Summery: This is all thegranddewru's fault. I just want to make that clear up front.
When Tracy calls home.
Link was actually passed out in Tracy's bed when the phone call finally came. He lurched awake, nearly dropping the photo he was holding, when Mrs. Turnblad's shrill cry of "Tracy! You're alive!" came down the hallway.
He knuckled the sleep out of his eyes and picked at a wrinkle in his shirt as he made his way down to the living room.
Mr. Turnblad was hanging over his wife's shoulder whispering, "Is that her? Does she need bail money? Is she on the lame?"
"I think the term is 'lam,' sir," Link corrected. "Is she hurt? Has she attacked anyone else?"
Mrs. Turnblad waved the phone at them, "Shush! I can't hear! All right, Tracy, go on. You want me to what?"
Mrs. Turnblad was scribbling notes, repeating bits of whatever Tracy was saying, and Link turned his head and squinted to read them.
"Link! You're in my light!" Mrs. Turnblad hissed, waving him away. She turned back to her conversation, "Yes, Tracy, I said Link. No, he's here. Well, I'm sure I don't know, ask him yourself."
Link shifted uncomfortably at this last comment and shot a pleading look at the phone. Tracy was fine. This was good. Now, she just needed to come back home, he could apologize, and they could all get enough sleep to still look good for the show the next day. Maybe he could foist Amber off onto Bobby after she had been crowned.
Mrs. Turnblad waved him over and handed him the phone. "I have to go see if I can do some of this. Keep her talking for a few minutes. And make sure they're feeding her!"
He assured her he would, but somehow during the phone exchange, she caught sight of the state of his shirt. Throughout the resulting, amazingly short struggle that left him standing half naked in the Turnblad's living room, he could hear Tracy's voice coming over the line.
"Link? Link, are you there?"
"Tracy," he gasped into the phone as he collapsed onto the couch, "I think your mother is trying to kill me." He clutched the handset with both hands.
There was a long pause.
"Trace?" He gnawed worriedly at a hang nail. "Are you still there? Are the cops hunting you? 'Cause if they are, I don't think we should be on the phone. Should I be whispering?"
"No..um, sorry, I'm just not sure what to think about the fact that you're at my house right now. What are you doing there?"
He wondered if her nose was wrinkled up with puzzlement. "I came over to see you."
A long silence. "Why?" There was something uncertain and a little shy in her voice.
"Uh," Link answered in confusion, scratching his bare chest, "I couldn't decide if I should twist right or thrust left, and then I heard the news. I should've gone with you. I would've dealt with the Boy Scout for you so you didn't feel the need to get violent. Tracy, I am so sorry."
He could almost hear the smile she was giving him. That really slow one that took over her entire face. "I understand, Link. Thank you for saying it. It," and he was pretty sure that she was twirling her hair by the sigh she gave next, "it means a lot, you being there. And you saying it."
"Well," he shifted uncomfortably. "When I'm wrong, I usually say so. Most of the time. And really, are you okay?"
Tracy blew out a breath, "I really am. It's just been a really long night."
"Are you somewhere safe? I can come get you, I've got my dad's car." He looked down at himself and frowned. "On second thought, it might be a little while. Your mother stole my shirt." He grabbed a sofa pillow and hugged it to his chest.
"My mother..? Nevermind," Tracy said, sounding puzzled. "I don't want to know. But, no, I'm safe, and I have big plans for tomorrow," she said mysteriously. "You're gonna flip!"
"Are you going to try to come to the contest? You can't! You'll be arrested!" He said in a panic. "And I don't think they make hairstyle a priority in prison!" He went back to gnawing on his immaculate nails.
"I have to risk it, Link." Tracy said firmly. "This is important. I have to let them know that they haven't won. I'm still here, and this is still the right thing to do."
"Then at least let me help you," Link pleaded. "Please? I know I should've been there tonight, and I want to be there with you tomorrow."
Link swallowed. He tapped his fingers on his knees nervously. "Yeah," he managed.
The line was quiet.
A soft breath. "Yes, I'm here. Link.."
"You should go home. I'll see you tomorrow."
"I can't leave, Tracy, I'm naked! Won't you please come home?" He begged. "Your father squirted me with his bow tie, and your mother keeps making me sandwiches. I can't eat any more!"
She huffed a laugh. "Oh, Link. As much as I would love to come home and talk to you face to you, I can't right now. This is too..big..of a thing to risk. I have to make it tomorrow."
"But you will be there?" Link asked. "You promise?"
"I promise." He could hear her smiling again. "Save me a dance?"
A smile stretched across his face as well. "You bet. I always get to dance with Miss Teenage Hairspray."
"A felon winning a popularity contest? I really don't see that happening."
"I do," Link said quietly. "Since I met you, a whole lot of crazy things have been happening. Why should this be any different?"
"Crazy things? Me?" Tracy asked in amazement. "I don't do anything special."
He snorted. "It's not what you do. You just are."
The phone rustled, like Tracy was shifting positions. "Thanks," she said shyly. A pause, then she reluctantly said, "Link, I really have to go. I have a lot to do to get ready."
"Can I help at all?" Link was vaguely aware that Mr. and Mrs. Turnblad were rushing around the apartment, talking over each other and getting in each other's way.
"Yeah. Save me that dance. And impress the heck out of those agents."
Link grinned. "I can do that, I think."
They said goodbye, and Link hugged the pillow tighter to his chest as he hung up the phone.
A plate plunked down in front of him. "You should eat something, Link," Mrs. Turnblad admonished hastily as she rushed out the living room door again. "You're much too skinny for a young man."
Link looked down in dismay at his sixth sandwich of the night. "Oh boy."