Disclaimer: I do not own the Zelda franchise...but I do own the games. I am appeased.
Author's Note: This is waaaaay post-WindWaker, and Link and Tetra are now in their late teens...otherwise I'd be a sicko, you see. Oh, and a warning for the kiddies...slightly adult content, but nothing graphic. Enjoy!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tetra wakes up in her Captain's quarters, her hair all messed up, naked except for her boots (which somehow survived the encounter), her head resting comfortably on his chest, and the first thing she thinks is Finally.
Link wakes up in her Captain's quarters, his hair even more messed up than usual, naked without exception because she wouldn't have it otherwise, feeling pleasantly weighed down on account of her being on top of him (still), and the first thing he thinks is Finally. This is followed in quick succession by Oh Goddesses! What have I done??
It's the second thought that finds it's way out of his mouth first.
"Oh Goddesses! What have I done??"
Tetra chuckles, snuggling closer to him, "I thought that was obvious."
"Tetra!" he cries, and sits up very suddenly. She slides into his lap as a result, the blanket falling away, and Link turns a very vivid shade of red. She frowns when he averts his eyes.
"What's the matter with you?"
He stutters out something incomprehensible, and she scowls at him.
"Why're you being weird all of a sudden?"
"I am not!" he protests, still refusing to look at her straight, "I'm just...just...this can't happen!"
"Huh." says Tetra, flipping a lock of blonde hair out of her face. "Bit late now, dontcha think?!" Link makes a whimpery noise, and her eyes soften. When she speaks again, most of her trademark testiness has faded from her voice, "Look, you dont have to feel all guilty or whatever, I mean it's not like you started it--"
"I seduced you." he announces in high-voiced horror.
There is a beat, and then Tetra lets out a snort. "You're kidding me, right?"
"Uhh..." And then the blush spreads to the tips of his pointed ears. "Well, yea...you were looking all pretty and sad and I started talking to you to cheer you up but I was still thinking you were pretty and I seduced youand it was wrong and I didn't mean to-" Her tanned fingers abruptly cover his mouth.
"Ok, shut up for a second. First off, that's hardly seduction. That's being nice, and furthermore I'd pay good money to see you actively attempt to seduce anyone. Second, I'm not the type that gets seduced, idiot. And as for the 'wrong' bit... Pirate. Not a big fan of the moral code to begin with."
He just stares at her for a moment, carefully keeping his gaze on her face.
"Oh," he finally determines.
She tries not to smile at how adorably pathetic he is, and mutters "Well, whatever."
He seems to fall into thought, and then the only sound is the sea churning outside, and footsteps of her crew on the deck above the cabin. She eyes him and is acutely aware that all this was just a matter of time, ever since they first met, ever since that first kiss in the ocean, after Ganondorf was destroyed...
"Of course we shouldn't ever do this again." he says.
She blinks. "Wha..?"
"Well, we shouldn't." he repeats. "You're the captain of this ship, you can't just...just go around sleeping with one of your crew and-"
He clams up when he sees the look on her face.
" 'Captain of the ship', huh..?" she says monotonously, sounding perhaps a bit vicious, "Is that what I am to you?"
"Uhhh...Well, yes and no. You're obviously not JUST the captain..."
"No?" Her voice lightens.
"Definetly not! You're also the Princes--"
The crew doesn't comment at the sudden sound of their Captain cursing rather loudly, followed immedietly by a THUNK and the slamming of a door.
And they certainly dont question when a stark naked Link stumbles across the deck to the crew's quarters, his rumpled tunic held strategically to cover certain areas. It's not odd at all that he's stumbling from the direction of Captain Tetra's private room.
And when Tetra herself comes stomping onto the deck a few minutes later, fully dressed and ordering for a pint of rum to be brought to her immedietly, they obey without a word. She downs the pint in one gulp, slams the empty flask down and inquires about their latest heading to Outset Isle as if everything was normal. She then retires to her quarters again, muttering.
They reserve their judgement. At least, until both parties are out of earshot.
"Miss Tetra and Link, huh?" says Mako.
"Yeah." says Gonzo.
Company in the crew quarters is not nearly so considerate.
"So, what did you do last night?" asks Niko, ever so slightly suggestive.
Link wants to die. "Nothing."
"Than why didn't you come back after your shift?"
"I fell asleep in the crows nest." Link squeaks, voice too high-pitched to be even remotely convincing.
"Ah, geez, you'll get sick that way mate. Not that I care, but you already sound like you got a cold. You should see Miss Tetra about that, she shouldn't work you so hard."
Link makes a miserable noise in the back of his throat, and Niko snorts.
"So, Link and The Cap'n finally shacked up, eh?" says Niko, stepping onto the deck.
"Sort of," says Gonzo cautiously, as if either party might overhear. "They're fighting or something now, though."
"Looks that way."
"--and you'd think that after all we'd been through he'd be able to call me something besides his captain. When here I've been thinking of him as much more then that for years! And what does it matter anyway?! It HAPPENED and he cant accept it since he has to be so Goddess-damned NOBLE--"
Her reflection has nothing to say about any of this, but Tetra goes on ranting anyway.
"--and you'd think she'd know that I OBVIOUSLY care about her. She's my best friend, for crying out loud! She has no right to be mad at me just because I'm being practical! And, well, I have been thinking about it maybe being something more but we cant go risking our friendship over curiousity...Well maybe more then just curiousity but STILL--"
The bottled fairy doesn't really care about Link's dysfunctional love-life, but has no choice but to listen anyway.
"Ah, it's good to be back on the ship!" exclaims Aryll the next day, the pirates helping her aboard. "I've missed travelling...but where's Link? He usually comes and hugs me right away."
"He's sulking in his room," explains Mako. "Tetra's mad at him because he can't just admit that they've been crazy about each other for years."
"Oh, all right then," says Aryll, and goes to greet the rest of the crew.
When Link does finally venture out to greet his baby sister, he finds Tetra on the deck, avoiding his gaze. The last thing he wants is for her to start shouting at him again, but maybe even curses would be better than this silence.
Once the crew and Aryll have dispersed to their various activities, and it's just the two of them on the deck, he asks: "Do you want to start talking about it or not?"
"Will you talk to me at all?"
"Fine," he sighs, and slouches back to his room.
"They're terribly silly, aren't they?" notes Aryll, watching the pair from above as they separate. "Haven't they been kissing and cuddling and the like for years now?"
"Occasionally," says Gonzo. "Usually after some huge battle or something. It's always some 'heat of the moment' type thing, y'know. Then they fight about it, kiss and make up, and then go back to being friends as if nothing happened."
"It's a vicious cycle," adds Mako gravely. He takes a pensive sip of rum. "Pretty darn funny to watch, though."
There is a murmer of general agreement, before Tetra shoots them a glare for slacking off and they rush back to their stations.
"Look, can't you just apoligize for whatever it is you did? This is stupidity."
"It's not that simple, Aryll," her brother says mournfully, and she resists the urge to roll her eyes. But only just barely.
"Well actually, contrary to popular belief, it IS that simple." she retorts. She swings in the hammock beside his, toes barely touching the dusty floor. Link is laying facedown in the cloth of his hammock, a sure sign that he wants to be left alone. She side-steps the hint. "And you can stop pretending like everybody doesn't know you're crazy in love with each other. You're not fooling anyone but yourself."
He ignores that statement entirely, which really just cements her point.
She then decides to take drastic measures. She maps out the plan in her mind, but wonders if she will be able to convince the crew to assist her. Afterall, loyalty to their Captain Tetra's privacy will undoubtably come before meddling with her personal life; they are a devoted bunch, and she prepares herself for a long argument.
That night, however, she finds that they are only too willing to help.
Some even cheered.
Link wakes on the dawn of the third day since the 'incident', and is suddenly aware that his stomache seems to be clawing at him from the inside. Looking back on it, he thinks maybe hiding in his hammock for three days without food wasn't such a great plan. Though of course he hadn't been thinking about food.
He crawls out the door onto the sunlit deck, but any hope of swiping some provisions and slinking back to his hammock is shattered when Aryll bounces into view. She's grinning at him, which isn't good.
"There's a monster on that island over there." she says, pointing at some rock out in the waves. "Tetra wants you to go kill it."
He stares at her, nonplussed, then squints at the island in question. No heinous beast in sight. Not even a lousy bokoblin.
"Um, are you sure about that, sis?" he asks. "I mean, I can pretty much see the whole island and it doesn't look like there's any-"
"Oh, it's there all right!" she says, pushing him towards the lifeboats. "Now go on and get 'im, Mr. Hero. Maybe it'll even get you on the Captain's good side again."
He doubts that. "I think she's just trying to get me stranded somewhere," he says. "So no thanks, no monster-killing today."
At that very moment his stomache made a dry gurgling sound, and Aryll's face lit up with inspiration.
"...Well then, at LEAST go have a look," she says. "and I'll have a bowl of elixer soup ready for you when you get back--"
He was on that lifeboat faster than Tingle on rupees.
A minute passes after Link departs the ship.
Meanwhile, Tetra sits at her desk, staring down at the map before her. Dotted black lines tracing the movements of Trade Ships that could do with a good pirating. The green dots followed those pesky Forces of Evil they have to vanquish againsooner or later. It's a bizarre double-life; part criminal; part world-saving hero. Not to mention the whole Princess thing. But she tries not to dwell on that...pink isn't her colour, anyway.
She's halfway done deciding whether to rob the bombshop or check on the Sacred Temples first, when Aryll suddenly bursts through the door. Her eyes are wide, and she's waving her arms in an exaggerated state of panic. Tetra raises an eyebrow.
"Um," she says. "Can I help you?"
Aryll gibbers something about a monster on a nearby island, and the crew being scared out of their wits, and Link valiently going out to meet the creature head on. He hasn't returned, or at least that's what Tetra thinks she saying; it's hard to understand the younger girl, almost like she's trying not to laugh. Probably hysterical from the fright of it all.
"Okay kid, calm down." she says. "Just send Gonzo over to fetch the clutz. If I know Link, he's probably killed the thing, but got stuck in a tree or something in the process."
"But everyone is too afraid to go." Aryll wibbled a lip at her. "The monster looked, er, really really ferocious..."
"Oh FINE!" She threw her hands up. "I'll go kill the damned thing. And Link better not be unconcious when I get there, cause I ain't dragging his sorry carcas back."
"Ooo, Captain, you're sooo brave." says Aryll as Tetra gets up to fetch her sword. The pirate's ego inflates more then just a bit.
"Well, whatever." she says sagely, and then marches out the door to the lifeboats, nose in the air.
She's barely taken two steps onto the island, and she's already found Link. He's standing less than ten feet away, sword hanging pointlessly at his side, staring into space. She makes a 'tcch' sound. Some hero. She can't believe she'd ever been attracted to him.
Er, well, maybe she can see the attraction. But the rest doesn't make much sense in retrospect. In fact, there never was any 'the rest'. Nope, not at all.
Or, so she chooses to tell herself.
"OI, PEA-BRAIN." she calls, and he nearly trips over himself in response. She puts on her best 'you-are-SUCH-a-clutz' face, but he isn't looking at her. He's looking over her shoulder. And pointing.
Curious and annoyed, she follows his gaze; her crew members have suddenly appeared and are now making off with the lifeboats, expressions gleefully guilty. They've been stranded.
Suddenly she knew why Aryll had been laughing.
"Hey..." Link walks up, cautious. "There isn't any monster here at all, is there?"
"Gee whiz, what a clever deduction."
A stony silence falls on the pair. The wind rustles the lone palm-tree, as if it, too, was fed up with their mind-games.
"So..." green eyes widen comically. "They just wanted to..."
"Whatever, I dont care." Tetra draws a line in the sand with her foot. "Seems we'll be here awhile, so that's your side of the island, and this is mine."
"Your side is bigger!"
"I'm Captain, I always get the bigger side. It's in the code."
"Ok, look." he tries. "We really have to stop fighting now, even the crew is turning against us. Can't we just talk about it before we starve to death? Me particularly?"
She considers this.
"Oh c'mon, why are you being such a b-"
"Fine." he says. "Be that way."
"I will, thanks."
"So, how long do you think this will take?" asks Gonzo, leaning on the rail of the ship, gazing at the far-off figures on the Isle.
"I give them half an hour." Niko says.
"Really?" surprise. "You think that's all it will take for them to make up?"
"Nah." Niko begins to walk away, as though bored. "That's how long it'll be before they kill each other."
The island, it turns out, is every bit as boring as it looks from the ship. All there is to it is some sand, rocks, twigs and a palm tree... and the palm-tree isn't even on his side.
"I'm hungry." Link whines, after half an hour has passed.
"Don't talk about it, or you'll make me hungry too." Tetra growls. "And I'm not against resorting to cannibalism."
"Okay." he relents, and sighs.
"Dammit, now I'm hungry." she complains two minutes later. "Link, this all your fault!"
Link decides not to argue that point on the basis that he enjoys life. Instead, he changes the subject. "Well, if we're ruling out cannibalism, there's always these nice, um, twigs we could snack on..." he picks up one of the twigs in question. It looks as though something has relieved itself on it. He tosses it down again, shuddering.
"Surely they wont just leave us here!" Tetra exclaims, pacing her spacious side of the island furiously. "They have to come back sometime, I'm their captain! They're my crew! They're--"
"Pirates." Link says.
"...Right." she sighs.
"All right, Niko, half and hour and they're still alive. Pay up." Mako says.
The crew laughs at the swabbie's expense. Even Aryll giggles, making the little pirate's ears steam.
"Fine." he grumbles, and shoves the gold coins into a grinning Mako's hands..
"Excellent. Now, if they'll just start making out in the next ten minutes..."
"You DIDN'T seduce me." Tetra announces, after a further five minutes of silence. Link is snapped out of his food-oriented reverie and blinks at her.
"You didn't seduce me." she repeats, glowering at him from over her shoulder. Her arms are crossed. "You wanted to talk; I'm talking, and that's what I have to say."
"O-oh, well." he stammers, startled by the turn of events. Maybe the hunger was getting to her too, she normally wasn't this agreeable. "I know I didn't, I guess."
"Good. I didn't want you carrying that disgusting notion around in your fat head."
"Uh." he says.
"And furthermore, how was I supposed to know you'd be such a flake in the morning? You weren't so Goddess-damned against it while it was happening, buster,"
"Uh." he repeats wisely. He doesn't understand that part himself, and has no urge to discuss the particulars of his libido with a girl. Particularly this girl.
He realizes the illogic of that, but finds he doesn't care.
"It wasn't that I was against it..." he tries to explain. "It's just that...that's not really something best friends do. At least, not usually. I think." By now he has turned a very florid shade of red.
There is a pause. Then, "Best friends?"
Tetra lets out a scandalized huff at his lack of response, "We're more then just friends, Link."
The words hang in the air like a last judgement, and the first thing that Link thinks is Finally.
Finally, she's said it. It even felt sort of nice, like a warm rush. Not that she's gonna get all gushy describing the experience in a diary or whatnot, but still...it's a relief.
"You...you think so?" comes Link's voice from behind her. She can detect the strain in his voice, but can't decide whether it's a good thing or not.
"Well..." No point going back now. "Yes. And if you didn't pick up on that, you're even more socially-challenged then I thought."
He half-chuckles at that, and even though she's not looking at him she's sure he's scratching the back of his head; one of his nervous tics, "I guess the other night was a pretty big hint then." he says, trying to sound sheepish. This is followed by the most uncomfortable silence of her life.
She snorts and blows her bangs out of her face, thinking about some of the lovey-dovey books her mother used to read to her when she was a child (she'd hated this ritual, but loved her mom too much to say anything). In those books confessions of...er...feelings beyond friendship were joyous, dramatic, and certainly never awkward.
What a load of crap. Rather than inspiring her to leap into his arms and declare her undying...er, feelings beyond friendship, the situation kinda makes her want to load up the ship's canon and shoot herself. Or Link. Preferably Link.
She was enjoying the thought of a canonball being shot straight into Link's face when said annoyance decided to speak up.
"Well, y'know, I...I've kinda felt the same, too..." he says it so sincerely that it captures all of her attention. "Well, ok, not just kinda...I've really felt the same way. But I thought that..."
"Um," he turns and cracks a grin at her, though his eyes reach no higher then her collar, "Well, for one, I thought you'd punch my lights out if I said anything."
She nods, "You're right, I probably would have."
A silence dangles, unsure which way to break. Tetra looks out at her ship in the waves (she thinks she sees Mako duck behind a canon as her gaze turns his way) and then back at Link. He's fiddling with the twigs he'd suggested eating, eyes turned downwards and the ghost of the cheesy grin he'd treated her to still lingering on his features. He's blushing so deeply he looks like he has a bad sunburn. At last, she speaks.
"So...you don't just think of me as a Captain?"
"Or a Princess?"
"No," he says, and his eyes finally meet hers. "You mean...much more to me then that. The most, actually..."
She stands; he starts and rises as well; they face each other. She knew her eyes must be wide as saucers. Link smiled, aand spreads out his arms, weakly. She steps forward, and starts punching every inch of him that she can reach.
"Dinner's almost ready!" Aryll bounces out of the kitchen, a bowl of Outset Root Salad under her arm, and onto the deck, rejoining the pirates. They all seem to be gaping. "So," she prompts, prodding Gonzo with her serving spoon. "How's it going over there?"
"WHY. DIDN'T. YOU. JUST. SAY. THAT. BEFORE. YOU. KNUCKLEHEAD!"
"Help, help! I'm being mauled by a mad woman! - GET THAT SHIP OVER HERE AND SAVE ME DAMN YOU!"
Aryll jumps so hard that some of the salad spills into the ocean below. She jerks her head in the direction of the island, and sees some Tetra-like blur attacking a green lump.
"Er, right..." she says. "Maybe we should...I think they've had enough time to talk it over now."
There are murmers of agreement and then the pirates scatter to the lifeboats, intent on rescuing their crewmate.
Link decides he doesn't understand women
"I didn't mean to... hurt your feelings?" he tries, when he's in the lifeboat and several burly pirates are separating him and the fuming Captain. "I mean, I'm not really sure what I said that made you so mad, but I--"
"What are you yakking about?" she snaps. "That was the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me, now shut up or I'll have to pummel you again."
Link decides he really doesn't understand women.
When Aryll serves dinner 10 minutes later, Tetra is absent. Link sits with his head resting on his hand, lifting up spoonfuls of elixer soup and dumping them back into the bowl. The crew, however, appears completely unaffected by the days happenings and munches down their food with the decorum Aryll's presence requires (whenever the girl was aboard even the scurviest cur transformed into a gentlemen). Aryll herself couldn't care less about manners at the moment, as she is more concerned about her brother's state of mind.
When half of the home-cooked meal had been shovelled down pirate throats, Tetra appears on the deck, arms crossed.
"Link," she says. "Come meet me in my office, I need to speak with you."
Then she disappeared back into the ship, sparing only the coldest of glances. Link gets up, and Aryll pats his back in sympathy.
"Just make sure you look properly ashamed of yourself, try not to argue with her and you'll be fine." she instructs him. "That's the easiest way to make a girl be reasonable about these kind of things."
The crew glances at each other over their meals. Link knows they know their Captain well enough to see that reason has nothing to do with it most times.
After a faint 'go on and get it over with' gesture from Aryll, he walks into the ship's cabin, down the stairs, and into Tetra's office. She's sitting at her desk, which is bare, eying him as he enters the room. She beckons him closer, wearing that Tetra-esque smirk that he's always found at turns attractive and terrifying, and usually a combination of both. Ignoring everything his fight or flight reflexes are telling him right now, he obeys.
"So," she says, when he's within sword-reach and aware of it. "I've been thinking about what you said."
He doesn't know what to say to that, so he compensates by looking as ashamed as he can manage. She doesn't seem impressed.
"Stop that, you look like you're sucking on a lemon," she orders. He drops the expression. "Now, what's really important is this; did you mean it?"
"Yes," he says, and it's the truth. It's the truth, and he's always known it, right or wrong, complicated or not. She doesn't respond at first, doesn't ask for specific feelings. Niether of them want to put a label on it right now; perhaps it is too fragile. But her eyes do soften, and he figures he'll take what he can get.
"...Good." she says at last, and then gets up, walks around the desk, and kisses him.
"What-" he's being pushed onto his back on the suspicious bare desk. He breaks the kiss and looks up at her with wide eyes.
"B-but-" he wants to ask what provoked this, but it's pretty hard to concentrate when an extremely attractive girl is straddling you on a desk. And, hey, it's not like he minds. "...I thought you were mad at me?"
"I was," she says, smirking. Her hands have dropped, travelling down to his belt. "We're making up."
"Gee, they sure have been in there a long time." Aryll notes fifteen minutes later, eyeing the cabin. "I hope she's not being too hard on him."
The crew all chokes simultaniously on their chocolate cake, and Niko says, weakly "I'm sure he can handle it."
-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Notes: This thing was inspired by an adorable fanart on DevArt, and has been slowly stewing in my writing folder ever since. Yes, I do have reasons behind my characterizations, namely that WW Link has always struck me as more awkward and whimsical then any of his counterparts, but just as noble. Tetra...well, Tetra wears the pants. Quite literally. I've always held the opinion that these two as a couple would put the FUN in dysFUNction. :P