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Title: The Proposal Hitch
Ficverse: Leverage & The Princess Bride
Series: The Princess Bride Job, 17/18
Rating: Gen / PG-13
Length: 1700 ish / 29,500 ish
Characters: Team Leverage, Westley, Buttercup, the king, the queen, Miracle Max, Fezzik, Inigo
Summary: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles. And hitter, hacker, grifter, thief, mastermind.
Notes: Is it riding off into the sunrise time yet?
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
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen


Chapter Seventeen
Parker nestled in among the rafters, taking in the smells and sounds that reminded her of the last time she did this, in two minds about her next step.

On the one hand, things actually seemed to be going their way in the chapel. In fact, it was beginning to feel like things were wrapping up nicely, and Eliot had indicated a reluctance to move Inigo unless he had to. The only really viable escape route she had been able to figure out was not going to be kind to the injured man.

On the other hand, things had gone spectacularly wrong very quickly for them before, and their escape was her job. Eliot had told her to secure a way out, and until their hitter was convinced they were safe and didn’t need one, she wasn’t either.

Then, there was this escape route. Getting out of the castle was relatively easy; if Fezzik couldn’t raise the portcullis for them, there was always a window and a rope, which she’d already sourced, although that raised the probability of injuries quite a lot. It was getting away quickly that was the problem; there was eight of them altogether, so finding enough adequate hiding places in the village and forest, in a hurry, wasn’t really realistic.

She chewed her lip.

For the most part, though, she was just torn between being curious and being scared.

“Eliot, how’s Inigo doing?”

“~Plenty of blood loss, but I’ve got most of the wounds under control. Why?~”

“The getaway. How could he handle climbing out a window and down a rope?”

“~I don't want to put any strain on them that we don't have to, but we could probably figure something out.~”

“Hm, okay. If we can open the portcullis, maybe he won’t need to.” She looked down doubtfully at the creatures below her. “Um ... what about riding a horse?”

                                                                       

With Fezzik on the door, nobody had need any extra incentive to obey when asked to remain in the chapel. Spare guards had already escorted Humperdinck to his chambers, and Westley had accompanied them by the king’s request, to make sure there was no incident along the way. With Rugen dead and Yellin trapped, there was unlikely to be any kind of rescue attempt, but the king’s consternation was making him err on the cautious side.

So everyone else was left milling around, although from the buzz of excited conversation, it didn’t sound like any one was bored with the evening’s events. Sophie was sticking close to Buttercup, at first to make sure she was okay, but that had quickly turned into a very enjoyable vilification session of Humperdinck for them both. Buttercup also interspersed this with rapturous praise of Westley, which Sophie willingly agreed with.

She was a little distracted, though, because there was the small matter of keeping an eye on Nate. He’d taken his earbud out, and was over in a corner with the king and queen, gesturing animatedly. She was beginning to get worried about just what was going on over there.

Westley’s return created a stir among the gossiping nobles, but he paid them no attention, coming straight to Buttercup.

“Humperdinck?” Sophie asked.

Westley nodded. “He’s not going anywhere.”

Sophie felt compelled to make sure. “He is still alive, isn’t he?”

His lips twisted. “Yes. But if he escapes now, he’s far more resourceful and brave than I give him credit for. No one will stick their necks out for him at this point – certainly not those guards outside his door. I made sure of it.”

“Just as long as he suffers for what he’s done,” said Buttercup. “You could have let me stab him, just a little bit.”

Westley smiled at her gently. “I’m glad you didn’t. I’d not have his blood soiling your hands. And whatever happens to us, I want him to live a long life – alone with his cowardice. That is certainly punishment enough.”

“It is,” Nate said, appearing behind them. “It’s just a pity that the people of Florin have to suffer under him, don’t you think?”

Both Sophie and Westley received his statement with the wariness of veterans of Nate’s scheming, while Buttercup earnestly nodded her agreement.

Nate looked at the king, who had come with him, then back at Westley meaningfully. “The people of Florin have had kind of a rough deal. They deserve rulers who are going to care for them, not use them. Rulers who they can believe in.”

Westley seemed to be trying to decide between incredulity and scolding his brother. “Nathan....”

“I’m just asking you to consider it,” said Nate reasonably, ignoring Sophie’s own look of stunned disbelief. “We can’t leave the place in this mess. It’d be worse than if we never did anything.... And you did call us in.”

Westley appealed to the king. “Sire – surely, you can’t think this a good idea!”

The old king nodded ponderously, the weight of the crown on his head making itself felt. “It is unconventional, and seems risky ... but these days I’m not so sure about anything.” He patted the hand of the queen, who had taken his arm, then looked kindly at Buttercup. “And this young lady loves you. In all our time knowing her, we have never had reason to doubt her judgement.”

The queen nodded in agreement. “Nor are you grubbing for power, even with this unique opportunity. After hearing the story of all you did to rescue her, well – that is the kind of character a good ruler needs.”

Westley shot a shrewd look at Nate. “He told you the whole story?”

"Yes, of course," said Nate smoothly. "The Cliffs of Insanity, dueling a master swordsman and wrestling a giant, outwitting an assassin, braving the Fire Swamp, torture, and even a miraculous recovery from being mostly dead...."

“I did wonder what had happened to Miracle Max,” said the king musingly, not noticing Westley staring daggers at Nate. “He used to give me tonics, you know, help me keep a clear head. My hearing, too.”

Westley opened his mouth, but was checked by Buttercup’s hand slipping quietly into his. “I.... Would you let me think about it?”

“Of course,” said the king. “We can speak more about it tomorrow. Young Mr Ford here has some very good ideas for how to announce it all to the people....”

Westley smiled through his teeth. “Yes, I imagine he does.”

Eliot spoke up over coms. “~If we’re not running for our lives any time soon, can we get Max up here to look at Inigo?~”

                                                                       

The whole team had ended up in the spare room that had been turned into Inigo’s sickroom, once Nate and Eliot were satisfied with the security of Humperdinck’s state of house arrest, and had dealt with Yellin on the gate, who was more than happy to go along with the current regime.

“Out of the way, Brute Squad,” said Max by the bed, exasperated by Fezzik’s fussing by Inigo’s side. The look the giant gave him was so mournful that Max relented with a sigh. “Okay, here, you big lummox, you can hold the light. But stop sitting on the bed, you’re tipping him sideways!”

Westley turned back from the distraction to Nate. “Any chance you were bluffing, back there?” he asked, quietly fuming.

“What’s the problem?” Nate asked in return. “You have something better to do with your life?”

He held his hands up. “All I wanted was to rescue Buttercup, and ride off into the sunrise!”

“Great! And then what?”

“That’s another thing,” Westley continued, ignoring the question. “Did you actually tell the king that I did all that ... rescuing?”

Nate nodded. “So?”

“So? It’s not true! Your team did it all!”

Nate smiled and shook his head. “Westley, I know you. If you hadn’t had to call us in, you would have done all that, and more, to get her back.” He put his hand on Westley’s shoulder. “You know you would.”

Westley’s aggravation deflated at the obvious pride and confidence his brother had in him. “I ... alright, yes,” he said, conceding the accuracy of Nate’s assessment. He looked at the team, sprawled in various poses of relaxation around the room, all of them shamelessly tracking the brothers’ argument. It was hard not to notice how none of them really seemed to want to leave one another’s company, nor the job that seemed to be lingering on unfinished.

“I’m glad I did,” he acknowledged with sudden honesty. “Call you in, that is. It’s ... much easier with a team at your back, who you can trust.”

Nate looked pleased, and in heartfelt agreement with the statement. He nodded over at the bed, where Fezzik and Max’s heads bowed over Inigo, who was squeezing Fezzik’s hand reassuringly. “Remember that,” he said. “You could do with a better head of security around here, for starters. And he’ll need something to do with the rest of his life, too.”

Westley cocked an eyebrow. “That’s true.” He looked over to Buttercup, who had been passing the time assisting Max however she could, seeming unconcerned about the outcome of the argument. “Buttercup ... what do you wish?”

She looked up, with a startled little “Oh!” as though what she wished hadn’t figured into anything much since she’d lived on a simple homestead, with an adoring farmboy. She came to him, considering his question. “I ... I mostly want to never leave your side again. But ... I would also like to help my people. They have come to care for me, and I for them,” she said simply.

Westley stared down at her, seeing perhaps for the first time that she had come as far from their old farm as he had. “So you would do this with me – by my side? For the rest of our lives?”

She held his eyes, faith and assurance shining in hers. “Of course.... If you wish, too.”

Westley took her hands, with a smile too full of emotion to speak. Eventually he drew her closer to his side, and turned to Nate, Buttercup following his lead. “In that case, Nate ... I guess I don’t mind so much.”


Chapter Eighteen

Comments

( 4 speakses — have a speak )
lmx_v3point3
May. 11th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
I saw this last week and thought... I know someone who'll appreciate that.

I'm going to be sad when this finishes :)

(Though some part of me can now see Nate telling the story to a grandchild, or grandnephew...)
themonkeytwin
May. 11th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks - I love it! *groks*

I am honestly not sure how I'm feeling about finishing it. I was wondering if I was procrastinating writing this chapter for that reason, and then I realised, no, I was just really busy!

And yeah, Nate telling the story - maybe if his grandchild were sick at home for a day...? :)

I think it's going to be one-shots for a while after this!
deepbluemermaid
May. 11th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I totally did not see that coming! Westley and Buttercup ruling Florin someday is a brilliant idea. With their teammates Fezzik and Inigo to help, of course.

And I love Nate telling the king that Westley did everything...or rather, implying that he did. Awesome twist :)
themonkeytwin
May. 11th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you muchly! As you can tell, I have always been just a little dissatisfied with the movie's finish. So many loose ends! So Nate and I thought we could maybe tidy that up a little bit, and redeem some young criminals from a life of crime while we're at it (although that's more Nate's agenda than mine....)

But I also liked the idea of restoring the original story, so that what gets passed down, and read to children and grandchildren, is what it should be. Because like Nate, we all know that Westley would have done all that, if he had to. Glad you liked :) :)
( 4 speakses — have a speak )

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