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procrastination by more fic

Title: The Brain vs Brawn Switch
Ficverse: Leverage & The Princess Bride
Series: The Princess Bride Job, 3/18
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 1700 ish / 29,500 ish
Characters: Team Leverage, Westley, Fezzik, Vizzini
Summary: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles. And hitter, hacker, grifter, thief, mastermind.
Notes: I am a little bothered by how quickly this is going.
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: Nothing for Leverage, a whole lot for The Princess Bride. Is there anyone who is unspoiled for that movie?
Concrit: go for it

Previously, on "The Princess Bride Job":
Chapter One
Chapter Two


Chapter Three
Back on the Revenge, the mastermind, grifter, and pirate were gathered around the hacker’s command center.

Below decks, Westley had dispensed with his mask, revealing a young man handsome enough to even carry off a trim, straight moustache with style. His eyes were bright with youth and sharp with intelligence, despite the shadows lurking within.

Studying him, Sophie thought he couldn’t be much older than Hardison. If that. Half curious, half worried, her eyes darted between their client and their boss as the two men stood comfortably side-by-side, seeking out the shape of past mystery about them. None of the team liked it when Nate kept things from them, and for good reason.

Hardison brought a picture to the screen. “Vizzini. Sicilian. Very shady. Odd jobs, a couple that have assassination written all over them. Current known associates, Inigo Montoya, a Spanish fencer, and an ex-wrestler known as Fezzik, previously of Greenland. Quite the mixed selection.”

Westley’s eyes flickered around the group he was standing amongst. “Quite. In any case, I’ve heard of him. Vicious little bully. Rumored to be outrageously intelligent.” He exchanged a thoughtful smile with Nate. “Shouldn’t be much of a problem.... Eliot? If his killer couldn’t stop you, Vizzini will send the muscle next, while he tries to get away. I don’t believe he is keen on direct confrontation.”

“~Wrestler, you said?~”

“Yeah....” Hardison looked doubtful. “He’s pretty ... big, man.”

“~Yeah, and?~”

Hardison was not seeing the need for an “and”. “He’s big.”

Eliot sounded more annoyed than worried, as usual. “~Yeah, Hardison. He hauled all four of them up that cliff. I know he’s big,~” he said tersely. “~What are you trying to say?~”

“Just ... sayin’.”

“How long before we have satellite coverage?” asked Nate.

“Maybe twenty minutes.”

“Good. Eliot, Parker, get to the princess as fast as you can. Westley, take us to Florin.”

Westley paused. “Florin? Not Guilder?”

Nate shook his head. “There’s something going on here. We need to talk to your source.”

                                                                       

“Hold up,” said Eliot to Parker, scanning the bend ahead of them as it climbed through a scattering of rocks and boulders. She followed his gaze and nodded, drawing back.

Warily, Eliot moved forward. He rounded the bend and instinctively ducked, charging at the giant who had thrown a rock at his head even as it shattered on the boulder behind him. He springboarded off a hump of stone to get high enough just to land a punch, which barely rocked the man.

Fezzik grinned and moved surprisingly fast to put him in a lock, but not before Eliot hit him across the ear and head-butted him, then slipped out from his loosened grip.

“You’re quick,” Fezzik said appreciatively.

Eliot gave a look of surprise at the slow, genuine good humor in the giant’s tone. “Uh ... thanks, man,” he said, circling, edging closer to a boulder for better ground.

“Why do you wear a mask?” Fezzik asked, matching Eliot’s maneuvering. “Were you burned by acid, or something like that?”

Eliot’s smile became amused, almost sympathetic, at his opponent’s innocent curiosity. His brief laugh was not mocking. “Nah. Just looking the part. People see what they expect to.”

Fezzik smiled back as he worked the idea through his mind. “Like me,” he mused. “They always see the biggest and the strongest. Go away, dumb scary gia–”

Parker landed on his back and jabbed a needle in his neck, injecting its full load, then slid clear. He staggered, eyes losing focus, then fell to his knees. He turned towards to Eliot.

“You cheated,” he said reproachfully.

“You threw a rock at my head,” Eliot pointed out.

“I missed ... on purpose.... I don’t have to ... miss....”

With a resounding thud, Fezzik hit the dirt face first. Eliot took hold of him and, with a long heave, rolled him over, feeling for the pulse. Satisfied at its strength, considering the doping Parker had given him, he put his hand on the huge chest for a moment.

“Sorry,” he said gruffly.

Parker got back up on her boulder to look at the path ahead. “Nate? Two down.”

“~Yeah, we got you. Satellite’s up. Vizzini seems to be taking the princess to the Guilder frontier.~”

                                                                       

“Hey Nate? Look at this,” said Hardison, zooming in on the cliff-top, revealing the figures of men on horseback, but no swordsman – it seemed that Inigo had already woken up and fled.

Nate and Westley leaned in, examining the image.

“Can you refine it any more?” Nate asked. Hardison did, and Westley nodded.

“That looks like a Florinese flag. And those men are in Florin Castle’s colors. Two, four, five ...” he counted. “That’s the prince’s personal guard. And two noblemen. It’s Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen.” He saw Hardison’s quizzical expression, and shrugged. “You pick these things up.”

Hardison looked back and forth between Westley and Nate. “You ... pick up a lot.”

“How did they get there so fast?” asked Nate.

“Prince Humperdinck has a reputation as an expert tracker and hunter,” said Sophie. “It’s about all he’s known for.”

Westley shook his head. “No one could have tracked them that quickly. Not even him.”

“They knew where the kidnappers were going,” concluded Nate. He met Westley’s eyes. “Either the prince has very good sources, or you were right. There was definitely someone on the inside.”

“They’re heading off,” said Hardison. “Eliot, they’re on your trail.”

“We need to get into the royal court.” Nate cocked his head at Sophie, eyes alight with the smile he reserved just for her. “Something in a countess, perhaps?”

                                                                       

Parker and Eliot’s running pace slowed as they reached the crest of the plateau to see Vizzini and the princess waiting for them, further on.

Parker turned to Eliot. “Is that a picnic table?”

“Looks like.”

Parker pondered it. “Why?”

“Maybe he’s hungry,” Eliot said absently, looking around. Vizzini had chosen a good place for his impromptu snack, out in the wide open. There was no cover to speak of for anyone trying to sneak up on him. In a country without sniper rifles, it was the way to go.

Having seen them, Vizzini had put a knife to the neck of the princess, who was blindfolded. Not a lot of good options. Eliot kept walking toward them, Parker following.

“If he’s just going to kill her anyway, why doesn’t he do it now?” she asked.

“Bargaining chip,” said Eliot. “And then he’d have to carry the body.”

“Then can you bluff him?”

“Not if he’s still willing to kill her, if he has to.”

They slowed up as they approached, examining the tableau.

The man smiled smugly. “So, it is down to you, and it is down to me,” he said, in a voice that engendered instant loathing.

Eliot nodded, coming closer as unthreateningly as he could.

The princess drew a sharp breath, and a little line of red appeared where the knife met her throat. “If you wish her dead, by all means keep moving forward,” Vizzini said silkily.

Both stopped in their tracks.

Eliot was unable to hide his uncertainty. “Can we talk?”

Vizzini sneered. “There’s nothing to talk about. You’re trying to kidnap what I’ve rightfully stolen.”

“If you kill her, you won’t walk away,” Eliot said somewhat desperately.

“Yes. An impasse. I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.”

“Why? How smart are you?”

“Let me put it this way: ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?”

“Um.... Yeah.”

Vizzini dismissed them with epic contempt. “Morons.”

“Well, then, how about a game of wit and skill?”

“With you?” Vizzini asked witheringly.

Eliot shifted defensively. “Yeah. For the princess.”

A gleam of anticipation came into the assassin’s eye. “To the death?”

“Uh, it’s rock, paper, scissors.”

Vizzini stared at him, then burst into laughter. “By all means,” he said when he recovered, putting his knife down. He looked at Parker. “She stays where she is. Give her your sword, and you can sit.”

Eliot unbuckled the sword and handed it to Parker, then sat down across from Vizzini, eyeing the princess. He set his fist on his palm. “Best of three?”

Vizzini did the same, barely able to keep from chuckling.

“One, two, three,” they chanted, smacking fists on palms at each beat.

Vizzini’s hand was flat, Eliot’s balled, and Vizzini cackled. “How predictable! The dumb muscle counts on strength, and chooses a fist! A clever man would have known that strength is no guarantee of victory against learning. It must be inconceivable to you that a flimsy piece of paper conquers the rock, and yet it is one-nil to me.”

Eliot frowned at him. “Lucky guess. You’re just trying to make me give something away.”

Vizzini didn’t contain his glee at Eliot’s nervousness. “You’ve given everything away! You’ve already lost! Any choice you make will be the wrong one, because I know what it will be!”

Eliot took a deep breath, wordlessly resuming the position. This time they didn’t count. The only sound was three quick smacks, revealing Eliot’s fist again, but this time it sat opposite to Vizzini’s two fingers.

Vizzini’s eyes raised to Eliot’s face, disconcerted. Eliot held the gaze from behind his mask with a faint smile.

“Uh – of course – you –” Vizzini said, fumbling, but Eliot only raised his hands again, distinct menace in the set of his shoulders.

The swift one-two-three left Vizzini staring at Eliot’s fist, while holding out his own fingers in the scissor position. With a sudden snarl, he snatched up his knife from the table, but even as he lunged Eliot grabbed his wrist with one hand and punched him with the other.

Parker came up next to him, looking down at the little man sprawled on the ground. “What are we going to do with him?”

Eliot looked speculatively at the knife he’d stripped from Vizzini’s hand when he fell, but then tossed it on the table. “Nate, you said Humperdinck is behind us?”

“~Yeah. Maybe half an hour.~”

Eliot undid the princess’s bindings, then pulled Vizzini’s hands behind his back and tied him up. “We leave him.”

“~They do pretty nasty things to assassins in Florin,~” said Westley.

“Yeah.” Eliot smiled inscrutably. “I know.”


Chapter Four

Comments

( 6 speakses — have a speak )
demonbrat_98
Mar. 20th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
“~They do pretty nasty things to assassins in Florin,~” said Westley.

“Yeah.” Eliot smiled inscrutably. “I know.”

If you're so inclined when you finish this, I would love to find out how Eliot knows this!

Once again, nice job!
themonkeytwin
Mar. 21st, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Ack, there's a thought. "when you finish this".

*brain asplodes*

Thanks for the encouragement, though :)

Just recently on his blog, John Rogers answered a question about Parker's past with the idea that "The characters' backstories are amorphous grey fogs of coolness." (Here, maybe ten paragraphs in.) I've found this very useful....
deepbluemermaid
Mar. 21st, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
Oh, so much YAY. I love the little nod to the show's pilot (Hardison saying You...pick up a lot to Westley) and the idea of Sophie playing a countess at court :) But really, the poison-drinking scene with Vizzini was always one of my absolute favourites. So this totally cracked me up:

A gleam of anticipation came into the assassin’s eye. “To the death?”

“Uh, it’s rock, paper, scissors.”


And Vizzini trying to play mind games with Eliot by psychoanalysing his choice of rock: absolutely classic!
themonkeytwin
Mar. 21st, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
You know, I don't think I ever realised how much I wanted to put the smack-down on Vizzini until I was writing that. It was so satisfying! Having Eliot hit deserving people is quite cathartic, in a vicarious way. I'm pretty sure I was having him channel my dislike of Vizzini there – although I also think it's in character for him.

But this whole chapter was full of Eliot-character love for me. His connection with the slightly child-like Fezzik just turned up unexpectedly as I was going along. And one of my absolute favourite things is when he quietly makes people underestimate him, while he reads them, and just gets on with stuff. I was actually a little disappointed that they called attention to that in Zanzibar, since I preferred the subtly of just playing it. But I digress.... I have a tendency to waffle on with thoughts far too much.

I'm feeling out the sequence of the Fire Swamp stuff now – things are getting a bit tense! I don't know that I quite expected that to happen.

Oh, and hey, noticed you're a Kiwi. That made me happy, especially as an Aussie adrift in the big wide world :)
goodbyemyfancy
Apr. 4th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I will never watch this scene in the film again without thinking of the epic rock-scissors-paper game Eliot had to play!

Laughing my ass off and reading this aloud to some friends now :)
themonkeytwin
Apr. 5th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
I kept wanting to chuckle while I was writing it, a new experience for me.

And Hardison's incredulity in The Snow Job, when Eliot says he has a tell in rock, paper, scissors, played in the back of my mind the whole time. It was probably the inspiration behind Eliot choosing that game, along with the bonus that it would make Vizzini think he was an idiot :)
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