Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ 13 Years Later ( Chapter 25 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

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 fics 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.

Chapter Twenty-five

Hey, long time no see. It's been about what now thirteen years since you've been through these parts? You won't believe some of the things that have happened since you were gone, so sit back and relax, because this is going to take a while. As you know from before, Nabooru was pregnant, and of course cranky. It wasn't so bad in the earlier months, but boy, when she hit that six month stretch (and I do mean stretch), she flipped. None of her clothes fit, her feet hurt, and mood swings don't even begin to describe her mindset. I did what I could in the way of keeping her comfortable, then I said something that would alter the next three months of my life drastically.

"I wonder if our child…" I never even finished the statement, nor did I see the empty plate flung at my skull, before she was in on me about doing that to her. Yeah, can you imagine that? I told her specifically that I should pull out, but she was the one who insisted I stay inside. Anyway, I became a marked man, and promptly found myself sleeping alone for the next few of months. Every time she saw me it was, "This is your fault!" Or "You did this to me!" A few hours of this and patrolling the grounds became a favorite pastime. Sleep? Nah, once I fully mastered it, it didn't seem that appealing anymore. Besides, there's so much you can miss at night wasting time asleep. Back to the story though, we speed up to the day our daughter was born-a day I won't ever forget. Of course, I missed most of it. But thanks to the time manipulation thing, I did get to go back and see her birth through… a few weeks later.

Okay, on the first time through though, I'm in the meadow-previously known as the archery track-with Sepaaru going over some more advanced sword routines when I hear Nabooru's voice in my head.

"Link… it's time!"

With the grace of rabid Goron in a room full of pottery, I ran through about six walls in a panic. No, I mean literally ran through six walls, crushing them in the process. Hey, it was my first kid; I was nervous. Anyhow, I make it to our room to find a few Gerudo midwives preparing things. Things started moving too fast for me then. Hours and hours of labor condensed into mere seconds in my mind, and before long, Nabooru's screaming was melding with my own. She'd scream, I'd scream, it went on like that for a while until one of the women announced that she saw the head. She motioned me between my wife's legs to see the child coming into this world, and let me just say this, out of all the gruesome imagery housed in my mind, only this made me truly queasy.

So, I'm standing here watching this tight little hole stretch and stretch, and then the kid's head pops out; the next thing I know, I'm on the floor waking up about an hour or two later. Yep, Link, the great Hero of Time, passed out watching his child being born. I got to my feet amidst the sound of my wife's laughter, a sound I hadn't heard in a while back then, and then I saw her. More accurately, them, Nabooru sitting nestled under the blanket on the bed holding my baby girl. At first, I was too stunned to move, simply standing frozen in place. But little by little reality began to settle in on me. I wasn't the guy in tights avoiding his wife's temper, but more so, I was a father. It's somewhat surreal when that title lands squarely on your shoulders, because soon after, the responsibility hits you as well. Nabooru was looking at me with a tired smile on her face by then.

Eventually she broke my idiotic stupor, by saying, "Come meet your daughter, Hero."

It was a very long walk, but I made it. Kneeling beside the bed, I got my first real look at her. She was about the shade of sunned red clay at the time-she has a more even tan thanks to her insistence on being outside all day. As if summoned open by my presence, her azure blue eyes opened and looked upon me. I froze, noticing that they looked incredibly deep for a child some hours old. And to top off my little princess: Pink hair. Stop laughing! She grew out of it. She's still the perfect blend of Nabooru and me. Maybe it was a little too perfect if you consider red and white hair equals pink. But more on that later, though. At the time, I was simply in awe of the life I helped create. Nabooru promptly handed our daughter over to me, as I again froze in fear of crushing her or something.

"H… Have you thought of a name?" I asked blankly, as the baby made a cough that freaked me out. Nabooru gave me a pained laugh, at which time I finally realized I could end her unnecessary suffering. I nodded, as the fatigue lifted from her being.

She then said, "Well, seeing as she nearly split me in two, you taking forever to stop the pain, and it'll be my breasts she swings from-I guess I'll name her too."

Hey, it wasn't like I was a born father. The entire situation had me completely mortified. Sure, when the kid is still inside your wife, it's all: "I'll be the best dad in the world." Or "Parenthood will be a breeze." Confronted with a small life that'll depend solely on you, however, that's when panic sets in. Do you move this way? What happens if you walk too loud? Am I doing this right? All these questions pop up that demand an answer at once and you can barely remember to breathe, let alone think. So, I had no witty reply to her barb, only a defenseless look of helplessness. After about ten minutes or so, I finally had enough bearings to think of a name, but by then, so did Nabooru.

So, I look to my wife's brooding face and she says, "I think I'll call her, Zelda."

Heh, talk about leaving a guy's mouth on the floor. I was all set to pick a variety of names… okay, so I had about three to choose from at the time. But I had to know what possessed her to name the girl after a woman she hated or used to hate. Well, thanks to my formative years being spent in a forest, I had no idea Zelda was a common name; neither did I know it was a Gerudo name. Nabooru took the time to explain it to me though.

"Surprised, Hero?" She replied finally, to which I nodded a stiff yes. "Don't be. Zelda was quite a popular name in Gerudo and Hylian society alike. However, it was my mother's name that's why I chose it."

Anyway, our lives returned to some facsimile of normal once I regained enough composure to function as a parent. And seeing how I don't need to sleep, I began my juggling act. What that means: I was one of the last things Zelda saw when she went to sleep and I was the first face she saw when she woke up. I still manage to juggle till this day actually. Spending a fair share of time with Nabooru (or so I thought), Zelda, and Sepaaru, my schedule is packed-sleep doesn't really factor in. No, Nabooru didn't leave me to do everything. She spent her fair share of time babying Zelda as well; I just took over the nightshift so to speak. Hard to imagine me changing diapers, isn't it? But I did, and happily, I may add. As a matter of fact, Nabooru had to remind she was still around at times. Not that I was purposely neglecting her or anything-I just got caught up in the moment. The way Zelda used to nod-as much as a baby could anyway-when I played the ocarina to get her to sleep, it made me so happy. It was an oddly fulfilling thing considering the simplicity of such an act.

Around this time, I discovered Nabooru's knack for singing. No words, but she does carry a beautiful melody in synch with my ocarina tunes. So in tandem, we'd send our child to sleep on quite the musical note, even though it got cut short when Zel finally started dozing off of her own accord. New highlights of my life I suppose, but I kinda miss the days where making silly faces entertained her, as opposed to now where she feels the need to climb every surface in front of her. Oh, and did I mention the random disappearing acts she pulls? God, turn your back and the next thing you know she's in Hyrule Town or Kokiri Forest running a miniature muck with Saria and the crew. I guess she inherited my love of exploration, not to mention my love-hate relationship about fighting, though she leans more toward love. Speaking of which, around the time she'd turned four, I just happen to be running over Sepaaru's battle stance issues when Ms. Happy-go-lucky runs out… with my old Termina sword and shield.

By then, her hair is a down to her waist a flaming red, minus the two snow-white locks of hair that frame her face like mine, and she was an untapped resource of energy. Nabooru, of course, wanted her dressed in typical Gerudo clothing, which meant a miniature version of her outfit. Yeah, "I'll be damned" were the first words off my lips too. I agreed she could wear the pants, but the whole bare midriff and bra ensemble would have to wait (preferably, until I'm dead). Even then, I especially don't plan on giving in about letting her dress like them. Because, I know how the male mind works and I don't want it working like that when it comes to her! Uh, I'll let that subject drop now. Anyway, back to the training meadow. She's decked out in a small green tunic with the Gerudo issue purple pants and small Kokiri boots which all of the women decided to start wearing due to the comfort. This is when Sepaaru takes notice of something.

"Hmm, she looks like a small you," she said, giving my daughter a playful pat on the head as she bounded over to her side.

No, but she did look like a small blend of Nabooru and me. My nose, her eye shape, my ears, and a larger part of Nabooru's skin tone, yep, definitely a mix of us. Not just a mix really, but a blatant, overstated mixing of us as I said before. Then again, I guess I should be happy she came out resembling me at all since all the other Gerudo came out looking nothing like their respective fathers. Yeah, yeah, back to the track. Zelda is bouncing around like a kicked chicken asking me to let her "play" with us. I, of course, said no, so she decided to give a demonstration of her skills. Right then-and-there, it became apparent that I wasn't as wrong as I thought I was when it came to her being half-god, only powerless.

She began to move like me, striking invisible opponents with a grace that had cost me part of my sanity, and excessive amounts of pain. For the first time, I read her mind. I found out that, that was her first time ever holding a sword or shield. Keep in mind now that she's four years old, swinging a sword (that was burdensome when I was ten) like a mere stick, and flipping around with a monkey's agility with that twenty pound shield. Sepaaru is watching her in a transfixed amazement, while I'm watching with a horrific sense of guilt as I scanned her mind again and found something else. What did I find? Easy, of all the traits to pass on to my kid, I gave her a predisposition for killing. At the time, I didn't fully understand how I'd done it, but later, it would lead back to a very painful day. So, how do I know she could actually use those skills in a real fight? Again, this is an easy question. I decided to let her play after complementing her skills. Then I had Sepaaru spar with her, more accurately, fight with her. I gave them wooden swords and shields, but to be quite honest, I was shocked at the outcome.

Zelda mopped the floor with her and Sepaaru was damn good at this point, too. At first, I thought she was sparing Zel any kind of harsh treatment, but I could see the fixed stare of determination in her eyes after Zelda landed the umpteenth blow. Nothing was getting passed my little girl-no slashes, no thrusts, no kicks and/or punches. Zelda was the female equivalent of me on the fourth run through of the "Loop." I finally told them to pack it in after about ten minutes, which hadn't even winded Zelda, who was all smiles as Sepaaru carried herself like someone whose pride had been squashed under boot heel. I couldn't help feeling sorry for her, after the years of hard work and sacrifice, only to have a child kick her ass. Putting Sepaaru on hold for a moment, I had a discussion with Zelda.

Do you want to know the big revelation of this conversation? She remembered fighting every single monster that I'd faced. No, I'm not kidding. Volvagia, Twinrova, and my dad-she remembered it all! Of course, to the smiling little girl in front of me at the time she didn't see the problem, and that was a problem in itself. I studied her for a long moment after that, taking into account the depth of her eyes. Although they sparkled with an almost illuminant dark blue, I could suddenly feel a disturbing lack of emotion behind them, almost as if she was smiling to hide a darker presence within her. Working on a hunch, I did the only sensible thing I could think of: I told her to kill Sepaaru.

With a giggle, she hopped off her stump, picked up the sword, and set off to kill the preoccupied Gerudo who sat mulling near a distant stump. Keep in mind, we'd never explained or used the word kill around Zelda, and this was before we allowed her to travel without us. So, I'm naturally shitting myself as to how she knows what kill means. I used my abilities to try to pick up something from my little girl. Nothing, no emotions, caring, or even an ounce of concern-Zelda was in a mindset that I held when facing opponents, that is until I rendered her unconscious.

Okay, here's where it gets strange, but I'll explain it.

First: How did she end up being daughter of Link the God, when Link the Hylian fathered her?

Second: How did I pass on my not-so-stable psyche onto an unborn child?

Answers: You see, back when I was Hylian and Nabooru got pregnant, I was still a god except I didn't have my powers. Fast forward to the fight with my dad and where I was a whole god. After absorbing his power, for a brief moment, I absorbed his rage, and it melded into my own over his killing my family. Of course, I was mid-reminiscent with my prior lifestyle and swearing up-and-down about it, so those evil memories were there as well. All of this hostility was present within me, and it only intensified as I looked at Nabooru's dead body. Channeling my abilities, I projected the power to resurrect them. I suspect my resurrection brought Zelda back as a whole.

What that means is, instead of bringing back the powerless god-child that she was, I brought her back as the demigoddess she would've been if I were my natural self at the time of her conception. Here in also lies where her bloodlust came from. I projected my mental state into their subconscious minds as they crossed over from death. Nabooru was older and being so allowed her to shrug off the feelings. Zelda, my poor Zelda, didn't necessarily have a conscious mind as it was.

So, my warped reality planted itself within her forming mind, all except her "putting on a happy face while twisting a sword in your back" kind of hatred. I believe the smile had something to do with my father's powers or perhaps some of his personality. You remember the constant smiling despite the psychotic power trip. I've tried to let that day go, but since I couldn't get a direct lock on Zelda's thoughts all the time, I don't know what else could be floating around inside of her head. I won't lie to you-that news still upsets me from time to time.

She was a child with the mind of a killer, and it was my fault. I felt like complete and utter shit then, as I picked her up off the ground, and carried her inside. Nabooru was in hysterics when I brought our limp daughter in. I explained the situation, which put a rather dark cloud over my marriage. I managed to stay considerably happy as I erased what I could of the mess inside of her tiny little mind, only to resort to self-loathing of the highest caliber afterwards. Nabooru fell into a sort of silent disgust with me after that and really, never looked at me the same for awhile. She didn't touch me or speak to me, as I more or less drifted in limbo within my own home.

Heh, you can't even call it erasing, because when I awakened Zelda's partial powers it made it so that I can't genuinely erase anything that I do to her. She recalls things from my little mental slate cleansing. So she still has the occasional nightmare-now that she realizes it's bad, they scare her-about big spooky monsters chasing a boy in green, and him killing them or them killing him sometimes. It doesn't seem like much to get worked up over, but you aren't the one who has to see your four-year-old screaming herself awake night after night, all because you fucked up.

No, Nabooru didn't put me out of bed after that; I put myself out… of this realm. I'd been "winging it" for too long. True enough, I "knew" how to use my powers, but I didn't have a necessarily strong grasp of how to moderate them. So, I humbled myself, and asked my aunts to lend me their experience. They didn't rub it in or make any wise cracks; they invited me into the fold and began to tutor me along with more gods than you'll ever know about. For the next three months (thirty long, and intense years there), I went missing without a word much to the chagrin of my daughter. I spent all of my time diligently absorbing everything they instructed: From how to gauge my power in everyday life with Faith and Destiny, to how to manipulate facets of reality on a larger scale, up to the complexity of the future. I took it all in like a greedy sponge, making sure that I would never hurt them again.

Hell, I even met more of my family. My mother's side was the docile bunch I expected them to be-quick with the words and jokes. On Dad's side, let's just say that violence is a strong suit. Uncle Vic is the only (marginal) exception though. He resembles my father a great deal, though differing only with hair that seemed to glow with his thoughts and eyes that seemed like gigantic emeralds. In other words, picture me with solid green eyes and a hair color that changed dependent upon my moods. Well, there was also the fact that his ears didn't stick out like mine, but rather, were mainly flat against his head. He claimed it was the wave of the future, but I doubt it.

Anyway, we're sitting in his home playing chess, while discussing what it was to control the violence of war and in mortals. We were actually agreeing that my dad was an arrogant bastard, when I made this Queen to Rook capture and boxed in his King. He takes the check in stride, scratching his neck in idle contemplation. He looks between the board and me a few times, taking a glass of lemonade from out of thin air, and sighs. I'd just unconsciously handed him his first defeat in about two hundred and fifty thousand years.

"Congratulations, kid," he begins extending his hand to shake. "Atronica has been completely wiped out. You're good; I don't think anyone's ever been able to conquer that city since they came under my territory." The chessboard then faded away, turning into a sky view of a land in turmoil and flames. Bodies were everywhere and all because I won a game of chess! I looked at him in a horrid surprise, and quickly intended to change what I'd done, but he grabbed my hands with the same kind expression.

"You have to learn when to let go. People live and people die-you can't always reverse your decisions because you can. Instead, learn to make the right decisions first so you won't feel compelled to change them later." He let my hands go and relaxed into his chair, studying me in silence for a moment. "You're wondering if we make all of our decisions based on games, aren't you?" he asked, as I nodded.

"We don't, but I do. You see: Chess is a thinking god's game. If you can out think me here, I have no trouble believing that you can make the same difficult decisions for the people you lead to conquer one of my lands. There is bloodshed, but as you know, everything isn't always peaceably solved." His hand passed over the board and the hostility changed into a tranquil land much like Hyrule. "This is the way it could be if you make the right choices and decisions for these people. This way, the lives lost and the lives spared aren't wasted but converted into a new kingdom or as the case is, an expanded kingdom."

"I'm not in the market to be worshipped by a race of people," I said directly. "But you seem to be more fit for the job than I can ever be. So, do you have room for another kingdom on the mantle?" I hinted toward the multitude of varying chess sets around him, and he laughed.

"Sure," Vic said with a shrug, "but I'll keep them around just in case you change your mind."

"You know, I'm surprised you're related to him," I said, as we stood and prepared to make our way to the division of realms.

"Yeah, I know. But what can I say? He was born first and I didn't get a say in the matter," he added, as we appeared in the same darkness that prefixes the entrance to their realm. "You may want to dim the lights," he hinted by making the crimson energy around his body dance a little brighter. "Well, if you're in the neighborhood for a game of chess, you know where I live. Good luck with the little ladies in the meantime," he waved and my thirty years were officially over.

I go back to the realm off and on through my dreams to keep myself fresh and play normal chess, but for the most part, I'm stable in my abilities now. So as of right now: No more earthquakes when I'm nervous or casting my morbid feelings onto the people that I help. I don't exhale and change a cliff face. I don't sneeze and blow up a random part of Hyrule. And most importantly, I can tune my body so precisely that Nabooru and I can fuck for days without side effects! With all of that settled, I appeared in front of my home. Zelda and Nabooru, coincidentally, happened to be out front chatting with Malon and young Talon (her son). Zelda immediately greeted me and my wife cringed, as I hugged our child. Nabooru and Malon waved, though half-heartedly on my wife's behalf as they continued to talk.

Two things were readily apparent on my return: The first was Zelda's eyes. They'd become lighter and more radiant, as opposed to that radiant glow of murderous intent they held before. Onto number two: I guess you can call it my first serious marital rift. Nabooru had seemingly little to no concern about my absence, and even more paining, was the intent air of fear that drifted off her when Zelda was anywhere near me.

We barely spoke for the next few months. And if we did speak it was me trying to apologize and her refusing to hear me out. I'd reached the end of my rope one night. We slept in the same bed still, but if she huddled any further away from me, she would've been on the floor. I decided then to get up and go for a patrol. Not that anything was foolish enough to attack us, except Twinrova every now and again. Powerful: Yes. Sharpest knife in the drawer: No. I'd amended to kill her one night when I caught her snooping around the colossus setting up traps. Instead, while she ran the entire gamut of her spells, I took the time to think. Yeah? Yeah, she was still attacking me at the time. But I'm divine and blah, blah, blah. So, I eventually stopped the fight and 'convinced' her-by way of snapping her head off-that selling potions would net more money than attempting to rob me. She agreed, quickly running away afterwards. Funny how pliable she is when you talk with her head, while letting her body roam headless in front of her.

Anyway, I found myself in Zelda's room a little while later, watching her sleep. Or so I thought.

"What's wrong, Daddy?" she asked with an obvious sound of worry in her voice, shocking me in the process by being aware I was even there. For a moment, I contemplated warping out of there, but then soon thought better to sit down, try, and at least put her at ease. So, I explained that mommy was upset with daddy for causing her (Zelda) to have nightmares and that I felt really bad about it. I had yet to explain the full nature of my appearance or my abilities to her. So, in a manner born of a child's kindness, she stood up on her bed and gave me a hug. "It's okay, I don't have'em that much anymore. So, don't be sad." You don't know how much tension that relieved, or how happy it made me. We hugged for a very longtime before she pulled back to say, "I bet I know what'd make mommy not be so mad at you!" She bounces off the bed, slides on her slippers, and pulls me to the bathroom behind her.

Once there I ask, "What are you up to?"

"Only this," she replies with a mischievous smile, motioning me to look in the mirror. "Mommy told me you used to have eyes too, but then one day they just went away. I bet if you use some of that fairy stuff on'em they'd come back, and then mommy wouldn't be mad no more."

"Anymore, it's she wouldn't be mad anymore." I corrected her, trying to prevent a problem before it started. Yeah, but fairy magic was the only viable explanation I could give her until she was old enough to truly understand. Anyway, we played around in the mirror for a while, turning my eyes everything from brown to pink. Eventually though, we settled on a color I hadn't seen in quite sometime, that being my old frozen blue. I had to admit they still fit me. Zelda wasn't through though-she had two more additions she wanted me to make. She wanted me to wear earrings, specifically, a gold ring through each ear. I didn't get it at first.

When I asked her why she said, "Because silly, now you look like the boy in my dreams. He always makes the bad stuff go away, just like you. And I like his earrings."

Yeah, about the earring situation, I never took the time to get them pierced after the forth run through time. I was a little too preoccupied for that. I looked at myself then, realizing that she'd literally turned me back into an almost perfect copy of my old self, minus the blonde hair. Huh? Nah, it didn't shock me that she didn't know I was the little boy in her dreams, but I liked the fact she didn't. I never wanted her to see me like that, regardless of the situation. I want my image to be, in her eyes anyway, her big teddy bear of a father. I want to be the friendly guy who didn't have any eyes that tucked her in at night, not some freak murderer who didn't value his or anyone else's life. In the bathroom though, I let her continue to tell me how Nabooru would be happy to see me with some "new" eyes and shiny jewelry.

This is where a division in loyalties starts. On the one hand, I want Zelda to have everything she wants or could want. So, if Nabooru and I (mainly me) continued to let our daughter see the rift between us, did I mess with Nab's thoughts to give my princess what she wanted to see? Or did I do that and silently loathe myself for not being able to handle a problem with my wife without magic? On the other hand, did I let her see that I'd screwed up so badly until Nabooru may never forgive me, letting her worry herself about our, no, my problems? I didn't know the answer then and if something like that ever happened again, I don't know if I'd have it then either.

"All right little lady, I think we've done enough for tonight, time for you to go back to bed." I said thoughtfully, not wanting to add none enforcement of bedtime rules to my list of shortcomings. Like the perfect child that she is, Zelda hopped off the sink onto my back-not that I mind being cheap transportation-and off we went. Actually, we opened the door and I collided with what I thought to be one of the guards taking a bathroom break. Of course, the ladies don't patrol in silk night-shorts and shirts.

"Hey! Mommy!" Zelda squealed from over my shoulder, smiling that infectious smile that seems to soften even the hardest of people. "I figured out why you're so upset and I helped daddy fix it!" Quick to claim all the credit, isn't she?

By now, I'd helped Nab to her feet, and we were both shushing our loud little girl in unison. "Young lady, there are people trying to sleep!" she said in a loud whisper, before turning a critical eye to me. "As for you… what happened to your eyes?"

"See, he growed some new ones! And they're blue like the little boy in my dreams who fights the monsters away." Zelda was quickly replacing Navi as the most talkative person I knew, because she'd answered Nabooru before my lips even parted to start.

"It's, 'He grew some new ones,' and it's nothing really. I just got a little makeover that's all." Although I tried to downplay it, I was hoping with every ounce of myself that she'd smile or make a comment of some kind. I'd take whatever she gave me at that point, and I'm sure it was easily visible.

"What do you mean little boy who fights the monsters?" Nabooru asked her, completely dismissing my little revelation. My eyes met the floor the instant that left her mouth, I could only hope the argument of exposing her to murder didn't come up in front of said her. Zelda was quick to explain though, as her "hyperactive" mouth shot off again.

"See, there's this little boy who shows up in my dreams sometimes. Then there's a big, big, big, monster that's trying to hurt me but he always beats it! He never, ever, ever, lets them hurt me. And this one time it was you mommy. Except he wouldn't fight you like the others. Even when he did hit you, he looked very, very, sad. And then, you was… uh, were in one too daddy, yep. Except there was… uh, were two of you! One of you did bad things though; he made mommy bleed. Then it started raining and then the boy in green showed up again! Only this time he was in red, but he beat the other you up real bad, and then... I forgot." Yeah, while it was fresh on the surface of her mind, I erased the part where I decapitated him. You thought I was kidding when I said hyperactive, didn't you? I swear she's loved to talk ever since she first started… ten months out of the womb.

Anyway, Nabooru didn't have much to say after that other than let her go to the bathroom. Zelda, however, seemed to think everything was all fixed, insisting that we kiss and make up. I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't like the idea. I'd also be lying if I told you my heart didn't break… again, as Nabooru kissed me like one would a dead fish-quick, fleeting, and cold. Heh, and now that I think about it, that was the first time she'd kissed me in thirty years and about eight months. Still, I threw on a happy face for the child on my back and headed back to her room to put her to bed. I was a wreck for sure, but as is the case with me in times of love, there was the tick-like ability within me to latch on to any positive and bleed it for everything it had.

I attributed Nabooru's harsh feelings towards me as maternal fear. Women house the child for nine months, developing bonds stronger than the best steel with their children, and the fact I saved Zelda's life only to seemingly torture her with nightmares was a blade that cut both ways. On one side, she was alive and safe. On the other side, I'd hurt Nabooru's child, and by all rights, she saw me as an enemy. Except for the small detail of her love for me. Instincts told her that I was a threat because I hurt our child, where as emotions dictated that this wasn't a reason not to love me. Protect your child or remove the man you love? I wasn't the only one with a division in loyalties it seemed.

"See, I told you mommy wouldn't be mad no… uh, anymore. She kissed you and everything!" Zelda shouted emphatically, as I tucked her into bed.

I smiled for her benefit and because she genuinely makes me do so, but in the back of my mind, I was desperately trying to think of something I could say or do to make this right. Of course, I couldn't, so I gave up for the time being to send Zelda to sleep by way of the Serenade of Water (since she asked for it specifically). As the notes echoed throughout her room, I suddenly remembered how long it had been since Nabooru and I tucked her in simultaneously. It had been the night where Zelda woke up screaming, as she finally saw more than scary shadows in her sleep, and described the "monsters" in detail. Once Zelda was asleep, I made my silent journey towards the meadow to try to relax, or at the very least, have Sepaaru ambush me wanting to train. Yeah, it is a pointless endeavor, but it does take one's mind off the stresses of life. And although no one might attack us, Sepaaru seems to enjoy the training since that night with Rampart… the fuck. I'll fill you in on that later-I can only deal with so much bad news at a time.

So, by now I'm walking up the slope into the track when I hear the familiar yells and swooshes of a weapon splitting the air. The trees have grown a bit, so the moonlight splintered into tiny streaks through the nighttime darkness, and naturally, I'm assuming the shadowy figure to be Sepaaru. As it turns out, Nabooru took my absence with Zelda to throw on some clothes and go "test" her skills as she called it. I was amazed that she retained the grace and agility she possessed since our last physical altercation. She wielded her lance even better in some respects now than she did back then, but anyway, my intense staring finally gave me away when she paused mid-strike to look at me.

"What do you want?" she asked harshly, returning to her routine before I even answered.

"You," I said, because it was the answer to that question. At first, she seemed oblivious to my even saying it, but after about five minutes, she said something else.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." You couldn't beat the simplicity of these questions with a stick. Of course, you and I both would be wrong, since Nabooru had other plans in mind.

"Fine," she then stopped, walked behind the stump closest to her, and threw the Master Sword at my feet. This both surprised and confused me. "Pick it up and come get me." I sat there for a long moment trying to decipher if she were serious or not, glancing in her face showed she was in fact very serious.

"You're joking right?" Although, I knew she wasn't. I still had to ask. When she didn't reply, I decided to oblige her. I picked up the sword but made up my mind not to hit her. "Come on, tell me you're joking."

"Does it look like I'm joking!" She lunged, and I disappeared before she made contact with my head. Reappearing behind her, I merely parried her reverse thrust to my right and moved to my left. "You're not taking me seriously!" she yelled, taking a ferocious swing at my head, only to see me disappear again.

"I'm taking you very seriously," I replied, dodging another wild swing. The next things she'd say would cut deeper than any sword, in my book anyway.

"You're taking me for granted again! You never kiss me, talk to me, or even sleep with me! You're either out here with Sepaaru or playing some game with Zelda, yet you think I'm the one who's mad just to be mad! Heaven forbid I want a few hours a day with my husband, let alone have him touch me! Tell me something, Link! How long has it been since we last made love, oh great one? Two and a half years, surprising, isn't it?" She screamed each word followed by strikes that would've killed several men ten times over.

I'd effectively stopped smiling now, as the true nature of my neglect had hit me full on. And you want to know the sad part in all of this? I actually had the nerve to dispute her claims, when I know they were right. Actually, it was more like making excuses…

"I know I got a little too caught up in Zelda's upbringing and all, but I thought that's what parents did. They raise children…"

"NOT at the cost of neglecting their partners," she interrupted, swinging at my head again. "Heh, and the funny thing in all of this is that you feel bad about me not speaking to you for a few months. It's odd when you don't have me to fall back on isn't it? If Zelda wants to go play at the ranch without you and Sepaaru doesn't feel like training, THEN it's my turn with you." And here I thought this was all stemming from Zelda's nightmares, turns out I was right in a way about that though.

"Wait, so you aren't mad about Zelda and the dream thing?" The broad end of her lance hit me in the stomach, grabbing my attention in sound only. She began to circle me, as I unconsciously fell into the same motions.

"No, I was sincerely upset about that. However, I got over it, but then I finally realized how to get my husband to notice me again…" her voice trailed as my mind filled in the blank.

Nabooru took a half-hearted swing at my head that connected and drove the blade into my skull two inches. I didn't feel it, nor did I care. Every-fucking-word of it was true. I'd gotten so comfortable with the slack she'd given me, until I eventually quit earning it and just assumed it would always be there. But once she cut me off, only then did I realize my complete and utter foolishness.

I'd obsessed with trying to be the best father (or at least, better than my own) and teacher, until I left her out of the equation. And to twist the knife, sword, or any random sharp object even further into my chest, I even gave her second rate "let-me-solve-all-your-problems" skills. I'd run off to play with Zelda, patrol, or torture Sepaaru in some manner to avoid her bad attitude, hoping she'd work it out on her own.

"I always figured Zelda would have to throw the tantrum to get your attention one day. I just never imagined it'd be me," she said, as the pride and strength in her voice vanished.

Do you remember that thing about the knives with Zelda that I told you about a few years ago? Well multiply that number by the largest one you can think of, and it still didn't quite equal how bad I felt about getting that out of touch. I'd long since ground the hilt of the Master Sword into dust in my hand, as the blade offered no defense from an attack of that kind. She wanted my time; she'd get my time. Slowly brewing an idea, we warped away from the meadow and I returned us to that secluded island from our honeymoon to her stoic eyes.

"What's the point of this?" she asked in exasperation, removing her lance from my head and digging it into the sand.

"You're right," I paused, beginning to walk in a giant circle around her. "I took you, your kindness, and your forgiveness for granted. I'm sorry."

"You didn't answer my question," she said before the last syllable left my mouth. The cold tone did nothing to ease my tension, so I decided to answer, knowing that chances were she wasn't going to like the answer.

"Like you said, I've been very neglectful of you and this is my way of making up for it…" I began quietly.

"A night at the beach?" she butted in. "You intend to make up for two and a half years worth of neglect in a day? I don't know if I should be flattered or if I should kick you in the head. How can you be so bold as to expect me to forgive you in a day?" Heh, a day she said. I had more in store than a measly day.

"I never said I expected anything from you… not anymore. I took you for granted, so if I held the tiniest hope that you'd forgive me in a day that'd mean I didn't learn anything and I was still taking you for granted. Believe me, I've learned plenty." She looked at me skeptically, before completely facing the opposite direction. I circled to face her, then said: "I fully intend to earn your favor back. Whether I have to work for a day or the rest of time, I'll make this up to you." I don't give a rat's ass how cheesy you think it sounds. It was the truth. Though, Nabooru threw me for a loop in her next few words.

"So, if I decided to stop speaking to you for the next three hundred years, you wouldn't stop trying to earn my respect?" Heh, I never knew I lost that much, so of course I nodded to that. "Three hundred years then, I think I can wait that long." My mouth fell open, but I quickly recomposed myself.

"Fine, but understand something, I'm going to be around you every second of every one of those days. In your bed, by your side, in your dreams, and I may even be in the food you eat. If my attention is what you want you'll get it in the most obscene, grandiose ways I can think of. Even if you don't speak to me, I'll be there for you, until I fix this and realize how I let things get this far gone."

Nabooru smiled, and I felt great! Then she frowned, and I felt like Dodongo crap.

"Okay, Link," the inflection she put on my name made me cringe, but I choked it down. "Draw a sword and finish this battle. Don't pull any punches… and I'll consider your offer." The one thing I couldn't do, and of course, this is exactly what she'd ask for.

"What! Come on, Nab! How about I make you a planet? Or I could put your face on the moon, anything but this. You know I can't hit you…"

"If you're as concerned about making things up to me as you claim, you will… or at least try to."

Screw, screwed, and all-around fucked came to mind at the time. Forming a sword under defeat, I tried to set myself a goal and look at her as a task that needed overcoming. Exactly, how do you meet your goal when your problem is one in the same with it? I didn't know. So, as we began to circle each other in the sand beneath the moon, I only played defense. Nabooru laid into me with every insult she could think of to make me swing in retaliation. None of them drew my attention, the only ones that seemed to annoy me were the claims of how I thought she was just a joke or wasn't serious.

"Fight back!" her voice rang over the sloshing waves for the hundredth time. "Quit treating me like a joke…" she repeated for the umpteenth time, drowning my patience into nothingness.

"Yah!" My stomach sank as the noise left my mouth; I ducked a swing she took at my head and punched her in the side.

This didn't slow her down one bit. In fact, she seemed to fight harder after that. I was finished though, I'd hit the woman I loved and I couldn't do it-no, I wouldn't do it again, not even for her. As she struck down with the lance I caught the blade in my hand and plucked it from her grasp, flinging it into the ocean with my sword. Nope, Nabooru didn't even relent once the weapons were gone; she just fell into a fighting stance and began to take swings and kicks at me. Again, defense was my answer to stop this, but like Ganondorf, she kept attacking my mental weak points.

"And just when I thought you were taking me seriously," her left hand lashed out, but I trapped it against my side with my right arm. "Let me go, and quit toying with me!" I caught her right arm against my left side then, effectively holding her in place. It was at that moment, where she writhed and pushed against me that I realized how long it had been since we were that close to one another.

"On the contrary," I said, as my voice obviously dropped into a bedroom tone. "I take you very seriously." Her struggles took a dip, as my face drew even closer to hers. She didn't pull away or say no, so I attempted to kiss her. No trepidation or kissing me as if I was a vile creature of some kind. This time, Nabooru genuinely kissed me. I thought enough to lift my arms and free hers, only to find her holding onto me. With nervous arms, I embraced her. The end-result was my wife and I making love until the sun came up, still fluid, and still in love despite my idiocy. We woke up the next day how we'd finished, her on top of me and in my arms. I was still figuring her to be upset with me and that our exchange had been only a physical thing, so I was very silent in fear that she'd get up and demand to go home.

"Just because I'm an adult doesn't mean I don't want or need your attention any less than she does," she said quietly, whether or not I was intended to hear it I didn't know.

"I know, rather, I should've known. Can I have another chance?" Yeah, but this time I'd genuinely messed up (unlike in instances with Zelda), so trying to make up for it wasn't a belittling experience. Anyway, she sits back against my thighs then, giving me a rather odd look in my book. I'm trying to be attentive, but at the same time, not to the point where I was staring at her breasts like a horny teenager.

"That all depends," she said. I then asked what it depends on, to which she says, "If you stop staring at my breasts like a pervert. I can tell where your eyes are focused now."

She laughed, then slapped my chest before hopping off me and running full speed down the beach. Usually, I'd warp in directly in front of her and smile smugly. That day though, I hopped to my feet and dashed off after the most exquisite woman I'd ever met, and not to mention, the best naked ass I've ever seen. She stopped after I was about ten feet in front of her, standing there with her hands on her hips and hair flapping like a cape in the wind… smiling.

"Decided to give up," I stated more than asked, inching closer to her. Nabooru shook her head no, making a run for the ocean then. From there, a water fight of childish proportions ensues, as our naked bodies seemed unnoticed to the other. I caught her after a moment, bringing the tempo to a serious pace again. "I'm serious; I'm asking you for another chance. Not forgiveness, but can I at least work towards that and have you accept it… even marginally?" She lay flushed against my body, staring deeply into my eyes.

"You may have another chance," she then kissed my forehead, "if you're genuinely sorry and want one. I do not want your petty guilt."

"I don't think you can have my sorrow without guilt," I admitted, as her face twisted into a semi-scowl. "I feel too bad not to be guilty, but at the same time, I'm sorry. You've believed in me so much and so strongly, until I can't help feeling pissed with myself. No single person or hell, even group of people has made me feel like I was so much. Even at my lowest, you refused to let me accept otherwise. So, instead of working ten times as hard to keep you happy, I run off and hide. I am sorry for doing that to you… sorrier than you'll ever know, but I'm just as guilty."

"Even her?" she asked in a moment of skepticism. I took her chin in my hand gently, as I tilted my head forward into her face before replying. "Do I make you feel like more than she did?"

"No single person has made me feel like I was so much," I repeated, "but you. Zelda was thankful. You relate to me, though. She hid out during the rough times; we were in the thick of the battle. In all honesty, you've outdone her when it came to my emotions since the beginning. So rest easy." Tell me, where in that did I put my foot in my mouth? I missed it at first, but Nabooru soon informed me of it.

"Then why did it take so long for you to notice me in that way?" she asked, as the light air of our exchanges soon lost way for serious discussion about (Queen) Zelda… again. I thought carefully, answering the question for myself before I could even begin to answer it for her.

"Familiarity," I answered after a moment. "I knew what it was like to be with Zelda; I never gave much thought to being with anyone else like that. You were right in my face, but I couldn't give up on her even though it was a lost cause."

"And what of your leaving? Why not seek me out then?" she demanded more than asked.

"Fear, depression, or the fact that you seemed so put off by me that one time we intimately touched may have had something to do with it." I replied with a little smile, as I'd recalled a memory so stuffed down until I sooner forgot about it than acknowledge it.

"What, I did no such thing!" Nabooru claimed hotly, though obviously wracking her brain to remember. "I would never do such a thing!"

"Think back, it was one of the last times I'd come out there to see how things were progressing post-Ganondorf." I linked our minds for the first time in a long time at that moment. "We'd been idly conversing when we made a bet. You claimed that you could get a perfect 2000 points riding backward in the saddle."

"Then you said prove it," she added, already beginning to recall the bleak details.

"Yep and you did. You were gloating your supremacy and you went to dismount the horse," I stopped to chuckle, as the memory of her surprised expression came back to me. "Then you fell, but I thought I could catch you, but instead we ended up like this," I referred to her lying atop me in the [then] present. "I recall we were looking at each other for a long moment. I felt something for that moment in time, Zelda had no president in my mind whatsoever. I suddenly became a man again, and I suddenly wanted you. Too little; too late… Before I could ask or make a motion to ask you out…" I drifted as she looked away.

"I stood up and left," she finished quietly as the memory finished.

"And we both put it out of our minds ever since." I'd thought I'd done something embarrassing like got a hard-on or something, so I happily let it go. Completely ass out, we listened to the ocean for a moment and fell back into that awkward silence.

"It felt so… good to be with you like that," she said quietly, refusing to face me. "It felt so natural to be on top of you until I couldn't stomach watching you leave again. That's why I left. I wanted to say, 'Fuck me, marry me, just don't leave me' but I couldn't." I turned her head until we faced each other, noticing her tears and pitiful attempts to stop them.

"I have, I did, and I won't," I responded with semi-wit, which, of course, did nothing to lighten the mood.

"What?" she asked, sniffling slightly despite the intense concentration she used to make it be otherwise.

"I have fucked you, I did marry you, and I won't leave you." I rolled over on top of her, as the water glided in over us for a moment. I sent word in to Varia to oversee things, under the reason that the wife and me needed a vacation. The once hostile warrior agreed, as Nabooru and I lay lazily on the beach… fucking like rabbits for the next week. No you sicko-we didn't do it for a week. We did it for four days straight and then spent the last three lounging about in the afterglow. Hmm, hold on for a second.

"Let's see: 38 pairs of boots, 400 pounds of Kokiri berries, 29 20-packs of arrows, and a blue flame. That'll be 10,234 rupees, Link," Saria says with a smile. I sit the large wallet down on the counter and gather my items into the space saving saddlebag over my shoulder. "Hey, do you know when my carpets will be finished? I was kind of hoping to rearrange the house by the end of this week."

"Yeah, Takara and the crew should be finished sometime this evening or tomorrow," I respond, making sure my buckles are secure. "I'll bring them over if you'd like."

"Sure, but you don't think I made the design too complicated, do you?" says the little girl-woman, who asked that her Gerudo-brand carpet feature The Great Deku Tree, her, and me. "I mean, I can always tone it down some."

"Nah, they've got it under control," I assure her. "They're quite the seamstresses. Hell, I'm shocked they can even add that much design let alone the speed they do it. Well, I still need to make the rounds and check on our horseshoe situation at the ranch." Saria climbs atop the counter and gives a farewell hug.

"Stop using those damn… err naughty words!" she shrieks in my ear. "See? Now you've got me doing it! Tell Zelda that I said hello."

"Okay, potty mouth," I make a dash for the door and disappear, as she throws a Deku Nut at me.

As we reappear in the field, I know you're wondering why I'm buying things. No? Uh, then what do you want to know? Oh, them. Well, I'll tell you… IF you can beat me to the Malon's Ranch. Ready? Go…

Author's Notes: Another one! And another one! When will this story end? Well, there are a few more flashbacks before I bring you into Link's convoluted present. No, nothing bad has happened to him in quite a while. Just sit tight and hold on.