Final Meeting by Takato's Dreamer (rainytears)

a/n: this is a sad story, the third in my little series of Saria/Link friendship/romance type stories. The first was "I Will Remember You", the second was "Eternity", and the third is this one. They are not all required to understand this one, however.

This contains character death. If you are affected by that kind of fic in such a way.... then don't read it.

This is not a two-sided romance. It is the unrequited love of Saria, an eternal child, for Link, a normal being. Saria is assumed to be very advanced in years and mind, though she was always a bit innocent. To avoid a romance between eighteen-year-old Link and eleven-year-old Saria, this is a friendship/final meeting story.

That's all I have to say. It is very sad, and my final Link/Saria story.... at least in this "series". This is how I think it should end for sake of drama and character development.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or places mentioned. They are property of Shigeru Miyamoto (spelling?) and Nintendo.

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Saria sat alone in the Lost Woods. She picked up her worn, wooden Fairy Ocarina and examined it slowly. She felt the places where she had worn it out after many, many uses. Saria could also still hear the music of another Ocarina that once played alongside hers... Link's.



Slowly lifting the Ocarina to her mouth, Saria began to play a gentle song. It was much slower than Saria's song.... it was a wistful, yearning song whose very notes seemed lonely as they floated to the sky and kept on going. Saria continued to play, now crying silently.



The tears were very free and emotional. Each one was a memory, being released from Saria's very core as she remembered Link. The times that they had together.....



The festivals, the sunny, hazy days spent under the canopy of trees.... those days were all fresh in her memory. But that was seven years ago. Link must be at least eighteen now, Saria realized with a gasp.



Setting down the Ocarina, Saria sat in the forest as she often did, alone on the one tree stump. She closed her eyes and breathed in the sweet perfection of the greenery, the eternal verdant swaying of the leaves.....



How beautiful the Kokiri forest was.



How empty the Kokiri forest was.



Even though this was paradise, this safe haven of children in the woods, Saria still could not bring herself to be fully content again. A part of her heart, nearly all of it, had left with Link on that swaying bridge. When he was a child still and the warmth of his hand had scarcely left her, Link left Saria standing in the dappled, misty green light of the forest....



The bridge was the gateway between Saria and Link now.



His world was the wide expanse of Hyrule, the flowing plains and mountains and rivers of a huge, magnificent world.



Saria's world wasn't really a green cage, but it was a forest of memories.



It was a forest of unfulfilled dreams and broken hearts and unshed tears.



Now Saria's tears were free, when she was alone. Link was with her forever, even if he would never be the same......



Never again a child.

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Link climbed onto Epona's back and patted the trusty sorrel-colored horse. Smiling in the warm Hylian sunshine, Link took a breath of the sweet morning air of this world.



He nudged Epona with his foot and the horse broke into a steady trot. Link closed his eyes, taking off his green cap. The wind blew through his golden hair, sending it flying to the breeze.



With a day off, Link could spend time to himself.... and he could remember. He had distant, foggy recollections of a young girl whom he once trusted with all of his heart.



He'd always trust those wide sapphire eyes of Saria. She never once lied to Link, her companion for life. She was even older than Link, quite a bit older. He learned this later after studying the Kokiri children a bit more.



Link got off of Epona after a while. He needed a tree to rest under for a while, to clear his mind and take it off of his responsibilities as the Hero of Time.



Finding a gnarled, solitary tree, Link walked over and sat down with a plop. He lay on his back and looked up at the slowly drifting white clouds. The wisps of air sailed over his head, without a care in the world.



They began to lull the blond hero into a sweet sleep, the kind he never got in Kakariko Village, or by the riverside, or in any mountain cave. He was lulled by the gentle peacefulness of nature, and finally closed his eyes.



The Kokiri village..... Saria....

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Saria walked out of the Lost Woods and through the small village of children, taking it all in with shining eyes. She saw the tiny huts where they all lived on their own, tiny beings in the wild, eternal children.



Saria saw the gently flowing river of Kokiri village, and nodded quietly to the many kids who inhabited the land. The soft earth beneath her feet was cool, as was the grass. She was wearing boots, but the mellow dreaminess of the entire place had a soft feel to it.



She watched the golden sunlight kiss the green earth and the huts..... and Link's treehouse. She turned to her destination, walking towards the bridge....



Mido stopped her.



"Saria, where are you going? Not to the bridge, I hope!" he asked nervously, surprisingly concerned and kind.



Saria turned to her old friend. "I am not going to the bridge," she admitted quietly.



Mido looked relieved. "Then where are you going? When you come back, do you want to come over my house or something? Everyone's gonna be there for the spring party," he exclaimed hopefully.



Saria looked Mido straight in the eyes, then off into the distance. "Someday..... I'll come, perhaps," she whispered wistfully, her wide blue eyes honest and sad.



"Why are you so sad, Saria?" Mido asked once more as the green-haired youth began to walk away from him.



"Because.... I'm going to see Link....." she whispered mysteriously, heading to the bridge.



"Link? He's in Hyrule!!!" shouted Mido, chasing after Saria. He put a hand on her shoulder, but she gently shook it off.



"No, Mido. I know what will happen. But I.... love Link. I have to see him once more. We never would if I didn't leave today," she reprimanded the Kokiri boy sadly.



"Good-bye, Mido. Tell the others that I said good-bye. I love this forest, and I love you all. But I love Link more than I can explain... as a friend, as a person... Good-bye, Mido," Saria said to a shocked Mido.



He stood there, and waved briefly before calling, "I always loved you, Saria!"



She turned, smiled sadly, then walked out of the village.



It was the last time any Kokiri child ever saw her.

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Saria stepped onto the swaying wooden bridge, feeling the thick ropes and looking at the spot where she stood seven years ago....



When Link left.



He had been so young, but he still felt the immense power of the sort of love he and Saria had. Even so, it was not broken when they had parted.



Saria had assumed that Link had forgotten about her, and about the village. She was actually quite wrong, though he had not the time to visit as he was the Hero of Time.



"Here I come, Link," Saria thought in a bittersweet way, smiling as her tears began to form. She looked back at the soft golden glow of the forest, then sighed and turned towards Hyrule....



Every step of the bridge felt heavier. The creaking, ancient wood resonated with the girl's footsteps as she tread over them. Every step brought Saria closer to the forbidden country.... the entire world.



Taking a deep breath, Saria left the bridge and walked through the doorway to Hyrule.



She was greeted by a vast field. Immediately, Saria could tell that the air was different. It was almost suffocating as the lime-haired girl struggled to breathe. Even her steps were heavy as she looked over the swaying golden grass.



The sunlight was also unbearably bright, but it was beautiful. It was serene in an open, endless way. Saria took a few more strained steps and looked around. She felt the gentle breeze of Hyrule, the world that she could not stay in.



In the distance, she saw a gnarled tree silhouetted against the golden background of Hyrule field. Saria walked towards it, drawn to it for some odd magnetic reason. There she saw a figure leaning against the tree, deep in the peaceful confines of sleep.



She stepped towards it, feeling her heart nearly dropping to the ground with every step. Her labored breathing was no help either, and the sun was forever burning.....



The figure began to stir. He sat up, stretching and opening his azure eyes. They were eyes of pure goodness, of upright courage. Saria looked at the stranger, and she was shocked to notice that it was Link.



He was much older, much taller, and much more muscular. He still had the unruly golden hair hanging in his blue eyes, and the same tanned skin.



And he had the same kind soul.



"Link..." murmured Saria. It mattered not to her how old he was. All that she cared was that they were together once more, that she could see him one last time.....



She let the tears flow freely down her face now as Link looked up and noticed her. He ran to the small, slouched figure and picked her up.



"Saria, why?" was all that Link could whisper. He looked down at his wounded friend, the one whom he could infinitely trust.



"Because, Link.... I love you.... I always did.... in so many ways. You were my very soul..... I could never meet anyone like you," managed the tiny girl as she looked at Link with half-closed lids.



"Saria..... I always loved you too. As a friend.... but we could never work out as anything more. You know that," he whispered gently and sadly, hugging her.



"Oh Link.... I wish that it could be something more. I wish it could be forever..." whispered Saria as she gasped for air.



"But Saria, it can be. I'll visit you, and.--" Link started. Saria interrupted in a small voice,



"No. It wasn't meant to be.... you are a hero. I am an eternal child. But why would I spend only ten years with the one I

loved? I was so alone in those Lost Woods... I needed to see you again somehow."



"But Saria.. you'll..... die out here," Link whispered, now crying as well. Their tears mingled a little as Link held Saria's small face to his adult one.



"I know. I was tired of it all..... I had to get out while I could. Or I'd never forgive myself..." Saria whispered, her breath now nearly nothing.



"Saria..."



"Link, I--" began the sobbing girl, now trying to talk. He tried to silence her.



"I love you. I always have. I hope that you knew that.... and I hope that you'll remember me...... the forest couldn't hold me back from this... for I was cursed, and now it is at long last broken," Saria whispered.



"I love you, dear friend.... Saria, don't die!" Link screamed, feeling Saria go limp in his arms. She died with a smile on her face as she hugged Link one last time.



Link kissed the girl for the first and last time on the forehead. They were of different lifestyles and years; it would never last. Even so, their friendship had surpassed romantic love and the sort....



They were forever joined as Link took Saria's Fairy Ocarina and placed it next to his in his pocket.



Saria was buried next to the Kokiri village, in Hyrule though. She had sacrificed her life because of her devotion to Link... her need to see him one last time.



Even if it meant that she would die.



Link often visited the grave of his once-immortal friend, his now celestial soulmate and trusted companion. She never really left him after all.

The End.

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end notes: sad, ne? I think that the children die when they leave the forest, contrary to what some believe. I found this story depressing....

Link was eighteen here by the way. And he didn't love Saria with a romantic love but with one much more than simple words or hearts could even say....

Review if you liked or disliked the story, or if it touched you.

Dedicated in memory to those who have died on 9/11 and to the relatives of everyone who reads this story who have passed on...........

you'll never leave us.