|Never Trust a Pirate
Author: Wavebreeze PM
The awkward moment when you get caught stealing from the man who you ditched on an island five years ago even though he saved your life countless times, and then you have to fight together in order to save the island. Oh. TetraxLink. oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Link & Tetra - Words: 11,355 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 41 - Follows: 3 - Published: 08-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7305840
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Never Trust a Pirate
Tetra, now eighteen summers old, inhales the salty air as a cool breeze ruffles the stray strands of her golden blonde hair. Her long tanned arms are folded on the ship's rail and her body rocks with the motion of the cruising vessel. A red bandana is wrapped around her neck and her navy blue vest flaps in the steady wind. Leaning against the boat's smooth railing, she keeps her ocean blue eyes focused on the quickly approaching island. Not an island, she corrects herself silently. A target.
The island is still and vulnerable like a sleeping baby. The ocean gently creeps up the sand and then slides back down with the same hushed, rhythmic movements as steady breathing. The endless amount of glittering white stars reflect so clearly in the calm sea that there is no differentiation between the sky and the earth, thus making the quaint, diminutive island seem to float in mid air.
She runs through the plan of action in her mind for the thousandth time that day while listening to the gentle murmur of waves slapping against the hull of her proud ship. There is no fear that threatens to weaken Tetra's confidence in herself or her crew. This town will be the easiest raid of the year. It's not even midnight and all the windows are already shut and the animals are tucked away in their barns. She can picture the townsfolk curled up in their beds completely oblivious to the pirates' impending approach.
Once they are close enough to shore that she can see the details of the thatched roofs and colorfully painted doors of the white clay houses, she turns towards her crew. Men of all sizes stand behind her silently awaiting her orders. Their faces are like stone but the glimmer of anticipation and their tense muscles give away the excitement everybody is feeling. Tetra's lips pull into her signature smirk and they all grin back at her. It's time.
Nobody says a word as they pile into the rowboats and glide across the water like ghosts floating through shadowy corridors. The bright moon illuminates their faces in a pale blue light but nobody looks at each other; everybody is focused on the target.
The moment the bow of the three rowboats imbed themselves in the sand, all the pirates and their leader hop onto shore and run like skittering mice through the island's thick grass to their previously assigned houses. Adrenaline pumps through Tetra's veins as she effortlessly jumps over ragged rocks and sprints up the dirt trail that leads to the highest house on this island. The small white building stands proudly on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the whole village. For a moment she thinks of Outset Island, a town that is almost identical to this save for its inhabitants and location in the world, but she pushes the thought away and focuses on the sound of her soft footfalls.
Tetra effortlessly scrambles up the side of the house to an open window. She smiles at how quickly she scales the wall and slips inside a dark room; all of this is done in only a matter of seconds.
She pauses and listens to the house. If it weren't for her soft breathing and her heart pounding in her ears, it would be completely silent. There is never total silence on the ocean, so the stillness is unnerving but she takes it as a good sign. If she is lucky, the owner of the house will have drunken more than he could handle and is passed out somewhere; that's what her and her crew call swiping from the grog.
Confident, Tetra takes a step forward that is as hushed as her breath. The black shadows make it so she can only see the basic shapes of items only a few paces away from her. She recognizes the silhouette of a four-post bed tucked in the corner of the room. Soundless, she tip toes towards it until she can clearly see the bed sheets and the pillow.
But no person.
She freezes and bites her lip. It is too soon to tell whether or not this is good or bad. It is good if this is another swiping from the grog, but bad because either the person is awake or tucked away somewhere else.
Tetra is about to turn back around when a familiar click from behind her drops her heart into her stomach. Chills run down her spine when a cool metal barrel gently presses into the back of her head. She feels her body tense and her mind reels with all the possibilities of escape. I've been caught before, she reassures herself. I can easily escape again. Whoever is behind me should have stayed in bed where he wouldn't get hurt.
"Now, now," she says slyly with her confidence already back. "Would you really hurt a lady?"
"Name," demands the man behind her in a steely cold voice, ignoring her comment.
"Let me see your face first," Tetra retorts. "I prefer to talk to people than beds."
"Name," he snaps and pushes the metal object a little more into her head.
"Beckett," she lies. A moment of silence passes between them where she only listens to the sound of her pounding heart and the man's breathing that is so close it tickles her neck.
"Beckett," the man repeats in a ponderous tone and she can hear the hint of a smile in his voice. "Beckett," he says again, as if testing the way it feels on his tongue. "It's a shame, Tetra, that after all these years you couldn't have thought of a better fake name."
Her heart skips a beat when he says her true name and a drop of cool sweat slides between her shoulder blades. She swallows and steadies her breathing again. No matter, she can still get out of this.
"Who are you?" she questions in a more serious tone.
"Now you don't even recognize me?" he asks in mock surprise. "That's cold, Tetra, even for you."
She rolls her eyes and snaps, "Well maybe if you'd let me see your face rather than your bed post I could remember who you are!"
She feels the cold metal object be removed from her head but she's positive that this man isn't such a buffoon to stop aiming the weapon at her; however, she has gotten what she wanted. She begins to turn around slowly, and though the darkness casts the man's face in shadows she is able to size him up in less than a second. He's slim and muscular and only a little taller than her, dressed in a white linen shirt and green trousers that have been cut short at the knee. His arm is outstretched with the gun still pointing at her head.
Glancing to her right, she sees an expensive looking vase standing dangerously close to the edge of a bedside table. Sliding her foot across the wooden floor, she kicks one of the legs of the table and the vase jiggles for a hair of a second before plummeting to its death and breaking into a thousand pieces. The shatter echoes throughout the once silent room and the noise even hurts her ears but that won't stop her.
Fearlessly, she kicks the man in the low abdominal area while simultaneously grabbing onto his wrist and tries to quickly pry his fingers off the weapon. He is slumped over a bit but his hold on the gun is aggravatingly strong. She digs her teeth into his hand and his fingers go slack just enough for her to snatch the weapon.
Grinning triumphantly, she applauds her skills for only a second, but it's a second too many. With incredible swiftness, the man lunges forward and twists her arm around her back until it is close to breaking point. Her grip on the gun weakens and he easily snatches it out of her hand.
Swinging her leg back, Tetra kicks him where it hurts the most and he stumbles away with a grunt of pain. She instantly spreads the distance between them, and a harsh scraping sound fills the room as Tetra unsheathes her curved, sharp dagger. Smiling wickedly, she flips it once and watches the blade shimmer in the moonlight before the familiar weight returns to her hand. Spreading her legs apart, Tetra balances on her toes and holds her knife at the ready while keeping her ocean blue eyes locked on her target.
The man charges at her and she swings her arm back, ready for the strike, but just as she is about to complete her attack he dives to her left and gracefully rolls around her. Instantly her mind flickers to the image of a boy with blond hair executing the same move to a monstrous man in dark robes. Her thoughts are interrupted, however, when a blunt object slams into her back and tremors of pain travel through her body as she falls onto her face. The man then moves so swiftly that she cannot register what is happening until she is pushed against the wall with her hands held tightly behind her back, her weapons gone, and her face pressed uncomfortably into the wood.
Nothing happens for a few moments while Tetra's rage builds up due to the humiliation of being beaten and having her favorite dagger stolen. Her breathing is harsh and she grits her teeth in aggravation, but she cannot stop thinking of the move he used to trick her up. Where could he have possibly learned that?
"Were you really going to try to beat the Hero of Winds in a duel?" The man asks with amusement as he holds her still with one hand on her head and the other on her waist.
Tetra's heart skips a beat and her breath hitches in her throat. She blinks and wonders if she heard him right, but it is stupid to think otherwise. The way he moved – not just with that one move, but in general – pointed to only one person.
She squirms under his grip and, surprisingly, he releases her. Instead of running, Tetra spins around and keeps close to the wall. The moonlight streaming in from the window illuminates half of his face but it is all she needs to know that it is the same boy she ditched on an island five years ago. During their time apart he lost all remains of his boyhood and his face has transformed into one of a man's. He's taller than her now by a few inches and more muscular too, but his fluffy sun kissed blond hair is the same as it has ever been and his light blue eyes shine with a boyish glint.
Blinking a few times and ignoring her fluttering heart, Tetra regains her composure and retorts, "Were you really going to hurt the Princess of Hyrule?"
His soft lips pull into an amused smile and he responds in his now husky voice, "If that is the case, then you'd have to let me refer to you as Zelda or Your Grace."
She scowls and crosses her arms. "Not a chance," she snaps.
Silence returns to the room as the two continue to stare at each other, waiting for the other to speak first. Tetra has so many questions she wants to ask, like why he came to this island and how he knew she was coming, but she keeps them to herself. Placing his hands on his hips, his smile vanishes and the cheerful glint leaves his light blue eyes. In a much more serious and bitter tone, he inquires,
"Were you planning on explaining to me why you ditched me on a random island five years ago?"
"I wasn't planning on getting caught in the first place, especially by you," she huffs while refusing to look at him.
"I deserve an answer, Tetra," he replies softly but with strength.
Her palms become sweaty again as she keeps her eyes locked on the window. Her arms remain crossed in order to restrain herself from jumping into his arms because, frankly, she missed him. She missed his patient gaze, his teasing remarks, his alacrity towards every demand, and how he easily managed to make her laugh, but her pride is more important than these feelings. Keeping her head high, she replies,
"It's simple. Never trust a pirate."
"Tetra, answer me," he insists in his steady, low voice.
She rolls her eyes again and finally brings her gaze back to his face. "Look, I had my reasons for leaving you, and I'm sorry that you're just such a baby that you can't handle it. Can I have my dagger back now?"
"Could you quit being so stubborn for a moment and just give me a decent answer to my question?" He persists impatiently and Tetra grits her teeth.
"Could you quit being so sensitive to everything and just give me my dagger!" She snaps, holding out her hand and sending him a death glare.
"I save your life countless times –," Link begins to yell before Tetra interrupts in a cross tone.
"I wouldn't say countless."
"Really? Try counting."
"You know I don't like numbers!" she grumbles while her hands ball into fists by her side.
"Either way, I save your life numerous times and how do you repay me? You ditch me on an island!" He shouts, exasperated and frustrated.
"It's not like you were stranded there!" she sneers. "There was a nice village and you had plenty of money."
"That's not the point!" He shouts over her, an action that he almost never does. "I thought we were friends, Tetra, and I – I cared about you and I thought…. I mean…. Well, what was that for?"
She opens her mouth to speak but the words get caught in her throat. She had her reasons for leaving him, but they aren't reasons that would excuse her of her inconsiderate actions.
Thankfully, the sound of incoherent yelling draws their attention away from each other. Curious, they rush to the open window to see a large, muscular man with a green shirt and a red cloth wrapped around his head standing below them. His hands are cupped around his mouth so that his cries of "Miss Tetra" will reach her.
Irritated that he would be so blatantly obvious about the pirates' arrival, she is about to scold him when Link nudges her. Snapping her eyes up, she sees that all the lights in the once dark buildings have been ignited, and they flicker like candles in the wind as both her pirates and the townsfolk chase each other, their battle cries echoing throughout the lagoon. They wield clubs and swords while their bodies are mere black blobs against the dark blue horizon.
"They knew we were coming!" Gonzo yells frantically as he dances on his toes as if the ground is on fire. "They trapped half the crew and attacked the rest, yeah!"
Tetra instantly snaps her furious eyes to Link and asks harshly, "How'd you know we were coming?"
"I was out at sea and saw a pirate ship. I didn't know it was you until I saw you running here," Link explains quickly as he becomes slightly flustered under her burning glare.
Before she can rebuke him anymore, Gonzo shouts in a shaky voice, "There's more, Miss Tetra! The Screeching Lark is approaching, yeah!"
Her eyes widen as she instantly looks out into the bay. Her ship is hidden behind a large rock wall while the Screeching Lark is quickly swimming straight for the shore with no means of trying to be secretive; the moonlight illuminates its signature blood red sails like dying embers in a long forgotten fire.
Gritting her teeth, she grumbles, "I thought we were done with these blokes." She then returns her attention to Link and demands, "Call the townsfolk off my crew! We've got a bigger problem on our hands now!"
Tetra jumps through the window, swings onto a nearby branch, and lands on her feet as soundlessly and gracefully as a cat. Link yells to her but she ignores him and begins sprinting down the hill with Gonzo right on her tail. The cool ocean breeze tugs at her messy bun and strands of golden hair swirl across her face as she reaches into her pocket and pulls out her conch shell. She comes to an abrupt halt at the bottom of the hill, inhales deeply, and then blows with as much force as possible into the conch. The shell releases a deep moan that echoes throughout the island, and the pirates instantly cease their battles to sprint towards her.
"Tetra!" Link's voice sounds from behind her and she spins around to see him standing with his nightshirt and cut off pants still on, but he somehow managed to slip on a pair of leather boots and his trademark green hat in a few seconds. His sword and shield are also strapped to his back. The previous fury that was shining in his eyes has been replaced with the same determination and alertness that he always gets before entering battle.
"What is it, Link?" She questions impatiently.
"The cap'n of the Screeching Lark wouldn't happen to be a large, round man with an enormous wart and a curly beard that goes to his waist, would he?" He asks curiously.
"You know Cap'n Leather Beard Bowen?" She clarifies in an incredulous tone. Link's lips dip into a tight frown and he places his hands on his hips.
"Yes, he took something of mine and I want it back," he admits reproachfully and his eyes suddenly turn steely.
She shakes her head and crosses her arms. "Sorry about your precious trinket and everything, but we have bigger problems right now," she reminds him harshly. "Get these townsfolk of yours ready because we're going to need all the help we can get. Now give me my dagger back!"
Link nods and shoves the weapon into her hand. She grips the brass handle tightly, comforted by its familiar weight and sharp, curved edge. Without a word she spins around and marches to the edge of the water with her crew standing ten paces behind her, waiting for orders.
Already the Screeching Lark is closer than before and she can clearly see the Jolly Roger flapping against the starry night sky. Frowning and thinking frantically, Tetra quickly observes her unfamiliar surroundings. The island is crescent shaped with rocky outcroppings and sand that consists mostly of sharp shells. The houses are tiny and built of white clay that glows in the moonlight. The buildings reside directly between the ocean and the thick expanse of jungle, as if trying to stay as far away as possible from both hazardous areas.
We could form a trap up on that ledge, she thinks to herself, but her vexation grows as she realizes that her ideas will not be enough to stop the approaching, ruthless pirates. We don't have time for that! We could try to flee but they'd be back to following us around the sea like last year. Open combat would be difficult with these townsfolk who have probably never even injured a person in their life.
Tetra would not have noticed the approach of a certain blond man if it weren't for her crew's excited murmurs of, "Is that Link?" and "Link's going to speak to Miss Tetra!" Subtly is not their strong point.
"What do you want?" Tetra asks crossly without looking at the man standing beside her. His voice is as soft as the ocean breeze as he explains how he has prepared the townsfolk for battle. Massive boulders wait by the edge of the jungle, ready to be rolled down to the incoming warriors, and archers are positioned on the roofs. If all else fails, they will retreat into the jungle where their traps will then hopefully capture their foes.
Tetra eyes Link curiously and asks with amazement, "Is this some kind of war island? How are you guys so prepared?"
"This island is often pillaged by pirates, and I stopped by it during my travels. I helped them create a better defense system so they could survive pirate attacks," he responds casually with his gaze also locked on the approaching ship.
Tetra crosses her arms and rolls her eyes. Even though her tone is full of derision, Link can see her playful grin when she says, "Sometimes, Link, I think you're too nice. Do you ever not help people?"
He just looks at her and shows that sweet, adorable smile that makes her remember why she left him on that island in the first place. Setting a determined expression, Tetra nods curtly and returns to the group of people behind them. Her crew stands on one side waiting patiently for her orders while the townsfolk are huddled on the other side, eyeing the pirates with skepticism and fear. The men hold clubs and kitchen knives, and only a few of them have actual weapons. Tetra begins calmly ordering the people into positions for battle, placing her crew and Link by the shore and the townsfolk by the houses. Everybody moves rapidly, and even when they are standing they continue to fidget as if they can no longer contain themselves. They drum their fingers against the handle of their weapons or fiddle with their clothes. They follow Tetra's orders without question but are always glancing at the approaching ship. Once everybody is in position, Tetra stands at the edge of the water with Link by her side.
"It won't be long now," she whispers as she grips her dagger tightly. It will only be a few seconds until the enemy's hull skids along the sandy floor and the pirates charge the island. They're so close now that she can see their large bodies leaning over the railings of the ship, staring them down like prey.
"Link," Tetra sighs after a moment. "I know you're upset with me, but lets forget about that right now and fight like we used to. Together."
Link turns to her and sees that her sly smile has returned to her tan face and she gives him her signature wink. The motion causes his lips to spread into a boyish grin as he unsheathes his sword and buckles his shield to his arm. They click blades like men clinking cups over a toast of buried treasure.
The sound of whizzing arrows fill the night the moment the first enemy pirates jump off the Screeching Lark and into the water. More and more pirates slide off the ship and they run through the once placid ocean. Water splashes around them and their deep yells shake the awaiting villagers to the bone. They're large men with worn faces and crooked, yellow teeth. Their massive chests are barely clothed by leather vests and their swords shine dangerously in the moonlight like the hundreds of teeth in a shark.
The first one sprints to Tetra and all thoughts on Link and the rest of the island disappear as she balances on her toes and focuses on her approaching target. She feels the adrenaline rushing through her body while her muscles tense. He jabs at her with his sword, but her mind has shifted into battle mode and she effortlessly dodges his attack before slashing at his midsection. He just manages to evade her blade and kicks her with his enormous boot. Stumbling backwards, she quickly regains her footing and ducks down just before he sends a strike that would have left her headless.
Crouching, she digs her knife into his calf muscle, leaving a deep, long wound that sends him reeling. Rolling between his legs, she jumps up and shoves her dagger into his back before punching the pressure point in his neck. She slips her weapon away as he falls limply to the side. Her once shiny blade is now slick with crimson blood but this means nothing to her as victory gives her an energy boost.
Glancing to her right, she sees Link hacking away at a pirate that is three times his size. Their blades bounce off each other with sharp metallic rings, but then Link shoves his opponent off balance with his shield. The pirate stumbles backwards and Link instantly uses his foe's massive arm to propel himself over the enemy. Flipping, he slams the butt of his sword at the back of the pirate's head and the monstrous man goes down without a word as Link lands gracefully on his feet. Around him is a pile of four unconscious bodies while she has only one.
They lock eyes for a split second and he frantically points at something behind her. Spinning around, she sees an axe soaring right for her head. She jumps back just in time and the weapon embeds itself deeply into the grass, leaving the owner of the axe struggling to yank it out of the Earth. Taking the perfect opportunity, Tetra delivers a storm of punches and kicks that leaves the man lying limp on top of his immovable weapon.
The once quiet island is now exploding with the noise of swords clashing against each other, arrows flying into soft flesh or bouncing off rocks, pirates and townsfolk screaming battle cries, and the wounded roaring with pain. A loud moan shakes the earth as massive stone boulders are released from their holds and begin to roll down the grass towards the incoming pirates.
Tetra fights her opponent fiercely, completely oblivious of everything else but his sword and body. Sweat drips down her face and her muscles ache but adrenaline keeps her on her toes. She's so focused on defeating this man that she doesn't even hear the rumble of an oncoming boulder from behind her.
The man lunges towards her and she twists out of the way, but this time he has exposed his neck for a clear shot. Raising her knife, she's about to finish him off when she is suddenly shoved backwards and into a thicket. Leaves and twigs envelope her body as a heavy weight keeps her pinned down even though she punches and struggle against her attacker.
"Get off of me!" She demands but the sound of a wailing man brings her eyes back to where she was just a second ago. A massive stone boulder rolls right over her previous opponent, crushing his body as easily as one steps on a fly, before continuing its deathly roll into an oncoming group of pirates.
Her heart pounds against her chest as she imagines what would have happened if the person on top of her hadn't shoved her out of the way. She averts her eyes to the face above her and she isn't surprised to see light blue eyes staring right back at her. His sun kissed blond hair is sticky with blood, sweat slides down along the side of his face, and he's panting heavily, but his goofy grin makes this all seem like a daily occurrence.
"You're so proud of yourself right now, aren't you?" Tetra groans with narrowed eyes.
"No…" he answers and then shakes his head. "Well, maybe a little."
Shoving him off of her, she stands up and mumbles, "Thanks. Now I think Zuko could use some help so – Link? Where are you going?"
But he doesn't respond and continues to sprint past pairs of fighting men down to the rocky beach. She calls after him as he dashes into the ocean. Water sprays around him as if the waves are struggling to push him back but he moves against the current towards the awaiting ship.
Tetra opens her mouth to yell again but stops when she remembers him mentioning that Cap'n Leather Beard Bowen had taken something from him. If Link is willing to risk his life by jumping onto an enemy vessel, then this must be some important item, and there is always time for treasure, even in the middle of battle.
Link and Tetra quickly swim to the pirate ship and scramble up the ladder. Once at the top, Link peeks over the rail and scans the deck. Wooden crates and barrels are tucked in the corner and cannons are positioned so that their barrels jut out off the edge, ready for war. Bundles of rope are curled tightly around the two masts like snakes around a human leg. From what he can see, nobody is on board. Even though, his heart is pounding and his gut feels like somebody twisted it as he silently hops over the edge and onto the deck. Tetra is right behind him and they stand so close together he can feel her breath on the back of his neck. The sounds of battle are duller up here but the clashing of metal and yells of pain are still prominent.
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Link takes a tentative step towards the captain's cabin where his stolen item is most likely to be hidden. The waves rock the boat to the side and it creeks with the movement, making Link and Tetra flinch at the sudden noise. Taking a deep breath, they quickly sneak to the captain's cabin, staying low and in the shadows the entire time.
Link pulls at the door but it doesn't budge.
"It's locked," he grumbles though Tetra is already leaning over it with her lock pick in hand. Nudging him out of the way, her fingers fiddle with the keyhole for only five seconds before a click is heard and the door swings open.
They step into the cabin with their weapons drawn and then freeze in the threshold of the door. Holding their breath, they block out the distant sounds of battle and listen to the ship. Aside from its eerie creeks, the place is silent.
"Do you have a light?" Link asks in a voice so quiet that it is almost inaudible.
The cabin is pitch black aside from the light that seeps in through the open door, but it is not enough to see anything aside from the edge of an ornately woven rug. Tetra nods and reaches into her red bandana. She pulls out a slate blue stone that hangs around her neck from a brown piece of rope. Holding it in her open palm, she concentrates only on one thing: light.
Seconds tick by and nothing happens. Closing her eyes, she concentrates even more and, to her relief, the stone emits a soft blue light that illuminates a small amount of space around them while casting the rest in deep shadows.
It's a large cabin compared to the typical size of most ships. A blood red velvet bed sits in one corner and a massive wooden desk stands proudly in front of a clear window that displays the black ocean like a painting. The table is cluttered with faded maps, elegant quills, bottles of ink, and a globe that sits precariously on the edge. Chests of various sizes line the red walls and leather clothes hang from sharp hooks. Worn out blades sit in a pot beside the door like umbrellas in a normal home.
"What is it that we're looking for?" Tetra whispers as Link steps towards the circular table right in front of them. It is covered in bowls of fruit and bread, and a half eaten roasted pig sits in the center.
"A map," he answers as he moves past the table and heads towards the desk. "It's big and old."
"Big and old," she repeats in a soft voice and follows him with her glowing pendant held before her. "That's descriptive."
He ignores her jibe and begins shifting the various maps that have been laid out on the table, but none of them is the one he's looking for.
"There's a box full of them under here," Tetra informs him as she hoists a wooden chest out from under the table and places it on top. Link instantly begins flipping through the pile, glancing at each map one by one while Tetra scans the area around them. Stolen paintings in golden frames hang from the walls but none of them could be the map that he's looking for.
"It's not in here," he grumbles and a look of dismay befalls his face as he struggles to think of where else it could be hidden. He glances to the open door before heading towards the pile of chests.
"Don't bother," Tetra whispers while grabbing his elbow before he can take another step. "No pirate would store his treasures in chests sitting right out in the open. Those are for clothes and other invaluable items."
Releasing his arm, she begins poking at the floor with her toe, shifting between feet as she tests the planks. Frowning at her lack of success, she flips over a corner of the ornate rug and presses at the ground with her fingers. She then notices a dip in the floor and a sly smile spreads across her face. With nimble fingers, she pries at the piece of wood and, after a moment of resistance, the wood peels back to reveal a shallow hole in the ground, and nestled in that hole is a small brass box
Tetra gingerly pulls it out, surprised by how light it is, and places it on the ground. Crouching beside her, Link tugs at that hatch but, of course, a massive lock keeps it closed. He looks to Tetra hopefully but she glances back at the open door and then shakes her head.
"We need to get off this thing," she whispers as she stands up with the box in her hand. "We can open this later where we have more time."
"But we don't know if the map is in there," Link argues in a voice barely above a breath and the blue light from the pendant flickers in his frantic cobalt eyes.
"If it's as important as you say it is, then it will be," she assures him before spinning on her heels and rushing out the door, the light from the stone dying as she does so.
Outside the sounds of battle have lessened but the deck is still empty, much to her relief. Link exits the cabin with her and closes the door, locking it once more as if they were never there. They walk to the edge of the ship together and Link begins to descend the ladder and Tetra follows him with one hand cradling the small chest. The boat rocks as she climbs down rung by rung, and by the time she is half way down Link has slipped silently into the ocean and waits for her at the bottom. He holds his hands up, and though they speak no words they understand each other perfectly. Tetra holds out the chest, ready to drop it to him, when a massive hand suddenly latches onto her arm like a hawk snagging a mouse off the forest floor. She yelps in surprise and feels her bones straining underneath the terribly tight grip.
"Tetra!" Link cries as the box slips out of her fingers and she is thrown back onto the deck, landing painfully on her side and skidding until she slams into the mast. She instantly struggles to stand up but an enormous foot slams her back down to the floor and keeps her pinned there helplessly.
"Cap'n Tetra of the misfit pirates," a scratchy, deep voice chuckles darkly from above her and she glares at the muscular man dressed in a long leather coat that is stained with splotches of blood. The salty breeze plays with his stringy black beard that reaches his waist, and it curls in the air like the smoke floating from the pipe stuck between his sharp yellow teeth. His black beady eyes gaze down at her with triumph and the moonlight highlights his enormous wart, making it look bigger than she remembers it.
Link has already hopped over the railing with his sword in one hand and the chest in the other. His mouth is set in a tight line and his cobalt eyes are ablaze with determination and fury as he studies the scene before him.
"Argh, come to get your map back, lad?" He grins wickedly as he pulls out a thick leather whip with nine strands that skim the floor like claws scraping against wood. "Or do you want to meet me cat o' nine tails?"
Despite the threat, Link keeps a straight face and tightens his grip on his sword. Tetra squirms in a futile attempt to escape but he presses his boot harder down into her back and she feels her spine cracking underneath the weight.
"Give it here, lad," he demands as he uses his other hand to unsheathe a jagged dagger from his belt. Pointing the blade down at Tetra's face, he threatens, "Or she'll be breathin' no more."
"Let her go first," Link orders in a steady voice but his eyes flick nervously between Tetra and the captain.
"Me chest first, then you get the lass," he grins again as his fingers drum against the handle of his whip.
"How do I know you'll release her once I give you the chest?" Link protests and chills run down his spine at the sight of the wicked gleam in his enemy's black eyes.
"Aye, looks like you'll just have to trust me then."
Link hesitates and his face pales. Locking eyes with Tetra, he can tell that all she is thinking is of the one thing she tells him all the time.
Never trust a pirate.
"I'm growing impatient, lad," the bearded man warns as he dips his knife closer to Tetra's exposed neck.
Link nods and takes a step forward but Leather Beard Bowen stops him again.
"The sword! Put it away and then kick me chest over!" He orders and the hunger in his eyes blaze like a black fire.
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Link slowly sheathes his sword and then places the chest on the floor. The ship rocks again and with a light kick the box is sliding across the deck to the awaiting pirate.
Leather Beard Bowen's eyes light up as he snatches his chest off the ground, shaking it a few times before grinning wickedly. Holding it underneath his arm, he positions the knife right above Tetra's head and says with a chuckle, "You should know, lad, that you should never trust a pirate."
Link blanches and then he sprints forward, but before he can even take one step a huge boom brings them to their knees and the ship tips dangerously to port. Pieces of wood fall all around them like rain and they both stumble around to regain their balance, leaving Tetra free to move again. She instantly rushes across the titled deck and grabs onto the railing beside Link. Gazing out into the black sea, she spots her ship floating in the ocean about half a mile away, and the large man flailing his arms around can only be Gonzo.
She smiles at his perfect timing and can faintly hear him screaming, "NOBODY TOUCHES MISS TETRA, YOU SON OF A BISCUT EATER!"
The ship's rocking starts to lessen but Link is already dragging her by the arm to the ladder. She pulls him back and holds his hand in a painfully tight grip while inquiring, "What about the map, Link?"
He glances to Leather Beard Bowen who is chasing after the chest as it slides down the slanted deck. Shaking his head, he replies, "There is no item more important than you Tetra."
"But we can take him if we do it together," she insists though tucks away his endearing comment in her brain to use against him later. "If we can defeat the greatest evils of all time together, I don't think some bearded man is going to be much of a problem."
With her sly smile gracing her tan face again, she winks at him and he can't help but grin back. Despite the fact that she abandoned him on that island five years ago, he can't deny that he missed fighting with her. The way they worked together mesmerizes even him; they seem to know each other's moves before they're even executed. No enemy is too great when they're together.
"Let's get that chest back," he decides and her smile widens into a grin as the moonlight dances in her ocean blue eyes.
Link unsheathes his sword as Tetra sprints off to the side and makes her away around to the railing behind their foe. The pirate, now with his chest tucked back underneath his arm and his whip held in his hand, sees Tetra but he's instantly distracted by Link's fearsome battle cry. The young man sprints across the desk with his shield latched onto one arm and his menacing sword gripped in his left hand. His usually peaceful face is twisted into one of immense determination as he leaps into the air and swings his sword down. The pirate steps out of the way just in time and flicks his wrist, flinging the whip at Link but the nine strands meet the metal of a shield rather than soft flesh. Link begins to bombard his foe with a storm of slashes until he is sure that the man will crumple underneath his speed and strength. He's about to knock him off balance with his shield when another boom sends splinters of wood falling all around them and the ship tips dangerously to the side. Barrels roll down the deck and Link has to jump over one so that he doesn't get pushed over the edge.
Just as he is about to charge back at his enemy, a thick leather whip slices at the air half an inch away from his nose. Wind blows past him as the whip slinks back to its owner, only to be cracked again and sent flying at him once more. Link stumbles backwards and slips on the wet deck as it continues to rock. He fretfully watches the whip swing back and forth as Leather Beard Bowen approaches him with heavy footsteps, each time the weapon barely missing his face.
Another boom shakes the boat so badly that water slips over the railing before the ship tips back the other way. Both Link and the pirate lose their footing and slide down the slippery deck while grappling helplessly at anything that can keep them still. Another barrel charges at Link and he rolls out of way just before it smashes open against the railing, piles of gunpowder leaking out like blood from a wound.
Golden light dances across them now as a fire grows in the corner of the deck where a cannon had just smashed to pieces. An enormous crack brings their attention upwards and Link notices hot flames licking at the main mast. Charred pieces of wood begin to fall onto the deck below like black rain. A low moan rumbles throughout the ship as the middle of the main mast is completely engulfed in fire and the upper portion begins to tip to starboard. The ship rocks with the falling mast and continues to dip into the ocean until it is almost perpendicular with the dark water below. Link grabs onto the railing and clings to it with all of his strength as the mast snaps completely in half and plunges into the water. He hears Leather Beard Bowen yell from somewhere to his right as flaming pieces of wood and ocean spray cascade around him. The cackling fire is loud in his ears as he hoists himself up over the edge until he is crouched on the railing. The raging fire continues to crawl down the remaining portion of the mast and to the main part of the ship, most of which is underwater and steadily sinking in.
"Tetra!" Link shouts as he frantically scans the black ocean for any sign of her but all he can see are burning splinters of wood falling into the restless water. Not even Leather Beard Bowen is beside him anymore.
"TETRA!" he screams again with desperation as he debates diving into the water to find her or returning to shore in case she has began a voyage there already. Where could she be? He thought they'd agree that she'd attack their foe from behind while Link kept him distracted?
"TETRA!" He cries out once more but his yell is cut short when the boat lurches forward and a chunk of the fore mast crumples away. He can feel the heat of the flames now as the fire begins to engulf the deck and crawls towards him. The flames twist and churn like snakes slithering along the jungle floor as they destroy everything in their path. Knowing that staying on the ship is hopeless, Link spins around and dives off into the ocean on the other side of the boat.
The freezing water cools his burning face but shocks him awake again as he stares with squinted eyes at the endless black sea. He feels a tornado of bubbles rise around his body as he swims towards what he believes to be the surface. For a few seconds he grows worried that he's failed to swim in the right direction, but then his head breaks the surface and he frantically inhales deep breaths and strains his muscles to keep him afloat while the choppy waves slap at his body.
Spinning around, he watches the flames consume the last piece of the ship where he had been standing, and soon the Screeching Lark is a massive pile of hungry flames in the middle of a dark ocean.
His heart drops to the pit of his stomach as he wonders if Tetra ever made it out alive. Chills run down his spine as he envisions the burning mast slamming into her on its way down. He curses himself for agreeing to go back and get the chest. No item is worth Tetra's life.
He shakes the horrible images out of his head and, inhaling another deep breath, he dives back into the water and begins swimming towards the other side of the burning ship. The firelight flashes across the choppy waves, casting everything in a blazing orange light and the salty water smashes into his face though he struggles forward.
He finally reaches the other side of the ship and swims carefully amongst burning slabs of wood. His breathing becomes heavy and his throat dry as he frantically searches the wreckage for any sign of her. The undulating orange light makes it seem as if everything is swaying and he has to focus his eyes in order to distinguish solid shapes.
There. A flash of yellow. Just there, for a split second, he saw yellow.
Going on a whim, Link starts swimming vigorously towards the general direction of the yellow shape. The heat from the dancing flames warms his cold body and the hiss and crackle of the fire fills his ears like a noisy fly buzzing around his head. Large, hungry waves threaten to drag him under, but he propels himself forward and keeps his head above water.
There. Yellow again, but this time the color stays in sight. Hope surging through him, Link swims faster and faster, until he is floating beside a slab of wood that is barely supporting the weight of a person.
He grips onto the edge of the platform and quickly studies the body in front of him. Even at night he recognizes the navy blue vest and red bandana, but she's lying on her stomach and her head is turned away from him. Her chest isn't moving.
"Tetra," he calls her name out weakly while gently nudging her shoulder. No response.
"Tetra," he says her name more desperately and shakes her a bit harder. This time her body responds and she rolls onto her side so that she's facing him. Her soaked blonde hair has fallen out of its bun and clings to her tanned shoulders and arms. Dark crimson blood leaks from a gash on her arm and Link suspects that there are more injuries due to the amount of blood that is forming on the wooden slab. Her breathing is shallow and more blood drips from a small cut on her forehead. Despite her obviously disgruntled state, she's grinning from ear to ear and she winks at him.
"I got it, Link," she breathes and slowly pulls something out from underneath her arm. The firelight makes the brass chest shine when she holds it out to him but he just keeps looking at her with an unreadable expression.
"You are without a doubt the most insane girl I have ever met," he states but her grin grows even more as if he just gave her the highest form of a compliment. After a moment of simply staring at her, he can't help but smile too as the burning ship crumbles behind them into nothing more than charred slabs of wood and melted pieces of gold. Somehow their chuckling is still heard by the other while the collapsing ship releases deep moans that rumble across the ocean, similar to a whale calling out to an old friend.
The island is calm and cheerful like a baby just opening its eyes after a long slumber. Tetra's pirates tie the remaining enemies with thick coils of rope to various trees while the townsfolk gather fallen weapons and clear away the rest of the rubble. They both return the boulders to their original area, and any remaining arrows are gathered together in bundles. The biggest members of her crew, Senza and Nudge, chat with two pretty ladies of the village while Gonzo chastises Niko for leaving dirty clothes out on the deck (it caused Gonzo to slip during his heroic rescue attempt, which made him feel un-heroic). Zuko sits on a rock by the shore with his usual frown and bags pulling on his dull brown eyes as he stares into the distance with his telescope. Mako follows a group of young girls around and, try as they might, they can never seem to get him to stop talking about his latest invention.
Tetra watches all of this from the room in Link's house where she had snuck into last night. The early morning light faintly illuminates the walls that are soft and white like the sky just before it rains. Sitting in a rocking chair by the window, she stares out with a soft smile on her face as she lets the chirping birds ease her tired body.
"How are you feeling?" Link's gentle voice asks from the doorway, and she snaps her ocean blue eyes to him. He's dressed in his usual garb – the forest green tunic and matching, silly hat – and his sweet smile graces his face as he walks towards her.
"Never better," she grins and he eyes the bandage wrapped around her arm and thigh. Link stands in front of her and rests his arms on the windowsill. For a moment he gazes out at the horizon where the sun is just peeking out over the edge of the world, casting streaks of yellow and orange across the dull blue sky. The warm breeze ruffles his bushy blond hair, and it reminds her of all those times they would stand on the deck together and watch the ocean fly past them.
"I'm still waiting for an answer," he says finally but his voice is patient and kind.
"I want to know what's in the chest," she replies a little too quickly despite his calm tone.
"I haven't opened it yet," he confesses but she persists.
"Then let's do it now."
Link smiles again and turns to face her with his hands still resting on the windowsill. Even Tetra is surprised at his tolerance for her stubborn attitude as he says calmly, "I've been waiting five years for an answer to my question while you've only waited a few hours for the answer to yours; therefore, my question gets answered first."
Tetra would usually fight against this till the very end, but he's right. He deserves to know.
She sighs and stares at her feet. "You'll laugh at me."
"I think laughing is the last thing I'll do in this situation," he replies but Tetra shakes her head.
"No, I was being stupid," she confesses, and any negative comments said about herself is as rare as Niko actually doing a job correctly. "I shouldn't have left you on that island."
"But why did you?" he presses in his patient tone.
Tetra sighs again and, still looking at her feet, the words spill out of her mouth uncontrollably. "Because after we finally defeated Bellum and awoke on the ship, I realized that whenever I'm around you fall into trouble. Just my mere presence on Outset Island caused your sister to be kidnapped and your treacherous journey. And you were right about saving me countless times! So that is why I left you there…. You're the nicest person I know and you don't deserve to go through such perils over me, so I wanted you to be safe."
She hesitates and chokes on her words while Link just looks at her curiously.
"That's why?" He muses in an incredulous tone. "You ditched me on an island because you wanted to force me to settle down because you think that is what I wanted?"
She holds up a hand to silence him and shakes her head. "That is all but a small part of the reason why I left you there, and I know what you're going to say: I shouldn't make those decisions for you, you would have preferred to stay on the ship, and all that hogwash, but I have another, bigger reason."
She pauses again and Link watches her hands grip the arm rests as if to keep her from sinking in her chair in a pathetic attempt to hide her true feelings. When she doesn't speak after a few moments, he urges her lightly, "What is it?"
Swallowing the lump in her throat, she takes a deep breath and confesses, "Because when I'm with you I don't feel like a pirate."
"Tetra," Link pauses before he blurts out his true opinion. "That makes no sense."
She sighs and rubs her forehead with her hand while her eyes are squeezed shut. "My mother was the fiercest pirate in the land and all I have ever wanted to do is be equally notorious," she explains with her eyes still closed. "I've been a pirate my entire life, and ever since I discovered that I'm some kind of princess I've been wondering if…if I'm not supposed to be a pirate. But the thing is, that's all I want to be and I'll do anything to keep this life."
Link opens his mouth to say something but Tetra speaks again before he can say a word.
"I know what you're going to say: I can do whatever I want, but I cannot be the fearsome pirate that my mother was when you're around all the time. When I'm with you I have these thoughts that no pirate should have, like whenever I steal something I actually feel guilty because I think what if these people are innocent and kind like Link and his family? I mean, what pirate feels guilty? And then when I was captured by Bellum all I could think about was you and…and…"
Her words fail her again and she hunches over a bit, as if speaking the truth is physically painful for her, but she forces herself to go on. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she whispers, "And I care about you too much. That's the scariest part. I've seen you come so close to death so many times, and usually it's because you're saving me from some mess I've gotten myself into, and I find myself wondering what I would do if you were to actually lose a battle. There's a reason pirates don't have friends or spouses, Link."
Silence befalls the room once more as Tetra continues to stare at her hands. Tears threaten to form in her eyes, proving how un-pirate like she really is, and that thought makes her fingers tremble.
Her heart flutters when Link slips his strong, calloused hands into hers and he kneels before her. She can feel him trying to get her to look at him but she keeps her eyes down so that he cannot see the water forming in them. He reaches out to her, however, and gently tips her chin up with his finger. His sweet smile has returned to his face and his light blue eyes are full of compassion. She blinks quickly to keep the tears from falling and forces herself not to break their gaze.
"Tetra," he whispers her name and continues to speak in a soft yet strong voice. "You are absolutely the most intimidating pirate I have ever met. You fight against men who are ten times your size and you somehow managed to retrieve a chest while the ship burned to ashes. You're cunning and brave…. I'd dare say that you may be the greatest pirate of all time."
"You only say that because you can't say a foul word about anybody," she huffs but even she cannot hide her smile at his endearing words.
"Ganondorf is a fat, arrogant, and selfish man with absolutely no good in his soul," Link states proudly with a goofy grin and Tetra releases a weak chuckle.
"That doesn't count," she replies as she crosses her arms.
"Well, what's so bad about caring for somebody?" he asks in a more serious tone, effectively changing the subject.
Tetra's smile falls and she gently brings Link's hand down into her lap and traces a long scar across his thumb with her forefinger.
"We're always in danger, Link," she replies softly. "And I can't bare the thought of you not making it out alive."
"You know, Tetra," Link begins to say slowly as his other hand joins hers. "There were many times where I would have been happy to give up completely, but that's the beauty about caring for somebody. The only reason I could accomplish all those seemingly impossible tasks was because I had somebody to fight for, somebody who I cared for so passionately that a life without them would be hell, so I fought like hell to prevent it." He pauses and Tetra raises her gaze to look into his sparkling blue eyes. Gently squeezing her hand, he asks, "Do you understand, Tetra?"
She nods and blinks again as water floods her eyes. "So…" she mumbles as a warm breeze brushes against her neck. "Are you still mad at me?"
Link rocks back on his heels and bites his lip for a second. After a moment of consideration, he confesses, "I know I should be more upset with you, but for some reason I can never seem to stay mad at you, Tetra. Though I must admit, ditching me on an island was a bit extreme."
"You're talking to the girl who catapulted you," she jibes as her sly smile slowly returns to her tan face. "Obviously everything I do is going to be a bit extreme. Now, do we get to open that chest or not?"
Link grins and nods before slipping his hands out of hers and exiting the room. He returns a minute later with the small chest in his hands. Senza had already broken the lock and all that is left is actually lifting its lid and seeing the contents inside.
He places the chest in her lap and says, "You do the honors."
An anxious glint lights up in her sea blue eyes as they always does whenever she opens a chest filled with treasure for the first time. Both of them are eager as Link watches her nimble fingers flip the latch and fling the lid open. The sunlight reflects off of the large, glittering rubies, sapphires, and golden jewelry, but Tetra ignores all of this and pulls out a thick piece of rolled parchment. It crackles underneath even the slightest touch, and she carefully places it into Link's awaiting hands. His light blue eyes are alight with curiosity and anticipation as he quickly unrolls the parchment with delicate touches. He spreads it out on the stone floor and his face lights up as his eyes trace the familiar shapes on the map.
"This is it, Tetra," he breathes with awe as he skims his fingers across the stiff paper and faded ink. "I've found it. I've found our new Hyrule."
Her heart leaps in excitement as he quickly explains to her the stories he has heard about this far away country. The land is prosperous and filled with various climates and creatures, just like ancient Hyrule. He speaks of freezing mountains, barren deserts, a gorgeous bay, and thick forests filled with kind people and other creatures. An evil currently occupies the land, however, that prevents them from interacting with the rest of the world.
"It will be dangerous, Tetra," he informs her as he continues to trace the ink with his finger. "But this is what we've been searching for. I know it, I can feel it."
"You are truly remarkable, Link," Tetra says casually and he looks at her in surprise due to her rare show of praise. "The woman you love will have to be the greatest person alive to deserve you."
Her tone is relaxed but only Link is able to hear the sense of bitterness in her voice. Even though, he grins and replies with a playful gleam in his eyes, "I believe I've already found her."
She quirks an eyebrow and asks in a skeptical tone, "Oh, really? Is she pretty?"
"Gorgeous, but in a tough way," he responds with his goofy grin.
"Wiser than anybody I know."
"Does she know you well?"
"Better than anybody else."
"Is she proper?"
"Not in the slightest."
"What does she smell like? Flowers?"
"Like the sea."
Tetra opens her mouth to ask another question when the words catch in her throat and she finally notices the clever glint in Link's eyes as he kneels before her.
Grinning now, Tetra leans forward until their faces are only inches apart. "And does she like you back?"
"It's hard to tell," he admits with a playful shrug. "Sometimes I think she hates me."
"She probably does," she agrees with a nod. "Or she may just hate you the least."
"That's good enough for me," Link grins and neither of them move, their conversation trailing to an end. He stares at her smiling face for a split second before closing the space between them and crashing his lips on hers. She melts at his touch and wraps her arms around his neck as she returns his kiss and his hands rest on her waist. All thoughts on the past and the future vanish, leaving them only to focus on the exact present when their connection is so strong that Link thinks his brain is melting from her passionate kiss.
Time has escaped them as Link slowly stands up with his arms wrapped around her waist. She follows him and lets him support her so that she can rest her wounded leg. With her arms still wrapped around his neck, Tetra just chuckles at the sheer bliss of it all and Link begins to laugh with her before diving back in for another sweet kiss that makes his body go numb.
"Miss Tetra, Gonzo won't stop yelling at me and – OH!" Niko's pesky voice breaks through the silence of their haven as the short young man stands awkwardly in the doorway. His face turns beet red and he stammers some incoherent words before running away in fear of Tetra's wrath.
Her and Link break apart and she just grins up at him for a moment before saying with a chuckle, "Well, I'll probably have to go fix whatever problem of his. Now you best get packing because we'll be setting sail at noon, and you'll be coming with us this time."
She slips away from him and limps away towards the door while shooting him a glare that tells him to keep his mouth shut about her wound. He can only grin like a goof as the warm breeze ruffles his fluffy blond hair.
Tetra is about to exit the room when she hesitates in the threshold of the door. Looking over her shoulder, she says with a wink, "And good luck with that girl of yours. She sounds like a handful."
"Yes," he agrees. "But she's worth it."
"You do realize that flattery won't get you out of swabbing the deck, right?" She clarifies and he just chuckles.
"Of course, your highness."
"Watch it," she warns though her voice is barely threatening. "Or you'll be washing clothes with Niko for the next month and a half."
Before he can get a word in reply, Tetra spins around and turns the corner, leaving him by himself in the white room. For a moment he simply stands there and recalls the way her lips moved with his only a few moments ago.
"It's good to be back," he decides with a triumphant grin.
I wrote this mid July after watching Pirates of the Caribbean on T.V. and then I was inspired to write about pirates, good thing Nintendo made Wind Waker! (Speaking of which, this is my first Wind Waker fic so I guess that's exciting?)
I haven't written for Zelda in a while and I know this isn't that great. I didn't go crazy with symbolism or themes because I wanted to do something more light hearted after my other story It's Only a Paper Moon (which was pretty heavy). So it was more for fun than anything else. Either way, I hope you enjoyed it!
Also, I didn't realize this until later but I don't know if they have guns in the Wind Waker. They do in Pirates of the Caribbean so I'm just going to say that they do. C:
Edit: guys, please ignore the fact that LoZ doesn't use guns in the games but they do here. It's not a big deal so just forget about it. Thanks. :)
Thanks for reading and please review! Feedback makes me very happy. :3