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)
Leigh yawned and opened her eyes. She was back in her tent. Link was sitting by her bed. "Hi," greeted Link, smiling at Leigh.
"Hi," replied Leigh.
"How are you feeling?" asked Link. Leigh shrugged.
"So-so," answered Leigh.
"If you don't mind me asking, what happened?" went on Link.
"I was kidnapped, and taken to some kind of temple. It was in the woods near where you found the Master Sword. Ganondorf was there, so was Canivaris... he's dead," replied Leigh, slowing as it all flooded back. Link looked at her, full of concern.
"Canivaris is dead?" asked Link quietly. Leigh nodded.
"I managed to escape, then I found Sal, and I ended up back here. Ganondorf is in that temple, not Death Mountain," said Leigh, her voice beginning to falter. Link placed his hand over hers, trying to reassure her a little. Leigh pulled her hand away from his and smiled at him.
"Thanks for your concern, but I'm fine. Just worn out," she said softly. Link nodded and stood up. Leigh closed her eyes, trying to empty her mind of all thought. She heard Link leave the tent, then silence. She soon drifted off.
Zelda sat up. A sharp pain coursed through her, but she ignored it. Clutching hold of a rocky outcrop, she managed to pull herself up. Tentatively, she took a step forward, hoping that she wouldn't fall back over. She certainly felt like she was going to. No doubt about it, she was definitely sick, but she couldn't understand how. Still holding onto the rock, she attempted to think back over the past few days of anytime she could have been slipped some drugs or poison. But she couldn't think of any instances, perhaps save for when the Tanolian had stabbed her. But Selina healed me! Surely that spell should have got rid of any poison too? she thought, puzzled. Taking a deep breath, she took another step forward, letting go of the rock. She managed it. A little shaky, but encouraged, she continued walking. Waves of dizziness passed through her several times, but she kept going. She had to get out of this place... "Zelda!" a voice suddenly called. Two hands grabbed her from behind, and pulled her back quickly.
"Get off me!" Zelda cried.
"You mustn't leave yet. You're not well enough. It's very dangerous outside, after all," John said, leading her back into the cave. Zelda frowned.
"I'm fine! I know how to look after myself!" she snapped. John gave her a hurt look.
"You're not being very nice," he said.
"I don't appreciate being kept somewhere against my will!" Zelda replied.
"Such a shame. I would have thought someone so pretty would have an equally nice demeanour," John said, gazing at her sadly. Zelda cast him a withering look.
"You certainly haven't met many people," she remarked. John looked down shyly.
"I was brought up here. I don't know any different," he said.
"Well, despite that, you're still living in Hyrule, which I happen to be the ruler of. So you should do as I ask of you. And I'm asking you to take me back to North Castle at once!" Zelda ordered.
"Not yet," John said, a little eerily. Zelda sighed.
"You could get in serious trouble for this!" she said.
"Why did you have to be so deceiving?" John said, ignoring her words. He didn't look happy.
"Deceiving?" Zelda questioned, a puzzled look on her face. John nodded.
"I thought you would be nice to me," he said. Zelda suddenly felt very faint again. She sank down to the floor, feeling thoroughly exhausted. "I'll bring you some water," John suggested, before disappearing back into the inky shadows.
Zelda drank the water slowly, the cool trickle refreshing her dry throat. John had disappeared again. Zelda was glad that he was gone. She felt a little afraid of him. The princess wondered where her pack and weapons were. Had John stolen them, hidden them away somewhere in the caves? Link's old sword, and her enchanted bow were certainly precious magical relics, for example. She wondered if she'd ever be able to escape, for John seemed intent on not letting her go. If only Link was here... but he thought that she'd gone back to the castle. It could be a while before he discovered that she was missing. There was only one other thing she could do. Try to contact him telepathically. It was a long shot, especially if he wasn't thinking about her at this very moment. No doubt he was in the middle of a gruelling fight, or perhaps he was angry at her, for acting the way she had. Telepathic bonding between Hylians was a rarity these days, but she and Link had one stronger than most. She closed her eyes, and spoke to Link through magic. Link... Link, it's me, Zelda... you have to help me... I'm trapped, and sick... I can't escape... I'm somewhere in the Midoro Mountains. Please help me, Link, I'm begging you.
Link dodged the Gerudo attack and stepped to the side. He stabbed his sword forward and knocked the long curved weapon from the woman's hand. She let out an angry shriek and pulled a dagger from her hair. Link drew back as she lunged towards him, then jumped forward, hitting her in the stomach with his own blade. She shrieked again then sank to her knees clutching her stomach. Link dealt the final blow to the woman, then turned to scan the battle-field with his eyes. At that moment, a sharp pain shot between his temples. Link let out a grunt, his hand flying up to his temples. He heard the shriek of a Gerudo fighter behind him and whirled round. Another stab of pain shot through his temples, but he faced the fighter. He slashed his sword towards the woman, cutting her throat. The Gerudo stumbled forward, letting out a small gurgle, then threw her sword towards Link. It caught him on the shoulder and sent him stumbling back. Zelda? thought Link desperately. Was Zelda trying to contact him?
Link, can you hear me? asked Zelda, her voice filling his head. Link squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them again.
What? he asked, concentrating on the message very hard.
I'm in trouble, please Link I need help! Zelda told him. Link looked around, then jogged to the edge of the field. He couldn't fight and talk to Zelda at the same time. Once he'd reached the edge he sat down and rubbed his forehead.
What kind of trouble? he questioned. He looked up, his vision getting a little hazy.
I... started Zelda.
Zel? Zel? asked Link frantically, but it was no use. She was gone.
Zelda collapsed right down onto the floor, thoroughly exhausted. That was one of the downsides of telepathic contact. It was both physically, as well as mentally draining. It had all been a waste of time, too. She'd felt the tiniest spark of contact between herself and Link, but he'd taken too long to pick up her message, by the time he had, she'd already been too tired to go on. Of course, he probably would realise that something was wrong, and attempt to get back to her, but she was far too drained. She felt sick again too. "John?" she called out weakly. No answer.
"Hello?" she called out again, uncertainly. He came rushing in.
"Zelda?" he questioned, looking concerned. She sat up, and turned to look at him.
"Please, I'm begging you, take me home! I'm very sick, I need help! I can get that at home!" she pleaded.
"No Zelda, I'll help you. You're too weak to go anywhere just yet," John replied. Zelda was getting desperate.
"Please," she said. "No, you're staying here with me!" John said, a little sharply. Zelda looked away, tears in her eyes. "If I stay, I could die!"
"I'll look after you," he promised simply.
"But you can't! Just let me go, why don't you!" Zelda cried.
"No matter how many times you ask, I won't let you go. Not just yet," John said. Zelda sighed.
"Fine," she concluded. "Will you let me go once I'm better?" she questioned hopefully.
"No, I want you to stay with me here, and be my wife," he said suddenly. Zelda's eyes widened.
"Excuse me?" she said incredulously.
"I'm sure that you'll be very nice and kind eventually, once you get used to the idea," John replied. The princess looked down at the floor despondently.
"I'm... I'm already... married. To someone I love very much. We've been married for a long time, we have a child together, and another on the way," she said quietly.
"You're married?" John questioned. Zelda looked up.
"Of course! I've been married for six years, and I knew him for five years before we got married. I will never leave him for another, never," she replied firmly.
"I guess your mind is set," John said sadly.
"Now will you let me go?" Zelda asked. John suddenly smiled evilly.
"You're not going, anywhere, Princess. I'm going to make the best of this situation as possible... I'm sure I'd receive a very big reward for your safe return. In the meantime, I'll just have to keep you here for a while, so that your people get really worried," he sneered. Zelda was a taken back by his sudden change in mood.
"I'll give you whatever you want!" she said.
"If you want money, I can give you that, I promise!" she added. He just ignored her, and disappeared back into the darkness. Zelda let out a heavy sigh, and decided to try and get some rest. She thought that she might be able to contact Link again later, once her strength returned. Hopefully, the next time, he'd be on alert, and she'd be able to explain to him exactly where she was...
Link sat there on the grass, his mind in a whirl. Zelda? In trouble? He'd assumed that she'd got safely back to the castle, but obviously, he'd been wrong. Why didn't I accompany her back? He cursed to himself angrily. It must be serious, if she was attempting to contact him telepathically. It was something they only used as a last resort. Link had tried to hear her, and was already exhausted himself. No doubt she was too, and neither would be able to try until they'd regained their strength. Slowly, he stood up, and trudged off in the direction of his side's camp. It was over two miles away, so he knew it would be a long, tiring walk, but he needed to get some food. "Hey Link!" someone called. He turned to see Nick, Charles and Drake, swords in hand, stood nearby.
"Drake, what are you doing here?" Link asked, in surprise. The knight was usually leading his mounted troops, except when he did night watch, of course.
"Helping the ground guys out. The Tanolians have run out of horses, y'see," Drake grinned. "What are you doing, walking around like it's you last living day anyway?" he added.
"Drake, that's not funny. Don't tempt fate," Link replied darkly.
"Someone sounds a little desolate," Charles remarked.
"What's the matter?" Nick questioned.
"It's Zelda," Link replied. "I might have guessed. Don't tell me, she refused to go back to the castle, either that or she's in a bad mood with you because you made her go home," Drake said, a big smile on his face.
"I thought she'd gone home. Damn it, I wish I'd at least walked her back," Link said, frowning.
"What's happened? Did some of Ganondorf's troops get her?" Charles asked.
"I have no idea. I just got a telepathic message from her before, but..." Link replied. "Well, I couldn't concentrate hard enough to get proper contact. It was just too hazy. But she's definitely in trouble," he added.
"Great. This is all we need. That women just can't stay out of trouble!" Drake growled.
"Can you try and contact her again?" Nick asked.
"Not just yet. I'm heading back to camp to get something to eat, and to take a rest. I might be able to speak to her again back there," Link said, putting his sword away. Drake shaded his eyes, and looked over towards the field.
"I think we can spare you. It's very quiet, looks like they're retreating," he said hopefully.
"Aaron's men keep driving them back, but the Tanolians don't give up easily, I'm afraid. Dion and I know that they never stopped until the last man died, during that war when they attack Dalsona and Dubatio 14 years back," Nick remarked thoughtfully. They all looked at each other worriedly.
"The Tanolian sea pirates are sinking whatever reinforcements we're bringing over, but surely they can't keep this up much longer?" Charles said.
"Who knows?" Link replied. He sighed.
"Well, I must leave you all, anyway. I have to go and hunt Ganondorf out. I think that's where Zelda is, and I have to get him while he's still weak." Drake patted Link on the shoulder.
"We'll do all we can to help. Remember that. When will you leave?" he asked.
"As soon as possible. Where's Leigh? She said she knew where he was hiding out," Link said.
"Actually, I think she's still back at camp. She's had a rough ordeal, poor girl," Drake answered. Link nodded.
"Well, I'll go back now. I think I'll leave tonight, I want to wait to see if Zel gets back to me, then I'll fly on Sal to Death Mountain. You guys can follow behind, if it gets quieter here," he said.
"Okay, then it's all settled. Let's get back in there, and we'll try and catch up with you," Nick decided.
Ganondorf banged on his pipe organ angrily. "Damn fools!" he cursed. He'd just received the news that his men were losing heavily. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be going. His no-good army had been pushed all the way back north, as far away from the castle as possible. The whole idea had been to kill off all of Hyrule's best men, hopefully including Link himself, then making their way forward to besiege North Castle. From his recent update, it wasn't happening. It looked like he'd finally have to show himself, and sort his troops out once and for all. Unfortunately, Link was still alive, with that sword in his possession. One blow from that cursed weapon, and he, the Great Ganondorf, would probably breathe his last. Then, Link and Zelda would be rid of him forever, and that was not the sort of ending he wanted. Ganondorf hated happy endings... well, he liked it if it was he who got the happy ending, but not the Princess and her beloved hero. His gaunt, olive coloured fingers crashed down on the ivory keys, making harsh, tuneless notes come out.
"Your Evilness!" a goriya called out. Ganondorf looked down at the small, wolf-like creature.
"Yes?" he snapped impatiently.
"Master, I have some good news!" the goriya said.
"Well, then, don't keep me waiting, you insolent fool!" Ganondorf replied, glaring at he creature. It unrolled a scroll, and cleared its throat.
"Ahem. Lieutenant Sprellic informs you that the drug you gave to Princess Zelda several moons ago has gone into effect," the goriya explained.
"Is that all?" Ganondorf questioned impatiently.
"Well... um... no, master," the creature said nervously.
"What's the rest?!" Ganondorf bellowed.
"Well, Your Evilness, well... your men failed to get her. Some guy dragged her off first," the goriya replied.
"What?!" Ganondorf shouted, his red eyes narrowing. The monster shrugged.
"Er, I think you should talk to Lieutenant Sprellic and Queen Balayna. They were in charge of the operation."
"Pathetic!" Ganondorf said, kicking the monster out of his path. It howled, then ran off down a corridor. Ganondorf clicked his fingers, and suddenly, Lieutenant Sprellic of the Tanolian army, and Balayna, the Gerudo leader, stood before him.
"What's going on! I was fighting an important battle!" the Tanolian whined. Balayna remained silent, her golden eyes lowered and arms folded.
"Shut up, you useless fool!" Ganondorf said angrily.
"Why do you require our presence, great leader?" Balayna finally asked. "You, are not only stupid, you're also pathetic! Worthless leaders! Why did you fail to get Zelda whilst she was vulnerable?!" Ganondorf demanded.
"Sire, she was taken by someone else. We thought 'e was one of ours!" Sprellic said.
"That might have been my only chance!" Ganondorf replied. He began to pace.
"Great leader, you didn't know for sure that Zelda would leave the castle," Balayna pointed out.
"I know Zelda," Ganondorf snapped. Balayna looked up at the ceiling. For some reason, this annoyed Ganondorf, and he grabbed her by the necklace around her neck.
"You insolent witch! Look at me while I talk to you!" he roared. As much as it disgusted her, the Gerudo turned to look at her King. Her eyes showed no fear at all.
"We're sorry," she remarked.
"You'll be sorry by the time I finish punishing you both!" Ganondorf sneered viciously. He turned back to Sprellic.
"And there's been no effect on Link?" he questioned. The Tanolian shook his head.
"The hero shows no signs of the drug. He fights all day, and almost all night. We can never get near him, that sword can kill in one hit, master," Sprellic replied, shuddering a little.
"Don't remind me," Ganondorf said, grinding his teeth. When he'd been disguised as Nick, he'd slipped in a new drug he'd developed, into Link and Zelda's drinks. It was tasteless, invisible, and impossible to notice. Even if they'd used food tasters, they wouldn't have known, because Ganondorf had carefully made it so that no symptoms would show up for at least a month. It would weaken them considerably, slowly kill them off. But not quite. Ganondorf hoped that it would cause Link's ability to become seriously impaired, and that Zelda's magical skills would wear away to nothing. To wield a weapon, or cast a magic spell, you had to be strong. He was glad that the drug had taken effect upon Zelda. It would mean that she would be too weak to maintain her magical force field that she'd cast around the Triforce tower. Of course, he would have quite liked to have kidnapped Zelda, to hurt and torture her, it would serve her right for all the trouble she'd caused him over the past ten years. And hopefully, if she was so sick, she wouldn't even bother responding, well, apart from screaming of course. Even sick people screamed. But it would ensure that she kept her usually smart mouth shut. Even better would be killing Zelda in front of Link, or vice versa. But he'd have to worry about the hero later. As long as Link and the Master Sword weren't anywhere near, Ganondorf was safe. And as soon as he got his hands on the Triforce, he'd be unstoppable once more...
Zelda rubbed her eyes sleepily. She felt like she wanted to lie there forever. Get up, Zelda! she said to herself sharply. She knew that John had gone out hunting, he'd been in and told her not long ago that they needed food, and that he'd gone to get some. Despite how bad she felt, it could be her only chance to escape for a while. She pulled herself up, but immediately, her vision seemed to swim, disorientating her. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, then opened them again. The dark cave didn't become any lighter, but at least it wasn't spinning anymore. Keeping close to the rocky wall, the Princess edged towards the cave exit. She'd slept like a log the previous afternoon and night, and though she'd tried to keep awake in case Link was trying to contact her, she hadn't been able to. She felt too exhausted to try and contact him again, and now she had a chance of escape, so she was going to try it. Anything to get away from John, anyway. Zelda was afraid of him, worried of what he might do to her if she angered him. He seemed relatively calm most of the time, but he was obsessed by her behaviour and manner, comparing it to her looks constantly. He hadn't given her much to eat either, and he only gave her water when he felt like it. Not when she asked. And despite what he said, she had a feeling that he wasn't intending to let her go, ever.
She soon found herself in a network of passages. She followed it along it's length, wondering where John had put her backpack. She was dressed in only her night dress; John had made her put it on yesterday, insisting that it would be more comfortable than her other attire. Zelda suspected that he'd made her change for his own pleasure, but at least he'd gone out of the room whilst she had got changed. Then again, the caves were so dark, she hadn't been sure if he'd gone out, or was simply watching among the shadows. She cried on it pain as her bare foot touched a sharp rock. Her hand flew immediately to her injured foot, and she collapsed down onto the floor, holding it tightly, and weeping in discomfort. Blood seeped out of the cut, all over her hands. Gingerly, she got back up, and kept on going, no matter how bad her pain was. She came to another cave, and walked inside. She spotted her bag over in one corner, and elated she quickly walked over to it, her spirits rising a little. Seemingly out of energy though, she had to sit down, and get her breath back. I must be really sick, she thought, hugging herself to try and keep warm. After a few minutes, she opened up her pack, and looked inside. The outfit she'd been wearing wasn't there, but her spare one was. She pulled the cloak out, and wrapped it around her shoulders for a moment, still shivering. It was then that she heard heavy footsteps. John had returned. She let out a small gasp of horror, and shrank back into the dark shadows of the cave. The footsteps passed, but Zelda knew that in less than a minute, they'd be back. She barely had the strength to make a run for it. Then she spied Link's sword. It was propped up in one corner. If she could just get it, then hide, waiting for John, she could strike him with it, kill him. Then she'd be able to leave this dark prison. The Princess made her way over to the weapon as fast as she could. Halfway there, a voice made her freeze.
"ZELDA!" John shouted harshly. Slowly, she turned to face him, horror written all over her pretty face.
"J-John..." she stammered, stepping back.
"What are you doing in here?! Trying to escape, were you?" he accused, his watery grey eyes boring into her deep green ones intensely.
"N-no, no, not at all," she said.
"I knew you couldn't be trusted," he sneered, advancing towards her.
"No, John, you've got it all wrong!" Zelda exclaimed desperately. "I was... I was cold! I wanted to get this cloak to keep me a little warmer!" John regarded her suspiciously for a moment. "It's true! You wouldn't want me to be cold now, would you?" she asked, her eyes widening at the very thought. John gazed into her eyes for a moment, then slowly nodded his head.
"No, I suppose not, darling." Don't darling me! Zelda thought angrily. She wouldn't even let Link call her that. She attempted to keep a pleasant smile upon her lips though.
"Well..." she began, looking down at the floor. She averted her eyes slightly, trying to see if she was anywhere near the sword. John advanced towards her, then roughly grabbed hold of her arm.
"I hope you're telling the truth!" he growled.
"Uh, yes, of course I am!" she replied nervously, glancing down at his hand, that was tightly clutching her arm.
"Because if you aren't, you'll be in big trouble!" he added, tightening his grip slightly. Zelda exhaled nervously.
"Uh, could you let go, please? You're hurting me," she said, looking back up at him. His fingers relaxed, but he still kept hold of her.
"It would be such a waste to kill someone as pretty as you," he remarked thoughtfully. Zelda stared at him, horrified by his words.
"I mean, you're such a beautiful girl on the outside," he continued, ignoring her. "It would be too bad if you misbehaved, and I had to punish you." Zelda's blood ran cold at his words.
"Please don't. I only wanted to find something to keep me warm," she said, trembling. Suddenly, he pulled her close, and wrapped his arms around her. She cringed as he let his fingers entangle in the ends of her hair.
"Get off me!" she hissed. He just ignored her. Zelda gave up, and let her hands drop to her sides. Then he grabbed hold of her chin, and pushed it up so that she was looking into his eyes. She closed hers, so that she didn't have to look at him. Feeling sick, she tried to step backwards again, so that he wouldn't kiss her. To both her horror, and relief, she found herself backed up against the cavern wall. She was cornered by John, but at least she knew the sword was nearby. He walked right up to her.
"Alright, since you're feeling better now, I think it's about time we really got to know each other," he said, looking at her in a way that made her feel so uncomfortable. I've no choice, she thought sadly. She'd have to do as he said, if she was ever going to escape from him. She wondered if she could tolerate a kiss. She didn't have much time to think about it though. John suddenly leaned forward to kiss her, but she kept her lips firmly closed, refusing to kiss him back. He pulled back, and glared at her. "What's the matter?" he demanded to know. I would think it would be fairly obvious, Zelda thought to herself. She regarded him wearily. Already, she was feeling sleepy again.
"Not just yet. We barely even know each other," she protested weakly, moving her hand down slowly.
"That doesn't matter," John said. Zelda decided one kiss would be the perfect distraction, as her fingertips triumphantly touched the hilt of the sword.
"You know what?" she remarked cheerfully.
"What?" John asked.
"You're absolutely right. I really doesn't matter, does it? Kiss me!" she answered, fluttering her eyelashes, and smiling invitingly. He suddenly looked ecstatic.
"I knew you were in love with me, your handsome saviour!" he said. Zelda smiled sweetly, and nodded.
"Well, don't keep me waiting," she teased. Eagerly, he grabbed hold of her in the most uncivilised manner, and began to kiss her, a little too demandingly for her liking. But she responded as best she could, and leaned down to pick up the sword. It felt heavy in her hand, she barely had the power to pick it up. Come on, don't be so pathetic! she berated herself. Summoning up whatever ounce of strength she had left, she pulled the weapon up, and swung it rather clumsily at John's legs. The blade bit into his flesh, and she dropped it, stumbling, and falling onto the floor. Her captor fell backward, howling out in pain. She felt bad, she really did, but otherwise, he'd never have let her go. She grabbed her pack and bow, then hunted around for the sword.
"Not so fast, darling!" John called out, stumbling up. His legs were dripping with blood. Zelda suddenly felt very faint. Not now! she silently cursed. Her knees began to buckle, and she could feel herself blacking out. Bile began to swell up at the back of her throat. She swallowed it back down, and faced John as best she could.
"Don't come near me," she warned, wishing she had the strength to use magic.
"You back stabbing, crazy little bitch! You lied! I knew I shouldn't have trusted you!" he shouted angrily, running towards her. Zelda daintily stuck her foot out, and he tripped over it, crashing heavily down onto the floor. Zelda fell too, and as she hit the ground, she wanted to pass out, but she forced herself to get up. John didn't move. Zelda pulled her boots on, grabbed her things, and made her way out of the cave as fast as she possibly could.
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