Disclaimer: The Legend of Zelda is the property of Nintendo. I do not own anything.

Summary: Sheik couldn't help but wonder; if he'd took his chance sooner and told the Hero how he felt, would things have turned out differently? Shink oneshot

Shadow Hylian: This is just a little oneshot idea that came to me. The italics at the end are Link's thoughts.


Hesitation

I had always over-thought every detail, always looked deeper than necessary and wasted too much time worrying about things that didn't matter. I couldn't help but wonder; If I'd took my chance sooner and told the Hero how I felt, would things have turned out differently?

The news was told to me only this morning. The Hero was leaving Hyrule for new lands, setting off tomorrow morning on the first break of dawn and I knew that it was this fact and the awareness of my own indecision when it came to the Hero that spurned me into action.

I decided that, if this truly was my last chance, I would tell the Hero how I felt before he left.

And so I called to him, meeting the Hero again at the entranceway to the Forest Temple, hoping to recapture old memories of the Sacred Forest Meadow. Hoping that Link would be reminded of the past...

I waited.

-

The words were already jarring in my throat as Link stepped into view and I saw him walk through the Sacred Meadow towards me.

But this was the only chance I had left. Tomorrow, he would be gone...

I took a steadying breath before I spoke, telling him everything that I had wanted to say, yet kept hidden for so long. He waited patiently listening to every word with sadness falling across his features as I told him that I loved him.

"This was the last chance I had to tell you..." I explained, "Before you left, I wanted to tell you-" my voice cracked, and I breathed deeply, trying to keep my composure, "I wanted to tell you that I love you..."

He realised, I noticed as I gauged the Hero's reaction. He understood now.

"Sheik..."

"It's okay, you don't have to say anything." I tried to smile, "I just wanted to tell you before you left."

"I'm sorry, Sheik." Link spoke, "I never knew. I never realised that you felt that way..." and the Hero's tone was genuinely apologetic. "If you had said something, spoke to me about it, then..." Link broke off, looking away, "Maybe it could've worked out..."

"It's not your fault." I didn't like the pity I could almost hear in Link's voice. That wasn't the reason I had called to him. "You didn't know any better."

"But I should've realised it sooner!" Link grew suddenly angry, his voice rising.

"If I wasn't such a coward, I would have told you a long time ago." I breathed, leaning back against a nearby tree idly. "Ironic, don't you think? I fell in love with the Hero of Time, whose courage is legendary when I possess none myself." I could tell that my attempt at levity failed. The atmosphere was too tense to be broken so easily and my cracking voice only made it clearer that I was hurting.

"Sheik..." The Hero stepped towards me, his eyes over-bright with emotion.

"I'm fine." I waved my hand and smiled broadly, but it faltered and I could feel my eyes sting. "Where are you planning to go once you leave Hyrule?" I changed the subject abruptly, trying to suppress the constricted feeling in my throat as I spoke.

"Too much has happened...I can't stay here anymore." Link sighed, "I'm going to travel for a bit. But you already know that, Sheik. You know that I'm leaving tomorrow."

I nodded silently.

"If you want, I can delay-"

"No." I interrupted, "There's no point in changing anything. I know that you're unhappy staying here, and it's not like it will change anything, but..." I hesitated at this point, looking away in shame. "Could I ask something of you before you leave?" I asked carefully, my scarlet eyes snapping back to meet the Hero's cerulean gaze.

A wordless understanding passed between us. Link didn't need to hear the request as he moved closer to where I stood. As he took hold of my chin, I closed my eyes, waiting for the pressure of the Hero's lips on mine, but it never came.

Instead, he brushed my hair aside and placed a gentle kiss to my forehead. "I really am sorry, Sheik." Link spoke, his thumb lingering on my cheek, "But I'm sure I'll see you again..." and he hesitated slightly, almost as if there was more he wanted to say before he left.

But the moment passed, and he turned on his heel, walking away.

-

If only you'd told me sooner.

Then I would have told you that I loved you back...

If only you'd spoken to me.

Then we might have had a future together...

But we hesitated too long.

Time ran out on us...

I can't turn back.

I wouldn't be able to leave you if I stayed...

I'm sorry, Sheik.

But I promise that I'll see you again...


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