A note from the Hime-

Okay, here's the second part. You know, throughout my play of MM, I always thought it was really stupid that a mask should get in the way of two people being together. When I sat down to write this story, I really tried to think of a way to make it meaningful. I hope I've succeeded.

Short fic I know, but I've still got a dedication...it's to Anju and Kafei. ^_^ I love those guys!!! *hugs 'em both*

A/K: o.O;;;;;;;

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Sun and Moon
Part II

On the eve of the carnival, I could barely sit still. The Carnival of Time was my favorite of the many Clock Town traditions; every year the town hosted an enormous festival attended by all the peoples of Termina. A carnivalgoer could see Deku Scrubs, Gorons, Zoras, and even one or two Gerudo, all in the same night! There was food and spirits, dance and song, colorful decorations and dazzling fireworks all in the shade of the great clock tower. The Carnival of Time marked the beginning of a new year and was a cause for great celebration.

It was also the busiest tourist season of the year. Luckily, every single one of the Stock Pot's patrons attended the carnival; we never had to stay behind and mind the inn.

As this year's patrons filtered out one by one, wishing us a happy carnival, my grandmother, aunt and I prepared ourselves for the celebration. I wore my best dress, a dazzling scarlet frock with a frilled skirt and a hemline just low enough to reveal my shoulders. My glossy auburn hair, the length of my waist at seventeen, was braided and pinned by my aunt as my grandmother looked on.

"So you're attending the carnival with Kafei this year, hm?" my grandmother observed.

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, Gramma."

"What have I been telling you? You're going to marry that boy, you just wait and see."

My aunt giggled and tugged on my braid to make sure it was firm. "Gramma's always right, Anju. Best to learn that now."

"Yes, yes. Do you mind?" I demanded, jumping to my feet as my aunt pulled my braid again. I didn't want to discuss the possibility of marrying Kafei. I'd never told my aunt or my grandmother about Kafei's kiss at the Harvest Dance, nor did I plan on mentioning that Kafei had kissed me again several times since, including just a few nights ago, when he asked me to the carnival.

Three polite knocks sounded on the door. "Oh my goodness, that's him! Do I look all right?" I twirled in front of my fellow womenfolk.

"Lovely," my grandmother declared.

"Astounding," my aunt added.

"Thanks!" I kissed my relatives on the cheek and joined Kafei.

We walked with the multitudes of townspeople and outsiders alike on the way to South Clock Town, where the carnival was held. Kafei told me I looked beautiful and I responded with a flattering comment of my own- he did look very handsome in a stylish costume of dark blue, emphasizing the blue tones in his hair.

The carnival began with a bang, right on schedule at midnight. The clock tower opened to admit the carnivalgoers amid a dazzling display of fireworks. We climbed to the very top of the tower and danced, ate, and drank with our friends as the bell in East Clock Town tolled away the hours. On top of the tower the stars seemed very close; the moon was huge and yellow and the night was enchanted.

It was almost five o'clock when Kafei and I left, supporting each other as we stumbled down the stairs, both of us more than slightly drunk. We walked through the empty streets -most of the town still partied on top of the clock tower- talking and joking and giggling, like old times. But when we stopped in North Clock Town Kafei turned to me, looking quite sober.

"Anju," he asked me quietly, "have you ever given thought as to who you're going to marry?"

I swallowed nervously; somehow I'd known that he would bring this topic up. "Not really," I mumbled, keeping my eyes fixed on a point behind Kafei. "I guess I just haven't found the right person."

Kafei gripped my chin and forced me to look at him. "I have," he whispered, "and she's standing right in front of me."

"Kafei," I said softly, unable to tear my eyes away from his.

"I've thought about this for a long time, Anju." His crimson eyes were very bright. "Even when I was seeing those other girls, I always knew it would be you. I only waited a while to pursue it because I didn't know how you felt about me."

"I-I do love you," I stammered, then clamped my mouth shut, horrified. What in the world had just made me say that? Of course Kafei wasn't going to take that in a friend context- or had I even meant it that way?

"I love you, too. As more than just a friend," he added softly, as if he'd read my mind. "Much more. Anju, I want- I want to marry you." Kafei then stepped back and presented his Sun Mask.

My eyes widened in shock as I stared at the golden mask in his hands. How could I not have noticed that he had it on his person all this time? "Kafei..."

He dropped to his knees before me, the mask offered. "Undoubtably you remember what these masks represent," he said quietly. "This is a symbol, Anju, a symbol of my unwavering love and eternal devotion to you. We are young, but we are not children- I have never been more serious about anything. Marry me, Anju-" He swallowed, "-and I will spend the rest of my life making you happy."

I stared at him in silence, overwhelmed. The offer, I thought, was not inappropriate. Kafei was my good friend, my best friend. He made me laugh. He was always there when I needed him. And he loved me- that part, I knew, was true. Had always been true.

But did I love him? As I gazed down at him, asking myself that question, I realized I knew the answer.

I touched Kafei's hands, drawing him to his feet, and said, "I can't accept your mask."

I saw for an instant the hurt in his eyes, his crestfallen expression, and then the bewilderment as a smile dawned on my lips.

"Until I give you mine," I added impishly.

Kafei's eyes widened. "You mean...?"

"Did you forget tradition?" I demanded in mock-sternness. "We exchange masks at the time of our marriage, not the engagement!"

"Anju!" Kafei cried joyfully as he lifted me and spun me around in a dizzying circle. Then he set me on my feet once more, his arms still wrapped around me, and smiled down at me beautifully.

I smiled back at him. "I do love you," I told him softly. "As more than just a friend. Much more."

Kafei's reply was to kiss me as the bell in East Clock Town began to toll, echoed by the crow of a rooster. A soft yellow glow in the east suggested the arrival of morning; the Carnival of Time was over. It was the start of a new year.

"Look at that, Anju," Kafei remarked when we parted. "The sun rose just for us." He kissed me again, soundly, and our engagement was sealed.

* * *

A tear, then two tears, fall softly to the blank parchment on the table before me. I blot my eyes dry and throw the parchment away- Kafei can't know that I've been crying. He believes me to be stronger than I truly am.

This day might only have served to open old wounds and make my pain fresh and new, but now I have an insight into my lover's disappearance. I rise from my chair and walk to the stand beside my bed on which rests my wedding gown and mask. I take the mask of the moon into my hands and gaze at it silently.

What if I lost the my mask? Would Kafei care? Would I? Mine is only a mask, after all. Just a material possession.

Kafei's is different. For on that day, almost a year ago, Kafei presented his mask and thus bound us both to the promise of marriage. The sun rose upon my consent, witness to our union. That joyous morning lent its radiance to the mask, giving it life, and now it is more than a mere symbol. It is the very light of our love.

I place the Moon Mask on the stand once more and walk back to the table, fetching a new parchment. I sit, dip my quill in ink, and set it to the paper with a steady hand. Today the shadow of the moon obscures Kafei's sun, and it is time for me to keep my promise.

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Kafei,

I understand. I'm waiting for you.

Love eternal,
Anju.