Ah, well, two months have passed, so I guess it's time to update! /sarcasm Truth be told, my inspiration has been very low. (tear) Hope you enjoy this, nonetheless...
Disclaimer: I should just put this in my user info and be done w/ it. Honestly. I don't own LOZ. I've written this so many freaking times...
The Slumbering Princess of Hyrule
The Wind's Betrayal
The night before her eighteenth birthday, Zelda wept one last time. Head bowed, shoulders hunched, she cried quietly in her bedroom before falling into a fitful sleep, her dreams fragmented and obscure in meaning. When dawn arrived, Zelda rose numbly, slowly, from her beloved bed. Tenderly, she made it for the last time; after running her hand across the length of the quilt that she had had since she was young, she dressed and picked up the already packed saddlebags and carried them into the kitchen, where Saria and Triana were waiting for her.
"Happy Birthday, Zelda," Saria said kindly as she kissed Zelda's cheek. Handing her a small parcel, the little woman added, "These were my grandmother's. I hope you treasure them as I have."
Zelda glanced at Saria's hopeful face before beginning to unwrap the package. Opening a box the size of her fist, Zelda found a necklace of pearls inside. Gently, she lifted the necklace out and fingered the smooth surface of the pearls, the sunlight causing each precious gem to glisten. Saria took the necklace from Zelda and placed it around her slender throat. The pearls felt like drops of rain upon her skin, cool and soft.
"Thank you, Saria," Zelda murmured, her heart clenching painfully. Suddenly saddened once more, Zelda threw her arms about the little woman and hugged her tightly, fighting tears. "Thank you so much," she murmured again. "Thank you for everything, Saria."
Saria hugged her just as tightly, despite her lack of height. Eventually pulling away from her foster daughter, she blinked back tears and said, "I will always treasure my memories of you. I have been so very lucky to have been able to raise such a wonderful child." Kissing her again on the cheek, she added, "Be well, love."
Zelda nodded. Tears still threatened, but she held them back. Turning to Triana, she said, "Is everything ready?"
The fairy woman nodded. Rising, she replied, "Come. We best start off as early as we can. I would like to get to the city before nightfall."
Zelda followed her out the door, Saria right behind. As they went outside, they were enveloped in the bright summer sunshine, the morning sky devoid of any cloud. A gentle breeze blew; Zelda closed her eyes a moment to capture its calmness for herself. The breeze seemed to whisper comforting thoughts in her ear before flitting into the trees and grass. Zelda knew that in no other place would she feel such a gentle wind as this. Only in her home did it whisper so.
Opening her eyes, Zelda noticed two of the village donkeys tied to a post, awaiting their riders. They chomped on the grass lazily, their ears twitching every so often. Triana, always the efficient one, took Zelda's saddlebags and put them upon one of the animals, which made a noise of annoyance before returning to its beloved morning meal. Looking away from Triana, Zelda noticed that many of the Kokiri folk had come to see her off, and Zelda felt her heart gladden slightly. Each villager came to either shake her hand or give her a heartfelt hug, letting her know that she was beloved to many more people than she had ever before believed.
Navi, Tatl, and Tael were also there, hovering in the air above the donkeys. They quickly went to Zelda and began talking all at once. "Zelda! Zelda! You can't leave!" "Zelda! Will you ever come back?" "Zelda, can I come with you?" all three sprites chattered at once. Triana's fiery glare quieted them instantly. Smiling, Zelda placed each sprite onto the palms of her hands. "I will miss you three very much," she murmured. "Be good for Triana, will you?"
Each sprite chattered agreement. Letting them go, Zelda watched them fly to whatever destination suited their fancy at that moment. For some reason, their normal jubilance was calming to Zelda.
But the hugs and occasional kisses of the little folk and the bright energy of the sprites did not distract Zelda from looking for the one person who was not there. She hadn't seen Link all morning. The thought of him not seeing her off made her stomach twist and her eyes fill with tears. Sniffing, she went to Triana when she called, and mounted her own little donkey, positioning her skirts so that they would not be in the way.
Saria approached, and to Zelda's surprise, had Linna in her arms. "I believe that this one would be bereft without you, my dear," she said before handing the cat to Zelda. The fluffy marmalade purred loudly as she settled in Zelda's arms, wholly content to spend the rest of her days upon her mistress's lap. The donkey made another annoyed noise at the other animal atop its back, but with a glare from Triana, it desisted.
The scarlet-haired woman shifted her gaze from the donkeys to Saria, her face masked with nonchalance. Zelda, however, noticed the agitated twitch of her jaw, and knew that the fairy woman was not immune to sadness, either. "Well, we should be going," Triana remarked blandly while tucking a lone strand of hair behind her ear. Leading Saria away from Zelda and lowering her voice to a whisper, she asked, "Where is Link? Is he not going to say goodbye?"
Saria's eyes saddened. "I have not seen him at all today. But I do not believe that he would sit by and not give a farewell. That is not like him," she answered just as quietly.
Triana frowned. Her scarlet brows furrowed in annoyance, she replied tightly, "We cannot wait for him. We must not delay."
With a mournful sigh, Saria looked away. "Go, Triana. But do not mention anything to Zelda. She is hurting enough, already."
Triana nodded in acknowledgement and left to mount the other donkey. Before she nudged the animal into a trot, and thereby leading Zelda down the path away from the forest, Saria said her goodbyes once more. With another kiss and hug, and a few tears, Zelda began her journey.
Following the dirt path away from her home, Zelda's heart clenched painfully. She refused to allow herself to dwell on Link's lack of farewell. Thinking about it made her heart begin to crumble. Nay, she would think of that when the time came. But for now, all she could do was look forward, not back.
When Triana and Zelda entered the tunnel leading to Hyrule Field, Zelda heard someone running behind them, and she pulled the donkey to a stop. Looking over her shoulder, she watched as someone entered the tunnel before stopping for a breath, his gasping the only sound audible. When he looked up, Zelda gazed into Link's blue eyes and felt her world crumble. He'd come. He'd truly come.
Frozen, Zelda watched as he approached her, while absently hearing Triana leaving the tunnel to give them a bit of privacy. When he came to her side, Zelda placed Linna in one of the saddlebags; she meowed in protest, but settled down to sleep quickly enough, her tail twitching from side to side in annoyance. Zelda, however, had eyes only for Link.
Reaching down to touch his cheek, she whispered croakily, "I feared you wouldn't come."
He smiled tenderly, and covered her hand with his own. "You have little faith, love," he murmured. "I was merely getting your farewell gift." From his belt loop he took a red chrysanthemum and handed it to Zelda, its petals the deep color of blood. "I wanted you to have this. To remember me by."
Her hands trembling, she accepted the flower. Everlasting love, Zelda thought as tears spilled from her eyes, blurring the vision of red before her. Link had given her a token of love, to cherish always. With a sob, she threw her arms around his neck; he, in turn, lifted her down from the donkey and held her close, his arms tight around her. "Even if you had never come, I would never forget you, Link," Zelda whispered fervently. "Never. I will love you always."
Gently wiping away her tears with his callused thumb, Link said, "Do not cry, Zelda. I do not wish to see any more tears shed over my account." Placing her upon the ground, he continued to hold her close. His blue eyes shining, he said reverently, "I love you, Zelda. Always remember that."
As if in a sacred ceremony, they kissed one last time, their emotions displayed not with words but with tender actions. Time ceased to exist. Both knew they should stop, that they were only prolonging their misery, but neither could pull away from the other. Kisses became even more passionate, even more heartfelt. Zelda's tears increased; she held tighter onto Link, her grip desperate. Link had already buried one hand in her hair while the other held her close, encircled about her tiny waist.
Eventually, Zelda pulled away, her face tear-streaked and red from crying. "I need to go," she whispered.
"I know." Link caressed her cheek and placed one kiss on each eyelid before prompting her towards the donkey. He helped her mount. Their fingers entwined, Link unlaced them and stepped away. "Goodbye, Zelda. I love you," he whispered.
Zelda desperately wished to touch him one last time, but she held back, her hands clenched into fists. "Goodbye, Link," she replied shakily, tears continuing to fall down her cheeks. "I love you, also. Forever."
The world crumbled completely when Zelda turned away and nudged the donkey into a trot, forever leaving her love behind, alone in the forest. Sobs racked her frame and by the time she found Triana, she was inconsolable. The red chrysanthemum clutched in her fingers, Zelda was led away from all that she held dear.
Unaware to Zelda, Link had watched her go until her figure had disappeared from the horizon. His shoulders hunched, his heart broken, he sank to the ground and covered his face. There, he wept bitterly.
The sun was setting. Streaked with scarlet and orange, the sky seemed to be a paint palette of colors, delicately swirled together with an artist's precise handling of a brush. Zelda gazed out the tall windows while absently petting Linna, her eyes sore and scratchy from crying. Her heart was numb. After arriving at the castle, she had been ushered in secretly by a wiry steward, his mustache as bristly as his tone of voice. There, Zelda was to await the arrival of the king and queen, her blood parents. No maids attended her. No one knew of her presence except a few select people. Triana had told her it was to prevent an uproar at the sudden appearance of the "long-lost heir," that her existence would be revealed to the public later on.
Zelda continued to stroke Linna's velvety fur, now alone except for the feline, for Triana had claimed a need for some fresh air. The plump cat purred languidly as a result of Zelda's ministrations, her claws kneading into Zelda's thigh. Zelda gazed at Linna and murmured, "You couldn't care less if I was a peasant girl or a princess, could you?"
Linna nudged her hand, beckoning her to continue her affectionate ministrations.
"Nay, even if I was a buck-toothed hag you would still be by my side." Zelda sniffed a little, feeling tears prick. Gruffly, she wiped them away, refusing to cry again. Enough tears had been shed already.
As if sensing her mistress's pain, Linna rose, stretched, and settled down in Zelda's lap, her tail wrapped around her body in complete contentment. The feline's purring vibrated the tops of Zelda's thighs, her claws kneading her mistress's skin once more. Zelda smiled tremulously, and rested her head against the wall. She almost wished that the king and queen—for she could not think of them as her parents—would come and distract her thoughts.
Exhaustion suddenly settled heavily upon Zelda's shoulders. Closing her eyes, she dozed for a little while, receiving a much needed respite from her ever swirling thoughts. When the sun had set completely, Linna jumped off Zelda's lap, suddenly restless due to some unknown source. The feline mewed and began agitatedly clawing the rug below the window. Zelda waved a lazy hand for her to stop, but her exhaustion pulled her even deeper into dreamland. Reality ceased to exist.
A wind began to whistle quietly. A sudden chill filled the room, and Zelda shivered unconsciously. The wind creepily caressed her face before wrapping its tendrils about her ears, so as to whisper its secrets to her. Come to me, beloved, it beckoned. Come and find peace.
Zelda moaned and tried to resist, but was powerless against its call. Come, beloved, come to me...it whispered. Against the little will she had left, Zelda rose from the window, with eyes open yet unseeing, and listened to the wind once more. Follow me. Follow me, beloved...
She followed. She followed the breeze into the darkness, where her will to resist was wholly extinguished. All there was now was the breeze and its call. Follow, yes, follow, beloved, follow me and you will find peace for all eternity... Up endless stairs, to either heaven or hell, she did not know, did she follow the call. Around corners, through corridors, up stairs, up, up, up. The breeze caressed her face when she faltered, letting her know that all was well. Why should she not trust the wind? The oldest aspect of nature, what was to be deceitful about the air itself?
Eternity passed. The breeze stopped abruptly before continuing on when it had found its destination. Zelda followed it, feeling the way by its chilled touch. She could see nothing else. There was no light. Only darkness. Only the infinite abyss of night.
The call became more persuasive, more demanding. Come, come! Follow, follow, beloved! Follow the wind! It will lead you where you want to go! it whispered fiercely. Zelda obeyed. She had no will to resist. Upon entering a tiny room, she came upon a patch of light that illuminated a spinning wheel, the needle gleaming in the moonlight.
Come. Come, beloved. All will be well. You will find peace here. Slowly, steadily, Zelda approached the spinning wheel, her right hand extended, as if beckoning the needle to come closer. Yes, beloved, come! Come, come, come!
She came. She obeyed the wind's call. Her right index finger hovering above the needle, she hesitated but a moment before a sudden force not her own pricked her finger upon the sharp metal point. Dazedly, she watched a single drop of blood well upon the tip of her pale digit. It slid down her finger, warm and slick.
Her vision blurred. The wind whirled furiously around her, its former whistling a piercing cry, screeching with what seemed to be triumph.
Knowing that the wind had betrayed her, Zelda was then enveloped by the darkness.
Ah, now there's the sleeping beauty plot we were all waiting for! Did anyone need a tissue for the first part? (sniff, sniff) I even got a little sniffly, and I was the one writing it! (honestly!) I know this chapter was a little short...sorry...O.O Now you must all review. I'm hoping for 35 reviews this time! Oh baby! xD
PinkyTheSnowman: Isn't heartbreak such a great topic? Except when it makes you depressed. I hate that. -.-
Nagem: Hmm...well, I don't think the next few chapters are going to be all that happy. O.O But, don't worry. When have I ever not had a happy ending? (only once, if I do recall)
Some say the world will end: Actually, since you just want to subscribe but not be a staff member, you have to do that yourself. xD All you do is go to the community link and click on "subscribe" and that should do it. :D And, no, there isn't any questionnaire. Anyone can join. :D Also, I reviewed your story b/c it's LZ (yey!) and b/c I really love Naoko Takeuchi. I actually downloaded the first few chapters of "Maria" to read. xD So I think those are the reasons why people read and reviewed your fic.
Amity-Star: Did you get OOT for Christmas? That's my fave game of all time. I've beaten it more times than I can count. xD
Glorfindel Silverleaf: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think that chapter was one of my faves to write, even though it was sad. :'(
Babydoll72489: Not using ok is just one of my silly pet peeves. (shrug) It's cool that you want to become a novelist, too! Good luck to the both of us, I guess! xD
Serenity Blue: Thank you! I don't know if my fic can compare w/ this original, but it's a nice thought! xD I thought, also, that it would be interesting to use earrings instead of the usual ring as the engagement jewelry. But, yes, piercing your own ears would really hurt. Ow. xD
Fury: But love conquers all! :P At least that's what they say in the movie... Hopefully that'll be true for this fic.
Hylian Princess: Thank you! I'm glad you like the fluff that I write. Lol I always find it amusing that I write so much fluff...if certain people (a.k.a. my friends) knew of all the romance I write I'd never live it down. O.o
Bvv: Good, I'm glad you liked it! It's really hard to write non-cheesy fluff. Actually, I think it's impossible not to. xD
Forlorn Rain: Thank you for reviewing! I like to know what everyone thinks of my fics (even not nice things, although flames are never fun). Hope you liked this chapter as well! :D :D
AngelaM.: Lol, sorry 'bout that. But sometimes angst is good! Actually, I write a lot of angst. It's kinda fun to toy with characters. o.O
chaosdragon326: Yeah, definitely some pain going on between the pair. True love, destined to never be together! (dramatic sigh) You gotta love it, really. xD
Perfect Soldier 01: Being compared to Jane Austen is a huge compliment! I've only read Pride and Prejudice, though, but I actually really liked it (I hardly ever enjoy "classic literature" Bleh :P). I didn't even consciously think about writing like that... I guess that's a good thing, right? xD
Alantie Mistaniu: I know, it was a sad chapter! (sob, sniffle) If I were Zelda, though, I would be SOBBING like a sissy if I couldn't be w/ Link! (who wouldn't? xD)
aslan-chic: I hate stationary stories. -.- But it's difficult to get in all the necessary details but still develop the plot, you know? I'm glad that this fic is moving, though. It needed to... :D
Lucibell: I made you cry? I'm sorry! But I guess that means the chapter really was sad! I can never tell since I'm the one who wrote it...lol xD
Zeldagurli: Yey, muffin! I think I made everyone cry w/ that chapter. I didn't mean to! But I'm happy that I got the emotions across. :D:D
Sorceress Cassandra180: Thanks, I will! :D:D
Story Weaver1: Ah, another person that I almost cried! x.x I didn't mean to make everyone sad! And I don't think this chapter helped, either. :'(
Vampiress24: Yeah, I liked the idea of rose quartz mostly b/c pink is my fave color. xD Lol I couldn't help myself.
jade2824: I wanted my username to just be "Niamh" but somebody already had it. -.- I mostly chose it b/c I like different names...and b/c it's one of the names used by one of my fave authors in her books. :D
kat: That's ok, I'm glad you're still reviewing! I hate it when my compy doesn't work. -.- So annoying.
Tri: Thanks! Hope this update was soon enough!
morningraindrops: Thank you! I'm glad you liked the angsty fluff. xD
Greki: That's ok, thank you for the review! I appreciate it. :D:D
Hikashi Suzuki: I can't tell you the ending, but let's just say that I love happy endings. (did I just totally give it away? o.O)
sky mabile: I'm glad you like it. I try to update ASAP, but school keeps me pretty busy so it kinda depends when I can actually update. :P
Stef: Thank you for reviewing my fics! That makes me happy. :D But if you ever have constructive criticism, feel free to tell me. I really need it (more so than compliments, actually xD).
NAidi the Elf: Well, I can't give anything away...but I think this chapter answered one of those questions. xD
ari-aly: Ah, but, everyone loves some angst mixed in with their romance, right? Or maybe I'm just weird. O.o