Princess Alter Ego Visions Sitely Main

Grace DoubleNegative

Prologue: From Then to Now

Author's Notes: With so many recycled plotlines in the Zelda universe, I decided to write my own interpretation and redeem the fandom. I'll bore holes into my eyes if I read one more fanfic with Link acting like a spastic teenager. One of the most humble and dignified leads in gaming history, and we somehow manage to "fudge him up." Behold the brilliance of the fanfiction community.

In any case, this story focuses on Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Hyrule has been restored, and Link, having regained his lost seven years, struggles against the conspiracies of fate to lead an honest life. I'll warn you ahead of time that, while romance is subtle, I do support the pairing of LinkxZelda. If you prefer LinkxMalon or yaoi pairings, and take offense to any pairing but, then I suggest finding alternative reading material.

I can't say, as of yet, how long this story will be. It depends on which ideas change, which ideas remain the same, and which ideas disappear altogether. It will, however, span several chapters, though I promise to update as regularly as possible.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. As always, comments are appreciated. Thanks.

Excellence is achieved, most effectively, through dedication to a cause, and a set of standards that distinguishes one man's character from that of another man's character, based on the choices one makes, and the resulting actions of those choices, be they "good" or "evil." For excellence is, like most things, a matter of perspective, and dependant upon the moral fortitude of whatever entity takes it upon himself to change the world.

However grand this excellence may be, the essence of that excellence is fragile, for if left unnoticed, a great many deeds of heroism and adventure are equally unnoticed, and the journeys of a legendary man--or boy, if you will--are left buried deep within the cruel sands of time.

With that said, it can be safely assumed that any man denied his rightful fame and glory, would leap at the opportunity to prove himself a champion. It is also assumed that for men to become heroes, boys must become men, and a sense of confidence in not only oneself, but one's abilities, must be established. And even safer to assume, is the idea that not all heroic deeds are "dungeons and dragons," but a stark realization that the simplest task or chore, if performed correctly, is of even greater power than the mightiest sword.

Such is the case of Hyrule, a land governed as much by the legends of old as by the hands of political persuasion manipulating its laws. Heroes and villains, "good" versus "evil," knights in shining armor and a damsel in distress--timeless elements of storytelling used to entertain the young and inspire the old, and create a sense of equality in a nation split between senselessly rich, and perpetually poor.

Taverns housed the most colorful of stories. Most, if not all, were exaggerations by veteran drunks and aspiring adventurers hoping to charm their attractive serving wench. Tales would be blown to such magnificent proportions, it seemed infeasible for intoxicated men to conceive such creative thought. And yet, stories thrived in its inebriated atmosphere--alcohol the very fuel of imagination.

At thirteen, Link was restricted to the workers' quarters near the back entrance. He wasn't old enough to serve, and by no means old enough to drink. Link could only observe, at best, through the cracks behind the kitchen door, fascinated not by the act of drinking, but the actions as a result of that drinking, and the consequences that followed. Drinking, in and of itself, was a rather dull pastime--or so it seemed. But the behavior born of its saturation was so… stupefying and shameful, Link failed to comprehend its appeal. Alcohol robbed man of his instincts, of his control. Link shivered at the thought of such vulnerability.

From his post, Link followed the wayward eyes of men trailing the curves of voluptuous women. Some received winks or smiles or suggestive struts, while others received slaps, scolds, or splattered drinks. A positive response warranted hoots and cheers, while a negative response warranted laughter and chaos. It was, like drinking, an inexplicable waste of time, and Link sighed at the ignorance of his customers.

Undoubtedly, the tavern was at its best in the early morning hours, when its crisp air poured through the windows, eradicating the stale stench of booze and lust. Link was a day-worker--sweeping floors, wiping tables, and on occasion, delivering supplies to neighboring businesses. The work was hard, but honest, and it kept him off the streets.

Besides, its location was convenient; at the center of Hyrule Market, Link was mere minutes away from the Royal Palace.

Having regained his lost seven years, Link and the Princess were reunited, their world restored, and life itself a monotonous cycle of repetition and normalcy--well, as normal as life could be given the circumstances. Seasons passed, peace prevailed, and businesses boomed at the hands of Hyrule's industrial class, Link's place of employment one such establishment. And while a "tavern boy" wasn't the most respectable of occupations, he had few options and even fewer demands, so long as he maintained his freedom and sense of self-worth.

…For what did he have to gain? Lose?

Link had nothing--no home, family, nor material possession save the clothes at his back and the boots at his feet. Zelda, on the other hand, had everything--wealth, beauty, power, and the recognition of an entire people. Combined, Link and Zelda had "enough," whatever inconsequential amount that equaled to, and with that, life sufficed. There was solace to be found in a kindred spirit, one hardened by the ravages of war, yet softened by the companionship left in its wake.

Their meetings, always conducted in secret, were lessons in politics, economics, and diplomacy. Careless visits--those of wild and whimsical dreams--were vague and distorted, much like the façade of his childlike features. His youth was restored, but the innocence of naivety was forever lost, overshadowed by a grim, but enlightening, reality of the "could haves," "what ifs," and "should nots." Choices, particularly ones affecting an entire world of peoples, required careful deliberation, and were not as simple as Link once thought. That politics played such a vital role in the everyday decisions of a princess, or similar figure of authority, only strengthened this belief.

Why was he schooled in the art of governance? A common boy had no use for such things. But the Princess was cunning, and possibly bored, so he trusted her judgment and paid careful attention to her instruction. Education was, by far, better than working at the tavern, and far better than a life at Lon Lon Ranch.

Link never returned to the Kokiri Forest. It was too much and too far in the past for him to rekindle a bond with his former Kokiri brethren. With a silent farewell to his forested beginnings, Link volunteered his services at Lon Lon Ranch, in exchange for room and board. Talon agreed, grateful for the extra hand. Link was hired immediately, his chores ranging from herding cows to carrying firewood to patching damaged rooftops.

Malon, all too pleased with the development, wasted no time in strengthening her relationship with her "Fairy Boy." Initially, Link saw Malon as spirited and friendly, helpful and eager to appease. As the months passed, Link realized their relationship was not as defined as he'd once thought.

One day, returning from her trip to Market, Malon asked "what he thought" of her newly purchased dress. Link, having never before been asked "what he thought" of anything, told her it looked the same as any other, and suited him so long as she was satisfied. Appalled by his honest, yet altogether innocent remark, Malon marched inside, her nose in the air and Link miles away from registering his unintentional insult. But Malon was quick to forgive, and within moments, she resumed her daily chores as if nothing had happened.

Similar "incidents" presented themselves, all of which resulted from failure to communicate. Malon couldn't relate to Link's reserved, solitary ways, and Link simply didn't understand… anything. Why were dresses and shoes and hair so important? Malon was a farming girl with no real image or reputation to protect. Someone in her position had no business worrying over trivial things like appearance. All that mattered was the farm and the people who lived there. Commoners didn't have anything else.

That, and his conversations with Zelda were never so silly. Granted, all men and women were not alike, but why would a woman, whose entire lifestyle screams of elegance and luxury, be so practical and matter-of-fact? Life was backwards sometimes, and his dealings with Malon only emphasized the fact.

As the target of Malon's flirtatious--and most unwanted--advances, Link decided that leaving the ranch was in the best interest of everyone. Malon wanted something he couldn't give, and his loyalties would forever lie, first and foremost, with the duties of protecting and serving the Princess of Hyrule. Fate willed it that way, and he was in no position to argue.

And thus began Link's virulent career as a tavern boy.