Chapter Four: Suicide
Link and Sheik both looked up at the craggy mountainside. Sheik gulped visibly. Link didn't even flinch.
"So, Hero," asked the Sheikiah slightly skittishly, "what exactly are we planning to do? After all, it seems that Ganondorf's evil has penetrated the souls of the beings here, too- we've learned that much from the Kakariko villagers." It was then noticeable that Sheik's turban had been bound down to his forehead and was stained slightly red, and Link had the beginnings of a nasty black eye. So much for buying new supplies.
"Well…" said Link, and then looked at Sheik sideways. "We can't get another Goron tunic for me- you know, since that little imbecile stole it, so what we'll have to do is I'll put on my Goron mask and we'll warp to the temple. You'll be in charge of most of the stuff," Link said to Sheik. He nodded. Link rummaged through his bag, and looked up at Sheik.
"You ready?" Link asked him. Sheik nodded again, and then smiled as Link pulled out the Goron mask and dusted it off, muttering.
"Oh, and I won't be very useful while wearing this," said Link. Sheik nodded and pulled on the Goron tunic.
"We'll manage," said the sheikiah, yanking the red fabric over his head and allowing it to come and rest around his shoulders. Sheik looked down and yanked the sheikiah eye out from under the tunic, allowing it to rest over his clothes.
"I look like a moron," he muttered, then looked up quickly as Link let out an unearthly scream as he pulled on the mask. Purple light surrounded him for a moment, and then there was a bright white flash.
"Link!" Sheik yelled, diving forwards, blinded. The light disappeared and Sheik regained his vision, only to be met with…
"Mmm-rr!" grunted the Goron in surprise upon finding himself forehead to forehead with a young Sheikiah warrior.
"Uh? Ngh," said Sheik. "Oh." The young warrior promptly keeled over. Goron Link shook his head in amusement and tested out his tongue, seemingly chewing for a moment.
"Aaaaaaym Yaaaink.." he grunted, and looked dissatisfied. "Aym Yink. I'm Yink. Link. I'm Link." He carefully nudged the Sheikiah. "Sheeek? Er, Sheik?"
"Sheik, wake up. It's me, Yink. I mean Link. Sheik…" Sheik opened one red eye, sat up and yelled.
"AH! DON'T EAT ME!" He screamed like a little girl. Goron Link laughed.
"Wow, Sheik, that's probably the fllrst time I've seen you freak out yike that…. Gah… I'm Yink. Link, by Din. I'm Link!" The Goron smiled sheepishly and scratched the back of his green-capped head. "I'm still having a little trouble getting uuuuused to this body," he mumbled. "When I was a kid, I could put on the mask and bam, I was uuuuused to it, but I'm kind of confuuuuused now…"
"Link?" asked Sheik, sitting up and scratching his head. "I… oh," he said, a light going off behind his red eyes. "You're wearing that mask."
"Yeah," Link laughed. "I think my transformation scared the memory of it out of you."
"Well, what can I say?" Sheik shrugged sheepishly. "I'm concerned for my friends."
"I never said that was a bad thrrring," said Link. Sheik nodded, and pulled out his harp.
"Shall we warp, then?" he asked. Goron link grinned and pulled out his bongos. Sheik's eyes widened, but he shrugged.
"Invert it, remember," Sheik reminded Link. Link pounded on the bongos with an incredible amount of vigor, and Sheik laughed as he played the harp. However, both were tense at the thought of what might be awaiting them in the crater of the mountain.
Light surrounded them, and they vanished.
"Great Nayru," whispered Sheik when they arrived in the crater. Thick black smoke was rising from everywhere, and a disgusting stench pervaded the crater- the stench of rotting flesh. The companions looked around the crater- there were a few charred corpses visible in the molten lava. Sheik shuddered.
"Disgusting," said the sheikiah. Link nodded, his white hair flipping up and down.
"Well, shall we gooooo in, then?" he asked, stumbling lightly over his words. "See what the temple has in stoooore?"
"Yes, hero," said Sheik. "Oh, and Link?"
"Yeeeeees?" he asked, grimacing.
"Don't even talk if you don't have to, okay?" smirked Sheik. Link looked offended for a moment, and then laughed a great belly laugh that shook the crater. Sheik winced.
"Okay, Sheeeek… er, Sheik," he said. Sheik smiled, and then indicated for Link to go in front of him, smiling lightly as he followed.
"I'm glad I'm not the one in that mask," Sheik commented lightly under his breath as Link tried-and failed- to fit down the ladder leading into the temple.
"Link, let me go first," said Sheik. Link stepped aside and Sheik quickly flew down the ladder, then made his way out of the way of the massive Goron. Link tumbled down the ladder and landed belly first on the ground, leaving an imprint there. Sheik snickered.
"Like I said," said the hero, obviously massively confused, his cap askew and covering one eye, "I'm still getting used to this booooody."
"Of course," nodded Sheik, and looked ahead.
The fire temple.
"Waaait," said Link as Sheik tried to open a door. "Wroooong door. Be caaareful- the doors can juuuump out…"
"Wha?" asked Sheik, and then leapt back agilely as the door shook and then fell forward in an attempt to squash the sheikiah.
"Yeesh," he said, landing against Goron Link. "How unpleasant."
"Yoooou said it," agreed Link, and cursed. "Faaaaore," he muttered. "I can't fiiiigure out how to speeeeeeeak."
"Don't worry about it, Hero," said Sheik. "Would you do the honors?" he pointed to the door. Goron Link made his way forward with a grin on his face and punched the door into bits, revealing another door.
"Thank you, Link," laughed Sheik, entering. Link followed, awkwardly stumbling behind the sheikiah.
"Saaaaay, Sheik," said Link, "hooow long do you think weeee've been in heeere?"
"I'd say about six hours," said Sheik, checking the walls. "Maybe seven. Why?"
"Becauuuuse this mask is draaaaining me."
"I'd give you some red potion," said Sheik, inspecting a tall platform in the center of the room, "except I'm almost out and we have to save until we defeat this temple."
"Watch out!" yelled Link, and Sheik looked up suddenly as a great spinning… something… appeared out of the platform. Sheik leapt back as it cackled and jumped off the platform in a pyromaniacal dance.
"Oh, curses," Sheik said, backing against the wall. "I… oh dear."
"Throw a bomb at it," Link told Sheik. He nodded and pulled out a bomb, lit it with a flick of his wrist, counted carefully, and threw it at the strange creature's head. It exploded, and the head went running around and cackling. Without being told, Sheik pulled out the great fairy's sword and hacked at the head as many times as he could. It screamed and jumped into the fire, and the dancer appeared again.
"Blast," muttered Sheik, and bombed it again. And again. And again… the battle wore on for what felt like forever, but finally…
"Thank the goddesses!" Sheik exclaimed as it combusted and left red potion pills. He scooped some up and popped them into his mouth, instantly feeling better. He tossed three to Link.
"Here," said Sheik. The Goron nodded and downed the pills, and smiled.
"Thanks, Sheik," he said. Sheik smiled warmly.
"Don't mention it."
Link and Sheik were sitting in the front room of the temple, both exhausted, staring at the door through which lay the boss chamber. They sat side by side, backs against the wall, heads turned- Sheik's long, toned legs in their blue bodysuit were stretched out before him, feet pointing to the ceiling. Link's legs were in much the same position, save for the fact that they were ridiculous little chicken-legs sticking out from under a massive body. All in all, an amusing sight.
"I don't wanna go in just yet," panted Sheik, eyeing the door through which certain fire-y things lay in ambush. "Do you?"
"No," said Link, having long since been used to his Goron body. He wiped his rocky forehead. "Egads," he groaned, "this body is sweltering…"
"My apologies," Sheik said, wishing he had the energy to summon a magical ice block for them both. But it was just so hot…
"Well," he said, panting, standing up, "I suppose we need to go fight the queen dragon herself?"
"Yeah," panted Link, trying to stand up, and failing. Sheik laughed.
"Come on," he said. "I'd pull you up, except I think you're a little too heavy for me."
"Probably," laughed Link, making the floor rattle a little. He hauled his giant mass to his little chicken feet and dusted himself off, shaking his head and smiling.
"Come on, Sheik," he said. "Let's go kick some dragon butt."
We entered the magma room and hopped across the giant pillar we had pounded down earlier, then made our way to the boss door.
"You have the megaton hammer ready, right?" Link asked Sheik. The sheikiah nodded.
"I've got it." He unlocked the door to the boss chamber, allowing it to slide open.
"Don't worry," he whispered. "Just dodge the rocks when she gets mad."
"Rocks?" Sheik asked, but the door slid shut with a loud clank. Link stood next to him, and the ground began to rumble. Both ran forward as the rocks below their feet gave way. The ground rumbled more, and a gigantic, ugly dragon sprang from one of the lava pits, whirled through the air screaming, and plunged into the ground. Sheik regained his senses and began to roughly attack the dragon- Link pitched in, but mostly, it was the sheikiah warrior who was in control of the battle.
"Hyah!" Sheik yelled, smashing into Volvagia's skull with the megaton hammer. The dragon screamed and rose into the sky, dropping burning hot rocks upon the two heroes. A particularly large boulder grazed the side of the warrior's head, making him dizzy. He shook it off, though, and Link watched with pride, almost, as the warrior continued on. A Goron was of little help in this battle- it was up to Link's friend. Link sat back on one edge of the platform where he knew he would not be hurt, and speculated.
'Who exactly is Sheik?' Link wondered. 'He's my friend, but I think that the man behind the mask is not the same as the Sheik that I know.' "Sheik, to your right!" Link yelled. Sheik looked over his right shoulder and jumped aside just in time to avoid a stream of deadly flames. Link continued into his thoughts as Sheik repeatedly impaled the poor dragon in the head with the large hammer.
'Sometimes, there's this look in his eyes… I can't identify what it is. It's strange. And sometimes, his eyes seem almost like… I don't know. Like her eyes.' "Left!" 'But how could that be possible?'
"Link, you know, a hand or two wouldn't hurt," Sheik grunted, using the handle of the hammer to press back Volvagia's head as she tried to snap his head off. The great dragon inhaled, and Sheik rolled to the side as she let out a burst of flame.
"Nonsense," called the Goron-version of everybody's favorite hero. "You're doing just fine by yourself."
"I'd like to see you do this," grunted Sheik, roughly swinging the hammer into the dragon's spine. Link let out a great Goron laugh.
"I would," he said, "except you have my tunic."
"Yeah, well," puffed Sheik, rolling to the side and smashing the dragon again. She let out an unearthly scream and rose into the sky, rolling and twisting in pain. She combusted and sank to the ground, her skull falling last and crumbling away. "About time," he said, wiping a nasty cut on his forehead. Link stood up.
"Good job, Sheik," he said as the Sheikiah grasped the heart container. He held it to Link, but the Goron shook his head.
"You did most of the work," said Link. "You take it."
"Thank you, Link," said Sheik, moving it towards his chest. It vanished, and he instantly looked much better.
"Well," said Sheik, looking to the portal, "shall we go get that fire medallion?"
"We shall," said Link, and together, the friends stepped into the portal.
"Brother! You're in a Goron."
"Actually, Darunia, it's just a mask."
"It's a very nice mask, if you ask me."
"Well done, Sheik!"
"Thank you. I wouldn't have managed anything if it weren't for Link here."
"Oh, that's not true. You would have done just fine without me."
"I'm sure my brother helped you out. Take this medallion, you two. Keep it safe, too. I have the feeling you'll need it."
"Thank you, Darunia."
"Thank you, Brother."
"Feel free to spend the night in Kakariko, boys. My power has set the spirits of these people good again. Don't worry. And brother, I'm sure you'll get your tunic back."
"I'm sure, brother."
"Thank you, Darunia."
"Thank you both."
"Thank GOD I'm out of that mask," said Link, wrenching the mask off his face with a flash of light. He removed his cap and raked his hands through his sweaty hair. Link and Sheik stood in the center of Goron City- Sheik had removed the Goron tunic. The sheikiah shook his head and put his hand out.
"Can I try on the mask?" he asked. Link smiled and shook his head.
"After all this mess is over. Come on, Sheik," he said. "Let's go get a celebration drink!"
Sheik looked up as the Goron set two tankards of mead in front of Link and Sheik.
"Watch out," said Link, pointing at the large tankard with one gauntleted hand.
"Why?" Sheik asked. Link shook his head with a smile.
"It's strong," Link warned.
"Thank you," said Sheik, shrugging. Link got up and excused himself, saying something about the bathroom. Sheik shrugged again and took a cautious sip.
"Egads!" he coughed. "That IS strong." Sheik took a few more cautious sips again, looking up in relief when Link entered again and sat down merrily at the table. Suddenly, a tavern wench came over to them- Sheik noted how her eyes lingered on Link's muscular arms and tanned face. A smile spread over her bright red lips and she leaned forward, careful to expose her cleavage to the hero as she handed them to menus of sorts. Sheik inwardly fumed, the princess within screaming 'get your eyes off of my hero.' The sheikiah was careful not to sigh, but inwardly, the princess jumped for joy at Link's total lack of interest in the wench. Sheik made extra careful to give the wench the scariest glare possible when she turned to look at the sheikiah. The wench jumped up and left, giving Sheik the "scared bunny look". It was all the sheikiah could do to keep from letting out a hoarse laugh- instead, he took a huge gulp of mead.
"Woah there!" said Link to Sheik as he finished off the gigantic tankard. "No need to be so hasty, Sheik."
"What're Hylians doing in Goron City?" Sheik coughed, wiping his mouth. Link shrugged.
"She's the only one I've seen, though." Sheik pulled his face covering up higher in response to Link's statement.
"You don't need to wear that, you know," said Link. "Not in here." His blue eyes implored Sheik's, who only shrugged.
"It gives me a sense of security," said the warrior. "I don't like people seeing my face."
"Why?" Link asked, brows furrowed as Sheik hailed the Goron, took another mead, and downed most of it in one gulp. Sheik shrugged.
"It helps me to go unnoticed. I've been trained to know the shadows, to be the shadows. Hiding in the dark isn't so difficult when people don't bother to look anyway."
"Hm," said Link, the words obviously impacting him. Sheik smiled lightly behind his mask.
"Maybe I will walk around someday without this mask. But as long as there are dark days, I lurk in shadow."
"You're way too smart, Sheik," said Link, shaking his head. Sheik laughed lightly.
"Not smart, Hero. Just wise. There's a difference. Anyway," said the sheikiah, leaning towards Link, "to change the subject. I noticed you completely avoided that tavern wench's blatant moves on you." Sheik got another mead. Link's eyes widened, but he didn't comment thanks to the red-eyes glare he received from Sheik.
"Ugh, yes," grimaced Link, making a face as he sipped at his unnaturally strong tankard. "I hate it when women do that."
"What?" asked Sheik, almost bitterly. "Hate it when women throw themselves at you? I'd think that one such as yourself would like that."
"What's your problem, Sheik?" asked Link, giving the sheikiah a strange look. "I think you've had too much mead."
"Nothing," grumbled Sheik, sinking his face into his collar. "I'm fine… you go ahead and stay and finish your drink. I'm going to your house. We can stay a while there."
"Um, okay…" said Link, obviously confused by his friend's behavior. "Sheik? Sheik, something wrong?"
But the sheikiah had left.
"Where'd your little friend go?" asked the voluptuous tavern wench, pouting at Link. "That wasn't very nice of him."
"Get me another mead," said Link unhappily. "Just do it." She sighed, shook her head, rolled her eyes, and left to get the confused and hurt hero a drink.
"Blasted hero!" slurred Zelda vehemently after warping to the sacred forest meadow and stumbling drunkenly to the village to the village through the woods, slamming the door to Link's tree home. She looked around, fuming, and ripped down the collar she wore, still disguised as Sheik. She shredded off the tight blue body suit she was clad in, sending blue scraps everywhere. Sobbing, the princess collapsed on a simple sofa in the middle of Link's home, beating her fists weakly against the pillows.
"Turn me back, by the goddesses," she wailed, tears streaming from her red eyes. "Just for now."
A flash of light surrounded her and she was in her own body again, half naked and clad in tight blue scraps. Her naked breasts pushed against the couch, and she shivered, covering her suddenly womanly form.
"Why, why?" she wept, pulling at fistfuls of her hair that hung down into her face. "Why do I have to live like this?"
Zelda stood, her face covered in tears, and dragged herself to Link's bedroom. She pulled out some of Link's tunics and threw them everywhere, then stripped off the rest of her pathetically shredded clothing and sat, naked in the middle of the floor, hating life.
"Take away my pain, take away my pain," she chanted to herself, over and over, scratching at her arms. "Take away my pain, take away my pain…"
It appeared that the princess of Hyrule had no less than gone mad. Thick red blood began to pour down her arms, staining the wooden floor. She got up and staggered around the house, not caring about the mess she made. She destroyed pillows and blankets, threw glass objects, wrecked anything and everything she could. Blood stained the floors, and finally, Zelda dragged herself back to Link's room, sitting down inside the dresser, crying.
"Goddesses, just kill me now," she wept. "Take me from this land. He doesn't love me… he doesn't love me…" she wept and smashed her head against the side of the dresser over and over. "He hates me. He doesn't want me…"
She didn't even notice as she transformed into Sheik once more as she continued ramming her head against the dresser and sobbing. Eventually, the tormented princess fell into grateful blackness, as more and more blood pooled around her body.
Link entered his house that night still puzzling over Sheik's odd behavior. What had gotten in to him at the tavern? As he shut the door, the house flared to light- magic that the Kokiri cast upon his home. Link looked around and gasped. Blood and shreds of blue fabric were scattered all throughout the house, which had been completely destroyed. Link placed his hand on the floor, over the blood. Dry. Concern for his friend taking over his every thought, he followed the trails throughout the house in a circle.
"Sheik?" he yelled, panicked. "Sheik!" He reached his bedroom door and found it ajar; entered the room, and saw more blue scraps everywhere. There was a pool of drying blood spread across the floor, leaking from the dresser. Link dashed over to it and yanked the door open.
"Sheik?" he asked, trembling, near tears in worry for his friend. Sheik was lying
with his head against the side of the dresser- blood surrounded where he had apparently struck it, and a dribble was drying, coming down from his hairline.
"Sh-sheik?" Link quaked, pulling his friend out from within the dresser. "Gods, Sheik…" he began to shudder, carefully touching Sheik's head. He looked down at Sheik's arms- through the drying blood, long, deep scratches were evident running up and down the warrior's arms. Self- inflicted scratches.
"Oh, goddesses," said Link, tears pouring down his cheeks. He fumbled for a pulse at the warrior's neck. Finding one, he exhaled deeply.
"Good, still alive," Link shuddered. "I- I need to do something." Link fumbled for a bottle of red potion in his own bag- though Sheik insisted on carrying most, Link knew it never hurt to keep extras on hand. He fumbled the bottle open and poured the red potion down Sheik's throat, tilting his head so that he didn't miss a drop. The sheikiah didn't move. Link pulled out another bottle, then had a sudden idea. He pulled out a simple Kokiri tunic and put it over Sheik to hide his nakedness, then slung both packs over his shoulder. He picked up Sheik and slung him carefully over his shoulder as well, and played the inverted minuet of forest with one hand. They were swept off to the sacred forest meadow, and Link ran as carefully as he could, Sheik in both arms, towards the fairy's fountain. Adrenaline fueling his body, he scaled the ladder, then dropped in the hole, landing carefully so as not to disturb the injured sheikiah. Immediately, the fairies swarmed forward, sensing Sheik's nearness to death. They began to surround the warrior, swirling around him and working their healing magic as best they could.
"Don't worry, hero of time," squeaked one fairy to him as they carried Sheik to the center of the fountain. "We'll heal him. He's so close to departing, though, that even our power will not be enough to completely rejuvenate him. He'll need rest, but don't worry- he'll be fine."
"I… he'd better be…" said Link, slumping against the wall as his adrenaline rush died and the shock wore off. He began to cry, unashamed of his tears. He buried his head in his hands, tears rolling down his face. What had inspired Sheik to do what he had done? A small, stunning, beautiful red fairy floated over towards Link. The hero wondered why he'd failed to recognize it before… it was larger than the other fairies, and a bright red through the white. One of its wings was slightly crippled- however,, the small fairy stayed afloat, and glided over towards Link.
"I'm sorry, Hero of time," said the fairy, sitting on Link's shoulder. He looked at the fairy.
"Thank you. I… I don't know why he did it. It doesn't make sense…" there was a curtain of light fairies surrounding the sheikiah, obscuring him from view. The fairy glanced over towards the curtain of healing fairies, then back at the stricken hero.
"The masked one is going through uncertainties right now," said the fairy. "Your friend is not at all as they appear."
"What does that mean?" Link asked. The fairy shook side to side, and Link supposed that was its body language for saying "no".
"You will learn on your own time. But for now, Hero, I will accompany you. Assuming, of course, that it is alright with you…"
"Of course," said Link. He looked at the curtain of fairies still swarming around Link. "I wouldn't mind a fairy at all. Though…" he said, and looked at Sheik, "I suppose it would be better if you stayed with Sheik and not me." The fairy shook side to side vigorously.
"No," it said. "Your friend already has a guide that lights the way for them. They just have yet to reveal it to you- or to themselves, matter of fact," said the fairy. "Time will tell. But for now, I will stay with you both."
"What's your name?"
"Toyl," said the fairy.
"Why are you… different?" asked Link, feeling bad. Toyl tinkled a little- laughing.
"I'm a mutation," she said. "You see how the other fairies are pink? I'm red. A freak of nature, I suppose, but nobody else really cares. If you look carefully, you'll notice that the healing fairies are pink, but the Kokiri fairies are blue and the regular forest fairies are green."
"Oh," said Link. The little fairy came and landed on the hero's knee, sending warmth through his breeches to his leg. Link smiled lightly- the warmth of a fairy was always comforting to him.
"So," said the little fairy. "Just how much do you know about that friend of yours… Sheik, as you said?"
"Sheik is very secretive about his past," said Link. "I don't really blame him, though. His mother is a sheikiah woman by the name of Impa- she's the sage of shadow. I don't know about his father. I think Sheik has had a rough time, though," said Link, shrugging. "He can be kind of quiet sometimes."
"Hm," said the little fairy, apparently thinking. "Many masks hide your friend's face. I think that they themselves are not aware of which face is actually theirs."
"What's that mean?" Link asked. The little fairy shook side to side, and then hopped into the air.
"I'm going to go check on how much longer it will take," said Toyl, leaving a very confused hero sitting against the wall. He watched as the little red fairy disappeared into the wall of shimmering pink fairies, then reappeared sometime later.
"It will take a while," said the little fairy. Link nodded. "Settle down. It'll be a long wait."
"No, you have to leave for a bit, Link."
"I'm not leaving Sheik."
"Sheik would want you to leave."
"How do you know?"
"Link, please, just do it?"
"Fine, Toyl, fine."
Steps. Silence, except for a light, sparkling hum.
"Princess? Princess Zelda?"
"How…" Zelda groaned, swimming slowly into consciousness. She opened her eyes and put her hand to her forehead. There was pink swirling all around her. "Goddesses…"
"Look at your form," came the voice- a light voice. The voice of a fairy. Zelda studied her hand. It was Zelda's hand. Not Sheik.
"Link!" she yelled suddenly, sitting up, her hair swirling over her shoulder and down over her chest.
"Calm down, princess," said the fairy- a bright red fairy sitting on her knee. "We sent him away."
"We?" asked Zelda, then looked around at the many other fairies floating about her. "Oh. Why… how… he doesn't know, does he?" Zelda asked, then suddenly a memory came to mind.
"Oh, goddesses…" she murmured, looking down at her arms. Pink scratch marks stood out vibrantly on the skin of her arms. "I…"
"You lost control," said the fairy sympathetically. "Your heartstrings snapped. I've seen it happen before. Don't worry, princess- at least your hero found you in time."
"Was I…." Zelda glanced down at her green-clad, very womanly body. The fairy laughed.
"No, you'd changed back into Sheik by the time he found you, half-dead from blood loss. Amazing, really."
"Oh…" said Zelda. "I… I'm sorry if I've caused you any trouble…"
The fairies around her quivered.
"Nonsense," said one small, pink fairy. "We're just glad that we helped."
"I'm glad you did, too," said Zelda.
"So, princess," said the raid fairy, "do you know what happened that caused you to snap?"
"Oh, it's just," said Zelda, tears springing to her eyes, "I always have to hide in the body of Sheik so that nobody recognizes me. I can't reveal myself to Link- he'd reject me, or he wouldn't allow me to help him, or things would get weird… and whether he admits it or not, he needs my help. So I have to disguise my face from him- hide who I really am. And… and, I hate it!" Zelda ended this statement by slamming her fist in the iridescent water she was sitting in, then rolled over, Link's tunic soaking and clinging to her slim, beautiful form.
"Look into the water, princess," said the red fairy, and the other fairies floated up to the ceiling. "Tell me what you see."
"I see…" said Zelda, peering into the ripples below her, "a woman. She's lovely- she has curling blonde hair and bright blue eyes…" Zelda turned her eyes up to the fairy.
"This is as Link perceives you," said the fairy. "Subconsciously, of course. This is how Link perceives the princess Zelda as."
"I…. oh…" said Zelda, looking down at her hands.
"Do not worry, highness," said the little fairy. "Your time will come. Link's heart is filled with love for you, that much we can see. He just doesn't know it yet. Give him time, princess. There will come a time for love, but for now, use the energy generated from keeping your feelings confined in battle."
"I will," said Zelda, nodding. "Thank you… er…."
"Toyl," said the little red fairy. "I'm going to be traveling with you two."
"Oh," said Zelda, nodding. "Thank you, Toyl."
"No worries," said the little fairy, then flew up to Zelda and nestled into her neck. "Come on. Why don't you put on that lovely Sheikiah body and go out and greet your hero. Tell him you're okay. Say you're sorry. He won't ask questions, I'm sure," said the little fairy. Zelda smiled.
"Thank you again, Toyl," said the princess. She then concentrated, willing the goddesses to put her back in the body of a Sheikiah. Warmth engulfed her, and when she looked down, she was disguised as Sheik once more. She pulled the tunic down uncomfortably, aware of how ridiculous she looked. Even Toyl gave a little giggle.
"Come on," she said. "Let's go find your hero."
"Mm," yawned Zelda. "I'm tired, though…"
"Understandable," said the little fairy. "You still need a lot of rest to recuperate."
"Yeah," agreed the princess-in-disguise, and made her way to the exit of the hidden fountain. She turned around and waved to the fairies.
"Thank you!" she called to them. They tinkled merrily in response. Zelda stepped onto the small magical portal leading out of the hole, and was transported into the light of the forest day.
"Sheik!" yelled Link, running forward and catching his friend up in a huge hug. "I was so worried…"
"Eh," choked Zelda. Link's hold loosened immediately.
"Oh, I'm really sorry," he worried. "Did I hurt you?"
"Let's just get back to the house," Zelda said, heart overflowing with love for Link. The hero nodded, then peered at Zelda's face.
"You know, Sheik," he said, "this has to be the first time I've ever really seen your face."
"Oh, ah…" Said Zelda, "well…" Link smiled at her stutters and shrugged.
"Just noticing," he said. He looked at Zelda, and then to Toyl. "Come on," he said to them both, and led them through the woods towards the Kokiri village..
"Link?" she mumbled exhaustedly. Link looked down with a fond smile at his companion. "Thank you."
"No problem," he said, carrying the half-asleep form of his friend through the village and up to his tree house. Link noticed that, for the first time, Sheik's hands were unbound. And, on the back of Sheik's left hand, he saw something that sent curiosity mixed with fear surging through his veins.
The symbol for the Triforce.
Still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
(turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But stil the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through
(turn and face the strain)
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
(turn and face the strain)
Where's your shame
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah changes are taking the pace I'm going through
(turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
(turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon now you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time
~Changes, by David Bowie
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