Because Link and Pipit need more love :3

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Just the plot. Drat.

Pairing: Pipit/Link

Warnings: None

Rating: T

Beta: .Kisan.Lee. (The love of my life, I'll just add A)

I just wanted to write something fluffy to get my mojo in action (after a loooong absence, curse you college!). So this is what I came up with after hours of playing SS.

Please enjoy and happy reading!

They just didn't understand. That was it. They couldn't fathom the reason why he worked so hard, taking on extra hours of patrolling and working the late hours that no one else wanted. The hours that paid better. And he really did need the rupees. With his mother's careless spending, there was no telling when they'd run into the problem of not having enough food on the table. There was the issue of tuition for school too.

Yes, he worked hard to provide for himself and his mother (the impulsive woman, she was) and shouldn't he be praised for it? Instead, they force him to take a night off! Ha! They just didn't understand.

Pipit wasn't concerned as he allowed the door to slam behind him. He grunted when the noise echoed off the walls and briskly pulled his boots off where they fell to the floor with a loud thud. He glared around the house, dusty as usual, and had the sudden urge to walk right back out the door and hop onto his Loftwing and just fly around. Of course it was prohibited for anyone other than patrolling knights to fly at night and he wasn't eager to break the rules just because he was a bit frustrated. Instead he let out a long sigh, announcing his presence. As if the door being slammed hadn't been enough.

Oddly enough, he could smell his mother's pumpkin soup, thick and rich in the air. It was late at night; there was no reason for her to be cooking at such an hour. To be honest, he had been expecting to walk into a dark and solemn house where he could light a candle at his desk and read or sink into his bed and glower at the ceiling until morning. But as his anger started to very slowly dissipate and his thoughts turned to the present instead of the infuriated past, he noticed a few things. Aside from the pot of soup boiling away, the lamps were lit and his mother was not in bed sleeping as he had anticipated.

"Pipit? Why are you home? Is everything okay?"

She was kneeling beside his bed. He'd think this was odd if he didn't question his mother's sanity already. There was a bowl set beside her folded legs and a cloth –white, though tinged with pink- in her hand. His eyebrows furrowed and he squinted his eyes, trying to make out the scene in the dim light. It was almost hard to tell, but there was definitely a lump in his bed. A person?

The cloth. Putting two-and-two together, he came to realize that there was an injured person in his bed.

It seemed in that instant that the rest of his fury was forgotten, at least temporarily, and his knightly instincts kicked in. Pipit strode over to his side of the house quickly and stood beside his mother. A mess of blonde locks were splayed across his pillow. Eyes were scrunched up tightly and a grimace of pain twisted full lips. Pipit's stomach twisted as well.

"What's going on?" He was surprised he could still talk. His throat felt thick and any moisture had been sapped away. Link was there in his bed, in obvious pain. His face, normally clean and ivory smooth, was marred by what looked to be burn marks, bright pink around the edges and angry red and blistering in the middle. The blonde's breathing was quick and short and labored. For a frozen moment, Pipit could only watch as his mother dabbed at a cut on the boy's forehead that was oozing blood. Pipit could feel himself shaking his head.

"He just showed up like this," his mother spoke. For once she sounded composed and in control, rather than her usual airy way of speaking. The shock must have done something to her, he supposed. "I was getting ready for sleep when he stumbled in and went right to your bed. Completely shocked me! He must have come here, knowing that he's always welcome. I just never expected to see him in such a state." Pipit could see it in her eyes. The mother in her was leeching out. For once, the rare nurturing nature overpowered the woman's selfish desires. It only took a dying man.

Mallara looked up at her son. She was no healer. She barely qualified as an acceptable mother. She had let her instincts take over when Link stumbled in and she would be lying saying she wasn't relieved when she noticed Pipit walk into the house. This young boy, caring and now broken, was an important person to Pipit. She could see it when her son looked at Link, watched him dive off the platform to wherever it was he was disappearing to. Pipit would know what to do, she was sure of it. He was such a smart boy, she could count on him.

Pipit seemed to unfreeze finally and approached the bed. He knelt beside his mother, eyes carefully avoiding looking at the water, no longer clear. He swallowed thickly. "What did this, Pipit?" Mallara asked.

He had no words. He didn't know. Link had been disappearing lately, taking off on his Loftwing without notice and being gone for days, weeks, at a time. He had overheard Groose one day loudly complaining about Link being able to fly off and save Zelda while he was stuck at the academy. If that were the case, Pipit was sure Link was not simply searching somewhere in the sky for her. If the rumors were true, that Link was going down to The Surface, then Pipit didn't want to know what was down there. Especially if Link returned in such a state.

"I don't know…" he spoke at length. Mallara had returned to cleaning Link's face. The boy was whimpering, shivering, and flinched even at the slightest of touches. Pipit finally allowed himself to look the boy over. His gear was still strapped on, possibly aggravating further wounds. Could there be other wounds under his tunic? Surely there had to be. His green garment was tattered and almost completely destroyed with the amount of burned holes and singe marks everywhere. A smoky smell lingered around Link. It was as though he had dove straight into a lit fireplace.

Suddenly there was a cold pressure. Mallara had placed the cloth in his hand. "I need to check the soup. I'm going to get some bandages and see if we still have any salve or herbs." Pipit could no longer be shocked by his mother's responsibility. Maybe she had been shocked into a positive role.

He knew what he needed to do. The boy's gear had to come off, as well as the decimated tunic. The boots, with soles that looked to be half melted and covered in dirt, were easy to slip off. When he went to set them down on the floor, Pipit noticed his hands shaking. He was no born healer either. This wasn't something he had been trained to handle. Small injuries, yes, but not a critical care patient.

And this was Link. His smiling Link. What in the world happened to him?

He decided the tunic would need to be cut off. He took the dagger that was sheathed on the inside of his boot –standard knight equipment- and began to cut away at the green tunic. His shaking hands made this procedure harder than necessary. Link was gasping; had he pulled on the tunic? Did he hurt him in some way? He tried swallowing again. No luck. His mouth had gone completely dry. A drip of blood drifted down Link's forehead and to his ear, bleeding into his golden hair.

Finally the last thread gave way and the front of the tunic spread open. Now he just needed to get the boy's shield and sword off before he could strip the rest of the green fabric away. He frowned, looking at the hurt boy. There was no other way. "Mom? I need your help." He closed his eyes for a moment. His fury was starting to creep upon him again. He felt helpless, clueless even. He didn't know how badly Link was hurt. He didn't know what this meant.

Mallara was there, standing beside him. Pipit, with his forehead down against the mattress breathed a heavy breath. She touched his shoulder, a signal that everything would be okay. He nodded. "We need to move him. I'll hold him up if you can unstrap his sword and shield." He didn't want to do it. With a quick look at his arms, Pipit could tell that this was going to hurt. The boy's arms, where his tunic stopped, were bright red with burns and cuts that he hadn't taken notice to before.

"Slowly," Mallara whispered. Pipit could see her eyes getting watery. It was to be expected; she viewed Link to be a son of her own. Pipit could sympathize with her, for once.

And so he sat on the edge of the bed, trying not to make it move too much. Pointless, he thought after, he was about to make Link sit up. He grasped the boy's shoulders, terrified of hurting him further. His grip was gentle and he slowly lifted Link up from the mattress. Link groaned, as he was sure he would, but Pipit tried not to let his resolve diminish. The gear had to be removed. It was only when a pained cry left the blonde's lips that he stopped his movement. "Can you try now? I don't want to move him too much." More groans of pain, making his own heart hurt. "Hurry." He thought he had hissed the words but they sounded more pleading than anything.

Mallara was quick, noticing the pain –both of their pain- and she had the sword and shield set against the bed swiftly. Pipit lowered Link back down when an obvious 'chink' finally registered to his ears. A detail overlooked in his panic. Two more coverings that needed to be taken care of. Suddenly looking at the interwoven mesh of metal made his own chainmail hang heavy on his torso. His gut was filled with led. How in the world would they get that off?

"Oh, Pipit," his mother sighed. She must have noticed the same thing. And below the chainmail was the white undershirt, blotched with pink streaks and spots. An answer to a previous question; there were further injuries.

Pipit just clenched his fits and made a decision. "He'll just have to bear the pain until we can get it off." It was harsh, but there were no other options.

"Can't we give him a potion? You have some on you, right?"

True, he had a potion in his pack. "Not until the wounds are cleaned. The potion will make them close up faster, and if we don't clean everything first, there's a chance for infection." He suddenly realized taking care of injured Loftwings was ten times easier than caring for another person. At least he knew how to mend hurt wings.

"Let's get the rest of his things off first." Pipit took off Link's gloves and arm covers before unlatching the adventure pack and placing all of the items on the floor. "Okay." He looked him over again. He was still shaking, still breathing those short pants. It was then that Pipit noticed the injuries truly covered Link's entire body. His pants –ripped, tattered, burned, singed- would need to come off as well. No wound could go unclean before a potion could be used. "We'll need to completely strip him," Pipit choked out. He could use a glass of water. His tongue felt like sandpaper. His heart was hammering in his chest.

Mallara didn't say a word. She just nodded. "I'll take everything off if you can hold him up. Let's get the worst of it now." With no more gear restricted the inevitable, there was no reason to delay it further. "I'm sorry, Link," Pipit whispered before nodding to his mother, giving her the go ahead.

When the first painful cry reached his ears, Pipit was struck thinking how glad he was that Link was seemingly unconscious to what was going on. Even though he was in pain and it was clearly registering, those eyes never once flickered open. The poor kid must be floating somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, he thought. When Mallara had Link propped up at a workable angle, Pipit went to work with the chainmail. How he wished the metal weaving could be sliced away just as the tunic had been. Instead, he started with Link's right arm, bending it at the elbow which elected a hiss of pain from those twisted lips. He tried to keep his movements slow, wanting only to come up with some magic that would make everything instantly better.

The gravity of the situation seemed to finally slam down onto him when he touched the chainmail for the first time. It was hot. A person's natural body heat couldn't generate enough energy or get hot enough to heat the metal mesh. Meaning that Link had been in a place that was extremely hot and quite recently too. He pushed down the urge to put the boy down and give up when another cry rang out. Gritting his teeth, Pipit moved Link's arm and shoulder so he could slip the limb out of the chainmail. The minutes were painful but he was finally able to slip Link's arm down the inside of the chainmail. Now he'd be able to slip it over the boy's face –bleeding still- and off his other arm. He took some more deep, steadying breaths.

"Keep going, Pipit," his mother encouraged. She was right. He had made one accomplishment, he couldn't stop now. He clenched his jaw and grasped the bottom of the chainmail and started to inch it over the boy's torso and finally over his head. When he saw the tears pooling at the corners of those clenched eyes, he knew he needed to hurry so they could get the potion in play.

Both mother and son let out a sigh of relief as the chainmail slipped over Link's left arm and fell to the floor. Mallara kept Link propped up as Pipit cut the back of the white shirt and pushed it forward. An assortment of gashes and burns covered the blonde's back. "I'll hold him if you clean and bandage these." He took over, sitting on the edge of the bed and grasping Link under the arms and pulling him forward towards himself so his back was exposed. Rivulets of blood dripped down, free of the white cotton that had been soaking it up. Mallara was quick to grab the cloth and water and began to clean the wounds.

Link was calming down since the jarring movements were finished. He fell forward into Pipit in a boneless heap, his head lolling onto the other's shoulder. He sighed. Pipit shivered as the boy's breath hit the side of his neck. How he'd love to hug him close.


That whisper froze him. Pipit turned his head, finding blue eyes blinking open. 'No!' Such a relief to see that he was okay, that he was awake, but damnit, Link should have stayed unconscious, if only so the pain would be easier to bear with.

"Pipit…" His voice was raspy and sounded strained. Like a victim of a fire who had inhaled too much smoke. He'd witnessed it during an unfortunate accident a long time ago when he was just beginning his patrols. And Link sounded just like one of those victims.

"Just go to sleep, Link. We're taking care of you." He had so many questions. He wanted to know so much. He wouldn't ask. Not yet.

But Link was awake now, meaning the pain would truly come to light. And it did just that. Teeth clenched and fists clenched and a scream tore from those pretty lips, threatening to wake everyone in the surrounding homes. So loud, Pipit's ear –right beside Link's mouth- was ringing. Mallara had stopped her work, hand poised yet frozen, in fear of hurting him further. "He's fine, mother, just hurry with the salve and the bandages." More cries from the boy and Pipit was at a loss as to how to comfort him. Could comfort even be given?

"I'm done, you can put him down now." Pipit was gentle as he guided Link back down to lie on the bed. Wet blue eyes, so much like the sky, blinked up at him. Link's mouth opened like he wanted to say something but he only whimpered. "I'll make some herbal tea. It should help with the pain and get him to sleep." Mallara, more than likely feeling unnerved and uncomfortable, hopped up and strode over to the kitchen area.

"Pipit…" It was a whine this time. Pipit could see the haze over Link's eyes, the way the lids were drooping over them. He'd be passed out again soon.

Pipit pushed some blonde locks from Link's forehead, kissed his temple and whispered, "If you go back to sleep I'll get you all patched up, okay?" The boy was too drained to give any response, vocal or physical. He simply stared up, never turning his eyes from Pipit's. Everything inside Pipit screamed for answers, screamed at him to scream at Link for answers.

There was more work to be done.

Dagger back in hand, Pipit sliced through the sleeves of the white shirt and finally stripped it away to reveal the bare torso. He felt only a bit better to find a cut here and there, a small burn on the right side of his ribs but the rest of Link's chest and stomach seemed to have been sparred, aside from his skin having a rosy pink tinge. He glanced back up at Link's face. His eyes were closed, either from dealing with the pain or he had passed out. Hopefully the latter.

He made quick work of cleaning the wounds before spreading some salve on a bandage and securing each strip over the inflicted area. He was finished there and for good measure, he spread some salve over the boy's arms.

The last obstacle now; Link's pants. Again, he found that cutting them off would be the easiest way without causing too much pain. He was a bit happy to find Link's breathing was starting to even out. Pipit deduced that the adrenaline in his system must be tampering out.

He was a professional knight, he kept reminding himself. They had been trained for all sorts of situations, including taking care of a fallen comrade. They had been told to expect anything like this, and he had been prepared, at least he thought he was. A part of him felt like he was invading Link's privacy with the removal of his last article of clothing. A completely nude Link in his bed- this wasn't exactly how he pictured it. He was suddenly grateful that his mother had left to make tea. If she was around for this, he was sure to feel awkward around Link in the future.

The strips of cloth spread easily under his blade and when he finally had the pants and undergarments sliced open, he took a moment, apologizing to Link in his head, and allowed his shaking hands to take the defiled clothing away. He was determined to keep his eyes on the boy's thighs –cuts, burns, blood- and only below that part. But the nagging feeling of being thorough in his examination hit him and he knew he had to look up. A particularly gross burn was etched into Link's hip, right above where his pelvic bone would be.

That tea sounded perfect right now. Sandpaper tongue.

Another moment to gather his nerve and Pipit was off, fueled by his thoughts of this being the last thing that needed to be treated before he could slip Link under his bed covers. Thank the Goddess the boy was asleep. Something must have happened when he had woken for that brief moment. Whether he had been reassured that he was finally safe, or whether it was something else, Pipit wasn't sure. The moans of pain had stopped, the breathing was even, and Link seemed to finally be at ease.

He tended to the burn on Link's hip first. He made sure to use plenty of salve and set two soaked bandages over the burn. He addressed the other areas on the boy's legs and finally when the last bandage was in place, Pipit stood up from the bed and stretched. His back was aching and his legs were like jelly. He was careful as he slid his blanket from beneath Link and draped it over his sleeping form. At last, he covered the wounds with salve on Link's face, placing a bandage over the cut on his forehead and decided he had done all he could.

Walking over to the table, Mallara set a bowl of soup before him and a mug of tea. He bypassed the soup for the tea and took a large gulp before realizing it was too hot and burnt his tongue. How ironic.

"He didn't say anything?" he asked. Mallara shook her head, her stare fixated on the sleeping form.

"Nothing. I was sitting in bed reading when the door suddenly opened and he came in. Oh Pipit, he practically dragged himself to your bed and when he got there, he didn't move. I was terrified." Her own tea sat between her hands, completely untouched. Her normally rosy cheeks were fully drained of color.

"I don't get it!" His fist slammed down onto the table top. Mallara gave a small noise of surprise. "I want to know what he's doing, where he's going. Every time I've approached him before he just avoided the subject and ran off before I could stop him." That's how it's been for the past month or so at least. Link would magically appear, looking tired yet somehow spirited at the same time. They'd get to exchange words, Pipit would try and coax information from Link but he'd be brushed off and Link would excuse himself with the need for new equipment or having to speak with someone. He was lucky to receive any affection from the boy, a quick embrace in front of the bath room, a chaste kiss by the side of the Sparring Hall. He didn't mind if Link had some huge mission to accomplish (though after tonight, his protectiveness was starting to peak), but being informed on some things would put him at ease.

"Why are you home tonight, Pipit?"

The question she asked when he had originally walked in. How long ago it seemed she asked him. How long had they worked on Link? A half hour? An hour? And this brought up his original frustrations as well. But after all the worry and panic he had just been overwhelmed by, being sent home seemed like such a trivial matter.

"Nothing important. I just needed a night off." He frowned at his tea. Link made a noise and his head jerked up, already half-standing to attend to him. But the blonde sighed and settled back down. Pipit sat and finally started on his soup. Soup intended for Link.

"We'll just have to watch him and change his bandages in the morning. You could ask professor Owlan if he has any herbal remedies or something. Or we could ask Luv for some of her potions. She might be able to create something to help him." Pipit didn't want to think of the matter anymore but he wasn't going to tell his mother off like he normally would, not after all she had done tonight. He was grateful for her help and for the fact that she had actually done something instead of getting someone else to help Link. But she loved that blonde boy just as much as he did.

He had only eaten a few spoonfuls of soup. His stomach couldn't handle anything else. He set his spoon down, pushed his bowl away and let his head meet the table. Despite the worst of things being over, he was still feeling anxious. "Help me give Link a potion. I need you to sit him up."

He hoped they could do this without rousing the boy too much. Pipit lifted Link up a good few inches off the bed then motioned for his mother to take over. She sat behind the boy, holding his shoulders and his head flopped onto her shoulder. Pipit, grasping the potion bottle in one hand, gripped Link's chin between his fingers and steadied his head. Mallara moved her shoulder to better support Link and to make things easier for Pipit. Pipit in turn opened Link's mouth wide enough and slowly poured a bit of potion in. But a moment later a bit dribbled down the boy's chin, a steady stream, and he suddenly knew this wouldn't work.

"I'll have to do it mouth-to-mouth. He's not conscious enough to do it himself." He instructed his mother to set Link back down. He thought of how this would work in his head, sat on the edge of the bed and took a mouthful of potion. The bitter liquid splashed over his tongue and he forced himself not to swallow it. He cupped the back of Link's head, raised him up a bit and with his other hand opened the boy's mouth again. When their mouths connected, Pipit had to remind himself that he was giving Link medicine and not kissing him. He opened his mouth as well, allowed the liquid to flow from him to Link and moved his hand from the boy's jaw to his throat were he massaged the area, coaxing the muscles to work on getting the potion down. He felt them move beneath his fingers and finally flicked his tongue out, finding that the potion had indeed been swallowed. He broke away, took another swig of the potion and followed the same procedure then once more until there was just under half of some potion left in the bottle. It was hard to take his lips away that last time; he wanted so badly for the lips against his to move.

They were unmoving. No effort to kiss.

"He should be fine," Pipit said, feeling rather dejected as he wiped his mouth of the back of his hand. "We'll just have to wait till tomorrow, or whenever he wakes up to see how he's feeling."

Mallara nodded. "What will you do?" she asked.

Pipit shrugged. "I'm going to stay awake for a bit. Watch him. Go to sleep, mom." She knew not to argue with her son and walked off to clear the things in the kitchen away. "Mom?" She turned. Pipit was still staring down at Link, a hand in the blonde locks. "Thanks."

On those longs nights after Pipit's father had passed away, his mother would always sit on his bed, stroking his hair until he fell asleep. He loved his mother most, back in those days. Then, she was still willing to be the housewife and cater to her little boy and tell him "mama will take care of everything." When his father had passed away, he'd been filled with so much anxiety and fear. His mother would help on those long nights.

It wasn't his mother stroking his hair this morning, though. Weary and sore from his awkward position of sitting on the stool and lying on the bed, Pipit blinked. It was considerably lighter in the room, looking past the film of dust, so it was obviously morning. The hand in his hair was larger than his mothers, the fingers far rougher, yet they were much more satisfying as well. He looked up to find lighted blue eyes lovingly staring down at him.

Last night flooded back to him and he sat up with a start. "Link!"

Link just smiled; a small smile was all he was capable of if he were not to agitate the burn on his right cheek. "Morning," he whispered, his voice still raspy. Pipit merely shook his head.

"You shouldn't be sitting up, you should be lying down and sleeping." But Link did look considerably better. His skin had lost its overall pink glow and settled back into the beautiful ivory that Pipit knew. His only issue was the bruises that were more prominent, things he had overlooked last night in his panic to seeing so much blood. Blood that was still present on his bed. He could see the bandage on Link's forehead was red and needed to be changed and he was sure several others were in a similar state.

Link took a few breaths, smiling still, and rasped, "Thank you."

Pipit wanted to call him an idiot. "Like we would have just let you bleed to death on my bed." He was rewarded with a painful sounding chuckle. He frowned. "You'd have done the same for me." Speaking must hurt. Link only nodded.

Mallara approached then, with a mug that she handed to Link. "You scared me half to death!" she chastised. She leaned down to hand him the freshly made tea so he wouldn't have to stretch his arms up. He took it with an apologetic look.

Pipit gave him a moment before asking, "How are you feeling?"

Link, who was eagerly drinking the tea, stopped to answer, "Hurts."

"It should," Pipit answered. "You're covered in burns and cuts and bruises." He paused for a moment and studied Link. He wasn't smiling any longer, instead finding his covered legs rather interesting. "What happened, Link? Where did you go for this to have happened?"

Mallara made herself useful by creating enough noise in the kitchen area. She was obviously trying to show that she wasn't listening, giving them a false sense of privacy. Pipit knew better. His mother was eagerly waiting on their every word.

But Link didn't seem to want to answer. Pipit took the mug of tea from his hands and set it on his desk. He then sat on the bed, grasped Link's jaw in one hand and forced the boy to meet his eyes. He presented his stance; no more playing around. But Link's eyes were shifting away. "I'm naked in your bed," was all he said. Still avoiding the subject.

"You are," Pipit said disinterestedly. This was normally a comment he wouldn't ignore. But he was after answers, not playful teasing. "But explain to me why you showed up at my house, half conscious and severely injured. Why have you been showing up out of the blue after weeks of not being gone, covered in injuries and having to practically drag yourself around?" He could see the gears spinning behind those pretty eyes. He was trying to think of something, anything, but the truth. "I want the real answer, Link. I worked hard to take care of you last night. I was forced to strip hot metal off your body at the expense of hearing you screaming in pain. I deserve an answer, damnit!"

"Pipit!" Mallara spoke up, hoping to remind Pipit that he had to control his temper. The temper which would flare out of control if he let it. Deep breaths, Pipit, he told himself.

A pregnant silence floated through the air until Link spoke. "Thank you," he said again, unable to express his gratitude enough and unwilling to answer Pipit's questions. He felt that hand tighten on his jaw momentarily before it released him. Pipit got up and stormed away. He hastily threw his boots on and was out the door before Mallara could stop him.

She looked over at Link. He was staring at the wall. "Let him fly around for a bit. He'll calm down." She hoped, at least.

It was late afternoon by the time he returned home. Flying on his Loftwing had helped immensely and so did his lunch at the Lumpy Pumpkin. Kina and Keet had sat with him as he ate and they proved to be a good distraction for a brief moment in time. Kina had done her best to get him to tell her his troubles but he just shook his head and they thankfully let everything slide.

Back home now, he walked in and took his boots off. He might as well rest a bit before patrol tonight. He found his mother sitting on a stool beside his bed and Link chewing slowly on some bread. It looked like the bandages had been changed. He could only wonder if his mother changed the bandages on his legs and the one on Link's hip. He hoped not.

When he approached the pair, he found his bed had been stripped and one of the spare blankets covered Link now. Despite his lingering frustration with the boy, he was happy to see that Link was feeling better. He was moving with a bit of returned fluidity. His smile was bigger. The bruises were still there, the burns were starkly improved –his mother must have given him more potion- and when he spoke, his voice still held some of that rasp but he could speak louder now.

"Hungry, Pipit?"

Just like Link, thinking of food.

"I ate," he remarked. He sat on the bed and leaned his elbows on his knees, hunching his shoulders. He felt extremely exhausted all of a sudden. His boiling anger from having so many unanswered questions seemed so pointless when he looked at Link. There was obviously a reason he would risk his life, fight till he was as injured as he was, and leave his home for long periods at a time. Pipit knew he had to accept that, but it was so difficult. He cared for Link. Couldn't Link be considerate and show that he cared too by keeping him informed? The worry he felt everyday was weighing him down.

Mallara left the two, knowing they did need their time alone. "I'm going to get more potions from Luv! I'm sure we'll need them."

Only when the door closed did Pipit finally move. He twisted his body towards Link, the boy cutely finishing his last bit of bread, cheeks stuffed. This is what Pipit adored. This cute and innocent Link that was free of troubles and burns.

He cupped the boy's face and eased him down so he could kiss his forehead. His lips lingered against the skin there as he spoke, "Don't scare me like that again, okay?" Link nodded then turned his face up, eyes bright with adoration before closing them and accepting the mouth that was suddenly on his. This is what Pipit had wanted; eager lips responding to his own. The electric tingles were there, surging through him and winding that coil in his belly, making him flush and warm. His hands cupping that sweet face gently angled the boy's head as he opened his mouth and urged the other to do the same. How he missed this, this fulfilling intimacy that had been lost with Link constantly on the move. When was the last time he had been able to kiss the boy like this, just the two of them all alone? The fleeting kisses Link allowed when he was in a rush to gather supplies before disappearing were hardly enough to tie him over for weeks.

Pipit could feel his lungs tightening. He broke the kiss in favor for a few lingering brushes of their lips. "I won't ask what you're doing. I'll only ask that you take better care of yourself." Foreheads pressed together, Link nodded at once.

Those blue eyes were studying him, Pipit could tell. They were roaming on his face and he could feel the redness starting behind his freckles. "You should take a break," Link whispered. Pipit felt lips descend onto one eyelid, then the other. "Circles under your eyes, and you're walking like you spent your entire patrol carrying your Loftwing."

Pipit allowed himself to smile but shook his head. "I can't afford any breaks. You know that. I'm fine. I normally spend my patrols wondering what you're doing and worrying myself sick." Link frowned apologetically and Pipit was sure if he could effectively move his arms, he'd have given him a hug.

When Mallara returned, she set a few potion bottles on the table. "Pipit," she said as she brought one of the bottles over to Link, "I ran into Fledge on my way back. He was sent to deliver you a message." Pipit turned to his mother as she handed the potion bottle off.

"What was it?"

She hesitated for a moment. "Professor Owlan took notice to you flying around all day, it seems. He wants to take you off of tonight's scheduled patrol."

"What? They can't just take my hours from me!" Pipit stood, towering over his mother. She cringed back slightly.

"He said that after exhausting your Loftwing for the day, it would be cruel to expect it to perform all night as well. Besides, Pipit, you've been overworking yourself."

It doesn't matter, Pipit repeated over and over. He needed to keep calm, control his temper. That's two nights pay gone now. He'd have to pull in some nighttime and morning patrols to make up for this now. Besides, he thought as he looked down at Link who was cringing as the potion slid over his tongue, he might as well spend time with the blonde while he could.

It seemed that Link was recovering much faster than they anticipated. When they removed the bandages for changing, they found the cuts and gashes closed and to be only shiny pink lines. The burns were healing nicely and Link reported that he felt achy and not too much pain. Pipit was sure the potions were a huge help and he suggested Link have half a potion before bed. Mallara made some herbal tea to aid Link into sleeping and she finally padded off to her bed. Pipit blew out the candle that was on his desk and moved to his bed. "We can share, right?" It would be a tight fit, but he was sure Link wouldn't mind. "And would you like something to actually wear?" He chuckled at this, suddenly remembering that Link was naked under that blanket.

"Your mom beat you to it," Link replied and moved the blanket, revealing an old pair of soft pants that Pipit had grown out of.

"Seems she did," Pipit breathed with a roll of his eyes. "Let me sleep by the wall though," he said and moved over Link, conscious and careful not to aggravate any injuries that might still be tender. He settled down beside Link, surprised with how comfortable he felt with the warm body beside him. He was overly conscious of him, it seemed, and he didn't want to accidentally brush against a healing burn or anything. He pressed himself against the wall. His legs still touched Link's.

"I'm fine, Pipit. I'm not in pain anymore," Link said. He turned on his side to face the other and smiled reassuringly.

"Can't be too cautious," Pipit said, grinning. He swooped down for a kiss, delighted with the eager reply. "You sure you're okay? Some of those burns still look painful."

Link nodded.

"It sounded painful last night." Pipit was frowning, brows furrowed. "You screamed in my ear. I thought you were going to wake everyone in Skyloft."

The blonde just shook his head. "I'm fine. You on the other hand, could use sleep. Plenty of sleep." Link fingered the dark circles below Pipit's eyes. "When was the last time you slept for an entire night in your own bed?"

Pipit wasn't sure. He kissed Link again, a signal that the subject needed to be dropped. He had his reasons for working so much. Link knew. Link had his reasons for running off and getting his ass kicked. Pipit just had to accept that.

"I hope you at least managed to defeat whatever did this to you," he said through a yawn. Link just laughed.

"Defeated like Groose getting told off by Zelda."

Pipit smiled.

He couldn't say he was surprised to wake up alone in bed the next morning. Link had a job to do and he was a determined kid (when he really needed to be). Though his heart gave a painful lurch, he knew that he'd have to be more forceful with Link the next time he appeared out of thin air –literally- and demand more than a five minute chat and a hug.

Pipit sat up and looked around. It looked like the sky was still a little pink outside, but with the dusty windows he could be being fooled. He stretched, back popping and looked to find something sitting on his desk. He swung his legs around and stood, finding a piece of paper and a pouch sitting at his workspace. Curiously he opened the pouch to find an assortment of rupees; plenty of green, blue and red with a silver rupee or two hiding amongst the others. Confused, he set the pouch down and picked the paper up.


Please thank your mother again for me. Get her something nice, she deserves it.

(I'm sure Fledge would be willing to help with the cleaning if you could convince him it's some kind of training routine)

And I promise I'll take care of myself as long as you take care of yourself. That pouch should be enough to allow you a break every once in a while. Sleep. Trust me, sleep is wonderful.

And thanks. Again. You saved me.

I'll be home again soon.