When Link woke up, his body wasn't in as much pain as the time before. Groose was sitting next to him, his eyes closed, with a few glass bottles, formerly filled with his potions, now filled with water, in his arms. The hero sat up slowly and itched his nose, wiping his mouth off with the back of his hand. He reached for one of the waters, successfully taking one without disturbing the other male, and removing the cap off with a satisfying pop.
He downed the water, some trickling down his chin to hit him on the chest; he remembered that his tunic was used as a cleaning rag, and looked around for it. Instead of finding it in a heap around the area, he saw it hanging up with his chain mail over a low-falling branch, the green tunic damp as if Groose had washed it. His tanned shirt, Link had no idea where it went, but he would ask Groose when he woke up. He took another swig of the water, finishing it off, and then grabbing another bottle, drinking that half-gone shortly after.
The pompadour-sporting male snorted, slightly startling the blond; his yellow eyes shot open a few moments later, his body becoming rigid, looking around as if they were being attacked. Link rose an eyebrow, silent as usual, and drank his water, letting Groose figure this one out on his own.
When Groose's eyes fell on Link, shirtless and mouth wetted (dampened or another synonym) by the water, a blush rose over his cheeks. "Oh, you're awake," Groose said dumbly, looking down at the last glass bottle full of water in his arms.
"Yeah. I drank some of the water, I hope you don't mind," the blonde said, downing said drink.
"Uh... no, they were meant for you," the red-head said with a scoff, "But, I used the last bit of your potion on the rest of your cuts and stuff... We'll have to get you back to Grannie, or else you'll be in some serious trouble!"
"Grannie?... Oh, yeah," Link had to think for a second, his brain still clouded by sleep. Sometimes he just forgot about some people... The Mogmas, for one, were a large problem for him. They all looked the same!
"So, do you wanna go?" Groose said, getting to his knees, getting closer to take the two glass bottles, exchanging them out with the filled one. "I mean, after you... get your stuff on and I fill these up with water." Link's eyes wandered to the water, and then looked around at his surroundings. They were under large tree roots, covered with mosses and birds and twigs, making his eyes widen a bit; he didn't know where they were.
Oh, Goddess, he didn't know where he was. This might have been an illusion all along, that flamboyant bastard playing tricks with his mind. His head dropped, teeth gritted and his hand came up to the side of his neck, where he gripped it hard, covering a mark, human teeth digging into his flesh.
"Link?" Groose blinked a few times, seeing the latter start breathing harder - heavier, faster, as if he was out of breath.
Blue eyes came up, untrustworthy, but confident. "W... where are we?" he asked quietly.
Groose pulled out his make-shift map that he had made ("Crafty!" thought Link), and traced his finger over it, landing somewhere on a large... blob. "We're about here. Does that sum it up for you?"
Link leaned over the edge of the map and rose his eyebrows, "Where's the Sealed Grounds?" he asked, tilting his head.
Link sighed, "Where's Grannie?"
"Oh, she's over there," he pointed across the map to a small house-looking thing. Link held back a snort at the 3-year-old drawing skills, and nodded.
Link's sword flashed blue, and Fi emerged from it, the Master Sword. "Master," she said, her all-blue eyes invisibly staring at him. "From your conversation with this other humanoid, I would like to deduce that you and your counterpart do not know where you are." Link coughed a little, and nodded slowly. Groose was staring in awe.
"I understand, Master. There is a 95% identical wildlife and surroundings to Faron Woods and Deep Woods. From my calculations, you are here on your map," she looked down, and Link rummaged through his bag, bringing it up for her to spot. A small blue dot appeared on it, near the entrance between Faron and Deep Woods, lingering for a few seconds before disappearing. He thought for a moment, and nodded in thanks to Fi. "If you need me at all, Master, I will be in wait."
She disappeared back into the hilt, and Groose finally took a breath in; "What was that?"
"Fi," Link coughed a few times, and popped open some water, drinking from it, and then explained further, "Fi was given to me as from the Goddess. She's a guide and kind of helps me through everything. Though... sometimes, she states the obvious, but other times she's very useful. She lives inside my sword."
Groose pressed his lips and blinked a few times. "So... what... is she?"
Link paused, looking at the purple, winged hilt where his servant resided. "I guess... I don't really know..."
They had been sleeping for a long time, but instead of talking, they laid there, looking up at the blue sky with some kind of want in their eyes. Groose felt as if he were falling, not physically, but mentally, into an abyss of something bigger than what he was ready for. The adventure that Link was on, how was he supposed to help? That big monster, The Imprisoned... if he didn't work hard enough, it would surely overtake Link and him. He shivered, gaining a strange look from Link, but neither said anything.
The red-head's heart pounded in his chest. He knew this feeling, and he knew it well, but he couldn't put a finger on a name for it yet. It was the way he felt for Zelda, except intesified. His groin felt unsettled, his hands clammy. It was like he couldn't breath right, and it made him panic a little, but it didn't show on his face.
"What do you think love feels like?" Link asked quietly, arms spread out in the tall grass.
A thousand answers raced through Groose's head: "I don't know," or even "It feels like what we have." Love to him was something he held deeply within his heart, unable to be explained in words, or even to be heard by human ears. His heart thumped hard in his chest. The question made him breath a little faster, and even made his palms sweat. Link, beside him, was one of the people he loved. He loved his mom, dad, Zelda – even the old woman they were out to seek. The question stunned him. It left him quiet for a long time, which Link didn't interrupt. A groan emitted into the air from the larger male, and his hands came up to his face, covering his eyes, and rubbing the heels of his palms into the sockets.
"I'unno, Link... I mean... There are lots of different versions of love."
"I mean the one that you feel. How do you think you'll feel if you're in love?"
More questions, and more answers shooting through his head like arrows. Groose's heart ached to tell him. Tell him his real feelings...
But he wouldn't. His resolve stayed strong, even through his terrible dreariness.
"I feel... odd... I guess?" Groose sighed again. Another inch gone. "It feels like my stomach is boiling with pumpkin stew, and it just tastes so good, and I love it so much – so full, so... so amazin', Link, and..." he turned onto his side, toward Link, "It just really makes me want to hug someone, anyone, especially..."
Link turned his head faintly, looking into Groose's yellow eyes with his big blue ones.
They stopped talking.
A Link's clothes had been drying by a nearby creek, but the only thing Groose had allowed him to wear was the white undershirt, telling him, "You're still hurting! Not to mention that we have to get you fixed up before you can go back to fighting for Zelda! Sheesh, stop complaining!"
The hero found it hard to fight, and just nodded, drinking more water. The only thing he protested about was when Groose told him that he had to be carried the entire way back.
"Look, Groose, I'm okay, I'm not going to die. That potion fixed me up pretty well," he pounded on his shoulder, only wincing a little. "I can walk."
Groose's chest puffed up like some kind of bird, protecting his territory - but the territory was more of his opinion. "Not on my watch! You'll get worn out too fast!"
Link opened his mouth to give his firm opinion, but was winded by the sudden lift Groose performed on him, shoulder in his stomach and large arm constricting around him like a snake. "Groose!"
The larger male looked over the blond's legs, dangling on his chest, and gently kicking his hip every time he took a step. They were long, but very proportionate to the rest of his body. They had a few stains and tears on them, most likely from the same things that did the damage to the rest of his body. The leather boots were very worn and broken in, having little tatters on the bottom of them where the grip was deteriorating; the rest of it hugged his calf, showing off the muscles, chiseled by months and months of running, fighting, growing up, here on The Surface. Groose's hand came up and slapped him on the thigh, twice, and laughed a few times. Link jumped, a blush coming across his face, the red-head's large hand far too close to his rear for his liking.
For the next few minutes, Groose walked forward, Link watching the path that they made with complete boredom, before saying, "I need a drink."
"Already?" Groose asked.
"No, I want to bring out my harp and prance around."
"Hey, I was just asking, no need to be so snarky," the red-headed male said, kneeling down to let the smaller one off of him. He pulled out the water (all of the bottles filled) and handed it to Link, watching him drink slowly.
The muscles in his throat tensed, Groose's eyes widening as he saw a gentle trickle of water stream down his chin, onto his neck and further down to get absorbed by the white shirt. Again, his Adam's apple moved - up, down, up - to swallow the water in his mouth, and Groose, once again, felt his face heat up.
Link brought the glass bottle down, his pink lips shining in the morning light. The red-head blinked a few times, then reached over to the smaller one, large hand cupping around the back of his head and pulling him close, heart fluttering, body in autopilot. Soon, Link's face was inches from his own, the other male's blue eyes searching for some kind of solution to the new puzzle he was presented with, only to find there was none.
"G-Groo..." Link stopped his words, his cheek gently pressed up against the bigger male's chest, hearing the large heart pounding against his rib cage.
Slowly, the reverberations came from Groose's mouth in a sensible pattern.
"I'm really glad you're okay, Link."
Link blushed hard, ears turning a cute red that made him sputter a little, but no words were spoken again until the sun was high in the sky, the two long gone from the spot they were at.