The Inane Bystander

"I don't matter." Over and over again, that's all he said. Well, Link was sick of it. He may not have mattered to himself, but he surely mattered to Link. Shounen Ai, LinkXSheik. M for swears and later-to-come naughtiness. Sheik isn't Zelda in this. Only one OC, but it's nothing.

Disclaimer: If I owned the whole LOZ franchise, Link would be gayer than a monkey on crack. ...Wait a minute, what?

Warning: If you see this Slash, otherwise known as Shounen Ai, you'd better report it to the Yaoi Police IMMEDIATELY. And watch your mouth. (Guess what I'm warning you about. Go on. Guess.) One OC, too, but she's irrelevant. I just wanted to give Sheik someone to talk to.

Also, the timeline flows a little differently, but the main events and the conclusion are the same. It's only tiny things having to do with when Sheik and Link first meet and the fact that Zelda isn't Sheik in this also means some timeline tinkering. But I hope it doesn't bother you monumentally.

Quick Thank-you: I'd like to thank Courtness and Faeyrinne for their inspirational pieces on LinkXSheik. I had nothing to do with the creation or production of their fanfictions, but they were beautiful to me, and they inspired me to start this thing off.

Link couldn't understand.

As the man before him stood there, his arms crossed, his eyes pierced evenly into Link's, sending the boy's head reeling. His blonde hair stuck out in frays from his bandage covering his face save a beautiful crimson eye which had more than enough power on its own to pierce into anybody's soul. And it wasn't that that had made Link confused. It wasn't his stunning eyes or his relatively muscular body or the fact that he spoke little and played the lyre. No, that didn't matter at all to him.

It's what the hell he was doing that mattered to him.

They'd been standing in silence for a few moments there, and the man looked ready to depart. After all, he was standing in front of the Temple of the Forest in the woods he used to enter as a boy. But it was hard to get it in his head that he wasn't a child anymore. And not only that-he was suddenly supposed to save the world. It came to him as a whirlwind, and he could hardly consume what he was told before the whirlwind swept him off.

...And unceremoniously left him in the arms of a dashing stranger who saw the need for face-masks and silence. Link didn't doubt he was a monk of sorts, and even if he was proven wrong later, he still wouldn't forget it.

He didn't want to be led by this stranger who hadn't even yet offered his name into the thick atmosphere. Link found he was hard to make conversation with, too. He was a brooding mentor, like a teacher who didn't appreciate the presence of children. Link found it hard to grip he wasn't a child anymore, but in the moments when he almost could, he found he disliked this man for treating him with an amusement reserved for innocent children.

Link's eyes widened slightly as he suddenly realised he didn't just dislike this man for it. He hated him.

He hadn't felt such a hate before. It was like holding a coal in his hand, but being impervious to the burn, only feeling the heat. His face flushed, and he heard a small noise from the man. He looked up at him to see his eye lightly crinkled. Link scowled. The man was smiling at his anger. He was amused with his hatred for him. Well, Link had a right to be angry. Least he could do was tell him his freaking name, but no, he had to go and be all suspicious. Link found it was overrated to be mysterious.

And he was also blunt. Blunt as a blade, it appeared, and not very articulate. First thing he'd told Link when they'd met here?

"...You're relatively short for a Hero of Time, aren't you?"

Link was only 3 inches smaller than him! He inwardly fumed at the memory that happened only minutes ago.

Link had kept his anger in check. Something he'd learned to do as a young boy was steel his emotions and make himself impervious to emotional assault. Came in handy most of the time, too. After he did so, the man pulled out a lyre and taught him a song to make it easy to get back to the temple with ease. Link had tried at hospitality with a calm 'thank you', but the man merely grunted and caught his gaze.

And now Link was standing there, flushed and fuming and feeling immediately stupid that he'd let one guy get into his brain.

Finally, the man moved. "I must depart," he said finally, and he turned his back to Link. Despite his blunt attitude and his general nonchalance, he had an incredibly smooth voice. It could soothe your inner wounds, should you ask for it. But Link only found the words he said to be troubling, and took no notice to the quality of his voice.

"Wait," Link said, but it was said reluctantly, almost spat. Still, the man took it and looked back at Link, his one eye glistening in the light of the sun which pierced dully through the thick, dreamy air of the clearing.

Link steeled himself before continuing. "I need to know your name."

Link had a reason for saying it like that. If he'd asked what his name was he was giving him the option of backing out. He was making him the one in charge of what happened next. But Link hadn't asked it. He had said it. He was showing he was unmoving, he was collected, and he was in charge.

The man responded by closing his eye. "I don't matter."

Link froze, but before he could ask, the man disappeared in a flash that could only be described as a Deku nut. Link took this moment to flare in a small, uncertain rage at this stupid, morbid teacher of song before running into the temple in a mood that could only be described as thorougly pissed off.

"I am NOT impressed."

Ponn sighed and stood up, looking Sheik in the eye. Her look was skeptical. Finally, after his unrelenting glare had bored her, she moved to the side of her horse and began to pull out a few things from saddlebags. "You can pick and choose anything else, Sheik," she said. "You had your whole life to be annoyed with everything and everyone. But you can't choose the Hero of Time. Just because you're unimpressed with him doesn't mean that the goddesses will suddenly change their minds."

"But you should have seen him, Ponn," he said, and she rolled her eyes and set up a small fire as he ranted. "He was scrawny and small. The only amazing thing about him was that he still fit into his Kokiri tunic. And above all that, he could pull the sword from the stone, but that's in the past now."

"Oh, is it?" Ponn asked, poking her fire with a stick. She seemed uninterested.

"Yes, it is. He could've gone into that forest armed with poultry and it would've been all the same." He pressed a hand to his nose irritatedly. "He's going to die."

"Don't be so picky with him," Ponn said, a hint of sympathy in her voice. "He's just getting settled into the state of things. He doesn't need you nagging on him to become a man, too."

"Well he needs to become one fast, otherwise..." He trailed off. When she looked back up at him, he was looking at his feet, far off somewhere, where his first and only friend was still happily playing an ocarina by a garden of glowing flowers...

Ponn stood up carefully and walked to him, but didn't touch him. "The fate of Hylia hangs in the balance," Ponn said. "And all we hold dear with it. Trust me, I understand." He looked up at her, his eye filled with something unknown. "But we can't change him. If we do anything to alter him, it might cost us everything. If we set him off the path, even for a second, we're gone." Ponn adapted a hardened look. "So don't be so hard on him. Think of what he's going through. Only try to help him. Who knows," she said, wandering back to the fire, "You might even come to like him."

He snorted, back from his reverie. "I doubt it."

She smirked, poking the fire once again. "I don't."

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