Categories > Games > Zelda > Divide

Chapter Four

by CaptainRiren 0 reviews


Category: Zelda - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst - Characters: Link,Sheik,Zelda - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2018-08-29 - 1756 words

"Once you're eighteen, we can get you out of here, one hundred percent."

Sheik did not remember when Link told him that. Was it even Link? It was probably Link. Everything was so muddled, blurring together like someone had swiped a brush across a wet painting. He could not focus on the adults talking right in front of him - he was an adult now, wasn't he? - or the paperwork he signed with shaking hands. Instead, he was hyperfocused on the beating of his heart, on the bright light outside, on the cars zooming past the window, on the fact that he had not stepped into the hospital's lobby in . . . how long? In so long that he did not know the answer to that.

The red flannel he wore was so soft and loose that it was too much. Where was the scratchy, uncomfortable cotton and wool of the hospital clothes? The jeans were far too restricting - he felt like he could not move and, if some threat were to appear, he would be unsuccessful in escaping. Not that he thought he could run, anyways; his legs ached from standing so much, and he felt like a toddler who had just learned to walk. Being bedridden did that to you, he supposed in a fleeting moment of clarity.

In front of him, he watched Zelda sign the paperwork in pretty, looping cursive. Link followed suit with a small, scrawling signature. The patient, a family member, and the new caretaker. His sister turned to him with a small smile that betrayed her hesitance.

"Happy birthday, Sheik," he dimly registered her saying as Link also offered him a smile, albeit his was far more confident than hers.

Happy birthday? Surely, they had to be joking. He was not happy. He was nervous, he was scared, he wanted to crawl back to his room and under his thin sheets and hide for the rest of his life. This was not a happy occasion. It was terrifying.

"Thanks," he tried to say. It did not come out that way. Link smiled and clapped him gently on the shoulder anyway.

The doctor before them was practically featureless. Sheik was sure the woman had her own life, maybe a spouse, kids, her own goals and troubles, but he did not care. She was nothing in the long run, just another of the medical staff there to suppress him and take his life. She also signed the paperwork, and Sheik watched as she handed Link a slip of paper and a bottle of pills, carefully explaining their dosage instructions and refills. It was nothing but a faint hum in Sheik's ears.

Finally, after what felt both like an eternity and mere seconds, they were leaving. It felt strange, heading out with no personal belongings, but Sheik truly owned nothing. He had not bothered with them since he was perhaps ten.

He fought hard to keep his breathing even as they approached the doors, his heart racing like a frightened rabbit's. He knew he was visibly shaking now and that his wide eyes betrayed his anxiety. Zelda offered her hand, and he clutched onto it for dear life, not caring how their fingers were awkwardly squished together and ignoring Zelda's attempt to fix it.

There it was. Outside. When he was little, he had often dreamed of going out there. Sheik longed to join the fellow young patients in playing hopscotch, or playing tag, or climbing trees, or . . . or anything. Anything but sitting in his room all day. Now, he would give anything to go back to the safety of that white box.

Sheik tried and failed to take a deep breath. He had to do this. He had no choice, now. He had signed himself over. Even in freedom, he had no control over his fate.

Link opened the door for them, and Zelda carefully led the way outside. With each step Sheik's legs were more reluctant and his breathing grew shorter.

He was outside, and it was absolutely deafening.

The breeze was louder than he knew it should be, as if someone was directly blowing into his ears. The birds did not twitter, but screeched, a harsh cacophony rather than a song. A car blew past them on the street in front of them. The force of it nearly bowled him over, and everything disappeared for a second, sheer terror eliciting a pathetic noise, and when he came back to he was clinging to his sister for dear life.


He barely heard it over the noise. He tried to respond, tried to plead to go back inside, but all that came out was a low, pitiful whimper. He could not breathe. He could not see, his vision swimming with tears. He could barely feel Link's hands on his shoulders.

But he could hear, goddesses, he could hear. He could hear and he wished he could not. He wished hearing was as hard as speaking. His lips and tongue refused to form words. As hard as breathing. His lungs felt like they were about to collapse. As hard as keeping upright. His knees gave way in an instant. As hard as holding his eyes open . . .

The last thing he heard, so loud it made his head ache, was a pair of concerned voices shouting his name, and then everything faded into a comfortable silence.


Sheik's mouth was dry like cotton when he awoke, his head pounding and stomach twisting unpleasantly. The world was quiet, though, and for that he was thankful. Something was stuffed in his ears - little buds, likely responsible for the calming silence.

It took him a moment to register he was in the back seat of a car. In front of him were Zelda, sleeping in the passenger seat, and Link, bobbing his head to a tune Sheik could not hear as his fingers tapped the steering wheel. Sheik sat up, and Link noticed the movement, looking into the rear view mirror for a brief moment. He reached for the car radio and Sheik watched as the display showed rapidly descending numbers that eventually reached "00." With one hand, Link motioned to his ear, and Sheik understood. Hesitantly, he reached up and plucked one of the small buds from his ear.

The hum of the car was a little annoying, but it was quiet, something Sheik wondered if he could ignore in the future. He could hear very little of anything outside of the car. A glance outside showed him grassy plains as far as the eye could see, a stark contrast to the cityscape he was used to, and he looked back at Link with eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"How are you feeling?" Link asked before Sheik could voice his question, and in an instant Sheik remembered his nausea. He grimaced.

"Sick," he answered. Nodding knowingly, Link reached across Zelda to the glove compartment and took out a bottle of pills. They were not Sheik's prescription. He handed the pills and a bottle of water from a cupholder up front to Sheik.

"Take two of these. It'll help." He glanced into the rear view mirror and, noticing Sheik's hesitance, added, "Dramamine. Motion sickness medicine."

Obediently, Sheik shook two of the capsules into his hand and downed them with a single gulp of water with practiced ease. He offered the bottle back, but Link shook his head.

"Keep it. You need to hydrate."

"Did you know?" Sheik questioned, curious. Link had a new-looking bottle prepared for him, as though he expected Sheik's answer. "That I'd feel sick?"

Link shrugged, then nodded after a moment. "It's been ten years since you were in a car, Sheik," he said, voice light, almost amused. "I'd be surprised if it didn't make you sick. I picked up some stuff just in case."

He had a point. Sheik had not even thought about that sort of thing when contemplating his release. It was an aggravating reminder of how unprepared he was for the real world.

"Where are we going?" He banished that train of thought in an instant. He'd had ten years for self reflection, including self hatred. He had long learned that there were far better thoughts to waste time on.

"I had to get you away from the city," Link replied, not exactly answering the question. That was remedied a moment later. "My grandmother owns land out here. It's about two hours from the city." Two hours? Sheik must not have been out for long, then. "It'll be inconvenient for work, but better for you, I think."

It took a moment to process, but then -

"I'll be staying with you?"

Sheik did not know whether he was intrigued or concerned. He already knew Zelda could not live anywhere else but the college dorm their parents paid for, so of course she would not be there for him. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he had already known he would be staying with Link - it was the logical conclusion. Still, the idea of being so far from the city, from help, with someone he barely knew . . . it was only logical to be worried, right?

"And Gran, of course. Is that . . . " Link hesitated. "Is that a problem?"

For some reason, it was not any worse than mild concern. He did not think he trusted Link that much, but the lack of panic in his chest disagreed.

"No," he said. Even if it were a problem, there was not much else to be done.

Link did not say anything after that, and Sheik turned to look out the window. Grassland moved past faster than he could pick out details. Many fields were full of cows, varying shades of brown and black, grazing or sunbathing in the pleasant spring air. The sky was a gorgeous blue that Sheik had never seen in his life - or at least did not remember - rivaling that of his sister's. There were clouds, but not the gray, gloomy ones of the city. These ones were white, pure, thin streaks across the sky, barely even clouds.

Admittedly, it was stunning. Sheik almost wished it elicited more emotion in him.

His eyelids started to droop. Was it the medicine? He fought to stay awake, but Link's voice soothed him.

"It's alright. I'll wake you up when we get there."

That was enough for Sheik. Shoving the earbud back in, he laid down across the back seat, and quietly drifted off once more.
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