angua?” he asks, his eyes adjusting to the light.

<No sissies get your love>

“I’m here,” she answers. “I’ll meet you outside in a minute.”

“There hasn’t been any trouble, I hope?”

“Nope. None at all.”

Carrot ducks back out as Angua plinks a couple of coins onto the bar and leans over to the bogeyman. Unfortunately, he is in too much of a daze to appreciate the view he is now being treated to.

“Welcome to Ankh-Morpork, Mmrig.” Angua’s teeth glint in the mild candlelight. “I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.”

<No sissies get your love>

***

*My friend and I had an argument over that line. She insists that it really should be “gamesters”, but really, that’s just not as funny. I present my version of the line, with its full hilarity.**

**Well, I think it’s funny, anyway.