Summary: I always wondered what happened to Tetra's mother, so this is just a story about Tetra and what her life is like and what makes her tick.
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Link (WW)
Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes
Word count: 4703 Read: 43309
Published: Nov 25, 2004 Updated: Nov 27, 2004
1. Past by Queen Zora
2. Present by Queen Zora
3. Future by Queen Zora
Her mother had once told her that there was only people in the world. They weren’t good or bad, right or wrong. They were just people. She always wanted to believe her. But that’s a hard thing to do.
It wasn’t that she thought the world was a bad place. It wasn’t. She looked at the sapphire sea, the rainbow fish and the vast reefs, the topaz skies and the tiny, perfectly formed islands, and her stomach lurched. She was but a blip in the grand scheme of things. So how did it find her? This demonic hatred? This mal-informed distrust?
Niko would complain she was spoilt. She wasn’t. Nudge complained she was lazy. She wasn’t. Her mother complained she was sullen and angsty. She wasn’t that either. She was scared. A scared little girl who didn’t know her own purpose.
That was something else her mother told her. Everyone has a purpose. If you didn’t believe that, then you were either stupid, or lost. Tetra wasn’t stupid. She wasn’t lost. She was lonely and confused. What was the difference? She wasn’t sure. But there definitely was one.
* * * *
Tetra peeked round the door. The deck was deserted. Perfect. Quietly, she slipped out of the door, shutting is softly behind her. Negotiating the familiar area of the deck, Tetra stepped over all the lose boards.
Nearing the rail, Tetra peeled off her nightie and pulled on her play tunic. The fabric was light and unlikely to weigh her down. Besides, the island was only a mile away. How hard could it be? She pulled herself up onto the rail and shimmied along until she drew level with the anchor chain. Holding tightly to the rail with one hand, she stretched across the gap and grasped for the chain. Her fingers closed around the cold metal and she let go of the rail. She swung out across the black sea, it’s dead calm unnerving her. The chain clinked and jangled. Below the water, Tetra knew that it would be as clear as a bell. Would the sound get through he hull and wake the crew?
Wrapping herself around the chain, Tetra caught her breath. Her heart beat heavily in her chest. She was afraid the noise of it would wake someone up.
It didn’t. Sliding down into the water, Tetra relished the cool darkness. It blanketed her, filled her ears and washed away her problems. The shore wasn’t far away. She began to swim.
It didn’t take long for her to reach the sandy beach. She was a strong swimmer and the waves carried her a great deal of the way. The island was tiny. She could see the other side from where she stood now. It wouldn’t be difficult to find her here. But it didn’t matter. She wasn’t here to stay. She was here for a boat. And, as luck would have it, a small vessel was pulled up onto the sand not three feet from where she stood.
Moving closer, Tetra began to untie the mooring rope. The seaweed made a perfect line just in front of the boat, showing the level of the last tide. Tetra estimated that the next would reach that little hill over there.
The rope came lose and Tetra grinned this was her ticket out of here. She began to push the little boat out into the surf. Once up to her waist in the water, Tetra clambered into the boat and scrabbled round in the hull, searching for the oars. Ah, hiding under the bench. Locking them into the shafts, she sat down on the plank that served as a seat and began to row. The oars made soft splashing sounds as they hit the invisible water. Tetra knew where she was heading. She was going to Windfall. She could be totally anonymous there, working in a shop or cafe of some description. Whatever.
“Tetra Medaria Sontandra, what the HELL do you think you are doing? “
A circle of lamp light spilled onto the waves, illuminating the little boat as it bobbed up and down on the waves. Tetra gritted her teeth and continued to row. The worst that could happen would be galley duty. Maybe even deck work. Cleaning the side of the ship was quite a popular punishment, but there were too many opportunities for her to escape again if she was given that as her retribution for ‘abandonment of your ship, your crew, your duties and your mother’. It was worth it, just to see how far she could get.
“Don’t you dare young lady. Stay right there! I said stay there!”
Tetra ignored her. Her heart sank as she heard the splash of her mother diving into the waves. She wouldn’t even make it away from the ship at this rate. She gritted her teeth and rowed harder.
“Tetra…… stop…… Tetra please…… oh my- Tetra!”
She heard the screams. The splashing, the snapping of teeth and the ripping of flesh. She couldn’t see them, but she knew they were there. Sharks. There was lots of shouting up on deck. The pounding of footsteps woke the night as the crew roared orders to one another. All lamps came swinging overboard at the sound of the screams. The water was lit up by the merry glow.
The sea was red. The sharks were in a frenzy, snapping, biting and rolling their eyes. Gulls, woken by the din and by the smell of a fresh meal, swooped and wheeled overhead, clacking their beaks with excitement. Small brave fish darted to the surface, stealing anything they could before being eaten by the frenzied sharks. There was no sign of her mother.
* * * *
He couldn’t really remember his father. Aryll had only been about a year old, making Link four. The arguments had been getting worse and so had the bruises on mother‘s body. Grandma had finally thrown him out on a dark humid night, told him to leave the island and not to come back. Link’s mother had wailed that he was all she lived for and that she couldn’t bear to be parted from him. Link despised her for her weakness.
Mother had cried solidly through the night and eventually, Grandma had lost her temper. She had told her to buck up, that she hadn’t lost anything and that the man was an idiot. If he couldn’t be a good husband or a decent father then he wasn’t good enough.
Link didn’t ask to visit him. He wasn’t even sure if he was still alive. It didn’t matter. He had his mother and he had grandma. That was all he needed. Aryll was none the wiser. She wasn’t even aware she had a father. And that suited her fine. It was difficult at first. Mother had to find a job and was often away, selling goods from a Shop Ship. When she did come home, she was tired and haggard and snappish. She didn’t play with them anymore and Link dreaded her return even before she’d left .
It must have been about the tenth time she went out to sea. There were storms right across the ocean from Outset to Dragon Roost. The postman didn’t come for six or seven days and when the next trading boat came from Windfall, he didn’t have enough for all the people on Outset. He had to make two trips to fill their larders.
Mother didn’t come back.
* * * *
The boat lurched. Link felt his heart jump into his throat and clamped his hand over his mouth. This was horrible. His insides churned and sloshed as the boat heaved over the livid sea. Lightning cracked the sky, shattering the clouds in a jagged rip. Link moved away from the porthole towards the chum bucket. He was going to be sick.
Apparently all first timers got ill. It didn’t help that the sick bucket was normally used for fish innards. Link groaned. Stop thinking about it. Fish. Ugh. Sick. Stop! The cabin rose again sharply and Link threw himself at the bucket.
Heaving and retching, he sat back against the wall and tried to breath. Behind him, the door opened and the pirate walked in. Link groaned. What fresh hell?
“Sick again? Poor thing, you should’ve come and got me.”
Tetra’s voice was soft and tender. Not at all like it was when she was up on deck. She sat down beside him and rubbed his back. Link was touched by the gesture.
“Niko was supposed to be looking after you,” she said.
“He’s…..ugh…..down in the hull... I think.”
Tetra frowned. Niko was so lazy, it was unbelievable. He was supposed to be looking out for Link. They’d been at sea a day and he’d left him alone to chuck up his guts already. This called for a reprimand. Another one.
“Maybe it’d be better if you came up on deck,” she said softly, her voice concerned and sympathetic. “You could get some air and it’s not half as unsteady up there.”
Link nodded, not trusting himself to open his mouth without vomiting. He got shakily to his feet and allowed Tetra to guide him up onto the deck.
The salty air hit him like a slap, but it was a welcome change from the dank stale air of the cabin. Tetra led him to the helm where Gonzo was cheerfully riding the waves. The rain drove against the huge man, soaking his hair and making his outline appear blurry, but he continued to swing the wheel in a leisurely way as if it where the most beautiful weather he’d ever seen. Gonzo glanced over and saw Link’s incredulous look. He winked.
“Good wind,” he rumbled. “We’ll be at the Forsaken Fortress in no time.”
Link’s stomach gave a nervous clench and a wave of nausea threatened. Taking deep breaths, Link closed his eyes and begged the dizziness to go away.
“Where the hell is Niko?” Tetra yelled over the roar of the wind.
A head peeped sheepishly round the door of the map room. Niko waved nervously.
“Get your lazy arse out here Niko!” Tetra fumed, her eyes turning to flints.
Niko jumped and scampered over. Snatching his cap off his head, he made and awkward bow. Tetra glared at him.
“Uhh… Te- I-I mean Captain! Um, what would… seem to be the uh.. Problem?”
Tetra whirled round to look at the swabbie.
“The problem? The problem? You were supposed to be keeping an eye on Link and where do I find you? Skirting duties in the bloody Maps room! Do you even know what a map is?”
Niko twisted his cap in his hands. His forehead was shiny with rain. Or was it sweat? Link couldn’t tell. Shivering against the wind, he moved over into the shelter of the steps. Out of the buffeting wind, he watched as Tetra lectured Niko, then finally gave him his punishment. He had to clean the gull droppings off the crow’s nest. Niko was terrified of heights.
* * * *
It was pitch black. The storm had died down. Link looked out across the dark expanse of ocean and his heart gave a determined thump. Not two miles away, floodlit and heavily guarded, was the Forsaken Fortress.
“We’ve got a problem.”
Link turned to see who had spoken. Tetra was leaning casually against the rail. All the torches on deck had been extinguished. The boat was completely invisible, cloaked in an inky black shroud.
“The search lights are being controlled by moblins. If we try to get any closer, they’re guaranteed to see us and we’ll all be killed. You’ll never save your sister this way.”
“I have to try,” Link insisted. “Otherwise, what was the point of me coming all the here?”
Tetra searched his face in amazement. Was he serious? Tetra seemed to contemplate this for a while. Link watched her anxiously. Time was running out.
“Okay,” she said finally. “I think… just.. Hang on a sec.”
Tetra strode across the deck and tapped Nudge on the shoulder. He turned round and she grabbed his collar, pulling him down level with her. She whispered something in his ear. He nodded, then nodded again and said something in dulcet tones. Tetra nodded and Link could just hear her say;
“Right, so it’s sorted, he goes in the catapult.”
Link ran over and spun Tetra around to face him.
“What did you say?”
Tetra had the decency to blush.
“Nothing- look it’s the only way you’re gonna rescue your sister so just…. Let us deal with it.”
“Yes but ho- HEY- GEDDOFF!”
Link cried out in surprise and tried to wriggle free as Nudge grabbed him and clamped his hands to his sides. Niko scuttled over and wrapped a length of rope around Link’s body so that he couldn’t move, then together, they manoeuvred him towards the catapult. Link shouted and struggled but the ropes were tied well in secure knots. Tetra watched it all in ill concealed amusement.
“Shush you baby or they’ll hear us. Look, Gonzo’s a brilliant aim, you’ll be fine.”
“Yeah right, like I’ll-”
“Right let’s get this over with,” Tetra interrupted.
“No!” Link cried. “Don’t I-”
Gonzo grinned and raised his sword above his head.
“Good luck, mate,” he said with a snort of laughter, then brought the sword down on the trip rope. With a loud twanging sound, the catapult sprang up and Link was launched into the air.
“Oh shit,” Tetra gasped. “He’s gonna hit the-”
There was a sickening crunch.
* * * *
A note on pronunciation- An Kaba’ te an ĉmei te Hyrule is pronounced ~ arn ka-ba tee arn ay-mee tee high-rool.
Kandra is pronounced~ can-drar
Kae is pronounced~ kay
* * * *
For as long as she could remember, she had loved to dance. Dancing was in her blood. Her mother had been a dancer. In fact, it was Kandra who’d taught her to dance. Tetra loved Kandra. Ever since she was three, whenever the ship made anchor at Windfall, Tetra had made her way on short legs all the way to the end of the island. There, on fair days, Kandra had taught her on the overhang behind the windmill.
Even before she’d taught her to dance, Kandra had taught her the old Hyrulian language. What is the point, she used to say, of knowing the dance, if you do not know the name or the words? Tetra had repeated this in her mind over and over again, and every time she nearly gave up, this thought came back to her and she persevered.
She’d learnt every dance in the world and could perform them all flawlessly. It only took her a matter of hours to pick up the steps; it was perfecting the routine that took time.
When Kandra died, Tetra stopped dancing. Somehow, it just wasn’t the same. She gave up what she loved most and took on something she hated. The sea. She despised the sea. It took her father from her and it trapped her on a wooden prison from which she could not escape.
Kandra would’ve been horrified if she knew she’d stopped dancing. Tetra couldn’t bear the thought of her teacher’s reaction if she had lived to know this. But she couldn’t bear to start dancing again, either. It seemed that if she brought that aspect of her past up again, other less enjoyable things would also come back to haunt her. Like her mother.
Tetra was a murderer. She’d never forgive herself for her mother’s death. When she had told Kandra this, her instructor had become angry.
“You are not to think like that, Tetra. What happened, happened.”
Shortly after that, Kandra grew ill. Years of dancing had taken it’s toll on her heart and she was slowly dying. It was on her final visit to Kandra, when the old woman was on her death bed, that she taught Tetra her final dance.
The An Kaba’ te an ĉmei te Hyrule was the most difficult dance Tetra had ever had to learn. But it was by far the most beautiful. Its name roughly translated into ‘The Dance of the Lover of Hyrule’, and it was the most famous dance in the world. It was one of the only dances that had survived from the ancient kingdom of Hyrule. It was the dance performed by young, unattached girls to their lover to tell them how they felt.
It took Kandra until the day she died before Tetra understood the steps, but finally, on the night of her instructor’s funeral, Tetra perfected it. She performed it beautifully- complete with the words- at the service as Kandra’s body was lifted into a boat and pushed out to sea from the western shore of the island, and as the boat disappeared into the sunset, Tetra continued to dance and sing until she could no longer see where she was putting her feet.
She had never danced since.
* * * *
Her feet ached. Her back was sore. She was exhausted. This had to be the worst day of her life. Tetra groaned and untied her sandals. She flung them into a corner of her room and flopped down on her bed. The pallet groaned in protest, but the old wood held strong.
What time was it? Tetra sat up and peered out of the porthole. Outside the sky was burnished red. The backs of the dolphins gleamed as they broke the waves, chirruping and calling to each other.
They were anchored just off the Forest Haven. It was renowned for its dolphin population, and Tetra had grown accustomed to seeing them every evening. It was a pity they wouldn’t go past the drop off into the sea trench. Tetra would’ve loved to take them to Outset and show them to Aryll.
There was a knock at the door. Tetra rolled her eyes.
The door opened tentatively and an attractive blonde head poked round the side. Tetra glanced up and smiled.
“Hi,” Link said sheepishly. “Sorry, I should’ve-”
“No it’s fine; I’m just being nasty, sorry.” Tetra sat up and patted the space beside her on the bed. Link grinned and sat down next to her. Tetra’s senses tingled. He was so close…..
“It’s just, well I was on the island and I saw your ship and thought, hey, it’s been a while…. I just thought it might be nice to see you and have a chat, you know?”
Tetra’s heart gave a nervous flutter. He came to see her….. Snap out of it! Tetra mentally shook herself and fixed a playful grin on her face. She hated this façade of nonchalant competitive friendship. Inside, she was dying.
“What’s this all about?” She asked in amusement, giving his ponytail a playful tug. “Last time I saw you, you were half a foot shorter with half a foot less hair.” It was an outrageous exaggeration. She’d only seen him two months ago on their seventeenth birthday.
“I’m just trying out a new look,” he replied.
“It suits you,” she said. Tetra prayed that he didn’t get the accidental undercurrent in that.
Tetra suddenly felt incredibly self conscious. Was her hair okay? Was there anything in her teeth? Did her breath smell? This wasn’t like her. She wasn’t the type of girl who got all wound up over boys.
Link suddenly looked at her and snapped his fingers.
“I totally forgot, the whole reason I came here was to- uh… oh it’s stupid, you’ll just…”
“What?” Tetra looked at Link curiously. A nervous blush was sneaking up on his cheeks.
“Umm, well, it’s just… I’ve got some friends on Windfall Island and they’re getting married. I said I’d go to the party but it’ll all be people I don’t know and I don’t really want to be the gooseberry so….”
“Yes?” Tetra said, only just keeping the excitement in her voice under control.
“Well I wondered if you wanted to come with me. It’ll be a laugh y’know? Free booze and all that shit.”
Tetra pretended to consider it. She didn’t want to appear keen. Actually, she didn’t want to be keen. But she was.
“Sure,” she said. “Why not.”
“I knew I could count on you, you’re a star.” He kissed the top of her head, and turned towards the door. He turned back. “Three weeks, yeah? At sunset on the dock?”
Tetra waited until she heard the cabin door being closed, then jumped up and punched the air with an exhilarant whoop.
* * * *
Tetra looked around nervously. The pier was deserted. Everybody was up in the square finishing the wedding sermon. Link was nowhere to be seen. Should she go looking for him? Perhaps he’d forgotten and gone straight to the party? Should she just get Gonzo to take her back to the ship. Tetra looked behind her. Too late for that, he was already out of sight. Great. She’d been stood up.
“There you are. Sorry I’m late I know.”
Tetra turned and smiled. Her heart gave an extra hard thump. He was gorgeous. He hadn’t shaved recently and a short, rough stubble had grown on his jaw, making him look rugged and unattainable. He was wearing a smart tunic and belt and new boots.
Tetra smoothed down her dress and did a neat little twirl.
“Well, am I presentable?” She asked playfully. Link whistled.
Tetra smiled, delighted. It was a brand new dress. It was quite short and made of silk. It was tight round her torso with a flattering neckline and a low back. The skirt was flounced and lifted when she spun around. She’d been testing it out in her room all afternoon. She’d bought expensive new sandals and a white pashmina from a vender and was wearing it draped loosely around her shoulders. She’d taken extra special care with her hair and, although it was loose, it had taken her ages to get it just right.
“Right then,” Link said. “Let’s get going.” He put a hand on the small of her back and steered her up the steps towards the square. Tetra shivered with arousal at his touch. This was too much.
The square was alive with music everyone was laughing and dancing and the drink flowed freely from large kegs in front of the pictographer’s gallery.
“That’s Garrat and his wife over there,” Link told her over the din. “Go and say hi and I’ll go get us drinks.”
He left Tetra and disappeared into the crowd. She swallowed and made her way across to the couple in wedding attire. The woman smiled as she got closer.
“Hi, you must be Tetra,” the woman said. Tetra smiled and handed her the bunch of flowers and carefully wrapped nacre champagne flutes she’d bought for them.
“Oh, they’re lovely!” The woman gasped. “Thank you. I’m Kae, by the way.”
Tetra liked Kae immediately. She was nice and easy to talk to. They stood chatting for a while. Link still wasn’t back with her drink.
The band started playing a new song. The area made clear for dancing emptied. Tetra listened for a moment then froze. Farore, Din and Nayru no!
“Oooh, I don’t know this one,” Kae giggled.
“I do,” Tetra said faintly, then, without realising what she was doing, began to move through the crowd. Her heart beat faster as her legs picked up the familiar rhythm. The dance of the lover of Hyrule….. It started slowly. She began to sing the words that she thought she’d forgotten. Tetra strutted, twirled, stopped. The music started again. Strut, twirl, stop. A drum roll…. And the music burst out, filling her ears and her mind, pumping adrenaline through her limbs as she turned, leapt and gyrated in time to the music, the routine as fresh in her head as if she’d learned it only yesterday, yet so perfect, so lovingly performed.
The music stopped. Tetra loved this bit. She waited, counting the irregular five beats. Suddenly the music erupted and she flipped, once twice, three times backwards with a twist in the air landing neatly with a twirl. The band finished, and the crowd roared with amazement. There was clapping all around her, and the noise brought Tetra back to the present. Link was stood watching her. There was a funny look on his face, a confused half smile. Oh goddesses, she thought, he knows.
The guest flooded back onto the dance floor as a new song started and Tetra ducked down and scuttled away under the arch and away from the noise. Her breathing was ragged and uncontrolled as she ran up the hill towards the overhang. She ran right to the edge then slumped low behind the stone marker of her former instructor. Pulling her knees up to her chin tears began to spill down Tetra’s cheeks. It was over, she’d blown it. He’d hate her.
There was the sound of footsteps behind her. Tetra held her breath and pleaded silently for them to go away. She didn’t want to be found.
“Silly, what are you doing up here?”
Tetra looked up. Link stood above her, still with drinks in his hands. He set them down on the grass then knelt down beside her.
“What was all that about?”
“I….” Her voice wobbled and fresh tears spilled down her cheeks. Well this was just great.
“Oh, don’t cry- come ’ere.”
Tetra felt his arms close around her. He was strong and warm and firm and he smelt like the wind and the sea. She buried her face in his chest and sobbed. Link held her close and stroked her hair. Then he lifted her chin and kissed her.
Tetra’s mind exploded, her nerve endings crackling and her senses screaming. Her body moved towards him, craving his touch, pressing herself into him, so that no part of her wasn’t touching him. The kiss lasted what seemed a life time, and when Link finally broke away from her, there was a soft smile on his face.
“You never told me,” he said.
Tetra laid her cheek on his chest and he tenderly kissed the top of her head.
“I thought you might laugh,” she said quietly. “Or that you might be horrified and stop coming to see me, and that would’ve been even worse”
There was a pause, then Link said, “How long-”
“Since the very first time I met you,” Tetra whispered.
Link was silent for a while, then he settled down against the marker and drew her onto his lap.
“I always thought you just wanted me as a friend, and that no matter what, that’s all we’d ever be. I thought you liked that Medles, or whatever she’s called.”
Link looked at her surprised.
“Medli? Hey, Tetra, she’s cute but…. Well… she’s not you.”
It was Tetra’s turn look surprised.
“Ever since that dirty great bird dropped you in that tree,” he said with a smile. He kissed her again, then drew away slightly and gazed into her eyes.
“I propose a toast,” Link murmured into her hair, planting little kisses along her jaw. “To you and me-” more kisses, moving down her neck towards her collar bone, “-and the beginning of something very special.”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.