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It wasn't that he was angry or depressed about the transformation. Actually, on the contrary, his personal opinion contradicted the typical message he received about it. The mystical people around him -- both supernatural and not of this particular realm -- kept calling it a curse. To him, however, it wasn't much more than a slight configuration. In one light, the entire ordeal was like a new experience. He could still fight, he could still move, he could still eat, drink, and do all the usual things that he was able to do before. Attacking and defending himself from the horrors of the world, both physical and supernatural, were instincts that never left him.

Sometimes, he wondered if he had ever really changed, at all.

It was then that all of the reasons that reminded him that he wasn't human flooded his mind. Learning how to walk on four legs rather than two (along with a tail to take into consideration) was a bit harder to master then what he expected. Sensing and digging weren't much fun either, because every five seconds he would need to sneeze the dirt out of his nozzle or try to scratch out the grime underneath his claws in vain. Within' the first few moments of attacking monsters with the dual pair of teeth and fangs, he instantly missed fighting with a dependable sword. No amount of water, soup, or healing brew could drown out the taste of rotten monster flesh in his mouth, nor the odd, unnatural scent that harbored the Twilight-inhabited monsters.

In the end, however, none of that was what got on his nerves the most. What really crawled on the back of his skin was something much more different, something that had a source that couldn't be explained physically. It wasn't mental, either. At least, he didn't think it was. It was something all-together... Different. An urge of instinct, perhaps? It wasn't the action that was driving him mad, it was what was making him want to do that action. It had to be an instinct of some sort. For what purpose other than to drive the action, he didn't know.

That particular action was the ridiculous, undignified, senseless, unimportant, impractical, unproductive, meaningless scratching behind his ears.

“Quit that! Do you know how hard it is to hold on like this?!”

Oh, he almost forgot. Having a heavier-than-she-appeared twili ride on his back and painfully tugging on his ears every other second was another detriment to being a wolf.

Midna, a feisty example of what some women could turn out to be, wrapped her arms around Link's rigid neck as his entire body shook with each strike of his foot into the side of his face, behind and at the tip of his ears. It was a very small spot on his skin that irritated him, but that one spot simply itched far too much. It was as though the entire concentration of itching one's body could have at one point seemed to condense to that one spot. He had to contort his new body into an awkward and mixed position of laying down and sitting up in order to have his feet be in ironically-comfortable reaching distance of his ears, and being stuck in that particular shape for quite a long while was starting to take a toll on his joints.

“I.. I'm going to fall off! Knock it off, already!”

He supposed it made riding him harder for the desolate imp, too.

She probably said a few more complaints, but in all honesty, he couldn't hear anything except the constant 'flap'-ing noise each time his foot struck his ear.

Why, oh why in the spirit of the gods, did the itchy spot have to be in such a small, confined area like the back of his ear? It seemed that every time he managed to raise his ear with one leg-swing and then get an odd scratch in on the hard-to-reach spot, his lowered ears would then instantly fall back down to their original place on his neck. Why couldn't he be cursed as a canine with rigid ears that stuck to the top of his cranium rather than lowered, pointed ones? He was getting a scratch on the itch out of every ten tries, and as soon as he stopped itching, the tingling feeling would return seconds later.

Here he was, the next glorious savior of Hyrule, reduced to the state of a pathetic wolf, engaging in inhumane and undignified canine habits. What was the cause of this horrible deed? He thought it was perhaps a mental problem, but he scratched his neck without even thinking, so he put that in the back of his mind.

While he continued with his problem absentmindedly, he started to think. Was it really a habit? Back in Ordon, his young friend Colin would stare at an interesting spot at his feet whenever he was nervous (which was usually every other second). That only happened when he was nervous, or he went through some other emotion. With the scratches, though, Link simply did it without even thinking. What was that called? Instinct?

Well, instinct had met its match. He wasn't about to be beaten by his own species' drawbacks. Link started grazing rougher and more rigorous with each tug of his leg, almost as if he was trying to defy the fate that the itch was granting him. It was either him or the scratch. Man, or a simple prehistoric doggy problem etching back since the beginning of history.

Odds aside, he didn't take into consideration that the harder he scratched, the more his finely-framed body shook. Midna held onto his neck as tight as she could, but his body twisted itself even more, and the grip on Link's fur was beginning to weaken, causing her to slightly gasp, N-No!”

She landed with a 'plop!' onto the wet grass near the beaches of the Upper Hylia Stream, where the source of Lake Hylia began. Soaked, shaking, and visibly upset, Midna glared at her companion's pathetic form. Link, of course, was far too concentrated on his current task to notice.

The two had decided to stop at the Zora's Palace and stock up on supplies – potions, armor-repairing, tools and the like – before taking on the Snowpeak mountains. Ashei, their heart-chilled contact at Telma's Bar, was supposedly researching the area near the base of the mountain, and Midna had a good hunch that the knightly woman could help them get to the top, which the dominate twili's guts told her where the mirror shard laid.

Of course, she was always too busy jacking a ride in Link's shadow or grasping onto the fur of his back to consider that Link spent several hours a day treading through forests, habitable waters, and scorching deserts, and that each of those places contained millions of entities that could have been causing the oh-so abominable scratch on the inner part of his right ear.

“Stop that this instant!” Midna venomously spat out.

The young wolf went on scratching.

“Destroy your image later; we have work to do!”

He kept scratching.

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look right now?”

He continued scratching.

“Have you no shame? Have some self-control!”

He kept going, and it didn't look like he'd stop any time soon.

“Stupid, imbecilic dog!” it was a little meaner than she meant it to sound, but the twili was far too impatient and frustrated to care. She mustered as much force as her tiny foot allowed in order to kick the beast's side, although that did little more than slightly fluctuate the creature's frame. Link payed no attention to her, as before.

Midna, however, didn't like being ignored. She wasn't a materialistic girl; she didn't ask for much. All she needed was some tiny companionship, that's all. Before this scratch became a problem, if she ever decided to ask the young farmboy a question like, 'How are you putting up?' or 'Don't overexert yourself so soon', then he would at the least nod his head or give her a soft remark of affirmation in his own way. He didn't talk much, and she didn't like listening much; their pact worked out perfectly.

“Can't you at least stop mortifying yourself long enough to get to our destination?!” she crossed her arms and pouted, knowing full well that he wouldn't answer her even if he could.

However, twisting her head away from his pathetic form and closing her eyes in silent rebellion for a few minutes started to get slightly boring. Deciding to take measures into her own claws, the imp took a few steps forward and intensely analyzed the deed that caused so much discomfort and indignity to her wolf.

“... This spot?”

The moment her slender fingers gently brushed the thinly-wrapped flesh underneath his rigid ears, a vast, overwhelming feeling of contentment flowed through his entire being, and if he hadn't already been sitting down, Link was sure he'd fall on the spot right then and there.

Unfortunately, the end result was the same as every other time he managed to scratch that spot: an even stronger urge to itch. He had to call for every bit of self-control to keep his back foot from back-ending the imp on accident. Apparently, Midna saw Link's leg twitch, as well.

“H-Hey! Keep yourself under control for a few seconds, Fido,” after slapping his twitching leg, she grabbed his ear flap and started to look at it more thoroughly, twisting and churning the fur in between her fingers, “Hmm...”

She used her thumb to scratch the spot held in her hand, which caused a jolt from Link. A few more scratches kept him in line, and by the time Midna's sporadic itches transformed into a continuous series of constant motion of her fingers, he was in heaven.

The Twili nearly fell over when the olive wolf unexpectedly collapsed into the ground, closing his eyes in pleasure and showing the white fur patch on top of his stomach to the entire world. He looked like a dead fish that had finally floated to the surface of its aquatic home.

This is!... Midna stared dumbfounded at her supposed 'hero', this is pathetic! How could someone with as much distinction like Link just let himself be taken over by this petty mannerism? Surely, he had the morality and willpower to control himself from this sort of problem...

...But... There was something... Oddly appealing about his behavior. In the Twilight Realm, pets beyond the typical beasts that completed menial tasks deemed too petty for sentient life were unheard of. Midna never got the chance to experience having a pet to miss wanting one, but as she looked down at Link's submissive form positioned on the ground right at her feet, a foreign fuzzy feeling enveloped her cold heart. Slowly dropping down to her knees, she placed both her hands on the side of his elongated head and began to scratch, swinging her body back-and-forth for momentum.

This is pretty fun... Her mouth slowly curled into a crooked smile as she went on indulging her newfound pleasure. Link did nothing but gasp and pant in luxury, his eyelids closed in happiness.

The devious imp had no idea how much time had passed, but her aching arms and stiff joints served as reminders. Link had been panting for so long that he no longer contained any more sweat to pant out. It seemed as though he was down for the count, off and alone in a state between heaven and earth.

When she finally yanked her hands away from his neck, it felt as though they were glued to his fur; her tiny nails had made neat little indents in his gray coat. She fell from pure exhaustion as well, collapsing right into the tiny nook between Link's stomach and quadrupedal legs. She felt the tiny grass tickling her stubby legs as she rested her small hand on the white patch of fur on her belly.

What... Was that?... was the only thing that could come to the dark girl's mind. In truth, she wasn't absolutely sure what had happened in the past few minutes... Hours?... It was all a blur. She knew that seeing Link in such an embarrassing state was starting to hurt her own pride. She had a personal image to uphold, after all.

So why did she so suddenly become a little farmhand girl petting her precious pet?

Well... Midna would never admit it to his face, but ever since the two had 'made-up' and resolved their values in Princess Zelda's chambers when the royal heir selflessly gave her life to save the Twili's rapidly-diminishing own, she saw the farmboy as a loyal, empathetic friend, someone she could trust in her no-longer-personal quest to save their realms.

If she thought of it that way, then it should be no surprise that she decided to take action and help her friend. After all, he'd do the same for her if she was in that... awkward... position...

Yes... That has to be it, of course! Suddenly feeling less ridiculous from her recent action, Midna hopped to her feet, her body feeling rejuvenated and the pain in her sore arms dulling. She crossed her limbs and boastfully rose her head, styling herself in front of an imaginary crowd for her own self-assurance.

Midna suddenly stopped grinning when she felt something strange touch her arm. Well, she didn't feel it touch her arm. Her left elbow felt like it had brushed against a small bump on her right hand, at the tip of her index finger. That's weird... Midna didn't have a natural dimple there, and as far as she had experienced, her new form wasn't capable of forming zits or blemishes.

Slowly uncurling her arms, she gently rose the hand that felt the bump and held it up to her vision, curious as to what could have seemingly popped up out of nowhere on her finger.

Generally, most people dislike bugs for many numerous reasons, ranging from their multiple appendages to the simple way they move. Midna hated to admit that she disliked bugs for the very simple reason that she didn't like little tiny things that were living.

She also abhorred the fact that such an insignificant, miniscule thing had the ability to stick to her skin while simultaneously sucking her blood. So, like the devious imp aiding the proud, furry beast with the imposing deed, screaming a horrible wailing shriek that ripped through the daily air came natural.

The moment the little black bead topped with a greenish shell made itself noticeable at the tip of her finger, Midna gave a quick, startled scream. She howled so definitely that she was sure there was no other time she could recall doing so louder, and it wasn't a typical screech you'd hear from any normal girl who would be frightened by an insect; the twili's cry of distress was riddled with foreign curses and obscenities that sliced through the air and hit Link's resting form like a ton of bricks.

Whatever heavenly euphoria the adventurer was previously dwelling in had violently spat him back out into the real world, and it took Link a few moments to recollect that he was still a wolf, as he clumsily rolled around on the grass looking for a foothold.

Finding some unnatural source of strength rushing through his entire body, Link easily hopped his four-legged carcass upright, just in time to nearly have his snout struck straight across by a flying jab of Midna's right palm. That swipe was soon followed by an onslaught of similar, quick punches, swings, and blank shots in every possible direction from the distressed imp, all accompanied by the familiar cries of exasperation, “G-Get off! Get off! Stupid... Disgusting bug!” closing her eyes and looking deep within', she found a hidden source of strength herself and blindly shook her hand even faster than before with quick motions of her wrist, the need to defeat the insect before it triumphed over her clouding all other thoughts in her mind. Noticing that this technique was no more effective than the last, she tried a new approach.

“Why... Won't... You... Come... OFF?!?” she stressed each word with a powerful downward thrust of her arm. The tick, or parasite, or -- whatever it was -- didn't seem to want to come off. Her arm was starting to get tired as well, and she nearly fell to her knees in surrender. Using the psycho-kinetic energy of her helmet to grab hold of monsters, giant spiders, and the like was one thing; the very idea of actually using her other hand to manually pluck the creature off her finger was another.

Instead, a new idea popped into her head, one being a last resort where she had in mind to use the magic of her ancestors to take out both her hand and the bug (A sacrifice she was willing to make at that point), until Link finally came to her aid.

With one quick movement of his skull, he snapped his mandible around Midna's right hand that rested immobile at her side, clamped his teeth tightly against her finger, and slid his jaw down along the length of her appendage with the bug. He felt it move with the saliva in his mouth for a split moment before roughly spitting it back out into the grass below. Nobly raising a single, majestic paw in the air, Link brutally slammed his paw on top of the tiny indent within' the grass where the creature layed, curtly ending the poor monster's life.

Midna quietly turned her head to look at Link as he heroically ripped the parasite from her skin. She was so tired from rapidly flinging her arm that it took her a few seconds to actually respond to his courageous intervention. At the same time, as she adjusted the helmet atop her scalp, Link stretched his neck to face her as well, and their slit eyes met in awkward silence.

“Um...” Midna saw his wolf form's slitted blue eyes staring right back at her, as if he was trying to understand whatever was running through her mind at that point. Or maybe he was just waiting for her to say something.

Wh... Why is he just staring?... It didn't dawn on her until a few seconds later. He had saved her from a whole lot of distress. Oh, right... He's probably expecting some thanks or something...


Midna didn't make many apologies in her life prior to this; a situation that required it simply never came up, but she understood the basis of it. Giving some words of gratitude was the least she could do. Putting her hand at the back of her head and gently playing with the auburn hair between her fingers, she started thinking on how exactly she should go about doing that. This is... Harder than I thought.

“Thanks,” she blurted out as quickly as possible, shifting her head a little to the right. Fluttering with her hair suddenly became a very interesting thing to do as it started to preoccupy her mind.

Link snorted through his nostrils, almost as if he was snidely grinning about the sudden disappearance of her peppy attitude. Unfortunately, snorting outward through your nostrils when you're in such close proximity to another person's face will result in the excrements of your nose being deposited all over their face.

“Ew! D-Disgusting!...” Midna hesitantly wiped the sticky, grimy paste off her cheek with both palms, throwing the grotesque substance downwards to her right.

If she knew what was going to happen next, she would've held off wiping her face.

Not completely sure what to do after that point, Link reacted without reasoning. Opening his mouth wide and stretching his tongue far, he gave his comrade the biggest, broadest, most wettest lick he could muster from the bottom of her chin to the point where her ornamental helmet met her tiny brows, covering her face with a thick lining of slobber. That was the best way of accepting her thanks in his alternate form, he concluded. It was... Natural. Like instinct, if he had to pick a word.

H.. He just... Did he?... Was that – Would it be a...?

Essentially summed up, Midna was shocked.

... He's never gotten in one before. I'll be dog-gone if he gets the last word in this conversation!

Almost, but not too shocked for words. Midna refused to give up her supremacy. Gripping Link's left whiskered cheek a little tighter than he'd prefer, she leaned in close. So... Would that be a kiss on the lips or the cheek? it seemed like both to me.

Midna gave her proud and devious smile as she wiggled his face around with a fake tone of cheeriness, “I can think of a few ways to thank you differently, later,” she winked with a smile that said more maliciousness than benevolence.

If wolves had an Adam's Apple and could gulp, Link was sure he'd be doing so right now. His actions had gotten him in a lot more trouble than he'd prefer, lately. Stupid instinct...

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