Legend Of Zelda Fan Fiction ❯ The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13 ❯ Freedom ( Chapter 18 )

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

Chapter Eighteen

Link found himself standing in the darkness. Unlike the last time, however, it wasn't because he had died. This time he'd come there of his own accord in search of his aunts. Of course, he still didn't know how he'd done it. But, like everyone kept saying, "if you want it, it's yours."

"Are you going to come out or do I have to drag you out?" His tone seemed mellow, yet it was painfully obvious that he was hiding something behind the words.

Nayru, Din, and Farore all slowly emerged from the darkness of the void not exactly fearing their nephew, as much as they were overtly cautious of him.

"So, where the hell were you three?" Link immediately asked. Before lips could part or words could form, he'd added, "I'm sure you saw what he did to us! Why didn't you at least try to give me a damn guideline on how to use these 'almighty' powers?"

"Understand Link, we couldn't simply come to your aid. He would've known we were there immediately," Farore said, as she eased the condescension out of her usual speaking voice.

While beforehand Link didn't have a grasp of his abilities, the events of the past few hours had awakened a lot of subconscious possibilities to his conscious mind. Thus, he knew it all, in a matter of speaking, and they knew he could make short work of them. It was a hard a dose of reality for some of them to swallow.

"Let me see if I understand this," he began to pace, "to save your own lives, you let the only chance any of us really had, which was me, wing it?"

They nodded, arching a collective of three left eyebrows when his teeth ground together.

"Tell me something," Link continued in that barely controlled voice. "Did the plan sound good in your heads?" They didn't know how to respond, so the sisters stood blankly. "So, I'm right to assume that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of! Never mind these Fate and Destiny morons…"

His tirade paused, frozen solid, as two massive waves of light spiraled from the darkness and struck him in the chest. Neither blow made a dent in Link's stance other than to push him a few feet back.

"Wow, call them stupid and they show up. Threaten their lives, and they sit in a corner," Link mused with no attempt to mask his sarcasm.

"I suggest you watch your tongue, because the next time we won't give you such a soft discipline," a voice that was clearly both male and female said from somewhere.

Unlike when the goddesses were out of sight and Link could see them, these two were invisible even to his eye. Considering how far he'd come, that wasn't exactly an advantage, so Link held back some of his venom.

"Why did you just sit by knowing you-all of you-could die? It makes no sense."

"Young one, there are things we all must face that cannot be avoided," the voice said. "If he were to make it past you, we would've dealt with him then. If, in the process, that meant our deaths, then that would've been our price to pay. Stopping your father before he brought his quarrel directly to us would've been punishing him unjustly. Free will is something we let you all have-gods and mortals alike. It would be rather vile of us to change that just because things aren't going our way. And while we regret the loss of your mate's life, you were able to rectify that matter. It may not seem fair, but few things are. The only thing you can do now is try to be a better father than your own…"

"I will," Link stated vehemently, interrupting the bodiless gods to the surprise of the Goddesses.

"To this end, we'll leave you all to talk."

After the melodic voices faded, there were only four, three of which looked surprisingly guilty.

"I guess I'll give you the rundown on your powers," Din began. "Like you've been told before, you can do anything you want-just keep an extremely open mind. However, if you find there is something you can't do, it's because they don't want you to. And whatever you do, don't try to force it or they get… annoyed. Other than that, there's really nothing left to say."

"That doesn't tell me anything," Link said immediately thereafter.

Farore chuckled. "You'll understand in time."

"We'd like to say we're sorry," Nayru added, which shocked her nephew by the gentleness in her voice. "I know we should've said it sooner, but…"

The serious tone slowly dulled, as Link began to laugh. He was finally free if he'd earned an apology from the likes of them-no more fighting, no more monsters trying to kill him, no more living under their collective thumb. Freedom felt surprisingly… free, he thought.

"If you want to show me you're sorry, stay the hell away from my family," he shouted, nearly collapsing with relieved laughter. "Once my child is born, don't even think about dumping this 'Hero of Time' garbage on their head. Do that, and all is forgiven. Don't, and I'll kill each and every last one of you." Link stopped laughing, which put a chilling emphasis on his last words.

For a brief moment, the sisters flared harsher auras, none of which swayed his confidence or piercing stare. They'd observed him enough to know his jokes from truth. And that hadn't been a joke.

"Agreed, but we can't be held responsible for any mortal threats that may come your way," Nayru stated in kind, smiling gingerly herself now.

Link only turned his back to them and walked off into the darkness, saying, "I'll deal with those. Goodbye, ladies."

They continued to watch him walk further into the void, until two small children appeared on either side of the three goddesses.

"Do you think he knows, brother?" the little girl asked.

Unlike the Goddesses, the children had no godly auras. Still, they left the indelible feeling that they were more than they led on. It could've been the plain black hair, of which both children wore in shoulder-length, bowl-type cuts with the tips curled under. Possibly, it could've been the degrees that they differed. The girl was an almost painful shade of white. On the other hand, the boy was a particularly dark pigment. To make things even weirder-as if the rare physical presences of Destiny and Fate weren't enough, the Goddesses thought-the siblings' eye color matched the other's skin tone.

"He probably knows on some level," Fate, the boy, eventually replied.

"What does he know?" Din asked, as the diminutive Fate and Destiny smiled that all-knowing smile up at her.

"Let us put it like this, if you were hit with what we hit him with, you couldn't ask that." Destiny smiled up at the flaming goddess, who slowly absorbed the underlying meaning.

"He's that strong?" Nayru asked in the silent wake.

Fate laughed to himself, but replied: "Given the cards Link's been dealt, it was only natural for him to seek the road that left him in the best position. He played his hand brilliantly."

Farore didn't get it, and that confusion only amused the children more.

Destiny then added, "It's like Link, the father not the son, said. His powers combined with those of his son would supercede our own. And, as you know, there were none greater in gauging of strength and potential than that war monger."

"But that would mean…" Din's mouth hung slack, as her fiery eyes opened even wider.

"To answer your question in more rudimentary terms, no, Link isn't that strong," Fate continued, imposing his voice into the goddess's pause. "He's even stronger than that."

The three sisters looked between themselves to see if they'd all comprehended the same thing. The incredulous, wide-eyed staring only hammered home one thing: Link had not just claimed a place above his father, but above them all. The children looked at each other, and then up at the large sisters with even larger grins. Of course, the Goddesses didn't find the humor in the situation.

"Is it wise to leave him unchecked?" Farore asked nervously, as she feared for her safety and her sisters even more with the new revelation. "I mean, surely, you can't let him walk among mortals if his power is that…advanced?"

At that moment, Link's laugh filled the empty space with a bass-filled melody that only unnerved the sisters.

"I'm no threat," he almost sang. "Leave me alone, I leave you alone. It's that simple."

Destiny giggled, which made her brother do the same. "That's doable."

"I appreciate it," Link said before disappearing from that plane.

"This is a joke, right?" Nayru found herself asking, as she and her sisters followed the smaller gods back into the darkness. "He isn't really stronger than the both of you, is he?"

"Ordain his daughter the next Hero of Time, and you tell us," the brother and sister replied in a singular voice before turning into two orbs of light and fading away.

As the Goddesses did similar, they collectively muttered one thing: "Goddamn it."

With that said, the void was left empty.

So, this is life? I have a beautiful girlfriend, a baby on the way, and a chance to raise a child in a non-chased-by-demonic-beast atmosphere. Yes, this has to be life. Okay, so I mutilated my father earlier on, but that's splitting hairs. Anyway, I guess our first time together is the cause of this little pregnancy. Hmm, I suppose the child will be Hylian then. Ah, well, I'll find out sooner or later. While I'm waiting for that to occur, I think I'll put us inside, because sleeping on the muddy ground sucks.

One, two, and three…the world's shifting and breaking apart, we're reassembling and… done.

Am I imagining things, or does everything look smaller in here now? Hmm, that's true-I did make this bed a lot bigger. Think she would object to me expanding the walls a little bit? Nah, Nab probably won't care. Well, here goes. Envisioning the walls moving away from the bed, their real-life counterparts do as instructed. This situation reminds me of the Forest Temple. You know, shoot a little eye and the room moves, only this time I don't have to waste an arrow.

Huh? What about the floors? Well, I guess they could be better than plain old bedrock. How about black and white marble, like chessboard pattern? No way, that's too much like the Forest Temple. Besides, I don't think I could walk around without thinking the floor was going to raise up to the ceiling, and then try to fall and crush me. Bleh, this is getting annoying. Black marble floors it is then. And, to match her sheets, I guess I'll roll out the red carpet from the bed to the door.

What do you mean, "What about the others?" It's not as if I didn't consider them. Do you think they'd like to wake up and find all their shit different? But… maybe that is unfair to leave them in squalor while we're living it up. After all, Ganondorf got all the good stuff the last time. So, here's what I'm thinking: I'll expand everybody's room, give them some big, new beds, and some new wardrobes… and some carpets… and some fans like ours…and indoor plumbing like the palace… and then I'll add an extra story to the fortress to give them all individual rooms.

Damn, I didn't know this thinking stuff worked on a delay. I can feel the changes happening in my surroundings. Weird… What is it now? Huh? How is this spoiling them? I didn't try to do it! I just outlined what I was thinking to you, and then… damn it. So, I guess there's a difference between visions and thoughts. With all they've been through, a few gifts of gratitude for putting up with all my "personal problems" is the least I could do. Hopefully, everyone will like the new surprises. If they don't, there's always recycling.

"You awake?" Nabooru asks. The odd sigh, having drawn my attention, turns into a small moan, as Nabooru turns over on my chest to face me.

I watch her from my mind's eye, just observing the lines of her face under the veil of darkness. She looks sad in some respects, but relieved and happy in others. "I'm awake," I reply with a little laugh, as I recall she can't see me that clearly.

Carefully, Nabooru pats her way up to my face and lets her hand linger against my cheek. Our questions blurt out in the same moment, stumbling over one another like dizzy children. I extend the offer for her to speak first.

"Are you all right?" she whispers. Her voice is nearly inaudible, a slight sign of worry coming through despite the best efforts to make it not so.

I open my mouth to dress up the mood with some of the charm, but it closes in aimless silence. The basis of this relationship is honesty, brutal honesty. Under that oh, so lovely guise, I'll abide by it and tell the truth.

"I'll never be all right," I sigh, running my hands idly up and down her back. "Aside from losing y…" my voice trails into a cough, as my nerves mangle for a moment. "After you…" Heh, I can't even form the words. Now there's a rock of a boyfriend for you. Still, I watch her from my mind as she comprehends my lack of voice. "Other than that moment, the rest doesn't factor in. So, how does three-quarters all right move you?"

"It would move me fine if you opened your eyes and looked at me," Nabooru sighs, waving at my face indicating that she can see my closed eyes now. Guess her eyes adjusted to the sliver of moonlight shining through the curtains.

Why is it never easy? She knows I'm upset right now. And she knows that'll probably have my eyes glowing again, which is going to scare her shitless. And, naturally, that's going to be played off at the expense of her comfort and peace of mind. No, I didn't plan on walking around with my eyes shut forever. The plan was…see…it went like this. I…I had no plan. Timidly, I raise my left eyelid, a sigh of irritation passing through my lips as Nabooru's face is illuminated. Even as she holds off the tremors, I feel the change in her breath, but I abide by her encouragement and open my right eye.

"Happy?" My question makes her smile, even as I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. I just need to get a hold of my emotional bearings. As was the case on the bridge the last time, the eerie light fades as I calm down. So, today's lesson tells us that a nervous Link is a glowing-eyed Link. "What is it?" I find myself asking out of general curiosity beneath her scrutinizing eye.

"Just wondering if we'll be good parents," she says calmly. "How do we even explain all of this? I've already failed to protect the child before she even came to term."

"You didn't know you had a kid on board." Before she doubts herself any further, I start spinning the magic. "Can't protect what you don't know about, you know? Now that we know, though, we can make sure that never happens again."

I kiss her on the end of the nose, sighing inwardly as she seems to calm down somewhat. I'm such a lying sack of shit sometimes until it's a wonder someone hasn't flushed me down a toilet. Well, it's better than her taking the fall for my being a gimp. It was my fault that happened to them, and I'm not letting her feel bad about it. The mood isn't that easily brightened, of course, as Nabooru's brow wrinkles again.

"May I ask you something?"

I nod once, twirling my tongue around in my mouth in anticipation for the worse.

"Is death always so quiet?" she asks, which summons that memory of the sword exploding from her stomach into my mind in painful clarity.

"Not always," I whisper, as my arms tightening around her. "Let's not talk about that anymore, though."

Again, she studies my face without sound. I try to smile my way around her gaze, but I can feel the fakeness of it bleeding through to the surface.

"Sorry, I usually bounce back faster than this," I shift my vocabulary around to find a better way to put it, but I come up blank. Nab gives me that pitying smile now, and I hate it. I know she knows there's more to what I'm telling her, but she doesn't pry.

"It's not everyday that you're forced to kill your father." Her words send my right eyebrow arching up until it damn near touches my hairline.

I can't help but ask, "Are you out of your mind? Do you really think I feel like this because I killed him?"

She returns the raised eyebrow, which makes me shake my head.

"Let's see, on the one hand there's the fact that I let him kill you-the woman who's about to have my first kid. On the other hand, there's my dad-psychopath, murderer, guy who killed my mom and forced me to grow up around a bunch of mystically inclined children always thinking I was some kind of freak for not having a fairy like them. Gee, I'm so sorry I killed him. See it on my face?" My face remains indifferent, which only makes Nabooru laugh. "Yep, it's killing him that has me upset. You've found out the dirty little secret."

"Oh, shut up," she laughs, smashing me in the face with a pillow. "Okay, fairy-god man, here's a change of topic…"

"What, but I thought we were going to discuss how bad I felt about cutting up that stranger who was related to me?" I add a falsified sniffle, earning another walloping with the pillow.

"Be serious," Nabooru whines, but keeps laughing the longer I hold my sad face. "Seriously," she sighs, as I stop acting like a fool. "How does it feel to be so powerful?"

Aside from feeling violated on every level because I failed to save my burgeoning family, it feels great. Of course, I'm not going to tell her that. I've finally got the mood somewhat out of the sewer, and I'm not letting it go back down there.

"It feels different."

There's the perfect answer. Wonder if she'd freak if I told her I robbed the old man of his godliness. Hmm, I think I'll save that story for later. I doubt she wants to know she's sleeping with a part of the evil. Heh, I guess it isn't that easy to avoid, come to think of it. I am his son, whether I like it or not. Ugh, must avoid the murkiness…

"But you know me-I'll adapt, as usual."

"And I guess I'll do the same." Nabooru slithers up my body and gives me a little peck on the lips. I slide back the curtains on a thought, allowing the moon's light to grace us with its presence. A gasp passes Nabooru's lips, as she realizes what I've done to the room. "Hero…"

I sit up with her, smiling like the dolt I can be, as I interrupt her. "You want to see the bathroom?"

"Well, maybe, but…eek!" Splashing down in the tub causes her to squeal, before she can even absorb the complete transformation of the bedroom. What can I say? I can get used to this warping from place to place stuff. "You could've warned me!" she shouts, before her jaw drops.

"Is this too much?" I ask with a half grin, watching her take in our personal bath.

Hmm, it's more of a little marble-enclosed pond now that I see it outside of my brain. Nabooru wades through the water to the farthest wall, quietly taking in the intricate designs of vine-covered trees on the walls. I must admit, this looks a lot better than I thought it would. True, it does look like the fishing pond down at Lake Hylia. But it was always so relaxing to me, I figured I'd combine it with the second most relaxing place in the world to me-the bath. And, besides, I don't have to worry about a Zora swimming up through it, like the bath pond back in the forest.

Nabooru turns back to me, this time grinning ear to ear. "When did you do this?" She moves through the waist-high water with ease, as I lean back and stretch my arms down the lip of the bath pond.

"Answer my question first," I reply, admiring the rivulets of water moving across her naked skin. Did I mention that I alleviated us of our clothing? Must've slipped my mind…

"It's fine, Hero." She straddles my lap, which goes a long way to improve my day.


And that's a sound that can't mean anything good. Nabooru rests her forehead on my shoulder and curses. I reciprocate the action, as I grind my teeth to keep a rein on my anger. I dip my left hand in the water, and sprinkle it down her back, trying to keep the mood alive for as long as I can. Another explosion rocks the fortress, drawing another curse from her lips.

"Lady Nabooru?" I hear someone shout from the other side of the door. Heh, it's a wonder they even found the room considering my mystical remodeling. The door opens behind us, and I sigh as a stampede of Gerudo rush in. "Lady Nab… Whoa!"

"What is it?" Nabooru asks solemnly, lifting her head from my shoulder to look up at her women.

"Mistress Rova," a woman states, a little bustled up from being awoken by the explosions. "She seems…" the fortress rumbles again, making the group cringe. "She seems upset."

"Shall we prepare your weapons?" Varia asks Nabooru, who nods, which makes my eyes begin to twitch.

I slide Nabooru off my waist to stand up. Stupid, this is all so fucking stupid! I should've cut the wench's head off 10 years ago! I can't even take a goddamned bath without idiocy!

"I don't think so," I mutter. "You're not fighting with a child."

"Don't be ridiculous, I'm not even showing," Nabooru shouts, grabbing my hand before I get out of the tub.

Huh? Naked? Oh! Well, that explains the awkward looks. But more importantly, she's seriously trying to push this subject. I don't know what's making my head hurt worse, the witch trying to bring my home to the ground or the pregnant girlfriend who can't even take a moment to get over the shock of being killed with her child before running headlong into another dangerous situation.

"Just because we can't see the kid doesn't mean it isn't there," I inform the naked woman holding my wrist. Naturally, that bounces right off. So, let's try being blunt. "Dead is dead, big stomach or not. Or have you forgotten about earlier?" The words passed from my mind into hers without a sound, only manifesting in Nabooru releasing my wrist. She glares at me for a long stretch, but I don't flinch.

"Fine," she hisses back into my mind, eyes narrowing even further.

Nabooru waves her hand to me, almost dismissively, as she reclines back into the water. You just know this is going to mean my ass later, right? Taking my cue, tights appear around on my naked legs, which means I'm at least slightly prepared to do battle. Now, let me get out of this water and go get my… heh, almost forgot. The ladies part for me this time, looking a bit confused by their queen's relaxed state of mind. Seems I'm not the only one with memory problems. The fortress rocks again, rousing a few squeals from the Gerudo behind me, as debris begins to shake loose from the ceiling.

Enough of this.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" The question startles the witch, as I fade into existence before her.

Twinrova laughs to herself. "So, who do we have here?" Her question is punctuated by a similar warping from place to place, only her warp brings her within inches of my being. She stands at least a head taller than I do, I notice. And her smile is polite, as though she hasn't caved in a room on my masterpiece with waves of fire and ice. "Are you an offering? Or, don't tell me, the little ladies went out and hired a warlock to battle little old me?"

Warlock, she says. I find myself laughing at Twinrova's expense now, because she doesn't comprehend just how far off she is.

"Can't say it'll be much of a battle," I shrug, "but if that's what you want to call it, I won't stop you."

"Confidence, I like that," she says with a smirk, swinging back up into the air and hovering there. "But, first, a test."

Twinrova waves her hand and 13 Iron-Knuckle knights appear in an arch around me. Wow, this is going to take a while. No, really. This isn't going to be like opening cans with a sword or anything. This is going to test the full limits of my mind, body, and godhood. I look up at the witch, watching her bob up and down in the air like some kind of puppet, only to catch sight of a battle axe being swung for my head. Duck? Why bother? Let's test this to the limits, shall we? My teeth grind together as the axe meets the back of my skull.

There is no pain.

"That was weak," I mutter nonchalantly, as though I'm not surprised in the slightest that the axe's head shattered against my own. My eyes careen over to the demonic knight that hit me. The armor-clad monster looks at its weapon, a silent shock, I imagine, dancing around its hollow head. Metal hinges squeak, seeing Twinrova's minions stare up at her for direction.

"Don't look at me, kill him!"

I came out here with every intention of ripping her lungs out, but this is just so… sad. Ugh, I'll end this quick. So, do I strike them down with some loud, flashy show of mystical ability or do I kill them the old fashioned way-a sword and lots of metal clanging together? Since they can't hurt me, I guess we'll use the sword today.

"Wait!" I shout, stopping the encroaching monsters in mid-step.

Heh, now why didn't I ever think about that back in the old days?

A sword slides out of the small pool of light in my left hand, which I promptly grab at the hilt and run towards my first mark. The creature steadies its axe across his chest, bracing for impact. How much do you want to bet that I split him in half in one swing? Three-to-one odds against me, what? I'm the king of power when it comes to god, and you're betting against me. Why am I not surprised?

"Hero, stop!"

My leaping downward slash stops just shy of hitting the cretin in the head, as Nabooru shouts at me from the doorway. Well, damn, could the timing be any worse? Sure, I'm not in any danger, but I still like to kill without interruption, especially hunks of soulless metal.

"Gerudo are in there," she says, gasping a little having apparently run down from the bath.

What? Yeah, but that's not fair! I know I didn't cut it in half, but… Ain't that some shit. Shut up, you'll get your money. You lousy mother…

"Attack him now!" Twinrova suddenly shouts.

Another Iron Knuckle slams his axe down on my back, but I only notice because of the steel shards flittering past me. Instead of focusing on that, I stare at the suit of armor before me, allowing my vision to penetrate the surface. I retire my sword, and gracefully sit my feet back on the ground. A torrent of blood would've taken all the fun out of that attack. Twinrova is still using those jewels. Remember those, for lack of a better term, head ornaments the Gerudo used to wear on their foreheads before and a little while after I destroyed Ganondorf? Since I had the chance to do some reading in my… hiatus from Zelda's skirt tails, I found out the things worked as a sort of mind control device.

Okay, I'm lying. Nabooru told me she found out after falling off a horse and breaking hers. She managed to free a good chunk of the Gerudo from the bastard jewels, but there were obviously those lost in both death and slavery.

"I suppose this is where I stand here and get beat to death," I shout up to the floating witch. The moonlight reflects off her white teeth, as she forms a lascivious little grin. The knights tighten around me in a circle, which, usually, would have me in a sort of panic. But I don't run. A long, dry breeze blows through the valley, only it originates from my sigh. "You could at least fight me with your own hands." This mutter is only punctuated by the sudden collapsing of the Iron Knuckle brigade around me. Their armor burns into vapor at my whim, as do the enslaving jewels on the women's foreheads, leaving only a baker's dozen worth of Gerudo groaning in the dirt.

Cautiously, Nabooru and the others inch over to our positions, which is surprising. A moment ago, it was all "I'm ready to fight Twinrova," and now they're moving like temple mice in the shadows, as though I'd let anything happen to them. They gather up their groaning sisters in arms, before I focus on the task at hand. And with a little imagination, the task's throat is now in hand. She squirms, violently so, but clearly the lighthearted mood has changed.

"E-Enough, Nabooru! Call off your guard dog," Twinrova manages to choke out, having saw both an attempt to freeze and burn me fail.

Nabooru approaches me from behind, somehow laughing throughout, as I continue to choke her former extortionist to death.

"I wish I could, Mistress, but I don't control him," she sighs, obviously a fake one, but to the woman dying in my grasp, it's all too real.

"What… What's it going to t-take to get out of this?" She says that like I want anything from her. Hmm, maybe there's nothing I want from her, but what about the Gerudo? I imagine the Desert Colossus holds some value to them. "W-w-what if I cut the tax in half?"

…What the fuck?

"Try again," I say listlessly.

Twinrova's eyelids droop, but pop open the moment I allow her a breath of air, before sagging again as that air is cut off.

"All right! No tax," she blurts out, as her pupils continue to widen.

"And what else?" My added question proves confusing to her, but amusing to me. Her lips are turning purple, yet she barely hangs in there enough to think of a solution.

"I'll leave the desert!"

"And never comeback," I tack on, which sounds either like a question or a command.

"And never comeback," Twinrova repeats to be safe. I open my hand and she drops to her knees, gasping like a dying animal. "Who are you?" she pants, looking up at me with rage gleaming in her eyes.

"I'm generous." Scratching my neck, I realize I'm still barefoot and shirtless. This isn't going to bode well when I go back inside, is it? "I expect you to be gone by noon today."

Her teeth grind loudly, but she stands up silently. "And if I'm not gone?" I can tell she's plotting an attack on me, but I turn my back to her anyway.

"You and Ganondorf play catch up in the underworld," I reply in the calmest of manners, fully ignoring the sound of whirring wind and crackling fire surrounding each of her fists.

Even as Twinrova floats up into the sky, I watch her through the power of my mind. Through my eyes, however, I see a few Gerudo have stayed behind to watch the exchange until the end. They're too afraid to do more than motion upwards at me, as the witch gathers her mystic abilities for a final salvo. This is getting boring, isn't it? I flippantly wave my hand, smirking as Twinrova shrieks and flips end over end into the night. Sssh! Listen for the splash. Ah, there it is. What do you mean you can't hear it? Oh… Oh! Trust me; she isn't enjoying her ride down the river.

I suppose this day has seen enough excitement, don't you think? I guess I'll see you later on today, good… morning, apparently. I can't believe its sunrise already.

As the glow of the sun peaked over the cliffs surrounding the Gerudo Valley, Link took a moment to observe the changes he'd made to the fortress outside the confines of his mind. It was surprising in some respects, because the place had more than 20 rooms now, but looked only a half size bigger than before. Link figured something must've been wrong with his vision, because he did "want" them all to have a view of the sun, which explained the abundance of windows sprinkling the fortress now. Of course, that had to mean every room was somehow under his influence, as he even "wanted" rooms in the rear of the fortress to have views facing the Colossus.

"Ugh, this is making my head hurt," he muttered, strolling leisurely into his home. A large metal door closed behind him-not to mention on two other floors, along with a quick restoration to the collapsed room on the second floor caused by the witch's fit-that would keep the riffraff out.

As he rounded the corner that sloped ever so lightly towards the second level, Link paused. There was a commotion down the other hall. And, if his nose wasn't mistaken, there was food being cooked down there, too. Naturally, or second-naturally, as it were, he appeared in the doorway of the dining hall that doubled as a kitchen. The Gerudo were all at the table, laughing and talking with the freshly awakened, newest members of the bunch, which created a sort of vibe. It was the type of intimate vibe that didn't need a 7-foot-tall deity intruding. And, besides, Nab wasn't there.

"Think of the devil," Link said with a chuckle, shaking his head as he turned to find the golden-eyed beauty standing before him.

Nabooru frowned. "Why didn't you go in? You don't have to skulk around in the shadows anymore, Hero."

"Old habits die hard, and, besides," he wrapped his arms around her waist and swayed around until they rested against the wall to the right of the doorway, "there was nothing in there that interested me."

"Maybe so, but those eggs have my name on them." She kissed his pouting lower lip, letting a giggle slip as her giant of a man made the stupidest sad face. As expected, Nabooru kissed it again, and again, and again until Link ended up pressing her against the wall. "I suppose I could always let you conjure something up," she thought aloud, struggling to keep her head together as Link's hands began to run under her gown and over her thighs. "Of course, I'd never get anything in my stomach…"

"Not through your mouth, anyway," he added, chuckling to himself as she gasped and slapped him on the shoulder.

Link raised his hands and backed off, but not completely.

"Could you do me a favor?" Link asked, the carnal look still present in his eyes-well, the shape of his eyes, anyway-to Nabooru's half-hearted dismay. As she nodded, he produced a little blue box from behind his back. "Open it."

The furthest thought from her mind suddenly became the closest, as Nabooru looked at the glasslike ring in its bed of blue silk. For a moment, all she did was marvel at it-the smoothness, the red and green streaks within it, and so on. It wasn't something easily found in nature, she soon realized. Link had done this especially for her. An actual ring of diamond, dotted with ruby and emerald specks.

"Why?" Her first deadpanned question, which was more from the lack of words in her head than an actual query, didn't seem to hamper his expectations any.

"Because you were there," Link replied as evenly as he could. "No matter how stupid I got about the whole thing with Zelda, you never gave up on me… you never let me give up on myself." She looked up at him, and his voice seemed to retreat into his windpipe, as her tears left him silent for a moment. "What I'm trying to say is that I'm not biding my time here waiting for Blondie to come back. I'm here for you and only you and I want it to be official."

"When… when did you think of all this?" Nabooru was happy, extremely happy, but all she could seem to do was ask questions. It was her inner-thief, she knew. Nothing was ever this easy without consequences, thus every angle had to be examined… even if she wanted it to shut the hell up, die, get trampled, and burned to ashes.

Across from her, Link thought about that question. It made sense, but the thing was that he didn't think about it. For whatever reason, it was like everything in his life lined up and told him this was where he belonged, and with Nabooru was where he needed to be all in the span of one miniscule second.

"It just hit me," he replied truthfully.

That was a sufficient answer, but the ever observant thief had to make note of overlooked details… no matter how grim.

"But I'll eventually get old and die," she again deadpanned, which obviously caught Link off guard.

"Then don't." Before she could understand that, a strange light began to come from her skin. Nabooru didn't even bother asking what he'd done to her, because she could feel it. It was a powerful, if not slightly frightening, feeling of vitality. "There, no dying and no getting old. So, how about it, can you marry me now or do I have to beg?"

He made the face again, which made her laugh, as kept mumbling "please."

There were other stupid queries, but Nabooru didn't risk flapping her lips anymore. So, she nodded assuredly to answer his question, even though her brain couldn't seem to wrap around the reality of it all. Watching him slide the ring onto her finger didn't even curb the disbelief of the situation. It wasn't until Link, for lack of a better word, picked her up in a giant hug and whispered, "Thank you" that it finally dawned on her. Nabooru, reigning queen of the Gerudo Thieves, was engaged to Link, Ganondorf's killer and the Hero of Time.

And this was where she'd wake up in a ratty old bed, get extorted by a babbling witch, and wait for Link to show up and talk about Zelda…

"Guess you're not hungry anymore," Link mused, his new fiancée dangling from his neck like a fleshy ascot or something.

She sniffled a few times, dislodged from his neck, and dried her eyes on her sleeve before responding.

"No, let's eat."

Link stood silently beside her until she showed no signs of tears or other "weaknesses" to be meddled with, before they entered the dining hall.

For all of the strange looks he received, Link seemed totally oblivious. He seemed oblivious. Truthfully, he was completely aware of the fresh silence in the air. It was filled with fear, maybe even a little jealousy, and he could pinpoint it all without the use of his powers.

"Thanks," Nabooru said lightly, as he slid the chair out for her.

Link made motion that he heard her, but remained silent in his quest around the table for the chair across from her. The cotton stuffing in the chair's seat remained the noisiest thing in the room, as Gerudo all sat around in the same silent stupor. Nabooru, meanwhile, twiddled with the translucent ring on her finger, struggling to keep a childish giggle inside, he noticed with slight smirk. For the first time in a long time, everything in his life was making sense again. It was a stellar feeling, much better than waiting for something to attack Hyrule so he could go kill it as it killed him, or hoping Zelda would run back to him.

"So," one of the newcomers said to end the awkward silence, "it must've been one hell of a take to get all of this. Did you rob Hyrule Castle while we were gone?"

This brought laughter into the silent mix, but it seemed poised for destruction the moment Nabooru opened her mouth.

"Actually, Link threw all this stuff together about an hour ago." The name caused mutterings amongst the new women, like they were struggling to remember something from a very long time ago.

"Wait, was that the skinny kid you had the crush on?" the same woman asked, which saw a sputtering laugh move down the table.

Link even laughed some, but added, "I wasn't that skinny."

The laughter dried up, but was replaced by 13 pairs of wide eyes. A woman prodded his arm with her spoon, almost to see if her eyes weren't playing tricks on her. Again, Link laughed, even as his favorite green tunic and cap appeared on him. He held his arms out, as if to say, "See, I'm the same guy." Unfortunately, all the old timers saw was a man… a man with magic.

"So, what's it gonna be oh, king of mine?" Varia asked abruptly, which threw things into an even sharper contrast.

An air of disbelief and disdain seemed to blow through the room, as the two most anti-male women seemed to be turning coat for this mystical "mad" man.

"You'd actually serve him? What spell has this one cast?" In truth, the new women all thought the same thing, but only one showed pride enough to ask.

Nabooru wanted to speak for him, tell the arrogant little wench her place and how she fit into it. Instead, she focused on the man in front of her. Link sat there unfazed it seemed, his fingers now done up in a crude steeple in front of his lips, as he stared straight ahead.

"I'm not going to hurt anyone," Link said calmly, almost eerily calm.

"Sure, you've already got Varia jumping through hoops…" The interjection fell silent, as another occurred right on its heels.

"Close your mouth, Dhriti." Varia seemed to glide around the table to the loud mouth, which only threatened to make a bad situation worse. Only, the situation didn't worsen, as the hot-tempered Gerudo only spoke. "If it wasn't for this one, you would still be a mindless mound of flesh in the witch's armor. If this one hadn't killed his own father, none of us would even have ground enough to stand on. And if it wasn't for this one, the old one would still be sitting there. So, show some respect to your new king, a better king, before I break your neck."

Link observed the two of them from his mind, watching the heated stares to see who'd give first and to take another glimpse at the Gerudo pecking order. Dhriti nodded, barely nodded, as Varia did likewise and went back toward the wood-burning stove and the hotcakes beginning to sizzle thereon. As with all tense and uncomfortable things, time slowly ate away at the situation. Even in the process of that, Link was able to learn the rest of his subjects'-and boy did he hate that term already-names. Varia's skills as a cook were bar none, the best he'd eaten in a while. And, apparently, the same held true for the entire group.

Nabooru had swallowed more hotcakes, sausage, eggs, and bacon than he knew possible, and her voracious appetite was only close to being matched by the unfortunate souls who'd spent the better part of 10 years locked in suits of armor. He thanked his stars about the god thing if, for nothing else, he wouldn't have to walk his feet raw on trips to Castle Town for more food. A wave of the hand, and the woman and the child were fed. Still, Link had to wonder how a woman in her first month of pregnancy could be so hungry.

It was a hunch, but something told him that the kid wasn't Hylian but demigod. How could that have been possible, though? The soul of the kid was strong, undeniably so. As a god, he and Nabooru had only had sex 7 or 8 days ago. That would've made Nabooru's "pregnancy" more his-seed-is-still-drifting-to-fertile-ground type of thing. None of the king's books told of how long it took for a child to start growing, but he'd assumed it would take longer than a week. Maybe the times changed if one parent was a god? And if he was as strong as they claimed, wouldn't that mean his kids would naturally inherit a great strength of their own, even if they were still life goo? So many questions, he thought, shaking his head some.

"And here I thought I had this sex thing down to an art," Link muttered, before arriving at a possible solution.

Time had obviously bounced around at his father's hands, and, later, his own during that battle. Pondering that wouldn't last, as a loud hammering began to come from the doors of the fortress. The doors would hold for as long as Link wanted them to, but it still didn't stop the instinctive reaction to run for arms in the women.

"Seems we have visitors," he said with a smile to Nabooru, staying perfectly poised despite the commotion around him.

"I guess we should go see who it is then," Nabooru replied in kind, taking his reserved cue.

They stood and met at the dining room's doorway, before Link said, "I guess so."

Author's Notes: Guess who's back, back again? Sorry for the delay, but I had some family issues to resolve. I won't go into detail, but it shouldn't take nearly two months for the next update.