The surface was more than anyone from Skyloft could've ever imagined it to be. There were endless fields, trees of various shapes and sizes scattered throughout, birds unusually tiny, and never-before-seen races. The clouds have dissipated now, no longer serving as the barrier to the sky, and only passed by with the flow of the weather. It was strange to feel the ground, one large solid ground that one doesn't have to worry about falling over the edge of. Who knew how big was this vast land?
But for the hero, he had grown accustomed to the surface during his adventures and long journey. Link breathed in deeply, feeling the warmth of the rays basking on his face. Sighing, he slowly opened his eyes, staring up at equally warm ones that looked down on him. He parted his lips at that smile and felt those soft hands caress his cheeks.
"Did you fall asleep, sleepyhead?"
Link smiled. His head was lying on Zelda's lap, and he showed no restraint in revealing how content he was at that moment as he enjoyed the soft fabric of her gown. The pair were on a small grassy hill in Faron Woods, having spent the day gathering food and conversing with the Kikwis. About two months had passed by since their long, arduous journey had finally come to an end. For Link, there were times when he felt as though it was only yesterday. He still remembered the painful goodbye with the sword spirit, who had been by his side as his faithful companion. The parting was difficult, very difficult while Fi left memorable words to him before she entered a sleep with no end in the Master Sword. Equally painful was Impa's departure. The hero was shocked to learn that the old woman and this young agent of the goddess were one and the same. And he felt great sympathy for Zelda especially when she, him, and Groose watched the old woman fade away once they returned to the present time.
Yes, goodbyes were very hard.
The hero would never forget his journey, a journey that had changed him and matured him in many ways. He would not forget all those who had helped him, all those he had met, and all that he had learned.
Unfortunately, just as there were good memories that left a deep impression in his heart, there were also...unpleasant ones that refused to disappear. The last two months had not been easy for the hero. At first, all was well. During the first week after his successful victory over Demise, Link felt a great weight lifted off his shoulder. He had spent one whole day sleeping, suddenly feeling drained from having held up all this time. It was a long-needed rest that had been denied for far too long, and he welcomed it the night after his battle. He had also decided to live on the surface with Zelda, whom he had promised to always remain by her side. The two were currently temporarily camping in the temple at what used to be the Sealed Grounds, having no other shelter at the moment. Occasionally, they would receive visits from those in Skyloft, especially Groose, who was planning on building a whole new town that he would like the honor of naming (much to Link's chagrin). But things progressed slowly, so for the time being, only Link and Zelda remained on the surface, and neither mined the alone time they were given. The first week was wonderful for the pair, who spent their days lazying around and recuperating from their long, burdensome journey. It was a blessing to finally enjoy themselves.
A week later, that's when it started happening. The hero was struck with sudden nightmares in his sleep, often times waking up Zelda in the middle of the night with his screams of terror. He would lash around with his limbs, screaming for whatever it was to leave him alone, to get off of him. The first night this happened frightened Zelda, who quickly tended to her friend and woke him up, finding him drenched in cold sweat and panting heavily with terrified eyes. Zelda couldn't recall ever seeing Link so scared in her life. But regardless, she would quickly soothe him, comforting him as she hugged him and calmed him down with her voice. Other times, Link would be sobbing in his sleep, and Zelda once again would be woken up by his cries and come to him, cradling him in her arms until his sobs quieted.
Link had changed. He was no longer the same as he used to be in Skyloft. In fact, none of them were. But the hero had gone through the unthinkable, and was left deeply scarred, an unintended consequence of having the destiny and responsibilities of the chosen one. With all of his strength, he bore through it all in order to destroy Demise and save his friend. And now, the trauma had finally caught up to him. Every night, Link was greatly troubled, with every sight of a shadow leaving him unsettled. Although he would display his usual carefree attitude during the day, his paranoia would return in the evening, and the hero would be found suffering from constant nightmares.
For weeks, this went on. Sometimes, Link would walk around dazed from lack of proper sleep, and would always dread evening arriving, for that was when he would see him. Those eyes...he could not forget those eyes. He could still hear the hiss of that tongue. He could still feel that being inside him. That voice haunted him, whispering harshly against his ears. It called out to him, inviting him and demanding him. Night would fall, and the hero, unable to keep himself awake, would fall asleep into the clutches of those hands that embraced him and imprisoned him. He would scream himself awake, shaking and trembling violently before breaking into cries. There were times he was found shivering in a corner, with his arms wrapped around his knees and legs pulled up against his chest as the blood left his cheeks. Other times, he was curled up against the tree. But the moment Zelda touched him and held him, his heart would calm down, and his breathing slowly become steady. Within her arms, he felt safe. He felt secure. Her soothing voice as she sang a soft lullaby to him would put him at ease. Surprisingly, he would fall asleep on her lap, and enter a peaceful slumber free of nightmares. Thus, one day, Zelda made the decision to sleep right next to him every night, a move that Link at first was against. For one, he did not want to burden and worry his friend, and have her lose sleep every night (which he felt guilty for already). On top of that, it was not proper for him to sleep besides such a pure woman, especially when the two were not...well...married. After all, it was against Skyloft's rules for an unmarried man and woman to sleep next to each other.
But Zelda dismissed what she considered a rather "outdated" rule that really didn't matter at this point. And instead of sleeping on the other side of the room where the tree in the temple grew, the goddess reborn would place her blanket right next to Link and sleep there, often resting her head boldly against his shoulder, which would make the hero blush (not that he minded).
The nightmares continued, but Link noticed them occurring less and less. On one of those nights, as Link watched Zelda sleep, the hero wondered if she ever knew. Did she see everything during his battle with Demise? Did they really have that whole conversation? There were times Link would catch Zelda watching him quietly with a pained expression. Or perhaps he was overthinking it. Never once had Zelda talked to him or asked him in detail about what had transpired during that battle, or between him and Ghirahim, much to Link's relief though. After all, the hero had realized that he would rather not talk about it or think about it ever again, and would prefer to keep everything a secret. In fact, he would prefer Zelda to never know.
Perhaps his friend did know, and was purposely not bringing it up for his sake. Perhaps she knew as she cradled him in his arms whenever he screamed and cried himself awake at night. But regardless of the reasons, Zelda never asked him about his nightmares, and Link intended to keep it that way.
"Link, one of your Mogma friends invited us to their new home, and promised to cook us dinner. Do you want to go tonight?"
"Hm..." Link sighed, feeling those gentle caresses over his forehead as the girl brushed his bangs to the side and smiled warmly at him.
"Are you listening?" She giggled.
The hero opened his eyes. He rose up, turned to wrap his arms around his friend, and teasingly pushed her down onto the ground. Her sweet, playful chuckles tickled his ears as he snuggled the side of his face above her bosom, sighing as he rested on top of her and closed his eyes.
"That's not appropriate, Link," she giggled underneath him, pinching his cheek.
"Hm," he sighed, wanting to nap more. By now, the nightmares had become a two-to-three-times a week occurrence. He knew it would take time, perhaps a lot of time, but still he looked forward to the day they would just be distant memories, ones that were meant to fade. After all, he had destroyed Ghirahim and his master, their shadows sealed away inside the Master Sword and left to disappear over time. He was safe now, and would never have to see him ever again. All that was left was to move on, and Link knew that he would prevail. He would make sure of it, no matter how long it takes.
"Link, when do you want to head back to the temple?"
"Later," he mumbled.
"Do you miss Fi?"
Link opened his eyes. He frowned. "Yea." He missed her dearly in fact, now that he thought about it. "Do you miss Impa?"
The two remained silent again for a brief moment.
"Let's never forget them, Link."
The hero blinked before chuckling. He raised his head and glanced down at that beautiful, kind face. This woman, she was more than his friend. She was his savior.
Link smiled and nodded. "Hm, let's never forget them." For only the good memories of good people deserve to be remembered, and may all the unpleasant ones fade away into nothingness.
Yes, that would be nice.
The Sealed Temple had gone through much in its long, eventful history. It was once the famous Temple of Hylia, goddess of this land, until the devastating war forced part of the temple to disconnect itself and rise into the sky, where the residents of the land would be safe. Left behind was the Sealed Grounds keeping Demise imprisoned until one day, the goddess would return and the hero awaken. That adventure had now ended, and the Master Sword was left in its pedestal, with thousands of years passing by as it waited for a new master.
The Sealed Temple, now once again the completely formed Temple of Hylia, was quiet. The architecture was old, very old, but it remained sturdy and solid. There were times when small animals would make their way inside, only to quickly go back out upon finding nothing useful for their needs.
This was one of those occasions.
A tiny red bird fluttered its way through a small opening, exploring the area curiously. It flew and landed on the grassy ground, glancing up at where the bright light seeped in through the opening, illuminating the Master Sword that remained proud and true in the pedestal on top of the staircase. The surface world was at peace once more.
Suddenly, a single, harsh sound echoed with a rumble throughout the temple as though thrown against the walls. The tiny bird snapped its head, growing weary as it glanced around its surroundings. Finding nothing, it returned its attention to the sword and chirped. Thin strands of dark shadows began seeping from the slit in the pedestal where the blade met the stone. The bird cocked its head at an angle, curious. The shadows grew longer, bigger, slithering their way out until they floated onto the ground and began forming a large mass at the bottom of the staircase. The bird, immediately alarmed, quickly flapped its wings and fluttered away as quickly as possible, leaving the temple as the shadows grew, and grew, whispering incoherently until they merged and became a single solid form.
An arm flew out, its hand digging into the ground with a loud thud while long, slender fingers curved against the soil. Another arm reached out and dug into the ground, pulling the weight of its body as dirt filled those sharp fingernails. The form crawled slowly against the grassy surface beneath the stairs, breathing out heavily with each movement. As it crawled, it moaned, and occasionally gasped, struggling to regain energy. Nothing clad that pale body. Stiff joints crackling, the naked being crawled, and crawled, willing itself to continue moving as it threw out its limbs. White strands of disheveled hair covered its face, and thick pale lips parted. Reduced to a pathetic, weakened powerless form, it let out a lowly whine, groaning at times. Each movement required much effort and energy. Each action was intensely draining. But the being continued to move forward, driven by a single passion as it raised its head to reveal large, rage-filled dark eyes and a lowly growl.
Thank you everyone for reading! It has been another long journey, and I greatly enjoyed writing this fanfic and reading your reviews. "Thread of Fate" is now my most popular and most reviewed story, and I want to thank you all for making that happen!
I will now be taking a break until my next multi-chapter story on Dark Link x TP Link. I'm not sure when it will be up, but I already have the whole plot set up in my head. I may write it in 1-2 months. If you've read my other stories, you'll notice that sometimes my breaks can take up to a few months. If you have me on your Author Alerts, then you'll receive a notice of when the next major story is uploaded!
I may write oneshots during that break, but for now, I will leave you with this short summary of the next major Zelda story.
"After a long journey, all is at peace for the young Hero from Ordon Village, who debates the next chapter of his life with a very important friend. But when a mysterious stranger who resembles him suddenly appears and mistakes him for someone else , Link finds his life turned upside down in more ways than he could have ever imagined."
Thank you again everyone for reading this story!