Disclaimer and Notes: The Legend of Zelda and related characters belong to Nintendo. This fan fiction is not for profit, only for fun. This is an alternate universe (AU) story – the premise of which is the ending of Twilight Princess happening differently than it did in the actual (canon) game. Blatant Link x Midna. Based upon a fan art I did a while back.
This is Link’s life beyond the looking-glass as he deals with changes in his body and mind, dangerous Twili politics and with being Midna’s loyal pet.
Chapter 1: Watching the Eternal Sunset with You
They lay together beneath the cloud of twilight as it flowed over the land in subtle shifts. The lovers were out upon a balcony on one of the high towers of their palace. She, the taller of the two by quite a space, lay upon a black cushioned lounge, her back slightly elevated. He lay atop her on his back, his head rested gently upon her chest, watching the sky peacefully.
Midna’s long fingers played over Link’s chest where his robe was open. It was his usual royal attire, made from black, silky shadows. His skin was pale and tinted lightly in a wonderful shade of blue, much like Midna’s own. The subtle light from the sky played off his silver hair. His body had adapted quite wonderfully to the Twilight Realm. Its transition had gone much smoother than that of his mind. He was at peace now, so she was happy.
He made a soft little sound of pleasure as she traced her fingertips over his collarbone. So malleable he was – she also knew just the spot behind his right ear to scratch to make his leg kick and get him to grunt and bark like a canine. He hadn’t been the Sacred Beast in years, but he still had the loyalty and some of the eccentric tendencies of a wolf. He shifted against her, having heard something before she did. She looked up to see one of their servant girls carrying a tray with glasses of wine. The girl set the tray down upon a table nearby, bowed silently, received a gentle smile from Link and a hand wave from her queen and then left the way she came.
The two went back to lounging. Midna’s fingertips traced over bumpy, odd-feeling scar tissue. Link did not feel it. There were only a few scars that he felt, and usually only when she pressed in on them. Link had so many scars – the price of having been the Hero Chosen of the Gods. The chain mail that he’d worn in those days had protected him from most injuries, but there’d been quite a few that even it had not managed to shield him from. She urged him to wear an open royal robe, as opposed to a full cloak to enable her people to see his scars. He had earned them saving not only his native realm, but theirs – now his adopted home. It took him a while to get used to it at first. He feared frightening people, especially children, and was never one to share his pain. He was ashamed of the scars and claimed that they were marks from all the times he’d messed up – missed his chance to strike, when he hadn’t been paying attention enough, when he’d left himself open for his enemies to get their licks in instead of taking care of them swiftly like he should have. Midna assured him that he shouldn’t be ashamed, that they were marks of honor symbolizing what he had been willing to go through for the sake of others and of the courage he still possessed. In either case, they couldn’t be helped, and furthermore, her people respected them.
Her hand traced a particularly nasty snarl on his middle. Midna remembered with a wince how he’d gotten that one. It had been her fault it was as bad as it was. They had encountered a group of Shadow Beasts very soon after Link had gained the Master Sword. He’d fought in wolf-form, but had gotten raked by the claws of the leader. Since this was the first time he’d been badly injured when they’d been able to control his transformation at will, Midna had transformed him into his native Hylian shape in hopes that it would somehow cure the wound. Instead, his skin had tightened and pulled away from it and the shifting of his muscles had caused it to open up even wider. The boy had somehow limped his way into the Zora’s Domain, where he’d been given help. To this day, she was convinced that he would have died if he did not have little Midna as his silent shadow, holding his guts in the whole way. Still, she felt a pang of guilt whenever she thought about that time.
The Twilit Queen traced her fingers up her husband’s side. He grunted and winced as she gently brushed a particular spot. She took her fingertips off it quickly. That was one of his sore ones and the reason he took longer recovering from colds than he used to. It was one of his smaller scars, right between two of his ribs on his left side. He’d gotten that one in this realm, unfortunately – even moreso, after his “hero’s work” was supposed to have been done. It was the remnant of an arrow-wound from an assassination attempt - and at their wedding, no less.
Midna removed her right hand from beneath Link’s robe. She used it to stroke one of his long ears, earning a contented, almost purring sound. She took her glass of wine in her left hand and thought over some of the events that had lead to this moment. She wondered about what would have happened if things had gone according to her plan three years ago. For the time being, she couldn’t be any more pleased that her plan had gone awry.
Link’s left foot started twitching. Obedient, indeed.
It had happened in the twinkling of an eye.
She had wussed out, and she’d known she had, but figured it was better that the poor boy didn’t know. She’d read the stories of what the Twilight Realm had done to her ancestors in what were called the “Banishment Years” or “Colonization Years.” She knew of his need for the Light, and perhaps, more importantly, the Light’s need for him. She’d wanted to protect him, but the noble damned fool had run up those spectral steps and grabbed her arm and now the two of them were laying face down in the courtyard of her palace being gawked at by personal guards and servants.
And she did not care. She got to her feet, brushed herself off, and before Link could do the same, she began her tirade.
“You blithering idiot!” she scolded. “Don’t you know that you can never go back? Do you? You’re stuck here for the rest of your life!” She gestured to the empty place the Mirror of Twilight had once occupied. “No more seeing Zelda, no more… blond village girl… no more seeing those friends in that backwater little town of yours! No day, no night…”
Link gave her a blank look, a slight frown upon his face.
“Don’t give me those innocent eyes! Do you know what you’ve given up? You’ve just made yourself an inmate in a colony of exiles! Do you think the Goddesses are happy about this, Hero?”
Link spoke up softly. “I couldn’t let you go without saying goodbye.”
“Is this what that’s about?” Midna groused. “You really are a complete fool.”
With that, she grabbed him and hugged him tightly. She curled into him, nuzzled her face into the top of his head and began sobbing. Link held her and rubbed her back. “I was…” Midna managed, “I was trying to protect us both… Both our worlds. You really aren’t going to be able to go back.”
“Sometimes… we sacrifice great things to have something even greater.”
They were inundated by the chatter and moaning of Twili voices that Link did not understand. They were voices of celebration and voices of concern. Midna and Link were ushered inside the
to walk down ruined halls that were familiar to both of them, though now devoid of danger. Twilight Palace
Midna chattered with her people. Link wondered why he could understand her perfectly fine but had so much trouble understanding most of them. Midna had told him that the nobles retained some training in Hylian speech as a secondary language, though in the Twilight Realm, it was considered a dead language. To know it and speak it in court was considered a mark of refinement, a way for people to flaunt a good education. He could pick out a few distinct words and phrases in Hylian – heavy with tinkling Twili accents, things like “Honor, great honor.” He smiled an embarrassed smile.
Midna turned to him. “These are the people you saved, Link,” she said, “You remember… they were the ones standing out in the courtyard, half-transformed, that you cured with the Sols. They remember you and are very grateful.”
One tall, young, feminine-looking Twili pointed first to Midna, then to Link. “Prrrince?” she trilled, struggling with speaking in Hylian. “Midna…you are…the mate for Lady Midna?”
Link straightened and gave an appalled squeak. Midna smiled wickedly at him. It wasn’t quite the smile she had as an imp, but Link knew that if she still had that little fang to show she would be showing it now. “If he’ll have me,” she said clearly as she touched his chin with her index finger and looked into his eyes. “Otherwise, he’s going to be awfully lonely, a little Hylian so far from home.”
Link nodded vigorously. His cheeks were red and he smiled very broadly. Midna giggled, charmed at his continued “country bumpkin” expressions.
“Yes, yes, of course!” he gasped quickly, his words running into one another.
Midna waved her arms and spoke to her people. They suddenly shifted into a very industrious mode, moving to different parts of the grand hall they were in with a seeming purpose. Link stepped back as one Twili male who stood about a head taller than him gave him a little bow of the head and took him by the hand. Midna began walking away from him.
Link’s jaw hung. “Midna, what’s going on?” The Twili man tugged on him, obviously wanting to direct him to somewhere.
“I told them that we have journeyed long and that we are tired. Evin just wishes to lead you to one of the better dignitaries’ suites.”
“But…But!” Link protested, “Shouldn’t I be sharing a room with you?”
“Midna is still an unmarried woman,” Midna giggled. “What kind of girl do you take me for?”
Chapter 2: Beneath the Open Sky
He took his wine. The queen and her consort both sat up. Link watched the shifting patterns of the twilit sky and he felt a stirring deep within him. No matter how many times he lay, sat or stood beneath this sky, a part of him expected night to come. It never did, and neither did the blazing daylight of mid-morning. Although he’d grown used to living without those things, his internal clock still expected them to happen. It would still be a long time before that part of him faded. The world felt like it was perpetually holding its breath, awaiting something.
It was fortunate, he thought, that twilight had always been his favorite time of day. The view from the palace balcony was almost like the view from the yetis’ mansion up on Snowpeak the evening he and Midna saw the auroras – only this was perpetual, eternal.
“I still miss the stars,” he said.
Midna remembered the first time he’d said he missed the stars. He’d missed the moon, too. It was on this very same balcony – on the north end of the palace. She bit back her sorrow remembering what he’d looked like on that day. The queen was grateful that she was not missing him.
“Is it possible to get more light in here?” Link asked. He sat in a small preparatory room, being groomed and fussed over by servants. Only one of them spoke Hylian, but he did so fluidly and with elegance – a man named T’leth, Midna’s personal physician.
“Apologies,” the doctor said, using a bit of personal magic to light more torches in the room. The girls that were adjusting Link’s robe and running a soft brush through his hair squinted hard and gasped. “You poor light dwellers have such needy eyes. Hopefully that will change in time. I will have the cooks put you on a diet of rich vegetables. That should help.”
There was a sound from outside, something like a low roaring or the rumble of the sea. There was a trill to it that identified it as the collective noise of hundreds of Twili voices. They had come to see the wedding and the ascension of their new rulers.
“This is all happening so fast,” Link commented. “It’s barely past a week’s time since I’ve been here. I thank all of you for being accepting of me.
“We aren’t all accepting,” T’leth warned. “Not all of those outside the palace today are well-wishers. Some are protestors. I trust you because I was the first person you saved – I remember that day, I remember your face. Although the stories of you have spread, not everyone in the realm believes them; furthermore, to some…‘hero’ is merely a synonym for ‘killer.”
The physician shook his head. “Many good people were taken by Zant, transformed to the point of no return. What our Lady Midna and you had to do is well-understood. Not everyone can let go. We all would have been subject to Zant’s madness had you not intervened, but… we’ve all lost people. I lost a son and a granddaughter, myself.”
Link’s gaze found the floor. He turned away from T’leth. “I am so, so sorry,” he said. “Midna… did not even tell me what I was fighting at first. I thought they were standard monsters, demons of some sort. I suppose she knew what had to be done and did not reveal the truth to me until late in our journey because she did not want me to hesitate. I dispatched them very quickly… as quickly and cleanly as I could.”
“Do not apologize,” T’leth replied. “They had to be freed one way or another. I am sure that from beyond the mortal coil, they thank you. Just be warned: you are inheriting a kingdom in turmoil and not everyone feels the same way I do. You are still a descendant of the light and Sacred Beast or not, you are someone that many find very suspicious.”
“I understand,” Link said with a slow nod, “No ruler in history has ever had the hearts of all of their people… not even Zelda, or so she told me soon after the last battle. I can only hope that she does alright. I can only hope that I’ll do alright… though I am foreigner here. I’m letting Midna take the reins of it all, anyway. All I really want is her.”
“An attitude she will be most pleased with, Sir Link,” T’leth said, “or should I be saying Prince Link?”
Prince – it was the title that Link would be taking on this day, not King. There were many obstacles to him becoming a full-fledged king. The first was the fact that he was not of any known royal birth. Even if he was, it would not matter because of the second major issue: he was not a Twili. Many of the people already felt dubious over the prospect of a light dweller in the palace, let alone having him as co-ruler. Yet, the prospect of Midna having a helpmate at her side was the reason why this wedding was planned with such haste. The Twilight Realm was in crisis after the short, tyrannical reign of Zant and it needed strong leadership badly. Having the true ruler of the Twilight as queen and assuring that a good mate that made her happy was at her side were of vital importance right now.
The door of the preparatory room opened without a knock. Midna entered, flanked by a pair of guards. The servant girls that had been grooming Link kneeled and bowed their heads low, as did T’leth. Link remained sitting and looked at Midna dumbly.
“It is time to go, Link,” she announced, waving with her hand to signal her servants to rise. “Trust me, you’re pretty enough.”
Link rose to his feet, inspecting the clothing he’d been given – the little black boots that hugged his feet tightly, the loose black pants with their thin golden metal belt, and the robe with long sleeves and fringe that resembled, slightly, what Zant had worn. It was open, showing off his chest and stomach, both well-toned beneath swatches of light color and raised skin – souvenirs from battles with horrible creatures. He still had a square of white bandage sealed to the skin on his left shoulder, down to his collarbone. It covered a nasty cut he’d received from the blade Princess Zelda had wielded when Ganondorf had possessed her and forced her to attack him. It was still healing.
“I’m not really comfortable with this,” he said as he walked beside his bride. “Men in Hyrule wear… more… on their wedding day.”
“Oh, you wouldn’t want your dusty tunic, would you?” Midna chided, “These were custom tailored for you out of the finest shadow-cloth the kingdom has to offer. They are the clothes of royalty.”
“I am not ungrateful,” Link said, fingering the fabric of his robe, “It’s just… with as loose as they are and with my chest exposed, it makes me feel a bit vulnerable, I guess. I cannot even have my sword with me, what if something happens?”
“A sword is not proper for a Twili wedding,” Midna answered, “It is to be a ceremony of love and of peace. My loyalists are keeping the rabble out of the immediate area and our guards are well-armed. Do not worry.”
“My scars, though… everyone’s going to see them.”
“I had the robe tailored specifically to show them, Link. My people respect strength and they respect survivors. You are both strong and a survivor. There is no more perfect way to show it. They’re going to like to see a man of action on the throne next to mine, someone who is willing to fight for them, someone who has already.”
Link gave her a small laugh. “I just feel a little naked in this.”
Midna winked at him. “You’re going to get a lot naked later.”
Link blushed and looked about the hallway, hoping the rest of their entourage did not hear that. He felt odd walking beside Midna to the place of ceremony – that was, out in one of the royal gardens. According to Hyrule custom, he would be going out to meet his bride, but it had been explained to him that the Twili worked a bit differently. What Midna was doing was perfectly acceptable. Still, they were not to kiss or to touch one another this morning until the ceremony was begun. They were to walk side-by-side, showing restraint and decorum. Midna suddenly stopped in her tracks, her eyes fixed upon the open door to a room to Link’s left. Her eyes had gone wide, almost like those of a deer or rabbit that had detected the presence of a predator.
“Midna, what’s wrong?” Link asked, resisting the urge to break tradition and grab her hand for support. He retrained his manners while his reflexes caused him to reach for a sword on his back that wasn’t there. To his frustration, the guards made no move to protect their queen, but they looked like they knew something.
“Relax, Link,” Midna commanded. “Don’t…worry. It’s… it’s just that room.” She turned her gaze away from it and resumed walking. “I am going to have it sealed away… with bricks, with magic…something. I’m sure it would have been useful to me, but I can have something else built. Zant assassinated my mother in that room.”
“I am so sorry,” Link sighed.
“I didn’t see it happen, but I saw her body there soon after I was cursed, before I made it to Hyrule.”
T’leth spoke up. “If it is any comfort, my Lady, some of us managed to spirit her away and give her a proper burial. With everything going on, we did not think you would want to visit a grave until more life-affirming business was done with, but Sir Evin and I can take you to it later, if you’d like.”
“I would like that very much,” Midna answered. “But, you are right. Life-affirming business should be done first. I’d like to secure my hold on my kingdom and on my loyal pet.”
She smiled wickedly at Link. He resisted the urge to say something rude or embarrassing in front of the guards and attendants. The two stepped out into the light of the garden, which was not much more light than indoors. A great multitude of Twili were gathered – short, tall – most of them were taller than Link and the majority of those shorter than him appeared to be children. Most were strange in form, but a few had the “more human” features that Midna sported. Link wondered if there was something of a “divide in the blood” among them, if Midna was in a racial minority. He wondered if she sometimes felt like he had in Ordon village – being the only full-blooded Hylian resident and thus the only person with long, pointed ears. He was definitely going to feel strange here – for the rest of his life.
Midna’s attendants left them as they walked up the royal blue carpet that had been laid out for them to a stone platform that was nestled between a pair of flowering trees. The trees appeared to be cherry, but their copious blossoms were soft blue, close to cyan. They created a magnificent contrast to the orange-dusk sky. A tall man in bulky black robes and large amounts of silver jewelry awaited the pair. He motioned to each of them and spoke both in Twili and in what broken Hylian he could manage for Link’s benefit.
Midna and Link stood facing one another. The crowd looked on as the high priest first took Midna’s right hand and stretched it out in front of her, then took Link’s left hand and placed it atop Midna’s.
He nodded first to Link. “You take her, never to desert her,” he said, “Never be with another, help her in rule and to be good to the people?”
“Yes,” Link said, “and to protect her. I promise to protect her.”
The priest said something in Twili to Midna, which she repeated. He regarded Link again. “Repeat in our language… it is the same as what you’ve said.” He uttered something, which Link repeated – his throat having trouble with the pitch of the words. Midna echoed him, but with much greater eloquence.
The high priest clasped his bony hand over both of theirs. “It is done,” he told Link. “Kiss her.”
Link leaned in to kiss Midna. He had to lean up, and stand on his toes a little. She craned her long neck down and brought her hand up to caress his cheek. After several moments, they broke off and stood to face the crowd, which cheered.
Link’s ears twitched, having caught a familiar and dangerous sound. It was wood and wind – but came too quickly to avoid or to find defense against. He felt a sharp punch in his left side and the familiar sting of metal slicing skin. He drew in a short, gaping breath and he felt himself falling before he could command his feet to catch him. He heard angry shouting in Twili. He felt his body land hard on the cold stone brickwork of the platform. The slick sensation of blood and of blood-soaked silk covered his side. Quick pain shot through him with every breath. A hand with long fingers came over his skin and held onto the offending shaft in his side. The noise around him was chaotic. He tried to focus on the face of Midna. She was telling him not to move.
It had happened in an instant. She and Link had just sealed their vows and were presenting themselves to the crowd. The people here were all supposed to have been cleared for entry into this courtyard by her loyal guards and all weapons and artificial channels for magic were supposed to have been confiscated. This was supposed to be a day of peace. Instead, some man had shouted “He killed my brother!” while firing a small bow. Daan, captain of the Royal Guard, dispatched the assassin with his own twilight-energy crossbow, but a few seconds too late. Link lay on the garden stone with a black arrow in his side, struggling for breath. Midna held it in place and batted his hand away. Link was reaching for it, no doubt trying to snap the shaft off. She had seen him do that once to a bulbin’s arrow in their travels with a “flesh” wound when time had been a factor. That healer in Kakariko, Renado, had been able to dig the head out for him after he’d limped there. This was different. This was not a flesh wound.
Link coughed and twisted in pain as a result of it. His cough left a fine spray of blood on Midna’s front. T’leth rushed to him as well as several other attendants. T’leth pressed a hand to the wound and unceremoniously ripped out the arrow. He motioned for one of the others to summon a floating platform as he formed a little barrier of magic from his hand. Midna stroked Link’s hair.
“There is not much I can do for him immediately,” T’leth confessed. His is a Hylian body, largely incompatible with shadow magic. He’ll need more technological measures. We have to get him into the infirmary swiftly, or he will die.”
“Midna…” Link mouthed, squirming and reaching up.
“I’m here,” she said simply, stroking one of his ears.
“Try to keep him from moving around too much… or speaking… or breathing too heavily, but keep him breathing,” T’leth said, putting more energy into the magic swirl he was generating on Link’s side. I’m doing all I can to keep his lung from deflating.”
“A vital shot,” Midna said, her already pale face blanching.
“Right in there, I’m afraid,” T’leth said. A clear platform etched in designs of cyan light floated over to them. The doctor motioned for the other attendants to help him get Link onto it. He and the Twilit Queen rode it with him into the castle infirmary. The attendants were swift to get him into a bed and T’leth was quick to clamp a mask over the lower part of Link’s face – it fed into a pump for pure oxygen. This was one of many technologies the Twilight Realm had developed independent of Hyrule. Link tried to pull the mask off his face, panicked and not knowing what it was.
“Sssh,” Midna soothed, “This is part of our magic.”
She backed away to let T’leth and his staff work on him. She refused to leave the room. Daan and other guards met with her. She demanded an investigation be launched immediately. At the moment, she wanted to tear whoever had missed that concealed bow limb from limb personally, but she had to know first whether it was a matter of conspiracy or an honest mistake. She trusted Daan, for what it was worth, and she knew that Daan favored Link. He was among those that were personally saved by the hero. Each of those individuals was accepting of Link.
“Inform his family,” she ordered regarding the dead assassin. “Even traitors have someone who loves them.”
When T’leth had done all he could, Midna sat beside Link’s bedside, holding his hand. He slept and did not feel her touch.
“We’ll… have to… take a raincheck on the naked thing,” she ruefully joked.
A few members of Midna’s court were in and out of the room, wishing to see the condition of their hero and prince. “He is not well,” was all Midna could say. T’leth remained in the room, to monitor him. Link was his only patient today.
Midna snapped to attention as Link’s eyes slid open. “Little Midna is here,” she assured, squeezing his hand.
“Outside,” Link whispered. “I want to go outside.”
“Don’t be silly, Link. You’re badly hurt. You need to stay here and get well. We don’t have fairies here right now, so you’ll have to bear with us.”
“I want to see the sky,” Link insisted, giving Midna a hard gaze. His eyes resembled those of the Sacred Beast. “I know I might die. If that happens, I don’t want to die in a stuffy room. I want to die beneath the open sky.”
Midna looked to T’leth. “Is it possible for us to go to one of the balconies? At least for a while to keep him happy?”
“It will be an ordeal, but we can move him.”
With the help of a floating platform, Link, bed and all, was moved to the balcony on the north end of the
. T’leth and the other attendants were careful in moving the various magical medical equipment and monitors they had on him. A servant woman brought Midna a cushioned chair to sit upon so she could stay beside Link. She motioned for the attendants, save for T’leth, to leave them in peace. Midna took Link’s hand again. He looked up to the sky, savoring the twilight. He smiled broadly. Twilight Palace
“Happy now?” the young queen asked.
“Yes,” her prince answered. “Very much.”
Midna tried to keep her composure. Tears streaked her cheeks. The cloud of twilight emphasized how pale his skin was from pain and loss of blood. He looked like he was struggling to keep his eyes open.
She brushed his bangs out of his face. “You don’t have to stay awake,” she said softly. “If you feel like sleeping, go to sleep. It well help you to heal.”
“I want to see,” he replied. “There’s no moon here,” he said, “and no stars.”
“That’s right,” Midna said. “When I was in Hyrule, I thought those were strange.”
“I miss the stars,” Link said. “It’s weird… feels like night, but with no moon and no stars.”
“Don’t talk. Save your strength. Concentrate on breathing and on staying alive for Midna.”
Link’s skin was so pale against the twilit backdrop. Breezes tousled his dark blond hair.
His skin never regained the color it had before that day. Even as he healed day by day, under the cloud of twilight, he was never richly tan again.
Chapter 3: A Wolf in Endless Winter
The queen leaned into her consort, wrapping her arms around his neck and trailing her hands over his chest. Midna gave Link a playful nibble on the ear. Link smiled broadly. They turned to each other face to face.
“Such a pretty smile,” Midna said, cupping his cheek. “You’ve been doing it a lot lately.”
Link responded with a soft laugh.
“Do you have any idea how nice it is to see you smile?”
“Link?” Midna called, ascending the spiral steps. She’d spent the morning in a cabinet meeting. It had not been necessary for the prince to take part and she’d let him sleep in. Currently, he was in none of the normal areas of the palace. Midna, however, had an idea of where he might be.
Loud coughing caught her attention, confirming her suspicion. She continued to climb the steps. It had been some months since the assassination attempt. Link had yet to fully recover. The arrow had pierced his lung. Twili magic and technology had kept him alive, and even so, it was amazing that he’d survived. His lung had been left weak and he’d been subject to pneumonia and other complications. He’d been feeling better, at least physically, all the time, but currently had a lingering deep-chest cough from a cold he’d caught.
The lingering illness would be enough to lower anyone’s spirits, but Link had been… he just hadn’t been right lately. When they’d finally gotten to have a proper wedding night, he smiled a lot then, but, not long after that day, he’d stopped smiling. Midna had asked if she’d displeased him, but it wasn’t that. He just couldn’t bring himself to smile. The wearing apathy he’d been suffering had been precisely what she’d feared for him the day she’d shattered the Twilight Mirror. It was why she’d wanted to leave him in Hyrule… she did not want this to happen to him. According to Twili history, a great depression and apathy had settled over their ancestors soon after their arrival in the Realm. It had taken them long to adjust. They’d lost all ambition, all spark. Some of them, according to the tales, had even gone so far as to take their own lives.
Midna knew that Link was too strong for that. His heart was much too strong and stubborn for suicide, but still, he was suffering and there was no telling when he’d adjust. His body was beginning to make adjustments to the environment of the Twilight Realm. His skin had never regained its color after he’d been shot. Instead, it had remained pale and now had a blue tinge, like her skin. None of his skin had turned black, however, and it remained free of the patterns that most Twili naturally bore. Most of his hair was still dirty-blond, but it was streaked with silver. It was only sensible that it would turn that color and not the typical Twili-red since he’d been born with light-colored hair, rather than redheaded.
“Link,” the Twilit Queen said as she entered the topmost room of the
. Her prince stood quite still, with his back to her. He was dressed in his armor. Special, form-fitting body armor had been crafted for him through the finest Twilit magic by the royal armorers. It covered him ankles-to-neck, hugging his every muscle and moving with them as he moved. It was black and sleek, and Sols and Goddesses did Midna think he looked good in it. Link was wearing the armor and nothing over it. Midna silently cursed him for making her weak in the knees when she wanted to speak with him seriously. Link wore this armor often, although usually under pants and a cloak. It had been made for him as a precaution after the attempt on his life. The court considered him to be in more danger than their queen was – because of his status as a foreigner, as a being from the realm of light. Center Tower
Link turned to her and nodded.
“I had a feeling you’d be up here, looking at it.”
Midna stood beside her prince and gently put a hand upon his shoulder. Before them, struck into a stone pedestal, was the Master Sword. It glowed with the light of the Sols, even as it rested.
“I suppose she’ll make it back to Hyrule someday, somehow,” Link said, “When she is needed again.”
There were many spells cast on the lower floors of this tower to protect this place from evil. Unauthorized intruders would find themselves caught in one of many traps. Midna could come here and Link could come here – any time they wanted. Link preferred to carry his old Ordon sword now. The Master Sword was a sacred blade, only to be wielded in the direst of times. As Link had said, she preferred to rest. Midna wondered why he always referred to the Blade of Evil’s Bane as a “she.” Funny, that.
“You shouldn’t linger on the past like this, Link,” Midna sighed. “You always seem sadder when you’re up here and you haven’t exactly been a party of late.”
“I was in my element back then,” he said. “I was needed. I protected people.”
“You are needed here. You’re a prince now.”
“I may have been a peasant then, but… I really was more useful, wasn’t I? I still don’t know enough about this realm to be of much use here. You have the full sovereignty, as it should be. These are your people. You know what you’re doing. As it is, half the people are against me – and maybe they’re right. I don’t really know what I’m doing.”
“You’ve been talking with Xeras again, haven’t you?”
“Yes,” Link answered, “This morning, when you were with the Council.”
“We should have him executed. Finally, please, Link. I keep telling you that a man like that should be gotten rid of.”
As it turned out, Link’s would-be assassin was not alone in his quest to kill the young prince. One of Midna’s minor guards, a man named Xeras, had partnered with him and had helped him smuggle the bow onto the grounds. When the investigation had turned up the truth about him, Midna had wanted him executed right away, but Link convinced her to stay her hand. Since it was his life that had almost been taken, he insisted that the fate of Xeras be in his hands. Xeras was now in the royal dungeon, in a dank little room, chained to the wall and given basic care. He was free from torture and Link went down into the dungeon to talk with him from beyond the bars of his cell from time to time (in his armor and flanked by loyalist guards, of course).
“You know I can’t kill anything unless it’s in the heat of battle,” Link said. “I could take care of Ganondorf that way and we took care of Zant together, when they were immediate threats… but even when I dealt with monsters, I couldn’t do anything unless they were charging me, or unless I had somebody to rescue or protect. Xeras is a pathetic man. We may be well within our rights to execute him, but I feel it would be… dishonorable…somehow.”
“He’s a threat to your life!” insisted Midna. “He tried to kill you. I cannot forgive that.”
Link set his gaze ahead at the Master Sword, a hard look in his eyes. “He was just an accomplice. Trust me, when it comes to acting on his own, that man doesn’t have the guts. He fears me. He fears us. I was a Hero, Midna. I did… I do… just what has to be done. Death doesn’t have to be done to him.”
Midna sighed heavily and shook her head. “You still think you can change his mind, don’t you? You think you can get a man who tried to kill you to embrace the new rule you represent? Link, you are seriously naive.”
“As I’ve said before, it’s just that I don’t want to create a martyr for a stupid cause. The others like him out there, the ones splitting the kingdom… if they see us execute that man, they’ll think we are tyrants. It could give them cause for revolution – unnecessary, bloody, stupid revolution.”
“We should show strength.”
“We should show compassion.”
Link and Midna were now facing each other, glaring at one another. Link looked down. “Just give me more time, Midna,” he whispered. “I think I can break him, show him that light isn’t evil, and he, in turn, can show others. I think I am making progress. He’s already stopped calling me an ‘it.”
“Ah, Link…” Midna said, suddenly hugging him. “You really are just too brave for your own good.”
Link separated from her, looking down. The tips of his ears drooped slightly. This happened to Hylians when they aged, but could also happen to young Hylians when they were sick or sad. Link coughed again and grabbed his side. Midna reached for him. “Easy, easy,” she said as she pounded on his back to loosen the junk in his lungs.
He regained his composure. “Thanks,” he said, wincing.
“You might be too sick right now for what I had in mind for you,” Midna lamented.
Link looked up. “What you had planned for me?” he asked.
“You were discussed at the cabinet meeting this morning,” Midna said frankly. “Word has come by post regarding the town of
“Nocturne?” Link asked, “Isn’t it way out there in the south? A bit like Ordon was to Hyrule proper…”
“Yes,” Midna replied, “It is one of our farming communities. They are having a monster-problem. You’ve seen some of the lingering evil influences out on your rides around here and have been taking care of them quite well. It seems that quite a few malevolent creatures have gathered in the south. The mayor of Nocturne has requested my help. I think it would be a good idea to send you. This is something you have a lot of experience in and the people of that city can get a good look at you defending them and being a responsible ruler. It will give them the chance to see you for the Hero that you are. They’ll be able to see that you care – firsthand. I was going to have Ryll accompany you as a translator. You’re getting good at Twili, but you’re not fluent yet.”
“I can go,” Link said with a light cough. “This cough isn’t too bad. I’m sure I’m almost over it.”
“Good,” Midna said, “I think this will be good for Nocturne and good for you. You’ll take Maur as a steed, right? He seems to be your favorite.”
“Yeah. He’s the most obedient one in the stable, though he’s not quite like Epona – it must be the wolf in him. I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to that… riding horses that are part wolf, you know, since I was one.”
“Just remember tug him on the ears real hard if he gives you trouble. It’s the only thing they listen to.”
“I miss Epona. I hope she’s okay.”
“I’m sure Zelda took her to the royal stables or sent her off to that Ilia girl back in your home village. I’m sure she has a lot of status as the Hero’s steed. They might even breed her and sell the foals for a high price.”
Link turned to look out a window, leaning his arms upon the sill. “It’s kind of like winter every day,” he said.
“Huh?” Midna asked. “It’s not cold. The weather is more or less stable. In fact, it’s been warm lately.”
“I mean… the low levels of light. It’s like a cloudy day every day – like a winter sky, only more orange.”
“I thought you liked it.”
“I do, but…”
“You need the light,” Midna finished for him.
“In the wintertime, in Hyrule, during long winters, the cloudy skies and short days for months on end would make people gloomy. I never liked the wintertime. It reminds me of sad things.”
“The epidemic when you were a little kid,” Midna said, looking down at Link and rubbing his back.
“I lost my parents… my best friend… and I almost died. I never was the same after that winter. I can’t stop thinking about it, lately… or of other sad things – like what we found in
, of poor Queen Rutella… those kinds of things.” Kakariko Village
“You may not feel like it, Mr. Important Hero,” Midna said, “but you are helping to heal the Twilight Realm. Go to Nocturne. You’ll be useful and it should raise your spirits.”
Link set out with his translator at his side for Nocturne, upon yet another quest for his twilight princess. When two months had passed without his return to the
, Midna grew worried. The post brought no word of him or of events in Nocturne. Against the wishes of Daan, her Captain of the Guard, she marshaled an escort and rode to Nocturne herself. Twilight Palace
Along the way, she heard rumors of a fearful beast that roamed the forest around the town. The forest was thick in the area, the trees mostly of a coniferous variety, and they were all various shades of gray. The forest and the fields were painted in monotone, which accentuated the sky’s fire. People bowed to Midna and to her entourage when she entered the town. Farmers in the fields immediately stopped what they were doing to bend their knees. Villagers told her that they did not know what had happened to Prince Link, but that fewer malevolent creatures were coming down into their fields of late. Some suspected that the crazy light being had set up a camp somewhere in the woods around their great mountain. Midna headed up the mountain.
She stopped dead in her tracks when she came upon something along a mountain trail. She halted her steed before a thick tree. Suspended from a sturdy branch was a large, round cage. It resembled a giant bird cage, made of iron. There was a person inside it her arm draped through a space between two of the bars. She looked up, squinting her eyes. She spoke, and her voice was barely above a whisper.
“Ryll?” Midna asked. She turned to her escort before mustering up some shadow magic, gathering it down the length of her arm, and aiming a ball of it to the chain holding the cage. At the same time, she mustered her hair into a giant hand to gently lower the cage to the ground. Her men and women cut the cage open and pulled Ryll out. The poor woman was dirty and as limp as a rag doll. Midna knelt beside her and held her hand as one of her men gave her water.
“What happened?” Midna insisted.
“From the start…” Ryll groaned. “Been surviving on rain water. The mayor… and some with him… the mayor… ha-had… a reserve of shadow crystals. Am-ambushed as soon as we went into his office…”
“Easy. What happened to Link? Where is Link?”
“Mayor wants the throne. He’s marshalling forces. Not a kind man… He must be stopped.”
“We’ll take care of it, Ryll, I assure you. Where is Link?”
Ryll looked up at Midna sadly. “I do not know if the prince still lives. He got turned into the sacred wolf. Mayor had him dragged away to his basement. Been hearing… lots of… howling… on the mountain lately…”
“Take care of her,” Midna ordered before slapping herself back onto her steed like a sack of bricks, earning a growl from said steed. She spurred her mount off into the forest, further up the mountain.
“My lady!” Daan called after her. She rode even faster.
She looked for tracks and for silvery-white wolf hairs. If there were any rebels in these woods, she had no fear of them. She felt her personal magic to be sufficient to take care of any threat. That kind of power was something that those not born to the throne and not chosen by the Twilit Gods could ever claim.
She heard growling and dismounted gently. She tied her animal to a tree and proceeded toward the snarling noises on foot, cautious. Midna listened to her feet rustling the fallen leaves on the forest floor and tried to slow her approach. Then she saw, through a pair of trees, a large green-black and white wolf fighting with and tearing a snapping black carnivorous plant out of the ground. The canine’s jaws snapped loose the stem and the monster-plant fell limp and died. The wolf turned and looked at her. Immediately, his hackles raised and he emitted a low growl.
Midna crouched down slightly. This was definitely the right wolf. He had that unique bit of patterning on his forehead and she knew of no other wolf that would bother to kill a plant like that. His eyes were that clear dark blue she’d recognize anywhere, set in the face of any kind of creature.
“Link,” she said. “Ssh. It’s me, Midna.”
Link screwed up his face and snarled at her. She noticed various wounds on him, scabbed over. One on his legs had a cut that was oozing gelatinous dark blood. A few patches of hair were missing on him. She approached him and he merely growled more darkly.
“Don’t you recognize me? I’m your wife. I’m cute little Midna. Link, stop snarling at me. It’s really getting annoying.”
Link shifted his paws in the dirt, making like he was about to run. Midna came closer.
Suddenly, he sprang on her, snorting and snarling. He clamped his jaws into her left shoulder. Midna screamed in pain and surprise. She fell back and fell to her knees. She squeezed her arms around the wolf tightly and held him, even as his teeth were digging into her. She brought her hair around to hold him in place as she stroked his face and ears.
“Sssh,” she said. “It’s alright. It’s just me… Midna.” She ignored her pain, trying to calm him. She felt a little bloody patch on the side of his head. “I don’t know what happened to you, Link, but it’s alright now. I’m not here to hurt you. Sssh, now.”
She rocked back and forth until the wolf loosened his jaws. *Midna?* he asked, reaching out with his spirit.
Midna’s escort arrived and formed a circle around her, watching their queen rocking back and forth with the wolf in her arms. Link calmed down and passed out with her holding him.
Link was taken back to the
where the holy energies of the Master Sword and the light of the Sols restored him to his Hylian form. He spent three days wafting in and out of consciousness until he woke up screaming and afterward was able to tell his story. Twilight Palace
He and Ryll had arrived in Nocturne after two days of riding. They were invited into the mayor’s house to sit down and to speak about the town’s problems. Link had felt quite secure, for the man had seemed to him like he wanted to sit down and speak intelligently. It was then that the mayor had shouted an order to his personal guardsmen. They grabbed Ryll while the mayor drew a bottle from his robes, un-corked it, and doused Link with its contents.
Those contents happened to be shadow crystals, residue from the reign of Zant that the mayor of Nocturne had carefully hidden for his own purposes. Ryll was clubbed over the head and dragged away, while Link was transformed into a wolf and clubbed over the head before he could assess what was going on and properly fight back. He awoke later in a large cage in a dark place. (Midna’s investigation turned up the cage in the mayor’s basement). Link had been tortured by the mayor’s personal guards. They’d wielded spears that emitted electricity and magical energy that they’d poked through the bars. He’d also hurt himself in wild frenzy trying to get free. Link had suffered many days of this before they’d assessed him weak enough to leave alone to die.
Rain had seeped in through the basement, leaving a soft patch of earth for Link to dig his way free. He fled to the woods, not aware of who he was or what he was supposed to be, for the torture had taken a great toll on him. His animal impulses had taken over and he lived as a wolf. Link told Midna that he had a great drive toward killing the monsters that were on the mountain, even though they were unfit for him to eat. He was very contrite about having hurt her. He had trouble remembering everything that had happened to him, but he could tell her that he had been very confused and had felt, upon seeing her, a great fear, an impulse telling him that people were dangerous – something he’d gained courtesy the mayor of Nocturne and his men.
As for the would-be usurper and his small cabal of followers (most of the town of
was innocent, and unaware of his machinations) – the dungeons of the Nocturne had many more prisoners to keep Xeras company. The mayor himself was not among them, for upon seeing Midna in her power and fury, he’d swiftly taken his own life to avoid the pain he was sure she’d put him in. Twilight Palace
Ryll made a full recovery under the care of the physicians at the palace, as did Link. Life In the kingdom began to settle. Link remained with his depression and apathy for a long time, but slowly… and surely… with Midna’s help, he began smiling again.
Chapter 4: Legacy in Black and White
Link got up from the lounge and went to the edge of the balcony. A gentle breeze whipped his robe and hair as he looked down into the courtyard below. He put his hands on the railing gently. Midna paused. She remembered a day when he’d stood up here addressing a great throng of their citizens below in the same open robe he wore now – eschewing his armor for the first time since the assassination attempt. At the moment, the courtyard was silent and he was showing his scars to no one but her.
The kingdom was in a state of relative stability now. There were still those that were suspicious of Link, but with Midna solidifying her hold on power and the people kept happy with the true ruler of the Twilight, he no longer feared for his life quite as much as he had in his first, shaky year in the palace. His hair had completely silvered, his skin had completely tinged, and the sky no longer felt like perpetual winter to him.
He spoke a verse of Twili poetry. Midna smiled and walked up to him. “You’re getting better with the enunciation,” she said. She stood behind him, draping her arms over his shoulders and leaning down to rest her chin on the top of his head.
“I’ve been practicing,” Link responded, “I don’t want a repeat of last week… you know… when I tried to give the Lord of the Waterfall Lands that benediction of peace, botched up and, apparently told him that my undergarments were on fire, instead.”
Midna laughed, remembering the shocked look on her nobleman’s face and the quick saving of face she had to do. Lord Rix had laughed and indulged Link’s poor accent and off-grammar. It took several years, often an entire childhood, for a Twili noble to understand Hylian on any strong level, so, he’d imagine that it would probably take a Hylian even longer to properly master all of the complexities of Twili. Link was getting very good with the language, but there were always metaphors and grammar bits he’d get wrong from time to time. One of the things he was always slipping up on was in remembering how reversed some of the language surrounding concepts of evil and misfortune were in the Twilight Realm were from Hylian ideas. In Hyrule, an ominous prediction for the future might be described as “gathering clouds of darkness,” whereas, for the Twili, the proper description of the same would be “piercing rays of brightness.”
Midna nudged her chin atop Link’s hair. “You’re so short,” she teased. “Hard to lean down to kiss, but you make a nice chin-rest.”
“Great things come in small packages,” Link countered. “You used to be short. Really short.”
“But that was temporary, my little Hylian.”
“Well, I learned why you liked to float way over my head when talking to me back then. I’ve always been pretty short, even by the standards of my people. It’s weird – you’d think that any chosen by the Goddesses to be of the legendary Hero’s line would be… tall and gallant.”
“You are gallant.”
“But not tall. When you came back to me after the fight with Ganondorf, really, my first thoughts ran along this: First, I was flabbergasted and ecstatic that you were alive. The second thought… well, I’m not sure it’s very polite, and third was ‘Goddesses, she’s enormous!”
“I hope you mean tall,” Midna said in a threatening tone.
“What was the second one… the impolite thought?”
She felt his skin temperature rise by a degree or two. Although she didn’t move or look down to see him blush, she knew he was blushing.
“Um…yeah…” Link said. “What I mean is… Um… it’s not like it matters now, but back then… you being a high lady… I’m sure I was transgressing…I…”
“You were thinking with your pants,” Midna answered for him.
Link let out a little squeak.
Midna laughed. “Its okay, my little Hero. I got one good long look at you, battered, but proud and alive… and I was thinking with my pants, too.”
“But everything has its proper place and time. We have been out here for quite a while. Shall we go to bed?”
One of the points of contention that even some of Midna’s loyalists had with Link being her chosen prince was the concern over lines of succession. It was thought that Hylian and Twili blood could not mix, and therefore, the union between the queen and her consort would “bear no fruit,” as the saying went.
According to some of the history scholars, Hylian and Twili mixed offspring were theoretically possible, depending upon which of Hyrule’s races the Twili’s ancestors had been. There was heavy speculation that the ancestors had been Gerudo or Gerudo-kin, which had been known for taking Hylian mates to continue their predominantly female tribes. The true identity of the original Dark Interlopers, however, had been long lost. In any case, it was thought that the Twilight had corrupted the Twili blood so far away from its original form that a child being born from a Twili and Hylian coupling was about as likely as a litter being produced from the mating of a cat and a dog.
Midna would have to one day select a successor from among her court, for she had no living blood relatives. This was feared among that very court, for Midna’s blood carried the true Royal Line, from back in the days when first ruler had been chosen by the Twilit Deities. It was her genes that held the purest magic. Zant had only gained the power that he had through a cheat – his partnership with the Light’s demon-king and the part of the Light’s Triforce that he held. He’d been a relation of the royal family as well as a servant thereof, but was not of the true blood. Without Midna’s passing on the pure magic to sons and daughters, it could be lost. Any successor she chose from among her advisors and nobles would have a lesser magic that may take generations to build up to the level held by the Royal Line.
It was suggested that she take a second mate.
There was a clause in the Twilit Laws regarding sterility within the royal family. If the king or the queen, a prince, princess or consort was found to be infertile, had suffered an accident that affected their intimate performance or for other, more complicated reasons could not produce an heir, the fertile member of the royal couple was allowed to take a second consort for the purposes of producing children.
It was said that when Counselor Terres had made this suggestion to the queen, that Prince Link had glared at him and growled. Queen Midna had sent a quick bolt of dark energy at him, which he’d dodged. This suggestion was never brought before her again.
Link and Midna cherished the times they spent together when they could be completely by themselves.
Although there was gossip around the court that they were “as base as beasts,” not every time they could get away from the court ended in them “trying to produce an heir.” Times like an evening spent upon the balcony just watching the sunset together were what happened more often than not.
When they had retired from the balcony to go to bed, they’d simply curled up together and fell asleep against each other reading a book.
“My lady!” T’leth called, his feet echoing in the long hall as Midna was on her way back to the throne room after having conferred with her Minister of Finance. “Lady Midna!”
She stopped and walked toward him. “What is it, T’leth? What is so urgent?”
“I have results from the tests I ran yesterday during your regular health exam. You should fetch the prince and come into infirmary right away.”
T’leth turned on his heel and walked away to leave Midna wondering. She hoped that nothing was wrong. She didn’t feel even the slightest bit amiss. She walked out to the palace training grounds, knowing that Link was likely to be there, practicing his swordsmanship on an obstacle course he had built himself.
Soon, both Midna and Link were sitting in the castle’s infirmary, Link in a chair and Midna upon a bed. T’leth was acting most strange. He stood behind Midna and ran a hand a few inches from her body, over her. T’leth’s hand emitted a swirl of dark energy. Link had come to recognize it as a standard Twilit magic reading, the standard way of diagnosing health and assessing problems. T’leth had to take special measures with him, changing polarity on his magic, sometimes even resorting to physical tools just because of his light-dweller’s body and the “light” aligned magic that ran through his Hylian blood.
“Hmmph,” T’leth muttered. It is as I’ve suspected. This corroborates the blood-magic test. I feel a strong male energy, too.”
“What are you talking about, T’leth?” Midna demanded. “I am not just your patient, I am your queen and I will know what is going on.”
“Well, my lady, and my lord,” he said, nodding to Link, “It seems you two have done the impossible.”
Link’s jaw dropped. “You mean...?” he stammered, “You mean..?”
“Yes?” Midna asked with a strange laugh. “Are you sure, T’leth?”
“The bloods have mixed, and quite well, by the feel I am getting,” the doctor replied. “You two have created an heir. Not very far along now, but I do feel a distinct male signature in the magic, so… congratulations. You are having a little prince.”
Link began to stand up and Midna tackled him in a hug. They spun around for a few moments.
“Have you any names in mind?” T’leth asked.
“After the father,” Midna said, stroking one of Link’s ears. “Wouldn’t you agree? Light and Twilight… a link between two worlds.”
“That’s a bad pun,” Link complained, “but I like it. I like it quite a lot.”
This was quite possibly the most predictable, sappiest fan fiction I’ve ever written – at least for the Zelda fandom. I hope you enjoyed it, anyway.
I’ve decided to leave off the ending here because I feel like it’s all that needs to be written. I want to leave the rest to reader’s imaginations. I really didn’t want this to become a next-generation kind of fic, or one that dragged on too long.
If anyone cannot be content with the ending here and simply must have more – you’re welcome to write your own fanfic-of-fanfic sequel if you like, so long as you credit the source (this).
Just absolute sap!
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