disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to myself.
notes: THIS IS MY SHIP, GUYS. FIRST, LAST, FOREVER AND FOREVER.

title: dandelion fluff
summary: Never meant to be gone so long. — OoT; Link/Malon.

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She stood underneath never-ending summer sky, humming softly under her breath to the horses, working through the day with rough hands and rough voice. She was just ordinary, and tired, so tired. She had the horses and half-forgotten songs, hay and hard work. She had the ranch and a brood of grouchy cuccos, milk from placid cows, regular shipments in and out—it was a good life.

Some days, though, it just wasn't enough.

And those were the days that heralded Link's return.

A quirk, maybe; something in the air. Malon tipped her head to the side and listened, waiting for the tell-tale pounding of hooves against hard-packed dirt, up past the house. And knowing Link, he'd probably have Epona jump the fence just to prove she could. Idiot.

Th-th-thump, th-th-thump—someone came at a gallop.

Malon smiled a little.

There he was.

His features were arranged into something that was either intense pain or intense joy—on Link, it could have either or, or maybe even both. There had been nights where he'd lain in her bed, gritting his teeth and light-headed with blood-loss, hanging in that inch between life and death; nights where all Malon had been able to do was hold his hand and watch as he fought through it.

On Link, it all looked the same.

But he did have Epona jump the gate.

She laughed outright and watched as he raced once around the track, urging Epona forward, faster and faster. Beautiful creatures, Malon though, the both of them.

"Show-off!" she called.

And just to prove her right, he caught her up and swung her into his lap—dangerous, so dangerous, but that was Link, he had absolutely no regard for normal people's safety—and kissed her, harsh and fast and exultant.

"Yeah," he grinned against her mouth, "I am."

"Silly fairy-boy," Malon whispered, smiling softly. He'd caught the tips of her ginger hair and toyed with them, fingers like the wind. Sun on her back, wind in her hair. It was a nice feeling.

He kissed her again, racing under the bright blue sky, dandelion fluff dancing through the air.

Malon tipped her head back and smiled.

It was better than a dream.

fin.