Previously on Rivers Need Springs: Wolf Link, Zelda, Aryll, Zant, Midna, Olathe, and Amadeus tried to escape but the guards shot and killed Olathe. Enraged, Midna demanded that they find Ganondorf and look for Aryll and Zant (who had gone missing right before Olathe's death). They discover that Ganondorf used to be a very important figure in spreading diversity with Twilits and Hylians but stopped after his adoptive Twilit son was killed by a racist Twilit. Apparently, this turned him bitter and eventually led him to plan genocide. He then injects something into Link that causes him to turn human and only has two minutes to live due to the Crepusculumcytes attacking his heart. Midna, using her enhanced Twilit abilities, transfers Amadeus' soul into the Blue Eyed Beast's body, making Amadeus now a wolf and Link a normal human. In their glee, Zelda kisses Link. :D
And that's all you need to know for Rivers Need Springs.
This is it guys, the final chapter for the story and the last time I'll be apologizing for how late I always am with these updates! Especially this one because I'm over a month late. Holidays are busy times I tell you.
So I'm going to do the acknowledgements at the end of this chapter but I will still thank all the people who reviewed last chapter, so thank you Airplane, Zelda and maximum ride fan (anonymous review), Canada Cowboy, Legend of Zelda 4 Life, Chiharu-angel, la generala, Star Cyber 2, , MythCreatorWriter, Sparty the Bold, LoZfanD (anonymous), and Kattheamazing.
Please enjoy the final update!
Chapter Eleven – Never Take the Last Roll of Toilet Paper
Link and Aryll sit on the hood of a police car just outside the warehouse with over three-dozen officers surrounding them. Most of them are struggling to keep a few keen reporters at bay while the others are wandering around aimlessly, hands on their hips in an attempt to look like they know what they're doing. About ten of them surround a different car that Ganondorf is supposedly locked in, but the extremely tinted windows and human wall makes it impossible to tell. The brother and sister have to trust that he's trapped in there though, as of late, trusting is a difficult thing to do. They are exhausted and shaken from the events, so the only position that they want to see Ganondorf in is trapped behind bars eating a pickle (because Aryll hates pickles).
Link can't help but be a bit annoyed that the police haven't taken the evil man to prison yet, even though he is still grateful they came when they did. After Midna saved both Link and Amadeus' lives, it hadn't taken long for the police to come. Only about a minute later did police burst into the basement with their guns at the ready. And, from behind them, soared in an enormous brown owl that flew around in circles hooting madly. Exhaustion and relief left Link speechless, so he could only smile in return at his friend Kaepora.
Ganondorf woke up about five minutes later in handcuffs while he was being dragged up the steps of the basement. He fought back at first and Zelda, Link, and Aryll were terrified that he might manage to escape. Thankfully, five brave, burly men put guns to his head and Ganondorf calmed down after a few venomous words. Even an insane man seems to know when it's best to keep quiet.
According to one officer, he and his friend were walking into the police station when a large owl swooped in and stole a gun right out of one of their belts, knocking over half of the department's furniture in the process. Furious, him and a few other guards chased the owl all the way down Jay Avenue and into the warehouse. Instantly the owl dropped the stolen weapon on the ground and perched himself on a chair. The men were about to leave when they heard gunfire from somewhere else in the building and they instantly called for back up. It took about five minutes but, thankfully, they found the basement just before Ganondorf could awaken and cause chaos again.
Now the Oakwoods are resting outside in silence with their hearts pounding and random parts of their bodies aching. Link is fully dressed in an overly large gray Hylian Police Department T-shirt and matching sweatpants (the only clothes that were in one of the cars). The blood is still caked to his face and his blond hair is sticking in all directions as if girls had pulled and gelled it. From beside him, Aryll isn't much better. Her cobalt eyes keep drooping as they stare at the setting sun, her body leaning heavily against his. Despite her exhaustion, however, she still manages to notice the direction of Link's gaze.
"Quit staring at her," she instructs sleepily but Link can hear the smile in her voice. He knows fully well the reason for her surprising hints of joy on a day full of such turmoil.
"I'm not staring, just nonchalantly looking," he replies in the same soft tone, not taking his eyes off of a pretty blonde woman standing across a field of cop cars. She is rapidly discussing something with the chief of police and has been for the past hour. Midna, who had woken up only recently, hovers beside her and interjects at some moments but, for the most part, Zelda is the one explaining everything to him and a few eavesdroppers. Even though Link cannot hear what she is saying, he can feel the power of her words and can imagine her steely blue eyes piercing into the chief of police's as she tries to explain everything.
Aryll releases a tired sigh and closes her eyes. The moments of glee that followed Link and Zelda's kiss were short lived once they got outside and settled down. Extreme fatigue fell on almost everybody instantly, their minds heavy with all the emotions flaring through them today. The only people who seem unaffected are Zant and Amadeus.
Link is still bewildered by the large black wolf with the mark of the goddesses. According to his sister, who is an expert on all myths, Midna used her Twilit powers to transfer Amadeus' dying soul into the Blue Eyed Beast's body where it will live on, the healthy body keeping him alive.
Link's attention is taken away from Zelda to the massive wolf as the creature weaves in and out of cop cars. Policemen gawk at it and the reporters get into a frenzy as soon as they recognize him to be the exact replica of the mythical creature. Unlike when he was in his baby form, Amadeus is now full of life. He sniffs at every little thing he sees and his tail won't stop wagging. Tongue hanging out of his mouth, he trots over to the Oakwoods and stares up at Link with large, twinkling cobalt eyes and a wide grin.
It's like he has had no idea what happened to his mother, Link sadly muses to himself as he sends the wolf a half smile and gives his head an affectionate ruffle. This might be the first time he's actually had the ability to move on his own accord. Who knows how long he has been sick before this?
"What are we going to do with him?" Zelda's voice asks from nearby, no sign of exhaustion behind her strong demeanor, and Link snaps his head up to see her standing in front of him. Her long golden hair is tangled and smears of grime stain her shirt but, to Link, she still looks beautiful.
"I'm not sure," he responds while the wolf, Amadeus, spins around and jumps up at Zelda playfully. He rests his front paws against her stomach and stretches his head up to try to lick her face. She shows a warm smile and rubs his head affectionately. It only lasts for a moment because he soon finds something else to investigate and rushes over to it.
Sitting beside Link, Zelda wraps one of her arms around his and rests her head against his shoulder. She doesn't say anything but smiles again when Link kisses the top of her head.
"What do the police think?" Aryll's question breaks their short moment, leaning forward to look at Zelda.
"They had some trouble believing it of course," Zelda explains as she snuggles deeper into Link's side, grateful to have him alive and human. Despite her powerful expression with the officers, she feels it is okay for her to show how tired she is next to him. "The chief of police is aware of H.N.G.L.S. and some officers just found a ton of files in the warehouse with Ganondorf's name on them," she glances with a bit of loathing towards the warehouse/secret laboratory/worst place ever. "Currently, they believe in our story but it's going to take a lot for evidence, unless Ganondorf confesses."
"Will we have to go to court?" Link wonders and Zelda's quick to answer.
"Maybe if Ganondorf denies everything and demands a lawyer."
"Hey guys…what is Zant doing?" Aryll questions and brings their attention around to the man in question. The brain damaged Twilit is rolling back and forth on the ground a few meters away from them as he moans with his saliva filled mouth wide open. Amadeus chases after him every time he changes direction once five seconds has passed. The wolf is panting with happiness and he leaps around the rolling - probably oblivious - Twilit joyfully. Nobody says anything for a while and Link wonders if maybe they're playing together; however, his focus is turned to Midna as she starts shouting from across the field of cars,
"I've been trapped by a psycho Hylian for three years and you're denying my simple request! I can't believe how racist some people can be!"
Midna instantly flies away from a fussing chief of police who's calling her to come back and settle things calmly. The Twilight Princess, with her back turned towards him, rushes over to Link, Aryll, and Zelda. They're surprised by her sudden outburst but the smirk on her face has to mean something.
"What were you asking?" Link asks, feeling a bit odd yet relieved to finally be able to speak to the princess after being mute for so long.
"I demanded that you get custody of Amadeus," she explains smugly, crossing her legs and leaning back in the air. "He denied me at first because the animal is sacred, even after I explained to him how he isn't the real Blue Eyed Beast, but then I whipped out the racist card and that always works."
"Wait," Zelda interjects, her light blue eyes awakening with what she just heard. "You want us to take care of Amadeus?"
"Yes, I want him to live with you," She replies in a more serious tone, directing her steady gaze at Link. "There is a connection between you and him now. You're the last family he has and, frankly, I think the boy deserves a family, don't you?"
Link nods once and, though it isn't directly stated, everybody knows that they are all thinking of the same person: Olathe. They bend their heads and grow silent for a minute, their hearts heavy and their minds aching from imagining her terrible death over and over again. Link's fingers grow cold and his throat tighten up when he sees her limp body slowly roll down the stairs, her limbs twisting in unnatural ways, until it comes to a stop without a sound. It is sickening, horrifying, and heart wrenching all in one. Could he have saved her? Was there anything he could have done that would have stopped all of this?
The sorrow and regret in the air is almost palpable but knowledgeable Zelda tries to bring them out of their thoughts by stating an important fact. Taking a calming breath, she lifts her head up and says, "I don't know if we can take care of him – now that he's a wolf. None of us live in a proper place to raise him. Wolves need space to run around and – "
"So move," Midna states dryly yet somewhat quietly as if it's obvious. "I'm leaving him in your hands now because that is what he wants. Tearing him away from his family is the last thing I'd ever want to do to him."
Her crimson eye narrows as she glances over at the car where Ganondorf is imprisoned in. The sun setting behind her casts a dramatic shadow across her face as her hands curl into fists.
Noticing this change in expression, Aryll quickly asks, "Hey, Midna? You know how your hair is the ultimate weapon?"
Midna' doesn't move for a second, just keeps staring at that car, but then she nods and reluctantly brings her gaze to the young woman.
"Then why didn't you use it to bust yourself out of the cage before. Like…three years ago?"" Aryll wonders, somehow not flinching under Midna's regal gaze.
Softening her gaze, she explains simply, "The cage Ganondorf put us in suppressed my abilities. The most I could do was float, but the second Blondie broke it I had my powers back."
"Ganondorf was better equipped than I realized," Link muses with dread in his voice. "If only his son was never killed that night, maybe none of this would have happened."
"It's best not to dwell on the past," Midna instructs curtly. "Just be grateful that your butt was saved."
Link sends the princess a forced smile as she turns away to face the chief of police who, after being shocked to silence by the princess' accusation of racism, has come over and agreed to let the Oakwoods keep custody of Amadeus. While Midna chides the policeman, Link's thoughts are focused on what the princess had said only moments before. If Zelda and Aryll hadn't come to save him, who knows what would have happened? Not to mention Zant, who knocked Ganondorf unconscious, and even Kaepora for creating the distraction and informing the police. If it weren't for them, he'd be screwed.
Smiling, Link wraps his arms around Aryll and Zelda and they turn to him in confusion. His heart is light with relief and gratitude despite his aching body as he declares to the women beside him, "I don't think I can ever be mad at you two again."
Zelda smiles in return but Aryll's eyes light up like a firecracker has just shot inside them. "Really?"
"Then I guess now is a good time to tell you I have a boyfriend."
His grin instantly drops to a frown.
"His name is Collin and we've been dating since January. I was going to tell you earlier but I know how much you hate every boy I've ever been next to so I was waiting for the perfect time," she explains joyfully as Link's happy moment completely disappears. Eyebrows furrowing together, Aryll rebukes, "Well don't look so down! He's a great guy and I'm sure you'll love him! I've been trying to find a proper time to get him to visit us, but with you being a wolf and all…stop looking like somebody purposely stole the last roll of toilet paper just to piss you off!"
Link's mouth is pulled into a sneer and his eyes are narrowed. He has the same annoyance and aggression he gets whenever there isn't any more paper, just like Aryll had mentioned. From beside him, Zelda smiles to herself and rolls her eyes.
"You said you wouldn't get mad!" Aryll protests.
"At you," Link corrects. "I didn't say I wouldn't get mad at him."
Aryll's shoulders slump forward and she crosses her arms. "This is just like that one time when I wanted a Mary Piggles Doll and you wouldn't get it for me!"
"Because Mary Piggles was way too expensive for such a cheap and pathetic toy. I wasn't going to spend thirty dollars on a Barbie with pig ears attached to her head and – wait, how does that even relate to this?"
"It relates to this perfectly!" Aryll retorts hotly. Zelda releases a relaxed sigh, pleased that, despite all their torment, it seems some things never change.
TWO WEEKS LATER
After being gone for a week, Zelda returns home only to find her house infested with bugs. She had completely forgotten about the smashed window (thanks to Kaepora) but Link offers to have her stay with him and Aryll at his place for as long as she needs.
His apartment building is enormous with sleek walls that reflect the sun and streetlights. The lobby is pristine with silver chandeliers and plush armchairs. Such luxury is lost, however, when they enter Link's home. He instantly begins cleaning up a pile of dirty dishes and throwing clothes into a heap in his closet. In a rush, he vacuums and prepares beds for the two women. After a couple hours, the place is almost at par to Zelda's previously organized home.
Midna had told many different reporters their story, sometimes bringing in Link, Zelda, or Aryll to help, because she wanted to spread their story like wild fire. According to her, people were ignorant of Hyrule's still existing racism and she feels that their experiences will rally up more supporters for diversity. For the most part this was a good thing, but soon everybody recognized the Oakwoods and Zelda and would often bombard them with questions. So far the only perk has been that Link's landowner allows them to keep Amadeus even though they have a strict no-pets policy.
Now, about two weeks since that fateful day, Link, Zelda, and Aryll all sit in plush green chairs in the chief of police's office. They've been in here many times before and are now used to the strong smell of coffee and cologne. The book-filled shelves that line the walls no longer intimidate them (but Zelda still wishes she could flip through a few. She has never been much into politics, though, with trial against Ganondorf coming up in a few months, she's longing to learn as much as possible). The man's silk suit, the dark mahogany desk, and golden lights, clocks, and pens show only part of the wealth Chief Greenhorn possesses.
"It's great to see you all again," The chief smiles, his fluffy white mustache lifting with the motion and his beady black eyes sparkling. Gently placing his hands on his round belly, he states seriously, "I have some very important news I want to discuss with you."
"Has Ganondorf confessed yet?" Aryll asks eagerly, her small hands clutching to the armrests as if trying to keep herself from sinking back into the enormous chair.
"Sadly that is not the case," the chief shakes his head, the light reflecting off of his balding head. "He is still as adamant as ever but we'll get him in court, don't you worry. I have something else I want to discuss…hold on a moment…"
The chief trails off as he pulls open a desk drawer and rummages through it. Link glances over at Zelda, whose soft blue eyes are scanning the bookshelves, and he feels his heart pounding a bit faster than usual.
"Aw, here it is," the chief sighs in relief, opening up the folder on the desk before resting his hands on his round belly again. "Speaking of Ganondorf…I have some information that I think you'd like to hear."
Zelda's eyes instantly snap away from the books and onto him, or rather, onto the folder.
"As you know, Ganondorf lost his son to a racist Twilit. He did not tell you, however, that his parents were killed by a group of prejudiced Twilits as well."
"What?" Link and Aryll ask in unison with their mouths hanging open while Zelda simply stares in shock at the folder.
"What's more is that his parents' killers were never found. They are probably still walking around freely to this very day," the chief explains with only a hint of sympathy. It's hard to feel compassion for somebody who wanted the deaths of thousands.
"How did they die?" Link asks with sudden eagerness, his fingers tightening on the armrests.
Clearing his throat, the plump chief shifts around in his chair while he scans the page in the folder. In a gruff voice, he summarizes, "Maddox and Genevieve Dragmire were coming home from a rally supporting diversity between Hylians and Twilits. A witness testimony states that five Twilits came up to them in a dark alley and, after a few nasty words were shared, shot his parents. Ganondorf was only ten years old at the time."
Link sinks back into his chair and stares down at his feet. He had only been ten too when his parents died by a drunk driver. Thankfully, the criminal had been caught and put to justice but Ganondorf's parents' killers weren't. If that drunk driver had gotten away free, he isn't sure how he would have reacted. Would he be as bitter as Ganondorf? Surely not as violent, right?
"Yet Ganondorf then went on to be one of the biggest supporters of diversity?" Aryll confirms in confusion. "His parents were killed by a different race yet he still wanted integration – I'm not saying that's a bad thing though! Well, the death is but the integration is good. It's just odd for him…yeah," Aryll mumbles at the end there and then dips her head down to hide her red face.
"Perhaps he wanted to complete his parents' wishes?" Zelda offers before the chief can voice his own ideas. "Or maybe he wanted to make sure what happened to him never happens to anybody else? These both sound like way too noble of options for him to take…but his son's death could have triggered something in him…" She trails off, gazing to the side in confusion as she struggles to find a better answer. Was he really that compassionate before? How close were him and his son?
"Ganondorf is a mystery in himself," the chief states, wrinkling his nose to hold back a sneeze. It's a failure though because strands of his mustache tickle his nose and causes him to release a huge sneeze into his elbow.
"Sorry," he mumbles while whipping out a handkerchief.
"It's okay," Aryll and Zelda say together while Link slowly brings himself back to the conversation. Clearing his throat again and stuffing the handkerchief away, the chief shuffles through some papers before saying, "The second thing I wanted to tell you was that we found a whole other section of Ganondorf's research. It involves you, Link."
Link instantly straightens up and stares attentively at the plump man. Scratching his beard, the chief scans the file and explains, "As you know, Ganondorf assigned you to recreate the Blue Eyed Beast. It is said to have been the only creature that can live perfectly fine in both Light and Twilight. Ganondorf had tried many times to learn how he can get the same…er, balance I guess, but none of his experiments worked. His last resort was to recreate the animal itself but, due to his frustration with the project and the little time he possessed, he assigned you to do it."
Link nods in understanding as the chief continues, "Apparently, once he found how Crepuscu – what is that word? Anyways, once he found out how the animal can live in both worlds, he would use that information for his troops. As you know, Ganondorf was going to inject Twilits' abilities into Hylians to make an army; however, this would kill the person because of the two different blood types."
Link nods again, silent as he ponders over the new information. He was hoping for a bit more of a relieved feeling once he learned Ganondorf's intentions but the information does not change the shock and betrayal that hovers around in his brain. It's hard for him to wrap his mind around the fact that he was actually helping in genocide.
"Lastly, I have a bit of good news for you!" The chief grins, his fluffy mustache rising with the movement again. Passing his gaze over all three of them, he says eagerly, "King Daphnes himself sent me an e-mail asking this of you three. He says that for years they have believed racism was not as big of an issue as it once was but, with this news of a possible genocide, he says he was terribly wrong. Most of the world already knows what happened to you three but nobody knows how you feel on the matter. That is why he wants one of you to have a speech read at the palace. There will be reporters and a huge audience, not to mention international T.V. –"
"Wait!" Aryll cries, her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open. "WHAT?"
"A speech?" Link gasps, his face already blanched. "I suck at speeches, I always have Zelda write…"
Everybody turns to Zelda.
"Huh?" She muses, glancing around at them all. "What are you…. oh. Oh. OH! No…no, no, no, no, no! Nobody wants to hear a secretary speak."
"But Zelda! You are perfect for this!" Link insists but she shakes her head.
"No I am not. People would rather hear this from you, Link. You were a werewolf after all."
"But I didn't do anything!" Link corrects intensely. "You, Aryll, Midna, Zant, and Olathe were the ones who got us out of that laboratory. I did absolutely nothing, you did."
"That isn't true," Zelda replies but Aryll cuts the two off.
"Do we even have to give the speech?" She asks the chief and he shrugs.
"Well, you can't be forced but I'm sure it couldn't hurt to get onto the king's good side. He believes raising awareness of the still present racism will eventually end it…or bring it down to a controllable level. I guess, in the end, you'd be responsible for ending racism!"
He says the last part with a lopsided grin and a chuckle but Aryll takes it seriously. "How can we end racism with a speech?"
"Think about it," Zelda instructs from beside her in her usual matter-of-fact tone. "Let's say we give the speech and then people will feel compelled to help the other race, so they will involve themselves with spreading diversity. The racism between Hylians and Twilits hasn't been a big issue for the past decade, so bringing it up again could really involve more people and put an end to it."
"I guess even the smallest task can affect a much larger one," Aryll mumbles to herself before something sparks in her brain and she sends a steady gaze to her brother. "Right, Link?" She winks with a grin.
"I know, I know," He grumbles. "I helped out because if I hadn't turned into a wolf then none of this would have happened and we wouldn't have stopped Ganondorf from committing genocide."
"No!" Aryll snaps. "Well…yes, that's true, but if you hadn't smelled out Ganondorf then you wouldn't have found him in the basement and he could have gotten away or something."
"That's a pretty weak argument," Link states and Aryll huffs.
"Just be happy with it okay?"
"Yeah," Zelda agrees, sending him a smile. "After all, rivers need springs."
At this Link cannot help but grin in return. It's a pleasant surprise to him that she even remembers his grandmother's saying, especially since he only mentioned it once.
"So…" The chief of police mumbles, scratching his mustache. "Are you going to be giving the speech or not?"
"Yeah, Zelda will," Aryll decides but the other woman glares at her.
"No I won't. Link or Aryll can."
"Zelda, you are great for this!" Link insists but she crosses her arms and shakes her head.
With a sigh, Aryll turns to the chief and says, "One of us will do it and it will be Zelda. It will just take a while for her to agree to it."
The chief smiles and nods and whispers to her, "Good, because this speech might empower somebody out there to stand up for what's right. And I don't know about you but I'm beat. I could really use a nice cup of lime soup with lamb in it."
TWO MONTHS LATER
The bright moon illuminates the night sky as Zelda stares up at it. Her mind is sleepy yet alert with the upcoming day and, even though it was a month ago, she keeps thinking of the speech she had given in front of thousands of people at the palace. She spoke about the events that transpired that day in the warehouse and how racism has a terrible effect on all lives, using Ganondorf, Olathe, Midna, Zant, and Link as examples. She even met King Daphnes himself, who was much nicer than the news let on. It was a huge success and they have offers to lecture at colleges and other cities with a large payment waiting for them.
Although Link and Aryll didn't speak, she wouldn't have been able to give a flawless lecture if they weren't beside her side the entire time. As usual, she hid her nervous emotions behind a stone mask but Link has been growing accustomed to her facades and easily saw through it. Even though she wasn't shaking or sweating, he still encouraged her just enough to get her on that stage.
They are at home now in Zelda's bungalow but the house doesn't just belong to her anymore. As of a month ago, Link officially moved in with Amadeus. They are debating on going to a larger home further out into the woods because, frankly, keeping a wolf in a city is a terrible idea. Link's hard enough to live with as it is. His plant fetish is still as strong as ever so he has to have foliage every few square feet, he constantly leaves clothes lying on the floor and food out on the table, and he has left the oven on all night three times already. Zelda has been reprimanding him for his laziness and, either due to love or fear, Link's been trying to be more organized like her. While it is a bit difficult for her to get used to, there is no way she's ever going to rid him of her house.
When he had been a wolf, Link was either under control or off growling in the corner. Amadeus, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. When he is bored he sprints around the house leaping over couches and coffee tables like a horse. The backyard is pathetically small and he cannot go into anybody else's yard (Zelda's orders, even though Link thinks it's totally fine) so he spends as much time around the indoor plants as Link does.
Feeding a wolf is next to impossible. At first they planned on just getting bags of raw meat from the grocery store but the pesticides bothered Amadeus. They had to resort to spending twice as much money on meat without any preservatives but that didn't bother them too much. No, the worst part is being forced to buy dead mice (usually sold for snakes) so that Amadeus can get a sense of a real kill. Unfortunately, it is disgusting to watch.
Even though it seems that owning a wolf is a hassle, Zelda and Link would never give him up. He's full of relentless energy and there is a special connection between him and Link, like Midna had mentioned before. There is no telepathy involved but they seem to understand each other's expressions and can communicate. Not only that, but he's fantastic company when somebody is up at midnight.
That's what Zelda is doing now as she sits on the couch. She looks down at the sleeping animal next to her as she rhythmically strokes his head, occasionally tracing the symbol of the goddesses on his forehead. Amadeus' body rises up and down with each deep, sleeping breath he takes.
The silence she has been enjoying is fractured when the sound of soft footsteps reaches her ears. Glancing over her shoulder, she can barely see Link through the thick night as he walks towards her. His hands are stuffed into his pant's pockets and he sends her a crooked smile before saying with confidence, "Can't sleep?"
"Not a wink," she replies, turning her head back around and sinking into the couch with a tired sigh.
Sitting down next to her, Link gazes at her with his calm cobalt eyes and whispers softly, "You were in bed before, so why'd you get up?"
She looks at him and sends him a soft smile as she rests her head on his shoulder. "Sorry about that," she whispers in return while stroking Amadeus some more. "I can't sleep because of the trial tomorrow," she admits with exhaustion.
"Yeah," Link agrees with a deep sigh. "These next few days are going to be brutal."
"Days?" Zelda echoes with a hint of incredulousness in her voice. "Murder trials take at least two weeks and Ganondorf has been accused of not just murder, but kidnapping, performing illegal experiments, and much more. This will take way more than a few days."
"Really?" Link gasps, his cheerfulness dying into pain at the upcoming weeks of court. "Well…this sucks!"
Despite her nervousness, Zelda can't help but smile in amusement. Deciding to change the subject, she slips her hand into his and asks, "So why are you up this late?"
"I keep imagining tomorrow too," he admits as he rubs his thumb in a circle on the back of her hand. "I keep thinking Ganondorf is going to be on the witness stand and on the verge of confessing when he suddenly springs up and starts shooting everybody with a machine gun."
"Ganondorf will be completely unarmed," She reassures him, tipping her head back and looking into his cobalt eyes. "He has the best security on him and will be sent to jail in no time– "
"Two weeks at the least," Link corrects.
"Right, two weeks. Maybe even less if Princess Midna has anything to do with it."
At this Link grins and opens his mouth to reply but he is cut off by his growling stomach. As if this is an alarm, Amadeus springs awake and gazes at Link with his tongue already hanging out of his mouth.
Smile widening, Link leans across Zelda and ruffles the wolf's head. "You hungry too? Come on, let's get something to eat!"
"You're still hungry?" Zelda asks in awe. "We only ate three hours ago!"
"So?" Link responds as he pushes himself off the couch, Amadeus following his move. "I may be human but I still got the appetite of a wolf!"
"I wonder if we should be worried about that," Zelda muses to herself.
"Come on," Link urges her as he leans closer to her face. Planting a quick kiss on her lips, he grins and says, "Some food will take your mind off of tomorrow. I'm personally in the mood for some fish, do we have any?"
"That's a pretty good midnight snack, right Ama?"
Amadeus nods his head and leaps past the couple straight to the kitchen.
"A shrimp's heart is in his head," Zelda states, mostly to herself, but Link easily hears it and places a hand on her cheek.
"That's my girl," he winks, kissing her again for a few seconds. He's almost tempted to stay like that with her but his stomach growls again and he rushes off to the kitchen to get some shrimp, leaving his girlfriend to playfully roll her eyes and follow.
TWO YEARS LATER
The trial against Ganondorf took about a month to complete. It would have been shorter if their enemy hadn't been so cunning with his testimonies. The case was extremely complex but in the end he was found guilty. His punishment would be a lifetime in prison and this pleased all of them. The death penalty had been an option but they all refused it. Rotting away in jail was good enough for them.
It was the first time they had seen Midna and Zant in a while (and they were thoroughly confused as to why Zant came since he had to leave every five minutes for having fits) and the princess wasn't pleased at all to have to be stuck in court for a month. During her three-year absence, the Twilight Province had been in chaos and she has been working on reforms nonstop ever since her return. The case was holding her up but, after a few rude remarks, she warmed up to seeing Link, Aryll, and Zelda again. Amadeus wasn't allowed in the court, though Midna was still pleased to hear about how great he was doing.
Unfortunately, the princess had the same deformities that she had back in the warehouse. Once the trial was over, Link offered to join a famous laboratory so that he could work to find a cure for Midna's "disease" so to speak. He was accepted to the new work place right away and Zelda became his secretary once again. She had always dreamt of being a biologist but let that dream slip away. She felt helping find a cure for the Twilight Princess would be enough to satisfy her, even if that meant just keeping Link's feet off the table and arranging meetings for him. Because, like she always tells him, a teaspoon of soil may contain 100 million bacteria and he somehow always manages to get dirt on his shoes.
Two years later in Link and Zelda's new home out on the countryside, thoughts of Ganondorf or the trial are nowhere to be found. Instead, they are concerned on another big issue. Something so important that it makes the usually lazy Link pace the foyer frantically, his hands stuffed in his pockets and his shoulders hunched. Amadeus walks with him, copying his every move like a child following his father.
"Link," Aryll sighs from the doorway of the kitchen as another man walks to her side. "Please stop pacing or else you'll start sweating and no woman likes a sweaty man."
The person beside her, Collin, nods silently. His long blonde hair bobs with the motion as he drapes an arm across her shoulder.
"I know! It's j-just…" Link stutters while Aryll and her boyfriend exchange exhausted glances.
"Don't worry, everything will be fine," Collin tries reassuring him in his soft, deep voice, but it doesn't help much.
"Link, stop pacing and get ready," Aryll instructs in a friendly tone, grabbing a small velvet box off of the kitchen table and placing it into her brother's hand. His face pales at the sight of the object and his heart skips a beat. "She'll be back from the store any minute so you better be ready to go out on your date, okay?"
Swallowing, Link nods and stuffs the box into his pants pockets.
"Can't you at least change out of your jeans?"
"What? If I dress too nicely then it ruins the surprise!" He argues.
"You are going out to a nice restaurant so wearing khakis won't mean anything."
"Look, I will – "
Bark! Bark, bark!
Everybody instantly freezes as they listen to Amadeus' barking – something he does whenever a car pulls up into the driveway. The wolf jumps up and down by the front door as everybody rushes to the window. Looking out it, they see Zelda opening the trunk of her car and lifting out an armful of groceries.
"Quick, Link! Go upstairs and change while we help with the groceries!" Aryll orders, pushing her brother towards the stairs.
"Fine!" He groans but rushes up the stairs two at a time to his bedroom.
A few minutes later, Link comes down to the kitchen where he hears Zelda, Collin, and Aryll chatting. He enters the room only to freeze at the sight of his girlfriend. His throat runs dry but, at the same time, he's full of admiration for her wonderful character and immense beauty, both of which are only some of the reasons that makes his task tonight so difficult.
Upon his entrance, Zelda beams at him and plants a quick kiss before saying, "Let me run upstairs and change and then we'll go, okay?"
He nods dumbly as she rushes out. Nobody says a word until they hear the door to her bedroom close and then Aryll and Collin burst out in conversation as if they are kids in a classroom whose teacher has just left them unattended.
"Remember not to eat too much, Link!" his sister explains matter-of-factly. "Women don't like watching men stuff themselves."
"And stay away from anything that makes your breath smell," Collin adds in with a quieter tone, not fully looking Link in the eyes. He's always been a bit timid.
"And, though it may be hard for you, don't be stupid," Aryll instructs and Link's shoulders slump with all their comments. Noticing this, his sister grins and gives him a quick hug.
"Don't you worry about it!" She cheers him on. "Everything will go great!"
As if in agreement, Amadeus barks twice and paws at Link's leg. The wolf's tongue is hanging out of his mouth and his tail is wagging. Bending down, Link can't help but smile at his friend and rubs his head affectionately. "What do you think, Ama?"
The wolf nods and begins licking Link's face affectionately.
A few minutes later, footsteps are heard again and Zelda enters the kitchen. She is wearing a white sundress with her long golden hair following around her effortlessly. Despite his nervousness, Link sends her his crooked grin and leads her out to the car. Aryll and Collin whisper words of good luck to him before he exits, all of them with their fingers crossed.
Four months later and Zelda changes her last name from "Harkarian" to "Oakwood." Even though the events two years ago were the most painful and stressful days of their lives, they are still grateful that it happened. If not, Link and Zelda wouldn't have the life they have today.
In the end, they simply marvel at how the smallest event can change lives forever.
I'm not terribly proud of this chapter but, because there is so much to say, I'm not going to go over that.
As I mentioned in the first chapter, this fic was a challenge from my good friend, Canada Cowboy, so I thank you very much for giving me the assignment because, without it, I wouldn't have written this story in the first place or gotten the idea! Not only did you give me inspiration but you also helped me through the piece, so thanks again! I tried my best with your challenge and I hope you liked the results. Please, everybody, feel free to comment on whether or not I met up to the requirements, which are listed below:
1) Link is not the hero. I tried really hard to emphasize that, especially when Link admits in this chapter that he didn't do anything. Yeah, he did do some stuff, but in the end there are many different heroes for this story.
2) Relationship building where Link and Zelda have to go through some trials together to build a bond. I think I did fairly well at this but I'm unsure, what do you feel? I couldn't really draw this out because you can only keep a person hidden in your house for so long.
3) Work on building an atmosphere (i.e. suspense, whimsical, loving, quirky, etc.) and more show-don't-tell stuff.
4) Link becomes a wolf. I think I got that down. c:
5) I didn't mention this one in the beginning because it would be a spoiler: find a way to split the human and wolf sides of Link apart in the end, but make Link and Amadeus not only get along but stay together.
Anybody can comment on whether or not I did well at this challenge, so please do because some parts were very challenging indeed and I'd love some feedback!
I got many reviews for this story (score!) and learned so much from many of you. Here are some special people who probably took a good half hour out of their day to leave me the most amazing and helpful reviews I've ever gotten. So thank you a ton Canada Cowboy, MythCreatorWriter, Sparty the Bold, Legend of Zelda 4 Life, and Kattheamazing. And thank you all my other very loyal reviewers who I could always count on for words of encouragement or important questions that I'd be reminded to go over next chapter. :) I hope to hear from you all in the future and thank you again!
A few other people who need my thanks are…
-. I have no idea how to do bibliographies and this website saved me.
-My dad the doctor for answering my questions about the human body.
-All the websites I have cited in previous chapters for giving me the information I needed for this story. I now know a ton of random facts that I can share with everybody at the most random times.
Guys, this story was a blast to write and I loved every minute of it. I thank you all for making this such a great time and keeping me writing. I hope to hear from you one last time before the story's officially over. I have another story idea in my head but I won't say it for the shake of time. If you are interested, click on my profile and the very top of the page will inform you of my future plans.
Thank you all so much again! Here is one last random fact that I wish Zelda could have said at some point:
Zelda: "The person you talk to the most is yourself."
Got that from my shampoo bottle. :)
"How to Care for a Pet Wolf | ." EHow | How To Do Just About Everything! | How To Videos & Articles. Web. 02 Jan. 2011.
"Trial and Error Maybe, but the Jury Must Stay - Opinion - .." Sydney Morning Herald - Business & World News Australia | .au. 2 Aug. 2004. Web. 30 Dec. 2010.
The story is officially over. LET'S PARTY!