Chapter 1: Nightmares


The wind howled that night. It howled so loudly that Link almost missed the sounds that the voice made in the air. It howled so loudly that Link almost saved himself from the stresses of the voice that made sounds in the air. In fact, it howled so loudly that Link's howls of anguish and fear, seemed like whispers.


Nightmares were nothing new to the newly accomplished Hero of Light. Now, having vanquished the great evil that had been the Demon King Ganondorf, Link had thought or rather, had hoped, that the nightmares would end. Unfortunately, the nightmares did not end, in fact, they only seemed to worsen.

Link, Link…wakeup, Hero.

Link sprung from his bed. His blue eyes flashing in the fluttering of moonlight that skimmed the room through the glass of his window in Hyrule Castle, Link shook his head lightly. Sweat trickled down the bridge of the Hero's nose, and he breathed shakily. One hand, forever marked with the brand of courage, wiped the nightmare's residue from his forehead.

Having felt his heart rate slow back to average, Link swung his bare legs down to the floor. The hard skin of his feet tensed slightly from the ripple of chill sent through them by the cold stone.

"I could have sworn there was a carpet there." Link mumbled to himself as he stood up. Hardly a tall Hylian, Link nevertheless appeared much taller when he stood. The elusiveness of his height was due to a crucial aspect of Link's persona, his role as the Hero of Time. Link moved from his bed to the elegantly carved washbasin and mirror at the vast room's corner. Link's signature color jerkin lay thrown over one of the chairs of velvety purple off center of the room. Link wore instead a thin white sleep tunic, which had been embroidered with the golden letterings that stood for "Hero" and "Time."

Link poured a bit of water into the basin, and grabbed the towel from the nearby hook. He splashed the water up into his face, feeling its cool touch absorb into his fair skin. He rubbed the towel across his face and neck, its soft touch relaxing the tension from his neck and shoulders as he continued to try to forget the nightmare.

Ah, Link,…you can't forget me can you? My little Hero.

Link dropped the towel and grabbed the side of the washbasin, he heard the pitcher hit the floor and shatter at his feet. But he couldn't look to see, no all he could do was stare, almost dumbstruck at what stared back at him, two red eyes.

"Dark—" Link began.

"It's been a while, Hero. Miss me?" Dark Link, his eyes brightening and darkening gradually as they always did, gave Link his usual superior smirk.

"When? How did you?"

"Oh, don't get your Hero's leggings in a twist, I'm not really there. No, you made sure of that." Dark Link's eyes narrowed almost unnoticeably slightly, just enough to express his frustration and anger. Not that Link needed to see Dark's expressions to understand them. He could, as Dark could with Link's, feel them inside of himself. Link felt rather than saw Dark Link's anger rising, and the physical effects of the emotions reflected on Link's face until he responded and once again reflected himself.

"You got what you deserved. It's your own fault, for allying yourself with Ganon." Link leaned in closer to his reflection. Dark Link appeared as if the negative of film in a camera. His eyes were red. They held no markings or irises, they were simply red, the only life exhibited in their constant darkening and lightening. His face was steely white, like Link's, it mirrored his slender nose and subtle lips, although Dark's were almost always upturned in a smirk. Dark's hair was silver, as if reflecting all light that it encountered, as if no light at all could exist within Dark. Finally he wore all black, his tunic tight around his slender frame, and his dark cap sliding slightly back away to expose his pointy Hylaian ears and his silvery bangs.

"Is that the excuse you've been using Hero? I did it to myself? Ganon did it to himself? It wasn't right for him, for me, to want something other than everlasting nothing? We weren't right to want to expand? To move past what was our lot in life? We should have been happy with the nothing handed to us? Now Hero, I think you're being a bit unkind."

"Don't try to twist my words Dark. It won't work," again, Link added silently, but Dark's ears pricked up, signaling he'd heard Link's thought.

"Oh no? Then why am I here then Hero?"

"I have no idea." Link pulled back from Dark's erstwhile smirk and crossed his arms. "You tell me."

"No Hero, you tell me." Dark leaned in, so close that he looked as if he might pass right through the glass, so close that his red lights of eyes were sending little red ripples in the water that still sat in the basin. He was so close, that Link could feel the edges of his mouth turn upwards as Dark's did, unnoticeably slightly.

"I suppose, the Nightmares."

"Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!" Dark pasted one black gloved finger into the air, his outstretched arm not even seeming to move, and Link suddenly realized that he himself was raising his arm, fair skin exposed as the thin and voluminous sleeves of the tunic fell back towards his shoulder. "And they say you can't teach an old Dodongo new tricks, look at you Hero, impressing me all the time."

"Shut up Dark." Link almost growled at his reflection as he lowered his arm.

"Tsk,Tsk!" Dark wagged his finger at his Light side, "Temper, temper! Don't want me to come out do you?" Link ignored the comment.

"How do my Nightmares have to do with you?" Link leaned in, as his Dark Side pulled back from the mirror, like a reflection-balance in a seesaw.

"You're afraid. You're uncertain, something is troubling that fair-haired head of yours. And it's reflecting itself in your semi-conscious, in your sleep." Dark closed one red eye and peered at Link from the other judgingly, "It would seem that you feel unbalanced."

"Don't twist my thoughts either Dark. I'm not letting you out of there." Link forced himself to turn away from his other half. He felt the tie to his dark side begin to slacken, as if his refusal to look at Dark had effectively ended their bond, but he knew better than to believe that the bond was truly gone, only temporarily disconnected.

"Believe what you want to Hero. I only told you what you wanted to know, what you already know."

Link gave Dark one last look as his Negative half began to fade back into the Night. "And what's that?"

"That Dark can exist without Light, but Light needs Dark to define itself. In other words, Hero, you need me, more than I need you." Dark's face began to sink now, leaving his eyes glittering in a mask of smokey gloom.

"You're lying." Link replied, but he only half-believed it himself.

"Am I? Well I guess we'll see won't we? Until next time," Dark faded back into the darkness, and Link once again saw his own fair skin and bright Blue eyes looking back at him from over his shoulder.

Oh yes, and one more thing Hero, what are you wearing anyway? You look like a girl.

Link grabbed a piece of the pitcher and threw it at the mirror. As he heard the tinkling crack of the mirror splitting itself apart he mumbled under his breath, "I hate you."

I know.