Author's Note: Okay, this is my first Zelda fic, but I've been playing the games since I was three, so be as harsh or kind as you want, I don't mind. I'm also trying to co-write Wind Waker in Tetra's POV with my friend Kylie but that could take a while. The first line of this belongs to dnrl, an excellent writer who owns the inspiration for this in the PJO Fandom. Oh, this is my first time writing in present tense-I usually hate it-so please tell me if it sucks.
So, I give you, Seconds and Years, my oneshot that I cooked up when I was home with strep.
Tetra is young and brash and bold because she can be. No one stops her from being rude or wild or demanding, they are her mother's crew, and therefore, her crew. She is standing with her mother, a bold woman who has always had her heart set on finding a treasure that Tetra doesn't know the name of.
She is looking at the pictures and maps on her mother's walls. They enchant her, the pretty triangles and plots, half discovered. Her blond hair is long and curly and gets in her eyes as she studies the work of whatever cartographer made them.
"Princess," her mother says, using the nickname she always calls her daughter, "What are you doing?"
"I'm just…looking," Tetra replies softly, walking over to her mother's slim and watching figure.
She touches her mother's blonde hair, held in place at the top by a golden headband. She loves her mother, but she rarely says it. Her mother always told her to be strong and brave, not weak and small.
But two years later, her mother is sick. Tetra waits on Windfall Island for the doctor to fix her. It isn't going well.
She sits patiently on the dock that the ship is anchored near next to Gonzo. He sets his hand on hers and looks into her glittering blue eyes with his tear filled brown. He is known to cry at the drop of a hat, but this time it is more than just spilled milk.
"Will she be okay?" Tetra asks anxiously, feeling as small and afraid as they all tell her to never be.
There is no answer.
Her mother could die.
No, she decides, it can't be.
Tetra leaps up with all of her strength, running out of Gonzo's grasping hands and hurries into the belly of the pirate ship. She knows that she has to find her mother and she knows that she has to tell her one last time. She has to tell her the one thing she always wouldn't say.
She is too late, she realizes with the strange sensation of tears trickling down her tan cheeks. The room is icy, not alive as she remembers it. She walks inside, pushing past the men inside, her crew members and people from the island.
She reaches her mother's bed and finds that she is colder than the room. Tears fill Tetra's eyes as she realizes just how many years were lost in those seconds. She touches her mother's hair one last time.
She never gets to say I love you.
She is standing on the deck of her ship, swallowing her pride and allowing the stupid boy to get aboard. She doesn't like him, though she knows she owes him her life. Maybe that's why she doesn't like him, because she knows that he saved her. She looks at his new shield and sees that it has the same symbol on it as her mother's maps used to.
She doesn't mention it, simply prepares to set off back into the sea, the sea where she belonged. For the first time, she feels thankful to the boy that she's not dead or kidnapped back with the huge bird. Still, she shoots him a glare as he waves to his family and friends.
Wait-is she jealous? Jealous that he has a home?
No, she decides, that can't be.
The Great Sea is her home, and always will be.
She touches her sword and sits down on the side of the ship. They finally make it out a good distance and she notices his tear filled eyes. What a stupid boy.
She ridicules him and asks if he's going to cry. Then she sends him below deck to find Niko and be out of her way.
Tetra sits and thinks, wondering why she felt that way about home. The water and the rush of a salty spray, the gusts of wind blowing and the sun and storms were her wild home. But could there be something different?
She looks out at the sea and wishes it well, telling it that it is a good enough home for her and the only asylum from the world out there. She thanks if for being there all of the seconds and years. But she wants to say I love you.
She is wandering the sea, waiting for word of the Link boy. The days are growing darker, and some evil is growing. She is still looking for the treasure-but what she really wants is to know what happened to the kid she sent flying to the Forsaken Fortress. She is starting to realize new feelings for him.
Could it be that she liked the Link boy more than she would admit?
No, she decides, that can't be.
But when she sees what happens to Gale Island, she thinks that the same might happen to Outset. Outset Island, the home of the Link boy. She bites her lower lip and walks towards Gonzo, her strongest and bravest man in her crew. And also, her closest friend. She looks up at him with her narrowed blue eyes and licks her lips.
"Gonzo, we need bombs," she says clearly, enunciating each word so that it comes off in the manner of her usual orders.
"We'll go straight to Windfall, Miss Tetra!" he snapped back, straightening up for a second in a motion that makes her smile slightly.
It's true that they need bombs, but she really wants to go to Windfall and learn of what happened to Link. It seems foolish and idiotic to her, but she has a strange pull towards him that she can't explain.
Tetra walks to the wheel and spins it in direction of Windfall Island, knowing the way to every corner of the charted Great Sea by heart. As the wind begins to blow them on their course, she falls onto the wheel in a slumped position, looking out at the ship that she had known for so long.
Everything about it seems perfect to her, but it doesn't explain her worry for Link and her worry for the world. She is on her mission to find the treasure, but her heart still aches for the stupid boy and her stupid goal doesn't seem as important anymore. But Tetra thinks that perhaps that Link has something to do with her treasure.
The thought disappears with a shake of her head and a loosening of her curly bun. She tightens her scarf and prepares to arrive at Windfall easily, chewing on her chapped lips and turning the wheel to avoid a gang of sharks. She's thankful that they are already so close to the island.
When they get there, the pirates talk to Cannon. The irritating man's demands for such high prices sends Tetra's tempers up through the roof, a tsunami ready to strike.
"Mako, Gonzo, tie him up!" she snaps, leaning against the wall as they do their work, wrapping the frightened and shocked man up in ropes.
Her crew begins to remove the barrels of his explosive merchandise as Tetra looks around. She walks out from under the shelter of the mini roof and orders her men to take the bombs to the ship. She can't believe that they want her to stay the night to relax.
She can't relax until she knows that Link is safe. But then she looks up and sees something she never expected. She watches Link on his stomach looking down at them. A smile flickers onto her lips for an almost invisible second as she realizes that he needs the bombs.
She knows how to help as she winks at him before agreeing to spend the night on Windfall. She doesn't know what she's helping him do, but she knows that it's right. She pauses before she leaves looking up at him.
She almost opens her mouth to say that three words that came to mind but doesn't, starting to leave. She wishes she had said I love you.
Tetra pretends to be angry when Niko tells her that the bombs are gone. She tells the crew not to disturb her and locks herself in her mother's room, staying in there for a long time, deciding to forget all about Link and let him save the world himself.
But when she learns that he is returning to the Forsaken Fortress, she demands the crew to race there at the speed of the fastest gale. She knows she must see what became of him and she believes that she must aid him on his little quest.
When they get near the Fortress, the bird comes swooping in from above, beating its wings and cawing in screeches that pierce her pointed ears. She sucks in her cheeks in thought and decides that there is only one thing that they must do.
"Throw it off course!" Tetra screams, climbing up the crow's nest as fast as she can.
The crew hurries to her demand and she stands at the top, climbing the pole. The wind is whipping around her, the lights from the Forsaken Fortress are somehow knocked out and are leaving her in darkness. She pushes her hair as far away from her ears as she can, standing tall and straight. She waves her arms in the air and its attention turns to her.
"Ready the boarding boats!" she shouts down to the crew, all of them scampering about and rushing to the demand while avoiding death.
She waits for the wind to take the boat to the side and dives off of the edge. The bird swoops down onto her and she hits the water with a forceful splash that moves her clothes, smacks her skin and sends water into her nose.
She wonders why she is doing this.
It is because she loves him.
No, she decides, it can't be.
If it is because she loves him, she doesn't say it. And it is her wildest move in many seconds and years.
Tetra awakens in a strange place. She looks around wildly, trying to recall what had happened. The man, the shadow king, he had called her something…he had seen her mother's necklace and called her…Princess Zelda. She blinks several times and tries to remember what that name meant to her. It was something that she had known many seconds and years ago.
Link is sitting in front of her in his boat and she sits up straight to ask what was happening. He is about to explain when a voice comes from her gossip stone. She demands who it is but they only tell Link to lead her into the castle.
Following Link angrily, she thinks of what she was doing that whole time. Why she had tried to save him. There has to be some reason why she goes to such great lengths to help him. She begins to realize that it really isn't just in best interest in her treasure or the Great Sea.
He takes her through a beautiful castle. A castle that is like a memory from a dream. She stops for a moment as they are about to go downstairs. Wherever he was taking her, he has to know.
She is about to say it. She is about to tell him that she loves him. But he disappears down the stairs, not listening to what she has to say.
I love you, she thinks as she walks with him and is met by the figure in red.
Link is about to leave. She knows they have more important things to think about, having the world on both of their shoulders, but she looks up at him to say it. To finally say it to someone after all of the seconds and years.
But King Hyrule sends him on his way, leaving her behind.
I love you, she thinks.
"Do you like him?" King Hyrule asks and she nods.
"He's my friend," she replies, not lying much.
"Do you like him more than that?" he continues and Tetra begins to feel uncomfortable.
"No," she says, "It can't be."
Tetra watches Ganon become stone. She and Link have saved the entire world and they both, while full of adrenaline and victorious in battle, are tired. The water starts to cave in on them and Tetra thinks that they might both die. She begins to regret that she never was able to confess her feelings.
She turns to the King and listens to is apology. She looks at Link and feels something new and powerful. But she can't explain it at all.
"This is the only world that your ancestors were able to leave you with," he says, "Please, forgive us."
Tetra tries to persuade the King to come with them and sail in their boat to find the next Hyrule. He smiles and says that the new land will not be Hyrule; it will be their land. She feels like crying, something she hasn't done for such a long time.
The water crashes down on them and she can't remember any more.
As she awakens on the surfaces she is already realizing a great truth as she looks at the face of stupid, absent, idiotic Link. Now she knows that after all of the seconds and years that the hero and princess were separated and destroyed, they both have returned.
Yes, she decides, it can be.
The bird boy who had saved her before flaps his wings to stay suspended above them. Looking upwards, she sees her ship towering above them. Link's sister waves down at them and Tetra smiles.
They have won.
She turns to Link and the bird boy helps them both up to the ship. As Gonzo, Mako, Nudge, Niko, Senza and Zuko help them get themselves back together, she is smiling a real smile for the first time in a long while.
She turns to Link and sets her soaking hand on his shoulder. He looks up at her expectantly while releasing his sister from his loving and tight embrace.
"Link," she says, swallowing, but she can't finish her words. She doesn't say I love you, instead, she congratulates him, "Nice work, kid."
Four-hundred-thirty-two-thousand and one seconds have passed since she and Link had been pulled from the water, when Tetra stands at the bow of the ship, looking out at the vast emptiness. They have taken off to find the new land to be home.
She is alone, separate, and more lost than she has ever been before in her life. She feels so numb – but then how does it still hurt?
Because it does. More than dying, more than transformation, more than rebirth, this hurts like nothing she's ever felt before in her life. She feels old, old in heart and old in soul, and she doesn't know how she'll go on. But she will.
She is on the open sea again; she should feel free and alive, but she doesn't.
She has lost her legacy in Hyrule and she has lost any place she would call her home. And Tetra has never said her final I love you. She doesn't know what to think. Finding a new world hurts and everything is different.
Perhaps it was that after you have a great journey and great trial, there is no going back. She stares at the waves and her teardrops plummet down to be swallowed.
Finally, she looks up and sees Link standing behind her with his big, stupid grin.
"What?" she says quietly, turning around and stretching her back off of the edge of the ship.
"You going to cry?" he asks and she closes her eyes, smiling slightly.
"If I don't tell you something," she says, walking closer to him.
"What? That I'm an idiot? You tell me that a lot," Link states, but looking interested in what she is saying.
"Link," she whispers, "I love you."
And after all of the seconds and years, she knows that yes it can be.
Well, this was weird. I always thought that if I wrote about Zelda it would be an adventure or action story about the Ocarina of Time. Instead it's this depressing romance/angst piece about Tetra.
Weird how the mind works, isn't it?
I hope you liked it and as I've never done anything like this before, reviews would be nice. Thanks for reading,
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