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Title: The Marriage Accord
Ficverse: Leverage & The Princess Bride
Series: The Princess Bride Job, 13/18
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 1600 ish / 29,500 ish
Characters: Team Leverage, Inigo, Fezzik, Miracle Max, Westley, Valerie, Humperdinck, Rugen, Yellin
Summary: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles. And hitter, hacker, grifter, thief, mastermind.
Notes: Don't worry. Nate has everything perfectly under control.
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
Chapter Twelve


Chapter Thirteen
Once Max satisfied himself that there were no aftereffects from the pill, Eliot frowned at Inigo. “How did you two find me? And for that matter ... why?”

Inigo nodded happily. “I will explain,” he said, then thought better of it and shook his head. “No. There is too much. Let me sum up. Fezzik saw your friend Parker going into the forest, so when he told me of Vizzini’s death and the existence of Count Rugen, the six-fingered man, we come to find you, to plan for us, so we can get into the castle to rescue Buttercup and kill Rugen.”

“~Um, guys, about the killing thing ...~” Nate began to say, obviously uncomfortable. “~That’s not really what we do – uh – ~”

“We’re not doing it, he is,” said Parker firmly, with unanswerable logic, then turned to the others in curiosity. “How did you find the tree?”

“The Albino,” said Fezzik. “He was outside it.”

A knock on the door revealed Westley, hobbling in to join them. “Humperdinck seems to have done us a favor,” he said, after giving Eliot a brisk nod of respect. “He’s had the Thieves’ Forest emptied, and many of them are hiding among the people. All my men and contacts are scattered among them, ready to spread any rumor we choose.”

Max was watching him, or rather his movement, critically. “Let me have a look at that,” he said. “On the bench, sonny. Foot up.”

Westley was taken aback, but obeyed, and Max started examining it while the conversation continued.

“A favor he may have done, emptying the Thieves’ Forest, but he has put thirty men on the castle gate,” said Inigo. “Why do you think we need you? At our best, we could never defeat so many.”

“Wow, that guy sure is paranoid,” said Parker.

“I’m going to need a shirt,” said Eliot, and Max gestured absently at a corner.

“Help yourself,” he said, then went back to Westley, nodding to himself. “I’ve seen worse. Valerie!”

A woman, as wrinkled as Max but dainty, with flowers woven into a knot of her otherwise untamed silver hair, appeared from another room. She waved a spoon at him, paying little attention to the small crowd of people in the room. “What? Always with the yelling!” Then she spotted Eliot in the corner, pawing through a drawer. “Eliot! Max said you were in town. So nice to see you, especially since you never write and tell us how you are. How’s that girlfriend of yours? Get her back yet?”

Eliot came up with a plain, dark shirt, and grinned indulgently. “Not exactly. It’s good to see you too, Valerie. How’s life treating you?”

“Oh, you know, can’t complain,” she said.

“Ha!” Max threw his hands up. “Nothing but complaining!”

“You should talk! Ever since Humperdinck fired you –”

“You promised you’d never say that name!”

“Sir?” Inigo suddenly found himself the center of attention, and shifted awkwardly. “Uh ... we’re in a terrible rush.”

Max started, then looked around at their audience, and down at Westley’s leg. “Right? Yes! Valerie, my things!”

In short order, and unexpectedly harmonious teamwork, they prepared a big knobby pill, holding it out to Westley. “Wait fifteen minutes for full potency,” said Max cheerfully. “And go easy on the leg for another hour.”

“Don’t go in swimming, either,” warned Valerie. “At least an hour.”

“Yeah, a good hour,” Max agreed.

Westley took it, eyeing Max with faint suspicion. He glanced at Eliot, who shrugged and nodded, so he tucked it into his belt. “Thank you.”

Max brushed it off. “Don’t thank me, sonny, just make Humperdinck suffer!”

Westley endorsed the older man’s rancor with a smile. “Oh, we plan to.”

Eliot looked around at his small troop and raised an eyebrow at them. “Alright, gang.”

There have been more rousing rallying cries in the history of launching offensives, but it had the desired effect. In a small stampede, the band cleared Max’s home, Parker and Fezzik both waving back to the couple farewelling them together from the doorway.

“Bye bye, kids!”

“Have fun storming the castle!”

Valerie turned slightly to her husband. “Think it’ll work?”

Max thought for a moment, his eyes on Eliot. Then he turned, caught the eye of his wife, and smiled.

                                                                               

Guided by Hardison, Sophie found Humperdinck in his study, frowning at some papers he was holding. She paused to catch her breath, but kept a dash of agitation.

“Your Highness – Humperdinck,” she said, worried. “What has happened?”

He turned and came to meet her, taking her hand in both of his to draw her closer to himself. “Helene,” he said, at his most charming, gazing down at her. “I want to ask you something – I know this may seem very sudden, but you know how I am a man of action. In the few days I’ve known you, I have sensed in you a kindred soul, a vision and mettle that matches my own.”

“Oh –” she said, pleased and embarrassed.

“You have opened my eyes – to myself, to my options, to Florin’s potential. And to Buttercup’s utter inadequacy to walk beside me in this.”

Her confusion was visible. “But – I thought – you have announced your wedding tonight! The guests are gathering, the chapel, the clergyman –”

“As with many things in governing, the situation is fluid,” he said loftily. “But I feel you will understand that my purpose in marrying Buttercup was not simply to have a consort. I had planned to ... retire her, very quickly, from the position, but in a way that would inspire my people to unite and strive against an old enemy of ours.”

Sophie looked at him shrewdly. “I see. Guilder, I presume?”

There was a moment of relief and joy at her quick understanding and tacit acceptance. “Yes....” He glanced back at the papers on the desk, and frowned. “That’s what I intended. But I am re-evaluating what is best.”

She nodded. “Guilder is putting out feelers on the international stage, building alliances, broadening their strength base.... As useful as a war is to rally a population behind their leader, there might be better ways to strengthen your position....”

He beamed. “My thoughts exactly!” He took her other hand, so that he was holding both in his. “Do you see, Helene? We are two bodies with but one mind and heart!” He looked deeply into her eyes. “What could be more natural than to unite fully? What possible objection could stand against it?”

She returned his look, dazed. “You mean –”

“Marry me, Helene. Be my princess, my queen. Between your family’s resources and my country, with our ambition, there is no limit to what we may achieve!”

“But – what of Buttercup?”

He shrugged dismissively. “Only a few hours ago, I thought, perhaps, I could marry her immediately, execute the plan, to bring that momentum into our joining – Rugen tried to convince me that we could go through with my original idea. But I have come to believe that ... may be impracticable.”

Hardison added his contribution in her ear. “~Yeah, I found the conversation. Rugen brought the pressure this afternoon.... Prince Scuzzball’s telling you the truth. Basically.~” He sounded a little surprised, and impressed.

“I still have her, in reserve,” Humperdinck was explaining. “We can decide how to best use her – my people adore her. But marrying her simply won’t work.” He stopped, and squeezed her hands. “Helene?”

“I –” She dithered. “It’s so unexpected!”

“Do you doubt me? Do not worry about the people; they are easily swayed.”

The door opening made them both turn, to see Rugen enter, with a pasty-looking redhaired man whose mustache had devoured half his face. Rugen’s glower upon seeing Sophie was quickly hidden; his companion merely stared at her, bewildered.

“Ah, Yellin. Report,” commanded Humperdinck, getting the mustache man’s attention.

“The Thieves’ Forest is emptied, Sire. Thirty men guard the castle gate, and I hold the only key,” he said, still eyeing Sophie uncertainly.

“Double it. There may be some ... confusion among the people tonight. No one is to enter. I want no interruptions; tell all who comes that tomorrow I will address everyone in the great square.” He looked back down at Sophie, whose hands hadn’t left his. “Will I have good news ... dearest?”

“~Say yes,~” said Nate quickly. “~We need to keep control of this. We can’t risk Rugen regaining influence over him.~”

Sophie gazed up at him, a wondering smile breaking across her face. “I ... you are formidable, Your Highness.... Humperdinck. How could I say no?”

“Sire –” Rugen began, but abandoned the effort as fruitless the moment Humperdinck turned to him.

“Rugen, congratulate me!” He drew Sophie against him. “I am the happiest man alive! Make sure the clergyman is ready, and tell the guests in the chapel the wedding will soon begin!”

Sophie pulled back, eyes wide. “What?”

“My darling, we must seize the moment. Expectations are high; if we postpone, we lose all our advantage to shape the people’s reaction. You look exquisite; a few little additions – a crown – and you will be the perfect bride. Months of planning could not buy us a more perfect moment to capture public feeling. We must be swift! Can you do that for me, beloved?”

“~Er, um, just ... go with it,~” said Nate hurriedly. “~And ... stall. I got this under control. We can make it work. It’ll be okay.~”

“I ... oh, Humperdinck, of course I can,” she said radiantly. “But I do want to be perfect. Can you give me a little longer to prepare myself?”

He looked torn. “Our guests are waiting.... Dearest, you already look the most glorious bride in the land. I have no desire to wait, do you?”

“Of course not,” she assured him helplessly.

He glowed. “Ten minutes, then. And we shall be wed!”


Chapter Fourteen


Comments

( 2 speakses — have a speak )
deepbluemermaid
Apr. 24th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Nate has everything perfectly under control.

ORLY?!

Ha, this is great. I can't wait to see how you make it all work out...
themonkeytwin
Apr. 24th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
HA :D

Well ... for a given value of "everything" ;)
( 2 speakses — have a speak )

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