Link stared at Zelda, into her beautiful blue eyes and golden hair. He was finally going to have a chance to live the seven years of his life that he had lost because she was going to give him that chance. He would be able to leave this darkness and pain, to go back to the peacefulness and happiness of the Hyrule that he knew. But something niggled at him. He knew that he should want to go back, but he couldn't. He stared at the Princess and couldn't bring himself to leave her behind again. The only reason that he had gone through everything was because she had asked him. As an innocent child and as a striking young woman, she had implored him for help. And now, when she needed him still, he could not bring himself to leave. He watched mutely as she raised the Ocarina of Time of her lips. She played the first three notes of the Song of Time before he reached out and stilled her hand with his grasp. The Princess looked at him, a frown on her face.
"What's wrong?" she asked. She looked around to see if Ganon would sneak up on them or if there were any flying baddies around. When she saw nothing but the blue skies and clouds surrounding them, she looked back to him with confusion in her eyes.
"I'm not going," he replied nonchalantly, as if she had merely asked him to accompany her to Kakariko.
Her eyes widened and she struggled to keep from crying out loud. She had grown rather attached to the brave young warrior and she didn't want him to leave, but she also knew that it wouldn't be fair on her part to keep him from where he truly belonged...again. He deserved to go back to the life he would have led before she had interupted it.
"Don't you want to grow up properly?" she questioned, her head cocked to one side thoughtfully.
He crossed his arms. "Will I remember what happened here when you send me back?"
"It will be like the other times you've traveled between times. Only your body changes, but your mind won't. My magic doesn't reach that far. Your will is too strong."
He nodded, and she saw then that his violet-blue eyes had a look that was years older than the face that contained them. Guilt settled over her and she clasped her hands tightly over the ocarina. She honestly didn't understand why he didn't want to go back. If she was in his place, she would return in a second. Then again, he took up this quest without a single word. She smiled encouragingly at him. He smiled back.
"I've already grown up, Princess," he explained, shrugging to show that he really had no control over his decision because it seemed to him that he didn't need to make one. "I can't go back to that life now. Not after this. Not after what I've seen and done."
"Link, this world has been ravaged by Ganondorf. It a far cry from the Hyrule that existed seven years ago. Don't you want to go back to the beautiful, green Hyrule instead of slogging through life here?"
"No," he replied.
She blinked. "Really?"
He took her hands in his. "I want to help everyone that has suffered because of what Ganondorf did. I can't go back now that I know what I've left behind here. I can't just pretend that everything is ok." He smiled. "I want to help you put Hyrule back together."
A smile grew on Zelda's face, then she laughed altogether and threw her arms around him. He chuckled and hugged her back.
"I wanted you to stay," she whispered.
He grinned. "Fond of me, are you?"
She raised an eyebrow as she pulled away from his embrace. "I got rather used to you."
He looked around them. "So are we going to keep on floating around here, or are we going to get to business?"
She smiled and raised her arms to the sky. A blue haze surrounded them, blocking everything from view, and when it was gone, they were in front of the gates of Hyrule Castle. In the distance, they could hear activity in the marketplace. The people were already beginning to put their lives back in order. Everything would be fine.
Link looked at the Princess at his side. He offered her his hand and she took it. Together, they made their way to the market, to the people, and to a new beginning.