Warning!!!! The story below is extremely long for a one-shot, as I am planning on rewriting it anyway, possibly making it into a semi-multichapter story. Tell me what you think I should do, either get rid of it entirely, make it less wordy, divide it into chapters, just send a response.

Disclaimer: I own none of the Zelda aspects or anything, not even this wonderfully made song by Within Temptation

Well anyway, onto the Link/Midna goodness! Oh and this song is called Our Farewell, as you'll come to see. Credit goes to the lovely band who made this!

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Not the Final Goodbye

The rolling hills and valleys with a calming breeze running gently down each landslide and cascade. The trees whishing silently in the wind, undisturbed. The perfect world, settled by the alarming works of nature to be beheld in such a great spectacle. Dozens of eyes gazed on what had become a mere description of this utopian environment, endless eons of peace and little conflict. Out from the alley next to a town building, a little girl dressed in a gorgeous pink dress peered out at what her world was now, her little brother running upside.

"Lemme see, lemme see, sis!" he exclaimed, shoving crudely without knowing his sister out of the way only to receive a face-full of sunlight shining directly in his eyes. "Ah! I'm blind!"

His sister calmly picked herself up and dusted off her intricate clothes, giggling softly as his slight misfortune. Somewhere else in Castle Town, more like towards the large, looming fountain not too distant from where she currently stood, the festivities were only beginning, dozens of balloons rolling up into the air and doves swarming around civilians' feet.

The swirling architecture of the cobblestone ground bore the shadows of at least twenty or so people, more great numbers of happy celebrants still to prance around the fountain. Above the sun-specked combustion, the sun had just peaked out of the clouds and was at its zenith in the soothing warmth of the sweet afternoon. The few clouds in the sky also signaled that world peace had, for the first time in ages come to the vast provinces of Hyrule at least since the previous heroes defeated the same evil man ages and ages ago when the land was still relatively new.

Perhaps it was not incorrect, however, to say not all the denizens of Hyrule could bask in the full glory of a sparkling sun like all the races had done before him. Far to the south lied the most wooded area in Hyrule, the glimmering trees reflecting each light spectrum in full detail and gazing back on the ground with colorful filters of light. The grass was serenely rich and tossed gently in the midst of another warm breeze, though this particular soul had not the initial willpower to taste it in the first place.

The land's hero, one who bested all nations in terms of warrior status and bravery, lay planted to an enormous boulder protruding from a cliffside in the woods. Atop lay an ancient owl statue he had moved prior to defeating the evil king of all kings, small waves of light bouncing back into his face.

His hand swiftly moved to block the incoming feed of sunlight, but like before, light triumphed and defeated dark, not shadow. The latter word sparked a painful image in Link's mind as he coolly reclined back on the large rock with his arms folded at his elbows above his head, creating a makeshift pillow. His eyes clenched tight and his brow furrowed into a large crease on his forehead, the image continuing to burrow itself even more as a permanent mental stain in the depths of his mind. This illustration sparked tears, a face full of grave emotions, and a disposition that clearly contrasted his former, delightful self.

The green-clad hero, who felt nothing of what his title labeled him to be, quickly rose up and drew his knees to his chest and hugged them, sobbing silently in his arm. His face was pressed tightly to his knees as he trembled and shivered almost as if cold in the receding heat of this glorious day that need be celebrated. However, if the hero himself couldn't even congratulate the eternal calm blanketing the land, the perhaps the world was entirely a hopeless carving from ash after all, as he soon thought.

His head quivered violently as he tried in vain to shake away the onslaught of bittersweet memories. There would have...been nothing I...could have done to...stop her... he thought as a slight tear rolled down his wet cheek and splattered onto his green tunic the heroes of old wore too long ago for anyone to graciously remember.

Link's mind skipped back to when she first walked into his life, leaving no indication of intending to save his world at all, that is, until that night after he saved her, she saw everything in a different light. Yes, the memories were constant, never-ending, and would continue to plague his broken soul for the rest of his life.

She was a promiscuous imp the size of a gigantic cat from Castle Town with one shiny fang gleaming in the light and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Her black fur glistened underneath the beautiful colors of twilight like one of the black steeds he saw shadowing the grass underneath a streaming sunset. On her head was a well-stationed metal cap of some sort, though Link couldn't quite identify exactly what in the world it was.

While the enormous cap that truly didn't befit the sly imp's size concealed one eye, the oval of another orb could be seen reflecting ominously the twilight brightness. The first time Link had run into her was also the moment they met, though that meeting was rather stagnant in terms of greetings and proper gestures. In fact, they had not gotten off very well to a miraculous start that even had the hopes of running into the slightest friendship for the animosity between the two was quite apparent to those who stood next the pair.

Not that anyone of the type inhabited these fair secret passageways leading into the princess's throne room, however, for the only living organisms were dirty rats that infested these unclean waters. Link's wolf form bounded through the gates surrounding the entire premise as his new companion Midna leaped from his back to help with certain switches.

"Maybe you're not stupid, after all," she had said after they rock-landed hard onto sturdy ground, though a loud pop could be heard as Link's paw connected with the stairway. "Meh, what can you do right, though? I mean you just popped a bone after all."

Link glared above him at the annoying little imp that continued to dig her clawed fingers into the nape of his neck, almost swearing she could have drawn blood if she wanted to. He straightened up his fur with a vicious toss of his muscular frame before pawing onward to the princess's quarters.

In my hands
A legacy of memories
I can hear you say my name
I can almost see your smile
Feel the warmth of your embrace
But there is nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?

Another memory swarmed into his mind like a dozen butterflies feeding off his raw flesh. He winced inwardly as the outline of his friend appeared to his mind's eye as the same overbearing imp he grew to love. This one like the many that stabbed into his soul brought up a torrent of unshed tears as Link tried vainly to hold them back as much as possible.

One could say heroes never cry, but contrary to popular belief, this proved what would be quite the other side of that same coin...

They had just triumphed over the steeple-sized plant with two nagging tentacles that would sweep out and rush at them with giant reaping claws for teeth. Midna hovered over to where the first Fused Shadow lay, floating aimlessly in the air next to where Link stood and where the emerald monstrosity once stood. After packing the item into her invisible storage set, the imp opened up a portal leading to the outside world and awaited Link's entrance and departure from the dungeon.

He was stupidly scanning the fresh carcass for any useful items the creature might have stashed away, but gave up his search as soon as he heard Midna complain. "Goddesses, for a hero, you sure take a long time to get moving!" she shouted from behind, feeling the incandescent waves of light bathe her in orange. "How much longer are we going to be here? I mean, this place is starting to give me the creeps, so do try to hurry. You can't leave your friends waiting THAT much longer, you know."

A sniff and a frown later, wolf Link boldly ran up to the blistered Midna and growled softly in a low undertone before glancing to the created portal and feeling the pain of warping.

The times spent together were memorable enough, but Link had a hard time digesting after seeing those two scenes pop up in his mind how they even came to share a common bond. There was still the lack of chemistry between them, the lack of controlled tempers, the lack of idle conversations, and the lack of a true relationship. At the thought of that final word, another image popped into his mind like a bursting heated balloon.

He could feel himself warping out of the Lakebed Temple with Midna not on his back as usual. Instead, he found himself gazing over the deep pools of the Lanayru spring and wondering what had just transpired. The problem was that she was nowhere to be seen, Link frantically whishing his head back and forth around his surroundings for any sight of her body, finding no sign.

He continued to pirouette around for any mortal sign, any ounce of whisper or noise that might chirp from the imp, but in vain display, Link found neither. There he was, alone atop a silent hill, the perfect image for a fallen hero whose heart became nothing more than a shard of silent glass broken in two at the loss of a friend. For the first time in his life, Link felt truly alone without his loyal companion, and merely standing at bay in front of the spirit spring without her by his side forged that feeling into him.

But then a soft mew arose from near the thorny thistles west to where he stood, nearly masked by his own looming shadow in the derailing sunset. Link could have mistaken it for a purring cat had he not sniffed out the thorn bushes the source of the sound rested in, but he knew the voice all too well. Relieved at seeing his beloved friend again, the wolf burrowed beneath the rosy bushes and scanned the dark area for the lonely imp, blatantly running across the obvious silhouette of his belabored friend.

Midna's breathing was rampant like the labored breaths of a dying soldier, death racking her lithe frame with several injuries on her pink-scarred skin. Wolf Link ran up to her side and turned her over before lifting her up onto his back, from which he carried her across all extremes and to the princess's quarters at the castle.

However, none of this even transpired without hearing the faint sound of Midna's whimper. "...L-Link...Hurry, please...Zelda..." was all that could be murmured under the tense dark atmosphere that clung to Link's fur like mud on a child's sandal. Nevertheless, he persisted onward through the fields to salvage whatever there was left of her life possible, the night neither Midna nor Link would ever forget, and the night that would establish the foundation for their blooming relationship.

Moments and many perils through Telma's bar later, the pair came upon the well-established stone tower the princess rested in. Then all that Link could remember was Midna's healing and his relief that she would live on through tomorrow when they'd experience another dangerous, yet grand adventure together by each other's side.

However, he could tell that much by the change of her expression during that entire time, a change of heart had occurred somewhere, though he could hardly pinpoint it...

And had he looked upon further inspection at the wrinkle in her impish brow, Link would have noticed a slight tear fall out of the corner of her eye, most likely in due sadness at the disappearance of a beloved princess who sacrificed her whole to save her...

Why he continued to brood was as well unknown as why Zant joined forces with Ganondorf in the first place, the same mystery that transpires much like life itself. His heart bled out its contents, from endearing memories to the most painful goodbyes long lived and still being relived. His cries were well intolerable to the fragile ear, but much like the traditional fallen hero himself, Link could not help but grieve over his tragic loss, so unlike the eternal peace that encompassed Hyrule to this day.

His solemn heart continued to soak in agony, especially at the next image that grazed his mind like a firefly, one that even now still held a special meaning to him.

Sweet darling you worry too much, my child
See the sadness in your eyes
You are not alone in life
Although you might think that you are

Arbiter's Grounds was an unholy place drenched with foul undead organisms, like the skeletal soldiers and the ReDeads, not to mention the wrapped up mummies. No traveler has ever made it out of these unsacred monster breeding grounds alive without having been graced by the paralyzing presence of zombie itself.

The framework closely resembled a desert shrine in which some ancient sand tribe of some sort worshipped their mighty deity with all gracious offerings. The walls spiraled up into whorls of thick columns that proceeded past the ceiling and out of the building into the sky. There was the occasional quicksand in these reefs of tunnels and traps holding an assortment of sand monsters and sand worms of every sort. Other times there were the many stone tiles that crept forth from the ground and were stained dark brown by the pervading essence of a sculpture's shadow.

The top of the structure held the most valued prized possession Midna and Link were both searching for, a piece of the Mirror of Twilight that had been scattered across the land. The sages in this attempt had plans in preserving the safety of not only the land itself, but the steady framework that consisted of the mirror. One scratch to the dusty surface could lead to drastic consequences to the invader, such as the abuse of power or a spirit possessing one's soul.

Midna stopped Link with a wave of a hand and spoke, "Wait, Link. Before we go on, there's something I want you to hear."

She waited until he was completely stopped and looked as if he were ready to listen. "Do you remember what the spirit said about the Fused Shadows? What do you think happened to the magic wielders who tried to rule the Sacred Realm?" Link attempted a vain guess to the betrayer's of the gods and only came up with one solution, the exact answer to Midna's unofficial question. "They were banished. They were chased across the sacred lands of Hyrule and driven into another realm by the goddesses.

"It was another world entirely...The antithesis of Hyrule, where the sun shines bright. Its denizens became shadows that could not mingle with the light. Eventually, most came to call it the Twilight Realm, and from it, none could return to the world of light...They were forever doomed to live in the twilight, flitting in the half-light of

dusk, mere shadows of Hyrule...This is the history of the Twili as it has been passed down from our ancestors..."

Link nodded as soon as he began to understand what Midna told him, the past events beginning to unravel as more sensible parts of the story. "Do you now understand what I am?" Midna said, seeing his acknowledgement and continuing, " I'm a descendant of the tribe that was banished to the Twilight Realm! It was a peaceful place...until Zant took control of the Twilight Realm and transformed all of the Twili into shadow beasts. It's clear to me now that he somehow gained a great evil power previously

unknown to our tribe..."

Link's ocean blue orbs glazed over her amber pools, searching in those dark depths for any feeling behind her words and sensing a faint tingle of immeasurable sadness eat away at her sentence. His expression softened considerably to make her feel more at ease so she could continue on with her story.

"In any case, I was sent from there, and could no longer get into the Twilight Realm without his power...But there's another tale told by my people," she added, waving around slightly to catch a glimpse of the waning sun. "Though the goddesses forbade us to return to the world of light, they left one link between the light and the darkness. Something called the Mirror of Twilight was passed to the protectors of Hyrule..."

She stopped for a second before turning swiftly around to face the great soon-to-be hero of the vast land of Hyrule. Something shined in her eye, and Link could have sworn it was a soft gleam of determination that speckled like a sparkling ember beneath a fire. Sure, she was a sure-fire, determined creature with the heart of a heroine whose side was conflicting with those inhabitants of her homeland. But it was evident that she too, like Link, fought to save and protect this beautiful world he lived in.

What Midna did next, however, surprised Link as much as it did herself. "It's our only path to the Twilight Realm...and we must get there! You'll come with me...won't you?" And as she said this, her small hand about three times smaller than Link's slid over his cheek and softly caressed it where a small ache developed earlier.

Still slightly shocked out of his mind, Link lapsed out of a mental frenzy and smiled earnestly with a kindhearted sense that made her heart tingle with warmth. She knew not what jostled such a reaction, but she was glad of his recognition and presence there beside her. Little did she know, however, that he felt much the same way at the moment...

His reassurance eased her taut muscles and relaxed her considerably beneath his gentle gaze...there was no way she or he ever wanted this moment to end...

He was beginning to grow weary and somewhat restless at the same time, the precious memories of what seemed like ages past eating away at his now fragile soul in bitterness. What to do than remember the past and move on? Still, there was a part of him that wished to preserve that same speck of tenderness at that one second in the desert for this harsh moment he spent in sadness, saddled on a rock and weeping his heart to no end.

However, once again, her face left his mind as soon as another saddening image encompassed his daydream, one that would be burned into his mind forever...

She had been so beautiful standing before him in her true form, her long flowing locks cascading down her back like a wildfire and her twin set of amber eyes peering into his soul. They were the shades of a glorious sunset and the irises told of wisdom far beyond her years, far beyond what she even reckoned to be true. But here she was in plain form adorning the traditional garbs of a Twilight inhabitant, yet basking in the sunshine all at the same time.

His jaw fell nearly to the ground as he looked on at her blue body shining like a sheen of water in the ocher sun. The orange mass of hair perfectly outlined her long face, and the narrow jawline was set at a flawless angle, a light mouth resting slightly above the pointed chin. Her expression was much the same as when Link first met her, her rebellious sleazy self as an imp masked behind a beautiful, budding young woman.

And her next words assured him that she was still the Midna he once knew...and fell in love with...now that he saw her in true form. "What? Say something! Am I so beautiful that you've no words left?" And his smile did not go unnoticed as his face beamed the most adorable, merriest smile since the start of his journey.

But as he looked back to that moment whilst standing next to her near the Mirror, he knew that their goodbyes would be short and their moment together terse. There was so much he wanted to say in that gaze she furthered on him as she glanced between him and the princess. However, nothing could compare to the sadness he felt as she began to say her final goodbyes to her two good friends.

"Light and shadow can't mix, as we all know. But...Never forget that there's another world bound to this one." Oh, Link would never forget that there would be a way he'd see her again, for he'd undergo all odds and traverse all treacheries to stand by her side for another second. Even if the sun refused to shine, Link would seek her out, and even if he never saw his makeshift family again...No, that would not be how she'd want it for the best of them...

Midna blinked as Zelda spoke carefully. "Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin...One cannot exist without the other," she said, continuing, " I know now the reason the goddesses left the Mirror of Twilight in this world...They left it because it was their design that we should meet. Yes... That is what I believe."

He knew, though, that nevertheless, they would have had to part sooner or later...all because of the damned fate the goddesses placed on him...Why the world couldn't be happy at the same time he shared his mirth with the townsfolk Link did not know, but now was the dawn in which the hero must make a sacrifice or his world be damned.

And Link wasn't ready to lose everything he had built up throughout the years the people in Ordon raised him into a young man. He only yearned to be by his love's side whilst living the ordinary life of a farm boy back before he crossed the no-lands and navigated hidden areas, but we only get one decision to make and live by. And that, lad, was the philosophy that would begin to shape the rest of Link's life as he lived it out on the farm setting, yes, but in sheer solitude without Midna at his side.

Never thought
This day would come so soon
We had no time to say goodbye
How can the world just carry on?
I feel so lost when you are not at my side
But there's nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?

Her final words rang out as Link heard the last of her sweet, melancholic voice, "Zelda...Your words are kind, and your heart is true. If all in Hyrule are like you...Then maybe you'll do all right," she finished before directing her gaze to the poor blonde man in green and running up the steps. "Thank you... Well, the princess spoke truly: as long as that mirror's around, we could meet again..."

Link could feel his heart light up slightly with the faintest tinge of joy at the edges, bypassing how much Midna actually tried to avoid gazing at him long term to prevent any traces of sadness from leaking out of her eyes. However, all that failed as soon as she treaded up the steps in the Mirror Chamber and closed her eyes in sweet melancholy.

A tear sheered the corner of her eye, its shiny golden hue speckling in the sunlight. "Link...I..." she grasped at it before sending it flying into the Mirror. "See you later..."

The single drip of water turned solid as it glided past the center triangle in the mirror and shattered the entire structure into little pieces. At the sound of the breakage, Link gasped and turned to search Midna's gaze, only staring at her for what seemed like ages with wide-eyed anguish. Midna knew that it would eventually result to this, but she was unprepared for the puppy-like sadness that filled Link's features, nearly sending her sprawling before she caught her balance.

And it was in no time that she did so she warped out of the Light Realm forever and from Link's life back into the home where she belonged...the Realm of Twilight...

Sweet darling you worry too much, my child
See the sadness in your eyes
You are not alone in life
Although you might think that you are

Their final memory together at last replayed itself in Link's mind, sending another wave of shudders racking him along with his disquieted sobs in the middle of the day. He could no longer take it as he felt his world breaking down and the tears rolling off the back of his arm. What could have been was now lost, the eternal gaze of the powerful mirror now shot into tiny, thin frames of miniscule glass each weighing about an eighth of an ounce.

He shook his head fiercely, knowing it was not nearly enough to piece back together in order to see his love one final time. The hope that once lingered like a profound grasp around his heart was no longer present and instead was an endless void of sorrow that would plague Link for life. No adventure would ever be the same again...not without his beloved by his side...

His back was aching as he shifted his position slightly to the side where he wouldn't be seen crying in peace unlike the rest of the Ordon villagers. However, unbeknownst to him, soft padded footsteps were already dropping his way little by little until all Link could possibly hear were the deranged sounds of slightly mottled boots sloshing in the grass. Then the smooth clanking of familiar metal clanging against strap-on armor caught his attention as Link turned to see Rusl climbing down the hill.

He turned away so as to not be viewed in his saddened position, but he already appeared despondent to the not-so-visible eye. Maybe it was the aura he appeared to have emitted at the time, but within the circumference of his father-like figure, the grasses bowed slightly ever to allow the silent taps of tears to rattle near his feet.

The man stood in front of Link now with his hands at his sides and gleaming down with a pinch of pity though attempting to mask it through a question. "I figured I'd find you out here, eh? Once you're done, would you mind helping us down in the stables herd up the goats for the rest of the day? Thanks a lot!" he answered himself without a second glance towards the drowning Link who had not even paid a single mind to any portion of his sentence.

The blonde warrior was quickly being engulfed by his own sadness, no path of salvation out of his mental anguish, only the images to see of his lost loved one. He shook his head at the thought of her, knowing full well that not even Midna would want to see him as pathetic as he lay wistfully now, though tear-stained and cloaked in gloom.

A sudden tremble crawled up his spine as he yelped for an instant in pain at the tingle of pain that popped his back. He repositioned himself almost entirely before losing his balance and falling off the protruding boulder entirely, not catching himself in the fall to avoid harming the small arch in his back further. He cried out in pain as he rubbed the sore spot, picked himself up off the floor and dusted himself off.

That sure is going to leave a stain, he bitterly, inwardly remarked to himself before treading off through the main open path in the woods. The trees were like towering citadels for the homeland squirrels that feasted on acorns and scurried in the grass. But our famed warrior was not marked by such exhilarating excitement, just like many of the land's children had been soon after the passing of the final battle and the warding off of complete danger.

As Link walked, his footsteps were laden with sluggishness, his boots crawling and lagging behind with a dump of mud underneath the soles and underneath the tongue. Evidently he had paid no mind to anything to the point that he stepped in the worst mud puddle of all, actually a pile of foul, not-so-fecund goat dung. Along with this mess was the extra dirtying of his hero's clothing, the same fabled garb the heroes of old had been destined to wear and now, apparently, tear.

"Eww...of all times to be the shittiest, and literally, this had to be the one," he remarked almost mechanically before treading onward without a single care to his unpleasantly odorous condition, without a single thought to his lowly appeal and manifestation of a scavenging peasant.

He lifted his face only to spot his childhood friend running out the forestry in the distance, her short tomboy-like blonde hair trailing out behind her. It had not been that long since he was away, but she ran towards him in great strides anyway with no regard to any of the small plants and grasses she trampled over.

Just as she was closing in, another solid white tear shone from Link's face as Illia spread her arms into an oncoming hug, getting ready to barrel him over. He merely shut his eyes in order to brace the impact that was coming, but he was only met with a tear-shone blonde girl sobbing lightly into his tunic.

"You're back!" Illia cried for joy. "I haven't seen you in such a long time!" she finished, smoothing her face on his chest now drenched with water.

Link sighed, shaking his head. "You might not...want to be near me, now," he dismally stated, his tear-stained face neatly mirroring hers, only it was sodden with pure sadness, not mirth. The country cries for mirth, happiness, and joy, and most will receive it, but the one who brings the bearing of these gifts on the people was not destined to bask in such glories. No, the traumatic world out there had much more menacing and devious plans for our mastermind hero instead of providing a full golden life.

Illia for a second noted the looming stench that was plugging the air and her nose. "Eww...what's that smell, Link?" she asked. "It smells like rotten goat droppings in a puddle of week old sweat. I sure hope you didn't do THAT again..."

He chuckled lightly, now putting his arms around his old friend, only a friend, not one he cared as much for as his favorite friend long gone. However, this embrace allowed him to forget his worries and slight miseries for a little while, at least, to savor what simple pleasures in life are to be had. "Come on, I'm not THAT distasteful, Illia," he retorted playfully. "I at least have some common sense to get cleaned up when I need to. In fact, I have great hygiene, the best in Ordon."

Illia chortled lightly at his return of self and esteemed jokes around the neighborhood. "At least you're yourself again, not like you were on your...little quest, Link. Or was that me? I don't remember," she sighed slightly.

He pulled out of the embrace a little until they loosened up somewhat. "What do you mean?" he asked, looking at her quizzically. "Wasn't I normal before?"

She removed her arms from his shoulders and shrugged. "You wouldn't understand. But you did always seem a little...distracted by something. And it certainly had nothing to do with saving the world, Link," she began. "You seemed a little bothered by something, though I don't know what."

He copied her actions by shrugging his shoulders. "Meh, a lot of things were on my mind at the time, Illia. You can't blame me for seeming kind of preoccupied. I mean, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, after all. Plus, I had seen you lose your memory."

She tilted her chin. "Yeah..."

"And you know what else?" he asked, feeling a slight tug of the wind at his hair. "I also had to think up what to do next after I defeated one dungeon after another. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be so tactical in your plans? You have to come up with a new strategy each time you journey somewhere. And that desert nearly blew me to smithereens."

She ignored his comment, turning to face the nearby spring floating with dozens of fairies and one large fairy cloud hovering over the waterfalls. "I think you should go bathe, Link, to get your mind off all those things. You don't want to over-think yourself, you hear? I did that once and regretted it."

Before he could be thankful, however, of her warding him off, he turned around twice and noticed Illia was still gleaming at his back and now his face, taking notice of the tears that warped his cheeks. A small look of surprise sharpened her expression as she saw one of those traces of water slide smoothly down the curve of his jaw. She reached out with her hand and grasped it in her tiny fingers. "What's this, Link? Something you haven't told me about lately?" she replied

He had not known that some of his tears still remained etched on his face nor did he have the knowledge that they were still spilling out of his eyes. Another plopped from his eye and Link caught it on his gauntlet, turning it over to inspect the marked wetness. "Huh? I didn't even notice I was..."

Illia cut him off. "You know something I don't, Link," she began warmly. "Something's the matter, isn't it? You know you can talk to me, right?"

Link shut his eyes to force out the remnant of his memories and tears that threatened to spool down his face, widening the distance between him and her by turning around and walking towards the spring. "Hey! Where are you going?" Illia called out as she ran up to his side, short locks slightly floating behind her. "You still haven't told me yet!"

She caught his arm as he turned to her with his eyes forcing a clear expression. "Illia, let me go right now," he answered curtly, gently shaking her grasp off the tufts of his glove.

She fiercely waved her head. "Not until you tell me what's eating you, Link. You're not supposed to hide secrets from your best friends! Did you not hear what I said while ago about talking to me about anything? Even you should be so smart as to listen to your..."

He shoved her firmly off his arm, unintentionally heaving her in the grass. "Please, leave me alone, Illia. Whatever it is, you sure wouldn't understand," he stated calmly before heading out towards the spring, leaving a tearful Illia in his wake and racing quickly to the pools before she had a chance to grab him again.

The sky was slowly draining into sunset colors, the orange hues of near-twilight that would bring about the commotion of yearly sobs and heartaches for one ex-soldier. Or warrior, what have you, his heart stained with a grass of hurt, a speck of loneliness, and a spike of tears never ending. Only falling, never rising, the yearn for twilight to enter his world once more unmasked by his desire to be with her again...Just one more time with shadow...would be enough to suffice...

His shadow followed him everywhere he went, but at every location there would be his faithful friend beside him to help him jump gaps, leap across bridges, and override all enemies. Now, that same shade held nothing but utter dissonancy and desolation, utter fear at what immortal fate there was to come. Here beside him was the adversary known as darkness, not shadow, as both were entirely different things unmatched, contrasting even in nature, for a shadow was not an evil threat while darkness thirsted for power.

Pale orange nearly painted the daytime sky in gloomy colors, the resting of the sunbeams nigh at this crucial hour. The water shown an equal reflection alike, grass pinned to the banks like broken puppets stapled to the ground by their master. Rocks from the size of marbles to the shape of hourglasses were strewn about in natural angles, each crooked curve streaming in the unbroken sunset.

There were a couple of pebble formations and dirt spectacles, but nothing Link had never seen before, save for the awkward rocks in the back with lines in their interfaces. The essence of the fairy spirit that resided over these waters drifted endlessly over the small pond, sometimes maneuvering about to warm a fairy kin or two.

Wading his boots through the water, Link caught the short sparkle of a catfish out of the corner of his eye and immediately upon notice turned to look at it in wonder. "Hmm...There never are usually fish this big in shallow water," he commented. "I wonder how this one got here."

The unmistakable shape of an amphibian scuttled underwater like Link's spinner caught his curious eye as it dug into the sandy undertone of the ground waved over by water. Two others like it had bright yellow markings all of over their bodies with slight red spots in between each contour.

He turned in the direction he came for any sign of his friend, but upon further inspection, Link found none and resumed his observation. When nothing curious to his mind's eye darted by, he disrobed and placed his sandy lot of spoiled clothing near the shambles of an old wooden sword splayed out in pieces on the beach.

Link gasped. "That's...That's Colin's sword..." he began before gently easing the broken pieces in his hands, taking great care not to splinter himself while handling an amateur's weapon. "I wonder who did this...I'll be sure to give it to him when I'm done," he finished and turned back to the task of removing grime at hand.

When he was finished and decently cleansed, Link tied on his tunic and strode out of the water, only to discover an unsaddled horse nipping softly at some grass. "What?" Link asked confusedly. "How did Epona get here? I never even once called her and she's here." Unbeknownst to him, Epona had been gazing listlessly in faint curiosity at the site of a bathing human, periodically pawing at the ground and ruffling her mane before returning to her feed at the ground.

Quickly, Link allowed his stoic expression form into that handsome, genuine smile that made him appear even more manly. Epona whinnied in what seemed to be approval, but Link couldn't tell as he approached her and rubbed her nuzzle gently, giving her mane a stroke before hopping quietly on her back and padding away to the village.

However, in awesome timing and as Link rode, a legacy of memories struck him at the core once again as earlier. In fact, they were the same ones that only minutes ago began popping up as some irritating force that tried to pummel him in emotional pain every step he took. He vainly shook his head to rid of them, but each illustration was only a stab and two pangs in his heart, a dagger so twistedly meandered at the center of his soul. With every image of Midna there was always one tear befallen down those star-plucked cheeks.

"As long as that mirror's still around, we could well meet again," she had said as she roamed to the top of the staircase leading into the realm of Twilight, her long, luxurious red locks flowing out behind her. Link had wished it to be true and thought to himself that we would dare anything, cross through any realm or land just to reach his love for even a few seconds. Any amount of time spent with Midna was deemed absolutely critical to his emotional health.

'I think she's starting to really grow on me...' he clumsily thought, sorting through his mind even deeper that such a thing had happened on their first encounter.

However, he was indefinitely unprepared for what consumed his sight next with Midna appropriating herself in front of the portal almost about to cry. He could see the well-up of tears at the corner of her eyes, but was not anticipating a single golden tear to actually fall and shine in the light. The gist of it all crashed down unceasingly on Link's soul as that same moisture developed...molded and crafted into solidity...clashed with the mirror and banged it into miniscule shards each the size of an individual ant.

Since that day, he had no longer the will to live, only to venture out into the unknown and a start a life on his own, for himself and by himself with no one around...

The height of the recollection was breached as a racket of stone-cold tears rained in a monsoon endlessly down Link's face. He halted his horse with a quick command and an ankle at her flank to allow himself a few spare moments to cry out silently, or more stridently, to the rest of the world his hunger, longing, and pain ready to consume him.

So sorry your world is tumbling down
I will watch you through these nights
Rest your head and go to sleep
Because my child, this not our farewell.
This is not our farewell.

Unfortunately, to his chagrin, his vociferous moans were heard from miles away as an assortment of small and large villagers filled in through the vast hallmark trees in brief display at the spectacle before them. There weren't too many faces, save for the adept Zoras and Gorons who chose to inhabit the village temporarily, none Link didn't know at least, but there were still the people he had grown long up with, including Rusl, Mayor Bo, and even Illia.

Link's gauntlet hands closed over his tear-stroked countenance to vainly tuck away the display from the wide public, but he himself had made quite the scene to be seen. The group gathered by the dozens not to humiliate him, but to see if their endeared hero was to fare well in this treacherous wood. The three aforementioned villagefolk each ran to his side and assisted him in dismounting only to catch Link's attention to swiftly net them away.

Link whipped out his hands to violently force them back and seize the reins from Rusl's hands, only to cause Epona to rear back on her hind legs and neigh deafeningly. Illia and the others covered their ears and then looked up to see the swift, retreating form of Link aback Epona, striding her out of the dangers lurking in the forest.

Illia's eyes widened like dinnerplates. "Link! Come back!" she called out madly before chasing after him and being unable to keep up. "Dang it! He's gone again, Father!"

"Illia! Come back over here this instant!" responded Mayor Bo, who looked as if he were going to angrily collapse all over the girl at that instant. "It's too dangerous to go any further!"

Indeed, Link had incontrovertibly disappeared and perhaps for perpetuity whilst Illia was gushing out through the woods in tears and speed to match his pace in failure. But she was forced to stop as her father sprinted after his daughter to ascertain her surefire safety. He ripped out his hands to her shoulder and viciously forced her to retaliate from the unproductive chase, shaking her shoulders to knock some sense into the blonde tomboy.

His eyes crossed with a wildness Illia had never even known the likes of. "What was that about? Couldn't you see that it was far too dangerous to continue?" he quivered worriedly. "Honey, you could have been killed by that horse! Next time you need to watch out for..."

She flung his grasp off of her. "Who are you to tell me anything, Father?! He was about to run out without saying goodbye! Do you not know how terrible it is to keep secrets from us?!" she gazed at him wildly, boring holes into his eyes with her penetrating, petrifying gaze.

The town overseers departed, except for Rusl, who remained there in his place to eavesdrop on any information Illia might've had about Link and his awry condition. However, before any of the trio could finish one complete phrase, Link violently stormed back in through the large gap in the forest on his high mighty, bay-sheered steed. Epona plodded her feet into the mud to gain some traction to temporarily stop, allowing Link to pass quickly by the idling three who were searching for him so long.

To his grand fortune, Link stumbled across Colin at the edge of Faron Woods and produced the shattered sword fragments in his hand, handing them graciously over to his "little brother" and valiantly galloping away before Illia could blink. Colin could only flip the timbered remains over in the palm of his hand, gazing listlessly at the shards for a while before glancing back to whence and where Link had appeared from.

"He...he found it for me," he commented, turning back around to hedge through the territory around Link's house and pave away to his home. Having ignored the tear-shed gazes of his former vililagemates, Link piled off at a solid canter atop Epona to some larger portion of Hyrule Field.

As the bay-shouldered mare hurtled by a wandering mailman, tears blinded Link's sharp azure pools and nearly made him stumble off his horse as he attempted to regain control. However, as some things were for naught, Link's progression was ineffectual because his vision no longer offered an ample service to visibly skim the surrounding area. And a usually highly competent man is able to do nearly anything, including the impossible, but there is not one line in that same wordy book that states explicitly "Heroes don't cry."

Tears stain and perhaps even abolish the pain for a few fleeting seconds, but what they will never be capable of doing is providing the necessary materials for prosperous vision and appropriate eyesight. So Link had to pull his horse by the reins off to the side for a few undulating seconds to mourn and bawl for several minutes to himself. He deposited himself into a small, quiet crevice formulated at the edge of the meadow field, drawing his knees into a quiet, comfortable close, pressing his face into his hands.

He had already tried to take his mind off the Twili girl, but none such could be reaped so Link vainly pulled himself together in those social encounters, and in the quiet moments, he sobbed away for all that he was worth. This drew on for hours and hours into the night and the next day that Link no longer had the track of what time, day, and even month it was, his eyes swollen and heavy with many bruises attributable to the drying of his countless tears.

He found himself wishing to cry, to show his emotion to the goddesses one last time, but not even they would grant him that miraculous wish as he was now an emotionless knight, almost, wandering the fields for some journey to bypass him. Maybe an adventure was in store that would return him to his normal self, but Link no longer could feel, the emotions having tied up in a wad at the heart of his soul. That quest of something so surreal that even magic could not simulate it was far beyond in the wilderness, but he had no desire in his bones.

Maybe...I'll just...lie down here and wilt away... he thought powerlessly, his lids shutting as he drifted off to an endless slumber, melting into the unconsciousness that consumed him. I...I can't live without...you, Midna...

Sweet darling you worry too much, my child
See the sadness in your eyes
You are not alone in life
Although you might think that you are

Even in his dreams, the thought compelled away at the nagging abstractions that he frequently awoke in what should have been in the middle of the night, but was in the middle of the day. He knew not when he would truly awaken, liberated by the stress cohering to him like a gooey Chu on a summer day full of sweats and pants. There was only the peaceful thought that in each slumber, the blonde man could bask away in hidden realities aside from the one he regularly had known.

Maybe this was what it was like to be on the brink of death...even Midna herself had once experienced it...No, that name again arose in the vast entrances of Link's mind, but no matter how many times it was whispered like a fragile piece of glass, it came to the point that Link wearied away and stopped thinking altogether.

In the cool breeze of the wiry wind nipping at the folds of his tunic, the only other sound besides Epona's occasional whimper that could be heard was Link's labored breathing. Among all ashes and beneath the trees, the small commotion died away and finally, after all these years in frantic anticipation, faded away into silence.

Within the depths of his slumber, Link found it impossible to live a fully proficient life and thus gave himself away to the spirits of the wind, another body to erode in the bask of sunlight. Soon, and unintentionally, his heart melted away under the salty air whipping at his cold and now deranged boots. His heart no longer served to function and instead thumped one solid compounding beat every two minutes, riding on the bridge between life and death itself.

Overhead and downcast upon the two sole different bodies on the field, rain transferred to the earth in buckets as an ear-splitting thunderclap banged in the sky. However, none of this was enough to awake Link as his soft, labored breathing refused to puff out wheezes of the stale atmosphere. Not even Epona nestling into the cave and bumping a bit into him as she knelt down in the crevice to sleep shook him from the near-death experience. Pain can be fickle, choosing to strike an individual at raw times unexpected and rapidly deplete their energy in great quantities.

Following her unleashed entrance into the hollow cavern, Epona mindlessly glanced around for any space to turn in for the night and came upon an indention large enough to accompany an animal her size. She wasn't a large mount, but rather significant for her gender compared to other heavy draft horses typically made for pulling wagons and hauling children in carriages. However, in all respect, her speed was captivating and could easily override the finest stallions even the princess kept at her side.

She was cut off abruptly in her procession, though, for a knocking against something hard and obviously made of glass stirred her into a violent neigh that clashed with the insects chirping in the night air. The sound escalated and crescendoed until some small pink sprite popped out of a cork in a bottle resting beside Link. It had fallen out of his pocket before and was now fluttering about in the air, searching for a heavily harmed patient in need of tending.

But this dusty fairy was somehow capable of sensing mental pain as well, not just the typical physical bodily harm done from a freezard or two. She appeared around the area as the only abundant light source, unfazed by the thunder cats roaring over the plains in twisted agony. The gods were cursing at their creations, evidently, vitriolic with violent showers and harsh thunderstorms unlike any tornado that made landfall on a village and unleashed its anguish on the citizens.

Balance needed to be in order once again as the lone fairy swiftly darted to and fro about the room, searching for the bearer of pains past and coming upon the snoozing form of a misled Link no longer breathing. Her senses depicted an emotionally extinguished individual in need of any shelter, which was why he selected this particular hideout, and labeled him to be the new victim of the emotionally biting greatsword.

A strenuous breezed pushed against her fluttering form as she struggled with utmost quality against the forces of nature and the gods towards her "patient." Finally, she buzzed around Link's head and flitted around his form in a circle until she became absorbed in his body and disappeared altogether.

Link, who's strength had been previously sapped by the gripping forces of emotional distress, properly unsheathed his lids from over his eyes and faintly glanced outside of the cavern, fully restored from the lending hand of the former sprite who ceased to be. He came up one the sparking sight of blue-tinted legs crawling near the opening of the grotto, since it was halfway submerged underground and Link had to burrow his way underneath.

Upon her nymph-like legs were the graceful, familiar markings that bordered the frontiers of calves and ankles and ran up to the midlength portion of her feminine thigh. However, that part of the leg was concealed underneath the crinkles of her black-laden skirt that flowed out slightly beyond her and was cut partially at the right by a seductive slit.

Link gasped in amazement at what his eyes focused in on, the unmitigated form of a true Twili digging her heel into the mouth of the crevice. He quickly backed away to avoid getting foot-slapped by the girl's barefoot heel and instead pressed his back onto a stalactite protruding from the wall.

With a curt reply to the sensation, Link cried "Ah!" as the girl before him bore her slender heel even deeper into the enormous fissure in the ground. She temporarily stopped as if startled by something until another loud thunderclap snapped a cloud in two and she fell on her knees with her hands peeled over her narrow head.

Link noted that indeed as she stooped, the Twili had orange flaming hair tied midlength into a golden-banded ponytail while the rest of the fire cascaded down the curves of her back and mermaid-like body. The familiar site brought back too much nostalgia that Link was instantly reminded of Midna's beauty back when he first encountered her surprised in her true form.

Her head was bent towards the ground as arched down to search for something she evidently had lost, her hand now the ligament to reach into the hole only to grab a surprise. Link felt his matted hair being tugged towards the lonesome figure by the bangs sweeping down his forehead and yelped a curt reply in response to the momentary inch of pain. The hand immediately drew back as the form withdrew herself from the ground and deposited herself in the dirt on two feet this time around, not four.

"Hmm...I wonder what that was..." she wondered, catching Link's attention immediately to her voice for an instant. "Ah well, no matter. I must find that fairy before I even try anything else. I hope that whatever's in there is keeping it safe." She began to call out to the creeping "troll", as she later referred to it, in unmasked anger. "Hey! I know you have my fairy and my bottle, so give them both back right now! I absolutely won't be able to live without that thing!"

Link had to corroborate the source of the voice, if it was something far etched into his past he once long ago knew by heart. And, indeed, with her entailing voice, Link gained the opportunity to identify her voice and placed it with the exact description he had given of Midna, hoping to the goddesses that the Twili before him was not some replica.

The voice took on an impatient edge. "Well? I'm waiting!" she blared aloud, stomping that blue foot of hers in the ground. "If on the count of three you don't surrender the fairy, I'm going to dig out this mouth and skin you alive!" This bitter statement made Link's skin crawl as he remembered how simple it was to light a fire to Midna's rage into temporary mood swings. In the dire circumstance that she was initiated, her volatile nature would strike out at any wandering hopeful who had the unfortunate luckiness of happening by her.

Even Link himself was one among many victims clawed out in scathing remarks and biting sarcastic tones. But beyond all those layers of protection and self-indulgence, Midna was just another girl with her own problems, with a great personality to boot, Link minded in his head. However, this was quite a heavy emergency, seeing as to how perhaps his favorite was ready to pound or cave him in each growing second she awaited a response from the solemn warrior.

So in a desperate attempt to preserve his own hide, Link rolled out her lovely name on his tongue almost as if the sound were sweet like daisies, which was the stench she carried with her throughout the plains. "Midna?" he keened, leaning over and glancing upwards through the small crack in the surface to get a better view of the Twili's face.

Something in the air was quite distinguishable among the rest of the atmosphere, as Link guessed it was her corroboration it was the sound of his voice that confirmed her suspicions. She seemed rather...shocked to hear his familiar, just and kind voice glide through her ears like river grass. With a gasp and a slight wave of silence, the girl responded, "Huh? Who are you?"

Link chuckled and smirked quite laughably, trying to recover his lost demeanor of old where children prancing in tall grass would belay their motions just to listen to him speak. "Don't you think this is quite a strange location to scavenge for dusty fairies, princess? My, if I were to participate in a scavenger hunt, I at least would pick a much better location to scout it out," he stated rather flippantly, adding a slight lilt in his phrasing to raise her spirits and get her mood up and running along like Midna use to in the old days with Link.

She seemed to have paused for a brief second and turned deliberately back to the man speaking in the half-inundated hole below, the flowers swirling around her ankles. "How do you know about that?" she asked, quite puzzled of his bizarre knowledge of her past, apparently. "There are not many who know of my past, mister."

Link shrugged underneath the hiding as soon as he cleared a visible spot where Midna could justifiably be seen pristine and clear. "Hey, just call it a hunch," he remarked playfully, trying to get her to chortle along with his meager gag, soon enough. "Maybe you could denote me as some psychic from Castle Town or maybe even a fortune teller! Take a guess, princess."

"Cut it with the jokes," the Twili responded, kicking a large feed of grass through the hole and inadvertently into Link's mouth, who then coughed up a bevy of dirt specks and roots. "Oh, didn't mean for that to happen, huh? Well, listen, your voice does sound a tad bit familiar. Mind filling me in a bit, sonny?"

Link sighed heavily as he would have in the old days in wolf form with Midna straddling him around the waist or clinging onto the sopping fur on his back. "How about a horse, a mask, a sword, a shield, some might from the gods, and a canine for you? Would that be enough to take a turn at this guessing game, milady?" he bore politely, performing a fake bow in the cover from the showering deluge overcast.

He could sense her epigrammatic moment of contemplation before she responded with, "Well, there were two people like that actually, if I can remember."

Link shook his head. "No, you have to guess the right one, princess. Only one can possibly be the correct answer, so take a stab at it, Miss."

To his delight, the woman banked above hooted to the side a bit, redirecting her attention back to the young man scuttled in the hole. "I'm just jostling with your leg, boy," she schemed, pulling a prank on Link. "You actually believed there were two people like that, didn't you?"

"Why, of course, Your Highness," he mocked. "You should know how gullible I am. In fact, I believe in the impossible! The gods work wonders for me."

She snorted. "Err...right, well, anyway...the person I have in mind might not be the same one you have me to think, young warrior," she gleamed, making Link wonder how on earth she even discerned him as even a remote swordsman. "Ah, it was one year ago, I remember! Yes, the past is much clearer to me now than I would have expected."

Link tried to finish for her, "And..."

For some peculiar abstraction, Link could sense a slight tug of a grin pulling at her lips, but nothing too shabby or bitter, just the same smile he grew accustomed to on his journeys with Midna. "And...I have to tell you the truth, boy...That...all of it was...the most exhilarating time of my life..." she stated softly, almost in a murmur, though Link heard every word she said.

He roughed his features into a coy smile, not one forced or strained, but a pure, chaste smirk of jocular mindedness and bittersweet memories. All of Link's emotions were transmitted through that smile, and whether or not the young woman above could sense that particular factor, the change was still there from prior hours to this needst course of day. "I'm quite...pleased to have that knowledge, Your Beloved Highness," Link answered, not forcing out the overly reverential title, but merely letting it escape naturally from his lips.

The woman's cheeks seemed to have warmed in that blooming moment, the flowers also seeming to bud everywhere around them, whether it were outdoors or inside the protection of the cave. The connection and bond between the two was still evident as Link recalled an old friend of the past crossroad with his life once again. His heart was rolling in many directions, but they all led to the same, bountiful spot, a glorious meadow of rich flowers each blustering in the breeze like the trees and a beautiful, blue-skinned princess standing amongst them all.

...It's definitely her...I know it... Link hoped at the back of his mind, praying solidly to the gods every second that she'd stay this time around and thanking them silently for her reappearance in this realm.

"You know you're...quite an endearing person, young man," the princess warmly called out, seemingly trying to hide the blush that rapidly transformed her features into a blistering female turning purple.

"The same could be said of you, but of course, you're a princess, aren't you? So you deserve that label more so than I, madam," Link replied before rising to dust himself off and climb out of the creeping pinch halfway buried in the ground.

He sensed her glowing amber eyes through the midst of the rain narrow on the triangular print that branded his right hand almost like a birthmark, though it wasn't one. "Hey, can you stop moving for a second?" she bleared as politely as possible, waiting for Link to halt his movement. "Yeah, that mark is what I'm talking about, boy. Where'd you get it?"

Before she had a chance to respond, however, Link ejected himself from out of the hole and pulled himself onto settable ground, nearly missing the stares the young woman placed on his lolling form. He and she stared at one another from different positions, a look of speechlessness crossing both their features. "I-It is you!" cried Link, who jumped out of his sitting position and ran up to hug his beloved friend to his side. "Oh, I've missed you so much."

The woman, who was evidently Midna in this case, blushed and replied, "I-I don't know how I got here...Link...but I'm happy I got to see you again," she rolled her tongue quietly.

Link furiously, in a ruffle of a blonde whiz and frazzled mess of locks, waved his head in disapproval. "No matter," he stated blatantly in her shoulder, causing Midna to shriek a little from the tepid, husky breath smooth out on her neck. "As long as you're here with me in this moment, Midna, nothing else matters," he finished rather warmly.

She loved the times he spoke that way to her, the manner in which he'd use his voice to raise her spirits in the rawest of hurt times and pained occasions. Yes, there had been those moments within the past year or so they ravaged the land on their journey together in which her attitude had been bleak by the burning torch of emotional pain. Whether it had been the splitting of the Mirror or the sadness at a disappeared friend, Link always stood there by her side and offered her words of comfort whenever he could.

She placed her arms around his shoulders in remembrance of this pristine, surreal memory of a glorious past spent with him. There was nothing she could say nor any words to describe the warmth welling in her chest, for actions do in turn articulate more accurately than words can fare for actions. So in this array of acceptance, Midna closed her eyes and listened to the soft, slightly amplified beating of his heart that reminded her much like the rumble of the earth in the times of adventure and outdoor action.

I'm aching for another adventure, just with him, she thought for a second before refocusing all her energy into this meaningful, ephemeral moment molded especially for him and her.

They stayed in that statue-like, but tender embrace for several minutes that seemed like ages, trying to roll by as much time as possible to keep it intact. Sometime in the midst of their closeness, the rain compacted around just this area deceased and died down to just a mere fragile wind driving back tufts of grass blades and flowers on their feet. However, neither one of them seemed to take notice, that is, until Link chose that moment to lift his gaze from her almost bare back to her lovely, mermaid-like face.

For a split second, a wave of many emotions passed through her eyes into his, as Link could distinguish in those fiery, ruby orbs of hers gentled by the soft grain of yellow in the middle. A solid tear was driven down her cheek as he could see her eyes brimmed fully with an ocean just waiting to be shed. At the sleight of this knowledge, Link entailed his masculine hand to ride his calloused fingers down the azure, feminine curves of her face, caressing it with compassion and probing her eyes with his blue depths.

For a near-half second, a small gasp escaped the young princess's lips. "L-Link?" she struggled to speak, her throat muscles taut with a knot forming by the tears needed to be shed.

No nod or clear sign of approval was needed, for as Midna sensed his understanding and lovely compassion for her situation, she dove her face back into his chest and nearly tackled him to the grassy swarm below. What followed were tears upset by the imbalance between happiness, sorrow, anger, confusion, and despair, most among which were entirely negative feelings. The aggravation was not at him, but of something that went on recently upon her sacred return home back in the realm she belonged.

Her emotions, in the raw grasp and feel of his warm embrace, were allowed to ring out louder than the plains, valleys, and hills could take, but nevertheless resounded in waves of fury. "They...they took away the throne from me!" she screamed, her words alternately picking up speed. "Th-They denied me the right to rule over my own kingdom just because I associated with a light-dweller! That means you, Link! And what wrongs did you do to them?! You saved their life, that's what! They at least owe you a favor in return!"

A rough hand ran through her hair rather lovingly as the blonde warrior tightened his hold on the young woman. "It will be alright," he cooed softly. "I'm sure there's a way to retrieve the throne, even if it means I must be involved. I swear, if it requires me teaching them a lesson or two, of course I won't hurt them, then so be it. As long you're happy, then I will be."

Midna had not been aware of the restriction of air she had during this time, finally breathing out a sigh of relief after sobbing too hard. "You know," she laughed light-heartedly, "that sounds like something a swordsman would say to his lover. Hmm...You're apt to find cheesy or sappy lines in that kind of thinking, Link."

His gentle smirk reassured her and warmed her up deeply inside. "Well, maybe that's who I am," he declared lightly, "a cheesy farm boy warrior-wannabe type of guy, no?"

By his idiotic expression and jocular demeanor, Midna could tell he was jesting with her and chose to laugh alongside his ridiculous chortles. It was atypical to even see Link laugh, possibly in due turn of the events in the past few months involving nearly a dearth of speech and voiceless behavior on his part. She had not heard his voice as much as she melted into it at this moment, enjoying every fine layer in the masculine texture of his voice, one refined by the edge of a warrior but softened with a kind, loving sense.

After their light sniggers died down in the mist of pale rainfall and moonbeams now shouting in the deep grey clouds, Midna turned serious once again and delivered a bold question. "Hey, Link," she began once she caught his attention. "How have you been faring in the terms of...well, you know...my leave? Gosh, it's been almost a year since we've last seen each other!"

At the mention of her "tiny" incident, Link's face gingerly fell to the wet-swathed pasture and turned away from her gorgeous, glinting twin set of amber orbs. Midna saw the initiation of a glasslike tear fragmenting under the gaze of the storm dwindling down overhead, terrifyingly spellbinding in the way it winked off in the darkness of the night. That single drop told many stories in which she needed either reminding of or learning about, for who knows what the blonde warrior in all his solemnity has been up to all this time?

She gasped slightly, loosening the embrace a little to tap his shoulder. "Link...What's wrong?" she asked, trying to lend him the strength he gave to her earlier.

"It's nothing, Midna," he began sincerely. "It's just...I've had to live without you and worry about the farm life at the same time when really I didn't feel like I belonged there..."

He tensed slightly as her thin blue hand came up to stroke his face in understanding before wiping away some of her own remaining tears as well. "I understand, Link. In fact, in my humblest apologies, I shouldn't have broken the Mirror in the first place. Because...I felt the same way the entire time...and with all those people..."

He knew she wouldn't be able to finish so he turned swiftly to stare her in the eye, moving a gloved finger to prod her lip from further speech. "Say no more, I'm fine now," he smiled graciously. "Now that you're back, that is...Though, you're not happy, are you?"

She could feel a slight sheen of perspiration from his finger gather onto her small mouth and ignite a slight hint of desire within her for an unknown reason. "Of course I am!" she exclaimed, squelching down that same ravenous yearning that began to boil past its boiling point. "If I can't have my throne..." she whispered lonely, barely audibly, "...then maybe, I can have you..."

He could not hear her last words, much to her thanks and luck, but he embraced her once more for nearly two minutes keeping that firm hold, then broke it off and treaded back underground towards his bucked away horse. "Hey, Epona!" he tossed laughably. "I know you're in there!" With a whish into that lucky charm carved of goat bone and the resounding of the horse's pleasant melody, the bay mare shouldered her way out of the slight excavation, slightly scraped and bruised among pointed boulders along the way, and reunited with Link.

Before receiving a questioning glance towards his figure, Link approached her meagerly and patted her on the back before spotting a few contusions and nicks from slight rocks embedded in her shiny coat. At this time, the sallow moon, small and pale, emerged from behind the angry storm clouds and poured out onto the grass sheen an enormous shaft of light. For an instant, during Link's inspection of Epona's rear legs, Midna was blinded by its frightening light before relaxing and basking in the moonlight.

Man, this season's going to be crazy! Oh, well, now that I'm back in Hyrule, I've got to make the better of things... she figured, glancing at Link's back every now and then to check his progress. "Hey, are you almost done yet?" she asked sarcastically shyly.

"Yeah, just give me a few minutes...I think Epona's hurt," he finished, brushing off a few twigs, some that were implanted deeply in her skin that upon removal, voiced a neigh or two from her muzzle. "Alright, I think that's the last of them. Ready to go, Midna?" he offered, lending her a hand onto the back of the horse.

Midna paled for an instant. "What? You mean I'm riding with you on that thing?!" she remarked as he nodded before turning red and shamefully to the side. "B-But I'll fall off, won't I?"

He shrugged. "Meh, you could just stay out here in the wilderness," he joked, laughing at her appalled sense of embarrassment. "Hey, I was just kidding. You should know what I think about young beautiful women roaming around half past midnight, even if they are from the Twilight Realm."

Before she could verbally bash him, his warm hand enveloped her own and sparked a prompt flush or two from her reddening cheeks. They stayed like that for a few moments, soaking in one another's warmth, before Midna mounted the worthy steed and folded her arms around his waist. However, Link did not move as he appeared to be disconcerted by a maddening something...perhaps the position of the horse was a tad bit awkward for maybe the both of them?

He gestured with his arm back behind him. "Hey, Midna, could you get off for a second? I want to do something," he said as she complied with crunching down that face of rejection on her looks. He scooped her up in his arms as soon as she climbed off the left flank of the horse, not knowing she lightly tapped a sensitive spot and made Epona keel, that is, until she was forced to catch her balance when Link pulled her close to him to circumvent the rearing horse about to crush her legs.

With one arm occupied with Midna's enduring weight, Link used his left hand to grasp the reins and level Epona's wildness down to the ground. "Easy, girl, no need to buck like that," he responded, turning to look at the abashed nymph he had his arms enfolded around. "Are you okay, Midna?"

She loved the fact that he was speaking for perhaps was the first time in his life, immersing herself in the manly texture his voice carried and melting in his warm embrace, not refusing to conceal her blush from sight, however. Midna balanced herself against his right side and pulled herself up to a standing position, turning to walk away from the ensuing warmth and not expecting to fall down a precipitous decline. Once again, Link was required to frame his arms around her clumsy form as he laughed quietly, though, to his misfortune, she could hear the faintness of a cheesy snort.

She simpered. "Hey! Did I just hear you snort?!" she asked quaintly before he nodded, then burst out in jovial madness. "That wasn't very funny, Link!"

He drew her closer into his shaking frame. "Well, can I help how absolutely hilarious you look when you entirely lose your balance?" he snorted once more before continuing, "You look like a goat that's about to pass a wave of gas without warning people beforehand! It was stupendously funny, you have to admit..."

Midna flicked him in the nose and received a slight smile instead of feigned response of pain. "How would you like me to laugh at you when you fall off your horse, hmm?" she began, urging back that speck of laughter returning to the surface. "Now I wonder, how funny do you think that would be? A triumphant warrior reduced to nothing but a pile of bones at the feet of his own mount."

"Ah, but that's what I have you here for, my friend," he laughed out loud, almost forgetting completely his arms were still wrapped in a smoldering embrace around his hidden love. "Change of subject, but where should we go now?"

The red-haired, blue-skinned nymph-like Twili buried her head into his shoulder. "Isn't that entirely up to you, my 'infamous hero'?" She couldn't help the eruption of sarcasm, ever since his smiling personality had driven itself to the surface and enticed her like a fish to bait to his inveigling personality. "You're full of crap, you know that, Link?"

He turned within the embrace, causing butterflies to swarm around in her stomach once more, to make the hold once more substantial to that of a couple's hug. "What...on earth are you doing...Link?" Midna reddened, turning aside so as to not reveal her red-shining cheeks to her master warrior and hero of her heart.

Instead of answering her comment of apprehension, Link turned her within his muscular arms of a courageous swordsman and placed her at the front of the saddle on Epona. He soon slid in behind her and retrieved his former position of arms against blue, though this time they were tucked gingerly around her feminine waist. He pulled her closer to him as a tinge of warmth tugged at the corner of his heart and forced out the unfamiliar sensation of heat on the slim of his cheeks. Her golden-red locks tumbled down her back and onto his chest as Link passed his hand through the flame-colored hair.

Not able to put to words the heart-warming moment, Midna blushed with all she had in her system and thanked quietly the goddesses for the angle in which she was facing so Link could not see her inflamed blush. He couldn't help but embrace her contentedly against his tunic with one arm around her torso and another softly patting her head, finding her smell of raw strawberries rather intoxicating.

Midna briefly closed her eyes and confined her to the simple pleasure in this newfound warmth of another being, listening to a pounding thud of Link's heart. "Hey, how come you're heart is beating so fast?" she asked rather awkwardly, forcing her gaze to become rather awry so he wouldn't dig through to the truth in her unexpected question.

She caught him off-guard as he stammered for words to say. "Umm...well, I-I...I'm having a heart attack?" he smiled boyishly, feigning a look of pain while still keeping his grasp on the young girl.

"You can't fool me, mister fairy boy," she said idly, letting that phrase roll off the tip of her tongue in near delight and indulging in how magical the title went along with the rest of the sentence. "I know everyone's hearts pound at seeing such a beautiful woman, but I at least thought you were a bit more modest, Link. So don't try to use that excuse you're dying because it isn't going to work here, boy."

He lost the arm from her hair and gripped the reins with his right hand whilst hanging onto and tightening her in his grasp. "Th-That's so you don't fall off...Princess," he began diffidently, shaking the horse into motion with a deliver of kick from his boots to Epona's flanks. "Adda girl, Epona. Take us to Castle Town, will you?" The horse seemed to corroborate his response by immediately trotting off to the east where the great Lake Hylian bridge spanned across for several miles, though it was not nearly as expansive as the Bridge of Eldin.

The rest of the...ride, or what have you, was trodden to mere silence, though the moment was enough to fashion the feelings emerging betwixt the two. Spur the excitement of this "moment", bring an onslaught of love-shackled emotions, will you, and provide a deluge of quixotic sunbeams glistening down on the two star-crossed lovebirds. No matter the movement or composer of this miraculous symphony bursting out in a full, untainted bliss of romance, it all has one unifying principle underlying the basics, the connection still remains, even through death until depart.

Small buds of rock outcrops spurred out from the horizontal field ahead of them and augmented towards the bright, reddish field turning into a brilliant sunrise after hours of horseback riding. Principles of stone-cobbled quarters could be seen further ahead in the expanse edged in between large composites of bedrock and sediment cliffs rising in the sky. The total distance from where Epona cantered and Kakariko Village stood was entirely deceiving, as the two lovers could apparently tell, though they strode onto the obvious glowing mountains in the distance.

The boundaries of the canyon appeared to have grown with each landing step they felled in the now rock-spectacled grass, slowly waning into dirt amalgamates and eventually giving way into village ground. However, Link and Midna did not seem to be within any more than a mile that very sun-enlightening day, and Midna's yawns were growing apparent. A few feet to their left was a translucent spring teaming with squabbles of live-bearing fish, none of which seemed to have paid any mind to neither Midna nor Link.

Link ordered Epona aside the watery stream to rest and dismounted, helping the royal Twili first off the horse, however. "I think we can rest here," he stated. "Don't worry, I'm not sleepy yet. You just get to sleep and I'll keep watch, alright? It's vital there are no monsters scheming against us, right?"

He flashed her a toothy grin, but she seemed to tuckered out to even notice, yawning exasperatedly and pooling beside him on her back to snooze. "Hey, you could at least wait for something softer to lay on, hmm?" he offered, revealing a blanket from a bag over the horse's back and slid her body out slightly, which had already fallen into unconsciousness, and placed the quilt underneath it. He also proffered the floppy hat atop his head, which was starting to become an irritation ever since he had begun his journey. He lifted her head slightly before drawing the green makeshift cushion under it so she could properly rest like a queen should.

The sun would eventually rise to its full amounting zenith, but Link would continue to watch over his darling love anyway, though there were few to none monsters roaming about since evil had been purged from the land. Brushing a few stray strands from the Twili's face, Link knelt down beside her and whispered three words that hold much significance for a being and kissed her lightly on the forehead. A smile formed on Midna's face as she slept further on in the gleaming haze of daybreak until dusk, Link leaning in minutes later to plant one on her lips, holding it there for some time.

So sorry your world is tumbling down
I will watch you through these nights
Rest your head and go to sleep
Because my child, this not our farewell.
This is not our farewell.

"Sweet dreams, my princess..." Link whispered silently before edging off to start a campfire and beginning the remains of an unfinished meal.

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Uh...yeah...in case you haven't noticed, this is my first Zelda fanfic period! If you have seen my profile, you'll know what I'm talking about. Since this is really overall my first in months, please do try to be a bit more lenient than other first timers, if you can and will, because I'm not that...great of a writer, though criticism would surely be nice. But keep the flames to a minimum. Thanks and R&Rppl!

A/N- Call it trash, if you will, but send a review, please!