I do not own Zelda or any of the main characters, however i did make up a few of my own to help direct the storyline. This is my first fan fic so please be nice. I am sure that there will be heaps who wont like the story as it developes, but it is something i have wanted to write for a while now. I would much apreciate reviews, just dont be too harsh if you don't like it. : )
Chapter One: Unexpected
"Do you love me?" she had asked him by the fountain all those nights ago.
He didn't say anything; he didn't need to; his actions spoke louder than words. He took her face in his hands and crushed his lips fervently to hers. The taste of his soft lips had slowly intoxicated her; weakened her irrevocably. She remembered his fingers coiling into her long black hair as his hands ran gently down her back; the way his breath wavered as he slowly pulled away from her lips and moved his own sensually across her cheek… her neck… her throat… She remembered shivering against his body as he whispered sweet nothings to her; they were words he would only ever speak to her.
But something so sweet was never meant to be.
She ran blindly through the corridors; her tears blurring her vision and staining her beautiful face. It wasn't meant to be like this. She never meant to do this to him. She stumbled forward; forcing herself to move. She had to find him; she had to save him. This was all her fault. How could she have been so stupid? She pushed open doors with more force than her weak body had to spare, but she willed herself to move; she had to; there would be nothing left to hope for if she didn't. People stood around dumbfounded and shocked, just watching her and doing nothing. She wanted to scream out to them and beg for their help, but her throat was dry and her body was weakening.
"Please", she whispered feebly, but no one heard her. She was about to collapse onto her knees, when she saw a door before her; it was positioned half open. She could see him standing within the room, his back towards her; he wasn't moving; he wasn't doing anything. And then as she ran forward she saw him suddenly fall; his body becoming limp on the stone floor. She pushed open the door and ran forward; her heart beating frantically as she fell to her knees beside her dying husband. She saw what he had done to himself; she saw the stain of blood rapidly expanding on his clothes as his final seconds ticked painfully by; seconds which fell through her fingers faster than she could make to catch them. She remembered the look on his face when he gazed into her eyes; the love she saw was overwhelmed by shock and utter disbelief; he was not expecting to see her there before him, not while he was still breathing in the air which was keeping him only just alive. Her tears dripped from her face as she observed what she had driven the man she loved to. It was a misunderstanding… a mistake; just a terrible mistake.
His hand shook as he reached it weakly to her cheek to embrace her one last time; she felt his blood on his fingers, still warm from the fresh wound. His breaths were shallow; each one looked like it was causing him more pain than the last as he fought against death to stay with his wife for as long as possible. She watched as the colour faded from his skin, as the life drained from his eyes.
"No… please James… please…" she begged, placing her tear-stained face against his chest; she could feel his heartbeat weaken and she could do nothing to save him. "I am so sorry James", she sobbed, her body shaking as she didn't even try to hold back the anguish overcoming her, "It wasn't meant to be like this", she whispered against him. Nothing but the metallic stench of blood filled her nose now; she wanted it to go; she wanted the sweet smell of his skin to consume her senses; she wanted everything to be right. But she could never change what she had driven her husband to; she had to live with her mistake.
"El", he gasped. He forced his eyes shut in pain as his lungs began to fail him.
"I am right here James", she sobbed, her voice shaking with fear and sorrow. She put her hands to his cheek and neck as she tried to keep him conscious, "I am right here. Look at me James; don't close your eyes", she begged, "please, don't close your eyes"
He shook his head slowly in defeat; his lips forming the words, 'I am sorry', but he was too weak to speak them.
"No James!" she cried, "No, don't do this James… don't", she begged as she felt his pulse slow under her fingers. His life was quickly slipping away and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
She let out a wail of agony as his body became limp under hers; his eyes closed for the final time…
"No!" she screamed; she refused to give up on him; she refused to accept he was gone. She put her hand to his stomach where the blood had turned his clothes red. She grabbed hold of the knife he impaled himself with and pulled it from his lifeless body. Clutching her hand to the wound she tried in vain to stop the bleeding; it was as if she thought that if she tried hard enough she could force the blood back into his body… and return the life she had indirectly taken from him. "No, no, no, no! James!" she cried as she tried to revive her husband, "please", she wailed.
She eventually gave up, her face smeared with her own tears and her husbands blood. She was forced to accept his fate; it was too late. But death didn't have to divide them; she promised him nothing ever would. She could not live her pointless life without her husband by her side. With shaking hands she grasped onto the blade which had sealed James' fate; it too would seal hers. She pressed her quivering lips to his cold, lifeless ones and kissed her husband one last time. It was not to say goodbye for she would see him soon; it was more to say she was sorry that it had to end this way.
She lifted her weak body onto her knees and thrust the blade into her chest.
She snapped the book shut before her tears could overcome her shattering restraint. Really, it was a wasted attempt for she knew how this story ended. She had practically memorised the book word for word; the yellowed and dog-eared pages kept count of the many time she had lost herself within this fictional world of romance, betrayal and tragedy. She sighed as her mind played out the last few pages for her to wallow in. This story seemed more real than just a collection of words assembled for someone's temporary entertainment. For Zelda, the story lingered with her for longer than just the time it took her to read it; it had become so much a part of her that it was practically fused to her character… almost as if it had become more of a memory to her. She closed her eyes as if she thought that simple act would prolong the disheartening return of reality and with it, the return of her pointless life as a pseudo ruler; mindless formalities, ceremonial façades, days which seemed to stretch out longer for her than they did for the rest of the land… Sometimes she wished her life could take on the role only read about within a storybook, she thought as her finger traced the embossed silver script of the story's title. Sometimes she dreamed about what her life could be like and she wanted it… just without the tragic ending.
She groaned as she pulled her stiff body off the ground, she wasn't quite sure how long she had been laying there. She would have guessed about half an hour, but her body insisted otherwise. Straightening out her gentle white dress, she made her way over to one of the many large bookcases, each of which she had memorised off by heart. Finding the gap she was looking for she carefully slipped the old storybook back into its place amongst the rest of the antique Hylian manuscripts and diaries which had been passed down through the royal bloodline, of which only a few weren't written in ancient Hylian. Literature was by far one of her favourite interests. She would spend days cooped up within these four walls, reading endlessly for hours and completely oblivious to the outside world. It was her chance to escape the stress of her demanding life; day in and day out her routine never changed… but when she lost herself within the pages of a book the whole world seemed to just step back and blur out of focus.
She looked around at the book shelves, her eyes circling the expansive library, hoping something else would jump out to her and entice her to lose herself in it, even though she had been cooped up in the same room all morning, she would much prefer it than going downstairs and back to the reality of real life and the responsibilities that hers was bequeathed with. Her mind began to wander off in another daydream, but was abruptly and almost painfully snapped back to reality with a sound that must have resonated throughout the land. Her heart almost skipped a beat. Trying to harmonise her breathing she silently cursed the ringing in her ears. The disturbance actually didn't sound that distant. Wondering what in Hyrule could have caused such a commotion, she stepped over the fallen books she had quite obliviously knocked over and headed out of the white wooden doors and towards the source of the noise.
As she neared the grand entrance of the castle she could hear yelling, the clanging of armour and swords and the sound of many frantic foot steps. She turned through the large arch, opening out onto the wide entrance area, to find the most chaotic scenes playing out in front of her.
The large wooden castle doors, and most likely the source of the original disturbance, were flung wide open; assemblies of guards were bursting through the doors, joining the many that had already spilt into the castle. Spears and swords were raised in attack, many of which were being flung dangerously at an unknown avenger. His long brown cloak danced with his moves as he dodged their swords and reclaimed the attack, his own sword moving to block their jagged attempts to stop him. Their almost desperate attempts to restrain the man proved futile, as their every move was mirrored with an even more powerful and adept reaction. A large hood fell over his face, shielding it from her eyes. The thought that someone could overpower so many guards made her heart quicken in fear, she would have normally at least attempted to pacify such a scene, but she was unusually frozen still. Her mind told her to react but her body just wouldn't move. As more guards rushed to subdue the disturbance, his attack began to falter and weaken. His assaults were received with fresh defenders. A spear was swung like a bat from behind, striking him across his back. The force caused him to lose footing and stumble unguarded into a crowd of offenders, who forcefully brought an end to his campaign.
He continued to yell and struggle against his suppression, taking at least five guards to hold him down. His thrashing movements only brought on more violent results.
"SILENCE!" Her father appeared on the grand staircase overlooking the fight. His face appropriately matched the rubies in his crown. Hand clenching the railing before him, he continued.
"Why is it, that my castle has suddenly become the grounds for such commotion?" he inquired after the noise had died down; eyes resting on the cloaked man who was now sprawled out, face down on the marble. After a moment of silence the king spoke again.
"Show me his face", he insisted in a slightly amused fashion. In a single movement he was roughly yanked up onto his knees, the same hand now reached down to his head to remove the hood. His true identity was instantly revealed. Zelda's eyes widened at the sight of the captive. She was so wrong about him; he was so much younger than she thought, he was practically her age, maybe a few years older, she couldn't tell. His bruised but youthful face was full of anger, yet he kept his gaze lowered, avoiding the astonished stares directed at him.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" her father crooned, not expecting the person who had nearly overpowered half the court guards to be so young.
"Would somebody mind telling me why I now have a boy constrained by the wrists on my castle floor surrounded by my sentry?"
"I'm sorry your highness, we had him restra-"
"If you had him restrained then why did he need so many of you to escort him in here?" he interrupted, trying to sound amusing. Zelda noticed his wrists were red and swollen; no doubt he had broken free from the guard's first attempt to arrest him.
"We caught him, your highness, in the stables. He was trying to steal one of the horses."
"That's a lie", the boy screamed out, trying to get to his feet but instantly been forced down again. "I was not stealing that horse; I was taking back what was stolen from me!"
"Tell me boy, what is your name?" the king began again, not believing or even interested in what he had to say. The captive smiled slyly, flicking his head to remove the strands of messy blond hair which fell over his face, his only reply to the king was a laugh and then silence, he was determined to stand his ground even though he knew there was no way he was going to win. This only served to further anger the king. Her father refused to be talked down to, especially by some low-class obnoxious adolescent, wanting to push his luck with the law. However, his reaction was unexpected, instead of yelling and cursing the boy for his attitude towards royalty, he instead gave him an equally sly smile. "Remove him from my presence; and this time do it properly. I'm sure a few days under lock will do you good, boy", he said turning on his heal to leave the area but stopped halfway. He turned back to face the blond young man. "You do realise you will be working for a long time to pay for the damage you caused to this castle", and with these last words he turned with a smile on his face and exited the gallery, leaving the guards to practically drag the unknown soldier, too weak to protest, to the cells.
Even after the last of the guards left through the large castle doors, Zelda remained in her position, still unable to move. Even defenceless, he still frightened her.
She lay awake on her bed that night, unable to sleep; she decided to try and read something. She picked up book which was set on her nightstand and flicked it open to a random page. She knew it was just an excuse to get her mind off the events of the day, and she definitely knew it wasn't working once she realised she was reading the same line over and over again but she had to try something. She just couldn't take her mind of him. Today just served to prove how unprotected the castle was. A cold shiver ran down her back. What if he was sent here in iniquity? The castle has the best guards in the land serving under the king, and one boy was all it took to practically overpower them. She was not the only one concerned, her father tried to pretend it was just a once-of and a momentary lapse of judgement, but she knew it bothered him just as much as it did her. Her only comfort was to know that for the time being he was safely locked away deep below the castle, even if he did manage to break out, this time he had no weapons and hopefully was still recovering from his weakened state to try something so stupid. The king would not hesitate to kill him.
It was well beyond three in the morning before she finally drifted off into sleep.