Isolation by Aryll Windwaker
Summary: Link decides to take Zelda on vacation. All does not go as planned, however...
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Link (OoT & MM), Princess Zelda
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 7193 Read: 30838 Published: May 20, 2007 Updated: May 20, 2007

1. Chapter 1 by Aryll Windwaker

2. Chapter 2 by Aryll Windwaker

3. Chapter 3 by Aryll Windwaker

4. Chapter 4 by Aryll Windwaker

5. Chapter 5 by Aryll Windwaker

6. Chapter 6 by Aryll Windwaker

7. Chapter 7 by Aryll Windwaker

Chapter 1 by Aryll Windwaker
“You are going to love the sea, Zel,” said Link as he dismounted his trusty mare, Epona. He looked over to the princess while she took off her horse’s saddle and reins. On her face she wore an expression of skepticism. She had only been to a lake, and that had turned her away from vast expanses of water. “Come on, that was thirteen years ago that you were stuck in the boat for half an hour in the mist. Just because you got a little scared doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of the ocean.”
“You just don’t get it. I was stuck out on Lake Hylia, I didn’t know where I was or if my father even knew I was gone. Only when the mist lifted did I realize I was only three feet from shore. I couldn’t--don’t look at me like that!” Link quickly turned his head as he chuckled softly to himself. They were in Termina, and had left the Stock Pot Inn not four hours ago. Link convinced Zelda back in Hyrule that she needed a vacation, and that Great Bay was the perfect place to go. Of course, since Great Bay was two days travel from Clocktown, the boy had thought to bring along some camping stuff.
With the ease of experience, Link set up the tent. Zelda sighed distastefully. The thought of sharing a tent with him was a little disconcerting. Although it wasn’t like she had a choice.

Early the next morning the pair was up and about. Link packed up the gear and mounted Epona. They managed to make it to the ocean without much hindrance. Only a pesky guay had been trailing them, and decided to bombard them at last minute. But he was a small creature, hardly something to be worried about.
Zelda looked out at the vast sea, no land in sight. The only landmarks were a tower of stone that housed the Zoras of Termina and a dock with several boats tied to it. A small beach hut rested on the edge of the sand, and Link could see a man sitting outside of it, whittling something out of driftwood.
“Are you in charge of the boat rentals?” Zelda asked.
The man gave her an appraising look, then said, “Well little girl, you look like you’re more ready to go on a dainty fox hunt than contend with the ocean. She is a cruel mistress, and if you don’t respect her,” he smiled and nodded towards the sky. “then you gonna see the Giants sooner than you’d want. You wanna boat? You got one reserved?”
Link stepped forward and presented a slip of paper. The man looked at it and nodded.
“Yep, that’s a reservation alright. But uh…this is for next year. And the boat you got on here is rented right now. Sorry.”
Zelda turned slowly to Link with her face a contorted mask of anger. Quickly avoiding a painful bruise on his arm, Link inquired if there were perhaps another boat they could take out.
“Sure are,” said the man without looking up from his whittling. “At that little dock right there. Take yer pick, I’ll give it to you for a fair price since you came all this way for nothing.” The elves walked onto the shabby little dock, sidestepping the broken boards and gulls to have a look at the boats. They were pleased to find a quaint forty-foot boat with two cabins. Link stepped to the helm, and gazed up at the two sails. He smiled and asked the man how much for a week.
“Let’s say 50 rupees for every twelve hours.”
“It’s a deal!” Link replied happily as he clapped the man’s hand in agreement.
Chapter 2 by Aryll Windwaker
Zelda leaned over the rail, yet again as she emptied the contents of her stomach. Small fish, she noted, seemed to love jumping through their pre-digested meal, which did not help her state at all. “Ugh, I need some red potion, I think.” But the thought of the burning medicine sliding over her tongue in its bitter healing style made her go over the edge again. When the girl finished spewing again, she looked at the smoky purple sky, quite near sunset, trying to decipher their direction. After her eyes became sore from staring at the bright orb, she decided she was extremely sheltered, considering she could not even tell where the sun was going.
“Southwest.”
“What?”
“Southwest,” Link said again, as if that would explain everything. Zelda returned his remark with a puzzled gaze. “We’re going southwest. I saw you looking at the sun, and when one does that, it usually means they want to know the time of day or their direction. Is that not what you were wondering?”
“Hero, you truly amaze me. How is it you know so much?” Zelda said, trying to put as much adoration into her voice as possible.
“Well, when you live in a forest for ten years learning how to live off the land then traveling all over Hyrule for months at a time in quite a few places and then living off the land for the same three days a hundred times, you pick up a few things.” the hero smiled broadly as he glanced up at the sky and adjusted their course. He looked so knowledgeable, as if he’d known how to sail his entire life.
“Where did you learn to sail?”
Link smiled cruelly. “I didn’t.”
“Didn’t what?”
“I never learned how to sail. This is my first time on a real boat.”
“WHAT?”
“Zel, I know how to do this. When I was younger, the Kokiri and I would use wide pieces of bark and Deku leaves and vines to sail across the woods. You see, the Lost Woods canopy is so dense and thickly tangled with plants that it’s almost like water. So I know the basics of sailing. And when I was here, I relived the days as a Zora many times, so I could get to know the sea. I knew about it, and I wanted to know how to do it.”
“What did you--do you know about?”
“An old woman wandered into the forest one day. She said she was on her way to the ocean, but she needed a guide. At that point in my life, I had no idea there was even an ocean. It was then she told me off a natural phenomenon that only occurs every hundred years. Her mother told her, and it was her lifelong dream to see it. But she went blind, and being the hero I was, I promised I’d see it for her. It was my first goal. So I knew what I wanted to do even before I met the Deku tree. Now, I am going to fulfill her dream, and in doing so, mine.” Link closed his eyes, and heaving a great sigh, said, “I hadn’t known if there even was such an event as she described until I came here for the first time. The Zoras were in a tizzy because it was going to happen again, and they would all migrate to see it in the coming years. Six years, to be exact. They gave me the route to the island where it would occur and said, ‘We will meet you there.’ Since we have a boat, and they have to swim, they started the journey a week ago. Once we get there, if we stay on schedule, we’ll have two days before it happens.”
Zelda was in awe. She had no idea Link was so…sensitive. He promised something to an old woman even though he didn’t know it was possible. And now…he was going to keep that promise. “Link, you are amazing, you know that? And, if you don’t mind telling me, what is this phenomenon we are going to hopefully witness?”
“If I told you, there wouldn’t be any surprise.”
Suddenly, like a key in a lock, Zelda realized he had planned all of this. He planned all along to take her. But why would he do that? It’s not like he loved…unless… “Link, why did you take me? You could have taken Saria or Ruto or anyone else. Why me?”
“Well, I…you see, I thought…” he floundered for a while before Zelda walked to her cabin. Her suspicions had been confirmed. The Hero of Time was smitten.

Two days, two unending days spent flying over the blue breadth that was unchanging, ever-present, and much to Zelda’s dismay, very wavy. Both mornings were greeted with the exit of her breakfast. On the third morning, a tiny island appeared on the horizon. Zelda could barely wait to get off the boat and have something stay in her belly. She jumped around, racing to the edge and hurrying Link along with getting the boat to shore. As soon as the boat hit bottom on the soft sandy beach, Zelda shoved Link towards the edge and the rope ladder used to board and exit the ship.
“Come on! We have to go meet the Zoras! Go, I am not going to wait for you much longer!” But Link still had to drop the anchor so the boat wouldn’t drift. “Oh, it will be fine! We’re far enough on the beach to stay there. Let’s go!” Link admitted it did look like it would stay. And Zelda was so excited. So against his better judgment, Link left their boat, their only way to get back.
Chapter 3 by Aryll Windwaker
“How long has it been, sire?”
“Twelve weeks, Travins. Why must you keep reminding me?” the king had awakened in a bad mood and his adviser’s constant recap of his daughter’s disappearance wasn’t improving it any. Three months ago, his daughter had left for a short vacation with some boy. She said they’d be going to the sea, and would be back in a week, at the most two. Well, ten weeks later and there was still no sign of Zelda anywhere. He had his guards go to Great Bay and ask around. A man in charge of boat rentals remembered the princess and escort who never came back. The Zoras revealed that they had gone on a centennial migration to see a bright meteor shower, and add to their collection a stone from the sky. They also told how in years before that, they promised to meet the same boy on the island. But he never came. On their way back, however, they found a badly smashed boat in a reef. Upon closer inspection, it had all of the possessions of Link and Zelda still onboard, but no sign of the pair. Six weeks passed, and all of them were spent sailing back and forth around the island of Zoras, looking for another island they could have been stranded on. But not one yielded a single clue. It was as though the sea swallowed them whole.
Perhaps it had, thought the king. Zelda never liked water that much, so it is not improbable that she… But he could not bear to even think that his precious blossom was lying at the bottom of the ocean. No, she was a strong girl. She would survive if there were any hope at all. “Oh my dear, sweet Zelda, please, come back to me…” the king lay his head down on the table in front of him and wept for the millionth time that week.
Chapter 4 by Aryll Windwaker
Zelda, wearing the remnants of a shirt tied around her waist in a sort of skirt, (it was too hot to wear a top) stared at the beach, watching the waves rolling in, the gulls swooping down to the water in hopes of finding an unlucky fish and the vacant spot where their boat had been. Twelve weeks ago today she and Link landed on the deserted isle, hoping to meet up with the Zoras to see the meteor shower. But after thoroughly inspecting the island, they discovered none of the fish people. Link realized that this was the wrong island. He had missed it somehow. So the pair headed back to the beach, to correct their mistake, but found that their boat drifted. Link tried with all his might to swim out to it and board, but to no avail. The boat was gone.
After they realized they were stuck, their previous search had proved helpful. The elfin boy and girl knew the lay of the land. The island was more or less the shape of an oblong, rounded diamond, with the ends pointing east and west. The interior was a highland, split into two halves by a ravine. There was a plateau on the western end, which they decided to call The Headland. The ravine that separated the Twin Highlands was generally smooth walled, save for a spot almost near the back of it. Due to a landslide in past years, or even eons, a hole had been breached in the wall, leaving a rather spacious cave. Roughly hexagonal, the cave was sheltered by the gully’s high sides and The Headland from wind, sun and storm. And as if by some wonderful stroke of luck, a clear little spring flowed in the rear of the ravine.
Tools were an essential. A vein of flint ran though the backside of the Northern Half. Link, clothed in the same style as Zelda, could break off a chunk of the chalk encrusted stone and shape it into a sort of hand-held axe, which wasn‘t much more than a wedge of sharp rock with one side blunted. And if he wanted to, he could thin the blade down even more, making a knife. Then with great precision he could make it saw toothed by breaking off tiny fragments along the cutting edge.
Trees grew on the Northern Highland only. The Southern Half was higher in elevation by far, making another natural windbreak. Some of the trees were fruit bearing as well. But a fruit like neither Zelda nor Link had ever seen. With a skin much like an orange, the smooth, almost liquid inside was sweet and sour. The usual way to ingest such a thing was to poke a hole in the outside and suck out the inside. It had become First Food on The Island.
But it was not the only food. Being an island, the ocean life contributed much to their diets. Crabs, lobsters, bivalves, fish, and waterfowl made up the major part of their meals. There were also plentiful tubers, edible roots, on the highland, coming from a certain shrub Link knew from his adventures in Termina. Plus the seeds of a long grass Zelda had read about in a plant class she took as a girl came into play. With the seeds they could make flat breads, crisp little cakes and gruel. Among the trees on the Northern Half were flowering plants, usually thickly inhabited by droves of bees. And where there were bees, there was honey. Link was the one who had found the cove of liquid gold on the Southern Half. Now their tasteless and watery gruel would have flavor.
The long grass also served another purpose: baskets. Link, who had grown up in a forest making little handicrafts with Saria for their food, was quite the basket maker.
Using the saw-toothed tool he made, he harvested great handfuls of the hardy grass. Water tight and coated with the sandy lumps of pitch that washed onto shore, they could use them for cooking, water, gathering, anything they wanted. But the problem with baskets was that they frayed. Link made baskets in bulk, though. If they needed one, he made ten. Until Zelda made a grand discovery: clay. A small pocket lay just below the Headland, the result of runoff and flooding. Link also knew how to make earthenware. He soaked the clay in water for ten days, and then strained it for any impurities. He then placed the slurry into a very well made basket, and let it dry until it could be handled. Link would quickly work it into whatever shape he needed, be it a bowl, platter, pot, or even a comb. The platter he made found its use as a drying stone. The inside of the odd fruit could be left in a thin layer and dried into a sort of wrap. Zelda liked to put crabmeat into the sheets and eat it much like a burrito.
He let the clay pieces dry out for seven days. Finally, it was fired. The ravine was devoid of any brush, except in front of the spring in the backside of the gully, so it was safe to build up the huge fire he needed. Driftwood, the remains of past meals, bones, baskets beyond repair, anything was burned. There had only been two firings in the three months they were on the island, and it was a good way to get rid of any waste that piled up.
The next problem they ran into was tiring of their heavily seafood laden meals. All of it was gathered by hand, Zelda’s hand most of the time, while Link worked on ways to get better meat. Namely, spears, arrows, nets and even a boat. The wood wasn’t hard to come across. But the nets were another issue. To make a good strong net, one needed good strong material.
“What about grass?” Zelda asked him. “It makes wonderful baskets and mats. Why not make a net of it?”
“Because,” Link sighed heavily. “Grass isn’t really all that strong. What I’d need is kelp. Or stringy bark. Even the tendons or ligaments of a seal. But sinew doesn’t take water all that well, so that’s out of the question. No, kelp, bull kelp at that, is what I need for a good strong net that will not break. Female kelp snaps too easily when dry then immediately wet. Plus it has large leaves that take time to remove and make into nets. Bull kelp dries strong, and only becomes stronger when wetted and dried numerous times. That’s why I’m working on a boat. This way I can get a good net for bigger fish, rather than the minnows in the tide pools. And I can get a seal even. The Zoras would sometimes hunt a seal from the Northern Reaches of Great Bay and eat the meat and blubber. I got to taste it and-”
“Link, I couldn’t do that to so cute a creature!”
“Zel, it could save your life. We need fat. And the seals have fat on them. We’ll slowly starve if we don’t get some fats soon.”
“But at the castle I never had to eat fat.”
“You like butter?” Link asked bluntly.
“Yes, of course.”
“Well butter isn’t a whole lot more than fat. Oils; fish, sun flower seed, and olive oils are other types of fat present in most of the meals in the castle, I’m betting. Fat carries flavor, and without it, food would taste as bland as the gruel we had for breakfast. So don’t tell me you didn’t like to eat fat. Just because you never had to resort to eating a piece of the trimmings off a roast doesn’t mean you didn’t have fat. So are you going to help me with this boat?” Link asked as he chipped away some more of the log he was hollowing out. He wasn’t entirely sure it would float on its own, so as an added safety measure, he decided he would tie the glassy airbladders of fish onto it. They would act like buoys, and hopefully help the boat to stay afloat.
He had been right. The boat did float, but only with the help of the isinglass buoys. Even then it lay pretty low in the water. Link brought back armfuls of the female kelp and taught Zelda how to weave it into nets. Once she got the hang of it, she was able to make then entire net. But it took a long time to do it right. During the time she was making it, Link made stone heads for his arrows and spears. He attached them to the straight wood shafts by making a notch in the butt of the arrowhead. The head had to be as small as Link’s first forefinger joint to balance the weight of it and the wood. The spear was much easier, in that it didn’t always have to be fitted with a stone head. By heating it in the fire and scraping it into a point, the fire would harden it enough to pierce a hide. But it did require much more force.
With the notch in the butt of the arrowhead, Link fitted it onto the shaft and kept it there with some kelp and pitch. The bow was the hardest to make.
Wood for a bow had to bend and not break. It could not be carved and it had to be solid. There were no rosewood bushes on the island, but there was orangewood. It had some of the resiliency of rosewood. Still, it could be used. Link went through several attempts with the branches of the orangewood before he had a usable bow. The string was, for the moment, kelp. The day he finished was the day of Real Meat.
All it took was one shot, a very well placed shot, to bring down a female seal. Living in the forest and knowing how to clean and skin game helped him here. He worked outside of the cave on Zelda’s request. She didn’t like blood and butchering. Link started by slitting its throat and letting it bleed. Then, with a single slit from the head to the anus, he began to disembowel it. If left in a body for too long, the gasses would cause the carcass to bloat, and ultimately spoil the meat. Link threw away almost nothing. The intestines could be used to store the animal’s rendered fat for later days, or waterproof casings for feet. The stomach could be used for a water bag or a container for oil. Or even braided into a line of material not so different from fishing line. But that’s what he would use the tendons for: fishing line and a bowstring. Sinew, when dried, became so strong, a good sharp knife had some trouble cutting it with one pass. The tendon of an animal was made up of many, many strands of sinew, and if cut out and dried, it would look like a brown stick. Link knew if he pounded at it, the fibers would start to separate into usable strands.
Link peeled away the skin of the seal, pleased at the amount of subcutaneous fat. It would be a rich night.
Chapter 5 by Aryll Windwaker
Life went on. Seals were killed, food was gathered, and storms were weathered. A solid routine was worked out for them too. They would sit down at night and plan the next day’s activities. If it were going to storm, they would find things to mend, projects to complete, food to dry. Link was smart about food though. He impressed upon Zelda the importance of always leaving some. If they went to gather grass for baskets or mats, they would take no more than necessary. The odd fruit was taken sparingly and if seafood were scarce in one spot, they would find a different spot and let the other spot repopulate. They made one seal and its meat last for two weeks. The seal colony moved from spot to spot, and didn’t seem to miss a seal every now and then.
Once, while Link was out fishing, he could see a pod of whales in the distance. He watched them for a long while, admiring their size. The next day when Zelda went to gather some abalones, she found a big surprise on the beach. A really big surprise: a beached whale. It was 45 feet long. She stuffed herself that night, alternating handfuls of meat and oily blubber. She had never tasted anything so good. The vast amount of meat was eventually dried and store in the back of the cave, filling an entire corner. There was no going hungry now. The bones of the whale were used for implements, tools, plates, bowls, drying racks, and almost anything else they could think of. Teeth were carved by Link’s nimble hands into several implements, including lamps for the oil rendered from the blubber. For living on a deserted island, life became almost easy.

One and a half year had passed since they landed on the Island.
Zelda was out gathering eggs from the nests of gulls. Since they nested on the side of cliffs, she had to be very careful. But one loose rock sent her falling. Luckily, there was a tree root sticking out of the rock face. She grabbed it, and yelled for Link. He arrived not a moment too soon. Just as she grabbed his extended hand, the root broke, falling to the sharp rocks below. Zelda cried as Link took her into his arms. He’d almost lost her.
“I don’t want you gathering anymore eggs,” Link blubbered. He had been so afraid. Zelda kissed Link, meaning to tell him she was grateful, but her meaning changed entirely when he kissed her back. The two of them embraced even tighter, rolling on the ground away from the cliff. Link finally had a way to say that he loved Zelda. They lay there for uncounted minutes, hours, days, weeks, years or even decades before either of them felt like moving. Link was the first to get up. He gathered Zelda into his arms and took her back to the cave. There would be some modifications to their beds made that night.

“Link, I don’t feel good at all!” Zelda whined. She had just thrown up for the tenth time that week, and it just wouldn’t go away. Zel pondered and pondered over what might be wrong. Maybe whale and seal meat was too rich for her. But it hadn’t affected her before. It didn’t start until after… “Oh no!” she cried. “Link, I know what’s wrong!”
“What is it, Zel?” the Hero had been very worried for his love. He didn’t want anything bad to happen. Little did he know, this would turn out to be the best and worst thing to ever happen to any man.
“Link, I’m pregnant.”
Link promptly fainted.

By Zelda’s ninth month, she was quite large and had trouble getting around on her own. Link confined her to the cave, fearing another egg incident might occur, and hurt the baby. She stayed in bed most of the time, mending nets, weaving mats, making containers from the long grass and eating. She even took up carving wood and whale teeth with some skill. Boredom ruled over her days while Link was out gathering food, making traps for birds and fish, hunting, and making tools. In her tenth month, tension was high for the both of them. The baby was late. But these tensions only grew exponentially when Zelda went into labor. Link was constantly running his hands over his hair as Zelda strained with every contraction. He couldn’t bear to see her in so much pain. But he had to be there. Zelda screamed and sobbed every step of the way as she pushed with the contractions. Finally, her water broke and the baby crowned. Zelda realized that she could not deliver it like this. Not on this island far from civilization and all she ever knew and loved. What kind of life was this for a baby? To grow up as a savage? Her sobs only grew more pained as she doubled over.
“Push, Zel, push. We can’t let our child die! Come on, that’s it! Push hard! Do it for me, for you, for the baby! Please, Zelda, try harder!” Link was crying himself, trying to help his love to overcome this. They had not spent two years and three months out here to lose everything. Zelda bore down with the next contraction and felt it slide. She gasped and pushed down one more time. There was no more pain now. It was suddenly gone. Her sobs subsided and felt something in her arms. She looked down and saw a tiny person. It was a baby. Her baby. A girl. A lovely little girl she could love. Her sobs were gone, but the crying was still there. She had a piece of sinew tied around her cut umbilical cord to keep her from bleeding to death and she was wrapped in sealskin. The tiny girl wailed, demanding air and food. Zelda smile dreamily as she held the baby to her breast. Zelda had been prepared to name her daughter Adara Rose, but somehow it just didn’t seem to fit the little girl in her arms. With a flash of inspiration, Zelda called out to Link.
“Yes, Zel? What is it?”
“Impa.”
“What?”
“Impa. Our daughter’s name is Impa. Adara Rose is too stuffy for out here. She needs a name that suits the location. Don’t you think it’s perfect?” Zelda nuzzled her suckling babe. Link put his arms around her neck, hugging her with all his might.
“Impa is a wonderful name.”
Chapter 6 by Aryll Windwaker
Link came into the cave. It was just early morning and he'd found something special for breakfast: a devilfish. Zelda only tasted it once, but once was all it took to make it her favorite dish. The meat of the devilfish, or octopus, was sweet, chewy and salty. Of course, everything that came from the sea was salty.
"Zel, wake up, love," Link said softly.
"Hmm. Good morning, hero. Impa, sweetness, time to wake up," Zelda yawned widely as she roused herself and her two-year-old daughter. For four years they had lived on the Island, roughly 200 miles from Termina. Zelda had always blamed herself for their misfortune, as it was her who said they should leave the boat unfettered. But she got over her self-loathing days after the accident. She needed her wits about her, and at that point, getting established was the most important thing. Grief was a luxury they could not afford. "I think I'm going swimming this morning. My hair is greasy and Impa had dirt all over her."
"We always have dirt on us, Zelda. In case you haven't noticed, we are living in dirt," Link said jokingly.
"Mamma says you no funny," babbled Impa.
"Oh really? Well did you tell mamma what I think of her?"
"Yes, and I didn't appreciate you teaching our daughter that sort of language."
"Oh, come now Zel. Bitch isn't that bad of a word."
"That's not the word I was talking about. What I meant was, 'kyelv'. You know that I hate slang."
"So sorry, your Highness. Shall I prepare your bath for you?" Link gave an overly florid bow as he escorted his love and child to the spring at the end of the ravine. Zelda slept naked, and only wore clothes out of the cave. Other than that, modesty was non-existent.
Impa jumped into the chilly spring and dunked herself. In such a rough environment, she learned how to speak quite well in so short a time, and with water all around, Impa knew how to swim before she could walk. She was a mildly happy little girl, always with one parent gathering or making something out of mud. Zelda claimed she looked like Link, and he claimed that she was the spitting image of her mother. But with no mirrors, Zelda could not compare herself to her daughter very accurately.
Zelda thought back to her younger days in the castle. It all seemed so long ago. She began to wonder if it were all some odd dream. Thoughts of the cut stone manor were almost alien on the Island. The only thing that kept her from forgetting completely was a pendant she wore always. Impa, her guardian, gave her a gold medallion, two inches in diameter, with the Triforce engraved on its surface, and her birthday on the other side. Link gave something similar to their daughter, but it was carved out of a whale tooth. Link had been careful to count the days as they passed. Every night after the sun set, he would make another mark upon the date wall. He tried using a stick with notches, but the notches soon proved too many to count. So Link switched to a wall. By notching a stick and then hanging it at the end of the month under the according month on the wall, he could keep track flawlessly. Each month had four sticks under it now, and three had five. It was the third month of their fifth year. After winter, it would be five.
Link went back into the cave, leaving Zelda and Impa to their bathing.
"Mamma, look what I can do!" said Impa as she did a handstand in the water.
"That's nice, now come here, you've got more food on your face than I've eaten in my life."
"Have you and pappa always lived here?"
"No, we came her about four years ago."
"Why?"
"It wasn't exactly planned. It just sort of happened." said Zelda, trying to evade talking about their accident.
"Like me?"
"Yes, dear, exactly like you."
Impa had been working her way up to her next question. "Are we the only ones?"
"What?" it wasn't a question Zelda expected.
"Are we the only ones like us?"
"I don't understand what you're asking me."
"Are there other...people? Or are we the only ones?"
Zelda bit her lip. She had dreaded the day when Impa would make the connection. Link had been the one who wanted to explain. But Impa was asking her. "Sweety, I want you to know something. Your papa and I came here four years ago. Before that, I lived in a big house, made of white stone. Link lived in a forest, a place with lots of trees. He convinced me to go on a trip, a journey with him to see a meteor shower. That's when lots of stars fall and make pretty lights in the sky. But we never got to the island where we would see them perfectly. Instead, we arrived on this Island. We had a big boat, but it drifted away. We were stuck here. But no, we are not the only people. Across the ocean, there is a land, a big island, with so many people that you almost want to get away from. And to the east of that land, there is another big island. That is where papa and I came from. It's called Hyrule. And I used to be the Princess, the daughter of the King. The king rules over everyone on that island. I was going to rule that island someday. But now we're hundreds of miles away. We'll probably never get back there."
"That's a good story, Mamma. I wish I were a princess. But you no have to make up stuff. I knew we are only ones. No other people like us. But you make good stories."
"Yes, dear, I do. Now go play, you're clean." Zelda felt the anger welling up inside her as Impa ran down the ravine to the cave. Impa was a princess, and had called her mother a liar. Then the anger was replaced with sadness. Her recount of the past had broken the seal upon the bottled grief she felt so long ago. Why had Impa asked that? Why not sex? It would have been easier. Zelda finally cried. She cried with self-pity, with regret. She cried for her father, who probably was deeply saddened by her absence. She cried for Impa, who would never know the rewards of civilization, and for her old guardian who was also hurt. Why her? Why here? For what purpose did this serve? So she could rid herself of the stuffy stubbornness of her princessy self? Is that why the Goddesses sent them here? So she would learn a lesson? O cruel Goddesses, why?
Link decided to bathe too, or perhaps do something more. But he found Zelda sobbing on the side of the spring, muttering something about her terrible situation. "Zel, what's the matter?"
"Oh, my hero, Impa asked me..." she paused as a shuddering sighing sob wracked her body. "...if we were the only ones! Link, why me? Why here? Why us?"
Link could think of nothing to say, but held his dear love close. Yes, why them? He could fathom no answer to Zelda's question, and only held her closer.
Chapter 7 by Aryll Windwaker
Hyrule moved on. It was over six years since the Princess’s disappearance, and it was concluded that she was dead. Impa, Zelda’s guardian, was still mourning for her.
One night, she went to bed and had a very hard time getting to sleep. Her troubled thoughts were filled with the missing princess. When she did drift off, she had the strangest dream. She was on the beach at Great Bay. There was the boatman, offering to rent her a boat. He told her there was something happening in the southwest. 50 miles southwest of the Zora Meteor isle, past the reef where they found the smashed boat. There would be seals, gulls, and on the horizon, an island. Impa saw one the shore two people. They were waving at her. It was the princess and her escort, Link. Were they alive? Even after all this time, they were alive? Was it possible? Should she even think it? Then three women, blue, green and red, appeared. They nodded as they smiled. They were alive. And she knew where they were.
“King Hyrule!” she shouted. “Your highness! They’re alive! I know where they are!” Impa ran down the hallway, waking every person in the castle. She arrived at the king’s room and pounded the door. A sleepy eyed man opened the door and asked what the fuss was all about. “Sir, I know where she is. I know where Zelda is. Sir, I had a dream and the Goddesses themselves appeared and told me.”
“Good gracious, woman! Let’s go!”

Sea travel did not agree with the king. But he had to see if Impa’s premonition held any truth. The Zoras had led them to the meteor island and according to Impa, southwest. They passed the reef where they found the boat and sailed past it. Then, a tiny speck appeared on the horizon. It continually got bigger and bigger. Then they saw a wisp of smoke rising into the sky and Impa knew she had been right. They neared the island and saw a small figure running along the highland. A bigger person ran behind it and stopped. It shouted and waved its arms. From the deepness of the shouts, they could tell it was a man. Link! A woman, Zelda, ran to the group and added her shouts. The boat was anchored and the king and Impa rowed out to shore. Link, Zelda and the smaller person now stood on the beach, awaiting the rescue party. Zelda could hold back no longer. As soon as the boat hit land, she threw herself at the people inside it.
“Daddy! I thought I’d never see you again!”
“Oh my darling! I thought you’d drowned!” The king was crying as he held his daughter. Then he took a look at her and noticed her bare top. “Zelda! You’re naked! And what is that you’re wearing!?”
“Sealskin. It’s too hot to wear a top. With no one else around, it’s a little hard to be self-conscious. Oh, and this is Link. The one who persuaded me to come on this vacation.”
“I sincerely hope that this was not planned.”
“No, daddy. We were going to go with the Zoras but our boat drifted. We had no choice.”
“But how did you survive?” the king wondered.
“Link knew how to live off the land. We’ve been doing it for six years now. Oh, and daddy, I want you to meet Impa.”
“But Impa is right here!” the king motioned to the Sheikah behind him.
“No, your majesty. This is our daughter, Impa.” Link said, bringing a shy four-year-old girl forth.
“You’re joking. I am a grandfather? Oh, this is wonderful! Impa, do you hear that? I’m a grandfather!” The king was overjoyed. First his Zelda survived and on top of that, she gave him an heir! Link and Zelda showed their cave to the group, and explained the ways in which they lived. Zelda recounted her pregnancy and how it came to be. Link gave very detailed explanations for everything he made. Then he was struck with inspiration. They were leaving, and he had to take something and leave something of great importance. He grabbed a drying clay platter and with a sharp stick, began to write something. He finished and said, “Well, I’m ready to get out of here.”
The party boarded the boat, and Zelda and the king and Impa II leaned heavily over the rail. Sea travel still did not agree with them. But as Zelda heaved she took a last look at the Island. Link came over to the edge and presented his love with an ivory carving. It was a diagram of the island, carved in amazing relief. It was three inches high and three tiny people stood on the shore. On the back was inscribed the farewell he carved on the platter. It read:

To those who find this Island:
Zelda Hyrule, Princess of the Land of the Goddesses, Link, the Hero of Time, and Impa II, the Daughter of the Sea, spent six years on this Island. They faced the challenges of life, love and family together. Equipped only with the will to live, some stone tools and some kelp, they made it. They survived. If you are looking at a dire problem, keep the Eternal Words of the Book Of Mudora in your Heart: “Only when all is lost can Hope shine the Brightest.” I hope that when I return to the land of my Heart, I will not forget the lessons learned. I hope that whoever may find this in one hundred years, three hundred years, five thousand years, my words still ring true, for a shall never forget the Unmarked Passage of Time on this Island in Isolation.
This story archived at http://www.kasuto.net/efiction/viewstory.php?sid=2489