Have You Noticed Every Time We Meet A Dragon Turns Up?
What exactly went through Sam Vimes mind in between the frightful visage of padded leather and iron gauntlets, and sitting in Lady Ramkin's drawing room eating cake and drinking tea? How did he view the evolving relationship and growing attraction between himself and Lady Ramkin?
"A voice immediately above him rumbled, "Say what you like, I still swear it's a magnificent specimen." Vimes's gaze travelled upwards until it crested the edge of the fountain's top bowl.
"Have you noticed," said Sybil Ramkin, hauling herself upright by a piece of eroded statuary and dropping down in front of him, "how every time we meet, a dragon turns up?" She gave him an arch smile. "It's a bit like having your own tune. Or something."
- Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett
Rating: K+ / T
Disclaimer: Sadly they are not mine. Pterry must take all credit. I just take them out for a short stroll every now and again, but I cannot be held responsible for their behaviour!
Note: Guards! Guards! Some italicised quotes from the book. Based loosely on the scene where he visits Lady Ramkin for the first time. This is going to be taking a closer look at all of the meetings between Vimes and Lady Ramkin in G!G!
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The dragon. That bloody dragon! Setting fire to my city! Captain Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork city Night Watch fumed inwardly. His steps took him across the river Ankh and towards the more select area of the city, far away from poor people and the foetid, turgid smell of the river. For the millionth time he wondered what in the name of sanity he was doing. Only a little while earlier he had asked Fred Colon if anyone in the city knew anything at all about dragons. He was damned sure that tons of dragon shouldn't be allowed to fly around setting fire to the city with impunity, let alone be a biological impossibility. Fred's reply hadn't been encouraging. Vimes groaned inwardly as he recalled the conversation that led him to now be walking along Scoone Avenue to the residence of one Lady Ramkin.
'Oh, her,' said Vimes gloomily. 'I think I've seen her around. The one with the "Whinny If you Love Dragons" sticker on the back of her carriage?'
'That's her. She's mental.' said Sergeant Colon.
Sighing, Vimes stared at the wooden front door of the rather pleasant old house. The front gardens were heavily overgrown, statues of Ramkin forebears were fighting a losing battle with climbing ivy and plaster was peeling from the facade of the house itself. Yet, the whole scene gave the impression of the owner being occupied with other things, rather than falling on hard times or a lack of care. After standing futilely for several minutes Vimes made his way around the side of the house towards the sound of a barrage of shrill whistling. The noise was hovering just below pain threshold, but that was nothing compared to the ferocious heat that blasted outwards as Vimes opened the door to the newer structure behind the old house.
Before Vimes could even register what lived in the many pens along the wall, a towering figure clad in heavy leather protective gear with steel gauntlets and a smoked visor turned to him.
"Ah, good man. Do you know anything about mating?" It boomed.
Vimes felt his mouth drop open in shock and his scattered senses went and hid. He was clearly in the presence of a...a... demented sex fiend. The figure moved closer to him. Vimes tried to move backwards but his feet hit the wall.
The words washed over him in a kind of bad surreal horror.
"It really needs two of you..."
"If he can't manage it tonight he's for the choppy-chop..."
Aha! A crime! Something he did know about.
Vimes felt slightly more sure of himself.
He was clearly in the presence of some sex-crazed would-be murderess, insofar as any gender could be determined under the strange lumpy garments. If it wasn't female, then references to "it's me who has the tricky part" gave rise to mental images that would haunt him for some time to come. He knew the rich did things differently, but this was going too far.
"Madam," he said coldly, "I am an officer of the Watch and I must warn you that the course of action you are suggesting breaks the laws of the city-" and also of several of the more strait-laced gods, he added silently-"and I must advise you that his Lordship should be released unharmed immediately-"
The figure stared at him in astonishment.
"Why?" it said. "It's my bloody dragon."
Er. Vimes stared back at the figure with just as much astonishment, holding the plaster cast of the footprint from Sweetheart Lane with white knuckled fingers. The monstrous figure stepped backwards and placed its gauntlets on its hips, clearly thinking. Reaching a decision, the figure pulled off its protective gauntlets revealing a pair of lady-like hands. She pulled off the visor and the heavy leather padding revealing a toweringly big Lady. The capital L fell effortlessly into place in Vimes' mind. A pile of glossy chestnut hair adorned an actually rather pretty face, which was at the moment training a pair of appraising brown eyes upon him. Lady Ramkin, now revealed, deposited the protective gear by one of the pens and straightened up. What drew the eye though, was the fact that the Ramkins had clearly bred for healthy solidity and big bones and Lady Ramkin was a sterling example. When she drew a deep breath her magnificent bosom rose and fell like an empire. She could have commanded armies, conquered empires and captained fleets of ships, all before breakfast.
Vimes realised he was staring and hastily looked back down. Senses he didn't know he possessed were kicking up a stink in his hindbrain. Vimes ignored it.
"Shall we go into the house?" Lady Ramkin gestured to the door behind Vimes.
"Huh?" Vimes stared stupidly at Lady Ramkin, trying to regroup his scattered senses. Striding past Vimes, Lady Ramkin opened the wooden door and gestured for Vimes to follow her back to the house, giving him a curious look as he walked past.
Unbeknownst to Lady Ramkin, Vimes was giving himself a serious pep-talk.
You idiot! What the hell do you think you're doing? Anyone would think you were a hormonal 14 year old and blushing because a girl spoke to him! But, but, did you see...? I don't care! Get a grip, man! I know what I want to get a grip on... Oh, gods...What the hell is happening to me...?
Seemingly without any intervention from his brain, which at the moment felt like it was immersed in pink treacle, Vimes found himself sitting in an antique chair in a pleasant old room that housed lines and lines of old Ramkin portraits complete with accompanying weaponry. As Lady Ramkin bustled around the tea tray, Vimes kept his eyes averted, well away from any trouble he could quite conceivably find himself in.
"Ah!" Lady Ramkin exulted, stirring the teapot. "Tea's ready." She smiled as she bent over to pour the tea into a very valuable looking old tea cup. Vimes' eyes bulged slightly as he inadvertently looked up and found himself confronted with the most magnificent bosom he had ever had the good fortune to see. Even though Lady Ramkin's dress was, by most standards, modest, anything housing her cleavage could only act as a powerful magnet to the eye of any red-blooded male. Despite the inevitable reactions of his body, Vimes knew it wasn't just that. Lady Ramkin had hit him square between the eyes, when he least expected it, and without even knowing what she had done.
Words didn't seem to be forming properly. Vimes was sure his brain was dribbling out of his ears like goo. Never before, in all of his born days, through adolescent crushes, relationships as an idealistic young man, and as a jaded and cynical older man, had any woman had such a severe and immediate impact on him.
His immediate response was denial.
It's just because she's a nob, she's rich and an aristocrat, right? Yeah, you keep telling yourself that,his mind sneered. Why would that bother you? You're not even bothered by Veterinari!
"So," Lady Ramkin settled down in a chair opposite him, arranging the voluminous folds of her skirt. "Captain, wasn't it?"
Vimes made a strangled noise as she gave a hesitant smile. Vast parts of his brain were shutting down and his face was flaming with an emotion he couldn't place. A soft feminine fragrance wafted across the room as Lady Ramkin moved, and it cemented Vimes in place in his chair - registering in a very deep, primal and masculine part of his brain. Just because Vimes did not have a girlfriend or wife did not mean that he wasn't interested in women or that he didn't have very masculine desires and reactions. At the moment, his olfactory senses were in overdrive making any sort of movement virtually impossible if he didn't want decades of crushing embarrassment.
Lady Ramkin followed his desperately trawling gaze.
"My ancestors. You know, not one of them died in their own bed." She smiled mischievously. "Quite a few died in other people's, though. Source of family pride, that."
Vimes' teacup rattled in its saucer as his mind was flooded with images of Lady Ramkin and a bed in close proximity. He suddenly felt very warm indeed and the jowly, elderly dragon that had desposited its head in his lap and was dribbling something corrosive and evil smelling, was doing nothing to ease his discomfort.
Lady Ramkin stood up, a figure of magnificence and total self assurance. "Come and see my dragons, Captain, you must be introduced." Lost in the choppy waters of social intercourse, Vimes stood, drowning in a sea of sensuality and wishing like hell that he hadn't just fallen hook, line and sinker for someone so far outof his reach as to be on another continent.