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saw that coming

Title: The Whirlwind Execution
Ficverse: Leverage & The Princess Bride
Series: The Princess Bride Job, 11/18
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 1600 ish / 29,500 ish
Characters: Team Leverage, Humperdink, Rugen, the Albino
Summary: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles. And hitter, hacker, grifter, thief, mastermind.
Notes: Um. Eliot's in the Pit, which means we knew this was coming. Not explicit, but if you're reading this, you probably know how the PB goes, so you probably know what's going to happen....
Disclaimers: Yeah. None of it's mine, apart from the idea to mix'n'match, and in abstract that's not mine either. I am now directly lifting some lines from the PB screenplay, as if anybody can't tell.
Spoilers: Most of The Princess Bride, eventually.
Concrit: go for it

Previously, on "The Princess Bride Job":
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten


Chapter Eleven
Humperdinck looked up and smiled as Sophie entered the room, standing courteously and drawing out a chair for her. “Good morning, Lady Helene. Have you broken your fast yet?”

If the breakfast table was set to impress, it was effective. “Good morning, Your Highness. I have not.” She sat, smiling up at him before he returned to his side of the table. “I admit, I did not expect to see you again, so quickly. I had heard you are a man of swift action, but the reality outstrips even the reputation!”

The prince preened without the faintest attempt at false humility. “A man must be decisive, a ruler even more so. Tea?”

“Please.”

She watched, genuinely surprised, as he poured her a cup himself. His deliberate, yet casual caress when he handed it to her explained it, though, and she modestly lowered her lashes.

“I wanted to hear how it went, last night. The princess is ... very important to me.”

Sophie let him see that she was assessing him, and kept her tone neutral. “She is quite a winning creature. A trifle ... simple, perhaps, but her appeal is undeniable.”

“The people are quite taken with her,” agreed Humperdinck.

“Ah,” she said, with a small smile of understanding, shaded with a hint of disdain. “Well, it’s politic, I suppose.” She raised her eyebrows delicately. “I imagine it was a heroic pursuit.”

He started, guilt on his face. “What do you mean?”

She pretended not to notice. “A woman so beautiful? Only the most ardent and audacious pursuit is fitting, to prove your mettle and win her heart.”

He shifted in his seat, looking a little foolish. “Well ... er ... the law of the land gives me the right to choose my bride....”

Sophie registered this with more visible disappointment. “Oh. I see.” She thought about this. “Still, she is very beautiful. I suppose that is enough for your subjects.”

“They ... what do you mean?”

“Your Highness,” she said reprovingly, while effortlessly maintaining the admiration she had carried for him in her eyes since last night. “Your subjects have the greatest hunter in the world as their prince – their king, in not many years, I’m sure.”

Humperdinck nodded. “I already do most of the ruling in my father’s stead.”

She smiled subtly, an expression full of secrets, and watched his intrigue grow. “I am sure you do.” She allowed the admiration to show through more, but only enough to sell her sincerity. “You are strong, and clever, and powerful. As beautiful as Buttercup is, she is merely ... a trophy. Don’t your people deserve a queen who matches your leadership and vision?” She waited a moment for the impact, then looked at him with something bordering on pity. “Don’t you?”

He blinked a few times, clearly touched. “It has been lonely,” he admitted. Then he examined her shewdly. “And you?”

She was puzzled. “Me?”

“What are you fishing for?”

She gave him a surprised laugh, and let candor suffuse her response. “I suppose I should have expected that.” She kept the amusement until some of his suspicion defused, then shrugged guilelessly. “I just ... know the feeling, that’s all.”

He now seemed more curious than wary, almost teasing her. “Then you’re not trying to leverage something from me?”

She smiled in return, but a hint of world-weariness crept into her answer. “My family is powerful – in many arenas – but my father won’t do what it takes to make it everything it could be. We have connections, even allies, everywhere, but he is not bold enough to capitalize on them ... and he lacks a necessary ruthlessness.”

She allowed herself to seem momentarily lost in thought, then looked up with a bittersweet smile and an almost-unconscious touch on his hand. “So believe me when I say, Your Highness, I know it is not easy to be an empire-builder.”

The prince’s answering smile was warm with fellow-feeling. “Helene, please – call me Humperdinck.”
 
                                                                                 

Eliot was pretty much done cataloguing anything around him that could come into play in a fight, escape, or rescue. He shifted, easing stiff muscles as much as he could. Just one of those realities of being strapped to a table that you could never really overcome, along with the inevitability of an itchy nose.

Something he’d never had before, though, was the background chatter of a team dwelling in his ear. He hadn’t anticipated how comforting it would be, linked by their voices – not just to the world outside this pit, but to a crew who had his back, who wouldn’t let him slip away in the darkness. He never thought he’d be able to sleep with the com in his ear, but last night he’d dozed off much more quickly than he’d ever expected.

Hardison suddenly piped up, sounding alarmed. “~Wait – what is he.... Eliot, Rugen’s in the tunnel!~”

“What?” he said, careful not to let the Albino hear.

“~Rugen! He’s on his way down!~”

“~What? When did he leave?~” asked Nate. “~Parker?~”

“~He was talking to Humperdinck, outside the castle. I was planting the spy reports!~”

“~Eliot, we’re too far – ~”

The door banged, making the Albino jump and Eliot miss the rest of what Nate was saying. He was pretty sure he had the gist of it, though.

Rugen stalked over to Eliot, who was once again discovering that his bindings were very, very secure. The count’s eyes blazed into him with unaccountable fury, and he decided he hated this. A lot.

What had happened? What did Rugen know? Were they blown?

The adrenaline rampaging through him became harnessed to a single purpose. Whatever was about to happen, however helpless he was to free himself, he had to cover the team. He had to find out as much as he could.

He slammed his game face on, grinning cockily. “You’re early to kill me. I’m not all patched up yet.”

Rugen slapped him. Hard.

Eliot gave his eyes a second to focus again, then glared back, but was surprised when Rugen turned away from him, striding back and forth. He exchanged glances with the Albino, who looked so frightened that Eliot judged this to be a highly uncharacteristic expression of anger on Rugen’s part. Eliot actually began to relax; he knew Rugen enough to be reasonably sure that discovering the team wouldn’t produce this kind of reaction. He had to make sure it stayed that way.

A violent clatter interrupted his racing thoughts as Rugen flung things off his desk, then caught sight of Eliot again.

“After all I’ve done!” he shrieked. “Years of plotting and guiding that ... conceited ... inept ... odious ... popinjay!”

“That’s kind of a tautology,” said Eliot. “Popinjay means a concei–”

Rugen slapped him again, and Eliot spat blood out of his mouth, grinning in satisfaction. He couldn’t go down fighting with his fists, but he had other weapons, and he was damn well going to make Rugen feel it. He distantly perceived the flap of team activity in his ear, but it meant nothing at this point.

Rugen was still ranting mostly to himself. “And now some cow turns up and suddenly he’s found his soulmate? Just going to abandon everything we worked for and marry her instead? He thinks he can do better with her?” He was practically screeching by the end.

Eliot was laughing so hard he almost couldn’t speak, although one tiny, hidden part of him was bursting with pride and admiration for Sophie’s work. “Did you just get dumped? By that dumbass prince? Man ... sucks to be you.”

Rugen’s eyes narrowed, realization dawning in them, chest heaving as he caught his breath. “You’re just trying to get me to kill you now, quickly.... You don’t want to be in the Machine.” He looked at the thing, then smirked evilly, leaning in closer to hiss, “I don’t blame you.”

With a crook of his fingers he summoned the Albino. “Hook him up. Immediately.” He tilted his head to the side, looking Eliot up and down. “I feel the need to destroy something ... disposable.”

Eliot came back at him even as the Albino wheeled him in place. “Like you are?”

Rugen only sneered in return, then stroked the Machine’s gauge. “Normally I would never go above five ... even that, I don’t know what it would do to you. I would go slowly, eke out your life in excruciating increments.... Take my fussy little notes and itemize you, wasting away.”

The Albino was working with the speed and care of long practice. At no point did he give his prisoner the smallest opportunity for escape, Eliot noted, with reluctant recognition of his professionalism. He was already almost finished fixing the suction cups in place.

“Yeah, sounds about right. Just keep playing to your strengths, man, and make sure you never face anyone not tied to a plank, you chickenshi–”

Rugen slapped him one more time, almost casually, then continued. “But you know what? I’ve kind of always wondered just what going to fifty will do to a man.... And you’re such a strong man. Full of life. I’m sure it will be ... indescribable.”

Eliot opened his mouth for one last jab, but then sucked in breath as Rugen rammed the gauge as high as he could reach in a frenzy of fury and glee and satisfaction.

There was a second of water rushing through the device, a ringing silence in which Eliot’s entire body arced and strained against unyielding restraints.

Then he started screaming.


Chapter Twelve

Comments

( 8 speakses — have a speak )
lmx_v3point3
Apr. 16th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
Eep... It's cool to relive my childhood through the medium of characters of my adulthood :D hehe. Thanks for all the work you're putting into this.
themonkeytwin
Apr. 16th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
It hardly feels like work, it's so much fun – but you're welcome! I'm just glad other people can enjoy it too. :)
deepbluemermaid
Apr. 16th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
Eep! Poor, brave Eliot.

I love Rugen's fury that Sophie is messing with his plans - and what I perceive as his fairly strong love for Humperdinck! His loss of control here is such a contrast to his usual (scary) calm.

And Sophie continues to be awesome :) One little thing, though: triffle should have only one F.
themonkeytwin
Apr. 16th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Oops, thanks for catching that :)

You know, I generally don't read slashy elements into anything that isn't (in my opinion, anyway) trying to imply them in canon. But PB is one where I watch some of the prince and the count's interactions and wonder. I actually do like the level of confidence these two total bastards have in each other, and how they drew that relationship, even if it isn't anything more than a close partnership. So I wasn't going to push it, but it's certainly there to be read if that's how it comes across.... :)
geminiocean
Mar. 22nd, 2011 09:50 am (UTC)
Okay, I was going to wait until I had read all of this to comment but I can't help myself. First, I love how you seamlessly blended the two works, The Princess Bride has always been one of my favorites. Second, I'm kinda miffed at Nate right now. I know one of them had to 'die' to fit with the story, but Nate LEFT HIM THERE!! How can he justify that!? His hero complex has blinded him, bad Nate. Now that that's out of my system, I can finish the rest of this amazing fic.
themonkeytwin
Mar. 23rd, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I know what you mean about Nate. I mean, sure, he had a plan and everything – he always does – but that doesn't mean his plans aren't sometimes stupidly reckless. Sure, the times Eliot gets badly injured on a job that we've seen have been the exceptions, things Nate couldn't have seen coming, but at the same time I don't think Parker is the only one who kind of assumes that Eliot is invincible.

Hope you enjoy the rest :)
dreamfall_nnwm
Apr. 14th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, I'm ticked off with them for abandoning Spencer to this, even mostly accidentally... and on the other hand I would have been really frustrated not to have the machine and Miracle Max play their rules. Also, eagerly awaiting the return of Inigo and Fezzik.
themonkeytwin
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:34 am (UTC)
I couldn't bear not to have The Machine and Miracle Max in this. I mean, what's even the point of writing it if you're not going to include them? And since Goldman had done such a brilliant job already crafting the story, I wasn't going to make work for myself plot-wise when I didn't absolutely have to.
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