Author's Notes: Okay, this is my first try at a fanfiction so go easy on me, please. This first chapter is going to be short, but at least the second will be a little longer and the story should pick up pace and become more interesting in that one as well (mainly because Death finally shows up and Teatime plays a larger role, though the plot thickening contributes also). This story is based around the three coolest characters in Hogfather—Teatime, Susan, and Death, though Death probably won't show up as much I would want him to. Later this will probably be a Teatime/Susan fic, but I'm trying to make it make sense, so it will happen slowly. So now all you have to do is read, enjoy, and REVIEW, because if I know people are reading this I'll update twice as quickly!
Disclaimer: This story is based off the wonderful characters created by Terry Pratchett--thank you for making such a wonderful world, and I hope that you don't mind that I chose to play around in it.
Several things went through Teatime's mind as the white-haired girl swerved towards him. First, the sword he had taken from her was no normal weapon. He could feel the air cutting as the blade passed through it, hear the unearthly humming emanating from it, see the unnatural glint where there should be shadows, the skeletons shaped into the hilt… this was a blade of death. Secondly, an unearthly weapon hardly comes into the possession of an earthly individual.
It was then that he met her brown, deep eyes. They were somehow exotic, foreboding... and powerful. Yes, he was right; she was no normal human—the way her eyes glared at him, the way her hair seemed to float around her face, said otherwise. Teatime didn't much think on appearances (and as far as they went she was pretty enough, he supposed), so it was her confident, strong posture that fascinated him, and he found himself thinking that this woman could be very interesting.
Susan, he decided, the name entering his mind with ease. The granddaughter of death himself, Duchess of Sto-Helit. Spunky, dangerous, a good friend and dangerous enemy—not someone to mess with.
Right. 'Not someone to mess with'. It seemed, from everything he knew about her, that she was going to try and stop him—which made her an obstruction to his plans. He felt a slight twinge of disappointment, as he really was rather curious as to what Death's granddaughter was capable of, but what had to be done had to be done.
Inwardly, he sighed. Oh no, he thought, she's going to make me have to kill her, isn't she? Then he mentally grinned. Still, it'll be fun until I have to.
All of this thought took approximately a quarter of a second to pass through Teatime's head.
THREE YEARS LATER
Susan sat at her desk in the school, grading papers and tests. As dull as it sounds, Susan always enjoyed doing this—it cleared out all the random thoughts and focused her mind. It almost reminded her of cleaning up a room; throwing all the junk out while sorting whatever was left.
Today's work was especially enjoyable; creative, thoughtful, students, writing intelligent, well written—oh. Great.
Susan sighed as she reached a near illegible document, giving it the exasperated glare she usually saved for her grandfather.
I'm going to have to have a talk with you, Stevie Carter, she thought dryly, squinting as she attempted to read a string of words that looked far too much like 'starving tiny kitties with rocks bang bang'. She sighed in relief when she made out the actual sentence.
"Who's there?" she asked, glancing up from her papers.
A man in a Hawaiian shirt with an Ankh-Morporkian language phrase book in his hands smiled nicely, flipping through the pages as quickly as he could.
"Excuse..." he started, saying the word slowly as he sounded it out, "me, ...Miss. Could you... show me... the... Unseen... University, please?"
"What?" Susan blinked. Oh, no... this wasn't a tourist,was it?
"Excuse me, Miss," he started again, "Could you please—"
"No, no, I heard you—"
The man blinked in confusion. Susan blinked back. After a few seconds of silence, Susan mentally sighed, stood, walked around her desk, across the room and closed the book in the tourist's hands while she smiled as nicely as she could. Unfortunately, it came across looking a rather foreboding and ironic.
"Busy, working," she said the words slowly, trying her best to make him understand as she grabbed his shoulders and pushed him (gently) to the door. "...grading. Teacher, students. Goodbye. Leave. Go. NOW."
She'd heard legends about these... tourists, and they sounded like the last thing she needed.
Besides, someone would have to be retarded to miss the Unseen University, Susan thought. It's in the very center of the city, sticking up like a sore thumb—literally.
The tourist turned towards her, and Susan cocked her head, waiting.
"Miss, I really need your help," he said. "I've been looking all over the city everywhere, and—"
Susan was a little confused at this point.
"You speak Ankh-Morporkian?"
"A tourist should always use a text-book, so people know you are one."
"And just who told you that?" she said, a little incredulously, her hands on her hips.
The tourist's chest puffed up proudly.
"My father, the Great Tourist Twoflower. He traveled off the edge of the Turtle's back, you know!"
"Right. Look, I'm really not the one to help you, but I'd suggest heading for the big tower sticking up in the middle of Ankh-Morpork."
"What big tower sticking up in the middle of Ankh-Morpork? Dad said it'd be there somewhere, but I couldn't see it."
Susan rolled her head and eyes and gave out a loud huff as she opened the door to her school and stepped outside to the... somewhat fresher than indoors Ankh-Morporkian air.
These tourists are worse than bogeys! she thought exasperatedly.
She stepped outside, staring at the tourist and pointing up to the sky, where the tower should show above the buildings.
His eyes followed her finger, and he leaned sideways slightly, tilting his head.
"I don't see anything," he said cheerfully.
"What do you mean, you don't see anything? It's clear as a—" Susan glanced to where she was pointing. There was nothing there. "What?!"
The schoolteacher stared at the sky where the Unseen University should be poking upwards towards the sky, surprise and astonishment clearly written on her pale face. The tourist stepped up beside her, smiling up at the eternal expanse.
"What is it, Miss?"
Susan pried her eyes from the—from where the Unseen University was supposed to seen and began a brisk march along the road, her mouth in a determined, straight, line.
"What are you doing, Miss?" the tourist said, quickening his pace and falling in step beside her.
"Getting to the bottom of this."
"So this sort of thing isn't normal?"
The tourist shrugged.
"If for some unknown reason I actually enjoyed 'this sort of thing', I'd say today was rather boring."
The tourist nodded excitedly.
"How wonderful—a real, Ankh-Morporkian adventure! Dad told me all about these... Isn't this exciting?!"
"Invigorating," Susan mumbled sardonically.
"What is your name, anyway, Miss?"
"My name is Susan," she attempted to quicken her pace and lose this tourist, but he wasn't even breathing heavily, his face bright and chipper.
"Fourclover, Miss Susan."
It took approximately ten minutes to reach the Unseen University. Or rather, the big gaping hole in the center of the city filled with hundreds of Ankh-Morporkians speaking all at once where it should have been.
"Oh, bollocks," Susan cursed quietly.