A/N: It's been a while, but I finished this chapter in time for the New Year. =3 I hope you like it
"Come on, Navi, tell another one; please?" Dark Link pleaded with the fairy in a hushed tone while Link brushed Epona's mane and coat a couple feet away. Navi giggled, sitting on his shoulder. She tapped her chin and thought for a moment.
"Oh, I could tell you about when Link travelled with Princess Ruto."
"The Water Sage? Ganondorf mentioned her once or twice. She's tickled Link before?"
"Yeah, it was funny. Let me see if I remember…"
"Tell me again why I have to carry you." Link huffed, carrying Princess Ruto on his back through Jabu-Jabu's belly; she was wearing his Hylian shield on her back.
"Because I'm not leaving until I find what I'm looking for," she explained, playfully tugging his ear. "And you need me to get through here alive. So if you want to get out of here, you need to carry me."
"You have two legs and neither are broken."
"Now Link," Navi lectured. "That's no way to treat a lady." Ruto giggled, and Link huffed, readjusting his hold on Ruto's legs.
"H-Hey!" the Zora princess giggled as he inadvertently squeezed her knees. "Stop it!" Link chuckled and kept walking, now consciously wiggling his fingers on the backs of her knees.
"What's wrong, Princess?" he teased as Ruto giggled and clung to him. "You ticklish?" She hit his shoulder, giggling.
"Cut it out!"
"Well, excuse me, Princess. But since you're on my back, you'll just have to deal with it."
"Link, you're so mean." Navi chuckled.
"Hey, it's not my fault she refuses to walk."
"Yeah, but how would you feel if she knew you were ticklish?" Link's eyes widened, and his breath hitched. He could practically feel the smirk spreading across Ruto's countenance as he glared at Navi.
The rest of his time with her felt like forever, and was probably the most awkward tickle fight he'd ever been in. She would tickle under his arms or graze her fingers along his neck, and he would tickle her knees, occasionally managing to tickle one of her feet. By the time they finally located the Ruto was looking for, both were giggly and were barely taking anything seriously.
"Hey!" Ruto suddenly shouting after they entered another room, yanking on Link's ear.
"Ouch! What?!" he shouted. Ruto pointed up onto the large circular platform in the center of the room.
"There it is! Can you get me on top of the platform?" Link sighed and walked over to the platform, and she climbed onto his shoulders and hopped onto the platform.
"That's probably the most exertion you've gotten all day, isn't it?" he smirked.
"Hey, shut up." Ruto giggled, picking up the blue stone. She explained how the stone had ended up here, and Link couldn't help laughing. She just rolled her eyes and smiled at him.
"Get me down from here." She chuckled. He nodded and approached the platform. Suddenly, the room shook and the platform rose up into a hole in the ceiling, and Link heard Ruto shriek. When the platform came down, a giant Octorock with a conch on its head was on the platform. As he fought it, he grew worried about the Zora princess.
Link was forced to continue on without Ruto, who'd inexplicably disappeared. After finally defeating the Bio-Electric Anemone Barinade, the exit portal and heart container appearing nearby. As he picked up the Heart Container, he faced the portal to see Ruto waiting for him and smiling.
"Hey, Ruto!" he called happily, approaching her and stepping into the portal. She hugged him, giggling as they were teleported outside.
"She called the Spiritual Stone the Zora's Engagement Ring." Navi giggled. "And to this day, she claims that she and Link are destined to be married."
"Aw, how cute!" Dark Link chuckled teasingly; Link rolled his eyes, grabbing his shadow's cap and yanking it down to cover his eyes.
"Get your own life, Shadow." He smirked, tickling Dark Link's side while he reached up to pull his hat off.
"But I love hearing about yours." He laughed and ran his hand through his raven hair. "Dude, you messed up my hair."
"Oh, how about that time Saria found out you were ticklish, Link?" Navi suggested, and Link shook his head. Dark Link nodded eagerly, smiling brightly. Navi just giggled and sat on Epona's head.
"Well, it starts after Link and I left Hyrule Castle; This is before we met Ruto, mind you…"
Link and Navi walked back through Hyrule Field, all the way back to Kokiri forest. As Link crossed the bride into the
forest, he was stopped by Navi's shout.
"Watch out!" she shouted. Link stopped just in time to avoid the range of a Deku Nut flash.
"Hey, Link!" a familiar voice called. The young hero turned to see Saria standing on a cliff, waving at him.
"Did you have to do that?" he chuckled, waving back. She giggled and smiled brightly.
"Meet me at your house, Link. I want to show you something." She called, then ran into the cave behind her. Link shrugged and walked into the small forest village. He went over to his house and climbed the ladder, looking over the forest.
Minutes later, Saria ran up to his house, her fairy trailing behind her.
"Link, come on! Follow me!" she called happily. Link jumped down from the tree-house and landed beside her. She led him up to the Lost Woods and through the natural maze they made.
"So, you wanted to show me a maze?" Link asked, staying close to her, so he wouldn't get lost.
"No, silly. It's at the end of the maze." The maze opened up into a large meadow filled with flowers; across the meadow was a flight of stone stairs.
"What is this place?" Link asked, following Saria as she walked through a narrow path in the flowers.
"This is the Sacred Forest Meadow." The Kokiri girl explained, reaching out and letting a butterfly perch on her finger. "It's kind of my secret place."
"So, why'd you bring me here?"
"Because you're my best friend, of course. And because I know you have to leave on a long journey. I figure there's no harm in spending a little time together before you go." Link smiled softly. Out of all the Kokiri, Saria was always the kindest to him. Everyone knew he was different from the other Kokiri, even him, but at least she didn't shove it in his face like Mido or the others. He nodded, slipping off his sword and shield and setting them down.
"Sounds like a good idea, Saria." He agreed. Saria smiled brightly.
"I'm glad you think so. I do have something important to tell you before you leave though, so don't let me forget." Link nodded again.
"Good." She continued. "Oh, and um…" -She approached him and tapped his shoulder- "You're it." She giggled and ran off, leaving Link behind. The young Hylian looked over at Navi, who was lounging lazily on a flower with Saria's fairy.
"Don't mind us, Link" Navi called. "Go on and play." Link smiled and ran after the giggling Kokiri girl.
"You think he has a crush on Saria?" the other fairy asked, watching the children run around and laugh.
"If he does, he doesn't realize it." Navi chuckled. "He's kind of dense when it comes to girls."
As the sun moved across the sky, the two children explored the meadow. They sat down on a patch of grass to avoid crushing any flowers and watched the birds and butterflies roam the skies and meadow around them.
"Hey, Saria;" Link said, plucking a flower from the ground beside him. "You think you can get a butterfly to land here?" He placed the flower in her hand, smiling.
"Is that a bet?" the Kokiri girl chuckled. She held the flower up, and a few butterflies flittered about near it. Link gently nudged her arm a bit higher.
"C'mon, Saria." He encouraged her. "If you hold it higher, they might land. Just stay perfectly still." He smirked secretly as he said that, and as she raised the flower just a bit higher, he wiggled his fingers softly along her exposed side and her lower ribcage. She squeaked and giggled, pulling her arm down and covering her side. She glared playfully at Link, who looked away, feigning innocence.
"Very funny, Link." She giggled, and he smiled at her.
"I never knew you were ticklish." He smirked, poking her stomach. She squeaked and backed away.
"That's because it's a secret, silly. I don't know if you realize this, but the Know-It-All Brothers seem to hunt the ones they know are ticklish."
"Believe me, I know." Link huffed, and Saria laughed.
"No way, you're ticklish?" Link's eyes widened in fear.
"I didn't say that!" he shouted, backing away.
"You're not very good at hiding it." Saria giggled teasingly, standing up and looming over him. He chuckled nervously, jumping to his feet and running off. She pounced on him so easily that it was as if he hadn't been trying to escape. Her fingers dug into his sides, and he laughed helplessly, unable to curl up with her sitting on his legs. She kneaded his waist and dug into his ribs relentlessly while Link struggled and laughed, begging her to stop.
"Alright, alright!" he shouted, laughing. "I'm ticklish! N-Now stop it!" Saria giggled and finally stopped, patting his back and getting off him. Link glared at her and got up, grabbing her and tickling her hips. She squealed and giggled, recoiling as he kneaded her sides.
The two fairies lounging on the nearby flowers continued to watch them as the sun eased slowly across the sky into the evening.
"For a clueless boy, he's certainly not afraid to get physical." Saria's fairy noted.
"And that is simply more proof of how clueless he is…" Navi replied, and both giggled.
"Hey!" Link shouted, glaring at Navi as Dark Link laughed nearby. "I am not clueless!" he heard Dark Link's laughter turn into hysterics. "And what are you laughing at?!"
"You're totally clueless, hero." He giggled, standing up and approaching him. Link huffed, glaring at him.
"Shut up and get on the horse." He snarled, Navi giggling as she disappeared into his cap. He climbed onto Epona's back, and Dark Link climbed up behind him, hugging his waist lightly.
"So, where are we going?" he asked the Hylian.
"Lon-Lon Ranch. I want Malon to make sure Epona's okay."
"You sure you're not making sure Malon's okay?" Navi giggled teasingly.
"If you weren't on my head, I'd so hurt you, Navi…"
"I don't think you'd do much damage, mister thickheaded." Dark Link giggled, squeezing Link's stomach. He tensed and elbowed his shadow in the ribs.
Minutes later, Epona trotted into Lon-Lon Ranch, and Malon met them at the gate to the horse enclosure. She pat Epona's head as she walked over.
"Hi, Epona." She smiled brightly at her favorite horse. "And Link, it's good to see-" She realized Link wasn't alone, and the other person she saw with him shocked her.
"Ugh…" she mumbled. "Maybe I didn't get enough sleep last night. I'm seeing double."
"You must be Malon." Dark Link chuckled. "You can call me Shadow."
"His name is Dark Link." Link added. "And he won't stop following me."
"Oh…" Malon nodded as the boys climbed off Epona's back. Navi fluttered out of Link's hat as the followed Malon into the stables.
"So, Malon, do you mind if we spend the night here?" Link asked as he and Dark Link helped Malon wash Epona's coat.
"You're always welcome here, Link.." she smiled, and Link smiled brightly, not noticing the faint redness on Malon's cheeks.
"Clueless." Navi and Dark Link chuckled, and he glared at them. Dark Link smiled mischievously.
"So, Malon." He called to the young farmhand. "Did you know that Link is ticklish?"
"Yes." Link huffed and Malon giggled. Dark Link chuckled.
"Any stories then?"
"Well…" Malon thought about it. "It's a short one…"
"Malon, Please don't…" Link sighed.
"Please do, Malon?" Dark Link pleaded, mocking him. Malon laughed as Link punched his shadow's arm.
"Okay then." She agreed, smiling. "If I remember it correctly…"
"I don't think this is a good idea…" Young Link muttered as he lay beside the table, his legs at a right angle against it. He flinched as a young Malon dragged her finger down his bare sole from her seat on the tabletop.
"C'mon, Link!" she shouted happily. "Have a backbone! It'll be fun!"
"But you know I don't get along very well with Cuccoos." Link argued nervously. Malon just giggled.
"Be brave, Fairy Boy! This is my afternoon off! My dad said we could play with the Cuccoos while he tended the horses."
"But Cuccoos don't like me, Malon!"
"Well, I know how to make them like you. You just have to hold still." Link sighed in defeat as Malon stood up and stepped away. Minutes later, he shuddered as he felt the young farm girl sprinkle grains on his soles.
"Malon…" He murmured suspiciously as she tied his ankles and big toes together as carefully as possible with thin rope. "What exactly are you doing?" He heard a Cuccoo squawking in distress as Malon picked it up.
"Sorry Link." She said, pretending to sound disappointed. "I just remembered that my dad told me to feed the Cuccoos today." Link heard her giggle, and it didn't take a genius to piece it together; then again, Link has never been accused of his overwhelming intelligence.
"Malon… D-Don't…" Link was cut off by his laughter as the Cuccoo pecked the grains off his soles. As Malon set another Cuccoo near his feet, he wondered why it tickled so badly. The repetitious tapping of the Cuccoos' beaks on his soles actually stung a bit. But he wasn't really concerned with that.
"Malon! Cut it out!" he laughed hysterically. "N-Not my feet, please!" Malon just giggled.
"It's not like I'm doing anything." She taunted, sitting on the table and watching the Cuccoos peck the grains off his soft soles. Minutes later, she took a bit of pity on him and brushed the remaining grains into her hand and scattered them on the floor. Link panted softly and giggled as Malon untied his feet and toes. She smiled brightly at him, proud of her mischief. Within a few seconds though, Link grabbed her wrist and yanked her onto the floor, tickling her sides. She shrieked and laughed, obviously more ticklish than Link-
"L-Link! Stop it!" Malon squealed as Link tickled her stomach to keep her from telling her story.
"I'd forgotten you were so ticklish." The Hylian in green sneered. Dark Link chuckled, watching them.
"Quite an interesting story though." He giggled, stepping forward and tickling Malon's sides. The farm girl laughed and tried to escape them. Navi watched from her perch on Epona's head and giggled.
"You Hylians are so odd sometimes." She giggled.
A/N: Yes! I referenced a show most of my online friends hate and beat the 4th wall with a Deku Stick! Happy New Year, guys! XD Writing chapters without Dark Link starring in them is surprisingly difficult here...