Day 3- 11:53 PM, approx. 6 hours until impact.
Link sat on the edge of the platform leading to the top of the clock tower. It definitely hadn't been an easy climb-up, no thanks to the fact that dogs seemed to think that Dekus seemed to be walking chew-toys.
So when she had finally gotten up and over the final ledge, she'd been left with maybe 1/2 a heart left. On the plus side, she had been inadvertently dragged to a Great Fairy by one of those mangy mutts. This Giver of Maybe Useful Magic gave her the ability to blow bubbles- with her own snout. Yea... it sounded kind of useless to Link as well, but there's a sort of rule for every adventure game that Link had discovered during his own.
And that rule states: If someone gives you an object or power, then you'll HAVE to use it at some point. There's no way around it. A pulley-attached-to-a-rubber-chicken? You'll be using it. Broken mirror? Will be needed. That wooden sword that you've had since the beginning of the game, that is all but useless by that point, and forgot to sell? Probably the only weapon that'll kill the final boss, guaranteed.
A chime rang out from above- the clock was beginning to strike 12. The wooden door behind the cursed girl opened, white light emanating from behind it. Lina climbed up the newly revealed stairs, climbing, she was climbing that stairway to heaven...
(WRONG!!!! THIS IS A FANFIC, NOT A LED ZEPPLIN SONG!!!)
...Until finally, the top of the tower. The Skull Kid was still wearing the mask, holding Saria's Ocarina. Oddly enough, he was levitating. Let's stop right there for a second- the boy is possessed by a demonic force, and is levitating several feet off of the ground. All he needs now is a bed and it'll be friggin' Poltergeist all over again.
The purple fairy was lying on the ground, twitching. The Kid was shaking his covered head, yelling, "I really don't care about what'll happen, Tatl! I'm sick and tired of being forgotten by my friends! Tate, what are you staring at?"
His head swiveled to look at whatever it was the yellow fairy was peering at, now noticing the presence of a certain cursed boy-gone-girl-gone-Deku-girl. "You're too late, Hero! You only have six hours to save this land, and there's nothing you can do!! Now, I'm going to fly around in circles and taunt you until my work is complete! BWAHAAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAAA!"
So he did. He began to go clockwise around Link(a) and laugh like a maniac wannabe. It was really annoying. Like, not in the nagging sense, but more the kind that is so bad, that you had to be there to understand.
So understandably, Lina was getting pissed. This continued for some time...
4:59, 1 hour and 1 minute until impact.
'Oh dang, that moon's getting pretty big.'
That had to have been the only thought running through Lina's mind that didn't involve a curse word in over two hours. She had gotten sooooooo angered that the bubbles that she'd been taught how to use were flying out of her mouth. And she finally decided to fire them at the annoying boy.
The first aimed shot she got off hit the Skull Kid square in the face. The masked annoyance clutched his mask, as if someone had thrown boiling acid in his eyes. As his hands reached for the mask, however, he dropped Saria's Ocarina. Link decided at this point that it might be a good idea to reclaim the lost instrument.
"Malon's that nervous about her leaving?" Impa could hardly believe what Zelda, currently in disguise, was telling her.
"Yea, she said that Lina gave her a good reason leaving for a while, but Malon's so worried about her that she's actually making herself more sick!"
Through some unusual circumstance, for each day or so Link spends in Termina, maybe a half an hour or less passed in Hyrule. Don't ask why- I'm not Einstein.
"Listen, Princess, I'm going to check up on Malon-"
"I just did-"
"Then I'm going to do it AGAIN," she nearly yelled as she interrupted the interrupt, "because you aren't skilled enough in magic to heal everything yet and I still know First Aid."
She stormed off, as if Sheik had questioned her ability to help out. As the Sheikiah entered the chicken coop, her apprentice sighed. There was something... off about her surroundings. Like the fact that she could hear an owl hooting, even though it was almost noon.
'I can't believe this. She doesn't think I can take care of my best friend?' she sulked bitterly.
'I hope Malon's really okay. I'd hate for anything to happen to-'
Everything went white in the blink of an eye.
So, everything had gone white again, and Link was getting pretty tired of this shtick by now. Seriously. All she did was grab her Ocarina-
And that's when she noticed that Sheik was walking out of the white abyss, dazed and confused, as well as the purple fairy, Tatl.
That's also when Lina realized that she was still wearing a very slightly altered version of her old Kokiri tunic. 'I need a cover or something, or I'm blown. I was lucky enough to get out of the ranch without anyone seeing me in this!'
Hastily, the Deku-Lina took off her hat, grabbed the ground, and pulled it up to her neck. "Zelda? What are you doing here?"
The Princess-in-disguise turned, and saw what appeared to be a floating Deku head. She prepared to throw some knives-
"NO! WAIT!" the Bodyless Bum cried, "it's me! It's Lina."
Sheik let down her guard. "Impossible. Lina is a Hylian-"
"You live on the road with your guardian, Impa. You're a princess, and you're in the closet-"
The ninja-royalty's eyes literally expanded tenfold. "Stop! Please, don't go any further. But, how? Why? AND LINA, WHY ARE YOU A FLOATING SHRUB HEAD?!?"
"I got cursed. Could you hand me my Ocarina?"
She picked up the old tool, but stopped short of handing it over. "Only if you explain what's going on here."
One very long, very boring, and VERY unnecessary explanation later, involving rabbits with watches and crazed demonic masks, Zelda had sat down, pondering the tale that Lina had told.
"So, you're stuck in a parallel version of Hyrule, and its moon is about to kill everyone. Do I have that right?"
"No idea- you came up with that whole thing about the alternate reality drab. Now kindly just hand me that Ocarina, and I might be able to stop this."
Her left eyebrow quivered from curiosity at that last remark. "Stop this? How?"
"I have a hunch. I've heard this story about the Song of Time, and how it's got 'unusual musical properties', or something like that."
"I play the Song of Time, and I'm pretty sure that the moon will stop, and everyone will be happy- except for that Skull Kid, anyway."
Zelda was surprised that Lina even knew the song existed. 'Link probably told her about it.'
Right before she could put that plan into action, however, Tatl rose from the ground, attempting to gain her bearings. "I can't believe him! First he expects me to help blow up this place, and now he lets me get sucked into any random ol' swirling portal of probable death! I am THROUGH doing such things!"
It was at this point that the purple one noticed that Link was three feet behind her, still in her cursed body. "Look," the fairy stuttered, "I'm sorry for what my friend did to you. We've always been pranksters and all that, but he's gone mental ever since he put that mask on."
"How about this- I help you get your body back, and you help me get the mask off of him."
Lina accepted the offer, and then began to heave out the Ocarina. Instead of the familiar potato-shaped instrument she'd become accustomed to, she instead pulled out a series of pipes.
"I don't remember getting this."
Tatl butted in. "That's the Deku's famous instrument, alright. The Pipalo."
"Pipalo?" Zelda could barely contain herself. "Pipalo?"
"It's a very respectable instrument in this dimension!"
Surprisingly enough, playing the Pipalo was kind of like using the Ocarina, except for the fact that instead of using a mouth to play, she was using an oversized nose.
Despite that footnote, it took Link/a a little bit of practice to fully understand how to play. After much delay, she began trying to perform.
She got to the last note before incorrectly belting it. However, instead of nothing happening, their surroundings changed. The white that had surrounded them shifted into darkness, and another body appeared from its depths.
The woman appeared to be an Amazonian six feet, three and a half inches. Link couldn't be quite sure since her head couldn't act as an automatic tape measure, as well as the fact that the dark-skinned woman was lying on the "ground", belly facing the "sky". The most telling features of the woman, however, was the red ponytail and the near lack of clothing.
As the two ladies looked at their new scantily-clad arrival, a drop of blood trickled from Zelda's nose. "Nabooru."
Link/a knew that already, but once again, had to play the part. "Nabooru?"
Zelda began going toward the comatose Gerudo, half walking, half jogging. "Nabooru, she's Ganondorf's right-hand man... I mean, woman. I met her the day that Ganon met with my dad."
That was also the day that Link first met Zelda, and his (well, her now) quest to save Hyrule had officially begun. But that last statement was confusing- she'd been given information, conflicting information from both Nabooru and Zelda herself on when the two had first met. So what was up with that?
"She seemed nice enough," the Princess continued, "for one of Ganon's lackeys. The woman was... kind to me. We could relate to each other, even though we'd barely even met."
Again, much confusion rang out through Link's mind. 'Whenever, if I ever, get the chance to talk to those two in the future again, they're gonna need to answer a load of questions.'
Just then, a voice rang out, which would've scared Lina a little if she hadn't recognized the voice. "Help.... me....."
Zelda began walking toward the comatose body at a brisk pace. "Nabooru? Is that you?" By the time Lina had decided to start following Zelda, her Royal Highness was already by the warrior's side, staring at her face.
"What happened to you?"
The purple fairy started to speak up again when Link was halfway to joining Sheik. "Um... sorry to break up this heartfelt, dramatic reunion, but we've got bigger problems on our hands." As she said this, the darkness began to envelop Sheik and Nabooru, though they didn't seem to notice it. Also, although Lina hadn't walked since Tatl had spoken, she seemed to be moving farther and farther away from the spot where the two future Sages had been, which was now completely obstructed by a wall of blackness.
"Lina, WE'VE ONLY GOT AN HOUR UNTIL THE MOON COMES CRASHING DOWN!!!!!"
Day 3, 5:00 AM, 1 hour until impact.
The clock tower finally came back into focus, the Skull Kid now beginning to get back up from his one-way trip to the floor.
Tate began screaming something very incoherent. "The swamp... the mountain... the bay... the valley... the four who are there-"
The rest of the message was cut off by an increase in the noise level. The moon was now covered in a layer of flaming hot death. It was inching ever so closely to the Clock Tower. Tatl looked at the girl beside her in desperation.
Lina began trying to play the Pipalo once more, but this time, she succeeded in completing the song. A blue flame suddenly flared up, surrounding both the cursed Deku and the purple fairy in every direction. The Skull Kid looked into the sky, and started laughing like any two-bit madman would when their plan was about to succeed.
The intensity of the blue became more and more intense, until they could see or hear nothing but blue. Finally, the two felt as if something was pulling them backwards, but there were no chains or strings attached.
The pull continued, a humongous roar going on in the background.
Tatl thought for a moment. "The pull thingy started at 5:59. One minute from impact."
Finally, the pull lessened, and the blue became dimmer and dimmer, until Link was back in front of the Clock Tower, right where she'd been standing the first time she set foot in Termina.
Day 1, 6:00 AM, 72 hours until impact.
Things started out exactly as they had before. The mailman was making his rounds, the carpenters were readying the town for the annual Festival of Time, and a purple haired boy wearing a Keaton mask was looking at his letters.
In other words, this had to have been the worst case of deja vu ever known to man.
The twice-cursed girl then remembered that the creepy mask man was inside the Tower, the door directly behind them.
Opening the door, they found the man, playing the organ, which Link could've sworn wasn't there during the last 72 hour cycle she'd experienced.
"Did you get the mask?"
The Shrub shook it's...crud...her head. "No. But I did get this back." She revealed the Ocarina.
"So... what am I supposed to call you, Mr.-"
"Creepo," he replied. "Mr. Creepo Matthews. My brother runs the Mask Shop in Hyrule Castle Town." He looked the girl over.
"Well, I can tell now that you're in no shape to get it back. Just let me teach you a song to help cure people who suffer from curses. It's called the Song of Healing."
Lina's heart lightened a little bit. This could be the cure that she's been looking for- she could finally be a man again.
Six simple notes rang out from the organ, which the girl shrub duplicated with little difficulty. There was a loud popping noise, and Link was no longer one of the Deku. A mask, showing off the face of a content Deku, clattered to the ground.
Caught up in elated joy, Link double-checked to make sure that everything was there. Ten toes and fingers... blonde hair, still in Link's trademark hairstyle... green tunic and hat... no snout... so far so good...
Link then proceeded to thank Mr. Matthews, and rounded a corner so the man couldn't see. The Hero then proceeded to put a hand in the underwear, making sure that that was there as well-
Nope. Nothing there. He was still a she.
She didn't understand. The Song of Healing was supposed to be the cure! It was supposed to cure magical ailments-
And that's when Link/a remembered that she'd been turned into a girl by a sinister potion, not a dark spell. 'Crud.'
Nonetheless, she had another adventure on her hands. Granted, Zelda had warned her not to do anymore hero stuff until the seven-year deadline was up.
But that only applied to Hyrule. And Link was now in Termina. She smelled a loophole and decided to go for it.
"Lina, why are your hands in your pants?"
Link squealed softly as she saw Tatl hovering nearby. "Seriously, either you're the weirdest girl I've ever met, or you're really a crossdresser. Right?"
The girl shook her head repeatedly, denying the accusation. Tatl stared at her for a good thirty seconds.
"You know, fairies have remarkable powers of observation, Lina. They can also detect various types of magic."
This was odd, but kinda pointless. "One of my first friends was a fairy. I kinda figured that out."
"So there's probably a reason why your body is emitting strange energy, right? It's weird; you look like a girl, but the energy you've been giving off is a combination of a girl AND a guy. Why?"
The jig seemed to be up- this little fairy had figured her out in minutes, while two of the smartest people Link had ever known fell for her facade.
One very long, very necessary (but not necessary enough for me to skip) explanation later, as well as a three-hour walk south, the two were on the outskirts of the Southern Swamp, more commonly known as Woodfall.
"...and this Ganon guy somehow figured out that you were going to do all of this?"
"Yea. No idea how he knew, though."
During their trek through the swamp, Link made several discoveries about the mask that had appeared when she was cured, as well as Termina's residents.
First, it was no ordinary mask- it contained the power of the curse that turned her into a Deku. Putting said mask on activated the curse.
Second, being a Deku acutally had some benefits- besides shooting bubbles of transparent death, she could bounce across water, and fool other people into thinking she was a real Deku.
Third, the Deku of this world were apparently powerful enough to have their own king, smart enough to build this king a palace, but not smart enough to realize that 'King Deku' was a fairly mundane name.
And fourth, all of the water was poisoned. She did the Technicolor yawn immediately after attempting to take a drink.
The throne room was in the middle of a heated discussion- the King was PO'ed, and the monkey inside the cage was as well.
"DARN YOU! WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER? AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THE SWAMP!!!"
The monkey was desperate to explain himself, but not scared. "Your Majesty, I have no idea! She's probably at the extinct volcano, don't ask me!"
The prisoner grabbed the King with his hands for dramatic effect, and there was a collective gasp around the room. Apparently, touching the King was akin to heresy.
"TAKE YOUR PAWS OFF ME, YOU DARN, STINKIN' APE! I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU!!! THE MONKEY IS TO BE EXECUTED IN TWO DAYS, AT 6:05 AM!!!"
As the Royal Deku spoke, a tall servant with an outrageous green mustache wrote his words down. He wore a smile on his face, as if he enjoyed doing the King's bidding.
Day 1, 10:00 PM, 50 hours until impact.
Link decided to sneak into the throne room to discover more information about this kidnapping.
'It never fails,' she thought as she approached the cage, as silently as she could. 'Everywhere I go, there's been a princess kidnapped, or some crazy guy is trying to take over the world. What gives?'
It's actually called Fate, and as Fate would have it, it just liked having fun with the guy-gone-gal.
The monkey finally noticed that he had a visitor. "Who are you?"
"What do you know about the Princess's kidnapping?"
The monkey shuddered, whispering, "I told them everything. I saw you there when I confessed!"
"But did you do it?"
Silence. Then- "No. I was nervous. I say stupid things when I get nervous. But I did forget to tell them something."
Link leaned in for the scoop- "I wasn't lying when I said that she could be at the extinct volcano. There was this giant swordsman, and I saw it carrying her away right before I got blamed for this whole mess!"
Day 2, 5:00 AM, 42 hours until impact.
The monkey hadn't been lying- there had been something amiss atop the nearby volcano. There was a great shire floating atop a pool of poisoned water, with a familiar witch duo in front of it, relaxing for a brief moment.
Kotake and Koume.
As it turned out, however, these two were the Termina versions of the duo that Link fought so long ago, but in the future. They merely said that they were resting before flying off to hunt for some mushrooms.
Inside this temple was a swordsman so tall, the Hulk would've been a midget. His sword made the Kokiri blade that Link possessed look like a butterknife. His mask was covered in tribal designs that Lina could not identify. While the man was pouring what appeared to be poison into the waters, Tatl was frantically trying to figure out the best plan of attack.
Suddenly, a voice rang out, in a similar tone to that guy who screams, 'Mortal Kombat.' "BOSS FIGHT!!!!"
Link knew that distance would've been her best bet, but she didn't have her bow with her. The B.A.M.F began running after Lina, which she, in turn, decided to run away- not because she was scared, but that she needed a plan.
Tatl looked up to the skies. "We need some kind of plot device here!!!!"
As if on cue, the Fairy Bow that Link had won in the Forest Temple, the same bow that Link left at home, appeared three steps in front of the hero. Link grabbed in, turned around, and took aim.
The B.A.M.F was twenty feet behind and gaining swiftly. Lina took aim, fired-
The arrow flew true, hitting the B.A.M.F in the mask, through the slot where his right eye would've been. He doubled over in pain, and died. What was odd about the situation was that he shrank into another mask, which disappeared as soon as Link picked it up.
"Well," Tatl commented, "that was anti-climactic. I guess the bigger you are-"
"Please, I'm not in the mood for cheesy one-liners."
It had happened again. Link/a's surroundings had disappeared, revealing a giant of some sort. While the whole 'sudden change of surroundings' thing had been tiring to Lina, she listened and replayed the six notes that the Giant bellowed.
After succeeding, the Giant began walking away. "Well," Link noticed as the temple reappeared, "that was weird. Heck, this whole adventure is like an acid trip."
Tatl began to ramble at this point. "That was one of the Giants from the Festival of Time, Link. The story goes, that a long, long time ago, in a...."
Day 3, 11:00 PM, 7 hours until impact.
"...And that's the story."
Link shot himself into consciousness and started clapping. "Bravo, brilliant, yes, but is that even relevant?"
She could've sworn that that little 'anger' vein popped up on the purple pixie. "YES! This is what Tate was trying to tell us! If we can save all four Giants during one cycle, then we might be able to stop the destruction of Termina."
Link nearly fell asleep again, but stopped at the final moment. "I think it's about time to turn back the clock."
Day 1, 6:00 AM, 72 hours until impact.
As time flew them by, Tatl explained the mechanics of going backwards into time.
"Basically, no one will remember you. Nothing that you did last cycle will carry over into this one, except for the masks you've got, those handy tools, and the horse that my friend procured."
"You mean, stole, right?"
"Right, what I said."
As the blue faded, the deja vu worsened. The mailman was delivering the same letters as before, the carpenters were readying the town for the annual Festival of Time, and a purple haired boy wearing a Keaton mask was looking at his letters, again.
But there was something different from last time. As Link decided to travel north into the mountains, she noticed a certain bird from her last adventure land five feet in front of her.
It was the Kaepora Gaebora. "I guess I have some explaining to do."