Farore X Link chapter, written by G01den W01f 11

Deep within the Rain Temple, Link leaned against an old fir tree as he changed the dressing on his side. A bokoblin arrow had pierced it two days ago. Every time the wound started to scab over, he suddenly had to run somewhere else and fight some other enemy, and he had to start healing all over again.

It was not the worst pain he had felt on his quest, but that did not make it any easier to concentrate through. He inhaled a sharp breath as he laid the new dressing firmly upon the hole in his side. The old bandage was soaked through with his blood and lay discarded at his feet.

He had left his tunic somewhere on a higher floor. It was just scraping against his wound and weighing him down. When his swordbelt and quiver began to chafe against his bare skin, he left those too. A sword and a shield were all he needed.

He struggled to his feet and took a drought from the canteen that swung from his hip. He was never in danger of running out of water in the Rain Temple. It was one of the few good things about the place.

Clutching his side, Link walked over to the main door to check the barricade. He had braced it with freshly-chopped timber from the forest that grew within the room. The wood still held, uncracked. It seemed that the monsters of the temple also slept at night.

He knew they would not hold off their assault much longer. From his side of the door, he could hear the scurry of claws over the tile floor. Something heavy scraped against the ground, and everywhere there were the clicks and howls of the harsh Bokoblin language.

He knelt and rested his sword across his knees. Let them come. At worst, they would put an end to his quest.

"Come, sister. There are other worlds to make. Other evils to vanquish."

Nayru's reprimand shook Farore from her vision. It had been a beautiful one. He had finally discarded his tunic. Many would consider such thoughts inappropriate of a goddess, much less a golden goddess, but she did not care. Being a goddess meant you got to decide what was appropriate. Lately, 'appropriate' meant that young champion of hers.

She had not noticed him on his first quest when the little Hylia had chosen him, or even the next one. Dear Nayru had been occupying all their thoughts with dreams of a new land called Subrosia. From the gleam in her eye, Din had seemed quite enamored of the idea. It was only when she dashed off to plan her part of the world that Farore turned her gaze back to Hyrule.

He had been in a forest temple when she first saw him, both hands resting on the hilt of his blade. It was as much a part of him as he was part of the temple. For a time, nothing moved. As far as Farore could tell, she was looking into a painting or at a sculpture. Then he rose, and as he stormed from the sanctuary, Farore knew that he would do great things.

She had watched him through the ages. Watched him accept his burden as he was reborn into the hero's skin time and time again. It was sad almost, but then she saw the purpose written clear across his face, and she knew that he would not have it any other way.

He wore that same expression now, as he faced the only door out of the room where he was trapped. He had never failed before. As he progressed through the Rain Temple, Farore kept looking for his clever plan, his burst of insight that would allow him to best his foes, but it never came. She kept looking and looking until he gasped, and an arrow pierced his side, and he retreated.

That was not supposed to happen. He was not supposed to get hurt. He was a hero - her hero.

"Farore?" It was Nayru again. She never could stop herself from meddling. The goddess had often scolded her for her infatuation with the mortal, but if a man is reborn over and over again, is he truly mortal? Perhaps he was not as divine as the Three, but he was certainly an equal to many of the lesser gods that populated Hyrule.

"A year or two more, sister," she responded. In truth, she was not likely to need even that much time. Link would die in that very room, to the doom of Hyrule. Such things could not be helped.

Nayru glared down at her, but in the end she left her alone with her hero. Farore sank back into the vision to see him once more sharpening his sword against a rock.

Seeing him prepare for death, she was struck by a burst of something devious. She laughed mischievously as she readied the spell. Nayru would not approve, and Din-

Din would curse her.

Giggling, she descended into the world of Hyrule, which had not seen the Golden Goddesses since its birth.

Content that his blade was sharp, Link tried to sheath it before remembering that he had abandoned his sheath. He shrugged and lay it down by his side, well within the reach of his arm.

Death would almost be a relief. He had already used up most of his food. Only a handful of salted beef remained, which he tore into as he awaited his fate.

Then the room began to spin. He leapt to his feet, crying out at the hole in his side. The room spun faster, and Link shut his eyes to keep himself steady.

When he reopened them, he was standing in a grand chamber of pure white. The sounds of a harp filled the air, its serene melody running over him like the gift of rain in an arid desert. A large table draped in white silk stood before him, laden with every fruit he knew and some he didn't. There were sweets too: candied walnuts dipped in sugar, lavish frosted cakes each topped with a single red cherry, and flaky brown pastries that leaked an apple filling.

"Eat," sang a voice, "and rest."

Before him appeared a woman whose beauty dwarfed even Zelda's. She seemed to wear a robe of moss and lilies, grown as a single piece from some enchanted forest. Her luscious green hair fell from her head and tangled with the robe, and Link could scarce tell the difference between the two.

As she touched his side with a pale hand, a warmth ran through him that knitted his skin back together and filled his belly with sustenance.

Her touch lingered, and he felt his gaze drawn up to her shining jade-green eyes.

"Who are you?" he breathed.

"Someone who loves you."

She stepped close. Too close. Their bodies pressed together and her lips met his.

She was beautiful and soft. Overwhelmed by her fresh scent, he sagged into her embrace as she kissed him more deeply.

Never had he felt such joy, such peace. He tasted life upon her lips, a life that was free of monsters and barbed arrows. Before he could think, his arm wrapped around her lithe waist, and he began to kiss her back.

But as he drew her in closer, the tingle in the back of his mind that never slept began to wonder. How did she have the power to tear him from the temple? How did she so easily weaken his legs and draw him into her arms? Most importantly, what did she want from him?

With a grimace, he shoved the woman away. As she stumbled backward, the emptiness that he had not realized he had borne his entire life returned.

"Who are you?" he asked again.

"A goddess." The mark on his hand agreed with her, vibrating in ecstasy to be reunited with its mother.

She advanced. Link stepped backward.

"Then you know of my quest. Return me."

"You could live with me forever." The goddess raised a hand. His muscles froze as she crept closer. "No more pain. No more fear. No more want." Her hand brushed through his hair. "You could be at peace."

All his life, no one had offered him anything. He was little more than a tool, marked by the triangle that glowed on his hand. But she-this goddess-could give him peace. He could relax, and never hunger again, and be happy.

But then Zelda's screams as the dark king's minions tore her from the throne room echoed through his mind.

"Aye, I could have peace. And Hyrule would die. You gave me your mark for a reason, Farore. Return me."

Her hand paused on his cheek-such warmth, such delicacy-then slowly withdrew. The goddess cast her eyes downward.

"As you wish."

"You little fool. You could have doomed them all. It was our best work, and then you interfered. How could you? I warned you. Nayru warned you. Still you persisted in your foolish crush. We are better than that."

Her sister pulsed with a brilliant orange light. She had been berating her so long she should have been hoarse, but the Goddess of Power plowed through her tirade with the same fierce energy with which she had begun it.

When Farore had returned, Nayru greeted her with that knowing gaze that clearly said "I told you so." Before Farore could reply, Din had sprung on her. She would probably still hear Din's shrill voice for an age after the Goddess of Power stopped screaming.

As her sister went on and on, Farore retreated into the sweet memory that she would treasure for an eternity. She had touched him. She had never touched one of her children before; that was not her place. But she had touched him. His body had been so firm and warm beneath the hand she had formed for herself. Had she the time, she would have felt more of it. She would have felt all of it, and licked off the sweat that still glistened upon his chest, and-

But that was not to be. When faced with an eternity of bliss, Link had chosen to go back. And that was for the best.

For if he hadn't, she could never have loved him.