Author's Note: As I mentioned before, this is a post-TOoT story WITH SPOILERS. You can even consider this as an extended ending adaptation of TOoT. I know I lot of you U.S. Zelda newbeis just got their hands on the 'cube version of The Ocarina of Time/Master Quest. So this note is especially for you guys: read this fic only if you've finished the game!
I'm using the lyrics of 'Somewhere I Belong' by Linkin Park, and 'Right Here Waiting' by Richard Marx in conjunction with this fic.
Disclaimer: Nintendo owns "The Legend of Zelda".
"Somewhere I Belong" is owned, written, and composed by Linkin Park.
"Right Here Waiting" is owned, written, and composed by Richard Marx.
[Times New Roman]...... means third person counter prespective.
Times New Roman.... indicates song lyrics.
Times New Roman....means normal narrator prespective.
Prologue I: Master Memories
He sat alone in a wooden chair; a candle illuminated the room with its small, red flare. He was gazing at the ground emotionlessly, deep in thought; so deep that he could drown in his own world of memories and emotions, never to feel the world around him anymore.
I had nothing to say,And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me (I was confused)
Why did I have to pull that damn sword and start all this?
Link remembered his first quest as a child. He had entered the temple of time, where that damn sword slept undisturbed. The sword of the evil’s bane, the Master blade, was the key to defeat evil, the only way to slay Ganondorf.
The magical sword was embedded in a pedestal at the center of the time chamber. Link remembered his child-self approaching the sleeping sword slowly as thoughts circulated in his mind:
[I can’t do it…the fate of Hyrule lies beneath my hands…I’m only a child…what can a child like me possibly do?
He stopped in his tracks, looking at the remarkable sword, and then lowered his head to face the marbled ground.
Be brave Link. You’ve gone far enough into this quest by collecting the magical stones and helping the tribes of Hyrule…you can’t stop now.
He lifted his head, gazing at the resting blade again, and started walking towards it once more.
Why me? I’m just a Kokiri boy with no parents…this is too much for me…what if something happens to me? What if I wasn’t the chosen one? All I’m doing is letting Hyrule down by trying…Letting Zelda down…
He stopped again, picturing princess Zelda in his thoughts. She was a beautiful girl indeed; her silky golden hair, her smooth pink skin, and her azure-blue eyes…everything in her was just stunning. He liked her…he loved her. He was confused; he didn’t exactly realize his feelings for her until now.
Does she love me too?
He dashed to the embedded sword, until he found himself face-to-face with its crystal blue hilt. The blade almost surpassed the height of the green-clad child.
If I don’t try, I’ll let people down…I’ll let Zelda down. She’s counting on me…that frightened look she gave me while getting away from that strange desert man…she knew that I was her only hope…I have to try…
The lad continued to gaze at the hilt. He almost thought that this sword had eyes. Suddenly, he broke his stare and looked over his shoulder as he heard a tinkling sound.
It was his guardian fairy.
A pink glow with wings tinkled again as she flew around in circles, sparkles of fairy dust trailing her. Navi was the fairy’s name. She flew to Link’s pointed ear and whispered in a gentle, feminine voice, “No matter what happens, I’ll always be here with you.”
Navi was not only his guardian fairy; she was also his true friend. Those words she whispered echoed in Link’s mind. They were words of love no doubt. Link wondered if she really cared about him this way…if his fairy really did love him.
I’ll do this for all the people who love me!
He brushed his thoughts away as he nodded to her, turning away and facing the Master Sword. Gripping the hilt with his two hands, he pulled with all his might. To his surprise, the blade slid out of the pedestal easily. The swishing sound of the sword echoed throughout the temple of time as Link and his fairy were engulfed by a blue aura, which disappeared in a matter of seconds.]
Prologue II: Breaking Up
In an abyss above the clouds, a couple floated…and a parting was taking place…the words ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Sorry’ were not said, for these seemed to be the hardest words in this sad farewell.
Link outstretched his arm, revealing a crystal-blue ocarina resting on the palm of his gloved hand. Zelda placed her palm upon the ocarina and took it from him. Instantaneously, the pale princess clutched his palm with her free hand. They gazed at each other’s azure eyes in silence as their fingers clasped briefly - only beyond the second joints of their fingers did their skins touch, since the dashing hero was wearing leather car-gloves. Link almost melted on her touch; he couldn’t believe how smooth and silky her hand was. He wanted to hold her forever…but sadly, all good things must come to an end.
Little by little their clasp weakened as she walked backwards step by step, until they stood apart…
Her arm was still wide open, as if she begged him to pull her back…to clasp her fingers one last time.
Her azure eyes were still locked on him, noticing his tears…his sadness.
Her feet were still carrying her away, making her more distant from him.
She stopped, shifting her gaze towards the magical wind instrument. Shutting her eyelids tightly, she reluctantly placed the ocarina between her lips, tears flowing freely on her cheeks.
It was now or never…
She loosened her eyelids, while still keeping them shut, and started playing her most treasured melody - As the charming notes of Zelda’s lullaby echoed around the lifeless void, momentarily filling it with vigor and meaning, a golden aura surrounded the green-clad man…and she just stood there like a statue, petrified, her eyes still closed.
She released the ocarina from her lips and opened her eyes slowly, only to see nothing; he was gone. And yet, she could hear his voice calling her name. Why now? Why hadn’t he spoken to her when he was here?
His voice reverberated, and she couldn’t stand the torment anymore…she yelled his name with all the power she had left.
Sinking down to her knees, she covered her red, tear-stained face, and sobbed.
“…L-L-ink,” she rasped between the sobs. “Goodbye…I’m sorry.”
She had to do it; she had to send Link back, for she was responsible for the loss of his childhood. She stole his life, and now she would do anything to give it back to him, even if love’s the cost…even if she had to lose him in the process.
Little did she know that she had stolen something else from the baby-faced blonde; she had stolen his heart.
Oceans apart, day after day,
And I slowly go insane,
I hear your voice on the line,
Part 1: A Hero’s Curse and Treasured Recollections – Which is Heavier?
I was a fool, a fool to think that things would get better, but as a matter of a fact, things got worse…for me.
Ganondorf tricked me…Awaking the Master Sword from its eternal slumber opened the gate to the Sacred Realm, where the golden relic rested in peace - the legendary Triforce…
…And I was the one who led the way for the desert man.
I woke up seven years after, only to find that Ganondorf had taken over Hyrule and imprisoned the Seven Sages. I was a child’s soul streaming through the veins of a man’s body. I was someone I didn’t want to be.
And I live it all out to find,But I’m not the only person with these things in mind (inside of me).
I fought, I fought with all my might to end this charade; my childhood was what I wanted…I wanted my life back.
I was so close, so close to my goal, but she had to turn my life against me... I helped her, rescued her, and loved her from the bottom of my heart... What had I done to deserve this pain? Was this the curse of a hero, or a curse of many heroes that had donned upon me?
After defeating Ganon the tyrant, she had sent me back to my childhood, yes…but in the worst possible way. She played with time and erased all the events that had happened in my quest, and as a bonus, she erased me from existence…
I roamed around Hyrule; combed the fields, swam the rivers, climbed the mountains, and wandered the deserts. My happiness was darkened as I realized what she had done to me…
Nobody remembered me.
When all the vacancy the words revealedIs the only real thing that I got left to feel, (nothing to lose)?Just stuck, hollow and alone, and the fault is my own and the fault is my own.
Malon, the redheaded ranch girl, didn’t remember me. But Epona, my faithful steed that helped me in my quest, amazingly did. I was happy…at least she remembered me. The astonished Malon was so kind as to lend me the horse once more, even though she didn’t remember me. But apparently she trusted me, after looking into Epona’s eyes, into her soul.
[A beautiful singing voice had young Link memorized as he entered Lon Lon Ranch. He senselessly followed where his Elvin ears led him - to the corral.
There she was standing in the center of the corral, petting a young mare lovingly. So she was the one who was singing, Link thought calmly while approaching her. Such a nice voice Malon has.
History does indeed repeat itself; the first encounter of Link and Malon fourteen years ago -seven years forward, then seven years back again- in Link’s ‘alternate’ childhood was unfolding again. In fact, up to now, it was unfolding perfectly.
Link knew that Malon was the one singing; Link knew that she had such a nice voice, since he literally went through this encounter fourteen years back, so why was he playing dumb?
Link approached Malon and her youthful steed.
“Hey Malon,” he said, grabbing her attention.
“Howdy,” she answered in her hillbilly accent.
“Don’t you remember me? It’s me, Link.” He knew she wouldn’t remember; yet he gave it a shot.
“I’m afraid not. I don’t remember you…sorry,” she said with a smile.
“Not even…ugh…fairy boy?” He simply hated that ‘title’.
“No, not even that,” she giggled.
There was a moment of silence, as Link sighed and stared at her for a while.
“Um, Link, is something-”
“Don’t worry about it, I must’ve mixed you up with someone else,” he cut her off quickly.
“It’s okay,” she smiled. Another moment of silence followed.
“How did you know my-?”
“Met your father on my way in; he kept talking about you none-stop,” the blonde boy interrupted her yet again. But this time, he tried to come up with a grin.
“That’s my dad for you; always bragging about lill’ol’me,” she joked. “Pathetic, isn’t it?”
“Nah. I think it’s far from pathetic. It proves he loves you, and that’s what matters, eh?”
“Yeah, I reckon you’re right.” Silence…again.
“So what’s the horse’s name?” He knew its name.
“Epona, and it’s a she,” she answered, continuing to rub her affectionately.
“May I?” Link asked as he gestured.
“Oh, you mean pet her? I don’t recommend it; you see, Epona doesn’t like-”
Suddenly, Epona broke free from Malon’s soft grip, and walked towards Link. When she finally reached the confused lad, she started licking him on the face.
“Hey! Hey! Cut that out girl!” He laughed, trying to fend off Epona’s licking.
“-Strangers.” The ranch girl’s jaw hit the ground; she was thunderstruck.
The faithful steed stopped licking when the green-clad hero was able to scratch her behind the ears – Epona’s soft spot.
“Hey Malon, since Epona’s saddled up and all, can I ride her for just awhile?” Link asked.
The flabbergasted female nodded twice.
Thus, the cheerful champion hopped on top of Epona in a flash, and off they went.
A few laps later, Link returned Epona to the stable, where Malon waited patiently.
“Well, it’s been fun Malon, but I have to go,” Link said, as he turned his back on them, preparing to depart. He expected at least a farewell from Malon, but nothing came. The sudden stillness made him curious, so he turned back to face them…gazing at each other.
The puzzled Link stood his ground, observing quietly, though he couldn’t take it any longer – the situation was getting awkward, and he was getting impatient as the moments passed. He did what he had to do: clear his throat and break the silence.
Much to Link’s delight, Malon regained her senses…for a short while. Her chocolate-brown eyes were in a trance once more. But this time, she wasn’t staring into the jet-black eyes of Epona.
She was drowning in the ocean-blue eyes of Link.
The lad immediately felt the aftereffects of the adrenaline hormone; his heartbeat rate was at the speed of light, his stomach was filled with butterflies, his cheeks were red, his forehead was sweaty, and his mind was jumbled with thoughts.
Oh God, please don’t let it be that look.
She seemed to be getting closer.
O-kay, it’s official; it’s definitely that look.
Even more closer…
She’s going to confess!
“Link,” she whispered.
She has a crush on me!
“Y-yes,” Link muttered.
I’m doomed; she loves me…
“-Want you to take Epona.”
WHAT?! All this freaking out over nothing?! “Come again?”
“You heard me, I want you to take Epona.”
“That’s all?! For the love of God woman, you freaked me out! For a moment there, I thought you were going to confess your love!”
“I’m sorry. Guess I got a little too caught up with the moment,” she stammered, blushing furiously while backing up a few steps.
“Whoops, did I say that out loud?” the blonde boy asked dumbly, as he began scratching the back of his head.
“Look, Link, we’ve just met. But don’t you think we’re too young for this ‘lovey-dovey mumbo-jumbo’? I think you’re a very cut- I mean nice guy and all, but it’s just too early to start a relationship; after all we still have a whole lifetime left to know each other-”
Oh no, she’s giving me ‘the speech’. I just can’t take it…must…stop…her. Note to self, before I make a fool out of myself next time, remind me that I’m not seventeen anymore.
“Okay, okay Malon. I understand what you’re saying,” Link quickly interrupted.
“Yes. Now look, let’s start over and pretend that none of this ever happened, deal?” He grinned and extended his hand.
“Deal!” the redheaded ranch girl shook his hand excitedly. “So as I was saying, I want you to take Epona.”
“Are you serious?”
“I’ve never been more serious in my life. She’s happy with you, Link. And I want her to stay happy.”
“I don’t know what to say. I’m…honored to have her.”
“Well then, she’s all yours!” She smiled.
“Thank you, Malon. You don’t know how much this means to me,” said Link as he mounted the brown mare joyfully.
“You’re welcome, Link. But before you go, I have a question to ask.”
“Have you…met Epona before?”
The Hylian hero took a deep breath before answering. “Once upon a dream, Malon…once upon a dream.”
Surprisingly, my Elvin Kokiri Brothers barely recognized me - hardly remembered, but remembered nonetheless.
I hadn’t see Navi since I was sent back. Even she, my best friend, had abandoned me…
[…Flash…Temple of Time…flash…The sound of the Master Sword slitting into the pedestal echoing…flash…Navi suddenly heading to the window, trying to fly out of the temple…flash…Young Link crying after her, but to no avail…flash…Link could hear another sound reverberating, fading away gradually as his fairy flies further and further away…flash…
The green clad lad could’ve sworn that…
…It was a weeping sound…
Saria, my beautiful green-haired friend, was nowhere to be seen also. She was the Sage of Forest, and that title obviously meant a lot more to her than me. Memories of her started to haunt me…a tear rolled down my cheek…I dedicated that tear to my long lost childhood with her.
I remembered when Saria used to make breakfast for me. She was terrible in cooking, but I ate…just to see her smile, to see her green eyes brighten with joy.
I remembered when we used to play jokes on Mido. Boy, there was one time - we put honey on his pillow while he was sleeping. He tossed and turned, sticking most of his face and hair with the honey. He woke up mad, and I think he had to wash his hair for half an hour or something.
I remembered…the first time we kissed. It was that day when I was too scared to tell her that I was leaving - in this damn quest of saving Hyrule. Somehow, she knew that I was leaving. I felt sorry for her as she stared at me with her saddened emerald-green eyes, for I promised her not to leave her ever, and here I was breaking that promise. We both stood there on top of the wooden bridge leading to the outside world…speechless, motionless, just like rocks. I couldn’t take it anymore; tears started shading my eyes. She then did something I never expected in a million years; she pecked me on my lips. A few moments it lasted…then she backed away and I saw her…smiling… wiping away my tears of sadness. I couldn’t resist it…for I found myself pressing my lips against hers…a long passionate kiss it was; a moment I will never forget.
I hadn’t heard from the rest of the Sages either. I was alone in the world…I cried, I called, I begged… No, no one heeded the call of a hero. I was trapped in a never-ending void, depressed, shattered, and tired.
I wanna heal, I wanna feel, what I thought was never real,
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long (erase all the pain till it’s gone).
Indeed, this was the curse of a hero. I didn’t understand…the people I had saved turned their back on me.
And it was all her fault…
Hatred started to weaken my thoughts and emotions, as if there was poison flowing in my blood, consuming my body little by little. Zelda…augh! The mention of that name stabbed my heart…why had she done this to me? No wonder Hyrule castle was the only place I hadn't visited; to befriend or even face the person who literally stripped the life out of me was just preposterous!
This was too much pressure for a mere nine-year old. I was starting to go insane. I walked in circles inside my tree house as I started tearing at my belongings, wrathfully ripping them apart while screaming maniacally.
The pain I felt was overwhelming. Emotions blended, thoughts deepened, memories echoed…I was going to die from this ‘pain’. I curled up my body and lay down on the smooth lumber, mentally hurt…an injury that could take forever to overcome.
I cried and cried, still waiting for a reply to my distress signal, the call of a hero, and that was when I heard the soothing, yet deep voice of the protector…
Yes, it was the voice of the Deku Tree, protector of the forest and its inhabitants. Long have I waited for a hero to save a hero. It was happening at last, I was saved.
He told me to come to his lair right away. I responded with a mad dash out the door, followed by a dare-deviling jump from my tree to the ground.
I wanna heal, I wanna feel, like I’m close to something real,
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along,
Part 2: When There's Love, There's Hope
The sun crept up from the mountains of Death up north, indicating the start of the morning shift. Long gone were dark colors of the night – the skies were now populated with an artistic mixture of hues ranging from orange to violet to gray. At the sound of the cock’s crowing, night predators crawled to slumber, while the morning creatures woke up to greet the day and begin their labor. The birds started chirping a beautiful melody, spreading the spirit of this beautiful morning throughout the province. Butterflies of all shapes and sizes flew gracefully; their colorful, heart-shaped wings quivering at flower-stops on the way. Squirrels roamed the woods searching for acorns to store. Gorons, beings of stone and pure muscle, worked like the squirrels in interconnected caves up at Death Mountain. Their ‘acorns’, however, were rocks and bomb flowers. A half-breed of humans and fish, the Zoras used their dexterous hands to make various items and materials, like fishing equipment and furniture.
These were nothing but minor examples of the many birds, insects, woodland creatures, and races which inhabited the magical land of Hyrule, vigorously doing their lists of activities for the day. But there were other two important races of the land: The Elvin Kokiris and Hylians. The eternally young Kokiri, though easy-going and isolated, played a vital role in being the only source of ‘magic’ in Hyrule. The Hylians were the largest and most active race in the region. In fact, they were the foundation of this enchanted earth; it was enough that the Harkinian Royal family, the proud rulers of this great place, were from a Hylian bloodline.
It was another splendid time for the kingdom, as sunlight slowly seeped through those mountains…it was morning, no doubts about it – and yet, an eerie, nighttime feeling enveloped the earth. A cool, midsummer breeze blew from east to west, rustling the trees and hedges of the Lost Wood and Hyrule field. The wind currents flowed randomly across the clouds, leaving visible white trails behind them. One lone wind trail, however, seemed to head somewhere; a destination set beforehand from a specific place of origin. Was it a coincidence that this lone wind current started its quest from a particular tree house in Kokiri Forest, and was heading to an open window at the highest tower of Hyrule Castle? Or was love in the air?
The soft squall fluttered the open window, carrying a stray leaf inside princess Zelda’s chambers. She sat on a rocking chair a few meters opposite the window, sleeping like a baby. The chair cradled her back and forth slowly, rhythmically deepening her slumber. The wind puffed softly on her angelic face and the leaf fell like a feather on her cheek. It seemed like the wind and the leaf had teamed up to awaken the sleeping beauty, and they had succeeded in doing so with flying colors.
She was indeed awake, but she still had her eyes closed. Right now, she was somewhere between fantasy and reality, where the subconscious overpowered the conscious…and when that phase ended, she must definitely face her harsh reality.
She felt the coolness of his breath as he whispered her name. She felt the roughness of his gloved palm as he touched her cheek. She was sure that this time, when she opened her eyes, she would find her knight in shining armor standing before her.
She opened her eyes slowly, only to see nothing…again.
Brushing the leaf off her cheek, Zelda stood up and closed the window roughly. Just the wind, the princess sighed deeply as she headed towards a wooden dresser adjacent to the royal bed. How am I going to apologize if I never see you again?
If I see you next to never,
How can we say forever?
She took off her cap and placed it on the dresser, letting her golden hair loose. Looking at her reflection in the oval mirror before her, she saw her nine-year-old-self staring back at her with cold piercing cerulean eyes; a large frown sucked the life out of her face.
That wasn’t how she reacted a week ago, right after the parting…when she first saw herself as a child in the mirror. It was a shocking revelation for the wisdom sage that time, when she had followed Link back in time; seven years back to be exact. Only now, there wasn’t any Ganondorf Dragmire to spread evilness and darkness, thanks to Link and the seven sages. She was now in another place, another time…where Ganon was technically non-existent.
She felt this was another chance to live her life the way it was supposed to be; another chance to see her courageous hero again. You live your life once. But if you live it well, it is more than enough.
And yet, she had been suffering the aftermath of her voyage for the past week. She was in a depressed state when she woke up every morning…not finding Link there to greet her. Everyday, a feeling of déjà vu loomed over her as she remembered the events of their parting in another timeline, seven years ago. She even forced herself not to blink; she was on the edge of insanity, for every time she shut and opened her eyes, she would find herself hallucinating; going through that heartbreaking incident again, again, and again.
To her, all this turmoil was worth it. She had a feeling that Link would come…and she would be right here waiting.
Wherever you go,
Whatever you do,
I will be right here waiting for you.
Whatever it takes,
Or how my heart breaks,
I will be right here waiting for you.
Part 3: The Quest for Fellowship
[The blanket of the night covered the great woods of the Kokiri. Hordes of fireflies brightened the forest with their glowing sparks, not leaving a corner unlighted. The soft green grass swished as the whistling wind blew by. It was a cold quiet night indeed, just like every other night in this holy forest. The Kokiri people sheltered themselves in their wooden homes, sleeping like babies. It wasn’t safe to roam around at this time of day, but there was one person who was willing to take the risk…
Little Link slowly walked the narrow path leading to the Deku Tree’s lair, anxiously turning left and right on the look out for any monsters. He shivered as a whooshing breeze blew by him, sending a chill through his skin and spine. He was cold, scared, and unarmed; but every chill, every fear, and every step was worth it. Link had no one to turn to but the Deku Tree, a wise and caring tree with advice of wisdom.
After minutes of walking, he finally found himself exiting the path. He looked around; he was in a familiar vast grassy field... In the center stood a very large and aged tree… The Deku Tree.
“Thou hath come,” a voice boomed. “Approach, lad.”
Link obeyed, and walked closer towards the tree, his tear-stained face held an expression of fear.
“Do not be afraid my boy,” said the Tree. “Heroes do not cry.”
Those words grabbed Link’s attention, causing him to walk closer.
“So you… remember?”
“More than thou can ever know,” it responded. “Hyrule owes it all to thee, Hero of Time.”
Link was shocked that the Deku Tree knew his title. He thought no one would remember his quest.
“You…know about my quest?”
“Thou underestimates me, Link. I may have died but my spirit has lived on. I would never abandon a member of my family; even death would not stop me from helping thee. Even though thou art not Kokirian, I still treat thee as my son.”
So, he knows I’m Hylian, Link thought.
“You helped me?”
“In a way, indeed I have.”
Waves of silence echoed in the air as the shocked Link wiped his tears. He felt comfortable to be with the Deku Tree, ‘someone’ who remembered him. But he wondered if he knew about the so-called ‘curse’ that had befallen him since the day he saved Hyrule. The green-clad child had so many questions in mind, and luckily he knew exactly where to start.
“Why have you summoned me?”
“I sensed trouble and sadness in thee. What is wrong hero?”
Link didn’t know how to explain this, so he answered in the clearest way he possibly could, “Nobody…remembers me.”
“I see. Thou hast no one to turn to for love and support.” The Deku Tree was trying to comfort his ‘son’.
“I don’t know what’s going on anymore. Everybody treats me like a stranger. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. I fought for them; I fought for Hyrule. I don’t deserve to be treated like dirt. I’m a hero, you hear?! I’m a…hero.” Link started to cry again, covering his face with his two hands.
And I got nothing to say; I can’t believe I didn’t fall right down on my face.
(I was confused)
Looking everywhere, only to find,
That’s not the way I had imagined it all in my mind (so what am I?).
“I cannot explain to thee what hast happened, for thou art too young to understand…I can only tell thee this: if everyone should recall the events of thine quest, it wouldeth be a disaster…
“Thou art the greatest of heroes Link, and thine legacy shall live on, for I willeth always remember how thou hath saveth me.
“Heroes do not give up, that is why I will send thee on a quest that will never end…”
Link was shocked. How can he send me in a quest at a time like this?! Does he have no feelings?!
What do I have but negativity?
‘Cause I can’t justify the way everyone is looking at me (nothing to lose).
Nothing to gain, hollow and alone, and the fault is my own and the fault is my own.
“A quest that requires courage and patience, and thou had demonstrated thine courage, but now thou needeth to prove thine patience…
“I will send thee on a quest to seek friends, friends who will supporteth thee in need. ”
Link felt very happy and relieved to know the greatness of his quest. A smile crept in his handsome face.
“Thou will be missed… I love thee with all my heart…I shall love thee forever.”
Link couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Was this a dream? If it was, then he wished that he would never wake up. Tears shaded his handsome face as he ran towards the Deku Tree… and hugged its large trunk, smiling happily.
“Thank you, o wise Deku Tree, for your love and support. You’re the first friend I have found in this new quest,” Link smiled.
The Deku Tree chuckled, “so indeed I am. And thou art the first person that hugged me…I have always wondered how hugs feel, and now I knoweth.”
“And I have always wondered how it feels to hug a tree,” Link joked. “Comfortable, but a little on the rough side I might say.”
The Deku Tree chuckled again. “Thou dost hath a sense of humor, for I hath never laughed like this in a while. Never have I met a hero like thee, Link my lad.”
“And you never will o wise Deku Tree…and you never will…”]
And here I am now, resting on my bed soundlessly, as the candlelight grows dimmer with each second passing by. I think about the Deku Tree’s words of wisdom, for this so-called ‘quest’ has not sunken into my oceans of thought yet. It puzzles me; he sends me on a journey to seek friends, and yet, I do not see what goodness befriending will bring to Hyrule. Yes, making new friends is for my own good…but how will it bring righteousness to the people?
No matter, I won’t get anywhere if I keep spinning around in circles. After all, actions do speak louder than words, do they not?
I learned a valuable lesson from the Deku Tree’s words: A chip on your shoulder is like a splinter in your finger; it will bring more pain if you try to ignore it. Tuck the pain away, and just pull the splinter out.
That is why I’ve decided; regardless of Zelda’s memories, and regardless of my bottled bitterness, I will meet her tomorrow.
Wish me luck.
I will never know, myself until I do this on my own.
I will never feel, anything else until my wounds are healed.
I will never be--- anything till I break away the pain.
Part 4: Vivid Reminiscence
It was one of a kind. This stupendous garden featured various species of trees and flowers planted in orderly rows. There was one tree that was different from the others, so different that it was planted in the far corner of the garden, away from all the other plants. It was basically a small oak tree with green sunflowers branching from its trunk. This odd tree-flower hybrid was called Sala’dah in old Hylian, roughly translating to ‘harmony and peace’.
Zelda recalled joyful memories as she admired the Sala’dah tree. In fact, it happened right here, fourteen years ago (seven years in the future, then seven years back again). This was the place where Zelda first encountered the green-clad forest boy. It seems like I met him seven years ago.
Her expression brightened up when one of her treasured memories struck her head like a hammer; her eyes widened and a big smile covered her face as she recalled that one afternoon. Link wanted to celebrate his successful securing of the Goron’s Ruby from Death Mountain…
…And he asked her to join him.
[Fisherman’s Lake - the most popular spot in the southwestern waters of Hylia, where rest and relaxation can be obtained for all men. After all, as the Hylian saying went: worms are bait for catching fish, and fish are bait for relaxing men.
In this cloudy Saturday afternoon, only three people were present in Fisherman’s Lake. Young Link and Zelda were preparing a celebration picnic, and the third individual had yet to be seen.
The two youngsters were ‘setting up camp’ adjacent to the glimmering, fish-crowded lake – Link was spreading a red ‘n white tiled tablecloth on the comfy green grass whilst Zelda began taking out parts of her royal tea set from her straw picnic basket.
“Link, I-” The young princess stopped in mid-sentence, as she placed the exquisite creamy-white and gold teapot on top of the tablecloth. “-Really want to thank you for bringing me here,” she finished with a blush, stroking her arms continuously with the tip of her index finger.
The cocky Kokiri boy raised an eyebrow, scanning her tense actions amusingly. Zelda didn’t seem to notice his stares; she avoided eye contact with him as much as possible, and she also kept herself busy fumbling, either with her finger or with the top of the teapot. Link noticed her rather nervous behavior, yet he decided not to say a word. He shrugged, and thought it was best to start a conversation.
“Uh…you’re welcome Zelda. I’ve been meaning to share this place with yo- I mean,” he trailed off, stuttering between his words. “-With somebody – for – some – time - now…heh heh heh.” All of a sudden, the blonde boy began scratching the back of his head involuntarily, as if it were a reflex action from his sheepishness. In an effort to mask his emotions, he veiled his face with the widest, toothiest smile he could ever muster. Too bad he didn’t try hard enough…
The fair maiden giggled madly; never before in her life had she observed such unorthodox yet funny actions. She continued to laugh her head off as Link gave her a puzzled look.
“Do I amuse you princess?” He said in a surprisingly calm tone. Due to her current uncontrollable state, the giggling girl hadn’t noticed the hero’s villainous expression.
“That…smile…was…so-” The words barely came out of her mouth, for Zelda just couldn’t stop laughing.
“Zelda, the time is right. There’s something… I’ve been meaning to tell you,” Link started, a spice of seriousness in his voice; it was more than enough to silence Zelda in an instant.
“You’ve been hiding something from me, princess. And now that I know what it is…” He kept her hanging in suspense, his cold glare sending a chill through her spine.
Indeed, Zelda was frightened and confused; she had never seen this side of Link before, and she didn’t know what in blazes he was babbling about. She opened her mouth to say something, anything, but the words just wouldn’t come out.
“Zelda, I know now…you-”
What am I?1 A girl, a thief, a slut, a lesbian?! WHAT FOR GOD’S SAKE?! Link’s unexplainable attitude had indeed affected her – mentally, she wasn’t thinking clearly; and physically, she was feeling numb…as if her hero had cast a petrifying spell on her.
Finally, after inhaling deeply, Link concluded his ‘incantation’, butterflies filling Zelda’s stomach when the hero paused briefly between his two simple words.
“…Are – Ticklish!”
Immediately, Link leapt to her side, and started to move his hands from the ribs to the armpits to the neck, tickling each body part rapidly. Zelda wobbled on the grass like a fish out of water trying to block Link’s ‘attacks’, but to no avail; her out-of-control laughter had turned her into a helpless damsel in distress, and her friend was currently a foe. Who would save her now?
“Link, stop!” Zelda muttered between her laughs.
“Not unless you yield, monster,” Link said teasingly.
“Okay, okay…I – give up!”]
She would never forget that ‘date’; they finished their lunch and watched the sun depart, engaging in conversations animatedly after that. Sid, the owner of Fisherman’s Lake, acted like a ‘date planner’, for he cleared the whole area for the day especially for the young couple and provided them free rods for some ‘fishy afternoon entertainment’. As their date came to a close, he kissed her goodbye in a polite, friendly way…she couldn’t resist to blush of course.
The sulking princess thought of it as their last joyful day together, due to the fact that she ruined the forest boy’s life from the moment she threw the Ocarina of Time into her castle’s moat. He was so innocent, so oblivious to the legends of Hyrule – it was as if Zelda took advantage of him due to these characteristics, and she had a feeling that Link thought of her as a manipulative she-devil. But in fact, she wasn’t…so young, so distressed back then; she didn’t mean it, she didn’t want it to be that way. Desperate times require desperate measures, she debated against herself, and I was in a tough situation back then…heck, Hyrule was in a tough situation, and he…he was the only hope. Heroes are supposed to sacrifice their lives for the sake of others, right?
But…did he even want to be a hero in the first place?
The young princess shivered at the thought. Did she force Link to become a hero?
I didn’t physically force him…mentally maybe? God, I’m so confused. All I wanted was to be with him. It looks like the only thing I can hold on to is our memories.
I took for granted, all the times,That I thought would last somehow.I hear the laughter…I taste the tears,
But I can't get near you now.
Oh can’t you see it baby?
You’ve got my goin’ crazy.
She wept hysterically, her hands covering her angelic face tainted by these tears of sadness. Then suddenly, ever so suddenly, she heard a boy’s voice calling her name harmonically. She stopped crying, yet she still covered her face. Was it déjà vu time? Was she just dreaming again?
It didn’t matter to her anymore…dream or no dream, she just had to keep her hopes up. It was now or never…it could be now and forever.
She uncovered her eyes slowly, and finally, there he was standing before her, looking a bit worried.
Her face brightened up with joy as she swiftly embraced him in a hug. Link returned the gesture, curling up his arms around her neck.
“I thought I would never see you again,” she whimpered softly in his ear.
“So you…remember everything?” The young maiden released her grip and backed up a little.
“Link…I was foolish back then, I didn’t mean to use you in any way for my own purposes. It was a matter of life and death, and…after you got the first two spiritual stones, I knew you could do it; I knew you could save our land…I knew you could save me.
“I was selfish…I don’t know why…I didn’t even consider your well-being, nor the consequences of time travel. Please Link, forgive me, I didn’t mean…to force you into being a hero,” she started crying again, cuddling into her hero’s chest.
“Shh…it’s okay Zelda. I was asking for it actually, I’m even beginning to think that I was born to be a hero.”
“Really?” She sniffed, as her weeping began to subside.
“Yeah. But this whole ‘erased-from-existence’ matter, it scarred me in the chest…the only way to heal it is by looking…regaining the trust and love of the people around me.”
“So you must leave again,” she said in a disappointed tone.
“It’s the sad truth Zelda. But please understand; I have to do this.”
I wonder how we can survive, this romance?
But in the end if I’m with you, I’ll take the chance!
Zelda nodded slowly, and then she suddenly brightened up again, as if a light bulb was floating on top of her head. Waving her hands in a random pattern, the princess enchanted a couple of words in a foreign tongue, and with a flash which temporarily blinded Link, the Ocarina of Time appeared in the palm of her hands, shining in its azure-blue hue.
“I see you still have some magic left in you, eh?” Link joked.
She grinned. “Please, take it Link, to remember me by.”
He did as he was told, putting the ocarina in his satchel. Finally, he gave her one last hug.
“It’s like my quest is half-done already,” he whispered.
“I got you back, Zelda…I got you back.”
As soon as he released her, she kissed him goodbye…on the lips. Shades of crimson covered the blonde boy’s cheek.
“Wh-wh-what was that for?” He stammered.
“Remember Fisherman’s Lake? An eye for an eye, laddie,” she giggled.
“But I kissed you on the cheek back then.”
“Well, my kiss is a bonus for being a good boy,” she gagged again.
The young lovebirds waved to each other from afar as The Hero of Time rode off on Epona, the afternoon sun filling the land with love and hope.
I’ll find you Navi…whatever it takes.
Zelda watched her courageous knight riding off in the distance, smiling to herself…her very few tears showed a mix of happiness and sadness. Now, she had nothing to do but wait.
Wherever you go,
Whatever you do,
I will be right here waiting for you.
Whatever it takes,
Or how my heart breaks,I will be right here waiting for you.
Author's Note: Well, this fic is over....technically. Maybe I'll add a confusing epilogue if I have more time. Thank you for reading!
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