It's time for part three of the Vacation series! Now, before you say anything, I know that the Troublesome Trio are very out-of-character. For the sake of the humour of the story, they have to be. Besides, I have so much fun writing them; I have to put a moment for them in every story that makes me laugh out loud first. So, review and let me know what you thought of it! These are getting more and more fun to write, and I already have solid ideas for a fourth installment. If you liked this and want it to continue, review and let me know! With all that said, enjoy the next vacation!

Vacation For Two: Mountain Thrills

The sun shone brightly over New Hyrule, signalling another beautiful day. The Spirit Train pulled up to the station of Castle Town, and the green-clad conductor jumped out. As he headed briskly towards the castle, he couldn't help a smile tugging at his lips. Today was his first 'official' date, and it was with the princess of New Hyrule, no less. Link could hardly contain his excitement as he crossed the main square. As he walked, he took notice of several people regarding him curiously, almost gleefully. He had an idea why.

Word that Link and Princess Zelda were now a couple had "somehow" gotten out, and it seemed to amuse everyone, for the better, that it was happening. Link, however, had suspected that either Alfonzo or Captain Russell had a hand to play in it, if not both. Zelda, likewise, was convinced that Teacher wasn't exactly innocent either. As well, since the two had last hung out, all three of them seemed to have become a bit more… involved in their love lives. Specifically, they would approach either of them and ask them questions, like what they had done, or when their next date was.

At any rate, Link had spent the morning avoiding Alfonzo as he left Aboda Village, and was planning to stay clear of Russell and Teacher now that he was at the castle. As he walked through the front gate, the guards on either side nodded at him. Not only was he the Royal Engineer and the Royal Bodyguard, he was now also the "Royal Boyfriend", a term that had been humorously coined by the castle guards themselves. And naturally, it had stayed away from the ears of the mentors for all of half a day.

Link gritted his teeth as he made his way through the royal chamber. It wasn't a nickname he particularly cared for. He normally wouldn't have minded, but since Russell and Alfonzo took every opportunity they got to use it, it really grated on him. But he couldn't worry about that at the moment. He and Zelda had plans to get together today, and Link intended to keep his focus completely on their next mini-vacation.

He approached the Princess' office door and knocked softly. An enthusiastic, "Come in!" answered him, and he pushed open the door. Zelda was sitting at her desk, writing a letter. As he neared her desk, she quickly signed it and pushed it into an envelope. Placing it in a drawer, she stood and walked over to Link before pulling him into a hug. "Every time I see you, it always feels like it's the first time in weeks," she mumbled into his shoulder. Link grinned. "More often than not, that's actually the case," he replied casually.

Zelda pulled away from him and just stared into his eyes for a moment, before Link finally glanced away, blushing. "You're making me nervous with that stare," he said, and Zelda smiled. "Well, I haven't really seen you in a couple of weeks, so I'm trying to get your image back into my head," she replied. Link grinned and pulled her close to him. "There's more to just seeing though," he whispered before stealing a soft kiss from her. Zelda blinked as they parted, and said teasingly, "I think I'd forgotten what your lips feel like too." Link pretended to pout and look hurt, until Zelda laughed and hit his arm. Link grinned as well and sank into a chair against the wall. "So, who was the letter to?" he asked curiously.

"Just to the Anouki Chief about the recent heat wave in the Snow Realm, nothing important," Zelda replied as she sat on his lap and buried her head against his neck. "Politics really do bore me, you know. I get tired of dealing with the country; I'm only a kid, after all." Link put one hand into hers and the other around her stomach, and said softly, "You know, I'm sure the public would allow you a small break here and there. Like you said, you're only a kid. You can't be expected to do everything an adult does, that's hardly fair to you."

Zelda sighed. "It doesn't matter, I don't want to appear childish to the entire population of New Hyrule. It's just that it bores me after a while, that's all. I can manage alright if I just get out of the castle once in a while. Like today." With this, she smiled and stood up.

She crossed the room and grabbed a bag off of a shelf. "So, can we get going?" she asked earnestly. "I can't wait to get out of here, it's too much formality for me to deal with full-time." She stuck her tongue out and made a disgusted face, and Link laughed. "Pretty odd words, coming from the princess," he said, still chuckling. "Anyway, yeah, we can head out whenever." Zelda smiled and handed the bag to Link, who stood up and slung it across his back. "What's all in here?" he asked as they headed out of the study. "Some food, clothes for me to change into, and a swimsuit. Just in case we do find hot springs," the princess answered. "You brought yours, right?" Link nodded in reply.

The two had gotten together after their last venture to the Snow Realm and discussed what to do the next time they went on a trip. After a couple of ideas, they had decided on going mountain climbing in the Fire Realm. That was something Link admired about Zelda: she wasn't a prissy princess; she was willing to go out into the world and try new things. In addition to mountain climbing, Zelda had heard rumours that there was hot springs to be found on top of mountain cliffs. So, they had agreed to take along swimsuits, just in case they did happen to come across some. They were both hoping they did; hot springs were immensely enjoyable.

The pair exited the castle and headed quickly for the Spirit Train, trying to avoid anyone's eye as they walked. They finally reached the tracks after what felt to them like an uncomfortably long walk, and jumped into the control car. Link allowed Zelda to ready the engine, and within moments she was steering them off towards the Fire Realm, and their first date as a couple.

As the Spirit Train departed from Castle Town, three figures watched from a window of the castle. "So, the Fire Realm, eh?" one of them asked. "They certainly like to go all-out with their dates."

"You couldn't be more right, Russell," Teacher replied as they turned from the window and headed down the hall. "The beach, sledding, skating, and now rock climbing? I just hope the princess isn't too headstrong and ends up hurting herself."

Alfonzo snorted. "I'm more worried about Link hurting himself from doing something stupid to impress her," he said casually. "There's probably nothing to worry about though. Just because they're kids, doesn't mean they're stupid kids. They know how to take care of themselves." Russell nodded.

"Besides, they like to go to remote places, where the public won't bother them. You can't get much more remote than a mountain," he added. "Zelda should also get a thicker door for her study; it's so easy to eavesdrop around here." The other two nodded in agreement, though none were arguing that a new door was needed. After all, it was helpful when they wanted to know the couple's plans. The trio walked on down the hall in silence, before Alfonzo asked, "Well, now that they're gone… what should we do today?"

There was a moment of silence before Teacher spoke up. "…Ransack the Pirate Hideout?" he asked. The other two looked at each other. "Let's DO IT!" Russell cried, and they tore down the hall toward the armoury, cheering all the way.

About a half hour passed before Zelda and Link passed into the Fire Realm, where the air was significantly hotter, and dark clouds from active volcanoes dominated parts of the sky. Link had to admit, the princess learned quickly, and retained everything. She was expertly leading the train about the tracks and wasn't missing any signs or turns. They travelled on until they came to a string of mountains right behind Goron Village. Zelda stopped the train at the village's station and leapt onto the ground, Link following right behind. The princess took the bag from him and headed for the passenger car. "I won't be long," she promised as she closed the door behind her. Nevertheless, it was ten minutes before she reappeared, wearing a set of pink shorts and a matching shirt. She also had on some hiking boots to help her climb, and had left her dress over a chair in the passenger car. She had also grabbed Link's swim trunks, which were sitting on a chair, and tossed them into her bag. Link was talking to a Goron as he waited, and she headed over to him.

As she approached, the Goron bowed to her before turning and walking away. As she handed the bag over, Link pointed to a mountain and said, "That Goron told me that there are springs located about halfway up that mountain, but he also warned that it's a bit difficult to get up there. We can pick a smaller mountain to try out first, if you want." Zelda nodded in agreement, and they set off for a small mountain that was just north of the village.

When they were at the base, Zelda looked up the side of the cliff. It wasn't very high to a ledge, and the cliff was even sloped slightly to help them. Zelda grabbed a rock protruding from the rock face and hoisted herself up. Finding a good place to keep her foot, she reached up to a crevice and pulled herself higher. After she repeated the process a couple more times, she felt confident in what she was doing, and began to move a bit quicker.

Link watched from the ground just in case she fell and he needed to catch her. Once she was far above his head though, he decided she was fine and began making his own way up. It took five minutes of climbing before Zelda reached the ledge and pulled herself up, and a couple minutes more for Link to join her. As they sat and caught their breaths, they looked down at Goron Village, which was surprisingly quite small from there. It occurred to both of them that despite looking relatively close from the ground, they had actually climbed much higher than anticipated. They resolved to keep that in mind on the bigger mountain before they started climbing and got tired halfway up because they misjudged the distance. That could prove a problem.

After they felt rested, they made the slow process of going back down the cliff side, which was significantly less fun than going up. After another five minutes though, they finally touched ground. Zelda immediately ran for the bigger mountain, and Link shook his head in amazement before following. At the base of it, they both stopped and surveyed the best way to ascend. Finally, Zelda stepped forward and grabbed a large stone, and began her way up.

Link picked a path beside hers, and raced to get up alongside her. "Those springs are going to feel so good after this," Link panted as they climbed steadily, and Zelda nodded. Though she didn't voice it, she was a little worried about how she would change into her swimsuit with no cover. She very well didn't want Link watching; it made her nervous just thinking about it. However, she finally just decided to deal with that when it happened, and brought her focus back to the current task at hand.

As she shifted her weight onto her foot to reach up, the stone she was resting on abruptly gave way, and she suddenly found herself plunging down. Link yelled her name as she let out a scream and caught sight of the very long way to the ground. She quickly spotted another, larger rock jutting out near her, and reached out to grab it. She managed to close her fingers around it, though the sudden stop jarred her shoulder, as well as cut her hand against the rock. Her body slammed into the cliff side, and she was momentarily dazed. She quickly regained her senses though and found spots for her feet so that she could catch her breath after what had just happened.

"Are you alright?" Link yelled frantically, far above her. Zelda responded with, "Yeah, I'm fine, I just hit myself against the rocks. Not to mention scared myself half to death." She gave him a weak smile before slowly climbing back up. After she was finally level with Link, the hero examined her hand. There was just a small scrape; that would disappear within a day. Link let out a sigh and rested his head against the mountain. "You really lucked out there, that could've ended a lot worse than it did." Zelda laughed nervously. "Yeah, you don't need to tell me twice. I'm fine though, so let's get back to our goal and reach the top. I think I've earned those springs now," she added, flashing a smile at Link. The hero grinned, and they continued on.

It was another five minutes of climbing before they reached the ledge. Once they had, Link pulled himself up before turning and helping the princess. When they were both finally on top, they collapsed onto the ground, panting hard. No one had really told them how hard climbing a mountain would be; as it turned out, it was quite a lot of work. Zelda finally sat up and turned to see where they were, and gasped. Link, hearing her, sat up as well and followed her gaze, before his jaw dropped.

There was a huge pool of water sitting in what looked like a large crater, with steam rising steadily from it. As well, there was a small hut near the water that could be used for resting and changing. Link guessed that the Gorons had built it, as it was adorned with their symbols. The sight of it here, halfway up a mountain, impressed him, though it didn't entirely surprise him. After all, they were Gorons. Zelda, on the other hand, was quite pleased to see the hut. She quickly grabbed her suit out of the bag before Link had even taken it off his back and ran into the hut. She emerged a couple of minutes later, in her pink suit. Link thought back to the last time he had seen her in it, and recalled the tan she had received that day. As he walked into the hut himself, it occurred to him that she'd likely get a small tan from today as well. The thought made him smile; Zelda really looked good with a tan.

The princess waited until Link had changed as well before heading over to the water. As she stuck a toe into it, she gasped at the heat. She knew it'd be warm, but even so, it was almost unnatural for such hot water to be found in nature. Link smiled and slid slowly into the crater, finding a small outcrop of rock to sit on. Zelda quickly followed and sat down next to him, and they sat and enjoyed the temperature. The steam, as well as the natural air of the realm, insured that even their heads remained warm; Link noticed that the steam acted like a natural sauna. Several minutes passed before Link realized he was starting to fall asleep. Glancing at Zelda, he saw that she was doing the same. Link chuckled, and the princess turned to look at him. "Guess the climb was more tiring than we thought," he said, and she smiled and nodded. "We should eat lunch, that'll wake us up," she suggested. Link agreed, and they got out of the crater.

As they lay out in the sun to dry off, Zelda pulled out the food she had gotten from the cooks that morning. They ate in silence, simply enjoying each others' company, until they were finished. To Link's surprise, he hadn't woken up at all; in fact, the hot air had just made him sleepier. Zelda noticed as well and said, "It's a long way back down. Maybe a small nap wouldn't hurt?" Link smiled and lay back down. Zelda crawled over to him and cuddled beside him, his fingers playing with her hair as she rested her head on his arm. It was only moments later that both of them were asleep, breathing deeply in the heat of the afternoon.

It was only about an hour later when they awoke, feeling rested. Zelda glanced over at the spring, and back at Link. The boy nodded, and they got up and went back into the water. Zelda rested her head on Link's shoulder as they sat and enjoyed the day. For a half hour they sat and simply absorbed the heat all around them, before Zelda realized that the pain in her shoulder, which had been throbbing slightly from her fall, was no longer there. Likewise, her hand felt as if there wasn't a scrape at all. When she told Link this, he whistled, impressed. "That's the healing powers of heat, I suppose," he laughed softly.

Finally, they got out and sat on the edge of the ledge to dry off. Zelda didn't really have to, being in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt; Link, on the other hand, refused to change back into his tunic until he was completely dry. Fortunately, with so much heat in the air, drying off didn't take much time, and before long they were making their way back down the mountain.

It was about ten minutes later when they finally touched ground and another five before they were back on the Spirit Train. Link threw the bag into the passenger car as Zelda started up the engine, and they began their long journey back to Castle Town.

As they pulled up to Castle Town a half hour later, Link jumped off the train and retrieved Zelda's dress and bag, making sure to remove his trunks from the latter as he did so. As the couple made their way back to Zelda's study, they noticed the lack of people around the market. "Must be suppertime," Link thought idly. Zelda nodded. "Seems that way. Why don't we go get something from the kitchen before you go? Try and spend a bit more time together?" Link grinned and nodded. "Yeah, of course. I'm not in any hurry to leave."

As they dropped off the stuff off in the study, Zelda shut the door. Link turned to her in puzzlement before blinking in surprise as her lips met hers. After a few seconds, Zelda broke the kiss and rested her head against Link's. "Thank you for such a fun day," she whispered, and Link smiled in response. "I should thank you too, it really was a blast," he replied. "I wish we got to do this more often."

Zelda sighed. "Me too. But I guess we just have to make the most of the time we do get." Link smirked and took her hand. "Thankfully, we do that pretty well," he said as he led her out of the study. "Now come on, let's get some food. After that, we can figure out how else we can make the most of our time." Zelda beamed, and they both headed for the kitchen.

Alfonzo's train pulled up to Castle Town, and the three men onboard jumped onto the platform. "Well, that was fun," Russell said as they walked toward the castle, their usual weapons hanging from them. "Indeed, although those Miniblins are quite the pain in large numbers," Teacher replied. He and Russell turned to Alfonzo for his thoughts. "…Oh, I just think those Big Blins are a pain, period," he finally said, and they all laughed in agreement.

As they crossed the square, Teacher noticed the Spirit Train off to the side. "Well, it looks like the children have returned as well," he stated. Alfonzo asked, "How do you think their date went?" Russell laughed at the question. "I can't imagine it not going well, knowing those two. The question is, should we ask them about it? Maybe we should just leave them to their privacy for once." The three of them stopped and looked at each other before snorting and breaking into laughing fits. "Yeah, right!" Alfonzo said between gasps, as Teacher howled with laughter.

As they tried to compose themselves, they finally reached the castle. As they entered, Russell said, "Hey, I'm actually kind of hungry right now. What do you guys say we go hit the kitchen?"