Fluff, fluff, fluff. Here's some if you feel you've been missing out on it. Hope you enjoy the gooey marshmellowey-ness. Yey.
Disclaimer: I don't own Zelda. DUH I'VE SAID THIS SO MANY TIMES NOW I'M ANGRY GRRRRRRRRRRR!
The summer moon hung in the western horizon, shining brightly with an uncommon shade of pale saffron. All was quiet, all was still; those who happened to still be awake at this hour were silent in their musings. Only an occasional owl hooted or a cricket chirped outside. Inside, some snored softly or groaned at the dreams that happened to interrupt their inner serenity.
Link slipped into the bedchamber quietly as humanly possible, shutting the door slowly while praying that it would not creak on its hinges. To his surprise, it made naught a noise, which caused a smug smile to appear on his face, as if he had been the one to actually prevent the sound in the first place. His eyes turning away from the door, Link looked to the bed itself and its current occupant, who was deeply sleeping at that moment.
Zelda was curled in her bed linens while her loose, golden hair spilled across her left cheek and shoulder. Snuggled closely to her form was a large, fluffy pillow; her face was half-way buried in its great mass. She held it tightly to her body, pale legs curled around it.
Link drank in the sight of his wife, his blue eyes not leaving her form for many a minute. He simply watched her breathe – soft and slow, steady and light – and how she clutched the pillow like it was an actual human body. When Zelda muttered incoherently in her current dreamlike state, Link peeled his gaze away from his lovely wife and to present matters at hand.
He desperately needed to bathe, address his injuries, and fall upon that oh-so-comfortable looking bed with his wife to sleep for the rest of the week. Preferably with his wife in the bed with him the entire time.
Tiptoeing across the tiled floor, Link went to the room adjacent to the bedchamber and pulled off his soiled clothing, letting them fall to the floor without a thought (he'd fold them for the maids afterwards). To his greatest relief a steaming tub had been placed in the room by one of the servants (there was a nearby door that led to the servants' quarters), and he thanked the Goddesses inwardly for their divine intervention. Never had the warrior needed a bath as much as that moment.
Unfortunately for him, the room only contained two oil lamps, so it was rather dark. Link slowly made his way to the tub while watching out for anything that he could possibly trip over. He did not notice, however, the new table with the lovely glass vase that Zelda had procured a couple days ago (which happened to be in the middle of the room and completely in the dark), and he eventually bumped it soundly, causing the vase to topple and fall to the ground with the loudest crash Link had ever heard.
Link swore soundly at his stupidity and at the fact that he was going to get a damnably huge bruise on his hip because of it. And, for the fact that he had woken up his wife.
Link listened as he heard shuffling in the bedchamber and decided he should alert her to his presence, so she would not think there was an intruder in her rooms instead of her spouse. "Zelda, dear, it's me, your idiot husband. So there's no need for you to get a knife. At least I hope not," Link called softly as he began to make his way to the tub (and avoid the glass on the floor).
After a moment, Zelda appeared in the doorway, a lamp in hand. "Did you break my new vase?" she asked sleepily, looking at the glass covered floor. She sighed. "Such a shame. It was a one of a kind piece. A maid will clean it up in the morning." Her blue eyes moving away from the scene of the crime, she looked to Link, who was stepping into the tub. Slowly, she moved to his side as he settled into the warm waters.
Zelda set the lamp onto the floor. "I wish you had awoken me in the first place," she admonished gently, her fingers gripping the side of the tub.
Link swore when the hot water touched his injured abdomen. Pulling himself together, he leaned over and kissed his wife's cheek. "You were sleeping so soundly, and looked so comfortable with your new pillow lover, that I thought you would be cross if I did wake you up."
"'My new pillow lover'?" Zelda asked wryly, her lips quirking into a smile despite herself. "I don't believe a pillow would make much of a lover."
"You seemed fairly content."
"That's because my true lover abandoned me for the woe-begotten wilderness to fight frenzied bandits. It's not my fault he prefers dirty thieves over his own wife." Zelda mock pouted, her bottom lip quivering theatrically.
Link sighed, although his eyes twinkled. "I'll have to make it up to you tomorrow, love, because after this bath I don't think I'll be able to lift a finger, let alone…" His voice trailed away as he allowed Zelda to decipher his meaning.
Zelda laughed softly before asking quietly, her voice suddenly serious, "How did you and company fare? Any deaths?"
"Only one, and it was from fever, not a sword wound," Link replied, his gaze now distant. "It was over fairly quickly, but it was quite bloody for a simple border skirmish. These particular rogues seemed unable to die."
Zelda was silent as she studied her husband, who seemed lost in thought at the moment. Deciding it was best to leave the rest of the tale for tomorrow, she pointed to his wound instead. "How bad is it?"
Link's vision cleared before he answered. "Oh? This?" He looked to the injury. "Deeper than usual, but not so bad. Just aches, is all."
"I'll re-bandage it when you're finished with your bath," Zelda said as she settled herself behind Link. "I'll wash your hair. It'll be quicker that way."
Link just smiled as she attended to his matted locks which were in a desperate need of tending. Closing his eyes as her fingers rubbed his scalp and poured water over his head, he relaxed and felt his tense muscles loosen. Beginning to feel sleepy, he opened his eyes and began to wash the rest of his body before he began to literally snore.
When he was finished, Link stepped from the tub and took the towel Zelda proffered to him. He dried himself quickly, for he felt suddenly chilled, as Zelda left his side for a moment to obtain clean linens for bandages. Link tied the towel around his waist and sat down on a nearby chair as his wife entered once more with items in hand.
"I can do this myself, you know," Link said quietly as Zelda began to unwrap the soaked bandage from his stomach.
"Let me take care of you for once," Zelda responded. As Link was about to reply he felt the bandage peel away a new layer of skin and swore at the sudden flare of pain. Dammit, the wound had been worse then he'd thought. Tiredly, he noticed that it continued to bleed, albeit sluggishly.
"This is fairly deep. But it looks clean and there's no infection that I can see. You'll have a scar, though." Zelda let the bloodied bandage fall to the ground before picking up another. First spreading a salve upon the wound, she then began to wrap a new bandage tightly around him before tying it tightly in a small knot. "How does that feel?" she asked quietly, her hands falling to her sides.
"Fine. I'll be alright." Link pointed to her hands. "But you'll get blood on your nightdress if you do that," he added.
Zelda lifted her hands to her face, looked at the sides of her nightdress, and swore as she noticed the blood. Going over to the tub which now held lukewarm water, Zelda rinsed her hands and dried them on her soiled nightdress. Unconcernedly, she slipped out of the clothing and placed it and Link's clothes in the nearby hamper for the maids. Currently nude, she looked in the wardrobe for a new nightdress and a pair of sleeping trousers for her husband.
Zelda turned to face Link once she had found what she desired, but stopped short of dressing herself upon seeing his expression.
In the faint light of the oil lamps she saw that his blue eyes seemed almost violet, as if pained. He gazed at her silently, before holding a hand out to her to come to his side. Slipping on the thin nightdress with the trousers in hand, Zelda went to her husband. She dropped the trousers onto the ground when he wrapped his arms around her body, his forehead resting between her breasts, upon her beating heart.
Both were silent, their breathing all that was heard in the darkened room. Zelda tangled her fingers in Link's damp hair and held him close with her other hand. Waiting for her husband to speak, she simply reveled in his warmth that she had ached to feel for many a week past.
Link finally spoke, lifting his face to gaze into Zelda's eyes. "I missed you," he murmured while reaching out to stroke her delicate cheek.
Zelda closed her eyes a moment as his fingertips danced across her face and skin. Eventually opening them, she replied softly, "I missed you, too. Terribly so." She tenderly kissed the crown of his head before adding, "I felt so cold without you when I slept. The bed seemed completely devoid of warmth without you in it with me. At times I wished that I had gone with you, despite the danger."
Link shook his head emphatically and held her closer. "No, no, I could never have allowed you to imperil yourself so."
"I can certainly take care of myself," Zelda replied steadily, her ire rising ever so slightly.
"If I had a choice I would place you in the highest, most secure tower and never let you go, if it would keep you safe."
Zelda blinked as she regarded Link's face in the lamplight: his voice had held such sincerity, such love, that her heart ached; his eyes were bright with adoration. Zelda instantly disregarded her previous feeling of annoyance at his comments and whispered, "You know as well as I that I would not be happy cooped up in a tower for the rest of my days."
"Then I must protect you as best as I can, instead," Link murmured.
Reaching up to cup her face, Link slowly lowered her chin down and kissed her gently, lovingly. Zelda tightened her hold on him for a moment, reveling in the feel of him against her form. After a time of complete silence, Zelda said quietly, "We should sleep, for the hour is late. I fear the sun will rise any moment."
Link nodded in agreement; standing and slipping on his sleeping trousers, he followed Zelda into their chamber and got into the bed, underneath the soft linens. Zelda, in turn, snuggled up closely to him, being careful to not touch his wounded abdomen while her head rested on her "pillow" lover, as Link had so aptly named the inanimate object.
Link watched as his wife fell asleep instantly, her chest rising slowly with each breath. Stroking her golden locks, he did not sleep until some time later, for despite his physical exhaustion, his mind continued to swirl with unsettling thoughts.
The night sky was slowly beginning to be streaked with the delicate shades of pale rose, jonquil, and saffron; the sun had begun to rise ever so slightly in the eastern horizon, bringing its spectrum of lights to the world once again. A faint breeze blowing through the partly open window brought the scents of a new day into the bedchamber of the royal couple.
Zelda's eyelids fluttered open to gaze upon the empty space her husband had left upon their expansive bed. Sitting up against the headboard, her eyes roamed the room to find Link upon the cushioned seat before the three tall windows that faced southern Hyrule. He slowly turned his head toward her and smiled gently.
"Did I wake you?" he asked quietly, his voice slightly husky with the night's disuse.
Zelda shook her head before rising and going to his side before the open window. As she felt the tendrils of the calm breeze weave themselves through her hair, she inquired, "Have you been awake long? You need your rest; you'll fall ill if you strain yourself so."
Link shrugged. "I couldn't sleep for some reason. I suppose I have too many things on my mind." He turned away and gazed out onto the summer garden that lay right below their quarters, the blossoms ranging from scarlet to periwinkle. Robins hopped about the grounds, looking for grubs, while mockingbirds sang ditties in the pear trees.
Zelda turned her gaze from the garden to her husband, whose odd mood was troubling her greatly. He seemed to have fallen into an abyss of melancholy over the course of just a few hours. What had exactly occurred at the border skirmish?
She touched his shoulder lightly; he turned to face her in response. "Link," she murmured, "what torments you so? You are dreadfully pale." Touching his cheek tenderly, Zelda was surprised at how chilled his skin was, despite the warmth of the room and season. Her eyebrows furrowing with distress, she simply waited for Link to speak.
After silence had reigned for what felt like an eternity, Link said softly, "My own sins are what plague me, Zelda. A shadow grows within me."
His blue eyes boring into her with such intensity that she almost turned away, Zelda found herself mute at his confession. When finally he broke his gaze Zelda was able to speak, although her mind was muddled with confusion. "I do not understand," she replied slowly. "I do not comprehend what you speak."
Link began to assault a wayward thread upon the lavender colored cushions vigilantly while shaking his head. "It is so very odd," he mused quietly. "We leave as heroes, as the people who will exterminate the evil men who plague the innocent people of the border lands, but yet we are truly no better than they." The wayward thread loosened slightly as Link's fingernail continued its assault. "We are just as much killers as they are, yet we are praised and they are not. It is rather paradoxical, if I do say so myself."
Zelda frowned in consternation as she watched Link's finger hook itself underneath the thread to push it upwards. Instead of questioning her husband once more, she kept silent and patiently waited for him to finish his queer tale.
"I mentioned to you before that these particular rogues were difficult to kill, to the point that their perseverance to live was frustrating. There was one specifically who would not fall, and when I was finally able to slay him, I was not merely relieved –"
The thread snapped in two.
"I was happy. I was happy that I had stabbed him through the throat and watched his blood flow like a river down his body and upon the blade of my sword." Link stared at the now murdered thread for a moment before looking into Zelda's eyes. "I am a vicious killer," he stated fiercely, as if daring her to contradict him. "I am tainted."
Zelda stared into his darkened gaze and felt her previously befuddled mind clear; settling herself before him upon the cushion, her finger touching the snapped thread, she said quietly, yet resolutely, "You are not tainted, Link."
As he was about to reply angrily, denying her declaration, she placed a delicate finger upon his chapped lips, silencing him. "You are not tainted," she said again, louder this time. Removing her finger, she continued. "Listen to me, you are not those men. You do not kill for mere amusement."
"But I was joyful when he died!" Link protested. "I wanted him to perish!"
"Yet you have a good enough heart to know that is wrong!" Zelda exclaimed passionately.
He blinked, his blue eyes lightening ever so slightly."
"Link, each one of us has darkness within ourselves. But the difference between murderers such as you spoke of and you is that you recognize that you have a shadow and that you desire to suppress it."
She gazed at the broken thread for a moment. "No one is completely innocent. I have spilled blood with my own hands, yet I do not believe I am tainted," she said softly. Looking up once more, she added, "We are neither perfect nor pure. We are human. We do what we must to maintain the good that is within this world."
Zelda reached out and took his hand and kissed it. "You are not some callous murderer. You are my husband, the kindest and gentlest man I have ever known." Placing his hand upon her breast, she whispered, "You are my heart."
Blinking repeatedly for a moment, Link's expression eventually changed to a sweet smile. Pulling Zelda into his arms and holding her tightly, he whispered into her ear, "Thank you. You always tell me exactly what I need to hear, Zelda."
Zelda cocked her head to the side to gaze into his eyes. Smiling brightly, she replied, "I am your wife. You should always listen to me."
Link laughed gaily in response as he lifted her into his arms and placed her gently upon the bed. Stroking her hair, he replied, "Ye are wise beyond belief, oh oracle of great and mighty power," he intoned mock reverently.
Zelda snorted and yanked his face down to meet her own. "Oh, do be quiet, Link. My patience is running thin, as you seemed to have forgotten your promise from last night," she retorted smartly before nibbling his bottom lip. "My wisdom is going to cost you extra, you know," she added slyly.
Feeling Zelda's hand upon his shoulder blades, Link was unable to reply with something particularly witty. Instead, he cupped her lovely face and whispered, "I love you, Zelda."
Her eyes softened. "Would it be redundant if I replied the same?" she asked innocently.
Link touched his forehead with hers. "Just say it," he commanded.
"Fine. I love you. I love you and adore you and I will forever be by your side and I will desire your body for all eternity and I will offer myself to you any time you feel the sudden urge –"
"I get it. No need to overdo it, dear."
"But I mean it."
Zelda smirked as she trailed a finger down his chest. "Oh, do not worry, I mean it," she whispered seductively.
Curling his fingers in her silky hair, Link kissed her deeply in response. When they finally parted for a breath, Zelda laughed conspiratorially. "You'll have to do better than that, love. My wisdom comes at a high price." Shushing her, Link kissed her again and Zelda felt her mind dissolve into a haze of love and desire.
It was not until much later that she admitted to Link that he had paid his debt fully and completely, to the very last rupee.
I have no idea where this came from. I hope you enjoyed it, though, as I try and discover what the plot is, exactly. Yey for fluffiness. xD