Chapter Twenty-Four: Epilogue – It's All About Heart
Title: The Legend of Zelda: The Beast Within
Author: Hikari no Vikki
Disclaimer: Seriously, do I look like I own this?
Description: Zelda/Kingdom Hearts crossover. Sora, Donald, and Goofy land in Hyrule. At the same time, Twilight begins to blanket it. Will our heroes be able to aid a simple farm boy named Link in conquering the Twilight, or will they all perish in the shadows?
(sniffs) It's over… this is like the first multi-chapter fic I've ever finished in less than a year. I'm really proud of myself. Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed this wonderful ride, and will enjoy this touching, final installment of the Legend of Zelda: Beast Within.
Link's fingers trailed Midna's human-like face in the setting sun. He shook his head, still baffled by her transformation. "How did they…? Was it because of Ganondorf's death?" She shrugged. "I suppose. You like what you see?"
Link choked on his breath with a laugh.
"Oh, Midna. You're the same as ever. I suppose even beauty such as yours has limits on your personality." She scowled playfully. "Hey! I resent that!"
He laughed again and shook his head. "Hey, come on. If we stay here much longer the other will wonder what's taking so long." She grinned again. "What? Would you like to give them a show?" Link was stunned, but recovered quickly. "Now, now my love. Let's not rush things."
She sighed. "I'd like to remind you that we don't have much time to dawdle with this gift we've been given. If possible, I want to be with you every night." Link was puzzled. "Every night? We're not… traveling through the portals?" She shook her head and pointed to the sky.
"I destroyed them all so that we might have a little more time together. If I'm right, it's at least a week's journey back to the Arbiter's Grounds. But… that's all the time I can buy for us both. No more than that." She stared intensely at the dirt as if it were the most interesting thing in the world. "Come, put on a smile for the others. We still have to find the heart of Hyrule, but no one knows where it is."
Midna gave a start. "Oh! Actually… I do. Where's Sora?"
Link connected his arm his hers and they walked arm in arm back to where Sora and the rest of the group stood. Princess Zelda came up to Midna, and they bowed to each other in respect.
"Well, it seems as though peace is to return to this world," Zelda observed, "all thanks to you." Midna blushed lightly, but did not let this hinder her words. "Oh, you flatter me, Princess. I actually need to say one more thing to help out a friend. Sora? Come here please." Sora stood in front of her at once. He looked her over.
"Is this what you normally look like? You look… very nice." She chuckled. "Why thank you. But this is not what I wanted to tell you. Do you remember when you asked me about Hyrule's heart?" Sora nodded vigorously. "Are you saying you know where it is? Well…?" He was trying his best not to push her too quickly.
"Sora, you're standing in it."
Sora blinked, and everyone backed away as the point of the Keyblade began to glow brightly. A key-shaped indent in the grass that swayed in the sweet wind glowed along with it. Then, a short burst of power shot from its tip, entering the heart and sealing it away from the Heartless forever.
"Hmm," Xemnas hummed, as though realizing something.
"What?" Saïx asked him. Xemnas surveyed the lush landscape. "To think… we searched for the Keyhole in all the wrong places… it was in the exact heart of the place, if one looked at a map, and after all, aren't these fields burdened with Hyrule's namesake?" Saïx blinked, thinking for a moment. "You're right. There's so much of it, too. I guess it goes to show that it doesn't have to be in some conspicuous shut-off place to be the location of a world's heart."
Saïx smiled. "I wonder if the same goes for people." Xemnas purred. "And hearts? Does it matter?" He nuzzled his nose into Saïx's hair, and then turned the bluenette around in his arms for a consuming kiss.
When the light show finished, Sora stared at his Keyblade in wonder, then back around to all of his friends, new, old, and in-between. It felt good to be surrounded by them all in such a moment of triumph. Princess Zelda approached him, Link and Midna walking in step behind her, their arms linked.
"I take it that we won't be bothered by those creatures anymore?" Zelda asked politely, ever so delicately.
"Well," Sora began, hesitant, "they won't take over Hyrule and completely destroy your home, but… well, there's always a chance they can come back. But don't worry; we have ways of knowing if you're in trouble. We'll come back if you need help, right guys?" He glanced back and Donald, Goofy and the others.
They all gave a (more or less) hearty cheer of, "Right!"
Zelda smiled. "We cannot thank you enough."
"Aw, shucks!" Goofy muttered. Donald quacked softly and blushed. Link stepped forward. "When will you be leaving?" Sora frowned. "Well, I don't know. We were hoping to… well, you know. See that Midna got back to the Twilight Realm." Midna nodded. "All right. That sounds reasonable. We'll have to travel on foot because the portals are gone."
Her voice was light and airy, as if holding back some emotion. Sora had the distinct impression that Midna herself had put the portals out of commission just to have a little more time with Link. He didn't mind. They probably needed it, the both of them.
They decided to wait until the next morning to start out from the Castle Town, after having bought six sets of Tents (one for Midna and Link, Sora and Roxas, Saïx and Xemnas, Zexion and Demyx, Donald and Goofy, and of course, Axel and Princess Zelda who decided they would share) and enough provisions for the weeklong journey.
It took three days to reach the lake.
The first day was spent with idle chitchat mostly between the paired groups such as Demyx and Zexion, and those without were silent. At least… it was so until Axel decided to strike up a conversation with Princess Zelda, of course.
"So what do you make of Link?" Zelda seemed stunned. "Whatever do you mean?" Axel tilted his head. "You look after him like a lovesick puppy, Princess. You're good at hiding it, but still. Do you like him?" Zelda tried her hardest not to scowl, and when she could not, she looked the other way. "I… I suppose. He is rather handsome. But I'm not about to take Midna's place when she's gone; he'll want some time to pursue other favors, probably. And to wrap his head around things."
Axel reproached her gently. "Now, now. That sounds like an excuse to me. Sure, why don't you give him some time, but eventually you should let him know that you have feelings for him. Unless you want to marry someone else and quite possibly pass up the opportunity to help him heal and obtain your soulmate in one fell swoop then, sure. Go for it."
Zelda scowled again, thankful that the both of them had some distance from the others and could not be heard.
But, Zelda did realize by the time the night of their second day of travel had come upon them, that Axel's words did hold some grain of truth, however much she did not wish to acknowledge it.
They sat around the fire that night in a huddled circle, everyone chattering anxiously about what they'd do when they got to the lake. "I'd really like to take the Cuccos again," Demyx said, "but I don't know if everyone else would like to go." He turned to his partner. "Zex? What do you think?" Zexion, who had been thoroughly engrossed in his Lexicon, looked up sharply. His single visible eye surveyed the group, and for a while it seemed like he wasn't going to say anything until finally: he closed his book.
Moving closer to the fire, he said, "We should probably look for a way to traverse the mountains downward on foot. For the ladies' dignity of course." Axel snorted. "Wow, was that a joke, Zexion? I didn't know you had it in you." Zexion chuckled and proceeded to grin. "Why, of course, Axel. I've been saving them all, just for your embarrassment. Oh, excuse me, I meant amusement."
Everyone laughed, even Zelda, while Axel sat there, fuming (quite literally, in fact).
The next night Zexion had enough courage to strike up a conversation on his own. Inevitably it was about a way down the mountainside to the lake, but near the time they'd set to retire, Demyx took Zexion aside and praised him in a shower of kisses for his improvement.
Link and Midna had been sneaking off these past nights when everyone was asleep, left to their own explorative devices.
Often, if one woke up late enough, erotic cries could be heard, and one would just smile slyly, thinking, "It's about damn time," and go back to bed. After all, they had only seven nights in which to love each other in the most complete ways they could; it was only natural for the both of them to want what they did each night.
The fourth night (the first in the desert) was their most adventuresome one, however.
Sora and Roxas were talking to each other in their tent, exploring the realms of their relationship as far as they were willing to go when they heard Midna's girlish moans from somewhere off in the sands.
"Link… I want you to tease me. You can do that, right?"
Link's heavy breathing came to their ears and Roxas was definitely aroused from the sound. He groaned. "Damn… we should listen to them more often…" Sora chuckled. "No, you're just a pervert. Want to keep listening before I take care of you?" Roxas rolled his eyes but they both wanted to hear what was going on so he quickly shut up to listen.
"Ah… sure. Right." Where they were, Link was grinning devilishly. He moved in for the kill, ravishing his beloved with kisses in all areas of her body, nipping occasionally until her moans became loud and needy.
Roxas rolled over and moaned into the pillow.
"I can't take it anymore, Sora… just do it, all right?!" Sora grinned. This was a far cry from what Roxas had first been willing to do the first night of travel. They weren't quite ready for actual carnal consummation, but a blowjob wasn't too far off…
Link lay on the sand, roughly spent. Midna sat up, having taken her fill of him, and stroked his member, which twitched. Link's eyes snapped open. "Midna, what…?"
She held a finger to his lips.
"Just trust me. I can't leave you without pleasuring you at least once. So stay as quiet as possible and enjoy this, all right?"
It was an adventuresome night indeed.
For Saïx and Xemnas, their biggest challenge was actually talking to each other when they were alone, for each night of their journey. Xemnas was always the one to start it, and finish it, the first few nights. The nights in the desert, though, changed things.
On the fifth night, Saïx had his head propped up with his right arm, trailing the delicate brown skin of his beloved Superior. He had taken great lengths to remember to call him Xemnas instead, but part of him secretly wanted to call him his Superior again.
"Xemnas?" He asked, his wistful, content expression replaced with one of polite inquiry.
Xemnas nodded briefly, wondering why this sudden change in his Berserker had come about. "Yes, Saïx?" Saïx turned on his stomach and propped his head up with both arms. "Well, I was wondering…" he said, looking away a little, "I know you don't like me calling you Superior and such, but…"
Xemnas nodded. "Go on…" he prodded gently.
Saïx nodded. "Well, maybe I could still call you that when we're alone? Just the both of us? Because I find it quite…" he searched for a word, any word. Then he had it. He grinned devilishly, moved in closer, and whispered to Xemnas when he was hardly an inch away, "… arousing."
Needless to say, Saïx got his wish that night, and every night thereafter.
Even with all the improvements, the laughter, the merry-making… with each night, a certain sadness within grew darker that seemed to haunt them even as they tried desperately to shake it. (Axel and Zelda had to make do without the ways their companions had of smoothing over the hurt – excluding Donald and Goofy)
They stood in front of the deserted Arbiter's Grounds, somber and silent. Midna, arm in arm with Link, took the first silent step onto the threshold and entered the former prison.
It wasn't long before they reached the Mirror Chamber.
Link's heart was heavy. Despite what he'd said the night before, no matter how much his words would come true, this moment was still too much to bear. But, he'd kept his gauntlets on.
Midna stood before them at the entrance to the Twilight Realm, the portal glowing brightly just as it had the day they'd set out to destroy Zant.
"Well… I guess this is farewell, huh?" Midna said sheepishly, shrugging.
Link offered a brief smile before looking down at the ground. Only Saïx, Xemnas, Axel, and Princess Zelda could stand to meet her gaze. "Light and shadow can't mix, as well all know." Demyx scowled. "Do you have to put it that way?" Zexion rubbed his partner's back gently.
"But… never forget there's another world bound to this one."
Sora and Roxas looked up, first at each other, nodding in understanding, then finally at Midna.
"Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin," Zelda said quietly, "One cannot exist without the other. I know now the reason the goddesses left the Mirror of Twilight in this world… they left it because it was their design that we should meet."
"Perhaps," piped Roxas, "and the fact that all hearts that wander into one another leave a lasting impression that cannot be shaken. A friendship that goes beyond the complicated processes of the hearts themselves and endures into forever." He nodded to Axel, who winked in return. He knew full well what the blonde was getting at.
Zelda nodded. "I believe so as well."
Midna, having been silent through it all, looked up at Zelda. "Zelda… your words are kind… are your heart is true. If all in Hyrule are like you… then maybe you'll do all right."
She turned to walk away, stopping only when the clear steps appeared as she stepped onto the sensor pad.
"Thank you…" she said softly her eyes locked on Link, "Well, the Princess spoke truly: as long as that mirror's around, we could meet again…" He looked up, not daring to be hopeful, but simply to meet her gaze. A single tear fell from her cheek and floated into the air. She pushed it forward, and then rushed up the steps.
At the last one, she sighed. This was even harder for her.
"Link… I… remember me."
He nodded. He knew what she meant. He put his hand over his heart. So did she. Remembering… would be enough. It had to. She stood there, statue still as the tear came in contact with the mirror's centre, cracking it. The familiar, brilliantly beautiful light shone, taking her away piece by heartbreaking piece.
"I love you," she whispered.
Then the mirror… shattered.
Link trembled, struggling to stay standing, until finally he clung to Princess Zelda's shoulders out of desperation.
"It'd gonna be okay, Link," Zelda told him. Link pulled enough of himself together to meet her eyes and he was stunned by her words. "How can you be so sure?" He asked her timidly. She just smiled. "I just know. It's all about heart; yours, and mine." She pointed to his heart, then her own. He relaxed and then nodded.
"It's gonna be okay," he said with finality.
The both of them turned to the former Organization members, Sora, Donald, and Goofy. "So, you're all leaving?" Zelda asked politely. She glanced at Axel, who nodded. Perhaps not now, but she knew Axel was right. Sora nodded in response to her question, but he was all smiles despite the situation.
"Yeah. But we'll come back to visit someday, right guys?"
Again everyone gave a hearty, "Right!" and nodded to emphasize. Zelda nodded. "May the goddesses be with you."
As they turned to leave Sora and the others knew that they would always be with them no matter what, their hearts connected over all of the worlds. Truly, they would always be there for one another.
Ah! Finally! It's done! Whoo! Wow…
Anyway, back to what I was saying earlier, I really can't thank you all enough. I just love it when I complete a story, especially one this long… Now, I've written two oneshots for The Writer Who Writes, and xXxBloodDeathLovexXx, two of my favorite reviewers. The first is a Midna/Link lemon and the second is an Axel/Roxas (AkuRoku) lemon. Here they are: (just take those bits of the URLs and paste them into yours if you want to read them, since I can't post the whole thing)
Midna x Link – It Will Be Enough
Axel x Roxas – Goodbye
If you would be so kind as to review either of these fics (plus this one! :D) it would be much appreciated. Although just you reading it makes me happy too. ^_^
And so, I bid you adieu. Oh! Wait! I need you all to go to my profile and vote on my poll of which story I should work on next! Please, pretty please, with a cherry on top? The polls close on January 1, 2010, so hurry, hurry! Kthnx. Love you all. Au revoir, my friends, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (Or whatever it is you celebrate at this time of year. :3)