Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Comes to Light Pt. 05: Subterfuge ( Chapter 50 )

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

Chapter Fifty


Link leaned on his left palm in his throne, the gift Sepaaru and the others had made for him, looking at one of said carpenters and his wife with little more than blanket disappointment on his face.  It had been unlike anything he'd ever expected to see out of them, which, in itself, was a bit naive.  Link had expected them to fight, even laughed at the notion with Nabooru.  But armed with the weapons he gave them … knowing full well the power those things possessed?  Never in a thousand years did he expect it to get that far out of hand.  Still, that was a delusion, too.  If it wasn't, he wouldn't have added the safety measures to the weapons.  He knew his request would be difficult, even unreasonable, and that's why he posed it.  One of them had to go.  He couldn't make that choice, though, so it had to be theirs.  One of them wouldn't accept the fact that he was in love with both of them, and that would be the end of that particular relationship.

But that wasn't the case.

"This was stupid on my part," Link said frankly, leaning forward in his throne, elbows perched on his thighs, and hands hang loosely between them.  He looked up at them to assess the damage once more: Nabooru's right eye was starting to swell, with a vicious cut long-ways down the outside of her left bicep to go along with the other nicks, cuts, bruises adorning her body, one broken left leg, a cracked right shin and splinters from the crushed stable doors in her wound.  Next to her, Sepaaru sat in similar ruin.  She'd feigned to be unharmed, at first, but that was far from the truth.  Three of her ribs were broken on one side, all of which were dangerously close to puncturing an organ, her nose was cracked to the right, and had recently stopped bleeding down her face.  She'd also been stabbed, but "only" in the back of her right thigh … right down to the bone, which was now slightly cracked from the piercing force.  There were also a bevy of cuts decorating her forearms and back as well.

Credit where it was due, Nabooru had faired far better than he'd anticipated given the advantages Sepaaru came equipped with.

"I shouldn't have come back here," they heard Link mutter, perking up despite the pain.  Of course, those words brought on a new sort of pain.  "Damn," Link swore under his breath.  "I just asked for too much," he continued, a fraction of his former self glimpsing through as he seemed to internalize and shoulder total blame.  "I couldn't stay on the island, though.  She didn't want me.  Hell, it's not like I even fit with that crowd or this one … or any of them," Link idly rambled, as liquid light continued to spiral down his body from the four-inch wound in his chest and the twelve-inch slice that went from where his collarbone would've been as a Hylian to the middle of his back and drip from his fingertips.

Link had been on his way to show Rampart where to begin his work when he heard the enrapt battle cries.  He appeared in the meadow the moment Sepaaru and Nabooru threw blows to kill each other (as neither had the will or legs to fight any further), managing to warp between them an instant before their heated swings ended the other's life.  Their bloodlust ended the moment they saw his green tunic, and it turned into a frightened shock that made them drop their weapons as though they were the possessed instruments of destruction when his blood sprang forth.  For whatever reason, Link was wounded and hurt, but he wouldn't acknowledge it.  His disbelief in their actions-remorse or sorrow, no one could tell, because his face told no tales-saw him march, Nabooru and Sepaaru floating idly with him as neither could walk with the sustained leg injuries, past all spectators in his home who tried to inquiry to find out what had happened.

"Link, you need-"

"Does it look like I give a damn that I'm bleeding?" he snapped, causing Sepaaru to recoil.  Link looked down at his boots, which were surrounded by a lake of fluid that he didn't even think he still possessed, and sighed.  "I should leave," said Link, his voice falling into a low, sullen register as his blood absorbed through his boots and back into him.  "This just doesn't make sense anymore.  I try to be forgiving, and that's wrong.  I try to block the emotion, but that's wrong.  So, I try to feel again, and that's wrong.  I admit love and … that almost kills the mothers of my children."  Link stood and panic set in.  "This wouldn't even be so bad if it were you cracking open my father's head or Ganondorf's, but this-" he waved his hand at the spectacle before him-"is a bit much.  And you," Link said to Nabooru, his face twisting in a sort of anguish-laden sigh, before he raised his left hand and aimed it at her.  For a brief moment, Nabooru's entire body glowed: immortality restored.  "Not that it matters."


"Like I told you both: The weapons are a part of me," he interjected, bringing Nabooru great pause to reflect.  "Immortality intact or not, her sword and your lance can end both of your lives-and the lives of most anyone who walks the mortal plane."

The two Gerudo women gasped, staring at their blood splattered weaponry lying in a pile on the floor.  That wasn't true … but they knew it was.  They wished to believe the fight only happened because they believed the other woman wouldn't be killed, but that was a lie.  The synchronous lowering of their heads established their true motives, and, for the most part, they were ashamed.

Link looked at them, a small smirk creasing his lips as he spoke: "And to further complicate this whole matter, you've gone and got grass and dirt in my silk sheets.  Do either of you have any idea how hard it is to get a grass stain out of silk?"  Before Nabooru and Sepaaru could react, the world beneath them disappeared and they quite painfully splashed down in what appeared to be a pond of hot water.  They came to the surface coughing on the water amidst the dirt and blood, which had turned the water a sort of burgundy color, red and black ponytails covering either woman's face, all to the sound of Link's laughter.

"Hero, what the hell is this?" Nabooru shouted, freely voicing her dissatisfaction with the proceeding before realizing it was her "bathtub."

Sepaaru shared a similar anger, hesitantly asking, "Yeah, are you … mad or not?"  She watched blood stream from under her thigh up to the surface of the water around their … naked bodies.  The only reason she didn't immediately cover up-well, one of the reasons-was that Nabooru didn't seem upset about it (because she'd grown up in a time where the Gerudo weren't as fortunate to have their own bathrooms and had to pool resources versus Sepaaru who came up as an outcast who did almost everything alone) and, despite her lack of show, it was taking all of Sepaaru's will not to scream after being dropped with broken ribs.  Link, of course, was waist deep on the other side of the circular, pond-like tub, fully clothed, replete with smile.  "What's so funny?" she asked, subtly crept out by his eerie change in demeanor.

"Whatever do you mean?" Link asked with mockery in his tone, placing a hand to his chest and raising his eyebrows.  "Oh, nothing is funny.  However, today's lesson is a simple one: you heal the way the person who beat your ass heals.  And, my dear ladies, since neither of you possess mystical abilities, guess what we're going to do?"

They saw it … and cringed.  The object Link held was both feared by name and its powerful fruity aroma.  It was soap … Link's soap.  This was soap proven to eat holes through leather boots, cloth, and anything else it was left on for more than a moment's time.  He stood in the water and began to approach them from across the fifteen-foot expanse, smiling like some kind of evil harbinger of death armed with a brick of soap.

"W-wait a minute, Hero!" Nabooru was the first to shriek, feebly looking for a way out.  "I'm perfectly fine to use normal Kokiri soap!"

Link paused, considered her statement, and smiled even wider.  "But I am Kokiri," he said, chuckling some, adding: "Now who's first?"

Sepaaru and Nabooru gave up the other, but, ultimately, it was his wife by Hylian law who got to feel the disinfecting sting.  His logic was simple: Nabooru's arm was the grizzlier wound, so it needed treatment first.  "Ow!  Hero-goddamn it-this isn't fair!  Sss!  Why don't you make it not burn?  Ouch!"

"Be still," Link chided, gently using a wad of soapy cotton to clean the exposed innards of the wound, simultaneously holding the blood back with his mind and yanking the splinters out of her exposed muscle.  "Besides, if I just made everything I wanted simply be the way I wanted, my life would be boring.  Therefore, I'm going to tinker until I get the fat-to-lye ratio right like all the other Kokiri."

"But you've been-Ow!-trying for the last forty years!" Nabooru whined, as Sepaaru laughed not at Nabooru, but at her joke.

"She has a point, Link," Sepaaru admitted, sinking under the water until she slightly floated and relieved the pressure on her injured thigh and ribcage.

"There," said Link, as phase one of his cleansing was effectively done.  "And we'll see who's laughing when it's your turn to see the medicine man.  Now, the fun part," he said as a needle and a bit of almost invisible fishing wire appeared in his left hand.

Nabooru saw them with her good eye and began to really get pissy.  "This isn't necessary, Hero-"

"Hey, you owe me," Link said, holding up his left arm.  Slowly, surely, a scar from a body that no longer existed faded into being on his left forearm from the night Twinrova's henchman shot him with the crossbow.  Nabooru smirked after a moment to reconsider, remembering a time when she stitched up a wound in his arm and turned her left bicep toward him.  "Good."

And with that, silence entered never to be disturbed except for the occasional hiss of wayward pain that shot through Nabooru's arm as the needle pierced her flesh and drug the line through.  Sepaaru had floated out into the center of the pond, enjoying the hot water more than her contemporary ever did, as the heat didn't bother her really.  She'd look up from time to time and notice Link looking at her, a subtle calm taking hold as it made her feel that she wasn't so much a witness, but an actual part of what was going on.  The murky water had been flushed out, and the blood flowing from her leg had been stopped via his powers, but the ribs were an entirely different subject…

"What started all of this?" Link asked, tying off the last bit of thread at the edge of Nabooru's wound and materializing a large mug.  A twig about as thick as one of his fingers then appeared in the mug, which began to smoke as its temperature rose.  "Drink this," he told Nabooru.  "It's for the pain."

She took it with her right hand, as the stitches were too tight to really move the left, and hesitantly smelled the pungent brew.  "What is this?"

"White Willow bark tea," he replied, smiling as their daughter did similar when trying something new.  If it smelled odd, there would be a moment of hesitation, then a taste test, and if that was odd, the item was discarded.  Nabooru sipped a bit of it, and her face scrunched.  "It's bitter, but it works.  And neither of you has answered my question."

"Was supposed to be a sparring match," Sepaaru offered, looking up into the soft white light that beamed down into the room above the tub from a hole in the ceiling that seemed to be a portal to some distant land.  "Then she said, 'He just feels sorry for you-'"

"But that was after she said, 'You'll find a way to ruin everything again-'" Nabooru was quick to say, before being cut off.

"You kicked me!"

"It was sparring!"

Link watched them, still kneeled in the water as he'd been while stitching up Nabooru's arm, shaking his head as they got louder and more enraged.  He waded out to Sepaaru, and their hostility dampened.  "Okay, forget about who started it," he said in an effort to bring calm to the situation.  He was upside down to Sepaaru, as he looked down at her while standing behind the top of her head.  In an instant, the light that beamed around him faded and Sepaaru found herself staring at his boots, as she'd been warped onto a table, face down, this time his mind held her weight so as not to press rib shards into her internal organs, across from Nabooru, who was now on a table as well.  She tensed up for a moment, Link having grabbed her injured thigh a little too tightly.  "How in the world did you get stabbed in the back of the thigh?"

Nabooru laughed, rolling over onto her right side, forcing her brew into her left hand, and said, "She tried to bring her heel down across the back of my neck, and, well, she missed."

Sepaaru groaned, but Link merely chuckled. 

"That's an impressive show of flexibility, Sepaaru, but it doesn't really work right outside of a bedroom," he said, slapping her on the ass as he passed and moved up her body to examine the slashes on her back. 

His captain laughed, anger dulled as she could call to mind no less than five instances of having her leg held vertically straight in the air up against a wall or flat on her back, all while Link tried to see if his dick could find a space between her lungs.  Of course, on the other side of the ball, Nabooru saw this.  Sexual innuendo that involved Link and a Gerudo that wasn't her caused Nabooru's mind to reel in both shock and anger for a moment.  This was an adjustment.  She could make this adjustment.  How to do that was the bigger question, though.

"What is your fascination with bending us like dough, Hero?" Nabooru asked demurely, her pink tongue seductively poised on the edge of her top lip.  He saw it and it gave him momentary pause.  She was undeniably sexy … even with a swollen eye.

Link laughed, a deep rumbling sound that began in his chest and escaped through his mouth, as he could only say, "You bend so well; how could I not?"  He looked at Sepaaru, who, for all intents and purposes, was a little tense about the joke, but made no motions to ease that tension.  This was something they were going to have to deal with on their own, Link reminded himself.  "Well, the good news is that you don't need stitches for the wounds up here.  A few bandages will do the trick, along with some soap and hot water, which is forth coming, I can assure you.  The bad news is that the leg must come off…"

"What?" Sepaaru and Nabooru both shouted.  "You can't be serious, Link!" Sepaaru shouted, grabbing her thigh and rolling onto her back, as though she could really stop him from taking the limb.

"Come on, now, Hero," Nabooru added.  "I know we went overboard, but-"

"Which is the point," Link said in all seriousness, shifting once more in temperament, as he'd peered through her muscle and saw just how much damage her thigh muscle had taken.  "If I hadn't been around and the wounds became infected, this is exactly what could've happened-and that's if you two even stopped before you killed each other.  I know I'm asking for a lot here-more than a lot really-but you two agreed to this."  An orb of clear glass appeared in front of both their faces, before a moving series of events started to unfold inside.  "That means, one day, one of you may wonder where I am and stumble upon this-" in Nabooru's orb, Link had Sepaaru pressed against a wall, laying into her as though there wasn't a tomorrow; Sepaaru saw the inverse of that, as it was Nabooru and Link in her orb-"but that doesn't mean I've somehow forgotten one of you, changed my mind, or manipulated my feelings.  And, if one day, I just so happen to have one of you on my mind more than the other, I'll go in that direction, but that doesn't mean 'Oh, he wants her, I'm rejected' or some bullshit."  He appeared to take a deep breath, but, as usual, there was no noise.  "I don't know what to say that can make this any easier," continued Link in a solemn tone, "but I don't want to cause civil war in my own home and have to worry about that while constantly looking over my shoulder for the next strike from the Sermonian fuckwits out there."

The two Gerudo sighed, which was all Link ever expected.  However, what happened next surprised the deity.

"I'll take odds," Nabooru said with another sigh of resignation, turning onto her stomach and sipping her tea.  "But I want our anniversary no matter what day it falls on."

"Fine, but I expect the same," Sepaaru added, turning over onto her stomach as well, keeping her ribcage slightly elevated herself as the pain doubled and let her know Link's hold on her physical was over.  "And how do we balance the seventh day-his choice?"

"That works for me," replied Nabooru, grimacing as she sipped the tea that didn't seem as bitter as that compromise.

Link blinked a few times, a bit lost in their subtext, before he approached subtext the way he approached most everything: bluntly.  "Okay, so what the fuck just happened?"

Nabooru spoke first, saying, "You spend your days however you wish, but, at the end of the day, you crawl into the bed of the woman that day dictates."

"We were trying diplomacy before things devolved into warfare," Sepaaru added, her voice just as monotone as Nabooru's that time.  "We didn't waste all of that time in those stupid meetings for nothing."

The hero looked on in amazement.  "I see," he eventually said, "how very diplomatic of you both."

"We try," Nabooru and Sepaaru said in a creepy unison, both chuckling their way out of it.

The situation lost its tension once more, as Link decided to heal some of their broken bones since they did try to be cordial prior to beating each other bloody.  This meant Sepaaru could now breathe easy through her newly healed nose and her ribs weren't going to stab her.  Plus, to ensure her leg healed to full strength, Link healed the ripped thigh muscle.  However, the crack in her thigh bone and the flesh wounds were to remain, and keep her incapacitated for the sake of lesson learning.  On the other side, Nabooru's seriously broken left leg was now healed, but her fractured shin wasn't, which also meant she would be off her feet. 

Protests were heard, but quickly waved off, as each woman found herself thrust back into the tub and bathed.  It was a surreal experience, if not an entirely new one for Sepaaru, but Link's hands seemed to emote in a way that said, "Calm down" or "I'm not going to hurt you."  He alternated from one woman to the other with a level of perception of when he could switch that seemed to supersede the feeling of interruption that a person would expect to feel when their scrub down ended.  In fact, it was more of a massage than a bath.

Nabooru unconsciously hummed as he worked the sponge into her lower back, eyes lidded in relaxed serenity despite the "intruder."  "Why are you dressed, Hero?" she lazily asked.

Link laughed, "Let's see: on one side, there's a naked, beautiful woman-" his eyes moved from Nabooru to Sepaaru-"and on this side, there's another naked, beautiful woman.  Given the odds for your survival, I think I should remain clothed."

Sepaaru snorted at the insinuation, watching as he rinsed the soap from Nabooru's body.  "You make it sound like we're helpless slaves to your naked body."

Link finished rinsing Nabooru's skin, and then slid through the water with grace to stand in front of Sepaaru, smirking as he said, "You make it sound like you're not."

Although she knew he wasn't that arrogant, Sepaaru merely flicked her hand at him, like a royal would to dismiss a servant, goading the situation on.  He ducked a ways into the water and came up holding his boots, before pitching them onto the ground behind Sepaaru.  She shook her head, a silent way of saying that wasn't good enough.  Link shrugged and began to unlace the strings at his chest, untying each string with a slow, arduous movement that seemed to pull the smile on Sepaaru's face a bit wider.  Still, she shook her head, claiming that even that wasn't enough skin once he undid his belt and threw the tunic behind her.

Link smiled, though, as he heard her heart speed up and the blood rush through her veins, large, soap-covered breasts moving ever so subtly up and down with her increased breathing.  Nabooru looked on from the fringe, wondering both if they would do it with her present and if she could actually watch it without him magically holding her in place the way he did when he caught her and Cornelius … that worm.  Nabooru smiled despite herself, as she traced the muscles in his back all the way down to the top of his ass with her eyes.  Ah, the scratches she'd left there, she recalled fondly, watching the light green band of his tight inch from his waist to his ankles.

"There," Sepaaru said demurely, a thigh full of stitched together flesh and muscle burning as she stretched her leg out and ran it from his stomach to his chest and then all the way down-and that was all it took to straighten things out.  He eased her sore leg down and pulled Sepaaru off the lip of the tub back into the water with him, his godly separation from the realm ending as was evident by the water beginning to cling to him.

Nabooru, though shocked, wasn't.  This was how it would happen, she realized with a forced calm.  Link wasn't looking back, mouthing, "I'm sorry" or trying to make it some emotionally painless event, while apologizing and making it all worse.  He was going for it without making her a part of it, because, in this moment, this had nothing to do with her.  Still, there was the question of how long could this honestly last-this detachment from what was happening in front of her.  This was Link, her husband, fucking her captain in front of her face.  And to make matters worse, Sepaaru loved it-eyes screwed tight, nostrils flared, all while he thrust up into her like a barely controlled beast.  What's more, she didn't try to control the situation, Nabooru saw.  Link controlled every aspect of her being in this situation-the thrust, speed, and power-even though Sepaaru was on top of him.

All Sepaaru did was moan his name or chew her lower lip.  She didn't seem to be trying to make him go faster or slower or harder or whatever, nor did she seem to be concerned with whether or not she was making a face that felt stupid or making a note not to say his name too often.  Sepaaru was enjoying this without limits or thoughts of the sort, as she obviously made what seemed to sound like a cluck to Nabooru.  Is that why she and Link never went at it that often?  Did those thoughts just kill the mood for him and make it not worth doing?  Nabooru came out of her mind and returned her gaze to the lovers' sexual tryst before her, watching the water support them like a bed as Link sat up and wrapped his arms around Sepaaru's middle and began to bang into her so loudly that Nabooru wondered why she hadn't died from the pleasure of it all.


Sepaaru's first new word came as loud and as hard as she did.  Nabooru watched her contemporary, in Link's eyes at least, dig her nails into his back and squeeze her legs, good and bad, around him until every muscle in her visible body showed brilliantly with a sheen of water and melted soap.  For a moment, Nabooru had to catch her breath.  Watching them had … excited her?  She couldn't answer her question, because Link and Sepaaru had started up again.  It sounded like he was killing her, but Sepaaru's face looked like she was being loved so fully that it was almost questionable if he was that good or if she just wasn't lying her ass off to make Nabooru jealous.

"Ah- God!"

Nabooru knew that wasn't the case, though.  All thoughts and silly questions aside, she knew what Link could do with that slab of his.  Sepaaru could have started off falsely panting and moaning or overanalyzing the situation like Nabooru sometimes did, but after the fifth minute-if she was good-she would've been his.  She watched the sweat fly off the tips of his hair for a long while as he slammed Sepaaru stupid, wondering if that's what he looked like when he gave it to her: did he look that happy?  That carefree?  She'd seen him before as they made love, but between her thoughts and the sensations radiating through her body, her vision wasn't exactly the keenest thing in the world with him in her up to the balls.

Link's teeth began to grind, a sign that meant he was losing control between mortal and god status, which was Nabooru did recall.  And Sepaaru?  Well, she'd be calling for death if it meant he'd keep the grinding portion up.  Gods, how she loved that part.  All of it crammed right up into her-  Nabooru wanted him now.  But, like she had promised, the acting Gerudo queen would share-and sharing meant waiting.  Nabooru listened to Sepaaru scream his name as the time between her orgasms shortened from minutes to seconds and she listened to Link grunt Sepaaru's name as his concentration faltered or he made it falter to spare her life-and she watched.  She watched the Gerudo with raven's hair bounce up and down a dick that was supposed to be solely hers, a twinge-only a bloody twinge-of jealousy and hatred marring her thoughts, while the focus of her mind was watching Link's face strain.


Nabooru exhaled, completely unaware that she'd been holding her breath watching the last stampede between the couple come to its climatic end.  She watched Link shudder, as he gently guided Sepaaru up and down his dick, undoubtedly pumping her insides full.  The situation seemed to exist in Nabooru's mind as fantasy, pure and simple.  But, alas, Link kissed Sepaaru and shared that contented giggle with her-the especially deep one-and Nabooru had to acknowledge this was now and forever going to be a part of her reality.  Age, maturity, or insanity-Nabooru didn't know which-saw her slide off the lip of the tub and inch her way over behind Link and Sepaaru, only to emerge from the water and wrap her arms, stitched and un, around Link's torso.

Naturally, he freaked out.

"So, is she any good, Hero?"

Link made sounds, surprised, gurgling sounds.  They were the kind of sounds one could imagine a person making while talking with their head in a bowl of half-melted ice cream.  He knew he wasn't in the wrong, but, like any man caught between two sets of breasts for the first time, his brain was like sponge cake, which meant it occupied a certain space, but it was mostly air.  A cough broke Link's play for words.

"Far be it for me to break up such a lovely union," a familiar voice said from the doorway, "but I thought you should know that your son's trying to implode."

Link Sr., former Principal God of War, leaned against the doorjamb eating an apple, looking at the naked spectacle before him with a sly grin.  His presence alone was enough to fuck up a wet dream, let alone the idea that he could've saw … what he could've saw.  Link's mood: ruined.  His erection: not ruined.  Sepaaru had to remind him of that, as he attempted to stand with her still onboard.

"Sorry," Link added, lifting her up and placing her back in the water, before taking a deep breath and returning to his state of normalcy.  "I know you've heard of knocking, you sick fuck.  They have doors up there, too."

His father rolled his eyes.  "I go where I please," Link Sr. said, arrogance cascading down from his self-made pedestal like so much shit from a giant calf's ass to his son.  "Anyhow, the girl with the green hair was all tears and sobs, and since it appears to take thirty some odd women to comfort one girl, I figured I'd get you and see if you can't stop this oh, so coincidental problem with your son."

The sarcasm and disconnection vanished from his father's face in that instant, as Link, too, seemed to catch hold.  No forward or backward here, either.  It was another issue designed to keep him firmly entrenched right where he was.  Subterfuge for what, though?  He told Sepaaru and Nabooru that he would be back.  With the nagging pain in her body from the fight, the stitches in her leg, and the sexual high, Sepaaru didn't argue with his implied command that she stay there.  Much like Nabooru and the rest of Hyrule, her faith in Link was absolute.  If he was going to their son, the kid would be fine.  And with that, she watched her lover and his father fade into nothingness.

Sepaaru stretched her arms out against the lip of the sunken tub, her legs floating to the surface of the water, and admired the room.  A question interfered, however.  "Why did you watch?"

Nabooru used her good arm to paddle herself back to her tea.  For a time, a long, long time, she didn't respond to the question.  Sepaaru never asked again, but she did find the silence strange and unsettling, almost as if something were brewing in the room alongside her.  She looked up and saw Nabooru staring at the reflected light on the surface of the water.  Sharply, the queen's eyes cut to her captain and she said, "I'm tired of ducking reality."

Below them, Link stood in the middle of a giant hole, three bedrooms down from his son's room.

"Okay, that's new," he said to himself, walking through the wrecked Gerudo bedrooms that his son had thrown him through.  It hadn't been an intentional reaction, though.  Junior, for all intents and purposes, was surrounded by a barrier of some kind.  Link had attempted to touch the boy to bring him out of what appeared to be an intense nightmare, which saw the kid shake and mumble incoherently, only to be thrown through three walls.

"Aaaaargh!" Junior howled, arching off the bed as the veins in his face bulged and glowed.  He slumped and rambled incoherently again.

"Granted, I have no powers to really assess this," Link Sr. said casually, "but the boy's body can't possibly take this for much longer.  Bad things, these hybrids-"

Link came through the hole and said, "Shut up."

"It's too mix and match," his father continued, dropping his apple core, adding: "They're like bombs, really.  They're packed with all of this powerful stuff, but their shells just can't handle it.  Until one day-" he mouthed the word "boom" and emulated an explosion with his hands.

For what it was worth, Link didn't lose focus.  He attempted to touch his son again, but as the shield rose, Link exerted more of his power and remained steadfast on penetrating the barrier.

His father shook his head in disgust with his son's ignorance as he felt his mortal body weaken from the power runoff.  "Simpleton, he's generating the damn barrier," Link Sr. said, "which means you'll need a lot more power than that to break through."

"Then I'll just mo-"

"Move him to another dimension?  And what-risk breaking it and have him be completely vulnerable to the physical stresses of that side world?  You can't exert full strength and have an environment tolerable to mortals, boy.  There's no real way of knowing if his body's strength remains while he's unconscious, at least no way that you'd willingly test on him.  And you know he can be hurt when his guard is down.  One thing is certain, however, and that's that the sudden snap of his power being broken under the weight of your own would make that face fall you took the other day seem like a fall off a step," the former god said.  He ebbed from concern to apathy without as much as a facial twitch in his next few words: "See, that's another problem with half-breeds: the physical fatigues, but the mystical-the mystical never tires.  A bad dream can be manifest with no limits to the damage it could cause because their powers will never be fully tamed so long as their conscious minds require rest and their silly little subconscious remain."  Again, he switched, "So, do you see where I'm going with this?"

Link hadn't heard a word of it.  He'd shunted into his son's mind and sought answers that way.  What Link found in his son's mind could be called interesting.  Currently, the hero walked around a rendition of the Kokiri Village, but it shifted into that of Gerudo Valley and Kakariko as well before reverting back to Kokiri, all of which were abandoned.  One thing that was constant in these shifts in location was the vine.  There was a long, thick, spiny green vine that tore through all of the homes and ground no matter where his son's mind went.  Link followed it closely, noticing it subtly snaked away the closer he got to it.

"Link?" he asked of the vine, as it stopped retreating at the entrance to the Lost Woods, seemingly responding to the name.  Link raised an eyebrow.  "Where are you?"

The vine moved through the log into the Lost Woods, and Link pursued, only to emerge at the bottom of the well in Kakariko Village.  His son had never been down there, so the oddity of this appearance was not wasted on his father.  Still, the vine was there, lurching on its way through the dank corridors and dropping through illusionary floors.  Despite it all, Link continued his pursuit, even though it had been established from the moment his godly eyes couldn't see the things that the Lens of Truth usually highlighted for him that his powers had been made moot in his son's mind.  The vine crept through a door and across a floor that Link remembered being nothing more than a pit through the Lens of Truth.

"That's perfect," he said just as the wall pushed him off the edge and into said pit.

Link hit the ground at the bottom with a roll to absorb the impact, before standing and realizing he was now in Dodongo's Cavern.  The vine eased its way up and into the ancient skeleton's mouth, almost like a giant tongue, and still Link pursued.  He felt the connection to his powers, but there was an obvious force suppressing them still.  Link chanced calling on them to seek his son faster.

The vine reared back like its nerves were frazzled, slapping Link clear through a wall.

"Link!" he shouted, standing unharmed, but now in the middle of Hyrule Field.  "Shit, where's the vine?  Link!"

Link waited, turning in a slow circle to see if he could spot it.  Calling his powers had obviously upset his son's balance, but why?

"Dad …" Junior called out, his voice a meek whisper of its usual self.

Link took off toward Kokiri again.  That was the starting point the last time, and the vine had to be there for a reason.  Without the power of a god, Link was still exceptionally fast, and he arrived at the village in seconds it seemed.  The vine wasn't there, though, and his son screamed from some distant place.  Panic was setting in on his father now.  To think his son would die because he couldn't do something without relying on the god thing was almost unbearable.  Still, what else was there now?

"Think!  From Kokiri to Kakariko to Gerudo Valley to Kokiri, then from the Lost Woods down to the well in Kakariko, and then up to the Dodongo's Cavern, and out to Hyrule Field when I fucked up-where's the connection?" Link said out loud, seeing none and growing more tense as another scream from his son pierced his heart … or whatever occupied that space in his chest.  "If the kid's never been in the well or Dodongo's Cavern, let's say he's pulling that information out of my mind.  There was nothing in the field but me, so let's rule that out.  He sent me to Gerudo Valley once, Kakariko once above ground and once below, but-" it dawned on him-"I keep ending up back here.  Link!"

Link went from house to house finding little more than giant holes from where the vine had been, but his hope didn't diminish.  He headed out of the last home, Saria's coincidentally, and made a line for the Lost Woods again, but something made him pause.  Link stood at the entrance and looked over the horizon towards the Great Deku Tree's meadow and noticed something: the dead tree's giant canopy wasn't visible.  Everything so far had been picture perfect in representation, but this-this huge staple of Kokiri Village's landscape somehow was lost to his son's translation?

"I'm coming," he said, leaping forty feet without so much as a walking start, and landing in front of the little pond and skipping stones.

He raced across the village and into the path towards the meadow, his stride not slowing one step even as vines sprang from the ground and walls, attempting to halt his course by tearing into him with their thorny parts.  They tore his tunic and his flesh, revealing red blood, but Link didn't care.  The scream was no longer omnipresent; the scream was now clearly coming from in front of him.  And as Link rounded the corner and saw the vines coming together to make a knit wall, he dove and landed flat on his back just inside the meadow.  He stood up, tunic and tights ripped and torn, and shook his head at the sight before him: Junior was suspended a hundred or more feet in the air, ran through on the same thorn-covered vines that had attempted to aid and obstruct his father.  There were hundreds, possibly thousands of them, ranging from sizes as thick as earthworms to some being as big as that of Link's own muscular thighs, all covered in thorns.  They all moved like a mound of snakes, slithering and sawing their way through the young man's flesh, yet … there was no blood, just the kid's screams.

"DADDY!" the boy screamed, his voice cracking as a particularly thick vine corkscrewed through his chest and punched its way out of his back with a sound of sinew and bone shattering that Link was all too familiar with.  It broke the hero's resolve and he went into and up the writhing mountain without hesitation.  Junior's eyes opened and he gasped, seeing his father bleed for only the third time.  "Dad, run!  You're hurt…"

"Pfft, this?" Link said nonchalantly, grunting as the vines wrapped around his legs and twisted themselves into him until blood burst forth.  "This … is nothing!"  He reached down around his thighs and tore the small vines, cutting his hands in the process, but continued to ascend up the thing nevertheless.  "I … I ever tell you about the time I was swallowed by this fish?" added Link, trying to keep his son aware and at ease, despite the flesh being ripped from his palms, belly, and chest as he went upwards.  Junior didn't respond, so astonished by this display of will.  "Anyway … I … think I just ripped open one of my balls," Link said, biting his lower lip until even blood sprayed from that wound, but still he kept on, a parent's determination making him seemingly indestructible in, if nothing else, will power.

He'd made it only fifty or so feet, but already Link's front was little more than mangled skin and blood.  The vines had seemingly ended their torment on his son and focused their attack on him, but to Junior's amazement, his father never screamed.  He kept babbling on, telling stories and jokes, and somehow closing the gap between them.  The boy kept pleading with his dad to make him give up, save himself, or do anything but keep climbing this death heap.  Link just laughed, though.

"I may be a god, but your mother would put both feet in my ass if I left you here," he said through his teeth, a vine striking him hard across the face and leaving a cut that stretched from cheek to cheek across the bridge of his nose.

Junior openly cried, begging for his father to let him go, but Link kept on.  He felt his father's fingertips against his boots, and Junior began to struggle against the vine if for nothing else but to get his father away from the damn things.  Several vines then twisted themselves together and plunged back into the boy's gut, causing him to go stiff with pain and scream until his voice went into an animalistic howl.  The vines were fighting Link that much harder now, but for every tendril they sent, he seemed to rip off three and move up another foot and a half.  He grabbed his son's boot and, as painful as it was to do, he used the space between his son's feet and the vines to pull himself up the kid's body.

With that last bit of strength, Link jammed his bare hand against the twisting vine group, endured the thorns, and slowly, surely, wrenched it from his son's stomach.

"Let him go!" he screamed, wrapping his left arm around his son and pushing off of two particularly thick, stationary vines and ripping countless smaller ones, only to plunge back towards the ground.  "Hold on, son," Link whispered, almost unconscious from the properties of his son's world, merely enjoying the freefall before the splat.

It wasn't that easy, though.  The entire mound of vines twisted into one enormous spike, before arching forward and following them toward the ground.  Link attempted to call his godhood, but the connection was severed and the vine collective only gained on them.  He threw his weight into a roll, figuring it best to take the shot instead of his son, and felt the sting.  Bit by bit, the vine was tearing at him, but as Link steeled his jaw for impaling … his son emulated him and rolled so as to have the vine at his back.  They hit the ground less than a second later and his son screamed before all went light for Link.  His last image was his son's screaming face as the tower of vines bore into him.