It had been a long time since he’d last seen Link. His betrothed. (Every time that thought crossed his mind he was nearly knocked breathless)
He still caught himself laughing a little each time the memory resurfaced of the impromptu ‘photo’ session Link had coaxed him into before he left. At times he really could be quite... eccentric. It was unexpected but absolutely charming. He hoped those pictures kept him good company… It wasn’t exactly fair though. He wished he had made the hylian sit down in front of a painter for a portrait as well, quid pro quo . He wanted to look at his face too…
Well he had the sapphires at least. It became his nightly routine to open his drawer and peer at them. It was fitting that Link’s symbol of love was also the exact colour and shade of his eyes.
The gems truly were almost as brilliant. Startlingly large as well, he had a near heart attack when he had heard they were mined from a Talus’s back… only his Link would think of farming one of the land’s most terrifying monsters for trinkets.
It was hard not to get carried away in it all. The status of their relationship was still clandestine but it was Sidon’s nature to want to scream it to the whole domain from the highest balcony. He was anxious to begin preparations. It took all of his self-restraint to not immediately commission a giant waterbed for his (someday their) chambers.
...Subtly was not his strong suit.
Curiously, Link’s absence didn’t bother him as much as it used to. That isn’t to say he didn’t miss him with every fibre of his being- but there was no longer any question about their shared feelings. There was no fear that Link was off… forgetting about him.
When Link looked at him, there was never any question anymore about where they stood… and when Sidon peered at those sapphires, he could see those eyes, bright as day, reminding him that he was adored.
Sometimes, they gave him courage as well. It was after admiring them that very morning that Sidon found himself travelling alone to Shatterback Point come afternoon, something he ordinarily would never dare to do.
He had heard from patrols that the lynel had mysteriously vanished and wished to further inspect this highly curious development.
For as long as it had been there, it had never strayed from its territory. It usually only ever disappeared after times that Link had come slain it. He didn’t think there was anyone else alive capable of such a feat, especially not a zora given their… weakness to electricity.
He wore the topaz necklace Link had gifted him but was certain the little bit of resistance it offered would not be enough if he ran into the monster. He needed to be wary. If it suddenly appeared and spotted him, he’d get in close so as not to let it draw its bow and engage it until he could see the opportunity to safely dive into the reservoir.
His apprehension and careful planning ended up being for naught. The lynel really was gone. However, not without a trace. His weapons lay abandoned in a puddle by the peak.
As Sidon looked up he saw a familiar figure sitting at the highest ledge.
After a huge intake of air he almost yelled out Link’s name but something stopped him. There was something about the solitary figure that looked… dejected.
He chose to slowly approach. Yes, Link’s form was hunched forward just a little. All was not well.
The way his legs dangled off the peak was a little worrying. He would have been afraid of startling his lover and causing him to fall from his perilous position if it weren’t for the way Link’s left ear flicked during his approach, already having noted a new presence.
“Link,” Sidon said softly.
Link turned slowly to look over his shoulder. There was a small smile painted thin on his lips… but his eyes were glassy and unfocused.
The sight felt the same as getting punched in the gut.
“Is something the matter, love?” Sidon asked.
Link sighed and turned back away. For a moment, Sidon had thought that he had been ignored. That was until he followed Link’s gaze. He wasn’t merely looking away, he was looking towards something. The castle specifically. There were now four beams of light.
“You did it…” Sidon said quietly.
Link nodded slowly. “It’s time.”
This isn’t exactly how he expected things to go. He had thought Link would arrive at the domain after Death Mountain triumphant and in high spirits. That with the divine beasts all on his side, he’d feel more confident than ever. Perhaps… that had been a rather ridiculous notion.
Sidon tentatively walked over and knelt down. Carefully, with a single claw, he scooped the loose hairs that framed Link’s face and delicately tucked them behind his long hylian ears.
Link’s head involuntarily leaned into the touch.
So he did want comfort. That was something he could do.
Emboldened by this first small spark of receptiveness, Sidon sat down and drew his darling back between his legs (and further from the ledge). Link had gone limp like a doll, neither choosing to nestle closer nor resisting.
Sidon frowned and rested his chin on top of Link’s head. (He had to arch his back quite a bit to do so) His hair felt less silky than it had in the past, perhaps damaged from the heat of Death Mountain? At that idle thought, Sidon planted a small kiss directly onto his part where the thin sliver of sunburnt scalp peeked out.
Link sighed at the affectionate gesture and finally moved a hand to stroke down one of the large arms enshrouding him. He was always so startlingly small once he had him between his arms...
Such a thin frame to have to shoulder the entire fate of the world alone...
“It should never have had to be this way,” Sidon said suddenly, surprising even himself.
Link had been idly catching the ridges of one of Sidon’s scales with his fingernail when this comment was made and he paused his fidgeting immediately to listen.
“You never should have had to do this alone. I… feel I was naive in the past. I more than anyone was so set on the concept of a hero and I, just like everyone else, forced you into that role.”
Link’s breathing seemed to be getting heavier, Sidon could feel the shaky gasps through Link’s back. He placed another kiss on his head encouragingly.
“The issue with the zora lifespan I’m afraid,” he continued, “Is that we can be old fashioned at times and stuck to the ideals of our most… formative decades.”
He had noticed earlier that Link was wearing the champion’s blue, made from the same vibrant cloth as his sister’s sash. He didn’t really recall the hylian champion from his youth but he remembered the tunic. It looked different now. It was the same shade and still entirely unblemished, likely preserved by fairy magic, but it was still different .
Perhaps it was that Sidon was older now… and taller.
From his current vantage point, he could see down the small gap of material at the nape of Link’s neck and view hints of the marred and torn-at flesh underneath that had been hidden from him as a child.
He unconsciously held Link a little tighter.
“There was no golden age of heroes,” Sidon finally realized. “Just a dark era where children were unfairly forced into martyrdom.”
“We all failed you,” he admitted. “I’m sorry Link… I’m sorr-”
Link had broken from his grasp in an instant and flipped around to smash their lips together. He kissed him again and again, his actions filled with graceless fervour. Sidon brought a hand up to help guide the sloppy and desperate movements but found Link’s cheek… wet. There was the faintest taste of salt when his tongue grazed the corner of Link’s mouth.
He opened his eyes and pulled away. Link was crying.
The hylian tried to duck his head but Sidon brought his gaze back up to meet his, gently wiping away the wet sheen running down his cheeks that had been smeared in their passion.
“Link, if you think you need to hide that face from me, I’ve failed you as a fiancé.” He pecked a kiss to a patch of red and blotchy skin. “You will do amazing,” Sidon added softly. “No matter what happens I am so proud.”
New tears started to stream down at this statement and Sidon patiently blotted at them with the corner of his cravat.
“And in turn… I am going to do you proud.”
Link looked at him curiously.
“When the dust settles, there will be a country to reunite. We will rebuild the world, but it will be better.” Sidon promised. “We will all learn to stand together instead of at the back of one. As it always should have been.”