"What are you doing?"
His concentration on inspecting the thick steel prison bars in the window broken, Link looked at Tracy on the other side. Wordlessly he opened and closed his mouth.
She eyes flickered over his face, her expression perplexed. "Why are you here?" she asked. "You'll get in awful trouble—"
"I made a mistake," the words burst out of the boy, low yet firm.
Tracy blinked. "What?" she whispered.
Grasping the bars, Link leaned towards her. "I made a mistake, not marching with you and the others. When I saw what happened on TV, I nearly went out of my mind with worry! I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't dance. I thought I'd lost you and wouldn't have another chance—" he stumbled over his words, breathing heavily. Meeting Tracy's wide-eyed stare for a second, he hung his head in shame. "I'm sorry."
When tentative fingers touched his, fearfully, slowly he glanced up. He encountered Tracy's soft eyes and compassionate look.
"I forgive you."
A heavy weight rolled off his shoulders. For the first time in hours his mouth curved up in a smile. "Thank you," he murmured.
The look between them stretched on and could have lasted forever if Link hadn't shaken his head, reminding himself of the present.
"Let's get you out of there!" he exclaimed.
It took the two several anxious minutes of violently shaking the bars to break them lose from the window. In a flash Tracy scrambled up onto the window sill, then hopped down to the ground. Link firmly clasped her hand. They had to get away before she was missed. However, before they took off the boy gathered his courage and squarely faced her.
"Trace, after this is all over…can I kiss you?"
Even in the dim light the boy could see the girl blush.
"Why after?" she said quizzically, her eyes shining.
A wide grin spread across Link's face, and his stomach went flip-flop. She felt the same! He couldn't help chuckling happily, then bent down his head—
The blare of the alarm jerked Link awake. After turning it off, it took a moment for him to fully wake up. He was in his bedroom. Tracy wasn't here.
"Tracy," he whispered, bolting upright.
Safe, he suddenly remembered. She was spending the night at Seaweed's, Mrs. Turnblad told him and her husband after receiving Tracy's telephone call the night before. Tracy was safe.
Perhaps she is, he mused, getting out of bed and dressing hurriedly, but I will feel better once I see her for myself; apologize for letting her down. Kiss her.
Link froze at that last thought.
Despite what he wished in his dreams, would Tracy Turnblad really let him kiss her after everything that's happened? He wouldn't blame her at all if she didn't give him the time of day. But if she did… He'd let so many opportunities slip through his fingers already.
"One chance, please," he breathed, grabbing his schoolbooks and heading out the door.
Author's Note: Thank you everyone for reading, reviewing, and following over the years! I hope you've enjoyed this journey as much as I have! :D