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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-09 07:40 am
Entry tags:

Curtains: G.

Note: This story comes just after the Proposal stories in my fanfiction and just before Feet of Clay in the books.
Summary: Domesticity looms.
Warnings: None.

Also available at AO3.


And now he was on three meat meals a day, good boots, a warm bed at night and, come to that, a wife too. Good old Sybil -- although she did tend to talk about curtains these days, but Sergeant Colon had said this happened to wives and was a biological thing and perfectly normal. -- Feet of Clay

There were, as every lance-constable who took the shilling knew, Perks that came with the job of Watchman. If you could call it a perk to risk your neck for a city that could care less about you, then you were happy; if you could call it a perk to be glared at by Stoneface Vimes if you were unusually slow or stupid, then you were happy; but everyone, no matter how masochistic, appreciated the universal perk of a free coffee and maybe a hot meal, if you knew the right place to get it.

Fred Colon was an old master at the meal-on-the-house, for any number of reasons; possibly, it even had something to do with the fact that anyone will feed a man who so obviously appreciated the food. A good cook likes to be noticed.

Sam Vimes, on the other hand, rarely indulged. He could afford to pay, after all -- he drew a good salary as Watch Commander, and his wife had more money than the gods*, according to Watch scuttlebutt.

* At least, the minor gods. The major players probably didn't have as much in liquid assets, but they had better real estate.

So Vimes was paying for his meal, and because a man has some pride, Colon was mumping his, in Sham Harga's House of Ribs. They ate as a lot of Watchmen did, in companionable silence, except for the clatter of forks on plates and requests for the salt.

Colon sensed that his Commander had something he wanted to talk about, but that it would come in its own time. He was rather glad he still had Vimes' ear -- with thirty or more officers in the Watch, including Captain Carrot, Sam Vimes still came to him. So he ate his meal and drank his coffee and waited for Vimes to work his way around to it.

"Fred," said Vimes slowly, chewing a bit of what he hoped was only gristle, "I think I need your opinion on something."

"Oh yes?" Colon asked, looking over the edge of his coffee cup. Vimes cleared his throat, uncomfortably.

"We've known each other, what, twenty-five years?"

"About that, I'd say." Colon chuckled. "Back before I joined up the regiment, an' you was lance-constable."

"Yes, right. And you'd just married -- "

"Oh aye," Colon said, happily ensconsed in memory lane. "Weren't you courtin' a girl up in Cockbill? Near yer mum's?"

"Likely. Most lads had a girl in their street," Vimes said thoughtfully. "It's on the subject I wanted to..." he cleared his throat again. "That is to say, married life..."

"An' how's her Ladyship?" Colon asked, with what he probably thought was a sly smile.

"Fine, I believe..." said Vimes. " know I've never actually been married before, and you could be considered an authority on it. Having been, er, married, previously, and presently."

Colon felt a dim horror creep over him. "'re don't need -- "

"Curtains," Vimes said wretchedly. Colon's horror faded, to be replaced by confusion. "I mean, it's all she's talked about. For three days. And of course, I...I don't particularly have strong feelings about curtains, it's just -- she's never much cared about what the place looks like, which suits me fine. And now she does care. Er."

Colon nodded. "She's decoratin' and such? Tidying up the place? Trimmin' hedges, buyin' carpet?"

Vimes' face flooded with relief. "Does your missus do this too?" he asked.

"Not so much anymore, she got it out of her system when the children were small. S'perfectly normal. Probably biological," Colon said, with the air of an expert.

"But it happens? I mean, she's not going mad?"

"Well, not for a woman," Colon concluded. "Best to humor them, really."

The two exchanged the silent look of men who know, in their secret hearts, that they will never, ever be masters in their own home. What Colon called 'humoring them' was a concession to that fact.

"Look at the fabric samples, sort of thing," Vimes said, his tone easier now.

"Don't let her get white," Colon advised. "Always goin' on about fingerprints on the white drapes, if you do. An' I draw the line at goin' along to pick 'em out. Tis not fitting for a man to decide how his curtains hang. Goin' against nature, that."

"I think she wants a dragon pattern," Vimes mumbled.

"Bit mad for them, isn't she?"

"A bit," Vimes said with a smile. "I've asked her to bring back a thimble when she goes to the Pseudopolis dragon show, for Mrs. Colon. How's her collection?"

Fred Colon turned pink. "Got me buildin' a new cabinet for 'em," he muttered.

"Speaking of building, I'd better hop," Vimes said, checking his pocket-watch. "Must be there to meet the workmen. Roof blew off the Dragon House again." He paused as he tossed down a few coins for the meal. "Thanks, Fred," he said.

"Any time," Fred answered. "Remember, don't let 'er get white!"

Vimes waved a hand as he ducked out into the Ankh-Morpork evening.

"Thimbles!" he said to himself, grinning.

Inside, Fred Colon started on his mashed potatoes.

"Dragons," he said, shaking his head.


[identity profile] 2006-09-01 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
*loves this*

*loves you for writing this*

*is such a S/S shipper*

[identity profile] 2007-04-03 08:07 pm (UTC)(link)
This is wonderfully written. You've done such a fantastic job of getting the characters and the atmosphere right without writing pages and pages. I'm soft for anything containing Sam and Sybil (or at least one talking/thinking about the other) though.
true_masquerade: (david tennant smile)

[personal profile] true_masquerade 2011-04-25 10:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, Sam! Well I'm glad he has Fred's 'authority' to fall back... as worrying a thought as that may be ;-)

[personal profile] chironsgirl 2011-11-24 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
Sybil is "nesting"--something which can terrify the bravest hero. I have experienced a bit of that myself. It's biological. It happens when the female believes herself to be in a stable relationship. Ha.


(Anonymous) 2013-12-30 05:01 am (UTC)(link)
more money than the minor gods..the major players had better real estate> (smiles)


(Anonymous) 2013-12-30 05:05 am (UTC)(link)
Too quickly posted before. Curtain fic! "Probably biological" This is quite cute.