This is a one-shot which grew too long, so it's getting split up. If you read this story, please keep reading until chapter 3! It was what this was going to be before it ballooned like crazy.
Zelda and everything awesomely related to it belongs to NINTENDO.
It was amazing how little had gotten done in the two years since Ganondorf had been defeated. Looking out over another endless stretch of ocean, Tetra growled. She was sitting on the starboard keel of her ship and she hadn't moved in two hours. The rest of her crew recognized her hunched over posture and all chose wisely to stay as far away as they could. Annoyance often and quickly led to anger with Tetra, and nobody felt like getting thrown overboard today. This, of course, left nobody for Tetra to vent on and only made her more irritable.
'Where's Link when you need him?'
Link didn't recognize many of Tetra's mood swings yet, and the rest of the crew usually found it funnier to leave him in the dark. He was the only crewmember that would be stupid enough to approach her right now. Tetra wished he would come annoy her so she could let off some steam. It was HIS fault she was angry in the first place…
Tetra's thoughts quieted as the root of her problem shut out the other voices in her mind. She stared out at the sea. It seemed to go on forever.
Tetra's vision blurred. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath. This was something to be angry about, not sad about. Something to chop off Link's head for. Where WAS he, anyway? If that damnable boy was taking a nap in the crow's nest again, she would… she would beat him senseless with a mop and make him wash every floorboard of the ship with his tongue. That way he would bleed to death from tongue splinters, not from something as stupid as falling off of the crow's nest.
It had been almost three years since Tetra had met Link on Outset Island. Deciding it was a good way to get her mind off things, Tetra went over the math in her head. From start to finish, their adventure with Ganondorf and old Hyrule had taken about a year. After that, Link and Tetra both decided to take the King of Red Lion's last words to heart and began to explore the uncharted seas for a new land to call home. There was no point in rushing to leave Outset, though. By the time all the planning and preparations and supplies could be made ready it would have been late autumn, and it made no sense to start a long trip on an unknown sea in the winter months. They had therefore waited until early spring to set out.
Only a month after they'd left Outset, they had a second adventure involving mysterious fogs, skeleton pirates, and (from Link's account of the story) an hourglass. That had wasted a whole eight months. Eight! Tetra still regretted jumping onto that pirate's ship and getting her crew into that mess… They continued on afterwards like nothing happened, but they had wasted away the pleasant months and were left sailing in mid-December.
Tetra and her crew fought valiantly against the winter cold and storms, at least until a particularly bad storm in January nearly swallowed their ship whole. They had been forced to weight anchor for a week at the nearest island that had trees and wood for repair. During this week, both Niko and Link came down with a nasty cough. Niko bounced back quite quickly from his illness, but Link was not so lucky. He began to cough up large amounts of blood, and so the crew had been forced to stay put on the island for another two weeks until he was well enough to travel again.
Tetra frowned at that memory. That had been one of the scarier moments of her life. Nothing in the world quite compared to holding the hand of a friend you weren't sure was going to make it through the night…. Despite that, it hadn't been all bad. Tetra always volunteered to be the one to sit with Link during the worst days where he needed to be watched, and to keep themselves entertained they talked a lot. Link really couldn't talk for too long before the coughing stole his voice, but Tetra tried to keep his mind off things by talking for hours and hours about anything and everything. When Link got better, they continued to talk. And… well, it was only a matter of time before that led to things, right? They'd been in a "relationship" for… oh, about four months. It had been difficult at first, because living on such a small ship made it impossible to be alone together without everyone knowing, but—
"Give it back! That's mine! Mine mine miiiiiine!"
Nudge came pelting out from below deck and slammed the door shut behind him, using his body as a barricade. A string of cursing and banging ensued from the other side.
"You flea-bitten rat, you KNEW that last piece was mine!" Mako shouted through the wood.
"Only because you were hiding it from everyone else!" Nudge yelled back. Without further ado, he shoved the large piece of dried fruit cake he was clutching into his mouth. Happily chewing his prize, he let Mako out. Mako lunged straight at him, but being about half the height, his head merely bounced off Nudge's stomach.
"Y'shud r'lly learn t'share," Nudge mumbled through his cake-filled mouth.
"Same goes for you, gobblegut," said Mako. Noticing that Nudge had the entire cake eaten, Mako visibly deflated. He sat down on the deck with a sigh and looked skyward. "I wish we were back on Windfall. The inn there makes the best cherry pie. I haven't had cherries in ages."
Tetra hmphed from where she was watching. They had bought dried cherries to take with them specifically for Mako, and he'd been a glutton and eaten almost all of them before they even left.
"Yeah," Nudge agreed. "Too bad we can't find an island with a cherry tree. Or any tree with edible kinds of things. We haven't found anything out here yet… just water."
"And more water!" moaned Mako. "I really don't know what Tetra hopes to accomplish. All we've seen so far are tiny lifeless rocks. How can we build an entire kingdom with just ourselves and barren rocks?"
"I know. Don't tell Miss Tetra this, but… don't you think it would've been easier just to rebuild with what we had at home? There weren't many islands, but we could've done… I dunno, something."
"Maybe. It seems less futile than what we're doing now, anyway."
That was ENOUGH. Tetra stood up and growled loudly. Nudge and Mako froze. Tetra saved them the trouble of turning around by jumping down from where she was and marching in front of them.
"M-m-miss Tetra!" Nudge stuttered. "I-I didn't realize you were… were still out on the deck… I… we…."
Mako was scared beyond words and just gaped at Tetra with his mouth open.
Tetra grabbed Nudge by his shirt and pulled his face down right next to hers.
"Do you think," she began in a deadly soft whisper which quickly crescendoed , "that I want to be here ANYMORE THAN YOU?! We've found nothing and we're not GOING to find anything! Even if we do, you two just brought up an excellent point: It's impossible to build an entire kingdom with only eight people! We'll have to transport people from back home, and how will we do that? They won't leave their homes for some little girl who claims to be royalty from a bygone era! Most of them don't believe the legends anymore! I'm not even 17, I can't be their queen. I can't lead my people, I have no idea how to build them a kingdom, and I… I can't even find a rock big enough to build on. What kind… of hope am I for the future…?"
In an instant, Tetra felt her anger evaporate and get replaced by the fear that had been plaguing her for days. The crew had no idea of what she'd been hiding from them, no idea. She let go of Nudge and dropped her gaze to the floor.
"I can't do this, and I don't want to anymore."
There! She had admitted it to herself and to the crew. Nudge and Mako would tell the rest of the crew, they'd pull in their sails… and… Why… was the floor getting blurry? This was what she really wanted, right? What she'd been working up the courage to tell the crew, right? There was no hope of finding anything out on this sea... right? Tetra shut her eyes. They couldn't keep going… it was too late now. She had failed.
A small voice, reminiscent of her mother's, whispered "Coward".
"I'm not!" Tetra cried, covering her ears as though that could block out the voices in her head. She'd gone over this a million times. They had to turn around. It was too late!
"Miss?" Nudge ventured slowly.
Tetra glanced up. Nudge and Mako were both giving her funny looks. She didn't want to be here anymore.
"T-turn this ship around."
"What? Why?!" said Mako, snapping back into reality.
"BECAUSE I GIVE UP!!" she screamed. With that, she stormed off into the cabin, slamming the door hard behind her.