Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Legend Of Zelda.
Author's Note: Hiya, thanks for clicking. I've never written for LOZ before, though I've read a couple of fics here. Ya know how there's always a game that's super close to your heart, no matter what? That'd be Ocarina Of Time for me, like so many others. And that is the game in which this story is set. Or rather, after it. Aaaand I bet that a fair share of people have already toyed with this idea, lol. Anyway, enjoy :)
He had been healed many times. There were the endless bottles of Lon Lon milk, the vast array of cherry faeries, tending to his every physical wound. Through time and back, they stitched together the gaping wounds on his body, carefully uniting his skin once more. And then afterwards, he would have to put on a brave face, wearing it like the masks he once had, and continue on his journey, sword and shield firmly clenched in his Hylian hands.
But no amount of potions could fix what was broken inside.
How long had it been? Logic and fact told Link that it had only been a few days, maybe even a few weeks… but his instincts, his heart told him that it had been over seven years. How could his gut instinct be so, so strong… but so seemingly incorrect? It was as though both facts were true, and that was something that his young mind couldn't understand at all.
He had seen so much through his azure eyes. Rivers of blood tore through his memories, as did soul-filled and soulless faces. And he recognised them all, their names, or where they were from; dancing on the tip of his tongue, teetering over the edge, but never taking the plunge. They taunted him endlessly in his nightmares, trying to rip through the fabricated illusions, and make themselves real once again.
Skeletons from the darkest depths of hell, wielding the iron weaponry. Ghosts from the other side, hovering about with their creaky lanterns. The screaming dead, rising from the ground, piercing the very soul. Though long gone, disguised as his nightmares, they occasionally pulled away the veil, making themselves known; and tore the boy apart from the inside. The wounds that he could never close, the monsters he could never beat. A war through the eyes of a child, who was forced to rise to the challenge and grow up.
And now he was back here again, in Kokiri Forest. An adult living as a youth again.
The life he dreamed of on those bloody battlefields.
He had seen too much. War and hatred had filled his mind and soul, and shaped him into a man. And then suddenly, without warning, Link had been tossed back in time once again, back to his lost childhood, only a boy. He had been shaped in future times. The mould had been set, and he had to wait to grow into it. He didn't want to be that man, carrying the weight of the world, of existence itself; on his sturdy shoulders. Not now, not ever again. He was so alone, doing the dirty work of others, putting his own life at risk, to save the land he loved.
He was forcibly crippled beneath the heaviness, and though the task he had been forced to do was completed, he was still alone. He had snapped in half, he had become broken. The shell was still strong on the outside, but on the inside, he was weak, feeble, and still afraid. Afraid of what could have been if he did nothing, afraid of what would happen now.
The saviour of Hyrule, so bold, deft and fearless in the face of the Gerudo King; a mere frightened child.
Through unspeakable, unfathomable and unimaginable means, he healed the lives of others. Link tweaked and turned the fabrics of time itself to bring peace to Hyrule at two places in time. By dabbling, he breathed life into those who had fallen during his sleep. He reset the pieces on the chessboard, moving them as they should be moved – not as a corrupt man once did. Through an articulated head, with the prayers of the Sages, the Princess, the people of Hyrule, and his floating guide; he fixed it up. He cleaned up the mess. He destroyed what needed to be annihilated. He healed the land and its people. All he had to do now was live as he should've. He could watch the game he set out play before him.
But where do the healers turn when they need to be healed? Where do the broken turn when they need fixing?
He can't turn his hands on himself and nail the pieces together. His hands, both then and now, shake far too much for him to do anything. Battle worn, yet barely marked, he would hold the last pieces of his sanity, trying to see which way they were supposed to fit; turning them continuously, looking at them as though they were foreign objects. He knew they were pieces of him, but they felt like weapons and tools. He felt lost.
And Link still felt alone.
The one thing in his life that always stood by his side. From his childhood, through to his adulthood, and the time in between. He was always alone. The cerulean fairy, who he thought – who promised – that she would never forsake him; fluttered away once her job of assistance was done. Good bye, so long, have a nice life, well done, maybe we'll meet again –
"I'm proud of you," she said, her tiny voice drifting almost unnoticed in the silence. And she meant it.
– and solitude still hovers over his other shoulder, as he looks out the window of his sturdy and beloved tree house. His constant company, tugging at the sleeve of his tunic, whispering destructive things in his pointed ear. Thing he doesn't need to hear, things he shouldn't have to hear, things that he shouldn't understand… but he does.
He turns his head slightly, looking to the passageway that leads to where the Great Deku Tree rested. No longer alive and feeding life into the forest, the Kokiri still mourn, and they still shun him. He is even afraid in his own home. The warrior in him is long gone, buried in the Temple Of Time, where he would forever remain. He did what he had to do. He did what he was asked to do, of not only that guardian spirit, but of the Princess, the Sages… everyone. No, he was no saviour. He was a servant.
He clenched his tiny fists, turning away from the window, letting the white curtains spill forth and cover the light, like Ganondorf had done to Hyrule once upon a time. He walks away, his brown boots clunking, and he stands near his tiny table, staring at the swirling patterns in the wood. They seem blurred to him, even as he inhales and exhales firmly, lost in the eternal labyrinth of his thoughts.
And for once, a selfish tear falls for what he had lost.
And the loneliness crawls back into his heart, tactlessly murmuring, Heroes don't cry, slave.
And he falls, like Hyrule Castle should've if he didn't dabble, elbows resting on the table, his mind now lost.