New Fan Works
Old Fan Works
"Love Never Dies"
Love Never Dies
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
After Link's adventures in the parallel-dimensional country of Termina, the boy returned to the Kokiri Forest.
Link had two best friends: Saria and Princess Zelda. Knowing something that Link didn't seem to know, Saria was forever suggesting that Link visit Zelda, and the two Hylians were fast and loyal friends.
Because he was a Hylian, and not a Kokiri like Saria, Link grew up, and he was still living in the forest at seventeen. The Kokiri accepted Link; in fact, they seemed to feel safer somehow with Link around. There was an occasional Molblin or two that liked to wander in from the Lost Woods, though those occurences were few and far between.
Lately Link and Zelda had
fallen in love, and Link liked to spend every moment he could with her.
Her father liked him too; he was a perfect gentleman and he seemed to care
for Zelda very much.
Early one morning Link woke up in his treehouse in the Kokiri Forest. He sat up, yawned, stretched, and ran his hands through his long blond bangs. He was excited, because today he'd be going on a picnic with his girlfriend, Princess Zelda of Hyrule.
He threw the blankets off and, still in only the leggings he'd worn yesterday, grabbed some clean clothes and some toiletries from his dresser. Throwing them into a small cloth bag, he practically jumped down the ladder and raced into the Lost Woods to a stream where the Kokiri children usually bathed. It was early so he'd have it to himself; the Kokiri didn't usually wake up until a little later.
The stream fed into a little pond, and there Link stripped off his leggings and waded in. The water was just a tad cool, so Link dove underwater for a few seconds, letting his body adjust to the water's temperature more quickly.
Link went into the little stream, where he bathed himself and washed his hair. After he was done with that, he swam back into the pond and floated on his back for a little while, thinking about Zelda. He'd had such wonderful dreams about her last night...and today he planned to ask her to marry him. Her father would let her, because Link was a hero and it was obvious how much they loved each other, and Zelda's father wanted her to be happy.
Suddenly he heard the sound of a girl giggling. Link quickly brought his feet to the bottom of the pond, so he was visible from the chest up.
A green-haired, blue-eyed girl was giggling merrily as she held Link's leggings and sack of clothes. It was Saria, the Sage of Forest and Link's lifelong friend. "Do you need these, Link?" she asked, her eyes twinkling mischievously.
"Yes--I do!" yelped Link.
"Come get them," Saria teased.
"I don't have anything on!" Link protested.
"So I'm a man! It wouldn't be decent to be naked in front of a little girl!"
"Ooh...you're a man!" Saria laughed. "For your information, I may be a child but I'm still older than you. I'm the one who changed your diapers! Go figure!"
"Sari-AAAA!!! Come on, be a friend and put those down. I'm going on a picnic with Zelda this morning! I don't want to be late!"
"Are you going to ask her to marry you?" Saria asked, swinging the bag around.
"It's about time," said Saria. "Okay, I'll stop teasing you for now, since you're finally going to ask Zelda to marry you." She set the bag down, the leggings on top. "I'll go tease Mido so you can have your privacy." She grinned.
Link smiled and shook his head as Saria walked away. She was getting used to the fact that Link had not remained a child, that he was pretty much a fully-grown Hylian man. There were just some things Link could not bring himself to discuss with Saria about. Lots of things he'd learned from reading books in the Hyrule Castle library; other things he'd heard from other boys his age in places like Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle Town.
For example, Link and Zelda had shared their first kiss a few months ago. Link had tried to tell Saria what it felt like, but she had looked at him rather strangely. "A kiss can make you feel like what?" she'd said. Link had just dropped the subject.
Link snapped himself out of his reverie and grabbed a towel out of his bag and dried off. Next he put on a clean tunic and leggings. He put everything else into his sack and went back to his treehouse to put things away. It was a good thing he still wore his usual style of tunic, Link reflected, feeling his cheeks burn. Not something he'd care to try to explain....
Going up into his treehouse, Link set the sack down and grabbed a comb from his dresser, ran it through his dark blond hair. He combed his long bangs in the style Zelda loved so much and set his green cap upon his head.
Finally he was ready to go. Link went down his ladder and mounted his horse Epona, who usually stayed near the ladder. "Let's go, girl," he said, stroking her mane as they started off, going through the hollow trees and into Hyrule Field. "Today I ask Zelda to be my wife!"
As Epona carried him to Hyrule Castle, Link sighed and thought about the girl he was deeply in love with. Zelda seemed to have a wisdom beyond her seventeen years; not only that, she was so sweet and innocent. They'd shared some passionate kisses when no one was looking, but it had gone no further than kissing. Link wanted to marry her because he loved her and because he wanted to show her just how much. Zelda was the only girl he'd ever been in love with, the only one he'd ever kissed--and she made him feel complete somehow.
Zelda was already at the gate that was on the road leading to the town square when Link arrived on Epona. She had a picnic basket with her. "Link--right on time!" Zelda smiled when she saw him.
"Does the princess need a ride to Lake Hylia?" Link asked, bowing to her and extending one arm out to his side.
"Only with her favorite hero," Zelda laughed as Link helped her up onto Epona.
Link mounted Epona so he was sitting behind Zelda. "You look so beautiful today, Zelda," Link said as he carefully wrapped his arms around her tiny waist. As they headed through the town, Link buried his face in Zelda's golden blonde hair, inhaling its floral scent.
"Why thank you, Link. And you look very handsome, as usual."
"Only the best for the most
beautiful princess in the world," Link said as he leaned in close to her
and kissed her cheek.
After they ate, Link and Zelda lay next to each other on the blanket near the scarecrows, watching the clouds in the sky. Link turned his head and looked over at Zelda, who was wearing a pretty blue dress that brought out the deep blue of her eyes. "Zelda?"
"I have something I want to ask you." Link sat up, and so did Zelda.
"What is it?"
"Zelda--will you be my wife? I want very much to marry you," said Link, kneeling before her.
Zelda's eyes widened, and she suddenly threw her arms around his neck. "Yes, Link, yes!"
Link gave a relieved chuckle as he gently disentangled himself from her embrace. Reaching into a pocket he pulled out a diamond engagement ring. "Oh, Link...that's so beautiful!" she breathed. "A heart-shaped diamond...!"
Taking her left hand, Link gently slid the ring onto her ring finger. "Made just for you, darling," Link told her as he kissed her lips. "You've just made me the happiest man in all Hyrule...."
"When do you want to be married?" Zelda asked.
"As soon as possible," Link told her. "The sooner we can plan the elaborate wedding you so deserve, the better."
"No wonder I love you...you're so thoughtful, kind, generous...." Zelda hugged him. "I love you, Link."
"And I love you, my precious princess...I love you so much I would give my life for you."
"I hope it never comes to that, I want you with me," Zelda told him, looking into his cerulean blue eyes.
For a while they sat there, facing each other, just looking into each other's eyes, not even hearing the merry chirping of the birds or feeling the gentle breeze that lifted Zelda's long hair a little. Finally Link broke the silence. "Want to watch the clouds a little more, lie next to each other?" he asked quietly.
They lay down, holding hands,
and gazed at the sky. "I like that one," said Link, pointing.
"Looks like you as an angel."
Link and Zelda spent the afternoon at Lake Hylia, eating and talking about possible wedding plans. "I remember when we were kids and I sometimes spent the night at the castle," said Link. "Sometimes you'd climb into bed with me and snuggle up to me." He laughed at the memory.
"Impa didn't know what to think," giggled Zelda. "I have the impression she thought it was so cute. I couldn't help it...I really liked you and I always wanted you near me."
"If we did that now, before we're married, I doubt Impa would think it was cute," Link said mischievously.
"You're terrible!" Zelda laughed.
"I keep thinking about how some things that are innocent when you're a child takes on a new meaning when you're an adult," said Link seriously. "I try to explain some of those things to Saria and I don't think she quite understands."
"She may be the Sage of Forest, but she'll always be a child at heart," Zelda said. "I bet she'd make a good playmate for our children when we have them."
"I wonder what kind of father I'd be?" Link mused.
"A good one, I'm willing to bet," Zelda replied. She smiled. "You're a kind and caring young man."
"Well, speaking of caring--you have to be home pretty soon," said Link as he started packing up the blanket and picnic items. "Don't want your father to worry about you. And I'd like to be there when you tell him that you and I are engaged."
"I know he'll be happy. He wants to see me settled down with a good man, royalty or no," said Zelda. "He believes that nobility isn't a birthright; it's earned, and you've definitely earned it. That's what he's told me."
They got the picnic basket packed up and mounted Epona. Link held on to Zelda as the white-maned brown horse jumped over the iron fences, her hair flying in his face.
"Link, I don't have to be home for a couple of hours, so why don't we sit over on that brick wall and talk?" Zelda suggested. There was a brick wall that began at one of the walls of Lon Lon Ranch.
"All right," said Link.
They got off Epona and sat down on the wall, sitting cross-legged, facing each other. "I had a wonderful time today, Link," said Zelda.
"I'm glad. I did too," Link replied, as he took her hand in his and brought it up to his lips and kissed it. With his other hand he gently tilted her face upward and gave her a long, deep kiss.
Zelda sighed contentedly as they kissed, her hands going to his shoulders, Link entangling his fingers in her long, silky hair. After several moments he broke it off gently. "We should stop--or we won't stop," Link told her as he caressed her cheek.
"You're not like most men," Zelda said as she smiled up at him, gazing into his eyes. "From what I've heard, most men wouldn't even bother to stop."
"I'm not most men; I'm Link," Link told her as he touched the tip of her nose.
Zelda giggled at that. "My father trusts you implicitly; otherwise he'd never let me go out with you like this," she told him. "Coming from him that's quite a compliment."
"He wouldn't mind having me as part of the family?"
"Not at all. I know that he often thinks of you as his own son," Zelda told him.
Suddenly they heard Epona whinnying. "What's going on?" Link asked as he jumped off the wall, Zelda in tow.
"I think those two men are trying to steal Epona!" Zelda cried as they ran down the length of the wall, towards Epona, who was rearing up on her hind legs.
"Epona only likes you, me, and Malon," said Link as they ran.
One man was trying to grab Epona's reins while another stood nearby, a crossbow aimed at the horse. "Hey! You leave my horse alone!" Link shouted.
"Beat it, kid," growled the one trying to grab Epona's reins. Both of them were scruffy-looking men, with worn clothes and unwashed, greasy hair.
"I'll get him," said the other thief as he aimed his crossbow at Link's chest. He fired.
"NO!" Zelda screamed as she intercepted the arrow she knew would kill her fiance. She cried out as it hit her in the back.
"ZELDA!" Link cried as he caught her before she could fall to the ground.
"That was the Princess of Hyrule! Let's get outta here!" the first thief said. He and his companion took off running--if caught they would be in serious trouble.
Link knelt on the ground, holding Zelda in a sitting position. "Zelda--are you all right? Please say yes!"
Zelda shook her head. "Link...I love you...I--I didn't want you to die...." She coughed up some blood. Link realized that she was hurt more seriously than he'd thought.
"I'll get you back to the castle...you'll be all right," Link said as he tried to help her to her feet. Tears were coming to his eyes. This did not look good at all....
Zelda could not stand up; her knees kept buckling. "No good...no good...please...just let me die in your arms...."
"No, Zelda...stay with me...come on, let's get you on Epona...."
Zelda's eyes closed. "Zelda...? Zelda, darling, please wake up," Link whispered, shaking her gently. "Zelda?" He knelt there, holding her in his arms, not caring that her blood was soaking his white sleeve. He pushed some golden hair back from her pale cheek, then placed his hand on her chest, feeling for a heartbeat.
There was none. Zelda was dead.
Link threw back his head and let out a scream of grief and rage. Then he buried his face in Zelda's neck and cried, his shoulders shaking with his sobs.
He didn't know how long he'd knelt there with Zelda's body cradled in his arms. Suddenly, he looked up, saw his friend Malon, whose father owned Lon Lon Ranch, standing there with Ingo, the farmhand. "Link, what happened?" asked the red-haired girl. It was then that Malon saw the blood, the arrow sticking out of Zelda's back. "Zelda!"
Link said nothing, just hugged
Zelda close to him, tears flowing freely down his cheeks.
The last thing Zelda remembered, she was lying in Link's arms. She remembered the tears falling from his eyes, then blackness.
Now she seemed to be surrounded by a brilliant white light. The light was all around. She was lying down, and she got to her feet and looked around. "Where am I?" she said aloud. "What is this place?"
"This is the realm of the dead," said a feminine voice from behind Zelda. "My daughter."
Zelda whirled around, saw a familiar face. It was a woman, and she had light golden blonde hair and bright blue-green eyes. "Mother!" she squealed as she ran into her mother's arms. "It's been such a long time...."
"Twelve years, my child," said Zelda's mother, who had been Queen Lara of Hyrule. "The goddesses sent me to guide you. You are one of Nayru's favorites." Nayru was the Goddess of Wisdom, and Zelda was the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom. "And what a lovely young woman you grew up to be...."
At that, Zelda started to cry. "My dear child, what is it?" asked Lara.
"My fiance, Link...he had just asked me to marry him...."
Lara put her arms around her daughter. "I know what happened, Zelda. You made the ultimate sacrifice for the man you love."
"It was either that or I would be the one suffering his loss," Zelda said, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I wish I could speak with him one last time."
"It's not always wise to watch the ones you've left behind," her mother cautioned her. "Link may eventually find another woman--"
"Mother, please! I want to see him...I want to return to Hyrule!" Zelda begged.
"You can return but as a ghost," Lara told her. "I was sent here to help guide you, to help you break with your past life in Hyrule and prepare to enter the highest plane. This may only hold you back. Your death was so sudden...."
"I only want to be able to
provide Link with some comfort somehow," Zelda said softly. "I truly
loved him, Mother, and I still do. I don't want him to suffer any
more than he has to."
Link was in Hyrule Castle, being questioned by Zelda's father about the incident. Zelda's father, understandably, was quite upset, and Link himself was in shock.
"I just feel this is my fault, Sire. I should have died protecting her, not the other way around," Link said, his voice a dull monotone. He was hugging himself as he sat there in the den, in front of a fireplace. "And...I had asked her to marry me only hours before...."
"You did?" asked King Harkinian quietly. He sighed. "I had hoped that you would marry my daughter, provide more heirs to the throne...Zelda was the only child I had. Now it shall go to a distant cousin upon my death."
"I wouldn't blame you, sir, if you were furious with me," Link said softly.
Harkinian sighed, looked at the young man who would have been his son-in-law. "My boy, what happened was not your fault. Zelda chose to give her life to save yours; she dearly loved you. And I know that you loved her more than anything...I know--you would have taken good care of her--" He broke down crying. "Please, Link--I'd like to be alone right now...."
"Yes, sir," said Link respectfully as he got up out of his chair. He glanced back once before he left the room.
"My little girl...my Zelda...," the king sobbed brokenly, his face in his hands.
Link left the room to allow Zelda's father to grieve in private. He wanted to do the same.
Sighing and hanging his head, Link meandered aimlessly down the corridors of Hyrule Castle. Before he knew it, he found himself standing before the door of Zelda's bedroom. Looking around, seeing no one coming, he opened the door slowly, carefully.
Link looked around the room. In the middle was a huge, elegant four-postered bed with a frilly pink canopy and purple curtains. The bed was neatly made, and it had coordinating pink and purple sheets and pillows on it. Off to the right, against one wall, were a dresser and a vanity table and stool. Off to the left was an armoire, which stood next to the single window. On the other side of the window was a bookcase, filled with Zelda's favorite books.
Link sighed as he quietly closed the door behind him and stood in Zelda's bedroom. He could almost feel her presence in here. There on the dresser was a bunch of flowers he'd given her only days ago, in a vase. Next to it was a small book. Going closer, he could see that it was a diary--Zelda's diary.
He picked up the little pink book gently, wondering if he should read it. Figuring that it really wouldn't matter, he opened it, found the last entry. It read:
"Dear Diary, I had the most wonderful dream last night! In it Link asked me to marry him! Oh, I do hope this is one of my prophetic dreams! I just know that in the future Link and I will be married, and have several children. He is such a wonderful young man and I'm sure he'll be a great husband and father. And here's my secret--I want so much to make love with him! But it's only proper to wait until marriage--oh how I wish we were married right now!"
Tears spilled onto the page, blurring the ink a little. "Oh, Zelda, if only you knew," he whispered as he gently closed the book and placed it on the dresser exactly as he'd found it. He looked at it for several moments. "Hope you don't mind, Zelda, I'm going to ask your father if I can have this," he murmured. "I want something of you with me." He kissed the book and tucked it away in one of his pockets.
Sighing, Link sat down on
the stool next to the vanity table and gazed around the room. A memory
came rushing back to him....
"Time for bed, children," Impa said, poking her head into the room.
Link and Zelda, who were eleven, were sitting on Zelda's bed playing a game. "Oh, Impa, just when I was winning!" Zelda moaned.
"Put the game away, it's time for bed, come on Link," said Impa. "Go get your pajamas on, time for bed."
Link obeyed. He went into the guest room and put on the pajamas that Impa had set out. Then he sneaked back into Zelda's room.
Zelda was sitting up in her bed, wearing a pink nightgown. "Want to continue our game?" Zelda asked. "I kept the pieces on the board so we can finish."
Link got under the blankets next to her and they finished their game; Zelda wound up winning. "I'm tired," Link sighed as he lay back on the pillows.
"Me too," said Zelda as she
also lay down. She snuggled up to him and fell asleep. Link
grinned and closed his eyes, fell asleep right next to her.
Link placed his head in his hands and just cried, remembering all the fun things he and Zelda used to do when they were children. He felt so lonely and empty without her, and he wondered if he could stand this pain he was in.
Link sat up suddenly, so suddenly he almost fell off the stool. "Zelda?" He turned around, looked in the mirror.
There was nothing there.
He sighed. "I must have been hearing things," he muttered.
"Mother, I think I got through to him!" Zelda said as she reappeared in the realm of the dead. "I know he heard me!"
"Just don't do it too often, dear. It'll make it harder for him to let go," Lara advised.
"I don't want him to let go, and I don't want to let go either!" said Zelda. "I love him, Mother!"
"I know, daughter, I know. I felt the same way with your father."
"I wish Link and I could be back together somehow," Zelda wept.
"It's not possible, sweetheart," Lara said as she stroked her daughter's hair. "You must let go and prepare to join me in the higher plane."
Zelda shook her head. "Mother...I just have a feeling that this isn't right somehow. I don't know what it is...."
"You died so suddenly," Lara told her. "You may think it wasn't your time...but even though you were so young, your time was up."
Zelda sighed and Lara put
a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Link stayed holed up in his treehouse for nearly three days, until the day of Zelda's funeral. Her father had allowed him to keep the diary, knowing how much it meant to him.
"Link, are you still in there?" Saria's voice called out from behind the curtain that served as a door.
"I don't want to talk to anyone," Link snapped.
Saria came in anyway. "Link, you can't just stay up here alone all the time," she told him. "We're all worried about you. Zelda was my friend too, Link." She looked at him, saw how haggard-looking he was. The sparkle was gone from his blue eyes and he looked much older than seventeen. He had barely eaten or slept in the last few days and he almost had an emaciated look about him.
"Let's just get going to the funeral," Link sighed. He was going to take Saria with him; she was the only Kokiri who could leave the forest, since she was a Sage. He got up off his bed.
"Link, there's more to it...."
"I just feel that she died unnecessarily," Link said as they climbed down the ladder. "It should have been me dying for her, not the other way around." He sighed. "I keep dreaming about her, and she keeps telling me that it wasn't my fault, but I can't believe that."
Link and Saria mounted Epona, Saria sitting in front of Link. "But she wanted you to live," Saria told him as they headed out of the Lost Woods.
Link's heart filled with dread as they approached Hyrule Castle Town. They dismounted Epona at the drawbridge, and Saria clung tightly to Link's hand as he led her to the Temple of Time; she'd never been in the town before. She'd never really been out of the forest before.
They entered the temple, and at the altar lay a polished wooden casket, inside which lay Zelda's body. She was dressed in her royal attire and her tiara was on her head. Her hands were clasped on her chest and she looked as if she were merely sleeping.
Link touched Zelda's face, caressed it gently; it was cold as ice. "My precious Zelda," he whispered, the tears starting again, falling on her cheeks, making it look as if she were crying too. "I would give absolutely anything to bring you back to life. Anything at all. My life would be the least of what I would give."
He noticed that her engagement ring was on her finger. "I loved you so very much...," he murmured.
Saria stood nearby, tears coming to her eyes as well. Link was her best friend and like a big brother to her, and it hurt her to see him in this kind of pain. He turned to Saria. "She's so beautiful...oh, why did this have to happen!"
Saria said nothing, just stood there, tears spilling down her cheeks, her chin quivering.
"Brother," said Darunia, King of the Gorons and the Sage of Fire, as he ambled up to the altar. "I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy."
"She died saving my life," Link murmured.
"It is a tragedy that a love like yours and Zelda's should end this way," Darunia said sympathetically, carefully placing a huge hand on Link's shoulder. "Such a tragedy...."
"Those thieves should be caught and strung up," declared Nabooru, a red-haired Gerudo woman who was the Sage of Spirit. "How are you holding up, kid?" she asked Link, giving him a quick, sympathetic hug.
"I don't think I'll ever get over this," said Link sorrowfully.
"Well, we've been keeping a lookout for those thieves," said Nabooru. "Just like you asked. They'll pay for what they did."
"Thank you," said Link.
Just then the King came in, flanked by guards. He went and stood next to Link at the altar. "She looks so beautiful, like a china doll...so much like her mother," he said to Link.
"I wish to offer my condolences, Harkinian," said Darunia.
"Thank you, Darunia."
Zelda was sitting in the back of the Temple of Time, listening as Rauru, the Sage of Light, gave her eulogy. Link was sitting up in front, and tears were in his eyes the entire time. She found that she could sense his pain and loss, as well as her father's.
After the service, the casket was closed and several guards placed it on a horse-drawn carriage. The funeral procession then made its way through Hyrule Castle Town, and up to the steps leading up to Kakariko Village. From there, the same guards carried her casket up, and the mourners followed them.
Black mourning wreaths hung on nearly every door in Kakariko, and many people chose to dress in black, to show that they were mourning the late Princess of Hyrule.
The plots for the Royal Family of Hyrule were in the very back. Already the grave had been dug, and the guards took strong pieces of rope, on the ends of which were hooks, and carefully lowered Zelda's casket into the grave. Embossed on the lid was the crest of the Kingdom of Hyrule, which incorporated the symbol of the Triforce.
Zelda stood there, unnoticed of course, and watched her own funeral. She was being buried next to her mother, and on the other side of her mother would be her father some time in the future. She watched as Impa, her former nursemaid and a Sheikah woman who was the Sage of Shadow, comforted Link by letting him cry on her shoulder as tears streamed down her own face.
Zelda longed to be able to put her arms around the man who wanted to be her husband, put her arms around him and kiss him and tell him that she was all right, that she was always thinking of him. She could not stand to see the man she loved hurting like this. He'd been so deeply in love with her....
Rauru conducted the graveside
service, and the mourners left. Zelda cried when she watched a couple
of men throw the dirt into her grave, covering her casket, concealing her
from sight forever. She couldn't take anymore, so she willed herself
back to the realm of the dead.
"It was so disturbing, Mother...it's like I'll be forgotten now," Zelda told her mother moments later.
"You'll never be forgotten, my child," Lara assured her. "You'll always hold a special place in Link's heart. But I have news for you...the goddesses wish to see you. I wonder what they want with you."
Zelda nodded, wondering herself.
"Link, you haven't even touched your dinner," said Saria.
Link was sitting at the table in Saria's house. She'd invited him over, since she didn't want to see him become a virtual recluse. "I can't eat at all," he sighed, his chin propped up in his hand. "Sometimes...I think I want to just end it all and be with Zelda."
Saria looked up. "Link...Zelda sacrificed herself so you would live. I think she would want you to go on. Otherwise I think it would be in vain."
"That's the only thing that keeps me going. I really loved her, Saria! I mean, we got along great together as children, but in recent months we've discovered just how much we love each other." He sighed sadly. "It's like everyone leaves me. My father was dead before I was even born. My mother died when I was practically a newborn. Now Zelda...."
He got up and started to leave the house. "Link, where are you going?"
"Don't worry, I'll be back," was Link's only reply as he left.
Link left the Kokiri village and walked through Hyrule Field. He found himself heading for Kakariko Village; it was dark by the time he entered the quiet village. Zelda's funeral had only been that morning and the mourning wreaths were still on the doors.
Somehow he didn't want to leave Zelda alone as she spent her first night underground. He headed for the graveyard, went all the way to the rear. He knelt before the fresh grave and hung his head. He didn't think he'd ever get over this. It wasn't fair, he was thinking. Zelda should be enjoying walks with him and everything. She shouldn't be lying underground like this....
Suddenly he thought he saw something. He looked up. "Zelda!"
"Link." Zelda--or rather her ghost--was standing there, looking down at him.
After Link's experiences in that other timeline, what with Dampe's ghost and everything, Link wasn't that surprised to see her. But that didn't make him any less happy. "Oh, Zelda, I miss you so much!" Link cried as he stood up.
"I miss you too, Link," said Zelda.
"I'm so sorry that you're dead," Link told her, more tears coming to his eyes. Here he'd thought he could cry no more....
"It's not your fault," Zelda replied. "Link, the goddesses sent me here. You are to be at the Temple of Time at daybreak. I don't know what for, though."
"I'll be there," said Link. "Oh, Zelda...I'm so happy to see you again...I just wish I could hold you...."
"I know," Zelda said, nodding. "Maybe one day we'll be together again, Link. It may be a long time, but we will."
"I was wanting to end it all, Zelda...so I could be with you...," Link confessed.
"Don't," she told him. "You still have a long life ahead."
"I love you, Zelda, and I always will," Link told her.
"I love you too, Link." She smiled at him, a sad smile. "Link...I must go now. Be at the Temple of Time at dawn."
Link stood there and watched as she vanished. He stood there for a long, long time before he finally turned and exited the graveyard. He wandered aimlessly through Kakariko before finally exiting and going down the steps leading to Hyrule Field.
The young man meandered towards the stream, and there he crossed a small bridge. The drawbridge leading to Hyrule Castle Town was raised and would not lower until dawn, so Link lay there on the grass, using his hat for a pillow, and waited until it would lower.
He managed to drift off into
an uneasy sleep, filled with scraps of dreams. The Temple of Time...the
thought of it brought back memories...the Song of Time....
"This song reminds me of us," ten-year-old Zelda told Link as he prepared to set off in search of his former fairy companion Navi. She placed the mouthpiece of the Ocarina of Time to her lips and played the Song of Time, then handed the ocarina to Link.
Link was adept at learning the ocarina, and he played it perfectly the first time.
After Zelda told Link she hoped his journey would be a safe one, Link slowly pulled away and got on little Epona.
Even then, Link had sensed
that there might be something between them in the future. If Link
didn't know about his parents, he probably could have sworn that he and
Zelda were brother and sister--but it was more than that. Besides,
there was no way that they were brother and sister. Link's father
had been a soldier in Harkinian's army; Link's mother his wife. Still,
they played together as such.
Link suddenly woke up to the sound of the Cuccos' crowing. The drawbridge was being lowered, so he got to his feet and put his hat back on his head. He raced into town and headed off to his right, to the Temple of Time.
He raced up the steps and along the little pathway, past the four gossip stones. The Temple of Time was a tall, red-brick edifice that had the symbol of the Triforce high across its double doors; it resembled a church. Link went up the steps of the temple and through the doors.
Only yesterday Zelda's body had lay in its casket here in the temple; now there were no signs that anything had taken place. The raised platform with the Triforce symbol was there, as was the red carpeting in front of the altar. The three Spiritual Stones--the Kokiri's Emerald, the Goron's Ruby, and the Zora's Sapphire--were in their places on the black altar.
"Come further, young Link," a mysterious feminine voice echoed.
Link went up the few steps and entered the room where the Master Sword was kept. "I am here," he said.
A bright green glow descended from the high ceiling. Link covered his eyes with his arm and lowered his arm slowly, getting used to the light. "Farore?" he gasped, awed. What he was seeing now was the shape of a woman, surrounded by the green glow; in a way she reminded him of a huge version of Navi and Tatl.
"Yes, it is I, Farore, Goddess of Courage," the being replied. "You represent me because you hold the Triforce of Courage, Link."
Link respectfully knelt and bowed his head, taking off his hat as he did so. "I am honored to be in your presence, Farore," he said humbly.
"Arise, be at ease," Farore said kindly. "Have you wondered why I sent Zelda to tell you to be here?"
"Din, Nayru, and I know of Zelda's tragic death. We have watched the two of you over the years, watched how your love for each other has grown. The love you and Zelda have for each other has been unequalled for many, many years; it is so rare that we encounter such true love. Man has grown selfish, uncaring over these past millennia. You and Zelda have provided a good example of love and we wish for you to continue to do so. Tell me, Link, would you willingly die so Zelda might live?"
"Yes, O Farore, yes! Even though I may be dead...I want her to live on, and eventually become Queen of Hyrule. She would be such an excellent ruler."
Farore's glow seemed to become a bit brighter and Link got the impression that she was smiling. "Love for your country, as well as for Zelda," she said, sounding as if she were smiling. "Link, we are going to give you an offer. If you are willing to give up your life, Zelda's will be restored."
"Yes! Anything!" cried Link.
"Very well," said Farore. "To accomplish this, you must go to Death Mountain Crater and jump into the lava there."
Link took a deep breath. "I am ready."
"I will transport you there."
Before Link knew it, he was standing on the Triforce symbol in Death Mountain Crater. It was so hot in here; he found himself wishing he had his Goron tunic.
Link went to the edge and looked into the lava. "I am doing this for you, Zelda," he said as he jumped off, into the waiting lava. He felt intense, burning pain--
--then suddenly he was back in the chamber in the Temple of Time, and this time, Zelda was with him.
"Link! You did it! I'm alive!" Zelda cried, throwing her arms around his neck.
It took Link a second to realize that he was alive as well; her arms were actually touching him, not going through him. "But how--?"
"Your love and your courage," came a reply from overhead.
Link and Zelda looked up, saw a red, blue, and green glow--the three goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore. "We have seldom seen the love that we see coming from the two of you," they said in unison. "Caring, unselfish love. We must make an example. Perhaps through this example, others will learn how to love and respect each other. And it's not just romantic love, it's the concern for the well-being of others, the willingness to sacrifice. Both of you have demonstrated that without hesitation, and we decided to reward you and at the same time set this example."
"Thank you so much," said Zelda as she clung to Link, who held her tightly.
"Yes, thank you," Link added.
"We realize that it will be hard to prove that Zelda is indeed alive," the goddesses said. "Have them open the grave. There they will find an empty casket. Now we must go. Farewell, and enjoy your long lives together, Link the Hero of Time, and Zelda the Princess of Hyrule."
The tri-colored glow faded and finally vanished. Link and Zelda looked at each other, then clung to each other. "I was so miserable without you," Link wept happily.
"I love you, Link," Zelda told him, crying on his shoulder, feeling his strong arms around her.
They stood there for a while,
holding each other, occasionally kissing each other. "Zelda--we have
to tell your father and everyone the good news!"
The guard let Link and the woman he was with pass through the gate. Unbeknownst to the guard, the woman was Princess Zelda. She was wearing a long purple cloak with a hood; her face was partially concealed in shadow. The guard figured the girl might be a friend of Link's or Zelda's.
The pair went into the castle, and they were admitted into the throne room, where a depressed and lonely-looking King Harkinian sat upon his elaborate throne. "Link, what brings you here?" he asked, sounding so tired.
"Your Majesty, I have someone here who will cheer you up to no end," said Link.
The girl standing next to Link pulled back her hood. Harkinian and his advisors, who were standing nearby, gaped. "Zelda...? No, no, it can't be, my daughter is dead!"
"Father...it's me," said Zelda. "The goddesses brought me back to life because Link was willing to die that I might live. They said to open the grave and find an empty casket as proof."
"The goddesses...?" Harkinian's eyes widened. "But they seldom, if ever, interfere in our affairs!"
"Your Majesty, please, do as she requests," said Link. "I assure you, this truly is your daughter."
"All right. Very well,"
said Harkinian, nodding. "Have the grave opened in three hours.
I wish to be there." He stared at Zelda. "I truly hope you
are my daughter. Surely Link would not play such a cruel joke on
Link and Zelda stood there with King Harkinian in the Kakariko Village graveyard three hours later. The only thing the gravekeeper had seen was Link kneeling at the foot of the grave the previous night; after that, nothing. The grave looked exactly as it had the previous day, meaning no one had opened it and taken Zelda's body.
A couple of the gravekeeper's men dug into the grave, and some of the soldiers managed to haul the casket out of the ground. Harkinian held his breath as the men opened the casket.
It was empty, and in its place was a glowing symbol of the Triforce where Zelda had once lain. It hadn't been there before. "Praise Din, Nayru, and Farore," Harkinian said, sounding grateful and humble. "They have seen fit to return my daughter to me." With that, he took Zelda in his arms and hugged her. Then he reached out and took Link's hand, drew him into the hug as well. "And it's thanks to you too, Link."
There was not a dry eye among the group at the
Link and Zelda were married the following month. They
had several children, and upon the King's death Zelda became Queen, and Link her
consort. Zelda ruled wisely and kindly, and would forever be hailed as one of
the greatest Queens of Hyrule who ever lived. Link and Zelda had a long and
happy life together, and the goddesses saw to it that they died together, when
both were very old.