First Zelda fic, and true to form, it's complete crack. Inspired by the YouTube video of the man flirting with his own wife after waking up from surgery. FFn won't let me post the link, but you can search for it.
Also written for Zelink week day 1, awakening (although it's very late), and I guess technically would work for the BOTW anniversary week day 1, which is also awakening.
Once again, it's crack, so OOCness and silliness will abound.
The Benefits of Amnesia
Zelda had endured much at the hands of fate, and in turn, fate endowed her with the fortitude to endure rather much.
The stench, for example. While it was bad at first and positively gag-worthy, she eventually acclimated.
"I think we've hit a milestone." Zelda took a deep breath. "It officially smells more like moldering bones than decaying flesh."
Calamity Ganon was not as enthused. "Pooh. Next you'll tell me wildflowers are beginning to sprout in all the empty eye sockets. How is one supposed to breathe in all this chokingly fresh air?"
Calamity's company, while a bigger burden to bear, was likewise managed with a fair amount of patience and aplomb.
The castle walls shook. "Curses on you, Lanaryu's chosen! But don't think I will so easily accept defeat!" He slammed down another set of score cards. "Best four-hundred and thirty-seven out of four-hundred and thirty-nine!"
There were other trials of course, some of greater magnitude, and many of far less. But the absolute worst part of a one-hundred year quarantine with a pig-faced smoke monster was, naturally, the boredom.
"These walls," Zelda remarked one day. "How I tire of them. Completely stone gray! Why did my father leave them grey? He could have painted them yellow or green. Any color, really."
"I could paint them in your blood!" Calamity replied. His replies frequently involved blood in some capacity or another.
By the third decade, Zelda had memorized every crack and crevice within the castle. She knew the exact number of bones littered about the gallery, the number of seconds it took for a mite of dust to travel the length of the throne room, and could even free hand every detail of the main tapestry in the dining room, down to the jousting koroks in the left corner.
It was time to take matters into her own hands.
"Don't take this personally, Calamity, but I've been learning the ancient and secret art of astral projection."
"Ass-what? Tell me that doesn't mean what I think it means." A small smile curled beneath his snout. "On second thought, tell me it does!"
"Always with a mind in the gutter," she huffed. "It's called astral projection, and it's where I release my spirit from my body and send it out into the world."
"I see how it is. You're tired of me. " He turned away from her. "You want some time away from me."
"You must admit our conversation has gone a tad stale."
"Ungrateful wretch! Time and time again, I come back to Hyrule, wipe everything out, turn the land into an ocean of blood, turn you from a run-of-the-mill princess into something special, a legend for Hylia's sake, and this is the thanks I get?"
It took a mere twenty-five years to perfect, but soon enough her consciousness was able to slip out of her body and wander the realms of her kingdom. She watched temples and shrines crumble, new generations of Hylians emerge. In time, she gained the power to communicate and project her voice into the minds of sentient beings. This, she reasoned, would be an incalculable gift once her Champion awakened.
But that wouldn't happen for another forty-odd years, and in the meantime she often amused herself by posing as animals or inanimate objects, haunting the living daylights out of unsuspecting commoners. She passed a splendid few decades in this way, playing pranks on the villagers – that is, until the unfortunate incident of the farmer who fell madly in love with his pitchfork.
"I don't know why you're so upset," Calamity said. "I found it hilarious."
"What I can't understand is how he fell in love with me in the first place. I only ever suggested he clean out his barn more regularly."
Finally, after ninety-nine years, she achieved her greatest goal, and the culmination of all her tireless efforts: projecting an incorporeal yet visible image of herself.
It was time.
"Calamity, I'm stepping out for awhile."
"But we're in the middle of tiddlywinks!"
"Finish it yourself. My champion's awakening. After decades of practice, I'll be there when his eyes finally open." Her heart fluttered at the thought. "And whether you like it or not."
"He's not nearly as dashing when he's not covered in his own blood." Calamity sniffed. "But I suppose I can't fault you for wanting the first glimpse of those baby blues."
His roaring voice faded – You never would have met him if it weren't for me! – as her spirit transcended her body and whisked away to the Temple of Resurrection – and not a moment too soon. The healing waters were draining, leaving a moist Link behind, dazedly flickering his eyelids.
Zelda's heart leapt. "Link! Oh, Link you're awake at last!" He was whole. He was perfect. He was everything she remembered, every taut line of muscle, every gorgeous strand of tawny hair. In seconds he would open his eyes and behold her, just as she had watched over his repose all those long and weary years. Her immaculate Hero, whose sacrifice and amaranthine courage kept her resolve firm and Calamity Ganon at bay from pouring his malice into Hyrule.
If only she could hear his voice. "Open your eyes, Link. Open your eyes and speak to me!"
His lips, the ones that a lifetime ago she had once brushed agasint her own, slowly parted.
"Oh dear." While his first words after a century long slumber weren't exactly fit for the record books, at least he was vocal. "Do you hurt very much?"
He groaned. "No. Not much." His voice was thick and slow. "Just my spine. And everything attached to it." His hands pawed aimlessly at his chest. "Can I get an elixir or something?"
"Um..." Zelda cast her eyes around the temple. What had Impa and the other's left for her Hero upon his awakening? Surely – surely – they would have provided him with potions, waterskins, weapons, armor, shields, a whole arsenal of supplies at the ready, every item he would possibly need to aid him on his perilous and monumentally important duty. "I found a threadbare shirt? Would that help?"
He hadn't yet fully opened his eyes. But now he slowly turned his head towards her voice, his eyes crawled open, and he stared – blearily, quietly – puzzling over the foggy image before him. Then his eyes grew wide in what Zelda could only call amazement.
"Did Hylia send you?"
What an unusual question. "No," she replied. "Why do you ask?"
Link's lips twisted in a way she'd never seen before, in a way she could not comprehend. As ever, he was her unreadable Champion, obscure as the midnight sky, as deep and unknowable as the sea. What was he doing? What was he thinking? How she longed to parse the unreached depths of his soul, and –
Was he smirking?
"Because you –" he pointed at her emphatically "– are a gift from the gods."
Zelda's mouth opened. It closed. It opened again. But nothing came forth from her lips. For the first time in her life, there was nothing to say.
There were simply no words.
Link wasn't finished. He pushed himself up to sitting, his brown hair tousled and falling over his heavy-lidded eyes, and rather dramatically said, "You are a feast."
"For the eyes."
He leaned forward. "Like a hot buttered apple."
How strange. Zelda steepled her fingers under chin, and considered. She knew Link enjoyed food. She knew Link was devoted to her. But he had never as yet compared her with any kind of victual, and in fact was quite allergic to metaphors in general.
What did it all mean?
Suddenly, her eyes widened. "Are you trying to compliment me?" She gestured to her face. "On how I look?"
Link nodded sagely. "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."
"Now that, I understand." Zelda was not so inured to flattery, especially when it came from her own Champion's mouth, to keep her cheeks from growing hot at his intense gaze. And while she was gratified at the attention and wouldn't mind hearing more of it, her researcher's mind was skipping along at a pace too fast to consider flirting, even if she knew how.
The ancient texts she had read during her studies recorded that the Hero, after awakening from his life-giving slumber, would often suffer from several side effects – diminished awareness, strange behavior – which Zelda had always chalked down to the attendant memory loss.
But his manner was so altered, almost to an alarming degree. It was as though he had no inhibitions at all, as if every filter had been peeled away. If she had to draw a comparison, she would say it was not unlike inebriation, or a patient coming out of a deep sleeping elixir, the kind used for surgeries or other medical purposes. What exactly was in those resurrection waters? She wished she had taken a sample before they had seeped back into the veins and arteries of the temple.
"Link," she said slowly. "I fear the ancient waters that induced your slumber have left you...not quite yourself." She cleared her throat. "And that's putting it generously. So I am going to attempt to explain to you the situation. You are in the Temple of Resurrection and have been asleep for one-hundred years, which has caused you to lose all your memories." She paused, but he said nothing. "Really? You have no reaction to that?"
"So...who are you?" He propped an elbow on one leg and leaned his chin onto his hand. His head swayed from side to side and he looked like a might topple over at any moment. "Are you one of the Great Fairies?" His eyebrows lifted. "I've heard about them."
"No. I'm not a Great Fairy." Zelda's chest was tight, her breath shallow, and really the way he smiled at her should be illegal. "My name is Zelda, and I am…" Now, Zelda was by and large a truthful girl. She held honesty and integrity in high regard. They were the lynch pins of her character, and the traits she most admired in others.
But at the same, she was also a seventeen year old in love. "Actually...I'm your wife."
Link's mouth fell open, and this time he did topple over. "You're my wife?" he exclaimed from a heap on the floor. He scrambled to his knees and held out his hands to her. With him kneeling at her feet, the scene appeared as some kind of perverse rendition of his knighting ceremony, only instead of Zelda blathering on about nobility and destiny, Link looked at her with searching eyes and whispered:
"Do we have children together?"
By Hylia, what did she get herself into? "Not...not yet."
"But we will?"
"How long have we been married?"
"Not very long."
He rose and bent his face closer and closer until they were nearly nose to nose. "Have we kissed yet?"
Zelda took a step backwards. "Here's the thing, Link. What you see of me right here –" she held out her hands and gestured to her body "– it's not physical. It's just an image. Incorporeal – that means you can't touch it."
Link's eyes followed her hands as she pushed them straight through his chest. "Wow."
"Exactly. My body's not actually here. It's locked away in Hyrule Castle, where a great evil known as Calamity Ganon has scourged the kingdom with his endless malice."
"That sounds terrible."
"It is. But now that you've awakened all the evil done upon this land can be undone." She held out her hand to him. "It's time, Link. It's time for you to confront your destiny. You must defeat Calamity Ganon and release me from my prison, because until you do, you see, I can't do anything. Kissing or otherwise." She threw in a wink for good measure – after all, he was an erratic, half-naked Knight with no memories, and at this point there was no motivation off limits to speeding him through his quest.
Link nodded slowly. "Calamity. Castle. Got it." He flashed her a thumbs up. "Don't worry, Zelda. I'm gonna find my sword - wait, do I have a sword?" A hand flew to his waist.
"That would be helpful. But no, there's only moth eaten clothing here. You need to go find one."
"Right. I'm gonna find a sword. I'm gonna find my horse –" He stopped and glanced wildly around. "Wait. Where's my horse? Where am I?"
"Link...you are our only hope. You must remember." Zelda gestured to a glowing pedestal. "Take this. It's called a Sheikah Slate. It will guide you on your journey."
"Can't you just tell me what to do? Because that would be way easier."
"Just take the slate, Link." He obeyed, and Zelda's image began to wane. "My power's fading. I cannot...I cannot hold this image together much longer. You must remember. Please Link, hurry!"
"Don't worry. I will." He pointed at her dissipating form. "I'm coming for you, baby." He cocked his head. "Do you we call each other baby?"
"Remember, Link." Her consciousness was losing its grip. Every molecule of her essence was being pulled unwillingly back to the castle. Although she had exhausted all her energy to be with Link when he awoke and could therefore not accompany him on his quest, she believed, with all her heart, that Link's courage would prevail, whether in this lifetime or the next. She believed that he would recover his memories and save Hyrule.
That he would save her.
"You must remember!"
And at the end of it, what would be a little white lie between a Princess and her Hero?
"But don't remember too much!"