Behind Closed Doors – the Sybil & Sam Collection

FLUFF alert…OK, I can't resist this! I plan on doing a series of vignettes, each complete in itself and centring on Sybil and Vimes' relationship. The idea is to capture little scenes in their life, hopefully keeping in character. Some may have a piece of music as a theme, some might not, it depends how the muse takes me.

If this idea is so much marsh gas, let me know. If it's a good idea, let me know that too!

Chapter 32 - Lost For Words

Sam flounders in a sea of words...

Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, unwilling Duke of Ankh and panicking husband, peered around the teetering piles of paper on his desk at his slightly ajar office door. Deciding not to take any chances, he walked across his office and kicked the door shut. As it slammed, the already precarious papery piles reacted to the universal laws of physics and slid off the desk with a thud. Also in accordance with the laws of comedy everywhere, the pile hovered for a nanosecond on the very edge of the desk, just long enough for the observer to make a lunge, thus ensuring the paper fans out over one's outstretched hands.

Vimes sighed as he surveyed the pile next to his desk, his reactive sigh changing to a slightly smug grin as he saw the cleared space on the desk. He kicked the offending pile behind his chair and sank back down on it, already preoccupied. The reason for his restlessness resided in his desk drawer. He slowly opened it and the square of cardboard stared back at him. He groaned. He was no good with this sort of thing, but the thought of asking Fred, or Carrot, or - here he shuddered dramatically - Nobby, made his blood run cold.

He picked up a pen. Good start, he told himself. He stared at the wall. Good gods, he thought, this is as bad as Carrot. At least I can spell and don't treat grammar like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. So why can't I...? He stared desperately around him, silently begging the universe for inspiration as panic bubbled up inside him. Outside, the bells of the city relentlessly chimed the hour - approximately. Befitting education everywhere, the Teachers Guild were always last. His ears pricked as he heard hooves on the cobbles outside, and the familiar clatter of carriage wheels. He gripped the pen harder but the words wouldn't come.

As Fred ascended the stairs and knocked on his superior's door, Vimes was already standing and sliding the offending article behind his breastplate.

The carriage rattled out of the city centre and on towards Scoone Avenue. Her Ladyship had instructed Willikins in no uncertain terms that he was to return with His Lordship and to Accept No Excuses. Vimes sat back in his seat and had a quiet existential crisis. The trip was far too short in his opinion. He opened the carriage door and was met at the front door by Lady Sybil who kissed him tenderly.

"Sam! I'm so glad you could finish early!" She gave him that smile, that smile, that gave him goosebumps. He smiled back as she took his arm and led him towards the ghastly pink drawing room.

"Er, Sybil," he began.

"Happy Anniversary, Sam," Sybil said at the same time.

Both looked at each other. Sybil was holding a parcel. It had a bow on it. Sam swallowed, hard.

"I, um, I, er -" he gestured at the gift Sybil was holding. "I bought a card," he fumbled under his breastplate and pulled out the card. It had a dragon on the front, sat on its haunches, with a bow around its neck. Inside, it was resolutely blank.

"I just couldn't think what I wanted to say," he said forlornly. "I sat for hours..." He looked up at his wife. She had a curiously unreadable expression on her face. He ploughed on.

"The way I, well, we, I mean, oh gods..." he stared down at the card again. "It's every day, isn't it? I don't need a particular day to have to show you..." he put the card down and took her hands gently. He looked deeply into his wife's eyes.

"I feel it every second of every day."

Well, he had to come through in the end ;) teh fluffeh...

Comments always appreciated