A/N: I noticed this hadn't been done before... and... I was playing Link's Awakening... so yeah.
Should I take it?
…No, I can't. That would be wrong…
But I'm never going to get enough rupees…
Link squinted at the item that was causing him such inner turmoil: a small and, honestly, cheaply made bow. For what felt like the millionth time in the past few minutes, his gaze dropped down to the price tag and he scowled. Nine-hundred and eighty rupees. He glanced at his wallet. Six-hundred and twenty-four rupees. He resumed scrutinizing the bow. Yes, it definitely wasn't the best-crafted weapon he'd ever seen… but he couldn't think of any other way to defeat those monsters he'd found in Catfish's Maw. The huge eye that made up most of their bodies was just begging to be shot with an arrow.
He snuck a glance at the shopkeeper, who was already eyeing Link with suspicion and contempt. Quickly assessing the man's stature and squat body, Link determined that he'd effortlessly be able to defeat him in a fight.
Which brought him back to his original dilemma, his thoughts once more completing their endless circular cycle: Should he just… grab the bow and leave?
"Hey, kid!" the shopkeeper barked, causing Link to jump at the first interruption from his culpable thoughts since entering the store. "Are you going to buy that, or just stare at it all day?"
"Uh…" Glancing anxiously back and forth between the shopkeeper and the bow, he stammered, "I-I don't know yet…"
The shopkeeper unhappily grumbled something under his breath. The phrases "waste of time" and "useless foreigners" reached Link's sensitive ears.
He sighed. He'd gained quite a reputation around the island – visitors were rare on Koholint, after all. In fact, as far as anyone could remember, no one from the outside had ever been here before. Reactions were mixed when it came to him: some people seemed afraid of him, and others possessed curiosity or offers of friendship and aid. And then… there were those few who hated him. Apparently the shopkeeper was one of those people.
He glanced back at the bow. Now, what to do about that…?
"Well," said the shopkeeper at length. Link was grateful for another distraction; he'd almost fallen back into his endless, indecisive cycle again. "If you're going to buy anything, just bring it over here to the register, understand? No fooling around with the merchandise! If you break anything…" He let his voice trail off menacingly, but Link wasn't impressed. As a matter of fact, if he hadn't been drowning in his worries right now he might have found the small man's threat to be comical.
Noting the man's impatient expression, Link turned back to the bow.
It's now or never…
So he made his decision.
Not entirely sure how he would execute the theft, he first grabbed the bow and then started walking as casually as possible toward the door.
He got as far as grabbing the door knob and opening the door a crack when the shopkeeper cried, "Hey! Bring that to the cash register if you want to buy it!"
Silently cursing (he'd had a slight hope that it would work), he turned around and slowly backtracked to the register, where the furious shopkeeper was standing.
"What the heck were you trying to do there, kid?" he fumed. "Did you really think I wouldn't notice a stunt like that? You're the only one in here! If I could do so without getting into some complicated legal issues, I'd… I'd…"
"Um, sorry sir." Link really was at a loss for what to say. The shopkeeper was breathing deeply, his face dark red and his expression fixed into one of rage.
"Don't give me that!" he snapped. "Were you trying to steal my merchandise?"
"No," Link said quickly. Then, in a last, hopeful attempt to get the bow fairly, he added, "But if you lowered the price just a little…"
"NEVER!" the man boomed. Link winced. "That is IT! I'm going to–"
Quite abruptly, the shopkeeper's speech was cut off and his expression went blank. A few seconds of utter silence passed as the shopkeeper stood there, staring out into space, and Link watched incredulously. When the man did not move, Link nervously shifted his weight to his other foot and tentatively raised his hand in front of the man's face. Even when he waved it back and forth in front of his vacant eyes, the man still did not move. He didn't even blink, and Link couldn't tell if he was breathing…
He glanced at the exit, where the door was still wide open from his previous escape attempt. Then he looked at the motionless shopkeeper.
"Um, well… I guess I'll be going now," he said, taking a step back. "I mean, I've got important things to do. Monsters to kill… nightmares to destroy… yeah… that kind of thing…"
The shopkeeper still did not reply.
Link took that as a signal to leave. "So… bye!"
Before the shopkeeper reawakened from his trance, Link spun on his heels and sprinted out of the area.
He didn't stop until he was outside of Mabe Village and at the path to the ocean. Pausing to catch his breath, he sat down on the grass and gazed at the object in his hand.
I did it… I stole the bow…
Are you proud of yourself? a voice inside his head mocked. (Yes, Link had a voice inside his head. Besides thinking. How else would he know what the new items were called and how to use them? It was because he has no convenient partner to use as a plot device, like later incarnations of the hero did. TwilightWakerofTime apologizes for this pathetic attempt to fix that. She also says she's sorry for this temporary breach in the fourth wall. Oh, and nyan.)
"Now what?" he wondered aloud. He was feeling awful about what he'd done. The guilt was threatening to engulf him. He shouldn't have done that… it was a horrible idea! How could he live with himself now? That shopkeeper hadn't even been acting alive. What if he was dead?
Maybe he should just move away and forget about all this… he could change his name… maybe something like "Knil" would work… or maybe "BEN"…
Then he remembered that he was on an island. Well, so much for that idea.
I should go talk to someone, Link thought. Otherwise I'm going to die from this guilt…
He stood again and started trudging back toward town. He was reluctant to return – what if he… was arrested or something? He hadn't seen guards or any kind of authority on Koholint, so maybe they didn't have anything like that. But surely they had some way to keep the order…
He was just passing by the entrance to Mysterious Forest when his ears twitched and a familiar sound reached them. Singing.
Marin! he thought. I can talk to her! Surely she can get me out of this depression!
Link hurried down the path and passed the various houses of Mabe Village. Thankfully, it wasn't hard to locate Marin – as expected, she was standing next to the large Flying Rooster statue in the center of town, singing. Her eyes were closed contentedly, a small smile on her face. For a moment Link just stood there, lost in the beauty of the Ballad of the Wind Fish. Then Marin sensed his presence and opened her eyes. A wide smile broke out across her face as she recognized him. "Hey there! How are you?"
"Um…" Link pondered over how much he could tell her. He trusted Marin, but there was no way of telling how she might react to the news that he'd stolen such an expensive item. "Not too good actually."
"Really?" She looked at his concernedly. "What's wrong?"
He examined her kind, worried expression and slowly shook his head. "No, I'm sorry. I can't tell you."
"Oh, come on! I know something's bothering you."
He bit his lip thoughtfully. Well, she really did seem trustworthy…
"It's okay, THIEF," she promise. "You can tell me anything."
He let out a sigh. She was right. Maybe–
Wait a second…
"What… what did you just call me?" he asked slowly.
She gave him a confused look. "What do you mean?"
"You said something. You called me something…"
"Like what? …THIEF?"
He gasped and took a step back. "H-How did you find out?"
Marin frowned. "THIEF, what are you talking about? How did I find out what?"
"How did you find out I stole from the shop?"
Her eyes widened. "You stole from the shop?-!"
"NO! Leave me alone! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to do it!" She watched, incredulous, as her friend's expression became increasingly panicked and he glanced around anxiously.
"THIEF, just let me…"
"Stop calling me that!"
She blinked in surprise. "But… that's your name…"
"No it isn't!" Unable to stand it anymore, he turned around and fled, leaving behind a very puzzled Marin.
A few seconds later, Link burst into the shop from which he had escaped only moments before. "I can't take it anymore!" he cried, immediately withdrawing the bow and holding it into the air. "Just take it back! Don't–" He paused in mid-sentence, finally observing his surroundings. The shopkeeper, he noticed, was standing just a ways away from him, near his products. He glared at the confused boy.
"I wasn't kidding when I said pay," he growled, his voice low and dangerous. Link felt and overwhelming sense of dread come over him. He took a step back toward the door, but then he heard it slam shut. He didn't know what had closed it, but he wasn't sure he wanted to. Wind had picked up in the room as the shopkeeper raised his hands slowly above his head, beginning to glow. Link watched, helpless, frozen with fear.
"You shouldn't have come back," he snarled, an odd, electric crackling light surrounding his hands. "Going into that trance gave me just enough time to charge my powers. Imagine my fury when I discovered you had left…" The man smirked. "But now I have the chance to exact my revenge!"
The energy in his hands coalesced into a ball, just about the size of Link's head. "Now you will pay… the ultimate price!"
It was then that Link realized coming back had been a terrible, awful mistake. He'd been a fool to forget about the shop owner's ninja lightning powers. Of course, every shopkeeper had those. How could he forget?
Link took the lightning as he did everything – silently. His very last thought (until he respawned a few seconds later outside the shop) was, "Does this mean I don't get the alternate ending…?"
A/N: I don't know how many people were aware of this, but there's an alternate ending to Link's Awakening if you don't die throughout the game. That explains the ending, right?
If someone who hasn't played Link's Awakening actually reads this, yes, it is possible to steal. And it is very fun. Until you get called THIEF for the rest of the game. D:
I actually wrote this a long time ago in my notebook at school, and only just now decided to type it up. It's... random. Especially in the middle, as you probably noticed. XD Still, what did you think? Random oneshots are awesome, aren't they? (Now, time to work on my REAL stories...)