"Wasn't that nice?" said Vetinari, "Did you see that they held hands all the time?"

At the doorway, Nutt turned round. "Oh, just one more thing. Thank you for not posting archers up in the gallery. That would have been so…embarrassing."

"I shall drink to your success, Margolotta," said Vetinari as their footsteps died away. "You know, I seriously intended to proposition Miss Sugarbean to be my cook." He sighed again, "Still, what is a pie to a happy ending?"

-Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett



Lord Vetinari couldn't help but smile at his affronted companion, "Madam?"

"Well…Nutt spoke rather above his station, did he not?" Ladyship spluttered (spluttered was, in fact, entirely the wrong word, as vampires never did anything nearly as inelegant as a splutter, but it was as close to spluttering as vampires got), turning to the Patrician irately.

"I believe he requested to be called Mr Nutt, madam." Vetinari saw her expression, swallowed a laugh and carried on rather quickly, "And I don't believe he said anything particularly offensive. He was very polite."

"He cut me off!"

"I think, perhaps, if it is not going too far to say so, that you are more upset that he is no longer afraid of you - and no longer needs you?"

Lady Margolotta's mouth twitched, and then after a few seconds of internal deliberation, the anger drained from her face. "Perhaps that is the case." she conceded reluctantly, "But, he did speak rather above his station."

"A little, possibly." Vetinari looked sideways at her, "But you said that he had worth, and that he had become. I imagine that meant a lot to him."

There was a brief moment of silence as the two powers of state stood side-by-side in the great hall of the palace and analysed the contents of the other's head.

The moment passed.

"When I last encountered Miss Sugarbean, she assumed that I was my librarian. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that she thought I had been far too harsh towards Nutt. I realise now that she may have been correct."

Vetinari nodded, and Margolotta felt as if she had passed some sort of unspoken test, the air becoming clear of any tension. She continued.

"She also said that, apparently, everybody knows that I am your - what was that amusing word she used? Oh - squeeze."

Lord Vetinari arched an eyebrow, "Do they really? Dear me." Ladyship laughed and he offered her his arm. "Shall we?"

She studied it for a few moments, then took his hand instead. His raised his eyebrow further.


"Oh, don't be coy, Havelock; you were the one who made the comment about holding hands." She continued to smile in her practised, although no less radiant, way.

"I did indeed." he wriggled his fingers experimentally, "It is quite comfortable, I suppose, though a little strange."

"Perhaps it is not for everyone." Ladyship acknowledged.

It was interesting to note that neither party released their grip. Whether it was a silent political statement or simply out of the long-held affection of their…relationship, even they could not be sure. It was probably both as, sadly, in their current positions, the two tended to overlap.

They walked back up the grand staircase together, then made their way to the Oval Office's balcony. The balcony was ideal in that it offered a perfect view of the centre of the city while leaving the viewers almost invisible.

The invisibility being the ideal part.