Another Zelda fanfic. Longest one-shot ever. I can't really divide this tale into chapters, so it's coming at you in one, single package! EDIT: There were a billion typos, so I fixed them. I hope. If I haven't, let me know. XD
Quite fluffy...Link and Medli. Unlikely couple, but I wanted to experiment (haha, experimenting with couples. I sound like some mad-driven scientist of love). Enjoy!
EDIT: There were a billion typos, so I fixed them. I hope. If I haven't, let me know. XD
It was cold and barren high up the mountains of Dragon Roost Island. Arms and legs aching from his strenuous climbing, Link had reached what he'd hoped to be his final rocky cliff to trek. Panting, he reached its summit and bent forward, hands on his knees to catch his breath.
Once he felt he'd recovered, Link cautiously surveyed his surroundings. When he saw who was standing just a few metres away, he tensed.
Blinking, Link stared towards a ledge jutting out like a cliff, with fencing around the edge. It appeared to Link that this was a regular public site.
Standing there swaying gracefully was a girl no older than the green clad hero, nor was she any taller. Her long, auburn hair was tied into a thick ponytail, dancing with the breeze. Her navy dress flowed down to her legs; her bird-like feet tapping to a rhythm.
Link closed his eyes in the attempt to heighten his hearing. Now he could hear it. A beautiful, string tune. The female on the ledge was playing it, the sound emanating from her location. As he stood there in awe of her musical talent, it finally hit him.
Is she the one I'm looking for?
Link could've sworn the Master Sword he carried on his back twitched in agreement to his thought. He gave a nervous smile to no one in particular.
If that IS the case, then…how am I supposed to make her understand without scaring her? Somehow, I can't be too direct…I can't just…go up to her and—
The hero almost jumped out of his skin after having his ponderings interrupted. He looked towards the girl. She'd stopped playing and turned around to face him…and he didn't even notice it happen!
Link flushed profusely. "S-sorry. I was just…taking in all the fresh air," he lied. Stupid lie…
"Oh…really?" she asked, tilting her head in curiosity.
"Yeah, well…I hardly get to nowadays…what with all my reckless venturing…" Trailing off, Link shook his head and added, "But, anyway…Medli! How are you?"
Medli looked like she was about to burst into tears. She ran up to Link and gave him a huge, tight hug. "Link! I can't believe…you're alive! And well! It's been a long time…" Link felt himself getting redder. She really missed me? That's…really flattering to know.
At last, she released herself from the embrace and stared right into Link's eyes, who blinked rapidly in embarrassment.
"So…why are you here, Link?" Medli asked politely.
"Just passing by…" he lied again, with shame swimming inside of him, more than before.
"Oh, okay," she squeaked, feeling a little disappointed. "You're not staying long?"
"Well…" he paused, carefully choosing his words. Medli continued keeping eye contact. He continued. "…well, I DO have places to go, but I think I might stay a while…I'd like to catch up with you and the others."
"That's great, Link!" She grinned. Link returned the gesture, then added, "How's Komali? From your hug…I guess that meant you were well…"
Medli gave him a half-hearted laugh, and then turned around to the cliff. Link tilted his head to see her face. Regrettably, he spotted a faint frown.
"Did…did I say something wrong?" he asked, anxiously. Link – you – utter – moron!
But Medli shook her head, slowly.
"No, Link. It's quite alright. I'm just…" Trailing off, she turned around.
"Komali is well, Link!" she suddenly exclaimed. "He's become incredibly independent, going out on his own, doing things freely. With his wings he's literally as free as a bird."
"Wow," Link replied, somewhat shocked. "I remember seeing him that time he rescued me and…" he swallowed, recalling the awful memories. "…and Tetra from the Forsaken Fortress. His wings were remarkable! Yet, I never expected…"
"People grow and change quickly, don't they?" The statement the girl intervened with was a kick in the stomach.
"…yes. You're right," he agreed, reluctantly. "It's inevitable. You could say the same for me…"
For a split second he imagined himself back on Outset Island, playing with his sister and the gulls at shore.
"Oh, absolutely," Medli smiled weakly. "Inevitable…"
She trailed off. Link waited for her to continue. "If that's the case, then the fact that I'm always cooped up here by myself staring out to sea, hoping to do something with my life, is no coincidence with what's happening to Komali?"
Link did not speak, or more so, he did not know what to say.
Medli sighed. "I was like his mother. I had duties back then. Komali always wanted help or advice and I'd give him just that. When he was hungry or thirsty, I fed him or quenched his thirst. I treated him when he was hurt; mentally and physically. Yet, now I'm…just another Rito." Her eyes were blurry with tears.
Link frowned. "Medli…it's all part of growing up, though. Isn't it? I mean, you said yourself before I left this island some time ago that you wished for Komali's happiness."
"He may be happy, but…" She scrunched up her eyes. "What about me? Where am I in his life?!"
Shocked by her outburst, Link continued.
"You're in his heart, Medli. You're always there, in Komali's heart and in his thoughts. He's in yours, too. Am I not mistaken?"
Medli went wide-eyed, and then placed a hand over her heart. "Y-yes," she stuttered, weeping.
"You can't just forget someone who's been such an important part of your life, Medli," Link added. "I'm sure Komali agrees. Where would he be without you? Think that to yourself. He'll probably think that, too. There'll be a time when he's seen enough of the world and he'll come back. He's not ignorant…well, he was to me at one stage, but that was before he got his wings—"
"Thank you, Link." Medli finally told him, wiping her tears. Link looked slightly offended for being interrupted. "I will regard what you've said to me most dearly. I was a fool to jump to—"
"Conclusions? That's inevitable, too." Link cut in. Medli raised her eyebrows.
Both of them burst into fits of giggles.
Link was utterly relieved that she had found humour in what he'd said. Her response, shortly after the laughing subsided, proved this.
"Thank you, Link…I don't think I've laughed so much in days…or however long it's been."
Link smiled at her sweetly. "It's no problem, Medli." And there was an awkward silence.
Link pondered furiously and hesitantly. What would he say to spark what he wanted to find out?
"Say…Link," she finally spoke.
"Um, y-yeah? What's up?" Link stammered. Medli found his nervousness amusing and let out a small chuckle.
"Well…have I told you? About…" She pulled out a large, golden instrument she had held at her side the entire time Link had been in her company and showed it to him. "…my harp? What do you think?"
Link's expression was astonishment. Yes! Perfect!
"Oh, actually…no," he answered. "But I've seen it and, uh…as I was climbing, I could hear it. You're very good, Medli…"
Medli's face became flushed and turned her head in embarrassment. "Well, um…sort of…"
"Don't be modest! I'm being honest!" he remarked. Suddenly Link raised his eyebrows. Medli noticed. "Is something wrong, Link?"
"Um, well…'modest,' 'honest'…they rhyme."
Medli burst into laughter. Now Link became flustered but he'd rather himself than her.
"You're so silly!" She exclaimed, in the midst of giggles. At last, she settled down.
"Anyway, yeah. This harp…so," he thought for a second. "…so where did you get it? I don't normally see musical instruments looking so…genuine, lately."
"Hee hee, I'll take that as a compliment," she grinned. Link returned the gesture, sheepishly.
"It was gift from my grandmother."
Link went wide-eyed. Medli had often spoken of her grandmother when they'd first met. All that Link had known about her was that she was previously Valoo's attendant and Medli was her apprentice. She was, as Link had heard it, a very motherly figure towards Medli and Komali.
Link swallowed anxiously at the silence that soon followed Medli's statement and finally said, "W-wow…really? Then, it must very special to you…"
Medli nodded slowly. "Yes, it definitely is. Grandmother told me that she would play lullabies for Lord Valoo or just use the harp as a form of entertainment for our tribe. She gave this to me about a year before she passed away, and she told me that…"
"That what?" Link tilted his head.
"This might sound silly," Medli began. "Even I found what she told me very overwhelming. She said my fate was locked away in this instrument and the key would eventually unlock it…only when the time came for reawakening…"
Something invisible hit him across the face and he felt his knees go weak. I think I've found her.
"Grandmother used to teach me how to play, but she had pulmonary disease, as Dr. Despar told me, a wonderful ancient doctor…she could hardly breathe and speak to us. When she was called to eternal life, I vowed that I would never give up playing this harp."
"I still wonder about what she told me when she gave me this; whether it's true or false. But she was always honest, so…"
"Medli…" Link was unsure of how to react.
"It's okay for you to not say anything, Link. I feel grateful to have you here just to listen and acknowledge."
"Oh, well…it's my pleasure, then." Link gave her a weak smile. Medli silently walked up to the cliff's edge.
"I want you to stand here, Link," she instructed him. "…and close your eyes."
Link looked so gobsmacked he almost tripped over his own feet when he took a step back. "Y-you're not gonna—"
"No, silly! I won't kill you by pushing you off! You'll shortly find out…" she beckoned him with her hand.
Link took a deep breath and walked up next to her. He glanced at her, who nodded slowly in reply. Link turned back to face the horizon—his view from the cliff—and slowly shut his eyes.
He listened to the wind. The breeze here was different in comparison to anywhere else. The sensation he received was unnatural. The wind was sweeping him off his feet and he was flying. Link outstretched his arms. This was bliss. This was peaceful…
He said nothing. He smiled to the sky. It made him forget all his toils and troubles, standing here with the wind.
Another sensation followed this one. The wind was rapidly encircling him, almost like a hurricane, but it was gentle. In only a few seconds, the wind was entirely gone.
Thinking he was going to plummet to his death from his flight, he instead found himself standing back on the edge of the cliff, Medli still standing next to him. His arms were down at his sides, not outwards anymore. He didn't care how unreal that was. He thought it was…
"Brilliant." That was all that came out of his mouth.
He now stood there silently, absorbing what just happened. Medli appeared to have been stunned by some magical force. She was as still as a rock, eyes wide and mouth open. "L-Link…what…w-well, wow…" she stammered, trailing off. Link turned to face her.
"Medli…what WAS that?"
"Link! Y-you should've seen yourself! The wind was all over you. It was playing with you! Can you control the wind or something?"—Link gulped—"Because that was wonderful, almost like you're one with the wind!" She was wearing a large grin.
Link was completely shocked.
"So, all that…was that supposed to happen?"
"Well, Link," she answered him, calmly. "It depends on the person…"
Link blinked, not understanding what she meant. "Depends on the person? Why, what do you feel when you meditate here?"
"Me?" She asked back. Link nodded.
"Well," she began, and then pointed to one of her long, pointed ears. "It's just as uncanny as yours. When I stand here and close my eyes, I can hear a tune. And my mind tells me someone is playing it. A song I've never, ever heard before. I don't know, maybe it's my imagination or whatnot, but it all seems…so real." She paused. Link has his mouth open, very impolitely. "So, this is why I come up here to practise," she continued. "This tune I hear is my guidance." Link nodded slowly, but was still baffled. "Right, so…what did I feel?"
Medli laughed. "Like I said, it depends on the person…at least that's what I've thought."
Link raised an eyebrow. "You're not sure?"
"See this. When Komali came up here once, he was just as dazed as you. He had felt himself fly and the wind was blowing hard against him. This was before he received Valoo's scale to enable his ability to fly."
"What?" Link was even more bewildered. "That's what I felt! Something like it…"
"Yes Link, but the wind around you was in a frenzy. Much unlike Komali, the wind only blew in one direction from his back towards him, forcing him into flight. At least, that's what he told me."
Link started to contemplate this. The feelings are all different. It indicates something for each of us.
Then, he realised. Is the cliff marking our desires? Our goals? I control the wind to reach my goal; to save this world from Ganondorf's clutches. Komali wants to fly and to be free. But what of Medli? Hearing a tune outlines her goal? But, wait—
Link nodded. Medli looked at him, her blue gaze penetrating his. "You understand it?"
"It marks our grand desires, what we long for…"
"It might. If you consider Komali's experience. I don't understand yours much. I wonder how wind leads one to their aim in life…"
Link shrugged it off, making out that he had no idea himself.
Medli sighed slowly. "Well, it's getting quite chilly up here. Perhaps we should head back inside…"
Link came back to his senses after some additional heavy thought about the cliff and as Medli turned around to return to the Rito tribe, he reached for her shoulder and held her back. "Wait."
Medli turned around. "What, Link? Is something wrong?" She stared at his worried face. "You can tell me if anything's bothering—"
"N-no!" he told her, shamefacedly. "I thought we should…" he pulled out his Wind Waker; a small, white baton. "…p-play a song. As a tribute to dreams upon the clifftop!"
Medli continued to stare at him, her eyes darting from his baton, to his face and back a few times. Link hoped she would consent to it.
"Ah, yes! Okay! That sounds like a wonderful idea! The Wind Waker! I can't believe it…" She continued to eye the shiny, white baton clenched in Link's hand, happily. Link smiled at her and secretly cheered in his mind. Score!
Medli held her harp in position, ready to perform. "Surprise me. I'll try to follow your conducting and serenade you the best I can!"
This was too good to be true. He was hoping he could choose what they would play. Hopefully, she was the one who he needed for this to work. Link raised his baton, taking in a deep breath and prayed briefly for success.
For a short moment, he recalled the words of the deceased Earth Sage, Laruto.
This tune will awaken the next in line.
The voice and tune played through his head. He commenced his conducting and Medli followed his cue, swaying in time of the beat.
They played for about half a minute. Link felt the wind brushing his every movement. Medli had shut her eyes throughout in contentment; like she knew the song before he'd ever conducted it for her.
When Link stopped, he immediately made eye contact with the Rito girl. Medli looked immobilised.
At last she whispered, "T-that melody…"
Medli was now heading towards the edge of the cliff, sluggishly. Link didn't stop watching her, but was now curious of her behaviour.
"Medli…are you alright?" he asked softly.
Medli, who was now looking over the cliff and not at Link, shook her head. "No, it's nothing. It's just…that tune…that beautiful tune…I think I've heard it before…in…my…dreams…" her voice was becoming hoarse and heavy. Medli started to lean to one side. "Tired," she murmured, and she was falling.
"Medli!" Link yelled. By instinct, he ran to her, outstretched his arms and caught her from behind in the nick of time.
He began to scrutinise her. Medli's eyes were shut; her expression was neutral and peaceful. No discolouration of the face. She was breathing. Link slowly sat down, lowering Medli with him and rested her head in his lap. Although she looked perfectly fine, there was slight fear in Link's eyes.
Was this supposed to happen? His heart was racing. He felt Medli's own heart beating gently as his arms were wrapped around her.
Link felt a jolt in his side pocket; a familiar vibration. The King of Red Lions is calling me to tell me I've failed.
He took out Tetra's necklace; a simple string tied around a glittering, sky-blue coloured stone. He held the stone in his hand (what was known to be a developed version of the Ancient Gossip Stone) and it hovered an inch off his palm, a voice emanating from it.
"Link, dear child. Listen well," he heard the King of Red Lions say. He was the King of Hyrule in disguise as an ordinary dragon-shaped boat. "Medli is not in danger, nor have you done anything wrong. Medli is being awakened. Her powers as the next Earth Sage are being discovered."
Link looked at the levitating stone, awestruck. "R-really? How is that?" he exclaimed to no one but the stone.
"She is having a pleasant dream," the King replied coolly. "About her destiny."
Link looked at Medli again. She was still holding her grandmother's ancient harp, but her fingers were very slightly moving across the strings. Link put Tetra's stone away and watched her silently, listening to her soft tune in anticipation for her awakening.
I guess she can literally play in her sleep.
Link sat there entranced by her talent, her fingers slowly dancing across the stringed instrument. He felt a longing to touch one of those small, fragile hands and hold it tightly. He wanted to have her know he cared…
And Link shook his head furiously. What on Dragon Roost…why am I thinking about something like that?
Link looked at her face…her gorgeous face…
Oh my great goddesses! He grew flustered. When she wakes up, I will definitely be on the spot. He scrunched his eyes shut, then opened them, hoping his indecent thoughts would go away.
Link attempted to look elsewhere.
Link stared up at the large, red and white figure atop Dragon Roost Mountain. Valoo, the proud guardian of the Rito tribe, sat there quietly looking out to sea. The dragon had only a week or so ago been in fury and agony, surrounded by black, ominous fog when the island had been cursed by the Dark King of Evil, Ganondorf himself. But since Link had ridden the sinister monster, Gohma, that tormented the dragon from within the mountain, the dark clouds had gone.
Valoo was well. Link smiled.
He remembered Valoo returning the favour and saving him from the Forsaken Fortress far to the west, where Ganondorf resided.
What would I have done without him? Died, maybe.
Link felt extremely grateful. Looking at Valoo, he could've sworn the ancient dragon had turned his head and stared down at him. Link blinked, but held his grin.
Link almost forgot why he was there and forced his eyes back down to Medli. She was still in a deep sleep.
Link wondered whether anyone would have noticed that Medli had vanished. He had only just realised the sunset. Well, he HAD arrived here quite late in the first place…
Now he imagined someone – one of the Rito – discovering him here with Medli in his arms. How was he going to explain?
Well, we were standing here and conversing, then we played a song and she fainted when we finished. Very convincing! Maybe I could say…it was heatstroke! But the sun's almost gone, and they'll wonder why I never brought her inside in the first place! Ugh…
Link regretted not thinking over the consequences before hand. He really didn't want to tell any of the Rito the truth. Once they found out Medli could no longer stay here until Link had finished his journey, there would be uproar and tears. As heartless as it seemed, Link did not want this. He wanted to leave here immediately.
Now he wondered if Medli would feel the same.
I'm going to have to force her to come silently…regrettably.
Just then, Link heard a faint groan. It was Medli. She was finally beginning to stir. Link remained still as Medli slowly opened her eyes.
"Link," she said, croakily.
Link replied with a weak smile. Still concerned for her condition, he quietly asked, "Are you…are you okay, Medli?"
"Link…" she said his name again, her eyes gazing into his. Neither of them blinked. "I had a dream…a very peculiar dream…"
"Oh? About what?" he asked in a forced, clueless expression.
"Um…" She took a deep breath. "There was total darkness and I couldn't see anything. It was frightening. But then I saw a woman appear from the shadows. She was one of the ancient Zoras. Her name was Laruto."
"Laruto was such a beautiful lady. She spoke to me serenely. She told me about the evil that threatens us in this world at this present time; a wicked man named Ganondorf is the root of all this evil. He was the one behind the curse that was placed upon our island."
Link nodded. "That's right."
Medli resumed her speech. "Yeah and…Laruto told me of his aim. He desires the Holy Relic; the Triforce. He wants to reclaim the lost land under the sea…Hyrule."
"Ganondorf was the one who eliminated Laruto, but because of the power she possessed and her purity of heart, her soul still lingered. Thus she was able to pass on to me this fate."
"The power she holds that she spoke of…she said she was one of the Ancient Sages who fed the blade of evil's bane with strength…the Master Sword."
Medli looked over Link's shoulder. She was directing her gaze towards the blade on his back. "Laruto told me that I was the next in line. I must take her place as the Earth Sage and come with you to the Earth Temple to restore that weapon's power to smite this evil."
Link nodded back at her. "I've sought your power, Medli. This whole time. I've found you and awakened you at last…"
Medli beamed. "You have…and I am glad."
She continued. "The song you conducted to me. Laruto told me that this song would open the entrance to the temple and, once we reached its core, return the blade's light. She played it…with a harp just like mine. I followed suit and we played and played…next, there was this grand light and—"
She held her harp tighter. "And I was here."
Link, at that very moment, recollected an earlier thought. Something he'd been meaning to ask her after she and him had serenaded on the clifftop.
"Your goal. What you felt and heard when you closed your eyes atop the cliff…the song was the same you heard now, wasn't it? You said yourself before you slipped into your deep sleep that you'd heard the song I conducted in your dreams…meaning the desire you felt on this cliff."
Medli grinned brightly, looking healthier than before. "Yes. That's correct."
Medli sat up slowly. Link stood up and held out his hand to her. She gladly took it and stood up as well, her harp clutched in her other hand.
They faced each other now and stared into each others' eyes mutely.
"We have to leave soon," Medli added at last. "Komali…he will arrive from his outing soon. He always arrives just after sundown."
"Right," Link said. "We'll…go quietly."
Medli nodded. Her eyes were closed, tears sliding down her cheeks.
"M-Medli—!" he exclaimed.
"It's wonderful," she spoke with a half-smile. "It's wonderful knowing that I can actually do something for this world. I really can. My grandmother probably knew the whole time. Laruto reminded me of her so much…"
Medli slung the harp around her back by its strap. Link looked down at the ground in misery. He had no idea what to say, except her name.
"Medli…" Suddenly he felt his hands in hers. He perked up his head and watched her. Her face was wet with tears, her eyes watery and faintly reddened.
"Link…I want you to say this straight. There are still things I want to do in this world. Will I resume an ordinary life once I've fulfilled my duties as a Sage? Whenever that will be…"
Link had felt stupid for not being able to speak very much previously. Right now, he felt determination building up inside of him.
"Medli," he began, holding her hands tighter now. "Of course you'll come back to this world. You're going to continue living in the world you SAVED. I need you to save it with me, Medli. When Ganondorf ceases to exist, I swear to you, you'll be free to do as you please. You'll be able to live here with your tribe; your family…you'll watch Komali continue to grow…and—"
"And you?" She intercepted. "I will be able to see you again? And play music with you again?"
"Yes. You'll see me again. You'll play music with me again, too."
Medli was beaming, eyes watering more and hugged Link like before.
"Link, I'm really grateful to have met you. You're a wonderful person. I wouldn't have known my destiny without you."
Link, seeing no other option, hugged her back. The length of time they spent in this position felt like an eternity to the hero when really, it was a mere few seconds. He felt her tears against his own cheek and almost felt like weeping, too. Having to leave your home behind was a lot to ask for…he knew that, especially.
Once they'd pulled away from their embrace, Medli spoke. "I feel Komali's presence…his wing-flap pattern…still clumsy as ever."
She forced a small smirk. Link did the same.
Medli grabbed one of Link's hands. "Please, lead the way."
Link held it tightly, showing her he cared, and continued on his journey.