Summary: A boring posting. A quiet day's activity cruelly interrupted. Watch in awe as our heroines escape with their dignity intact! (Polly/Mal, Femslash warning. Relax I don't write flesh - I'm British.)
This episode is mentioned in "A Spot of Light Relief" but knowledge this little snippet is not needed to enjoy that, or vice versa.
Disclaimer: Terry Pratchett owns the characters and the world they live on. I am grateful for all the brilliant books and make no claims of ownership in any way.
The Amazing Maladicious and His Vanishing Slave Girl
"No one," said Mal in an injured tone "has ever said that to me in the throes of passion. No one!"
She received no sensible answer, Polly's mind being otherwise engaged at the time.
In her long and varied life Mal had tempted over afternoon tea, coaxed on balconies, seduced in carriages, and smouldered in draped four-poster beds. Admittedly a desk was a departure from the norm, she thought as she shifted position painfully, all sharp edges and uncomfortable surfaces. Even so, never in her life had the object of her affection dared to do something as mundane as remind her to be careful of the ink.
It was at this most inauspicious moment that there came a knock at the door. The figures entwined on the desk froze in dismay. It was supposed to be a quiet afternoon; there had been no appointments in the diary.
"Shit." Mal was reminded of Polly's delicious talent for expressing precisely what she meant in the most concise manner.
A voice called out in the corridor demanding entry. Apparently there was a need to speak with Sergeant Perks on a matter of great urgency. There were other matters of great urgency underway that the voices had so rudely interrupted which were probably of more importance right now to the mind of Sergeant Perks thought Corporal Maladict. It was rather an inconvenient time to be interrupted.
The tableaux broke apart as the knocking redoubled in intensity. Both participants cursing the impetuous hurry that had led to the untidy distribution of garments now facing them.
"Damnit Mal!" The frantic whisper came from Polly, half in and half out of her breeches. "I can't find my shirt!"
"I say!" Only an officer could put so much into those two words. "What's going on in there? Open this door, what?"
"We're rehearsing something, just one moment sir!"
There was a rustling, some muffled thuds and a sound of extreme effort followed by the breed of silence made by someone desperately attempting to make no noise.
Mal flung wide the door: "May I present the Amazing Maladicious and his Vanishing Slave Girl!" The grin slipped for a moment on seeing a Major with the Captain but Mal was nothing if not professional.
There was a pregnant pause. The officers looked from her, to the room, and back to her again. She held the pose unwavering.
"There's no-one there Corporal."
"Really sir?" Her voice dripped innocence. "Well I never. It must have worked."
The Major, bless him, was perplexed and naturally wished to pursue the matter further. But the Captain, knowing that glint in his Corporals eye, returned them instead to the issue at hand.
They had a need to see Perks it seemed. It was a vital need. An urgent need. Something to do with paperwork, chits and the loss of 15 bottles of whiskey that were crucially important to the army, especially that part of it represented in the room. Mal nodded sympathetically and ensured them she and Sergeant Perks would get onto it the minute she returned.
This wasn't enough however, and the Captain moved over to the desk intending to search through the papers strewn untidily on its surface. Distracted, Mal caught sight of something white and decidedly inconvenient.
"Let me look for you sir." Vampire reflexes were extraordinarily useful at times she thought as she whisked Polly's shirt out of sight (how on earth had it got there?) and began sorting through the files. Her ability to fake civility to senior officers was however due entirely to army training.
After a few short minutes it became clear that they would have to wait for Sergeant Perks to return before they could solve the problem. Both officers hoped this would occur shortly and made as though to depart. Mal saluted neatly whilst hoping that it didn't occur until they'd both left the room at least. She chose to ignore the look the Captain shot at her as he escorted the senior officer out.
Once she'd relocked the door behind them she could hurry over to the fireplace and place the chair in an optimum position under the chimney. Sounds of a struggle and then some swearing in decidedly feminine tones drifted down to her. She waited patiently, but seeing that the desired outcome was not forthcoming stepped forward to enquire as to the problem.
Mal leant delicately against the desk. She denied laughing at her companions' distress, but a keen observer would have noted a flicker of emotion cross her face. The chimney swore again and some soot fell into the fireplace.
"This," said Mal coolly "is not at all convenient. The Major needs his vital supplies and I need my big finale. The Slave Girl is supposed to reappear you know."
The chimney expressed the opinion that if The Amazing Maladicious wanted his big finale, The Amazing Maladicious could damn well get up on the chair and give The Slave Girl a hand.
Mal wandered over and investigated the soot in the fireplace. The base of the chimney looked even worse in terms of potential transfer to clothing. An opinion was expressed that vampires did not dirty themselves in such a common vulgar environment. The occupant of the chimney wriggled desperately and a shower of black dirt fell into the fireplace, mushrooming up around the only vampire with too slow reflexes to step back.
And so it came to pass that The Amazing Maladicious and his Slave Girl were nose to nose in a chimney in the Middle of Nowhere, Mountain Border Province.
"You've got soot in your hair" the Slave Girl remarked inconsequentially.
"So have you" Mal replied "but so much more of a tragedy that it should happen to me."
Polly raised an eyebrow.
"You're only the slave girl, remember? I am meant to be amazing."
"You're an incorrigible daft idiot is more like the truth" and with that Polly leant in that last inch.
Shocking, thought Mal wriggling awkwardly to find a better position, who knew you could have this much fun kissing in a chimney?
It was at this point they fell into the fireplace with the soot cascading down around them.
Polly, rubbing a scraped elbow, concluded that, for all its promise, a repeat performance of this specific trick was not advisable. The Slave Girl was hereby giving up the act and leaving the circus to take a bath. If, that was, The Amazing Maladicious was amenable. The Amazing Maladicious, having demanded and received assurances that there would be bubbles in keeping with her status as a distinguished magician, consented to be led away.