So. I've decided to discontinue my Forced To Learn fanfiction. Seriously, this is the first time I've ever discontinued a fanfic, and probably my last.

Anyway, I've started a new story! Yay! It'll help keep me a Zelda fan till Twilight Princess comes out…long…long time from now…

This is basically pretty random. But I DO know that it will be about Shadow Link. And Ganon. And all this random stuff.

I plan this to be pretty short. Maybe 4-6 chapters. Dunno. Whatever my fingers tell me.

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Title: Shadows
Chapter: Wonder Land
Rating: PG, mild language
Disclaimer: I do not own Zelda or Nintendo. If I did, TP would already be out.

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Shadows of my past

Shadows that remind me

Of what I used to be.
---

Zelda stared blankly ahead of her; taking in the scene that entranced me so many times before. Out on her balcony, built upon her home--her castle--, she would stand every day, at sunset. Her elbows would rest on the banister, and she would lean forward just slightly, as if she could fly to the multi-colored horizon.

Ahead were the rolling planes of Hyrule, ending with the high-peaked mountains, with the sun just gently gracing them, casting pastel colors against the darkening sky above. Stars appeared out of nowhere, and after that moment, the colors faded into dusk.

Her child-like amazement would change then; change to the look she always seemed to have; that ever so fake melancholy look that was despised by her friends but praised by the politicians. She would turn from the lands, from the courtyards and the trees desperately pleading her to climb them, and she'd look blankly into her plushly furnished chambers--an empty hollow that she called her room. But all knew that she wanted her room to be the vast, beautiful Hyrule. Even to live in a shack would be a salvation from the quick-pace-no-peace castle.

I turned to look at my friend--the beloved Princess Zelda. Nights like this really rewarded the work I had to go through. Being a high-ranking knight really had its advantages--I was able to be applied as Zelda's personal guard, and ended up being her personal friend.

"You should be getting to your quarters," Zelda's voice broke the comfortable silence, and, in response, I gave her a short nod. I wished that the sunset would last forever, so we could talk forever, but, sadly, that was only a distant want--nothing that compared to the wants of the Hylian peoples. They came before me, and I hated that. "Goodnight," I made my way to her door, with Zelda's soft foot-falls close behind me. I turned one last time to get one last look at her till morning. She wasn't smiling, and, as usual, that monarchy monotone had come over her, but a spark was in her trademark blue eyes...this spark only belonging to me. "Goodnight..." Zelda responded softly, looking vaguely away, already lost in her probably troubling thoughts.

---

The halls were quite empty at this time, though it wasn't very late. Everyone was extremely tired by the end of the day, and hit the hay right after sunset--well, most, anyway. I usually made my way to the stalls to see to Epona.

I looked out the various huge, pane-less windows lining the halls, which portraits of all the Princess Zeldas were between in regular intervals. On the other side of the hall, all the previous Heroes were vertical, and further down different people, all recognizable and famous, were placed.

I came to a halt in front of one of the portraits. It was of a boy, almost a man. His features were set like stone--his hair blonde and his eyes blue, and his skin pasty pale. A slight smirk twitched on my lips, for this boy--this man--he looked a lot like me...It was a little unsettling, because all the Heroes had the same looks, and, ironically, all the same name...Link.

My name was, and remains: Link. All the Links in Hyrule had saved the land once or twice, and saved all the Zeldas, probably more than twice, except for me. There was a slight difference between me and these heroes, and that was that they were dirt poor. No, I was not dirt poor, for my father had been a valiant knight, and I had the intention of walking his path. If I remember correctly, none of these heroes were knights.

Now, it wasn't that the thought of being a hero(facing dangers that I'd never known, ect, ect,)scared me...it just wasn't that appealing to me, really. It's a cliché thing, if you think about it. Saving the princess and the land all by myself, without anyone's help, except for a certain obnoxious faerie, which I could've sworn had been just stalking me earlier...

Anyway, on with the story. I had soon arrived at Epona's(who met me with a happy whinny) stable with my thoughts all in a jumble. Not only had I been thinking of my would-be inevitable fate, but also of Princess Zelda. She and I had just been coming into age, and she was getting, dare I say it, hormonal. It wasn't her fault...seriously, it wasn't. It was those preppy, giggly maids who seemed to stalk her. Every time a male walked by, excluding me(they'd all glare at me), they'd start into a fit of giggles. Of course, they'd always been like that, but now, heaven forbid, Zelda was joining them!

It wasn't like I was jealous or anything...I just...couldn't figure why they hated me so much. I was the only one who treated Zelda like a human being, not some Goddess who needed to be followed everywhere...and maybe that was why they hated me. But Zelda always complained that she needed her space, so why was she glaring at me?

I sighed, leaning against Epona, who gave me a nip, for she was trying to get to sleep. "Fine, have it your way."

Epona opened a dark, deep chocolate eye that twinkled in a brilliant smile. She thought she won! I laughed and leapt unto her back, and, no matter how much she bucked, I would not be removed.

"C'mon, Epona!" I cried, clinging to her silky mane, "You know me better!" After she settled down, I did too. I rested my head on her sturdy neck and spreading myself out on her long, thick body. Epona was the best bed ever, even if she was a horse.

--- Morning sunshine peeped through the stable shutters. The rays aimed at my eyes, and I fluttered them slowly open, rubbing the sleep away. I looked around, trying to remember where I was. I could never remember anything in the morning...it always took me awhile to remember what had just happened. Then I remembered that I was in the stables...sleeping on Epona's back.

I looked over at my mare, whose neck was bent and her eyes were closed. I decided to spend my time studying the lit dust particles, and the way the sunlight shifted the shadows every passing minute. Finally, the shadows were short enough to tell me that everyone had awoken, for I'd awoken hours earlier than any normal Hylian. I always did.

"We gotta get ta' work, Epona." I slid gracefully off the horse. She snorted in annoyance. "I guess you're not a morning person." She gave me a "no, really?" look.

"So, what are you planning to do today?" Zelda was before me, coming swift and quiet enough so even I could not to hear her. Of course, people like me just don't get surprised, which is a disappointment to most.

"Not much. Compared to you, anyway." I picked up a dusty, old brush, and started away at Epona's coat, though the glossy shine practically screamed that she was in no need for a groom.

"Oh, how wrong you are, Link-y." Zelda went on the other side of Epona, and, just to annoy me, spread herself over the back of the horse, looking at me with wide, shiny eyes...shiny...

"Link-y?" I arched an eyebrow.

"Yes, Link-y." She waved off the matter, and then turned her stomach against Epona's side, resting her elbows against Epona's spine, "I am not busy today. My father is away at some meeting, and one of my maids is having a wedding, so all my other maids decided to attend. And, it seems all the other guards and knights have decided that you can satisfy my protection needs. Or...I could've just annoyed them into leaving me alone..."

"Why aren't you attending the wedding?" I asked, putting Epona's brush away and rechreiving her reigns and saddle.

"Oh, I hate that wench." Zelda responded simply.

"Be careful, one of those politics is probably lurking around." I tested the saddle strap.

"They're all critiques...every last one of them." She finally pulled away from Epona, letting me finish my work. "If I do anything un-lady-like, they report me to my father right away." She heaved a bitter sigh.

"Oh well, at least you get everything you want." I mounted Epona, then looked down at a smug looking Zelda. "Want to come along?" I held out a hand.

"Maybe I don't want to." Zelda sneered, "I do get everything I want."

"Don't be offended," I looked down at her, and her mocking smile disappeared.

"Okay," She complied quietly.

---

A mad notion came over me in that awkward silence. I had a sudden feeling, and instinct maybe, to grasp Zelda's hand and, with one fluid motion, swung her onto Epona's back. I knew there were people watching--people that would probably cause me to be sent to the dungeon for "harassing" the princess, but the feeling over her pressed against me was worth it.

"Hold on tight," I whispered. Her arms, slowly and reluctantly, wrapped around my middle.

"I've never ridden two person before..." Zelda said in my ear, her warm breath tickling it.

"You'll be fine." And, with that, I gently nudged Epona in the sides, and she was off like a brown lightning bolt.

---

"AHHHHHHH!" Zelda screamed in pure delight. Her screams were followed by gales of laughter and giggles. I imagined that she had probably never ridden this fast before, and she still didn't even know how fast my horse could go.

"Having...fun!" I asked with my breath caught in my throat.

"Yess!" Zelda laughed in my ear as we leapt over a wide river. "Take...take me...all over...Hyrule!" I could just barely hear her request through the wind, but I was more than ready to show her a tour of her own land.

---

Afternoon peaked with perfect Summer temperature--not too hot and not too cold. Just right. The wind whipping our faces was also perfectly warm, and smelled fresh. We were traveling through vast fields, being careful not to trample over crops.

The grass was green and the sky was blue--and fluffy white cotton balls moved leisurely through the sky. The soft breeze rustled branches of large, sparse trees. The farming towns were not lush, thankfully, and made great riding places, as long as the field was empty. This was perfect timing for Epona to show off.

Zelda let out a squeal as Epona took off even faster, not even breaking a sweat. Her hooves barely hit the ground, and it seemed as if we were flying. I felt Zelda's arms briefly leave my waist as she let out a loud "whoop!" It must've felt really good to let out all her troubles like that.

"Whoa, Epona!" I pulled at the reigns, and Epona came to an abrupt, obedient stop. In her trance, she had almost ran off a cliff.

"That was close." Zelda gasped in a hoarse voice. She was right. We were on the edge of a forty to a hundred foot drop. Below us lay a deep, dense forest, with some of the trees just barely reaching the cliff.

"Looks like we came out a little far." I unmounted Epona, helping Zelda down.

"A little!" Zelda exclaimed, pointing out to where she supposed the castle was. "We're a long, long ways out of Hyrule!"

"I guess so." I wasn't really paying attention to the fact that this land wasn't part of Hyrule...rather that it was amazing. It looked as if fall had been petrified...for the leaves were all tints of bright yellow, orange, and deep red. "I think it's Fall."

"And if someone finds out that I..." Zelda looked at me and blinked, then around at the place. "That's odd. It should be Summer."

"I don't like it here." I said. Epona whinnied quietly, her eyes wide with paranoia. "Either does Epona, let's go"

"No...I want to see why it's like this." Zelda pulled away, examining the wall of multi-colored trees before us. She started into the thicket, a look of mesmerized wonderment.

"Zelda..." I growled, my teeth clenched. "Let's go back. Now."

"Link...isn't beautiful?" Zelda was disappearing into the shadows, and I had no choice but to follow her.

---

What Zelda had said was true--the place was beautiful, and I had an eerie drawing to the great, colorful trees, with their limbs hanging almost to the grass covered terra.

"It may be beautiful, but I don't have a good feeling about this place..." I said, coming up beside Zelda.

"Oh, Link, do calm down." Zelda told me airily, swaying on her feet like a drunk. I held her up by her forearm, but she didn't seem to notice the gesture.

"Zelda..." I pleaded quietly, gently tugging at her hand. She tossed her head back and gave me an annoyed look.

"Not like...I asked you...to come...along." Zelda muttered, pausing between words to take deep breaths. So I wasn't the only one feeling like my lungs were being crushed.

"I...can't leave..yu-you." I tried to keep my voice strong, but faltered. Zelda turned and ignored me, stumbling along the path, yet I was too weak to help her stay steady.

---

Ahead of me, light was trickling through the leaves, till an archway of white light was ahead. I sighed in relief: either it was a meadow (to rest in), or, if we were lucky, a village. Zelda was pushing herself towards the light, using the trees to propel her onward.

Finally, we come upon the arch, with Zelda jumping through it; an amazing thing for how dizzy we both were...it must've took all her strength, but when I reached the arch, I found that I had been given an extra boost, and was thrust into the light.

"Where are we?" The pressure had been lifted from my chest, but was replaced by hard soil. After a moment, I found no answer, and found no sense of another being near me. I pushed my self to my feet with ease.

I hadn't been expecting what I saw...not in the least. The scene was bewilderingly dark--nothing that Hyrule had seen in a long while. The land was absolutely barren. Brown hills rolled on forever and forever into a dull, flat horizon; the sun just falling behind it. There was no cloud in the sky, but I couldn't really tell, for the sky was like liquid mud with no sign of comforting blue.

I felt my stomach drop--this was a battle field. Unarmed princesses did not belong here, unless accompanied by an army--even then, Hylian princesses weren't known for battle types, and only knew the way of the arrow, but were never prepared to aim for so many targets at such a quick pace, and defiantly not prepared for the bloodshed.

"Zelda!" I called for her, but no reply. My knees dropped and I almost fell to the ground, but I couldn't despair just yet...Zelda could have just been wandering around, although that wasn't something that she'd do, then again, either she was wandering into an unknown forest that had an ominous aura about it.

I looked behind me; a place I hadn't bothered to turn. It was exactly the same from the other sides, except there was a cliff...then, suddenly, a bolt of fear stroke my heart. After the initial shock of my horrid thoughts, I scampered to the cliff, almost falling off myself.

As I had anticipated, Princess Zelda had fallen off, but, thank the Gods, she was alive and supposedly well, although she was ten feet below me on a protruding edge. I took a deep breath, wished for luck, and started my climb downwards.

"Are you alright?" I asked Zelda, dropping to safely on the little ledge. She didn't reply. Again, a bitter fear stopped my heart, and then cruelly sped it up. I lightly touched her unnaturally pale cheek (she really did need to get out more), and she let out a little moan. I checked her for injuries, and found a little blood staining her almost platinum hair.

"Link...?" She finally came to.

"Looks like you're back." I smiled. She smiled back. "We need to find our way back...wherever we came from..."

"I think I would rather stay here." Zelda murmured. "Something wasn't right back there. I felt this strong pulling...and something was smashing my lungs." Her hand went to her chest, and she winced a little.

"Are you hurt?" I put a hand over hers, putting a little pressure on it. She winced again. "The hand or the chest?"

"The chest." Zelda looked down at our hands, and I could see the faintest hint of a blush, and, despite the circumstances, it made me smile.

"We'll have to worry about that later..." I said, "Right now we have to find a way out." I pulled us to our feet, looking up the rock wall for a way up. There was none.

"Do you have anything to help us?" Zelda asked breathlessly, obviously strained just to simply stand. I looked at her with worry. "I'm fine...like you said; we have to worry about it later."

"Right." I nodded and looked bellow us. All trees. Not a safe fall. "If I had my deku leaf..."

"A grappling hook?" Zelda suggested. I shook my head.

"...my sword...why didn't I think of that before?" I hit myself on the head, cursing under my breath. It had to be the atmosphere that was making me so stupid. Why hadn't I even thought of using my trusty sword?

"That's it!" Zelda cried, putting her hand daintily (even in these situations she had to be the princess that she was) on the hilt. I unshielded the sword, and, under the hazy glaze of the hidden sun, it glinted.

So I dug the tip of the sword into the wall, which was thankfully not too hard yet not too soft, and pulled us up, using one arm to hold the sword and the other the princess. Zelda helped by using her arm as my other; holding our past indent to make a future one.

-----

We came to the ledge, and propelled ourselves over the edge, earning a few scratches on our torsos on the way. I strained a few muscles during the climb, thus I almost dropped Zelda. She gave me a curt glare, then a thank-you for saving her.

Afterwards, we jumped up and down from our accomplishment. Oh, we were such fools. Lightning flashed across the sky, and thunder rumbled right afterwards, signifying how terrifyingly close the lightning was, but we didn't need the message from the thunder. A lightning bolt had hit not two meters from us.

"Link!" Zelda cried in distress, "We've got to find a way out!"

"You think I hadn't figured that before!" Ah, how rude I become in stressful situations...one of the reasons I didn't rank as high as I could in knighthood.

Zelda ignored my rude comment. She'll probably get me thrown in the dungeon...I thought bitterly before being dragged to the direction whence we came.

"I know we entered here!" Zelda stopped as we came to a rotted forest. The trees were utterly bare of their leaves and the branches were twisted and deformed, wrapping around each other in a grotesque, still dance.

"Hard to believe..." I muttered.

"All that glitters is not gold."

"Not really time for lectures." I glared at the princess. Once again, she ignored me, though I could see a vein in her neck pop.

"Let us go forth," Zelda said calmly. She took a breath and walked forward...itty-bitty steps. I felt frozen in my tracks...it didn't feel right...with every step Zelda took, my heart rate increased.

"No," I snatched Zelda's wrist, pulling her back. "It doesn't feel right..."

"Either would lightning," Zelda growled, trying to pull away, but I wouldn't let go.

That's right, Link. Let the princess stay. A voice called in my head. Let her die, let the world be torn...

"Ugh..." I groaned, holding my pounding head. "It hurts..." I muttered.

"Link? Link? Are you alright?" Zelda's face was above mine. I suppose I fell...

"Get out...Zelda...Get out..."

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That concludes that! Review and tell me what you think. And, plot ideas concerning Ganon and Shadow Link and a big battle would be nice. X-o