Woohoo for my first story here! This is the first part of a two-shot (hopefully). Before we begin, there are a few things you might want to know.
First, the disclaimer. I own nothing. Hyrule and all inhabitants belong to Nintendo. (Except Jiko, a minor fan-character. He is, however, a Twili, so technically his race also belongs to Nintendo. But I digress.)
Secondly, Link is mute in this. Along with various other elements of the story, there may be parts you don't hold to be true about the Legend of Zelda (some I don't even believe- Link isn't usually mute in my stories), so I apologize if something doesn't match up with your opinions. However, on that note, you might find that he 'speaks' a little differently. Further, all of his 'speech' (sign language) is in italics.
Thirdly, this little story takes place around a year after TP, and the pairing is Midna/Link. Don't like? Look elsewhere. I'm also assuming they're both around 18 years old, though I honestly have no idea about the aging processes of the Twili.
If you have any further questions, put them in your review -hinthint- or PM me.
Midna couldn't keep pretending to herself anymore. She was irrecoverably, irresponsibly, and irrefutably attracted to the Hylian Hero-boy, and there was nothing she could do about it. Her teasing, her attempts at distancing herself had failed miserably, even when they had still been fighting to save the world. She had tried to save both of them a world of pain by breaking the mirror of Twilight when she'd left (well, of course, that was only one reason that she did it), but that bothersome princess of Hyrule (Midna smiled softly at the thought of her) had helped the Hero find a different way into the Twilight Realm, one that, though successful, showed no signs of being a two-way trip. Neither she nor Link knew the spell Zelda had used to get him there, so at the moment, there was no return.
Not that, to be truthful, Midna really wanted him to go back. Secretly she was glad that Link was trapped here. With her. For an indeterminable amount of time. Of course, sometimes she felt guilty about feeling that way, but the stupid boy had come here himself, after all. When she'd asked him what in Hyrule possessed him to leave his pretty farm girl to come make a very long visit to the Twilight Realm, he only given that half smile of his and signed that the world of Twilight had much more to explore; he'd already been everywhere in Hyrule. Of course, then she had distorted his words to something perverted and laughed as he blushed and shook his head at her, used to her antics. Even her sharp tongue (which she regretted using as often as she didn't) hardly affected him anymore. He knew her too well, and that frightened her. That frightened her quite a lot.
Admittedly, he had been useful. Coming back to the throne after someone (a certain annoying usurper) tried to turn you into an imp and dethrone you (well, he succeeded but luckily not permanently) was more difficult that one would expect. First, there were a few who had thought to benefit from Zant's rule, those who had been spared being cursed and turned into monsters. They were only sullenly back under her command. There had also been a couple of rebellious uprisings by those who had decided that they didn't want the power to rest in a monarch after what had happened.
The Hylian was surprisingly capable in dealing with all kinds of strife. Link didn't even have to draw a sword to silence fidgety uprisings. At council meetings, one stare of the intense blue gaze he commanded shut down every greedy idiot that thought to speak. Instead of fighting off the ragtag bunches that had used to try and storm the castle (which he was certainly capable of doing), Link had walked into their camps of his own accord and worked among their people, helping them with their petty grievances wordlessly and without complaint or pay until they forgot what they were so angry about. He went through the town and helped rebuild walls and homes and shops, much like Zelda had described him doing in the letter to Midna she had sent with him when he'd first arrived.
Soon half of the realm was whispering of the strange foreign man with the blue eyes that was Midna's personal assistant. The rumors varied in length and truthfulness. Some said he was a spirit conjured by her vast powers, which she found quite flattering. Others said he was a monster she had tamed to her bidding. Still others guessed that he was one of the 'light beings', banished to the Twilight Realm for some unknown reason. Some thought that he he was merely an oddity left behind by the damage Zant had caused. A few even whispered in the castle halls that he was Midna's personal servant, her lover. She always laughed at those and tried to gage Link's expression when he heard someone call him that. Oddly enough, there was never any reaction that she could see; his face just went blank.
Aside from all of that, however, Midna was glad to have him here. With him nearby, for some reason she felt more secure. Even his silent presence during a meal or during downtime was a comfort, which she just attributed to being so accustomed to him since they had traveled together for so long. She was forced to admit she was attached to the boy; she just didn't want to admit how much.
Something that both bothered her and worried her about his presence, however, was that they never mentioned the day she had broken the mirror. They sometimes spoke about the past, but usually only about the queer characters they had met, not the battles they had fought nor the hardships they had borne. She never brought up the mirror, and he never asked why she had broken it. Though she told herself she was only imagining it, it felt as though the topic was a sword hanging over their heads, dangling only by a thin thread.
Another thing that was worrying her currently was that Link never mentioned returning to Hyrule. He didn't say he wasn't going back, but he also didn't say he was. He had indicated to her that he didn't know how to get back, and that had been the end of it. He also didn't speak of his reasoning for coming in the first place, beyond that first and last time she had asked him about Ilia. Still, she couldn't help but feel rather guilty about it, and often asked him if he wanted her to help him research ways to reopen a temporary portal to the light realm. His response was usually a vague shrug and a quick self-dismissal of his person. She had felt content in the fact that she was at least offering him a way home, and tried not to think about it. She was kind of glad he didn't show any desire to go back. Not, at least, until this week.
It had been almost a year since she had reclaimed her throne, and almost eight months that Link had been here. Though it had been in the background for quite some time, these last couple of weeks the senators were starting to get uproarious; they wanted a queen, not a princess on their throne. By some absurd law she could only be a queen if she got married, making her husband the king. Midna found this absolutely ridiculous, and so she had been brushing off their attempts to pressure her into a choosing a suitor. Many of them only wanted the power that came with such a title and grabbed at the opportunity, thus making her even less inclined to choose a husband. She knew it was part of politics, but, as much as she hated to acknowledge it, she was a closet romantic and she had no desire to marry for status. However, they were finally starting to get louder in their complaints, and grudgingly, she started to look into it.
It was also these last two weeks, however, that Link had started acting oddly. Perhaps it had been going on longer, but she hadn't noticed until now. He rarely met her gaze when signing to her, and he fidgeted uncomfortably when she spoke of Hyrule. Six days ago, he had finally brought it up; he made references to wanting to return home. He said it- or motioned it- quite casually, seeming unaffected and apathetic about this decision. She'd felt his eyes on her, however, so she'd shrugged just as casually, saying that if he ever did decide to go home, she'd miss his useful glare but certainly not his manners. They'd both laughed awkwardly and dropped the conversation. However, for the rest of the week, he had asked her if she had ever done any research on portals, used phrases like 'when I return to Hyrule', and wondered about Zelda's health. She never really replied, though she had given him full access to the library and offered to help help him read, since he had trouble with it. He had yet to ask her, which she was grateful for, because honestly, she didn't know what she would do if he did find a way out. As she had finally accepted, she was fond of the boy, and she would miss him as much as she had missed him when she first left Hyrule after their battle with Ganon.
Thus, Midna was left in a rather foul mood. The thought of Link leaving disturbed her, and the fact that it disturbed her disturbed her too. She didn't like this feeling of uncertainty that rose in her every time she looked at him. She liked being in control of things. Her heart wasn't supposed to flutter when his blue gaze rested on her. Her mouth wasn't supposed to smile every time his did. Her eyes were not supposed to follow him everywhere he went in a room. It was highly irregular. Instead of focusing on what her senators were blabbing about during meetings, her mind drifted to the blond-haired blue-eyed boy sitting at her side. (Luckily she'd decreed that the Hero was allowed to go anywhere he wanted, so he attended the meetings with her and caught her up when they were over, after teasing her for dozing off.) She found the weirdest excuses to touch him, talk to him, or even look at him. It was absolutely galling.
Most of all, she didn't like wondering what the Hero thought of her. Was she still that unattractive imp he'd met all that time ago? Was she an annoying friend that he felt duty-bound to help? Was she just an excuse to explore a new place? Why did she care what he thought, exactly? Uncertainty set her on edge.
Therefore, she'd come up with a brilliant plan five days ago- avoid the Hero. She internally winced as she thought about that. Childish perhaps, but what other option did she have? If she didn't start distancing herself now, it would hurt as much as it had the first time when he was gone. (Not that it had hurt too much. Only like a part of her had been torn off. Like a limb. A completely useless limb. Her leg, perhaps. Who needed two of those anyway?) It was going well, actually. She spent a lot of time in her room, like she was doing now, paid more attention during council meetings so that she wouldn't have to ask him about it, and assigned Link's least favorite servant to follow him around to 'cater to his needs'. She grinned a little to herself. Jiko was fascinated about all things Hylian and strange, but also despaired of the Hero's ruffian ways and tried to turn him into a proper, simpering noble. She had asked him to keep his distance for a while to save the Hero's sanity, but she put him back on duty to keep Link away from her. Hopefully, if Link needed anything, Jiko could take care of it without talking his ear off too badly.
She stared out the window of her large, imperial suite and sighed. Before the usurper king Zant, she had loved her position. She was a selfish, greedy ruler. She wasn't cruel to her people, but honestly, she hadn't particularly paid them any mind. The palace was what every little girl dreamed of, and it had never occurred to her that there was something beyond pretty things and fine rooms and fancy parties. Now, the splendor bothered her. She'd had most of it removed from her private areas of the dark castle, but the room still felt cold, empty, and meaningless. The only things she liked about it were the big window and the fact that no one was allowed to bother her here. Which was why, when someone knocked on the door, she jumped up, startled.
She shook her head, composing herself. "Come in," she drawled boredly. Whoever it was better have a good reason for intruding on her only private time. She regretted admitting entrance without asking who it was, however, as the object of her thoughts stormed his way into the room, kicking the door shut behind him.
Though he was a stranger to the Twilight Realm, Link had adapted fairly well. He had taken to wearing the dark robes of the Twili, similar to the ones Zant had used to wear, only less regal and less decorative. The green and white patterns swirled on his clothing, contrasting starkly with his fading tan. The hero kept his belt and his boots on him, however, though she was glad to say that he no longer wore that stupid green hat. Today his arms were free in loose, slitted sleeves, hindered only by the band around his wrist that she had given him the second day he had arrived, a band that marked he had her favor and was free to go wherever and do whatever he wished. He was quickly learning their tongue as well, though everyone who had heard of him knew of his inability to speak. That fact plus his strange coloring gave him enough attention to last a lifetime, even though he had tried to avert some of it by wearing their clothes.
We need to talk, he signed even as he walked into the room.
"Hello to you too," she said dryly. It had taken her a little while to learn his method of communication, but now she knew it like the back of her hand. She could even use it herself, if she wanted to, but she rarely did.
Why are you avoiding me? he asked, eyes demanding.
"Avoiding you? Whatever gave you that idea?" she asked, rolling her eyes slightly. He scowled at her, not amused by her games. "I've just been busy. You know, choosing a suitor takes quite a lot of work." she added, to see his reaction. She could have sworn he flinched a little, but his hands were a flash as he responded.
I'm aware of the difficulties involved in choosing a suitor, he signed, quickly and irritably. Zelda went through the same thing. It's not that complicated, Midna. The symbol for her name was one he'd made up, getting tired of spelling it out though he seldom used it. Though a normal person would've had to use her name to get her attention, the hero boy had merely touched her shoulder, nudged her with the hilt of his sword, or poked her with a paw. A mute person had little use for names, but she had noticed he took care to use a different symbol for everyone's until it became a habit. Now, however, it just felt like he was talking down at her. She scowled at him.
"What would you know about-"
I was a suitor of Zelda, he cut her off. She blinked. She hadn't known that.
"Huh?" she asked, not realizing she looked and sounded like an imbecile.
A couple of her nobles thought it would be a good idea for her to marry Hyrule's Hero. Make the people feel more secure. I was offered a crown after everything was rebuilt, he told her. His face gave her no sign of what he felt about that.
"You turned down being King of Hyrule?" she asked, gaping at him.
Obviously, he said, shooting her a look that told her he thought she was being stupid. I'm here now, no? He shook his head. That's not what I'm here to discuss. However, she couldn't help that her mind dwelled on this fact that he so casually revealed. She swallowed back the uncomfortable feeling that she knew all too well; jealousy. Zelda was a lovely soul, and though at first she had despised the weak, perfect little princess of Hyrule, their souls had been combined once. She knew now that Zelda was far from weak and was well-worth her respect. Still, she was jealous of the woman. That didn't even make any sense. If Link had wanted to marry the pink princess, why did she care? He could go ahead and do so.
"Oh really, Mr. Royal Suitor? Pray tell what important business brings you to my humble quarters then," she said, dryly. He shot her a look. "Tch, you're in a mood today." He was usually so easy-going. His glare reminded her of the hypocrisy in that statement, and she folded her arms.
You're avoiding me, he repeated. I want to know why, he signed, looking at her steadily. His eyes were so blue, so different from the colors of the Twili. She looked away from them.
"I'm not avoiding you," she muttered. "If the responsibilities of the Twilight Realm bother you why are you even here?" she asked, tone sharper than she'd intended.
I could return to Hyrule, he signed in response, eyes flashing.
"Fine," she said, exhaling. Even if he did decide he wanted to leave, figuring out how would take some time, time that she could use to think this over and decide how to stop him. They could both use the time to cool off. "We'll look into it if that's what you want-" She stopped when she saw him signing again.
I lied, he told her flatly. She frowned quizzically, waiting for him to elaborate. When I said I didn't know how to get back to Hyrule. I lied. I could leave this very instant. She froze, staring at him. What? He could- could- just go? Just like that? Why the hell hadn't he told her before? Suddenly, she was frightened he would leave her, and she lashed out.
"Nothing's stopping you," she snapped. "Why are you still here if you want to go so badly?"
Because I need to know something, he said.
If I left... He paused in his signing before continuing. How would you feel? Miserable, she wanted to shriek at him. I wouldn't let you leave, she wanted to say. Instead, she laughed, forcedly.
"How would I feel? What kind of question is that?" She waved a hand. "I don't know... you are kind of useful to have around,"she said, shrugging a shoulder off-handedly. His eyes narrowed angrily.
That's not what I meant, he was signing, but she pretended not to notice and missed the rest.
"Don't worry about me, Hero-boy. I'll be perfectly fine. Go ahead and skip on home to your princess." She turned away from him, as he tried to sign her name. "What was that? I can't quite hear you," she murmured snidely, without thinking, and she knew she had gone too far. Suddenly, she saw him move out of the corner of her eye, and a second later she was pinned between him and the window-seat, his blue eyes glaring into hers with an intensity that made her lose her breath.
In that instant, Midna was painfully aware that she had been horribly wrong; the Hero was not a boy to be toying with and she was not attracted to him. She was irresponsibly, irrefutably, and irrecoverably not attracted to, but consumed by this man. It didn't matter that he'd only been an adult for a year. It didn't matter that she constantly teased him and sometimes he still blushed like a adolescent. It didn't even matter that he was several inches shorter than her. He was a man who knew what he wanted, and she trembled at his proximity.
She leaned away from him, awkwardly against the indent of the wall, but this only enabled him to trap her more firmly, one hand on the seat and the other on the wall by her head. Her mouth was dry and she couldn't summon the words to question him. Her pulse sped up for no reason, and her stomach flipped at his nearness.
As his gaze bored into her for a second or two (though it felt like ages) as though he was trying to read her mind, she read his face. There was stubbornness in his usually sweet features, anger on his brow, and... was that a little bit of hurt in his eyes? Had she put that there? But there was also something else in his look. You're not getting the point, his eyes were saying.Why aren't you listening to me? the twist of his mouth asked. The last thing though, that she wasn't getting, lingered in his stare as it flickered to her mouth. There was desperation and longing there, as though he wanted her to understand something that he was unable to convey. She had no time, however, to process any of this before he roughly pressed his lips to hers.
Midna had been kissed before. When she was younger, she had been quite the flirt, much to the despair of her now-dead parents. She hadn't thought much of it then, only as a necessary and vaguely interesting component of keeping the boys always begging for her attention.
This was not like that. As if the touch of his mouth signaled something deep within her, flames erupted in her belly and spread through the rest of her. She forgot how uncomfortable she was in her awkward position. She forgot she was supposed to be trying to suppress her feelings for this man. It made her feel weak and vulnerable, but despite that, she wanted to touch him, she wanted to feel him, she wanted to kiss him back. Instead, she could only freeze there, shocked at his uncharacteristic action.
The kiss only lasted a few seconds before Link pulled away. They were both breathing heavily, and somewhere she noted that he looked rather dazed. She hardly registered that he was signing, and she was lucky that she even caught it. I want to stay here with you... but you have to want it too. Then he turned on his heel and was gone, before she even had fully recomposed himself. As she stared blankly at the door that had shut behind him, she knew the ball was in her court.
It was her turn now.
Please R&R! And let me know if you'd be interested in reading the next part.