Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Rating: PG-13 for language and adult situations.
Summary: Summer vacation takes a turn for the crazy, as Link and his friends run into old friends, old enemies, and the overwhelming power of low self-esteem.
Disclaimer: You have to be a complete moron to think that I own any of this shit.
WARNING: A large subplot of this story will be a gay love story. As in, boys kissing boys. If that's not your thing, fine by me. Go read something else.
Dreamchaser90: It's an incredible opportunity!
ivorygoth: its crazy
Dreamchaser90: I thought you liked all those books I had shipped from their library.
ivorygoth: i DID, that doesn't mean i want to GO there!
ivorygoth: summer is for relaxing sweetie. you know? fun? You remember fun
Dreamchaser90: Studying IS fun for me.
ivorygoth: oh gods babe we REALLY need to getyou laid
Dreamchaser90: Will you knock it off with that! o////o
Dreamchaser90: I just think this is a really good idea and you'll regret it if you miss out.
ivorygoth: OR i could stay here and do my research in between clubbing
Dreamchaser90 says: Who says you can't go clubbing in Lake Town?
ivorygoth: i'm listening…
Dreamchaser90: One Google search. I found THREE.
ivorygoth: oh hell no. really?
Dreamchaser90: Including one called "The Dark Dove" which sure sounds like the type of place you'd like.
ivorygoth: all right, you got me. i'm in.
ivorygoth: but I'M picking our accommodations. i know a gal.
Dreamchaser90: Oh thank you Ashei, you won't regret this.
ivorygoth: i'd better not. or i'm taking it out of your freckled virgin ass.
Dreamchaser90: How did you know I have
ivorygoth is Away and may not reply.
Chapter 1. Sweet Summer
Some time in late February of Link's third year of high school, he met a young man named Sheik. A few weeks later he met another young man named Dark. After that things got very confusing for a while, and it all ended with him saving the world from an invasion by the King of Evil, Ganon.
Link still wasn't entirely sure how that had happened, but he blamed it on destiny and tried not to worry about it.
The remainder of the school year had passed without incident, though all his friends were suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to some degree or another. Life had settled into a comfortable, if different, rhythm. He got up, he got Dark up, he got showered and dressed, he argued with Dark about something trivial, then warded off his nearly-brother's attempts to kiss him goodbye before heading off for whatever the day had in store. And that was just the first hour.
The biggest change in Link's life was that he actually enjoyed his mornings now. He liked waking up and knowing his life would be pretty much the same as it was the day before. He had friends, he had family, he had Zelda…
And then there was Zelda. Once upon a time, Link had stared at her in class with that wistful "she's so high above me" longing that would never be fulfilled. Until the gay bar, and Sheik, and the park, and the plant monsters. And Zelda.
It was always like that now. His thoughts, no matter what they were, would somehow cycle back to Zelda. Link thought he'd read in a book once that the way to tell you were really in love was if the person was your first thought in the morning, and your last thought at night. Apparently whoever'd said that hadn't really known how normal people's thoughts worked, because Link couldn't ever remember what he was thinking about when he fell asleep, or if he was thinking at all. But Zelda was always there, at the back of his mind. When he wasn't thinking of anything in particular, he was thinking of her. And it had never felt so good to be so obsessed.
Two months passed, peacefully. Another year of school came to a close, with the now eight-person group of Link's friends emerging with decent-to-stellar grades. Link's birthday had been in June, his male friends celebrating by punching him on the arm, his female friends showering him with cards and gifts he didn't need. Zelda, in a self-admitted cheesy gesture, had bought him and Dark matching triforce necklaces. Link's was gold, Dark's was silver and upside-down. Apparently it was symbolism or something.
She'd also given him another "gift" which couldn't be wrapped (or discussed in polite company).
And that was two months. A long time, in the life of a teenager. The sense of optimism that Ganon had beaten out of all of them had returned, albeit gingerly, and it was the perfect opportunity to get away from things for a while.
At least, that was Zelda's thinking. She'd convinced her parents first, which was easy enough, then she'd convinced Impa which was a lot harder. Now she just had to spring it on all her friends and hope her birthright was enough to get their parents on board.
Link was first, since she basically had him wrapped around her finger. And besides, the only person he had to convince was his boss.
They were curled up on the couch, not paying attention to TV and enjoying some time to themselves, when Zelda brought it up.
"Do you want to go on vacation with me and my parents?"
"Your parents?" Link repeated. "Um…"
"I know it seems a little intimidating, but they like you!"
"I only talked to them for five minutes last time…"
"They like that you saved the world."
Link smiled at that. "Well, there is that. Nothing impresses parents like knowing their daughter's boyfriend is responsible for their continued existence."
"Exactly! Anyways, I do this every year."
"Invite your latest guy on vacation?"
"No." Zelda wrinkled her nose. "Especially considering my last guy… ugh."
"He didn't really stalk me… not like you're thinking. I mean, he didn't have some creepy idea of how we belonged together. Like that other guy I never met…"
"What other guy?" Link frowned.
"Like I said, I never met him. He was a stalker in the classic sense of the word. Impa beat the crap out of him and now he has to stay 100 yards away from me at all time. But that was when I was twelve and I haven't heard from him since."
Link felt himself grinding his teeth. "You were twelve and he thought you belonged together?"
"I try not to think about it too hard…"
"Probably a good idea."
"You ever had an experience like that?"
"Well, uh, there was Koume and Kotake…"
"Oh right. Besides them."
"Not really." Link stopped. "Well… There was this time when I was a kid… But it didn't really happen to me and the guy got arrested after three days. I'd rather not go into it."
"S'okay. Soooo… What about that vacation?" She fluttered her eyelashes.
"I'd need to know more about it."
"Three weeks in July, at Lake Town. It's about four hours southish of here."
"Three weeks! Isn't that a lot?"
"Three weeks is just for me. My parents only take two, then that extra time is for running around without parental supervision."
"Which is basically, like, your life."
"Yes but this is vacation."
Link laughed. "Got a point there. So I guess there's just one thing I need to know."
A black-nailed hand reached over the back of the couch and pulled a familiar face behind it. Dark blinked sleepy mascara-smeared eyes at them. "Can I go?"
"That was my question," Link agreed.
"Dark, what were you doing behind the couch?"
"I don't know," he admitted. "I was bored so I came downstairs but then I was still bored so I lay on the floor…and then I think I fell asleep."
Link reached out and ruffled Dark's hair. "We really need to reset your sleep schedule. You can't keep coming in at five AM and getting up at eight. It's not healthy!"
"Can I help it if I'm nocturnal?"
"That… You…" He leaned his chin on the couch. "I'm asking at the library if that's true!"
"Go for it."
Zelda laughed. "You guys are so cute."
"You are!" Dark exclaimed. "So can I come?"
"Of course, Dark. That's the point. Everyone's coming."
"Everyone?" Link repeated.
"Yeah, the whole group. You, me, Dark, Malon, Anju, Kafei, Ralph, and Nayru."
"Even Nayru?" Dark said. He was too tired to keep the petulant tone out of his voice.
"Yes, Dark. I know you don't like her, but the rest of us do and she's Ralph's girlfriend."
"Who said I don't like her? I like her fine. She just… She wasn't there."
"So you're never going to be friends with people who weren't there? That's not fair."
"I didn't say that…"
Dark sunk back down behind the back of the couch.
"Nuffin. Never mind. I'm stupid."
"You're not stupid. I just don't understand. If you have a legitimate reason for not wanting Nayru to come along of course I'll listen."
"She knows!" he exclaimed, popping up like a Jack-in-the-Box. "She knows everything that happened to us, happened to me, and she wasn't even there! And I know it's not her fault she's just good at reading people or whatever, and she's never pretended to understand or tried to talk to me about stuff I don't want to talk about… It just bothers me." He sunk back down, leaning on the couch. "And it's not 'cause I'm jealous 'cause I'm not. Not in any specific way anyway."
It was Zelda's turn to pat him on the head. "You just need time."
"Everybody keeps saying that and it doesn't make it any better."
"Mnngle…" He shoved himself to his feet. "I'm going back to sleep."
"In your bed!" Link ordered. "And, wait, aren't you supposed to be at work?"
"I got someone to cover for me."
"Was it Kafei?"
"You gotta stop pushing him around."
"But it's so easy." He grinned.
"I don't think he really minds," Zelda said. "He likes having something to complain about."
"That's not it." Dark shook his head. "He just wants his friends to like him so he does whatever they say. The complaining is a front for his naturally submissive nature."
Link blinked at him. "The hell?"
Dark grinned again, sheepishly. "I've been reading some psychology books… It's interesting."
"Wow. I am terrified to think of what would happen if you ever became a therapist."
"Meh," he waved a hand. "Half the junior high comes to me with their problems already. I guess it's my own fault for starting those weekly Q and A sessions. Still, someone has to teach those kids that the donkey punch is a profoundly stupid idea."
Dark yawned and stretched, tight black belly shirt hitching up over his ribs, oversized black pants drooping over bony hips to reveal pink bikini briefs. "Whelp, I'm off to bed. You kids have fun."
Link and Zelda watched him go, incredulous looks on both their faces.
"Well…" Zelda said after a moment. "At least he's teaching them to be accepting of…alternate lifestyles."
"If 'poor and slutty' is a lifestyle, sure. The donkey punch is a profoundly stupid idea though, I'll give him that."
"What is it? I've heard it on TV but they never really explained it."
"Yeah…uh… I'm gonna leave this one up to Wikipedia."
They sat in silence for a while, trying to remember what was TV show they were watching.
"You know the only part that might be a problem?" Link said.
"Getting Navi to let me and Dark take three weeks off."
"She'll probably just be glad to get the both of you out of her hair."
In the end, it took a double-pair of puppy eyes to get Navi to agree, though she did brandish a Triforce pendant at them and quote Dracula. Dark even, somehow, got her to let them off early the weekend before so they could do some shopping.
"But we don't need anything," Link pointed out, afterward.
"What's your point?"
They decided to make a day of it, calling up the usual crowd and seeing who could come. An hour later, Link, Dark, Zelda, Malon, Ralph and Nayru all gathered at the mall and compared battle strategies.
"Item one is new swimsuits," Malon said.
"Don't you girls already have swimsuits?" Link asked.
"Yes but now we're getting new ones."
"Item two is kicky sandals," Zelda said. "You buys will probably want to make a stop at the food court when we get to that."
"Probably," Ralph agreed.
"Item three," Nayru said, "is sunglasses, hair ties, and other summer accessories."
"More food court?" Link suggested.
"Hey, I need sunglasses too!" Dark said.
"Yeah, but how long will it take you to pick them out?"
"I 'unno. Five, ten minutes?"
"Item four," Malon said, "is clothes. And that's the last item because it will take the rest of the day. And you boys aren't getting out of it either. Ralph you've been wearing that sweatshirt for six months."
"What? I like it!"
"It's summer! Aren't you hot?"
"There's air-conditioning in here."
"We're buying you some t-shirts."
"So is that it then?" Zelda scanned the group. The girls nodded and the guys exchanged wary glances. "Ready… Break!"
The next few hours were filled with short bursts of activity and long bouts of boredom. Even Malon, being the most down-to-earth of the females present, pointed out that it should not take twenty minutes to try on three bathing suits. Finally, the girls just agreed to let the guys go and look on their own.
"As long as Dark buys real actual trunks and not a g-string," Zelda ordered.
"Why do you ask me to make promises you know I won't keep?"
Link and Ralph managed to appease Dark by finding him a pair of trunks with a samurai on them, but even the fun of playing "Distract the Spaz" didn't last.
"I want a cell phone," Dark announced. "Let's go annoy those dudes in the booth."
"Which booth? There's, like, nine."
"Whichever's closest I guess. They all kind of look alike. With their preppy shirts and ties… And neat haircuts and dashing good looks…" he trailed off, sighing.
"Okay, we've lost him." Link rolled his eyes. "Dark? Honey? How are you gonna afford a phone anyway?"
"Mnn?" He blinked a few times. "Oh. Oh! Right. Damn."
"What would you use it for anyway?"
"Calling people! And having them call me! I don't like telling people I meet in clubs that I can't give them my number because my roommate is afraid of answering it and hearing one of his old teachers."
"Hey, that only has to happen once before you start dreading it."
"But if I had my own phone, I wouldn't have to go out every weekend to find company, I could sit around and wait for it to come to me!"
"So instead of a streetwalker you'd be a call girl."
Dark winced. "Not cool, man. You know how I feel about prostitution. Sex is fun, and it shouldn't be a chore or against someone's will or…" He trailed off again, this time that haunted look crossing his face.
Quickly, Ralph jumped in. "Would you want one of those music phones? Or with a camera?"
"Oh, um," Dark shook his head. "No, I don't think so. I've got a Polaroid. And a radio. And Zelda's iPod that I 'borrowed' a while back."
"She wants that back you know," Link said. "Even if it's just so she can copy the music to a new one."
"Hey, I stole it fair and square! If she wants it back she can rassle me for it."
"She could probably take you. You're skin and bones, you know that right?"
"Exercise is boring and hard! Two things that should not go together!"
"You could at least eat better. Pop rocks aren't food!"
"They should be."
In another area of the store, the girls were talking about what most girls talk about when their men are not present. Men.
"Dark doesn't like me," Nayru said flatly.
"Nonsense!" Zelda exclaimed. "Dark likes everyone!"
"Maybe 'like' was the wrong word," Nayru admitted. "But he resents me."
"Why would he? That's silly. He and Ralph are good friends, I know he likes seeing Ralph happy."
"It's not so much that I'm dating Ralph, although that doesn't help. He would have resented me even if I just became friends with you guys. I'm an interloper."
"It's okay," she waved a hand. "I just wanted to make sure you guys knew. I'm sure eventually Dark and I will have some kind of experience together that will make him consider me a friend. But until then, I'll just keep on being friendly and unobtrusive."
The other two girls stared at her.
"Oh right…" Malon said after a moment. "I keep forgetting you're psychic."
"I'm not psychic! I just… I look at people and I know what their feeling."
"And that's not psychic?"
"Ralph's the same way, remember?" Zelda said. "It's like…empathic? Or something?"
"Or something," Nayru agreed. "I don't know how to explain it. I… I see the way people move, what they do with their hands or their eyes, and I know."
"That would be handy."
She snorted. "You'd think…"
The cell phone guys were getting impatient. Dark had spent the first ten minutes flirting with the blond one with the slicked-back hair. When that guy had gotten fed up and started muttering about the Marquis de Sade, the short one with the ridiculous braid took over. He proved harder to break.
Somehow, Dark made it away with a small black sliver of technology and merely forty less for his dollars.
"Now I need to buy a dangly sparkly thing to hang on it, and assign individual ringtones to each one of my friends. I'm thinking Malon is 'Fat-Bottomed Girls' although don't tell her that, and Zelda is 'Sister Golden Hair,' and Link? You're 'Holding Out for a Hero.'"
"Fair enough," Link agreed. "But how are you going to do that?"
"Huh? I don't know. Don't I just push buttons?"
"Only a few tones actually come with your phone. And you need to pay for licensed songs."
Dark stared at the phone for a long moment. "I'm confused," he announced.
"We could go back and ask?"
"No way. That blond dude will eat my eyes."
"Well I don't know how to do it. I don't even have a cell phone."
"Ralph?" Dark turned pleading eyes on him.
"Hey don't look at me. My ringtone is 'Flight of the Bumblebee.' Just look it up online later."
Dark made a face. "I'm scared of computers."
"Oh come on! Dark, computers are a huge part of today's culture. How are you gonna keep up with celebrity gossip or read geeky comics if you can't use a computer?"
"There are comics on computers?"
Ralph slapped his forehead. "Yes! Lots! For free! And five or six of them are actually worth reading. Not to mention email and music downloads and goofy videos of prairie dogs."
"We need to teach you how to use a computer. You are not an old man."
"Considering I was alive during the sixties, I think I should be exempt."
"Do you have any idea how many ex-hippies have websites now?"
Dark blinked. "Lllllllllllllllllllllots?"
"Personally," Link said, "I don't think Dark needs to be exposed to the internet. Given the vast amounts of stupidity and perversion… I mean, I like the internet, it's cool to know there are people out there who can answer every question about Transformers I might ever have… but I don't like knowing there are also people who draw Transformers porn."
Dark burst out laughing. "They have that?"
"In copious amounts."
"Not awesome!" Link shook his head. "Come on! You already take pop culture way too seriously, and make jokes no one else understands. I'm really afraid that if you get on the internet you'll start speaking in numbers or something."
"Like the Matrix?"
"'Cause the first one was good but then I think the movie-maker dudes just got silly. Sort of like Pirates of the Carribean. Good movies just don't need sequels!"
"And if you go on the internet, you can spend five hours arguing that with a thirteen-year-old girl who is convinced Jack and Will were having sex every time they weren't onscreen."
"Well now that's just silly," Dark said. "Although Jack totally boned that what's-his-face guy. The one who branded him? Totally."
"I should get a Pirates of the Caribbean ringtone! That was some good music there."
"There's still the little matter of how."
"Um, guys?" Ralph interrupted. "Lookit." He pointed at a storefront less then ten feet away, filled with silver and black squares and blue computer screens. It was tiny, hardly bigger then the booth, and the bright yellow words above the opening read 'Ringtones Out the Yin-Yang.'
"Dude seriously?" Dark said. "That's a store?"
"Sure seems that way. Do we check it out?"
"Are you kidding? If only to make fun of the name."
"Are you sure this thing is a good idea, Zel?" Malon asked. "I mean, the whole group of us going on vacation."
"Why wouldn't it be? You and Anju came last year, remember?"
"Yeah but it was just three of us, and just a week. We spent the whole time lying around on the beach and flirting with that guy with the mullethawk."
"He was cute."
They both sighed.
"It's just gonna be weird," Malon said. "Everyone except for me and Dark has a significant other."
"We'll still hang out in groups and stuff! We'll have girl's nights."
"Yeah but… it's still gonna be weird."
"So you don't want to go?"
"I didn't say that!" Malon exclaimed. "I guess I'll just hit the clubs with Dark."
"Dark doesn't stay at the clubs very long…if you know what I mean."
"I do. I can get him to promise to keep me company."
"You think so?"
"It's not that hard. Link says he hasn't been as…active as he was before."
"Yeah well, he is traumatized. Plus he's been uh," she coughed. "Busy. You know. With…things."
Malon cocked her head, and Nayru choked suddenly.
"What?" Malon said.
"No, nothing! Nothing." She was grinning.
"You know something."
"Yes but it's not because I'm psychic." Still grinning.
"Not one word," Zelda warned. "It's not what you're thinking anyway."
"No? You sure?"
"Yes! And stop smiling!"
"I'm trying but I can't."
Link was trying very hard not to bang his head against the wall. "Just pick 'It's My Life' and be done with it."
"I can't use that!" Dark exclaimed. "To hear it every time someone calls, let alone a watered down snippet, would lower the effect of the overall song! Degrading it and its message to 'Samson isn't busy tonight.'"
"Who the hell is Samson?"
"Big bald bouncer at the nightclub."
"Why would you want him calling?"
"Link... He is huge. And I'm not just talking about-"
"Everyone knows what you're talking about, Dark." Link winced.
"Why am I still standing here?" Ralph exclaimed desperately.
"Why are any of us?" Link said. "Why are we doing this?"
"Because I only have enough money for one song, and it is going to be a good one," Dark growled.
"Why don't we just buy you more sunglasses? I thought you liked sunglasses."
"Nah. I like regular glasses better. They're cuter. That whole nerdy look really does it for me."
"Doesn't everything do it for you?"
"No! Just most things. And you can't blame me for my sex drive. These are your hormones."
"At least I know how to keep my mouth shut about it."
Dark scratched his cheek. "Okay, yeah, I'll give you that."
"Let's just go," Ralph said. "We've got to find the girls again, and it's not like you can't come back."
"Another good point." Dark looked at his cell phone wistfully. "All right, fine, let's go. I should probably learn how to use this thing before I go changing things about it."
"See? I knew you could learn sense."
"The dude at the counter over there is glaring at us anyway." Dark waved at him. "Yes! We were talking about gay sex!"
"Okay, out." Link grabbed his double's sleeve and pulled him out of the store.
The group reconvened in the food court, hands full and wallets empty. The girls had recovered from their respective attacks of estrogen and were having a civilized conversation about Star Wars when the guys approached.
"We ready?" Zelda asked.
"We ready," Link agreed. "Let's get out of here before Dark bites someone."
"I'm just saying! Airplanes!"
Nayru giggled and Zelda shot her a Look.
"You know who I feel sorry for?" Malon asked as they headed for the exit. "Kafei. He missed all this, and now Anju is gonna drag him shopping."
"Kafei likes shopping," Ralph said. "If anything, Anju will be the one who winds up bored."
"All you guys are incredibly femme, you know that right?"
"Hey, you should see us when we're alone together. Zelda remembers, from when she was one of the guys. Doncha Zel?"
"Oh yeah." She rolled her eyes. "It's all boobs and arm-punching."
"See? Plenty manly."
"Right. Just like your poster of Matthew McConaughey."
Ralph glared at her. "Th- that doesn't count! I liked the movie!"
"What movie is it a poster of?"
"Oh…um… It's the one where- Wait." His shoulders slumped. "Okay, I admit defeat. He's just nice to look at."
Nayru patted him on the back. "And there's nothing wrong with that."
"I just wanted you to admit it," Zelda said. "Personally, I like that you guys aren't alpha male all the time."
"I don't think we're allowed to be. Link's bi, I've experimented, Kafei spends more on hair products then gas, and Dark… Dark's practically a woman anyway."
"I am not!" Dark exclaimed. "You can't judge me by regular standards, since I'm not even human."
"There is that."
"And I am working on the slut thing. It…doesn't make me happy the way it used to." He shrugged. "I don't know if it's the trauma, or just the fact that I'm probably not going to die tomorrow. Any more."
"How's that going for you?"
"I am not good at long-term planning, I did learn that."
"Also, conserving water does not mean I can walk in on Link in the shower. Without his permission."
Link punched his arm. "And you will learn that lesson every morning until it sticks."
"You didn't have to kick me in the face! I didn't even know you could kick that high!"
"You scared me!"
"I'm just saying, I'm impressed."
"Oh… Thank you. Yeah, that took practice."
"Will you teach me?"
"Will you buy actual workout pants?"
"You know how I feel about polyester."
"Right… Not going to happen then. You okay with that?"
"Waves of trauma wash across my being even now."
"Dark, you're quoting Star Control 2."
"And you recognized it!"
A hundred miles away, someone was having a lot less fun. They were low on gas, out of snacks, three hours behind on their travel schedule, and now the hitchhiker they'd picked up had a gun to their head.
"Just pull over to the side," he said, almost cheerfully. "You can take all your stuff with you, no problem. But I will need you to leave your keys. All of them."
"O- okay." The driver, hands shaking, obeyed. There wasn't much space, but the teenage boy with the gun didn't seem like he would listen to reason.
The boy climbed over the seat as soon as the driver opened his door, sliding behind the wheel while somehow still keeping the gun in vaguely the right direction. He took a handful of change out of the ashtray and held it out with his free hand. The driver took it, confused.
"For the pay phone," the boy explained. "For when you call the police."
"I- I have a cell phone?"
"Yeah. About that. You wanna put that on the ground for me please?"
The man did, and almost before his hand was away the boy fired. Twice.
"Take care of yourself!" the boy said. "Don't get in any strange vehicles!"
And with that he sped off.
The man stood there for a while, watching the lights of his car. He took a deep breath, gathered the remains of his cell phone, and started walking in the opposite direction the boy had gone. Mentally, he began composing a description of his attacker. Teenage, male, long hair, dark eyes that may have been red. Yeah…
When he saw the lights disappear into an off-ramp, the man sent up a silent prayer that the residents of Lake Town would handle the kid better then he had.
Welcome welcome welcome! This is the sequel to "The Weekly Hyrule News," an alternate-universe modern day Zelda fic. A lot of things happened in it, and pretty much if you want to understand this one AT ALL you should read that one first. Sorry.
I don't have a lot to day about this really, I was just kind of setting up. Here's our characters, here's what's going to happen, let's go. The only thing you should keep in mind, is a famous quote.
"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there." From Gurlyand's Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904 No 28, 11 July, p. 521.'
And mostly I am quoting that to see if I can get you all speculating wildly, but it's a good quote anyway and I really do try to keep it in mind when I write.
Oh yeah, minor note. The last story's chapters were all supposed to be titles of articles in the magazine from which the story got its name. The titles in this fic, including the title OF the fic, are all real life songs, that may or may not have anything to do with the chapter in question. Speculate away!