|Dreaming of You
Author: Princess Nairina PM
Ilia finds out that sometimes dreams do come true. Takes place after Link defeats Ganondorf. No flames please.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Friendship - Link - Words: 2,072 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-07-08 - Status: Complete - id: 3998246
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Dreaming of You
Disclaimer: I don't own the Zelda characters or places, nor am I making money off of this story.
"Ilia, come on, Link is back!" Beth shouted as everyone from Ordon poured out of their houses.
Ilia stood up from where she had been attending to the pumpkins and quickly brushed the dirt from her dress. Her heart pounding, she ran with the rest of the village to Link's house, where Colin had faithfully waited and watched for the Hero to return. She had missed him so much, and could hardly believe that he was finally back. Everyone was crowded around Epona; cheering and cries of "Welcome home, Link!" were coming from everyone's lips. Link laughed, a bright smile adorning his face as he dismounted Epona, greeting each person in turn. When he caught sight of Ilia, his eyes lit up upon seeing his friend's familiar face.
"Ilia," Link greeted her warmly, giving her a friendly hug. "It's good to see you."
She returned the hug, a blush coming to her cheeks. "Welcome back, hero," she said, trying to keep back her tears of joy.
Bo went up to the two. "Link's joining us for dinner, tonight, Ilia, so why don't you run along home, and start fixing the food? We'll have him all to ourselves tonight, and I'm sure everyone wants to talk to him."
Ilia nodded, and reluctantly turned to go. "I'll see you later, then," she said, and slowly walked down the path to the village. A million thoughts ran through her mind. He looked the same as ever, that she knew, but Ilia secretly wondered if he had changed since he had been away. True, she had seen him in Kakariko Village, but only briefly, and he had been on his way again as soon as he knew she was okay. She wanted to hear about all of his adventures, and spend time with him like old times.
Back at the house, Ilia quickly began to chop the vegetables and stir the meat, which was cooking in a pot on the fire. Soup was easy to make, and she remembered that Link had always been fond of stews and soup. "A bonus," she said smiling to herself. She hummed as she set the table and brought out a pitcher of goat's milk.
When she was satisfied that everything was ready and the house was presentable, Ilia quickly ran upstairs to fix herself up. She washed the sweat from her face and neck, and brushed her hair out until it shone. "I wonder if I should change clothes," she thought, and decided against it. It was just Link, after all, she thought. He was still in his clothes from the road and it would be embarrassing if she was the only one dressed up. However, she did brush off her clothes and made sure they were presentable.
About ten minutes later, a knock was heard on the door and her father called out.
"Alright Ilia, hope the food's ready, because we're hungrier than two wolfos in winter."
Ilia laughed and came down the stairs just as the two men walked through the door. Ilia smiled warmly at them.
"You two better wash up first. No one comes to the table with a dirty face and hands," she commanded, her eyes shining with laughter.
Link put on his most innocent expression. "Not even for weary little old me? No exceptions?"
Ilia took off her apron and swatted at Link playfully. "You know the rules, mister," she said in mock sternness. "No food until you're washed up."
Link and Bo just laughed and did as Ilia had bidden them. The meal was a success, and the three spent a lot of time talking and laughing together, just like old times. After a desert of Ordon pumpkin pie, Bo bid Ilia and Link relax on the porch.
"I'll do the dishes tonight," he graciously offered, despite Ilia's protests that he didn't need to do that. "You two can go out on the porch and talk awhile. I'm sure an old geezer like me will just get in the way." Ilia was still doubtful. "Well, if you're sure…" she ventured. Bo interrupted her. "I'm sure; you two have some catching up to do."
Outside, the sun was just starting to set and a gentle breeze blew. The dusk was pleasantly warm and comfortable. Link waited until Ilia was seated before settling himself in the chair next to hers. They both felt a little uncomfortable, and a silence settled over them. Ilia wished she could think of something to say, but everything she thought of seemed silly and out of place.
"So, how have you been, Ilia? Anything special happen?" Link asked, trying to break the silence.
"I've been fine. The harvest this year was pretty big, so everyone will be safe for the winter. Nothing much really happens here, but you know that," she said, faltering, feeling silly. She knew it was just Link, but it was hard for her to talk to him like she used to.
'Could it be that Uli was right about…?' Ilia didn't want to finish the thought; she knew she would start blushing.
Silence, once again, settled over the two. After a while Ilia asked, "So, um, how was your quest?"
Link turned to her. "It was… interesting. It taught me a lot about life, how I view it, and how I regard people. I learned what should be my priorities in life, and how sometimes I can't always protect the people I care the most about. I learned about myself and how I can do all I can and it won't change a thing." There was passion and solemnity in his voice as he spoke, giving his words a sad yet noble and mature ring that touched Ilia.
"Please, tell me about your adventures," Ilia asked him, laying her hand on his arm for a moment. She wanted to know, she had to know, what had impacted her friend's life so much.
Link smiled at her, and began the story, telling of how he woke up and ran to the forest, in an attempt to find her and Colin, only to be sucked into a strange and murky twilight where he turned into a wolf and was knocked unconscious. Ilia listened spell bound as he took her from the castle of Hyrule to the lava filled mines of the gorons, to the deep and placid Lake Hylia, to the terrible and ominous Arbiter's Grounds, and even to the realm of Twilight itself. Many emotions flitted across Link's face as he told of all that had happened, and when he was finished, three hours later, Ilia simply sat silent.
"Thank you for telling me," she said at last. She chose her next words carefully. "It was hard for you wasn't it? You've been through so much; I don't think I could have done what you have done. I'm grateful, that you saved Hyrule."
Link sighed. "I appreciate it, Ilia." He paused a moment for continuing on. "It was painfully hard sometimes. Like when I found you and you didn't even remember who I was. Or when, at the end of the whole thing, I had to say goodbye to Midna. I think those times were the hardest for me."
By now, there were tears in his eyes. However, Ilia felt a pang of disappointment and jealousy, and hated herself for it. 'He has other friends, besides you, you know,' she silently chastised herself. Trying desperately to sound casual and not bitter, she asked. "This Midna, you two were close?"
Link smiled, wiping the tears from his eyes. "Yes, how could we not get close? The journey was hard, and troublesome times are apt to make people close in a short amount of time."
"What was she like? You didn't tell me."
"She was outspoken, independent, and spoiled. Yet, it suited her. She was also loyal and had a sense of humor. You didn't want to make her angry, because once she had her mind set on something, there was no stopping her. She was a very passionate woman."
Ilia couldn't help it. "Was she…pretty?"
Link laughed at her question. "She was beautiful. I have never met anyone whose looks could compare with hers. Her skin was very dark, and she had long, beautiful orange/red hair."
Ilia looked disappointed. "Ah, I see." Link noticed her disappointment. He gently turned her face toward his. "Hey," he said quietly. At the gentleness in his voice, Ilia looked up at him. "Do you know, through every trial, just when I thought I was going to fail, that I couldn't keep going, there was one thing that drove me on," he ventured.
"What was that?" Ilia asked, her heart beating too fast. This was ridiculous, there was no way he could love her, when this Midna was obviously beautiful to him. Yet, she couldn't get rid of the hope that maybe, Link might love her.
"The one thing that kept me going was the fact that no matter what, I had a friend that would be waiting for me, that cared about me, and wanted to see me come safely home. Someone who, though they might want me to succeed, if I came back a failure they would continue to care about me just the same. Someone who I knew that I wouldn't, I couldn't let down, no matter what. Do you know who that is?" Link asked with warmth in his eyes.
Ilia shook her head. "Who?" she asked, not daring to hope that it was her.
"Oh Ilia. It's you," Link said softly. Ilia's eyes widened in surprise. "Why me?" she asked. "I'm not that great of a person. I'm not brave, I always make mistakes, I'm always failing…" Link cut her off with a shake of his head.
"You are just as nice a person as all the other's I've met, and more so. You don't think I've made mistakes? You're braver than you think, Ilia." He stopped for a moment when he noticed the tears in her eyes. "You've been my friend for forever. You've seen my moments of childishness, and you've put up with me all the times I've been stubborn. I…" and here he faltered, "I think you're beautiful."
Ilia looked into his eyes. "You don't mean that," she said. "There is no way you can mean that."
Link brushed away her tears. "I love you, Ilia. The day the whole adventure started, I was planning on asking your father for your hand in marriage. When you were taken away, and I couldn't find you, I felt like the whole world was crashing down on me. And when you didn't even remember me, after I found you, I thought my heart would break."
"What about Midna?" Ilia asked, "I thought you loved her."
Link gave a short laugh. "I said she was beautiful, I never said I loved her. Uli is beautiful, and I certainly am not in love with her. Rusl would have my head. Outward beauty is nothing to found love on. Inward beauty, qualities like kindness, loyalty, patience, those are things that are more valuable than outward beauty. You're beautiful inside and out, and I love you for it."
He knelt down and took Ilia's hands. "I asked your father today if he would consider me worthy of his daughter. He gave me his consent. Ilia, will you marry me?"
Ilia began to cry again. "Yes, yes," she said, her heart melting under his gaze. She loved him. He had never been anything but kind and friendly, hardworking and unselfish. "I feel so unworthy of your love," she whispered.
Link cupped her head with one hand. "Don't," he said simply, and softly kissed her cheek.
Sometimes, dreams live only in our imagination, but sometimes, they come true. For Ilia and Link, their dream would be like the latter. It would come true, and they would fulfill that dream, together.