Disclaimer: ZELDA and its characters are owned by Nintendo. I am not making any money while working with them. Sun is mine, though.

Title: Of Courage And Sunlight

Pairings: Link / Lilo of the Sun (OC)

Rating: T rated, but may come to M in the future

Genre: Friendship/Romance

Summary: Link, after defeating Bongo Bongo (what a name…) in the Shadow Temple, is now trying to get to the Gerudo desert after having been told by Sheik to find the «Goddess of the Desert». He has a meeting he never expected and his life is unbalanced by it.

Timeline: This story is taking place in Ocarina of Time, while Link is adult, after he passed the Shadow Temple. To make it a bit more realistic, it's been three years since he awoke in the Temple of Time.

Warnings: This story is a boy x boy story. You have been warned.

OF COURAGE AND SUNLIGHT

By Lilero

Introduction

The desert was a great, grand and magnificent place.

Immense. It did not seem to have an end or a beginning: miles and miles of sparkling sand, under that dazzling sun, were spread all over the horizon. It was silent, at all time of the day or the night.

It was also a deadly place where battles of life and death took place at each instant.

Surviving in the desert is hard, really hard. It is a hostile environment, harsh and unforgiving, where the weak cannot survive. Each animal of the desert is a ferocious fighter, suspicious to everything, paranoid for its life. To be able to survive in the desert, you have to be born there. A native beast. There is no other way; a stranger would be swallowed by its deadly heat, cold and life forms.

Day in the desert is a burning hell.

Night in the desert is a freezing hell.

Life in the desert is a constant fight.

There is not enough water, not enough food, not enough anything for the population of the dry lands. Weakness and lack of knowledge are not allowed there.

That is why it made an excellent defense against the bordering countries of the kingdom of Hyrule, and why nobody ever, ever messed with the Gerudo people. Only by exposing a kind to the cruelest aspects of nature could form them to be as ferocious, hard and unforgiving as the people of the sand. Their laws were harsh, cruel and demanding; their lives were an endless fight, without a moment of rest; their games were all made with the purpose to learn battle and survival; their way of being looked emotionless, dangerous and way, way too cold and sad for creatures from the outside.

But the Gerudo were not unhappy or sad in their desert. They had ways of expressing themselves that were different from the rest of the intelligent species of Hyrule. They did not know any life other than their own, and the rest of Hyrule's inhabitants seemed frivolous to them, who never had anything else than a hard life. They looked barbaric to the others. They did not care. You had to live in the desert to understand. There was no other way.

The Gerudo were proud and stood up straight in all time, their tattoos gleaming under the sun of the desert, their body only skin, bones and muscles, their eyes always watching out for danger. Their women were strong, known as the warriors of the sand, always a spear or a bow at hand. Their skin was dark, tanned by long hours outside, and they mostly died young. They respected elders and tradition to the letter, with a certain reverence. They held magical rituals to honor the Goddesses, the desert and, most importantly, the Water, which brought them life. They did not cry much.

Under tradition, they were led by a male king.

There was no withholding tradition or arguing with it. The elders saw to it. Beside, their king was strong, grand and tall. He knew the desert and looked to anybody like a wonderful, native Gerudo. He made the people proud. He honored the Gods. He was powerful like never there had been a Gerudo in a hundred years, and he promised his people to bring them Water from the skies. Why not follow him? Why listen to the other nations, who never had to fight for their lives, were fat and laughed too much? Why not having faith in one of theirs?

Thus, by following the king, Ganondorf, started the decline of the Gerudos who, blinded by their faith, never saw him descend into darkness.