Author's Note: Hey, I tried my hand at a romance. Sort of. Enjoy!
Come to the castle immediately! Your presence is imperative! No time to explain.
I received the letter early in the morning. A loud knock awoke me from dreams of a local ranch girl. (Long, red hair. Blue eyes. And what a body...) Needless to say, I wasn't too happy to see the royal messenger. He handed me the letter, and tapped his foot impatiently as I read it. "What does she want this time?" I groaned. I wanted to get back to my dreaming. "Her Majesty told me not to return without you." the messenger said in a snotty tone. "And if you do return alone?" He looked me up and down. "I'm not sure. You don't look so important to me." What a jerk. I thought. He wore a floppy, velvet hat adorned with a big white plume. "Nice hat." I said, and shut the door in his face. He began to yell protests and bang on my door. I rolled my eyes and changed out of my night clothes. He was still carrying on when I opened the door again. "I couldn't show up in the royal court decked out in my pajamas, now could I?" He turned on his heel and climbed down the ladder to my front porch. The thought crossed my mind to push the ladder off while he was on it. But then, of course, I would have had to explain myself to Zelda, so I figured it wasn't worth the trouble. I climbed down and followed him out of the forest. We mounted our horses and rode toward the castle. My eyes wandered over to the big ranch in the middle of Hyrule Field. I wondered if the red-haired girl was awake yet. I felt much more like visiting her than Zelda. It was the fourth time in a month that Zelda had called me. The past three times had been "urgent", "impending", and "extremely important". I wondered what the big stink was that time. Hopefully, nothing petty. The time it was "urgent", Zelda thought she heard the voices of the Goddesses calling her. It turned out to be a mother cat with a litter of new kittens hiding in the bushes below her bedroom window. When it was "impending" that I abandon taking Epona to be shoed at the ranch, (even though I was really going to see the red-haired girl) Zelda was just bored, and thought that I would "liven things up" around the castle. My presence was "extremely important" when she needed an escort to the ball she was throwing. I can't even dance. Naturally, I was a little perturbed to be told that I was needed immediately. The snooty messenger and I arrived at Hyrule Castle. Our horses were led off by servants. Another servant greeted me, and quietly led me into the castle, then down to the throne room, where I was announced. I bowed in respect and was told to rise. I realized that it really must be important, because the King was also there. "Good morning, Link. It's good to see you." said Zelda. "The pleasure is mine." I answered. Zelda smiled and turned to the King. "See, Father? He's very polite." The King nodded. He eyed me carefully. Zelda turned back to me. "How have you been since I saw you last? Have you been keeping up with your swordsmanship, archery, and whatnot?"
"I practice every day, Your Majesty."
"And you still live alone?" That was an odd question, I had no idea why she would ask me such a thing, but of course, it was Zelda. "Well," I replied hesitantly, " it depends on how you define alone. I mean, my lady, I have neighbors, and- " Zelda laughed. "Oh, Link, you're so silly!" She turned to her father again. "You see? He has a sense of humor, too!" The King simply nodded a second time. Something was amiss. Zelda was acting ditzier than usual. Why did she need the King there to listen to such a seemingly pointless conversation? All I wanted was to go back to bed and dream about the red-haired girl. I cleared my throat. She looked back at me. "Yes, Link?"
"Princess Zelda, I don't mean to be rude but, what is it exactly that you called me for?" Zelda turned to her father. She whispered something in his ear. He did his nod a third time, and sat up straight. Zelda grinned from ear to ear. The King looked me hard in the eyes, and spoke in his deep, authoritative voice. "Link, you have loyally served the royal family of Hyrule for several years now. Without you, our world would not be the same. We are forever indebted to you." Was I going to be given an award? A knighthood perhaps? The King continued. "As you know, I am growing older, and Zelda is now at the age of marriage. She is my sole heir, and the throne must be ensured. Law states that she must wed someone of Hylian blood with a prominent background. . She has been given the freedom to choose. However, that person must meet my approval." What was he getting to? "Zelda has chosen a suitor, and I must say, she couldn't have picked anyone better." My head began to spin. "Brave Link of the Kokiri forest, you shall be the next king of Hyrule." It took all of my strength not to scream. Zelda jumped up and ran to me, throwing her arms around my neck. I stood motionless; too shocked to move or speak. My stomach began to tighten, and I knew I was going to be sick. I gently pushed Zelda away and asked for a moment. She gave me a puzzled look as I hurried out of the throne room, and into the hall. I ran and stuck my head out an opened window, where I threw up. I heard a servant yelp down below, then curse at me. I took a few deep breaths, trying to clear my head. I couldn't marry Zelda! It was out of the question! She was too loopy, too blonde, too... Zelda. No wonder she had called me all of those other times. She had been sizing me up! I felt more used than usual. What was I going to ? It seemed like I wasn't being given much of a say in the matter. How did I manage to get myself into such messes? The thought of going back into the throne room made me want to be sick again. The prospect of marriage to Zelda was one hundred times more frightening than anything else I'd ever faced. Fighting a million Ganondorfs for the rest of my existence was more appealing to me than marrying her. Needless to say, I didn't have an easy time putting up a happy front when I went back into the throne room. Zelda took my hands in hers, and looked into my eyes. She frowned and wrinkled her nose. She sniffed and tried to suppress a cough. "Link, you smell like..." She didn't finish. I gave her a questioning look. "Are you feeling alright?" she asked. That was my chance to leave, and I took it. "Actually, Your Highness, I've been feeling under the weather lately. I really should be in my bed."
"Oh, please, Link, call me Zelda from now on. Stay right there. I'll call the royal doctors right away. I can't have you feeling ill. It's my duty to keep you in good health now." I begged off. "No, no. It's just a little thing. I'll be better after some rest. I appreciate your concern, but I can take care of myself for now." Her face fell, but she gave in. "Well, okay. But if you get any worse, just call and I'll be there." Whoopee. I nodded. She looked at me expectantly. Oh yeah, I forgot. I opened my arms and she hugged me. I rolled my eyes. (I found myself doing that a lot around her.) We parted, finally, and I bowed to the King. I turned and left. I ran out of that castle so fast, it was as if I had rockets strapped to my feet. I immediately returned home. I was so tired, and the thing with Zelda... it was too much to handle all at once. As soon as I hit the bed, I fell asleep. However, my slumber was anything but restful. I had awful nightmares about marrying the princess, Ganondorf slitting my throat, and the ranch girl being stampeded. When I woke, I was shivering and in a cold sweat. It was around noon. I got out of bed and looked in my mirror. I smoothed my blonde hair back and went outside. It was cool in the forest, but when I walked out into Hyrule Field and called for Epona, I realized that it was really quite warm out. I mounted Epona and headed for Lon Lon Ranch. It took me about fifteen minutes to get there. I ran my fingers through my hair as I entered, and hoped I looked presentable. I dismounted my horse, and a ranch hand took her reigns. I asked where the red-haired girl was, and the man pointed in the direction of the corral. I thanked him, and leisurely walked that way. I rounded the corner. Sure enough, there she was, singing as she patted the horses. Her voice was so lovely, I could have listened to it all day. She didn't see me, so I leaned against the corral fence and watched her. After a few minutes, she turned around and saw me. She smiled. (Such a wonderful smile!) "Oh, hello, Fairy Boy." she called. "Hello." I answered. She motioned for me to come to her. I was more than glad to. She patted a large, black horse. We chatted for s few minutes about this and that, then she asked if I would like to come inside for a moment. I said alright, and we went into her modest ranch house. She offered me a glass of water, and I took it gratefully. "What brings you to the ranch today, Fairy Boy?" I took a drink of my water. "Nothing much."
"Does Epona need another shoe?"
"No, not really."
"Nope." We sat in silence for a bit. Finally, I spoke up. "Actually, Malon, I did come for an important reason." She leaned forward with obvious interest. I swallowed hard. As far as I knew, she couldn't tell I felt, well.... you get the picture. So how could I broach the subject.? For one of the few times in my life, I felt scared. She still looked upon me with eager eyes. I rubbed the back of my neck. "Um, Malon, have you ever, uh- what's the word- felt a certain way about things? Ya know, an interesting kind of feeling?" She stared at me blankly. "I'm not quite sure I know what you're talking about." It wasn't working. I began to panic. "Malon, what I'm trying to say is- " I looked in her eyes and my heart skipped a beat. I stood and paced. "Fairy Boy," she said, "please, just tell me. I'm dying in suspense over here!" Just say it, Link! I turned and rushed over to where she sat. I took her hand in mine. "Malon, I like you. I really, really do. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever set my eyes on. The thought of anyone else even casting a glance your way makes me horribly jealous. I've liked you since I first saw you. I've decided that I don't want anyone else. Will you run away with me?" I regretted the last part as soon as it slipped from my mouth. Where had it come from? Malon opened her mouth to say something, but there was a knock at the front door. She excused herself, and went to open the door. It was someone with a letter for her father, Talon. She tipped the messenger, and closed the door. She sat back down at the table. I slumped miserably in my chair. Malon rubbed her neck and pursed her lips in thought. She put her hand over mine. "Fairy Boy, how long have I known you?"
"Eight years." I answered.
"That's quite a while, isn't it?"
"I guess so."
"We know each other pretty well then, right?" I nodded. "What's bothering you?" she asked tenderly. She said it in such a gentle tone, I just had to answer. I wanted to tell her about Zelda, I really did. However, you must understand, I just couldn't. I looked down at my hand; the one she had placed hers over. I spoke without looking at her. "Nothing's bothering me."
"Are you sure?" (Such torture to lie to her!) I numbly put my other hand over hers. Such soft skin... "Yes, I'm sure. And, well, I'm sorry. I'll go now." I stood, still not looking at her. "Fairy Boy..."
"Have you really felt this way since you first saw me? Do you truly feel this way?" I wasn't sure what to do. The door was right there in front of me. I could have run, forgotten I ever said anything; or I could take a chance, and finally hold Malon in my arms, and know she felt the same way about me. I swallowed. My heart was pounding. "Yes, Malon. I've liked you since I first laid eyes in you." She didn't say anything. I felt like the quiet was choking me. I took her silence as a sign of rejection. I ran to the door, and thrust my hands upon the brass handle. "Link!" Malon cried. I stopped cold in my tracks and turned. She had called me by my name. After eight years of friendship, Malon had finally called me Link. She had tears in her eyes. It hurt me in a strange sort of way, because when a girl cries, (I had been taught, at least) it is never a good thing. I couldn't stand to see her like that, so I went to her. I put my arms around her, and held her tightly to me. "Please, please Malon, don't cry." I said. "I'm so sorry, Malon!" She sniffled and held me back, which surprised me. "Link..." (Oh, to hear her say that- I could never hear it enough!) "I, I like you too." Shocked, I pulled away a bit, and looked down at her. She was looking up at me. Almost as if by an outside force, I leaned down and.... well, I kissed her. And she kissed me back. Then, something strange happened. You see, I had never kissed a girl before. It was a first for me. As far as I knew, when two people kissed, their lips met for a moment, parted, and that was it. Not quite for me. You see, not only had I never been kissed before, I had never been in love before. When I told Malon that I liked her, it was only a half-truth. I actually loved her, except I was unaware of it. Like I said, I had never been in love before. I was also the first, and so far, the only Hero of Time. The sole bearer of that title and holder of the Triforce of Courage. Little did I know of the prophecy. One tiny (not so tiny, really) detail had been lost from the predictions about the Hero of Time. There was a forgotten oracle about the Hero of Time and his first and only love. I.E. Malon and me. Oh look, now I'm getting off track. Sorry. Anyway, that misplaced prediction came true the moment I kissed Malon. I began to feel this terrible pain in my back, right between my shoulder blades. My entire spine felt like it was on fire! My skin felt like it would split right down the middle and fall off. I drew abruptly away from Malon, and stumbled backward. The pain built and built. I couldn't take it. "Malon, help!" I yelled. I was glad I was wearing pants instead of tights that day, because my tunic was rubbing against my back, making the pain even more unbearable than it already was. I undid my belt and ripped off my tunic. "Link, what's wrong?!" she cried. I couldn't answer. The pain was so intense- I had never felt such agonizing throe before! Everything began to grow dark. I was passing out, the pain was so much. I fell to my knees and doubled over, my nose scraping the floor. Right when everything was almost completely dark, I heard a loud WHOOSH! and fell flat on my face. I blacked out. When I woke up a few seconds later, the pain was gone. I blinked. What had happened? I slowly pushed myself up on all fours, then used a chair to stand. I almost lost my balance. Leaning on the chair, I turned to Malon, who was silent. She stared at me with wide eyes, her mouth agape. "Malon, what is it?" I asked, fearing the worst. She pointed at me and moved her jaw, trying to talk. "You, you, you're- " she squeaked. "I'm what?"
"Look!" There was a mirror hanging on the wall. I turned and looked in it. I couldn't believe what I saw. I ran over to the mirror for a closer look. I had to be seeing things. It had to be a dream. I needed to get to the Temple of Time right away. I asked Malon for a cloak, which she immediately brought me without question. I picked up my tunic, and draped the cloak over myself. I asked Malon not to breathe a word to anyone. She promised, and I headed out. I left Epona at the ranch, and, instead, ran all the way to the Temple. People gave me curious looks as I hurriedly passed them. I entered the Temple, which was empty, and stood in front of the altar which held the three sacred stones. "Rauru!" I yelled. "Rauru where are you?! I need to talk to you now!" There was no answer. I called to him again, but he still didn't show up. Where was the Sage of Light when I really needed him? Desperate, I exited the Temple and made my way back to the forest. I went into the woods and found the meadow where Saria hung around every day. She, of course, was there, and didn't seem too surprised to see me. "I was wondering when you'd come." she said.
"Saria, I need you help."
"What is it, Link?"
"How do you explain this?" I whipped off my cloak. She shrugged. "So what?" I was angry. "'So what'? What do you mean, 'So what'?! Look at me! This isn't what I'd call normal!"
"It was bound to happen sooner or later."
"When was I going to be informed?"
"You just were." I groaned. I was getting quite frustrated. I paced. "Calm down, Link."
"How can you expect me to calm down?"
"Come. Sit." I reluctantly sat down next to her on a large stump. "Now, what is it about this that bothers you so much? Don't you think that this happened for a reason?"
"Yes, in fact. And it's the reason that bothers me."
"Because it's always a bad reason."
"Really? What if I told you that this is good?" I looked at her suspiciously. "Enlighten me, Saria, because I don't see how it could be."
"You've been told you're going to marry Princess Zelda, right?"
"How did you know that?"
"Link, there is only one thing faster than the speed of light, and that is the speed of gossip. Anyway, I'm a sage, I know things before I'm told about them."
"Oh." She went on. "You're not in love with Zelda, are you?"
"Well, you're not supposed to marry her. That's why this has happened."
"I'm afraid I don't quite follow."
"Let me explain. If you marry Zelda, you two will have children together, correct?" I thought about it and shuddered. "It's important that you marry the right girl, Link. The future of Hyrule depends on your descendants.
"So if I marry her, and we have children, my descendants will fail?"
"No, the ones who are supposed to save Hyrule will never be born, because they are not to come from Zelda's bloodline. They are only to come from the union of you and the girl you love."
"I see, but what does that have to do with this?" I asked, pointing at myself. "Zelda won't give up the marriage unless you 1: die, or 2: give her a reason she can't ignore. I hardly think she'd accept you like you are now, anyway. But..." Saria reached up and pulled a scroll out of the air. She handed it to me. I unrolled it and read as she explained. "What happened to you today was foretold many years ago, Link. Everyone, except the Sages, forgot about this prophecy, and it was lost with the passing of time. This is one of the few remaining copies of that prophecy. Show this to the Princess and her father. Reveal yourself to them, and they won't be able to deny the fact that you can't marry her. You will then be free to marry whom you wish. Do this with haste, for the very future of our world depends on your descendants." I draped the cloak over myself again, and thanked Saria for her help. I ran out of the forest, scroll in hand. I reached the castle around 5:00. It was supper time, and I hoped Zelda and the King were still in the throne room. Despite questioning looks from the guards, I was given immediate access to the royals. They were still there. Zelda ran up to me to give me a hug, but I put my hand out before me. She stopped and gave me a puzzled look. "What's wrong, my dear? And why are you wearing that big cloak on such a warm evening?" I cleared my throat. "I'm sorry, Princess Zelda, but I cannot marry you. I ask both you and his Majesty's forgiveness.." Zelda scoffed in disbelief. "Of course you can marry me!" she sputtered. I solemnly shook my head. I handed her the scroll. "Read this." She unrolled it and read through it quickly. She handed it to her father, who also read it. "Where did you get this?" she asked.
"Saria, Sage of the Forest gave it to me."
"This can't be true, you have no proof!"
"It's real, I assure you."
"Show me." I pulled off the cloak. Zelda and the King gasped. "It's true." I said. They looked at each other. The King handed me the scroll and spoke. "We are sorry, Link of the Kokiri Forest. You would have made an exceptional king. You are here by released from your betrothal to Princess Zelda, with my blessing." I thanked them, bowed, and left. I did not cover myself. Stirs of whispers arose as I walked through Hyrule Market. All eyes were on me as I walked out into the field. I made my way back to Lon Lon Ranch. It was nearly six when I arrived. I lightly knocked in the door to Malon's house. Her father answered. When he saw me, his jaw dropped. "Link, you-" I put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a knowing look. He nodded and let me in. Malon came into the room and saw me. "Oh, you're back! Did you find anything out?" I handed her the scroll. She read it. "What does this mean?" she asked. I motioned for her to sit down, which she did. "Malon, when I told you before that I liked you, I wasn't telling you the truth. You see, earlier today, I was told that I have to marry Princess Zelda." Her face drooped. "Oh, it's all right, Link. I understand." I went over and took her hand. "Malon, I'm not going to marry Zelda. You see, when I told you I liked you, I was wrong. I don't like you. I love you. I love you, Malon. And this is my proof." She smiled. "Do you love me, Malon?"
"Yes, Fairy Boy. Yes, I do." A long, white feather drifted down, and stuck in her hair. I kissed her again. She had some difficulty hugging me, though, because my sweeping, white wings got in the way. "You don't mind the wings, do you?" I asked. "No, Link, I don't mind at all. I n fact, I think they're beautiful."
"Say that again, would you?"
"I think they're beautiful."
"No, my name. Say my name."
"I love you, Malon."
"I love you, Link." And that's about it.
"And the true Hero of Time shall fall in love.
"When he and his love are united in a kiss,
"His heart shall swell with such joy,
"and he shall sprout white wings to fly upon, like that of an angel.
"Such will be known that she is his true love,
"and the one who will mother his descendants,
"the future saviors of Hyrule, the protectors of the Golden Land."
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