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)
"Ugh, my head," moaned Leigh as she came to. Feeling a little disorientated, she looked around the room. She was back in her cell, shackled to the wall. "Not again!" she groaned in despair. She'd had her chance and she'd blown it. Some Avatar. Shaking her head, trying to shake the fuzz from her mind, she glanced up at the shackles. They cut into her skin, almost cutting off the circulation. Her head was pounding, probably after Ganondorf had thrown her against the wall. She sniffed, immediately regretting it. A horrible, pungent smell filled her nostrils, making her want to keel over. Of course, she could hardly do this as she was chained to the wall. She yanked at the manacles, trying to break free of them, but they just cut deeper into her skin. How she wished that she could use natural magic. Sosarian magic was all very well, but when you didn't have the correct reagents, you couldn't cast the spells. And a spell or two would really help just about now. Of course, there were the 'linear' spells. These spells required no reagents and almost no concentration. It would help though if she could remember the simple mantras that went with them. The spells were pretty pathetic in any case. There was ignite, a weaker version of great ignite, weather, which could change the weather, douse, doused things, help, a spell that would help her in her hour of need. Unfortunately that one only worked in Sosaria. There were also a few others, but none that would really help her. She looked over at the door. If she could break free of these shackles she could burn the door with ignite. She could probably toast anyone who came her way to. That was if she could a) get out of the manacles, and b) remember the mantra. Racking her brains, she desperately tried to remember the words of power required for the spell. They didn't come. It was like part of her brain had been cordoned off, only a small part remained which allowed her to breath and keep her alive. Or so it seemed. She gave the manacles another yank, bits off dust falling from the walls. Well, at least her strength was returning to her. She yanked again and again, gaining a little lee-way. She smiled. She gave the manacles another yank, this time they almost broke from the wall. Her wrist's hurt like hell, but she knew this was how she would make her escape. It certainly wouldn't come if she just hung around waiting for them to make a mistake. She gave the manacles one last yank, pulling them both free from the wall. "Someone under-estimated my strength," she mused. She certainly wasn't complaining though. She looked down at her feet. They might be a little trickier than the wrist manacles, then again they could be easier. She began to kick her feet a few inches forward, pulling the manacles away from the wall. Feeling a new found vigour, she pulled harder and harder until they finally gave way. She let out a small cheer as she stepped away from the wall. She rubbed her wrists, but since she still actually had the manacles on, it didn't do much. She didn't care though. She had a little more freedom, and that's what counted. She walked to the door and rested her hands on it. This would certainly create a nice little fire, alright. She closed her eyes, thinking carefully, trying to break into the dark places in her brain. She opened her mouth, silently forming the words. She opened her eyes, invigorated. Cupping her hands, she held them out in front of the door, drawing the ethereal waves into them. "IN FLAM!" she declared, energy rushing through her. She watched as a tiny pool of sparks formed in her hand, then flung it towards the door. The flames brushed against the door, immediately setting fire to it. Leigh stood back, satisfied. In very little time, the door was blackened with smoke and ash. She punched her fist towards the door, neatly sending her hand through it.
She managed to smash the rest of her way through the door, finding herself back in the narrow corridor. Suddenly, she saw a movement in the shadows, stepping away just in time to avoid an axe planting itself between her shoulder blades. Leigh faced her attacker, raising her foot and kicking him in the arm. He dropped the axe to the floor and pulled out a small dagger. Leigh punched him in the stomach, sending him to the ground with a wheeze. She grabbed the axe and hit him in the chest with it, sending spurts of blood up the wall. He was dead. "Too easy," murmured Leigh, looking down at the so-called guard. She quickly stripped off his cloak and boots and slipped them on. She also found a ring of keys on his belt. One of them unlocked her shackles on both her hands and feet. She quickly unlocked them and discarded them next to the body. The cloak and boots were far more practical than the flimsy white dress she was currently wearing. She pulled the hood over her face and continued down the corridor. Her main priority was get out, but she needed to go back for the sword. After all, Arcadian was the kind of spirit who wouldn't lose sleep over betraying his owner. If Ganondorf could somehow break the bind between herself and Arcadian, then the sword would be his, as would the powers. Leigh slipped silently down another corridor, watching out for guards. She had no idea were she was going, but something told her Arcadian was near here. She paused at a door in the wall, then stepped through.
"So, our paths cross yet again. You are a relentless little thing aren't you?" boomed Ganondorf, stepping from the shadows. Leigh stared at him, holding the axe in front of herself. Ganondorf snickered, then drew a gleaming, black blade from his belt. It was Arcadian. "You told Canivaris only you could control the power of the sword," gleamed Ganondorf. Leigh nodded slowly.
"And...?" she asked, watching him swish the sword through the air.
"And, I want to know why," finished Ganondorf.
"You'll never know," answered Leigh coolly. He frowned, then stepped forward.
"I will know, not that I need to. I could kill you now if I wanted, but I'm giving you a chance to live," snarled Ganondorf.
"You can't kill me, you're not quick enough," reassured Leigh shaking her head. Ganondorf took another step forward, lunging out at Leigh with the sword. She stepped backwards quickly, then lashed out with the axe.
"And you, Avatar, cannot kill me," reminded Ganondorf.
"No, but I can tell Link where to find you. He has the sword, he'll kill you. You're as good as dead," threatened Leigh.
"Even more reason to keep you here. And this time, I'll let those savages have you!" growled Ganondorf.
"Even more reason for me to get out of here then!" yelled Leigh. She leapt forward, hitting Ganondorf in the chest with the axe. Although it didn't cut through his skin, the blow sent him back, tumbling to the floor. The sword flew from his hand and skittered across the floor.
"Nice move Avatar," commented Arcadian. Whilst Ganondorf lay on the floor, Leigh retrieved the sword and looked down at Ganondorf. She threw the axe into Ganondorf's chest, making him let out an even deeper groan of agony. She sighed, then ran from the room. She had no idea where she was or how to get out, but she had to find Link.
Leigh fell against the sodden earth, gasping for breath. Rain poured down from the heavens relentlessly, each drop hitting her with the impact of a bullet. She'd run through that temple, or whatever it was, avoiding most of the camping troops. She'd weaved through that dense forest, guessing that she was near the spot where the Master Sword had been discovered. If she could find that dragon, if, she'd get back to the site much quicker. She stood up, wiping the mud from her face and cloak and continued on. She looked briefly behind her, no one was following her. She jogged down the rough track, not seeing the small group of Tanolians hidden in the undergrowth. As she turned a corner, they jumped out on all sides. She gasped, then drew her sword. Then she recognised the leader of the group. It was Black brow.
"Well, look who it is!" he crowed. Before he could do anything, she stepped forward, sticking the sword into his stomach and pulling it up, ripping through his chest. He dropped to his knees, mouth hanging open. She quickly pulled the sword from his body and whirled the sword around, slashing the advancing Tanolians in the chest and stomach. They slumped to the ground, moaning in pain. She swiftly finished the rest off, then turned Black brow. He was dead. Shaking her head in disgust, she turned away. Checking the area quickly, she set off on her journey again.
Link watched warily as the messenger crossed the field upon his horse. He was sure the Tanolian was only pretending to be a messenger, as soon as he crossed over he'd probably turn on them. Link placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. He certainly wasn't to be caught out. The messenger made a bee-line for Drake, where he stopped and handed the missive over to the knight. Tipping his hat, the Tanolian turned back round and rode back across the field. Link raised his eyebrows in surprise, then made his way over to Drake. When he arrived, Drake waved Link over, a big grin on his face. "What is it?" asked Link, feeling a little relieved.
"Well, according to Lord Canivaris, the Tanolian's have kidnapped your wife," laughed Drake. Link let out a small snort.
"Really? I've seen her but a few minutes ago," said Link, grinning. Nick stepped forward and raised his hand.
"Perhaps they have mistaken someone else for Zelda," he said solemnly. Link stopped smiling, looked at Drake.
"Perhaps they have Leigh," muttered Link.
"I think you may be right... but how could they mistaken Leigh for Zelda? Surely they knew that Zelda would be at North Castle, not here," Drake replied.
"Ganondorf knows Zelda. He knew she wouldn't stick around the castle for long. Besides, the Tanolians are stupid. Ganondorf will have told them to look for a woman with long blonde hair who can use magic. Zel and Leigh could easily be confused by someone who didn't know either of them, even though if you stood them together, they couldn't possibly look more different," Link answered.
"Well, hopefully, we don't have to worry then. Leigh has shown she can clearly look after herself no problem. I'm sure she'll be okay," Drake said.
"I don't know... if Leigh doesn't have her regents, or her weapons, she's as helpless as we would be. I think we ought to go and see if we can help her," Link said.
"Link, we can't possibly spare anyone!" Drake replied, looking worried.
"Yeah, but we'll need to go and confront the leaders sooner or later anyway," Link said.
"This is exactly what they want! You to come and hunt Zelda... or so we know, Leigh, out!" Drake answered. Link nodded, thinking the matter over. Finally, he spoke.
"Okay. I'll give Leigh one more day. If she's not here tomorrow, I'm going to go looking for her," he decided.
"Okay," Drake nodded. "I'll see you later. We can't stand around chatting whilst a battle is taking place, after all," he added, shading his eyes, and looking over to where the main fight was happening, further to the north. Their troops had managed to drive the enemy back that far.
"See ya," Link said quietly.
Zelda yawned, and stretched. She wondered what time it was. It was still quite dark in the tent, so she figured that it must be early morning. The Princess sat up, her body aching a little. It must have been the fact that she'd slept on the ground. The bedroll hadn't provided much comfort, but at least all the blankets had kept her warm. Link had never come in all night, and Zelda's heart went out to him. He must be so very tired, working all night, and most probably all day, without many rests. She fell back down onto the bedroll again, and pulled the blankets closer. The air outside felt a little nippy, after all. At that moment, someone came into the tent. She realised it was Link. "Hey," she called out softly. He came and sat down beside her.
"Zel, I think you should go home," he said immediately.
"I'm not going home. I... I like it, here," she answered stubbornly.
"No you don't, this is no place for someone like you. You have to be at North Castle... where you will be safe, where I know that you'll be okay Zel," Link said, taking her hand, and caressing it softly.
"I'm fine! I don't want to stay at the castle... I'm sick of all the waiting... of being alone," Zelda replied sharply.
"I know, I feel exactly the same Zel," Link sighed.
"At least you have something to take your mind off it!" Zelda replied sulkily.
"I'd hardly say that. In fact, I can clearly say that I hate war," Link said.
"So does everyone else. Well, apart from Canivaris and his brutal savages, who clearly feed on such bloodshed!" Zelda remarked, looking angry.
"But we're beating them Zel, pushing them back. North Castle is safe!" Link exclaimed.
"Maybe, but our towns and villages have still been attacked, and many innocent people have lost their lives!" Zelda said sadly, a tear rolling down her cheek. Link wiped it away.
"Please don't dwell on that. There's nothing we can do... that's what happens during a war. The Hyrulians are strong... we'll pick up the pieces, and everything will return back to normal, I promise," Link said, pulling her up into his arms. She sighed heavily over his shoulder. Link stroked her hair comfortingly. "Come on Zel, let me take you home. Ewan will be missing you..." he began.
"He'll be fine! I'm not going back!" Zelda interrupted. Link knew it was no use arguing with her whilst she felt so determined. He hoped he'd be able to talk her around her decision though. It was a tactic that sometimes worked, especially if she was secretly unsure.
"Okay, stay," he said.
"I don't see why you're so concerned anyway," Zelda said, a few moments later.
"I should have thought the reason was obvious," Link replied.
"Well, maybe my suspicions were right. You don't want me here, so that you can continue your little rendezvous with your beloved Leigh!" Zelda accused.
"Not that again," Link said sighing.
"Yes, well, after what you did..." Zelda began.
"I did nothing! Leigh kissed me, okay, and I can assure you, I told her to stop, and leave me alone," Link replied.
"So you say," Zelda said.
"Zel, you might think that, but you shouldn't. If you do, that makes me very upset... and obviously, we can't have much of a marriage," Link answered quietly.
"Of course we do! Besides, it's not me who's ruining it!" Zelda retorted.
"You would say that," Link said.
"Well, it's true!" Zelda answered. They sat there is silence for a few moments. Then Link said,
"no it isn't. Anyway, maybe it's better that we spend some time apart. We obviously can't get on when we're together."
"How can you say that? Now I know that you really don't want me here!" Zelda replied angrily.
"Now you're just jumping to conclusions again. As usual," Link said despondently.
"Fine. Then I will go! It's clear that you think I'm completely and utterly useless, and that people like Leigh happen to be better company, so I'll leave you to it!" Zelda said, standing up, and picking up the outfit she'd worn the previous day.
"Zel, no, don't go back angry," Link pleaded with her. He got up too, and grabbed hold of her arm.
"Let go, please," Zelda said quietly.
"No," Link replied.
Zelda stared at him in surprise. He didn't usually refuse to do as she told him. He took no notice of her. "Alright, we've had a lousy 4552 so far. Ganondorf is back, you're always in a bad mood because of it, and now we're in the middle of a war. I've done my best to placate you, to stop you from worrying, but obviously, that's not enough for you. I wish you'd stop acting so irrational! I thought we'd sorted that stuff involving Leigh out. Everything's been fine, up until now. Why do you have to imagine the worst? I knew that you had a slight jealous streak, but this is ridiculous!" Link said. Zelda just continued staring. "I'm glad I got that off my chest," Link finally said. Zelda then spoke.
"I'm irrational? Jealous?!" she cried, her voice rising a few decibels.
"From where I stand, yes," Link replied. I have to be firm, I can't let her get her own way. Otherwise we'll never get past this, he told himself.
"I am not jealous! And I'm not irrational, either for that matter! How dare you even say those things to me!" Zelda said.
"Zel, don't even try talking to me like that. You might be the princess, and I might just be just a lowly peasant, but we're married and neither of us have the right to order each other around," Link retorted. Zelda took a deep breath, then eyed him icily.
"I didn't have to look twice at the likes of you!" she said.
"So I guess now you're going to say I should count myself lucky?" Link demanded.
"Something like that," Zelda replied.
"Well you shouldn't. I might take offence to that as easily as you take offence to me pointing out your worst traits," Link answered, letting go of her arm, and sticking his hands in his pockets.
"Too right I'll take offence to such comments! They're not even true!" Zelda cried, looking hurt.
"Well, there you go. Now you see how I feel when you make false accusations about Leigh and I!" Link quickly retorted, looking a little smug.
"That's different!" the Princess said warily.
"I hardly think so," the hero replied, watching her. She lowered her eyes at his gaze.
"I'm sorry," she finally murmured, after what seemed like forever. Tentatively, she placed her arms around his waist, and hugged him. Then she stepped back. "Well, no point in staying around where I'm not wanted," she remarked.
"You didn't have to say that," Link said in an annoyed tone. She gave him a petulant look.
"I'll say as I please."
"Well of course. How could I forget?" he said sarcastically.
"Oh, just get out! Go and fight in some battle like you're supposed to," Zelda replied in an exasperated voice.
"Excuse me, but this happens to be my tent, and as a matter of fact, I was coming to get some rest for a few hours. I've been on night watch for at least twelve whole hours!" Link replied. Zelda scowled.
"Well, sorry for getting in your way! I suppose I'll have to walk back to North Castle in just my night dress, who cares that I'll probably be the laughing stock of Hyrule; but then again, I haven't much choice!"
"Don't be stupid. Get dressed in here, it doesn't bother me," Link said, sitting back down onto his bedroll. He removed his boots, gloves and belt, the settled down onto the covers, resting his head against the pillow.
Zelda watched him for a few moments, feeling a little remorseful. He looked so tired and worn out, almost vulnerable, just lying there curled up upon the bedroll. She hated arguments. Perhaps he was right. Maybe she was jumping to conclusions again. He is only thinking of my safety, she thought to herself. Then she thought of Leigh. This is the perfect chance for them! I'm not here, well I am, but I shouldn't be, she then thought, her eyes narrowing, as she glanced over at Link again. She was never sure when he was guilty or not. He tended to look more imploring, told her that she was wrong. She didn't like that. Sighing, she picked up her clothes, and quickly got changed into them. She then looked at Link one more time. His eyes were closed, but he wasn't asleep. "Well, I'll be seeing you," she said, rather coldly. Link sat up, and looked genuinely disappointed, but nodded slowly.
"I love you Zel," he said quietly. She just ignored him, and stalked out of the tent. He sighed, wishing that the whole war was over, that Ganondorf was dead already. Then perhaps things would get back to normal again. He and Zelda would go back to the way they had been, before Trinity. Hyrule would be at peace. No problems. He began to drift off back to sleep. He felt truly exhausted...
Ewan sighed. He was back in the tent. No, it was different, smaller. There were two beds at the side of the tent, and a few possessions scattered around the place. Madralesse was there, with her son. She was perched on the side of her own bed tentatively watching her son. He was toddling around the place, waving a wooden spear in the air. When he had been born, she had feared her son. Now she loved him as she should have done. "Soon I shall challenge that fat oaf on the throne who claims to be your King mother! Soon I shall rule over the Gerudo race and we shall flourish like never before!" declared her son. Madralesse smiled, her the mother of a King. Who'd've thought it? He had spoken from the day he was born, and his vocabulary surpassed that of most the adults in the fort. As Encantra, the eldest and wisest of the Gerudo had told her, little Ganondorf had been born with the knowledge of a thousand kings. He certainly didn't get it from his father, a simple, yet selfish carpenter whom had lived in Kakariko village. He was dead now anyway.
Ewan awoke from his dream groggily. Why was he getting these dreams? He'd ask his mother, she'd know. But not just yet, he was still tired...
Link ought to have known that the peace wouldn't last. Less than ten minutes later, he heard the sound of hooves. Groggily, he sat up, and rubbed his eyes. He'd just been about to fall asleep. "Link?" the young King Charles of Lemmink called. Link sighed, and got up. He crawled out of the tent into the bright early morning sunshine.
"What's up?" he asked.
"We have good news!" came another familiar voice. Link turned to see Nick.
"What? The war's over?" he asked hopefully.
"Not quite, but it's definitely something to be cheerful about," Charles exclaimed.
"Don't keep me in suspense," Link said.
"Well, while the knights, archers and foot soldiers have been pushing most of the Tanolian and Gerudo troops up north, into the Tantari Desert, some of mine and Nick's men have gone right to the source of the enemy," Charles explained.
"Which is where?" Link asked, thinking of Death Mountain.
"Well, the place we should have thought of all along! We knew it would be fairly close to here, for one thing," Nick began.
"Nick and I remembered those old caverns from a few years back, under the Ruto Mountains. I'd never been in of course, but Nick knew the way. He directed our men, and we soon sniffed out the enemy headquarters," Charles finished. Link's sombre expression suddenly broke out into a smile.
"Why of course! The Tanolians would have been landing on the other side of the range, and entering the caves that way! Jeez, we've been so stupid! I could have sent a group that way a long time ago!" Nick shook his head.
"No, we didn't really have the resources until now anyway," he said.
"So, did you clear out the caverns?" Link questioned.
"We don't know yet, but we did our best. We've left a group posted outside the entrances on this side, to catch out anymore who may try to sneak through," Charles said.
"Good work," Link replied, patting them both on the back.
"We thought you'd be pleased," Nick said, smiling.
"I'll be even more pleased when this whole nightmare is finally over," Link replied, thinking his words were very true. He suddenly thought back to the bad dreams he'd had of late.
"Link, are you okay?" Charles suddenly asked.
"Uh, yeah, course," Link said quickly, smiling again. Charles nodded.
"Ya just looked a bit worried, that's all. Missing Zelda?" Link looked over the field, for the telltale flash of long gold hair. But he knew she'd already gone, that she would be almost back at the castle now. He felt a stab of pain at her sudden departure. He wished that they'd apologised, made up. He'd have walked her back to the castle, perhaps she could have sneaked Ewan out for a few minutes. But instead, as he'd told her truthfully that he loved her, she'd just ignored him, and walked away. Typical Zel, he thought to himself, shaking his head. He turned back to Nick and Charles.
"I guess so. Although, she showed up here last night. But I sent her back home." Nick laughed.
"That's Zelda for you. She's very admirable. You wouldn't catch my sisters out here," he said.
"She's too brave for her own good," Link sighed. "Either that, or easily bored," he added.
"Probably both," Charles said. Link nodded.
"Well, you just missed her anyway. She's gone back to North Castle like I told her to," he said.
"All the better. I hate to sound sexist, but this isn't really the place for women. I worry about Selina all the time," Nick said.
"Yeah, me too, as a matter of fact," Link replied. He and Charles mounted up back onto their horses.
"Well, we're off to join the battle further up north. I daresay Drake will be along soon. He mentioned something about finding Leigh, that he'd be back to our camp later to discuss it," Charles said. Link nodded.
"Okay, well, I'll see you both later," he said, waving after them. Ganondorf must be back at Death Mountain, he thought, turning south. The tall, pointed red peak rose up in the far distance. For some reason, it gave Link a forbidding feeling. The sooner I finish Ganondorf, the better, he thought resolutely.
Zelda quickly ran across the field, back towards the castle. She knew that she'd probably be in trouble for leaving the castle, but it was still fairly early, she'd probably only have missed breakfast. With any luck, no-one would have realised her absence. Suddenly, she paused, leaning against a tree, attempting to catch her breath. She felt a little faint, light headed. A series of sharp pains coursed through her body, and she slumped down onto the ground. Don't faint, she said to herself in her mind, but she could barely even think, she felt so weird. Oh god, what have I done? Did someone... she thought. But she didn't get to finish the thought, as she keeled over onto the grass, completely blacked out...
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