Seeking Solace

It was a beautiful day in Kokoriki Forest as well as the fifth day into Link and Soren's vacation to Hyrule. Upon marrying the Hylian, Soren wanted to learn everything about him, starting with his origins. The first three days had been spent in Zelda's castle, but the fourth night had been spent in Link's small tree house. The two lovers had found it rather accommodating.

Now, however, Soren was enjoying the day, propped up against a tree reading his tome. He found the small clearing uncommonly peaceful, and was glad for a break from their hectic traveling.

Although, that was about to change; Link had just gotten a perturbed message from Zelda, requesting his presence at her castle. He was ready to board Epona and ride to the castle, but the sight of Soren sitting so peacefully by the river made him feel guilty for wanting to take him from it.

The sage became aware of his lover's presence and set aside his reading with a smile. "Link," he greeted kindly.

The blonde approached with a guilty smile in his face. "Hey, um… Dearest Soren, Zelda wants me back at the castle as soon as possible." The spell caster winced at the prospect of another day of traveling. "But since you look just so cute, do you think you could stay here in the forest and wait for me?"

The branded's crimson eyes lit up. He reached up and gave his husband a light hug. "That would be nice. I've never been too fond of horses; no offense to Epona."

"Nah, she understands," the Hylian replied, placing a chaste kiss on Soren's lips. "I'll ride there, take care of my business, and be home by dinner. Sound fair?"

The sage nodded. "Fair enough." He gave his husband a more passionate kiss before he left. He watched Link slowly walk away, backwards, to keep his husband in view for as long as possible. "Don't trip!" the spell caster called with a soft chuckle before returning to his book.

The day was quiet, with nothing but the trickle of the river to keep him company. He enjoyed the noise for some time before a foreboding feeling set into his heart. He tentatively closed the book and looked around. All at once, he became aware of a shadow looming above, so the tactician lurched forward and whirled around. What he saw took his breath away.

Stepping out from behind the tree was none other than his beloved husband; or rather a dark mockery of him. The figure matched Link flawlessly, accept the clone wore black instead of Link's green, had black hair instead of blonde, and deep crimson eyes that matched the sage's.

Soren swallowed and forced his voice to work. "Who are you?" he asked, doing his best to sound calm and collected despite his unease.

The shadow clone's eyes glistened with malicious intent. A crooked smirk spread across his sinister face as he advanced on the youth. "I can feel it," he said, his voice smooth and deep despite its resemblance to Soren's spouse's. "You are his one."

The tactician's eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about?"

The dark mockery smirked and advanced quickly on the sage to where he was looming directly over the startled branded. "You and I are going to have so much fun," he informed, reaching for his dark replica of the Master Sword.

But before the clone could strike, Soren whipped out his dagger and plunged it into the double's neck. While the creature was busy trying to remove the weapon, the sage rushed over and picked up his tome. "I demand to know who you are!" he shouted, hoping to distract the twin while he found the appropriate page.

The shadow stood easily, despite his wound. He made a low sound, somewhat of a twisted chuckle as he slid the dagger out of his neck. "Fast, aren't ya?"

"Tell me!" Soren repeated, momentarily looking down to make sure he had found the spell. When he looked up, the clone was gone. The sage would have been relieved, had he not felt the cool steel of a sword sliding across his throat.

The dark twin's face appeared on his shoulder and whispered in the tactician's ear, "Dark Link."

There was a sharp pain in the back of Soren's head before the world around him went dark.

(End Chapter 1)