I did one entry for Whumptober: No 28 - It's Not Just In Your Head
I did one entry for Whumptober: No 28 - It's Not Just In Your Head
ok everyone’s been talking about ao3 wrapped as a yearly thing but what if it was monthly?! I never want to see my October wrapped omg 💀
Whumptober prompts: latest chapter features "passing out" and "collapse" with Matt and Jess for @jack-the-bear! Hope you enjoy!
I've started like two drabbles with Cartesius already but I'm not happy with anything so far lmao. Can't seem to nail down the characterizations I want. So I wanted to do something really short.
From what I've heard, the official timeline seems to be that Copernicus has Ratchet and he's fully grown by the time Copernicus and Cartesius attend university together? I'm rejecting that timeline entirely on account of it makes zero goddamn sense. In flashbacks in The Thief and the Billionaire they are very clearly both REALLY young, maybe young 20s, there is NO way Copernicus got married, had a kid, and fully raised him before university.
So MY timeline is the twins attended university together, Copernicus was kicked out, a few years later Cartesius leaves Duckburg, Copernicus marries and has Ratchet. Makes more sense to me. Anyway. So this story is set while the twins are in their young to mid 20s.
While the twins are at university together, Cartesius stumbles home one night drunk and bleeding. Copernicus tries to patch his wounds, but there are some that Cartesius refuses to mend.
Prompt - bleeding
Nineteen. Just a Scratch
He tugged the coat tighter around himself, trying to fight off the icy, sharp sting of the harsh winter wind. He still had three blocks to go before he reached the dorm, and the blood dripping from his beak and running down his face was doing him no favors for keeping himself warm. He sniffed wetly, wiping his beak on his scarf.
The path was treacherous and slippery, and he was already quite off balance from the ringing through his skull; the angry bird at the bar might have been small but he packed a wallop (and the alcohol in his veins wasn't exactly helping him see straight either). By the time he staggered up to the small dorm he shared with his brother, he had fallen four times on the ice, adding new cuts and scrapes to his already impressive collection of wounds, with his coat soaked straight through from the snow.
At the door, he fumbled in his pockets for his keys, turning up nothing. Had he lost them? Dropped them somewhere in the snowbank? He sniffled wetly again, settling for banging drunkenly on the door. "Copernicus?"
He didn't have long to wait before his brother opened the door, grumbling and irritated. "Honestly, Cartesius, where have you been? It's half past eleven and it's only Wednesday, I've got tests to study for and I don't want to be dealing with -- what happened to you?" His mouth fell open as he finally scanned over his twin, the soaked and flurry-speckled clothes, the bright red, dripping blood, the scrapes and gashes littering his face and hands. He wrapped his arms tightly around himself with another sniffle, shaking.
"A bit of a scuffle at the bar," he replied nonchalantly, weaving a little on his feet.
"Get in here," Copernicus snapped, horrified, "You look like a wreck!"
Cartesius didn't have to be asked twice, quickly slipping indoors and shedding his soaked coat while Copernicus lit a second oil lamp. He turned back to Cartesius, wincing as he ran his hand over his brother's head feathers, trying to smooth them back into place.
"Cartesius, what did you do? Did you pick a fight with someone?"
Cartesius sniffled again, wiping the dripping blood on his scarf. "There may have been some...heated debate, yes."
"That's not -- hey, stop that, are you five? Don't use your scarf. Here," his brother scolded, pulling out his handkerchief from his back pocket and passing it to his brother. Cartesius pressed it to his beak, attempting to stem the flow of blood (and the chill-induced sniffles). Copernicus looked him over, wincing. "You're absolutely covered in scrapes, what happened?"
"It's icy," he replied, weaving a little again.
"And you're drunk," Copernicus grumbled. "Cartesius, you should be studying, you have that big test on Monday --"
"You worry too much, that's -- that's next week," he mumbled, waving dismissively. Copernicus just sighed heavily, gesturing.
"Just go sit down and get out of those wet clothes before you catch your death. I'll get the fire back on."
A few minutes later, Cartesius was huddled in front of the fireplace in his pajamas, blanket wrapped around his shoulders as Copernicus readied the iodine, pouring it onto a spare rag. "I swear, I spend more time looking after you than anything else," he complained.
"I can look after myself," he replied, but the intended sharpness of his comment was somewhat dulled by a startled hiss as Copernicus abruptly pressed the rag into the gashes on his arm.
"Cartesius, hold still," Copernicus muttered, unflinching.
He pulled his arm away with a grimace. "You could at least warn me next time!"
"Fine, here's your warning," he grumbled, pressing into the scrapes along his knee.
"Ow!" He flinched again, sending his brother a glare. "If this is because you're still mad at me over Professor Warbler --"
"Of course I'm still mad about Professor Warbler," he snipped, pressing the rag perhaps a little too hard into another of his brother's cuts. "You cheated, and you blamed me for it!"
Cartesius finally withdrew completely, sneering as he gave his bloody beak another pass with the handkerchief. "You're just jealous."
"Jealous? I'm the one passing the class, Cartesius." He glared at him over the rim of his oversized glasses. "You just can't handle that I'm getting higher grades than you! If you studied more --"
"You always think you're better than me just because the teachers like you more," he snarled.
"I -- no, Cartesius, I'm just here to learn, it's not a competition!"
"Maybe not for you," he growled, low and bitter. He withdrew further on himself, wrapping the blanket tighter around his shoulders.
Copernicus sighed, weary; being the best had always been his brother's prime objective, but the fervor it had ramped up to since they had started school was starting to be worrying. Sabotaging Copernicus's projects, cheating on tests -- it wasn't funny anymore. "I'm not -- Cartesius, I don't want to fight with you."
"You're not fighting with me," he snapped, climbing drunkenly to his feet, blanket slumping to the floor, "I'm just sick and tired of -- of everyone acting like you're so special. Like you're the only genius here! Well guess what, Copernicus? I'm an inventor too. I'm smarter than you, but nobody ever, ever -- " He cut himself off, quietly seething, and stormed off to the sleeping quarters, slamming the door behind him.
Copernicus hesitated, frowning, before tending the fire.
When he finally slunk into their shared room, Cartesius was already on the bed, facing the wall, Copernicus's bloody handkerchief clutched in his hand and furled up against his beak.
There was no response, so Copernicus came closer, taking a seat at the edge of the bed, oil lamp in one hand and Cartesius's blanket in the other.
"Cartesius...I want to work with you. We should be helping each other, not squabbling. We could have been studying together tonight, and instead, you're -- you're off at the bar, picking fights with people."
He said nothing, unflinching, so Copernicus took the opportunity to continue.
"You know, sometimes, I -- I feel like you don't even like me anymore. Like you're not -- like you don't want to get along." He slowly dropped his gaze to his lap, frowning. "I don't mean to make you feel bad, Cartesius. It's not like that. You're my brother. I...I love you."
He paused, waiting for something, anything from his brother. The seconds seemed to stretch on, until finally, he heard a loud, wheezing snore. His face fell and he slumped his shoulders. Fast asleep. He probably had been the whole time. That was Cartesius: there was no reasoning with him, no difficult discussions, no facing the problem. Would anything ever be settled?
Copernicus sighed, setting the oil lamp on the floor in order to cover his brother up with the blanket. "Someday, Cartesius, I swear, you're going to be the death of me," he muttered, picking back up and turning down the lamp. "I just...I want to get along."
There was no reply aside from another soft snore. Copernicus just sighed again, quickly changing into his own nightshirt, a heavy weight sinking through his stomach. He supposed it was his aching heart, but it felt an awful lot like foreboding.
Is there any better trope than character involuntarily does x while hiding and gets themselves caught? No there isn't, enjoy. Short drabble this time :P For Whumptober 2021, Whumptober ends when I say it ends lol
After a fight with the Duck Avenger leaves the Mad Ducktor injured, he slips into Gyro's house for some supplies, believing Gyro to be asleep. He should have known better than that.
Prompt - hiding, escape
tw: mild blood (nosebleed and some cuts)
Twenty-five. Hide & Seek
He sniffled back blood, pulling himself through the open living room window. He was trying to leave no trace, but that was a difficult endeavor as blood continuously trickled from his beak; he pulled off his glove and wiped it off on the back of his hand. The Avenger had been vicious, but he was faster and far more cunning, and he'd managed to slip away from their latest encounter with only a few bruises and cuts -- and a persistent beak bleed.
But his wounds did need attention, and he was completely out of bandages at his hideout. That was where his other self came in. Conveniently for the Ducktor, Gyro had left his window open, and with the house unusually dark and still for this hour, the Ducktor planned on taking full advantage of the situation.
He couldn't see much in the dark, but the house was familiar, and he quickly made his way into the bathroom, switching on the light and getting to work, cleaning himself up and bandaging his wounds. He would only take the supplies he needed -- he knew well that Gyro could need them himself at any point, given his mishaps in the lab, and he wasn't about to leave him empty-handed. Sure, it meant he had to make an extra trip to rob a drug store anyway later on, but at least he could plan his robbery for when he felt more prepared.
Blood trickled down the back of his throat from the nosebleed and he gave a soft, sharp cough, quickly stealing some toilet paper to try to clean his beak up again. That Avenger was stronger than he looked, and his beak just throbbed. At least as tender as it was, at least it didn't seem to be broken.
He stepped back, looking his bandages over in the mirror, deciding it was good enough -- he couldn't afford to stay in Gyro's house for long, just in case. He slipped out the bathroom door, but made it only a few steps before his ears pricked.
The familiar sound of the whirring elevator came ringing loud as a warning bell. He startled, nearly jumping a foot -- the house was dark! Gyro was supposed to be in bed! What was he doing coming up from the lab?!
The Ducktor panicked, looking frantically around before spotting the dim outline of the hallway closet. Well, that wasn't ideal --
He heard some distant voice as the elevator whirred closer; he was barely able to make it out, Gyro obviously talking to Little Bulb.
"--didn't exactly work out, but next time maybe if we try running it tomorrow with at least some of the lights on -- oh, wow, it's dark in here," he exclaimed as the elevator whooshed open.
The time for ideal had long since passed; in an instant the Ducktor flung open the hallway closet door and stuffed himself inside, quietly shutting the door just in time for Gyro to strut out to the living room, making sure all the lights were back on.
The Ducktor suppressed a furious hiss, hunching his shoulders. Of course! Leave it to his other half to make things more difficult for him. The front door had been right there, he would have easily been able to slip out undetected, if he had only been a minute faster at finishing up in the bathroom --
There was a soft pounding elsewhere in the house. "Coming!" Gyro called suddenly, and the Ducktor bristled, straining to hear against the wood door. There was a bit of clattering as Gyro opened the front door, some muted words he couldn't quite make out, in a voice he recognized immediately as that blasted duck.
"Come in," he heard Gyro say, and the Ducktor dug his fingertips into his leg.
"Thanks, Gyro. I just need a quick fix for my boots. I'm hot on the trail of the Mad Ducktor, I know he came this way."
He pressed himself deeper into the hallway closet, trying not to disturb anything Gyro had shoved in there -- coats, winter boots, board games, probably pieces of inventions, a collection of spare bulbs for Helper -- any little noise might give him away.
Which now posed an enormous problem. His beak was still bleeding, and the blood was slipping down the back of his throat. He wanted to cough terribly, wincing with the effort it was taking to ignore the sensation. He covered his beak with both hands, pressing down firmly as if he could hope to hold it in. The blood trickling down his throat was immeasurably tickly, and the urge to cough was impossible to ignore.
He tried silently clearing his throat, clenching the muscles to attempt to scratch the itch, but all it really seemed to do was make things worse. His eyes watered with the effort, but he wasn't about to let himself get caught over this!
He gave a soft, muffled whimper, squeezing his eyes shut. There was some clattering outside, and the distinct voice of that duck as he talked to Gyro -- words too faint to make out but way too close for comfort.
The pressure in his chest was building; there had to be something he could do. He tried clearing his throat again; a mistake -- the tickling amplified, and in a split-second decision he allowed himself one cough, sharp and loud but perhaps it'd be mistaken for something falling in the closet.
The moment the one cough escaped his chest, however, it was all over. His body had other ideas, and once it had a taste of what it took to finally rid itself of the tickly irritation it was bound and bet to settle this once and for all. His chest seized tight and he doubled over in a terrible coughing fit, trying to keep muffled at first but quickly realizing it was a fruitless endeavor as his body wracked him with uncontrollable and loud coughs, not even giving him a moment to catch his breath.
By the time the Duck Avenger opened the closet door he was practically on the floor, alternating between violently coughing and attempting to suck in as much air as his lungs would let him between the fit, tears streaming freely down his cheeks from the effort.
"Uh..." The Avenger looked on hesitantly, apparently not sure what to make of the spectacle, as Gyro hovered worriedly behind him.
When he finally had enough air in his lungs, he looked back to the Avenger, breathless and furious, and simply stuck out his wrists, awaiting his handcuffs. "Spare me the -- cough! -- lecture, Avenger!" he snarled between coughs, cheeks burning a deep red, from more than just the coughing fit. "Let's just -- cough! -- go!"
As he led him out of Gyro's closet and out to the waiting car (the Ducktor still coughing, sniffling, and grumbling the whole while), Gyro left and returned with a small candy, holding it out as if the handcuffed Ducktor could hope to take it.
"What's that?" he hissed, allowing himself to be placed in the back seat. "I don't need -- cough! -- a car-can!"
"Oh, no," Gyro chirped, too cheerfully, a bitter and sneaky edge to his voice the Ducktor knew well, "but it sounds like you could use a lozenge!"
The Ducktor growled furiously at his other self, accidentally throwing himself into another coughing fit in the process. He stuck his beak between his knees in an effort to calm his chest while the Duck Avenger slid into the driver's seat with a laugh at his expense.
Deadcember 2021 Day 1 Prompt: Natural Causes
The Force was in balance.
It was simple, really.
A long time ago, Anakin discovered that Chancellor Palpatine was the Sith Lord. He'd told Master Windu of the development, and the Master told him to wait in the Council Chambers while he confronted the Sith with a few other Masters.
The wait had been agonizing. Even though decades had passed since that moment, Anakin remembered staring out into Coruscant's night sky, scared for Padmé, scared for himself, scared for…
But he stayed where he was, even though the temptation to rush over to the Chancellor was strong.
Later, he would say it was because of his ties to the Order, to what he learned for all that time, that he was able to stay put.
He had to remind himself of the people he loved: Padmé, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, his children…
They were all counting on him.
So the Sith fell, and the Empire never came to be. Padmé gave birth to Luke and Leia, Anakin left the Order to be with his family, Obi-Wan completed Ahsoka's training, and the Force was in balance.
Anakin would go on to raise his children as Jedi. A galaxy in peace was one that gave him the time to enjoy the smaller things in life, even as time wore on.
Even though he was no longer a Jedi, Anakin was still close to the Order. He'd come to the Temple often to visit Obi-Wan and Ahsoka, especially when about thirty years after the end of the war, Obi-Wan decided to retire from active missions.
That was when Anakin realized that this time of joy and peace was going to come to an end.
He was visiting Obi-Wan in his quarters that day, when Obi-Wan smiled at him and said, "You mustn't worry, Anakin."
"We're running out of time, Master," Anakin replied. "I don't — Obi-Wan, I feel like this means that things are slowing down."
Obi-Wan hummed, taking a sip of his tea. "Well, yes, that is what retiring means," he said. "Nothing is permanent, Anakin. We will all join the Force eventually."
"But it's too soon!" Anakin exclaimed. "I can't lose you. Not now."
"Not now," Obi-Wan echoed, nodding slowly. "But it will be soon, and I hope you will come to accept it when my time comes. And for what it's worth, Anakin, you will not be losing me."
He smiled softly and leaned forward, placing a weathered hand on Anakin's shoulder. "I will be right here with you, waiting for you, until the end."
Obi-Wan passed into the Force a few months after that.
For Anakin, life continued onward. He spent time with his family — with Padmé, who was enjoying retirement from the Republic's government, with Luke, who was now training younglings in the Jedi Temple, and with Leia, who had only just become a Senator herself.
And with Ahsoka, of course, who mourned Obi-Wan as Anakin did but also celebrated his legacy.
Twenty years went on like this. Soon, the grief eased, and Anakin learned what it was to be a man who lived a long, happy life. His family was there for him, the Jedi were there for him, and he felt such Light in the Force that reminded him that Obi-Wan was there, waiting for him.
So when he heard the song calling to him, a lullaby singing him to sleep, Anakin finally realized how Obi-Wan knew it when his time had come.
He reached out to everyone he ever loved, and a few months later, with his family by his side, saying their goodbyes, Anakin Skywalker returned to the Force.
And that was when he heard a familiar voice: one that he hadn't heard in a very long time.
Anakin blinked up, smiled, and extended a hand forward.
(Pandora's Deadcember 2021 Masterlist)
S T R A N G E T R A I L S (whumptober 2021)
day 29: I’m just wearing old bones (all work and no play)
They finally arrive in Os Kervo at dusk. Their long march across West Ravka ends as the sun slips below the horizon, tossing the coastal city in sharp relief. The sight of the skyline and its promise of a bustling port causes some anxiety for the group; they’ve spent the last two days in quiet isolation on their hike. They have no idea what rumors have traveled ahead of them from the Fold. News of Novokribirsk’s destruction will surely have reached the city by now, but they’ve no idea how many details have come with it. If their names, or their faces, are by now wanted. But more than the prickling nerves of reentering society, with its unknown perils, the travelers feel relief. The journey had been long and difficult, crossing West Ravka on foot with few supplies. They all feel the exhaustion deep within their bones, and at least Os Kervo can provide them with hot food and shelter for the night until they can find passage across the True Sea.
A mile out from the city wall, the three travelers from Ketterdam part ways with Alina and Mal, entering separately to disguise their association. They make their weary way to an inn on the edge of town, to get at least one night’s rest in a warm and dry bed before boarding the ship in the morning. The city, as far as they can hear, is buzzing with news of the Fold and Novokribirsk, but luckily for them the details of the misadventure are still shrouded in mystery. Wild theories make their way to the traveler’s ears, each further from the truth than the last.
[continue reading on ao3] [collection]
I am gonna attempt Deadcember! Earlier today I thought I could make a deep run of it but things have since gone very sideways and now I’m kinda uncertain about things.
However, I do have the first prompt written, and I’m excited to hopefully write more as the month progresses. Stay tuned!
Chapter One: Dollhouse
Two new chapters added (I'm trying to get this finished before the end of the year lmao):
Day 9: Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated - Hela (Marvel) and Lilith (CAoS)
Day 10: Flare-ups - Lilith (CAoS)
Heed the warnings and the tags :3
TW: Drugs, tranquilizers
• Whumpee seeing Whumper and instead of panicking, they try to keep calm, because they, under no circumstances, will ever let anyone see them like that. They have PRIDE. They didn't have that with Whumper, and they'll never lose it again. Whumpee knowing how much danger that their in, but seeing the other people that they went out with so happy, they can't bring themselves to tell them that anything is wrong.
• Whumpee thinking for a moment that they've been spotted, their breath hitching, freezing up for a fraction of a second, and walking on pretending nothing was wrong and resisting the urge to check over their shoulder.
• They think that they've gotten away this time, until they're all walking down the door and Whumpee feels a pain in their side. They lift up their arm to see a tranquilizer dart, and they realise that if they keep hiding this, they'd go back to Whumper and they can't, they can't, they can't they can't they can't bear to ever ever ever go through that again, and before they know it, their vision is swimming and they're about to lose everything again.
Republic Medical Corps Doctor Aril’ree, on Alderaan with her squadron to support possible peace talks, searches a battlefield for survivors and wonders if she made the right choice ten years earlier.
Whumptober prompt #18: the doctor is in
Under other circumstances, the mountains of Alderaan might have seemed beautiful, if austere; in the middle of a civil war, they were simply a lonely place to die.
Republic Medical Officer Aril’ree’s lekku wrapped tighter around her neck as she trudged through the bloody snow, looking for survivors of the battle. The temperature was dropping already, and any soldiers left alive overnight wouldn’t be by morning. The Alderaanian troops would hold the position, but Aril’ree doubted they’d have much time to search the battlefield.
House Ulgo’s troops had retreated, leaving their dead and injured scattered among those of House Organa and House Alde. Aril’ree had already had several arguments with Organa medics regarding the extraction of injured enemy combatants.
That was Alderaanian honor. Fight where you can see the enemy, and the enemy can see you, because that’s The Way War Is Done, but leave your fallen enemies to bleed out or freeze to death because… loss is dishonorable? …enemies have no honor? …honor was a terrible replacement for actual laws of warfare.
She knew her fellow Republic soldiers sometimes broke those laws—she’d seen it herself—but at least there were laws. Not archaic conventions that were followed when they cost more lives and broken when they cost more lives.
Her handheld medical scanner picked up vital signs. Another living casualty. No, two. She commed their location.
“Sir, that one’s House—” The Alde soldier broke off at her look. “Yes, sir,” he finished instead.
It was twilight when the last of the medical evac units lifted off the mountain, heading for an Organa stronghold, with her and the last of the casualties she’d found on it. With her team, and the stronghold’s medical staff, most of the casualties would make it. Whatever that was worth.
The Alderaanian civil war had been raging for ten years, since just after the Treaty of Coruscant was signed. The soldiers she saved would simply go back into battle again, fighting a futile war for the throne and the allegiance of Alderaan.
Not that she was any different, she thought as she checked a fluid drip. She’d been all but ground zero for the Sacking of Coruscant, her residency ending in that horrifying mass casualty event, and she’d traded in her planned future in civilian medicine and signed up with the Republic Army Medical Corps. To make a difference.
Perhaps she belonged on Alderaan, planet of futile wars. She could battle death while they battled for their throne.
Perhaps she needed a meal and rest, or at least a ration bar and a cup of caf. Her battle wouldn’t seem half as futile to the solders as theirs seemed to her.
Tags: whumptober 2021, no.18, the doctor is in, fic, swtor, I write, Aril’ree
I’m not the angsty-est writer out there. I’m just, not?
I almost never end up writing angst, and when I do it’s only a precursor to comfort and fluff to make the happy ending that much more meaningful.
I look at the boys and go:
Time, I want you to have as happy an ending as I can give you
Twilight, I know your heart is hurting but look, there’s happiness ahead
Wild, you have so many burdens all ready, I’m going to do what I can to lighten them
Warriors, you went through a war, so I’m going to fill your life with love
Legend, let’s see what I can do to bring dreams to life
Hyrule, I’m going to give you a family and make you a king
Wind, you are my precious child and I’m going to do what I can to protect that wonder
Sky, my kindred spirit, my floofy friend, let us give all the love we can to these, our boys, and don’t think you’re excluded
Four, I’ll give you a happy ending, but first I’m going to absolute devastate you
@anadorablekiwi you know i’m right
Whumptober 2021- The Darkness I Know
No. 26 - You Will Go Down With This Ship
fallen | waterfall | trap door
Fic Summary: After the world as she knew it was destroyed by the corruption of Malice, Zelda allies herself with her saviors from captivity: a disgruntled former governor, an alert paramedic, a cocky pilot, an excessively overt optimist, and a blind strategist. While the corrupted, malice-filled Yiga Clan looks for revenge on them, Zelda has to learn how important it is to find family in others... and how much more dangerous the stakes become if she fails to protect them.
Previous /Chapter Index/ Next
Zelda ensured that Mipha saw to Link first.
He had fewer wounds, and he’d taken far worse hits from the Yiga than she had.
His lip was split, his face bruised and swollen. He had a long cut from his cheek to his ear that didn’t look deep but did look painful enough. Zelda insisted that the Malice made her pain tolerable. And while that wasn’t a blatant lie—she did feel stronger because it was around her—it didn’t negate her pain.
They didn’t need to know that detail.
All she had to do was lie still and listen.
Daruk and Mipha told the story of how they’d used the same mask Urbosa had to see through the dark in order to throw on the emergency solar powered generator and then the lights.
When Zelda made a face, Urbosa pointed to the back of the store. “Hunting gear.”
Mipha flashed her mask in front of Zelda. “I think that whoever looted the store beforehand mistook them for binoculars or something. But these are night vision. You see green through the lens. Not foolproof, but better than nothing.”
“Mine is on the ground somewhere,” Urbosa said, looking around. “Might have broken them though…”
“Urbosa and I found them earlier when you were building those bombs. There were only two. We didn’t think we’d need them in here.”
“IT was a walk in the park for me,” Link joked. “Just a normal day.”
“Goddess, I hated it,” Mipha muttered, moving to Zelda’s side. “I admire you more than I always do, Link.”
“Same,” Zelda agreed, turning her head to look at him a bit better. “My knight in armor. You kept them off me. Thank you.”
“Not ‘shining’ armor?”
“We’re in the apocalypse, Link,” Zelda laughed, only to feel Mipha hold her still. “We don’t shine things anymore.”
Mipha ran a comforting hand along Zelda’s forehead, around the cut from the sickle before dabbing some disinfectant onto a towel. “This will probably sting.”
Zelda bit her lip and held her breath to stop the pained groan from being too obvious. And she hated that Mipha would have to do this for every stupid nail that was still stuck in her.
They’d pulled a few out that were superficial, barely sticking in her skin, so they could move her and Link away from the dead Yiga corpses. But there were still a few nails left, and it wasn’t terribly comfortable, despite being tolerable.
“Most of the bandages were looted,” Mipha sighed, pressing some gauze into Zelda’s forehead. “I don’t think you’ll really need them for this, but I wouldn’t have hated taking care of your arm a bit better.”
“I don’t think that’s something you’ll be able to help with, in the long run,” Zelda muttered, remembering how Astor had manipulated her wound.
Urbosa and Daruk grabbed a handful of things near them, and headed back into the heart of the store, leaving Mipha and Link with Zelda.
“Do you need new clothes again?” Link asked.
Zelda looked at her arm with a nail stuck in it. “No. There’s not much blood, and the holes in the fabric are pretty small too. Can’t be picky. Maybe I can… sew it? I can’t sew very well, but I can try.”
“I can,” Mipha said with a grin. “I learned before I went into my course in case I needed to do stitches.”
“If there’s a needle somewhere in this store, then yes, gladly.”
Zelda’s eyes slammed shut and she held in a pained noise as Mipha pulled the nail from her hip, which was stuck in a bit further than the rest.
“Don’t be,” Zelda breathed, feeling Link’s hand slide into hers.
“Here, take this spot,” Mipha said to him before moving to Zelda’s other side to keep working.
“Can I help at all?”
Mipha bit her lip and looked Zelda over. “Hrmm. There’s one in her leg near you. Doesn’t look bad, or like it’s going to bleed much. Can you get it while I finish her arm?” Mipha looked at Zelda for confirmation, and she nodded, so Mipha waited.
“Yeah, I can do that. If I can cut into her arm and pull Malice out, I’m sure I can find a nail. Zelda?”
“Go ahead. Not like I’m allowed to move to help yet.”
Mipha scoffed. “We’re being safe. There’s no hospital if one shifts and nicks you, okay? We’re almost done.”
Link let go of her hand and slowly slid around Zelda’s leg, looking for the nail.
Zelda turned to Mipha, her face red. But Mipha smirked deviously. “You’re welcome,” she mouthed, just before carefully pulling another nail out.
Even if Link knew where the nail was, Zelda had a distinct feeling that this was a good excuse to pretend he didn’t. Using common sense, the nail was unlikely to be on the inside of her leg, but that’s where Link was.
“Link,” Zelda finally said when her face was burning. “Mipha is right here.”
Mipha laughed, and they both watched red creep up Link’s neck. “Yeah, I know. I’m helping.”
“Well, I’m just saying, there’s a back room if you want privacy,” Mipha teased. She couldn’t stop giggling to herself and had to stop what she was doing to sit back, enjoying the way her friends’ faces simply reddened more and more.
Link was beyond grateful when he found the nail close to her knee, and he pulled it out, holding her leg down as she twitched.
“Goddess,” Zelda breathed. “It’s like having a ton of papercuts.”
“Almost done,” Mipha promised.
And when she pulled the last nail out, giving Zelda a pill that they’d found in the pharmacy section and a bottle of water, she finally helped Zelda to her feet.
“You did good. It was brave of you to set that off knowing you’d get hurt.”
“Better than dead,” Zelda mused, stretching her arms out. They were sore, and scattered remnants of pain were inevitable, but nothing compared to when she’d gotten the Malice in her arm, and that made it all a bit more bearable.
“I’m going to go find Daruk and Urbosa,” Mipha said, winking at Zelda, leaving her flushed again.
When she was out of earshot, Zelda wrapped her arms around Link, finally able to sag against him in relief. Because they were both alive, and—though she was still a beacon to the Yiga—she had a feeling that they would have at least a few day’s rest while they regrouped after Dorian’s loss. He could no longer be a pawn in Astor or Ganondorf’s schemes, and Zelda felt both nervous at the prospect, and freed by it.
“Are you really okay?” Link asked, leaning his chin on her head. She was slipping down in his arms, and he figured she had to be exhausted after the last few days.
“Yeah. Yeah, nothing that’s going to kill me. Well, not that I know of.”
“I have an idea, if you’re up to it?”
“The back room?”
He bit his lip and smirked. “Sounds more fun than my idea.”
“What was yours?”
He grabbed the hair on the back of his neck, red, as expected. “I mean, I was going to see if you wanted to find the outdoor display furniture and find those swinging couches that go on porches.”
Zelda couldn’t stop herself from laughing. “Wow, our minds are in different places.”
“No,” he said quickly. “No, I’m all in for the back room.”
“Look what Mipha’s done.”
He grinned and kissed her cheek, all he could reach at this point. “Ever realize that everyone we’re with keeps trying to get us together?”
“Daruk was really insistent,” she said, standing up straight again and yawning.
“Yeah, you know, he was with me too.”
“We’re practically disappointing them.”
“Well, we wouldn’t want that.”
Zelda smiled and nudged him. “I do want to find the swings too, though.”
“Think we have time for it all? Or are your Yiga senses tingling?”
Zelda led him down an aisle, avoiding the Yiga and Moblin. “Hopefully, they’ll get the message, and we’ll have a night off. No saying about tomorrow, though. As much as I love it here, we should keep moving.”
“‘We?’ Does that mean you’re not planning on running again?”
“Not unless it’s life threatening. I’ll trust you all to kick me out if we need that. But if you’ve decided that you’re willing to bear with me, then I’ll stay.”
“I’ll go with you, you know. If you’d have me, I’ll stay with you. I don’t want to burden you, or slow you down, but if you ask, I will come with you.”
Zelda turned to him and smiled.
Link chuckled. “I can’t see your reaction, remember?”
“How do you know I even made a face?”
“You licked your lips pretty loudly.”
“Yeah, I’m listening to your spit. Romantic.”
“Goddess,” she laughed, covering her mouth, as if that would do her any good. “I’m smiling, okay?”
“Not grimacing. I’ll take that.”
Zelda felt her face redden a bit. “Talking about spit. We’ve hit goals, haven’t we?”
She tapped Link’s arm. “There’s the rocking chair thing! Do that first?”
“Wherever you want to take me.”
Smirking, Zelda pulled him with her. “Don’t tempt me.”
“I will if I can.”
They sat on the swing, laughing when it swung backwards before they were both solidly on it.
Link moved a pillow behind his back and turned toward Zelda. “I’d buy this.”
“It’s not too bad,” she said, taking Link’s staff and setting it on the ground. “I like the company it comes with.”
“Zelda,” Link started, hesitating as if he wasn’t sure whether he should continue or not. But he sighed and shrugged. “Would you have gone on a date with me before? Before the Malice, I mean.”
“I don’t know. Curiosity, I guess.”
“You and I could have gone to the movies a few weeks after one comes out so we’re the only ones in the theater, and then just sat in the corner and made out. That would have been fun.”
He snorted. “Pay to make out? We can do that for free.”
“Mmm,” she hummed, leaning in to kiss him. “True. But it’s like a right of passage, you know? People make out in movie theaters.”
“Where did you grow up? My formative years were apparently boring by comparison.”
“Listen,” she said, her voice turning serious. “While we’re out here, if we find a movie theater, we’re going in.”
He chuckled and kissed her again. “Sure.”
Moving to get more comfortable, Zelda put her arm down.
But forgot she was on a swinging chair.
Her arm hit nothing but air and she fell off the couch. As soon as she hit the ground, she couldn’t stop the bubbling laughing fit that burst out of her.
“Zel?” Link asked, sitting up quickly. “You okay?”
“Goddess, yes! But that’s embarrassing!” She covered her mouth, but couldn’t stop laughing, which Link—knowing she hadn’t hit her head—joined in on.
Leaning back against Link’s leg, she let her laughter fade out naturally, basking in it.
“That felt good.”
Is there any sort of Kinktober/Whumptober/Comfortember/etcetc fandom event in December? Or better yet, a blog that lists all of them?