Inigo’s head was muzzy. What--what had happened? There had been the ship, and a storm, and a pain in his chest...
"Good morning," a voice said above him, deep and gentle, familiar as his own skin.
"Good morning, Fezzik," Inigo said, and wondered why his voice sounded so rough and rusty. "How long have I slept?"
"Three days," Fezzik said. He was kneeling at the side of Inigo's--
Inigo's mind spun. He was in a bed. A warm, firm bed. Not on a ship. Not--
He moved to sit up, but Fezzik's massive hand held him in place.
"Your wound opened up, my friend. We had to seek a healer." Fezzik's hand felt warm, too. "Are you feeling better? The healer says you must stay in bed, at least another day."
"Where are we?" Inigo asked. "Are we safe?"
"Westley believes we are, and he has sailed these waters for many years. He has visited this healer before."
"Yes, but that was when we weren't being chased by an army." Inigo's side burned. They didn't have time to deal with his injuries. "Perhaps you should leave without me. I can catch up later, or--"
"No," Fezzik said. "We have already made our decision. The ship is in a harbor that Westley says is very hard to find. If we are lucky, Humperdink will overpass us in his search. If we are not...we will make our stand here."
"That is not--" Inigo couldn't get up. It felt like fifty pounds were holding him in place if he tried to resist. "Fezzik. Don't die on my account."
"We will not die." Fezzik's smile was brighter than the sun, as always. "We haven't died yet, have we?"
"You only need to die once," Inigo said. "After that, everything is taken care of."
Fezzik chuckled. "It will not be too much longer, Inigo. They promised. And I believe the man in black. Don't you?"
"I suppose I do," Inigo said. And it certainly didn’t feel like he had much choice in the matter.
"There is--" And now Fezzik looked concerned. "I need to tell you--"
"Ah," Westley said, coming in. "He's finally woken up, has he?"
"He has," Fezzik said. "He's well enough to argue with me. That's something, isn't it?"
"That it is," Westley said, clapping Fezzik on the shoulder. "I told you, Lachan has never steered me wrong."
"Yes," Fezzik said.
Westley frowned, that tiny frown that creased his brow for a moment and then faded away. "You haven't told him?"
"I was going to," Fezzik said. "And then you came in."
"What is this, that you're so determined not to tell me?"
"Well, with one thing and another--" Westley began, and was immediately interrupted by Fezzik's matter-of-fact "We're married."
"'We're?'" Inigo asked. "You and--wait, you said you--" He pointed at Fezzik. "Because if you married Buttercup--you said 'we...'"
"You and I," Fezzik said. He took his hand from Inigo's chest, and Inigo immediately missed the warm, reassuring weight. "It is...a bit complicated."
"Really, it's quite straightfoward," Westley said. "Lachan said that the spell would be more effective were it strengthened by someone with a formal bond to you, and as none of us are related, and Buttercup has already endured a marriage ceremony she didn't want to participate in--not that you’re not a noble warrior, or--"
"It wouldn't be chivalrous to ask her to have a second," Fezzik said.
"Highly unconventional, performing a marriage ceremony when one groom is half-conscious, but you know what they say."
Inigo's head spun. "What is it that they say?"
"Well," Westley said, only faltering slightly, "needs must, I suppose."
Fezzik took Inigo’s hand. "The healer will want to see you. He told me to ask you if you were in any pain."
Inigo shook his head. "I hope that's not a problem."
"Lachan will do his best to keep you free from pain," Westley said. "I still wouldn't attempt any running and jumping, if I were you."
"I do not think I have the strength," Inigo confessed. It took more of an effort than he would have expected just to keep Fezzik's hand in his own.
"I should get--"
“You stay with him,” Westley said. “I'll get Lachan."
"Thank you," Fezzik said. He hadn't turned his eyes from Inigo, as far as Inigo could tell.
"It's no trouble."
"I always thought I would be wearing...something special when I got married," Inigo said, trying to joke. He never thought he'd be married at all. He'd thought about vengeance, and about nothing beyond that. He'd even taken Fezzik for granted. The six-fingered man had taken all of his desires and imagination, and he'd been too busy trying not to die since then to worry about such things.
Fezzik's hand was so big.
"Your hand is very warm," Inigo said, because it was, and because he didn't want Fezzik to feel self-conscious by talking about how big he was. "Or am I just cold?"
"My hands are always warm," Fezzik said. "At least that’s what people tell me."
Did they? It was hard to remember things, like his brain was in some kind of fog. "Is it all right? That I feel--" He waved his free hand around.
"You're healing," Fezzik said, and Inigo did remember his friend's patience. "Don't be hard on yourself."
"All right," Inigo said, and closed his eyes.
He felt better the next time he woke up. It was twilight. Fezzik was at the side of the bed, half-asleep.
Inigo reached out and took his hand.
Fezzik was still warm. His eyes opened at Inigo’s touch. "Inigo," he said, and smiled, that familiar, gentle smile. "You're stronger now."
Fezzik nodded. "I can tell, from your hand. Can you eat? The healer has some soup he says you should try, as soon as you feel ready."
He didn't feel hungry, exactly, but he felt weak and empty. "I'll try some. Thank you."
"Don't thank me," Fezzik said, getting up. Inigo's hand felt colder when Fezzik let go. "Thank the healer. He's the one who made the soup."
"You've been here with me," Inigo said.
"Not all the time. Buttercup has come to sit with you too. Westley says I have to leave the room at least once a day, or it's bad for my health. He says we all have to stay healthy in case Humperdink realizes where we are."
"That is good advice," Inigo said. At least once a day, he thought to himself. So... "I'll have to thank Buttercup."
"She says you need your hair combed too," he said, as he walked out of the room. "But I told her not to do that until you felt better."
Inigo patted his hair. Buttercup wasn't wrong.
"After you eat, you can get some more rest," Fezzik said. "You're healing nicely. Lachan said so. You should be ready to sit up, soon enough."
"I could sit," Inigo said. "I could--"
"We asked too much of you," Fezzik said, bringing in the soup. “Please don’t ask too much of yourself.”
The soup was spicy and tasted sour, like it had too much lemon juice. But it helped him breathe more easily, and Fezzik's worried expression eased as he ate. He hovered at Inigo's bedside like a worried old woman.
"I am feeling better already," Inigo said, to reassure him. "You already said so, yes?"
"Yes," Fezzik. "But you still have a long way to go, my friend."
"Fezzik?" Inigo asked, as his spoon scraped the bottom of the wooden bowl.
"Did we really marry?"
"We really did," Fezzik said. "I hope you're not upset. We were worried you might be, but--" His face drew together for a moment. "I did not want to lose you, Inigo."
"I didn't want to be lost," Inigo said. "I am grateful, Fezzik. Truly."
"That's good," Fezzik said, taking his bowl. "I think you need more rest now."
Inigo thought he would be fine for a while yet, but to make Fezzik happy, he closed his eyes. This time, he drifted a while, somewhere warm and pleasant, before he fell asleep again.
The days passed, and he grew stronger, eating more sour, acrid soup and sleeping through most of the day. Fezzik still held his hand, and Inigo felt small next to him, weak, insignificant.
Buttercup came with her sewing and told Inigo stories; Westley kept him updated on the state of the tides and the signals he received from his crew. He got to know Lachan, who was tall and thin and had no patience for fools, and his equally thin but kinder wife. Time passed slowly.
He spent most of his time with Fezzik.
Fezzik was quiet, patient. When the medication started wearing off and the pain came creeping in, he held Inigo's hand in his own. Inigo's whole hand could get lost in Fezzik's palm.
For a while, Inigo could do just as they asked, and focused only on his rest and healing. He could ignore his worries about Humperdink, and how much strength he had lost.
He could hold Fezzik's hand and not worry about the wedding. About what it meant that he was married now. Before the six-fingered man, he’d dreamed about marrying in some far-off future. About a house full of children and a pretty wife.
Fezzik was certainly nothing like what he had envisioned. He'd be the one being pulled into the big man's arms. He'd be the one carried over the threshold, if they ever even had one.
"Did you want to be married to me?"
Fezzik's brow clouded. "You shouldn't worry about these things. Just feel better."
"Fezzik. My friend."
Fezzik reached out and brushed a tendril of hair from Inigo's forehead. "I'm sorry. I know this is...this cannot be the wedding you wanted. Or the groom."
"No," Inigo said. "That--don't worry so about me."
Fezzik's smile could break a man's heart. "Look at me, Inigo. Who would--?" He shrugged his massive shoulders. "It is all right. Westley says that as long as we do not consummate the marriage, we can--"
"Fezzik," Inigo said, with more power than he'd intended. "My friend. My dearest friend. Please. Tell me the truth."
The smile faded. "You are my dearest friend as well," Fezzik said. "I would do anything to keep you safe. There was no question for me."
Inigo felt a twinge in his chest that had nothing to do with his wound. "But I cannot ask you to give up your life for me."
Fezzik squeezed his hand. "What would my life be without you?"
Inigo opened his mouth to speak, but his mind was too stunned to find the words. He could hear Buttercup singing through the window. The most beautiful woman in the world, and her lover the cleverest man Inigo was likely to meet.
And neither of them half as fortunate as Inigo Montoya.
"You're getting tired again," Fezzik said, gently.
"No," Inigo said, shaking his head. "No--not yet." He reached for Fezzik with his free hand. "I am a newlywed, after all. Don't I get some time with my husband?"
"We'll have time," Fezzik said. He leaned down, though, and pressed a kiss to Inigo's forehead. "Do not worry so."
Inigo let go of Fezzik's hand, and threw his arms around Fezzik's broad shoulders. "Please," he said, doing his best to pull his friend close. "Let me stay awake a little longer. If what you said is truly what is in your heart."
"If you do not wish this," Fezzik said, "I will understand. Some pretty lady will want to marry you, someday. And I am--"
"You are perfect, Fezzik," Inigo said, and kissed him on the lips, carefully, gently.
Fezzik's giant hand cupped his cheek. "Inigo." There was surprise in his voice, and...pleasure? "Do you really mean it?"
Inigo's blood was rising. "I do, my friend." He pushed Fezzik's hair back from his broad, beaming face. "My husband."
"Oh, Inigo," Fezzik said, and kissed him.
Buttercup noticed the change first, though the only indication that she'd realized that Inigo and Fezzik had embraced their married status was how carefully she now entered their small room and a few extra, not-quite-smug smiles cast their way when she caught them holding hands.
Westley found them kissing a few days later, and covered his shock nicely. "I see your recovery’s going well. Lachan said you'd taken a few steps yesterday."
"I did," Inigo said. "I'm feeling much stronger."
"I am not sure how much time we have here," Westley said. "My crew sent me a message. Humperdink passed our scouts a few days ago, but they're concerned he might loop back. The sooner we're away from this island, the safer we are. And our benefactor, as well. We owe too much to Lachan and Amethyst to leave them vulnerable to that swine." He clapped a hand on Fezzik's shoulder. "We'll need your strength for a little while, if you can spare it. Amethyst could use some help with the plowing."
"I'm glad to," Fezzik said, standing. His head would have brushed the ceiling if he hadn't been careful.
"I'll be all right alone for a while," Inigo said. "I'm much stronger. You don't need to be with me every moment."
"We are newlyweds," Fezzik said, good-naturedly. "We can't be apart for too long."
"With your might, we’ll be done in an hour."
Lachan came in while Fezzik and Westley were in the fields. "We appreciate what your friends have done to help us," he said. "I tire easily, these days." He tapped his artificial leg wryly. The prosthetic was a marvel of metal and wood, but Inigo had noticed the careful way Lachan moved. Whatever accident or intentional injury had taken his leg had injured him more profoundly, as well. "Let's see how you're doing, under those bandages."
Under the bandages, according to Lachan, Inigo was healing nicely, and together they walked around the tiny sickroom that had been Inigo's home for the past few weeks. Inigo only had to lean against him once, when the muscles in his chest protested at the work they’d had to do. "Much stronger," Lachan said, with satisfaction. "You'll still need to rest onboard the ship, but you can do as your body dictates."
"In...in all things?"
"You can enjoy the fruits of your marriage, if that's what you mean," Lachan said cheerfully, as he guided him back to the bed. "You're a lucky man, to have someone so devoted."
Despite Westley's confidence, it was another few hours before Fezzik returned. Buttercup brought Inigo some bread and cheese. He sat up in bed to eat it. His strength had been returning more rapidly now, and his appetites--all of them--had been growing.
"I know I'm a poor substitute for Fezzik," she said.
"You wouldn't want us to tire of one another," he said. "It's kind of you."
She smiled, that smile that reminded Inigo of sunlight and fresh bread. "One day," she said, "one of us will have a wedding, and we'll all be there, and we might even be awake and conscious during the full ceremony."
"It will have to be you and Westley," he said. "I think one marriage is enough for me."
"It was a momentous one," she said. "A shame you don't remember it."
Westley had performed the ceremony, as captain. Buttercup had told Inigo that she cried, though Inigo was now convinced it was more out of concern for his rapidly failing health than any sentiment.
Buttercup left him sitting up, with a book to read, before she disappeared back out into the sunlight.
The lamps were lit by the time Fezzik returned. "They still have to finish a few things at the house," he said. "They told me to come check on you. I think they are trying to give us some time alone."
There certainly wouldn't be much time, or privacy, on the ship.
Fezzik sat carefully down on the wooden chair by the bed that had become his customary spot. "How are you feeling?"
Inigo just reached for him, kissed him with the hunger he'd felt for most of the day, and felt Fezzik's surprise as the giant kissed back. What a mouth. What hands on his back. What a chest, when he pulled off Fezzik's shirt.
"I'm sorry I'm so big," Fezzik said. "I know--"
"You are perfect, my friend," Inigo said, and he hadn't realized before how it would feel to be with someone who could pick you up as easily as a feather. How strong Fezzik's massive hands would feel as he pulled Inigo's own shirt off. He was so careful not to disturb Inigo's bandages. Inigo had never known a man so gentle.
Fezzik kissed Inigo's lips, his cheek, the join between his neck and his shoulder. Had Fezzik longed for this? They had never spoken of anything but friendship. But Inigo felt his body responding to every touch, trembling as Fezzik's massive arms circled around him and pulled him close.
"I'm not sure the bed will hold--" Fezzik said, and Inigo wasn't sure he could manage Fezzik's weight, so in the end he made Fezzik stay very still on his chair.
"If it hurts--"
"I won't hurt myself," Inigo said. "I won't let you hurt me. That's why I asked you to stay still, isn't it?"
"If you think I should--"
Inigo hushed him and untied his trousers.
Inigo had known he was big. He'd seen the man bathing. But it was different to stroke Fezzik's massive cock with his own hands, as Fezzik's hand gently pushed his hair from his face. Different to open his mouth and take as much of the man in as he could.
Not the first man he'd had, but the first so astonishingly large. His jaw was going to ache at the end of this.
He'd never felt anything this good.
"Inigo," Fezzik said, his voice impossibly soft, and then he didn't speak at all, just stroked the side of Inigo's face as he worked. He tried to pull his cock back from Inigo's lips as he reached his climax, but Inigo took his hand and squeezed his fingers, and that was enough to hold him in place as the hot, sour wash filled his mouth. He swallowed and swallowed and swallowed, and if his cock had been swollen at the thought of Fezzik before, it grew fuller and stiffer at the thought of Fezzik inside him, fully, filling his body. He swallowed the last of it and smiled at Fezzik.
"You didn't have to--" Fezzik began, but Inigo put a finger to his lips to silence him.
"I wanted to," he said. "Husband."
"Let me take care of you, then," Fezzik said, and pushed the blankets down, past Inigo's waist, reaching for Inigo through his smallclothes. His grip on Inigo's cock was firmer than Inigo had expected, but good, strong, perfect. His prick looked almost lost in Fezzik's massive hand, but it didn't feel lost. It felt like every inch of him was taken care of, in Fezzik's warm, rough grip.
Fezzik reached a hand across his chest, teased Inigo's nipples with his free hand. "You are so lovely, Inigo," he said, and Inigo gasped, pleasure rolling over him.
"Don't be--" He gasped. "Don't stop. Please, please don't--"
"No," Fezzik said. He leaned his bulk over the bed, kissing the side of Inigo's face as he continued to stroke Inigo.
"Fezzik," Inigo managed to stammer again, before he could hold back no longer, and his release spilled over Fezzik's thick fingers. "Fezzik--"
"Good?" Fezzik asked, and how could he still be anxious after that?
"Good," Inigo gasped. "Fezzik. You are a marvel."
"No one has ever called me a marvel before," he said. "You're very kind, Inigo." He patted Inigo's cheek. "Now get some more rest. I'll clean you up."
"I'm fine," Inigo said, and fell asleep.