Title: Standing Still

Characters/pairing: Link, Happy Mask Salesman

Prompt: Running

Every day, he hits the ground running.

It's time he needs and time he doesn't have, running himself ragged to save everyone. And every time he turns back the clock, his works get undone, his favours for everyone forgotten. Only the masks remain tangible truth that he was ever there.

And it not enough. If he tries to help the sisters at the ranch, Anju and Kafei don't find each other again. If he struggles against Goht (twice, four times, a dozen times, how many times?) to unfreeze the mountain, Lulu goes voiceless.

And all the while, the moon looms above, an eternal reminder that he can't stop.

Only once, he does. He stays in Clock Town, sleeping in a comfortable bed in the inn every night, ignoring the moon as it gets larger and Anju's face as it gets paler and more drawn, drinking in the milk bar ("Hey, kid, doncha think you've had enough?") and watching listlessly as the town prepares for a carnival that will never happen.

And then he turns back time and does it again.

And all the while, the Happy Mask Salesman is there. No matter what the hour, no matter what the day, he stands beneath the clock tower, the ticking of the clock drawing doom closer every second. He's a fixed point, the calm in the eye of the storm, Termina's doom radiating out from him. Link loves him and hates him for it.

Every day, the Mask Salesman stands still. And still Link runs.