Um so Hi! I'm back! I'll go into more detail in another post, but I come bearing a gift?
This is part of my Hero of Wild Series. Here is the archive link if you want to catch up :)
“L-l-i-ink. Li- k-lee-lehn” Wild’s voice sputtered out in his throat, a flare of pain erupting and cutting him off. A water pouch was shoved in his face.
“Drink this.” Twilight stated for the tenth time in an hour; not that he minded. He supposed that reminding Wild to drink water was the least he could do for the boy working so hard in front of him.
“Liehn-” Wild’s face pinched in concentration.
“Wild.” Twilight interrupted, sloshing the water closer to the teen’s face. That seemed to snap the boy from his trance-like state. Wild gently took the water, and Twilight guessed he was overcompensating, not wanting to take his anger out at Twilight or Sky. Although Twilight appreciated it, he would have understood.
‘Thanks’. Wild signed the word quickly and nonchalantly, obviously trying to wave off his supposed failures.
“No problem.” Twilight said instead of all the things he wanted to say. Sure Wild was a great kid, but Twilight barely knew how to interact with him. The kid was an enigma, what could he say?
You uh- You’re making good progress, you know that right?” Twilight resisted smacking himself in the forehead when he
“He’s right.” Sky added, speaking up for the first time in a while. “No matter how much you don’t believe it, it’s true.”
“Yeah!” Sky raised a brow at how loudly and desperately Twilight tacked onto his comment. “You said your name, that’s a lot of progress. And I’ve only been with you guys for a week.”
‘A week to say my own name. Not even fully.” Wild signed mournfully. He didn’t want to complain, he didn’t. He was grateful for Sky and Twilight for helping him, but he was just… starting to lose hope.
“You act like it will be this hard forever.” Twilight spoke up, not allowing himself to overthink his words. “The basics are always hard. This is just like learning how to use a weapon. You’re amazing with your bow, but you had to learn the basics, right?” Wild thought that over, not registering the compliment and not mentioning the fact that he didn’t even remember learning how to use his bow. He woke up and knew how to wield his weapons. Still, he nodded.
“Not to change the subject.” Sky drew their attention his way. “Time has been understanding about us leaving everyday, but it’s been a few weeks, Wild. I’m not sure how long we can keep making excuses. The other Links won’t pry if we ask them not too… but… have you maybe considered now that you have more practice in, it might be best to tell them?” Sky had never sounded so hesitant before, but that wasn’t what Wild was focused on. He felt his entire body heat up, his heart beating in his ears as they rang.
Time? Hylia no. If Time was there when Wild was attempting to speak he was sure he would never get a word out.
Warriors? The proud captain. No, after all the steady orders and comments from the man, Wild didn’t even know how he would react. Warriors was the embodiment of confidence.
Hyrule? Wind? Four? Maybe it would be alright if they knew, but Wild certainly preferred if they didn’t.
Legend? Wild shuddered at the thought. Something about the way Legend’s calculating, icy gaze bored into him felt like the older man could look into his soul. He probably could. Legend practically oozed magic, even Wild could tell; and it wasn’t in the same way that Hyrule did. Wild couldn’t really explain the difference. It just threw him off a little.
Wild shook his head, feeling a spike of guilt at the sad looks Sky and Twilight sent each other. ‘I’m sorry I just…’
“It’s okay, Wild. We understand, promise. Just- just think about it, please. You were scared for Twilight to know, and it turned out fine. Right?” Wild bit his lip. That was a good point. Twilight hadn’t treated him differently, besides wanting to help. But having all the Links know would just be suffocating.
‘I’ll think about it.’ Wild signed, not expecting Sky's gentle smile.
“Thank you, Wild. That’s all we ask.” That was the thing about Sky. He was always kind, always patient, always gentle. Just like… well. Just like some of the people Wild had met on his journey. Wild guessed that Sky still held a storm inside, always ready to be unleashed. Wild tried to return the smile, but it turned out to be more of a grimace. The nerves in his face seemed to not be cooperating with him, the two across from him didn’t seem to mind.
“Would you like to take a longer break, or start again?” Sky asked, already knowing the answer.
‘Start please.’ Wild signed without hesitation. Sky and Twilight exchanged a fond look, before their practice began again.
“Okay, remember the way the tongue should be with the ‘L’ sound. Sky realized later that perhaps a word with an ‘L’ wouldn’t be the best place to start, but too late to start now. Wild nodded.
‘Tip against the teeth.’ Wild signed out of habit. He had that movement drilled into his head. It was doing it that was the problem.
“L-” Wild began.
“Good! That was a lot clearer than before.” Sky meant it. Wild didn’t believe it, but breaks did help. Wild was just stubborn. Just like all the Links, Sky mused. “Now the ‘i’”. Wild nodded, this was how all their teachings went, but Sky told him that habits were sometimes the best way to learn. The ‘i’ sound was the hardest part for him. Pushing the air out and forming his mouth right was hard for him.
“eh- ehe- ee”.
“Good! Now weld them together.”
“Li-Li-” Wild pushed out.
“Don’t rush yourself.” Sky chided.
“Li-Leh-Lin-Li-nk. Link.” Wild hadn’t even noticed it at first, but Sky and Twilight sure did.
“Wild!” Twilight called excitedly. Wild froze. He said it. He said it!
‘I said it!’ Wild signed, so excited that his words slurred together.
“We know!” Sky laughed merrily. Twilight reached out to ruffle the younger's hair, but froze. This wasn’t an Ordonian kid. This was Wild. Wild didn;t like touch.
“Amazing job, Wild! I told you that you could!” Sky waved his hands over his head.
“Li-nk. Lin-k. Link.” The more Wild said it, the easier the word formed in his mouth. He didn’t want to stop, he didn’t want this to end-
A twig snapped.
The three jumped up from the grass, Sky and Twilight grabbing their discarded swords, and Wild grabbing his bow.
“Stop! Stop, it’s me.” Wild’s blood went cold. He knew that voice,
“Legend! What in Hylia are you doing?” Twilight practically snarled, noticing Wild’s horrified face.
“Cool it, goat boy!”
“Everyone calm down.” Sky commanded, his firm voice sweeping over the small opening in the trees. Legend emerged from the small patch of shrubbery he was standing behind. He didn’t look like he was intentionally eavesdropping, but that didn’t matter to Wild. He heard, he heard, he heard. Was all that was running through his head.
“Look. I didn’t mean to overhear. Hyrule managed to wrangle his way out of camp and I was looking for him.” Legend’s arms crossed over his chest and Wild noticed that Legend’s eyes were gazing everywhere but at Wild’s own. “I heard you and I just… froze I guess. I wasn’t expecting it.”
‘Please don’t tell.’
“Why not?” Legend raised an eyebrow.
‘Embarrassing.’ Wild felt his cheeks heating up at even the thought of the others knowing. Three out of eight is bad enough.
“Embarrassing? How is that-” Legend cut himself off and took a breath. “Can I talk to Wild? Alone?”
“What? Why?” Twilight questioned. Wild waved in Twilight’s peripheral.
“I- If you’re positive, Wild.” Twilight glanced over at Sky.
“We’ll give you two a few minutes. We need to refill some of the water pouches anyway.” Sky and Twilight walked away, one far more hesitantly than the other, and part of Wild wished he hadn’t agreed. Okay, most of Wild didn’t want them to go. He felt Legend’s icy eyes staring into him. Wild took a deep breath, willing the blood in his ears to stop rushing long enough to hear the other hero out.
‘Please don’t tell. Please.’ Wild begged pathetically, hands shaking.
“I get it, I do. I would think the same if I were you, probably. You shouldn’t be though. Embarrassed, I mean.” Wild scrunched his nose and Legend almost laughed. Wind, Hyrule and Warriors all did that when they were contemplating something; just like Legend. His uncle used to poke the lines between his face when Legend was thinking too hard.
Legend took another breath, willing the thoughts away. Judging by Wild’s subtle eye twitch, Legend’s sigh came out far more frustrated than he meant it to.
Legend awkwardly sat down, silently inviting WIld to join him. He could see the kid glance longingly at the path that Sky and Twilight took and winced. He really did suck at first impressions, didn’t he?
“Look I’m sorry for how I acted when I first met you, but I didn’t know you and we thought we had everyone in our merry little band. I’m not gonna bite, though.” Legend sighed at himself in his head. He never could get the words out right, could he? To his surprise, the kid’s lips twitched upwards and he sat across from him. Good, so he wasn’t sensitive.
“I get it.” Legend began quietly. Wild’s brows shot up. He wasn’t good at this mushy shit, but he could at least extend an olive branch. “Not exactly what you’re going through, but when I talk, I try to say something but mean something else. I’m not the best with words that don’t make me sound like an asshole, if you haven’t noticed. Rav- my best friend, though, he always seems to know. No matter how annoying he is. I’m lucky to have him.” Ugh, ‘lucky to have him’? Whatever, he was just getting sentimental in being away from home.
Legend took another breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
“Look. All I’m saying is that we all have issues. There’s no reason to hide it.” Hylia, talk about hypocrisy. Judging by Wild’s eyebrow twitch, the other boy was thinking the same thing. “I know, I know, that’s rich coming from me.” Legend huffed, his own nose scrunching in thought. He looked up at an unfamiliar word signed by Wild.
“Don’t know that one.” Legend stated bluntly. If Wild wanted to elaborate he would.
“B-u-n-n-y.” Legend’s blood went cold. No… how did he know? Was Wild more magic than he thought?
At Legend’s look a flash of panic coursed through Wild. Hylia he really has been in the wilderness for too long, his non-existent social skills just went through the window. The only explanation he could offer was to point at Legend’s nose.
Wild was pointing… at him? His eyes? No his nose. Wait… was he saying…
“Are you… saying my nose reminds you of a bunny?” Wild’s face turned red. When Legend said it like that it sounded stupid and weird. “You little shit! You do the same!” Legend laughed, actually laughed, before tearing some grass and throwing it at Wild’s face. Wild’s look of shock was absolutely worth it. Apparently deciding that Legend was teasing and not serious, a mischievous smirk. “Don’t you dare.” Legend had the audacity to say, as if he didn’t start it. Wild quickly grabbed a handful of grass and threw it in Legend’s face.
Legend and Wild spent the next five minutes running and dashing, doing their best to get as much grass on the other as possible. Legend didn’t know why he started it, he didn’t even know the kid. Maybe he knew the kid probably needed some fun after the obvious frustration of learning to talk. Perhaps a small part of Legend knew that he could use this small respite as well. Whatever it was, this kid was going down.
If it were anyone else, Legend would have played dirty and shoved the itchy grass down Wild’s tunic. He remembered just in time that the kid hated touch. The little shit took the opportunity though, and stole Legend’s hat.
“Hey!” Legend saw a variety of emotions cross Wild’s face. The first being regret that he had made a grave mistake, that the hat had held a greater significance than he thought it did. And sure, Legend would set someone on fire if they hurt the hat, but he knew Wild wouldn;t do anything of the sort. The kid seemed to realize that, and the devilish smirk seemed to return; right before he took off to the surrounding woods.
“You little shit! Get back here!” Legend took off after him. He noticed Wild shoving something in Legend’s hat as he went. “Don’t you dare!” Legend called, only seeing a flash of a smirk before Wild disappeared behind the trees. Legend ran to catch up, only to find the kid gone.
“Where are ya?” Legend called out. Where could he be… it was too late that Legend realized that Wild seemed above average in climbing. Before he could look up, he felt a presence nimbly jump down behind him.
“Hey-” Before Legend could turn around, something was shoved onto his head. His hat. His hat filled with grass, leaves, and was that a pinecone!?
“Wild! Pleh!” Legend sputtered, desperately trying to get the grass out of his mouth that fell from his hat, freezing when he heard something he had never heard before. Wild was… laughing? He did that!? Since when? Maybe in another life Legend would be mad that the first time the kid laughed (to his knowledge) was at his expense. But damn if it wasn’t good to hear. Especially after he thought he had royally screwed everything up by overhearing the kid’s speaking practice.
“Guess I kind of deserved that, huh?” Legend let out a small chuckle as he tried to get the grass out of his hat, Wild’s laughter had settled down, but the kid still had a crooked smile on his face.
‘No.’ Wild shook his head. ‘I was…’ Wild frowned in thought. ‘S-u-s-p-i-c-i-o-u-s of you too. Not your fault.” Legend could genuinely say he was surprised for the tenth time that day. And here he thought Wild hated him. Then again, Wild seemed to be scared of everyone. Maybe scared wasn’t the right word. Skittish, maybe? Wild certainly fit for his name, Legend could only say that about his behavior.
“Hm.” Legend finished the conversation. Wild didn’t seem to mind. The two walked back in silence on the way back to the clearing. Though this time, it wasn’t awkward.
“What happened?” Sky asked incredulously, staring at Wild’s nest of grass filled hair and Legend’s grass covered tunic.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Legend claimed in a deadpan voice, almost breaking his blank face when Wild shrugged next to him. “We should probably get back to camp, before the Old Man flips his lid.” Without specifying any further, Legend began the trek back to camp. He let a smirk fall onto his face when he heard Twilight grilling Wild on what the hell happened in the small amount of time they were gone.
Legend didn’t mention the fact that Wild didn’t flinch or wince that entire time.