A/N: Here we go! My sister convinced me to post this. This is my first multi-chaptered story for the Zelda fandom. It might be a little weird, I know. As you can probably tell, it starts off serious - it WAS going to be serious at first - but things got out of hand later on. Zelda is acting a little... crazy in this chapter, I know, haha. She won't be that way for the rest of the story. Let's just say... she has, like, a split personality, okay?
I hope the parts with the goddesses aren't confusing. Especially that Din insert at the end of the chapter...
EDIT: Okay, the goddess parts DIDN'T work out too well with the italics, as I can now see. I guess I'll bold them too. Hope that helps.
Shards of Time
A sudden hush fell over the area. Compared to the chaotic sounds of battle he'd become accustomed to recently, it was deafening, almost suffocating. But at the same time… he felt a strange, peaceful twinge in his heart.
The Hero of Time opened his eyes and gasped quietly. He didn't appear to be standing on anything except for clouds, yet the ground felt solid, and he didn't fear falling. He turned around, expecting to find more blue sky and billowing clouds, or perhaps his fairy Navi, but instead he was met with crystal clear blue eyes. They belonged to a radiant young woman in an elaborate dress.
Her name leapt to his lips: "Zelda." Then he cleared his throat. "I mean, Princess."
The woman smiled. "It's fine, Link. Or should I call you Hero?" Though the smile remained plastered on her face, it seemed to turn a little sad. "After all, you've finally done it. The King of Evil is gone, banished from our world."
"We did it," Link corrected, stepping toward her. "How would I have found the all the temples without Sheik's help?"
Zelda nodded, but she seemed a little distracted. "I guess you're right…"
Link studied the princess's face. Even if he'd only known her for a short while, he could tell that something was troubling her; he might as well have known her all his life. "Princess? What's wrong?"
She shook her head, and Link thought she'd brush off the question. To his surprise, she answered, "This whole ordeal is my fault."
He blinked. "What? No, it isn't."
"Yes." She looked into his eyes. "The blame is all mine. If I hadn't been so foolish as a young girl, none of this would have happened. I thought I was strong enough to prevent things from going wrong, that I could control the Sacred Realm. But, no. Ganondorf got the Triforce… and darkness spread across Hyrule. All because of me." Zelda turned and gazed out into the distance, seeing past the serene sky and picturing instead the destruction of her kingdom.
"That's not because of you." Even to Link the statement sounded uncertain. He tried again. "Ganondorf would not have given up. If you hadn't stepped in, he may have gotten the Spiritual Stones and the Ocarina on his own, or figured out a different way into the Sacred Realm. Then I wouldn't have the Master Sword…"
"But my mistake also cost you seven years of your life," Zelda gloomily answered. "If only there was a way I could go back in time to fix it…" She stopped and blinked. "Time. The Ocarina of Time!" She looked back up. "Link. Give me the Ocarina."
"I can use it to send you back. To send us all back!" She grabbed his hand, eyes shining with excitement. "Do you have it?"
"Of course. But–"
She narrowed her eyes. "Give it to me!" she snarled.
Shocked by the sudden change in behavior, Link stammered, "O-okay." Reluctantly, he reached into his enchanted pouch that held many items without expanding and withdrew the instrument. He handed it to the princess, a bit unnerved by the fervent look on her face. She took it with a nod, bringing it toward her mouth. Then, seeming to think of something, she lowered it.
"Um, I'm not exactly sure how this will work out," she admitted. "I don't know if we'll lose our memory, or be destroyed and painfully brought to our deaths, or spontaneously explode, or suddenly be whisked into a dark alternate dimension where we are doomed to forever spend our lives while no one knows what happened to us. But," she continued, ignoring Link's increasingly alarmed expression, "I'm sure we'll be fine as long as we're together. I just wanted to say something, in case, you know, one of us is destroyed. I love…"
Link's eyes widened
"…furry animals." Zelda grinned and clasped her hands together. "I just love snuggling with them. Don't you? They're soooo cute!" Link didn't know whether or not to be disappointed or relieved. Zelda noticed. "Oh. Were you expecting something else?"
He sighed and shook his head. "Um, no. Just play the song and we can get out of this place." He squinted, looking around. "Wait. Where exactly are we again…?"
Ignoring the question, Zelda took the ocarina and began to play.
Zelda's Lullaby, the magic song known only by the Royal Family, rang through the expanse of sky. The beautiful, slow tune calmed them both, bringing a relieving feeling of peace over the pair–
Until a loud, grating note sounded and the music stopped.
Link stared at Zelda, who was looking at the ocarina with contempt. "Foolish instrument," Zelda muttered. "If you will not obey me, I will have you sentenced to a life in prison! I will make your life so miserable, you'll wish you were dead!"
Biting his lip at the princess's odd behavior, Link said, "Uh, Zelda, it's an instrument. I don't think it has a conscience…"
Growling, Zelda tried to play again, but another improper note ruined the effect of the song.
"Princess." Link tried again to speak as Zelda angrily tried fixing the note, unable to find the right one. "I can help you."
"No!" she shouted.
"Look, your fingering is a little wrong," he said gently. "If you just–"
"I will do it myself."
He winced at another cacophony of poor notes. "Just let me do it."
Her head snapped up to glare at him. "What?" she nearly shrieked. "Is this another, 'Oh, the princess is in trouble, I must help her' moment of yours? Do you think you're better than me just because you saved the land of Hyrule and all of its inhabitants from the King of Evil by slaying him in battle and then becoming the long-awaited, legendary Hero of Time? Well, you're not! I can take care of myself."
"I didn't mean–"
"Right. Of course you didn't."
Link felt his anger rising. "Just hand over the ocarina! I played that song hundreds of times since my journey began. I won't make mistakes, unlike some people."
"I grew up with this song played for me every night."
"Oh, sorry if not everyone could live like royalty."
"Shut up! You're distracting me!"
"You're acting stupid."
Zelda gasped. "You dare call a princess such a vulgar term? You will pay for that!"
Link gave her an odd look. "Wait, stupid? That's not–"
"You said it. Again!"
"Look, I don't know what you have against the word stu–"
"Don't. Say it."
Link's eyes narrowed. "Make me."
"As the Princess of Hyrule, I command you to–"
"That won't work, Zelda."
"That's Princess Zelda to you."
Zelda and Link continued glowering at each other until finally Link broke the silence. "Oh, and you should still give me the ocarina."
Meanwhile, as the Princess of Destiny and the Hero of Time argued, two divine figures watched from the heavens. One, with long, flowing, silvery-blue hair and a beautiful floor-length white dress began to speak. "I cannot say I'm surprised that your Hero became entangled in a controversy as ridiculous and trivial as this, but I am appalled by the actions of Princess Zelda. He is a negative influence on her."
The other, a girl dressed in a brown tunic with forest-green leggings matching her hair, looked at her companion with a mixture of child-like amusement and slight irritation. "But, Nayru," she said, eyes shining, "She started it."
Nayru rolled her eyes at the childish reply of her sister, turning her attention back to the pair.
"You're just a young boy from the forest trapped in a Hero's body," Zelda snapped.
"And you're a spoiled princess that never actually grew up, even after seven years," Link calmly retorted. "Oh, and you have absolutely no musical talent."
"Hehehe! That's true, Nayru!" Farore giggled in the heavens. "You're so good at music. Why didn't you give Zelda such abilities when you blessed her with the Triforce?"
The Goddess of Wisdom sighed. "Princess Zelda does indeed possess enhanced musical talent – or at least the wisdom to hone her skills in such an area. However, not even the Princess of Destiny can flawlessly play an ocarina after seven years of not practicing."
Farore frowned. "Link did it."
"His situation is a bit unique, dear sister. He was asleep for all those years. To him, only a few months have passed since he left the forest, and even fewer since he pulled the Master Sword and was sent forward in time. One does not forget skills in such short amount of time."
"What are you two doing?"
The two goddesses, showing no hint of surprise, did not need to turn to know it was their sister, Din. She wore a short dress the same crimson shade of blood. Her bright, fiery red hair trailed behind her, falling down her back in a long ponytail.
Before Nayru could say anything, Farore blurted out, "Link and Zelda are fighting!"
Din's eyes glinted with a sort of malicious glee. "Let me see," she said, pushing her sisters aside to look down.
"Face it, Zelda, you're not perfect," Link said. "And… your outfit is hideous."
Her eyes flashed dangerously. "No one insults my clothing and gets away with it. No one." She sniffed, scrutinizing him. "Besides, this is coming from the guy in a dress."
Din burst into laughter. "Oh, this is priceless! I've always wanted to see those two argue… this is the best entertainment I've had for the past century…!"
"They're just like children," Nayru commented thoughtfully. "So frivolous. Remind me why we chose these two again, Farore?"
"Because Zelda was smart," the green-haired goddess said as though it were obvious. "And Link was brave."
"And it's not like you're useful for anything," Zelda continued. "You're supposed to have the power of the gods, aren't you? Isn't that kind of the point of the Triforce? But, no. Wisdom and Power give incredible magical abilities, but Courage? Hah! It's the most worthless piece! Farore obviously wasn't thinking straight when she made it."
Farore, watching from the heavens, abruptly stood up with supernatural speed, her hands balled into fists. "What did she just say?" she screeched, danger lacing her voice. "Why that little–"
"It's not like Nayru is much better," Link growled. "The Triforce of Wisdom seems pretty useless, considering it couldn't even help you escape once Ganondorf captured you. If you're oh-so-smart, why'd I have to come in and help you?"
Nayru narrowed her eyes, slowly rising to her feet and taking her place beside Farore with a look of indignation and barely constrained anger. "That insolent fool! I'd have half a mind to blast him to ashes right on the spot! He simply cannot understand how precious Wisdom truly is, and how long it takes to master using it."
Din, of course, shook from uncontrollable laughter.
"And what exactly can your Triforce do?" Zelda smirked. "I was the one who poured all my energy into opening passageways while fleeing Ganondorf's castle."
"In case you don't remember, you were also encircled in a fiery prison and Stalfos jumped out. I fought them off while you did absolutely nothing. Oh, and just five minutes ago, I slew the King of Evil."
"With my help."
"Right. Because standing helplessly on the sidelines and screaming when I was hurt really helped. Like I said: the Triforce of Wisdom is worthless."
"But Courage does nothing."
Nayru looked at Farore. "Did you hear that? The nerve of that Hero! Make him stop. He's your responsibility."
Farore was too busy mumbling under her breath. "Maybe if I left her alone in a room with cuccos… yes, the cucco torture never fails…" She blinked and looked up at her fellow goddess. "I'm sorry. Did you say something?"
"You know what I think?" the Goddess of Power said, stepping forward with a grin still on her face. "You should punish the Hero and get your revenge."
"Revenge is too petty for me, Din," Nayru huffed. "However… he does need a lesson in respect."
"And what about me? What about the princess that dared insult my clearly superior power?" Farore demanded.
Din gave them a humorless smile. "Of course. In fact… you could work together. Oh, wouldn't that be a marvelous idea?"
Nayru and Farore exchanged looks.
"I still hate your princess," Farore huffed.
"And I dislike that Hero," Nayru stated.
"But…?" A grin was forming of the Goddess of Courage's lips.
"But," Nayru said, sighing, "I suppose we could work together to show these mortals their place. Blessed they may be, but no one insults us. I'm sure we can both acquiesce to a little interfering in mortals' lives… can't we?"
"I'm not entirely sure what 'acquiesce' means," Farore said, "but if it includes payback, I'm so in."
Din could hardly contain her excitement. It was working! Her hastily thought-out plan was working…!
"Now. What would be a suitable punishment for them?"
"If I might make a suggestion," Din cut in, "you should remove that which is most precious to them at the moment. Make them suffer."
"And what exactly would that be?"
"Peace." The goddess smirked. "That's what they're fighting over in the first place, right?"
"I thought they were fighting over an ocarina," Farore grumbled.
"No! The ocarina is their path back in time to a peaceful era. See? If you get rid of that…"
"Oh! I get it! That's very smart, Din. I think Nayru is finally rubbing off on you after all these centuries." Farore smiled.
"I don't think it's enough," Nayru said. "They need to realize this is their retribution to the goddesses themselves." She glanced back down, and suddenly an idea came to her. "Do you recall what I said earlier?"
"Um… acquiesce?" Farore offered.
Nayru resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "No, Farore. I mean before that. I called them children. Remember?" She received no response. "Well, I suppose it doesn't matter. I believe we should show them the error of their ways by turning them into children."
"Ah. Make them innocent children, but force them into a world still recovering from war. I like it. Very evil." Din raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure you haven't tried revenge before, Nayru?"
"Yes, sister. Quite sure," she answered tersely."Now all we require is to rid the Hero and Princess of the Ocarina of Time."
Farore watched Link and Zelda's argument. "Ooh! I have an idea! This fight isn't exciting enough. They're only exchanging words, and that's no fun!" Farore raised a hand. "Someone just needs a little more 'Courage' to initiate this fight. A real fight."
She snapped her fingers.
" –and I'm too intelligent to fall for any tricks, Link. Remember that." Zelda glared at him, moving the ocarina behind her back.
"You think you're so smart but you're not!" Link felt his impatience growing. They were wasting time. Time, he knew, was very precious, even if they war was now over and really he didn't need to worry about it. If Zelda would just give him the ocarina….
Neither of them noticed Link's Triforce mark glowing.
He took a threatening step forward.
"I'm giving you one last chance, Princess. Surrender the ocarina, or else." As if just remembering it was there, he unsheathed his sword and watched Zelda's eyes grow wide with fear. He hated doing this to her, but something had to happen. Someone had to do something.
"Or… else?" Zelda repeated in a squeaky voice.
"Or else," he confirmed.
She watched him for a moment. "Or else what?"
"Or else… um…" He held up the sword.
She scoffed. "Yeah. Because you'd actually try to harm the Princess of Hyrule. I'd have my guards on you in an instant. You'd be locked in the dungeons for–"
Growling and unable to wait any longer, he decided to abandon his sword, dropping it to the ground, and lunged forward, aiming for the ocarina.
Shrieking, Zelda tried to rapidly back away, but she tripped over her own dress, falling backwards. The Ocarina of Time flew from her hands. Both watched as the instrument slowly descended, following a straight path downward. In a last valiant attempt, Link tried to grab it, but he was too late. It finally tumbled to the same level as their feet.
Although it only looked like another piece of blue sky, the ocarina hit the ground like it was solid – and shattered.
Din laughed. Farore and Nayru had already disappeared somewhere, but she remained to watch the struggling Princess and Hero. She couldn't believe how flawlessly her quickly-planned revenge was turning out. She saw an opportunity and had taken it, but she hadn't expected everything to be so smooth and easy.
A few seconds passed, but to Link and Zelda it felt like an eternity. They could only stare at the remains of what had once been an instrument. Zelda whispered disbelievingly, "We… broke it. We just broke the legendary Ocarina of Time."
Why Ganondorf? Why did her chosen champion, her dear Triforce bearer, have to die? It was time Link and Zelda paid back for what they stole from her.
The ground that had supported Link and Zelda for so long dissipated, leaving nothing but empty air. Zelda reached out her hands, but the grasped nothing. She could only helplessly feel the world lurch around her, the pure blue sky fading into angry red.
Time for vengeance.
Zelda and Link fell, screaming all the way.
A/N: It might be another month before I can update. I'm actually leaving on vacation to Canada tomorrow, and will stay there for the month of July. It depends, though, on how slow/fast my Grandma's computer is, since I already have Chapter 2 completed.
Also, criticism, no matter how harsh, is always welcome. Though not-so-harsh criticism is always appreciated a bit more...