Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Love Sucks ( Chapter 4 )

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

Chapter Four

You know, I never really gave it much thought, but it must look awfully strange seeing a 25-year-old man living amongst a forest of children. What can I say in my defense? I've never known anything else. Ruto made me a few offers to stay in the Zora Domain, but I humbly declined. And now that I really think about it, not one place in this whole country fits my perfect requisite for comfortable living. Even though I've lived in this forest for the majority of my life, I'm not really comfortable here. Ah, screw it. I'm not going to sleep. Hell, I've been laying here racking my brain for the last few hours trying to figure out how I could have kept Zelda.

Then there's the whole thing about where I'll go once I leave this place.

I sigh, sitting up in my bed. I place my feet on the floor, as perspective seems to be best gained like that. This just isn't fair. I did all the hellish work-four fucking times-and Mr. Blonde there just gets my girlfriend? "Fuck," I find myself saying, though it sounded more like a grunt than an actual word. A slight breeze blows through my quarters, leaving in its wake one of my own golden blonde tresses in my eyes. "My hair is just as blonde as his," I mutter, knowing full well that she didn't dump my ass over hair.

Why did she break my heart and salt it, you ask? I don't think I'm ready to talk about… No. You know what? I might as well talk about it, seeing as how sleep is out of the picture. And who sleeps in the daytime anyway?

Zelda and I were around 21 when things began to fall apart. Okay, let me tell the truth. She was around 21. My birthday was just the birth date of some kid that'd been kidnapped, which just happened to be Zelda's birthday as well. That's beside the point, though. Anyway, for about three months, Zelda had been traveling to neighboring countries discussing whatever it is royalty discusses. We barely had time to see each other, but the time we did manage to spend together was wonderful. I had the day of her scheduled arrival etched into my brain, because she wouldn't have to leave again unless a crisis came up.

Enter me, the weird fairy man.

I'm decked out in my best white tunic, new boots, and a freshly hand-picked bouquet of Hylian Roses-the little red and white kind that she adored. I rode Epona hard to arrive at the castle before she did that day, heart all jumpy with anticipation. I had been so obsessed with her since we first met so many years ago that I still had to pinch myself to be sure we were a couple. As I was saying, I had made my way passed the usual crowd, acknowledging the people who thought of me as a Hero. Heh, if they only knew. I would have traded in each and every last one of their lives to be with Zelda. A little extreme, but it was the way I felt about her. The guards all greeted me, seeing as I was a regular, before I eventually came to rest in front of the closed off castle. Shortly after arriving, I heard the wheels of her stagecoach and the heavy hooves of the royal steeds trotting along, and I was more euphoric than excited.

The goddesses don't hate me, I thought with a relieved little smile.

I mean, come on, Zelda was exactly what I wanted and nothing was getting in the way. Well, nothing got in the way until that damn carriage stopped. I sometimes wonder if the goddesses aren't actually the Gerudo. But they hate all men, minus when they need to re-spawn, and the goddesses just seem to hate me. Her driver opened the door, and I'm standing there smiling from ear to… hell, the smile just coasted on endlessly.

"Hi, Zel," I must've chirped. Me, chirp… yeah, I chirped. "How was the trip?" I basically squealed this time, losing all self-control to resist hugging her at this point.

Okay, now here's the slight jab.

Zelda almost pushes me down to get my arms off her. I reflexively raised the flowers, which she ignores. That was a hook to the ribs.

I've apparently screwed up somewhere in my greeting, I thought, checking to make sure I wasn't erect or anything. Hey, she had that effect on me. Nope, wasn't hard, though. I checked to make sure I didn't smell, nope. I still smelled of the flowery soap the Kokiri made.

Since I couldn't find anything wrong with me, I decided to ask her. "Uh Zelda, did I do something wrong?" And believe me if I had, it wasn't going to be repeated ever again. Still, Zelda ignored me and my comment completely, as she tried to help the elderly driver with her luggage. "D'oh!" I slapped myself in the forehead. Some loving boyfriend, I thought of my stupidity. Stand around and let her and the old man struggle with the heavy bags, idiot. I made my way around to the opposite side of the carriage to get the remainder of what was left, trying to make up for something that wasn't even the problem.

"Here let me get that…" Zelda pushed my hands away without a word, and that ranks in at a punch in the mouth. I was noticeably confused, but I was also noticing that she wouldn't look at me.

"Link, will you please just go?" she suddenly told me. "I'll see you tomorrow… maybe." Her eyes momentarily caught mine, a vacant look of sadness present, as she attempted to push passed me. I wasn't about to let her be sad over something I did or sad at all, so I had to intervene.

"Is something wrong?" I asked. "Did another one of those diplomatic twits do something to you?" Remembering a tale of one individual who grabbed one of her breasts claiming that "they softened his fall," I found myself growing upset. Heh, you do understand that I didn't like causing her pain. More than that, I simply loathed the bastard, man, woman, child, monster, or whatever that caused her unnecessary pain. It took me a clear three hours to calm down about the breast incident… Okay, so not calm down. It was more like it took me three hours to plot the moron's death.

Ugh, he was some moron that Hyrule was supposed to sign a peace treaty with and he had the gall to show his face at the signing. Alright, so no one else could sign the treaty since he was king. Still, you don't grope the woman I love and show your fat face when I'm around. Fast forward to the banquet after the treaty is signed, I left Zelda in search of liquids, and then I come back to see the fat bastard making idle chitchat while stuffing his face with a roll.

"Glad to see 'they' aren't the only round things Hyrule has to offer." I made it to them just as that little comment left his food-filled face. Normally, one would wait to get the full story, but his pinky moved back and forth indicating her chest. And then, well, the drinks hit the floor and my hand hit him. He let out a strangled cry for his soldiers, but the band was playing, and my knuckles were in his mouth too deeply for him to try again.

I was still beating the man senseless, before I noticed one of the party goers telling a few of the guards. As they neared me, I looked up from my punching and their eyes diverted elsewhere, obviously afraid of me.

"Link, stop," Zelda seemed to command over top the music. Like the obedient slave I am, I didn't take another swing.

I did, however, manage to lean in and whisper into his ear, "If I even hear you so much as think about touching her, I'll kill you."

He coughed up some blood before passing completely out. Zelda later confessed that she let me hit him for so long because she wanted to make sure he got the point. Bastard probably fears breasts now, not like I care. Now, where was I? Oh yeah.

Zelda had verbally hit me just as hard as I hit that king, which should have clued me in to our problems. No matter what she asked me, I almost immediately fell open revealing myself to her. Where as she could just clam up or tell me to forget about it, and I would without further mentioning of it.

"Nothing's wrong at all," she went on to tell me. "I'm just a little tired and cranky from the ride back. We'll talk tomorrow." Oh, she lied. She lied good. I watched her walk into the castle, ignoring that feeling in my gut that told me something bad had happened. I could tell something wasn't right. But she said it wasn't anything, so I completely bought it.

I walked back to the tree where I'd tied Epona, and mounted her. I turned to go down the trail when I saw the carriage driver intently staring at me. He slowly shook his head back and forth, as if to say, "Poor fool."

(If I knew then, what I know now.)

The ride back to Kokiri was a short one, which was the only short thing about that day. I stayed inside afterwards, waiting for the next day to appear with a growing trepidation. I had to know what was wrong with her and I had to fix it. After a small eternity, the next day arrived, and I flew out of my tree house. I ran break neck for the exit to the forest, wishing desperately that I could fly to the castle. A quick song for Epona, and I was on my way.

Heh, I completely forgot about warping to the Temple of Time, I was so addled. By the time me and Epona got there, which was record, the damn gate wasn't opened yet. With a little help from my Longshot, that wasn't a problem. Now, from there I went to the castle. And of course one of her servants had to stop me.

"Her highness will be down shortly," he told me.

That "shortly" thing turned out to be four hours later, not that Loyal Slave Link minded. I just walked from the Castle to Gerudo Valley about three times in the main hall waiting for her.

"The queen will see you now," the little man said. I literally ran him over trying to get up to her door. Once I made it, though, I hesitated. That feeling was thick this time, and I could sense things weren't going to get better right away. If you noticed, they never did get better.

"Link, have a seat," Zelda began, staring out of her window. What do you think I did? Anyway here comes the verbal murder. "Link, I met someone else," she soon says, speaking so softly that I actually had half an excuse to pretend she said something else.

"And," I replied, exposing my true bent for her all in one moment. It was probably more denial than bent, but it doesn't matter.

"We slept together," Zelda continued, this time turning to face me. "I'm sorry but…" she started to break down, which sent me into console mode. I immediately shot off the bed to hold her, not letting her finish just yet.

"Look, we all make mistakes." I felt funny saying anything she did was wrong or a mistake, but I said it anyway. "It's all right. You had to do something since I wasn't around. We can work through this."

It was the truth, sadly. Zelda could have slept with anyone she wanted to, just as long as she came back to me in the end. Now, how pitiful is that? Let me just say Zelda has always been the most blunt, straight-forward person that I've known. However, I would have gladly killed if she could've said her next words a little kinder.

"No, we can't," she sobbed. "I didn't just sleep with him because I was bored. I did it because I feel things for him." Her words slowly trailed and my heart was starting to beat like a drum.

I kept spinning shit, though. All I had to do was patch this, and put a patch on that, and Zelda would've been mine.

"I think it's only natural you'd feel something for him," I said, completely ignoring her bewildered expression. "Being intimate with someone tends to form a sort of bond between the people." My voice slightly cracked in face of what I knew was going to come, but I covered it with a cough.

Trying to make me understand what I didn't want to, Zelda said, "It isn't like that. I feel the same things about him that I feel for you…" and the axe fell across my neck in her next words "…just stronger."

My heart was beating so fast at that point, my eyes were shaking in synch with its pounding. Now, I could have contested (again) that she only felt like that because of the sex, or maybe the loneliness. But, when the person you love more than air tells you that they love someone else, it kind of dulls the thinking process.

Her hands slowly unfastened mine from behind her back before she told me, "I don't think we can see each other anymore."

Zelda looked hurt, probably more so for me than herself, but I was thinking on par with a Stalchild at that point.

It was just like having worked for something your entire life, only to have it get crushed in the blinking of an eye. No, that's exactly what it was. All of the work to reach the pinnacle, and it just collapsed all around me. I don't know how long I stared at her or, more accurately, through her. I just couldn't form words. Nothing came to mind other than pain. You could've called for a necromancer to summon Ganondorf back to life, then given him a poker and let him stab me, and it wouldn't have fazed me at that moment. Can't see Zelda? It doesn't add up-it's like someone trying to tell you that two and two is five. My life without Zelda was supposed to be a mathematical impossibility, goddamn it! I digress, though.

"Link, you know I'll love you always, right?" Zelda asked, that weird tone of hopefulness in her voice bringing some life back into my hallowed shell. "I, we, just can't be together anymore. Can we at least be friends?"

I was dead on my feet, yet her words sparked some life fire within me. It had been my intention to just run away when she told me it was over. Seeing Zelda cry, though, I couldn't simply say, "No. You've hurt me too deeply to even continue being friends." I'll let you all guess what my response was. I hadn't tortured myself enough by agreeing to this request, no! So I had her tell me about him. The way her mood seemed to just completely pick up talking about Arthur made me feel better. Then I realized that she was talking about the man she loved and that wasn't me anymore, then I felt sick. Later on, I kept my word, coming back to the castle like I did when we were together, talking, joking and such… always expecting to see him eventually.

One plus was that our lovely King Arthur had duties to attend to in his own country, so he rarely visited. Once I became fully aware of his lack of presence, I became almost obsessed with trying anything to sway Zelda's favor back to me. If he can't let his kingdom crumble, he didn't deserve her, was my way of thinking.

Too bad Zelda was as loyal to him as I was to her.

If I accidentally brushed up against her it was, "You know we can't be friendly like that." or "You know I'm involved."

For two years this continued until, eventually, Arthur proposed. With the proposal, Hyrule and Sermonia were to be unified under one crown. And under that one crown meant one castle, and one castle meant you-know-who was moving in. Apparently, the day I arrived and found them kissing was the day that Arthur had proposed. It was actually a matter of minutes after the deed. Instead of wasting eternity trapped in a never-ending circle of battle, I get what I want, not only that, but I get it for five years, and then I get squat. I'm guessing the Goddess Trio is laughing hysterically about all this right now.

Back to happier issues, though.

I was saying something about the whole Nabooru situation, wasn't I? I mean before this whole Zelda thing resurfaced.

I came back into the main corridor of the colossus and found Nabooru awake. Not only was she awake, but she was holding my sword.

Damn! My shield, I thought, as I looked beside her on the floor and saw it sitting there.

I wasn't helpless without my weapons, but I may as well have been with my sword in her hands.

"You've missed your opportunity," Nabooru said coldly, but shakily.

She lifted the sword in a battle stance, but she suddenly swayed. Nabooru stumbled back, then forward before dropping to her knees. I ran forward to catch her once I saw she would continue to fall, her blood loss had obviously caught up with her.

"Easy, you've lost a lot of blood," I told her softly. This only seemed to motivate her into fighting me, albeit very weakly.

"Let me go!" she shouted loud enough to echo.

"No," I replied, thinking she'd try to run and end up killing herself. Apparently that wasn't good enough, seeing as how Nabooru tried to punch me. Now, I may have been lacking my physique, but I was in no way weak. I caught her fist and pushed her back against the floor. "Will you stop struggling?" I pinned her other hand to the floor, plus I had her legs under me so I figured I was safe from them.

I guess my strength compared to hers was frightening, because she began to cry.

"Please don't kill me," she begged in a voice brimming with pride, yet acknowledged defeat.

"What?" I didn't say it to make her lower herself again; I just didn't believe she said it at all.

"I said…" she started, but her voice cracked.

"Don't worry I'm not going to kill you." Yeah, that was a real convincing thing to say while sitting on top of someone and holding them that prone. Nabooru held true to her convictions, but tried to be proud even through it all. "Look, even if you don't believe me that's the truth. I don't tend to play nursemaid to people I plan on killing." I got off her to prove my point, and I honestly hoped she wouldn't try to fight anymore.

Nabooru, instead, scooted away from me, still looking at me like a frightened child.

"If you aren't going to kill me, what are you going to do to me?" Geez, even in cowering she sounded proud. Not that I minded, I was, in fact, kind of glad that she believed in me enough not to lose her pride.

"I'm not going to do anything to you other than…" I walked back to the clay pot and dipped my shredded hat in.

"Other than what," Nabooru asked. Her tone was slipping into fear, which was not a good thing. I stooped in front of her, ever cautious this was a trap, and placed the cloth on the bump on her head.

"Just keep pressure on it," I told her. "That way it'll stay closed and won't get infected." I flashed my best smile and backed off.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get these gauntlets and kill your dear king before he gets any stronger." I collected my fallen items then, before Nabooru began to laugh.

"You're going to kill Ganondorf?" Her cold laughter filled the isolated place like an omnipresent being. It wasn't an annoying laugh, but it was verging on terrifying with the echo.

"Why not? I've killed him three times already." I heard her laughter die down with that comment. "I also know you're planning on using the gauntlets to kill him yourself. I was supposed to get them for you earlier, but they sort of slipped my mind." Granted, I probably shouldn't have told her all that. On the other hand, she may not have been a sage in this timeline so it was more of a test.

"How do you know that?" Nabooru asked, seeing less and less humor in the situation now. "Ganondorf knows, doesn't he? That's why he sent you! He sent you to kill me!"

Great, now she was panicking.

I snorted at her ignorant notion. "You couldn't pay me enough to work for him. While I wasn't sent to kill you, there are two people-if you can even call them that-on their way to get you." Technically, they were already supposed to have her, but obviously they didn't if I was talking to her.

"How do you know all this?" she asked, standing up and inching more into the light.

"You ever hear of someone called the Hero of Time?" I asked turning to face her now.

She looked at me for a long while with her eyes narrowed in concentration. "You… but that's just a legend." Obviously the scrawny kid in front of her didn't make the legend look all the more real.

"I'm the one." I took off one of my gloves to show her the Triforce symbol on the back of my hand. A side note: It hurts like hell to have this thing embed itself in you while you're awake. Ganondorf apparently touched the old Triforce again causing pieces of it to fuse with us all.

"But you're just a boy…" I fixed my eyes on her almost threateningly when she said those words. After everything that I'd been through, the term "boy" could no longer be bestowed upon me. I hadn't been a "boy" in 31 years. (That is, if you count my four seven-year naps, plus the three years I'd spent awake at the time, and don't count the four terms of living ten normal years. I didn't count them because I was technically sent back to the day this whole ordeal began.)

"I'm not a boy," I said slowly. "I may have been sleep for a good chunk of the time I've been through these scenarios, but in the time I was awake, I've seen more than men have who are twice my age." It was kind of shocking, but my voice sounded like it does now when I said that. The nice even bass was a welcomed relief, because I'm sure she would have laughed herself to sleep at my little speech if it hadn't.

"You're really him?"

Did I not just tell her who I was?

"Yes," I said, quickly refocusing my attention on how to bring my supplies through that crawlspace. Now, we had just tried to kill each other-okay, so she had just tried to kill me-but when she came over and hugged me, I was at a loss.

"Don't just sit there," Nabooru told me, "let's get those things so we can kill that bastard!" She stumbled to her feet, cluing me in to her prior head injury.

"There is no 'we' in this," I informed her. "I have to do this."

Maybe it would have been easier if I let her go along, but who knew the consequences of allowing a sage to die? Not me, so she wasn't going.

"Save your stupid male superiority," she replied with a surprising ferocity. "I am just as capable, if not more so, than you!"

Great, we're back in squabbles.

"True, but you're also a sage," she scoffed at the notion. "So, if you get killed in all of this that means… well, I don't know what it means, but it could screw things up." Now, if she wasn't a sage, I still wouldn't have wanted her to come along. I still don't know why, though.

Nabooru was quick to reply, "I am no sage."

"On the contrary, madam, you are." We both looked into the doorway hearing the unmistakable voice of Kaepora Gaebora.

"Look, I've told you for the last time, I'm not going back or forward or whatever. I'm doing this my way." I just had to make sure he got it and wasn't going to start babbling at me again.

"Who… What is that?" Nabooru asked, looking at the large owl in a margin of fear and wonderment. Her nails were digging into my arm as he walked up the stairs towards us; I ignored the sting and answered her.

"You ever hear of an old sage named Kaepora Gaebora?" I asked, to which Nabooru nodded. "Well, that's him… or part of him."

"With the formalities out of the way," Kaepora did the head thing, "I didn't come to persuade you. I've come to help you."

Finally, the day had some good news.

I began to give instructions then. "Good, then you can take her to Death Mountain." They both looked at me incredulously, which sparked me to clarify. "I'll tell you the rest later." They must have thought I was drunk off something or other, because neither made a move until Nabooru said, "Do you think you can just order me around?" Strong will was slowly turning into an annoying attempt to challenge me at every turn.

"Do you want to live? Yes or no?" I asked with slight attitude in voice.

"Yes," she replied after a few moments, looking more frustrated with herself than anything.

"Then go to Death Mountain and wait for me there." I sighed, realizing that the Goron would surely stop them. "If a Goron stops you, tell him 'Brother Link' sent you and to get everyone inside."

Eventually, Nabooru nodded. Of course, now Kaepora had to get in on the piss-and-moan boat.

"What do I look like, your personal air craft?"

"You said that you wanted to help, well this is how you can. Get every sage you can find to Death Mountain," I shouted, losing my temper for the first time. "They're all going on a little trip."

The owl looked at me and sighed, well more like hooted his resignation. I walked them back into the desert, hoping my plan would work.

"Well woman? Are you going to climb on? Or do you prefer that I snatch you up like a fish?" Kaepora asked, looking down at her. Nabooru looked back at me for encouragement, I guess, so I nodded my agreement and she got on his back with no argument. After seeing them off, I turned to go back into the colossus as this was going to be a long night.

Anyway, I think it's time that I started packing for my little exodus. I'll finish up later on tonight if you're still willing to listen.