badass_tiger: Charles Dance as Lord Vetinari (Default)
rufus ([personal profile] badass_tiger) wrote2015-01-18 06:03 pm
Entry tags:

Two Conversations: Vetinari/Drumknott fanfiction

Title: Two Conversations

Fandom: Discworld

Pairing: Rufus Drumknott/Havelock Vetinari

Notes: I don't think this is good enough for ao3 but I might as well post it somewhere so it doesn't get lost.

Summary: For the charloft prompt: 'the two most difficult conversations you've had in your life'. There are only two things that Rufus Drumknott was ever nervous about speaking of.

At sixteen, Rufus was short, thin, and would not make a good sheep doctor. He had nothing against being outdoors, or sheep, or doctoring. He was simply not very good at it: he didn’t have the strength or the stamina, and he didn’t have a lot of patience with sheep. He simply didn’t like them very much.

That was why he had studied hard, with people in the village, with travellers who stayed a night or two, and with the travelling teachers. Now he had a letter in hand, accepting him into a school in Ankh-Morpork, and all he had to do was tell his mother that he was leaving.

This was the hard part.

‘A letter came for me today,’ he said carefully during after-dinner dessert.

‘It’s from Eileen Clayton, accepting your marriage proposal!’ his sister said immediately.

‘No, Anna, I have not proposed to Miss Clayton and she is not interested in me,’ he said smoothly, and their mother’s alarmed expression settled. ‘It’s from Ankh-Morpork.’

‘The city?’ his mother said.

‘Yes. I’ve been accepted as a student in a school there.’ He took the letter out of his pocket and laid it in front of her with a steady hand.

She stared at it for several seconds while Anna gazed thoughtfully at Rufus.

‘I’m sorry, my son,’ his mother said at length, ‘I realise this must mean a lot to you but I simply don’t have the money ...’

‘It’s alright,’ he said. ‘I do. I applied for a scholarship too, and I got it. I only need money for school supplies and I have saved enough.’ He stopped, watching his mother frown at the letter. ‘I shall be in school for a few years and if I do well, I can get a job in the big city and make you very comfortable here.’

‘Are you unhappy here, Rufus?’ she asked gently, looking up at him.

‘No.’ He tried to smile. ‘I shall come back all the time. But I want to be clever and learned, if I can. This is how.’

‘You shall want to stay forever once you get there,’ she sighed.

He could make no answer to that.

‘I’m going to go with you,’ Anna said suddenly. ‘I have money!’ she protested to her mother and brother’s looks of amazement. ‘And I’m old enough – older than Rufus. I’ve been thinking I want to go somewhere, away from the Ramtops, and if Rufus is going to Ankh-Morpork, then I want to go with him.’

‘You can’t!’ Rufus exclaimed. ‘Who will take care of Mother?’

‘I can take care of myself,’ their mother said. She picked up the letter and scanned it briefly. ‘But I didn’t know my children felt so – so unsettled here.’

Anna and Rufus glanced uncertainly at each other.

‘You could come with us ...?’ Anna said tentatively.

‘Oh, no.’ She smiled at them. ‘Your father left me this house and I will keep it. You two shall come home here, whenever you want to. I hope you will both write, at least once a month.’

‘Once a week!’ Anna promised at once.

Rufus nodded, sinking into his chair in relief. ‘Thank you, Mother.’

‘I will never forgive myself if something happens to either of you,’ she said, shaking her head, but she smiled.

-

Left to himself, Drumknott might have put the conversation off a few days while he pondered the subject. But he knew Vetinari would notice that he had it on his mind and would ask, so he decided to simply say it.

‘I would like to ask you a question,’ he said while they were undressing for the night. ‘It doesn’t matter what the answer is, and whatever it is, I don’t want it to negatively affect our relationship.’

‘The very fact that you had to say that implies that it might change afterwards whether we want it to or not,’ Havelock said.

‘I know.’ Rufus smiled. ‘I just want you to know that it is of no consequence to me what you answer.’

‘Very well.’ Havelock donned his night robe and tied it loosely. Rufus allowed himself the pleasure of watching him as he slid underneath the covers before getting into bed himself. Havelock drew close and gave him a brief kiss.

‘Don’t distract me,’ he said, cupping Havelock’s jaw with his thumb on Havelock’s lips. When Havelock didn’t move for several more seconds, Rufus said, ‘Havelock, about our ... relationship ...’

In truth, it was several questions, up to and including, ‘Is this relationship supposed to last?’, ‘What do you want from this relationship?’, and, ‘What is this relationship, in definition?’. And as he looked into Havelock’s blue eyes, he found himself unable to word any of them. He had said that the answer didn’t matter, but how could he be insouciant, whatever the answer might be?

‘Yes?’ Havelock prompted.

‘Do we love each other?’ Rufus asked.

Silence reigned, only for two seconds, yet the moment stretched on. Rufus withdrew his hand and his gaze.

Havelock raised an eyebrow and said, ‘I don’t know. Do you love me?’

‘Y-yes, I think so.’

‘Then yes.’

It seemed to take a rather long second for Rufus to process this information. He slowly let out a breath and said, ‘I see. That’s good.’

‘I thought you knew that before.’

‘Oh. No, I didn’t.’

‘I see.’ Havelock raised Rufus’ head so their eyes met again. ‘I apologise. This seems to have caused you some distress.’

‘I’m sorry to make a fuss,’ Rufus said.

‘Not at all.’ Havelock kissed him, deeper this time. ‘Is there anything else you wanted to ask?’

‘No.’ Rufus wrapped an arm around him, feeling Havelock’s breath on his lips, and shut his eyes contentedly. ‘That’s all I need to know.’

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