It's the third time in four days that Link has found himself back at Zora's Domain and as he walks from the Ne'ez Yohma Shrine to the statue of Mipha, he finds Sidon standing there and waiting.
Sidon greets him with an easy smile and a, "Link. I thought you might come to visit today. Oh—not that I was expecting it! Or waiting for you! But you're here, and it's good to see you again so soon."
Link smiles, already feeling himself relax a little in Sidon's presence. In a surprisingly short time, Sidon has become incredibly familiar. Perhaps as a result of fighting alongside each other, and it's comforting in a world that is full of things that Link should remember, but doesn't. He likes the way Sidon speaks; the way he always talks louder and faster as he gets excited. Sidon is reassuringly earnest and Link knows that it's the familiarity and comfort that keeps bringing him back here, just the same as he knows that it's not the only reason.
Sidon suddenly straightens, turning to Link. "Where are my manners? You're here to rest. Come with me."
He places a hand on Link's shoulder and the size and weight of it is reassuring. Link nods appreciatively and lets Sidon guide him over the winding paths and bridges of Zora's Domain, then down to the water.
It makes sense that a Zora would find the water relaxing. Sidon always finds the deepest pools to bring Link to and these days, being near the water has become more calming, just from the association. Link stands on the edge of the stone, watching as Sidon steps into the water. The Zora, amphibious as they are, were made to be in the water and Link can see it every time in the shift of Sidon's body as he floats. For all that Sidon is confident and charming on land, it's something else entirely in the water. He's one with everything around him, as sure of the currents as he is of himself, like his entire environment is an extension of his own body.
"Are you ready?" Sidon asks, holding his hand out to Link.
Taking it, Link notes just how much smaller his hand is, and thinks to himself that this is exactly what he needs right now. He settles on Sidon's back and feels each movement of his muscles under cool, slick skin.
He thinks of Mipha, but his memories of her are only of the gentle relief of her healing magic and the warmth of her friendship. He doesn't remember touching her and wonders if she would have felt softer. Sidon's scales are tough, scarred in places from previous battles, and Link doesn't realise he's running his fingers along a particularly prominent scar until he feels Sidon shudder under the touch. It makes him snatch his hand away apologetically, but Sidon only chuckles quietly.
"It's fine, Link. I just wasn't expecting it. You can continue. Only if you want, of course."
Splaying his fingers out, Link covers most of the scar with his hand. It could have been left by a Lizal spear, from the size of it. He winces at the thought.
"It's old," Sidon murmurs, as if he can tell what Link is thinking. "And besides, you've suffered worse."
It doesn't count, Link thinks, when he can't even remember his own wounds. He wonders, even as he's questing to recover his memories through Zelda's photos, if he would be able to handle the memory of what would have been his death, if not for Sheikah technology. Everyone who remembers him seems to think that he can. More than that, it's as if they expect him to. This is his role, after all. One that was earned a hundred years ago and written into prophecy thousands of years before that. It doesn't matter that he can't remember any of it. The responsibility of saving Hyrule falls to him, and no other.
The fate of the entire world is an incredibly heavy burden to bear.
"Link?" Sidon breaks him from his thoughts like pulling him from underwater. "You're awfully quiet today."
It makes Link huff in amusement, then again when Sidon realise what he's said and tenses.
"Not like that! I just mean that most of the time, you're so incredible—incredibly expressive—and I can tell your mood from the way you're holding my head fin. Today, all of that feels like it's missing."
Looking down at the fin in question, Link realises that he's let go, and that Sidon has stopped swimming. He should have noticed both things much sooner.
"You're tired," Sidon realises, dipping lower into the water so that Link can climb off his back, then immediately turning around. He holds Link in the circle of his arms, keeping him above the water, and brings his knees up. Link settles on Sidon's legs, grateful that he doesn't have to expend any energy to keep himself floating.
"Please, Link. You deserve to rest. Let me support you. I'll do anything for you. Anything I can to help."
Feeling bold, Link lets himself lean into Sidon's chest, resting his head against the soft scales there. He can feel the way Sidon tenses for a moment, then relaxes. Sidon rests his hand on Link's back, and that's comforting too. Link sighs, feeling the remaining tension slowly draining away.
"I can see," Sidon murmurs, so softly that his words nearly disappear into the flowing water around them, "why my sister always brightened up around you the way she did."
Link looks up, finding Sidon watching him so closely that there's barely any space between them.
"I can see," Sidon continues, tracing a finger across the waving of Link's Zora Armour, "why she made this for you.. I thought I understood through the tales I heard of you, but that was nothing compared to knowing it and feeling it for myself."
Link doesn't know if he returned Mipha's love, but knowing will make no difference now. He remembers that she made him feel safe. Now, Sidon does the same and Link needs that safety more than ever.
"Link, please relax," Sidon tells him. "I'm not helping at all, am I? How awful. I should never have mentioned my sister. I don't want you to compare us. Please don't feel obligated—"
He falls silent when Link holds a finger to his mouth. His eyes are wide, with a vulnerability that Link has only seen once before, when he caught Sidon speaking to the statue of his sister.
Link's previous feelings for Mipha won't change anything now, but his feelings for Sidon will. He wraps his arms around Sidon's shoulders, pulling himself up and smiling when Sidon meets him halfway for a kiss. It doesn't surprise him that Sidon is just as passionate with this as he is with everything else he does. Sidon sets the pace and Link is happy to let him, to simply follow along as one kiss turns into the next, until there's no hope of keeping count.
"Oh," Sidon says softly against Link's lips, sounding delighted. "This is fun."
Smiling, Link realises that this is the most relaxed he has felt since he woke. Sidon is big, comforting, and clearly eager to help Link in any way that he can.
If that means more kisses, Link doubts that either of them will really mind.