Disclaimer: I don't own Zelda. I'm just borrowing.

Summary: The infamous goodbye scene at the end of "Ocarina of Time." Because you've never read one of those fics before...

Author's Note: I think maybe everyone in the fandom has written this scene at least once. Maybe I will succeed in being special. Maybe not. I set out to make it a poem, but it ran away from me and became a... something.

The Parting
by Startide Risen

Goodbye. (her voice just above a whisper; the princess knows it is time)

Goodbye. (his breathing harsh. the sword at his back will taste no more blood. he's going home. funny how he doesn't want it)

(she's not ready yet) Wait.

(defying destiny? he knows better) I can't.

Please. (too much begging. it does not befit royalty)

(never could tell her no) All right.

I... (do it. say it. last chance. now) I just...

(she can't)

(pain in his eyes) Don't.

(she could kill him for saying that. or herself. does it matter?) Don't what?

I have to leave. Don't make it harder.

(her jaw sets) Fine. (the ocarina at her mouth now)

Wait. (hand on her arm. he didn't beg, though)

But you can't. (mockery in her arch tone)

Of course I can. To hell with it. (and destiny, too)

What, then? (resigned now)

It wasn't your fault. I don't blame you for any of it. (a kind little lie)

(but he can't, either)

Thank you. (she believes him, maybe)

Will I see you again? (he should not have asked and he doesn't want to know and he's afraid, so afraid of what she might say--)

I don't know.

(there is nothing worse. he nods, though, accepting what he cannot change)

And... (she hates herself for what she can) I don't know if you will remember me. Or I you.

I'll remember. (a weightless promise)

(she is not so foolish) You don't know that. You can't know that.

But I believe it.

(she swore she wouldn't cry. she swore)

Shh... It won't last forever. Either way, it will be over with the song. (best he can say for it. and his palms against her cheeks--best he can do)

(a light kiss on his fingers. she lowers his hands) Go.

(he turns. his footfalls are deafening in the vacuous hall; the stone is cold and mocks her with an empty echo. he does not look back)

(the ocarina is at her lips. she can't bring herself to play--no, not even to breathe)

(he stands waiting on the platform. it is time)

(the song pours out from the porcelain instrument and the walls throw it in on itself until it is not one melody, but three, and then six, seven. in the chamber the hero closes his eyes. the light, pale blue and time-colored, comes to claim him)

(and she is alone)