Author: Rydia Highwind
Email: [email protected]
Fandom: Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time (in-game)
Rating: probably eventually R. PG, for this chapter.
Summary: Sheik's thoughts and feelings throughout the game.
Warning: Eventual shounen ai (in other words, two boys getting it on), Link/Sheik. Semi-AU, as in Sheik and Zelda are not the same person. This will be explained in later chapters. Sheik is nutso, despite my best efforts to make him otherwise. I can't write normal characters, apparently. First person, present tense.
Disclaimer: The characters (despite occasional shop owners and the like) and the setting aren't mine, though I wish they were cause I'd be rich then.


by Rydia Highwind

Chapter 1 : Overture


I cannot stay here, I cannot leave
Just like all I loved, I'm make believe
Imagined heart, I disappear
Seems... no one will appear here and make me real

- A.F.I. "This Time Imperfect"

It is one of those days where the sun doesn't shine, though it hasn't here in years, and the fires from atop Death Mountain aren't enough to properly light this decrepit city. I almost cannot remember a day when the city looked alive, a day without the mangled remains of unfortunate Hylians moaning on the streets, a day where the sun did not fear to see such a place. Back then, we did not come to the city much and now I wish we had. Things will never be the same as before the Dark One came.

It is one of those days and I am waiting inside the Temple of Time for him to come, for events have taken a startling turn and he will need guidance. They have seen him coming, searching for the guidance only we can offer.

He comes and I already know something is wrong. It is not so much that they have told me, no, I can't hear them so well here, but I see it in his stance. Weary, head bowed, his left arm hangs limp at his side and his right hand clasps it tightly. He is stumbling slightly as he moves forward, up the steps to the temple. He pauses in his injured gait for a moment to lean against the doorframe.

It is an automatic response for some to aid an injured man, and I find myself moving toward him without thought of doing otherwise. But my steps falter as I recheck my thoughts. No, he probably does not even know I am here. I am still hidden beyond the door of time, he cannot have possibly seen me yet.

My thoughts and gaze return to him, now, as he finally pushes away from his pause at the entrance. As he slowly makes his way closer, the light spilling from the three spiritual stones he gathered seven years ago illuminates his face. He seems very pale, but that may be from the colored glow of the gems.

There is no blood staining his clothing that I can see, as he finally makes it and rests again against the altar holding the stones. No blood on his fingers where he holds his arm, no other indication that he is even injured aside from his stumbling steps and the hand on his arm. And now I note something else--he seems to be shivering slightly.

It dawns on me all too late.

"You're poisoned." I have stepped from behind the door. He looks up at me, his eyes unsurprised to find me standing there. He has come expecting to see someone, though perhaps I was not his first thought. He has only seen me twice before this, once in the forest and once here in the cathedral. It is not the third time I have seen him. It is, though, the third time I have ever seen his eyes. The twin pools of clear sapphire still amaze me in a way that it is doubtful will fade with time. They are darker today. Part of me wonders if it a trick of the light.

( "Sometimes at night when I can't sleep, I wonder what color your eyes are." )

"Sheik...," he murmurs, and his voice betrays the hint of glad surprise that his eyes hid. "Yeah, I got bitten by... by one of those...." He tries to step away from the podium and stumbles again as one boot hits the stairs.

I catch one arm, frowning behind my cowl. If it was something outside of the city that bit him, as the case seems to be, he has been poisoned now for far too long for me to be able to get it out of his system. He needs an antidote now, specific to the creature that bit him. I will need to know what it was. I allow him to lean back against the pedestal and pry his fingers from his arm to see the bite for myself. If I can identify the animal--

"Link," I hear myself say softly, not entirely believing what I am seeing.

The wound is obviously the bite of a smaller jawed creature, the punctures in a twin set of perfect u's set opposite of each other. The monster had bitten through the green fabric of his tunic and the silver material underneath before even getting to skin. But, unfortunately, it had, and the skin now around the bite is tinted a sickening grayish black. The bite marks resemble a normal humanoid jaw.

He has not been bitten outside what was left of the castle town. He has not been even bitten just inside the dilapidated gates by some overly adventurous monster that had found is way inside. He has been bitten probably only minutes ago, right outside the temple. Again, I hear myself cursing my lack of insight in my mind.

( "One man cannot know everything, Sheikah," he said, his tone quiet, holding just a tint of amusement. His voice had changed since then...

"It is my job to know everything."

"...and they're brown," he says, still trying to explain to me what had bitten him, gesticulating with his good hand and letting me examine the wound. He doesn't sense the sudden tension in my mood, or is ignoring it. "It sort of jumped on me... didn't see it until..."

"Link," I say again, weighing the options of what I can do and what I wish I could. He quiets and looks at me. "It was a ReDead that bit you. Just outside the temple. Am I right?" I find myself silently praying to the goddesses that I am wrong. Even the most complicated antidote would be better than having to undo the curse of the ReDead.

He shifts his head toward me slightly, and the light reveals a sheen of sweat glistening on his forehead. It seems the fever has already started. "I think so," he says lowly. "That's...bad, isn't it."

"Yes." I am still weighing the options of this situation. The bite is recent, so if I can stop the blood flow to the rest of his body, or at least slow it, it would be to our advantage. Stopping the blood flow for an extended amount of time would cause damage to the limb, but this would be more advantageous than having our Hero of Time turning into a ReDead. Even if it is, as I have noted, his left arm--the one he wields his sword with.

Without further hesitation, I find my fingers reaching up to remove my face-hiding scarf. For a Sheikah of my ranking to do so in the company of other Sheikahs would have me shamed and disciplined, but there are no others here, and the bandages covering my head and arms are not strong enough for what I'm about to do. I try to ignore the feeling of shame flooding me as I push back his sleeve, trying to ignore his eyes on my face. I tie the scarf around his arm above the wound as tightly as I dare.

I knew of the animated corpses before traveling to the Temple of Time, and I had come prepared for the worst. Though in normal conditions, anyone could easily outrun the painfully slow ReDeads, I have been trained to be ready for all possibilities. Aside from that, ReDead screams have the power of paralysis and are at times masters of camouflage to make up for their slow gaits.

So I know I have a vial of holy water with me. One vial will not be enough to completely undo the effects of the ReDead's venom, but it certainly will help slow them until I can get him somewhere with more. He watches me as I deftly tie the scarf in a careful knot as to not come untied. A quick hand and a hidden pocket reveal the vial and I promptly uncork it.

"Hold still," I say. "This will probably hurt." I try to ignore his hiss of pain as I carefully pour the contents of the bottle onto the wound. I remember the warning given to me before I left one of the hidden Sheikah villages: The more it hurts, the less time you have. His sudden intake of breath is enough to convince me that time is not on my side. Checking the tightness of my makeshift tourniquet one more time, I look him in the eye. "Time is of the essence. Come with me."

The source of the nearest holy water spring is hidden near Lake Hylia, a journey we have no time to make. Instead, I determine the best place to go would be Kakariko, to the village bordering the rumbling Death Mountain. The Shadow Temple hidden beyond the graveyard is being blamed for the influx of undead creatures, from those who wander the town at night all the way to Hyrule Castle Town. Thusly, the increasing ReDead bites have been centered on Kakariko, and the denizens have had a great amount of holy spring water imported. Upon his horse, the journey is quick, but he is still unconscious by the time I get him into the village, especially after having to take the extra time of leading the steed up the steps carved from the mountain.

His entire upper arm from the tourniquet down is now a sickening shade of greenish gray, and streaks of the putrid color have begun to wind down his lower arm, one reaching as far as his palm. His fingers are swollen and purplish, effects of the tourniquet that I wish I could loosen.

I stop in the market, fortunately fairly empty as the sun is slowly creeping beneath the horizon. The second dealer I question is sympathetic to my needs and gives me a jug of the water (for an inflated price, of course), then takes a look at the swooned hero upon the horse. Assuming the truth, the man asks as he takes my rupees, "How long since he been bit?"

"A few hours. He was in the castle town," I reply tonelessly.

The man lets out a low whistle under his breath. "He's not going to make it, you know. Try all you want, it's too late now. Better off putting him out of his misery. If'n you don't...," he warns, and it is immediately apparent to me that it is time to go.

"I'll take my chances," I answer, turning to lead the horse away.

"The hell you will," the gruff voice is now angry. "I had to put down my four year old daughter to a ReDead bite. That's why I'm here selling this. It's too late for him. I won't have him turning into one of those goddamn demons and biting someone else."

Stopping, I turn again toward him, knowing time is getting dangerously low. "He won't. He's stronger than most," I assure him calmly. "If I cannot save him, at least allow me to bear the sin of his death by my blade as well."

A moment passes, every one critical at this point, and I think he may argue the point further. I measure the timetable in my head and just as I am about to make a run for it, the man waves me away. "Get out of here. I hope you're right," he growls.

( "Why do I let you do this? To hope is to be disappointed."

He smiled, and his eyes were hidden in the darkness. "Silly boy. Disappointment is sometimes the best way to grow."

I lead the horse away, and hope so as well.

The innkeeper is not much more sympathetic than the dealer, but regardless, he helps me get the unconscious Hylian into a bed and offers a basin in which to soak his arm. Favoring him with a nod, I uncork the jug I had bought earlier and fill the basin as high as I dare to. The man supervises for a moment, gives me a threat of what will happen if the wounded should become ReDead and hurt any of his other customers, and then leaves us.

I am hesitant to remove the tourniquet much before I can get the bite into the water, so first I expose the bite itself to the water, holding his arm still as he twinges convulsively away. It is only then that I untie the white material from his arm. Quickly stripping away his white sleeve and pushing back the shorter green one, I now plunge his entire arm into the basin. He twinges again, trying to pull away. I wish that I can believe it when I tell myself he doesn't feel the pain.

Now I must wait for the water to take effect. I am almost positive that I have immersed the wound in time; his reaction to the substance was not violent enough for the venom to have taken full control of his body. I cannot be completely certain, of course, until he wakes up. I have a dagger concealed on my leg and it is easily within my reach.

I have to hold his arm in the water or he will wind up pulling it out on his own. As I do so, holding him still and trying not to look at the unsightly discoloration, my train of thought wanders. If he was to awaken as a ReDead, I wasn't certain I'd be able to take his life. Certainly the life (if it could be called that) of a ReDead was nothing to be envied--mindless creatures thirsting for blood and mercilessly hunted down by their own prey.


( He was smiling when he said it, and I never knew why. He smiled often, though, and I am not disappointed. "You're wondering why I come to you."

He could read my mind, too, apparently.

"I come to you because you need someone. Not me...but I'll do for now."

The Order has commanded me to watch him, this 'Hero of Time' to see if her highness was correct about him. They do not like him, not since he opened the Door of Time and gave the Dark Lord access to the sacred Triforce. The princess demanded that he be aided, and so the Order sent me to do so--one warrior, in a culture that believes that the individual is nothing. It was certainly not a compliment to him or to the princess.

As for me, I just do what I am told to. For six of the seven years of his slumber, I have been a part of the group of Sheikahs allowed to enter the Sacred Realm and take care of him. While the goddesses kept his muscles from atrophy and his body from malnutrition, his body grew taller and his hair grew longer, so the five of us were in charge of trimming his hair and making sure his clothes fit. This was my duty then, this is my duty now. I am simply a follower, a member of a collective. Our thoughts on the matter are not important, we are here to follow our orders and not to question them. But our thoughts and opinions color our performance, so the Order understands this and is lenient on the operation of commands they give, so long as the job is performed.

I look down at him; he is trying to toss away from the water, a sheen of feverish sweat drenching his face and hair and discontent on his face. As he is now, he doesn't look much like a hero. Unlike that day not so very long ago, when he emerged from the Sacred Realm and the Chamber of Sages for the first time in seven years.

The day I first saw his eyes.

( "Why are your eyes always hidden from me?"

Of course, a smile. He didn't turn because I knew he couldn't. "Because you don't know what color they are."

But I must do as I am told. I will kill him if it proves necessary. I will be the one to take his life if he turns out to be a danger to the princess. I will obey the Order, even if my thoughts and opinions taint the matter. I will kill him if it comes to that.

But I'll be damned if I don't do everything else I can first.


End of Chapter 1 : Overture.


Oh lordy, that was so short. XD And kind of.. I don't know. Ah well.

I haven't been writing anything worth crap lately.. this first chapter had about three paragraphs sitting there for a few months before I was able to come back and do anything with it.

A few story related notes--yes, I probably will put song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter. Yes, the chapters are all music-related titles. Why? While all of Legend of Zelda has a lot of music based things, from the ones I've played (all except for Windwaker), Ocarina of Time has the most music base of any of them. Majora's Mask does too, but that has more to do with masks. :P

Another thing: the title. Thanatos is the Greek god of death. Not to be confused with Hades--Hades was the god of the Underworld. He didn't do the killing, he just watched over the dead. Thanatos was actually the death guy. Born of the night (Nyx), brother to sleep (Hypnos). What? I did my homework. :}

So why'd I choose the god of death to name my story after? First of all, I think "Thanatos" is a kickass word. X3 Secondly, this promises to be a pretty dark fic. Link saw some horrible things in his journeys, but I imagine Sheik went through more. Remember, he WAS awake for those seven years.

On another note, my Sheikahs are NOT borgs, they just act like them. I am making a point of the collective mindset in these early chapters so that I can emphasize how much Sheik changes in this story. Cause, you know, that's the point.

For your information, the ReDead that bit Link was named Bob. As for the Holy Water thing, I shamelessly stole that from Final Fantasy games. Cause ReDeads are like zombies. YUNALESCA OMG NOOOO.

Please review or drop me an email, I will be more than happy to respond to comments or questions--that's what this lame little section at the end is here for. :}