So yes, this is an Oracle of Ages fic. Orlin is Oracles Link, just so you know. This is based off the game, but I think some might be able to understand this if you just read the manga, but not all that much. Oh, and I played Ages first, so Labrynna comes first. Bleh.
Diclsaimer: I don't know anything in this fic. At all, not even the settings. I just own the story...
Orlin planted a leather boot on top of a huge boulder covered in moss. He took a deep breath and exhaled. Grinning widely, he readjusted the bag slung over his shoulder and entered the city of Lynna.
The last time he had been here was before he had left for Holodrum. He had defeated the Priestess of Darkness, Veran, that had tried to take over Labrynna through the soft hearted Queen Ambi. The whole region of Labrynna had known of Orlin's great deeds, because of the statues of him that had been put all over the place on Queen Ambi's command. One was even placed right next to the Great Maku Tree's exit, much to her delight.
Orlin trudged over to Vasu's Jewelry Store, where he appraised his rings for use. Stepping into the store, he noticed another customer in the shop, the red hair of the person caught his attention.
"Aw, come on! You can't tell me that it's another dud!" The red head seemed aggravated and slammed his hands on the counter.
"I'm sorry, but my appraisals are never wrong. You're just going to have to find more rings, sir."
Orlin took a step forward to get a better view of the customer, though he already had an idea to his identity. If the red hair and the temper didn't say anything, then the long cape and the silly hat should have.
"Ralph? What are you doing here?"
Ralph turned his attention away from the clerk, his frown immediately flipped into a huge grin. "Orlin! You're back! How long has it been?" He slapped the boy on the back and threw his arm hazardously over his shoulder.
"It has been a while Ralph, good to see you too. Anyway, what are you doing at Vasu's? You don't look like that type to wear jewelry..."
The red-head glared at him, removing himself from the hero. "It's not for me, it's for Nayru. And, well..." He fell into a whisper with a strangely uncharacteristic blush across his cheeks.
Orlin adjusted the strap of his hilt and waited for his friend to speak. "And?"
"Um... it's nothing..." He waved it off. "But what are you doing here? You wear jewelry?" Ralph has placed a mocking smirk on his face.
Rolling his eyes, Orlin produced a small sack from his bag and placed it on the counter. "Vasu, can you appraise these for me?"
The man spilled the contents of the bag across the counter. "Wow, you've got a load boy. It might take a while, but sure."
"Thank you, here's for your troubles." The blond boy placed a five hundred rupee into the man's hand.
Orlin turned to Ralph, who had his jaw down to the floor and eyeing the pile of rings that Orlin had just handed over.
"H-how did you get so many rings?" The red-haired boy asked after snapping his jaw back in place.
"I fight monsters, get Gasha seeds, plant them and I get them from the nuts when they grow." Orlin shrugged, as if it was like an everyday thing.
Ralph picked up one of the already appraised rings. "... Do you wear all of these? ... That's kind of... strange..."
"Yeah, I guess, but not all at once, of course. I carry about five rings and I wear one at a time. Each ring has a power of some sort. They help in combat and stuff. Some are just for fun, like this."
Orlin slipped on a ring, then a cloud of smoke surrounded him (with an added "poof" noise). After the smoke cleared up, Ralph saw that in Orlin's place, stood a scary looking pig monster. His first reaction was to scream and beat the moblin with a stick, until the cloud of smoke puffed up and Orlin was back.
"That ring lets me turn into a moblin. You would think that I would be able to use it to hide among moblins or sneak into their bases, but those moblins have a strong sense of smell and they would sniff you out right away."
Ralph nodded dumbly.
"Your rings are all appraise sir. You had some extras, so I bought them from you." Vasu returned the sack, which was about half as much as what Orlin had given him, and a couple of red rupees. "Remember, rings do nothing unless worn!"
The hero nodded and thanked the man. Ralph stared as the hero left the shop after waving him a good bye. He then decided that it was time for plan B.
Orlin trotted down the slope to South Lynna, to do some swimming or some rafting.
"Hey Orlin! Wait up!" Ralph called out to him, panting and out of breath. He placed his hands on the shorter boy's shoulders to support himself.
"So, where are you going to? It's been way too long since we last hung out. How about you show me how much you've improved on your sword. I've been practicing."
The hero nodded calmly. He had been looking forward to another sparring match with the red head. Maybe he's finally perfected the spin attack that Orlin had tried to teach him ever since they started. Dropping his bag by a lone tree, he unsheathed his Master Sword. (A/N: No mistake here. You can get a Master Sword in the Oracles games, but it's called Sword level 3)
"I don't plan on going easy on you though."
"Of course not, I wouldn't want you to." Ralph unsheathed his rapier and readied himself in a fighting stance.
Two swords clashed, and after a few hours, both boys lay on the grass, panting and heavy with sweat.
"You have gotten better."
Ralph grinned. "Of course, I won't let you get better than me. And I have to do everything to protect Nayru."
Orlin sighed, but flashed him a cocky smirk. "You still can't beat me though."
The red-head lifted his head off the grass and opened his mouth to retort, but he fell back down with a plop. "Eh... too tired... Do you have any water?"
The hero sat up and placed his sword back into its sheath. "Yeah, but can't you just drink from the river?"
Ralph shot up full force and threw a glare at his friend. "You expect royalty to drink from the same water source as the animals do?" He got up and went over to Orlin's bag.
The blond boy was about to say something about how drinking from his water bottle wasn't qualified as royalty either, but just decided to drop it. Ralph had always had a high air about him, but then they found out he was a descendent of Queen Ambi. After that, Ralph would occasionally throw in his royal status in conversations just to remind them of how they should treat him.
Orlin laid on his back and stared at the sky. He couldn't remember the last time he had been at rest. Most of the time, he would be fending his way through monsters to share secret codes between people in Holodrum and Labrynna. Or he would trek day and night up and down rough terrain in all sorts of weather (thanks to the Rod of Seasons). The hero stretched his limbs against the grass. He was about to close his eyes and maybe doze off for a while, until his bottle landed harshly on his stomach.
Ralph's shadow loomed above him. His cape and (silly) hat was off, which looked a little weird to Orlin because he never saw his friend with both of them off. The blond boy twisted the cap off and held the bottle over his mouth. The cool water hit his tongue and he hadn't realized how thirsty he had been until he was fully quenched.
The red-head took a seat next to the blond. The two sat in silence, staring at the shore, fish occasionally jumping up into the air through the sea's rough waves. Orlin felt Ralph shuffling next to him when he had shifted his leg so that nearly touched. The hero sighed and stood up, brushing off grass bits from his tunic.
"I have to go. There's something I have to do."
Ralph nodded. "I won't stop you." He paused. "When are you coming back?"
Orlin shrugged as he made his way to his discarded bag. "Who knows, a week? A month? Maybe tomorrow, it depends." He threw the bag over his shoulders and looked down at the other boy. "But don't worry, I will come back."
The red head grinned. "Of course, and next time, I will beat you in a sword fight."
"Yeah, I don't think so." With that, Orlin ran away before Ralph could say anything.
It was fall when Orlin came back. The fall in Labrynna looked different from that of Holodrum. in fact, Labrynna's weather never really seemed to change. The hero came back to share another secret between two friends in different places. He had also made a stop in the Forest of Time where Nayru would sing to the forest animals.
"Orlin, so good to see you. How have you been?" The Oracle of Ages stood from her place in the crowd of critters. "I haven't seen you in a long time. How was Holodrum?"
"It's good to see you too Nayru. Holodrum is... okay, it's very different from here. Has anything new happened?"
"Not much here at Lynna City, but..." A slight tint of pink stained her pale cheeks and she had her attention at the animals. The hero remembered Ralph had a similar look when he had last visited, and he had said something about Nayru.
"You see..." Nayru seemed really happy, but it was as if she wasn't able to voice her feelings, which was odd because she was usually calm and collected. "Ralph proposed to me a while ago, and I accepted." Her shy smile widened. "He even gave me this ring."
Orlin took note of the engagement ring, it had a blue studded gem on it. His lips slowly curled downward, but he wouldn't let anyone see that. "Sorry Nayru, I've got to go..." Pushing he way through the furry crowd, he went in search of a certain royal loud mouth.
As luck would have it, Ralph only showed up when one least expected it, or when he wasn't wanted. It was evening when Orlin set up camp near the base of the Fairies' Woods. The blond sat by the small fire he had built and wondered if maybe he had overreacted. It couldn't have just been Ralph, there might have been someone else. Or it might have been another reason all together. He was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a rustling in the bushes. He snatched up is sword quickly, ready to defend himself.
A familiar curly blue hat popped out of the bushes, followed by brilliant red hair and a gaudy blue and orange cape. The figure tripped and managed to tangle his cape in the branches of the bushes. "Ow..."
The figure looked up at the source of the voice, and sure enough, it was Ralph.
Somehow, he was able to detangle himself from the woods and straightened himself to a more proper posture, though the leaves that still clung to his head were not very convincing.
"I've been looking for you Orlin. Nayru told me you came back."
The blond nodded, resheathing his sword back into its proper place and continued to stare at the fire. Should he ask him? He didn't have enough proof to say anything without looking like a jerk.
"Orlin, I wanted to talk to you." He took a spot next to him on the wooden log.
"Nayru told me about the engagement."
"Yeah, um..." Ralph looked down at his curly shoes. He briefly wondered why he wore shoes as strange as these, but then shoved the irrelevant thought to the back of his head.
"She had a pretty nice ring. You must have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into getting that."
The fire crackled. Orlin got up and poked it with a discarded twig, then threw it into the fire. He watched as the piece of wood slowly turn black and shrivel up in the intense heat.
"..." Ralph was silent.
Resuming his place back on the seat, the blond stole a small glance at his friend. The red head was contemplating, it seemed, and he looked quite nervous, and maybe even a little guilty.
"I'M SORRY OKAY?!" The red head suddenly yelled.
"W-what?" The unexpected outburst nearly knocked Orlin off his seat, but he was able to balance himself on the wooden trunk.
"I'm sorry that I took your ring okay! It's just that, I wanted, no, needed to give Nayru the best ring, because she deserves something as great as that. All the rings I found were lousy, and there was no way she would accept a proposal with an inferior ring. But then you came in, and I saw all the rings you got, I couldn't help but think that, you know, you wouldn't miss one. So I took one, and then I proposed to Nayru. She said yes, and she loved the ring, but after that, I felt like I betrayed not only Nayru, but I felt like I betrayed you too. I can't ask for the ring back, that would be stupid, so-" he shuffled through his pockets for something, "-here."
Ralph produced a tiny black box from his possession and held it to Orlin. The hero, in turn, blinked at the way his friend was holding it. He cautiously took the box and slowly opened the lid. Inside was a small ring, the center had a tiny black gem that reflect dully against the campfire's light. He closed the box.
"...Are you proposing to me?"
The red head promptly fell on his side but recovered quickly.
"WHAT? No! My love belongs only to Nayru, you know that!" He sighed. "I just wanted to apologize for my stupidity, but I know it's not enough. I was a jerk and you probably never want to see my face again."
Orlin shook his head, there was small smile on his lips.
"You know, I was in a dungeon a few weeks ago, it was full of quicksand. There was a ring that allows me to float on it, and I knew I had, it was one of my first rings. So I looked for it in my bag and in my list at Vasu's, but I couldn't find it. I did manage to survive without it, but it was still weird how it just vanished like that. I take good care of my possessions, so I know I didn't misplace it. That only meant that someone took it."
Ralph looked at the hero. "Are you trying to make me feel bad? Because it's definitely working."
Orlin ignored him and continued to speak.
"I don't know who could have taken it, but after Nayru showed me the ring, I remembered what you said when we last met at Vasu's. You wanted to give Nayru something, but you didn't have the right one. Of course, my first thought was that you took it from me. I didn't have any proof though, so I couldn't have said anything. I couldn't have been a very good person if I was about to accuse my friend of something. But then you came out and confessed the whole thing."
The blond boy took out the ring that Ralph had given him. He stared at it for a good while. No one spoke for a few seconds.
"...And?" Ralph questioned.
Orlin smirked as he slipped the ring onto his middle finger. "I accept your proposal."
The red head stared, then he let out a snort and slapped his friend on the shoulder. "I told you it's not like that."
The two shared a good laugh that echoed into the still night. The campfire continued glowing red and strong.
"You know, I have a ring like this already."
Ralph gaped at his companion. "You're not going to sell it are you? It took me forever to buy a Gasha seed since I couldn't find any. Then it took another eternity to grow the stupid tree and nut. I had to talk to it everyday so that it would grow faster."
Orlin rolled his eyes. "No I'm not. But you know, this ring..." He let out a low chortle and looked over to is friend. "...it's called the Friendship Ring."
Ralph laughed at the irony. He flung an arm over the other boy's shoulder and lightly squeezed it in a hug.
"I love you, you know that?"
Orlin giggled. "Duh, that's why we're getting married." Then he burst out laughing.
"Shut up!" The red head couldn't help joining in the laughing.
FIN! ... This is really supposed to be friendship only. Honestly it is. ...Hey, if Yuugi was able to tell Jounouchi that he loved him in the anime AND the manga without them getting together, then it's okay for Ralph and Orlin to do it too.