Categories > Games > Zelda

In Exile

by BeccaStareyes 1 review

Midna wanted to hate Zelda when they first met because they were too alike. Instead she learned to like her for her differences. (TP Spoilers)

Category: Zelda - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Zelda - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2009-11-11 - Updated: 2009-11-12 - 1639 words - Complete

Midna didn't like Princess Zelda when she heard about her. A Princess, bound by magic while her kingdom was taken over by her enemies: it was all too similar to Midna herself. Worse, Midna had fought Zant, for all the good it did her, while Zelda had just surrendered and let her kingdom be overtaken. Some monarch this Princess Zelda was. She was strong enough to hold onto her body in the Twilight, but she still gave up as soon as Zant sent his transformed goons in.

So, of course, Midna had to see her. Zant didn't seem to care what Midna did, certain that he had neutralized her power with his own, and none of her poor, respelled people seemed to recognize her, no matter how much she spoke, threatened, even begged.

Midna slipped under the door to Zelda's chambers, now her cell. The woman was huddled in a cloak by the fire, as if the warmth and light of the flames could restore her land's precious Light. She turned as Midna entered, before Midna had even fully materialized, and Midna could see the slate on her lap and the scrolls that had been resting against her chair, swept aside by her cloak.

"Well, well, well," Midna said, to cover the end of her teleport. "Good morning to you, your Majesty."

Zelda nodded, motioning to the other chair. There was some kind of game set up on the table between it. Midna floated over, deciding whether to risk the indignity of her too-small body in a chair designed for Hylians, not for proper Twili, or the imp Zant had turned her into. She decided that giving Zelda the satisfaction of seeing her uncomfortable wasn't worth it. She took a seat, attempting to convey that she was seated with style and grace. "Is this all you've been doing, sitting here?" she asked. "No wonder you gave in so easily when Zant came knocking."

Zelda brushed back her hood with a gloved hand, bringing her face into Midna's view. She looked like the Hylian shades Midna had seen still patrolling the halls, nervously trying to fight off the shadows, but even in the twilight, Midna could see the light buried within her, coloring hair golden, eyes blue, and checks pinkish. The Twili had not diverged enough for Midna not to recognize that the Princess Zelda was probably considered quite a beauty.

Damn Princess Zelda. Why was it that she had given up her power and kingdom, but remained as she was, while Midna had tried to fight for her people, and was diminished so. Life wasn't fair. She crossed her arms and kept staring at Zelda, waiting for an answer.

"Why do you think I did what I did?" she asked softly. "Because I couldn't fight?"

"You didn't fight," Midna said. "Either you wanted Twilight to invade your little kingdom, or all those guards you have are just for show."

There was a scraping at the door. Midna floated up to look out behind the back of the chair. "That would be my dinner," Zelda said. "It seems I am not to starve myself here."

Midna frowned. Zelda retained her light form, so that would mean she'd need to eat something, probably things that had been stored after the kingdom had been conquered. Since Zant was running the area now, with everything controlled by him, that meant that whoever here was on Zant's orders.

Midna slipped into the shadows under the chair as the creature entered, awkwardly gripping a tray. At this point, she couldn't tell if it had been a Twili, one of the Bulblins Zant had changed, or even an unfortunate Hylian too changed to even be a shade. He or she, whatever it had been before Zant got his grubby hands on it, set the tray down on the floor in front of the door, and hissed at Zelda as she rose to retrieve it. She paused, midway from rising from her chair, and waited until the door closed again, before bringing the tray back to her chair. "That was once one of my people," Zelda stated.

"You can tell?" Midna asked as she resumed her seat, annoyed that the sound had caused her to jump into hiding when Zelda had stayed calm. She was getting weak in this stupid form.

"There was still a hint of Light left, and bulblins usually last longer than my people. I imagine Zant would want someone who knew the castle." She took a bite of the food, and grimaced. "Sadly, no one seems to remember how to cook."

Midna rolled her eyes. "So sorry your captivity isn't up to your high standards, Princess. You didn't answer my question."

"Why did I surrender?"

"Yeah. Surely you have more ambition than to sit in this room and eat terrible food until Zant gets sick of keeping you like you are and lets you starve to death or tries his magic out on you," Midna said. "And you're not afraid of us."

"I'm not?" Zelda raised an eyebrow.

"You weren't afraid at the knock. You have a whole kingdom at your command, with magical defenses I don't even know about. For that matter, if legends are right, the gods themselves protect this place," Midna said. "What is with you? Do you just not care or something?"

Zelda rose, walking to the window. "Zant rules over the Twilight Realm, yes?"

"For now," Midna agreed. Stupid Zant and his stupid usurping ways.

"And somehow he came into the Light World, past the protections that kept his ancestors banished," Zelda said staring out into the shadowed fields. "This castle is protected by its own defenses, and he neutralized them before barging into my throne room, accompanied by his troops. How many?"

"What?" Midna asked.

"How many of my people would you have had me order to put their lives on the line for Hyrule," Zelda said, staring off over her twilit kingdom, "when I couldn't even tell them that they were dying so that their friends and families would live. They trusted their lives to me -- I owed them at least a chance at success."

"Instead they lurk around the castle as shades, and get mauled by Zant's monsters," Midna replied. "Truly brilliant idea, Princess."

Zelda nodded. "I'm not finished. The provinces in the south haven't been covered yet, so one or two of the Light Spirits remain free. The forest down there is a sacred place. "

"For now," Midna said again. "Why are you telling me this, anyway? I'm a Twili too."

"But not, I think, aligned with Zant," Zelda replied. "Or else you wouldn't have hidden."

Midna snorted. True enough. "So you're just going to wait until you're rescued."

Zelda shook her head. "I'm not waiting for a rescue. I'm waiting for an opportunity."

"Like what? You think the Gods are going to come back and kick that mean old Zant back to the Twilight?" Midna said. "Don't make me laugh."

Zelda shrugged. "That would be something. Or perhaps a chosen hero will come. Or perhaps one of my other ideas will bear fruit." She gestured to the slate she had set aside when Midna entered, and Midna floated over to get a good look at it.

Midna had studied magic as her role as heir, and this was covered in the notation of a mage. She couldn't quite read it -- the magic that those that had refused to join her ancestors was weaker than her own, and it had changed since they had left -- but it was no hedge witch's work. "So the Hyrule Royal Family has its own magic. You have a plan buried into this hocus pocus?"

"Several," Zelda said. "But none that could work as long as Zant remains in this castle. Few even that will succeed with him in the Light World at all. What chance we have requires patience to wait until Zant gets bored."

"Patience," Midna said, scowling.

Zelda nodded. "Do you have a name?"

Midna considered this. "Call me Midna, for now." It was none of Zelda's business what her title was, and she didn't want the other woman's pity for her own lost kingdom and people.

"Midna," Zelda repeated. "Would you like to play?" She motioned to the game board.

"Play?" Midna said, just staring at her. How could she play when her kingdom was being swallowed by Zant?

"I'm not as patient as I'd like to be, and waiting for a sign makes it worse."

"Fine," Midna used her own magic to tug the chair up to the game board. "I should warn you -- I'm good, though. Don't start crying if you lose."

Three lost games later, Midna stomped off. But the next day -- as much as one could measure days within the steady dimness -- she came back, trying to grasp how Zelda kept beating her. It was more that she was thinking steps ahead of Midna, responding to gambits Midna hadn't even thought of yet.

Midna also suspected that, while she never said anything to identify who she was, that Zelda had figured it out, from what Midna didn't say, and what she knew. If she wasn't starting to enjoy the company, she could easily continue hating the woman, but trying to beat her and figure her out was far more entertaining than repeatedly running into walls about finding enough magic to beat Zant and take her kingdom back.

When the guards brought in the wolf they had found in Faron Province, Midna had been on her way to see Zelda for their game. He was unconscious, but his half-lidded eyes gleamed blue, and Midna remembered the legends she had heard as a child. "Patience, huh?" she said to herself. "Princess, I think I found your sign."
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