Prompt: The Princess Bride
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, Doctor/Tosh, Andy/Donna, Rhys/Kathy, Mickey/Martha, John/Owen, Wilf/Estelle, Gwen, Mica, Steven, Wilf,
Spoilers: The whole movie of The Princess Bride
Warnings: Attempts at suicide and character deaths
Word Count: 18,884
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood, Doctor Who or the movie the Princess bride.
Summary: Grandpa Wilf tells his grandkids an interesting story.
Halfway up a hill, by a set of boulders, Gwen was shocked to see the figure in black moving towards them.
“Inconceivable. Give him to me,” she ordered Rhys. The giant had no choice but to do as he was told. “Catch up with us quickly,” she ordered, keeping a firm gripe, on Jack’s bound hands.
Rhys was confused. “What do I do?”
“Finish him; finish him, your way,” Gwen growled.
“Oh good, my way, thank you, Gwen,” Rhys said smiling, then paused. “Which way is my way?” he asked.
Gwen pointed at the boulders. “Pick up one of those rocks and get behind the boulder. In a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend. The minute his head is in view, HIT IT WITH THE ROCK!” Gwen roared.
Rhys frowned as he watched Gwen drag a struggling and gagged Jack away. “My way is not very sportsmanlike,” he muttered under his breath.
Approaching the boulders the man in black slowed down. It seemed this was a good idea, as a rock disintegrates just in front of him.
Rhys came out from behind the boulders. “I did that on purpose. I didn’t have to miss,” he informed the other man.
“I believe you,” the man in black told him. “So what happens now?” he asked, keeping a good grip on his sword.
“We face each other as God intended…sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone,” Rhys told him.
The man in black looked doubtful. “You mean, you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we’ll try and kill each other like civilized people?” he asked.
Rhys raised the rock in his hand. “I could kill you now,” he offered.
“Frankly, I think the odds are slightly in you favour at hand fighting,” the man in black told Rhys, knowing he was out classed by the giant.
Rhys shrugged his shoulders. “It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise.”
Putting down his sword, the man in black rushed to tackle Rhys, only to find he could not make the other man move an inch.
“Look, are you just playing around with me or what?” he demanded, still trying to figure out away around the other man’s strength.
Rhys smiled at the man. “I just want you to feel you’re doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed,” he explained.
Rhys made powerful swipes at the man in black, who managed to dodge each of them with success.
“You’re quick,” Rhys noted.
“And it is a good thing too,” he agreed, knowing if he was slower, Rhys’s blows would do serious damage to him.
Rhys had a question he had needed to ask ever since he saw the man in black. “Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?” he asked.
“Oh no, it’s just they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.” he explained with an easygoing smile, still trying to figure out a way to beat the giant.
Rhys would admit he was amused by the man in black’s attempts to beat him. “I just figured out why you give me so much trouble,” he commented.
Eyeing the boulders behind Rhys, the man in black asked, “Why’s that, do you think?”
“Well, I haven’t fought just one person for so long. I’ve been specializing in groups. Battling gangs for local charities, that kind of thing,” Rhys informed the other man.
While Rhys had been talking, the man in black had climbed onto the boulders and leaped off of them onto Rhys’ back, wrapping his arms around his neck in a sleeper hold. “Why should that make such a difference?” he asked, holding onto Rhys as the man backed up into the same boulders, trying to shake the man off.
Both knew one of them was going to win; either the man in black could hang on long enough to cut off the air to Rhys’ lungs or Rhys’ strength plus the boulders would break every bone in the man in black’s body.
The man in black really hoped Rhys would drop soon; he didn’t know how much longer he could hold on for.
“Well, you see, you use different moves when you’re fighting half a dozen people than when you only have to be worried about ….one.”
Finally, Rhys dropped to one knee. Sensing that his victory was near, the man in black held on and soon the giant dropped unconscious to the ground.
Releasing Rhys, the other man climbed to his feet. “I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But, in the meantime, rest well, and dream of large women,” the man in black told the sleeping giant.
“That was intense,” Steven said, eyes alight.
“Is Uncle Rhys going to be okay?”
Prince John and a loyal set of guards, which included Count Owen, had reached the sight of the sword fight.
Prince John himself studied the scuff marks on the ground.
“There was a mighty duel. It ranged all over. They were both masters,” Prince John murmured under his breath.
Leaning forward on his horse, Count Owen asked, “Who won? How did it end?”
John recounted the duel himself. “The loser …. ran off alone, and the winner followed those footprints….towards Gilder,” John informed them.
“Shall we track them both?” Owen asked, holding the prince’s horse steady for him to climb back on.
John shook his head no. “The loser is nothing. Only the prince matters. Clearly this was all planned by warriors of Gilder. We must be ready for whatever lies ahead,” John ordered.
“Could this be a trap?” Owen asked what was on everyone’s minds.
“I always think everything could be a trap, which is why I’m still alive,” John informed Owen as he ordered his horse forward.
Further up the path, the man in black reached an open area to find Gwen seated behind a covered table. Jack, blindfolded, was sitting to her left. One the table was a bottle of wine and two goblets.
Gwen smiled at the approaching man. “So, it is down to you, and it is down to me. If you wish him dead, by all means, keep moving forward,” Gwen warned, pressing a knife against Jack’s neck.
The man in black raised his hands. “Let me explain…” he began.
Gwen tightened her grip on the knife. “There’s nothing to explain. You’re trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen,” Gwen snapped back.
“Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?” the man asked, taking a step closer.
Gwen pressed the knife deeper against Jack’s skin. “There will be no arrangement, and you’re killing him,” she informed the man.
A sigh escaped the man’s lips. “Well, if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
Gwen nodded, agreeing with the man. “I’m afraid so. I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.”
The man raised an eyebrow that was not seen behind his mask, understanding this woman’s weakness. “You’re that smart?” he asked in a disbelieving tone.
Gwen’s smile was one full of pride and arrogances. “Let me put it this way; have you heard of Plato, Aristotle and Socrates?” she asked.
“Yes,” the man answered.
“Morons,” Gwen told him.
“Really? In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.” The man declared.
Gwen stared at the man before her. “For the prince.”
The man nodded.
“To the death.”
The man nodded again.
The man in black moved forward to take the free chair. “Good. Then pour the wine,” he ordered while pulling out a small vial. He uncorked it and held it out to Gwen. “Inhale this, but do not touch,” he warned.
Gwen did as she was told. “I smell nothing,” she told him.
“What you do not smell is called iocane powder. It is odourless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadly poisons known to man,” the man explained.
“Hmmm,” Gwen murmured.
Taking the two goblets and turning away from Gwen, the man in black poured the poison in. He turned back around and placed the goblets back on the table, one in front of each of them.
“All right, where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right….and who is dead,” the man in black explained.
“But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me,” Gwen explained.
“You’ve made your decision then?” the man in black asked.
Gwen shook her head. “Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not chose the wine in front of you.”
“Truly, you have a dizzying intellect,” the man in black told Gwen.
“Wait till I get going. Where was I?” she asked, losing her place.
“Australia,” the man in black helped her out, wondering where she was going with this.
Gwen nodded, remembering her place. “Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”
“You’re just stalling now,” the man in front of her pointed out.
“You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my sword master, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me,” Gwen continued on.
“You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work,” the man in black calmly informed her.
“It has worked. You’ve given everything away. I know where the poison is!” Gwen happily informed him.
The man in black merely smiled at her, gesturing to the table. “Then make your choice.”
“I will, and I choose-what in the world can that be?” Gwen asked, gesturing up and away from the table.
As the man looked away, Gwen quickly switched the cups.
“What? Where? I don’t see anything,” the man in black told her as he turned back to the table.
Gwen shrugged innocently. “Well, I could have sworn I saw something. No matter,” Gwen replied, smirking.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
Picking up her cup, Gwen told him, “I’ll tell you in a minute. First, let’s drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.”
They both drank at the same time.
“You guessed wrong,” the man tells Gwen.
Gwen laughed at that. “You only think I guessed wrong! That’s what’s so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly well-known is this; never go against a Welsh woman when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha h…”
Gwen suddenly stopped and fell over dead to the right.
The man in black moved towards the still-tied up Jack.
“Who are you?” Jack asked, feeling his bindings coming loose.
“I am no one to be trifled with. That is all you will ever need to know,” the man in black warned Jack.
The man in black hauled Jack to his feet and Jack glanced over at the dead body of Gwen. “And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.” He was slightly frightened of this man; he had beaten his entire kidnappers single-handed.
The other man shook his head. “They were both poisoned. I’ve spent the last few years building up immunity to iocane powder,” he explained.
Grabbing Jack’s wrists, the man in black dragged him away from Gwen’s dead body.
Not long after his escape, Prince John’s party reached the boulders where the man in black had defeated Rhys
“Someone has beaten a giant. There will be great suffering in Gilder if Jack dies,” John vowed.
Further up the path, Jack and the man in black were traveling along the hilltop of a grassy mountain.
“Catch your breath,” the man in black ordered Jack as he released his arm to allow him rest.
“If you’ll release me, whatever you ask for in ransom, you will get it, I promise you,” Jack offered.
The man in black laughed. “And what is that worth, the promise of royalty? You’re very funny, Highness.”
Jack glared at the laughing man. “I was giving you a chance. It does not matter where you take me. There is no greater hunter than Prince John. He can track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you,” Jack snapped at the other man.
“You think your dearest love will save you?” the man in black mocked.
Jack’s glare deepened. “I never said he was my dearest love; and yes, he will save me. That I know,” Jack told him.
“You admit to me that you do not love your fiancé?” the man in black asked.
“He knows I do not love him.” Jack wasn’t sure why he was telling him this.
“Are not capable of love is what you mean,” the other man corrected.
Jack was enraged. “I have loved more deeply than a killer like you could ever dream of.” He wanted to strangle the other man.
The man in black’s hand came flying up and Jack flinched, expecting the blow.
“That was a warning, Highness. The next time my hand flies on its own, for where I come from, there are penalties when someone lies,” the other man warned.
Jack nodded and the two continued on their journey.
Prince John and those travelling with him came across Gwen’s dead body shortly after.
“Iocane, I’d bet my life on it. And there are the prince’s footprints. He is alive, or was an hour ago. If he is otherwise when I find him, I shall be very put out,” John growled under his breath.
Unknowing of their trackers, the two men were still walking among the hilltop, but were now near a gully.
The man in black noticed that Jack was getting tired. “Rest, Highness,” he told Jack.
“I know who you are. Your cruelty reveals everything. You’re the Dread Pirate Roberts, admit it,” Jack demanded.
The man now known as Dread Pirate Roberts bowed to Jack. “With pride, what can I do for you?” he asked.
“You can die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces,” Jack snarled at Roberts.
Roberts wiggled a finger at Jack. “Tsk-tsk-tsk, hardly complimentary, your highness, why let loose your venom on me?” he asked.
“You killed my love,” Jack told him, fighting back the tears.
Roberts shrugged, looking uncaring. “It is possible. I’ve killed a lot of people. Who was this love of yours? Another prince like this one-ugly, rich, and scabby?” he asked, not really caring.
“No, a farm boy, poor and perfect, with eyes like the sea after a storm.” Jack fought back the tears. “On the high seas, your ship attacked. And the dread pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.” Jack was nearly spitting with rage.
“I can’t afford to make exceptions. I mean, once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft, people begin to disobey you and it’s nothing but work, work, and work all the time,”
Dread Pirate Roberts told Jack.
“You mock my pain!” Jack cried.
“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” He paused as if remembering something. “I remember this farm boy of yours, I think. This would be what, five years ago? Does it bother you to hear?” he asked Jack.
Jack shook his head in denial. “Nothing you can say will upset me.”
“He died well. That should please you. No bribe attempts or blubbering. He simply said, ‘Please….please, I need to live.’ It was the ‘please’ that caught my memory. I asked him what was so important for him here. ‘True love,’ he replied. And then he spoke of a man of surpassing beauty and faithfulness. I can only assume he meant you. You should bless me for destroying him before he found out what you really are,” Roberts snarled.
Jack crossed his arms. “And what am I?”
“Faithfulness he talked of, mister, your enduring faithfulness. Now tell me truly, when you found out he was gone, did you get engaged to your prince that same hour, or did you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?” Roberts growled.
“You mocked me once. Never do it again! I died that day!” Jack snarled. “And you can die too for all I care!” And with that, Jack shoved Roberts down the hill.
As the Dread Pirate Roberts rolled down the hill he called out. “As…..You….Wish!”
Jack couldn’t believe his ears. “Oh my sweet Ianto, what have I done?” he gasped before he jumped down the hill, rolling after him.
“I knew tad couldn’t be dead.” Mica stated, clutching her stuff teddy bear