He was about as golden and crisped as fried heron when he finally returned to the domain.
He had never appreciated the cold humidity as much as he had at this exact moment. He made no effort to move from his delightfully cool spot at the shrine. He simply plopped down at the dry entrance and leaned back, taking in the wet air on his skin. His boots were waterproof but the cold of the crystal water still penetrated soothingly.
He decided to say put and bask for a bit, he was sure Sidon would find him quick en-
“Link! You’re back! I had just received word that there was another ray of light targeting the castle!”
There he was, and he even managed to be a little quieter this time. Perhaps there was a (small) chance he hadn’t alerted Muzu.
Sidon’s delighted grin caused that last bit of travel-worn weariness and fatigue to exit his body. If only he could bottle it up and take it with him… it would be far more effective than any stamina potion.
Well, there was something he could do.
He pulled out his sheikah plate and snapped a quick photo before Sidon could react.
Link inspected his work. Perfect. Why hadn’t he taken anything sooner? Better yet, why stop at one? He had a whole GALLERY he could fill with every single one of Sidon’s many expressions.
Sidon blinked in surprise and then leaned down curiously. “What was that you just did?”
Oh- there was another one. Link snapped another photo and then turned the display to face Sidon.
He inspected the screen in awed silence before finally saying “Fascinating... I assume this is sheikah technology? It’s more accurate than any portrait and it only took an instant!” He smiled at Link and quickly sat down next to him. “I don’t suppose you have pictures of your journey? I imagine it must be so useful to be able to document the places you’ve been!”
“A few,” Link admitted. “Space is limited so I don’t take too many…” That was only partially true. He simply hadn’t… cared enough at the beginning. He mostly just took photos when he needed to for quests. Of course, he had made sure to snap a few pics of the inside of Gerudo Town that he could share. Next time he thought about it, he should warp to Rito Village as well and do the same.
The shrine they were sitting at was unfortunately, pretty much at the domain’s hub. The pair were already attracting a number of curious glances. Soon the elders would be upon them like piranhas. “I’ll show you everything,” Link promised and Sidon perked. Link realized taking another photo in that moment would be excessive… but he wanted to. He promised himself he’d have more opportunities later. “In a bit… I have some matters to deal with first.”
Sidon deflated. Link decided right then and there that he would personally accept a duel with anyone who didn’t think his ten foot, hulking, serrated-toothed boyfriend wasn’t the most adorable person in all of Hyrule. He’d have pat his head if he could reach. It was just that… even sitting, there was simply too much torso separating them. (And rows and rows of abs he wouldn’t mind petting instead)
… It was possible his time in Gerudo town had not helped his sense of self restraint on controlling his... wandering thoughts. They were all just as bad as he was and were frankly, a bad influence.
“Meet me up by Toto lake though?” Link asked, lifting Sidon’s hand up to plant an affectionate kiss on one of the large valleys between his knuckles.
“Of course my sweet,” Sidon slowly (and seemingly regretfully) retracted the arm, but not before grazing a smooth claw across the handful of new freckles on Link’s browned shoulder in silent admiration.
It was almost painful to leave the prince so soon. The truth was he didn’t have anything especially pressing to do in the area. He was just hoping for some more alone time without anyone breathing down their necks. He was of course, banking on Sidon not intentionally bringing a chaperone but… somehow he was pretty sure he wouldn’t.
To pass the time and ease his guilt a little at the lie, he took care of the hinox and lynel in the nearby area. He had slain them so many times at this point it barely took any effort. He shrugged off the voice in the back of his head that pointed out that if he hadn’t dawdled so much he might have gotten to Ganon already and been able to give these people more permanent relief.
It was fine…. probably.
He was…. A person. He deserved this much. That’s what Sidon would tell him.
There was no saying whether he was going to come out of that castle alive at the end of all of this- not that he’d ever admit that. Didn’t he deserve a couple of nice moments?
It was a quick glide and a short walk from Shatterback Point to get to their secret meeting spot.
He was there first and so had to wait.
He took the opportunity to take a slow and leisurely swim through the old ruins.
When he grew tired, He boosted himself up onto the remains of a crumbled wall and kicked his bare feet in the water.
Suddenly he saw it, a red fin making it’s way over, cutting the surface of the pond like a knife as it travelled. Link held back a laugh and pretended to have not noticed, innocently drawing circles with his legs.
Two massive hands engulfed his ankles and Sidon came crashing up through the rippling surface. “CAUGHT YOU!”
Link laughed and shielded himself from the spray but a moment later his legs were tugged and he was pulled off of his perch with a surprised “Whoop!” and unceremoniously plunged into the deep water.
Arms wrapped around him tightly and he quickly hugged back. Tighter.
He thought in those few seconds that if he could spend the rest of his life with this zora it would be too short.
When Link pulled away he smiled at Sidon softly. “I think I have some stories I owe you.”
“I have been waiting with bated breath all day,” Sidon agreed.
Link swam back towards his bag, which had been sitting on the grass from where he had first come in.
He pulled himself up and rustled through his things until he found his slate and he returned to the water’s edge where Sidon was waiting patiently.
He had been right, there were a lot of questions. The fascination though in Sidon’s eyes as he patiently answered each and every one made the extra days away worth it.
“There’s an artisan there who makes enchanted jewelry,” Link told him. He pulled his bag over with a thrum of excitement.
It had taken two straight days of hunting gourmet meat and cooking up skewers in Hebra to afford all this.
He pulled out a large necklace and held it delicately up to Sidon’s collar. “Topaz for electricity resistance…”
He then procured a matching pair of bracelets. “... and sapphires for heat.”
The Prince had still been admiring the topaz neck-piece when Link had pulled out the second item and the zora froze as they were dropped into his open hands.
“L-Link,” He said. “You must be aware that sapphires are a form of proposal for the zora.”
Link blinked in surprise.
“Oh,” Sidon said, his tone controlled. “You didn’t know. Good thing I… inquired .”
He slowly handed Link back the intricate bands. “I had thought you might have tuned out that part of Muzu’s talk if I’m being honest.” His voice was still shaky but he seemed to be trying to disguise it. “What do we do with you, my rebellious little imp?”
He was still holding the sapphires out for Link to take back. Link simply stared at them. “What if… I offered them anyway?” He said slowly.
Sidon’s outstretched hands fell to Link’s lap, as if the items were suddenly too heavy.
“I-” Sidon gazed down at them almost longingly. “They will say we’re rushing things,” he said. “That we’re too caught up in the flurry of what’s to soon come.”
“Does it matter what they say?” Link asked.
A claw traced the perfectly cut surfaces of the largest jewel in the center of one of the bracelets.
“What if-” Sidon finally said, but then he faltered.
Link reached out and stroked Sidon’s crest, as he had been wanting to do earlier, waiting for whatever inner storm the prince was having to settle.
Sidon closed his eyes and his chest raised, he was likely taking a deep breath through his submerged gills. “What if, I accepted this now, and kept it safe… it could be between us until you return from Ganon.”
Link gripped his wrists with intensity. “I will,” he urged. “Return,” he clarified, with much more certainty than his earlier thoughts had suggested.
Sidon looked at him in surprise. “Yes… I wasn’t doubting that, my love.”
“I’ll have a full set made by then,” Link said. “Not even Muzu would be able to scoff at it.”
He knew Isha would be delighted. She had already been over the moon to fulfill the first custom order for the infamous zora prince.
Sidon slowly unlatched his current arm accessories and tossed them aside on the grass next to Link before displaying his exposed wrists. “Just for now then. Until we get back to the domain proper.”
Link swallowed heavily and nodded.
Hands with just a little more tremble than he would have liked, latched the circlets shut on each arm.
When he was done he smiled at Sidon.
The zora’s eyes were smouldering with emotion.
A massive finger stroked Link’s cheek. “Has anyone ever told you that shades of red are quite becoming on you my darling?”
It was a teasing call-back to the comment Link had once made about Sidon’s own blue blush and it would have been the most romantic thing Link had ever heard if he hadn’t read that damn book. Instead of swooning as Sidon had probably hoped, he choked and then burst into laughter immediately.
“Link?” Sidon asked in confusion.
Link shook his head, still trembling. “No… it’s nothing,” He reached out his arms. “Come here you molduga of a man. ”
“Mol-” Sidon started to ask but he dropped it in favour of drawing in close. Link tried to give him an impassioned kiss but it was broken again and again in his fits of giggles.
He should not have brought up the molduga line.
This accidental proposal was a mess from start to finish.