spice_mix: (fic)
[personal profile] spice_mix
Title: Anything But Ordinary
Pairing/s: Link/Sheik
Rating: 13+
Warnings: Awkwardness? Discussion of sexual things?
Disclaimer: The Legend of Zelda and its associated characters, items, and scenarios belong to Nintendo. I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
Summary: With the war ended and their relationship finally able to progress, Sheik finds that it won't quite be as easy - or predictable - as he thought. But then, things never were predictable with Link...
Author's notes: Inspired by fandomsecrets (again), where a secret theorised that Link was perhaps asexual. My brain promptly ran away with the idea. Please note - asexual does not mean aromantic! For more information, see here.

Link, Sheik had discovered, was a cuddler.

He had made this discovery shortly after the defeat of Ganondorf. With spirits high despite the possible years of reconstruction ahead of them, the two had retreated back to Impa's house, now officially his own. Zelda had winked upon hearing of their plans, slipped Sheik some oil, and told him to have fun, and while the Sheikah had been left scandalised at the suggestion from his princess, he had retreated back to the room with the oil in hand.

He had, softly and full of insinuation, suggested that the two retreated to bed. Link had agreed, and...

...had proceeded to snuggle up against Sheik, wrap an arm around his middle, and drift off to sleep.

Sheik, needless to say, had been perplexed.

It had not ended there. The next morning, having stolen away for some space to think, had come to the realisation that of course Link hadn't known what to expect. Although he had matured greatly over the past few months, although in both mind and body he was an adult, he was still greatly inexperienced, missing out on the education that would normally take place during that period..

Kissing was definitely in his repetoire - he had observed couples in public, and was more than happy to put it in to practice with Sheik. But sex? Of course he was inexperienced. Where would he have learnt?

Now, Sheik had a new mission. It would be long, and fraught with danger, and could possibly introduce entirely new causes for awkwardness in their still-young relationship. But if it paid off... well, the rewards would speak for themselves.

He had a goal, now.

Introduce Link to the wonders of sex education.



He had started slowly. During a lazy sunny day on the island at Lake Hylia, waters lapping up against the shore and one of Link's hand tracing lazy patterns against Sheik's arm, he had ventured a careful question: "Link, what do you think being in an adult relationship means?"

Link had frowned thoughtfully for a moment, not answering immediately as he mulled over the answer. "I guess," he started slowly, "It means a relationship where you trust the other person with your life and your heart. I trust Saria and Princess Zelda and Malon with lots of stuff, but you're the one I gave my heart to."

And he punctuated the statement with a gentle nuzzle against Sheik's bared throat.

A smile had crossed the Sheikah's face unbidden, touched by the description. That was... probably more of a mature answer than he had expected, leaving him happily surprised. He had, perhaps, expected something along the lines of, 'a relationship where you spend time together and kiss a lot' (which they certainly did), or perhaps 'when a lady and a man get married and have babies' (which, really, did not apply to them in any way, shape or form).

This... had been thoughtful. Sheik had been impressed.

But still - there was no mention of sex. Sheik fell silent, taking the opportunity to steal a few more kisses. "Mm, good. But what sort of thing can be expected in these relationships?"

Link thought for a little longer this time. "...Companionship, I guess," he finally shrugged, "I wouldn't want to spend my life with someone I'm not friends with. And they should understand and be honest with each other, like if someone has a problem, they should talk to the other person and not keep too many secrets."

Sheik winced a little - he had definitely hid that he had protected the Princess throughout the war.

But Link took notice, giving his hand a sudden squeeze. "Except if it's something like that. You and Princess Zelda could have got in a lot of trouble if people knew. That's okay."

Nodding, Sheik leaned in for a quick kiss, barely there. "I did not like keeping that from you. There were many times where I nearly confessed," he admitted, not liking how close he had come to betraying Zelda's trust.

(But he had sworn to never tell a soul. And falling in love with the Hero of Time had never been in the plans...)

Link gave him a sunny smile back. "It's okay. I know you wouldn't keep secrets unless it was really important."

Another nod - there would be no secrets between them, aside from the one currently motivating these questions - working out just how much Link knew about... more intimate actions. "Anything else?" he prompted, curious to see what else the Hero would come up with.

"Companionship, honesty..." Link paused thoughtfully for a moment, then almost slapped himself in the forehead. "Oh! Being affectionate, touching each other, kissing, things like that. Like this." And he shifted their positions, wrapping his arms around Sheik, dropping a kiss on his forehead. "I would be sort of sad if I couldn't touch someone I loved."

That was more promising, Sheik decided grudgingly, trying to resist (and failing) practically melting into Link's arms. He could push further later, then - at least he considered touch to be important. "That works for me," he murmured drowsily, and set the questions aside for later.

He didn't see the thoughtful, curious look that crossed Link's face.



The next stage of Link's education came a few days later. In a fit of productivity, the two had volunteered to help out with the clean-up of Castle Town, and any conversation had to be forced between bouts of heavy lifting and general construction.

Alone in one of the residential areas, Sheik took a deep breath, gazing at Link thoughtfully. They had continued to share a bed, and all the while, Link had kept things innocent - perhaps some kissing, a fair bit of cuddling, and drifting off holding each other. It was, he had to admit, extremely pleasant.

"The other day, you mentioned touch," he said suddenly before he could back off - he was beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea. Couldn't they simply keep to a natural progression?

But no, he reasoned, if Sheik didn't teach him, who would?

"What sort of... touch did you mean?" he finished softly, not quite able to meet the Hero's eyes.

There was a clank as Link set down the twisted beam he had just extracted from one of the wrecked houses, crossing across to Sheik to take his hand. "What do you mean?" he asked softly, tracing the tips of his fingers across the back of Sheik's hand, elicting a shiver that he couldn't quite hide. "The same sort of touch we've been doing for months."

Sheik nodded slowly, not quite sure why he felt so disappointed. "I see," he murmured, glancing up at Link's bright blue eyes and suddenly feeling naked. "And no other way?"

Link hesitated briefly, then shook his head. "I - well, I like this a lot. I wouldn't want to do anything less than this."

That, Sheik decided, wasn't the problem here.



His next technique had been to go for the direct route. Sorting through Impa's extensive bookshelves, Sheik had started setting them out in order to sort the collection - dry tomes, practical guides on magic or combat, geography scripts.

But Impa, Sheik knew, had possessed a rather filthy mind, and apparently a desire to read the sort of literature that made the ladies-in-waiting at the castle gasp in shock. Amongst the books he had 'casually' had left lying around to sort, a few had included some rather... less-than-innocent scenes between a pair of attractive young men.

If subtle hints and lessons wouldn't do the trick, perhaps softcore erotica would...



It didn't. Link still remained woefully innocent of any further insinuations.

Sheik was at the end of his tether. What was he supposed to do, other than sit Link down, outline specifically what sex was, and make the suggestion that perhaps he put his lessons into practice (specifically, on Sheik)? It wasn't just his bewilderment at how long Link seemed to be taking in getting it - the physical tension was beginning to drive him insane.

It was a disappointed and rather morose Sheikah that finally abandoned the scraps of his patience over dinner one night. "What do you see in me?" he burst out, startling Link into dropping his fork with a clatter. "I've tried dropping hints, but..." He sighed heavily. "Link, do you know what sex is?"

There was a pregnant pause, interrupted only by Link retrieving his fork to set on his plate. "Yeah," he finally admitted, "Zelda told me ages ago when I told her about us."

Sheik gawked. "You knew all this time?" he aked in dismay, "Why didn't you ever mention it in our - discussions?"

Again, Link didn't answer immediately, taking his plate to the sink to wash up. When he finally finished, he turned back to Sheik, gazing at the wall as if it had done him some injustice. "...We should talk," he muttered, "I promised I'd be honest, right?"

Slowly, Sheik nodded, holding a hand out to Link as a silent question. Much to his relief, Link still took it, leading them up the stairs, seating them on the bed.

"If you knew all along what sex was," Sheik started softly before Link could even open his mouth, "Then my suggestions and questions... why did you never take me up on my offer? Did you... find me unappealing?"

For the love of Three, he couldn't even look Link in the eye. All too clearly, he could hear Impa warning him not to get attached. But he had, and now he felt entirely too vulnerable, pouring his heart out like an insecure youth with their first romance. (And never mind how utterly appropriate that comparison was - despite adolescant experimentation, he had never been with someone like Link. And yet...)

He looked up in time to see Link staring at him in utter confusion. "What?" he asked, voice stunned, "I - Sheik, no, you're the most beautiful person I've ever seen."

"Then why don't you want to be intimate?" he asked plainly.

Perhaps he was afraid - the Hero of Time, Bearer of the Triforce of Courage - perhaps this last step was beyond him.

Sheik immediately banished the trecherous thought.

"Sheik," Link sighed, and reached for one of his hands. "I want to be with you. I want to be able to hug you and to sleep next to you and to talk to you and make you laugh and go travel across Hyrule with you. There's no one else I'd rather be with."

He was fidgeting, now, entwining his fingers with Sheik's. The Guide had never known the Hero to be so uncertain.

"But when Zelda told me that stuff, and told me what it'd be like to feel like... that, I didn't feel it. I still haven't. It's not like I'm scared of it or anything, it's just not there, and I don't know why or what's wrong with me. But..." He sighed. "I know I want to be with you. I really love you a lot, Sheik."

And Sheik finally looked up from their hands, gazing at Link's crooked smile. Then he didn't see him like that, after all. And...

That still didn't matter to him. He still wanted to be with Sheik, even if there would be a lack of sex between the two.

He didn't answer verbally, just leaned in for a lingering, not-quite-chaste kiss. "I can't force you to feel things that you do not," he said softly as he sat back, still holding on to Link's hands. "And perhaps one day you will feel differently. But until you do..." He took a breath, readying his thoughts, but the sight of Link's expression beginning to fall hastened his words. "Until you do, and even if it never comes, then I am more than happy to keep things as they are."

"Even though I'm not really normal?" Link asked in a small voice - this new truth, fragile and still young, set between the two like an offering.

But it was Link. The boy without the fairy, the first amongst the Kokiri to leave the forest, the child who had become a man overnight, the legendary Hero of Time. Link was without comparison, anything but ordinary, and if this was just another thing that made him unique...

Well. Link never did do things the conventional way. By way of answer, Sheik leaned in, stealing the Hero's lips for a long, lingering kiss.

"I don't think," he murmured as he drew back, "I'd want you any other way."

And if it simply meant that he'd be getting a lot of cuddles...

Then he, Sheik decided, could live with that.

Date: 2011-02-20 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kiyala.livejournal.com
Eee ♥ I think you approached this really well. I love that you wrote it through Sheik's perspective. I have to say, I've been looking forward to this since you mentioned it xD

Date: 2011-02-20 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2minstobelgium.livejournal.com
Thank you! :3 Man, this came out SO EASILY. The other one inspired by fandomsecrets has been stalled for WEEKS. And thanks! The first line popped into my head when I decided to write it, so it kinda had to end up from Sheik's POV, but it still works :) (I figure it might help others identify with what's going on, since more people are sexual than asexual?)

Date: 2011-02-20 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supaserajupiter.livejournal.com
Oh my pie....this was amazing!! I also agree that writing from Sheik's perspective was a great idea. I loved all the snuggling and Link being adorable and the discussion at the end!

;D Job well done!

Date: 2011-02-20 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2minstobelgium.livejournal.com
...Your icon is so cute <3

Thank you! Heh, I just sort of started with the first line, so the fic basically decided that on its own ;) And Link is totally adorable :D

Thanks!

Date: 2011-02-20 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tavadriel.livejournal.com
That was an interesting take on Link, and you really made it believable. Very well done!

And I also (triple) agree about using Sheik's perspective.

Date: 2011-02-20 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2minstobelgium.livejournal.com
Thanks :) It was sort of spawned by a discussion on fandomsecrets, here (http://community.livejournal.com/fandomsecrets/640631.html?thread=407500663#t407500663) - a lot of people were basically taking 'asexual' to mean 'aromantic' (hell, even I joked about it), which made me think that there aren't many asexual love stories, so... fic :)

Thanks!

Date: 2011-02-20 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thegeminisage.livejournal.com
Ohhh, I really liked this. As someone who may or may not be asexual I think it was fantastically well-written and I appreciated that it was from Sheik's POV.

Date: 2011-02-20 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2minstobelgium.livejournal.com
As someone who is, thanks :) And it does seem to work nicely!

Date: 2011-02-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skaldadottir.livejournal.com
This is the sweetest thing. When Link asked "Even though I'm not normal?" my stomach twisted.

Great way to present the idea.

Date: 2011-02-21 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2minstobelgium.livejournal.com
Link... defies convention in a lot of ways XD;; He wasn't normal amongst Kokiri, he wasn't normal amongst Hylians - and that's just his upbringing. Add in the Hero stuff and the sleeping for seven years stuff on top of that... yeah. (As a side note, I play Link at [livejournal.com profile] luceti - he loves it there, because he can be normal. He just sort of... fits in with others.)

But yeah. Thanks :)

Date: 2011-06-13 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ace-of-the-arts.livejournal.com
*squees softly* This is so...!!!!!! *smothers with hugs*

Do you mind if I make a fic rec at [livejournal.com profile] asexuality?

Date: 2011-06-13 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
*smothered!*

I'm glad you liked it! Sure thing, link me when you're done? :D

Date: 2011-06-13 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ace-of-the-arts.livejournal.com
Link (http://asexuality.livejournal.com/840563.html) :)

Date: 2011-06-13 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Thanks :)

Date: 2011-06-13 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pfmoi.livejournal.com
I followed the link about Link. :D See what I did there? *gets bricked* Anyway, I don't really know the Zelda fandom, but I like the way you did this story. It's sweet and earnest and just darned cute.

Date: 2011-06-13 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Hee XD Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed, even if the setting was unfamiliar :)

Date: 2011-06-13 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-first-chibi.livejournal.com
I also followed the link from the Asexuality com. Nice story. I'm not a big Zelda fan, but i've lurked in and out of the fandom for a few years.

I really liked it. I wish more people responded in real life like Sheik did here ^^

Date: 2011-06-13 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Thank you! :) And heh, that'd be nice. Good thing about fiction, huh... I'm glad you enjoyed :)

Date: 2011-06-13 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] babycharmander.livejournal.com
Linked from the ace comm as well! I don't usually read Zelda fic, but the way you wrote Link was too cute. XD Man, though, when he brought up the thing at the end about not feeling normal, I felt so bad. D: I can relate.

...This is probably kindof a dumb question, though, but of the Zelda games I've played, I've only beaten OoT, and it's been a while since I've played it... But I thought Sheik and Zelda were the same character? Iunno, maybe I'm remembering wrong. >>; That was the only thing that confused me when I was reading this, eheh.

Date: 2011-06-13 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Thank you! And yeah, Link is kind of... well, he defines convention, especially in Ocarina. And he's only human (er... sort of XD), so I could see him being a little insecure about it.

And that's, uh, complicated XD Sheik's exact identity is sort of... really ambiguous? We see Sheik, flash of light, Zelda, and we don't get any explanation for it. He's identified both inside the game and outside as male, and the official art definitely looks like someone who's physically male, not a girl in drag. Plus, he and Zelda both respond differently to similar scenarios (Link being in danger), and he has abilities that she doesn't have and which would have been really useful (his jumping/teleporting/whatever it is skills, which would have been useful when Zelda was trapped in a ring of fire in Ganondorf's castle). Plus, in the official manga, he's stated to explicitely have a seperate consciousness.

Basically, tl;dr, it's hard to tell XD

Some people writing Sheik as Zelda in disguise, others as a seperate consciousness with a shared body, others as a completely seperate person. (I've done all three XD) I wrote a whole lot more here (http://ryttu3k.deviantart.com/art/Sheik-contemplation-129189123), if you're curious on the details! I'm, uh, really good at tl;dring on this subject XD

Date: 2011-06-14 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] babycharmander.livejournal.com
Oh wow, that's a long ramble. XD But I do the same thing, so no worries! Pretty interesting read. :>

I always figured that Sheik was Zelda in drag, but after reading your ramble there I guess that can't be right. Oo; But I personally still think they're the same character--Zelda just using magic to change herself into Sheik. (As for the Brawl thing, I think the "unique character from Zelda" thing is more referring to the fighting style. Kindof like how Samus can change, I think? ...Does her fighting style change? *forgot, since she doesn't play as Samus* >>;) Also, the thing with Zelda and Sheik reacting differently to danger might be Zelda trying to keep up the disguise, maybe? (Again, it's been a while since I've played OoT... I should remedy that soon.)

In any case, all of your other arguments are good. :> I kindof skimmed the last few though because aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa those are some stupid arguments from the other side (the "ZELDA IS LESS AWESOME IF SHE IS NOT SHEIK" and other things, not your arguments).

Date: 2011-06-14 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
I'm terribly good at tl;dr, hee. And yeah, the idea does work, but the differing danger reactions... I don't know. If your friend's life was in danger, you wouldn't be putting on an act. Fem!Sheik fans even use that as an argument - "When Sheik got thrown down the stairs, his/her shout was female! That means she wasn't putting on an act!" Well, Sheik's voice is still deeper than Zelda's, and guys can have higher voices, and why wouldn't the same go for behaviour?

But I think that's one thing that won't actually ever be specified XD

Samus's fighting style changes a LITTLE, but not hugely. It's more like how she'd act if, well, she didn't have a huge armoured suit on, whereas Sheik and Zelda fight NOTHING alike. Sheik uses weapons and physical attacks, Zelda uses magic. Now, the physical attacks could just be because spandex is easier to fight in than dresses, but there's absolutely nothing to stop Zelda using Sheik's throwing needles if necessary, and Sheik never uses magic attacks.

And thanks :) Heh, some of the arguments do make me facepalm, seriously. "Sheik has a female voice actor, she must be female!" So half the male anime and video game characters are secretly female, then? o.O (Goku is just my favourite example, because a) he's REALLY obviously physically masculine, b) his voice is pretty similar to Sheik's, and c) they like bringing up Sheik's lack of bulge - the same series has Vegeta, who also has a spandex outfit, and no visible bulge there. It's just a convention.)

...A-anyway. I'm tl;dring again XD

Date: 2011-06-14 12:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] babycharmander.livejournal.com
Ooooh, okay, I see what you mean for that. Good point, then.

Maybe the different fighting styles were for variety, then? I suppose it doesn't matter much, though, since Brawl isn't exactly 100% canon. XD

Also, what I find funny is the "OoT is an E-rated game so it wouldn't have genderswap stuff in it!!" argument. There's the stuff you covered, but there's also this--the Wizard of Oz books. They're obviously for kids, but in The Land of Oz, there's a major plot point in which one of the main characters finds out that he's actually a girl, and that he was changed into a boy when he was very young in order to protect him. Then, later on, he gets turned back into a girl. If the Oz books, which are definitely for kids, can have a gender-swapped character, I don't see why OoT, which has some VERY not-for-kids elements, can't.

Date: 2011-06-15 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Yeah, true! Brawl is sort of... its own canon XD I do love Brawl!Sheik, but she isn't TP canon, and just... the whole premise is non-canonical XD

Right, and anime and video games and cartoons have used body-swap stuff before. Frequently for laughs. And dude, the entire existence of the Shadow Temple and beneath the well is probably grounds for a T rating! Not a body transformation that takes place in a flash of light. The Majora's Mask transformations are WAY more traumatic, why doesn't anyone say, "Oh, no, Link was just wearing a... a rock suit! Yeah! With padding and stuff!"? XD

Date: 2011-06-19 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sargent-snarky.livejournal.com
:) This made me really happy to read, because it's so very rare to find any stories like this in or out of fandom. I (also) really like that it's from Sheik's perspective, too, because it's sort of like ours of Link in the game: sure, we're following him and with him every step of the way, but we don't really know his thoughts unless he shows or tells them to us in some way.

Date: 2011-06-19 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryttu3k.livejournal.com
Thank you! And heh, there is a bit of a dearth of them, huh? And... hee, I didn't really think of it like that, but that works too XD

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