You sat at the table and nervously twitched your leg. You were doing your best to give your full attention to the person with the floor, but it was difficult. You were incredibly nervous and found yourself wishing your husband was by your side.
Unfortunately, Link was wrapped up in a training mission. He'd been out with the knights all morning. He felt awful when he found out he wasn’t going to be able to sit in on your meeting, but his hands were tied. He’d apologized for a week straight, but you reassured him it wasn’t his fault and that you'd be fine on your own.
Nonetheless, when you reached for his hand under the table, it hurt to come up with empty air.
About two months ago, you resumed Queen Zelda's research on Silent Princesses. Your love for them had grown over the years thanks to your marriage to Link. With your background in growing fruit trees, it was easy to see why you gravitated toward the abandoned project. Zelda had her hands full with running the kingdom, so when you mentioned your research notes, she was thrilled that the project of trying to domesticate the flower had piqued your interest. The only thing missing was funding to grow the garden you needed to provide a home for the flower.
"And Lady (Y/N), I believe you had something to bring to the table? You have the floor." Your head snapped to the royal advisor beside you. You cleared your throat and nodded. You tried to sit up straighter in your chair, but you still felt small. You hated these diplomatic meetings. You felt uncomfortable and out of place. You glanced at Zelda, who gave you a reassuring subtle smile. You quickly glanced over your notes one more time before speaking.
"Yes, thank you. I am here to officially request funding for the Silent Princess Project. I submitted my official request in writing two weeks ago and was summoned here to make my case and answer any questions the council may have," you said, thanking Hylia that your words came out eloquently and in complete sentences.
"I see. Your letter was compelling, but not enough for us to approve the project. What exactly makes this plant worth saving?" the Rito Ambassador across from you asked. You fought the urge to 'accidentally' kick him under the table.
"The flower is over a hundred years old. It's part of Hyrule's history, a part that was able to survive the Calamity. We both know the Calamity wiped out most of Hyrule's history, so anything that survived must be protected," you explained. "If we can domesticate the Silent Princess, we will be able to ensure its survival. I fear that it will not reproduce and spread quickly enough in the wild to last."
"I'm sorry, but what history does a flower provide us with?" the Rito across the table asked. You bit your lip. Link would not be thrilled to know you dumped your glass of water on someone in a council meeting, as tempting as it was.
"The flower gives us an insight into the Hyrule of the past. It will advance our knowledge in climate study, not to mention some of the flowers still hold fragments of the day the Calamity struck. Some pieces of Ganon's malice spread into the soil and have grown into the flower. These fragments can help us study the ancient evil, and if the flowers are domesticated, there is a possibility of those traces of malice evolving into part of the flower's structure and thus giving us endless samples to use for research," you concluded with a nod. Your hand was shaking under the table. You just hoped it didn’t show.
"Research into the effects of the Calamity? Is that not what we have your husband for?" the Rito asked, shooting you a look across the table. Your hand curled into a fist and your gaze narrowed. You wanted to flip the heavy table and crush the asshole. Anger flashed in Zelda's eyes as she shot the Ambassador a harsh glare.
"Ambassador Sidero, that is enough," the Queen demanded. He sulked back into his chair slightly and crossed his arms. "I move the board approve this proposal for funding. Do I have a second?"
"The motion passes and the funding is approved. We'll speak next week on your budgetary needs for the garden. With that, I motion to adjourn this meeting," Zelda said, a subtle hint of exhaustion in her voice. "Do I have a second?"
"Second," you quickly replied. You noticed the faint nod of gratitude she gave you.
"The motion passes and the meeting is adjourned. All pending matters have been tabled until the next meeting." The Ambassador across from you stood up and gathered his things quickly. It was clear you'd made an enemy in him, but you didn’t care. You tried not to smile too widely over the fact that you'd successfully conducted your first formal request from Hyrule's council and had your request granted. You quickly shoved your notes into your bag, excited to run off and tell Link of your victory.
"Perhaps you'll join me for a stroll this evening, in the gardens?" the Queen asked when you stood from the table.
"That would be delightful, Your Majesty," you replied with a nod. She smiled and waved you off.
You stepped out of the meeting room and turned to your right. Your smile grew when you recognized the blond knight walking towards you. He was in his dirty Hylian tunic and stained paints- a clear indication of an outing with the knights earlier. His face lit up when he saw you.
"Did you…?" he asked. You nodded, practically bouncing on your heels. Link quickly crossed the room to you and swept you into a hug. "You did it!" he said and held you close, his arms tight around your waist and face buried in your hair.
"I did it!" you replied, overly excited. Link shamelessly planted a kiss on your lips. Your eyes widened and cheeks darkened, very aware of the other council members coming out of the meeting chambers.
When Link broke your kiss, he noticed your shocked expression and looked to the side. The other council members quickly looked away, apart from Ambassador Sidero, who was glaring at the both of you. Link's ears turned bright red and his cheeks were an even darker shade. He unwound himself from you and nervously rubbed the back of his head. "Um, my congratulations, my Lady. You should be proud," he said and stuck his hand out to you. You chuckled bashfully and took his hand to shake. He lowered his voice to a whisper. "I'm so sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking, I-"
"Do that again," you insisted when you noticed the angry Rito Ambassador was still glaring at you both. Link looked at you curiously. You pulled him against you and kissed him boldly. After a moment, his hand cupped your cheek. You poured your love for your knight into the kiss. Your hand curled in the fabric of his tunic as you pulled him closer. He broke the kiss and leaned back, giving you a lopsided grin.
"I, um…" he trailed off, his ears and cheeks still a lovely shade of pink.
"Why don’t you tell me about your day?" you asked and looped your arm through his.
"Sure, after you tell me about your meeting. I want to hear about every bit of it," he told you and started to pull you from the hallway. You stole a glance at Ambassador Sidero and smiled widely. The other council members had moved on with their lives. You gave a wave to Zelda before turning back to Link.
"Don’t worry. I won't spare a single detail."
“And then he had the audacity to say, ‘isn’t that what your husband is for’. The nerve, I swear. I have no idea how you get through those meetings without slicing someone’s head off with your sword,” you said with a snort. You sat with Link under one of the trees along the river within the castle walls. He just chuckled and shook his head.
“What did Zelda have to say?”
“She shut him down pretty quickly after that. I could tell by the look on her face that she wanted to say more, but bit her tongue. I really don’t know how you do it," you said with a sigh. Link grinned and slid closer to you, draping an arm over your shoulders.
"Well, it's good to know there are other people getting talked about behind their backs. I'm not surprised I'm on that list," he said with a shrug. "I dealt with Revali, I think I can work around this 'friend' of yours, too."
"Wait a minute. List? There's a list of people getting talked about? Who's on that list?" you demanded and scrunched your eyebrows together. Link removed his arm from your shoulders and rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly unable to meet your gaze. "Am I on the list?" His silence spoke volumes.
"Okay, before you freak out-"
"I knew it! Who is talking about me behind my back?" you insisted.
"That’s not important. What is important to know is that I've put a stop to it every time. You know I'd defend you to the ends of Hyrule," he reassured you. You crossed your arms and huffed. You glared at the wall across from you, as if you had some personal vendetta against it. "Sweetheart-"
"I'm never going to belong here, am I?" you asked quietly, your glare now on the ground.
"What are you talking about?"
"Link, I grew up in a poor fishing town. My parents didn’t want me. They never even came back for me. I don’t belong in a castle," you said and stood from his hold. You approached the river and looked down at your reflection. The sleeves of your dress dangled in the breeze and you looked down at the floor-length skirt. Sure, you'd been married to Link for almost two years, and coming to the castle was nothing new, but you still felt out of place.
You heard Link's boots approach you slowly. You expected him to stand beside you, but instead he wrapped his arms around your waist and let his chin rest on your shoulder. He closed his eyes and hugged you close. "You belong right here," he told you and placed a kiss on your neck. You felt your heart race as you turned to look at him. "And as long as you're here, nothing else matters. I promise."
"You're just trying to make me feel better," you said with a shrug. Link chuckled and tipped your chin up. He smiled down at you and shook his head.
"My love, I mean every word. Even if you feel like you don’t belong, I believe you do. Your wisdom far surpasses some of those dusty council members, your kindness and generosity go beyond what any palace servant could possibly do, and you are more bold, brave, and daring than at least half of the knights I command. That is not a joke," Link said as a smile tugged at his lips. You managed a nod and a weak smirk. "And most importantly, I love you so very much. So when you feel like you're outnumbered, remember that I'm right here by your side, ready to pull you back to the place you belong most."
"I love you, too," you said and swallowed the lump in your throat. You reached up and placed your lips against his in a warm kiss. When you broke the kiss, two of Link's knights happened to walk by. You heard them snickering and saw them stealing glances at you over their shoulders. You moved to step back out of Link's hold, but he caught your waist and pulled you back against him.
"Do that again," he said with a mischievous smirk. You grinned and kissed him again sweetly. Your hands fisted in his tunic and Link's hands cupped your jaw. You heard the two knights walk away, muttering quietly, but you didn’t care. What mattered was the man kissing you like there was no tomorrow.
His arms moved to your waist and he curled his arms tightly around you, leaning back and lifting your feet from the ground as he kissed you. You smiled against his lips and separated from him when your feet touched the ground again. You stole one last glance at the knights who were still giving glances over their shoulders before they disappeared around the corner. "Don’t worry about them. They're just jealous because they don’t have a wife as absolutely perfect as you are."
"I don’t deserve you."
"You're right. You deserve better," he teased and brushed his thumb across your cheek.
"There is no better. Someone more charming and sweeter than you? There's no way," you replied with a shake of your head. "And if there is, I don’t want to meet them. You already make my heart melt and my knees weak," you teased. Link smiled fondly at you, just admiring the way your pretty eyes looked up at him. He really would be content to stand there forever as long as he got to look at you.
"You have the most radiant smile," he said as his thumb traced your bottom lip. "It might be my favorite sight in the whole world." Link laced your fingers together and started to pull you back towards the castle. You had dinner waiting for you soon and a stroll with Zelda to follow, after all.
"Wait, might be?" you joked and repeated his words back to him. Link laughed and nodded.
"Of course. Your morning bedhead rivals it. I don’t think there's a better sight to wake up to: your morning bedhead combined with that lovely smile of yours." You nudged him lightly in a teasing manner. Link grinned and tightened his hold on your hand. You leaned your head onto his shoulder as you walked and gave a content sigh. He released your hand and wrapped his arm around your waist. You heard him chuckle low and he placed a kiss on your head. His words were quiet and muttered into your ear, "Right where you belong."