Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - .The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Space@xs.clara.net)
Link yawned and sat up. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and slowly dragged himself from the warmth of the covers on his bed. He stretched and walked over to the dresser where he quickly washed and shaved. He looked across to the rumpled bed, feeling a pang of regret. It was the first time since he'd married Zelda that he'd slept alone. He quickly dressed in the same clothes that he'd worn the day before (as he hadn't thought to grab a spare change) and tried to straighten himself out. He ran a hand through his thick mane of hair and glanced in the mirror, he looked at least half-decent now ,he decided. He quickly made the bed, then drew the curtains, just in time to see the sun rising over the horizon. It looked like a huge ball of red fire, setting everything it touched alight with colour. He'd taken one of the spare guest rooms, and he knew that Leigh's room was not far from his. He decided to leave before Zelda came looking for him, she'd probably think he'd chosen this room because of it's location and then she'd never speak to him again. And then there was Leigh, whom he didn't really want to bump into at the moment. He quickly left the room and made a beeline for his and Zelda's room, hoping to resolve this whole mess by breakfast.
He knocked on the door nervously, then paused, waiting for consent to enter. It didn't come, so Link quietly pushed the door open. Zelda was still asleep, her blankets all bunched up around her. Link thought a moment on whether to wake her or not. He didn't want her to start off being grouchy for him waking her up. He sat on the side of the bed and touched her gently on the face, feeling the smoothness of her skin. Her eyelids fluttered open, when she saw who it was, her expression turned sulky. Link stood up, waiting for her to speak. "I don't have anything to say to you," she stated, her voice muffled by the blankets.
"You don't have to speak, just listen," urged Link, sitting back down. She frowned, then said nothing.
"Look Zel, this is just stupid. I'm totally crazy about you and you know that. I would never do anything to jeopardise our relationship or our future together 'cos I love you," said Link softly. Zelda's expression softened for a minute, but then returned to her stony mask. He took her hand, covering it with his own.
"Please, forgive me?" he pleaded. Zelda sighed, then sat up. She stared at Link for a few minutes, watching his eyes closely. All that she could see was sincerity and love. She finally smiled, and leaned towards him, giving him a small peck on the lips.
"I'm sorry too, I know I can trust you, it's just..." started Zelda. Link put a finger to her lips to silence her, then moved it away. He pulled her towards him, and kissed her softly.
"Now we've got this behind us, how about we go for an early morning stroll, it's going to be a beautiful day," suggested Link. Zelda nodded wordlessly then got up. She quickly washed and dressed, then joined Link at the door.
"Do we walk, or ride?" she asked him.
"We'll walk, that way we can talk better," decided Link. He hugged her, then took her hand and walked down the stairs first with her behind him. When they reached the bottom, he draped one arm across her shoulders, and they walked to the next set of stairs which led to the main floor.
Outside, the two bumped into another couple, Nick and Selina. "Morning," greeted Link as they approached the two. Selina looked round shyly and blushed a little.
"I see you two have settled your differences then?" said Nick, looking pleased.
"Yes, we have," replied Zelda, grinning at Selina.
"Well, we'll leave you two to it then," said Link, grinning conspicuously at Nick, then dragging Zelda over to the hedge maze.
"What was all that about?" blurted Zelda, as soon as they were out of hearing range. Link shrugged his shoulders.
"Love moves in mysterious ways," he commented.
"It certainly does," agreed Zelda, stopping Link and pulling him towards her. She kissed him with a little more ardour, then took his hand and dragged him into the maze. Link groaned. "I hate these things, for some reason they always give me nightmares!" protested Link. Zelda let go of his hand and grinned at him mischievously.
"I'll race you to the middle!" she challenged, then before Link could say anything, she hitched up her skirt, and took a fork to the right. Link shook his head, but still grinned, then quickly turned and raced down the left fork.
A series of sharp left and right turns later, Link arrived in the middle, just after Zelda. He bent down and put his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. "You did get a head start!" he pointed out a few moments later.
"Face it Link, you were beaten by a woman on Farore's day, and you were beaten again by a woman today!" laughed Zelda. Link ran up to Zelda and pulled her to the ground, playfully wrestling with her. She cried in protest, but soon got into the spirit of things. A few minutes later, she found herself on top of him, gazing longingly into his eyes.
"I'm sorry I've been such a pain recently," she said quietly.
"You're forgiven I'm sure," replied Link, leaning in for a kiss. After a few blissful moments, she pulled away and stood up, brushing away the strands of grass from her hair.
"What do I look like?" she asked in despair. Link hauled himself off the ground and glanced at her critically. Then he stepped towards her and pulled her into a giant bear hug.
"You look beautiful, as always," he complemented.
"Yeah right," sighed Zelda.
"Hey, I'm not lying," reassured Link, running his hand through Zelda's hair. Zelda rolled her eyes and kissed him again.
"Come on, it's almost time for breakfast and I need to get straightened up and talk to Selina beforehand!" said Zelda, grabbing Link's hand again. Link stopped her, then picked her up and carried her through the maze, their lips locked the entire time. On their way to the castle, they saw Fayette.
"Feeling better?" asked Fayette sweetly, noting the two's rosy cheeks and flustered appearances.
"She's fine thanks," said Link offhandedly.
"Well I was only asking!" blurted out Fayette in an offended tone. Zelda and Link walked inside.
"The sooner she's gone the better," muttered Zelda. Just then, the couple's young son ran up to them.
"Hey Ewan, you're up early!" exclaimed Link, either he or Zelda usually went and woke him up. Ewan seemed a little frightened, and withdrawn. Link scooped him up, and walked into the Dining room. "You okay little bud?" asked Link, a little concerned.
"I...I had a bad dream," said Ewan timidly. Link set Ewan down on a chair and kneeled before him, with Zelda at his shoulder.
"You wanna talk about it?" asked Link, smiling at Ewan and ruffling his hair. Ewan rubbed one of his eyes and reciprocated the smile back towards his father.
"Yeah, there was this man, with red hair," started Ewan, he paused. Zelda gripped onto Link's shoulder. "And, he had a sword, an' it was all red, like that time when I cut my arm," continued Ewan. "He said 'The power of Gold is finally mine!' and then, then you came!" said Ewan, pointing at Link.
"Me?" asked Link.
"Uh-huh, and you had a sword to, but it wasn't all red, and then you began to fight, and then, then I woke up," said Ewan, he was trembling slightly. Link hugged Ewan tightly, looking up at Zelda, his eyes full of concern.
"It's okay, it was only a dream, nothing to worry about," reassured Link. He looked into Zelda's eyes, and something told him that perhaps this was something to worry about after all.
Just then, Fayette and her family arrived. Fayette gazed over at Link, Zelda and Ewan with interest. She leaned down and spoke to her children. "Now children, go and sit at your table and wait for breakfast with daddy. Mummy wants to go and speak with Aunt Zelda," she explained to them. They all obediently marched off towards the table with their father. Fayette then scooted over to where here half-sister was standing. "What's wrong?" she asked, more out of curiosity than concern. Zelda turned and looked at Fayette, then walked Fayette away from Link and Ewan.
"Nothing concerning you," said Zelda coolly.
"He is my nephew, I ought to know," pointed out Fayette.
"He's only your step-nephew, it's nothing to do with you!" replied Zelda harshly.
"Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning, and alone too," said Fayette slyly. Zelda frowned. "Yes, I saw Link skulking across to the guest's quarters in the middle of the night, it looked as though he was heading of to Leigh's room," went on Fayette.
"Look Fayette, you came here to cause trouble, but it won't work," said Zelda in a controlled manner. Inside she was seething.
"Oh well," sighed Fayette, a little disappointed. She sighed and walked across to the breakfast table to join her family. Zelda marched over to Link and Ewan, tapping Link on the shoulder. Ewan seemed to have dozed off.
"So where did you sleep last night?" asked Zelda quietly.
"In one of the guest rooms," replied Link.
"Oh really, did you happen to sleep with the occupier of the room?" hissed Zelda. Link felt as though he had been slapped. His expression turned stormy, as soon as he realised what she was getting at.
"If you must know, I slept alone, and I never went anywhere near Leigh at all," snarled Link.
"Why do I find that hard to believe?" asked Zelda.
"I don't know, but I'm not lying. What's Fayette been filling your head with now?" said Link, fuming.
"Well, she just mentioned that she saw you heading towards Leigh's room, perhaps you went and she wasn't there," suggested Zelda. Link shook his head in disgust.
"I can't believe this, we've only just made up! Why do you find it so hard to trust me?" demanded Link, his voice raising a little.
"Stop evading the question!" spat back Zelda.
"Leigh has a guest room, I needed someone to sleep, the only empty room in that wing was near her room. That's what Fayette saw," sighed Link. Just then the breakfast bell rang.
"We'll discuss this later," said Zelda, getting up and walking over to the breakfast table.
Zelda heard someone walking after her, as she left the great hall. "My Lady?" said a strong-looking guard.
"Yes?" Zelda asked.
"There's a lady who's arrived here... she requests to speak with you at once, Your Highness!" the guard replied.
"Oh... where is she?" Zelda questioned.
"She's at the gates right now, Princess, shall we let her in?" the guard replied.
"Yes, of course. I'll meet her in the great hall," Zelda decided.
"Okay Your Highness," the guard replied, walking back outside. Zelda turned, and went back to the great hall. On her way there, she bumped into Link.
"Zel," he said, "we need to talk again."
"Not now," she replied.
"Well why not? Now is as good a time as any," Link said.
"It really isn't. I have a visitor," Zelda said shortly.
"Oh," Link replied quietly.
"I'll meet you in our room afterwards. There's something very important I need to tell you. It's about Ganon," Zelda explained.
"I figured," Link answered, looking a little disappointed.
"As for you and I... well, that can wait," Zelda added.
"I guess it'll have to," Link said. Zelda nodded, and then turned to walk away quickly. She didn't want to have another argument with him right now after all, and someone had requested to see her. She walked into the great hall, and noticed a tall, red haired woman with tanned skin standing next to two guards. Her eyes widened at the sight, as she realised the lady was similar to the man she'd dreamed about only a few nights back. Quickly, she regained her composure. It was only a coincidence, surely?
"Princess Zelda, finally, we meet," the woman said. Zelda noticed the woman had golden coloured eyes. She'd never seen anyone who looked like this before, or even heard of them, even though Demiari was populated with many diverse races.
"Yes, and you are?" Zelda questioned. She nodded over at the guards to leave them.
"My name is Balayna. I hail from the far south, Benlucca, in fact. I am a Gerudo," Balayna said.
"Gerudo?" Zelda asked. The name rang a bell. She thought about it for a moment. Yes, now she remembered. At one time, in south west Hyrule, there'd been a place called Gerudo Valley. Balayna seemed to read her thoughts.
"Yes Princess. Many ages ago, we did once hail from Hyrule. But we were driven out, our King had given us a bad reputation," she said.
"Oh," Zelda replied.
"Why are you here?" she added.
"I'm here to warn you, Princess. Our King has returned, and you could be in danger from him," Balayna said.
"King?" Zelda questioned, a little stupidly.
"Ganondorf Dragmire. You know him as Ganon. He's back, and he wants to take back what he believes is rightfully his," Balayna explained. Zelda gasped.
"Then they are the same person?" she asked, looking fearful.
"The one and same, Princess. He will take the power of gold from you, somehow. Even your own magic and castle defence won't be able to stop him, once he's amassed his powers," Balayna remarked, running a hand through her hair worriedly.
"Why are you telling me this, if he's your king?" Zelda questioned warily.
"Because Ganondorf is truly evil. None of us wish to follow him, though it is highly probable that he will force us down under his reign once more," the Gerudo replied.
"How do you know all this?" Zelda asked.
"The Gerudos have lived in eternal fear for many ages. It was prophesied that Ganondorf would one day return to us, though we did not know when. That day has now arrived," Balayna replied.
"Oh god... I dreamt about him!" Zelda suddenly exclaimed. "I didn't realise back then, but now I do! And my son... he did too!"
"He will kill you Princess, once he finds out you have... children. He doesn't want your line to continue; it will be stronger than ever, since you married the Catalian hero. Your lines... they crossed paths many thousands of years ago, they were the ones who defeated Ganondorf the first time. But they never joined their families," Balayna replied seriously.
"Really?" Zelda answered, feeling surprised at this new piece of information. "Link and I... both of our ancestors got rid of Ganon?" she questioned slowly. The Gerudo nodded.
"You must protect yourself, Princess, you and your husband. And your children."
"Children?" Zelda asked. "I only have a son, no more," she said. Balayna smiled.
"There is one good thing I can tell you. You will have another, this year, or next. I cannot exactly say when."
"Really?" Zelda asked, a small smile suddenly appearing on her lips. Balayna nodded.
"Yes. Protect the power of gold from our king. Else Hyrule will become a place of desolation and corruption. I must go now," the Gerudo said, suddenly walking away.
"Wait! You must stay here and tell me more!" Zelda said. Balayna turned, and shook her head.
"Ganondorf will be coming. I must be there for when he does, else I will be killed for betrayal," she said quickly. Zelda watched her walk out, puzzled and frightened. A chill swept through her, as she thought about her dream. Had it been a prophecy? And Ewan's too. She ran up to her room quickly. Link needed to know about this...
When she entered, he was sat on the window seat, writing something into a small book. When he saw her, he closed the book, and put the quill down. He saw her worried expression. "Zel?" he questioned cautiously.
"We've been right all along," Zelda said.
"That Ganon is back?" Link asked.
"Ganondorf, we might as well call him by his real named. Yes, he's back," Zelda replied.
"But I thought Ganondorf was just... I dunno, some bad Hyrulian king," Link said, confused.
"All the same person apparently. Ganon must have... changed his appearance at some point, maybe to disguise himself. And yes, he was a king, but not of Hyrule. Of a group of people named the Gerudos. I just met one now," Zelda said.
"What?" Link questioned.
"She said they used to come from Hyrule... which fits. I know that there used to be a place here called Gerudo Valley," Zelda said.
"Coincidence?" Link asked. Zelda shook her head.
"I don't think so. Link, this woman, she... she knows so much. And that dream I had... it was about Ganondorf! Ewan dreamed about him too," Zelda said. Link nodded.
"Did you have the same dream?" he asked.
"No," Zelda replied. "I dreamt... I was alone, it was dark, and I was walking. He came up on his horse and spoke to me," she said. "Not only that, but Balayna, that's her name, well she says once Ganon has fully amassed his powers, none of our defences will be strong enough! And time's running out... he could attack us at any moment!" she added, her eyes wide.
"Don't worry, I'll be prepared," Link promised.
"It may not be enough," Zelda answered quietly.
"What else can we do?" Link asked.
"We have to hide the Triforce, so that Ganon can never have it," Zelda replied.
"Zel, you've tried that before. He'll find it, if he's so desperate," Link replied. Zelda looked down.
"I guess you're right," she said.
"Look, he may not attack right away. We may still have a little time..." Link began hopefully. "We can't take any chances over this!" Zelda cut in.
"Well, no, but we have to prepare," he replied.
"Yes. But how?" Zelda asked.
"I guess I don't know yet," Link said, looking down again.
"Neither do I. But maybe we'll come up with something," Zelda said, her tone softening. She put Fayette's remark to the back of her mind, put Leigh to the back of her mind. Now was no time for them to be fighting against each other, when they needed to work together. She inched towards him, and hugged him.
"There was one other thing," she whispered. Link pushed her back a little, regarding her warily.
"I'm not making up, if you won't believe me over Fayette," he said. Zelda looked hurt.
"I'm sorry... I'm just so worried about Ganon and everything, I... well you know me well enough by now Link. You know I didn't mean it," she said.
"Well, I'd have thought that you knew me well by now too, and that you'd be able to trust my word over another's!" Link replied.
"I've apologised, okay? Let's drop it, please," Zelda said quietly.
"Alright," Link agreed.
"We'd better inform the rest of the castle about this," Zelda said suddenly.
"Yes, good idea," Link said.
Ganondorf watched carefully as he watched the red haired beauty leave the castle. He wondered what she had gone there for, but he had no doubt in his mind that she was of the Gerudo race ; his race. Perhaps, she had gone there to warn them, and if so that made her a traitor. He growled, and quickly began to follow her. He followed her at a safe distance until she was out of reach from the castle and the nearest town. He ran up behind her and grabbed her shoulder. She gasped and turned around, and at first did not realise who it was, as he wore a long dark cloak that concealed his features. He pulled down the hood of his cloak, grinning evilly at her. She stepped back a little, covering her mouth in horror. "My, my King," she stuttered.
"Indeed, that is so. Pray, tell me why you visited the castle?" he asked. The Gerudo woman gulped, her eyes darting around. "Do not lie, for I can tell!" he threatened.
"I... I went there to," she started. Ganondorf grabbed her around the neck and hauled her into the air.
"To warn them?" he questioned, raising an eyebrow.
"No, not at all sire," she gasped. Ganondorf threw her to the ground in disgust and drew his sword. Balanya landed flat on her back, the wind knocked out of her. Ganondorf raised the beaming blade over her chest, the young Gerudo's eyes widened. She began to back away, scraping her shoulders in the mud.
"Escape is futile!" boomed Ganondorf. Just as he was about to force the blade into Balayna's heart, someone coughed behind him. Ganondorf whirled around in surprise. At that moment, Balanya rose to the ground and fled as fast as she could, her legs working harder than they had ever before. "You!" spat Ganondorf in disgust when he saw who it was.
"Do I know you?" asked Leigh critically. Ganondorf threw back his head and began to laugh. The next moment, he felt the tip of a sword pressed against his throat. "Can it Gerudo boy, or I'll be forced to rip out your vocal cords!" threatened Leigh. Ganondorf gulped, then smiled sweetly at Leigh.
"Why, I don't know what you're talking about, what's a Gerudo?" he asked.
"Don't play dumb with me, I've been doing a little research of late," replied Leigh.
"You don't scare me, us Gerudo's are blessed with particularly thick skin," said Ganon.
"Metaphorically, or literally?" asked Leigh, taking her sword away from Ganondorf's throat. "Well, you could say both," answered Ganondorf.
"Now, Avatar, you couldn't kill me even if you wanted to. There is only one thing in the whole of Hyrule that could kill me, and no-one knows of it's whereabouts," mocked Ganondorf.
"It wouldn't happen to be the master sword would it?" asked Leigh, toying with her sword.
"Of course, there isn't a special weapon that is required to kill you!" mused Ganondorf, ignoring Leigh's question.
"No, you are right there, but you couldn't kill me even if you wanted to," replied Leigh.
"Well, perhaps we should see if you speak the truth Avatar," threatened Ganondorf.
"Come on then, see if you can," dared Leigh. Ganondorf thrust his sword towards Leigh, she calmly stepped back.
"I could easily destroy you!" growled Ganondorf.
"Look, do you really want to waste a lot of time and effort attempting to kill me?" asked Leigh.
"To see you dead, it'd be worth it!" snarled Ganondorf, trying to strike her again with the sword.
"You really want to kill me?" asked Leigh, trying to sound hurt.
"Yes!" replied Ganondorf, his hands beginning to take on a strange glow. Leigh noticed the glow and smiled.
"Your magic, cannot harm me," she said sweetly.
"You think so!" yelled Ganon, shooting a bolt of red magic towards the Avatar. Leigh quickly chanted a short mantra, and threw a few reagents from her hand. A blue light enveloped her, and absorbed the red magic. She didn't appear hurt at all. Ganondorf gaped.
"Your magic cannot be that powerful!" shrieked Ganondorf in despair.
"On the contrary, I think I have just proved that it can be that powerful," pointed out Leigh.
"You do not belong here Avatar, return to Sosaria where your Guardian awaits!" stated Ganondorf. Leigh looked worried for a brief moment, but then regained her normal composure.
"You released him?" she asked quietly. Ganondorf smirked at her and nodded. "You lie!" accused Leigh, lunging at Ganondorf with her own sword. The sword sank into Ganondorf, catching him unaware. He didn't even wince. Calmly, he pulled the sword from his stomach and snapped it in two, then discarded it onto the ground.
"Avatar, you will certainly give the Hero's side an advantage, but I fear it will not be enough. Soon this land, will be mine again, then I will ensure that you never interfere again!" boomed Ganondorf, and in a red flash of light he was gone. Leigh stood on the same spot silently, then resumed her journey to her original destination - Death Mountain.
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