badass_tiger: Charles Dance as Lord Vetinari (Default)
rufus ([personal profile] badass_tiger) wrote in [community profile] fandomweekly2016-03-16 10:39 pm

[#007] In Another World (Discworld)

Theme Prompt: Traveling
Title: In Another World
Fandom: Discworld
Rating/Warnings: G
Bonus: No
Word Count: 1000
Summary: Vetinari and Drumknott meet alternate versions of themselves. In one world, the other Vetinari is more surprised than typical at the sight of them (I mean, this is Ankh-Morpork).
Notes: If you've read my fic The Mirror, I'm sorry.

About two hours ago, Vetinari had been in the Patrician’s Palace, stepped through the door that normally led to the Oblong Office, and ended up through a darkened corridor into somebody else’s office. Since then, he had been through several more doors that each lead to somewhere new, and in each new place, he had met a different version of himself from another world. In theory, this would have been an interesting experience, but Vetinari found he wasn’t enjoying it very much. He just wanted to get back to his own Ankh-Morpork before it began to feel his absence.

At least Drumknott was with him. It was impossible to tell if the steady way he had been taking things so far was a front belying his true feelings, but Vetinari found his presence at his side soothing. Some of the alternate selves of Vetinari they met had had a version of Drumknott by their side too, and Drumknott had talked to them all as politely as if they were people he had never met before in his life.

‘Perhaps we should stop and ask for food somewhere,’ Drumknott murmured as they crossed a corridor between two more worlds.

‘I doubt it would be safe to stop anywhere,’ Vetinari said. He glanced over at his secretary. ‘Are you tired?’

‘A little,’ Drumknott admitted as they stepped through the next door.

They came out in a room that was almost exactly like their own Oblong Office. Drumknott closed the door after them, and then opened it again and looked outside to check that a new corridor hadn’t formed behind it.

There was another Vetinari sitting behind the desk. He had looked up sharply when they entered, but instead of rising and speaking, he unexpectedly remained seated with his eyes fixed upon Drumknott.

‘I apologise for the intrusion,’ Vetinari said, and it was only then that his alternate self gave any indication that he had noticed him.

‘Who are you?’ he said, standing up. Vetinari was glad to see that his double was holding a knife, albeit discreetly. He had met a few versions of himself already, but seeing himself unarmed in the face of potential danger would have been a bit too unnerving.

‘We arrived here from another world and now we are trying to find our way back home,’ Vetinari answered. He gave Drumknott a look to see if he wanted to stop here, but Drumknott wasn’t looking. ‘We should be able to leave you through one of the doors here, so if you would excuse us –‘

‘Wait.’

This was a perfectly normal reaction, of course, but Vetinari was quite tired of waiting. He tried to communicate this with a withering look at his alternate self, but the man was concentrating on Drumknott again.

‘Forgive me if I seem forward,’ the other Vetinari said, ‘but you are Rufus Drumknott, are you not?’

‘Yes, sir,’ Drumknott said calmly.

‘How old are you?’

‘I am twenty-seven.’

‘I see.’ The alternate Vetinari paused.

Drumknott stepped forward, which made Vetinari more uneasy than ever. He didn’t like the way this conversation was going at all.

‘Did something happen to me here recently, my lord?’ Drumknott said quietly.

‘It was a year ago. Hardly very recent.’ The alternate Vetinari’s gaze wavered from Drumknott’s face. ‘It was my fault.’

‘I sincerely doubt that,’ Drumknott said firmly.

The other Vetinari smiled thinly in answer. ‘Thank you.’

‘Did I – he – pass away?’

A slight nod.

‘I’m sorry.’

At this, Vetinari felt even more grateful that he Drumknott by his side right now, and experience the urge to reach out and touch Drumknott. He had known for a while that he was fond of his secretary, and while he was by no means essential to his well-being, he knew he would have felt his absence.

‘Were you close to him?’ Drumknott continued.

‘Yes, I was,’ the other Vetinari said. Vetinari realised they must have been extraordinarily close for him to admit it. ‘I apologise. Seeing you surprised me.’

‘I hope my presence did not bring up any unwelcome recollections for you,’ Drumknott said.

‘Not at all. You have brought up many pleasant memories.’

Looking over, Vetinari was taken aback to see that Drumknott appeared agitated. Surely it wasn’t the idea of dying young that perturbed him?

‘If you had the choice,’ Drumknott said as slowly as if he was making sure each word made sense, ‘would you have me stay with you?’

And this was the moment Vetinari discovered that his secretary was essential to his well-being. He almost did reach out then, as if to restrain Drumknott by force.

‘I would not take you away from your master,’ the alternate Vetinari said, more steadily than necessary.

‘I believe you need me more.’

‘No,’ Vetinari said, finally finding his voice. ‘I disagree.’ He gave his alternate self a cool look. ‘I apologise again for taking up your time.’ He abruptly turned on his heel and walked to the other door of the room, not allowing himself to hope that Drumknott would follow him.

But he heard Drumknott make his own apologies to the other Vetinari, and it was Drumknott who shut the door behind them.

‘Sir?’ Drumknott hurried after him. ‘Forgive me if I’ve upset you.’

‘Never mind,’ Vetinari said, and he meant it. He was too relieved that Drumknott had decided not to leave him after all. He slowed down a little, and looked at Drumknott as he came up to his side. ‘I would not stop you if you wished to leave me, but I always – appreciate your presence. You are ... an important person to me.’

‘Thank you.’ Vetinari was surprised, but not at all displeased, when Drumknott took his hand and squeezed it gently. ‘The only thing I want from life is to please you. No matter what world you are from.’

‘I would rather that it was only this Havelock Vetinari you felt as much towards.’

Drumknott smiled. Still hand-in-hand, they pressed on together.
badly_knitted: (Rose)

[personal profile] badly_knitted 2016-03-17 10:25 am (UTC)(link)
Awwwww! You never realise what you have until you stand to lose it.
novel_machinist: (Default)

[personal profile] novel_machinist 2016-03-17 01:05 pm (UTC)(link)
The ending of this made me smile.
sarajayechan: seriously friends are the best (Applejack)

[personal profile] sarajayechan 2016-03-19 08:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw, this was cute! I'm not familiar with the canon but I did enjoy this story!
etoile_noire: (Default)

[personal profile] etoile_noire 2016-03-20 03:09 am (UTC)(link)
Very nice.
effingunicorns: four hellebore flowers in a dusty dark blue, two shades of pink, and white (Default)

[personal profile] effingunicorns 2016-03-20 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Well I'm glad at least one version of Vetinari got to have the realization without the loss.