Notes: Thank you ever so much, Duchess of Inkling, for beta-ing this for me, and telling me you like it.
This was very much inspired by a few Adam Ant lyrics;
Subtle innuends follow
There must be something inside he's hiding
Yes, that's dodgy, indeed.
Summary: A party at the Patrician's... Boredom... Inquisitive prying into private matters... And what do you do when your wife walks in? SLASH/Finished
Disclaimer: Terry Pratchet owns them all, bless his black hat.
Picture the Great A'Tuin, an impossibly large turtle, swimming through the expanses of space, carrying on its shell four hideously enormous elephants, who, in turn, carry the Discworld.
As the eye travels over this flat world, the observer will notice that half of the Disc bathes in sunlight while the rest is still covered in darkness. Light travels at a languidly slow pace over this world, and so the messages send from one clacks tower to the next between, say, Quirm and Ankh-Morpork, certainly travel far faster.
Observe these clacks towers; they are all still hidden by the dark, but messages still fly between them, in light and dark, light, dark, long, short, long, long...
Even when the Disc is dark, people are still busy with politics.
Picture a large, yet impossibly stuffy room in the Patrician's Palace. Another reception for another ambassadorial person, this time from Genua.
Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch, was extremely grumpy. He wasn't allowed to smoke. There wasn't any alcohol, and there weren't even improbably small snacks no normal human lived off.
He was grumpy because the crowd was standing around like polite cows, drawling about gossip, small talk and other things in a tired and bored way. Everyone knew the Patrician wasn't the man for exciting parties, but it didn't have to be this damn obvious, in Vimes's opinion.
Lady Sybil was some way off, talking to Lord and Lady Selachi, who eyed Vimes as if he was a particularly boring piece of conversation. He didn't care much; he felt as if he was the brightest thing in the room, dressed in his ducal outfit. He had tried to wriggle out of having to wear the tights, but Sybil had forced him into them, so to speak.
He started to move around the room, dragging his feet and glaring at anyone who looked as if they wanted to laugh about the tights.
In a corner, observing everyone else in the room, stood Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. He leaned a little against the wall, his hands resting on his cane, his eyes travelling over the faces in the crowd with a minor hint of amusement. When he spotted Vimes ambling into his direction, his face clouded for a moment, but all other possible sentiments were kept hidden under the blankest face in history.
'Sir Samuel,' he said, nodding at Vimes by way of greeting.
'My lord,' grunted Vimes, not in the mood for politeness.
They were quiet for a moment, both looking at the other people in the room, until Lord Vetinari said, 'Ah, yes, there was something I needed to talk to you about, your Grace.'
Vimes raised an eyebrow. 'Indeed? Did Colon clamp your coach?'
Vetinari frowned for a mere second, before turning to a door a few feet away. 'No, he hasn't,' he said. 'Could you follow me, please?'
Grumbling a little under his breath, Vimes followed the Patrician out of the room, down a gloomy hallway, up a few stairs, through a corridor and into the Oblong Office.
Lord Vetinari closed the door behind the Commander, and crossed to his desk. He leaned a little against it with his back and took a paper off a small pile.
'I've received a few complaints, Sir Samuel,' he said, scanning the page.
Vimes groaned. 'Look, sir,' he said. 'I know people mightn't usually agree with the way the Watch –'
'They aren't complaints about the Watch, Sir Samuel,' Lord Vetinari said patiently, putting the paper down again.
Vimes blinked. 'Then what is it?'
'It's about you, your Grace,' said Lord Vetinari, steepling his fingers. 'I've received complaints about the fact that you hardly ever wear your official outfits.'
'Well, I'm wearing one now!' said Vimes hotly. 'Not because I like it, though, Sybil forced me. I hate these tights.'
Lord Vetinari raised an eyebrow but refrained from commenting on the last bit. 'However, there were many occasions on which you did not, in fact, wear anything resembling either your dress uniform or your ducal, aha, tights.'
Vimes's eyes narrowed. What's with the tights? What's with the damned tights?
'Usually, I ran in to those occasions from work, squeezing those lovely social meet-ups into my schedule,' said Vimes slowly. 'Most of the time, I don't actually have time to change before going to official occasions.'
'Indeed. Still, I'd rather you kept it in mind, Sir Samuel,' said the Patrician. He shuffled a few papers across his desk. 'How are you enjoying your evening, by the bye?'
Vimes snorted. 'Oh, it's absolutely fantastic, my lord,' he said sarcastically. He caught Lord Vetinari's eye. 'Well, to be honest, sir, it's lousy. You can't call this a party, it has the atmosphere of a funeral.'
The Patrician eyed him for a moment, a long, slender finger resting on his lips. 'Then what did I do wrong, Sir Samuel?'
Vimes cleared his throat. 'If you really want to know, sir,' he said. Lord Vetinari nodded and motioned him to speak. 'Well, sir, it's not just that I'm not allowed to smoke in here, it's also that there isn't any alcohol and no silly snacks, and most of all, there's no music.'
'Ah,' said Lord Vetinari dangerously. 'But you know I never have balls, Sir Samuel.'
Vimes was about to open his mouth when something in the Patrician's eyes made him stop. Suddenly, Vimes's mouth felt parched. Lord Vetinari had started another one of his little mind games, prodding into the recesses of Vimes's mind to see what came out. Vimes immediately called on his full mental attention.
'Indeed, sir,' he said. 'But you might want to try them sometimes, they may be… a real pleasure to deal with.'
The Patrician suddenly seemed engrossed in a paper he was holding. 'Indeed,' his muffled voice came from behind it, his face hidden by the dull off-white sheet.
'Indeed,' echoed Vimes, grinning a little. Something occurred to him. 'Sir? You don't drink, you don't smoke… What do you do?'
Deadly slowly, Lord Vetinari lowered the paper. He looked over the top of the sheet, directly into Vimes's eyes with a disturbingly intense stare.
After a moment's silence and a little too much of his stare for Vimes's comfort, the Patrician said quietly, 'Would you really want to know that, your Grace?'
Keep up with the game, a voice said at the back of Vimes's head. Another voice, a little louder and at the front of his head, said, Would you? What do you think Vetinari is REALLY thinking?
'Oh, if it doesn't hurt, I doubt it'd be terrible if I did know, sir,' said Vimes casually.
Lord Vetinari stared some more. 'Ah, I see, indeed,' he said vaguely, as if he was turning over possible scenarios for what was to come in his head. He dropped the paper back into his desk, rearranged the pile and stood up straight. There was a strange hint of determination on his face, but Vimes was sure this was a trick of the light.
'I do, and have been told I'm good at, the following,' said the Patrician, closing the distance between him and the bewildered Commander in one pace. With one fluid movement, he grabbed the back of Vimes's neck, pressed himself close and covered Vimes's mouth with his own.
The motion was so sudden and unexpected that Vimes felt limp with shock and a hint of fear. Lord Vetinari's one hand was in his hair at the back of his neck; the other held firmly onto his hip; and his mouth, oh, the Patrician's mouth…
Vimes felt blood drain out of his face and into other parts of his body with disconcerting speed. He was overcome by the urge to grab the Patrician's hips, and so he did. In reaction to Lord Vetinari's surprised moan, he opened his mouth under the Patrician's and let the other slip his tongue in.
With a jolt of surprise and another rush of blood into a particular point, Vimes felt Vetinari's hands slide down his body. His eyelids fluttered like semaphore panels as the hands slid under his jacket, fumbled slightly for the elastic band of his tights, and then disappeared under those and his briefs to caress naked skin.
The Patrician hadn't lied; he was indeed very good at this. Vimes vaguely wondered how much of what Lord Vetinari was good at he would actually experience, when the man tried to move even closer to him, hips connecting nearly painfully. Suddenly, Vimes was aware of something bulgy emanating heat near his thigh…
So far, most significant action had been on the part of the Patrician, but, Vimes decided with a part of his brain he'd never consciously used before, the man deserved something, too. He feverishly moved his hands over Lord Vetinari's hips, over his back, to his front, to his back again, down, down…
Through hazes of undiluted desire, it is difficult to keep track of how things happen. Most importantly, things are happening. If the result of those things is something good, then all parties are happy.
Somehow, Vimes found himself on the floor, nearly undressed, with an equally dishevelled Patrician on top of him.
'Are you certain you still want to know what it is I do, Sir Samuel?' hissed Lord Vetinari, really breaking the kiss of the first time.
'Yes, I think I really do, now,' panted Vimes heatedly. You can only get worked up this well when you get some form of release after it, otherwise things would get really painful.
However, things can also get painful in some other ways. One of those ways is when your wife suddenly comes into the room.
Vimes was certain he had stopped breathing when he saw Sybil standing in the doorway. A closed, yet unlocked door would certainly open when Sybil wanted it to. Vimes wasn't certain she wanted to have opened the door if she'd known what she would find beyond it. It was difficult to tell from her expression.
The tableau was frozen for a few long seconds. Then, breathing heavily, Sybil entered the room and closed and locked the door behind her. She simply stood there, and Vimes whished by all the gods he'd heard of that she wouldn't stare so. Some of the blood that had emigrated to other body parts in the previous minutes now ebbed back and coloured his cheeks crimson.
'Well, well,' said Sybil, in a strange, strangled sort of voice. 'At least now I know why you agreed so heartily to the design for the ducal outfit, Havelock.'
Vimes ventured a glance at the Patrician, who was quietly looking at Sybil, his mouth hanging open ever so slightly. 'You two set me up with these tights?' said Vimes incredulously.
'That's right,' said Sybil, still sounding slightly breathless. 'I thought Havelock agreed simply to annoy you with those tights, but I now realise that it was also partially to please himself, isn't that so, Havelock?'
The slight gasp which escaped Lord Vetinari as Vimes wriggled impatiently to free himself from the tangle of limbs (accidentally brushing his thigh a little too hard against the Patrician's crotch) was pretty much enough of an answer.
'Wait a second,' said Sybil. 'Where are you going, Sam?'
Vimes stopped in mid-wriggle. 'I was actually going to try and put those tights on out of my own free will,' he said. He tried to peel the Patrician's hand off his hip, but it was futile. He sighed heavily and lay back, looking somewhat upside-down at his wife. 'So now what?'
'We-ell,' said Lady Sybil slowly, and dangerously lecherously, 'I'm in a locked room with two of the most powerful and handsome men in this city. They are nearly naked. I'd do what any sane woman would do; get naked, too.'
Vimes's jaw dropped.
William de Worde waded through the many bored guests still present at the Patrician's party. He was holding his notebook at the ready, but somehow, no one wanted to talk to him. He took a glass of orange juice off a table in a corner and took a sip. Just as he was about to make up his mind about whether he would leave or not, he spotted something was wrong.
The Patrician was gone.
William scanned the room once or twice and noticed that the Vimeses were gone, too. He sucked on the back of his pencil and tried to think of a good headline. 'Patrician and Duke Exit Party Extra Early' had a nice ring to it.
There was a light on in the Patrician's office, Drumknott noticed. The door was closed, but light was streaming from the gap underneath it and from the key hole. He tried the handle; the door was locked. He knocked softly, but there was no answer.
Any clerk would begin to worry at this. Terrible things had happened before when the Patrician couldn't answer the door; he'd once been found nearly dead from poisoning. Any clerk would want to check if Lord Vetinari was perhaps only so busy he didn't notice the soft knock.
Any clerk would have applied their eye to the key hole.
Sybil lay on her back on the floor, her dress, Vimes's jacket and Lord Vetinari's robes underneath her, which was quite comfortable. But right now, she wasn't too worried about any such thing as comfort. She was watching intently as Havelock kissed her Sam, her Sam, but she let him, because it was quite a fascinating sight, the two man entwined…
She watched as Havelock kissed him, stroked him, licked his earlobe, softly nibbled his neck, and she wondered, what if she could do that to Sam?
Lord Vetinari looked up, and saw her question in her gaze. He moved Vimes, who was having a difficult time crawling to the heap of clothes, towards Lady Sybil.
'Which part would you like to have?' said Lord Vetinari politely.
Sybil judged Vimes, who was opening and closing his mouth in astonishment, as he was being spoken of as if he was a good cake. 'I'll take the front,' he heard Sybil say, and he made some indignant noises, but she silenced him. 'No arguments, Sam. I can do more with your front, and I daresay Havelock can do more with your back.'
Vimes stole a glance at the Patrician, who was nodding lightly. Somehow, Vimes thought, I'm not safe…
Drumknott gasped. He'd gotten a good view of his lord, his Patrician, his naked Patrician, passionately nuzzling the neck of the Duke of Ankh, who was possibly even more naked.
The blood usually reserved in copious amounts for his brain found a living somewhat more lower down in the clerk's body…
William walked through the Palace at a leisurely pace. He'd been inside before, and had found his way to the Oblong Office before, too. It was easy enough. He only wanted to check what happened to the Patrician…
Drumknott, who now understood full well that what he was doing was quite wrong and possibly even against written regulations, didn't care much. He still stood bent over to spy through the key hole, his left hand leaning against the wall and his right hand reaching for the growing bulge in his trousers.
'I say, what are you doing?' a voice suddenly said behind him.
Drumknott spun around, his face glowing deep red with guilt. He was about to open his mouth to reply when he saw it was the Times man.
'I am being Lord Vetinari's head clerk,' said Drumknott indignantly, trying to hide the bulge with a hand. 'And you, Mr de Worde, have no business here.'
'Oh,' said William, waving with his dread notebook, 'I was merely wondering why the Patrician had left his own party so early.'
'I cannot make a comment on that,' said Drumknott stiffly, and with a slightly raised voice, because he feared de Worde would otherwise hear the muffled moans from the other side of the door.
'Ah, could I then speak to the Patrician himself?' said William. 'I see he must be in, since the light is on.'
'I, er, don't think his lordship is currently available,' said Drumknott uncomfortably, raising his voice some more. He wondered if it would be appropriate to ask the Commander to be less noisy in the future.
William was suddenly quite suspicious about this business. He narrowed his eyes and strode forward, pushing Drumknott, who protested mildly, out of the way.
'Let me have a look,' he said, bending a little to be able to see through the key hole.
His jaw dropped.
Entangled, that was the word Vimes's feverish brain was looking for. He – was – entangled. Between – Sybil – who – was – around – him – and – Vetinari – who – was – inside – him – and – thrusting – his – hips – rhythmically. With every thrust the Patrician made, a jolt went through Vimes, and made his brains pause for a moment. This made it increasingly difficult to think coherently.
Of course, the stifled moans from behind him also worked in a way to distract him. He'd never heard Vetinari moan like this. Actually, he couldn't remember ever hearing the man moan.
He was being shared by the man who calculated and controlled every move they made, and the woman who was writhing beneath him on the floor, eyes closed, breathing their names, first separated, then mixed. He was being shared and controlled and manipulated like hell, but he was certainly enjoying himself.
Vetinari had never lied; yes, he was good at this, oh gods, so good, yes, yes, gods, yes, so good, just a bit deeper, yes, gods, yes, yes, yes….
William de Worde and Rufus Drumknott stood with their backs against the door, staring ahead and breathing heavily.
'That's… quite… interesting, in a disturbing sort of way,' said William after a little while.
'Indeed,' breathed Drumknott. 'But you can't publish it.'
'No, I understand that,' said William. They stared into the distance some more.
'Should we…?' Drumknott said after a while, making feeble gestures with his arms.
'Er, I'm not certain, er, perhaps?' said William. 'It is sort of inconvenient to go back to the party like this.'
'And mine begins to hurt a little,' admitted Drumknott, blushing.
Insecurely and clumsily, the two men started to touch, to explore, lips brushing here and there… After a few feverishly introductory minutes, they sank to the floor, nearly as entangled as the people next door.
The Oblong Office had gone quite quiet. The tangled heap of limbs in the middle of the floor heaved some sighs and tried to steady their breath.
'Gods,' groaned Vimes, who was beginning to become a little uncomfortable, wedged between two persons like that. 'That was… intense.'
'Indeed,' said Lord Vetinari breathlessly. 'Quite worth all the bother.'
'Bother? What bother?' said Vimes sharply.
'The bother of getting you to wear those tights, silly,' managed Sybil.
'Oh yes, the tights,' said the Patrician in a far away voice, and to Vimes he sounded nearly dreamy.
'I'm never going to wear those damn tights again,' said Vimes obstinately.
'Oh, yes, you are,' chorused Sybil and Lord Vetinari, but Vimes could hear that, while Sybil said it teasingly, the Patrician occupied a dangerous tone.
'Oh, very well,' he sighed grumpily. 'As soon as you have Sybil on your side in an argument, I've pretty much lost, sir.'
'Good to know that,' said the Patrician meaningfully.
After a few minutes of silence, the three of them picked themselves up from the floor and dressed again. Sybil checked herself in a small mirror, and dusted some things off Vimes and Lord Vetinari.
'We'd better try to get home, Sam,' said Sybil when they were all decent again. Vimes nodded. He was very, very tired and wanted his bed, but just to sleep in this time, thank you very much.
Lord Vetinari opened the door for them but stood rooted to the spot and stared into the corridor.
'What is it, Havelock?' said Sybil, moving closer to see for herself.
Looking up from the floor, tangled in a heap of clothes, arms and legs, were too extremely embarrassed faces. William blinked at the light and Drumknott cleared his throat without purpose.
'Indeed,' said Lord Vetinari.
'Oh dear,' said Sybil.
'Well, well, well,' said Vimes, grinning and propping a cigar into the corner of his mouth.
'This will stay between us,' said the Patrician, while courteously helping his clerk back onto his feet. From the tone of his voice it was clear that this included everything that had passed in the previous hours and between various people. William and Drumknott nodded wordlessly.
'Very good,' said Lord Vetinari, taking a bit of invisible lint off Drumknott's shoulder. 'Off you go now.' The two men hurried down the corridor and out of sight.
'And now,' said Lady Sybil, 'we too should leave. Wonderful party, Havelock, definitely worth another try.' She winked.
'Indeed,' said the Patrician smoothly, eyeing the ducal tights. 'And if I ever hear you do not, Sir Samuel, wear your ducal tights again, I will come complaining personally.'
'I'm certain you will, sir,' said Vimes, as levelly as he could.
As Sybil and he went down the corridor, he was also certain the Patrician was following the tights with great interest.