Start time: Thursday September 29, 2007; 4:13 PM PDT
Monday October 15, 2007; 8:55 PM PDT: This is actually my entry for the Link x Zelda 30 Theme Drabble Contest at z3(dot)invisionfree(dot)com/(slash)link(underscore)x(underscore)Zelda(slash)index(dot)php?showtopic414. This however, is the original version (the one I entered there was shorted and edited to comply with the 1000 word count limit). This is my favorite oneshot by me in a long time. This oneshot (though technically it's a drabble?) is told from the third-person, unlike a lot of my more recent work which have all been told in first-person. This is also on the AU level of my FFX story Under Glass--this here is present-time Japan, though the setting is rather trivial... The only reason it's set in Japan is because of the title and two spoken lines of Japanese dialogue (translation is at the bottom, just like mt other stories in which I use a foreign language, so don't go pulling up an open tab to Google Translator).
I do not own The Legend of Zelda.
Zelda looked over to Link and smiled sweetly, rolling on her side to face him. She rested her left hand on his bare chest and let her fingertips dance lightly on his torso. "Yes?"
Link wanted to badly to tell her. She had a right to know, after all. They've been together for three years, and have known each other years before that. She of all people needed to know… that he was dying.
Two months earlier, he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. And for those two months, no one but him and the workers at the hospital in Bunkyo knew. Not his family, not his classmates, not his professors at Keio University… not Zelda.
Time was running out. He met with his doctor earlier that day, who told him that he had less than forty-eight hours left. He then decided that the first—and probably last—person he'd tell was Zelda. It had to be her. It needed to be her.
But he couldn't bring himself to do it. They sat together in his dormitory and for five minutes he opened his mouth to start talking, only to close it after not having the courage to do it. Then he'd stutter for a moment and clear this throat silently. For five, drawn-out minutes he went on like that. Until it somehow evolved into yet another consummation of their love for each other. Of course it relieved his overwhelming stress, and of course it made him feel wonderful, just like it always had… But the fact that he had only a matter of hours left---and that he could possibly be gone the next morning while he lay peacefully in her arms, her oblivious to the whole thing—was horrifying.
For the hundredth time he opened his mouth to say something, but for the hundredth time that night, words failed to come out. He just stared into her violet eyes that shimmered with the bliss of afterglow, her golden hair that shone in the moonlight and slightly stuck to her glistening peach skin… It was just too much.
…I can't tell her, he silently cried inside. He diverted his gaze away from her. He stared at his closet doors, his poster of L'Arc-en-Ciel live at Tokyo Dome, his pile of dirty clothes, his stack of unfinished homework assignments on his desk… anything but her face.
"…Remember when we spent the whole day at Hello Kitty Puro Land?" He smiled weakly, breaking the silence that seemed to have lasted an eternity.
"I sure do," she giggled. "It was my idea after all. You didn't want to at first because you didn't like the idea of a grown man at a 'girly theme park' like that."
"Yeah," he chuckled. "But I had fun… Or when we first met in seventh grade?"
"I'd never forget something like that, Link," she shakes her head. "We bumped into each other in the hallways on the first day of school. I thought you were really cute, and when you offered to help me up, all I did was mumble and babble, and before you could say anything else, I ran away."
He smiled nostalgically at the memory. Through middle school up until they began going out in their last year of high school, Zelda was always, well, "ditzy" around Link, for lack of a better term. She'd always get sweaty palms and drop whatever it was she was holding. She'd trip over her own words or say something completely irrelevant. But her innocence in that context was what he loved about her most.
"Why?" She asked.
He glanced at her with a raised eyebrow. "Hm?"
"Why the memories all of a sudden?" She rephrased her question.
…Because soon, they're all you're going to have left, was what he thought. And it couldn't be more true.
"...Just because…" He shrugged, avoiding the truth for the billionth time in two months. "…Besides, isn't this pillow talking!?" He reached over to her and tickled her rib cage and stomach. It caused Zelda to laugh in a high-pitched voice and writhe and squirm into the bedsheets.
"No!" She squealed, swatting his hands away from her. "Stop!"
Link just shook his head with a grin and stopped before pulling her close to him, pressing her body against his to close any gap that remained between them. It felt so right like that to him, to be together in each other's arms. It was like nothing else in the world mattered—just the two of them. He held her tightly, as if his life would end if he even thought about letting go. And in a way, it was true.
"Zelda," he whispered softly into her hair.
"All those memories… All of our laughter and love-filled nights together…" Their entire relationship flashed right before his tear-brimmed eyes.
"Yeah?" She tightened her hold on his torso, closing any gap between their front sides. She felt his heartbeat against her cheek. Its soothing—and slowing—rhythm gradually lulled her to sleep.
"…Omoidashite kudasai." He murmured to a sleeping Zelda. He kissed her on the forehead one more time before closing his eyes for what he thought would be the last and final time.
Link slowly opened his eyes, gradually taking in his surroundings. His room.
…I'm not dead yet? He cocked an eyebrow slightly. He looked down, and there Zelda was, sleeping silently, a peaceful smile on her face. Her hold on him was much more loose than when they both were awake. He smiled warmly at her sleeping form and pressed a gentle kiss against her soft lips.
He slowly wriggled out of her grasp, successfully doing so without waking her. He slowly got off the mattress and stood to his feet. He stretched out his limbs, softly groaning as he did so.
He reached for a white Egyptian cotton bath robe hanging on his computer chair and covered his naked body with it and walked around the bed to sit on his armchair. He reached over the side of the chair for a photo album containing pictures of Zelda and him he collected over the years.
Link smiled as he flipped through the pages, chuckling silently to himself at some. There were so many memories they shared, and every single one of them were in his opinion more valuable than even his own life.
He turned the page and was met with a portrait sized photo of Zelda and him, both in yukata, kissing each other softly underneath a sky streamed with fireworks. That was the Tanabata Matsuri: the day they first kissed each other. Their friend Malon took the picture in secret, hiding in a sakura tree thanks to the sakura-patterned yukata she was wearing that night.
Tears slowly ran down his cheeks as he smiled at the picture, running his thumb over the contours of Zelda's face. He pulled it out of its page protector to get a better look of it without the glare of the plastic. He looked up to watch Zelda sleep peacefully, slightly shifting under the covers.
"I love you Zelda," he whispered as he felt a heavy feeling sweep over him. As he went in silence, the photo in his hands slipped out of his limp fingers and glided gracefully to the carpet, next to his left foot.
The last words that came out of his mouth as he closed his eyes for the last time:
As this is set present-day Japan, all locations are factual. "Omoidashite kudasai" means "please remember" in Japanese. So in this oneshot's context, Link is literally saying, "please remember these memories of us".
End time: Thursday September 29, 2007; 5:39 PM PDT