The Final Battle

by Kurai Hitokiri

Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, or any of these characters

Author's Note: Hey everyone, Kurai Hitokiri here, bringing you another oneshot! This is the final battle between Link and Ganon. Enjoy!

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A dark and ominous cloud of ash flitted about the shadow of a looming menace: the towers of the Dark King's lair; the source of Hyrule's suffering for 7 long years.

No longer did the marble white towers of Hyrule Castle Pierce the clouds and reach into the very heavens… No more did people laugh and dance in the cobblestone streets… This was now a world of chaos and beasts.

Within the dark castle's long and winding halls a torn and bloodstained man fought through inky darkness as he stumbled through the unknown.

A single ball of light fluttered about his bedraggled form. It clung curiously to the man's cone shaped green cap as a tiny voice emanated from it.

"Link, you've been fighting for six hours straight in this backwards place! Time to take a break!"

Still Link ignored his little companion; continuing on with harsh uneven gasps, fighting the pain that echoed through every fiber of his being.

His clothing was reduced to nothing but a few scraps of green fabric, his white undershirt torn and bloodstained. Blood crusted about every nook in his body and hardened into a crusty, putrid smelling brown substance. White pus oozed from cuts as torn flesh continuously broke from over use.

Link's tan face was now pale as death; cuts and bruises purpling his once handsome face. Grimy locks hung down before shocking blues and masked their sapphire brilliance.

The 'mighty' Hero of Time looked as though he were the living dead.

"Link, stop and rest! You cannot defeat Ganon in that state!" the little light groaned as her stubborn friend continued to push forward. "You idiotic fool! Your stubbornness is going to be the death of you one day, I hope you know!"

Wildly the little fairy thought through her desperation. If Link continued as he was, he would collapse and die before he reached Ganon. If he did live, then he would be murdered brutally by Ganon. There must have been something that would make him stop…

Of course!

"What would Zelda say if she saw you not rested?"

The little fairy gave a squeak as Link suddenly came to an abrupt halt. Just as she thought… Zelda's name held such love and sacredness to Link; of course he would obey whenever her name was mentioned.

However, Navi's inner triumph was only replaced by sorrow as she saw Link's downcast expression through her blue light.

"…We'll stop for a moment, but then we must make haste. Hyrule has already suffered enough with Ganon's tyrannical reign…" Without another word, Link simply fell gratefully to his knees, resting his head against the cold stone walls and sitting in utter silence as he attempted to catch his breath.

Navi sighed; her little attempt to stop Link from killing himself had given him a deep emotional gash. That rent in his heart was more dangerous than any wound that his physical being wore… For Goddess' sakes, he was a ten year old trapped within a seventeen year old body! His innocence was being whittled at every time the sacred Master Sword was drawn from its sheath.

Zelda. Navi had always felt the chemistry between the two friends when they had first met. She had watched fondly from the distance as the two became closer and closer, unaware of the fate that would befall them during their little escapade to defeat the 'man with the evil eyes.' Had she known what would have happened, the fairy guardian never would have let Link lower his guard and allow Zelda within his inner heart.

Now the poor boy was head over heels in love with a woman that could never be his. The boy had childhood ignorance: they knew nothing of the rank that separated them, nor of the consequences that would come of his own actions in this timeline; in other words, what would happen at the end of it all…

He simply loved Zelda with such passion and fury that the young fairy was astonished that the ten year old could have such feelings for a fully grown woman. Still, all she could do was pray countless hours for all to work out.

Navi snapped into attention as a dull creak filled the corridor. Her little light flickered as she darted toward Link; shivering madly as she looked about the darkened clearing.

"It is all right, Navi. Just a bit of loose chain rattling," Link said calmly, smiling serenely at his little companion. Taking a gauntlet bound hand; he placed it over Navi's glow comfortingly as the other rose to meet the purpled hilt of the Master Sword. Instinct was far too great; even if he was positive it was nothing than a loose chain rattling. All too often he'd been caught off guard during the night by Wolfos and Stalfos masquerading as humans or animals.

Rising to his feet, Link took a few shaky steps toward another flight of stairs.

"I believe that that is a break long enough. It is time that Ganon was defeated…"

Armored fists relaxed as hands drifted and caressed keys. A soft and haunting melody slowly crescendoed into existence and met the Hero of Time's ears as he looked on at the player.

The two beings were surrounded in a prison of ornate stained glass. Each window depicted the chaos and disarray of the years of torment Hyrule had gone through, though one image pained Link the most and sent him into a furry at the musician: the image of beasts and monsters setting fire to villages, killing innocents… even little children.

The music stopped its soft ache forward from the fragile instrument situated in the center of the room. Sitting upon a bench, a person clad in black armor and a ruby cape turned his head slightly to observe the young Hero's tormented expression.

"Ah, I see that you are taking your time to enjoy my fine artwork," the person said, the single visible ruby eye alit with malice and sick amusement. "Although it is nothing compared to the true events, it does bear some resemblance. I can still recall each tortured expression, every drop of blood spilt that I drank like sweet honey-."

"Enough," Link whispered hoarsely. The young Hero's shoulders shook with silent rage, gauntleted hands clasped tightly as a curtain of hair hid tortured expression. "Enough…"

Slowly the black clad figure got to its feet and turned, cape billowing ominously as features were revealed.

Dark tan skin blended in with the twisted and ornate black armor. Red eyes glinted with bloodlust and cruel laughter, emphasized by the hideous smirk that accompanied the greedy features that seemed to deform the King of Darkness' very soul. Hair as dark as the blood that had been spilt the past seven years finalized the dark man's appearance.

"Seven years since I've last seen you, kid… Seven years and you haven't seen any light," Ganon murmured. "What do you think of my kingdom? A world ruled by shadows and chaos is beautiful, is it not? The screams of you pathetic Hylians echoing across the landscape in a sweet symphony…"

"And the expression Zelda wore upon her face the moment of her death," Ganon smiled cruelly as he recalled the young Princess' fearful gaze. He had failed to notice that Link's form stiffened considerably as he heard the Evil King's words. "The way she begged me not to kill you because of those damned emotions of hers… She might have lived if she had surrendered her Triforce and not given her heart to you."

"I can recall her sweet screams… Such a pretty woman, shame that she had to-."

"Damn you, Ganon! Go to Hell!" In less than an instant Link had drawn the sacred Master Sword from its ornate sheath and charged. His expression was murderous and hateful; all pain had emptied from his body, he did not care about being injured. All he wanted right now was the revenge that had been coursing through his veins like fire.

Ganon calmly stood his ground, smirking at the Hero that drew ever closer. "My, my, angry, are we? Then let us see how you react when I show you something that will pain you even further, perhaps leave you in shock for quite a while."

"Bring the Sheikah to me," Ganon's words came out loud and thundering, his red eyes dulling.

A flash of bright light blinded Link's assault forward as he cried out in pain. The Master Sword dropped from his hand as his hands flew to his eyes in an attempt to shield his sapphire orbs from any further optical pain.

As he slowly opened his eyes, Link grew shocked.

Lying still and dead upon the cool tile of the room was the one whom had guided him so far and tended to his every wound. Sheik.

The young Sheikah's blue body suit was torn in several places, revealing hideous cuts and burn marks as blood and pus oozed thickly. His cowl, which hid his mysterious face, was ripped, revealing youngish, handsome, and slightly feminine features. His dark red orbs were dead to the world as he lay eagle spread in a pool of his own blood.

"Was it not kind of me to keep his body intact to give to you as a gift?" Ganon asked, smiling at Link's horrified and angry expression. "I was considering burning that corpse away, but I feel that it was worth the temptation to see the look on your face right now."

"GANONDORF!" The enraged cry pierced the air as Link leapt forward, Master Sword once again in hand as he traveled the rest of the way.

Blades met in a flurry of sparks as the battle initiated.

Link flipped backwards as Ganon drew two pronged blades from thin air. The Hero landed squarely on his feet before dashing forward again and pulling out a dazzling display of sword technique.

Still, Ganon simply smirked in amusement, countering every technique before throwing a fierce kick to Link's unguarded torso and running his blade in a quick slash across the Hero's chest.

Blood spurted from the wound and pain erupted into Link's mind as he tasted his own blood spraying forth and whetting his tunic. However, thinking of Sheik, Zelda, and every other sacrifice, he was able to land once again on his feet and numb his pain as he went toward Ganon once again.

The world shook as swords clanged together, the very Goddesses seemingly watching over the battle. Link and Ganon fought the apocalyptic battle, the shockwaves of their techniques shattering glass and the power of the magic rattling the whole of Hyrule. Blood rained, bones cracked sickeningly, and with each wound death came closer and with it the fate of Hyrule.

However, the battle could not last forever.

Link gathered Din's Fire into his palm and shot it at Ganon so that his guard might come up, leaving his torso wholly exposed to a final slash to the heart…

As the crisp and heated flames licked against his armor, Ganon did exactly as the Hero had planned him to.

"It's over." With a final spurt of strength, Link leapt high into the air and brought his sword cleaving through Ganon's heart.

Blood spewed as Ganon choked on his own blood. He looked up at Link as the Hero wrenched the Master Sword violently from the Evil King's stomach, surprise was written on every hideous feature. "How can it be that I, the Great Ganondorf, am defeated by… a child?"

"I may be a child, but I have more heart than you ever shall…" Link whispered, looking down at the pitiful tyrant. Poising his sword above his head, Link smiled through the grime of his battle as the Master Sword glinted with blood. "Go to Hell."

With that Link brought the sword cleaving through Ganon's neck, blood flowing steadily from the stump as it spread out in a dark and crimson pool.

Driving the Master Sword into the very marble of the Dark Castle, Link crossed his hands in prayer to the Sages.

"Please, Six Sages, I beg that you take Ganon's soul and put it in everlasting Flames… Seal him away so that he can never again torment Hyrule… This, I the Hero of Time, ask of you!"

The Triforce marking on the back of Link's gauntlet began to glow golden light. It grew in warmth and strength as the prayer was realized.

Link relaxed as he felt a strangely familiar sensation that he felt he would never feel again… The warmth of Zelda's embrace.

"Link… Dear, sweet Link, open your eyes."

The Hero could hear a soft and sweet voice calling him from his coma. The voice was too high to be that of a man, yet it held the same familiar quality of someone dear that he knew… of Sheik.

The young Hero opened his eyes slowly to find himself staring into the clear blue skies; white clouds swirling about him in a heavenly manner. Was he dead?

A gentle hand on his shoulder made him turn and gasp in surprise as he saw the one who was smiling and looking at him with great tenderness and love… Zelda.

The young Princess was no longer a girl. She stood a little shorter than Link, her curves womanly and beautiful, as Link could see underneath the beautiful white dress she was wearing. Zelda's golden hair cascaded down her shoulders and fell in soft curls at her back. Her once young face had changed into one looking as though the most masterful of artists had chiseled every feature to perfection; she appeared wise and noble, every bit a Princess as she should be.

Almost immediately Link caught her in an embrace; rocking her to and fro as tears filled his eyes. For seven long years he had longed to see her, and now here she was by his side as real as any person. Wait a moment, Ganon had said that he had killed her, so why…?

Slowly and hesitantly the Hero pulled away just as the Princess had begun to return his possessive embrace. He got to his feet swiftly, surprised to find that his wounds had completely healed. Where was he?

"We are in the purified Sacred Realm," Zelda replied, sensing her childhood friend's confusion, "The place where the Sages dwell and those that die rest forever. Ganon is dead and forever sealed inside the dark abyss from whence his twisted soul came… It is all thanks to you, Link."

"Zelda… No, this cannot be real, you are dead, and so is Sheik… Am I dead?" The young Hero was confused as Zelda shook her head and smiled at his childish mind.

"Ganon believed he had killed me, when he merely killed a doppelganger that I had created of magic. I have been hiding these past several years as Sheik. When Ganon tried to capture Sheik, I simply cast a spell upon myself that gave me the appearance of death," Zelda explained, then held up a hand to hold back the dam that held Link's river of questions. "I am sorry that I could not tell you I was Sheik, but it was necessary in order to keep my identity safe."

"Link, thank you very much for all that you have done for Hyrule. All of this was my doing. I was young and I did not see the consequences of my foolish mind… I dragged you into all of this," Zelda whispered as she placed a hand over her heart as she averted her gaze somewhere among the clouds. "I'm sorry. However, there is only one thing that I can do to set things right once again, Link."

Time slowed as Zelda held out her delicate hand to Link, waiting for something to be placed into it. "Give me the Ocarina, Link. With it I'll return you to your own time and you shall be happy once again… everyone shall be happy again…"

Link's heart broke. She wanted to send him away after all that he had done? After everything they'd gone through together she wanted to send him back in time? That meant that as a child, she would never know who he was. Everyone would forget him and forget what he had done for Hyrule… Only he would remember and only he would love Zelda.

Still, he could not deny the woman he loved her wishes. This was for the good of Hyrule, nay, the entire world depended upon it all. And so with a heavy heart he reached into his pocket and placed the Ocarina gently into Zelda's hands, stepping away with his eyes held downcast.

"Goodbye Link, and thank you," Zelda said after some time.

Placing the Ocarina to her cherry red lips, a slow and mournful sounding version of Zelda's Lullaby drifted into the calm and serene setting.

Link felt himself being lifted into the air, away from Zelda and away from the time he had saved. As he began to drift away from sight, he saw a single crystal tear fall from the Princess' beautiful blues as she looked upon the Hero of Time for the last time.

There was something he had to say. Maybe it would bring comfort and closure to both of them even as they lived on without one another in pain. It could kill the wondering in her heart and soothe the gash in his knowing he had confessed.

And so as he slipped away, Link cried out one final time in his deep baritone.

"Zelda, I love you!"

The teenaged Princess jerked out of her gaze and pain instantly filled each feature as tears began to fall freely now. This was for the good of their beloved homeland, for the good of the world… no matter how difficult it was, they would accept their sad and lonely futures.

Zelda Harkinian looked on as her faithful friend, Hero, and only love slipped away from her and into the streams of time. As he disappeared from her forever, she whispered the words that he would never hear from her lips.

"And I love you, Link…"

Note: Don't forget to read and review more of Kurai Hitokiri's excellent writing and artwork over at Fanfiction.Net.

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