by Startide Risen
If you don't hate me, you do a damn good impression of it.
Most likely it's genuine, though. Nothing would surprise me less. After all, there are plenty of people who hate me. A couple hundred monsters, some rebellious Gerudo, several stuck-up Zoras, a handful of snobby noblemen… And Sir Evil himself, Ganon. He hates me because I sent you after him.
Isn’t it hilarious how you both hate me for the same thing?
I could have sent someone else, I suppose. Perhaps a trained knight with six titles and some actual combat experience. But no, my dreams said it was you and Destiny said it was you and the Goddesses said it was you. So I told you that the universe commanded it and you must go save the world. You were the Hero.
I can see how you might have resented it.
It was the right thing, though. You brought His Imperial Darkness to his knees and we locked him away and set the world right again. I went back to being a princess and you were free to satisfy your wanderlust. You kept yourself busy saving people and defeating various menaces to domestic tranquility. Occasionally some Big Evil would come along and together we would send it packing. In our free time we flirted. And even though sometimes I tired of being a Princess and you were often sick to death of being a Hero, we were still relatively happy.
But then Ganon came back.
I think it finally killed something in you, having to fight that war twice. You were still the Hero and you did your part, but you never forgave fate for handing you that hell over again. I still remember how you cursed the Goddesses and the universe and me and Ganon and the strap on your gauntlet that kept coming undone. You hated everything, it seemed.
It twisted something in me, too, seeing everything we’d worked for utterly destroyed. The worst part was that you finally started blaming me. I’d been expecting you to for a long time. I just never imagined that it could hurt so much. Still, I managed to twist back into shape in the end. Staying broken was not an option.
It’s been a year since then. You’d think you’d have mended by now, too.
But when you're not in some far distant land throwing yourself into battles you don't really care about, you're here at the castle, standing at some great, arched, empty window and telling me to leave you alone. I don't know why you even come back anymore, except perhaps to taunt me with what I once saw in you. It's never in what you say, of course, because you never really say anything. Somehow the simple fact that you can be in the same room with me and hate me so much while I still cling to my ideals is mockery enough.
Maybe it had to turn you bitter someday. Maybe there’s only so much one person can take before they either submit to madness or tell the world to go to hell. It seems at times that you did a little bit of both. You never did know what you wanted.
One day I’ll go mad, too. I’ll give all the snobby, power-hungry noblemen the severe beatings they so richly deserve. I’ll tell all the foreign ambassadors that I am well aware that every word they say is bull. I’ll eat dessert with a salad fork.
I won’t let it turn me bitter, though. Better absolutely bonkers than whatever it is that you’ve let yourself become. That’s the difference between wisdom and courage, I guess. I choose to protect myself with my delusions. You'd rather face your world for what it is.
And according to you, it is a badly-run insane asylum.
I won’t ask you to explain exactly what has brought you to that conclusion. Truthfully, I don’t want to know. I don’t need to hear what particular horror made your lip curl that way, or exactly what battle turned your eyes cold like that. Not when I can still remember how warm you used to be.
You used to love to pick me up and spin me around, laughing the whole time as my skirts twirled around us both. You were warm then. Your eyes would flash and your dratted hair would fall in your face and I’d smile and brush it aside. I like to imagine that heaven has much the same feel to it.
But you never touch me anymore. You never even look at me anymore. I shouldn’t miss it as much as I do.
I could call it self-pity. I could tell you that you’re being a selfish bastard and just because you’ve got issues doesn’t mean you can just throw everything to the wind. Maybe I’d be right, too. Wouldn’t that be funny? The princess, right about something.
I won’t say it, though. Impa says it all the time, and Nabooru and Rauru are always on you about it. They tell you you’re too strong for this. They say you have too many people depending on you. They passionately insist that you can’t lose hope, you can’t stop believing, and you can’t let Hyrule down. You have to just get over it, because you’re the He—
You tell them to go to hell. They politely decline.
To the rest of the Sages you are long gone. Ruto and Darunia say only what a shame it is, and even Saria, who was once half mother to you and half sister, cannot argue. They know, as I do, that we are all of us reminders of what Destiny asked of you. And as much as you hate Destiny, you could live with her if she would just let you forget.
I'm sorry to be a reminder. I'm sorry I asked too much. And though it's really no one's fault but yours that you are whatever it is you are, I'm sorry things turned out like this.