A/N: After reading Night Watch—which I thought was an excellent book—the plot bunnies attacked. This is my first journey into the Discworld fandom so any mistakes are mine and mine alone. A ginormous thank you goes out to my great friend and beta, beaujolais, for the loads of encouragement and motivation.
Spoilers: Night Watch
Disclaimer: Discworld and its related characters belong to the great Terry Pratchett; no copyright infringement is intended.
Promises to Keep
Carefully getting out of bed Sam kissed Sybil on the temple; bathed and methodically shaved—concentrating on the reflection of the worn face staring back at him—then donned his Watch uniform. In the cozy nursery, young Sam stirred but didn't wake as his father ran a gentle hand through the boy's wispy brown curls. Considering himself the luckiest man on the Disc, he softly sighed as he trudged down the stairs.
Outside on the front step he lit a cigar and exhaled slowly. This was going to be an interesting day.
A promise made had to be kept.
The crowd swelled in front of the Patrician's Palace, eager to witness some city justice as Sam elbowed his way closer to the wooden platform.
Carcer Dun was up there, hands bound behind his back, grinning like an idiot. Watching his every move, Sam eventually locked eyes with him. Subtly flinching under Sam's steely-eyed resolve, Carcer nevertheless managed a mischievous wink.
A clank then the rope went taut around Carcer's neck. The hideous grin turned into a fleeting expression of utter surprise. Snap!
Sam turned away and quickly vanished among the scattering crowd.
"Look at him, damn merciful death my arse. That really hurt."
YES WELL, I WOULDN'T KNOW. THE CROWD SEEMED TO LIKE IT, THOUGH.
"Eh? Oh. You … you're…"
"I always thought you'd be much taller."
VERY WELL. WILL THIS DO? asked Death suddenly towering over Carcer's detached soul.
If a disembodied spirit could tremble then Carcer's most assuredly did. "Quite so, haha…" his transparent presence said then winked out of ethereal existence.
THERE'S ALWAYS A CRITIC.
-- -- --
Back at home; Sam sat down to have what he hoped would be a quiet breakfast—free of Watch business. He paused with the fork in mid-air as someone else entered the dining room.
"Morning, Sam. Out of bed early, I see."
"Yes, dear. Promises to keep."
"Has this dreadful Carcer business been taken care of? There was talk that today…"
"Oh good. I abhor those things."
Sam stared lovingly at Sybil as she settled into the chair across from him. Perhaps now he'd find a bit of peace.
There was a polite knock on the door then Willikins stepped into the room.
Perhaps, that thought had occurred to him too soon.
"Pardon me, your grace. Your ladyship. Captain Ironfoundersson is here. Shall I allow him to come through, your grace?"
"Rather important, is it?"
"Sam," came the reprimand.
"Is it asking for too much when one desires to spend a nice quiet morning at home with his family?"
Sybil smiled at the devotion in his words.
"The captain says you have an urgent appointment with his lordship, your grace," said Willkins.
"Of course I do."
Watch business it is.
Wiping the corner of his mouth with the fancy napkin Sam stood and snatched up his helmet then paused at the door.
"Won't be long, dear."
"Go on, Sam, and be careful."
With a final look over his shoulder, Sam was content in knowing that it would indeed turn out to be an interesting day. The threat of Carcer Dun permanently gone and the events of the past few hours nary but a memory, Commander Sam Vimes made his way back out into his city.