An Old Flame

It was a grey day outside, the looming storm was coming to wash away the dust amongst the shining city. And while the sand may have been cleansed, it only served to remind her of painful memories. It did nothing to help her forget. Sophitia Alexandra sat at the window sill in her bakery, deep in thought. It had been six years since she had seen his shining face. Six years since she heard his gentle voice. Six years since she lost herself in his beautiful eyes. The young boy of seventeen who's hair was as golden as her ring, who's eyes were an endless sea of courage, who's mind was as innocent as her children's.

Link was indeed something Sophitia had never forgotten, his ears were long and pointy, like an elf from the stories she read to her children at night. He was from another world, not very different from hers, but his goal was the same. He had come here seeking to destroy the evil sword, Soul Edge to save his homeland.

When they first met, Sophitia was injured and resting at the entrance to a cave located on the side of a mountain in eastern Europe. Link had found her there when he stopped to rest, he convinced Sophitia that he wasn't a thief or someone she couldn't trust and managed to heal her with some red liquid with a sour taste. But despite that, it healed her instantly.

They traveled together for seven months after that, both fighting back to back against the hordes of Soul Edge. Eventually, Link began to grow feelings for Sophitia. He tried his best to hide them, but soon they became to obvious, Sophitia forced Link at sword point to tell her what was wrong. She was the compassionate of them both while Link remained ever silent. She had also begun to develop feelings for him secretly, feelings she never knew of.

Finally, Link confessed. It was obvious Sophitia wasn't expecting it, nor was she expecting to feel the familiar feelings run throughout her at his words. She had to choose between Link or her family back in Athens. With great sorrow, Sophitia told Link what she knew she should have told him of before, her family, her husband and her children.

She watched as Link's heart shattered to pieces through his eyes that began to loose that light he had possessed, the light she fell for. Link never knew of her private life, he never wanted to explore it out of respect for her. One morning, when Sophitia awoke to the clean air that was usually greeted by the smell of breakfast made by Link, she took notice of the empty camp.

She had not seen or heard of him since.

Sophitia received word from one of her older allies that Soul Edge was defeated by the German knight, Siegfried. And so she returned home, her mind still on the young hero of Hyrule. Her husband, Rothion, took notice of the change in his beloved wife. He suspected something happened on her quest but she refused to speak of it.

On occasion, Sophitia's sister Cassandra would confront Rothion, thinking he was responsible for Sophitia's sadness, but no. For six years, Sophitia remained in Athens constantly awaiting word of Link. The fact she could not be together with him at least as a friend was painful. But no word of the boy with a green tunic and strange hat of forest green was ever heard of.

Day after day, bread and pastries were made, and Rothion was worrying for his wife. She worked hard to forget whatever was bothering her. He worked in his shop, contemplating the situation but never drawing a solution.

Sophitia stood from the window sill, she needed more supplies to finish her orders for the day. She grabbed her coat, as it was cold outside, and gathered some coins to pay for her needs in town. She walked into her living room, where Rothion was polishing one of his swords he had just finished. He looked up at the sound of his wife entering, he asked if everything was alright, Sophitia nodded and showed him her list of things needed. He nodded in understanding, trying to place his lips on hers for a safe trip, she tilted her head to the side so it was more of a hug and a kiss on the cheek than anything.

Rothion blinked in confusion. Things were just not the same as they used to be since she returned. Their love for each other wasn't as strong as it used to be, she was not sleeping right, she barely spoke, she hardly ate even when Cassandra practically shoved food down Sophitia's throat.

Sophitia opened the door and closed it behind her, leaving Rothion to his thoughts. She glanced around at the surrounding woodlands, Link always loved the forest. He grew up in one, she remembered all the stories he told her of his early life, the treacheries he faced as a ten year old boy in a seventeen year old body. He was forced to grow up quickly on the second part of his quest, that would explain why his wisdom exceeded his years.

Sophitia walked along the road, heading for the streets of Athens, trying to clear her head of so many things that remained. The most apparent was the image of Link's face.

A young man in his early twenties wearing a green hat and blood soaked tunic stumbled about in the back alleys of Athens. In his chest was three arrows from the bows of a few Orcs under Soul Edge's command. One in the middle of his chest just below his heart, the other on his left having been shot in between his ribs and puncturing his lung, and the other in his left shoulder. He was bleeding profusely, his side had a gash from a battle with a Lizardman. On his head, his nose was bleeding from the fist of a Berserker, his right eyebrow had a cut that also bled about his eye. His lip was busted, and he would cough up blood every now and then.

Link felt his strength leave him rapidly, he had lost too much blood from his battle against Soul Edge's overwhelming forces. He managed to slaughter them all, but his injuries proved it came at a heavy cost.

Ever since he left Sophitia, his heart broken, he secluded himself from everyone. He spent six years trying to find the portal that would lead him home. He was not succeeding either, but he refused to stay in this world. He steered clear from civilization, not wanting to get attached to anything anymore. He lost all emotion, all he knew now was sadness.

It wasn't the same for him, living the life of high adventure without her at his side. But he understood she had a family, and so he left her. No wanting to make her life harder, but instead he was ready to face loneliness for her. So that she could forget him and live her life happily with her family.

Link continued to stumble, still evading the eyes of the world. For six years the world hadn't showed him anything but hate. Even now, the wailing of the rain had finally reached Athens. A light shower had overtaken the city, cleansing its dirty streets of the dirt brought about it by the many travelers. It also served to wash away the bloody footprints left behind by his booted feet.

Finally, Link fell to his side. Still trying to move as he gasped and breathed heavily, not wanting to be found or to be helped.

Just to die in peace with memories of someone he loved dearly. A love that was not to be, forbidden and illegal.

Sophitia continued to wonder the streets of Athens, many stood aside for her in honor of her great deeds as Athens' heroine. She gazed about, searching for the right stall or shop to purchase the necessities. A flash followed by thunder resounded, causing the crowds to begin dispersing quickly to find shelter from the cold rain. But she didn't seem to care for the elements. Rather, she pulled a hood down over her divine features, sealing it from the cool touch of the falling water.

Whilst she walked past the hurrying crowds that threatened to sweep her away in their waves, she stopped. Something strange was amiss, she could feel a change in the air. It was as if the rain carried a certain sadness, as if following a source of great sorrow in an attempt to wash away the despair it carried.

She did not know why, but she turned her gaze right, glancing to an alley way and saw someone on their hands and knees trying to move. She gasped as she caught sight of the three arrows in the person's chest. She saw one thing on the man she never forgot, a long green pointy hat. Her heart caught in her throat, her lungs constricted and her mouth dropped.

It was Link.

She pushed her way through the crowd, desperately trying to reach his side. He was injured badly, she could see that from far away and he seemed weak. Sophitia bolted past the people, none of them showing a care for her hurry, none of them realizing that someone was dying in the back alley. She arrived at the spot Link was a moment ago, his shadow showed he had just moved about a corner and sat down against the wall of a building.

"Link!" Sophitia bolted around, calling his name. Once she saw him, her eyes widened. Blood soaked him everywhere. He was sitting in a puddle of his own life's fluid. His eyes were closed, his mouth open and his throat allowing the crimson liquid through his lips. She dropped down next to him, looking him over.

Link opened his eyes, anger in them for being disturbed, but they instead widened in shock when he saw it was her. She who he could not let go of.

"What has the world done to you...?" Sophitia whispered, her voice worried. Link could not speak, he coughed up blood, hacking as it nearly choked him. Link shook his head, trying to lift his arms and push her away, not wanting her to see him die.

She reached down to pull the blood soaked arrow from his chest when Link's right hand suddenly grabbed hers with incredible firmness, drenching her coat in his blood. His grip had stopped her from wrapping her fingers around the shaft of the arrow, and she found herself unable to break free of his vice grip.

"Leave it! It's too late now..." Link coughed out, his breathing ragged. Sophitia refused to listen, pressing harder to break free of his suprisingly strong grip.

"Don't say things like that! I'll save you! Please, just let me...-" Sophitia hushed him before trailing off as he suffered another horrendous coughing fit that interrupted her. Extreme pain seemed evident in his body language. The motion of his chest contracting as it did greatly aggravated his very sore injuries, his growls causing her to wince.

"...Ugh, let me go, Sophitia! Let me die. Go home to your family, begone from my sight!" Link hissed, not wanting her aid. Sophitia could not believe he was giving up. Link never gave up. She held his face in her hands, tears dripping from her cheeks. "I... I don't-" Sporadic coughing interrupted him before he continued, "I don't...need you..."

"I won't let you go. I'm going to save you." She whispered reassuringly, a small and sad smile gracing her perfectly pink lips.

Link shook his head, refusing her will to help him. His heart was broken, and only her undying love could fix it. But destiny forbade him to love her or her to love him, so he was done. He had conquered kings of evil power and slain armies of monsters in the name of the gods, yet they refused to give him something he longed for. Love. So he refused to be their pawn any longer. Anger swelled in him, and before he could think twice, his stinging words rolled unwillingly from his tongue.

"All I want now is peace. Get away... Now! You mean nothing to me anymore!" He nearly snarled, catching the Athenian goddess' painful expression at his stinging words. And while her sad smile had momentarily been replaced by a look of despair, she shook her head, bringing the smile stubbornly back to her features. She would not let him go a second time!

"You don't mean that...just rest now." She hushed, forcing through his attempt to throw her off with the gentliest and most sincere voice of silk. She could see through him, he never could lie. But it still hurt that he tried to make her not care. It hurt that he wished she would go away. With a renewed determination not to be swayed by his newfound reprouchfulness, she steeled herself against his angry glare.

"Curse you, Athenian..." Tears seemed to begin forming in his eyes, the whirling storm of emotion had him in inner turmoil. Her smile seemed only to grow wider, yet sadder. "I said begone-!" More coughing ensued, but he spoke through it, "-stay away from me..."

"No. I refuse to leave you behind! You don't deserve to die like this!" Her sorrowful expression seemed to glint with frustration, a brief glint of anger in her eyes came but disappeared quickly. Why was he pushing her away so strongly? Why? All she wanted to do was help him! It didn't take long for her to realize that he wasn't just pushing her away, but the rest of the world. He seemed so cold now, but one look into his ocean eyes and she could see he was faltering in his own grief, that this was his last resort to escape his non-physical pain. There was such a torrental downpour within the seas of his orbs, and through his eyes, she could tell he was lost without direction. It pained her so to see one who knew where to go, what to do, finally have no answer to help himself.

She gently raised his head to meet her gaze fully, her smile never faultering, despite the tears of grief. With her gentle gazing, she tried to tell him that the answer he sought was before him now. He need only let her in, let her save his failing foundation. Allow her the chance to heal what was damaged.

He turned away from her, unable to hold her gaze as Sophitia's eyes were filled with renewed resolve.

That was it, he no longer had the strength to repel her. His grip faltered on her arm, his life was slipping fast, despite his tolerence against such injuries. It was as if his body had also given up on saving itself from the embrace of death. But there wasn't time enough to dwell on it, Sophitia could see he was slipping away even further into the darkness; no matter how much she beckoned to him. It was torturous to see how his end was unfolding, bearing nothing but bitterness and regret in his final hours instead of the compassion he was known for. But he refused to give in to her so easily. He dug deep, looking for the last bit of will power to resist, but there was only so much he could give, knowing that they could never be together.

Their love was forbidden.

"Ngh... Let me die looking into your eyes...In memory - of an old flame..." He whispered tiredly. Sophitia felt more tears fall, Link was giving up and there wasn't anything she could do. She sat herself next to Link's dying form, his blood being absorbed by her coat and boots. Her golden hair rested on his head swirling around his face and caressing his skin as she weeped silently on his shoulder. He was shivering from the cold, all he wore was his tunic and undergarments.

She had wanted to see Link for so long and finally when she can, she had to watch as he died.

Link lifted his hand to her cheek, passing his bloody fingers on her delicate skin soothingly. Sophitia closed her eyes at his touch, her breath quivering. Her mouth opened slightly in exhale, her breath becoming visible in the cold. Link gazed at her, tears of his own finally freeing themselves.

"...Why? Why will you leave me again?" Sophitia asked suddenly. Link coughed tiredly, his time was coming but he had energy enough to answer.

"I can not live without you. You are the light in my eyes, the fire in my soul. Without you, I am nothing but a shell..." Link explained, blood dripping from his mouth. Sophitia lowered her head, taking his words in.

"Link...When you left me there in the woods on that day six years ago, I lost my will to fight. I could not return my husband's love when I returned home. I fell in love with you when I should have been more careful. I shouldn't of stayed with you, then you wouldn't be dying like this." Sophitia muttered into his ear. Link gave a sad smile.

"Sophitia...Forgive me for being so foolish. However, I would rather die a thousand deaths and be burned in the deepest, hottest pit in hell for eternity than never come to meet you. You gave me what I had been missing for so long in my heart. I do not blame you for my love, but instead I blame myself." Link answered. Sophitia opened her eyes and watched the life fade from his soul.

"Don't leave me..." She pleaded. Link gazed into her eyes longer, before he closed them and turned his head from her. Sophitia continued to hold him, refusing to let go. Link thought for a moment. He never wanted to break her life for himself, but she wanted him to live. He could not deny her what she wanted anyore, his love for her was too strong to resist. He was just so tired of hurting inside, a pain no potion could take away. As if by some last moment realization, he reminded himself of something he promised some time ago before confessing. He promised himself that he wouldn't do anything that would harm her.

Finally, Link exhaled heavily, before opening his eyes again. With his own promise echoing in his mind, he realized that his death would only cause her more hardship. He did not want that, he feared that if he gave up truly, she would never forgive him. And he would not be allowed to rest in peace, knowing he could of made her life so much easier if he had simply lived through his pain. He looked into Sophitia's eyes and nodded.

"...Look into my pouch...for a fairy spirit...hurry..." Link whispered, his voice nearly inaudible as his eyes closed and his head tilted down slowly. Sophitia frantically fumbled with the pouch on his side, she practically ripped the flap off in an attempt to open it. She dug around, keeping an eye on Link and watching as his breath slowed and became more shallow.

She searched faster, doing all she could to find a bottle of Link's fairies to save his life. She pushed aside several of his items he somehow fit in the tiny thing until she reached a bottle. She felt around the bottle and it was warm, proving it was a fairy of sorts. She grabbed it, nearly having to put her head inside to see it as she pulled the bottled spirit free from the depths of Link's endless pouch.

She popped the cork as quick as she could and lifted Link's head up. She watched as the little spirit of a fairy swirled around Link, closing his wounds and stopping the bleeding until it disappeared after swirling around twice. She waited in silence as she watched Link's unmoving body.

He did not move.

Sophitia dropped the glass, shattering it on the stone ground and banged on the walls in frustration. Her right arm was around his neck as she weeped, holding his head close to hers. While she continued to think Link had died, his fingers twitched slightly. His left hand moved, before it reached up and pulled the arrow in his chest out from his body.

Link gasped as he breathed in air again, the motion alerting Sophitia of his movements before she looked up. She gasped, Link was pulling the arrows out of him with his eyes squeezed shut in pain.

She reached up and grabbed the arrow in his shoulder. Sophitia glanced at Link who nodded in return. She inhaled before she pulled as hard as she could and freed the arrow shaft from his joint. Sophitia glanced at the shaft briefly before throwing it aside. She exhaled in relief before pulling Link into a tight embrace which he returned with renewed strength.

"This time, I won't let you go." Sophitia whispered into Link's ear, he remained quiet as he held her. He wondered if he made the right decision, if his choice was the best for both of them, especially Sophitia and her family. But he waited so long to have her in his arms like this, he didn't want to let go. Was it wrong of him to express such selfishness? So many questions rolled through his troubled mind. Sophitia was of the same mind, only she had to figure how to make things work now that she had him back. Whatever was to come, she did not want him to be lost in her memory. Whether the gods looked down in disapprovement or not, she found herself unable to choose against Link's life simply to suit their favor. It no longer mattered to her if this was forbidden, she would find a way to make it work.

But she was left with the one dilemma that she dreaded: what was she going to tell Rothion? Honestly, she didn't care at the moment. All she wanted right now was to hold Link and not let go. Link pulled back to stare into Sophitia's eyes, he leaned in closer ever so slowly, she made no move as she stared back. Eventually, Link's lips closed on hers in a passionate kiss. Sophitia melted into it as she returned the show of affection.

They held each other longer, deepening the kiss. Not one of them wanted this bliss to end, they wished to stay that way forever.

They finally broke, their lungs gasping for air. Link smiled thankfully at Sophitia, she smiled back knowing that they were going to be together for longer than an eternity. Sophitia lifted Link off the blood soaked ground as he balanced himself against the wall.

With a final kiss, the two departed for the bakery.

Rothion was sitting inside the bakery, still awaiting his wife's return and hoping she was okay. The door to the house opened suddenly and the sight caused the blacksmith to gasp. In the doorway stood a man in green with blood soaking his form and next to him with her arms around him and the man's arms around her was Sophitia.

Rothion stood. Not knowing what to make of this, he ran to Sophitia's side, checking her frantically for injuries.

"Sophitia! What happened? And who is this man? Did he do this to you?" Rothion asked quickly. Sophitia shook her head, as she gently let Link lower himself on the couch. Sophitia stood in front of the exhausted hero, weary of Rothion's reaction to the news she brought. Link attempted to sit up only to have Sophitia push him back down gently.

"This is Link. He saved me six years ago on my quest, and I have just returned the favor." Sophitia responded. Rothion's jaw dropped.

"You were injured? You never told me!" Rothion said, almost enraged. Sophitia remained calm.

"Yes. We traveled for awhile...eventually, I fell for him and he fell for me." Sophitia explained. Rothion made no move, his face became blank as he stared at the pain-filled Hylian.

"So that was what's wrong, isn't it? That was why you weren't yourself when you returned..." Rothion whispered. Sophitia nodded, a sad glint in her eyes.

"I never told Link about us. I never told him I had a family, I should have and maybe we wouldn't be here now. But I love him, and he loves me. There's nothing I can do about it, I've tried to forget him but I can't..." Sophitia answered.

Rothion sighed, he felt a little dizzy from the tale. He sat down, rubbing his head in unbelieving silence. He didn't look up at Sophitia nor the man she came home with. He just couldn't do it anymore. Their relationship had fallen to ruin in the six years since her last quest and now he knows why, but he just can't believe it.

"I broke his heart when I told him the truth. He left to help me make my decision. Link wanted me to return here so that I could be happy, but I didn't want this life anymore." Sophitia explained further to the blacksmith.

Rothion looked up, he felt jealousy arise in him against the man called Link for stealing his wife's heart, but he knew she wouldn't have fallen for him if she wasn't happy here. If she chose Link than there was nothing Rothion could do. He knew he could probably make their lives a misery if he wanted to but he still loved Sophitia, he couldn't do that to her. Plus his children would be present.

"...Fine, do what you have to do." Rothion said, not knowing what else to say. Sophitia had sat down and her hand was resting on Link's chest, her palm caressing his chin soothingly in an attempt to ease the pain.

"...Thank you for understanding..." Sophitia whispered, she was grateful Rothion seemed to understand her change of heart. Most husbands would want to kill Link for this, or even her for loving someone else, but Rothion cared for her still.

"I'll help him up to...our room. You should clean yourself up." Rothion stated, Sophitia nodded her thanks as Rothion hefted Link's arm over his shoulder with Sophitia grabbing his other arm. Link tried to walk as much as he could with Rothion helping him up the stairs and Sophitia supporting him. They got Link into a room and Sophitia left to clean up.

Rothion sat Link down on a chair and took a seat in one opposite him. Rothion stared long and hard at Link, scrutinizing him, studying him. Finally, he reached a conclusion.

"Let me hear your side of the story." Rothion said when Link opened his eyes to return Rothion's gaze.

"...I came from another world, Soul Edge attacked my homeland and I was sent to destroy it. I met Sophitia in a cave in eastern Europe after a month of being in this world, she was injured and I convinced her that I was only wanting to help. About seven months later, we fell for each other but I fell quicker. I told her everything about me before this, one day when I confessed, she told me about you. I left her so that she could forget me and stay here, happy..." Link explained with difficulty in his voice because of the pain.

Rothion started chuckling.

"Well, as much as I appreciate you saving Sophitia and walking away when you knew She was married to me, I have to say that when she got back here she wasn't the same. I never knew what happened until now and I just can't believe it." Rothion muttered. Link smiled despite himself.

"She told me." He answered. Rothion crossed his arms and thought about his children, they would be in good hands with Sophitia, but he was still unsure if Link was trustworthy. Sophitia seemed to trust him, but Rothion wasn't sure, he did steal Sophitia from him.

"I'll let Sophitia keep our kids, I'll be by often to visit them. You had better take good care of them, ya hear?" Rothion said holding up an index finger at Link. Link nodded.

"I will. I swear it." Link responded as Rothion left. Sophitia entered and began cleaning his wounds with a towel. They both remained silent as she cleaned him up and wrapped his chest with gauze. When she was finished, she helped Link into the bed nearby where he lay to recover.

Sophitia sat down at his side, pushing bangs of Link's hair from his eyes as he gazed back at her. She leaned down and captured his lips with hers, pushing her tongue into his mouth in a loving kiss. Link was too weary to return it, the kiss instead made him light headed. She giggled at him, before she pulled the sheets over his form and left to check her children.

A moment later, a little boy and a little girl entered the room behind Sophitia. They gazed at Link a little curiously but still shy on approaching him. Link smiled at the two, a warm smile. The kids approached Link's form, still gazing at him. The younger girl gasped at the sight of his ears, the boy also seemed interested in them. They grabbed Link's ear, trying not to pull it as they examined it. Link chuckled, them feeling about his ear kind of tickled the Hylian. Sophitia laughed to herself as she sat down on the bed, watching the children play with Link's ear-ring.

Link smiled to himself, he always wanted kids, he was good with them. Though, he knew these two weren't his own, he would still protect them. Even if they weren't Sophitia's kids, he had a soft spot for children.

Sophitia sent her children off to bed, as it was growing late and sleep beckoned her to rest by her new husband. She had changed into her nightwear and lay at Link's side. Link pulled her into a kiss that had caught her by surprise, butterflies flew in her stomach as they did in Link's. She moaned into his mouth, enjoying the bliss of their love. Link's arms wrapped around her back as Sophitia's held Link's head to hers.

Their days would not be so full of sorrow from that day forward.


EDIT Nov 22, 2015: Fixed seperation lines and cut out that ridiculous A/N. Also, I realize this is probably the corniest thing I've done in a while, I think I improved since this story...but I can't say for sure until I either continue this one, or, write a new one with its own continuity. Keep an eye out for either, because as of now, I'm in the mood for Link-based SC fictions.

Please review! No flames, if you would like to offer criticism than please be my guest. But if so, I'd rather not hear what you thought of the story but rather what I could have improved on it. Thank you, now hit the fancy button below.