So, this is one of those fics where an OC or another character joins Link on his quest to save Hyrule. Only this time, instead of an OC, I thought, Why not Dark? since I really like his character. Then I remembered some fic (unfortunately, I can't seem to find it anymore...) where Dark was Shadow's older brother. Then Vaati popped in for no reason whatsoever and I didn't want to leave him out after he somehow wiggled his way in and... well, anyway, this is the result. Anyway, enjoy!
9-12-2014 Edit: Touched up some things, changed the wording a bit, did some grammar editing. Also altered the Author's Notes a little and changed the title. "Thieves of Castle Town" sounds much cooler than simply "Prologue", don't you think?
Disclaimer: I don't own Legend of Zelda, that belongs to Nintendo. I only own the plot. Though, I wish they would bring back Shadow and Dark in a future Zelda game. That would be awesome!
Dark: Age 12
Shadow: Age 10
Castle Town, West Road
"Get back here, ya dirty thieves!" the baker cried, lumbering out the doorway and attempting to chase us. Key word being attempting. What with the potbelly, layers of fat that jiggled disturbingly when he moved, and double chin, he moved at the pace of a lame dog.
I laughed and stuck my tongue out at him over my shoulder, just 'cause I couldn't resist. My brother tried and failed to stifle his laughter at the sight of the man's face getting redder and redder by the second until it looked as if it was going to explode. Then the two of us pelted through Castle Town's maze of alleyways, leaving our would-be pursuer behind.
Slowing to a comfortable walk, I grinned and inhaled the delicious scent of the fresh-baked loaf of bread I carried in my hand. Dark carried two, and tucked them in his pouch for later.
"Nice job, bro. The man never saw it coming." He said, reaching over and ruffling my hair to make it even messier than before, if that was even possible.
"Thanks, Dark. Look, we even got enough for lunch!" I replied, swatting his hand away and brushing a few wayward purple strands from my face.
We soon came to a decrepit old building at the edge of the city, long since abandoned by its owners. We'd come across it a few years ago, and since then it became our home. The broken windows were covered with wooden boards, and the walls were old and creaked in the wind, but it worked. Besides, the fireplace as still working and a few motheaten blankets were strewn around in front of it as makeshift beds, so it wasn't too bad.
We survived, and that was what counted.
Dark: Age 16
Shadow: Age 14
Vaati: Age 14
Castle Town, Main Plaza
"Hey! Give that back!" I shouted, snapping out my arm and grabbing the wrist of the kid who'd just tried to pickpocket me. He was skinny and dirty, covered with grime that all but covered his pale purplish skin. The poor guy didn't look as if he'd been on his own for long, judging by the way he was thinner than a starving dog and wilder than a stampeding bulbo. He didn't look used to the harsh lifestyle, and it was clearly taking its toll on him.
"Let me go, you little ****!" he cried, twisting and writhing in my grip in a desperate attempt to break free.
"Who're ya callin' little, huh? You're skinnier than I am. Besides, you can't be that much older than me." I said, raising an eyebrow at his ruby red eyes. I only knew one other person with red eyes like that, and that was Dark- my older brother who was currently pickpocketing one of the guards by the south gate.
"Shut up! Just shut up and let me go!" he hissed, an edge of panic creeping in by now. At this point all his struggling was starting to attract a crowd, which garnered much more unneeded attention than I wanted.
"Okay, okay! Geez, just shut up and I'll let you go soon. But first, let's get out of the plaza. You're attracting one heck of a lot of attention. So unless you want us both to get arrested, shut your stupid mouth!" I growled, digging my fingernails into his wrist. I dragged him into a nearby alleyway, away from prying eyes, and headed towards a quiet spot. He pouted, sullen, but had no choice but to follow.
"What's your name, kid?" I asked. He clamped his mouth shut and turned away, childishly facing the wall. I sighed and released his hand, knowing that there was no way he could get away from me on my turf. After all, I had grown up here, and knew the maze of alleyways and back streets like the back of my hand.
"... Vaati," he replied quietly, turning to face me. I noticed him stiffen his arm, as if he was about to try something, and tensed. My instincts didn't fail me, and not a second later he hurled what looked like a weak sphere of concentrated wind at me- which was definitely not what I was expecting, so it startled me enough so that I was off balance just long enough for him to escape.
But I wasn't one of the best thieves in town for nothing, which meant that I had my own little arsenal of tricks up my sleeve. Though I had been almost sure that Dark and I were the only ones besides the Princess with... extraordinary abilities, let's call them. Well, it seemed as if we weren't alone. I wasn't sure whether I should have been relieved or scared.
I leapt into Vaati's shadow just as he rounded the corner and hid there, waiting for the kid to stop running long enough to reveal myself. He didn't disappoint and was soon panting for breath, hidden in yet another alleyway. I slowly rose out of his shadow behind him and put on a maniacal grin, showing off my small fangs where most others would have their canines.
Vaati seemed to sense my presence and spun around, yelping with fright. He backed away in a corner and crouched there, wearing an expression not unlike a cornered animal.
"Hey, it's alright kid. I'm not gonna hurt ya. I just wanted to scare ya a bit, y'know? Oh, and by the way, here's a tip: don't steal from somebody you're not fast enough to run away from, not clever enough to outsmart, or not strong enough to beat up, okay?" I said, feeling this unexplainable urge to help the poor boy.
"Ugh... whatever, then. Come on, it looks like you could use a good meal."
"Just come on."
Two days later, Vaati was officially deemed our adopted brother when he successfully managed to pickpocket one of the guards without their notice. The three of soon became a tight-knit group, and it seemed as if Vaati had always been there.
As it turned out, he was a budding sorcerer with an affinity for wind magic, which was a great asset in our endeavours. Sure, he was a bit rough around the edges (okay, maybe a bit more than a bit) but it worked out. Besides, he always had his dagger as backup if it came to a fight.
Soon, the three of us became known throughout Castle Town's underworld as the best thieves in the country- the Terrible Three, named for our ability to pretty do anything we wanted and get away with it.
Life was good. Or, well, as good as it could get when your house was an abandoned building, anyway.
Dark: Age 17
Shadow: Age 15
Vaati: Age 15
North Hyrule Castle, Training Grounds
"Good, good! Keep your guard up, parry! Attack! Block!"
I hoisted my sword up a little higher as the general circled me, eyes narrowed under his helmet. He lunged with his spear, aiming to skewer me, but I leapt aside and resisted the urge to fly up and out of the way. After all, something told me that suddenly flying around in broad daylight right in front of Hyrule Castle wouldn't be such a great idea.
I cursed as I realized he'd backed me up against the fence the arena was enclosed in, leaving no room to maneuver. Thinking quickly as he swung the spear around in a long, sweeping arc, I clambered onto the top of the fence and balanced, crouching slightly to lower my center of gravity.
"Hmm. That was certainly unexpected. Very good use of your surroundings!" my teacher bellowed, raising his weapon in an attempt to knock me down. I grinned and leapt, landing both feet first onto the shaft of the spear. It promptly snapped under my weight and I took the opportunity to tuck and roll around the general, ending with my sword at his neck.
"Good, good! You've certainly improved! I like how you used the terrain to your advantage. Though next time, please don't break my weapon. These things aren't cheap, you know." He said, laughing heartily.
I rolled my eyes and sheathed my sword, exiting the arena to where Dark was teaching Vaati street fighting. They broke apart from their sparring when I approached, and I grinned at how red-faced with frustration my best friend looked. On the other hand, my brother had an air about him that made it seem as if he was enjoying Vaati's frustration immensely, which, if I knew my brother, he probably was.
"Hey, Shadow! Congrats on finally beating him!" Vaati exclaimed. I was the last of the three of us who hadn't beaten the older man in a fight during the past year and a half of training, and they teased me about it relentlessly. But in my defense, Dark was extremely strong and could actually use a shield strategically, which Vaati had his magic and throwing knives. He also kind of cheated and threw his cloak over the man's head to blind him.
"Yeah, now you can't tease me about anymore! Ha!" I replied, punching his arm lightly. Then the three of us laughed and collapsed onto the soft grass under a nearby tree, welcoming the cool darkness.
Dark: Age 18
Shadow: Age 16
Vaati: Age 16
Castle Town, Telma's Bar
After running a few errands for Telma before the bar opened, she rewarded us with a free meal and a few rupees, which were stashed away in the folds of Vaati's voluminous cloak. Then she said gave her usual talk about how we were to "Come back anytime, ya hear? You'll always be welcome at my bar, kids."
However, when Dark opened the door for us to leave, we were met with the wonderful sight of the business end of a sword. Wonderful. This was not going to go down well if the owner of said sword was gonna do what I thought he was gonna do...
"Hands up! This is a robbery! Hand over your money and nobody gets hurt. Got it?" the guy with a sword pointed at Dark's neck yelled, presumably the leader.
Crud. They were doing what I thought they were gonna do.
Utter silence fell as the thieves entered the bar, all of them huge and menacing with scars and weapons and ugly, twisted faces. I think one of them even had a fake leg, which thumped heavily on the stone floor. Heh, talk about stereotypical.
"Kid! Give up all your money!" one of them suddenly barked out, pointing at Dark. He looked startled for a moment, then glared and spat out his response.
"Don't have any, numbskull. Ain't that obvious? If I did I'd have better clothes than these rags," he said, gesturing to his patched and tattered old traveling cloak. It had been scavenged from behind the tailor's shop, and was pretty beat up and worn.
"Don't talk back teh me, kid, unless ya got a death wish," the thief growled, narrowing his eyes at my brother. I knew what Dark was doing, but it was a dangerous gamble- he was trying to gain their attention and distract them long enough for us to escape. Ha. As if we'd ever leave him behind.
"Guys, get out of here before they notice you," our brother hissed out of the corner of his mouth, eyes darting towards the door. We frowned and narrowed our eyes, saying quite clearly, Yeah right.
The leader scrutinized Dark carefully, then motioned to one of the other guys behind him. The other guy grinned, showing off crooked yellow teeth, then stepping forward and in one fluid movement hurled a throwing knife straight at Dark's head.
If he hadn't gone intangible when he did, our brother would now be skewered like meat on a stick. As it was the blade got much too close for comfort, less than a foot away from his head before it passed right through.
Unfortunately, as Vaati and I had moved behind him, the knife was now on a direct course for- you guessed it -me. Automatically reacting without a second thought I flew directly upward, hovering somewhere up by the ceiling.
But by doing that I'd inadvertently endangered Vaati, who had been standing behind me. Luckily for him, he was able to trap it mere inches from his nose in a small sphere of wind. He'd really been improving on his magic lately, an effort that probably saved his life.
Dead silence fell across the room as every eye was glued to Dark, who was as transparent as a ghost, me, who was hovering up by the rafters, and Vaati, standing with the knife floating gently in a ball of wind.
Just then, all Hell broke loose.
The thieves rushed us, thundering across the stone and yelling fearsome battle cries. Or, well, it would have been fearsome if most of them hadn't tripped over tables or chairs in the tight quarters.
Dark, still in "ghost form", as we called it, just floated in front of them and yelled "Boo!" This caused them to suddenly stop in their tracks, turn around, and run for the hills. It was actually pretty funny, even if we were all surprised at how easy that was. I guess they were just overly superstitious or something.
Awkward silence fell over the room as all eyes turned towards the doorway, where the door was now hanging off its hinges and creaking forlornly.
"...Kids, how would you like to join our group? We meet here every so often, and we could really use some people of your abilities..."
Dark: Age 18
Shadow: Age 16
Vaati: Age 16
Castle Town, Main Plaza
A prickling feeling suddenly ran down my spine as I sat on a rooftop, observing the plaza. My head shot up, instinctively turning towards the Castle. I saw that Dark and Vaati seemed to have the same sense of impending doom, though for a few seconds it looked as if we were all jumping at nothing.
Unfortunately, that was when twilight decided to come several hours too early.
But unlike the usual twilight, which felt familiar and comforting, this darkness just felt... wrong, somehow. I didn't know how, but it just seemed wrong. Usually the shadows are a refuge, something to take solace in for us. We were creatures of darkness, much more than the average hylian, and we knew it. That was why this unnatural twilight felt so wrong. It felt as if it had once been beautiful, serene, but was twisted into something darker and evil.
This wasn't a regular twilight. It was a cursed twilight, and something in my gut told me that when it finished descending, the consequences would not be pretty.
In a matter of moments black squares filled the air, seeming to rise up from the ground itself. The people vanished, the fountain stopped working, and the air suddenly became very, very still.
I shot an apprehensive look at Dark, instinctively seeking comfort and reassurance from my older brother. Vaati's eyes were wide with fear, and he sat rooted to his spot. Dark pulled us both in close to him, so much that I could feel his muscles tensing up.
That was when the transformations started.
First, a blinding pain shot through my body, and was answered with a searing heat from the back of my left hand. I glanced at the skin and gasped in shock when my upside-down triforce marking suddenly pulsed, glowing silver in time to my heartbeat. The upper right-hand triangle in particular glowed particularly brightly, but before I could really process this phenomenon the still air was shattered with a piercing scream.
It came from the three of us simultaneously, echoing hollowly in the still air. We screamed again as we felt our very skeletons being rearranged, then fell to our knees in pain. I gasped as fur suddenly sprouted all over my body and my face lengthened, my eyes slanted...
When the transformation was complete, I let out a pain-filled howl and collapsed, slipping into unconsciousness. I saw a flash of black fur in my peripheral vision, and a heap of pale lavender beyond that, then... darkness.