UPDATED Feb 1st 2011
I really added a lot of depth to this.
How dry this chapter was before shames me...
Edit: Small changes done Feb 15th 2011
Things to know
-This story directly follows Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. In part two (chapters 16-30) the fanfic goes into how OoT/MM would tie into Twilight Princess. Knowledge of these stories is recommended with OoT being the most important to know.
-Rated PG-13 for violence, intense moments, and minor swearing (*contains no guts-n-gore, and no torture. Also has no yaoi or sexual content.)
The light hearted/humor vs dark/angst balance and level of violence/intensity is comparable to the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.
-This starts off as a "slice of life" story for the first two chapters, but trust me plenty of action and intense moments lie ahead.
-I worked very hard to make all this fit into the games and to create a sense of history for aspects that were left unexplained. I have played these three games in excess of five times each so I put a lot of thought and heart into this.
The Legend of Zelda
The Winged Ones
Chapter 1: A New Life
Many a year has passed since the Master Sword was laid to rest and the gates to the Sacred Realm were sealed. A lifetime was lived, and then forgotten, as the evil of the Dark King was locked away by those chosen by destiny and a brighter future was restored to the land.
With these tasks complete Link was able to live those years he lost sealed in the sacred realm and fighting as The Hero of Time. The future he experienced long ago is a future only known to and remembered by those who were involved in the fate of Hyrule. Link, Zelda and the Sages, only they can recall The Future That Almost Was.
With peace restored to the world, and a new future upon the land, Link was given the chance to live out his childhood in peace, but his life had been forever changed. Link tried to enjoy the childhood that had been returned to him, but he had been an adult, a warrior, he had seen much hardship and he carried this hardship with him; Link had long since lost the innocence of a child.
At first Link returned to his old home and lived with the Kokiri for a while. However this did not last long. Link never felt like he belonged there, and Mido never gave Link a chance to feel as if he belonged…and now, with Saria hardly around due to her new Sage duties, Mido was more relentless than ever.
The self-proclaimed Kokiri leader's taunting hurt Link deeper than before; Link wasn't just the boy born without a fairy, he was the boy who found one and lost it.
Mido's words tormented Link for he dearly missed his constant companion. Despite the fact she was at times annoying the little fairy was his closest friend and she was the only one who had shared the hardships he faced.
Furthermore, the other Kokiri, as usual, seemed to hardly know Link even existed. Their cold shoulders stung almost as much as Mido's taunting. Link felt too out of place in the Kokiri forest, having seen so much of the outside world and its hardships Link felt as if his presence destroyed the innocence of the land which held the eternal children of the forest...But the young hero had another reason to leave… he wanted to find his dear friend who had vanished without a word or a trace when peace was restored to the land.
Link did go in search for her; and in the process ended up in a very unfamiliar place. He had stumbled upon a passage to this other world by accident while searching the Lost Woods. In this new land Link became an unsung and forgotten hero once again. He was not gone from Hyrule for long, not much longer than three days, but to our hero this journey felt more like lifetime as he faced each day with sickening deja vu. His days repeating, reliving the dangers of the world, reliving the sorrow of others and sharing their anguish over the world's end, an end which Link fought to prevent.
In this land Link experienced the end of the world time and time again. Healing lost and broken souls and taking on their forms so he could restore peace to the loved ones they left behind.
And in the end he had returned empty handed, aside from the masks he had obtained during this quest in another land.
He returned with an even greater emptiness in his heart as he left new friends behind and carried with him the memories of this land filled with death…a land that would surely soon forget him.
In the end, the masks remained as the only proof he was ever in the land of Termina.
When Link returned to Hyrule he built a lean-to outside Lon Lon Ranch. He had hoped to stay with Malon, to live in the barn and take on the role of a stable hand, but the weary hero found that she had made a new friend in his absence, a boy, the young lad who in the future that almost was became the potion shop keeper Kakariko village.
The sense of belonging Link once felt at the ranch, the place where he used to seek shelter and sleep alongside Epona in the future that almost was, the feeling of sanctuary he used to have in the barn had vanished.
He could see the ranch girl's new friendship was already stronger than what meager relationship Link ever had with Malon; a relationship that was lost in a future that only the likes of Link were forced to remember. Not knowing where to go he just set up camp at the back of the ranch out of sight, and he continued to live there with Epona until Zelda found out, informed by the jogging man who ran around all of Hyrule seeking rabbits.
Zelda disapproved of the fact that Link was living alone, and so she came out in person to invite him to live in the castle. She became even more upset when she saw how poorly his lifestyle had become. The shanty that the boy was calling home was not fit for an animal let alone for her hero and his unkempt and woe some appearance troubled her deeply. His expression was listless, eyes tired. The boy's clothes were torn and dirty, his body covered in scars with a fresh wound on his arm.
She had not seen him for almost a year and this is not the sight she had expected to see.
Zelda was persistent and Link eventually agreed to go with her; though hesitantly. As she reached down to take the boy's hand that day, he accepted her grasp with a cold look in his eyes. The young hero planned to stay only until he got what he needed to build a cabin in the group of trees between the entrance to the Kokiri forest and Lake Hylia. Link wanted to build his own little sanctuary where he could be alone, with a lock on the door to keep everyone from meddling in his life, like Zelda was doing just now.
But Link's re-homing plan never came to be and instead he lived in the castle for quite some time as days turned into weeks, awkwardly adapting to palace life and to his growing friendship with the Princess Zelda.
The young Princess surprised Link with how outgoing she was. She was quite the troublemaker and tomboy; she enjoyed things like frogs and mud just as much as he did. Zelda often left her dress behind and donned clothing she had made in Impa's image much to the King's discontent; though Impa just ignored his grumbling and let her do as she pleased. The Sheikah knew that it was her act of allowing Zelda to be herself that helped the Princess to develop the strong will and determination that helped her survive the destiny she faced in the future that almost was.
Zelda would also often insist Link accompany her in her many secret escapes from the castle to explore the world outside. The young hero went along with her halfheartedly at first; not understanding why she even cared to go on adventures having seen all there is to see in the now forgotten future they once shared.
Link was somewhat envious of the Princess, she remembered the future that almost was but she did not let that get to her. Zelda's behavior showed that she was in a sense stronger than Link for she had managed to let go of the harsh past she had gained in the future that almost was and had allowed herself to enjoy being a kid again.
But after a while the young hero grew fond of the time he spent with Zelda and even began to instigate their games and adventures. Link's smile returned, he began to enjoy the small and simple things he used to do before fate threw so much responsibility on his shoulders. The boy taunted cuccos and chased bugs again with the pure and simple joy he once had.
Zelda's outgoing nature, her seemingly restored innocence, and her child like kindness had actually helped Link heal. Our once weary hero found an inner sense of peace growing within him in the company of the Princess and he was grateful that she had reached out to him.
Had she not come to him that day and insisted Link come to stay in the castle… the young hero may have further introverted into his own feelings of hurt and loneliness, and his kind and gentle soul may have been overshadowed and lost.
The King at first was apprehensive about having what appeared to be a feral child in his castle, but soon Zelda's father took quite a liking to Link, especially when Impa clarified just who the boy was. The King may not have experienced Link's heroics in The Future That Almost Was, but he had trusted the Sage's stories of the boy and how he restored a brighter future for the land of Hyrule.
In the absence of a proper prince the King figured Link was perfect. And so, a little over a year after Zelda brought Link home with her, the boy's destiny changed yet again. Zelda was acting far too gleeful, and the King seemed to smile at the boy more than normal, poor Link was overall just confused by their behavior; that is until the King announced to all of Hyrule that he had chosen a fiancée for the Princess.
Being only thirteen at the time the news of being betrothed to the Princess was an awkward shock, and he was tempted to run away. Link was not sure he wanted this, after all the responsibility he had as a hero he was not sure he could handle being a king. Yes Zelda and Link had grown to be close friend and deep down he wanted their friendship to last forever and always, but taking on the role of King, just the thought alone was almost more than the boy could handle.
In the end the young hero decided that what Zelda had done for him was worth too much for him to just vanish never to be seen again. And so Link chose to accept the future that had been handed to him and decided not to let the news change his relationship with the princess.
Things stayed the same as they were before the engagement, they remained as childhood friends and Zelda's strong will and wisdom further nurtured Link's battle weary soul back to its former self as Link's sense of peace and happiness grew as strong as his intense sense of courage.
And gradually, over time, their relationship evolved past that of just playmates. The bond that had grown between them that day when Zelda reached out to the lonesome boy only blossomed with age and Link found himself unable to even think about not being at the Princess's side.
At the age of eighteen Link took on the status of a Prince with Zelda as his bride. The entire kingdom celebrated that day. Link and Zelda stood newlywed atop the steps to the Temple of Time, a place that once marked a very different turn of events for them in a future that almost was.
Link's face was lit with a huge but awkward smile as he blushed, this experience was new to him and the future that awaited him was the complete opposite of the life he had before. In the future that almost was Link was an obscure and unsung hero facing danger on a daily basis. In in this forgotten timeline Link was forced to live a rugged life where he was lucky to have, and often went without the bare necessities…In Link's past life he faced a dark and challenging future.
Now Link stood dressed in a fancy white tunic adorned in gold, hand in hand alongside Zelda in her splendid gown. Their faces shone with the happiness of the bright future they had restored to the land, a new future they now shared.
The attention of the entire kingdom was on Link and his bride. In this timeline the world that stood before Link was aglow with peace and harmony. In his new life everything Link could ever need in would be at his fingertips, and this time the future that lay before him was bright.
All of Hyrule rejoiced as the new Prince and the Princess made their way down the Temple steps and the sages beamed with joy. For who was better for the Princess than The Boy of legend?
A little over a year later Link took on the role of King with much support from the royal family.
The king had prepared many mentors and had set many stepping stones in place for Link to follow upon his passing so that the lad could be eased into his role as King slowly. The King knew he had made a grand choice in appointing Link as his heir, he was confident that Link would grow into a just and gentle King.
And so the old King's legacy ended with a smile as his last thoughts drifted to what grand future Hyrule would have in the hands of such courageous and gentle soul.
About a year later Link had fully settled into his role as King of Hyrule. But now the former Hero and present King started yet another lifelong commitment. A task which proved to be the one thing that surpassed and outshined Link's skill and enjoyment as a hero; Fatherhood.
And so Link's next adventure begins.