Epilogue

To Link and Zelda

Surprised? When they were packing up all your things I asked if they'd wait for me to add something so I wrote you a letter! I'm back on Skyloft now and I guess it's ok huh? Cawlin mostly ignores me which is good cuz I don't want to talk to him so it's been pretty quiet.

Hows the surface? I kinda miss bits of it a lot. Not the monster bits but the forest and stuff. Skyloft looks real different without the isle of the goddess! It's kind of weird.

Well I have to go to class but I'll write later okay. Write back!

From Groose


To Link and Zelda

Took your time! I guess not many people go to the surface though huh. I bet more people will though LOTS of people are talking bout it. They even ask me stuff about it! I'm kinda an expert now.

Good luck going over the ridge I really want to know what's there! If it's real nice will you live there?

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Sorry I didn't write for ages they took so long setting up the mail service! It's good to have but it's a paaiiin having to wait for trips though! I've been studying a lot like you said, Zelda. Karane's helping me a bit but I don't get a lot of the stuff like trajectries and things.

Pipit is helping too he heard some of the things Cawlin's been saying. Now he stops him if he hears it. He's pretty nice Link I see why you liked him.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

I guess you already heard that I failed the exams but that's okay cuz everyone else did too. Cawlin was so mad though! Strich is gonna go do his bug thing. Oh the thunderhead is all gone too so you can see the isle of songs and everything. I flew there the other day and all the weird bugs were gone. I think I saw Levias in the distance tho.

Me and Fledge are gonna try again and I think Cawlin is too but I hope he changes his mind.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

The new kids are here and it's really crowded! I didn't wanna room with Cawlin again so now I'm in your old room Link and my gear barely fits in here! There's two people in my old room and someone else with Cawlin. There's also someone in your old room Zelda. I guess Owlan and Horwell don't know what to do with seven people in the junior class because the classes are always super busy.

Fledge is pretty nice now that he's not scared of me. He started working out and borrowed some weights it's really weird to see!

It also must be really weird having a sea of grass. Is it kinda like the sand sea only on land? I can't picture a whole lot of grass it sounds really weird!

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

I've been really busy lately so I'm sorry I didn't write much. I've been flying every day because the race is only in a month and I've started working with Gondo a bit on the weekends. I wanna make something else like the Groosenator that was AWESOME! Too bad it got all smashed up huh.

Fledge said Cawlin made him give a letter to Karane but I don't know what happened next except that Cawlin won't come out of his room now.

The animal you found sounds kind of like you could ride it like a Loftwing. If the grass is like the sea I bet it's like sailing huh?

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

I'M IN THE SENIOR CLASS!

Me and Fledge tied well at first he said I could be the winner because I wanted to more but I felt really bad because he grabbed it at the same time as me so I told them and now we're BOTH in the senior class! Karane was the goddess and it was really weird cuz she had to give a prize to both of us and also cuz I know the REAL goddess.

I think Cawlin's gonna quit cuz he's really upset that he didn't even get into the race haha. But he didn't even try that hard and he tried to cheat so who cares!

And now Pipit and Karane are proper knights you'd be one too Zelda if you were there!

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Thanks! My uniforms blue. It's kind of the same colour as my tunic so it suits me huh? Although the hat looks weird with my hair I think.

Also I found out why Cawlin didn't come out of his room before. He tried to give Karane a love letter except she turned him down and now she's with Pipit. So he keeps glaring whenever he sees Pipit and ran off crying once when he saw them holding hands. I think he's happy she's not at the academy any more tho.

Zelda planting fruit trees sounds really nice but being a knight is really cool too. But the surface is really nice too! What kind of fruit is it?

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Thanks for the apples and apricots and berries they're really good! I shared some with Fledge and Pipit and Gondo and they liked it a whole lot. Also Gondo wants me to ask you if you want to keep Scrapper to help with things on the surface because he spends lots of time at the shop sulking.

Please take Scrapper he's really annoying!

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Awww I thought we could get rid of Scrapper! He keeps saying my hair's dumb well joke's on him cuz he doesn't even HAVE hair. Dumb robot. How was Skipper when you saw him? I bet it was really fun sailing without all those monsters and stuff around! Zelda isn't the sea GREAT?

Also Pipit said that I can do some trial patrols because Karane's knocked up!

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

He says that he's gonna marry her really soon but not until he can afford it and he wants you both to come okay? But he said it might be a while and they'll have the kid a lot before I graduate it'll be around the same time as the wing ceremony I think. The new juniors are training really hard for it it's kind of nostalgic.

I'm starting to become friends with some of them it's nice having friends.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Pipit says thanks and wants to know if you think the surface is safe? I think he wants to visit some time but I don't know when. Anyway if it was bad Wryna and Jakamar and their kid wouldn't have gone down right? I've been fixing lots of things now that Jakamar's gone. It's pretty fun actually!

The exams were last week and now there's another girl in the senior class so it's not just me and Fledge. Cawlin didn't pass so he quit! I don't know what he's doing now.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Sorry I haven't written in ages I've been working really hard since Karane stopped flying. FLYING AT NIGHT IS THE BEST YOU CAN SEE THE LIGHTS AND IT'S AWESOME. If you come up to visit you can come ride with me and see for yourself okay? It's the best!

Horwell and Owlan said that your house looks great I can't wait to see it. And being in the field might be more like being here right? So you can see the sky properly.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

It's getting near the wing ceremony again so that means I'm halfway through being a senior student! One more year until I'm a knight and then I can come down and see you guys again. So that's good right?

Also Owlan says you should send up some of that plant that looks like a star he saw last time because he wants more? I don't know why.

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Karane had the baby! Its a girl who has red hair cuz she already has good taste, and blue eyes and freckles already. Her names Lark. She says when she's big enough she'll come down to the surface and you can meet her ok?

Also the wing ceremony happened and now there's another senior girl. The girl who passed the exams last year was the goddess and it was kind of fun seeing two girls do it!

The ceremony I mean.

Um from Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Shut up it's a normal thing to think about! Besides I bet you think dirty things too. That's you too Zelda you did tell us to do that!

Hey postman if you read this quit it.

Link I hope you feel better real soon okay? Try keeping warm you hurt a lot that night when it was really cold remember?

Miss you

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

I know things are ok here now but I still haven't changed my mind and I don't think I will in the next few months. I told you I'd be back right? Link I hope you're taking care of my necklace!

Miss you

From Groose


Hi Link and Zelda

Well the next wing ceremony is ready and that means that soon I'll be a full knight. There's three others in the senior class now, girl that did the exams, girl that won the ceremony, and a guy who did the exams too so at least it won't be really empty.

I think this will be the last year though. I guess your dad told you all about his plans Zelda, but it means that lots more people will be going to the surface for good.

So that means I'll see you REALLY soon huh?

Miss you. And see you in a few weeks.

From Groose


Link refolded the letter along familiar lines and sighed. He had read and reread the letter more times than he cared to think about since he had received it two weeks earlier, spending long whiles gazing up at the sky from their new home in the open fields.

He and Zelda had settled in nicely, building a little house near where Eldin graded into Lanayru. And yet, even its proximity to the mountain and the desert did not mean their home was arid - the spring behind Skyview Temple was part of a larger system, it seemed, and a river ran across the green lands before disappearing into Lanayru Gorge. Where it went from there... well, Link could not say.

The surface, over the course of three years, had changed enormously. Monsters had disappeared slowly - first, the Bokoblins and Moblins, aimless without their demonic master. Keese still inhabited the darkest parts of the lands, and the odd Deku Baba or Octorok still showed their heads occasionally, but peace was beginning to reign.

And the skies had opened up. The cloud barrier that Hylia had created eons ago was dissipating, starting from the point where the Isle of the Goddess had plummeted back down to the Sealed Grounds. Had Zelda managed to influence it in some way? Either way, Link could gaze up at the sky and almost make out a glimpse of shadow that indicated Skyloft, or gaze up at the stars and moon at night, his view largely unimpeded.

Even his injuries had settled down somewhat. Oh, the pain never left him - he would bear it for the rest of his life. But his left hand was a mostly acceptable substitute for his right, and even the shakiness of his nerves that sometimes left him relying on a (carefully) carved cane could come and go with little warning.

He would have never managed this without Zelda. Not without her, and not without the anticipation of the letters that, ever so often, would descend from the sky.

Quietly, Zelda settled beside him, resting a hand over his. "They'll be here soon," she promised, "Owlan and Horwell know the way, and they can guide the others."

Link nodded distractedly, shifting to stroke the back of her hand with his thumb. "I don't know what will happen when he..." Trailing off, he gave her a pleading look. "It's still... okay, isn't it? What you said when it ended."

"About not having to choose?" Zelda asked gently, and Link nodded glumly. "It is. If you both still want to be involved with each other, then it's absolutely fine. I have no doubt that you love me, too."

"I do," Link breathed, bumping his nose against hers before leaning in for a soft little kiss. "Love you, I mean. I wouldn't want a life without you in it."

She wrapped her arms around his waist with a faint smile, head dropping to his shoulder. "Good," she told him seriously, "Because I love you too. And I also know that you have a great capacity for love - if you force yourself to choose one, to hold back what you feel, you will not be happy."

Laughing faintly, he brushed a kiss across her forehead. "It's kind of strange when you speak like Hylia," he confessed, and she laughed in return.

"I can't help it!" she chuckled, reaching out to punch his shoulder lately. "But it's true, anyway - oh!"

In a sudden movement, she pulled away from him, jumping to her feet. Above, in the sky, dark specks were steadily growing larger and closer, and she turned back with a grin. "They're here!"

Owlan and Horwell had led the way, the two greeting them warmly - this was not their first visit to the surface, visiting the families beginning to drift down, collecting new and interesting specimens for further study, setting up the beginnings of the new surface-bound Knight Academy. Close behind them was Fledge, grinning and inexplicably muscled in his blue knight's uniform, and soon after were Pipit and Karane, the latter in her knight's uniform and holding a squirming baby in her arms as the larger, slower family bird landed gently.

Half in a conversation with Fledge, half watching the skies as more arrivals showed up, Link was distracted and nervous, even Fledge giving him a curious look as he glanced skywards again. The skies were thinning out, now - Gaepora arrived with Mia in tow, joining Zelda as she caught up with Karane and cooed over Lark, another family touched down and collected their belongings...

And then an almost-black Loftwing bearing a blue-clad, red-headed passenger touched down lightly, and words died in Link's throat.

"Well - I think I see someone, have fun!" Fledge said hastily, leaving Link standing there motionless as Groose dismounted from his Loftwing.

For what felt like a minor eternity, the two simply stared at each other.

Groose looked good. The uniform fit him well, the hat, no matter what he claimed, suiting him. But more striking was the air of calm around him - three years had done wonders for his confidence, no longer a blustering illusion, but something quiet and unassuming and yet self-assured.

Well - aside from the expression of mild terror that had crossed his face when he had laid eyes on Link.

"Hey," he finally said, letting a shaky little smile creep across his face. "What's up?"

Link laughed and finally strode forward, the cane unnecessary for now, his feet steady. Almost automatically, he reached out to slip his arms around Groose's waist, forehead resting against his broad chest, Groose's arms settling along his shoulder. Distantly, he felt a kiss drop in his hair. "Hi," he whispered in return, closing his eyes.

He had been waiting for this, to feel like things would be right again. All that was needed now was Zelda, and he would never go wanting for anything again.

The field, largely bare of trees, still afforded a few spots of privacy - dips and hollows, shaded spots free from prying eyes. It was to one of these that they retreated now, Groose immediately settling back against the side of the hollow with a sigh, one arm held out for Link.

For a moment, they simply rested, enjoying each other's company for the first time in too long. Groose was the first to speak, eyes closed and expression content. "How've you been? Properly, I mean. You didn't say you were using a stick."

Link glanced to the side at the cane, shrugging a little. "I don't need it all the time. It's just for a bit of extra balance." Eventually, he let out a sigh. "It... comes and goes, I guess. Some days are really bad, some days it doesn't hurt at all. And I can use my left hand really well, now."

"You were getting pretty good at it before, too," Groose pointed out, reaching over to inspect the cane. Link glanced up at him curiously - it was wood, carved from a fallen branch, and absolutely covered in decorations (save the handle, which was polished smooth). Trees, flowers, clouds, a soaring Loftwing - and, interspersed between them, patterns and designs. Groose grinned a little as he let his fingers trail over them, tracing the pattern at the hem of Zelda's goddess costume, the crest on the wrap Link wore, the lines that traced out the edge of Groose's sleeve.

"I don't mind using it," Link said softly, setting a hand on it as well. "It helps me, right? So I wanted to put things on it that made me happy."

Flowers and trees and the sky, and the people he most cared about.

"Don't feel sorry for me," he continued softly. "I'm not broken yet."

Groose nodded slowly as he returned it. "You did a good job," he said with a faint smile, "And it'd take a lot more than a Demon King to break you, huh?" Impulsively, he pressed his lips to Link's before drawing back.

Link made a soft sound of contentment, and leaned in for another.

"So you're going to stay for good?" he asked a little while later, warm and content and feeling safe. Groose made an affirmative sound, drawing him a little closer.

"There's gonna be a lot of people coming down here, right? Now that the academy's moving, and they're setting up a new bazaar, and everything. So, someone's gotta be around to keep the peace." He grinned, tapping himself in the chest lightly with one fist. "And I'm a knight now, right?"

Letting out a little chuckle, Link nodded. "I had to admit, three years ago, I wouldn't have expected it from you."

"Thanks a lot!" Groose laughed, shoving him lightly with his shoulder. "Besides, we can keep an eye out for Zelda in case any more crazies decide they want Hylia or something." He paused thoughtfully. "Hylia's knights - or the Hylian knights or something. Wanna join up? Fledge already said he would."

Link gave him a curious glance. Three years had changed him - Groose seemed content with his place in the world, with goals and a purpose and meaning. He seemed... well, happier. He was not seventeen any more. "Yeah, I will," he said firmly, glancing down at his hands. "As much as I can. I'll find a way."

"You will," Groose told him, glancing back as Karane's voice rang out, asking if she could expect a little bundle from Zelda and Link any time soon. Zelda's answer was inaudible, and he glanced back at Link curiously. "So, uh, will you be?" he asked uncertainly.

Shaking his head, Link glanced away. "We... haven't, yet," he admitted, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt. "I mean - something felt like it was missing." The third corner of their triangle, the third part of their Triforce. The few times he and Zelda had attempted to be intimate, Link had been the one to reluctantly stop the proceedings - doing this without Groose there had felt... wrong, somehow.

Groose let out a soft, uncertain noise. "Know what it is?"

"I think so," Link murmured, and reached for his hand.

And then a golden head popped into view, bangs and braid hanging upside-down as Zelda peered over the edge of the hollow. "Link, are you hogging Groose again?" she teased, scrambling down herself to give Groose a quick hug. "It's good to see you."

He gave her a goofy grin, brushing back his hair. "Yeah - you too," he smiled, "We were just catching up."

Link gazed at the two of them, his heart lighter than it had been in years. He had Zelda, he had Groose. Ahead of them laid a road - peace and freedom and the beginnings of a new world, cultivating a home from the wilderness of the surface. Whatever happened next, it would happen together.

Reaching for his cane, the three of them made their way out of the hollow and back into the sun, Groose on one side and Zelda on the other. As they returned to their friends and family, Link knew that whatever path his feet took him, he would not walk alone.

The End