Time for another oneshot! I had an idea for this the moment I arrived at Papuchia Village. It's taken me forever to actually sit down and write it, but I finally did it! Be warned that this story takes place after Spirit Tracks, and as such it has spoilers in it. I don't know if Tetra is exactly Zelda's grandmother, but the game made a number of references that the current cast may only have been two generations after Wind Waker's. Plus, if it were any more than that, think about it: would Niko still be alive? And Linkbeck III's grandfather was Linebeck, so it makes sense! With that in mind, I think that Zelda is Tetra's granddaughter. At any rate, review if you liked it, thought it could be improved, or just want to say something. Just review! And enjoy!
Vacation For Two
Castle Town was bustling, despite it being only morning, with people walking around, all with errands to complete. As some passed the train station, they nodded and smiled at a young boy who was hopping off a train. They all knew him as the newest Royal Engineer.
Link smiled and waved back to everyone that passed, and started towards the castle. Today, he had nothing going on. After he and Zelda had defeated Malladus and saved Hyrule, they had gone back to their lives before they had met each other, more or less. Link had taken up training with the Royal Guards to become a warrior to better prepare him for his role of hero, should another crisis ever occur. But there was another reason. After all that had happened with the Demon King and Cole, Zelda's Teacher had decided that the princess should be better protected whenever she left the castle. But instead of just more guards to escort her than she used to have, Zelda had argued him down to having a bodyguard instead. And since Link was training to be a warrior, she had asked him if he was interested in the role. He had gladly accepted.
Since then, his already busy life had gotten even busier. He still was an engineer on the side; he hadn't been Alfonzo's apprentice for years just to drop it all as soon as he became the Royal Engineer. But now he was a warrior in training, the princess's personal train driver, and her private bodyguard. He rarely ever got a day off between his warrior and engineer jobs, though he really hadn't been called in for bodyguarding yet. But he was glad he had it all to do; it kept him busy, so he was never bored. And he hated being bored. And Alfonzo was so proud of him now… Link's former Master had always been proud of him, and was so happy for Link when he was accepted as Hyrule's Royal Engineer. And then he saved the kingdom, become a warrior in the process, continued training with both fighting and engineering, and became the princess's private bodyguard as well as train driver… Not to mention best friend. Alfonzo hadn't known he could be more proud of his former apprentice, but he sure was now.
Link walked into the castle's courtyard and headed for the main gate. He wasn't the only one that was busy now; ever since Malladus's defeat, Zelda had had to catch up on all of her work she had missed while adventuring with Link. She virtually had no spare time of her own. And when trying to compare her schedule with Link's own, they had discovered that they had no free time together. And as a result, they really hadn't had a chance to just hang out together. They got small chances whenever Link was training at the castle and Zelda had a spare minute, but they hadn't really had a decent conversation since the Demon King's defeat. But today, Link was free to do whatever. And he was going to convince Zelda to spend some time together, even if it meant skipping whatever work she had and helping her do it all later.
As he passed through the gate, the guards nodded to him. He was pretty well known in the castle now; he was young, but an exceptional swordsman. He could defeat almost all of the Guards in combat, which was an almost impossible feat. He was also the princess's best friend, and as such, was granted access to pretty much anywhere he wanted in the castle. Link walked inside and headed straight for the stairs in front of him.
Walking into the throne room, he paused to look up at the stain glass picture at the far end of the room. It was of Tetra, a famous pirate and one of Hyrule's founders, and was also Zelda's grandmother. She and her best friend, a hero whose name he shared, along with her band of pirates, had found this land and started the kingdom. Out of the original eight founders, only Niko was still around today. He was over a hundred years old, but he was always full of stories. Link didn't know how long Niko had left, and he would sorely miss him when he was gone.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Link walked over to the great door on the right side of the throne, and pushed it open. Beyond it were a set of stairs, leading up to Zelda's private chamber. Link smiled, and climbed them. Stopping before her door, he heard music. Zelda often played the Spirit Flute to pass the time. He knocked quietly, and entered.
Zelda sat at her desk, her eyes closed, playing the Flute. Paperwork lay on her desk, but she paid it no mind, instead just playing a slow song on the instrument in her hands. Link walked forward and upon reaching her desk, knelt before her. Zelda stopped playing and opened her eyes. "How many times have I asked you not to do that, Link?"
Link grinned. "Too many, but it's customary to bow before the Royal Family. It's also polite, and I'm all about manners," he replied, exaggerating the last part a bit. Zelda smiled. "That may be, but you don't need to feel you have to bow before me. I think I can make an exception to my own best friend," she told him, signalling him to rise. Zelda had had many friends in the castle, but never one her own age. When she had had her body stolen by Cole, she had met Link and developed a close friendship with him. Since then, she had always wanted his company when she was lonely. But as he was so busy, he couldn't always be there. So she made do with her Teacher and carried on. Not that she didn't like her Teacher; she loved him, and he had taught her so much. He was like a caring grandparent. But Link was a different kind of friend, as Teacher could plainly see whenever she was around the boy. But he always said nothing, instead simply smiling and turning a blind eye to them. He was thinking he was getting too old for this job anyway.
Zelda walked around her desk and hugged her friend. She hadn't seen him in a week, even though he'd been at Castle Town everyday for the last three days to train. She had been missing his company so much… She didn't want to let go, but did anyway to look Link in the eye. "What are you doing here? Just making a delivery?"
"Nope, I have officially been given the day off," Link told her. "Apparently Alfonzo and Captain Russell decided that I need a break now and then. So I was wondering what you had planned today. I assume it's more paperwork?" he asked, glancing at her desk. Zelda shook her head. "As a matter of fact, Teacher told me just a few minutes ago that I was to not do any work today. He said that I had been working constantly since I came back from my 'mysterious disappearance', and that I was way ahead in my work. So, I have the day off too!" she exclaimed, a big smile on her face. "So what do you want to do today?"
Link glanced out the window, then back at her. "Well, remember the first time we went to Papuchia Village, and you said it would be great to come back sometime and swim once you had your body back?" The princess nodded, liking where this topic was going. "Well, it's a beautiful day out, and the day's so young yet, and I was wondering if… well…" Link faltered, looking down. This wasn't really easy to ask, in his opinion. Luckily, Zelda already had her answer. "Yes, let's go to Papuchia! It'll be so much fun! We can pack a lunch and everything, we could spend the entire day there!" she said excitedly. Link looked up and smiled at her. She could always read his mind, and never disagreed with him. Link went to the kitchens to get some food for the day. As he walked, he considered this rare coincidence. Or is it a coincidence we both have the day off? Are Alfonzo, Captain Russell and Teacher behind this…? While Link was getting food, Zelda changed into something more appropriate. She was not going to the beach in her dress; much too formal, and she'd get so hot!
By the time Link got back to her room, a basket full of food on his arm (the cooks were more than happy to spare some food for them), Zelda was ready to go. She was wearing a simple short-sleeved pink shirt, and a white skirt. Link simply stared at her, not saying anything. He hadn't seen her in anything other than her dress before, and man, did she look good! Zelda picked up the Spirit Flute and turned back to Link, who was still staring. She snapped her fingers in his face and he blinked. "What's up with you?" she asked, looking at him curiously. Link turned slightly red. "Nothing, you just… You look good today," he told her. She blinked, and turned to look out the window to hide her reddening face. "Thank you," she said. She then looked down at the Flute in her hands. "I want to take this, too. It might be nice to have some music while we're there." Link nodded. "Good idea," he said, taking the Flute and placing it in the basket. Zelda looked out the window again, at the ocean. They'd be there soon enough. "Right then, let's go!" she told Link, grabbing his arm and running out of her room.
As they walked out of the castle, the sun was already high in the sky, and it was already warming up. Link wiped his forehead. "I'm so glad I chose to wear my tunic today, and not my engineer's uniform," he said. "That black in this heat? I'd be roasted before we even got started!" Zelda laughed. Link could say anything and she'd laugh. He was just funny that way, she guessed. They arrived at the Spirit Train, and Link jumped into the control car. He was about to start the engine up, when he noticed Zelda still standing on the platform. "What's wrong?" he asked. Zelda looked down for a moment, then back at Link. "Um… Do you think you could, well, maybe… Show me how to drive? And maybe teach me so that I can?" Link blinked. The princess wanted to learn to drive the train? Then again, he probably shouldn't have been so surprised. Zelda was a feisty girl, always wanting to learn how to do things, and doing things on her own whenever she could. Of course she'd want to learn how to drive a train, given that she rode around in one so often. Link grinned and motioned for her to hop up into the car. Zelda smiled. "Really?" Link nodded, and she climbed into the car. And with that, they were off to Papuchia.
Half an hour later, they pulled up at Papuchia's station. Link had to admit, Zelda was a fast learner. She had listened to Link's explanations of what things did and how to use what when, and he had had her full attention the entire time. She could probably drive the train back to the castle just from that one lesson, Link thought. Maybe he'd let her try it out; if anything went wrong, he'd be right there anyway.
As they hopped onto the platform, Link looked around. The smell of the sea (and fresh fish), the gentle sounds of waves, the peaceful feeling the village brought… He loved it here. Zelda turned to him and grabbed his hand. "C'mon, let's go," she said excitedly, leading him to the beach.
As soon as they walked onto the sand, Link felt completely at peace. They had the entire day to themselves, just the two of them. He hadn't spent any time with Zelda since their adventure, and that had been with the princess's spirit. Now though, she had an actual body. Looking back, Link realized that he hadn't really ever spent more than an hour with Zelda in her body. There was taking her to the Tower of Spirits, and then taking her back to Hyrule Castle after they had fought Malladus. Those had really been the only times they had spent time together where they were both living. And driving her around didn't take long at all either. Plus, Teacher was always there as well, so it wasn't the same as being alone with her. Now, though… They had the entire day to do whatever they wanted.
Setting their stuff on the sand, Link looked around. They were the only ones on the beach. He turned to Zelda. "So, what first?" The princess grinned. "Swimming!" She started to take off her shirt, and Link quickly turned around. "Link, relax, I'm not changing here. I put it on before we left," he heard the princess say. He turned around to see Zelda wearing a dark pink swimsuit. Link blushed slightly. Obviously that's what she would have done; he had done the same. "Sorry, I should have known, I just-" Zelda cut him off, smiling. "I know, you were being a gentleman and giving a lady her privacy. But it's alright, you don't have to. I trust you." She looked at him, and he smiled back. He quickly pulled his tunic off, revealing a pair of dark green swim trunks. "Race you to the water!" He said, running towards the ocean. Zelda blinked, and ran after him. "Not fair, you had a head start!"
They ran into the water and splashed around for a few minutes, before heading out into deeper water to swim. They stayed in the water for hours until the sun was directly above them. They decided to come in, Zelda saying she was starting to get hungry. As they lay on the sand and dried, Zelda turned and looked at Link. The boy's eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply. She smiled. He looks so peaceful. She got up and opened the basket, pulling out a blanket and setting it on the sand. She then pulled out some fish, a few sandwiches, a pitcher of water, a pitcher of some sort of juice, and a pie. Zelda stared at all the food, making a mental note to thank the cooks when she got back. She then tossed a sandwich at Link, which landed on the boy's chest. "Time to eat; the sooner we finish, the sooner we can get back to having fun!" she exclaimed. Link opened his eyes and looked at the princess, then smiled and sat up. Taking the sandwich, he got up and sat on the blanket next to her, and began to eat.
When they had finally finished all the food, Link lay back down. He was stuffed, and the heat was making him tired. Maybe a little nap wouldn't hurt. Judging by the fact that Zelda laid down next to him and rested her hand on his, her eyelids heavy, she felt the same. Link smiled, and the two fell asleep.
About an hour later, Link woke up to the feeling of a burn forming on his bare chest. That wasn't all though. He looked down to see Zelda's head resting on his arm, still holding his hand. Link watched her sleep for a few moments, enjoying her peaceful face. He then gently woke her up; when she realized she had been on his arm, she turned red and stuttered out an apology. Link only laughed, and Zelda smiled upon seeing this. The two of them got up and raced back to the water.
A few hours later, they came out again to rest for a bit. As they sat on the sand, Zelda pulled the Spirit Flute out of the basket and handed it to Link. "Will you play something for me?" she asked. Link nodded, took the Flute, and thought for a moment. Deciding on a song, he started to play. Zelda recognized the song: it was a fairly popular song around Hyrule, usually played at events or gatherings. She smiled and started to sing along to the music. The two of them played the song for a few minutes, and when it ended they looked at each other and laughed. Link stood up and stretched. "I need to run around or something, my legs are getting stiff," he said. Zelda stood up as well. "Then that's what we'll do!"
Before Link could register what she had said, the princess had run off down the beach. Link laughed and ran to catch her. The two of them played for a while before they collapsed, panting hard. It maybe wasn't such a good idea to run around after they'd been swimming all day. A few minutes of lying on the hot sand later, they quickly got up and ran back into the water to cool off. There they spent some more time splashing each other and racing. As the sun dipped lower and lower into the sky, Link finally walked out of the water. He was so wrinkly, and the sun had tanned him to a very dark brown, with some red burns on his face and chest. Turning to look at Zelda as she came out of the water behind him, he saw that she looked the same. She looked very pretty with a tan, he noted.
He hadn't even noticed the time; the sun was getting very low, and the sky was turning orange. Zelda turned to stare out onto the water. "It's so beautiful," she whispered. Link nodded. The orange reflected off the water to create a very picturesque scene. Link slowly sank to the sand and crossed his legs. He knew that they should be heading back to the castle by now, but he wanted to watch the sunset. Besides, he was her private bodyguard: he had special exemptions. And Teacher wouldn't mind if Zelda got back late. Teacher liked Link, and thought he was very responsible for a boy his age.
Zelda sat down next to Link. Without really thinking, she rested her head on his shoulder. Link was surprised by this, and turned to look at her. Zelda realized what she was doing and quickly sat up. "I'm sorry, I don't know what I was doing," she told him quickly. Link, however, quietly replied, "It's alright," and gently laid her head back onto his shoulder. She smiled, and gently placed her hand in his. Link felt his face warm, but luckily his tan and burn covered his blush. The two of them sat watching the sunset for a few minutes, both being dried by the sun's last rays, until they stood up. "I don't want to go back," Zelda said quietly, looking out at the horizon to where Hyrule Castle was. "Today was so much fun."
Link smiled and gathered everything up. "So then, we'll just have to make sure we do it again soon, right?" Zelda turned to him, and nodded. "Right, we'll take another day off, and do something else. Maybe a trip to the Snow Realm to sled down the mountains," she said thoughtfully. Link laughed. "It's a deal."
Deciding to simply stay in their bathing suits, they tossed their clothes into the basket and walked back through the village. Link couldn't believe they had had the entire beach to themselves all day. As they boarded the Spirit Train, the last bit of the sun dipped beneath the horizon. As darkness fell, Link looked up and saw stars coming out. Today had been completely worth it. He smiled, and turned to Zelda. After telling her to drive them back to the castle, she squealed, gave Link a tight hug, thanked him repeatedly, and set off toward the castle.
Half an hour later, they pulled up to the station. Link couldn't believe that after only one lesson, Zelda had managed to drive the train almost perfectly back to the castle. Granted, she had missed a few horn signs, and forgot to slow down once (which she blamed all on the fact that it was dark, despite the train having a significantly bright light), but otherwise she did a good job. As they walked toward the castle, Link stopped and turned to face Zelda. "I'm glad we managed to get today off together. It was a lot of fun," he told her. She nodded. "It was so much fun! We have to do it again soon, alright?" Link smiled and nodded. He could not agree more. Zelda stepped forward and hugged her best friend. They stood there for a few moments, just holding each other, until they let go. "Make sure you come see me tomorrow after your training finishes, alright?" Zelda told Link. "Of course," he replied with a smile. With that, he handed her the basket, bid her goodnight and turned to walk back toward the Spirit Train. He couldn't wait to get back to Aboda and sleep. His duties started back up again tomorrow, but today was a nice change of pace. Link sighed, looking up at the stars. He couldn't wait for his next day off.
Hiding around the corner of a building a ways away from the pair, shrouded in shadow, stood Captain Russell, Teacher, and Alfonzo. The three watched the two kids embrace before the boy turned to walk back to his train, while the girl watched him go for a moment before turning and heading into the castle. Russell smirked. "Well, seems like a good day overall for the two of them. I believe we can call this plan a success."
Teacher nodded. "The princess has been so busy lately, a day off was just due for her. And Link has had his hands full with two titles to live up to." Alfonzo chuckled. "The boy's so committed, he values them both equally. Plus, anyone can be an engineer and a warrior. It takes a real talented kid to be both the Royal Engineer and the Royal Bodyguard. And that's just it: he's a kid, yet he pulls both of those off." Teacher nodded. "And being so close with the princess all the time, I think it's inevitable that something will happen between them."
Russell shook his head. "I'm surprised nothing like that happened today! I mean, they had the entire day to themselves! We even made sure the beach would be clear for them!" Alfonzo glanced at Russell, and said, "But how exactly do we know that nothing like that did happen today? We weren't there, were we? That's sort of the whole point of being alone. As it was, we weren't there, so we don't know what happened today. But by the looks of that hug, I'm willing to bet something happened."
Russell nodded. "Yeah, you're right. All they needed was a bit of a push. At least this'll prompt both of them to start taking some time off. Constant working… Who'd want to do that?"
As the three of them walked toward the castle, Teacher said, "So, anyone else notice Link had only swim trunks on when he left?" Alfonzo facepalmed. "Guess he's training in his engineer's uniform tomorrow, until he gets his tunic back from Princess Zelda. Assuming she has it, of course." Russell smirked. "Train in that hot outfit? Oh, I'll make him work tomorrow. He'll be roasted before we even get started!" As they entered the castle, they all laughed.