( A work of fanfiction made with two of my favourite Discworld characters who have obviously not been invented by me)...
The Patrician observed, with considerable attention to detail, the younger man approaching him. His gaze appreciatively and swiftly, scanning the amiable gentleman's fair hair, neat waistcoat, matching fitted trousers and a crisp white shirt. Over this outfit a thin secretarial robe was draped. The material fluttered slightly as he walked. His sturdy leather shoes were the only sound tapping on the marble floor of the great hall. He stopped a respectable distance before his Lord, nodding at his master and smiling at the pet he carried in his arms.
Mr Fusspot, the Patrician's scruffy little dog was currently being held easily by his master. The bright little pooch had looked up with interest as his second favourite person approached.
" Sir?" Asked Drumknott, expectantly with an air of bright curiosity.
" Drumknott, " smiled the Patrican of Ankh-Morpok. " Thank you for being so prompt. Walk with me."
They fell companionably in step and crossed the great hall towards a slim door which led to one of the small courtyards that was dotted around the lower floors. It was not locked and Vetinari opened it, gesturing for Drumknott to step through.
It was a late summer evening. The air was cool and the sun shone with a pleasing light orange glow which seemed to caress every surface it reflected upon. The walls were high enough here as to be slightly discrete, even though there were several windows, but low enough not to overshadow the area. Drumknott admired the architects of the palace and their clever detailed touches.
The courtyard was called the Rose Maze garden. It wasn't much of a maze really, you certainly couldn't get lost in it but the gardener had wanted a gimmicky name and so she decided to set the roses in a confusing sort of pattern in the slightly squarish area.
It smelled beautifuly pleasant here of course, the rose bushes were neatly trimmed although many of the rose petals were strewn on the floor.
Lord Vetinari sat on a bench by an alcove near the castle wall. There were no windows so it seemed to be private. Drumknott supposed there were most likely to be hidden assassins somewhere to protect his lord. He didn't ask, he didn't want to.
Drumknott sat beside him and smiled pleasantly at the sun which was peeking over the edge of a wall. He sighed at the delightful smell and the relaxing nature of the surroundings. It was the end of their day and there was no where else he would rather be.
Mr Fusspot scampered out of his masters hands, delighted to be able to run amongst the small bushes.
" It's lovely here Sir."
" Drumknott." Stated the Patrician.
" My Lord?"
" We're not working now. You may call me Vetinari, or Havelock, if you wish. Please." Vetinari looked at Drumknott with a steady gaze.
"..." Said Drumknott (what he had meant to say was: "You can call me Rufus" but the words were stuck in his throat and for some reason his heart had started to beat far too fast. In circumstances like these he had learnt it was wise not to talk.)
" Rufus?" Vetinari's brows furrowed.
Dammit, thought Drumknott. I wish I had given him permission. Lost the opportunity there haven't I to show I was worthy of calling him by his first name? I must think of something erudite and witty to say..."Havelock?"
Oh, I went straight for the first name. Well that was a bit bold for me, thought Drumknott, whose normally calm facial demeanour was being disrupted as his thoughts and emotions were in conflict.
" You seem to be a little...pensive?" Vetinari missed nothing.
Bugger, thought Drumknott.
" No, no, Vet- uh, Havelock. I'm, it's nothing. Uh... How are you?"
Vetinari laughed, which relieved and scared Drumknott who was unused to hearing it.
" I'm ...good. Yes ...Rufus. I feel good. Well, in fact. " He looked fondly at his secretary and wondered, not for the first time, if his appreciation of this man was inappropriate. " How are you Rufus?"
" Pretty good right now." He instantly regretted the comment and as he blushed and looked away, he missed the smile the Patrician gave in response.
" Good. Today has tried us both. I thought our work would never end. I was impressed by how you worked. I'm always impressed by you Rufus. I know you understand I appreciate you but I want you to hear me say it. Today would have been almost impossible to bear without you." He looked steadily at his secretary.
Vetinari smiled. He sighed and lent back into the wall.
" If I ever have to speak to that dreadful Comissioner again it would be under severe duress. I am so glad he and his appalling entourage have left the city. Their activities would be an embarrassment to their countrymen I'm sure."
" I think their countrymen are used to the activities of their so-called rulers, unfortunately they are the most arrogant rulers the people of the Minchpins valleys have had of late."
" Odd area. I usually forget it exists until they turn up on one of their ambassadorial visits."
" Their wine is very good."
" Really?" Vetinari raised an eyebrow.
" I have a bottle if you ever want to share a glass?"
There was a slight pause while Rufus inwardly kicked himself very hard. Too bold, far too bold, he scolded himself.
However the day was full of surprises.
" A most generous offer Rufus." Said the Patrician in his deepest and warmest tones.
" Havelock," answered a smiling Drumknott.