Start time: Sunday June 17, 2007; 3:26 PM PDT

So if you read my latest blog on Xanga, you would have seen this oneshot coming… Let me take that back, because I just put that blog up three minutes ago.

I said I'd make a deviantART account, and I finally did. The link to it is in my fanfiction profile (here and on GeoCities), my Myspace, and my Xanga (the aforementioned blog). The first (and so far only) thing I put up is a drawing of Zelda circa Twilight Princess. I think it looks pretty, but then that's just being conceited (it's not conceit, it's confidence). Drop a comment or two on that picture and tell me what you think, yeah? It's also on my Xanga, and the people added to me on Myspace had the opportunity to see it before I uploaded it onto Xanga or deviantART (adding me/reading my blogs sure has its perks, eh?). So that's that.

OH YEAH, I finished my (re)play of Twilight Princess! The design of Hyrule Castle never fails to make me go WOW! I was the same way during The Wind Waker, maybe because you never get to go inside until The Wind Waker came along (maybe you did, I don't know. I started playing Zelda when Ocarina of Time came out). To my friend Arianne T. (my favorite person in the world whose last name starts with T… Because she's the ONLY person I know whose last name starts with T!), you got grassy betangtang in my head!!! During the entire Ganon's Puppet fight, I was repeating over and over, "grassy betangtang, grassy betangtang, grassy betangtang…" like it was some sort of mantra. Whatever, it's fun to say, though… NICKADITCH!

About this oneshot? In my blog, I said this idea came to me after church this morning, and it's inspired by the fact that today is Father's Day (it's okay, I forgot too). This is basically about Link reflecting on what it means to be a father and the meaning of Father's Day. Link's POV, just thought I'd point out the obvious (because someone has to do it). Also, post OOT, Link and Zelda are married, you know the drill.

I don't own The Legend of Zelda

To Be a Father
Sir Joshizzle

What does it mean "to be a father?"

If there's truly an answer, then I'd really like to know.

It's been ten years since Zelda and I had our first child, a daughter named Aryll. You'd think I would have found out the answer by then. But that question still baffles me.

I was orphaned as an infant, left in the Great Deku Tree's care deep in the Lost Woods, so I never really knew my own father, or either of my parents for that matter. All I knew was that my mother was mortally injured because of the Imprisonment war twenty-seven years ago, and she died right after she gave me to the Deku Tree. I learned that from the Deku Tree Sprout. But I was never given any information of my father—who he was, what he did for a living, how he died… nothing.

So when Aryll was born, all I could do was wing it and go by my instincts. Zelda's father, King Daphnes, would give me advice on how to do what, when to do this, and if I should do that, but his advice never really helped me, since he didn't really have a part in raising Zelda; Impa, Zelda's caretaker, did everything he and her mother would have done, since her mom died during birth.

Zelda had no problem rearing Aryll… more or less, anyway. She had Impa to assist her, and though Impa tried helping me as well, I was a poor learner and didn't get anything out of it.

So far, I never really had a part in raising Aryll, like Zelda and her father. I was already busy as the General of the Hylian Army—keeping record of all the new recruits, making note of promotions and demotions, making sure all my troops were sufficiently equipped—that alone was a 24-hour job, not including all of my other duties that have been thrusted upon me once I married Zelda. At the end of the day, I didn't even have enough time to myself. How was I supposed to make time for Aryll?

"Daddy" was one of the very last words that Aryll learned once she started talking. Before then, she'd smile and laugh whenever Zelda, Impa, or even the Sages came near her and talked to her… When I'd approach her, she'd just stare at me with a blank look, as if to say "Who are you and what do you want with me?"

Even now, when we would be in a room alone, there would be awkward silences and a lack of communication, like there was some language barrier between us.

Have I failed as a father?

…But how could I? I don't even know how the hell to be one!!!

It's a time like this when I regret not taking the advice Zelda gave me almost eleven years ago when we just found out she was pregnant.

I was in our bedroom sitting at the desk, polishing the silver blade of the Master Sword. I heard the door open and someone step inside and close the door gently behind them. I held up the blade to the light, and it gleamed brightly, my reflection crystal clear on the side. I tilted it slightly and saw the reflection of Zelda behind me.

"Hey Zel," I said quietly, resting the sword on the desk.

"Hi Link," she replied. I turned around in my chair and faced her. She bent down and kissed me softly on my lips. Once she pulled away, she handed me a brochure. I stared at it blankly and looked up at her.

"What's this?"

"Take it," she told me, and I obeyed. I read the title outloud.

"…Rauru's Seminar for the Expecting Father?" I raised an eyebrow at her. "What's Rauru doing holding a seminar for new dad's? he doesn't even have a kid of his own!"

She just placed her hands on her hips and gave me a questioning look. "Rauru's a sage, Link. The Sage of Light, no less. He's the wisest of us seven, so you think he'd know a thing or two about fathering."

I chuckled softly at her comment. "I thought you were the wisest sage."

"…You're right," she nodded. "And my wisdom as a sage is telling you to go to that seminar!"

"Why?" I groaned slightly.

"Because Nayru knows that you have little to no knowledge of how to raise a child!" Her voice raised a little.

Being the man that I am, I held onto my pride and didn't give in. "I'll be just fine, Zelda. I can handle this."

Zelda growled in frustration and stomped for the door. "Fine Link, do whatever you want." She opened the door and stepped out of the room, but she turned to me before closing it. "But when you decide to be smart and take my advice, Rauru will be waiting for you tomorrow at ten in the morning sharp!"

And with that, she slammed the door shut.

I thought I knew what I was talking about. I mean, I've faced giant spiders, fire breathing dragons, crazy sorceress twins, and the King of Evil Ganondorf himself on three different occasions… You'd think I could handle raising a child.

…Farore was I wrong.

I couldn't even get near Aryll without rethinking was I set out to do at least three times. By the time I finally decided that I'd do whatever it was that I intended to do, I either gave up altogether or someone had beaten me to it.

For the bearer of the Triforce of Courage I never mustered enough of it to even play with Aryll when she was a baby,

…Maybe I was just never meant to take on the role of a father?

That's a depressing thought. More like, I've went to hell and back so many times that I've lost all my paternal intuition that comes with being a man? Option two sounds less discouraging, but not by much. Either way you look at it, it just seems like being a father was never in the cards for me.

I sigh deeply and fall backwards onto the large mattress. I look up at the ceiling and stare at the large Triforce engravement with the three Goddesses beside their respective piece.

I hear a soft knocking from the other side of the bedroom door.

"Come in," I yell out lazily, and the door opens slowly. I look over to the door without lifting my head and see that it's Aryll.

"Hi dad," she says, walking towards me. I smile weakly at her and wave an acknowledging hand.

"Hey sweetheart," I reply. She crawls onto the bed, and cuddles up next to me. I'm kind of taken aback; she was never this affectionate with me before.

"Happy Father's Day," she whispers. I smile and slowly hold her closer to me, planting a soft kiss on her forehead.

"Thank you, Aryll." She wraps an arm around my mid-torso.

"Dad…" She speaks after yet another short silence.

"…Hmm?" I look down at her.

"…You wanna go out to town today?" She looks back at me in response. I raise an eyebrow slightly.

"…For what?"

She shrugs slightly and holds me tighter. "For Father's Day… Plus, we've never really spent time together, and this is probably the only day off you'll get for some time… Why not spend it together?"

I look deep into her ocean blue eyes. "…Sure," I finally answer with a smile. "Some father to daughter bonding."

She beams widely and she gets on her knees and grabs my right hand and tries to pull me up so that I'm sitting straight. I laugh as I get up to my feet and dust off my tunic. She grabs my hand and leads me out of the room happily.

I may not be the world's perfect dad. There's still a lot to learn about this fathering business. Hey, I may not have had a father figure as a child, and I might not have a model to go by now…

But one of these days, I'm sure that I'll find out what it truly means to be a father.

So that's that. In a way, this oneshot is partly autobiographical (now why doesn't this surprise you?). I never really had a close relationship with my own dad since he was in the Navy and he was always deployed (he was even scheduled to set off to sea for his Asian tour the day my mom went into labor with me, but he cancelled to be with her and caught up with his ship by flying to Hong Kong). When he was home, he'd try to strike up a conversation with me, but they'd always be short lived and have frequent awkward silences. But now that he's retired and always home, we're slowly beginning to spend more time together. We still have those uncomfortable silences in our conversations and I still don't get along with him as well as I do with my mom, but we're definitely going somewhere.

Be sure to check out my deviantART (link in my fanfiction profile—here and on GeoCities, REMEMBER THAT!!!), and drop a comment or two on my Zelda drawing on either my Myspace, Xanga or there on deviantART.

Here's hoping everyone has a great Father's Day, and on a side note, congratulations to the graduating classes of 2007 across the world (especially those MORSE HIGH TIGERS!).

Review please, and happy Father's Day.

End time: Sunday June 17, 2007; 4:52 PM PDT