Hello! Welcome to Fic Rec Friday! It’s a thing I want to try to do as many Fridays as I can. I want to focus on fics I love that I think are under appreciated (or have fewer than 200-300 kudos). (Most will be zelink fics, fair warning.)
I’m cheating a bit by focusing on two fics today, Umbra and Penumbra by @littleredwritinghoodxx, since you can’t really read one without the other.
There are some fics I love so much that I download them and put them on my kindle so I can read them over and over, and these two are frequent re-reads. Lots of angst and pining, I read them when I want to hurt myself a bit 😌. Both stories delve into Link’s struggle to reconcile himself from before and himself currently, and how he and Zelda can move forward together.
Please check them out, and let me know if you loved them as much as I do! (And of course leave a nice comment and kudo for the author!) See you next Friday!
Here’s some Link character design for my fic Cross My Heart. It’s about revenge, murder, love, and terrible beans.
(maybe this was all just an excuse to draw Link in a bolo tie and cowboy hat)
Beyond Blue Arbors, Across Black Nights
Rated M // Zelink
Read here on A03, or below under the cut.
Twenty years after Link and Zelda at last exorcised the malignant spirit that dwelled beneath Hyrule Castle, peace has returned to the land. The sword has been returned to the forest. The castle has been restored. A flourishing of prosperity nourishes the people across the land.
But it is not enough.
Haunted by a grief that is too heavy for time to heal, Zelda relinquishes the Triforce upon Link to be its next bearer, and decides to depart for a new land beyond the vast mountains past the western frontier – alone.
Unable to cope with her absence, Link once again takes up the sword to travel beyond Hyrule in a search that will take him beyond everything he has ever known, to find Zelda once again.
A Post BOTW 2 story.
Link’s bended knee trembled beneath him.
He chose to maintain his head dipped low, eyes closed – heavy hand, over heavy heart. He could hear a soft huff from Zelda’s horse, the wind swaying the leaves above his head. The leaves took on different shapes here, produced different sounds in the breeze. A bird’s trill echoed into his body, a foreign crescendo pooling into the pulsing hole in his body.
Far beyond the precipice of Tanagar Canyon, over the high mountains bordering Hyrule, they both stood there in silence, bathed in the light of an unknown verdure within a forest’s clearing. It shone upon them both – cold.
Her silence deafened him.
“…the psychic link between the two of us was so strong, when I was in Ganon’s clutches.” Zelda whispered, turning to face him.
She was dressed all in white, from head to toe – in a simple linen gown, unadorned by any jewelry, a white cloak draped around her shoulders, its hood concealing her face – a phantom thread of a silhouette.
“…but now that we are both free, and at peace…”
Her voice remained steady.
“…you seem so distant, guarding the Triforce, now. Can you hear its reckoning? Many souls have died only to behold awareness of its existence. In the quiet nights, you can almost hear the whisper of its love. Isn’t it terrible to behold? Isn’t it heavy in your hand, beloved one? My forever one?”
Her breath hitched. Link struggled to exhale.
“I am alone…I am alone now…”
Link dared not move, dared not rise from his feet. His shoulders trembled, tears pooling inside of his body made bluest reservoir.
Blue was always Zelda’s favorite color. She loved the blue of the ocean, the blue of the sky. Her favorite sheets were dyed the shadow of cool safflina, her favorite incense. He had pressed a box into her hand before they left the castle, his grasp insistent. She had placed her hands over his, leaning her forehead onto his. His last parting gift.
Long ago, in that distant age when they were young, he had once gifted the incense to her. When she was besieged by terrible omens, possessions – horrors and tears. Beauty and fear spring from the same source. From the same spring of her love. He had bathed in it, relished in its sweetness; her soft smiles, open mouth, a wonderful sigh.
Her love made his soul radiant before her. But Hylia everlasting, Hylia ever cyclical, has both sunrise and sunset. Both dawn and dusk. Both night and day. She was the morning, and the evening star, both moonbeam and sunbeam divine.
She was the pain that eclipsed all other tragedy in his heart.
They would never be here again.
He would never see her again.
He heard the soft footfall of her horse turn away, slowly. Slowly, slowly.
Slowly. Slower. Slow.
She turned to face him, her eyes peering from below the hood of her cloak. Their gaze met, fractured light joining them together.
He had risen, his gaze set behind her.
She was a ghost now.
She called to him, hands firmly upon the reigns, light casting long shadows upon the ground of the forest, its dark flora a herald for loss.
“As long as I live…I shall never forget the time when we were together in our dreams…”
Long after she disappeared from his sight, long after the sun had set, he remained where he stood. Time never stopped. But perhaps, remaining in the very spot where he stood, in the last place he would ever behold his forever one, he could make a stone of his memory. A statue of heartbreak erect.
He dipped his heads into his hands, his throat a choking box of dust. He let tears stream down at last, a broken valve without repair.
Only when they briefly subsided did he slice a sturdy branch from a tree.
He carved it, sliced it finely. Then stuck it deeply into the very spot where he had stood and said his final goodbye.
He dropped to his knees, scraping a small mound into the loam beneath him. He carried a seed of silent princess with him that day, in a small folded sheet of paper.
She was his earth, his sun, his joy, his love. And now she was gone.
He knew his tears would stir the seedling to life. All life flows through pain’s current. Pain was his only living companion who preceded her love, now.
At the break of dawn, he mounted his own horse again to return to Hyrule; to his empty bed, to an empty seat besides his station of honor in the sanctum, to his coronation as King.
He buried his sadness. Within the the same physical point of their departure, was the death of his heart. Within the grave of his heart, life would begin anew, unfurl slowly, and glow in the darkness of his loss.
I've finally got myself to write again, even if it's in small world counts.
Zelda took off her glamour to avoid depleting her magic, easily blending in dressed as an agent, hair tied neatly in a braid, covering her head with the hood of her jacket to conceal herself easily.
She took a glance at Link from the corner of her eye. He was tense indeed, but she didn't want to do anything to throw him off focus, even if her heart desired to hold his hand and reassure him everything would be fine - wishful thinking trying to cover for the uncertainty of them both.
The calm before the storm.
Hello all! Whoa, a WIP Wednesday 2 weeks in a row? What is this!? lol
Here’s another chunk from the upcoming chapter of “Before and After”:
You plop down to sit, elbows resting on your knees, passing the stone between your hands. "Picture this situation: I knew you needed to take my measurements for this tunic because the Champions' Ceremony was only a couple weeks away. Goddesses, Zelda, I was so worked up. You and I, we weren't getting along at all then, but I still carried such a torch for you. I was so worried I was gonna blush and that it'd be be super awkward or something."
There's a playful lilt to her words as she asks, "You carried a torch for me, even when I was awful to you?"
"Yes," your voice goes low and warm, "because apparently I've always had an inclination for the improbable."
Zelda laughs, breathy and soft, and her cheeks turn a lovely shade of pink. "Such fancy words, Sir Knight."
"Yeah, well, apparently I had a fancy education. You know, 'sponsors in high places' and all that."
She smiles. "Indeed, you did." Her gaze drops away for a second, but when she glances up at your through her eyelashes, your heart stutters. Her own voice is now low as she says, "As it turns out, not as improbable as you thought it to be back then."
You swallow. "No, not improbable at all." The notion still bogles your mind.
Zelda hums affirmatively as she sets the stick on the ground carefully, which is funny considering, well, it's just a stick. She shifts to sit, her legs tucked to the side as she primly wipes her hands on her leggings. "Regarding the measurements for your tunic, in truth I was quite anxious myself over the whole thing at the time."
"Yes, well... Obviously I didn't like being around you then."
"Obviously," you grin.
She answers with her own grin and a glimmer in her eye. "Yes, obviously. And I knew it'd be awkward because as terrible as you were, you were also terribly attractive."
"Yes. Oh, don't you gloat over it!"
"I'm not! It's just... 'terribly attractive'?!"
There ya go! The chapter’s coming along nicely. I’ve got a bit more to write and hopefully I can share it soon 🥰
No idea if this is going to work, but here goes. I was looking for Christmas related prompts to try and work on fic writing. I wasn't totally happy with the ones that I found so decided to leave it to a random word generator in the hopes that I might get some inspiration so lets see where (if anywhere) this goes. This will be a BoTW AU where the whole gang works in the same office (for now called Sheikah Corp cause I'm not very creative). Urbosa is the Events Coordinator and is therefore responsible for organising events such as the office Christmas party. She's been doing the job for a number of years though and her inspiration is running dry this year. She decides to set up a suggestions box to see if her colleagues can provide any useful ideas (she doubts it). I'm hoping that the random words generated may provide some ideas for the suggestions the others may make. I'm VERY open for suggestions if anyone has any ideas/prompts or anything that may help with this. Not really felt like writing a lot recently so hoping something unstructured with no real goal or purpose may help. 🤔😊 First drabble under the cut!
As the events coordinator at the Sheikah Corp head office it is Urbosa’s job to plan company wide events. This included everything from contract celebrations, hosting other companies while negotiations take place and holiday parties such as Christmas. After carrying out the role for many years sometimes it was hard to come up with original ideas. Urbosa’s solution to this: a suggestion box.
Her work mates were certainly an eclectic bunch and she had a feeling that she would regret her decision to be open to their ideas. She’d never know if she didn’t try though, and who knows, maybe they would surprise her. Who was she kidding? Apart from her job, what did she have to lose really?
She sighed as she reread the company wide email she was about to send, still not completely confident in her decision. She has to admit though, her normal creativity had been running on fumes recently, if left to plan this all one her own people may notice and think her organising skills have become stale. At least this way she’ll have a fall guy in the shape of her colleagues. The suggestions would be anonymous so it’s not like the company can blame any one individual. Yes, they could blame her for going along with their stupid suggestions but she’s pretty sure she can wiggle out of it by saying it hadn’t been done before and she now knows better than to believe the people she works with to be more than mere dumbasses (obviously she would phrase it better in an official meeting). Maybe the dumbasses might actually suggest something useful though and get her own creative juices flowing.
Gross, she hated that expression. Why did she have to think of that knowing where the office party normally lead? Damnit, she had to click send on the email before she talked herself out of it and ended up with grey hair from stressing over planning this event once again solo.
Adding her signature to the bottom of the mail, she hovered her mouse over the ‘send’ button. Sending a quick prayer to any who may listen that she wouldn’t regret this she closed her eyes and clicked her mouse. Peeking one eye open she could no longer see the outgoing message and opening both eye revealed the ‘your message has been sent’ notification.
She sighed once again. ‘Oh goddess what have I done?’
Hi hello, I’m a zelink fanfic writer and today I am going to go on a rant about my current favourite fics. If you’d like to join me on this venture and get to experience some awesome zelink please continue to read:
In no particular order:
@nooneshome12’s The Silent Ranger and a Curious Princess
Just… what a fic.
I love the themes in this one, we have Link with an very intriguing back story (that left him mute!!!) and Zelda, a socially awkward princess (with a wholesome family!). See, from that alone it’s a fic that’s already breaking common fanfic tropes! And that makes it a breath of fresh air (you see what I did there? No? Okay I’ll stop)
Together, Zelink are on the run along the Frontier, a dangerous border and chaos ensues, alongside a healthy dose of romance and pining because what else would you expect of this pair. It’s like the most awesome canon AU of BOTW, merged with TP. The latest chapter was DELIGHTFUL I JUST. Can’t say much because of spoilers but please read this!!!
@wanderingnightingale’s Dropping The Sword AND OH MY GOD. I’m slowly working my way through this, and I’ve reached chapter 5!
Essentially, as this is a tag on the fic I won’t consider it a spoiler to say the plot revolves around Pre-Calamity Zelink… but with a baby. And doesn’t that change the whole perspective?
I’ve read up to chapter 5 so far and it’s a beautiful story. It’s one of those that stop and make you think. Each line has a deeper meaning underneath it, and because you know Zelink Baby exists, and yet, Link, in so far, has no clue. He suspects something is up, because he’s not stupid. But he doesn’t quite catch his finger on it. And you, as a reader, are pining the whole time.
Do you want Link to find out?
But then… he’ll be devastated for forgetting his own child.
Do you want Link to remain in the dark, thereby maintaining his sanity?
But that’s like living in a fish bowl. And the truth will always prevail will it not?
It’s a fic that genuinely made me reflect on a lot of things. And it’s written in heart-wrenchingly beautiful way. Give it a go lads you’ll thank me later :)
@braidy-maidy’s Forgotten Moments.
Now, this isn’t your stereotypical fic. It doesn’t involve your standard romance and it doesn’t have a single thought of the characters written.
Strange, you might think. What’s the point of fic if we cannot even enter the character’s head?!
And therein lies the beauty. Because this fic is all about reading between the lines, the same way we do for the memories given to us in BOTW. If you’re a zelink fan, you’ll know we all PINED over that moment where Zelda rests her hand on Link’s forehead just after he killed all those monsters.
This fic, wonderfully, is more of the same. It relies on solely body language and dialogue to convey the deeper meanings. And I think that’s super cool! @braidy-maidy does an awesome job at being cinematic! Try it! And the latest chapter is just beautiful gotta love Link avoiding Revali lmao. GIVE IT A SHOT FOLKS :D
And that’s it for today folks! I’ll do more of this very soon!
Thank you so much for the first 100 kudos on my most recent fic! I’m so glad you guys liked it 😁 I know I’m a pretty new fanfic writer (tbh writer in general), but I’m super happy to be a part of the loz & zelink community and I’m only going to be spewing more & more fics from here on out! 😘
If you’d like to read my fics, you can check them out below!
Having been torn from her sealing power, Zelda travels with Link as a companion to conquer the Beasts, but she must hide her identity because his memory is gone & mentality hanging by a thread. She has to live under an alias until his memory of her returns, even if that means he's falling in love with the woman she's pretending to be.
Angst / Smut / Romance / Comical / Slow Burn
How Wild It Is To Be
Zelda's been attending NHU for two years now, living life to the fullest in the lively, but secluded, northern city of Deku, and Link is a brand new transfer student trying to start everything over. He grew tired of the life that was laid out for him; following in his father's footsteps, carrying the burdening title of Hyrule's Champion, and committing to a relationship that was bound to fail. He's looking for a new path to wander at NHU and maybe, just maybe, he'll find himself somewhere between the luscious evergreens of Deku and the artsy bookseller with those bewitching green eyes.
Uni AU / Nostalgic / Drama / Angst / Smut / Romance
Of Midnight Findings and Revue
For his solo, Link usually picks the birthday girls or the bachelorettes wearing tiaras or sashes, but tonight he chose someone different. Someone who smelled like lilac perfume and laboratory latex gloves and looked like she just came from the garden. This decision spirals into both of them under the enchanting light of a midnight city, to a night market, to a used book store, and then eventually, to his bedroom.
Where Link is an exotic male dancer and Zelda's been ditched for the night by her girlfriends.
Male Stripping / Drinking / Corny Costumes / Midnight Romance / Smut
continuing that degen? college summer au from here and here hehe
* * *
“Purah, wake up,” she hisses. “We’re not home right now.”
Purah’s eyes open at this at least, and after a few more shakes, she sits up too.
“Oh my god,” she says, rubbing her eyes. “I’m still drunk. What happened?”
“I think you had too much,” Link deadpans as he walks back into the living room with a small bottle. “Here. Painkillers.”
He crouches down to pick up a solo cup on the floor while handing the bottle to Zelda, and for a moment the strangest thing happens. A phantom memory, dejavu, a dream she once had, dances at the back of her mind.
He’s kneeled like this before in front of her. That, or she’s still drunk too.
Its here like I promised, and its soft. Am tired cuz its midnight so here
Chapter 13: Picking up the pieces
The sound of the late night breeze whistled through the loft's windows. It was joined by the faint music from the festival. As well as the pounding of Zelda's heart as she crouched in front of the Hero of Hyrule.
Link's arms had moved to hug his knees. He was quivering like a leaf, the poor thing. But at least he was no longer deaf to her.
She was left reeling at his uttered word. She repeated it. "Everything?"
"T-too much," he rasped out. "It's not stopping."
"What do you feel? Happiness? Anger?" She pressed him for answers, lost and nearly as overwhelmed as he surely was. His emotions, could they be back for good?
"I don't know," he ground out through gritted teeth. "M-make it stop. Why isn't it stopping?"
"It's okay," Zelda murmured, hand moving to cup his cheek. "Just breathe, Link. Focus on my hand on your face. On one feeling." He took a few deep, shuddering breaths. "There. How do you feel?"
"Still too much," he said, though he seemed considerably calmer. "One feeling more than them all. The warmth."
"Happiness," she told him. Though it was likely love, she didn't need to overwhelm him or confuse him more by emotions he didn't understand.
"Happiness," he repeated. He pressed his cheek more into her palm, blinking at her in wonder. "You make me happy."
Blushing, she became shy. "I-I guess." She drew her palm away from his cheek. He immediately frowned, the emotion displaying itself with an ease that didn't exist before. "What do you feel now?"
"I- I feel like I want your hand back. It helped the m-massive headache."
Zelda chuckled softly at his words. Finally, she was able to know what he was thinking.
"Here," she said, sliding her fingers into his own, removing that hand from his knees. Link offered her a smile then, and she laughed again. It seemed that someone was good at getting what he wanted. "Spoiled."
Link's grin remained and his eyes squinted at her. "That feels better." He took another deep breath. His eyes fell to their hands as he moved his thumb over the back of hers.
"What caused this?" Zelda put voice to her wonders as she observed the boy in front of her. He seemed transfixed by her hand as he began to trace her palm with his finger as he held it in his other hand. His gaze shot back up after a moment, shy.
"I.. I was fighting the headaches. And trying really hard to feel something," he explained in a small voice. "Everything just.. hit me all of a sudden."
"So that's why you were so weirdly quiet," Zelda said in realization. And why his hand would noticeably spasm; he was resisting the urge to rub the headaches away.
Link nodded, stopping the movements of his hand in hers. "I can feel," he nearly whispered, as if he needed to say it again. Like he couldn't quite believe it. Neither could she, truly. It felt so random, she was not prepared in the slightest.
"You can feel," she murmured in agreement, squeezing his fingers. "Link, this is wonderful! I'm so happy for you."
"Y-you are?" His eyes filled with wonder again, sparkling in the moonlight streaming through their windows.
"Yes, Link." Zelda had never felt happier.
His lips parted. "Good. I like happiness. I want you to feel happiness forever."
His words, so pure and genuine, threatened to bring tears to her eyes. "I'll try to." He gave her a dopey smile in response. Now that they were sitting in silence, Zelda decided to ask, "Do you want to go back to the festival?"
Link shook his head immediately, and rapidly. "No." He shook his head again. "Too loud."
"I know it's too loud. We won't, then. How about sleeping? Maybe rest will help your headache." Zelda reached out and squeezed his knee, which had begun to shake again.
"Yes," he uttered in agreement, eyes flitting between hers. Then let Zelda help him to his feet. He stumbled on his way to the bed, and Zelda couldn't help but think he was acting drunk. Off emotions? She supposed it made sense, getting hit by all of them at once surely didn't feel good.
He plopped onto the bed before laying down properly in it. Still in his normal clothes, which was his usual. Zelda bit her lip as she considered how hot he must feel now that the nights were as warm as the daytime. She asked him, "Ever think about wearing less for bed?"
"N-never did before. But I think I'd like that now," he shakily responded as he lay as stiff as a board.
"You could change into the pants I left for you in the Shrine of Resurrection. I cleaned them yesterday for you, and they're more comfortable," she said as she pulled them from the slate. "And take off that shirt and those arm wraps. I doubt those are comfortable."
Link blinked at her with wide eyes. "M-my shirt? You want me to be.. shirtless?"
Zelda rolled her eyes, but also fought off a blush. "You've been without a shirt in my presence before. Rito Village, and the day after returning from Gerudo." Not to mention that poor excuse for a shirt he wore in the desert. Not that she had any issue with it.
Link shrugged, cheeks beautifully red with embarrassment. "I don't remember or recall feeling anything then. Now I do. It-it seems improper."
"It's okay," she insisted as she handed him the too-small trousers. "You've done more 'improper' things in the past." She wanted to mention the kiss, but elected not to. "Now, take it off. That is, if you're comfortable with doing so." She didn't want to pressure him.
Link continued to blush as he first unwrapped his arms of the Gerudo-patterned tape, a gift from Urbosa long ago. Then came the champion's tunic, and then the undershirt. He avoided her eyes as he sat, bare in front of her.
She smiled, keeping her eyes on his face rather than his pale skin marred with scars out of respect for his sudden desire for privacy. "There, doesn't that feel less hot? I'll let you change into the pants. If you need me, call me. I'll be upstairs in my bed." After taking off her dress, that is. She had forgotten she was still wearing it.
She left him alone, going up the stairs of the loft. She listened to the rustle of clothing as he changed, before doing the same and quickly switching into a sleeveless shirt and some knee-length slacks.
"Z-Zelda?" Link shyly called from below when she sat down, her journal waiting for her on the newly made nightstand.
"Yes, Link?" she asked, wondering what he needed.
He didn't say anything else. Zelda's ears twitched as she listened to just his soft breathing.
"...Never-mind. I-it's nothing," he muttered. "Goodnight."
"Are you sure?" she asked, tempted to peek over the railing just to see him. "Link, you can talk to me. Always."
"It's dumb. I.. I need to stop relying on your touch," he said. "I'll be fine. Goodnight, Zelda."
Zelda really didn't mind holding his hand for the night, or until he fell asleep. But she would not go against his own decision. So she sighed, and leaned back in her bed.
"Sleep well, Link. You will call to me if you need me. Okay?"
His soft voice floated up. "O-okay."
No words passed between them after that, and Zelda eventually heard Link's snores, not too long after. He was surely exhausted after such an ordeal.
As it turned out, so was she. She let herself drift off to sleep as well.
The sun woke her up the next morning, glaring into her eyes when she cracked them open. One of the cons of sleeping in the loft was the window right next to the bed. Stretching, she then crawled out of bed and down the creaky steps, her hand running along the plain wall as she went. It could use some color.
Peering over at Link's bed, she found him still asleep, the blankets all strewn around him and his entire torso showing. He looked peaceful, as he usually did when he slept, his chest rising and falling with gentle breaths. His scars told a different story. The one stretching over his ribs up to his heart, for example, was not born of peace. And then, of course, there were the mental scars.
Now that Link had his ability to feel emotions back, would he remember his death? Zelda kind of hoped he wouldn't. Even she still had nightmares about it, of how much blood his tunic was once soaked in, so much that it was nearly unrepairable. But she made sure that Impa would replace the stained areas. So that today it could sit on the floor next to Link's bed.
Link's hand suddenly moved, from behind his head to his stomach, where he scratched while letting out a yawn. Then it fell back to the bed beside him. He was still asleep, she noticed amusedly.
"Lazy," Zelda whispered with a smile. She considered whether she should wake him up or not. To see if his emotions were truly still there.
She shook her head, deciding not to interrupt his peaceful slumber. He deserved to sleep in a little. It wasn't that late in the morning yet anyways.
So instead, she went about some of her normal morning tasks, picking up that blue tunic tso she could wash it outside.
She returned after taking a quick bath, to find Link back in his spot against the wall, shuddering. She dropped the Sheikah slate in her haste to get to him, it thumping onto the ground.
"Link?" she murmured, placing her hand on his bare arm. She regretted taking his only shirt, what if he felt uncomfortable now?
"Y-you were g-gone," he stuttered in a rasp. "I thought you left."
"I was just outside, I didn't want to wake you up," she told him, whilst rubbing his arm soothingly. His arm erupted in gooseflesh.
"Oh," he sniffed, eyes shining as they stared at her hand. Were those tears that threatened to come out? She didn't think she could bear seeing him cry.
"Why did you think I left? Left to where?" she asked, curious.
"Left me. Because I'm a mess," he spat, suddenly sounding angry. He pulled away from her touch on his arm.
His quick shift in emotions was startling. Zelda's hand retreated. "Link, no you're not. And I wouldn't leave you. Ever."
"I don't know anything I'm feeling. Just that I am. I'm just an annoyance. I'm sorry, you don't need to be dealing with my issues, I'm just your knight." The words of self loathing spewed out of him like water through a dam. It was overwhelming. "Maybe I should leave."
"Link, no," she stressed, grabbing his hand instead. She brought it up so they could both see their hands joined tightly. "Remember, you're my friend. And I want you to get better. If you left, we'd both be sad."
Link hummed, considering her words. Then he let out a defeated breath, dropping his head to his knees. "I'm sorry. I.. I don't know."
Zelda racked her brain on how she could help him. Was there a way to express his emotions so that she could help him understand them?
Her eyes flitted to the wall. Perhaps..
"What do you think about painting?" she asked Link, causing him to peer back up at her, confusion in those shining blue depths.
"Yes, painting," she repeated, pointing to the plain and boring walls that surrounded them. "I've been thinking about how this house needs some color. And painting is a great way to express yourself and what you're feeling." She explained her reasoning, which seemed sound enough to her. "So, what do you think?"
Link blinked at her before shrugging. "S-Sure, I guess."
Zelda brightened. "Great! Let's take a trip to the dye shop, I'm sure they sell paints there." She hoped they did, at least. Who knows if they still made it after a century? She recalled Pikango of the Sheikah and his paintings, and put her own worries to rest. It must still exist.
She helped Link to his feet, noticing the apprehension written all over his face.
"We're going into town?" he asked in a timid voice.
"Yes..?" she responded slowly. "It's quiet now, the festival is over. You're not afraid of the townsfolk, are you?"
"No," he said quickly. "I.. I just feel.."
"Anxious?" she filled in, and he nodded.
"I don't want them to look at me like they usually do," he muttered, flexing his hand in hers. "Especially those two ladies. I remember they used to say things about me. I was the 'town creep.'"
"No, that's Manny," Zelda said, unnecessarily as she tried to lighten the mood. "Just stay close to me. I won't let go of your hand, alright?"
The tips of his ears reddened as he looked at their hands. "A-Alright. Thank you, Princess."
She frowned at him. "Link, remember I'm just Zelda."
He nodded. "Zelda. Sorry, it slipped out, old habits I think. I remember."
"That's okay," she said, trying to shake off the familiar dread that the mention of her title brought. "Let's go."
They made their way over the bridge and through town, Zelda noticing the remnants of the festival which included deflated octo- balloons and downed streamers. Sophie could be seen cleaning up some of them in front of her family's shop. She waved to Zelda as they passed.
Link was basically glued to her side, his arm brushing hers with each step, the grip on her hand tight. Off in the distance were Nikki and Amira, the town gossips. They would have to pass them to get to the Kochi Dye Shop.
"I think if we both wave to them, it'll throw them off," she whispered to him, feeling like she was plotting something more serious than baffling some older women.
Link nodded stiffly, hesitantly agreeing. And so the pair raised their hands and waved to the two women as they passed by their little spot. The scandalized looks on their faces were priceless, and Zelda couldn't help the giggle that escaped her a second later as they entered the dye shop. She saw Link's ear twitch in response to her laugh.
Sayge was excited to see them, basically racing around his workplace to fulfill her requests. They did indeed have paints, though they were a little more expensive than regular dyes, because of the rarity of it. But Zelda had earned enough money in Gerudo Town so she wasn't worried about not being able to afford it.
"I'll take every color you have," she said, and Sayge nearly spontaneously combusted as he went to find her a few tins. Zelda looked to Link, who had a brow quirked as he watched the eccentric shop-owner throw a few random items around. But eventually Sayge returned with arms filled with paints.
"That'll be seven hundred rupees," he chirped, eyes shining, and Zelda could imagine them having little pictures of rupees in them.
Zelda gave him the money, and the two were back on their way. The townsfolk were too busy to really notice their presence, so it was an uninterrupted journey.
Back in their house, Zelda dumped the tins of paint down onto the table. "Alright. Start painting."
Link blinked at her in confusion. "Paint what?"
"Whatever you feel. Let it all out."
"But I don't know what I feel," he responded, not following and sounding frustrated.
"That's why you're putting it on the walls. Maybe I can identify some by your decisions, and it's also a great way to relieve some of that stress in your mind." Of course, Zelda didn't know this for certain, but she had high hopes that it would help him. Painting had been an old hobby of hers, back before she had to spend countless hours praying to unlock her sealing powers. Maybe she'd pick it back up.
She watched as Link approached the tins, eyes scanning them. He shakily lifted a hand and reached for the red tin of paint, deftly removing the lid. He picked up the paintbrush they purchased as well, and dipped it into the color. Zelda held her breath in anticipation of the first brush stroke.
When Link's brush made contact with the wall, it left behind a rough and jagged line, somewhat violent in its composition. Link looked back at her, and muttered, "Anger."
Zelda nodded. "You're familiar with that one. Is it something you feel right now?"
"Not so much, but yes, it's there. I am angry at this whole situation. The fact that I'm not normal," Link said.
"I... I see," Zelda murmured, feeling guilty because she was the one who let him fall on that field and put him into this mess. "Let it out, keep painting."
With a nod, Link went back to work. He continued to add those angry strokes, letting his emotions guide him. Zelda watched, transfixed by his impassioned movements until he dropped his arm and returned to the paints. He picked a forest green next, and went back to the wall to make gentler, smoother strokes. He smiled back at Zelda as he presented his new line to her.
"Th-this is happiness?" he asked, and Zelda felt her heart melt for how sure and proud he sounded.
Her years of painting as a hobby told her that yes, his color choice and line were both indicators of happiness. She nodded, and Link's face lit up even brighter, her heartbeat getting faster. He nodded to himself as he gripped the paintbrush, whispering, "Happiness.."
He went back to work, adding more lines of paint to the wall. She watched as he painted what looked to be the leaves of a tree, adding to the red strokes from before, using some of them as the tree trunk for his leaves to sit upon.
Feeling a bit jealous, she decided to stop watching him, and picked up a paintbrush of her own. She wanted to paint one of the walls as well. But paint what on it? She mulled it over before deciding on something. In her mind she could picture it now.
"Keep going," she told Link as she approached the wall adjacent to his. "Paint whatever you'd like. That tree is looking nice."
Link turned his head to her before nodding, concentration in his gaze as it returned to the tree he was creating. He mixed the red with the green to make the trunk a nice brown, bringing it to the bottom of the wall in a long stroke.
Zelda picked a nice blue, and went to work.
Time passed quickly for them, as they worked on their own paintings, the shadows on the walls reflecting the passing of time. Zelda didn't look at Link's work, wanting to be surprised as she worked on her own. In front of her was a field of silent princesses, the blue sky creating a calming effect as she stared at it. She put the finishing touches on the largest flower before stepping back and taking it all in. Pretty good work, if she said so herself. She turned to see what Link had created.
On his wall was a forest in springtime, looking like it was taken straight from the Great Hyrule Forest. Greens and browns were the main color, with some yellows and purples for wildflowers he added in to give the forest life. It was a masterpiece that left Zelda's jaw hanging.
"Link, I didn't know you could paint," she said, her eyes still taking it in. He turned around from where he was adding a small squirrel next to one of the trees, bringing the hand holding the brush up to bashfully rub at his neck. Before quickly realizing that he just got paint in his hair.
"Oops," he muttered. Then shrugged. "I didn't either. I-I just.. let my hand do it."
"And how do you feel?" she asked.
"The headache is gone," he replied, then added, "Completely."
This was wonderful news! Zelda beamed at him. "That's great! I am glad painting worked. And now we have such beautiful walls in our house."
Link's face which had been thoughtful, softened when she finished speaking.
"Our house," he repeated, and Zelda blushed.
"We paid for it together, remember?" she reminded him.
"We did," he agreed. "It just.. I like the sound of it." He rubbed the back of his head again, before stepping away from the wall completely.
And then they were just standing beside each other in silence as they admired their work. Link broke it.
"Zelda," he said in an almost whisper. Zelda turned her head to him, questioningly.
"Can I hug you? F-for real this time?"
Her lips parted in surprise, and she quickly nodded. She held out her arms, and Link stepped into them, wrapping his arms around her tightly, his head resting against her shoulder as hers mirrored his. He took a deep, shuddering breath before exhaling against her neck two words.
Yay my first Big Bang! For the @hwaoc-big-bang, I was lucky to get paired with the awesome @zeldaelmo for her fic:
Also kudos to @great-potato-famine and @najikasunart for additional art and beta-ing!
Me, attempting to finish the painting: just kiss her just kiss her just kiss her
My hwaoc big bang addition to the fic by the one the only the raddest the most high ridin’est rootin’est tootin’est fic author around
The fic can be found here: https://pastelsandpining.tumblr.com/post/668398519194976256/codes-of-conduct-and-courting-pastelsandpining