Blowfish: I honestly don't know what I'm doing right now. I'm tired and it's late and I can't think straight. I can't update "Heroes" because of minor writer's block (which I'll probably be over before I'm done writing this) and I'm having trouble logically answering reviews. And I think I'm on some sort of emotional overload after watching Finding Neverland, reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and re-reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower…all of which I highly recommend, but are messing with me right now. Even though I've got another excellent TT fic idea, I promised The Gemini Sage (who is a great writer and generally cool person, go read her stuff) that my next piece would be a Zelda fic.

I must confess that this was partially inspired by Exiled-Knight's TT fic, "Dangerous Mind", thus earning her the dedication in this story. This is for you, your fic, and all your support, EK.

The other part of the inspiration to write this goes to my odd fascination with mental illnesses. I'm not sure why I have this interest…perhaps because I find the human mind a dazzling thing, and to see it warped in such a way is almost as exhilarating as it is horrifying.

Do not misunderstand: I have no intention of romanticizing mental illness or making it seem funny. Mental illnesses are nothing to joke about—they are very serious. (I could if I wanted to. I'm a comedic person. But like I mentioned before, I'm on emotional overload, and I don't do comedy well when I'm thinking and feeling too much.)

So here I am, probably screwing myself over by starting my THIRD ongoing fic (Lord help me…), and I'm starting it by rambling. I'm absolutely brilliant, aren't I? Most of you probably skipped this though, so no harm done.

Disclaimer: I do not own Zelda or any of its characters, and I would hope that writing this will not result in anyone's offense or any legal consequences.

"talking" 'thinking' Navi/Kaepora Gaebora/King of Red Lions/Twinrova "book text"

This fanfic is rated PG-13 (or, by our new ratings system, "T") due to swearing and generally dark themes.

Blowfish: I do sincerely hope you enjoy this fic. I have tried my best to accurately interpret all of the symptoms of these mental illnesses through research. If I am portraying something as it shouldn't be, please put it in a review or email me.


Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'Can't go 'til Malon comes, can't go 'til Malon comes…'

Just go. You're hungry.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'It's against the rules…Malon will be mad at me, Rauru will be mad at me…everyone will be mad.'

Not you. Go. I'll bet they're serving something good this morning. You'll be happy you went.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'No I won't. I'm not that hungry, anyway.'

You're such a liar.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'If I wait long enough, I won't be hungry. And then, a little while after that, Malon will come. By then, I'll be hungry again.'

You're so stupid sometimes.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'I can't remember…'

What's happening today?

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…

'I never remember anything…'

That's for sure.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and fo—

"Link?" Malon said, opening the door. Link was pacing back and forth across his small room. "I'm here to take you to breakfast…?"

Link looked up. "Good," he said. "I'm hungry."

"All right then, let's go."

Malon's shoes squeaked as they walked down the hall. Link squinted a bit, irritated by the harsh fluorescent lights. He had always hated them. He turned to the redhead walking beside him.

Malon was a fairly plain-looking girl. She had long red hair, blue eyes, and a sweet smile that screamed "farm girl"—and she was. Link had often overheard her relate to some of her fellow employees about her life at her father's ranch-slash-farm, and every once in a while she would tell him some funny story about a mishap with a cow or a chicken or some other livestock. And Link would always listen best he could, because Malon was one of the only people he really liked where he lived. She was always nice, and would often try to make small-talk, or even slip him the occasional candy bar from the vending machine. He had heard that she did this with a lot of the other people staying there, but it didn't make him feel any less special.

Even now, she was beginning to start her morning talk with him. "So, how are you this morning, Link?"

"Fine," he mumbled.

"Good. They're serving cereal down in the cafeteria. Does that sound nice to you?"

"Depends…what kind?"

"Hmm…Rice Krispies, some of that Special K stuff, Raisin Bran…things like that."

"I like Rice Krispies."

"Well then you'll be a happy camper, won't you?"

"I guess."

"I thought you'd be more excited today."

"Why?"

"Well, it's the 23rd."

Link tried to remember what the 23rd was. It was important. He knew he had been looking forward to it for some reason, but he couldn't remember what it was. "I…don't remember what that means."

"It's visiting day."

Link's heart leapt: Now he remembered. "Oh! Great!" Malon smiled at him.

"I knew that would cheer you up. Oh look, we're here."

Link looked up to see that they were indeed in the cafeteria. Others like him—alike in that they were all clad in the same grey pants, shirts, and soft shoes with no laces—were eating and milling about, but sitting in small groups. Some sat alone. Malon nodded to Link as a goodbye and turned and left, her shoes squeaking all the way down the hall.

Link stood for a few minutes before going and getting some breakfast. He poured a bowl of Rice Krispies, grabbed a spoon, and scanned the cafeteria, trying to find someone. His eyes stopped on a hulking form at the back table, sitting alone. He smiled and walked over.

"Hi, Darunia," he said, sitting down next to his bulky friend. Darunia looked up.

"Hi, brother."

Link smiled. They would often call each other brothers because they were the some of the only people who either of them liked. Darunia also joked that he had so many real brothers that he was just used to calling people "brother".

But today, Darunia didn't look as if he was in a joking mood. This had been going on for a while, but Link was still concerned. Darunia was currently stirring his cereal absentmindedly for no apparent reason.

"How're you, brother?" Link asked. "Likin' the Raisin Bran?"

"I guess…today's visiting day."

"So I've heard. Who's coming for you?"

"Two of my brothers: Saht and Maru."

"Oh. Not little Link?" Link always had to smirk when he heard himself say that. He'd always found it an incredible coincidence that Darunia's son went by his name.

"He has a Little League game. He's coming next time…he said he'd bring pictures."

"That's sweet."

"Yeah. Is your cousin coming today?"

"Yep, Saria's coming. I can't wait!" he said excitedly, unable to stop fidgeting.

She said she'd bring a surprise.

Link stopped fidgeting and scrunched his features. "Oh yeah…"

"'Oh yeah' what, brother?"

"Saria said she was going to bring a surprise…or something."

You don't remember anything.

"Stop it," Link muttered.

"Stop what?" Darunia asked confusedly.

"Nothing. It's Kaepora Gaebora. He won't shut up."

"What?"

Link felt a mixture frustration and embarrassment. "I…he's…"

"It's fine. You don't have to."

Link sighed in relief, and then peered at Darunia's soggy cereal.

"Are you gonna eat that?"

"No…you want it?" He shoved it in Link's direction.

"Err...not really. You'll be hungry later, is all."

"Yeah…" He looked at the clock. "It's time to go to my therapy session. Seeya, brother."

"Bye." Darunia got up and sauntered in the direction of his therapist's office. Link looked at the soggy cereal he left behind, and suddenly felt very sad.

No one would eat that.

Link paused. 'I would.'


"So how are you, Darunia?" Dr. Rauru asked.

"Okay, I guess," Darunia muttered, sitting back on the couch in the therapist's office.

"Feeling overly depressed?"

"Not too bad…just really tired. And I've been having some stomachaches."

"Side-effects of your medicine, I imagine."

"Yeah…but I think it's working. I feel better than the other day…the other day was really bad."

"Best not to think of it, then. Who's coming to visit you today? Your son, perhaps?"

"No, he can't come. Two of my brothers are coming."

"Ah."

"They all used to look up to me."

"I'm sure they still do."

"No…they don't. They pity me."

Rauru shifted a bit in his seat, and scribbled something on his notepad. "Don't mistake pity for sympathy."

"I don't, Doctor." Darunia looked up at the clock.

85 minutes left in today's session.


"Fuckin' asshole!"

"Mido!" Saria yelled. "You're gonna get us arrested!"

"S'not my fault that stupid bastard can't drive," Mido huffed, taking the south exit. The guy in the car in front of them had cut him off. Mido hated being cut off, whether in driving, conversation, or anything else.

"Do you have to swear so much?"

"Sorry," he mumbled. He looked like he meant it.

"Thanks for driving me to visit Link."

"S'cool." Mido shrugged and turned a corner into a winding road that led to a large white building. He read the sign as they passed:

HYRULE'S INSTITUTION FOR THE MENTALLY ILL

Mido shivered a little. He hated hospitals, institutions, or any facility that involved pills, needles, and funny smells. He didn't have to go in, Saria said. And he wouldn't. 'I'll stay out here curled up with a nice magazine, thank you very much,' he thought. Still, he was curious…

"So, what does he have again?"

Saria turned from the window, seeming to have just snapped out of a trance. "Excuse me?"

"Link. His…illness."

"Schizophrenia."

"Oh. That's the one where you hear voices and all that jazz, right?"

"Basically. There are a lot of things involved. He doesn't use long words or sentences. I don't think he can."

"Oh." Mido pulled into a parking space. "Well…I hope you have a nice visit."

"Me too." Saria leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the lips, and got out of the car. Mido got out his copy of Discovery Magazine, and was quickly captivated by the cover story: "New Discoveries in the Diagnosis and Course of Schizophrenia". He stared at it for a second.

"Ah, hell." He opened the magazine and searched the table of contents for the article.


Link swallowed a gulp of water from the glass, then drank some more in an attempt to get rid of the unpleasant feeling one gets when swallowing a pill. Malon took his glass when he was finished.

"Well, that's all," she said, even though he knew this.

"'Kay," he mumbled.

"You're supposed to go to the visiting area next."

Link jumped off the table and walked out the door with a spring in his step. He couldn't wait to see Saria. He went to the visiting area, where an orderly quickly looked him over, and then nodded. Link went in, where Saria was waiting.

"Link!" Saria sprung up from her seat and hugged him. After a few seconds, Link sat down. "So," she asked. "How are you?"

"Good," he said. "I feel cramped sometimes. I don't…get out much."

"Don't they have times where you can go outside on the grounds?"

"Yeah…but still. Cramped." He pushed his hands together, as if trying to demonstrate his meaning.

"Oh…well, I brought a gift for you."

"Really? What?" Link sat forward in his seat.

Saria reached into her bag and pulled out a leather-bound book. "I brought you a book. The doctors said reading would be good for you. And I know how much you like it."

"Wow…" He took the book and ran his hands over the cover. "Thanks, Saria."

"I hope you like it."

He ran his fingers across the title, reading it aloud as he went. "'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time', by Shigeru Miyamoto."

"He's written several; that's his fifth. It seemed like something you would like."

"What's it about?"

"It's one of those classic 'knight saves damsel from villain' deals, but I think it's more interesting. It has a weird spin on the whole genre."

"Oh. Sounds good. Thanks again."

They went on talking for a little less than an hour, before they came to another more interesting topic.

"You have a…boyfriend?" Link asked disbelievingly.

"His name's Mido," Saria said. "He's a bit rough around the edges, but he's just a big teddy bear underneath."

"Huh." Link looked a bit displeased.

Saria sighed. "Link, you may be my cousin, but I really hope you don't go all 'protective big brother' on me."

"I won't."

"You promise? I know how you get."

"I promise."

She looked at her watch. "Damn, time's up. I'll see you, okay?" She got up and hugged him. "Love you."

"Love you too," he whispered.

"Tell me how that book is, yeah?"

"I will."


"So, Ganondorf, how are you feeling today?" Dr. Rauru asked the red-haired man on the couch.

"Not bad," Ganondorf grumbled.

"Is anything bothering you in particular?"

"Well...there's this kid."

"Kid? Can you be more specific?"

"I think his name's Link."

"Link? Has he wronged you in some way?"

"Ganon says he's bad."

"'Ganon'…is that one of the voices you hear?"

"…Yes. But he's right. Link keeps staring at me."

"Maybe he doesn't mean to."

"He does. I know it."

"How?"

"Twinrova told me."

"Ah…Ganondorf, is Twinrova another—"

"Voice? Yes, she is. Why does it matter, huh? I know I shouldn't listen to them, but…I can't help it."

"How long has Twinrova been talking to you today?"

"Uh…two hours, I guess."

"I see." Rauru ran his hand over his bald spot. This wasn't right. Ganondorf shouldn't be experiencing any symptoms this soon after taking his medication. 'Perhaps he isn't getting the correct dosage…I'll check with Malon.' Rauru peered at the clock. "It's 2:40, Ganondorf. You may go now."

"Thanks, doc." Ganondorf got up and went out the door, trying to ignore the sound of Twinrova's voice echoing in his brain, saying the same thing over and over:

Link must die.


"Ruto? You doing okay today, sweetie?" Mr. Zora asked his daughter.

"Not bad," Ruto admitted, shifting in her seat a bit. "I miss you, Daddy."

"I know. Is your therapist nice?"

"Yes."

"How about everyone else?"

"Weeellll…" Ruto said slyly. "There is this boy I met the other day. He's very handsome, and I think he liked me okay."

"What's his name?"

"Link. I made sure to be extra nice to him and his friend; I put away their lunch trays, and offered them some of my food, and—"

"Ruto."

"Yes, Daddy?"

"You really need to understand that you don't always have to do things for people to make them like you."

"I know…my therapist keeps telling me the same thing. But I see their eyes, and I can just…I can just tell…that they won't like me."

"You can't have everyone, honey. And I'm sure they would like you all the same."


Link sat down on the bench in the courtyard and cracked open his book. Just as he was halfway through the foreword by Miyamoto, he saw a shadow fall across the pages. He looked up to see Darunia standing there.

"What are you reading, brother?"

"'The Legend of Zelda'," Link replied.

"Oh. Is it good?"

"I just started."

"Oh, sorry. I'll go watch the fish."

"How was your visit?"

"My brothers brought me some pictures of my son at his last game. The one before the one today, I mean."

"Oh. That's nice."

"Yeah." Darunia went over to the tiny pond and sat down. Little golden and spotted fish darted around. "I wonder if they ever feel trapped. Like us."

"We're…trapped?"

"I feel that way."

"I feel more cramped than trapped. Like I told Saria."

"Hmm. Maybe I'm just being morbid."

Link thought about it for a moment and went back to his book. Before he could get any farther, Darunia interrupted him.

"I hear we're getting a new person tomorrow."

Link looked up. "Boy or girl?"

"Girl, I think. But I'm not sure. It was just Nabooru's gossip, and you know the desk nurses are always unreliable."

"Yeah."

"I hope she's nice."

"Me too."

Link finally finished the foreword and started the book.

"Long ago, in the faraway land of Hyrule, there lived a young boy in a forest…"


Blowfish: Short, I know. But I don't think I can really put anything else in this chapter. I wouldn't expect a very quick update, but I'll do my best. Tell me what you think. Please review.