This does not follow a specific game, though names and locations are borrowed from different games.

Enjoy Happier

Link lifted himself up onto all fours from his stomach. He could hear Ganondorf cackling in the distance, though his hearing was certainly impaired. Sure enough, as he lifted his hand up to his right ear, he felt the warm, moist liquid that he had grown to know intimately as blood. Fighting the dizziness that was overcoming him, he looked up to see Ganondorf strutting towards him.

"I must admit," he grinned, condescendingly. "You made it much further than I expected. Uncovering the seven keys, guarded by my precious beasts, to open the portal to my kingdom in the Dark Land. And for what?"

He stopped a few feet in front of Link. Turning around abruptly, and lifting his hands in the air, he said, "a princess?" Hovering above them, nearly twenty feet in the air, was a large, pink crystal. Inside of it was Zelda, frozen in time.

Ganondorf turned back around and crouched down to where Link panted, hunched over on all fours. His voice dropped to a menacing and cruel octave. "Don't you worry. She won't go to waste. I can think of a few uses for her before I expand my kingdom into Hyrule.

"Thanks for the entertainment, Link. I'll just have to finish you off now."

As Ganondorf slowly and dramatically reached for his sword, Link exerted all the will power in his frame to give one last push. One last fight, to save Zelda. To save Hyrule. Surely, he had the strength within him. But alas, his body was spent. He was already near exhaustion when he finally reached Ganondorf. It had hardly been a fair fight. However, courage could not save him now.

"Listen!" he heard. Normally he would be annoyed by his fairy trying to lecture him. But in this moment he was just glad to end his life with a friend nearby.

"This is it, Link," Dara whispered in his ear. "If you die, I will too. So, I might as well use my life to give you one more chance. Thanks for all you've taught me. I love you Link!"

Before Link could object, and just as Ganondorf was raising his sword over Link's hanging head, Dara leapt into Link's chest, extinguishing her own light, but giving Link a new one. The sudden energy and adrenaline rocketed Link forward instinctually. He rolled forward just as the sword came down on the stone behind him. The clang echoed throughout the chamber and Link leapt to his feet, grabbing the Master Sword from where he had dropped it moments before.

The two Triforce wielders stared at each other. Ganon's mouth had dropped and just a hint of fear shown in his eye. "I don't understand," he began. "I broke you!"

"You may have hurt me and knocked me down," Link stated. "But the spirit that drives me…the love that I have for my friends and my friends have for me…the courage that you can never possess…it will never die. I will continue fighting you until you expire!"

Lifting the Master Sword once more, this time with a strength he had never before felt, Link charged.

Ganondorf sensed something was different than their first fight—that Link was much stronger now. He fought with no more swagger. Instead, his attacks were almost desperate. Ganondorf backed up continually as he hurled purple energy blasts at Link. Link batted the evil power away with his sword simply as he continued his assault. Their blades met, and the forward motion of Link caused the back-pedaling Ganondorf to stumble backwards onto his back. Leaping forward, Link aimed his sword down, and thrust downwards with all his weight.

The blade stabbed square in Ganondorf's chest as he hit the ground. Right where a heart would have been, had it existed.

Ganondorf's eyes widened, as blood seeped through his useless armor. Mouth open and bleeding, Ganondorf managed the words, "It doesn't end like this…"

Link was about to reassure him, when Ganondorf began chuckling again. Terrifyingly, his mouth turned into a wicked smile, and then his back suddenly arched as he screamed in pain.

Link backed up slowly as the body of Ganondorf began growing and changing shape. The cackling laughter became deeper and deeper. Finally, a menacing booming laugh presented Ganon, a giant monster at least 10 times the size of Link. He resembled a giant hog, with enormous tusks that looked razor sharp, and teeth to match.

"You may have courage, Link. But I have Power!" The monster stood on its hind legs and let out a roar. As Link's gaze followed the monster upwards, he saw the crystal floating above them. And he looked quickly back at the Master Sword, knowing it was the one counter to the great power Ganon held.

"And that power will be your downfall, Ganon!" Link swung his arm upward, releasing the sword at its apex.

Link and Ganon watched as the sword flew upwards and struck the crystal above them. It fastened itself into the crystal and a light burst from the collision. A moment of silence followed, in which Link held his shield above his head, for he figured what would follow.

A deafening shatter shook the chamber as the crystal broke into hundreds of smaller crystals, each with sharp, jagged edges, and fell to the earth below.

Unable to protect himself from an aerial assault, Ganon tried to back out of the crystal's radius. But he and it were too big, and the crystals thundered downwards, stabbing him along his back and head, gouging out one of his eyes.

Zelda hovered momentarily in the air before falling to the earth. Link sprinted forward, jumped off a screaming Ganon's tusk, and caught her in midair, lessening the force of the fall to her body.

With Ganon's shrieks of pain behind him, Link rushed forward to get the semi-conscious Zelda to safety. Getting her around a corner, he set her down gently, looked briefly at her beautiful face as her eyes fluttered open to see him, and turned right back around.

Ganon was furious and in pain. Link walked slowly toward him, and picked up his sword, knowing Ganondorf would be unpredictable. Sure enough, he began charging Link, head lowered, tusks pointing right at Link.

Link rolled out of the way quickly, but not before he noted a blind eye, and several open wounds, surely vulnerable spots of attack. Ganon slowed to a stop and turned around wildly as Link got in position.

Ganon charged again, and Link ran to his left, in the same direction as Ganon's blind eye. Unable to see to his right, but knowing that was the direction Link ran in, Ganon followed blindly. His charge led him right into a load-bearing column. The force of impact effectively knocked Ganon on his side and the column into pieces. Link attacked the bleeding back, trying to find the heart in the monster to deliver a fatal blow.

It proved unnecessary, as the ceiling began to shake without the column's support. Link looked up in horror as the ceiling shifted around on the remaining columns, little chunks of rock began falling from above. He turned and ran back to where he laid Zelda down. She was already standing and peering around the corner, the magic of the crystal seemingly worn off. He grabbed her hand and continued running, turning the corner and running for the exit.

Ganondorf's castle perched majestically upon a hilltop, with cliff on three sides of the castle and only the one entrance. Reaching that door and getting down the hill was Link and Zelda's only chance of surviving the collapsing building.

A great roar sounded behind them, and Link looked behind his shoulder to see Ganon had gotten up and was turning the corner thirty yards behind them.

"Keep running, Zelda. I'll catch up. The portal is at the bottom of the hill, in the Dark Temple." She nodded and kept running while Link turned around and pulled his bow out.

One, two, three arrows unleashed. The first stuck into Ganon's left leg. The second, closer to its mark, went through Ganon's ear. The third hit home, blinding Ganon completely as it went right into his eye.

Link's victory was short lived, however, and the roaring Ganon did not slow down. Link maneuvered to his left as the monster approached, reached out to grab the tusk at its base, and swung himself on the head of Ganon, who seemed in too much pain and panic to notice or care that there was an additional weight on his head. Ganon was still headed straight for a retreating Zelda, who was nearing the exit, so Link pulled on the creature's head to steer him right.

With the building falling to pieces behind them, Link held his shield in front of him as Ganon charged out of one of the large windows lining the great hall. Weightlessness encompassed Link as they began falling. It would be a three hundred foot drop to the bottom, and Link was sure neither would survive. In a last ditch effort, Link pulled out his grappling hook while leaping off the falling Ganon, turning in mid air, and shooting. For three eternal seconds, Link waited, falling, hoping the chains would be long enough to reach, and the hook would find something to grab on to.

The hook found vines, which were growing up the side of Ganondorf's castle. The chains reeled in, and Link wondered if he wasn't headed to as sure of a doom as the plummet would be. The building was teetering precariously, large chunks of the roofing coming off the edge and falling the three hundred feet below.

His eyes following a particularly large chunk downward, Link watched as Ganon fell the remaining distance and hit the ground. The dust cloud that arose would be the last thing that the monster would disturb, and for that Link felt accomplished.

Not all was done, however. Link didn't know how much time the building had before the collapse would be complete, but he hoped that Zelda had reached the outer staircase and was on her way down the hill from the cliff where the castle perched.

Instead, as the grappling hook finished pulling him in, and he tried to lift himself back into the building, a slender hand reached down to help him up into the great hall. He took it, surprised, confused, and a little angry that she had returned. After she helped pull him up, and they began sprinting for the exit, he managed to shout, "Why did you come back! You could die in here!"

She chanced a glance at him and responded between heavy breathing. "Neither of us will be dying today!"

And she was right. They reached the exit as the castle came down, rushed down the stairs as debris and dust consumed them, and ran down the hill, leaving the enormous cloud of dust behind them.

The two collapsed onto the ground, exhausted. They lay at the bottom of the hill, gasping for breath, heavily panting until Zelda leaned up on her elbow. "Thank you for coming, Link." Her voice was a whisper, so very different from the chaos they had just left.

Link managed a small smile. "I couldn't exactly leave you with him, now could I?"

Their eyes met, and Link knew everything would be okay. Even though his injuries were so severe that he would surely die without immediate treatment. Even though the effect of Dara's sacrifice was only a temporary boost of life and energy, without actual healing happening. Even though Zelda, looking panicked, was now shouting his name and he couldn't hear her. Even though his eyes were closing and he had no power to keep them open.

Let me know what you think. A lot of this story is already written, but your input can help me improve it.