A/N: This is a drabble I wrote quite a while ago for the 30_kisses challenge over at lj, and I only recently was reminded of its existence (you know who you are! ;)). So I thought I might as well put it up at ff . net for others' enjoyment.
A Warrior's Fallibility
I've never seen another human being maneuver his body to the degree that he is able. It's like a dance—a bloody, deadly dance of intricate skill and intuitive motion. The weapon he uses morphs into a silver blur as it arcs and cuts through the air; steel clangs and reverberates throughout the yard. I watch, enthralled, as he wields the weapon with such grace and agility that I am breathless with excitement and a touch of anxiety. Adrenaline courses through me; my palms become damp; his blonde hair is a gold coin winking in the sunlight as the dance progresses and eventually ends, with him as the victor.
I am not surprised at the result, yet I still feel anxious. Perhaps it had nothing to do with the end result, but instead with an overwhelming and heady sensation of fascination at who he is.
He is Link.
A warrior, a savior, a man with no rival in swordsmanship; it is said he can best the most skilled on the worst of his days. Link's talent is so great that it seems to hypnotize his opponents until they become utterly entranced; they cannot move their bodies but are instead too fascinated with his dance. And before they blink twice, they are unmanned and just another loser in his eternal string of victories.
I watch as Link wipes the sweat off of his brow and laughs slightly. He shakes the hand of his opponent, who does not give eye contact but is instead glaring at the ground, his shoulders hunched like a whipped dog. The loser stalks off while Link merely smiles secretively. Sheathing his sword, he is forced to fend off congratulations and hearty backslaps from his male peers. They laugh and joke and act as if it is they all collectively won the match, as if their mere presence prompted Link's victory.
I remain silent and absent from the proceedings. I merely gaze at the way his hair falls in his eyes and how he absently brushes strands away every few seconds, and the way he smiles and laughs and the way his muscles ripple with each movement he makes. I hide in the shadows until I feel ready to reveal my existence.
When a cloud covers the sun and dampens the shine of his hair, I remove myself from the shadows into reality. Instantly, I am recognized. The men hush and make their bows before silently backing away from Link. Link, as usual, does not bow but merely smiles. Smiles and smiles that grin that has so many definitions that it would take centuries to discover them all.
He acknowledges me with a tilt of the head and a murmured, "Zelda."
I smile slightly. "That was certainly an extraordinary display of your talent," I say.
He shrugs, cocky as ever. "Not too many challenges around here."
I step closer and poke him in the chest. "Ah, but," I ask, "are there absolutely no other challenges? Or have you merely not been looking enough?"
He's nonplussed for a moment as he gazes at my pointed finger, aimed at his heart. Stepping away from me, he smiles a smile that is lopsided with confusion. "Zelda, I must admit, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." He smiles to discomfit me. It doesn't work.
I smile back, but this is a smile of unspoken secrets and sly thoughts. Discovering that his own smile yields no effect, Link's gaze begins to dart side to side, looking for aid amongst his fellow males. Unfortunately, they are too fascinated with the situation to take interest in his unease. Eventually, his gaze darts back to me.
I step so close that our bodies graze each other. He freezes. I walk my fingers up his chest to his shoulder. He stiffens at my daring. Standing on my tip-toes, I whisper, "Are you invincible?"
He sucks in a breath.
And then I kiss him.
It's light and quick, but a kiss nonetheless. I tangle my fingers in his hair, bring his head down, and kiss him sloppily and quite enthusiastically. Before he can respond, though, I abruptly pull away and step back. Licking my lips, I grin like a fool.
The expression on his face is truly priceless: shock, awe, slight arousal, more shock, discomfiture, bewilderment, vulnerability. All flit across his face and flicker in his eyes in mere seconds.
"Zelda..." he stammers. I see the beginnings of a blush in his cheeks.
I can feel the stunned gazes of the men around me, shocked at the behavior of their normally proper princess. I laugh. "Oh, Link, you are a fool."
I kiss his cheek, then. His face turns cherry red.
I ask again, "Are you invincible, Link?"
The normally cocky warrior is mute at the advances of one woman. Thought to be unbeatable, he has been defeated by a mere slip of a female.
Ah, how the mighty have fallen.