I was just wondering, what would Link feel like after time jumping everywhere? First Zelda fic...im ashamed to say I have only ever played (and still havn't finished) Ocarina of Time, so if I muddled anything up please let me know. If this story is even a little bit coherant, please review down the bottom too. Much 'preciated thank you :D

If there was anything Link hated most in the world right now, it was the Freezards.

He tucked his knees to his chest and, shivering, leant against the wall. Big mistake…he flinched as a sharp pain dug through his spine, and realized that the White Wolfoes he'd just fought must have injured him more than he first realized. Navi flitted above his head worriedly.

"Link…?" she questioned softly. Link glanced at her briefly, then reached into the depths of his tunic and produced a bottle inside which a small fairy fluttered around in anticipation. Link laid his hand on the cork that sealed the bottle and pulled. He gave a short grunt of effort, and then both cork and fairy popped out, the fairy giving a quick squeal of joy before getting to work. Within seconds, Link was healed and the fairy had disappeared, as if simply erased from thin air.

"Thank you." Link muttered, and then he slid down the wall in a heap and faced the little hole in the floor. Navi gave him one last worried glance, and then fluttered under his cap.

To say he didn't want to go in was an understatement. He really, really, really, really didn't want to go in. He was cold, wet, tired, just a bit hungry and exhausted, both physically and mentally. The endless days of battle, running back and forth across Hyrule had taken its toll, and it was only made worse by Link's constant 'time hopping' as he went backwards and forwards in time. It was not exactly how he had envisioned being older would be like, and judging by Rauru's face when he'd first awakened in the Chamber of Sages, it hadn't been what he envisioned either. Well, too bad for him. It wasn't Link's idea to open the Temple of Time and pull out the Master Sword, unleashing evil into Hyrule. He had just been following instructions, exactly what he was still doing now.

That was it. He was fed up. And he wasn't going into that Temple until he'd had a decent night's sleep and a good meal. The Water Temple would still be there tomorrow. But he also didn't want to budge just yet, so he sunk deeper into the snow covered floor and let his mind wander.

His first thought was that he wished he was still in Kokiri Forest. That made him think of Saria. He had a sudden urge to see her, he needed to see her…he could have called her on the Ocarina, but it just wasn't the same knowing she was stuck in the Chamber of Sages, not right here where he could see her, touch her, watch her green hair shimmer in the reflected light of the Ice Cavern. Not only was she his friend, his brief guide and the only one who seemed to be making any sense around here, she was one of the last shreds of his childhood that remained untouched by seven years of hardship and loss. Just seeing her made him feel like he was back at home, in Kokiri Forest, playing in the Lost Woods and pretending he was some kind of mythical knight in shining armor. Well, he got his wish…though he bet that those mythical knights weren't still afraid of the dark, didn't still stumble on simple words and didn't generally have the emotions of a ten year old. Mind you, he didn't think he could call him self ten years old anymore. The time he had spent sleeping in the Chamber of Sages had changed him more than physically…he had the mind of a ten year old, the body and endurance of a seventeen year old, the skill of a master fighter and the maturity of a fifty year old. His movements were awkward and heavy, and he was afraid to speak because his own voice was so unfamiliar to him. Even when he was running around as a child, he no longer possessed the eyes of a young soul. He was a stranger to himself in both times. He had been optimistic while inside the Deku Tree, a long time ago. Hopeful that once this was over everything would be normal. But as soon as the Deku Tree dropped its first leaves, he knew that any hope he had of retaining his childhood were lost to him. He would continue to be an outsider in his own body long past his seventeenth year, his twentieth, his fortieth…until the day he died. He hadn't known it then, but he had been doomed the moment Navi so rudely woke him up to announce that the Deku Tree had summoned him.

If only he had some company. He loved Navi, and saw her as his most faithful companion and loyal friend, but it was hard for him to keep on topic with the little fairy. She was stubborn and focused on the task at hand, and though she had his best interests at heart she could never comprehend what he was thinking. Zelda was god-knows-where, and the mysterious Sheik who kept popping in and out of Link's life…he was no good at all. True, the songs he taught on the lyre had helped him a great deal, but he never got to speak to him before he disappeared in a puff of Deku Nut.

He briefly contemplated dropping the Master Sword at the Temple of Time and then sealing it off, but quickly discarded the idea. For one thing, he'd have to answer to Rauru, and though he wasn't sure the sage could reach him that far back in time he didn't want to see what his reaction was once the seven years were up. His second thought was that he'd have nowhere to go, as Zelda would have disappeared from the castle, the Gorons would suffocate him on his first night, the Zoras looked upon him with contempt (and he wanted to avoid that crazy girl Ruto at all costs) and the Kokiri blamed him for the Deku tree's death. He'd have no food, no shelter…only the Stalchildren would keep him company. He'd also have to live through those seven years first, and even if Ganondorf managed to completely miss him during that time he'd still have to live with the knowledge that, as time passed, evil would slowly sink itself into Hyrule. He couldn't live through that.

Besides…he tried to look on the bright side. Being grown up wasn't all bad. He was big and strong and skilled in fighting, he was far taller than Mido (who had always found the chance to tease him), he didn't have to play the sun song every time he tried to cross Hyrule field and he could ride a horse! Nobody he knew in Kokiri Forest could ride a horse…but, of course, he still missed his childhood. The endless energy children have had been replaced by a sort of world-weariness, and he often had to control himself when around a woman, lest he say something incredibly silly. The hormones whizzing around his body confused him very much, as the concept of love hadn't been introduced yet. The closest he had ever come to 'love' was when Saria had pecked him on the cheek for catching her a bug when they were four. And even more foreign to him was the concept of something beyond love, which often caught him by surprise when he saw a particularly low cut skirt on the Kakariko women.

There was one thing, though, that he missed more than anything. After every battle, after every night running across a field chopping Stalchildren and Stalfos and Bubbles and Freezards and Keese and all the monsters out there. It was something that he had taken for granted, and now he would never get it back. He'd seen too much already.

When the Deku Tree had died, Link disappeared from the forest before the news had spread. By the time the tale was told, many a Kokiri child would have wept for their protector. Link had stood right in front of the Deku Tree, stared up as his great eyes lowered, his bark paled and his leaves drooped in the sunlight, and he hadn't shed a tear.

"Only the children weep." He muttered to himself sadly. Navi, who had been napping quietly, stirred and arose from under the cap with a yawn. She turned back to Link, and nudged him lightly on the side of his head.

"Come on, Link." She said. "Let's go home. You need some more arrows anyway, before tomorrow."

Link nodded tiredly. He stood up, stretched, and then fitted the Iron boots to his feet. He walked to the edge of the hole and looked down into the watery depths.

What's down there? He thought to himself, to which the water responded with a small splashing noise. Link pursed his lips.

What awaited him down there? He didn't know. What horrors lay in the Water Temple? He didn't know. Would he make it out alive? He didn't know. When would the fighting stop? He didn't know. The path before him was laid with uncertainty, and he was unsure where he would be at the end…who he would be at the end. A child, an adult, a miserable wreck, running around Hyrule field like the man in the bunny hood. Or, alternatively, he would be a hero. He hated all this uncertainty, this tension, and this forced battle of the wills. But, deep inside, he knew that he wouldn't have it any other way.

Link looked down, then took a deep breath and jumped…