Author's Note: Okay, I'm a wicked, wicked person. Inspiration for this struck when I was paging through all the Discworld fanfics on the site and I suddenly realised just how many Mary-Sues there were. Seriously, it's incredible.
So, I've decided to take the piss out of the genre, but in a nice way, obviously. I won't refer to individual stories, only generalities. And I'm sorry if it offends anyone who has (un)knowingly written a serious Mary-Sue type fic, but, well, you kind of left yourself open to it…
Oh and just so you know; my name isn't Sarah Cooper. If there actually is a Sarah Cooper reading this, my apologies but the name was chosen at random and this story is not about you. Unless you'd like it to be.
"I'm sorry to bother you, sir, but Commander Vimes has another one in custody."
Lord Vetinari looked up from his paperwork at his secretary with surprise. "Another one? But it's only been an hour…" he sighed. "Very well, send them in."
Drumknott turned back to the waiting room. "His Lordship will see you now, Commander."
"Yes, yes, I heard," growled Vimes. "Come on, you." He dragged a young woman into the room and shoved her towards a chair. "Sit down."
She sprawled onto the chair and looked around with wonder. "I can't believe I'm in Lord Vetinari's office! This is so cool!"
Vetinari raised an eyebrow. The young woman squealed with delight.
"She does that a lot, sir," said Vimes with a sigh. "We found her in Captain Carrot's bedroom; apparently she was 'looking for souvenirs'."
"Yeah, I've got to have something to take back with me," said the girl. "Otherwise how will I be able to show people I've actually been to Ankh-Morpork?"
"I see," said Vetinari. "And what souvenir were you hoping to return with?"
"Just some of Carrot's underwear."
Vetinari blinked. "Why would you want—no, wait, I don't want to know." He stared at her. "What is your name, young lady?"
The stare continued.
The girl sighed. "Sarah Cooper."
"Miss Cooper, do you know why Commander Vimes brought you here?"
Sarah grinned. "Well, yeah; it's pretty obvious, isn't it?"
"Yeah, Vimesy has brought me here because someone is in terrible danger, or the city's in trouble and only I can save it because I'm so wonderful and beautiful and stuff, and when I've saved the city or whatever, you're probably going to fall desperately head over heels in love with me and marry me and we'll live together happily ever after. Sarah and Havvie forever!" she squealed happily.
Sarah smiled at him. "It's your nickname."
"Miss Cooper, I wasn't aware you knew me well enough for us to be on a first-name basis, let alone giving each other nicknames."
"Oh no, you haven't thought of a one for me yet."
"I can think of several," murmured Vimes.
"Oh, Sammie, you're so terrible."
Lord Vetinari steepled his fingers and looked at her over them. Sarah gave him an ecstatic look. "How would describe yourself, Miss Cooper?"
"Oh well, that's easy." She began counting her qualities off on her fingers. "I'm beautiful, and clever, and strong, and athletic, and funny, and popular, and really brave, and the bestest fighter in the whole world, and everyone loves me because I'm so nice, and I'm really modest and--"
"Would you like to know how I would describe you, Miss Cooper?" asked Vetinari.
"Sure thing, Havvie."
Vetinari grimaced slightly at the nickname. "I would describe you as a Mary-Sue."
Sarah gave him a shocked look. "What? No, no, no…I'm not a Mary-Sue."
"I can assure you that you are, Miss Cooper."
"No, I'm not," protested Sarah. "Mary-Sues sing. I don't sing."
"For which we are all eternally grateful, I'm sure," said Vetinari dryly. "But if you were to sing…?"
"Oh, then it'd be the best singing ever."
"Damn," said Sarah, frowning slightly. "But seriously, I'm not a Mary-Sue; I have a well-rounded original character."
"Oh, so you have some flaws then?"
"Yes, every well-rounded original character has to have some flaws," Vetinari gestured to the Watch Commander. "For instance Vimes here has a terrible temper and can be quite speciest at times."
"And Lord Vetinari is a cold, calculating bastard with no real emotions," said Vimes, not willing to let that little dig slide. He grinned at Vetinari's expression. "Just telling it like it is, sir."
"Thank you for your assistance, Commander," said Vetinari sarcastically. "So, Miss Cooper, what flaws do you have?"
Sarah paused. "Oh, well, I do have a flaw."
"I…er…I…" she screwed up her face, desperately trying to think of one. "…oh…no, wait…um…I get drunk easily."
"And that's a flaw because…?"
"Oh, because when I drink I get really giggly and flirty and cute, but that's okay because you'll find it really adorable and sexy and stuff," said Sarah with a flirtatious smile.
Vetinari gave her a startled look. "Miss Cooper, are you under the impression that I'm attracted to you?"
She flipped her hair over her shoulder and attempted to bat her eyelashes at him; unfortunately the effect was more 'nervous twitch' than 'seductress'. "Well, duh, just look at me! How can you resist?"
"Well, as hard as it may be--" Vetinari stopped as he saw the grin spread over the Watch Commander's face. "Oh for gods' sake, Vimes, can't you watchmen get your minds out of the gutter for one second?" he snapped.
"Sorry sir," said Vimes, sounding anything but.
"As I was saying; while I am aware that beauty comes in many guises, Miss Cooper, and I have no doubt that there are many men out there who would find you attractive, I'm afraid I cannot be counted within their number."
Sarah gave him a puzzled look. "Huh?"
"He means he doesn't fancy you," Vimes translated.
"Oh." Sarah frowned. "Honestly, Havvie, why've you always got to use four words when one will do?" Her face brightened. "Anyway, I know it's just some silly joke you're playing on me; I know you fancy me, everyone fancies me. You do, don't you, Sammie?"
"Oh, come on."
"Miss Cooper, why are you so adamant in your attempts to get two men old enough to be your father to express affection for you?" asked Vetinari.
Sarah giggled. "I would've thought that'd be obvious, Havvie. Sammie is so deliciously rugged; and as for you, well everyone knows that beneath that cool, calm exterior is nothing but raw sexual charisma." She blew him a kiss.
"Raw sexual charisma? Him?" asked Vimes incredulously.
"Oh yeah," grinned Sarah. "He tries to hide it, but we all know it's there, just bubbling away under the surface."
Vetinari raised an eyebrow. "We?"
"Me and my friends."
"And your friends would be the other Mary-Sues that have visited the city, I suppose."
"Mary-Sue is such an offensive term--"
"But it's an apt one, don't you agree?" Vetinari handed her a piece of paper. "This is a list of the other Mary-Sues who my operatives and the Watch have tracked down within the city limits. Are the names of your friends on there?"
Sarah looked at the list with concern. "Yeah, but…but I don't understand. How are they Mary-Sues?"
"Well, let's see; incredible beauty and wit, intelligent, powerful in a rather unusual way, related to prominent citizens within the city who swear they've never even heard of these ladies before they arrived here, irresistible to men who otherwise would never normally be attracted to them…is any of this ringing any bells?"
"Well, yes, but that doesn't mean we're--" Sarah paused. "--it just means we're incredibly interesting people that's all!"
"Yes, incredibly interesting people who continually force themselves into other people's lives and seem to shape reality to their slightest whim," said Vetinari icily. "To be honest with you, Miss Cooper, when your kind started appearing on the Disc we originally thought you were creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions."
"Oh right," said Sarah sarcastically. "So you consider vampires drinking cocoa to be normal, but mysterious young women saving the city every other week is weird."
"It's not the saving of the city that I have a problem with, Miss Cooper. It's waking up in the morning next to some woman I have no recollection of meeting, and finding that not only have I married her but I've also become a father. Again. Honestly, it's becoming quite difficult keeping track of all their names; I accidentally called one by the wrong name the other day and my goodness, that woman can yell..."
"Some men would like having that much attention from women!"
"Yes, but those men don't have to deal with the extremely angry letters from my aunt demanding a reason why I've never invited her to any of my weddings."
Sarah looked at him thoughtfully. "Oh yeah, I'd never noticed that."
"Maybe not, but she has," Vetinari said with a sigh. "She's very upset."
"And Sybil is getting touchy about all the attention I keep getting from you lot," said Vimes. "I keep telling her they all say they're my long-lost cousin or sister or daughter or my mum's second cousin three times removed, but she's right; no one has that much family."
"Plus I keep marrying them," added Vetinari glumly.
"All against my express wishes."
"Against mine too, Vimes."
Both men sighed.
Sarah made a frustrated noise. "This is so stupid! You're both supposed to be thinking about how wonderful I am and instead all I'm getting is whinging." She reached into her pocket and pulled out a notebook and pencil. "Let's see…'Havvie stopped looking so depressed and stared at Sarah a.k.a. Annistalacia Moonshine, with rapt attention. "Miss Moonshine," he whispered. "Will you marry me?" "Yes, Havvie," said Annistalacia "But first, I must save the city from all these killer tomatoes!" She stood up and waved her very shiny sword. "Let's go, Sammie!"'..."
"Miss Cooper, what are you doing?"
"Changing the story. Now be quiet, Havvie; I'm trying to write here."
Vimes looked at her with horror. "Oh gods, you're the worst kind of Mary-Sue, aren't you? The author herself barely disguised as an original character!"
"Don't overreact, Sammie."
"Miss Cooper, I insist you stop this at once," snapped Vetinari. "I will not have my city overrun with murderous vegetables. Or fruit."
"It's just a bit of fun, Havvie," said Sarah with a smile. She closed the notebook. "There, finished. So, Havvie, do you have anything to ask me?" she asked coyly.
Sarah frowned. "But…but I've just written that you've…" She gave him a puzzled look. "Havvie, you totally love me, right?"
Vetinari smiled. "I'm afraid you're mistaken in that regard, Miss Cooper."
"But the killer tomatoes at least…" In the streets below, someone screamed. She gave them both a triumphant look. "There, it did work! The tomatoes must be attacking!"
"Or it could just be normal street noise," said Vimes with a smirk. "This is Ankh-Morpork."
She ran to the window. "Oh damn…" She pulled the notebook out of her pocket and shook it violently. "What's wrong with this thing? Does it need new batteries or something? Everything I write should happen; it usually does! Work, damn you!" she screamed at the pad.
"Miss Cooper, I--"
"I don't know what you two have done to my story, but I demand you stop it right now," shouted Sarah, waving the notebook wildly at the two men. "Or I'll….I'll…turn it into a slash story!"
The door to the office opened and Drumknott gave Vetinari an inquiring look. "Is everything okay, sir?"
"I think you'd better get the Palace Guard, Drumknott. Miss Cooper is becoming rather overwrought."
"Overwrought?" snarled Sarah. "I'll give you overwrought!" She opened the notepad. "'Sam looked at Havelock with undisguised lust in his eyes. "I've wanted you for so long, my lord," he said, his voice trembling with desire. "I know, Sam," said Havelock, holding the Watch Commander close. "I feel the same way." He kissed him, softly at first then harder as their passion grew'—hey, get off me!" She slapped ineffectually at the Palace Guards as they ripped the notebook from her grasp. "Havvie, save meeeee…!"
Vetinari sighed with relief as they manhandled her out of the door. "My word, what a disagreeable young woman."
Vimes chuckled. "You got that right, sir. And what was all that stuff about if she writes it in the notebook it happens? Utter rubbish, thinking she can turn us gay just by writing it." He glanced at the Patrician and looked away quickly, shifting uncomfortably.
Vetinari stared fixedly at his desk. "Completely preposterous, Sa—Vimes."
They both looked warily at the notebook lying ever-so-innocently on Vetinari's desk.
"Nevertheless, perhaps we should burn it…just in case."