Epilogue

Dotted throughout the deep woods in the Kokiri Forest were dozens of small ponds and watering holes. Many of the children went there nearly everyday during the summer to swim and relax. This particular pond was nearly empty today. However, the sparkling clear water was suddenly disturbed by a huge splash as Malon crashed through the surface after jumping from a rock outcropping above. "Malon!" screamed Solo. "You splashed me!"

Malon swam over to Solo, who was previously floating leisurely on her back, her long golden hair spread out over the surface of the water. "That's what I intended," replied Malon with a smirk. She splashed more water onto Solo's already displeased face. The water was the perfect temperature, not to hot or too cold.

"That's it, I'm gonna get you," threatened Solo as she stood upright and approached Malon. Solo then lunged at her and dunked Malon's head under the water. Malon popped up and a fierce water fight ensued. They both relentlessly splashed each other, giggling madly. After a few minutes of splashing, they desisted and Solo looked over at Link, who was sitting on the shore staring intently at a book. "Come on, Link! Aren't you coming in?"

Link looked up from the book he was reading and saw Malon and Solo staring back at him. "This is so fascinating," he whined. "You wouldn't believe the theories this woman came up with." He was reading one of Kisei's many journals, this one was about the solar system and the motions of the planets. "This stuff is so cool. Did you know that our planet revolves around the sun, not the other way around? And the moon revolves around us. It makes so much sense. And something called gravity keeps all the planets from flying off into space. And gravity is also what keeps us on the ground and makes us fall down. And the moon has no air because it doesn't have enough gravity. Did you know that air actually weighs something? It makes sense 'cause a strong wind could knock you over. This stuff is amazing."

"Geez. How can you actually enjoy learning?" said Solo, sticking out her tongue. "Books are boring."

"Mija akhtag na fashter," said Link in some strange language.

"Did you just insult me?" asked Solo, unsure of what Link had said.

"I said, 'I like learning.' It's in a foreign language, Aktilian. They're these people that live in a jungle on the other side of the world. She's got every language in the world written in these books. It's amazing."

"Come on Link!" shouted Solo. "Put those stupid books down and jump in. You're missing all the fun."

"I'm waiting for Zelda to come. She should be here any minute." Zelda had said that she would come over at around noon. Link didn't have a clock, but judging by the shadows, it was about time. Just then he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to see Zelda emerge from the trees with a smile on her face. She was wearing a very light pink dress and sandals.

"Sorry I'm late, Link," said Zelda as she sidled up next to him. "Impa took forever to get up and take me. I swear, she's always up at the crack of dawn, and she picked today to sleep in. There was some kind of Sheikah party at the castle last night and she was there dancing all night."

"I thought all the Sheikah were extinct," said Link.

"Me too. I guess they're not. I think they hide out all over the country and come together every now and then to have a reunion. You wouldn't believe how she acted! She was dancing like a maniac! I could've sworn she was having a seizure. I think she got totally drunk and that's why she slept so late. I'll tell you, that's not like Impa. I guess she totally changes when she's with her own people. It was almost scary. But what am I doing blabbing like this? Let's go in the pond." Right in front of Link, Zelda removed her sandals and then pulled her dress off over her head. Link almost gasped at the sight before him. Zelda was wearing a fairly skimpy two-piece swimsuit that was a bright pink color. Link eyed Zelda up and down, from the pink top, to her smooth, flat stomach, all the way down to her legs. He almost felt like drooling. He had never seen so much of her skin exposed, and the sight was almost titillating.

"Wow," Link mumbled, feeling nearly speechless. He was wearing a pair of his normal green shorts.

"You don't look so bad yourself," commented Zelda, peering at every inch of Link's body. She tried her hardest not to think unclean thoughts, but a few penetrated through her mental barriers. She bent over and grabbed Link's hand, pulling him off the ground and causing the book to fall to the ground. "Let's go swimming!" Zelda dragged him off to the pond and they both jumped in simultaneously, splashing Malon and Solo as they landed. Zelda splashed Link as she dove under the water and popped up behind him, splashing him once again. Zelda floated there, only her head poking above the surface. She saw Solo float over, with a strangely devious smile on her face. She floated over to where Link and Zelda had jumped in and made a motion with her hands so quick that nobody could see what she had done.

"What are you doing?" asked Link. "I know that smile. You have something planned. Malon, what's she doing?" Link figured that if anyone knew what Solo had in mind, Malon would. Malon also gave a wicked smile and shrugged her shoulders. Solo moved next to Zelda and smiled again, Zelda putting a suspicious look on her face.

"Oh Zelda?" said Solo. "Are you um...missing something?" Solo slowly floated backwards, just out of Zelda's reach.

"What are you talking about?" asked Zelda.

Solo flashed a wicked grin and raised her hands above the water, holding some pink piece of cloth. "Does this look familiar?"

Zelda gasped and then glowered at Solo. "My top fell off!" she exclaimed, her face turning a deep shade of red. She immediately folded her arms over her chest, which was thankfully hidden under the surface of the water. Link's jaw dropped and he almost started drooling again. "I know what you're thinking!" said Zelda.

"I would never dream of doing anything like that," insisted Link. He secretly wished that Zelda would stand in more shallow water, but that would never happen.

Zelda lunged at Solo and began to wrestle with her, trying to free her loose top from Solo's grasp. "You give that back!" Zelda shouted.

"Solo, that's mean," commented Link. As much as he wanted to see Zelda without her top on, he couldn't let them tease her like that. Before Link could intervene, Zelda had snatched her bathing suit top from Solo and was putting it back on, making sure not to let any more than her head show above the water. When she had put it on, she stuck her tongue out at Solo and splashed her.

Zelda went over to Link, who was still smirking. "I know what you were thinking," said Zelda.

"Oh really? You gotta admit, that was pretty funny. Don't worry, I didn't see anything."

"Yeah, but you would've liked to. Don't try to hide it." Link smiled and his face turned red. "I thought so. You're not gonna get lucky today, mister."

"What's the matter Link?" asked Solo. "Didn't get to see Zelda's boobs?"

"Solo!" scolded Zelda. Link's face turned redder and he seriously considered diving under the water and not coming back up.

"You can see mine if you want." Link shuddered and felt like he was going to be sick.

"No thanks," he said in near disgust. "You're a little feisty for somebody who died a couple days ago. You should take it easy."

"Hey, you only live once," said Solo. "Or I guess twice in my case. We could all go skinny dipping. Wouldn't that be fun?"

"That's it, I'm outta here," said Link, walking to the shore. He desperately wanted to leave before Solo found some other way to humiliate him further. He stopped on the shore and tried to shake the water out of his hair.

"You're not getting away that easily," said Zelda, jumping out of the water and pulling him back in, much to his chagrin. She pulled Link closer to her and kissed him gently.

"What was that for?" he asked.

"I just thought I'd tell you that I care." She leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Just follow my lead. We'll show them what happens when they take the princess's bathing suit top. You take Solo and I'll get Malon. We'll jump on them and dunk them in the water." Link smiled and nodded. They both stealthily swam over to where Solo and Malon were splashing each other again. They were completely oblivious to Zelda and Link's approach and were taken by surprise when they were suddenly dunked under the water. A short wrestling match ensued as Malon and Solo attempted to turn the tables on Link and Zelda. Solo dived to the bottom and grabbed a chunk of seaweed from the ground. She popped back up and threw it as hard as she could, the seaweed smacking into Zelda's face with a squish. "Oh, you'll be sorry for that," Zelda said. She jumped on Solo and wrestled her, while Link just watched in amazement. Sometimes he never understood the opposite sex. He just watched all three of them playfully fight in the water, splashing and giggling like crazy. It was then that Link realized how truly lucky he was. As much as his sister annoyed him, he couldn't even imagine what it would be like to live without her. After all those years he had felt empty and alone, he now felt complete. He was happy. And he didn't want to know what it would be like to lose his sister, especially after going through so much trouble finding her. He was so thankful for the people he had, his friends, his family. He didn't have to go out exploring and searching for some mystical treasure or magical power. He had everything he ever wanted right here.

The End

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I think this story has the most references of any story I've written. The plot itself was based on the X-File episode "Tithonus", so that gets top billing. I also used Spock's famous line from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Also, Solo's death scene was sprinkled with line from the movie The Abyss, specifically the scene where Bud and the team are trying to revive Linsdey after her drowning. Another reference is during the interrogation of Dr. Sailann by the detectives when he finds out that the Hateru Stone has been stolen. The whole interrogation was based on a scene from the 1990s Nickelodeon version of the Tomorrow People, from the episode "The Rameses Connection". That was one of my favorite shows as a child. Also, the teleportation scene in the first chapter (specifically landing in the lake) comes from The Tomorrow People. There are also some lines from Star Trek: First Contact that would be obvious to hard-core Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on your preferred nomenclature). Also, I couldn't resist putting the whole "let's get everyone drunk" scene. Teenagers do stupid things, so I wanted to humanize the characters. Just stay away from the Aldorian whiskey. And by the way, the Aldorian Whiskey was inspired by the Aldebaran Whiskey from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics" where they find Scotty and he gets drunk on green whiskey. Believe it or not, I didn't use the line "It is...green". I wish I had.