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 woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and well rested. He turned over and looked at Zelda. she was still sleeping. He gave her a small kiss on the tip of her nose then got up. He reached into the wardrobe and quickly got dressed. He looked at the clock. Six o'clock. He considered waking Zelda, wanting to spend as much time with her as possible was a main priority at the moment. He was probably being selfish, but he walked over to the bed and shook her gently. Her eyes fluttered open, focusing on his handsome face. She smiled sleepily up at him, then pulled herself up. "Morning!" he greeted Zelda brightly.
"Morning," replied Zelda, not as brightly.
"I didn't know whether to wake you, but I wanted to spend the next few hours with you as much as possible," said Link.
"You did the right thing. I would have been mad if you hadn't awoken me," said Zelda, smiling again.
"How about we go for a walk around the grounds, alone. Then I have to go and wake up Ewan, we can spend my last few hours all together, as a family," said Link solemnly.
"Good idea," said Zelda in approval, slipping out of bed and quickly changing into a pale blue dress. Link waited for her at the door, then allowed her to go down the steps first. At the bottom, they linked arms and continued on.
"Ewan?" Link called softly, trying to wake his son. Ewan didn't respond. Link shook his son again. This time, the child's eyes flew wide open. He looked around, puzzled for a moment, but then smiled as he realised that his mother and father where present.
"Were you having another dream?" asked Zelda softly. Ewan nodded wearily. Link helped him out of bed.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he questioned. Ewan nodded.
"What happened?" asked Zelda.
"It was raining, and I was on a ship, then I saw that man again, he was laughing. Then he had the Triforce, but it had separated and wouldn't fit together, but then it did, it joined together and shone a golden light, then, then he tried to kill me but..." said Ewan shaking, beginning to see the images all over again. Link hugged him again.
"You don't have to go on," Link assured him.
"No, it's important," said Ewan defiantly.
"But what?" asked Zelda, her voice gentle and caring.
"But he tried to throw me off the ship, and he did, and I was in the water, then someone saved me. But they weren't like you, they were like a fish, all silver and beautiful," continued Ewan, sounding calmer. "Then I was on the beach, and my hand, it was all red, then you woke me," finished Ewan, sounding much better than he had when he'd first began the details of the dream. "It was better than the other dreams, it had a happy ending," said Ewan dreamily. Link looked towards Zelda, who looked distinctly concerned.
"You get ready, me and your dad are just going to do something," said Zelda, dragging Link from the room.
"What?" asked Link once they were outside.
"What did you think?" asked Zelda. Link shrugged.
"I don't know what to think, but it is worrying yet reassuring at the same time. Ewan said it had a happy ending, not like the other dreams," replied Link.
"But he described Ganondorf as having the Triforce!" pointed out Zelda, frantic. "And it joined together," said Link quietly. Even now, the Triforce wasn't fully meshed. They had never found a person who had carried all three essences of the Triforce in their heart.
"It joined together when Ganondorf had it! Ganondorf must have somehow acquired the three essences!" exclaimed Zelda.
"No, Ewan said it wouldn't join together, not at first. What if the dream wasn't a vision? What if it was just Ewan's imagination taking pieces from dreams, books, pictures and pasting them all together? Ganondorf wouldn't fear the Master Sword half-as-much if he still had a part of the essence of power left, never mind all three! It couldn't truly kill him, he'd be able to resurrect himself!" Link said, trying to calm Zelda.
"I can only agree with you, but after everything that had happened I can't help but worry," said Zelda thoughtfully.
"Come on, let's go and get something to eat," suggested Link. Ewan bounded out of his room and joined them.
"Yeah, I'm hungry!" agreed Ewan. Link turned to Zelda and smiled, then took her and Ewan's hand and proceeded downstairs.
"So this is it," Link said mournfully, gazing at Zelda sadly, hands on her shoulders.
"This is it," she agreed, looking sad.
"Come on Link, let's get going!" Drake called, from atop his horse. Link turned and held up his hand.
"Five minutes," he said. The knight nodded.
"Five minutes too long if you ask me, but go ahead," he said. Link grinned, then turned back to Zelda. She had tears in her eyes.
"Oh Link... I'll miss you," she wept, laying her head against his shoulder.
"Me too. I'll miss you heaps. Oh, I couldn't even begin to describe exactly how much I'll miss you," Link answered, trying not to cry himself.
"Take care," Zelda said quietly, looking down at the ground. Link nodded, and lifted her chin up, so that they were looking at each other.
"Promise me one thing," he said.
"Okay, what?" Zelda asked.
"Look after yourself, too. Don't worry yourself about me. I'll be just fine," Link replied. Zelda sighed.
"But..." she began.
"No buts about it, Zel. You have to promise, so that I'm not worrying about you too much," Link interrupted. Zelda nodded.
"Okay, I promise," she said quietly.
"Good," Link answered, running his fingers through her hair affectionately.
"I'll try... I'll try to come back and visit every now and then, if the chance should occur," he added.
"I hope so," Zelda answered, drawing him closer.
"Alright, your five minutes are up!" Drake called.
"Not just yet," Zelda whispered, smiling at Link. She leaned over and kissed him goodbye. Then she pushed him away.
"Wait," Link protested.
"No Link, go now. Before..." Zelda answered, turning away quickly.
"Zel, don't," Link said, catching hold of her arm, and pulling her up close again. "Let me kiss you just one more time," he pleaded.
"I hate goodbyes," Zelda sighed. They kissed again, longer this time. Link knew it might be their last kiss in a long while, so he wanted to make it memorable.
"Okay, enough is enough! We haven't got all day, ya know!" Drake called impatiently. They both ignored him, and carried on kissing.
"Boy, I wish I had someone to see me off like that!" Damon remarked, walking over to Drake, Dion close behind.
"Yeah well, I've heard of long goodbyes, but this is ridiculous! In a moment, I think I'm going have to go over there and pull them apart myself," the knight answered, dismounting.
"Oh amigo, can you blame them? If I had that pretty princess, I'd want to kiss her goodbye too!" Dion laughed, testing his bow string, to make sure it was nice and tight.
"They already did once," Drake replied.
"Maybe that one's for luck," Damon suggested, smiling. Leigh and Selina strolled over, swords in hand.
"We're ready," they stated.
"Yeah, now we've just got to wait for lover boy over there to detach himself from Her Royal Highness, and Aaron to show his face, and we'll be all set," Drake stated, watching Link step back from Zelda. They suddenly seemed aware that they had an audience. Zelda leaned up and whispered something to the hero, and he smiled at her. They exchanged a small kiss, then Link stepped away, still hold of Zelda's hand. They gazed at each other for a moment more, then Link managed to let go of her. He turned away quickly, and jogged over to the small group.
"You took your time," Drake remarked.
"Oh come on Drake, have a heart. I'm not going to see Zel for ages," Link replied, looking a little dejected.
"I'm sure you'll survive, amigo," Dion grinned.
"Yeah, right," Link said, pulling out his sword, and walking off ahead. Aaron suddenly appeared. "Sorry I'm late. Was just saying goodbye to Aimée and Timmy," he apologised.
"Not another one!" Drake groaned, looking slightly amused.
"You're a hard man, Sir Drake!" Aaron grinned. Everyone else laughed, then mounted up onto their horses.
"You all know where your respective camps are. Let's go, everyone!" Drake said, spurring his mount into a canter. The rest followed, hooves clattering across the wooden drawbridge. They were headed for what would probably be the main battleground, the north west plain. This stretch of grassland, which ran between the Midoro mountain range, and the Ruto Mountains, was the largest open area in the whole of Hyrule, aside from the Death Mountain area, and the Nabrooru Plains, in the east part of the country. It was too close to North Castle for comfort, but the place needed to be heavily defended. It was no doubt the place that Ganondorf and his men would be heading for...
Link was still standing there next to Carefree, as the others left. He didn't want to go, to leave Zelda and Ewan. Especially not now that he knew she could possibly be with child. Or that in her intrepid, stubborn way, would ignore her father's words, and somehow sneak out to the battlefield to help out. He stroked Carefree's velvety muzzle, and looked back to the castle one more time. With its strong white walls, and blue tiles, decorative windows and sculpture, it had to be one of the most beautiful castles in the whole of the world. Link hoped that it wouldn't be too badly damaged at the end of the upcoming battle... if it ever ended, that was. He glanced up to the north east tower, a lump in his throat. He couldn't bear to think of Zelda, up there, all alone. This was going to be a fight like no other. He'd never been involved in a war before. It would certainly be a new experience, and a dangerous one. He knew full well that he could die out there, at the hands of another. He'd have to watch his back more than anyone else. No doubt Ganondorf had offered to richly reward whichever minion got him first. There'd be no resting, sleeping at night. He'd constantly have to be his guard, for the enemy sneaking up when it was dark, planning to slit his throat whilst others slept. It's not going to happen. I have to get him first, Link thought to himself determinedly. Suddenly, Zelda appeared before him again, her face flushed.
"Link, you're still here!" she said breathlessly.
"Uh... yeah," he replied, going red.
"No, I'm glad. I thought I was going to have to run after you. I almost forgot to give you this," Zelda answered quickly. She took his hand, and placed something in it. A small wooden box. "What's this?" Link asked, looking down in interest.
"Don't open it just yet. Just... when you're lonely, open it. There's some things inside there, that will remind you of me," Zelda explained. They gazed at each other. Link brought her close, and kissed her softly.
"Thanks, Zel," he whispered.
"I love you Link. I'll never stop thinking of you," Zelda said.
"And I love you too Zel. More than you can ever imagine. But I have to go now. Please tell Ewan how much I love him. I hope... I hope next time I see you, it'll be happier times," Link answered, kissing her one last time. Then he mounted up onto Carefree, and placed Zelda's box carefully into his pack.
"Good luck," Zelda called after him, as he rode away. He turned back and smiled at his princess, then spurred Carefree quickly onwards, before he lost all of his resolve and went running back to her.
"Link!" called a small voice, a few moments later. Link slowed down his horse to an amble, and looked around. Sprite quickly flew down onto Carefree's head, and perched precariously between the horse's brown ears.
"Hey Sprite," Link said, somewhat despondently.
"How could you leave without me?" the faerie scolded. She pouted at him, and folded her arms. "Jeez Sprite, I'm sorry. I didn't know you'd be coming," Link replied. The main battle camp was coming into view.
"Link, I'm your guardian faerie! I'm here to keep you safe!" the faerie replied in a high pitched tone.
"Thanks Sprite," Link said, smiling a little at the tiny creature. Sprite smiled back, and flew up onto his shoulder. The pretty faerie was married now, with children of her own. But she spent more of her time at North Castle, with Link. She still adored him, and always would. Link knew he was lucky, to have the magical protection of a faerie. Not many people had that.
"I'll look after you Link, for Zelda," the faerie promised, her voice sweet and caring. He felt her plant a tiny kiss on the side of his neck. "Don't ever give up. You'll be the one who'll bring Hyrule through this," she added.
"I sure hope so. I'd never forgive myself if... if he won," Link replied.
"He won't. Remember, you're the greatest hero there ever was!" Sprite exclaimed enthusiastically. Link wished he could muster up even an ounce of her optimism, but the feeling just wasn't there for him. "I'll aid you all I can, Link, but there's some things you'll have to do yourself. Like facing Ganondorf. You can't be afraid, he fears you more than anyone else, and you have to take advantage of that. Courage is your best virtue, you have to put it to the best use you can," Sprite added seriously. Link knew that she was right. The faerie, despite her pretty child-like looks and diminutive size, was wise beyond her years.
"I will. Not just for Zelda, or Hyrule, but myself. I'm going to totally finish him this time, and no buts about it. This sword will do it, once and for all. He's never even going to get anywhere near North Castle!" Link said decisively. He felt the courage well up inside him, giving him new found determination.
"That's the spirit Link!" Sprite said, fluttering up back into the air, leaving a trail of faerie dust behind her. Link followed her, riding down to the main tent. He dismounted, and tethered Carefree to a nearby post. Then he walked into the tent to join the rest of his companions.
Link squinted against the early morning sun. They were coming. Hordes of Tanol and Gerudo troops were approaching the campsite, the sun glinting off their sharpened blades. Link heard a yell from Dion.
"Get ready!" the Dubation called out to his men. Unfortunately, not all of the reinforcements had arrived from the other countries, due to Tanolian ships patrolling the coast of Hyrule. Link shook his head as he watched men pouring from their tents, weapons at the ready, pulling on their armour. Link began to round up his own men, leading them to the battle round. His palms were sweating, and perspiration poured down his forehead.
"You ready?" asked a familiar voice. Link looked up. It was Drake, seated on his horse, grinning down at the young hero.
"Ready as I'll ever be," said Link, managing a smile.
"Don't worry Link, we'll be fine!" Drake comforted.
"Your mood's changed," remarked Link, watching as the advancing troops slowed down.
"Yeah, well I've been thinking a lot in the past few days," said Drake, following Link's gaze. "Well, see you on the other side!" called Drake as he rode off, followed by his own mounted troops. Link marched after them, hoping that Drake was right.
Link deflected another blow from the Tanolian soldier, then quickly stabbed forward with his own sword, cutting into the man's belly. Link quickly pulled his sword from the soldier and let him fall to the ground, moaning in pain. Then Link quickly turned his sword raised, cutting off the arm of another soldier. He then proceeded to finish off the soldier, then glanced around the battlefield. Blood ran through the ditches in the field like streams, bodies littered the ground, in all manner of colours. It was hard to tell which side had lost the most. From behind him, a high pitched scream sounded. Link whirled around and blocked the Gerudo attack, then attempted for her stomach. She swiftly blocked the attack and lifted the sword from his hand. It flew into the air, then sunk into the ground near by. Link watched it for a split second, then stepped back, dodging the next attack.
"So hero, not so hot are we?" asked the Gerudo from behind her mask. Link looked towards the sword, wondering how he'd managed to lose it. Suddenly, the sword lifted from the ground and span towards Link. He caught it neatly, then turned and felled the woman in one blow, catching her off guard. Link took another glance around the field, and spotted one of his own side in trouble. He quickly raced over and aided the man.
"Thanks," said the soldier, smiling at Link.
"You owe me one!" called Link as he jogged to the other end of the field.
Link lay back against the side of the tent, wiping the blood from his face with a damp cloth. There had been many, more than what the Hyrulian had had, but their strategies were better and they had successfully held off the menace. Link closed his eyes briefly, knowing that there would be more, far more. He missed Zelda, and Ewan. But he knew it would probably be a while before he saw them again. He heard the rustling of cloth as someone entered the tent. Link instinctively reached out and grabbed his sword, opening his eyes. It was Drake.
"Hey, cool it!" laughed Drake, holding up his hands.
"Sorry, I'm just a little on edge at the minute," apologised Link.
"Nah, it's okay. In fact, it's understandable. Anyhow, how you feeling?" said Drake. Link nodded,
"I'm okay, if a little weary," replied Link.
"You'll get used to it, and you'll get better too," assured Drake.
"Yeah, I hope," said Link, a little wistfully. Drake patted him on the shoulder.
"Don't worry, believe me, you will get used to it!" repeated Drake. Link grinned at his friend's persistence.
"Okay, I won't worry!" insisted Link laughing.
"That's the spirit!" quipped Drake, getting up. "Well, I've got to go check what's happening out there. You, you get some rest," advised Drake before leaving the tent. Link watched him leave then lay back and closed his eyes. He'd sworn that he'd keep his guard up, but a few minutes wouldn't hurt, would it?
Link rubbed his eyes and yawned. It was pitch black. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he noticed a figure standing in the corner of the tent. Link sat bolt upright, his hand searching for the sword, but it was gone. A booming chuckle emitted from the figure, then it stepped forward. A crack of lightening lit up the sky, illuminating the figure. It was Ganondorf. Link shrank back, seconds later, cold steel pressed against his neck. "We meet again hero. This time, it will be I that finish you!" taunted Ganondorf. Link gulped and shrank back even further. Another bolt of lightening tore through the sky. Ganondorf stood forward, his eyes burning with evil. He was holding something in his free hand. "I've got something for you hero," taunted Ganondorf again. He held it up, another flash ripped through the sky. Link saw it, a face, of a human. He was holding a severed head in his hand. Link couldn't quite make out the face but another flash illuminated the dark night, illuminating the face. Link gasped, it was his, it was his head, he emitted a scream...
Link awoke, his body sheathed in cold sweat. He couldn't breath! Gasping for breath, he got up and ran outside into the pouring rain. The storm wasn't only in the dream. As soon as he stepped outside, he was drenched from the rain. He quickly stepped back inside, shivering. As he returned to his tent, he pulled off his armour and his tunic, throwing them to the floor. Rooting through his pack, he pulled out a towel and quickly dried himself off. He then found himself a dry shirt and slipped it on. That dream, it had been so real, so vivid. Link shook his head and sat back down, this time determined that he would not allow himself to drift off.
Ganondorf paced up and down in his own chamber. They had outnumbered the Hyrulians easily, yet they had not won a vital battle. Well, they would be in for a shock tomorrow, when the offensive was launched. Every town in Hyrule would be attacked and devastated. Ganondorf sneered. Of course, he would have been happier if they had succeeded today, but then it was Canivaris who had planned the attack, not Ganondorf. That had made Ganondorf angry, Canivaris attacking North Castle. His original plan had been to attack North Castle himself, and Canivaris was supposed to have attacked Mido. Ganondorf grunted, the Tanolian Lord wasn't quite working out as he had planned. As soon as Ganondorf had killed Link, and regained the Triforce, then he would rid himself of the lord completely.
Zelda sighed to herself, and stared into the fire.
"You too?" Fayette enquired quietly. The Princess nodded. The battle had been going on for over a month now. There'd been no sightings of Ganondorf himself, or Lord Canivaris, or so messengers had informed them. A few times, the enemy had attempted to approach the castle, but no damage had been done, since the Hyrulian army had managed to head them off. As far as they were aware, everyone of any importance was safe and well. Selina had been back a night previously, for more medical supplies. She'd given Zelda a frank description of the current situation.
"More and more just keep coming! They just never seem to thin out!" she'd exclaimed, in reference to the Tanolians and Gerudos.
"Are the Gerudo's good fighters?" Zelda had asked. Selina had nodded.
"The men find it harder to fight them, chivalry and all. Me and Leigh seem to have a better time against them."
"And Link?" Zelda hadn't hesitated to ask.
"He's fine," Selina assured her. Then the healer had left, rushing back to camp with the much needed supplies. Fayette came and sat over beside her step sister. They sat there in silence for a while, just watching the fire together.
"It can't be easy for you," Fayette finally said.
"Well... no, I'm okay. Link is a good swordsman. He'll be okay," Zelda replied.
"It's just the waiting," she added, a little angrily. Fayette nodded quietly.
"At least Selina stopped by," she said.
"I guess so. It's a relief to know that everyone's still okay," Zelda answered. She stood up, smoothing down the sides of her dress. "I just want to know what the hell Ganondorf's playing at!" she remarked. "I mean, he's not even here yet! The coward. He's letting his men clear the way first," the princess added.
"Sounds like him," Fayette replied. She stood up too. "Come on, let's go and check on the children," she suggested.
The two step sisters made their way up to the nursery together. Impa was up there, getting the children ready for bed. She looked up in surprise at the two princesses. Neither of them usually did anything together.
"Hello dears," she remarked, smiling at them.
"We just wanted to come and see the children," Fayette said.
"Why don't you read them a story?" Impa suggested. Zelda nodded.
"Yes, that's what's what I wanted to do," Zelda said. She bent down, and picked up Ewan, kissing him on the cheek. Then she placed him back down on the floor. "Come on, you go and pick up a book and then we'll go to my room," she suggested to her son. Fayette had gathered her children into a small circle, and was already reading out loud a story to them. Zelda had to admit, that her step sister was a good mother. Even if her children were brats at times. She turned to Impa. "How has he been?" she questioned, asking about Ewan.
"He's been fine Princess. Missing his dad, though. But no dreams, well he slept peacefully enough last night. And as I'm sure you've noticed, he hasn't spoken of any over the past few days," the old nursemaid replied. Zelda nodded.
"I'm glad. I wish he wasn't getting dreams at all, he's far too young," she said, frowning.
"He's a very special child. Like you are a special princess. It's considered a blessing to have such psychic powers in this age," Impa replied.
"I didn't get such visions so young though! Impa, he's only five years old! Far too young to understand the severity! And he's frightened enough as it is, what with the war and everything," Zelda exclaimed. Impa gave the princess a reassuring hug.
"These are indeed dark days, my princess. But I assure you, your son is fine. Like I said, he's special. He has his father's courage, and his mother's wisdom." Zelda smiled a little.
"I know," she said. She felt a hand tugging her dress.
"Mother, I got a book!" Ewan said.
"Good," Zelda replied, picking him up again. "He's staying with me tonight," she said to Impa. "Okay. Goodnight Ewan," Impa replied, giving Ewan a kiss on the cheek.
"Goodnight Impa," the young boy replied. She smiled.
"See you in the morning. I hope you sleep well, Princess." Zelda nodded.
"Me too," she replied.
Zelda soon finished reading the story to Ewan. She tucked him under the warm bedcovers, then got ready for bed herself. Standing in just a night dress, she examined herself in the mirror. "Ewan?" she questioned, still studying herself.
"Uhuh?" he said sleepily.
"How would you feel... about having a brother or sister?" she enquired, turning to look at him. "Like... my cousins?" he asked.
"Yes, like your cousins," Zelda replied.
"I think it would be good," her son replied. Zelda smiled to herself.
"You sure?" she asked. He nodded. "Okay," Zelda replied. "You go to sleep now, it's getting late," she added. She smoothed down her night dress, so that it lay flat across her body. But she had no way of telling if she really was pregnant yet or not. She hadn't known the previous time, until after at least three or four months. Balayna said this year, or next. I hope it's this year, she thought to herself. Another child might take her mind off the events going on outside. Then again, she'd regret Link not being there, or not even knowing. She was missing him deeply already. I wish that he'd come and see me, she thought to herself. She checked that Ewan was tucked up warm and asleep, then she took her night gown and put it on. It was time for her to go and do some more studying. She had to distract herself somehow, after all. She couldn't sleep for worrying, and when she did, she only had bad dreams. If Link knew, he'd not be very happy, but he wasn't there to know. Sometimes, she just wished he was though. She was missing him so, so much... Maybe I could sneak out sometime... if just for one night, she thought to herself. She paused down the passageway. Actually, that wasn't a bad idea. She imagined Link's surprise, his happiness, at seeing her. Okay, so he might be angry at first for her doing it, but she knew he wouldn't be mad for long. They would go off somewhere, alone, spend a few precious hours together. Then she'd go back to North Castle, stealing in through the secret passage via the well. But first, she'd need some sort of disguise. This would need a lot of forethought, and careful planning, she supposed. Then she smiled. Why, she could just wear some of Link's clothes! They were roughly the same height and build, Link, for all his strength and agility, had always had a slighter build than most other men, mainly because he was a pure Hylian. She turned to go back up the stairs, to their bedroom. She opened Link's wardrobe, and looked inside. He'd taken about half of his outfits. Most of his smart royal ones were still there. She didn't want those. She thought about some of her own informal clothes. "Too tight," she thought, smiling. Wearing something of Link's would mask her figure better. Then again, if it was dark, would it matter? But there'll be people on night duty. If they see me... she thought. She then wished that she knew exactly where Link would be. It looked like she'd need to do a lot more planning after all.
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