Not sure if this will stay a oneshot or if I'll tackle a sequel to Fantiality. I wrote it mainly because I was too tired to do anything productive, and Shadow is awesome.
by Lowe Fantasy
I wasn't suppose to be awake. I'm sure Shadow had meant to sneak out all invisible like the ninja he thought he was, but I saw him through the banister outside my bedroom on the floor below. The moonlight shot his shadow across the floor, a black figure just as dark as he.
My first instinct was to run down and stop him—but why? What claim had I to him? And he had told me he would be leaving, out on his own quest, wherever that was. Probably to find his own identity rather than borrowing Link's, being his dark side and all.
And even if I did try to stop him, I wouldn't know what to say.
Nonetheless, as soon as he stepped out of the pillar of moonlight, I found myself running for the stairs, the slap of my naked feet miniscule in the silent hallway.
The thing about Dark Link was that he, well, blended into the shadows. His nickname didn't come from a genius.
Thus, for a quiet moment filled with my thundering heartbeat, I thought I was too late.
But then I heard the soft tapping of boots and he reappeared, just outside of the light of the moon.
"What? Forget to thank me for all my selfless, compassionate work? Probably be the most I'll ever do in three lifetimes, so of course you're grateful."
"Your arrogance is astounding."
"How very astute of you. What do you want? Can't you see I got an aimless journey to go on?" his eyes narrowed—darker versions of Link's. "Shouldn't you be in bed with your hero?"
I didn't miss the venom in his voice, and did my best to hide my flinch. My face flushed and I clenched my fists.
"What do you take me for? Some kind of whore?"
"That all depends, why are you here? I'm not going to try and change your mind about him, and if you're thinking of changing it for me, forget it. I don't need someone so wishy-washy."
"Just stop with the annoying butt-hurting, I came down here to say good-bye because we happen to be, and I quote from you, 'friends,' and that's what friends do!"
"Well maybe I don't even know what it means to be a friend," he growled. "I was created to be a man-killing monster, after all."
"Then don't even bother to think you were ever in love with me, then, because you probably never even understood what it meant!"
Shadow, for probably the first time since I had known him, visibly darkened around his cheeks. Despite the twitch to his eyebrow, he gave me a taunt, sarcastic sort of grin.
"I can't believe you were able to say that out loud without squeezing your knees together like some blushing bride." He snickered, though it came a little delayed as though as an afterthought. In that brief pause I saw a flash of the hurt in his eyes, so quick I could have been mistaken. But I was no fool, as Shadow seemed to want to take me as. So, taking a deep breath, I stretched out my fingers and let go of my rage.
"Shadow," I said, "I'll miss you."
He met my eye then, a little surprised, though he hid it well by crossing his arm across his chest and smirking.
"Oh, so maybe you do feel something for me then?"
I scowled. "Friends don't have to be lovers, dimwit."
"I wouldn't know," he said with a dry sniff. "I've never had a need for either."
An awkward silence fell between us. I could feel myself losing my self-assurance as I felt a twinge of guilt. That's right. Shadow was just Dark Link after all. He only had a cameo moment in the game, and any life outside of the Water Temple had never been written or bothered with. What had Shadow done with most of his existence? Probably not get friendly with other characters. He wasn't one of them, after all.
Shadow smirk fell into a glower. "Stop with the pity. If you're any friend of mine, you will spare me."
He took a few steps toward me and into full view of the moonlight. He hadn't changed a bit over our adventure. He still looked like the black and white version of Link, almost unnaturally so with the pallor of his skin and the ebony of his hair. He still wore the clothes he had been created with and the black and silver carbon copies of Link's shield and Master Sword.
And seeing that all brought out in the moonlight, which only heightened the contrast between light and dark, made me want to cry.
Shadow would have never forgiven me if I did, though, and I swallowed it down hard.
"I can try and make a story for you," I said. "Miyamoto owes me that much for saving his story."
"You're still looking at me like that. I said stop."
"Don't you want your own identity though? I could make you look different from Link, maybe give you a past-"
"I can write my own story! I don't need to be controlled by another storyteller!"
His voice boomed across the hallway in his rage and I recoiled back, alarmed of the mistake I had made. Of course. Of course he would want to have his own choice. At the same time he didn't have to freak out on me like that, he could have just told me what he wanted me to write. That had been his original intention in helping me out from the beginning, wasn't it?
But something wasn't right here.
"Shadow, why are you hurt?"
"Because you're a moron."
I paused, then looked down at my feet. "I guess that's somewhat true."
When he didn't say anything, I figured I had done enough damage for the night. "Whatever you say, I'll still miss you, and I'll feel whatever I want towards you, even if it's pity. You have a sad story, Shadow. That's just how it is. And I care enough about you to wish for better." I swallowed hard again to get rid of the need to cry. "Now go off on your stupid journey already, you're acting like a jerk. I'll see you later."
I turned with the intention of not looking back and giving him the satisfaction of seeing how much he had flustered and offended me. I had even managed to get my thoughts turned towards my warm bed upstairs.
But his hand caught my wrist, cool and firm.
He yanked me hard to him and wrapped his arms tight around my waist. I didn't even have the time to push away when he pressed his lips hard against mine, breathing in deep as though his very inhalation could bring me closer. I could smell his musk, so much like Link's except icy and dark, like freshly cut grass at midnight.
Then he had let go and had stepped back into the shadows, leaving me wide-eyed and cold in the moonlight.
"Maybe I don't know what love is," he whispered. "But I can't think of anything else that could be more agonizing than this."
And then he was gone, vanished into the darkness which was his namesake.