I don't own Zelda.
For the rest of the week, Link was like a zombie, and if Midna's makeup wasn't slightly bluish to go with her skin, he would have asked her if she could have touched up his face so people would stop asking if he was okay.
They saw the purple bags under his eyes, and they immediately assumed something was wrong – well, nothing was. He was alright until people bothered him about it. Then it turned into him fumbling for excuses while they looked on, a mixture of pity and sympathy in their eyes. He wished they understood that he didn't need either, but they just tutted in mock understanding, which just made him angrier. He hissed under his breath as he remembered while helping Maple prepare ingredients in the kitchen, and the hamburger patty in his hands turned into a negative model of the inside of his fist. Maple quickly noticed, and she touched his shoulder.
"Link, calm down, honey. That beef has done nothing to you." She said nothing more as she added the patty she was shaping to the wax paper in front of her. He let out an angry breath, then closed his eyes and tried to think calm thoughts. They stopped, then started staggering again, this time at a much slower, much more tranquil pace. She studied him, and when he opened his eyes, she smiled at him.
"Bad week is more like it," he murmured. "I just can't sleep, and I don't know why, because I feel exhausted, and I want to sleep, but I just… wake up. Around one or two, and I can't go back to sleep." She nodded sympathetically.
"You know what you need to try? Chamomile tea. Relaxes the nerves," she said. Link wrinkled his nose.
"Gross. I hate tea." She swatted his shoulder.
"You grump, I'm trying to pass advice down to the next generation!" she exclaimed. "Please try it!" He sighed.
"Fine." She settled happily as she continued to shape patties, then filled the last space on the wax paper.
"Link, go put these in the fridge for a little bit while we make more." He nodded, and started the trip to the walk in freezer. He saw Anju talking with a customer, gesturing wildly with her pen and pad as she spoke. He smiled wanly at the sight, then he started when he faced forward and saw a huge wolf standing in front of the freezer door. His tongue lolled out of his mouth, and his fur sparkled in the bright lights of the diner. He stood almost up to Link's chest, and his sharp teeth glinted in what almost looked like a smile. The most striking thing about him though were his angular, glowing blue eyes that stood out against his fur. They sparkled with an almost human like intelligence, and they seemed to speak to Link even though the wolf said no words.
[WATCH YOURSELF] a deep voice echoed in Link's head. [BAD. PROTECT. MUST. BAD THINGS WILL GET YOU. MUST RUN FAST FAST FAST.] The wolf then growled and let out a harsh, loud bark, and Link jumped back and dropped the tray with a metallic clang. Anju, her hand on her heart and her mouth open from a small shriek, and her customer turned to stare at Link accusingly, but his gaze was still fixed on the wolf.
[WATCH. NO FORGET] he growled, then jumped at Link, who flung his arms up to shield his face. He felt hot breath on his face, and then a whisper of a howl through his body. He cracked his eyes open, then lowered his arms and turned around.
"Did you… did you see anything there?" he said haltingly, knowing what their reactions would be even as he spoke with a sinking feeling. Both Anju and the customer shook their heads, their eyes wide, and Maple stuck her head out the door to see what the noise was about.
"What's- Oh, Link!" she cried, rushing over to the upended tray. "Dammit! Why'd you drop these?" Link looked down at the pink blobs of meat on the floor, and his shoulders shrunk as Maple glared at him.
"I'm sorry. It was an accident," he mumbled, getting on his hands and knees to try and clean up the mess. Maple joined him under the counter.
"Link, you need to get some sleep," she whispered. "I can't have you doing this every day." He sagged, stopping his half-hearted clean-up.
"I'm really sorry. I don't know what happened." She placed her hands on her knees and stared for a second at him.
"Well, you have the day off tomorrow, so please, try and recover as much as you can. I'm sorry I cursed at you, but this isn't professional, and it's wasteful." Maple frowned, and Link nodded.
"I promise it won't happen again. Cross my heart and hope to die."
Link was driving home when he turned and saw that the wolf was crammed into his passenger seat, smiling that same toothy grin at him. He let out a yelp of surprise, half turning off the road until he slammed on the brakes and pulled himself short. He screamed again when something smashed into the back of his car, jolting him forward into the waiting airbag that had exploded into being from his steering wheel. There was a crunch and grind of metal twisting and a loud blaring horn.
Link was momentarily stunned, and then he heard angry swearing and the sound of a car door swinging open. He picked his head up groggily, feeling blood start to trickle from his nose, and pushed open the door of his car slowly, pinching his nostrils together.
"Hey asshole! Why did you stop right in the middle of the fucking road?!" someone yelled, and Link heaved himself out of the car, swaying on his feet and turning towards the furious voice. A freckled, short man maybe around his age was standing where his car and Link's car had met in a fantastic crumpling of sheet metal, his hands curled into fists and crossed angrily over his thin chest.
"I'm waiting!" he spat. "What the hell were you doing?!" Link winced as he pulled his hand away from his nose and inspected it for more blood. He didn't think it was broken, but from the amount of blood covering his fingers and palm, he wasn't sure. He pinched it closed again, then held his other hand up.
"Look man, I'm really sorry-" The ginger cut him off.
"Is sorry going to fix my car?! My wife is eight months pregnant, and she could have been killed-" Link felt a sinking feeling in his stomach, and he tried to open his mouth to talk again, but a woman with short brown hair swayed over behind the ginger. The tips were dyed a bright green, and her belly was swelled to huge proportions. She was the same height as the man, but she lacked his anger. She only looked concerned.
"Mido, calm down. I'm fine," she said in a pleading voice. "Solve this like a civilized person." She grabbed his arm gently and stepped in front of him.
"Hello there. Are you okay?" Link nodded, his nose still clamped shut. Her face crumpled in worry.
"You look like you haven't slept in days." Her voice was kind, but Link still couldn't help but feel a surge of irritation.
"I'm fine, I promise. Look, I'll pay for any repairs. This was my fault."
"Damn right it was," Mido muttered, and Saria squeezed his arm tighter.
"That sounds wonderful, thank you." She stepped forward to shake his hand, and he grabbed it. It was cool and soft, with small amounts of dirt trapped under her short fingernails.
"I'm Saria Kiri, and this is my husband Mido. We're up here from Faron province." She gave him a wan smile.
"Link Greene, I live around here." He returned her smile with the same small enthusiasm, and she studied his face for a moment. Her thin fingers curled around his wrist and pulled his hand away from his face. With her other hand, she caressed his nose with a single finger. Link felt a spark travel through his skin, and with a small snap, the dull throb in his nose vanished. The blood dripping from his nose was siphoned away, and his mouth fell open.
"How did you-" she held a finger to her lips, her smile wide and mischievous this time. She turned slowly, then floated back to Mido, whispering something in his ear. He pulled out a pen from his pocket, grunting, and she walked back, holding her hand out as a signal to give his to her. He let her and watched bemusedly as she scribbled a number on his palm, the pen digging into his skin. She avoided the mostly healed pink marks on his skin, then released his hand and gave him the pen and opened her hand.
"Just call us when you have the money. I think we can still make it back to Deku without too many problems," she said as Link wrote on her hand. "We'll call you once we get a good estimate." He nodded, his heart sinking as he thought of the money he had in the bank – not much. She gave him one last kind smile, then sashayed back to Mido. She said something quickly, then they both got back in the car. Link saw Mido swear and beat on the steering wheel several times, but eventually, he got the car started, and they drove away, Saria waving goodbye through the cracked windshield. Link watched them go, then got back in his car and continued the drive home, thinking angrily about the stupid wolf that kept badgering hi-
What was he talking about? IT WASN'T REAL, so how could it be badgering him? It was just a figment of his over exhausted mind, and all he needed to fix this problem was some sleep. And good sleep too, not filled with all this freaky bullshit that kept haunting him night after night.
He walked in, inspecting the tin of tea that he had bought from this freaky store on his way home, taking Maple's advice. His nose wrinkled as he opened the tin and took a long sniff. Farore, he hoped this was worth it.
"Hey Mr. Sunshine, what's up?" Midna called from the couch where she had become a semi-permanent fixture along with the pile of dirty tissues on the table. The TV was on, but she was really watching Sheik do yoga to the side of the TV. He was twisted in a seemingly impossible position, but his breathing was relaxed and his eyes were lightly closed. Link set the tin down on the counter.
"I got in a car crash." Midna's eyes widened.
"Holy shit, are you okay?" One of Sheik's eyes cracked open.
"He's walking. He'll recover."
"I don't think my wallet will," Link complained as he walked over and flopped on the couch, staring up at the ceiling. Midna reached over and patted his arm.
"It'll be fine eventually." He shrugged. "At least you have the day off tomorrow." His eyes flicked over to her.
"Yeah, I guess. Hey, do you know how to make tea?" she nodded. "Can you help me make some, and then make me drink it?"
"Sure. I'm bored as hell," Midna said, sneaking another peek at Sheik. Link rolled his eyes as she heaved herself up off the couch.
"Why are you drinking tea anyway?"
"Maple says this kind helps you relax, and so did the creepy lady at the store I bought it from." Midna clattered through cabinets, then tossed the pot at his head. Link ducked at the last second.
"What the hell?!" he shouted, and Sheik let out a frustrated sigh.
"Trying to clear my chakras here. Some peace would be appreciated." Link lowered his voice, but his face contorted in anger as he hastily picked up the pot.
"I said I would help. I'll help by supervising," Midna said, grinning and shaking the tin. "Now c'mon. Let's make this stuff."
Link forced himself to drink two cupfuls of flowery stuff before he decided that he couldn't take anymore and dumped the rest of the third cup down the sink. Midna had actually decided that she liked it, and so she was finishing off the pot as Link decided to try and go to bed.
His hands were folded under him and his head was to the side, and he felt his eyelids grow heavy after what seemed like countless hours of counting sheep.
[WATCH OUT] a deep rumble sounded through his head just as he was about to go to sleep, and Link started awake, his eyes wide open as he looked out the window and saw the wolf staring at him excitedly, his blue eyes sparking in the dark.
"Leave me alone," Link said groggily, shoving his head under his pillow and holding it over his ears. He felt heavy paws on his spine and then hot breath on the back of his neck.
[WATCH OUT. BAD. RUN FAST FAST FAST.] The voice was deafening in his head, and Link scrambled to sit up, furious at having been woken up from his almost sleep.
"Godsdammit, I already knew that!" Link spun around and sat up, but his room was empty besides him. He looked out the window, but the wolf wasn't there either. He sank down into his mattress with a heavy sigh, running his hand down his face.
He fell asleep two hours later at midnight, still grumbling as his mind wrapped around the idea of that crazy-ass wolf that only he could see.
The picture focused in slowly, and then brightened. The sun shone, but Link felt no heat on his back. The strands of the woman's hair hanging from her high bun moved sluggishly in the slight wind, but Link felt no breeze. He recognized the woman quickly to be Saria, her once rotund stomach only slightly protruding and her hands wrist deep in dirt. She laughed happily and covered her face with one soil stained hand.
"Mido, get that thing out of my face; I'm filthy!" she squealed. There was a deep chuckle from behind Link, but he couldn't turn around to see Mido.
"Well, you look pretty damn beautiful to me."
"Oh stop it," Saria said. Her cheeks flushed a deep pink.
"We need to take pictures of how much fun we had before the kid got here! Then he can know how much fun we had before him!" Saria giggled, then pointed a dirt crusted trowel at him.
"I'm just working in the garden, silly. And it's a girl. I can tell you that right now."
"How can you tell?"
"Mother's intuition," Saria shot back quickly, her gaze moving back down to the ground as she plunked a seedling into the small hole she had dug. "And whatever gender the baby is, they will be beautiful."
"Yes, because they have you as a mother." She blushed furiously again.
"Dear gods, Mido, stop flattering me." She still smiled brightly at the voice. "You're not so bad looking yourself." She hunched back over the plant, and the camera flashed brightly, the scene going dark for a moment before re- illuminating.
The view was shaky this time, red numbers flashing at the top of Link's vision. A reflection of a lens stared back at him, but beyond that, there was Saria, still kneeling in the garden and fondly handling a seedling before she put it in the ground. A beatific smile was displayed on her face, and simple, yet beautiful song without words drifted to Link through a crack in the window as she piled dirt around it. She leaned over to kiss its tiny green leaves, and a gold and green necklace fell out of her shirt, glittering in the spring sun.
She stood up then, tucking the necklace back in her shirt absentmindedly, and walked back to the house, a dazed, yet content smile on her face. Mido cursed quietly, and the view of the outside turned to view of the kitchen, and then finally darkness as the camera was turned off. The darkness stayed around Link, inky and black until two bright, cerulean orbs blinked open in front of him. Link felt himself scuttling backwards frantically, and the rumble ripped through the darkness again.
[RUN FAST FAST FAST. SAVE. BAD THINGS. HAPPEN SOON.] There was an echoing bark, and then Link's eyes flew open. He sat up quickly and then looked at the clock. Three in the morning. New record. He groaned, then flopped back down and tried to go to sleep, the wordless song the green-haired girl sang still echoing in the back of his head as he tossed and turned restlessly throughout the rest of the night.
The two references were Earthbound (Paula and Ness were enjoying some milkshakes at Romani's) and Insomnia by Stephen King (Ralph Roberts was drinking some coffee). Nobody guessed :P
I have a proposition - if the review count gets up to fifty for this chapter, then I will post the same day it reaches that count. It took me about two hours to write this chapter, I just had to get around to it. I will do it again. 12 reviews to a chapter... That would be some good motivation. I highly doubt this will happen, but please. Entertain the notion. It would be very nice.
Also, Saria and Mido will be important next chapter and beyond. This was simply their introduction to the plot, along with the wolf's. Any guesses as to who he is?
Until next time my luffly readers,