Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or locations, etc.

The past couple of days had been rough, mentally and physically, and frankly, Link was in dire need of a bath. He knew this, Epona knew this, and apparently, Navi knew this too, as she kept lingering by his ear and whispering directions to the lake. He had brushed her away at first, but after the fifth or sixth time he had given up and urged Epona into a gallop, leaving the tiny fairy spinning in the dust.

But he knew she was right, and soon enough he was reigning the mare in as he surveyed Lake Hylia. The water was a stunning blue, a direct mirror of the cloudless sky above. Just looking at the inviting water was making him long to discard his sword and shield, tear off his tunic and dive into the water. Even as he dismounted Epona, he could feel sweat trickling down his back. He grimaced.

He set his sword down gently and then placed his shield next to it. After gesturing to Navi to turn around, he peeled off clothes and raced into the water. Even though she was only a fairy, he didn't want her to see him in anything less than fully clothed. But as he sunk under the water, thoughts about her, and everything else dissipated, follow by a deep sense of relaxation. The water was cool, but not overly so, and as he resurfaced, he found that he was considerably more comfortable now. He began to scrub himself clean, then ran his fingers through his hair. He dunked his head back under and vigorously scrubbed at his scalp. He came back up, gasping for air. He was facing out towards the rest of the lake, and he could see fish leaping farther out.

He turned around, looking for Epona, hoping to make sure she was content, when he noticed movement in a nearby tree. He crouched in the water. His sword was too far away to get to in time, and he was virtually defenseless. But then a blue clad leg swung down from one of the branches.

"Relax, hero, it's only me up here," came a voice. Link tried to peer up through the leaves, but to no avail, for the foliage was too dense. He had his answer soon enough as the figure dropped onto the ground silently.

"Sh-sheik!" Link said, sinking into the water. He could feel his face heating up. He hated the way Sheik managed to just appear out of nowhere, and in the process chase off a couple more years of the hero's life span. Sheik raised an eyebrow as he looked over at the blushing hero. He was hiding himself in the water, although he was failing rather miserably at it. Sheik turned away from the embarrassed bather, pulling his harp out.

"As I said before, relax! It's nothing I haven't seen before," Sheik said loudly, inspecting the instrument in his hands. It really needed a good cleaning. Link sputtered from his place in the lake. Sheik was standing between him and his tunic, and he was not about to strut out of the lake butt naked with him around.

"Regardless of whatever you may or may not have seen before, you still need to leave! I'm bathing here," said Link. He was mildly flustered. Well, he was mildly flustered whenever Sheik showed up, but even more so now that he was separated from his clothing. He was now crouching in the water even more, the slight waves lapping at his chin. He watched as Sheik plucked experimentally at his harp, then shined up the side of it with his sleeve. Of his skintight, revealing outfit. Oh boy. He definitely couldn't get out of the water now.

Sheik turned around suddenly, harp gone. He looked down at a pink faced Link, who was looking absolutely horrified about something. He was never this shy, not even when he had to have sensitive wounds tended too. But what would make him so nervous? Oh, that's what. Sheik smirked underneath his face cloth.

"Sheik!" the hero cried, making a face, "Go away! Give me privacy!" He sounded all for the world like a child who had decided he was old enough to bath himself. Feeling an uncharacteristic surge of playfulness, Sheik decided to tease him a little.

"What's the matter, hero? You've been in there long enough. Are you having problems? Do you need any help?" He said, moving as though he intended to undress and plunge into the water himself. Link's eyes almost popped out of his head.

"No! Stop! Go away!" Link shouted, backing up into deeper water. His face was ablaze, and he could feel the heat emanating from it. He could hear the warrior laughing from the bank.

He felt silly, hiding from Sheik like this. What was the matter with him anyways? Ever since their encounter at Death Mountain Crater, Link had found himself indulging in thoughts he only ever reserved for the princess. Thoughts that were best had in the dead of night when one was totally alone, and preferably not in the presence of the person who those thoughts were about! Plus, he had a sinking feeling Sheik knew. Well, he had an annoying habit of knowing everything else, so Link wouldn't really be surprised if he knew why Link was blushing and damning himself simultaneously.

But even as he stood there, sure he was absolutely pruny by now, Sheik turned around and with one smooth movement, had climbed back into the tree.

"All right, hero, you get your wish. Come on out now, I promise I won't look," he called out. After a moment, the sound of a twanging string resounded and Link knew Sheik was preoccupied. He slowly walked out of the water, carefully watching the tree Sheik had disappeared into. Link quickly pulled his clothes back on and had only just sheathed his sword when he felt eyes on him. He turned quickly, but it was only Sheik, now only a few feet away. His eyes were unreadable, and Link really had no idea how long he'd been standing there. But even as Link thought this, Sheik suddenly moved forward, pressing his face close to Link's. Link could smell him; he smelled like fresh air and deku nuts. As Link swallowed nervously, Sheik leaned in more.

"Next time hero, give me some notice if anything elseā€¦ comes up."

And with that, he was gone, and Link was alone on the bank, with only the resounding bang and smokey scent of Sheik teleporting left for company.

And there you go! Let me know what you think?