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Wild and Free

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One year after the defeat of Calamity Ganon

 

Link was antsy.

 

However, he found it hard to believe he was to blame. The fate of Hyrule kingdom was at stake. With Zelda being the only remaining member of the royal family, she had to be announced as the queen of Hyrule. Preparing for the ceremony was something Link would never get over. He was nervous, not for himself but for his friend. She may have been alive for 118 years, but in her mind she was only eighteen, and the trust of the entire kingdom was on her shoulders.

 

She had come to him before about leaving, when she found out she was going to be crowned queen.

 

“I can’t do it, Link. I’m not ready. Let’s run away together, go to Kakariko and live the rest of our days as sheikah.” She could do it though. It took Link an entire week to convince her that she was needed, and that everyone was lucky to have her as queen, but it was worth it.

 

Despite how much he cared for Zelda, Link couldn’t shake the feeling that he just wasn’t cut out for castle life. He was starting to feel a little like a royal consultant. Zelda couldn’t leave and abandon her people, she knew that.There was no point in Link being there. Besides... Link had another problem.

 

He couldn’t stay.

 

Before, he had no qualms about standing by the princess, but that was before he had fallen in battle.

 

Before he traveled from the Icefall Foothills in Hebra to Eventide island. Before he knew how much he loved adventure. Before he had met all the people, helped everyone in some way, before he even took on Ganon, just traveling from Divine beast to Divine beast and seeing everything in between. He had made friends in every race, Yunobu, Riju, Teba, Sidon, the elders, the travelers, recurring faces like Beadle and Kass…

 

Link just couldn’t stay in the castle with Zelda. As he was milling these over in his thoughts he stood by Zelda’s side, waiting with her for people to arrive. He knew she was going to ask him about the future, possibly beg him to stay.

 

“Link,” she began. Now or never. He could be banished from Hyrule castle forever for refusing. That was fine, he decided. He could stay at his house in Hateno, perhaps rent a place in Laurelin Village. He would make it work. But there was no doubt in his mind that Hyrule Castle was not where his journey ended.

 

“I have a question for you. An important one, I’ve been meaning to ask for a while, about your future.” Link swallowed thickly, turning to face her. He would miss seeing her face. He prayed to the Goddess she could find it in her heart to forgive him. “will you…” She began. She licked her lips before speaking, and Link braced himself for the words to come, and what he had to respond with.

 

“Will you write to me on your new journey?”

 

“I’m sorry princess, I can’t stay… wait what?” Link registered her words. “My new journey?”

 

“Well surely you don’t want to stay here forever. I’ve seen the looks you give the world at night, watching Satori mountain in the courtyard for a glimpse of blue light.” She looked at him, sadness and certainty warring in her eyes. “You don’t belong here, Link.” Any other person would have been upset. Exclusion was never good to feel. This however, was a special case.

 

“Yes! Yes, of course I’ll write.” He looked out the window, hearing a voice. He ignored it though, focused on responding to Zelda. “You’re my closest friend, how could I possibly lose touch? A-and I’ll visit all the time. But…” his excitement faded. Why? “I thought you would try and convince me to stay.”

 

“Never.” Zelda rose from the throne. “I have watched over you since you woke up in the shrine of Resurrection, Link. You belong out there, helping people around the world, meeting new ones, and fighting every bokoblin and Lizalfos in your way. The wild is your home, Link. Not the castle. You are caged here.” Yes, yes, yes. Every word Zelda spoke was the truth. He needed the heart-pounding fear of losing his life to a Lynel to hear Mipha whisper her grace in his ear. He needed the thrill of a perfect block against a guardian’s rays, the simplicity of hunting down hearty truffles, the sensation of drifting down a tower on a gentle breeze, wind whipping at his hair and clothes. The wild is your home. It felt true. It was right .

 

“And you’ll stay for the ceremony?”

 

“Of course, princess .” He cherished calling her by her title, because she would never be a princess again. Zelda’s eyes watered.

 

“You are my dearest friend, Link. You’ve saved my life, and you deserve a shot at a new one without some quest in mind.” Goddess, yes.

 

“Thank you, princess.” A door creaked, and heard a voice.

 

“Oh my! It seems I’m early.” Link turned to see Impa, smiling lightly. This was the first time he had seen her off her stack of pillows, and though she was short, she looked every piece the leader he knew she was. She had been so helpful on his first journey, maybe he could visit her again.

 

“Nonsense, Impa.” Zelda sat back down on the throne.

 

“You’re just in time.”

 

-

 

The ceremony went beautifully. Because the king was no longer there, Impa named Zelda the queen of Hyrule, creatures of every race in the crowd erupting in cheers from the courtyard. Link knew that King Rhoam was proud, wherever he was in the afterlife. Urbosa would be cheering as well, showering her with the praises a mother might offer her. When she sat in her throne, Queen Zelda, she looked to Link.

 

“I have an obligation for my first action as queen,” Zelda said. ”Something I should have done a year ago.” Her voice was clear and held power. Link made a small noise of surprise. What did she mean? “Kneel down, Link. Hero of Hyrule.” The crowd spoke in hushed whispers, and Link kneeled before her.

 

“Zelda, What-“ Zelda raised a hand to silence him, turning her head to face her subjects.

 

“This man is the reason I stand here today as your queen. He defeated Calamity Ganon one year ago,” She looked Link directly in the eyes. “...and saved my life.” She went back to looking at the crowd. “All of Hyrule, especially me, owe him a great debt.” Link swallowed while people clapped. “However,” she continued, the clapping slowing to a stop. “Being in Hyrule Castle is not his place. He is not some trophy for me, or for anyone to keep. Link is just as much worthy of a normal life as we all are.” Link’s mouth dropped open in a wordless gape. “Link, rise.” Link stood, seeing a happy, focused expression on his face. “Before all of Hyrule, I declare that Link has full roam of everything the land has to offer. In the name of the Goddess, I bless this man’s travels, and wish him well on his new journey.” Zelda reached to her side, grabbing her beloved Sheikah slate.

 

“Zelda you can’t-“

 

“I would think it unwise to refuse a gift from the queen.” Her pleasant smile morphed into a smirk. “Besides,” she thrust the slate into Link’s hands. “This hasn’t been mine in over a hundred years.” Link took the slate into his hands. Just the weight of it was enough to make him excited to travel again. “Let us all thank him, and may our cheers be a blessing to his renewed life.” Link could have gone deaf with how loud the crowd was.

 

-

 

“Link! What a surprise to see you here!” Link rubbed the back of his neck, pulling a twig out of his hair that he had picked up in the forest.

 

“Hi, Embry. Can I grab my horse from here?” Link hadn’t seen the stable owner at the outskirts in ages, and this was where he had left his beloved horse, Epona.

 

“Absolutely. She’s been an absolute pain since she thought you weren’t returning.” Link’s first stop on his journey would be to the Gerudo desert. It would have been easy to warp there with the Sheikah slate, but he wanted to be out in nature, readjust to the territory. He had all the time in the world, and he would take however long he wanted. He had already put on his sand boots, still a little guilty about taking advantage of Bozai. The man had just been looking to impress a nice girl and Link took advantage of him.  Oh well, he thought. He did what he had to. “Here she is,” Embry said, guiding Epona out of the stable.

 

“Hey girl-ah!” Link was surprised when she charged directly into him, chuckling. “Epona, it’s good to see you too.” She whinnied and turned around in a circle. He gave her an apple, which she ate gladly. “Goddess I missed you. How about we go to the desert?” She snuffled, air blowing harshly from her nose. “Alright. Thanks again, Embry.”

 

“Good luck, Link.” He mounted her and kicked at her sides to get her to move. She set a swift pace right away, and Link couldn’t stop the grin on his face if he tried. Being in constant danger had never felt this good.

Chapter Text

Ten weeks later

 

Riju had been overwhelmed with excitement to see Link. She had greeted him with a massive hug and a shout. “ Eskazant!” Link had no idea what that word meant, so later when he asked someone, they told him it meant “Brother.” He hadn’t expected to be such a prominent figure in Riju’s life, and the thought of her calling him family made his heart fill with emotion. He learned the word for Sister was Esa , intending on surprising Riju. She had been even more excited when he greeted her with it. After Link informed her about his journey and how he would probably be visiting often, Riju told Buliara to have a chat with the guards. Pulling a few strings (and busting out the hero card) was a massive success. Link was officially the only male allowed in Gerudo Town. He had a pass to get in and everything. Although, the guards had been quite distressed to learn that link had dressed as a woman to get in, and were now even more wary of travelers. After his fond reunion in Gerudo town, Link traveled to Hebra and visited his friends in Rito Village. Teba had been fairly stoic about the entire thing, but Kass had immediately gathered his family to sing for him. Link knew he’s be grinning about it for years. He had always liked hearing the songs of Kass’ old teacher, and the one he and his daughters had written about him was no different. It had him clapping, laughing, smiling along the entire time, and he was certain to give Kass a thank you in the form of a new story for him to write music to afterward. His next stop was in Goron City, where he had to leave Epona at the foothill stable so she wouldn’t get too hot. He had left her outside of the desert as well, but she seemed alright as long as Link came back. His visit into the city was entirely too short for his liking, but he understood that Yunobu had duties to attend to now that he had been named the new chief, following the death of Bludo. They parted ways after a few days of sharing dinner and stories about other places in the world.

 

Link was happy with his new life. He hadn’t expected his quality of life to improve so much after he left Hyrule castle, and it had only been just over two months. He checked his map at foothill stable late at night, putting a pin on Goron city. He just had Zora’s domain left to visit.

 

What would he do next? He rolled in bed, listening to the rain outside. What was in store for him now that he was free of obligations?

 

He decided to cross that bridge when he came to it. There would always be people to help or save, no matter how long he spent doing it. The world was changing constantly, and modern problems required modern solutions. Link was willing to spend his whole life dedicated to the changes the world went through, and how to solve them. but again, Link wanted to finish his grand tour. That meant that for now, he had to focus on going to see Sidon. Getting to Zora’s domain would be a nightmare, especially when Epona didn’t like to travel near water. He had half a mind to leave her in the capable hands of the stable owner and travel there by himself, but the journey would be long on foot. He didn’t want to, but it seemed like his only option was to warp there.

 

-

 

The next morning he said his goodbyes to Epona, giving the stable owner enough apples, and a big enough rupee bribe to keep her fed (and paid for) for two months. He anticipated spending more time in Zora’s domain, mostly because the climate was easier for him to bear, not hot, on fire, or covered in snow. Most of his outfits would suit the region perfectly fine, and he had the thunder helm in case of electric shock risk. He pulled out his Sheikah slate after saying goodbye to Epona, letting her know he would be back. With a small smile he warped to Ne'ez Yohma shrine.

 

Zora’s domain hadn’t changed a bit, Link noticed as he picked fleet-lotus seed flowers and gathered bright-eyed crabs. He swapped his outfit for his Zora armor in the privacy of the shrine room, and walked slowly up the steps to Mipha’s statue. He came here often when he was visiting, hoping to catch Sidon and convince him to neglect his duties for an adventure. He peeked around the side and didn’t see Sidon, but saw a young blue Zora running around the statue. “Heya, mister!” He called out. He recognized this kid.

 

“Hi! It’s Tumbo, right? Mei and Fronk’s kid?” He nodded.

 

“You’re a hy-Leon! Why are you here, mister Hy-leon?” He asked. Link knelt down, not caring that his knee was getting soaked in the water that filled the lower level of the domain.

 

“I’m looking for Prince Sidon. Have you seen him?” Tumbo looked thoughtful for a moment.

 

“No, I don’t know where he likes to go this early in the day. But maybe Laruta has! She’s upstairs with the rest of the Sidon fan club.” Link nodded and thanked him. “Wait! Mister Hy-Leon?” He asked.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Could you bring me some frogs?” He asked. “You look like you’ll help me, because Dad has work and my mom is resting from her fishing trip.” Link grinned.

 

“Sure.” Link stood again and walked to the stairs. He paused when he saw Ledo, working on his luminous stone work. Maybe he would know where Sidon was? “Hey Ledo!” He greeted.

 

“Link! Hello!” He said with a big smile. “Got any more luminous stones for me?” Link tutted.

 

“Sorry, I’ll try to track some down when I go out today. Hey, have you seen Sidon?” Ledo pointed to the crest of the stairs, where familiar red skin was turned away, talking to another Zora.

 

“There he is. He likes to stand watch up there. Stares at Ruta all day on days King Dorephan doesn’t need him. I think he could do with some change.”

 

“I’ll drag him to the Ploymus mountain trail and get him to catch frogs with me,” he assured. “I’ll even try to get him to help me find you some luminous stones. Thanks, Ledo.” He jogged up the nearby stairs, staying low when he got near the top. He knew Sidon had great peripheral vision, although he was engrossed in conversation with a black Zora. Link snuck closer, grinning to himself. This was genius.

 

Boo!” He shouted when he was as close as he could get without being spotted.

 

“Ah!” The black Zora, who Link recognized as Bazz, jumped in surprise, and Sidon ripped his sword out of its sheath.

 

“Woah! Sidon, calm down it’s me!” Sidon was still tense, but a flash of recognition went across his features.

 

“Link! My treasured Hylian pearl!” Sidon put his sword away and pulled him in for a swift hug. “It is wonderful to see you again.”

 

“Pearl, huh?” Bazz asked Sidon.

 

“Yes, because like a pearl, Link is a treasure to me. His friendship is a gift, and I am a better Zora for it.” Link hit Sidon in the arm, trying to push off the heat rising in his cheeks.

 

“You softie.” Sidon just grinned wider.

 

“What brings you here, my friend?” He asked. “Not that I am protesting. Is everything alright with the queen?”

 

“Yeah, Yeah. I’m a traveler now though.” Link explained. “For the past couple months I’ve been visiting all my old friends that helped me with the divine beasts. You’re my last stop, cause I can spend longer here. The environment is much more ideal.” Sidon tilted his head and smiled excitedly, the tail on his head flopping to the side.

 

“How long will you be staying?” Link had to bite back the truth: he could spend forever here. Surrounded by good people, a good friend, armor to sustain him, challenging enemies nearby to keep him busy…

 

“Just for a week or so. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.” Sidon looked excited before, now his face sank into something more serious and determined.

 

“Feel free to stay as long as you want. If you would like, we can even donate an actual bedroom to you during your stay?” Link brightened up.

 

“Careful with offers like that, Sidon. You might get what you ask for.” He warned.

 

“Good thing I mean it.” Link laughed, trying to get the nervous energy out of his system. “My sincerest apologies, Bazz, We will have to- oh.” Sidon turned to address the Zora who had been talking with him, only to discover he had gone away.

 

“Oh good. He knows it too.” Link’s face split into a grin.

 

“Knows what?” Sidon asked, his face nothing but confusion.

 

“That I’m taking you away from your prince duties to go do dumb things with me.”

 

“Link…” Sidon looked sad. “I have work to do.”

 

“When has that stopped you before? Come on, Tumbo wants me to catch frogs for him and I can’t carry more than five.” Link insisted. In all reality, he could just give Tumbo the frogs he had in his Ingredients pouch, but no way was he passing up the chance to get Sidon to have some fun. The prince looked conflicted, looking between Link and the steps leading to King Dorephan’s throne.

 

“If my father becomes upset-“

 

“Blame it on me. All my fault. Come on, Sidon.” Sidon sighed dramatically and followed his friend to the bridge.

Chapter Text

Sidon was overjoyed to see Link again, and once they had taken some time to relax and enjoy themselves, he made it abundantly clear by once again praising him for saving the domain, then praising him more for saving Hyrule, telling him how he was ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful’ and Sidon was ‘eternally grateful’ for his friendship. Link had never been gushed about so much. After making their deliveries to Ludo and Tumbo, they had made their way to East Reservoir lake for a swim. The water was freezing cold to Link, but after Sidon showering him with compliments, warmth had made a home in his chest, and it helped.

 

“You took down the stone Talus of Ralis pond as if it was nothing, collected luminous stones for Ludo, we have given away the frogs, and you still wish to spend time with me?” Sidon asked from where he was floating beside Link.

 

“Well sure,” Link explained. “You’re one of my best friends.” Sidon made a small sound, then sunk down, disappearing into the water. “Hey, where are you going?” He asked, treading water. Water was hard to turn around in, Link noticed, trying to propel his body in a circle. Although that may have also been due to the cold. He couldn’t see Sidon in his view. “He’ll be back,” Link mumbled to himself. He returned to floating on his back, not too concerned about Sidon. He was a Zora, he’d be fine. The sun warmed the very surface of the water, and Link was tired from running errands all day. He closed his eyes to enjoy the warmth, hoping Sidon would be back from underwater soon.

 

-

 

“Link.” Link ignored the voice and turned his head, shifting it on top of something firm and cold. And… fleshy? Hadn’t he been in water?

 

“Mm,” he grunted in response, trying to squeeze the thing under his head. The voice huffed and shook his shoulder.

 

“Link, wake up. You’ve been asleep for a month.”

 

Not again.

 

“What?!” Link jolted awake and sat up, hand grabbing for his sword which was not on his back. He was not going to have a Shrine of Resurrection incident all over again. If he had drowned in the water and was dead, then so be it. But there was no way he could have died. His body felt fairly warm. He turned to the source of the voice, finding Sidon grinning at him. “Sidon, What..” the smug look gave him away, along with his brain finally processing his surroundings. “Oh you’re messing with me.”

 

“Quite right, little pearl.” There was that nickname again, that made his face feel warm. Sidon broke into a hearty laugh. “If you had only seen your reaction, oh, it was priceless!” Link groaned and smacked his friend in the arm, moving away from him, and realizing he’d been resting his head on Sidon’s thigh. It had made a nice pillow, so Link decided that was fine. Plus he would rather lay his head on Sidon than the ground.

 

“I was scared for a minute, Sidon! Goddess, what happened though?”

 

“You fell asleep floating, so I brought you to the dock, I could not have my-“ Sidon paused for a moment to inhale, still recovering from his laughing fit. “My best friend drowning in my own land.” Link sighed in relief, glad he hadn’t nearly died while asleep. “I was watching you closely. Don’t concern yourself too much with it, I pulled you out almost as soon as you drifted off.” it was probably a good thing that Sidon had grabbed him.

 

“Thank you, Sidon. What time is it?” He knew they eventually had to get back to the domain, even if Link would rather spend all day out and around with Sidon. While Link stood to restore blood flow to his legs Sidon squinted at the sky, no longer heaving for air.

 

“Around seven, I believe. close to sundown. I was waking you up so we could head back.”

 

“Right. Let me just grab my things, we can go now.”

 

“Wait,“ Sidon said suddenly, grabbing Link’s arm in a clawed hand. Of course he was very careful not to hurt him. “Could we...” He looked at the lake, then back to Link.

 

“Yeah?” Link was waiting for him to get the words out.

 

“Nothing. Never mind.” Sidon shook his head and stood up, walking to the lake for one final quick soak while Link gathered his items. When everything was in its place, he called for Sidon to come out. a blur of red came out of the water, launching onto the dock and rolling into a standing position. “Are you prepared?” Sidon asked, not even breathless from his abrupt launch.

 

“Yeah,” Link confirmed. The walk back to the domain from the lake was short, but the stairs in front of East Reservoir Lake were incredibly long. It may have been easier to warp back, but Link wanted to talk more with Sidon. They caught each other up on what they had missed in the months they’d been apart, including Sidon coming to grips with his lineage. He had apparently struggled with power he had, saying the throne was like a blessing and a curse. He turned to Link, pausing in his stride when they were near the middle of the Great Zora Bridge.

 

“That is one of the many reasons I am grateful for you, Link.” He said, putting a firm hand on Link’s shoulder.

 

“What do you mean?” Sidon turned, looking into the water below.

 

“To everyone in the tribe, It’s always ’Prince Sidon, in line for the throne’. I have so much superiority over them, though I would never act on it. I dislike the idea of predetermined authority.” Sidon turned back to Link, putting both hands on his shoulders and kneeling so they were the same height. “But you don’t speak to me or treat me like a prince, you treat me as a friend, with the same wants and interests as any other person. I can never thank you enough for that.” Before Link could even begin to process the words, Sidon pulled him closer, arms wrapping him in a hug. Link had so many of the same things to say to Sidon as well. Sidon never treated him like the hero everyone else saw him as. he saw his accomplishments, acknowledged and praised him for them, but he didn’t treat Link differently than he would a close friend. If their roles had been reversed, Link would shower Sidon with praise as well. Sure, it made Link embarrassed to hear Sidon gush about him, but defeating Lynels, Hinoxes, Moldugas, guardians, and other monsters was no easy task. If Sidon did all those things all the time? Link would be extremely proud, and brag about his friend all the time. Even so, more crucial than his accomplishments, Sidon was just another person who ate, slept, had hobbies and did tasks, just like any other creature on the planet. As individuals Link and Sidon were wildly different, but at the core they were the same, two people who just wanted what was best for the other. Link would never be able figure out how to put that in words to Sidon, so he just hugged back.

Chapter Text

Link’s ‘couple Of weeks’ at Zora’s domain stretched into longer, and soon he had stayed there for an entire month and a half. The water was starting to feel like home. More importantly, the people were starting to feel like his family. He liked spending days with Bazz on patrol and hearing stories about things that happened over the hundred years he was asleep, he liked surprising Muzu by being nice to him when he had so many reasons to despise him, talking to Dento about the champions and all of their weapons, fishing with Mei, gathering lizards or flowers or butterflies for the three kids, and doing whatever else anyone wanted to do. On days when Sidon could spare his time (or, more often, days when Link convinced him to slack off), they would do things together, like walking up and down Ploymus Mountain trail and finding mushrooms, teaming up to destroy entire camps of Lizalfos, fishing in Ruto lake off the side of the great Zora bridge, and of course, swimming for hours at East reservoir Lake. Life in Zora’s Domain was as good as it could get. Link woke one morning to find Sidon at his bedside, crouching right by his face.

 

“Link!” He greeted abruptly. Link shoved him away and rolled over.

 

“Ugh,” he groaned, reaching for the sheikah slate to check the time. “What are you up for?” Link regularly awoke at around five, but Sidon didn’t usually wake up until almost eight. His sheikah slate was telling him it was only five fifteen. “Did you have a nightmare or something?”

 

“No, I just had an epiphany of kinda. I want to go somewhere with you.” He said. Link turned his head back, interested.

 

“Where?” Link asked, slowly rolling back over.

“Somewhere in the domain?” Sidon shook his head.

 

“Outside the domain, Link. I know this area like the side of my dorsal fin. I want to venture to a different town. I want to meet other people and see a new culture.”

 

“Anywhere particular in mind?” Sidon shrugged.

 

“Somewhere not incredibly far. But far enough that we can spend time together on the journey.” Link nodded. He would never turn down a chance to travel. “I have gained permission from my father to leave for an entire week, so time is no issue as long as it is close. I just…” Link watched his face turn shy, an expression he didn’t share often. He always exuded confidence. Seeing it made Link realize how important this was to him. “You speak about your friends so fondly, and your adventures are amazing… I desire to have a small one with you.” Link smiled.

 

“I get it. A little jealous that you’re stuck at work in the water while I run around Hyrule?” Link teased. Sidon looked like he was going to protest, so Link continued, attempting to reassure him. ”I should get packed up on food and stamina potions if we’re doing this,” He said, putting a pin on his map. “I know just where to go.” It had been a while since Link had

 seen Impa and Paya anyway.

 

Link spent the day cooking and showing Sidon his map, telling him where they would be going and how they were going to get there. The entire way to Kakariko Village there was a river, although they would have to climb up one small cliff spot. Link knew the town well, and was sure they would welcome Sidon. They scouted out their route, finding only had a few lizalfos in the way. With their combined skills, it would be easy to stay safe. They planned to leave the next day, giving Sidon enough time to pack his things and enough water to wet his skin, should they travel on land longer than Link planned. Sidon also wanted to bring relics from the domain to show the people in the new area. Link was excited to leave. It was nothing against the domain and its people, He had only been there for a little while, but he wasn’t used to bring in one place. This would be perfect for satisfying the need to travel, at least for a little while. They spent the rest of the time that they had with everyone in the domain, fulfilling all the requests that they could and just having a chat with those that didn’t need anything.The requests they took were small, simple things so they weren’t sore the next day when they would need to work their muscles hard. At the end of the day they sat below the levels of the main area, enjoying the last rays of sunlight.

 

“I doubt I will sleep tonight.” Sidon said, grinning. “This village we are visiting, do they have fish?”

 

“Yeah, But people don’t usually go there for that. They go for the pumpkins and carrots.” Link recalled getting hounded by the soldiers in town for needing to eat more of the staples of the town. “I’ll cook for us, once we get there. Your specialty is fish, I’m fairly decent with everything else.”

 

“Wow.” Sidon, who was in the water, swam closer to Link and rested his head on his knees. “I can hardly contain my excitement.”

 

“They’re going to love you,” Link assured, resting his hands on Sidon’s head-fins. “I’m sure of it.” Sidon tilted his head a little, so Link scratched behind the fin. His horse liked when he did it, he was curious about Sidon’s reaction. Sidon relaxed into the touch and hummed️, a little like a cat when scratched under their chin. His skin was rough, a little like the texture of his Zora Armor. It actually felt strange when he scratched backwards, like it was sharp.

 

“What makes you certain? Wait don’t stop.” Sidon said quickly when Link moved his hand away. He chuckled and continued his scratches, seeing a happy smile spread across Sidon’s face.

 

“Well, I think you’re awesome, so why wouldn’t they?” Sidon closed his eyes, pushing into the touch.

 

“Fair enough, I suppose. Ooooh, Yes.” Link began scratching underneath his fins, watching Sidon tilt into it.

 

“You look like a cat,” he chuckled.

 

“Despite my natural armor fins are, nngh, difficult to work around because of my, my claws. I dislike stabbing myself so I, ah, I haven’t gotten a good scratch in a while.” Link could tell, Sidon looked like he was having a great time. “Will you scratch other side too?” He asked in a small voice. Link moved his other hand to match the scratches, and was pretty sure Sidon melted on his lap. His hands slid out from the water and cushioned his head, soaking Link’s pants but he didn’t mind. He would take them off when he went to bed anyway.

 

“I know you like how it feels but we have to get to bed, Sidon. Come on, let’s go.” Link stopped scratching him, and Sidon protested with a groan, pressing his face into Link’s stomach and pulling him closer at the thighs. Link’s eyes shot wide open. Even with the Zora armor on, Sidon’s ridiculously sharp teeth were way too close to his crotch for him to be comfortable. “Woah! Okay buddy, step back.” Sidon immediately scooted back, slightly confused expression changing to incredibly flustered.

 

“My apologies, I should have-“

 

“No it’s fine you were just-“

 

“Your personal space is-“

 

“I didn’t mind, you were just too-“

 

“Are you-“

 

“Y-Yeah I’m fine, don’t-“

 

“Oh, excellent uh,” the entire exchange was awkward and Sidon was sinking further and further into the water while Link drew his knees up to guard his sensitive areas.

 

“I’m okay.” Link said, mostly to assure himself. “I’m sorry for freaking out.”

 

“Don’t apologize, I should not have gotten so close.” Now that Link was speaking calmly Sidon looked less panicked, his torso back out of the water. “I apologize for making you uncomfortable.”

 

“It’s just your teeth getting a bit too close to my soft squishy parts that I was worried about, honestly. Nothing else.” Link assured. Sidon nodded but stayed silent. Several tense moments where they both were quiet passed before Link cleared his throat and spoke again. “I should probably get some sleep.”

 

“Good idea.” Sidon muttered.

 

“Are you going to…” Link gestured vaguely upwards.

 

“Yes, I will be there soon, but I will swim for a bit longer.” Link nodded in understanding. Wanting to be alone with your thoughts was something he could relate to.

 

“I’ll see you in the morning, Sidon.”

 

“Goodnight, Link.”

 

Link made his way back to his temporary room in Zora’s Domain, a small inlet on the lower level. It gave Link a degree of privacy he couldn’t have at the inn, and the bed was shockingly comfortable, for being made by a race that slept in water. He had a sneaking suspicion that Kayden, the innkeeper, had something to do with it. He settled in for bed and closed his eyes, but sleep refused to come. He tried every sleeping position he could, still nothing. What was it that was keeping him awake? Link laid flat on his back in thought. Was it because he felt the need to clear things up with Sidon? They had cleared it up though. Link had forgiven him, and he didn’t feel like things would be awkward. Maybe it was the moon? Link often felt uneasy on the full moon, anticipating that it could be a blood moon. He decided he would check the phase it was in, just to see. He got out of bed, sliding on a pair of pants but not shoes. His feet were going to get wet, after all. He walked out of the inlet, going to the side rail on the east side.

 

“Link.” Link turned around to see Sidon, kneeling in front of Mipha’s statue. “Unable to sleep?”

 

“Yeah. I think it’s the moon, or maybe I’m excited about tomorrow,” Link sighed, looking up at the sky. the seven day moon was out, not the full moon. “Either way, I thought a walk might do me some good.”

 

“Fair enough.” Sidon walked closer to Link, staring out over the railing. “I find it difficult to comprehend that I will be leaving. I know that I will not be gone long, but still… I’ve never been in any other place for very long.” Sidon looked down at Link.

 

“I get what you mean. When I was at Hyrule castle, I was there for an entire year. When I left, I was worried about what to do when I came back.” Link stepped a little closer to Sidon, unable to put his hand on his shoulder but able to provide a degree of closeness that would hopefully assure him. “Now, I don’t know if I will go back. But I know I have a place there.”

 

“Here as well.” Sidon spouted out suddenly. “You have a place in Zora’s Domain as well, I mean. If you ever want to stay here again. Or stay here longer. Everyone here adores you.” That wasn’t the first time Link had heard that. While the Gorons and the Ritos knew Link would want to go his own way, Riju had been quick to jump and say that Link could stay there if he wanted. That he had a place there.

 

“I appreciate that.” Link said, bumping Sidon’s arm with his shoulder. “And I do love it here. But I don’t think I could settle down. I’m a traveler, and I can’t resist the pull of the wild when it calls me.” Link explained. Sidon was now facing him completely, so Link turned to meet him. “I have a house in Hateno that works well for me. It’s small, but it has the things that me and Epona need.” Sidon was much bigger than Link, but he could still tell that Sidon was sad. Sadness didn’t look attractive on him. “I’m always accepting visitors you know. If you’re up for the journey. Can’t promise I’ll be there.”

 

“I would cross Gerudo Desert with no heat resistance elixirs if it meant getting to see you again. I told you before, you’re precious to me. A pearl.” Well that hit home. Hylia help him, he loved this Zora.

 

In a completely platonic way, of course.

 

“As touching as that thought is, I’d prefer you alive when we’re together.” This got a surprised laugh from Sidon.

 

“I guess that a fried Zora wouldn’t be much fun, would they?” Link shook his head.

 

“Yeah. I’d hate to have you miss out on an awesome Molduga fight in the desert,” Link said.

 

“Oh yes, I suppose I would miss that. Okay perhaps I wouldn’t do it with no heat resistant elixirs, but I would do it.” Sidon put a hand to his chin thoughtfully. “Maybe just with no weapons.”

 

“Wow, what a big difference.” Link joked. Sidon chuckled. “Well outside of that, I think that you’re pretty awesome, Sidon.”

 

“I appreciate that. Even though you clearly have more skill than I could ever hope to achieve,” Sidon replied. Link felt warmth spread across his chest, unsure if it was the beginning of a fever because he was getting sick, or if it was something else. He may have been warm inside, but a shiver went down his spine as a breeze tugged through the air.

 

“Gah, I forgot how cold it gets at night.” Link commented, rubbing his bare arms with his hands. Sidon gestured him to come closer, and Link stiffly walked to his side, surprised to find he was actually quite warm. “Huh.”

 

“What? Is this a violation of your personal space?” Sidon tensed.

 

“No,” Link said quickly, moving closer when Sidon stepped back. “You’re just a lot warmer than I thought you would be. Your head was really cold when I was scratching your fins earlier. What happened?” Link closed his eyes tiredly, relaxing against the warmth of the Zora’s side.

 

“My sleeping pool is heated and Iwas in there for a fairly substantial amount of time. I got up very recently.”

 

“Mm.” Link said, shoving his face under Sidon’s arm. Sidon let his hand rest on Link’s shoulder. “Well it’s nice. You also make a nice pillow.”

 

“If you’d like you can come to my sleeping pool to rest.”

 

“Mm-mm.” Link grunted. “It’ll be too steamy. I’ll get hot.” Sidon let out a breath of air through his nose.

 

“I see.” Link stood there for a while longer, soaking up all the warmth he could from Sidon’s body. When the Zora started to become cooler, Link sighed.

 

“You’re getting cold again.”

 

“I can’t tell.” Sidon muttered. “Time for bed?” Link nodded. He could see Sidon’s eyes drooping slightly as well, and hoped that he’d finally be able to sleep.

 

“It’s got to be getting close to two in the morning now.” Link shuffled out of Sidon’s space. “We will need to rest before we leave, or we’ll both be cranky.” Sidon nodded in agreement.

 

“Go sleep then, little pearl.” He said, walking by to the stairs leading up to the higher floor. Link waved sleepily, walking back to the inlet and his bed, taking his pants off again before practically falling into bed to sleep.

Chapter Text

The path to Kakariko involved fighting a scattered group of Lizalfos. If Link brought enough arrows it would go smoothly, but he was running low. He was also running short on rupees, as he spent most of them buying food for the trip, and he needed to save some for in the village.

 

“Why do you refuse to let me buy them for you?” Sidon asked.

 

“Because I’m going to be using them.” Link explained. They’d been arguing about this since Link realized he was running low when he checked his wallet in the shop.

 

“It’s only fifty rupees, Link. Plus, I’m the one who suggested the trip!”

 

“Save your money for Kakariko!” Link replied.

 

“I can sell the things I’m bringing from here to make up for it. Let me do this for you!” Sidon shot back.

 

“I don’t want you to have to sell your things-“

 

“That was my plan the whole time!” Link growled in frustration.

 

“You know what, I should be fine without them. I have ten arrows, and I don’t think there’s more than that out there.”

 

“And what about when you need arrows in the future?”

 

“I’ll sell some of my items later! First I want to get you to Kakariko!”

 

“Link, be sensible! I have plenty of money to spare, you do not, and I am offering!” Link grit his teeth.

 

“Why are you so reasonable?” He scoffed. “Fine, but just this once. And I will pay you back later.” Sidon smirked victoriously and handed a purple rupee off to Marot.

 

“Thank you!” She said as if she hadn’t seen them arguing, handing Sidon the arrows. Link grabbed them before Sidon could, stuffing them in his quiver.

 

“Okay, let’s go.”

 

They made their way to East Reservoir lake, pausing at Rutala Dam. This was their last moment in Zora’s domain. Sidon would jump down below into Rutala river and Link would paraglide onto the path beside him, and they would make their way Northwest to the Millennio Sandbar, then to Telta Lake, where they would climb to the Sahasra Slope and walk the rest of the way up the road to Kakariko. Link had originally suggested warping, but Sidon wanted to make the journey. 

 

“This is it. This is the last moment.” Link said, looking at Sidon, who was looking over East Reservoir Lake. “How does it feel?”

 

“It’s terrifying.” Sidon replied. Woah, that was not what Link expected.

 

“We can turn around if you want to… we don’t have to- Sidon!” Sidon had looked at Link while he spoke, then walked to the edge of the dam and jumped right off into the river below. Link heard a whoop from below, ‍‍‍and when he looked over the edge he saw Sidon treading water far below.

 

“Hurry up Link! You want to get there before dark, correct?” Link huffed a laugh.

 

“You’re insane!” he called, then jumped off the edge, snapping open his paraglider. the air rushing by for the first time in over a month felt almost therapeutic. He had needed this. he landed a little way up the river, Sidon swimming to meet him.

 

“So we go Northwest, and then into the inlet when we arrive at Millenio sandbar?”

 

“Yeah,” Link replied. “I’ll meet you there and take out the Lizalfos and other enemies that are in the way.”

 

“I can get the ones in the water, too. They can’t swim very deep so drowning them will work.” The dying because of being drowned was horrible for Link to think about. He made himself a reminder to not piss Sidon off.

 

“Sweet. See you in a bit, Sidon.” Link waved at his friend one more time before he took off up the river.

 

-

 

“Did you see the look on that Lizalfos’ face when I knocked him into the water?” Link laughed, dragging himself onto the small island in Telta lake. He made a strange scream sound, attempting to recreate the sound the Lizalfos made.

 

“We made a fantastic team. Of course we established that over a year ago, when we fought Vah Ruta.” Sidon agreed, swimming a lap around the island. Link grinned up at the sky, noting the position of the sun. 

 

“We can’t rest for very long,” he said. “It’s going to get dark soon and we still have to climb.” He pointed to a nearby rock cluster when Sidon gave him a strange look. “It’s not a very difficult climb, and it’ll be easier for you since you’re giant. I have an energizing potion if you’re worried though.” Sidon shook his head.

 

“I trust you.” Therewas more weight in those words than Link wanted to acknowledge. “Should we go then?” Link stood up.

 

“Yeah.” He jumped into the water and swam to the rocks, silently thanking Sidon when he came over to assist. When he got out he offered a hand to Sidon, pulling him out of the water. How much he really helped remained to be seen, Link was so much smaller than him.

 

“So what do I do?” Link was already turned around, finding the best handholds.

 

“Just follow my lead.” He said, climbing up the first rock. He looked down to Sidon, who really could have climbed right up beside Link. As they moved up Link guided him to rocks with good grip and indents he could grab, and Sidon slowly climbed the whole cliff.

 

“That was… exhilarating.” Sidon said when they finally got to the top. He seemed out of breath, and Link was willing to take a short rest so he could revel in the moment. “You really do that all the time?” He asked.

 

“Yeah,” Link confirmed. “This climb was easy compared to some that I’ve had to do.” The look of shock on Sidon’s face was awesome. Link didn’t get to show off often, it was nice to see a proper reaction.

 

“What was your hardest climb?” 

Chapter Text

“The Gerudo desert is hard sometimes. That’s just because of the heat though. I think…” Link scratched his chin in thought. “I think it was probably climbing Ploymus Mountain in the rain, when I needed to get shock arrows. I hadn’t found the trail yet, and I’d taken off the Zora armor because it felt weird. I just did it in my climbing gear.” Sidon scoffed.

 

“So not only did you kill the Lynel there and get all those shock arrows, but you climbed in the rain?” Sidon asked. “Link, you are incredible!” Sidon jumped to his feet and lifted Link off the ground. “You are every bit the champion that everyone says you are. You never cease to amaze me,” Sidon gushed. Link’s thought his cheeks were on fire.

 

“Uh, thanks?” He said nervously.

 

“You’re quite welcome! Come now. Guide me to the place we’re going.” Link laughed as he was lifted over Sidon’s head, sitting on his shoulders when his tail made itself comfortable resting on Link’s thigh. Link gently took hold of Sidon’s head fins, piloting him like a horse up to the road.

 

“Just follow the road this way.” Sidon walked up the road, and Link ignored the traveler who gave them a strange look. When they arrived at the village entrance, Sidon put Link down.

 

“It’s so… quaint.”

 

“Yeah, come on, the people are really nice. But you should get a little soak first, I’ll let Impa know I’m visiting.” Sidon nodded at him and they walked down the path into the village. Sidon spotted the river that surrounded Impa’s house and hopped right in, and Link wished him a temporary farewell so he could go see Impa. He waved at Dorian, the guard outside, calling out a quick “Hello!” As he jogged up the stairs. That had always been a pain when he visited. There were too many stairs!

 

“Master Link!” Link turned to the side when he heard his name. Paya was there, scrubbing the floor just outside the hut. “What a surprise to see you here. Are you alright? Are things okay?” She was as shy as ever, although she spoke with a certainty she had lacked previously.

 

“Paya! It’s good to see you. Things are great, thanks for asking. I’m going to be visiting with a friend for a while. Is Impa in?” Link wanted to stay and talk, truly, but he was tired and just wanted to say hi to Impa and  go to bed.

 

“Why don’t you come in and ask her yourself?” Called a voice through the window. Link looked to the source and saw Impa waving from inside. “Well? Come on then!” Link smiled and went inside, saying a final goodbye to Paya.

 

“Hi, Impa,” he greeted, shutting the doors behind him.

 

“Link! It has been quite a long time since I last saw you.” Hearing the same greeting from when he’d first met with her made him smile.

 

“Familiar words.” Link walked closer and bowed in front of her.

 

“Please,” She scoffed. “You haven’t been hosted by Kakariko in over a year. You’re lucky I was there when Queen Zelda blessed your journey. I would have smacked you is she had to come by and tell me you were traveling!”

 

“Ah Yeah, That was-“

 

“A dumb move, is what it was! I can’t believe you didn’t come here sooner, boy.” Link winced away from her words, relaxing when she sighed in resignation. “No need to fear, it’s all forgiven. What brings you here now?” Link shuffled in place before speaking.

 

“The Zora prince, Sidon, wanted to go on a vacation.” Link explained, shifting his weight. “I offered to take him.” Impa nodded.

 

“Not even visiting because you want to? Where is this prince?” Link didn’t miss the amused annoyance in her voice.

 

“Soaking in the river below. We traveled by way of Rutala river, then climbed to Sahasra Slope. He was a bit tired when we got here, we’ll likely go straight to bed.”

 

“I see. When will I meet him?”

 

“first thing tomorrow, if you’d like.” Link offered. Impa nodded slowly.

 

“Very well. You should get some rest then. At the inn, tell Ollie Impa sent you. he should give you a nice discount.” Link grinned.

 

“Thank you, Impa!” he said with a bow, turning around to leave.

 

“Don’t be a stranger now, boy! I expect you to come in for a visit tomorrow morning!” Link waved and left the hut, walking back down the seemingly endless steps. Sidon was at the bottom, talking with Dorian.

 

“...and so, after a long journey with him, here I am!” Sidon was saying. Dorian looked like he could do with a rescue.

 

“Sidon,” Link called. The Zora turned around and grinned when he saw Link.

 

“Here he is now! Link, I was just discussing my purpose for being here with Dorian. Have you two met?” Link smiled awkwardly at Dorian.

 

“Yeah, we’ve met. The village is actually pretty small, so I’ve met everyone here.” He said.

 

“Master Link. Pleased to make your acquaintance again,” Dorian said, Boeing his head in a small gesture of respect.

 

“You too, Dorian. How have things in the village been?”

 

“Peaceful. Queen Zelda came through here recently on an ambassador trip, but that was the last significant thing to happen. Just passing through?” Link shook his head.

 

“No, I’m Sidon’s escort here. We’re on vacation.” Dorian looked between the two of them.

 

“I see.”

 

“mm-hm.” A quiet moment passed, only a touch of awkwardness. “Well, we should be going now,” Link said. “We’ve had a long day and need some rest.” Link looked up at Sidon. “Hey.” He nudged Sidon, grabbing his attention from where he was looking.

 

“Hm? Oh, what is it, Link?” he asked. “I was watching the torches…” Link looked past him to the torches, remembering when he’d first come to town and lit them. It felt like an eternity ago…

 

“Let’s go to bed. We can check out the village in the morning.” Sidon nodded.

 

“I suppose I am getting tired,” he muttered, his mouth splitting open in a yawn. “Very well.” Shuteye Inn was right across from Impa’s house, so the walk was minimal. It was a good thing too, because Sidon was starting to look dead on his feet. At least he hadn’t cared about sleeping in a bed rather than a pool. As Impa had suggested, Link mentioned her name to Ollie and managed to score both beds for just twenty rupees. Link gave him a red rupee, then moved to the curtained off area to change out of his Zora armor. He felt better in his shorts, walking out to see Sidon taking off his armor. he looked different without all the metal adorning his body, his yellow and blue fins looking a bit out of place.

 

“Hey, you.” He greeted, settling into the bed across from him.

 

“Link.” He said, a smile on his face. “I can’t thank you enough for guiding me here. It’s only been a day, and I’m already having the experience of a lifetime.” Sidon knelt down by Link’s bed. “I swear to the Goddess Hylia, I will find some way to repay you.” He placed a hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently.

 

“How about you pay for our beds while we’re here?” He asked with a grin. Sidon chuckled and stood, sitting down on his own bed.

 

“You refuse to let me buy you arrows, but are now asking me to pay for room and board?” Link shrugged.

 

“Running low on money has opened my eyes to the world of generosity.” Sidon laughed and laid down on his stomach.

 

“As you wish, my friend.”

 

“Goodnight, Sidon,” Link said, rolling away from him.

 

“Goodnight, Link.”

Chapter Text

The next morning, Link dragged Sidon out to see Impa. Sure, Sidon complained the entire time he put his armor back on, but Link knew it would be worth it. At the very least, he didn’t want to get yelled at again. They went back to Impa’s house across the main road, going up the stairs after Link explained the situation to the guard outside. Cado had looked wary Sidon, but after seeing him act like an idiot and dive into the river by Impa’s hit before Link even spoke to him, he decided Sidon was okay. Link had prepared to forcibly remove Sidon from the water, but by then Sidon remembered he’d be meeting the village leader and went willingly. When Link made it to the top of the stairs, before he even touched the door, Paya burst through.

 

“Paya!” Link greeted.

 

“Oh! Master Link! And… is this the friend you brought with you?”

 

“Prince Sidon.” Sidon said before Link could introduce him. “At your service.” Sidon bowed, then stood again and grinned at her. Paya giggled softly. He was happy to see her confidence from the previous day was still present.

 

“Paya, at yours.” She replied with a little curtsy. 



“It’s a pleasure to meet you! I hardly know any of Link’s friends from around Hyrule. You must have many embarrassing stories to share.” Sidon’s grin turned predatory, and Paya smiled back.

 

“I do, but I don’t believe it’s my place to share.”

 

“Not one?” While Sidon continued to try and convince her, Link looked through the still open door to see Impa on her pillows. She was watching Link with an intense stare.

 

“Are you two going to stand out there all day and let the heat out or are you going to come inside?” She demanded. Link chuckled and walked inside.

 

“Come on, Sidon.” He said, still holding the door open. Sidon watched Paya for a silent moment as if they were having a telepathic conversation, then turned and followed Link inside.

 

“Hello, Prince Sidon.” Impa greeted.

 

“Sidon, this is-“

 

“Impa. Wonderful to finally meet you.” He bowed respectfully.

 

“How polite, for someone who spends so much time with Link.”

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Link scoffed. Sidon and Impa both laughed like they had some secret inside joke.

 

“Link is my most treasured friend. He has influenced my behavior, but my manners are ingrained in my very being. My father would have my tail if he found me being disrespectful. Irregardless,” Sidon put a hand on Link’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t trade him for all of Hyrule.”

 

“I see,” Impa said, eyes mischievous. “Well, feel free to come by whenever you’d like. A friend of Link’s is a friend of mine.” She stuck her hand out for a shake, and Sidon stepped closer to take it.

 

“I look forward to my week here. Hm?” Impa pulled Sidon in closer and whispered something to him. “Of course.” Sidon’s voice was soft, but Link saw the movement of his mouth. Sidon’s eyes flicked over to meet Link’s before he spoke next. He was pretty sure he saw something like fear in his eyes. “Yes… please.” He finished before stepping back.

 

“Well Link, I believe today would make a great day to visit the town, see the sights…” Impa suggested. “Perhaps go fishing at Kakariko bridge.” Link was confused by the whole exchange, but decided against commenting.

 

At least while Impa was still there to threaten him.

 

“Not a bad idea. I’d like to see how Sidon handles himself against a stronger current.”

 

“As if I would pass up a challenge! I would like to go fishing as soon as possible, Link.” All traces from the moment before were gone; Sidon looked determined now. He was already bowing to say goodbye, thanking Impa for letting him stay.

 

“Okay, Okay.” Link turned to leave with a chuckle. “I’ll see you around, Impa.”

 

“You look me in the eyes when you talk to me, boy.” Link winced.

 

“Let’s go before she gets upset, Sidon.” Link rushed outside, hoping Sidon was in tow.



The day went by faster than Link or Sidon could anticipate. They went down to Lake Siela after touring the village, and the majority of their time was spent swimming and fishing at the bridge. By the time they were coming back into town, the sun was sinking beneath Satori mountain.

 

“Hey I never got to ask,” Link began while they were  walking back down the hill into town. Before they passed Dorian’s house, Link paused. “Ignore me if this is an invasion of privacy, but what did Impa tell you this morning?” Sidon looked over and opened his mouth to respond, then hesitation flashed through his eyes.

 

“I do not feel as though I should tell you. It might be best to keep that between Impa and me.”

 

“Alright. I’m just curious.” Link looked at where Dorian or Cado would be standing guard normally, tilting his head curiously when he saw neither of them. Now that he was paying attention, Link realized that nobody was in the square. “Doesn’t look like anyone’s here.”

 

“Perhaps there was a town meeting called. We shouldn’t be too worried. I’m sure everyone is fine.” Sidon was right, Link decided. Kakariko had plenty of skilled warriors if they needed to be protected. Still, it was concerning. Link did some quick thinking, looking around for somewhere to watch over the area.

 

“Hold on, Sidon. Before we go to bed, I want to show you one place in the village.” Link looked up the hill to where Ta’loh Naeg shrine was. “It’ll be quick.” Sidon, always eager to see new things, agreed quickly. Link led him up the path to the shrine, sitting down at the edge of the cliff overlooking the village. “Sit with me.” Sidon moved closer and sat down, his feet hanging off the edge of the cliff. “I came here all the time when I was hunting for Ganon. Impa said I haven’t been by in ages but…” He rested his chin on his hands. “I came here a lot. I just sat up here, watching the village move around. There’s nothing going on right now though, and it’s peaceful.” Link looked to the side, where Sidon was watching him with an intenseness to his eyes.

 

“I believe I understand,” Sidon said. “There is something to observing the happiness and regularity of others when one is in turmoil.” He rested back on his hands, seeming to no longer care about the dirt getting under his claws. He had complained about it when they climbed to the main road the day before, and while resting he spent the time cleaning them.

 

“Yeah,” Link agreed. The cucco that always wandered around on the hill strolled by curiously,  and Link snatched it before it could run away. It panicked for a moment, but when Link gave it a little pet it calmed down. “Look, Sidon! A cucco came to visit.” Sidon looked down at the bird.

 

“I… I haven’t been this close to one before.” He said with nervous breaths. Link gave it another pet and it made a soft clucking sound. “May I pet it?”

 

“Yeah, But you have to be careful. They’re picky. Give me your hand.” Sidon sat up and offered his hand to Link. Link rested it right between the cucco’s wings, moving their still-together hands down its back.

 

“The feathers are-“

 

“Soft, I know.” Link slid his fingertips between Sidon’s and scratched the base of the cucco’s tail, listening to it cluck again. Sidon did the same, and the cucco looked up at him, dead in the eyes.

 

Bawk!

 

The cucco clicked loudly at him, then stood from Link’s lap, striding over to Sidon and settling down on him. Sidon, who was mildly panicking the entire time, tensed his hands, gripping Link’s fingertips between his tightly. “What do I do?” He asked in a quiet voice. Link laughed softly and was content to guide Sidon’s hand until he found a pattern that the cucco liked. The cucco clucked happily in Sidon’s lap, giving a little wiggle when Sidon scratched the base of its tail. 

 

“It likes you. You seem to have a way with animals.” The frogs they had caught on Link’s first day in the domain had been eager to go to Sidon as well, and any other small creatures they had seen had formed attachments to him. “I wish they liked me that much.”

 

“I believe my intimidating presence to other, larger beings has made them believe I can give them protection.” Sidon said. Link moved his hand off of Sidon’s, laying back to watch the sky. The sunset from by Ta’loh Naeg was always breathtaking.

 

“I could believe that. To people smaller than you who aren’t your enemies, you kind of give off that “protector” vibe.” Sidon laid back next to Link, turning his head to look at him.

 

“Do…” Sidon began, facing Link then turning back to the sky. “Do you think that perhaps... I could protect you?” Link blinked in surprise, turning his head to look at Sidon. His cheeks were tinted with color.

 

“What do you mean?” Link asked.

 

“Well you are a creature who is smaller than me. Do I give off a “protector vibe,” as you call it, to you?” Oh. Link felt heat crawl up his body and settle in his chest and face.

 

“I think that when we first met, I was impressed by you at every turn,” Link said. “You were a powerful swimmer, a good leader, and I was content to follow you wherever you wanted to take me.” It was the truth. When Link first met Sidon, he had been a little overwhelmed by the personality and grace he carried. “I’ve seen you bite the head off of an armored carp before though, so can you really blame me? You were intimidating, and it was impressive.” Link looked back at the sky. “Long story short…” he sighed. “Yeah. I think you can protect me. I mean you’re a nine foot tall shark beast. I’m capable of protecting myself though… I guess you’d make good company,” Link replied. The heat in his chest made no signs of disappearing, and Link was having a hard time figuring out if it was because of secondhand embarrassment, or if it was his fondness for Sidon. He really did care for him. Sidon often called Link a pearl, like a treasure, and in that moment Link understood the depth of the emotions behind it. The friendship they had was priceless.

 

Chapter Text

“You can either take the one bed for a discount or you can wait for an hour for another bed to be finished.” Ollie insisted. Link sighed dramatically.

 

“I don’t think there’s any way around this, Sidon.”

 

“I can go sleep in the pond outside-“

 

“No, you’ll get cold,” Link snapped. The beds were getting a full weekly clean that day, as was required for sanitation purposes, and the beds that the inn had was reduced to one. Most travelers knew about it, and Link should have as well, but in the excitement of the rest of the trip, he had forgotten. Now they had to either wait until almost midnight for other beds to be ready, or suck it up and share the one bed they had cleaned.

 

“Don’t the beds normally get cleaned on rotation throughout the day?” Link asked.

 

“Yes,” Ollie replied. “But no other travelers have come through so we did them all at once.”

 

“Well that is inconvenient,” Link muttered, deciding against pointing out that he’d said he and Sidon would be there for a week. It was an easy mistake to make, since most people didn’t stay in the village for longer than a day. “Why leave one bed?”

 

“We’re a twenty-four hour inn. We have to have at least one bed open at all times. So we cleaned the largest bed so that should a situation like this arise, we would be prepared.”

 

“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me,” Link mumbled.

 

“Link, I don’t mind sharing,” Sidon said from behind him.

 

“That’s not it, Sidon. I normally wouldn’t care. But you… Sorry for being blunt, but you’re ginormous and are going to hog the blankets.” It was a weak excuse, but Link would use it for all he was worth.

 

“That is an absolute travesty, isn’t it?” Sidon huffed.

 

“Yes! Because then the balance of heat is thrown off because you know, I don’t sleep with my clothes on, and you have all the blanket a-“

 

“We’ll take the bed,” Sidon said with a bite in his voice, passing a red rupee to Ollie. Link balked. “Come on, Link. If I do ‘hog the blankets’ just prod me. I can share.” Link felt like he couldn’t get more embarrassed. Sidon turned around and looked him firmly in the eyes. “Listen.”

 

Well now he had his attention.

 

“I am tired, Link. I want to go to sleep. If that means that we must share a bed, then I don’t care. I shared a sleeping pool with my sister  when I was younger and we had no problems. How hard can it be?” Sidon’s words left no room to argue. Link held firm for another moment before deflating completely. He was tired too.

 

“Fine, But don’t get all snuggly with me.” Link finally agreed.

 

“If we snuggle, we snuggle as men!” Sidon joked. Link burst out laughing, the tense moment being erased entirely. They undressed on separate sides of the inn, then met back up by the one bed in the inn. It did look fairly large. Sidon Laid down on the far side of it, and then the bed became much smaller.

 

“I think the snuggling may have to happen, Sidon. I told you that you would take up all the space.” Link gestured to the minuscule amount of space he had left. Sidon grinned at him from where he was laying.

 

“Well come join me then. I promise I don’t smell.” Link sighed and slid into the bed, the entirety of the side of his body pressed against Sidon. After some shifting, they moved into an awkward semi-spooning position, with Sidon’s arm resting over Link’s side.

 

“We tell no one about this okay? This is between you, me, and Ollie.” Link muttered, relaxing in the position. Sidon was shockingly warm, just as he had been the night before they left the domain. “Hey, are you always this warm?”

 

“Hm?” Sidon said drowsily. “Oh, I suppose not. perhaps I’ve adjusted to the climate.”

 

“But won't that cause problems for you?”

 

“We can worry about that later.” The arm that had been resting calmly on Link’s side pulled him closer to Sidon. “Go to sleep, Link.” Link was still worried about Sidon. His energy hadn’t been as high since they arrived, and he seemed tense. Link hoped his friend would be okay.

 

“Alright. But you’d better not hog the blankets.” Sidon chuckled quietly from behind him. “Goodnight, Sidon.”

 

“Goodnight, Link.”

 

 

Over the course of the next two days, there had been more and more inconveniences. Link was starting to become confused. They had only shared a bed once, but there were things like Olkin’s pumpkin’s selling extremely well when a traveler came by to restock, and he only had one remaining. After Sidon traded him a Zora shield for more rupees, they bought the last one and shared a stew that Link made from it. He would have made a second one just for Sidon, but with only one pumpkin…

 

“The sky is very clear tonight, Link..” Sidon muttered from his position beside Link as he was taking his armor off to get ready for bed. It was their fourth day in the village, and Link was still recovering from the weirdness of Mellie letting them into her plum garden to “look at the new blooms.” Sidon had been grateful and stepped into the garden, looking at the flowers. Link had been over the moon confused, because any time he even looked at the flowers wrong he would get chewed out.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yes, I… I will be back soon.” He got up from the bed and walked outside. Link wasn’t too concerned, although he was curious about what Sidon was doing. He was getting more worried about him lately. Sidon had been extremely calm the entire trip. He had expected enthusiasm and excitement from him, not the mellow Sidon he’d been with since they got to the village. Obviously, Sidon still got excited. But it was hidden behind an unusually stoic face. It wasn’t as if he was sick… right?

 

 Link pondered going after him. “Maybe he wants some alone time.” Link muttered. They’d spent practically every waking moment together, he could understand wanting to be alone. He eventually settled on not going after him, and took the opportunity to undress for bed.

 

So what if it took Link an hour to fall asleep? Having Sidon nearby, slipping silently into bed to trying to not wake Link had nothing to do with it.

Chapter Text

“Okay, that’s it.” Link said the following morning while they ate a breakfast of energizing fried eggs and rice. Sidon had accepted it without a second thought, not even commenting on how the food was amazing and he continued to be impressed by Link. It wasn’t Link getting a big head about his compliments, it just wasn’t like Sidon; He was worried.

 

“What is it, Link? Is something wrong?”

 

“Yes, something is very wrong.” Link huffed. “It’s you.” Sidon gave him a look of surprise, spoonful of rice stopping halfway to his mouth.

 

“Me?” Link stood up, mostly eaten breakfast abandoned on the table.

 

“Yes! Your energy. You’re too… relaxed. Are you feeling okay, Sidon?” Sidon’s face scrunched in confusion.

 

“I feel fine, Link. Tired still, but I believe that’s because I have not gone for a soak this morning.” Link crossed his arms.

 

“You haven’t been as talkative. And you’re calm all day. Usually your energy is so high I can hardly keep up, but now I have to drag you out of bed every morning.” Link explained. “I’m worried about you, Sidon. Maybe we should go home early.”

 

“I would never dream of it!” Sidon scoffed. “I am having the time of my life here. I plan to savor every moment I spend in this place.”

 

“Then why-“

 

“I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation.” Sidon muttered, shoving the bite of rice in his mouth. (Goddess, those teeth. ) “Let’s finish eating and I’ll resoak my skin. I will prove to you that I am perfectly fine.” Link sat back down a little cautiously. Sidon was eating with a fervor now that looked all too enthusiastic, reminiscent of his normal self, but far too forced. Link finished his breakfast much more slowly, taking the bowls when they were both done. Sidon stood up determinedly and marched down the steps of the raised platform, waving to Koko as he passed her. Link followed at a slower pace, watching Sidon in concern while walking to the water where Sidon was sliding in with a content sigh.

 

“Well now you just-“ Sidon grabbed Link’s leg abruptly where he was sitting on the edge of a rock, cleaning out the bowls.

 

“The water,” He said flatly. Link raised a confused eyebrow. “It’s warm, Link.”

 

“What?” He asked dumbly.

 

“Link!” Sidon let out a laugh. “You asked why I was acting so calm. It’s the water!” Link was still confused.

 

“The water?”

 

“Yes! The water at home is much colder than the water here. Every time I get in it feels like I’m sliding into my sleeping pool.” Sidon explained. “It’s warm here, which is relaxing.” Link dipped a hand into the water. It wasn’t as cold as the water in the domain, but it was far from what Link would call warm. “Don’t bother, you wouldn’t be able to tell.” Sidon slid his head under the water and rose back up, water sliding off his tail.

 

“That makes sense.” It really didn’t, but Zora were aquatic and he was sure it made sense to them. Link shook the bowls dry and put them back into his item pack. “So all I need to do to get you back to your energized self is get you into the cold?”

 

“Not too cold. I can’t swim in ice. It’s a pain to breathe in as well.”

 

“Oh yeah.” Link’s idea of taking him to Hebra for a visit went out the window as soon as it began. The altitude would probably be too much anyway. “Well I’m glad to have cleared that up.” He took his shoes off and stuck his feet in the water.

 

“It feels good though.” Sidon said, gliding around. “I’m not used to rainwater swimming.”

 

“Oh yeah, Zora’s domain is all snowmelt from Lanayru!” It actually did make sense now. “I might get in there with you if you keep looking so happy.”

 

“I encourage you to join me,” Sidon said with a grin. “It really is wonderful.” Link sighed. 

 

“Not in the village. Paya freaks out whenever she sees me with my shirt off. Think she’s got some feelings, don’t want to lead her on, blah blah. If you’d like, there’s always Kakariko bridge?” Sidon shrugged in reply.

 

“The current is stronger there, but if that gets you to join me, then...” Sidon heaved himself out of the water, practically glistening in the sunlight. He looked majestic.

 

“Oh that just isn’t fair,” Link scoffed.

 

“What do you mean? What is it?”

 

“When I get out of the water I look like a drowned bokoblin, but when you do it you look like a god.” Link explained, unable to help the envy in his voice.

 

“I think you look fine coming out of water, Link.” Sidon assured.

 

“We’ll see.” They made their way out to the bridge, waving to Brokka, a traveler going into the village. Link sold him a couple of gems he had picked up near Zora’s domain, including a sapphire he’d found while gathering Luminous Stones on his first day there. When he finished his exchange and turned around to find Sidon, he had already jumped into the river and was swimming in lazy circles. Link shed his clothes when he got closer, dropping them on a nearby rock before jumping in.

 

“Wow, so graceful,” Sidon joked as Link came up from the water.

 

“There is no way to make a cannonball look graceful, I assure you.” Link swam to the small patch of land under the bridge.

 

“I disagree,” Sidon argued. “Watch and learn.” He dove under the water and Link watched him for a moment, his face disappearing under the rushing water. In a blur of red, Sidon shot out and landed on the bridge above him.

 

Ah !” Link shrieked in surprise, water splashing him from the force of the jump.

 

“Are you alright, Link?” Sidon called from the bridge.

 

“Shut up and prove me wrong, Slayer of the Fell Octorok!” A hearty laugh came from above, and Link watched Sidon’s figure came flying off the bridge, almost entirely horizontal. In a quick motion he hugged his knees to his chest, and dropped into the water with a large wave that hit Link. When Link finished rubbing the water out of his eyes, Sidon was making his way onto the patch of land. He still looked good coming out of the water too, Link noticed as he dragged himself onto the patch of land like a mermaid.

 

“So?”

 

“Horrible really. Like a Molduga flipping on sand.” Link said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. He had looked graceful though, that jerk. “I still think it’s unfair.”

 

“We can’t all be blessed with every talent, little pearl.” Link smiled and hummed an agreement.

 

“I suppose so. That’s okay though. I’d rather be a good archer and a good swimmer than a bad archer and a great swimmer.” Link had yet to see Sidon with a bow and arrow, but he’d heard good things about it. Of course, Link was too prideful to admit his inferiority. Sidon settled down beside Link, leaning back on the pebbles.

 

“Ha ha,” Sidon said sarcastically, knowing enough about link’s fragile ego to sabotage it. Link grinned and hit him lightly on the arm.

 

“Want to head back soon?” He asked.

 

“I would like to swim for a while longer. But you can if you wish, I know how to return.” Link shrugged.

 

“I’m alright with swimming for a while. I might catch some fish while we’re here.” Link was already standing to go grab his Sheikah slate.

 

“Very we-, wait, where are you going?”

 

“I need my slate for bombs!” He called back, sliding into the river. He swam to the path quickly, grabbing the slate. He whistled to himself as he walked downstream, spotting a cluster of fish in the water.

 

“Don’t tell me you’re going to-“

 

“Hush, you’ll scare them off!” He created a square bomb and picked it up, throwing it into the middle of the cluster and detonating it. He heard a shout of surprise from upstream, and laughed, setting the slate back in its holster on his hip before diving into the water. Thank Hylia it was waterproof. He gathered all the fish that had died in the explosion, mostly Staminoka bass although there was an armored carp! He got out of the water quickly, bringing the fish back to Where Sidon was getting out of the water.

 

“I believe that was cheating.”

 

“No way!” Link huffed. “There’s no ”cheating” in a game of survival.” Sidon looked at the fish Link as carrying and sighed, still looking disappointed. “Plus, it means I’m making dinner tonight. Salt grilled fish? I know carp are your favorites.” Sidon May have looked mortified by Link’s brutal actions, but Link noticed when he licked his lips.

 

“It would be rude of me to say no.”

Chapter Text

They went back into town after spending another two hours swimming, the sun reaching its peak in the sky. They ate apples by Ta’loh Naeg, then Link decided to go see the Great Fairy. He had Lynel guts that were stinking up his bag, and his Barbarian Armor needed an upgrade. Sidon was curious about the fairy as well, so Link didn’t feel bad for dragging him along. “Cotera!” He called when he got to the fountain. “It’s me, Link!” He turned around to Sidon, who looked confused. “Sometimes she takes a minute.” Link waited another moment and sighed. “I need your help, please!” He called again.

 

Ah!” Called a voice. There was a rumble in the ground, and Link felt a hand grab onto him for stability. Two much larger hands grabbed the edge of the flower and out popped Cotera, covered in glistening opals and diamonds.

 

“Goddess above!” Sidon gasped beside him.

 

“Ahhhhh, welcome back boy.” Cotera said, smiling down at Link. “Do you want me to enhance your- oh my! Who is this ?” Cotera leaned to look over Sidon. “A Zora!”

 

“This is my friend, Prince Sidon.”

 

A Prince?” Cotera reached out and picked Sidon up.

 

“Link, help!” Sidon reached out desperately.

 

“She won’t hurt you! It’s just going to be awkward!” Link called at him.

 

“I’ve never seen such a handsome warrior. A friend of yours you say, boy?” Link nodded. “Well!”

 

“Please, my lady, if you would set me down-“

 

“Nonsense!” She said. “Oh, my apologies, boy. Do you want me to enhance your clothing?” Link nodded and gave her the parts required to upgrade the barbarian armor she kissed her finger and gave it a little touch on Link’s forehead, her typical blessing. “Anything else?”

 

“No, that will be all. Thank you Cotera! Oh, but if you could return my friend…” Cotera pouted, But gently set Sidon down beside Link.

 

“Such a pity… You should come back with him someday!” Cotera said. “ Byeeee!” She went back into the fountain, and it was as if nothing happened.

 

“Sidon, are you alright?” Link stepped closer to him, watching him carefully. He didn’t… look to be in bad shape.

 

“That...” Sidon began. “That was the most… Amazing thing I’ve ever seen! She was ginormous, Link. Is that really what fairies look like?”

 

“Only the great ones. The others are little tiny pink balls of light.” Link gestured with his fingers to explain the size, then pointed to one of the fairies flying around. “Those are fairies.”

 

“I see! Wow, what an amazing experience.” Sidon had a glow to his body, as if the experience enlightened him.

 

“Yeah, I guess I’m desensitized to it. There are three others around the world and I’ve met those three too.”

 

“More of them! I’d love to meet all of them someday.” Sidon had a bounce in his step that made Link smile.

 

“Maybe someday,” Link said. They walked back into the town, the afternoon rush in full swing. There were shopkeepers goading people in, travelers passing by, kids running around, and the faint smell of stew in the air. “Mm.” Link could tell Koko was cooking. As sad as it was to think about her losing her mom, she really was an amazing cook. “Let’s go see the shops. I think you’ll like the stuff at Enchanted. That’s the clothing store.”

 

“Lead on,” Sidon agreed. Link hummed and walked confidently up the road to Enchanted, going inside after waving to Lasli out front.

 

“Claree! I’m back!” Link walked into Enchanted determinedly. “And I’m not just here to look.” He pulled out his bag of rupees. He had been wanting to come here for ages now. He needed a modification on his stealth chest guard because it got a rip down one of the forearms. Claree grinned when she saw Link, even more excited when she saw his rupees.

 

“Link! And-“ Claree looked at Sidon. “You must be that Sidon guy everyone’s been talking about.” She looked him up and down. “You’re taller up close.”

 

“It’s wonderful to meet you. Link had been talking about your shop for days now.”

 

“Yeah yeah, okay. Do you think you can fix the sleeve of my stealth chest guard? I think it ripped since I’ve gotten bigger muscles.” Link made a show of flexing his arms, chuckling.

 

“A modification?” She said. “I guess I can do that. Do you want to rent another in the meantime?” Link hummed.

 

“I hadn’t even considered it.” He let a breath out through his teeth. “Will that change the price?”

 

“As long as you return it in the same condition you received it in, you’ll get a full refund.” Link reached into his items and withdrew the chest guard.

 

“Ah, I think I’ll just stick to being quiet without the full set then. Here’s the top.” He handed it to her across the counter, and she took a look at it.

 

“A little rip in the forearm… some damage to the back as well… stretched out at the chest…” she mumbled to herself. “Alright, I’ll say a hundred rupees for a full repair.” Link winced. That would hurt his wallet. But he needed the repair…

 

“Alright.” He pulled out two purple rupees, clutching the amethyst gems in his hands for a tender moment before relinquishing them. “Thank you, Claree.” He mumbled.

 

“Great! Let’s get you sized properly. Please remove your tunic.” There was a loud cough from behind Link as Claree spoke, and Link looked at Sidon curiously. He was hitting himself in the chest like he was choking.

 

“Are you alright?” Link asked quickly, rushing over to where Sidon had been inspecting the armor that Link was getting. It was a display armor set, but it gave a good image of what Link was getting.

 

“J-Just choking on my own saliva, don’t fret.” Sidon wheezed for air, coughing a couple more times. He waved a hand insistently though, so Link walked away. He walked into the corner and took off his weapon pack, then removed his tunic. He was glad it was the middle of the afternoon. Any other time and he would have been cold.

 

“Wow, you weren’t kidding!” Claree said when she walked over with a measuring tape. “That armor was definitely too small.” She held the tape up to Link’s arm, around his chest, and up the length of his torso. “Alright, let me get something from the back.” She disappeared for a moment, leaving Link alone with Sidon.

 

“Are you still choking?” Link asked, concerned.

 

“No, I will be alright.” Sidon waved a dismissive hand. His eyes roamed over Link’s torso, and Link felt even more exposed. “Forgive me for staring, I’m just noticing all the scars…”

 

“Oh. Yeah.” Link ran his fingers over one of the bigger scars on his arm. “Most of them are from a hundred years ago. But I have some fresh ones.” Link ran a hand along a scar that ran across his chest. “This one is from a lynel hitting me with an axe.” He looked on his shoulder, finding a star shaped scar. “This one was a Stal Lizalfos in Gerudo desert. Their arrows pack a mean punch.” Link was about to continue with the puncture scar on his side, but Claree came back with a shirt. “I’ll show you more later.” Link said, sliding the shirt on. It was tight, but no tighter than the old chest guard.

 

“I think this fits you well,” Claree said. “Sidon, I need a second opinion. How does he look?” Link turned, arms wide apart, to be scrutinized. 

 

“Great! Amazing. A perfect fit.” 

 

“Are you sure? It looks a little loose at the chest. I could go grab the tighter one?”

 

“No! No, that is uh, it looks perfectly fine. Although the real person to ask is Link.” Sidon said.

 

“It does still feel a little loose. Or at least the other chest guard was just as tight. And it was too stretched out,” Link said. Claree nodded.

 

“Alright, I’ll grab you a smaller one.” Link took the shirt off and showed Sidon another scar “this one’s from a Hinox that threw a tree at me!” Then changed into the new one Claree brought out.

 

“Oh this is much better.” Link said with a soft sigh, the material comfortably tight. He did a little modeling for Claree, who nodded approvingly.

 

“Agreed!” She said. “What do you think, Sidon? Oh he must have left.” Link turned around, not finding his friend. “Maybe he just couldn’t handle how great you look in that shirt!” Link laughed and began taking the shirt off, slipping back into his much looser, comfortable tunic.

 

“Maybe,” Link agreed. “Thanks for the help.”

 

“No problem! Be sure to come back before you leave to get it.” Link nodded and collected his weapons and items, heading outside.

Chapter Text

“Sidon?” Link looked around, trying to find him️. How could he lose him in such a small amount of time? He walked down into the square and spotted him gliding around in the water outside Impa’s house. “Of course! He just needed to resoak.” Link jogged over to the pond, watching Sidon move through the water. “Hey,” Link called, wanting Sidon to know someone else was there so he wouldn’t scare him.

 

“Ah!” Despite Link’s attempts of not surprising him, Sidon splashed water in fear, whipping around to face Link. “Oh, Link. You surprised me.” Sidon put a hand over his heart as if trying to calm it. “Sorry for making such a hasty exit. I hadn’t realized I had become… dry.” Link shook his head.

 

“Don’t worry about it. Although you could have told me where you were going.”

 

“My apologies.” Sidon got out of the water, picking a lily pad off his leg when it stuck to him. “Where to next?”

 

“I was thinking the general store. That way you can see what they sell here.” Sidon grinned.

 

“Fantastic! I have wanted to buy strange food since we arrived.” Sidon shook off the rest of the water, turning to face away from Link.

 

“That way,” Link said, pointing down the road. Sidon walked confidently in the direction Link pointed, so Link followed behind. He waved to people as he passed, chasing after Cottla while she ran around, listening to her squeal happily. When Link passed Koko he waved, and she tried to convince him to come closer. “What is it Koko?” He asked. “Just a moment, Sidon.” He called back.

 

“I made a new dish to try! It’s my own recipe!” Link grinned.

 

“I’d love to, Koko! What is it?” She pulled him closer to the kitchen.

 

“Wildberry cake!” She exclaimed, producing a slice from somewhere. “Here! It’s just Tabantha wheat, sugar cane, goat butter and wild berries!” Link made an interested sound.

 

“Won’t this spoil your appetite?” Link asked.

 

“Obviously. You don’t eat it now, Silly. Save it for after dinner!” Link chuckled.

 

“Okay, I will.” Link said his goodbyes to Koko, carrying the slice of cake with him. He decided to give it to Sidon, as he wasn’t much of a sweets person, and he wasn’t sure Sidon had ever had cake before. Not seeing Sidon on the pathway, he went up the road to the general store. He didn’t come here very often. The owner, Rola, has some kind of attraction for him that he tried his best to ignore, and the best way to do it was really just to avoid her. But he had to get Sidon out somehow. He walked inside, spotting Sidon immersed in conversation about… milk?

 

“It’s great for stews, it’s good for sweets, it makes a great addition to buttered apples, really the possibilities are endless!” Rola was saying.

 

“Wow! I never realized that I was missing out on so many food options from outside of the domain.” Sidon was grinning, looking at a milk bottle excitedly. “I’ll put it to good use.”

 

“Hey, Sidon.” Link nudged his arm to get his attention.

 

“Link! Have you tried cooking with milk before? I think I just might!” Rola was counting rupees in her hand, and Link rolled his eyes. Sidon was an easy one to persuade.

 

“Yeah, I’ve used it before. It’s good in crepes.” Link was tempted to pick up some items for their return journey, but the lightened state of his wallet said otherwise.

 

“Wonderful! Will you teach me?” Sidon asked. His eyes were filled with determination, rivaling that of his determination to come to the village.

 

“Sure,” Link agreed. “We can come back tomorrow and pick up some more ingredients. We should eat soon. Sleep is 

 important too.”

 

“Oh yes, I will not deny you sleep. Anything for my most treasured friend.” As cheesy as he was, Link couldn’t help the flash of satisfaction that went through him to see Rola looking a little jealous. Maybe if she thought he had a prior engagement, she would leave him alone.

 

“Let’s go then. It’ll take awhile for it to be done. It was nice to see you, Rola!” Link grabbed Sidon’s free hand that wasn’t clutching a milk bottle and led him back out. As soon as they got out the door Link let go, turning around to face his friend.

 

“What now?” Sidon asked. “We eat?”

 

“Yeah. It’s getting a little later, so I think it’s safe to eat.” Link squinted at the sky, noting the time. It was nearing six-thirty, and travelers would be going to the inn and getting rooms soon. “We might need to get our beds first though. There’s going to be a rush for it in the next couple hours.” Sidon nodded his agreement. “But after that, I promise we’ll eat.”

 

“I’m content to spend a day in your presence without scheduling events, Link. Doing things out of order is no issue.” Link felt a warmth that was starting to become familiar spread in his chest.

 

“Alright,” He said. They walked to the inn and paid for their stay that night, then to the outdoor kitchen. Link’s stomach had been growling since he went into the general store. “The cake is for Sidon,” he reminded himself when he reached into his items for something to snack on. He set to work cooking the carp and bass he had caught before, adding rock salt that he’d squired at a different time. Sidon asked him where he kept all his things, but Link shrugged in response. The fish cooked slowly, so Link withdrew the slice of cake from his items as well.

 

“Is that cake?”

 

“Wildberry cake, to be precise. I was going to give it to you.” Link handed the plate to Sidon.

 

“Oh I couldn’t take that from-“

 

“I offered it. Go on, it’s sweet. Of course you don’t have to eat it now.” Link propped his chin on his hands, leaning onto the table.

 

“Perhaps I will save it for afterwards,” Sidon said, gesturing to where the fish were cooking away. They were starting to look done, he realized, flipping them carefully to cook the other side. “Yes, I’ll do that.” Link hummed his agreement.

 

“Come on buddy.” Link said, trying to coax the fish to complete. He felt like his stomach was going to start eating itself! Distracting himself, he looked back to Sidon. “So, have you enjoyed the week so far? I know we still have tomorrow to enjoy it here, but I don’t know. How do you like it?” Sidon sighed, long and pleasant.

 

“This has been one of the best weeks in my many years of life,” he began. “I’m very glad you agreed to take me, and I’m even more glad that you have shown me so much more than I could have experienced at the domain. I will be looking forward to going back of course, but I’ve had a wonderful time in the village.”

 

“I’m glad. I tried to think of all the fun things to do here, but I might be out of ideas. Maybe we can go to the stable down the road.” Sidon rested his chin in his hand. 

 

“It’ll give me a chance to see even more of the land nearby!”

 

“Exactly.” Link agreed. “I suppose I could take you to Dueling Peaks, if you want to make the journey.” That was actually farther than Link planned on going, but-

 

”perhaps not that far. We will need to save our energy for the trip back.” Link nodded.

 

“Fair enough.” He looked at the fish, flipping them over. “We can talk about it in the morning. For now, our fish are finally done!” Link grabbed two plates from his items and slid the fish onto them, passing one to Sidon.

 

“This smells absolutely divine, Link.” Link couldn’t help but snicker. “What?”

 

“That’s such a weird word to hear you say. ‘Divine.’” Sidon huffed annoyedly, although his mouth split into a grin. “Well, enjoy.” Link are his fish with his hands despite nearly burning them, too hungry to care. He finished it in record time, while Sidon took longer, savoring each bite.

 

“Mm. Delicious.” He said, licking scales off his fingers. Link couldn’t understand why Sidon enjoyed them, they were hard and didn’t taste very good. He assumed it was just a fish-eater thing. “This is phenomenal. Are you sure you have to leave at the end of the month?” The words struck him like a blow. “I would hunt forever if it meant having you cook for me.”

 

“Well I- I mean I have to get Epona home somehow,” Link stuttered. He didn’t like thinking about leaving when he was with anyone he liked. Especially a place like Zora’s domain, where the climate was perfect all the time and he had good friends. “I will visit as often as I can.” Sidon’s eyes grew sad as he pushed his plate towards Link.

 

“I know, but… sometimes I wish you didn’t have to go.” Sidon closed his eyes, and Link gently grabbed one of Sidon’s hands between his.

 

“I’ll tell you the same thing Zelda told me when I asked her about staying,” Link said. “I’m going to miss you, more than you know, but I don’t belong in one place forever, Sidon. I have to go explore, travel, face danger and hardships. It’s a part of who I am in the deepest pieces of my reawakened soul.” Sidon grabbed back with his other hand, their hands interlocked in a tight clasp.

 

“I know, I know. There’s just a part of me that is worried those are empty words, and that you’ll leave and never come back, and I’ll lose the part of me that wants to do insane things.”

 

“Well then I’ll prove it to you, and I’ll keep coming back until you never want to see me again. Then I’ll do it a few more times.” Link smiled as he spoke, hoping that would reassure him.

 

“Oh, my pearl,” Sidon said, squeezing his hands tightly. “I could never grow tired of you.” Goddess, He was a sap.

Chapter Text

Link had a difficult time falling asleep, when they finally went to bed. Sidon had thoroughly enjoyed the cake, demanding the recipe so he could buy the ingredients and try to make it again later. After tracking her down, Koko had been happy to oblige

 

Sidon turned in his sleep and faced Link, but not even seeing his friend’s content expression calmed him. He was having a hard time figuring out what to do next. He had shown Sidon the area around Kakariko, all he shops, they had seen all the people, What now? obviously, they would have to restock their supplies before they left. The return journey would take longer than the journey there, so they would likely stop at times to refuel. Gathering food would pass the time, but what else? Taking a glance to be sure Sidon wouldn’t be disturbed, he pulled his pants and tunic on. Maybe a walk would help him figure out what to do the next day. He crept past Sidon’s sleeping figure, then waved goodbye to Ollie before slipping out quietly. People were always writing in the town grievance journal, there was a chance Link could find something for them to do there. He walked the short distance to the stairs leading to Impa’s house, saying a brief hello to Cado, who was standing guard. He went up the steps quickly and headed inside. “Link! What brings you here?” Link turned to see the town leader coming down the stairs.

 

“Hi Impa! Sorry to intrude, I’m just here to look in the grievance journal. I thought Sidon might like to help some people out tomorrow.” Link wandered to the journal when Impa gave him permission, sitting down to look through it. There was the usual old ones about Rola’s ex-husband, fireflies, Paya and the shrine orb, blah, blah, blah. Was there anything new? Link turned the page and found unfamiliar handwriting.

 

I have fallen helplessly in love with my best friend, and I have no idea how to tell him.”

 

That was a new one. He wondered who wrote it. Link kept reading the entry, chuckling as the author praised their friend.

 

“He consumes all my thoughts. All I can think about is holding him in my arms, worshiping him as the hero he is, telling him over and over how much he means to me. But…

 

Link kept reading. This was actually really sweet. The author put a lot of thought into it. He flicked his eyes to the bottom. Usually the person who wrote it left some type of clue, and Link could trace it back to them and help them. Link wanted to unite this writer and their love interest, because this was adorable. Seeing the name nearly made him throw the journal.

 

- Poesidon.

 

“Oh dear.” Link turned to see Impa sitting on her stack of pillows. “It seems you found the grievance that your friend left.” Link waved the journal at her.

 

“Sidon wrote this? “ he asked.

 

“Yes, He was here while you were sleeping a few nights ago. He was just here to discuss a.. private topic, then he asked if he could add something and so I let him. I don’t think he expected you to read it while you were still here with him.” Link let out a surprised breath of air.

 

“You knew?”

 

Everyone knew, Link. Even Paya, as clueless as she is. His feelings for you are more obvious than your love for food.”

 

“Then how did I not-“

 

“You were too busy being enamored with him to notice.” Did Impa really have all the answers?

 

“I’m not…” Link thought back to earlier in the week.

 

The depth of his emotions…

Heat settled in his chest…

Warmth…

Worried about you.

Graceful.

Hylia help him, he loved this Zora.

 

Oh goddess. He loved Sidon.

 

“Are you figuring it out?” Link put a hand over his face.

 

“What am I going to do? I have to… I have to go home soon. But I love…” Link raised the journal again, waving it at Impa. “How can I even think about taking him back and then leaving when-“ he lifted the journal, shaking it aggressively. “When he wrote this?” Impa looked out the window and gave him a slow smile.

 

“You need to calm down, Link. Clear your head.”

 

“How am I supposed to? I can’t go back to the Inn, Sidon’s there and I don’t know if I can face him after...” Link gestured vaguely at the journal.

 

“The stars look particularly nice tonight,” Impa pointed out. Link turned around, setting the journal down. “Why don’t you go for a look?” He did like watching the stars. On his toughest days fighting Lynel or guardians or camps of moblins, he liked to lay out in the grass and watch the sky. But Impa was suspicious.

 

“You aren’t coming out?”

 

“Goodness no. I’m going to bed!” Link laughed, trying to sound normal, and bade her farewell, leaving to go outside. He looked in the window and saw Impa walking back up the stairs to the bedrooms. at the foot of the stairs outside Dorian was with Cado, making the transition of guard so Cado could go rest. But more than them, Link saw…

Chapter Text

“Sidon?” He mumbled aloud. He was going to have a panic. There was no way Link could walk by without Sidon stopping him. He would just have to pretend like he hadn’t seen him. He walked down the stairs with a quick wave to Dorian, approaching the goddess statue where Sidon was floating in the water.

 

“Hey, what are you doing here?” Any plan to hide from Sidon went out the window as soon as they made eye contact. Link wanted to ask him about the journal, see if he really had written the message, maybe finally do something about it. “Ah, I should apologize, I did not-“ Sidon stood from the water, clearing his throat and composing himself. “I was here for a midnight soak and was watching the stars. I thought you were in bed.”

 

“I thought you were too. I came out to find something for us to do tomorrow.” Sidon brushed water plants off of his arm fins.

 

“I see.” Sidon stepped out, moving closer to Link. Just like when he had been watching Sidon before, he looked beautiful out of the water. His eyes reflected the glow of the torches around the statue, making the yellow look almost gold. Should he ask about the journal?

 

“Hey, Sidon.” He said.

 

But... I do not wish to ruin things, as it is important to me that he stays in my life.

 

Sidon blinked. If Sidon really had written that message and really felt that way for him… Link wondered if there would be any consequences if he just went for it.

 

“What is it, Link?”

 

I have to tell him soon though, or I may never do it.

 

Link tentatively raised his hands up, resting them on his shoulders. If he had to deal with the consequences, at least his room was paid for and he had his Sheikah slate on his person to warp if he needed to.

 

“Did you write in… in the town grievance journal about me?” Sidon blinked several times before moving closer.

 

“The town’s...” the Zora’s eyes opened wide, and he got a bright flush in his cheeks. “I- I did nothing of the So-“ Link decided screw it. This was a long time coming. He slid his hand up to Sidon’s neck and pulled him down, pressing his lips to his. Sidon stood frozen against Link, and Link pulled back after an awkward moment of nothing happening.

 

“Please tell me I’m not just reading into it.” Link looked nervously up at Sidon, who was just standing there, looking at Link with shock. “Oh goddess I made a mistake, didn’t I? I’m so sorry Sidon, I- mmph!“ Link was teaching for his Sheikah slate, but a hand grabbed his wrist to stop him, another one sliding around his neck and pulling him back for another kiss. Link was tense for another moment, then slid his free hand to Sidon’s neck to pull him closer. It sounded cheesy to Link before, but now he understood what people meant when they talked about sparks. But Sparks didn’t begin to describe it. This felt like they were bursting into flames, Sidon was wood and Link was a piece of flint. Sidon’s hand slid around Link’s waist and brought him even closer, tilting his head slightly to kiss him better. Link made a small sound when Sidon’s teeth grazed his lip, pulling back slightly from the kiss.

 

“I have been waiting for this for over a year, forgive me for being shocked by you initiating-“

 

“Shut up and kiss me you stupid fish.” Their lips smashed together, messier than the last time, the flame between them roaring into a bonfire. Link’s feet left the ground so he wrapped them around Sidon’s waist, glad to have a better angle so that Sidon wasn’t straining himself. It could have been moments, it might as well have been hours later, but eventually Link needed air, so he pulled back and heaved a large breath, panting into Sidon’s still open mouth. He rested his forehead against Sidon’s, arms wrapping around his neck as he went in for another short kiss.

 

“You called me a stupid fish.” Kiss.

 

“You called me ‘pearl.’” Kiss.

 

“Well you truly are my greatest treasure.” Goddess, he was so cheesy. Link’s face filled with heat, whether it was the breathlessness, the sweet words, or the cold air, he wasn’t sure.

 

“And you taste like fish too,” Link pointed out. Sidon hummed.

 

“I should think that you like fish.” Sidon’s hand slid up Link’s back, resting between his shoulder blades. “After all-“ Link was not about to let Sidon make a fish pun about himself.

 

“I think I’ll have to try it a few more times to be sure.”

 

“Well then, I would be happy to indulge you.” Link tilted his head to kiss Sidon one more time, the taste of their dinner on his breath. Link could have spent longer just kissing him and learning his mouth, but they had a long day and would need to rest.

 

“We should go to bed,” Link said when he finally pulled back. “Otherwise you’ll be upset that you didn’t get any sleep.” Sidon’s pressed his face into Link’s neck.

 

“I’m not dreaming already?”

 

“No, Sidon. This is definitely real.” Real, and finally out in the open. Link felt his body squeezed tightly to Sidon’s for another moment, then he was set down slowly. Link already missed the heat of Sidon’s body against his, and he silently berated himself for telling him he wasn’t a cuddler. Sidon looked down at him, nothing but adoration in his eyes.

 

“What now?” He asked. Link smiled lightly.

 

“I think now we should go to bed. I don’t know about you, but I’m suddenly quite tired.” He said. “Maybe not even awake enough to walk there…?” Link dramatically stretched his arms and fake yawned. Sidon laughed and picked him up, effortlessly carrying him in his arms. He wrapped his arms around Sidon’s neck, pillowing his head on his chest. He was surprisingly comfortable.

 

“If you fall asleep in my arms and make me tuck you into bed It will only solidify my image of you as small and fragile.”

 

“I’m small, but I’m definitely not fragile.” Link scoffed. Sidon laughed and kissed his forehead.

 

“I am fully aware. The repercussions I would have for even suggesting otherwise would be detrimental to my overall goal.” Sidon said. He started walking, a happy spring in his step.

 

“What would that be, your overall goal?” Link asked. Sidon’s cheeks gained a little color.

 

“I guess you’ll just have to find out, won’t you?” 

Chapter Text

Link…” Link snuggled closer to his pillow, trying to ignore the voice and go back to his dream about horses.

 

Wake up, Link…” The horses slipped out of his subconsciousness, forcing him to be awake.

 

“Link,” He drew the blankets over his head, trying to go back to sleep. “You can’t sleep forever, my friend.” Link would argue that he could, he slept for a century once. The voice sighed, shaking his shoulder. “I brought you food.” Well now Link was awake.

 

“Alright, I’m up, I’m up.” Link ran a hand through his hair, turning towards the source of the voice. “Wow, those are teeth,” he mumbled, sharp points looking back at him. “Oh, Sidon.” Link’s gaze drifted further up to see his friend. “Good morning.” He felt something trying to remind him of something important. What was it?

 

“Good morning, Link. I brought you apples, as you said they are your preferred fruit.” Items dropped into his lap, and Link looked down to find two apples, looking delicious and crispy on the blanket. Why weren’t they in his mouth yet?

 

“Thank you,” Link grumbled, taking one of the apples and biting into it. An appreciative sound escaped his lungs and he looked up at Sidon to thank him again. “This is a good one.”

 

“I thought you would like it.” Sidon bent down and kissed the top of Link’s head. Oh yeah, that was the thing that was missing. Looking around, Link saw nobody nearby, so he swallowed his bite of apple and tugged Sidon into a proper good morning greeting, pressing their lips together. Sidon’s hand came to rest in the back of Link’s head, fingers running fondly through his hair. Link pulled back and returned to his apple. “I could get used to that.” Sidon touched his fingers to his lips.

 

“Just wait till you come visit me at Heteno.” Link said, covering his mouth so bits of apple didn’t fly everywhere. “I’ll give you a ‘good morning’ you’ll never forget.” What exactly that entailed, Link wasn’t sure. “I’m not sure what, but it’ll be good.”

 

“I have faith in you.” Goddess, Link had never felt more alive. He rolled his eyes and pulled Sidon down for another quick kiss before letting him go.

 

“Get out of here before I give you more reasons to stay.” Link waved him off, finishing off his apple. Sidon walked away with a soft laugh, leaving Link to get dressed in semi-privacy. When he was geared up again Link walked outside the inn, having seen Sidon leave. He assumed Sidon had gone to soak his skin, and predictably, he was swimming around by Impa’s house. Dorian was guarding the stairs, and Link gave him a wave. Dorian’s face split into a grin and Link was confused for a moment, then realization dawned on him.

 

Dorian had been guarding the night before.

 

The goddess statue was right across from Impa’s house.

 

“Oh, Hylia help me.” Heat filled his face and he looked back at Sidon, hands coming up as if to protect him from Dorian’s knowing looks.

 

“What is it, my pearl?” Sidon calling him that cheesy name was not helping.

 

“Uh, n-nothing. Just… thinking about things.” Link explained. He wasn’t ashamed of Sidon. Not in the slightest. If someone knew they had kissed, no big deal! It was only one person.

 

“Good morning, Master Link!” Paya walked by, carrying a bucket of cleaning supplies. “Did you two manage to rest last night? Or were you awake confessing your love for one another under the stars?”

 

Make that two people.

 

“Paya, how did you… how did you know?” Link asked, his face feeling like it couldn’t get any more red.

 

“Grandmother mentioned you read his entry in the grievance journal. I’m glad you two worked it out.” A splash from beside him caught Link’s attention.

 

“Oh that’s right,” Sidon said. “I do recall writing in an anonymous journal, yes. Is that how you discovered my feelings?” He looked at Link as he heaved himself out of the water. Link had been paying attention, he really had been, but now the water droplets sliding down Sidon’s chest were more interesting. “Link?”

 

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Thanks for that little ego boost, by the way.” Sidon squinted for a confused second. “Don’t worry about it.” Link brushed the water off of Sidon’s shoulder.

 

“I’m very happy for you two. Grandmother was worried she would…” Paya trailed off.

 

“She would what?” Link asked.

 

“It’s best if she tells you. What are your plans for the day?” Link made a distressed sound. He forgot to make a plan!

 

“I think we’ll buy some things for the return journey, and then work from there.” Sidon said in Link’s place. Thank Hylia for Zora that knew just what to say.

 

“Yeah,” Link said, his argument weak. “That.”

 

“Well be sure you visit before you leave! Grandmother would be quite upset if you left without saying goodbye.” Paya knelt down by the guardian statues, beginning to clean it.

 

“Of course. You don’t think I would leave without saying goodbye to the people who started my journey all that time ago?” Link put a gentle hand on her shoulder, kneeling to her height. “Of course I’ll say bye, in fact, why don’t we go pay her a visit now, Sidon?” He looked up, seeing him looking off into the distance. “Sidon?”

 

“Hm?” Sidon looked down at Link. “Oh, visit- yes of course! Wherever you would like to go, I will follow.” Link stood up.

 

“Great. I’ll see you later, Paya.” Link said. Paya looked over her shoulder and waved. Her eyes were reflecting light, and Link suspected she’d been splashed when Sidon got out. 

 

He didn’t want to think about the alternative.

 

“Goodbye Master Link! Goodbye Prince Sidon!” Link walked around her towards the stairs, pointedly ignoring Dorian when he commented:

 

“About time.” Sidon’s hand slid into his and Link grasped it tightly.

 

“Hey Impa!” Link knocked on the doors, opening one to peer inside.

 

“Link! Come inside. Is Sidon-“

 

“Great, thanks. Hey I have a question.” He said, dragging Sidon in behind him. Sidon sheepishly scratched the back of his neck.

 

“What is your question? Maybe I’ll answer if you ask politely.” Link rolled his eyes, but he did want an answer so he cleared his throat.

 

“Were you perhaps, by chance, trying to set us up? If you knew about Sidon’s… feelings when he wrote in the journal a couple days ago. Did you do something about it?”

 

“I knew long before that, Link. He might have written it down for everyone that day, but I knew how much he cared for you the moment he spoke about you.” Sidon shuffled uncomfortably beside him. “It’s about time you two realized how much you care for each other.” Link recalled their second day in the village, when Sidon and Impa met.

 

“Is that what she asked you about?” Link asked, looking at Sidon, his face was bright pink, flushed from embarrassment.

 

“I already knew he felt something when he spoke. I asked him if he loved you, and when he said yes, I asked him if he wanted my assistance in winning you over.”

 

“And I said yes, please.” Link felt betrayed. Sidon seemed to have realized how it sounded, because he grabbed onto Link’s shoulders and looked at him with pleading eyes. “I promise I didn’t try to manipulate you, please, you have to believe me.”

 

“No he didn’t. It was all part of the village’s plan. I informed them of Sidon’s feelings for you, and told them nothing else. Whatever they did is all their fault.” Link pushed away Sidon’s hands and ran his fingers through his hair.

 

“So, the beds… Olkin’s pumpkins, the plum trees, Goddess,” Link huffed a breath of air. They really were all in on it. “Did you get Koko and Cottla in on it too?” Impa seemed to hold back a smile.

 

“What did they do?”

 

“Koko gave me a slice of Cake… I gave it to Sidon.”

 

“It was delicious. She gave me the recipe.” Sidon broke in.

 

“What they did is none of my business. I just know that it was an effort. And Dorian has told me that the efforts were not wasted! Glad that I didn’t have to intervene.”

 

Three people knew that the issue was resolved. Hylia, did everyone know?

 

“And you… you started this?” Link looked at Sidon accusingly. He shied away.

 

“I merely asked for help!”

 

“Link, take a moment to think.” Link was on the verge of anger but his attention snapped to Impa. ”Most of your... revelations were only because of him. Based on what they reported, the villagers said you were mostly confused. Sidon enjoyed himself though, right?” Impa asked.

 

“It felt wrong to try and manipulate you after I realized who was participating. Their help gave me the confidence to write.”

 

That was the only thing that truly influenced you, right?” Link pressed his palms against his eyes. This was all too much. First he was being manipulated, but it wasn’t working, so he wasn’t?

 

“This is… this is confusing.” Link thought back on his feelings throughout the week. He had been embarrassed about the beds, he remembered that. Sidon was eventually the one who convinced him that it was okay. Then there was the pumpkin, but Link had never really had a problem sharing his food, so it wasn’t going out of his way to share. Plus they had separate spoons so it wasn’t like they were indirectly kissing. The plum trees hadn’t done anything but confuse him, and he hadn’t joined Sidon in observing them. He had invaded that garden too many times to care in the first place. The cake slice was probably supposed to be shared between them too, but Link didn’t like sweets that much. What had convinced him?

 

In his heart, Link had already made a decision.

Chapter Text

Link pushed his hands back through his hair, finally settling on an answer. “I don’t care.” He said aloud. “I don’t care that you needed help. You were the only thing that changed my mind.” He looked up to Sidon and took his hands in his own. (The claws, too. Hylia, Link was never going to look at a shark the same.) “Besides, Impa would never get me to do anything I didn’t want to do already. I had to have been a little infatuated with you already in order to figure it out.” Link smiled lightly.

 

“Link, I…” Pain flashed across Sidon’s features and he squeezed Link’s hands tightly. “I know you said you don’t care but I do.” He looked to the side and sighed. “I’ll never forgive myself for my cowardice.”

 

“You aren’t a coward, Sidon,” Link let go of his hand and turned his head back to face him. “You’re just shy, and you needed help to do it right. I don’t mind that. It could have been done a little more tactfully, but the end result is what matters and well...” Link stroked his thumb across Sidon’s cheek.

 

“For the love of Hylia, just kiss already!” Impa called in the background. Sidon bent down, a question clear in his eyes, that Link answered with a kiss. “Finally! Goddess. One more moment of tension and I was going to lock you in a closet and not let you out until one of you, probably Link, was-“

 

“Woah!” Link broke the kiss to look at Impa. “Calm down!”

 

“Prude. Goddess, young people these days, you think they wouldn’t freak out so much about sex.” Impa grumbled and climbed down off her pillows, walking up the steps nearby. “I’m going upstairs. Don’t follow me.”

 

“That woman is insane.” Link muttered.

 

“I find it rather endearing.” Sidon chuckled. “She reminds me of my mother. When she was alive, she was always telling my sister that she should find a lover so she could carry on the family line.” Link hummed. “She was in love with you, you know. Before everything that happened. I remember her telling me that you were going to be my brother, and even as a child I found something about it off.” Link still felt a little guilty about Mipha. He knew that she had loved him, a hundred years ago. But he just didn’t feel anything for her anymore. He had lost most of his feelings for the people he had known before. His memories were from the past, when he was a very different person. He had spent a long time separating himself from that, but things made sense now. Sidon bent down again as Link pulled him in for a quick kiss. “I guess loving you is in the family.”

 

“Goddess, you’re so sappy.” Link wrapped his arms around Sidon’s neck, unsurprised when he was lifted off the ground, and quick to wrap his legs around Sidon’s waist. They kissed again, longer this time since Sidon wasn’t basically bending over Link. Sidon seemed more confident now that they were alone. His teeth moved gently over Link’s lower lip, forcing him to open his mouth more or risk a puncture. The moment Link opened up enough Sidon possessed him, claiming Link’s mouth with his tongue, teeth safely away from his lips. Link was enjoying every minute of it, trying and failing to stay quiet. Goddess, Impa could come back down any moment, or Paya could come in, or someone could peer in from the windows— Did this Zora have no shame? The hand previously holding Link against him creeped under his tunic, claws just barely gliding across bare skin. The risk of danger, coupled with the threat of exposure, was more than a little arousing. Link wished Sidon had hair so he had something to ground himself on other than cartilage flaps. Link put a hand on Sidon’s chin, gripping onto the fins that hung down his cheeks. Sidon’s claws were needles of sensation, a focus point for Link to hang onto while his mouth stayed busy. There was so much to feel, Link hardly noticed himself getting lightheaded until Sidon pulled back, then he was gasping for air. “Mother of Hylia. ” Link panted into the air.

 

“Forgive me, I may have gotten a bit-“

 

“If you say that you got carried away I will punch your teeth out right now, and that’s a promise. Now give me a moment, I am currently having an internal war about where the blood in my body is going.” Sidon shut his mouth and smiled lightly.

 

“I ah, I believe that you’re not hiding it at all.” Link shifted in place a little, unabashedly squirming to try and relieve a little of the tension in his suddenly aching groin.

 

“Your fault, you fix it.” Sidon tilted his head slightly.

 

“Right now? Well if you really want me too, I suppose I can-“

 

“Idiot.” Link huffed. “At least cook me dinner first.” Sidon chuckled into the space between them, meeting him for lazy kisses. This was something he could get used to, kissing Sidon whenever he wanted. He was going to develop some kind of complex, Link was sure of it.

 

“Did you wish to go shopping today?” Link groaned in annoyance. Now he wanted to spend all day learning how to kiss Sidon, drive him crazy like how he could to Link. One day. Hopefully sooner rather than later. But they had to prepare for the journey back, and he needed to go shopping. “I am willing to buy the things we’ll need. You bought the supplies for the way here, it’s only fair.”

 

“You’re so nice.” Link silently vowed to make up for all the rupees Sidon spent on him. How in the world would he do it?

 

Hmmmm…. yes, how indeed.

 

“It really is no issue. Don’t be upset. I mean it, Link.”

 

“Hey you’re basically part shark, right?” Link asked unprompted.

 

“I have the teeth, the resemblance of one’s tail, claws, I should hope I am; why do you ask?” That sass was going to get him in trouble.

 

“Don’t sharks have two dicks?” Sidon nearly choked on air, his cheeks flushing red as he set Link down.

 

“Th-That is an extremely personal, well actually it’s reasonable to ask now but-“

 

“I was just curious. Wow.” Link crossed his arms. “You could have just said “I’ll tell you later” or something.” Link grumbled softly, barely disguising his amusement. Sidon looked embarrassed still, opening and closing his mouth awkwardly. “Only kidding. Although now I am curious. Anyway, let’s go shop and live today out so I can take you back home.” Link walked confidently back outside, not even bothering to look back at Sidon. He already knew what was going through his head.

 

“This man is going to be the death of me.”

Chapter Text

Link decided that he didn’t care about a lot of things.

 

He didn’t care that the entire village knew he and Sidon were… whatever they were now. Not caring that they knew allowed him to not care who saw them acting like whatever they were. He didn’t care when they went to Roma’s shop holding hands, giggling about the word “butt” being on the goat butter logo. He didn’t care when Claree saw Sidon appreciatively eyeing how Link looked in the new modified armor, he didn’t care when Lasli saw Link kissing Sidon’s embarrassed stutters away when Link accused him of not taking advantage of a perfect situation to ogle him the day before, he didn’t care when Cado saw Link getting onto the roof of a house by climbing Sidon’s shoulders, and he definitely didn’t care about the stupid Cucco and its incessant clucking and wanting to get in Sidon’s personal space when Link was trying to kiss him breathless by Ta’loh Naeg shrine.

 

Okay maybe he cared about that one a little.

 

Sidon tried to calm him down, convince him to not throw the cucco off the cliff like it definitely deserved and instead just kiss him, but Link heard the laughter hidden under his words. He couldn’t hide that from him.

 

“Link, please refrain from-“

 

“It has to go, Sidon!”

 

Gawk!

 

You shut it! I’ll deal with you in a minute! Goddess, I come here to have a nice moment with a guy and you just have to invade?”

 

Cluck, cluck.

 

“I swear to Hylia I will throw you off that cliff,” Link pointed to the edge of the cliff while glaring threateningly at the cucco.

 

“Oh goddess!” Sidon pressed the heels of his palms against his eyes, laughing hysterically. Link straddled Sidon’s waist, sitting back on his stomach and crossing his arms annoyedly while looking down at him. The cucco stepped closer. Did this thing have a death wish? Link picked it

up, glaring at it.

 

“I won’t hurt you, so I’ll just threaten you. If you don’t leave us alone, I will kick you so hard off that edge you won’t have eggs for a week. Are we clear?” He asked, getting right in its face.

 

Buh-gawk!

 

“Great! Now go on. Shoo, go back home.” Link have the cucco a little toss down the path, watching it walk over to the apple tree. “That’s it. Yeah, leave us alo-ah!” Link wasn’t expecting the sudden grip around his waist, flipping their positions so Sidon was pinning him against the ground. The Zora was still laughing, heaving for air while making weak attempts to kiss his cheeks and forehead.

 

“You are such a-“ Sidon paused to laugh. “Such a gift, little pearl.” Link smiled, unable to move his arms where Sidon had pressed his wrists into the ground.

 

“Thanks, I try.” Link replied, gesturing with his hands. Sidon let go of his wrists, dropping down onto his elbows to kiss him. Link slid his arms around Sidon’s neck, enjoying not having to hold himself up to kiss him at a proper angle. Sidon’s teeth teased the edge of his lip again, and this time Link resisted. How would he deal with a little- “Ow!” Sidon nipped at Link’s lip, too light to puncture but enough to hurt, making Link open his mouth to exclaim in shock. Sidon took advantage, cleverly managing to invade his mouth with his tongue. Link groaned in response, eyes sliding shut to focus on the sensations. He didn’t care at this point that Sidon had bitten him. He was great at distracting Link from the pain. A shiver went down Link’s spine as Sidon continued to dominate the, well he could hardly call it a kiss. A disastrous, messy clash of tongues and lips, teeth staying completely out of the way was in no way a kiss. But it still made Link feel the depth of Sidon’s affections, every minute was Sidon’s physical “ I love you,” and Link wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Even with the stupid cucco getting in the way.

 

“Why do you keep biting me?” Link asked. Sidon opened his eyes, pupils blown wide.

 

“What?” He replied breathily.

 

“If you just asked nicely I’d be happy to let you get all up in my space. I don’t see the reason behind it.” Sidon’s face, which had been hazy, morphed into a smirk, an expression Link wasn’t used to seeing, but was not protesting.

 

“Be honest with me- no, be honest with yourself, Link.” Sidon narrowed his eyes and eaned closer until Link’s lips tingled with the feeling of Sidon’s breath. “Would you really want me to do anything differently?” Link started to respond but Sidon shook his head. “Would you really rather have me ask nicely? Or do you like the touch of danger?” Link’s lips parted as he gripped a little tighter on Sidon’s neck. “Because I think…” Sidon’s lips brushed gingerly against Link’s before moving away, and he turned his head to try and chase them. “I think that you need riskiness.” Sidon kissed him again, barely more than a touch. “You simply refuse to admit it.” Link made a desperate sound in his throat, unsure how his body produced it, but it got Sidon to kiss him so he wasn’t complaining. The kiss stayed innocent, just a simple press of their lips. It was nice, but…

 

Link pulled back from the kiss, admitting defeat.

 

“Okay I admit it. Your teeth are pointy and I may or may not like pointy things. A lot.” Sidon huffed a laugh, smirk not showing any signs of going away. Even if Sidon was right, that look on his face was doing things to Link his teeth couldn’t hope to accomplish.

 

“I knew it.”

 

“Okay, you win, I get all tingly when you almost bite me; will you kiss me already?” Link didn’t have to protest any further, Sidon was more than happy to indulge. This time Link wasn’t scared of his teeth, or of Sidon judging him on how he reacted to his teeth. Just the barest touch of Sidon’s teeth on his lips had Link going absolutely insane. He could hardly wait for Sidon to get more skin to explore with those things.

 

Bug-gawk!

 

Link froze, any traces of arousal gone with that sound.

 

Cluck-cluck, buh-gawk!

 

Not even Sidon kissing him could stop him from throwing it off the edge this time.

Chapter Text

Packing up took more time than Link anticipated. Sure, there was the factor of having to stop every ten minutes so that Sidon could kiss him senseless (A habit he did nothing to try and stop from forming), but really, it felt like hours. At least Ollie has gotten the hint and left for a bit.

 

“Just a couple minutes? Then I promise not to interrupt.” Sidon wrapped his arms around Link from behind.

 

“You said that last time,” Link huffed, putting his bow back in his items. At this point he didn’t question how he continued to fit impossible things into his pockets and a little bag, he was just glad he had the space.

 

“I mean it this time,” Sidon assured, pressing his lips gently to his neck.

 

“You said that last time too.” Link paused and turned around, sliding his arms around Sidon’s neck. How could he honestly say no? “If you promise that this is it, I’ll indulge you.”

 

“I believe this is where I say ‘you said that last time.’” Link hummed, chuckling as he met him for a kiss. Sidon was quick to nibble the seam of his lips, deepening the kiss when Link responded automatically, opening his mouth. Link had discovered it was no use to try and gain dominance in their kisses. The tip of his tongue still throbbed where Sidon’s tooth practically stabbed through it when he had tried to take control. Plus, it wasn’t exactly a downside that Sidon had discovered a liking for holding Link against whatever surface was closest— the wall, a side table, one of the beds, really anywhere Link’s feet were off the ground. This time Sidon had him against the bed, gasping his name while he kissed the air from his lungs as fast as he got it. Link moaned as Sidon tugged his hair back, lips fixing themselves to his neck. Normally that would have been fine, but with Sidon getting as reckless as he had been, Link was nervous.

 

“S-Sidon, Sidon, watch your t-ah, your teeth!” Link made a high pitched sound as teeth sunk into his neck. He wasn’t quite sure what he was supposed to be feeling, and he was quite certain that the waves of bliss coursing through him were misplaced, but the moan that Sidon responded to him with was not lost on him. What an absolutely fantastic sound. Sidon started to pull back, the rest of his body stiff with fear, but Link wrapped his legs around him to hold him there.

 

“Link I- I Are you okay? I’m so sorry for-“

 

“I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m not exactly shying away.” Link muttered.  “Is this really what you get off on?” Sidon was quiet. Link relaxed his grip with his legs, pulling Sidon’s head away to look him in the eyes. His teeth were coated in blood, eyes full of guilt but honed in on Link’s neck where the bite was, his pupils blown wide with arousal. “Don’t try to hide it from me, I can see right through you.” Link tilted his head to the side, watching Sidon bite his lip. “It’s good to know.” Link sat his head back up straight.

 

“I should not have-“

 

“What you should not have is regrets. What you should have is your mouth back on mine before I have to ask for it.” Sidon looked back into Link’s eyes. “Don’t give me that look. Yes, I’m sure. Yes, I know it’s going to scar. No, I don’t care, because you’re going to make it up to me. Not tonight, but soon,” Link said. Sidon’s eyes narrowed in an unspoken question. “You’ll figure it out.” Link wiggled his shoulders back on the bed. “Now…” he slid out of his tunic, leaving his torso open and available. Sidon couldn’t stop staring at the vast expanse of his chest, although

Link wasn’t sure if it was a lustful hunger or a reverent admiration. Either way, Link was excited. “Do you want to bite me again?” With the fervent way Sidon climbed into him and began pressing reverent kisses to his chest, Link knew he wasn’t going to regret giving him this. And when Sidon was curled up against his back to sleep, Link’s upper body now littered in rows upon rows of red dots, he still didn’t regret it.

Chapter Text

Link woke early, snuggling deeper into what he thought were blankets, but turned out to be the arms of a certain Zora prince. He still held no protests. Sidon’s arms shifted against him, the adjustment bringing Link forcefully into the waking world.

 

“Mm,” Link grunted, pressing his face into Sidon’s chest. “I don’t want to be awake yet.” Fingers ran through his hair, claws pressing gently against his scalp.

 

“I know, my pearl. However if you sacrifice your morning, we can arrive at the domain sooner so you can rest.” Screw Sidon and his logic.

 

“I doubt that.” Link shuffled backwards, trying to look up at Sidon’s face. The hand in his hair moved to his cheek, cradling it carefully.

 

“How are you doing? Are you in any pain?” Link opened his mouth to respond affirmatively, but then let out a small breath.

 

“Nothing I can’t handle. Just a bit uncomfortable.” Guilt washed over Sidon’s face. “Don’t give me that look,” Link chastised. “I quite literally asked for it.”

 

“I know but-“

 

“But nothing.” Sidon sighed dramatically.

 

“May I look, just to be certain you’ll be alright?” Link nodded and pushed the blankets down below his waist, laying flat on his back while Sidon looked over him. Sidon had given both sides of his neck a lot of attention, covering them in small marks, then moved on to his collarbone and littered it in more of them. “Oh my.” Sidon’s hand brushed the first mark he left on his neck, the only one he actually drew blood from. “That is… that is certainly not going away in the immediate future.” The thought of having that kind of mark, one that Sidon left on him, was exciting enough to distract him from the pain of his prodding.

 

“Good,” Link said, looking for a reaction. Sidon sucked in a breath through his teeth, eyes never leaving Link’s neck.

 

“You seem to be doing fine,” Sidon mumbled. Link nodded.

 

“I told you yesterday, you shouldn’t regret it. I certainly don’t.” Sidon gave him a small smile, despite his cheeks being bright pink. “Come here.” Link pulled Sidon in for a good morning kiss, something he had quickly become quite fond of. It was just an innocent press of their lips, but Link adored the simplicity of it.

 

“Good morning to you as well,” Sidon said, as if mornings with him could be anything but great. 

 

They spent most of the morning finishing the packing that they didn’t get to, then spent the last part of their morning saying goodbye to everyone in the village. Impa’s was the most bittersweet goodbye, her saying “it better not take you another year and a half to visit again!” And Link promising that he would return as often as possible. They left the village and climbed their way back down to Telta Lake, taking a final pause before they made the journey back. Sidon apparently had a few words.

 

“My week at Kakariko village was one of the best weeks in my very long life,” he said as he swam circles around the little patch of rock Link sat on. “Even without the change our relationship endured, I can say that.” Link smiled.

 

“Happy to help you out, Sidon. You are a close friend of mine, and I travel all the time. It would have been hypocritical of me to stop you from going.” He reached out and ran a hand over Sidon’s tail as he swam by,

 

“Even so,” Sidon began, pausing to look at Link seriously. “I wanted to say thank you for an unforgettable memory.” Link smiled wider.

 

“Anytime, Sidon.”

 

As they traveled back upriver, the monsters previously hounding them gone due to their combined efforts to slay them before, they moved much slower. Whether it was to enjoy the journey, spend a few more pleasant hours together, or something else, Link didn’t mind it. They took the longer way back to the domain by way of Zora’s River, knowing that getting over Rutala Dam would have been difficult. There were a handful of Octoroks that Sidon disposed of quickly, saving Link the need to use his arrows. When they got to Luto’s Crossing, Link changed into his Zora armor and jumped into the river with Sidon. There were enough small patches of land leading up to the domain for Link to take rests between. Sidon was getting more and more antsy about getting back though, as if something in the water was calling him home, and Link moved as fast as he could, dashing after him while he swam.

 

“The bridge!” Sidon shouted as they traveled. Link looked up from the water to see the arches of the Great Zora Bridge, leading out of Ruto Lake.

 

“I’ll meet you there, Sidon. Go on without me!” As soon as Link gave the okay Sidon was shooting off underwater, clearly excited about getting home. Link climbed up to the bridge, seeing a guard at the end. “Gaddison!”

 

“Link!” Gaddison ran over and stuck his hands out, holding Link’s hand in his. “It’s so good to see you back. Is the Prince here as well?” Link nodded.

 

“He went further up ahead. I think he missed it here.”

 

“Here certainly missed him. You should get to the square quickly— everyone has been waiting!” Link nodded and turned to the bridge.

 

“Right.” He waved at Gaddison as he jogged down the bridge. “I’ll see you later!”

 

“Goodbye, Link!” Link faced forward to see where he was going, his heart pounding excitedly in his chest. He didn’t think he’d ever been this excited to return to a stationary place! He made it to the end of the bridge, cheeks flushed with exertion. Sidon was there already, most of the Zora children sitting in front of him and listening to him talk.

 

“...And there was a lizalfos right there! Link crept up behind it, trying to be silent, but the wood creaked under his foot and alerted the creature.” His audience gasped. “Not to fear! Link is quite adept in facing his monsters face to face. He slashed at it with his sword, and it fell stunned into the water, where I was waiting.” Link stepped closer to Sidon, listening to his story as he leaned against Mipha’s statue. “After that, well it was easy. I dragged the monster down into the water before it could shock me, and it drowned.” Link shuddered. He would have hated to die like that. The Zora prince was a terrifying force of nature, and Link bore the marks to prove it. He was glad they were on the same side. “Link did most of the hard work while we traveled there. In fact, he did most of the hard work in general!

He truly is a hero.”

 

“I haven’t been a hero in a while, Sidon,” Link finally broke in.

 

“Link!” Link barely had a moment to breathe before he was swarmed by Zora children, hugged tightly.

 

“Tumbo! Hey there.” Link hugged him back, carefully setting him down.

 

“You made it.” Sidon said, standing from his sitting position.

 

“You say that like it’s surprising.” Link crossed his arms, flashing him a little smile. “Did you really think I couldn’t handle a little jog?” Link walked closer, nudging his arm with his shoulder. “You can’t give me all the credit, anyway.” Link knelt down to the height of the children. “After all, He did take out the three that were in the water.” The kids gasped.

 

“You took out three lizalfos, Prince Sidon?” Laruta demanded.

 

“Well yes, but Lizalfos are-“

 

Wow! Isn’t he so modest?” Link interrupted. Keye was standing a little bit off, but Tumbo and Laruta jumped around Sidon’s feet, shouting praises at him. Sidon was clearly trying to get Link to help him, but he shrugged and walked right past him. “I’ll see you in a little bit, I’m going to put my stuff away.” Link said, already working on taking off his weapon pack.

 

“You can not possibly just leave m- Link!” Link laughed and moved a little faster, going by Kayden to his isolated inlet. He had missed sleeping on the more comfortable surface, and let out a loud sigh as he flopped onto it.

 

“Oh, sweet water bed, I have missed you dearly.” He grabbed his pillow and pressed his face against it, enjoying the familiar sensation, even if he did still have his clothes on. He would have to sleep later though, he still needed to eat. His stomach was definitely not letting him forget that. After changing out of his Zora armor into his regular tunic, He took a hylian shroom, some raw meat, and a hylian bass from his items. Going to the next inlet over, the general store, he settled down to cook. Hopefully he would see Sidon before bed.

 

“Link!” He looked up to see Bazz enter the shop. “It’s good to see you. How was your vacation?”

 

“Oh, it was fun!” Link replied. “Sidon and I had a great time.” He watched his food sizzle away, trying to ignore the loud growling of his stomach. “It was nice to see some old friends again, and Sidon liked meeting them… he really liked the water.” Bazz wandered around the store, looking at the items as he spoke.

 

“It must have been much warmer than here.”

 

“Yeah,” Link chuckled. “He said it was like going to bed every time he went for a swim. I was worried he was getting sick or something!” Bazz laughed as he looked at a staminoka bass. “He was always so warm compared to here, and was sleeping longer.”

 

“Yes, I remember when I was out searching for a hylian to stop Ruta a year ago. The warm waters were a pleasant change.” Link poked impatiently at his food. He should have just eaten a couple apples or an egg or something. This was taking forever!

 

“I hope he won’t have any trouble readjusting to the cold…” Link said.

 

“He’ll be fine,” Bazz assured. “Did something happen to make you worry about him more?” Link blinked. He hadn’t thought about that. “You don’t usually get concerned.”

 

“No… I guess removing him from his natural habitat kept me on edge about him.” Bazz moved a little closer, holding his fishy purchase in a bag.

 

“Makes sense. But if you’ve got those marks on your neck, perhaps you had other reasons to be concerned.” The soft tone of his voice made Link look up, then the words hit him and his eyes widened in a mix of fear and embarrassment. “Don’t worry, I won’t say a word. But if you’re trying to hide it, you should cover up a little better.” A knowing smirk was plastered on his face, and Link pulled his collar up a little higher. Heat blossomed in his cheeks, his focus coming back to his food.

 

“I- I mean-“

 

“Don’t try to lie to me. I’m just happy Sidon finally did something. He’s had feelings for you for ages.” Link covered his face with his hands.

 

“I know, goddess, I’m so oblivious,” he whispered into his hands. Bazz let out an amused laugh.

 

“That you are my friend. Don’t stay up too late tonight, okay? You’ll need to rest after your journey.” There was no way Link would be skipping out on sleep; he felt like he could sleep for a month. Bazz left, leaving him alone with his slowly cooking food, embarrassment, and thoughts on whether or not he wanted to make his relationship with Sidon public.

 

“Oh, Goddess.” He just got back and he was already stressed out!

Chapter Text

Link sat by Mipha’s statue later that night, after he had finished eating. He had tried to track Sidon down to bother him, but someone had said he was busy with his father, so he reluctantly left him alone. He hadn’t seen him since he left him with the Zora children, staying to himself and chatting with people in town. Link was getting a bit lonely though. Maybe that was odd, since he was surrounded by people? He nibbled on a tender apple, appetite mostly disappeared. He had hoped Sidon would try to find him before he went to bed, since the guard rotation had them stationed far away enough they wouldn’t see them. He laid back on the edge of the fountain, looking up at Mipha. “Is it weird to be missing him when he’s not far away?”

 

“I don’t think so.” Link felt a smile burst across his face. He jumped from his spot, running to the voice who spoke and jumping on him. Sidon supported him easily until he wrapped his legs around him.

 

“Sidon!” Link threw his arms around his neck, pressing their lips together. Sidon kissed back enthusiastically, but the kiss was short. “I missed you.”

 

“I apologize for being away for so long. Being home is-“

 

“Don’t worry about it.” Link hummed. “I know, ’you have duties’.” He kissed him again.

 

“I’m very lucky that you understand.” Link pressed his forehead to Sidon’s. “Is there some way I can make it up to you?” There was a certain intent behind his words that made Link want to drag him to bed and not let him leave.

 

“Well…” Link started to say, fiddling with the fin on top of a Sidon’s head. “You could always ditch work tomorrow and come to the reservoir with me.” Sidon sighed, part upset and part content with Link’s touches.

 

“I sincerely wish that I could, but father has asked that I assist with a task tomorrow.” Link’s face fell. “If It were not so important, I would be happy to go with you.” Sidon’s face pressed against his neck. “But sadly, being gone for a week has its consequences.”

 

“I know,” Link muttered. “I don’t like it, because I would rather spend time with you than do anything else right now, but I know you’re busy. I should start making arrangements to leave in the next week or so anyway.” Sidon’s fingers dug into his thighs, his lips parting on his neck. “Hey,” he huffed.

 

“I know that you have to leave.” He mumbled. “I wish that I could…” he nuzzled his face into Link’s skin. “I I don’t want you leave. I want you to stay with me.” He pulled back to look at Link, eyes sparkling with unshed tears.

 

“I know Sidon, I know,” he kissed his forehead. “But I don’t belong anywhere. I-“

 

“You belong with me.” Sidon’s eyes narrowed. Goddess, this was going to be harder than he thought. The possessive determination in Sidon’s eyes should have felt scathing, not make him feel warm and fuzzy.

 

 Sidon.” Link put a hand on his cheek. “I care about you, so much more than I ever thought I could. But all the things I feel for you couldn’t compare to my need for freedom.” He ran his thumb down Sidon’s cheek. “I may be absolutely enchanted with you, but I have to go. I’ll be miserable if I stay.”

 

“I certainly don’t want that.” Sidon turned his face into Link’s hand, his eyes closing. “I am aware, Link, that you have urges to travel. But I have certain-“ his breath released shakily. “ Urges… for your company. And I cannot go everywhere you can.”

 

“I know,” Link said, catching Sidon’s nose on his index finger. “I promise I’ll come back between my travels.” Link felt like he was saying that a lot lately. “I mean it,” Link added. He would warp to Zora’s domain all the way from the desert if he had to.

 

“I should hope so.” Sidon nuzzled Link’s hand. “I can hardly deal with being away from you now, I’ll be distraught when you leave.” Link nodded and hugged him close.

 

“I know. I’m going to miss you but I know I’ll see you again soon.” Link tilted Sidon’s head up for a kiss. “I just can’t stay.”

 

“Is this the part where you say we might as well make the most of the time?” Link laughed.

 

“You said it, not me.” He slid his fingers down Sidon’s back, scraping his nails across. Sidon glanced over Link’s shoulder.

 

“Perhaps not in front of the statue of my sister?”

 

“Well then, take me to bed.” Sidon grinned, sharp teeth glinting in the light of the luminous stone lamps.

 

“We should wait until we have more energy. However, I wouldn’t protest to a Goodnight kiss?” Link sighed, even though he was absolutely right. The trip home had drained him and he was tired .

 

“Absolutely.” He agreed. He kissed him, trying to press further despite their mutual tiredness. Sidon seemed to have better self-control, much to Link’s distress.

 

“We both need to sleep, my pearl,” He said when he pulled back, seeing the pout on his face.

 

“Fine… But you’d better come by tomorrow morning to give me a good morning.”

 

“If I am not the first thing you see, you have my permission to find and chastise me,” Sidon declared, setting Link back down after giving him another kiss.

 

“That better be a promise.” Link huffed, walking towards his private inlet.

 

“Most certainly!” Link wiggled as he laid down to sleep, happy to be back, happy to be free, and looking forward to the morning.

Chapter Text

~

 

Hello, my dear.” Link turned around from his kitchen, looking to see Sidon peering in from the window. “I finally managed to find some time away from the domain!” Link raced out the door and grabbed Sidon, pulling him close.

 

“It’s so good to be with you again.” Link wrapped his arms around Sidon’s neck, pulling him in for a kiss. Sidon’s hand slid up to his hair, tugging and getting him to open his mouth. His tongue was salty on Link’s from the river, but it did nothing to curb the desire flooding his system. Sidon was a possessive arc of cold against him, lifting him from the ground and pressing his back to the wall.

 

“Would you like to go inside?” Link laughed against Sidon’s lips.

 

“Yes, please.” He said breathlessly. Sidon kissed him again, a moan sliding from Link’s lips while he wrapped his legs around Sidon’s waist. He walked him inside, pressing him against the wall. With the wall supporting him, strong hands pinned his wrists against it. Sidon broke the kiss, letting Link get a breath of air.

 

“Do you have any idea of what I want to do to you?” Link’s hands clenched into fists and he kissed him again. Sidon chuckled. “I guess I should sh.. you.” Sidon’s voice had begun to fade.

 

“No! No, I can’t wake up now.” Link could feel the dream slipping, his hands coming free.

 

“Link,” he tried to hang onto the last shreds of his dream, but he was woken up when a hand ran gently down the side of his head. “Good morning, my pearl.” Link made a soft, desperate sound as the day took him, his dream gone. “Link, are you okay?” He reached out, feeling familiar skin. “What do you-“

 

“Sidon, please.” Link could feel his cock rousing in his shorts, skin uncomfortably warm. “Sidon,“ a hand pressed against his chest. “What are you-“

 

“You are half awake, Link.” Sidon ran a hand up to his face. Link turned into it, kissing his palm. “You are not in the right mindset for this.”

 

“But I-“

 

“No, Link.” Sidon’s hand dropped from his face. “Perhaps we shouldn’t have met this morning.”

 

“No!” Link’s previous erection had gone down a bit with Sidon’s refusal, leaving him with a sinking feeling and much more aware. “Sidon, don’t leave me.” He grabbed Sidon’s hands. “I’m okay now, promise.” Sidon gripped Link’s hands back.

 

“Are you sure?” Link nodded vigorously. Sidon sighed. “Well it’s fairly early. I suppose I can stay for a little while.” Link pulled the covers back, Sidon getting into bed beside him. Link slid his arms around him, wanting to be close.

 

“Sorry for trying to jump you, Sidon.”

 

“Quite alright.” He muttered. “I know that nobody can resist my charms.” Link chuckled and pressed his face into his chest.

 

“That’s for sure,” Link agreed. Sidon returned the hug, tilting Link’s chin up into a sweet kiss. Link hummed softly. Having any kind of closeness to him was worth it. “I still feel kind of bad though.” Sidon tucked a strand of hair behind Link’s ear.

 

“We’ll call it even for last night.” Sidon tilted his chin up again and kissed him. “Any other time I did not have work to do I would have been very enthusiastic about participating.”

 

“Man, don’t tell me work is going to be a cock block,” Link groaned, pressing his face back into Sidon’s neck.

 

“Only for a little while, my pearl. Then I promise to devote every waking minute with you.” He ran his hand through Link’s hair, a soothing point of pressure on his scalp.

 

“Okay, But you’d better keep to that.” Link said firmly.

 

“You have my word.”

 

-

 

Link had an extremely uneventful day. After parting with Sidon, who went to his father for work, he tried to pester the kids for tasks. All their needs had been met, and because the blood moon hadn’t risen, the powerful enemies around the domain were still gone. He tried asking Ludo if he needed luminous stones, and was met with a no. All the people he talked to all said they had nothing for him to do. He only had a few short days left in the domain, as he had been there for just under two months. That was as long as he had intended to spend there, and his departure day was fast approaching. He was just hoping that Sidon would be caught up with his work by the time he had to leave.

 

“Link?” Link’s thoughts while staring at the fire under his rice and meat meal were interrupted by a voice. Glancing up, he saw it was Bazz, out of his knight gear.

 

“Oh hey,” he said, scooting over and gesturing for him to sit. “What’s up?” Bazz settled down next to him.

 

“Sidon asked me to send you his condolences, but he won’t be able to see you tonight.” Link felt heat rise in his cheeks. Bazz knew about it, he reminded himself. And he was happy for them.

 

“Did he say why?” He asked quietly. He may have been more focused on his embarrassment, but he did want to know.

 

“He has to travel downriver to meet with someone with his father. He should return by tomorrow evening.” Link felt his heart sink.

 

“Okay,” he muttered in response, standing up. “I… should go see him then, before he leaves.”

 

“I think that’s a good idea.” Bazz sent him a sympathetic smile.

Chapter Text

“Hey there, you.” Sidon turned around, heart kicking into double time in his chest, smile bubbling up onto his face, arms twitching, wanting to be wrapped around the figure of the man in front of him. “Bazz tells me you’re leaving.” Link walked right up to him, sitting on the bench beside him.

 

“That’s true.” And it was one of the most painful things he would have to do, because he knew Link only had a couple days left to spend at the domain, and Sidon would be gone for one of his precious days left. If he was being honest, he would have been more than willing to have spent that morning in bed with Link. He had looked so desperate for touch, for Sidon, he was so close, so close to giving in. But he knew that if he had done anything, letting Link go would only hurt more. So he had just sat with him, holding him as long as he could. He hoped he wouldn’t regret it. “Have you come to see me off?”

 

“Yeah, I uh,” Link shifted awkwardly. “I think I’m going to head home tonight.”

 

No!

 

“I mean you’re going to be gone, and I have nothing to do, plus I’d be leaving in a couple day anyway, I might as well-“ Sidon cut him off by kissing him, hands in his hair, mouth taking complete control over Link. It took a moment, but eventually Link’s hands rested on his shoulders, responding to the kiss. Sidon’s plans were ruined. He was going to come back with a gift for Link, tell him to his face that he loved him, that he knew Link had to go and that he supported him, he was going to take Link to the reservoir and do the things he didn’t get the chance to do that morning. All that was being ripped away from him. Sidon pulled Link closer, not caring who saw. Link’s fingers dug into his skin while Sidon gripped his hair tighter. I love you, Sidon tried to tell him.

 

I love you.

 

Of course, Link and Sidon both had to breathe. Sidon pulled back, already missing the point of contact.

 

“Wait for me,” Sidon pleaded. Link swallowed.

 

“You know I can’t do that.” Sidon bumped his nose against Link’s. He was going to miss him. but he knew, as an undeniable fact, he’d see him again soon.

 

-



Watching Sidon leave left him with a warmth in his chest, very different from what he had been expecting to feel. The decision to leave had taken him a while to decide, influenced by Bazz saying something along the lines of “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Link knew he had to go anyway, this was just a reason to. Even if it was upsetting. As he packed his things up the next day, he thought back on his time in Zora’s domain, and particularly his time with Sidon. He hadn’t realized how much Sidon cared about him until they went to Kakariko, but reflecting on his time there, there was no doubt that Sidon loved him. Joking with him, calling him pet names, holding him when he was cold, spending countless hours swooning over his accomplishments, even the hours they spent swimming. It was something he would always remember. Of course, Link would be back. But he was going to spend a while traveling, wandering aimlessly around Hyrule until he was ready to be stationary again. And even then, he may only stay for a few days, only days, because he was itching for travel again. He was ready to go back to flinging himself headlong into danger, obeying no rules but his own, not caring how anyone else received him.

 

He was ready to be free again.

 

He was going to miss the kids the most, the endless random requests they had for him. Frogs, butterflies, crickets, dragonflies, mushrooms, anything small. He was going to miss Kayden and his generosity, letting him stay in the private inlet off the side of the general store. He would miss Gaddison, seeing them every time he went out for a walk to the bank of wishes, where he would talk to Finley about love. He would miss Muzu, unable to tease him daily about Mipha and her affection for him. He would miss Marot, the fish and arrows she had in stock that made sure his supplies never ran dry. King Dorephan, even if he was gone, for his willingness to let Link stay as long as he did.

 

Goddess. He would miss it all.

 

But he knew it just as well as everybody else…



This was not goodbye.

Chapter Text

Two months later

 

“Hey girl. I’ll see you in the morning,” Link muttered to Epona, feeding her an apple as he tied her to the stable at home. “I know it’s only the evening, but well, you know.” She huffed at him and bent down, getting a drink. He had been riding her all day, so he wasn’t surprised she was thirsty. Making their way from South Akkala back to Hateno was a fair distance. He walked to the apple tree by the stable and picked a couple, deciding to make a quick snack of them before he ate that night. He walked inside and hung up his weapons, going upstairs to lay in bed and eat. He found himself thinking of the events that had taken place two months before. He thought about Sidon and Zora’s domain often, trying to decide when he would be desperate enough for a bit of recognition and love to go back. He’d detoured to Hyrule Castle on his trip back from Zora’s Domain, asked Zelda for her advice.

 

“If you’re that worried, go back!”

 

“I’m not ready yet,” he’d replied, because he hadn’t been. But now…

 

Now Link had rupees in his pocket, items to spare, and the near unbearable awareness he was lonely. It wasn’t like he was scared anymore. Maybe he would stop by. Just for a couple hours. Long enough to get Sidon’s voice out of his thoughts. Enough to purge the memory of how broken Sidon was in their last goodbye, his voice begging Link to wait.

 

“They said it was across the bridge…” that was not at all what Sidon’s last words to him had been. Link sat up in bed at the sound of a familiar voice. He was hearing things.

 

“I guess I should go back soon,” Link decided, getting out of bed and going downstairs. He walked to his door to go out to his cooking pot, pushing it open and hearing someone shout in pain. “Oh gosh! I didn’t know there was someone there! I thought I was imagining th-“ Link slid outside in the open space to look at his poor victim.

 

Oh.

 

“Oh! You’re home. I wasn’t sure you would be, everyone said they saw you with your horse. I thought you were… out…” He had only just decided that he was going to go see him… he hadn’t expected him to show up first.

 

“Sidon? You- you’re really here?”

 

“Yes, who else would I be?” Red and white skin, big fish tail on his head, familiar yellow eyes, sharp, blinding smile, hands that were somehow not touching him yet, and oh wasn’t that just upsetting. Link wrapped his arms around his friend, hugging him tightly.

 

“I can’t believe it.”

 

“Well you should, because here I am!” Link pulled him inside, shutting the door behind him. Turning back around, he slid his hands up as high up Sidon’s body as he could without pressing up to his toes, then pulled his head back down. “It’s very nice to see you again.” Link thought of a dream he had a while back, where Sidon visited him while he was in the kitchen, they kissed, it built up to more…

 

“I can give you a better hello later,” Link muttered as he kissed Sidon. Goddess he had missed those lips on his. It seemed as though Sidon had a similar idea, because as soon as Link pulled him closer Sidon stepped in and met him for the kiss. Electricity more powerful than any shock arrow made his hair stand on end, Sidon’s arms sliding around his waist and lifting him off the ground. His legs, which had trembled under the weight of emotion in the kiss, now latched themselves tightly around Sidon’s waist. Only then did Sidon move his hands into Link’s hair, the best place to get a solid grip. Sidon’s teeth scraped across his lip, and Link wasn’t sure if the moan he let out in response was appropriate. Either way, he opened his mouth enough for Sidon’s tongue to slide in and relearn him, his back pressed against the door. He was content to be under Sidon for the moment, knowing he was going to want a bit of time to regain some confidence. Link was just happy to be with him again.

 

“Goddess,” Sidon said when he finally pulled back. “I have missed you. More than anything.”

 

“Did you miss me dragging you out of work?” Link asked cheekily, a smile forming across his exertion-flushed face.

 

“Among other things, yes.” Sidon stroked the back of Link’s neck softly.

 

“Did you miss kissing me good morning and goodnight?”

 

“A lot.” Link tapped a finger to Sidon’s neck, thinking.

 

“Did you miss anything else?” Sidon smiled at him for a moment, then glanced around the room.

 

“I missed your laugh,” Sidon began, walking towards the stairs. “I missed listening to your stories from your travels, or hearing about each scar you’ve received in battle. I missed the way you blush when I say something nice to you, and I missed the way your weight feels hanging onto me.” Link’s face heated up, warmth stirring in his chest.

 

“That’s a lot of things.”

 

“There is a lot to say.” Sidon gave him a small, sweet kiss, then walked carefully up the stairs. It took him almost the entire walk to realize they were going to his bed, and the second after that thought sank in, his pulse kicked into overdrive. This was just like his dream, but better. This was real. Sidon set him down on his bed and Link took the opportunity to stretch out, legs spreading invitingly in an attempt to seduce Sidon into joining him. “Well how am I to refuse, given such an offer?” Link laughed and pulled him down, both grinning as they traded kisses.

 

“You know I had-“ he paused to accept another kiss. “A dream about this-“ kiss. “Once.” Sidon paused, looking down at Link with an interested smile.

 

“Oh?” When Link nodded he added on, “Do tell.”

 

“Well it started like a lot of my dreams start, in my kitchen.” He pointed downstairs. “Then I heard your voice from the window. When I checked it out, you were outside, saying you’d gotten time away from working. Then we uh,” Link’s cheeks turned hot. “Um, we kissed and you…”

 

“Do you have any idea what I want to do to you?”

 

Link’s skin felt too warm under his clothes all of a sudden. “You said some things, and then I, uh, I woke up,” Link explained. Sidon was grinning.

 

“That was the morning I left, correct?” Link nodded, wishing he could hide away from his eyes. “The morning you woke up and ah, tried to ‘jump me?’” Sidon’s hand that wasn’t supporting him over Link made air quotes. As if Link could blush any harder, he squeezed his eyes shut and nodded. Goddess, he was so embarrassed. He was not expecting the gentle touch on his cheek. “Have I mentioned how gorgeous you are when your face is red?”

 

“Huh?” Sidon’s hand drifted to Link’s chin, tugging it up. Link was looking at him now, and there was something in Sidon’s gaze that made the heat in his skin a little more unbearable.

 

“I’ve heard that a Hylian’s entire body can turn red under enough stress or exertion.”

 

“Where are you going with this?” Link’s heart was pounding in his ears, because he was pretty sure he knew where Sidon was going with it, and the ‘Yes’ was right on the tip of his tongue.

 

“Well Link, my pearl,” Sidon began, sliding a clawed thumb across his cheek. “Would you do me the honor of letting me make up for wasted opportunities?”

 

Oh Hylia yes.