Kakariko village was a calm, unsuspecting town. Although Hyrule was certainly in a time of stress and conflict, the people had remained warm and kind throughout, unusually slow to become suspicious of passers-by and willing to offer assistance to the weary or injured. The buildings were quaint but well-made, worn stone and stucco decorating the solid wooden frames. Although certainly a normal type of building for any average town, the style was exotic to him and his memories of living in treehouses. He was fond of it, really. It was beautiful in any time of day, and offered an excellent view of the mountains.
Strangely, Link reflected, it was also very beautiful engulfed in flames.
His feet stirred the dusty ground as they carried him into the burning village, brown leather turned red-orange from the furious blaze surrounding him. Thick, dark smoke curled upwards from the buildings as they groaned and popped in agony, shading the town in a crimson that turned Link's stomach. Navi dove underneath his hood and cowered, and he wished he could have done the same.
With a jolt, he ran to the center of the town and glanced frantically for any stragglers, hoping that the townspeople had at least escaped in time to dodge the worst of the flames. His eyes lit upon a lone figure near the well, and his heart seized in his chest as he began to call out to them.
"Hey! What are you still doing—"
The voice was forceful and masculine, and Link realized that it was not a stubborn townsperson, but a Shiekah. Clad in royal blue and white, the figure stood braced in a fierce stance against an old moss-covered well. He may have looked somewhat comical had their situation been in any other context, but Link knew by now not to take Sheik's warnings lightly. He was loath to admit it, but the man had an infuriating way of being right about dangerous situations, and he had a feeling that this was no different.
It was very difficult, however, to stay put when the fighter's body was suddenly wrenched into the air like a child's toy, twisting back and forth in a sickening display of force. The blonde's limbs contorted, flopping gracelessly as his body was manipulated mid-air and then tossed against the ground with ease. At impact, there was a thick, punctuated thud, and Sheik's body lay still.
His chest hurt from tension, heart pounding mercilessly and shoulders drawn in unease. His palms were sweating within his gloves and although he wanted desperately to draw his sword and slay the attacker, he couldn't for the life of him see anything that he might sink his blade into. Thinking better of it, he rushed instead to the other man's side, knowing very little about mending bones or impeding severe blood loss but wanting to help, regardless. As his fingers brushed the silky fabric of Sheik's cowl, his own body was hurled into the air.
He had no time to brace himself against the intense pressure, instead only able to grunt weakly as his bones began to crush under the force of whatever had attacked Sheik. Distantly, he could hear a small struggle and a very loud scream, though whether it belonged to him or the other fighter, he couldn't say. His vision began to turn black at the edges as his chest was pressed inward, forcing the air from his body, and his mouth worked uselessly as he attempted to scream.
Sparkles exploded before his eyes and tears streamed paths down his cheeks as his skull was squeezed as tightly as the rest of his body, and had he been free from his crushing prison, he would have liked to sneeze the feeling from his sinuses. Darkness crept toward the center of his vision, shrouding the burning village in shadow, and he could feel a few of his bones begin to fracture. Fire spread through his chest as his ribs snapped. His hearing failed him, removing the noises of the fires and leaving him only with a serene quiet as his senses began to dwindle entirely. He had always thought that death would be a bit more painful (though how he could possible be in more pain, he couldn't imagine), or perhaps abrupt, but this was tolerable, at least.
Before he shut his eyes, expecting the worst, he saw the burning skeleton of Kakariko Village flip upside-down.
"How come you don't have a fairy?"
The children stared at him as if he were an alien. Tiny fairies of every color floated above the crowd, flitting here and there, jingling impatiently. They were dressed like him, with their green tunics and white undershirts, and to any passers-by he would have blended perfectly. However, the children of the Kokiri Forest did not get passers-by, and because of this, he was branded as easily as if he were a hideous monster. To them, he supposed he was.
"You aren't a real Kokiri if you don't have a fairy." They stared at him critically. "Do you have a name? Where did you come from?"
"My name is Link." At least, that's what the great deku tree had told him. "I don't know where I came from. I've been here my whole life."
"Well, you can't play with us until you get a fairy." With that, the crowd dispersed, except for one girl. He stared at his toes, ashamed.
He couldn't look up.
"You can play with me if you want. My name is Saria."
Link had felt pain in his life before.
There was the one time he had fallen from his balcony in the forest and broken his leg. That had hurt a lot. There was also the time that he had accidentally startled a lizalfos and had himself nearly disemboweled. That had hurt, too.
This pain, however…this was agony.
There wasn't a spot on his body that didn't hurt. He attempted to flex his fingers, and was moderately successful, but a searing fire crept up his arms from the movement and he groaned, clenching his eyes against the intrusion. His nerves were magma, his muscles screamed at him, and he couldn't breathe, but at least the sheets were soft.
"It would be wise, Hero of Time, to lay as still as possible."
A voice? Where on earth was he? He was in a bed, if he wanted to start basically. The sheets were gentle and cool against his skin, and thankfully light on top of his chest. There was a voice he recognized in the room with him, but he couldn't place it, hard as he tried. His thoughts were a thick stew of hurt and concentration on keeping still, and as such left little room for recognition or response.
The mystery person, however, was unfortunately persistent.
"Open your eyes, Link."
As his eyelids peeled away from his eyes, a blonde, lithe figure was revealed to him.
"Can you speak?"
He moaned briefly. "Hurts…" His speech was slurred enough for him to lisp slightly, and although he understood what he wanted to say, he wasn't sure that the other man would.
"Yes, I'm not surprised. Next time I tell you to stay put, I would advise you to do so." There were hands around his forehead and then there weren't, and he watched idly as the other man removed something red from his head. "You're severely concussed, but the shock seems to have passed. Several of your ribs and one of your collarbones are broken. Do you think you can swallow?"
His throat was very dry.
"Mngh, 'll try."
He sluggishly followed the man with his eyes, fascinated and content to simply watch as a small funnel was attached to a plastic tube. The tube prodded at the corner of his mouth and he opened reflexively, and soon a slow stream of cool water slid over his tongue and down his throat. It was a small grace, but it was heaven at the moment, and he suckled at it hungrily, craving more.
It was removed as quickly as it had been offered, however, and he frowned deeply.
"You'll probably vomit if you drink much more. Small doses." The hands were on his body again, and he grunted now and then as gentle prods and caresses brought searing pain. "I'm going to change your bandages now."
The voice was tinted with amusement. "Yes, Link. Bandages. Your body is broken and bleeding, if you hadn't yet noticed."
The sheets were pulled back, then, and where he was expecting the chill of the room to hit his body, he was greeted with gentle warmth. He let his head roll to the side and noticed that there was a blazing fire in the hearth of the room, and although he realized that it should have bothered him to see it, he hadn't the faintest clue why. He looked back to where the man was tending to his body, and a thought seized his addled mind.
"Why am I naked?"
"So that I can tend to your injuries more easily. Most of your clothing was damaged, anyhow."
He lifted his head and attempted to look at himself. His brain felt heavy and sore, but he was annoyed with feeling so helpless and ignored it, and what greeted him shocked him: his entire midsection was overcome by a deep violet. His stomach was a rainbow of colors—green, yellow, a beautiful dark crimson—and his ribs were simply one enormous bruise. "Oh…" He swallowed and tried again. "Oh, my god."
"What happened to me?"
"Don't you remember?"
He frowned and laid his head on the pillow, weary from the effort of supporting it. There had been Epona and he riding across Hyrule…yes, he remembered that clearly. They had stopped at the stream for a drink of water, and then…what? His head lolled, and his eyes fluttered for a moment before resting once more on the fire. It crackled and licked at the sides of the hearth playfully, as if satisfied that its only purpose was to warm the two figures in front of it.
Kakariko. He had gone to Kakariko, and it had been on fire. And then…
"That…thing." He gritted his teeth against the memory, emotions bubbling furiously within his gut. Fear, fury, sadness. An enormous, crushing cage around his body, smothering him. Smothering Sheik.
"Sheik!" He sat up abruptly, hands grabbing at the shoulders of the man before him in his panic. "Where is Sheik? Is he alright?"
"…Link, I'm right here. I'm fine. Please lay down."
As a boiling, ruthless agony began to spread throughout his body, replacing the adrenaline coursing through his blood, he focused on two ruby eyes in front of him. They held concern, and a bit of confusion, and his fingers trembled in pain and relief. Sheik was okay.
The pain in his chest twisted violently, and he grimaced, attempting to turn against the throbbing at his sides so that he could vomit onto the floor. Luckily, someone (Sheik?) had seen fit to place a wastebasket next to the bed, and he heaved into it. Tears sprung to his eyes at the pain and nausea, and as he vomited, he felt a soothing hand on his back.
Once he was finished, his body shook gently from the effort, and he choked back a sob as Sheik guided him back into a laying position. He was frustrated and helpless, embarrassed, starving… He hadn't ever felt this badly. As his head hit the pillow, his eyes closed on him, and he was unconscious immediately.
Link glanced upward, seeing another Kokiri child standing before him. She had strange green hair and her face was mottled with freckles. She smiled warmly at him and offered her hand, and he took it hesitantly, wondering why she was being nice to him when the others weren't. Her fairy floated over to him and inspected him.
"All of the outsiders who enter the forest here turn into monsters. The other kids must bully you because they think you're a monster in disguise." She placed her hands on her hips and sighed dramatically. "They can be pretty mean sometimes, especially Mido. He's the one over there," she pointed vaguely, "but they mean well, I promise."
He was too overwhelmed to answer, but he attempted to offer a shy smile.
"Do you want to come play with me? I know a special spot we can go to where the other kids won't bother you. It's over here, on the bridge…"
When he opened his eyes, he had the feeling that a great deal of time had passed.
The fire was long dead, having left only a few charred stumps of wood and a pile of silver ashes to speak for itself. His head felt a great deal better, though he knew from the pain in his chest that his ribs were still very upset with him. Summoning his courage, he wiggled his toes a bit and was relieved to find that it brought him little pain, and, moving to his feet and ankles, that they, too, were in working order.
The sheets were pulled to his neck and smelled of soap and musk, and while they were very comfortable, he was starving and needed to relieve himself badly. An attempt at lifting his right arm told him that it was definitely his right collarbone that had taken the most damage, and after a few minutes of clearing his head, he pushed the sheets back with his left hand, instead.
It was a slow process to get out of bed. He knew that it would hurt more if he sat up and then turned, so he set about swinging his legs over the side while he was still lying down. Sheik was nowhere to be seen, and for that he was thankful, because he was quite sure that he was a comical sight to behold.
Once fully standing, he paused to allow the dizziness to pass. He was in a bedroom of sorts, though it was extremely barren. There was the small bed in which he had been resting, a wooden chest in the corner, and the fireplace. The injured Hylian removed the top sheet from the bed and wrapped it around his waist at an attempt toward decency, took a few slow steps toward the door, testing his strength, and decided that taking it easy would be a wise decision.
Once through the door, he found himself in a dark hallway. Bracing himself with his left hand, he plodded slowly along until he found the restroom. Sighing in relief (and wincing because of it), he made use of the facilities and continued his journey down the hall. At the end, the Hero of Time discovered a small kitchen with a bubbling pot over a fire, but no Sheik.
"Figures even when I'm injured to hell and back he shows up and leaves before I can say anything," he muttered.
"While it would be rather romantic to dote at your bedside, I was out retrieving supplies."
Link started, gooseflesh rising on the back of his arms and fingers twitching to retrieve the hilt of his sword. Realizing that not only was he quite unfit to fight any battle, but that he was also wearing naught but a bed sheet, he turned slowly and glared at the figure at the end of the hall.
"You should be in bed, Hero of Time."
Sheik approached him, then, walking as if he were light as air. A small object glinted within his fist, and Link watched it with curiosity, hoping that it wasn't something he was going to be sliced open with. The sheikah appraised him, and, seemingly satisfied, placed the small bottle onto the kitchen table. It was full of translucent red fluid.
"A healing potion?"
"From Kotake, yes. I would have given it to you yesterday, but I feared that you wouldn't have kept it down. I'm glad I abstained. Do you mind?"
Link raised an eyebrow, and then caught the motion made toward his midsection. He lowered the sheet, though he did not reveal himself, and eyed the other man warily as the top of the bottle was popped.
"Drink this. I'll replace your bandages."
Accepting the small vial with his left hand, he drank as quickly as he could, wanting to savor the sweet liquid but wanting to heal as well. It felt warm as it slid down his throat and he moaned quietly in appreciation, feeling its effects immediately.
"It won't heal the heaviest damage, but it will certainly make it bearable. How are you feeling?"
They fell into silence as Sheik worked with deft hands and clean bandages, and Link could tell that he was attempting to be gentle. The man was a total mystery to him, and as tempting as it was to tear the cowl from his face and see what lay underneath, he was content at the moment to simply watch, enjoying the way the man's blond hair swung in front of his eyes as he worked.
Freshly bandaged, Link sighed. "Thank you, Sheik." It felt awkward to say as much, though he certainly owed it to the man. "I suppose I'll be off now, if I could just find my clothing—"
"You'll be doing no such thing."
"You're in very poor shape to be fighting any battles right now. Navi and Epona have been tended to. You should be resting."
"Sheik." The man turned from where he had been stirring the soup over the fire and faced the Hylian. "Why are you doing this?"
An awkward pause settled between them before the fighter resumed his stirring. "It is my duty to protect those related to the royal family."
He sighed. "Is that really it?"
The sheikah paused once more but did not look at him, and he knew that he was onto something. "I think it would be wise to reconsider asking questions you may not want the answer to, Hero of Time." Link watched as the spoon was hung on the bowl, and half expected the man to leave it at that, but was pleasantly surprised when he was not only faced, but also approached. When Sheik stopped, there were inches between them. His eyes were fierce as they held his gaze, and Link found that while they were very beautiful, they were also a bit intimidating.
Steeling himself, he narrowed his eyes. "I've been searching for answers my entire life, and I have yet to find most of them." He felt vulnerable and exposed, and as a result he compensated with brazenness. "You have yet to give me a reason not to trust you, though I hardly know anything about you, Sheik. Even if you never answer, I still have the right to ask."
His response seemed to shock the other man, but he hardly expected anything in return. He was sore and starving, cranky, and cold. Turning on his heal, he stepped towards the hallway and eyed the bedroom longingly. If Sheik was making soup and insisted on him staying, he could at least make the most of the situation and nap until mealtime. Unfortunately, despite the potion's effects on his body, he had overestimated his health. As his right foot trudged forward, so did his body, and soon, his face met the floor's abrupt acquaintance.
Through the swimming vertigo in his head, he caught a small noise of surprise in the room. There were hands on his body immediately, grasping at his left armpit and thigh. He was hoisted uncomfortably, and were his ribs not broken, he would have laughed outright at the awkwardness of it all. The Hero of Time allowed himself to be carried down the hall and placed into bed, and as he very quickly fell to slumber, he felt his cheeks tint when the breeze from the sheet being flapped above him blew gently across his naked groin.
"So what do you look for in a girl, Link?" The question was innocent enough, and yet nearly screamed her intentions to him. As he sipped his milk, he grimaced, dreading his own reply.
"I don't really know..." He didn't know how to tell her that he wasn't particularly interested in women. Given his position, he wasn't really interested in men, either, but he certainly wouldn't be able to support somebody who had to be looked after. Not with the tasks at hand, in any case. If that meant dating somebody like Impa, or, god forbid, Darunia, you could count him right out. "I'm not really looking for anybody right now, to be honest."
He knew the answer disappointed her. Red hair slipped delicately off of her shoulders as she bent her head, hiding her bruised feelings, and for a moment he felt a bit guilty. There were many men who he knew would have given much to be him, to have two princesses and a beautiful young farm girl after his intentions, and perhaps he was foolish for not accepting their offers of royalty and carnal pleasure. However, he couldn't lie to her. Even if he was interested, he hardly had time for a relationship. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he sighed. "I'm sorry, Malon."
"It's alright. I kind of expected it." She grabbed his tunic gingerly and pulled him into a hug. "Promise me something, though."
He felt as though he should have embraced her in return, but the concept strangely alien to him. He had never been used to physical contact outside of battle, and as such, he was out of his element. "Yes?"
"If I'm ever in trouble, you'll be my knight in shining armor."
"Malon, you know I can't promise that." He placed his hands on her shoulders and gave a gentle push, coaxing her away from his body. A single tear had slid down her cheek, leaving a light, shimmering path on her skin. Drying it with his glove, he offered a smile. "But if word gets around that you need a friend, I'll do my best to be here."
As she smiled at him in return, a weight was lifted from his shoulders.
There were delicate fingers on his shoulder.
He stirred, fighting the stiffness in his muscles. Cracking an eye, he focused on the yellow blur in front of him and swatted at it. "Go away, Navi. I'm exhausted."
A deep but quiet chuckle resonated beside him. The fingers grew insistent on his body, and he frowned.
"You'd better not let Sheik find you disturbing me. He's stronger than I am, you know. Quick, too. You wouldn't stand a chance." He swatted the air above him a few more times, neglecting to keep his eyes open.
The fingers disappeared from his shoulder and his assailant snorted. "While that might be debatable, it would be beneficial to the both of us if you were to wake up now, Hero of Time."
Link opened his eyes at long last and got an eyeful of Sheikah. The fighter was sitting at his bedside, and by the way his eyes curled just so, it was apparent that he was smiling. Two steaming bowls of soup sat cheerfully on the floor next to him. Sheepish at having both guessed incorrectly and revealed his thoughts on the other warrior's fighting abilities, he simply scooted back until he could rest against the wall.
They ate in comfortable silence, though it was becoming increasingly difficult for Link not to simply pounce upon the fighter and discover what lay under the mask. He had tried once before after successfully making it out of the water temple, but the man was simply too quick for him. He knew that the fighter would be attractive, at least in a purely aesthetic sense, but he also knew that the mystery of it all added much more. He wondered briefly if eliminating the unknown between them would remove the thrill of seeing the warrior, but he was willing to risk it.
After all, each temple he battled was a closer brush with death. If he hadn't even made it to the entrance of his undoubted upcoming destination, there was little to be lost by looking at a man's face.
When he touched a spoonful of the simple broth to his lips and discovered that it was cold, he glared at it in contempt. While he had been watching his bedside companion eat instead of fueling his own body, he hardly needed the superfluous reminder. Feeling bold, and realizing that he had little time left to ask, he cleared his throat. "Sheik."
Unnatural ruby eyes peeked out at him from beneath a curtain of blonde hair.
"What are you hiding under all of that?"
He watched as the fighter placed his empty bowl on the floor. When the man straightened, he said nothing, and Link sighed.
"If it's something grotesque, I'm not going to run away. I've seen far worse things, whatever it is." There are very few things, he reflected, that one could find unbearable after experiencing the slime of Morpha up close and personal.
"Perhaps it's best that you—"
"No." For being the Hero of Time, he felt awfully small. "You're always running away from me, even though you're the one who has helped me the most. I don't know what the big deal is. If it's some ancient Sheikah secret, I can understand." His gaze caught the far wall as his courage dwindled under a burning stare. "But if I can't look at you, can I at least feel what you look like?"
Although there was no response, the silence in the room gained a weighted feel to it. He heard shuffling behind him but refused to face his caretaker, feeling stubborn and defeated. When a silky cloth was wrapped around his eyes, however, he couldn't help but let a small gasp escape. The blindfold was tied taut and tested.
His hand was taken, then, in a warm embrace; slender, calloused fingers slid against his palm. He turned his head instinctively and felt suddenly nervous, as if his hand were going to be placed on hot coals or removed altogether.
When contact was made, however, it was simply upon a youthful face. The fingers against his skin released, and he was free to explore on his own.
It said a great deal about trust that Sheik was allowing him to do such a thing. He realized briefly that the cloth that was blindfolding him was the mask that usually rested around the fighter's visage, and he could have very easily used his hands to remove it. Instead, he allowed his fingertips to trace over a sculpted landscape of flesh and bone, fascinated by the textures he found.
There was the smooth skin of the fighter's forehead, dampened lightly with sweat. Thick, shaggy hair tickled his knuckles as he moved across thin eyebrows, and as he traced the bridge of a slender nose, he allowed his jaw to hang slack.
The cheekbones he discovered were high but curved, and as he traveled lower he was minutely shocked to find a bit of stubble disturbing an otherwise-flawless complexion. It stirred something within him, and he paused to identify it. A mixture of amusement and jealousy bubbled in his gut. He'd never been able to grow facial hair.
Pausing over the fighter's lips, he relished the feel of warm, humid breath hitting the pad of his thumb. He felt as though he'd reached forbidden territory that he had suddenly been given access to, and the prospect made him nervous and thrilled all at once. As he was drinking in the feeling, a pair of parted lips brushed feather-light against the palm of his hand.
Sheik had leaned into his touch.
The fighter didn't stop there, however, and Link sucked in a quiet breath as the silky caress traveled north, zig-zagging along his middle finger until it rested at the tip. It was there that they closed, punctuating their journey with a kiss that was barely there.
The Hero of Time's heart was thundering harder than it ever had. His breath was caught in his chest, and although he was accustomed to feeling conflicted in his decision-making, this was certainly a different circumstance. While he could often summon the courage necessary to push forth in his destiny, surging through murky dungeons and solving deadly puzzles, the ultimatum at present hand seemed strangely more vexing. He knew that he had two possibilities from which to choose: he could stop this before it was taken too far (which was probably better in the long run), or he could push his luck with the warrior and see just how far things could go.
Tracing a chiseled jaw line and following the line of a muscular neck, he discovered a small patch of golden hair where the fighter's cap had lost its hold on the tresses. Ensnaring it with his fingers, he tilted his head and leaned forward slowly, blindly, and reminded himself to breathe. In a life such as his own, there were no second chances, and he knew that he'd sorely regret it if he didn't at least try for something.
A moment passed before he began to reconsider his actions, but as he resolved to pull away entirely, the head cradled in his hand allowed itself to be coaxed forward, and soon he was met with a hesitant kiss.
He had been kissed before. Saria had kissed him goodbye before he left, though he had run screaming from the experience. Malon had kissed him once, too, in an attempt to wake him from unconsciousness. That had simply been awkward.
This kiss, however, was different.
He didn't know quite how it was different, but as they parted and met once again with more fervor, he knew that there was power behind it—something husky and exotic, spontaneous, and after his own lips were penetrated by a dominant tongue, something distinctly masculine.
His body shivered.
Sheik pulled away from the injured Hylian briefly to voice a noise of concern, and Link touched foreheads with him. "What is it?" His voice was low and breathless, and he cursed himself for allowing the Sheikah to see just how shaken up he really was.
"This can't happen."
"There isn't time or opportunity for this to get in the way of your journey."
"Sheik," he brushed the outline of the fighter's ear, "I can't commit to staying alive, much less a relationship." They bumped noses for a moment before he nibbled a full bottom lip. "But one moment in passing before the possible apocalypse, I think, might be alright. After all, life is hardly worth living without a little fun, and I'd rather have someone on my mind because of something like this..." As much as he wanted to stay where he was, the Hero of Time's ribcage had other plans, and he released the other fighter before laying back down.
There was silence for a moment, before Sheik spoke up in a whisper: "As opposed to what, Hero of Time?"
When Link spoke, his voice was weary. "As opposed to worrying about something frail getting broken, whether it's a heart or someone to go with it. I don't have time for those who can't take care of themselves...not with the tasks I've been asked to complete." It sounded much worse being spoken aloud than it did in his heart, but if there were ever a time for honesty, this was it. "You're obviously more than capable of handling yourself. Most others I've encountered...aren't."
"I...suppose not." There was an unidentifiable tone to the man's voice, and it made Link somewhat uncomfortable. In what sense, however, he couldn't place. The fighter was as mysterious as ever, and as infuriating as it was, he found himself grateful for the chase. As much as he wanted to know the fighter, to understand him, he also knew that he had to take his own advice. Allowing himself to love would be an inexcusable mistake.
A pair of thighs slid against his own, surprising him, and he halted his thoughts. As his head was lifted upward, electricity ran through his body.
He parted his lips, expecting a kiss, but his head was turned to the side instead.
"We will share this, Hero of Time, and I will watch over you until one of us is no longer of this realm." The teeth on his earlobe caused goosebumps to spread across his body, and he realized that he was still quite nude, though this time in a much more threatening situation. A small groan escaped him, but the fighter had yet more to say: "Let us pray that time and good fortune are on our side, so that we may meet again in a less demanding atmosphere."
The small prayer was strangely comforting, as if the Goddesses would listen to Sheik more readily than himself. A pattern of kisses began making their way down his neck and no more words were spoken.
Link found that the pain in his body faded rather quickly under the advances of a Shekah warrior. They no longer needed to speak to get their points across, and as the sun dipped below the horizon, the troubles of Ganondorf's war were temporarily forgotten. Though he was still blind to the fighter's appearance, he needed little else but touch to see what he desired.
As the fighters found solace in one another, Link distantly recalled the advice of a woman he had met in passing:
"They say that there is no medicine that can cure a fool. I guess that's true."
He couldn't help but smile.