They started small, and they floated in the air, breezing left and right with the wind. The snowflakes were light, and they were the first either of the pair had seen. It was last light, the sun setting behind the Skyview Temple, covered with a thin layer of clouds, creating a layer of glitter slowly blanketing the grass below their feet. It was cold enough for her parka, Zelda's face framed snugly by a fur trim on the hood of the pale blue coat. Link's signature hat was now itself topped by a pair of yellow earmuffs to protect his Hylian ears from the early winter chill. The green of his coat, matching his knight tunic, balanced well against the lightness of Zelda's winter wear. Link's hands were covered warmly by mittens, the Triforce knitted on the back of the left hand. Zelda's matching mitt, her left one, wasn't on her hand. Tossed haphazardly on the snow, the sparkle in the air around the couple was no match for the diamond resting on the girl's finger. Zelda was on her toes, her boots bending with her feet. Her hands were reaching around Link's neck, her face rosy from both the cold and the warmth she felt close to her new fiancé. Link's hands were staggered, both reaching for her waist and cheek to pull her closer. The glitter around them flew in the zephyr, just as the leaves had done months earlier.
Link awoke with one hand on his sword, the other grasping the ring threaded around his neck. The dream lingered around him for a moment, flowing from his smile and newly brightened eyes. Letting go of the ring, his hand groped around the grass for his bow, but it was quite far out of his reach.
Liego, a smaller than average boy with slender features and limbs, still hesitated when he pulled back the elastic string on his bow. It had already been almost three weeks straight on the surface, and this had gone on much longer than they thought it would last. The story of Link defeating Demise had been told and retold many times among those in Skyloft, and they believed that he would lead them to a quick victory, the original adventure only taking no more than a couple of weeks. The Citizen's Army had thought they would be near the end of the battle by now.
"Liego," Link hopped up and jogged over to him, "what happened to your bow?"
"It's too small. Yours is so much cooler!" The young boy was holding Link's bow, almost as tall as Liego was. He reached down to hook the arrow he was trying to shoot at a nearby tree, but Link pulled up the weapon from Liego's small hands.
"You had your bow made just for you. Do you think the Goddesses want to see you using someone else's and neglecting to practice on your own?"
"I, I guess not."
"That's what I like to hear." Link smiled and tousled Liego's dirty brown hair.
"Hey, Link," Gondo called out, "where exactly are we?"
"Didn't you call this place Lake Floria in training?"
"He told us this was Lake Hylia in the Sparring Room."
"This is Lake Floria in our books detailing the Surface, but Zelda and I call it Lake Hylia. Like the Hylians. We feel more at home that way." Link unsheathed his sword to point things out more accurately in the distance. "The bokoblins come out from here," he said pointing to the north bridge, "and on the shoreline are the deku babas. Both attack in groups, so spread out and get as many as you can individually. If someone falls, pick up their sla-"
Link was interrupted by a dagger grazing his shoulder and digging itself into the ground to his right. He shot his gaze to the left, looking up as a familiar sight. Green and gold tights were in the dimming light of the sunset. It was Malicen, a crown of rupees sitting on his head.
"Raise!" Link shouted to the army behind him, but it was too late for ceremony. An arrow landed at his feet, set ablaze by the archer that sent it from the cliff to his left. The forest floor bordering the lakeshore where Link and the army were standing was instantly on fire, spreading quickly. Enemies appeared seemingly out of nowhere in all directions, of all races, from all regions.
The battle lasted a short time, but took the energy out of the inexperienced and well trained alike. Fire was engulfing the area quickly, the dead enemies burning on the ground below those who were managing to survive. Though tired, almost all the Hylians were surviving. Malicen stood silently, watching the battle from the distance. A long sword was held in one hand. He was grinning, though he was losing, looking directly at a casuality. Link took a moment to search the direction of Malicen's gaze. Link was horrified with what he found.
"Retreat!" Groose bellowed for Link, the hero in green much too tired to call out himself. Link picked someone up, being careful, although he knew it would be all for naught. "Link," Groose cried, "what are you waiting for? Let's go!"
"This needs to end." Link groaned sternly. "Now." The weight in his arms was not shifting for a moment. An arm slouched down suddenly, a small hand with slim, dirty fingers curled inwards. The boy was dead. Link looked up ahead of him, wanting to move forward to the warp point to fly Liego to the Sky, but what appeared before him stunned him, freezing his feet to the grass through the flames under him. His anger dropped suddenly as his eyes became focused and recognized the figure.
It was Zelda.
It was Hylia.
The blonde figure before him stood at a distance. Her hair was long, white dress billowing in the wind, just as her human counterpart. She stood next to the warp point, one hand touching it. She was looking right at him. Link ran to her, Liego in his arms, but she disappeared into the sky in an instant.
It was quite late at night in Skyloft when the army arrived back.
Link shut the door behind him quietly, turning to grope around his room to reach his bed. His eyes still hadn't adjusted to the darkness. A thunk was heard when he bumped his hip into the side of his desk, jostling his lover somewhat awake.
"Hmm?" Zelda mumbled, startled from the sound. She instinctively pulled the sheets over her chest, dressed in Link's tunic, her eyes still closed. Link stayed quiet, stripping off his outer green tunic, tossing the blood stained cloth aside. He pulled off his chainmail, leaving his inner, grey shirt on. He stepped out of his pants, torn from the short and terrible battle. Taking a few steps, Link tried not to wake Zelda further, moving softly on the rug below his feet. His soles still ached from the fire on the Surface, though not burned, thanks to the earrings. Reaching the bed, he swiftly crawled over the maiden and laid next to her, sighing in relief for his limbs. Link rolled to face her, his chest on her back, and carefully slid his arm under her. His legs kicked under the sheet and his free arm pulled it up further, reaching his waist. He took Zelda into his chest, both arms hugging her close.
Zelda was his home now, first and foremost. He breathed in her scent, his head feeling the way sparklers look on a summer's night, sparks flying in every direction. She smelled of peppermint tea and grass. Link dipped his head into the nape of her neck, pushing the hair aside. He kissed her there, softly. The room was silent, save for Zelda's sleepy breathing and Link's racing one. He breathed Zelda, the warm air tickling her ear.
"Link," she hummed, as soft as the mood around them. She felt the weight of his arm on her shoulder and woke with a start. "Link!" She tried to push herself up, but her body refused to shift from Link's warmth. Her hands grasped his arms, recognizing faint scars on them. "You're back."
"For a bit." Link dropped his right arm, relaxing.
"Shh," Link hushed her, not wanting to tell her it was only for a night. He needed to lose the memory of fire, every instance that ever closed him. He needed to only feel fire, the only instance that could make him feel free again.
Zelda turned to face him, her body curving with Link's. She moved her hands to his neck, fingers playing with his new stubble. It was longer than she could ever remember seeing on him.
"You're really here."
"I'm home." Link pulled Zelda back into him, holding her close. It was unimaginable for him in that moment that only an hour earlier, he was holding a dead boy in his arms. Now, it was his very alive lover.
War pulls people apart, Link thought to himself, it pulls people apart and pushes others together.
"I need to forget," Link groaned. "I need to forget the last month. I need to forget." His hands moved over Zelda's figure, remembering and newly memorizing every inch of her.
"Forget." Zelda whispered. Her face was an inch from his, teasing and feeling his breath on her. She knew of the power she held over him, and it excited her from her previous drowsiness.
Link's boldness overtook him, and he grazed his lips over hers, testing the waters. He needed a moment just to feel as though he was in control of a situation, something he felt was slipping from him over the last month.
"I missed your voice." Zelda moved to his neck, kissing him in the nook between it and his shoulder.
"I missed your eyes." Link pulled back, moving her hair away from her face with his left hand.
"I missed your hands." Zelda rested hers on his, nails grazing his skin.
"I missed your smile." Link lifted his palm to her cheek, smiling back.
"I missed your lips." Zelda kissed him, the softness gone from her actions, desire steeping in her breath.
"I missed you." Link's hand moved down from her profile, resting finally on her chest.
"Link," Zelda looked down at his palm, Link's eyes unwavering from hers. She looked back up at him. She hesitated for a moment. His eyes asked, and hers answered.
They spent the night in hitched breaths and sighs, tongues and lips.
Link knew why Zelda hit the oil lamp last time.