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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Kirsty Singleton (email@example.com)
The following morning seemed to last forever, as Link attempted to complete his allotted inventory of Seline’s belongings. At length he found himself in the castle library, which housed a small, but fine collection of antiquarian books and pamphlets. The room was not dissimilar to
’s, with its rich, dark panelling, handsomely carved furniture and even the mullioned windows set into the eastern window. A great map of the Demiari hung on one wall above the fireplace, one of the items on the list and he marked it off dutifully, his head pounding as he did so. The hero sat down on one of the padded, leather seats near the window, holding a hand up to his forehead. Of course, he had only himself to blame, but the previous evening had turned into a blur and he could barely recall much of his conversation with Drake down in the wine cellar. The alcohol had taken care of that. Now, bleary eyed, tired, with a pounding head, he was beginning to wish that he had never touched even a drop of the stuff. He had felt bad enough two days ago after spending the day drinking with Orion, and he recalled Fayette’s sneering words. North Castle
“Sounds about right, drowning your sorrows!” his sister-in-law had smirked. Perhaps she had been right after all, even though he didn't want to believe it. He had never been a heavy drinker in the past, but lately somehow, it just seemed easier. The hero felt ashamed for his actions, wishing he could simply wipe away the last few months of his life. He wished that he had never gone to Catalia, that he and Zelda had never managed to become so estranged from one another. He thought of his wife, suddenly wishing that she were here now, that he could melt into her embrace and never let go again. His thoughts were still on her as he gazed up at the many books that lined the library shelves, wondering if any of the titles might appeal to his wife. Much of Seline’s treasure was to be taken back to Hyrule to be held in safe-keeping until it was decided on what to do with it, but Link doubted the books would be taken, or indeed, that any would be missed. He ran his fingers against the leather and cloth-bound spines until he felt one that was clad in a soft, velvety material. Gold lettering was embossed upon it and he pulled it out, reading it. The title was Hylian; unusual to be found in a country that did not, and had never used the language as far as he was aware. Hylians had settled all over the Demiari but they had mixed so much with the other races that much of their original heritage, including their language, had become almost lost and forgotten. Link opened the old book with interest, reading through the first few lines. It was poetry, lines of adoration and romance flowing across the vellum pages in archaic, printed script. He closed it gently, brushing his hand across the cover to remove the years of dust, making out a faint, inscribed heart on the surface. It was perfect; a perfect gift to give to Zelda upon his return. He slipped it into his pack before turning his attention, once more, to the list he held in his hand. Only a few more rooms to go, and his task would be complete. He didn’t want to remain in Catalia longer than he had to. By this time tomorrow, the castle would be stripped and a Lord Protector to be elected. Already King Harkinian had ordered the remains of the Catalian army to guard the borders of the country where Tanol waited like preying wolves, ready to attack the weakened country. The sooner order was restored to Catalia, the better. And the sooner he returned home to Hyrule was all Link could focus on. He wasn’t home in this place. He never would be. He belonged in Hyrule.
When Felicity next awoke, she felt awful. Her dreams had been full of nightmarish imagery – the pale faces of the dead men she had killed, the wicked glinting eyes of the hateful witch whom had imprisoned her, and the unrelenting clouds of darkness that seemed to have hung over her from the day she had been released from Mara Hespera’s hateful service. She woke up in darkness, her head throbbing from the memory of her dreams, her eyes watering and itching. As she awoke, the memory of the night before, of the three figures standing over her and bickering amongst themselves came flooding back, and she sat upright, casting her eyes wildly about her surroundings. She could not see much in the darkness, but she saw enough to know she was not in her own home at all. A feeling of nausea began to creep into the pit of her stomach, a notion of dread clawing at her mind and she hurriedly slid from her bed, swaying on her feet for a moment as she did, then ran to the only source of light she could see – a small window.
“Oh, you’re awake?” Felicity froze as she heard someone speak, and she turned, shielding her eyes with her hand as the room was filled with warm, magical light. Moments passed, and Felicity gradually lowered her hand, blinking in the light. Her eyes fell on a figure seated at a small table in the centre of the room, gazing at her with earnest eyes.
“Who – who are you?” asked Felicity nervously, for she did not recognise the faerie before her, whose chestnut hair cascaded down her shoulders, and violet eyes watched her with obvious interest. The faerie laughed merrily at Felicity’s question and shook her head.
“Oh you must excuse me...my name is Jesamyn. Of course, I already know who you are...” Felicity paused as the girl spoke, watching her intently.
“You do?” Jesamyn smiled at Felicity’s question and nodded.
“But of course. You are Felicity of the Fey! The most powerful of faeries in Hyrule!” A feeling of tremendous fatigue suddenly washed over Felicity, and she felt drawn back to her bed. She slumped down on the soft mattress and shook her head morosely.
“Not anymore...” she remarked wearily, her eyes slipping half shut. Jesamyn stared at her.
“No?” she questioned. Felicity looked back to the girl, suddenly agitated.
“No! But it matters not! What matters is what in the Demiari I am doing here? Who are you? Who are you really?” demanded Felicity, her voice raised. Jesamyn blinked at the faerie’s demands and shrugged.
“You’re here because your friends brought you here. I was appointed to watch over you until Navi returned,” replied Jesamyn sweetly. Felicity frowned.
“Yes. I believe you already owe her a great deal of debt. After all, if it had not been for her intervention...” Felicity flinched as the faerie spoke, and turned her head away, shame touching her cheeks and her soul.
“You said my friends brought me here...” she murmured, her voice low.
“Yes. Princess Tamara came here herself! Can you imagine?” gushed Jesamyn, her eyes lighting up with admiration at the mention of the faerie princess. Felicity could only frown, despite the other faerie’s enthusiasm, and more questions waited to pour from her lips.
“They brought me here? To see Navi?” she asked impatiently. Jesamyn paused, and frowned at Felicity’s abrupt question.
“Well yes. They thought you were unwell,” she replied.
“So they brought me to see Navi?” Felicity’s tone was incredulous as she spoke. Why her friend would bring her to Navi was quite beyond her. Before Jesamyn could respond, however, the door to the small room clicked open, and in stepped none other than Navi herself, who looked quite surprised to see Felicity awake.
“She awoke only moments ago, milady!” said Jesamyn quickly upon seeing Navi. “And she is quite grumpy,” she added, giving Felicity a disapproving stare. Navi nodded at Jesamyn.
“Thank you for watching her, Jesamyn. You may go,” she dismissed calmly. Jesamyn nodded and obediently left the room, closing the door as she went. Felicity watched her go with gladness, and folded her arms across her chest as the door shut. Navi sat herself down in Jesamyn’s seat, and looked across at Navi, silent.
“What?! Isn’t someone going to tell me why I’m actually here?” snapped Felicity angrily. Navi shrugged, and poured herself a glass of sweet water. She offered to do the same for Felicity, but she declined. “I don’t have time for this,” she began, rising from the bed. Another wave of fatigue crashed over her, and her legs began to shake. She tried to take a step forward, before weariness forced her back to the bed once more.
“Time for what?” inquired Navi, her big eyes gazing at Felicity innocently.
“For...for this! I just want to go back to the Fey and...”
“And what?” interrupted Navi. Felicity knew she could not answer that question. She had no idea.
“I...I don’t know...” she finally admitted with a reluctant sigh.
“You’ve gone through a terrible experience. Your friends are worried about you. That’s why they brought you here,” began Navi.
“What to torture me some more? To give me a further reminder of what a failure I am?!” Tears of frustration welled up in Felicity’s blue eyes as she spoke, her fists clenched tightly together in her lap.
“No,” said Navi softly, “to help you.” Felicity’s eyes closed as Navi spoke, and she shuddered inside.
“Help me?” she asked, her voice low. “If you wanted to help me, you’d just leave me alone.” Navi shook her head, and took a sip of her water.
“Do you not think you’re being incredibly selfish?” she asked. Felicity opened her eyes and bit her lip.
“I...I don’t think anyone can help me,” she murmured, evading the question. She knew Navi was right.
“You can’t cast your magic, can you?” Felicity was stunned by the question. How did Navi know? How could she know?
“I...I...” she stumbled for a moment before conceding defeat. “No,” she finally replied, hanging her head.
“I can help Felicity,” began Navi kindly, “but only if you let me.” Felicity looked up as Navi spoke, a tiny ray of hope burning in her heart.
“But how?” she dared to ask. Navi smiled.
“You want to know. That’s the first step, Felicity. As long as you care, we can help you. You just need to believe that you can be helped.”
As the day turned to dusk, Zelda found herself stood on the balcony of her tower, looking out across the plains and mountains of Hyrule. She found it hard to believe that only a few weeks ago, the lush green plains that surrounded the castle had been the battleground of a bloody and brutal battle that had left so many dead. A shiver coursed through her as a cool breeze passed her by, and she drew her arms around herself, in an attempt to keep herself some warmth. Just as the stars began to surface in the deep blue sky, Zelda heard a click behind her as the balcony door was pushed open. She turned to see Link, his hair dishevelled, his chin covered by a mess of stubble.
“Link!” she exclaimed, walking over to him and meeting him in a brief kiss. “When did you get back?” she inquired. Link gave her a lazy smile, running one hand through his hair.
“Not long ago. I stopped in to see Ewan and Brianna, then came straight up here,” he answered. Zelda smiled at him, reaching out and stroking the side of his face.
“You look a mess,” she scolded lightly. He smiled, and self consciously touched his face, before rubbing his chin.
“Yeah I know...it’s been a busy few days,” he admitted.
“So was the trip a success?” asked the princess hopefully. Link shrugged.
“I guess so, you might want to speak to your father. He did all the real work,” he replied, his tone a little evasive. Zelda noticed that the hero seemed distracted, as if he had something on his mind.
“Is everything okay?” she asked, concerned. Link looked at Zelda briefly for a moment, before turning his eyes to the stars.
“Zel,” he began, taking his wife’s hand in his. The princess looked at her husband with tired eyes, blanching a little at his touch and the morose tone in his voice. “We need to talk.” How she loathed those words. She knew that Link was right, but she wished so much that he was not – that instead they could ignore all of the problems that plagued them and simply carry on, oblivious. She looked into Link’s eyes, saw his sincere gaze, and wondered how they had come so close to ruining their marriage and their lives. She loved Link more than anyone, more than anything, and yet she had been unfaithful to him and treated him no better than the dirt on her heel.
“Link I love you,” she murmured, tears suddenly stinging her eyes. Link frowned and held Zelda close to him, his eyes intent on hers.
“Shhh, don’t cry,” he chided, wiping away her tears with a tender touch. Sniffing slightly, Zelda obliged, trying to calm herself. Link watched her carefully before planting a kiss on her forehead, drawing her close to his chest and rested his chin atop her head.
“I was a fool, Zel. We both were,” he said quietly. Zelda nodded in silent agreement.
“I’m so sorry. For everything,” she apologised.
“So am I.” They drew apart and gazed at one another before both of them broke out into unsure smiles. “We make quite a pair don’t we?” observed Link with a grin. Zelda nodded, a short peal of laughter leaving her lips. Link smiled as he heard his wife’s laughter.
“It’s been too long since I heard you do that,” he admitted sadly, reaching one hand forward to Zelda’s face and gently brushing aside a few loose strands of hair from her eyes.
“I’ve missed you so much,” whispered Zelda, her skin tingling at Link’s kind touch.
“I’ve missed us,” amended Link, his voice suddenly low with emotion. They kissed, their thoughts on nothing but one another. When they parted, Link regarded Zelda solemnly.
“From now on, no more lies. We have to trust each other,” he began gravely.
“I never meant to keep anything from you,” said Zelda softly, the regret of her previous transgressions evident in her voice. Link nodded.
“I know, I know. We were both wrong. But we have something good here, something worth fighting for. I need you, Zel. You’re in here,” he placed his hand over his heart, “And I can’t live without you. I don’t want to live without you.”
“Nor do I!” gasped Zelda, her heart soaring at Link’s gesture. His open admission was enough to break the wall between them, and suddenly Zelda found the words flowing freely from her mouth. “Oh Link, these last few months have been simply awful. You’ve been a better husband than I ever deserved! I’ve accused you of so many things...but deep down I knew I was wrong. But it was as if I couldn’t believe that someone like you could ever love someone like me, someone with so many flaws...it’s no excuse, I know...but I never stopped loving you. Not even for a minute.” Fresh tears trailed down Zelda’s cheeks as she spoke, all the pain, all the regret of the last few months, years even, washing over her. “My life without you isn’t even worth contemplating,” she finished. Link wrapped his arms around Zelda’s waist and hugged her tightly.
“For two people who love each other so much, we sure know how to make each other miserable,” remarked the hero with a sigh.
“I guess we do,” agreed Zelda reluctantly, comforted by Link’s strong arms. Link looked down at the princess.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of being miserable,” proclaimed the hero. Zelda nodded and finally smiled, reaching up to Link, her hands on his collar for leverage, and planted a soft kiss on his lips. Neither of them took their gaze from one another as they kissed, and when they drew apart, Link took Zelda’s hand into his own once more.
“I missed you,” he admitted once again, giving her a small smile.
“I missed you too,” Zelda answered, smiling back.
“I don’t just mean over the past few days...” Link murmured, pulling her close for another kiss.
A few moments later he released her once more from his embrace and stepped back, still smiling. “Wait here, I’ve got something for you,” he said, reaching over towards his pack which he had dumped down on the floor earlier.
“Oh?” Zelda asked, looking surprised. “It isn’t my birthday yet,” she grinned.
“Don’t need a special occasion to give you a gift,” Link replied, rooting about in his pack for the book he had taken from Catalia a few days earlier. He finally found it and pulled it out, smoothing the velvet cover as he did so. “Look, I found this in
’s library... it’s Hylian, I thought you might like it,” he said, handing it to his wife. “Told you I was thinking of you the whole time,” he added, grinning. Catalia Castle
“Oh Link, it’s beautiful, but...” she trailed off as he handed her the old manuscript, beginning to leaf through it thoughtfully.
“I know, I know, but I figured they wouldn’t miss one, tiny book,” he replied. She gave him a small smile and nodded.
“Not many people would appreciate something like this these days,” she said softly.
“It was like it was written just for you, Zel,” Link said, coming to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist as he did so, leaning down on her shoulder so that they could read the poems together.
“It’s beautiful,” she murmured, reading through the words with rapt attention.
“Not as beautiful as you,” Link replied, gently pulling her round to face him so that they could kiss once again.
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