Quick Author's note: Nintendo owns everything except several invented names. If this story seems familiar, that is because it is a revamp of a story from my old account many years ago. I'm aware it starts a bit slowly, but exposition is necessary, trust me. This story is rated T, mostly for violence. It should probably be rated M, but I'm a softie. I warned you.
The Legend of Zelda: Storm of the Goddesses
The goddesses never left the land they created. This was the first thing the legend misrepresented. They retreated to the heavens to watch the land grow and the people change, and they felt every alteration made to the fabric of time. They felt pain when the Sacred Realm was ripped open, screamed as the land was tortured and burned, and wept as the people were destroyed. Din lost control over the earth, and the volcanoes began raining fire. As the people were twisted by war, Nayru's wisdom was lost. But Farore's courage held strong in the hearts of the pure.
One of these pure, a mere boy at the war's outbreak, was marked as the Hero. Trapped for seven years, he slept. The goddesses protected the Hero, and gave him what power they could. When he awoke, all he had come to love was changed. Faced with the end of days, the Hero, still barely more than a boy, rose to lead the fight for Hyrule.
If he had a real name, none knew it.
He was simply called Link.
King of Thieves, a phrase which could harbor no positive meaning, was the title Ganondorf had attached to himself. Indeed, he had stolen the land itself away from its rightful keepers. He had bereft the people of their king, ripped away his palace, and built a new fortress over the ruins. The land was newly populated with his demons and Gerudo pawns. His desire for absolute rule was almost fulfilled.
The man sat on a throne of twisted metal and bone, a regal cape draping down around his armored legs. He tapped a dark-skinned finger against the arm of the throne. His red eyes flashed anger at the news before him.
"This means nothing," he barked, interrupting the young woman, "unless you can tell me where they're hiding."
The Gerudo took a slight step back, "No, my king. We do not know."
"Then what use are you?" he waved a hand brusquely and the woman bowed, backing out of the throne room.
Ganondorf sat back, staring at the far wall. He spun a jeweled ring around a finger. The firelight moved shadows around the circular room, and the dark-tapestried walls seemed to release a sigh of moisture. Sensing a presence behind him, he leaned his head toward it.
"You heard that?" he asked.
"Yes," came the silky answer.
"Damn them," he knocked a fist against the throne, "I can't find them."
"I encountered our mysterious friend again."
The woman stepped closer, stopping beside the throne, "He's certainly fast enough. I think he really is Sheikah."
Ganondorf breathed laughter into his fist, "So Impa had a child?"
He laughed fully and turned to look at the woman, "And the boy escaped you again?"
"The boy," she echoed in disgust, red hair swishing, "I assume you mean the one they call the Hero."
"Yes, he escaped. I lost eight women."
Ganondorf laughed again, "Come, pet. They are nothing to me. I care about the boy. Where did he go?"
She shifted weight, "We tracked him toward the fields, then lost him. He may have used magic."
"I have an idea where he's going."
"You said there was a fairy with him."
The man smiled, "you also said you injured it."
"One of the guards thinks she shot the thing. The boy reacted, in any case."
Ganondorf stood up, moved by the thought. He stepped onto the landing beneath the throne, pausing.
"He'll go to Death Mountain. The Great Fairy is the only one who could heal the creature."
The woman chuckled.
"I'm sending three of your fighters," said Ganondorf curtly, "and I'm going on a separate, personal errand. You and your detail will keep the palace while I'm away."
"Yes, my lord."
He walked toward the ornate doorway, boots clacking on the black marble floor. He ran a hand over his red hair, stopping just before he touched the door handle.
He turned slightly, "And, Nabooru?"
"Yes, my lord."
His tone dropped, "Do not lose the boy again."
"No, my lord."
The Princess Zelda had disappeared.
More accurately, she had disappeared into hiding, kept safe by her guardian and the remainder of her loyal subjects.
The day the palace fell, the princess saw her life crumble. She watched as the Gerudo King ran her father through with a sword, she stumbled past the dead bodies of her maidservants, and was carried over the river of blood by her protector. She saw the boy from the forest as she rode away, and threw to him the last sacred relic.
She would not see him again for seven years.
And when she did see him, it was from afar, or disguised as a man.
Impa, her loyal protector, had taught her to use her magic to change her shape. Years of practice and training had perfected the illusion. None but Impa knew the truth, that the young man claiming to be the last Sheikah and the lost princess were one and the same.
In this disguise, the princess discussed a plan of action with Impa.
They leaned against the wooden railing of a balcony extending from a safehouse in Kakariko Village. The sun, low in the sky, cast golden shades over the lazy buildings, the general quiet of the day falling into silence as night approached.
"He's headed this way," sighed the young man, "and he'll go through the village."
"To the mountain?" Impa asked, brushing away silver tendrils of hair.
Sheik nodded, adjusting a wristguard.
"His fairy was hurt. The Great Fairy can heal her."
"No healing potion would suffice?"
Impa shrugged, "I have a bad feeling."
"You always say that," Sheik turned around, back against the railing, "because nothing good has happened in years."
"I'll follow him, if it makes you feel any better."
"Worse, in fact," Impa looked at the man, "I'd rather we not play games, princess."
"There is no one around. Your life is every bit as important as his."
Sheik regarded the setting sun, looking away when the yellow light became too strong. Gold hair covered the young man's eyes, and a short scarf hid his nose and mouth, wrapping around his head. Not that it mattered. No one would have noticed anything but a strong resemblance to the princess in his features.
"Impa..." he mumbled, "I've forgotten who I am."
"Who you are..." Impa took his hand and pulled away a strip of cloth to reveal the mark of the Triforce, "... is this."
"And this," Impa touched the man's chest over his heart, "in which you are the princess."
"I wish I weren't."
"What?" the Sheikah woman's body gave a small start.
He shook his head, "In this disguise, I can use the anger, the hatred... I can turn it into power and focus, you taught me how. But as myself, I just... I can't get past the sadness."
"Child..." Impa touched her ward's shoulder.
A knock on the door behind them interrupted the quiet moment. Impa opened the wooden door, and the elderly shopkeeper leaned out of the doorway.
"You said to tell you," he rasped, "if any newcomers were to wander in. There's a man down there."
"Thank you," Impa said.
The shopkeeper nodded and glanced between the woman and the young man, then closed the door on himself.
"Zelda?" Impa's voice was quiet.
"Bye," came the answer.
Sheik vaulted the railing and sailed through the air, landing on all fours far below and rolling to a stop outside the chicken pen. A twinge of magic and he was gone.
Impa stared at the space for a moment, then turned and retreated into the shop. She had little to do but wait and hope for more miracles. She wondered if perhaps there were some things miracles could not help.
Ordinarily, he garnered no attention from those he passed. Anyone inclined to notice a new face might think that his was handsome, and that his gait was confident. But as he stumbled through the gate of Kakariko Village, the Hero stood out vividly.
The young man was obviously exhausted, but no one moved to help him. No one moved at all, but stared at the fury in his eyes. His clothing was tattered, and one arm was held tightly to his body. As he passed the curious villagers, climbing the stone steps leading to Death Mountain's base, he pulled free a sword from the scabbard on his back.
As he reached the abandoned checkpoint, a voice called out.
"You there, lad!"
He turned. A man with greying hair took a few steps forward, gesturing toward the volcano.
"You're mad if you go up there," the man said earnestly, "there's monsters on that trail!"
Link regarded the outsider with an even gaze. Several people began to whisper, pointing at the young man's torn shirt and disheveled hair.
"I've seen worse," Link answered, and turned away.
"You're daft, lad!" the man yelled after him.
Link ignored this and walked forward, glancing up the height of the mountain and hoping he could make it. His eyes darted to his left hand, cradled against his chest. In his palm lay a tiny figure, a shivering fairy with a missing wing.
"Hang on, Navi," he whispered to her.
She didn't reply.
Link pushed his dirty, gold hair away from his face and focused on the trail, trying to keep his senses sharp.
By nightfall, he'd reached Great Fairy's abode. Why she'd chosen to live by the top of an active volcano, only the goddesses knew. Link cursed her judgement in vulgar phrases as he fell against the wall of stone. He brushed his ear against a sharp rock, his movements made clumsy by the heat and several newly acquired wounds. He looked at Navi again.
Her glow had faded to a faint glimmer of light, the remainder of her tattered wing leaving a jagged bloodstain on Link's leather gauntlet. She gave no sign of movement.
He pushed himself away from the wall and willed his feet to carry him through the doorway. He stopped short just inside, legs giving out. Falling to his knees, he tried to keep the hand holding Navi straight. His other hand spread on the floor and supported him as he tried to regain balance.
The fountain, a moment away, gleamed at him from a distance which seemed to elongate itself before his eyes. He had no magic left to empower himself, he'd used it to cross the country. His strength was gone, and there were only a few yards between his hand and his goal.
"Please..." he urged his body forward, but his vision trembled and darkened swiftly. He fell to one side, plunged into blackness, mumbling protests against his weakness.
A figure in the doorway walked silently toward the Hero.
Zelda, disguised, knelt beside Link and gently lifted the fairy from his outstretched hand. She moved swiftly to the fountain and placed the small body beside the water. Her hand moved rapidly through the air, summoning a lyre. A few notes of the royal lullaby rang and echoed in the round cavern.
With a burst of magic, the Great Fairy appeared above the fountain's center. Her pink hair flowed of its own accord, her flawless face and glowing body standing out against the gentle blue-white of the marbled cavern. She regarded the visitor, the unconscious man far behind, and the little body before her. Then she laughed loudly.
"Little Sheikah boy," she giggled, leaning over the forest fairy, "your friends have the worst luck."
"Can you heal her?" Zelda asked bluntly.
"Well, of course," the Great Fairy smiled coyly, "why else am I here?"
Zelda resisted voicing an obscene insult, "Will you? Please."
The Great Fairy winked and held a hand over Navi's still frame. At the edge of the ripped wing, the bleeding flesh glowed and began to knit, then extended, the glow multiplying to form the shape of a full wing. The light spread through the fairy's body, then faded suddenly.
The Great Fairy pulled back, "There. She'll wake in a moment."
"And him?" The Great Fairy pointed a sharp finger toward Link, "He's a familiar face. Shall I heal him, too?"
"If you would..." Zelda trailed off, seeing Navi stir.
The forest fairy shook, bright blue glow rapidly returning until her body's outline was lost in the flare.
"Link?" came her high-pitched voice.
Navi floated upwards to hover before Sheik's face, "You!"
Zelda said nothing, unable to deny herself a hidden smile. The fairy flew over the princess' shoulder and darted back and forth over Link's body.
"Link?" she circled, "Link! Wake up! Get up---"
She broke off in a gasp, landing on the ground.
"I... I can fly?" she paused, apparently realizing her surroundings.
The Great Fairy laughed again, "I healed you, little one!"
"Thank you," Navi flew closer to the fountain, "but what about Link? Is he hurt badly? I don't remember anything after---"
"He's passed out," Sheik said, walking back over to the Hero, "but he isn't dying."
Sheik slid strong arms under Link's shoulders and lifted him partially, dragging him over to the fountain. He squatted beside the Hero's limp body.
The peace in the young man's face was a rare sight. Sheik, giving in to the impulse to brush the golden wisps away from Link's closed eyes, wondered when there would be no more need for disguises.
"My, my," purred the Great Fairy.
"Heal him," Sheik snapped harshly, standing.
The Great Fairy raised her arms and the light of the fountain rushed to the Hero's tired body.
In the radiant, healing light, Sheik slipped away.
After a prolonged moment, the light faded, and the Hero awoke on the pedestal before the fountain. He sat up quickly.
"Navi?" he asked, but she was already floating before him. He stared at her, then looked at the fountain. The Great Fairy was gone.
"She healed us, Link," Navi said unnecessarily.
"How did..." he flexed his arm, "I didn't..."
"Sheik saved us."
Link glanced around the cavern, already knowing the man was gone. He pushed himself up and stood, feeling completely aware for the first time in weeks.
"Thanks," he waved to the fountain.
"Let's go," Navi urged, "we need to find a place to stay."
Link turned and stepped off the pedestal, "I was thinking outside."
"That could be dangerous," she followed him down the short hall leading outdoors, "Ganondorf's spies are everywhere, what if they see us?"
"Well, Navi," he tried to keep the teasing edge from his voice, "if they didn't see us on the way up, we might as well stay."
"I'm not sleeping in your smelly hat again!"
"I lost the hat anyways," he sighed, settling back into the routine banter.
"We need a second plan, I say we go down to..."
Link allowed himself to stop listening to his friend and think over the mystery of Sheik, the abandoning savior.