Story: The Lost Years (chapter 5)
Back to chapter list
Title: Year 2: Revelations and A New Quest
[Author's notes: I've returned from various vacations and other such things to bring you this. Enjoy, and give me feedback.]
"How do you know Link?"
This was the true test. Lina knew that if there was any hope in keeping time from getting mucked up by one person's curiosity, it was with her now.
"I... met him in Hyrule Castle Town." That was... the truth? A lie? He did see himself as a recently transformed eleven year old girl there, but that girl was him. So, no idea what that statement was.
Sheik's stare softened, if only a little bit. "That would make sense. He talked to everyone there, trying to see if there was anyway he could help out."
That got Lina's attention. 'Wait... I know I did that, but why would she tell me that?'
The blonde ninja stood up. "Listen, I'm sorry, it's just- I didn't expect to find other people that knew Link."
Link could feel the sweat running across her forehead. 'Whew. That was a close call.'
The ninja looked at Link for a brief moment. "It's weird. I only met you a couple of hours ago, but I feel totally comfortable around you. It's like we've already met before."
'Oh, Farore save me! I was home free!' "Yea... that's pretty weird. But, I kinda felt the same way." Sheik looked at the ranch hand with renewed interest. 'I shouldn't have said that,' Lina thought through gritted teeth.
"Can you keep a secret?"
Link stared at her, bewildered. 'Here she is, moments away from figuring me out, and she's asking me to keep a secret?" Nonetheless, she nodded.
"I feel that I have a confession to make. I need someone to talk to, because... look, Impa's smart and all, but she's older than me, and it would be nice to have a friend closer to my age."
"Okay." Link was fairly sure what was coming next.
"I haven't been entirely honest about who I am."
Link knew that, but s/he couldn't let her/him (too... many... slashes...) know that. "Really?" Link had to fight to keep her voice believable.
"I'm not a boy. I'm actually Princess Zelda."
Link did not only have to fight the urge to tell her that she already knew, but also had to fight a laugh for some reason. "No way. You're... not even... a girl."
Zelda sighed. "Okay, you may not believe what I say. What if I showed you?"
With that she took off her shirt. There were bandages covering her upper chest, which she then proceeded to take off. Blood immediately rushed to Lina's face, and a nosebleed was imminent. She'd never actually seen any part of a woman naked (That is, unless seeing Princess Ruto counts as naked), and Lina/Link was about to stop her-
Oh, no. She did it. Princess Zelda. Topless. Since Zelda was well into puberty, there were two fully developed fleshy mounds there. So Lina was looking at Zelda's breasts. Topless. Naked. Nose... dripping...
Your brain has committed a fatal error in:
Your brain has also shut down improperly.
Zelda poked Link/a in the head with her right index finger. As Lina finally became knowledgeable of her surroundings, she silently thanked the three goddesses: Zelda had put her shirt back on, However, much to her chagrin; the bandages were still on the floor, which meant that what was once a skintight shirt with bandages became a shirt that showed off Zelda's midriff. She had also taken off the wrappings around her head, revealing blonde locks and eyes as blue as the ocean. Her hair was not as long as it had been when she'd revealed herself to Link in the future, but undoubtedly longer than it had been a year ago, when they had met (When Link was a boy, that is.).
"I think I got my point across."
Lina felt fairly lightheaded. "Far too well, far too well."
She looked down at the formerly skin tight shirt she now wore. "I hate wearing these clothes and bandages, but if I take all of them off, then Ganondorf will find me. He's become that good at magic already... maybe it has something to do with the Triforce..."
Once again, Link had to feign confusion. Zelda apparently fell for it, for decided not to ask.
"I mean, it's hard. I was brought up to be a perfect lady. I mean, I wasn't afraid to get my hands dirty, mind you, but I didn't expect to spend my years acting like a boy!"
Link could relate to that. Definitely. Absolutely. 100%.
"It's embarrassing... and it gets very hard to explain away when I get my period! I have to pretend like I'm sick for days, and-"
"Wait." 'What was that, exactly?' "What's a period?"
"You mean... you don't know?"
'Well, no... See, I was raised as a guy...' "No."
"Okay. Let me explain...."
"...and that's pretty much it."
Link looked nothing short of horrified. "You mean I'm going to pee blood every month?!?"
"More or less, yes."
Your brain has committed a fatal error in:
Your brain has also shut down improperly.
"Oh, come on. Not this again."
Zelda poked Lina in the head again, which brought her back to the real world, again.
"It's not that bad. Really. Having your first period is a little scary, but it's not that big of a deal"
"Oh, come on! Of course it's a big deal! How can something that bleeds that much be called human?"
"Stop overreacting, Lina! You'll be fine. It's just a part of growing up."
Lina didn't scare easy. She was still the holder of the Triforce of Courage, and she didn't get that through the lottery. She'd faced down a legion of Moblins, taken down five Iron Knuckles at once with nothing but the Golden Gauntlets, beaten down the Redead (repeatedly... the Redead apparently don't stay dead), and even delivered the smackdown on Ganondorf...twice! But the prospect of going through that every month until she might find a cure had been enough to get her going.
"Sorry. It's just, I didn't know."
"It's okay. I should've expected that- after all, the only adults that are usually around are Talon and Ingo, and unless I miss my guess, they aren't women."
That got Link laughing. "Yea, I'm pretty sure they aren't."
"And I'm pretty sure that Malon only figured that out that much about periods because Impa told her all about the birds and the bees well over two years ago. She took it pretty well, apparently."
"Well, I think she might've thrown up at one point. But otherwise, she took it fine."
There was a brief moment of silence, and then the two girls laughed pretty hard.
During the laughter, Link noticed something. Every time Link had talked to her before, it was almost always business. She'd never gotten to really bond with the Princess, except for the parts of the adventure when she helped Link out as Sheik. So to get to talk to her without the weight of the world on their shoulders was a relief.
"So, do you think you can keep this a secret?"
There was a hint of a smile on Link's face. "I'm sorry Zelda, keep what a secret?"
She opened her mouth, as if too say something, but then understood the meaning of her response. "Thanks."
Link started to go back under the covers, but Zelda stopped her. "I'm sorry but.... can we talk a little longer?"
"How... I'm not sure how to put this- I have these strange thoughts sometimes-"
'Bingo.' Link knew this part- Zelda talked to Nabooru through her dreams, and would fall in love with her. The Gerudo and Zelda herself had told her this (albeit disguised as Sheik).
'So this is when it all began. I knew that it had to have started pretty early, but I thought it might take another year or two.'
"I see this person, right, and I feel weird. My heart starts pumping faster, and seems to lodge itself in my throat. And my stomach starts feeling funny."
'Looks like I'm going to have to help Zelda come to terms with her own feelings.' Ironically, Link had never had a successful romantic endeavor, but that was almost entirely from a lack of trying (unless you count Princess Ruto among his 'endeavors', and I specifically said 'successful'.).
"Zelda, I'm no expert on the subject, but I think it sounds like you've got a crush on someone."
She looked confused, as if she thought that was impossible. "I... but girls aren't supposed to like girls like that!"
'Hook, line, and sinker.' Link more or less hated to be manipulative. Hated it. It reminded him too much of Ganondorf's deceptions and lies. But for the greater good, she was willing to do it. "And why not? Why can't a woman love another woman?"
"Why? ...Look at the world. You don't see men holding hands with men-"
"That's because they're men. That's not their thing."
"And you don't see women kissing each other! Society thinks that it's wrong. And I'm a princess, so I'm supposed to fall in love with the dashing young hero, like Link. At least," she paused for a moment, "that's what all the stories my father told me when I was a kid said."
That was it! 'So she's hesitating because she doesn't think that's what's supposed to happen? Time to change that... if I can think of something to say.'
About twenty seconds passed between the two, not a sound echoing throughout the room except what sounded like an owl hooting outside, and the building settling. "Lina?"
"Zelda... think of a Goron, deciding whether or not to roll down a mountain. He always knows he'll end up at its base- but he's never entirely sure where at the bottom, or even the path he'll take to get there. Love is kind of the same way. We can't choose who we fall in love with, but we can choose to fall in love with someone."
Zelda's mouth slightly opened. "Lina, that's brilliant. How did you come up with that?"
"I start getting philosophical whenever I shovel the cow compost."
After that, Lina decided to start playing Freud to Zelda's patient.
"So," Link started, "what's she like?"
"She's beautiful to me. Everything about her blows me away, like her hair. She has the gorgeous, long red locks of hair that I can't tear my eyes away from for more than a minute."
'Good, good. Sounds just like that Gerudo woman, alright.' "What else?"
"Lately, I've noticed those things about her, even though I've known her for years."
"Um... so who do you like?'
Zelda's face went beet red, and she mumbled the answer so quietly, a dog would've strained itself to hear.
"Oh, come on. Tell me."
"...You'll see her tomorrow." And with that, she started wrapping her bandages back on.
As Link retreated to the solitude of her dreams, she couldn't help but be a little worried. 'I don't get it. Nabooru and Zelda both said that they met after I went to sleep. So who's she talking about?'
It was pancakes for breakfast today, with Impa cooking this time. Sheik and Zelda were already at the table, waiting for the first batch to finish.
"I suppose you two slept alright? No snoring or anything?"
Sheik giggled a little bit. "It felt good not finding any rocks under by sleeping bag."
Impa's attention turned to Link. "How was Sheik? Did he try anything?" She stared at her apprentice wickedly, but Lina knew that it was an act. She decided to play along for simplicity's sake.
"No, he was a perfect gentleman."
The guardian turned back to the skillet. "Good."
Sheik's eyes went to the empty seat at the table, asking, "Where's Malon? Is she sleeping in?"
"No, I'm afraid that she's not feeling that well today. From what she's telling me, she's got a cold. I'm sure she'd appreciate it if one of you could give her the breakfast I cooked up."
As she said the last part, she put a plate on the table with at least thirty-three pancakes. Half of which, she claimed, she'd eat and still be hungry. She put three pancakes on each of the plates before remarking, "So, who's going to do the honors?"
The ninja stood up quickly. "I'll take some pancakes to Malon." Sheik gathered his plate, grabbed the one that Malon would've been using, and exited with six pancakes.
Lina had watched Zelda leave, and noticed a couple things that were wrong. First, she'd volunteered almost immediately to deliver Malon's breakfast to her bedroom. Now, that was a nice thing to do, but she'd done so a little too eagerly. Then, she hadn't given any indication that she was going to rejoin them. Finally, she'd left the two of them with a bit of a skip in her step. It took him/her a full thirty seconds before the pieces came together.
She looked down at her plate. Impa's fork had seven and a half cakes impaled on her utensil, which looked more like a pitchfork at the moment.
"I'll be right back. Bathroom."
With that, Link walked silently out the door, making a beeline for the stairs in the chicken coop.
Impa kept staring at the pile of pancakes in the center of the table, and the lack of people at the table. She tied her napkin around her neck. 'If no one else is going to...' She eyed the cakes that came from a pan with a stare that would've made Hannibal Lector proud.
Lina walked up the stair quietly, trying to listen to the conversation in the next room.
"...a lot for the food. That was nice of you."
"No problem. It's 'starve a fever, feed a cold', right?"
She could hear Malon giggling in the next room. "That sounds about right."
The Hero/ine felt as if her stomach had flipped upside down and begun to twist, but wasn't exactly sure why.
She prepared to knock on the door, but hesitated for a second. 'She's with Nabooru in the future. But she wants Zelda now. How does that work?' It felt wrong, every instinct in her being told her to knock on the door. And her gut had never led her astray before.
Sheik cracked the door open. Lina had to put on yet another performance of ignorance, which she was getting very tired of. "Oh, there you are, Sheik. Can I talk to you for a second?"
Sheik told Malon that he'd be right back, and walked down the stairs into the middle of a crowd of Cuccos.
As Sheik walked down the last step, she became slightly irate. "Lina, what are you doing?"
Link's eye balls had expanded to the size of dinner plates by this point, her hands clammy. "You like Malon?!?"
The ninja swiftly clasped her hand over Lina's mouth. "SSSHHH! Do you want to announce it to the whole world?!?"
With that said, however, Sheik did nod her head. "But yes, I do. Why do you care so much?"
Lina wasn't really sure why. She'd surprised herself on her reaction to this whole mess. "I'm... just surprised, I guess." That felt like a lie, but Link didn't know why.
Sheik suspected something else, however. "I'm not the first person to feel that way towards her, though."
It was Link's turn for the interrogation. She felt nervous, even anxious about answering any questions about Malon.
"I think that Vaati likes her."
Lina did a double take with that fact. "Vaati? That creepy purple guy who's camping on the next hill?"
She nodded, adding, "Well, it's like what Malon told me. The two of them never get along. Constantly arguing and whatnot... I've heard that doing that... well, it's a sign of a guy that wants to kiss the girl."
There was no more conversation between the two. Link couldn't figure out a response, her mind had been blown from Zelda's revelations. Sheik didn't try to speak either- somehow, she'd hit a nerve.
The door to the coop opened suddenly, with Impa's head peeked around the corner. "I've been calling for seconds for eight minutes! You two want any blueberry pancakes?"
The next day, Malon was out of bed. "She says she feels better," Impa remarked to Sheik, "but that could change in a heartbeat, so make sure that you don't let her do anything too strenuous."
"What about Lina?"
"I told you during breakfast, mi'lady. She's going to see an old friend and will be gone a while."
"Is that why I have to shovel the cow manure today?"
Impa gestured 'yes' as the apprentice walked off toward the cow stalls. Meanwhile, Malon walked out to the horses, covered in a blanket. She didn't look too good- her hair was a little disheveled, the skin had lost a bit of its color, and there were deep circles under her eyes. Nonetheless, the redhead noticed that Link was preparing Epona for her trip. All of the equipment that she could still use was being packed- her Golden Gauntlets, the Hylian Shield, the Kokiri Sword, the Boomerang, as well as all of the magic spells she'd acquired.
"Link, where are you going?"
Link turned around, and noticed Malon's condition. "Malon, you should really be in bed-"
She didn't hesitate to repeat her question. "Where are you going?"
The blonde sighed. "I'm going to see Navi. She's probably got some good advice."
Link drew out her Ocarina, and prepared to play.
"Link, you know that Epona's a wild one! I'm the only one that she-"
Link started to play that tune that Malon hummed all the time while she tended the horses. That stunned Malon a little bit.
"You still remember that song?"
As the Hero/ine of Time mounted the horse for the "first time", she nodded. "I do."
She galloped out of the ranch, with a heavy heart, hoping that Navi had some good advice on how to fix the Zelda/Malon/Nabooru problem.
'There she goes.'
She didn't look too threatening from a distance. A twelve-year old girl, wearing a green tunic and a green skirt, not that big a problem. But he knew from experience that the little girl who was now riding toward that big forest in the east was a thorn in his side.
'Thank goodness that she's left.'
That little stunt she pulled last year was disgraceful, but he'd learned from his mistake. He couldn't afford to underestimate Malon and her friends again. And now that 'Lina' was gone, he could just stroll in like the old days.
Vaati just kept staring at Lon Lon Ranch. 'I'll go there tomorrow.'
'I guess there's a reason they call it the Lost Woods.'
Obviously, she was lost. It had started so simple- go into Kokiri Forest, find Navi, and get some advice. But nothing ever was that simple when it came to her.
They'd been riding through the trees for at least three hours, and not a sign of any fairies... except for the purple and yellow ones flying twelve feet in front of her face right now. They just appeared out of the branches of this really dead tree. They started to fly up back into the trees when what appeared to be a Skull Kid suddenly hung down from a nearby branch.
He had startled Epona, enough to knock the poor kid out of the saddle- if Link had been a little heavier. She managed to stay on the poor horse- barely. When her noble steed finally got back down on all fours, Link noticed something. That Skull Kid was wearing a mask, and that mask had the same markings as the villain that had haunted her dreams. She remembered that the mask had given a name before being defeated. 'Majora.'
As if the Kid could read her mind, he swirled himself around the branch and kicked her off of the horse. She prepared to make impact with the ground, but it didn't come.
She was falling. Falling down a hole for what seemed to be an eternity, down some sort of hole. During which, she could've sworn seeing a rabbit who was yelling about being late, and a blonde haired girl wearing a blue dress.
Finally, she could see the ground. Nice, soft flowers, with a small river. She landed on the largest of them, but it supported her weight, making the landing feel more like being cushioned by a mattress than hitting the pavement.
When she got up, she saw the Skull Kid- holding her Ocarina, looking it over. Link began to walk toward him, when she noticed that she couldn't move her feet.
The assailant then turned his attention to the green-garbed girl, restrained by his new-found magicks. The Kid's mask made a strange clicking noise, and then a strange, guttural voice emanated from it.
Without warning, the Mask suddenly flashed white, enveloping everything. Before she lost sight of everything, she saw a glimpse of the Kid running off, riding on Epona, Ocarina in hand. When her vision returned, she saw a strange man in front of a trippy clock tower that had probably been ripped straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
He looked like a mask dealer, the one from Hyrule Castle Town. However, his eyes looked smaller, more slit like, and those eyes were green instead of blue.
The mask dealer walked toward her, confusion in those slits of eyes. "I thought someone might eventually end up stuck in Termina. That mask has made life here a living hell. But I guess he had his way with you, eh?"
Link was confused by that, but the mask man continued. "Listen, that mask... it's Majora's Mask. It's cast this spell... which will destroy this land in three days." He thrust his finger into the sky for dramatic effect.
When she looked up, she could see the moon, and then a second moon, bearing down on the town. It actually had a face, and a very deranged one to boot. And the grin it wore across that face was nothing short of Cheshire Cat-esque.
"I need you to stop it however you can. Understood?"
"Yep!" However, she was filled with dread and confusion by her response. It had come out much more nasally than she'd ever spoken before.
There was a pool nearby, which Link had to struggle to look over her snout at. 'Great,' she thought. 'I've been turned into a girl, my Ocarina and horse are gone, I'm stuck in an apocalyptic nightmare, and I've also been transmogrified into a Deku Sprout.'
[End notes: I'm pretty sure that, in actual Zelda canon, the Link from Ocarina is the same one from Majora's Mask, so no real conflicts here.]
Back to chapter list