The Greatest Man (I Never Knew)

by WSJ

As soon as I finished my Carrot/Angua fic Good Luck and Good Bye this jumped out and bit me, and I had to write it.

I don't own Discworld.

Warnings: Sybil/Vimes and Carrot/Angua. ^_^ Hey, I can't help it!

Note: This is slight AU. In this Sybil and Vimes never had a child, and Vimes never lost the Dis-organizer during Jingo.

()()()()()

The greatest man I never knew

Lived just down the hall

And every day we said 'hello'

But never touched at all

"Morning Sybil."

Lady Sybil Ramkin ne Vimes looked up as her husband, Samuel Vimes, entered the dining room that was really more like a dining hall. "Good Morning Sam." she greeted. "What's on the agenda today?"

"Bingely-bingely-beep!"

Vimes got a wild look on his face and began to slap at his pockets. "Shut up! Just shut up!" Finally he was able to silence the Dis-organizer and sat down across from Sybil. "Paper work." he said glumly. "I'll have to do it or Carrot will, and I need him on the streets."

Sybil smiled sympathetically. "Poor Sam. I'll be in my room if you need anything. I need to update the dragons' breeding charts. And I need to record somewhere that Sir Jarrals the Third exploded last night, taking two Emmas and a Sarah with him."

Vimes looked up, a mild spark of intrest appearing on his face. "Really?"

"Oh yes, quite a big, messy explosion."

Wilikins entered the room then. "Er, I am so sorry to interrupt sir, madame, but there is a-" he glanced at the paper in his hand, "-Corporal Littlebottom to see you sir."

"Cheery?" Vimes glanced at Sybil, smiled apologetically, and then sprinted from the room, grabbing his helmet off its stand as he passed.

Sybil waved Wilikins off, and put her chin in her hands. A tear leaked out from her eye as she gazed at the picture hanging over the mantlepeice.

It had been painted only last year and showed her, Vimes, Angua and Carrot on a picnic. Taht day had been so calm, peaceful, wonderful, but it had disturbed her. The way Carrot and Angua were able to talk to Sam... Sybil felt like she didn't know him at all.

He was in his papers, I was in my room

How was I to know he thought I hung the moon . . .

It was in the wee hours of the morning when Sybil was awkened by muffled cursings. Sitting up blearily she saw Sam pacing up and down the length of their room, still in his uniform.

"What's wrong Sam?" she asked softly so as not to awaken anyone else.

Vimes turned like a boy caught with his hands in the cookie jar and instantly began to unbuckle his armor. "Nothing dear."

"Are you sure?" Sybil's face took on a concerned look. "You can tell me anything."

But Vimes didn't say a word. Once he had stripped to his boxers he climbed into bed, but Sybil couldn't help but notice that he kept his badge with him and slipped it under his pillow.

Vimes never knew that that night Lady Sybil cried herself to sleep for the first time since she was ten.

The greatest man I never knew

Came home late every night

He never had too much to say

Too much was on his mind

Two nights later it was Angua's birthday, and the entire Watch was invited to a party at Psudopolis Yard, encluding Lady Sybil and the various gargoyal officers.

The party was in full swing and Sybil and Carrot were over by the punch bowl, both of them looking in the same direction. Vimes was prowling around with a scowl on his face, almost as if he was expecting something to happen, knew it would.

Bingely-bingely-beep...

"I think Mr Vimes works too hard." Carrot said suddenly, a trace of worry in his voice. "He gives everything he has to this city."

"His city." Sybil agreed, staring moodily into her glass. "And he has nothing left for anything else. One for all and all for this dratted city."

Carrot looked at her in surprise, and then sympathy. "Lady Sy-"

Sybil shook her head. "It's all right Carrot. It's all right. I know he loves me."

At least, I think...

I never really knew him, and now it seems so sad

Everything he gave to us took all he had . . .

"Mr Vimes?"

Vimes looked up as Carrot, trailed by Angua, entered his office. He couldn't help noticing that Angua seemed to automatically slip her hand into his. "Yes?"

Angua blinked and looked down, and Carrot coughed nervously. "Angua's going to have to temporarily leave the Watch sir."

Vimes stared at his two best officers increduously. "What? Why?" Then it hit him. Carrot and Angua had been married for over a year. "Ye gods..."

Blushing, the two nodded and Angua's free hand moved to cover her stomach.

Vimes leaned back in his chair. "All right then. Take as much vacation as you need Angua. But you," he pointed at Carrot. "Are on duty twenty-four/seven. Or at least until she goes into labor." This caused the two to blush even further, and Vimes waved them out of his office.

After they'd left Vimes sat frozen, staring at the far wall. "Oh Sybil... I'm so sorry..."

Then the days turned into years

And the memories to black and white

Bingely-bingely-beep...

Vimes stared at the Dis-organizer in shock. "No..." Suddenly his face set, and he clamped the little box shut. Grabbing a peice of paper he tore it in half and wrote two notes. One for Sybil, one for Carrot.

Gingerly he folded them up, and then grabbed his helmet. He would go alone on this crime. There was no need to put anyone else's life in danger.

After all, he already knew the outcome.

As he ran a tear trickled down his cheek, the first he'd cried in ages but not the last. "I'm sorry Sybil... Good bye..."

He grew cold like an old winter wind

Blowing across my life . . .

Hearing a knock on the door Lady Sybil rose to answer it, blowing her nose quickly on one of Sam's old hankies. Outside stood Angua, Carrot and their son, Gavin, named after Angua's old friend, of course.

Sybil smiled. "Come in, come in."

Once the Ironfounderssons were in out of the cold she kneeled down to four-year-old Gavin's eye level. "I think Wilikins has some sweets ready for you in the kitchen Gav."

The werewolf's eyes lit up and he glanced back eagerly at his parents for permission before running toward the kitchen door.

Sybil stood back up and faced her two dearest friends. "Thank you so much for coming. I don't know what I'd ever do without you."

"Anniverseries are always the hardest." Angua said, putting an arm around Sybil's shoulders and leading her back into the sitting room.

"I know..." Sybil said, blowing her nose again. "I just can't believe he's been gone so long. Why didn't he take someone with him!?! And for that matter, how did he even know there was going to be a crime, it hadn't been commited yet!"

Carrot sat down on her other side on a huge, plush couch. "We may never know." he said, patting her back sympatheticly.

The greatest words I never heard

I guess I'll never hear

The man I thought could never die

S'been dead almost four years

The three sat in silence for a moment, before something semed to dawn on Carrot. "Oh! I almost forgot." Quickly he reached into a pocket and pulled out a scrap of paper. "Fred, Nobby and I finally got around to cleaning off Mr Vimes desk, and we found two notes. He apparently wrote them just before he left to stop that murder..." he trailed off and the words -that ended up being his own hung in the air in front of them.

Carrot shifted uncomfortably and continued. "One was for me, naming me successor to the possition of Commander of the Watch, which I am now anyway, and this one was for you."

He was good at business, but there was business left to do . . .

Taking the note from Carrot Sybil opened it, and then silently read it to herself. She knew that Carrot or Angua hadn't read it before hand. A slow, watery smile crept over her face.

Still smiling she crumpled up the note and tossed it into the fireplace.

Carrot and Angua looked at each other and shrugged. Looking back toward Sybil Carrot suddenly noticed something. The saddness in her eyes, the shadows that had been present ever since Vimes's death, were gone. She looked whole again.

Bingely-bingely-beep...

He never said he loved me, guess he thought I knew . . .

In the fire place three words, written in a hand made tight by years of writing hurried reports, smoldered slowly.

'I love you...'

()()()()()

Do you like it?!? I hope so. I just noticed there hadn't been many Vimes/Sybil stories lately, so I desided I had to write one.