A/N: Hey hey everyone! Just wanted to do a fic on one of my favorite new couples: Zelda/Ike! Yeeeeah! I mean seriously, on a scale of one to ten, Ike's gotta be at least a fifteen.
I've played and beat both of his fire emblem games, so I'm pretty familiar with his personality...although he has YET to express interest in pursuing a lady! Although in this fic I made him a bit...naughtier..
..But rest assured, Ike and Zelda are in good hands for the story! ;)
It was indecent to think that the poised, rose of Hyrule's royal family would be competing in something so bloody, so violent as brawl. She had been raised wearing the most expensive silks, and dining on the best meals. Her pallet was used to fine foods and sweet wines as her body was used to perfumes and the warm textures of velvet.
Her mind had been honed with the finest education and she had been naturally gifted with the triforce of wisdom at birth; there was nothing her mind couldn't fathom, no truths that she couldn't grasp. There was no quest unattainable.
So how could a delicate, fragile woman like her compete with the toughest of competitors? How could the rose of Hyrule battle against mercenaries, heroes, and the great masterminds of so many different universes?
While most spectators saw the regal, slender Princess Zelda garbed in her royal purple and white dress and watched her graceful movements and actions; they weren't seeing the real her. The grace, her eloquent diction, it was all practiced to cloak the real being of who she was, the tomboy.
In her youth, the Princess of Hyrule had always fancied running and playing in the meadows where she could avoid the scathing eyes of her servants and haughty advisors. As a child she had practiced and had play sword fights with Link.
Her childhood friendship with Link had carried into her teen years and so did their many, secret adventures. Even as they grew older and Zelda was forced into a more traditional role of being a lady, she spent her days away from the castle riding bareback and hollering into the wind.
It was certainly unladylike to ride bareback, have sword fights, and it was most definitely unladylike to condole and enjoy violence! Princess Peach may have abhorred the 'gruesome violence' that happened in the Smash tournaments, but secretly Zelda loved it. At every possibility she made her way to watch as many matches as she could.
So the tomboyish princess of Hyrule found that within the walls of the Super Smash Brothers tournaments, she could be as strong and as bold as she liked. She could fight as hard and tough as she liked—as long as she shifted to Sheik first-and prove her worth as a fighter.
In these tournaments she didn't have a servant at her every whim, and she didn't have a binding agenda to see to. In this Super Smash Brothers tournament, for the little duration of the contest, she was free.
There wasn't a thing she didn't like about the tournament…
…Until the day she met a certain tall, broad-shouldered mercenary.
Goddesses, ever since the first day he came into the manor, he had been friendly to everyone—minus Zelda. At first Zelda thought maybe Ike had vendettas against royal bloods, but then, why did he get on well with the likes of Marth? And even Peach?
This made Zelda want to perform an un-princessly act and scratch her head.
While the newest Smashers were being introduced into Smash Brothers' third competition, this time named Brawl, she had met Ike. There had been a small, welcome party thrown for the newest arrivals in the ballroom: there was sugary red punch, cutesy mini ham sandwiches, and even a disco ball had been added into the ceiling.
Before she saw the blue-haired merc, she had already had the pleasure of meeting Pit, a dark-haired angel who was charmingly sweet, then there was Lucas, who was awful shy and wouldn't take a step outside of Ness's shadow.
She had remembered catching glimpses of a boy with three different Pokemon and she had recalled seeing the flaxen-haired Samus with Pikachu in hand. When Zelda had gone to drink a cup of punch, she met Solid Snake.
It seemed like no amount of talking could get the tall warrior to say more than single-word sentences. He wasn't cold, a little aloof, but he was still somewhat mildly pleasant. Although when she did start talking about intelligible things like politics with the man, she did notice the glow behind his gray eyes and a light smirk.
After talking with him a few moments longer, surprisingly she found that she liked him. The few words he did speak were well-thought out, intelligent and even a little witty. With a small cup of punch in hand, Zelda waved to him one last farewell before she had returned to her spot mashed beside the loveable Princess Peach.
The second Zelda had returned, Peach stepped beside her, "You know, I think I may have taken a liking to that Sonic character. Have you met him already?"
"The blue hedgehog?"
Zelda glanced over at the dance floor and saw the blue hedgehog in the middle of what looked to be a dance circle. Characters like Yoshi, Luigi, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Mario, and Jiggly Puff were cheering Sonic on as he performed impressive break-dancing moves.
"Him!" Zelda asked, her voice weakening.
"Yes!" Peach squeaked happily, "Isn't he great? I can tell we'll be friends in no time flat! While you were speaking with tall, dark and hunky, (Zelda figured she meant Snake) I met him. And it seems like he's a pretty lively guy. Pranking will be so much easier now that it'll be a team effort!"
"You don't say?"
Zelda glanced over her shoulder and saw Link and an unarmored Samus talking. She arched an eyebrow, wondering just how long this had been going on. She watched as Link chuckled, carefully petting the Pikachu in her arms. Then Samus grinned and reached a hand out and tousled Link's golden mane.
Approaching at twelve o'clock, Marth came in a graceful flourish as he usually did. He was all smiles and waves as he had won his first brawl earlier in the day. In fact he was grinning and markedly coming in their direction. Peach saw him approaching and twitched; earlier in the day she had lost her brawl.
"I'm out of here," Peach said flatly, eyeing her small cup of punch, "Geez, and why don't they serve alcoholic beverages here!"
"Peach, he wants to talk to you," Zelda replied, ignoring her last line.
"I know, that's why I'm gone. See you in a bit," And with that, Peach headed toward the dance floor, looking as happy as can be.
It was Marth.
"Hello Marth, enjoying the party?"
"Yes, its definitely fun," Marth glanced around the scenery, "I…I'm sorry, but I thought I saw Princess Peach standing here with you?"
"Ah she was here, but then she left…probably to powder her nose," Zelda quickly sipped her punch.
"Well Princess, I'd like you to meet a dear friend of mine. Princess Zelda, I'd like you to meet Ike of Crimea."
The prince stepped aside to reveal a tall young man with the most disheveled, darkest blue locks she had seen. She could tell just from looking at him that he was nowhere near as refined as Marth was. In fact she received the vibe that he was wild, unbroken. She could see it in his dark, colorless eyes. Just what shade were they?
It was that moment, that had been the powered keg to both hers and Ike's dysfunctional relationship. There was no method behind his madness, Ike was blunt, honest and spoke exactly how he felt about matters; especially Zelda.
For the next few days every encounter with Ike had been unpleasant to say the least. He especially went out of his way to brush into her, shot her the darkest of glares, and the few times she had lashed back at him verbally he only smirked at her.
So that explains why Princess Zelda of Hyrule was here one fine morning! Studying in the Smash manor's great library; a wonderland of books, encyclopedias, and a where house of knowledge. Whenever Zelda was stresses, books seemed to carry her away to a new world.
The door to the great library burst open and in popped Princess Peach. She gazed around the quiet library, (it was only used by the bookworms like Mewtwo, Ness, Marth and Fox occasionally) then grinned with a dark glee when she spotted the brunette princess tucked away in a corner of the facility. While Princess Peach may have had the same royal upbringing and wealthy homelife, that was as far as the similarities went.
"Hiya!" Peach grinned, waving happily to Zelda, who returned the gesture.
Princess Peach was a bubbly, feminine little ray of sunshine who was a bright and as cheery as her flashy wardrobe. Her long honey hair was always curled, just like her pitch black eyelashes, and her lips were always a flattering petal-pink.
The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom always had a pleasantly flushed face and her voice was sweet and feathery. Truthfully, at first Zelda couldn't stand the Mushroom kingdom monarch, with her perfect titters and sweet ways, but she soon learned that it was a cover-up.
It was a similar front that Zelda had put up, a shield she had created to protect herself from the scorn of being imperfect. Her shield was to be eloquent and graceful as Peach's was to be dainty and powerless.
Now, it was true that Peach's favorite color was carnation pink, and she did enjoy every ounce of lace upon her dress, but what many people didn't know about the proper princess was her mischievous side. The only difference between both hers and Sonic's pranks was that she never was caught, let alone suspected.
The pink princess was a twisted mastermind like that. Outside of Link, Peach was the only other person Zelda had entrusted with the truth. It was a mutual relationship: Peach knew about Zelda's tomboyish nature as Zelda knew that the pink princess was really a devilish little firecracker.
Peach had just aimlessly plucked a random magazine from a shelf and sat adjacent from Zelda. Out of the corner of her vision, Zelda could see Peach skimming the pages listlessly; she had come to the library to talk, not read.
"…The prank had worked out perfectly," Peach replied, the edges of her mouth lifting into a grin, "Half of the boys in their dorms were soaked in warm milk and our 'chosen' victim got splattered with honey and was topped off with feathers!"
Zelda glanced up wearily; in the presence of Link or Peach, she didn't need fancy words or a stone face, she could be herself, "Goddesses, Peach! How did you manage that?"
Blue hellfire lit within Peach's eyes, "You know, I've only known Sonic for a few days, but I feel that we've already established such a great friendship, don't you think?"
The brunette princess sighed; that was because Sonic was the only other person in the mansion insane enough to feed into Peach's pranks. Nowadays it seemed like Peach and Sonic traveled everywhere together, deciding on new victims to prank.
"Hmm," Peach tapped her chin thoughtfully, "While I was sneaking around their dorms last night, I found out some interesting things. Like did you know Fox sleep-talks in Japanese? Ness has a diary hidden under his bed too! He thinks I'm pretty! Heehee! Oh! Lucas has choo-choo train PJs, and who knew Captain Falcon was a boxers kind of guy!"
Zelda raised her book above her nose, hoping it'd eclipse her flushed face, "…Peach, who did you cover in feathers and honey? And please tell me you weren't dumb enough to mess with Donkey Kong, again."
"Bah," Peach swatted the idea away as if it were a bug, "Bleaching his ties is only entertaining for so long, we've grown bored with him. But we've found a new target. I bet you won't be able to guess who!"
Zelda raised her head, glanced around the room then studied Peach's excited expression, "Who?"
"Guess!" she squeaked.
"Nope. He'd only complicate things…maybe even think I was hitting on him. Try again."
"Ha! Too easy, guess again!"
"No…" Then that mischievous glint, that light Peach only got in her eyes when she thought of a really good prank, surfaced, "But he's your problem, isn't he?"
Problem was an understatement and Peach knew it. Ike, for some unknown reason, had decided to make a lifelong rivalry with Zelda. If they were in the same room, somehow he would brazenly make his appearance known to her, maybe something like purposely nudging her or cutting her a sly smirk.
Even when she tried to ignore him, she could feel his eyes, those intense dark eyes boring into her. Everytime she looked at him directly, his glare would sharpen and even if he was in the midst of a conversation with someone else, all mirth would drain from his features.
She even tried giving her wardrobe a little variety; maybe he thought she dressed opulently to flaunt her wealth. However when Ike had caught sight of her in one of her plainer dresses, a crooked smirk had appeared upon his handsome face as he said, 'What? Where's all the tassels and jewels, Missy?'
Zelda dropped her book and massaged her temples; just thinking about that insufferable man gave her headaches! And Missy! How dare he give her such a preposterous nickname! Princess was too formal, but Zelda worked nicely the last time she checked!
"But I wouldn't even dream of touching Ike…" Peach suddenly smiled dreamily, "…Actually I take that back. I'd love to touch him…"
Zelda gaped at her; another un-princessly thing but it didn't matter with her audience, "Peach!"
"Now, don't lie to yourself, he's such a hunk, isn't he?"
For some reason the idea of putting Ike and attractive together made her face glow and squirm uncomfortably in her chair. As Peach eyed her critically, Zelda picked at the hem of her dress. Well, yes, he was attractive, in a rugged, bold sort of way. He was a handsome man and yet he carried himself as if his ravishing looks weren't important.
Such a man was two things: dangerous because flocks of women fell for such a man, and that made him highly wanted. And Ike was both. But he was such an unpleasant man! (To Zelda) After every brawl he had watched her fight, even after victories, he would give her back-handed compliments.
'Maybe you won this time, Missy, but those moves won't work against a better opponent.'
'Oh, should we be happy you beat the Iceclimbers?'
Thinking of Ike only made Zelda broil under her collar. She swiftly rose out of her seat, forgetting her book and Peach's prank, "Well yes, I suppose he is a handsome gent…I have to go now Peach."
"Why? But…don't you wanna know who I'm gonna prank this time?" Peach's eyes were round and coy as blinked up at her owlishly.
That was another thing the pink princess was good at; giving unsuspecting suckers 'the baby eyes.' It was a tool that could break even the toughest of men down. Peach was more powerful than what Zelda gave her credit for.
"No not really," Zelda sighed, "Look, I want to let off some steam, I want to find Link."
Zelda turned, exiting the library and forgetting her book. The only thing she could think of was getting the extra stress off of her shoulders. Thinking of that insufferable, blue-haired barbarian made her what to scream. The second she exited the library her serene mask was back in place and her posture was perfect, like a rod was inserted in her spine.
She began strolling down the hallway with small, graceful steps as she lightly lifted the edges of her gown. She gave a small nod to Fox, who must have heard her approach as he looked up from a bleeping gadget and gave a friendly smile.
"Hello Fox. Ah, pardon me," Zelda asked, her voice managing to be both cool and warm in the same token, "But would you happen to know the whereabouts of Link?"
"Ah, forgive my intrusion milady, but I just recently saw him."
The cool voice belonged to Prince Marth, her chess buddy. Besides Mewtwo, there was no one who could offer her a great challenge. However unlike Mewtwo, Marth didn't gloat arrogantly and tell you how and when he'd beat you. Zelda smiled at the prince politely as Fox blinked, "Ah, hello Marth. And may I ask where you've seen my friend?"
"He just finished a match against Pit so he should be finishing up in the locker room. I have to admit it was quite the battle, a duel of projectiles," Marth chuckled, "Princess, I was wondering, but have you seen—?"
"WAIT! ZELDA, DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE ME!"
All three heads turned toward the sound of the pitchy screech as Peach suddenly popped out of the library. She hastily gathered her dress in hand and came barreling down the hallway as if she was shot out of a rocket. As she came streaking down the hall, she was nothing but a blur of blond hair, flouncing pink dress and lacy, white petticoats.
Marth's face turned a slight shade of pink before he politely turned his head and glanced away. Peach came to a halt and glared at the taller princess as she huffed and puffed, trying to regain her breath, "You…don't…go…without me…"
"Of course Peach," Zelda, despite herself, managed to only smile sweetly, "My, such running is tiring for a lady, is it not?"
"Oh course, my heels are killing me," she said, lifting her gown a bit to reveal her cherry-red heels.
"Princess Peach," Marth suddenly stepped forward with concern lighting his fair blue eyes, "If running so swiftly tires you, then perhaps I could carry you...?"
"I'm fine," she replied flatly, not sparing him a second glance, "Zelda? Did you find where that stud muffin was?"
"…Stud…muffin…?" Marth asked to himself quietly, as if tasting the word for the first time.
"Yes," Peach purred in a honeyed voice, "Our stud muffin, oh-so-delicious hero of time, Link."
They both missed the way Fox blinked and Marth glowered slightly. Then the vulpine shot Marth a sympathetic look as he went back to tinkering with his gadget. Well, it wasn't really sympathetic, more like smug.
"…Ah, yes I did find him?" Zelda replied unsurely.
"Then let's go!" Peach briskly grabbed Zelda's hand and started down the stairs, "…I'm going in the right direction? Right?"
Zelda laughed, "Yes, we're headed to the locker rooms…but why lead if you don't know where you're going?"
"Ugh!" Peach rolled her eyes, "I'll do anything to be away from that…Marth!"
The bronze-haired princess frowned, "What's wrong with Prince Marth? Now that you mention it, you have been usually mean to him."
It was true. Ever since their match in opening week where Peach faced off against Marth, she wanted nothing to do with him. Zelda had been in the stands that day watching as her friend and the prince stood toe-to-toe at the Final Destination Arena. Last she knew, Peach had been thrilled to face a 'top tier smasher' and was ready to "Beat the bastard senseless."
Yes, those words did come out of Peach's pretty little mouth, scout's honor.
"I'm not mean to him," Peach sniffed, her eyes narrowing, pink lips tightening.
"If giving him the cold-shoulder and glaring doesn't count as being mean then sure, you've been as pleasant as ever."
"Well," Peach yanked her into another hallway, "He's not a real man. I mean, he wears a girly tiara, has prettier eyes than you and I and-"
He's not a real man. Then it suddenly hit Zelda why Princess Peach detested him so. That day at their match, as the counter reached zero, Zelda had seen it; the determination that glowed in the prince's ethereal blue eyes as he stared back at Peach. The second the pink princess had charged at him, a grin on her face, Marth stood still.
Even in the midst of whispers and jeers from the crowd, he stood motionless. If not for the blinking of his eyes, Marth could have been a statue. The moment Peach had been in striking distance, the second she had pulled her crown from her mane of gold to smack him, he caught her hand smoothly.
Peach had struggled, her eyes wide and scared as she felt her jeweled crown slip from her fingers and clatter to the ground. Then the watchful crowd had grown anxious, hushed murmurings filling the arena as they watched the defenseless princess tug and pull within the strong prince's grasp. Back then, even Zelda had risen from her seat, concern rising for her friend.
'Unhand me!' Peach had shrieked, her free hand rapping against his chest armor weakly, 'You brute!'
With his free hand Marth had brandished the falchion to her, watching as the blade shone within her eyes. Even staring into her eyes, Marth saw how his blade glowed in the cool light, sparking as if it were on fire. Then he had suddenly let it slip carelessly from his fingers and clatter to the floor.
Then he tugged her closer until she was pressed against his cool armor. Peach emitted a gasp as she soon found herself flush against the prince, her face flaming from embarrassment.
'Milady,' he had spoken in a soft purr, staring into her round blue eyes, 'I promise that I shall never raise my weapon against you.'
"Like I said," Peach sniffed, "He's not a real man! He should have fought me!"
"But, I think it was kind of sweet," Zelda beamed.
"Yeah? Well now no one will fight me seriously! Giving me ridiculous curtsies and such! And you won't believe the amount of rumors and taunts I get now! The Queen of Altea, Mrs. Lowell! Mrs. Blue hair! Ugh!" Peach's eyes glowed darkly, "I detest that man!"
Peach finally released her hand and Zelda blinked, realizing they were in front of the locker room. The flaxen-haired princess huffed and placed her hands on her hips irritably, "I'm so sick and tired of being pseudo polite to him! If I could, I'd tell me where to shove it!"
"Peach!" Zelda laughed, "Well, as long as I have you for a friend, things will always be interesting!"
"Well, that's true," Peach smirked, "I am the belle of the ball around these parts, aren't I? Well, you enjoy your time with Link, you hear? Save a seat for me at dinner time."
With one last wave, Peach picked up her dress and started off in the opposite direction. Zelda blinked, confused, "Oh, you're not coming with me to see Link?"
"No, I've got a prank to plan with Sonic, I'll see you at dinner."
The last traces of the princess disappeared around the corner and Zelda was alone. With a sigh, Zelda dusted off her dress, then quickly rapped on the door. Since there was no response, she slowly opened the door, "…Link? Are you here?"
Then she blushed as she whispered, "…A-are you decent?"
The fluorescent lights weren't lit and she heard no footsteps or sounds so she wasn't sure whether or not Link was present. Just as she strolled past another set of steel lockers, a loud resounding slam echoed through the air. Zelda jumped and quickly spun around.
"You ask 'are you decent' while traveling through the locker room? Shouldn't you have asked that while you were outside?"
The hair on the back of Zelda's neck stuck up at the sound of his voice. Smooth and cool like wine and inexorably deep. It was the man who made her wish to forgo her manners and honestly tell him off. She slowly spun to face him, "…Hello Ike."
He was standing against the lockers several feet behind her comfortably resting his arms draped over his chest. Ike wore his normal cream stockings and Zelda realized his blue tunic was hanging on the locker behind him, as if he had carelessly discarded it. He wore a colorless tank top that clung to his powerful torso lovingly.
Zelda cursed her eyes, wishing they hadn't greedily fleshed out every inch of his muscular arms, or noticed how perfectly thin his waist was. That damnable, snide grin appeared on his face again; he must have noticed the ogling, "Why are you staring, Missy? I'm not even completely undressed."
The princess clenched her small hands into fists as she felt her flushing face betraying her, "You egotistical, self-absorbed man, I have come here to find Link! Now where is he?"
Ike's cocky smirk faded and just as he was about to retort, in came her savior. The golden-haired, azure-eyed hero of time walked in with damp hair and a fresh green tunic on. It took a second before his mind registered who the girl was looking back at him, "…Zel?"
"Link? You're not busy now, are you?"
Link glanced at Ike for a second before he looked at Zelda, "No…why?"
Zelda gave him a look, something that he was able to decipher the meaning behind. She saw the light of understanding suddenly appear within his eyes, "Oh. Oh. Come on then, let's go."
Link grabbed the last of his belongings from a spare locker and smiled at Zelda. With one last acknowledging nod to Ike, Link walked out of the locker room with Zelda following. The princess shot Ike one last glare. The blue haired mercenary grinned coldly, waving to her.
She slammed the door shut, trying to ignore his laughter.
The sound of clashing metal, sliding feet, and soft pants filled their private training room. With a growl, Zelda lunged, sending her steel to scrap and collide with Link's practice sword. They continued their intricate patterns of attacks and footwork, moving in small circles as if dancing.
"Zel," Link managed to pant out as he parried a blow from her, "What's this about?"
"What's what about?" she spit through her teeth, the sweat making her uncomfortable in her skin.
Link suddenly stopped his defensive patterns, lightly nicked her hand and took her sword in the same swoop. Wide-eyed Zelda gasped as she found the edge of her own thin-bladed sword brandished at her neck. She glanced up at Link wearily and sighed. The hero of time glared at her, arching a single eyebrow.
"Zel, its obvious when something's bothering you. On days like these, you can't spar to save your britches."
"Thank you," she shot back, narrowing her eyes as she jerked the weapon out of his grasp.
Link shook his head as he studied her, "Well, let's take a break for now."
The hero of time walked across the room smoothly in three long strides before he plucked two prepared ice-cold canteens and returned to Zelda's side. As he slumped down next to her, he handed her one of the beverages.
"Thanks," she said softly, popping the top off and moistening her parched throat.
The cool water felt refreshing, making her feel slightly more energized. Currently the crown princess of Hyrule was swathed in nothing more than a slim red tunic, a thin belt, dark stockings and brown boots. Zelda also had her long bronze hair hoisted up into an unobtrusive ponytail.
If she could have her way, this was how she would dress every day. Honestly she couldn't stand those fancy dresses and that makeup they made her wear. It was a miracle that no one noticed how she wore her comfortable boots under her gowns. Not that anyone should be looking that hard, anyways.
However this was one of the reasons she loved this Super Smash brothers tournaments so much, when she was in the presence of either Link or Peach, she could dress and act as herself. She could laugh, scream, curse and even cry without the fear of judgment. No glamorous, stolid princess of Hyrule was permitted with her friends.
'I like the real Zelda,' Peach had said once, smirking, 'She's fiery, bold and wears the hell out of tunics and tights. And she may have the prettiest face and voice, but she curses like a sailor.'
'I always knew you were a savage,' Link had told her, that smug grin on his face, 'You may have surprised Peach when she learned you were a master with a blade, but I wasn't surprised at all. You've been chasing me with a sword since we could walk.'
Link sighed contently as he took another swig of cool water. He glanced down at Zelda and nudged her lightly, "So what's bothering my tomboy princess?"
Zelda giggled then frowned, "Well…"
"Well…?" he raised both eyebrows.
"No, deceitfully actually."
Zelda laughed, smiling at him, "Oh fine then, you big lug. Its that young man, Ike. He's rather crude, isn't he?"
"You really think that about him?" Link looked at her curiously, "…Personally I kinda like the guy. He's not one for sugary ways and words, he's a straight shooter. He sees either black or white, I can handle an honest man."
"Well," Zelda glared, kicking at a scrap of rug under her boots, "I think he's a bit too honest when it comes to me. He hides none of his scorn when it comes to me."
"Really?" Link frowned, "Why didn't I know this?"
"He doesn't act like that around you, only to me."
"Yeah, but does Peach know about how he treats you? Have you told her? I know she's your best girl friend."
"Yes…Of course I have."
"So why am I just finding out about this now? Its-Ah I see," Link shot her a mischievous look, "You think this is a girl matter? Man, I didn't know my tomboy princess is having girlish fantasies about Ike. Not that I blame you. If I was a girl I'd probably daydream about Ike too…only second to a certain handsome, green-clad hero, that is."
Zelda was sure her face was six shades of red, "Absolutely not! I…How…I…where…?"
Link laughed enjoying the sight of a flushed and bothered princess, "Zel, I was kidding…But now that you're acting like this…you're starting to make me worry…Should I be?"
"He's deplorable, Link! Regardless of what I do, he's always so critical of everything. He's taunting, jeering, and so haughty! Ha, he'd make a good prince."
The tomboy elbowed him sharply before he could even finish the statement. Link placed a hand to his chest as he laughed, in between his bouts of chokes and coughs. He forgot this was Zelda he was teasing, a woman who could shoot arrows, was masterful with a sword, and threw the meanest left hook he'd seen.
"Okay then," Zelda said sharply, her tone and voice grim as she rose to her feet, "If you feel like taunting me, then rise to your feet so I can beat you senseless."
"Tomboy," Link slowly rose, towering at least a good head over her, "You know I can't decline a good challenge. Especially from a maiden as fair as you!"
"Then let's spar," Zelda skillfully flipped the sword in her hand before she grinned at him.
Again the steel of their blades was clashing artfully, a couple of sparks flying when the parries were performed just right. Zelda smiled, enjoying the feel of steel within her hands, holding and honing her skill into a powerful attack.
She continued to dance with Link, patiently watching for the changes in his patterns and movements. After sparring with him for so many years of her life she knew him. She knew his rhythm, his tricks and even the way he smirked when he thought he had trumped her.
She wondered if Link knew her pattern as well as she knew his, after all these years they had spent together. Or did he have more important things and conquests on his mind? Like Zero Suit Samus, who was openly bold, powerful and undeniably beautiful. Zelda instantly missed a parry and Link's practice blade sliced a hole on the arm of her blood-red tunic.
Her sword clattered to the ground nosily as she grabbed her arm and cursed. For a moment Link froze not sure of what happened before he dropped his weapon and came to her, "Whoa, Zel are you okay? What happened? I didn't think that was going to happen…"
Zelda glanced at the red streak across her bare arm, "I'm fine Link, I just…lost my concentration for a second. I've had far worse cuts."
"Damn it Zel!" Link never raised his voice when he was upset, but he did have an intimidating growl, "Not concentrating is the same as not thinking! I probably could have hurt you a whole lot worse."
"Goddesses, I'm sorry Link, I…" Zelda shook her head and glared at the floor, "I just need to clear my head."
"Well we're not gonna keep sparring if your heads not on straight."
"I can do it, just give me another shot."
"Not today, Tomboy."
There was a swift knock on the door. Link and Zelda both froze like exhibits in a wax museum, "Hey Link, is everything okay in there?"
The doorknob was starting to turn. Zelda and Link exchanged spooked glances. The princess shoved him toward the door as Link stumbled toward it gracelessly. Regaining a bit of his wit, Link asked, "…Uh, Ike, is that you?"
"Yeah, its me. Is everything okay there? I was passing by and I heard a lot of ruckus. Need help?"
Link glanced back at Zelda, who he knew was mouthing curse words. Ike walking in here and seeing the Princess Zelda in the garbs of a commoner and a dueling sword in hand was not a good thing. As Ike was starting to open the door, Link suddenly popped out in front of him, his torso half way emerged from the door frame.
"Hey Ike," Link replied as pleasantly as possible.
"Hey there…Is…everything okay?" Ike asked glancing at him skeptically.
"Yeah, what makes you think otherwise?"
"I thought I heard loud clamor coming from your sparring room," Ike replied arms crossed as he tried to glimpse over Link's head.
Ike blinked owlishly when the hero of time suddenly slid in front of him, blocking any view into the room, "Yeah, I just dropped my sword…and metal hitting the ground…loudness!" Link laughed weakly.
"So there's nothing going on?" Ike asked arching an eyebrow, "I'd say I believe you, but you look kind of…defensive."
"Nope…nothing, but thanks for stopping by, Ike, I really do appreciate the concern."
Just as Link was about to slam the door closed, Ike stuck his steel-toed boot in the door frame, "Hey, well then I'll spar with you. I was in the mood to find a sparring buddy, and you're one of the few decent brawlers in this place."
Mentally, Link chose the strongest curse word in the Hylian tongue and repeated in over and over again in his head, "Well, sure, I'd love to take you on Ike…only I'm dead tired. Worked myself to death as usual, so no spar today."
For a brief second Link thought he saw Ike narrow his eyes. It must have been the trick of the lighting, "Damn. Well…that's too bad, now I'll have to find another victim to punish. But since you're done, I might as well use this training room."
Ike pushed the door completely open and strolled past Link. The hero of time felt his eyes grow wide with horror; no, no, no! Zelda was in there! And highly undignified in peasant clothes! If Ike saw her like that, then they were all done for.
"Ike! Wait! Ike!"
But when Link turned around, he saw no sign of Zelda. The hero of time peered farther in the room and the only thing he saw was Ike starting his warm-up stretches and both his and Zelda's discarded swords. As Link walked in the room, glancing around to spot Zelda, he couldn't find her.
As he glanced around the room seeing no trance of the Hylian princess, secretly he was impressed. It must have been all those years they played hide-and-seek together. Now he just had to find her and smuggle her out of here before Ike saw her.
"Link? What is it?" Ike peered at him curiously, stiffly rolling his head around his shoulder.
"Ah, nothing, I'm just gonna start cleaning up some of my equipment."
While Link took his time picking up the clutters of his and Zelda's training regiment, surreptitiously he checked around the room, trying to find his princess. He was trying to search every nook and cranny of the room without arousing Ike's suspicion.
But luckily for him, Ike looked as if he was already engaging in the more demanding aspects of his work out. He had lost blue tunic and already he was on the floor, grunting and counting out his one-handed push-ups. If Link wasn't in such a hurry to save Zelda, he probably would have watched in awe.
"Link!" he finally heard a soft whisper.
The green-clad hero trailed the sound until he found himself glancing inside of a large white bag where they stored their equipment. Inside was the princess curled up with all types of ropes, and other training instruments alongside of her. Her wide blue eyes stared up at him in wordless horror.
For a second Link wondered what the elders and leaders of Hyrule would do to him if they knew their princess was stowed away, jammed inside of an equipment bag. Link was sure that this offence was more than punishable by being beheaded.
Great, now what would he do? Try and haul Zelda out of there like she was indeed a bag of equipment! 'I bet the Goddesses are either really laughing over this little predicament, or they're wanting to kill me within any second…'
Link jumped when he realized Ike had strolled up beside him. The blue haired Crimean glanced at him with a small smile, "Find everything you need?"
"Yeah, I got everything," Link replied, hoping he was doing a good job at keeping cool.
Then Link felt his heart sink when Ike reached a hand inside of the equipment bag. There was a muffled squeak, which made Ike freeze immediately. It was reflexes as Link quickly grabbed his hand to stop him from reaching any further. Ike paused, glancing at Link in shock as the blond-haired hero glanced up at him, "I can't let you do that."
Suddenly Ike became angry, his eyes narrowing, "What in the hell was that I just felt? And what in the hell was that noise! "
'Well,' Link thought, 'It was a good run while it lasted.'
Ike ripped his hand out of Link's grasp and opened the bag, but before he could, Zelda rose out of it, mustering up the last of her dignity she could. She stood tall and straight as she always did, but this time, she glared at him harshly. It was a rare moment indeed as Ike seemed to have forgotten himself for a moment and stared back at her wordlessly.
"That would be my face you just touched…" she replied scathingly, "Even if in a bag, I do not enjoy the coarse touch of a ruffian."
Ike stared at her, still not being able to say anything on the subject matter. He just still appeared too shocked, as if he couldn't honestly believe Princess Zelda had hopped up out of the equipment bag and had insulted him.
"Link, could you assist me please?" Zelda asked, trying to be as regal as possible.
Wordlessly Link helped the princess out of the bag, wondering whether Zelda was really brave or just extremely stupid trying to pull off this ploy. She spared one last glance at Ike, gave a curtsy and power-walked toward the door like it was nobody's business.
Link figured Ike must have returned to his senses because in half a second he sped past Zelda and blocked her exit. The really tough matter though, was trying to read Ike's expression. Was his face more furious? Or more victorious?
"You're not going anywhere, Missy," Ike replied, his eyes narrowed and his mouth drawn into some semblance of a smile.
The stolid, façade of the serene princess was broken as Zelda's face gave, surprise glittering across her face. Suddenly the glower of Ike's leer was too strong and she stepped away from him as she came to clutch Link's hand tightly. She missed the way Ike's smile disappeared from his face.
"Oh no, oh no…What it…what if everyone from Hyrule finds out…" Zelda cried to Link desperately, "What if the council…what if…"
"Hey, its going to be all right, Tomboy," Link reassured her, lightly fiddling with her cocoa ponytail.
Ike seemed to bound off of the wall and approach at that motion, "Would one of you explain what's going on…and with this…?"
He gestured toward Zelda.
Link sighed, "Look, if I tell you, will you promise not to tell a word of it to anyone else?"
"Well it depends on how severe this situation is…But if you do not inform me, then I will."
The hero of time muttered a curse under his breath before he stared at Ike, "Well, its definitely not important enough to go tell anyone else outside of our training centre. Look the truth is…"
Ike raised an impatient eyebrow.
"…Zelda's a tomboy and she doesn't like wearing pretty dresses, tiaras and make up. She also likes sword-fighting."
The suspicious glint in Ike's eyes quickly died away. For a moment his face was completely blank as he glanced between Link and Zelda. The Greil commander lowered his head as the fringe of his blue bangs fell over his eyes.
Zelda glanced at Link worriedly before she glanced back at Ike. Oh great, now he was shaking. Just as she was about to take a step toward him, Ike threw his head back with loud, rancorous laughter filling the air. His dark eyes were mirthful as he stared at the princess, laughing with true delight.
The princess felt her face burn as she clenched her fists angrily. He was laughing at her! How dare he! This blow hurt worse than any sneer or mocking insult he had made at her, because this time, he was laughing at the real Zelda. He was laughing at the tomboy underneath the layers of pretty garments and makeup.
"So this is the real Princess Zelda, huh?" Ike asked, the charming smile hadn't faded from his face yet, "So then who has been walking around in the white and purple gown? Speaking with stuffy words and placid smiles?"
"That's not me," she growled, "That's who I must be in the public's eye. This is me, not Princess Zelda, just Zelda. And if you don't shut your mouth, I will come over there and ring your neck, you awful man!"
"Ooh," Ike smirked, "the real Zelda has a temper. Heh, so you think dressing like a male commoner will…do what for you?"
Zelda gasped, her face growing red with anger, "Male commoner! Why how dare you, you arrogant—"
"I thought I told you she doesn't like dresses, Ike," Link replied, the smile faded as his voice became serious, "Can we trust you to keep this?"
"Sure," Ike shrugged listlessly, "I don't even see how this is even a big deal. If Zelda thinks she's a boy, then let her do that."
Ike turned to leave but then he froze, slowly spinning to face them with a smirk. The longer Zelda stayed in his presence the less and less of Ike she was liking. The blue haired merc raised his index finger, "I'll keep Zelda's juicy, naughty secret in exchange for a fee."
Zelda was about to make a go at Ike but Link held her back, "Name your terms."
Ike glanced at Zelda, "You said you like to play with swords, right?"
The princess bit the inside of her mouth to keep the stronger curse words at bay, "If you mean I practice with blades, then yes I do."
"Everyday at noon, you'll train with me, and I'll teach you the proper way to use a sword. I'll teach you until I think you have adequate skills of your own." Ike replied, "The day you break that offer, is the day I break my word. How is that?"
Zelda was about to protest, and tell if that he was an insufferable man and he needed to know the world didn't involve around his blue head, but Link stepped in, "Sure, that's very generous. Thanks Ike."
"Of course, later Link. Zelda. Don't be late, or I'll make your training harder. But feel free to come as both personas: As the princess or the commoner."
"You're kidding me!" Peach exclaimed, her eyes wide and her mouth gaping, "He blackmailed you into training with him!"
"Yes," Zelda groaned, feeling less and less regal each second she told the story, "I told you he was a terrible man!"
"My, how odd," Peach frowned sipping her tea, "He's such a sweetheart, I'm guessing he's only like this around you then? I mean yesterday I asked him to help me flour for one of my pranks, and he found some, no questions asked."
"Hmm," Zelda narrowed her eyes, staring into the reflection of her lemonade, "So how's…er, the prankings going?"
"Oh," Peach grinned maliciously for someone with round blue eyes and a heart-shaped face, "Its going to be awesome! I just have to 'lure' my target to the spot, and then the fireworks begin."
"Lure? How do you lure?" Zelda blinked.
Peach chuckled, "Zelda my dear, you're still quite naive about the opposite sex! I have the perfect outfit, and the shoes, I just can't believe I'm going to wear those damn five-inch heels. They're murder on your feet!"
With a sigh Zelda glanced at a nearby clock, "Well if you excuse me Peach, its time I had my first session with…Ike."
Peach suddenly beamed, "Have fun Zelda! Be sure not to stare at his gorgeous face too long! And pinch that tight butt of his once for me!"
Zelda quickly left, with her face blotched in a red blush. Not only did Zelda hear that, but a couple of the nearby Smashers as well. She was lucky enough to have Ness and Lucas peer up at her cluelessly as they paused in the middle of their game of Jacks. However Samus and Link were sitting nearby, downing a cool glass of water.
Zelda really wished she had missed the way Samus's eyes sparkled knowingly or the Link's narrowed. She didn't wait a second longer, and hurriedly jetted out of the café, somehow being able to keep a nice, princessly stroll.
By Ike's instruction they were to meet in the same training room where the spectacle had taken place. She had walked in with the door closed behind her softly. Ike was already waiting, swinging at and parrying an invisible foe.
He slowly turned around to face Zelda upon entry, "Ah, I see you've brought the commoner today, the tomboy, am I right?"
This time Zelda was clothed in a form-fitting wine-colored tunic, dark stockings and customary boots. And like all her other training days, her hair was pulled back into a single ponytail. She glowered at Ike, stepping across the room to begin their workout together.
"Whatever you believe," she snapped, "Are we going to begin, or are you going to analyze the unruly princess a bit more?"
Ike grinned, "An unruly princess, huh? Then I don't think 'Missy' is going to work for you anymore…"
The blue-haired mercenary picked up two swords, one she recognized as Ragnell and the other slim, wimpy-looking blade must have been for her. He tossed it to her and looked a bit impressed when she caught and flipped the weapon within her hands.
"Today I just want to test your skill level," he replied, "I'm not going to try to hurt you…yet…But I will try to land blows, I want you to do likewise."
"Right," Zelda nodded her head and fell into her stance.
Ike smirked and before they began their battle, they honored each other by touching theirs swords together. Link had told her it was a sign of respect swordsmens and swordswomen should engage in before any type of duel. With the formalities out of the way, they began to spar, to dance and knead their rhythms and patterns into intricate attacks.
Sparring Link and Ike was completely different as Zelda had come to know quickly. Link was much quicker and the tempo of his blows were much faster. However Ike's blows were much more thought out and stronger, causing her to even stagger a couple of times. It was as if each move he made was for the sole purpose of exploiting a weakness.
"Hmm," Ike grunted as he parried a blow of hers, "Not bad, not bad at all."
"Admit it," Zelda breathed, pushing her blade against his, "I'm far better than you originally thought."
"I concede," Ike grinned, his eyes flickering dangerously, "…Are you trying to out brawn me, princess?"
"Possibly," Zelda leaned forward, pushing her weight along with her movement, "…What are you going to do about it?"
At the usher of her challenge, an incomprehensible glint sparked within the mercenary's dark eyes as a new emotion appeared upon his face. Their swords were deadlocked one moment and then the next Zelda felt herself being forced backwards as if she weighed nothing. She gasped, now trying her hardest to force Ike in the opposite direction, but she soon found her effort useless.
With little grace, Zelda soon found herself floored, rear connecting with the wooden floor of the room. Above her Ike stood, smirking arrogantly, "Rule number one, princess. Never adjust your style. Always stick to what works for you. If your strength is that you're faster than me, then use it, but definitely don't try to out muscle a powerhouse, because then you're stepping into my territory of strength. "
Ike offered Zelda a hand up, but the princess rose on her own two feet. The princess ignored his quiet chuckle of amusement as she regained her stance, glaring at him challengingly, "What are you doing? Get your sword ready. Let's do this again."
"Hmm," the corner of Ike's lips lifted and then he charged at the awaiting Zelda.
"Let's play a game," Ike said, watching the way Zelda's eyes glowed during their duel, "To make things a bit more…interesting."
"What?" she grunted.
"Everytime I manage to land a blow," Ike smirked, "you have to answer one of my questions."
"And vice versa?" she said through her teeth, swiftly dodging a blow of his.
"Okay then," Zelda replied.
The second she gave her consent, it seemed that a hidden strength Ike had been hiding burst forth. The grin on his face grew only darker as his determination grew more concentrated. Zelda gasped as she found herself barely able to parry his blows, when had he become this quick!
Zelda gasped the second Ike broke through one of her patterns and tapped her shoulder. For a second the blue haired hero lightened up, "Favorite color?"
"…Red," Zelda grunted, continuing her dance around him.
"Red? And yet all you wear is purple," Ike continued fending off her sword.
"The Hylian advisors think only harlots wear dresses of crimson, purple is a refined colored, more befitting of their princess," she replied.
Ike actually laughed, a warmth in his eyes she hadn't seen before, "Really?"
Again Ike changed up his tactics and his sword grazed her arm, "How long have you been using a sword?"
"That certainly isn't proper princess behavior. What does the Hylian advisors think about that?"
"Those old windbags don't know about it. As a child I would sneak out of the castle and spar with Link. The only difference was, back then I was far better than the hero of time."
Ike chuckled, and he nearly burst out laughing, "As a child you were better than Link!"
Zelda grinned smugly, "At everything: horse riding, swimming, running, archery, and even arm wrestling."
Suddenly Ike broke into a beam, "Well, well, who knew the refined princess was a little wildfire?"
Then Ragnell found a hole in Zelda's pattern and the golden blade tapped her shoulder, "Ever been drunk before, Wildfire?"
Wildfire? Just where did that nickname come from? Well, it would explain why he'd think she'd been drunk before. Her face paled, "What! Absolutely not! What type of woman do you think I am!"
"Just checking, don't get your stockings in a knot, princess."
Zelda grinned triumphantly as her sword broken a pattern in Ike's scheme, she tapped his chest.
"What's your favorite color?"
"Believe it or not, red."
"Hmm…I wouldn't believe it, with all the blue you wear."
"It brings out my eyes."
Zelda felt her eyes grow wide at such an answer. She slowly raised her hand to her mouth and clamped it shut. She knew she was losing a futile battle and she burst out in a fit out laughter. He had sounded so serious saying that! But when she glimpsed at him, a mischievous smirk appeared on his face.
Who knew, the strapping, tall swordsmen had a sense of humor. Zelda's laughter died down when she felt the Ragnell tap her shoulder. She blinked up at Ike who took his turn to laugh. Then that dark glimmer that she was growing to suspect, had returned in those eyes of his.
Ike grinned devilishly, already Zelda knew she didn't want to answer this question, "Boxers or briefs?"
This time Zelda completely dropped her guard as her face exploded in a shade of crimson, "WHAT!"
Ragnell tapped her shoulder again, "Well, that's another question you've got to answer Wildfire, and they're probably going to get more ornery from here out."
Zelda hesitantly put up her guard, trying not to focus on the gloating smile on Ike's face, or the way his eyes seemed to glow; the arrogance of this man! Asking her, a female such a crude question! She suddenly couldn't meet his eyes as she turned her face away, "I…I…I won't answer such an indecent question!"
"My, who knew the headstrong princess Zelda was a coward, I wonder what—"
"B-boxers," she said through her teeth, her face flushing an impossible shade of red.
Again Ike burst out into that rare show of mirth, a side of him she still wasn't accustomed to seeing. Zelda glowered as a multitude of Hylian swears and crude gestures came to mind. When his guard was down, she flicked his shoulder; it was time to return the embarrassment upon him, "Do you wear boxers?"
The blue haired merc laughed, looking nowhere near embarrassed, but more among smug, "Yep. It's the only way to go."
The pictures Zelda was staring to form, after Ike's admission, in her mind were highly unwelcome, enjoyable, but unwelcome. She would have to remember to tell this dab of information to Peach. She could only imagine the types of comments Peach would spew about this. Some extremely funny, and other probably more than blush-worthy.
"Ah, that reminds me, your second question," Ike began, "How many men have you kissed…not including your father or any relatives."
If possible Zelda's face grew even redder. Every second it was growing harder and harder to ignore that insufferable smirk on his face, "These questions are rather intrusive…"
"Here's an easy solution, then don't get hit. Now spill, princess."
"I…I…" she must have been cherry by now, and her voice came in a soft whisper as she could no longer meet Ike's eyes, "…one…"
"Only one?" His voice sounded puzzled, disbelieving, but Zelda didn't have enough courage to look up at him, especially after her confession, "Then you definitely are a tomboy. Who?"
"You haven't hit me again!" Zelda glowered.
Then his sword tapped her shoulder. It took all his strength not to break out into laughter, "Now tell me who, Wildfire?"
Zelda felt like she couldn't be any more embarrassed, "…Link…"
Then she grinned as her sword grazed his shoulder. It was worth it all to see Ike glower, "Tell me something embarrassing that happened to you recently."
She must have hit the jackpot because she actually caught a sign of a light blush gliding over the tan skin of his face, "What?"
The princess grinned, "Well, Ike, don't keep a lady waiting. Spill."
Ike furrowed his brow as he continued to clash blades with Zelda, "Recently, huh?"
"Then I'd have to say it was…the moment I met you."
Zelda nearly lost the grip over her blade, "What! Why do you say that! There was nothing embarrassing about it at all!"
"Well…" Ike cleared his throat before he continued, "Compared to everyone else, I felt underdressed. Marth was wearing his white, cleanest armor, I noticed even Link had on a flashy golden tunic, and the only thing I could find at the moment was a worn red cape and my most tattered tunic."
"But why would it matter," Zelda frowned, not realizing neither of them were sparring anymore.
Then Ike glanced away from the floor and straight into her eyes, "…Tell me princess, what man would like to look like a peasant standing before a goddess."
"Wha-?" Zelda blinked, her eyes going wide.
With that, he exited the room, not looking back once. Zelda blinked and stood there until her face filled with a dark crimson color. After his confession it was then she realized that his eyes weren't black, they were the deepest shade of cerulean she had ever seen.
Stay around for the second, 'n' final half! :) And review! Sharing isn't caring. REVIEWING is caring!