Be My Valentine

By Juliet A. Singleton

Author's Note:

I'm not very good at short stories but here's a sappy, sweet fanfic for all you L/Z 'shippers out there. It's told from Zelda's POV (shock! horror! I did 1st person!) and touches on her feelings for Link. Enjoy! :)


     I guess all those years ago, I never appreciated just exactly how much Link adored me. I mean, it wasn't that I didn't know about it, it was just that my silly, foolish pride always seemed to get in the way. I couldn't admit to him that I felt the same. How many years did I miss out on? Link and I could have been together since we were 15... and boy, does that seem long ago now! But it only seems like yesterday that we first met...

     There was me, terrified, held hostage by Ganon, his bargaining tool towards gaining the Triforce of Wisdom. I felt so helpless, and yet I was hoping that my loyal nursemaid Impa had kept her promise to find a hero who could defeat the evil wizard and foil his wicked plans. I suppose my prayers to the Goddesses were answered, when Link burst into the Underworld Throne Room, ready to challenge Ganon. He was so young, back then... Looking at him, you wouldn't have even thought he was hero material. A mere 15 years old, average height, slim build... he wasn't how I imagined heroes to be. I suppose I envisioned some golden knight carrying a sword twice his height... Link's sword was so small and light, it looked like it couldn't hurt a fly. But he and Ganon battled, and Link won. He shot the silver arrow through Ganon's vile heart, thus defeating him for the while. And then he gently undid my bonds, releasing me, and brought me back out into the light, and handed over my Triforce. I knew Impa wouldn't have ever failed me... "My name is Link, glad to meet you, Your Highness."

     Of course, my father immediately offered Link a job at the castle as Triforce Protector; it needed it, after the threat of Ganon. And you know something? I was happy, for the first time in years. Finally, I had someone my own age for company! I soon learnt a fair bit about him, how he'd come for Catalia, seeking his fortune, so to speak. He'd rescued Impa from some of Ganon's morons, and she had told him of Ganon and Link immediately resolved to rescue me and find the Triforce. Most people would have expected some big reward, but he never asked for anything. Maybe he thought getting a job at the castle was enough. Though in a way, I suppose one of his main reasons for staying around, was because of me. I admit, I was flattered. But back then, I guess I knew nothing about love, nor did I want to. Well, I did, it was just I suppose I envisioned love completely differently, to how I do now. Blame it on those silly romance novels I used to read! Of course, now my life is better than any romance novel. Perfect, in fact. And it just keeps on getting better, and better. I never imagined that being in love would have such a big impact on my life, and that I could feel such amazing emotion towards a single person. Link filled the void in my life that I'd never even known existed. And he is, as they say, my better half.

     But I ignored him for so long! Even to this day, I still can't believe we're married. I'm so glad that he waited for me, after all, he could have married any girl he wanted, no doubt. I mean, he's so charming, and handsome, sweet... caring... brave... loyal... honest... the list could on and on! Not to forget the fact that he's Hyrule's greatest hero. And for a while, it was like that. All the young girls in the nearby towns and villages adored him, and he even courted some of them, much to my jealousy. When Link proclaimed his love for me, I at first decided it was some boyish infatuation; he didn't really care! He flirted far too much, and him kissing me... well, he would have had one over me, or so I thought! All the time, he really, really meant it. Of course, he was joking around a lot of the time, but in his heart, he was in love with me. And I, in hindsight, with him. I just couldn't admit it, that was all. And my father, well he expected me to get married off to some prince. A King's daughter can be as valuable as a son sometimes, especially when it comes to marriage between different royal houses. We could have doubled Hyrule's assets easily, through such a marriage. But every prince I met just disheartened me; they all wanted the same thing. It wasn't me, it was my assets. Hyrule, the Triforce, our fortune... But Link, he wanted me. Me. Myself. Nothing else. Just me, plain old Zelda. Not my title, my riches, or my castle. I don't know why I didn't realise it from the start. Link always used to joke that I was the most valuable treasure of Hyrule, rather than the Triforce. I think that's so sweet, if not vastly overstated. He's always had that knack to make me feel special though. Like today, for example.

     Today is St. Valentine's Day, traditionally the day for lovers. We've been married a little over a year now, in fact, our young son Ewan was born around 6 months ago. Next October shall be our second wedding anniversary... well, tell a lie. November actually. But October is our 'real' wedding date, to us, at least. Not many people actually know that, they just think it's November 2nd, which was when we were officially married, in front of the whole of Hyrule. But on October 24th, we always have our own little special celebration, just between ourselves... But anyway, were was I? Yes, so not long ago, I woke up, only to find Link not here. Instead, on the pillow, he left me a single red rose, and a note;

'Zel, meet me in the usual place as soon as you read this. Then you can have your *real* Valentines present!
Love, Link xx'

     'The usual place'. That's the centre of the castle maze. We loved to chase each other through that maze, when we were younger, we know it off by heart. A lot of guests usually end up getting lost in it, but we never do. It's quiet there... private, too. Tranquil. It's one of our special little havens. Actually, a lot of places in Hyrule have special meaning for Link and I, though. We've been to so many places together, after all. I should have realised, even back then, we were inseparable. Now I couldn't even imagine life without him. It's typical of him too, to make it all into a game. Maybe that's why I didn't think he was genuine at first, because of his fondness to tease, to act so silly. Now I can't resist his sense of humour, he always manages to make me smile. Well being a Princess of course, everyone always expects you to act so dignified and polite... that used to get so annoying at times! Royal duty can be so overbearing and stuffy, all that diplomatic business, council meetings and so forth. It really isn't me. Not Link, either. Goodness knows how we'll manage once we ascend the throne! I try not to think about that though, and I know I should grow up, we both should, we're a responsible couple with a young child to look after, and not to mention two of the most important people in Hyrule. But well, being around Link... sometimes, I just simply cannot be sensible! He's so much fun, after all, and that's another reason why I love him. You can't not be happy, when Link's around. He makes everyone smile, even my stuffy stepmother! And you can't resist smiling back. Link has the sort of smile that fills his whole face, as in not just his mouth, but his eyes too. And how I love his smile...

     So I took the note and rose in hand, and wearing my favourite dress, descended down from our tower room, and out into the courtyard. It was already a beautiful spring morning, a little cool, but sunny. The birds were singing, and the scent of fresh blooms from the nearby garden caught upon the air. I feel so lucky to live in such a wonderful place, but even luckier that I have Link to share it with. It didn't take me all that long to reach the folly in the centre of the maze... Link was sat on the stone bench that encircles the old tree that grows in the middle, leafing through some old book. He didn't hear me approach... it was so quiet, he was so enthralled by the book, well, I could hardly resist! Tip-toeing up behind him, but he does have sharp hearing, not to mention highly sensitive reflexes. He caught me in the act, and jumped up, away from me, before quickly turning and grabbing me by the waist, something which quickly turned into a friendly tussle down on the grass (yes, very undignified, I know, but who cares? Especially when no-one was there to see it!). I always liked to be independent, but it's so unfair, Link is far stronger than me! Smiling down at me, he spoke, in his soft, Catalian accent. "Well, it's only fair that winner takes all."
I smiled of course, he is really terrible at times! Why men think that women will yield to their stupid one-liners is beyond me, but for some reason, when Link tries them on me, I yield anyway.
"Fair's fair, I guess," I lamented jokingly. He grinned at me, before leaning down to kiss me softly. Always the gentleman. We sat up and smiled at each other again, lacing our fingers together. There's something so special between us...

     We really do love each other. I don't think that will ever change, nor would I want it to. If I lost Link now, my life would not be worth living. I really don't know how my father managed, when mother died, all those years ago. I'm happy that he's managed to find love again, through my stepmother, Fenella, but I just don't understand how he could bear to be alone all those years. He says that he has me, but it's not the same, is it? Sometimes, I'm far too selfish, I know that, but Link is my everything. I hate to be parted from him. And not only has he made my life complete by loving me, he has protected me, given his all for me and my kingdom, and given me a son, something so special and precious. Ewan is only a few months old, but already he is starting to look the double of his father. I'm sure he'll break many hearts when he is older, looking so handsome! Secretly, I hope one day we might have a daughter too, maybe she'll look like me! Link shall teach Ewan to be a great hero, and I shall pass on all my magical knowledge to my daughter... to Ewan too, if he wishes! And perhaps our daughter shall learn to be as equally clever in swordplay... something I never really managed. I am better sticking to archery, I think!

     I glance from our entwined fingers back up into the eyes of my love. He has always had the most beautiful deep blue eyes, sometimes I feel like I could just drown in them forever.
"What are you thinking of, Zel?" he suddenly asked, smiling at me.
"Oh... just how much I love you Link," I reply, smiling back.
"You're just saying that cos it's Valentines Day," he teased.
"Hey!" I exclaimed, but I'm not really offended. I know that he's just joking around with me. "That's a royal offence Link, I think I ought to..." I started.
"Mmm, a lifetime sentence kissing you, sounds good Zel," he interrupted, before gently pushing me back down onto the grass and kissing me passionately. Link has always been an amazing kisser. He was my first kiss, in fact, and I've never done it with anyone else. Thinking back to our first time, it really wasn't all that romantic. We'd come close so many times, but I was always too shy, or something always happened to interrupt us. It was at a celebration party, when my father had announced my engagement to Kain; a man I hated. It took me that much to realise that I was in love with Link. We were talking in a back passage and I managed to get the courage to ask him. I wasn't disappointed either. The setting may not have been romantic, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was that I finally got to admit to the man I loved how much I wanted to be with him. I'll never ever forget how special that moment was.

     Our kiss grew deeper, leaving us both almost breathless.
"Oh Link..." I murmured as we finally parted.
"If you enjoyed that Zel, just wait till we're all alone tonight," he smiled mischievously.
"Can't wait," I grinned back, my mind already afire with fantasies during that kiss.
"That was just the appetiser," he grinned. I laughed lightly, as he pulled me up into a standing position. We linked hands and he led me back across to the bench. "Besides, I haven't given you your present yet," he added. It's traditional on Valentines Day for the man to give his lover a gift to show her his devotion. This will be our second proper one together. Of course, for years, Link would always get me something for Valentines Day. Sometimes I regret that I didn't give in to him sooner. Then again, it really doesn't matter now, because we've certainly made up for lost time. We sat down on the bench together and Link pressed something into my hand. It was a small, soft red velvet pouch, quite heavy. Inside was a smooth, shiny metal pebble. Upon its surface Link had engraved a heart and inside it were the words 'Link & Zelda 4540-eternity'. It was so simple, yet so significant at the same time. 4540 is the year we met. I gazed up at him, smiling.
"Oh Link, I'll treasure this forever," I breathed, my hand finding his once more.
"I know it's not much but..." he said, suddenly looking away shyly. That's another thing I love. He pretends to be so confident but I know that really, its all just a bold front to impress people. Deep down he's shy and sensitive about a lot of things. I know that sometimes, he finds it difficult to accept that one day, he'll be King of Hyrule. From the day we professed our love publicly, my father granted him access to our family's treasury, but he rarely ventures in there. His gifts are never lavish nor expensive, but maybe that's why I like them so much. Every birthday present, every Trinity surprise...
"I love it Link. And I love you," I said to him, bringing my hand up to rest on his cheek. We smiled at each other before leaning forward to kiss each other once more.
"Happy Valentine's Day," he murmured. I knew right there that I was the luckiest woman in Hyrule.

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