Hey everyone! I'm back! :D As I promised, a new story has begun- one consisting of a series of mini-fics, or one-shots. :) Hope I didn't keep you all waiting too long for the first of this one-shot series! Either way, I'd like to give a small history to ya'll about this first one-shot before starting it.

This one-shot is based on an idea I had for Reiteration which never made it into the final cut for the fic. The idea was, during the Links' journey across the Nomad's Sands, the Links would run into the Nomad's Caravan and spend a few days with them before ultimately meeting up with the boss of the sands and traveling to Snowfreeze Mountain.

Now, I know what you're saying- but, that DID happen? So, what was it that was ultimately cut? Well, in the first script written for the fic, the Links were not going to travel WITH the Nomads- but rather, were going to obtain horses from them, and use those horses to travel through the desert. These horses would bear personalities similar to the Links', and would take the Links' through the sands, to the final boss, and the Links would give them back before heading over the mountain. They were also possibly going to be the main mode of transportation for the Links', like Epona.

I can hear it now- WHAT?-! Why was this even CUT?-! Well, I loved this idea as much as you guys do, but in the end, it messed with the flow of the story, and introduced something that wasn't entirely necessary, interrupting Red's glory time. (Not to mention the Links eventually travelled to the Dark Realm, where the horses obviously wouldn't be able to follow.) However- I really do love the idea of the Links' getting a horse for themselves, so I decided, this would be the very first one-shot I'd do. :)

Oh, and to be a bit more specific on the "timing" of these one-shots in reference to Reiteration- these one-shots are basically "what-if" stories, so they didn't /technically/ happen during the plot line of the original story. Think of them as little side-quests, with the fic being the main storyline of the "game". :) Sort of like Kafei and Anju's story in Majora's Mask. You can easily tell the story of Majora's Mask without including their story- just as it's possible to complete the game without completing that quest- but you can also just as easily tell the story of Kafei and Anju without needing to retell the entire Majora's Mask plot.

I hope you guys enjoy it!

( P.S. From the sentence "GO!", I would recommend playing/listening to the Zelda Horse Race theme on repeat. REALLY helps set the mood. :D )


Horsing Around


The gentle breeze which blew across the sands was a pleasant counter to the blistering heat of the sun which shone on the Link's bare neck, causing small beads of sweat to form and trickle down his back. The wind, calm and quiet, was almost like a lullaby to the peaceful hero as he leaned against the rough, wooden side of the caravan, his eyelids fluttering lazily in his peaceful slumber.

It was already well past morning, and already into the mid-day, and yet, Red found comfort and peace in his continued nap against the wooden carriage, seeing no reason to be up and about on such a perfectly good day for napping.

"OI, RED! GET UP ALREADY! JEEZ!"

... Or so, he thought.

Grumbling, Red's eyes peeked open, his arms crossed haughtily against his chest at the disturbing shout which completely and utterly broke the peace of his nap. And there, looming above his peacefully sleeping figure, stood the fuming figure of Blue. His face was contorted into a furious snarl, and he could've sworn he saw tufts of steam puffing out of his nose, like a bull's.

"Whaddaya gonna do there, sleep the whole day away?" Blue shouted with a good-natured, though bold grin, as he leaned down and pulled Red's shoulder up, hoisting the reluctant Link to his feet.

"Aw, Blue... lemme sleep a little longer," Red whined as he grudgingly stumbled to his feet, lifting a fist and rubbing at his eyes, giving a yawn. "What else are we gonna do?" he asked with a sort of confused frown, looking at the other. "I mean, all we can really do is wait until the Nomads make it through the desert and-"

"What, you think I'd wake you up if there wasn't anything to do?" Blue grinned, almost mischievously, with his arms crossed as if plotting something both dangerous and exciting. And in his grin, Red felt a certain sinking feeling- he knew this wasn't going to end well, at all.

"Come on, whaddaya waiting for?" the other Link roared with an enthusiastic grin, once more grabbing the other by the arm and pulling him out towards the rest of the caravan, "The other guys are already there, we're just waitin' on you!"

"Oh... well... I guess if Green and Vio are there..." Red stuttered with a weak smile, following Blue on his own- though still, his steps were hesitant. Shaking his head, the Link cleared the doubts from his mind and returned the excited grin to his friend. "I guess it's okay then, right? Will it be fun?"

"Fun? You bet your hat it'll be fun!" Blue shouted with a wide grin, pumping his fists into the air and once more grabbing Red's wrist, jerking him enthusiastically forward as he made to run. "Let's go!"

Running eagerly alongside Blue, the once-slumbering Link was now excited and grinning brightly, ready to see what it is his friends had in mind. Was it gonna be some sort of a game? Made hide-and-go-seek, or tag? Oh! What about Monkey-In-The-Middle? THAT was always a fun game!

Either way, whatever he was thinking when the pair finally met their destination- the truth was certainly not what he'd had in mind, and his eyes snapped open, his jaw dropping, at the surprise which met him in front of his sight.

Neighing and stomping the ground in her excitement, a small filly stood in front of him, prancing in place and tossing her head cheerfully. She was a paint, with her coat a pure white, blotched with patches of black and brown colors. And it was obvious why she was so excited- she had, after all, a snugly-fit bridle around her nose, and a saddle sat neatly on her back, secured by a belt which wrapped around her underbelly and connected to either side of her saddle.

A large man held onto the other end of the filly's bridle, with his other hand on his hip, resting easily on his belt, looking over at the two newcomers with a sly grin. Next to him stood Green and Vio, also wearing eager smiles.

"Ah, finally, yeh brought th' other 'un," the large man said with a loud, hearty laugh as he looked at Red and Blue. He nodded over to the filly beside him, "This 'un'll be yers, a'right? Th' stable-boy's bringin' the other three out righ' now."

"It's about time you woke up, Red," Green teased lightly with a grin, his arms crossed as he looked at his friend's gaping, wide-open, surprised mouth. He looked up to the man, laughing at Red's expression. He then looked over at Blue suspiciously, "What, didn't you tell Red what we're gonna do?"

"Why ruin the surprise? Look at his face- priceless!" Blue laughed, holding his sides and rocking back on his heels. His eyes then flashed up at the man, speaking boldly and straight-forward. "Hey, don't forget about MINE, now!"

"Blue, calm down, the stable-hand is bringing the others out," Vio said calmly with a relaxed demeanor and expression, shaking his head lightly. Smiling quietly over at the still-stunned, speechless Red, he walked over and placed a hand on his friend's shoulder raising an eyebrow and speaking in his calm, calculated tone. "Since the other two seem to be too cruel to inform you, I'll take the honors. Jim, here-" he jabbed his thumb behind him to the large man still holding the filly's reins- "Arranged for us to have a little race. He owns four horses, young enough for us to ride them, so he's bringing them out for a little bit of sport."

"Heh, why not? We're stopped now for th' day, might as well 'ave a bit o' fun while we're 'ere," Jim said with another loud laugh, moving forward and clapping Red sharply on the shoulder, once more speaking in his booming, heavily accented voice. "C'mon, now, don' be shy! You'll be ridin' Buttercup, here. She's a real sweet gal, docile an' pretty easy for new riders. She wouldn't 'urt a fly!"

"B... Buttercup?" Red stuttered, still taking everything in. He looked up at the little filly in front of him, who stood a foot or two taller than him. And in a second, a large grin had burst across his face, and he placed a hand gently on her snout. The filly, thrilled to meet the new child, whinnied and pranced once more in place, nodding her muzzle up and down excitedly. Overcome with joy, Red squealed as he wrapped both of his ams around her muzzle, hugging the horse ecstatically, overjoyed to have a new friend. As if equally excited at her newest friend, the young filly neighed and raised a hoof, nuzzling back at the little hero who hugged her muzzle.

"Pfff, some name," Blue remarked sarcastically- but Red, lost in his own little world of happiness, hardly heard him, and Green whacked Blue over the back of his head.

"What?" Blue retorted angrily, shooting back at Green with a frown. He then smirked and crossed his hands, gloating loudly, "I'll bet my horse will have a kickass name- like Brutus, or Deathcharge, or Napoleon, or-"

Their argument was suddenly and loudly erupted by a wild, furious neighing sound from behind them. And at once, all their attention was jerked to the side in surprise, as a shrimpy, scrawny boy ran up to them- or rather, was being dragged and tossed along as he frantically tried to keep a grip on the reins which were being tugged and jerked every which way by the young stallion on the other end of them.

"Woah, woah there!" Jim shouted in surprise as he ran forward, grabbing the reins out of the hands of the stable-hand and jerking the wild foal back under his control. "Yeh gotta be careful with this 'un, boy," the stable-master said with a shake of his head as he once more jerked his muscled, large arms backwards, forcing the energetic foal at the end of it to stumble and grudgingly follow his lead.

Blue's eyes lit up as he noticed the entry of the wild stallion, and he eagerly ran up to it, looking across its jet-black coat, and watching in excitement as the foal continued to pull against its reigns, snorting and pawing the ground angrily, resisting its control. Nightshade... now THERE was a name for a horse! "Hey! Hey Jim, that one's mine, right?-!" Blue shouted eagerly, jerking his fists up in the air.

Looking down at the boy, the man rubbed the back of his neck uneasily, his eyes drifting over to the foal. "I dunno, kid... Nightshade 'ere's a pretty rough 'un. 'E ain't very tame, if ye know what I mean."

"Hell, yeah! That's JUST how I like 'em," Blue said with a wild grin, jumping up and snatching the reins out of the hands of the stable-master. Jerking the bridle down, Blue brought the face of the enraged foal down to him, and looked at the horse straight in its eyes.

"Yeah. Nightshade, huh? You're gonna listen to ME now, got it?" Blue said with a laugh and a grin to the horse, staring at him triumphantly. The horse snorted in reluctance and refusal, shaking his head once- but as his eyes bore into the others, his ears pinned back and he once more stomped the ground- though calmed down, somewhat, as if reluctantly accepting its new, temporary master.

"Phew," Jim breathed a sigh of relief, shaking his head and grinning. "Alrigh', now, just two left. If I'm right, I reckon th' boy'll be bringin' out Rosemary now." Looking to the side, the man's eyebrows jerked up and he smirked, "'Ey, speak o' th' devil, 'ere she comes!"

A stark contrast to the previous, wild charge from before, the small filly which walked up to them now was as calm and relaxed as it could be, with the stable-boy leading her easily at the other end of her bridle. Her pelt was a deep silver, with white dapples near her backside and dotted cleanly down her hind legs. The young appaloosa walked daintily and obediently along the stable-boy- but with her posture, and how she walked facing straight ahead, with her head held high- it was hard to say who was truly leading who.

"Hm." Musing quietly to himself, Vio watched with a small, smug grin tugging at the ends of his lips as the new filly led herself in to the group. She held a certain glint in her eye- as if merely looking at the other, less dignified horses elevated her position to being much older and more collected than the others. She was aloof, but the way she carried herself truly showed that she was not a horse one would want to go up against. Once more smiling, and walking easily past Green, Vio lifted a hand and, without a word, lifted the bridle out of the hands of the other, looking calmly back at the filly.

"Rosemary, then?" the Link asked, speaking calmly to her and wearing that calm, cool smile. "Very well. We'll make a good team, and show the others who the real competition is. Shall we?"

There was a quiet pause between the two- both horse and boy were silent for a moment, looking at each other as if studying the thoughts and true intentions of each. Snorting in acceptance, the filly bowed her head once toward the other, bending to his will- but her silvery gaze was quickly drifted away, as if already bored with the conversation. Her tail swished eagerly behind her; well, if they had come for a race, what were they waiting for?

Shaking his head, Jim grinned as he looked at the three Links who had their horses already. "Heh, it's kinda funny... ye boys almost seem dern near identical to them horses, 'ere. Oh, I suppose there's one left of ye, yup?" he added as an after thought, looking down at Green. Glancing back to where the stable-boy had left, he grinned and said, "Naw, don' ye worry, kid. I've saved th' best fer last."

"The BEST? Hey!" Blue shouted angrily upon hearing that- but, it seemed, he wasn't the only one who'd heard. His horse, Nightshade, snorted in resentment at the words, and thumped the back of Blue's head with a jerk upwards of his muzzle against the other's shoulder, pawing the ground angrily with his ears pinned. Who was he to say there was another horse better than him?-!

"OW!" Blue shouted in response, stumbling forward and clutching the back of his head, whirling around angrily to his horse and raising a harmless fist. Nightshade, as if amused by Blue's response, whinnied and tossed his head- which, of course, only made the hero fume even more. "Why, you-!"

"Ey, 'ere 'e comes now," Jim said with a grin and a nod, extending an arm to take the reins of the next horse delivered to him. Passing the reins on towards the last Link, Jim merely stood back and grinned as Green looked up at the last horse brought for th heroes' race.

Without a doubt, the foal who stood before him was definitely the crown jewel of the nomad's herd- his proportions were near perfect, his muscles not too large, and his height not exceeding the ratio of his weight. Standing a few feet taller than the boy who held his reigns, the brown-coated foal, with a white stripe blazing down the center of his forehead, snorted and dipped his head downwards, studying the newcomer in front of him with his deep, thoughtful brown eyes.

Seeing the look on Green's face, Jim grinned and put both hands on his hips, nodding proudly. "Ayup! Tha' there's Max, one o' th' best 'orses I've got. 'E may be a bit 'ard t' handle a' first, but 'e'll carry ye well, don' ye worry 'bout that."

Green gave a quiet smile as he looked back into the eyes of the horse, nodding once and looking back up at Jim. "He's a good horse, indeed," the hero said of the foal, looking back at the chestnut horse, and then over at his bridle and saddle. Grinning, the Link looked back at the others and their horses. "Everyone ready, then?"

"Hm." Vio smiled quietly as he studied the competition, standing next to his appaloosa filly and nodding once towards Green. Turning around, the hero gripped the horn of the saddle, placing his boot firmly in the stirrups and swinging himself, nearly effortlessly, over the back of the horse, seated comfortably in the saddle and picking up the reigns. Hoping to be further amused by the others, Vio grinned and looked at Red and Blue, eager to see them get ready for the race.

"H-Hey! Hold still, damnit!" Blue roared, running circles around the horse as Nightshade threw his head up, whinnying loudly and nearly dancing in circles as he tried to evade the boy from crawling over and on to his back. Finally, fed up with the game of duck-duck-goose, Blue jumped suddenly on top of the horse, nearly clawing his way over the wild foal's back and scrambling to grab hold of the reigns. Jerking his feet firmly in the stirrups which hung from the saddle, Blue grinned wildly as he instantly gained control of the stallion, pulling his fists back sharply against the reigns and bringing the infuriated foal to a calm.

Red grinned as he watched the others, his eyes nearly brimming with tears of joy. This was going to be so much fun! He looked back at Buttercup, the calm and gentle paint, and- a bit nervously- walked over to her saddle, placing a hand on her back. He... he wasn't exactly sure how to get on, but he'd seen how Vio did it, so... The filly stood calm and still as the hero struggled onto the saddle, a bit awkwardly and unsure of himself, but eventually, found himself seated snug in the middle of the saddle, holding loosely the reigns and wearing a bright grin.

Last to mount his horse, Green looked up at the horse with a quiet awe, and a nod of understanding passed from hero to horse as the boy walked around to the side. In a quick, fluid motion, with the horse eagerly taking a few steps forward and shaking his head enthusiastically, Green swung himself over the side of the stirrups, landing firmly and snugly in the saddle. Gathering the reigns in his hands, the boy looked over with a grin towards the others, nodding once. "Ready!"

"A'righty, then," Jim said with a laugh, walking through the four horses and heroes and sweeping his arm over the landscape around him. They stood on the outskirts of the settled encampment, but there was a clear space in between the caravan, almost a parting, where there was a long stretch of open sand which divided both halves of the wooden carriages. "See th' last carriage, there at th' very end? Ya'll are gonna race through this 'ere divide, go once 'round tha' there carriage, then come back 'ere. First 'un back wins!"

The four heroes, maneuvering their horses in a line next to each other, grinned wildly at each other, narrowing their eyes determinedly and ready for the race.

Roping his wild steed in, Blue laughed louldly as he shouted at the others, "You guys are going DOWN!"

A quiet smirk spread on the face of Vio- and perhaps even in the calm eyes of Rosemary- as the hero shrugged, looking forward with a calm grin and challenging, bold eyes. "I think not, Blue. You three will be the ones 'going down.'"

"This is gonna be SO much FUN!" Red cheered with a grin as he held the reigns ecstatically, the filly Buttercup nearly dancing in place in her own excitement and readiness for the race.

"May the best racer win!" Green shouted with a grin, also getting ready and leaning forward in his stirrups, gripping tightly the reigns and looking in front of him at the single race-track with determination.

"Eh.. one las' question," Jim said with a weak grin as he rubbed the back of his neck once more, looking awkwardly at the four mounted heroes, "Eh... any of ye... ever ride a 'orse before?"

The Links paused, looking at each other- then, with a simple shrug, looked back at the horse handler.

"Not really."

"Nope."

"Negative."

"Nuh-uh."

Another pause of silence followed- but was quickly broken by a wide grin and a laugh from the large man, who grinned and brought out a small, white flag from a pocket along his belt. "Great! Makes it all th' more excitin'," he said with an eager grin, holding the flag high in the air. "Now- On yer marks! Get set!" he roared- and the heroes leaned forward eagerly in their saddles, ready to start...

And, through the ripple of the wind, the man brought the flag down, shouting as he waved the flag quickly in front of him.

"GO!"

In an explosion of dust, shouts, and motion, the four heroes and four horses suddenly shot forward, the legs of the fillies and foals rocketing forwards and pushing the sand beneath them, sending them sprinting forward with all their might and speed. In an instant, the race had begun.

As soon as his horse shot off, Blue shouted and nearly fell backwards from the sheer sudden change in speed, the wild foal beneath him using the excuse of a race to explode all of his energy out at once and snorting furiously as he pounded the sand beneath him with his hooves, his head jerking up and down in front of him as he ran as fast as he could through the opening between the caravans. Struggling to regain control of his reins, Blue finally squeezed out a slightly unsure, though still bold, grin, looking to the sides of him briefly to see where the others were.

Vio's horse was much more contained, though she, too, had a powerful start. Though it was obvious that Nightshade was the one who had gained the first place in the race fastest, with his explosive start, there was a calm confidence to the two as they raced contently in second place, on the heels of the first and neck-and-neck with Green. A quiet smile was written on Vio's face as he calculated the race, statistically and strategically- he would conserve his filly's energy until the last stretch of the race. Hugging the inside of the turn, and allowing the filly to keep all her energy until it finally mattered, would both ensure him being the victor.

Racing past the fourth place, and racing on the other side of Vio, Green narrowed his eyes in determination as he kept control over the stallion he raced on, who was panting and thrusting his hooves forwards and kicking them backwards, sprinting forward through the sand with all his speed. He didn't know as much as Vio did- but that didn't lessen his determination one bit, and he was committed to winning the race, ready to put all of his own energy into it, if need be. With a shout, Green let some slack on the reins, lightly kneeling the sides of his horse with the heel of his boots, encouraging and allowing his horse to use more of his energy to faster sprint ahead, sealing second place for their own and leaving Vio a few feet behind.

Lastly, happily in the rear, Red bounced cheerfully in his seat from the vibrations, his eyes wide with surprise but also from happiness as he laughed- sometimes giggling- at the feeling of flying through the wind, the breeze rushing past him at a much faster rate than the more calm blowing of the breeze when he'd slept lazily by the carriage. What a rush! What fun! Buttercup was having a blast, too, tossing her head and whinnying in excitement as she ran on the heels of the others. She didn't much mind bringing up the rear, either- though an almost wild glint flashed in her eyes as she picked up her speed, throwing the sand behind her and digging deep into the ground, putting on an extra spurt of energy to tie next to Vio for third place. Red, sensing her joy leading to the determination of winning a challenge, grinned wildly and leaned forward, gripping tightly the reins and wearing a similar, determined face. He was having a blast already- NOW it was time to beat the others in this race!

The various nomads looked up from their busy ongoings on either side of the caravan, a bit surprised to see the four young horses, bearing the four young heroes, blazing by. A few of the older men laughed along with the sport, and a few rupees passed between hands here and there, while the women herded some of the children playing closer to the wagons, looking shamefully at the heroes as if visually criticizing them for playing so dangerously close to the caravan. The other children were cheering and also making bets of their owns, excited by the race and picking sides.

Grinning wildly, Blue looked over his shoulder at the others, laughing at his good fortune for being in first place. Eagerly, he kicked his heels into the side of the horse- though not too harshly- and once more whipped the reins enthusiastically upwards in his hands.

"HYAH!" he cried out with a laugh as the others came up to the turning point- the wagon at the end of the divide. Snorting and whinnying beneath him, Nightshade tossed his head, blackened mane flying wildly behind him, as he picked up his speed for the turn.

Smirking quietly, Vio also maneuvered his heels to Rosemary's side- though this time, they were a careful, calculated nudge in the right direction, and he roped in her reins, almost expertly commanding her to slow down and lean to the left as they rounded the carriage. It was a tight circle, they would need to nearly spin on a dime- but with the right around of maneuvering, and pushing their speed just right- he would clear it fine, leaving the over-eager Blue to find disaster waiting ahead.

Sure enough, the turn came- and, blasting past the carriage, Blue jerked his reins to the side, leaning in his saddle as he expected the horse beneath him to swing around to the side- and yet, Nightshade's swift footing struggled beneath him as he attempted to make too tight of a turn, and the horse whinnied and tossed its head in confusion, unable to make the tight turn and running slightly off course. Rearing up, the horse tossed his head, coming to a stop, chest heaving and panting as his energy was drained for him. As Blue cried aloud, regaining the reins of his horse and attempting to re-direct him around the caravan, he shouted again- this time in anger as he noticed Vio's blur rushing past them, easily taking the curve and running around the side of the wagon.

Right behind Vio, Green and his horse also rounded the turn- while not as easily as Vio, as Max's legs staggered a bit at the sudden change in speed and direction- the horse was well-controlled by its master, and the two were swiftly redirected around the wagon, once more picking up speed to run quickly behind Vio. By that time, Blue, fuming at having lost his position, had strong-armed his wild horse in the new direction, and was sprinting after the two, both he and the horse fuming in anger and giving it all they got.

Still in fourth place, but rounding the turn with a lot more ease than the others, Red grinned as he and the filly finally made the turn. "Alright, Buttercup," Red shouted with a grin as he tapped his heels against her side, lightly whipping his reins forward, "Let's show 'em what we've got!" The mass amount of energy he had saved for his horse exploded forwards, and, with the sprint of new energy, the filly whinnied in excitement, her hooves beating faster and faster against the ground and sending the pair zooming forward, catching up esily with the others and even overtaking Blue and Green.

Vio's eyes narrowed and shot from side to side as he re-evaluated their position. The others were also taking the moment to look around and see where the others were. Vio was back in first place, but not for long- Red's tactic was clever, though risky. He was using all of his horse's energy at the last stretch, while Vio had spread it out evenly, as had Green. Blue's horse was nearly spent, but they all knew he would be catching up soon, given their determination and fury at completing the race. With Rosemary's energy slowing down, Red and his horse catching up, Green also gaining momentum and Blue barreling forwards, the four horses now raced side-by-side, neck and neck, evenly matched and racing with all their might towards the finish line.

And yet...

As the four looked determinedly at each other, mentally preparing to beat the others at the race...

None of them saw the massive cart of hay, nonchalantly being calmly wheeled straight across the last stretch of the race.

The man pulling the cart whistled as he worked, dragging the small cart, massively piled over with an obscene amount of hay, completely oblivious to the ongoing race. And while Jim and the others shouted warnings to both the cart-puller and the racers... it was only the cart-puller who noticed just in time- and yet, at the same time, much too late. Shouting out in surprise, bug-eyed and completely freaking out, the man dropped the wooden bars he held which pulled the cart, diving off to the side to avoid the oncoming horses.

And as the four heroes looked back in front of them- it was much too late.

Shouting out in surprise, the four Links looked on wide-eyed at the obstacle in front of them, terrified for half a second as to what the heck they were supposed to do.

And yet, the four horses who continued running along- one might have said they might have rolled their eyes at the whole ordeal, and at the inexperience of their young riders.

After all- upon reaching the massively-piled mount of hay, all they had to do was jump.

And jump over the hay they did, soaring high and well over the cart, and landing smoothly on the other side. However... during the course of their jump, the four Links, terrified and surprised beyond comprehension, had toppled clean off of their horses, shouting as they fell right into the pile of hay.

Laughs came from all sides of the caravan, though big Jim was seen wildly waving his arms and running up to them, desperately trying to regain control of the now rider-less four horses who were now running free, whinnying in their own laughter at the strange yet humorous turn of events.

From the pile of hay, a blue, pointed hat popped out into view- followed by three other different-colored hats. And soon after, the faces of each Link pushed through the strands of hay, blinking in surprise and looking around them briefly.

In an instant, Blue squeezed his eyes shut, screaming aloud, his face red with fury. "WHO THE HECK PUT THIS CART OF HAY HERE?-!" he bellowed in rage to the world, squirming in the pile of hay. "I WAS WINNING, TOO!"

"Winning? Don't make me laugh," Vio snapped, a smug grin across his face- though he, too, contorted and frowned as he struggled to get free of the hay. Rounding on the others, he shot, "It's obvious I would have won! I had clearly superior strategy!"

"What? No way!" Green shouted, angry at the two. Freeing his hand from the hay, he pointed at them both and shouted, "Max and I were definitely catching up! I was totally going to win, and you guys know it!"

"Um, guys?"

"WHAT?" the three Links shouted, looking furiously over at the one who had spoken up against them.

Grinning past the strands of hay which were draped across his hair and hat, making for a very goofy look, Red looked up weakly at them, clearing his throat. "Um... I think I know who REALLY woulda won!"

The others looked doubtfully at each other.

Nodding, Red said with a grin, "Yeah! It was really me! See? Now you guys don't have to fight any more! After all, Buttercup and I were really gonna take you guys by surprise!"

There was a pause of silence as the three dubious Links looked at the bright, grinning face of Red.

Seconds later, the four exploded once more, struggling in the hay- Blue arguing at the others how he would have really won, Vio shouting to explain the errors of their choices and the strategy of horse-racing, Green yelling at everyone to calm down and stop fighting- and Red, in the middle of them all, grinning and laughing his heart out.

Hey, Red thought with a wide smile as he laughed alongside his friends, turns out, Blue was right- that WAS fun!


Haha, well, I hope you all liked it! :D It was a ton of fun to write. Can you imagine how much trouble they're going to be in with the hay-cart guy? ;P

(Also, if anyone's wondering, YES, I am very much making harmless fun of the southern-style accent. ;D But that's okay, because I've got a pretty strong southern accent, myself. I'm sure it comes through sometimes in my commentary, when I say things like "Ya'll" and such. Oh well! It's always a bunch of fun to poke fun at yourself. x3 No offense intended to others, promise!)

Anyways, the next one-shot chapter will be... I dunno. xD I'll update it when a new one is written. ^^ Feel free to PM me suggestions, I'm open to all ideas! Reviews are much appreciated and loved!

Until next time! :D

P.S. Important! I am planning a one-shot involving a sort of "ask the characters" type of setting, where the Links will answer readers' questions. :) So, if you readers have a question for any of the Links (or the author herself!), please send me a PM with your questions, and I'll do my best to work them into that story. :) Thanks again, guys!