Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ The New King of Evil Pt. 03: A Hero's Renaissance ( Chapter 13 )

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

Chapter Thirteen

In an abyss of darkness, a lone figure floats in the infinite shadow. He remains quiet as he remembers the events of times passed.

"So this is the big death?" he asks, listening to the sound of his echo. "I get to spend the rest of eternity alone in the dark? It figures."

Link let out a long sigh before shutting his eyes. Dying like that warranted a second look. All the lights, insides burning, and even more light-he had to admit that was an over the top way to go. Nabooru's face still loomed, though. She looked so scared that it made his chest ache. Even in death, there's still pain, he thought scornfully.

"Link, open your eyes," a soothing voice called out to him, causing him to peer around in the dark for the source.

"Now I'm hearing shit," he mumbled, "great."

Keeping his eyes closed, he dismissed the voice as the beginning of lonely insanity. One would have to wonder, though, how he remained so calm in a world with not a speck of light. From the dark, a hand enshrouded in an eerie red light extended toward his face, gently stroking it to reassure him that this was no dream or insanity.

"Nabooru," he whispered, voice quaking with etchings of hope and of fear, fear that this wasn't all a sick joke.

Steeling his nerves, he opened his eyes to the image of a woman with red hair, but his vision was slightly blurred as tears somehow found their way into his eyes. With clear eyes, he'd be able to tell that her hair wasn't red, but, in fact, was enshrouded with the same red glow as her hand.

"Nabooru," he sighed with relief, extending his hand towards the woman's face. "Warm, it's actually warm!"

Her face seemed to flare a deeper shade of red, and Link's hand was decidedly burned. He snatched his hand away quickly, shuffling around to get the tears out of his eyes, which instinctively expanded as he looked at the woman… who appeared to be made of gold and enclosed in flames now.

"Who are you?" he near demanded, slowly getting his body into an upright floating position.

"It's not who I am," she retorted with a voice that seemed to come from everywhere but her mouth. "It's what I am. And I am Din."

Link's eyes nearly came out of his sockets they were so wide. This couldn't be one of the big three. Heh, and there he was with no sword…

"Is this about all the jokes?" he asked bluntly, as his feet lowered to solid ground.

"Jokes," Din replied wryly.

"You sounded pretty serious to me, how about you sister?" a new voice added, this one more melodic and not so underlined in sarcasm.

Link spun to his right to find another woman wrapped in intense flames… green flames. This was the goddess Farore, Link grimly realized.

"I have to agree," one more voice stated from the darkness. "I missed the joke completely."

He weakly turned to face that voice, slightly unnerved in being surrounded by the surprisingly tall goddesses. The goddess Nayru had an aura, much like her sisters', only the color of the sky.

"Oh, I get it!" Link suddenly shouted, laughing at how naïve he was being. "I'm in my own personal Hell, right? I've got spend eternity being brutally assaulted by you three. Can't say I'm really surprised," he shrugged, cracking his neck back and forth. "Well, give it your best shot, ladies." He may be tortured, but they wouldn't do so without a decent fight on their hands.

The lunacy marring his actions slightly confused his supposed tormentors.

"Actually, we're here to guide you," Din stated with little feeling, as the intensity of her glow faded to a dull outline around her skin.

"Guide me where, exactly?" Link asked, tapping into his hatred for the Goddesses even in the face of these illusions. Just the idea of them guiding him anywhere was enough to fuel a thousand fires. "You've guided me clear on into death. Where else can you send me?"

"There's a battle in the near future, Link," Farore said, noticing her sister's mood beginning to grow foul. "It's a battle that you must fight."

Link turned around to face her. If the idea of being led by them angered him, the idea of fighting for them made his blood boil-and that was written in the puckered lines of his face.

"Heh, you know I've served under you three loons for what now, almost 70 years? Or do we only count the years that time didn't rewind?" He walked in between Farore and Din, which allowed none of them to stay behind him. The Goddesses merely fanned out before him shoulder to shoulder, patiently watching him pace about. "I never asked any questions, I never whined, I just did. And now you three psychos are actually going to make me fight in death? No, you aren't. You want amusement? There are three of you, so you fight-goats, chickens, or yourselves because it doesn't matter to me. As of now, I'm done."

Upon finishing his last word, Link waved over his shoulder to the Goddesses and walked off into the darkness… like it would be that easy.

"You act like you have a choice in the matter!" The goddess Din shouted, suddenly appearing in front of him, and proving that it wouldn't be that easy.

"Is this the part where I get scared of the big, bad ghost?" Link sarcastically asked, snorting as he simply walked around the glowing (and fuming) figment of his hell.

"Actually sister, he does have a choice," Farore said genially, taking up position next to her enraged sibling.

"I always figured you for the sensible one," he said, turning around to give that goddess's avatar a little bow. "Thank you."

Din's glow grew brighter as tiny flames sparked from her nostrils.

"Of course, your choices are the ones that we give you," Nayru stated before warping into place in front of him.

He was surrounded again, unfortunately. Link looked at the three with eyes that seemed to say: "Why am I not surprised?"

"Well, what are my choices then? Let me guess, wash Ganondorf's feet for a few years? Even better, I'll have to be his best friend!" Link squealed with a child's enthusiasm, but a man's cynicism.

"You ungrateful little..." Din gritted her teeth, as Link interrupted her with more disrespect than she'd ever known in her fathomless eons.

"Ungrateful," he said with an air of confusion, and a benign laughter that masked his true feelings. "What the hell do I have to be grateful for? Could it be the girlfriend that just watched me cook in front of her? Or how about having anyone at all? That's really the only thing I've ever seriously asked for from you three-a girlfriend-and, admittedly, you gave me two. Of course, you took them away from me as cruelly as possible each time.

So, maybe I should be grateful for that. Or maybe, just maybe, I should be grateful about never knowing an ounce of my family, as I'm sure was probably preordained for whatever reason. After all, what good is a hero with a reason to get up besides the ones laid out before him by the higher powers? Silly me, I thought it was all just a sick game to see how much a guy could take."

There was a long moment of motionless silence, as perhaps the Goddesses may have felt a semblance of guilt about the life they'd laid out before him. The only problem was that a vein of hatred ran so deep within the hero that he didn't even care about how they took it.

"Let's just get down to it." Link, still dressed in the same clothes that he'd died in, began to tighten the straps on his gauntlets. "You don't care, so I'll make sure not to care either." His eyes narrowed at the glowing women, a look of disrespectful malice that was undeniable.

"What if I tell you that she'll die if you don't succeed?" Din spoke quietly, a sinister meaning curling her frown into a shrewd smile, as a small viewing pool appeared in front of Link.

Inside this pool was an image of Nabooru. She was crying, curled up in a ball in the middle of their bed, holding one of his tunics. That pain in his heart was renewed, leaving him in a very difficult position. It wasn't really a position as much as it was a death sentence for someone. Nabooru had already endured enough pain at his hands, and he'd be damned if she suffered anymore.

"While my sister lacks any form of tact, she is right. The young woman will die, as will everything else, if you choose to leave this task undone." Farore cast the scene away, leaving only the subtle glow from her body and her sisters' lighting the area.

"If I do this, will she be left in peace?" It was a simple question. Although, for some reason, he felt that it was too broad. "I mean the state of peace, not pieces."

"You have my word… our word that she'll never see a day of harm ever again," Nayru assured him, bestowing a look of what could be construed as sincerity on any other creature's face. Of course, on the face of a goddess this merely meant Link had to go along with it and hope for the best.

"So, who am I killing today?" The sisters all arched their eyebrows. He sounded confident, maybe a little too confident.

"It isn't that simple," Din saw fit to inform him, which only garnered another spiteful gaze.

"It is that simple," Link replied with no flash and no venom. "It's the same as it always is-I kill the big evil thing or the big evil thing kills everybody. And since I have a stake in this, this scenario will end like all the others. I'll win, you'll fuck me over in some twist, and then it'll repeat." He shrugged, seemingly resigning himself to his mediocre fate. "Anyway, who's going to tell me the epic story that foreshadows impending doom? Or is this going to be one of those learn as I go things, kinda like Majora's Mask?"

Farore, in her wisdom, decided to be the bearer of that foreshadowing story. "Strange you would mention Majora," she laughed, which disturbed the elven swordsman. "But more important than him is your family… or lack thereof."

Din then added, "Your mother and father were like us." Unreadable Link's face remained, as what the goddess said didn't seem to click. Faced with what she was saying, even Din couldn't much fault his indifferent reaction to her story. Still, she continued by saying: "Your mother, our sister, Esmerelda was one of the kindest of all the gods and goddesses, always spending time on the mortal plane helping them in some way or another. The only problem with her came when she fell in love with a warrior deity by the name of Link."

"She's joking, right?" Link turned to Farore and then Nayru when the former gave him nil a reaction. Their faces remained straight, unsettling his stomach and perhaps his tenuous grasp on this new reality.

"They were inseparable for the most part," Din continued. "His power was only dwarfed in comparison to Fate and Destiny, and her kindness was only dwarfed by her devotion to that monster!" For the first time, Din's temper erupted during the tale, as the mere memory of him made her stomach boil.

"For countless years, he got his jollies out of wreaking havoc on mortals, traipsing about into other gods' territory without a care in the world." Nayru herself seemed to carry some spite toward him, but she quickly realigned her temper when she next spoke. "I couldn't stand the arrogant prick, but your mother wished to believe that Link could be changed.

All it took was a thousand years of coddling that overgrown baby, but she finally got him to ease off on the infantile mortal realm. Like any other spoiled child, there would ultimately be that one thing he wouldn't do or change about himself, and that was his power. If any god came about that looked to eclipse your father's power, he'd get rid of them. Man, woman, child, animal-it didn't matter. And it only got worse when he learned how to take their godhood and merge it with his own…" Nayru paused, as Link began openly laughing at the story.

"Right," he whistled, doubling over in childish giggles. "Wait, wait, so you're telling me that you three are my aunts and my parents were gods?" They nodded, as his mortal humor was somehow wasted on them, watching Link continue to laugh. "I'll bite. What's this lie about? I already agreed to the little task, so you don't have to give me a fake history." He looked up at the towering women, though somehow looked down at them in the same motion, almost as if they were fibbing children.

"I like to consider myself one of great patience, but if you ever call me a liar again…" Nayru's blue aura flared out, slightly stinging Link's skin, which reminded him of whom he was speaking. Still, that was hard enough to swallow, but the rest of their story was bordering on ridiculous.

"Sorry," he mumbled. "I thought gods were immune to death and all the problems of us common folk. So how the hell can you get killed?"

"We are immune to death's design unless in battle with another, stronger member of our kind. With that in mind, we can easily be extinguished. And in the case of your father, he seemed to revel in that little notion." Farore's answer seemed to appease his question, while simultaneously stamping out his little ideal.

"Then what happened to my mom and dad?" Link asked, noticing their expressions turn deadpan. It was unnerving how all three of them did that without the slightest reference to the other. "The Great Deku Tree said she was dead, what… killed her?" Even as he spoke, their expressions didn't change, which clued him in to one thing: She didn't die of natural causes.

"A few years ago," Din began, but suddenly stopped. She looked conflicted about something, Link noticed. "Esmerelda discovered she was pregnant. It may seem strange, but we are bound by that law in our realm as well. Anyhow, your father couldn't take the suspense and looked in to see if you were male or female. To his obnoxiously loud glee, he was going to have a son." Din stopped again, this time beginning to pace back and forth.

"Wait a second. I thought you all were like shapeless energy. How can energy be male or female?" It was just one of the many questions he had prepared to launch. The question, even by Link's own silent admission, sounded like a diversionary tactic-almost as if he knew where the story was going, but didn't want to hear it given a voice.

"Look, forget everything you think you know about us, because it's all wrong," Din's voice faded, as Farore took over.

"We're like Hylians-different species, different races, and two different sexes-in a sense. We can alter sex, gender, and so on, but we all start out as one or the other."

Nayru, on the legs of Farore's pause, finished by saying: "Our society isn't that much different from the one you live in. If it eases your mind, think of our society as the schematic for your own. Now, as Din was saying, your father was all shits and giggles about his baby boy."

"Yes, then his visions began," Din sighed, showing even more emotion as she tried several times to speak only to release a blank curse. "For the first few months of her pregnancy, he'd have these faceless visions of a god rising above him. Link traveled through endless dimensions and various times like a madman, always to find nothing of this phantom god. Esmerelda tried in vain to settle his agitation, telling him to focus on the child they were to have. But, like the dick he was, Link's apprehensiveness toward becoming second class made him look that much harder. About a week before you were born, he saw the face of his phantom god. It turns out the face in his dreams was his own." She laughed, but waved her hands and stepped away from her speaking duties.

No longer wearing the slighted smile, Link now looked like he was starting to believe them. Something about the way Din seemed to emote made him believe her. She seemed to wear more than sorrow, but perhaps a sense of guilt. Had she maybe given his mother an ill-fated warning that wasn't acknowledged? Link didn't know, but her anger toward his actions definitely lessened with every word about her sister.

"After all the effort, Link had simply been chasing his own tail… or so it seemed." Farore lowered her eyes to the floor, as the sorrowful memories appeared to be weighing on her as well.

Link stood on edge, waiting for any of them to finish the story. To his surprise, it was Din who fixed her emotional cracks and spoke.

"He calmed down to an extent, believing his dream was a sign of his absolute strength. Everything slowly went back to normal until you were born…" As was the forming habit, when one sister stopped, another started. This time it was Nayru who stepped forward.

"When you were born, Esmerelda was in Hyrule," the goddess said quietly. "Like any good wife, she called for the father. Naturally, you were to bear his name, but, unfortunately, you also bore his face. He didn't make the connection, at first. It wasn't until you began to cry that he got it. See, you summoned this monsoon-winds, rain, and the works. I know it doesn't sound impressive, but most gods don't start exhibiting powers for at least three or four years. But there you were, minutes out of the womb and already manipulating the weather. And next, I don't even like to think about next." The blue entity, by either intent or reaction, began to glow a bloody red.

"He tried to kill me, didn't he?" Link asked poignantly. As distant memories of the event came to him, the sisters knew they didn't have to confirm it for him.

"Esmerelda could've faired better had she made it to our home realm," Nayru sighed, "but his blow was substantial. It didn't even require that kind of power to kill an infant! He probably did it because he knew she'd get in the way. Lousy bastard…"

"She knew she'd lost too much energy for him to detect her," Din interjected, still reserved and sullen in voice. "But you were like a candle in a dark room to your father's eye. She took advantage of his surprised state, and got in a weak counterattack. In her last moments, Esmerelda stripped you of your burgeoning godhood. In body, this left you mortal. He couldn't track you then, but somehow she knew Link would be back. So, she decided to join your birthright with the Triforce in hopes you would one day be able to claim it."

"At her request, we enchanted the Triforce to test the purity of one's heart. If your father had manipulated you in any way, your heart would be as vile and poisonous as his own, which would cause the Triforce to self-destruct-killing you, and scattering both your power and its own in the process." Farore looked down at the tortured young man, watching his fists clench at his sides as he stared into the darkness beneath his feet.

Link's eyes met hers after a few more moments… that old hatred burned freshly within them again.

"If you know all this that means you could see what was going on!" He breathed heavily, nearly panting with rage, as the goddesses exchanged pained looks between themselves. It only infuriated him more when they didn't respond, but just looked. "Why didn't you help her?" His question loomed almost as thick as the darkness that surrounded them, and it demanded to be answered.

"Understand," Nayru said calmly, "what you perceive as unending power is nothing when compared with deities on his level. Your father is a warrior god…"

"What does that have to do with anything?" Link shouted. The confusion… the hurt… and even the guilt radiated off of him in sickening degrees they all noticed.

Nayru shook her head, but tried to answer him as best she could. "Gods of War: they're durable, they're strong, and those of his caliber are infallible against anyone less than themselves. Try to understand, we're but mere nature goddesses. In the grand scheme, we would play the roles of lords in your world. We own expanses of land, have power in the community, but we're still underlings. For us to challenge your father in one-on-one confrontation would be like the Skulltula Family and their servants marching into war against the crown of Hyrule. We would've been as helpless there as we were here, Link."

It frustrated him, but Link could see her point.

"Well, we weren't totally helpless here," Farore said as if she were remembering something suddenly. Link opened his mouth to ask the obvious, yet silenced when Din began to speak.

"He came back to this realm expecting to force your mother into telling him where she hid you," the red goddess said, smirking for some reason. "The ignorant fool didn't even realize he'd killed her! And when we told him what he'd done, Link blamed you." She shook her head woefully, but kept smiling that sly little smile. "'If the boy was never born none of this would've happened!'; 'If the boy didn't try to be better than me, Esmerelda would be alive!' On and on he went with the delusions.

As if it couldn't get any worse, Link and his little henchman Majora began to rampage like never before. From Hyrule to Babylon, they tore up eons of work in a matter of hours! This is where we come in, though. While single-handedly we were weak against him, together we were enough to seal him and Majora away." Din stopped, crestfallen as the bleak reality of that solution came back to her.

Across from her, Link began to process where the story went from there, and then it hit him.

"Masks-you put them in the masks!" His eyes bulged as they nodded. How could goddesses be so stupid? The thought didn't even fully mature before his mouth started moving. "Why didn't you destroy the damn masks after that?" Link asked, unable to comprehend such weak battle strategy.

"You say that like we didn't try!" Farore said, raising her voice in a cross show of disgust. "Can you break a diamond the size of a Goron with your bare hands? No! Can you break the same diamond once it's been chipped into smaller shards? No!" Again, Link had to yield to that simple logic. And once it became clear that his fury was in line, Farore calmed down and spoke once more. "It took almost everything we had to seal those two away, Link. In the end, we only had enough energy to scatter the masks across the globe. Without a malevolent host, they would've been trapped for awhile. But thanks to Skull Kid, things are, as you would say, royally fucked up."

Nayru then added: "By him wearing that mask, he was able to awaken Majora, who was powerful in his own right, but not strong enough to fully free himself from the spell. Your killing him was expected, but the fact he had come into possession of your father's mask wasn't foreseen at all. Furthermore, Majora's giving your father's mask to you was certifying his own death, but it also lent your father a sizeable amount of your life force, which helped weaken our spell." Nayru paused, suddenly giving her sisters an inside look that Link caught.

Link thought about it all, and it only added up one way. He chuckled, drawing their attention back unto himself. "Can I take a guess on what I'm going to have to fight?" The tone was flippant, almost mocking in a sense. The expression on his face, however, showed that the severity of the situation was fully comprehended. "I'm used to you all stacking the deck against me, but this is ridiculous. If you can't beat him, I'm dead, a supposed fallen god… are you seeing my point?"

"We're seeing your point, but the question is will you do it?" Farore asked with a sound reminiscent of pleading.

"Do it with what? I'm dead!" Link shouted. "And even if I was alive, this isn't Ganondorf or molten-lava bred dragons, we're talking god versus Hylian…"

"Not exactly," Din interrupted. "There is a way…"

"Yeah, you said Fate and Destiny were stronger than him," Link noted, suddenly feeling a lot less tense. "Why don't you call them in and let them put an end to this mess?"

"They tend to stay out of the petty matters," Farore said with a little shrug, which left Link's jaw dangling between his chest and stomach.

"What the hell is petty about this?"

"Like I said, in the grand scheme…" Nayru found her voice silenced, as her nephew blew another steam coil.

"To hell with a grand scheme," Link nearly spat at the goddess. "We're talking about the here and now! How can one of you be allowed to grow that powerful without anyone saying something, especially when he kills people at random?"

This question was met with more glares and flaming auras before Nayru finally spoke up. "We aren't perfect! In the time we've been alive, he's been the only psychopath to come into existence. Fate and Destiny don't intervene to solve all of our problems, just as we don't intervene to solve all of yours. Think of your father as the Mido of the gods, except his Saria safety feature has been destroyed."

While her voice sounded calm, the volume of it rocked Link's entire body back and forth like a localized earthquake.

"Enough with the shaking, I'll do it." Link found himself shaking his head, highly anticipating seeing Nabooru in the flesh again. Of course, she'd probably be killed shortly thereafter. Ugh, the thought alone made his head hurt. "I don't know what the hell I'll do, but I guess it'll be something like dropping dead because I'm fighting a fucking god!"

"Chances are your father's been alerted to your power in Hyrule from your little explosion," Farore said near jovially. "He'll probably be looking for you, but only after freeing himself from that mask. In the meantime, enjoy being among the living again, Link."

He frowned… frowned deeply.

"Enjoy life?" he asked as though it was a foreign concept. "Right, I'm coming back to life to be slaughtered by my father, who kills gods like bugs, and who's going to kill us all. Yeah, I'll enjoy all three minutes of it." There was enough sarcasm there to drown a small city, the goddesses noticed. Instead of jabbing back, his aunts materialized a door in front of him.

"Walk through the door," Din instructed him, like it was that big of a task. Link merely mumbled under his breath, marching through the door. "I can't believe we forgot to tell him about the…"

Din's voice turned into a hollow silence within Link's ears, as the door shut behind him. He cursed, realizing that this door led to even more darkness. It was probably all an hallucination, he thought of the supposed goddesses and their story. It had to be a dream or something. There was no reason for him to be resurrected only to die again. Then again, if those were the Goddesses, wouldn't it fit their torturous little jokes to the letter-making him think he had a chance at peace, when there was only death and loneliness? Link didn't have a chance to explore this line of thought any further, as the dark suddenly turned to light, and a crippling pain rushed through his skull.

Ugh, how'd you find me? What's that? I never left? Didn't you see the Goddesses? Never mind, you wouldn't believe me if I told you. You'd think they'd at least leave me a candle. Darkness, miles and miles of darkness-isn't that great? What do you mean I'm stupid? Well, duh, of course I'm lying down. Yes, simpleton, I know that I'm… holding my sword? And is that my shield on top of me? Where'd that come from? Unless…

"They were…real." Oh, my god! The Goddesses… they were… I'm alive again! Ow, ow! Man, it feels like my head's in a vice. Geez, I was only dead for a few hours. Guess this is how the body reacts to resurrection. They're already laid me out for funeral proceedings, I suppose. That's nice, I'm not even gone for a full day and I'm all but buried and gone. Oh, well, there's no sense in lying around this place all day. Let's see if I can open my eyes without the burning now.

"I'm still in the Temple of Time," I whisper, staring into the mid-day glow from the high windows.

What do you mean "duh"? You're saying I've been here for how long? Right, I've been laying here for 6 weeks. Sure, I have. On the plus side, my headache is gone. On the question marked side, how did I get in these blackened silver gauntlets? I know I kind of erupted a little while ago, but enough to tarnish enchanted metal? And what's with the… white hair? When did I ever have white hair? And why can I see my hair without seeing my hair? This is freaking me out.

I need to stand up for a second. Tell me exactly what I have on, so I know I'm not going insane. Black tunic, with a dark silver undershirt, black tights, and the gauntlets I know about… what is it? Why are you staring at me like that? What's wrong with my face? I unsheathe my sword, as it's really the only thing around here that I can use to see my reflection. Is… is this me? I pull down the skin under my eyes, searching in vain to find color… any color! Why the hell do I look like my Fierce Deity self? This is not good!

"Like we said, you look exactly like your father." You heard her, right? Tell me you heard her! Okay, good. I'm not totally insane. "Check the Triforce on your hand."

"It's solid gold now," I reply to a voice I recognize as the goddess Din's. "Is this a big deal?"

"It's a very big deal, Link." Okay, that sounds like Farore. "What this all means is that you weren't influenced by your father's will while in possession of his mask. The Triforce only killed you because it felt the residual evil energy from him within you."

"And that means…"

"It means that your powers-your godhood-will require a little time to restore." I nearly swallow my tongue. No, they said I was born a god, but it was all a joke… right? It was a hallucination… it had to be. I can't be a god! I don't know how! "For all of our sakes, we hope your father was right about you. You have to be stronger than him, Link. You just have to be. Now, go find your mortal woman."

Farore makes it all sound so simple, doesn't she? What does she mean look for Nabooru… looking like this? I'm some kind of freak now! I've got to be at least 7 feet tall now, and my eyes… god, what will she say about my eyes?

"Are you insane?" I shout back to the goddess. "I can't let her see me like this! She'll probably think I'm a monster!" This whole yelling at thin air thing would look really stupid if someone was here to see me, I dismally realize. Man that would suck in ways I can't comprehend.

Farore laughs aridly inside my head.

"I don't think she will find you that hideous at all, Link." Heh, like she'd know anything about my situation. She's a 7-foot-tall woman that, for all I know, is made out of pure gold. And did I mention the fact that she has glowing green eyes and this weird aura thing around her body? Well, she has all of that, and so do her sisters.

This can't get any worse…

"Turn around and see for yourself."

The hair on the back of my neck rises on end, as I don't even follow Din's instruction. Even with my back turned to the entrance of the temple, I can see Nabooru standing there. My sword clangs noisily to the floor as I scurry around to the other side of the pedestal. Heh, like this little thing is going to hide me. Still, I can't let her see me like this! Maybe I could warp somewhere. I'm a god, right? Gods should be able to warp wherever. Now, how do I do that? Up, up, and off to Kakariko! Hmm, it didn't work, and she's getting closer. Off to Termina! Come on, work! I'm a god, so why isn't this working? Pixie sticks and…

"Hero?" Her voice sounds so weak. Breathe, breathe I… don't know how I know, but I know she hasn't been eating well these past few weeks. Oh, my… goddess! A few hours there, translates into weeks here! Why didn't you tell me? What do you mean you did? You did not! Never mind! "Link…"

"I told you I'd be back." She hasn't seen my face yet, and I can only imagine her distress when she notices my eyes.

"Link!" Her voice echoes wearily through the marble-laced building, along with the light clacking of her shoes running towards me. "I told them you weren't dead!" Nabooru wraps her arms wrapped around me so tightly that it seems like it should hurt.

I raise my arms to return the embrace, but find that her body isn't where it should be. Shit, I don't even know what to do with my own hands now! I rest them on her shoulders, giving them a slight squeeze, listening to her whisper my name into my chest. Didn't think I'd feel this good about anything ever again, which goes to show that I'm an idiot. I stand here holding her in silence, staring intently at the top of her head waiting for her to see my eyes… my lifeless eyes. The silence is starting to upset me. No, not really-it's the anticipation that's pissing me off.

"I know this looks strange," I say idly, trying to find the right words to explain this. "I can explain it, I think. I'm not even sure…" My voice catches in my throat, as she steps back, and reaches up and begins to stroke my cheek.

"It took you long enough," she smiles, looking into the lifeless orbs that I once called eyes. Yet, and still, tears fall from her eyes. "I see you've grown, too."

"Please don't cry," I say, rubbing her tears away. "And I've done more than grow." Even though she's smiling, something just hurts me to see her cry. And this may sound strange, but I don't like the distance between our heights anymore. I'm taller than Ganondorf, and she seems so small now. Fuck it, I'll adjust. At least she's with me again. Couple of feet in height is nothing. "Let's go home," I finally force myself to say.

I've had enough of this place to last me. And, as of right now, all I want to do is go home and go to bed. Nabooru steps away from me, taking in my new dimensions with a less than critical eye. Should've known she was deeper than that, stupid Link… stupid, stupid.

"Now, if I could get this stupid strap around my damn shoulder!" Whoa! The ground actually shook! Nabooru looks at me, silently querying me on what that was. The smile I flash is nervous, but I shrug and finally fasten the buckle around my chest. Note to self: Powers are waking up sooner than expected. I turn around, stooping for her to place the shield on my back.

"This is going to take some getting used to," Nabooru muses, sniffling as she pats me on the back to let me know the shield's secure. "What happened to you?"

"Later," I reply, not exactly sure about how to tell her. I'm not even sure I can tell myself and believe it. She accepts the answer, though, taking my hand as we walk towards the door.

"Wait, Hero, we have to go out this way now." Nabooru points toward a rope hanging from one of the windows. That's a little complicated, don't you think?

"Why?" It probably has something to do with the giant time stone blocking the door, which appeared four days ago. Okay, how did I know that? Creepy, really creepy-I'm guessing the Triforce of Wisdom answers me on some kind of mental level. Well, do you have a better idea? I'm seeing shit without seeing it, like my mind suddenly developed this roving eyeball, and I can hear things, too. Sounds like a lot of people whispering all at the same time, but it's too low to hear precisely. Oh, well, it's probably nothing.

"This weird stone appeared in front of the door a few days ago," Nabooru says, shrugging some as she tugs on the rope to test its strength. "No one's been able to move it. So, I started using the window." She begins to pull herself up the rope, as I watch her wiggle up. "The rope's stronger than it looks, Hero. You don't have to wait for me to get off." Well, if she insists. I take the rope in my hands, and squat. See, the trick to climbing a rope is the take off. Get a good jump, and it's all good from there.

"One, two, and three…" and… shit! I rush towards the ceiling, knocking Nabooru from the rope. She manages to grab my wrist, struggling to get a good grip, as I ascend until my back slams against the roof. "No more jumping. Are you all right?" What the fuck? Am I floating? No, I'm serious. Am I floating up here? That's the floor down there! Unreal…

"How are you doing this?" Nabooru stares at me in amazement, as I pull her up into my arms and just… float. I stand here at a loss myself over how to explain this. Flying… I can fly. This isn't normal. I mean, it's probably normal, but…I…goddamn it! "Link… what happened to you?"

I don't respond, trying to figure out a way to get to the windowsill. There's a pull at my fingertips… like I'm calling out to the rope. Oh, shit! It's actually floating over to me! "That is so cool," I whisper, smirking for the first time about my new situation. Looking down at Nabooru reveals a less than impressed facial expression; it's more in line with disbelief, amazement, and…fear. I take a deep breath, slowly pulling us over to the window, and landing on the large edge. "I've got a lot of explaining to do."

This is going to take a while.

Author's Notes: See, Link's alive, and I didn't even introduce a new character that was secretly me to take his place. And isn't it always better that way?