A/N: I don't own these characters, but I do own a copy of SSB. Score.

This is femslash (Zelda/Samus) and it's written strangely and depressingly because I was feeling like a creative little artist when I thought of it. I took great liberties with their characters, especially Sheik, and I hope it doesn't put anyone off too much.

I would really love some reviews, but most of all I want you to enjoy the story! Tell me what you think.


Link sees and doesn't understand why Zelda doesn't understand that everyone is an enemy in this place. She reaches out to the snapping dogs (her teammates, her opponents) and they bite back mercilessly time after time.

He tells her, They'll hurt you one day, princess. So she gives him her best tiny, fake smile that she normally reserves for her father or parades, and then she waltzes away for a few hours.

When she returns, Zelda is so peaceful it hurts to behold.

(Sheik hates her.)

She wants to screw her and hold her down like a rabbit in a trap until she begs for mercy. Sheik wants her enemy and lover to bleed when she cuts her, to scream in agony or ecstasy or something in between. (The in between is what makes her happiest.)

Rage billows and she slashes out with whips and needles and the deadly speed that only kamikazes possess. Her feet kick up dirt and she crushes her opponent's face so hard that she is sure it's broken.

She grins because she's pretending it's someone else's face (someone better) and the audience is thundering her name. The winner is declared, the next fight will begin, and Sheik knows who is on the roster.

(Zelda is happy to win, even though she didn't fight, and Sheik hates her other one, her calm one inside.)

In the corridors, Samus passes her, fully suited and shiny like a star, and Sheik stares from beneath her mask. (Sharp needles, sharp eyes.) The tint is dark, and Sheik can only see herself in the reflection.

She purrs.

Samus loses her fight.

Zelda, who is not quite brutal enough to be a fitting fighter, is being pummeled on the field that has been made to resemble her kingdom. It's so funny that Samus wants to laugh (loud enough for everyone to hear) until her sides burst.

The bounty hunter stands in the crowd, unsuited and inconspicuous but for her muscular body and clever face. She doesn't cheer, and she frightens the children next to her with her stony silence.

(Zelda is kicked so hard in the stomach that she spits blood.)

Samus smiles. Just like Sheik, she decides. They are the same, except that Zelda is daintier.

It's so funny that she isn't laughing at the disgusting lack of skill behind the princess' punches.

Zelda can't land one hit. Sheik could.

She won't transform though. (Not in front of everyone watching. I am not a cop-out she silently screams.) It's a shame, and she's about to lose.

(I am Zelda. I can win.)

But she loses, and the fox and falcon attack each other now that she is gone (disposed of like garbage.) For a split second, her broken body lies in rubble before it disappears to the medics.

It's hysterically funny. Hilarious. Ironic.

(Zelda's tasting her own blood for the first time.)

Samus leaves the arena. She is bored again.

Zelda trains longer than anyone else except the bounty hunter, but they have not said two words to each other since the Hylian arrived on the battleground.

Samus bothers her.

Back home, Zelda had always used her gift of reading people to figure out what they weren't saying. (Her servants knew this well and stood up straight with wide smiles.)

It is something she taught herself without knowing, and her sense of others has been impeccable since her youth.

(Samus never preens or fidgets or anything that would normally give her away.)

The taller woman never looks directly at her. Her eyes glide over her like a specter. Samus is tense, but the meaning behind her raised head and solidly planted feet are lost on Zelda.

(I see you watching, she says. Take it in, princess.)

Zelda thinks she is nothing like Link, the hero she is inexplicitly connected to. He tries to kiss her sometimes, but lately she cares more about fighting, so he gives up without pressing. (Kissing Link is not something she wants.)

She trains more frequently instead.

The green-clad boy tells Samus that Sheik and Zelda are not the same person. The dark assassin is a crude mimicry of some dead race on their home planet, and it seems that the princess created her (him?) to help Link a long time ago.

(Sheik is the one that distracts her. Born of betrayal and desperate to pay it forward.)

Link doesn't ask why she's asking.

To herself it's a weak argument, but some part of Samus wants to keep the two personalities separate in her mind. Zelda is pleasant and pretty and boring and Sheik is lightning and cruelty and sorrow. She (almost) wants to like the dull one, but probably never will.

(Sheik is in the way. And she hates her.)

Sheik, androgynous, mysterious, uncontrollable Sheik is being held at bay by every ancient thread of magic Zelda can muster. She has to meditate at night and in the morning, and sometimes before battle before she can be sure that her alter-ego will not reemerge unbidden.

When she sits (failing to clear her mind) she hears what her opponents say behind her back.

Not quite blonde enough to be a proper princess, whispers Peach.

She's slow. Falco mumbles.

For a sage, Zelda's not very sure of herself. Link says sadly.

Link, of all people, claims to be her friend. They have grown distant, but this is not a surprise to the princess. He has so many suitors now that he's famous in the war world. It should hurt, she knows, that he visits with lovely women so frequently.

(But she doesn't even miss him.)

Zelda hangs her head. She's not paying attention again, and Sheik itches at the back of her mind.

We've been paired for a match.

Zelda's eyes open slowly, she had been alone a moment ago.

It's her bedroom, and no one knocked at her door, but Samus strode in anyway. She tosses a folder into her lap and a prickly paperclip jabs into her stomach, but Zelda refuses to flinch.

Samus stares down (distaste, distaste, distaste written all over her face) measuring out her next words.

I would have picked anyone but you.

Her jaw drops, unladylike and honest, and Zelda feels like fire. Sheik is rising, Sheik is spitting ash in Samus' horrible (gorgeous) face, Sheik wants to tie her up and let her burn.

Zelda closes her mouth, swallowing the death that Sheik unleashes. She's calm again.

Please leave, she says.

Samus does.

The folder contains information about their challengers, their location, the time limits. Zelda reads about tomorrow's partner and cries a little bit before she goes to sleep.

The Ice Climbers and Pit are very young, younger even than Zelda.

(Children to her, children that need protection.)

Zelda's magic is pitiful when her heart isn't in it, and Samus can't hold them off alone. (Can she?) These people can't expect her to attack angels and babies like this. (Just babies, newborns.) They are the personification of innocence, of everything good, but the crowd is howling for their heads.

Zelda refuses.

Evasive defenses are all she can manage. Jump, teleport, duck, move. Don't hit them, don't hit them!

(Sheik is foaming at the mouth. Bite, bleed them out.)

Transform! Screams Samus. Her voice is tinny and electronic through her orange suit. Attack! Transform, you idiot!

Zelda shakes her head (Sheik hates her) and avoids the shattered ice that flips toward her face. They're losing very quickly, and Samus is doing all the work anyway.

Arrows, mallets, snapping bones and screaming fans are too much for the Hylian. She's taken by surprise (slashed across the back) and she remembers nothing but darkness.

Everyone else heals faster than she does, so Zelda is alone in the infirmary.

The pain in her back remains, but she knows they have a new kind of magic (technology, they call it) that will repair the damage by tomorrow morning.

She walks barefoot to her own room, feeling the cold tile floor under her toes. (Did Samus win?)

Her disappointment is tangible. She feels worthless as usual.

The light in her room is already on, and she sees a shadow cast from another form. Samus stands against a wall, staring at the entrance. Her posture is tight like a loaded gun.

You almost lost that match for me, she growls.

Her fist shoots out and Zelda hears her jaw click and her skull crashes into the wall. She's dizzy but she hears should have become Sheik, and her nose is pouring blood and her arm is twisted behind her shoulders and a knee presses against her back.

Hands are in her hair (Sheik is waking) and Samus pounds her into the floor over and over. There's a cherry puddle on the ground.

Finally, Zelda is silent, unconscious.

(Ragged breaths. This violence is like sex.)

Samus rises, waiting for her breathing to steady. She sits on her partner's bed. When the princess gets up she will explain how to win fights and be ruthless. She will apologize for overreacting, but not for hurting her. Pain is natural here.

She'll drag Zelda back to the infirmary and maybe even stay with her just so she knows there is no lasting animosity between them. But for now, the royal ragdoll is facedown (she looks beautiful and heartbreaking and Samus almost regrets what her hands have done) but she'll lift her on the bed and make her more comfortable.

Samus bends down to pick her up.

Red eyes open, Sheik is here now, coursing through Zelda's body.

(Predator and prey.)

Samus leans back. She's made a mistake.

Sheik is faster than Samus, even when Zelda's body is slowing her. It's an incomplete transformation, splicing them together when they should always be apart.

Sheik pounces (blood under her nails) and Samus falls to the floor. (Role reversal, irony to both of them.) Muffled screams fill the room.

She backs her into the sharp corner of a table, splitting the flesh near her ribs, and Sheik's knee drives into her mouth.

The pounding noises would make the sleeping Zelda sick to her stomach.

Their faces match in dripping red, and Samus realizes she has never been beaten like this. There is no suit to protect her breaking skin and throbbing head. She's on her back and Sheik isn't stopping, grinning and grunting with every blow.

(Like hitting an apple with a hammer.)

And then, suddenly, it's not Sheik hitting her. It's Zelda, but she's still smiling. Pale hands drench and never cease. Noble fingers close around Samus' throat and she'll die on her back like stupid turtle.

(They are the same, all two of them. They see now.)

The winner is declared.

Zelda's hands flatten on the ground, away from her grasp of the bounty hunter, and she puts their lips together softly. Zelda is kissing her (tasting blood, hers and not hers) and Sheik isn't biting her and Samus is just happy she isn't dying anymore.

(Sheik is leashed forever.)

Zelda lays next to her, sorrow sliding out like the blood-river on the floor.

The white lights of the hospital drown the color from the women, but Link can still make out the undertones of spotty purple bruises across their bodies.

His sword and shield feel heavier.

The women are sleeping still.

He was the one who found them, who brought them here. (Link always saves the day.) He asked the semi-conscious Samus what happened, but she said nothing that made sense to him. (Nothing he wanted to hear.)

Sheik's gone.

As he sits in the sterile room, he wonders why he's worked so hard to save Zelda from monsters when she's carried one inside for so long. (She's warped glass.) The princess opens her blue eyes with a look of concern. Link knows she doesn't want to see him.

(They hurt her today, just as he promised. Still she wants them. Still she reaches out.)

She's over there, he says. Zelda smiles.

It is enough to make the hero leave.

He feels like an intruder anyway.

The strange language Samus hears when she is half-asleep reminds her of the mourning songs of the alien races of her past. It's prettier though, with a better melody.

Samus takes a deep breath.

The singing stops.

Before her eyes is the slim figure of a woman sitting at the edge of her bed. (Back straight, unrelaxed like a stately creature should be.) Samus can make out pointy ears through her light-brown hair.

"Thank you," says Zelda.

(Vulnerable and just a bit frigid. The usual.)

Samus hates being seen in a hospital bed, but she settles when she notices the medical gown on the princess at her feet. It is not completely tied.

"Your back is blue," Samus tells her.

The mystical Hylian turns to look at her, curiosity stained on her face. The words confuse her like an unsolvable puzzle.

"It will heal?"

(It's a question, not a statement.)

Samus nods.


A cleansing emptiness fills Zelda's head, and she goes back to her own bed. She stares at Samus and Samus stares back (just like old times.) They are as battered as trees in a hurricane, skin all blue and red on white.

But their bodies heal over time, and they can't pull their eyes away from the process.