‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

The Best Spies (are the ones in your home)

The following days passed in much the same way for both Ganondorf and Rabia. Ganondorf spent all his time studying battle plans and creating more and more intense training regimes, ruling over Castle Town with an iron fist. Rabia was plagued with sleepless, nightmare-filled nights, and spent worry-ridden days ghosting around the castle with nothing to do but stay out of the way.

Dark Link checked in with Ganondorf regularly, but the search party hadn’t turned up anything. They had searched the entire kingdom, but Link was nowhere to be found. Ganondorf paced his office, contemplating potential hiding places for Link. He glanced out the window and paused.

While he was working, Rabia had entered the garden below his window. She was sitting on one of the benches along the garden path, reading a book. Her long red curls were loose and shining in the sun as they rippled in the gentle breeze. The golden autumn sun made her skin glow against her burgundy gown, and the reds and golds of the trees and bushes framed her beautifully.

As he watched her, Ganondorf felt a warmth bloom in his chest. Ignore her, you imbecile. You have work to do, Ganon whispered in his ear. After weeks of his control, Ganondorf had finally subdued him. Rabia tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and Ganondorf couldn’t help but smile at the beautiful picture she painted. He glanced around at the disarray in the office and swept things into their drawers. He was certain Rabia hadn’t had lunch yet and it seemed like the perfect way to spend time with her. He pulled his cloak on over his shoulders, and after a moment’s pause, grabbed his other one off the rack by the door. He made a brief stop at the kitchen to pack up a basket of food, then jogged outside.

“Rabia,” he said as he strode over to her. She tensed, watching him out of the corner of her eye.

“...Yes?” she asked. He paused a few feet away, noting her discomfort.

“May I join you?” he asked, keeping his distance. She could be jumpy when people showed up unexpectedly, and he didn’t want to startle her. Rabia looked up at him with open curiosity. After a moment, she gave him a hesitant but hopeful smile and nodded, then marked her spot in her book and set it aside. Ganondorf settled onto the bench beside her.

“What brings you to the garden? I thought you were working,” Rabia said. Ganondorf cupped her cheek in his hand, brushing his thumb along her cheekbone. If he noted the tired circles under her eyes, he didn’t say anything.

“I saw you sitting out here from the window. I came down to tell you that you look beautiful today,” he murmured. A flush spread across her cheeks. He leaned in and kissed her forehead softly. “You always do.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him, melting against his warmth. He frowned.

“Rabia, you’re freezing!” He unwound his cloak from his shoulders and wrapped it around her, stifling a chuckle as it dwarfed her small frame. “Why didn’t you bring your cloak?” he asked as he fastened the spare around himself.

“I guess I didn’t notice,” Rabia shrugged. Ganondorf chuckled.

“Lost in your book?” he asked. She nodded.

“I just go to the part wh-” She let out a muffled squawk when he put his hand over his mouth.

“Don’t spoil it! I haven’t caught up yet!” He uncovered her mouth once he was certain she wouldn’t. She leaned against his side.

“Well, work less,” she said. “Then you could catch up.” He smiled at her indulgently.

“How’s the little one?” he asked, setting a hand on her belly.

“Restless. Has been for a couple days,” Rabia answered. She moved his hand so he could feel where the baby was kicking her. “Will definitely be getting a time out for all the kicking,” she grumbled. Ganondorf chuckled and kissed the top of her head.

“I packed us a picnic, but perhaps we ought to bring it back inside so you can warm up,” he suggested. He stood and offered her his hand. “Join me?” Rabia took his hand and let him lead her back into the castle.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~[/enter]

You fool, Ganon whispered in his mind. Her distraction is your failure. I hope she was worth it. Ganondorf fell to his knees with a cry. He felt like his skull was being split open, broken in half as Ganon took over with a triumphant cry.
Link will have to show up, one way or another. In the meantime... I'll rid myself of Rabia's troublesome friends.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


That night, after Rabia had fallen into a peaceful, dreamless sleep, Ganondorf made his way back to his office and pulled his work back out. As he flipped through the pages and contemplated possible hideouts for Link, two possibilities came to mind. He had checked all of Link’s usual haunts, but he hadn’t caught up with Link’s friends… A wave of his hand had Sheik hurrying over to his side. He bowed deeply.

“What can I do for you, Your Majesty?” he asked.

“You have a wife, don’t you?” Ganondorf asked him. Sheik hesitated. “Answer me!” Ganondorf demanded.

“...Yes,” Sheik’s voice came out strangled. Ganondorf stroked his beard.

“Is she friends with Link?” A hesitant nod was all Sheik could muster. “Go to your house and search for Link. If she does not comply… kill her,” Ganondorf waved him away.

“...Yes, Your Majesty.” He walked out slowly, his feet dragging along the stone as he closed the door behind him. After the door closed, Ganondorf nodded to himself. A quick warping spell had him back in the valley in a heartbeat. Aveil jumped, startled by his unexpected appearance, then bowed.

“Ganondorf! We weren’t expecting you. What brings you back so soon?” Aveil asked.

“Where is Nabooru,” he growled. Aveil frowned.

“I thought she was in Castle Town with you. That’s why I came back,” she said. “I haven’t heard from her in weeks.” Ganondorf sighed in frustration.

“I know exactly where she is. Have someone fetch me a horse,” he demanded. Aveil nodded to one of the guards who scurried off quickly.

“How are things in Castle Town?” Aveil asked.

“Hmm? Fine, fine. We still haven’t found Link, but I have a couple leads…” he paced in front of the desk like a caged lion. “We’re preparing for attack as we speak.”

“I’m sure our girls are more than up for the task,” Aveil nodded. “We all like being able to go into Castle Town again - we don’t want to lose that.”

“I’m glad my third is on my side,” Ganondorf said. “That’s more than I can say for Nabooru.” He snarled. The guard came back, panting.

“Your horse is ready, my King,” she said with a bow. Ganondorf swept from the room, his cape billowing behind him.

There were safer ways to reach the Spirit Temple than traversing through the wastelands, but it was the swiftest and Ganondorf could navigate it with his eyes closed. It was almost necessary to do so with the sand blowing around in the air. He arrived at the temple before sunrise and quietly dismounted the horse.

The atrium was dark and silent, empty save for the decorative columns and vases. His footsteps echoed as he ascended the stairway. There was no sign of Nabooru, but there was evidence that someone had been staying inside the temple. There were bedrolls laid out on the red rug on the stair landing. The alcove in the back of the room held charred logs, still warm from a fire. Whoever had been here had left recently, and in a hurry. A soft noise made him look up sharply, drawing his weapon. Zelda and Link disappeared in a doorway just as it slammed shut. Nabooru was standing before it, her own sword drawn.

“Nabooru, I should’ve known,” Ganondorf growled. His eyes were like red embers, glowing in the dark. “Stand aside.”

“I will not.” She shifted into a fighting stance. After a moment, Ganondorf let out a booming laugh and sheathed his sword.

“Always so defiant,” he chuckled. “...I can remedy that.” Before she could make her escape, he summoned an orb of dark magic that enveloped her. When it cleared, Nabooru sheathed her sword and knelt low in a bow.

“How can I serve you, my King?”

“Where are Link and Zelda going?” Ganondorf asked. Nabooru frowned.

“I don’t know,” she answered. Ganondorf snarled and shoved past her. He pried the door open and made his way to the back exit of the spirit temple. By the time he got there, Link and Zelda had already disappeared into the desert.
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OHHHHHHH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIT