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Disclaimer: I don't own The Legend of Zelda or the cast. They're all property of Nintendo. I just own the perverted mind and ideas to do this to them. As always, if you don't like long drawn out fan-fiction stop reading now because it only gets longer.
Story Info: This will be mainly told through Link's point of view. For you Zelda heads out there, I'll say this: he doesn't get her in this one. So, if that news disturbs you, stop reading. The following also contains large quantities of angst and a couple, if not a few characters will be of my own making. Without any further interruptions I present to you, The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13.
That makes 13, 13 heavenly kisses I've watched her share with someone else. 13 times my heart has broken, all in a 2-hour time span. I never thought I'd be without her. Heck, I never thought I'd have to do a lot of things, but I did. It's been roughly two years since we broke up and I'm still not over it. The day she decided we weren't compatible is still clearer in my mind than what I had for breakfast this morning. Here comes a flashback, brace yourselves.
It was the third time I'd been sent back by her after defeating Ganondorf. No matter what we did, it always played out the same way. He'd be sealed away, I'd be sent back with all of the memories, and he'd break out and then pain and suffering would ensue on Hyrule. Everyone else got to forget about the evil he brought on when time was reversed; I wasn't blessed with this fortune. We're in the flaming remains of Hyrule Castle at this point, Ganondorf's evil pig face is in full swing and as always, I have him down and almost out.
That's when he says something, something at the time that just seemed to ravage my nerves.
"Do it boy! We both know how this goes," he snarled. "You stab me, and the sages send me away, but we both know this will never end!" He spat a thick wad of blood at me to punctuate the statement.
Can you believe it? The bastard knew all along that the cycle would continue. Ganondorf knew that he could never win, but he also knew I always had to be the one to push reset. Since he could never win, I guess he thought the endless loop of battles would screw me up enough to make me give up and let him do as he pleased. Wrong.
"Stab you? No, no, no. I'm not going to stab you. I'm going to kill you and this time, you will stay dead," I told him as icily as I could.
He simply snorted at me as if to say, "Whatever." I unsheathed the sword Biggoron made me, and oh how the cocky change when that thing comes out. Maybe it was the heat or maybe it was the fact I had spent 21 years or so doing the same thing, but I'd had enough.
"Whoosh," the sword said, as my hatred for the beast fueled its battle cry.
"Ah!" It was all Ganon could say before his head left his body. You don't know how satisfying the splat his huge head made was to me.
Was I through?
No, I wasn't through. My calm façade shattered, leaving me only blind rage. In that rage I proceeded to hack away at his body for an untold amount of minutes. It was by her hand that I managed to stop.
"Link... it's over," my beautiful princess told me. And like a sniveling child, I cried.
"Zelda, I'm sorry," I said, suddenly aware of how that must've made me seem to her. Why was I sorry? Let's see, dismembering a corpse in front of someone who has issues about killing insects, perhaps?
Standing there in the heat of the castle's ruins, a golden light cast down, or rather, I should say, cast up from the monster's corpse. A small triangle floated, get this, and cleanly from the mush I had made of his body. The Triforce of Power, I soon realized, twirled as if to show off for us before shooting straight into the air.
"Now what do we do?" I asked, futilely trying to wipe as much of his blood-spray from my face and clothing as I could. Zelda just stared at me and I knew that look. It was the "now you must return to your own time and live the life of a child" look. "No! I've done this three times and the memories are all still with me. I'll be a grown man in a child's body, because childhood ended for me a longtime ago." I practically screamed at her out of the blue.
"Link, the goddesses say that..." That was the straw that broke the Link's back.
"Oh fuck them! They drug me into all of this in the first place. I..." my rant never finished as I heard the Song of Time being played. Heh, she didn't even have the ocarina yet. Once everything stopped spinning, I sat up in my bed, a child…again. "Goddesses," I mumbled to myself. They were the only ones who could have sent me back. I simply sat there in the darkness waiting for Navi to arrive and for my nightmare to begin anew.
"Link," the fairy shouted, fluttering in through my door.
"Yeah, the Great Deku Tree wants to see me," I said vapidly, leaving the little fairy confused as I stood and walked past her.
I greeted Saria on my way, and I even got past Mido with no problem. Weird was my first thought, too. I was more than stunned when I saw the Great Deku Tree was as healthy as ever. Even its usually saddened expression was one of happiness this time around. "Link, my child, it is time for you to know who you really are," he... she... it said.
I proceeded to hear the story of my mother asking the tree to save me for the now fourth time. From there, I decided once again to leave the forest. Another change, Saria didn't see me off. I chalked it up to me leaving earlier than before and kept on. Trotting bitterly along, I stopped at the giant oak tree. Tada! Kaepora was there just like clockwork.
"Hello," I shouted up to him, he simply quirked his head to one side and hooted. "That's a little too weird," I said to no one in particular.
"No young one, it isn't weird at all," Kaepora finally replied. A small sigh left my mouth at the sound of his deep voice. "What is weird, though, is that Hyrule is in peace."
It was my turn to crook an eyebrow.
"That isn't weird, that's great!" I screamed at him like he was a thousand miles away.
"Not so loud! My ears can hear mice squeak from a mile away. Your yelling isn't needed." He shook his head to ease the ringing, I suppose. "Hyrule is safe, but another land needs you. Termina is its name. Now, go see the princess."
I'm already pissed about being sent back, and the first thing I hear is that I have to save another land.
"Great, isn't my life just swell?" I said to Kaepora's tail feathers as he flew away.
Walking like I had my iron boots on, I made my way to the castle. Malon and Talon were still in the usual spill as before; I, of course, helped her out. Anyway, weaving my way past the ever-slow castle guards, I found Zelda. I made my presence known and she made the cutest shriek. Man, I... sorry. I'm getting off track. Before she even asked my name I told her, she smiled warmly as I bowed, goddess I still miss that smile. We made small talk and eventually, just like the other three times, she asked me to look in the window.
"My pleasure," I said politely. I almost fell over when I looked in and saw Nabooru instead of Ganondorf. "So, she's the new evil incarnate?" I asked temporarily forgetting Kaepora's statement of "Hyrule is in peace."
"What evil?" Zelda asked with that cute little giggle of hers.
I felt silly once I remembered two things: (1) She didn't remember the past goings on, and (2) I remembered Kaepora's speech.
"Uh, bad joke," I said lamely, as I let my hand drift to the nape of my neck. "Princess, can I ask you a favor?" I squeaked out, looking at my feet.
Even as a kid she was sweet. Zelda had just met me in her eyes, for the first time about 10 minutes earlier, and was already willing to do me a favor.
"Can I borrow your family's ocarina? I promise I'll bring it back." The words rushed out of my mouth as I took a glance at her.
"How do you know about that? You aren't supposed to know about that." Damn, even when she was scolding me, she sounded cute.
"Fairy magic," I said, half-knowing she wouldn't buy it and half-hoping she would.
"Wow! Could you teach me some?"
Okay, so the goddesses smiled down on me once, big whoop.
"I'll teach you, but only if you let me borrow the ocarina for a little while," I felt like a crook as I said that. "I'll bring it back as fast as I can," I added to lessen the thievish sound of things. Manipulating a child via a child's body, doesn't it make you all warm and tingly inside? Zelda smiled brightly and darted off, leaving me to myself to gather my thoughts.
"Link, I got it!" she shouted, running back to me waving emphatically. Did I mention that Zelda is extremely cute when she's out of breath and panting? Well, she is.
"Whoa, slow down before you hurt yourself," I paused, feeling a slight pang of my true age showing through with that comment. Zelda smiled and shrugged it off. "I swear I'll bring it back, thank you," I said for the umpteenth time, looking her in the eye this time.
Zelda merely nodded as she extended the ocarina to me. I reached out to grab it, and darn the luck (note, this is still considered a high point in my life) our hands touched. Silently we stood there, my rough, dirty hand lying atop her soft, smooth, silky, and velvety-I can't believe skin can feel this good-hand staring at each other. My anger for the goddesses was gone. My hatred of having to go risk my life for people that I didn't know was gone. All that mattered to me at that moment was Zelda.
If saving these people meant I could come back here and be with her, so be it. I'd kill whatever it was that was bothering them just to make sure I never had to leave her again. After a ridiculously long period of time we both pulled away, the ocarina hit the ground as we tried to hide our embarrassment from each other. I scooped it up and ran for the exit, not before stating the obvious again of course.
"Zelda, I will be back." That heavenly smile blessed me once again steeling me to my objective: Save Termina, come back and finally get to be happy. I ran fast that day, gathering weapons, sweet-talking Malon into lending me her horse, and finally finding Kaepora so I could learn the location of this place.
Let me just say this now: Termina crept me out from day one. The first day one I mean. It was like Hyrule, only it wasn't. Some people looked exactly like Hylians I'd seen or known, but they weren't them. Then, of course, there was that moon-it looked as if Ganondorf's ugly mug had been etched into the thing. I learned that I had three days to set everything right in that place once I got there. Oh, did I mention my good buddy the Skull Kid robbed me, then stole my horse, and, last but not least, turned me into a Deku Scrub? No? Well, he did. After a bunch of crap, I finally recovered the ocarina, Epona, and a cool new trick.
Turns out I was wearing a mask. It let me change into the Deku Scrub whenever I wore it. Over the course of my three days there I found a lot of interesting masks.
That's beside the point, though.
After who knew how many three day resets, I finally got to battle the head honcho and wouldn't you know it... it wasn't Skull Kid. It was his mask! I, of course, was stunned by this revelation. But nevertheless the mask stood between Zelda and me, so it had to go. Following the possessed artifact into the moon... what's that? You say that I didn't tell you the moon was controlled by the mask? Well, it was. Once inside, I was again stunned, it was an immense field with a single tree. I used the Bunny Hood Mask to speed up my trek to the tree. And would you believe there were kids here? Well, there were. They all seemed bent on playing hide and seek. However, experience told me to never underestimate the importance of the odd or unusual. I played along and eventually found them all. Now, it was time to seek out the head mask. Before that, I had to give the little runts all of my masks. Whatever, they were all useless now.
After I gave them up, I was more than a little pissed when they didn't give me anything in return-it's the principles of it all that really irked me. I give up all of my stuff, and you can't even give me a damn rupee in return? Bastards…
I followed the kids around the tree a few times before I heard him.
"Hey, you there-want to play a game?" I was prepared to deny this query, and then I turned to see who made it. There it sat: Majora's Mask on a kid who looked about four. The kid told me a story of some kind; I wasn't really listening to be honest with you. I just wanted to kill this clown and go home. "You'll need this mask to play the game right," he tells me before vanishing and taking me along with him.
Here's where things get freaky. I flipped the mask over, and my jaw dropped. Do you know who the mask looked like? Me! I gaped at it in confusion. A part in the story said something about a god didn't it, I questioned myself sternly. Then why does this god look like me?
A flame sparked inches from my face and I knew the time for questions was not now. I took a deep breath and put the mask on.
"Aaaah!" that's all you can really say when you feel that power shoot through you for the first time. I found the mask made my battle with Majora's Mask surprisingly easy and, once he was vanquished, I was all but too giddy to get home. The Happy Mask Dealer asked if I acquired any masks other than the ones I gave him, I lied. I kept the Fierce Deity, Zora, Deku, and Goron masks for myself; they may come in handy again one day. With how the goddesses toy with my life, you never know.
I said my good-byes to the people and fairy that helped me before departing the land of Termina. I'll visit them again one day, but I had bigger fish to fry at the moment. Wait, I'll finish later.
11, 12, 13... ah they're through. The happy couple smiles that smile that only lovers smile. The image is quickly making me ill. I cough suddenly, which causes Zelda and her new boyfriend Arthur turn to look at me. I think this is the first time they've noticed me all night. "I'm going to go turn in," I tell them, adding a forced smile to keep the trail cold. "Goodnight."
"Oh come on, Link," Zelda begins to prod. "The carnival only comes once a year, are you sure you want to go?" She flashes one of those smiles at me.
"Yeah, I'm sure." My smile must have dropped because she began to pry, and damn it she never had to pry hard to get me to open up.
"Link, is something wrong?" There's that tone.
"Me? Nah, nothing's wrong with me." I can feel my upbeat attempt at blowing this off failing, and I knew as the words left my mouth that my nonchalant little comment wasn't going to appease.
"Seriously, I know you better than that, Link. What's wrong?"
The lock to Link's Chest of Problems has just been pried open.
"This is what's wrong," I find myself shouting, motioning to them and myself. "You know it was fine when you decided to just dump me. `We can still be friends,' you said. `I can still be around Zelda,' I thought, `well damn that's great.' I don't know, maybe in my own naïve way I was able to hold the illusion that we were still a couple. My illusion was grand, if not perfect, I couldn't touch you anymore, but hey we still hung out like we used to." I stopped to catch my breath, pacing back and forth now to settle my stomach.
They were both silent.
I didn't want to tell her this, I just wanted to keep it all to myself, and eventually I'd come to terms with it. I know I'm coming off like I don't care, and that alone is going to make this seem all the more impromptu. I find the iron in me to stand and face them while speaking. Let it all out…
"Two years we were just friends, now that I look back on it, they were the shortest two years in my life," I sigh, continuing onward without much volume. "Those two years were you and I just like the old days. They just weren't like the old days. Now the pathetic part: I come to pay you a visit, as always, I'm sure you both remember this part. I stroll in unannounced-kind of wish the guards or someone would have stopped me-and both of you stood there, locked in a kiss that I would have given a leg... an arm... hell you could cut me into pieces if I could experience it again.
At that point in my life, I was sure I could handle anything. Obviously that wasn't the case. My first reaction was to kill you, Arthur. I mean, come on, you're kissing my Zelda. I worked up my plan right on the spot, kill you. I'd simply kill you. I couldn't think beyond that I just wanted your head." I stop to look at them. Arthur knew of my reputation and he looked a few shades too pale. I don't know why but I feel a little comfort in that. I, however, didn't have the balls to look at Zelda just yet.
A few swallows of air and now I'm ready to continue.
"Then, somewhere deep inside, a little voice I'd shut out for a long time spoke. `She isn't your Zelda anymore.' You know it's easy to ignore a voice, but when it's your own it severely limits that ability. 43 seconds I watched you 2 kiss. 43 seconds that seemed to never end. When you parted for air, I studied you both. Actually, I'm lying. I studied her. That infectious, cute smile that used to be only reserved for me was bestowed upon you.
I knew then I couldn't kill you, because it would kill her. Needless to say, I'd kill myself before I'd do that. You'd think the goddesses would let me crawl away to at least die in peace after kicking my heart around, but no. How you managed to see or hear me, I'll never know. `Link,' I heard you shout. My name never sounded so painful in my life. `This is Arthur...' those were the last words that I heard you speak before you pulled me off to meet the luckiest man alive."
"Link, I'm so..." Zelda began, unfortunately my floodgate was open and I continued on without acknowledging it… much.
"'Why don't we all go to town for some ice cream,' you asked. It was his turn to be shocked. I looked at his face and he was so bowled over by it, I just had to accept. The moral of that: Revenge in face of scorned love never works. I took this as a sign that I may have some sort of tiny shot with you, so I latched on like a starving tick. Everything you said I tried to be the first to comment. If I couldn't have you, at least I could embarrass the new guy... pitiful, me I mean.
It took a while to realize it from under my veil of stupidity, but you weren't talking to us. You were talking to him. That day I ate the most bittersweet Hyrulian Ice Cream that I've ever tasted. Standing here, I also realize something else: That whole time we were out there, you never once spoke to me. Except when we got back to the castle and you asked me to go on a picnic with you two. More naiveté exists in me than I ever knew, because I accepted. Not a word was spoken to me by either of you then, either. I tried to join conversations, but I was smiled at like a small child or dog that learned how to roll over.
What can I say?
This wasn't how I envisioned my life: Two years spent trailing behind my old girlfriend like a forgotten dog, asked to accompany her places only, what I'm `slowly' understanding, to be her second bodyguard. I guess all the goddess jokes finally did me in-cursed with a piece of the Triforce and undying love for someone who doesn't feel the same way. Not only that, but also the inability to refuse anything that person asks. So, in conclusion, I've given my body, my soul, and my love to this country and for what? A bunch of scars, free food, and green tights-wow, I'm on top of the world." I emphasize my last statement with a sarcastic wave of my hands.
Arthur looks on me with sympathetic eyes after hearing me spill all that. Slowly, I find the stones to look at Zelda and, needless to say, her emotional state shocks me senseless.
"Come on, Link. We don't ignore you." Here's a test for you to try. They've kissed 13 times tonight. So, stab yourself directly in the heart with 13 of the biggest knives you can find. Get a large person to then kick them. Lastly, turn the knives 360 degrees in either direction and add salt. Voila, you're experiencing about one one-thousandth of the pain I'm in right now.
"Excuse me?" I'm running kind of low on words at the moment.
"I'm sure we're not as chatty as we used to be, but I wouldn't call it outright ignoring you." The cheery nature of her voice almost made me rethink my situation, until I realize that it is my situation and my version of things was the right one.
"This is a weird feeling," I say in thought to those hollow words of Zelda's. "First, it was like my heart was being stepped on, stabbed, slowly cut, bit, chewed on and smashed. Right now, I'm having trouble breathing after hearing that. I may have grown up with children, but that doesn't mean I'm as simple. Do you have any idea how much strength it takes not to scream every time he kisses you, when I wish with every fiber of my being that it was me?" I stand, near actual tears in this moment, and she has a damn smile on her face. What the fuck did I do to deserve this?
"Link, seriously, we don't kiss that often in front of you," she says assertively, as if I don't have any damn eyes. And that damn cheery tone is cutting into me like I did to so many Stalfos.
"Ordinarily you didn't, but tonight... tonight it was done in vindictive amounts," I manage to choke out without making a pure sob.
"What do you mean? We've only kissed what three or four times at most and they were quick ones at that."
Geez, when she was cold, Zelda was down right frigid.
"You've kissed 13 times. Kiss one, lasted twelve seconds; you giggled slightly after it ended. Kiss two, this one lingered for twenty-two seconds; you sighed lovingly at each other afterwards. Kisses three, eight, ten, and thirteen, irony at its best, all lasted for thirteen seconds. You whimpered slightly into the last kiss and actually looked at me-not with any regard to my feelings-and smiled, more like smirked and continued on arm and arm with him." I'm unable to hold back my tears any longer, as a single tear burns its way down my face. "Can I ask you a question, Zel?" It was agreed upon that we wouldn't use the pet names for each other after the break up, but for some reason I just broke that agreement.
"Yeah," she says softly, her tiny voice seeming to finally understand the sadness I tried to convey. A small wave of comfort washes over me, seeing that she's at least partially hurt by this. Ugh, but then a tidal wave of sadness hits me because I don't want to see her sad. I lose on all ends of this. No matter how it goes down, I lose. "What did I do to make you hate me enough to do this me?" It was one of those questions you ask and immediately don't want to know the answer.
"What do you mean hate you? I'll never hate you." It was in her happy voice; I like the happy voice.
"Then why did you bring me with you two all the time? You couldn't possibly think I'd enjoy that." I smile a little, internally, as the sound of my voice is strong again.
"I didn't think about you, actually." Zelda sniffles some, but coughs through it. "I was just so happy until everyone else fell by the wayside. I invited you to go along because you're my best friend. I was hoping maybe you'd be happy for me and I thought that you were since you kept accepting. I just wanted us all to be happy." Just like Zelda to wish everyone could be happy. I wish I could be, but the fact is that I know I can't.
"I'll try harder next time to pay equal attention to both of you..." her words trail, as I slowly shake my head no. This is the first time I have ever refused her in any way. So, if pain is what I'm after, my next few words should officially kill me.
"There can't be a next time," I tell her softly. I was glad it was dark except for the moon, because I was silently crying like a large baby. An awkward curtain of silence fell and I decided to leave by it. "Goodbye, Zelda." I said it more for my own ears than hers, as I turned to get out of town before the gate closed. She didn't say anything as I made my solemn march, I couldn't bring myself to look back as I left, I just wanted to sleep or die.
"I'm sorry, sir." Rampart the knight said quietly as I passed him.
I tried to nod to show that I heard him, but my head was effectively limp as was everything, save for my legs. Once both of my feet cleared the drawbridge it began to raise, I decided to have my last look.
"Would you please attend our wedding? It would mean a lot to me if you did. After that, I promise I'll never ask anything of you ever again." Even at the distance she was, I could see the tears in her eyes. Tears I caused, but she smiled through them, that smile that always broke me. But this time, unfortunately, I had only one answer for her. The same answer…
"Goodbye." The bridge slowly continued going up and her smile never faded.
"It's next week! We'll have lots to eat; I swear you'll have fun! Link!" Zelda's smile was replaced by a look of pure panic as she says those last words, I noticed, as the gate finally closed with its usual thud. Her shrill voice shrieking my name was it. My legs couldn't move and I was thankful the gate closed, because I allow my body to fall head-long into the ground…
On the other side of the gate, people continued having a wonderful time at Hyrule's Carnival except the queen and her soon to be new king.
"Link isn't going to come, is he?" Zelda asked softly, futilely wiping her tears away, knowing full well the answer.
"I don't think he can," Arthur replied just as quietly, truly sympathizing with the other man's plight. He placed a comforting arm around Zelda and willed her to move. "Let's go home."
The queen didn't answer she just slowly walked, clutching his arm a little tighter. As they neared Hyrule Castle Zelda finally began to speak again. "No, Link will be there, I just know it. He has to be." Arthur didn't bother to dispute her obvious denial; he left his arm around her shoulders and gave her a gentle squeeze. The silent couple finally made it to the drawbridge, which saw the silence broken by an almost animalistic scream.
Reality had apparently seeped through and reached the young woman. Arthur knew he couldn't say anything to help the situation, so his hold on her shoulders turned into a hug. Zelda muffled her screams and tears in the man's chest, thankful she at least had someone to help her through the grief. Unlike Link, who didn't have a shoulder to cry on, the Hero of Time lie a broken mass in the dew-wet grass of Hyrule Field with the echo of Zelda's scream silently reverberating in his head over and over again. A slight breeze blew over his face and he could have sworn it spoke to him.
"It's not over hero. It's not over…"
Link mildly shook before answering, "Zelda."
Author's Notes: One down, and about 37 to go before I can start writing normally. Keep in mind that I decided not to change as much as originally planned. So those of you who've read this before don't have to be burdened with reading it all again. Feel free to do so if you wish.