The Vetinari Dualegacy: Interlude 2

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One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love ~ Sophocles

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The Vetinari Dualegacy: Interlude 2

  1. 1. “You and me, right here, right now, lets get married.”“What?”
  2. 2. “Cass, no.”
  3. 3. “Im sorry, what? I dont think I heard you right, because for a minute there it sounded like you just said No.”“I did, but--”“How the hell is there a but? That is not a But statement!”“I can explain.”
  4. 4. “Oh, well as long as theres an explanation. Wait, no, whats the other thing? Excuse, thats it. Not the same at all.”“Can we just talk about this for a second? Please?”
  5. 5. “No! Because Ive heard explanations and excuses and pleases after no more times than I can count, and it never works out forme, so you can keep all of it. You said youd marry me, and now youre saying you wont, and thats all I need to hear. Im done.Im out.”
  6. 6. “Cass, wait!”“Dont touch me, Gilbert!”
  7. 7. “Please, just give me two minutes to explain.”“Get out of my way.”“Im sorry, okay? That came out wrong.”“Yeah, cause theres so many ways for No to be taken out of context.”“Im still waking up, and you sort of hit me with that out of nowhere, and I didnt mean it like that.”“So what, this is my fault now? Been there, heard that. Not buying it anymore.”
  8. 8. “I know. Cassidy, I love you, and I do want to marry you, I promise. I just question the wisdom of doing it now, like this. Dont doit because your father freaked you out. Being married to me wont change that. A wedding ring is not a magic amulet that willmake it all better.”“Im not stupid. I know that.”“And dont we both have friends and family who maybe deserve the chance to see us get married? It wont take long to puttogether a party and invite the people in our lives to share in our day.”
  9. 9. “So, wait, you refused to marry me because you wanna throw a party?”“Partly, yes. And the other thing too. Why did it suddenly become so important to you?”
  10. 10. “...I dont wanna be a Vetinari anymore. I know, I know, its just a name, its not me, except it is me, its like an anchor aroundmy neck, and I want it to go away. I feel like I cant move forward with that holding me back.”“Do you know thats the first time youve admitted to me that youre a Vetinari?”
  11. 11. “You knew I was, Gil. Its not like its a big damn secret.”“Isnt it? The day we met, you told me you were Just Cassidy. Of course I knew you were a Vetinari. But you telling me isdifferent.”“I guess so.”
  12. 12. “You were going to walk out on me, Cassidy.”“Yeah, uh... Sorry.”“Dont be. Im kind of proud of you for it. You werent going to stay with someone you didnt think loved you. When we met, youwouldnt have walked away.”“But you do love me.”“Absolutely.”
  13. 13. “So can we call up our friends and throw a party and get married?”“Sure. I think I even know a place. But theres someone I have to talk to first.”“Immediately?”“It can wait. More important things to do first.”“Like kiss me?”“For a start.”
  14. 14. “Can I come in, Mother?”“Yes, of course.”
  15. 15. “Im getting married to Cassidy. I would like to be able to invite you, but I wont if youre going to be horrible about it. Its yourchoice. Come and play nice, or dont come.”
  16. 16. “I behaved rather badly, didnt I?”“Thats putting it mildly.”“Would it help if I said I was sorry?”“Are you actually sorry?”“Of course I am!”“Then yes.”“Then Im sorry for the way I acted and the things I said. You have every right to live your own life, even if its not the one Iwould have chosen for you.”
  17. 17. “Thank you. I appreciate that. So does that mean that if I invite you to my wedding, you wont make a scene?”“I promise. Best behavior only.”“Well then, would you like to come to my wedding?”“Id love to.”
  18. 18. “Good. I wish Dad could be there too.”“So do I. He would be so happy that youre happy, and hed want me to accept whoever makes you happy.”“Cassidy makes me happy.”
  19. 19. “So you booked the place you were thinking of?”“Yup. Its a little chapel right on the edge of town. Very quaint and all those sorts of adjectives.”“Getting cold feet?”“Only when I forget my socks.”
  20. 20. “So, you know, stupid thing to worry about, but what are we gonna wear? Matching tuxes seems a little... twee... and I just donot have the hips to carry off a sparkly ballgown. I mean, should one of us wear black and the other one wear white? Or is thatjust too predictable? Or stuffy? Or whatever. Its not like either of us is a bride or a virgin for the whole white thing anyway.”“These are the thoughts that keep you up at night, arent they?”“Yeah, sometimes.”“You are a complicated man, Cassidy.”
  21. 21. “But you love me anyway, right?”“With all my heart.”
  22. 22. “Definitely quaint and adjective-y.”“I thought youd like it.”“Id say I couldnt imagine a better place to get married, but I was totally willing to do it in the bedroom in our jim-jams, so clearlymy judgment cannot be trusted.”“Oh, I think this is objectively better than the bedroom.”“Yeah, I think youre probably right.”
  23. 23. “You realize, of course, that when my relatives show up, its gonna devolve into pillow fights and pouring soap into the fountain,right?”“Not if my friends get there first.”“We fight dirty. My sisters a hair-puller.”
  24. 24. “Theres still time to change your mind, Cass.”“Nope. Not gonna change my mind. Are you changing yours? Because thats a thing better brought up way before now.”“This is absolutely the right thing to do.”“Probably good that were agreed, because people are starting to show up.”
  25. 25. “Hey, they may be prank-loving, poke-happy, inappropriate heart-farting huggers, but theyre family.”“And friends. Speaking of, theres someone I think I need to talk to.”“Sure. Go forth and mingle! Meet you under the arch in a few.”
  26. 26. “Hey, Malcolm. Can I, uh, just apologize for, like, everything ever? Some stuff wasnt my fault, but I feel bad about it, and somestuff really was on me, and I feel extra-bad about that stuff too.”“You dont need to apologize for the things your father did.”“But I need to apologize for the things I did. And Im sorry I was a sad streak of misery sitting on your barstool damn near everyday, tossing em back until I was numb enough to go home.”“I tried to talk Gil out of this. Did he tell you that?”“No. But Im not surprised, and I cant blame you.”
  27. 27. “Hes dated a lot of people, but youre the first one he was ever serious about. That counts for something.”“Enough that youre here today.”“Hes been my best friend since we were in diapers. Not coming was never in the cards. Hes happy, and I have to trust hisjudgment.”“Im sober now. Have been since that day at Club Dante.”“Im glad.”
  28. 28. “So are we cool?”“Were cool, Cassidy.”
  29. 29. “I told Nolan that if he stalked you today, I would absolutely be grumpy at him later, so he should behave himself.”“I appreciate that, Didi. I should go say hello to my mother. Have you met Cass?”
  30. 30. “No, I havent had the pleasure. Delight Vetinari. My friends call me Didi.”“Im Cass, Gils fiance.”“Its good to meet you. I was really surprised when Gil told me he was getting married.”
  31. 31. “...Are you sure weve never met before? You seem really familiar.”“Positive. I mean, there arent many aliens in Riverblossom Hills, and youre the first one Ive met, just now.”“Thats so weird. I could swear I know you from somewhere. You have such a familiar face.”“Its just a face.”“No, thats not it. You look like...”
  32. 32. You look like...
  33. 33. ...my mom.
  34. 34. “Soooo, wildly inappropriate and personal question: Were you adopted?”“Yes? Why does it matter that Banyan and Drake Vetinari arent my biological parents?”“It doesnt. Best thing for you, probably.”
  35. 35. “Hmph. You werent kidding about the inappropriate thing.”“Sorry, this is... This is shaping up to be a very strange day. I think you maybe ought to meet my sister.”“Is she less odd?”“Hang on, there she is—Delirium!”
  36. 36. “Whats up, Cass?”“This is Gils friend Delight. Who thinks Im strange.”“Because youre strange! Why do I need to meet your sister?”“Well, heres the thing...”
  37. 37. “...Im pretty sure youre both my sister.”“What? Cass, was...? Spider was right?”“She was adopted by Banyan, Del. And look at her—she looks like Mom.”“Except for the nose. Shes got Dads nose.”
  38. 38. “Yeah, way to talk about me like Im not even here! Is there any actual proof of anything youre saying?”“My... Our... other brother said that Mom had had twins and gave one of her daughters up. You look so much like her, and if youwere adopted... Well, thats all the proof were likely to get.”“And if I run this story by my parents?”“Im sure Banyan suspected. She went to college with Mom and Dad. Im sure your resemblance to Mom wasnt lost on her, butits sort of... safer... if you were in the dark.”
  39. 39. “Look, I know how crazy this all sounds. Its like something out of a soap opera. But you can go and talk to Banyan, and maybewhen Gil and I get back from our honeymoon, we can all get together for dinner or something.”“You really think Im your sister?”“Yeah, I do. Id bet everything on it. But Ill have to do that later. I need to go get married now.”
  40. 40. “So you were making friends with Didi, I see.”“Yeah, as it turns out, shes my long-lost sister.”“You have one of those?”“Um, news flash, my family is deeply messed up.”“Well then, today you get a husband and a mother-in-law, plus a sister and a brother-in-law and two nephews.”“That seems like a lot to pack into a day.”“Well manage. Ready to begin?”
  41. 41. “Remember me, lets-get-married-in-our-jammies guy? Pretty sure I—“
  42. 42. “Uh...”“Everything all right, Cass?”“Yeah, I... I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye.”
  43. 43. “I dont see anything out of the ordinary.”“I guess it was just a trick of the light.”“As long as it wasnt someone coming to try and stop the wedding.”“Theres always pajamas as Plan B.”“Lets stick with Plan A instead.”
  44. 44. “Cassidy, you are without a doubt the most remarkable man Ive ever met. Youve gone through a crucible, and you havent lostyour ability to believe that people can be good, or your inherent kindness, and youre still willing to trust people—to love them—even though youve been hurt. And Im glad for that, because my life would be poorer without you in it.”
  45. 45. “Gil, I dont even know if I can put into words what you mean to me.”“Its okay. Just try.”“But, I mean, theres just so much to say. ...Ah, forget it.”
  46. 46. “Pretty sure that wasnt the ceremony-approved time for kissing.”“Im a rebel. Anyway, actions speak louder than words, so well just pretend that was a touching speech about how great youare.”“Fair enough.”
  47. 47. “Cassidy, I think the most important promise I can make is the one to never deliberately hurt you. I cant go back and undo allthe things that have been done to you, but going forward, I promise to be your safe place to land.”
  48. 48. “Gilbert, I promise that Ill try to get better. And I promise to hold on to my belief in the goodness of people, and to be kind, andto trust, and to never, ever stop loving you.”
  49. 49. “Is it now the proper time for kissing, Mister Stickler-For-Protocol?”“I think it is.”“Good, because its going to happen anyway.”
  50. 50. “So whats next, Gil?”“Next we have cake... Mister Jacquet.”“I like the way that sounds.”
  51. 51. “When you said cake, I was thinking, like, cake, but this is sort of CAKE, if you get my meaning.”“You know what I do for a living, right? Are you going to cut us some slices, or just bask in its cake glory?”“Wait, you want a piece too? But youre the paradoxical Baker Who Eats No Sweets!”“This seems like the perfect time to break that rule.”
  52. 52. “Quick, before you change your mind!”
  53. 53. “Sorry about the cake-shoving. I figured that might be the only bite you eat, and I wanted to make it count.”“I know youve seen me eat. Shoving large amounts of food into my mouth at once is not entirely unheard-of.”“That is also true. And if we finish our delicious chocolatey cake, we can get a couple of dances in before the shuttle comes totake us to the airport.”
  54. 54. “So far, so good, Cass?”“Yeah. Im glad you didnt give in and let us do this in our pajamas.”“This is better?”“Loads. You were right. Having our friends and families here was the right thing to do. Even if...”“Even if what?”
  55. 55. “I wish Spider could have been here. If anyone deserves to see me be happy, its him.”“Hell understand.”“I know. But I still miss him. Mostly, right now, Im just really, really happy to be married to you.”
  56. 56. “I think I hear the shuttle honking for us.”“What are we doing with all our guests?”“Ehhh, the buffets open and theres still cake. Im sure theyll figure it out.”
  57. 57. “Where are we, Gil? This doesnt look like a hotel. Are we renting this place for the week?”
  58. 58. “Not exactly. This place is sort of... yours.”
  59. 59. “This place? This place is not mine. I would know if I had a whole house on a tropical island. This is not a thing I haveknowledge of.”“I wanted you to be okay In The Event Of An Emergency. I bought the house and put it in your name. Whatever happens now,youll always have a place to go, and a way to get money if you need it.”“I have a beach house?”“You have a beach house.”
  60. 60. “Is it weird that Id rather see the bedroom of my beach house than the actual beach?”“You can do whatever youd like.”“Dangerous words.”“I like to live on the edge.”
  61. 61. “Danger is your middle—hey, whats that?”
  62. 62. “Gilbert. Our backyard has a shipwreck. There is a wrecked ship right outside. This is the awesomest thing ever.”“Well, if its a shipwreck youre after, go get changed.”
  63. 63. “Thats a shipwreck.”“That is a shipwreck.”“There are stairs to the shipwreck.”“Uh-huh.”“Does that mean we get to go play on the boat?”“If you like.”“Oh, Im sure Ill like.”
  64. 64. “You know, maybe the ship crashed because they let just anyone drive it! Look, no hands!”
  65. 65. “Take that, you stupid mannequin with your stupid smug face! Try Primping when you dont have any stupid hands left to holdthat stupid mirror!”
  66. 66. “Spider! Hey! I didnt know you could do this!”“Arrr, the names Dregg!”“And now this has gone all confusing and weird.”
  67. 67. “You ready to head back, Cass? Im not entirely sure this thing is safe.”
  68. 68. “I like hammocks. Hammocks are awesome. I could chill out in this thing all day.”“You want some company in your hammock?”“Yes. Yes I do.”
  69. 69. “I like hammocks. Hammocks are awesome. I could chill out in this thing all day.”“You want some company in your hammock?”“Yes. Yes I do.”
  70. 70. “Everything OK, Cass?”“Just getting comfy. Go back to sleep.”“ Kay.”
  71. 71. “Spider! Earlier, I thought you were a pirate! Or maybe the pirate was you. Something like that.”“Im definitely not a pirate.”“So, I, uh... Got married to Gilbert.”
  72. 72. “I know.”“I thought I saw you, just for a second.”“I was as there as I could be. Just a shadow out of the corner of your eye.”“Oh. Im sorry I didnt wait until you could be there for real.”
  73. 73. “Dont be sorry for that. You do what you gotta do.”“I also took Gilberts last name. Are you mad?”“Id ditch it myself if I had the opportunity. Does it make you happy, not being a Vetinari anymore?”“It really does. Its like I can breathe now.”“Then dont regret it, and dont look back.”
  74. 74. “Yeah, I mean, its not like that makes us not be brothers anymore. Look, when this is over and we bring you back, youll haveto come to Twikkii Island with us. I have a beach house there. Its a beach house, and its mine, and theres a second bedroomthat you can have, but if you painted it all black it would probably ruin the vibe, but you could if you wanted to, and theres ashipwreck just off our beach, and its really great. Youll like it there.”“That sounds great, Cass. Really.”“You dont sound excited about it.”
  75. 75. “Listen, we both know that Im... different. And maybe that means the rules for bringing me back are also different.”“Why would they be? All we have to do is call the Reaper and tell him we want you back, and pay him, and then you comeback.”“I dont know if thats how it works for people like me, who stay here on the Dead Realm instead of going past, to whateverafterlife theyre meant to go to.”“So what are you saying, exactly?”
  76. 76. “Im saying if something happens, dont blame yourself.”“I know how not to turn you into a zombie or bring you back with a different personality. Im not stupid.”“I know youre not.”“Then what do you mean?”
  77. 77. “If I cant be brought back—““Thats ridiculous! Of course well be able to bring you back!”“But if you cant—““Spider, why are you so convinced that youre going to stay dead?”“Im just... covering all the possibilities.”“Well dont. Youre my brother and youre coming back.”
  78. 78. “But if you cant, Cass. If you cant bring me back, promise me you wont blame yourself. Promise me youll cry on Gilbertsshoulder for a while and then move on without me.”“Spider—““Promise, Cassidy!”“Fine, I promise!”“Good. Now go wake up and enjoy your honeymoon.”
  79. 79. “Early morning swim, I see?”“We have an ocean in our backyard. It seems a shame to waste it by not swimming in it.”“You can dig for seashells too.”“I did. I found crab shells. That still had crabs in them.”“Ouch. How are your fingers?”“Later, you can kiss em and make em better. Now, monkey idol.”
  80. 80. “You know, I think this is the first time Ive been here that this thing hasnt been spewing lava.”“Good. I want to make a wish and it seems like that would be better without the spewing lava.”“Are you going to wish for a kiss? Because you dont need to toss a coin in the idol for that.”“Its not for me.”“Spider?”
  81. 81. “Yeah. Spider.”
  82. 82. “These hot springs are nice, even if we cant fool around in them.”“What is it with you and fooling around?”“We are on our honeymoon, Gil. Who put sand in your Speedos?”
  83. 83. “This guy. And not so much sand as urine and not so much Speedos as hot springs. You wanna head for a massageinstead?”
  84. 84. “I want to know why this has been missing from my life.”
  85. 85. “No creepy incontinent old men in here. Wanna fool around?”“Sure, why not?”
  86. 86. “As far as honeymoons go, this ones pretty top-notch. I have a beach house.”“Im glad youve enjoyed yourself.”“I think Im legitimately, honestly happy for the first time in a long time. Because of you.”“Youve made plenty of progress on your own, Cassidy. Dont minimize that.”
  87. 87. “So do you think we can come back with Spider when he gets resurrected? I think this place would be good for him.”“Its your house; you can invite whoever you want.”“Good. I think hed like it here.”
  88. 88. Oh, Cass. I cant explain it to you. You wont understand, because you dont see how much more broken I am than you are.You still have hope, and I lost that a long time ago.
  89. 89. This thing that Im doing...Its justice.Its balance.And its the only way this could ever have ended.
  90. 90. But that kind of power doesnt come cheap, or easy.That kind of power is all the power.When its gone, Im done.As in, done done.When I do this, there wont be enough of me left to bring back.
  91. 91. And thats just the way I want it.

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