This is the first Christmas story I have written in exactly two years. There isn't much to say here except Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and Happy New Year. To those who are followers of me, I'll see you guys in 2018. For those who are not, same wishes to you, and hopefully, you'll check my other material out during this holiday.
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la. Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la." Zelda Bosphoramus sang with glee. The young blond slide across the kitchen in her white and pink socks from the stove to the refrigerator, removing a large bowl of batter from it and then slid right back to the stove. She set the bowl on the marble counter to the stove's left, then picked up a slip of paper to read the instructions. "'In another large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour over fruit mixture and stir to coat.' I already mixed everything, so let's pour!" Zelda doused a bowl of candied fruits and nuts with the second mixture, then began to mix everything as instructed.
Tonight would be the first time she would host the Christmas gathering her friends held ever since freshman year in college. Now, ten years later, she would finally get her chance. Her best friend, Midna Twilida, was always the host once they left higher education, and she has always done a good job. But Zelda was a Bosphoramus; and as a deviation from the royal bloodline that ruled Hyrule for many centuries before the world became ruled by civilians, her family knew how to throw parties. Christmas would be no exception.
So that's where the fruitcake came in. For some reason, it gets a bad reputation as the cake of the holidays, but Zelda didn't see where it could go wrong. Fruit? Good. Nuts? Good. Cake? Great. If heated chocolate milk (because that what hot cocoa is) can be great, and if eggs in a battery liquid can be a seasonal drink, fruitcake cannot be as horrible as people say. Her party will be the best, and the fruitcake, its star attraction.
"Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la la la. Troll the ancient yuletide carol, fa la la la la la la la la." Zelda continued to sing and beat the mixture, hearing footsteps come from the nearby staircase. There was only one other being in the house, and that person is the only one in the entire world who thinks waking up at 3 pm is a good way to start the day. Zelda turned around to face the second Hylian as the latter's foot landed on wood flooring. "Merry Christmas Eve, and good afternoon, Link."
Link Deknuts, as his name was, stretched his arms extending from his green shirt, and tiredly eyed the woman in a pink shirt and jeans in the kitchen. "Morning, Zel."
"But somewhere in the world, it is Christmas Eve morning." Link smiled as he walked into the kitchen, aiming to kiss his girlfriend of way too many years. But he was in no rush to marriage. Hell, they just moved in together a few months ago. He kissed her on the forehead before his eyes wandered to the bowl in her hands. He arched his head to get a better view. "Umm...Zelda, what is this?"
See the blazing yule before us fa la la la la la la la la. Strike the harp and join the chorus, fa la la la la la la la la.
Zelda smiled, holding up the unformed fruitcake. "This is gonna be the best fruitcake in the world!" Link's demeanor dropped, and the man stepping away. Quickly he turned away, walking out the kitchen into the living room. He looked at the dining table, already decorated and set for the meal later tonight. All that was missing was the food and the people. Oh, the food… "Hey, Zelda, who is cooking?"
"Well, there's the ham, the mac and cheese, the potatoes, there's a list… I was hoping Chef Link would assist. Am I wrong?" She turned to face her boyfriend, who was already back in the kitchen, grinning as he walked to the refrigerator. She knew she had him.
"Chef Link is here, to save Christmas Eve with bountiful amounts of food."
Zelda smiled as she looked back at her fruitcake recipe. "'Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.'"
Sing we joyous all together, fa la la la la la la la la. Heedless of the wind and weather, fa la la la la la la la la.
Link looked at the unmade cake from the corner of his eye, grimacing. And to save us from Zelda's fruitcake.
Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, "Throw cares away."
Another round Cremia, please?" The redhead waitress passed down a bottle of Chateau Romani down to her customer, who grabbed the bottle. Swirling the bottle, watching the colloid swish in response to the movements of the container, the patron sighed to himself. He used to love Christmas, even though where he came from, the season was much different. Hyrule actually got snow, whereas, in Gerudo, only the highland mesas got snow. The lower deserts were just miles upon miles of sand. But Christmas was Christmas, no matter the weather.
He hadn't been in Castleton for five years. He had old friends from college here, but ever since...a certain event happened, he hadn't spoken to them. It wasn't their fault, they were trying to help, but in many ways, they couldn't. He knew his disappearance would hurt them, one more than any. It wasn't her fault that she didn't know he loved her, wasn't her fault that she chose another man, wasn't her fault that five holidays ago, she announced her engagement, and wasn't her fault he left thereafter with her in tears. He didn't have the courage to tell her through college his feelings, damn sure not the wisdom to not leave the way he did. But he had power; it's the only thing that brought him back after so long. He had to make amends and to get over the past so he could continue to the future.
Christmas is here, bringing good cheer to young and old, meek and the bold.
As usual, his friends were throwing a Christmas party. Finding out it was Zelda Bosphoramus' place the party was being held was easier than taking over the world. Everyone would be there, including the one he sought. But he didn't expect a warm reception. Zelda and most of the others would welcome him, but there's Link Deknuts… For some reason, that boy was just an annoyance. Maybe it was his "do-gooder" attitude. Maybe it was because (though the patron wouldn't admit it aloud) Link was his better socially and mentally, which earned him much attention from the opposite (and to some lower but very public extent, the same) gender in their collegiate years. Maybe the legends of Hyrule was true to an extent, that Hylian and Gerudo males have an unconscious, natural animosity towards each other.
He hadn't drunk his drink yet, but the voluptuous breasts of Cremia returned to his sight. He gazed up to her blue irises, in which she smiled. "This is not the Ganondorf Dragmire I remember."
"Mhm. The 'Ganon' I remember could make a man piss his pants while making a woman get the same feeling with just a simple glare. That should be expected, from the man of women. But… This one is just pitiful. Like he had his heart broken, which is surprising. 'Ganon' never had a heart. But he had a beast in him."
Ganondorf sat up, intrigued. "Really?"
Cremia winked. "How do you think you got your nickname? Because your name is similar to the beast in the stories? It had an influence, I'm sure, but… While Link was the pretty boy between you two, we both know who the girls flocked to during parties and the reason why. I am quite surprised Midna never looked your way. Zelda did, of all people, and that's crazy."
Ganondorf chuckled as he took a swig of the milk. "Link doesn't need to know that."
Gaily they ring while people sing songs of good cheer, Christmas is here.
"Yes, he doesn't need to know that. So, my old friend, what brings a Gerudo out of his desert after a five-year disappearance?"
"I have to make amends. Especially to Midna, she deserves to know."
Cremia nodded, then stood up. "Hmm, that would do her so well. The last five years haven't been the best for her. I'll give you the condensed version. Her engagement fell apart shortly after you left, as that Ghirahim asshole was a cheat. Then there was failed relationship after failed relationship… I think after some guy named Vaati she decided to forget everything and skip straight to the main event. At one point, she tried women. This time of year, it happens a lot. I think it is because she misses you. She's 28 and still hasn't found a guy to settle with...unless I'm looking at him. I know one thing, and that she loves you very much, possibly as a lover, so you better go and get the girl. But if not, seeing her best friend might help her..."
Ganondorf sighed, then chugged his drink. Before he ventured to the party, he had to find his former best friend and crush. "You know where she lives?"
Cremia flashed up a folded piece of paper, handing it to Ganondorf. "Save this girl, bacon-boy."
On, how they send (ding) on without end (dong) their joyful tone (ding) to ev'ry home (dong).
I heard there was a secret chord, that the sage played and it pleased the Goddesses, but you don't really care for music, do you? Well, it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift, the baffled king composing hallelujah.
"Hilda, are you ready yet?" Ravio Sheerow paced impatiently in his living room as he waited for his wife to get dressed for their Christmas party. He looked at the time. 4:47 pm. He knew it really didn't start until 6, but the early bunny catches the carrot. Zelda's hosting had him nervous enough. Link had called prior, and told Ravio the great news, that Zelda was preparing a fruitcake. He hadn't told Hilda yet, but just the thought of the dessert made Ravio want to hurl. Who in their right mind makes fruitcake?
Then there was Midna. Only he knew the truth of the reason Midna her party to Zelda for this year. The poor woman, plagued by years of heartbreak, didn't have the spirit that she used to have around this year and had no plan to host it. Ravio didn't even know if she'll attend, but it hurt to see Midna so sad. If anything, she was the one to bring someone out of a slump, but ever since Ganondorf left, she hasn't been herself. Her engagement at the time was broken off, then she spiraled into the person she is now over the last five years. Ravio wondered where his friend ventured to after he left, but hadn't had to find out.
Minutes had passed, and Hilda hadn't come out of their room. Sighing, he walked up the stairs to their bedroom, knocking twice. "Hilda? You close to ready?"
"Honey, can you help me?"
Your faith was strong but you needed proof. You saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you. She tied you to the kitchen chair, she broke your throne and she cut your hair and from your lips, she drew the hallelujah.
"...Just come in." Ravio sighed and walked in, immediately seeing his love standing in front of a large mirror. She was dressed beautifully, in a purple square neck dress, her limbs exposed, finished with purple heels. She had her hair down as always, and as she faced her husband (clothed in a purple dress shirt and dark jeans), she held a necklace before him. Ravio rolled his eyes and walked over, taking the necklace and positioning himself behind her. "Thank you," she said as she raised her dark purple hair up, exposing her neck.
"You know, you didn't have to dress up this much."
"A simple 'You look beautiful' would suffice."
Ravio smiled. "You didn't have to dress up this much." He clasped the ends of the necklace together, then straightened her hair as she let it fall.
Well, baby, I've been here before. I've seen this room and I've walked this floor. I've used to live alone before I knew you. And I've seen your flag on the marble arch, love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.
Hilda reached down, picking up a tube of lipstick. "You know, you're still the same idiot I met back at college. Every day I wonder just how Zelda thought a girl as...out there as I am could hit it with a cowardly boy who couldn't look at a girl's boobs if they were thrown into his face. You would close your eyes."
"But...here we are. Our first Christmas, married, and against all the odds, I still can't believe a year ago, you had the balls to propose. What happened to my beloved wimp?"
"He saw a pair of boobs and didn't close his eyes this time. Then he looked up and saw the girl of his dreams. She acted like a snooty princess back then, but last Christmas, she became a queen."
Hilda finished applying her lipstick, then leaned back on her husband as he held her on the waist. "Hmm… I guess I was a little harsh back then. If I am a queen, that makes you a king. What is our country's name then?"
"Something cheesy like Lorule." Ravio released his wife, stepping aside. "Now, are you ready?"
Maybe there are three Goddesses above, but all I've ever learned from love was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you. And it's not a cry you hear at night, it's not somebody who's seen the light, it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.
Hilda checked herself in the mirror once again, nodding to herself before flashing her red eyes to her husband. "Yes, Ravio, I'm ready. Let's go."
Ravio smiled. "Hallelujah."
Come, they told me, pa rum pum pum pum. A new born queen to see, pa rum pum pum pum. Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum. To lay before the queen, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum. To honor him, when we come."
Midna Twilida applied the last of her eyeliner, then studied herself in the mirror. There she was, the striking young woman that made the blood of men pulse like a snare drum. She smiled weakly, then stepped away. She had an hour or so to arrive at Zelda's house, and though her mind spoke otherwise, she wouldn't miss her best friend's version of her own party for the world. If it sucks, Midna would have one reason to be happy for the holidays.
If only the other would show up, but she gave up on that a long time ago. Why in the world would the person she knew just as long as she knew herself show up now? Why would he want to see her anyway? She broke his heart, after announcing her engagement five years ago. She never knew he had feelings for her, despite knowing him since grade school, but then again, maybe she always knew but the thought never processed. She was an idiot, after all. How could it be that you can love someone for years, and not know the other feels the same, and then destroy both of your worlds at once? She loved him since the day she met him, even though kids don't know what love outside of parental love is, but it was always there. She just never thought he could feel the same.
So when she started dating Zant, those feeling for Ganondorf repressed like the desert heat at nighttime, hiding in the cold corner of her mind. She loved Zant and was ready to marry him. But once Ganondorf left, and Zelda told him the reason why Midna's repressed feelings overtook her. She ended the engagement and secretly went to the one place her friend would go: home. But even though he'd stick out like a sore thumb in the desert, it was like finding a needle in a haystack, and unfortunately, the needle didn't want to be found. So she tried moving on, but that failed. She tried forgetting, but that failed. She became the mess that she is, deeply in love for one man, a man that didn't want to see her again.
Little baby, pa rum pum pum pum. I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum. I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum. That's fit to give our queen, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum. Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, pa rum pum pum pum.
Making sure her black low cut dress was perfect, Midna stepped away from the mirror, stepped into a pair of flat dress shoes, as she saw no reason to wear heels as she was the tallest woman and was as tall as the shortest man, Link. Next, she grabbed her dark coat and purse and began making her way out her house.
That's when her doorbell rung.
Midna paused, setting her purse down. She wasn't expecting anyone to come to her house. She waited a moment, standing in the middle of her living room. It rang a second time. Confused, she checked her phone. "Nobody has texted me… It isn't Sunday so it can't be Hylia Witnesses… Carolers? No, they would be singing right now. Just who is at my door?" Curious yet nervous, she walked up to the door after the third ring.
The king nodded, pa rum pum pum pum. The Sheikah and fairy kept time, pa rum pum pum pum. I played my ocarina for her, pa rum pum pum pum. I played my best for her, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.
"Who is it?" Midna didn't wait for an answer. She looked through the eyehole and spotted two things she'll recognize any day of the week. One, flaming red hair that only her fiery orange hair could compete with. Second, golden irises that made her ruby ones widen. She stepped back, holding a hand to the chest that just lost air. No...it couldn't be. Following her superego telling her it's true, she unlocked the door, slowly opening the door. There her visitor was, in full view, in a black shirt and black pants underneath a long trench coat. She almost fainted. "Ganondorf?"
Then she smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum. Me and my ocarina.
Ganondorf smiled, "Midna." Before he could get another word out, she threw herself on him. He caught her, hoping that she wouldn't cry. "I'm… I'm sorry."
"You asshole. You better be sorry, or I would kick your butt right here." Midna pushed away, trying to hold her tears in. She really didn't want to redo her makeup. "Are...are you back?"
Ganondorf smiled, reaching out his elbow. "I got no promises to bring, but I will go to the Christmas party with you. We can talk about me later."
Midna nodded, taking Ganondorf's elbow. "I would like that very much. You owe me a hell of an explanation for why you never told me how you felt. Then you are going to explain why you made me feel the same way, and never did anything about that. Finally, you are going to let Link kick your Gerudo ass."
"Ah. Perfect!" Link pulled the ham out of the oven, indulging in the sweet honey and meaty aroma it presented. He set it on the counter beside the other food (including the damned fruitcake) and took off the oven mitts. "Done...and not a minute too soon. 5:45…good." Link smelled the multitude of flavors in his kitchen, smiling widely. "Oh, I think we got Midna beat. What do you say, Zel?... Zelda?" Zelda slid from wherever she was hiding into Link's view, donning a hot pink dress. She pointed at Link, shaking her arms and hips to a steady rhythm. Link raised his eyebrow, confused as to what his girlfriend wanted from him. "...Ok… What is it you want?"
She started to walk backward, towards the living room, keeping her eyes on Link. "I don't want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need." She walked to the Christmas tree, playing with an ornament. "I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree."
Link rolled his eyes. Zelda could get into the spirit way too much sometimes, but he loved her spontaneity. "Really now? Then what is it you want?"
Zelda walked to the kitchen, continuing on her beat. "I just want you for my own, more than you can ever know. Make my wish come truuuueee…" She took Link's hand and looked up to him. "All I want, for Christmas...is...y-"
Ding dong, ding dong do do dong!
"Damn it!" Zelda released Link, walking to the front door. Link smiled, then shouted out to his princess.
"All I want for Christmas is you too, Zelda."
Zelda turned around quite venomously after she reached the door. "Moment ruin, Deknuts." Zelda looked through the eyehole, gasped, but didn't open the door. "Link, you'll never guess who is outside."
Link shrugged. "Probably someone who wants to be anywhere but outside."
"Ravio and Hilda?"
Zelda sighed, then proceeded to unlock the door. "Yes, but you're guessing people we know are coming."
Link decided to guess before the door opened. "Ganondorf, but we know that's a-"
"Yes!" Zelda whipped the door open, exposing Midna and Ganondorf to LInk's sight. The man in green almost fainted at the sight of the Gerudo man. Zelda hugged both Midna and Ganondorf before inviting them inside. Midna came on in, but her companion declined, wishing to stay outside a bit more. Zelda didn't fight him, just closed the door behind her. "I… I can't believe it. He came back."
Midna smiled. "I know. This is like the best Christmas ever. The entire gang is back. Oh hey, Link. Merry Christmas!"
Link nodded, fixated on the food. "Hello, Midna. Ganon, huh? Suppose Christmas miracles do happen." He looked up, catching glares from both women. "What?"
"Go out there."
"Talk to him."
Link was about to protest, but the glares intensified. Sighing, he walked out the kitchen, past the girls, and straight to his door, slipping on his jacket before exiting his house. He found Ganondorf sitting in a chair facing away from the door. Link sighed and walked to the adjacent seat. He didn't bat an eye to Ganondorf, and vice versa. They sat in the cold, looking elsewhere but to each other.
Another car pulled up, that of Ravio and Hilda. They exited the vehicle and walked the pathway to Link's porch. Ravio hailed the blond man first. "'Hoy Link, and...By Din's fire, Ganondorf!"
Hilda didn't notice the other man until her husband called him out. "Ganondorf? Hey, it's been so long."
Ganondorf stood, shaking Ravio's hand and hugging Hilda. "Hey, guys."
Link nodded to each Sheerow present. "The girls are inside." Hilda smiled and went inside. Ravio didn't move a muscle until he caught a glint in Link's eye that told him to go inside. Resumed the silence between Hylian and Gerudo men, uncomfortable but with no desire to make it the opposite. However, it was not meant to last, and unfortunately for Link, he was the one to break it. "I don't even know why I'm out here. I don't consider you as much as my friend as the others do."
"I can say the same. You can go inside."
"And get berated by the girls? No, I rather sit here in the cold than face Zelda and Midna."
Ganondorf sighed, straightening himself in his seat. "Do you believe the legends, Link? That there was once a war between one of my people and two of yours? That there was once a demon bearing my name?"
Link nodded, though confused by the topic. "You know I do."
"Then you understand how we are just as I do. We've known each other for close to 30 years. We never clicked as friends. Our only bond is our shared past and our friends. Us being out here together is just punishment itself."
Link stood, and for the first time, looked with his blue eyes at Ganondorf in his golden eyes. "I do, and understand this: Hurt Midna, Zelda, Ravio and Hilda again, and I'll kick your ass."
Ganondorf stood, towering over Link by a few inches, smirking. "If you think you can hero, you are welcome to try." He held his hand out to Link, who took it with a smirk of his own.
"Welcome home, pig-man."
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, yuletide carols being sung by a choir, and folks dressed up like Eskimos.
"Okay, Zelda, Link, whoever is the true cook of this house, the ham is freaking perfect," Ravio exclaimed cheerfully as he reached for another large piece of the ham. His wife, Midna, and Ganondorf agreed.
Link chuckled. "Thanks, guys. I am your master chef here."
Ganondorf paused, then set his fork full of green beans down. "I can't believe it. YOU actually learned how to cook? Still… I say Midna's, through no bias whatsoever, made everything better herself."
Zelda nodded. "Sorry babe, but I have to agree. We're good, but Midna is better...until I get the dessert. One moment." Zelda got up from the table and headed straight from the kitchen, unaware of Link's dropped countenance.
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe, help to make the season bright, tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, will find it hard to sleep tonight.
"Link," Hilda called, "you look like you've seen the three Poes of Christmas. What is your problem?"
"Zelda….made fruitcake." He looked around the table with everyone sharing the same expression: utter disgust. He pointed to everyone, whispering so Zelda couldn't hear. "Look, just eat one piece. Fake the love if you must. Just let her have today, okay?"
Ravio sighed. "We call next year."
Hilda nodded. "I concur."
"Whatever. Oh, here she comes." On cue, Link's girlfriend returned with a platter of the despised dessert. She smiled as she used a knife to cut a slice, placing the first on Link's plate, then made her way around the table. She sat back in her seat, then looked at her friends.
"Well, eat it. Tell me how it is." The five others took their time to finish their slice grudgingly, with all eyes on Link to start them off as he took his final bite of the dessert.
"Zelda, this is pretty good." "Farore, spare my insides from this abomination!"
Hilda: "Great stuff Zel! I will have to one-up you next year." Won't be too hard with this muck in my mouth."
Ravio: "I have to agree to that. Very awesome." "If awesome was to describe eating cow manure with nasty fruit inside."
Ganondorf: "Outstanding. If I hadn't come back at this time, I would've missed out on this." "Should've waited another day. Should've waited."
Midna: "All I can say is amazing." "An amazing way for my ass to keep me on the toilet."
Zelda giggled at the praise. "Thank you, everyone! I'm so happy you like it! Oh, and look, it is snowing outside! C'mon!" Zelda jumped to her feet, pulling Link along with her. Luckily, she allowed him to put his jacket back on before dragging him back out into the cold. They stood out on the porch, watching the flakes fall from the sky. Link pocketed his hands, with Zelda latching on to his arm and shoulder. They were eventually joined by the Sheerows, who positioned themselves in a similar position.
They know that Santa's on his way, he's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh, and every mother's child is gonna spy, to see if reindeer really know how to fly.
Back inside, Ganondorf and Midna stood side by side at the window behind their friends. Neither hand plans to go into the cold to watch the snow fall when they could do it from the warmth of Link and Zelda's home. After a few moments of silence, Ganondorf looked at the woman at his side, who so happened to look back at him. He gave her a smile. "So…I'm going to need a place to stay."
Midna's eyes lit. "You're staying?"
"Yeah. I was actually coming back sometime early next year for a job transfer, but I decided to make an early entrance. I'll need a place to stay until I get my own-"
"No." Midna stepped up to Ganondorf, taking his arms, "You can stay with me. Permanently. I lost you once, and it was a pretty crappy five years for us both. I won't do it again. I love….having you around."
Ganondorf nodded, then took Midna in his arm. "Alright. But...if I remember earlier, you said-"
"Yeah, I know what I said. Don't mention it. Merry Christmas, Dragmire."
"Noted. Merry Christmas, Twilida."
And so we're offering this simple phrase,
Back outside, the two couples continued to fight the cold for the show of snow. Zelda raised her face to Link, whispering in his ear. "Hey Link, can I ask a question?"
"Be honest, was the fruitcake really good?"
Link rubbed his girlfriend's back. "It sucked ass."
Zelda sighed. "Yeah, it was so disgusting. I can't believe y'all kept the act. I'm sorry I made it too… Thanks for trying to make me feel better about it though."
To kids from one to ninety-two,
"You're so welcome," Hilda shouted. "That's is your Christmas present, Zel. Merry Christmas to you boys as well."
Ravio kissed his wife's cheek. "Merry Christmas, Ms. Sheerow."
Hilda sighed. "I should've stayed a Lorule. That sounds much better than Sheerow."
Although it's been said many times, many ways...
Link and Zelda giggled at Hilda's confession and Ravio's grimace afterward ("Ravio Lorule...Nah Sheerow is much better!) before turning to each other again.
"Merry Christmas, Link."
"Merry Christmas, Zelda."
Merry Christmas to you.