“Huh,” Twilight sighed. “Are you sure about that? Because as far as I know, that’s a long way from fine.”
Warriors sneezed into his sleeve, cold catching up to him in the, well, cold . Twilight’s bandaged hands nursed his hot chocolate, and the two watched their danger-prone companions through the lodge’s greasy window. If the other patrons noticed Warriors’ slightly scorched sweater and a stray splotch of blood on Twilight’s jeans, they kept to themselves. Or you know, it was the watchful eye of Malon that glared at any who dared approach her boys.
Their imprisonment, as Warriors had taken to calling it as he lounged dramatically on the threadbare couch, had been upgraded to much better accommodations. Those being a rather smallish cafe at the front of the ski lodge, but at least they could watch their friends, even if Malon had put them in timeout. (“Mom, I’m in college. ” “Yeah, and yet you still had the brilliant idea to punch your fist through a window so we can’t all get what we want.”)
And so they found themselves watching Wind crash directly into a tree no more than 10 feet away from the starting point, all because he was too preoccupied with waving at Warriors.
As the boy pulled himself to his feet, grinning and shaking out a metric ton of snow from his clothes, Warriors repeated himself. “See? He’s fine.”
“Mhm, sure,” Twilight groaned. He picked at the bandage as Sky stopped to help Wind get going down the hill again.
A long, boring thirty minutes later, the group that had been lucky enough to not be placed under house arrest had cycled the slope more times than Warriors could count and he was getting antsy. Malon had wandered back to their rooms - it was a miracle that no one had noticed the the broken window or the fire and kicked them out yet, but hey, he wasn’t complaining, they had good hot chocolate - and Warriors cast a glance towards the dozing Twilight as he slowly stood up.
He made it no more than three steps closer to the door when Twilight mumbled from behind him. Turning, he caught the tail end of Twilight’s glare as he said, “You better not.”
“I better not what?” Warriors grinned, inching the door open. On the tracks outside the window, he noticed Wind’s swing was approaching. His smile grew.
“You better not directly disobey my mom’s rules-”
“Too late, already doing it~” Warriors singsonged, already strapping on skis on the porch.
“- for the second time in one day.” He leapt off the porch to wave to the group loading off the lift, leaving Twilight to sigh in exasperation once again. In the corner of his eye he noticed a second pair, conveniently in just his size. His eyes flicked back to the grinning Warriors, who waved him over. “Well.”
Wind joined in, frantically jumping, Warriors’ borrowed scarf billowing behind him.
“Guess this might as well happen.”
“You know they’re gonna leave immediately, right?”
“And you’re okay with that?”
“Just making sure. You want hot chocolate?”
“Whoa, Malon let you guys go?” Wind practically sparkled as he bounced in place.
“How nice you to join us, shithead,” Legend muttered.
“Right, fuckface?” Warriors said happily. “Now what are we doing?”
“Well, I’d assume skiing but there’s always a chance I’m wrong and we all just decided to wear skis for the heck of it,” Hyrule said, arms splayed out to balance him as he slid by.
Considering none of them had ever gone skiing before, it actually went surprisingly well. It didn’t take long for Twilight and Warriors to get up to speed with what little techniques the others had learned, and soon enough they were shooting down the mountain. Multiple whoops of glee went up, punctuated by a shout of alarm. They slowed, looking around to figure out what was wrong, only for Hyrule to suddenly veer off into the forest instead of stopping.
“HYR- and he’s gone. Well, fuck,” Legend groaned.
A concerning slam was heard off in the distance. Eyes wide, Legend rushed off after him - well, as rushed as he could be while also dealing with large, unwieldy planks strapped to his feet.
Wild pulled up behind them, brandishing - the chainsaw from earlier?
“Wait- what, where did you get that? Didn’t Malon confiscate that?” Twilight did a double take at the literally flaming chainsaw that Wild had somehow procured once again.
“Yup! That kid over there grabbed it for me.” Wild grinned maniacally.
Out of the corner of his eye Twilight thought he noticed a small figure slip off into the forest, but before he could comment Wild tugged him off into the woods. The six that remained stumbled off after Legend’s retreating figure, periodically face planting into the snow and falling victim to various other shenanigans. Eventually Legend huffed and came to a stop.
“We should split up,” Twilight called, panting from the tedious trek.
“Fine, I’ll go this way, you all can fuck off.”
“Yeah, uh, how about no.” Twilight sighed again - it was just turning out to be one of those days, wasn’t it. “Legend, Wild and I will go with you because Wild’s the only one who has his phone on him, and you four should stick together too. We don’t want to get even more lost.”
Suffice to say, they got more lost.
“If it’s really hurting you, I can get off.”
“No, no I’m fine.” Wind’s ski smacked Warriors in the face once again, and he grinned through the flinch. Wind bounced upon his perch.
“Hyrule!” he shouted again. Sky and Warriors winced and Four clapped his hands to his ears. “HYRULEEEEE!”
“Ohhh-kay, maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Seems all Wind’s doing is scaring the birds.”
A wave of birds shot up from the brush, and dived at Wind’s precarious position on Warriors’ shoulders. With more than a few squawks - both human and avian - the duo went sprawling into the snow drifts.
“Wild!” Twilight called. “WILD!”
“What the fuck are you doing?” A revving engine crackled through the woods. Legend hiked his shoulders up closer to his ears and shivered once again.
“If I have to stay out here a minute longer than I have to I’m gonna lose it so Wild, if you would knock it off- “ Legend spun and stopped in shock. “Uh.”
“What’s wrong guys? We gotta get past this log somehow.” He revved the chainsaw once again, flames bursting from the spout.
“Yeah, but that’s by no means our only optio- aaand he’s already doing it. Why do I even try?” Twilight deadpanned.
An ominous thud echoed through the forest. A shower of snow cascaded from the trees. In the corner of his eye Twilight caught another flicker of a dark figure dart through the trees. Or - no, wait, it was probably just a branch, right?
“Wild…” Legend started. “What did you do?”
“Um. Nothing?” He cringed, accidentally turning the still flaming blade up toward the tree tops. They sparked to life, embers dancing around the newly exposed branches, only faltering at the most stubborn of snowbanks.
A second thud.
A growing crash thrummed in the distance, from the top of the mountain.
The flames raced up to meet it.
The boys raced to escape it.
In the distance, Warriors heard a shout.
“I wonder if they’re alright,” Sky mused. Behind them Warriors noticed a low hum that was quickly growing louder. Odd, it sounded almost like-
Legend raced past, positively screaming his head off. They stared after the retreating figure as the hum grew to a crescendo behind them.
“Huh, guess all those years of Track really paid off for him,” Warriors muttered as he turned slowly to come face to face with a wall of snow. “Oh.”
“Yeah, now seems about the time to run,” Sky said, and booked it. The others followed suit.
“I sense a disturbance in the force.”
“Do you honey?”
“They’re doing some stupid shit again aren’t they…” Time trailed off.
At the door they heard a knock.
A good 15 minutes later the intrepid band of rabble rousers found themselves thoroughly scattered through the wintergreen forest, much to Twilight’s growing concern.
The snow itself had settled, thank Ordona, but he was still stranded all by himself in the middle of the woods… which was not ideal. It wasn’t so much him he was worried about, he could handle himself fine, it was more so-
With a loud crash and more than a few broken branches, Warriors crashed back into his life in an implosion of tree debri and cursing.
Speak of the devil. (Or one of them).
“Twilight? Legend...?” Wild called, voice ringing in the stagnant air. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He fished around for it. Maybe he could call Time- no. It was a Pokemon Go notification and he still had no service. Dang.
“Hyrule?” he called out again. He turned to head back the way he thought he had come though. He was thoroughly lost, being swept up in an avalanche and all. “HYR- oh. Uh.” He blinked at the wall of flaming trees that faced him. “That’s probably not good.”
Sky was… worried. No ifs, ands, or buts, he was concerned. Wind often referred to it as his “Parent Energy.” He’d been wandering aimlessly for more than a few minutes now, and the suspicious lack of panicked screeches or loud crashes was starting to get to him - it was a little disappointing how routine their catastrophes had become.
Or exciting, a small voice in the back of his head whispered.
Oh hush, a crack fic isn't the time for being philosophical, another one echoed back.
A twig crackled behind him. Sky jerked out of his stupor and turned slowly, catching a glimpse of a small red feather disappearing behind a bush.
“Hello?” he said softly, peeking under the dense leaves.
“Hullo!” the small mouse like creature chirped back. Sky smiled.
“Oh! Four told me something about you guys, you’re an, uhh, pi-”
“Oh, right.” Sky flushed, the chill in the air finally catching up to him.
“Who’s Four?” the creature chirped. The small figure was clad in a surprisingly well tailored yellow jacket, and the thick fur around its hood made Sky ache for his own, tragically lost in the avalanche.
“He’s my friend, I’m looking for him. Have you happened to see anyone else recently? We all got a bit lost, and there’s a lot of us.”
“Hmm, I can’t say I have,” they chirped. “Although, there was that one person - but that was a while ago, and you probably don’t know them. But I could help you look!” The minish scuttled up his offered sleeve and perched itself on his head. “I’m Aitari, who’re you?”
“I’m Sky, it’s very nice to meet you!”
“So you’re telling me, Wild caused a fire that caused the avalanche that got us all mixed up. With the goddess-damned flamethrower.”
“Well, that tracks,” Warriors reverse gasped. ( A certain someone is unfortunately realizing that there may be an issue with reusing the same word over and over, and is very grateful to another certain someone for their veritable big brained moment.)
“Yeah, to be honest I don’t know what we expected.”
“Seems like we might have a pal in that mental institution.” Warriors laughed, almost stumbling over an unfortunately placed branch in his way.
Twilight shoulder checked the buffoon, sending him careening over the branch. “Oops,” he shrugged.
“Hey! A man has fallen into the river in LEGO City and this is how you treat him? Blasphemy. I can’t believe you Twi, I thought we were friends,” Warriors pouted.
As he stood, he flung a handful of the quickly melting snow up towards Twilight’s disheveled hair. Twilight sputtered, and soon enough the two were engaged in a snowball fight for the ages.
“Oh! Hello, you’re back early.”
“Yeah, I got a little lost. Ooooo, is that hot chocolate?”
“I miss Dot,” Four groaned, cradling an armful of Minish closer to his body. “It’s cold and I’m lost and they’re all gone too, I miss having friends who are competent.”
One of his new companions snickered, and scuttled up his sleeve to perch on his shoulder. He’d recruited them in his quest to find his friends just a few moments ago, there was a surprisingly high minish population in this forest, for some reason.
A few fruitless minutes of search left him discouraged, but he trudged on, wisecracking to his newfound army of Minish. Their extra sets of eyes weren’t much - especially considering they had no idea who they were looking for and instead found it helpful to call out every stray leaf and branch… after he had already tripped on it - but it was better than nothing, and their company was welcome.
He didn’t find much time recently to talk to his friends among the library Minish, much less the other groups. This impromptu meet and greet was a treat for both, and they bombarded him with questions about his life in the “city” (as they seemed to believe him to be such a worldly traveler). They seemed to be surprisingly interested in his best friend, and he soon found himself waxing nostalgic about Dot and their slightly more sane misadventures.
They wandered for a while, his growing collection of giddy Forest Minish dripping out of his arms and more than a few perching atop his head. In the distance he heard a quiet muttering, jerking his head towards the noise failing to assuage his concerns. Minutes later, he heard a different voice, followed by a round of squeaking, not unlike the noises coming from his own excitable ensemble, who still seemed to be obsessed with his tales of “the lovely maiden Dot.” He turned around a particularly misshapen tree to find - Sky, with his own veritable army of Minish scattered about him, a semi circle of infatuated creatures clustered about his feet.
“Sky! Finally, I thought I’d be wandering around forever!” He paused for a moment, gawking at the herd.
Sky’s eyes followed his as he exclaimed, “Four!”
He stood and went to hug his shivering friend, before pausing as to not squish his armful of small friends. He giggled at the small colony that clung to Four’s hair.
“I-I didn’t know you could see them?” Four questioned. “How?” He let those still in his arms down, and the cluster on his head and shoulders scampered down with them.
“Oh, was I not supposed to?” Sky looked sheepish as he rubbed the head of a small yellow clad Minish on his own shoulder, before it scampered down with the rest of Four’s. “I dunno, I just ran into Aitari here while looking for you all, and, well…” He trailed off, glancing at the small cluster that Four’s own gang had formed. A rushed whispering weaseled it’s way “It kind of spiraled out of control from there. They all wanted to hear about Sun for some reason.” He smiled, “But it’s good to know you’re okay!”
“Yeah, you too! But that is strange,” Four mused. “These rascals all wanted to hear about Dot…”
Yet another loud crash rang from behind him. They spun, only to see a large branch dividing the two groups and loud shouting coming from both sides. A twig flew through the air, taking down multiple minish on Sky’s side of the clearing.
“What in the world?” Four blinked, as the yellow-clothed Minish charged up and over the debri laden field, a battle cry as threatening and it was high pitched echoing from its mouth. “A-are they fighting?”
“I have no idea.” The two gaped at the comedic carnage, Minish falling dramatically left and right, slain by the most violent of weapons, pine needles.
“That was… sudden.”
“Are we there yet?”
“What? No? We don’t even know where we’re going, why are you asking that?” Twilight deadpanned, pausing his laborious trudging to stare at Warriors.
“I don’t know, sounded funny,” he muttered, winking at Twilight as he spun back around and- slammed directly into a tree.
Twilight winced. “Geez, that is happening a lot today, isn’t it.”
“Owww,” Warriors hissed, rubbing his bonked head as he took Twilight’s offered hand and stood. “I thought for sure that tree was- Who is that?” He paused, and pointed at the retreating figure.
Twilight whipped his head towards the quickly fading speck as whoever it was darted off into the treeline. “What?”
“It's that kid from earlier! Who gave Wild his flamethrower back! I think he pushed me!” he sputtered.
“Well, he’s the only person we’ve seen so far, so-”
And Warriors raced past him, the two peeling off into the woods as the fleck of dark purpley-blue swerved between the trees.
“For Sun!” cried the yellow minish, valiantly diving off the branch and on top of one of her fellow minish
“For Dot!” cried another, thrusting out his makeshift blade - it was literally just a pine needle - in a dramatic arc.
“For Hylia!” Wind cried out, crashing into the clearing with his own band of- oh, no, wait, those were actual children, not the metaphorical ones acting out their battle of futility before their very eyes. A new throng flooded the clearing, a gaggle of babbling preteens wandering after their very excitable leader. The minish scrambled to flee, barely missing being crushed, or worse, held, by the ebullient crowd.
“There go the minish, they never stood a chance…” Four muttered, watching forlornly as they scampered off into the woods once again.
Sky gave him a strange look as he pulled Wind into a hug and began interrogating the boy on where were you? and who the hell are all these children?
Warriors was really starting to get sick of trudging through the woods. The spooky noises putting him on edge didn’t help either. Behind him Twilight hissed, cradling his still injured hand closer to his chest as they slowly made their way towards where they thought the figure had disappeared.
Alright, that’s enough, he decided, and yanked half-dead limb from a nearby tree. “Ow,” he winced, as he adjusted his grip, “Ow, ow, ow.”
“Warriors? What the fuck?” Twilight stopped dead in his tracks, staring at the massively bad decision Warriors was making right before his eyes.
“Don’t worry Twilight, I’ll protect you!”
“No, you dumbass, you’ll only get more hurt!” And as if he jinxed it - or subscribed to a much more literal interpretation of knock on wood - the branch promptly disintegrated, leaving a very distraught Warriors with a very not-ideal number of splinters and a guffawing Twilight.
“You know, right about now is when I’d start getting worried.”
“Hm. Well, have you thought about this?” She snuggled closer to him and lifted an arm to invite Hyrule onto the couch. “Its warm and comfy and they’ll be fine, Wild’s got his phone, I’m sure if anything bad happened to them he’d call.”
Wild stared at the still growing flames, phone dead in his pocket.
“Huh. That didn't seem to do anything. That’s… not great.”
He hoped the others were faring better on this disaster of a trip.
“Where the fuck are we?”
“How am I supposed to know, you’re the one who led us in circles!”
“Wait, wait. I’m thinking.”
“Oh no, how dangerous.”
“Oh shut up, wise ass, hoist me up this tree so we can see where we’re going.”
“Okay, four down, four to go,” Sky called out.
He strained to make sure his voice could be heard by the two bringing up the rear, one hand clutched by a very excited child shouting something about a cool sword his brother had found on a field trip, which was… concerning. But they had bigger issues, that being stumbling on a half delusional Legend. A very worried Four kept an eye on him as they walked, but he had no fucking clue what was up with him.
“Is he, uh, okay?”
“Too many trees… where’d he go…” Legend muttered.
“Yeah, I have no fucking clue what’s up with him,” Four confirmed. “We should probably try to head back, we’re only going to get more lost. Legend, we’re gonna head back to the lodge now.”
“Yes, I am Legend.”
“Ooooooh, that’s probably not good,” Wind called out, fending off his own barrage of children clinging to him, despite the fact that he was the one who’d recruited them in the first place. “Anyway, let’s head back.” He lifted one of the smaller kiddos onto his back and began walking back the way they had come.
“Uh, Wind,” Four started.
“Where are you going?”
“Oh, the lodge? Up on the hill?”
“So you’re saying you’ve known which way to go back the entire time.”
“Then why. Did you not. Lead. Us. Back?”
“Oh, I thought we were just chilling. You know, having a snow day?”
Four muffled a scream of rage in his sleeve.
“Well, that was… not ideal.”
“You think? You almost broke your arm!”
“Oh no wait, I think I did. Wait! Shit! He’s getting away!”
A tedious, long, 10 minutes later the intrepid gaggle of children and (slightly larger) children found themselves storming the already crowded lobby. A few panicked moments in which Wind decided to get lost in the crowd later, they made their way back to their rooms. Along the way, Four noticed a rather forlorn - and singed - looking Wild trudging his own way back.
“Rough time?” he asked, and Wild peered around him at the still dazed Legend and their few lingering tag-a-longs.
“Yes, but I think I’d be more worried about Legend… What happened?”
“No idea, probably hit his head or something.”
“Hm. I mean, it was bound to happen, considering all the crashing into trees we did- sHIT.” Wild froze in place, hand raised to knock on the door. “We forgot about Hyrule!”
“Oh my- we did, didn’t we,” Sky’s eyes went wide.
“We- we gotta go back!” Wild cried, turning to go as- the door swung open.
“Hey guys!” Hyrule chirped, “Hope you had fun, I got a little stuck and came back here- didn’t I text you?” His face fell as the others stared at him. “Oh- did I forget to do that?”
“HYRULE!” Wild cried, tugging the boy into a hug as they dragged themselves back into the room. After a moment, he leaned back out to pull Legend in.
“Wait- I think I’ve got him.”
“Alright, Amber Alert, it’s nice to see you’re not dead,” Wind elbowed said easily-misplaced child as they made themselves at home.
“Oh, come on, you get lost a couple times and suddenly-”
“A couple times? Dude this is the fifth time this month,” Four groaned. “I can’t believe we had to do this again , I think this was the worst one yet.”
“Hm, nah. Pretty sure that was the museum,” Wind said, as Hyrule sank deeper into the couch.
“It’s not intentional!”
By the time Sky chimed in, all that was visible of him above the pillow he clutched to his chest were the tips of his bright red ears.
“Personally, I think it was-”
A loud crash and - the ceiling caved in. How was that ever structurally sound, Wind wondered as the dust cleared and revealed- Warriors?
Malon appeared in the doorway, Time quick on her heels.
Warriors flung himself up, smacking himself in the face with his scarf as he cried out, “I’m UP, SQUARE UP YOU DUMB SHADOW FIGURE I’M NOT AFr- oh. Hullo everyone.” He chuckled nervously, yanking Twilight to a standing position, “I think you can handle this better.”
“Oh. Uh. Well- Hi Mom. Sorry?”