fleets: warning - depressing chapter ahead
disclaimer - Sarah Mclachlan owns lyrics to song


Chapter 7: This is How Our Story Ends

The Lost Recollection

A step echoed through the sparring chamber as Link stepped inside at midnight as Vaati had requested. The torches along the walls were newly lit and the sorcerer stood at the very end of the hall with his back facing him. It seemed as though he was playing with a flame before he lifted up his palms and lit the last torch. Link took note of how bare the place was. It was somewhat lonely, but it was lonely in a cozy way. There was a sort of peaceful quiet here.

As Link approached, Vaati tilted his head and acknowledged his presence. "Link." The sorcerer turned around and Link noticed he didn't have any sword on him. How were they supposed to spar if he was the only one who had a sword?

"Where's your sword, Vaati?" Link asked, slightly annoyed that he had come with his old tunic just like Vaati had asked him to. Right now he saw no reason to come here wearing the embarrassingly conspicuous hero's garb if they weren't really going to spar.

Vaati ignored him. His gaze became a little distant as he smiled past him and chuckled. "Do you remember when we first met?"

Slightly caught off guard by the question, Link shrugged. "When you kidnapped Zelda?"

"Yes."

"What about it?"

"Last night I had a dream. It was about the old days." Vaati refused to explain further and left the increasingly concerned Link to wonder what his statement implied. To the blonde's surprise, Vaati summoned his trademark flying eyes which began to spin around him. "Can you do me a favor, Link?"

Link wasn't sure if he should be more worried about the fact that the spinning eyes were beginning to flicker red, or the fact that Vaati was asking him for help. "Ok?"

Vaati suddenly grinned broadly and his face showed signs of relief. "I knew you'd say that." The wind mage's red eyes narrowed. "Fight me, Link. Until one of us is done for good."

"What?" Link gasped. "I can't do that… you're my friend. I can't fight you…"

Vaati's gaze fell to the floor. While he would have been sarcastic on normal days, Vaati's voice lacked the sarcasm and instead his words sounded genuine. "Well then," he said softly, smiling a little, "that's a pity, isn't it?"

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"You know what would atone for everything you've done and finally get rid of that soiled conscience of yours? Fight your enemy. If he beats you then you will simply follow the path of all the other great forces of evil before you. If you beat him, then we can celebrate together."

For not one second do I believe Dethl's words. I don't plan to celebrate with him. I would sooner strangle him to death – but something tells me there will be no end to the lord of nightmares.

Then why have I fallen right into the devil's snare? Well Link, you're the only one who can help me. Put an end to this tormenting dream.

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Was he serious? Link didn't even have the time to think if Vaati seriously planned to kill him or not. Wasn't he over this? Everything was supposed to be good again, why now after all this time?

Link winced as a beam of energy burned through the corners of his right sleeve and he dodged just in time an attack that would have pierced his throat. Judging from his attacks, it seemed as though Vaati seriously wanted him dead but the look on his face said there was something more to it.

"Why, Vaati? I need to know why."

The sorcerer only smiled and summoned a sword out of thin air. He disappeared in a flash and reappeared behind Link. Link swiftly blocked and parried, but was surprised by how he was struggling to keep up with Vaati's sword strokes. The blond was good, but not many could match the skills of magically enhanced swordplay.

As these thoughts ran through Link's head, Vaati chuckled. "There can only be two outcomes from this, Link. I either kill you or you kill me. You know that. Even if you managed to disarm me I can still use magic against you, and you know I won't stop fighting until one of us is dead."

"Damn it Vaati! What's gotten into you? Just tell me what's wrong."

Link was surprised by how vehemently Vaati shook his head. "No. This is the only way."

Metal clashed. Blue and red stared into each other for a breath.

The next few seconds moved extremely slowly in the eyes of Link. He saw Vaati smirk and pull back his glowing sword in preparation for a deadly thrust. His eyes were hard and determined, but there was something defeated about them. Vaati's sword glinted as it moved in for the kill, and Link had no choice but to block it with his sword. At such close quarters, the swords rebounded awkwardly, and the momentum of the clash brought Link's sword moving towards the sorcerer.

The entire fight had lasted no more than five minutes. It wasn't epic: just a quick battle that was over no sooner than it had begun. He would never have imagined it to end the way it had; so simple and quick – it should at least have been legendary. Link cried out as he saw the fatal blow that his sword had inflicted and caught the collapsing wind mage before he hit the ground.

Link rarely lost his cool, but he was about to lose it now. There was a low buzz in his ears and he couldn't think straight. "Why, why, why…" he repeated over and over, unable to keep his voice steady.

"Shut up, boy." Link couldn't understand why Vaati was laughing. Then again, he didn't really understand a lot about Vaati.

"why…"

Link felt Vaati's weight on his shoulder gradually increase as he lost energy to hold himself up. As he spoke, Vaati's voice became more difficult to hear until it was no louder than a whisper. "Because this is how it should have been."

"No! You don't understand, everything was resolved! The goddesses forgave you, I – "

"Did I ever care about the goddesses? Did I ever care about you? I felt sick… sick to my soul that I was living on with a hundred years worth of my life gone. It wasn't supposed to be like this."

Link was supporting Vaati's full weight now. He thought of how Vaati would have cringed or blasted him away if he wasn't dying. The reality of the situation struck him harder. Vaati wasn't going to live. "Why do you have to be so stubborn and think there's only one way to end things?"

"Idiot. You wouldn't understand…" Both of them were in a pool of crimson now. The bottom half of Link's tunic was bright red but he didn't care. All he could think of now were Vaati's ragged gasps and his limp form. Vaati spoke hoarsely with difficulty. "I've always denied we were allies."

Link nodded.

"I've been lying." Vaati laughed again. Link managed to smile sadly but he didn't know what words to say. "I had a friend once, back in the old days. I died then, too. Stupid, naïve, Vaati. I never felt more free after that."

The hero felt even more at a loss. The sorcerer rarely mentioned his past life.

"I'm going to be so free now."

Link sat on his knees with the dead wind mage in his arms. Not knowing what to do he hugged the body tighter. His brows furrowed and his breath came out in short gasps. "Vaati I… you were my friend too."

Soon after, Link was mercifully pulled away from his pain by a silver dagger, enveloping him into a world of eternal sleep.

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Rasan shook as he watched Link collapse next to his lord, his teacher, his mentor. His father. His breath came out in rasps and he stood trembling, his Sheikah trained composure completely gone, before he dropped to his knees and held his head in his hands. The dagger fell to the floor with a soft tinkling noise. The boy was trying his best to control his breathing as he choked up in sobs.

What have I done?

He didn't mean to. It was just a reaction. He'd seen the king and Vaati fighting and within a few minutes they were on the floor, one being supported by the other as he lay dying. The only emotion he knew at that point was unexplainable pain and anger, and then everything was over.

"I'm s-sorry," Rasan gasped between breaths. He clawed at the floor, his hands moving involuntarily as he tried to think about what to do. There was nothing he could do. "L-lord V-vaati. I'm s-sorry… the king…"

He pounded the floor with his fists and he curled up in a tight ball, a muffled scream escaping him. Minutes later, there was the sound of choked sobbing.

Beside the tormented boy lay two people who had once been enemies. They had fallen such that they appeared to be mirror images of each other: one light and one dark. In the dim lights of the chamber, however, they appeared almost identical.

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Recollection 18: from the diary of Princess Daeia

My hands are unsteady as I write this. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to feel again. When will these tears stop? I wish I could sleep and never wake up again.

I remember when Rasan visited me. It was in the early hours before the birds were awake, and the sky was dark navy with a tinge of orange on the horizon, hinting at morning. I'll never forget his face. His silver hair was all tangled and gnarled, and I had wondered why since he always took care to be a little vain in front of me. Then I noticed the blood that had dried on the tips of his hair, and the terrible red splatters that angled across his face and splashed all over his body like some devilish design. I could tell something devastating had happened from the way his eyes were wide with fear. He had even pulled down his facemask lower so he could breathe better through his panicked gasps.

I asked him if he was all right, and I was shocked when he suddenly broke down and tears began to stream down his face. He pushed me away when I moved to comfort him with a hug.

"Tell me what's wrong. What's happened to you?"

"My princess, I… I'm sorry. I'm so sorry…"

"Don't call me that Raz, we're friends. I don't like it when you treat me so formally."

"Daeia… I…"

"Breathe, Raz. It'll be all right. I'm here with you."

"Your father, Lord Vaati…"

I never expected to hear those next words.

"they're dead."

I believe I fainted after that, because the next minute I woke up Rasan was desperately trying to help me up. I screamed into his shoulder and I began to cry, and it seemed as though Rasan couldn't take it anymore then. I remember him setting me down and he took a step back so I could see him better, and then a horrible realization came over me. Those bloodstains… I'll never forget those bloodstains on dear Rasan's face.

"No…"

"I'm sorry."

I didn't even ask why. I didn't ask how. I don't remember what happened next very clearly except that I had screamed for him to go away. His voice had been pleading, and I couldn't hear how much pain he was in at the time because the pain I was going through had made me deaf. I think I hit him, and the worst part was he took it willingly. I wish he had stopped me. I wish he had fought back because that would have meant this whole thing wasn't true.

But he didn't fight back. Rasan was at least partly responsible for the death of my father and Vaati. He reached out once with his hand, but I continued to hit him in my sorrowful rage. Before I knew it he was gone, and I was left in my lonely room with only my wracking sobs keeping me company.

I never knew my days were only going to be lonelier.

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Recollection 19: From the diary of Rasan

A slap never stung me harder than when Daeia hit me across the face last night. I deserved it. I wish there was a way to let her know I didn't mean it – that I didn't want her father to die. It was my training getting in the way; I just reacted even before I knew what I was doing. I guess I know why Lord Vaati didn't want us to be around Hyrule Castle yesterday…

She crumpled to the floor like a frail paper flower and it was all my fault. I had been watching the entire fight and I could have stopped them. I killed her father, and Lord Vaati was dead.

Daeia, would it console you if I told you he didn't suffer? I was trained to kill – he went to sleep before he knew what was happening.

Daeia, did you know I had a letter for you that I never had the nerve to give you? You would have laughed and said it was stupid and cheesy, but all the words on the paper are the truest things I'd ever written. I don't think I can ever let you read this now. You don't deserve a killer like me…

Dear Daeia,

Ever since I heard about you I dreamed about you. I imagined the princess of Hyrule to be the most beautiful woman alive, with a sweet innocence that would give even the most cynical man hope that there is good in the world. You know what? I'm hardly ever wrong about things. I wasn't wrong about this one.

I care about you more than anything in the world, even more than Lord Vaati who has been like a father to me. I know you may never care about me the way I care about you, but I just wanted you to know that I will do whatever it is you wish. If you want me to listen, I'll listen. If you want me to comfort you, I'll wrap you in my arms. If you want me to disappear, I'll vanish like the wind. And if you say I have to walk to the moon, I'll do it, no matter how impossible it may seem.

Whatever it takes to see you happy.

Forever yours,

Rasan

Last night you told me to leave and never come back. You never want to see my face again.

I don't expect you to forgive me. I'm not even going to ask forgiveness.

I spoke true when I said I'd do anything for you.

I wanted you to be happy…

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Recollection 20: From a Notice in Castle Town

This morning, the king along with his advisor and chief of the secret royal guards was found dead in the sparring grounds of Hyrule Castle. The late king of Hyrule and Lord Vaati were inflicted with fatal wounds from a sharp object, most likely from the swords found lying next to them and a silver dagger.

It is suspected the Sheikah, a special sect of the royal guards first established by Lord Vaati himself, had a hand in the regicide and murder. Further investigations are being undertaken and several high ranking Sheikah are under questioning.

Details to follow.

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Recollection 21: A Letter for The Princess

Dear Daeia,

It causes me so much pain to see you hurt like this, and I feel like I'm dying when I see you are hurt because of me. I can't ask you to forgive me. You hate me.

I wish last night was all a dream. I wish it had just been an evil nightmare and that I'm going to wake up in the morning to hear you laughing with your father. I wish I could ask Lord Vaati for advice on what to do, but how could I when he is dead in this nightmare?

I want you to know that I will always try to grant your wishes to the best of my abilities. I know it's hard to believe scum like me. How can I show you that I want the best for you?

I am writing this letter to say goodbye. I can't tell you this in person because my presence will only cause you pain, and I can't see you so hurt again. You wanted me to disappear from you forever, and I want you to know that I will do whatever it is you wish so you will be happy.

I love you,

Rasan

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Recollection 22: From the diary of Princess Daeia

I never knew my days were only going to be lonelier.

They found Rasan dead the morning I found his goodbye letter on my bedside table. He had set up the town gallows himself and had hung a rope around his own neck.

Like he was some criminal.

They couldn't recognize him at first because he had stripped himself of his Sheikah uniform and had died his hair brown. He shouldn't have gone that way. It had taken all my willpower not to decide to join him and my father and Vaati right then and there.

I was responsible for Rasan's death. I was the one, in my anger at him for the death of my father and Vaati, to tell him I wanted him to disappear forever. I wanted him to go far away so that I would never have to see him again. I hadn't been thinking straight. It was selfish of me, because I wasn't the only one who had been grieving.

Rasan, you never told me how much you cared. I was foolish, and I never told you I cared about you too. I thought you knew, and now you're gone because you loved me so much to do everything I wanted you to do.

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Recollection 23: Notice

As of the next new moon, the Sheikah are to be disbanded and exiled from the great land of Hyrule on the charges of regicide and experimenting with dark sorcery. For the safety and security of the people of Hyrule, any Sheikah found in the boundaries of Hyrule will be met with hostility.

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Recollection 24: From the diary of Princess Daeia

Shianti's keeping a close watch on me now, even at the risk of her own safety since the Sheikah exile had been issued by the royal court. I think that was what made me come to my senses and continue on in a world where everyone else had left. Mother died as well.

I heard the maids scream and I had rushed to the noise even though my entire being was telling me not to look. She was there lying on the carpet with a tiny elegant bottle in her hands. Half of a crystal blue liquid was gone from the bottle.

I envied her then, as I cried out and ran to her side, gripping her cold arms and hugging them close to me. While streams of tears ran down my face her expression was so serene and calm. I was angry with her at the same time. She had abandoned me and had decided to leave me all alone while she went on to join father, Vaati, and Rasan.

I don't blame her for doing what she had done. Had it not been for Shianti I would have done the same and would have left the people of Hyrule without a ruler. The people need me. I must be selfless.

Shianti's tall, graceful figure had appeared out of nowhere to remove the bottle of poison I had picked up from my mother's hand. Her fierce eyes were frightening because they seemed lost as well. She reminded me that I was not the only one who was suffering from loss.

I asked her how it was she was able to continue living, and she replied that it was her responsibility to the Sheikah and the Royal Family. Now that Vaati was gone, the Sheikah needed someone to turn to, and who else was going to protect the royal family when they were at their most vulnerable time? I remember staring at her for a long time, at her cool outer composure and her unnatural silver hair.

So I live now not because I want to, but because I have a responsibility to my people. They have to see I am strong lest they become nervous and discouraged.

But alive though I may appear, I have never been more lifeless than I am now.

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From the diary of Princess Zelda Daeia Daltus

I feel so cold. Why did you leave me and take everyone with you? I try not to resent you like you told me to, but it's so difficult when all I have left are the stiff, cold, headstones.

You spoke of punishment from the goddesses. The things you went through sound horrible, and I wish you had told me. But I wonder, would we have been able to reach you? You were such an isolated person, refusing anyone to get close enough to ever understand you. Your life is such a lonely tragedy.

You spoke of Dethl, the nightmare creature. A creation of your imagination? Most likely a survivor from your darker past. I think you were afraid of him. He knew so much about you, didn't he? But he'll never know how much you meant to my mother, my father, and to your followers. How much you meant to me. You weren't so alone, you know.

I like to think that you left in peace. That you were able to open up and be free. In your final hours, at least, I pretend you were finally able to cut loose some of those barriers you built around yourself and represent who you really were.

Is that why you did it?

I miss mother, father, Rasan.

I miss you…

May you find rest at last.

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Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting
Keep on building the lies
That make up for all that you lack

It don't make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness
Oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here



fleets: A little character analysis because I couldn't find a way to stick this into the chapter without having it stand out like a sore thumb (I know, this is a little bit of cheating)

Why did Vaati want to fight Link with the outcome of Link killing him? - Remember what I wrote about 'staying a friend forever?' The way Vaati feels the closest he can get to someone is through death (IMO). He died with Delta. He died with Link. Plus the whole muddled consciousness was driving him crazy. I think I was only able to imply this slightly in the story, and this is why I felt the need to include this quip here. And for those of you feeling I did Vaati an injustice, well, he was happy at the end. Or should I say at peace. He got what he wanted even though it was rather twisted. I did say the friendship concept in this story was going to be a little messed up, and now that I look back on this, yeah, I think I succeeded in making it messed up. Poor Link, I don't think he really understood Vaati's distorted view, but he left in peace as well. Only Raz left the hard way.

I feel like I might be guilty of half-assing this chapter :(
I almost felt like I was trudging through this whole thing, which disappoints me a little because I'd been looking forward to finally reaching this point.

Anyways, I am officially done with all story writing projects! Woohoo! I'm really happy because I felt like this entire BC related thing needed to be finally over for good. Now I'm free to do as I wish! Which also means I'll be thinking of writing out Avilux next (and surprise surprise, it's another story with you know who). Also in celebration of finally finishing this depressing story, I will be submitting depressing pictures related to this on devart. Get all the depressing out of my system in one go, you know? Before I start the lighter, more comedy adventure oriented Avilux.

Once again, thank you readers! I hope I didn't disappoint any of you during this short run. Till next time

Reily96: Yeah... and I kinda teased some of you with that Rasan piccy I submitted yesterday :P WOO IT'S OVER NOW! (celebration dance)

Midna Hytwilian: My... my multicolored hair??? O.o; (looks at people buried in it) nooooo! lice! hee, just kidding. Thanks for reading this story!

Peka The Corsair: I think most of the cool villains are delusional instead of pure pure evil. I don't really like the purely evil ones... they scare me.

Death-Note-Zelda-Kitty: Don't worry about it~ thank you for the nice comments. They make me happy :)

DarkLinkvsRaineSagefan101: Sad :( But at least now I can start work on Avilux - I think I'm going to go through with it! Be on the watch! :D
And thank you for the continued support I really really appreciate it.