A note from the Hime-

This is a short fic (two parts) I wrote almost entirely last night, and one of my favorite pieces of writing so far. I just think it turned out so well, but you be the judge. ^_^ Thanks for reading, and please review! I don't own Zelda.

(Will be posting Part II probably tomorrow or the day after.)

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Sun and Moon
Part I

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My dearest Anju,

I'm sorry. I don't even know where to begin. I admit, I never intended to write you. Only now our wedding is in three days, if the moon doesn't fall before then, of course. I think I owe you an explanation.

I'm not going to tell you where I am. Only that I'm safe, and not kidnapped or perhaps dead as Mother undoubtably thinks. Anju, you have not seen me for two weeks because I've been afraid to show my face. Not because of the curse the imp put on me, but because of the mask. I'm sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

Maybe you've seen the imp who's been playing tricks on the townsfolk lately? He appeared about a month ago, I remember, a little imp wearing a horrid mask with glowing eyes. I hardly noticed him at first. So consumed was I with love for you that I hardly noticed anything, those weeks ago. What a happy time that was...

The imp. He began to follow me. I kept seeing him, wherever I went. I suppose my patience broke, and I boldly demanded to know why he was following me. He said it was because I was happy. He said I didn't deserve to be happy as much as he did, and he cursed me with his strange power. Twisted time itself, and turned my form into that of the child I once was, all those years ago. I went to see the fairy as resides in North Clock Town, and on the way I was attacked by a prancing thief. As if he could see into my very heart, he took the one possession that means the most to me, save you. The Sun Mask.

Anju, when I became this child, I didn't intend to hide from you. I only wanted to speak to the fairy first, and ask her if perhaps she could change me back. Then all this unpleasantness could simply be forgotten, and you'd never know. But when the Sun Mask was taken from me, I was consumed with grief and shame. How could I face you without the symbol of my love for you, my devotion to you? How could I tell you that I'd lost it? And so, I went into hiding.

My feelings for you have not changed, but nor has my shame left me. You deserve far better than me, Anju. Should the moon fall I will rejoice, for I know the gods will have you among them in heaven. Should Clock Town be spared, I will continue to keep away from you until my mask is retrieved.

I want you to know that I still love you. Always, and forever.


* * *

Alone in my room in the Stock Pot Inn, seated at the table, I carefully place the letter down and neatly fold it in half. Then my emotions overwhelm me, and I bury my face in my arms and begin to cry. It has been two weeks since I last saw Kafei, my betrothed. The postman would not tell me where this letter came from. Kafei refuses to tell me where he is hiding. It seems my only hope of finding him is a little boy dressed in green clothes, who not an hour ago presented me with Kafei's imitation mask, right after I received his letter. Coincidence? I don't think so, but it is still a bit too much to hope that a boy might find my missing lover.

I asked the boy to meet me later tonight in the kitchen. I simply couldn't help myself- seeing that mask brought back so many memories. I intend to write Kafei a letter and have the green-clothed boy deliver it. But now I sit here, with pen, ink, and paper at hand, and I cannot think of a word to say.

All I can think about is masks. Kafei's mask. The Sun Mask, and the Moon Mask. Clock Town, where I reside, is famous for its masks. Its people teach maskmaking to their children at a very young age. I remember when Kafei and I occupied the same bench in grade school, where we learned the local trade besides our letters and numbers. Oh, we hated each other then, as young girls and young boys often do.

As I sit here, staring at the blank parchment before me, I cannot help but think back to that day when Kafei made his imitation mask, and I made mine. We worked on them for weeks. They were supposed to be perfect duplications of ourselves, but mine and Kafei's turned out terribly. They looked nothing like us. Kafei gave his to his mother, I suppose. I threw mine away.

* * *

When I was fifteen and Gregi Miser refused to take me to the Harvest Dance, breaking my heart, my grandmother consoled me like this:

"Don't you worry, dear, you're going to marry Kafei Dotour."

"That's crazy, Gramma," I argued. "He's going to be mayor one day. I'm going to be an innkeeper. Besides, he doesn't like me at all."

"Yes he does," my grandmother insisted. "He's going to marry you."

"If you say so, Gramma." I couldn't believe that was so. Of course, by this point Kafei and I weren't two children who squabbled all the time, but we weren't exactly friends, either. I worked as the mayor's bookkeeper when I wasn't helping my grandmother and aunt manage the Stock Pot Inn, so I saw Kafei almost every day, but we barely managed 'good morning's.

When Kafei and I turned sixteen, we made our marriage masks on the night of that year's Carnival of Time, as was the tradition of young people in Clock Town. Men made their masks in the likeness of the sun, while women made theirs in the likeness of the moon. When a man and a woman married, the masks were exchanged as a symbol of their unity.

Something happened that year, after the Carnival of Time. To us and all our yearmates; I suppose I'd call it growing up. As sixteen-year-olds we were now adults, old enough to begin working in our trade, old enough to marry if we chose to do so.

Children become adults and time flows on. A theme of the annual carnival.

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After the carnival, it was time for me to take up my duty as innkeeper of the Stock Pot, so I regretfully quit my job with the kind mayor and his wife, both of whom wished me well.

"So you're leaving us?" Kafei asked me on my resignation day, as he watched me pack the few possessions I'd kept in the mayor's office.

"Yes. My grandmother and aunt have been waiting for me to take over the family business." I flashed Kafei a smile, feeling particularly generous that day. "Lucky you, you don't have to work until your dad resigns," I teased gently.

Kafei only shrugged, his quiet crimson eyes resting on me. "I'll miss you."

I was genuinely startled. I didn't think Kafei usually noticed my presence in his father's office, but perhaps I was wrong. "You can always come visit me in the inn," I suggested, surprising myself all over again with the offer. "It's not like it's a long walk."

To my bewilderment, Kafei began to do just that. The first few times he made excuses to be there ("Father wanted me to see if any important guests dropped by this week") but after that he simply showed up at random with no explanation at all, usually willing to take me out to lunch if someone else was there to mind the inn. My grandmother always found opportunities to give me meaningful glances whenever Kafei dropped by, but I still refused to believe that she was right. Kafei was seeing other girls, after all, just as I was seeing boys. We were friends, nothing more.

Kafei kept me company on rainy days. In turn, I visited him when his father wanted him to stay at the office and learn something. We went to festivals and bazaars together if we didn't have dates. On summer nights we'd sit on the straw roof of the Milk Bar Latte and watch the stars as we talked and joked. During monsoon season, when one particularly big hurricane hit, Kafei and I went to the Great Bay Cove to watch the ocean rage and get drenched with rain and wind. A dangerous outing, to be sure, but I felt safe in Kafei's company.

When I turned seventeen, Kafei surprised me with a precious china cow figurine, which I kept beside me at my desk in the inn, amused by its silly expression and bobbing head on slow afternoons. When Kafei turned seventeen I gave him a handsome pendant I'd found at the summer market. He put it on a string and wore it around his neck everywhere.

Harvest season came, and the town had its regular festival. Kafei asked me two nights before the dance to accompany him.

"Aren't you seeing Leilani Graysmith?" I asked him.

"It's over."

I went to the dance with him, and under the glow of the moon and the stars Kafei kissed me for the first time. I was scared and thrilled all at once.

We remained friends. I wanted nothing to change, especially when I thought about how strange and frightening and wonderful it was to be held and kissed by him. But then the Carnival of Time rolled around again, and Kafei began to talk about marriage.

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Continued in Part II.