Author Notes:

EDIT: XD I knew I wouldn't get many reviews for this XD Because 70% of the Zelda community is a yaoi fan between Link and Dark Link :O No way, I don't write yaoi. I respect gay couples, but I hate writing about it, because shonen-ai is always exaggerated in fics O_o So yeah, if you're a sick yaoi fan, GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! There's nothing here for you X(

Back to my real A/N:

Weeeeee! Longshot! XD Yep, Long+Oneshot= LONGSHOT! XD Hell yeah, it's like... 9000 words O_o And still a oneshot :O So yeah, like the summary suggest, it's kinda dark and violent, so if you don't like sadisticness, back away and RUUUUUN! XD I ALSO HAS FANART!

www(dot)crazy-about-loz(dot)deviantart(dot)com/art/The-Puppet-Master-116058604 Just replace the (dot) by .

It starts abstractly, then becomes a bit more... graphic... not necessarily violent... but yeah... The events could be confusing, but if you get lost, there will be an explanation at the bottom ^_^ Plus, there are gonna be lots of times where Dark will mention being a... puppet... Even if it's repetitive, bear with me, it serves its purpose ^_^

It's in the Narrator's POV at the beginning, then Dark Link's :) ENJOY IF YOU CAN! XD

Warning: Rated T for major sadistic bitchiness, and because if it was rated anything else, it would be a reject in my fics XD

*****************************

He was the puppet master, the other was the puppet. But one day, two of the four strings binding the puppet broke, and...

---

All his life, he'd been the puppet. One without his free will, fuelled by his anger and bloodlust, controlled by a more powerful puppet-master. No matter how hard he tried, freedom was always out of his reach. He was denied anything else than harsh punishments and light punishments.

But he wished to change. He didn't want to serve anyone anymore. The shackles that bound him to his master cut him deeper and deeper every time he whether failed or succeeded.

It had to change. And this is how it happened. From his fails to his successes, and how simply his will could help him achieve his freedom. This is the story of his life.

This is the story of Dark Link's life.

XXXXX…..XXXXX…..XXXXX…..XXXXX…..XXXXX

I wasn't always a shadow. Yes, I'd been made as a Shade, but never had I been a shadow before. Or until now, should I say…

It all happened in my master's seven years' rule. When the Hero of Time drew the Master Sword, and my master could access the Sacred Realm, he drew upon his essence and created me. I was modeled in the shadows, like a child playing with his clay. His magic filled me, and I became a seven year old boy, looking exactly like the Hero. I'd never had a real name. He'd just call me 'Dark Link'. Since 'Link' applied to the Hero, I took the liberty of calling myself Dark.

So like I said, I'm no shadow. So I had pale skin, silver hair, ebony black garments, grey leggings and undershirt, silver loop earrings, and finally, burning crimson eyes. And I looked exactly like the Hero, except for the color scheme. Plus, the master had set a spiked black leather collar around my neck to show his dominance over me and to have control over me at times.

The first thing I felt when I drew my first breath was a hard punch on the face, making me fall to the floor. Innocent seven year old eyes cried tears, and a kick was laid as well. Crying out in pain, it hadn't been seven seconds I'd been living that I realized my life was going to be Hell for the next seven years. He shouted and kicked me around, until I was too 'boring' for him. That's when he left, leaving me alone on the cold temple stone.

See, that's the thing about my master. He beats you. He beats you, so later on, you won't break. He doesn't want you to be weak. He didn't want ME to be weak. And I hated it.

When I finally stumbled away from the temple, I got caught in the crowd of fleeing citizens. I know why they fled. They fled, hopefully towards a safer place, because of Ganondorf. It hadn't been ten minutes the Hero had been gone, and already, he'd imposed his reign. I wish I could flee with those people, flee towards a better life, a life that would be better than what I knew would come in the next seven years.

I could always dream. But my dreams were almost immediately crushed. I learned that later on.

My first day was Hell itself. But if I knew what had yet to come, I would have compared my first day to the heavens. It was too insignificant to be compared to Hell.

---

The first two year of my existence, I was kept inside the castle, working under Ganondorf's command as his personal servant. I didn't know why he 'liked' me so much at the time. I realized his plans later on.

So, in between long hour shifts of cleaning his rooms, dungeons and hallways, I was taught how to use a sword. Of course, since I'd been born from the Hero of Time, it was pretty easy, but tiring nonetheless. Plus, with the many atrocities I saw outside the castle walls in the distance, and more closely in his dungeons, I passed restless nights full of nightmares that haunted me.

I soon became sickly pale and abnormally thin for my age, always having dark rings under my eyes, limbs unable to move as strongly as before. It didn't help that Master kept hitting me with the alibi that he was trying to desensitize me to pain.

And just when I was on the banks of sweet death, he called me back for my first mission. It wasn't fair. I was so close, so close to being free from my torment, and he called me back.

My first mission was the simple task of freezing over Zora's domain. It was pretty easy, considering that Master gave me the magic necessary to do it. Soon, their patron deity, that huge fish thing, died, and the place froze over.

But it didn't feel right. What was the tingly feeling inside of me that told me I'd done the wrong thing? What was going on with me…? Before I could answer that on my own, my Master had taken me back into the castle for my usual servant's work, and I was told to forget all about it. So I did.

I'd taken my usual color and condition back when I went out to Zora's Domain, so I was well enough to work, to his eyes. So there started my endless cycle of physical pain, mental torment and psychological distress all over again.

And as a cycle, my illness came again. I was thirteen when he sent me outside once more, telling me to reawaken the subterranean lava dragon, Volvagia, hidden deep inside Death Mountain.

I still felt the heat of the mountains raging across my skin. I could still feel the burns on my limbs from where I was unfortunate enough to have fallen into the lava. I could still feel the fear I was going through when I finally awoke the rampaging dragon.

I had telepathically asked my master what to do. He had told me to hurt him to get his submission. He told me to hit the dragon, to show him who's boss. He told me to abuse the poor dragon to show him I was stronger, that I had control over him.

It's exactly what I felt like. I didn't want the dragon to feel what I felt. He was rampaging and violent, free-spirited, and did not want to be tamed. He didn't need to get hurt to be tamed. I'd been hurt, and still am, to be completely 'tamed'. No one, or nothing, should be forced to feel that.

Of course, on one hand, my musings had reached my master, who was now infuriated. On the other hand, my musings had given the dragon time to attack me. I carried many burns and scars that were testaments of his fiery breath and his spear sharp claws. My Master then took control of me. Completely. Inside out. Both physically and mentally. It felt like I'd been pushed aside into an endless falling pit of darkness. When I was brought back, the dragon was laying wounded and vulnerable at my feet. He had used me.

The thought finally hit me. I was nothing but a puppet. And the tingling feeling that killed me inside was only getting stronger.

I then returned again to the castle. After getting beaten and reprimanded harshly for not following orders, I was assigned back to the castle cleanup.

One year later, when I was fourteen, he sent me to Lake Hylia, to the Water Temple, to awaken Morpha. After nearly drowning more than just a few times, and almost getting choked by Morpha a bit, I finally tamed her.

I didn't do it on purpose, though. Her nerve-carrying tentacle shot towards me, trying to strangle me and get it over with once and for all. On reflex, I whipped out my sword and lashed out in attack, catching the nerve right in the middle.

That tingling feeling inside of me only increased tenfold. It hurt so much, I wanted to puke. Nothing I did could relieve it. My master briefly commended me, then acted like I'd never done anything good before.

Another year of my painful existence went on. I was now fifteen years old, and it was then that he decided to send me to Kakariko to awaken the dark spirit inside the well.

It wasn't hard, seeing as the spirit and I were both made of shadows, and we could communicate. I simply told him what my master had told me to tell him. I told him that he would be free soon, but he had to wait two more years, until the Hero came, to burst out from his prison.

This one, I could change. I could have told him to burst out and avoid hurting anyone. I could have told him NOT to escape. I could have prevented any damage. It didn't work that way. The pulling feeling that was now painfully tugging at my heart was doubling its force. I swear to Farore, it hurt even more than every physical torment I'd been through these years. And I still couldn't identify that feeling.

Of course, Master telepathically caught my intentions. He yelled at me in my head, called me a traitor, he threatened me so much, I couldn't even keep track of what he said during the time. I was ordered back to the castle immediately, under threats of higher punishment.

But despite the huge speech and beating I'd received when I went back to my master, I now felt something weird inside. It's like… my soul was torn in two parts…

One part needed to obey to Master, afraid of the world, battered, oppressed and traumatized. It was the part who did what it was told, afraid of pain and fear, wishing to never be met with the world again.

The other part, the one that was now emerging, was even shyer, and even more scared, but it relieved me. It was the side who refused to obey to Ganondorf. It was the side who begged to be free. The sunny side, optimistic and hopeful no matter the situation. The one who kept me sane. It was weird. During my awful beating that day, I hadn't quite lost consciousness when I heard Master muttering "The Hero's light is seeping into him…" I couldn't tell what that meant because that was when I lost consciousness.

But did it have a connection with the side of me that was shyly poking out, overcoming the fearful side?

Another year passed slowly and painfully. When I was sixteen, Master sent me to the desert, his homeland, to awaken his stepmothers. They would play a key role if the Hero ever got that far.

On the way to the desert temple, I was almost buried in a huge sandstorm. I can still feel the sand violently whipping my arms, getting into my eyes, blurring my vision. I probably would have died had I not spotted a little rock shelter in the distance. It had spurred me further, and I'd gotten there safely. After a while, I followed the Poe Guide to the Spirit Temple.

The hags were the worst part. At first, they thought I was an intruder and started firing strong blasts of magic at me. I tried telling them I was sent by my master, but they didn't believe me. I finally felt my senses overtaken by him, and I was carelessly tossed aside into the unending pit of darkness again.

Once I came back, the hags were bowing at my feet. I didn't wanna know what Ganondorf used me for this time. So I just passed on my message and turned around, running away.

I felt nauseous on the way back. Why was I causing so much trouble? Why couldn't I break free from the shackles binding me to that man? Why couldn't I just die and get it over with, at the limit? Anything was better than this.

But now, I knew. I knew what the feeling was. I knew that the feeling killing me inside for the past four years was called guilt. I felt guilty. No matter the fact that whatever I had harmed were monsters, beings of darkness, I felt like I had betrayed whom I really belonged to.

Yes, I belonged to my Master. He had all control on me, whether actions and thoughts or life and death. But truly, I felt like I belonged to someone, something else. I didn't want to be Ganondorf's puppet anymore.

I wanted to step into the open…

Into the light…

I felt bad. The feeling gave me headaches and stomach pains. I felt nauseous and refused to eat. My breaths were short and shallow, and my skin got paler by the day.

So my Master decided to send me for one last mission. The Hero would return in a few weeks, so I had one last chance to prove myself.

So he sent me on an assassination mission. I think you all guessed who my target was supposed to be.

Our very own Princess Zelda.

At first, I had resisted, but a few quick blasts of magic had changed my speeches, but never my thoughts. I didn't have the liberty of speech, but I had the liberty of thoughts, whether he liked it or not.

But before I knew it, I was geared up and heading for Kakariko, where my Master was suspecting the Princess was hiding.

She really was. Following her magic aura, I was lead to a cellar, way below the ground, and I found her, sleeping peacefully in a simple bed, in simple clothes. I would have mistaken her for a peasant, if not for her aura.

I knew I had to act fast. One move, then disappear. Her guardian, Impa, I'd heard, would be back very soon. I needed to kill her and get away.

My hand trembled as it grabbed a dagger from my belt. My eyes scanned her limp form while I did so. She was beautiful. Blond hair cascaded down her back. Her chest rose rhythmically as she slept peacefully.

Once again, I was reluctant to break that peace. So, slowly and hesitating, I made my way to her. The only reason why Master couldn't kill her by himself was that the Triforces would resonate when close, and she could awaken. So he also had to restrain himself from controlling me this time.

I was glad. And… not so glad at the same time…

The knife was right above her heart. I breathed fast, sweating nervously. One flick of my fingers, and my mission would be successful. I'd get commended greatly, and go up in my master's favor.

But did I really want that? I kept thinking, reluctant to harm her, until I felt someone yell behind me. I knew I had failed.

Shaking, I dropped the knife. It missed her chest by an inch. I cursed, turning back nervously. Soon, shadow bounds appeared around my wrists, binding me tightly, making a searing pain rip through my limbs. I cried out in pain like no other, dropping to the floor.

My scream of agony woke the Princess up. In a blur, she was already up and holding my own dagger in her hands.

"Who are you, servant of evil?" Impa, I guessed, asked as she bent down and picked me up easily from the front of my tunic.

I resorted to my last tactic, the one Master had told me to use if ever I failed.

"I'm Link! It's me, Impa!" I exclaimed, stuttering nervously.

"It's Link?" Zelda exclaimed.

"No. Do not be fooled by appearances, Princess. He is naught but another creature of evil, a servant of Ganondorf, a slave to darkness." She growled.

She took the words right out of my mouth. A slave. A slave to the darkness from which I'd been created. A slave to my master. A slave to nightmares. A slave to myself.

I started crying. Guilt welled up so much inside me that I couldn't hold it anymore and let it out in the form of tears. I sobbed quietly, head dropped, ashamed. I deserved everything. Hell, I wish she could just kill me right now and let me out of my misery.

"Is he…. Crying…?" Zelda asked, tone gentle.

"It seems… Weird… Creatures of darkness usually do not have feelings…" Impa raised a brow. "Nonetheless." She took out a dagger and applied it dangerously at my throat. I looked up at her with beady eyes. "What is your purpose, servant of evil?" she asked.

"I am sent by the Evil Lord Ganondorf on an assassination mission with Princess Zelda as a target." I quickly stuttered out, afraid out of my wits. "I am a shadow of the Hero, moulded into his shape, a creature of darkness. I am my master's puppet." I broke down into silent tears again for a while.

"What's wrong?" Zelda asked, her tone unusually calm and caring.

"Please kill me. The guilt is too much to bear anymore." I whispered between my sobs.

"Death is the easy way out of everything." Impa threw me to the ground. I fell down, rolling, and lying motionless, still crying. "I don't know what Ganondorf will do to you, but it shall be the consequence of your act." She frowned.

She mentionned it herself. She does not know. That's why she's acting so careless. If she knew, even if I had tried to kill the Princess, she would have jammed that dagger right through my heart, giving me my eternal relief.

She picked up a paper from the night table and briefly wrote on it.

"Oh." She bent down, put the note over my stomach and abruptly jammed a dagger over it. I cried out in pain, and since my hands were bound, I couldn't even pull it out. "And tell Ganondorf that Impa and Zelda said hi." She smirked, sending a blast of transportation magic at me. I shuddered when it made contact, and disappeared.

I had reappeared in front of my master's castle. The shadow bounds were still there, preventing any movement. I laid there, breathing hard in intense agony. Why was life so cruel to me? Why couldn't I die and get it over with?

I don't know how long I stayed there. Surprisingly, I didn't lose consciousness. A bit later, a few Lizalfos guards found me and carried me inside. I told them to take me to the master. I had to get him to remove the shadow bounds for me.

I should have known better. Not only did he yell at me for being weak and pathetic and useless, but he hurt me even more too. When I mentioned the note pinned on my stomach, he bent down and ripped the dagger out violently, making spasms wash over my body. I can always remember the pain I'd been through back then.

So after reading the note, he angrily ripped it to shreds and turned down to me. I can still remember his exact words, the words that froze me to the core…

"How many times have I told you that crying makes you weak?" he roared, seeing tears flow down my cheeks.

"But Master. It hurts." I whimpered.

"SILENCE!" he kicked me again, another cry of pain resounding around the room. "You are a weak pathetic excuse for a Shade. And you have failed me for the last time. "His eyes narrowed.

Would he kill me? Would the Goddesses be so kind as to let him kill me? Obvious answer: no.

"From now on, I ban you from the castle. Flee to the Water Temple, cursed Shadow! I give you the very last task of intercepting the Hero when he comes. Fail, and die. Succeed and stay imprisoned in the temple. I care no more. Now. BE GONE!" he roared, sending powerful waves of teleportation magic at me.

It hurt at first, coupled with the fact that I was wounded. But then, I settled, losing consciousness during the teleportation.

And here I was, thinking over my story all over again. Trapped in my subconscious when I am not open to the world, I am thinking back on those painful memories. A sharp tug from my mind suddenly reminds me it's time to wake. So I left my subconscious and returned to the real world.

The first thing I felt when I opened my eyes was the feeling of water lapping over my hair and clothes. Groaning, I got up and brought a hand to my head, shaking it painfully. This headache was killing me. That's when my eyes noticed my hands.

Black.

I gasped, frantically looking at my arms.

Black.

My tunic, my pants, my boots!

Black.

I looked into the water. It reflected an ebony face with two red spots swirling with horror and sadness as eyes.

My screams of horror echoed all around the room.

Once I had gotten that out, I put a hand to my heart. It was pumping frantically, horrified, terrorized, traumatized.

I was a Shadow. That wretched man had turned me into a Shadow…

I had my free will… for now… Shadows were usually mindless vessels that were controlled by a more powerful entity. They could not move, think or work on their own. I was one of the rare exceptions, I'm guessing. And my master wanted me to stop the Hero when he came here?

Was I to fight my own duplicate?

I looked at the room I was imprisoned in. The walls were bare, glowing with the faint reflection of the water on the little lake. There was an island with a dead tree on it behind me. Two random structures stood on the West and East sides of the room. On the North and South, two brick structures stood with doors on them. Unfortunately, both doors had solid-looking metal bars over them.

I didn't have anything better to do. Another moment of silence would rob me of my sanity in this cursed place. So I got up, heading for the North stone structure. Drawing my sword, I hit it harshly. The vibrations on the sword ran up my arm. Not a good idea.

So I tried the same thing on the dead tree. It proved to be a good practice, as it never broke, for some reason. So I kept practicing for Goddesses-know-how-long. Alone. Trapped. Helpless.

And that's when I confirmed that I was nothing but a puppet to Ganondorf.

---

It must have been a few weeks later. Shadows did not have the need to eat, drink or sleep. But I, having a bit of a Shade side as well as a Shadow side, started feeling the need to those things. Thankfully, Shadows were not fully material, so I could not die of anything like that. Unfortunately, I was plagued by hunger, starting from my third week of captivity.

That's when I realized that the faster I defeated, or was defeated by the Hero, the faster I would be free from my cursed existence. So every 'night', since I had no idea of the time in the room, I prayed to the Goddesses that he send me the Hero already.

For the first time in my life, my prayers were answered. A few days later, I was playing idly with one of the branches on the tree in the water when I heard bars being lifted. My ebony ears twitched, and I jumped behind the tree, hiding and spying on the newcomer.

My shock was immeasurable when I saw the Hero walk in, accompanied by a glittering ball of light that buzzed around him.

"What do you think this is, Navi?" he asked in the same voice as mine was just a few weeks ago.

Nostalgia welled up within myself. He had his human form, and was carelessly looking around. Because of him, I lost mine. I no longer had a voice. I no longer had the simple pleasure to laugh, smile, or even cry. I was just an empty shell. A puppet.

I cried. I cried on the inside, begging to let my tears loose on the outside. I couldn't, though. Shadows could not cry.

"I don't know, Link. I've heard of this, it's called the Mirror Lake, and I'm guessing since the bars locked again, you're supposed to fight something, and if you beat it…" the Hero annoyingly swatted her away.

"I just asked where this was, not what I'm supposed to do. I figured that much." He muttered, drawing his sword.

I waited, watching his moves. He walked across the water to the other side once. Then, turning around, he walked back. It's a wonder he didn't see me.

I suddenly remembered that the faster I could kill or die, the faster I could escape. So, taking one last deep breath, I drew my sword and jumped into the open.

The look on Link's face was priceless. He watched with a mixture of confusion and shock as I lunged for him. He barely dodged in time, my sword grazing the top of his head.

"Whoa." He exclaimed, back flipping out of my range. "What is this, Navi?" he asked to his… fairy… thing…

"It's a Shadow, Link! A Shadow in your form! He'll copy your moves, so be careful. I'll try to find a weakness." She started buzzing around me.

I ignored her. Besides, her comment had fuelled me with anger. 'A Shadow in his form'. I wasn't real. I was just a worthless piece of magic modeled in Link's form. I wasn't real. I was nothing but a puppet.

---

I lost. In the end, guilt welled up within me again. I felt guilty of trying to stop the Hero of killing the one who had hurt me so much. I didn't want the Hero to lose. So why was I preventing him from going any further…?

That moment of inattention cost me my life. His sword finally pierced through my stomach, coming back out the other way. My eyes widened in horror as my hand dropped the Shadow replicas of the Hylian Shield and the Master Sword. They clanked together as they fell into the water, now tainted with the black blood dripping from my wound.

It didn't hurt. I was actually glad of being a Shadow now. They were oblivious to pain. So I paid no attention to my gaping wound, strangely smiling on the inside.

As the Hero's sword was removed, I lost my support, falling motionless to the black-water covered floor. But as I fell, my mind revolved over a million things. I was going to die. Ganondorf couldn't hurt me anymore. I would finally have the peace I deserved.

And I felt happy. Happy that I hadn't prevented the Hero from continuing his quest to stop Ganondorf. Happy that I was going to get cut off from this world of pain and misery. Finally.

With my last ounce of strenght, I looked up. The Hero was looking down at me, scrutinizing my traits. I relaxed.

And with my last breath, I whispered a "Thank you" to him. The last thing my eyes spotted was his shocked expression before they closed forever.

---

A million things ran in my head. I couldn't even count how many there were. Images flashed in my mind. The first time I had seen the light in the Temple of Time... My missions. The fear, the pain, the regret, the guilt, all the feelings welled up inside of me. And Link. Even the Hero's image crossed my mind. And Zelda. If her color scheme was a bit darker to match mine, I would have loved her like no other.

Wait. Why am I still thinking? Why am I still talking to myself? Why am I not gone? Why am I not dead? WHY AM I STILL LIVING?

I woke, shooting up with a horrified scream.

I was back in the Water temple. I was back in the cursed Mirror Lake room that was nothing more than a normal dark blue room now.

But I felt lighter. No, emotionally, I felt heavier. But... physically? I felt lighter.

My hands moved to my neck like a reflex. Unlike the last times I'd tried, I hadn't poked my fingers. I didn't take my hands back off coated with blood.

The collar. The spiked black leather collar was gone. The collar Ganondorf had put to have control over me and establish his dominance over me. IT WAS GONE!

My gaze was drawn to my hands.

They were pale white again.

Then, I looked at my garments.

Black tunic, grey pants and undershirt, black boots, grey belt, ebony hat.

I looked into the water.

And in the water, a pale white face with glistering beady crimson eyes was staring back. Silver hair hung over my eyes that now had their pupils back. My silver loop earring hung over my pale earlobe.

And I was smiling. For the first time in my life, I smiled. The corners of my lips tugged up slightly, growing, growing and getting larger until it was a full-fledged grin.

I was back. And in control. I wasn't a Shadow anymore. I was back to my normal Shade/human self.

So I let it all out. Silently, tears of joy slid down my cheeks. My smile didn't disappear for the least.

No voice inside my head threatened me. No one yelled at me. No one hurt me. No one told me crying made me weak. No one gave me orders.

He was always the puppet-master. And I was always his favorite unfortunate puppet, his toy, considered a worthless object with no life or feelings. But now that two of the four strings holding me down are broken, I am finally free. He might have a bit of control left over me. He might be my creator. He can try and order me around as much as he wants now. But I will never be his puppet again.

He will never break me again.

I stood up, confident. My eyes glistened with tears as I looked at the now-unlocked door. I don't know how it happened. Link thought he killed me. Truly, he had just broken the seal on the Shadow curse imposed on me.

So, smiling and thanking Link and the Goddesses a million times, I ran over to the door, opened it, and ran outside. I ran to the freedom I'd been deprived of for so long. I ran to the happiness I'd been neglected all my life.

I ran away from my old life towards a new one.

---

A bit later, I was sitting behind the Kakariko windmill. I know it's a dangerous place to be, with Impa and all. But I took the risk. Kakariko was just the type of calm atmosphere I needed to relax.

So I was idly playing with a blade of grass, tired and wondering where to go next, when my sensitive ears caught a whistle in the wind. My head shot up, and I ducked right in time to avoid being hit by a dagger straight on the forehead.

Before I had time to react, though, a foot connected with my chest, pinning me against the windmill's walls. My eyes were met with a blade pointed right in between my eyes, a bit further away, though.

"Shit." I cursed.

"Have I not told you to keep away, servant of evil?" Impa's familiar voice sounded.

I slowly lifted my eyes, careful not to touch the tip of the blade, and looked at her, hiding my unshed tears. "Servants of evil?" I asked, terrified. Had I not broken out yet?

"Yes. You are the one who attempted to murder our fair Princess, are you not?" she asked.

It finally clicked in my mind. She still thought I was the same monster I was before. I fervently shook my head. "Please believe me, Mistress!" I pleaded. "I am not the same monster who did that!" I told her.

"I will believe that when I see Ganondorf dead in front of Link." She laughed without humor, thrusting the blade. Now this time, my life was really over.

"Stop." A calm voice ordered. My opened the eyes I was closing and was met with the blade just half an inch over the bridge of my nose. Sweating nervously, my eyes travelled upwards, meeting a tall, menacing figure.

He was dressed in a tight dark blue uniform with a Sheikah eye on the front. A cowl circled his head completely, only letting see a tuff of dirty blond hair and a single red eye gazing at me sternly.

"Sheik, listen to what you're saying. This is the same demon that tried to assassinate the Princess a few weeks ago. Now it pretends it's not the same and you believe it?" Impa raised a brow.

"I'm a Shade. I'm human. I have a gender." I muttered.

"He tells the truth Impa. I can feel the light growing within him. He is human." Sheik told her in a toneless voice.

"What?" I whimpered, confused.

"Keep quiet." Impa threw me a stern gaze. I shut up, shrinking.

"He's harmless now." Sheik sustained.

"How can you be sure?" Impa asked.

"Look. The collar he wore has disappeared, and he does not bear the same menacing aura as before. He has purged himself of evil." Sheik crossed his arms stubbornly.

"Well, whatever he did." Impa took off her sword and kicked me in the jaw instead. I let out a cry of pain, bringing up my hand to it. "He cannot be left roaming. Besides." Her eyes glinted with a hopeful light. "He could tell us things we don't know about Ganondorf." She supposed.

"Keep him. We have a vacant cell under the Mayor's house." Sheik ordered. Before I had time to react, a foot connected harshly with my head, and the world went black.

---

I woke up in a cold and damp environment. Looking around, I realized the stone walls and metal bars made a cell out of the place I was in. A few moves also proved my wrists and ankles were bound with ropes, as not to hurt me too much, just restrain my movements.

A few voices reached my ear. They were heading towards me. I stiffened, recognizing them as Impa's and Sheik's voice.

Sheik… Something was familiar about that guy. I wonder what, though…

I couldn't think longer because they appeared in front of the bars of my cell. "I see you're awake." Impa impassively stated.

"Yeah." I muttered.

"Good. Now we want answers. We can do it the hard way, or the easy way. It's up to you to decide." Sheik rolled his single eye, opening my cell and walking inside, always flanked by Impa.

"I'm not afraid. Had I been really loyal to the man, I'd have chosen the hard way. But I wish to see him fall. So I will take the easy way." I growled.

"Good boy. Now spit it out. What do you know about Ganondorf's weaknesses?" Impa asked.

"When in his human form, I've heard he is vulnerable to his own magic. So I'm guessing if Link was to fight against him, he'd have to wait for him to cast magic, then deflect it back at him. Then, the darkness inside has to be fought back with a Light Arrow. In the end, he's vulnerable to a sword, like any other human." I admitted.

"That's very helpful indeed." Sheik muttered. "Anything else?"

"Yes. Once the Triforce of Power is activated, it will try to protect its vessel's life. I've seen Ganondorf in his Power phase before. He's like a huge boar on two legs, wielding double swords. The only thing is, he's barely in control, so the creature is usually rampaging around. Every swing he gives is lethal if you're not careful, and it's a very dangerous form. His weak spot is the bulb on his tail." I finished.

"Link could use that info. Next time you see him, Sheik, tell him all that. Don't tell him where it came from, though." Impa ordered.

"Okay." Sheik nodded.

"So what about you? How can we be sure everything you're saying is right? How do we know you're not working on one of his mission, hunh?" Impa raised a brow.

Tears welled up in my eyes again. It's not fair! Why wouldn't they believe me? What would I have to do to convince them I had changed? Blinking, they ran down my cheeks as I calmly breathed in and out, though shakily despite my efforts.

"Do you know how much I've been used in my life?" I asked shakily. "Do you know how much I've been oppressed in my life?" I raised a brow. "Do you know how much I've been abused in my life?" I asked once more. "No, you don't." I answered for them.

I drew in a shaky breath as they looked at me curiously.

"Anything you think as an answer to my questions is an understatement." I told them, shaking angrily. "So now that I'm free, I'd like to take my revenge on the one who has used me for so long." I sighed sadly.

There was a moment of silence, where I tried to regulate my shaky sobbing and breathing. Sheik and Impa respected the silence, waiting until I was done.

"He never cared. He thought of me as a toy. A mere inanimate object he could play with and do what he wanted with it. And when it became too boring, he would just throw it away. I don't want to be that little worthless object anymore. I don't wanna be his puppet anymore." I whimpered, gaze suddenly interested in the ground. "That's all I have to say. Do what you want with me now." I looked up at them, finally putting a stop to the tears in my eyes.

There was an uncomfortable silence for a while, and then Impa got up to join Sheik. "Well, the information you provided is very useful. Thank you. I'll come back with lunch a bit later. For a bit longer, we'll keep you in here for security measures. Till then." She turned around, exiting.

Sheik stood there, scrutinizing me in regret, sadness… and could I see pity in his eyes. "Yeah." He turned around to leave. "Later…" he stopped and turned back. "What's your name anyway?" he asked curiously.

"I don't have any. I am a Shade." I replied. "Master used to call me Shadow, but it scares me. You're a Sheikah, you know what a Shadow is." I looked at him. He nodded. "He cursed me into becoming a Shadow, once. It terrified me. So I don't like being called Shadow. My 'name' is Dark Link. But since 'Link' applies to the Hero, call me Dark." I finished.

"Alright." Sheik turned around. "Seeya later, Dark." He waved absently, walking out.

As soon as he was out, though, I started sobbing silently again, lying down sideways with the side of my head against the cold floor. Seven years of pain were bottled up inside. It hurt, and I needed to get them out. I had escaped from Ganondorf's iron grip, but now I was locked in the Hero's allies' dungeons. To me, it was about the same.

Hopefully, I would be treated better here.

---

My pleas for help and prayers for a better life had finally reached the Goddesses, after seven years of trying. Impa and Sheik treated me much better than Ganondorf, even if I was constantly locked in the dungeon cell. I didn't mind, it's what I had done all my life. But they made sure I was at least comfortable in my sleep, gave me stuff to eat and drink regularly and kept track of my condition every day. It warmed my heart, even if I was locked in a cold, clammy dungeon cell.

A few days later, the ropes around my wrists and ankles were taken off, and were replaced by one shackle on my left ankle. I knew I was getting into their trust. Oh how I wished never to betray it. A bit later on, I was left to roam freely around my cell. A couple days later, Impa tied my wrists and took me out to look around town. Even if I was restrained, I didn't bother fleeing. It was mesmerizing, how many people lived happily, even under Ganondorf's iron fist. I pray they never experience what I've experienced.

And a week after I was 'captured', Impa and Sheik finally agreed on letting me roam around the village under tight watch, but not restrained in any form. I simply walked around, shyly waving hello back at the people who greeted me jovially. The happy and calm atmosphere was amazing, as if Ganondorf didn't even exist. Everyone loved each other like brothers and sisters, friendly with everyone. It was my first taste of REAL freedom.

---

But as the saying says, all good things must come to an end. The next day, dark clouds gathered on top of Kakariko. All the villagers locked themselves in their houses. The Cucoos were silent, cowering in fear.

Worst part is, Impa and Sheik didn't return that day.

Fear gripped my heart. I could feel like something was wrong. But what? I shyly poked out of Impa's house, where I was being kept, and looked around. No signs of Impa or Sheik.

"Impa?" I called. No one replied. "Sheik?" I called again. Still no reply.

Taking a deep breath, I stepped outside. It was slightly raining.

That's when something hit me. A searing pain ripped through my mind. Dropping to my knees, I clutched my head, screaming in pain.

Flashes. Of different images… What was currently happening… Link… Temple of Time… Sheik… ZELDA? Sheik was… Zelda…?

Another searing pain cut my musings about Sheik short. Screaming again, I gritted my teeth.

Another series of images flashed through my mind. These were different. They had white borders… They hadn't…

They were the future... The horrible things that would happen later on.

Battleground… Fallen castle... Debris… Fire… Zelda… Master Sword… Oh Farore… Link! Wounded… Dying… Sages trying to buy him some time… I see Impa… He pushes them away easily… Ganondorf ready to finish him off… And everything shut off.

My eyes snapped open, and I realized I was crying. Or it was just the rain pouring over me.

The flashes. They were real. They were the future. Sheik, who was apparently Zelda, had been captured in the Temple of Time. Now, Link was going to fight against Ganondorf's beast form… And he would lose…

"No…" I breathed shakily. "No." I objected, getting up. "I won't let that happen." I blinked some water, whether tears or rain, out of my eyes and looked towards the Kakariko Village entrance. "I WON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!" I roared angrily, dashing off towards the entrance to the village.

I wouldn't let him destroy their lives like he destroyed mine. I wouldn't let him hurt them like he hurt me. I wouldn't let him forcefully tame them like he violently 'tamed' me. I wouldn't let him break them like he broke me.

I wouldn't let him control them like he controlled me.

The puppet strikes back.

---

Panting and exhausted, I got there in an hour. I couldn't let my flashes happen. I couldn't let Ganondorf win.

I spotted the bridge the Sages had created. Taking a deep breath, I stepped on it. It flickered, but stood. Taking another breath, I ignored my fear and put both feet on it, running across. The Sages needed me. Zelda needed me.

Mostly, Link needed me.

The battleground was a wasteland. Where the dark castle once stood was left nothing but a bunch of scattered pillars, rocks, all covered with ash. The circle of fire crackled around the arena as the flames seemed to lick the clouded sky, the heat even reaching my skin.

As I jumped next to Zelda, she gasped in surprise, facing me with her tired eyes, the fire on the ground reflecting in her pools of weary blue. Her dress was ripped in many places, a few drops of blood dotting it in a few places. "Dark?" she breathed in astonishment.

"Not now, Sheik." I replied, both telling her to wait and telling her I knew about her identity. Then, I jumped through the ring of fire, rolling when I hit the floor, putting off the slight flames that had caught on my tunic.

Ganon was actually winning. He grabbed the little sage of the Forest in his monstrous paws and sent her crashing on the ground, laughing evilly.

I fumed in anger. Saria was just a little girl! How could he hurt her that way! She was just a child!

Growling, I drew the black version of the Master Sword, running for Ganon. He would pay for everything.

When Ganon had easily pushed through Nabooru, Sage of Spirit, the last Sage standing before Link, my heart accelerated. I had spotted the Hero.

Lying motionless in the debris of a broken pillar, he seemed like a fresh corpse to me. I had trouble distinguishing the green of his tunic underneath all that blood. Various slashes of many shapes and sized ran everywhere across the poor boy's body. Bruises dotted any skin that wasn't slashed.

Ganon had hurt him. He had broken him.

And I had failed in my self-imposed mission.

"You are a pathetic excuse for a Hero." Ganon snorted, putting his blades up. One of Link's ocean eyes, clouded with pain and sorrow, opened, and he looked up at his doom hopelessly.

That only served to accelerate my running, my heart thundering a few thousand miles an hour.

"Now perish, perish and give me the Triforce of Courage. Then, I will hang your corpse up on the castle walls. To show everyone how their dear Hero failed. To show how their only hope was weak, and how I was more powerful. Now, be gone. Hyrule is mine. You. Have. Failed." Ganon laughed, ready to kill the young Hero.

I finally reached his tail before he had time to kill Link. "YOU WON'T TOUCH THEM, GANON!" I screamed, slashing with a growl. I took immeasurable pleasure out of hearing Ganon roar in agony.

Slowly, he turned around and faced me angrily. "You." He accused.

"Yeah, me." I growled, looking for a way to get to his tail.

"You… traitor… You will die for betraying your master! I am your Master! I am your Creator! How could you turn against me!?" he roared.

"I CAN DO WHAT I WANT, GANON!" I yelled at him. "I'm not your slave! I'm not your toy! I'm not your Goddess damned puppet! You can't use me! I'd rather die a traitor to you than live on loyally to you!" I continued.

"Hah. Such strong words for a corpse." He swung one of his swords at me. I ducked low under them, missing getting decapitated by an inch.

There it was. I spotted an opening between his legs that gave right over his tail. Eyes narrowing, I took my aim. I had one shot at this.

It was now a 'Live Free or Die Hard' situation. Taking one last deep breath, I jumped forward, barely avoiding the crashing weapons of this monster. Then, I rolled in between and shot up, slashing at his tail.

It felt so nice to hear Ganon scream in pain. It felt so nice to feel him become vulnerable at my feet. It actually felt nice to feel his greenish blood sliding down my sleeves as I jammed the sword up, severing the tail.

"LINK! NOW! DELIVER THE FINAL BLOW TO THE EVIL KING!" Zelda screamed. I looked towards them and realized that at the cost of a great effort, Link had gotten up, and while Zelda held Ganon down, he pushed the Master Sword right through the monster's eyes.

It was over. We had won. Ganon had been defeated.

Speaking of him, he was engulfed in six different colors, the colors of the Sages, as they sealed him into the Evil Realm.

The battleground was silent for a moment. I could hear Zelda's frantic breathing, Link's forced one, and my slowing one.

"It's over…" Zelda breathed, suddenly braking onto a run towards Link as the Hero fell to his side, breathing hard.

As for me, I fell to my knees, a searing pain ripping through my mind once more. I saw Zelda healing Link and helping him up. All the wounds had now disappeared.

Together, they headed for me and kneeled next to me. "So you're my dark doppelganger?" Link hesitantly asked.

"I am." I chuckled, breathing hard. I knew this would happen.

When I said I was free, when I said that two of the four strings controlling the puppet were broken, I meant it. Ganondorf was still my creator. His death would be mine as well.

"What's wrong?" Zelda asked, putting a hand on my shoulder.

My body shook with violent spasms that sent me toppling to the ground. I screamed in pain, tears streaming down my cheeks. My arms flew up, encircling my stomach.

"What's wrong?" Link asked, shaking me.

"Ganondorf was right at one point." I weakly stuttered out. "He was my Master, he was my Creator… It was his magic that brought me to life. Now that he's not part of this world anymore, I am not either." I coughed up some blood.

"Oh dear Goddesses, don't die Dark!" Zelda pleaded.

"I wish I could change it. But it's time to go now." I breathed in deeply, trying to regulate myself and buy some time. "I did all I had to do. My mistakes were awful. I wish I could have done more to make it right. But I couldn't. I'm sorry, Ganondorf was not supposed to hurt you. I'm sorry, it's all my fault." I sighed sadly.

"Hell no it wasn't. Dark, you saved me from a certain death and participated in taking down Ganondorf. You're a Hero." Link told me.

"I'm the Hero's Shadow." I chuckled darkly. "I'm nothing but a worthless mass of shadow magic molded into your shape. I was given speech, but not the freedom of speech. I was given thoughts, but not the freedom of thoughts. I was given physical abilities, and at some point, not even the freedom of using those physical abilities as my own." I closed my eyes for a moment. "It's about time I go." I looked up at them.

"Dark, isn't there a way to make you stay?" Zelda asked, a few tears running down her cheeks.

"Nope. I'd rather not. I want to leave my past behind. Everything Ganondorf has done to me, every single ounce of pain I've endured throughout my miserable existence is confined within my physique." I replied. "Just let me die already." I chuckled darkly.

"We swear, we'll never forget you." Link promised sadly.

"Of course you won't. Besides, I'll still be around. You'll know what I mean when you look behind yourself on a sunny day." I smirked enigmatically.

Link didn't seem to catch it, but Zelda did. "You mean…?" she asked hopefully.

"Finding a way to get my physique back will be hard. I will have to train a lot in the art of Shadow Magic. It may be some time." I grinned. "But we will meet again." I promised. "Goodbye." I closed my eyes, breaking into a million tiny shadow particles. "Oh, and tell Impa I said goodbye and thank you." I called out from nowhere in particular.

Link pulled Zelda closer as she cried. "It's okay, love. He said it himself, he'll always be behind me." He kissed her hair tenderly.

"But he was a Hero. He didn't even stay. He was a friend! I cared about him!" she cried.

My heart broke. I retreated into Link's shadow, vague with the black clouds looming overhead. The rain poured down on the two lovers as they both shed their tears for me.

I'm not worth it. I wish I could have done something better.

But I had finally achieved my dreams. Ganondorf was finally defeated.

---

It felt funny to travel back in time. But I was still behind Link. The power to think and the feelings attributed to me by Ganondorf were awkwardly still there when Link jumped off the Pedestal of Time, in the form of a ten year old child again.

So when he looked back at me, I smiled. I knew he couldn't see me, but I still smiled. Awkwardly enough, he smiled as well, turning around and walking out afterwards.

It felt so good. I was back. All I had to do was find a way to get my physical body back now. Maybe Zelda could help. I wish I could get in contact with her.

Gah. Too many thoughts. I smirked, shaking my immaterial head to relieve my mind of a few. Instead, I concentrated on my newfound freedom.

Even if I was confined to Link's shadow, I still felt free no matter what. I enjoyed looking at the blue sky overhead as Link walked towards the castle. I enjoyed hearing the screams and laughs of children instead of horrifying ReDead screeches in the Castle Town Market Square. It was all a priceless moment for me.

And as Link and Zelda met once again, hugging and kissing like two true lovebirds, I chuckled. Maybe when I'd get my physical form back, I could find someone. Or maybe, I could model a shadow girl out of Zelda's image…

Those were just thoughts. For now, I just stuck to smiling like I had never smiled before. And as all three of us looked up towards the sky, with the sun illuminating this beautiful new day, I realized my dreams had finally come true.

I was free, and enjoyed my freedom thoroughly. I was happy and smiling to cover up for the seven years I'd been deprived of my smile. Ganondorf was sealed and could not control me ever again.

Finally…

I was not his puppet anymore.

---

... The puppet broke free and stroke back at the puppet-master. But when the puppet-master fell, he pulled the two remaining strings on the puppet, taking both of them down at the same time...

**********************

Author Notes:

Hey, the ending wasn't all THAT bad XD No, no sequel, I find it tiring to make a sequel to every story I write O_o Yesh, a bit confusing and repetitive, I admit it ^^;

So yep. Dark and violent, warned you. Besides, the title and summary were omnious enough, no? I mean, really. THE PUPPET. It sounds like a horror movie, doesn't it? XD

So basically, the first part was told when Dark was unconscious in the Water Temple, cursed as a shadow. Then, when he woke, everything went on in the present.

Basically, a shadow is what you found in the real OoT at the water temple. Completely black with pupil-less red eyes.

Shades are the versions of Dark Link you can find in fanart. Human, in other words, with red eyes, silver hair, pale skin and black garments. ^^;

So yeah, hope it wasn't too confusing. It was supposed to be abstract at the beginning and more graphic towards the end, but whatever. I like it ^_^

So please review to tell me about my epic fail, or my epicER fail XDDDD

Thanks for reading :D

~LoZ4Life