Author's Note: Cleaning up a bit, so I figured I'd put a mass disclaimer in the beginning, covering the whole story. I own nothing but the plot, and I don't profit from this in any way. All characters, places names, and various words regarding the Zelda series belong to Nintendo, I'm simply using them for fun. Enjoy!

~Chapter One~

Link stepped out the door of his apartment and leaned on the railing overlooking the town. Down below clusters of other students scurried through the streets, most heading up the path towards the school. Taking a glance at the sun peaking over the canyon wall, he figured he should get a move on or he'd be late for work. He turned around and locked the door to his apartment before making his way down the cliff side via the system of spiral staircases. Kakariko was built in a canyon at the base of a mountain, so all the buildings backed up into the cliffs and clung high up on the walls, and the only way to navigate between them was to climb the ladders and stair cases (spiral to save space). Because it was so close to Death Mountain University, Kakariko was synonymous with students and the small cramped apartments they lived in. Link's was at the north end of the town, one of the highest up and closest to the road leading up to the mountain school. He used to simply jump over the railing and swing to the ground as quickly as possible, but that seemed to upset the local authorities and they'd put a stop to it.

So now he made the tedious way to ground level, where his job waited for him. He worked in the local explosives shop, Barnes Bombs, part time to pay for his school. Barnes himself was a neurotic timid man who rarely took on extra help for fear an employee would blow up his shop, but Link had been able to convince him to hire him on and was extremely grateful for the work. Classes at the university weren't terribly expensive, but every little bit helped.

The metal floor clanked as he ran into the shop, already knowing he was late. Not by much, but his meandering thoughts had distracted him again. Barnes poked his head up from his tinkering when Link entered and pointed out the small discrepancy in time. "You've been late a lot recently. What's up with you kid?"

"Sorry, I've just been distracted. It wont happen again," Link reassured with a smile.

Barnes eyed him with a bit of skepticism for a moment, then nodded. "Alright then. I need you to organize the store room today. I spent almost an hour earlier looking for a barrel of gunpowder. Damn things a complete mess," he grumbled, turning his head back to his work.

Link simply nodded and climbed the stairs to get to work.

His shift ended just as the sun disappeared behind the canyon walls. It wasn't yet five in the afternoon, but with the sun in hiding dimness fell and the street lights slowly flickered on as he trudged home. Some days he would try to race them home if he got off early enough, but today Barnes had him stay a little later to make up for being late.

He tiredly tugged himself up the last few steps of the stairs leading towards his home. Why did he always end up living somewhere he had to climb to get to, he wondered exhaustedly to himself. He was just putting the key in the lock to open his front door when the door to his left suddenly opened and his neighbor stepped out.

"Hey Sheik," Link called, smiling.

"Evening," he called back. Sheik finished shoving his house keys into his pockets and lit up a cigarette before turning to address Link face on. "You're filthy," he stated, grinning.

Link rolled his eyes and wiped at his face. "I've been working all day." He then eyed Sheik attire critically. The boy was always wearing something different, particularly in the hat area, and today was no different. "New hat," he asked.

Sheik patted his head proudly. "Yep, its called a rasta hat. Hey, you want come out with me? I was going to grab a drink with some friends down at Bomskitz."

Link thought about it for a moment. Tomorrow was his day off from work, and he didn't have any classes, so he agreed. "Sure, I can afford to be hung over tomorrow," he laughed. "Just give me a few minutes to get cleaned up." He went inside and Sheik trailed after, flopping down in the chair by the door. The apartment was very small, barely bigger than a studio, so the entry way, living room, and kitchen all rolled into each other. Link disappeared into the bathroom and washed up before changing out of his dirty work clothes into something slightly more stylish. He chose a pair of dark blue jeans and a forest green t-shirt with a white flock of birds across the front.

Figuring he looked okay he popped back out into the living room to find Sheik leaning backwards in one of his kitchen chairs, neck craned back at an awkward angle to look at him. He flipped around and hopped to his feet, running a hand through his shaggy bangs to get them to fall back over the one eye. "You ready," he asked chipperly.

Link nodded and they set out. Bomskitz was on the other end of the town from their apartments, built into a large cavern next to the towns local spring. It seemed an odd place for a bar, but the acoustics were amazing, and local bands played there on the weekends. They arrived quickly though and Sheik looked around. "I don't think they're here yet," he said, referring to the people he was meeting.

"Well, lets get a table then," Link suggested, immediately going to his favourite table directly in front of the stage. "This okay," he asked Sheik.

"Perfect," he said, taking the chair facing the door. "I don't think there are any bands playing tonight though," he contemplated, looking around.

"Not tonight," Link said, taking the seat to his left. "They only have live music on the weekends. Who are you supposed to be meeting anyway?"

"Oh, just a few friends." He glanced at Link mischievously. "You actually know one of them."

Link frowned, but before he could ask who, he saw a cluster of people enter the bar, a figure dressed in black at the front. "What the hell? Did you plan this," he snapped at Sheik, anger flaring briefly. He didn't like when people interfered in his personal matters.

Sheik's one visible eye widened innocently. "Not at all, I just thought it'd be interesting." Link huffed and sat back in the chair, crossing his arms defensively. Sheik grinned at his behavior. "Lets just get a few drinks in you and you'll be fine."

The group looked around then spotted Sheik and made their way to the table. When they got closed Link found he only recognized two of them. One was another boy in his history class, and the other... Well the other he hadn't spoken with in weeks. Link deliberately ignored him as Sheik introduced everyone. "Guys, this is my friend Link. I bumped into him on my way out and dragged him along. Link these are Shad, Ashei, Hena, and this guy, who you already know," he finished, gesturing haphazardly at the group.

Tension filled the air as the four newcomers took their seats. Sheik ignored the trade of emotion going on and struck up a conversation with the other three. In the mean time Link had a stare down with the source of his agitation, a young man with features eerily similar to his own, only darker, with eyes as red as jewels. "Long time no see, Dark," he finally said, smiling tightly.

Dark's face broke into a large grin. "So you're talking to me again, huh?"

Link scoffed, "Oh shove it," he snapped, then smiled. Dark's grin was contagious, and he never really could stay mad at his brother for long, at least not if they were in the same room. "How've you been anyways? Still with that guy?"

Dark leaned back in his seat and ran a thumb along his jawline. " 'That guy' huh? So what, you're over that now?"

Link shrugged. "It was just one guy, and we were breaking up anyway. If you had asked beforehand I wouldn't have been upset." Dark smirked as if to say 'yeah right'. "Okay, I would have been upset, but not as much, and not at you. Just ask in future."

Dark laughed. "Alright, I'll just let you know next time I want to sleep with someone you're dating."

Link shook his head but smiled, knowing he was joking. And in a completely inobvious way the two brothers made up. Then they looked around to find the rest of the table looking at them. Sheik had the same mischievous smile on and Link arched an eyebrow at him. "Liar."

He simply grinned back, then the drinks arrived (the waitress apologizing for the wait, something about a broken bottle), and Sheik breathed a sigh of relief. He had been friends with both Link and Dark for some time now and knew Dark was beginning to get upset with Link ignoring him. So of course he had planned the encounter, not that he'd admit it. But with the drinks properly dispersed the mood lifted and the group talked and joked as music played loudly over the sound system.

He jerked awake suddenly, woken by the flash of a bird flying past his window disturbing the high noon sun, then instantly regretted the sudden movement when it felt like a fire was burning inside his skull. He groaned and pulled the blanket over his face and willed the pain away. There was no such luck though because a heartbeat later there was a knock on his door.

With a frustrated growl he eased out of bed and made for the door while tugging his blanket tighter. He pulled the door open a crack and squinted out into bright light. "What," he grumbled.

Sheik cocked his head to the side and smiled at the ruffled, hung over young man. "My, you don't handle your liquor well, do you?" He pushed his way inside and dropped onto his couch.

Link sighed and closed the door, shuffling into the kitchen. He didn't drink coffee, but he felt terribly dehydrated, so he grabbed a bottled of water and chugged it quickly as he looked for a bottle of red-pills. He wandered back out into the living room as he popped a few. "Life savers, these are," he mumbled. They were little pills filled with drops of red potion. Not any good for bad injuries, but they were wonderful for getting rid of headaches. "Why are you here this early anyway?"

Sheik laughed. "It's almost noon. But I'm here to torture you with loud noises until you recover." Link rolled his eyes, but Sheik continued. "I actually came to drag you off to Lake Hylia. We're going for a day trip. And no, you don't really have a choice," he finished, grinning.

Link sighed and shuffled off to the bathroom, grumbling something about taking a shower.