fleets: GASPETH fleets is actually writing a Romance?! And with VaatixZelda?! I needed a break from writing Rend (don't worry guys, I'm writing the latest chapter now and it's almost done, so I'm not by any means shirking my duties to finish that story). This is also an early practice for me before I get into my future future (i.e. after OA) monster of a story about the maidens, which this oneshot may or may not be a part of. Let me know what you think since I don't have much experience with this genre.

When I Return... :


Princess Zelda reached out her hand towards the sorcerer who had been getting ready to leave the palace. His cape flapped softly in the wind; she had learned that the breeze never really left his side, and there was always a small flutter of movement. The sorcerer stopped, and just barely turned his head towards the princess to acknowledge he had heard her.

She hesitated, dropping her hand and not really sure what she had meant to say. When had she become so… so timid? She could clearly remember when she had first been taken, no, that term was too kind, abducted by the Sorcerer of Winds she had given every ounce of fight that was in her body to resist him. She was the ruler of Hyrule, champion of one of the three goddesses: she had a fiery fierceness and determination that comes with all of the responsibility that comes with those titles. But now…

Since when had she become so timid?

"Yes, Princess?" Vaati's voice cut through the air, his characteristic annoyance edging into his voice. At the same time, she recognized it not as an antagonistic annoyance, but an annoyance that comes from not knowing what it was that was clearly bothering her. He tended to be overprotective of her at times, and she recalled the week when he had spent his time never leaving her side, punishing any monster that dared to come too close. Since then, none of the monsters around the castle ever bothered her.

Zelda lifted her eyes to look at the sorcerer's face. His lavender bangs washed across the right side of his face, curving gently to the tip of his chin and hiding one of his ruby eyes. She sometimes embarrassed herself by how much detail she knew about him now. "You're leaving."

"Obviously," Vaati cracked a small smile and chuckled with wicked amusement. "What, is my presence so mind-numbing that even Wisdom becomes mortal?"

Ah, that infuriating cheekiness. Infuriatingly endearing at times, but infuriating nonetheless. Her temporary shyness vanished and she returned to her usual, headstrong self. "You know what I'm talking about, Vaati," she flipped her red hair over her shoulder casually as though she could care less, "this is the endgame, isn't it? You're going to…" she paused. Then she sighed. Try as she might, this was just one of those times she couldn't really keep her strong attitude. "You're going to die…" she finished softly.

Vaati, now turned to face her completely, stared at her for a few minutes without saying a word. A fleeting look of… was it hurt?... appeared on his face before it hardened to steel. Still, Zelda knew she saw it. Over the course of several weeks she had realized that Vaati hid so much of himself under a mask of ice, whether out of pride or perhaps even fear of ridicule.

She knew: he was afraid to appear weak to anyone. Even to her. Especially to her.

The sorcerer burst into laughter, hiding whatever insecurity he may have been feeling. "Ahahaha! What, you don't trust my power to be able to defeat the hero? You know what I am capable of. You should know that the hero is far outmatched." He walked over with his confident gait and smoothly wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

Zelda pushed him away. In fact, she wanted nothing more than to remain in his embrace and trust that everything was going to be fine, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She couldn't trust him! She trusted him a little more now than she had at the beginning, but this of all things she couldn't trust him. At all. "No!" she cried, surprising Vaati by the forcefulness of her shove. "That's not true! He will defeat you, and you will not return from this fight alive!"

"Is that a threat, Princess?" Vaati arched his brows, and he took a small step back. He glanced at his wrist, which was still in the grasp of the princess who appeared to have forgotten to let go after her push.

"No! You don't understand at all, Vaati! Link is going to defeat you and you won't be coming back!" she continued, finally letting go. Small creases appeared along her forehead where there was tension.

Vaati's expression relaxed. Once upon a time he had heard those same words from the fiery princess of Hyrule, and once upon a time he had sneered at her. Maybe he had told her that she was going to learn to give up on the hope of rescue, or something horrible along those lines to crush that determination. Back then, he'd distinctly recalled how he had only really wanted her hand because she would be a pretty trophy to keep around the palace along with the other maidens he'd decorated the place with.

Now it was a little different, and he actually cared about the determination she had. After all, the palace would be dreadfully boring without her spirited attitude and he didn't feel like he had to crush her anymore. It had taken him a while for him to even admit that much.

So when he heard the same words he had heard way back when, he didn't sneer like he had in the past. Actually, even if he'd wanted to, how could he when those same words had been delivered quite differently? Instead of a rebellious tone condemning him to his defeat, Zelda's voice had been a plea to stay safe.

Or was it? He could never really tell with the princess, and for all he knew he might have been imagining things. But that was what he kind of liked about the princess anyway: she always kept him guessing.

"And how can you be so sure?" he asked with amusement in his voice. He grinned even more when Zelda looked at him straight in the eyes like she wanted to punch him for taking everything so irresponsibly.

"Because you're arrogant and impatient and never think through your plans well," Zelda's bottom lip quivered, perhaps out of anger, Vaati guessed. He'd gotten quite used to the angry Princess Zelda during her first few weeks here, though she'd calmed down after a while.

The sorcerer gave a sly smile. "Then, you see why we'll make the perfect team, don't you? Your wisdom and my resourcefulness – we'll take Hyrule by storm. Literally, too," he chuckled. He stopped when he thought he heard Zelda say something. She had barely whispered it. "What was that?"

Princess Zelda bit her lips until they nearly bled. "No," she finally said again. When she looked up, Vaati was startled by tears that were rolling down her cheek. The princess appeared just as surprised and also ashamed, and she quickly wiped them away. She hated how she was crying. It was so stupid to cry because she was angry at him. He was being so stupid, and it made her upset and angry and… "No, because you're so arrogant and impatient that you won't listen to me anyway," she finished sternly, and her hands fell to her sides as she gave up trying to dry her tears. Finally not being able to stand in front of the sorcerer while she cried, Princess Zelda swiftly turned her heel and retired to the depths of the Palace of Winds, striding away from Vaati with cold steps.

The sorcerer looked after her in genuine shock. He'd never had that happen to him before. Well, the crying part. Well, crying he'd dealt with, but not in that context. She'd looked at him with her bold blue eyes, her pink lips pouting with an expression that said she hated him. But it wasn't true hate, the expression that she'd had. It was a hate stemming from the frustration that he wouldn't listen to her; listen to her warning that he was going to die. That was the first time anyone had cried for him because he had made them worry. It was… weird.

Did she… did she actually care about what happened to him? He looked down at his fingers at the strand of red-gold hair that remained in his fingertips. "Hey Princess Zelda," he smiled softly at the piece of hair and then gently let it fall to the ground, "I suppose that was an 'I love you?'" His soft smile, tinged with a faint sadness, lingered even as he turned away and walked towards the balcony where his final fight awaited.

With every step he remembered how it had been, once. He would play the role of the forceful kidnapper, never taking into account what the princess felt, only his own wants to be officially wedded. They would be married and that was that. She would be his visible symbol that Hyrule was completely, totally his. Feelings had never entered his sphere of importance at all.

Since when had all of that changed? He wondered, as he took a step off of the ledge and into the sky. It had snuck up on them before either of them could recognize what was going on. It had been sudden and frightfully unexpected.

Love is a storm, isn't it?

Ha, foolish. Love was such an idiotic word…

Vaati floated up to where the four Links were waiting for him with their swords drawn. With an evil sneer, he whipped up a tornado, causing the sky to darken and lightning to crackle across the sky.

Just you wait, Princess Zelda, he thought as his magic transformed his body into a monstrous, winged black eye, I will return in victory against these heroes.

And when I do…

I want to hear those three words one more time.

fleets: I have this image of FS (not FSA for this story - this is the Zelda that Vaati had kidnapped to marry) Zelda being hardheaded but with a hidden softer side. A tsundere? Anyways, neither of them openly admit they have a thing for each other and Zelda is in this grey zone of confusion since she was kidnapped by a supposedly evil evil sorcerer who's out to get Hyrule but she kind of thinks he's awesome. Sucks to be her (kind of :P). Oh, and, she also used to like Link a little but now he's out to kill Vaati. And she likes him more now. Yeah, definitely sucks to be her.

Also maybe this should be in the Tragedy genre as well because we all know what's going to happen at the end when Vaati fights Link (i.e. bye bye sorcerer). He finally lets himself be open to the idea of truly warming up to the princess, but he never returns to open himself up to her. They are both forever in the dark (and I say both even though it's obvious to the rest of us because Vaati didn't get to hear the definitive 'I love you' either - he's only speculating).

Blaaaah I'm rambling. I'll shut up now. I hope you enjoyed this short piece that is kind of like a preview for Ornamental Girl in the far far future ;)