Seven Years, to Be Exact

By Seimei

A short story about the day Link and Malon were reunited, through the eyes of Malon.

I hastily began to fill my feed bucket with dry, tastless oats that had gone bad and empty long ago. I sighed, feeling helpless and lost. I looked around the stable, that creaky and lofty stable, remembering its better days. Days when my father's snoring was ever-present, when cuccos clucked and squabbled merrily, when the horses, especially Epona, romped together carelessly in the lush pastures, and when a certain someone was...

I caught my breath in my throat. The pain of Link's death was still as raw as it had been seven years ago. Tears welled up in my eyes as despair washed around me, threatening to drown me in it's heavy waters.

I sniffed and gazed up at the ceiling of the stable, looking past the empty stalls and beyond the stained, muddy walls.

For a moment, I was no longer in that dirty stable, filling feed buckets with old oats for the horses, but in the fresh light of Hyrule Field. The golden rays of crisp, sleepy twilight ran down from the crimson sun on the horizon, as if remembering days long gone. He was there. Link.

Remembering that brooding gaze coming from those young, challenging eyes made me want to cry.

"Here," I said softly in the memory, "...since you're going to the Castle to give Princess Zelda those Spiritual Stones....take this..."

I felt around for my mother's necklace, and there it was, safely tucked beneath my blouse. I pulled the chain over my head and held out the beautiful amber Triforce pendant in my small hand.

Link looked at me questionably, and reached out for it. His hand closed securly over mine, in a tight embrace.

"-to remeber me by," I said, looking away in embarressment. "It's not much, I'm afraid..."

I felt his gaze on me, as steady and as sure as Time itself. I looked up and saw determination and sincerity in his intense, blue eyes.

"May," he spoke, calling me by his pet name for me, "you will never be forgotten by me. I-I don't need this to remember you by."

A light breeze blew from the west, spraying his hair about his face, it billowing softly in the breeze.

He smiled sadly, "But thanks. This-this means a lot to me..."

His grip on my hand loosened, and I slid my hand from his and brought it to my side. He pulled the pendant over his head and tucked it under his tunic.

Epona, the half-grown filly Link had befriended, nickered softly, nudging him in the shoulder, telling them it was time to go. Navi buzzed overhead silently.

Afraid that Link might see the tears forming in my eyes, I turned away.

I heard Link mount Epona, and then I heard Epona's footsteps as she began to walk away.

I suddenly had a funny feeling that this was the last time that I would see him.

I whirled around and whispered, "Link?"

The breeze caught my words and carried them to his ears. He looked over his shoulder at me, and I stared up with weary eyes.

The feeling of dread intensified, and all I wanted to do was scream, "No Link!! Don't go!!! What if you never come back? Something terrible will happen if you go!!"

But then I knew how selfish I was being. Hyrule depended upon Link and the Spiritual Stones that he was carrying. The Land of Hyrule and Princess Zelda needed him...........more than I did.

"Be swift."

Link smiled, and then turned his gaze Northward. "Fly Epona!" he cried, and the young horse reared up and neighed, and galloped off toward Hyrule castle, with only a trail of dust and the echo of hoofbeats left behind.

I sighed, coming out of the memory. That was the last I saw of him. Link.

Now....he was dead. He had died what seemed eons ago, a fresh young lad with a challenging gaze and a kind heart.

I huffed and scraped up more oats from the storage box into my feed bucket.

Well, he was dead, and had been for seven years. He'd died trying to protect Hyrule.

I smiled as I remembered how I used to wait for him along the Great Wall. Oh, how I wished he would come back, as he said he would. I waited eight days, sitting atop that stupid grey wall, hoping to see a figure in green on horseback galloping just over the rise of the hill to greet me.

But I knew he was never coming back the day Epona came home alone. She had Link's sword strapped to her saddle. And the look in her eyes was answer enough for me.

My heart stung as I remembered that day when my dearest friend died protecting Hyrule from the King of Evil, Ganondorf.

And the worst part was that I didn't even know how he'd died.

I dumped the oats I was carrying into the feeder. My whole body was sagging.

"If only....." I sighed, my voice trailing off. There were so many 'If only's'.

If only Link had suceeded in his mission, Ganondorf wouldn't have seized the Triforce of Power (yes, I know the legend), and he wouldn't have created an army of monsters, Gerudos, and traitors that had attacked Hyrule Castle Town. If only the Hylians and their allies had won against them in that battle, then the King and all of Hyrule's hopes wouldn't have been killed, and Hyrule still might be fighting today. If only Ingo hadn't insulted me by saying, "You are wasting our time, food and work by sitting on the Great Wall, waiting for some stupid boyfriend who wasn't gonna come back because he probably found some other girlfriend, like that pretty little Princess he was going to go see. Who would want you, Malon, when they could have a Princess!! So get over it!" Then Daddy wouldn't have fired him, and he wouldn't have sought revenge, and sided with Ganondorf, and sent a troop of Gerudo warriors to overthrow the ranch for him and crown him its new King. Then he wouldn't have kicked my father out, and I wouldn't have become his...his...uh, slave.

I sighed. If only none of this had ever happened, so many people, monsters, and animals would have been spaired painful, gut-wrenching deaths and sad, lonely lives.

If only....

I looked at the bucket and scowled. "Well, better get back to work."

I dragged the bucket out of the feeder and turned to walk towards the storage box.

Suddenly, the pounding of hoofbeats outside the stables told me that Ingo was back from the bar in Kakariko Village. I listened carefully as he dismounted.

Uh-oh. And from the way his footsteps made a sluggish thud on the dirt outside, I could tell he was drunk.

"MALON!!!!" he bellowed.

As much as I dreaded going outside to face him, I figured I might as well get whatever beating or work he had in store for me over with. Anyway, he would be madder than an angry moblin later on if I was a no show now. I set my bucket on the ground and ran out of the stable and into the overcast morning light.

Ingo was livid. "Malon!!! I thought I told you to have Epona ready for me to present to the Great Ganondorf!!! You stupid, ugly wench!"

"Mr. Ingo, sir, Ganondorf doesn't want her for another four days, and-"

Ingo, in a drunken rage, drew back his fist and socked me in the jaw. I let out a cry of surprise, and dropped to my knees, clutching my face.

Rain, as if on cue, began to spill from the darkened sky above. Ingo kicked me in the side, knocking the wind out of me. I doubled over in pain, sinking into the mud.

Ingo snorted like a jack-ass and jeered, "Next time, wench, do as I say."

I glared up at him in disgust, my side, face, and heart aching. He sneered down at me.

Suddenly, something in me snapped. For seven long years, this had been my life. I had been his slave, his.....plaything. I worked for him relentlessly, day and night, just so he wouldn't harm my animals...or me. I had endured his beatings, his drunken rages, his snobby customers, his sensless rules, his outragesous demands, and his insults.

But no more. No more. Why should I put up with this? Let alone for seven years? Life had to be more than this. Life had more meaning than to waste it away doing another man's chores.

I let out a snarl and grabbed for his ankle. I yanked him down into the mud and smacked him square across the face.

Thunder rumbled as he cried out in surprise and pain.

"Why you weasel!!! I'll rip your hair out for this!!!" he roared, his face violet and eyes beady.

He jumped up and pounced on me, slamming my head into the ground with a sickening thud, a tight grip on my hair and my shoulder. Mud splattered everywhere.

"Stop!!! Please!!!" I screamed in rage and terror.

Ingo cackled evilly, his hot, damp breath upon my neck. I could smell liquor.

"You useless woman!! Heh, heh, I'll make you usefull......" he said sinisterly.

My mind reeled and my head felt like it was about to split open. No....not this.....fight him, Malon!! Fight him.....

But I was slipping away into darkness. The mud, the rain, the insults, the despair....They were all a raging storm within the darkness, being swallowed up by it as well.

I could feel Ingo's clammy hands as they began to unlace the top part of my blouse, and I could feel his sweaty face against mine.

No!! He was going to steal away the only thing that was still mine!! No!! Help me!! Someone!! Help me!!

I began to struggle against him, fight him. I tried to beat at him with my bruised fists, claw at him with my nails. I screamed in desperation and despair. But Ingo still weighed me down.

"No, pet. Don't fight me....." he chuckled dizzily.

I began to sob. It was hopeless.

The rain continued to beat me as hard as Ingo had.

Suddenly, Ingo stopped. He sat up, and looked around, listening.

I sat up, tears streaming down the sides of my face, breathing hard and labored, mud clinging to my dress and hair. I felt like sobbing in relief. It was over.....for the moment.

For a moment I considered running. Ingo's attenion had been diverted, and his back was to me. Then my elvish ears picked up what his already had.

Footsteps. Coming up the path. And they were getting closer.

Great, I thought, another snobby, stuck-up customer. Well, at least whoever it was saved me from that monster of a man.

Ingo stared down the path another moment, and then whirled around and snarled through gritted teeth, "Get into the stables, girl!! Make yourself unseen. And if whoever it is does see you-"

He bolted from his spot and pulled me to him with such force that I was afraid he'd slam me into the wall of the stable.

"-you will live to regret it. AM I UNDERSTOOD?"

I nodded, thankful that he was planning on leaving me alone for awhile. Dry oats were better company than he was.

He gave me a suspicious look, and then shoved me towards the stable door. "Now, git!!"

I quickly swung open the door and ran into the dim light of the stable. As fast as I could, I bolted for the storage box, and collapsed next to it, and buried my head in my arms, sobbing.

That Ingo was a horrible man. A horrible man.

I don't know how long I cried. It seemed like hours and hours, but it could only have been for a few moments. People tend to lose track of time when their emotions become stronger than it.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps right outside the door. I quickly grabbed my bucket and jumped up, attempting to be quietly at work. I scooped some more oats into my feed bucket, and slowly made my way to the next horse's stall.

I heard the door open and close, and I panicked. Someone who could be dangerous was in here. You see, most of Ingo's customers were like him, and after what had just happened, well.....

I was ready for a fight.

I whirled around to face the stranger. "Who's there?" I challenged.

The dark figure in the doorway took a step forward and said, "Hello?"

I froze. That voice....

The tall figure stepped from the shadows and into the dim light of the stable.

"Is that you, Malon?"

The bucket I was carrying fell forgotten from my hands and landed on the floor with a thud. I brought my hands to my mouth to stifle a gasp.

"Oh my..."

It couldn't be.

The figure stepped forth and whispered "....May?"

No. It couldn't be. I-I must be hallucinating, or dreaming, or something. It just couldn't be...

"Malon, it's me," he said softly.

But it was. It was that little boy I'd first met in the market, who said he'd help me find my absent-minded father. It was that same boy I'd taught to ride horses, and it was that same boy who'd befriended Epona. It was the same boy who told me stories of his journies all over Hyrule, stories of the different types of people, places, and things he encountered in that magical land. It was the same boy I followed when I sometimes joined him on his adventures. It was the same boy I called 'Fairy Boy,' and who called me 'May.'

It was the same little boy became my best friend.

I stepped forward, tears of unspeakable joy streaming down my cheeks, each step as wobbly as a newborn foal.


The figure nodded, smiling, "It's been so long. I've....I've missed you, May." His voiced trembled slightly, and his eyes gleamed.

Suddenly, I just couldn't take it anymore. With a cry, I flung myself into his awaiting arms, wrapping my arms around his waist. I felt his arms slide across my back, pulling me close to him. I buried my face into his chest, tasting my own saltly tears, shuddering violently.

"Seven years, to be exact," I smiled.

He laid his head on mine, whispering, "Shh....It's alright....It's alright, May...."

My fingers dug into his back, and all I wanted to do was hold him forever. I wanted to be held forever.


I pulled away a little, and met his gaze with mine.

And I saw he was crying, too.

He bought a hand up and cradled the bruised side of my cheek with it, caressing my cheekbone with his thumb, brushing away the tears.

"Everyone thought you were dead," I breathed. "I.....thought you were dead."

He smiled. A smile I hadn't seen in years.

"I guess not."

I smiled wryly, and was tempted to ask him how, but I decided to let it be. So I nudged my forhead under his chin, and he stroked my hair with his hand.

I felt so safe in his embrace; a feeling that was welcomed warmly in my heart. I hadn't felt this safe or wanted since my dad was thrown out.

It seemed as though Time itself had stopped. The moments seemed immortal.

I could feel the blood in his veins flowing, and the steady drumlike beat of his heart as he held me. I could feel the firm grip he had on the small of my back with his hands.

But what I felt the most was his soul, and how close his held me, for his soul held my soul with a force stronger than anything his physical body could exert. For a moment, his soul was bound to mine.

And we stood.


Disclaimer- I didn't create and I don't own any of the characters in my wonderful little short story. (Duh!!!) So don't sue me or anything, okay ? All I own is a pair of green socks and, oh...............about 3.50!! ^_^

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