I 100% blame @kagrenacs entirely for this. This is your fault. You gave me Ideas.
Also, @tortilla-of-courage I promised I’d tag you in this. Here’s that crack fic I talked about where Mario is Malon’s step-father.
Behold, a crack fic.
Link had been dating Malon officially for about three months when the letter came.
Link had arrived at the ranch about the same time as the postman left, having just got back home from another adventure trying to help clear out a temple that had been invaded by monsters that the regular soldiers were struggling with. He went so Sheik wouldn’t, as apparently Zelda was needed at the castle for something else.
Malon was waving goodbye at the postman as Link and Epona trotted up, the boy leaning to the side of the saddle to blink at his girlfriend.
Epona snorted and nudged Malon’s head to get her attention.
“Oh what, Epona!” Malon laughed, reaching up to stroke her hand along the mare’s face. “And that means,”
Link waved at her with a smile.
“Link!” Malon grinned, coming around Epona’s side to meet him. “You’re home!”
Link nodded as he leaned down to kiss her hello, feeling much better now that he was back at the ranch, even if he was still bruised and achy and very possibly bleeding. Malon almost made him feel the way the forest did, like he was home.
He swung over and dismounted the horse, smiling as Malon pulled him into a hug.
Malon then pushed him away and spun him around. Link was confused for about one second before,
“Are you bleeding?”
Link shrugged, not entirely sure himself.
Malon made a strangled noise and then she was dragging him inside. “Honestly, Link. What part of ‘be careful’ do you not understand? You know, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t show up here bleeding sometimes,”
Link just smiled at the back of her head, not affected by her berating in the least. She’d lectured him on this before, and would do so again in the future, and he knew she wasn’t as mad as she pretended to be. At this point her yelling was as much standard fare as her patching him up was.
Link hopped up to sit on the kitchen table, watching as Malon dropped the letter on the table next to him before digging out the first aid kit she kept stocked in the room.
In lieu of anything else to look at, Link glanced down at the letter next to him. There was a red seal on the back, not dissimilar to the ones Zelda used when writing letters, though instead of the Hylian crest this seal had the image of a mushroom on it. Flipping it over saw words in neat curling letters in an alphabet Link didn’t recognize. This wasn’t surprising, as up until a year or so ago he still struggled with written Hylian. He set the letter down when he heard a door open in a different part of the house.
“Malon!” Talon shouted through the house. “Did you know Epona was out front? I thought Link had taken her,” he stopped when he turned into the kitchen and saw his daughter standing up with a first aid kit and the mentioned adventurer on his table. Link waved. “Link! You’re back!”
Link nodded, smiling at Talon as Malon opened the first aid kit on the table and started sorting through the contents.
“Link just got back a minute ago,” Malon informed her father as she had Link pull off his tunic. “He’s bleeding still, so I’m going to patch him up before he fills us in on his latest adventure,” she paused, then picked up the letter that she’d received when Link arrived. “Oh, and we got a letter from mom,”
She handed over the letter to her dad, Link watching the paper with curiosity. Malon’s mother? She’d never mentioned her mother to him before, and he’d never pried. He assumed her mother was dead, since she wasn’t around and no one talked about her, but he was also pretty sure dead people didn’t send letters. Pretty sure, not totally sure. Considering what he’d already seen on his adventures, he wasn’t ruling it out as a possibility.
Talon grumbled as he opened it, Malon pulling Link’s attention to her as she went about patching him up as best she could. A few minutes passed, Link occasionally hissing as Malon applied a disinfectant, and then Malon declared him patched up, wandering over to look at the letter over her father’s shoulder.
“What does it say?” She asked, crowding him as Link shrugged back into his tunic.
“It’s an invitation,” Talon handed it to her to read herself. “Some kind of Star Carnival or something, happens every couple of years. She’s invited us to come,”
Link slowly raised his hand, then waved when he noticed no one was paying attention to him. Talon looked up, then nudged Malon to get her attention. Link waved his hands at the letter then at the two of them, then threw his hands up in confusion. True, he could have signed, but he only thought of that afterwards.
“Oh, right,” Malon bounced over to sit next to him to hold the letter where he could see it. He looked at it, then at her. Malon scoffed. “It’s an invitation from my mother to come to the Star Carnival in the Mushroom Kingdom,”
Link blinked, then sighed ‘Mushroom Kingdom’ back at her with his face twisted up in confusion.
Malon blinked at him, then snapped her fingers. “Oh right, I never told you about my mother, did I? She lives in a neighboring kingdom off to the west, and her and dad had a bit of a falling out a few years after I was born. Dad and Ingo moved to Hyrule, and mom remarried. I have a half sister over there now,”
Link nodded slowly, then waved at the letter again.
“Oh, mom will occasionally invite us back for festivals and stuff. It’s her way of keeping up with us, while respecting that dad moved away for a reason,” she paused, then her head snapped up and turned to him so quickly he had to lean back in order to not get hit. “You should come with us!”
Malon blinked at him, wide eyed and grinning. Link couldn’t possibly say no. He nodded.
Malon made a giddy sound and wrapped Link in a hug, then slid off the table to hand the letter to her father. She came back to grab his hands and pull him off the table too.
“Oh, you’ll love it, Link! The Star Carnival is great, there’s all sorts of games, and events, and everyone comes out for it,” Malon chatteled off, dragging Link with her so she could keep talking at him while she finished up her chores.
Link completely forgot he was supposed to tell Zelda about the temple.
About a week later Link found himself next to Malon in an oddly mushroom shaped carriage her mother sent to collect them for the carnival. Apparently this was normal for these trips, but the fact the carriage had nothing to pull it but still moved confused Link. According to Malon this was how most things worked, but he wasn’t convinced he liked that.
The trip was uneventful, except how Link kept jumping every time the carriage bumped. The little mushroom person (“He’s a Toad, they’re the race that makes up most of the Mushroom Kingdom’s people,” Malon told him) kept up a steady stream of talk, pointing out everything he saw. Link was very glad he’d managed to convince Malon to let him take one of his swords and the mirror shield with him, he felt much more comfortable armed.
His discomfort was overshadowed, however, when the site of the carnival came into view. A big red and white striped tent, with booths and stalls set up throughout the whole grounds. There were people streaming all through the area, humans, toads and some other things as well. Link found it incredible, and Malon had to pull him back into the carriage before he fell out the window.
Eventually, the carriage came to a stop at the entrance to the grounds and the three Hyruleans stepped out. There were a few long moments as Link looked around in awe, and confusion, at some of the things he was seeing. There were moving paintings positioned around the grounds showing some guy who was mostly hat and blaring his voice across the area. Malon called these moving paintings ‘video screens’, and that they were looking at something happening in a different part of the carnival. Link didn’t understand that, but they were moving along fast enough that he didn’t linger on it.
He was snapped out of looking at some star shaped pastries at a loud squeal, head snapping up and on alert. He relaxed when Malon laughed and waved in response.
“Malon!” A higher pitched voice called, belonging to a taller woman with bright blonde hair wearing a very big pink dress and long white gloves. She had a crown on her head. “You made it!”
“Of course I made it,” Malon laughed as she hugged the other woman. “Why would I miss this?”
Malon then switched to hugging and greeting another woman closer to her age, also wearing a crown but dressed in blue, her hair covering her right eye. A little chubby star creature floated next to her and waved.
Link blinked and watched the exchange, hovering off to the side.
“Oh!” Malon abruptly remembered him and turned to tug him up. “Link, I want you to meet my mother, Queen Peach, and my half sister Rosalina. Mom, Rosy, this is my boyfriend Link,”
Link managed to get himself out of his ‘Malon’s mom is queen???!?’ confusion loop long enough to bow, trying to be polite.
“Oh no, please don’t. No one has bowed to me in a very long time, and it’s weird to see now,” Queen Peach giggled lightly as Link straightened up, the tips of his ears turning red. “You didn’t mention you had a boyfriend,”
“Uh, surprise!” Malon waved her hands as she gave her mother and sister a sheepish grin. “I have a boyfriend! His name is Link,”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Rosalina extended her hand, and Link took it to shake.
Link nodded and grinned, then signed back ‘it’s nice to meet you too’ at her when she dropped his hand. Both women blinked at him and for a second he thought he’d done something wrong. He slowly lowered his hands and blinked at them too. Maybe they didn’t speak Hylian sign? He’d never encountered someone who couldn’t understand him, but outside of Hyrule it wasn’t impossible.
“Oh,” Malon jumped in, waving at him. “Link is mute, so he uses sign to talk. I should have mentioned that,”
“Oh,” Queen Peach brightened up again. “Of course. Well, it’s very nice to meet you, Link. I hope you enjoy the carnival,” she signed as she spoke, and Link blinked at her, then matched her grin.
Link nodded happily, letting her know it wasn’t like anything he’d encountered before, but that he was enjoying things so far.
Queen Peach offered to show them around, which Malon accepted for them, and they went about walking through the grounds while the queen pointed out different attractions. Most of these involved events she called minigames, though a few featured other attractions. Apparently minigames were part of a big event called a Party, which was a competition people could compete in for prizes. Malon had very quietly dissuaded him from participating, as apparently she was worried a few of the minigames might mess with his trauma if he were to play them. Also, apparently Hylians weren’t as durable as the people of the Mushroom Kingdom.
“Oh!” Queen Peach bounced over to one of the video screens and grinned. “It looks like a Party is starting!”
Wandering up to join the toadstool queen, Link blinked up at the moving paintings on the screen, still confused as to how that worked. The man who was mostly hat introduced a group of four, a stout man in red with blue overalls with a very big mustache named Mario, a brunette woman in a yellow dress named Daisy, a stal-like creature that resembled the creatures Malon told him were koopahs who was introduced as Dry Bones, and a tall lanky man in purple who introduced himself as Waluigi. Queen Peach was grinning, and Malon was laughing a little at this.
Link tapped Malon’s shoulder and asked her who those people were.
“Oh, well Mario is mom’s husband, and Daisy is his brother’s wife. Dry Bones is a friend, I think, and Waluigi just shows up for events like this,” Malon explained to him, pointing as she did. “It can be hard to keep track of who’s friendly and who isn’t all the time, things change so often,”
“They don’t change often,” Queen Peach giggled. “The only time anything changes is when Bowser kidnaps me, then we’re briefly enemies, but we go back to being friends when Mario comes to rescue me,”
Link blinked at her, face scrunched up. She talked like this was normal. Apparently, this was quickly explained to him, it was. It was just the relationship those three had. Link wasn’t sure he’d ever understand that concept, but was willing to push it aside for the moment.
They stood and watched the Party, and Link was glad Malon had encouraged him not to try any of the minigames. She was right about a few of them not meshing well with his trauma. He’d actually had to turn away during one because of how much it reminded him of fighting Volvagia in the Fire Temple. It was pretty easy for Malon to work him down again, and he was ever so grateful for her and her patience with him, but they didn’t turn back until after the minigame was over.
Once the Party was over, Queen Peach eagerly dragged them over to something called a warp pad in order to greet her husband when he got there. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one.
Already waiting at the pad was a very large individual. He looked vaguely like a koopah, but was much bigger, and his shell was studded with spikes. Helpfully, Link’s mind supplied him with the theory that the koopah might be like the Zora, with the ruler being much bigger than the rest of their people, and so this might be their king.
He was right, he’d soon learn.
What had him stopping dead was the man next to him. Almost eight feet tall, bright red hair, black armor. The man was distinctly Gerudo, and looked identical to Ganondorf. Link reached out and grabbed Malon’s arm, pointing out the man to her and signing as fast as she could keep up. Malon had his shoulders in her hands, and was trying to talk to him slowly, the same way she did when working him down from a panic attack or a spike in anxiety. Maybe he was freaking out, he certainly didn’t feel calm. But Ganondorf shouldn’t be here, Zelda’s father had him executed. He shouldn’t be alive, let alone here.
“Is something wrong?” Queen Peach popped up in Link’s peripheral vision, but he was too busy trying not to panic to respond to her.
Thankfully, he had Malon.
“Kind of, Link’s had some, uh, adventures that have messed with his head a little. Bowser’s friend over there happens to look like a man named Ganondorf who tried to kill him more than once, with quite a bit of effort,” Malon rubbed Link’s arms as she spoke, glancing back at him every once in a while. “He’s a little freaked out to see someone who looks so similar, even if this can’t be Ganondorf, since Queen Zelda’s father, the late king, had him executed for trying to kill the royal family and steal Hyrule’s crown about ten or so years ago.”
“Oh, I hadn’t realized,” Queen Peach paused, glancing back at Bowser and maybe-Ganondorf, then back to the two of them. “If you’ll give me a moment,”
She ducked out, and in the meantime Link managed to wrangle his breathing under control. Eventually, he felt confident enough in himself to not immediately try to stab maybe-Ganondorf, but he did pull the mirror shield onto his arm. He felt better when he had it out.
Link specifically kept his shield between himself and maybe-Ganondorf as they approached, Malon keeping a hand on his arm. The conversation petered out as they made it up.
Maybe-Ganondorf clapped his hands together, which had Link pulling up the shield and tensing. The maybe-Ganondorf paused, then spread his hands.
“I understand that someone who looked like me tried to hurt you in the past?” The man, who even sounded like Ganondorf, asked. Link was then hit again with the fact that in this timeline Ganondorf never actually tried to kill him, and even when he had it was both his past and future for a while. He nodded, not willing to dwell on the details of his seven year sleep and subsequent return to childhood. The man grimaced. “I am truly sorry then. My name is Greg, I am a good, friend, of Bowser’s, and I can assure you I am not the same man who wanted to see you come to harm,”
Link narrowed his eyes, but did peek a little further over his shield.
There was a long, tense moment where Link just looked over Greg, trying to decide how he felt about him. After several heartbeats where Link found nothing but honesty, he nodded and lowered the shield some. He didn’t put it away however.
Greg grinned, nodding back.
“You can probably put the shield away now,” Queen Peach offered gently.
Link just tightened his grip on the reflective defense and pulled it closer to himself.
“I don’t think that’s happening,” Malon said gently, squeezing his arm some. “It’s just, well, I’m sure it just makes him feel a little better, what with the situation and all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never got better around male Gerudo,” she tried to laugh.
“What’s a Gerudo?” Greg asked.
Link dropped the shield to his side and made a face.
The rest of the day was spent being introduced to a few others of Queen Peach’s friends, and then later avoiding Greg as best he could, and even watching Malon play some of the minigames with her sister.
Link felt a little bad about avoiding Greg, but he looked so much like Ganondorf that he really didn’t trust himself not to hurt the man. Better to just avoid him.
They were invited to spend the night at Peach’s castle, after which they’d return to the carnival the next day.
Somehow, between meeting Mario and crashing for the night, the plumber convinced him to agree to a race.
Link didn’t know how to use any of the racing machines they had.
He spent a great deal of time, at length, bemoaning his impulsivity to Malon, who eventually got tired enough with him to track down her stepfather and get him to teach Link to use one of the machines. Mario, to his credit, was surprisingly understanding and more than helpful.
It didn’t take long to decide Link would do better on a bike than in a kart.
Link also needed to help repair a wall later.
These are related.
“Alright,” Mario rubbed his hands together as he coached Link through the basics. “This-a thing here? That’s-a the brakes. You pull on-a those to slow down. This-a piece you twist, and that makes-a you go! You see?”
Link nodded slowly, pulling on the lever for the brakes and twisting the handle.
“Okay, let’s-a do one lap around the track, and-a see how you do,” Mario nodded back waving at the track. “Let’s-a go!”
Link gave a sharp nod, taking a deep breath as he did. This would be his fifth try at this.
Malon gave him a pair of thumbs up from the sidelines, grinning at him. He was glad she was more confident in him than he was.
He slowly twisted the handle, the machine puttering to life (a phrase Link was distinctly uncomfortable with) and eased forward gently. After a few moments he was increasing speed around the oval track, getting more comfortable with using the bike. He avoided the jumps he could, but managed to not wipe out on the ones he couldn’t. Slowing to a stop in front of Malon and Mario, he felt distinctly proud of himself for not crashing.
Malon jumped up from where she was sitting, clapping happily as she bounced over to hug him.
“You didn’t crash that time!” She grinned. “You’re getting better!”
‘I am,’ Link grinned back, a group of bees set loose in his chest alongside the happiness.
“You’re-a doing so much better! Now, let’s-a maybe think about getting better with the jumps, hm?” Mario clapped as he approached.
Link nodded, signing his response slowly. Mario knew Mushroom Kingdom Sign, but not Hylian Sign, and the two had some differences. This meant communication was slow going, which was partly why Malon was there.
They spent a few more hours, and a lot more crashing, practicing the jumps. Apparently there were a lot of jumps in these races.
By the time they decided to take a break for lunch, Link was covered in bruises but could also reasonably be trusted to not crash every time he attempted a jump, which was much better than he was when they started.
“Oh my! What happened to you?” Peach gasped, looking over the group as they arrived to join the queen and the rest of the family for lunch.
‘Learned the jumps,’ Link signed at her, grinning maybe a bit wider than he needed to.
“The bruises were self-inflicted,” Malon told everyone, dragging Link over to sit between Talon and Rosalina with her. “He’s gotten very good at crashing. And at not crashing, but that skill’s taking longer,”
Rosalina started giggling. “Well, it seems we all have a type,”
Link looked at her in confusion while he let Malon set up plates for them.
“What do you mean?” Peach asked.
Rosalina pointed at her mother. “You married dad, who is prone to extreme spots. And turns sports that aren’t extreme sports into extreme sports. I have never seen someone make golf a full contact sport other than him,” she turned her finger to Malon. “Malon has brought home a boy who is firstly more than willing to participate in said extreme sports, and, Mal you said he works for your Queen, right?”
Malon nodded. “He’s technically part of the royal guard, but really he’s just sent out to go deal with monsters when Her Majesty can’t do it herself. He comes back bleeding a lot,” she sent him a halfhearted glare. He smiled innocently in response.
“Right,” Rosalina nodded. “He’s prone to come back bleeding. And the last time I saw Sammy, she was also bleeding and bruised because she got in a fight with a robot that nearly kicked her, erm, butt,” she cleared her throat and paused until she got a nod from her mother, then continued. “Right, so, my point is we have a type, and it’s the same one,”
“And that type is?” Malon asked.
“People who are prone to getting hurt,”
Link felt mildly like he should be offended by that, but Malon was just nodding along so he decided to drop it. It wasn’t like he could argue, after all.
“Oh, is your girlfriend coming?” Malon asked, handing Link a plate but focusing on her sister.
Link didn’t know what some of the things on his plate were, and lightly poked at one of the mushrooms. This is why he decided to let Malon grab food for him.
“She should be, she told me she’d try at least,” Rosalina nodded. “But, well, you know how busy she can be sometimes. Her job doesn’t allow her a lot of free time,”
Malon nodded. “I get that. It can be hard dating someone who spends so much time away getting in fights,”
She gave Link a side eye and he paused halfway into a bite. Was she mad at him? Or was this one of those joking jab things? He couldn’t quite tell the difference yet. She didn’t seem like she was mad at him. Maybe she was trying to relate to her sister? Wait, what did her sister’s girlfriend do that he’d be a comparison?
He figured he’d ask.
Apparently Sammy was a mercenary (“She fights things for money,” Malon told him. “Kind of like you do, but you work for the Queen and she works for herself,”), and that meant she spent a lot of time away and then coming back injured. Like Link did.
“You’d probably get along with her really well,” Malon offered, subtly adding more of the thing he’d already cleared off his plate to his portion. “You can bond over killing things and getting hurt and worrying your girlfriends about the fact that you’re out killing things and getting hurt all alone,”
Link frowned at her and narrowed his eyes. The worst part was that he couldn’t even argue, she was right. He did spend a lot of time killing things and getting hurt and worrying her, and he did do most of it alone.
That thought sort of made his chest ache. He wouldn’t be alone if he still had Navi, but he hadn’t been able to find her yet. He didn’t want to sour the atmosphere though, so he pushed that thought to the side and shoved Malon’s shoulder in retaliation.
Malon shoved him back, laughing, and Link didn’t bother fighting the grin on his face. It was moments like this that made the trauma and the longing easier to deal with.
They spent some more time practicing the jumps for the race Link had gotten himself roped into and introducing him to the ‘power ups’, and then wandered around the festival grounds until dinner, where they retired to the castle. Link found out quickly that the power ups were made with people way more durable than him in mind. A conversation started about finding an item or something that might help protect him a bit.
Malon had pulled out a health potion she insisted Link drink to heal up the bruises he’d acquired when they heard the, whirring? Link didn’t know what to make of that sound, but he did know he should figure it out.
Which is how Link ended up carefully crossing the entryway of the castle, eyes on the front door, Malon frustrated and following behind him.
Rosalina came barrelling down a stairwell just as Link got to the door, startling him.
“Don’t mind Link,” Malon rolled her eyes. “He’s just never heard the sound of a ship landing before,”
“So that was her ship I saw!” Rosalina pushed past Link, who made a strangled noise as she did, and ran out the door.
Link followed, hand on his sword, just in case, and froze.
Someone was standing on the bridge to the castle, wearing dark orange armor and standing easily as tall as a gerudo, maybe taller. Link couldn’t make out much more from that, since the armor covered them head to toe, and their helmet covered their entire head and face. It also looked shinier than any armor he’d ever seen before.
This person caught Rosalina when she threw herself at them, lifting her up and spinning them both around. A sort of mechanical laugh came from the armored person.
Link turned to Malon.
“That’s Samus, Rosy’s girlfriend,” Malon explained. “Come on, let’s go say hi!”
Malon headed down the bridge to where Samus had set Rosalina down. Link stayed where he was, the Luma that followed Rosalina around coming up to float next to him. Luma yawned, and Link offered it a small smile. They must have been getting ready for bed when Samus arrived.
“Link!” He turned at Malon’s shout, seeing her wave at him. “Come meet Samus!”
Samus had pulled off her helmet, revealing tied back blonde hair and pale skin. So, not gerudo, just tall.
He offered Luma a sympathetic shrug and wandered over.
“Link, this is Samus,” Malon waved between them as Link came up. “Samus, this is my boyfriend, Link. He’s mute, so he speaks using sign, but he can hear you just fine,”
“Hello, Link,” Samus offered him a smile, signing in very choppy Hylian Sign as she spoke, and then offered her hand to shake. “It’s nice to meet you,”
Link signed slowly as he replied, figuring Samus might appreciate it, and then accepted her handshake.
They didn’t stay standing there for long since it was already getting quite dark. Link offered to help Samus move in some of her things, since she was apparently staying for a few weeks between jobs, which is how he found himself pulling on his golden gauntlets to pick up a very heavy suitcase to carry inside. Samus had the other very heavy case, and Malon and Rosalina helped carry in the rest of it.
Once Samus was settled Malon resumed her crusade to get Link to drink the rest of the health potion.
The next time Link ran into Samus was right before his race. They hadn’t found something to help with the power ups yet, though he did receive a racing suit to wear in case he crashed.
He stopped mid-sign as something heavy dropped round his neck.
He turned to look down at the item, some kind of medallion on a chain. There was some kind of bird on it, and some kind of writing he couldn’t read, though he didn’t expect to be able to. It didn’t feel magical, but it did sort of, hum in his hands.
He turned around to blink up at the person who dropped in on him. Which turned out to be Samus.
She wasn’t wearing the armor, instead wearing just a skin-tight blue outfit that showed off her abs and the muscles in her arms. She had a lot of muscle. Link started doubting his conclusion that she wasn’t somehow part gerudo.
“I heard you were worried about being durable enough to compete,” Samus explained when Link made a confused motion at the medallion. “That should help,”
‘How?’ Link asked.
“It’s an old bit of tech I picked up but haven’t needed in a long while,” Samus explained.
Link spent a moment finger spelling out that word and trying to remember where he heard it before.
“It’s like magic, but not magic,” Rosalina appeared to lean behind Samus, who towered over her even when she was standing straight. “Sammy you need to remember they don’t even have video screens in Hyrule, you’re going to confuse him,”
“Oh,” Samus blinked, looking between them. “Uh, sorry,”
Link waved her off and assured her it was fine, and then asked for more clarification on the item she just gave him.
“I figured it would solve your durability issue,” Samus explained. “For the race,”
Link nodded, turning it over in his hands for a minute. He tucked it under the suit, the metal oddly warm despite having only just put it on, and thanked Samus for the help.
She promised to be cheering him on, which was met by a huff and light shove from Rosalina, who was also racing.
The medallion did help. It didn’t quite put him on par with the native residents of the Mushroom Kingdom, but it did keep him from getting seriously hurt by some of the more extreme power ups.
Seriously, some of them were just insane.
He didn’t win, but he did come about middle of the pack, which he was quite proud of.
Samus let him keep the medallion, since he could probably get more use out of it than she would, and then Rosalina dragged them all out to get some star pastries to celebrate the fact she won.
Samus ended up far more confident in her Hylian Sign by the end of the day, mostly due to her and Link being dragged about the faire by their girlfriends as they competed in a few minigames. Samus had asked for some help practicing when she noticed Link was a bit uncomfortable with some of the minigames.
Link decided he liked Samus.
He especially liked it when their girlfriends got back and Rosalina had fake-whispered to Malon “Oh no, they’re teaming up!” and all four of them started laughing.
They stayed for a week, the length of the carnival, but they did have to get back to Hyrule. It didn’t help that Sheik had likely tried dealing with everything himself, and as such the kingdom had to deal with the Queen slipping out to fight things.
Once they’d said goodbye, with promises to write between Malon and her family, they climbed back into the little carriage thing they’d arrived in and Link turned to Malon immediately.
‘You’ll bring me with you next time too, right?’
Malon laughed, and agreed to bring him with the next time they were invited.
Neither of them had fully expected Link to get a letter a few weeks after they got home, but sure enough, it was his name written in the alphabet used by the Mushroom Kingdom.
It was decided that they should probably teach him how to read that alphabet after that.
The small package he received from Rosalina a few years later with her and Malon’s grandmother’s engagement ring after he’d proposed with a little note that the ring he’d found was way too flashy was probably to be expected. Even he and Malon had agreed on that the day before. They did switch out the rings, and though the old Queen’s ring was still a bit fancy for a farm girl, it wasn’t going to accidentally blind someone.
He figured he’d pass off Queen Peach’s offer to plan their wedding to Zelda, who had also already decided she wanted to plan it.
Let people who actually knew what they were doing plan it, he’d focus on making sure he was mostly uninjured come the day of. He’d just help with the invitation list.
This, he learned later, was a very smart call.