TITLE: "Matters of the Heart"

RATING: "T" for "teen".

CONTENT WARNING(S): Mild Language, Character Death, OCs, Slight OOCness (Vaati), Mild to Graphic Violence, Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief, and a few Romantic Situations (a little Fluff, too). Possible other stuff, too, but I'll have to think on it.

DISCLAIMER: All Zelda characters, realms, and items (c) Nintendo. I only own my OC Brittany and parts of my plot I've woven together with some plots in both the games and the manga. Zelda manga and its characters (c) A. Himegawa. Also, the song "Sorry, Blame It on Me" belongs to Akon-I just like his music (no, not a'll see if you read).

SUMMARY: What would you do if you were betrayed by all you knew? When strangers help Brittany escape a certain demise, she finds herself thrown into the realm of Hyrule. Can she help the hero save Farore? And-what this?-villains are helping the heroes? And what has a girl from Earth got to do with all of this? Post-Minish Cap with the plotlines of OoS, OoA, and several other games from the series/manga thrown in.


"Flesh of My Flesh-The Ultimate Betrayal"

It all began with a single sandwich container. You know, one of those little plastic cubes that had been shoved so far to the back of the fridge that, when it finally resurfaced, no one could tell whether its contents was leftover tuna casserole or a box of penicillin that had not quite yet made its way to the pharmacy. Unfortunately, considering that said container and some sour cream was the only things partially edible in the fridge, Brittany didn't have much say-so in the matter. After unceremoniously dropping the mystery lunch, tub and all, in the garbage, she had to be settled with a glass of milk-which, all things considered, wasn't the best breakfast for someone that had to drive through two different states that day.

The brunette sighed to herself. Not once in her entire life did her mother ever make sense. Most of the time growing up, the woman would scream at her over random stuff or merely threaten to ground her if she did not work hard enough. Brittany knew that she could have handled it if those were the only things she ever did, but, alas! that was merely the tip of the iceberg of her familial issues. The maiden shuddered to recall her past. Her mother was not ALL bad-in fact, she was one of the most hard-working women she had ever seen (unlike her father who, until the past couple of years, would just haul himself into the house during the afternoon and fall asleep on the couch-the only reason her kept working late later, as Brittany found out, was to see his mistress). But as long as the girl could remember, it seemed like she had been her mother's stress outlet. It was always 'you're grades are too low' or 'your room is never clean' or-Brittany's personal favorite-'those clothes look hideous on you.'

The young woman sighed. The past few months had been nothing but torture. She had never been able to trust her father with anything even before the incident, because even if she told him about a Christmas present she'd bought for her other parent, he would go and tell her mother right to Brittany's face. She hardly ever saw him since he got in so late anymore, but she did not really mind him being gone so long because she thought he was at work. As it turns out, he HAD been at work-only, instead of doing paperwork, he had been getting it on with a woman in the office beside of him. It nearly jerked the proverbial rug out from under her to find out he had been spending a good portion of their bill money on his mistress, but it was not until he just left that Brittany had found out. Her whole graduation was a mess, with her not knowing whether the one relative would try something or the other would make a scene. But to be stuck with her mother...

Brittany was snapped back to her senses by a horn being blown. She looked up into the rear-view mirror to see about five cars stationed behind her at a green traffic light. She hurriedly pulled out and zipped over to another lane to let the frustrated drivers pass. She let out another sigh. It was hard thinking about her past like that, but when she was on the road things just started coming to her. Deep down, she cursed her mother for making her come pick her up since all road trips did was bring up bad memories.

It had been almost a year since the incident. Brittany could not take the pain she was going through with her family's betrayal-and her mother was certainly no help, because that woman constantly focused on how she had been wronged or how she had all of the bills piled on her. The brunette was positive that had she committed suicide, her mother would have been more concerned about what the neighbors would think than her daughter's own life. That's probably why it didn't surprise her when her mother took her father back. Well, it LOOKED like she took him back, but all that had really happened was that his girlfriend had dumped him and he needed another floozy. Not that mother minded. The woman had worked out her own devious plan to suck as much money out of him as possible before she got rid of him.

One exit, followed by another. Brittany could see the sky in her rear-view mirror turning to a bright orange and pink as the sun began to set over the mountains. Too bad I don't have my camera with me, the freshman thought. That was the one of the only joys she had left in this world-her art. As much as she loved to sketch and paint, she had to switch to photography as the school year began to steal her time. For a while, she had taken up dance, too. For years, she had been too afraid to, since her mother was so judgmental about everything she did, but she finally just gave up and started randomly dancing in public. Unfortunately, she injured her knee and now was trying to let it heal back before she could dance again.

That had been a double-blow to her self-esteem. One of her mother's favorite things to demean her about had been the girl's body. She had tried everything she knew how to lose weight-she barely ate, she work-out as much as she could without injuring herself further...nothing seemed to work. She'd gotten a little bit taller and some of the exercise helped burn off some fat, and many of the people she talked (including her own mother later in the divorce) told her about how much slimmer she was getting. Unfortunately, no matter how many times she looked in the mirror, she saw nothing but a hideous blob staring back at her. Sure, her arms were muscled from all of her weights and she could begin the see some of the muscles in her neck showing through. The rest of her body, however, made her stomach churn. Her face was round and squat like a toad's (well, to Brittany it was), and her legs looked like they had been stolen from some poor buffalo. And her stomach...let's not even go there.

Her low self-esteem and her mother's sarcastic comments was probably the reason why she had never believed anyone who told her she was pretty. Anytime a boy asked her out, she thought he was doing it for spite because she was so disgusting to look at and she would wind up running him off. The only time she ever began to feel like she was needed was when she was with him...

Brittany had to turn her headlights on now. The road was beginning to fade into the darkness and tendrils of fog were rolling in. Few cars were left on the highway now. How long had she been thinking to herself, anyway? It didn't matter. She would get there when she got there. Her mother would just have to be content with the fact her child could not magically teleport down to the tip of Georgia to pick her up. That's one thing she really could not understand was how her mother had gone from uber-overprotective to making her go through two states alone to pick her up. Her parents had gone on a surprise visit to her uncle's house and the trip had turned sour. Her father had gone off somewhere with another woman, leaving his ex-wife without a ride home. She had called Brittany up in the middle of the night crying and going on about how the whole world was turning against her.

"Neurotic woman..." the girl muttered under her breath.

If it was one thing she didn't like, it was her mother's self-centeredness. She couldn't spend a day with her relatives because her mother would complain about being left out. Everyone apparently was out to get her. They would always say things behind her back. Quite honestly, Brittany felt she deserved it if they did after all of the crap she'd accuse them of doing. Maybe her father took off because he couldn't stand her ranting and raving. He certainly did when he found out mother was leading him on with the marriage proposal just to get his money. Not that that was any excuse for his actions, but the brunette could see where he was coming from. It was just too bad his ex was only going to take out her anger on the girl again. She began making a mental note of which belongings she would have to sell when she got back just to pay the bills.

She hoped that her mother would at least let her keep a few video games. That was her final solace, her video games. Ever since she had been barely big enough to hold a controller, she had found amusement in them. As she got older and the family arguments escalated, she began to use the them as a crutch for the friends her mother wouldn't let her have and the places she never got to go. One of her favorite series was the Legend of Zelda. She could get lost for hours just battling her way through the various dungeons the games relied on. Eventually, when she got brave enough, she began to draw pictures of the characters and make up stories about herself in them, fighting alongside the hero in attempts at restoring peace. She learned a few basic programming skills in hopes that, one day, she could provide a solace to other children like her.

Unfortunately, when her mother found out about what she wanted to do, she threw an all-fired fit. She refused to help pay for the college she wanted to go to, even going so far as to say that she was the reason the woman still had to pay so many bills anyway. She belittled her artwork, called her stories blasphemous and said that as long as she stayed under her roof, the only stories the girl would ever write would be stories about God. She'd been raised that it was weak to cry, but she shed so many before her mother that night. The wretch merely scoffed and told her to stop pouting or she would give her something to cry about.

That liked to have killed her. First her grades, then her fat body...anything would have been better than that! She gladly would have taken it all with a flourish had her mother just accepted her for who she was! But now...she understood why her mother was no longer protective. Controlling, yes-protective, no. Since her mother was now so focused on herself, Brittany had broken off what shred of a tie she had to her mother. She still lived in the same house and wound up doing all of the household chores by herself, but she no longer felt guilt for not being Mother's Perfect Doll. Even though she managed to get into a local university through some scholarships, she relished the day when her basics' year was over and she could set out on her own. She didn't know how she would do it, but she knew her mother was going to kick her out anyway once she found out the girl was going against her wishes.

Nightfall had long passed since she had last looked at her clock. It was already ten o'clock, and she still had quite a ways to go. Not that she minded, of course. The hard part would be when she had to drive back with her mother in tow. The fog was thicker now, but it was still thin enough for her to still see the road in ahead of her.

Her thoughts began drifting back to last year again. She remembered what she had done after her mother had tried to crush her dreams. The first thing she did was go to the one guy she trusted and blurt the whole thing out to him. Well, okay...she didn't mean to tell Jay about it...It just sorta...happened. She had been friends with him for almost three years. They were nearly inseparable when you got them together. He always be hanging around her in class, teasing her hair and watching her draw. He was the first real friend she ever connected to, and he her. He was forgiving. He was never spiteful to her, even though her would certainly make it clear if something did not agree with him. Most of all, though, he believed in her when she didn't even believe in herself. It should come as no surprise that Brittany developed feelings for the boy.

At first, it was just a simple crush. He would grin at her and, for no apparent reason, butterflies would flutter in her stomach. As the years progressed and the world became harder on both of them, her crush blossomed into absolute love. She cared for him. She would worry when he did not show up for school. Heck, she'd even scold him for not doing his work! But when his mother died, things...changed. She didn't get to see him in school as often-by then, she'd run off anyway after he found out she liked him. Finally, a few days before graduation when her father showed back up and her mother began proceedings for the divorce, Brittany summoned up her courage to give him her number.

She had not expected him to call. Really, she kinda hoped he would throw the number away-if he didn't like her, she did not want to find out. The girl had been hurt enough by the people that she was supposed to love, and any other pain would have destroyed her. Instead, what happened was he called her up and asking her how she was doing with the divorce and everything. Right before their conversation ended, he told her he loved her and she hung up. On the day of graduation, things were a bit out of control and, when she got her first (and only) hug from him, she didn't even get to enjoy it.

It wasn't that she was physically attracted to him. Sure, he was cute, but she had never felt any sort of attraction toward anyone, so she thought it was just normal. She just was extremely attached to him since he was her comfort. That's probably why it hurt so much when he didn't call her again. When one of her other friends found him a few months later, he asked for her number and called Brittany. The moment she heard his voice, her stomach did a flip. The two chatted away for almost an hour about what had happened since they last met.

...Then it happened. The reason why he left. She felt time stand still as those words rang in her head. It was as if the sky could have melted down around her and the world cast into hell and she would not have felt more crushed than she did then.

"I went to get married..."

Brittany scowled. The accursed fog was getting more difficult to see through by the minute. At this rate, she'd have to pull of somewhere until it passed, but she was praying that she didn't have to. Lord knows how angry her mother already was for her father leaving her a second time, let alone how much more pissed she was going to be if the kid did not hurry. She pressed on, the thick blanket of grey mist enveloping her vehicle and the road beneath it.

Even though Jay said his girlfriend had dumped him and he was still single, the added horror of his ex becoming pregnant with his child about sent her into shock. She couldn't speak to him after that even if he had called again. It made her feel dirty and used to think that he ever loved her in the first place. From that day on, she realized that the only human on earth that would ever truly be there for her would be herself.

So why was she driving so far from her hometown at this late hour? She couldn't answer that. Since yesterday, there had been this horrible feeling in the pit of her gut that something was going to go wrong. The brunette had had similar vibes before-usually before an accident or otherwise traumatic event was about to occur. Considering the woman who raised her, that feeling came around quite a lot. But never, EVER had it been this strong. It was like a giant's hand was wrapped around her chest, the pressure of it all squeezing and crushing the very life out of her. And the further she got toward her destination, the worse it felt. She was glad she had taken the time to say good-bye to her friends and a few of her relatives before she left (even if nearly all of them were on answering machines or voicemail...not many of her pals were up at three in the morning).

A few more turns later and some streetlights started to appear. The crushing feeling in her chest got stronger, but she tried to focus on finding the building her mother was staying at. At a red light, she flipped open her phone and help down a number.


"Mom? Where are you at?"

"Where are you at?"

"The first traffic light in town," Brittany looked out of her window. "I think a see a barbershop on the right. The words 'Clean Cuts' are in written in neon lighting on the window. There's a cross-walk here, but I can't see much else. Darn fog's so thick you could cut it with a knife."

"Oh, don't I know it."

"You gonna help me out here, or leave me driving around town all night?"

"Go on up to 4th Street and take a right," the woman said. "Keep going down that road until you get to the Wal-Mart, then take the second road on your left. You should see a warehouse after a few miles."

"Okay, but where do I find-"

"Love you."

Beep! Her mother hung up the phone, leaving the bewildered maiden stuck in the middle of a town in the middle of nowhere, looking for a street hidden by the fog. Cursing under her breath, she spooled down the window and leaned out of it to see if she could get a better view. Finally, the fog rolled thin enough for her to make out a sigh that said 4th Street on her left. She swung herself back into the vehicle and cranked the window back up as she headed off down another exit. She tried to recall her mother's directions, eventually making it past the supermarket and down the last turnpike, but something was bothering her. The way her mother had cut her of like that-plus, the fact that she wanted Brittany to meet her at a warehouse parking lot rather than her uncle's house, and that she had been using her father's cell phone rather than her own...something just seemed fishy to her. It wasn't until she found the place that she got worried.

Up until then, the pressure beneath her rib cage had been building so hard that she had started to weave from loss of breath. The moment she pulled into the lot, however...the very instant she crossed through those gates...the whole feeling just dissipated. She'd never had one of her vibes to just up and disappear like that. Everything felt so calm...the way she'd seen the land back home get right before a tornado touched down. As she drove to the center of the yard, she saw a streetlamp light burn out.

Her phone began to ring.

You Can Put The Blame On Me (On Me),

You Can Put The Blame On Me (On Me),

You Can Put The Blame On-

"Mom?" Brittany snatched up her cell phone. "Where are you? I'm at the warehouse-where the heck are you?"

"Brittany, I'm going to need you to turn off the truck and walk back around behind the building."

"What? Why?"

"Trust me...There's something very important back here you need to see..."

Then the woman hung up again. Something was very suspicious about her mother, Brittany knew. She may not have been as protective as used to be, but asking her to do weird stuff like this could be outright DANGEROUS! Why was she even over at a warehouse, anyway? Wasn't her uncle's house on the other side of town? Brittany stepped out of her vehicle and locked the door. Whatever was going on, she had a bad feeling it was not going to end pretty.

The maiden struck off across the parking lot, her steps resounding through the icy air. Even though it was winter, as far south as she was it was still warm enough to have a bitter cold nighttime without the accompaniment of snow. She could hear some traffic off in the distance, but most of the sound had been absorbed by the fog. The young woman made her way around the corner and farther into the darkness. Most of the light was gone now, except for a tiny stream of light from the little flashlight she had brought with her. The side had been blocked of by a tall chain-link fence, and Brittany was about to call her mother to see if she had meant the other side of the building when the illuminated beam landed on a hole in the rusted fence.

Now, it was just TOO eerie! Was her mother trying to break into the warehouse or something? Did she have a drug lord back there holding her hostage? Brittany lay down on her back and grabbed hold of the cut links, forcibly sliding herself through the opening to the other side. She dusted herself off, glad that the pavement wasn't too wet with dew to cling to her shirt, and started walking around back.

"Mom?" the girl hollered out. "Mother, where ARE you?"

Brittany headed further into the dark recesses of the back parking lot, weaving through semi-trailer trucks and stacks of crates piled around the area. A shipping post, most likely, thought the freshman. It seemed like the lot would go on forever until she heard a voice call out to her.

You Can Put The Blame On Me (On ME),

You Can Put The Blame On Me (On Me)-

"Mom? Listen," the girl shakily blurted out, "I don't like it back here. If this warehouse has something to do with Dad's new whore-"

"Oh, no! This has nothing to do with that woman." the voice creaked out of the phone like the cackle of a witch.

"Then what are you doing back here? And why did you make me come back here?"

"Don't you get it, Brittany?" the woman sweetly crooned. "You ARE the reason I am back here!"

The girl's brow furrowed and she removed the phone from her ear and gawked at it. Had she heard right? The momentary silence brought the receiver back to her mouth.

"What on earth are you talking about, Mom? I didn't pick this area to come pick you up-you did!"

"Oh, I didn't call you down here to come pick me up, Sweetie. I called you here to help me get rid of what that man did to me." Now, Brittany was afraid. Her mother was talking so calm, but there was a lilt of excitement raising in her voice. "You see, I can divorce your father as many times as I want. He can leave and go wherever he damn well pleases without feeling any remorse for what he did to me. But I want him to suffer..."

Suddenly, Brittany was blinded by a pair of headlights blaring into her eyes.

"Just how do you expect to do that, Mom?" she stared at the beams, her heart pounding in her chest. "Are you supposed to forgive?"

"You are supposed to forget, too, but I can do neither until he has felt the worst pain a man can feel..."

"What, you're gonna castrate him?"

"No, my sweet little daughter..."

Her heart thudded so hard against her ribcage that Brittany feared it might burst.

"...Then what...?"

"...the death of a child. Good-bye, Brittany."

The girl barely had time to react as the lights headed straight for her. The moment the sound of the tires filled her ears, she took off sprinting underneath a nearby truck. She fell to the ground and rolled out from beneath it just as her mother fish-tailed away from it, one of her break lights slamming into and shattering to pieces as it clipped the side. The feeling in Brittany's chest returned full force and her heart started hammering against the walls of her chest. She scrambled to her feet as she saw the headlights turn and start heading for the aisle between the trucks. She ducked under another truck and another, trying to get away. All the while, her mother swerved and circled around the rigs, her engine revving up and the exhaust flooding the air. The red from her remaining break light shone through the fog, lighting it up like her own personal Hell.

As the truck sped around her, the terrorized girl climbed up the side of one of the trucks and onto the hood. She knew she couldn't stay there for long, because her mother would soon tire of attempting to run her down and probably try to kill her some other way. That maniac had planned it from the start! She knew that making Brittany hurry down there would deprive the girl of sleep. With that and her injured leg, there was little chance her plan would fail. And with all of the time she had to plan this...she was probably sitting at her uncle's table, eating and cavorting, all the while dreaming of her own child's demise!

She had to find a way to escape. Glancing across the parking lot, she saw the gate she had come through. But it was so far away! Even if she did manage to make it to the gate, the time it took for her to slip through the opening again and make it to her truck wouldn't be enough. There just HAD to be another way, but the parking lot was so dark. If her mother didn't catch her in her sights, the beam from her flashlight would give away her position! How could she get out of this...

What's that? Something caught her eye across the lot. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, thinking maybe her lack of sleep was playing tricks on her. But it didn't go away. There was a small ball of red light dancing near the building. Suddenly, her mother's tires squealed against the pavement and headed off toward the light.

She thinks that's methe girl thought. She watched as the ball suddenly disappear and her mother careen into a tailspin, just barely missing the warehouse exterior. Suddenly, the light reappeared not so far away from the first sighting. Once again, the vehicle rushed after it, getting close enough for it to disappear and reappear in the same place. The routine continued again and again, leading her mother farther and farther across the lot and away from the gate.

The gate! Brittany struggled to get down from the hood of the rig. It was a clear shot across! She gave a quick glance across the shipping yard and, seeing her mother still preoccupied with the strange little bauble, she sprinted as fast as her legs could carry her back across the lot and to the gate. She had to click her light on for a minute to find the opening, but that was all she needed. She fell to her knees and shoved herself through, not even bothering to dust herself off as she pumped her legs against the asphalt to get away.

There it was! Her truck, parked in plain view beneath the glimmering glow of the orange streetlamps. She picked up speed, her knee screaming from its prior injury for her to stop. The brunette was forced to ignore it the best she could as she made her mad dash across the lot. She couldn't stop-her body just wouldn't register the command long enough for her feet to take effect. Instead, she slammed HARD into the side of the vehicle and was knocked back onto the ground. Quickly, she hopped back up to her feet, nearly buckling with the pain shooting up from her injured leg. She stuffed her hand into her pocket after the keys, thinking she was home free...

...But they were GONE! She panicked, thrusting her hand into her other jeans pockets to no avail. She patted down her front and looked on the ground, but they were nowhere in sight. Suddenly, she had a thought come to her. The brunette hurled herself against the door, shading her eyes as she looked in. There they were-still stuck in the ignition! She had forgotten to take them out!


Brittany whirled around. Her mother was still behind the warehouse chasing the false light instead of her. She started looking for something to break out the window. Nothing. As a last resort, she started slamming her elbow into the window but it didn't even bring a crack. She knew it wouldn't be long before her mother stopped chasing the bauble and came after her again. She started pounding on the glass with both fists, kicking the door, jostling the handle and doing everything in her power to get inside.

That's when she saw it. Just barely noticeable from the corner of her eye, she saw the red light again. Only THIS time, a blue one had joined it. She whirled around to see two young women about her age-maybe a bit older of younger, she wasn't sure-standing beneath a streetlamp. Panting, she turned to face them. Both wore looks as serene as anyone could emit. Brittany thought her eyes were playing tricks on her until she saw one of them move.

" are Brittany Marie Garrison, are you not?" the one holding the blue light said. Her voice was soft, but clear-it reminded the brunette of a singer's voice. She shook her head.

"Then you must hurry!" the second woman answered, a fiery spirit lilting her words. "Quickly, come with us!"

Brittany did not know then why she did it. Maybe it was because she felt she was about to die and had nothing to lose. Or perhaps it was the calming warmth the two maidens seemed to give off. Maybe she was just out of her mind. Whatever the reason may have been, the young woman soon found herself joining the duo beneath the streetlamp. As she stepped closer, her knee finally buckled under her and her legs gave out. The red light bearer caught her before she hit the ground. She looked up into the sapphire eyes of the first woman.

"Are you ready, Brittany?" the blue light bearer asked. "The adventure of your life is about to begin."

"Ad-adventure o-o-of m-my l-l-life?" stuttered out the girl. "My life is gonna be over when my mother catches me!"

The red light bearer shook her head. "Your time spent here is over. We thank you for enduring the burdens of this world for so long, but your life has only begun."

"Are you ready?" both women chanted.

Brittany looked up into their eyes, then back toward the fence. They were right. Nothing was left for her here but being a bargaining chip and watching the rest of the world crumble down around her, and that was IF she made it out of the parking lot alive. She gazed back up at the blue light bearer and nodded.

"Then hold tightly to our hands..." the girl took a firm, almost crushing grip on the maidens' hands. The light bearers winced, but smiled. Raising the arms they held the orbs of light in toward the sky, they turned their heads up and stared into the pitch black darkness.

"By the power of all things good...Through the wisdom times brings upon us, we beseech you, O Great Entity of this world! Open the door for One whose heart is pure and whose courage is infinite!"

As Brittany gazed up into the sky, she felt the icy breath of the wings rush up around her. The fog began to dissipate, letting her see the starry sky above. Vaguely, she could hear the screeching of her mother's truck in the distance coming closer.

"I beseech thee with all my powers!" shouted the red light bearer. The ball of light in her hand began to grow in size and pulse with wanton energy. Clouds bursting with streaks of lightning began to form overhead.

"I beseech the with all of my spirit!" cried the blue light bearer. The sound of metal twisting and clanging met Brittany's ears as her mother crashed through the fence.

"We beseech you with all of our heart-TRANSPORT US TO OUR HOME!"

A stream of light shot straight up from the orbs in the maidens' palms, twisting and contorting into a double helix of bright scarlet and cobalt energy until it had blended together and pierced the very center of the clouds. Suddenly, a bright white radiance cascaded down around the girls, and Brittany could feel herself losing consciousness. As darkness began to cloud her vision, she could recall the sound of her mother's truck getting closer and closer yet further away and more distant at the same time. She could sense her feet leaving the pavement, her toes instinctively scratching the surface of the asphalt as she drifted up. The last thing could ever remember hearing on Earth was the sound of one truck colliding with another and sirens filling the air.