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Postal Pains (parts 6/6 Completed!)


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Title: Postal Pains

This is a fanfic of Discworld by Terry Pratchett. All the normal disclaimers apply, I don't own these characters.

WARNING: Blatant spoilers to "Going Postal" and indirect references to "Making Money". This fic takes place immediately at the end of Going Postal. It's not necessary to have read the book, tho it helps. Apologizes in advance for the lack of sneezes in the first part, this fic was not specifically written as a sneezefic but I thought I'd post it anyways.

BACKGROUND: Discworld is a disc-shaped planet that sits on the shoulders of 4 large elephants which in turn stand atop the back of a gigantic turtle that travels through space. Ankh-Morpork, the largest city on the disc, is ruled by Lord Vetinari. Moist von Lipwig (fraudster, liar, perverted criminal genius) was assigned the job as Postmaster General by Vetinari after he was caught and hanged to within an inch of his life. He meets and falls in love with Adora Belle Dearheart, head of the Golem Trust.

Watch the Going Postal trailer? http://youtu.be/f42iED5-yX0

---

PART 1

The Sound of a Shape - Fried

Eggs and Cigarettes - Captain Vimes and

Vetinari - Vampires are Bad for your

Head - The One Ring

It was a dark and rainy night...

And Moist von Lipwig chuckled to himself at the imagery. The rain bore down in sleets and washed away the top layer of caked grime from the city as it flowed downhill in a lazy sort of muddy sludge. The smell of rain hung in the air like a wet dog but he was glad for it.

Everyone knew that the Watch employed a werewolf and that werewolves had a keen sense of smell that went beyond keen. But rain helped to wash away the scent and Moist didn't want the rumors to leak out at least until he leaked them out himself. So he carefully tucked away his tiny package into a hidden inner pocket, pulled his coat tightly around himself, and lightly stepped into the empty streets.

At least he had thought they were empty but the drum of rain betrayed an offbeat tempo of droplets hitting a shape higher than the ground indicating something following behind him. A person? A troll?

He ducked under a dry overhang doorway and casually wiped water off his face while his eyes darted into the dark corners. Not an assassin, none would be so foolish to be caught from the sound of rain. Assassins moved in a sort of stealth that wove through both noise and silence. But Moist had many enemies that could employ other enemies without officially filing a contract from the guild.

Thieves then? He mastered his subconscious urge to check the safety of his little packet and pulled his hands away in time. Instead he pretended to futilely brush off excess water from his coat as he quietly withdrew his concealed blackjack. He had never hit another man before. Stolen from, yes. Swindled, conned, forged, tricked, and lied to all applied of course. Well, at least mostly under his old persona Albert Spangler. But never hit. Still, this was Ankh-Morpork and there was always a first for everything. And he couldn't very well stay under this doorway all night so he readjusted his hidden blackjack up his sleeve then slipped back out into the rain.

There it was again, the faint sound of someone following him. He could hear the shape of the rain behind him. It was definitely a person and it stopped whenever he did. Moist quickened his pace and the sound did the same. Fine, if it was a race they wanted, it was a race they'd get.

Moist darted into an alley, flew past muddy cobblestones, and his right hand reached behind a hidden section of wall as he grabbed a small bag with spare clothes. In a flash he rounded back up another side street complete in a new outfit as he slipped into the corner house unseen. He was out the window with a new bag and coins still spinning on the table before Mr. Topperson even looked up. He knew this street, it curved back to the Jewelers that he originally started from. At least it would be well lit and he'd keep to the main roads until he could make it back to the Post Office.

He listened again and smiled. Good, no sounds from the rain. He risked a glance behind him. Nothing. But when he turned forward again his last vision was of a large wooden bat before a loud crack and darkness blacked him out.

---

Pain. What happened? Oh ye gods, pain. Voices? His head ached like a cracked egg where someone had smashed it open and fried the insides. Something even smelled sickeningly like smoke that made him nauseous.

"... ck with us Mr. Lipwick?"

So it was Mr. Lipwick now was it? The light burned his crusted eyes as he managed to blink through his blurred vision. Six people? No, it was three that just looked like six or nine when the images overlapped. A copper as well, huh? Not a good sign. The lady with one or two identical twins leaned forward and felt his forehead. Pain! Blackness! He winced visibly and she backed away.

"... honestly was it, Moist?"

The throbbing in his head calmed down to a dull beat before he tried his eyes again. His vision settled slowly back to just three people.

"What?" he managed weakly.

"How are you feeling, Mr. Lipwick?" said the man in a white overcoat who must be a doctor of sorts.

"Like a fried egg..." but something tugged at his mind. "But what was moist?"

He saw all of them freeze. The lady with the cigarette even stopped in mid puff. Then she threw it down angrily and scowled. "Stop fooling around, Moist!"

No... they couldn't be serious. It was just too absurd.

"My name is Moist Lipwick?" he asked appalled.

The lady took a step back but the copper braced her gently into a chair and then he came forward politely clearing his throat. "It's Moist von Lipwig actually, sir. You are the Postmaster General."

"Post? You can't mean like mail?"

"Yes sir, that's exactly what I mean. And you are the Postmaster." The copper spoke calmly. He was tall and smartly dressed for a copper. His well-polished armor shone and he smelled lightly of soap.

"Moist, what happened? What do you remember?" the lady pushed the copper aside and demanded angrily at him as if this was somehow all his fault as usual. Well, if he knew himself it probably was but...

"Postmaster? Me? That's impossible. I'm sure I'd..." his hand touched his forehead where a thick layer of bandages wrapped up the source of the pain in his head. Ah. Well, that explained a lot. Worse yet, the smoke had caused a slight itch to form in the back of his nose. He wondered if even a single sneeze might crack his head back open like a watermelon. He didn't want to find out.

"Moist, look at me. Tell me you don't remember who I am?"

There was something in her voice but Moist dilligently looked anyways. It was an attractive face at least, alluring, deep, and partially pained. Her coal-black hair had been pulled back tightly into a strict bun. Her lips pursed together from years of chain smoking. But behind her eyes were smoldering fires that burned hotter than her cigarettes.

"Sorry." he said at last. He saw her eyes narrow but she otherwise remained frozen.

"It's Adora Belle. Adora Belle Dearheart."

"That's... an interesting name."

The tension in the room could be cut with a butter knife, mixed, and spread on toast. The doctor had all appeared to shrink back into the corner so he hurridly excused himself and the copper stepped forward to take his place.

"Perhaps it might help if I explained some things?" the copper suggested. "My name is Captain Carrot, Mr. Lipwig. One of our sergeants, Sergeant Detritus, found you unconscious in a back alley outside Ankh-Morpork Jewelers last night. You have had a nasty concussion but our Igor fixed you up as neat as possible. However since we are short on space at the moment, Mister Vimes allowed you to return to the Post Office to rest."

"Captain Vimes?" the question was out of Moist's mouth before he had a chance to censor it. Immediately he knew something was wrong from their shocked expressions.

"It's Commander Vimes, actually." Captain Carrot informed him smoothly as his face masked over politely. "He's been Commander now for over 6 years."

"You remember Captain Vimes, Moist?" Adora Belle followed up instantly.

Oops. Perhaps he shouldn't have said that. Too late now, just run with it.

"I don't know. That name just popped into my head." he said shaking slightly. That wasn't too hard to do if he just let his mind go slack. And his nose was beginning to demand attention now as the itch had worked its way down to his left nostril. But Moist resisted the urge to rub at it and kept his face blank.

A sudden knock at the door broke into their strained conversation. As the Captain and Miss Dearheart looked up, Moist took the break gladly for a quick rub under his nostrils.

"Come in Stanley." the lady said.

A thin boy smartly dressed in a green Post Office jumper mechanically entered. If he had been any sharper he'd be a pin.

"A lady is here to see you sir."

"A lady?" Moist asked automatically swinging himself upright but regretted the sudden motion a split second later as he steadied himself.

"Yes sir, from the Times."

"What is the Times?"

"The newspaper, sir." Stanley answered without missing a beat. Nothing in the questions appeared to worry him. They were simply questions to be answered. But the lady beside him groaned.

"Don't bring her up, Stanley. Mr. Lipwig is ill and isn't feeling well."

"Yes Miss."

"Wait Stanley!" Moist cut in. "Bring her up. I'd like to meet her."

"You've met her before, sir. It's Sacharissa Cripslock the writer." he spoke like he was commenting about the weather.

"Moist, I don't think..."

"Nonsense, I can't keep a lady waiting. Bring her up, Stanley."

"Yes sir."

When the boy had left Moist reluctantly turned back to the scowling woman.

"Really Moist..."

"Miss Dearheart, if I really am the Postmaster then I can't simply ignore people can I? I mean, people are bound to find out, I can't pretend to be ill forever."

"You are ill, Moist. You've even got a light fever. It had been raining last night and you were found unconscious in an alley. You need to rest and..."

The door burst open. "Mr. Lipwig! How are you feeling?" the lady that hustled in seemed to have all but run up the stairs. She was flashy and quite attractive, even with that odd small hat tilted slightly, but the way she held her pencil and notepad suggested a shark among minnows. She smiled charmingly at the Captain and to Adora Belle before locking her gaze back onto him.

Moist raised an eyebrow at Miss Dearheart who gave him an I-told-you-so look that could kill. So the lady was a writer, was she? He actually hadn't planned yet how to respond. In fact it'd be a miracle if he could just get through this without sneezing, he thought. Well, let's just start from the beginning then, shall we?

"Miss Cripslock, was it?" That shut her overbearingness down immediately as he saw her eyes flick to the bandages on his forehead.

"Moist!" Sacharissa practically whispered as her eyes met with Adora Belle's. "What happened?"

Adora Belle shook her head. "He just regained consciousness, Miss Cripslock. Please, now is not a good time."

"A good time as any, Miss Dearheart." Moist broke in and gave his most engaging smile. As it were, he was having enough difficulties just to sit upright without swaying but he still managed to look sparkling yet apologetic at the same time. "I'm sorry, Miss Cripslock, I can't answer your questions since I honestly don't know the answers myself." he saw her write that down.

"I just came from the Watch, Mr. Lipwig. Did they tell you how they found you?" she glanced at Captain Carrot who nodded.

"Yes, but that's not nearly as shocking to me after I've been told my own name, which was quite a lot to digest in itself. Please tell me, Miss Cripslock, that it's not too late to change it? I mean honestly Moist von Lipwig?" he shuddered exaggeratedly which got a laugh out of the reporter.

"Mr. Lipwig, I've seen you do miracles. If you ask the gods, I'm sure they'll accommodate. Anything is possible around you, Moist, especially after they gifted you that $150,000!"

Moist's jaw dropped and his heart stopped. $150,000??? But with the way she said it, she must suspect.

"$150,000? Now you're joking with me, aren't you, Miss Cripslock?"

"Never Mr. Lipwig! But aren't you curious about last night? What about the..." she flipped her notebook open, "couple hundred dollars worth of gold coins in your trouser pockets under several layers of coats?"

"Sorry Miss Cripslock, I don't..."

"Do you remember anything, Moist?"

Moist stared at nothing, and made certain nothing stared him back. "Vimes." he said. "Captain Vimes."

"Captain Vimes?" Miss Cripslock all but pounced at that. "But he..."

"Yes, I've been told." Moist shook his head and put a hand to his aching forehead. This was no act at least. The throb was still there but had settled into a dull pressure against his temples. He also started to feel the fever that Miss Dearheart happened to mention. Perhaps it wasn't the cigarette smoke...

"Do you remember any other names?"

Moist paused. "Vetinari... Is he still Patrician?"

Miss Cripslock broke into a smile. "Yes! Very good Moist! He's still alive and kicking."

"Is that a good thing?" he added which prompted another laugh from Miss Cripslock who wrote that down.

"Depends who you ask. Now Moist..."

But her barage of questions simply washed over him. His mind felt numb and rubbery except for the burn in his nose which dedicated most of his attention. He had to risk another quick rub to his nose or else he was sure to lose it. Moist was certain even a single sneeze in front of this lady with the furious pencil would be like a drop of blood in an ocean of sharks. So he let the words themselves flow around him like the tide, drawing away slowly only to crash back over him again. Between the lulls, he caught a few words but his mouth replied automatically without any input from his brain. This seemed to satisfy the reporter who scratched away at her notebook.

His mind wandered. Damn. $150,000? Part of him felt impressed at the sheer amount which would have taken an honest man with a steady job a couple hundred years to earn. The other part of him, the criminal part which surfaced first, cringed in the realization that meant the profits of his hard work must have evaporated. Worse still escape was looking to be impossible at the moment. Sure, he had places to run to but he wasn't even certain if he'd make it that far. And Miss Cripslock made it seem like...

A bright flash dazed him and caused a fresh stab of pain to shoot through his head. He heard a muffled scream that turned out to be his own, a shatter of glass, and then Miss Dearheart yelling furiously.

"Get out!" she was yelling at the second figure that was forming out of the smoke. A vampire? Miss Dearheart managed to kick the partially-formed vampire out and was halfway dragging Miss Cripslock as well, even with Captain Carrot firmly restraining her.

"I think that's enough for today, Miss Cripslock." the Captain broke in as he pulled the women apart.

"Oh. Yes. Of course Captain. Thank you Moist. I'll visit again?" she asked more as a polite statement rather than a request.

"Please do Miss Cripslock." Moist said with his best mixture of charm and sadness that had melted many a ladies' hearts.

"I shall be leaving as well, Postmaster. Please take care of yourself." said the Captain.

"Thank you Captain. Please give my gratitude to your Sergeant as well."

The Captain nodded and walked the reporter out of the room. As two shut the door behind them, Moist was instantly and silently out of bed as he listened through the door for the distinct sounds of her heels walking away. The lady was a shark, right enough. He sighed and attacked his nose roughly with his fist. It itched terribly.

"Albert Spangler."

Moist jumped at that name but the shock caused a lapse of attention and his suppressed sneeze burst through.

"ekchhew!" He snapped sharply to the side. Ye gods, his head! But the itch had been held for too long to be satisfied with a mere single. It wanted freedom, it wanted power. "nhtchh! uhh... hupt-CHHew! hex-chhh'w!" He gave his nose a wipe on his sleeve before he turned to look back innocently at Miss Adora Belle Dearheart. She was glaring spikes at him.

"You ARE ill. Albert Spangler. Do you remember that name, Moist?"

He forced himself to unfreeze. "I'm sorry, but I don't..."

"Stop messing with me, Albert!" she yelled.

Albert's eyes met with hers as he stared deep down into them. There was something captivating about her and the depth of her rage. Her tight hair had begun to fall loosely to her shoulders in a distressed yet beautiful look. And the simple modest black dress she wore hugged her figure stunningly. He sighed.

"Were we lovers, Miss Dearheart?" he asked.

Adora Belle jerked stiffly upright. "What? What are you..."

"We were, weren't we?" Albert smiled at her curiously with a sniff. "I can see how I fell for you."

"We weren't technically... but you proposed to me in front of a crowd of a hundred in Sator Square."

"No ring though, I notice. I guess you refused." he said as he pressed a light fist under his nose.

"I informed you that it wasn't the time yet."

"Ah, I see. Poor Moist. Then this must be for you." he walked over to her and reached into his inner hidden pocket to produce a spectacular diamond ring.

"What? Where did you...?"

"I found it. In a hidden pocket. Once the Captain informed me I was found outside a Jeweler's I felt my pocket and found this ring. It is where I'm sure I would have hidden it. And I'm sure it was meant for you."

"But why..."

"I know Moist would have wanted you to have it."

Something about the way he said it caused a pain in her chest. "So you ARE Albert Spangler then? You don't remember Moist at all?"

He shook his head which caused another jab at his forehead. The sneezes had been far from enough for his nose but he really didn't want to risk another fit at the moment. And in any case, Albert Spangler had been very good at holding them back. Sneezy criminals were worse than walking around in a suit with a bright red target embroidered on the back. At least a target could be covered by a jacket.

"I was many people, but none named Moist von Lipwig." he sighed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "All the better I guess, what a name that is."

"The best." she insisted.

"I'm glad you think so. Now," he got up again and picked up his coat, "if you'll excuse me, Miss Dearheart. I appreciate all you've done for me."

"Wait Moi... Albert. Where are you going?"

"Nowhere possibly. Or anywhere. But I can't stay here for now, it's too painful. Please take care of yourself Miss Dearheart." And before she could protest further he was already out the door and down the staircase.

He had almost made it to the main doors with no one stopping him as the Postmaster General before she scrambled to the edge of the staircase.

"Moist von Lipwig!" she shouted from the top of her voice.

All sounds in the Post Office stopped as eyes glanced up to her and back down again to their Postmaster.

"Miss Adora Belle Dearheart." Moist bowed theatrically low to her and then turned and swept out fluidly.

to be cont.

___

Argh! Apologizes for the depressing lack of sneezes!

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Ok, I don't even know what to say. This is perfect and I like everything about it. i've just been rereading going postal as it's one of my favourites, and not only do you have the Pratchett voice down perfectly, you have Moist and Adora Belle, and Saccharissa down perfectly. I just reread this twice and I'm about to reread it again. Perfect perfect. :boom:w00t.gifstretcher.gif

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whoa omg this is amazing. I didn't even know it was a fanfic, but good lord this is awesome. keep doing whatever it is you're doing, it's fantastic.

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This promises so much deliciousness, I'm not sure where to start! I could just eat your prose, it's so rich and intriguing.

One of these days, I'll get around to catching up on the Pratchett - I have no prior knowledge of these characters, but I certainly don't feel like I need to, since this provides enough of a sense of who they are at this point. And the sneezing is just icing on the proverbial cake.

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Aaaah! Thanks for the comments all yay.gif I so love Moist <3 I so love torturing him too <3 <3

PART 2

Sun, Smoke, and Sinuses - Don't

Sneeze on a Tyrant - A Magnificent View

From a Ledge - The Fall

Down the steps of the Post Office, Albert hung a sharp right into the bustle of the main street where no one would question a confident man walking with purpose into the crowd. He bumped into three people and managed to walk away with a worn old coat, a wide brimmed hat to cover his bandages, and a couple extra dollars. In hindsight, perhaps he should have taken some extra cash from the Post Office but at least he could work with these. He was especially glad for the hat as the bright midday sun hurt his eyes. He also reminded himself that thanks to Miss Cripslock soon people will find out about poor Moist von Lipwig and the Post Office.

The sun, dust, and smoke of the city was doing nothing good to his sinus. The burn in his nose demanded freedom so with nothing left to it, he let go. "ehKCHHew! ehpt-CHHHw! heh'ehhh-HCKKChhh'w!" Argh, his head! Albert winced and made a mental note to himself, when attacked by unknown assailants in the night, be certain not to fall ill simultaneously.

But once free, each itchy hitching breath sucked in more of the city smoke and smells which wound themselves in playful streams around the inner recesses of his nostrils. He couldn't stop himself even if he had been paid. "hesChhh'w! eh-heh-Etch-xhhhew! h'Hiiih'CHHew!"

Albert noticed that this being Ankh-Morpork no one in the busy streets had even given his sneezing fit a second glance. He rubbed under his nose fiercely, attempting to unknot the mess of itches. It was working, it was almost there... "HET-sCHhheeew!" The last sneeze echoed violently within his skull. Albert sniffed tentatively and with nothing else to use, he wiped his nose along his sleeve. Then with a sigh, he ran his fingers through his dishevelled hair and smoothed out his coat before moving on. There was a joke shop at the end of this street where he could pick up a few more trinkets for his disguise. And further yet a safe house he had used in the past which was hopefully still there. He'd have to risk crashing there, he felt too ill to run.

Things had changed but he knew this city. Everyone who was ANYONE knew Ankh-Morpork. To be sure he hadn't been followed however he backtracked and wove through the intricate maze of streets, stopping only briefly at stalls to lift a bit of light food and cool drinks, and to check in on a couple safe stashes where he knew he'd have kept some hidden essentials.

He grinned and thanked the gods for his present self that still upkept and maintained the habit of storing essential getaway items in hidden locations around the city. Postmaster General, huh? He had only been fooling them all.

More clothes, some coins, a few fake rings, and a deck of cards. He paused and frowned to himself. He had given Miss Dearheart that real one and it was a doozy of a ring if he was any judge (which of course he was). Albert was certain his old self would never have done that. It must be because he had wanted a clean break. Yes, that's right. He didn't want her hanging onto the thought of him.

When he finally deemed himself with enough distance to breathe again, he slowed his pace to a light stroll. He could use a quick breather as his head had begun pounding fiercely with this past half-mile and his face now felt flushed with fever.

He sniffed. The ever present itch had transformed into an annoying prickling sensation that scratched at the back of his sinus, purring happily just out of reach. He coaxed it forward gently and was rewarded with the prickling feeling expanding to fill his entire nose, rubbing playfully against the irritated lining of his nostrils. His breath hitched and his eyes watered but the sneeze refused to leave its warm and happy home. Not good, it was getting too big.

Albert was just contemplating whether or not his head might be able to withstand another sneezing fit without imploding on itself when his feet, that had been moving on automatic, very nearly stumbled into a thin man in a smart suit. He'd swear the man had just suddenly appeared in front of him.

"Oh, sorry." said Albert as he quickly sidestepped to prevent them from crashing into each other but a firm hand gripped his upper arm and pulled him closer.

"Mr. Lipwig." the man acknowledged.

"Sorry, but I think you have..."

"Please follow me." the man appeared not to notice Albert's protest as he gestured toward a black carriage parked half a block away.

Ooooh boy. Black carriage. He knew only one man who rode a black carriage with a black crest. Black on black. And the man had style.

"Good afternoon Mr. Lipwig." said Lord Vetinari pleasantly from his carriage as his secretary opened the door.

Albert sighed. Well, no choice for it now. He pressed back the sneeze, got in, and heard the door click shut behind him.

"Good afternoon my lord." Albert said with a bow as he took off his hat.

"Oh, I'm so very pleased you do remember. It will save quite a bit of time for explanations. Grievously I am forced to report that Commander Vimes was not as ecstatic to be remembered by you as I was. Captain Carrot informed me that some swearing was involved. And I have already received a copy of the midday Times with, as you can see, a very large picture of none other than yourself on the first page. Please be careful, the ink is still wet."

Vetinari handed the copy of the newspaper over to Albert who took it silently. Indeed directly in the center was a large image of a very pale and bandaged Moist von Lipwig sitting on a bed with his right hand touching his forehead. Above the picture were large lettered words saying "MOIST von LIPWIG, POSTMASTER GENERAL?" The rest of the words swam on the page but with Albert's skill at speed-reading he made out key phrases such as "... attacked in the night...", "... found unconscious by the Watch...", and "... lost his memory...".

"That's very impressive." he managed.

"Is it?"

"I meant that she only interviewed me a few hours ago and yet she has managed to get all these words together? And that picture? I remember the vampire..."

"Ah yes, Otto. I heard Miss Dearheart was livid at him. How has she taken this by the way?"

"Miss Dearheart? Oh yes, she's upset of course." he handed the paper back to Lord Vetinari and tried to sniff discretely with an air of indifference. "I mean, I understand how she must feel but..."

"But yet you had to get out of there, wander the streets, and pick up a few more accessories to go with your attire?" Vetinari ventured as he gestured to the worn hat.

The carriage was stifling and Lord Vetinari had a way of picking through your brain even when you couldn't make any sense of it yourself. Albert closed his eyes; he felt too hot to protest. Instead he focused his concentration on his nose. It helped. He only had to imagine what type of tortures were set up in the dungeons to be used on people who sneezed on their Lord tyrant. The sneeze ran away and hid, crying softly to itself.

"There is just one thing I thought I'd clear up while I've inconvenienced you here. You do know Albert Spangler is dead, do you not?"

Albert jerked up in surprise.

"Ah I see you do not. But yes, dead. Hanged, in fact, for crimes he commited against the city and for the money he stole which totaled to approximately $150,000."

Albert refused to bite and sat patiently with the face of someone waiting for the moral of the story.

"Sir?"

"I mention this only in passing, since you might have known him in your foggy past. But you, Mr. Lipwig, have led a much more honorable life than our late Mr. Albert Spangler. You are a model citizen, a fine Postmaster General, and you even pay your taxes. You had transformed the laughable wreck of the Post Office into a smoothly running enterprise, innovated and pushed through the novelty of Stamps, and still managed to have time to stroll the streets at night in the rain. Unfortunately that last bit caused the slight problem highlighted in today's newspaper but luckily I've always maintained that it is important to have a supply of contingency plans in case something happens."

"Sir?"

"Back-up plans, I mean. How could I run a city if I couldn't anticipate a few minor bumps in the road? Yours being taken quite literally, ironically enough."

"You mean you have plans laid out for me in the event I lost my memory, my lord?" his nose twitched, he couldn't help it. All this talk had gotten it upset and it was hissing and bristling angrily like a cat in the coach lights. He desperately needed to rub it, to console it, but he dared not.

Vetinari waved him aside. "Oh, nothing so specific as that. But you are a risktaker, Mr. Lipwig, and you get a thrill out of adventure. And where would I be if I didn't plan it as such?"

"S-sir?" his breath hitched. He tried to pass it off as nervousness, some part of him knew it was futile.

Vetinari sighed. "Oh please DO do something about your nose, Mr. Lipwig. I'm not that incredibly cruel that I'd throw you into the dungeons for a sneeze you know." Vetinari handed Moist a handkerchief that Albert... no, it was Moist von Lipwig now... took hesitantly.

But his brain had lost any say in the matter as, with a shudder, his body took over. It was almost a release, that pure bliss in the moment when you are tettering on a high narrow ledge in the thin air knowing you'll fall but, for a slice of a second, you get that magnificent view and feeling of freedom.

Then in that next second he was certainly tipping; nothing could stop it now. His breath trembled and his nose flared wildly as the itch looked out of the caverns of his nostrils and saw its first view of escape. His chest heaved as his face contorted into that classic mask of sneeziness. He brought the handkerchief up to nose and, in one last desperate act of grabbing onto the ledge before falling to his doom, clamped down firmly and stifled. "Ngh'ugh." A piercing pain shot through his temples as white hot lightning flashed through it. Ye gods!

But that was just the crest of the storm as a wave of intense itches thundered around him. His fingers let go of the ledge and he fell, submitting himself hopelessly to the full fit of sneezes. "hekCHHw! ehtchhw! h'Hexg'chhhew! hupt-CHHw!" Sneeze after sneeze escaped into the storm. They crashed into him, surrounded him, sometimes buffering him as he fell.

"eeh'HCKHEEWW!" with a final sneeze, sharp pain seized his chest as if he had landed on the hard ground. He groaned, lightheaded and dizzy.

"Now," Vetinari said calmly as if nothing had happened, "I am to see you safely back to Miss Dearheart if you don't mind. I can imagine that she is simply fuming with worry. Your room might be temporarily uninhabitable due to all that cigarette smoke. However, you are to rest up and get rid of your cold, Mr. Lipwig, before we start the next phase."

Moist touched his head again. The carriage was rocking and swaying and, although Vetinari seemed unpreturbed by the motion, Moist felt ill. His vision started to spin around him. He clenched his eyes shut and gripped the chair tightly to prevent himself from tumbling off. He hadn't even realize when the carriage stopped since the spinning didn't, but he heard voices around him and a pair of hands prying him loose while ruffling his clothes. The secretary was it? He didn't get the man's name.

They were out of the carriage now and he was being dragged up a short flight of wide stones steps into a grand open and bustling room. He could smell paper and mail which was curiously comforting. Sound hung in the air and faces crowded around them too close for him to focus on any one in particular and instead blurred into a revolving panorama of colors. Then his eyes caught and held one specific and very angry face in the crowd: Miss Dearheart. He smiled gladly then dropped into unconsciousness.

to be cont.

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He only had to imagine what type of tortures were set up in the dungeons to be used on people who sneezed on their Lord tyrant. The sneeze ran away and hid, crying softly to itself.

I love that LOL "ran away and hid, crying softly to itself" AND OH GOODNESS ME, MY FAINTING FETISH IS KICKING IN WONDERFULLY :> please continue! :D

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"Oh please DO do something about your nose, Mr. Lipwig. I'm not that incredibly cruel that I'd throw you into the dungeons for a sneeze you know."

Yes. This. And like Emily says, fainting is win.

One thing is confusing me though- I thought that Moist von Lipwig is his real name, and Albert Spangler was one of his many aliases, and simply the one he happened to be caught and hanged under. So is he just confused and thinks that the alias is his real name? So why would Adora Belle call him Albert when she's never known him under than name? You have the Pratchett voice perfect apart from one tiny thing- I don't think they would say "getting sick". I've never heard it used much in the UK, so the usage in Pratchett's voice jarred a little.

Sorry, I don't mean to criticise. I'm a literature scholar, I deconstruct things because I care! I'm just a little over-invested in the canon and want to make sure I have things right. I LOVE the Vetinari/Moist dynamic in this. Power imbalances AND handkerchief lending?!?! I can only imagine Vetinari even carrying a handkerchief so that he can hand it to people in a condescending and unsettling way. I'm so eager to see where you go with this and your other Discworld story too. Much love x x x

(PS I'm listening to the audiobook of "Sourcery" at the moment, and getting uncomfortably pleased by how the narrator reads the voice of Simon who has incredibly bad hay fever, and so has a stuffy voice. He's not even a particularly attractive character, but ARGH stuffy talk in my ear. I'm all confused.)

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Oh cursed-lack-of-edit-button!

I knew there was something... I thought I caught them but obviously not, oops. Well, I'll request the fixes eventually... and buncha other stuff too.

Ah... and about the Albert Spangler name thing, I simply ran with the assumption that Adora Belle would recognize his personality from when they first met, take an educated guess, and just hammer in the point if he denied it. Actually, I've relied on quite a bit of assumptions in this thing. But yes, Moist is his real name, he just gets confused.

(Simon is in Sourcery? I somehow want to track this down XD )

And YES fainting! w00t.gifstretcher.gif

---

PART 3

Thoughts on Nesting Hippos -

Ancient Language Translated - Miss

Dearheart's Warning

More voices. His mind couldn't string together the sounds into comprehendible words but he could tell they were arguing. He opened his eyes slowly and the familiar ceiling loomed above him. So he was back at the Post Office huh? The voices were still arguing and he heard his name as well as a few words like "stamps", "cabbage", and "Vetinari".

Moist felt like a hippo had made a nest on his head. Did hippos even make nests? If not then where did they sleep? The itch in his nose had settled back in happily now that the threat of torture and dungeons had disappeared and Moist didn't have the energy to resist. In fact, his whole body felt heavy like a hippo had come to rest on him and he couldn't even lift his arms to rub his nose. His arms? He felt the bite of cold steel on his wrists and heard a sharp metallic clang.

"ehh'KCHHew!" he sneezed harshly to one side.

"Mr. Lipwig!" a short elderly man hobbled into view. Behind him the boy called Stanley hovered nervously.

With effort, Moist looked down at his wrists, both wrists. "Handcuffs?" he asked weakly. His voice sounded rough and scratchy in his own ears. "heh'hhxCHHeew!" he sneezed again before he could stop himself. Arggh! He so desperately needed to rub his nose...

"Bless you sir! And they're only for your own protection sir!" the old man insisted loudly. "In fact they were provided by Lord Vetinari himself. You were delirious, sir, and fevered as well. He also instructed us to use two of them, one for each hand sir."

In case Moist could pick his way out of just one? Moist's brain slowly processed all of that before moving on to the next thought. "Miss Dearheart...?"

The sound of sharp steps made him look to his left as the lady who had been standing with her cigarette by the corner window walked into view. She dropped it and stamped it out with her spiked heel. Her eyes looked cold and unforgiving but yet Moist felt himself relax simply by her presence.

SLAP!

A flat hand slapped loudly across his left cheek leaving behind a piercingly red hand-shaped imprint. Momentarily stunned he couldn't even respond until the pain finally sank in.

"Oww!" he protested. The pain cleared his head at least.

"That was for running away." she scolded.

"Miss Dearheart..."

"Don't you Miss Dearheart me! It is very well that Vetinari provided these shackles otherwise your current situation might have been quite a bit more uncomfortable! What were you thinking? Drumknott dragged you into the Post Office half-unconscious with your clothes ruffled and your bandages all undone. Were you fighting again?"

"Wait... what? My bandages? I distinctly remember they were fine when..."

"They are fine now that we've redressed them. But honestly Moist how can you go out like that when you've already been attacked once? The Watch hasn't even had any more leads on the culprit, the rain washed away all the scent."

"Scent?"

"For the werewolf, Moist. The Watch employs a werewolf."

Oh. So that explained a lot as well. It also might explain why he himself had been out at night in the rain. He could almost reconstruct what happened last night even though there were still a few holes. But did he really want to travel down that path? There might be no return if he did. Was he hesitating because he didn't WANT to know? Or was it because there was no choice except to find out?

Obviously Vetinari wanted him to find out. He had ordered his Secretary rustle him up before delivering him back to Miss Dearheart after all. Vetinari knew just how to add a spark to Miss Dearheart's rage, complete with shackles. She'd never let Moist out of her sight again unless, of course, he could prove to her that he had reformed. That in itself was no easy task, she saw through his tricks like a glass of water; and non-Ankh-Morpork water at that. He had to admit, though, it was refreshing to not have to put up an act all the time. Granted, he might just melt into a sneezy mess before she'd ever let him go...

"Don't you worry about a thing, Mr. Lipwig." broke in the old man. "Ol' Groat here will take care of everything." Moist glanced back at him, he had almost forgotten the other two were there.

"Lord Vetinari assigned Mr. Groat at temporary Acting Postmaster General." Stanley informed Moist proudly. Mr. Groat's chest puffed even higher if that was physically possible.

"Ah. Thank you Mr. Groat. It's a great relief to have you in charge." said Moist. His mind however had wrapped itself around a preoccupied tickle that had been nudging the back of his nose chanting 'sneeze sneeze sneezy sneezes!' In ancient tickle-language that roughly translated to 'gotta sneeze!'

"I'm not as good as you, of course sir." Mr. Groat added.

"No. I'm sure you were even better. I can tell you're the man that knows everything there is to know about the Post Office. I know you'll be superb." Some part of his mouth realized his brain wasn't in any position to help out as it struggled with the itch that was gaining in power. But he was always proud of his mouth for its innate talent for flattery.

Mr. Groat's chest almost burst from his body but he thanked Moist sincerely for the praise and excused himself and Stanley from the room.

Once they had gone Miss Dearheart sighed. "Ever the charmer, Albert."

"The only way I know how Miss Dearheart. And if you'd please, it's Moist now. Lord Vetinari ever so politely informed me that Albert Spangler is dead. But if you would only be so kind to do something about these handcuffs? I'm losing feeling in my fingers." he asked innocently while jingling them lightly. Oh gods, I can't sneeze now, he thought to himself. She'd never let me go.

Miss Dearheart simply glared at him unconvinced. Moist was certain his voice had been steady but the room still swayed in his view if he moved his head suddenly so perhaps she saw his eyes rocking in his skull?

"Ok ok, I promise never to run off again without your expressed permission."

Still silence from Miss Dearheart but he saw her eyes flick down to his hands, in particular to his fingers. Oh... so it had come down to that, had it? He smiled.

"And look, my fingers aren't crossed."

"Be forewarned if you do, I will set Gladys on you."

"Gladys?"

"One of your golems."

"Golems are female?"

"Golems are anything you want them to be, they are only clay and rock. And Gladys is a female."

"Fine fine, I understand. Now please? Handcuffs?"

Reluctantly she extracted the key from a chain around her neck and unlocked both of his hands. She didn't trust him, that much was obvious. But she trusted golems and that was enough.

"Thank you Miss Dearheart." he said with his sincerest voice as he sat up slowly to massage his raw wrists and hands. She had tightened the shackles so angrily he felt the loss of circulation in his fingers. He tested them all out and at least they still moved. He gave his nose a grateful rub.

"Don't forget about Gladys."

"I won't, I promise. Now I know this might seem sudden but I want you to come with me. There is someplace I want to go." he saw her eyes narrow in suspicion. "Gladys can come too. In fact it might be better that way since the place that I want to go to is the Ankh-Morpork Jewelers."

She tilted her head at him. "Do you remember something?"

Moist shook his head and sniffed. "Nothing yet. But it's not too hard to piece parts of the puzzle together. I'm simply missing the middle pieces and I'm hoping that place has the answers. I also want to stop by the City Watch and see the Sergeant who found me."

Miss Dearheart sighed. "Moist, it's getting late. The sun is setting soon and you're still fevered. It'll have to wait until tomorrow."

"No. I need to go now. I need to see the area by night."

"Tomorrow night then. You're swaying, Moist. And I know it's taking everything you've got just not to sneeze."

Boy, she was good. He relaxed and smiled in sheer relief at dropping the mask. Then his nose took over and he snapped to the side. "Hxchhhew! eTCHHew! heh... eh... Heh'KCHHw!" Ah, bliss. Moist shuddered in delight; his nose had really needed that.

"You were saying?" she asked while rolling her eyes.

"I can't, Miss Dearheart." Moist protested as he rubbed his nose furiously. "Something is telling me it has to be tonight or else I'll lose all grip on my sanity or reality. Don't worry, I'll keep extra warm and we'll also have Gladys and the Sergeant with us. I promise I won't run or do anything stupid."

She smiled grimly. "Stupid encompasses quite a large category in your case you know."

"Thank you." he smiled back warmly. "Now let me just grab a couple coats. And please bring your ring."

---

As they made their way down the stairs into the grand hall of the Post Office, the noise and bustle of the workers slowly ceased as heads turned one after another in their direction. Moist stiffened involuntarily, he felt naked and exposed to have so many eyes drilling into him. For as long as he had been Albert Spangler, he had always been just another undistinguished and unnoticed face in the background. To have this many people worrying for him, trusting him, relying on him... the weight was almost crushing. He felt his chest tighten...

"Just breathe normally." Miss Dearheart whispered into his ear. He glanced at her and his fears melted. She supported his arm and they continued together down the stairs.

"Mr. Lipwig!" Mr. Groat exclaimed hustling forward then broke into a hoarse whisper. "Are you ok, sir? Should you be out of bed?"

"I'm fine, thank you Mr. Groat. But there is someplace that Miss Dearheart and I need to go. We'll also bring Gladys. Could you arrange a carriage out front for us?"

"Certainly sir!" Mr. Groat snapped to attention with a salute. He shouted off the commands and by the time that Moist and Adora walked leisurely to the front doors, a carriage with a golem in front just pulled up.

to be cont.

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Ah... and about the Albert Spangler name thing, I simply ran with the assumption that Adora Belle would recognize his personality from when they first met, take an educated guess, and just hammer in the point if he denied it. Actually, I've relied on quite a bit of assumptions in this thing. But yes, Moist is his real name, he just gets confused.

Durr. I get it now! Thanks!

You're swaying, Moist. And I know it's taking everything you've got just not to sneeze."

Argh. stretcher.gif Damn Adora, she's so perceptive. And sneezing with handcuffs and being unable to cover properly is an amazing idea. It really reminded me of the only other disc world fic I'd read, by katedidwhat, featuring Captain Carrot, but I wholeheartedly prefer Moist. Even when he's not himself he's very charming. Also I cannot *wait* to see what Gladys has to say about his illness! She's one of my favourite characters, particularly when she gets a thing for Moist in Making Money. Thanks so much for updating. x

Edited for fail spelling.

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Teehee, feverish states. <3 This man is so utterly delightful, sucha charmer and the epitome of all gentlemen. o w o

looking forward to the next update weeee

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Ah! Much thanks to Sigrith for the edits w00t.gif

I do love Gladys too, tho she doesn't have much lines in this part... it's a thought, I can add her in the next part even if I have to extend it longer lol.

Emily: Yes well, a gentleman when he needs to be hehehe happy.png

Moist is my favorite Discworld character, I'm dying inside waiting for the next book 'Raising Taxes' @_@

---

PART 4

The Pieces of the Puzzle -

The Sergeant's Gift - I Dod't Deed to

Sdeeze - When Words Fail

The ride to the Yard wasn't very far but Moist felt his insides curl and knot. As a criminal his very instincts were to get as far away from the City Watch as possible. But as the Postmaster General, a reformed and exemplary citizen of Ankh-Morpork, he had to face them straight on, sneezy or not.

On cue, another itch tugged at his nose. Well, there was no fooling Miss Dearheart in any case. He allowed the itch to build as his breath shuddered. It played with him mercilessly before, with a final gasp, he turned sharply to the side and sneezed twice. "eh-hck'CHHHw! etsheew!"

He felt her slide next to him and a cool hand pressed against his forehead. Moist leaned into it as his eyes closed. He was pushing his luck, he knew, but it felt so good. To his surprise, she pulled him closer and he sank comfortably to her shoulder. He fit perfectly against her, his tired mind mused before it drifted off to other thoughts.

It had been raining last night and the Watch employed a werewolf. He was found with a splendidly expensive ring worth almost a quarter of his annual salary in his inner pocket and hundreds of dollars of gold in his trousers. It didn't take someone like Vetinari to deduce that Moist von Lipwig had been up to something less than perfectly legal.

However he was also a reformed citizen, a role-model to the community, and a distinguished face. Most importantly, he had planned to propose with this splendid ring to Miss Dearheart, no doubt in full public display with Sacharissa Cripslock and her vampire iconographer in the front row. Such a famous ring would be instantly noticeable. As the Postmaster General he was certain, at least, that he obtained this ring legally.

But then why the secrecy? Why the night stroll in the rain? It didn't seem like his attacker knew or cared about his hidden ring nor the gold. If he could only remember...

"We're Here Mr. Lipwig." announced Gladys as their carriage rolled to a stop.

Moist shook himself awake and rubbed the fog from his eyes. Then with a determined nod to Miss Dearheart, he put on his Postmaster's hat and stepped lightly out of the carriage. The crisp evening air caused him to shiver slightly and he pulled his thick coats tightly around him. His nose tingled in the cool breeze and he snapped to the side again "etCHhew!". With a sigh and a sniff, he steeled himself, gripped the door handle and pushed his way in.

The loud and rowdy noises from the Watch settled into a muffled sort of silence as they slowly recognized the man who had entered. Their eyes then glared at Gladys who had awkwardly tried to enter the doorway so he gestured for her to wait outside.

"Please excuse us." he said in his lightest and sincerest of tones. "But I'm looking for Sergeant Detritus? I heard I'm indebted to him for finding me last night. I'm still a bit foggy about what happened so I just wanted to ask him a few questions if I c-could?" his breath hitched but he turned it into a polite cough.

A woman with long flowing golden hair strode forward as the rest of the Watch respectfully stepped aside for her.

"He is currently on patrol, but if you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them for you. I was also there when you were found, Mr. Lipwig." she said.

"Thank you miss, and you are?"

"Sergeant Angua, Mr. Lipwig. You may not remember me but we've met before." she smiled politely but Moist sensed there was something behind her sweet words.

"Thank you Sergeant. Would you be willing to accompany us tonight? I simply wanted to see the exact location."

"Of course Postmaster." she waved on the rest of the men who turned industrially back to work.

There was definitely something about this Sergeant, Moist decided as he rubbed his nose again, who could part crowds of large muscled Watchmen, trolls, and dwarves and who could turn them back into a false sense of busy work with a wave of her hand. But he courteously gestured her forward and they settled neatly back into the carriage.

"Thank you again, Sergeant, for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us." said Miss Dearheart conversationally.

"Anything for you and Mr. Lipwig. It is rare for the Post Office to ever request anything of the Watch."

"Ah yes well I don't seem to remember much of that anyway." he said holding a casual fist up to his nose in what he hoped was an aloof manner. It just itched too much and he definitely didn't want to sneeze in front of this Sergeant!

"I read the paper. If it is simply your memory problem, I'm sure that Igor back at the Watch can..."

Moist held up his hand. "Thank you but no. I'd rather not ask Igor to mess with my brain at the moment. It's quite tender enough already as it is." he said with a wince.

"And are you certain you should be out at night?" when he looked at her in surprise she continued. "I meant with your fever. You'll be perfectly safe from attackers with me and Gladys around."

Oh, so she knew about that too. He certainly had to be on his guard with this one. "Please don't worry about me, I'm quite warm and cozy under all these coats."

"Too warm perhaps? You are slightly sweating under all those layers."

"I'll be fine once we step outside." he tried to smile reassuringly but Miss Dearheart was glaring at him again. He shifted his brain into second gear and mentally clamped down on the itch in his nose. He just couldn't risk another sneeze. They couldn't turn back now, they were so close.

The ride to the Jewelers was even shorter and they soon jerked to a quick stop. Moist followed the ladies out and breathed deeply from the night air. The cool air felt good against his flushed cheeks. Yes, it was nice to be outside at night. Part of him was always more comfortable in the dark.

The Sergeant passed next to him and pressed something into his hand before walking onward. Moist glanced down at it. A handkerchief? How did she...?

"This way please." the Sergeant gestured for them to follow as she turned right and led them around the front of the store to a dark side alley. She pointed to an area on the ground just in front of them. "Here. We found you right here, Mr. Lipwig."

Moist scanned the scene in the darkness and pieces clicked together in his brain. This spot against the wall would be unnoticeable and an ideal spot for an attacker to lie in wait. However Moist could not imagine himself walking down this side alley on purpose. Perhaps a lure? He shivered and sniffed. Oh gods. The chilly air had made his nose begin to run.

"What is it, Moist?" asked Miss Dearheart.

He cleared his throat and sniffed again. "Uh, this spot here, someone had been waiting here. They would be uh..." he rubbed a fist under his nose and pretended to cough. "They'd be unseend if I had bid walkig up this back road."

"From the back? Hadn't you come from the Jewelers?" Miss Dearheart asked, choosing to ignore the growing congestion in Moist's voice.

"I dod't kndow. It looks like I looped back arouwnd." Ugh, this was so embarrassing! Sneezing he could deal with, there were a multitude of ways to stop a sneeze if he had a mind to do it. But you can't sweet talk a person if you can't even talk. It was a game killer for someone like him who lived off the ability to twist words in other people's minds. And saying anything remotely like 'I dod't deed to sdeeze' would be a dead giveaway. He might as well stick a sign on his forehead that said 'Caution: Sneeze Incoming'.

He turned his back to the ladies and began to pace the alley again, using the opportunity to wipe his nose discretely with the handkerchief. Then he forced himself to focus back on reconstruction of last night. He would have turned left out of the Jewelers since that would have been the most direct route back to the Post Office, but for some reason he had come back around. If he had been followed, it's make sense that he'd want to get back to the main street which was well lit. Yes, he would not have seen the attacker from that angle, especially in the rain, and that would explain the large lump on the right side of his forehead...

But his weary and preoccupied mind absently loosened it's grip on the itch in his nose which bounced joyously in circles around his entire sinus before escaping. Moist barely had a chance to bring the Sergeant's handkerchief to his nose as an uncontrollable fit of itchy sneezes burst forth. "ehKCHHHew! hCHHh! engCH! heh'tchh'ew! h-hh-TCXHHHw! Hiih'sTCHHew! hngChhh!"

"Moist!" Miss Dearheart angrily exclaimed.

But he couldn't stop them, not after being restrained for so long. "hih'HhhhihhgKCHew! h'hhhihgshEW! eh-kCHHeew! heehhh... heh..." it stuck.

"We're leaving, Moist." said Miss Dearheart firmly.

He tried to wave her off "heh... Heh'KCHHew! Doh... I'b... hiiiiih'hKCCHH! hehh... heh-Hekschhheeew!" he finished spectacularly and recoiled at the sharp pain in his forehead. He felt two separate pairs of hands support him as he swayed backward.

"Are you ok, Mr. Lipwig?" Sergeant Angua asked.

"Gladys, please help Mr. Lipwig back to the carriage." commanded Miss Dearheart.

"Yes Miss Dearheart." said Gladys automatically.

"Doh, I'mb fide." Moist said as he tried to pull away. It was a lie, of course, and a bad one at that. He was a master of lies after all so he'd know. But it was just one of those phrases you had to say when you were being physically restrained by an enraged golem-controlling lady in killer high heels and an equally frightening and mysterious Sergeant of the City Watch.

He shook himself irritatedly. He couldn't leave now! There was just one more piece. His head felt like a golem had kicked it about, tried to pick it up, knocked it into a bucket of tar, and then accidentally stomped on it. He was just barely standing upright on his own and he knew that Miss Dearheart knew it too. But he also knew that deep down she wanted him to remember as much, if not more, than he did. He had to play that. There was no use in acting any longer.

Moist looked Miss Dearheart straight into her eyes and held them tightly. The words he could no longer speak with his own voice failing him burned feverishly in his eyes. She had to know. She had to understand. To the woman he had fallen in love with, twice, she had to let him do this. Miss Dearheart reluctantly relaxed her hold.

"Wait, Gladys." said Miss Dearheart with a sigh before the golem could grab him.

"Thagk you Miss Dearhardt." he closed his eyes gratefully and leaned against Gladys' thick strong arms to catch his breath. One thing could be said about golems, they were so sturdy that they made the ground itself stop swaying.

"Mr. Lipwig Perhaps You Could Use A Nice Back Rub?" the golem offered helpfully.

"Noh, noh thagk you Gladys."

"I Will Make You A Thick Cup Of Tea With Honey When We Get Back. It Is Good For Colds."

"Yes, thad would be nice. Thagk you." he said although for some reason, he envisioned he'd be drinking a full cup of honey with a spoonful of tea stirred in.

"Moist..." Miss Dearheart sighed again.

"There's just ode bore thig. Led's go indto Agkh-Borpork Jewelers and ask, shall we?" he said briskly and turned before Miss Dearheart could change her mind

to be cont.

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eeheheheheheheheheheeee

this is so wonderfuuul!

I believe you have the earned the title of my favorite fetishy writer LOL

AND you're a great writer to boot :> whatever it is you're doing, please keep doing it!

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aww thanks Emily blush.png

eheheh i had to edit this part to add in fluff so it's a bit long ^^

---

PART 5

What is in the Package? - Something

About Stupidity - A Delivery from

Drumknott - Gladys Studies Nursing -

The Honesty of a Sneeze

They went around to the front and rang the bell. Soon a small flap slid open and an elderly man's eye peered out of the eye hole. He shut it quickly but they could hear a variety of locks and latches being undone.

"Mr. Lipwig!" the man exclaimed as the door finally opened and he ushered them quickly in. Moist waved to Gladys to stand watch outside. "How are you, my son? I heard the news of course, front page of the papers all day. Not the best for business if you understand it but I've installed a couple more locks on the door and we'll manage. Ah Sergeant Angua, thank you for your continued hard work. My wife and I feel safer with the constant patrols in the area. Oh this must be the famous Miss Adora Belle Dearheart." he gave her a nudge and a wink which was awkward to watch but Moist noticed Miss Dearheart flush. Moist grinned inwardly, all this trouble tonight was worth it just to see that.

"I'mb sorry... erm... Mr...?" Moist prompted politely, hoping the strain in his voice passed unnoticed.

"Oh yes sorry the memory thing right? Richington. Toner Richington, sir. And, erm, you didn't happen to lose the..." the old man gave a cough and tapped his finger.

"Do you mean this, Mr. Richington?" Miss Dearheart asked as she extracted the ring.

The man's face lit up in a nearly tangible beam. "Oh yes! Very good miss!" he clapped as he took hold of the precious ring again. "My wife and I were so worried you know. Quite a gem, that one, would've been a shame to lose it. Of course we were also worried about you, sir, with your head bashed in an' everything but the ring's quite a one of a kind. Mr. Lipwig here has a fine eye for rings, spotted it immediately." He admired the gleam in the light before handing the ring back to Miss Dearheart.

"Funny, you didn't mention this in your report to the Watch, Mr. Richington?" Sergeant Angua broke in.

"Oh erm, much apologies Sergeant. But see Mr. Lipwig here had informed me no one was to know, at least not until he made the announcement with us, erm, I mean until he popped the question."

"Speakig of which Mr. Richightond," Moist leaned in to forestall any more pressing questions from Sergeant Angua, "cad you bring out that package that I had left with you?" he tapped his nose in what he hoped was a knowing gesture although it was really just to hold back another sneeze.

Mr. Richington beamed. "Oh yes sir! Glad to see you do remember! I'll bring it out immediately." and he turned and hobbled slowly into the back of the shop.

"Package? What package, Moist?" Miss Dearheart whispered under her breath but he simply held up a finger to his lips. The pieces were almost entirely in place, now if only his aching head and itchy nose would hold out long enough before they burst. It was much too hot in this stuffy little shop but he needed to see for himself and to confirm his theory.

"Here it is sir!" said Mr. Richington proudly as he produced a strong glass frame. Within the frame were...

"Stamps?" Miss Dearheart asked curiously.

"Not just any stamps!" Mr. Richington shouted aghast. "These are the set of six original proofs made and designed by Mr. Lipwig himself to be the first ever limited edition Ad-ver-tie-zing Stamps for Ankh-Morpork Jewelers!" he beamed again as if this should be self explanatory.

"What?" asked Sergeant Angua equally confused.

"Now look see," said Mr. Richington patiently, "each stamp is intricately designed with the Jewelers logo, beautifully detailed artwork, and a different captivating slogan. See this one says 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend.'"

"Are they?" the Sergeant asked.

"If not, they should be!" Mr. Richington smile could crack glass.

"And so these stamps..." said Miss Dearheart slowly, "will be part of the new series that the Post Office intends to release? Sort of a stamp collection and advertising play combined into one?"

"Yes exactly! I collect stamps myself you see, and these here are incredibly valuable seeing as they are the originals and first of their kind. Plus the advertie-zing value so that people far away will see them and hear about Ankh-Morpork Jewelers. I would have offered Mr. Lipwig the ring in equal exchange but he insisted that his Missus would not appreciate a ring he had not paid for himself. So instead I gave him a discount to be strictly the cost price of the ring and he gladly paid for it with coins left over in his pocket."

Moist grinned. Sometimes his brain worked quite ingeniously. True, he had exploited his position and skill as Postmaster General to buy a personal ring at a steep discount but they couldn't say he hadn't paid for it. Or worked for it. He could tell he had invested quite a lot of time, most likely personal time, into these designs. They'd sell well for the Post Office in addition to good publicity for the Jewelers. It was a win-win, wasn't it? He was glad he confirmed it. Miss Dearheart would appreciate...

His chest seized up and Moist bent over coughing for air. Too hot. That was it. His body had just given up. The room spun out from under his feet and Moist crumpled like a puppet whose strings had been suddenly cut: his right leg bent awkwardly first as it caved under his weight and then the rest of him followed limply after. He felt a pair of strong arms catch him easily and lift him out into the cool night breeze where the firm hands tugged off the thick layers of his coats. He lay on the ground and shuddered from the cold as the gleam of sweat on his skin tingled against the night air. But the weight on his chest lifted and he gasped gratefully for breath.

"Moist! Moist!" His unfocused eyes could make out, hovering behind the Sergeant, the outline of Miss Dearheart as she stared down at him with tears in her eyes.

He smiled weakly. "Marry me, Miss Dearheart?" he choked out. But he didn't hear her reply as a blackness again claimed him.

---

When he finally woke again it was to an unfamiliar ceiling. The pain in his head had subsided back to a light pulse and as he tried to lift his left hand... yup, handcuffs.

"Miss Dearheart said something about stupidity." Sergeant Angua whispered lightly as she entered the room carrying a steaming bowl of stew and a cupful of honey. There was a lingering smile on her lips.

"Where is...?" he asked. But he glanced down toward his feet and saw a figure hunched over the foot of his bed.

"And you're at the Yard, by the way, in one of our spare rooms. I had our Igor take a look at you since your fever was much too high. He also redressed your bandages. Oh and I did tell him that you insisted he leave your brain alone."

"Thank you Sergeant." he said while tugging experimentally at his left hand.

"He was quite upset. Here, you need to eat. Do you always push yourself as such, Mr. Lipwig?"

"All the time Sergeant." Luckily Moist found his right hand free of shackles this time which made eating a bit easier. although he didn't fancy drinking the cup of honey. He noticed the Sergeant seemed quite amused with his current dilemma and suspected the shackles were hers.

She watched him eat thoughtfully for a few minutes and then asked "You do remember before you passed out...?"

"Yes." he sighed. It was a spur of the moment high and his mouth had uttered the words before his brain could stop it. Not that he hadn't fallen back hopelessly in love with Miss Adora Belle Dearheart but he simply wished he could have popped the question in a much more romantic moment. "Did she reply?" he said quietly after a while.

"I'll let her tell you that herself."

He grimaced. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it." she smiled.

Suddenly Moist stiffened and gasp. Angua jumped instantly to her feet but she relaxed once she saw his expression. "Htkchh'ew!" he sneezed disastrously loudly as he had tried to hold back.

"Gods bless you!" she laughed and saved his bowl as another sneeze built.

"Moist?" came the sleepy voice from the foot of his bed.

Moist rolled over and groaned but a second escaped him anyway. "eHept'CHhhew!"

Angua walked lightly over to him and felt his head. "Rest well, Mr. Lipwig."

---

As it turned out, "rest" was not the first word that came to Moist's mind with all the unruly and overly turbulent noises from within the Watch. Also word had gotten out, as word often does with a building full of coppers, that the Postmaster General was very ill. By early afternoon of the next day, half the Post Office staff as well as a good percentage of Ankh-Morpork had stopped by the Yard, or at least outside of the Yard, obviously to check if he was still alive or not.

Adora Belle wholeheartedly agreed with Sergeant Angua that it was just as well Moist remained at the Yard since his attacker was still at large. But Moist silently thought to himself that she probably simply enjoyed having him chained up under the Sergeant's watchful eye.

Indeed, the only times he was allowed out of his shackles were the times he was escorted to the privvy by Sergeant Angua. But she slapped them back on playfully each time she helped him back into bed. If he tried to mouth a protest, Adora Belle simply scowled at him challengingly. She made no mention of his impromptu proposal however.

And thanks to the constant stream of concerned visitors, it was not long until Moist found himself floating in a sea of robust brilliantly colored flowers that, he reasoned, was not helping his sinus at all. The flowers and blossoms covered every available open space, including the tables, floor, cabinets around his bed, and poured out over-flowingly from his room. Someone had even given him a couple heads of cabbage poked on sticks and stuck in a rather large vase tied with a bright pink bow. The thick fragrant perfumes scratched seductively at his already irritated nostrils and gave him a headache. The largest bouquet bursting with heaviest irresistible scents had been delivered by Drumknott from Lord Vetinari himself. That bastard, thought Moist.

But when Gladys rolled in the latest cart of the blossoms, Moist protested.

"MORE flowers?"

"You Are A Very Popular Person, Mr. Lipwig." the golem replied

"But there's no more space for them! I should think the florist has not a single bud left in his shop!"

"The Florist Sends You His Wishes As Well. He Thanks You For Your Patronage. He Asks To Please Remember Him Should You Ever Fall Ill Again."

Moist sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. The flowers were seriously getting to him now. He could feel his ears ringing and his throat felt raw and scratchy. That was not to mention his already itchy nose which was so stuffed up that he knew what a turkey felt like. So far he had relied on the long tried and proven method of fist-under-nose technique coupled with the ultimate way of the pinch-hard-with-thumb-and-index-finger. This seemed to work although his nose had become bright red from the abuse.

But his room was, in all effects, a sea of flowers, and here he was anchored to the pollen sea floor. The thick and almost visible perfume of scents crashed over him in waves with each movement of the golem, tempting him to... to...

"Hchhhew!" he sneezed loudly.

"You Are Still Ill, Mr. Lipwig." said Gladys.

"Noh Gladys, I... huh... huh.... hHhhKKKChew!"

"I Will Make You More Tea, Mr. Lipwig. I Have Been Reading A New Book."

"A book?"

"Yes, Mr. Lipwig. It Is Entitled 'Nursing Your Young Children' By Miss Sunny Beam."

Moist visibly gagged as his breath caught in his throat. "Uh... noh, please dond't bother yourself Gladys. I'b fide, really."

"You Sneezed Twice, Mr. Lipwig. You Are Still Ill."

"Hodestly, I'b much better ndow. I dod't deed to sdeeze anybore." he cringed as soon as he said it.

"Come now, Moist." Adora Belle said sweetly as she entered his room. "Don't lie to us. You see, the thing about sneezing is that it's honest. And you're an honest person, aren't you? So an honest person should sneeze honestly."

"Miss Dearheart, please I... huh... " Moist said holding a hand protectively over his nose as it hitched.

She strolled over to him seductively, pulled his hand away, and pinned his free arm down with her knee. He struggled but she overpowered him easily. Through his watery eyes he could see Adora Belle looking down mischievously from above him.

"You need to let them out, Moist. How else will you get better?"

"Noh, I amb beig hodest, Misss Dear... heart. The fla... the flowers are... uh..." but she was now scratching under his nostrils in gentle circles with her slender fingertips and he could only squirm helplessly. "uh... huh... h'Hktchh'ew! HTCHHHHw!"

Sergeant Angua knocked on the door lightly and let herself in. "I heard the sneezing so I brought up more handkerchiefs." she handed the stack to Miss Dearheart who smiled.

"Thank you Sergeant." she said innocently in a voice Moist absolutely dreaded.

"S'sergead, cad you please... uh... udlock by... by... huh-h'h'HetCKHhhhoo!" As Moist sneezed, he felt fabric pressed firmly against his face and opened his eyes to see Miss Dearheart holding a cloth to his nose.

"Now be good, Moist, and blow." she instructed.

"Miss Dearheaart really I dod't thigk I..." he faltered as he felt her rub under his nose again through the handkerchief and the lingering itch in his nose exploded into a fierce uncontrollable tickle. He gasped for breath and sneezed harshly into her cloth "heh... eh'hh-Heetchhhoo!" Then, with no other choice, he reluctantly blew his nose messily. The pressure immediately lifted and he sighed audibly at the relief it brought.

"Better right?" She let go his restrained hand, tossed aside the used cloth into a bucket and patted his cheek.

Moist grimaced as he glanced at Gladys who looked suspiciously... helpful.

"Yes, thagks." said Moist resignedly.

to be cont.

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"Noh, I amb beig hodest, Misss Dear... heart. The fla... the flowers are... uh..." but she was now scratching under his nostrils in gentle circles with her slender fingertips and he could only squirm helplessly. "uh... huh... h'Hktchh'ew! HTCHHHHw!"

Ah, Killer. She's so evil. Because that's not what I would do in that situation, not at all. Not one bit :whistle:

Seriously, this whole fic is amaaaazing. And hot. And well plotted. I don't think I have enough nice words for it.

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LOL thanks again to you both for the comments XD Unfortunately this is the last part... after this I'll have to revert back to my other story which had been put on hiatus. That one still needs work tho since I am currently redoing the Vetinari parts.

This had been fun! Oh I so love Moist <3

---

PART 6 (final)

Flowers over Coppers - Don't

Smile for a Sneeze - Pollen Dreams -

The Golden Ride- It's a Stamp

By mid afternoon, Igor happily declared that Moist's fever had finally broken. And not a moment too soon, Moist thought to himself almost sweating from sheer relief. He fully suspected Gladys was all but ready to implement her newly acquired nursing tips by Miss Sunny Beam. Even his overactive imagination shut down completely at the mental image of a nursing golem. Indeed, his brain never got farther than "Just how would she...?" before a dizzy spell rebooted his mind in self-preservation of his sanity and he found himself a few minutes later wondering just what he had been doing?

On the plus side of things, Sergeant Angua also deemed him well enough to be released from his shackles. However that simply meant he now had TWO hands to attack his itching nose with instead of ONE, seeing as he was not in a great hurry to leave the sanctity of his room and mingle amongst the Watchmen. He'd choose flowers over coppers any day. Moist would ask Gladys to begin clearing out his room as soon as he was certain she'd refrain from "nursing" him back to health. In the meantime, he'd put up with the sneezing.

And sneezing, there sure was. He had never been "allergic" to anything before but he was certain it had to do with the now doubled amount of flowers that filled his room. Flowers had been stacked on TOP of flowers in a sort of dangerous pyramid arrangement that threatened to topple over with his every hitching breath. Moist even suspected that the florist had run out of blossoms long ago and so was selling common wild flowers and dandelions at premium prices to unsuspecting citizens.

Mr. Groat and Stanley stopped by from the late afternoon run with two entire satchels of letters, get-well cards, and best wishes from the Post Office and the general public. Even Captain Carrot paid him a visit. The only notable exception missing from the continuous stream of visitors was Commander Vimes, Moist noticed.

And Moist was not in the least surprised when Sacharissa Cripslock burst into his room that evening. But he thanked every god he could remember that Sergeant Angua refused to allow the vampire Otto in. He'd swear he had heard growling coming from downstairs. The mere thought of a swollen eyed and red nosed Moist von Lipwig caught in midsneeze on the front page of the paper... well... couldn't be thought.

"You look... horrible, Moist." Miss Cripslock volunteered.

"Thangk you, Miss Cripslock." Moist said at his sweetest before he snapped to the side, pinching his nose hard in a failed stifle. "Hnggk!uh... 'Scuse be, allergies." he tried to write it off.

"Umm, yes. I can see how this all is a bit... overwhelming."

"But I'b very humbled to be thoughd of so foddly by the citizens of this city." said Moist with his sincerest face, at least as sincere as one can be while trying not to sneeze. Too late however another itch snuck up and he snapped aside again barely covering "Hkkchhw!"

"Bless you, Moist. Are you sure it's just... allergies? I heard you were dragged back into the Yard late last night in a fevered state of unconsciousness. They said you had gone off earlier with Sergeant Angua to Ankh-Morpork Jewelers."

"By head is still a bit foggy, Miss Cripslock..."

"Have you remembered anything else, Moist?"

Moist opened his mouth to reply but just then, thankfully or not, an intense itch stole his breath away. His mouth hung open, frozen momentarily in time as a statue of complete helplessness. Like an impending tsunami, the tide drew back in a tranquil and innocent silence. Birds flew down and pecked happily at the now barren sea floor. Then, with only a soft gasp, the itch suddenly crashed back down on him, reducing him to a curled ball of intense rapid fire allergic sneezes.

"Hchhew!Chh!Echh'ng!Ng!Hektchhg!CHHHh!Hexchh'ng!Chhw!hetxchhhew!"

"Moist!" Miss Cripslock declared in alarm but he couldn't hear her as his fit continued.

"eChh!HsCHH!ekCHHH'ng!HiSshhhew!"

"Miss Cripslock, please you'll have to leave." said Sergeant Angua striding into the room.

"But..."

"Please, Miss Cripslock." she helped the reporter to her feet. Miss Cripslock took one last look at the still sneezing Postmaster before nodding and quitting the room.

Sergeant Angua sighed and walked over to Moist. She was rubbing his back firmly just as Adora Belle entered.

"Moist!" Adora shouted.

At her voice, Moist managed to look up briefly. But then more sneezes gripped him and he bent over again. "Hexkkkch!Hchhh!CHHh! Id's... uh... h'HCXHHh! eh-Etxchhhew! the fla... Hchhhew! the flowers... Hgchhhew!"

"Let's get him out of here." Sergeant Angua suggested as she effortlessly lifted Moist to his feet. "Gladys can move them out later."

"hii'HHCHHHew! eh'ectCHH! ugh... my dose... Hexgchh! id just wod... heh... HetCHHHw! wod stah... ah... ah'CHH!"

Adora Belle nodded and together they eased him out of his ocean of flowers and down the hall to a well ventilated flower-free room. He was still sneezing, but simply being out of the flowers seemed to help. Adora Belle had to stop him from rubbing his swollen itchy eyes while Sergeant Angua went to retrieve a bowl full of cold water and a towel.

Nearly an hour later when he finally stopped sneezing, Moist was so exhausted he dropped immediately off to sleep.

---

Moist did sleep but he tossed constantly. Even in his pollen-induced dreams, his nose itched and his head felt thick and foggy. He was standing in the rain. What was he doing? A sound from behind him. No, not footsteps. The sound of a shape. He ran. It followed. He ducked, turned, and skid down an alley. Into a house. Back into the street. Was he safe? Then pain and blackness and Moist von Lipwig woke up screaming.

It took a while to calm him down and by then the half of the Watch that had gathered outside his door began to mill away slowly. Gladys had attempted to restrain him gently, well as gently as a golem can, but he fought her wildly in a mad attempt to escape. He was still struggling as Sergeant Angua pushed her way through the crowd of Watchmen, gripped both of his thrashing arms firmly behind him, and forcefully pinned him to the bed. Adora Belle dropped down beside him and slapped his cheek a couple times.

Minutes later when he finally stopped fighting and his eyes regained their focus, he looked upon the scowling Adora Belle as if seeing her again for the first time.

"Spike?" he asked weakly.

"Moist?" she gasped, her scowl dropping for the first time in days.

Images and memories flashed before his eyes so quickly he couldn't make sense of any of them. But they were there. At least mostly there.

"Are you ok, Mr. Lipwig?" Sergeant Angua asked cautiously as she released her vice-like grip.

He touched his forehead and his bandage was still there as well. It was almost as if in his dreams he had felt his skull bashed in a second time. But good gods it hurt almost as if he really had been hit again. He looked at her and a name shuffled into his mind. "Sergeant Angua von Uberwald?"

She smiled at him. "Yes, Postmaster General."

He sighed and leaned back in bed, his head still ringing from the imagined impact and the overwhelming flood of images across his eyes. He looked at Spike again. "I've been a pain, haven't I?" he said with a grimace.

Adora leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "I expect nothing less from Moist von Lipwig." she said softly into his ear.

Sergeant Angua shoved out the remaining lingering Watchmen from the room and closed the door silently on the pair who had curled up together on the small cot fast asleep.

---

When Moist returned to the Post Office, it was in style. Someone had brought him his golden Postmaster General's suit. He rode up front in a carriage with Adora beside him and a full Watch procession behind him. He waved gladly to everyone and even named those he could remember. It was almost like a thrilling final exam with most of the city to cheer him on.

He had to sneeze twice during the trip and when Adora felt him tense, she pulled him toward herself in a passionate embrace with his face hidden. The crowd went louder and no one heard or noticed the sharp sneezes by the Postmaster General.

But assumedly not everyone would be happy to see Moist von Lipwig back at the Post Office. Upon Moist's recommendation, Sergeant Angua and a couple of the Watchmen kept sharp vigilance from the back of the carriage for any negative airs or angry eyes. Perhaps his attacker will show up again? Once Moist was back to the Post Office, the golems and staff would be warned against any mischief. So the full open parade might be the only time to attack again.

Then she saw it. Sergeant Angua stiffened and leapt from the carriage into the crowd toward the one face in many. There were so many people and so many scents but she had it now. Like a wolf she agilely pushed her way through and with a last tackle brought down a husky built boy. Not a few breaths behind her, three other Watchmen came running up with shackles and helped restrain the struggling lad.

Moist saw the commotion from the corner of his eye but kept his face steady and smiling as he finished the parade. He made it safely back to the Post Office, greeted his entire staff by name, and promptly went back to work.

---

A knock late at night to his office door awoke him from his doze. It had been a long day. His head still ached and his nose still bothered him but he cleared his voice and said strongly. "Come in."

Sergeant Angua entered with a lad in shackles as she pushed him forward.

"Good evening, Postmaster." Angua said politely.

"Good evening, Sergeant Angua. And who have you here?" he asked curiously with a sniff and light rub to his nose.

Angua nudged to boy to respond and he stepped forward meekly. "Names Roman Greenyham." the boy said.

"Oh. Son of 'ol Mr. Greenyham is it? Ex-board for the Grand Trunk, was it?" Moist's memories hadn't all returned yet but what did return had all boiled together into a mixing pot of around the time of the affair with the Grand Trunk.

"Yessir." he said quietly.

"And why are you here today, Roman?" Moist asked.

The boy hesitated but Angua nudged him again. "I'msorryforattackingyoutheothernight, Mr. Lipwig. But my brother had nothing to do with it." the words came out in a muffled hurry but were sincere.

"We at the Watch explained to Mr. Roman Greenyham that Mr. Moist von Lipwig was not responsible for the affairs of the Grand Trunk. And instead it was Mr. Reacher Gilt, currently missing, who lied, cheated, and scammed families for all of their money."

Well, at least the latter was certainly true, Moist thought to himself.

"Please come here Roman." Moist reached into his desk, pulled out a stamp, and put it into the boy's hand.

"What is this, sir?"

"A stamp, Roman."

"No sir. I meant why are you giving me this?" the boy asked curiously.

Moist gave the boy a fatherly look. "I want you to write to me, Roman, if you ever need help. If you write the words, I will be there. I promise."

The boy looked at the stamp hesitantly then smiled thoughtfully. "Thank you, sir."

Sergeant Angua excused themselves from the Postmaster General and led the boy out the door, but not before giving Moist a sly and approving grin.

---

Two days later Moist accidentally "leaked" out to Sacharissa Cripslock a big unveiling of the first ever Post Office Advertising Stamps series featuring Ankh-Morpork Jewelers. As the crowd applauded over the intricate and detailed design of the set of six stamps, Moist von Lipwig got down to one knee and pulled out the genuine glowing AMJ diamond ring.

Over the gasp of the crowds he took Adora Belle Dearheart's hand and asked her this: "Miss Adora Belle Dearheart, will you be my wife?"

To which she responded. "No. In fact my dear Mr. Moist von Lipwig, you will be my husband."

Their kiss sealed front page on the paper as well as a future design for the next stamp.

---

The next day, when the future Mrs. Lipwig fell ill, she beat up her future husband so soundly his remaining missing memories zipped right back inside his skull for safety.

the end.

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awwww AWWWWWW AWWWWWWW THAT WAS PERFECT! :D

yayayayayay

I hope to see more from you soon!jump.gif

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