Categories > Games > Zelda

The Weight of Secrets

by BeccaStareyes 1 review

[OoT] After the creature in the Kakariko Well, breaks out, Sheik spends longer than intended with Link. And, with conversations turning to things other than business, Sheik starts to feel regret. (...

Category: Zelda - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Romance - Characters: Link,Sheik - Warnings: [!!!] [?] - Published: 2009-08-01 - Updated: 2009-08-01 - 3252 words - Complete

Things of Note

Link/his-memories-of-Zelda and Zelda-as-Sheik/Link. Ocarina of Time spoilers, prompt was 'Link/Sheik: confessions - "well, my mother really wanted a girl, you see"' at areyougame @ Insanejournal. An AU take on a scene in the Ocarina of Time game, featuring the creature in the well busting out. Decidedly divergent from manga canon.


The townsfolk were already starting to organize a bucket chain from the Zora River to put out the fires. They didn't trust the well and I didn't begrudge them that. Even the sealed evil would have attracted lesser monsters, and who knew what lurked beneath there. I stole a glance to the burning buildings, but the central square still looked clear of fire, and, between the villagers and the rain, I doubted it would get out of hand.

Seeing that I wouldn't have to move him, I knelt down to examine Link, wincing as I realized my leg had been hit worse than I thought. I placed my right hand to the leg, praying to the Goddesses it would hold. A fireman's carry would be out of the question if I couldn't trust my legs, so I settled for removing Link's shield and grabbing him by the shoulders. Dragging him along the ground wouldn't be good for him, but if the fire got any closer, it was a risk I'd have to take. Link had shown himself to recover quickly -- probably a side effect of having a piece of the Triforce within him, especially Courage.

The fairy Navi flew up into my face from where she had been hiding. Taken shelter under Link's hat, most probably. "I'm trying to find somewhere safe for him to be," I told her. I assumed she understood me, even if she couldn't answer. I've never heard of the fairies speaking to someone other than the forest folk, and Link, if not a Kokiri himself, had grown up in the forest. It was close enough, and he was the Hero of Time.

She must have understood, since she flew over towards the south of the town, towards some buildings where the fires had quickly been extinguished and the glow that surrounded her changed color. Perhaps to get my attention -- she was darting up and down rapidly as well. "I see you," I called back. "Thank you."

Dragging an unconscious Link over towards the stairs that lead away from the central square was not going to be enjoyable for him or me. I had managed to make it halfway before a villager noticed me. "Hey, boy," he said. "Let me help you."

I looked up, recognizing the villager as Milo, a veteran from the Hylian Guard who had retired to the village to raise his family. I nodded, giving him a smile he couldn't see from the way I had covered my face. "Thank you. Could you take his legs?"

He nodded and we managed to get Link back to his place. Sofi, Milo's wife took a look at me, her husband and Link, Navi hovering protectively over him like a very small mother Cucco, and made a clucking sound with her tongue. "What is this world coming to?" she said. "I do hope Lady Impa gets things under control. Have you seen her?"

I nodded. "She is looking into the matter, trying to reseal the evil. Once Link awakens, he'll be going to help her." Granted, Link didn't know this yet, as the monster had struck before I could explain things. On the other hand, given what I knew about him, he was about as likely to not go help as to turn the medallions he carried from the four awakened sages over to Gannondorf willingly.

Sofi crossed her arms. "Not until morning, young man. Both of you need to dry off and get some food into you. Even if it's the end of the world, there's no sense facing it with a cold and an empty stomach."

I glanced to Milo, who shrugged and said, "you may be Lady Impa's apprentice, and the young man might be the best swordsman ever, but I think you better go along with this, boy." I looked at Navi, who was still hovering over Link, but seemed unconcerned. That meant that Link was probably not injured. I bent down close to her. "Do you think he'll wake up soon?"

A side to side motion, which I assume was a 'no' -- making out Navi's body, let along her head, was difficult given how bright she was glowing. "Very well." I took a step back, and focused on the runes used to call on Din's power. I had scaled the spell back to just enough to drive the water out of out clothing in large gouts of steam. I noticed Sofi had turned her back and there was a blanket in her hand. She looked a bit put out. "Well, I'm going to make some soup and tea for you all, while Milomakes sure the fire's out and no one is dying outside. Unless you're going to use your Sheikah magic to conjure us dinner as well?"

I shook my head. "No, ma'am. I'll just help Link to bed, then."


The soup -- more of a stew -- helped, as did the tea. The old couple had offered us the loft and I had set Link up on the pallet up there, leaving his boots and equipment against the wall. In case of trouble.

Navi watched me as I worked. "I'm not going to take anything," I told her. She had no comment. As I touched the Master Sword, I felt the back of my hand heat up -- the Sword clearly did not like being handled by someone who was not the Hero of Time. Considering the first time Link had touched it, it had sealed him into the Sacred Realm until he was able to wield it, I wasn't sure what it would do to me, even with the Triforce piece to protect me. I carefully unbuckled the belt, leaving the sword as close to Link as I could.

Link didn't even stir during this whole process, and I decided it was safe enough to slip out of my own armor and check it for damage. Keeping my head covered would keep the disguise up enough that Navi shouldn't pay me any mind. The armor's shape disguised the wearer, but it wasn't magic. The tunic and leggings I wore under it would suffice.

The room candle and Navi's light as she kept vigil over Link gave me enough light to work as I cared for my armor. I had spent a lot of time in wild places these past seven years and Impa had strongly imprinted on me to make sure my equipment was well cared-for. Occasionally, I would steal glances over to Link as he slept. I wondered if I should run over to the apothecary for a potion. I couldn't find anything broken, and his breathing was even. It may have been that whatever hit him had drained him in other than physical ways. Navi would be my best indication then. But she didn't seem too concerned.

"You've been through a lot lately, haven't you?" I spoke aloud to the sleeping Link, without really meaning to. From her wings, I could tell Navi had turned towards me. "Forest, Fire, Water... I wish I could tell you this would get easier as it goes." Six months ago -- six months ago as he saw it, for all that it really was seven years -- Link was a ten-year-old child of the forest who I can't imagine thought much of the lands outside the borders. Now he was the Hero of Time that I had seen seeds of in my visions. The future is never certain, but he had become the figure I had sensed so long ago, in another life.

I went back to oiling the leather of the armor, and almost didn't hear it when Link shifted position and his breathing changed. I set the armor down as he rolled to face me, nearly running into the sword leaned against the mattress

"It didn't want to be parted from you, even if it was in the hands of a friend," I explained.

"Sheik?" Link asked, sitting up and shaking the last bits of unconsciousness from his eyes.

I nodded. "So it is."

Link cocked his head to the side as I could only guess that Navi spoke to him. Perhaps telling him what he missed. "I was out..."

"For most of the afternoon. The creature that was sealed in the well hit you harder than me. Impa was up at the Shadow Temple, attempting to seal it. I can only surmise that she failed." I told him. That was worrying -- I had seen that Impa was the Sage of Shadow, and she had confirmed as much when we last spoke. I knew she wouldn't be reckless, but I didn't know what would happen if one of the Sages died, especially before they could grant their power to Link.

"Another day, another Temple, huh?" Link said. "Do you know Impa? Since you two are the only Sheikah I've met. Is she like..." he paused, "... a mom or a sister or something?"

I shook my head. I probably could have told him that that was true, but I didn't know what Impa would say if he ran into her before me. I stuck to our standard story, back when she first sprinted me away from the castle. "She's my teacher."

"Oh," Link said. "So, your family is still out there somewhere?"

I frowned, not that Link would see that. "My family is dead." Realizing how cold that sounded, I amended, "most likely. There aren't many Sheikah left, even before Gannondorf came to power."

"Do you miss them?" Link asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Your family. Do you miss them?" Link said. "I grew up with the Kokiri, but when I went back, no one but Saria even knew who I was. And the Deku Tree told me that I wasn't even really a Kokiri, which was why I could leave the forest at all. Most of them must have known that, since I would be growing up, and they didn't. They never said anything to me, even Mido when he called me a fairy-less freak. And I don't remember who my mother was. But, I see people like Ruto and Malon and Princess Zelda and you who have parents and all, and I wonder what they'd think."

I blinked, remembering that he didn't know who I was before. "I didn't know my parents that well. Impa knows me better than either of them did." Which was true, if misleading. My father had been preoccupied with ruling the kingdom and my mother, before she died, just seemed to want a daughter-shaped doll she could dress up and coo over. Impa had been the one who had taught me the basics of magic, who I badgered into showing me some self-defense, and who had discovered that I was goddess-touched enough to see visions of the future.

"Oh," Link said. "Well, I guess that's something we have in common. You still miss them right?"

I nodded. "Yes."

"You don't say much about yourself, do you?" Link replied cheerfully. "I think that's the most I've gotten from you since we met. Normally you show up, say something vague about what I need to do next, teach me a magic song for the ocarina, and leave."

"I have no doubt Gannondorf is watching for Sheikah," I replied. "He still seeks the Princess Zelda." Why, I couldn't tell him. Gannondorf must have figured out that the Triforce of Wisdom had gone to me. I could only guess that he didn't know that the Triforce of Courage had gone to Link, or Link would be sought outside of the temples.

"And you guys are the guardians of the royal family," Link completed. "So Impa probably knows where the Princess is. She's still alive, right? I've seen a lot of people I remember from the past, but not her. Not since she gave me the ocarina."

I gave him a surprised look, not certain what to say to him. "It is not something we speak of openly," I said slowly. "If we are overheard, that could risk everything."

"So, Impa didn't tell you?" Link replied. "Or else, you know and you can't tell me. Just... is she safe?" I was struck by the emotion in his voice for someone he had briefly met. Of course, the Hero of Time was one to be compassionate, but this sounded deeper to me.

"She..." I paused. "She is as safe as anyone is in this time. She is hidden well enough that even Gannondorf cannot find her, though he has scoured Hyrule in the years since you have been asleep."

Link nodded, settling back against the mattress. "Good. When this is all over... I want to see her again. I have to return the ocarina, anyway. Have you ever met her, since you know, you're Impa's student and Impa was her guard?"

Link, you just kept digging at places that I really couldn't tell you, as much as I trusted you. "I knew her once," I said. He was going to hate me for that turn of phrase, later -- technically true, as I did know Zelda, being her, but incredibly misleading as to intent.

"She's pretty, right? And mature -- she acted like she was grown up already." Link was giving me a rather foolish grin, and I was suddenly grateful for my own disguise and the low light, because my face was heating up.

"You're awfully infatuated with a girl you met twice seven years ago," I replied, trying to keep my tone neutral. Was he trying to engage in some kind of 'guy' talk?

"I am?" Link said. "Navi thinks so too."

"She might not be the same person you remember," I told him.

"No one is," Link said. "'Cept maybe the Kokiri. And Navi, but that's because she was asleep with me." He yawned. "So, Shadow Temple tomorrow?"

"Indeed. I'll teach you the song. There's also an artifact in the well you might need, but I'm uncertain if it's still there."

Link nodded. "You know, I like this."

"Excuse me?"

"You talking to me about something other than what I need to do and mysterious stuff. I haven't had much of a chance to really be pals with someone since we woke up here. Besides, Navi, I mean. No, I didn't forget you, Navi." He nodded towards her. "Maybe... after all of this is over, we can go find Princess Zelda and tell her she can come out of hiding. It'll be an adventure." He said it slowly, as he was drifting off to sleep.

I sighed. "Get some rest."

He didn't answer, and I heard his breathing slow as he fell asleep. I could easily spread out some blankets on the floor and rest myself, but I wanted to do a little bit of thinking before I slept, lest I be staring up at the thatch until dawn. There was a small window, and I carefully opened it and slipped out under the sky. The rain had stopped and the sky had cleared, and a gibbous moon was low in the east. It was after midnight, and I should be tired, but my head felt too full to sleep.

I perched on the rafters and found a position that would let me sit without shifting my weight and putting a foot through the roof. My injured leg was already starting to feel better, but it protested the movement.

When the inner chamber of the Temple of Time had reopened, and the Sages had been called to their temples, I had felt it and consulted with Impa. She had confirmed what I had suspected -- that besides the five sages of the five temples in Hyrule, and the Temple of Light at the heart of the Sacred Realm, there was a Seventh Sage, the Sage of Time, and that was my role. As soon as the Hero of Time had gathered the other five sages within the Temple of Light, it would be the job of the Princess Zelda to lead them in doing what we could to remove Gannondorf from power. Sheik could still exist until the Hero of Time needed the Sage of Time, but his days were numbered if Hyrule was to live.

Link's casual acceptance of the future was comforting. He might have been plucked out of his own life and set to running errands for the sages where failure meant Hyrule would continue to be crushed under Gannondorf's heel, not to mention his own death, but he still could imagine a future with his friends. All I could see in my own future was the assumption of my duties -- if not as Princess, then of Sage of Time, Leader of the Seven Sages. Any carefree times I had, already limited by being a wanted person, would be gone like the dew in the morning.

Sheik still had his duties, but they were not as all-encompassing as Zelda's. Was it a wonder I preferred being Sheik?

I caught a glint of light out of the corner of my eye, and noticed Navi had slipped out the window. She stopped to hover near me. "Link's doing all right?" I asked her, not expecting her to respond in words. She didn't seem to be trying to catch my attention, so that was a good sign.

She bobbed -- her version of a nod.

"I'm told that only the Kokiri can hear their fairies. Link's not quite a Kokiri, though. You can't -- or won't -- speak to me." As I expected, she stayed silent. "It's a shame. You must know Link better than anyone in this world. I wouldn't mind asking your advice on some matters."

Navi darted into my face, and I waved my hand at her. "Nothing harmful, I promise. It's just... Link is a deceptively simple person. I suspect Gannondorf is underestimating him, or he would face more resistance. I wonder if I underestimate him as well."

Navi left me alone to stare up at the moon, pondering what I should tell Link. I knew I'd put it off until morning, and then the matter of the Spirit Temple would occupy us, and I'd make excuses. But, I was going to have to tell him sooner or later. And then, I wonder how he'd take the matter.


Author's Note

Originally, given the prompt, I wanted to try to portray Sheik as a transgender or genderqueer person who is discovering ey is much happier as Sheik than as the feminine Princess Zelda, but is troubled by Link's affection for Zelda. Especially given eir own affection for Link, and the worry that Link wouldn't know what to make of that.

Unfortunately, Sheik seems to have eir own ideas about what ey wants to tell Link, and the audience. So in the end, I don't think the transgender angle came across well, though the facts Sheik is keeping secrets from Link and this troubles em does. Also, first person because I didn't want to deal with third-gender pronouns throughout the fic as well as wanting a fic where Sheik's inner conflict was put to the forefront.
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