The Problem of Heirs
By Queenie Z

The Pirate Queen drummed her fingers impatiently on the stone windowsill of her chambers in her castle. Well, "castle" was probably not the best phrase to describe the structure marking New Hyrule's capital city - at this point in time it was more of a mid-sized fort, constructed in a few short years by the colonists she and Link had brought here - however, truthfully, she liked it that way. Though she was indeed a monarch, one that was good and true to her subjects, Tetra was most decidedly not the elegant ruler her ancestors had been portrayed as. As such, she thought that a more humble abode such as this suited her.

What did not suit her, however, was how late Link was getting. Sure, he'd been quite busy with training the assorted riff-raff that had enlisted into a newly formed royal guard, but that was no excuse for keeping her waiting, especially for something as important as what she had to tell him! She scowled at the clock, trying desperately to swallow back the nervousness building within her, then scolded herself for feeling so fearful in the first place. Goddesses dammit all, she was a fearsome pirate and a proud queen - she sure as hell wasn't going to let one single question turn her into a nervous wreck!

Tetra grumbled to herself and turned away not a second before a knock on the door startled her. Well, it was about time that good-for-nothing showed up! She stormed over and opened the door ready to rip her boyfriend a new one, but Link spoke first, lifting his hands defensively with a sheepish expression.

"I can explain," he said, knowing full well after over ten years that Tetra's anger was one that needed to be assuaged as soon as possible.

The queen crossed her arms impatiently. "Go on."

"One of the rookies got seriously hurt," Link explained. "He's being taken care of now, but, well..."

Tetra's face softened and she let out a sigh. "You had to make sure he was all right," she said, "thanks to your little hero complex."

"I thought you liked my hero complex," he replied, scratching his cheek bashfully.

"I never said I didn't." She let Link into the room, shutting the door behind him. Of course it was just like the famed Hero of Winds to drop everything and rush to somebody's aide; there was no way she could fault him for that. She sat aside her annoyance, allowing her face to soften somewhat as she addressed him. "Anyway, Link, we need to talk."

"I figured." Link took a wooden chair and turned it, sitting backwards in the seat and resting his arms on the back.

"Well, you know, I was - " though she had begun speaking with her usual confidence, she suddenly froze, her dark features flushed with pink as she struggled to find the words. She turned to the window, feigning assurance by placing her hands on her hips. "...I was just thinking ahead, that's all. About the kingdom's future."

Link chuckled a little. "Aren't we all?"

"I don't mean..." Tetra clicked her tongue in frustration. "...What I mean is that I'm not going to be queen forever. New Hyrule's going to need, well... an heir."

The hero lifted an eyebrow. "I thought that was a given, Tetra..."

"No, no, what I'm saying is - " Groaning, she slapped a palm to her forehead. "I'm talking about marriage! We're going to have to get married if we want the royal bloodline to continue!"

Link nearly fell out of his seat at the word "marriage". "Eh!? B-B-But, but - "

Tetra spun around, staring intently into Link's eyes. "I'm going to ask you a simple 'yes' or 'no' question, Link. Do you want to get married or not!?"

His mouth hung open like a fish out of the water and his face slowly turned a bright shade of red. Then, after a moment of awkward silence, he swallowed. "...Are you proposing to me?" he asked, "Shouldn't this be happening the other way around!?"

The queen simply narrowed her eyes. "'Yes' or 'no'," she growled.

"Yes! Yes!" Link backed away from her stare and grinned bashfully. "Of course I want to get married!"

She stared him down for a moment longer, as if in slight disbelief. Then, she grinned. "Good," she said, "that's what I wanted to hear."

Sighing in relief that she was in a good mood again, he stood. "So, um... does that mean we're engaged now, or do I still have to get you a ring or - "

"No, no," laughed Tetra, taking a hold of her fiancé's arms affectionately, "you don't need to get me anything, your word's good enough. We'll just announce it officially and call it a day, all right?"

"R-Right," replied Link, looking down at his feet. "...But if I marry you, that makes me king, right?"

She tilted her head. "Do you want to be?"

"Not really, no. I'd rather stay the captain of the new guard and keep doing what I'm good at." He grinned at her. "Besides, why would people need me to be their king? You're doing a good enough job on your own."

"Good point," replied Tetra, giving his arms a squeeze, "you'd make a terrible king. How does prince consort sound, then?"

He blinked. "Prince consort?"

"Basically," explained the queen, "you'd be married to me, and any children we had would become rightful heirs, but you wouldn't have any kingly responsibilities."

"So," snickered Link, "I'd be the royal baby maker, then?" He laced his hands together with hers. "...Yeah, I guess I can live with that."

"Let's not worry about making any babies right now, though," said Tetra, "we still have to build the kingdom up before we can give it any heirs!"

Link nodded. "Yeah, we should probably take things one at a time, shouldn't we?" His eyes wandered to the left. "...Still, though, I feel kind of bad for not getting you anything to mark the engagement."

She almost began scolding him again, but as she opened her mouth, Tetra got an idea. She lowered her hand, lacing her thumb through the belt loop of his uniform and tugging on it.

"They say actions speak louder than words," she said in a hushed, playful voice, "or engagement rings for that matter."

The prince consort-to-be's face lit up at her proposition, and he wasted no time in bridging the gap between their lips.