Last chapter here, people! Sorry for taking so long, I was kinda blocked. Let me tell you it's not the 'Oh so awesome' finale, but I liked it a lot. And it's extra long.
I wold like to spend 1000 words saying how much you reviewers rock, but I can't, which doesn't mean I don't apreciate you. YOU DO ROCK A LOT, YOU ALL MADE THIS POSSIBLE.
I will continue writing for this section, so don't forget me! And please review, just one last time! I promise this won't dissapoint you!
Saving my Valentine's day.
Chapter fifteen: Final chapter: Gathered Pieces.
It was over. That just didn't make sense. Of course she'll be more than happy to accept it as a fact! But... over? No more of the constant fear? No more Bowser? Hell, so miracles did exist.
A gloved hand waved in front of her face. "Hey Peach, you there?"
For a moment she had forgotten about Marth, or anyone else for that matter. "Yeah, just... trying to believe this!" She laughed shortly, happily. Leaning against the wall, she let herself just flop down, as he did the same.
They watched the army retrieving, barely able to hear themselves among all the noise.
All of it was too much. An army of fighting skeletons, a Sheikah mage, and Bowser finally out of the way. "Kind of strange, isn't it?" She tilted her head to the side a bit, listening to Marth. "So much happening in such little time." She understood; she had felt the same. Just when she was beginning to realize all of what was going on, it had ended.
"I know." She closed her eyes thoughtfully. "Maybe it isn't the end."
The prince chuckled. "Hell Peach, don't start with cheesy lines! You know, they only sound cool in the movies." She laughed along with him, partially wondering how he was able to say a joke in that moment.
"Last time Princess Peach gets kidnapped." She announced dreamily.
"And got saved by Prince Marth who seriously thinks she's a bit crazy."
She laughed a bit, then spoke accusingly. "If I remember well, you got your ass kicked big time, just as Roy and Samus. Actually, Zelda saved all of us."
"So that is how a princess talks, eh? Nice vocabulary." He said, smiling widely. "I may have gotten my ass kicked, but I still deserve some credit."
"Sure." She said sarcastically, rolling her eyes and only getting a laugh from him as an answer. She glanced at him, noticing his eyes were strongly fixed to the leaving army. For some reason, she felt her eyes becoming wet... was it possible to cry just out of happiness? Just how stupid was that?
Without anything to do, she let a single tear slid across her cheek."Why are you crying?"
"I'm being so dumb... you must think I'm weak." She managed to hold back the tears for a second, but they slipped away.
"I wouldn't think that!" He replied.
"Don't lie; I don't mind. It's true. I got kidnapped all over again, and I still couldn't do anything. Like always." So, so true! Long ago she had a made a promise to herself: she wouldn't be the weak princess everyone thought she was. She would be strong, and she would not cry ever again. And she had broken her own promise!
"No." He said firmly. "You have proved you're strong by going through all of this without giving up." He was looking directly into her eyes, encouraging her to believe.
She flashed a smile, how couldn't she agree?
"I wonder... wouldn't you get mad at me if I did something stupid?"
She rose an eyebrow, staring, with a question at the tip of her tongue yet unspoken. What are you talking about? He seemed to be realizing what he had said, and pondering what to say.
"Close your eyes." If possible, her eyebrow rose higher. "Only for a sec!" He said, and she obeyed. Bet he stole something. She thought, expecting in any second to hear him commanding her to open her eyes and showing her an item. But that didn't happen. One second passed, and nothing. Two seconds, and nothing. Around reaching five seconds, she was impatient. It might beconsidered ascheating, but she opened her right eye a little, unnoticeably.
What... the...? Frozen there, she tried not to let her eyes widen as he saw the altean prince's face inches away from hers. His eyes closed, his lips slightly parted, and his breath quick and nervous. Marth leaned in closer, and their lips touched timidly.
Not even the soft touch was enough to make her react. She didn't return the kiss, neither did she reject it. But where was her mind at the moment? Not with her, for sure. And, upon noticing she was not pushing him off, the prince decided to dare, and his lips pressed against Peach's a bit more strongly, while his hand moved to her cheek.
She wasn't moving or thinking at all, and on the other side, Marth was too frightened to taste the kiss.
Frightened. First, at himself, for acting without thinking, may it be worth it or not. And frightened of letting go, what would she say then? And what would he say to explain such action? This time, Marth could swear, he had really screwed up everything. And finally, when he ran out of air, the kiss ended.
"I-I'm sorry..." He said, hand still where it had been, unable to look at her face. Could it be showing disgust, anger, or both?
"Don't be." She said, not looking at him either.
All he did was stand, offering his hand to help her up, which she accepted with an expression he wasn't looking at. "Forgive me. I wasn't thinking. I won't do it again." He tried to say, but the words didn't came out too clear.
Peach didn't say anything. Wouldn't she... at least say what she thought about it? Strangely, he wanted to know just as much as he wanted her not to speak. "You don't mind? You aren't angry?" He dared to ask when she was about to move.
"Guess I just need a minute to think."
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Amazement filled her, making everything else silent to her ears. Walking skeletons formed in lines, leaving... a fantastic spectacle, accompanied bythe mental imageof their captain, Skull Keeta.
"Princess." Calling for the fifth time, he finally got her attention. "Is my duty complete?" The Sheikah was bowing, but just as the princess noticed, she motioned him to stand. Although she was used to such formalities, being royalty, she felt it was her who had to be respectful towards the mage.
She sighed. The Sheikah were just bound to be like that. "You can return." She said.
He nodded, now standing straight, and walked to the army. "Can I ask you something?" Zelda said before he would take two steps. Again, he nodded. "How did you knew I needed help? How did you find me?"
He laughed heartedly. The deep, tired laugh of an old man. "The Sheikah watch over you." He paused, thinking. "We are like your guardian angels. You shall not see us, because we are just shadows of the hylians, but whenever a member of the royal family needs our help we will be there. Our purpose is to protect you and make sure the royal bloodline does not disappear."
Zelda looked at the floor. "And are you... happy with this?"
"I have accepted it as my purpose in life." He reassumed his path, leaving behind the princess, who was feeling rather embarrassed at the idea of the forced agreement between her family and Ghost's race.
Decided to get a real answer, she followed him, grabing his shoulder with little strenght. "Answer me."
Even as she was unable to see his face, she could tell he sighed. "If you are happy, we are too."
"But you're not."
Ghost paused to look at her. Her figure stood straight, strong yet delicate as she said the phrase. The tone of her voice left no space for doubt, labeling it as a fact."You command and I obey. That is how it works."
"Then I have an order for you and all of the Sheikah." She almost yelled, making a spectacular attempt to contain herself. He bowed to recieve the order, but the princess interrupted with a 'no' before his knee touched the floor. "You won't bow ever again." He stared questioningly, although knowing she couldn't see the expression of his face. He knew what she was going to say, but hope wasn't allowed to take over him just now.
"This has to stop. Living in the shadows, bound to my family, without the right of freedom... you did nothing to deserve such life." She said.
Her voice became louder as she continued. "The Sheikah have fulfilled their duties, your services are no longer required." Anticipation seemed to affect even Zelda's voice, making it linger in her troath."...I declare you free!"
The last members of the army were going through the doors, but they suddenly came to a stop.
Zelda bit her lower lip nervously as all heads turned to see her. All those shining crimson eyes, the exposed, crooked teeth of the skeletons, all turned towards her. And she just stood there without moving, until Ghost's voice broke the silence. "Very well." Movement returned. The Ikana army began walking again.
"Thank you, princess." He walked away, toward the door.
He reached it, but before going through, his cloaked firgure disappeared in thin air, along the sound of the army's footsteps. They were gone.
"I've had enough of this for a lifetime." The princess turned to see Roy, staring with confused blue eyes. His sword was seathed, and in his right hand was Samus' extrememly damaged power suit.
"I agree." Said Samus, who looked like she would fall if Roy wasn't helping her to stand.
Without anything to say, she glanced around the room, searching for the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. The room was empty, but before she could look around half of it... "What in the hell!"
"What is it, Roy?" Zelda asked.
"Look at that!" Both hands occupied, Roy signaled with a movement of his head. Both the hylian and the bounty hunter looked to where he indicated, their jaws instantly falling open. In the opossite side of the room were Peach and Marth... eyes closed and lips locked in a kiss. Samus was the first one to speak.
"I didn't see that coming."
Neither did Zelda, but she would bet the more surprised one was Roy. To confrim such, all she saw when she looked at him was a blank stare. But before she could say something, not even sure of what, a wide smile formed on his lips. "Way to go, Marth." He said, loud enough for only them to hear.
The hylian sighed. "Is there something else I need to know?" A short silence followed, while Roy and Samus exchanged looks that Zelda didn't notice.
"No, nothing." Roy said.
"Shouldn't we get going? I must rest, and my armor has to be repaired." Samus quickly added, eager to change the subject. This didn't go unnoticed fo Zelda, but when she was about to speak she was interrupted.
The voice belonged to Peach. "Agreed."
"Ditto." Said the swordsmen, in unison, their voices sounding tired.
"Fine. But before..." The princess paused, half-smiling as she looked at Marth and Peach. "What's going on beween you two?"
The prince of Altea instanty looked away, staring at his shoes as of they had turned to be quite interesting. Peach just laughed nervously, as her mind searched for a proper answer as quickly as possible. "Um... long story."
"Oh, we have time!"
She wished to say 'Shut up Zel', but different words came out of her mouth. "None of your business, dear." Did that mean she was unsure? Was she imagining things, or heat was rising to her face? Maybe it was just the way Zelda looked at her. 'I see how it is...' Her eyes told her.
The Mushroom Princess sighed in relief as the hylian one turned. "Okay, time to go!" Sweet, sweet relief... did someone grab her hand just now? The prince. His touch doubting, soft, and strong at the same time.
Roy had noticed, and instantly jerked his head to look away. He followed Zelda. His lips curled in a playful grin, like a secret-keeping child, with a voice just as happy-sounding, mixed with contained laughter.
"Just wait till we tell Link all of this!"
All of them laughed shortly, thinking of what would be Link's expression when he heard the whole tale.
Between giggles, Peach found herself holding Marth's hand quite tightly. Many weird things had happened, and she thought many more would in the times to come. But about this one, she discovered that she didn't mind at all. Their eyes met briefly. Smiles were exchanged.It was not love or anything close to it, she believed, but that was nothing time wouldn't change. After all, love had played pranks on her for a while, and it did owe her a favor.