Okay, this first chapter is a little boring, but trust me. It gets better :) Enjoy! And I'm sorry for any mistakes I make concerning the game. I haven't beaten the game in a while! Also, thank you so much to GunnerGurl for letting me use her piece as my story cover! Make sure to check out her AWESOME DeviantArt account. Thanks guys!
Chapter One: Back to Hyrule Castle
Link was moving in a blur. Everything seemed to be in slow motion around him, and the only thing on his dazed mind was Midna. She was gone… she was truly gone, the Mirror of Twilight shattered along with Link's heart. The image of Midna disappearing and destroying the fateful mirror kept on replaying in his mind, and the pain of her leaving was becoming unbearable. She had been his best friend for so long, ever since she'd rescued him from Hyrule Castle. It had been his first transformation as a wolf. And though they hadn't started out on the best terms (what with Midna using him and lying to him), they had grown to be close friends and had to rely on each other. Remembering that moment brought back so many other memories of Midna, and Link winced as he felt his heart throb achingly. Midna had met him as a degraded, obnoxious imp; she had left him as a gorgeous, compassionate, princess. His only comfort was Princess Zelda walking beside him, someone just as beautiful and compassionate.
They had just left the Mirror Chamber where Midna had disappeared forever, and were now strolling in Hyrule Field. Their goal was to return to Castle Town, where Zelda needed to straighten things out in the castle where Ganon had just been defeated. There were many matters that needed to be taken care of. Though Link's mind was strictly set on Midna, one of his best friends in the world, he couldn't help but be infatuated with the Princess of Hyrule. She was beautiful beyond compare, loyal to her people, indubitably brave and incontestably kind. There was no denying the fact that she was one of the best princesses that Hyrule had ever seen.
As they walked, Link cast her a side glance, the wind billowing his sandy hair across his forehead. Zelda was strolling gracefully; Link had no idea that somebody could even be that graceful. Her head was held up high, her brown hair blowing dramatically around her solemn face. Link saw that she was holding back tears in her lovely blue eyes, and there was no doubt that she, too, was thinking about Midna. The Twilight Princess had done so much for Hyrule… and for the two of them...
"Link." Zelda said his name softly, stopping abruptly. Her eyes looked over him somberly, and he could see the tears on the verge of spilling. "I… I haven't truly thanked you."
Link opened his mouth to protest, but Zelda lifted her hand to stop him.
"You saved Hyrule, the Twilight Realm, and my life. More times than one, I might add." She continued with a gentle smile. "For that, I must thank you." Link smiled, his blue eyes sparkling as he nodded humbly.
"But, a simple thank you is of course not enough." She added. "It's just, with the magnitude of what you've done, I can't think of a reward worthy for your deeds. So I'd like to ask you what you want." She placed her hand on his shoulder, her face glowing. Link could barely take his eyes off of her, and when her hand made contact with his shoulder, he felt chills run down his spine and goose bumps appear on his skin.
"Princess, I don't really know what I want." Link replied with a bashful smile.
"You don't know yet… Well, please, take your time with what you desire. I understand if you don't know." Zelda shrugged. "I also understand that you must have many things you need to take care of back at your home. And I accordingly have many things to take care of."
He smiled, bowing his head dutifully. The tip of his cap tickled his nose.
"But Link, heed my words." She began formally. Link glanced up, slightly surprised at her change of character. Was something wrong…? Relief washed over him when he saw a smirk appear on her lips. "I won't rest until I know that you've received what you want. I am determined."
Link chuckled quietly and nodded as she lifted her hand from his shoulder.
"You are brave, and kind, and compassionate. I can't think of anything that you don't deserve." Link gazed at her with a grateful glint in his eye. "Now come, we must hurry back to the castle so that you may return home. I don't want to keep you any longer." Her cheeks turned bright red, and she glanced away hastily with a small smile. Link felt his own face becoming hot.
It was still a long way to the castle by foot, and Link didn't want to make Zelda walk. She was, after all, a princess. She looked at him curiously as he squinted, racking his brain. He had done this so many times, yet his mind was too filled with thoughts of Midna and Zelda for him to really concentrate. Finally he remembered, and his face lit up.
"What is it, is something wrong?" Zelda asked him, anxiety and concern in her voice. Link laughed and shook his head as he reached into the bag on his waist. She gazed in awe at the item he withdrew, and he grinned triumphantly: Epona's Horse Call. The ivory felt cold in his hands, and they both looked at the intricate designs on the horseshoe-shaped instrument. It reminded him of Ilia, and as soon as he thought of her, he longed to return to Ordon. But he had to take care of Zelda first.
"What is that instrument?" Zelda asked. Link smiled to himself, and then handed it to the princess. Her face beamed like a little girl who had just been given a new toy, and Link found himself happy that she was happy. "Um…" Now she seemed at a loss as to how to use it, and she began blushing as she looked to Link.
He stepped behind her, grabbing her hands and bringing the instrument up to her mouth. Her eyes turned to his, and he nodded for her to continue. Then he let go of her hands and backed away. Uncertainly, Zelda blew into the Horse Call and closed her eyes. Link sighed in happiness as the music erupted into the air and filled his ears; and it was the wonderful song that always attracted his loyal mare, Epona. Once the song was finished, Zelda lifted the item from her mouth and stared at it, entranced with the music it had just created.
"That's lovely." She observed, handing the call to Link. "But, how is it going to help—" Her question was interrupted by a horse's neigh, and Link looked at her with a coy grin. A broad smile spread across Zelda's face, and she threw him a shocked glance. Epona trotted up to Zelda, because she was the one who'd used the call, and whinnied happily as she nuzzled Zelda's neck. The princess laughed and ran her hand along Epona's head.
"It's a horse call for Epona!" She giggled. Link nodded and stepped up beside her, and as soon as he did, Epona turned her attention to him. Link was, after all, undeniably the best horseback-rider in all of Hyrule. He affectionately put his hands on her face and scratched her cheeks, putting his nose up to hers and then petting behind her ears. She snorted happily. Then, with incredible expertise and grace, Link mounted her and grabbed the reins with one hand. Then, he looked down at Zelda and reached his hand out for her. She bit her lower lip somewhat nervously and then grabbed his hand. She allowed him to aid her in mounting the beautiful creature, and once she was seated in the saddle, she wrapped her arms around Link's waist.
"Hyah!" He cried, nudging Epona's sides gently with the heels of his boots. With a dramatic neigh, Epona bobbed her head and took off into a canter, and Zelda let out a small yelp as they were thrust forward. Link smiled widely to himself as he relived the feeling of riding his horse freely through Hyrule Field; the wind blew refreshingly on his face, and the adrenaline rushed through his veins. He was barely aware of Zelda's arms around his waist. A flashback suddenly came into his head about the battle with Ganon, when he and Zelda had chased him around the field on horseback. He remembered Zelda's bravery, courage, and her accuracy with the Light Arrows. His admiration and infatuation only grew with her as he thought of this. However, though he was thinking of Zelda, Link began thinking about Midna, too. This only caused his heart to pound, and he cringed involuntarily. He knew that he would never forget Midna, and everything he did would remind him of his epic and heroic journey with her.
Link had the trail to Castle Town memorized, and it was not difficult to maneuver Epona through Hyrule Field. He was bent forward, one hand grabbing the reins and the other dangling at his side. Zelda was riding side-saddle, with both of her legs on one side because of the restraints her dress created. She was still completely balanced and comfortable behind Link, and her arms remained lightly around his belt-line. His stomach turned, and his cheeks turned red again. Only Princess Zelda had the ability to put him in such a state.
Finally, Epona trotted up to the entrance of Castle Town, a place where she could not enter. Link felt Zelda take a sigh of relief behind him, and her tension decreased immensely. Epona shook her head, her majestic white mane flying all around her. Link gratefully patted her strong neck and then scratched the top of her head. Then, before allowing Zelda to dismount by herself, Link hopped easily onto the ground and helped Zelda down.
"My goodness, Link!" She smiled as she dusted her dress off. "I've never seen someone as graceful and as comfortable on a horse as you."
Link merely chuckled quietly and bowed his head modestly.
"Link…" Zelda suddenly took on a serious expression, and her eyes filled with tears without warning. Link furrowed his brow and looked at her, concern written all over his features. Then, before he could even blink, Zelda wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into a tight embrace. She buried her face into his neck, crying softly as he uncertainly returned the hug. He rubbed her back and hair comfortingly, her slender figure trembling.
"Shh," He whispered in her ear, and he felt the wetness of her tears against his neck. But there was no discomfort, for he only felt the need to make Zelda feel better. He needed her to be happy in order for him to be content.
"I'm so sorry…" She sniffled. "For everything." It was the first time Link had seen Zelda lose her calm and sweet-tempered composure, and frankly, he didn't really know what to do about it. "If it weren't for me, Zant would have never taken over Hyrule in the first place. If it weren't for my weakness, you wouldn't have gone through so much pain and suffering."
"Shh," Link repeated, shaking his head. He didn't want to hear of such talk.
"I didn't mean for any of this to happen." She pulled back to face Link, but she kept her hands around his neck. Her cheeks were tear-stained, her thin lips trembling. His heart ached at seeing her like this. He nodded understandingly, telling her that she didn't need to worry about anything. Epona whinnied.
"You're so kind, even though I put you through so much suffering. I don't deserve the attention." She chuckled coldly, wiping her eyes with the back of her Triforce-marked hand. Link shook his head again with a kind, caring smile, and then wiped a tear off of her face with his thumb. She sighed, calming down a bit at his touch. They stared into each other's eyes for a few moments… a few magical moments.
Everything around Link stopped. Zelda was the only thing his eyes could see. And though Link didn't know it, Zelda felt the same way.
"Um," Anxiously, the princess cleared her throat and backed away, unraveling her grip around Link. He looked down at an angle, scratching the back of his neck to fill the awkward silence. "I better be getting back to the castle. The council will be worried."
"Mm," Link grunted, referring to the fact that he, too, needed to return to Ordon.
"Please call on me whenever you wish to speak with me, and I will be expecting a request from you. Don't forget that I have a reward to give you." Zelda grinned. "The castle is never far from your village."
Suddenly, she stepped forward and placed a hand behind his neck. Then, she softly kissed his cheek. The contact was electric.
"Thank you, again, brave Link. And I will be waiting." She whispered before turning around towards the entrance to castle town. She gave him one last beautiful, haunting glance before walking across the bridge. Link put his gloved hand to his tingling cheek, his lips subconsciously curling into an excited smile. He was sure to call on Zelda soon… very soon.
I hope you liked it, though I know it's going a little slow. But please review, because I want criticism on what you guys want me to do with this story. Thanks peoples!