Link's Bath

Leaning against the parapet along the castle wall, Link gazed down at Zelda as she tended to the courtyard garden. She would pluck each flower, smell it, and smile before adding it to the bouquet already in her hand.

A light breeze slumped the rim of his green, floppy cap over his eyes, and he moved absent-mindedly to push it back into place. Despite his comical means of trying to impress Zelda, Link had to admit that it was the only way he knew to make her smile. Even if she did get mad when he frequently asked for kisses, Link always had a feeling that it was just a front for her true feelings, whatever they may be.

The hero had been so distracted in admiring the princess that he hadn't even noticed Sprite flitting around in front of him.

"HEY!" she finally yelled when waving her hand had had no effect.

Link broke from his trance and remembered where he was. He glanced down at Sprite, who was staring back rather impatiently.

"What is it, Sprite?" he answered, hiding his annoyance.

"Your bath is ready." the fairy pointed toward the bathroom, which was at the bottom of the tower. "It'll get cold if you don't hurry!"

Link looked at her, puzzled.

"I didn't ask for a bath." he managed to say.

"You need one!" Sprite covered her nose and waved at the air to stress her point. "That last fight with Gannon left you all dirty, so I took the liberty of filling the tub for you."

"I do NOT sti-" Link paused as he tugged on his tunic and realized she was right. "-Nevermind…"

"See?" Sprite grinned knowingly. "I told you!"

"Alright! Alright! I get the point! I'll take a bath!" he said as he headed for the bathroom. "But you had better not fly in the window while I'm in there!"

"Not even to scrub your back?" the fairy pouted.

"No!" he stressed, staring at her incredulously. "I can scrub my own back!"

Before Sprite could utter another word, Link took a shortcut by jumping off of the parapet and racing toward the waiting bath.

****************************

Link sighed deeply as he sank into the hot water. How long had it been since the last time he had taken a bath? During some of his adventures, he had had to go a month without cleaning up, looking almost like an underfed Octorok dressed in green. Now that he lived in the castle, he could bathe whenever he pleased. The last time had been several days ago, after he had rescued Zelda while that idiot, the White Knight, had just stood by worrying about his clothes.

Link found himself clenching the soap bar tightly. The thought of that clean freak made his blood boil. There he had been, the hero who had risked life and limb to save the princess, and that show-off had made him look like a filthy servant. For the entire time that the White Knight had been around, not once had Link asked Zelda for a kiss; with all the etiquette blunders he had been doing, he didn't need any more injuries inflicted on his already wounded pride. Link had even begun to think Zelda would have preferred a polite guy like the White Knight, even after the coward had shown his true colors…

But then, things had gotten ghostly, and all that changed…

A wayward blast from Gannon had separated his body from his spirit, and it seemed like the only one who could see him was Zelda. It had bothered him at first, but then found it to his advantage. Startling Sprite and confusing the Stalfos had been a treat for him since he was invisible to all but the princess. His only gripe had been that he couldn't kiss her…

Then, while spying on the enemy, Link was both shocked and relieved when Gannon had blurted out how Zelda could see him when no one else could-she loved him. All this time, Zelda had had feelings for him and never shown it. Now it was clear, and he couldn't contain his joy…

The hero sank deeper into the tub, submerging his face just enough to blow bubbles across the surface of the water. Perhaps rejoicing in the middle of Gannon's lair hadn't been the smartest of moves on his part, but then again, his body had been close enough that he could get to the Evil Jar, unite his spirit with his body, and still be in time to save Zelda. Thinking back, he had almost gotten a kiss from her… almost…

His thoughts were interrupted when a sparkle of fairy dust caught the corner of his eye. He turned sharply to see Sprite admiring him in his dreamy state. Link thanked Heaven that Sprite had added bubble bath to the water, otherwise, she would have gotten quite the show. Still, he reached for his cap for modesty's sake while rearing back the arm holding the soap.

"GET OUT THE BATHROOM!" Link yelled as he began hurling various objects at the uninvited fairy. "CAN'T I HAVE SOME PRIVACY???"

Barely able to dodge the projectiles being aimed at her, Sprite made a hasty exit out the window she had entered through.

Certain that Sprite was gone, Link settled back into the tub to regain his thoughts. Seeing it as he had soaked his cap in his fury, he shrugged and proceeded to wash it there in the tub with him.

Sprite. There were times when that fairy could be as much of an aggravation as she was an aid. Sprite had many a time been more than a welcome sight in his quests to save Zelda, healing his wounds with her powers and giving him the strength to carry on. But on other occasions, the fairy was an unwelcome interruption, especially when he and Zelda managed to have a few moments to themselves. Sprite always had a way of showing up at just the wrong times, such as the time he had buckled himself and Zelda together, back to back, to fend off some of Gannon's monsters. After the danger was past, Link could easily have gotten a kiss from the princess; they were closer together than they had ever been before, and Link wasn't about to pass up the opportunity for a smooch. So close… but then Sprite had to show up and separate them. The hero recalled how he had not spoken to the fairy for the week after that.

Then again, Link couldn't blame her. It was obvious that Sprite had a crush on him, and it probably aggravated her to see him and the princess together. Why else would she interfere at every possible opportunity? As much as it was nice to have another admirer, Link simply didn't see the fairy as any more than a close friend, and it bothered him that this was probably hurting her. But what could he do? He couldn't help it if that was how he felt.

Link finished scrubbing his cap and clothes, then proceeded to scrub himself. If he stayed in here soaking for much longer, he would come out all shriveled like a raisin. He grimaced in disgust as he watched dried mud turn the water a filthy brown. Did he always get this dirty? Perhaps he was so used to getting dirty all the time that he never realized just how messed up he got. Well, no matter now. He rinsed himself off and, checking to make sure Sprite hadn't returned, got out.

****************************

Zelda was relaxing on the lawn when the hero approached her. She sat up promptly when she noticed that one hand was behind his back.

"Link?" she asked curiously as she tried to peek at whatever he was hiding. "What have you got behind your back?"

"Just some flowers for my beautiful princess." He smiled as he presented her with a small, but colorful bouquet he had plucked from a flowerbox.

"Oh! How sweet!" she took the flowers and inhaled their scent, a hint of color tinting her cheeks.

"Not as sweet as you though, Zelda." He leaned forward. "Can I have a kiss please?"

The bright smile on Zelda's face melted away like ice in a fire. She glared at him before getting up and promptly walking away, an annoyed look on her face.

"Is that all you ever think about??" she grumbled as she stormed away. "You never give up!"

"Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!" Link replied. He shrugged his shoulders, but the smile that played on his lips remained as he watched her go.

But I can't help it if I love you…

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Hi Hi! Just letting you all know that I'm not dead! This is my second Zelda fic, and it's not based on the N64 games! It's based on the old '80's cartoon that came on the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. Hope you all like! Don't worry! I'm working on my other fics too! Please let me know what you guys/gals think of this!