Disclaimer: I do not own Discworld, or any of the characters contained within.
Summary: Set near the end of The Fifth Elephant. Carrot and Angua reflec on their relationship, and Angua makes a decision. Carrot/Angua, because there aren't enough stories about them.
NEVER LOOK BACK
"What we have here, is a confused situation."
Carrot knew that everyone thought of him as simple, and perhaps he was.
But simple did not mean stupid, and while Complicated Carrot was as un-nerving as being savaged by a newly-hatched duckling, it did happen. The part that Angua found both infuriating and endearing was his genuine surprise that no-one else had considered doing it that way.
Well, he had a point. Most of the officers Carrot had ever encountered outside the Ankh-Morpork City Watch would have cheerfully pinned all blame on the underlings, leaving Sargent Colon and Nobby to take the brunt of Commander Vimes going spare. But Carrot thought it only right and proper that he take full responsibility for what had happened, even if it was after he had technically resigned.
It was one of the reasons that he had minimal respect for people like Lord Rust, who didn't care how many of the people he led died, so long as glory was attached to his name. Carrot had to be polite in public, to set a good example, but he didn't have any personal respect for the man.
It was also why he would never even consider that he might be Heir to the Throne of Ankh-Morpork, despite overwhelming evidence and the fact that most of Ankh-Morpork considered it an open secret. Even the Silver Horde believed it, though Carrot denied it to their faces.
Carrot had studied Kings, once, curious as to why Mr Vimes hated them. Mistress Garlick, the Witch near Copperhead, had recently married the King of Lancre, and he was all right.
There had been good kings, who led well in times of crisis and change, like Verence II. But they were far outnumbered by kings who abused their power, at the expense of the people they were supposed to protect, and blamed their underlings whenever something went wrong.
A good king should be able to lead in a crisis, but he should also be willing to step back again once the crisis had passed, and he was no longer needed. Angua had returned to Uberwald when Gavin said she was needed, and left when it was over, though she could have taken over the most powerful werewolf pack in Uberwald.
Carrot had loved Angua almost since they had met, but sometimes he wondered how much she cared for him, and how much was the not-quite-a-proper-wolf talking. She never said it, and had always stopped him from saying it.
They had talked a lot while Carrot had been recovering, and Carrot had told her a lot of things that he had simply assumed she knew. He had said that he thought her insecurity of if they would work might have come from when he saw a wolf in his bed, instead of a young woman, and drawn his sword in surprise. He confessed that he was always worried that she would leave, and he tried to stop her by acting like it wasn't even a possibility, but he would always come after her.
He had laid it all bare, and the next move was Angua's. Now she was looking at him in a kind of realization. He took her hand.
"Wolves never look back."
Angua was jaded, and had constantly told herself that it would never work, that Carrot would realize that she wasn't worth the effort.
But the Watch Captain that everyone unofficially knew was the Heir to the Throne of Anhk-Morpork had resigned from the Watch and left the city he loved to follow her. Carrot always said that Personal wasn't the same as Important, but he thought that their relationship was Personal, and Important.
Mr Vimes had told her that seeing her stabbed by Dr Cruces had been the only time he had seen Carrot come close to losing control. Then he had taken her back to the Watch House, carefully washed her fur of the blood and muck, and waited, hoping that when the moon rose again, Angua would rise with it.
Carrot deserved better than to be weighed down by a werewolf with a psychotic family, a psychotic family who had nearly killed him less than a week ago, and enough baggage to sink a ship. It was wrong of her to expect him to always be understanding, even if he was infuriatingly understanding about everything else.
… But Carrot did understand. Perhaps it was to do with being a dwarf for sixteen years, then finding out that he was a human, and trying to find a balance of both, just as Angua struggled with the duality of being both wolf and woman.
But just as Carrot chose to be a watchman, because he was happy as one, didn't he deserve to make his own choice about who to be with, because he loved and was happy with her? Gods knew that there wasn't a woman or dwarf* who wouldn't jump at the chance to be with him. He'd managed to be in a totally chaste relationship with a Seamstress, Reet, for several months, and Angua knew that it was only his relationship with her, Angua, that stopped Carrot's patrol route being flooded with the women.
Carrot was simple, and was convinced that because she loved him and he loved her, everything would be fine.
And, really, what was stopping them except his occasional naivety and her insecurity?
Carrot had told her he loved her while Mr Vimes and Lady Sybil were at the Low King's coronation, and Angua had been surprised and slightly ashamed to realize that he was as insecure about her love for him as she was about Carrot's love for her. In some ways, Angua had assumed that Carrot knew things without her having to say them out loud, as much as Carrot did.
Angua belonged with Carrot, and she had repeatedly claimed him as hers. Maybe it was time to stop thinking that she would leave eventually, time to stop planning to run when it became too hard, time to stop being suspicious that every day was the last.
Maybe it was time to think about staying, and plan to stick it out when things were difficult, and start trusting.
There was nothing left for her in Uberwald, so it was time for her to move on.
She looked down at Carrot's hand in hers, feeling so natural. Her lips curved into a smile. "Let's try to get the Watch in order before Mister Vimes gets back. Carrot?"
"I love you."
*Possibly also trolls and vampires and fairies. The Witch near Carrot's home-mine in Copperhead had even said that if some idiot ever let the Elves through again, the Lancre Witches should just aim Carrot at them and bash the Elf-Queen over the head while she was distracted.
A/N: My personal introspection on the relationship between Carrot and Angua. As always, you are free to disagree, and I welcome your opinions. This is my second Discworld fic, and my first attempt at writing an established canon pairing. Having people point out where I went wrong is a very good thing.