I awoke in a pool of my own sweat. Huffing and puffing, I pulled my trembling hands to my face, hiding it in them. I tried to get a grip on reality and tell myself that it was all a bad dream. But it just wouldn’t stop. It kept invading my subconscious, startling me further and further away from the dark room I was actually in.
After a few minutes I finally calmed. I lifted my tear stained head from my hands and observed the room around me. It was one of Hyrule Castles’ higher class rooms. The bed I slept on was well made and soft, very soft. When I lay on it I sunk straight down, almost hitting the floor. Directly opposite me was a white, regal dressing table with three draws. Next to it, diagonally against the corner, was a tall wardrobe of the same design. I looked to my left, out the window, the moonlight streaming through it, and my face instantly scrunched up.
I ran to the window and reached for the curtains to pull them shut but fear gripped me as I looked up to the moon. It was particularly large in the sky tonight; you could almost count how many craters there where on its surface, if only it turned around for you to glimpse the others. But I didn’t want to think of what else would be waiting to be seen on the other side. Then suddenly, the moon began molding, changing, bulging as if something was inside it, trying to escape. Then it appeared.
Bright yellow and orange eyes with pure black pupils stared down at me. A large, evil grin of giant, decaying teeth stretched across horizontally, larger, larger, until dark, pale red gums were visible. The teeth began glowing, and its eyes glowed even stronger, as the moon began to lose its pale whiteness, decaying and browning.
That moon kept staring at me with pure malaise and rage. “CONSUME…COMSUME EVERYTHING!” It yelled with anger. It was getting larger and larger and I knew that there was no time left. The Song of Time had lost it power and there was definitely no time in which I could rush to pick it up, let alone start playing the song itself, the same song I had used in a real situation in order to turn back time by three days and stop this from happening, to stop the moon from falling.
I eventually snapped out of my illusion to find that there was no moon at all in the sky. Not that I could even see the sky as I was on the ground with my back to the wall underneath the window sill. My hands were clamped to my ears and I heard a scream. A loud, piercing scream from a boy, a boy who had faced terrors that should have been much too troubling for the young ten year old to deal with. It was my scream.
I froze. If I stood it would see me again and all though I was well aware that I had dreamt the whole thing up I knew I didn’t have the energy to stand at all. I gave in and decided that I would just sleep here but I barely got to close my eyes before the door on the opposite wall to my position launched open and slammed to the wall.
A young girl, of sixteen years, walked in and rushed to my side without hesitation. Her warm arms wrapped around my neck and she pulled me into her soft embrace. I hid my face into the crook of her bear neck and fell silent, my shaky arms clasping around her waist.
We remained like this for an unknown amount of time but however long it was it was both too late and early to be ending the embrace. I wanted to be in her arms because I felt safe there but I also felt safe staring upon her face.
It was well sculpted, her lips were always on the line between pink and pure red, even without makeup. Her nose was small and rounded at the end. Her cheeks were the palest of red and her long, Hylian ears pointed perfectly towards the back of her head, holding back a seemingly never ending stream of golden hair. And her eyes were of course the best part. The big, dark blue orbs were observant and it seemed as if there was nothing she couldn’t see, filled with an infinite amount of wisdom of all things.
I snapped out of my thoughts as I felt her petite hand run up and down my back, the other was brushing tears from my eyes, tears I thought to be long gone before I realized that it had only been a minute since I had woken up. “There, there.” She said, or rather sung. It was hard to be tense around a girl with that kind of voice but then again she could make the strongest of men tremble when she grew angry or even slightly peeved.
Luckily this was not a moment in which she seemed to be the slightest bit irritated, even though I had surely interrupted her sleep. Her voice soothed me to the point I could sleep happily right then and there forever, without the smallest regret. But the terror of what I dreamed returned and I knew that I wouldn’t be sleeping happily at all for the rest of the night. Unless…
“Z-Zelda.” I tried to speak properly but when I began saying her name I trembled once more and quickly broke out into a fit of sobs.
She pulled me back into that comfortable embrace, my sobs shaking our bodies every now and then. “Shh, everything is ok.” I listened to her talk and began to calm but it wasn’t quite enough.
“C-can…you s-sing…p-please.” I managed between sobs.
I felt her head bob and she began humming, smoothly, softly. She sung that beautiful lullaby by her own name, the lullaby I had used many times on my first quest in order to prove my connection to the royal family. It was also a song I had been hearing a lot lately, and even from the same source as I am right now. I wasn’t doing well with nightmares but then again I never did. They used to be easy to deal but now, after Termina, things were getting harder.
After a few minutes more she ended the song and we fell into a comfortable silence. “Thank you.” I said to her as I lifted my head from its admittedly rightful place on her neck. I smiled to try and assured her that I was fine but I’m sure she didn’t fall for it. I even doubted I looked convincing at all.
“Link...” She began but stopped short. She looked like there was something she wanted to tell me or rather something she wanted to ask me but slightly afraid of finding out the answer. But she came to a decision and put soft determination on her face. “Please, tell me what is troubling you.”
A shocked expression took my face and my heart dropped a little. I had never told anyone in Hyrule, no, in the entire world, including Termina itself, what I had done and seen there. I dropped my head to look at the floor between my legs; Zelda was occupying some of the space there with her knees under her. She was wearing a pale blue, laced night dress. “If you do not wish to, then I understand.” She spoke quietly.
I looked up again. Taking in the disappointed looked on her face. I wanted to tell her everything in that moment but I knew that I couldn’t, I couldn’t bring myself to voice those words aloud. But then again, maybe now just wasn’t the right time. “I will one day Your Highness. But now is not the time.” My eyes wandered back down to the floor when I spoke and I was worried that she would persist and urge me to talk.
But no such words came and I returned her gaze. She was smiling her small, warm smile and her eyes were full of understanding and it was clear that she did not in fact even think about pushing the case any further. “Very well.” She spoke and then rose to her feet, extending an arm down to try and help me.
I took her hand with one of mine and used my other hand to lift myself up using the wall. “Thank you. I’m sorry for waking you.” I said when I was finally on my slightly weak feet. I concluded that I was just tired but I could just as easily still be under the effects of the nightmare and illusion I just suffered through.
“Make no mention of it. To be honest I was awake all night worried about you.” She said almost nonchalantly.
“You…you were awake this whole time?” I replied in a stutter.
Zelda nodded her head and if it wasn’t for the moonlight hitting her beautiful face I would have missed her blush. She must have felt her face heat up slightly because she turned away when I noticed. “So, I will be leaving now.”
I’m not entirely sure why but when she spoke those words my heart fell further than it ever has before. I reached out and grabbed her wrist, probably a lot harder than I intended and I instantly loosened my grip without letting go entirely. “Wait…” Then I froze. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t even know how to act in this situation. Why did I want her to stay? And then I realized that it didn’t matter why. I knew I wanted her to stay and I was going to get her to do so, even all night if I wanted.
My face heated up and I looked down at the floor. So much for acting demanding. “C-can you stay…with me…tonight?” I managed to stutter. It became apparent that I was acting like a little boy, which was odd because a lot of the people who I had met on my journeys always told me that I was extremely mature for my age, and stood up to every ‘bad thing’ that came my way. And now that I was seventeen, like I became when I first pulled the master sword from the pedestal of time all those years ago, it was a lot weirder for me to be acting like this, like the little boy I had been when I was still living in the forest, untouched by the outside world.
I managed to look up just in time to see her smile, a light fire in her eyes. “If that is your desire.” She stated, nodding her beautiful head.
I then froze for a moment before moving back to the bed. Pulling back the covers I crawled in and sat up, watching as Zelda moved towards the bed to follow my lead on the other side. When she was in and had her head on the pillow I pulled the covers back over us and lay down beside her. I wasn’t sure how far away we were from each other in there but personally I think we were too far apart.
Zelda had rolled over on her side to look at me. When I met her gaze, turning my head while still lying on my back, she smiled. I returned the smile and simply said, “Thank you”, before turning my head back to the ceiling and closing my eyes.
But I didn’t sleep; at least I don’t think I did. In the past I had lost sleep due to the nightmares and daydreams but this time there was another reason for my absence of sleep. Wanting Zelda to rest I decided to just lay there and slow my breathing to give the illusion of sleep. After a few moments however I was slightly startled by the sound of fabric moving against fabric and a strong and comfortable warmth moving closer and closer to me from my right. Before I could move to see what was happening I felt a hand over my chest, right where my heart was, and a long cloud of pure warmth hit my entire right side. I finally turned to see Princess Zelda cuddling up to me.
I began sweating. What if someone comes in and sees this, I thought, it doesn’t matter if I’m a hero, I could get into serious trouble for this. With that thought in my head I tried moving slowly and quietly to my left in order to escape the young princess’ grasp. But, in her sleepy state, she kept up persistence and continuously moved to hold her…‘teddy bear’. With her reaching further and further over me until her hand was clasped to my shoulder and I was no longer able to move. Both because I was being held there and I was at the edge of the bed.
I finally gave up and let exhaustion grip, much like the princess was right now. And then I fell asleep to a dream, a strange dream that had two faces colliding into each other. One was the face of an evil creature, with bright yellow eyes and a devilish grin. The other was of a girl with beautiful blue eyes and a face of pure joy. These two faces were doing nothing but crashing into each, creating some sort of make-shift war in my mind. And luckily for me, the more girlish of those two faces, seemed to be winning.
I couldn’t sleep. In fact I couldn’t do anything in fear that I would get caught up in something else. What if he needed me while I was busy? I would be forced to sit back and let him suffer, and I defiantly didn’t want that.
Link had been having a lot of nightmares and horrid day dreams since he arrived back home to Hyrule two years ago. However, although he had told me why he left three years ago, he has yet to tell me what he had experienced while gone. What he did, who he met, where he went? These were all questions that, even for two years since we’ve spent time with each other, almost no-stop, he hasn’t uttered a single word to me about any of it.
This was especially strange given that after his quest in Hyrule, which was six years ago at this point, he had told me story after story about what he had been doing. The boy, or rather young man, has become a sought of enigma.
Since sleeping was out of the question I rose from my bed and began pacing the room. Shoulders back and head high as If I were walking in public and not contemplating a life changing situation. I began thinking back to Link’s dreams. He has told me little to nothing about them but what I can gather is that they were terrorizing the poor boy. He didn’t seem to have any trouble with this after he had saved Hyrule but now that he returned from where ever he went he had been on guard for these terrorizing visions.
At first, they weren’t bad. The first one came at night about half a year after he returned. I remember that night almost like it was yesterday, the poor boy just wouldn’t fall back to sleep and he spent the entirety of the next day with horrible bags under his eyes. And ever since they had become more frequent. It wasn’t long before I was on guard with him, waiting for the time he would collapse and I would be there for him…holding him in my arms.
Holding him felt so nice. Even if he wasn’t having the best time at first, by the end of it he would have calmed down and we seemed to be cuddling just for the sake of it. There were little things about it that were enjoyable too, not just having his warm body close to mine. It was cute when his hold tightened whenever he was afraid the vision was coming back. And I enjoyed running my fingers through his messy, bright brown hair.
I heard a thud against the wall my bed had been placed against and I sprung into action before stopping just before the door. I had moved Link’s bedroom directly next to mine because of the nightmares. I just couldn’t help but worry about him every night and it was horrible to find him some mornings in a sleep deprived state. So upon my fifteenth birthday I decreed that his bedroom be next to mine in the tower. Even if it was against royal rules and my father took some time to persuade he had finally been allowed to sleep there. Now he was always on the other side of my wall every night.
I was listening intently, waiting for a scream or maybe a loud groan but nothing came. Maybe he was just adjusting his position in his sleep. Or maybe he couldn’t get to sleep. Maybe, after all this time, he had managed to suppress his blood curdling scream and was simply huddled under the covers of his bed at this moment. That thought alone moved me to the door once more and I swung it open.
A loud scream resonated from the room to my left when I had flung the door open. I rushed over and threw Link’s door open to see his bed empty and messed. I surveyed the room quickly and my eyes finally fell on a bundle of green below the large window sill on the opposite wall. (Authors Note: As shown at the beginning of Ocarina of Time, Link sleeps in his tunic)
With the image presented to me I instantly rushed to Link and wrapped my arms around his warm body. His head fell into my neck and his arms slowly wrapped around my waist, clasping his hands together shakily.
After a few moments of just holding him he seemed to calm down just like that, but he was stiff and showed no sign of wanting to move. I pulled him away a little bit so I could look into his eyes. They were definitely not the kind of eyes you should see on a seventeen year old. At this point, young men were just gearing up for adult hood, looking forward to getting to see the world and if they join up to the royal guard that’s when you’d expect some people to start seeing some unwanted sights. But Link already had those eyes, since he was only ten.
Taking myself away from my thoughts I noticed how red his face was. Not only that but his face was covered in a mixture of tears and sweat and I moved my hand to his face to try and wipe some of it away, my other hand rubbing his back slowly and smoothly.
His mind seemed to be elsewhere at the moment and in an effort to draw him back to reality I spoke. “There, there.” Was all I said, even though there was a lot more I wanted to both tell him and ask him. The words, however, seemed to tear him from his thoughts all too well.
“Z-Zelda.” He began saying my name in a strained voice before breaking out into a new fit of sobs. I pulled him back into our previous embrace and his sobs began shaking our bodies in unison.
“Shh, everything is ok.” I whispered smoothly into his ear, my hand continuously rubbing his back. He seemed to calm at my words and I was going to say more before he spoke up.
“C-can…you s-sing…p-please.” His words were broken up by the sobs and his voice was barely understandable. But in some odd way I knew exactly what he was saying. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I did this for him most nights when he was troubled.
I began humming Zelda’s Lullaby, my lullaby. This beautiful song was always sung to me when I was a child by my nurse maid Impa. She was like a mother to me and raised me like one since my mother died when I was young.
I quickly realized that this was not the time to be thinking that way. I put all my energy into the song and Link himself. As the song went on his body began to shake less and less and his sobs were becoming less frequent.
I finished the song only when he seemed to be completely still, like he was asleep. “Thank you.” He muttered as he lifted his head from its comfortable position on my shoulder. When he looked at me he put on a smile to assure me that he was ok but I saw right through him. His bright blues eyes were pained still and even his smile was faltering.
“Link…” I began talking but halted my words to think for a moment. I now see this as an opportunity to ask and find out what it is that’s troubling him to no end. Then again I was afraid of what he might say. Not that he might say something that would give me nightmares but rather I was afraid of how he would react. Would he get angry at me, would he just collapse and break into sobs again? Either situation didn’t sit well for me but then I had another thought.
Maybe I was being a bit selfish. Even if I must take a hit to find out what ails Link, my best friend, my only friend, then that is fine. At least I would be able to help him. I looked him straight in the eyes with a soft expression on my face and just asked. “Please, tell me what is troubling you.”
He looked shocked at first, very shocked. I started regretting asking the question and wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to. Then I remembered other moments in which I had asked him this question. Most of the time I barely got a reaction from him and he would either shrug it off or just pretend I never even asked. This time, I got a reaction. His head dropped and his face scrunched up in thought. Was he actually thinking about how to answer? Finally I was getting somewhere but then my previous argument returned to me and I decided to be cautious.
Partly because I didn’t want to force him into anything, and partly because I didn’t want him to forget that I was here I spoke up once more. “If you do not wish to, then I understand.” I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when I was met with a blank stare from Link.
“I will one day Your Highness. But now is not the time.” Link said, his eyes moving back to the floor. Was he afraid that I would not take ‘no’ for an answer?
After a few seconds he moved his head back up to me and I smiled back at him. “Very well.” I stated. Now I knew that I would find out soon, maybe very soon. I stood up and offered my hand down to him. While Link took my hand in his he didn’t need it and used the wall with his other hand to pull himself up for the most part.
“Thank you. I’m sorry for waking you.” He said, looking down once more. He seemed to be afraid that I would get angry at him.
“Make no mention of it. To be honest I was awake all night worried about you.” I spoke quickly and oddly smoothly even though I didn’t like how the words sounded after they were out. The last thing Link needs is to worry about me being sleep deprived.
“You…you were awake this whole time?” he replied in a loud stutter.
I nodded my head simply but then I began blushing and quickly moved to hide my face from the moonlight so Link could not see. It sounded so funny, I was awake this whole time in the room next to his and it wasn’t very hard to hear what he was doing.
I knew that I needed an escape and decided to leave, with Link calmed like this there was no real reason for me to be here, and Link needed to sleep. “So, I will be leaving now.”
As I began moving towards the door, turning my back to him, I felt something warm wrap around my wrist and it started to pull me back. The grip was slightly painful at first but Link must have noticed this too and his fingers loosened slightly. “Wait…” he began, but that was all that came out of his mouth. What was going through his mind right now? Did he want me to stay? Oh goddesses if he did. Even though I would be fine with it I couldn’t say the same for the other people in the castle especially my father. The man would throw a royal fit even if Link just so happened to have saved me when Ganandorf attacked.
Link’s face began to blush slightly but he went with what he was saying despite it. “C-can you stay…with me...tonight.” he finally said. With how weak and cute he was being right now there was no way I would be able to say no. He needed me right now and I was more than happy to oblige. What was father going to do anyway?
I smiled as he looked back up to me, staring hopefully into my eyes. “If that is your desire.” I spoke with controlled glee. I was actually kind of excited to be sleeping by his side tonight and I had no idea why.
We stood in the middle of the room in silence for a moment but Link finally moved to the bed and I followed his lead. On the left side Link lifted the sheets and climbed in as I entered the bed from the right side. He pulled the covers over us and I lay on my side facing him, a respectful distance away.
“Thank you.” He said before turning his gaze to the ceiling and closing his eyes to sleep. I, however, decided to keep a close watch on him in case he needed me. After a few moments passed it seemed as if he had fallen asleep just fine. Letting exhaustion claim me I fell asleep, and that was that. Or so I thought.