Monkeys

Author's Notes: Plotless? Yes. Pointless? Yes. The most fun I've had writing in a long time? Yes.

Because, seriously. "Go west"? Who says that?

Go West, My Great Aunt Fanny

For Link.
Someone has to stand up for you!

Monkeys.

He's bruised and cut and tired as hell, he's carrying around this weird half-shadow person that seems to get all her joy from mocking him, he's just learned that, apparently, he's supposed to be some sort of Hero whose only choices are to save the world or let everyone in it rot, and he's resorted to swinging above unimaginable depths of dank, pitch doom.

From a chain of monkeys.

Link grits his teeth and prays to Farore, Din, and Nayru to please please please not let him die. He's not sure he could handle being the first Hero of Time to fail. Or the first to be killed by falling to their death as a result of slipping from the grip of a little bug-infested primate.

He shuts his eyes tightly and releases, letting the forward momentum push him to the grassy platform. His feet touch earth and he pitches forward, fingers rooting into the dirt and clinging as if he could keep falling.

He breathes a sigh of relief and sends a salute of thanks to the wildly excited primates, all of which are yapping at him and nodding their heads furiously.

He shakes his head, fitting the huge key into what he's termed the Uh-Oh Door. The chains snake back across the door, seeming to disappear into the walls. Link takes a few uncertain steps inward, peering cautiously at the suspiciously purple water lapping against the shore. What the hell kind of temple has a freaking lake inside it, anyway?

As soon as the big, scary tendrils with plant heads and teeth sharper than his sword explode from beneath the surface he sighs. It's going to be a long night, he can just tell.

-X-

The voice fades, Midna has her fused shadow, and Link is royally pissed.

He is bleeding from practically every orifice in his body. His eyes can barely stay open from exhaustion—not to mention the huge black-and-blue bruise forming around definitely one and probably both of them. He's almost ninety percent sure that he's cracked something in his abdomen that is not meant to be cracked. He's dirty. He smells. There's a ringing in his ears that's been there for almost five hours—at least two hours longer than the headache it triggered.

And now they want him to just go west? No explanation, no thank-you, no hey buddy, you worked hard, take a day to sleep it off? He understands that the situation is a little desperate but running blindly into danger that he doesn't even have a basic understanding of seems just a little stupid.

And, oh. Did he mention that he's bleeding from everywhere?

"This is a joke, right?" He says after a beat of silence.

"I beg your pardon?" The voice asks, startled. "No, young man, I assure you, this is not a joke. This is a very serious matter."

Midna pokes at his shoulder—right where it's bruised, thank you, you freaky little shadow—and demands impatiently, "Stop being dumb. We have to get a move on, like, pronto, pony boy."

He rubs his shoulder, grabbing her by the scruff of the neck like a puppy and dragging her off of his back. "Look, you freaky little gnome, you go on ahead. I'll catch up."

She folds her arms across her chest, huffly poking her nose in the air. "First of all, I'm an imp. And secondly, you've got to come." He drops her to the ground and sinks to his knees by the little pond, dipping his hands into the water and gently wiping the dirt and sweat and blood from his face, steadily ignoring her as she bobs around his face. "Hey, big guy, you wanna help me out here?" She asks towards the air. "Tell the wolfman he's got to get his act together."

"I don't want to be too pushy here," the voice—which Link has nicknamed the Big Echo in his mind—begins hesitantly, "But… this is sort of a time-sensitive mission, Hero, and… well, you understand that we're reasonably concerned that letting the situation stagnate could cause some serious problems down the road."

It feels like there's water in his ears so Link pretends he can't hear them. He's tired, and he learned at a young age not to listen to disembodied voices that are asking you to run things through with your sword.

"What about your friends?" Midna asks slyly, dipping so that he has to look at her. "You're just going to leave them, huh?"

"Shut up," he snarls, which startles her and she backs off. Link decides to view this as a good thing. He's not all that crazy about her chipper, unwearied self at the moment and can't be blamed for any action he is forced to take to make her just shut up. "Look. You might have enjoyed yourself in there, but that's because you didn't do anything. You just got to go for a fun little ride. But I am bleeding. I'm fairly sure that at least three of my ribs are cracked. I cannot feel my left foot. My right eye is swelling shut. I could not walk three feet, much less 'go to the west'. Which, by the way, is absolutely horrible directions. No 'left at the wall', no 'three miles right, do a rain dance at the tree and then start digging'?"

She blinks at him, shocked into blissful silence, and he grunts once before returning to the task at hand, which is to make himself look less like a decapitated goat and which is pretty much failing.

"Um, right," the Big Echo manages finally. "Yes. I understand."

Midna bites her lip almost guiltilty and slips back into his shadow as she says, "I guess we can wait until morning."