‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

A Small Relief

Rabia woke early the next morning at sunrise. Ganondorf was walking about the room, muttering under his breath. She opened her eyes a crack to see him shake desert sand from his cape, his eyebrows furrowed and a frown etched into his face. There hadn’t been enough time to get to the desert and back in the six hours she’d been asleep, so she wasn’t sure how he could be covered in sand. Suddenly he made his way over to the bed. She closed her eyes again and kept her breath deep and slow. Rabia didn’t want to ire him more than he already was. She held her breath as he leaned down over her, but he pressed a kiss to her forehead and left the room.

Rabia stayed in bed a couple more hours, but couldn’t fall back asleep. Eventually, her need to pee forced her to give sleep up as a lost cause and she started getting ready for the day. Sheik was waiting for her when she exited the bathroom after her shower, standing at attention by the bedroom door. His hair was back in that ridiculous ponytail.

“Good morning, Your Majesty,” he said, bowing to her. Rabia sighed.

“Good morning, Sheik. You know I prefer you to call me Rabia” She sat down at the vanity and started putting on her makeup. Sheik walked over and started pinning up her hair.

“Yes, Your Majesty,” he said. He offered her a hand when she finished and helped her up. “Are you having the baby soon?” he asked as they made their way down to breakfast.

“I’m due in November,” she frowned. “H- She’s getting big though, huh?”

“That’s only a couple weeks,” Sheik said. “Are you excited?” Rabia shrugged. They made their way toward the great hall, where the rest of the castle occupants were eating. Chattering voices spilled out into the hallway beyond, but grew quieter as Sheik and Rabia entered.

“Rabia!” Kamilah waved her over. She was sitting at a table next to Nabooru, chatting over breakfast. Rabia smiled brightly when she saw them and settled in across from her mother, offering Nabooru a warm smile. Sheik sat beside her, silent. “How are you?” she asked.

“I’m good,” Rabia said. Kamilah searched her face for a moment, then nodded in approval. “Where did you come from?” Rabia asked, turning to Nabooru. “Weren’t you keeping an eye on things in the desert?”

“I was,” Nabooru said. “Ganondorf wanted me here. Aveil took my place back home, with Kabira.”

“So…” Kamilah turned to Nabooru, lowering her voice. “Rumor has it you know where Zelda and Link were hiding.” Nabooru paused, her fork halfway to her mouth. Her eyes shuttered and her face went blank.

“I… had my suspicions,” she said. “I was looking for them on my own for a while. They ended up at the Spirit Temple, but they were long gone by the time I got there.” Rabia sighed.

“You don’t know if they’re okay? They’re… wandering the desert alone?” she asked.

“So, tomorrow is Death’s Day,” Nabooru changed the subject. Rabia frowned. “Are either of you dressing up?”

“Oh, no,” Kamilah laughed. “I don’t know what I’d dress up as - I’m working tomorrow anyway so I suppose it doesn’t matter.” Nabooru turned to Rabia curiously.

“What would I even go as? A pumpkin?” Rabia snorted. Sheik stifled a smile and Kamilah started to giggle. “I’m not doing anything this year. Usually Kaik and I would visit Zelda’s parent’s graves with her and her brothers. We always had dinner together, then we’d light the candles and leave offerings for the spirits. Zelda always hosted a huge Death’s Day party here at the castle, but we usually dressed up to hand out candy to the kids,” Rabia smiled. “Zelda always dresses up as a fairy, but I prefer to be a witch.”

“A witch? You could be something much cooler - like a vampire,” Nabooru said.

“We leave the crazy costumes to Kaik. Last year she was a Twili - she nearly gave me a heart attack when she showed up like that.”

“Do you know if Ganondorf is doing the Death’s Day party here this year?” Kamilah asked. Rabia shrugged.

“I have no idea,” she answered. “There aren’t any decorations or anything, so I doubt it.”

“...so that huge skulltula in the entrance hall WASN’T a decoration?” Kamilah asked.

“S-skulltula?” Nabooru shuddered, her face pale. “I hate skulltulas.”

“Um, nope. At least it’s… seasonal?” Rabia said. “I guess I’ll be going out the side doors for the foreseeable future.” Nabooru nodded in agreement.

“Well, just be careful,” Kamilah said seriously, though there was mischief in her eyes. “Death’s Day is when the doors open to the Spirit World and the Twilight Realm. Who knows what scary beasts might be wandering Hyrule?” she wiggled her fingers spookily.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


They finished eating, and Sheik stood. He looped arms with Rabia and started leading her away from the table quickly.

“Come, let's take a walk. The fresh air will do you good,” Sheik said, as emotionlessly as he could muster. Rabia stumbled along beside him as fast as she could.

“What… what are you doing?” she asked, trying to pull her arm away. He slowed his pace once they were out of the Great Hall and let go of her.

“Do you trust me?” he whispered to her, glancing over his shoulder for guards. Rabia tilted her head.

“Yes, of course,” she said, after a moment. He nodded and looped arms with her again.

“Then walk with me.” She followed him upstairs to her room. He locked the door behind them. The only guard that was ever by her room was Sheik himself, so he wasn’t worried about being overheard. “Sorry about that. I need to tell you something somewhere private,” he said quietly.

“What is it?”

“Last night, Ganon sent me to murder Kaikoura,” he started. Rabia looked at him, startled. “I snapped out of the brainwashing before I did, she’s fine!” he said. Rabia let out a breath.

“Oh, goddesses, lead with that next time,” she said. She hugged Sheik. “I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Thanks, Rabia,” Sheik said. “So, how are you feeling?” he asked.

“I’m okay. I’m a little worried about the baby, though. She hasn’t been kicking as much the past couple days, just… shifting. She’s usually more active than this. I’ve also been having more of those annoying fake contractions,” she frowned. Sheik hummed.

“I’ll send a message to Lord Vaati. Maybe he’ll have some advice,” Sheik said. “And then we could go to the library and do some research.” Rabia nodded in agreement.
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Hmm... things are almost normal, it seems ;)