The Weekly Hyrule News
by BatNeko (who has a semi-unhealthy obsession with the cross-dressing princess)
In a modern version of Hyrule, Link and Zelda are attending high school. Zelda is hounded by the press, and Link has an adorable crush on her. But when he meets and befriends a guy named Sheik, things get a little bit...complicated.
Chapter 1. Princess Zelda's Secret Lesbian Tryst!
"Hey, check it out," Kafei said, sitting down with a magazine and a tray of food. "'Princess Zelda's Secret Lesbian Tryst.'"
"Secret lesbian tryst?" Ralph repeated. "Ooh, let me see, let me see!"
Kafei started to pass the magazine over, but a hand reached across the table and snatched it away.
Link scanned the page thoughtfully, face a mask of calm. "Secret lesbian tryst? Please. This is a slumber party."
"Well, at least there's a picture of Zelda in skimpy pajamas."
"Hmm," Link frowned at the picture. "I don't think that's Zelda. I think they stuck her head on someone else's body."
"Aw man. Who do you think it is?"
Link tilted his head to one side. "I'm not sure... I've seen those cow print pants somewhere before..."
"Can I look now?" Ralph whined.
"Fine. Baby." Link handed it over.
His eyes gobbled up the picture greedily. "Malon," he said firmly. "That's Malon's body. I'd know those curves anywhere."
"You know everyone's curves, Ralph." Kafei rolled his eyes.
He grinned. "What can I say? I'm a connoisseur of the female form."
"You need a hobby."
"That is my hobby."
"A better hobby."
"Hey Zelda," Anju said, sitting down with a magazine and a tray of food. "You're in the news again."
Malon sniffed. "Please Anju, don't call that rag news. It barely qualifies as writing."
"Don't apologize," Zelda said, smiling. "Malon's just mad 'cause they put my head on her body."
"I step out on the porch for ten seconds!"
"Deep cleansing breath, Malon."
Malon took several slow breaths, then calmly snatched the magazine away from Anju and tore it in half.
"Hey! I payed for that!"
Zelda laughed. "Come on you guys, it's not that big a deal. Nobody's going to believe that."
"You've been dealing with this your entire life, we only have to because you-" She stopped, realizing how that sounded. "I- I'm sorry Zel, I didn't mean that."
"Yes you did," Zelda smiled. "But it's okay. I know how it must be for you guys. I mean, like you said, I've had to put up with the reporters following me around my entire life." She looked down at her food. "You'd think I would be used to it by now..."
"Link. Liiiiink. Link!" He was staring across the cafeteria, at a familiar head of sunshine-colored hair. Kafei waved his hand in front of his friend's face. "Link! Dude! You're drooling."
That did it. Link's hand snapped to his mouth guiltily. "I- I am not!"
Kafei laughed, Ralph glared. "I swear man, one of these days I am going to physically drag you over there and force you to talk to her."
"I talk to her!"
"In class, about class. That's no fun!"
"Well what am I supposed to say?" Link snapped. "'Hi I'm Link we have History together and I want to be your boytoy?'"
"You should totally say that."
"I will pay you to say that."
"Seriously though, you can't just stalk her forever."
"I am not stalking her. I just...think she's hot. You do too!"
"We think she's hot because she is hot. But we don't make sure to sit behind her in every class we have with her so we can stare without her noticing."
Link paused. "That obvious huh?"
"Well...hell. Um. So. Kafei. You and Anju officially a couple now?"
"Yeah, I think so." Kafei grinned. "She's awesome."
"Aww, so sweet I think I'm going into insulin shock." Ralph rolled his eyes. "You two are pathetic. We're teenagers! We're supposed to be having random sex with lots of slutty girls! Don't you watch movies?"
"Not the same movies you're watching, apparently," Kafei said.
"You know Ralph, one of these days you're going to fall head over heels for a girl, make a fool of yourself, and I am going to laugh."
"You mean the way you have?"
"Can we drop that already?"
"So you guys doing anything tonight?"
The other two boys stopped and looked at Kafei. "What?"
"You doing anything tonight?"
"Am I ever?"
Kafei grinned. "I have a really good idea..."
Later, after class, Malon was still ranting.
"I just can't believe they stuck your head on my awesome rack."
"Hey," Zelda bopped her friend on the head with a book. "My rack is plenty awesome."
"Yeah, but you had the good sense to stay inside. Plus, you were wearing flannel."
"I like flannel..."
"But red plaid? You are not a logger Zel."
Two boys walked past the girls, having what looked like an argument in harsh whispers. Zelda watched them head on down the hall, ignoring Malon.
"You need some PJs like mine, with pants that you can wear to school if you feel like it. I mean, I have no idea how that came into style, but I'm not complaining. You look best in pink and blue, maybe lavender. We should get you something in... Zel? Are you listening to me?"
Malon followed Zelda's gaze, then grinned. "Ohhhh... I see. So the princess isn't gay."
Zelda flushed. "Quiet, you."
"No, no, this is cool." She pursed her lips thoughtfully. "So, you're looking at Link, right? 'Cause Anju and Cremia both already like Kafei, and you know how much I hate love triangles."
"No, I don't like Kafei. I mean, I like him fine, but I don't like like him."
"So it's Link then?"
Zelda's blush deepened.
Malon laughed. "You're so cute, you know that Zelda? That's why you should totally go hit on Link!"
"I couldn't do that! I barely know him! I mean, we've only talked in class..."
"But..." Zelda sighed resignedly. "He's cute, and he's smart, and he's funny, and he's so sweet, and he opens doors for girls, and you know he's the chivalrous type, like, he'd come to your rescue and stuff, and I know it's silly but I find that attractive in a guy..."
Malon laughed. "I know what you mean. I'm still waiting for my knight in shining armor, you know."
"I know." She peered around Malon's shoulder, but Link and Kafei were gone. "I wouldn't call it a crush, exactly. I just...find him attractive."
"So talk to him."
"But what would I say?"
Malon shook her head. "How should I know? Just be yourself!"
Zelda stared at the corner Link had disappeared around. "But I can only be myself when-" She stopped.
"When what?" Malon asked.
She frowned. "When what, Zelda?"
The bell rang and Zelda breathed a sigh of relief. "Come on, we've got Math."
"Kafei, this is a really bad idea," Link said, glaring.
He, Kafei, and Ralph were sitting in Kafei's van, across the street from a brightly lit bar. Kafei's plan seemed to consist only fo a goal: getting into that bar.
"Why?" Kafei asked. "This is the perfect plan!"
"We are going to get caught," Link told him through gritted teeth. "We don't look anywhere near twenty-one-"
"And only Ralph is even eighteen!"
"Heh, yeah. I rock."
"Shut up Ralph."
Kafei rolled his eyes. "Grow up you guys. No, really. We want to pass for drinking age, remember?"
"This was your idea!"
Ralph peered out the window at the bar. "Why this bar anyway? I mean, it's, like, clean and pretty-looking, but why else?"
"The most important factor is, of course, that it is really far away from all of our houses. Not that it really matters with Link, but me and you might run into someone we know, or someone who knows our parents. Which would be bad."
"Hey," Link said. "I may not have parents, but there are still people I can get in trouble with."
"Another bonus," Kafei continued, ignoring him, "is that it looks like a good place to pick up chicks. Everybody who's going in there is either alone or with a friend."
"You have a girlfriend Kafei."
"You don't! And I really want to see Ralph make a fool of himself out of love."
"It'll never happen," Ralph laughed. "I am the player of players."
Link stared thoughtfully at the bar. There was something off about it, something that was eluding him. It was obvious, he knew, but he just couldn't see it.
"You're a dork,Ralph. You couldn't play a player piano."
Something about the people standing outside, or maybe the way they were standing...
"That didn't even make sense!"
Or who they were standing with...
Link snorted, trying to hold in a laugh. The other two boys turned and looked at him. "Uh, nothing." He coughed. "Um, let's go."
Kafei blinked. "Wait, you want to now?"
He looked at the other boy for a moment before saying, "Why?"
"I, uh, saw a cute girl. So are we going or what?"
"Yeah, of course!"
They piled out of the van and ran across the street. They only had to stand in line for a few minutes before a big group left and they were all gestured inside. Not one ID was flashed.
The three boys stood just inside the door for several seconds before anyone spoke. Plenty of time for Kafei and Ralph to come to the same realization Link had in the van.
"Link," Kafei said.
"Yes?" Link replied, fighting a smile.
"This is a gay bar."
"Time to go." He turned and headed for the door, but Link grabbed the back of his shirt and dragged him back.
"This was your idea. Not gonna back out now, are you?"
"Of course I am!" He checked himself and lowered his voice. "Link, this is a gay bar. We can't just stay."
"Why not? We both know you wanted to come more for the beer than the chicks."
Kafei glared at him. "You're loving this aren't you?"
Link grinned. "Very much so, yes."
"Ralph," Kafei looked at the other boy pleadingly. "You don't want to stay, do you?"
Ralph was staring at something across the room. "Wha?"
"Ralph, come on, tell me you want to leave."
He blinked a couple of times and turned back to his friends. "Um... Actually I think I wanna stay for a bit."
"Ralph! What the hell!"
"Dude, one word." He pointed, and the other two followed his finger. "Lesbians."
All three boys stared for a moment.
"I'm gonna, uh, go find us a booth," Kafei said.
"I'll get drinks," Link offered.
"I'll try not to drool."
"You do that, Ralph."
Link made his way to the bar, trying not to look as uncomfortable as he felt. He'd been in bars before, both with and without his friends, his foster parents for half of his sixth grade year had even owned a bar, but he'd never been so afraid of being caught before. He actually had something to lose this time.
There was a crowd of people, hanging around and chatting up the bartender. Instinctively, Link hung back and waited for a lull.
"You're straight, aren't you?" a voice said.
He whirled around and faced the speaker, who smiled at him. It was a young guy, no older than Link, he thought, but a good half a head shorter. Sheikah, and far prettier than anyone with a Y chromosome ought to be. His pale blonde hair fell across one ruby-colored eye and- wait- was he wearing mascara?
"Um, yeah," Link said. "That obvious?"
"Not really, you're pretty enough to be gay."
The guy laughed. "It was a joke! Lighten up! I'm trying to help you here."
Link frowned suspiciously. "How so?"
"You want to get a drink right?"
"Okay then. See, you're staying away from the bar, waiting your turn." The guy grabbed Link's elbow and started dragging him forward. "In a straight bar, that would be a good idea, because the bartender would be giving more attention to the hot girls than you." He grinned up at Link. "But you're in a gay bar."
"Okay, no offense little, um, Sheikah guy, but I don't feel comfortable trying to attract the attention of a most-likely-gay bartender."
The little Sheikah guy shrugged. "I'll do it then. Four beers?"
"Three and a coke, Kafei's driving."
"Ah, of course. How responsible."
"Responsible nothing, I'm trying to punish him."
The guy laughed, and Link was somewhat started to notice that is was a really nice laugh. "My name's Sheik, by the way."
They shook hands, and Link gave Sheik some money for drinks.
"Watch my technique now," Sheik said over his shoulder. He sidled up to the bar and leaned against it casually, pushing his shoulders back and shifting his weight so that his slim frame curved aesthetically. He stood there for several seconds, just looking hot, until the bartender glanced in his direction. And stopped. Sheik smiled then and said something, Link couldn't hear what, but the bartender came right over. Sheik smiled some more, looked up through half-lidded eyes, and was back with the drinks within seconds.
"Well? How was that?"
Link stared. "That was... That... How did you do that?"
Sheik grinned, flashing very white teeth. "Technique!"
"That looked familiar actually." Link took two of the beers to free Sheik's hands. "Like I'd seen it somewhere before...or something like it."
"Well that's an easy answer. It's the same thing girls do. Just, like, stand there and let their body get the attention for them."
"Oh yeah, that makes sense. I probably see it at school every-" he snapped his mouth shut.
"School, huh?" Sheik said, grinning again.
"I meant, um, college."
"Of course you did."
"I... Oh shut up, you're no older than I am."
"True," Sheik agreed cheerfully. "I've been coming here about once a week for a while though. It's like a mini-vacation from the stresses of daily life."
"Well, it happened to be convenient. I'm not, like, an alcoholic or anything."
"Of course you're not."
Link realized that he was grinning. He liked this guy. "Do you want to come sit with me and my friends?"
Sheik smiled back. "Sure. But only if you tell them I picked you up at the bar."
"I would have done that anyway."
Link headed the way Kafei and Ralph had gone, and found them seated at a booth near the back. He enjoyed the stunned-but-trying-not-to-look-stunned expressions on their faces when he introduced Sheik as "the hot blond who picked me up," but neither he nor Sheik could keep from laughing long enough for the other two to try to make polite introductions.
Within a few minutes, all four boys were happily chatting away about school, homework, girls (Sheik had a lot of female friends, so he was able to provide useful advice). Before half an hour had passed, Link realized he wanted to keep in touch with this guy.
An opportunity to do so presented itself when a little song that completely disagreed with the bar's ambient music began to play. It was a pretty song; soft, like a lullaby. But when Sheik heard it he nearly jumped out of his seat.
"Crap!" he exclaimed, wriggling around in his seat and digging in his back pocket. "Crap crap crap!" Eventually he pulled out a cell phone.
It was pink.
Sheik squinted at the tiny screen in panic for a moment, then sighed. "Thank god, it's just a text message. I thought I was busted there for a sec."
Kafei cocked his head. "Uh...Shiek? About your phone..."
He looked up. "Huh?"
"It's, well... It's a little... Ralph, could you handle this one for me?"
"It's pink man! Your cell phone is frickin' pink!"
"Oh yeah, right." Sheik looked down at it. "That's not my fault, honest. I got this phone for Christmas."
"Your parents bought you a pink phone?"
"Cool. My parents won't even buy me satellite internet."
Without warning, Link snatched the phone from Sheik's hands and began pressing buttons.
"Hey! What are you doing?"
"Adding myself to your Contacts."
Link frowned at the pink sliver of technology. "Why don't you have anyone else's number in here?"
Sheik rubbed his arm awkwardly. "I don't really like to keep other people's numbers in my phone. I'm only supposed to use it for emergencies, and I keep it turned off most of the time, but I'm always afraid someone is going to steal it and prank call all my friends. Or worse."
"That's called paranoia, Sheik." Ralph drained the last of his beer. "It's normally a side-effect of pot, not alcohol."
Link shrugged and punched in the number anyway. "You can always remove it later."
"Thanks... Can I have my phone back now."
"Yep." Link tossed it to him. "Word of advice though? They have those, like, skins. So you can make it not pink."
"I'll look into that." Sheik turned it off and shoved the phone back in his pocket.
"I vote for snake scales!" Ralph announced suddenly. "Or possibly camo. Yeah...orange camo..."
Kafei sighed. "Okay, I think Ralph's had enough."
"Bull shit! You don'... don'... Don' know anything!" He swayed in his seat. "Oh, wait, yeah. Never mind."
Link rolled his eyes. "I think it's time to go."
Kafei looked at his watch. "Good idea. It's almost two! Sheik, you need a ride anywhere?"
Sheik blinked. "You mean it?"
"Sure, why not?"
"Um, okay, yeah. That would be great." He smiled. "I live in Castle Heights."
"That gated community?"
"That's where Princess Zelda lives!" Link exclaimed.
Everyone looked at him.
"Um...Well, it is..." He blushed.
"You...know Princess Zelda?" Sheik asked.
"Know her?" Ralph laughed. "Link wants to bone her!"
"I do not!" Link exclaimed. "I mean...I find her attractive, that's all..." Hew silently cursed his blond's complection and tendency to blush.
"No, really," Ralph said. "The man's obsessed. It's be cute if it wasn't so pathetic."
"Shut up, Ralph. You're drunk."
"That doesn't make it not true."
"Come on," Kafei grabbed Ralph's arm and pulled him out of the booth. "We can tease Link about his hopeless crush on the princess later, right now we need to get out of here before someone notices we've got an underage drunk on our hands."
Ralph squinted at the bar. "Issat a guy or a girl? Cause, they're really hot."
"Guy," Sheik said, taking Ralph's other arm. "And he's taken. See the huge guy next to him in the leather pants?"
"Heh. Leather pants. Link has leather-"
"Okay, let's go!" Link shoved the three of them forward. "Much as I'm not looking forward to returning to my cold empty house, I'm also not looking forward to having Ralph reveal the contents of my closet. Move it!"
The four boys stumbled out the side entrance, laughing. Only Ralph seemed to by suffering any ill-effects from the booze, which somehow made his predicament that much funnier.
"Maybe we should dump him at your place, Link," Kafei said as he unlocked the van. "Since you don't have parents to disapprove."
"I don't have parents, but I also don't have a patience to put up with drunk Ralph here. And I would be the one to have to clean up after him. Not going to happen."
Sheik slid into the back seat beside Link. "You don't have parents?"
"Nah. Mom died when I was born, and I don't know who my father was. I'm a foster kid." He shrugged. "It's always been that way. I don't really mind."
"So why do you live on your own? Are you eighteen?"
"Not for a couple months. My guardian, Mr. Deku, pulled some strings to let me live in this little house that he owns and go to school. Since his regular house is a good half an hour outside of town."
"That's really nice of him."
Link shrugged. "He's got about half a dozen other kids up there. I'm not sure he even remembers I exist most of the time."
Sheik was quiet for a moment. "Would you freak if I hugged you?"
"A little bit, probably. But that's because of the beer."
"Okay, just checking. Offer stands."
"I'll keep that in mind."
Kafei was on the road now, heading in the direction of the gated community.
"Hey Sheik," Kafei turned in his seat. "Am I taking you to the gate or what?"
"Oh, no, that's not a good idea. I kind of climbed over the wall. I'll give you directions."
Ralph was digging around in the pile of papers beneath his seat (Kafei wasn't much for keeping his van clean). "I jus' remembered," he said. "We shoulda been looking at that bar for one a' these girls!" He withdrew a magazine triumphantly.
"Kafei," Link frowned, "you keep porn in your car?"
"No! It's today's issue of the Weekly Hyrule News."
"Princess Zelda's Secret Lesbian Tryst?" Sheik said.
"Yeah, did you read that?"
"I didn't read it. One of my friends was talking about it. No one actually believes that...do they?"
"You'd be surprised," Kafei sighed. "I mean, we go to school with Zelda so we know how silly it is, but there are people out there who are just...dumb as hell. Dumb. As. Hell."
"You wanna see my favorite part of this magazine?" Link snatched it away from Ralph. Right here, first page." He pointed to a small text box. "'Weekly Hyrule News articles are drawn from different sources and most are fictitious. Weekly Hyrule News uses invented names in many of its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental. The reader should suspend belief for the sake of enjoyment.'"
Sheik laughed. "No way, it does not say that."
"It totally does, look for yourself."
Sheik did, and laughed even harder. "So this thing doesn't even pretend to be real?"
"Nope. Unfortunately, not too many people know the disclaimer is there."
"That's a shame. It's good to know that the magazine-maker-guys don't really expect anyone to believe this stuff."
Castle Heights turned out to be only a few blocks away from the bar, a fact which Ralph found hilarious. They left Sheik on the curb and drove off, shouting goodbyes and bad "your mama" jokes (that was Ralph). As they turned the corner, Link thought he saw Sheik pull that disturbingly pink phone out of his pocket.
"You know what?" Ralph said. "Are we sure that Sheik guy is a guy?"
"Um, yeah," Kafei said. "Why wouldn't he be?"
"I dunno. He's, like...really pretty. I mean really really pretty. Like girl-pretty."
"He's a guy Ralph. That's the beer talking."
"I'm serious! He had a face like a girl!"
"Actually, I noticed that too." Link leaned forward, between the front seats. "I think he was wearing mascara."
"Maybe that was all," Kafei said. "I didn't notice anything though."
"No, Ralph's right. Sheik has a face like a girl. Girl-face."
"You're both drunk!"
"Hey! You're missing my house!"
Kafei screeched over to the curb and Link climbed out. "You're just mad because you had a good time at a gay bar."
"No, I'm mad because you're both dorks. And because you wouldn't let me have a beer."
"I'll drive next time, okay?"
"Okay. See you Monday!"
He drove off and Link was left alone. Again. He unlocked the door and headed inside, wondering if it was even worth it to go upstairs. There was a couch right there...
And a light blinking on the answering machine.
Nobody ever called Link, especially not this late. He pushed the button curiously.
"Hey, this is Sheik! I'm calling you from the curb as I watch you drive away because I'm a creepy stalker. Seriously though, I wanted to give you my cell number. I keep it turned off most of the time, but you can always leave me a message or text me or something."
Link grinned and pulled a scrap of paper out of the side table drawer to write down the number. He may have been alone, single, and parentless, but at least he'd made an androgynous new friend.
That thought was a lot more comforting than it should have been...
Notes From The Author
First chapter! Just introducing all the characters and whatnot. The plot is still mostly undeveloped, so I'm not sure how long it'll be until the next chapter. Anyway, enjoy!
EDIT: Re-read this on my computer and realized how many typos there were. Ugh. I think I got most of them now... It's, like, twelve-thirty at night though, so I'm not at my best.