Fic Title: The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Westley and Buttercup
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13 / character death, violence
Genre: Tragedy, Angst, Apocalypse
Special Rec: 5/30
Why This Must Be Read: Why is it that it's always the characters and happy fandoms of your childhood that always hit you the hardest when something goes horribly wrong? This story made me cry. For Westley and Buttercup there are no happy endings, and your heart can't help but break for them.
They grew increasingly apprehensive as they approached the house. Fezzik slowed down, as if he were afraid of what they might find. Westley and Buttercup slowed their pace to match his, but Inigo sped up, and ended up trotting in circles around the other three as they moved toward Max's. Buttercup retreated into a distant silence, her hand sweating against Westley's, her grip white-knuckled on his. Only Westley seemed unaffected.
When they could finally see the hut, their hearts lifted. There were signs of life: a few chickens in the yard, a small fire burning out front. There was even a new sign on the door that looked to be freshly painted. When they got close enough to read it, they saw that it said, "In case of apocalypse: GO AWAY."
Fezzik pounded on the door, and kept pounding until there was an answer.
"Go away!" It was Miracle Max. The four of them exchanged relieved smiles, and Fezzik brought his huge fist down on the door once again.
"Let us in or Fezzik will break the door down," Inigo shouted. Fezzik readied himself. It had been a while since he'd broken down any doors, and he was so hungry that he wasn't sure he'd be able to manage. Still, the others were counting on him, so he had to try. But just as he was about to charge, the door opened and Max stuck his head out.
"Can't you people read?" Max demanded. "We're closed." He tried to slam the door, but Fezzik slapped a hand out and stopped him. Max looked at the four of them through narrowed eyes, a frown on his face. "Don't I know you?"
Westley and Buttercup stepped forward. "You helped me once," he said, "when I was mostly dead. Please, we need another miracle."
Max raised his bushy eyebrows. "How do I know you're not sick? Sure, you're all wearing masks and gloves, but you never know. You're looking awfully thin."
"We have been sailing," Inigo said. "No one on the ship has died of plague. We came straight here. Please, we must talk to you. I insist."
"Oh-ho, you insist! In that case, come right in. Make yourselves at home."
They crowded into his little hut and looked around. Inigo thought it looked the same as it had the last time he'd been there, stuffed to the brim with jars of miracle materials, stacks of paper piled high on every horizontal surface. A fire burned in the fireplace. Even Max hadn't changed much, though his eyebrows were longer and he was wearing a different hat. All of them felt their spirits begin to lift.
"All right," Max said. "What's so important you risked the plague for to come talk to me?"