Vimes was sitting outside Lord Vetinari's office listening to the rather irregular clock tick tocking away irregularly. This wasn't a meeting he was looking forward to. Granted he didn't look forward to many, if any, of his meetings with the Patrician, but today's was going to be even worse. Firstly he was on his own, normally Carrot, or at a push young Sam would be there. But not today. Young Sam was in big trouble when Vimes got home. And secondly, Vimes didn't know if Vetinari knew about the engagement.
Lord Vetinari was sitting in his office, fingers steepled, musing. He was musing over his daughter's announcement earlier. He was, naturally, happy for her, but he was unsure about the relatives he was going to have after the wedding took place. It wasn't that he minded Sybil, no, on the contrary. He didn't mind Vimes either, well, apart from the mans complete lack of respect and his strange view on things. All in all he was an okay man. But not really the type of man Vetinari had pictured as family. Not that Vetinari had really pictured himself with a family up until 28 years ago when Seth popped into his life.
At 20 to 5 Lord Vetinari called Vimes into his office. Vimes wasn't as angry as he normally would be, due to the thoughts that were clouding his mind. Vetinari watched Vimes as he confidently walked into the room. His confidence was so strong, it was false.
"Vimes, no Sam today?" Vetinari asked from behind steepled fingers as he leaned back in his chair.
"I do hope nothing is the matter."
"No sir." Vimes was standing in his normal place looking at his normal focus point. There was a purposely-uncomfortable silence.
"What's the report then?" Vetinari said as he leant forwards.
"Nothing much sir. Its all been pretty quiet."
"Nothing much Commander?"
"Nothing important that is."
"I see. I am sure if Captain Carrot or even Sergeant Vimes were here they would say differently."
"They haven't leant the difference between crime and threatening the city."
"That may be true but I do like to know what's going on in the city. You don't stay in power by not knowing." Vimes replied with nothing. Vetinari, almost inaudibly, sighed. "Do you at lest have a written report Commander?"
"Yes sir." Vimes slowly walked towards the desk and placed a small piece of paper on it. "If that's all sir-"
"I don't think I have ever seen you so eager to get out of here when there is no report of a crime." Vetinari was looking at the report; he didn't even look at Vimes, yet Vimes still froze on the spot.
"I'm sure you-"
"How's everything at home Vimes? We are now talking human to human, not Patrician to Duke."
"Everything's fine at home. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Any announcements?" Vetinari stood up and walked around his desk, leaning on it in an almost casual manner. It now occurred to Vimes that Vetinari did know.
"By the sounds of it you know I've heard an announcement." Vimes tried to look Vetinari directly in the eyes, but on second thoughts he just looked in the general area of Vetinari's head.
"I am sure you were shocked when Sam told you."
"Shocked! It was bloody kick in the teeth!" Standing at attention was forgotten; Vimes stood in his normal every day stance.
"Now Vimes, the thought of your Sam marring my Lizzie can't be that terrible." Vetinari raised a thin eyebrow questionably.
"Well…" Vimes was, for once, lost for words, he couldn't really explain his feelings about the engagement without being thrown in with the scorpions and mimes. "…They're too young." Vimes seemed satisfied with that answer, even though Sam hadn't been earlier.
"I believe Sam is 28, while Lizzie is 25. That doesn't sound to young to me. I know of people who get married younger."
"Ok, but, what about money, Sam is only a Sergeant." Now Vimes' brain was just throwing random excuses at his mouth, he wasn't thinking them through.
"But he is the heir to the Rambkin fortune, and I know that he has been saving money since he was 8 and has plenty stashed away. Lizzie is the heir to the Vetinari fortune, which she and I have been saving up. I believe money will not be a problem."
"Well what abou-"
"Mister Vimes. I believe your problem isn't with the actual relationship. I believe the problem is a little more personal."
"Yes. Traditionally the problems are with the in-laws and not wanting to let go of the child. Does either of them ring a bell?" Vimes was thoughtful for a moment.
"What was your reaction when Lizzie told you?"
"I was happy for them, naturally."
"Your telling me you didn't freak out?"
"I'm not the 'freaking out' kind."
"I remember when Seth told you she was pregnant. You freaked out then."
"I did not. I hardly even raised my voice let alone freaked out." The corner of Vetinari's mouth curled upwards into a 'happy memory' smile.
"Your hands were shaking for the whole day." There was a happy pause while they both relived the memory. Vimes remembering seeing the always calm Patrician freaking out. Vetinari remembering the day he found out he was going to be a father.
After about a minute Vimes realised that this could be considered as bonding, which is what in-laws should do. He quickly straightened up and tried to leave.
"Well I'll be going-"
"Vimes. I know you have a problem with me becoming your brother-in-law." Vimes' face twitched as he heard those last 3 words as he exited the room.
Vimes punched the wall outside the office and carried on walking. After exiting that room he stopped, ran back in, and kicked the wall under the fresh fist marks. Then he left the palace and stormed all the way home.
Vetinari looked at the door for a moment before re-seating himself at his desk. He rang a small bell and Drumknott appeared in the way only Drumknott knows how.
"Call the plasterer, I heard Vimes' attack on the wall.
"Yes, right away."
"Thank you Drumknott."
Lord Vetinari set back to work, signing, reading and writing reports. Anyone who saw would have never known what had happened in the office just a few minutes previously.
Disclaimer: I do own Lizzie and her mum. Everything else is Terry Pratchetts's.