Revali x Reader: Common Ground
A/N: Don’t tell me your favourite characters, I will use them against you. Both @mercer-safehouse and @blueevileye made this mistake, however, as I was feeling merciful, I wrote fluff versus angst. Have at it.
“I swear to Hylia if you don’t keep breathing down my neck, I’ll pluck off all your feathers while you sleep.”
The target is across the river, a camp of Bokoblins and Moblins turning in for the night. The path between the Dueling Peaks isn’t especially dangerous but reaching Fort Hateno before the end of the week is paramount. Large numbers of enemies are marching upon it, and between Zelda’s quest to awaken her power, these kinds of distractions are not needed. Urbosa has already taken Zelda south through Faron, while Daruk and Link plan on crossing over Mable Ridge. In all this, you are saddled with Revali, as the two of you are nearly equals in aerial combat and his ability to create updrafts makes your archery skills even more of a boon. However, of all the regal birds in Hyrule, Revali is something of a parrot singing his own praises, disparaging others with his rapid fire tongue.
“You may be quick with threats, but I’ve yet to see you actually go through with them.” Revali sneers, the tips of his feathers tickling your arms. “It’s an easy shot, what’s got you so concerned?”
“Nothing. Now, quit bothering me and scout ahead, birdbrain.”
“Rude little Hylian.”
Revali takes a step back and you hear the wind whistle around him, carrying him high into the night sky and out of sight. The moonlight provides ample light, you pull back your arm and aim for the heads of the Bokoblins, they’ll go down the easiest. The first shot hits its mark, a burst of purple and black miasma singles the death of the vermin along with a high-pitch whine. The following three shots sink into skulls, but the fourth glides over a Moblin and strikes the rock of the mountain. At least you weren’t using Bomb Arrows, but close combat has never been a strong suit; the Moblins stir the rest of their allies and a trio of Lizalfos slither out from behind a line of crates. You clumsily notch an arrow as they take to the water, running backwards onto the path. The arrows spears one through the chest, but it clamours on after you, flicking out its tongue and knocking the bow from your hands.
You yank the broadsword from your belt, reaching awkwardly for your shield before the tongue wraps around your legs. Instinct forces your sword up, blocking the Lizal Boomerangs as they crash down over you. A Moblin arrow meant for you instead takes out one of your attackers, setting a Lizalfos on fire and driving it towards the river. It doesn’t make, exploding in a puff of empurpling darkness. It’s enough of a distraction, you throw yourself up and knock a Lizalfos back, slashing once – twice – three times before it falls over. A Fire Arrows burns over your shoulder, eating through your tunic with a hiss. The last Lizalfos jumps from side to side, you finally grab your shield and meets its awkward gaze. Its mouth opens, you dodge the flick of its tongue and drive it back, jamming the broadsword deep into its abdomen, using it as a shield. The Fire Arrow sears its flesh, its claws scotch your arms like tempered blades; you fight the wave of nausea that rolls over you long enough to pull out and duck behind the other mountain. You can’t go back for the Falcon Bow, not with the threat of Fire Arrows – the Lizal Bow will have to do. You’ve still got a bundle of Bomb Arrows from Beedle, hopefully the Moblins go down fast and you can regroup with Revali. Speaking of which –
“Having trouble, Hylian?”
You don’t even see the arrows fly, just the simultaneous thuds of the Moblins dropping onto the ground. Revali glides down with a self-satisfied grin.
“Shall I collect the materials or would you like the honour?”
You chuck a Lizalfos Tail at his head, growling when he dodges and chuckles.
“I suppose I’ll have to do it. The way towards the stable is clear, by the way. You’re welcome.”
“Go suck an egg.”
Not many people have seen Rito apparently, so the staff crowd Revali as he perches on the bed fixing his precious bow. He’s regaling them with some tale of his amazing feats, drinking in the attention a preening like a songbird. You’re sitting on the floor a few feet away against the mattress of your bed, trying to avoid everyone’s eyes as you apply aloe to your burns.
You should’ve gone with Daruk. Link has so much more patience with Revali, won’t give in to the Rito’s quips and infuriatingly engaging tone. Revali has the voice of someone begging for backtalk, he seemingly always has something to say and it’s always the final word. At least Daruk would keep second guessing your abilities, the playful rivalry is fine but the nagging…
“Are you alright? You’ve been awfully quiet over there.”
“Just fine, thanks.”
“You’re sure? I was just about to tell them how we took down that Lynel in the North Tabantha Snowfield –”
“We didn’t. You did. Don’t feign modesty on my account.”
The stable goes silent, a mattress creaks and then Revali pushes through the assembly of eager listeners, leaning over to look at you.
“You’re injured? Sorry, dears, but my companion needs me.” Revali raises an eyebrow as the listeners look awkwardly between them. “Go on, shoo.”
“I don’t need you.” You protest as everyone turns away, flinching when Revali lifts your leg up and examines a burn curled around your ankle.
“You do realize a Lizalfos’s tongue is coated in a highly active acid, right?”
“…have at it, clearly you know best.” You slid the canister of burn gel over and fold your arms over your chest, refusing to meet his emerald gaze. He pulls up your pant leg with a soft sigh, dipping his feathers into the gel and gently applying it against your skin. You hiss at the initial contact, chewing your bottom lip as the burn stings. Revali pulls a roll of bandages from his pack and takes his time wrapping your ankle, tying the first knot tightly.
“Not that I mind your vitriol,” Revali says. “It’s charming, in its own strange way, but you seem…off.”
He ties the second knot tighter, leaning forward with a frown.
“Don’t lie to me, (Y/N).”
“I’m not, you’re just reading into things. Stop being so nosy, damnit.”
Revali stands up, wiping his feathers on a nearby blanket, and then digs into his pack for section of coiled rope. He grabs the cuff of your shift and hauls you onto your feet, tying the rope around your waist and proceeding to drag you outside.
“What are you doing? Quit pulling me, I’m not a dog.”
“Of course you aren’t,” Revali rolls his eyes. “Just frustratingly stubborn. Please don’t squirm, I’d rather avoid dropping you.” He ties the other end of the rope around his waist, creates and updraft, and suddenly you are far above the ground. The stable staff runs out to watch, cupping their hands around their eyes as if to see you better, but Revali keeps going higher and higher until the thin grey mist of clouds obscures you both. The moon, big and bright and far too close, seems to leer at you.
“What is your problem?!”
“I’ve been nothing but charitable.” Revali sniffs. “You’re the one being difficult.”
“Says the asshole whose flown hundreds of feet in the air with only a flimsy length of rope to keep the flightless one from falling to their death.”
“This is Sheikah-brand rope. It won’t snap and you won’t fall.”
“Then what in Hylia’s name is this supposed to be?”
Revali looks down at you, the moonlight does weird things with his face, making it seem infinitely more handsome than usual. His navy-blue feather shimmer like dark sapphires while the white edges glow like pearls.
“This is getting your full attention.”
“I’m being serious, (Y/N). You’ve been distracted and I’d like to know why.”
You look down at the surroundings forests, smaller mountain ranges, as if hoping to see any of the others close by. Revali waits, the updraft swirling strongly, breezing between your clothes and skin.
“Can we continue this on the ground, it’s cold up here.”
“I’m serious, I’m not dressed for this and I really don’t need them gawking at us.”
A fire’s been lit, the stable staff are carrying torches and walking around for a better look. Revali relents with another roll of his eyes, gliding away from the updraft and carefully bringing both of you back onto the ground. The two of you ignore the questioning gazes and return inside, reclaiming your belongings and choosing beds beside each other. Revali bends and returns your bow with a quiet nod, though before you can grab it, he pulls away and begins examining the wood. Frowning, you watch his feathers fall into the scratches and grooves, he clicks his tongue and pulls out a small container of lacquer.
“You talk.” He instructs, turning the bow over. “Honestly, this is a mess.”
“We can’t all be perfectionists, Revali.”
“It has nothing to do with being a perfectionist, but it has everything to do with being a professional. Stop deflecting.”
He shoots a glare your way before lacquering up your bow, switching his gaze between your face and his work.
“I don’t know where to start.”
“Try the beginning.” He replies dryly.
“Well, my mother loved my father an awful lot, so one night they decided –”
“Too far back. Try again.” He sighs. “Cheeky brat.”
You lean against the wall, the pillow cushioning you from behind, and sigh. Part of the worry originates with Zelda. The kingdom whispers of the princess of failure, no matter how the King ensures his people that everything is being done to stop Calamity Ganon. She’s visited the Springs of Power and Courage with no results, and as her seventeenth birthday looms, the Spring of Wisdom will finally be open to her but…
Link has the Master Sword. He is the Hero of Legend whether he likes it or not. The Divine Beasts have been mastered by their respective Champions. The Guardians have been deployed and are controllable but…
“I have my doubts about this whole thing. If it’s worth it.”
“We all do.” Revali admits. “Some of us are better at hiding it.” He looks up, a strange sense of sincerely floods his expression.
“The great Rito warrior has doubts? Will wonders ever cease…”
“I’m not well-liked at home, I’ll have you know.”
Revali nods, adjusting his position so he’s more on the bed. The smell of lacquer fills your nostrils, but it’s different from what you’re used to. The Rito are master archers but wind will carry any scent, so the lacquer they produced to keep their bows strong is scentless, for the most part; you can’t help but think of freshly fallen snow.
“Though I am their best, I suppose my bravado is, at times –”
“Overbearing? Frustrating? Annoying?”
“Excuse me but I was talking.” Revali scolds, reaching out and ruffling your hair. “I am bit much, aren’t I? Their loss. Anyway, being the best and not appreciated does bother me. But what bothers me more is failure, that this whole ordeal will prove fruitless…that I will be nothing more than a memory.”
He scoffs, placing the bow on the ground with a yawn.
“Or worse yet, that my people will forget me entirely. Could you imagine? Nothing more than a name the elders would remember in passing.”
“I don’t think anyone could forget you, Revali.”
“I’m touched.” He moves one wing against his chest. “Now you.”
“Am I…good enough?”
Revali’s eyes widen, he opens his mouth for a retort or maybe a gentle barb, but can’t muster up the strength to speak. This would be opportunity enough for you to make jabs at him, call him out for all his bullshit bravado and ego. But you can’t.
“Link and the princess already represent the Hylian people, Princess Zelda has also great knowledge of the Sheikah technology so…is there even a point to my being here? You’re the master archer, I don’t… I shouldn’t.”
“You are absolutely worth it.”
You look up, not realizing your gaze had fallen to the ground, and Revali leans in earnestly.
“You absolutely have a purpose here. Who else can stomach Daruk’s cooking? I certainly can’t, and you have consistently talked him out of using rocks.”
“Need I remind you that Mipha is an unabashedly adorable introvert? Beyond Link and the princess, you got her talking to the rest of us.”
“Well, I –”
“And another thing.” Revali says coyly. “You have sparred with Urbosa, a trained Gerudo warrior, and have not died.”
“She’s never going to want to kill me, you goof.”
“You never know.” Revali shrugs. “Furthermore, you’ve put up with me pretty well despite my…”
“Overwhelming ego? Annoying and frustrating sense of pride? Your unabashed need to critique everyone?”
“My, my. I’d say that bothered you some, songbird.” Revali freezes, you can practically hear the realization hit him square in the face. “Have I…contributed to your doubt?”
The flat look on your face serves as an ample enough answer.
“…you could have mentioned this sooner.” Revali mumbles.
“I thought I was being pretty damn obvious. I’m always in a bad mood after I talk to you.”
“I thought I’d tired you out.”
“Oh.” The Rito casts a look around the stable, anyone staring immediately turns away.
“Look. I’m not mad at you, not really. Our personalities clash, that’s fine, but if you could just tone it down a bit, you can continue teasing me. But nicely!”
Revali swings his head around with an unreadable expression, he folds his arms over his chest and sighs deeply through his nose. After a moment, he stands up and comes to sit on your bed, eyeing the bandage he tied around your ankle.
“I still need to apologize. If I’m going to be remembered at all, I want to be remembered well.”
“So, I’m sorry.” He bows his head. “You hairless wrinkly monkey.”
“That’s it. I’m having roasted chicken tonight.”