Princess Ruto is awaken by a mysterious man named "Sheik" only to find out that all the other Zora have been frozen solid. Unable to save her people at the moment, the two quickly part. Not one to sit around and wait, Rito follows Sheik and decides to help him on his quest in a water dungeon.
Surface Tension is an adventure-romance one-shot based off of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It's set during the game, more specifically prior to Link waking up and then post-game. The fic is a Sheik/Ruto (and subsequently a Zelda/Ruto) fic. There are heavy romance elements however the main plot revolves around getting through the dungeon alive.
This fic provides examples of:
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Ruto is engaged to Link and tries to be faithful to him, but seven years without any word from him causes her to wander. She ends up falling for Sheik because he reminds her so much of Link.
- And the Adventure Continues: The fanfic ends with Zelda and Ruto running off on an adventure together.
- Broad Strokes: Zelda makes reference to a romantic encounter with Malon that acted as a Closet Key for her. This refers to a Zelda/Malon fic by the author. However, the Zelda/Malon fic ends on the two becoming a couple, meaning that it's not completely canon to Surface Tension.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Subverted. Zelda and Ruto played together, however Ganon's attack ruined the chance for them to grow into Childhood Friends. Still, Ruto has fond memories of Zelda.
- Gayngst: Zelda has trouble accepting her attraction to women. She first noticed it around Malon (which appears in a different fic) but tried to deny it.
- Interquel: It mostly takes place during Sheik's off-screen adventures while Link is still comatose.
- Interspecies Romance: Between Zelda (a Hylian) and Ruto (a Zora).
- Mistaken Identity: After waking up, Ruto momentarily mistakes Sheik for Link. After her mind clears, she notices that Sheik isn't Link and is embarrassed by her mistake.
- Oh My Gods!: Zora use "Jabu Jabu". The strongest oath Ruto knows of is "Jabu Jabu's balls".
- Our Zombies Are Different: Ganon's magic revives deceased monsters and Hylians.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Ruto, Sheik starts off as one to Link. They look rather similar.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: After seven years of being Sheik, Zelda finds it uncomfortable to go back to being royalty.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver:
- In a rare female example, there's a mutual attraction between Ruto and Sheik.
- Zelda suggests that Link was in love with Sheik.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Just like in the game, however Zelda uses less magic than in the games. Her skin tone change and short hair aren't magic-related. Zelda tanned her skin and cropped short her hair.
- Tomboy Princess: Just like in canon, Zelda's mentioned to have been an active tomboy as a child.
- Will They or Won't They?: Zelda and Ruto have a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension. They kiss several times and this almost leads to sex, but Zelda's gayngst and her secret keep her at arm's length. Ultimately, the fic ends with them agreeing to try and be together.
- Your Cheating Heart: Ruto avoided suitors for years because she is technically engaged to Link. After meeting Sheik, she falls for him but is conflicted on the feelings due to her lingering love for Link.