So yeah, I'm extremely bored, have no emails in my inbox, so you know what? Update time. This is the final chapter in this story, and there was a loose end that some people may or may not have picked up on, so just tying it up, and it's done!
Thank you all for all the support, the reviews, the kind words, and the occasional push in the right direction when it came to grammar, plot, and character development.
I hope you all have a good day/night after reading this, and yeah.
The time known later in history as the Resurrection was one of the most tense times in Hylian memory. Where the Gerudo and Hylians interacted for the purpose of peace and rebuilding, it was almost a rule to have one of the bearers of the Triforce to oversee the project, for fear of deadly skirmishes breaking through. On most accounts the Hero of Time was preferred, since the Gerudo had no real respect for the Princess and the Hylians were not so secretly terrified of the Prince.
It didn't help that Wisdom and Power generally disliked each other to the extremes.
Sheik, as he sat in the gardens of the Temple of Time where the Gossip Stones had been restored, sighed as he communicated with the Master Sword. He understood why they hated each other; one had betrayed the other, each in their own way, and treachery was a crime neither could forgive.
"Gods you look knightly. Or should I say heroic?"
Sheik looked up and smiled wryly at the familiar voice.
"Good evening, Prince."
The harsh terrain had completely accepted the young man, it seemed. His skin glowed bronze from the excessive heat of the sun, if a little chapped from the winds. If the way he walked and the way he was developing his body was any indication, he was less of a swordsman and more of a fighter now, allowing for quick movements in the sands. His eyes were sharp as knives, bright in his face, and the Triforce of Power smouldered in his hand. Sheik could feel the heat even from his perch.
"Good evening, Hero of Time." He replied, flashing sharp white teeth in a grin, "I take it you and the Master Sword are getting along like a house on fire?"
Sheik wondered whether he should share his information, but decided out of respect of their intertwined destinies to do so. "Her name is Fi. And yes, we're getting along very well."
The Prince looked pleasantly surprised. "She has a name. Interesting. But then again, Master Sword is a title, isn't it? Hmm, Fi, huh. So both of us have omnipotent voices in our heads spouting constant unneeded advice? That is a hoot." But then he frowned, and the Hylian born monarch sat on the grass, his expression contemplative. "Do you think we'll be remembered by our names? Or are we destined to be known by our title?"
Sheik looked up at the sky, wincing at how brightly blue it was but enjoying the view anyway. "You will be. It has to be recorded, after all: Link Mandrag the Fostered One or something. But I doubt I will. I prefer it that way."
"Just because you like your privacy, or just to uphold the Sheikah enigmatic-ness?"
"A bit of both, to tell the truth." Sheik smirked a little, and Link mirrored the expression.
"If only I had that luxury."
"You look well, by the way," Sheik complimented, the smirk softening into an actual smile, "I thought the sun would have destroyed your skin or something."
Link's smirk on the other hand, hardened into one of derisive pride. "It would have, but the Triforce is changing me. Or trying to or something. I don't know. Either way, the sun is my best friend now, I just can't get enough of daylight."
"You don't sound exactly pleased."
"Oh believe me, I'm thrilled to know that I look awesome with a tan." Link explained, scratching at the back of his left hand, "It's the bloody Triforce changing me is what the issue is here. It's like a spring gone berserk; I either build more tiers, basically strengthening myself, or funnel all the excess water constantly on something else. I'm running out of projects."
"Well you don't seem any crazier than usual, if that's what concerns you." Sheik mock-sympathized, making Link scowl.
"Navi's wondering about the projects I assigned you, by the way, and I'm curious to know how they turned out."
Sheik had almost been waiting for that line of enquiry, and grinned happily as he replied, "The Gorons have named me blood-brother, though it took a lot of effort and running. And bomb-dodging. I'll tell you the full story later. I can travel the Lost Woods fine now, thanks to Mido's training, and I've found a few portals, interestingly enough. The Zoras are much the same, though I think they'd be open to have a trade with your people, if you pander to them with some pretty shiny rocks. Hell, coloured glass may do the trick. Trust me, they sometimes remind me of ravens."
"How are the prisoners?" Link asked, with a touch of concern.
Sheik nodded. "The prisoners are still thawing a few of the back channels and hating every second of it. The Gerudo often drop from the cold, but they always recover. They receive adequate food and clothing, and dry quarters. The letters are arriving, and the presents too, though they earn these by a credit system. They're treated fairly, Link."
The Desert Prince gave a sigh of relief, and gestured for the Hero to carry on.
"My reputation amongst the Hylians has steadily grown better, judging by the flowers they throw at my feet," Sheik gave a brief sour expression to that, but continued on, "And my people are dropping their grudge against said Hylians and returning to their nomadic ways, which is a relief. Trade routes between farms and towns are being organised again for the next three years."
Link gave a theatrical wince at that. "I do not envy Zelda that position."
"Nor do I. Speaking of, a couple of the tribes leaders are hoping to hire some of your women as guards of caravans. You should be receiving a letter or bird or some such soon."
"That… would actually save me some trouble." Link breathed, looking as if a small weight had been lifted off his shoulders, "You have no idea. I would be happy to get rid of a lot of my girls, in fact. Maybe I can drop some kids off on you people for hands-on business training?"
Sheik could hear the barely hidden worry in his voice, the tire in the blue eyes, which seemed to be paling. It occurred to them now that Link was early for the usual monthly visit. It was part of the treaty that Link come over to Hyrule once a month for Sheik and Zelda to inspect, to make sure he wasn't using his Triforce for 'evil'. Link liked visiting, and Sheik enjoyed his company; so much so that he often visited the desert himself to make sure Link was handling his new duties fine. Often he wasn't.
"What's happened, Link? Is there anything I can do to help?"
Sheik could almost see the struggle in Link's mind. From the day Ganondorf had been sealed in the Sacred realm, Link had refused anybody's help. He wanted to stand on his own two feet, wanted to protect his people with his own bare hands with nobody influencing his choice, whether it be through power or conversation or logic. Link didn't want to lean on Sheik, but, if he was here, at the Temple of Time most likely seeking advice from Zelda, he was desperate.
"There's no water in the Desert. The wells that we dug, even the new one that we finished two years ago, they're all… dried up."
Sheik swallowed. He was surprised Link hadn't come barging in, declaring war. "Do you know why?"
"The earthquake. That large one we had but four months back. We think that stemmed the flow, and Midna and I have been working on it for weeks now, trying to get that vein of water back. She can't find it, and if it can't be found I can't drag it back. I've been this close, Sheik, this close to tearing the earth apart to find the damned thing but our very fortress could collapse if I did something so stupid, so… here I am; hoping to insult Zelda into investigating for me while I traipse off to the damned Zora and beg them to do something."
"Shiny rocks will help."
Link burst out laughing, cradling his head in his hands as he dug his elbows into the crooks of his bent knees. "Oh I bet they will. And more prisoners, and gold, and Gods know what else. We only have so much we can offer them, much less give, and they bloody well know that."
"As polar opposites of the Trinity's alignment, you surely have something they want?"
"We are what they want. We want their cool water, their luxury. They want our passion, the wildness that comes from living in open air and land. They want our lifestyle with water, which just… can't happen. Navi says it's just like the Gorons wanting their mountain with more green, but they can't because they'll trample everything in their wake, and as for the Kokiri, well, fire isn't so great for their home. "
"Maybe there are relics around that can produce water? Maybe something like Din's fire, but with water or ice?" Sheik pointed out, wondering whether he could ask Zelda for some time of leave to go adventuring for said relic.
"We do have the ice arrows, but all they do is just suck the temperature out of everything; they don't exactly conjure water out of thin air and freeze it or something nonsensical…" the Hylian shook out his hair and smirked at Sheik, "But don't you think you'll go adventuring out there without a lead; if the desert is anything to go by, the rest of the world is incomprehensibly vast."
The Hero of Time frowned. "Have you learnt to read minds?"
"Don't tempt me. You have no idea how jealous I am of your ability."
Sheik snorted at that. "Don't trust it too much, I hear there are people devious enough to find loopholes."
"You flatter me. Anyway, I…" he blinked, and seemed to concentrate, as if listening to something, or someone, and Sheik patiently waited as Link looked up and asked, "Is there any way of getting into the Sages Room or whatever? We-I, need to talk to Nabooru."
"She said something to me, when we were trying to clear the stairs? She taught me this song, and she told me to… gods damn it, Navi, what did she say? … really…? She said teach it to the girl who'll drain the Well."
Sheik was really puzzled, now. "What?"
"Do you think she knew this would happen? Because if so, I'm too late. She said this song would save our people, or something to that effect, and I just… oh gods, if someone has the power to cause that earthquake without a Triforce…"
"Link. Link. Calm down."
The Triforce of Power had been humming and pulsing like a heart, perhaps following Link's pulse, and Sheik was not ready to deal with that kind of catastrophic release of magic. Link noticed it too, and forced himself to calm down, and both were relieved when the relic of the gods stopped reacting to Link's paranoia.
"Sorry," the Hylian whispered, a glimmer of sweat on his brow.
"It's alright," Sheik murmured, sitting on the grass in front of the Prince, "Just, relax. Now, you have to know that the Sages, no matter how omnipotent they are, can't tell the future. The only one capable of doing that is Zelda, and even then it has to be on a mass murdering scale of destruction for even her to notice. That earthquake, though devastating to your people, hasn't technically hurt anyone directly. So, I can surmise with confidence that Nabooru wasn't talking about this."
"Then what the hell was she talking about? If that song is meant to save my people I really need it now."
Sheik bit his lip, and on confirming with Fi that there was a 75% chance that what he was thinking was what Link was talking about, he asked, "Do you know who tracked down the Lens of Truth?"
"What, that creepy artefact that we gave back to you guys? That eyeglass? Nabooru and I found it."
"So you know it was at the bottom of the Kakariko Well."
"Yes, the stupid well that… had no water." The idea dawned on Link as well, and Sheik nodded.
"The Well that was drained."
Link saw how serious Sheik was, so spoke to him gravely instead of derisively. "You're telling me that I have to teach the person who drained the well this song. When it happened ten years ago."
"I could take you there."
Link stopped himself from laughing, because Sheik was looking so serious. The determination in the red eye, the fist clenched over the hilt of the Master Sword.
"After all," Sheik added with a smirk, "I am the Hero of Time."
The Hylian snorted, but nodded. "Fair enough. Take me to the past, Hero of Time."
… … … … …
Blue light. Then blinding light. Then agony.
Link gasped as he collapsed, his joints flaring in pain. He didn't like this. He didn't like this at all.
Your Triforce… oh my gods, Link…
Link felt it. It was panicking, or whatever a mystical object of its calibre interpreted as panic. He could feel the other Triforce in the desert, brewing in the western territories, the younger version of itself inadvertently corrupting Ganon with its sheer magnitude and Ganon corrupting it in turn.
"Sheik," Link gasped, "We've got to get out of here. Ganondorf can probably sense us."
Sheik blew just one note with his fingers, and purple sparks enveloped them and dumped them at the entrance of the Shadow Temple. The pain lessoned but the paradox of godly proportions was still making walking hard.
Oh, they were definitely in the past, alright.
Link and Sheik sprinted towards the Well, the grey of dusk helping to hide their movement. When they got there it was filled to the brim with water, which would have been perfect since it meant that they just had to wait for Nabooru to arrive, if it weren't for the Triforce piece acting up to figure out what in hell was going on.
They were running on limited time.
They split up to look for Nabooru, Sheik heading towards the entrance of the village to see if he could catch her coming in, throwing over his shoulder these words to Link as he went: "The Windmill propels the water in the well, she may have gone there to sabotage it. Go."
Knowing our luck she's just about to leave. Or enter. Or something.
Of course Navi was right. Cursing, Link climbed up the side of the windmill and entered through a window, awkwardly dodging a spinning mechanism of the machine to creep in. The man looking after the place wasn't here. Nabooru, who looked only a little past sixteen, no older than twenty, was busily looking for a way to turn the behemoth of a contraption off.
Link called, "Hey."
She jumped with a yelp, unsheathing a lone scimitar and looking for the culprit of the voice. "Who's there?"
"Just a friend. You're trying to empty the Well, right?"
"My people aren't very good with requests like that," Link snickered, finding the panic in her voice a little amusing.
"… Are you… Sheikah?"
The Hylian blinked at that. Huh. That wasn't such a bad cover; much better than telling the hare-brained truth, anyway.
You do know that whatever you say could have terrible repercussions in the future, right?
The truth it is, then.
"I'm Gerudo, actually. I'm Prince Mandrag, the first after Ganondorf's reign, which hasn't been looked on kindly in history. I greet you kindly, daughter of the sun, and may the wind kiss you rather than bite you alive." He said in Gerudo to prove himself, before dropping to the floor where she stood, thinking the dark would obscure her view of him enough to be safe, "I travelled here with the Hero of Time, who's making sure our old King doesn't come kill us without our notice. Now. You're trying to get the Lens of Truth. A relic of great power. Why? And don't stall; Ganondorf may notice me being here any minute, and we both know what he can do."
"I hear that it shows the truth." She said after hesitation, "The Lens. I want him to see what he's beginning to turn into. A monster. I don't know what's happened to him, no one knows what's happened to him. He plans on sacking Castle Town; he needs to see that it can't happen, not if we plan to prosper. I can't… I can't let my best friend do that."
Link winced. Ganondorf and Nabooru… best friends? "Very mature, for a young lady."
"Will you or won't you tell me how to turn this thing off? That's what you're here for, right? I heard that if you shut this thing down it'll shut down the well, too."
"Sorry, but I'm not here for that. As for how you do this, you'll figure it out, trust me. I'm here as a messenger from a friend. A Gerudo friend. She told me to teach this song to you, the girl who drains the well. Whistle it with me."
There was an embarrassed pause. "I can't whistle."
Link couldn't believe his luck, but ploughed on, "Then just learn the song. Memorize it, or something. Just learn it. You need to. According to my friend this song could save our people."
"Wait. I have this." She pulled out something that glowed like a moonlit pearl, a shape of a teardrop with a little lip on its side. "I can play this."
She didn't have that last time, did she? When you and she went down into the Well? Navi asked, bewildered, and Link was sure she was right.
"That'll do. Now, play this."
Link played the song against his fingers and Nabooru copied him. There were a few snags at first, but together they mastered the whole song, and it was as if something in them twanged and thrummed at the tune, making the very air shiver with madness, their very existence disturbed.
There was a clap of thunder, and lightning.
For a second that seemed all too long the windmill was blasted with bright electric light and the two of them saw each other, Hylian man and Gerudo girl, mouths agape, the sudden storm indoors washing them with a torrent of rain.
Outside Sheik noticed two things. The windmill going berserk, and a red light bursting forth from the Gerudo desert.
Sheik shuddered. Ganondorf. It had to be.
Back inside the Windmill, the Gerudo girl had Link pinned against the wall. "What the hell is this!?"
"Hey I didn't know it'd do this either! But this solves everything!" Link burst out laughing, and casually used some old moves taught to him by Nabooru herself, shocking the young girl as he escaped from her clutches.
"Link!" The door opened and Sheik hollered inside. "What are you still doing here? The Well is draining as we speak, and Ganondorf's coming! Move, Link!"
"I'll be right there!" Link dodged a swipe from the Gerudo girl, whirled behind her and spoke into her ear: "Remember this: Teach this song to the Prince. And tell him to teach it to you. You'll know who it is, and when. Trust me."
Then they were both out, sprinting and whistling, teleporting to Temples here and there to shake Ganondorf's trail before pulling the Master Sword out of its pedestal, sending them back to the future.
… … … … …
Link gave a shuddering sigh of relief as they both collapsed onto the floor of their Temple of Time.
"So, did you do what you had to?"
"Oh yeah," Link grinned, "And right now I'm going to do something very despicable."
Sheik eyed him warily. "Please don't forget that I'm armed and you're not."
"Not to you, you egghead."
"Then what are you doing?"
"I'm currently tracking the location of a certain object, with a string of power from this here," Link explained, tapping the back of his left hand, "And once I've found it, I'm going to do a very typical Gerudo thing."
The Hero of Time sighed, straightening himself up. "Steal it, I presume."
"Yup. Found it."
"Link, what are you stealing." He asked, belatedly threatening him with the Master Sword,
It's Fi, remember? Her name is Fi.
"The Ocarina of Time."
Link got to see Sheik's eyes widen with horror before he slipped through space and landed right next to the object, which was only a few hallways down the back of the Temple. Link grabbed it, the Triforce protecting him from most of the harmful curses set there to specifically stop despicable acts like this, before whirring outside to the foot of the renewed drawbridge, conjuring himself a mount out of earth and grass and rocks. It looked like an awesome bear.
The Hero of Time, riding Epona, was thundering towards him, Master Sword unsheathed. "Link get back here right now!"
"I'll give it back once I'm done!" Link hollowed back, before urging the bear to rumble towards the desert. The sky was turning from navy to grey, the dawn chasing them westwards.
It was a chase that Sheik couldn't win, but that didn't stop him from pursuing the Hylian born desert Prince all across the fields to the gorge that led to his kingdom, occasionally hissing obscenities at himself.
The Gerudo at the border patrol recognized the work of their King, so left the creature to go unhindered to their fortress. Sheik, on the other hand, had to stop, trade Epona in for a Gerudo bred creature that was more used to the terrain, deal with flirts, and sign himself in.
Under purpose of entry, he scribbled down REGICIDE.
Sheik was half way there when there was a clap of thunder, roiling clouds appearing in the skies in a blink of an eye, bloating and heaving until they wept and sobbed and mourned, as if the very sight of the desiccated, dry desert made them grieve with pity.
For the first time in living memory, rain poured upon the Fortress of the Sun.
… … … … …
Link was soaked, and was tossing the Ocarina into the air as Sheik met him at the gate that led into the Fortress. The rain here was a smattering thing, compared to the torrent further into the valley.
The Hero of Time glowered at the desert Prince. "I should take you in for breaching of the Treaty."
"And I should have you arrested for premeditated regicide, as you've so honestly written in the sign-in form." The Prince chortled back, before lobbing the Ocarina back to the Hero, "But I'll just give this back to you and we can call it quits, yeah?"
"What was that song?" Sheik questioned, once he put the ocarina safely into a saddle-bag, "How is this even working?"
"I'm calling it the Song of Storms, because it's catchy, and I think it works because of the paradox. That song shouldn't exist; I heard it from Nabooru, who heard it from me, who heard it from her all in different moments in time. Without power it's just a random song, but the Ocarina, with the power to know that it's a paradox, reacted. It created a storm. In any other part of the country I'm sure it'll be a devastating weapon, but here? It's a miracle. It'll give us life for the rest of our lives. You have no idea, Sheik, no idea how amazing this is."
Sheik jolted and froze in surprise, as Link stepped forward and embraced the Sheikah.
"You saved us, Hero of Time. You saved my people."
"Um…" Sheik told himself to stop blushing, Furore damn it all, before clearing his throat. "And here I was sure you figured out what to do with Nabooru's message."
"Without you it wouldn't have worked. It would have been impossible. So thank you."
Link released the stunned Sheikah, kissed his forehead and freaked him out even more, before grinning. "Tell Zelda that you retrieved the Ocarina from someone evil, pick a name, I doubt they'd care, and tell the whole court you secured my people's respect and gratitude and support. Navi says tell her you love her. It's obvious. Marry her, elope with her, just tell her."
I totally didn't say that, even if I do agree.
Well, Link thought, if I didn't say that it was from you I'd just sound like a sap.
"I… but… the court…"
"You have the Triforce of Courage, with the Triforce of Power backing you. They don't have the balls to say no. Now go. I have to figure out how to manipulate this storm, and you're in the way, Hero of Time. Go make your Princess happy."
Sheik seemed to turn, before stopping and asking, "And you? Will you find someone? Because if I go along with what you say, I may not be able to see you for… I don't know."
"I have Midna to make sure I don't go nuts. Not that bacon jokes at my funeral isn't enough of a motivation."
Sheik managed a chuckle before turning away, mounting the horse to return to the border. The Gerudo manning their posts were all galloping towards home, not able to believe their eyes, not able to believe their ears.
For the whole day the Gerudo shucked their weapons and armour. They discarded their dignity, decorum and duties. They laughed and wept and revelled and rejoiced, tears mingling with the gift of the heavens.
They screamed and sung like nobody could hear them, they ran and raved as if there were no tomorrow. They loved the rain as if they'd known it and embraced it since the moment of their birth, and danced.
They danced till dusk as if it were heaven on earth.
Admittedly a bit of a sappy end, but hey.
That's it! That's all folks!
Thank you so much for your time and words, and here are the final review replies!
madlink007: Hehehe, I thought, you know what? Link's powerful; he deserves an awesome reference. XD
goldenrhino: I couldn't resist. ;) I figured I'd get a cheap laugh out of it on top of the Darth Vader reference. And yeah, I do admit I didn't do Midna justice. But there was very little i could do with her at this point, since she made no appearance earlier in the story. :S To be honest she wasn't supposed to appear at all, Link was just meant to die lonely. So... yeah... thank you so much for your support, and I hope this chapter was worth the wait!
CatsGotTongue: I think they didn't even give Ganon a service in which to MAKE eulogies for bacon jokes, lol. True, true, ending DOES slow the plot immensely, doesn't it. I like your sister, I take it she's a writer too? What she says about fight scenes is so true! And thank you again for so much praise. Link would be very happy to know that such a faithful reader thinks so good of him. ;) You're totally not babbling, by the way. Thank you for so many of your reviews, and I hope I keep seeing you if I keep writing.
daimee: Yay to long chapters! I think Zelda is best cold, like revenge. Ganon is all about fire and passion, Zelda is all about ice and deliberance while Link is about patience and moving forward and between the two almost-opposites. At least, that would be the case if he had retained the Triforce of courage, lol. Yeah, EVERYONE is afraid Ganondorf 2 is coming from Link, but so far he's happily proved them wrong. He just has to kep doing it till he's dead, the poor guy. I have to confess, Midna really was tossed in. originally Link was meant to be all alone, but I thought that was a bit sad, so yeah. I hope the eilogue wasn't a disappointment to your anitcipation, lol. XD I'm glad some people agree that the Harry potter epilogue was stupid, hehehe. XD Thank you so much for your constant reviews, and I hope you have a good year.
Ray-Kat-hollows: Yup, now completely over. Link's reign will probably be a short one, lol, since he'll eventually do something stupid. It's that trying to get things done thing, one day he's going to want to do something, meet opposition, and splat. He'll have to retire early or something. Thanks a lot for the reviews all the time, you have no idea how awesome they are.
TheSilhouette: I know, TS, I know. XD With so many LOZ games out there, why NOT make some token references? They are just awesome characters, after all. Thank you so much for your support, and for saying that you'll continue reading my stuff, you have made my week.
remvis: Thank you. And I meant 'or is it...?' because of what happened here with the song of storms. I love the song of storms, it's freaking awesome. I hope this final adventure was worht the wait, and that the whole story was worth every minute spent reading. Thanks again!
WolfenAmphithere: Hehehe, thanks for reading it the whole way through! It's awesome that you took so much of your time to do so, thank you. I hope the epilogue was just as good as the rest of the story. XD
Insane. Certifiably: Writing politics is not that hard, all that's really needed is petty self-importance and useless arguing, and hey presto, you have politics. I'm glad you thought so, though. I loved Midna too much to no write her, and I'm so happy so many people were positive with her apperance, hehehe. XD Thank you for so much of your time dedicated to reading this, and i hope to see you again in the near future!
Herooftimes: I love the idea of the round table, eh, like how Ghandi said democracy sounded like a very good idea. As a principal it's wonderful, but on the whole a dream. I'm glad you liked so many aspects of the chapter, and I hope this one was just as good. Thank you so much for your support, and I wish you a good year.
Thomas Ender: Thank you, thank you! Wow, 2 months? I'm flattered. I hope the epilogue does the rest of the story justice, and I hope you find my other stroies just as entertaining. I recommend Masked Dreams. ;)
jojo: Oh jojo, your almost constant stream of reviewing has been an utter delight. It was so wonderful to see your name pop in my inbox to hear how enthusiastic you were at my story. Thank you very much for your support, and I hope you liked how this has ended.
Griffemon: Hahaha, I know what you mean, man, hyperactive imaginations is what put me here. XD Glad you seemed to enjoy it, and thank you so much for reading all the way here.
And that's all the review replies! That's it! Done! FINISHED.
Thank you all again, and again, and again!