disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: um. to blue sky and screwdrivers at noon.
notes: lawl writing headcanon again.

title: a year and six months
summary: Midna had never been any good at goodbyes. — Zant/Midna/Link.

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Midna leaves Link the same way she left Zant.

She sees the parallels in it—oh, Gods, it's so funny in such a sick way; find one, leave one, find the other, leave that other—and it would make her laugh if she knew what in the God's names' she was talking about.

She leaves without a word, without a whisper, without a proper goodbye. She leaves without pretence and without tears (except one), without sadness, murder, emotion. Without anything.

She just leaves.

It's awful, but she's always been like that.

Midna is flighty.

Right from when she was a child, she's always been scared of responsibility; responsibility to the throne, to her people, to her parents—even to her friends. Midna never had many friends.

And even now, few remain who Midna can truly call friend.

Zelda, maybe.

Yes, she is friends with Zelda. Sharing a body had made them friends, and even through Midna knows that she will never see Hyrule's Princess ever again, she knows that they will remain friends until the day they both shall die.

Midna thinks hard, and cannot come up with any other friends.

Zant was not a friend. Link is not a friend.

Mida does not really have friends.

There is a chill in the air of the Twili. Midna stands on the balcony that overlooks the lands in which she'd grown up and draws her black shift closer about her body. It does little to cut the wind, but it is something and that is better than nothing. Midna will not go inside, this cycle.

She would rather watch the Twili, anyway.

There is a serene sort of beauty in it. The light is golden and warm, the colours sharp and neon against the Shadowstone that makes up the walls of her home. Minda knows this place, knows it like the back of her hand, knows it because—

She's seven years old, pouting at the tall boy barring her from skipping out of another tutoring lesson. He's standing in the doorway looking bemused, leaning against the frame and looking like a king in ill-fitting clothes.

"You can't go out, Midna. Her Majesty wouldn't like it," he says.

Midna contemplates punching him in the gut. It probably wouldn't do much—he is twelve and the magic runs in his blood like wine, stronger than anyone Midna has ever known.

Not stronger than her, though.

That's why she's the Princess.

"Her Majesty, her smajesty. I don't care!" Midna scoffs at him in her little-girl voice.

She is small. She is young. She is breakable.

He scoops her up and throws her over his shoulder, laughing. Midna screams her rage. "ZANT, PUT ME DOWN! RIGHT NOW! I DON'T LIKE IT!"

"Sorry, Princess," he chuckles. "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

Midna tries to kick his shin.

—it's the only home she's ever known.

/ / /

The people are still wary.

Midna does not blame them for a minute.

They have lost so much in so little time—Zant was a terrible ruler, Midna knows. Poverty and famine run rampant, and all she thinks about is steadying the economy. Relaying the foundations of the Twili takes time and resources that Midna does not have.

She is ill with grief.

Zelda is a gaping hole in her stomach. Link is a gaping hole in her heart.

Mida moves forward because if she doesn't—

She is eighteen and so weak that it makes her cringe. She has no magic left; it's been cursed away by someone that she loves.

Loved.

She loves him no longer.

The Twi-beasts drag the unconscious wolf-boy to the castle.

Midna smiles with her teeth.

Vengeance.

—all she can do is remember.

/ / /

His voice haunts her dreams.

She is not sure which him she is talking about—sometimes it is Link and sometimes it is Zant. Sometimes it is both, twined together in never-ending laughter.

Sometimes there is sunlight.

Sometimes there is not.

Life is muted in the Twili, in a way. Zant was right—the people live in a state of constant contentment. They are quiet and pure. Simple. Untainted. Good.

Midna loves it.

She loves that squabbles are so easily fixed. She sits in the throne room and deals with every day's troubles. They are nothing that is ever serious. They are nothing that is ever truly a problem.

The people love her.

It humbles her and awes her, because she left them to rot while she ran. Yes, it had been to save them all, but…

Midna shakes her head, bemused.

She'd been such a selfish child—

It is four and a half years later. It is two days before her birthday.

Her father goes out on a hunting trip.

He never returns.

Midna's mother is stricken when she hears the news and instructs everyone to keep the knowledge from the little Princess. Then she closes herself in her tower and does not emerge for sixteen days.

But people talk and no matter what dimension you're in, news travels like wildfire.

Midna knows by the end of the day.

She does not allow herself to cry.

Zant finds her in the garden, curled up and shaking. He eases himself to the ground next to her, and whispers "Hey."

"Hi," she whispers in return. She does not move.

He looks like he is about to say something, but he doesn't. Instead, he puts his arms around her. He pulls her tiny body into his and rocks her.

"You can cry," Zant mutters into her flaming orange hair.

Midna bites her lips until they bleed.

She sobs.

—that it is almost sad to think how far she's come.

Saving the world makes one old beyond her years.

/ / /

"I need you."

It's a stupid phrase that will always give her pause. Zant had only said it once. Link had said it twice. Zelda had never said it at all.

Midna likes to think that Zelda doesn't really need anyone. She's probably Queen by now, Midna muses to herself.

The Princesses have grown up.

And now they are queens.

Midna dips her hands into the pool of indigo liquid in front of her. The basin is small and cut of purple-veined Shadowstone, dark, creamy and cool. It shimmered sadly in the Twili's golden light.

She stares down at her reflection—

She's hiding in Link's shadow when she first meets The Other Girl.

Really meets her, that is—it's the first time she's properly heard the girl speak. She has no memory. She is young and naïve and Midna dislikes her immediately on principle.

This girl cannot protect Link the way he needs to be protected.

This girl cannot protect Link from himself.

—and doesn't recognize the woman staring back.

/ / /

A year and six months, gone.

The pain lingers—the numbness of the first weeks is long gone, and it hurts. It probably always will. The gaping holes will always remain. But she is beginning to patch the holes up with dark flowers and golden evenings, thanks to a lively court and a livelier country.

They are good people.

They deserve her at her best.

She knows this.

Midna rules, and begins to heal.

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fin.
notes2: two fics in one day. i am on fire!
notes3: please leave a review. :)