A/N: This story was written for the Writing Contest on the Zelda Dungeon forums for the theme of "Farewell". The word limit was 500 and I felt as though I hadn't conveyed all that I'd wanted to in that short amount, so I expanded it and decided to put it here. (It might still be a little rushed toward the end, though. D:) This is based on an easily-missed scene from Majora's Mask in which Cremia tells Romani that she is an adult now and therefore she can drink the Chateau Romani. The last thing they tell Link is "See you tomorrow." Romani is very excited but Cremia says it sadly. To me, it's the saddest scene in any Zelda game and the only video game scene to ever make me come close to crying, so here's my interpretation of the aftermath. I'm not entirely sure why the moon's still going to kill them if Link saved Romani the first night, so maybe this is one of the alternate worlds in which Link played the Song of Time and let the moon fall? I don't know. You decide. XD

By the way: really terrible title. Sorry about that, haha. I'm also still working on my multi-chapter fics. I haven't given up on them.

Final Toll

by TwilightWakerofTime

The moon's going to fall now… and there's nothing we can do. I had no choice…

The young girl slammed the empty bottle on the wooden table, licking her lips and giggling. "More!"

Cremia absentmindedly pushed another bottle to her sister, who grinned and began downing it almost immediately. Her gaze did not rest upon the girl or move from where it was apparently fixed upon the wall in front of her, her expression vacant.

I wonder what it's going to feel like… to die…

Romani happily gulped down the milk smiled again, her eyelids drooping as her body started to feel heavy. "I... I want more!"

This time Cremia did not respond, and Romani was forced to stumble out of the chair, nearly falling to the ground as the world spun around her. She shakily made her way over to her sister, tugging on her arm. "Sis...?"

The older girl suddenly snapped back to attention, her eyes focusing on Romani in an instant. If the young girl had been more cognizant, she probably would have noticed how terribly hopeless Cremia's gaze seemed in that moment.

"How are you feeling?" Cremia asked quietly, earning a petulant frown from her sister, who appeared to be rapidly losing energy and consciousness.

Eyelids half-closed, Romani mumbled, "A little tingly. Kind of... dizzy. B-But I'm okay, sis, because I'm an adult now! I want more!"

"Perhaps... tomorrow," she muttered, feeling utterly horrified that it pleased her that Romani was feeling the effects of the drink. Her sister had just downed seven bottles of Chateau Romani; she would be out of sorts until tomorrow morning – even though that might never come – which was exactly what Cremia had desperately wanted. She stood for the first time in well over an hour, stretching as best as she could. She looked down at her swaying sister, forcing a strained, perfunctory smile. "L-Let's go to bed now, okay? It's late, and my little adult still needs her sleep. You're sleeping with me tonight, remember?"

"'M not tired," her sister grumbled, and Cremia dismally noted that her words were slightly slurred. "I wan' more milk..."

"Come on," she sighed. The girl was too out of it to even struggle when her sister scooped her up and held her close.

Cremia had never felt so miserable in her life as when she carried her inebriated sister up into her own bedroom, laying her down and covering her with the sheets. Her heart aching, she couldn't help but notice how peaceful she looked.

Unfortunately, she knew it was a side effect from the effects of the milk that she had her sister drink. Only adults could tolerate that, and even then they tended to start becoming hazy after a few bottles. Her sister had never stood a chance.

She glanced out the window. She wondered... what would have happened if she hadn't given Romani the Chateau Romani. What would her sister have thought about the unusual size of the moon...?

She turned away, not wanting her thoughts to stray down that path. She wanted to spend this night only with happy thoughts of her family, especially Romani. She no longer had time to allow "what if"s to distract her. Time was now her enemy, and she'd never forgive herself for putting herself at its mercy.

Not even bothering to change clothes – she figured that wearing her favorite white dress was rather fitting for the occasion – Cremia lay down next to her sister in the bed, staring at her innocent form as she snuggled in. She leaned over and kissed her little sister's forehead. "Goodnight, Romani... I hope you know that I love you more than anything. Father would be very proud of you. I'm the luckiest sister in the world."

When Cremia received no response, she suddenly realized that the girl was already asleep. That was her own fault, she supposed, for exposing her to the drink, but it didn't make the revelation that she could not impart her final words to her sister any less painful.

Cremia rolled on her back and stared up at the ceiling, unable to help but imagine the horrifying image of an abnormally huge moon with its taunting, demonic grin that was just beyond that barrier. She shuddered, closing her eyes and holding back tears. She no longer had any illusions of the moon not landing now that she had perceived its unforgivingly slow descent, and she had little doubt that the impact would reach Romani Ranch.

At least Romani would be blissfully dead to the world...

She had considered everything earlier today – her first thought was to flee, of course, but she knew they would never make it. After that, she'd considered several methods of rescue, from seeking aid from the Clock Town guards or even the Great Fairy to more insane plans such as digging an underground shelter. But finally, she decided that if she was going to die, she should spend the day with Romani. It had then occurred to her that her sister would have to suffer through the pain of death, and as an older sibling, she wanted to do anything she could to protect her. So she gave her the Chateau Romani, knowing it would dull the girl's senses, and then prayed for the best.

If only she had believed it sooner... if only they had fled...

She sighed. She was focusing on ifs again.

The clock tolled in the distance, telling her that it was now eight. She couldn't help but wonder exactly how much time she had left to live... how much time she would be granted before time abandoned her...

Next thing she knew, she awoke to a sudden rumbling that shook the room. She gasped and sat up, glancing around. She was flustered momentarily before realizing that, against all odds, she had fallen asleep during this nightmare. Immediately, she determined that the quaking must mean that the moon was getting close, and her panic was renewed. She was shocked that she could feel it so far from Clock Town.

"S-Sis?" Stunned, Cremia glanced at Romani, who gazed at her wearily. "M-My head hurts..."

"Shh. It's okay, Romani. Go back to sleep," Cremia soothed, her voice quivering. She looked out the window. It was still dark – by her estimate, it was probably around midnight. What did that mean? It didn't tell her anything about how close the moon was to killing her.

She settled back under the sheets just as another tremor shook the room. The moon was getting close, and there was nothing she could do about it.

She had never felt so helpless before.

She couldn't sleep after that. The room kept shaking, each time becoming more and more violent. She often heard the toll of the Clock Tower ring in the distance, its echoing tone heralding the demise of the world. She turned over and pulled the pillow over her head with one hand, uselessly trying to block out the sound, and grasped Romani's own limp fingers in the other. She tried to think about happy times, like her days spent on the ranch with her sister and father, or when she was with Anju and Kafei and the times they spent in Clock Town. But every time she thought she would finally relax and become lost in memories, another undeniable tremor shook her and the illusion was shattered.

She counted as the hours ticked away. It was four, then five... and then she glanced out the window to confirm that it was nearly dawn, the faint light streaming in. What time would the moon fall at? What time was it now? Finally, she heard the first of the final six tolls, accompanied by a tremor that threw items off of shelves.

That was when she knew it: she was going to die.

She quickly embraced her sister, her sobs uninhibited now that she knew the moment was so close. The whole moment seemed so surreal; she felt almost numb. "Goodbye, Romani. I love you."

Another toll.

"I hope you forgive me for dulling your senses..."

Another toll.

She let out a choking sound somewhere between a chuckle and a sob. "I never thought this was how we'd die. Crushed by the moon? I suppose there are worse ways to go. I'm so sorry..."

Another toll.

"Bye sis..." Romani sighed, snuggling up to her sister.

Another toll.

Cremia sobbed and closed her eyes.

The final bell tolled.