Samuel Vimes, insert titles as applicable, sat in his office across from Reg Shoe, who was absently sewing a finger back on. Young Sam, now a full-grown man, had just left the office and was on his way home to see his wife. While Reg was on the last stitch Vimes spoke.

"Bloody Assassins." The normal anger in Vimes' voice was clear.

"Sir?" Reg answered on autopilot.

"They expect me to clean up after them." Vimes threw a report towards the fire, missing it by millimetres, he was no fool, he'd need to do something with that report at some point.

"Sir"

"It'd be ok if they kept with the killing,"

"Sir."

"But they're getting more and more obsessed with this bloody king thing."

"Sir."

"When will they learn Vetinari isn't going anywhere?"

"Don't know sir."

"He's been around longer than any king."

"Yes sir."

"I hate Ankh-Morpork Reg."

"I know sir."

Vimes anger ran out temporarily, with a downtrodden heart he said, "I want to die."

"To late sir."

Vimes sighed while catching a glimpse of his greying face in the mirror. 20 years of death doesn't do wonders for the complexion.

"Who'd have thought it would turn out like this?"

"Not me sir." Reg said as Vimes turned to look at his collection of inographs on his desk. Reg was only half paying attention; they shared almost the same conversation every week.

"What happened to the Watch waiting here after the almost war with Klatch?"

"Which war sir?" Reg knew which war but Vimes liked the conversation to go a certain way.

"Leshp man! Don't you know anything?" Reg was relieved to hear the anger return. His greatest fear was this conversation finally getting to Vimes. He shuddered at the thought of the Zombies who wondered around having given up on the afterlife. "Good men and women in the Watch back then. Carrot, Colon, Angua, Cheri, Detritus, Washpot, even…"Vimes shuddered "Nobby."

"Some of them are still around sir."

"But not all of them." Vimes picked up a group shot of the old watch. "Poor old Colon, what a way to go."

"I know sir."

"The day after retirement in the arms of his wife, surrounded by his family, that's no way for a watchman to go."

"No sir."

"Do you know what his last words were?"

"Can't say I do sir." Reg did and mouthed along with Vimes, subtly mind you; he didn't want to be caught.

"His last words were 'a million to one'." There was a confused pause. "Random man that Fred. But one of the best damn men this watch ever had, lazy as hell but a bloody good man."

"I completely agree with you sir."

"Lovely funeral, actual family there."

"Yes sir, lovely."

"And Nobby, poor ma…bo…Nobby, struck by a lightning bolt, I suppose the gods were bound to notice him eventually, he was a damn sin to creation. Unique was Nobby, you only get men like him once in a life time…understandably." Vimes paused for a few moments, lost in memories.

"And Carrot, fine man. He annoyed me to Tsort and back again but I wouldn't have traded him for the Disc. I'm glad him and Angua finally got married. Shame they moved to the newly unified Uburworld, but I suppose they were needed there more than here." Vimes' eyes fell upon a picture Carrot had sent him 10 years ago of his family. It was slightly wonky and the top of Carrot's head was missing but everyone was in it. "Carrot's an old man now, surround by grandchildren…and pups. Still does his duty, good man." There was another seemingly spontaneous pause, but Reg knew it should last 10 seconds, it always did.

"They're not all gone sir."

"True, there's you and me, Detritus, Cheeri, Dorful, Sally. Us lot who are not going anywhere. Do you know what the worst thing about it is?"

"Sir?" Reg knew

"That damn Vetinari!" Vimes slammed a fist onto his desk, "I should have known that man wouldn't die."

"Well sir…"

"I know he's dead, but I should have known that death wouldn't stop him. I still can't believe the way it happened. A heart attack! And the damn man didn't even notice he'd died until Drumknott pointed out he was paler than normal."

"But you went the same way sir"

"No! I was in the pursuit of a dangerous criminal on my first day back after dear Sybil's funeral." If he had the physical capabilities Vimes would have shed a tear. "Then I had a blasted heart attack while running, but did death stop me? No, I got up and carried on chasing the son of a bitch, and I caught him!"

"You must be very proud sir"

"Damn right I am. And I will not give up until Vetinari drops down dead…well whatever it is zombie's do next. I will not be out lived…unlived by that man!" With an anger that would scare most people Vimes grabbed a report and snatched his pen from its comfy position on his desk. He then set about to stabbing the report at the appropriate places.

Unknown to Vimes, or anyone but Wuffles the 5th, Vetinari was having a very similar weekly conversation with his dog. Of course it was much more dignified and contained less cussing. Vetinari always timed this conversation perfectly. Right now Cliffwood, his latest head clerk, would be coming up the stairs to deliver the next set of reports. There was just enough time to finish off.

"I will not give up my post until I heave beaten Vimes in time span. Once he resigns from the Watch I will get that country cottage with the gardens, and no more of Mr Johnson's creations." The very much dead Patrician of Ankh-Morkpork let out a well worn sigh, "I don't suppose that will ever happen. It appears Ankh-Morpork won't get rid of me that easily." He stokes Wuffles the 5th, who let out a thankful yap. "I'm not very good with gardens anyway."

And with that Lord Havelock Vetinari picked up another piece of paper from his desk and carried on running the city from above while Samuel Vimes ran it from below.

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