Forever - Part 3

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And so the two had come to a consensus with the goddesses, they would spend three days with one another, and on the night of the third day depart for their own worlds for the final time. Both of their hearts were silently breaking, and a hidden anger at the goddesses for even allowing them such feelings for one another was silently brewing… why, why such passion if they were going to have to leave behind the one who had touched their hearts in a way no one else could...But both were determined, even with the dreadful combination of fear, heartbreak, sorrow and anger looming throughout their souls, that they were going to enjoy their last few days together. They were determined to forget it all, forget the world, and allow sole passion and love to take over.

The princess sighed as the dark fabric of her cloak engulfed her, carefully hiding her face beneath its hood. It was a rainy morning, an air of despair hanging over the castle. She had spent the entire day thinking about the soldier…in fact, ever since the moment he had left the thought had begun to haunt her; after a mere seventy-two hours, she would never again feel his gentle touch, see his bright smile or lose herself in his deep, sapphire eyes.

Her feet echoed on the deserted marble flooring as she made her way down the long hallway that led to the oaken castle gates. With each step, a thought seemed to boom in her head: Here begins day one… of the final moments I have with the love of my life.

She emerged outside into the equally deserted streets of castle town, pulling her cloak closer as the bitter wind pierced through her. Glancing around at the many shops and buildings, she turned a corner and started up the rustic steps that led to a wooden door. The door creaked as she opened it, the towering ruins of the building seeming to stare at her.

She shivered once inside, the air feeling ominous and heavy, danger and uncertainty feeling as if to lurk around every corner. The echo of her own feet was even a bit unnerving to the princess as she made her way past the display of the three jewels that held as keys to the Temple, and into a room that was completely empty except for a shimmering blade that lay inside a pedestal, and a huge plate-glass window through which she could see only the gray sky.

She sighed, stopping in front of the pedestal and pulling a dark blue ocarina from the pocket of her cloak. “Ocarina of Time, I fear your duties may soon be coming to an end.” Her voice echoed through the room even though it was but a mere whisper as she spoke. She put the ocarina to her lips, playing each note carefully, perfectly, until light began to surround the sword, soon spreading to herself. Still she played, until she felt the world lift from around her as if she were about to faint.

She opened her eyes to the same room, glancing down at herself and smiling. She had lost a lot of height, and found herself wearing a small pink dress and an equally pink veil. No matter how many times she did this it would always seem odd seeing herself nearly a decade younger.

She ran outside, it was warm and the sun was shining, much different from the bleak atmosphere she had left from seven years in the future. There were even a few people out and about for as early as it was. She decided it was best not to be seen, though, even though it would cause much less, if any, impact to either herself or her lover should she be spotted. This was before the Dark Lord had ever taken over the castle or gotten into the Sacred Realm, much less before the Hero of Time had defeated him and fallen in love with the princess. It must be so much more difficult for him to come to my time than it is for me to come to his, she thought solemnly as she began to leave town and start for Kokiri Forest.

She took a deep breath of the cool forest air, leaves crunching under her feet as the sun glinted through the treetops. “Link?” She called out, her childish voice making her smile, “Where are you?” She looked around for him, but could see no one, and so continued to walk. “Link?” Still no answer. “Link?”

Suddenly she heard a high pitched cry and jumped as she was grabbed by someone swinging from a vine. She screamed, startled. “Whoa! Calm down! It's only me!” She opened her eyes, looking over at who had grabbed her. He still wore green, but his face looked childish and his expression was filled with playful mischief, while his voice was about an octave higher.

“Link! Don't scare me like that!” She yelled playfully as they landed on a nearby branch, making him smile.

“I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.” He sat down, dangling his feet from the limb, Zelda following suit.

“Um…anyway, I have to ask, is it odd having your voice go up and down octaves every day?”

“No, not really, you get used to it…but it was extremely weird at first…it would make it challenging to sing you a love song, though…I'd have to practice it in soprano and go back and sing it to you in baritone…that's why I use an ocarina for such things.” He pulled a tan ocarina from his tunic and examined it for a moment. “You don't happen to have the Ocarina of Time with you, do you?”

She nodded, “I do, but why?” She pulled it out from her robes, handing it to him as she asked.

“Oh,” He took it and put the tan ocarina away, “it's just that I'd rather play for you using this one. What it all comes down to is do I want to ingest your or Saria's saliva, and well, frankly, I ingest yours on a darn near daily basis anyway.” He licked his lips, “And that's not even close to enough…so why pass up an extra chance?”

“You're very clever…”

“I don't understand why stating the truth makes me clever, kissing you is like a free ticket to Heaven, big whoop. Why am I so witty because I said that?”

“Well,” She shrugged, “don't sell yourself short, you're good at snappy comebacks whether you know it or not…and you may actually be fairly intelligent.”

He smiled, putting the ocarina to his lips, “Whatever you say, beguiling.”

“Beguiling? That's a new one. And I rest my case.”

He smiled at her with fake innocence, “Whatever do you mean?” He then began to play a powerful tune on the ocarina, the soft notes echoing through the trees as his small hands played it like a professional. He somehow made it feel as if the notes were whispering “I love you” upon the breeze, and making the wind's gentle touch feel like the soft caresses of a passionate lover.

It was amazing, she thought, at how he could touch an ocarina and turn what was in his heart directly into music notes.

She seemed to be losing herself, all she could think of was how much she loved him, how much she wanted only for them to stay together forever; and she could tell, just by looking at him, that he was thinking the very same thing as his fingers so nimbly transferred his innermost feelings to song.

Soon though, a voice broke the silence that had fallen over them. The voice chanted, “Link and Cecilia sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g!!!” It was Mido, Link's long-time bully.

He lowered the ocarina from his lips, irritated. “You know, Mido,” He said, the Kokiri looked shocked that Link had even spoken back to him in the first place. (Link had never really retaliated before when Mido decided to rough him up), “The way I see it, you're either A: Extremely mentally disabled, because you are unable to distinguish between kissing and playing an ocarina, or B: A terribly bad speller.”

Zelda smiled at him, catching the young man's eye as he continued to speak. “You see, Mido,” He continued, “That wasn't kissing, this~” He grabbed Zelda and gently pressed his lips to hers for a few seconds, “is kissing.”

Mido looked shocked and disgusted at the same time, almost looking like he was going to burst into tears. “Oh my God, Link! You know, if you kiss somebody then they get pregnant! You knew that, right!? Oh my God!! OMG!! Girls are gross!!” He then ran away, flailing his arms wildly.

They both doubled over in laughter when he disappeared from view. “Oh…Link…that was…awesome!” She spoke through her laughter, trying out the improper language she had been forbidden growing up as royalty.

He nodded, “I agree!”

“We really shouldn't play with little kids' minds, you know that?”

“Nonsense!” Link smiled at her, his young and boyish face beaming. “Do you want to go for a walk through the village while holding hands?”

“Sure!” Link immediately jumped from the branch at her reply, landing squarely on the ground a few yards below, leaving her staring at him with a big grin on her face. “You don't expect me to do that, do you? To jump?”

“Well, you might actually want to climb down.”

She nodded and nervously grasped the tree, nearly falling after a few steps.

He smiled, “Here, just jump, I'll catch you.”

“O…ok…I trust you.” And with that she closed her eyes and took the jump, soon after feeling herself gently fall into her 10-year-old lover's arms.

“You sure can tell that you've never gone out and done a lot of this stuff…” He slid his arms from her and gently took her hand. “What you need,” He smiled as they began to walk, “is a taste of what it's like to just be a village kid whom nobody cares about…instead of an incredibly beautiful princess who is the sole heir of the kingdom of Hyrule and holder of the mystical Triforce of Wisdom. A life like mine doesn't sound glamorous, and it isn't, but I'm sure there's a lot more freedom. Besides, you need to learn how to act like one of us if you're going to live up to your little persona around here, Cecilia…” He winked at her, still grinning.

“Oh, yes, the peasant girl from Kakariko Village…well, I must not be doing too terrible, no one has said anything… but not being monitored all the time, no strict tutors, no paparazzi, I rather like being an average person.”

“Yes, I suppose the privacy would be nice, too. I'd love to show you the ways of us simple folk, but showing you everything would take forever!”

The smile dimmed from his face, as from the princess's, and they let their eyes fall to the ground. He had meant it to be lighthearted, but the realization struck both of them as he said those words, ‘it would take forever'. Forever, something they did not have. They were both silent, the heartache they had been trying to hide somehow finding its way to the surface.

“Hey! Link, Cecilia!” Link snapped up, looking in the direction of the voice, but Zelda remained solemn. He felt guilty for a moment, and looked back at her as the voice spoke. “Would you like to come over to my house for a sleepover tonight?” The voice finished its sentence. “The one you had the other day was awesome, Link! I hope mine can stack up!” He could tell that it was Saria, a green haired Kokiri that he had been friends with for some time.

“Um…sure!” He yelled back at her, his eyes still fixed on the princess.

“Great!” The voice replied, trailing off as it grew farther away, probably running to find more guests.

“Zelda…I'm sorry…” He squeezed her hand for a second, looking worriedly at her.

“Oh,” She suddenly looked up at him, “It's not you, I was just…thinking…I guess I wasn't paying attention because I'm still not used to being called Cecilia!” She smiled, though it looked forced and Link could tell that she was hurting. He knew full well how it felt, because he was feeling it too. He decided to let it go there, though, and made an attempt at lightening the mood.

“Zelda, I have an idea, we should go see the Deku Tree!”

She broke a slight smile and nodded.

The two hid behind the brush in the Deku Tree's garden, the tree looming over them as the sun began to set. “Link?” Zelda whispered with a grin, “why are we hiding?”

“I don't know, but you know what we should do?” He smiled mischievously at her.


“We should…we should carve our initials into him!” He pulled a small knife from his boot.

“What! Link! That…won't that hurt him?”

“No,” He shook his head, “not if we just carve them very lightly, he won't feel anything. He may be enchanted, but he's still a tree. I wouldn't think he'd have nerves. And just in case he does, like I said, we'll be careful.”

“Well…” Her smile broadened, “If you insist…”

He too smiled and they set off through the brush, sneaking up on him as the sunset reflected orange through the crisp air. “Here, we'll do it there!” He pointed to a small portion of the tree that was pretty well hidden behind some shrubbery.

“Good idea…” They crawled their way through the leaves with their nimble young bodies, emerging into the secluded area.

“Well,” Link said, “I guess…” He pulled the knife back out and neared the tree with it as they sat on their knees.

“Wait!” Zelda grabbed his arm, making him stop and look at her.

“What is it?”

“I was thinking…” She slid her fingers from him, “that we shouldn't be so obvious. Carving our names would be stupid and our initials equally so...someone, somewhere, in either your time or mine, is bound to find it and discover what we've been doing…”

She looked at the ground as if embarrassed at what she had said. “No, Zelda,” He reached to touch her hand, “you're right, we need something…inscrutable.”

The princess raised her eyebrows. “You do enjoy running around as a 10-year-old and using large words that a lot of adults probably don't even know, don't you, Link. I think you find it amusing to fluster people older than you with your knowledge…”

“Incontrovertibly so, gorgeous, but it doesn't work with you, your intellect far succeeds mine, I'm sure. Stupid private tutors…now, what to carve…”

“I'm not sure…”

They thought for a moment, Link stabbing at the ground with his knife. “Oh!” Zelda quickly grabbed the knife from him, making him jump, and began to carve on the Deku Tree.

H…O…T…plus…P…O…H…?” The young man read the letters off as she carved them. “What's that supposed to mean?”

“Hero of Time plus Princess of Hyrule…” She smiled, examining her work. “Heh, nice initials, Link. You should thank me…”

He laughed, taking off his hat and flipping his blond hair around while squinting and pretending to paint lines on his face with his fingers. “Yeah, I'm sizzling…I'm hot, hotter than the sun, baby!”

Zelda broke into a laugh of her own, the sight of a ten-year-old practically strutting getting the better of her, and then felt Link suddenly pull her into a hug. “No, I think we both know who the stunning one is here. Now, let me finish it.” He gently kissed her cheek as he let go of her, taking the blade from her delicate hands. “Here,” He drew a heart around it, and then turned to gaze at Zelda. There were tears in her eyes, and he felt his own heart aching as well as he pulled her close to him again. “Forever.” He slowly and carefully carved the letters into the wood, his head throbbing with suppressed tears that had come out of nowhere. “Hero of Time plus Princess of Hyrule…”

“Forever.” They spoke in unison, both of their voices braking as they fell into each other's arms.

After a long moment, Zelda spoke up. “It will…it will be time for Saria's party soon…we should go…”

Link nodded, releasing her and looking the other way as he wiped his eyes.

They began to walk back to the village, not a word passing between them. Link kept his head facing the other way as if afraid to look at her… and Zelda stared at the ground, something on her mind: She had never seen him cry before, neither as a child nor as the gallant soldier who had rescued her…

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