Summary: Zelda wants to drive the train. Link thinks this is a bad idea. Sexy times!
“Cows like to wander onto the tracks this time of year, so watch out for them.”
“Slow down around turns. This passenger car tends to lean to the left.”
“Blow the whistle if you're not stopping at a station. Did you check the whistle already? Right. You did. But maybe check it again?”
“And watch out for cows. I can scare them off, but not if they sneak up on you.”
“Link,” Zelda said, turning to face him and cut off his anxious rant, maintaining her patience like a true diplomat. “I've watched you do this for years. I've listened to you tell me these things a thousand times. I talk about the spirit train so often that I've gotten multiple lectures on how it's inappropriate. I've helped you take apart the engine and put it back together. Twice. I love this train, and I know what it means to you, and I promise I won't crash your baby into a mountain.”
She offered him a calming smile, that he felt far too sick to return. She hadn't promised anything about the train exploding or about derailing it into the ocean.
She grinned. “You ready?”
“I-” He took a deep breath to bite back a groan. Anyone but Zelda and the answer would be “Hell no.” But Zelda could talk him into anything, and it was true that she cared about the stupid train almost as much as he did. She knew what she was doing and he trusted her, it was just-
If there was an accident and he lost both her and the train...
“Fine. Yes. Go ahead.”
“Alllll aboaaaard!” she shouted (mostly at him as no one else was on the train) then hopped onto her tiptoes to yank the whistle chord twice, letting off two, sharp blasts heard through Castle Town. He hurried to steady her, a hand on the small of her back. She eased the train forward, letting it chug and chug and chug, gradually building momentum as they pulled away from the station.
Link held himself back from putting a stop to all this. He held himself back and listened with held breath for any noise that sounded out of place, for any signs that he should grab her and leap off the train before it erupted into a ball of fire and shrapnel. He fidgeted, not knowing where to put his hands when he wasn't driving.
Surprisingly enough, she didn't immediately barrel full speed ahead as he was expecting, letting out a whoop as the wind whipped back her hair, and throwing her arms out to let the train careen into a pit. She still grinned like crazy and bounced every now and then on the balls of her feet in excitement, but she took her job seriously. She did everything right as they passed a sign telling them to slow and made a gentle left turn before building up speed again. Her eyes scanned the horizon and then checked her map, plotting out their journey and getting the track switch ready.
“It sticks. Be careful.”
“I know. Just-” Her brow creased as she frowned, pressing her weight against the switch, but not quite able to get it to budge.
He reached around her to take hold of it as well, wrapping his hand around hers and adding his own strength to help her. With a jerk, it clanged to the right, and Zelda squeaked as though she'd broken it, then stared at the upcoming turn with wide eyes, biting her lip as they made the track change with ease.
“I- I did it!”
“You did.” And honestly, he was impressed. Proud even. He smiled down at her and she beamed up at him, her eyes the color of the ocean.
Then she blushed and turned away, making a minor adjustment to their speed and pretending to look for cows.
And suddenly he was very, very aware of how close she was, how her back pressed against his chest, how her hair brushed against his jaw, how his arm had wrapped around her waist – and when had that even happened? His hand was firm against her stomach, and he didn't press harder, he didn't spread his fingers, he just felt it more, as if all his nerves had come alive. He felt her breath coming in excited jerks, even until it was deep and heavy. He felt the stiffness of her spine, as she tried to hold herself still and not lose the contact they had, as she tried to feel that more-ness too without being too obvious. She tried to hold herself still, but the train swayed and chugged and she had to lean with it just as he did.
If he held his head just so (inclined towards her), and she held her head just right (with her chin held high) his nose brushed just below her ear and her jaw clenched and her eyes grew heavy as she tried to hold something in. He held himself back from nuzzling her, from taking a deep, deep breath, and averted his eyes out the window.
Had the engine car always been this small? Certainly not when they were children. Certainly not when Zelda didn't have corporeal form.
She made another perfect track switch, and he helped her pull the switch back to the left, just giving a little extra push when she nearly had the hang of how much force was enough without breaking it. She let her hands linger. He kept them covered with his own just a moment too long before he pulled away and cleared his throat.
Zelda was unusually silent through it all. No constant chatter or laughter or questions. He decided to pretend that it was because she was concentrating.
Had the engine car always been this warm?
When Castle Town inched into sight again across the horizon, that furrow in her brow crept once more onto her face. She slowed the train down, then with a long hiss of steam eased it to a stop.
They were still in the middle of nowhere, and he didn't see anything worth stopping for. Maybe she wanted to roll around in the grass or pick flowers. Maybe she'd spotted a raccoon that was going to give her a magical quest, or maybe this was the entrance to a new hidden dungeon and the real reason she'd dragged him out here was to investigate.
Instead, she turned and frowned at him.
“Are you really not going to kiss me?”
“We're alone for the first time in months, there's no one within five miles, and I could cut the tension in here with a butter knife. So you should kiss me now.”
He stared at her. “I-” He closed his mouth and ran his tongue over his lips, running a hand through his hair under his hat, hoping to buy himself some time to think even though time wasn't helping it make sense.
Zelda huffed. She grabbed the collar of his shirt. She jerked him down to seal her lips over his.
She held fast until he stopped spluttering, until he could feel the warmth of her lips against his, until he could feel the determination inside her. Then she pulled back and watched him as he held his whole body stiff, not daring to move.
“Zelda,” he breathed, and it sounded far too pleading for his liking - begging her to stop or begging her to give him a chance to try it again.
The corner of her mouth quirked. “Link?”
He took her face in his hands and kissed her, his worn gloves smelling of coal and hard labor, leaving a dark smudge across her cheek bone. He'd held himself back for years, bottling up his affection and desire, letting it seep out in gestures big and small that he could cover under the guise of friendship and simple loyalty – gestures that were obvious to everyone. He let it all free now, like an avalanche, like the sea, so wild and thrilled he hoped it wouldn't frighten her. He sunk into her little mew of happiness, grabbing at it and surrounding himself in it, wanting more and more and more.
Her hands found his wrists, holding him in place, urging him on, and his fingers slipped into her hair, which was so fine that it snagged against his gloves.
She slipped an arm around his neck, still holding the front of his shirt in a fist, pulling him forward until her back hit the controls. He followed her, stripping off his gloves as quickly as he could and tossing them to the floor so he could take her in his arms again, so he could feel the delicate curve of her shoulder blades and the soft drape of her dress under his palms. A moment later, she knocked his hat to the floor too, her fingers splayed wildly in his hair.
He pushed her back against the control panel until she was perched on the very edge, clinging to him to keep her balance. She wriggled, nudging against the track switch pressing into her thigh trying to find room and then not really caring for the discomfort. He threw the switch to the side, heedless of its grinding protest at being used improperly, and pressed forward, pulling her close and leaning her back, bracing himself with one arm as he marked her every curve into his memory, noting each spot that made her gasp, each plane that made her hand twist and tighten in his shirt.
She pressed kisses across his face – the corner of his mouth, his cheek, his jaw. Warm and bright like the sun. Like she was leaving little bits of her soul against his skin. He shivered as she nipped his ear, letting out a shaky breath, and he could feel her grin before she nipped again with more certainty.
Her kisses changed as she made her way down his neck. Not quite sloppy because nothing Zelda did was sloppy, but deeper, hotter, unrestrained. Her lips parted and her tongue pressed against his pulse point. She sucked at his skin and pulled at his shirt for better access to his collar bone, burning to touch more of him.
She might have just continued kissing over his clothes and across his shoulder, but her back arched as his hand brushed her breast, her head thrown back and eyes squeezed closed, her little pants building into whimpers. She pushed against his hand, her nails digging into his back, into his arm, searching for purchase, trying to stop his teasing as he touched her too softly, too too gently to be satisfying. He trailed circles with his thumb, around and around and around, feeling the uneven rise and fall of her chest, watching her beautiful face overcome with need until he could barely stand it himself and buried his face against her neck.
With a growl, she grabbed his hand and pressed it more fully against her, gasping as he held her completely, warm and prefect in his palm. His fingers grew more bold, less in need of her guidance as they rubbed deeper, and she choked on his name and reached back with fumbling fingers to unhook the clasp of her necklace and let it fall somewhere with a clatter. She pulled his face down with a tug on his hair, and tilted her head, inviting him to the newly exposed flesh that smelled so good and tasted so much like home.
Then he was kissing her, inhaling her sharp breaths, and he was pulling her thigh around his waist, and his hand was in her hair, so soft it reminded him of her spirit form, of how she floated, how her voice reverberated in the little engine car the way her moans did now. She clawed at the buttons on his blue shirt, tugging the tails free of his pants. And he searched frantically for the buttons on her dress, quickly giving up to shove her mess of skirts up around her waist instead, to hold her hips tight against his and feel every inch of stocking on her legs. Her hands slipped into his shirt, trailing over his undershirt, across his chest, over his shoulders and down his back, setting every part of him she touched alight. Her touch slipped down to his abs, making the muscles jump beneath her fingers, making his hands clench in the back of her dress and against her thigh.
Her hips rocked against him, instinctively at first then more deliberately as his hands found her waist and they built up a rhythm, the pleasure building like a furnace inside him until he was sweating and trembling and leaving teeth marks on her shoulder, until she cried out and fought for something to grab onto, to ground herself as she was overcome.
The train gave a lurch beneath them.
She squeaked and he dropped protectively over her, shielding her with an arm, his legs uncertain as the train lurched again. It gave a painful shriek and a burst of black smoke and he snapped up, scanning for attackers, checking the controls.
And Zelda's flailing had somehow thrown the train back into gear without taking off the breaks.
He fixed it quickly, checking three different gauges to assure himself the train was alright, before he groaned and rubbed his hands vigorously over his face, now smudged with pink lipstick.
Zelda sat up carefully, trying to force her breath to even while straightening her skirts and hair, trying to look more regal and proper than she had any right to look with her lips kiss swollen and her eyes so dazed and bright.
Silence stretched between them before she said, “You're never going to let me drive again, are you?”
He laughed. And a moment later she laughed too, hopping up to slip her arms around his chest and bounce up for another kiss.